The following is the timeline of events that led to World War III, its following aftermath, and the years that followed right after.
Prelude to the Third World War
This section details historical close calls to World War III, as well as the events that historians consider may have contributed to it.
- At the end of World War II in Europe, British PM Winston Churchill proposes Operation Unthinkable, in which American, British, and rearmed German forces will attack Soviet military positions in Eastern Europe, in order to impose on "Russia by the will of the United States and the United Kingdom." It was rejected by the House of Commons since it was unfeasible and all sides were war-weary, not to mention the drain on resources it would have taken.
- June 24: The Soviet Union blocks the transport hubs of the Western Allies in Berlin known as the Berlin Blockade.
- August 15: The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, is established.
- September 9: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or North Korea, is established.
- May 12: The Berlin Blockade ends.
- August 29: The Soviet Union tests its first nuclear weapon: RTS-1 or codenamed "Joe-1."
- October 1: Mao Zedong establishes the People's Republic of China as the official governing body of Mainland China.
- May 1: Nationalist forces retreat to the island of Taiwan following the successful Communist landing as Hainan. The Chinese Civil War ends with a Communist victory.
- June 25: The Korean War begins with a North Korean invasion of the South.
- September 18: UN forces land in Incheon and turns the tide back.
- October 25: Chinese forces intervene in the Korean War and push back the UN forces back to the 38th parallel.
- General Douglas MacArthur is relieved of duty after persuading Harry S. Truman to use nuclear weapons on the Sino-Korean border. Historians agree should this have been done, the Korean War might have escalated into World War III.
- July 27: The Korean War ends with an armistice. The two Koreas are technically still in a state of war.
- The Sino-Soviet split occurs.
- April 17-19: Cuban rebels, backed by the CIA, invade Cuba in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. The invasion fails; tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union increase.
- October 16-28: The Cuban Missile Crisis. The United States places a "naval quarantine" on the island of Cuba following the discovery of Soviet nuclear weapons on the island. After 13 days of harsh negotiations, the USSR withdraws their nuclear weapons from the island while the U.S. withdraws their nuclear weapons from Turkey and Italy.
- February: The Iranian Revolution occurs.
- November 4: The Iranian Hostage Crisis occurs.
- December 24: The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan in an attempt to intervene in the civil war.
- September 26: Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov averts a worldwide nuclear war by correctly identifying a warning of attack by U.S. missiles as a false alarm. Should this have been taken seriously, a full-scale global nuclear would have occurred. This even is known as the 1983 Soviet Nuclear false alarm incident.
- November: Able Archer 83 almost causes a Third World War when the Soviet military takes the NATO exercises seriously and subsequently prepare their nuclear forces.
Point of Divergence (POD): 1988
- August: Mikhail Gorbachev is arrested in a coup d'état by hardliners of the Communist regime. The hardliners stated that he is too soft on the state of affairs of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact Countries. The new hardline leader abolishes Gorbachev's polices of glasnost and perestroika and retains the authoritarian polices of the USSR. Gorbachev is imprisoned in the Lubyanka.
- September: Following the riots among Communist Eastern European countries in regards to the seizure of Gorbachev, the USSR deploys several troops en masse along the Iron Curtain to quell the riots. NATO and the west condemn this action and places numerous economic sanctions of the Soviet Union.
- October: Just two months after the seizure of Gorbachev, the Soviet economy horribly drops. The Soviets demand that NATO and the West remove the sanction and give economic aid to the Iron Curtain. The West refuses; as one of the biggest tensions of the Cold War begins.The Soviet Union threatens invasion but the West still did not give in to their threats. The United Nations calls for a series of peace conferences in order to cool down the situation.
- November-December: After the a series of peace conferences, it finally breaks down after the West refuses to give economic aid to the Soviet Union as the USSR would not withdraw much of their troops from the Iron Curtain. The Soviets are furious at decision and secretly plan to attack Western Europe six months from this date.
- Unknown: Islamic Terrorist group called Al-Qaeda forms.
January to May 1989 (Pre-World War III)
- January-April: NATO recon planes report massive Soviet troop movements along Eastern Europe. NATO steadily prepares for an invasion, but little do they know that the Soviets are better prepared than them.
- April 15: Chinese students gather around Tiananmen Square, Beijing after the death of Hu Yaobang, a liberal reformer who was deposed after losing a power struggle with hardliners over the direction of political and economic reforms.
- April 19: 47 U.S. Navy sailors are killed when a turret aboard the USS Iowa exploded off the coast of Puerto Rico.
- April 22: Hu Yaobang's funeral is held.
- April 27: Student demonstrations increase after two weeks.
- May 20: Premier Li Peng declared Martial Law around Beijing.
- June 2: Due to Deng Xiaoping's health, Li Peng takes the position of the Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
- June 3: In East Berlin, East Germany, Soviet soldiers are mobilized for the upcoming invasion of Western Europe. NATO and U.S. troops in Berlin are placed on high alert.
- June 4: The People's Liberation Army brutally suppresses the student protests in the square. Condemnations and economic embargoes are enacted upon China by majority of the international community.
June 4th, 1989 - World War III begins
- Just as the world condemned the Chinese government's action on the Tiananmen Square protests, the Soviets invade West Germany. NATO and U.S. troops defend and put what they can of the city, but the Soviets were numerically superior. Slowly by slowly, West Berlin started falling to the Russians.
June 1989-August 1989
- June 5: West Berlin falls to the Soviets and the East Germans. The Soviets begin their march into West Germany and Western Europe.
- June 6: On the 45th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, majority of West Germany has fallen to the Soviets.
- June 7: All of Germany falls within Soviet control.
- June 11: The Soviet Union advances to Europe.
- June 12: After seizing Germany, the Soviets invade Denmark.
- June 20: Denmark falls to the Soviets after heavy weeks of fighting. Sweden and Switzerland declare neutrality although Soviet planes occasionally breach Swedish airspace.
- June 21: The USSR launches attacks on Norway and Finland.
- June 22: Finish forces struggle to push back Soviet Forces.
- June 25: The New People's Army kills 39 people, including women and children, while they were attending a church service in Digos, Davao Del Sur, Philippines. This event is now known as the Digos Massacre.
- July 4: On the 113th Independence Day of the United States, the Finish government surrenders to the USSR after the Soviets capture Helsinki. Finland is occupied but scattered Finish soldiers (with Norwegian and CIA aid), continue to mount guerrilla attacks on the Soviet Forces.
- July 13: Soviets invade northern Norway and sabotage AA-defenses there.
- July 14: Iceland quickly falls to the Soviets due to the lack of a standing military.
- July 16: Soviet invasion of Norway is stalled due to the guerrilla tactics of the Norwegian military. King Olav V decides to remain in the country to support the troops fighting in the front lines.
- July 17: Major cities in Western Europe are bombed by Soviet TU-95 bombers. Targets include Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona, London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Plymouth.
- July 18: The United Kingdom deploys the majority of its troops to Belgium, Netherlands and France.
- July 19: The non-aligned Communist country of Yugoslavia is occupied by the USSR.
- July 20: The U.S. 6th Fleet based in Naples, Italy starts engaging the Soviet Navy in the Mediterranean.
- July 21: Greece, Macedonia, and the non-aligned Communist country of Albania form an alliance against the Soviets. For the first time, the Greeks and the Macedonians put aside their differences. The combined troops manage to hold the Soviets the Albania-Bulgaria border.
- July 23: U.S., British and Spanish ships form a blockade of the Straits of Gibraltar.
- July 27: Soviet TU-95 bombers attack Royal Air Force bases in the United Kingdom.
- July 28: U.S. Air Force planes based in Italy and the United Kingdom engage the TU-95 bombers for the first time. Kill counts are high. The Soviets begin to face a challenge. NATO relocates to Barcelona, Spain.
- July 29: Soviet forces invade the Netherlands. The country falls in 24 hours.
- July 30: Soviets envelope Belgium after defeating NATO forces there. The NATO headquarters in Brussels becomes the Soviet Army HQ.
- August 1: Soviet forces land on northern Italy.
- August 5: NATO forces counterattack the Soviets in Northern Italy.
- August 10: The U.S. 6th Fleet, along with a contingent of British, French and Italian naval reinforcements, suffer a heavy setback after majority of its ships are sunk and destroyed by the Soviet Navy in the First Battle of the Mediterranean. The U.S. losses one aircraft carrier, two destroyers, one frigate; Britain losses one carrier, one destroyer, and one corvette. The French Aircraft carrier, the Foch, is heavily damaged. Italy loses two frigates: one sunk and the other capsized. The remaining damaged ships retreat to Gibraltar.
- August 15: Following the victory in the Mediterranean, Soviet forces land in Malta, Corsica, Sardinia, and the coast of Southern France. Soviet troops in Northern Italy-France border reinforce the amphibious landing.
- August 16: Cannes and Marseilles fall to the Soviets.
- August 17: Major French cities are bombed by Soviet bombers.
- August 18: U.S. President George H.W. Bush orders massive deployments of U.S. troops to Western Europe.
- August 27: U.S. reinforcements arrive in the U.K., France, Spain, and Belgium.
- August 28: The U.S. Navy and Air Force strike Soviet forces in occupied-Iceland
- August 31: U.S. Marines begin their amphibious assault of Iceland.
- September 1: Cuba considers joining the war on the Soviet side.
- September 4: U.S. Navy reinforces the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
- September 12: U.S. Marines capture Reyjavik.
- September 18: U.S., NATO, and French forces begin counterattacking Soviet forces in Southern France.
- September 20: Iceland is liberated with the 3,000 U.S. Marine casualties.
- September 26: SAS troops, with MI6 are deployed to occupied West Germany to help local resistance fighters conduct guerrilla warfare against the Soviet Army.
- September 27: Operators from the CIA's Special Activities Division are deployed to Soviet occupied countries in Europe.
- October 1: The Soviet Union invades the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- October 2: Italian Air Force conducts air strikes against Soviet armor in Northern Italy.
- October 5: Syria declares war on the Allies and joins the Soviets in their operations in the Middle East.
- October 7: Fighter jets from Israel, Jordan, and the United States engage Soviet aircraft in the Middle East.
- October 11: Israeli troops clash with Syrian troops in Golan Heights.
- October 17: A magnitude 6.9 quake strikes Northern California, causing heavy damages to the cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and massive casualties.
- October 18: The U.S. and nearby allies fight a three-way war in Iran.
- October 22: Allies push Soviets out of France.
- October 23: Norwegian troops make border raids along the Soviet Union.
- November 1: Soviet submarines attack naval bases on the East Coast of the United States, the first attack on the Continental U.S. in the war.
- November 2: Cuba enters the war on the side of the Soviets. Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces proceed to invade the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Haiti, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Navassa Island. The United Kingdom declares war on Cuba upon invading the TCI and sends troops to reinforce the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands.
- November 3: While the TCI, Haiti, Dominica, and Dominican Republic fell to Cubans, resistance in Bahamas made it hard for the Cubans to invade. The Bahamians request aid from the U.S. and the U.K, which prompty sends the Florida and Alabama National Guard, the 82nd Airborne Division, three destroyers of the U.S. Navy, and a contingent of U.S. Marines. The U.K. sends part of the Bermuda regiment to the Bahamas.
- November 4: Cuban Air Force attacks Puerto Rico but fails to damage the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. The Puerto Rico National Guard and the US Virgin Island National Guard, under the behest of President Bush, are nationalized and band together to fend off Cuban air attacks.
- November 5: British SAS are deployed to the TCI to conduct behind-enemy lines attacks.
- November 6: The U.S. allows allied ships to dock in Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, and in Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.
- November 9: Soviets begin their invasion of Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, British Columbia, and the West Coast of the United States. In less than 24 hours, half of the state of Alaska has fallen to the Soviets.
- November 15: Vancouver, Seattle, and Tacoma fall under Soviet Control. However, resistance from U.S. and Canadian troops, law enforcement officers, and armed civilians hassle the Soviets in every move they made.
- November 23: Soviet bombers based from the captured Elmendorf Air Force Base attack Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
- November 24: Mexico declares joining the war on the side of the allies. Mexican Navy ships coordinate with U.S. Navy ships defending the San Diego-Tijuana border from any Soviet submarine attempting to get close.
- December 1: In the Philippines, The Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) and soldiers loyal to former President Ferdinand Marcos led by Colonel Gregorio Honasan, General Edgardo Abenina, and retired General Jose Ma. Zumel; stage a coup d'etat against the government of Corazon Aquino.
- December 7: With aid from United States forces stationed in the country, the forces loyal to the Philippine government crush the coup.
- December 15: The Panama Canal Zone is heavily guarded from Soviet freighters and ships. U.S. deploys an additional 3,500 troops to Panama.
- December 20: The Colombian government cracks down on FARC and communist insurgents.
- December 22: Involvement of Cuban agents is confirmed by the Colombian government in the communist insurgency in the country.
- March 1: The People's Republic of China declares war on the United States, the United Kingdom, NATO, and their allies. The Red Dragon then then joins in the Soviets in their war.
- March 3: North Korea invades South Korea. The Second Korean War begins.
- March 4: PLA units cross the Yalu to reinforce North Korea's invasion of the South.
- March 5. China launches attacks Taiwan, India, Nepal, and Burma. Subsequently, Hong Kong and Macau are invaded as well. Macau quickly falls on as there was no military presence there. Meanwhile, British forces in Hong Kong put up what resistance they can against the Chinese.
- March 11: Chinese forces mount a limited invasion of the Philippines by landing off the coast of Zambales.
- March 28: Hong Kong finally falls to the Chinese after three weeks of fighting. Remaining British troops are captured as POWs.
- April 1:
- July 16: A 7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes the Philippine island of Luzon, severely damaging towns and cities (including Baguio City) in the provinces of Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Bicol, and Nueva Ecija.
- July 29: In Korea, the allied troops make progress and start pushing the Red Forces back north.
- World War III formally ends with the signing of a peace treaty in Geneva, Switzerland.
- February 17: Kurdish fighters begin to reap for independence. The Iraqi Civil War begins. The West sends covert aid to the Kurdish rebels.
- March 25: The Korean Peninsula is reunited under the Republic of Korea.
- Afghan Civl War continues with remnant Soviet troops, Communist sympathizers, Taliban fighters, Mujahideen, and Al-Qaeda.
- April 18: Kurdistan becomes an independent state.
- July 27: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics dissolves as the Russian Federation declares independence.
- March: Saddam Hussein is captured by Kurdish forces. A month later, Saddam is sent to The Hague, Netherlands for crimes against humanity.
- The Red Army Faction is integrated with ex-Soviet generals and ultra-nationalist former Soviet Army soldiers.
- The trials for war criminals of World War III begin in The Hague, Netherlands.
- The Sony PlayStation is released.
- May: Machuria becomes the Manchurian Autonomous Region of the Chinese Federated Union.
- July: The sci-fi film Independence Day is released. The film received acclaim as it showed worldwide unity against a common foe and the fact it was released just five years after World War III.
- August: A car bomb is placed in the Presidential Palace in Kabul but fails to detonate. The Taliban are suspected of it.
- July: Hong Kong is returned to the Chinese Federated Union.
- Osama bin-Laden declares war on the United States and the West. However, he is overshadowed by post-war Communist insurgencies in Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, and in Southeast Asia.
- December 31: The sovereignty of the Panama Canal is returned to Panama.
2000: The arrival of the New Millennium
The new millennium begins with much celebration and festivities as humanity looks forward to a better future - a future without war and conflicts. Several mistakes have been learned from the Third World War, which only broke out 11 years prior.
- January 1: The last U.S. troops leave Panama. In Asia, Macau is returned to the Chinese Federated Union.
- November 7: United States Presidential Election of 2000.
- The world commemorates the tenth anniversary of the end of World War III.
- January 20: Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. is inagurated the 43rd President of the United States.
- September 11: The Red Army Faction conducts terrorist attacks in numerous cities in the United States and Western Europe.
- October 7: The War on Terror begins.
- After much delay, the PlayStation 2 hits the market.
- Mark Zuckerburg introduces Facebook.
- May 10: The US and NATO intervenes in Afghanistan's Civil War.
- November: United States Presidential Election of 2004. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., is reelected for a second term in office.
- December 26th: A 9.3 magnitude earthquake strikes off of the coast of Sumatra causing massive tsunamis that destroyed areas in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Seychelles, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, South Africa, Madagascar and Yemen.
- February: YouTube is introduced.
- August: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in the southern United States.
- June: The iPhone is introduced.
- August: 2008 Summer Olympics
- November: United States Presidential Election of 2008. Michael Bloomberg becomes the President-elect.
- January 20: Michael Bloomberg begins his administration as the 44th President of the United States.
2010: The New Tens
- January 12: A 7.0-magnitude earthquake occurs in Haiti, devastating the nation's capital, Port-au-Prince. With a confirmed death toll over 316,000, it is the seventh deadliest on record.
- January: 2010 Winter Olympics
- February 27: An 8.8-magnitude earthquake occurs in Chile, triggering a tsunami over the Pacific and killing at least 525.The earthquake is one of the largest in recorded history.
- January 1: The world commemorates the 20th anniversary of the end of World War III.
- March 11: A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the east of Japan, killing 15,840 and leaving another 3926 missing. Tsunami warnings are issued in 50 countries and territories.
- September 11: The world commemorates the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- February 6: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hits near the central Philippines off the coast of Negros Island causing at least 51 deaths and injuring 112 others.
- July: 2012 Summer Olympics
- November: United States Presidential Election of 2012. Michael Bloomberg is reelected for a second term.
- November 6: In a referendum held in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, majority of the Puerto Ricans vote for statehood.
- December 21: The Mesoamerican Long Count ends. Several Mayans flock to Temples around Mexico and Central America. Meanwhile, in some parts of the world, Doomsday preppers and looters cause riots thinking the Mayan Long Count would bring the "end of the world." Police and authorities are deployed to cities and towns where these Doomsday preppers are causing trouble.
- December 27: Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., a retired-four star general of the U.S. Army during World War III and former POTUS from 2001-2009, dies in Tampa, Florida at the age of 78.
- January 20: Michael Bloomberg begins his second term in office.
- July 4: Puerto Rico becomes the 51st State to enter the Union.
- October 15: A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the island of Bohol with a depth of 20.0 km (12.4 mi). It was centered about 20 miles below the town of Sagbayan. Several historical churches were destroyed or badly damaged. As of October 15, it was reported that the death toll was at least 93, including people in Cebu.
- October 16: Death toll rises to 144 with 291 injured.
- November 8: Typhoon Haiyan makes landfall in the Philippines, severely damaging the provinces of Samar, Leyte, northern Cebu, and Aklan. Once out of the country, it makes landfall in Vietnam and Hainan Island in the Chinese Federated Union.
- February: 2014 Winter Olympics
- April 1: An 8.2 magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Iquique, Chile.
- June 4: The world commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the beginning of World War III.
- June-July: 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- April 25: A magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes Nepal and causes 8857 deaths in Nepal, 130 in India, 27 in China and four in Bangladesh, bringing with it a total of 918 deaths.
- January 1st: Happy New Year 2016! Around the word, there are numerous celebrations, parties and fireworks to celebrate the new year. The world now enters deeper into the 2010s decade.
- February 6: A 6.4 earthquake strikes Taiwan.
- April 18: The first round of talks between of the South China Sea dispute claimant states begins in Dili, East Timor.
- June-July: The Philippines implements the K to 12 educational system, adding two more years to high school known as the "Senior High" levels.
- August 24: A 6.2 earthquake strikes central Italy, causing 298 deaths, 388 injuries, and more than 4000 homeless.
- October 13: King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) of Thailand, the world's longest running monarch, dies at the age of 88.
- November 8: 2016 United States Presidential Elections. The first election in which the new state of Puerto Rico was able to vote. Paul Ryan, a Republican presidential candidate from Wisconsin, is elected as the 45th President of the United States.
- November 18: An 7.4 earthquake strikes New Zealand. U.S., Canadian, and Australian naval vessels move in to assist the Royal New Zealand Navy in its relief operations.
- November 25: Former Cuban president and dictator Fidel Castro dies at the age of 90.
- January 20: Paul Ryan is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.Upcoming events:
- March 4: Singing of the Sino-Japanese joint administration of the Senkaku Islands.