Consequences of a heart attack TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by abc123, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. abc123 Banned

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    It was hot sommer day in August of 1956. Her Majesty's Chancellor of Exchequer Harold Macmillan was not feeling well while sitting in his Whitehall office. Actually, whole morning he was feeling some weird pains in his chests, but decided to disregard that ( most probably digestion ) and now, when he was goeing for a lunch in his club, strong pain struck him at the left part of his chests.

    In a few seconds he was on the floor. Nobody noticed anything for about next 15 minuts and then, as his secretary entered his office she found him at the floor, barely showing the signs of life.
    After initial shock, she called for a ambulance and tried to revive him. Ambulance was rather fast, they arrived in under 10 minutes, but all their attempts were futile. After 10 minutes of reanimation they could only declare death.

    [​IMG]
    The Right Honourable Harold Macmillan, Chancellor of Exchequer
     
  2. abc123 Banned

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    As you see, this is my first attempt of this TL, I hope that it will be as plausible as possible, and so I ask you for your help.
    Please, do comment, advise me about the details etc.
    Also, you probably have noticed that English isn't my native language, so do not hesitate to show me my mistakes...

    As you see, the POD is sudden death of Harold Macmillan during the Suez Crisis.
     
  3. David S Poepoe Banned

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    This has the hallmark of a Robert Conroy AH novel.
     
  4. abc123 Banned

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    Well, it's a surprise for me, I really never did read that novel.

    Can you explain about that?
     
  5. Super Missile Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it is a good idea to change the TL's title into something more specific then this, this title is quite vague.

    Other than that, I'm curious to see how this will develop. Let the updates coming.
     
  6. David S Poepoe Banned

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    Death of a major historical figure usually occurs most of his works: 1901, 1862, etc.
     
  7. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    So maybe a more fitting title of the thread would be 1956 then?
     
  8. abc123 Banned

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    OK, but I can't now change the name of thread...
    ;)
     
  9. abc123 Banned

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    The news of Macmillan's heart attack and death came as very rude surprise to Prime Minister Eden and his Cabinet colleagues. After all, Harold was pretty young man and had no major health problems. But, this way or another, he was dead and Prime Minister now had to name new Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    Prime Minister was preoccupied with military and diplomatic preparations for action against Egypt, because of their recent nationalisation of Suez Canal. By doeing that Egypt broked Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1954 that stipulated that UK will withdrew his troops from Canal Zone, and Egypt will let Canal be governed by Canal Company until 1968 ( until concession is expired ).

    So, Eden decided to name his President of the Board of Trade Peter Thorneycroft as new Chancellor of the Exchequer.
     
  10. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Much as this has been talked about this is the first timeline I've seen that deals with an alternate Suez as its main focus. Keep it up.

    Fromwhat I've read President of the Board of trade was the first ministerial post Thorneycroft ever held,
    so I doubt he's in the running as Eden's successor. If memory serves R.A.B Butler lost out to Lord Home and
    Harold MacMillan in two different leadership contests.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  11. abc123 Banned

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    Well, it is a attempt of TL, definitly the first version of TL.

    About Eden's sucessor, I was inclined to Butler, but maybe Home... I'm not sure there. It all depends when will Eden decide to withdraw IMO...
     
  12. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    I think Butler would be a more interestin WI. Even his opponents thought very highly of him.
     
  13. abc123 Banned

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    In the meantime, Britain was buissy with assembling of coalition against Egypt. The two other obvious candidates were Israel and France. Israel had plenty of reasons, beginning with fedayeen attacks from Egyptian territory on Israel and also Egypt closed Strait of Tiran and Suez Canal for Izraeli shipping.
    France wanted to topple Nasser because of his support for FLN in Algeria and also because they were second shareholder of Suez Canal Company.

    They tried to get USA in the action against Egypt, but president Eisenhower and his Secretary of State Dulles didn't think that military attack is the best option at the moment. USA had their own secret plan to topple Nasser, but that was long-term plan. Never the less, they were well informed about British-French-Israeli intentions, because Britain and France didn't hide that they have to do something about Egypt and because their intelligence had pretty good informations on Anglo-French intentions.

    In the meanwhile, British Prime Minister Eden and his French colleague Guy Mollet have agreed that British general Keightley will be commander of operation, while French admiral Jobert will be deputy commander.

    In planning staff there were two different approaches to this operation.
    First approach was landing near Alexandria and descisive battle between Alexandria and Kairo where Egyptian Army should be destroyed.
    Second approach was more limited in nature, the plan was simply occupation of Canal Zone ( Port Suez, Ismailia and Port Said ) and holding that area until Egypt asks for negotiations.

    Majority of military commanders were for first plan, because it had clear objective that could enable to accomplish strategic goal of operation, but most politicians were for second plan, because it needed smaller number of soldiers and allowed both governments more political manuevering space.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  14. abc123 Banned

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    Do you have some infos about his political positions, that I can use for TL?
     
  15. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Sorry can't helpyou there I'm afraid.
     
  16. abc123 Banned

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    Fine.
    Don't worry, when he becomes the PM and I write something about his PMship, no doubt that many members here will soon tell me a lot about his political views.
    :D
     
  17. abc123 Banned

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    Between July and October 1956, unsuccessful initiatives encouraged by the United States were made to reduce the tension that would ultimately lead to war. International conferences were organised to secure agreement on Suez Canal operations but all were ultimately fruitless. Demands of participants were contradictory and no satisfying compromise could be found.

    In meanwhile, planing of operation was highly advanced. It was decided that Alexandria option is not viable, because it would mean much larger number of Anglo-French troops. So, Canal option, that was accepted, was code-named as Operation Musceteer.

    Both countries started to concentrate their forces in the area, especially in Cyprus and Malta. 16th Parachute Brigade was ending requalification course for airborne operations. They and their French colleagues Regiment de Parachutistes Coloniaux will be the spearhead of attack on Canal Zone. Other spearhead will be Commando Brigade of Royal Marines. 3rd Infantry Division would be follow-on forces that will do the the main thrust to the south and take the Canal Zone. Is was also decided that another armoured regiment is to be added to task force, and will be held in Cyprus as strategic reserve, in case that main body of Egyptian Army tries to dislodge Anglo-French Forces from Canal Zone. But it was generally believed that after Egyptian Air Force is destroyed in first 48 hours that Allied air superiority will be enough for stopping any Egyptian assault on Canal.

    At the same time, Israel had been working on Operation Kadesh for the invasion of the Sinai. Dayan’s plan put an emphasis on air power combined with mobile battles of encirclement. Kadesh called for the Israeli air force to win air superiority, which was to be followed up with “one continuous battle” in the Sinai. Israeli forces would in a series of swift operations encircle and then take the main Egyptian strongpoints in the Sinai. Reflecting this emphasis on encirclement was the “outside-in” approach of Kadesh, which called for Israeli paratroops to seize distant points first, with those closer to Israel to be seized later. Thus, the 202nd Paratroop Brigade commanded by Colonel Ariel Sharon was to land in the far-western part of the Sinai to take the Mitla Pass, and thereby cut off the Egyptian forces in the eastern Sinai from their supply lines.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  18. abc123 Banned

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    Protocol of Sevres

    On 22 October, Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion, Director General of the Ministry of Defense Shimon Peres and Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces General Moshe Dajan secretly travelled from Israel to an isolated house in Sèvres to meet the French Minister of Defence Maurice Bourges-Maunory, Minister of Foreign Affaires Christian Pineau and Chief of Staff of the French Armed Forces General Maurice Challe, and British Foreign Secretary Selwyin Lloyd and his assistant Sir Patrick Dean.

    Together, they and their aides secretly planned a two-step invasion of Egypt, including the cover story. First Israel would attack Egypt in the Sinai, and then Britain and France would invade on the pretext of "separating the combatants" and protecting the canal, under the terms of the 1954 Anglo-Egyptian agreement to withdraw all British forces from Egypt. One of the most painstaking aspects was formulating a plan both Britain and Israel could agree on. The Israelis distrusted the British but, as the French were not prepared to act without their British allies, they were forced to deal with them. The British maintained strong links with a number of Arab countries and did not want any involvement with Israel that might damage them.

    After 48 hours of negotiations and compromise the seven points agreement was signed by Ben-Gurion, Pineau and Dean. At the insistence of the Israeli diplomats, wanting to prevent being abandoned in the middle of the invasion, each group left Sèvres with a signed copy, written in French.

    Text of Protocol:

    The results of the conversations which took place at Sèvres from 22-24 October 1956 between the representatives of the Governments of the United Kingdom, the State of Israel and of France are the following:

    1. The Israeli forces launch in the evening of 29 October 1956 a large scale attack on the Egyptian forces with the aim of reaching the Canal Zone the following day.

    2. On being apprised of these events, the British and French Governments during the day of 30 October 1956 respectively and simultaneously make two appeals to the Egyptian Government and the Israeli Government on the following lines:
    A. To the Egyptian Government a) halt all acts of war. b) withdraw all its troops ten miles from the Canal. c) accept temporary occupation of key positions on the Canal by the Anglo-French forces to guarantee freedom of passage through the Canal by vessels of all nations until a final settlement. B. To the Israeli Government a) halt all acts of war. b) withdraw all its troops ten miles to the east of the Canal. In addition, the Israeli Government will be notified that the French and British Governments have demanded of the Egyptian Government to accept temporary occupation of key positions along the Canal by Anglo-French forces. It is agreed that if one of the Governments refused, or did not give its consent, within twelve hours the Anglo-French forces would intervene with the means necessary to ensure that their demands are accepted.
    C. The representatives of the three Governments agree that the Israeli Government will not be required to meet the conditions in the appeal addressed to it, in the event that the Egyptian Government does not accept those in the appeal addressed to it for their part. 3. In the event that the Egyptian Government should fail to agree within the stipulated time to the conditions of the appeal addressed to it, the Anglo-French forces will launch military operations against the Egyptian forces in the early hours of the morning of 31 October.

    4. The Israeli Government will send forces to occupy the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and the group of islands Tirane and Sanafir to ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aqaba.

    5. Israel undertakes not to attack Jordan during the period of operations against Egypt. But in the event that during the same period Jordan should attack Israel, the British Government undertakes not to come to the aid of Jordan.

    6. The arrangements of the present protocol must remain strictly secret.
    7. They will enter into force after the agreement of the three Governments.

    (signed)

    David Ben-Gurion Patrick Dean Christian Pineau
     
  19. abc123 Banned

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    Operation Kadesh

    Operation Kadesh received its name from ancient Kadesh, located in the northern Sinai and mentioned several times in the Hebrew Pentateuch. Israeli military planning for this operation in the Sinai hinged on four main military objectives; Sharm el-Sheikh, Arish, Abu Uwaylah, and the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian blockade of the Tiran Straits was based at Sharm al-Sheikh and, by capturing the town, Israel would have access to the Red Sea for the first time since 1953, which would allow it to restore the trade benefits of secure passage to the Indian Ocean.

    The Gaza Strip was chosen as another military objective because Israel wished to remove the training grounds for Fedayeen groups, and because Israel recognised that Egypt could use the territory as a staging ground for attacks against the advancing Israeli troops. Israel advocated rapid advances, for which a potential Egyptian flanking attack would present even more of a risk. Arish and Abu Uwayulah were important hubs for soldiers, equipment, and centres of command and control of the Egyptian Army in the Sinai. Capturing them would deal a deathblow to the Egyptian's strategic operation in the entire Peninsula. The capture of these four objectives were hoped to be the means by which the entire Egyptian Army would rout and fall back into Egypt proper, which British and French forces would then be able to push up against an Israeli advance, and crush in a decisive encounter. On 24 October, Dayan ordered a partial mobilization. When this led to a state of confusion, Dayan ordered full mobilization, and chose to take the risk that he might alert the Egyptians. As part of an effort to maintain surprise, Dayan ordered Israeli troops that were to go to the Sinai to be ostentatiously concentrated near the border with Jordan first, which was intended to fool the Egyptians into thinking that it was Jordan that the main Israeli blow was to fall on.

    The conflict began on 29 October 1956. At about 3: 00 pm, Israeli Air Force Mustangs launched a series of attacks on Egyptian positions all over the Sinai. Because Israeli intelligence expected Jordan to enter the war on Egypt's side, Israeli soldiers were stationed along the Israeli-Jordanian frontier. The Israel Border Police militarized the Israel-Jordan border, including the Green Line with the West Bank, during the first few hours of the war. Israeli-Arab villages along the Jordanian border were placed under curfew, and orders were given to shoot curfew violators. This resulted in the killings of 48 civilians in the Arab village of Kafr Qasim in an event known as the Kafr Qasim massacre. The border policemen involved in the killings were later tried and imprisoned, with an Israeli court finding that the order to shoot civilians was "blatantly illegal". This event had major effects on Israeli law relating to the ethics in war and more subtle effects on the legal status of Arab citizens of Israel, who at the time were regarded as a fifth column.

    The Israeli Chief of Staff, Major General Moshe Dayan, first planned to take the vital Mitla Pass. Dayan planned for the Battalion 890 of the Paratroop Brigade, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Eitan, a veteran of the 1948 Arab- Israeli War and future head of the IDF, to drop at Parker's Memorial, near one of the defiles of the pass, Jebel Heitan. The rest of the brigade, under the command of Colonel Ariel Sharon would then advance to meet with the battalion, and consolidated their holdings.

    On 29 October, Operation Kadesh – the invasion of the Sinai, began when an Israeli paratrooper battalion was air-dropped into the Sinai Peninsula, east of the Suez Canal near the Mitla Pass. In conjunction with the para drop, four Israeli P-51 Mustangs using their wings and propellers, cut all overhead telephone lines in the Sinai, severely disrupting Egyptian command and control. Due to a navigation error, the Israeli DC-3 transports landed Eitan's 400 paratroopers three miles away from Parker's Memorial, their intended target. Eitan marched his men towards Jebel Heitan, where they dug in while receiving supplies of weapons dropped by French aircraft. At the same time, Colonel Sharon's 202nd Paratroop Brigade raced out towards the Mitla Pass. A major problem for Sharon was vehicle break-down. Dayan’s efforts to maintain strategic surprise bore fruit when the Egyptian commander Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer at first treated the reports of an Israeli inclusion into the Sinai as a large raid instead of an invasion, and as such Amer did not order a general alert. By the time that Amer realized his mistake, the Israelis had made significant advances into the Sinai.

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    Israeli paratroopers near Mitla pass

    As the paratroopers were being dropped into the Sinai, the Israeli 9th Infantry Brigade captured Ras an-Naqb, an important staging ground for that brigade's later attack against Sharm el-Sheikh. Instead of attacking the town by a frontal attack, they enveloped the town in a night attack, and negotiated their way through some of the natural chokepoints into the rear of the town, surprising the Egyptians before they could ready themselves to defend. The Egyptians surrendered, with no Israeli casualties sustained.
    The 4th Infantry Brigade, under the command of Colonel Josef Harpaz, captured al-Qousaymah, which would be used as a jumping off point for the assault against Abu Uwayulah. Colonel Harpaz out-flanked al-Qusaymah with two pincers from the south-east and north-east in a night attack. In a short battle lasting from 3:00 am to sunrise, the IDF stormed al-Qusaymah.

    [​IMG]
    Map of the theatre of operations
     
  20. abc123 Banned

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    Conflict in Sinai

    The portion of the Paratroopers under Sharon's command continued to advance to meet with the 1st Brigade. En route, Sharon assaulted Themed in a dawn attack, and was able to storm the town with his armor through the Themed Gap. Sharon routed the Sudanese police company, and captured the settlement. On his way to the Nakla, Sharon's men came under attack from Egyptian MIG-15s. On the 30th, Sharon linked up with Eytan near Nakla.

    Dayan had no more plans for further advances beyond the passes, but Sharon decided to attack the Egyptian positions at Jebel Heitan. Sharon sent his lightly armed paratroopers against dug-in Egyptians supported by aircraft, tanks and heavy artillery. Sharon's actions were in response to reports of the arrival of the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the 4th Egyptian Armored Division in the area, which Sharon believed would annihilate his forces if he did not seize the high ground. Sharon sent two infantry companies, a mortar battery and some AMX-13 tanks under the command of Mordechai Gur into the Heitan Defile on the afternoon of 31 October 1956. The Egyptian forces occupied strong defensive positions and brought down heavy anti-tank, mortar and machine gun fire on the IDF force. Gur's men were forced to retreat into the "Saucer", where they were surrounded and came under heavy fire. Hearing of this, Sharon sent in another task force while Gur's men used the cover of night to scale the walls of the Heitan Defile. During the ensuing action, the Egyptians were defeated and forced to retreat. A total of 260 Egyptian and 38 Israeli soldiers were killed during the battle.

    Although the battle was an Israeli victory, the casualties sustained would surround Sharon with controversy. In particular, Sharon was criticized for ordering the attack on Jebel Heitan without authorization, and not realizing that with the Israeli Air Force controlling the skies, his men were in not such danger from the Egyptian tanks as he believed. Dayan himself maintained that Sharon was correct to order the attack without orders, and that under the circumstances, Sharon made the right decision; instead he criticzed Sharon for his tactics of attacking the Egyptians head-on, which Dayan claimed led to unnecessary casualties. Most of the deaths sustained by the Israelis in the entire operation were sustained at Jebel Heitan.

    From the outset, the Israeli Air Force flew paratroop drops, supply flights and medevac sorties. Israel's new French-made Dassault Mystere IV jet fighters provided air cover for the transport aircraft. In the initial phase of the conflict, the Egyptian Air Force flew attack missions against advancing Israeli ground forces. The Egyptian tactic was to use their new Soviet-made MiG-15 jets as fighter escorts, while their older British-made de Havilland Vampire and Gloster Meteor jets conducted strikes against Israeli troops and vehicles. In the air combat Israeli aircraft shot down between sevena and nine Egyptian jets with the loss of one aircraft, but Egyptian strikes against the ground forces continued through to 1 November. With the attack by the British and French air forces and navies, President Nasser ordered his pilots to disengage and fly their planes to bases in Southern Egypt. The Israeli Air Force was then free to strike Egyptian ground forces at will, as Israeli forces advanced into the Western Sinai.

    On 30 October, the Egyptian Navy dispatched the Ibrahim el Awal, an ex-British Hunt class destroyer, to Haifa with the aim of shelling that city’s coastal oil installations. On 31 October the Ibrahim el Awal reached Haifa and began bombarding the city with its four 4-inch guns. The French destroyer Kersaint, which was guarding Haifa port as part of Operation Musketeer, returned fire but failed to score any hits. The Ibrahim el Awal disengaged and turned northwest. The Israeli destroyers INS Eliat and INS Yaffo then gave chase and caught up with the Egyptian warship. The Israeli destroyers, together two Israel Air Force Dassault Ouragans, succeeded in damaging the destroyer's turbo generator, rudder and antiaircraft guns. Left without power and unable to steer, the Ibrahim el Awal surrendered to the Israeli destroyers. The Egyptian destroyer was subsequently incorporated into the Israeli Navy and renamed INS Haifa (K-38).

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    Ibrahim el Awal after its capture by Israeli Navy
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012