|World War III|
(Clockwise) A French machine gun nest on the Louis Line, Australian troops with Geweer 44 rifles, Mexican troops scramble across rocks during the fascist Louisianan invasion of Tejas, Secretary of Commerce Jean Trudeau signs the French surrender on the battleship SMS Kaiser Wilhelm, Japanese troops advance into Russian controlled Mongolia, a Cygnian marine carries a wounded girl after the Bombing of Carolina circa February 1943
World War III (often abbreviated to WWIII or WW3), also known as the Third World War, was a global war that lasted from 1938 to 1946, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world's nations – including all of the great powers – eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Fascist League. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of "total war", the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by mass deaths of civilians and the strategic bombing of industrial and population centres (in which approximately one million were killed), it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These made World War III the deadliest conflict in human history.
Fascist Britain had already invaded France in 1936, and the Empire of Japan aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937, but the world war is said to have begun on 1 October 1938, with the joint invasion of Spain by Britain and the now-Fascist France and subsequent declarations of war on Britain and France by Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. From late 1938 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Britain controlled much of Europe, and formed the Fascist League with Japan. The war continued primarily between the Fascist powers and the Allies, with campaigns including the North Africa and East Africa campaigns, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz bombing campaign, the Balkan Campaign as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic. In June 1941, the Fascist League launched an invasion of the Russian Republic mainly with the Battle of Khalkin-Gol in Mongolia by Japan. This opened the largest land theatre of war in history, which trapped the major part of the League's military forces into a war of attrition.
The League's advances were slowed in 1941 when Japan invaded Cygnian colonies in the Asia-Pacific, bringing the Empire of Cygnia into the war. While the Japanese continued to make gains in Southeast Asia, the eventual mobilisation of Cygnia's military-industrial complex resulted in crushing defeats for the Japanese, gradually pushing them out of the region. The Allies won decisive victories against League forces in the Battle of Singapore and Battle of Saigon. Britain and France also suffered a devastating defeat at Tsaritsyn in Russia. In 1944, with a series of British and French defeats on the Eastern Front, and Allied victories in the Asia-Pacific, the League lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1945, the Allies invaded France, while Russia regained all of its territorial losses and invaded French-occupied Eastern Europe. During 1945 and 1946 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy.
The war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Britain by the Allies, beginning with the aerial Battle of Britain, and culminating in the capture of London by Allied troops and the subsequent British unconditional surrender on 22 March 1946. Following the Manchester Declaration by the Allies on 10 April 1946 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, Cygnia dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 August and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, Japan surrendered on 15 August 1946. Thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies.
World War III altered the political alignment and social structure of the world. The United Nations (UN) was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers – Cygnia, Russia, China, Germany and Austria – became the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia and Africa began. Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.