An alternate timeline by Althistorian 2005.
A timeline where the Fashoda Incident causes France to quicken their military buildup instead of pursuing better relations with Britain, which drives Britain into an alliance with Germany.
Everything that happened in Asia was exactly the same as in OTL, except for Japan losing the Russo-Japanese War and the 1st World War and then rebelling against Russia during the Russian Revolution, but after that everything else was the same, so I just will not write about anything that happened in Asia. Instead, I'll focus on Europe, where events were actually different than OTL.
1898-1911: 1st Cold War
In the wake of the Fashoda Incident, Germany proposes an alliance with Britain against France. Britain accepts, which causes France to also seek allies.
Austria-Hungary proposes an alliance to France in the context of France seeking allies and France accepts. Meanwhile, Russia joins the Anglo-German alliance.
Italy proposes a deal to France and Austria-Hungary:
- France cedes Corsica and Austria-Hungary cedes South Tyrol.
- Italy gives them military access so that they can easily move troops between front lines in case of a major European war.
France and Austria-Hungary request time for consideration.
Meanwhile, Britain, Russia and Germany sign a treaty in London creating the Triple Alliance.
France and Austria-Hungary accept Italy's 1900 proposal. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire asks if he can join France and Austria-Hungary's alliance, so they agree and sign a treaty in Constantinople, creating the Triple Entente.
Serbia, Montenegro and Romania align themselves to the Triple Alliance to gain lands from Austria-Hungary. Then, Romania buys Bessarabia from Russia.
The First Moroccan Crisis worsens Franco-German relations and the diplomatic situation of Europe as a whole. Morocco also aligns with the Triple Alliance as protection against France. Meanwhile, the Russo-Japanese War starts, so Britain and Germany provide financial and military aid to Russia.
Russia wins the Russo-Japanese War as a result of the Anglo-German military and financial aid. Russia gains all Japanese territory in Korea, Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, and the Central Pacific. Japan vows revenge on Russia and aligns with the Entente.
The Balkan Crisis of 1909 happens when Austria annexes Bosnia. Russia and Serbia protest but they back down when Britain and Germany express no interest in the matter, which would cause them to be one major power and one minor power fighting against two major powers, an unfavorable situation. France also expresses no interest in the crisis and Bulgaria aligns with the Triple Alliance due to being opposed to the Ottoman Empire, which is a member of the Entente.
The Second Moroccan Crisis happens when France tries taking control of Morocco again in April 1911. Tensions flare and France attacks Morocco in June 1911, starting the First World War.
1911-1915: 1st World War
French troops swept through Morocco, and by the end of August, the Allies were limited to defending their African colonies.
As soon as war was declared, Serbian, Montenegrin and Bulgarian troops entered Ottoman territory. They were joined by Greece in July and Albanian rebels in August. By mid-October the Ottomans had retreated to Anatolia and moved their capital to Ankara, ending the Balkan front in an Allied victory.
As soon as war was declared, German and Russian troops flooded into Austria-Hungary while also helping to defend the Balkan states. Despite losing Vienna, the Austro-Hungarian defense remained strong until November, when the Balkan states sent reinforcements from the Balkan front.
Germany defended Alsace-Lorraine and the Rhineland.
Japan and Russia had a lot of naval battles, but there was no clear winner until the end of the year, when Russia emerged victorious overall.
Middle Eastern front
Britain held the line against Ottoman troops.
Russia occupied some Ottoman territory, but then the Caucasian front fell into stalemate.
In March, Italy joined the war on the Allies and invaded Libya. However, due to French reinforcements, the Ottomans managed to hold Libya, so Italy had to settle for defending a beachhead, albeit a large beachhead.
Despite their best efforts, the Austro-Hungarians couldn't stop the Allied advance, and they surrendered in mid-April, ending the Central front in an Allied victory.
Germany continued defending Alsace-Lorraine and the Rhineland.
Italy advanced into France and captured Marseilles.
Russia started gaining the upper hand in the seas off Japan and planned an invasion for January 1913.
Middle Eastern front
Britain advanced into the Sinai Peninsula and Palestine due to the Ottomans relocating troops to Libya to fight against the Italians.
The stalemate continued, despite the British advance in Palestine, but the Allies were planning to call the Arabs for help.
Italy moves to occupy Libya when the Ottoman Empire surrenders.
Germany continued defending Alsace-Lorraine and the Rhineland and advanced a bit into France, capturing Nancy.
Italy defended Italian-occupied France.
In January, Russia invaded Hokkaido, but only forced a Japanese retreat at the end of March. Then in May, Russia invaded Ryukyu and Kyushu. By the end of September, Japanese forces had finally left, but the Russian invasion of Honshu had to be postponed due to riots against high casualties in the previous months.
Middle Eastern front
In March, the Arabian Kingdom invaded the Ottoman Middle East, ending the Middle Eastern front in an Allied victory. They were joined by Kurdish rebels who wanted their own country, Kurdistan, and who joined the Allies after meeting with Russian and Arabian troops.
The Russians break through Ottoman lines when the Ottomans move troops to defend against Arabia. All of Anatolia falls and the Ottoman Empire surrenders as the Russian troops approach Ankara, ending the Caucasian front in an Allied victory.
The Allies launched a great offensive against French troops in Africa. By the end of the year, all French troops had left Africa and Morocco was re-established, ending the African front in an Allied victory.
Germany launched an offensive to push to Paris. French troops were moved back from the African front to defend against the German onslaught. By the end of the year, Paris was under siege and an Allied victory was certain.
Italy launched an offensive to reach Bordeaux and faced mild resistance from troops rushing to the rapidly moving Western front to defend against German troops with Russian reinforcements. The Southern front ended in an Allied victory.
In April, Russia finally started the long-awaited invasion of Honshu. By the end of the year, Tokyo was under siege and an Allied victory was certain.
France and Japan surrendered together in September.
1916-1917: The Berlin Peace Conference
Treaty of Potsdam
- French colonies in Africa are mostly ceded to Germany and Italy, but Britain gains French Madagascar and French Somaliland.
- French Indochina and the French Pacific Islands are ceded to Italy.
- All French land and maritime borders are to be demilitarized inland 100 km.
- France will be required to pay an indefinite sum of war reparations.
- France will be required to accept the blame for starting World War 1.
- The French armed forces will be reduced to:
- 200,000 soldiers
- No submarines
- No air force, including naval air force
- Ten battleships
Treaty of Königsberg
- Austria-Hungary will cede Romanian ethnic lands to Romania.
- Austria-Hungary will cede German ethnic lands to Germany.
- Austria-Hungary will cede Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian, and Bosnian ethnic lands to Serbia and Montenegro, who will unite, after all treaties are signed, to form Yugoslavia.
- Austria-Hungary will cede Polish and Ruthenian ethnic lands to Russia.
- Czechia and Slovakia will gain independence.
- The remainder of Austria-Hungary will gain independence as Hungary.
- Hungary will pay 500,000 British Pounds in total war reparations to the Allies.
Treaty of Munich
- Japan will be annexed by Russia.
Treaty of Hamburg
- The Ottoman Empire will cede Palestine to Britain.
- The Ottoman Empire will cede Libya to Italy.
- The Ottoman Empire will cede Armenian ethnic lands to Russia.
- The Ottoman Empire will cede Arab ethnic lands to Arabia.
- The Ottoman Empire will cede Bulgarian ethnic lands to Bulgaria.
- The Ottoman Empire will cede Serbian ethnic lands to Serbia.
- The Ottoman Empire will cede Greek ethnic lands to Greece.
- The Ottoman Empire will give Kurdistan independence.
- The Ottoman Empire will give Albania independence.
- The Ottoman Empire will give Macedonia independence.
- The Ottoman Empire will pay one million British Pounds in total war reparations to the Allies.
- The Ottoman Empire will become Turkey.
1918-1939: The Interwar Period
Russian Revolution, 1918
In March 1918, Tsar Nicolas II abdicated, in the hope that Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich would stabilize Russia. However, this caused the Russian government to collapse when Michael refused to take the throne. In May, with the Russian government fully collapsed, Japanese rebels under Emperor Hirohito took control of all of Japan, including Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. They also took control of Korea after defeating Korean rebels. Then the Japanese Empire was re-established. Meanwhile, Russian influence left Manchuria and the Bolsheviks took control of the rest of Russia, except for Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, which declared independence.
The Åland Dispute, 1922
In May 1922, Sweden sent an ultimatum to Finland stating that Finland would have to cede Åland to Sweden within three months or Sweden would declare war. The world was shocked at this, although the Swedish claims on Åland had legitimate ethnic and historical grounds.
Finland tried to peacefully resolve the crisis, offering Sweden military access through Åland, among other offers, but Sweden wouldn't accept any offer except the acceptance of the ultimatum. With time running out, Finland ceded Åland to Sweden and the crisis was resolved without war.
Treaty of Amsterdam, 1925
Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands unite to form Benelux.
Wall Street Crash, 1929
When the Wall Street stock market crashed in October 1929, the world economy was plunged into the Great Depression. By the winter of 1932, America was in the depths of the greatest economic depression in its history. The number of unemployed people reached upward of 13 million. Many people lived in primitive conditions close to famine. One New York family moved into a cave in Central Park. In St Louis, more than 1000 people lived in shacks made from scrap metal and boxes. There were many similar Hoovervilles all over America. Between 1 and two million people travelled the country desperately looking for work. Signs saying 'No Men Wanted' were displayed all over the country.
Japanese invasion of Manchuria, 1931
Immediately during the Mukden Incident on 18 September 1931, Japanese troops of the Kwantung Army flooded into Manchuria. There was an international outcry at Japan's actions, and most countries condemned Japan, but as Japan won victory after victory, the international community left Japan alone to establish the puppet state of Manchukuo.
Fascists rise to power in France, 1933
In 1933, with the economic crisis out of control and the government of the Third Republic being accused of not being able to end the crisis, Fascists under Marshal Philippe Petain, a veteran of the First World War, took power in a democratic election and established the French Third Empire.
Italian invasion of Ethiopia, 1935-1936
After the Wal-Wal Incident, Italian troops flooded into Ethiopia. In 1936, France used the crisis caused by the war to remilitarize its border regions, which were demilitarized by the Treaty of Potsdam. Soon, Italy had full control of Ethiopia and the world was one step closer to war.
Anti-Comintern Pact, 1937
In 1937, France, Italy, and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, effectively an alliance against the Soviet Union.
The Wallonia Crisis, 1938
In 1938, France claimed Benelux was oppressing French peoples in Wallonia. Petain demanded that Wallonia be ceded to France by 1 October 1938 or France would declare war without hesitation. Britain and Germany negotiated with France, but soon it became clear that Petain expected unreasonable gains from this when he started demanding parts of Dutch-speaking Flanders too. Both sides mobilized for war and it seemed likely that war would break out - but then Mussolini arranged a conference in Lyons and Wallonia was handed over to France without war.
French takeover of Benelux, 1939
In March 1939, Benelux had effectively collapsed, so French troops took this chance and poured into all that remained of Benelux. The Netherlands were created as a French puppet state, causing Britain to end its policy of Appeasement. Later on, Britain and Germany found out from spies that France's next target was Norway, due to its fishing and oil industries, so they guaranteed Norwegian independence.
French invasion of Norway, 1939
After concluding a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union in August 1939, France invaded Norway on 1 September 1939 via paratroopers. Britain and Germany warned France to withdraw, but France refused. On 3 September 1939, Britain and Germany declared war on France. The 2nd World War had begun.
1939-1945: 2nd World War
After conquering Norway, France decided not to attack Germany at the moment. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union swiftly occupied and annexed Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania without war.
Battle of Germany
After France unleashed the blitzkrieg on Sweden and Denmark surrendered immediately, French troops flooded into Germany, also using the blitzkrieg technique. (Despite France being the one who used the blitzkrieg in this ATL, it was German newspapers' name for it, 'blitzkrieg', that caught on with most people.) In the closing days of the Battle of Germany, Italy invaded the Austrian part of Germany. After the battle, Nuremberg Germany was set up as a French puppet under Adolf Hitler, but parts of Germany remained under occupation.
Battle of Britain
Immediately after the Fall of Germany, France had begun bombing the British RAF (Royal Air Force), which was soon crippled. While this seemed to pave the way to a French invasion of Britain, a small-scale bombing raid on Paris caused outrage throughout France, which caused Petain to appease public opinion by bombing residential areas in British cities. This was a fatal mistake that eventually caused the Axis defeat in the 2nd World War.
First Balkan Campaign
During the Battle of Germany, Italy invaded Greece, but Greece turned out to be very strong, so Mussolini asked for Petain's help in the Balkans. Petain 'persuaded' Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria to join the Axis to invade Greece. Yugoslavia agreed to join the Axis at first, but then a coup deposed the leader at the time and installed a new anti-Axis leader who refused Petain's offer. With his offer rejected, Petain swiftly conquered Yugoslavia and set up a few puppet states. Then, the Greeks were driven out of Italian Albania and the Axis defeated them.
Partition of Poland
During the Balkan Campaign, Stalin and Petain agreed to invade and divide Poland like they did with Norway. So within one week of the Polish Campaign starting, French and Soviet troops shook hands in Warsaw.
After the partition of Poland, Stalin asked Petain if he wanted to join Stalin in conquering Finland, which Stalin saw as an easy task, but Petain said no and turned his attention to the Battle of Britain, which had been taking place ever since the Fall of Germany. When Petain said no, Stalin said 'Well then, more Finland for me' and invaded Finland despite Petain dismissing it as a cripplingly difficult challenge.
It soon turned out to be so when the numerically and technologically superior Soviet army was repeatedly defeated by the skiing Finnish army. In the end, both sides agreed on a ceasefire which saw Finland cede a little bit of border land to the Soviets, and the Finnish public vowed revenge on the Soviets.
Much like Operation Barbarossa in OTL was named after a famous German emperor, Operation Napoleon was named after the much more famous French emperor who almost conquered Europe but was defeated by the Russian winter. This naming would soon become ironic when Petain, too, was defeated by the Russian winter.
The operation was a full-scale invasion of the Soviet Union which, in a matter of months, drove the Soviets back to Moscow. Despite losing the Battle of Moscow, Petain hoped to defeat the Soviets in the Battle of Stalingrad, a battle which Petain hoped to win and which would pave the way to the Second Battle of Moscow if Petain were to win. Finland also joined in with the Axis and got his land back from the Soviets.
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, same as in OTL.
Battle of Stalingrad
After months of fighting, French troops were encircled and surrendered.
Second Balkan Campaign
In May, after the Italians were defeated in the North African Campaign (which was less important in this ATL because France did not send reinforcements and neither did Italy ask for any), Anglo-American troops invaded Axis-occupied Greece, restarting the Balkan Campaign. By the end of the year, all of Greece was liberated and the Greek government was restored. Meanwhile, Britain and the USA persuaded Romania to switch sides, which they did in January 1943, starting the Third Balkan Campaign.
Third Balkan Campaign
In January, Romania switched sides and immediately invaded Hungary and Bulgaria while the British and Americans liberated Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Albania. At the end of August, the Balkan Campaign ended in an Allied victory.
The Italian Campaign (aka Up the Bloody Boot)
In April, Anglo-American forces invaded Sicily. By August, the Anglo-American forces were approaching Rome, and then troops from the Balkan front invaded northern Italy. By the end of the year, Italy had surrendered and Allied troops had reached France's borders. Meanwhile, Italian Partisans cooperated with the Allies and were given control of Italy after the war.
Central European Campaign
At the end of August, with the Balkan Campaign ending in an Allied victory, Romania advanced into Czechia and Slovakia, which France had also conquered during the Polish Campaign of 1940. Romania tried to advance into eastern Germany, but the German defenses were too strong for the Romanians following the high casualties inflicted upon them by the French in Czechia and Slovakia, so the Romanians settled for a temporary stalemate.
The Liberation of Germany
In February, the Kaiser's urging for the liberation of the Kaiserreich was acted upon, and Anglo-American troops blitzkrieged into Germany, so the Kaiserreich was reinstated as the Third Reich in mid-May, but still as the Kaiserreich.
In October 1943, Soviet troops had already arrived at the Finnish border, but the Soviets decided to crush all remaining Axis forces in Eastern Europe before committing all their forces to Scandinavia. Nonetheless, 90% of Soviet troops were committed to Finland, Sweden, and Norway. By the time the Kaiserreich was reinstated in mid-May, Finland had already lost his capital, and was now more an occupation regime than an actual country. By the end of the year, all of Scandinavia was controlled by the Soviet Union.
Invasion of France and Victory in Europe
On 6 June, Allied troops landed en masse on the beaches of Normandy. At around the same time, Allied troops invaded from northern Italy and western Germany. The French troops resisted fanatically and enacted a scorched earth policy, and managed to slow the Allies down until March 1945, when they had no choice except surrender during the Battle of Paris.
After France surrendered in March 1945, Japan continued fanatical resistance even more fanatical than the French fanatical resistance. It was only after Little Boy and Fat Man were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively that the Japanese surrendered, ending the Second World War.
1946-1948: Post War Settlements
After the war, France was divided into occupation zones:
- Italian (controlled by Italian Partisans)
Central and Eastern Europe
After the war, Romania puppeted the following countries:
The British and Americans objected, so Romania came up with a compromise by which it would not puppet Albania and that Greece would be unpuppeted. The British and Americans, seeing no other solutions other than war or this compromise, decided to agree to the compromise since public opinion was turning their back on war.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union puppeted Poland.
After the war, the Soviet Union puppeted Finland, Norway, and Sweden, ignoring their governments-in-exile. The British and Americans protested, but decided the status quo was better as the public opinion was turning against the war.
After the war, all borders were restored to 1933 borders, except for Ethiopia, which gained Italian Eritrea.
After the war, all borders were restored to 1933 borders. Then, Italy had trouble keeping control of Indochina as the Viet Cong had revolted during the 2nd World War.
1949-1991: 2nd Cold War
1956: Hungarian Revolt
The Hungarian Revolt was on a more larger scale than in OTL, and almost caused the Fascist bloc to collapse.
1959: Swedish Revolt
The Swedish Revolt happened exactly the same as the Hungarian Revolt, and brought the Communist bloc even closer to collapsing in 1959 than the Hungarian Revolt had brought the Fascist bloc to collapsing in 1956.
1962: Cuban Missile Crisis
The infamous Cuban Missile Crisis happened exactly the same as in OTL.
1965: Warsaw Spring
In 1965, the new Polish leader advocated 'socialism with a human face' and a tsunami of anti-government propaganda was produced as a result. The Soviet Union threatened to crush the 'revolt' with the Red Army, so Poland retightened controls a little bit. But that caused the people to revolt for real and the Red Army crushed the Warsaw Spring.
1968: Prague Spring
In 1968, the new Czech leader advocated 'fascism with a human face' and a tsunami of anti-government propaganda was produced as a result. Romania threatened to crush the 'revolt', so Czechia retightened controls a little bit. But that caused the people to revolt for real and Romania crushed the Prague Spring.
1985-1991: Gorbachev Reforms the Soviet Union
And encourages the same policies throughout the Communist bloc. Eventually, Warsaw Pact countries overthrew their governments and SSRs declared independence from the USSR. By 25 December 1991, when Gorbachev dissolved the USSR, the Communist bloc had mostly collapsed, save for a few countries.
The collapse of communism ended the 2nd Cold War but the Fascist bloc still existed and even gained a new member when the newly independent Ruthenia (formerly the Ruthenian SSR) gained independence with a fascist government.
1991-Present day: 3rd Cold War
With the collapse of communism and the end of the 2nd Cold War, the Romanians feared that what happened to the Communists might happen to them, so they either deported or killed any reformists they found as part of a Grand Purge, much like the one Stalin had enacted in the USSR during the 1930's. And now, the Fascist bloc, along with what remained of the Communist bloc, continued to challenge the power of the capitalist bloc in a 3rd Cold War. The 3rd Cold War is still going on until this day.