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Old 09-10-2011, 05:20 AM
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Default Timelines

In response to Rainbow Six's post here http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.p...8885#post38885 I thought it might be worthwhile posting the timelines included in the various versions for those who don't have access to the particular books. Fortunately I already had 2.2 written up for a friend a couple of days ago so I'll start with that one.
As I don't have a softcopy of V2.0, that might either have to wait a while until I can type it up manually, or somebody else can go for it.
Note these are cut and pasted directly from the books.
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Last edited by Legbreaker; 09-10-2011 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:24 AM
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Default Countdown to Armageddon (V2.2)

What follows is all outline chronology of the events leading up to the current world situation. Obviously, we cannot deal with every event in every country in equal detail. Instead, we have presented a rough outline of major world events, and concentrated on the major campaigns of the war after 1995.

1989
The year the Cold War ended. All across Europe communist governments topple in response to pro-democracy demonstrations or, in the case of Rumania, armed insurrection. Voting with their feel, East German citizens flood into the west. In Poland, a number of German ethnic organizations form in response to West Germany's policy of accepting as a German citizen anyone who can prove themselves of Germanic descent (it is rumoured that membership in ethnic clubs will be good enough).
The Soviet Union's new policy of encouraging political pluralism in Europe makes the end of Bureaucratic Communism a certainty. Mao Tse Tung's forgotten maxim, -Let 10,000 flowers bloom, -becomes reality as dozens of new parties spring into being. The only European communist governments which survive the Revolution are those outside the Warsaw Pact - Yugoslavia and Albania. The Berlin wall is torn down in spots, and German reunification is now spoken of openly: The question is no longer if; but rather When?"
Riots in the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan (over alleged repression of Armenians) require intervention by Soviet troops. As a result, the republic remains a powder keg for months.
Elsewhere, the Chinese political reform movement is brutally crushed by government military forces. An attempted coup against President Aquino of the Philippines is foiled (with the help of American air cover), and the republic of Panama is invaded by the US to remove the government of Manuel Noriega.

1990
In a major upset for political pundits in the United States, a coalition of opposition parties headed by Violetta Chamorro defeats Daniel Ortega's bid for re-election in Nicaragua.
Spring elections in the Soviet republics of Byelorussia, the Ukraine, and the RSFSSR sweep local reform candidates into office. Before, during, and after these elections, ethnic unrest continues to simmer in Azerbaijan, and spreads to the minority republics of Tajikistan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, mostly in the form of ethnic demonstrations and occasional riots. Low-level armed violence spreads throughout the Moslem parts of the Caucasus and Central Asia, although most of it fails to come to the attention of the rest of the world, who are distracted by events in Germany.
Iraq stuns the west by invading Kuwait in August. With the Soviet Union in disarray, the world rallies behind US leadership in resisting Iraqi aggression, and troops from a dozen countries, a few of them still formally members the Warsaw Pact, pour into Saudi Arabia
The long awaited (and Iong-feared, in some circles) reunification of Germany becomes reality in October. The four power conferences (representing the United States, the United Kingdom, the USSR, and France) that recognize the inevitable, also guarantee Poland's territorial integrity. As a part of the agreement, NATO troops will maintain a presence in the newly unified republic (the only way some European nations will agree to the deed). The newly united Germany renounces any territorial claims outside of its post-WWII boundaries, but asserts continued interest in the welfare of ethnic Germans living outside of Germany. Membership in German ethnic organizations in western Poland grows, particularly in Silesia, where the floundering efforts of the new (non-Communist) Polish government to convert from a controlled to a free economy result in only a partial success.
Poland attempts to negotiate a border treaty with Byelorussia, but is rebuffed and the official Byelorussian statement describes the city of Bialystok as occupied by Poland. Later in the year, Romania refuses a summit offer by Hungary to discuss the condition ethnic Hungarians living in Romania.
By the end of the year, Soviet troop withdrawals are under way from Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.

1991
In January, the Gulf Coalition began a stunning aerial offensive against Iraq and followed it up with a blitzkrieg ground war in February, which liberated Kuwait and crushed the flower of the Iraqi Army. Although Saddam remained in power, his authority was reduced to the central third of his nation and his military was no longer capable of aggression against neighbouring states.
In March, both Croatia and Slovenia secede from Yugoslavia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina follows in short order. Violence soon broke out between the Serbian-dominated federal government and militias of the breakaway states.
Ethnic and religious violence in the Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union escalates, and the Soviet Union increases its troop withdrawal schedule in order to use the forces inside its own borders. Fighting is particularly heavy between Armenians and Azeris in the enclave of Nagomo Karabak. As the republics seize greater autonomy, Gorbachev continued to vacillate between an all-out drive for reform and an all-out commitment to a strong central government in the old style. The result is an accelerating slide toward chaos. On July 1 the old Warsaw Pact is formally abolished, the last straw for many Moscow hardliners. In August the hardliners seize power in a bloody coup.
On August 19th, elements of the Taman Guards and Kantemir Motor Rifle Divisions move into central Moscow and seize the most important public buildings and radio stations. An eight-member Emergency Committee deposes Gorbachev (for reasons of health) and bans strikes, protests, or public assemblies. Defiant protesters gather at the Soviet Parliament building, along with a few dissident military units and a cadre of armed Afghan War veterans, to defend Yeltsln and the Parliament. On August 20th, elements of the Kantemir Division, spearheaded by the elite KGB ·Alpha Team, storm the Parliament building and scatter the protesters.
Russian President Yeltsin, along with an estimated 800 others, die in the assault. With Yeltsln dead and Gorbachev imprisoned in the Crimea, acting Soviet President Yanayev declares the establishment of a "renewal government. The governments of Byelorussia, Ukraine, and the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) denounce the new government as illegal and declare the Soviet Union to be dissolved.

1992
In February and March, democratic governments win elections in both Bulgaria and Albania. At the same time Bosnia demands that Yugoslavian federal troops withdraw from the province, a request which the Serbian-dominated central government refuses. Meanwhile, Greece and the new government of Albania sign a border treaty providing at least one point of stability in the region.
By mid-year, Slovakian separatists have gained enough seats in the Czech parliamentary elections to force the division of the country into two sovereign states: Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Catalan and Basque separatists in Spain accelerate their demands for independence.
Turkish and Iraqi Kurds become increasingly active and Turkish military sweeps of Turkish Kurdistan are hampered by the ability of guerrillas to seek sanctuary in the UN· protected northern third of Iraq.
The exposure of long-time links between the Mafia and key figures in the Italian government causes a scandal, which shakes the very foundations of post-war Italian politics as well as crippling its economy. As the Lira loses value against every other western currency, there is open talk in industrialized and wealthy northern Italy of secession from Southern Italy.
After early successes in holding down the Central Asian unrest, the Soviets suffer several major setbacks. TASS accuses Iran of supplying arms to rebels in Central Asia and Caucasus. Bloody fighting continues, with Islamic fundamentalist insurgents growing in strength. Late in the year, some Western observers begin to use the term "civil war" in referring to the Central Asian unrest.
There are also continued riots in the Baltic States but beefed up contingents of MVD (Internal Security) troops maintain a semblance of order.
The Soviet Republic of Moldavia, made up largely of ethnic Romanians, is torn by riots and strikes demanding political autonomy and an eventual union with Romania. Riots are suppressed by Soviet MVD troops and Moscow accuses Romania of having secretly encouraged the unrest. In the fall, the Romanian government announces the arrest of five KGB operatives who, they claim, have been encouraging unrest among Romania's Hungarian minority.
In the United States, widespread perceptions of a lack effective Republican leadership on the drug and trade front, and foot-dragging on military demobilization, lead to the election of John Tanner (a Democrat from California). Tanner's vice president, Deanna Pemberton (former representative from Ohio), is the first woman to hold such a high elective office.

1993
In his inaugural address, President Tanner sets the twin national priorities of rebuilding America's deteriorating infrastructure and "breaking the double grip of crank and crime that have made the nation's largest cities all but uninhabitable: Reductions in the defence budget made possible by the reduced American military presence in Europe are to fund a national reconstruction program and support large increases in law enforcement and anti-drug education. None of these measures have any real effect. (By year's end, the DEA will announce a 250% increase in drug seizures, both from smuggling and domestic crank factories. This will represent only 4%of the total estimated illegal drug consumption for the year.)
Tanner is not much more successful on the international scene, but by year's end he negotiates a withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus and a reunification of the island republic.
After several years of intensive investment in the eastern third of the country, Germany shows little signs of economic progress. Radical right wing political organizations swell in membership while skinhead violence against foreign workers and handicapped Germans escalates. Germany's government responds to the threat weakly, seeming to compromise with the right, and passes a strict series of immigration laws which are widely compared to the Nazi "race laws of the 1930’s.
Fighting in Central Asia continues for most of the year, but the Soviet military gradually begins to gain the upper hand, and regains control of most of the cities of tile region. A guerrilla war continues in the countryside, and many veterans of the fighting In Afghanistan a decade before find themselves fighting a very similar campaign.
Sporadic antigovernment rioting in Pyongyang and other large ci1ies force the North Korean government to make further concessions toward a free market economy. Fighting continues in the former republics of Yugoslavia and becomes increasingly bitter. There is now no talk of reunifying the country; instead ethnic groups fight for as large a slice of territory as possible, and deal ruthlessly with the people of other ethnic groups living in their regions. The lucky ones become refugees.

1994
As Europe shows signs of increasing instability, Germany begins quietly increasing its force structure. In January of 1994, the nine under strength divisions which had been maintained as a token army are brought up to full strength and each is given a territorial (reserve) brigade.
In China, underground pro-democracy organizations, with encouragement and financial aid from relatives in other countries, begin demonstrating in many of China's larger cities. While these remain relatively peaceful for a while, they soon erupt into violence, forcing military intervention. Better prepared than the students of 1989, the pro-democracy factions of the northeast hold out for months before the military manages to restore order. Elsewhere, things settle down more quickly. Some regional military commanders, increasingly mistrustful of the ability of the local government to maintain order, begin taking matters into their own hands, seizing direct control of local government and imprisoning government officials. Within a year, many regions are effectively ruled by military commanders, modem versions of China's traditional Warlords.
Researchers in France and the United States begin testing a vaccine which shows every sign of being effective against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (the causative agent in AIDS). Researchers soon yield to demands for an accelerated testing program and US FDA waives animal tests in favour of immediate large-scale human experimentation. Still, it will be several years before pharmaceutical firms can gear up to produce the vaccine in sufficient quantities to deal with the massive outbreaks of the disease in third world countries (those hardest hit). Central Africa in particular is facing complete collapse of its health care system under an avalanche of AIDS victims, and many health care professionals leave the region out of fear for their own lives.

1995
In China, the central government is increasingly dominated by hard-line nationalists, who are supported by north Chinese warlords. New demands for border adjustments are made against the Soviet Union, and it is felt that given the Soviet internal problems, this might be the time to press for them internationally. Talks produce no tangible results, however, and radical Chinese nationalist junior officers provoke increasingly violent border incidents. After a period of increasing tension and escalating border incidents, full-scale war erupts between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The Red Army enjoys rapid initial success, and tank columns roar deep into the northern Chinese industrial heartland.
However the Chinese surpass the expectations of most military analysts in their ability to mobilize reserves from the interior and shift them to the fighting front. While the Soviets continue to make impressive gains their losses mount and the tempo of advance slows. Soon, large bodies of citizen’s militia are operating in the rear areas, attacking installations and destroying supply convoys.
More and more front line troops have to be detailed to mopping up these patches of guerrilla resistance, and the advance grinds to a hall.
When the main Chinese conventional forces counterattack, to the amazement of the world's military experts, largo pockets of Soviet troops are formed. Most of the Soviet units, due to their superior mobility and tremendous firepower, are able to fight their way out of the pockets, but Soviet losses are great and the front is shattered. The Soviet Union had already been mobilizing additional troops from the western military districts, and this is now placed on an emergency priority basis. But the Far Eastern Front has become a meat grinder, which devours divisions as quickly as they can be committed. Motor vehicles and railroad rolling stock are increasingly drawn out of the civilian sector to support the war effort. As the first snows of winter fall, military units in Byelorussia and the Ukraine declare their support for the separatist governments which had been suppressed two years earlier.
In response to increasing regional instability, Germany declares its agreement on size and location of armed forces "obsolete in relation to the current European situation”. The six eastern territorial brigades are immediately expanded to weak Divisions while the original nine divisions are expanded to 12; the additional troops being provided by mobilization of reserve units from the western part of the country. Poland protests, begins bringing several divisions in western Poland to higher readiness status, and opens secret talks with Byelorussia (now renamed Belarus). These talks quickly break down over the status of the border city of Bialystok, however, and 8elarus publicly announces that Poland had attempted to involve it in a "military adventure" against Germany.
In Romania, antigovernment demonstrations by Magyars (ethnic Hungarians) in several Transylvanian cities are suppressed by Romanian riot control police, with some loss of life. The Hungarian government again protests the mistreatment of these people at the hands of what they claimed is an increasingly genocidal government.
Several days of anti-Turkish rioting in Bulgaria are touched off when a Bulgarian national, arrested for attempting to assassinate the president of the Turkish republic dies in custody. Despite Turkish protestations that his death was from natural causes, the incident soon assumes crisis proportions, and Turkish citizens are advised to leave Bulgaria Later in the year, United Nations peacekeeping forces are sent to Sri Lanka to intervene in the civil war there.

1996
Faced with stalemate in the Far East and revolt in the West the Soviets need more troops. Most Soviet category B readiness divisions are mobilized and sent to the Far East by mid-year, and almost a quarter the remaining category A Divisions from the Western European frontier garrisons are committed.
Many of the low readiness category C divisions are upgraded to category B or mobilized, and for the first time in 50 years the mobilization-only divisions begin training. Many of the best remaining divisions, however, are committed against the Ukraine and Belarus.
With an uncertain Germany to the west and an increasingly aggressive Belarus to the east, Poland opens secret talks with Moscow. Within months these result in the public signing of a mutual defence agreement between the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. The treaty is signed in Warsaw and is officially called the Treaty on Collective Security. The world calls it the New Warsaw Pact.
Surrounded by enemies, Belarus resistance quickly collapses and, to the shock of the West, it is partitioned by Poland and the Soviets. As Poland prepares to move division into the former territory of Belarus for occupation duty, seven ethnic German soldiers in the division announce their intention to resist transfer out of the country. A wave of demonstrations in western Poland by ethnic Germans supporting the seven soldiers is violently suppressed by riot police, resulting in several deaths and numerous injuries. Germany protests and moves several divisions closer to the border.
In June, a small group of senior officers of the German Army, as well as at least one German cabinet minister, open secret talks with the leadership of several German ethnic organizations in eastern Poland. Shortly thereafter, another round of demonstrations break out and are again violently suppressed. This time, however, small groups of demonstrators fight back with military small arms. Polish army units move in and soon Pomerania and Silesia appear to be in the grips of a civil war.
Poland charges that many of the rebels are German right-wing nationalists who have crossed the border with the collaboration of the German Army. Berlin denies any involvement with rioters but admits that it is possible that German nationals have crossed into Poland, and German military units move closer to the border to step up security.
In mid July there are several border incidents between units of the Polish and German armies and frequent exchanges of artillery fire. On July 27th elements of the German III Corps cross the frontier in retaliation for what they described as a "full-scale attack" by the Polish 4th Mechanized Division. Within two days Poland and Germany are officially at war.
From the very beginning, this is a "come as you are" war; neither side is adequately prepared. The German Army has just finished a period of very rapid growth and rebuilding, many of its units being equipped with tanks and vehicles which have sat idle in warehouses for four or five years. The Poles and Soviets are at the end of several years of very limited military spending capped by a war in the east which has drawn off much of their best equipment already. The Poles are supported by the three Soviet divisions still stationed in Poland as part of the New Warsaw Pact joint command, but are still outnumbered by the Germans. What tips the balance against the Germans is the entry of the Czech Army in the war on the side of the New Warsaw Pact.
By the end of November, the Bundeswehr is in serious trouble. Soviet Frontal Aviation has left their most modern aircraft in the west; these are qualitatively and quantitatively a match for the Luftwaffe. The Czech Army finally cracks the line of German reservists holding the southern flank and cuts north into Germany itself closing on Berlin. Heady with victory, the Warsaw Pact leadership announce their intention to occupy and repartition Germany as a guarantee against future aggression. Claiming that their actions were justified by the military provocations of Poland and that they now face dismemberment as a state, Germany turns to its NATO partners for assistance. While the political leadership of the European members of NATO debate the prudence of intervention, the US Army crosses the frontier. Within a week, France, Belgium, Italy, and Greece first demand that U.S. troops withdraw to their start line and {when these demands have no effect) withdraw from NATO in protest. British and Canadian forces cross the border, however, while Danish and Dutch troops remain in place, still partners in NATO but not party to war.
In the far north, Soviet troops make a bid for quick victory in northern Norway. Most of the best Arctic-equipped divisions have already been sent east, however, and the third line troops available are unable to break through to the paratroopers and marines landed in NATO's rear areas. As crack British commandoes and U.S. Marines join the battle, the front line moves east again toward the Soviet naval facilities on the Kola Peninsula, and the elite Soviet paratroopers and marines are isolated and destroyed.
At sea, the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet sorties and attempts to break through the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom Gap into the north Atlantic. For three weeks the opposing fleets hammer each other, but the western fleet comes out on top, badly bloodied but victorious. Eighty percent of the Soviet northern fleet surface tonnage rests on the bottom of the Norwegian and North seas. Scattered commerce raiders break out, however, and by year's end are wreaking havoc on the NATO convoys bringing reinforcements, ammunition, and equipment across the Atlantic.
When Romanian police shoot and kill a man crossing the border between Hungary and Romania, the Hungarian government suspends diplomatic relations. The Romanians claim he was a smuggler, bringing arms to antigovernment forces. Three days later, Hungarian army spies or Romanian government provocateurs (depending on which side you believe) blow up a Romanian railway station in Cluj. The Romanians conduct mass arrests of Magyars throughout Romania.
Police sweeps are met with armed resistance and within a week a secessionist Magyar government declares its independence from Romania As Romanian troops move north to crush the rebellion, the Hungarian government protests, is ignored, and then (with its allies) declares war.
As Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Soviet troops cross the border, Romania formally declares war on the three invading nations, and appeals to NATO for assistance. The first nation to rally to Romania's aid is her neighbour, the Ukraine. Within 24 hours, three divisions and live brigades cross into Romania and two days later are at the front under Romanian command, where they are joined by a Serbian expeditionary force. The Ukraine also recognizes the incorporation of Moldavia Into Romania. NATO responds shortly thereafter with the offer of full membership in the alliance to both nations, which they accept. More concrete assistance takes the form of the Turkish 1st Army, which launches its offensive against a thin Bulgarian covering force in Thrace on Christmas Eve.
In July, the Sendaro Luminoso (Shining Path) guerrillas take advantage of international chaos to make a bid for control of Peru. They do not succeed in overthrowing the government, but they do succeed in wresting about half of the country from central control Other South and Central American countries experience varying degrees of political instability.

1997
On the first day of the new year the NATO heads of state declare their support for a Polish government in exile headed by a committee of Polish émigrés. While the news is greeted with scattered worker uprisings in Poland, the majority of the Polish Army remains loyal to the central government, and open resistance is soon crushed. An underground movement begins forming, however, and by spring small guerrilla bands, leavened by Polish Army deserters, begin to harass Warsaw Pact supply convoys and installations.
During January, continuing Turkish successes in Bulgaria spark a wave of patriotism in the Turks, particularly since Greece has remained neutral in the war. On Cyprus, unoccupied and supposedly reunited for three years, the Turkish Cypriots demonstrated in favour of Turkey. The demonstrations turn into anti-Greek riots, and the Cypriot Army moves to restore order. In response, the Turkish Army invades Cyprus and quickly occupies most of the island. Greek first sends military units to Cyprus to resist the Turks and then declares war on Turkey and attacks the Turkish forces in Thrace.
In late February, the socialist governments of Italy and Greece conclude a mutual defence pact. While Italy is not obligated by the pact to enter the Greco-Turkish war, the Italian government declares the war to be a regional conflict unrelated to the more general war raging elsewhere, promising to intervene on Greece's side if NATO tries to tip the balance in Turkey's favour. Within a week, Greece declares a naval blockade against Turkey and warns the world's shipping that the Aegean is now considered a war zone.
In an attempt to restore the situation in Germany, Soviet and Czech troops return to the offensive in southern Germany but do not have the strength to make any significant gains. With the coming of spring, the NATO offensive gains momentum and in April the first German troops cross the frontier into Poland. By June 17th, Warsaw is surrounded, and Polish army units and the citizens of the city prepare for a siege.
By late spring, NATO's Atlantic fleet has hunted down the last of the Soviet commerce raiders, and the surviving attack carriers and missile cruisers move to northern waters. The NATO drive in the north has bogged down on the banks of the Litsa River, but the Northern Front commander now contemplates a bold move to destroy the remnants of Soviet naval power there. While U.S. and British units attempt a rapid outflanking move through northern Finland, the NATO Atlantic Fleet will close in on Murmansk and Severomorsk, subjecting the Soviet fleet anchorages and air bases to a massive bombardment. On June 7th the ground offensive is launched and the fleet doses in on the Kola Peninsula shortly thereafter.
Finland had been expected to offer token resistance to the violation of its territory; instead the Finnish Army fights tenaciously, seriously delaying the flanking move. At sea the plan fares even worse, as coastal missile boats and the remnants of Northern Fleet's shore-based naval aviation inflict crippling losses on the NATO fleet. By mid June the last major naval fleet-in-being in the world has been shattered.
In the south, the front in Romania stabilizes and enters a period of attritional warfare. Soviet mobilization-only divisions, Iargely legmobile and stiffened with a sprinkling of obsolete tanks and armoured personnel carriers, enter the lines. Although the Romanians prove better soldiers than the over-aged and untrained Soviet recruits, the manpower difference begins to be felt. The best Soviet troops are shipped further south to Bulgaria, and by May have managed to halt the Turkish drive. As Greek pressure on the Turkish left flank in Thrace builds, unit after Turkish unit is shifted to face the Greeks. It becomes clear that, without aid, the Turkish Army will have to fall back or be defeated.
On June 27th, a NATO convoy of last transports and cargo ships, accompanied by a strong covering force, attempts the run to the Turkish port of lzmir with badly needed ammunition and equipment. Light fleet elements of the Greek Navy intercept the convoy and, in a confused night action of llzmir, inflict substantial losses and escape virtually unharmed. Two days later, NATO retaliates with air strikes against Greek naval bases.
On July 1st, Greece declares war against the NATO nations, and Italy, in compliance with her treaty obligations, follows suit on the 2nd. In early July, Italian airmobile and alpine units cross the passes into Tyrolia. Scattered elements of the Austrian Army resist briefly but are overwhelmed. By mid-month, Italian mechanized forces are debouching from the Alpine passes into southern Germany, and their advanced elements are in combat against German territorial troops in the suburbs of Munich.
The Italian Army enjoys tremendous success in the first months its involvement in the war, primarily for logistical reasons. Most of its opponents have already been at war for six months or more. Their peacetime stocks of munitions and replacement vehicles had been depleted, and their industries had not yet geared up to wartime production. The Italians have intact peacetime stockpiles to draw on.
As summer turns to autumn, however, the Italians too began feeling the logistical pinch, aggravated by the increasing flow of munitions and equipment from the factories of their opponents.
In Asia, pro-Soviet, India and anti-Soviet Pakistan drift into war through an escalating spiral of border incidents, mobilization, and major armed clashes. Outright war begins in the spring, and by mid-year the Indian Army is slowly advancing across the length of the front, despite fierce resistance.
By early July, NATO advanced elements are closing up on the Polish-Soviet frontier in the central region, while continuing the siege of Pact held Warsaw. The Polish government in exile establishes its temporary capital in the city of Poznan, and asserts its claim to the pre-1939 Polish borders in the east. In the Far East, Pact forces begin major withdrawals all along the front, and the mobile elements of the Chinese Army began a victorious pursuit.
On July 9th, with advanced elements of the 1st German Army on Soviet soil, the Soviets begin using tactical nuclear weapons.
In the West, they are used sparingly at first, and for the first week are used only against troop concentrations no further than 50 kilometres from the Soviet border. In the Far East, however, they are used on a massive scale. Chinese mechanized columns are vaporized, caught in the open on the roads in imagined pursuit. Strike aircraft deliver warheads on the northern Chinese population and industrial centres still in Chinese hands. The Chinese response is immediate, but Soviet forward troop units are dispersed and well prepared. Ballistic missile attacks on Soviet population centres are frustrated by an active and efficient ABM system, and the Soviet Air Defence Command massacres the handful of Chinese bombers that attempted low-level penetration raids. Within a week, the Chinese riposte is spent, but Soviet attacks continue. The Chinese communication and transportation system, already stretched to the breaking point, disintegrates. The roads are choked with refugees fleeing from the remaining cities, all of them potential targets. China begins the rapid slide into anarchy and civil disorder. On the western front, the forward elements of both armies on the Soviet-Polish frontier are hit hard by tactical nuclear strikes, as NATO matched the Warsaw Pact warhead for warhead. By late August, the first of the Soviet divisions released from the Far East enter the lines. Although the front lines are fluid everywhere, they begin moving gradually west.
On September 15th, the siege of Warsaw is lifted, and a week later Czech and Italian troops begin a renewed offensive in southern Germany. The southern offensive gains momentum, and NATO forces in Poland increase the rate of their withdrawal, practicing a scorched earth policy as they fell back. At the same time, advancing Warsaw Pact forces occupy Slovakia and force its reincorporation with the Czech republic.
The Soviet and Bulgarian forces in Thrace also begin a major offensive against the Turks in September. The one-sided use of tactical nuclear weapons breaks the stalemate, and by month's end, Bulgarian tank brigades are racing toward Istanbul. Simultaneously Greek and Albanian troops launched a drive against southern Serbia, and the Serbian Army begins to break up. The Serbian expeditionary force in Romania is recalled for home defence, but before it can return, Beograd has fallen to Italian mechanized columns. At the same time, the limited use of tactical nuclear weapons, the increasing numbers of Soviet reserves, and the withdrawal of the Yugoslavians cause the Romanian front to collapse.
As Warsaw Pact columns sweep through both countries, isolated military units withdraw into the mountains and begin to wage a guerrilla war.
In the west, NATO air units begin making deep nuclear strikes against communication hubs in Czechoslovakia and Poland in an attempt to slow the Warsaw Pad advance. The Pact responds with similar strikes against German industrial targets and major port cities. NATO's theatre nuclear missiles are launched against an array of Industrial targets and port cities in the western Soviet Union. Throughout October the exchanges continue, escalating gradually. Fearful of a general strategic exchange, neither side targets the land based ICBMs of the other, or launches so many warheads at once as to risk convincing the other side that an all-out attack is in progress. Neither side wishes to cross the threshold to nuclear oblivion in one bold step, and so they inch across it, never quite knowing they have done so until after the fact.
First, military targets are hit (including the first decapitating strikes at US targets). Then Industrial targets clearly vital to the war effort, followed by economic targets of military importance (transportation and communication, oil fields and refineries). Then major industrial and of1 centres in neutral nations are targeted, to prevent their possible use by the other side. Numerous warheads are aimed at logistical stockpiles and command-control centres of the armies in the field. The civilian political command structure is first decimated, then eliminated (almost by accident In some cases). The exchanges continue, fitfully and irregularly, through November and then gradually peter out.
Pakistan and India wage their own nuclear war. Facing defeat, Pakistan launches a pre-emptive strike on India's economy and nuclear strike force. Although industrial centres are hit hard, enough of India's nuclear arsenal survives to launch a devastating retaliatory strike. The Indian-Pakistani war soon winds down, as each country's economy no longer can feed its civilians, let alone supply military units.

1998
The winter of 1997-98 is particularly hard. Civilian war casualties in the industrialized nations have reached almost 15 percent by the turn of the year, but the worst is yet to come. Communication and transportation systems are nonexistent, and food distribution is impossible. In the wake of nuclear war comes famine on a scale previously undreamed of. Only the exceptionally cold winter delays simultaneous epidemics. In the nations of the Third World, destruction of their major industries together with cessation of western food aid causes severe dislocations, with famine and starvation in many areas.
With the spring thaw, the unburied dead finally bring on the epidemics the few remaining medical professionals had dreaded but were powerless to prevent. Plague, typhoid, cholera, typhus, and many other diseases sweep through the world's population. By the time they have run their courses, the global casualty rate will be 50%.
In Europe, France and Belgium had been hit the lightest and stand virtually alone in maintaining a semblance of internal order throughout the cataclysm. As refugees begin flooding across their borders, the French and Belgian governments close their frontiers, and military units begin turning back refugees with gunfire. The French government authorizes the army to move west to the Rhine to secure a solid geographical barrier. As the refugees pile up on the French and Belgian frontiers, a large lawless zone springs into existence. Open fighting for food is followed by mass starvation and disease until the lawless zone becomes barren and empty.
The average strength of NATO combat divisions at the front has fallen to about 8,000, with U.S. divisions running at about half of that. Warsaw Pact divisions now varied widely in strength, running from 500 to 10,000 effectives, but mostly in the 2000-4000 range. Lack of fuel, spare parts, and ammunition temporarily paralyse the armies. Peace might have come, but there are no surviving governments to negotiate it. Only the military command structures remain intact, and they remain faithful to the final orders of their governments. In a time of almost universal famine, only the military has the means of securing and distributing rations. Military casualties have been much lower than casualties among civilians.
In the Balkans, the partisan bands in the mountains of Romania and former Yugoslavia have escaped almost untouched, while many Pact regular units had been destroyed in the exchange or have just melted away after it. The Romanians and Serbians begin forming regular combat units again, although still structured to live off the land and subsist from captured enemy equipment. At first there is a great deal of enemy equipment just lying around waiting to be picked up. There are border changes as well. The Italian Army delineates the borders of Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia while the Greek Army directly annexes Macedonia. The Albanians claim Kosovo province, but both Greece and Italy support Serbia's claim to the area. Albania first protests, then withdraws from the temporary alliance, and finally begins sporadic attacks on Greek military units. They are joined by ethnic Albanian partisan units from Macedonia and Kosovo. At the same time, many Italian and Hungarian units are withdrawn from the Balkans and shifted to Czechoslovakia and southern Germany.
In North America, a flood of hungry refugees begins crossing the Rio Grande, and most of the remaining military forces of the United States are deployed to the southwest to deal with the mounting crisis. They move at the orders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now the de facto government of the United States.
Widespread food riots and violence in refugee areas are met with military force. The Mexican government protests, and within months Mexican Army units cross the Rio Grande to protect Mexican lives. More U.S. units are shifted south. Scattered fighting grows into open warfare, and Mexican armoured columns drive northeast toward Arkansas and northwest into southern California. The front quickly stabilizes in northeast Texas and central California. Elsewhere in the US civil disorder and anarchy increase with the withdrawal of army units.
In late June, the Pact forces in southern Germany renew their offensive in an attempt to seize the scattered surviving industrial sites in central Germany. Actually, the most intact parts of Germany were those areas in the south which had been under Warsaw Pact occupation, as neither side was willing to strike the area heavily.
Galvanized into renewed action, NATO forces made a maximum effort to reform a coherent front, and the Pact offensive finally stalls along a line from Frankfurt to Fulda. In late August, NATO launches its own offensive from the area of Kart Marx Stadt. Driving south to penetrate the Pact rear areas in Czechoslovakia the thinly spread Czech border guard units are quickly overwhelmed and Pact forces In central Germany begin a precipitous withdrawal to Czechoslovakia, laying waste to southern Germany as they retreat.
A simultaneous offensive by the remnants of the Yugoslavian Army drives north in an attempt to link up with NATO. The Yugoslavians are halted near Lake Balaton, however, and then thrown back. As more Pact units arrive in Czechoslovakia, the NATO drive runs out of steam and loses its sense of direction. Troops are shifted west to garrison the recaptured but devastated south of Germany, and many lives are wasted in a futile attempt to force the Alpine passes into ltaly. As the autumnal rains begin, NATO and the Pact Initiate a short and weak second nuclear exchange, directed primarily at surviving industrial centres in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Fighting gradually runs down to the level of local skirmishing as both sides prepared for another winter.

1999
Once spring planting is finished, the United States Congress reconvenes for the first time since the exchange of nuclear missiles. Senator John Broward (D. Ark), the former governor of Arkansas who appointed himself to fill one of the two vacant senatorial seats, is elected President by the House of Representatives. General Jonathan Cummings. Then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refuses to recognize the constitutional validity of the election, citing the lack of a proper quorum and numerous irregularities in the credentials of the attending congressmen. (Although Cummings' decision will later be widely criticized there is much validity to his position. Many congressional seals are disputed; several of the congressmen in attendance are merely self-appointed local strongmen who have gained control of large parts of the old congressional districts, and some have never seen the districts they purport to represent. There is at least one confirmed gunfight between rival claimants to a seat while Congress is in session.)
General Cummings declares a continuation of martial law until such time as a new census is practical, that being necessary for a meaningful reapportionment of congressional seats and presidential electoral votes.
President Broward responds with a demand for Cummings' resignation, which Cummings declines to submit. While some military units side with the new civilian government, the majority continue to take orders from the Joint Chiefs, particularly those overseas, for two simple reasons. First, the habit of obedience is deeply ingrained, and, in many cases, is all that has allowed units to survive thus far. Second, the Joint Chiefs control virtually all surviving telecommunications networks.
In North America, the main effect of the split is a further erosion of central authority. Forced to choose between two rival governments, both with considerable flaws in their claims to legitimacy, many localities simply choose to ignore both.
The surviving foreign and national organizations dealing or concerned with the United States choose between the rival governments. The German military government and Polish government in exile continue relations with the Joint Chiefs, while the partisan commands of Yugoslavia and Romania recognize the civilian government. The remnants of the Central Intelligence Agency obey the orders of the civilian government, while the National Security Agency, loyal to the Joint Chiefs, organize a field operations branch to replace the CIA "defectors." Officially, forces of the two governments refrain from violent confrontation, but there are sporadic local clashes over key installations, occasional bloody coups within military units and numerous assassinations and “dirty tricks" by rival intelligence agencies.
In the autumn, the dispatch of troops to Europe resumes, although only as a trickle. A few warships are available as escorts, and various old merchant vessels are pressed into service as transports. Initiated by the civilian government, both governments briefly compete in a struggle to outdo the other, viewing success as a litmus test of their ability to mobilize the nation. In fact, the call-ups affect only the Atlantic coast and lead to widespread resistance. The dispatch of troops, supplies and equipment to Europe makes little sense to most, considering the appalling state of affairs in the United States.
The actual reinforcements sent include a small number of light vehicles and ammunition but consist mostly of light infantry. Mortars are becoming the most popular support weapon for troops, as they can be turned out in quantity from small machine shops and garages.
In Europe, the fronts are static for most of the year. Low troop densities mean that infiltration raids become the most common form of warfare. The "front" ceases to be a line and becomes a deep occupied zone, as troops settle into areas and begin farming and small-scale manufacturing to meet their supply requirements.
Local civilians are hired to farm and carry out many administrative functions in return for security from the increasing numbers of marauders roaming the countryside. In other areas, the security the military unit provides to its civilians was from the unit itself, a post-nuclear version of the ancient “protection" racket. Many units stationed in barren areas drift apart or turn to marauding when supplies do not arrive. Although most attacks by large bodies of marauders are directed at areas held by "'the enemy”, they begin to be directed at allied units as well, although at first not against units of the same nationality. The effects of the chaos ensuing from the destruction of world trade and the death of a sizable portion of the population are felt globally.
Central Africa is hit particularly hard. As the war cuts all production and shipment of the HIV anti-virus just as the AIDS active infection rate tops 50%. No territory though, however remote, remains untouched by the war. Even scientific stations in the Antarctic, and orbiting space laboratories, are abandoned as the war drags on.

2000
By the spring of the year 2000, the armies of Europe have settled into their new "cantonment" system. Civil authority has virtually ceased to exist. Most military units are practicing extensive local recruiting in an attempt to keep up to strength, and stragglers are often incorporated into units regardless of nationality. Thus, U.S. units contain a wide variety of former NATO and Warsaw Pact soldiers in addition to Americans. Nominal titles of units (brigades. divisions, etc.) have little bearing on the actual size of the unit.
In early summer, the German Third Army, spearheaded by the U.S. Eleventh Corps, moves out of its cantonments on what is to become one of the last strategic offensives of the war.
__________________
If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

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Mors ante pudorem

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Default Chronological Background (V1.0)

1995
After a period of increasing tension and escalating border incidents, full-scale war erupted between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The Red Army enjoyed rapid initial success, and tank columns roared deep into the northern Chinese industrial heartland.
However, the Chinese surpassed the expectations of most military analysts in their ability to mobilize reserves from the interior and shift them to the fighting front. While the Soviets continued to make impressive gains, their losses mounted and the tempo of advance slowed. Soon, large bodies of citizens' militia were operating in the rear areas, attacking installations and destroying supply convoys. More and more front line troops had to be detailed to mopping up these patches of guerrilla resistance, and the advance ground to a halt.
When the main Chinese conventional forces counterattacked, to the amazement of the world's military experts, large pockets of Soviet troops were formed. Most of the Soviet units, due to their superior mobility and tremendous firepower, were able to fight their way out of the pockets, but Soviet losses were great and the front was shattered.
The Soviet Union had already been mobilizing additional troops from the western military districts, and this was now placed on an emergency priority basis. As a stopgap, a half dozen combat ready divisions were withdrawn from Eastern Europe and sent to the Far East. But the Far Eastern Front had become a meat grinder, which devoured divisions as quickly as they could be committed.
As factory output switched more and more to wartime production, the flow of consumer goods dwindled to a trickle and standards of living in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union fell. Motor vehicles and railroad rolling stock were increasingly drawn out of the civilian sector to support the war effort. As the first snows of winter fell, the Soviets began soliciting the other members of the Warsaw Pact for volunteer formations to serve on the Far Eastern Front. Resistance to this was surprisingly strong, but by the new year the first Polish, Czech, and East German divisions were traveling east by rail. At least one Hungarian and Bulgarian division would follow once they finished mobilizing and re-equipping with more modern weapons. No Romanians would be going east.

1996
Their ranks swollen with fresh troops, the Pact forces launched a spring offensive against the Chinese. Despite good initial gains, the drive soon stalled, with further horrendous casualties. Winter had witnessed a flood of new, modern equipment through Chinese ports from the NATO nations, particularly the United States. Now Soviet and Pact tanks were not facing obsolete wire-guided missiles, but modern Tank Breaker and Assault Breaker systems that made the massed tank assaults, which had been so successful the year before, suicidal.
New tactics were devised, but more troops were needed. Most Soviet category II readiness divisions were mobilized and sent to the Far East by mid-year, and almost a quarter of the category I divisions from the Eastern European garrisons were committed. Many of the low readiness category III divisions were upgraded to category II or mobilized, and for the first time in fifty years the mobilization-only divisions began training.
Appalled at the losses taken in their expeditionary forces, the other Eastern European members of the Pact agreed only reluctantly to provide more troops. In June, however, a small group of senior officers of the East German Army opened secret talks with a select group of their counterparts in the Bundeswehr and Luftwaffe, the army and air force of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In September, a third call for troops from Eastern Europe was made, to be ready for movement by mid-October whether their equipment and training were complete or not. On October 7th, 1996, the Bundeswehr crossed the frontier between East and West Germany and began attacking Soviet garrison units still in the country. The army of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) remained quietly in barracks.
Despite the initial surprise, the fifteen Soviet divisions remaining in Germany put up a spirited resistance and were soon joined by two more divisions from Poland and three from the garrison of Czechoslovakia. By November 1 5th, there were also two Czech divisions and four Polish divisions in Germany, their orders to leave for the Far East hurriedly rescinded. To the surprise of the Western nations, the Czechs and Poles fought well, as neither wished to see a reunited Germany.
By the end of November, the Bundeswehr was in serious trouble. Soviet Frontal Aviation had left their most modern aircraft in the west; these were qualitatively a match for the Luftwaffe and quantitatively more than a match. As the Bundeswehr lines began to crumble, high-ranking officers of the East German Army made their move. In a bloodless coup, the civilian leaders of the country were deposed and replaced with a military junta. Two days later the new government ordered the army into the field against the Pact forces in the country and formally requested intervention on their behalf by NATO.
While the political leadership of the European members of NATO debated the prudence of intervention, the U.S. Army crossed the frontier. Within a week, France, Belgium, Italy, and Greece first demanded that U.S. troops withdraw to their start line and then withdrew from NATO in protest. British and Canadian forces crossed the border, however, while Danish and Dutch troops remained in place, still partners in NATO but not party to war.
In the far north, Soviet troops made a bid for quick victory in northern Norway. Most of the best Arctic-equipped divisions had already been sent east, however, and the third-line troops available were unable to break through to the paratroopers and marines landed in NATO's rear areas. As crack British commandoes and U.S. Marines joined the battle, the front line moved east again toward the Soviet naval facilities on the Kola Peninsula, and the elite Soviet paratroopers and marines were isolated and destroyed.
At sea, the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet sortied and attempted to break through the Greenland-lceland-United Kingdom Gap into the north Atlantic. For three weeks the opposing fleets hammered each other, but the western fleet came out on top, badly bloodied but victorious. 80% of the Soviet northern fleet tonnage rested on the bottom of the Norwegian and North Seas. Scattered commerce raiders did break out, however, and by year's end were wreaking havoc on the NATO convoys bringing ammunition and equipment across the Atlantic.
Having repeatedly given excuses when asked to provide troops for the war effort, Romania was finally presented with an ultimatum on December 5th: either support the war effort fully or suffer the consequences. The time limit expired without a formal reply from the Romanian government, but throughout Romania troops hurried to their emergency mobilization posts.
The Warsaw Pact apparently had expected Romanian compliance with the ultimatum, for it was not until December 20th that sufficient troops were assembled to begin an invasion. As Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Soviet troops cross the border, Romania formally withdrew from the Warsaw Pact, declared war on the three invading nations, and applied to NATO for assistance.
The first nation to rally to Romania's aid was her neighbor, Jugoslavia. Within 24 hours, three divisions and five brigades crossed into Romania and two days later were at the front under Romanian command. NATO responded shortly thereafter with the offer of full membership in the security organization to both nations, which they accepted. More concrete assistance took the form of the Turkish 1st Army, which launched its offensive against a thin Bulgarian covering force in Thrace on Christmas Eve.

1997
On the first day of the new year, the NATO heads of state declared their support for a Polish government in exile, headed by a committee of Polish émigrés. While the news was greeted with scattered worker uprisings in Poland, the majority of the Polish Army remained loyal to the central government, and open resistance was soon crushed. An underground movement began forming, however, and by spring small guerrilla bands, leavened by Polish Army deserters, began to harass Warsaw Pact supply convoys and installations.
During January, continuing Turkish successes in Bulgaria sparked a wave of patriotism in the Turks, particularly since Greece had remained neutral in the fight against the communists.
On Cyprus, unoccupied and supposedly re-united for three years, the Turkish Cypriots demonstrated in favor of Turkey. The demonstrations turned into anti-Greek riots, and the Cypriot Army moved to restore order. In response, the Turkish Army invaded Cyprus and quickly occupied most of the island. Greece first sent military units to Cyprus to resist the Turks and then declared war on Turkey and attacked the Turkish forces in Thrace.
In late February, the socialist governments of Italy and Greece concluded a mutual defense pact. While Italy was not obligated by the pact to enter the Greco-Turkish war, the Italian government declared the war to be a regional conflict unrelated to the more general war raging elsewhere, promising to intervene on Greece's side if NATO tried to tip the balance in Turkey's favor. Within a week Greece declared a naval blockade against Turkey and warned the world's shipping that the Aegean was now considered a war zone.
In an attempt to restore the situation in Germany, Soviet and Czech troops went over to the offensive in southern Germany but did not have the strength to make any significant gains. With the coming of spring the NATO offensive gained momentum and in April the first German troops crossed the frontier into Poland. By June 1 7th, Warsaw was surrounded, and Polish army units and the citizens of the city prepared for a siege.
By late spring, NATO's Atlantic fleet had hunted down the last of the Soviet commerce raiders, and the surviving attack carriers and missile cruisers moved to northern waters. The NATO drive in the north had bogged down on the banks of the Litsa River, but the Northern Front commander now contemplated a bold move to destroy the remnants of Soviet naval power there. While U.S. and British units attempted a rapid outflanking move through northern Finland, the NATO Atlantic Fleet would close in on Murmansk and Severomorsk, subjecting the Soviet fleet anchorages and air bases to a massive bombardment. On June 7th the ground offensive was launched and the fleet closed in on the Kola Peninsula shortly thereafter.
Finland had been expected to offer token resistance to the violation of its territory; instead the Finnish Army fought tenaciously, seriously delaying the flanking move. At sea the plan fared even worse, as coastal missile boats and the remnants of Northern Fleet's shore-based naval aviation inflicted crippling losses on the NATO fleet. By mid-June the last major naval fleet-in-being in the world had been shattered.
In the south, the front in Romania stabilized and entered a period of attritional warfare. Soviet mobilization-only divisions, largely leg-mobile and stiffened with a sprinkling of obsolete tanks and armored personnel carriers, entered the lines. Although the Romanians proved better soldiers than the over-aged and ill trained Soviet recruits, the manpower difference began to be felt. The best Soviet troops were shipped further south to Bulgaria, and by May had managed to halt the Turkish drive. As Greek pressure on the Turkish left flank in Thrace built, unit after Turkish unit was shifted to face the Greeks. It became clear that, without aid, the Turkish Army would have to fall back or be defeated.
On June 27th, a NATO convoy of fast transports and cargo ships, accompanied by a strong covering force, attempted the run to the Turkish port of Izmir with badly needed ammunition and equipment. Light fleet elements of the Greek navy intercepted the convoy and, in a confused night action off Izmir, inflicted substantial losses and escaped virtually unharmed. Two days later NATO retaliated with air strikes against Greek naval bases. On July 1st, Greece declared war against the NATO nations, and Italy, in compliance with her treaty obligations, followed suit on the 2nd.
In early July, Italian airmobile and alpine units crossed the passes into Tyrolia. Scattered elements of the Austrian army resisted briefly but were overwhelmed. By mid-month, Italian mechanized forces were debouching from the Alpine passes into southern Germany, and their advanced elements were in combat against German territorial troops in the suburbs of Munich.
The Jugoslavian Army launched a gallant but costly offensive against northeastern Italy, but soon was stalled. Italy responded with a major counteroffensive which, while draining troops from the German front, quickly shattered the thinly spread Jugoslavian northern grouping.
The Italian Army enjoyed tremendous success in the first month of its involvement in the war, primarily for logistical reasons. Most of its opponents had already been at war for six months or more. Their peacetime stocks of munitions and replacement vehicles had been depleted, and their industries had not yet geared up to wartime production. The Italians had intact peacetime stockpiles to draw on. As summer turned to fall, however, the Italians too began feeling the logistical pinch, aggravated by the increasing flow of munitions and equipment from the factories of their opponents.
In Asia, pro-Soviet India and anti-Soviet Pakistan drifted into war through an escalating spiral of border incidents, mobilization, and major armed clashes. Outright war began in the spring, and by mid-year the Indian Army was slowly advancing across the length of the front, despite fierce resistance.
By early July, NATO advanced elements were closing up on the Polish-Soviet frontier in the central region, while continuing the siege of Pact-held Warsaw. The Polish government in exile established its temporary capital in the city of Poznan, and asserted its claim to the pre-1939 Polish borders in the east. In the Far East, Pact forces began major withdrawals all along the front, and the mobile elements of the Chinese Army began a victorious pursuit.
On July 9th, with advanced elements of the 1 s t German Army on Soviet soil, the Red Army began using tactical nuclear weapons. In the West, they were used sparingly at first, and for the first week were used only against troop concentrations no further than 50 kilometers from the Soviet border. In the Far East, however, they were used on a massive scale. Chinese mechanized columns were vaporized, caught in the open on the roads in imagined pursuit. Strike aircraft delivered warheads on the northern Chinese population and industrial centers still in Chinese hands. The Chinese response was immediate, but Soviet forward troop units were dispersed and well prepared. Ballistic missile attacks on Soviet population centers were frustrated by an active and efficient ABM system, and the Soviet Air Defense Command massacred the handful of Chinese bombers that attempted low-level penetration raids. Within a week, the Chinese riposte was spent, but Soviet attacks continued. The Chinese communication and transportation system, already stretched to the breaking point, disintegrated. The roads were choked with refugees fleeing from the remaining cities, all of them potential targets. China began the rapid slide into anarchy and civil disorder.
On the western front, the forward elements of both armies on the Soviet-Polish frontier were hit hard by tactical nuclear strikes, as NATO matched the Warsaw Pact warhead-for-warhead. By late August, the first of the Soviet divisions released from the Far East were entering the lines. Although the front lines were fluid everywhere, they began moving gradually west.
On September 15th, the siege of Warsaw was lifted, and a week later Czech and Italian troops began a renewed offensive in southern Germany. The southern offensive gained momentum, and NATO forces in Poland increased the rate of their withdrawal, practicing a scorched earth policy as they fell back.
The Soviet and Bulgarian forces in Thrace also began a major offensive against the Turks in September. The one-sided use of tactical nuclear weapons broke the stalemate, and by month's end Bulgarian tank brigades were racing toward Istanbul.
Simultaneously, Greek and Albanian troops launched a drive against southern Jugoslavia, and the Jugoslavian Army began to break up. The Jugoslavian expeditionary force in Romania was recalled for home defense, but before it could return, Beograd had fallen to Italian mechanized columns. At the same time, the limited use of tactical nuclear weapons, the increasing numbers of Soviet reserves, and the withdrawal of the Jugoslavians caused the Romanian front to collapse. As Warsaw Pact columns swept through both countries, isolated military units withdrew into the mountains and began to wage a guerrilla war.
In the west, NATO air units began making deep nuclear strikes against communication hubs in Czechoslovakia and Byelorussia in an attempt to slow the Warsaw Pact advance. The Pact responded with similar strikes against German industrial targets and major port cities. NATO's theater nuclear missiles were launched against an array of industrial targets and port cities in the western Soviet Union. Throughout October the exchanges continued, escalating gradually. Fearful of a general strategic exchange, neither side targeted on the land-based ICBM's of the other, or launched so many warheads at once as to risk convincing the other side that an all-out attack was in progress. Neither side wished to cross the threshold to nuclear oblivion in one bold step, and so they inched across it, never quite knowing they had done it until after the fact.
First, military targets were hit. Then industrial targets clearly vital to the war effort. Then economic targets of military importance. Then transportation and communication, oil fields and refineries. Then major industrial and oil centers in neutral nations, to prevent their possible use by the other side. Numerous warheads were aimed at logistical stockpiles and command control centers of the armies in the field. Almost accidentally, the civilian political command structure was first decimated, then eliminated. The exchange continued, fitfully and irregularly, through November and early December, and then gradually petered out.
Pakistan and India waged their own nuclear war. Facing defeat, Pakistan launched a pre-emptive strike on India's economy and nuclear strike force. Although industrial centers were hit hard, enough of India's nuclear arsenal survived to launch a devastating retaliatory strike. The Indian-Pakistani war soon wound down, as each country's economy no longer could feed its civilians, let alone supply military units.

1998
The winter of 1997-98 was particularly cold. Civilian war casualties in the industrialized nations had reached almost 15% by the turn of the year, but the worst was yet to come. Communication and transportation systems were non-existent, and food distribution was impossible. In the wake of nuclear war came famine on a scale previously undreamed of. Only the exceptionally cold winter delayed simultaneous epidemics. In the nations of the Third World, destruction of their major industries together with cessation of western food aid caused severe dislocations, with famine and starvation in many areas.
With the spring thaw, the unburied dead finally brought on the epidemics the few remaining medical professionals had dreaded but were powerless to prevent. Plague, typhoid, cholera, typhus, and many other diseases swept the world's population. By the time they had run their courses, the global casualty rate would be 50%.
In Europe, France and Belgium had been hit the lightest and stood virtually alone in maintaining a semblance of internal order throughout the cataclysm. As refugees began flooding across their borders, the French and Belgian governments closed their frontiers, and military units began turning back refugees with gunfire. The French government authorized the army to move west to the Rhine to secure a solid geographical barrier. As the refugees piled up on the French and Belgian frontiers, a large lawless zone sprang into existence. Open fighting for food was followed by mass starvation and disease, until the lawless zone had become barren and empty.
The average strength of NATO combat divisions at the front had fallen to about 8,000, with U.S. divisions running at about half of that. Warsaw Pact divisions now varied widely in strength, running from 500 to 10,000 effectives, but mostly in the 2-4,000 range. Lack of fuel, spare parts, and ammunition temporarily paralyzed the armies. Peace might have come, but there were no surviving governments to negotiate it. Only the military command structures remained intact, and they remained faithful to the final orders of their governments. In a time of almost universal famine, only the military had the means of securing and distributing rations. Military casualties had been much lower than casualties among civilians.
In the Balkans, the partisan bands in the mountains of Romania and Jugoslavia had escaped almost untouched, while many Pact regular units had been destroyed in the exchange or had just melted away after it. The Romanians and Jugoslavians began forming regular combat units again, although still structured to live off the land and subsist from captured enemy equipment. At first, there was a great deal of enemy equipment just lying around waiting to be picked up.
There were border changes as well. The Italian Army formed the satellite states of Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia while the Greek Army directly annexed Macedonia. The Albanian Army, always a reluctant ally, first protested, then withdrew from the temporary alliance, and finally began sporadic attacks on Greek military units. At the same time, many Italian and Hungarian units were withdrawn from the Balkans and shifted to Czechoslovakia and southern Germany.
In North America, a flood of hungry refugees began crossing the Rio Grande, and most of the remaining military forces of the United States were deployed into the southwest to deal with the mounting crisis. They moved at the orders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now the de facto government of the United States.
Widespread food riots and violence in refugee areas were met with military force. The Mexican government protested, and within months Mexican Army units crossed the Rio Grande to protect Mexican lives. More U.S. units were shifted south. Scattered fighting grew into open warfare, and Mexican armored columns were soon driving northeast toward Arkansas and northwest into southern California. The front quickly stabilized in northeast Texas and central California. Elsewhere in the U.S. civil disorder and anarchy increased with the withdrawal of Army units.
In late June, the Pact forces in southern Germany renewed their offensive in an attempt to seize the scattered surviving industrial sites in central Germany. Actually, the most intact parts of Germany were those areas in the south which had been under Warsaw Pact occupation, as neither side was willing to strike the area heavily. Galvanized into renewed action, NATO forces made a maximum effort to reform a coherent front, and the Pact offensive finally stalled along a line from Frankfurt to Fulda. In late August, NATO launched its own offensive from the area of Karl Marx Stadt, driving south to penetrate the Pact rear areas in Czechoslovakia. The thinly spread Czech border guard units were quickly overwhelmed and Pact forces in central Germany began a precipitous withdrawal to Czechoslovakia, laying waste to southern Germany as they retreated. A simultaneous offensive by the Jugoslavian Army drove north in an attempt to link up with NATO. The Jugoslavians were halted near Lake Balaton, however, and then thrown back.
As more Pact units arrived in Czechoslovakia, the NATO drive ran out of steam and lost its sense of direction. Troops were shifted west to garrison the recaptured but devastated south of Germany, and many lives were wasted in a futile attempt to force the Alpine passes into Italy. As the autumnal rains began, NATO and the Pact initiated a short and weak second nuclear exchange, directed primarily at surviving industrial centers in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Fighting gradually ran down to the level of local skirmishing as both sides prepared for another winter.

1999
Once spring planting was finished, the United States Congress reconvened for the first time since the first exchange of missiles. Senator John Broward (D, Ark), the former governor of Arkansas who appointed himself to fill one of the two vacant senatorial seats, was elected President by the House of Representatives. General Jonathan Cummings, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refused to recognize the constitutional validity of the election, citing the lack of a proper quorum and numerous irregularities in the credentials of the attending congressmen. (Although Cummings' decision would later be widely criticized, there was much validity to his position. Many congressional seats were disputed; several of the congressmen in attendance were merely self-appointed local strongmen who had gained control of large parts of the old congressional districts, and some had never seen the districts they purported to represent. There was at least one confirmed shooting between rival claimants to a seat while Congress was in session.)
General Cummings declared a continuation of martial law until such time as a new census was practical, that being necessary for a meaningful reapportionment of congressional seats and presidential electoral votes. President Broward responded with a demand for Cummings' resignation, which Cummings declined to submit. While some military units sided with the new civilian government, the majority continued to take orders from the Joint Chiefs, particularly those overseas, for two simple reasons. First, the habit of obedience was deeply ingrained, and, in many cases, was all that had allowed units to survive thus far. Second, the Joint Chiefs controlled virtually all surviving telecommunications networks.
In North America, the main effect was a further erosion of central authority. Forced to choose between two rival governments, both with considerable flaws in their claims to legitimacy, many localities simply chose to ignore both.
The surviving foreign and national organizations dealing or concerned with the United States, choose between the rival governments. The German military government and Polish government in exile continued relations with the Joint Chiefs, while the partisan commands of Jugoslavia and Romania recognized the civilian government. The remnants of the Central Intelligence Agency obeyed the orders of the civilian government, while the Defense Intelligence Agency, loyal to the Joint Chiefs, organized a field operations branch to replace the CIA "defectors."
Officially, forces of the two governments refrained from violent confrontation, but there were sporadic local clashes over key installations, occasional bloody coups within military units, and numerous assassinations and "dirty tricks" by rival intelligence agencies.
In the autumn, the dispatch of troops to Europe resumed although only as a trickle. A few warships were available as escorts, and various old merchant vessels were pressed into service as transports. Initiated by the civilian government, both governments briefly competed in a struggle to outdo the other, viewing success as a litmus test of their ability to mobilize the nation. In fact, the call-ups affected only the Atlantic coast and led to widespread resistance. The dispatch of troops, supplies, and equipment to Europe made little sense to most, considering the appalling state of affairs in the United States.
The actual reinforcements sent included a small number of light vehicles and ammunition but consisted mostly of light infantry. Mortars were becoming the most popular support weapon for troops, as they could be turned out in quantity from small machine shops and garages.
In Europe, the fronts were static for most of the year. Low troop densities meant that infiltration raids became the most common form of warfare. The "front" ceased to be a line and became a deep occupied zone, as troops settled into areas and began farming and small-scale manufacturing to meet their supply requirements. Local civilians were hired to farm and carry out many administrative functions in return for security from the increasing numbers of marauders roaming the countryside. In other areas, the security the military unit provided to its civilians was from the unit itself. Many units stationed in barren areas drifted apart or turned to marauding when supplies did not arrive.
Although most attacks by large bodies of marauders were directed at areas held by "the enemy", they begin to be directed at "allied" units as well, although at first not against units of the same nationality.

2000
By the spring of the year 2000, the armies of Europe had settled into their new "cantonment" system. Civil authority had virtually ceased to exist. Most military units were practicing extensive local recruiting in an attempt to keep up to strength, and stragglers were often incorporated into units regardless of nationality. Thus, U.S. units contain Germans, Poles, Danes, and former soldiers of Warsaw Pact armies in addition to Americans. Nominal titles of units (brigades, divisions, etc.) have little bearing on the actual size of the unit.
In early summer, the German Third Army, spearheaded by the U.S. Eleventh Corps, moved out of its cantonments on what was to become one of the last strategic offensives of the war.
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Default Version 2.0 Timeline

Here's the Ver 2.0 Timeline for everybody. Happy times. . .

What follows is an outline chronology of the events leading up to the current world situation. Obviously, we cannot deal with every event in every country in equal detail. Instead, we have presented a rough outline of major world events and concentrated on the major campaigns of the war after 1995.

1989
The year the Cold War ends. Across Europe, communist governments topple in response to pro-democracy demonstrations or, in the case of Romania, armed insurrection. Voting with their feet, East German citizens flood to the west. In Poland, German ethnic organizations form in response to West Germany's policy of accepting as a German citizen anyone who can prove himself of Germanic descent (it is rumored that membership in ethnic clubs is good enough).
The Soviet Union's new policy of encouraging political pluralism in Europe makes the end of bureaucratic communism certain. Mao Tse-tung's forgotten maxim, "Let 10,000 flowers bloom," becomes reality as dozens of new parties spring into being. The only European communist governments which survive the revolution of 1989 are those outside the Warsaw Pact-Yugoslavia and Albania. The Berlin wall is torn down in spots, and German reunification is spoken of openly. The question is no longer "if," but rather, "when?"
Riots in the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan (over alleged repression of Armenians) require intervention by Soviet troops. The republic remains a powder keg for months.
Elsewhere, the Chinese political reform movement is brutally crushed by government military forces. An attempted coup against President Aquino of the Philippines is foiled (with the help of American air cover), and the republic of Panama is invaded by the U.S. to remove the government of Manuel Noriega.

1990
In a major upset for political pundits in the U.S., a coalition of opposition parties headed by Violetta Chomoro defeats Daniel Ortega's bid for re-election in Nicaragua.

The long-awaited (and long-feared, in some circles) reunification of Germany occurs as a result of de facto plebiscite elections (East Germany's in March, West Germany's in December). The four-power conferences (representing the United States, the United Kingdom, the USSR, and France) that recognize the inevitable also guarantee Poland's territorial integrity. As a part of the agreement, NATO and Warsaw Pact troops will maintain a presence in the newly unified republic (the only way some European nations will agree to the deed).

The newly united Germany renounces any territorial claims outside of its post-World War II boundaries, but it asserts its continued interest in the welfare of ethnic Germans who are living outside of Germany. Membership in German ethnic organizations in western Poland grows, particularly in Silesia, where the floundering efforts of the new (and non-communist) Polish government to convert from a controlled to a free economy result in only partial success.
Spring elections in the Soviet republics of Byelorussia, the Ukraine, and the RSFSSR sweep local reform candidates into office. Both inside and outside the party, Gorbachev's most potent domestic political opponents now become liberals urging more rapid reform rather than conservatives urging caution. Before, during, and after these elections, ethnic unrest simmers in Azerbaijan, and spreads to the minority republics of Tajikistan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, mostly in the form of ethnic demonstrations and occasional riots. Low-level armed violence spreads throughout the Moslem parts of the Caucasus and Central Asia, although most of it fails to come to the attention of the rest of the world, which is distracted by events in Germany. Anticommunist rioting in Tirana results in a brutal crackdown by the Albanian military, which is described by the western press as being "another Tiananmen Square."
By the end of the year, Soviet troops begin to withdraw from Czechoslovakia, but the governments of Poland and Hungary (concerned over the specter of a reunified Germany) request continued Soviet troop presence and reaffirm their commitment to the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet military begins to reorganize along defensive lines, and many motor rifle divisions are converted to the new "machinegun artillery" configuration.

1991
Ethnic and religious violence in the Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union escalates, and the Soviet Union increases its troop withdrawal schedule in order to use the forces inside its own borders.
Germany opts for continued membership in NATO, but at a greatly reduced level of commitment. Having reunified, Germany now turns its attentions to bringing the eastern portion of the country up to the standard of living of the West.
The Bundeswehr is radically reduced in size, and by year's end, Germany places increasing pressure on NATO to reduce troops in proportion to the Soviet withdrawal. Germany also pledges to station troops only in the western part of its territory in return for a complete Soviet troop pullout from eastern Germany.
Hungary protests that the Romanian government is withholding medical relief of the AIDS epidemic (a legacy of the Ceausescu regime's deranged medical policies) from Magyar (ethnic Hungarian) sections of Transylvania; Bucharest denies the charge. French medical investigators accuse the Romanian government of concealing the size and severity of the AIDS infestation in rural portions of the country.
A wave of Slavic nationalism in Bulgaria prompts anti-Turkish riots. Many ethnic Turks are killed, resulting in increased friction with Turkey. German ethnic groups demonstrate in Pomerania and Silesia, protesting their alleged mistreatment by the Polish government. In the United Kingdom, public opinion is outraged when it is discovered that the trans-channel tunnel will have a greater percentage of Arab and Japanese ownership than British.
Americans continue to be scandalized at the extent of Japanese and South Korean ownership of property and at the increasing wave of urban violence caused by the explosion of crack into the heavily populated urban centers of the East and Midwest.
Continued low oil prices wreak havoc with the economies of a number of third world countries. Debt refinancing, particularly for South America, becomes an increasingly difficult issue.

1992
In March, NATO, Warsaw Pact, and German foreign ministers agree to the Rhineland Compromise, providing for token NATO forces to remain in the Rhineland for a period of five years.
This force will consist of one British division, one French division, two U.S. divisions, and a brigade each from Belgium and the Netherlands. NATO's presence in Europe is reduced to five corps (one each British, French, and Benelux, two U.S.) in three armies (U.S. 7th, British Rhine, and French 1st).
Civil war in Albania results in the fall of the communist government and its replacement by a caretaker military regime. Albanian nationalists demonstrate throughout southern Yugoslavia, while Croatian and Slovenian nationalists demonstrate in other parts of the country. The Yugoslavian government response is careful and low-key, but firm.
At the request of the German government, the European parliament puts the universal European currency and other similar economic reform proposals on temporary hold. "Europe '92" is stillborn, to the relief of conservatives in Britain and the United States.
After early successes in holding down the Central Asian unrest, the Soviets suffer several major setbacks. TASS accuses Iran of supplying arms to rebels in Central Asia and Caucasus. Bloody fighting continues, with Islamic fundamentalist insurgents growing in strength. Late in the year, some Western observers begin to use the term "civil war" in referring to the Central Asian unrest.
In the Philippines, President Aquino is re-elected by a narrow margin. In the United States, President Bush declines to run for re-election for reasons of health. Widespread perceptions of a lack of effective Republican leadership on the drug and trade front, and foot-dragging on military demobilization, lead to the election of John Tanner (a Democrat from California). Tanner's vice president, Deanna Pemberton (former representative from Ohio), is the first woman to hold such a high elected office.
In North Korea, the death of the aged Kim II Sung seems to release some pent-up desire in the populace, and increasing numbers of Koreans take to the streets with demands for Soviet-style reform and German-style reunification with the south. Kim's son (who assumed power on his father's death) reacts with token reform measures which promise much but achieve little.

1993
In his inaugural address, President Tanner sets the twin national priorities of rebuilding America's deteriorating infrastructure and "breaking the double grip of crank and crime that have made the nation's largest cities all but uninhabitable."
Reductions in the defense budget made possible by the reduced American military presence in Europe are to fund a national reconstruction program and support large increases in law enforcement and anti-drug education.
None of these measures have any real effect. (By year's end, the DEA will announce a 250% increase in drug seizures, both from smuggling and domestic crank factories. This will represent only 4% of the total estimated illegal drug consumption for the year.)
Tanner is more successful on the international scene. By year's end, he negotiates a withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus and a reunification of the island republic.
Fighting in Central Asia continues for most of the year, but the Soviet military gradually begins to gain the upper hand and regains control of most of the cities of the region. A guerrilla war continues in the countryside, and many veterans of the fighting in Afghanistan a decade before find themselves fighting a very similar campaign.
In China, underground pro-democracy organizations, with encouragement and financial aid from relatives in other countries, begin demonstrating in many of China's larger cities. While these demonstrations remain relatively peaceful for a while, they soon erupt into violence, forcing military intervention. Better prepared than the students of 1989, the pro-democracy factions of the northeast hold out for months before the military manages to restore order.
Elsewhere, things settle down more quickly. Some regional military commanders, increasingly mistrustful of the ability of the local government to maintain order, begin taking matters into their own hands, seizing direct control of local government and imprisoning government officials.
Within a year, many regions are effectively ruled by military commanders, modern versions of China's traditional warlords.
Sporadic antigovernment rioting in Pyongyang and other large cities forces the North Korean government to make further concessions towards a free market economy. Low-key demonstrations by Albanians, Croats, and other ethnic groups continue in Yugoslavia, but unlike those of last year, these remain non-violent.

1994
In China, the central government is increasingly dominated by hard-line nationalists, who are supported by northern Chinese warlords.
New demands for border adjustments are made against the Soviet Union, and it is felt that, given the Soviet internal problems, this might be the time to press for them internationally. Talks produce no tangible results, however, and radical Chinese nationalist junior officers continue to provoke increasingly violent border incidents.
After several years of intensive investment in the eastern third of the country, Germany is finally showing signs of emerging as a world-class economic superpower.
Eastern Germany has been successfully integrated with the West-with infrastructure, education, and services comparable (if not yet equal) to those standards in the rest of the country.
As Europe shows signs of increasing instability, Germany begins quietly increasing its force structure. In January of 1994, the six under-strength divisions, which had been maintained as a token army are brought up to full strength, and each is given a new "territorial" brigade stationed in eastern Germany. Germany is still technically within its agreement not to station active troop units in eastern Germany, since territorials are not active components.
Researchers in France and the United States begin testing a vaccine which shows every sign of being effective against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (the causative agent in AIDS). Researchers soon yield to demands for an accelerated testing program, and the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) waives animal tests in favor of immediate large-scale human experimentation. Nevertheless, it will be several years before pharmaceutical firms can gear up to produce the vaccine in sufficient quantities to deal with the massive outbreaks of the disease in third world countries (those hardest hit).
Central Africa, in particular, is facing complete collapse of its health care system under an avalanche of AIDS victims. Adding to the problem, many health care professionals decide to leave the region out of fear for their own lives.
Continuing differences between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka finally boil over into civil war in December.

1995
After a period of increasing tension and escalating border incidents, full-scale war erupts between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The Red Army enjoys rapid initial success, and tank columns roar deep into the northern Chinese industrial heartland.
The Chinese surpass the expectations of most military analysts in their ability to mobilize reserves from the interior and shift them to the fighting front. While the Soviets continue to make impressive gains, their losses mount, and the tempo of advance slows. Soon, large bodies of citizens' militia are operating in the rear areas, attacking installations and destroying supply convoys. More and more front-line troops have to be detailed to mopping up these patches of guerrilla resistance, and the advance grinds to a halt.
When the main Chinese conventional forces counterattack, to the amazement of the world's military experts, large pockets of Soviet troops are formed. Most of the Soviet units, due to their superior mobility and tremendous firepower, are able to fight their way out of the pockets, but Soviet losses are great and the front is shattered.
The Soviet Union had already been mobilizing additional troops from the western military districts; this action is now placed on an emergency priority basis. As a stopgap, a half-dozen combat-ready divisions are withdrawn from Hungary and Poland and sent to the Far East. But the Far Eastern Front has become a meat grinder, which devours divisions as quickly as they can be committed.
As factory output switches more and more to wartime production, the flow of consumer goods dwindles to a trickle. The economic recovery that had begun in the early '90s is wiped out, and standards of living in the Soviet Union plummet. Motor vehicles and railroad rolling stock are increasingly drawn out of the civilian sector to support the war effort. As the first snows of winter fall, the Soviets begin soliciting the remaining members of the Warsaw Pact for volunteer formations to serve on the Far Eastern Front.
Only two members respond: Poland and Bulgaria. Anxious to maintain strong defense ties with the Soviet Union as a bulwark against Germany, the Poles send a motorized rifle division to fight in the Far East. The Bulgarians promise a brigade group once it is reequipped with modern weapons provided by the Soviets.
In response to increasing regional instability, Germany declares its agreement on size and location of armed forces "obsolete in relation to the current European situation." The six eastern territorial brigades are immediately expanded to weak divisions, while the original six divisions are expanded to nine (the additional troops being provided by mobilization of reserve units from the western part of the country). Poland protests and begins bringing several divisions in western Poland to higher states of readiness.
In Romania, anti-government demonstrations by Magyars (ethnic Hungarians) in several Transylvanian cities are suppressed by Romanian riot control police, with some loss of life. The Hungarian government again protests the mistreatment of these people at the hands of what the Magyars claim is an increasingly genocidal government.
Several days of anti-Turkish rioting in Bulgaria are touched off when a Bulgarian national, arrested for attempting to assassinate the president of the Turkish republic, dies in custody. Despite Turkish protestations that his death was from natural causes, the incident soon assumes crisis proportions, and Turkish citizens are advised to leave Bulgaria.
Late in the year, United Nations peacekeeping forces are sent to Sri Lanka to intervene in the civil war there.

1996
Their ranks swollen with newly mobilized troops, Soviet forces launch a spring offensive against the Chinese. Despite good initial gains, the drive soon stalls, with further horrendous casualties. Winter has witnessed a flood of new, modern equipment through Chinese ports from the NATO nations, particularly the United States. Now Soviet tanks are not facing obsolete wire-guided missiles, but modern Tank Breaker and Assault Breaker systems that make the massed tank assaults, which had been so successful the year before, suicidal.
New tactics are devised, but more troops are needed. Most Soviet Category B readiness divisions are mobilized and sent to the Far East by mid-year, and almost a quarter of the Category A divisions from the western European frontier garrisons are committed.
Many of the low-readiness Category C divisions are upgraded to Category B or mobilized. For the first time in 50 years the mobilization-only divisions begin training. Many of the machinegun artillery divisions formed for territorial defense in the early '90s begin converting back to motorized rifle formations.
In response to its obligations under the Warsaw Pact, Poland prepares to send an additional division to the Far East, but seven ethnic German soldiers in the division announce their intention to resist transfer out of the country. A wave of demonstrations in western Poland by ethnic Germans supporting the seven soldiers is violently suppressed by riot police, resulting in several deaths and numerous injuries. Germany protests and moves several divisions closer to the border.
In June, a small group of senior officers of the German Army, as well as at least one German cabinet minister, open secret talks with the leadership of several German ethnic organizations in eastern Poland. Shortly thereafter, another round of demonstrations breaks out; they are again violently suppressed. This time, however small groups of demonstrators fight back with military small arms. Polish Army units move in. and soon Pomerania and Silesia appear to be in the grips of a civil war.
Poland charges that many of the rebels are German right-wing nationalists who have crossed the border with the collaboration of the German Army. Berlin denies any involvement with rioters but admits that it is possible that German nationals have crossed into Poland, and German military units move closer to the border to step up security.
In mid-July there are several border incidents between units of the Polish and German armies and frequent exchanges of artillery fire. On July 27 elements of the German III Corps cross the frontier in retaliation for what they described as a "full-scale attack" by the Polish 4th Mechanized Division. Within two days Poland and Germany are officially at war.
From the beginning, this is a "come as you are" war; neither side is adequately prepared. The German Army has just finished a period of very rapid growth and rebuilding; many of its units are being equipped with tanks and vehicles which have sat idle in warehouses for four or five years.
The Poles and Soviets are at the end of several years of very limited military spending capped by a war in the east which has drawn off much of their best equipment already. The Poles are supported by the three Soviet divisions still stationed in Poland as part of the Warsaw Pact joint command, but are still outnumbered by the Germans. What tips the balance against the Germans is the surprising entry of the Czech Army in the war on the side of the Warsaw Pact.
By the end of November, the Bundeswehr is in serious trouble. Soviet Frontal Aviation has left its most modern aircraft in the west; these are qualitatively and quantitatively a match for the Luftwaffe.
The Czech Army finally cracks the line of German reservists holding the southern flank and cuts north into Germany itself, closing on Berlin. Heady with victory, the Warsaw Pact leadership announces its intention to occupy and repartition Germany as a guarantee against aggression.
Claiming that its actions were justified by the military provocations of Poland and that it is now faced with dismemberment as a state, Germany turns to its NATO partners for assistance. While the political leadership of the European members of NATO debates the prudence of intervention, the U.S. Army crosses the frontier.
Within a week, France, Belgium, Italy, and Greece first demand that U.S. troops withdraw to their start line and (when these demands have no effect) withdraw from NATO in protest. British and Canadian forces cross the border, however, while Danish and Dutch troops remain in place, still partners in NATO but not party to war.
In the far north, Soviet troops make a bid for quick victory in northern Norway. Most of the best arctic-equipped divisions have already been sent east, however, and the third-line troops available are unable to break through to the paratroopers and marines landed in NATO's rear areas. As crack British commandos and U.S. Marines join the battle, the front line moves east again toward the Soviet naval facilities on the Kola Peninsula, and the elite Soviet paratroopers and marines are isolated and destroyed.
At sea, the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet sorties and attempts to break through the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom Gap into the north Atlantic. For three weeks the opposing fleets hammer each other, but the western fleet comes out on top, badly bloodied but victorious. Eighty percent of the Soviet northern fleet surface tonnage rests on the bottom of the Norwegian and North seas. Scattered commerce raiders break out, however, and by year's end they are wreaking havoc on the NATO convoys bringing reinforcements, ammunition, and equipment across the Atlantic.
When Romanian police shoot and kill a man crossing the border between Hungary and Romania, the Hungarian government suspends diplomatic relations. The Romanians claim he was a smuggler, bringing arms to anti-government forces. Three days later, Hungarian army spies or Romanian government provocateurs (depending on which side you believe) blow up a Romanian railway station in Cluj.
The Romanians conduct mass arrests of Magyars throughout Romania. Police sweeps are met with armed resistance, and within a week a secessionist Magyar government declares its independence from Romania. As Romanian troops move north to crush the rebellion, the Hungarian government protests, is ignored, and then (with its allies) declares war.
As Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Soviet troops cross the border, Romania formally declares war on the three invading nations and appeals to NATO for assistance.
The first nation to rally to Romania's aid is her neighbor, Yugoslavia. Within 24 hours, three divisions and five brigades cross into Romania and two days later are at the front under Romanian command. NATO responds with the offer of full membership in the alliance to both nations, which they accept. More concrete assistance takes the form of the Turkish 1st Army, which launches its offensive against a thin Bulgarian covering force in Thrace on Christmas Eve.
In July the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), a group of Maoist guerrillas, takes advantage of international chaos to make a bid for control of Peru. They do not succeed in overthrowing the government, but they do succeed in wresting about half of the country from central control. Other South and Central American countries experience varying degrees of political instability.

1997
On the first day of the new year, the NATO heads of state declare their support for a Polish government in exile, headed by a committee of Polish emigres. While the news is greeted with scattered worker uprisings in Poland, the majority of the Polish Army re- mains loyal to the central government, and open resistance is soon crushed. An under- ground movement begins forming, however, and by spring guerrilla bands, leavened by Polish Army deserters, start to harass Warsaw Pact supply convoys and installations.
During January, continuing Turkish successes in Bulgaria spark a wave of patriotism in the Turks, particularly since Greece has remained neutral in the war. On Cyprus, unoccupied and supposedly reunited for three years, the Turkish Cypriots demonstrate in favor of Turkey. The demonstrations turn into anti-Greek riots, and the Cypriot Army moves to restore order. In response, the Turkish Army invades Cyprus and quickly occupies most of the island. Greece first sends military units to Cyprus to resist the Turks, then declares war on Turkey and attacks the Turkish forces in Thrace.
In late February, the socialist governments of Italy and Greece conclude a mutual defense pact. While Italy is not obligated by the pact to enter the Greco-Turkish war, the Italian government declares the war to be a regional conflict unrelated to the more general war raging elsewhere, promising to intervene on Greece's side if NATO tries to tip the balance in Turkey's favor. Within a week Greece declares a naval blockade against Turkey and warns the world's shipping that the Aegean is now considered a war zone.
In an attempt to restore the situation in Germany, Soviet and Czech troops return to the offensive in southern Germany but do not have the strength to make any significant gains. With the coming of spring, the NATO offensive gains momentum, and in April the first German troops cross the frontier into Poland. By June 17, Warsaw is surrounded, and Polish Army units and the citizens of the city prepare for a siege.
By late spring, NATO's Atlantic Fleet has hunted down the last of the Soviet commerce raiders, and the surviving attack carriers and missile cruisers move to northern waters. The NATO drive in the north has bogged down on the banks of the Litsa River, but the Northern Front commander now contemplates a bold move to destroy the remnants of Soviet naval power there. While U.S. and British units attempt a rapid outflanking move through northern Finland, the NATO Atlantic Fleet will close in on Murmansk and Severomorsk, subjecting the Soviet fleet anchorages and airbases to a massive bombardment. On June 7, the ground offensive is launched, and the fleet closes in on the Kola Peninsula shortly thereafter.
Finland had been expected to offer token resistance to the violation of its territory; instead the Finnish Army fights tenaciously, seriously delaying the flanking move. At sea the plan fares even worse, as coastal missile boats and the remnants of the Soviet Northern Fleet's shore-based naval aviation inflict crippling losses on the NATO fleet. By mid-June the last major naval fleet-in-being in the world has been shattered.
In the south, the front in Romania stabilizes and enters a period of attritional warfare. Soviet mobilization-only divisions, largely leg- mobile and stiffened with a sprinkling of obsolete tanks and armored personnel carriers, enter the lines. Although the Romanians prove better soldiers than the over-aged and ill-trained Soviet recruits, the manpower difference begins to be felt.
The best Soviet troops are shipped further south to Bulgaria and by May have managed to halt the Turkish drive. As Greek pressure on the Turkish left flank in Thrace builds, unit after Turkish unit is shifted to face the Greeks. It becomes clear that, without aid, the Turkish Army will have to fall back or be defeated.
On June 27, a NATO convoy of fast transports and cargo ships, accompanied by a strong covering force, attempts the run to the Turkish port of Izmir with badly needed ammunition and equipment. Light fleet elements of the Greek Navy intercept the convoy and, in a confused night action off Izmir, inflict substantial losses and escape virtually unharmed. Two days later NATO retaliates with air strikes against Greek naval bases. On July 1, Greece declares war against the NATO nations, and Italy, in compliance with her treaty obligations, follows suit on July 2.
In early July, Italian airmobile and alpine units cross the passes into Tyrol. Scattered elements of the Austrian Army resist briefly but are overwhelmed. By mid-month, Italian mechanized forces are debouching from the Alpine passes into southern Germany, and their advanced elements are in combat against German territorial troops in the suburbs of Munich.
The Yugoslavian Army launches a gallant but costly offensive against northeastern Italy, but soon is stalled. Italy responds with a major counter-offensive which, while draining troops from the German front, shatters the thinly spread Yugoslavian northern grouping. The Italian Army enjoys tremendous success in the first month of its involvement in the war, primarily for logistical reasons. Most of its opponents have already been at war for six months or more. Their peacetime stocks of munitions and replacement vehicles are depleted, and their industries have not yet geared up to wartime production. The Italians have intact peacetime stockpiles to draw on. As summer turns to fall, however, the Italians too began feeling the logistical pinch, aggravated by the increasing flow of munitions and equipment from the factories of their opponents.
In Asia, pro-Soviet India and anti-Soviet Pakistan drift into war through an escalating spiral of border incidents, mobilization, and major armed clashes. Outright war begins in the spring, and by mid-year the Indian Army is slowly advancing across the length of the front, despite fierce resistance.
By early July, NATO advance elements are closing up on the Polish-Soviet frontier in the central region, while continuing the siege of Pact-held Warsaw. The Polish government in exile establishes its temporary capital in the city of Poznan and asserts its claim to the pre-1939 Polish borders in the east. In the Far East, Pact forces begin major withdrawals all along the front, and the mobile elements of the Chinese Army begin a victorious pursuit.
On July 9, with advance elements of the 1st German Army on Soviet soil, the Soviets begin using tactical nuclear weapons. In the West, they are used sparingly at first, and for the first week are used only against troop concentrations no further than 50 kilometers from the Soviet border. In the Far East, however, they are used on a massive scale. Chinese mechanized columns are vaporized, caught in the open on the roads in imagined pursuit. Strike aircraft deliver warheads on the northern Chinese population and industrial centers still in Chinese hands. The Chinese response is immediate, but Soviet forward troop units are dispersed and well prepared. Ballistic missile attacks on Soviet population centers are frustrated by an active and efficient ABM system, and the Soviet Air Defense Command massacres the handful of Chinese bombers who attempted low-level penetration raids. Within a week, the Chinese riposte is spent, but Soviet attacks continue. The Chinese communication and transportation system, already stretched to the breaking point, disintegrates. The roads are choked with refugees fleeing from the remaining cities, all of them potential targets. China begins the rapid slide into anarchy and civil disorder.
On the western front, the forward elements of both armies on the Soviet-Polish frontier are hit hard by tactical nuclear strikes, as NATO matches the Warsaw Pact warhead- for-warhead. By late August, the first of the Soviet divisions released from the Far East enters the lines. Although the front lines are fluid everywhere, they begin moving west.
On September 15, the siege of Warsaw is lifted, and a week later Czech and Italian troops begin a renewed offensive in southern Germany. The southern offensive gains momentum, and NATO forces in Poland increase the rate of their withdrawal, practicing a scorched earth policy as they fall back.
The Soviet and Bulgarian forces in Thrace also begin a major offensive against the Turks in September. The one-sided use of tactical nuclear weapons breaks the stalemate, and by month's end Bulgarian tank brigades are racing toward Istanbul. Simultaneously, Greek and Albanian troops launch a drive against southern Yugoslavia, and the Yugoslavian Army begins to break up. The Yugoslavian expeditionary force in Romania is recalled for home defense, but before it can return, Belgrade has fallen to Italian mechanized columns. At the same time, the limited use of tactical nuclear weapons, the increasing numbers of Soviet reserves, and the withdrawal of the Yugoslavians cause the Romanian front to collapse. As Warsaw Pact columns sweep through both countries, isolated military units withdraw into the mountains and begin to wage a guerrilla war.
In the west, NATO air units begin making deep nuclear strikes against communications hubs in Czechoslovakia and Byelorussia in an attempt to slow the Warsaw Pact advance. The Pact responds with similar strikes against German industrial targets and major port cities. NATO's theater nuclear missiles are launched against an array of industrial targets and port cities in the western Soviet Union. Throughout October the exchanges continue, escalating gradually. Fearful of a general strategic exchange, neither side targets the land-based ICBMs of the other or launches enough warheads at once to risk convincing the other side that an all-out attack is in progress. Neither side wishes to cross the threshold to nuclear oblivion in one bold step, so they inch across it, never quite knowing they have done so until after the fact.
First, military targets are hit (including the first decapitating strikes at U.S. targets), then industrial targets vital to the war effort, followed by economic targets of military importance (transportation and communication, oil fields and refineries). Then major industrial and oil centers in neutral nations are targeted to prevent their use by the other side. Warheads are aimed at logistical stockpiles and command control centers of the armies in the field. The civilian political command structure is first decimated, then eliminated (almost by accident in some cases). The exchanges continue, fitfully and irregularly, through November and then gradually peter out.
Pakistan and India waged their own nuclear war. Facing defeat, Pakistan launches a pre-emptive strike on India's economic sites and nuclear strike force. Although industrial centers are hit hard, enough of India's nuclear arsenal survives to launch a devastating retaliatory strike. The Indian-Pakistani war soon winds down, as each country's economy can no longer feed its civilians, let alone supply military units.

1998
The winter of 1997-98 is particularly cold. Civilian war casualties in the industrialized nations have reached almost 15% by the turn of the year, but the worst is yet to come. Communication and transportation systems are nonexistent, and food distribution is impossible. In the wake of nuclear war comes famine on a scale previously undreamed of. Only the exceptionally cold winter delays simultaneous epidemics. In the nations of the Third World, destruction of major industries together with cessation of western food aid causes severe dislocations, with famine and starvation in many areas.
With the spring thaw, the unburied dead finally bring on the epidemics the few remaining medical professionals had dreaded but were powerless to prevent. Plague, typhoid, cholera, typhus, and many other diseases sweep through the world's population. By the time they have run their courses, the global casualty rate will be 50%.
In Europe, France and Belgium were hit the lightest and stand virtually alone in maintaining a semblance of internal order throughout the cataclysm. As refugees begin flooding across their borders, the French and Belgian governments close their frontiers, and military units begin turning back refugees with gunfire. The French government authorizes the army to move west to the Rhine to secure a solid geographical barrier. As the refugees pile up on the French and Belgian frontiers, a large lawless zone springs into existence. Open fighting for food is followed by mass starvation and disease, until the lawless zone becomes barren and empty.
The average strength of NATO combat divisions at the front has fallen to about 8000, with U.S. divisions running at about half of that. Warsaw Pact divisions now vary widely in strength, running from 500 to 10,000 effectives, but mostly in the 2000-4000 range. Lack of fuel, spare parts, and ammunition temporarily paralyze the armies. Peace might have come, but no governments survive to negotiate it. Only the military command structures remain intact, and they are faithful to the final orders of their governments. In a time of almost universal famine, only the military has the means of securing and distributing rations. Military casualties have been much lower than casualties among civilians.
In the Balkans, the partisan bands in the mountains of Romania and Yugoslavia have escaped almost untouched, while many Pact regular units were destroyed in the exchange or have just melted away after it. The Romanians and Yugoslavians begin forming regular combat units again, although they are still structured to live off the land and subsist from captured enemy equipment. At first, a great deal of enemy equipment is just lying around waiting to be picked up.
There are border changes as well. Yugoslavia disappears as a nation from the map of Europe. The Italian Army forms the satellite states of Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia, while the Greek Army directly annexes Macedonia. The Albanian Army, always a reluctant ally, first protests, then withdraws from the alliance, and begins sporadic attacks on Greek military units. It is joined by ethnic Albanian partisan units from Macedonia. At the same time, many Italian and Hungarian units are withdrawn from the Balkans and shifted to Czechoslovakia and southern Germany.
In North America, a flood of hungry refugees begins crossing the Rio Grande, and most of the remaining military forces of the United States are deployed to the southwest to deal with the mounting crisis. They move at the orders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now the de facto government of the United States. Widespread food riots and violence in refugee areas are met with military force. The Mexican government protests, and within months Mexican Army units cross the Rio Grande to protect Mexican lives. More U.S. units are shifted south. Scattered fighting grows into open warfare, and Mexican armored columns drive northeast toward Arkansas and northwest into southern California. The front quickly stabilizes in northeast Texas and central California. Elsewhere in the U.S. civil disorder and anarchy increase with the withdrawal of army units.
In late June, the Pact forces in southern Germany renew their offensive in an attempt to seize the scattered surviving industrial sites in central Ger- many. Actually, the most intact parts of Germany are those areas in the south, which had been under Warsaw Pact occupation, as neither side was willing to strike the area heavily. Galvanized into renewed action, NATO forces make a maximum effort to reform a coherent front, and the Pact offensive finally stalls along a line from Frankfurt to Fulda.
In late August, NATO launches its own offensive from the area of Karl Marx Stadt, driving south to penetrate the Pact rear areas in Czechoslovakia. The thinly spread Czech border guard units are overwhelmed, and Pact forces in central Germany begin a withdrawal to Czechoslovakia, laying waste to southern Germany as they retreat.
A simultaneous offensive by the remnants of the Yugoslavian Army drives north in an attempt to link up with NATO. The Yugoslavians are halted near Lake Balaton, however, and then thrown back.
As more Pact units arrive in Czechoslovakia, the NATO drive runs out of steam and loses its sense of direction. Troops are shifted west to garrison the recaptured but devastated south of Germany, and many lives are wasted in a futile attempt to force the Alpine passes into Italy.
As the autumnal rains begin, NATO and the Pact initiate a short and weak second nuclear exchange, directed primarily at surviving industrial centers in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Fighting runs down to the level of local skirmishing as both sides prepare for winter.

1999
Once spring planting is finished, the United States Congress reconvenes for the first time since the exchange of nuclear missiles. Senator John Broward (D, Ark.), the former governor of Arkansas who appointed himself to fill one of the two vacant senatorial seats, is elected president by the House of Representatives. General Jonathan Cummings, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refuses to recognize the constitutional validity of the election, citing the lack of a proper quorum and numerous irregularities in the credentials of the attending congressmen.
(Although Cummings' decision will later be widely criticized, there is much validity to his position. Many congressional seats are disputed; several of the congressmen in attendance are merely self-appointed local strongmen who have gained control of large parts of the old congressional districts, and some have never seen the districts they purport to represent. There is at least one confirmed gunfight between rival claimants to a seat while congress is in session.)
General Cummings declares a continuation of martial law until such time as a new census is practical, that being necessary for a meaningful reapportionment of congressional seats and Presidential electoral votes. President Broward responds with a demand for Cummings' resignation, which Cummings declines to submit. While some military units side with the new civilian government, the majority continue to take orders from the joint chiefs (particularly those overseas) for two simple reasons: First, the habit of obedience is deeply ingrained, and, in many cases, is all that has allowed units to survive thus far. Second, the Joint Chiefs control virtually all surviving telecommunications networks.
In North America, the main effect of the split is a further erosion of central authority. Forced to choose between two rival governments, both with considerable flaws in their claims to legitimacy, many localities simply choose to ignore both.
The surviving foreign and national organizations dealing or concerned with the United States choose between the rival governments. The German military government and Polish government in exile continue relations with the joint chiefs, while the partisan commands of Yugoslavia and Romania recognize the civilian government. The remnants of the Central Intelligence Agency obey the orders of the civilian government, while the National Security Agency, loyal to the joint chiefs, organizes a field operations branch to replace the CIA "defectors." Officially, forces of the two governments refrain from violent confrontation, but there are sporadic local clashes over key installations, occasional bloody coups within military units, and numerous assassinations and "dirty tricks" by rival intelligence agencies. In the autumn, the dispatch of troops to Europe resumes, although only as a trickle. A few warships are available as escorts, and various old merchant vessels are pressed into service as transports. Initiated by the civilian government, both governments briefly compete in a struggle to outdo each other, viewing success as a litmus test of their ability to mobilize the nation. In fact, the call-ups affect only the Atlantic coast and lead to widespread resistance. The dispatch of troops, supplies, and equipment to Europe makes little sense to most, considering the appalling state of affairs in the United States. The reinforcements sent include a small number of light vehicles and ammunition, but consist mostly of light infantry. Mortars are becoming the most popular support weapon for troops, as they can be turned out in quantity from small machine shops and garages. In Europe, the fronts are static for most of the year. Low troop densities mean that infiltration raids become the most common form of warfare. The "front" ceases to be a line and becomes a deep occupied zone as troops settle into areas and begin farming and small- scale manufacturing to meet their supply requirements. Local civilians are hired to farm and carry out many administrative functions in return for security from the increasing numbers of marauders roaming the countryside. In other areas, the security the military unit provides to its civilians is from the unit itself, a post-nuclear version of the ancient "protection" racket. Many units stationed in barren areas drift apart or turn to marauding when supplies do not arrive.
Although most attacks by large bodies of marauders are directed at areas held by "the enemy," they begin to be directed at "allied" units as well, although at first not against units of the same nationality. The effects of the chaos ensuing from the
destruction of world trade and the death of a sizable portion of the population are felt globally. Central Africa is hit particularly hard, as the war cuts off production and shipment of the HIV vaccine just as the AIDS active infection rate tops 50%.
No territory though, however remote, remains untouched by the war. Even scientific stations in the Antarctic and orbiting space laboratories are abandoned as the war drags on.

2000
By the spring of the year 2000, the armies of Europe have settled into their new "cantonment" system.
Civil authority has virtually ceased to exist. Most military units are practicing extensive local recruiting in an attempt to keep up to strength, and stragglers are often incorporated into units regardless of nationality. Thus, U.S. units contain a wide variety of former NATO and Warsaw Pact soldiers in addition to Americans.
Nominal titles of units (brigades, divisions, etc.) have little bearing on the actual size of the unit.
In early summer, the German 3rd Army, spearheaded by the U.S. 11th Corps, moves out of its cantonments on what is to become one of the last strategic offensives of the war.
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