A couple of question ?
Why galician wasn't made oficial language along catalán and euskera?
Why is the Canadian government providing services?
 
Did you intend for Lodge to be from California in this timeline?

I have no plans about that.

Aw, no Hispano HA-300...

No HA-300, but a big cat would be joinning the land forces in the future.

A couple of question ?
Why galician wasn't made oficial language along catalán and euskera?

Because there would be too much and tío soon. I plan for Galicia and Galician to haver their time once the Basque and Catalan processes have been a sucess.

Why is the Canadian government providing services?

Out of sheer generosity.

No, seriously speaking. My inspiration for the Catalan process is of Quebecois nature, and sometimes my mind slips.

The Basque process is going to have its own way quite soon...
 

SealTheRealDeal

Gone Fishin'
No HA-300,
Actually, with no need for German weapons designers to have fled into exile might Germany have developed the *HA-300 and other systems that iOTL were designed by German Emigres?

but a big cat would be joinning the land forces in the future.
If you're talking about what I think you are, then I will point out that Lynxes are considered to be medium-sized cats :p
 
Actually, with no need for German weapons designers to have fled into exile might Germany have developed the *HA-300 and other systems that iOTL were designed by German Emigres?

Yes, no German diaspora (good for them, bad for Spain), so Madrid has to go on his own and to hope for some lucky deals with either Britain or the USA.

PS: No Pulquis either...

If you're talking about what I think you are, then I will point out that Lynxes are considered to be medium-sized cats :p

But they carry a big gun...
 

SealTheRealDeal

Gone Fishin'
Yes, no German diaspora (good for them, bad for Spain), so Madrid has to go on his own and to hope for some lucky deals with either Britain or the USA.

PS: No Pulquis either...
or G3*, or Marut, or Panzer 61**.

*well Mauser may have developed it TTL rather than CETME and HK

**well, at least its suspension was based on E-series ideas, I'm not sure how many german engineers actually worked on it

But they carry a big gun...
That they definitely do.

And weight wise Lince would have still been heavier than contemporary Soviet MBTs, even if it wasn't a 60+ tonne behemoth like its western contemporaries.
 
or G3*, or Marut, or Panzer 61**.

*well Mauser may have developed it TTL rather than CETME and HK

**well, at least its suspension was based on E-series ideas, I'm not sure how many german engineers actually worked on it


That they definitely do.

And weight wise Lince would have still been heavier than contemporary Soviet MBTs, even if it wasn't a 60+ tonne behemoth like its western contemporaries.
Indeed. Many changes for many people.

This TTL MP-44 would directly lead to TTL version of the CETME/HK. The question is if Spain would go for TTL version or for the FN FAL (The EM-2 and its .280 would cause some doubts in the Spanish army). Something else. CETME (Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales - Center of Technical Studies of Special Materials) was created to try to overcome the effects of the international blockade against Franco's Spain. ITTL there's no blockade, so no CETME or a very different one, created earlier due to the better situation of Spain.

If I were to bet between the Mauser development of the MP-44 or the FN FAL, my money is on the German gun.
 

SealTheRealDeal

Gone Fishin'
Indeed. Many changes for many people.

This TTL MP-44 would directly lead to TTL version of the CETME/HK. The question is if Spain would go for TTL version or for the FN FAL (The EM-2 and its .280 would cause some doubts in the Spanish army). Something else. CETME (Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales - Center of Technical Studies of Special Materials) was created to try to overcome the effects of the international blockade against Franco's Spain. ITTL there's no blockade, so no CETME or a very different one, created earlier due to the better situation of Spain.

If I were to bet between the Mauser development of the MP-44 or the FN FAL, my money is on the German gun.
On a slight side note, in addition to there probably being no CETME (probably offset by Spain's private firearms firms being quite a bit healthier TTL), I also don't think there's been the impetus for something like 7.92 CETME to exist TTL (not that it had much impact OTL, but it's kinda cool none the less).
 
Last edited:
142 . The General Elections of 1967

142 . The General Elections of 1967

The Spaniards voted for a change in 1967 and, ten years later, Sánchez Albornoz was back into power. The elections were marked by the devastating defeat of the Liberal Party and the rise of the PDE, which had to inmediate effects: the resignation of Esplà. The search for a suitable candidate to replace him would open a deep crisis in the party, as we shall see. The elections also proved to be a disaster for the PSOE. Llopis finally resigned in the Congress of Toulouse (August 1967), being replaced by Nicolás Redondo, marking thus the turn of the PSOE toward a strict marxist position, which brought the party closer to Rome but causing some inner criticism from the reformist faction led by Felipe González.

Meanwhile, the PDE and his leader, Alfredo Martínez, emerged from the elections reinforced after their outstanding perfomance, even if the Socialdemocratic majority meant that their parlamentary group would meant little in the votations in the Cortes. However, the good results of the Basque/Gallician/Catalan coallition (Alianza Democrática -AD- / Democratic Alliance) were to make Martínez to charge against the "separatist" danger, muddling the parliamentarian watters of the time.

The AD, on its part, played, with great success, with their populism mixed with a moderate nationalism and social conservative slogans, proving to be very strong in Catalonia and the Basque Country. Amazingly, in spite of the best efforts of Esplá to expand the autonomous governments of the two regions, Taradellas, the leader of the coallition, based the nationalist campaign in denouncing the government indifference towards the Basque, Galician and Catalan citizens, reaping a great sucess in the elections with the 3 MP, one more than the two that ERC and PNV had together.

Ironically, the elections of 1967, which broke havoc over the Liberal and Socialist parties, were also to prove a turning point the history of the USD even if, for the best part of the following decade, no one noticed how the party began to change from within into a more conservative formation, as we shall see, too.

Party
Seats
%+/-
Unión Socialdemócrata (USD) (Sánchez Albornoz)155/26545.37+48
Partido Liberal (Esplá)72/26531.43-59
Partido Demócrata Español (Martínez)35/26521.38+14
Alianza Democrática (AD) (Tarradellas)3/2651.30+3
Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) (Llopis)1/2650.42-4
 
Last edited:
143 . The Second Sánchez Albornoz Ministry (1967-1971)

1969 Spanish Grand Prix in Montjuich

143 . The Second Sánchez Albornoz Ministry (1967-1971)

One of the advantages of Sánchez Albornoz as prime minister of Spain was his popularity. His record, based on his first time as primer minister (1957-1962) and his previous time as university teacher in Madrid, made him a popular figure in Spain. When he defended in the Parliament the universal health care and regional development programmes, he was hailed in the progressive press as the "saviour of Spain". However, he was hardly liked in Catalonia and even less in the Basque Country. During his first tenujre, his cabinet carried out a deep reform of the Cortes. Its proceedings were updated and the whole body was made more efficient. Furthermore, he trimmed the Prime Minister's office and reduced too the civil service while substantially expanding the social-welfare programs beyond the boundaries set by the Liberals.

His efforts to win the sympathies of the Catalans, however, failed in spite of his best efforts, something that blinded him to the Basque and Galician demands for too long. Thus, even if Sánchez Albornoz doubled the powers of the Catalan government and implemented the Catalan and Spanish as the co-equal official languages of the local government, the Catalan public opinion remained quite critical about him, even more when the government was flooded by Basque complaints that they were being ignored by them. Even worse, the conservative part and some sections of Spanish society were worried about those changes, specially when radical newspapers claimed that spanish speakers were in disadvantage in Catalonia after the reforms. This piece of propaganda, that was easily proved to be a lie, was to firmly believed by the Spanish nationalists, as strongly as the Catalan nationalists were sure that "Espanya ens roba" (1).

Thus, when Sánchez Albornoz claimed that Spain was a "multicultural state" in 1969, he came under fire from both the Spanish nationalists, who claimed that the prime minister was slowly destroying the Spanish identity and soverignty, and from the Catalan and Basque politicians, who believed that both Catalonia were nations within the Spanish country. This would eventually explode in the June Crisis of 1970, when a Basque Marxist group, a group called Euskal Herritarrok (EH - Basque Citiziens) began a non-violent civil rights campaign in Bilbao. On June 24, the civil rights movement held its first civil rights march on the streets of Bilbao, and many more marches were held over the following months in several Basque cities. Unionist groups attacked some of the marches and held counter-demonstrations. The lack of police reaction to those attacks badly hurt the government and the Basque nationalists accused the police as backing the unionists and allowing the attacks to occur. On October 1970 the Spanish police beat the civil rights marchers in San Sebastian without provocation, and more than 60 people were injured. The international standing of Spain suffered a hard hit when the incident was filmed by television news crews and shown around the world and further angered the Basque nationalists. Soon Barcelona was flooded by marches organized by the Catalan parties in support of their "Basque brethern".

Sanchez Albornoz reacted by offering some concessions, but these were seen as too little by the Basque nationalists and too much by the Unionists, and the marches went on. On 1 January 1971, a march from Bilbao to Vitoria was repeatedly harassed and attacked by unionists, further damaging the government. The marchers claimed that police did nothing to protect them and that some officers helped the attackers. When the next weeks the houses of several nationalist politicians were attacked, the Basque nationalists retaliated. Soon the streets of several Basque cities were blocked with barricades to keep the police out. In the end, Sánchez Albornoz met with local leaders in a conference in San Sebastian, offering them the same political arrangement given to Catalonia (a charter of rights and bilingualism). While the moderate Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) accepted the agreement, EH rejected it.

In foreign affairs, the prime minister kept Spain firmly close to Great Britain but less to the United Statess, even if from 1970 onwards he pursued an independent path in international relations to alleviate the national pressure caused by the Basque crisis. He would establish Catalan diplomatic relations with Italy and with Filde Casttro, the leader of the Communist Cuba, even before London did. Thus. with the economy healthy and her government continuing to be popular in spite of the Basque troubles, Spain went to elections in 1971,

(1) Spain steals from us.
 
144 . The Elections of 1971.



144 . The General Elections of 1971.

Even if the USD entered the election high in the polls, it soon lost steam and the popularity of Sánchez Albornoz worn off due to the troubles in Catalonia and the Basque Country, plus the shaky economy. The Liberals, with their new leader, Fernando Casado, the former major of Madrid, focused on the shortcommings and failures of their rivals and soon began to rise in the polls. On his part, Martínez and the PDE campaigned on the slogan "Spain is Strong", but they only managed to end second in Valencia, Aragón and Extremadura in the polls; soon Martínez came under fire because he was unable to develop any topic outside his nationalistic speeches. Then the party was hit hard when fifteen of their representatives in the Cortes left the party and went to the so-called "Grupo Mixto" (1). This move, led by Jesús Barros de Lis, was an open protest against the bombastic campaigning of the PDE, seemed to further damage the party, which, in spite of this, from this moment onwards, would improve gradually its results in the polls. Eventnually, none of the former members of the PDE would keep their seats in the parliament. Their own protest crushed them them.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party seemed to recover from its internal crisis with his new leader. However, it was just a temporary peace. The popularity of Casado as former major of the main Spanish city seemed to unite the party behind him and to close ranks. However, had the party failed in this elections, there is no doubt that it would broke into pieces in the following "Night of the Long Knives" between the different factions of the group.

The results of the elections left a minority government led by the Social Democrats, who were unwilling to pact a coalition with any other party, but only to have temporary agreements upon several topics, without allowing themselves to be cajoled into accepting the demands of their rivals. The Liberals managed to recover some of the lost ground and Casado became determined to keep offering in the Cortes an image of moderation and patriotism above partidisms, in a sharp contrast with the PDE, which seemed to have being grown stronger from their internal split.

The elections of 1971 would be the last one for Sánchez Albornoz, even if the prime minister was not aware of this yet.

Party
Seats
%+/-
Unión Socialdemócrata (USD) (Sánchez Albornoz)109/26538.42-38
Partido Liberal (Casado)97/26535.02+24
Partido Demócrata Español (Martínez)31/26517.83+10
Alianza Democrática (AD) (Tarradellas)7/2658.30+4
Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) (Llopis)1/2651.42=


(1) Mixed Parlamentarian Group - it's a part of the Spanish parliament which includes those parties that had not enough representation to have a group of its own.
 
Last edited:
145. The Third Sánchez Albornoz Ministry (1971-1974)

The Spanish Prime Minister in Madrid.

145. The Third Sánchez Albornoz Ministry (1971-1974)

The third and last premiership of Sánchez Albornoz was marked by its unstability, as the prime minister was unwilling to rely on the Liberals if that meant moving away from his political agenda. Initially, he had little trouble with his bilingual policy in Catalonia and the Basque Country, in spite of the attacks suffered from the PDE. Thus, by March 1972, he made public his plan to reform the federal system with a new charter of rights which included bilingualism in those two provinces and he began to negotiatiate wiwth the president of all the local governments. The beginnings of the talks were promising, but when Tarradellas demanded to include in the charter a guarantee of a veto of constitutional amendments, the dialogue came to a sudden halt. It was made even worse when Taradellas repeated his request in La Gaceta, a national newspaper, and his position was endorsed by the Galician, Navarrese and Basque governments. Eventually, all sides reached an agreement (October 1972) after long and delicate negotiations, which evolved into the Ley de Reforma Federal de 1972 (1972 Federal Reform Bill); however, parts of the bill were declared unconstituional by the Supreme Court (March 1973) and the Bill became dead in the water.

The collateral dam,age of the bill, however, wcame not form the courts, but from the streets. The popular blacklash caused by the initial refusal of Sánchez Albornoz to negotiate with Tarradellas was used by the Catalan leaders to press the Spanish government with several demonstrations taking place in the main Catalan cities from late April 1972 onwards. The demostrations were to spread to the Basque Country in May. By then Alfredo Martínez and the PDE were using Taradellas' words to claim that the Spanish government was surrendering to the demands of Catalan and Basque nationalism which endangered the Spanish nation. As they could neither block the Bill in the Cortes nor win the support of any disgruntled Socialdemocrat or Liberal parlamentarian, they called the "people" to show their anger to the "betrayal" of Albornoz. What came next surprised both Martinez, Tarradellas Ajuriaguerra and Sánchez Albornoz.

First in Barcelona and then in Bilbao, "spontaneous" loyalist counter-demonstration began to take place. in April in the first city, in May in the second. The were led a chore of members of the PDE which were former soldiers. Initially, the demonstrators of both sides did not meet and their marches ended pacefully, but in early June, several offices of the AD party in Catalonia and the Basque Country were attacked with petrol bombs. Then, a loyalist group, calling themselves the Acción Nacional Española (ANE - Spanish National Action), claimed the autorships of this attacks and declared themselves at war with the "separatists that plan to ruin Spain" and anyone helping them, which seemed to include the Spanish government, too, even from then on the bombing campaign began to looses team and peace returned to Catalonia and the Basque countries by August as ANE faded into a dark corner of Spanish history without too much ado. Once the Bill was passed by the Cortes and blocked by the Supreme Court, all sides involved seemed to forget about the issue and let it to quietly drop. The Prime Minister made a vague promise to rewrite the unconstituional parts and nothing would be heard about it for a few years.

Another topic tht was very criticised from the right was the establishment of relations with Italy. In October 1973, and elderly Sánchez Albornoz became the first Spanish Prime Minister to pay an official visit to the Italy, where he met the First General Secretary, Fausto Guilo . The government was optimistic about the chances of the Spanish firms entering into the Italian market, first, and then the ones of its allies and satellites. However, Guilo was busy reversing some of the "liberal" reforms of Mussolinni and, even if normal diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 1974, the trade negotiations went to nowhere. It would take the best part of the next decade to build a bridge over this question.

When Sánchez Albornoz returned from Rome, he found a party shaking from within. His popular image had been damaged by his few inerviews on the television while he was abroad. All the newspapers commented how old and frail the prime minister seemed to be. Sánchez Albornoz (who was 78 years old by then) was no longer a credible leader for his own party and thus he was plainly told about it. His position had been damaged by the failed negotiations with the Liberal Party, as he had been unable to press Casado while, at the same time, his position was undermined by José María de Areilza, leader of the most conservative faction within the Liberal ranks. Thus, when Sánchez Albornoz returned to Spain, he was blunty told by Areilza, Íñigo Cavero (leader of the social democratic wing that was evolving into christian democratic positions) and Eurico de la Peña tht he had to share his control of the party (with them, mainly), the storm broke out within the Social Democratic Party as Sánchez Albornoz refused to give in. Thus. in June 1974, a full rebellion broke out in the ranks of the PSD.

As we shall see, the events that followed transformed the Spanish political scene and changed the course of the country.
 
146. Sheer Heart Attack: The crisis of the Spanish political scene (1970-1984)

Freddy Mercury and the hairdresser of the Ritz Hotel of Barcelona,
when Queen visited the city for his first concert in the city (December 13, 1974)

146. Sheer Heart Attack: The crisis of the Spanish political scene (1970-1984)

The first cracks in the surface of the "unalterable" political parties of Spain began to appear after the elections of 1967. When Alfredo Martinez began to move away from the moderate nationalism and social conservative lines that his party had followed since his creation, the most orthodox factions began to feel uneasy by the populist turn of the PDE. When this was clearly seen after the elections of 1971, it was too much for many. In the Congress of 1972 (March 19-31), Martínez came under attack. José Pedro Pérez Llorca and Emilio Attard were the first to censor the demagogic style of the leader of the party and to walk out from the PDE, much to the astonishment of the party itself and the public opinion. A few months later, Pérez Llorca and Attard created the center-right Partido Popular (PP - Popular Party). The problems for Martínez did not end there. The split of the party was used by Laureano López Rodó to plot against Martínez and to create around himself a group that included a third of the members of the parliamentarian group of the PDE, among them Gonzalo Fernández and Federico Silva Muñoz. Their aim was to force Martínez to move to more moderation positions. However, to the surprise of many, Martínez resigned at the end of the Congress (March 31) and withdrew from politics. López Rodó found himself in the right position at the right time to make a bid for the leadership of the PDE and, after the chaos and disorder that followed, he offered a chance to redress the situation. Thus, that very day, López Rodó became the new president of the PDE. Eventually, López Rodó would resign in 1979 from his post, after greatly helping to reform the PDE into the lines of the old Conservative party, which would return to new with the New Conservative Party, led by José María de Areilza.

The traditional party of Spanish socialism, the PSOE - Spanish Socialist Worker's Party - was undergoing a crisis: its limited success in the elections ment that the party had lost its position and seemed unable to recover with Rodolfo Llopis as its leader. From within, Enrique Tierno Galván emerged as the most suitable candidate to replace Llopis, as he had established links during the 1950s and 1960s with the other democratic forces, droppign the anti-monarchist stance of the PSOE, something that caused a division between Tierno's followers and the hardliners. Eventually, when Rodolfo Llopis finally resigned in April 1971 and was quietly and smoothly replaced by Tierno, it meant the beginning of a new age for the Soclalists. Tierno gave a new breath of life to the party, mainly through his charism and his "pragmatic" Socialism. Tierno Galván moved the PSOE away from the hardliner Marxist views imposed by Rome into what, later on, was called "Comunismo Hispano" (Hispanic Communism), something that would cause a split in the party, as the Marxist ways were gradually dropped (1971-1974) and replaced first by the so-called "Comunismo Hispano" and then by Tierno's version of the socialdemocracy in the Congress of 1976. It was then when Felipe González, leader of the "pure" Socialists, bitterly attacked Tierno for his "betrayal". González and his radical anti-monarchist faction would left the PSOE in 1977, creating the Partido de Acción Socialista (PASOC - The Party of Socialist Action), as the PSOE became a middle-class socialist party, winning the support of the German SDP; ironically, Tierno's PSOE, which took a technocratic and professional approach to politics, would be the creaddle of two future leaders of the PASOC: Pablo Iglesias Turrión and Juan Carlos Monedero. The PASOC would remain a minor party in Spanish politics, even if Marxism was dropped as its ideological core in the 1982 Congress, achieving its better result in 1997 when they were voted by 11.468 Spaniards.

Meanwhile, the USD would undergo a slow turn to the center-left positions between 1971 and 1974, something that began to take shape after its 1972 Congress, when Francisco Fernández Ordóñez attacked Sánchez Albornoz for his weak leadership and his unwillngness to pact with the Liberals, which had introduced a degree of incertainty in Spanish politics unknown since the dark days of the November Revolution. Fernández Ordónez's barrage opened a fight for the leadership of the party as soon Sánchez Albornoz saw himself without any kind of support within the party and finally annouced his resignation as president of the party. Adding insult to injury, Fernández Ordónez was selected to become Sánchez Albornoz's replacement. Ironically, the new president would not only not open talks with the Liberals but he would turn the party to center-left position that allienated the leaders of the center-right faction, Rafael Arias Salgado and José Ramón Lasuén, who would leave the party in 1973. In 1977 Arias Salgado would join the Liberal Party and Lasuén would return to politics with the new Conservative Party in 1982.

The last "traditional" party, the Liberal. also underwent its own "crossing of the desert". In spite of the good results in the last elections, Fernando Casado came under fire from those who had hoped to replace Esplà. However, the support given by Joaquín Garrigues Walker, who had been the rival of Casado in the contest for the leadership, and of Fernando Álvarez de Miranda and Íñigo Cavero, the main leaders of the Demochristian faction, were enough to silence for while the critics, who would try it again in 1979, after the Liberal defeat in the General Elections (1), and, for the last time, after the Liberal debacle of 1984 (2) which left the party terribly weakened and finished the political career of its then leader, Miguel Boyer. The old party would take ten years and a complete upheaval to recover from the shock. The new Liberal formation that emerged from the ashes of its former self had little to do with the traditional party, as it was dominated by a younger generation of Liberal politicians (José Vicente Herrera, María Jesús San Segundo, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and Jordi Sevilla) , even if by then neither them nor the party was termed "Liberal", as we shall see.


(1) Sorry for the spoiler.
(2) Sorry again.
 
The Liberal Party seems to be headed to be a vaguely Social-Liberal party (unless the Christian-Democrats remains and it becames the Spanish version of the Italian Daisy Party, which, IMHO, means it remains an essential party).
 
The Liberal Party seems to be headed to be a vaguely Social-Liberal party (unless the Christian-Democrats remains and it becames the Spanish version of the Italian Daisy Party, which, IMHO, means it remains an essential party).
Right now, I'm still thinking about what to do with the Libs. I have a vague idea and two or three options. I'm tempted to apply all of them at the same time...
 
147. The Zenith of a Giant: China (1960-1970)
1599679037495.png

Nguyen Van Thieu sworn-in as President of South Vietnam


147. The Zenith of a Giant: China (1960-1970)

The survival of Minh's regime became cause of concern to both the United States and China, but for very different reasons. For Chiang, Minh was nothing but an American puppet placed too close for comfort. Thus, for him there was no difference between Minh and Diem and "bussines" remained as usual. For Washington, Vietnam was another source of friction with its British ally. After Attlee’s departure in 1955, there were none pro-American figures in No 10. Eventually, London saw no reason of continuing a close cooperation that could harm its own plans and projects. The causes of the final split were twofold. The unilateral solution of the Cuban problem and the increasin pressure of the White House to No 10 to support the American internevion in Vietnam were the final nail in the coffin. It was not surprise for anbody, as the split had been on the making since the end of the Second World war. By 1960, there were no reasons fora British alliance with the United States. Good relations would be maintained, even if in Commonwealth issues the British government kept a fully anti-American line. An exception to the rule was Australia, as its government was following quite closely the events unfolding in Vietnam, as any development there worried the nearby Australians to no end, so Australia closely worked with the White House on this issue. By the April 1965 there were almost 200 Australian military personnel in the Republic of Vietnam. On 29 April 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt announced that the government had received a request for further military assistance from South Vietnam and thus sent an infantry batallion to Vietnam.

Thus, Washington was left to its own devices in Vietnam even if President Jackson devoted his strenght to the reestablishment of friendly relations between the United States and the United Kingdom (and with France, as we shall see) while attempting to stabilize Vietnam without employing US ground troops. This would change in 1965, when Nelson Rockefeller became the 36th President of the United States. He would order the deployment of 25,000 ground troops to Vietnam as well as further military aid to the country. Increased Italian and Chinese funding had emboldened the North Vietnamese and their Southern allies. However, the Viet Cong had suffered heavy losses and this forced Giap to send thre NVA divisions along the ‘Ho Chi Min’ trail, a logistical network of roads and trails that ran from North Vietnam to the South through Laos and Cambodia. However, in spite of this reinforcements, South Vietnam held. The MRC had been replaced in 1962 by the Government of President Tho and General Nguyễn Cao Kỳ , which had not only estabilized the country but calmed tensions between the different factions that made the complex South Vietnamese society. Part of this success was due to General Edward Lansdale. After successfully ending the left-wing Huk insurgency in the Philippines and building support for Magsaysay's presidency, CIA director Allen Dulles instructed him to "do what you did in the Philippines [in Vietnam]." He had also trained the French forces on special counter-guerrilla tactics, and, from 1954 to 1957, he was the head of the Saigon Military Mission and trained the Vietnamese Army and its irregular forces. President Jackson send then again to Vietnam in 1961, where he remained until he withdrew from the USAF in 1963 as the head of the Multinational Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV). His success led Jackson to persuade him to return to South Vietnam in 1965 (when the number of US ground soldiers in Vietnam had risen to 70,000), as part of the United States Embassy, working there until 1968,

Even if by the beginning of 1967 Giap had transferred over fifteen divisions to the South, a further three in reserve in southern Laos and eastern Cambodia, South Vietnam held against the might of Hanoi, even if the government had to deal with the need for a functioning economy that produced something and so-to-speak "pay the monthly bills". Thus, the regime began encouraging the growth of light industries such as textiles and transistor radios. Then, in 1968, General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu replaced Tho as President of the Republic and Trần Văn Hương became the new prime minister, even if Thiệu held the true power in the country. Even with the ongoing war, this period saw explosive growth in education at all levels, even if many critics of the regime stated that the full implementation of the educational system shaped the mind of the students to turn them into obedient citizens. The students protests of 1971 where to prove them wrong. The Third Education Law came into force on December 31, 1965: its most important aspect was the introduction of compulsory education at the primary level. This requirement led to widespread school construction; by 1972, primary-school enrollment had risen to 90%. The economy, however, remained deeply troubled in spite the best efforts of the United States and Saigon. A land reform was carried out that solved little until large landholdings were obliged in 1968 to divest most of their land; this helped Thiệu to create a new class of independent, family proprietors was created. By then, he had fired Houng, who was replaced by economics professor Nguyễn Xuân Oánh as the new prime minister.

Then, in 1970, Chiang, whose mental health was beginning to decay, decided to support Hanoi in a daring attempt to crush South Vietnam for good.

 
Last edited:
148. News of the World (1965-1975): Russia

Lev Yashin, called the balck Spider and the true heroe of Wembley,
when Russia defeated England (2-4) and won the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final

148. News of the World (1965-1975): Russia

In the late 1960s began the slow decay of the Liberal Party as it gradually lost popular support with the Russian society modernising and the traditional values at its ideological core became less appealing to the population. Thus, many options to keep its control over the parliament were considered, like an opening to the left, that is, the Socialist (SP) and the Social-DemocraticParty (SDP). In the end, this alliance lasted until 1968, when the Liberals won the general elections (May 19) with slightly better results and felt brave enough to avoid any definitive compromise with neither the SP nor the SDP nor anyone else. It was an illusion that lasted for six months, until December of that year, when the unstable Republican, Socialist, Social Democrat and Liberals government collapsed and was replaced by an alliance of the Republican Party (RP), the SPD and the Liberals, as the internal crisis of the SP led to a split and the creation of the Unified Socialist Party (USP), a minor social-democratic political party that would vanish in the early 1990s.

The Russian Prime Minister, Leonid Ilich Brézhnev (1906-1980), was a peculiar character. Born into a Russian worker's family in Kamenskoye, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire, he received a technical education, at first in land management and then in metallurgy, and flirted with the SP during his youth. He graduated from the Kamenskoye Metallurgical Technicum in 1935 and became a metallurgical engineer in the iron and steel industries of eastern Ukraine. Brezhnev came close to join the SP in the 1920s, but after he returned from his compulsory term of military service (1935-1936) he gradually drifted into Liberals positions until he joined the party in 1939. His rise to power would begin in 1956 when he became a member of the parliament and jockeyed his rise during the rise and fall of Premier Nabokov, becoming in the process part of Poniatoff`s entourage. In May 1960 he became Minister of Agriculture, but, from 1962 onwards, he grew more erratic and his performance undermined the confidence of Poniatoff and, in 1964, he was removed from the government. However, he managed to return in style when the crisis of the alliance with the SP and SPD in 1968 throw the party into disarray. In the chaos that followed Poniatoff's unexpected resignation, Brézhnev became the only replacement that the party could rely on.

During his first term as Prime Minister, a number of progressive reforms were carried out. A law of October 1969 extended access to higher education to all students holding a higher secondary school diploma and then, in April 1970, a new bill extended the pension program, increasing the maximum pension and creating a social pension to those over the age of 65 with low incomes. In foreign policy, Brézhnev refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (January 1969), as he wanted to keep all the possibilities open for Russia, even if that meant a blacklash in the relations with the United Kingdom and the United States. In August he reformed his goverment by breaking the alliance pact and leading a Liberal-only government that lasted for only 45 days before he had to form a new coalition with the Socialist, Republican, and Democratic Socialist parties until July 1970. The chaos that Brézhnev had created (no law was passed between August 1969 to July 1970) forced his resignation and replacement by Oleg Bogayev, who demoted Brézhnev to Interior Minister.

Bogayev also began with a number of progressive reforms (the housing reforms of 1971) but he was forced to calle for elections. In May 1972 the Liberals under Bogayev won with around 38% of the votes and the Prime Minister tried to continue his centrist strategy and a reapprochement policy with the United States, the Arab Countries, Spain and Greece, but his attempt only lasted a year as he was undermined by the opposition within his own party led by Brézhnev. He fought bravely this critics and in August he extended health insurance to citizens over the age of 65 in receipt of a social pension. However, his refusal to accept legal divorce and abortion, eventually forced his resignation in July 1973. Brézhnev returned then, leading a coalition composed of Christian Democrats, Socialists, Republicans, and Democratic Socialists until March 1974. After this government collapsed, he reformed it and, two weeks later, formed a shaky alliance with the Socialists and Democratic Socialists that end on until October. During this period, the government was marked by its inoperacy, passing only one law in August 1974 which extended hospital assistance to all those not previously covered by any scheme. This lack of any perceived activity was to cause the final fall of Brézhnev and his withdrawal from Russian politics. Vasili Vasilyevich Kuznetsov would be the new Liberal prime minister of Russia. He would have to face the darkest period of Russian history, when the monarchist extremist groups attempted to force the return of the Czar with violence.
 
Last edited:
149. News of the World (1965-1975): Germany
1600080427804.png

Rudi Dutschke, the leader of
the students protests of 1968

149. News of the World (1965-1975): Germany

An unexpected c hange in the course of Germany history took place in 1965, when Erwin Rommel became the president of the German Republic. Initially, Rommel and the new Chancellor, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, worked well together. The Chancellor reduced tensions with the Communist bloc and established diplomatic relations with Romania and Yugoslavia. He also ennacted some reforms, extending the coverage of pensions in 1967, new grants for the students and a constitutional reform in 1969 which reinforced the federal government in educational planning. One of his low points as Chancellor was in 1968 when the widespread protests by students and workers came close to paralize the country, and led Rommel to met with the High Command of the Army to discuss the possible army intervention against the protesters. Eventually, Rommel resigned in 1969 and was replaced by Gustav Heinemann. Thankfully for him, the troublesome Bavanarian nationalists Willi Ankermüller and Volkmar Gabert were to embark in a political feud against each other that lasted until 1975, thus vanishing from the political scene of Germany.

The victory of the CDU in the elections of 1969 did not win the party the Chancellorship and again Willy Brandt became prime minister of Germany (10 July 1968 – 20 June 1969) as Kurt Klesinger became the new President of the Republic until his death (April 28, 1969 - May 27, 1974). Brandt had to deal with the blacklash of the protests of 1968, which left a strained and conflicted German society, as prime minister. Brandt attempted to heal the damage with what he called a "new society", based on dialogue between the different social forces in Germany. However, he had to resign due to health problems and a shift in the political alliances led to the rise of Chirstian Democratic Gerhard Schröder. In his second term, Schröder, oddly enough, followed with the "new society" plan of his predecessor. He relaxed the control of the government over the mass media was relaxed as legislation was passed to increase the social coverage for the poor and elderly, which consolidated Germany as a welfare state. In addition, regular increases were made to the minimum wage which prevented greater wage disparities and ended the unrest in the industry. This was to cause a crisis in the CDU, as Schröder came closer to the SPD, and this caused him troubles with the "conservative" wing of the CDU/CSU. Eventually, he would clash with President Klesinger, who accused him of trying to weaken the presidency in favour of himself. In 1972, Schröder won a a vote of confidence in the Parliament, but this did not end Klesinger's attempts to force his resignation. Only the death of Klesinger would put an end to this rivalry.

Schröder would ran for the presidency himself, but he was defeated by the Liberal Walter Scheel, of the Freies Deutschland Partei (FDP - Free Germany Party) and, again, affter another cabinet crisis and another change in the al liances, Brandt became prime minister. The General elections of 1973 meant a bitter victory to the CDU/CSU, which lost one third of its parliamentary seats due to the growth of the SPD; even then, they were strong enough to make Rainer Barzel the new prime minister, but the pressure upon him (he had to act both as chancellor and as de facto president of Germany due to Klesinger's illness) made him to resign on May 29, 1974, being replaced by Helmut Kohl, who had to face the destabilizing effects of the attempted return of Schröder to the high ranks of the CDU/CSU. Furthermore, Kohl's troubles with President Scheel over their respective powers would also become an enduring feature of this term, which would end with the resignation of Kohl in August 1976.

As Germany seemed to came to an end of its economic "miracle" (5% per year in average since 1959). The economic growth was mainly due to productivity gains, to an increase in the number of working hours and to the growing working population. If in 1950, the average income in Germany was 55% of a British, it reached 80% in 1973. Among the major nations, only Japan and Spain had faster growth in this era than Germany. This process was aided by a sharp increase in human and physical capital accumulation, a pro-growth government policy, and the effective utilization of the education sector to create a more productive work force. This was also helped by the reforms introduces by Brandt's minister for economics, Karl Schiller, who psuhed strongly for legislation that would give the federal government greater authority to guide economic policy. In 1968 the Bundestag passed the Law for Promoting Stability and Growth (which remains in effect although never again applied as energetically as in Schiller's time), which provided for coordination of federal, Land, and local budget plans in order to give fiscal policy a stronger impact. The law was also uysed, albeit in a more modest and restricted way, by Schröder in his version of the "new society" plan. Thus, we can say that Schiller's laws led the German economy from 1968 to 1976.
 
Top