|World War III|
Map of the War's Belligerents in 2051
|1.7 million||1 million|
|Casualties and losses|
The Third World War, also known as World War III (WWIII or WW3), was a global war that lasted from 2051 to 2055, though some related conflicts in Asia began before 2051. It involved the vast majority of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Alliance and the Coalition. It was the most widespread war of the century, involving over 5 million people across the planet. Unlike the two previous World Wars, World War III was not a "total war," but rather a precision war. Marked with few civilian casualties, the destruction of only critical infrastructure points, hypersonic precision strikes of enemy military assets, all under the threat of nuclear retaliation for any action that went to far, it only resulted in an estimated 110,000 fatalities. These made World War III the deadliest conflict of the 21st Century, but was relatively bloodless compared to the previous World Wars.
The Turkish-Japanese Coalition aimed to dominate Eurasia as a new Superpower, with Japan controlling East Asia and Turkey controlling the Middle East, Balkans, and Southern Russia. Japan was already at war with the People's Republic of China in 2048, but the world war is generally said to have begun on Thanksgiving Day, 2051 with the attack on the US Orbital Defense Network and subsequent declarations of war on Turkey by Poland and India and declarations of war on Japan by the United States and Korea.
World War III altered the political alignment and social structure of the world. The great powers that were the victors of the war—the United States, Poland, China, the United Kingdom, and India all formed alliance systems that directly cooperated with the United States. The US remained the world's dominant power, while the sphere's of Turkey and Japan were curtailed.
- 1 Chronology
- 2 Background
- 3 Pre-War Events
- 4 Course of the War
- 5 Aftermath
- 6 In Culture
Chronology[edit | edit source]
The start of the war is generally held to be Thanksgiving Day 2051, beginning with the Japanese attack on American forces in space; The United States, Korea, and the Republic of China declared war on Japan two days later. Other dates for the beginning of war include the start of the Third Sino-Japanese War on 8 June 2048.
Others follow the American historian Leland Sambo, who held that the Third Sino-Japanese War and war in the Pacific and the Southeastern Europe occurred simultaneously and the two wars merged in 2051. This article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War III include the Turkish invasion of the Don Republic on 3 October 2046.
The exact date of the war's end is also not universally agreed upon. It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended at the ceasefire of 22 November 2054 (V-T Day), rather than the formal surrender of Turkey (2 January 2055); it is even claimed in some American histories that it ended on V-J Day (8 October 2054). A Treaty of Peace with Turkey was signed in 2057, to formally tie up any loose ends such as compensation to be paid to Allied prisoners of war who had been victims of abuse.
Background[edit | edit source]
Climate Change started the Third World War. Perhaps that's a gross oversimplification, but it's the popular consensus of those who lived through that age. The world had just gotten used to the new coastlines with the loss of the South Greenland Ice Sheet, but in 2039 to 2041 the already tense geopolitical conditions were through into overdrive with the loss of Antarctica's coast-lying ice sheets, driving sea levels up to just under 30 meters above Pre-Anthropocene levels. All but a handful of the Earth's greatest cities were lost beneath the waves, and only the hearts of once great megalopolises survived. Billions of people were displaced, driving border protection policies by some countries while others aggressively tried to take advantage of potential additions to the workforce. Some of these people desperately tried to flee for the new off-Earth colonies, but Mars quickly reached pre-terraforming capacity, while the outer planets could barely handle a few million more citizens. Most were left on Earth to flee where they could. The most dramatic instances of this second wave of refugees/immigration to the developed world were seen in the low-lying countries that had already contributed substantially to the immigration boom in coastal Russia and North America. The newcomer was the former United Kingdom; with the storm of 2043, London and many major British cities were left underwater, with little hope of reversing the damage. With Australia's drought leaving the land virtually uninhabitable, and few other options available to them, a great British migration to North America occurred in late 2043 throughout much of the decade. With the Atlantic seaboard flooded, most settled in the American heartland like many refugees had for the the last decade. Those that did not settle in the United States made it to Newfoundland and the newly independent first nations in the Arctic Circle to capitalize on the demand for skilled labor in the petroleum industry. Newfoundland went so far as to achieve independence from Canada proper in 2048, taking advantage of geographic isolation via Quebec. What remained of the United Kingdom quickly fractured. Scotland formalized its independence in 2044, Ireland reunified after the British military pulled out of Ulster to secure the British mainland, but to secure Britain itself the United States positioned 10,000 military and humanitarian operators in the former UK. By 2045 the British Parliament dissolved the monarchy to take direct control of its remaining lands to secure population interests, and the Republic of Britain became little more than an American protectorate. On the mainland Germany and France found themselves in a similar position with the Dutch and Belgians who had lost the majority of their nations to the Sea, and formally annexed these territories in 2049.
In the Pacific, facing a demographic disaster from an aging population and the loss of Tokyo to the Sea despite an immense government effort to construct a robust sea wall network, Japan began more aggressive campaigns into Pacific Russia, China and South East Asia to secure territory for its displaced population, which flooded by the millions into the Pacific Russian territories and Manchuria. Securing their economic and social claims meant a Naval buildup that conflicted directly with US naval interests, and despite formally cordial relations, the Japanese invested heavily into the construction of satellite tracking and ship destroying missile bases in the South Pacific. By middle of the 2040s Japan stood as America's chief rival in Earth Orbit and on the Moon, stationing civilian and military facilities at in-Earth Orbit, the Lagrange points, and on the far side of the moon (though in this area the American presence still dwarfed that of Japan.)
Pre-War Events[edit | edit source]
Climate Change (2025-41)[edit | edit source]
Rising sea levels, culminating with the lost of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in 2041, were a major driving force of Japanese action in mainland Asia that led to the war. Japan lost a great deal of territory to the rising sea levels over the last 20 years, forcing a pseudo-colonization of neighboring territories in Asia. The flooding resulted in the military occupation of Chita and Kamchatka and the creation of Extraterritorial Districts all along the North Pacific Basin; in addition, it exposed the weakness of the United Nations as a force to preserve peace. The UN levied sanctions against Japan, who had simultaneously been petitioning the organization for Security Council permanent membership, driving Japan to resign in protest.
Japan Invades China (2048)[edit | edit source]
In July 2048, Japan captured the communist Chinese capital of Beijing after instigating the attack on their Manchurian satellite tracking station, which culminated in the Japanese campaign to invade all of China. The Koreans quickly signed a non-aggression pact with China to lend materiel support, effectively cementing China's alliance with the Taiwan government and, by extension, the Americans. The Communist Chinese deployed the People's Liberation Army to retake the capital, and with pressure from the US, the Japanese relented, falling back to Manchuria and their Special Economic Districts in the outskirts of Beijing.
For the next two years Japan would conduct a number of similar "peace-keeping" activities throughout China, installing puppet governments and expanding their territory through formally legal means. Containment strategy by the Americans forced Japan to only take incremental gains. The Chinese communists, furious over the international system's seeming abandonment of them, resigned from the UN after being called to recant their declaration of war with Japan.
Friday Revolution (2040)[edit | edit source]
War along the Turkish axis defined the late 30s and much of the 40s as Turkey faced resistance groups to its power and conventional conflicts to secure its interests, culminating in the the Friday Revolution in Egypt. Following the flooding of Cairo, rioters in Egypt combated with the military-led government, driving Turkey to deploy peacekeepers to secure regional interests. These peacekeepers would aid in the instillation of a pro-Turkey moderate-Islamist regime, and enabled turkey to control the Suez Straight. With a position in Egypt, Turkey pushed its sphere west into North Africa, becoming the decisive power in Western Eurasia. Israel, already on friendly terms with the Turks and seeking an accommodation with the growing power, and Turkey, not wanting to enter into a conflict with the small, but powerful enclave, entered into a mutual non-aggression pact in late 2040. Control of the Suez Straight meant control over Arabia, despite endless conflict with Arab insurgents, and presented itself as a major threat to Iranian interests.
Eurasian occupations and agreements[edit | edit source]
As the dominant power over the oil and Natural Gas of Southern Russia to the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey found itself as a natural Ally of the Japanese, and established a formal Alliance in 2043, the Eurasian Trade and Security Coalition. While Formal alliances of this type were unusual in this age, the necessity of the global climate and refugee crisis drove these two powers to formalize their interests to secure mutual interests against the rising tide and against American interests. This event forced the United States to realize the new reality in Eurasia, as Turkey and Japan posed a credible risk to uniting the continent under a single power (though not a single state). With an economic depression in the Arab region, Turkey positioned itself as a neo-Islamist power, gathering support from pan-Turkics and Islamic fundamentalists. Facing mutual threats on two fronts, the United States increased support to India and China dramatically, going so far as to support Chinese nationalists over American and Taiwanese puppet regimes in Southern China for the sake of regional cohesion. By 2045, Poland, supported in the US effort to counter the Turks, brought Slovenia and Croatia into the Visegrad Group, despite a limited Turkish Presence in former Bosnia. The Eurozone watched this developing crisis intensely, playing a game of wait and see, but finding itself on increasingly more amicable terms with the Turks, not wanting to see a united power on their eastern border again, and Germany once again made into a battlefield. At this juncture Germany began to a quiet effort to aid the Turks in every way short of war with Poland, by imposing greater influence on Danish and Croatian business interests to prevent Polish access to the Atlantic and therefore the United States.
The Americans pursued an extremely effective policy of containment against this new Coalition, arming the Poles, Chinese, Indians, and Koreans against the Turks and the Japanese, a policy that in turn drove the Japanese and Turks to increase their military readiness, and so on, driving the planet to war. With a halt in American trade of high tech goods to prevent any technology transfer, Japan and Turkey were left believing a full blockade could be next. With America supporting nationalists efforts in Arabia, Egypt, Russia, and the Ukraine, the Turks were convinced that war would be the next inevitable act by the Americans to cripple them. As such, war plans by the Turks and Japanese began to take shape.
Balkan Crisis (2050)[edit | edit source]
As the Japanese prepared for their attack against American assets in space, they coordinated with their ally, Turkey, to stage a crisis in the Balkans, pushing the Poles to the absolute edge of war to distract the Americans from activities going on in space. The Turks ordered intelligence agents in Greece to engineer a series of riots by the Albanian minority population near the border during pre-scheduled protests. Turkish sleepers in the Greek national police fired on the crowd of protesters, leading to riots. Through a media campaign and cyber warfare, Turkey was able to inflate the severity of the incident, leading to Albanian forces entering Greece to protect the minority population. After demanding that Albania stand down, Poland mobilized while naval forces in Split confronted Turkish ships in the Adriatic, believing the incident to be a Turkish plot and a prelude to war.
The crisis nearly led to war after Turkey relayed through double agents in Poland that they were scrambling hypersonic missile sites in the Caucasus to attack ports in Split. In a panic, Polish air forces carried out air strikes against the sites, leading to Turkish and Polish crewed ships in the Adriatic nearly firing on each-other before Şahin called for peace talks. While the Geneva peace conference was being mediated by the Americans, Japan prepared to strike, hoping the Americans would rather accept a world with three great empires than risk its own empire in another World War.
Course of the War[edit | edit source]
Outbreak[edit | edit source]
The destruction of the American Orbital Defense Network, and its air and naval fleets only prolonged the time until the Coalition defeat by the Alliance system of the United States. With an American declaration of war, rather than the expected negotiations, Japan committed itself to an invasion of American assets on the Moon, believing that while they may not be able to win the war, they could at least secure their positions in Space. Japan easily captured the cities of Aldrin and Armstrong, securing the largest Helium-3 supplies outside of Triton, and pushed south to Tycho. Meanwhile American armored and robotic infantry units fought to secure Pacific territory from the Japanese, who had gone so far as to deploy troops to defend their assets in British Columbia and the Yukon, prompting an American invasion North into Canada.
Thanksgiving Attacks[edit | edit source]
Periods in United States history
Japan began launching a series of small "Pebble mob" missiles as early as 2049. These weapons, disguised as common meteorites, none larger than a baseball, numbered just short of a thousand November 10. Manufactured and deployed from the Japanese lunar far-side bases, these objects were intentionally placed in atypical orbits that largely avoided the American OCS network, and were individually too small to deal any real damage to any of the three Orbital Command Stations. As such, the OCS early warning systems ignored them as they would any other form of space junk. On November 15, 2051 Prime Minister Sato personally gave the order to attack, and all 975 missiles course corrected to converge on the three stations. By the time the objects were detected as a threat it was too late. Coming in from seemingly random orbits, each OCS platform was impacted by 325 objects in a single instant. The combined force of the impact tore through the hulls of the stations and severed the nano-ribbon of the space elevators.
After the destruction of the OCS network, Japan launched a second phase attack on Allied air forces on Earth in conjunction with the Turks. The Turkish Air Force struck military targets across the Intermarium, as well as India and in the Eastern United States, while the Japanese struck across the Pacific rim. The bulk of the attacks on the US mainland were conducted by the Japanese near the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountains where the US had concentrated the bulk of its hypersonic missiles and air forces. By the time the Coalition missiles and drones reached the continental United States, President Jacobi had ordered a preset war-plan to attack fixed targets in Japan and Turkey, however only 17% of aircraft and missiles in the United States were able to launch before being destroyed. The attack also claimed the majority of allied naval forces.
Japan was quick to secure strategic interests in cislunar space and the on the surface of the moon, launching an invasion of the Sea of Tranquility on the same day as the destruction of the OCS platforms. Successive assaults at American stations at the L4 and L5 Asteroid quarries cut the US off from its most valuable assets for in-space resources. Facing a total loss with the impending invasion of the Tycho shipyards, the Space Force organized a counterattack to defend Tycho and retake the Moon, launching 6 teams of Space Force operators and a compliment of drones to repel the Japanese invaders on the Moon. Operation La Grange successfully repelled Japan's invasion of Tycho and secured the next generation OCS for launch.
Cislunar (2051-2053)[edit | edit source]
Japan planned to rapidly seize American colonies in Cislunar space to create a large defensive network of stations around the Earth; the Japanese would then be free to exploit the resources of the Asteroids and the Moon while exhausting the over-stretched Americans by fighting a defensive war. To prevent American intervention while securing the perimeter it was further planned to neutralize the American military presence on the Moon from the outset. On Thanksgiving day 2051, Japan attacked American holdings with near-simultaneous offensives against in Space and on Earth. These included an attack on the American military assets in Earth Orbit, the Moon, asteroids in Lagrangian orbits, and targets on the American mainland.
Lunar campaign[edit | edit source]
The United States bought crucial time for its Alliance in a daring strike on Japanese and Turkish facilities on Earth with the limited air forces, while the newly commissioned Space Force deployed Marines to defend Tycho along side American personnel stationed in Lunar military bases. The battle for Tycho ended in a Japanese defeat, and cost Japan nearly a third of its space forces. After securing the Tycho shipyards, the space forces moved north to secure Armstrong and Aldrin, while secondary missile strikes from orbit largely destroyed Japan's ability to send reinforcements from the Far Side.
Working in tandem with Space Force operations against Japan in Cislunar bases, the United States was able to strike at Japan's surface launch sites and laser defense batteries while the Space Force oversaw the completion and launch of OCS Retribution, a canceled Orbital Command Station that had been steadily upgraded in the Tycho shipyards over the last decade. Japanese forces on the Moon were expelled after the capture of Horikoshi Base.
European theater[edit | edit source]
After Japan relayed word of their attack on the American space forces, Turkey began an invasion north into the Balkans. This invasion required only hours to prepare for, given the heightened state of alert in place since the Balkan crisis. Turkey had launched a simultaneous attack against Polish Air Forces and Command and Control centers across the Intermarium, destroying all but 2% of military assets in Eastern Europe. During the Turkish invasion the United States launched a massive counterattack against Coalition space forces from ground based laser weapons in North America and on the remaining naval forces.
Despite this setback, Turkey continued its move toward Poland, launching a lightning campaign out of Bosnia through Croatia into Hungary. Remaining Polish forces attempted to hold Hungary but were forced to retreat after the Fall of Budapest. As Turkish forces moved toward Krakow, the US and British air forces launched a massive airborne counterattack against the Turks, sustaining heavy material losses. Poland restructured its battlefield tactics to avoid concentrating forces in any single location, preferring a dispersed campaign to spread Turkish forces out over a wider area during the winter months where the Turks would be disadvantaged.
After the Anglo-American counterattack, and their advance slowed by Polish insurgent tactics, the Turks approached Germany in secret talks, offering a free hand in Northern Europe should they enter the war on the Coalition's side. Germany entered the war after securing the support of France and the remainder of the European Union in the spring of 2052, striking Poland from the west and stalling British air power in the West.
Coalition advance stalls[edit | edit source]
On 1 January 2052, the Allied Big Four—the United States, China, Poland and the British—met in Panama to sign a charter agreeing not to sign a separate peace with the Coalition powers.
During 2052, Allied officials debated on the appropriate grand strategy to pursue. All agreed that defeating Turkey was the primary objective. The Americans favored opening up a third front in Russia through an invasion over the North Pole. The Poles argued that military operations should target peripheral areas to wear out Turkish strength, leading to increasing demoralization, and bolster resistance forces. Turkey itself would be subject to a heavy bombing campaign. An offensive against Turkey would then be launched primarily by Allied Armor supported by drone forces. Eventually, the Americans persuaded the Poles that an air campaign in the Balkans and against Turkey was infeasible in 2052 and they should instead resist until the US and Britain could recover their air power.
At the Ottawa Conference in early 2053, the Allies reiterated the statements issued in the 2052 declaration, and demanded the unconditional surrender of their enemies. The British and Americans agreed to continue to press the initiative in Russia by invading St. Petersburg and pushing south into the Ukraine to cut off Coalition supply routs. Polish forces continued to stage stalling tactics once the Turks had reached the Carpathians, destroying roads, bridges, and electrical infrastructure.
Pacific (2052–2053)[edit | edit source]
By the end of April 2052, Japan and its ally Malaysia had successful taken the Philippines inflicting severe losses on Allied troops and taking a large number of prisoners. Despite stubborn resistance by Taiwanese and U.S. forces the Republic of China was captured by the April 2052.
In early May 2052, Japan initiated operations to capture Hong Kong by amphibious assault and thus sever the remaining supply lines for American support to the Chinese. The initial invasion was a success, but the attempt to send in reinforcements to secure Southern China was thwarted when two Allied naval battle groups made up of American, Australian, and New Zealander forces, fought Japanese naval forces to a draw in the Battle of the Qiongzhou Strait. Japan's next plan was to fall back to Hainan and lure remaining American naval forces into battle to be eliminated; as a diversion, Japan would also send forces to attack military positions and infrastructure in British Columbia and the Yukon where Americans had launched several incursions into the North Pacific. In early June, Japan put its operations into action but the Americans, having launched the Mk. 2 OCS Retribution and support satellites in late May, were fully aware of plans and order of battle, and used this knowledge to achieve a decisive victory at Hainan over the Japanese Navy. The campaign in Canada, while small, prompted a massive American backlash that included the capture of Japan's North American Special Economic Zones and the seizing of all Japanese private assets in the Americas.
With its capacity for aggressive action greatly diminished as a result of the Battle of Hainan, Japan chose to focus on securing its interests in mainland China. The Americans planned a counter-attack against Japanese positions in Malaysia, and their bases in the South China Sea, the first step toward securing the Strait of Malacca.
Both plans started in July, but by mid-September, the Battle for the South China Sea took priority for the Japanese, and troops in Malaysia were ordered to withdraw from Borneo area to the northern part of the island, where they faced Australian and United States troops in the Battle of Sarawak. The South China Sea soon became a focal point for both sides with Marines and naval forces in the battle for the islands. By the start of 2053, the Japanese were forced to fall back to defend Vietnam and Southern China from invasion.
Allies gain momentum[edit | edit source]
After the South China Sea Campaign, the Allies initiated several operations against Japan in the Pacific. In May 2053, Japanese forces in the Yukon surrendered after being cut off from communications from the home islands and staging several attacks on major highways and ports in the region. Soon after, the U.S., with support from Australian and New Zealand forces, began major operations to breach Japan's perimeter in South East Asia by capturing Hanoi with help from anti-Japanese resistance fighters, and capturing the walled port of Hong Kong in a joint attack with Chinese forces.
Operation Avenger[edit | edit source]
By the summer of 2053, American air superiority had reached pre-war levels, and the US began a more aggressive campaign against Coalition targets worldwide. Asteroid Cruithne, captured from deep space in 2052, was finally preposition above Ecuador in February 2054, and access to space via all three elevators resumed by the end of March. The reactivation of the elevators brought much needed supplies of Helium-3 back to Earth, powering next generation micro-fusion devices used by the United States military and their allies, and Japanese forces had been completely driven out of their positions in Cislunar space.
With space supremacy re-established the US carried out a massive orbital drop of Space Marines and materials into mainland China by March to cripple Japan's military activities in China and destroy supply lines to the Extraterritorial Districts and Special Economic Zones.
Allied victory[edit | edit source]
In the Pacific Cislunar theater, American forces accompanied by the forces advanced on Akiyama station, the last asteroid controlled by Japan, having successfully cleared L4 by the end of February 2054. US Space Forces landed on Akiyama in April 2054 and captured the asteroid following a battle which destroyed the remainder of the Japanese space fleet. The fall of Akiyama completed the effort to re-establish American supremacy in space.
Meanwhile, the Space Force were conducting orbital bombardment campaigns against strategic military centers in Japan in an effort to destroy Japanese war industry and terrorize the population. While few civilians were killed in these strikes, the psychological impact of American orbital weapons striking the Japanese mainland was powerful.
Operation Rope-a-dope[edit | edit source]
In June of 2054 the US organized a worldwide offensive coordinated by space forces against Coalition surface vessels and a bombardment attack against the remaining Japanese troops in China. Simultaneously strikes were carried out against Germany that left the country's military and their French allies in shambles. With the Japanese forces depleted and the Poles closing in on Turkey, the US offered the Coalition forces peace terms. Turkey accepted without hesitation for the US to pressure the Poles into a ceasefire, while Sato deliberated with his cabinet for three days before agreeing to enter into negotiations.
Germany and France separately sued for peace after US reinforcements arrived in Poland, and by 2055, Japan and Turkey, beaten back to their original claims, surrendered at the Geneva Peace Conference.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
Formal end to the war[edit | edit source]
At the Geneva peace conference, the war's belligerents negotiated a formal armistice to end the war. The United States agreed to honor Japan's interests in Chita and Kamchatka, while Japan agreed to remove all forces from the rest of mainland Eurasia. Turkey agreed to a withdraw back into the Caucasus and leave Serbia and Croatia as a buffer zone, and accept a Chinese presence in Central Asia. Poland, having suffered the most during the war, screamed for Turkish blood, and demanded territory concessions from Germany. The United States vetoed these calls, but did impose limitations on the size and type of Turkish and Japanese near-space weapon systems.
American dominance over space[edit | edit source]
As per the treaties the US issued a ban on all military space activities by every nation, save for itself. Combined with American efforts to maintain a Turkish presence in the Caucasus, the ban helped lead to the Amero-Polish Schism, as even Poland was forbidden from developing space based weapon systems. The war established several new paradigms, the shift of European power to the East, American dominance over space, and the shift from total war to war fought by precision and armored infantrymen. Many new states were carved out of the peripheries of the coalition to provide buffer zones, and keep Eurasia in chaos, and power in balance.
Peace treaties and national boundaries[edit | edit source]
The United States gained more than just a formal recognition of its claims to space (though these territories would not be given any kind of representation in Congress), it also found itself directly occupying British Columbia (Cascadia) and the Yukon after the Japanese surrender, as well as direct control over the Guyanas after the French sued for Peace. With Britain in shambles still, American and former British forces organized a hasty alliance in the former Eurozone to prevent Polish expansion westward, but the degree of integration of Britain into the American system became so entrenched that the British found themselves in a Free Association with the United States, along with Newfoundland and even Australia by the end of the year. The ecological disaster from the flood effected many other territories far worse, but Britain was one of the few that was loosing its culture. With more than 70% of its population now living in either Newfoundland or the United States, many were unsure of what the future held.
War reparations[edit | edit source]
Hope came from the Earth Working Group, a consortium of businesses, NGOs and governments that for the last ten years had undertaken an ambitious project to apply terraforming techniques being used on Mars and Venus to Earth to cope with the effects of climate change. After a decade of work in Greenland, Antarctica, Kazakhstan, the Sahara Desert, and the Australian Outback, as well as several smaller projects from Utah to the Great Rift Valley, sea levels had already fallen to 20 meters above pre-Anthropocene levels. Operations continued uninterrupted by the war, as artificial basins were created in existing basins and ancient river beads. The excess of sand and rock would be used to reconstruct the world's beaches, and create hills around the new Seas and lakes to create an artificial rain-shadow effect. New forests and grasslands were planted along the Kanduna river's expanded tributary, and around the growing new seas and rivers to further promote a healthy biosphere. With the positioning of several solar shields in polar orbit above the North and South Poles a rapid drop in polar temperatures and return the North and South polar ice began as well, further dropping sea levels. The shields would not return the Glaciers of the South Greenland Ice Sheet, however, as this ice sheet was the last of those from the ice age, and was doomed regardless of human intervention. Rather the temperature would fall just enough to keep snow on the ground and Solar radiation from being absorbed by rock and soil to heat the pole.
The Arctic nations were, naturally, furious at this effort, as it would return their lands to frozen tundra year round, and destroy their booming economies. With oil outmoded by space based energy sources, however, the rest of the world turned a deaf ear to these calls, and it seemed war between the Arctic nations and their larger southern neighbors may come only a few short years after the end of the last world war.
In Culture[edit | edit source]
Like the First and Second World War's before it, the Third World War had a profound impact on American popular culture. While Japan had been one of the primary exporters of entertainment to the United States during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the increasing degree of anti-Japanese sentiment caused this relationship to wither. It should be noted that the degree of anti-Turkish and anti-Japanese prejudice during the war, while still quite hostile, was not as pronounced as that of the two previous wars; for instance there were no internment camps to hold "enemy aliens." This can largely be attributed to the aging and decline of the baby-boomer generation, and the resultant decrease in racial tensions as opposed to national tensions. Since virtually all Americans of Japanese descent willingly identified as American, their loyalty to America was not questioned because of their race. Many Virtuals released during the war and afterwards focused on Turkey and Japan as the villains, just as movies produced after the first two World Wars capitalized on the appeal of Germany and Japan as antagonists. Examples included Devil Dogs: Battle For The Pacific (released in 2049, and focusing on the Pacific theater of World War II), X-day: War For Japan (released in 2053, and detailing an alternate-history world where the US was force to invade Japan), Dracula-Vampire Wars (released in 2054, and involving fighting the Ottoman Turks) and Guns of Warsaw (released 2058, and set during the Battle of Poland). The trade sanctions on Japan were lifted after the war, resulting in a brand-new influx of trade with Japan during the 2060s and beyond.
One curious byproduct of World War III was the rise of the so-called "Honda Hippies", a loosely organized group of people, mostly those who were children during the 2030s, who objected to what they saw as "unnecessary" sanctions against non-war-related Japanese products. At a time when American popular culture was actively distancing itself from Japan and banning imports of Japanese media, these individuals were largely responsible for the preservation of popular pre-war works. Those that fought in the war were referred to as the Armored Generation.