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The Great North American War has ended. The former United States had split into the Confederate States of America and the New American Empire. The American Empire rules Canada with an iron fist, while the Confederacy begins considering plans for an invasion of Mexico. Following the withdrawal of the French in 1867, the Confederates invade and conquer Mexico. They annex the Country in 1868.
The Empire pursues a strategy of coexistence under Grant. Meanwhile, in Europe, the rising power of the Kingdom of Prussia is confirmed with victory over Austria in the Austro-Prussian War. Bismarck, hoping to gain the use of the United States as an ally in a possible war with France, begins meeting with Grant.
Nevertheless, the calm of peace reigns for years. Grant expands the Imperial Army, Navy, and Air force, as well as officially reclassifying units. The Army adds the classification of Armor to describe vehicles. The Air force adds fighters to describe lighter, machine gunned armed aircraft like the BF-109, and Bombers to larger, slower, bomb armed vehicles. The Navy classifies vessels similar to Tirpitz as battleships, vessels similar to Scharnhorst as battle cruisers, vessels similar to Admiral Scheer as armored cruisers, vessels similar to Admiral Hipper as heavy cruisers, Nurnberg as light cruisers, Z19 as destroyers, and P-Boats as escorts.
This reclassification is adopted quickly by many other nations, except for France and Spain. The army is kept at 500,000 regulars, and over a million reservists and militia. The navy begins a program consisting of five battleships, seven battle cruisers, fifteen armored cruisers, twenty-one heavy Cruisers, thirty-five light cruisers, fifty-six destroyers, and seventy-two escorts to be completed by 1885. The air force begins a plan for five hundred fighters and one hundred bombers.
This program, however, is sped up when another war breaks out.
In 1871, the Prussian Chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck, decides that the only obstacle to German Unification is France. So he fabricates an incident, and war breaks out in 1870.
The Confederates supply French forces with a volunteer Division and T-34 tanks. These units smash the Prussian-led invasion force at Sedan, and begin an invasion of German proper. Inspired by the French triumph at Sedan, Austria invades Bavaria and Silesia. While the Austrian army is able to win a costly victory at Breslau, they fail to advance further into Prussian territory.
Denmark also joins the war in an attempt to recover Schleswig-Holstein. They are crushed by the Prussians at Kiel, though faced with invasion of two other fronts, the Prussian government is unable to capitalize on this advantage.
The French win another crushing victory over the German coalition at Frankfurt, then again at Munich. This knocks the southern German states out of the war, who are forced to join with Austria. Desperate, Bismarck offers Prussia to the American Empire. He asks for the Empire to annex Prussia in exchange for liberating Germany from occupation.
Grant is at first reluctant to commit American troops to a European effort, though clamors by the Imperial Public for revenge against the French for invading America and to prove the Empire's strength as a nation leads to Grant declaring war on France on September 3rd, 1870. It is followed by a declaration on Austria on September 5th.
The fighting begins in earnest soon after. The Imperial Navy crosses the Atlantic and annihilates the main French Fleet off Ireland, then a smaller force south of England. Imperial diplomats threaten England that if she interferes, they will be annexed like Canada. The British mobilize, but do not enter the war, despite pleas from the French.
The Imperial fleet sails through the channel, with 10,000 Imperial soldiers landing on Dunkerque and occupying it after a long bombardment. Another force advances north through the North Sea and lands in Hamburg. The Imperial troops land in the city, announcing liberation. Afterwards, Bismarck announces the Union of Prussia with the Empire.
The Prussian armies, re-energized by the reinforcements, launch attacks on the Austrian and French forces. In addition, the Southern German States reenter the war. Imperial troops advance southward, linking up with German forces. At the same time, the Imperial occupation of Dunkerque is built up, and they begin to press southeast towards Paris.
In the Confederacy, fears of "Yankee Aggression" escalate, though the Confederates are unwilling to commit troops to another war so soon after the last conflict. So they remain neutral.
The advancing Imperial troops, supported by their new Prussian countrymen and German allies, defeat both the Austrian and French armies in battle after battle, until they are pushed out of Germany, and into France and Austria. The Austrian Army suffers a crushing defeat at Prague, while the French army is smashed at Strassbourg.
Facing invasion, the two countries sue for peace. Grant arrives in Germany just as the fighting ends. He meets with his commander in chief of the German armies, William T. Chamberlain, and, in a victorious parade through Berlin, in which American, Prussian, and German troops march on Victory Day, January 4th, 1872, declares him his official successor. A heroic naval display in New York, and parades in Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago all commemorate the great victory.
The Empire's victory sends shock waves through Europe and North America. If the greatest land powers in Europe could be so quickly defeated, what chance would anyone else have? Britain spearheads an effort to form a "Grand Coalition" to contain the Empire. The Confederacy officially begins a military buildup, and Russia concludes a military alliance with Austria and France.
The Imperial victory is cemented in August, when Bismarck calls a conference of all German states. Prussia by this point has become an official part of the Empire, given the new status of Imperial Province. Three of these exist; Prussia, Canada, and the original area under US control. Bismarck calls for a Germany united under the Empire. Believing the only way to protect Germany is to keep it in one state, the German states agree.
These states join the empire as individual states of the German Province, which Prussia joins.