Behold! My first non-EUIV map in a while! This one is based on what if Nazi Germany decided to go through Operation Tannenbaum, their plan to invade Switzerland just after the fall of France. Needless to say, it could go alot screwier than anyone expected!
Nazi Germany expected a fight when they decided to put the invasion of Russia on hold and get rid of the "pimple of Europe." It was still a minor nation though... unfortunately for the Nazis, they have sealed their fate the moment they invaded.
The Swiss fought tooth and nail and made the supposed victory pyrhhic at best to say the least, with several resistance groups active during the war. Additionally, the utter gall of attacking the Swiss, the modest neutral nation, had massive rammifications at the world stage. Whatever minor goodwill the Nazis began plummeting to rock bottom, even inside of Nazi Germany itself. The Americans and Free Europe doubled their efforts to make them pay, but the first retaliation came from an unexpected source... Sweden.
Sweden, the neutral supplier of steel, could not bear seeing such an attack and realizing there was nothing in neutrality, abandoned it and proceeded to defy Nazi Germany, cutting it off from its precious steel supplies. Not even finished in Switzerland, this forced the Nazis to devote more forces to taming up north, especially when thousands of Finns came to the defense of Sweden. So harsh it was the Desert Fox was forced to migrate north... leaving an underbelly ripe for attack by the Allies, which they exploited. As 1942 ended, Italy began collasping from internal strife and frustration against the fascists and then from Turkish reinforcements when the latter joined the war after it was revealed an Italian sub was behind the Refah Tragedy. Southern Europe began a domino effect with Greece being freed, Bulgaria tearing up their agreement with the Germans and Romania doing a coup. All while the Soviets prepared for their conflict against the Germans. Despite the time to prepare, they got pushed back, the Germans having focused down on the USSR with fears of an attack from them any way. In 1942, Barbarossa finally came into play, a year later than expected. While the USSR was expecting them, the purges of Stalin had been a deep wound and while they suffered a large pushback, they got their act together and began pushing back. While the USSR occupied the Germans, the Allied forces would go through Italy to begin liberating the French while the invasion of Hungary happened. Nazi Germany began falling to pieces as the Allies began attacking them from the West and the South and could only relying on keeping the Soviets away, desperately hoping for a good enough win to keep the Soviets away and regroup. No such luck happened for them though. 1943 would pass and the war would continue on, with the Germans near the breaking point.
Eventually, more losses led to the complete outbreak of riots in Germany, around when the Allies were taking Poland. The Nazis were completely defeated and Europe free. However, the Eastern Front remained a factor. The Americans, now focused on taking out Japan and they did not invite the USSR, respecting the non-aggression agrement though also out of fear. However, the United States were granted permission to sue Russian land as a starting point. Months later, Russia would ivnade and take Manchuria while the Americans went to claim Korea. Eventually, the threat of a dual invasion along with the new atom bomb forced Japan to surrender.
The War was over.
However, the world had changed. Stalin found himself cut off from the agreements and he could not influence any of the nations. He cut his losses and focused on China. The USSR backed East Turkestan and would make it into a pupper state alongside with Manchuria, trying to convince Mao and the others to use that. Instead, the Chinese Civil War raged on painfully and the losses would lead to the Communists leaving for Manchuria with Mao dead. However, Manchuria would become a Manchu state instead of a Chinese one and a deal made with the sruvivng Nationalists and other allies agreed to it as forced population transfers occurred and Manchuria would become "Manchu-fied" over time. The Republic of China endured, but it would take plenty of reforms and US support to get on the feet, which included land reforms.
1955 saw the world begin turning and changing. While the Marshall Plan would see Poland grow and be reinforced against the USSR, Germany would ultimately be divided, becoming client states of the Allies in order to ensure they would grow culturally distinct enough to not want to join. All to try and prevent the rise of another Reich. However, while Americans would be thought of as very positively throughout Europe, not everything was rosy. With the USSR retreating into itself, rivalries of influence popped up again as the great powers of Europe feared losing influence to the United States, especially with the British's loss of their crown jewel of their Empire. To that end, Britain and France worked together to begin organizing Europe into a stronger united force. For economic and politcial purposes to avoid war, but also to retain their relevance in the world and counter the otherwise global hegemony of the United States.
China meanwhile would begin drifting from the United States when they finally began stabilizing and would tolerate the communist movements over in Southeast Asia so long as they kneeled not to the Russian bear or American eagle, but to the Chinese dragon. The Untied Stated in response, went to focus on problems at home and began building up their own bases of influence and commerce. The launch of Sputnik was the sign of the Space Race, since while the USSR may be out of the running for global influence, their advancements in science showed they were still formidable and surrounding by potential threats pushed them to develop nuclear weapons and later telecommunication devices, all to further unite the nation and to protect them.
However, new ideologies kept rising up from beyond the corpse of fascism and the stange amphorism the Russians call communism. Baathism became infamous prominent when the Arabian Crisis occurred. Baathists exploited various uprisings and weaknesses to try and unite the Middle East to form a fourth (or fifth) power bloc. However, the end resut had a zealot cult kill off the House of Saud before all of Arabia broke into anarchy as a result, forcing Europe and America to go in and keep matters calm in their respect sphere of influences. By the end of it, Arabia remained divided though most now under more liberal goverments, barring the Baathists who claimed Ridayh along with the leftovers of the area. The emergancy sent shockwaves to the economy because of the oil and alongside growing environmental concerns, began forcing nations to begin pursueing more environmentally friendly and responsible policies. Though with the end of the millenium came the Digital Age the new realm of cyberspace opened the world up and connected it beyond bounadries or economic blocs.
The World Today
Despite the initial tense period, the new millenium brings new opportunites and new hopes along with new problems to deal with. While the lack of a global conflict has lessened the speed of the development of certain new technologies, rivalries between economic blocs have nonetheless spurred on the creation of telecommunications, fuel and transportation. Perosonal computer and laptops are usually found in most homes while the arcades gave way to video game consoles utilizing the second generation of 3D polygon graphics. VHS and the CD have given way to the new MP3 musical format. Weapons technology has lagged since the 1980s however with the focus now developed into cyberspace along with being focused onto maintanance. Additionally, the labor expenses associated with going to make all sorts of new technology has forced the industry to adapt new tactics to try and save costs, which include beneficial attempts such as returning older products or designing them to be modular though other attempts are not so well-intentioned, such as attempting to move aboard manufacturing locations to cut costs, a move that has earned increasing ire from certain companies.
While American culture has dominated the globe since the 50s, the steady return of Europe's prominence saw a development in modern British and French culture alongside a cultural renaissance in Eastern Europe, especially Poland, who has been enjoying its new prestigious position within Europe and the world. Additionally, with the death of Kai-Shek in the late 70s, China began undergoing gradual liberalization and democratization, being able better to implement policies without having to worry about the top brass of the Kuomintang. As such, the new early 2000s saw a flourishing of Chinese culture influencing across the globe. Chinese fastfood establishments began appearing even in the United States and Europe, mirroring how McDonalds opened up in China decades prior.
The United Nations meanwhile is an organization with more muscle and bite than initially expected, namely because of the events of World War II. Switzerland, while still officially neutral and without allies (Lichtenstein the exception), the nation has become more pro-active in global affairs, at least in influence. The UN Special Forces is a respected team of soldiers across the world, including the USSR, devoted to maintaining peace in the world though the ruling of when to use them is often a great debate. Often times whenever conflicts begin descending into anarchy at the dentriment of the civilians (while the Arabian Crisis came close to reaching the point, the combined might of Iran, Turkey and Ethiopia alongside the coalition of Israel, Palestine and Jordan was enough to handle it.) Despite this, the world remains divided albeit into economic and cultural blocs, even if said blocs are beginning to mix together with the rise of global telecommunications.
The American Bloc
The Americans came off the high of heroism and back into political reality after the war. Soldiers remained abroad trying to stabilize China for the Nationalists and the entire conflict left a sour taste since it removed the garnish on the idea of "fighting communism." The Red Panic remains a sore spot in politics as McCarthy is still infamously known for his "witch hunts" and the backlash against it led to greater acceptance for more leftist policies. The fact that the so-called "domino effect" that was feared would happen did not come to light. China did not fall to communism, merely only losing land that was spun off into communist states, but have already been culturally distinct off that it was written off. Vietnam and Laos went communist, but they mellowed under China's influence. As such, the greater tolerance for leftist and "socialist" policies fed the flames of change in the civil rights movement during the 1960s and 1970s. Voting rights and protections from hate crimes became more important and the reactionary backlash against it just led to more change. As of now, the United States remains the top power in the world, even if China is catching up considerably and Europe's growing closeness could definitely match it. Without wars abroad to distract it (barring the humanitarian intervention in Cambodia against the Khmer Rouge, albeit also done to secure a hold in SEAsia after Thailand politely refused to join to maintain neutrality and assisting Iran in the Arab Crisis), the nervous energy was turned inwardly. Beyond the Civil Rights movement, issues such as healthcare became more prevalant. President Mo Udall's "Mo' Care Fo All" campaign led to the rise of the US's universal healthcare system, Americare. Rights for minorities and women evovled into that for the LGBTQ community and the Supreme Court ruling for gay marriage and civil rights was celeberated around the world. Currently, the United States has been enjoying a period of prosperity and contentment though the greater prominence of corporations through the internet, cybersecurity issues and the interconnectivty between various sides has caused anti-monopolists targeting Big Tech next while unions gradually turn toward green energy since the 80s Oil Shock. Though the populace has also been enjoying the decriminalization and legalization of substances such as marijuana and now other drugs such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms are next to be considered.
Outside of the USA, the rest of the Americas have continued to grow and change. Initially fearful of US intervention against their leftist governments, a collective sigh of relief was had when the USA instead turned inwardly and just demanded special relations to the USA compared to the rest of the world (which, given the other options was a struggling Europe or a fragile nationalist China, was an easy answer.) Mexico benefitted the most from this. While the Mexican economic miracle was defined by an accelerated rate of growth, the widening gap between the rich and the poor just made it a depressing contrast. It was only after Cardenas became President after an attempted electoral scandal by the PRI forced the US to get the UN invovled did things look up. With more gusto than their gringo friends up north, corporate and land reforms were established. Beyond that, a Trade Union for the various Latin American nations (the LatAM Trade Union), further benefitted several paries and promote cooperation. While still dealing with some trouble and having to confront past mistreatments of the indigenous peoples along with modernizing economies, the LatAm Trade Union has been doing well. Currently, the largest prominent issues remain on the drug cartels; while weakening since the 80s and especially with the US's legalization, they remain a problem for them. Additionally, the growing scandals of the Catholic Church have rocked the cultural sphere of Latin America, with some either doubling down while others turn to new faiths or even old ones.
Japan meanwhile has had it good for quite a while now and with little economic problems or crisises, it just made cultural problems all the more significant. Japanese traditions mixed with corporate culture have led to the growing anxieties, worries and frustrations of the common folk over in Japan. Japan, initially known for its cultural boom within the US and LatAm sphere in the 80s and 90s and still now, has been having to wrestle with a declining workforce compared to the age of the elderly. Additionally youth rebellion has been acting up and the yakuza remain a complicated problem, one that becomes harder to keep down thanks to the Internet. Despite this, Japan remains proud. They have been keeping up in rivalry against Korea though mixed-race relationships is no longer as scorned as it once was (especially as both the US and China found it ridiculous enough for them to become invovled.)
India meanwhile was an unexpected guest within the Americans' side. Initially expected to go their own route or try and strike it out, American support for them against China after China snubbed the US led to the nations growing closer. A relationship that was formally cemented thanks to the liberation of Tibet. India for the most part has been dealing with excited times and eras. Cultural developments in the US such as the pill, women's liberation and so on hit the more traditional India harder and enabled by Americans, India began undergoing "de-Britification" in exploring the past. While this has done positives, such in acceptance of LGTBQ folk, it did bring up religious tensions up though the reminder that it was a Hindi nationalist that killed Gandhi was enough to dampen the effects of such folk. Right now dealing with a different population adjustment, trying not to have a similar situation like Japan though not wanting to become crowded like China. To that end, many older Indian folks retire either to Tibet or the Americas and causing odd shifts in population. Though currently, the big contention is on climate change and on cleaning up the rivers.
The European Bloc
Europe gradually rebuilt itself, thanks to the Marshall Plan of the United States. While this led to plenty of positive feelings and American businesses within, as the threat of the USSR began dying off, the British and French began fighting back against American hegemony and sought to retain the importance of Europe in the world. Creating a Trade League, they sought to promote economic equality while also working to maintain peace and prosperity within the continent so another war would not happen. Initially, the British did not want to get involved in France's plan, namely preferring to try and maintain the fragile grips of their Empire. But after the loss of India and the forced de-colonization by the UN, the British instead formed a Commonwealth with their former dominions and decided to join in France's team, using their commonwealth as a way to spread modern European influence and prestige. The British had a stiff upper-lip as life kept bringing down the government, such as the loss of Iranian oil, the Arab Crisis and so on. Yet they've adapted and moved forward, taking opportunities wherever they could. They still retained relevance in culture across the medium and music. However, Britain has been getting into some hot water as they have been relying on their former dominions of the Commonwealth to provide cheaper goods for them into Europe, raising the ire of labor activists within the nation and out. Britain has been attempting to deal with this, since they've just recently recovered from the debacle with South Africa.
France meanwhile has managed to recover from the Algerian problems and has been focusing on trying to maintain their role as the dominant influence in Western Europe. Despite the mild unpleasantries they had with the Amerians regarding their refusal to go into Vietnam, the French retain close ties with the Americans since the liberation of France from them. Additionally, as a result of the rise in popularity of superhero comics, France has decided to exploit that with their rich past of comcis and working alongside Belgian to do so, hoping to create a larger cinematic experience with Europe. Currently, they are attempting to emulate the British with doing a form of Francophonie, but success has been somewhat slow due to how France left the state of things in their former colonies, though the leftist adminsitrations were still fondly remembered
The big winner was Poland. Long the punching bag of Europe, they have taken upon their new role with glee and pride. Having gotten back the land the USSR took from them along with some German land allowed them to grow and develop, especially under the Marshall Plan. Many Germans who refused to stay within the new German states (either because of the temporary restrictions or wanting new opportunites) often went to Poland. Poland served as a bulwark for potential problems in the border with the USSR and often have to wrestle with on what to do with people who try and leave (though a problem that has been less frequent over the years), especially with their long-time associate, Lithuania. Perhaps one large change was how Poland would grow a large film industry. Starting when Fritz Lang moved to Poland to try and escape the Hollywood contraints, Poland become a hotspot for Russian, German and other Central and Eastern European artists and music makers to come in and help the nation kickstart out their own movement. German expressionism found a spiritual successor in Poland as the film industry in Poland was as experimental and new as the atmosphere in Poland was at the time. While initially sticking to their foreign roots, many began taking inspiration from Polish folklore and other Eastern European fables and myths. This made Poland into a prominent media spot over in Europe. However, the Jewish situation was one that has haunted them and they've made many efforts to atone for it. They've also been working with some deals with Romania and Bulgaria.
Europe as a whole continued to change and grow. Yugoslavia fell and smaller nations took their place. European has been on edge with Serbia-Montenegro, currently under the administration of a one-party president-for-life system and has been rumored to have been causing trouble for their neighbors. This has led to Serbs leaving the land and trying to settle into the surroundings, with mixed success (including converting to Muslim if they move to Bosnia.) The current issues remain more on the minor squabbles that could have economic rammifications (such as the Irish Troubles or Turkey's admittance being delayed becasue of the whole Kurdish situation.)
The Chinese Bloc
China, while appreciative of the Americans' help, still maintained their distance from and refused further involvement from them, wanting them to join amongst the Great Powers. While this did lead to the Amercians backing up their rival India when the early instability led to the opportunity to liberate Tibet, China did indeed overcome their odds and become a superpower. Granted, most of it was touch and go until the late 70s, when most of the heads of the Nationalists began dying off and the seeds of democracy sowed by more moderate members and associates of the Kuomintang began bearing fruit. The Chinese Premier no longer ruled for life and a form of democratic parliament and judicial system was established though the executive branch of office held more power and responsabilities than even the American President does. The following decades would see the steady rise of Chinese influence on Asia in the world, especially as they began gathering the disenfranchised and secondary nations into their hegemony. China however is also at a crossroads as more right-leaning politicians try and use the potential of the internet for greater surveilance and assist in maintaining one of the most populated states; at the same time, a second wave of activism and progressivsm has been sweeping the nation as decades of stability and cultural rediscovery has led to institutions being challenged and or abandoned. New modes of thinking based on old ideas have been proposed, such as neo-Mohism.
Meanwhile, one of their first allies, Pakistan, has been attempting to deal with India's own rise and their own maintanance of stability. Many in the nation had begun to resent India's rise to influence and prestige, but little could be done as the nation was trying to resolve their own problems from within. Relief came through China as many young Pakistani went to travel abroad over in China and came back to bring in new ideas and powerful aspects to try and help their nation keep up. However, this has been clashing with the traditional Muslim ideals from within the reactionaries, but the rise of protests through Sikhs and other religious minorities keeps the Islamic Republic from doing anything. As such, many are wondering what the fate of the nation would be, especially with Khalisthan nationalists and the growing popularity of Sikhism.
The Free State of South Africa on the other hand has been doing well since the overthrow of the old state. Apartheid was not going away and the Europeans' hesitance of getting invovled meant there was a ripe opportunity for other nations to get in. While the Americans considered the potential, it was the Chinese who jumped right in and did so, assisting the various African peoples indirectly and once conflict boiled over in an attempt of autocracy, the Chinese swooped in and assisting in the overthrow of the old order. The Free State of South Africa is now a loyal Chinese ally and dominated by the majority. Many Afrikanners ended up fleeing toward the British commonwealth nations nearby though others stayed in to make reforms and get along. Despite this new bastio of loyalty and appreciation, South Africa has remained focused more on organizing themselves before doing things such as instituting Chinese as a language though many young South Africans have begun learning the language to gain further opportunities in China.
Lastly, the Brazilian Third Republic joined up with China, refusing to enter the LatAm Trade Union for varying reasons, namely not being offered the leadership role. Eager to flex their mucles and show the world what it can do, it instead formed a kinship with China and during the days of the Estado Novo of Portugal, assisted in the liberation of the former Portugese colonies and thus entering Brazil's sphere of influence. Brazil had been showing growing relations and the economy for a while now though perhaps the issue of the Amazon Rainforest has been a large issue as opportunists wishing to use the vast resources are cut down by international policy and foreign support for the indigenous tribes living there. Does not stop illegal timber action though even that has been in danger because of China's own pressure as they have to deal with their own pollution problems that not even most eco-unfriendly Brazilians could downplay or ignore. Other cultural movements included the decline of the Catholic church in the area as well as odd neo-nativist groups promoting greater indigenous cultural influence within the nation to fill the void left by Catholicism. Lastly, Brazil has been on edge given the growing influence of the Peronist Alliance down south.
The Other Powers
Beyond the big three blocs though, there a few other notable influences. The USSR remains mostly closed off from the rest of the world though they have opened somewhat. Their economy has improved with the slashing of the military budget alongside having moved away from a petrol-based economy. Culturally, it remains somewhat stagnant as ever though it does still comment on the growing trends and phenomena with their own source of media and even the video game industry has their role over in the USSR. Beyond the communism though, a thriving black market does exist with foreign products and the government for the most part turns a blind eye though they're also keen to stomp out anything that could get them in diplomatic trouble. Their satellites states remain quite red politically though they maintain culturual distinctions. Even ardent opponents of the USSR give them credit for saving the Manchu language and forming a Manchu identity as well as bringing back the Oirat/Kalmyk people to their homeland. Despite said culture being influenced by communism, the somewhat hands-off approach by Moscow does give them plenty of leniance with some joking they're more faithful representations of communism than their backer state. Manchuria is the large case of this. Serving as an underdog against China, it was where the defeated Chinese communists ended up along with several deported Manchu peoples and families. Many of the Manchu nationalists or so on would end up in power and go about restoring a Manchu identity through reinforcement of the spoken and written languages while stamping out any "Chinese" influences. The effort overall did succeed in recreating the Manchu culture and reinforced loyalty to Russia. They are not without foreign influence however as the Eastern Orthodox Church maintains a surprising strong minority within Manchuria. They are at odds with China and to a lesser extent Korea, with black market dealings and port conflicts monthly occurences.
And of course there are the group of miscreants known as the Non-Aligned Pact. Formally an alliance between various states to support one another and not get involved in the others' affairs, many note they've consisted of the nations that have a difficult time getting along with their neighbors. The Peronist Alliance, headed by Argentina, is one such group. Continuing from the work left by President Peron, it would continue to maintain itself and influence South America, especially with the evolution of Neo-Peronism, which keeps the core concepts of the corporatist "right-wing socialism" angles, but has become opening to the LGTBQ+ community as well as greater inclusivity for the indigenous peoples in the state. Despite this and other odd eccentricities, they are the most sociable. Yugoslavia, the former founder of the Pact, no longer exists to maintain the Pact, but their successor in Serbia-Montenegro has. Torn between the loyalists of Tito, more liberal elements and of course the nationalists, Serbia-Montenegro remains a volatile nation that remains largely excluded from European affairs. However, their continued antagonism continues in more subtle ways such as information control and seems to serve as a way for the other nations to get along better, specially Croatia and Bosnia,who have patched much of their issues on the land redistribution to deal with Serbia. Lastly is Baathist Arabia. The Baatists were eager to try and take Arabia after the fall of the House of Saud and the Qatif conflict became full-on behavior, but despite unifying, their various neigbors beat them to the punch so they focused instead on taking the city and as much land as they could. Everything was nationalized and the stockpiled wealth and connections was enough for them to continue existing and during their best to not wholly PO their neighbors. Some have compared them to the former Kuomintang of China though their complicated to Islam makes that even more difficult to decide. Currently, they have been accused of funding Baathist or like-minded parties across the greater Middle East, their hopes of a new economic bloc with themselves dominating it remains unbroken.