The Cold War was a period following the Global War and the Second European War, during which three major international alliances faced off:
- The "Free World" (American Camp)
- The "Harmonious World" (Japanese Camp)
- The German Camp
The three factions each used names derived from their central ideology. The American camp's "Free World" title was the oldest of the three. The American Camp claimed to support democracy. The Japanese Camp claimed to promote harmony between various races and cultures. The German Camp had no single central ideology. Initially, they were based on simply the idea of unification of Europe through force. However, they later evolved a justification based on the concept of the benevolent use of force, and often emphasized the notion of fairness and equality.
None of the three camps, however, shyed away from supporting dictators when it suited their interests.
All three sides were heavily armed, with both conventional and atomic weaponry, and sought, through diplomacy, force, and bluff, to undermine their opponents' positions. They also feared that their rivals would ally against them, and so sought to plant distrust between their rivals. This made for powerful rivalries.
In addition to building up massive military reserves, and excessive nuclear stockpiles, the Space Race was a major outlet for rivalries.
The first major conflict of the Cold War was the Italian War, which broke out in 1965, when the Kingdom of Italy (in the American Camp) invaded the Republic of Lombardy, a German puppet-state, in order to reunite the peninsula. The Franco-British alliance sent assistance to Italy, while Germany propped up Lombardy. After initial successes, Lombardian-German troops pushed the Italian-Franco-British troops back, soon crossing the former border. The North American Federation rushed in to assist, and the Italian lines were held, for a while. However, after some time, German/Lombardian troops resumed their drive southward. By 1968, the Italian government had been pushed out of the peninsula, and now held only Sicily and Sardinia. Sicily soon fell too, but Sardinia remained firmly held by Italian troops, with assistance from the French, British, and North American navies. The Republic of Lombardy renamed itself the Republic of Italy, claiming authority over all of Italy, while the Kingdom of Italy remained on Sardinia, likewise claiming authority over all of Italy. The war ended in a stalemate, leaving two rival states.
A number of military conflicts occurred in the oil-rich Middle East, as well.
The beginning of the end of the Cold War occurred in 1994, when Kaiser Louis (son of Wilhelm III) died. His son became Kaiser Friedrich IV, but inherited an Empire already terribly weakened. His ascent marked the beginning of a series of power struggles that destroyed the German hegemony. The states dominated by Germany began asserting their independence. The Republic of Italy overthrew its German-backed President in a free election, and soon began talks with the Kingdom of Italy for the reunification of the nation. A series of wars broke out in the Balkans with the overthrow of German hegemony, while Eastern Europe sought to avoid domination by Russia.
Germany itself underwent many changes, though Friedrich remained on the throne, as a figurehead.
The loss of German hegemony disrupted the delicate balance of the Cold War, and Japanese and North American leaders met in the hopes of avoiding war.
There had been earlier attempts at making peace, but this was the first truly determined effort. Both the Japanese and the American camps scaled back their militaries. Though struggles continue between the two camps, peace seems to be on its way.