7 x 44mm NATO

What if the 7mm X 44mm intermediate rifle cartridge developed for the EM2 rifle and backed by Britain, Belgium and Canada?

Britain and the Commonwealth Nations adopt the EM2, Belgium and other countries equip themselves with a version of the FN FAL and the US Army fights Vietnam with the .280 AR10 (M11? M14? M16?).

Does France stick with it's full power 7.5mm round or does shift to an intermediate round rifle in the 50's or 60's and if it does does it adopt the .280 or go it's own way (FYI the 5.56mm fired from the FAMAS is slightly different from the NATO bullet)? The .280 might benefit from the fact that it was developed and backed by someone else than the Americans.

Does Switzerland do the same as France when it comes to the Stgw. 57?

Does Baretta still develop a rifle based on the Garand for the Italian Army?

Does the Soviet Union adopt an intermediate round of it's own in the 60's rather than the 70's (maybe between 6.5 and 7 mm)?
This article has a nice rundown on the history on the EM2 and the .280. It seems that the entire scenario hinges on Canada being less wedded to a US decision and it seems you would need a fairly strong PoD to cause a split.
An extract from 'Assault Rifle: the Development of the Modern Military Rifle and its Ammunition' - details on my website :cool:

"A weapon which very nearly did see service was the British EM-2 rifle developed in the late 1940s. Unlike the AK 47, which continued to be supplemented by the full-power 7.62 x 54R Nagant cartridge in MGs and sniper rifles, this was a carefully-judged attempt to produce a weapon which could replace both the 9 mm SMG and the full-power .303 rifle in one package, by combining a new .280 (7 x 43) intermediate cartridge with a compact 'bullpup' layout. A GPMG based on the Bren LMG mechanism but with belt feed, the TADEN, was also developed to use this round and replace both the Bren and probably the Vickers MG. It appears to have been very successful and other NATO countries (particularly Canada and Belgium) were very interested in the concept. The UK even formally adopted the EM-2 in 1951.

However, as described in Chapter 4, the intermediate cartridge concept was rejected by the USA who insisted on NATO adopting a common round which had to be of .30 inch (7.62 mm) calibre and powerful enough to replace the .30-06 in MGs - which despite the American starting point of requiring selective fire meant by definition that it would be too powerful to be controllable in fully automatic fire from a shoulder-fired rifle. The British, Belgians and Canadians made great efforts to meet the objections of the US Army, who thought the .280 wasn't powerful enough, by developing more powerful cartridges, one of which – the 7 x 49 – actually saw service with Venezuela in the FN FAL rifle. It was all in vain; although the prototype .30 calibre rifles demonstrated very poor hit probability in fully-automatic fire, the 7.62 x 51 was duly selected. Apart from being half an inch shorter than the .30-06 cartridge, it represented no progress whatsoever over this fifty-year old design. The British were forced to reverse their decision to adopt the EM-2 and subsequently (along with most other NATO countries) chose the FN FAL in 7.62 NATO, but the USA again went its own way, eventually adopting a rifle based on the existing M1 Garand, the M14."

Ironically, the US Army's own testers at the Fort Benning trials recommended adoption of the 7x43, but the top brass wouldn't listen.

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion