Alternate History

Galician War (Cinco De Mayo)

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The Galician War was a conflict fought in east-central Europe from 1952 until 1955, with Poland and Ukraine the primary combatants over control of the former Austrian state of Galicia. The war was eventually settled in favor of Poland in 1955 with the Treaty of Copenhagen, and had the effect of permanently steering Ukraine into a position of sympathy with the UBPR and Hungary. It is regarded as an early Cold War event and is a part of the broader Austrian Wars of the 1950s.

The Galician War's origins were rooted in the independence of Galicia in 1949 as a republic. Though proposals had existed to create an ethnic Polish West Galicia and an ethnic Ukrainian East Galicia, the Austrians had denied that motion and formed one country out of the old State of Galicia instead. Ethnic tensions boiled to a head in 1951 with the Krakow Riots and agents from both Poland and the Ukraine were active in Galicia trying to split the nation in two. In 1952, the "national-status referendum" was called to determine Galcia's future. When the ethnic Ukrainian majority elected to join Ukraine instead of remaining an independent republic or split into two republics, there was a revolt in the Polish west and the Republic of New Galicia was declared, with Polish, German and Czechoslovak support. When Ukraine invaded the RNG in November of 1952 in a surprise attack, the war broke out and Poland rushed to the defense of the piecemeal republic, whose leaders were negotiating an entrance to Poland while fighting Galician government forces.

The war quickly became one of attrition - Ukraine, still hobbled from fighting in World War Two, was mostly agrarian and had suffered greatly under Russian occupation. Poland, while also a poor country, benefitted from German support and economic integration in the postwar years, and had a modern army equipped to fight the war despite inferior numbers to the Ukrainians. Polish occupation forces in ethnic Ukrainian areas suffered from guerrilla attacks both in Galicia and on Ukrainian soil during the Polish counterattack and invasion of Ukraine in 1954. The war led to the rise and fall of weak military and leftist governments in the Ukraine that alternated, eventually leading to the rise of Ukrainian strongman __, who would rule the country from 1959 until his death in 1982 and make the country a key cog of the UBPR's non-Communist alliance.

The fighting ended with a ceasefire arranged by German Chancellor Erwin Rommel in 1955 and the two sides agreed to Polish accession of all of Galicia under heavy pressure from Germany, Austria and Poland at the First Copenhagen Conference. The Treaty of Copenhagen ended the war with no concessions to the Ukraine, which was declared as being the aggressor in the war. With the war over, Poland would spend the next four decades fighting the Galician Separatist Force, a paramilitary terrorist group, seeking Galician independence and/or annexation with the Ukraine.

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