An alternate timeline by Althistorian 2005.
What if Gavrilo Princip had decided to eat his food inside the restaurant instead of ordering takeaway, thus saving Archduke Franz Ferdinand from assassination?
1914: A bomb is thrown at Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, but he survives the assassination attempt, later using it as support for his arguments about democratizing Austria-Hungary. However, while he visits bomb victims in the hospital, World War 1 starts. The Ottoman Empire later joins on the Central Powers' side.
1915: Bulgaria joins on the Central Powers' side, while Italy and Romania both join the Allies, weakening the Central Powers even further.
1916: After the Brusilov Offensive greatly weakens Austria, Kaiser Franz Josef dies. Archduke Franz Ferdinand takes the throne and immediately launches a series of reforms which greatly worries Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. He also requests peace with Russia and Italy.
1917: The Treaty of Kiev ends Austrian participation in the war. Italian and Romanian ethnic lands are ceded to Italy and Romania respectively, but Austria is allowed to annex Austrian-occupied regions of Serbia and Montenegro. Then, the Allies prepare for a massive offensive on all the other members of the Central Powers. Also, the Galicia region is ceded to Russia.
Meanwhile, the Austro-Hungarian government system is completely overhauled and replaced by a federal monarchy almost identical to the American system of government, with the exception of the Kaiser taking the place of the president and the absence of a vice president. However, elections for Kaiser are campaigned between royal or noble (and later even civilian) families, and only if the Kaiser dies or abdicates. Also, the royal family is not allowed to use the national treasury for campaign funds. Finally, Congress is replaced by a Parliament.
The states of the new Central European Federation (CEF) are:
- Austria (German ethnic lands, the core of the country)
- Hungary (Hungarian ethnic lands)
- Slovenia (Slovene ethnic lands)
- Croatia (Croat ethnic lands)
- Serbia (Serbian ethnic lands already within the empire, plus the newly annexed Serbia and Montenegro)
- Bohemia (Czech ethnic lands)
- Slovakia (Slovak ethnic lands)
Despite Austria leaving the war, the Russian Revolution occurs and Russia's Tsarist government is replaced with the Bolsheviks, who immediately request peace with Germany, which means the German Army is freed up to fully fight on the Western Front. However, the American entry to the war is bad news for the Central Powers. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is signed giving Germany control over a massive area of Russian land.
1918: The Ottoman Empire surrenders, followed by Bulgaria. Germany holds off the Allied advance a little longer, but eventually gets defeated and requests an armistice.
1919: The Paris Peace Conference takes place the same way as in OTL, except that Austria-Hungary is not dealt with. In fact, Austria gains Serbian Macedonia from Bulgaria in the Treaty of Neuilly. Also, Germany becomes the Weimar Republic, partially as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. The CEF immediately begins economic support for Weimar's weak economy and helps stabilise it.
Meanwhile, Russia regains most of the territory taken by the Germans despite being in a civil war. Poland, however, gains independence as a federal monarchy with territory taken from Germany and Russia.
1922: The Russian Civil War finally ends on October 25, transforming it into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), also known as the Soviet Union.
1923: The Corfu Crisis almost causes a Third Balkan War.
1925: The Locarno Treaties settle a few minor post-war disputes, and increases the CEF's economic support for the Weimar Republic.
1929: The Wall Street Crash happens, starting the Great Depression.
1931: The Japanese invade Manchuria, just like in OTL.
1933: Due to the CEF's economic support, the Weimar Republic survives, although some reforms are made to increase government power and combat the Depression. The Nazis and Communists, however, remain dangerously powerful and popular extremist parties until they are finally banned in 1941.
1935: On 3 October, Italy invades Ethiopia. The resulting international outcry, however, does not affect the Italians, who continue steamrolling Ethiopia.
1936: After various failed diplomatic attempts by the British and French to persuade Italy to withdraw from Ethiopia, the CEF tells them to simply close the Suez Canal. After a rough debate, the British and French agree to close the Canal. This cuts Italian supplies off, but Addis Ababa is captured on 5 May. The CEF persuades the British and French to keep the canal closed to Italian ships, however, and the Italian supplies run out by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Spanish Civil War starts. The Soviets aid the Republican side and the Italians aid the Nationalist side. After some discussion, Britain, France, and the CEF agree not to aid either side in the war. The Treaty of Lyons is signed to confirm this, and Germany later signs the treaty as well, despite not having much of an army due to the Treaty of Versailles.
1937: After the Italians run out of supplies, Ethiopia launches a counter-offensive, aided by some British and French troops wearing black face make-up and dressed in Ethiopian military uniform to look like Ethiopians. The counter-offensive succeeds and Addis Ababa is recaptured on 4 September. Eventually, at the end of the year, the Italians are once again forced to the negotiation table, as they were in 1896.
This time, however, the Ethiopians levy harsher terms on the Italians. Instead of maintaining the status quo, the Ethiopians demand the cession of Italian Eritrea to France and Italian Somaliland to themselves. Italian power is called into question and Mussolini's popularity drops massively, despite the fact already being clear that the Anglo-French closing of the Suez Canal, and not Italian military weakness, caused the Italian defeat.
1938: With most crises resolved, Britain, France, and the CEF discuss a possible alliance and the possibility of German rearmament under this alliance, although France is a little more reluctant to be allies with Germany. Eventually, the Treaty of Lyons is expanded to include an alliance between the signatories, including Germany. The new Lyons Pact manages to scrap the Treaty of Versailles and start German rearmament.
1939: Poland, Romania, and Finland join the Lyons Pact to be protected against the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Mussolini is deposed in a coup and the new socialist prime minister holds a referendum on whether or not to join the Lyons Pact despite being socialist.
Results of the referendum:
- 3% in favor of joining the Lyons Pact
- 97% against joining the Lyons Pact
After the people reject the idea of joining the Lyons Pact, the Italian government looks towards an alliance with the USSR. With popularity for socialism at an all-time high, the prime minister transforms Italy into the UISR (Union of Italian Socialist Republics) and signs an alliance treaty with the USSR.
Meanwhile, right before Mussolini is overthrown, the Spanish Civil War ends in a Republican victory due to the Italian military aid not being effective enough.
1940: The Comintern Alliance is created by Italy, Spain, and the USSR. A deal is made with Japan that the Chinese Communists will be given control over most of mainland China, and that Japan will join Comintern, in return for protection by and from Comintern, and Chinese cooperation with Japan. However, before the Chinese Communists can be given full control over most of mainland China, the Kuomintang government has to be defeated first.
Japan also considers the idea of attacking British and French colonies, but the USSR tells them to hold off the attack until the war in China is over. Meanwhile, the Low Countries join the Lyons Pact. Spain and Italy also sign a non-aggression pact with the entire Lyons Pact, including the Low Countries, due to not being militarily prepared for a war since they just recently became communist.
1941: The Chinese Communists and the Japanese Empire gain decisive and massive victories, paving the way for the final victory against the United Front. Meanwhile, tensions in Europe remain high and anything can trigger war. Afghanistan, Norway, Turkey, and Persia join the Lyons Pact amidst rising tensions for protection against the USSR.
Japan once again considers another unprovoked attack, but this time on the US at Pearl Harbor. Stalin is frustrated, but since the war in China is about to end with the destruction of the United Front, Japan is allowed to go through with the attack. Following the American declaration of war on Japan, the Lyons Pact decide that this is the best situation to declare war on most of Comintern, except Spain and Italy. World War 2 starts as a result.
1942: Despite being outnumbered, Comintern gets the upper hand in Asia as the Allies (The Lyons Pact and the US) struggle to keep control of Burma and French Indochina. The Allies manage to protect Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan and British India, and even advance into large parts of western Russia and the Caucasus, but Siam joining the war on the side of Comintern means British Malaya is also lost. Leningrad is seiged, but the Red Army somehow manages to hold it despite round-the-clock bombings and bombardment.
Meanwhile, Soviet troops try to storm the beaches of Alaska, but Canadian and American troops destroy their beachheads before they can fortify them. By the end of the year, Soviet plans to invade North America are scrapped, much to Stalin's chagrin. However, the Philippines are captured, with General MacArthur vowing to return and defeat the Japanese.
1943: The Allies decide to change their overall strategy and focus more on Asia since they already have the upper hand in Europe. Meanwhile, Denmark and Sweden join the Lyons Pact and immediately join the war on the side of the Allies. The Dutch East Indies are captured, and the Allies retreat to Australia. American naval victories give the Allies hope that the war in Asia is not lost.
Meanwhile in western Russia, the Allies decide to try capturing the Soviet capital, Moscow and the key city of Stalingrad, with all it's vital rail links to the rest of the USSR. As the Allies approach the Kremlin, Stalin is rushed into one of his 32 Likhachov-built ZIS-115 limousines heading for Yakutsk. After Stalingrad and Moscow are captured, the Red Army units in Leningrad are discouraged from fighting on. By the end of the year, Leningrad is surrendered to the Allies. Ukrainian troops recruited by the Allies when they captured the Ukraine region in 1942 are given permission to parade high-ranking Soviet officers in the streets while humiliating them publicly.
1944: With Moscow captured, Soviet soldiers start deserting. Despite the harsh punishments levied on captured deserters, hundreds of thousands of soldiers desert the Red Army, some individually, and some in groups. Some officers even persuade (or order) the soldiers under their command to desert with them. Stalin is outraged and orders any and all caught deserters to be sent to the gulag.
However, due to groups of deserters who managed to escape capture, the Allies gain valuable intel on Soviet military positions. The Urals prove to be little challenge to the Allies, as the highest point, Mount Narodnaya, is only 2 km high. The Allies will still have to face multiple higher mountain ranges to reach Yakutsk, though, so they decide to try assassinating Joseph Stalin.
Meanwhile in the Asia-Pacific region, the American naval advance is slower than in OTL because of the Soviet contribution to the Japanese war effort. Nonetheless, the naval advance is still an advance, and the US Navy is still defeating the Imperial Japanese Navy.
1945: Joseph Stalin is successfully assassinated, causing any remaining Red Army units to surrender. With no Red Army left to fight the Allies, the Soviet unconditional surrender is finally signed on 27 May. On 6 August, an atomic bomb is dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, another Japanese city. On 15 August, the Japanese Empire announces its surrender.
1946: After the war, the Allies make certain territorial and political changes:
- The Soviet Union is divided into occupation zones and will eventually be broken up into its individual SSRs, which will all gain independence with any government system to be chosen by the people.
- Korea gains independence as a Western-style democracy.
- Manchukuo is ceded back to China.
- All other Japanese territories are placed under American occupation until 1950.
- North Sakhalin will be ceded to Japan and be placed under American occupation until 1950.
- All other countries (and colonies) will have their borders reverted to pre-war borders.
- The United Nations Organisation is created to replace the ineffective League of Nations.
- A UN-hosted conference will be held to make a general agreement regarding international trade and economics.
1947: Kaiser Franz Ferdinand dies at 84 years old. The first Kaiserial elections are held between the Habsburg royal family and the Fenrich-Ochsenreitter nobles.
1948: After a process of decommunisaton, Allied forces leave the former Soviet Union, and the following former SSRs gain independence:
- Kingdom of Belarus (formerly the Belarussian SSR)
- Federal Monarchy of Ukraine (formerly the Ukrainian SSR)
- Republic of Estonia (formerly the Estonian SSR)
- Republic of Latvia (formerly the Latvian SSR)
- Kingdom of Lithuania (formerly the Lithuanian SSR)
- Caliphate of Kazakhstan (formerly the Kazakh SSR)
- Kingdom of Uzbekistan (formerly the Uzbek SSR)
- Kingdom of Turkmenistan (formerly the Turkmen SSR)
- Republic of Kyrgyzstan (formerly the Kyrgyz SSR)
- Kingdom of Tajikistan (formerly the Tajik SSR)
- Republic of Georgia (formerly the Georgian SSR)
- Kingdom of Armenia (formerly the Armenian SSR)
- Caliphate of Azerbaijan (formerly the Azerbaijani SSR)
- Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR)
Communism and Fascism are unable to take hold in the former SSRs because the people are tired of extremism, whether it's left- or right-wing. However, two of the Muslim former SSRs become caliphates.
1949: The Chinese Kuomintang government wins the Chinese Civil War and starts rebuilding the country while curbing corruption with the help of the US.
1950: Japan is released from American occupation as a democratic and demilitarised country. Meanwhile, without Soviet or Chinese support, the Viet Minh loses the First Indochina War, and thus the Second Indochina War (the Vietnam War) doesn't happen due to the French retaining control over their colony. However, Indochina eventually gains independence peacefully.
1952: Without the Soviets to compete with after the war, the US decides to run its military expenditure back down to pre-war levels and turns its nuclear weapons program into a nuclear energy program. However, existing nuclear weapons are kept as a last resort. The US also joins the Lyons Pact, which is then renamed the Global Democratic Alliance (GDA).
1955: Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania decide to join the GDA.
1957: Portugal, Spain, and Italy create the Madrid Pact. However, the new alliance announces that they do not seek any war, but only to live in peace with the GDA.
1959: Fidel Castro launches a revolution in Cuba, but due to the Soviet Union no longer existing, Cuba joins the Madrid Pact so as to not antagonize the GDA.
1960's & 1970's
1960-1973: Decolonization happens, and the newly independent former colonies join the GDA. Also, no Latin American dictatorships are created in this timeline, since the US doesn't have casus belli to prop them up. As a result, Latin America is a much more peaceful region and all the countries there join the GDA.
1974: The Carnation Revolution topples the Portuguese Estado Novo regime. Angola and Mozambique gain independence, and Portugal leaves the Madrid Pact to join the GDA. Spain, Italy, and Cuba accuse the GDA of inciting the revolution, but can't find any evidence. They eventually drop said claims.
1979: Islamist extremists try to launch a revolution to create an "Islamic Republic", but the revolution is crushed and the ringleaders sent to Kazakhstan.
1980: Iraq starts the Iran-Iraq War underestimating the strength of the GDA and especially Iran.
1981: Iraq is defeated. Iran and Turkey split up most of Iraq, but Kurdistan is also created from Turkish, Iranian, and former Iraqi territory.
1984: The two Central Asian caliphates created after World War 2, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, vote to become republics due to the secularist movement gaining momentum in Islam.
1986: The United Nations agrees to once again pursue the idea of global disarmament.
1992: The GDA and Madrid Pact are disbanded due to the UN re-pursuing global disarmament and the world being a much more peaceful place than ever.
1994: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is created to replace the 1948 General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, marking yet another milestone in the quest for world peace.
1996: Global disarmament and world peace are finally achieved on the 22th of May, 1996. It is celebrated all over the world as a turning point in world history. For the first time in all of recorded history, the word 'military' has lost it's meaning and countries will no longer fight because they have no means of fighting or reasons for fighting. Finally, the gun and bullet factories, tank factories, artillery factories, and bomb factories end all production, close their doors forever, and are destroyed once and for all, and humanity surges forth into a new age of peace and prosperity.
2006: On the tenth anniversary of world peace, the first permanent lunar settlement is established thanks to the efforts of the United Nations Space Commission (UNSC).
2012: Lunar scientists finally figure out a way to begin terraforming the moon and civilians are invited to help them.
2018: As the moon begins to show increased levels of oxygen, more lunar colonies start popping up all over. Peace is preserved as the lunar colonies are not governed by any one country, but by a central UN authority. On Earth, more and more countries are joining the WTO and the UN proposes a global political union in which all races, religions, political movements and parties, age groups, and both genders will be equally represented in a World Congress that will, in effect, replace the UN.