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Lithuania

Flag of the Lithuanian SSR, which is usually most important in Harry Turtledove's writing

The Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the southernmost of the three Baltic states. Situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the southwest. Its population is 3.32 million. Its capital and the largest city is Vilnius.

During the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe: present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With the Lublin Union of 1569 Poland and Lithuania formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.

In the aftermath of World War I, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign state. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union then Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Nazis retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence.

Lithuania in The Case of the Toxic Spell DumpEdit

While most European nations converted to Christianity during the Middle Ages, the Lithuanians did not - feeling perfectly satisfied with their ancestral Perkunas, a powerful god who could be relied on to manifest himself and give real help when called upon by worshippers. Lithuanians saw no reason to exchange Perkunas for a foreign God for whose time and energy many other peoples were competing.

In later times, some Lithuanians, like other Europeans, emigrated to America, after which also Perkunas started manifesting himself beyond the Atlantic Ocean. However, due to the small number of American Lithuanians, Perkunas was not well known in America, neither among humans nor among gods. This proved fortunate when vengeful and predatory Aztecian gods threatened to destroy Angels City. They were caught by surprise and driven off when Antanas Sudakis, a locally-based Lithuanian adept, called upon Perkunas to help.

Lithuania in Gunpowder EmpireEdit

For more than two thousand years, the Roman Empire was the dominant power in much of Europe and the Middle East. When it was formed, the peoples beyond the eastern borders of Provincia Germania were in the tribal stage of development. Gradually, they started to absorb elements of Roman culture and build up kingdoms of their own. Of these, Lietuva proved the strongest, gradually absorbing all the others and creating an Empire of its own, embracing the territories known in the home timeline as the Baltic States, Poland, Belarus, and part of European Russia.

Slavic and other peoples under its rule were Lithuanized, coming to speak the Lietuvan language and worship the main Lietuvan deity, Perkunas - whose name was used as a battle cry by Lietuvan soldiers. Many Lietuvans were blond and tall. Lietuva was intolerant of Christianity, the few Christians in its territory being severely persecuted; nevertheless, missionaries went on going there, willing to face martyrdom.

Lietuva and Rome were evenly matched militarily, and periodically went to war against each other using the artillery both possessed. Such wars caused much devastation in peripheral areas, but - like Rome's earlier wars with Persia - never threatened the heartlands of either empire. In between wars, there was considerable trade and mutual cultural influence, Lietuvan and neo-Latin absorbing many words from each other. Except in wartime, Rome and Lietuva were pledged to return escaped slaves to the other empire, an arrangement satisfying to slave owners on either side of the border. Roman medicine was considered of a higher level than Lietuvan (though very primitive in the eyes of Crosstimers) and Roman doctors were highly sought after in Lietuva.

In the 28th Century after the creation of Rome (21st Century by the Christian Calendar), Lietuvan forces led by King Kuzmickas himself launched a large-scale invasion of the Roman province of Dacia and besieged Polisso, but were eventually beaten back by the Roman Legions.

Lietuva's northern shores were the target of periodic raids by Scandinavian pirates.

The banner of Lietuva was gold, green and red, the same colors as Lithuania's flag in the home timeline.

Lithuania in The Hot WarEdit

Lithuania was one of many Soviet-dominated regions that saw World War III as an opportunity to fight for independence.

Lithuania in Southern VictoryEdit

Lithuania was a part of the Russian Empire until Russia lost the Great War.

Lithuania in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Although Lithuania had a well known claim on the Polish-controlled city of Wilno, which the Lithuanians called Vilnius[1], the country remained neutral as the Soviet Union declared war on Poland in December, 1938, dragging Poland into the Second World War.[2] Poland's ally was Nazi Germany, and Lithuania knew that whichever side won in a war between the Germans and the Soviets, the Lithuanians would lose.[3]

These fears were confirmed after the big switch saw Britain and France become German allies and declare war on USSR in 1940. This new alliance drove the Soviets out of Wilno and poured deep into Russian territory in 1941. Lithuania then became a de-facto satellite state of Germany, and was forced to surrender the city of Memel to its powerful western neighbor.[4] However, the course of the war soon saw Britain and France once again at war with Germany in 1941, and the USSR soon pushed west again. When the war ended in 1944, Lithuania had been occupied by the Soviet Union and designated the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, gaining Wilno from Poland.[5] Shortly after, two Lithuanian partisans killed Red Army general Ivan Koniev in Kaunas, an act hailed by Lithuanian exiles in Finland as a blow for liberty, but which resulted in harsh reprisals from the Soviet authorities.[6]

Lithuania in WorldwarEdit

After two decades of independence, Lithuania was conquered by the Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II. The Soviet claim to Lithuania was recognized under the terms of the Peace of Cairo by all signatories thereto.

During the war against the Race's Conquest Fleet, Vyacheslav Molotov sometimes sailed on ships flying the independent Lithuanian flag on the rationale that these ships were less likely to tempt killercraft pilots than would ships flying the Soviet flag, which would be recognized as belonging to one of the Race's principle opponents.

ReferencesEdit

  1. West and East, pg 24
  2. Hitler's War, pg. 196-199, HC.
  3. The Big Switch, pg 260
  4. Coup d'Etat, pg. 52, HC.
  5. Last Orders, pg. 344, HC.
  6. Last Orders, pg. 373-74, HC.

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