|Largest Cities|| Berlin: 12,000,000|
Adolf Hitler Stadt: 5,250,000
|Population||230,000,000 in the Reich proper, over 1,000,000,000 in territories|
|Nation formed||January 30, 1933|
|Führer||Udo Voigt (National Socialist German Workers' Party)|
|Our Timeline Equivalent||Germany, Austria, Northern France, Czech Republic, Poland, All of the Former Soviet Union north of the Ukraine and east to the Urals. Territories include much of the former Soviet Union south of the Ukraine throughout the Caucasus, swaths of the Middle east including most of Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria; all of Sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia, and Equatorial Guinea; Suriname|
The Greater German Reich is arguably the most powerful and preeminent nation on the planet Earth, occupying a majority of mainland Europe's territory itself while controlling territory on five of the planet's seven continents. It boasts the second-largest military on the planet behind the Empire of Japan's, and is by far the most influential and dominant power in the Western world.
Germany itself has a long and illustrious history dating back to the days of Ancient Rome. While surviving the Dark Ages as a handful of barbarian kingdoms and existing as an integral part of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries, Germany did not exist in a truly unified and unmistakably German political entity until it was unified under Otto Von Bismarck and Emperor Wilhelm I in 1871. Following unification and a speedy defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War, the German Empire quickly established itself as a world superpower by the turn of the century.
Following the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, Germany found itself obliged to come to the aid of its ally in accordance with several treaties and alliances. This convoluted alliance system eventually led to World War I, a bloody conflict that lasted for five years and claimed the lives of millions of Europeans. Although Germany succeeded in defeating her eastern Russian enemy, the rigors of a two-front war eventually proved to be too great for her as Germany's French and British nemeses from the west emerged victorious and forced Germany to surrender according to the terms of the humiliating Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
These terms proved to have disastrous effects on the Germany economy and national morale, as the country descended into economic decay and social instability. With the Empire deposed, a fragile democracy emerged from Weimar. Although times were volatile and often desperate during this period, the Weimar era is remembered as a time of unbridled freedom and wild social experimentation. Cultural attitudes in Germany were largely free and open at this time, and the era is notable for producing innovative and groundbreaking firsts in the fields of art, theater, and music.
It was however a short lived era as the political climate grew too unstable for it to persist. As the economic climate became dire following the global economic collapse in 1929, moderate political parties largely lost favor to more radical movements and deadly violence soon became commonplace between the National Socialist German Workers' Party (or Nazis), the most powerful fascist organization in Germany, and their Communist enemies. The Nazis eventually rallied to a plurality in the Reichstag behind their charismatic Führer Adolf Hitler and quickly outlawed all other parties to solidify their power.
The NSDAP embarked on a program of massive war production in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, galvanizing the German economy and turning the nation into a financial powerhouse within half a decade. Germany merged with Austria in 1938 to form the Anschluss, a unified state of Germanic peoples. Later that year German troops occupied the Sudetenland, a collection of ethnic German communities in Czechoslovakia, that went unchallenged by the Czechs' English and French allies. World War II began in earnest when the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.
German troops rolled over the Polish defenders within weeks, occupying the Western portion of the country (the Soviet Union occupied the other half). German troops also occupied Denmark and Norway in early 1940 with little bloodshed, and following a brief lull in fighting that winter known as "The Phony War", the Nazis launched a full-scale assault on France and the Low Countries that spring. Using previously unheard of Blitzkrieg tactics, the Germans stunned their opponents who had prepared for a more traditional fight that mirrored the trench warfare of World War I. Within months France had fallen completely, and Germany assumed control of the northern portion of the nation (eventually annexing it in earnest after the war) while leaving the southern half of the country to be controlled by a puppet regime headed by General Phillipe Petain.
With all other enemies vanquished, the Nazis focused on the United Kingdom. Upon having peace offers refused from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Hitler began pounding Britain's cities (London in particular) with relentless aerial bombing raids. British resolve remained strong, but the constant barrage would continue until the end of war with the British largely powerless to strike back.
Aid to Britain being provided by the United States of America was promptly halted by the interception of the Ribbentrop Telegram in 1941, a secret Nazi communique to the Confederacy outlining a potential Confederate attack on the US. This triggered a full-scale war in America that forced the US to divert all aid and resources to its own war effort.
Germany opened a second front in its war on June 21st, 1941 with a surprise attack on the Soviet Union. Using the same Blitzkrieg tactics that proved so effective against France, the Wehrmacht marched deep into Soviet territory with blinding speed, capturing Moscow (later renamed Adolf Hitler Stadt) and Leningrad (later renamed Port Barbarossa, in honor of the medieval German hero and the eponymous invasion of Russia) by early 1942. The resilient and recalcitrant Soviets, however, proved to put up more of a fight than expected, bogging the Germans down in the oil-rich Caucasus of the South and in a protracted guerrilla war in the frozen taiga north and east of occupied Moscow.
The Wehrmacht remained incapable of overpowering the entrenched Soviet defenders of these areas, particularly the city of Stalingrad, for over a year before finally overpowering the Red Army in the summer of 1943, driving the Russian troops into Siberia. Although Stalin managed to escape besieged Moscow and establish a provisional capital in Omsk, he was deposed by a coup and executed by his own generals in early 1944 after continually refusing to entertain the notion of peace with Hitler. Hitler was himself hesitant to accept anything short of total surrender by the Soviets, but was eventually convinced by his generals that occupation of Russia west of the Urals was sufficient and that a continued war and occupation of the vast swaths of Siberia and the Eastern Soviet Union was impractical if not impossible. The horrendous losses suffered by German troops had also caused considerable unrest on the home front, and while the Nazis' propaganda and repressive tactics helped curtail overt anti-war dissent, influential government and military officials urged a reluctant Hitler to sue the junta of the Soviet rump state for peace. The coup leaders accepted a humiliating peace treaty ceding all of European Russia to the Nazis while also surrendering large swaths of Eastern Russia, Siberia and Alaska to Japan. Several former Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Urals also seceded from the former USSR at the behest of the Third Reich, becoming puppet buffer states in the process. By the end of the war in the Eastern Theater, The Soviet Union had lost 5/8 of its territories and ceased to exist in earnest, although a loosely-united, quasi-communistic Russian Remnant Federation continued on as a successor state in Siberia with its capital in Krasnoyarsk. After the USSR was subdued by Nazi Germany in 1944 the rest of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East gradually fell to the Reich's might.
Britain, however, remained entrenched and unwilling to surrender. While the Germans were incapable of launching Operation Sea Lion (their planned amphibious assault on Britain) due to colossal tactical and logistic pitfalls, their constant bombardments of the British mainland had killed hundreds of thousands and left most major British cities in the south of England in ruins. Still, Britain remained stubbornly devoted to continuing the war, even after suffering the loss of nearly the entire RAF as well as several failed attempts to invade German and Italian possessions in North Africa. Things became so bad for Britain that the government voluntarily withdrew its troops from Northern Ireland to assist the war effort. Following Britain's eventual surrender this demilitarization would allow the opportunistic Irish Army to annex the six counties unopposed with the blessings of the Third Reich.
By February of 1945 Germany had perfected a super weapon rumored to be capable of destroying an entire city in one blast. Unbeknownst to the outside world, Nazi scientists detonated the weapon at a secret base in New Swabia, Antarctica on March 7, 1945. This weapon would eventually be come to known as the Atomic Bomb, and Hitler ordered two to be created as quickly as possible to force the British into surrender. With the first of these two devices ready by June of 1945, Hitler gave a final offer of peace (with humiliating provisions) to Churchill, which was once more flatly refused. No mention was made of the device publicly and no warning was given prior to the bomb being dropped on Manchester on June 25, 1945, obliterating the city and killing 50,000 people. Although Churchill once again refused to consider a surrender, the people of Britain did not share his determination and voted him and the Conservative Party out of office in a massive landslide that July. Incoming prime minister Clement Atlee promptly arranged for a conditional surrender, hoping that the Germans did not have any more such bombs (they would not for a few months) and Hitler, who had been pressing the British for such a surrender since Dunkirk, gladly accepted. As per the Treaty of Brussels, Britain was forced to pay massive reparations and surrender all overseas colonies to the Axis powers but was allowed to remain an entirely sovereign nation and retain its territorial integrity save Northern Ireland, which was reunified with the rest of the Irish Free State. Britain's surrender largely ended the war, although Germany engaged in minor naval skirmishes with the United States prior to the signing of an Armistice with that nation in 1946.
Germany emerged from the war as the most powerful nation on Earth, plundering the resources of its conquered territories to restore its economy in the wake of the war's massive financial and physical toll. The Reich was reorganized into the Greater German Reich in 1948, as Germany directly annexed vast swaths of territory into the Reich proper, including Northern France, the Low Countries, Poland and a large portion of Eastern Europe and European Russia. Riches won in the war and taken from the occupied territories were used to construct splendorous cities within the Reich itself, Berlin being the crown jewel of Hitler's empire. Within ten years of the war's end Berlin and the large cities of the Reich had become indistinguishable from their former selves, as ostentatious and grandiose Gothic architecture came to dominate their skylines. The massive Volkshalle in Berlin, standing over 950 feet tall and 870 feet in diameter, was completed in 1953 and soon became an enduring symbol of both Berlin and the Reich itself.
The glory of life within the Reich itself, however, stood in stark contrast to the appalling conditions suffered by the untermenschen in the occupied territories. Non-Aryans (mostly Slavs) living within the Reich were forcibly expelled from their homes and cast out in a diaspora to the territories in the Caucasus, the Middle East, and even as far as Africa to live more or less as serfs. Africans had it even worse, often being compelled to perform forced labor in factories constructed throughout their ravaged homelands. Some were simply detained by the Nazis and sold to the Germans' Confederate allies to be used in the CSA, providing a massive influx of revenue to the Reich. Jews were essentially eliminated from the Eastern Hemisphere by 1960, murdered around the clock in various death camps dotted throughout the Reich with the last "concentration" camp in northern Sudan closing by 1963. Nearly the entire remaining Jewish population of the planet was concentrated in the few remaining democracies left, most notably the US, Britain, Canada, and Australia as attitudes towards Jews within Axis nations varied from open discrimination to outright systematic slaughter.
Adolf Hitler, long having been afflicted with poor health and rumored to have become addicted to amphetamines, died of a massive heart attack in 1958 at the age of 69. As according to his will, he was replaced by his longtime friend and trusted servant Albert Speer, who would reign as Führer for the next twenty three years. The Reich embarked upon a series of reforms in this period, as Speer toned down the bellicose rhetoric and overt militarism of the Nazi regime to put a more human face on the Reich. Unlike his predecessor, Speer rarely wore a military uniform in public and instead preferred more humble civilian garb. A famed architect long before his rise to power, Speer toned down the louder aspects of German architecture enamored by Hitler, deferring to more practical designs partly as a reflection of his humble demeanor but mostly because most of Hitler's massive public works projects embraced form over function and required constant costly upkeep to remain structurally sound. The Reich's economy grew slowly but steadily during the Speer era, as Germans became more and more detached from their bloody past and instead came to be comfortable and complacent in the new peaceful Reich of Speer.
The German economy was also partially fueled by an economic war with the Empire of Japan, as the two nations battled for supremacy in the fields of manufacturing and technology. This culminated in the Space Race, a protracted and costly series of space missions conducted by each country to claim supremacy in the cosmos. While Japan seemed the early leader upon launching the Kyoto satellite into space in 1956 and the first living being (a dog named Akira) into orbit three years later, the Reich eventually prevailed, putting the first man (Dieter Boll) in orbit in 1963 and eventually putting the first Kosmonaut on the moon, as Sigmund Jähn planted the swastika into the lunar surface on May 19, 1968.
Speer served as Führer until his death in 1981. His failure to endorse a successor caused a minor crisis, as no official contingency plan had been devised in the nearly fifty year history of the Reich. Party officials found themselves at odds with each other as conservatives butted heads with more reform-minded Nazis in the search of a new Führer. Eventually, a commission was assembled and the two sides settled on little-known conservative Kurt Waldheim. Although initially thought to be a puppet of party hardliners and traditionalists, Waldheim proved to be surprisingly moderate and pragmatic by placing economic concerns over party rhetoric. This was most notably displayed when he ordered an end to the Reich's forty-year embargo of the United States and boycott of American goods in light of the burgeoning American technology industry and the increasing global demand for American technology and electronics. Waldheim's economic-minded administration also helped spread more conservative-endorsed practices as well, however, most notably the revival of the Reich's involvement in the imprisonment and sale of Africans to the Confederate States of America to be used as slaves. The practice, outlawed by Speer in 1963, helped revive the Reich's then-slumping economy and repair diplomatic relations with the CSA following an estrangement. Although eventually reduced in scope by Waldheim's successor Udo Voigt, the practice remains legal and relatively commonplace in the Reich's African territories to this day.
Today the Reich exists as a major world superpower and the most prominent power on the face of the planet, facing serious competition to its primacy only from the mighty Japanese Empire and to a lesser degree from the Confederacy, both of which it remains on cordial terms with and trades with frequently. Its massive military still maintains the physical integrity of its empire but is largely used only to police its territories and put down small insurgencies, as the proliferation of nuclear weaponry following the war has left nuclear weapons in the hands of both the Reich's antagonists (the United States, Britain) and its ostensible "allies" (Japan, the CSA), making a conventional war with any highly unlikely and essentially instituting a scenario of mutually assured destruction.