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Thread: The Prisoners of Silence - NSDAP 1936-1991 (History and background)

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    Timeline of important events in the West, Europe, Asia and Africa between 1965-1975
    Last edited by Karelian; 11-01-2009 at 17:42.

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    Timeline of important events in the West, Europe, Asia and Africa between 1976-1984
    Last edited by Karelian; 11-01-2009 at 17:43.
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    Quite glad this never happened. Other than that... FREAKIN COOL!!!
    Getting really sick of the double-standard...

    I'm a rabid Anglophile. Please don't forget that.

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    The United States in the Cold War I: The Balance of Terror



    The death of President Roosevelt in 12th of April 1945 marked an end of an era, and the hopes that fascism could be completely eradicated as a threat pretty much died alongside with him. The last days of Roosevelt´s office had been bitter indeed. In June 1944 Operation Overlord had failed to gain a satisfactory foothold on the European continent in the shores of Normandy, and by then the chances of defeating Germany by ground warfare had pretty much disappeared.

    Fearful of a new civil war in Russia and bitterly disappointed to the lack of an amphibious landing to the shores of western Europe, Stalin had been forced to engage in a bitter separate peace negotiations with Germans, resulting to the Treaty of Kirovograd in 22nd of June, 1943.

    With Soviet Union out from the war, the Allied strategists realized that chances of a successful invasion of "Fortress Europe" were virtually gone after the carefully planned "Overlord"-plan had ended in a catastrophe. After FDR was dead, the new President Truman agreed to focus the US war effort towards Japan while still continuing the strategic bombing campaign that aimed to defeat Germany from air.

    Even after the new German jets and antiaircraft missiles had defeated the armadas of Bomber Command above the skies of the Reich during the year 1945, some hope of defeating Hitler´s regime of terror remained. It was believed that the nuclear bomb, a new secret weapon developed by the "Manhattan Project" that was so successfully used against Japan might still win the war for the Allies in Europe as well.

    Since Japan had been virtually defeated and had in fact already offered to surrender before the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many Allied commanders doubted that the current conventional Allied air offensive would cause the downfall of Hitler´s regime. The US strategists realized that due the current strategic situation was way more favorable for Germany than it had been for Japan, Hitler would not likely give up unless the new secret weapons would be used against German targets "in a massive scale."

    Soon the few chosen main strategists of the JSC were carefully examining the results of the first nuclear strikes against Japan in order to create a plan to defeat Germany by nuclear strikes. This war plan was hastily prepared in ultimate secrecy during late 1945 as the latest reports from the air raids against Germany indicated that the Germans were busily testing and fielding their new improved jet fighter types and new Wasserfall-type SAM-missiles. The specially modified B-29:s carrying the huge 10.000-pound Mark III plutonium bombs would have hard times evading these new threats that would be able to reach them even from their effective service ceiling of 33,000 ft, and therefore the plan that was presented to President Truman with the codename "PINCHER" focused mostly to the actual nuclear targets and the execution of these attacks.

    "PINCHER" envisioned that the final assault against Germany would begin with "a prompt strategic air offensive whose purpose is to destroy the German war-making ability." This objective was to by accomplished by dropping several Mark III;s to Berlin, to the oil-fields of Ploesti and Baku and to the Ruhr industrial area. These and other nuclear strikes against the additional listed targets in Germany would carried out by B-29:s operating from bases in the British Isles, Italy and Mediterranean. These bombers would strike against the 20 most important strategic areas inside Germany by "at least 50 atomic bombs."

    The purpose of this atomic attack was to shatter the German military machine and destroy the targets most critical to the German war effort. Allthough the bulk of German military might was to be destroyed in the initial assault as well, the the final collapse of the Nazi government and the mopping up operation would require a land and sea invasion. The final assault to Germany would be a three- or four-pronged invasion that would roughly follow the later parts of the failed "Overlord"-plan. The plan stated that such an attack would lead to the "collapse of Germany´s totalitarian government; destruction of her industry or the complete disruption of her communication system." The overriding objective of the "PINCHER" was "to defeat Germany, or, as a minimum, to impose upon her the surrender terms acceptable to the United States." This military defeat of the Third Reich would eventually pave the way for it´s occupation by allied forces.

    In early 1946 it became clear that the original plan of defeating Germany from air had failed as Bomber Command had to be re-organized due the heavy casualties sustained over the skies of the Reich. "PINCHER" now seemed to be the only viable option - except that the Americans still lacked an atomic arsenal sufficient to execute this ambitions plan! The exact number of Mark III plutonium bombs in the United States arsenal was a carefully guarded secret. It was actually so secret that it was never committed on paper, but always communicated orally by a special briefing officer. And because of the severe inter-service squabbles within the Pentagon even the Joint Chiefs did not know how many atomic bombs there truly were in the US. Arsenal, and this extensive secrecy and paranoia combined with the poor understanding of the production capabilities of these new weapons resulted into a war plan that required such a number of nukes that it could not be implemented before early 1948! As President Truman had gained knowledge of the Manhattan Project in a relatively late phase, he was also unaware that the US did not possess a nuclear stockpile even though he had already issued orders that led to the first usage of these new weapons. After repeated requests(!) the President was finally informed in December 1945 by David Lilienthal, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Later on Mr. llienthal recalled: "Upon hearing that the US possessed no more than four atomic bombs, the shock was apparent on Truman´s face." After a lengthy consideration and negotiations with his closest President Truman finally agreed to go forward with a modified version of "PINCHER." A single nuke would be dropped to Berlin as a "nuclear warning shot", and should it fail to cause a wide uprising against the Nazi regime the original plan would be carried out as soon as the required number of atomic bombs would be ready.



    The crew of the B-29 "Carolina Moon" from the VIII Bomber Command upon leaving their fateful bombing mission towards Berlin from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. The failure of this mission was a fatal setback for the "PINCHER"-plan since it proved that Germany was indeed capable of intercepting the B-29 carrying the cumbersome and heavy Mark III plutonium bomb. As the news of the failed mission reached Pentagon the pre-planned ultimatum to German government was never published and the build-up for PINCER continued.


    The famous gun camera footage of Leutnant Alfred Lehner´s Me-262. As a part of the combat patrol of JG7 he successfully intercepted and shot down the "Carolina Moon" above Rügen and thus changed the course of history forever.

    Because of the first attempt was a failure it was decided not to risk another of the precious Mark III:s to another attempt, especially because it was unclear weather or not the bomb carried by "Carolina Moon" had survived the crash landing to the Baltic coast intact or not.

    Before the required number of bombs became available, Germany called a huge number of reporters all over the world to witness their first successful nuclear test in the steppes near Astrakhan in 27th of March 1946. Simultaneously the V-1 and V-2 attacks against southern England intensified and German propaganda boasted that the Reich would soon field a new, improved V-rocket that could carry a nuclear warhead to London.

    This event put the new British Prime Minister Clement Atlee and his Labour government that had defeated Churchill and his Conservatives in the elections of 1945 by promising a honorable peace and postwar prosperity into a desperate position. With the new wolf packs of modern German U-boats slowly strangling the Home Isles, and German V-rockets hitting targets in southern England almost daily, the threat of a nuclear strike against London felt all too real for the British public opinion. Thus Mr. Atlee soon regretfully informed the Truman administration that Britain would be more or less forced to send a negotiation committee to Zürich to discuss the terms of armistice with the Germans and he urged the US to do the same before the conflict would escalate into a nuclear war.

    Later on many Western researches have argued that the whole operation was more likely a sign of German desperation than a true show of force. The bomb used in Astrakhan was most likely crude, heavy and rather simple nuclear device, and should the Americans had renewed their efforts to use nukes against Germany in the preplanned scale they would most likely have found out that the Germans still lacked a nuclear reserve and ways to deliver the bomb as well, since in reality their first missiles and bombers capable of carrying nukes were not presented in public until years later.

    But Truman and other top US officials lacked this information at the time, and instead of putting the British Isles (and possibly the eastern coast of the mainland United States as well) in to the risk of nuclear attacks they opted to send a delegation to Zürich as well. The end of the World War II loomed in horizon as the victors and survivors of this bloody conflict gathered in Switzerland.
    Last edited by Karelian; 25-09-2008 at 14:34.
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    The United States in the Cold War II: Truman 1944-1948


    President Truman taking the Oath of Office in April 12th.

    "Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don't know if you fellas ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me what happened yesterday, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me."

    As the new thirty-third President of the United States Harry S. Truman had good reasons to give such grim statement to journalists shortly after his oath of office. The former Missouri Senator stepped to the leadership of a nation that had already begun to question the noble ideals and wartime leadership of President Roosevelt and loose faith in them.

    As Operation Overlord failed to open the "second front" in Western Europe and Stalin had already signed a bitter separate peace with the Germans in Kirovograd in 22nd of June, 1943, the chances to defeat the Nazis by ground operations were slim. The heavy casualties in the failed invasion of Normandy and the renewed U-boat blockade conducted by the new German submarines were increasing war weariness and dissent in Britain and US alike. In the UK the upcoming general elections seemed to spell ill fate for Winston Churchill´s wartime cabinet.

    In this extremely difficult situation Truman initially sought to continue along the general outlines of the bi-partisan foreign policy of his predecessor. At first he promoted the idea of continuing and intensifying the strategic bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan, and after the nuclear strikes had seemingly forced the Japanese to capitulate he attempted the last-ditch effort to achieve victory over the Third Reich by issuing orders of nuclear strikes against important strategic targets in Germany as envisioned in the controversial "PINCHER"-plan.

    But as the first attempted bombing run that was to be the "nuclear warning shot" followed by the final Allied ultimatum that demanded surrender from Germany had failed and the Germans themselves performed their first successfull nuclear test in the vicinity of Astrakhan in 27th of March this plan never achieved the expected results. With the hopes created by America´s short-lived atomic monopoly now gone, Truman and his aides were forced to quickly consider other solutions for the current situation.

    The outcome of these discussions was the new National Security Strategy that was published at 2nd of May 1946, just when the US negotiation team left towards Zürich alongside with the British committee led by Lord Halifax and the President announced for the first time that the US would seek a negotiated solution for the war in Europe.

    The new guidelines of this foreign policy initiative focused on the defense of American core values – democracy, individualism and free markets were to be preserved at home at any cost and strongly promoted elsewhere in the world. The United States would seek to re-organize the "non-German world" outside Europe under firm American protection as a "Free World" that would initially include the Western Hemisphere, the former British Empire and the states of Pacific. Later on a new international organization called "The United Nations" would be created to promote human rights, peace and prosperity in the world.

    From Truman this initiative was a high-risk gamble indeed. He certainly did not want to be remembered as the man who gave the continental Europe to the hands of Hitler and betrayed the cause of democracy by doing so, and therefore he sought to change the role of the United States within the global order once and for all.

    The new plan mixed Wilsonian idealism of a world of cooperation and peace together with the promotion overall US rearmament and the idea of strong and permanent US military presence overseas where it would maintain the credibility and stability of this envisioned world of tomorrow. The new proposal also revived the Monroe Doctrine by announcing that the US would "vigilantly observe" the development of South and Central America and that it would also seek to integrate all these states to the new framework of the United Nations in order to help them to develop modern societies and economies.

    Now the final decision of the matter rested in the hands of the Congress. While the Congress had supported Truman´s foreign policy initiatives so far it had done so first and foremost because of Senator Vandenberg who had managed to keep the majority of Republicans in line and because of demands the wartime situation. Yet it was notoriously conservative and the same Congress that Truman had called "the worst in American history" since it had passed the Taft-Hartley Act over his veto and had also refused to act on his recommendations for social welfare measures of the "Fair Deal" program. Now these same men in their part were forced decide the shape of the world of tomorrow. The new program that President was promoting would demand vast sums of US investments - and most importantly it would also postpone the defeat of fascism to the unknown future by signing a truce with Berlin in order to avoid the escalation of the war into a nuclear level.



    United Nations became a new tool of American foreign policy by creating a forum where the member states of the American sphere of influence could discuss their common interests.

    Later in his memoirs Truman quoted that the moment when he heard that the Congress had approved his new foreign policy initiative was one of the most important moments of his life. After this important ideological decision was made there still remained much opposition for the new US global commitment, but all later steps of the new strategy such as the implementation of the Marshal Plan´s economic aid for the UK, Japan, Korea, southern Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Iceland were ultimately all approved by the same Congress that stubbornly opposed Truman´s reforms in domestic questions.

    Then came the presidential elections of 1948. With the failure of new negotiations of the Italian question, the badly going civil war in Greece, Ireland´s decision to re-establish their diplomatic relations with the Third Reich and the seemingly lacking commitment for democratic development within the Soviet Union and China the outcome seemed like a certain victory for Republican candidate Thomas Dewey, who had already campaigned for the title four years earlier.



    Dewey conducted an extremely careful campaign. Since victory seemed assured his job was not to win friends but to keep from alienating people. He did not openly blame Truman for "losing Europe" and supported the current US commitment for global affairs by the United Nations and Nato. His polished and dull speeches and the overall failure to come to grips with the real issues ultimately caused a huge surprise when Truman won him with clear numbers.

    While Truman´s first term was filled with huge challenges and setbacks he successfully led his country into the world of the Cold War and managed to bring about a significant change in the global role of the United States.
    Last edited by Karelian; 25-09-2008 at 14:33.
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    The United States in the Cold War II: Truman 1948-1952


    President Truman speaking in the opening ceremony of NATO in 3rd of December 1951. In the following year all sixteen member states of this new security alliance provided troops for the Middle-Eastern War.

    While Truman´s Fair Deal program was mostly swept down the drain by the bi-partisan alliance in the Congress, the major events in the world created new serious challenges to his foreign policy initiatives as well. Any hopes of a regime change in Germany soon disappeared as the death of Adolf Hitler in 4th of January 1951 only seemed to strengthen the fascist control over Europe as the Old Continent continued along the path of (forced) economical, political and military cooperation strictly in accordance of German plans.

    Meanwhile National Socialist sentiments were gaining wider support among the Arab population within in the unstable Middle-East and the remaining Free French forces in the area were loosing control of Lebanon and Syria to the various Arab militias that were supported by Germany. News of colonial war in Congo and the "defection" of South Africa seemed to indicate that fascism was quickly spreading in Africa as well and many internationalists within the Congress argued that the US wasn´t currently doing enough to stop this process.

    The situation in Egypt was especially alarming. The pace of change within the country had been extremely fast after the coup led by Rashid el Galian had toppled the old pro-British regime in 1950. In less than a year Egypt had at first re-established her diplomatic relations with Germany and then bought a large number of (relatively obsolete) WWII-vintage weapons from the Reich. Soon afterwards Egyptian-funded and armed militias had seized control of large parts of rural Sudan and finally new Egyptian legislation had nationalized the Suez Channel - especially this last event had caused great distress in Britain and republic of Italy since the Channel was extremely important for Mediterranean sea lines.



    National Socialism mixed with older ideas of Arab unity provided an appealing ideology for Nasser and other promoters of Pan-Arabism.

    As Gamal Abdel Nasser became a new leader in the country as a new coup removed King Farouk a year later in 1951, the National Socialist reforms in Egypt continued while the new regime began to actively spread their Pan-Arabic propaganda around the Middle-East. Nasser´s ambitions gained a great deal of support from Berlin, and on 5th of August 1951 German-trained Arab volunteer units supported local Baathist coups in Lebanon and Syria. West was quick to react. Seeing no other solution to the current situation where fascism was spreading uncontested in this critically important region, President Truman took contact to the British government and requested their assistance for a possible military intervention. As the British Conservatives were once again in power because of Labour´s defeat in the general elections in 1950, the Conservative government of PM Anthony Eden was more than willing to see order restored to Palestine, Suez and rest of the region as well.

    Suez Crisis escalates


    Initially the troops assigned for the Operation Damask seized their objectives without meeting organized resistance and the campaign seemed to be going according to the plan.

    The plan, Operation Damask, consisted of joint British and American airborne assaults and amphibious landings to Port Said, Palestine and Suez Channel area. Strong naval task forces would support the operation by blockading and bombing Egyptian ports in Mediterranean and the Red Sea and by providing air support to ground operations. After this show of force it was assumed that humiliated Nasser would be forced to abandon his grand ambitions for the region and call of his nationalization plans for Suez. Meanwhile the occupation of Palestine would prevent the German-supported Arab forces from invading the country and finally end the civil war there. Initially it was believed that this action would also send a strong message to the German leadership.

    Privately President Truman and his closest aides also discussed of a possible second phase of Damask. It would begin as soon as Nasser´s forces would be defeated and Suez would be re-opened for traffic. According to this new plan additional troops would be sent to the region as soon as the hostilities with Egypt would be over. Once American forces would have moved into Palestine under a mandate of the United Nations in order to "pacify the area" by separating the fighting Jewish and Arab factions from one another, the old question of a Jewish state could finally be brought into a successful conclusion by reaching a some kind of territorial agreement within Palestine.


    Prior to the beginning of Operation Damask the presumably hostile Arab forces in Palestine and Lebanon were considered to be little more than untrained rabble, and the planning focused against the conventional armies of Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. But while the Arab militias were indeed incapable of conventional warfare, their guerrilla activities in occupied regions would cause much troubles to Western troops later on.

    The whole operation was planned to be a quick and determined show of force, and by "making a firm stand against tyranny in the Middle-East" Truman sought to contain the spread of fascism in this strategically important region and show the allies of the US that America was now firmly committed to defend democracy and freedom everywhere in the world. At dawn in 6th of October 1951, two days after the last attempt of negotiations with Nasser´s government had failed, the first Allied operation after WWII began as hundreds of air crafts took off from the carriers in Mediterranean and from the airfields in Malta, Cyprus and Crete. As bombers and fighters struck against Egyptian airfields, harbors and military installations British transport planes dropped the first wave of Parachute Regiment over their targets in Suez area.

    President Truman had earlier reassured Congress that "our recent and absolutely necessary actions in Suez" would not escalate into an all-out war in the region and that the operation would quickly be over as Nasser would be forced to admit defeat and re-enter into the negotiation table. But despite his initial optimism Truman became increasingly worried as the days went by and fighting in Egypt and Palestine only intensified. Prior to the operation American intelligence services had gained information that a sizable number of German military advisers were present in Egypt, but soon after the beginning of hostilities it became clear that the Germans had also secretly delivered the Egyptian an unknown number of their modern jet fighters as well.

    At this point the original Allied plans had clearly failed. Instead of admitting defeat Nasser vowed to fight on and called volunteers from all corners of the Arab world to join "our historical and valiant struggle." US Marines stationed to Palestine soon found their outposts under attack as the local Arab militias began to harass their forces. While these initial skirmishers were militarily insignificant, they showed that keeping the occupied territories in control would not be as easy as it had been previously anticipated. While the front lines in Suez soon became static due the lack of Egyptian counter-attack attempts, the Allied commanders argued weather they had enough troops at their disposal for extended operations into Egyptian mainland or not.


    When Operation Damask begun, the conventional Arab armies had mostly WWII-era equipment at their disposal. This especially hampered the combat performance of their armored troops, as their obsolete German panzers were helpless against the modern Allied weaponry.

    For Truman administration the news from the front were troublesome indeed. The escalation of the conflict, the very thing that President had reassured to avoid was now harsh reality. While the Germans were able to keep themselves officially out of the war by sending only material and support to the Arab forces via their collaborator networks in officially neutral Libya, the Americans and Britons lacked strong and credible allies in the region and were thus in a situation where they were more or less forced to send additional troops to the front themselves. While Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Italy and smaller South American members of NATO all agreed to provide troops for the conflict if asked to do so, it was still clear that the situation in the Middle-East could not be stabilized without strong US intervention. As presidential elections in the US drew close and the fighting in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Egypt continued it became increasingly clear that whoever the new US. President might be, he would have a major international crisis ahead of him.



    Ta-183A in the airfield of Beni Suef in Early May 1951. The small detachment of these modern swept-wing jet fighters operated by German volunteer aces were a nasty surprise for Allied pilots during the initial phases of Operation Damask. Before the introduction of F-86 Sabres they were by far the best fighters in the skies of this first major conflict of the Cold War.
    Last edited by Karelian; 25-09-2008 at 14:32.
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    The United States in the Cold War, part III: US Presidential Elections of 1952



    "In my opinion eight years as president is enough and sometimes too much for any man to serve in that capacity." President Truman in January 1952, reassuring the media that he would not seek re-election.

    In spring 1952 United States prepared for presidential elections. By then it was clear that Harry S. Truman´s political career was pretty much over. Firmly he had led the country through difficult times and major changes, gaining many political opponents along the way. While he had still managed to secure a second term in office, by now it was becoming increasingly clear that his popular support was fading fast. The escalation of Suez Crisis had created a rallying point for the opposition, and the major foreign policy changes orchestrated by Truman Administration had fuelled much criticism among the more conservative voters. Many moderate Republicans who had initially supported President with his ambitious foreign policy initiatives were by now disappointed to the way Truman had led the country into a new, escalating conflict in the Middle-East. More conservative views were on the rise within the Republican Party and in the American public opinion as well, and this seriously weakened the chances of East Coast Republican moderates in the GOP National Convention.

    When the Convention assembled in Chicago on the 7th of July, it soon became clear that the major issue would be internal Party disagreements over foreign policy. While the general mood was fairly united on finding a quick way to end the war in the Middle-East, reforming the expanded and increasingly bureaucratic State Department and supporting the controversial Taft-Hartley Act, the question of the new global role of the United States was the subject of many debates and discussion. With most of the continental Europe firmly under German yoke and decolonization efforts causing unrest in Asia and Africa, the old isolationist views of conservative Republicans were now deemed outdated and outright dangerous to vital American interests by the more moderate members of the Party.

    According to them the US would simply have to retain permanent military presence overseas in order to prevent and contain the spread of Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism, thus maintaining at least some form of peace in the world. The defeat of Nationalist forces in China was especially seen as a fault of Truman regime and as an example of a situation where a more firm US intervention would have saved a valuable strategic ally from defeat and contained the spread of hostile ideologies.

    Despite the fact that these viewpoints gained much attention through the Convention, the final outcome became increasingly clear as the final nominations drew closer. The name of one candidate was mentioned increasingly often, and since his strong party supporters had been busily lobbying him in Southern states as well, his nomination was ultimately quite clear since the moderates lacked a strong candidate of their own. The conservatives, in the other hand, had no such problems.



    Supporters of Senator Robert Taft, confident to the success of their candidate, were the most visible and active support group in Chicago Convention.

    Robert A. Taft was a 62-year old veteran politician and a member of the influential political family from Ohio. He had led the Congress resistance against many of President Truman´s domestic policy iniatives, and after his previous, narrow defeat to moderate Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 he was again in the race. This time the situation was much more favourable to him. His moderate opponents lacked a strong candidate of their own and the American public opinion was confused of the complex situation in Suez. In addition the spying scandals of previous years gave Taft the chance to criticize the current Administration from jeopardizing national security at home while conducting poorly planned military interventions overseas.

    He also had the support of one of the most influential figures of post-WWII America. In previous September, while the Japanese Peace Treaty signing ceremonies were due to begin in San Francisco, the man who had mostly shaped this treaty was not present. He was in Cleveland, Ohio, and he was about to make a historical speech to 10.000-strong audience. According to the Time Magazine: "Though he took due note of Japan's recovery and return to sovereignty, and though he insisted that he had "neither partisan affiliation nor . . . political purpose," the burden of his message was a slambang, frankly political assault on the Democratic Administration and all its works. He proceeded to propound a series of questions which might be taken as the text for the Republican campaign against the Fair Deal:"


    "The issues which today confront the nation are clearly defined. Are we going to maintain our present course toward state socialism, with fully state-controlled planned economy just beyond, or reverse the present trend and regain our hold upon our heritage of liberty and freedom?

    "Are we going to squander our limited resources to the point of our own inevitable exhaustion or adopt common-sense policies of frugality which will insure financial stability in our times and a worthwhile heritage in that of our progeny?

    "Are we going to continue to yield personal liberties and community autonomy to the steady and inexorable centralization of all political power or restore the Republic to constitutional direction. . . ?

    "Are we going to permit a continuing decline in public and private morality or re-establish high ethical standards as the means of regaining a diminishing faith in the integrity of our public and private institutions?

    "Are we going to continue to permit the pressure of alien doctrines to strongly influence the orientation of foreign and domestic policy or regain trust in our own traditions, experience and free institutions and the wisdom of our own people?

    "In short, is American life of the future to be characterized by freedom or by servitude, strength or weakness? The answer must be clear and unequivocal if we are to avoid the pitfalls toward which we are now heading with such certainty."

    "Our political and military leaders dissipated with reckless haste that predominant military power which was the key to the victory over Japan and maintained the balance of power in the Italian peninsula. Our grand achievements in the Pacific speak for themselves, and it is a shame that Allied leadership failed to achieve similar results in Europe as well while there still was a real opportunity to save Europe from tyranny and achieve total victory in 1944." The cheering audience interrupted him 28 times during his 35-minute speech to applaud his slashing attack, but was especially touched by his following statement referring Ohio:"I´m pleased to be speaking to you here in Ohio. Here in a state which has contributed so abundantly to America's leadership both past and contemporary. Indeed, indications multiply that this leadership may even increase in the not-too-distant future." This remark could hardly be mistaken for anything but what it was: a deliberate endorsement of Ohio's Republican Senator Robert Taft for the presidency. Republican insiders were not overly surprised by it all. After conferring with Taft three weeks ago in New York the speaker had told visiting Republicans that at the proper time he would back Taft openly.



    And thus Douglas MacArthur, chief architect of peace in Japan and the war hero from the Pacific had joined to Taft´s camp. Some Republicans immediately began to speculate on another fascinating possibility: Would MacArthur, whose bearing and oratory were impressive even under less dramatic circumstances, go before the Republican convention as a delegate next year? During the summer the old general had finally ended this speculation by resigning from his position as a Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in late May. And now here he was, presenting himself as a honored delegate to the GOP Convention and stating that "Senator Taft is the man to lead the Republican crusade against statism." The impact of his presence was tremendous, and while he stated that he was not seeking an office for himself and would prefer the "role of elder statesman, a kind of Republican Bernard Baruch", he ultimately agreed on becoming the running mate for Taft.

    A strong combination of experienced politician and the old general who was also referred as "a dark horse candidate" of the nomination thus began their active campaigning by primarily attacking the Middle-Eastern War, as the escalated Suez conflict was now increasingly often called. They blamed the current Administration for the military failure of achieving a quick victory over "ragtag Arab militias" and accused them for not being prepared to fight in the area after the initial operation had failed to bring about the desired Egyptian capitulation. This powerful thesis was combined with accusations of mismanagement and corruption and the threat of infiltration by Nazi and Communist spies, and promises that as a President, Taft would keep America out from messy Third-World bush wars and focus firmly on protecting national security.


    The Democratic Party assembled to their own National Convention in July 21, 1952. The event was also held in Chicago, at the same place where Republicans had nominated Taft and MacArthur. As the popularity of Truman was fading fast and the old president was reluctant to enter the race himself, the Convention nominated Adlai Stevenson for the Democratic candidate. The talented and notably liberal-minded governor of Illinois thus began to advocate his campaign themes. He supported strong national defense and promoted the importance of United Nations and NATO as the joint security organizations protecting democracy from totalitarianism. Yet he also called for global disarmament and promised to seek new negotiations over the Italian question. In domestic issues he firmly supported the repeal of Taft-Hartley Act and sought to fight racial discrimination, but this part of his campaign was pretty much flawed due the fact that his running mate, John Sparkman of Alabama, was a well-known Southern conservative and an active supporter of racial segregation. This obvious hypocrisy didin´t help the Democratic campaigning one bit. Yet Stevenson talked a good game, and both sides continued their efforts using the new method of television advertisement and moving through the country, giving speeches and mobilizing potential voters. Because Taft´s conservative views were too much for many moderate Republicans, large margin of voters remained undecided about their candidate and this forced both candidates to maintain their activities through the autumn.


    The strong labor mistrust to Taft alienated many voters from him, but it also aroused suspicion in many ordinary Democrats who viewed unions as suspicious and pro-socialist. Thus Stevenson´s efforts to court the unions in order to gain support for his campaign actually did more harm than good.

    Finally on November 1st, just before the election day, MacArthur held a speech where he vowed that should Taft win, he and the President would together "find an acceptable solution to the conflict and restore peace to Middle-East." Even though Taft and his running mate had criticized the Middle-Eastern War before, this speech was the first time when either of them actually promised concrete action to correct the situation. While such talk would otherwise have been easily dismissed as mere political opportunism, the case was different when the speaker was the former commander of Southwest Pacific Theater. Now MacArthur had clearly staked his military experience and personal popularity to the situation in the Middle-East, and after the speech it was clear that MacArthur´s promise had definitively tilted the scales to Taft´s favor.


    Taft won in 4th of November. His campaign and conservative views had finally managed to mobilize enough voters, gaining him considerable support from the traditionally Democratic "Solid South" as well. Thus Robert Alphonso Taft became the 34th President of the United States with 353 electoral votes against Stevenson´s 169, and a Republican returned to the White House for the first time in 20 years. With MacArthur on his side, Taft now had to deal with the Middle-Eastern War while simultaneously pursuing his own vision in domestic policy. But just as the new President was getting accustomed to his new position, he received ill news from his personal doctor in April 1953. Major changes loomed in the horizon.
    Last edited by Karelian; 25-09-2008 at 13:54.
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    umm... there's no articles there
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    Greetings, everyone. While the actual AAR part is still sadly on hold because of my older computer is broken, I´m currently writing updates for the backround story of this AAR. I´ll edit these older parts mainly because Valtakunta, the main inspiration of this AAR, has recently been updated and changed quite a bit.

    The main differences will be on the fate of the USSR. Instead of the highly utopistic borderline in the Urals, the Armistice of Moscow 1943 now moves the German sphere of interest to the western banks of Volga. This allows the Soviet Union to remain an independent major power instead of becoming semi-autonomous puppet of PRC.



    I´m also preparing new chapters, but since they´ll be dealing with counterfactual domestic policies of postwar United States, I really want to do adequate backround research first. So, in case any of you could name some influencial American politicians who´d have benefitted from the precidency of Robert A. Taft OR were friends of Douglas MacArthur, your help would be much appreciated.
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    I was just thinking about this AAR actually.. good to see it updated!
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    The United States in the Cold War IV: Presidency of Robert Taft



    "Nor do I believe we can justify war by our natural desire to bring freedom to others throughout the world, although it is perfectly proper to encourage and promote freedom. In 1941 President Roosevelt announced that we were going to establish a moral order throughout the world: freedom of speech and expression, “everywhere in the world”; freedom to worship God “everywhere in the world”; freedom from want, and freedom from fear “everywhere in the world.” I pointed out then that the forcing of any special brand of freedom and democracy on a people, whether they want it or not, by the brute force of war will be a denial of those very democratic principles which we are striving to advance. Our country joined to WWII primarily to maintain the freedom of our own people.... Certainly, we did not go to war to reform the world.""

    Robert. A. Taft, 1951.


    The election victory of Robert A. Taft was a significant event in the political history of the United States. While Truman had dutifully tried to continue the work of his predecessor in the fields of domestic and foreign policy with his best efforts, Taft had openly campaigned against the legacy of FDR in the Congress and envisioned a different approach to major domestic and foreign policy issues.

    It was not a surprise that many political specialists were outright terrified of the idea that Taft had indeed won. After all he had strongly opposed the New Deal, successfully prevented Truman´s plans for his new Fair Deal-program, criticized the extensive American commitment to WWII, and during the postwar years he had also led the opposition against the formation of United Nations and NATO. What is he up to, was indeed the question frequently asked during the first days of January in year 1953.

    It soon became clear that the 34th President of the United States was a man with a vision. A vision where his strong faith to the power and value of individual liberty urged him to promote free enterprise, democracy, and state that "the principal purpose of the foreign policy of the United States is to maintain the liberty of our people." These strong personal commitments had been the major guidelines directing his political decision making as Senator, and it soon became clear that they would define him as a President as well.


    Administration and Cabinet - Old allies and new faces

    While forming his Cabinet, Taft sought to form a reliable and versatile team of like-minded politicians. His long political experience had gained him many valuable allies as well as adversaries and rivals, particularly among the East Coast Republicans who had generally supported Dewey in 1944 and 1948 elections. Now he sought to reward his supporters while simultaneously trying to keep his party as unified as possible.


    Christian Herter - foreign policy experience and party connections.

    A prime example of Taft´s attempts to sooth the shock caused by his new political thinking and reform ideas was the appointment of Christian Herter as his new Secretary of State. Herter shared many of Taft´s views on domestic policy with his critical approach towards the New Deal and the excesses of McCarthyism, but at the same time he brought the new administration much-needed foreign policy experience, especially on the affairs of Middle-East. In addition he also had a reputation as an internationalist and a member of the more moderate East Coast wing of the GOP.


    George M. Humphrey, the economist.

    Another example of well-chosen compromise candidates in the Taft administration was the new of Secretary of Treasury. The appointment of previously unknown George M. Humphrey was a initially considered as a suprising move. His selection soon proved to be a sound decision, but it was largely made because of recommendations of Humphrey´s friend, General Lucius Clay who had connections with Vice President MacArthur. Thus Taft, who always considered financial matters and economic policy as one of the main issues of American politics, most likely made his choice in order to gain more influence over the economic policy and to appease MacArthur who still sometimes half-jokingly referred to the former relations between the two families. Anyhow, Humphrey soon proved that he and Taft were both firm supporters of balanced budget where domestic matters where much more important than foreign aid or vast military spending.


    Douglas McKay - Midwest conservative and a political asset

    And in the other hand Taft could, and did not forget his Midwest supporters either. Thus appointing Douglas McKay as the new Secretary of the Interior was an important gesture towards the local conservative supporters of Taft. McKay, who had pledged his support for Taft after MacArthur´s announcement becoming his running mate also became an important addition to the new administration.


    Francis H. Case - suprising choise for the Secretary of Defense

    Yet the most surprising selection was Francis H. Case, the new Secretary of Defense. Case, A South Dakota Republican who had served as a Marine in the trenches of the Great War shared Taft´s quite open disdain for militarism and was one of the few isolationist-minded politicians with adequate military experience considered necessary for the job at the time. Yet it was unofficially acknowledged that Vice President MacArthur would almost certainly affect quite much for the defense policies of Taft administration, and that he and the president had completely different views of the current crisis on the Middle-East.

    While the new administration had soon managed to reduce the annual amount of Marshall Aid sent to Britain and Italy and had issued plans for radical reformation of United Nations favoring support for quicker decolonization, Taft and MacArthur were privately engaged in constant debates in the matter of Middle-Eastern War. While both agreed that this war should be ended as soon as possible, Taft wanted to settle the matter in negotiation table and was willing to compromise with Egypt, while MacArthur wanted to reinforce the Allied forces in the region and secure a more favourable negotiation position by achieving decisive results in the battlefield. Herter supported MacArthur´s views, but much to the dismay of US military Taft was strictly opposed on escalating the conflict beyond the area currently held by American and British troops in Suez, Palestine and Lebanon. He also opposed a total naval blockade in northern Mediterranean and sought to initiate the first open negotiations between Germany and the US since Zürich. Yet he still maintained the current troop level in the region, thus effectively maintaining the stalemated trench warfare nature of this conflict.

    It was during this time his personal doctor informed him and his closest aides that the President had widespread cancer. Taft, not wanting to follow the footseps of FDR, initiated the legal process that would ultimately turn into the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and wrote a letter of authority that gave Vice President MacArthur means to assume power in the case where the President himself would be incapacitated. He openly discussed these matter in his touching public Address to the Nation held in 4th of July, when it was already clear that his chances of recovery were slim. Not knowing that he was making his last public appearance the President assured that he had not known his fatal condition during his campaign, expressed strong support to his Vice President and administration and urged the nation to remain faithful to the great heritage and the noble values of the United States. While the speech itself was typical Taft - a professional, distant and far from eloquent, it had a tremendous impact, especially after Robert Alonso Taft died in a New York hospital after a brain hemorrhage on the evening on July 31st. Once again the acting president had surprisingly died, and Vice President Douglas MacArthur had to step forward.



    Robert Alonso Taft was remembered as virtuous and respected politician, whose grand reform plans managed to alter the postwar economic policies of the United States, while his visions of a new international court of justice and radically different non-interventionist foreign policy pretty much died with him.
    Last edited by Karelian; 25-09-2008 at 13:52.
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    BRILLIANT, as usual.
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    Overview of the Middle-Eastern War, Part I


    After the early success of Operation Damask had failed to force Nasser back into the negotiation table, the situation in Middle-East had deteriorated rapidly. During the year 1952 it became increasingly apparent that Truman and Eden had made gross underestimations of the Arab military capabilities and the German interests and activities in the region. Yet the political decision making that had led to the current situation had been strongly favored by the leading Allied military analysts who had supported a military intervention to the region.

    The British experience from crushing the local revolts in the 1930´s and their swift victory in the Anglo-Iraqi War ten years later had all seemed to indicate the military shortcomings of Arab armies. The German-Egyptian Arms deal in 1950 caused some reconsideration among the Allied military planners, but in the end it was estimated that Nasser´s regime would not pose a significant threat in the near future because of the Egyptian armed forces would have to be extensively reformed and re-trained to effectively use their new German weaponry.

    In this situation the British decision to seek military solution to Nasser´s nationalization of the Suez Channel had been as logical as the strong American support for the plan. Yet the two allies had entered to this war with rather different goals. Prime Minister Eden mainly wanted to stop Nasser from destabilizing Middle-East and secure the Suez region in order to maintain the major oil transportation route open. Because the British had already withdrawn their forces from increasingly unstable Palestine in 1948, supporting pro-Western forces in Lebanon and Syria were tasks of secondary importance to Eden´s Conservative government. At the time the various nationalist uprisings in Asia and Africa were already putting a strain to Army´s capabilities to commit forces to single theater of operations, and the prospect of having to garrison yet more regions inhabited by hostile population was simply beyond the realistic capabilities of Britain at the time.


    Chaos in postwar Palestine intensified after Nasser had captured Suez. The front lines of this bitter civil war had gained much international attention from the Western media, and public demands and lobbying for an Allied intervention had soon followed.

    Truman Administration had different approach to the situation at hand. While numerous leading political specialists of Middle-East both in Britain and in the US had warned about the dangers of rising Arab nationalism, the main concern of President Truman was the strategic situation in the region. The threat of the spread of fascism was very real here, and Truman especially wanted to indirectly support neutral Turkey by preventing a fascist takeover in Syria. Thus the policy of containment once again became solid argument for the support of American participation. In addition the disturbing news from the intensified fighting between Jewish paramilitary organizations and Arabs in Palestine caused much dissent and public discussion in the American media, and this in turn more or less forced Truman to send in troops in order to pacify this region as well. In addition a strong American military presence in the area was seen as a clear foreign policy message for German leadership, indicating that the Allies would not allow them to continue their activities in the region uncontested.


    Overall situation: Suez Front


    The Suez area had been initially seized by the British airborne assaults and amphibious landings, but the total number of troops committed to this front had been relatively small since the initial opposition had been minimal. After it became clear that Nasser had kept the majority of his operational armed forces away from the Channel region, near the major population centers of Egypt, the small British forces were initially held back near the Channel and coastline, waiting for further orders from Ministry of Defence. Soon the fact that Britain would be extremely hard-pressed to gather sufficient forces to conquer and occupy whole Egypt alone became increasingly apparent. Thus NATO and Commonwealth forces arriving to this theatre were mostly deployed to Suez in the preparations for future offensive against Egypt. While this buildup was still underway, the famous British long-range patrols gathered intelligence and conducted raids against the Egyptian supply lines further inland.


    The long period of uncertainty and lack of direct combat contact to Egyptian forces frustrated and puzzled the British forces, who could do nothing but dug in and wait until their government could muster enough foreign military support from the US and NATO to finish the war that had initially been planned to be a swift, decisive operation lasting roughly a month. Yet the relative peaceful situation in Suez also meant that the prolonged hostilities between Britain and Egypt did not initially cause much problems to PM Eden´s government. The Army was at the same time fighting in Malaya and in various flashpoints elsewhere in Africa as well, and thus the situation in Suez was considered as merely temporarily annoyance by the majority of British voters.

    Tanks and AFVs of the Middle-Eastern War

    Egypt entered to the Middle-Eastern War with an army equipped with mainly WWII-vintage weapons. Since the open desert terrain of Suez and Sinai favored armored operations, the most important part of her arms trade with Germany had been the acquisition of obsolete late-model German AFVs, the reliable old workhorses of the German Panzerwaffen. While Panzer IVs formed the majority of this trade, the most important armor type in the Egyptian arsenal during the initial phases of the Middle-Eastern War was the Jagdpanzer V Jagdpanther, since this war-proven tank destroyer was the only weapon that had any chances at all against the modern British Centurion-main battle tanks and American M47 and M48 Pattons. Yet the initially small number of these vehicles and their poor tactical usage by the Egyptians ment that their impact in the Suez Front remained rather minimal.

    Syrians were in a similar situation but with absolutely outgunned Panzer IIIs and even older French tanks, and pretty soon it became clear that the superiour equipment and training of Allied tank crews alone prevented the Syrian armored formations from repeating the formula of their first successful offensive operations against the Free French forces. Thus the usable armored formations of various Arab armies became increasingly insignificant during the first year of the war, but the experience gained by the surviving crews and officers of these early units would later on become a valuable asset when modern German AFVs would finally become available in late 1952.



    Egyptian Jagdpanther knocked out by Allied aircraft during the early days of Operation Damask. The Allied air superiority alone prevented the Egyptians from effectively using their few tanks in organized and concentrated manner.


    Soldiers of the US 24th Airborne Brigade in positions at Golan Heights, supported by brand-new M48 Patton MBT. The Middle-Eastern War served as the proving ground of new American main battle tanks, and while the interim model M47 initially formed the backbone of US armored units in the region, the modern M48 soon replaced them in active service. The new design performed well, and it´s only true threats in the battlefields of Syria and Lebanon were the modern, German-imported Panzerschrecks and Panzerfausts.

    Commanders of the conflict, part I: Arab paramilitaries


    Fawzi al-Qawuqji was an enigmatic figure, a wild card in the Middle-Eastern politics. An old officer of the Ottoman Army and a solid pan-Arab nationalist, he had fought against the French and British many times before. He had been in Syria during the revolt of 1920´s, joined to the Arab Revolt in Palestine in 1930´s and supported Rashid Ali al-Gaylani´s attempts to free Iraq from British influence in 1941. After the Anglo-Iraqi War he had fled to Germany and there he became a willing agent of Abwehr. After he had successfully managed to avoid the wide purges that ravaged the German intelligence services during the war and especially after the death of Reinhard Heydrick, he had been tasked to re-establish his old contacts in the region. In 1950 he returned to the region trough Turkey, and after the beginning of Operation Damask he unofficially requested audience from Shukri al-Quwwatli, President of Syria. This marked the beginning of a new phase in German-Arab cooperation in the region, although the significance of this meeting became apparent only later on.



    An important member of the old and respected Palestinian clan of Al-Husayni and the founder of the secret underground organization Munazzamat al-Jihad al-Muqaddas, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni was without question the most important Palestinian military commander. His forces, the Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas or the Army of the Holy War had been engaged in constant skirmishes against the Jewish paramilitaries ever since the British withdrawal, and when the Allied forces invaded and occupied Palestine, he quickly pledged his support to Nasser and thus sought to increase his influence within the Arab world. Still his militias could not drive the Westerners away by themselves, and thus he was mostly important as an important figurehead of the Palestinian resistance. His forces also harassed the major supply routes through Sinai desert by occasional guerrilla-styled ambushes and raids.
    Last edited by Karelian; 25-09-2008 at 14:08.
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  14. #54
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    Briliant update again! Karelian!!! Nice to see a 'Korean War' Style conflict in the mid-east!

    Also, maybe you should PM a moderator to change the 'no comment' in your title, so more people will respond!

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    awesome job Karelian... great update... sheer awesomeness. but I think it's what everyone's come to expect with this aar..
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    While this comment is an anachronism in itself:

    Can you NOT READ?
    AAR ONLY, NO comments. There is a comment thread, IIRC linked in the first post, goddamnit!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbert West
    While this comment is an anachronism in itself:

    Can you NOT READ?
    AAR ONLY, NO comments. There is a comment thread, IIRC linked in the first post, goddamnit!
    Time for some feedback once again.

    rcduggan and others: Thanks for your replies, its good to know that people are still following this.

    Zauberfloete,
    Herbert West: Good point, the topic is currently a misleading and should thus definitively be changed. This thread currently contains the backround story and overall history of the timetime where the actual gameplay AAR takes place (confusing, isn´t it?), and thus comments in this thread are much appreciated as well since reading them from another thread would only be misleading and quite unnecessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbert West
    While this comment is an anachronism in itself:

    Can you NOT READ?
    AAR ONLY, NO comments. There is a comment thread, IIRC linked in the first post, goddamnit!

    but there's been so many comments in this one already,, a few more wouldn't hurt.

    plus Karelian gets his thread pushed back up to the top.
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