In 1948 there was an unsteady peace agreement between the European Alliance and the Commintern. Everybody was sure that the war would flare up once again and the Third World War would follow soon after the second like the second had after the First World War. For the time being however there was peace, but the German war industry continued on unabated in case the war were to resume.
The war had decimated Europe and it seemed as if the alliance's economy would collapse under its own weight. Eastern Europe and in particular, the Balkans remained largely untouched by the big bombing raids of 1944. This meant that Germany could use their industries, as small as they were, to help rebuild the rest. It took only a year to get the industries of Western Europe going again and another four to get the cities back to normal. It was a miracle of modern industrial and engineering know how.
With the south of the country decimated by German night bomber raids and a crippling debt owed to most of the other nations of the Commonwealth and US alliance it would be unlikely that they could maintain the Empire as it was, not to mention that they now had the sizable French Empire in there possession. Thus they began the arduous task of creating puppet nations within the Empire with the eventual goal of releasing the Empire as full members of the Commonwealth.
At first these nations expressed little interest in being in the Commonwealth and a few tried to set up dictatorships that were contrary to the Statute of Westminster, but these soon gave way and joined the Commonwealth out of fear as the US alliance began to build up its military inside Africa. The Middle East stayed with the commonwealth following the disastrous war for Palestine with the US alliance trained and equipped Jewish army. The state of Israel was born in the ashes of Palestine.
India was the wild card in the post war world. With the promise to Ghandi that India would be a full independent country by 1948 the Empire was forced to follow through on their promise. India expressed no love for the British crown and following their independence they disavowed any involvement with the British crown, however they did retain their membership in the Commonwealth. Membership did not require any involvement with the Royal Family.
The United States was at a high point during this period. They gained allies in Asia, they acquired the holdings of the Japanese Empire and there alliance which they had originally formed as a method of defeating Japan had now grown to include most of Central and South America. Indonesia also declared their independence from the Netherlands and joined the US alliance for protection from reprisal. In truth the Netherlands was in no position to retaliate. Their entire military had been decimated during the war and now they faced the reality of having a German friendly government.
Japan was the only strain on the alliances economy. It was vital to get that country back on its feet before the Commintern could get a strong enough naval presence to invade the now occupied nation. Getting the Imperial Navy back on its feet was priority number one for the USA. A strong Japanese military could help prevent a war in that region and under US observation the Japanese Empire would not present the threat that they once had.
The Soviet Union was the strongest member of the smallest of the great alliances. Its primary goal, after recovering from the German occupation of the western portion of the country, was to expand the alliance and they saw China and Indo-China as a good place to start.
The Soviet Union possessed a large number of obsolete T-34/76 tanks and saw Communist China as a good dumping ground for them. They provided a large number of obsolete vehicles to the Chinese and began the arduous task of training the People’s Liberation Army how to use them. Unfortunately the Nationalist forces struck first before these new units could be properly trained. The People’s Liberation Army was too small to defend the amount of territory that they had acquired from the Soviet Union's invasion of Manchuria. They were force back, deep into Manchuria and the Soviet Union built up a force to counter the Nationalist threat, however the US alliance intervened fearing an all-out war with the Commintern they convinced the Nationalists to stop there offensive until the USA could secure Soviet neutrality. While the talks were going on the People's Liberation Army grew in size and the new tank divisions were ready and they struck hard. The Nationalist forces did not possess any tanks at that time and they were forced back. The Communist Chinese forced the Nationalists back further then the Japanese had and drove the Nationalists from the continent. Chang Ki Shek faced the reality that he would never be able to return to the mainland and set up the government of Taiwan, which promptly joined the US alliance.
The situation in Europe continued to escalate following the war. War exhausted Commonwealth forces continued to build up in Free France, Western Belgium and Eastern Italy. The US alliance followed suite and Germany supplied a small token force in France and Belgium. Its main buildup occurred along the old eastern front where the Commintern and in particularly the Soviet Union continued to be a menacing threat. Nothing came of this build up during the early stages of the Cold War, in fact there was a slight decline in the number of troops stationed in these potential hot spots.
In 1953 Belgium held a referendum concerning its divided state. While the vote was urged on by Eastern Belgium officials the vote was almost entirely unanimous that the country should reunite and join the European Alliance as they could better protect the country then its current Commonwealth allies. The Commonwealth was legally powerless to stop the reunification as it was a fully democratic vote. With the success of that referendum the citizens of Eastern Italy also held a vote to rejoin Northern Italy. It took an additional 11 years and three votes which the last one barely passed but the two countries reunited and became one again. A similar referendum was held in Western Italy but a US president declared the referendum illegitimate as it was not started by the native government of Western Italy but that of Northern Italy and thus had to be illegal.
France was the longest hold out. Even though Burgundy and Aquitaine were the initiators of the vote in all four French countries, they did manage to get Free France and Vichy France to agree to the vote once De'Gualle had passed away and the last of his influence was depleted. The vote was a land slide in all four countries in favour of reunification. There was quite a bit of US Alliance resistance to this but their influence over the region was largely a token influence.
Korea represented the first cold war conflict to be fought. The new Commintern nation of North Korea invaded is southern neighbour of South Korea. The US Alliance was quick to act, before the country was completely overrun they managed to get a small force into the country and halted the North Koreans around Pusan. Using their sizable navy the US Alliance landed marines at Inchon and forced the North Koreans out of the south and deep into the North. China, not wanting another US alliance neighbour, entered the war. They pushed the US Alliance deep into South Korea before they ran out of manpower and were forced back into North Korea. This back and forth continued for four years. Both the Commintern and US alliance desired a peace settlement of some kind, but not at the expense of a possible military defeat. Both sides knew that a stalemate was the only way to avoid a larger war and after four years of bloody fighting they got there stalemate when the North Koreans accepted a cease fire. That cease fire was still in effect for most of the 20th century and no formal peace treaty had been signed by either side.
With global relations at an all-time low the US alliance chose to let two countries inside French Indo-china go. Laos and Cambodia were granted independence largely due to the fact that garrisoning those regions was logistically impossible. Vietnam on the other hand was completely within range of coastal bombardment vessels and carrier based aircraft so supplying troops on the ground was much easier.
Maintaining control of the region was another problem. The popular leader Ho Chi Min was a very staunch anti-American. He wanted independence for his country, but he couldn't force them out of the whole country all at once so he concentrated on the north where he was closest to his key supplier of arms and equipment, China. He forced the Americans into a situation where their focus was entirely based on controlling the cities and the few roads between them. It became easy after that to lure US units into ambushes were they would find little or no support. Air cover was difficult to provide due to the thick jungle canopy in many parts of the country. Ho Chi Min was able to direct his forces in such a way that traveling on those key roads between the cities became impossible. Supplies had to be delivered by air and sea. Ho Chi Min eventually captured key airfields located inland that had been isolated from the rest of the US garrison. This led to China donating and training pilots for jet aircraft. The Soviet Union got involved as well donating more equipment, using the conflict to test out its latest weapons. Eventually the US alliance abandoned the north due to logistical problems. North Vietnam was born. Ho Chi Min died soon after.
The liberation of the south of the country would be much more difficult. The North Vietnamese army was now a standing army instead of a freedom fighting force. Incursions into South Vietnam could be seen as an act of aggression. They, instead raised an army made up of South Vietnamese citizens and sent them into battle against the US alliance. North Vietnamese army units did make incursions into the south, but very carefully. It took over a decade to get the US alliance to abandon South Vietnam and this was done, in the end diplomatically, not militarily. South Vietnam was invaded within a month of the US alliance evacuation. The country was united and the US alliance suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Commintern, but it would be the Commintern's turn in Afganistan.
The story of Africa's 20th century history is a long and complicated one. For simplicity it will be summarized and shortened for the readers convenience.
It all begins with the reunification of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Spanish Morocco declared its independence on January 3rd, 1948 and immediately declared for the Commonwealth, mostly because they were now the enemy of Spain since Spain had joined the European Union just shortly before. Spain's navy was the strongest in Europe at the time since it hadn't been mauled by the Commonwealth navy during World War Two. It still was not a match for the Commonwealth fleet and since the new government of Spanish Morocco met the criteria of the Statute of Westminster they were welcomed into the Commonwealth with open arms. Again there was more to this but this document must summarize due to time constraints. Spanish Morocco (now Commonwealth Morocco) began to send arms and material to Moroccan resistance fighters in US Morocco and to the Algerian army of the Interior. Fighting was so bad that both countries were declared war zones by the US alliance. With the inability to simply invade Commonwealth Morocco and with many resources tied up in South East Asia the US alliance simply abandoned all three countries (including Tunisia).
With the encouragement of Spanish Morocco’s successful defection to the Commonwealth the other Spanish and Portuguese held territories began to declare for the Commonwealth. These territories became independent states with the protection offered by the alliance so no retaliation could occur without starting a broader war. One the European Alliance could ill afford.
Over the course of the century the British Empire slowly broke up and its African holdings became individual countries. Many of the Central and Eastern countries set up dictatorships but with the US alliance reeling from the defeat of South East Asia the populations of those countries revolted one by one and set up democracies in accordance with the Statute of Westminster and joined the Commonwealth. These were not simple transitions however. They were bloody affairs which did not end until the Ivory Coast lost its civil war in 1993.
Many countries experienced bloody tribal wars in which the many tribes of Africa either rebelled against their ruling government or were subjected to harsh treatment from that government. The Commonwealth intervened were it could but not all conflicts could be resolved without bloodshed. This is another oversimplification but due to the constraints of this document it must be simplified.
When the Territory of India was split up between the ethnic and religious groups dominate in India the country found itself divided. In an effort to reunify the country several of these nations were absorbed by Hindu India. Only Pakistan and Bangladesh resisted this transition, violently so. Several wars were fought over the province of Kashmir and even one small conflict with China. During the early years the Indian Navy purchased the old Queen Elizabeth class and R class battleships from Great Britain. These would probably have been provided freely but India saw it as an investment in the future as this money could be used to design and build newer battleships which India might copy. Pakistan also wished to purchase battleships but found only the Renown available for purchase. This suited the Pakistani navy just fine as it would be difficult to crew that many ships. In one of the wars over Kashmir the Renown was sunk by an old R class ship.
Palestine endured an occupation by Jewish forces which renamed the country Israel. This was not opposed by the British Empire beyond the borders of Palestine. It also served to encourage the fledgling Arabic nations to follow the Statute of Westminster and join the commonwealth for protection, not only against the US alliance but from the Commintern which sought to increase its influence by any means necessary. Iran was divided into two states, one controlled by the Commonwealth and the other by the Commintern. This followed the lines of occupation of Persia during WWII when the Commonwealth and Commintern proactively invaded the country to prevent it from joining the Axis. A brief war was fought between the two countries. Both the Commonwealth and the Commintern agreed not to intervene directly in the conflict in order to prevent a larger war. The Commonwealth forces prevailed dealing the Comminterns first modern defeat, but still failed to reunifiy the country.
Israel remained a hot point of contention. The Arabic nations wanted to "liberate" the Palestinians from the Jewish population which was growing at a nearly uncontrollable rate. The Commonwealth as a whole felt bad for what the Germans did to the Jewish people during WWII and agreed with the US alliance that they deserved a country as a whole. As a result the Commonwealth would attempt to stop any offensive into Arabic territory but would not support any invasion of the Jewish state. This resulted in multiple wars which includes a massive defeat of Commonwealth forces in the Sinai region which resulted in an occupation of that area for a short time
Canada found itself with a powerful enemy on its front doorstep. The Canadian population was left in a state of constant worry especially when US news broadcasts cast the Canadian government in a negative light. During the 50's and 60's Canada found itself with its largest armed forces ever with 51 divisions, 32 squadrons, 2 light carriers, 2 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and 16 destroyers all of WWII era quality. In 1958 the Avro Arrow entered service completely obsoleting every aircraft in existence. The Aircraft was spread throughout the Commonwealth and by 1975 every Commonwealth country was fielding at least a squadron worth of these fine fighters. This caused a great deal of grief for the US alliance which relied on its air superiority to maintain its combat strength. The design was "acquired" and initially copied but soon they developed their own aircraft such as the F-4 and the A-6.
A massive fence and stockade was built along the border by both sides and manned by volunteers. Each side viewed this stockade as a feel good measure for the general public and knew that the war would likely be fought in the interior of one country or the other, most likely Canada. As time went on however these measures were seen as a colossal waste of money and both sides relaxed there guard. By the 1980's, even with Regan’s massive armaments program, the two countries found themselves in a sort of detente. That would change in the late 90's and early 2000's.
The countries of the Caribbean found themselves being in the undesirable realm of indefensible territory. If war did come there would be little initial help from the other Commonwealth Nations and they would likely have to endure a lengthy occupation. That did not meant that these countries did not prepare for war, they turned there islands and territories into fortresses with the intent of causing as many casualties as possible. These programs were subsidized by the Commonwealth as a whole as a means of tying down as many enemy troops as possible.
South and Central America enjoyed a slight economic boom from the weapons trade as the United States sucked up more and more munitions to expend in their fight in Vietnam. As time went on however the governments and police forces of these countries became corrupt and easily manipulated by large corporations which were making all of that money. Drug cartels also popped up during this period but with the lessons learned from Vietnam the United States was unwilling to intervene directly despite the fact that the USA was the dumping grounds for all of these drugs. The USA merely subsidized the local military in hopes that they would become powerful enough to overcome these drug lords on their own.
In the United States the population was still reeling from the failed defense of South Vietnam. They regarded there military with suspicion and did nothing to help the veterans of that conflict. As drug abuse became more rampant amongst the population mega corporations began to pop up. At first these mega corporations appeared to be doing nothing but good, helping the economy and fighting the war on drugs. However, as time went on they found that the vast sums of money they were making could be used to manipulate Senators, Congressmen and even the President. As long as they didn't break the law the Supreme Court would do nothing to interfere so the mega corporations began to control the government, supporting easily manipulated politicians and leaving the more honest ones penniless on the campaign trail. Soon the mega corporations found themselves in complete control of the government and declared that they lived in a plutocracy rather than a democracy. The mega corporations began eying Canada and the rich natural resources being discovered in its vast northern wilderness. Oil, Potash, gold and even diamonds were being pulled out of the tundra and Canadian Shield. They began pushing the government to villanize the Canadian Government as corrupt and evil. They urged the government to increase defense spending in order to swell the military beyond its current size. The stage was set, the greatest war fought on Earth would begin within four years.