On the 1st January, three hours before the ultimatum towards Poland by Brandenburg and the German Confederation was about to expire, the French ambassador approached the King of Bavaria and informed him that if the Confederation were to declare War on Poland, France would in turn declare War on the German Confederation, citing the Alliance between France and Poland as a cause. The King summarily called for a meeting of the leaders of the Confederation to assess the situation. It wasn’t good; Poland was the giant of the east with a fully modern and functioning Military. Combined with the resources of the French Empire with the ability to strike from all directions into Germany, the situation was bleak. After two hours of debate, the German Council agreed that they could not go to War under such terms.
Unfortunately, the message that was meant to inform Brandenburg regarding what had happened arrived too late, approximately twenty minutes to be precise and was counteracted by a declaration of War by Poland which instantly marched troops into Brandenburg, having built up over the previous months as tensions had mounted and exploded. The Brandenburg Army, small and outdated had no hope against the Polish forces and was crushed in the few instances it tried to fight. Within two weeks, the Polish Army was at the gates of Berlin, pounding the city with its artillery.
It appeared that after a few days, the Polish Army was stopping in its bombardment and ordering the city to surrender. Among the King of Brandenburg and his court, the order appeared to be the only sensible path to follow. The gates were ordered opened and the Polish let in, a fatal mistake. The Rape of Berlin was an atrocity which shocked all Europe. The Polish troops were allowed, and even ordered to destroy everything they saw within the city, the Polish Government wanting to settle their Western border completely by this action against the Germans. The Polish Army entered Berlin and then proceeded to rampage through the streets, slaughtering many with several units have the job of political assassinations, among them Frederick Wagner who was shot as he tried to hide from the Polish units.
The carnage lasted for three days in a bid to demoralise and destroy the great vestige of German power in the region and was accompanied by an official announcement by the Polish Government, stating that Brandenburg was now officially a province to the Kingdom of Poland. The brief Brandenburg War as it came to be known destroyed any last hope of the Triple Alliance to survive. The blatant racism against Germans that France and Poland stated was now shown to its full extent, reflected in the pools of blood in the streets of Berlin.
The Brandenburg War had the effect of pushing the German Confederation out of the Triple Alliance and looking into other nations to help its position, surrounded on all sides by hostile nations; it was desperate to improve its position. Scandinavia was pulled out of its self imposed isolationism as it feared the growing French power around the Baltic as well as Polish influence in the region. Britain was largely above this, the Commonwealth talks proving fruitful and with luck, it wouldn’t have to look to Europe for Allies anymore. It was hostile to the now Double Alliance and didn’t give it any thought of entering any bargains with. Russia finally opened up to some Europe negotiation as the threat of Poland was felt enough to bring them round to a European understanding with at least one nation. A largely informal Alliance between the Russian Empire and the German was founded after the War against the threat of Polish and French power.
This was little comfort to the people of the former Kingdom of Brandenburg as it was completely annexed and its people put under strict control. The Germans were placed under a new regime where they were made second class citizens compared to the majority Poles. It would be a sad precursor of what awaited the next century of European history.
The Imperial Court of Japan set in motion a chain of events which would inadvertently plunge it into War and division. Emperor Komei issued a proclamation calling on all loyal Samurai to throw back the foreigners to the sea. Many low ranking Samurai greeted this proclamation with enthusiasm as the arrogance displayed by the foreigners with their demands had been greeted with widespread outrage and hatred. The proclamation was greeted with dismay by the Shogunate who had been trying desperately for working relations with the foreign powers after the Russian incursion and now had to deal with all Japan being drawn into two separate camps, the xenophobic Imperials and the pragmatic Shogunate. It was to be a bloody separation lead up to an even bloodier conflict.
After fifteen years, the allotted time had passed; the referendum in New Jersey was to take place to decide whether it would remain a part of New England or revert to its status as a state of the US. The referendum, taking place on the 20th November, was dubious from the outset. New England had flooded the region with people from New England itself, trying to sway the vote towards being retained to the NER. This was not greeted very well by the locals and clashes had been rife between the two groups. When the referendum was completed, the results showed an almost impossible support for being retained in the NER. Instantly calling foul play, President Lincoln issued a declaration to New England, begin a new referendum with a neutral party running things or accept War.
Needless to say, New England rejected the ultimatum and was backed by California and Texas on the issue, stating that if the US wanted War, so be it. And indeed, on the 29th November, the US Senate allowed a proclamation of War to go through against the New England Republic, the Juntist Republic of Texas and the Juntist Republic of California. It seemed that the US was outmatched and outflanked by its opponents, with no great hope to win. But the US Government under Lincoln had not been sitting on its hands the entire time. Throughout his second term, Lincoln had pursued a policy of slow build up and supply building in order to strike on three fronts or at least, defend well. The neutrality of Britain was crucial in this as it allowed a constant stream of supplies uninterrupted by the Royal Navy in its ports. The US Army was large, very well trained and modern. As the call up began, North America prepared for a plunge into bloody War once again.
The call up for troops in America was popularly recieved as revenge for fifty years of Military defeat and humiliation in the North was truly felt and hated. This conflict would be all or nothing for the US…