There was the war with the Yan, which is supposedly an alien race noone knows what it is like, and there were some sort of civil war or 'world war' that lead to the formation of the Confederation
there were also a 3rd world war, where its mentioned an asian overlord that sounds like a hitler or napoleon (Zhang, I think is his name), but that sounded like it was very early in earth's story and far before Confed
cant remember any other mention of a war, though I would love to know who were the yan and what happened to them
There's quite a few references to a 21st century World War:
* Someone named Sun Wan Lu launches the "Faraday Rebellion".
* A devestating Pearl Harbor style sneak attack is launched at China Sea.
* A dictator named Zhing comes takes power somewhere in Europe (not England).
* A major battle is fought at Minsk. London is sieged.
* American President Harold Jarvis leads the country to victory during the war.
* Another dictator named "Tralchar" takes power somewhere in the world, and goes down in history as a butcher in the sense of Hitler and Stalin.
The first major interstellar war involving humans (the Kilrathi War was the second) was with a species called the Yan in or around 2300. There aren't really any details on this war, other than that humans won.. Since it takes place before the formation of the Terran Confederation, it's not even known which "faction" of humans fought in this war (UN or WEC).
Civil strife broke up the WEC early in the 25th century - and resulted in the forming of the Terran Confederation in 2416. This wasn't an interestellar or even an interplanetary war.
Between the early 2500s and the 2630s there's no major war. Confed's military exists mostly to deal with various forms of terrorism and to settle minor regional conflicts.
The Pilgrim War lasted from 2631 to 2635. While not anywhere near the scale of Terran/Kilrathi War, it was the largest conflict the Terran Confederation had ever been involved in. Look for a more detailed history in the near future.
Sorry. What I mean is, I remember reading ages ago, an interview of Chris Roberts replying to a question as to why the movie was different to the game, his reply was, he wanted the movie to be seperated a little and lead away from the game.
What I guess I'm saying is, is the Wing Commander movie in the Wing Commander game time lines? I've gotten the impression from that article that the Wing Commander movie is based off the game series but does not fit into it. It's sperate. The reason for this is several inconsistencies, Hunter hating Maverick, Paladin already in the Special Ops division, Angel the Wing Commander instead of Colonel Halcyon, Knight getting killed in the film, Bossman already dead before Maverick met him, Iceman/Spirit/Shotglass missing. The Tiger('s) Claw looking very different, the Rapiers already in service etc etc. Also one of the novels said, a Wing Commander Novel based in the Wing Commander Movie Universe or something like that. So overall I have gotten the impression that the Wing Commander movie is something of it's own.
From the standpoint of the games, the movie is another licensed work - just like the novels, the TV show or the card game. Origin says "you can make a movie in our universe". For Chris Roberts to say it's in "another universe" in the context as director is therefore immaterial to the universe as a whole... since he has no say in what is and is not regarded canon. It'd be like Bill Forstchen deciding to announce that he doesn't consider 'Fleet Action' part of the Wing Commander series. Sure, it's an interesting claim that should be explored... but it doesn't affect the fact that various games consider the events of Fleet Action to be part of their "history".
Consider, also, that the Wing Commander movie relies on the mythos established in the Wing Commander games to exist. It's not something that stands on its own (dramatically or continuity-wise) without background created by the game series. As there haven't been any new WC stories (aside from movie spinoff novels) since the movie was released, we haven't seen it "integrated" into the games histories *yet*.
For now, just leave the movie where it is - an inconsequential little three day event just before the events of the first Wing Commander game.
The Yan are mentioned in one of the books, dont remember which one
only comment is that humans fought them in the 24th century (right?) and won
Which makes me wonder where they went to, considering that since that date, humans have expanded a lot, and would probably have found by now the Yan homeworld or worlds, unless they live like the Hari (large motherships that transit from system to system) or have some sort of gate technology, which I would find hard to believe as that war sounded inconsequential enough that the yan's technology probably wasnt all that high comparing to humans