The three deseparate countries were brought together over time, largely through the actions of England. England occupied Wales in the thirteenth century, and formally incorporated it in the sixteenth century. Concurrently, England had begun largely successful efforts to occupy and annex Ireland, beginning in the twelfth century. Conquest was complete by the seventeenth century.
England also sought to conquer Scotland for much of the fourteenth century, but the kingdoms of England and Scotland were de facto unified in the person of James VI of Scotland, who ascended the English throne as James I in 1603. This unification was finally codified in 1707.
The United Kingdom remained more or less intact until after World War I, when Ireland launched a war for independence, which was for the most part successful, although the country was partitioned. An independent Republic of Ireland was created, but the state of Northern Ireland remained part of the UK.
After World War II, independence movements throughout the empire stripped away its colonies throughout the 20th century. At its apex, the UK controlled the largest global empire the world had ever seen.
Today, the UK has the world's sixth largest economy.
Many Harry Turtledove stories feature characters referring to the United Kingdom as "England", which remains a common, if incorrect, colloquiallism. Thus, in most stories with a Point of Divergence after 1707, characters who refer to England usually mean the United Kingdom. Additionally, many characters in HT works refer to the UK as "Britain", which is another common, and slightly more correct, colloquialism.
United Kingdom in A Different FleshEdit
Britain adopted the "divine-right" model used by France for its monarchy in the 17th century. The absolutist tyranny the state imposed upon its citizens led to an exodus of people fleeing to the New World. By the mid-18th century, those colonies rebelled, becoming the independent Federated Commonwealths of America in 1738.
After winning the French and Spanish War in the mid-18th century, Britain was able to extend its control of Atlantis into former French settlements. The cost of the war and the expansion was substantial. Britain decided to begin more direct oversight of Atlantis, and tax it as well. The Atlanteans rebelled, and began a three-year war that ultimately saw the defeat of British forces and the establishment of the United States of Atlantis.
Relations between the two countries remained icy. During the fighting, Atlantean forces had managed to stir up insurrection in Britain's Terranovan colonies. Although Britain had managed to quell them, by the beginning of the 19th century, Britain was engaged in war with France. Atlantis attempted to support new insurrections, but were discovered by Britain, leading to a second war. Although Britain had a distinct advantage, the war was ended with the status quo ante bellum restored.
United Kingdom in Crosstime TrafficEdit
United Kingdom in Curious NotionsEdit
In one alternate visited by Crosstime Traffic, the United Kingdom and its allies France and Russia were defeated by Germany in the brief war of 1914. Britain and France went to war with Germany in the late 1930s, but were again defeated, which cleared the way for Germany to take full control of Europe. Britain remained nominally independent well into the 21st century, but its government was a puppet of Germany.
United Kingdom in The Disunited States of AmericaEdit
United Kingdom in Days of InfamyEdit
The United Kingdom was engaged in a life and death struggle with Nazi Germany when the Japanese entered World War II. Completely unprepared in the Far East, Britain was soundly defeated on both land and sea, and thrown out of the Pacific, all the way back to India.
Due to more pressing concerns back in Europe, Britain wasn’t able to offer anything much than a stiff resistance against the Japanese, as the Royal Air Force battled the Japanese Air Force for control of the skies.
After the victory at El Alamein, the tide of the war in Europe turned in favor of the UK and she was able to retake the initiative in the Pacific, bombing Japanese positions and forcing the Japanese to divert limited resources away from Hawaii.
United Kingdom in In the Presence of Mine EnemiesEdit
The United Kingdom was an annexed territory of the Germanic Empire, ruled by the pro-Nazi British Union of Fascists. During the Second World War, Britain and the Soviet Union fought a losing war against Germany, Italy and Japan. Britain was defeated and conquered.
During the war much of London was destroyed by German dive bombers and panzers, as Winston Churchill led his country through a doomed last-ditch resistance. Key British buildings including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and St. Paul's Cathedral were completely destroyed with photographs their only legacy.
The Nazis installed the collaborationist government of Oswald Mosley, leaving the BUF the only legal political party in Britain. Britain's colonial empire was divided up among the victorious Axis. The British economy also experienced hyper-inflation due to the harsh war reparations and the Reich pegging the Reichmark artificially high. Partisan uprisings against the occupation authorities were harshly put down with captured partisans and their families and friends being executed in retaliation. The last partisan uprisings came in the mid-1970s around the Third World War when Germany was fighting a war against the United States, a neutral in the Second World War. Though most of Britain was rebuilt, it never recovered to pre-war levels and some areas in London remained in ruins seventy years after the end of the Second World War.
In 2010, upon the death of the third Führer Kurt Haldweim, calls for reform in the Reich and the Germanic Empire began in Britain. The BUF, under the influence of the newly-elected British Prime Minister Charlie Lynton, started cautious moves towards independence. The revival of democratic ideas was at first cloaked as adherence to Nazi ideals in their purity, specifically Hitler's support for democracy in the First edition of Mein Kampf.
United Kingdom in "Joe Steele"Edit
At first, US President Joe Steele didn't care much for Europe after seeing Britain and France were trying to appease Hitler, but once war started and France fell, President Steele realized that if England fell, there would be nothing but the Atlantic between Hitler and the US. British Prime Minster Winston Churchill was grateful for the help and was able to eventually defeat the Afrika Korps in North Africa, before joining the US in Operation Overlord and finally, smashing Germany alongside the US.
United Kingdom in "News From the Front"Edit
Although the United Kingdom had been at war longer than the United States, newspapers reported that many British citizens were fed up with the constant bombing they were suffering at the hands of the Germans. A British cab driver who didn't want to be named said that England should've done what France did and pull out of the war.
Many criticised Churchill’s method of running the war, blaming him for the hardships England now faced.
England’s own war effort against the Germans was further hampered when the New York Times revealed that the British had broken the German's top secret Enigma machine, naming code breaking efforts in Bletchley Park, Ceylon, and Australia.
United Kingdom in Ruled Britannia EditIn ancient times, Britain was part of the Roman Empire. British nationalism inspired Queen Boudicca of the Iceni to revolt against their rule. Though she was defeated, the story of her failed revolt inspired William Shakespeare to write the play Boudicca, which in turn touched off the successful revolt which restored Queen Elizabeth to England's throne.
In Shakespeare and Elizabeth's own time, Britain was divided between two kingdoms: England and Scotland, which remained independent through the decade in which England was ruled as part of the Spanish Empire. However, as of Elizabeth's restoration to the throne, Scotland's King James VI was her closest living relative. Were James to succeed Elizabeth upon her death, Britain would be united under a single king.
For further reading, see England.
United Kingdom in Southern Victory EditThe United Kingdom, along with France, was a primary ally of the Confederate States. The three nations defeated the United States in the War of Secession and the Second Mexican War. After the latter war, Britain claimed half of the state of Maine as a territorial concession. The three joined with Russia to form the Entente at the beginning of the 20th century, a direct response to the US's alliance with Germany.
During the Great War, Britain was forced to divide its army between Canada and northwestern Europe. The Royal Navy battled its American and German foes from the northern Atlantic through South America to the Pacific. Britain was the last of the Entente powers to sue for peace in 1917 (barring an untouched Japan) after her food supplies from Argentina and Australia were cut off.
The peace terms imposed upon Britain were harsh: London was forced to give independance to Ireland and Quebec, and to cede to the US anglophone Canada, Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Sandwich Islands. However, Britain was only defeated, not crushed like France and the Confederacy, and remained the dominant power from Africa through India to Australia.
In the interwar years it suffered a defeat at the hands of Central Powers forces at Belfast, and in response to this defeat a right-wing coalition of Winston Churchill's Conservative Party and Oswald Mosley's Silver Shirts was elected as the Government. The British along with the French supported the winning Nationalist faction during the Spanish Civil War. Upon the death of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany in the summer of 1941, France began demanding territory it had lost in the Great War. Britian backed France's play, believing that the ascendent Wilhelm III give in. He refused, and the Second Great War began. Britain maintained its alliance with Jake Featherston's CSA, participating in joint attacks in the Carribean with the CS. Franco-British forces achieved substantial gains early in the war, but their offensive successes stalled outside of Hamburg in 1942. They launched a disastrous attempt to outflank the German defenses by violating Norwegian neutrality in 1941 and as a result Norway declared for the Central Powers.
Against the United States, Britain scored an early victory in a daring raid to capture its former colonies, Bermuda and the Bahamas, done in conjunction with the CSA. The British (somewhat reluctantly) supported rebellion in Canada but had no realistic chance of returning to the North American mainland. They remained active in the Northern Atlantic, achieving a decisive victory over the German fleet early in 1943. However, unlike the in Great War, they did not participate in the Pacific theater, leaving Entente interests there to their co-belligerent, Japan, which proved to be a mistake; early in 1943, the Japanese abandoned the stalemated war with the U.S. around the Sandwich Islands and launched an offensive against British colonies in Asia.
Britain was one of the belligerent powers that successfully built a superbomb, along with the CS, Germany and the US. In 1944, Britain shared its information with the CS, which allowed the CS to become the first country in North America to detonate a superbomb. However, the US was able to retaliate with two bombs immediately, and the CS could not answer. Britain had to watch in horror as first Petrograd, then Paris were destroyed by German superbomb. While Britain was able to destroy Hamburg, they ultimately were forced to sue for peace when three of its cities, London, Norwich and Brighton were destroyed on the same day by Germany. Britain's response was foiled when a bomber destined for German territory was shot down over Belgium. The Churchill government collapsed, and its successor, led by Sir Horace Wilson, sued for peace.
Britain did not surrender at the end of the war and faced a peace similar to the one imposed in 1917. However both Germany and the USA looked with worry on Japan's new power, and some in both countries began to look at Britain (who lost certain of her Asian possessions to Japan in 1943) as a potential ally against Japan.
United Kingdom in The Guns of the SouthEdit
Britain had given limited material and diplomatic support to the Confederacy during the Second American Revolution, much to the frustration of the Union. This tension increased after the United States was forced to recognize the Confederacy, and escalated after the election of President Horatio Seymour in 1864.
When the Union sent troops to the New Mexico and Arizona Territories in order to aid the rebel forces against Mexican Emperor Maximilian, the British Empire was alarmed. In response, England sent more troops to garrison Canada prompting protests from the US president. Events eventually degenerated into war between England and the Union; for which England was completely unprepared.
Although the Royal Navy was able to blockade the United State's eastern seaboard and bombard the New York and Boston harbors, the British Army was completely routed in Canada by the far more numerous and experienced US Army (armed with their own versions of the AK-47), thus losing control of the whole territory to the United States.
United Kingdom in "The Horse of Bronze"Edit
The Tin Isle was once inhabited by the Nuggies, who exported tin to the Centaurs. One day tin shipments abruptly stopped coming, prompting the centaur Cheiron to mount an expedition to investigate this disappearance. Cheiron found that the Nuggies had gone all but extinct and been replaced by the mans. Though Cheiron found the mans very intimidating, he negotiated a trade agreement whereby shipments of tin to the centaurs' homeland would resume. However, at a feast commemorating this agreement, some drunken centaurs brawled with mans, and the agreement was abrogated. The centaurs barely escaped with their lives and never returned to the Tin Isle again.
United Kingdom in "The Last Article"Edit
Britain had been invaded and surrendered in 1941. After the surrender, all Imperial Forces around the world were also ordered to lay down arms, but the Army of India refused. Although conquered, resistance in England continued until 1947 when the last of the rebels were hunted down and hanged in Scotland.
United Kingdom in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit
The United Kingdom occupied a zone of Germany after World War II, and found themselves dealing with the German Freedom Front. Like the United States, Britain fought the GFF but not with the level of brutality that the Soviet Union and France were.
Although Winston Churchill had guided the country through the War, he was voted out of office in 1945, and replaced by Clement Attlee. Attlee's government was naturally troubled from the beginning, as the GFF destroyed the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg in December, 1945, killing or injuring the judges set to preside over the trials of German war criminals. The British judges were among those injured and killed.
The following year, Britain received a substantial black eye when the GFF kidnapped several German physicists from their custody. In December, 1946, St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey were both destroyed.
With the Americans pulling out of Germany in 1948, it was presumed that the British would follow shortly.
United Kingdom in The Two GeorgesEdit
United Kingdom in The War That Came Early Edit
Although Britain was a formal ally of Czechoslovakia in 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was ready to accept Germany's demands on the Sudetenland in the Munich Conference on the grounds that his country was not ready for a war in that moment. However, when Adolf Hitler used the assassination of the leader of the Sudeten German Party Konrad Henlein to invade Czechoslovakia anyway the United Kingdom had no choice but to join with France and declare war on Germany. Britain and France were joined in their declaration by the Soviet Union.
October, 1938 to Summer, 1940Edit
The first few months of the war were not terribly successful for the Allies. While French troops did invade Germany while Germany was busy invading Czechoslovakia, they did not press their offensive. The BEF in turn didn't leave the borders of France. The Soviet Union did not share a land border with Czechoslovakia, and while some Soviet troops made their way inside the country, the USSR and Germany met in an aerial war over Czechoslovakia. When Czechoslovakia fell in November, 1938, both of the Western Allies suddenly found themselves at a disadvantage as they faced Germany. Soon, Germany had occupied the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium, and British troops were fighting Germany on French soil. In addition, British cities along the English Channel were subject to aerial bombardment from German planes based out of the Low Countries.
The British public was dissatisfied by the conduct of the war, and Parliament responded, subjecting Prime Minister Chamberlain to two confidence votes by the beginning of 1939. Chamberlain narrowly survived both. He was spared a third one when a joint Anglo-French offensive halted the German drive on Paris in April of that year. The Germans began a gradual retreat, although they still remained on French soil into the Summer of 1939.
Despite this, Chamberlain still faced opposition in Parliament. Even fellow Conservative Winston Churchill remained critical of Chamberlain's handling of the war. This criticism did not prevent Chamberlain from appointing Churchill to the new office of Minister of War in the Winter of 1939.
When Germany launched an attack on Denmark in late 1939, Anglo-French troops made their way to Norway in the hopes of stopping the German drive. Fighting there continued into early 1940, before the governments of Britain and France realized it was a losing battle and withdrew troops, concentrating instead on the French front.
1940-1941: Flirtation with TyrannyEdit
In the Spring of 1940, Germany's Deputy Führer, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland, where he was found by Sgt. Alistair Walsh. Walsh took Hess to the appropriate authorities. Hess brought a proposal to the Western Allies: Germany would cease its war with Britain and France, so long as Germany could keep its conquests, and so long as Britain and France joined Germany in its war against the USSR. Negotiations began almost immediately, much to the disgust of several in Parliament and the military. The strongest critic was Winston Churchill, who publically opposed Hess's proposal until he was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street in London. Chamberlain saw to it that Churchill received a hero's funeral, which simply confirmed for many that he'd been murdered. At the funeral, Chamberlain took the opportunity to bolster the "big switch" by reminding the British people that Churchill had opposed Bolshevism.
There was a price for the switch at the diplomatic level, as the government of the United States, which had been providing armaments to Britain and France, cut off all supplies in October, 1940. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave an angry speech denouncing the "big swtich".
Not long after, Chamberlain, suffering from ill health, resigned as PM, and hand-picked his successor, Sir Horace Wilson, who'd been one of Chamberlain's closest advisors. Chamberlain subsequently died of bowel cancer. Wilson followed Chamberlain's tactic of keeping an eye on his opponents, using Scotland Yard officers to follow people. Nonetheless, a group of politicians, led by Ronald Cartland were able to meet and discuss the less-than-democratic turn the country was taking. Even so, Wilson survived a non-confidence vote in the closing weeks of 1940.
However, as 1940 passed into 1941, Wilson's actions grew noticeably more ruthless. He was also more obsequious to the Nazis than Chamberlain had been. As the year went on, Wilson showed less tolerance of public protests. More government (including King George VI himself) and military officials grew alarmed, but respect for constitutional principals held them all back from direct action.
1941 British Military CoupEdit
Finally, in the Spring of 1941, after a few Wilson opponents (including Alistair Walsh) were arrested and detained without charges, the Military acted, with General Archibald Wavell as a crucial pointman. Wilson and his Cabinet were arrested, and political prisoners were released. The coup was largely bloodless, and received public support from the King and the Queen.
The new interim government did not execute Wilson or his Cabinet, but instead held them in preventive detention. Despite support from the King and Queen, many Britons were alarmed by this coup, the first in British history since 1688. The military goverment further realized that while the Wilson Government had been authoritarian, it had also been legal, while the military government was not, and so could easily be toppled in much the same way it had toppled Wilson. Thus, the military was very careful to observe civil liberties and allow voices of dissent and criticism. It also promised elections throughout the remainder of 1941. But as the UK had gone back to war with Germany, the date of the elections was repeatedly pushed back.
War on Multiple Fronts: 1941-Edit
France did not withdraw from the Hess Agreement. Thus, when Britain returned to fighting Germany, it was limited to aerial bombardment of German positions, such as Münster. In late summer, 1941, Hitler's ally, Benito Mussolini of Italy announced that he would reopen the North African front. The British military responded by sending more troops to Egypt.
When the attack finally came, the Italian drive into Egypt was quickly halted, and driven back into Libya. However, a more decisive British victory was thwarted by the sudden intervention of the German Lüftwaffe, announcing Germany's arrival into the North African war.
Concurrently, in the Pacific, Singapore was besieged by the Japanese, and soon on the verge of falling. This left the United States to carry much of the war in that region, although Britain was able to continue to nettle Japan by sending supplies to China from India. The United States also renewed their shipments to Britain, despite Hitler's threats of unlimited submarine warfare in the Atlantic.
Some hope came when French Premier Daladier opened negotiations with the British and the Soviet Union. By the end of 1941, negotiations had been completed, and France withdrew from its war with the USSR.
The United Kingdom had been fighting World War II all across the globe in 1942, with her armies clashing in North Africa and India, while the Royal Navy fought for control of the seas from the Atlantic, to the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean.
When the Race landed at the start of June 1942, the United Kingdom was left isolated from the full military might of the Race, however, their island was subjected to numerous bombing attacks by Race Killercraft. For most of the war, while England's armies were engaged in holding off the Race in the Middle East and Western India, the Royal Air Force led England's true fight against the invaders. Recognizing this threat, Britain was invaded in the late summer, autumn of 1943 but repelled the invasion, becoming the first nation to utilize poison gas in the war against the Conquest Fleet in the process. By destroying the Race's scarce transport crafts, they even more severely hampered its efforts in Europe.
By 1944, the war had turned against the United Kingdom with both major theatres outside of the home islands ending in defeat, losing both Middle East and India. Unable to build an atomic bomb, England was unable to reclaim the empire. When peace was declared in 1944, the United Kingdom was stripped of it's empire and not given full diplomatic relations with the Race.
In the years following the war, the United Kingdom was a shadow of its former self. Although England did build its own atomic weapons, it was still unable to reclaim its empire. Canada, also free, fell into the United States' orbit. Britain needed a more powerful ally to remain relevant in the postwar world and found this ally in Germany, which helped the British develop their atomic bomb. Politics in Britain became increasingly fascistic, and life became very hard for Britain's Jews, including RAF man and Lizard war veteran David Goldfarb, who ultimately defected to Canada. Despite their close ties, Britain did not join Germany in the Race-German War of 1965, though it did provide some diplomatic support.
After the war, when Germany was reduced to a shell of its former self by the peace imposed on it by the Race, Britain lost its relevance in world and interworld affairs. As of 2031, Britain did not have the technology to build its own starship capable of journeying to Home in the foreseeable future, making it unique among the former Big Five members.
- ↑ Hitler's War, pg. 213, HC.
- ↑ Ibid., Chapter 26, generally.
- ↑ West and East, pg. 223.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 378.
- ↑ The Big Switch, pg. 150-51.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 197.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 214.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 234.
- ↑ Ibid., at pg. 238.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 335-338.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 339
- ↑ Coup d'Etat, pg. 22, HC.
- ↑ The Big Switch, pg. 342.
- ↑ Id., pg. 342-344.
- ↑ Id., pg. 408.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat, pg. 22, HC.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 104.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 91-94.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 398.
- ↑ See, e.g., pg 134.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 151-152.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 187-188.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 187.
- ↑ ibid., pgs. 182-183.
- ↑ Ibid, pgs, 262-264.
- ↑ Ibid.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 309-311.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 337-340.
- ↑ Ibid. pg. 345.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 334-335.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 207.
- ↑ Ibid., pg. 386.
- ↑ Ibid.
- ↑ Ibid. pgs. 389-395