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Thread: The Die is Cast: The Soviet Union & The Cold War

  1. #61
    Second Lieutenant KcindX's Avatar
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    Very interesting AAR, definitely going to start following this one.

  2. #62
    wow, nice one, bribbing chiang to abandon murrican sphere! i didint see that one comming... i hope this wont turn out to be creating a monster...

  3. #63
    Glad to see you back.

    I wonder how this China will fare.

  4. #64
    Second Lieutenant Mythos1978's Avatar

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    Am following this...
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  5. #65
    Not Mao!

    Still I'm not sure Chiang will prove any more loyal - what will happen to North Korea?

  6. #66

  7. #67
    Colonel Dr. Gonzo's Avatar

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    KcindX: Well I'm glad your on board. Welcome!

    Deus Eversor: Thanks. I discovered the Manchuria situation in a book of Alt-History essays years ago and was amazed at how close Chiang came to winning. Also Chiang isn't nessecarily out of the American 'sphere'. Truman is furious but China is China, it can only be ignored and shunned for so long. Particularly as this China is open to foreign investment and has a seat on the UN Security Council.

    Carlstadt Boy: Thanks. Well no Mao means good things for many but the Republic is no utopia. The 1950s will be suitably interesting, in the Chinese sense.

    Mythos1978: Good to have you.

    Sandino: Chiang is loyal to whoever pays him. Think of him as Asia's Nasser. Only China is no Egypt. Fun fun fun!

    Milites: Cheers! Oh I'm sure she's on her way

    -----------------

    Right, I think Central Europe will be our focus for the next one or two updates, then a look at how the postwar USSR is shaping up itself.

  8. #68
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Ah...a Soviet Cold War AAR. I will follow this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo View Post
    I discovered the Manchuria situation in a book of Alt-History essays years ago and was amazed at how close Chiang came to winning.
    I have that book! The essay you are referring to is "China Without Tears". Interesting read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo View Post
    Also Chiang isn't nessecarily out of the American 'sphere'. Truman is furious but China is China, it can only be ignored and shunned for so long. Particularly as this China is open to foreign investment and has a seat on the UN Security Council.

    Sandino: Chiang is loyal to whoever pays him. Think of him as Asia's Nasser. Only China is no Egypt. Fun fun fun!
    Good old Chiang: proof that the alternative is not always the better choice.
    Last edited by Nathan Madien; 08-03-2012 at 18:21.
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  9. #69
    yeah i see, so chinas a cough-wh*re-cough now

    well i doubt chiang will be so easily tamed like nasser, i think he will more likely get paid by murrica to bs ussr.

  10. #70
    Colonel Dr. Gonzo's Avatar

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    Nathan Madien: Yes! Thank you, I've been trying to remember the name for ages. And welcome aboard, glad to have you. Yes Chiang "the Peanut" Kai-Shek is no ones idea of a good wingman. Which makes him loads of fun.

    Deus Eversor: Well Chiang is, China not so much. The hand over of Port Arthur led to big student protests about "unequal treaties" etc. Then there's the Linnite guerrillas still fighting for 'true' socialism. I babble, let's just say fun awaits.

    --------

    Right, sorry for the delay I'd been hoping to sort the next post out today but things have gotten in the way as they tend to do. Tentatively I say tomorrow, Im free so hopefully.


    Probably.


    Maybe.



  11. #71
    Its technically been two days - update?

  12. #72
    Colonel Dr. Gonzo's Avatar

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    Yes apologies. I've been having trouble sorting out the next few updates, they're all narratively intertwined so I've been doing alot of rewriting, pretty much three updates simultaneously, to untangle the mess. I'm away for a week on the 16th, so I'll try to get one update up before then, maybe two.

  13. #73
    Hmmmm.... What happens in Korea would be interesting. Without Stalin and Mao, Kim would be in a vise with the Park Hon-yeong "Seoul" Communist and the Christian Nationalists. Interesting indeed.

  14. #74
    Colonel Dr. Gonzo's Avatar

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    Yes Korea will interesting - it should be raised some point soon.

    Right, I've been abit over the place lately, writing, campaigning down in Wales and basic writers-block TBH. I'll try to post soon but the next post is a mess and I'm not very pleased with it.

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo View Post
    campaigning down in Wales
    goodluck becoming Lord Protector of Wales

  16. #76
    Colonel Dr. Gonzo's Avatar

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    Chapter 5.
    First Lightning


    Igor Tamm - Father of the Soviet atomic bomb


    On 3rd May 1945, in the dying days of World War Two, a Red Army jeep arrived outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrical Chemistry on the outskirts of Berlin. The jeep carried an NKVD officer with a doctorate in physics, Colonel Andrei Zavenyagin, and Peter Thiessen, the renowned chemistry professor of Friedrich-Wilhelm University. At the Institute, all but abandoned during the fall of Berlin, Thiessen met with Manfred von Ardenne, Gustav Hertz and Max Volmer. The four men had been some of the leading atomic scientists of Nazi Germany, but in the face of the unstoppable Soviet advance, they had organised a pact to hand over their talents to Moscow in return for amnesty from political reprisal. Thiessen, a long-time NSDAP member had been their contact via the famed Red Orchestra spy ring in Geneva. Once Marshal Zhukov’s forces had secured Berlin, a massive relocation programme of Nazi atomic research was begun by the NKVD under the oversight of key Soviet physicists. The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute was thoroughly gutted by Beria’s secret police and equipment, along with dozens of German scientists (voluntarily or otherwise), were moved thousands of miles east to the centre of Soviet atomic research near Omsk. Here in the Siberian wilderness, several secret laboratories had been working on the individual parts necessary for a nuclear weapon since 1944, under the guidance of Igor Tamm[1].


    Ever since the Soviet scientific community had become aware of the American atomic bomb programme, Moscow had been, like many other nations, desperate to achieve the same goal. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki only spurred the Omsk project on at greater speed, devouring a huge slice of the USSR‘s fragile economy. The arrival of German talent and technology, combined with information gained from spies in the United States like the Rosenbergs and Klaus Fuchs[2], helped speed up the efforts still further. To Soviet eyes, the atomic bomb was mandatory. Although the Second World War had allowed the Kremlin to gain dominance over Eastern Europe and northern Korea as well as a degree of leverage over China, beyond was a monolithic capitalist alliance. Stretching from the Pacific across South Asia, Africa, Western Europe and the Americas, the Politburo saw only enemies united under the atomic and economic hegemony of Washington. While memories of the Allied invasions during the Bolshevik Revolution and the Stalinist tenents of ‘socialism in one country’ contributed to this paranoid worldview, their misunderstanding of American goals only reinforced it.


    George Marshall


    By 1947, the USSR and America were at complete odds over Germany. At Potsdam the three wartime leaders had agreed to the Morganthau Plan. The Plan dictated the wholesale destruction of German heavy industry, in order to remove the nation’s ability to wage war. Across all four occupation zones the victorious powers dismantled thousands of factories, seized countless patents and transported 3 million POWs across Europe to aid reconstruction efforts. However, it slowly dawned on the Truman Administration that the Germans were on the verge of starvation, while without German industry the entire European economy was struggling to grow. The President was worried such conditions would prove fertile ground for communism. As such, while the Soviets continued to move factories and machinery back east, the Western Allies cut German reparations and called an end to the Morganthau Plan. In Stuttgart in September 1946, State Secretary James F. Byrnes had made a speech outlining the new course. He not only promised Allied aid for Germany, but alluded to the growing threat of the Soviet Union. Along with America’s monopoly over Japanese reconstruction, Molotov saw such actions as an effort to resurrect the Axis Powers as Allied satellites. Matters were made worse still when the foreign ministers of the ‘Big Three‘ met in Moscow over the New Year.


    Mikoyan, along Britain’s Ernest Bevin and George C. Marshall, the new Secretary of State, sat down to discuss, amongst other things, the future political organisation of Germany and Austria. While beyond certain technical considerations from the Soviets, the creation of a unified neutral Austria was accepted as an eventuality, Germany was another matter. When Mikoyan outlined the USSR’s ideas for a demilitarised Germany, he was surprised to find Bevin and Marshall entirely opposed. Such a plan had been set out at Potsdam, and in previous tripartite meetings had been agreed to in spirit. By 1947 however, the geopolitical situation had shifted. In Istria, the Yugoslavians jostled with Italy and Allied occupation forces, sometimes violently, for control of the region. Much worse, during the Conference, the first Polish legislative elections took place. The communist dominated Democratic Bloc received a clearly fabricated 81% of the vote, further hardening Western opinion. To the Truman Administration and Attlee’s Labour Government, a neutralised Germany would be isolated and could possibly fall victim to militarism or Soviet machinations. As such Marshall and Bevin refused to bar a new German state from joining military and economic alliances, while also opposing continued plunder of her industries. No overt declaration was needed for Mikoyan to grasp into which sphere the West intended Germany to fall. Unable to accept such a proposal, the Soviet Foreign Commissar adjourned the conference early, leaving the Western delegations to return home.


    Nyet! The Politburo deemed American investment in Europe a threat to Soviet interests


    The Moscow Conference was a crucial turning point. The Politburo now clearly understood that the Americans had little interest in quietly consenting to a Soviet sphere in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile Marshall lost what little remained of his optimism for a democratic and undivided Europe. In June he made a speech at Harvard University calling for mass American economic aid to help rebuild the devastated continent. Bevin and his French counterpart, George Bidault, heard the speech over the radio and immediately began organising a united European response. Events moved fast. The Harvard speech, a vague declaration of intent, developed within several weeks into an international conference in Paris to discuss the European Recovery Programme, or as it was more commonly known, the Marshall Plan. All, bar Franco’s Spain, were invited. Molotov, as predicted by the Americans, had no intention of recognising the event and Moscow barred the governments of Eastern Europe from even attending[3]. When Jan Masaryk, the non-communist Czechoslovakian foreign minister accepted an invitation, he was summoned to the Kremlin and personally berated by Molotov. Meanwhile the Finnish and Turkish delegations, though present in Paris, turned down the offer, clearly fearful of attracting Soviet ire[4]. Greece on the other hand, proved a more delicate matter. The KKE, although the largest party in the Popular Front coalition, had taken a moderate stance in government, supporting Liberal and Democratic Socialist ministers, who disproportionately dominated the Greek cabinet. On the issue of the Marshall Plan however, the communists had been adamant. Following the recent withdrawal of British peacekeeping forces from Athens, they saw the Marshall Plan as a covert effort to reimpose ‘imperialist, anti-democratic influence’ on the nation.


    Following a week of heated debate in late June, Deputy Prime Minister Zachariadis and his fellow communist ministers were defeated in a vote to send a Greek delegation to Paris. The KKE did not accept the result lying down however. Shortly after Foreign Minister Sofianopoulos arrived in France, vast demonstrations broke out across Greece, orchestrated by Zachariadis, with 100,000 people marching in Athens alone, calling for the rejection of American aid. The huge communist crowds understandably drew comparisons to the tensions of 1945, and the government ground to a halt. Prime Minister Papandreou was unsure how to react. The were calls for him and his ministers to force the KKE out of government and form a new coalition. However by 1947, Papandreou had completely alienated the rightist parties. Land reform and the trial of wartime collaborators had angered many but it had been his opposition to the King during the September 1946 referendum and the establishment of the Third Hellenic Republic that had effectively cut him off from the opposition parties[5]. Fearful of unrest, he finally relented and called Sofianopoulos back from Paris, sighting the need for Greece to look over the Plan before making a concrete decision. On 17th July, exhausted and disheartened, he stepped down as Prime Minister to be replaced by Themistoklis Sofoulis of the Venizelist Liberal Party.


    KKE activists march in Athens, July 1947


    Following the July demonstrations, the KKE began to increasingly use their parliamentary power to dominate the government. Sofoulis consented to communist ministers taking over agriculture, defence and the police, but continued Papandreou’s policy of refusing them a cabinet majority. Regardless these new positions allowed them to appoint sympathetic individuals to important positions, increasing their influence even further. In October, Sofoulis and Zachariadis came to an agreement to support Georgios Siantos, formerly leader of the EAM leftist partisans, as the Popular Front’s candidate for the presidential elections next February. Siantos had been a key player in the violence surrounding the Dekemvriana, leading to a major outcry from those on the right. Amongst socialists meanwhile he was considered a national hero. In order to find a strong unifying anti-communist candidate, Western intelligence had been interested in backing Papandreou but the official opposition United Patriots picked their leader Konstantinos Tsaldaris. Regardless, the State Department and MI6 agents on the ground provided lavish funds and supported a pro-Marshall Plan line. This greatly strengthened Tsaldaris’ campaign and left the KKE increasingly worried as to the result. Indeed, the communists were losing popular support due to their increasingly radical agricultural policy, while political appointments in the army and gendarmes had effectively turned northern cities like Salonika into a KKE police state.


    On 27th January 1948, a week before voting began in Greece, the Politburo and high-ranking members of the Soviet military gathered 150km west of the Kazakh town of Semipalatinsk to witness a momentous event. Before them were dozens of buildings, bridges and even an underground metro station. Tanks, trucks, aeroplanes and over 1500 animals of various species were also gathered around a 60 metre high tower. At exactly 09.00, RDS-1, codenamed ‘First Lightning’, a 22 kiloton atomic bomb, detonated, sending a mushroom cloud a kilometre into the air[6]. The Soviet Union was now officially the world‘s second nuclear state. Molotov quickly returned to Moscow, intent on using this newfound power to his advantage. Not only in Greece, but in Czechoslovakia as well, it seemed communist influence was waning due to policies unpopular with the electorate and coalition ministers. Under direction from the Kremlin, Communist politicians in both countries quickly began to use their influence in the security and administrative apparatus, combined with large, disciplined grassroots organisation, to finalise the take over of their countries. In Prague, Prime Minister Gottwald managed to bully President Benes into conceded to his demands, leading to the bloodless coup known to Soviet historians as Victorious February. Greece however, proved a far more controversial affair.


    The USSR enters the Atomic Age


    [1] This first paragraph is all OTL, except Igor Tamm being head of the bomb programme. In reality it was Igor Kurchatov, but in-game Tamm is the stronger research team so I used him. Let’s say Kurchatov annoyed Beria somehow and has been demoted in favour of Tamm, a bona fide veteran of the October Revolution.
    [2] More on the atomic spies later.
    [3] Again all the stuff about Moscow and Paris is real. However IOTL, Stalin again was cagey and surprised Marshall by sending Molotov to Paris. His only goal however was to disrupt proceedings and try to divide the European delegates, and on finding them united soon left. Here Molotov, is far more blunt and just outright ignores the event.
    [4] Finland did this IOTL. Turkey joins them partly out of fear but the governing Republican People’s Party also has Soviet support, and American demands for free elections puts them off receiving aid. As such Turkey’s 1950 elections will be as much a sham as 1946 IOTL. The one-party state will last well into the Cold War ITTL.
    [5] Due to no civil war and no communist boycott, the 1946 referendum sees the monarchy rejected by a thin margin.
    [6] This was when I got my first bomb in-game.

    Last edited by Dr. Gonzo; 23-07-2012 at 04:10.

  17. #77
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Awesome! It's great to see you update again!

    I wonder how all these butterflies will affect America's own upcoming election.
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  18. #78
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    Going against all odds and the Kremlin manages to go ahead with its plans!
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  19. #79
    OMG YOU ARE ALIVE :O

    damn and its about same time i retourned (few days earlier) to this forum
    well ittl you ot the bomb one year earlier, so lets see what adventages of that had been missed in 48 and what where profited upon in 49 and mix that
    anyway, that thingie stalin did with marshal plan was kinda cool, while ittl molotov is just too easy to forsee. anyway i hope there will be some cunning and surprising actions taken by politburo

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