Th Empire's Twilight Wiki
Th Empire's Twilight Wiki

The ’91 Disaster refers to a series of wars fought in 1991 that radically changed the world in a way that has

Photograph from an RNZAF Canberra PR.59 of a US nuclear strike on a Chinese military base in Indonesia

never been seen before. Although it only lasted a few days it was the most destructive period in human history thanks to the widescale use of nuclear weapons particularly in North America and Eastern Asia.

Prelude to War[]

It is extremely difficult to establish a specific cause of the '91 Disaster as it was the result of several key events over the course of forty years. It is likely that the causes of the war will be argued by historians for many years to come.

The US Coup is widely regarded as the catalyst for the war

The most immediate cause is generally believed to be the US Coup in which the US military ousted President Reagan. Overnight the world changed as one of the most powerful nations on Earth became a dictatorship bent on its own survival and prosperity at the cost of anyone else. The rocky relationship the US had with the New Commonwealth deteriorated down to the situation of yet another Cold War.

With this new secular attitude to foriegn policy the US Generals were taking many nations that feared US intervention took the opportunity to achieve their own aims starting a series of small wars the world over that were left to the Commonwealth and the Soviet Union to try and stem.

Eventually the Generals in charge of the US found themselves facing an uprising as the American people began to fight for their freedom that had been stolen from them. Believing their own propaganda about the Commonwealth and Soviet threat the Generals rallied the people for a possible war in Canada. Several military encounters in 1990 and early 1991 helped promote this feeling of impending war to the point where the Generals felt almost compelled to attack Canada on March 31st 1991.

The '91 War[]

The '91 War began on March 31st 1991 with the invasion of Canada by US forces under the Generals in

Nuclear strikes against the UK

Washington and ended on April 5th following a limited nuclear exchange. Exact details of the entire conflict have either been lost or deliberately covered up. What is known is that events following the initial invasion happened incredibly quickly.

The Canadian Front[]

The US military expected to sweep away New Commonwealth forces based in Canada following the US Coup. In reality however the Commonwealth forces had prepared well for that very scenario and despite early successes by the second day many US units became bogged down. In the air and at sea both sides suffered horrendous losses and the sheer brutality of the fighting stunned the world. The first nuclear missiles were fired in Canada by US forces without authorization from the Generals.

The British Isles[]

Knowing that the UK would need to be knocked out to help guarantee victory in Canada the US based large numbers of its air forces in the Republic of Ireland and Iceland. From the start of hostilities in Canada the UK came under conventional attack in what has been termed as the The Second Battle of Britain. The Soviets too launched conventional attacks against "Fortress Britain" but the UK's extremely dense defences blunted many of these foreign attacks. It is for this reason that once nuclear weapons were authorized for use the UK was targetted quite heavily.


Within 24 hours of the fighting in Canada breaking out the European theatre erupted. It is perhaps here more than anywhere else that the situation became confused. US, Commonwealth, European and Soviet forces all fought each other across the plains of Germany. Finnish and Swedish troops clashed in Scandanavia while Turkey fought an almost single handed war against Soviet aggression.

Far East[]

China's aggression had grown exponentially since their victory over Taiwan in the Taiwan Straits War and this

The Chinese Army was powerful in size only

was aimed primarily at the Soviet Union and Japan (and to a lesser extent the New Commonwealth regarding Hong Kong). When the '91 War broke out the Chinese believed it would be the end for both the United States and the New Commonwealth and therefore they decided to seize their opportunity to recapture Hong Kong which was now a New Commonwealth nation in its own right. Hong Kong was devastated in the following conflict but the Chinese did not anticipate that the Soviet Union would launch a pre-emptive strike against them. Millions died in what was the closest thing to all-out nuclear war during the '91 Disaster. By the end of the conflict both the Soviet Union and China itself no longer existed replaced by splintered nations ruled by warlords and criminal syndicates. It would take 20 years for China to re-establish a genuine government. It was in this region that the most died. 

The Pacific[]

The Pacific theatre saw action by nearly every major combatant. The New Commonwealth nations of Australia and New Zealand fought a long overdue war with Indonesia with numerous sinkings of military and civilian ships. In the northern Pacific the US and Soviet navies battled one another often ending with the use of nuclear weapons.

Main Participants[]

The United States[]

Under the control of a military Junta following a coup in the late 1980s the United States needed a war to bring

A US ship burns in Boston harbour after a visit from the Canadian SBS

the country together and with relations between Washington and Ottawa becoming increasingly strained through 1990 this offered the ideal enemy to vent US frustrations towards. The invasion of Canada was in effect the catalyst for the nightmare that was to follow.

The New Commonwealth[]

The New Commonwealth was forced to intervene when one of its member states (Canada) was invaded by the United States. The Commonwealth was able to counter the United States military in conventional terms before a rogue US Colonel deployed tactical nuclear weapons against Canadian troops thus starting the nuclear wars.


France as an ally of the New Commonwealth honoured its commitments and joined the war against the US and its allies. The UK and France had since the sucessfull Suez war of 1956-58 enjoyed a "special relationship" with joint planning and manouvers on a regular basis.


To counter US efforts in the North Sea Sweden dropped its neutrality and allied itself with the Commonwealth. This alliance became increasingly strained following the loss of the Anglo-Swedish Greenland Relief Convoy.


Still resenting the UK for violating what they believed were Icelandic waters, the Icelandic government vowed its support to Washington.


Though a member of NATO Portugal was a staunch friend and ally of the UK and willingly fought alongside the New Commonwealth against the USA and its NATO friends.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)[]

The NATO alliance began to disintegrate following the coup in the United States. By 1991 it was merely a paper force and quickly disappeared.

The Warsaw Pact[]

Soviet Tu22 Backfire banks into firing position, the Soviets used the Commonwealth/US clashes in the Northern Atlantic as cover to launch their own raids on both combatants.

The Soviet backed eastern European alliance used the US attack upon Canada and the confusion it caused to launch their long planned attacks upon Turkey, Denmark, The German Republics, Alaska and China. The alliance as a whole performed badly during the disaster and was effectivly dead before the end of hostilities.

The Mexican People's Republic[]

Mexico emerged from the revolution of the 1980s as a radical People's Republic, with a large though indifferently equipped and badly trained armed forces focused on the Texan border with the America. As a willing ally of the USSR Mexico attacked the USA during the early '91 disaster. This move was a unmitigated disaster for Mexico with its armed forces gutted in the conflict and much of the country absorbed into the new Texan Republic in the next few years.

Red China[]

The emerging superpower in the East China was flexing its muscles on the world stage. Her armed forces had improved greatly since the somewhat abismal performance during the Taiwan Straits war where only the vast numbers of the PLA were able to finally bring victory. Initially attacked by the Soviets China had a hard time holding back the armoured columns as they crossed the border. By the end of the war China had fragmented into many small "warlord" run areas with no real central authority and constant fighting.


Japan and the UK had in the late 1970s resurrected the Anglo-Japanease alliance of earlier in the century. Japan was involved in the fighting during the '91 disaster mainly in the Northern Pacific against the USA and in the islands to the North of Japan against the USSR.