Historical Background


The 20th century has been dominated by the struggle between three ideologies: liberal-democracy, fascism and communism. After the Great War (known to us as World War I) liberal-democracy seemed to be uncontested. Soon, however, fascists came to power in Italy, and the Russian Revolution created the Soviet Union. Both regimes began to consolidate their power while a decadent West was distracted during the 'roaring twenties', vowing never again going to war.

With the crash of the New York Stock Exchange, in 1929, the world was plunged into the Great Depression or Great Slump. When liberal-democracy did not seem to have answers to rising unemployment and a stagnating economy, millions of people turned their backs on democracy and followed one of the alternative ideologies: fascism or communism. By 1937 the majority of Europe was ruled by authoritarian regimes. A climax was reached when a civil war broke out in Spain between fascist rebels and the combined communist and liberal-democratic government.

This is the situation each player of Expansion: World War II is faced with. Why start July 1st, 1937? Because around this date several interesting events took place:

  • In Britain, Prime Minister Chamberlain succeeded Baldwin
  • In France, Chautemps replaced Blum
  • In Japan, the incident at the Marco Polo bridge would soon take place
  • In the Soviet Union, the purges were started which would decimate the officer corps.

Players in Japan and the Soviet Union have the option to change the upcoming event or have it take place historically.

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This historical conflict simulation is dedicated to Chanel Stevens

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