The Spanish Civil War was a conflict between the Nationalist Government of Spain versus the Republic of Spain. The war lasted from 1936 to 1939 and millions of civilians and military personnel were killed, either by the war or the flu. The nationalists won the war and Spain remained neutral throughout World War II. But, what if the Allies and the Axis had intervened directly rather than just sending supportive troops, and have started the Second World War four years earlier? Well here we tell what happened...
1936: The War Begins
On July 17 the nationalist rebels in Spain formed the Nationalist Spanish Government and declared war on the Republic of Spain. France declared war on the Nationalists and the UK soon followed. 200,000 French soldiers and 140,000 British soldiers attacked Nationalist forces in Northern Africa and Central Spain. Gibraltar became a military artillery and air base. Nazi Germany and Italy disliked the French and British intervention, and declared war on the Spanish Republic. The war known as the European War now began. Neither France nor Germany attacked one another because both had strong defensive lines (The Maginot and the Siegfried lines respectively) and going though the neutral Benelux or Switzerland was an act against the Geneva Convention. However both factions bombed one another a lot. German industries were knocked out in western Germany and French airfields were bombed in Normandy. Italy did try to invade France later during the year but ultimately failed. The situation in North Africa was a stalemate, with the frontlines being a No Man's Land.
It was not until Madrid fell to the Nationalists in December as the Axis gained advantage. Italy sent 240,000 newly recruited soldiers to assist the Nationalists, and Germany provided heavy air and naval support. The Battle of the Gibraltar Strait was fought at the very end of 1936. German battleships and Italian destroyers defeated British ships and Gibraltar was secured. The next few remaining days of 1936 not so much happened.
1937: The War Escalates
Hitler had not planned on subduing the west, he rather wanted them to help him attack the east, and subdue the Soviet Union and the Slavic people. But when Liberal governments and Fascist dictatorships clash an alliance is impossible. Artillery shells dropped here and there near the French and German borders, and the Italian border was a wasteland from all bombing and artillery. In Spain, the Axis had gained advantage by taking Gibraltar and securing strategic cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona. Hitler decided that the Anschluss of Austria could happen a year earlier than what he had planned, because he wanted to establish a trade route between Italy and Germany. So on March 15 Germany annexed Austria. The Munich Agreement then later happened on August 4, and three days later Slovakia was born. Italy had a big stone in her path to the Libyan coast; Malta. An invasion was proposed but they decided not to attack until they had an army large enough to take the important island.
In September the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed between Germany and the Soviet Union, much to the west's surprise. The French did not take this easily and prepared an invasion of Germany. The UK agreed, but Neville Chamberlain was doubtful the Siegfried line could be broken. Nevertheless, the situation in Spain became worse than expected by the Allies, as Nationalists claimed more and more land than in the OTL, thanks to Italian and German support.
1938: It Becomes another Great WarThe Italians celebrated the New Year by surprisingly attacking Malta, much to Hitler's dismay. But with Malta now in Axis hands they had secured a transportation route to North Africa, and German and Italian forces were shipping in to take the Allies out. In Spain, the little resistance once known as the Republic of Spain was being destroyed by Nationalists. The French and British supporters were totally driven out of Spain in March, and by July, all of Spain was united under King Francisco Franco. Franco formed the new Spanish Empire and invaded Northern French Africa. The unprepared French was taking a heavy beating from both the east and the west, as Spanish rushed to meet the Italians on the northern coastline. Charles de Gaulle could not take it anymore and invaded Germany, a big mistake, as the Siegfried line did not receive as much as a scratch, so to say. Hitler had been waiting for this moment and invaded France through the Benelux countries. Netherland and Luxembourg was captured in early September and Belgium soon followed. With much of the French army killed or wounded in the failed attack on Germany, the German forces had pretty much a clear path to Paris. The city fell on November 2, 1938. France was divided between Germany and Italy; Germany took the northern portion of Mainland France, while the Italians took the southern portion. The Free French was founded in Africa a week later.
In the Far East, Japanese and Chinese had been fighting for a year now, and the Japanese Emperor; Hirohito, contacted Germany and joined the Axis. Japanese naval forces stormed the Free French islands in the Pacific and South China Sea, and eventually invaded French Indochina. The only remnants of France were the colonies in Northern Africa.
1939: It Spreads Through the World
With France subdued, Hitler decided to attack the country he was planning to attack al along; Poland. With so many Slavs and Jews in Poland he was much rather forced to invade. But since Poland known's about Hitler's strategies this time they were more prepared, and the invasion lasted longer and Germany took more casualties. But in the end, Poland was conquered and the Pact signed with Stalin gave him eastern Poland. He then annexed the Baltic States. Finland did not want to give away any land; and Stalin proposed an invasion. Before he could launch it, Finland joined the Axis and he couldn't invade because he had to honor the Pact. In Northern Africa the situation got worse and worse for the French, with more land lost than ever before in a war with France involved. Soon, the last remaining piece of land belonging to France was attacked by Italy and conquered. The Belgian colonies in central Africa surrendered as well. The Dutch East Indies was also conquered by Japan a month later, and all that is now left of the Benelux countries are flags in trashcans here and there.
In late October, Germany occupied Denmark and Norway to secure the Swedish iron ore trade. The iron went to the industrial plants that produced thousands of fighter planes for the Luftwaffe. In mid-November, the Battle of Britain began. In the OTL, the Battle of Britain was fought during late summer and early autumn 1940 and was won by the British because of the radar. But in this ATL, the radar has not yet been invented, and by
the end of November, Germany gained air dominance over the English Channel. A sea battle then occurred, and the Luftwaffe had already knocked out more than half the British fleet. That means that the Kriegsmarine wins over the Royal Navy by a good marginal, and the Germans know have complete dominance over the English Channel.
1940: The Allies go Further and Further Down
In late January, 1940, Operation Sea Lion commenced. German paratroopers landed in southern England and captured the port of Dover. Later, more than 400,000 German soldiers shipped across the English Channel and invaded the island. The British launch a counterattack, but the lack of artillery, and harassment by the Luftwaffe drives them into a retreat. An air raid over London destroys the parliament and the Prime Minister is killed. The rest of the government and the army retreat to Birmingham where they'll attempt to make a stand. The royal family is evacuated to Canada. A week later, German troops reach the inner perimeter of London, and soon the flag flies over the city. The last beacon of freedom in Western Europe is extinguished by the Wehrmacht. The Germans then launch an offensive north, and by mid-March Wales is captured. The offensive then goes forward and soon the Germans reach the heavily defended town of Birmingham. The battle was one of the bloodiest in the war, and all of the British government surrenders and the British Isles fall.
The Free British in Northern Africa is formed that make up the soldiers in Egypt, Sudan and the Middle East. But it doesn't get that much better there, as Italian, Spanish and German forces attack El Alamein, which is captured. They then assault Alexandria, Cairo and Suez, who are all captured by a week. Axis morale is high, and it seems the Allies are about to lose the war.
In the Far East, China is on the brink of defeat, and they attempt to make a final push against the Japanese, all in vain. Japan conquers and annexes China and then later captures Siam, and invades British Raj. The Brits in India have much better luck against the Japanese, and they are able to hold most of their
attacks off. Japan seizes smaller islands in the Pacific, including those belonging to Great Britain and neutral Australia and New Zealand.
The Spanish Empire proceeds to seize many islands in the Atlantic belonging to Great Britain, including the Caribbean islands, the Falklands and even Cuba. Guyana is also seized by the Spanish. In a sudden attack, Portugal is being brought into the war as Spain invades. It doesn't take much to dispose of the unprepared Portuguese army, and after a month, Spain conquers Lisbon. All of Western Europe is now Axis control, as Ireland forcefully becomes annexed rather than to face an invasion and lose lives.
1941: Birth of a 'Better' Europe
With many of Germany's western enemies defeated, they granted them all independence. New countries were born; Riechskommisariat England, Irland, Frankreich, Wallonia and Flanders. Norway, Denmark and Luxembourg were annexed into the new Greater German Reich. Fearing an invasion, the King of Sweden proposed a union between Finland and Sweden. Finland, being a part of the Axis, agreed and the Finnish Kingdom was born. Now, with most of the Allied nations on his side, Hitler decided to initiate his grand plan; Operation Barbarossa! His plans were presented, and his soldiers got ready. In the OTL, the United Kingdom had forces on Crete that needed to be subdued, but with Crete already under Italian control, he could attack the Soviet Union much earlier than planned. In late March, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, much to Stalin's surprise, since he had a pact with Hitler. Staling tried to gather his Red Army into organization, but it did not take long until the Baltic States and western Ukraine was occupied by Germany. A week later, the small garrison in Leningrad was defeated and conquered by Germany. The Wehrmacht then reached the outskirts of Moscow, and engaged the Soviets. In the OTL, German forces were defeated due to a strong Soviet defense, but in this ATL, the Soviets did not get their defenses up in time and Moscow was captured. Stalingrad was next, and with the superior Luftwaffe providing air support the city was not much of a fight for Hitler's forces. The German armies then spread eastward to the Urals and southward to the Caucasus. Hitler's grand plan had been accomplished. Karelia was given to the Finnish Kingdom and western Russia was annexed by Germany.
1942: The War's Not OverNow that the Greater German Reich was a superpower in Europe next to Italy and Spain, Hitler could finally relax. But not for long; as the foolish Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor! The United States was now an Allies member! Hitler was infuriated on Hirohito! With the USA in on the Allies side, morale of former British and French soldiers in Europe grew, and it was not long until a rebellion started in France and southern England. The Nazi governments were overthrown by civilian uprisings and soon the New French Republic and the New United Kingdom was born. They allowed the United States to ship over a million soldiers to Europe, and before the Axis could react, another front is born.
In the Pacific, the mighty American naval fleet takes more and more islands from Japan. Australia and New Zealand joins the Allies and liberates the East Indies from Japan. The Battle of Midway is considered the greatest battle during World War II, as the biggest divisions of the biggest fleets fought around the island. American aircraft carriers and battleships destroyed most of the Japanese ships, and soon the Japanese went on the defensive. British soldiers with full morale in India attacked the Japan regions in Indochina, and Thailand was liberated. French Indochina soon followed, and Australia liberated Singapore.
In the Atlantic, the Spanish Empire lost more and more islands to America. Brazil was persuaded to join the Allies and liberated the unguarded Spanish Guyana. The Falklands was liberated by a joint American and Brazilian naval fleet and soon American forces landed in Central Africa. The Axis went further and further down under the hands of America.
On New Year's Day, British forces liberated Narvik and soon pushed further into Sweden and Norway. Finland saw that the Allies was now almost unstoppable and decided to surrender instantly. Sweden and Finland separated and both joined the Allies. Norway and Denmark soon followed. Finnish attacks into the former Soviet Union, supported by Swedish and British forces, liberated Leningrad and Moscow, and soon a rebellion grew in Eastern Europe. The Russian Union was born and attacked German forces.
The African front was all on the Allied side, as Suez and Sudan was liberated. Ethiopia and Morocco followed. American troops also freed African slaves from the Italians in Central Africa. Malta was liberated by French ships and soon Italian Libya was invaded. A month later, all Axis forces in Africa were defeated, except for a small Spanish gain. But that was soon retaken by French forces and mainland Spain was invaded. Later in early October, a rebellion in Spain killed King Francisco Franco, and the new Liberal Spanish Republic was formed. A week later, American, British and French forces invaded Sicily and Greece. Greece was liberated easily, but Sicily was a harder match.
In Europe, Germany lost more and more land each week, and the final German offensive, the Ardennes Offensive, was lost and Germany went on the defensive. The Siegfried line was broken through by American and French tanks, and join British and Russian forces in the east now was about to liberate Poland. With the help from Warsaw rebels, Poland was freed in December and the former Greater German Reich was not a small country with even smaller borders than before the war.
1944: The End of the Axis and World War II
With Allied forces pushing further and further into Germany and Berlin was now on the brink of destruction due to Allied bombing, Hitler committed suicide. A day later, the rest of Germany surrendered. Mussolini was assassinated by British agents and the Italian government surrendered three days later. The only remaining obstacle was Japan.
In the Far East, the new Russian Union invaded Manchukuo, and the Japanese army with a very low morale was soon defeated. The Japanese in the Pacific was defeated, island by island, by American, Australian and British naval marines. It was not long until China was liberated by British and Australian forces, and the only remaining Japanese land was the mainland islands. Operation Downfall commenced in early August, and more than a million Allied soldiers stormed Japan. Realizing he has lost, Emperor Hirohito surrendered to the Allies and World War II officially ended. The Japanese high command was executed for all their war crimes committed, and so were the Italian, German and former Spanish ones. Peace was now upon us.
After the War
The war was the bloodiest war in history, with over 70 million total losses. The main belligerent of the terror caused is Germany, and so it was split up between the Allied nations. France got western Germany, Great Britain got the northwestern regions, the Russian Union got Ostpreussen, Denmark and Sweden shared the northern regions and the rest was occupied by American forces. The same went for Japan; the mainland was occupied by American and Australian forces, Manchuria was split between China and the Russian Union, French Indochina became independent, so did the Dutch East Indies and the British colonies and all Japanese islands in the Pacific went to the USA. The Allied nations formed the World Defense Union, a union that will keep the peace for all mankind.