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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Ever Radiant (Part 1)
The policy of land reform had left the Japanese colonial policy in a difficult situation. The policies pursued by the Ministry of Colonial Affairs had overwhelmingly depended on the "export" of excess population, originating largely among rural tenant farmers. The ministry quickly became one of the strongest voices opposing land reform, even though it had little beyond advisory control over coordinating private emigration sponsorship companies, and continued in their attempt in undermining it until 1941. Its campaigns only ceased after discussions about demoting it back into a bureau under the Home Ministry arose. Desperate to escape their increasing irrelevance the bureaucrats came to a conclusion that a new approach to colonialism was necessary, for this they looked at Taiwan. Looking at Taiwan made sense as it was the oldest real colony that Japan had and more importantly the only one deemed stable enough that rulership had been delegated purely to civilians since 1919. The civilian administration had taken a more hands on approach to the island as well as pursued a policy of assimilation that had already yielded astounding results in both pacifying and Japanifying the region. This was in sharp contrast to the previous administrators that had come from military stock and cared for little more beyond "running water,railways and vaccinations". Civilian administrators had however dabbled in everything from policies establishing of local governance to an unsegregated mandatory public school system. Most importantly - all Governor-Generals had pursued a system that benefited those locals that would speak Japanese, adopt Japanese customs and names. In just 22 short years the once alien and hostile Taiwan had become increasingly like the Home Islands. The results astounded officials in Tokyo, who with nothing left to lose decided to try and repeat it across the Empire.


By the 1940s it had become increasingly difficult to differentiate the Home Islands and Taiwan at a glance
Ever since the incorporation of Karafuto as a prefecture in 1943, public support in Taiwan had begun mounting for similar treatment to be extended to it. The ideals of home rule, which had once enraptured the minds of the older generation had begun to fall by the wayside. Galvanized by figures such as Koo Chen-fu, head of the minor Koo zaibatsu and future baron, the youth saw the, supposed, equality and economic advantages offered by a 'domestic' family registry as preferable to self-rule, something which the Japanese seemed unwilling to yield on. Such belief did however not go both ways, as many players in Tokyo remained reluctant to admit Taiwan, not the least among them the reinvigorated Ministry of Colonial Affiars. Indeed the question of Taiwan had often come up in debates concerning the admittance of Karafuto. Those that opposed the expansion argued that admitting Karafuto would then open the door to Taiwan, a demand which would put the government in front of a decision it could not refuse. In contrast to Karafuto, Taiwan had a large population, which more extreme nationalists alleged had split loyalties - at that time to the Kaiser and his Chinese puppet state. Although the topic of Taiwanese ascension did gain a degree of traction among urban intellectuals, it remained fairly niche and largely confined to the halls of government within the Home Islands. Indeed much of the population already saw Taiwan as little more than just an an extension of the Home Islands. Much of this could be attributed to efforts by the Ministry of Colonial Affairs at displaying the ‘civilizing’ effects of imperial rule. This in tandem with the general lack of recent massive violent incidents in Taiwan, more and more people had begun to contrast it to the more uncivilized mainland.


The Ministry of Colonial Affairs would sponsor smaller expositions in the Home Islands,
modelled on the 1935 exposition to demonstrate the progress achieved in Japanizing Taiwan

Japanization was most visible through the cultural sphere, where it permeated nearly all mediums and all levels of life. Indeed so pervasive was Japanese cultural education that the debates of the the 1930s, on whether or not Taiwanese creations should be presented in Taiwanese Hokkien or vernacular Chinese, had seemingly died out in the wake of an increasing dominance of movies, books, plays and songs in Japanese. Perhaps most famous in the 1940s being Sayon’s Bell, which depicted the true-story of an aboriginal girl who had been reportedly sunk helping her Japanese teacher. The movie functioned as a rather blunt, but effective instrument to highlight the concept of Japan as the "teacher" of Asia as well as extolling the virtues of loyalty expected from the Taiwanese as imperial subjects.


Despite starring an almost exclusively Japanese cast the film
quickly won the hearts of the Taiwanese public

Baseball too had taken root on the island with the Japanese settlers and administration investing much into creating fields and infrastructure across the island. The sport really only began to spread, when a team from Kagi Agricultural and Forestry High School, Kano, ranked second in the 17th Kōshien national high-school baseball tournament. After that teams began to spread like wildfire with all schools quickly starting their own teams, mirroring the spread of the sport in the Home Islands after the victory enjoyed by Tokyo Ichikō against the Yokohama Country & Athletic Club in 1896.


The Kano team, a motley crew of Han, aborigines and Japanese, performed beyond all expectations before losing to a really strong Japanese team. Although they did lose their tenacity did much to improve opinions of those in the Home Islands towards Taiwan
Not even puppet theatre could escape from Japanization. Although the language barrier, changes such as the replacement of Beiguan with Western music as well as introduction of Japanese stories had initially decreased public acceptance, the genre proved too popular to really wane. The advent of commercial air travel also helped draw Taiwan closer to Home Islands with the Taihoku-Fukuoka line, cutting the previously 44 hour journey down to a mere 4 hours.

Initially starting as little more than cargo flights for the Navy, the Shōwa/Nakajima L2D
would quickly become the primary passenger aircraft in Japan and its dependencies

Although the island had Japanified culturally, the same could not be said about the economy. Whilst the policy of “agriculture for Taiwan, industry for Japan” had begun to weaken under successive governors, agriculture still remained the primary focus of the island. Small scale industry had however begun sprouting up on the island fueled largely by three factors - investments from the Home Islands, a decrease in the amount of labourers necessary due to advances in agriculture as well as demands by the the military - primarily the IJN.


The agrarian idyll envisioned by colonial bureaucrats had long since become a thing of the past
Indeed economic Japanization, that is industrialization, would be used by the Koo lead Kōmin undō, Imperial Subjects Movement, to galvanize further support. Although Kōmin undō had done little to appeal to those on the Home Islands, since the creation of the movement in 1945, this would all change on the 21st of September 1952. On that day a petition was delivered to Sakurai Saburo, the Governor-General of Taiwan at the time. The petition implored the government in Tokyo to admit the Taiwanese prefectures as parts of the Home Islands like had been done with Karafuto. Included with the petition were 2.5 million signatures gathered from the, at time, population of nearly 7 million. The Governor passed it on to both the Ashida cabinet, who was then left to mull it over. Whilst such a show of loyalty was treated with a degree of bemusement it also put the government in a difficult position, as predicted. Failure to allow the ascension of the Taiwanese prefectures might jeopardize the Japanification on the island and perhaps even lead to a resurgence of the Home Rule movement. Faced with the threat of instability, Prime Minister Ashida decided to approve the plan and announced in a radio broadcast on the 1st of January 1953 that the Taiwanese prefectures would be raised to the status of internal territory by the 1st of January 1954.


Prime Minister Ashida announcing the ascension of Taiwan

Extracted from Taiwan and the Empire
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hopefully the revisionist dogs in Italy can be swiftly brought into line, allowing the continued advance of Moselyite-Browderite thought and the Liberation of All Mankind.
The Anglos will try, at the very least.
 
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JodelDiplom

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Geez, the Japanese are so soft nowadays. Giving colonials real family registries and citizenship!! What has the world come to.
 

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The relatively peaceful integration of Taiwan is certainly a coup for Japan, as they can point to their success there as the example for integrating the rest of their colonial possessions in good time. That being said, I don't imagine the Republic of China taking the news all that well, though I don't see what they can do about it immediately beyond delivering a sternly-worded protest through their embassy.

On that note, it'll be interesting to see how the situation in the rest of Japan's colonial empire has been evolving. Korea, I imagine, is as fractious as ever, but how have things been going in the East Indies, Hawaii, and the South Sea possessions?
 

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Ever Radiant (Part 2)
"Wow, I didn't know what to expect at first given that the reviews all seemed to trash the movie, but I'm glad you managed to drag me to see it Inoue."
"My pleasure, big brother Yamada. However if you should be thanking anybody it should be Matsuda, his girl works at the cinema and kept talking his ear off to go and see it."
"Matsuda, huh. Noted," said Yamada pausing to take a drag from his cigarette. "Still though, as cool as that shot from the Yamanote was, how did they kill that lizard bastard? Didn't that Doc
say that he couldn't be killed?"
"Maybe them shooting at it with all the tanks and planes opened up some holes?"
"Could be..." said Yamada pausing once more before stamping out his cigarette butt. "So what do we have left today?"
"Let me see, we finished the collections at the two bars. All that is left is the dispute between the two shop owners near the station."
"Pah, let's get this over then. I got a stiff one waiting for me at Shine."


Although the latter half of the first decade of the Shōwa Period had seen the government attempt to crackdown on public dissent, as it had during the premiership of Baron Tanaka, this trend would be cut short by the abortive coup attempt by the Army. Instead fearful of losing control the following decades would see a gradual move away from more open control. Rather than openly and publicly suppress dissenting opinions the Seiyukai, and by extension the governing apparatus as a whole, came to massively rely on media moguls to "keep the peace". In order to facilitate this media houses would be given more and more leeway as to what they could and couldn't run provided they didn't rock the boat. These gradual advances in freedom of expression combined with the rapid economic growth and continued urbanization contributing to the beginning of the so called Shōwa Golden Era. Unlike the late 1930s and early 40s, where most artists and media houses had been more concerned with finding the limits to these freedoms, the unofficial lines were well known by the 1950s. Bit by bit the policy of self-regulation had seemingly worn down much of the censorship within the civilian sphere. Attempts at abolishing censorship altogether however drew little attraction among the public nor government and thus whilst the enforcement of these policies became increasingly rare, the laws themselves continued to remain on the books.



Akita Kiyoshi and Koyama Shoju, nicknamed the Press Barons, these two men were
hailed in their achievements at bringing censorship to a de facto end

Although all forms of creative sectors benefited greatly from the liberalization of censorship, the most prominent benefactors being the film industry. Studios such as Toho, Daiei, Shochiku, Nikkatsu and Toei raced to compete with each other and later to fill the gaps left by the collapse of the American film industry following the outbreak of the Second American Civil War. Unlike in the West, silent films were still very much common place in the Japanese Empire in the 1930s with a third of Japanese films being silent movies as late as 1938. The silent film era lasted in part due to benshi. The adoption of this new technology was slowed by the popularity and influence of the benshi, in addition to the high initial costs. However as domestic and cheaper alternatives such as the Mina Talkie System would take the field era of silent films would slowly but surely come to an end. Colour films would face similar issues with the first Japanese domestically produced film in colour, "Carmen Comes Home" directed by Kinoshita Keisuke, releasing in 1951. The period would give rise to the so-called Four Heavenly Heavenly Kings of Japanese cinema: Kobayashi Masaki, Kurosawa Akira, Mizoguchi Kenji, and Ozu Yasujirō.


Although little more than a breezy musical comedy on the surface,
Carmen Comes Home subtly poked fun at the changes brought by the economic boom
The 1950s also saw Japanese cinema start making inroads into the world at large beginning with Kurosawa's Rashomon, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951. The movie also marked the breakout role for Mifune Toshiro, whose good rapport with Kurosawa would catapult him to stardom. In 1953 "Entotsu no mieru basho" by Gosho Heinosuke was in competition at the 8th Berlin International Film Festival. All this would however pale in the light of 1954, which saw the release of two Japanese films that would most influence cinema worldwide - Seven Samurai and Godzilla. Although Godzilla was anti-atomic in tone, the changing realities of the 1950s following the continuing proliferation of atomic weapons and its positive portrayal of the Imperial Armed Forces against all threats against the Empire and its people made it a smash hit among the public. Though edited for its Western release, Godzilla became an international icon of Japan and would later spawn an entire subgenre of kaiju films.


Inspired by the success of the 1952 re-release of King Kong and the reports of the Sydney bombing,
Godzilla massively surpassed the expectations its small budget seemed to suggest

Although the proletarian literature movement had made waves during the 20s and 30s, the improving living standards of the following decades as well as ideological splintering had fractured the movement by the 1940s. Instead, authors best known for their mastery of the language and tales of love and sensuality, notably Tanizaki Junichirō and Kawabata Yasunari, a master of psychological fiction. Although military control over the society had been rebuffed the growth of the military and empire had profound effects on writers with Hino Ashihei wrote lyrical bestsellers glorifying this, whilst writers such as Kuroshima Denji, Kaneko Mitsuharu, Oguma Hideo, and Ishikawa Jun deeply opposed it. Slowly but surely however disillusionment at the Empire and the militarization that came with it had begun to set it. This disillusionment is probably most well portrayed in Umezaki Haruo's short story Sakurajima, which shows a disillusioned and skeptical Navy officer stationed in a base located on the Sakurajima volcanic island on the southern tip of Kyushu. Yukio Mishima, who would later become widely known for his nihilistic prose also began writing at this time.


Althought the proletarian literature movement may have fractured, writers such as
Miyamoto Yuriko continued to channel the disillusionment of the groups they stood for

The so-called manga boom also had its start in the 50s, starting in 1950, an increasingly large readership for manga emerged in Japan, which also saw the solidification of the two main marketing genres, shōnen manga aimed at boys and shōjo manga aimed at girls. This was in part due to rising living standards as well as the falling costs of printing, which had made the medium much more accessible to young children. Spearheaded by Hasegawa Machiko's Sazae-san and Tezuka Osamu's Mighty Atom, the genre quickly became immensely popular among the public, with both creators making stylistic innovations. Tezuka "cinematographic" technique meant that the panels resembled a motion picture revelaing details of action bordering on slow motion as well as rapid zooms from distance to close-up shots, and Hasegawa's focus on daily life and on women's experience would be adopted by later mangaka.


Nicknamed the God Father of Manga, Tezuka Osamu drew much
inspiration from the films Disney produced while in exile

Liberalization had left its mark on music as well, where the "ero guro nansensu" movement had arguably been strongest. Despite the liberalization however, the government tried to push them out which realized as a campaign through the NHK radio program "Warera no Uta", "Our Songs". Beginning in 1936 the program offered an alternative and very public stage to artists that would steer clear of topics associated with the ero guro nansensu movement within their creations. This campaign however had little traction among the public and faced with the growing popularity of ryūkōka and jazz among the general public, the NHK decided bend and accept the 'popular' music onto its programming in 1941. The same year would also see the show rebranded to "Minna no Uta", "Everybody's Songs".


Musicians such as Fujiyama Ichiro were vital in both the creation and the normalization of ryūkōka

The final domination of 'talkies' over silent films would see the rise of cooperation between the music and film industries. Namiki Michiko's "Ringo no Uta", "Apple Song", airing in the 1945 movie "Soyokaze" and Oka Haruo's "Akogare no Hawaii kōro", "Coveted Fairway to Hawaii", airing in the 1948 movie by the same name were just one of movie songs that would become massively popular. The 1950s would also see the continuing pivot of music beyond radios, probably best illustrated through the New Year's special - "NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen", "NHK Red and White Song Battle". Although beginning first as a radio broadcast, the show made its leap to television in 1953. The idea of the show was rather simple, a competition that would pit two teams "Red", composed of all female artists, and "White", composed of all male artists, against each other. This would then be followed by a vote including the audience and a panel of judges and would then conclude with a singing of "Hotaru no Hikari".

Although slammed by critics, Soyokaze was a financial success - something which
some would attribute to the massive popularity of "Ringo no Uta"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Geez, the Japanese are so soft nowadays. Giving colonials real family registries and citizenship!! What has the world come to.
You gotta give them a carrot every once in a while after all, Jodel. The policy is carrot and stick, after all.

The relatively peaceful integration of Taiwan is certainly a coup for Japan, as they can point to their success there as the example for integrating the rest of their colonial possessions in good time. That being said, I don't imagine the Republic of China taking the news all that well, though I don't see what they can do about it immediately beyond delivering a sternly-worded protest through their embassy.

On that note, it'll be interesting to see how the situation in the rest of Japan's colonial empire has been evolving. Korea, I imagine, is as fractious as ever, but how have things been going in the East Indies, Hawaii, and the South Sea possessions?
Korea is a mess and trying to repeat what happened in Taiwan there will probably not go according to plan. However as mentioned before - the East Indies, or well the Islamic majority that have proven their loyalty, are due for independence to the degree of the former territories of Australasia; Australia and New Zealand themselves will be let somewhat more off the leash in 1954; the rest of the Pacific however will be in for a policy along the lines of Taiwan.

I hope that Japan will face some problems soon. Everything is going good for them so far!
You gotta build up, before you can tear down.
 
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Ever Radiant (Part 3)

[Scene opens to the rubble of Old Sydney Harbour. Orchestral music swells. Top left quarter of a rising sun with the character “Asa” - “Morning”, remains present in the top right corner of the screen.]
TITLE TEXT:
SYDNEY - 4 YEARS AFTER
NARRATOR:
This was Sydney 4 years ago in the wake of the first atom bomb.
[Scene transition to a panning shot overlooking New Sydney Harbour.]
NARRATOR:
Out of the first atom bombs ashes, there rises a new city.
[Scene transitions to a BH bus passing in front of a packed urban street, before transitioning to another shot of the same street now from above.]
NARRATOR:
Here, where 50 thousand died. On that day, when the world first learned of the new terror, which threatens mankind.
[Scene transitions to a Yokosuka P1Y Ginga flying over head and then to the Peace Bell.]
NARRATOR:
Another bomber drops a wreath of flowers. Whilst the Peace Bell calls the town to silent memory.
[Scene transitions to mourners in front of shabby housing and then in front of a makeshift shrine.]
NARRATOR:
Throughout the day survivors pay tribute to those who perished.
[Scene transitions to cuts between mourners, intermittently showing both the young and the old.]
NARRATOR:
For the very young this is a day of awe beyond their understanding, to them Sydney is but the name of their bright new town.
[Scene transitions to children playing at a kindergarten.]
NARRATOR:
So whilst the old remember the horror that was yesterday the young live for today. But let mankind be careful, lest he bury the lesson of Sydney with the scars of the old.
[Scene transitions to another panning shot of Sydney, before concluding.]

On the 3rd of November, a holiday for celebrating the birth of the late Emperor Meiji, representatives of the Empire of Japan, its continental allies and the successor states to the Australasian Commonwealth gathered in Nagasaki to sign the eponymous treaty. Although little more than a formality, the treaty marked the official ended for the conflict between the two sides. Contained within in the treaty were clauses granting both Australia and New Zealand sovereignty within its borders de facto concluding the Japanese occupation of Australasia. However the borders of these states were considerably changed from their pre-war state. In addition to Tasmania and its surrounding islands, the treaty also saw both states renounce their claims in the Antarctic as well as the islands of the South Pacific. The rights to all of these territories were handed to the Empire of Japan with the exception of Tasmania and its surrounding islands, which would remain under a Japanese trusteeship. Whilst the eyes of the international community were drawn to the Treaty of Nagasaki another set of treaties was also signed. Collectively named the Security Treaties, the agreements contained five articles, which dictated that Australia and New Zealand would grant Japan the territorial means for it to establish a military presence in the South Pacific. Moreover, these treaties prohibited both New Zealand and Australia from providing foreign powers any bases or any military-related rights without the consent of Japan. The Security Treaties provided a much needed loophole to the unexpectedly generous Treaty of Nagasaki, which required all occupation forces to leave within 90 days of the treaty coming into effect. This arrangement would then allow the Empire to continue its domination of the Australasian successor states, although in a much more indirect manner.


The transition period saw the port of Hobart continue to rise in importance for the IJN
The end of the occupation for the most part also marked an end to censorship in Australia and New Zealand, as control over the direction and enforcement of the policy was fully transferred to local bureaucrats. Censorship was enforced by the Japanese in an attempt to stabilize the state by clamping down on political matters deemed subversive and had seemingly served its purpose by the signing of the Treaty of Nagasaki. Following the restoration of native control, the public consciousness was soon flooded by stories of the misdeeds of occupying forces as well as of course everything related to the bomb. Many precautions had been taken by the military government to limit the discussion about the bomb. The atomic strike on Sydney, if wrongly approached, was deemed the perhaps the biggest threat to the restoration of a stability in the Australasian region. Whilst the policy largely worked it couldn't fully stop the spread of of wild theories. Chief among them was the well-being of the bomb victims. Indeed the bomb victims had quickly become victims of severe discrimination and social-ostracization, owing largely to public ignorance about the consequences of radiation sickness, as much of the public believed it to be hereditary or even contagious. Even as actual facts began to be presented, the discrimination proved difficult to crush. Despite this it seemed that the policy of letting spirits cool had worked. Indeed, although the public was shocked to learn that the occupation government had covered up misdeeds by soldiers, they remained remarkably civil. Much of this could also be attributed to the beginnings of the rapid economic recovery, thanks in no little part to investments by the zaibatsu, fulfilling the consumer demands of the occupying soldiers and the seemingly unquenchable Japanese demands for raw materials.


Although ruined buildings occasionally still dotted the landscape, the economic recovery
of the post-war period had quickly spurred their replacement or repair

The dealings in the Far East were however, but a mere sideshow to the experiment going on in Europe. The 1900s had seen polio begin to ravage the world, with outbreaks becoming widespread during summer months. The disease wreaked havoc on the world killing or disabling half a million people worldwide by the 1940s and early 50s. With the menace of polio growing, researchers were desperate to find a vaccine to prevent or mitigate the illness. This was complicated due to the multiple strains of the disease as well as the outbreak of the Second American Civil War. In 1951, the University of Warsaw typing program confirmed the existence of three main serotypes of poliovirus. Warsaw and indeed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as a whole had become the centre for research on polio. The work, based on a version of the virus that had been rendered non-virulent, was spearheaded by Hilary Koprowski and Abram Saperstein. In sharp contrast to the killed version of the virus, which had been much further along in development until the Syndicalist invasion of Canada lead to the disappearance of Jonas Salk and his research, the Poles argued that their research would provide a more powerful cure and could also provide lifelong immunity. This rivalry with the Canadians had drawn the attention of the German government, who seeing the potential in being the first to cure the disease had agreed to back them financially. Tests of the vaccine on rats susceptible to polio proved promising, as did preliminary self-experimentation by the researchers. These unofficial cases of human experimentation provided the impetus for much wider testing.


Saperstein and Koprowski on their way to present their findings in front of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
First clinical human trials of the oral vaccine took place in 1951 at a psychiatric institution in the town of Palanga, on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Hilary Koparowski and a team of researchers administered the vaccine to an 8-year-old patient. After the patient suffered no side effects, the vaccine was administered to 19 more of the institution's children. Seventeen of the 20 children developed antibodies to polio virus, the other three apparently already had antibodies, and none of the children developed complications. The Koprowski-Saperstein vaccine was then used in the Henle Field Test, led by and named after the husband and wife team, Werner and Gertrude Henle, the largest medical experiment in recorded history at that time. Beginning in the summer of 1954, with about 4,000 children in East Prussia, the project would span 6 years and involve at least 100 million children across Mitteleuropa and other German dependencies, the Netherlands as well as Russia. The inclusion of Russia was hailed as a watershed moment for the improving Russo-German relations. In fact the inclusion of the Russians and the resulting - industrial production and mass use of the oral poliovirus vaccine, would prove vital in convincing the Netherlands to join the experiment. Thanks to the mass immunization techniques that had been pioneered by the Polish duo, the disease was rapidly eliminated in many cities across Europe. The resounding success at pushing back polio made the two men superstars across the globe. Rather than bask on their laurels, both men would refuse to patent the vaccine, they would spend the remaining years of the Henle Field Test perfecting their vaccine in conjunction with colleagues from all the countries involved with the test.


Compared to his colleague Saperstein took a
rather active role in the vaccination process
 
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I love it that we now start to see all those bright people who in OTL left eastern Europe for America, achieve fame and successes in this much nicer, prosperous, not destroyed by a world war, eastern (Mittel-)Europe.
 

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Now that they're no longer under direct military occupation, hopefully Australia and New Zealand will be able to heal from the scars of the recent war, both physical and psychological.

The development of a vaccine for polio is a truly spectacular development, in that world as in this one. I never cease to be amazed by the progress humanity has made in combating disease and infection over the past century and a half or so.
 

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It's good to see polio defeated. I find the fact that these scientists stayed in Poland to be a creative use of alternate timeline.

And about Australia: it's good to see thet Australians remained reasonable. I think that Japanese should remind them that they protect Australasia from syndycalism.
 
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For All Mankind
1954 is traditionally seen as the end of large scale armed resistance in North America as, by the summer of that year, most large resistance groups had either been infiltrated and destroyed or taken the amnesty offered by the Mexican government. Among the most prominent victims of the infiltration tactics of the Syndicalist government were large and centralized organizations such as the King’s Men. The foundations for the group were laid by former officers of the Royal Canadian Army and it functioned as an umbrella organization coordinating large numbers of Canadian resistance groups both Anglo- and Francophone. Its peak would arrive in 1949, when it claimed control over large swathes of Western Canada. This event would launch it to the top of the most prominent resistance groups, however that prominence as well as its highly centralized nature made it an important target for the Syndicalist government. Most of its leadership would find itself hounded down by People’s Militias, the Department of Internal Security and other security forces. Likewise more and more Minuteman and Maquis organizations, that had been previously protected by their small size, would find themselves under intense pressure as the American and Canadian governments sought to stamp down hard on any anti-government activity. The increasing futility of resistance combined with the lack of aid by foreign powers in their cause furled feelings of disappointment and resentment among the rebels. This would lead many to abandon the cause and attempt to return to civilized society, usually by trying to meld in among the rural population. Others that remained in hiding, more often than not also left behind their resistance activities so as to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Despite this the security apparatus would continue in their attempt at bringing the “brigands, bandits and other asocial elements” to justice.


Use of women among resistance organizations was rather common as authorities were less likely to bother women
Although the methods, desires and members of these groups varied greatly they all had one thing in common - they were almost exclusively rural. The ruralization of these movements stemmed largely from the strength of the government power in the cities, as well as the discontent of many farmers. Thus these movements often formed a symbiotic relationship with the farmers, who more often than not had other ties to these organizations as well. In exchange for food, supplies, information and places to rest the rebels would often help out on the farm, when necessary. Although the contribution of the DIS and the security apparatus in general shouldn’t be underestimated in ending the insurgency, it was collectivization that truly ended rural rebellions. Collectivization efforts effectively beheaded most movements as farmers began to be relocated to newly built tenements in either nearby small towns or newly designated colown or staown centres. This served the dual purposes of keeping an eye on the farmers as well as deepen communalist values among them. Despite wartime demand and public opposition by 1951 more than 70% of farms and 88% of sown land had been collectivized. It would however take 4 more years before Browder declared collectivization complete at his 1st of September speech, by which point collective farming encompassed around 97% of all farms and just under 100% of all sown land. Just 9 short years had again radically changed American society, though at no small cost. Whilst the exact death toll is unknown it is estimated that the collectivization efforts resulted in at least 7 million deaths in the CSA and another million in Canada.


Syndicalist values were enhanced through the creation of communal mess halls, which both liberated
women from the kitchens and deepened communal values

The mid-fifties also marked an end to the famines that had periodically ravaged the Combined Syndicates of America since the outbreak of the Second American Civil War. This largely coincided with the completion of the collectivization process as well as public works efforts to rebuild the cities and industry still in ruins. All of this contributed to steadily improving living standards for the American people. The perceived return to prosperity inspired a degree of optimism that even the purge of the Pertinists and the ongoing detentions of “enemy aliens” couldn’t cloud. Fundamental in this "Second Era of Good Feelings", as it would later be known, was a restored sense of nationalism and unity. Victory over the Royalists as well as the American role in saving International Syndicalism lead to a swelling of pride among the public. The Browderite administration also largely abandoned the Reed era policies of promoting International Syndicalism above everything else in the cultural sphere. Whilst internationalism was still seen as important, the emphasis on it was seen as a burden for promoting Syndicalist ideals among the wider American public. Instead a policy of "American in form, Syndicalist in content" was adopted as the official party line. The most noticeable change stemming from this was the replacement of “The Internationale” with the “State Anthem of the Combined Syndicates of America”. Criticisms of the change in policy were initially tolerated, as much of the official criticism had at first passed through strict governmental vetting and censorship. However the very vocal and public critics of the change in policy would subsequently find themselves on the wrong side of the purge of the Pertinists and swept up as a disloyal element.


The Browderite administration sought to tie the ideals of the CSA
to concepts that ordinary Americans
could easily understand.
The continuing resurgence of American importance would be highlighted in the spring of 1955, when the first successful test of an atomic weapon by the Syndicalist powers took place. Located in the deserts of North Africa the test served primarily as a show of strength as well as warning to the capitalist powers in Europe not to meddle in the domestic affairs of Syndicalist states. Diplomats and officials in the Socialist Republic of Italy however also understood it as a warning that their heresy, as the other Syndicalist parties saw it, would not be taken lightly. These moves would however only serve to hasten Italian efforts at adopting a doctrine of total war. Beyond Italy however the ascension of another atomic power, a Syndicalist power at that, caused much concern in Tokyo and Berlin. Whilst Japanese concerns were somewhat more tempered due to the limited American presence in the Pacific, planners in Berlin were not so optimistic. Faced with the issues presented by a Syndicalist first strike the Aggregat program and it’s most recent brainchild the A-17 would surge in importance. Wernher von Braun, the lead designer on the project, expressed optimism that short-range rockets could be ready for deployment no later than by the end of that very same year, but the same could not be said about the A-17, which was still in planning. Even with the added resources von Braun estimated that it would take at least two more years before the rocket would even fly. Regardless the Aggregat program found itself surging up to co-equal status with the nuclear project, even passing it following intelligence reports suggesting the positive developments in the Japanese missile development program, codenamed Tanegashima.


Boasting a yield of 70kt, the Red Jerboa was by far the largest atomic weapon up to that date

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


I love it that we now start to see all those bright people who in OTL left eastern Europe for America, achieve fame and successes in this much nicer, prosperous, not destroyed by a world war, eastern (Mittel-)Europe.
Indeed, it is kind of remarkable even how many bright people that would go on to create great things came from the region at that time.

Now that they're no longer under direct military occupation, hopefully Australia and New Zealand will be able to heal from the scars of the recent war, both physical and psychological.

The development of a vaccine for polio is a truly spectacular development, in that world as in this one. I never cease to be amazed by the progress humanity has made in combating disease and infection over the past century and a half or so.
The scars can heal, but the wounds that caused them will still remain in memory. We'll see what happens though.

However I do agree on human achievement at pushing back nature though, it is truly remarkable.

It's good to see polio defeated. I find the fact that these scientists stayed in Poland to be a creative use of alternate timeline.

And about Australia: it's good to see thet Australians remained reasonable. I think that Japanese should remind them that they protect Australasia from syndycalism.
Well, Koprowski only left after 1939 so it wouldn't be that weird to expect him to have stuck around. Sabin/Saperstein is however alt-history as you say.
 
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The Reds have the Bomb! *gasp*

In all seriousness, though, I imagine it's only a matter of time before we start seeing a classic nuclear arms race between all the major powers. It'll be interesting (in a very morbid way, but interesting nonetheless) to see how global nuclear policy will play out in a world that is still fundamentally multipolar in outlook, rather than effectively partitioned between two ideologically opposed superpowers and their respective spheres of influence.
 

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That song in the beginning is great. I feel sympathy for Canadian rebels. They shall be respected for their heroic, desperate and hopeless last stand.
 
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8 million dead from collectivization in CSA / Canada, ouch

Did Mexico do collectivization too? Also in its formerly American territories?
 

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I like how CSA going through similar changes in ideology just like USSR under Stalin in OTL.
 

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Okay then, I have a bit of bad news for you. The HDD that held most of my stuff, including savefiles for the AAR, is currently on the fritz. I was up until 2AM last night attempting to fix it until I gave up and went to bed. A few more restarts and drive fixes since then seem to have stabilized it to a degree.

I'm not sure how much stuff I'll be able to salvage. Due to this the AAR is going on a short hiatus. It might be back next week, since I already ordered a new SSD to replace the HDD. However it might take more time, especially if it needs some kind of restoration work. In that case I'm hoping to be back online by some point in September.

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

The Reds have the Bomb! *gasp*

In all seriousness, though, I imagine it's only a matter of time before we start seeing a classic nuclear arms race between all the major powers. It'll be interesting (in a very morbid way, but interesting nonetheless) to see how global nuclear policy will play out in a world that is still fundamentally multipolar in outlook, rather than effectively partitioned between two ideologically opposed superpowers and their respective spheres of influence.
Aye, the multipolar world as well as the lack of any real international organizations like the UN to try and alleviate tensions would likely lead to rather interesting differences. Despite this you will still likely have the Great Powers coming to realize the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction and subsequently attempt to limit proliferation.

That song in the beginning is great. I feel sympathy for Canadian rebels. They shall be respected for their heroic, desperate and hopeless last stand.
It is the time of tragic unsung heroes, after all.

8 million dead from collectivization in CSA / Canada, ouch

Did Mexico do collectivization too? Also in its formerly American territories?
I think I mentioned it before, but yes Mexico did collectivize to a degree. The Zapatist land reforms had much to do with pushing tenant collectivization. However unlike the collective farms of OTL Eastern Bloc or TTL North America the land itself is parcelled out to farmers instead of farmed collectively. The facilities, such as farming machines etc, are however maintained collectively.

I like how CSA going through similar changes in ideology just like USSR under Stalin in OTL.
I'm glad you enjoy it and I'm glad to have you.
 

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Okay then, I have a bit of bad news for you. The HDD that held most of my stuff, including savefiles for the AAR, is currently on the fritz. I was up until 2AM last night attempting to fix it until I gave up and went to bed. A few more restarts and drive fixes since then seem to have stabilized it to a degree.

I'm not sure how much stuff I'll be able to salvage. Due to this the AAR is going on a short hiatus. It might be back next week, since I already ordered a new SSD to replace the HDD. However it might take more time, especially if it needs some kind of restoration work. In that case I'm hoping to be back online by some point in September.
Ouch! I've lost a few HDDs in my time; trying to get anything off of one once it really starts to go is always a gamble. Hope everything ends up going as smoothly as possible.
 

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Speaking about the HDD: I think that you should upload your saves to googledrive if you retrieve them. That way they'll be save no matter what happens to your physical hard drive.
 

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The Powder Keg

The Third Balkan War brought an end to the post-Weltkrieg world order in the Balkans and with it the Bulgarian domination of the region. In its place stood the Belgrade Pact, formed from a shared hatred of the German imposed order. Their domination however would prove to be short-lived, as the collapse of Bulgaria robbed the Balkan states of an enemy to unify against. The Greeks had long since suspected that their Romanian allies harboured pretensions for dominance over the whole peninsula. Reports of atrocities in the National Legionary State, as Romania had begun to be known in the aftermath of the Legionary takeover following the assassination of King Carol II and the institution of the Temporary Interregnum, had however convinced the Greek government that the Romanians were not fit to bear that burden. These feelings of suspicion quickly turned to contempt as the Romanians set up their own puppet government in Sofia. The Greeks had, up until then, hoped that the Bulgarian state would be restored in a weakened state but still as a monarchy. Greek support for the monarchy stemmed largely from the fact that Greek forces had captured the royal family. The Romanian decision to cut out their ally, thus peeved the Greek government to no end. Citing a lack of cooperation and the collapse of amicable relations with the Romanians, King Paul announced the immediate withdrawal of Greece from the Belgrade Pact. The Thessaloniki Declaration, in which the Greeks announced the creation of a Bulgarian exile government declaring the referendum results invalid, would follow soon after.



On the throne since the tender age of 6, after his father was executed by advancing
Romanian forces, the young Tsar proved more than willing to cooperate with the Greeks

Whilst the Romanian propaganda apparatus loudly proclaimed the Greeks traitors and German bootlickers, the Serbians remained remarkably quiet on the subject. Similar to Greece, the Serbians were also suspicious of the intentions of their Romanian allies. Unlike the Greeks however the Serbian government still saw use for the Romanians. The scars of the Weltkrieg had never truly healed in Serbia, as it had lost more than 50% of its male population. This huge loss of life as well as the brutal concessions extracted by the Austrians and Bulgarians in the peace conferences had made the subsequent Serbian governments cautious of directly opposing their stronger neighbours. The weakened state of Russia, its traditional patron, had also influenced this change in government policy. These changes had however done little to temper the fires of revanchism in Serbia, pushing it to engage in questionable practices such as population transfers to secure allies in the Balkans. The Serbian government believed that their Romanian populace would eventually become a burden when dealing with the Legion. Their expectations proved true in both respects as it cemented Romanian participation in the Belgrade Pact and spared them from the brunt of Legionary interference, as the organization began to internationalize in the 1950s. The growing influence of the Legion and concern about its actions thus contributed to saving Greco-Serbian relations.


Since the outbreak of the Third Balkan War, the sight of people fleeing or being "exchanged" had become the norm
Lead by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, known to the public as the Captain, the National Legionary State had engaged in brutal cleansing campaigns targeting ethnic and religious minorities, Syndicalists and other groups labelled enemies of the state and people. Although Codreanu's expansive policy of land reform, combined with more violent extraditions of property, had greatly benefited the ethnic Romanians, its behaviour both home and abroad had drawn it the ire of its neighbours, many of whom levied sanctions. Despite growing increasingly complex over time the sanctions focused primarily on the oil industry, which Codreanu had nationalized. The sanctions had however were only of limited effect due to an intense focus on autarky in the state as well as the general flux of the global oil market. The sanctions, as well as massive amounts of brain drain, however did succeed in hampering growth in the NLS compared to its neighbours. Public support for the Legion however seemed to be barely affected, due in part to the average Romanian still seeing unparalleled improvements in living standards. Running water, electricity, affordable cars and radio were just few among the many things that the Legions rule had provided to the public, serving as a very valuable tool to keep the public in line that functioned better than mere threats of violence. Leaders of the Legion however harboured grander dreams than just control at home as its propaganda apparatus strove to portray itself as paradise for Romanians. These actions served the dual purpose of reinforcing public opinion at home as well as attracting support from those abroad.


The Captain inspecting members of the Iron Guard ca mid-1940s. Having emerged as the victor in the power struggle
with the King, Codreanu was free to fully remould the country in his own image.
The ongoing internationalization however went beyond just mere propaganda. In Transylvania, where the Legion operated rather openly, it provided social services and other boons for the Romanian populace. This set it apart from the numerous other separatist groups across the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although Imperial officials suspected that it was little more than a front for the Romanian government and involved in various campaigns of violence they could prove very little. Many officials feared that targeting the Legion could plunge the Empire back into chaos, others saw some of the of the underlying ideas of the Legion as attractive. These officials were largely responsible for thwarting what few attempts were made at curbing the rise of the Legion. The devolved nature of the Empire had also hampered most national efforts at challenging the growing strength of the Legion, contributing to the ongoing erosion of Imperial authority. Government inaction only fed public discontent towards the central government and caused many to take the law into their own hands. The formation of various militias and secret societies became the norm in the border regions with Transylvania boasting the largest number of militia members up until the early days of the Danubian Wars.


Ongoing tensions in the region and intensifying militiafication in the Austro-Hungarian Empire
seemed to suggest that the powder keg was far from blown
-----------------------------------------

The scare with losing my HDD has given me a bit of time to think about the future of the AAR. I considered a lot of things, however the amount of events I'd like to cover is only going to increase from now. Similarly my last year of university is starting soon and I also have a job lined up, at least until October. Whilst the amount of time I have might increase due to the ongoing corona pandemic, the fact that I'm going to graduate is unlikely to change.

However, this is not an announcement that I'm going to be ending the AAR or even putting it on hiatus. This is just to let you know that the way that chapters are formatted is about to change. The current format of multiple chapters covering multiple events in one single year is going to be replaced by a compact timeline format. This will allow me to address more of the ongoing changes in the world. I was wondering for a rather long time whether I should make this last post on the Balkans before announcing the change or change and then announce the change, however as the Balkans seemed to interest some of you I considered it wise to choose option number one. Should time pressure allow it, I'll bring back the old format to cover events that massively alter the world.

I hope you understand and will still continue to enjoy reading this AAR. I'd also like to thank @Kienzle for nominating me for WritAAR of the Week. Now, onto the questions.

Ouch! I've lost a few HDDs in my time; trying to get anything off of one once it really starts to go is always a gamble. Hope everything ends up going as smoothly as possible.
Luckily, I managed to get almost everything necessary out. The new SSD also arrived rather fast, so it's all good now.

Speaking about the HDD: I think that you should upload your saves to googledrive if you retrieve them. That way they'll be save no matter what happens to your physical hard drive.
Yeah, I've considered it. I actually kept the pictures up on imgur with a backup on Google Drive, just in case. I also had a backup for the document I use for writing the AAR on Google Drive as well. The real issue there were the modded AAR files and saves that I had forgotten to update. Won't make that mistake ever again.
 
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