The start of the Fourth Global War goes back centuries through multiple alliances and wars fought between states allied to the Byzantine Empire and states like Russia, Italy and Austria, which have always defied its power. The Byzantium Pact was now a worldwide organization, consisting of the United States and Aztec Empire in North America, Brazil in South America, the Byzantine Empire, Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania in Europe, and Japan in Asia. Their enemy organization was the Central Pact, consisting of the Inca Empire, Russia, Finland, Poland, Austria-Hungary, China, and Persia. But the members of those alliances and their enemies go back for years, even if their organization doesn't.
The Incas and Aztecs had been enemies since the First Global War in the early 17th century, and had become powerful military and economic rivals as they entered the modern age. They had built massive armies on land, and powerful navies at sea, and had went through constant change as their populations recovered from the plagues caused by European contact. The enemies grew farther apart when the Spanish colonies revolted after the Spanish loss in the Second Global War, as the Aztecs wanted to support them, while the Incans wanted to conquer them. Eventually, the revolutionaries won, and the states of Venezuela, Argentina, among many other states in the area. Meanwhile, what became known as the Chilean movement and the Colombian movement grew strong in the Inca Empire as Spanish-speakers in the north and south pushed for independence. Though their calls have mostly been ignored, they do have a strong political presence in the north and south of the Empire.
In Asia, the growing Japanese Empire had come into deep conflict with China as the disintegrating Chinese Empire began to collapse under pressure from the huge Japanese military and economy that developed around them as theirs folded into pieces. Many Chinese immigrants began leaving areas like Hainan and Manchuria to live in more economically developed areas in Japan and in Korea and Annam. China and its emperor weakened the government began to become extremely corrupt and revolutionary movements pushed for the abdication of the Emperor and the end of the Empire. Some of the more leftist groups have even begun anti-government revolts in the countryside of the Empire and in its deep mountainous regions, but have failed to spread to the major areas of settlement in the east.
In Europe, tensions grew as the defeated states of Italy and Austri-Hungary built up their militaries and economies in reaction to the growth of the Byzantine's. Russia had proved the only state with a viable military force and had to help train its allied militaries. The Emperor, Nicholas II was relatively popular with his people, but still had to resist pressures by some leftist groups within his country. Under his rule, Russia controlled 1/6 of the world's landmass, stretching from Eastern Europe in the west, to Alaska in the east. The Russian Army stood at a massive 12,000,000 soldiers, and a navy of 12 dreadnoughts, 14 battlecruisers, 100 cruisers, 120 destroyers, and 24 battleships. They owned an air force consisting of 200 fighters and 34 bombers, mostly balloons, a technology pioneered by Austrian scientist. They had become increasingly antagonistic to the Byzantines and had grown to form a deep hatred of them.By 1914, the Byzantines economy was booming, the stock market in Constantinople was rich, and the streets of the city were marked with tall buildings and large mansions. But as the Russian military grew, so did the Byzantine's feel compelled to as well. The Byzantine Army in 1914 stood at 4,000,000 men in peacetime, but military analysts believed their maximum capacity stood at 14,000,000. The Byzantines were also the only country in the world with a working tank force, standing at 300 Mark III Byzantine tanks. The Byzantine Navy was the largest in the world, standing at 18 dreadnoughts, 150 cruisers, 200 destroyers, 45 submarines, and 29 battleships. Their air force, the Polemikí Aeroporía (Military Aviation), had 324 fighters and 120 bombers, none of them balloons. Meanwhile, in America, the economy was booming, they possessed a sizable military force themselves, but did not concern themselves with the conflicts of Europe, even though the were a member of the Byzantium Pact. The Americans had outlawed slavery in 1864 after the American Civil War, and African-Americans, among many other ethnic and religious minorities enjoyed life with equal rights to those of whites and Christians. America saw a large influx of immigrants coming from all over Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and the population in the country boomed. The Democrats had won the presidency with Woodrow Wilson in 1913, and progressive and social movements enjoyed a huge period of growth and support by the government and local peoples. As far as America was concerned, war was a distant memore not known for generations.
But on June 28, Archduke Franz Ferdinand I of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by Serbian nationalists in Sarajevo, Bosnia after Bosnian-Serb student, Gavrilo Princip, threw a bomb into the Archduke's car. As the smoke settled, Princip was arrested, but the Serbian government demanded he be returned to his country. The resulting July Crisis brought the two main alliances in Europe to the brink of war as Russia backed up Austria-Hungary, and the Byzantine Empire backed up Serbia. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and by the end of the week, the entire Byzantium Pact was at war with the Central Pact.
The war in Europe was fought between the Byzantine Empire, France, Britain, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, and the United States, against Russia, Finland, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
The quick and vast process of mobilization made moving troops to the front a difficult process where millions of troops were transported by train and cars to the front to fight what was certainly going to be a huge war. But both sides had their idea of what the war would be like, the Russians had developed the Nikolaevich Plan, developed by Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich in 1904, the plan was that Russia would march through Poland, a neutral country, and then take on Germany in the west, win a quick victory, and then divert all forces to invading the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine plan was to quickly defeat Austria-Hungary in the Balkans, deal with Russia in the north and Caucasus, and then divert all forces to defeating Italy. But as the war began, neither side were prepared for the bloodbath that was to ensue.
The Russians invaded East Prussia in Germany via neutral Poland on August 4, many people heard of this and were angered by their clear breaking of international law. The Germans were waiting for them, and eventually, when the Russians came to the German border, they were ready. A massive system of trenches had been built to defend from a Russian attack, but were mostly still in construction. Meanwhile, in Poland, the majority of armed forces had retreated south to stay out of the path of the Russian invasion, and lead to a fierce Polish resistance constantly fighting the Russians. The German Army was initially thrown back on August 6 and 7 by the Russian Army, but their defensive retreats lead to the vital First Battle of the Passarge, where the Russians, who had captured the vital port city Konigburg on August 28, were defeated by an established trench system between September 5-12, 1914, leading to a tense deadlock in trench warfare.However, the Russians began a new push when the Russians, having developed their own version of the tank, the T-2. Although slower than the Mark III, the tank had heavier armor and more guns, allowing it push through the German defenses, but only by several dozen miles, until German anti-tank artillery forced the advance to stall. A renewed Russian advance on September 12 pushed to just 43 miles from Berlin, but with the arrival of the French army on the 13, and the British Expeditionary Force on the 15th, the Russian advance slowed and finally halted on September 20, just 35 miles from Berlin. A renewed allied advance pushed them back 12 miles, but ended with a stalemate at the Battle of Frankfurt an der Oder. The war grew along a widescale front that grew it include a two-part front that ran from the Danube River in Austria to the North Sea in Germany. From October 19 to November 22, 1914, the Russians made their final attempt at a breakthrough at the First Battle of Kustrin, where the Russians, tired of months of nearly useless fighting, were outmaneuvered and ultimately pushed back, ending the Russian advance that was supposed to take Berlin in just weeks. And meanwhile, as the war raged in Finland, a Russian fleet from St. Petersburg tried to sail into the North Sea, tried to break a forming allied naval blockade, culminating at the Battle of Turku, the Russians attempt to break the blockade ended with a major victory for the combined British-French-German fleet and lead to St. Petersburg being cut of by sea. A small break came on December 25, 1914, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire to let their troops celebrate a mutual holiday. The ceasefire was unofficial, but neither side wished to fight on a holy day. German and British soldiers sang Christmas carols and decorated their trenches with wreaths and small trees. The two sides exchanged gifts and souvenirs such as tobacco, food, and alcohol. Burial parties were held for soldiers who had died in battle and died in captivity. In some places it lasted until December 26, but in most places it lasted up until New Year's Day, until high-ranking officers made these celebrations stop. The commanding officers on both sides would make sure no such thing would happen again in the war.
The Russians attempted to push into the German lines throughout March and April 1915, where they again were forced to retreat, until the Russians began to deploy their latest weapon, poison gas. The Russians unleashed 168 tons of chlorine gas into the air that carried a wind towards the German lines on April 22 as the opening move for the Second Battle of Stettin. The gas caused of thousands to suffocate and thousands more to go blind, forcing a German retreat, but only about 3 miles west, and when Stettin was actually attacked, German tanks and machine guns repelled a massive wave of Russian infantry, who were then forced to retreat back 2.3 miles, making weeks of fighting worth nothing by the end of the battle on May 25.Even with the war on land coming to a halt, the war in the air dragged on between the Luftstreitkrafte, the Royal Flying Corps, the Service Aéronautique and against the Imperial Russian Air Force. The fighters of 1915 were somewhat equally matched in terms of speed, but the German Air Force had the technological advantage of the interrupter gear. In June 1915, the Germans sent to the front the Fokker E.I, the first single seat fighter plane, gave the Germans and their allies a decisive air advantage throughout 1915. But meanwhile, the Russians still had a fleet of one thing the Germans could not defeat, their bombers, which always flew in deep packs on bombers, fighters and balloons called летучий отряд (Flying squad) where the Germans, who almost always were outnumbered in their attempts to shoot down these squads. The Germans and their allies always had technological superiority, but the Russians always had the advantage of numbers.
Meanwhile, the Germans began to make plans for the American arrival in Germany in September of 1915, who finally arrived in north Germany in force of 150,000 in September, ultimately growing to 1 million by November. Giving the allies the manpower to launch a full-blown counteroffensive, but they still needed the aerial superiority and tank power to overrun the Russians, and above all, a major victory to bring an opening in the Russian lines. And all of these elements came to be in late August of 1916, when the Battle of Kolberg, there 416,000 Russian soldiers fought 166,000 Germans.Kolberg was a major roadway junction that the Russians had used to transport troops to the front since its capture in late 1914. The Russians attempted to attack on the Germans left flank, where they planned to drop hundreds of high-explosive bombs on the German lines, and believed the Germans didn't have the moxie nor aerial power to take them down. But the Germans sent a force of 50 of their latest fighters, the Albatros D.III, to intercept this force, where they ended up shooting down all but 2 bombers and 13 fighters of their enemy's force. German fighters then were able to shoot down a group of 5 Russian balloon bombers that were sent to destroy their air base and army barracks. And using their new phosphorus rounds, the Germans were easily able to blow up the hydrogen-filled balloons, and take down their fighter support.
Meanwhile, the Russians sent a force of 200 tanks to cross the front and break the German lines, but the Germans sent a force of their new LK II, numbering at 75 to combat these tanks, where their speed proved the decisive force and being equipped with their new 3-inch guns that fired the first anti-tank rounds. The Russians were overwhelmed by this new force of enemy firepower, and every enemy tank was either blown-up or captured by the Germans, giving them a decisive victory. Eventually, the Russians were attacked on their right flank, and the Germans broke through their lines, where they then pushed the Russians into a small pocket of soldiers. The Germans brokethrough in the center and surrounded the Russians, forcing the Russians to surrender on August 30. The Russians had suffered a major defeat and dozens of divisions had been destroyed or captured, and their high commanders had all been either killed or fired. The Russians also left a huge gap in their lines, which the Germans and their allies to full advantage of the Russian's fault, and brokethrough the Russian's line.
The Russians retreated in massive numbers, and 8 million Germans, British, French, and American soldiers invaded Russia and liberated Poland, and they were supported by over 700 tanks.
The Balkans campaign began when a stalled Austro-Hungarian mobilization process allowed the Byzantines to advance into Austria-Hungary first. The Serbians, Albanians, and Montenegrans joined the fight sending, a total of 1,000,000 soldiers to assist them.
The Byzantine Army pushed deep into Austria-Hungary within the first 3 weeks of their campaign using the 7,000,000 soldiers they immediately mobilized from around their empire within just weeks of declaring war. Sarajevo was captured on November 12, 1914, but eventually, their advance slowed when the Austro-Hungarians fully mobilized their military and 2,500,000 well-trained Italians arrived in late 1914. The Byzantines pushed deep into Bosnia, and Breko, Derventa, and Bosanka Gradiska, were all captured on February 2, 1915, marking the end of fighting in Bosnia. But as the Byzantine advance stalled, the Byzantines built their own vast trench system to match the one being built by the Austro-Hungarians and Italians.On February 20, the Byzantines attempted to push into Croatia, but were met with fierce resistance from machine guns and artillery, and only tanks allowed the Byzantines to make any advances, gaining 24 miles of land. The Byzantines were able to establish a system of air fields in Bosnia, and regular sorties were flown across enemy lines by bombers to both lower morale and soften up enemy positions. The Byzantines began to build a plan, a rapid and fierce bombardment of both artillery and bombers, followed by a quick strike by the Byzantines fast moving Lokatzes (Storm troopers), and then a mass storm of troops supported by tanks. But the main stagnation to this plan was the constant Italian and Austro-Hungarian attacks, bombardments and their scouts flying reconnaissance missions, all deterring the required military build-up. But finally when the Byzantines brought in their latest fighter, the Griffin Md. 3 fighter outflew anything the Central Pact could put in the air, and almost every aerial reconnaissance aircraft the enemy put in the sky over Bosnia and Serbia was shot down. Finally giving the Byzantines the time they needed for a build-up, but the Byzantine still needed another vital factor, a powerful and fast tank. The Byzantines had been the first country to develop tanks around the turn of the century, but even they couldn't solve the problem of a powerful yet fast tank, until July 1916. The Byzantines finally developed the answer, a light tank with a 37 mm tank gun, and a 7.92 mm machine gun, allowing it to combat tanks, machine guns, and infantry, and all of it went 14 mph on treads, and making the M2 Constantine the fastest tank in the world. The Byzantines set their assault for the 14th of September, and artillery, tanks, and troops were transported to the front in whole divisions for the Fall Offensive.
The Fall Offensive began with a massive four hour-long bombardment with high-explosive and Incendiary shells while 400 bombers flew constantly to destroy their enemy's artillery. The Austro-Hungarians suffered huge casualties, and their morale was devastated, making way for a huge push by the Byzantines. The Byzantine Lokatzes stormed into the Austro-Hungarian trenches, and forced massive surrender on the enemy force, meanwhile, the millions of Italian soldiers who were sent to help the Austrians were thrown back in retreat and all were ordered back into Italy as of November 1916.
The massive advance of Byzantine troops easily conquered Croatia by the beginning of November, and eventually, they pushed into southern Hungary, and captured most of Slovenia by January 1917. The Byzantines advance inspired a massive wave of revolution in Hungary, ultimately ending in the recreation of the Kingdom of Hungary in March of 1917. Meanwhile, the Austrians were met with the final option that they knew was inevitable, their surrender to the Byzantine Empire, and in the mean time, the Austro-Hungarian Army, Navy, and Air Force were officially disbanded.
Italian CampaignThe Byzantines began to move troops up to the front and on May 23, 1917, the Byzantines invaded Italy via Venetia in the north and Rimini and Ancona from the sea via the Adriatic Sea. Three armies numbering at 600,000 soldiers invaded Venetia from the north and 4 armies with 800,000 men from the north. Meanwhile, the ports of Rimini and Ancona were each invaded by a field army with 200,000 men each, leading to landings and battles that lasted from May 24-May 29, until the cities were secured by the Byzantines and additional troops poured in. Meanwhile, a new breed of Byzantine tanks and aircraft brought in new threats as the M3 Basil tank sped into battle at 18 mph with a new system of revolutionary suspension. The M3 was equipped with four machine guns and its design gave the M3 the Byzantines a whole new strategy. The Byzantines artillery, Lokatzes, and M1's and M2's would force a breakthrough, and then M3's would expose it and launch a new breakout.
This strategy came to help when the Byzantine advance bogged down in Venetia just 30 miles into Venetia, the Byzantines wanted to use their new tactic but the army only had 120 M3's at its disposal, not enough to span a breakthrough across the whole front. Meanwhile, forces in the east were more successful, as they had advanced 20 miles in 4 weeks, what the Byzantines originally thought would take two months. Meanwhile, however, the one place the Byzantines couldn't take was Venice, a powerful Italian fleet of ships defended the city from the beginning of the war and was well-defended by battleships and cruisers only worked-on by the most experienced troops. The Byzantines had launched multiple attempts to take out the fleet around Venice, but they were never successful.
The Byzantines launched multiple attacks against the Italians to breakthrough in the north as their advance stagnated in the east. Their infantrymen had died and casualties had gathered together and their tanks hadn't given the decisive advantage against the Italians and their anti-tank guns. But By September 1917, the Byzantines had built 800 M3's and the generals were sure that their planned breakthrough was now possible. The Byzantines launched their planned Operation Regma (Breakthrough) on September 18, 1917 with 8,000,000 soldiers invading from the north in Venetia, developed into eight army groups, new units created for this new level of warfare, and each field marshal was a member of the General Staff, and overall they put 40 field armies. The Byzantines new strategy worked even better than the Byzantine generals had hoped, and by the beginning of November 1917, Venetia had been conquered and Venice had been captured by land. Meanwhile, in the east, the Byzantines also broke through and began to long march to Rome as new armies took the port of Pescara, where they found almost no resistance.But the Byzantines also had a new way of breaking through at sea at the Battle of the Gulf of Taranto, where the Italians were met with a new weapon of war on December 12, 1917. As the Italians steamed into what may very well be the final naval battle of the European theatre of the war, they heard a strange buzzing off in the distance at around 9:00 AM. As they looked out at around 9:02 AM, they saw black dots in the sky and thought it must be some new type of bomb, but knew it couldn't be as that would require either aircraft to drop them or they would have heard the sound of ships firing off their guns. The gulf was far from any Byzantine airstrip, and the Italians were horrified when what they were seeing and hearing came into clear view. The Byzantine's latest fighter plane, the Roc Md.2, was not only equipped to fly off from the Byzantine's latest weapon, the aircraft carrier, called the HHS Jason, but they also carried with them 1 bomb. The Byzantines dropped 80 bombs on Italian ships that day, and a new era in both naval and aerial warfare had been ushered in. The Italian Navy was devastated and the war at sea in Europe was over.
Byzantine forces engaged the Italian Army for the last time on the fields of Assisi on March 12, 1918, where 400,000 men of the Italian Army engaged the advancing Byzantines, numbering at 1,200,000. The speed of Byzantine tanks and the rapid Italian deployment to the battlefield meant no trenches could be built, and ground was lost as soon as it was won. The Italians were clearly outmatched, but their will to protect their country meant they felt inspired to win, but even not that gave them an advantage. Finally, when news that Byzantine forces had arrived outside Avezzano, just a few days march to Rome, they were ordered to retreat to defend their capital. But when the Byzantines cut them off from behind 2 miles from the battlefield, the Italians were surrounded and the 240,000 Italians left on April 4, surrendered.
With the coming of April, Byzantine forces surrounded Rome, forcing the city's surrender, and the capture of 800,000 Italians, along with the Italian government, and King Victor Emmanuel III. The Byzantines forced the signing of the Latina Accords, putting Venetia under temporary Byzantine control, and temporary occupational authority over much of eastern Italy to the Byzantine Army.
The Eastern Front of the war was fought between Russia and Finland on one side and against the Byzantine Empire, Germany, France, Scandinavia, Britain, France, and the United States.
The Caucasus campaign began on November 12, 1914 when three Russian armies invaded into the Byzantine Empire via the Caucasus mountains into the Byzantine province of Iberia. The Byzantines mobilized the Twelfth Byzantine Army, under General Konstantinos Sapountzakis, was sent to halt their advance, and planned to stop the Russians in their tracks at Trebizond. It was at Trebizond on November 28, that 120,000 Russians fought 100,000 Byzantine soldiers, but the Byzantines were defeated when a Russian division launched a diversionary attack on the Byzantine forces stationed in the south of the city. This made the Byzantines think a major attack would come from the south, putting 40,000 more troops in that position. The Russians sent 90,000 soldiers to attack the weakened Byzantine front, and dividing up the Byzantines into two, and forcing them to retreat. Only 15,000 Byzantines were killed, wounded, or captured in the battle, the remainder managed to withdraw to Bayburt. When the Russian advance finally stalled by the beginning of February 1915, they had advanced 200 miles into Byzantine territory to capture Trabzon, and around 100 miles to capture other areas.
At the same time, part of the Russian Army had invaded the Kingdom of Iran, advancing about 200 miles inland, and taking the Iranian capital, Tabriz. But the Iranians still held out, and with support from Kurdistan, they held out against the Russians in the south, and kept resistance alive with the Free Iranian Revolutionary Army keeping up a fight in the north and performing partisan activities against the Russian invaders.
The Russians sent a force of 180,000 to reinforce their soldiers, but when the Russian commander, Illarion Ivanovich Voronstov-Dashkov, sent back a letter to Tsar Nicholas II, he asked for 1.2 million soldiers. Nicholas' army was already stretched on troops, 4.5 million soldiers had been bogged down in Germany, and 1 million soldiers were already locked in the stalemate in the Caucasus. The Russian Army in the Caucasus was given 800,000 soldiers in May of 1915 for their reinforcements, although this wasn't the number of troops Count Dashkov had asked for, they were enough, and the Russians renewed their advance to their goal for the year, the Tigris River. But the Byzantine Fourteenth and Twenty-First Army marched to stop the new advance.
The attempts by the Russians to reach the Tigris, combined with the Byzantine strategy to halt the Russians ultimately resulting in the Battle of Bitlis. There 120,000 Russians attempted to dislodge 100,000 Byzantines stationed in the city, the Russians were prepared to fight in the winter warfare of the Allahuekber Mountains, and began the battle by marching through the mountains to attack the Byzantine stationed beneath them. But the Byzantines thought of this and sent 12 bombers to drop bombs on the snow-ridden mountains. This caused a huge avalanche which killed almost all of the 20,000 Russians marching through the mountains, and destroyed their artillery. The Byzantines next move was an artillery bombardment, but a lack of grease to keep the artillery working against the cold meant very little artillery fire occurred. The Byzantines and Russians finally attacked each other, two weeks after the battle begun, on open ground and the two soldiers fought each other with rifles, pistols, metal knuckles, or just plain fisticuffs. Motivated to move by the cold, the soldiers fought each other endlessly, until finally the battle ended on January 17, 1916. The Byzantines ended up winning a major victory over the Russians, as half of the Russians died in the fighting, while only one-third of the Byzantines had died.
The Byzantines just needed one thing to launch theri counterattack, a warm spring so they could use their tanks, planes, and artillery to mass effect. The Byzantines received this by early May, and on June 17, the Byzantines launched a counterattack on the Russians with two million soldiers, 300 tanks, and supported by 800 aircraft. The pushed the Russians back 150 miles back by August, and meanwhile, the Kurds and Iranians launched their own counterattack, and the demoralized Russians, tired of years of fighting, pushed the Russians out of Iran by year's end. The Russians retreated in huge numbers, and by 1917, the Russians had not only retreated back into their own territory, but Armenia and Georgia had been taken by the Byzantines.
The Russian campaign began on when July 3, the Allies invaded Russia, in a coordinated effort by which the Germans, Americans, French, and British attacked in the west, and the Byzantines attacked in the South. The Western Allies attacked with a force of 10,000,000 soldiers, while the Byzantines invaded with a force of around 14,000,000, the largest invasion force in history. They were supported by over 2,000 tanks, 18,000 airplanes, and thousands of more support vehicles. The fight in the west for Russia was against mainly the German Army, who after 3 years of fighting finally was ready to strike into Russia. Lead by Erich Ludendorff, the invasion showed not only the military capacity of Germany, but also of Russia.
The Allied Army offensive pushed deep into the Baltic region of Russia, taking Riga on July 30, and continued to move to their goal, St. Petersburg. And meanwhile to the south, offensives by the British and Americans pushed deep into the Ukraine, and two field armies under American general John Pershing lunged towards Kiev. But as the summer lead on for great successes for the Allies, they knew the war couldn't be ended by winter, which they knew the Russians would try to use to their advantage. Because of this, the Allies developed a strategy of gradually slowing down their offensives, as to not overstretch their lines, and to be able to keep their lines of supply open and flowing. And when the winter eventually came, the Allies had taken Revel in the Baltic, Nevel in the center, and Fastov in the south.
The Allies used their naval power to take down the port of Norvo with their guns, and at this time, they also sent repeated naval raids to take out ships in the harbor of St. Petersburg.On January 20, 1918, the Russians launched their last great offensive of the war, the Kerensky Offensive, which consisted of 10 Russian field armies, equaling around 2,500,000 men, and was launched mainly towards the center of the Allied front line. The Russians were also supported by 450 tanks, but their tanks, while powerful, were slow and made easy targets for the defending Allies. But the greatest challenge to Russians was the effect Allied bombing had on their rail system, which had been torn to pieces, and left the Russians with weaks supply lines. The Allies defeated the Russian offensive by February 17, and piece by piece, the Russians were pushed into a deep pocket, ultimately leaving a breach in the Russian line, which the Allies took full advantage of, and pushed deep into Russia again. By March the Russians had declared a ceasefire on all fronts, and began working with Allied delegates to establish a final peace in Europe. An armistice was put into effect on March 7, and the Russian Army began to move back to the cities and return to civilian life. However, the Russian people had had enough with their imperialistic and oppressive government, and the February Revolution, lasting March 8-12 (Late February to the Russians running on the Julian Calender), the Tsarist government was overthrown. Two major groups came to run a dual power government in Russia, the Republican Russian Provisional Government, and the Communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However, as the two governments opposed each other, the Russian Civil War broke out, and the two sides began open fighting in October. The fighting occurred in all parts of western Russia except for the zones occupied by the Allies.
With the beginning of the war in 1914, Scandinavia moved its army of 700,000 to fight the Finnish and Russian Army. The Swedish Navy sailed across the Gulf of Bothnia and blockaded the entirety of the Finnish coast, and bombarded their cities by sea, preparing them for the Swedes ultimate strategy for taking Finland, attacking from the coast. Between May 17-24 1915, ships of the Scandinavian Navy travelled in between Finland and Sweden, only returning home when they ran out of ammunition. Scandinavian planes also flew constant sorties across the sea in May, and softened up the defenses of Finland's more inland positions. By the beginning of June 1915, the Scandinavian Army attacked Finland by both land and sea, landing 150,000 troops by sea, and invading by land in the north with the rest.
Many Finnish cities easily fell to the well-trained Scandinavian soldiers along the coast, but the Finns and their Russian allies had already planned to retreat from the coast, and fight in the inhospitable Finnish countryside. The Scandinavian Army in the east assaulted the Finnish defenses concurrently to the attacks in the south, and pushed deep into Finland, as much as 50 km in one week. But the Scandinavians lost their technological advantage as the Russians re-inforced the Finnish defenses in July, and a system of trench warfare was established. And as the months dragged on, the winter approached, and when snow began to fall in late November, causing many of the Scandinavian tanks and airplane engines to freeze, the Scandinavian's advance slowed to a halt. And as the months carried on, thousands of Scandinavian, Finnish, and Russian soldiers suffered from dissentry, hunger, and many other painful drawbacks, but even the cold didn't stamp out the will to fight. In the winter, the fighting was stopped, minus the occasional raiding party.
When the spring thaw of 1916 arrived, things weren't much better, the Finns and Russian began the season with a counterattack that pushed the Scandinavians back 25 km, but were defeated and resulted in a Scandinavian counterattack. Ironically, by the end of the spring, the Scandinavians pushed the Finns and Russian back over 24 miles, meaning the attackers had only gained 500 meters of land by the end of the fighting. The summer brought in new tanks and airplanes from America and Germany, allowing the Swedes to attempt their own counterattack, beginning the Aerial Campaign of 1916, where for five months, from May to October of 1916, the two sides fought an elongated aerial war for air superiority over Finland. Ultimately, the campaign was a tactical victory for the Russians, but a strategic victory for Scandinavia, as the Russians lost less planes, but the Scandinavians were able to knock out many Russian bombers, sparing the Scandinavian infantry from their attacks. And as the winter drawed near, another stalemate was presumed to occur. However, the Scandinavians were determined to use this thought to their advantage, the Scandinavians use the fall and early winter to bring in new troops and build up their supply lines.
By January, the Russians were preparing for Christmas to arrive, and the trenches were decoarted with trees, and fresh troops brought with them many gifts from home, including cigarettes, notebooks, and many other items. On January 8, as many soldiers were just getting up at 6 AM, the Scandinavians attacked, catching almost all of the Russians and Finns by surprise, and giving them a decisive advantage. Scandinavian soldiers were encouraged to move forward, as it meant they could keep their bodies warm, and by the end of January, they had advanced 120 km. The Scandinavians made for their final push on February 10, 1917, and with it, the Finnish Army collapsed, and troops surrender to the Scandinavians in massive numbers, but the Russians were determined to keep their northern border defended, and continued to fight. But it was no use, and by the beginning of Spring 1917, the Russians had retreated back into their homeland.
The Scandinavians stopped at the border, and many generals called for final push into Russia, but the Scandinavian government saw it as a better option to wait for their allies to push into Russia as well. And when the summer of 1917 brought a full Allied advance into the country, the Scandinavians pushed into it as well. When an armistice was declared in March of 1918, the Scandinavians had advanced 250 km into enemy territory, and captured much of the northern Russian land in Europe.
Southeast Asian Front
The war in Southeast Asia began when the Imperial Chinese Army of the Qing Dynasty invaded the Japanese-held land of Annam in September of 1916. Concurrently, a massive, modernized, Chinese fleet sailed from the Chinese coast to take back the island of Taiwan from the Japanese. The Japanese Navy, the third largest in the world after the Byzantine Empire, and Russia, sailed from Taiwan and the Japanese home islands to meet the Chinese threat at sea. Multiple small skirmishes occurred between the Chinese and Japanese Navies, but these small skirmishes would eventually turn into a wide scale battle. On October 11, 1916, the two navies finally met in full force at the Battle of Makung off the Penghu Islands, where 40 Chinese ships were defeated by 25 Japanese ships, and forced to retreat back to Fuzhou. But the most symbolic moment of the campaign occurred when the Japanese flagship of the fleet, the Kongo, destroyed the enemy flagship, the Xuantong, named for the reigning Chinese Emperor.As the Chinese invaded Annam, a wide scale rebellion occurred in the area against Japanese rule, but the Japanese were determined to crush the rebellion and the Chinese invasion. 500,000 soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army landed along the Annamese coastline, but were met with enemy fire when they landed from the rebels, but regardless, the coastline was retaken withing hours. And with the counterattack, came a wave of counter-revolutionaries, determined to keep the area under Japanese rule. The counter-revolution was made up of wealthy businessmen who commanded private armies of neutral civilians to fight the rebels, and allowed the Japanese to sweep into Annam, and take down the rebels. But the Chinese proved a more difficult fight, and pushed the Japanese back as they advanced in the late winter of 1917. But the Chinese could not be continuously resupplied, the area in southern China was highly undeveloped outside select cities, and Japanese bombers stationed in Annam destroyed what little railroads were in the area for supplies.
But with a new round of Chinese reinforcements arriving in Spring 1917, the battle turned into a stalemate. The intense heat of Annam in the spring and summer gave many unlucky soldiers heatstroke, and trains were continuously moving back and forth in Annam to keep an equilibrium of soldiers on the front line. The Chinese, however, were not so lucky, and many died before they could receive proper medical attention. The Japanese Navy continued heavy activity in the area and in southern China throughout the year, constantly destroying ships southern China and along the central Chinese shore. Japanese airplanes flew across the sea from Taiwan and other Japanese-occupied islands to bombard Chinese ports.
Finally, in the fall of 1917, the Japanese made their final push in Southeast Asia, and forced the Chinese back into their homeland. But unlike, previous wars, the Japanese were not afraid to push into China, and many Japanese ships now carried the Japanese Army in the process of seizing Chinese ports. By the time a ceasefire had been declared in November 1917, Fuzhou and Shanghai had been captured.
Japan in Spring 1917, decided to put extra pressure on the Chinese, and sent a force of 700,000 Japanese soldiers to invade Manchuria via Korea. These soldiers were backed up by 1,200 Japanese tanks, that had been in production since 1911. The Chinese only had 500 tanks, and were uneducated on how to use them correctly by their Russian allies. The Japanese had two main objectives in their first push, the Liaodong Peninsula, and the city of Shenyang.Japanese Naval forces attacked the Liaodong Peninsula in May 1917, and Lushun and Dalian fell almost immediately, allowing the Japanese Navy to completely cut off the Chinese capital of Beijing from resupply by sea and gave the Japanese Army a new route of supply, and a new way to attack China. Chinese soldiers retreated back to Anshan as the Japanese advanced along the peninsula, and allowed the Japanese to commit a flanking maneuver. Anshan and Fushum were attacked and surrounded by Japanese soldiers on June 2, 1917, but gave the Chinese an unusual challenge as they themselves were threatened with an outflanking maneuver. Chinese soldiers were arriving on the sides of the Japanese lines and threatened to surround the Japanese Army. However, a Japanese assault on Tianjin in the west forced many soldiers out to Beijing in case of a Japanese assault.
Although Tianjin didn't fall, the Chinese suffered massive casualties defending it, further weakening their resistance. The Japanese finally took Anshan and Fushum on July 1, 1917, and pushed northwest to cut the area off from the rest of China. But the Chinese in the east had by this time lost the will to fight, and much of Manchuria fell to Japan over the next couple of months. Ultimately, by the time the Chinese agreed to a ceasefire, the Japanese had taken 70% of Manchuria, and lost only 87,000 men in the process.
The fighting in Central America began in mid-1915, when the Incan Empire launched a preemptive strike on the Aztecs, who already had stationed soldiers along the isthmus between North and South America. The Incans advanced deep into the Aztec-held territory of Central America, and advanced over 200 km, to the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal was built between 1904-1914 by both the Americans and the Aztecs as a way to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, and made the area very wealthy. The territory was held by the Aztecs, and was also a major naval base for both the Aztecs and the Americans, making it a very prized area for capture. Seeing the possibilities of it falling into enemy hands, the United States sent a force of 800,000 soldiers to assist the Aztecs in its defense. The American Caribbean Fleet was sent from San Juan to take out a large fleet of Incan ships sent to block off the canal.
At the Battle of the Panama Canal, all three aspects of modern warfare went into effect: from the land, tanks and infantry brought the battle to a standstill just outside of the canal. By sea, Aztec and American battleships and destroyers kept the enemy fleet from completely blockading the Canal, and when a force of American submarines came into the battle, they took out 12 Incan ships, and forced them to retreat. And airplanes fought each other over the canal in an attempt to gain access for their bombers to take out enemy artillery from the air. The battle ended in a phyrric victory for the Aztecs and Americans, as 440,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, and the Aztec generals told their American allies that their armies needed time to recover before they could counter the Incans and follow them back into their own territory. The Americans saw this as a sign of weakness, and the American commander, Brigadier General Peyton C. March, and asked the American President for more troops and naval support.
The American Expeditionary Force sent to the area was increased to 1,500,000 troops and they were given some ships from the United States Pacific Fleet. The American Fleet went on the offensive and sailed south to attack the Incan port city Limaq, resulting in a disaster for the attacking fleet, one battleship was destroyed in the attempted raid, and the fleet was forced back to Panama. By 1916, the Aztecs had garnered up enough men on land for an offensive, and the Allied force, numbering at 2,500,000 soldiers, attacked south, but into deeply defended lines, filled with trenches, artillery, and machine-gun nests. The offensive quickly bogged down, and by April 1916, the offensive drew to a halt, meaning the Allies had to find a new way to take down the Incans. The breakthrough, however, wouldn't come until the beginning of 1918.
By 1918, both sides had attempted multiple offensives, and failed each time to gain much ground, or to win a tactical victory. But by 1918, the American Navy had developed its latest breakthrough in military technology, the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier. 25 American fighters, the Boeing F2 Patriot, were on the Lexington as it sailed into Limaq harbor on March 12, 1918, and began a second raid on the city's port. This raid was highly successful, and the Fleet of Biru, stationed in the harbor, was devastated, and lead to the Incan coasline being blockaded by the combined American and Aztec fleets. With naval supremacy, the Incan ports were cut off, and serious damage was done to Incan morale.
The Brazilian Empire, highly convinced by this point of imminent Allied victory, declared war on the Incas, who were unsure of how to handle a war on two fronts. Eventually, the Brazilian Army attacked in April, and the Incan war effort fell apart, both in the north and in the east. The Incans, bombarded by planes from Brazil, were unable to completely co-ordinate their attacks or movements to the east, and overall, a logistical breakdown brought the Incas to the breaking point, and the Incan government was forced to ask for an armistice from the Allies on May 14, and was granted one one week later, finally ending the war in the Americas.
The war in North Africa began almost as quickly as the war hed began in Europe, when in January of 1915, the Byzantine 4th and 5th Army, totaling at 500,000 soldiers, launched a pre-emptive strike on the Italian colony of Libya. They marched forward in a light heat to the Libyan city of Bardiyah along the coast, and began what was likely to be a long push to Tripoli, the Italian colonial capital. The Italians only had 200,000 soldiers stationed in the colony at the time, but as they weren't doing much fighting in Europe, they were easily able to increase that number to 700,000 by March. The Italians gave the Byzantine a good fight, and by the time April had ended, the Byzantines were stopped just short of Benghazi, and the Byzantine commanders were convinced that only tanks could break the stalemate. But Byzantine military scientists told the military strategists that their tanks were already to humid and hot inside, and the desert heat would likely make it completely unbearable, so the Byzantines would have to overpower the Italians with their air power.
The Byzantines kept their fighters and bombers in the air as much as possible, some were in the air so many times, they had to be carried out of their planes after they gave in to sunstroke after they landed. The Byzantine efforts, however, paid off, and the Byzantines by the fall of 1915 had total air superiority over Libya, and they advanced again in the winter of 1915, and were able to take Benghazi, and then march through much of the Libyan portion of the Sahara Desert in the moderate Libyan winter. The frontline finally stabilized around Surt, and the Italians decided to call in their naval power to bear down on the captured coastal cities, and every time a port came into threat of capture by the Byzantine Army, the Italians had it burned down. Seeing this threat, the Byzantine Mediterranean Fleet moved in to attack the Italian Navy, meaning the Italians lost their naval supremacy over the Byzantines, who had only sent in small forces of frigates and destroyers to stop the Italians.
With the losses at sea, the southern coast of Italy was cut off from Libya by the beginning of 1916, putting a limited number on the amount of soldiers that were left in the colony. The latest news brought high morale to the Byzantines, who were convinced the next push would finally break the Italians, but as they advanced, they were met by enemy soldiers who were determined to hold their land from their enemies. But as the Byzantines received more troops from the east, they were able to push west over 150 km, but were just km away from their next target, Misrata.
Misrata became a major point of Italian defiance, and they decided to show the Byzantines just how stubborn they could be. The Italians had very few tanks or planes to work with, but they saved them for the defense of northern Tripolitana. When the Byzantines assaulted the city in November 1916, they quickly were bogged down in the east of the city, and urban warfare ensued as the result. Both sides used snipers as a dangerous weapon for any soldiers brave or stupid enough to venture out into the city. When Byzantines decided to bring in some of the tanks they had access to, they were able to take a majority of the city's southern quarter. And with their own planes being put into the air, the Italian fighter scouts were blown out of the sky, allowing the Byzantines to bomb targets deep on the other side of the city, with more precision than artillery. Ultimately, the Byzantines used a mass of artillery to destroy the buildings that the Italians were hiding in, confident their would be little civilian casualties. Although this strategy did win the Byzantines the battle, they were wrong in that the bombing had killed 2000 civilians in Libya's third biggest city, making the Byzantines to believe they would be unkindly received in the western part of the city. Although the Byzantines were known for killing 2000 civilians in the city, they were received rather neutrally by the majority of the city's residents.With Misrata's capture, things looked dire for the Italians left in Tripoli, but the Byzantines had advanced to far, and in so little time, their supply lines made them stop so they could rest and their weapons and tanks could be resupplied. This gave the Italians enough time to prepare Tripoli for defense for the imminent Byzantine offensive, which they believed, if they won, they could likely take the enemy down enough for an offensive. But the Byzantine advance in March, looked as if it couldn't be stopped, as town after town east of Tripoli easily fell to the onslaught of the Byzantine Army. With no choices left, the Italians turned Tripoli into a fortress, complete with artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, anti-tank guns, and machine gun-laden trenches. The Byzantines had the city surrounded, they attacked it from the east, from the south, and troops were landed just week prior to the battle in early April to attack from the west on Tripoli. This put all of the Italian defenses under threat, and they knew this would likely be their last stand, and quite possibly, a massive decisive battle, as the 1,000,000 Italians in the city, buffered by colonial militia, prepared for the 2,500,000 soldiers prepared to take the city. Byzantine artillery commanders were told that they were to spend their entire shell capacity if it was necessary to take out the enemy's anti-aircraft guns. When the Byzantines finally took out the enemy's anti-air weapons, they were able to put their bombers into use, and take the enemy's anti-tank weapons out. A domino-like effect ensued, where the anti-air weapons being destroyed allowed for the anti-tank weapons to be destroyed, and then the machine gun trenches, which allowed the Byzantine infantry and tanks to launch a full assault on the city. The Italians held on to as much of the city as possible, confident victories in Europe might change the flow of the war. But when news came back in late May, that Italy was being invaded, Italian morale dropped, and the Byzantines made easy pickings of the soldiers and units left in the city, from there, the city gradually fell into Byzantine hands. With the capture of Tripoli in early June, the major fighting in Africa ceased, although some skirmishes between minor colonial forces did go on in Eastern Africa. For all useful purposes, the fighting on the continent had ceased, and Byzantine forces prepared for news of victory in Europe, that would eventually come.
Treaty of the Winter PalaceThe Russian Republican Provisional Government and the Soviet government both met to be a joint delegation to the Allies as the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg became the place chosen for signing the treaty that would end, what was so far, the bloodiest conflict in history. The signing of the treaty occured March 17 (Western Time), 1919, months after the war had ended, as the conflict over its terms was fought intensly over by the victorious powers. Russia agreed to a majority of its terms, but they did not agree to a single government administered by an international mandate, or the safety of the Russian royal family. Although the Romanovs were no longer the ruling family in Russia, they were allowed sanctum in St. Petersburg. Effective on January 10, 1920, these were the terms of the treaty:
- All Russian high commanders in the war are to be tried as war criminals
- Russia is to take responsibility for the war's beginning
- The Allies are to administer the Russian territories of the Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Belorus, each to be given plebiscite in 15 years after the treaty goes into effect
- All lands in Russia considered Polish land (meaning Polish majority in ethnicity) are to be given to Poland
- Finland is become a territory of the United Kingdom of Scandinavia
- 350 billion Rubles shall be paid by Russia in repirations to the Allied Repirations Commision, and be distributed appropriately to the Allies, only in a time set by the Allies.
- Libya shall be transferred from an Italian colonial territory to a Byzantine Imperial province
- Austria-Hungary shall be broken up and be replaced with a Serb lead Kingdom of Yugoslavia
- The Incan Empire shall be dissolved and replaced with the Republic of Chile, the Republic of Colombia, and the Republic of Peru
- The Empire of Brazil shall be given the Incan territory of Paraguay
- Manchuria shall be given independence as the Republic of Manchukuo, and be under Japanese administrative contorl until 1925
The treaty was signed by the joint delegation, and the war's end was celebrated by millions of people in Allied countries across the world. While the Russian Republic and Soviet Union fought constantly over control of the future of Russia and became the primary political issue of the early 1920's.
The Russian Civil War dragged on mainly from 1919-1924, between a right and left-wing government, ultimately ending in a victory for the Russian Republic. The Russian Republican government became the sole ruler of Russia and their economy did quite well, until they were hit by repirations in 1929, when the country then enterred a deep economic depression, paving way for another global war.
China's imperial government fell to a quick mass republican revolution in 1923, creating the Republic of China in 1924. The new government was initially like the new Russian Republic, run by a center-right administration, befitting the new republic. But like Russia, they would take a turn for the worse, and towards another large-scale war.
A new rivarly was soon created between the dominant Empire of Brazil, and the new Republic of Peru, which had a government easily seen as no threat to the Aztecs, but as a clear threat to Brazil's new-found power.
With the end of the war, the Byzantine Empire sought its goal of creating the League of Nations, a new organization to act as an international peacemaker. But with the United States' heavily Republican Senate, they did not enter the League, and neither did the Byzantine Empire, as the Parliament refused to recognize the idea under a government who thought it would only result in another global war. Without their support, the League had little effect or enforcement outside East Asia and Western Europe.