Edifice: A History of the National Redoubt

If Jugoslavia and Albania (doubtfoul due to both the cost and the industrial capacity necessary) have a serious nuclear program, the italian weapon nuclear program will continue and will be a lot less controversial.
Russia, PRC, Jugoslavia and in general communist program for bunker and ABM system will be greatly hampered by the economic necessity of the communist nations, all with various degree have suffered greatly and are in need to rebuild and they hardly have money to waste
 
If Albania did have a secret operational chemical weapons program, it did not have the industrial resources to develop an atomic bomb, unless Mao gave it one.

The regimes of African countries like Morocco or Idi Amin Dada were approached by crooks in the 1970s who promised them atomic bombs and will see this type of fraud multiply
 
You seem to have forgotten the role that Cuba played. By1969 Fidel had played up to the Russians and the Chinese. The Russians supplied Cuba with oil and most importantly money. China supplied Cuba with ideological zeal. Fidel openly declared himself a Maoist and spoke eloquently of Mao's Revolution. Moscow did not appreciate this and yanked hard of Fidel's leash. They stopped oil shipments which stalled the Cuban economy. Fidel drew back from his support of Mao sharply and condemned Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring loudly.
 
My only criticism is of the Soviets nuking Guangzhou. Wouldn’t its proximity to Hong Kong, then still a British territory, be considered provocative to the US and NATO? Fallout from nuking Guangzhou has a good chance of killing people in British territory.
 
If Jugoslavia and Albania (doubtfoul due to both the cost and the industrial capacity necessary) have a serious nuclear program, the italian weapon nuclear program will continue and will be a lot less controversial.
Russia, PRC, Jugoslavia and in general communist program for bunker and ABM system will be greatly hampered by the economic necessity of the communist nations, all with various degree have suffered greatly and are in need to rebuild and they hardly have money to waste
The economic consequences will come up a bit later, but Italy was a bit of an oversight. One of my biggest regrets for this project is that I did a lot of research on a couple events and people but didn't put nearly as much work in on other things. Italy will be mentioned a bit further but I think it's one of the weaker parts of the story.

If Albania did have a secret operational chemical weapons program, it did not have the industrial resources to develop an atomic bomb, unless Mao gave it one.

The regimes of African countries like Morocco or Idi Amin Dada were approached by crooks in the 1970s who promised them atomic bombs and will see this type of fraud multiply
Albania really did have a chemical weapons program at the time.

For nuclear weapons, a lot of people have started programs, but it's not clear yet if they will bear fruit. There are a few exciting developments in store for global nuclear proliferation. ;)

You seem to have forgotten the role that Cuba played. By1969 Fidel had played up to the Russians and the Chinese. The Russians supplied Cuba with oil and most importantly money. China supplied Cuba with ideological zeal. Fidel openly declared himself a Maoist and spoke eloquently of Mao's Revolution. Moscow did not appreciate this and yanked hard of Fidel's leash. They stopped oil shipments which stalled the Cuban economy. Fidel drew back from his support of Mao sharply and condemned Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring loudly.
Yeah, I did forget about Cuba, unfortunately. Retroactive explanation: Cuba sat back and watched what happened, before supporting the Soviets at the last minute.
 
Automatic translation is sometimes faulty. ''If Albania did have a chemical program but...'' equals ''Albania had a chemical program but does not have the means...''. Even today, we do not really know where its stocks were probably purchased from China in the 1970s discovered in 2002, no public documentation has been discovered since.

Articles express doubt about the total destruction of Albanian stocks. Copy paste from the French wiki:

Although the Albanian government was claimed to have dismantled its entire chemical arsenal on July 19, 2007, revelations in November 2013 cast serious doubts on this subject. Leaked documents reveal the presence of a military base prohibited from access in Qafë Mollë, in the mountains around Tirana. The leaked document is signed by Defense Minister Arben Imami and states that this base still contains stocks of chemical weapons8. A few days later, two journalists from A1 Report managed to reach a hill near the base and took a series of photos. We can see several hangars and containers, all surrounded by a large fence. The compound is also patrolled by heavily armed men wearing masks and who do not have flags on their uniforms. In addition to armed guards, journalists saw men in chemical suits and gas masks moving from building to building. A firefighter unit is also permanently present. Neither the Albanian government, nor the American government, nor the organizations fighting for the dismantling of chemical weapons have made any statements on this subject. Furthermore, this massive leak of documents classified as secret by the Albanian government revealed many more embarrassing files for Albania. Of the total of 120,000 leaked files, there is a total mention of 6,515 assassinations outside the country ordered by the government and carried out by the Albanian intelligence services since 1945. These files also mention in particular the assassination of Prime Minister Albanian minister Mehmet Shehu, nicknamed "The Butcher" in 1981 by Albanian intelligence services during tensions within the Albanian ruling class
 
Chapter 8 New
8.​

The economic impacts of the Red War are also important to the story of the national redoubt, as these impacts help explain the successes and failures of different projects. The most obviously affected countries were the Soviet Union and China.

The Brezhnev regime’s economic policies had done much to improve the economic situation of the USSR. The Soviet state led currency reforms and infrastructure projects, usually directed by Alexei Kosygin, who was a strong believer in infrastructure investments. Many of Kosygin’s plans were ineffective, but Brezhnev moderated the policies and provided stability that helped boost growth. The nuclear strikes changed things. Industry in Siberia was disrupted both directly by the nuclear strikes, and secondarily by the breaking of the Trans-Siberian railroad, contamination of materials, administrative uncertainty, materials being commandeered for relief efforts, and general panic. Soviet exports were only a small portion of the country’s overall economy, and they were mostly exported to allies in the Eastern bloc, but they still experienced a moderate decline. The Soviet Union also needed to import more food from other countries, something that was complicated by reduced global crop yields later that year.

The Chinese economy, to contrast, was experiencing a serious decline in 1969. The Cultural Revolution damaged most sectors of the economy, except for agriculture, which was damaged by the nuclear conflict through a combination of climate fluctuations and regional disruptions. The cities targeted by the Soviet nuclear strikes were major industrial centers for China. Modern historians estimate that the Chinese GDP shrank by at least 60% over the course of the war.

Many survivors of atomic attacks on China’s major cities fled to the countryside, and tens of millions of people left the cities. These people fled into the countryside, disrupting the agricultural system that was already under strain Some regions of China were thrown into anarchy, with crime rates skyrocketing and rebel bands coalescing in the countryside.

Exports made up about one seventh of the Chinese economy, especially textiles, food, and energy. Demand collapsed for Chinese textiles and food. Even if demand were there, China’s major ports were destroyed, transport was nearly impossible, and China’s agricultural surplus became a dire famine. China’s energy and mineral resources were lost, as workers fled to the countryside, evading police and martial law. Mao, however, refused to admit the chaos the country was in, and pressed on with his grand designs for bunker complexes and fortifications across the country. The People’s Liberation Army was brought in to enforce martial law and crush revolts across China.

1969 introduced the world to the realities of nuclear winter. In Beijing, firestorms killed millions and sent columns of soot high into the stratosphere, where it reflected sunlight and decreased temperatures. Global temperatures dropped by approximately half a degree Celsius on average. This number is misleading: a slight change in average global temperature that year was caused by chaotic weather patterns across the world. Dry places had rain, rainy places were dry, and everything was in chaos. In most places, the differences were not too extreme, however, and aside from an unusually mild hurricane season, the most important effect was on crops.

Nuclear weapons alter the climate when soot in the upper atmosphere blocks sunlight. This exerts a two-part effect on crops. First, it reduces the amount of sunlight that crops can receive. Second, it alters the weather patterns, which can disrupt the amount of water, wind, and cloud cover that a plant receives. Many crops were also rejected, based on an incorrect belief that they were contaminated. Only crops from areas very near to nuclear detonations were seriously impacted, but that didn’t stop consumers in Europe and the Americas from panicking about fallout in their food supply. This meant that some crops were unable to be sold, and prices became chaotic as rumors altered supply and demand.

After the nuclear detonations, many countries around the world closed themselves to Chinese and Soviet food imports. This was coupled with a 5-10% decrease in staple crop yields, especially in mid-latitude regions like Ukraine and the American Midwest. This was less impactful in the Soviet Union, because most of the country’s agriculture was practiced in the west, but agriculture near Novosibirsk and Omsk was disrupted by the destruction of the cities. In China, the affected areas made up nearly 50% of the country’s total agricultural production, and the mass migrations and destruction of cities made harvesting and planting impossible. Refugees scavenged as they fled, stripping the land bare where they passed.

Mao tasked the PLA with reconstructing the country. Soldiers were put to work assembling buildings and working the fields, but they were also tasked with bringing the refugees back to work. Overall, it is believed that this helped save many lives in China, but the repression was brutal. Mao also redirected some peasants to useless projects in the destroyed cities, further harming the reconstruction. Records show that areas that saw more PLA intervention generally recovered better in the era immediately after the war. Mao, however, preferred not to acknowledge this, and credited successes to strong ideological leadership. He also credited the Red Guards, who combed the countryside, looking for people to put to work, or signs of disloyalty, and performing internal security duties.

…​

Zhi was back where he belonged. He was working in a tiny village, once focused on farming tobacco, but now struggling to bring up a crop of maize. The little wooden buildings spoke of a modest lifestyle, but Zhi appreciated the warmth, the fields, and the peace. Most soldiers reassigned to labor in the countryside near the cities hated the work, worrying about radiation, but Zhi didn’t care. He was glad to be out of the cold, and away from Russia. Radiation might kill him later, but he wouldn’t get frostbite in his fingers from it.

He was also glad to be somewhere where he could get cigarettes. Back at the front, supplies had quickly dried up, especially after the war ended. News was short, but he knew that plenty of factories were wiped off the map, and that the ones that still stood weren’t doing much. Evidently, Comrade Mao did not see tobacco as an essential industry.

Zhi had been put to work assembling shelters for refugees from the cities in the area. Shanghainese wandered aimlessly in the fields, and even in summer some were suffering from lack of shelter. He could see the tired looks in their eyes. Not that anybody was in great shape, whether they slept in a field or not. The lean-tos that the soldiers were assembling, made from whatever materials on hand, weren’t much to look at, but they were better than nothing.

Zhi smoked a cigarette, leaning against an old wooden fence. He could see red guards disciplining one of the refugees. He hated those kids, even if he was supposed to respect their zeal. He didn’t know why Mao had brought them back, especially after they had caused so much trouble for the real soldiers. Then again, China was not in good shape. Zhi was just glad that he wasn’t guarding prisoners in one of the cities. A few men that he knew had shot themselves after being assigned that duty. He wasn’t that sensitive, but watching convicts work themselves to death in a nuclear hellscape didn’t strike his fancy, either.

Not that Huaxi was unscathed. A lot of the plants were sickly, or so he had been told by a villager. Some of the people were, too. A lot of the refugees had died soon after Zhi had arrived in town, and it wasn’t pretty. He remembered one woman, who had screamed and begged while she vomited blood onto his boots. He’d taken her to a medic, who told him to put a bullet in her head. Others were burned badly, carried to Huaxi by their relatives, before dying. One of the first reconstruction duties was throwing their bodies into pits, to be burned. The whole village stank of pork roast. Some of the bodies fell apart while he was carrying them, like meat off the bone, their blackened skin peeling away from pink flesh underneath. A few did that while they were still walking, and the soldiers would shovel their bodies into the burn pits to finish the job. Zhi’s rifle had found a new use in the town of Huaxi.

Compared to that, building shitty huts was easy. Zhi scowled. It wasn’t worth thinking about. He stubbed out his cigarette and went back to work.

…​

Because these losses in crop yields were felt worldwide, it was hard for either of the two directly affected countries to seek much foreign help. Neither country had much to trade with, and international food prices had jumped significantly. The 1969 harvest, in general, would not leave either the USSR or China. Internationally, many smaller countries reliant on imports also began to experience significant hunger. The United States and most of Europe would escape without starvation, but food prices caused pain for many households. In China, it is believed that millions of people starved to death, but nothing more than that can be said with certainty.

A few countries still ended the year better off than when they started. Albania is the clearest winner. By the end of 1969 they had gained new territories and humiliated a regional rival. Fortunately for Albania, it had also captured territories rich in mineral resources, which were the main economic output of the country. Demand for most metals remained strong, with reconstruction helping support their value. Albania’s new gold mines, saw huge surges in demand as wealthy people around the world bought gold in preparation for the apocalypse.

Another winner was the Republic of Vietnam. The Red War did not directly cross over with the ongoing Vietnam War, but it did have major impacts on the conflict. The war and subsequent reconstruction massively decreased the amount of Soviet aid flowing into North Vietnam but didn’t do anything to stop the US from shipping over more supplies. Richard Nixon was, allegedly, planning on withdrawing US forces from Vietnam in 1969, but the Red War was an opportunity. He doubled down, increasing bombing campaigns and maintaining US forces in the area. With the media distracted by the Red War, opposition and outrage over these actions was muted, and South Vietnam began to make significant strategic gains. For the first time, America felt hope that they could emerge victorious.
 
Famous last words...
depend on what consider victory; a surviving South Vietnam is winning enough and frankly with the URSS and PRC in such condition they can't supply North Vietnam...or any other of their client/allied states and group like Egypt, syria and the various guerrilas movements in the rest of the world (well Portugal will be happy)
 
depend on what consider victory; a surviving South Vietnam is winning enough and frankly with the URSS and PRC in such condition they can't supply North Vietnam...or any other of their client/allied states and group like Egypt, syria and the various guerrilas movements in the rest of the world (well Portugal will be happy)
Indeed, but there's a difference between 'life' and 'survival' for South Vietnam. Even if the North can't send as many supplies, that doesn't mean that the Viet Cong will disappear as a home-grown organisation, nor that they'll suddenly lose their genuine popularity. Only systematic, effective reform of the Republic of Vietnam could end the insurgency: as long as it remains a proto-fascist mafia-state, it will never be able to hold the country together outside of defacto American occupation.

If South Vietnam doesn't get its shit together, I fully expect it to go the way of Afghanistan, or Myanmar at best.

On the other hand, if the Americans are able to push for reform more successfully than in OTL, it could very well end up as another South Korea.

In any case, I'm interested in seeing what will come of South Vietnam in this timeline: for an impoverished military dictatorship, it was surprisingly diverse politically, and I feel that it's severely unexplored in alternate history.
 
Indeed, but there's a difference between 'life' and 'survival' for South Vietnam. Even if the North can't send as many supplies, that doesn't mean that the Viet Cong will disappear as a home-grown organisation, nor that they'll suddenly lose their genuine popularity. Only systematic, effective reform of the Republic of Vietnam could end the insurgency: as long as it remains a proto-fascist mafia-state, it will never be able to hold the country together outside of defacto American occupation.

If South Vietnam doesn't get its shit together, I fully expect it to go the way of Afghanistan, or Myanmar at best.

On the other hand, if the Americans are able to push for reform more successfully than in OTL, it could very well end up as another South Korea.

In any case, I'm interested in seeing what will come of South Vietnam in this timeline: for an impoverished military dictatorship, it was surprisingly diverse politically, and I feel that it's severely unexplored in alternate history.
The Red War is post Tet Offensive, so the Viet Cong have been basically defanged as military force and the US army (and allies) are facing directely the vietnam military; i totally agree that without sistematic reform South Vietnam will always remain a mess and the VC will basically rebuild or be reborn under a new name and once the american troops leave come some years and things will be more or less back to square one...but Nixon objective at the moment is declare victory and leave that damned place, continuing the policy of vietnanimization and hope that Saigon will hold for some time after the american retreat so to not being personally associated to the fall and that's doable in this situation but IMVHO the entire internal political mess of SV united to the fact that with the URSS and the PRC being too busy to rebuild to pose a serious threat to south east asia...it will mean that the US government will forget the place and concentratre in other things, remembering it only if NV invade
 
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