Countdown to War (1928-1931)
The 1930s would play host to a world once again at war. Unlike The Great War (1899-1903) which saw the major nations of the world join two competing alliance blocs and then clash for domination; the 1930s would see several separate but linked conflicts break out: the two biggest of course being in North America and Europe.
The outbreak in 1931 of The Nationalist War was the final fallout of the peace of 1903. The principal driver of the conflict was Prussia. After the conclusive defeat of Germany in The Great War the previous alliance of convenience between Austria and Prussia had ended as both sought to assert themselves as the preeminent power in central Europe. The rise of the militaristic form of Prussian nationalism known as Kreuzism and Berlin’s support for dissident elements within Austria-Hungary meant a showdown was inevitable. It is likely that war would have broken out between Vienna and Berlin sooner had it not been for the twin issues of the economic downturn of the 1920s and the threat of the Collectivist Palma Pact in the west (an ideology hated in both Prussia and Austria.) With the Prussian victory in the Rhineland War eliminated the Collectivist threat to the west for the foreseeable future, it also saw Berlin emerge as the dominant voice in Germany and Central Europe as well as adding further expansionist hubrism to the Prussian Nationalist regime.
Prussia of course was not alone in this showdown. Poland, now a sprawling empire in the east, was economically and politically linked to Prussia. The two countries had pioneered the development and study of aircraft and cataphracts (*tanks) in warfare. Whilst Berlin was focused on Austria and the west, Polish eyes remain fixed on the Russian threat. A distinctly Polish form of Nationalist government had been ruling the country for the last decades and shared Prussia’s desire for territorial expansion and the cutting down to size of their rivals. Following the Aquilist coup Italy had moved into the Prussian camp, as had the increasingly autocratic Turkish State which aimed to regain territory lost to Austria’s ally Greece. The young ambitious king of Sweden had also brought his country into alliance with Berlin.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire meanwhile had persevered as a symbol of liberal constitutional monarchism in Europe. It’s economy was by 1931 recovered from the economic downturn, its army large (if relatively backward in terms of cataphracts and doctrine), its population the largest in Europe (outside Russia) and its government stable. Only restless national groups in Bavaria, Venetia and its Serb and Bosnian puppets presented a challenge. By 1931 however the country was facing hostile powers on three sides. Following the Rhineland War and in the face of increasing Prussian aggression, Vienna and Moscow had form the Austro-Russian Alliance aimed at containing the Nationalist Axis. Added to this was Austria’s longtime allies Greece and Denmark, the Danes still a major power in their own right and wary of Prussian and Swedish rhetoric.
With Spain transitioning to a more liberal form of Solidarist government, Britain in a state of rebuilding and France undergoing increasing internal turmoil it was clear there would be no major involvement by the Western powers at least for the next few years. Consequently sensing their moment the Prussians encouraged their Bavarian agents to rise up and declare independence. When Austria unsurprisingly rejected this and moved to crush the rebels the Axis declared war. A terrible new form of war would soon spread across Europe. At a lightening speed.
Whereas the Nationalist War in Europe was a result of the competing aspirations and fears of a variety of nation states the Américan War in North America was far simpler. It was plain and simple the result of the territorial and political aggression of the Collectivist State of América on the North American continent and the efforts of the other states to resist it.
Unified, industrialised and forged into a colossal power by the dictator Jose Acero the CSA was the dominant power in North America. It had shown the might of its new modern army in overrunning Tejas and was now poised to make its next move. In coordination with its allies: the Collectivist/racial-nationalist state in Georgia and the First People’s Collective, América was determined to crush the remaining reactionary states of North America before they moved against it.
The Bonapartist Louisianan Empire had battled the Américan invasion of Tejas, ultimately unsuccessfully. Louisiana had since began to reform its military and seek political alliances. This proved to be far easier than expected. Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina had historically been neutral states and before that enemies of New Orleans. But the radical state in Georgia to their south and the might of Mexico City to their west caused them and the mighty Commonwealth of New England to join with Louisiana and form the North American Defence Organisation (NADO) to resist Collectivism expansionism.
With The Imperial Federation focused internally and with the rest of the world distracted by the outbreak of the Nationalist War in Europe, Acero acted. Américan tanks and aircraft soon swarmed across the Louisianan border and the Tejan armistice line. The final showdown for North America had begun.