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And there goes Germany again, and in no less than 6 occupation zones! No 6 zones in Berlin though ;)?
In OTL, notions of a divided Berlin first arose in the London Protocol of 1944, where the Allies formally agreed on 4 occupation zones for France, Britain, the US and the Soviets. Once the Soviets occupied Berlin in May 1945, it took until July 1945 to transfer control to the other Allies of their respective occupation zones in Berlin. In this timeline, there was no London Protocol, because Russia is just the enemy of the enemy, whereas in OTL the US and Britain sent a lot of supplies to the Soviets. NATO is in full control of Berlin and until some kind of peace deal has happened to determine the future of Germany, the situation remains as it is.
 

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Poor Germany. Any plans to annex German lands into Belgium proper?
 

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Episode XVII: Scramble for Africa

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Episode XVII: Scramble for Africa
(
)

20th of January 1943 – 10th of February 1944

Africa was another major stage for the Second Great War. For the first time in history, a major war occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa, involving almost every country or tribe in the area. In the beginning of the war, everything was limited to small border skirmishes between South Africa, Portugal, Spain and France on NATO’s side and Mittelafrika on the Tripartite side. Both sides were still in the process of mobilizing the native people. France had a small border army, but not yet big enough to launch an invasion into Mittelafrika. Spain just focused on the defensive, as their small colony in Equatorial Guinea could not be used as a staging ground and would probably fall within the next year. Portugal was more ready than the other NATO colonial powers, their local army was already preparing an invasion of Namibia in cooperation with the South African Federation. On the Portuguese side of the border with Congo, a remnant of the Belgian Force Publique, the colonial army of the Belgian Congo, was also ready to retake their old lost territory. It would not be easy, as Mittelafrika had a rather large army consisting of both Germans and native Africans, but NATO had a technique to deal with the latter.


The situation in Sub-Saharan Africa at the start of the Second Great War.

On the 20th of January 1943, NATO launched a propaganda campaign in order to stir the native population in Africa. Similar to the North during the First American Civil War, they promised freedom for anyone who would fight against the Germans. The people who orchestrated this campaign, however, were not prepared for the eventual results of their doing. The unrest first started in Tanganyika, the colony Germany had controlled since even before the First Weltkrieg. And thus had been under German control for a very long time. On the 12th of March, Sultan Khalifa bin Harub of Zanzibar raised an army of 15 000 men and effectively drove the Germans out of his Sultanate. Rumour of the Sultan’s success were quickly spread among the native soldiers of the Mittelafrika army and mutinies and desertions became common in the state of Ostafrika for the next few months. On the 3rd of April, the Statthalter of Mittelafrika, Hermann Göring, was forced to flee the Federal Capital in Dar es Salaam. He and his government safely managed to relocate to Herminestadt (former Elisabethville) in the Katanga region in Congo. Many deserters set out to join the Sultan’s army, not only Arabs, but Swahilis also joined the ranks. What began as a rebellion, slowly grew into an organized revolt aimed at establishing an independent state in Ostafrika which would unite the different tribes in the area. By the end of May, the Sultan had assembled an army of over 50 000 soldiers and here and there, local militias and tribes also started to fight back against the Germans. In former British Kenya, a young man of 22 known as Dedan Kimathi also managed to gather a large amount of soldiers and in Buganda Kabaka (King) Mutesa II rallied up his people for war.


The East African Rebellion was a direct result of NATO’s propaganda campaign and the ambition of local rulers to secure their place in post-war Africa.

Germany could have dealt with all these separate rebellions if they had remained separated, but on the 5th of May 1943, the unthinkable happened. Mutesa II, Sultan bin Harub and Kimathi sat together in Nairobi. The three men agreed on an alliance and even on further political integration to secure their independence from any European colonial power. That same day, they signed the Treaty of Nairobi and formed the East African Federation. Since then, the 5th of May was the national holiday. As a new political entity, still a lot had to be officialised, but currently the position of head of state would shift every year between the Kabaka of Buganda, the Sultan of Zanzibar and the elected leader of the Kenyan people. At its inception, the East African Federation encompassed the Kingdom of Buganda, a small piece of Central Kenya and the island of Zanzibar along with Zanzibar’s ancient coastal holdings. After their meeting in Nairobi, the three rulers continued to be successful in their advance by orchestrating organized and coordinated attacks on the small German army. The first objective was to link up the big coastal ports with the Kenyan rebel territory. That way, the Kenyans would have a way of supplying themselves with much needed food and ammunition. The militias had taken control over German and British farms, but they ran far less efficient without the expertise and machinery the Europeans had.


Extent of the East African rebellion by the time of the Treaty of Nairobi.

While the Germans had their hands full in East Africa, NATO began their first big offensive into Africa on the 13th of July 1943. Portuguese and South African troops invaded Namibia respectively from the north and from the south and the Belgian Force Publique crossed into the Congo and advanced towards Wilhelmstadt (Léopoldville). In West Africa, French and British forces invaded German Westafrika and Niger-Kamerun. Namibia was easily overrun, due to it being surrounded on all sides, but West Africa proved to be more difficult. The thick jungle in combination with a fierce German fighting force prevented the British and French from advancing further than Yamoussoukro. The Belgian forces also stumbled on some problems after they had successfully taken back Léopoldville, but reinforcements soon arrived from Namibia after the German defeat there. In the meanwhile, volunteers flocked to Léopoldville to join the Force Publique and many local tribes had engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Germans. However, one people openly joined the German side of the war: the Baluba people. The Baluba, or Luba People, lived in Katanga, the rich mining province in the south-east of the former Belgian colony. During Belgian rule, they had rebelled on numerous occasions due to the exploitation in the mines which sometimes resulted in a large amount of deaths. Under German rule, their living conditions slightly improved and violence from the Belgian Force Publique disappeared as the Belgian colonial rule was gone in the German megacolony.


The African theatre by the end of July 1943.

The Baluba showed up in battles like ghosts, as fast as they appeared, they disappeared into the jungle again. And after the battle, NATO soldiers suddenly noticed that some of their comrades had also disappeared without leaving a body behind. Later, it was discovered that the Baluba had kidnapped around 1000 NATO soldiers during the war. Taking them at night or in the thick jungles of Africa, keeping them barely alive and finally giving them over to the Germans as prisoners of war. However fierce the Baluba fought, they couldn’t prevent the invasion of their homeland by the South Africans and the Portuguese on the 20th of September 1943 after their successful advance in Zambia. Once again, Göring came close to the front, as Herminestadt was right on the border with Zambia. When Herminestadt fell to NATO, there was no trace of Göring and his companions. It is said that he joined the Baluba in the jungle and has lived a tribal life ever since. With the disappearance of the German colonial government, Mittelafrika fell to its internal demons while also still fighting against its external enemies. With the last remnants of the Mittelafrikan army being defeated in late January 1944, it was time to once again divide the African pie, just like during the Scramble for Africa in the 19th century.


Members of the Baluba (Luba) Tribe.

In the Congress of Algiers, NATO sat together with Liberia, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Solomon (formerly Abyssinia) and the new East African Federation. On the 10th of February, the African map was redrawn. France resumed control over its lost colonies and recognized Morocco as an independent nation. Belgium regained Congo as a colony. The Greater United Kingdom of Britain and Canada only got back Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Sierra Leone, but also managed to secure Zambia and Namibia as puppets for South Africa. Portugal obtained the right to trade with and go through the South African puppets without having to pay toll. Madagascar was recognized as an independent country and so was the East African Federation. And so Africa was partially decolonized, a fact which greatly affected the remaining European colonies on the continent. But it came at a high cost. Due to the high rate of involvement of the native African population in the conflict, huge amounts of casualties were made on both sides. This combined with the divide between pro-NATO tribes and tribes collaborating with the Germans would prolong the life duration of the remaining European colonies on the continent, who were a factor of emancipation for those who were on the right side of the conflict.


Africa after the Congress of Algiers, notice four new entities on the map: the East African Federation, Madagascar, Namibia and Zambia.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And with this chapter, we finally get back into this AAR. We get to see how Africa was doing. Now we can focus back on Europe and how the European map will look after a peace treaty.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Africa looks nice and divided
 

Tom D.

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It's a nice middle ground, partially decolonised, partially back into European hands... I wonder how long though in this alternate universe.
 

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It's a nice middle ground, partially decolonised, partially back into European hands... I wonder how long though in this alternate universe.
Probably not for too long.
 

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Africa looks nice and divided
As it should be :p

It's a nice middle ground, partially decolonised, partially back into European hands... I wonder how long though in this alternate universe.
Probably not for too long.
It's a difficult question. In OTL, the decolonization was partially a result of WWII in the sense that the major European powers were heavily weakened and limited in their power to engage with rebels in Africa. In this timeline however, the European colonial powers are strengthened by this war and in addition, Africa has just gone through one of the bloodiest conflicts in its history. Those ethnical groups which have worked together with NATO enjoy a higher status and would want to keep that. The logical result is that they would also want to fight anyone who threatens that status quo. In my prediction, decolonization will eventually come to the Heart of Darkness, but not entirely from below, like in OTL, but more so from above, from the colonial government which gets more and more rights from the home country in Europe as a way to fulfill their promise of more autonomy during the war.

Congo being secured should mean some good ol'uranium for the Belgians :D
The Solvay Project hasn't been sitting idle, now that they have a steady supply of Uranium, we should see the first deployable atomic bombs in a matter of months.
 
Last edited:
Episode XVIII: Potsdam Conference

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Episode XVIII: Potsdam Conference
(
,
)

17th of July – 2nd of August 1945

From the 17th of July until the 2nd of August 1945, the Russians and NATO sat together in Potsdam, Germany, to discuss the future of Europe. Present were Prime Minister Winston Churchill for the Greater United Kingdom, President Quintin Roosevelt for the US and Prime Minister Boris Savinkov for Russia. They all sat at the table with different agendas, with the Russian one being the most obscure. All had interest in bringing lasting peace and stability to the European mainland. The continent had been almost in a state of perpetual war since the First Weltkrieg. It was now up to these three men and their entourage to figure out a way to secure peace. But Savinkov also wanted something else. From his militarist point of view, it was important to expand the Russian sphere of influence as much as possible and at the same time keep NATO at a safe distance from the Russian capital. Russia had made a lot of losses and sacrifices and thus Savinkov could easily lay demands on the table.

The US and the UK on the other hand wanted to translate the interests of NATO and spread democracy to as many countries as possible. In their belief, democracy was the best safeguard against a war of enormous proportions. And so President Roosevelt put a list of countries on the table. “On this list are my demands: democracy and freedom in these countries, that’s all I ask”, he said. The list was passed around the table and as a surprise to many, Germany was also on that list. The question of Germany was a difficult one. Russia saw Germany as the greatest threat to stability and wanted the country to be dismantled into the smaller states which disappeared in the 19th century. According to NATO, a German Republic under French, American and British guardianship was the key to stability in the region. A united German economy was important for the economy of neighbouring countries. As NATO currently occupied the majority of Germany, and talks were already held with German politicians like Konrad Adenauer about the future of a German Republic, the balance was in favour of NATO’s demands regarding Germany. But still Savinkov dared to argue: “If NATO gets a piece of the German pie, Russia also gets a piece.” Russia had managed to occupy a lot of the ancient Prussian homeland and if it wanted to, Russia could set up a puppet state in the area. On that request, Churchill answered: “Russia is in full control of everything German east of the Oder river. It would only be reasonable if NATO accepted Russia’s dominance in that region. But Russia at the same time must acknowledge NATO’s supremacy in the rest of Germany.” Russia agreed to the status quo and Germany was divided into a NATO controlled German Republic and a Russian puppet state in Prussia. The idea of a separate Prussian state evolved partially from the idea that Prussianism was the origin of everything bad in German society, therefor cutting it off from the German Republic would guarantee a moderate Germany. As for Denmark, the country that really didn’t do much in the war. They were accepted as a country under NATO-surveillance and would soon join the military pact after new elections in the country.

The next question was what to do with the Donaupakt countries, Austria, Bohemia-Slovakia and Hungary. With Italian troops in Austria after the successful push over the Alps, Austria would logically belong to NATO, but here Russia was pushing it too far. It demanded all of the Donaupakt, due to the heavy Yugoslavian losses in their battle against Austria. Churchill stood firmly to defend the interests of NATO and said that Austria was in no way owed to Russia, as Italy also suffered heavy losses to occupy the region. As a settlement, NATO forces would leave Prague and Bohemia for Russia to occupy the region and set up a puppet. But still a large question remained: the issue of Transylvania. Both Hungary and Romania had claims on the region, due to many Romanians and Hungarians living in the region. NATO wanted to see stability in the region and Russia wanted to have stability between its puppets. And so Savinkov proposed to set up an independent country in Transylvania. That way, neither Romania, nor Hungary could claim the region and under the watchful eye of Moscow, the rights of minorities would be ensured.

The last question which remained was the war between Turkey and Greece. Although neither side was involved in the Second Great War, the great powers of Europe chose to include it in the Potsdam Conference to fully pacify Europe. Greece was able to take Istanbul, Cyprus and the islands in the Aegean Sea during the war, but could not cross the strait into Asian Turkey. That situation was translated in the Potsdam Conference and Greece was granted control over the European side of Turkey, Cyprus and the islands in the Aegean. Russia agreed to stay out of Turkey. As NATO and Russia were already spread to thin and Japan was still an issue, Turkey would be left alone for the rest of the war. Many Turkish people were both angry and relieved that the war turned out this way. Losing Istanbul was a disaster, especially after the devastating war with the Axis in the interbellum, but escaping a full occupation could be considered as a victory. As a result, many turned to their Islamic faith for guidance on what the future might bring.


Europe after the Potsdam Conference. For the next half century, the borders in Europe wouldn’t change that much.

Now that the war was over in Europe, everyone’s gaze turned towards the Far East, where Japan was still fighting a war against Russia and the United States.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And so the board has been set for post-war politics in Europe. Russia has expanded its sphere of influence into the Balkan and Central Europe, while NATO is reinforcing stability, cooperation and democracy in North-West and South Europe. The next chapter will be the last action packed chapter of this AAR, but don't worry, an epilogue will follow and I've also got some surprises in store for after that.
 
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Tom D.

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I see an opportunity for a reunification of Prussia and the rest of Germany in the future, once Prussia has been pacified enough by the Russians. Overall I think it's a decent settlement, although some frictions will probably still exist, like the Belgian-Dutch issue, the minorities in Transylvania, Greek/Turkish borders, etc. but maybe it will pacify itself with time passing by.
 

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I see an opportunity for a reunification of Prussia and the rest of Germany in the future, once Prussia has been pacified enough by the Russians. Overall I think it's a decent settlement, although some frictions will probably still exist, like the Belgian-Dutch issue, the minorities in Transylvania, Greek/Turkish borders, etc. but maybe it will pacify itself with time passing by.
Who knows what will happen to Prussia. As for things like the Belgian-Dutch issue, I think the Dutch, after being defeated twice by the Belgians, have finally come to peace with their loss of territory. Transylvania is basically the Balkan powder keg put into one small nation, under control of Moscow. Turkey is certainly a country to keep in mind. Their hatred for the West might turn into something big and dangerous in the future.

Also some of you might have noticed this icon here:

It is basically an icon telling the reader to which other AARs a chapter might be relevant. From now on, at the beginning of every chapters, these icons will be there if that chapter is important for any of my other AARs part of this universe. That way, it might be easier for new readers to follow a country's story throughout this universe without having to read every single AAR.
 

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A fragmented Europe ... and next generation's struggle.
 

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Isn't Savinkov's title Vozhd?
It could be, Wikipedia says the title 'vozhd' was used for Soviet leaders and is seen as a Russian variation for the German 'Führer'. But for the sake of making it understandable for English speakers, I used the title Prime Minister.
 
Episode XIX: Enola Gay

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Episode XIX: Enola Gay
(
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16th of July – 2nd of September 1945

Ever since the conception of the Solvay Project in Leuven in July of 1940, the involved scientists knew this was going to revolutionize science and technology, but no-one could have known that the power of the atom was this destructive. When a special shipment of uranium from the recently conquered Katanga region in Belgian Congo arrived in the Colorado Desert in February 1944, the atomic programme took a new turn. As the scientists from Belgium, Canada, France and the US worked hard to make a working bomb to use against Germany, they were surprised to learn that on the 7th of May 1945, Germany had already capitulated. Though war still continued to the west of the US, in Far-East Asia. If using the atom bomb was avoidable, then that was fine, but still, the government funding depended on a working and deployable weapon. If after the war someone at the Department of the Treasury or the Department of Defence would see the giant leak of spending to something called the Manhattan Project, questions would be raised about the millions of dollars the tax payer spent on a weapon which was never used. On the 16th of July, on a cold desert morning, the first practical test of the atom bomb was performed. Trinity as it was called exploded with the force of 19 000 tons of TNT, four times bigger than expected. Radioactive particles blasted into the air and transformed the sand of the Colorado Desert into a light green radioactive material dubbed trinitite. Not longer after the first successful test, two additional bombs were ready: Fat Man and Belgian Waffle. With Germany out of the way however, many people in the project were still very hesitant to use the bombs in the field.


Post-war replica’s of the two atomic bombs, Belgian Waffle (top) and Fat Man (bottom).

Things changed after the battle of Okinawa. In that battle, the Japanese gave everything to keep off the Americans. Kamikaze strikes left and right made many casualties on both sides. In the American top ranks, estimates were made of how many more casualties NATO would suffer if they were to invade the Japanese mainland. And then they estimated how many casualties would follow after an atomic bomb on a city. Was this going to be the future? Where millions of lives are outweighed against millions of lives and one man can decide who deserves to live and who has to die to save a nation at war? Quentin Roosevelt knew this was indeed the future and he knew that soon the burden of this choice would also fall on other world leaders. Perhaps the infamous words of Oppenheimer better described the President: “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.” The burden came hard for Quentin Roosevelt, and it took him several days to consider the options. Either thousands of Americans would die trying to invade mainland Japan while thousands of Japanese soldiers would die trying to defend their nation from an encroaching enemy, not to mention the millions of Japanese citizens who would suddenly find themselves in a battlefield, or with two quick blows to the Japanese mainland the war could be over in a matter of weeks rather than months or even years. It would also mean a massive loss of human lives, but this choice was one between the Pest and Cholera. In the end, Quentin chose the lesser evil, which many of his advisers wanted him to choose. He signed the order to drop two atom bombs on major Japanese targets.

On the 6th of August, an American B-29 bomber called Enola Gay took off from a small island in the Pacific and headed for Hiroshima. At 8:15, Belgian Waffle exploded above the city. Instantaneously, thousands of people lost their lives and thousands more would be affected for years and generations to come. In one massive blow, Hiroshima and its ancient buildings were wiped off the map. It took several hours for the news to reach the outside world. Around noon, President Roosevelt announced on the radio that he had ordered the bombing of Hiroshima with an atomic bomb. At the time, few people knew what that meant. At the same time, the Japanese sent a small airplane to check on the city, as no news at all had come from Hiroshima since that morning. What the pilot never could have expected was now reality. As he approached Hiroshima, he saw plumes of smoke rising through the air. As he came closer, he saw the scale of destruction, which he had never seen before. The entire city lay in ruins, even worse, in some parts the outline of roads was the only thing still visible. Regardless of this terrible news, the Japanese army top still believed in its own peace demands. Territorial conquest was maybe not on the table anymore, but the godly position of the Emperor, Hirohito, was not up to debate. As a result, Roosevelt initiated the second bombing. On the 9th of August, another American bomber took off from somewhere in the Pacific, this time carrying Fat Man, its target: the city of Kokura. Kokura was a city with a large concentration of military industry. Upon arriving in Kokura however, visibility was low due to thick clouds. The leader of the operation decided to fly to Nagasaki, as a second target. Above Nagasaki, visibility was slightly better, but still, clouds prevented a good view of the city below. As a result, Fat Man did not hit the city centre, but instead exploded on the outskirts of the town, in a less populated area. By act of fate, thick clouds had spared Kokura from a devastating attack and had reduced casualties in Nagasaki. But no less, huge amounts of casualties and destruction had struck Japan in a short amount of time.


Map of the atomic bombing of Japan.

It was at this moment, Emperor Hirohito decided he had seen enough. On the 15th of August, he spoke to his people via radio and told them to accept the demands of Potsdam. In Potsdam, NATO and Russia, together with China, had agreed upon the need for an unconditional surrender of Japan. On the 2nd of September 1945, the Japanese surrender was signed in the Bay of Tokyo, on board of the USS Missouri and overseen by General McArthur. In the following days, Japanese regiments all over the Pacific also lay down their arms. The war was over, finally. Now, the map in Asia could be redrawn, to secure peace in the future according to the balance of power now that the Japanese are defeated. Here and there, border corrections were made. Qing China acquired the Japanese territory and puppets on which it had laid claims. The Philippines regained their independence. On Taiwan, the Republic of Formosa was declared. In Korea, a new republic was also declared. Russia annexed Transamur and was able to assert their influence over Korea. The island of Sakhalin was now also fully under Russian control. In the Pacific, Hawaii gained control over the majority of Japan’s possessions in the Pacific. After gaining control over this Polynesian territory, Hawaii declared itself the Kingdom of Polynesia. Curiously, Deutsch Ostasien, the last remaining piece of Imperial German land, was never touched in the war, nor in the peace deal. This strange turn of events probably had its origin in the fact that the colony never officially declared war on NATO. It was preoccupied with solving its internal problems, after the Indochinese Revolution had left the colony in an unstable condition. But the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm III and other high ranking German Imperials in Indochina, made its future uncertain, as both NATO and Russia sought to bring them to justice in Europe for bringing destruction to Europe and the rest of the world. Indonesia gained its independence from Belgium after the colonial forces failed to fend off the Japanese and a strong Indonesian independence movement grew out of this situation.


East Asia after the surrender of Japan.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So with this chapter we have come to the end of the Tripartite War and the end of this AAR. Be sure to check out the Epilogue which will follow soon. It will give some closure to certain cases, but I'm sure it'll raise more questions than it will answer.
 

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I know Belgian Waffles taste very good, but I didn't know the flavour could be so devastating :p.
 

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Peace at last
 
Epilogue: Iron Curtain

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Epilogue: Iron Curtain
(
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The Cold War


In 1946, Winston Churchill gave a speech about an Iron Curtain in Europe. He described a situation in which Europe was divided between NATO and Russia’s sphere of influence. And so the tone was set for the post-war discourse of Western European and American politics. The world had found itself in a Cold War between essentially the US and Russia. Not less important was the British Empire, which had regained its strength after two devastating world wars. Shortly after the war, the economy started booming again, as veterans started to integrate themselves in society again. Technology started advancing rapidly, to the point where every household had a car and every street had at least one television. The Cold War extended its tentacles all across the globe and in all fields of society. When men eventually crafted machines to reach the stars, Russia and the US were racing to the moon in the Space Race. The Cold War never resulted in open conflict between the two superpowers, but on several occasions, they came very close. One such an example was the Cuban Crisis, which saw heated diplomacy between Russia and the US take place. In the Indochinese War, things were even more heated, as the US invaded the remnant of the German colony. Another battlefield of the Cold War was the arms race, which now included nuclear weapons. After the display at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Russia found itself behind in nuclear technology. In 1948, they created their first hydrogen bomb, evening the scales and kicking off an era of fear where one power could easily annihilate the other and together even the world.


The world after the Second Great War.

Post-War Belgium

In 1936, no one in Belgium could have imagined that the country would look like this in just ten years. Failed politician Léon Degrelle wrote in his memoires: “If Germany had lost the First Weltkrieg, who knows, maybe we would have seen a revival of the great Burgundian Empire.” Léon Degrelle died during a car accident. His body was buried in a humble grave in his hometown of Bouillon.


The 11 provinces of Belgium after the Second Great War. Belgian and Dutch Limburg have been merged. The Dutch speaking region of Voeren has also been added to Limburg. Belgian Luxemburg has been merged with the Grand Duchy. Zeeuws-Vlaanderen has been added to East Flanders. The French speaking region of Comines has been added to Flandre Romane.

Economy

The war had brought a lot of destruction to Belgium and its neighbouring countries. But between 1945 and 1948 the so called Belgian Miracle occurred, a rapid reinvigoration of the Belgian economy as focus shifted from military to civilian industry. The destruction of the previous war had an immense effect on Europe’s infrastructure, so in 1946 the European Organization for Peace and Reconstruction (EOPR) was founded to finance infrastructure projects and encourage European cooperation. Starting from 1950, Belgium and its neighbouring nations greatly profited from the post-war economic boom that was born from the EOPR. New industries started popping up in both Flanders and Wallonia. Mainly chemical factories near the port of Antwerp and electronic factories in Wallonia’s industry belt were very successful. Traditional industries like the coal mining business or the steel factories in Wallonia were still very important for the Belgian economy. The economic boom couldn’t last forever however and in 1975, another big economic crash hit the world. This time the reason was an oil competition between Rashidi Arabia and Gran Colombia, who competed to lower the price of oil and get more deals that way. As a result, the coal mines got into trouble because it came to a point that oil was cheaper than coal. A snowball effect set in and eventually over half of the traditional factories and mines in Belgium shut down. The gap left by these industries was quickly filled in though by the car industry. The lower price of oil had made fuel very cheap and many people now could afford cars. Minerva, a Belgian car manufacturer close to bankruptcy, started making cars and money again. By the end of the 1970s, almost every Belgian family had a Minerva. As a result, many people in Belgium still drive a Minerva car.


Brussels during the 1958 World Expo, with the now famous Atomium, seen as a representation of modern Belgium, dominating the skyline.

Culture

Before the Second Belgian Revolution, the divide between Flemish and Walloon Belgian could not have been bigger. The Flemish were heavily favoured by the Germans in their Flamenpolitik and this outraged many Walloons. During the Revolution however, it was clear that the Flamenpolitik had not been successful enough. A resurgence of Belgian nationalism resulted from the Revolution. This resurgence was translated into a victory for Joris van Severen, who directed the Belgian nationalism towards a war with the Netherlands. The success of that war increased the nationalism even more and on the eve of the Second Weltkrieg/War of Homecoming, Belgian nationalism had overtaken Flemish regionalism in popularity. With the addition of French Flanders and Flandre Romane, two French speaking territories, into Belgium, another issue arose. French suddenly became a big majority in the country, where before it was almost on an equal level with Dutch. As it turned out however, the area of French Flanders also spoke a Dutch dialect and adapted quickly to learn Standard Dutch. After the Second Great War/Tripartite War, large German speaking territories like Luxemburg and Eupen-Malmédy were added to the country, making German into a third official language of Belgium. The Ministry of Education quickly set up a program to improve bilingualism in the country. In school, both Dutch and French were taught and in the German territories, German and French. By 1960, the linguistic divides that were still visible during German rule, had completely vanished. The success of a bilingual army extended into other areas of society. Bilingualism became a trump card on the international financial and business stage. Education had heavily invested in bilingualism and a majority of the children born after the war were now fluent in both Dutch and French. This resulted in public radio channels and tv channels also being bilingual. Flemish nationalist parties were marginal, with the biggest being the Vlaamse Volksunie (VVU) with only an average of 3 seats in parliament.


“Walloons go home”, a slogan used by Flemish nationalist students of the ‘Leuven Vlaams’ movement in the Catholic University of Leuven/Louvain in 1968. In the end their action was unsuccessful, but did lead to the expansion of the university’s infrastructure and the extension of Dutch language classes for Walloon students. In a broader student movement in 1968, which overshadowed ‘Leuven Vlaams’ by far, the students demanded an equal voice in the university’s daily governance.

Politics

In the elections of 1945, the Belgische Werkliedenpartij was able to form a majority government. For the first time in Belgian history, a social democrat was Prime Minister: Paul-Henri Spaak. Over the next four years, Spaak and his cabinet sought to stabilise Belgium. The country had seemingly been in a constant state of war, but now the social democrats had to pacify the country. His primary policies were the establishment of the welfare state, consolidating the mixed economy and keeping inflation under control. Post-war politics were still dominated by the traditional pillars of conservatism, liberalism and socialism. People like Joris van Severen and Paul van Zeeland, who were important in interbellum and wartime politics, disappeared to the background of politics. From 1945 until 1949, the socialists were able to fulfil their program. In 1949, the Catholics took over with Gaston Eyskens as Prime Minister. In 1953, a coalition of socialists and liberals took over, with the socialist PM Achille van Acker. During their legislation, the old battle over education between liberals and Catholics saw a revival, but was finally settled with the Schoolpact in 1958, effectively ending ideological conflict that had been raging for more than a century. In 1963, King Albert died at the age of 88, being the longest reigning monarch of Belgium at 54 years. His son, Leopold became King Leopold III and further strengthened the role of the monarch in Belgian politics. The monarch became a vital player in forming governments after elections and had an important role in foreign relations.


From left to right on the bottom row: British PM Harold Macmillan, American President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Paul-Henri Spaak, 28th of October 1957.

International Organizations in Brussels

After the war, Brussels grew into an international hub, with the HQ of both NATO and the European Organization for Peace and Reconstruction, being located in the Belgian capital. In 1955, the EOPR was transformed into the Western European Trade Union when various other small European cooperation programs were absorbed into it. Belgium’s involvement in the Cold War remained small, with only NATO’s presence in the country as a major element. On the world stage, Belgium became an important hub for diplomacy. Belgian politician Paul-Henri Spaak was famous for several leaderships of international organizations. From 1946 to 1947 he was President of the United Nations General Assembly, from 1952 to 1954 he was President of the Assembly of the Western European Trade Union and from 1957 to 1961 he was Secretary General of NATO. A new economy arose around Brussels, oriented at foreign diplomats and businessmen. The fact that many Belgians knew both French and Dutch and some even a bit of German was of course very positive for the appeal of Belgium as a diplomatic centre. As a result, Belgian society grew into something very special: open to foreign influence but still very traditional in a way, cherishing old habits and traditions while at the same time a modern country in a modern world. Belgium truly was and is the centre of Europe.

Indonesia and Congo

Just after the war, in 1945, Indonesia was granted independence. The Japanese occupation had been harsh on them and fuelled a resistance by native Indonesians to push out any foreign powers, including the Dutch and Belgian colonists. After intervention by the Americans, Indonesia was granted its independence and European settlers were safely brought back home. This had little to no impact in Belgium, but to many Indonesians of Dutch descent, this was a disaster. Generations long, they had lived in the Dutch colony, they had no ties to the Netherlands and Indonesia was their home where they grew up and had families. And now they had to leave or be killed. Many of the Dutch Indonesian exiles moved to Suriname, where the climate was similar, but the natives were more welcome to outsiders. In 1945, Suriname was incorporated into the Caribbean Federation after Belgium and the Federation had signed a treaty of transferral. Many in Belgian politics thought the old Dutch colony would be better of in a federation with similar regions.

In 1963, the same that happened in Indonesia, happened in the Belgian Congo. The 1950s had seen a huge wave of decolonization in North Africa, but for the most part, Sub-Saharan Africa was still under European control in the early 1960s. For King Albert this was his last major political crisis. During the war, he had promised an eventual independence for the Congolese over time if they fought at the Belgian side against the Germans in Africa. In 1950, the first steps in fulfilling that promise were made with the foundation of a Belgian-Congolese council with the purpose of planning the future state of Congo. Gradually, more and more autonomy was given to Congo, but when Albert died on the 5th of May 1963, the personal bond between Belgium and Congo was broken and independence for the colony was on the doorstep. With a major part of the plan already done, the transition of power went smooth, as the first Congolese elections were held in November 1963. Similar to the Belgian political system, a Prime Minister led a government. King Albert had wished to keep the King of Belgium as head of state of the Congo, but with him gone, Leopold III had no chance in claiming that position. And so Congo became a Republic with a Prime Minister as head of the government and a President as head of the state. Patrice Lumumba had the honour to fill the position of PM for four years, until 1967, when he was re-elected as Prime Minister for another 4 years. Under his leadership, Congo grew into a strong regional power with large economic ties to Belgium, for example the Belgian national airline Sabena was able to continue its flight to and from the Congo and even today Sabena’s biggest source of income is the connection between Belgium and Congo. However, not all was good, in Katanga the local population remained restless. Mainly consisting of the Luba people, who fought at the German side in the war, local rebellions were very common. Often Belgian forces were sent to safeguard the interests of mining companies like Union Minière.


Congolese PM Patrice Lumumba (left) and Prince Baudouin, son of King Leopold III, (right) on the Congolese Independence Day on the 30th of June 1963.

Post-Credit Scenes
Marche-les-Dames, Belgium, 8th of July 1947.

Léon Degrelle was in his car on his way to his favourite hunting spot near Namur in Wallonia, when suddenly he saw something in the sky. It looked like a big metal bell and came down very fast towards him. Degrelle became worried as the object didn’t slow down as it came closer and closer. As he was so fixated on the falling object, Léon didn’t notice the car coming from the other direction. When he finally saw the car, he was too late to avoid a crash and he pulled his car off the road and hit a tree. Degrelle was unconscious, blood coming out of a head wound. Images flashed in front of his eyes. The bell shaped object safely on the ground, hidden between the trees. Weird shapes coming out of it. The shapes using a foreign tongue to communicate with each other. Degrelle being dragged towards the bell, something else being dragged to the car and then a flash. Everything went blank. And Degrelle was gone and the bell was gone, as if nothing ever happened.

Bahia de Cardenas, Cuba, 25th of March 1938.

Under the cover of night, the small boat enters the bay. On board are several men. One of them is Fred, a 32 year old man from New York. Fred risked everything in the Civil War and he lost it all, everything. Everything his father had built since he arrived in the US from Germany, everything Fred had built on that legacy, gone. The only thing he now had left was a small portion of his father’s fortune which was invested in real estate in Cuba. The worst was that he had to drag his wife out of her bed and leave in a hurry with her. Mary certainly wasn’t happy with her husband and didn’t talk to him for four days. They were almost there now, Fred was sure that Mary’s mood would turn around once she saw the beauty of this country. Following the boss in his escape was important for his success in Cuba, Fred’s connections in Cuba were vital for the plan. And as it would turn out, Fred would become a very rich men and his family would reach the top of the top. But now, that was still far on the horizon, where a Caribbean sunrise was waiting to announce its arrival.

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This was it for this AAR. I hope you enjoyed reading this story, I surely enjoyed writing this story. However, it's not over yet. This universe still has a lot of stories to tell. I hope I'll see you in the next story, who knows where time will take us.
 
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