A spectre is haunting Europe, part 2: The Second Great War
The Nazis won the German Civil War, defeating Franz Papen's German Republic in 1937. The country was transformed into the Greater German Reich. Over the next 5 years, Germany rebuilt itself from the destruction caused by the civil war. Hitler wanted more, and began to exercise claims onto surrounding countries, wanting every land historically tied to Germany, including voiding the Treaty of Versailles, annexing German-majority lands in Czechoslovakia and Luxembourg. The Wehrmacht was rebuilt, with an extensive drafting program aimed at 18-45 year-old men and women. Hungary transitioned into a fascist regime led by Miklos Horthy. He signed the Pact of Steel with Germany in 1939, with plans to reclaim areas lost in the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. Meanwhile, Japan continued its invasion of China, its goal was to pacify the country and put it under Japanese suzerainty. Back in Europe, the Soviets were preparing for a war with Germany, so they prepared by fortifying the Ukraine, Byelorussia, and the Baltics. There were two lines set up, one was the Galicia-Minsk-Riga line, and the Dniper-Stalingrad line.
On October 28, 1943, Germany invaded Austria, which had signed secret treaties with Italy, France, and Britain. The three then declared war on Germany, beginning the Second Great War. The next day, Germany and Hungary invaded Czechoslovakia. The Rhineland and the former Austrian South Tirol were the two main flash points of the war early on, with Germany failing to cross the Alpine foothills. Czechoslovakia surrendered on November 19, and was partitioned between Germany and Hungary Then, the Wehrmacht broke through the line at Belluno, starting their blitz to the Adriatic Sea. Italy lets Yugoslavia occupy Istria to protect the city of Trieste from German occupation. Simultaneously, Germany began its invasion of the Low Countries and France, but was stopped dead in its tracks by a very aggressively fortified Maginot Line. They annexed Alsace-Lorraine and Luxembourg, starting its assimilation into the greater German nation. Then, on April 1, 1944, the German invasion of the Soviet Union began. They attacked from East Prussia, Pomerania, and Silesia into Poland and Lithuania. By the end of the spring, in June, Warsaw was taken, and the Hungarian invasion of Yugoslavia and Romania began in early July. By September, Poland and Lithuania became German puppets under collaborationist regimes. The Galicia-Minsk-Riga line was crushed, but came at the cost of heavy casualties, which slowed German advances by almost half. Hungary de facto annexes Transylvania, but Yugoslavia and Romania still held on to some areas. In September 1944, the Sofia Agreement is signed between Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria, forming the Balkan Federation and reforming the internal divisions on ethno-linguistic lines. Meanwhile, Japan ran south into the heart of China, occupying 14 provinces, some of which under complete control.
The date is now January 1, 1945, and the war has reached its height. Will Germany restore its former glory, albeit under Hitler's totalitarian regime, or will the Allies score 2-0 against Germany?