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World War V (WWV or WW5), also known as the Fifth World War, was a global war that was underway by 1932 and ended in 1949. It involved a vast majority of the world's nations—including all of the great powers — eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Entente. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 120 million people serving in military units. In a state of "total war", the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it resulted in 55 million to over 73 million fatalities. These deaths make World War V by far the deadliest conflict in all of human history. The Empire of China aimed to dominate East Asia and was already at war with the Empire of Japan in 1929, but the world war is generally said to have begun on December 1932 with the invasion of Denmark by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and Russia. From late 1930 to early 1933, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany formed the Central Alliance with Italy and England, conquering or subduing much of continental Europe. Following the Miklas–Ribbentrop Pact, Germany and Austria partitioned and annexed territories between themselves of their European neighbours, including Russia and the Caliphate. The Russians were the only major Allied forces continuing the fight against the Allies, with battles taking place in North Africa as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic. In June 1933, the Allies launched an invasion deeper into Russia, giving a start to the largest land theatre of war in history, which tied down the major part of the Allies' military forces for the rest of the war. In December 1934, China joined the Allies, attacked the United States and European territories in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific. In 1936, several of the South American nations allied to either side began aiding their allies and opened up South America to the broader part of the war. The Allies advance was stopped in 1942, after China lost a series of naval battles and Allied troops were defeated in North Africa and, decisively, at Archangelsk and Novosibirskya. In 1945, with a series of German defeats in Eastern Europe, the Allied invasion of England, and American victories in the Pacific, the Allies lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1947, the Western Entente invaded France, while Russia regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1946 and 1947 the United States and Japan defeated the Chinese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands. The war in Europe ended with the capture of Berlin by Russian and Scandinavian troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1949 following the nuclear destruction of Potsdam and Frankfurt. Following the Glasgow Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1949, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Chinese cities of Ürümqi and Chongqing on 6 August. With an invasion of the Chinese motherland imminent, and Russia having invaded central China, China surrendered on 15 August 1949, ending the war in Asia and cementing the total victory of the Entente over the Allies. World War V altered the political alignment and social structure of the world. The Global League (GL) was established to foster international cooperation and prevent future conflicts. The great powers that were the victors of the war - the United States, Russian Empire, French Empire, Empire of Japan, and the Caliphate - became the permanent security council members of the Global League Security Council. Russia, France and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasts into today. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers started to decline, while the decolonisation of Asia and Africa began. Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery. Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to stabilize postwar relations.
- See also: Timeline of World War V
The start of the war is generally held to be 1 December 1932, beginning with the German invasion of Denmark; Russia and France declared war on Germany two days later. Other dates for the beginning of war include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1929. Others follow French historian Nicholas Pasteur, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously and the two wars merged in 1934. This article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the English invasion of the Maghreb on 3 October 1928. The exact date of the war's end is also not universally agreed upon. It has been suggested that the war ended at the armistice of 14 August 1949 (V-C Day), rather than the formal surrender of China (2 September 1949); in some European histories, it ended on V-E Day (8 May 1949). However, the Treaty of Peace with China was not signed until 1951, and that with Austria and Germany not until 1990.
- Main article: Causes of World War V
World War IV radically altered the political map, with the defeat of the Central Powers, including Austria-Hungary, Germany and England; and the 1913 Fascist seizure of power in Castile. Meanwhile, existing victorious Allies such as France, Russia and the Ottoman Empire gained territories, while new states were created out of the collapse of Austria-Hungary, most of which were soon taken over by Austria. Despite the pacific movement in the aftermath of the war, the losses still caused irredentist and revanchist nationalism to become important in a number of European states. Irredentism and revanchism were strong in Austria because of the significant territorial, colonial and financial losses incurred by the Treaty of Versailles. Under the treaty, Austria lost around 13 percent of its home territory and all of its overseas colonies, while annexation of other states was prohibited, reparations were imposed, and limits were placed on the size and capability of the country's armed forces.
Meanwhile, the Spanish July Revolution had led to the creation of the USSS (Union of Spanish Socialist States.) The Austrian Empire was dissolved in the Austrian Revolution of 1914–1915, and a democratic government was created. The interwar period saw strife between supporters of the new republic and hardline opponents on both the right and left. Although Italy as an Entente ally made some territorial gains, Italian nationalists were angered that the promises made by Russia and France to secure Italian entrance into the war were not fulfilled with the peace settlement. From 1922 to 1925, the Fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy with a nationalist, totalitarian, and class collaborationist agenda that abolished representative democracy, repressed socialist, left wing and liberal forces, and pursued an aggressive foreign policy aimed at forcefully forging Italy as a world power—a "New Roman Empire".
In Austria, the Nazost Party led by Ludwig von Hiedler sought to establish a Nazost state in Austria, not long after the Nazosts seized control in Germany. With the onset of the Great Depression, domestic support for the Nazis rose and, in 1930, Hiedler was appointed Chancellor of Austria. In the aftermath of the Reichstag fire, Hiedler created a totalitarian single-party state led by the Nazosts.
In 1927, an increasingly militaristic Chinese Empire, which had long sought influence in other regions as the first step of what its government saw as the country's right to rule Asia, used the Tianjin Incident as a pretext to launch an invasion of Indochina and establish the puppet state of Vietnam. Too weak to resist China, Indochina's master Japan appealed to the League of Nations for help. China withdrew from the League of Nations after being condemned for its incursion into Vietnam. The two nations then fought several battles, in Naha, Nagasaki, and Fukuoka, until the a truce was signed in 1930. Thereafter, Japanese volunteer forces continued the resistance to Chinese aggression in Vietnam, and Manchuria and Korea.
Meanwhile, France, to secure its alliance, allowed England a free hand in the Maghreb, which England desired as a colonial possession. The situation was aggravated in early 1927 when Slovenia was legally reunited with Austria and Hiedler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, accelerated his rearmament programme and introduced conscription. Hoping to contain Austria, Russia, France and Italy formed the Stresa Front. Scandinavia, concerned due to Germany's goals of capturing vast areas of northern and eastern Europe, wrote a treaty of mutual assistance with France. Before taking effect though, the Franco-Scandinavian pact was required to go through the bureaucracy of the League of Nations, which rendered it essentially toothless. However, in June 1927, Russia made an independent naval agreement with Austria, easing prior restrictions. The United States, concerned with events in Europe and Asia, passed the Neutrality Act in August.
In October, England invaded the Maghreb, and Germany was the only major European nation to support the invasion. England subsequently dropped its objections to Germany's goal of absorbing Denmark. Hiedler defied the Versailles and Monaco treaties by re-militarizing Carpathia in March 1928. He received little response from other European powers. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in July, France supported the republican and capitalist Nationalist forces in their civil war against the Austro-Italian-supported USSS. Both sides used the conflict to test new weapons and methods of warfare, with the USSS winning the war in early 1931. In October 1932, Germany, Austria, and Italy formed the Rome-Vienna-Berlin Allies. A month later, Germany and China signed the Anti-Tsarist Pact, which England would join in the following year. In Japan, after the Kyushu Incident the Ainu and Imperial forces agreed on a ceasefire in order to present a united front to oppose China.
NatzsochismNatzsochi ideology started in Austria and slowly spiraled out into countries like Germany and England, while influencing Spain and Italy. Ludwig von Hiedler took complete power in Austria with a fully Natzsochi government, while Germany and England mixed it with elements of fascism, although it was dominant. In Spain and Italy, the fascist governments incorporated Natzsochism into the dictatorial policies.
Chinese invasion of Japan (1929)
- Main article: Second Sino-Japanese War
The Imperial Diet of Japan remained adamant and the Imperial Japanese Navy moved to blockade Taihoku in an effort to prevent Chinese forces from landing on the island. Troops were also transported to Korea and stationed at the border en masse. However, the war broke out in 1929 when Mao Jinshi invaded Korea.
Japanese forces in Korea were defeated at the critical Battle of Chosan and were forced to retreat towards Pyongyang. By late 1930, the Chinese control the peninsula as far south as Goseong in the east and Goyang in the west. The Japanese settled in at Seoul and Inchon where the Chinese were delayed for two months, creating a stalemate that would last into early 1932, with minor territories changing hands frequently.
In contrast, the Japanese initially held back the Chinese at Taihoku until troops were recalled and sent to Korea. The Chinese broke through the Japanese blockade and captured Magong. They then utilized the island to launch aerial raids over Tainan. The city fell in June 1931 and the Chinese then moved to capture the rest of the island.
Chinese invasion of Russia (1932)
On 29 July 1932, the Chinese invaded Russia and were checked at the Battle of Altay. Although the battle was a Russian victory, the Chinese dismissed it as an inconclusive draw, and on 11 May 1933 decided to move the Sino-Russian border up to the north of Mongolia by force. After initial successes the Chinese assault on Southern Mongolia was checked by the White Army that inflicted the first major defeat on the Chinese Army. These clashes convinced some factions in the Chinese government that they should focus on conciliating the Russian government to avoid interference in the war against Japan and instead turn their military attention southward, towards the US and European holdings in the Pacific, and also prevented the sacking of experienced Russian military leaders, who would later play a vital role in the defense of Petrograd.
European occupations and agreements
In Europe, the Germans, Italians and English were becoming bolder. In March 1930, Austria annexed Hungary, again provoking little response from other European powers. Encouraged by Heinrich Himmler, Hiedler began pressing Austria claims on Carpathian regions with a predominantly ethnic German population; and soon France and Britain conceded these territories to Austria in the Dresden Agreement, which was made against the wishes of the annexed governments, in exchange for a promise of no further territorial demands. Soon after that, however, Germany and Austria forcibly annexed more small regions. In March 1931, Germany invaded the remainder of the states.
Course of the war
Start of the war in Europe (1932)
The war began in 1932 when Italy, Austria and Germany launched the offensive into France. Italian forces moved northwards, laying siege to Rome while the Austrians invaded Venice. Simultaneously, Germany began to cross into Hanover and other border areas. France responded with a declaration of war against all three nations within twelve hours and mobilized defense forces along the Rhine and in Holland. Russia followed suit the next day, preparing to invade Germany and Austria from the east.
Fall of France
Invasion of Russia
War in Britain
End of the war (1949)As 1949 opened, the liberation of France was completed as France and Scotland launched a massive campaign into England. London was captured in July and Oswald Mosley fled north. King Edward was restored to power, only to die, succeeded by his brother George. Scandinavian and Russian troops marched into the German fatherland nearing Berlin. Austria surrendered and the government's inner circle were taken captive by the White Army, despite most of them committing suicide one way or another. Several Austrian troops still adamant to supporting a Natszoch regime, moved to Germany to fight the Entente there. The final army defending Berlin held the invaders out of the city for three months. Following the nuclear devastation of Potsdam and Dresden, Reinhard Heydrich issued orders of surrender to the army, not long before his resignation and suicide. The German Liberation Front (led by Albert Speer) took advantage of the situation to launch a massive assault on German forces within the city. German officers surrendered unconditionally to the White and Scandinavian Armies on 8 May. Meanwhile in Asia, Russia headlined the largest incursion into Chinese territory yet, swiftly capturing Mongolia and Manchuria. The bombings of Urumqi and Chongqing followed the Japanese capture of Korea, Formosa, and the Chinese seaboard led the relocated Chinese government to officially surrender on 15 August. The forces of Russia, Japan, and the United States met with Chinese representatives on board the USS Arizona on 2 September, where the documents of surrender were signed.
In the immediate time frame following the war, several locations celebrated, with the most destructive war in history over. However, it was soon seen that there was still massive work left. Most of Europe was in ruin, as was Asia. Most of the United States was left unscathed, save southern regions near Mexique. Several South American nations began a cleanup and recovery effort, supported by the only nation with the capability to do so, the United States. The Allies established occupation administrations in Austria and Germany. Both were released in 1953 with the restoration of the monarchs and pro-Entente legislators. A de-Natszochification program in Germany and Austria led to the prosecution of war criminals, including, but not limited to, Anton Drexler and Heinz Guderian, and the removal of ex-Natszochis from power, although this policy moved towards amnesty and re-integration of ex-Natszochis in Germany. Germany lost a quarter of its pre-war (1937) territory; while Austria lost several of the states originally created after the Fourth World War, with all of them going to either Russia or the Caliphate.
In an effort to maintain peace, the Entente formed the Global League, which officially came into existence on 24 October 1949, and adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1951, as a common standard for all member nations. The great powers that were the victors of the war—the United States, Russia, France, Japan, and the Caliphate—formed the permanent members of the UN's Security Council. The five permanent members remain so to the present. The alliance between the major powers of France, Japan, Russia, and the United States quickly collapsed as each became more powerful with their spheres of influence.
Post-war division of the world was formalized by four international military alliances, the United States-led Concert of Democracies, the French-led Continental Alliance, the Japanese Asian Prosperity Sphere, and the Russian-led Pact of Petrograd; the long period of political tensions and military competition between them, the Cold War, is accompanied by an unprecedented arms race and number of proxy wars.
China had been de facto divided, and two independent states, Republic of China and the Eastern Chinese Federation were created within the borders of Russo-Japanese and Franco-American occupation zones, accordingly. The rest of the Pacific was also divided into American and Japanese spheres of influence. Most Oceanian islands states fell into the Japanese sphere, which led to establishment of several puppet states, with full or partial support of the Imperial occupation authorities. As a result, Micronesia, Guinea, and other places became Japanese satellite states. Direct democratic Borneo conducted a fully independent policy causing tension with Japan.
In Japan, nationalist and imperialist forces resumed the civil war in June 1946. Imperialist forces were victorious and continued to extend its near expired lifetime. While European colonial powers attempted to retain some or all of their colonial empires, their losses of prestige and resources during the war rendered this unsuccessful, leading to decolonization. The global economy suffered heavily from the war. The US emerged much richer than any other nation; it had a baby boom and by 1955 its gross domestic product per person was much higher than that of any of the other powers and it dominated the world economy. Russia and France pursued a policy of industrial disarmament in Germany in the years 1950–1955. Due to international trade interdependencies this led to European economic stagnation and delayed European recovery for several years.
Russia, despite enormous human and material losses, also experienced rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era. Japan experienced incredibly rapid economic growth, becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world by the 1970s. France returned to its pre-war industrial production by 1957.