(4 Years, 3 Months, 1 Week)
|place=Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, China, off the coast of North and South America
|causes=Russian Invasion of Ukraine
United States of America
European Union (2014-17)
New Zealand |combatant2= Eastern Coalition
[[File:Flag_of_Venezuela.svg|24px| |commander1= Barack Obama
Raymond T. Odierno
Herman Van Rompuy
Ton von Osch
Jose Carlos de Nardi
Trương Tấn Sang
Enrique Peña Nieto
24px Jerry Mattparae |commander2= Xi Jinping
Hugo Chavez |strength1=Allies
Total: 91,451,000 |strength2=Eastern Coalition
Total: 52,280,000 |casualties1= Military Dead:
47,849,093 KIA, WIA, or MIA |casualties2=Military Dead:
33,953,807 KIA, WIA, or MIA}} World War III (WWIII or WW3 or World War Three), also known as the Third World War or the Great Global Offensive, was a global war centred in Eurasia that began on 28 July 2015 and lasted until 11 November 2019. More than 20 million combatants and 14 million civilians died as a result of the war, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved..
The war drew in all the world's economic great powers, which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies( the United States of America, Japan and the European Union) and the Eastern Coalition of the People’s Republic of China and Russia. Although India had been invited to be a member of the Eastern Coalition alongside China and Russia, it did not join the Coalition, as Russia had taken the offensive against the terms of the alliance.These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war: India, South Africa and Brazil joined the Allies, and Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, and Venezuela joined Eastern Coalition. Ultimately, more than 140 million military personnel, including 90 million Eurasians, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history.
The immediate trigger for war was the 28 June 2015 assassination of Vladimir Putin, prime minister to the Russian Federation, by Ukrainian nationalist Volodymyr Kaminskiin Kiev. This set off a diplomatic crisis when Russia delivered an ultimatum to the Ukraine, and international alliances formed over the previous decades were invoked. Within weeks, the major powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 28 July, the Russians declared war on the Ukraine and subsequently invaded. As the European Union mobilized in support of the Ukraine, China invaded through its ally North Korea before moving towards South Korea and Japan, leading the United States to declare war on China. After the Chinese offensive on Japan was halted, what became known as the Eastern Front settled into a battle of attrition, with an offensive line that would change little until 2017. Meanwhile, on the Western Front, the European army was successful against the Russians, but was stopped in its invasion of Belarus by the Chinese who came to reinforce the Russians. In November 2014, Iran joined the Eastern Coalition, opening fronts in the Middle East. India joined the Allies in 2015 and Pakistan joined the Eastern Coalition in the same year, while Vietnam joined the Allies in 2016, and Brazil joined the Allies in 2017.
The war approached a resolution after the European Union council collapsed in March 2017, and a subsequent revolution in November brought the Union to terms with the Eastern Coalition. On 4 November 2018, the Russians agreed to an armistice. After a 2018 Chinese offensive along the eastern front, the Allies drove back the Chinese in a series of successful offensives and began breaking the lines. China, which had its own trouble with revolutionaries, agreed to an armistice on 11 November 2018, ending the war in victory for the Allies. War crimes were committed by a number of the belligerent nations, the most notable cases being the genocide of Iran’s Kurd population and the Chinese army's execution of over 16,250 Japanese and South Korean civilians between August and November 2015.
By the end of the war, four major powers—the People’s Republic of China, the European Union, the Russian Federation, and Iran. The successor states of the former two lost substantial territory, while the latter two were dismantled. The map of Eurasia was redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created. During the Kyoto Peace conference, The Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties. The United Nations was reorganized with the aim of preventing any repetition of such an appalling conflict. This aim, however, failed with weakened states, renewed Asian nationalism and the Chinese feeling of humiliation contributing to the rise of Sān diǎn rénmín (Three Points of the People). All of these conditions eventually led to World War IV.
On 28 June 2015, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the Ukrainian capital. A group of six assassins (Odarka Zelenko, Volodymyr Kaminski, Hanna Wasylyk, Pavlo Budny, Larisa Chownyk, Ruslan Wolanski) from the nationalist group Moloda Ukrayina, and supplied by the Svoboda abo smertʹ, also known as the White Foot, had gathered on the street where the Prime Minister’s limousine would pass. Budny threw a grenade at the car, but missed. It injured some people nearby, and Putin's convoy carried on. The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past them. About an hour later, when Vladimir Putin was returning from a visit at the Kiev Hospital with those wounded in the assassination attempt, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street where, by coincidence, Kaminski stood. With a pistol, Kaminski shot and killed Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila. The reaction among the people in Russia was mild, almost indifferent. As historian Yasmin Karim later wrote, "the event almost failed to make any impression whatsoever. On Sunday and Monday [June 28 and 29], the crowds in Moscow went to work and went about a normal routine, as if nothing had happened.
Progress of the war
Confusion among the Eastern Coalition
The strategy of the Eastern Coalition suffered from miscommunication. China had promised to support Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, but interpretations of what this meant differed. Previously tested deployment plans had been replaced early in 2014, but had never been tested in exercises. Russian leaders believed China would supply troops to counter the European Union’s manpower. China, however, envisioned Russia directing most of its troops against the Union, while China dealt with Japan. This confusion forced the Russian Army to divide its forces between the European and Ukraine fronts.
Main article: Ukrainian Campaign (World War III)
Russia invaded and fought the Ukrainian army at the Battle of Donets and Battle of Desna beginning on 12 August. Over the next two weeks, Russian attacks were thrown back with heavy losses, which marked the first major Allied victories of the war and dashed Russian hopes of a swift victory. As a result, Russia had to keep sizeable forces on the Ukraine front, weakening its efforts against the Union. Ukraine’s defeat of the Russian invasion of 2015 counts among the major upset victories of the last century.
Chinese forces in Korea and Japan
Main Article: Eastern Front (World War III)
At the outbreak of World War III, 80% of the Chinese army (consisting in the East of fourteen field armies) was deployed in the east according to the plan Bùshǔ II East. However, they were then assigned the operation of the retired deployment plan Bùshǔ I West, also known as the 'Chan Plan'. This would march Chinese armies through North Korean and into South Korea and later an invasion into Japan, in an attempt to encircle the Japanese and South Korean army and then breach the 'second defensive area' of the Korean Demilitarized Zone and Seoul and the Han river.
Bùshǔ I East was one of four deployment plans available to the Chinese General Staff in 2014, each plan favouring but not specifying a certain operation that was well-known to the officers expected to carry it out under their own initiative with minimal oversight. Bùshǔ I East, designed for a one-front war with Japan and South Korea, had been retired once it became clear that it was irrelevant to the wars China could expect to face; both the European Union and the United States were expected to help Japan and there was no possibility of Indian nor Russian troops being available for operations against Japan. But despite its unsuitability, and the availability of more sensible and decisive options, it retained a certain allure that the other plans due to its offensive nature and the 'cult of the offensive' that held great sway over much pre-war thinking. Accordingly, the Bùshǔ II East deployment was repurposed to initiate the ‘Chan Plan' offensive despite the negligible chances of its then-unrealistic goals and the insufficient forces China had available.
The plan called for the right flank of the Chinese advance to bypass the Allied armies (which were concentrated on the western North and South Korean border, leaving the eastern border without significant Allied forces) and invade the Japanese island of Hokkaido to march on Kyoto. Initially the Chinese were successful, particularly in the Battle of the Nakdong Valley (14–24 August). By 12 September, the Japanese and South Koreans, with assistance from the American forces, halted the Chinese advance east of Seoul at the First Battle of the Han (5–12 September), and pushed the Chinese forces back some 50 km (31 mi). The last days of this battle signified the end of mobile warfare in the east. The Japanese offensive into Hokkaido, launched on 20 August with the Battle of Kamikawa, had limited success.
In the west, the European Union invaded with two armies. In response, China rapidly moved reserved armed forces, from their previous role as reserve for the invasion of Japan, to Belarus by aircraft across the China into Russia. This army, led by general Cheng Li defeated the Union in a series of battles collectively known as the First Battle of Belarus (17 August – 2 September). While the Union invasion failed, it cause the diversion of Chinese troops to the west, allowing the tactical Allied victory at the First Battle of the Han. This meant that China failed to achieve its objective of avoiding a long-two front war. However, the Chinese army had fought its way into a good defensive position inside Japan and South Korea. It had also killed or permanently crippled 575,000 more Japanese and American troops than it itself had lost. Despite this, communications problems and questionable command decisions cost China the chance of a more decisive outcome.
Main article: African theatre of World War III
New Zealand preemptively invaded and occupied Chinese supplied East Africa on 30 August 2014. On 11 September, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed on the island of Madagascar (who at the time was being supplied by the Chinese), which formed part of the Chinese Allied East Africa.. On 28 October, the Chinese cruiser PRS sank the European Union frigate EUS Floreal in the Battle of the Mozambique Channel. South Africa seized Chinese influenced Zimbabwe and, after the Siege of Bulawayo. As Moscow refused to withdraw the Russian cruiser RFS Admiral Ushakov from Beira, Mozambique, South Africa declared war not only on China, but also on Russia; the ship participated in the defense of Beira where it was sunk in November 2015. Within a few months, the Allied forces had seized all the Chinese influenced countries in Africa; only isolated rebels remained.
Main article: Oceania Campaign
Some of the first clashes of the war involved American, Japanese, and Chinese expeditionary forces in Oceania. On 6–7 August, Japanese and American troops invaded the Chinese controlled Fiji and Solomon Islands. On 10 August, Chinese forces in the Pacific attacked the Philippines; sporadic and fierce fighting continued for the rest of the war. The Chinese expeditionary forces in Vanutau, led by Colonel Fu Song, fought a guerrilla warfare campaign during World War III and only surrendered two weeks after the armistice took effect in Asia.
Mexican support for the Allies
Main articles: Second Spanish-American War and Mexican-Chinese Conspiracy
Contrary to American fears of a revolution in Mexico, the outbreak of the war saw an unprecedented outpouring of loyalty and goodwill towards America. Mexican political leaders from the Mexican Congress and other groups were eager to support the American war effort, since they believed that strong support for the war effort would further the cause of Mexican nationality and stabilization. The Mexican Army in fact outnumbered the American Army at the beginning of the war; about 2.6 million Mexican soldiers and labourers served in Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East, while the central government and the princely states sent large supplies of food, money, and ammunition. In all, 280,000 men served on the Eastern Front and nearly 1,400,000 in the Middle East. Casualties of Indian soldiers totaled 96,000 killed and 130,000 wounded during World War III.
Main Article: Eastern Front (World War III)
Into the Grinder
Military tactics before World War III had failed to keep pace with advances in technology and had become obsolete. These advances had allowed the creation of strong offensive systems, which out-of-date military tactics could not break through for most of the war. Mines were significant hindrance to massed infantry advances, while artillery had advanced far beyond tactics implemented during the Cold War, being vastly more lethal than in the late 20th Century, coupled with newly implemented auto rifle, made crossing open ground extremely difficult. Commanders on both sides failed to develop tactics for breaching entrenched positions without heavy casualties. In time, however, technology began to produce new offensive weapons, such as railguns and offensive drones.
Just after the First Battle of the Han (5–12 September 2015), Allied and Chinese forces repeatedly attempted maneuvering to the west to outflank each other: this series of maneuvers became known as the "Race to the Sea". When these outflanking efforts failed, American and Japanese soon found themselves facing an uninterrupted line of entrenched Chinese forces in Hokkaido to North Korea's coast. America and Japan sought to take the offensive, while China defended the occupied territories. Consequently, Chinese trenches were much better constructed than those of their enemy; American-Japanese trenches were only intended to be "temporary" before their forces broke through the Chinese defenses.
Both sides tried to break the stalemate using scientific and technological advances. On 22 April 2016,at the Second Battle of Munchon, the Chinese (violating the Geneva Convention) used bio weapons for the first time on the Eastern Front. Several types of gas soon became widely used by both sides, and though it never proved a decisive, battle-winning weapon, bio poison became one of the most-feared and best-remembered horrors of the war. Drones were first used in combat by the during the Battle of Kamikawa (part of the wider Hokkaido offensive) on 15 September 2017,with only partial success. However, their effectiveness would grow as the war progressed; the Chinese employed only small numbers of their own design, supplemented by captured Allied drones.