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The Resource Wars
Amidst an increasingly chaotic and violent international situation, the United States began to militarize. One of the first major projects emerged in 2059, as the Anchorage frontline was established in Alaska to protect the state's natural resources and escalating tensions with Canada, as the United States military units demanded permission to guard the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline by stationing troops on Canadian soil.[Non-canon 1]
The Resource Wars
A year later, in 2060, available fuel reserves were on the brink of depletion worldwide. Traffic on the streets died as fuel became too valuable to waste on cars. The automotive industry desperately tried to come up with a solution to the problem, but electric and early fusion cars were too little, too late to solve the needs of society.[Non-canon 2] The problem was further emphasized by the collapse of the European Commonwealth and the Middle East oil powers, as the oil fields were exhausted.[Non-canon 3] Together with a deteriorating economy and worsening social climate, the United States began to crack.[Non-canon 4] The United States government used the increasing national paranoia to try and control the situation, by discouraging assemblies, fueling the anti-communist sentiment, and encouraging reporting subversive elements. The Vigilant Citizen's Hotline was even established to allow hysterical citizens to report neighbors to the government for any behavior that could be construed as in support of communism. The Third Red Scare is a response to the increased hostility of the People's Republic of China and its operations on American soil.
The military was particularly affected by the fuel shortages, as its vehicle fleets, especially tanks, became crippled by a lack of fuel. In response, the United States Armed Forces initiated a research program seeking to develop power armor in 2065.[Non-canon 5] Research, development, and prototyping pave the way for future advances in military, construction, and most importantly, cold fusion technology.[Non-canon 6] The military would continue research in other areas continues as well, including more powerful nuclear weapons.
The breakthroughs in technology and possession of oil reserves would result in the United States clashing with the People's Republic of China. As the economy of the communist state was dependent to a much greater degree on fossil fuels than that of the U.S., China found itself on the border of collapse in the spring of 2066, with oil fields finally drying up globally. With the United States unwilling to export its own reserves of crude oil, China became more aggressive in its negotiations.[Non-canon 7] According to the Sierra Depot GNN transcript, in June 2074, this resulted in a declaration by the U.S. president that the last known supply of petroleum would be used exclusively by the U.S. and the U.S. would not sell or trade any oil to outside parties. Adding further insult was the first crude fusion cell developed for the power armor project, revealed to the public in summer of 2066.[Non-canon 8][Non-canon 9]
Desperate to avoid collapse, China launched an invasion of Alaska to seize its natural resources. This daring, trans-Pacific military operation began the Resource Wars, the last war the United States would ever fight.[Non-canon 10] It also inadvertently triggers the gradual annexation of Canada, as the United States forces it to grant the right of passage to American military units on the way to the Alaskan theater.[Non-canon 11] As China is fully committed to the Alaskan operation, United States forces find themselves outmatched and pushed back. The T-45 power armor is rapidly prototyped and pressed into production to prevent Chinese tanks and infantry from overrunning Alaska. The first units prove to be incredibly effective in defense, but somewhat lacking in offensive capabilities. As the Chinese military lost the initiative, the situation rapidly deteriorated into trench warfare as neither side was capable of breaking the stalemate and forcing peace terms on the enemy.[Non-canon 12]
The war consumed increasing amounts of resources, material, and manpower, straining the ailing American economy. To counteract this, the United States military began to liberally exploit Canadian resources. Protests from Ottawa are ignored as Canada became little more than a colony of the United States.[Non-canon 13] Canadian riots and protests eventually culminated in a sabotage attempt on an oil pipeline in 2072. The United States military used the incident as a pretext to invade Canada outright and begin annexation.[Non-canon 14] On the domestic front, the United States Army contracted RobCo Industries and General Atomics International to collaborate on an unprecedented joint project: The creation of the most powerful combat robot in the history of warfare, to liberate Anchorage, Alaska from Chinese occupation in a display of power meant to demoralize the enemy and force them into submission. The project was meant to serve both military and propaganda needs. The former dictated the capacity, the latter the design: In the words of General Constantine Chase, initiator of the project, Liberty Prime was to embody the American military: A walking, talking, nuke-tossing hero reminding enemies of the U.S. that they picked a fight with a global superpower. Confident that the project would soon yield result, General Chase publicly confirmed in June 2072 that the U.S. Army was working with General Atomics and RobCo to create a superweapon meant to establish the dominance of the United States on the Alaskan front.
Furthermore, the aggressive use of biological weapons by the Chinese led the government to order West Tek to develop a Pan-Immunity Virion on September 15, 2073. The research would eventually evolve into the Forced Evolution Virus project.[Non-canon 15] Since West Tek was effectively nationalized two years prior (put under military command), the scientists had no other choice but to obey their military masters.
The economy was stretched to the breaking point as America found itself fighting a war on three fronts: Canada, Alaska, and mainland China. Neither side was willing to yield, despite eight years of constant warfare,[Non-canon 16] and ambitious flanking maneuvers such as the Gobi Campaign.
By 2076, the war had raged for a decade. Both China and the United States teetered on the brink of collapse. In January, a permanent garrison was installed at West Tek, to ensure that the Forced Evolution Virus project remained safe from international espionage, as it entered a new stage of experimentation on dogs and chimpanzees.[Non-canon 17] By the end of the month, the annexation of Canada was completed. Its provinces are put under martial law - all protesters and rioters are shot on sight. Atrocities committed in the name of the Union make their way stateside, fermenting anti-governmental sentiment.[Non-canon 18]
However heinous the annexation, the military gained an advantage to offset the problems with economic strain. The introduction of the T-51 power armor in June helped tip the scales in favor of the U.S. military. The next-generation power armor resolved problems existing in older generations of armor. Mechanized cavalry units outfitted with the T-51bs were sent to the Alaskan and Chinese fronts, carving a swath through Communist forces. The Chinese economy crumbled under the onslaught and supply lines from nations annexed by the Beijing regime started falling apart.[Non-canon 19] However, the American regime did not fare any better. In August, food and energy riots start in urban centers across the United States. A state of emergency and eventually martial law was declared, with U.S. military forces being deployed on the domestic front to fight their own countrymen. The United States became, effectively, a military junta.[Non-canon 20]
The Collapse of America
The counterpoint to this disastrous turn of events came in early 2077, as the Anchorage Reclamation ended with a decisive American victory on January 10, after a final offensive spearheaded by T-51 power armor units adapted to the cold environment penetrated Chinese defenses around Anchorage. Despite the embarrassment of the Liberty Prime project, which failed to produce a working weapon for use in Anchorage, General Constantine Chase was credited with the victory.[Non-canon 21] The Anchorage War Memorial was hastily erected on FDR Island to commemorate the efforts and sacrifices of American soldiers on the Alaskan front, basing on an iconic photograph taken in Anchorage. The victory in Alaska heralded bad news for American and Canadian citizens, as the military junta in control of the United States deployed mechanized cavalry units to Canada and the United States. Veterans of the Chinese and Alaskan fronts found themselves fighting their own countrymen, quelling riots, and enforcing the national quarantine. Mounting civilian casualties tested the loyalty of soldiers and desertions started to occur. Captured deserters were imprisoned or sent to feed the Army's newest Robobrain development program.[Non-canon 22]
The campaign in mainland China was reinvigorated by the victory in Alaska and the deployment of T-51 units. Army troops clad in T-51 regularly witnessed Chinese troops surrendering upon sighting them and their miniguns.[Non-canon 23] However, the effect did not last. As American troops pushed deeper into the mainland, Chinese resistance increased. By October, the situation transitioned from a rout into a stalemate. After a decade of war, there was no end in sight. Billions of dollars and thousands of casualties were spent in vain. To bolster the offensive, bases across the United States were sealed and troops redeployed to provide more men for the meat grinder.
The situation was made worse by the fact that the oligarchs ruling the United States retreated to remote locations around the globe, expecting a last-ditch nuclear strike from China at any moment. The oil rig was claimed by the president and key members of the junta, becoming the foundation of the future Enclave.[Non-canon 24] The United States was leaderless, continuing on simply due through inertia. When the U.S. Army security detail at Mariposa discovered the FEV experiments conducted on their comrades in arms – the very men arrested for refusing to fight their own countrymen – they rebel. However, even as Captain John Maxson declared them in full desertion from the Army and broke all ties with the United States, there was no response – the chain of command ceased to exist.[Non-canon 25]
Nuclear weapons were launched on October 23, 2077. Within two hours, the United States ceased to exist as a nation, its cities vaporized in nuclear fireballs. The former leaders of the country having already retreated to their safe-havens. Abandoned by their leaders, the survivors began rebuilding on their own.[Non-canon 26]
Although the United States Army ceased to exist alongside the nation it formally served (and actually controlled), it would continue to influence its history directly and indirectly. The most obvious examples are military hardware present in the wasteland, ranging from humble infantry equipment to the high tech T-51 power armor and military robots. More subtle examples include:
- The Brotherhood of Steel formed by Roger Maxson, which became an important player in wasteland politics. The Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel was based on another Army unit, the Rangers (specifically, Taggerdy's Thunder).
- Pre-War veterans and other survivors who came to Appalachia in 2103 and tried to continue their Army duties. One example is Joe Creigh, who took advantage of the automated training regimen at Camp McClintock to join the Army and continue his family tradition. An example of pre-War U.S. Army soldiers that lived in Appalachia are Captain Fields, Sergeant Radcliff and Sergeant Thompson.
- The Enclave, formed by the descendants of the military-industrial complex that ruled America, which almost managed to commit total global genocide.
- Junktown, founded by a former U.S. Army serviceman.
- The Unity, which came into existence as an unintended result of the FEV research project.
- The 121st Infantry Platoon, nicknamed Firebats, was deployed to Monongah Power Plant after the Great War to protect the power plant from invasion.
- Anchorage Reclamation, an 11-year campaign to liberate Alaska from the Chinese invaders. Ultimately successful, it was the first large-scale deployment of newly developed T-51b power armor units.
- The annexation of Canada was also performed by the United States military, whose units were also dedicated to keeping the peace―by any means necessary.
- Veterans of the Anchorage campaign were also deployed against their fellow countrymen, to contain food riots.
- The Gobi Campaign, that took place in the Gobi Desert. The Gobi Campaign scout rifle was named for this campaign.
- The Yangtze Campaign on the island of Mambajao in the Philippines on the eve of the Great War.
- Fought in World War II from 1941 to 1945.
- Soldiers/astronauts appear to have been engaged in combat operations on the Moon at some stage prior to the Great War. This is supported by the mural in the Museum of Freedom, which depicts an astronaut with a weapon and the mentioning of the Sea of Tranquility along with other battles.
- Toxic Waste Dump Security Bunker
- Sierra Army Depot
- Lost Hills Security Bunker
- U.S. Army field headquarters
- Elemndorf AFB
- West Tek research facility
- Mariposa Military Base
- Nellis Air Force Base
- McCarran Airport
- Hidden Valley
- Ashton missile silo
- Hopeville Missile Base
- Fort Bannister
- Fort Constantine
- Fort Independence
- Raven Rock
- Satellite relay station
- National Guard depot
- Wheaton armory
- Rivet City
- Adams Air Force Base
- Turtledove Detention Camp
- Naval recruiting center
- Boston mayoral shelter
- Coast Guard Pier
- Federal ration stockpile
- Federal supply cache 84NE
- Federal Surveillance Center K-21B
- Fort Hagen* Fort Hagen hangar
- Fort Strong* Listening Post Bravo
- Mount Desert Island Naval Facility
- National Guard training yard
- Recon bunker Theta
- Revere satellite array
- Robotics Technology Facility RB-2851
- Sentinel Site Prescott
- South Boston Military Checkpoint
- The Switchboard
- USAF Satellite Station Olivia
- Wreck of the USS Riptide
- Camp Adams
- Camp McClintock
- Converted munitions factory
- Site Alpha
- Site Bravo
- Site Charlie
- Sugar Grove
- Monongah Power Plant
- Ransacked bunker
The United States Army was one of the principal branches involved in projecting American power throughout the Resource Wars and the principal operator of power armor. It was the Army that held the line in Alaska for over a decade and eventually led the decisive push into Anchorage in 2077. Together with the Air Force, the Army also maintained nuclear forces and was responsible for operating the United States arsenal of nuclear weapons through the Commonwealth Defense Administration, The Army military police was also involved in carrying out Executive Order 99066, the internment of Chinese and Chinese-American persons in concentration camps.
Members of the US Marines participated in war games with other military assets, such as United States Army Rangers, and transported Chinese-American citizens to concentration camps per Executive Order 99066.
It is known to have supported U.S. military operations during the Anchorage Reclamation (including the unfortunate sinking of USS Ebon Atoll by USS Interference in December 2066) and participated in the counter-invasion of the Chinese mainland. Naval fighters were responsible for coastal patrols and defense, as well as recovery of enemy vessels captured near American shores. In certain cases, the Navy would also cooperate with intelligence agencies such as the DIA in counter-espionage operations.
Like other branches of the United States military, the Navy was involved in a number of illicit activities. The foremost of these was domestic surveillance, carried out using black sites like Sugar Grove, where Naval analysts and operatives monitored U.S. citizens for seditious activity. Appalachia was a notable example of what defined sedition: Anything that could affect the war effort, including unionization, anti-automation protests, striking, and of course, the Free States. Those who caught the eye of the Navy faced a fate worse than death: Edgar Aarsen, a union activist, was marked for surveillance in March 2075. A year later, he was abducted ("arrested"), murdered, and his children set up for adoption.
The history of the air force is closely intertwined with the general history of the Armed Forces. Together with the Army and the Navy, the Air Force was responsible for maintaining the nuclear arsenal of the United States (primarily bomber-based weapons), as well as aerial warfare in the numerous resource conflicts the United States participated in or outright instigated, including the United States invasion of Mexico of 2052, the Resource Wars (2066–2077), and the United States annexation of Canada.[Non-canon 27]
Once the threat of nuclear war was finally realized, the National Guard was deployed en-masse across the country to put in effect the various contingency plans that had been devised in the event of nuclear war, which included civilian evacuations, radiation clean-ups and road checkpoints to maintain order post-War.
By the time of the Great War, the United States military was the most powerful military in the world, thanks to its overwhelming technological superiority. T-60 power armor, T-51 and the older model, the T-45 provided superb protection and the ability to carry heavy weapons into combat, including rotary cannons usually mounted on gunships or fighters. Power armor units were usually issued to mechanized cavalry formations operating on critical fronts. Low-frequency signals, which can travel far-reaching distances through many geographic obstacles, were used during the Resource Wars to transmit messages to submarines. Other materiel utilized by the Armed Forced included energy weapons, robotics, and military transport vehicles.
- United States Armed Forces installations
- Known United States Armed Forces members
- United States government
- American soldier
- Strike team
- Fallout Bible 0: "2059 The Anchorage Front Line is established, as the United States increases its military presence in Alaska to protect its oil interests. The Anchorage Front Line causes tensions in the United States and Canada, as the United States attempts to pressure Canada into allowing American military units to guard the Alaskan pipeline."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2060 Traffic on the streets of the world stops moving. Fuel becomes too precious to waste on automobiles, so alternatives are explored - electric and fusion cars begin to be manufactured, but factories can only make limited amounts. Pressure on fusion research increases."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2060 The Euro-Middle Eastern War ends as the oil fields in the Middle East run dry... there is no longer a goal in the conflict, and both sides are reduced almost to ruin."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2062 Despite quarantine measures, the New Plague continues to spread, fueling national paranoia."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2065 August Increasing need for mobility in the United States mechanized cavalry leads the military to focus the efforts on creating a man-based tank - essentially, a two-legged walking armored unit: Power Armor."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2065-2067Power Armor research grows and several prototypes are developed, many of which prove to be unworkable in the field. These prototypes pave the way for future advances in military, construction, and fusion technology."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2066 Spring As the oil resources dry up across the globe, China's fossil fuel dependency causes an energy crisis in the nation. China, bordering on collapse, becomes more aggressive in its trade talks with the United States. Unwilling to export oil to China, talks between the United States and China break down."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2066 Summer Adding further insult to the Chinese-American relations, the first crude fusion cell is unveiled, one of the results of the Power Armor project. Devices designed for the fusion cell begin to be manufactured. Incorporating fusion power into the general US infrastructure begins, but the process is too slow to supply power to the regions that need it. Nearly thirteen years later, few sections of the United States were supplied with fusion power."
- Fallout Bible 5: "2066 Summer Adding further insult to the Chinese-American relations, the first crude fusion cell is unveiled, one of the results of the Power Armor project. Devices designed for the fusion cell begin to be manufactured. Incorporating fusion power into the general US infrastructure begins, but the process is too slow to supply power to the regions that need it. Nearly eleven years later, few sections of the United States were supplied with fusion power."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2066 Winter In the winter of 2066, China invades Alaska. The Anchorage Front Line becomes a true battleground."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2066 Winter As a sign of increasing tension between the two countries, Canada proves reluctant to allow American troops on Canadian soil or allow American planes to fly over Canadian airspace. The United States and Canadian tensions rise, but Canada eventually backs down, and US troops pass through Canada. This sets the stage for the Canadian annexation in 2076."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2067 The first suit of Power Armor is deployed in Alaska. While lacking the full mobility of future versions, this Power Armor is incredibly effective against Chinese tanks and infantry. Its ability to carry heavy ordinance becomes key in various localized conflicts, and it has the power to destroy entire towns without endangering the wearer. China rushes to create its own versions, but they are many years behind the United States."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2069 Canada begins to feel the pressure from the United States military as the US draws upon Canadian resources for the war effort. Vast stretches of timberland are destroyed, and other resources in Canada are stretched to the breaking point. Many Americans refer to Canada as Little America, and Canadian protests are unheard."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2072 The United States' increasing demand for Canadian resources causes protests and riots in several Canadian cities. An attempted sabotage attempt of the Alaskan pipeline is all the military needs as an excuse to begin its annexation of Canada... which in fact, had already begun in 2067."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2073 Sept 15 As China becomes increasingly aggressive with their use of biological weapons, the United States government felt that a countermeasure was needed. The Pan-Immunity Virion Project (PVP) is officially formed and plans are made to begin experiments at the West Tek research facility in Southern California."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2074 Contrary to their claims of seeking only to retake Alaska from the Reds, American Power Armor units, infantry, and mechanized divisions are deployed to China, but they become bogged down on the mainland, putting a further drain on American resources and supply lines."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2076 January 3 A military team under the command of Colonel Spindel is sent to the West Tek research facility to monitor the experiments in the interest of national security. Captain Roger Maxson (the grandfather of John Maxson, the High Elder of the Brotherhood of Steel in F1) is among the team personnel."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2076 January The United States annexation of Canada is complete. Canadian protestors and rioters are shot on sight, and the Alaskan Pipeline swarms with American military units. Pictures of atrocities make their way to the United States, causing further unrest and protests."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2076 June Power Armor prototype completed, resulting in the Power Armor players find in Fallout 1. This is the pinnacle of Power Armor technology before the Great War. Many of these units are sent to China, and they begin to carve a swath through the Chinese forces. The Chinese resources are strained to the breaking point, and the supply lines from the nations China has annexed begin to break down."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2076 August Food and energy riots begin in major cities throughout the United States. Military units begin to be deployed in cities within the United States to contain rioters, and many temporary jails are constructed. A state of emergency is declared, and martial law soon follows."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2077 January 10 Alaska is reclaimed, and the Anchorage Front Line is again held by the Americans."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2077 January 22 The first domestic use of Power Armor within the United States for crowd and quarantine control. Units originally serving in China and the Anchorage Front Line find themselves fighting Americans at home. Food riots increase, and many civilians are killed. Several soldiers defect from the military both in Canada and the United States. They are captured, and are sent to military prisons."
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.43: "Chinese Army (Simulated)
U.S. Army (Simulated)
With conditions deteriorating between the United States and China, a military presence in Alaska was established to prevent a possible invasion across the Bering Strait. With increasingly scarce oil reserves, a last deep-sea deposit below the Pacific Ocean was claimed by China before allegedly being sabotaged by American special operatives. Strained relationships spiraled downward into conflict as China marched on Alaska, and the Sino-American War of 2066—2077 erupted. Under the command of General Jingwei, the Chinese Army usurped control of Alaska's oil pipeline and reserves. In response, the Americans began what came to be called "The Alaskan Reclamation Operation" (2067—2077).
Under the leadership of General Constantine Chase, the U.S. Army battled fiercely to the front lines of the conflict before Chase began deploying specialized Power Armor units that began pushing the Chinese back. Future Power Armor suits were further refined as the conflict dragged on, and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was reclaimed. With resources flowing through Canada, strained diplomatic tensions between Canada and the United States becoming problematic, and Canadian forces attacking the pipeline, the country was annexed.
A combination of inclement weather, constant American bombardment and trench warfare, and U.S. Powered Armor unit attacks sweeping through mainline China, the Chinese supply lines weakened and finally broke down completely. By the beginning of 2077, the city of Anchorage was finally liberated, the Chinese eradicated, and the operation deemed a success. A commemorative memorial was erected in Washington, D.C., in honor of the soldiers who fought and perished for the greater American good. Violence between America and pockets of Canadian freedom fighters continued throughout 2077, until the Great War obliterated almost all infrastructure, commerce, and human life."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
- Fallout Bible 0: "2077 March Prepared for a nuclear or biological attack from China, the president, and the Enclave retreats to remote sections around the globe and make contingency plans for continuing the war."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2077 October Captain Roger Maxson and his men discover that the scientists at Mariposa have been using "military volunteers" (military prisoners who didn't have their brains scooped for use in Brain Bots) as test subjects in their experiments. Morale in the base breaks down, and Maxson executes Anderson, the chief scientist. Not long after this (and in light of the breakdown of the mental breakdown of Colonel Spindel stationed at the base), Maxson's men turn to him for leadership. He shrugs and says 'we should quit.'"
- Fallout Bible 0: "2077 March Prepared for a nuclear or biological attack from China, the president and the Enclave retreats to remote sections around the globe and make contingency plans for continuing the war."
- Invasion of Mexico