The Third Iberian War was a brief conflict fought in 1985 between the Kingdom of Portugal and communist Spain. The war as a resounding victory for the Portuguese due to the reluctance of France to directly involve itself in the armed conflict out of fear of provoking the United States, which backed Portugal. Within two months, the Portuguese had captured Madrid and defeated a poorly-equipped Spanish army that outnumbered them 2-to-1, and the communist government of Spain fell.

The war was a considerable Cold War victory for the United States, which was reeling after its humiliating defeat in Brazil, and boosted US President Elizabeth Shannon's "funding, not fighting" foreign policy doctrine of Cold War strategy, and marked the height of the Second Era of the Cold War. In Portugal, the war was significant due to it being the first victory over their bellicose and hated neighbor in the three wars they had fought in the 20th century, and due to its affirmation of Portugal as an emerging European military and economic power. Spain celebrated the fall of communist rule, but the democratic government that followed was still tightly tied to France, much thanks to the establishment of two French military bases on Spanish soil in 1991.

Many cite the 1985 conflict as a "near-miss moment" in nuclear arms events, as both President Shannon and Emperor Albert II of France had approved limited tactical nuclear strikes were either of the superpowers to become directly involved.



Order of Battle

Aftermath and Significance

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