A Shift in Priorities - Sequel

Insight into universal nature provides an intellectual delight and sense of freedom that no blows of fate and no evil can destroy.
(Alexander von Humboldt)

Greenland was below, a huge white expanse. Ahead, below heavy clouds, one could anticipate the Labrador Sea and – where once Baffin Bay had been – the ice bridge from Greenland to Baffin Island. These Dornier SR aircraft were the next best thing to a space station, as far as unobstructed observation of Earth’s surface was concerned. This one was ‘Moritz’, one of the two Brüderchen in service of KWI Met. Fritz Loewe was leaning forward in his seat, desirous to see the huge ice bridge, but the cloud cover was too dense. It must be snowing down there.

The monster glacier was an interesting phenomenon. It had stopped growing some time ago; nevertheless, it wasn’t shrinking but seemed to remain stable. It was – negatively – influencing the weather in North America. There was nothing one could do about it. Loewe had calculated the matter carefully. If one installed another Weizsäcker Sun to remove it, one would also melt the Greenland ice sheet. That, in turn, would kill the Gulf Stream. The melt water from Greenland would dilute it so much that the circular flow would come to a standstill.

Not that the US were known to contemplate anything like that, yet, he providently had published an article warning against such a move. You never knew… Well, one had been lucky with the Weizsäcker Sun at the time. Neither the glaciers of Scandinavia nor Novaya Zemlya were massive enough to substantially dilute the Gulf Stream. But back then, in 1954, one hadn’t known this. One had been acting blindly, more or less… Imagine, one had decided to attack the massively growing glaciers on Iceland instead…

That truly would have started a new cold stage, because the Gulf Stream would abruptly have stopped heating Europe. The ice, the glaciers, would have come later. – Loewe’s figures were unambiguous: without Gulf Stream Europe – at least the centre and the north – were going to look like Labrador or Newfoundland, barren and rather treeless, a land of tundra and – in areas protected from the polar winds – taiga. Yes, one had been very lucky – for once – when playing God.
The future looks like waiting for a disaster. I wonder when states will start to cooperate and use some restraint and limitations. As I mentioned before, the whole concept of international law and treaties does not seem to exist here. As flawed as it is OTL, it helped to limit the worst excesses of biological and chemical warfare, space militarization, nuclear proliferation etc. If the Chinese bomb and the British disease were not a wake-up call, what could lead to more international cooperation ?

Geoingeneering on a happy-go-lucky base is now acceptable. Can’t wait yntil this timeline develops genetic manipulation and CRISPR. They are already far with zusies. I can imagine in 2000 hordes of Ottoman mutant space janissarie fighting Mittelafrican AI drones.
Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.
(Henry Ford)

Doris Zülch put down the handset and started to commit to paper the essence of the phone call she had just done. Talking with someone from the Rhineland – and understanding him – had become a true challenge these days. They hadn’t been easy to understand even in the old days, but now, with all the merry folk from elsewhere milling around, it was near on impossible. What, for goodness’ sake, had been the name of the bloke? Halimhajibegovich? She sighed and tried to decipher the short note she had written down during the conversation.

The office was busy as always during business hours. All desks were engaged. Fritz Schaffroth, the branch chief, was in his booth, conferring with two visitors. Well, Fritz was the new chief. The old one, Heinrich Lüdecke, had suffered a nasty accident recently. Hooligans had given him a raw deal and bestowed four weeks in hospital – and an attached cure – on him. Fritz was quite a decent chap for a boss, no bugger like Heinrich. He, of course, was screwing Doris too, but in his case it was a delectable event at least. But obviously, Fritz had to divide his special attention rather evenly between all girls of the section, which was a pity…

Whatever the carnal side plot, work on the buried conducts was progressing well and approaching the final phase. This meant their jobs were soon to become redundant. AEG had already offered new contracts to the crew. They wanted Doris for their head office in Berlin. And they were tempting with a very nice salary. – Now, she hadn’t signed in yet. Manpower – and girlpower – was in high demand everywhere; perhaps someone else was ready to pay even more. She was currently looking around. Berlin was okay for her. And a job comprising communication and data processing would be fine.

Yep, this was a good time for workers and employees. Wages were rising – while the living expenses were remaining fairly constant. Rents were even going down, as there was so much empty housing available. It wasn’t quite consistent, because in Berlin, for example, nobody had been killed. But this was the way it was. Economy was not about logics, it was about emotions – and impressions. People were happy; public mood was sanguine. There was something to do and something to build up, so, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. – It was strange. Doris vividly remembered the horrors of the pest. And now, this horror had turned into vibrating creative energy. The Germans, so often dour and fearful, were merry and chuffed.
O full and splendid Moon, whom I have, from this desk, seen climb the sky.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

While Wernher von Braun was looking for a new sponsor to fund his drive to the stars, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev was calmly working at his desk. He was not a visionary, but a levelheaded engineer. RRA was paralysed? No problem, he still could work for OKW. The soldiers were alarmed by the Russian ChOBs. Their urge to have the spaceflight programme reinstated hadn’t gone through. The politicians, wary of public opinion, were procrastinating. But the military wasn’t wholly dependent on RRA; there was more than one way to skin a cat.

The ChOBs were a cunning invention. But it was not so that they were invisible. OKW was keeping a strict count – and mapping each one of them. However, their plan to destroy them preemptively at a certain alert stage had a serious flaw, as Korolev had quickly pointed out. The orbital bombs were in dormant mode right now – and not yet fully on target tack. At a certain – Russian – alert stage they would be woken and move into their individual target orbits. What OKW needed were missiles that were homed on an individual ChOB – and could hit and destroy it no matter where.

This didn’t require missiles deployed into space. It could be done – and even much cheaper so – from the ground. The missiles required could be kept small. They had to be solid-fuel rockets, because of constant readiness. It was no magic, just careful engineering would do. – Yes, Germany was small, compared to Russia, and deploying still more missiles might be complicated. But it wasn’t impossible. These anti-ChOBs were going to be handy; they could even be lorry-mounted. A warhead of 5 KT should do, as pinpoint accuracy wasn’t in question.

Could the bombs be neutralised after they had already been launched? Difficult, because the signature was going to change sharply. It would require a kind of multi-missile shotgun approach, while the ChOB satellite could be neutralised with a single anti-ChOB missile. And the reaction time available was going to be desperately short. No, a preemptive strike was definitely to be preferred. It would, of course, lead to a global EMP. But the latter was going to be a feature of any future thermonuclear war, wasn’t it?
The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

Okay, Somalia – the former Italian colony – could be considered pacified. That, however, didn’t solve the underlying problem: many insurgents had fled to Kenya, Abyssinia and British Somaliland. The latter territory had recently been seized by the Emirate of Egypt, nominally at least, because their occupation forces were only found on the littoral. The Abyssinians had annexed the Ogadēn at the end of the last century, but their rule was far – very far – from whole-hogging. And Kenya had finally collapsed into anarchy after England had been ravaged by the pest.

These were almost ideal conditions for insurgents, providing them unimpaired biotopes for refit and recruitment. General der Infanterie Hans-Peter Okomosombe had warned his government far in advance about what was going to happen, but… They had – with difficulty – agreed on the invasion of Somalia, but they couldn’t agree on anything else. Abyssinia was off limits; former British – now Egyptian – Somaliland was off limits; and the cesspool of Kenya they didn’t want to touch at all. That left him in the middle, trying to hold Somalia and keep it governable.

Well, the Somalis were under control. The techniques developed in Südwest were working here as well. Feeding the crowd was no stress for the Middle African economy. But how sustainable could the process be, when the terrorists were recuperating in the near abroad? Why should the locals comply with the new rules and adopt them, when they knew the old goons were going to come back the moment the Middle Africans left? His political masters in Daressalam evidently had no clue how to solve the quandary.

They wanted him to proceed as previously done: educate the Somalis, let them elect a government, disengage step by step. He was doing that, of course. But it was a waste of time and effort. – He should be authorised to strike at the terrorists beyond the borders. Only that could solve the dilemma. The Abyssinians had no love for the unruly Somalis in Ogadēn. In Kenya, there was neither a government nor a colonial master in the background. And with the Egyptians, one could talk. They were primarily interested in the security of the sea lanes and didn’t care for the hinterland. Given full rein, he could – and would – annihilate the buggers!
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Did the German Empire have any overseas territories left? I know that they sold off their pacific possession to the Japanese and Australians sometime after the Great war, and what colonies they had in Africa were given to Mittelafrika. Anything else?
If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
(Abraham Maslow)

Success at long last! Malta had declared independence. And he, Ġorġ Borg Olivier, chairman of the Maltese Nationalist Party, the Partit Nazzjonalista, had been elected prime minister. It had been no cakewalk. In the end, the Italians, eager to gobble up the islands, had been the worst antagonists. The British militaries, by contrast, had come over at a rapid pace, daunted by the piteous Portsmouth endgame between their comrades and the Negroes. – The bloody Italians had bought quite a bunch of local decision makers. The in-fighting had been acrimonious and relentless.

In the end, the Regia Marina, the Italian navy, had shown up, blockading the islands. One was – very reluctantly – ready to accept Maltese independence, but one would not accept Malta as a nuclear power. The atomic warheads had to be handed over. – But Italy was no nuclear power either. What did the Wilhelmstraße and the Sublime Porte have to say in this matter? – Well, the warheads were going to be forwarded to Germany. Italy did not covet them. – The Germans had finally confirmed this line of action. And the Ottoman Empire hadn’t commented at all.

The warheads duly had been extradited. Well, why not? Malta should fare better without them. Being a nuclear power certainly was out of Malta’s league. – In turn, the Kingdom of Italy, the German Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary had promptly recognised Maltese independence. The Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire had followed suit, as had the rest of the Mediterranean neighbours and the other COMECON and PTC member states. – The next step now was application for membership in the COMECON, this had been stipulated in the negotiations for the transfer of the nukes.

P.S. – After examination of the nuclear warheads received from Italy, the German OKW would ultimately cancel Operation Saxnot. Obviously, the English warheads were duds, shoddily produced with non weapon-grade steropium. There was no need to restart Saxnot after the Churchill government had perished.
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P.S. – After examination of the nuclear warheads received from Italy, the German OKW would ultimately cancel Operation Saxnot. Obviously, the English warheads were duds, shoddily produced with non weapon-grade steropium. There was no need to restart Saxnot after the Churchill government had perished.
IF they only know....seems the ottoman scorred a home-run here
Nature’s creative power is far beyond man’s instinct of destruction.
(Jules Verne)

Perdu! Risqué et perdu! – Although it had started quite promising. People had come back and development of the republic had been well under way. Cold climate farming had had gained a solid foothold. – But then the permafrost had begun moving south. That was because of the big glacier on the Barren Grounds. The freeze-up hadn’t yet reached the farming areas – and possibly never would, at least not in this century – but it was getting closer. And it was discouraging the Québécois.

Tundra couldn’t be farmed. That was a fact. And when the tundra was moving south, men had to give way. – Unfortunately, the Kingdom of France was offering best bountiful farmland and free passage to France; no direct taxes for the first ten years, loans free of interest, title of nobility, et cetera ad nauseam... Well, all Québécois had been born in America – and most of them had never left the continent. But under the circumstances... The language would be the same, and there was more land on offer than they could till.

Maurice Bélanger, the president of the Republique du Québec, knew he was defeated. Or rather: the idea of Québec was defeated. Defeated not by the Brits or the Yanks, but by the French... La Royale, the French navy, had established a shuttle service from the city of Québec to Bordeaux. 50,000 people had left already, and the rest was packing up their belongings – and applying for a slot to France. – Well, not everyone was about to leave. Some, like the Bélangers, were going to stay. But not enough to form and run a nation... What a tragedy...
Hi Rast. Congratulations with you first decennial!
And for continuing this timeline for the past ten years. I look forward to the next ten years
However your TL at first seemed quite an utopia ( for most people ) but is has become a Dystopia.
I hope you don’t have any more disasters waiting to happen in your TL.
But still I do enjoy every update.
More like an own goal.
Why? Unlike hollywood showed, those nuke are useless without the pal codes and even more manual one, after the british die or survive, nuclear war is like the last thing in their list, the germans got out early from a quagmire
Ho! Ho! Ho! Decennial of ASiP!

Slavery is the first step towards civilisation.
(Alexander Herzen)

From smoke to smother… In his misery, Timmy Kerr gave a wince of pain. He haphazardly had stumbled in the way of these three goons – for no other reason than bad luck. They had trashed him soundly – and then had used him like a woman… – No, like a gay. Being raped by three big bullies was… painful… It also was disgusting and humiliating. But the pain in the ass was worst…

Sarge, Eddy and Freddy, that was how they called each other. They were soldiers – and they were horny, incredibly horny. From their colloquy he gathered that they must have been living celibately for months, forsaken somewhere in the wilderness. They were heading for Portsmouth, because that was the place where the women were. Being fighting buddies, they wouldn’t commit fornication among themselves. But once they had caught him, he had been in for some serious buggering…

At least they hadn’t cut his throat. They seemed determined to keep him as… lover? Would he be forced to deliver blowjobs? It would make him throw up, he was sure. Yucky! Yucky! – But a serious beating makes you truly humble. He didn’t stand a chance against these goons, that was obvious. Might he be able to bolt? Perhaps, if his tormentors got drunk. It would mean more bumfuck, but it also might mean a chance to scoot.

A heavy hand caught his neck and pressed him down. “Niggers!” hissed Eddy. “Don’t move – and keep your mouth shut.” He watched the three taking prone firing positions behind some shrubs. The blacks remained invisible for him. They must be moving along the valley below. – After a good while, he saw the goons relax. Good! – Well, having been caught by fellow whites was bad enough; he didn’t want to contemplate what the Negroes might do to him…

“No good idea to press on now.” said Sarge, who seemed to be the leader. “We move back to that village.” – But the village had already been thoroughly rummaged by someone. There was nothing to be found, no food, no drink, no comfort. “Bollox! This will be an austere camp. But at least we have got Timmy Darling to give us head…
Happy Anniversary Rast! cant believe it has been 10 years of refreshing this thread (and old one) on an almost daily basis!
Why? Unlike hollywood showed, those nuke are useless without the pal codes

Really? The hard part with nukes is the fissile material. Everything else can be built in a shed by an enterprising terrorist with half a physics degree. (The result won't be nearly as good as a properly designed and built nuke, but it's still a nuke.)

PAL codes and their kind are designed to prevent your own forces from using nukes without authorization. They do not help against thieves, other than as a minor speed bump.

Also, do you really think that the faux-nork-British in this timeline have enough technology to build a properly functional PAL system, or inclination to do so?

and even more manual one, after the british die or survive, nuclear war is like the last thing in their list, the germans got out early from a quagmire

The risk isn't British using them, it's them selling to the highest bidder who's willing to pay money for them, which might well be someone who intends to smuggle it to some capital.
One cannot resist the lure of Africa.
(Rudyard Kipling)

As July 1957 turned into August, Middle African intelligence was registering increased commotion in Nigeria. The tumults seemed to be a weird mix of public unrest, petty violence and general defiance, following no discernible pattern. The underlying theme, however, was disintegration. That British rule had ended was obvious, as Britain did no longer exist as a nation. The former British administration had ceased functioning. The tribes were now in process of defining their future coexistence, while Standard Oil was trying to save their prerogatives.

Nigeria had no lack of tribes. More than 500 languages were spoken, coalescing into about 240 major ethnic groups. It was difficult to see where this process of disintegration was going to end. The major worry was a big civil war that would flush masses of refugees into Middle Africa. What should one do? Kenya on the other side had already bogged down in anarchy. But seven million Kenyans were somehow less intimidating than thirty-five million Nigerians, even if Daressalam was troubling close to the Kenyan border.

One had gained ample experience in pacification. However, what had worked well with less than 500,000 inhabitants of Südwest and only just with two and a half million Somalis could not be carried over to the masses of Kenya and Nigeria. – Military planning during the GCG crisis had shown that Nigeria couldn’t be sealed off. But back then, mass flight had been the most probable case. In a future civil war, the exodus might be reduced to a trickle – at least initially. Hence, the soldiers were sent to work again.

Anton Mbwesi, the famous journalist, who recently had investigated matters in Nigeria, was called as advisor. And a delegation was sent to Lagos. One had to talk with the tribes.
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When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.
(Alexis de Tocqueville)

NASA had started the process of aggrandising their space station. And RRA was still hamstrung. The bleeding politicians wouldn’t move. Hans Kammler was stumped. He had tried everything – to no avail… It was utter lunacy. One had been first to sent men into space, had constructed space stations, had built the Weizsäcker Suns, and had landed on the Moon. And now… one was ready to toss all this overboard, to leave equipment worth millions to rot, and to stunt peerless knowhow.

He had seen the survey findings: the Germans didn’t care for astronautics any more. If anything, the Venergost tragedy had proven – in their perception – that man wasn’t made for space. Well, and the politicians were already gearing up for the national election next year. They wouldn’t advance spaceflight under these circumstances. Nevertheless, one couldn’t willy-nilly abandon everything. At least a well-ordered closing down was required.

It was the fault of the bloody English. They had unclasped the pest, which had changed everything. Kammler’s triumph, the manned lunar landing, had suddenly become stale. Public attention had turned away from astronautics in a flash. And the blasted Russians with their Venergost disaster had only emphasised this turnabout. – That couldn’t be undone. But just dropping the hammer was no way of closing down a business.

The politicians wouldn’t give him that, at least not now. They were surmising he was aiming at a restart by the back door – which wasn’t entirely untrue. After the election, in nine months, one could start talking about details and funds required. Right now, sustaining the mothballing was sufficient. – In the meanwhile, the specialists, like Wernher von Braun, were running away. In nine months time, he would almost be alone…