Kolyma's Shadow: An Alternate Space Race

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by nixonshead, May 11, 2014.

  1. B787_300 New Member

    Sep 13, 2014
    Daytona Beach FL
    I know the history, Hence why i asked ITTL does he still get chewed out by his Superiors...
  2. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Thanks for the link, I’ll add it to my reading list :)

    Sirs, you flatter me! Unfortunately, whilst I’d still describe myself as a motivated writer, I am currently also quite a busy writer, so it looks as if there will be a substantially longer hiatus between Parts II and III than we had between I and II :(

    Fair enough, it was something I was unsure about, so good to get a clarification. I notice you didn’t leap to the defence of that dance though :p

    The miracles of the Internet! We can watch sixties German SF, but the Beeb has cut off my access to Radio 4 :mad:

    Indeed! For a fuller investigation of those worms, I recommend checking out the discussion on a certain other timeline :D

    IOTL, 2001: A Space Odyssey was also based on Clarke’s short story Encounter in the Dawn, about an alien survey team meeting primitive hunter-gatherer humans. These aliens were the inspiration for the monolith builders. Both short stories exist in the world of Kolyma’s Shadow, but whether they will be chosen as the basis for Kubrick’s “proverbial good science fiction movie” - and indeed when and if he decides to make such a movie - is a question for Part III...

    Much as I love the film, I know a few people who would dispute that the re-written screenplay managed to sustain a plot for 2 hours (ducks for cover) :p

    Thanks for those! Always nice to see material from the time.

    Thank-you! Glad you’re enjoying the story.

    Yes, Perini’s Salami sandwich was a not-so-subtle nod to John Young’s famous meal. Fighter jocks will be fighter jocks!
    Perini did indeed get a dressing down upon his return to Earth, but it was kept as a disciplinary issue internal to the Air Force and wasn’t publically admitted for many years. Certainly there were no Congressional hearings about this sandwich.
  3. Threadmarks: Part II Post #7a: Events, Dear Boy...

    nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    This week’s post on political developments in the Western world grew a little larger than customary, so for easier digestion I’ve divided it into two parts. The first, Post #7a, stays on the Eastern side of the Atlantic.


    Part II Post #7a: Events, Dear Boy...

    The fall-out of the Berlin Crisis had continued throughout the early sixties, not least of all in Downing Street. Despite the damage done to his relationship with Eisenhower over the U-2 shoot-down incident, during the Crisis Macmillan had demonstrated Britain’s total solidarity with her American partners, up to and including preparations for a joint nuclear strike. Nixon did not forget this support, and he and Macmillan worked closely together in the subsequent Geneva conference. Their personal relationship would remain strong, and was an important factor in Nixon’s later decision to continue the Skybolt missile project, which would become the lynchpin of the UK’s nuclear deterrent in the late 1960s. Similarly, Macmillan’s pledge of military support for US counter-insurgency operations in South Vietnam might not have been as forthcoming had a different President been in the White House.

    At first, this popularity with the US government was reflected at home too. Despite the first large-scale anti-nuclear demonstrations being held at Thor missile bases in the UK over the summer of 1961, in general the country and Parliament had rallied round the Prime Minister in the nation’s hour of need, giving the Conservatives a boost in the polls. Macmillan’s personal standing was also helped by the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty in October 1961, a foreign policy success that helped to drown out the critics of his ongoing decolonisation programme. However, Macmillan’s popularity was fated not to last, and his poll rating took a severe knock at the end of 1961 when the government was forced to impose a wage freeze to try to address Britain’s awful balance of payments. Macmillan reshuffled his Cabinet in October 1962 to try to bring in some fresh young faces, but whilst the changes were generally well received they were not enough to turn around the party’s fortunes. More troubles came in January 1963, when Macmillan faced humiliation in Europe as President de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s application to join the European Economic Community.

    After struggling through a grim Conservative Party conference in October, Macmillan was diagnosed with a prostatic obstruction and decided it was finally time to throw in the towel. He announced his resignation in December 1963, and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Richard Austen “Rab” Butler. Despite a temporary boost in the polls from the new leader, the Conservatives’ support soon began to wane again, not helped by a series of sex-scandals involving ministers. In the General Election of October 1964 Harold Wilson’s Labour Party was elected as the largest party, although at 314 seats they remained 2 seats short of a majority. Butler and Wilson both entered talks with Jo Grimond’s Liberals, but the price (proportional representation for future general elections) was deemed too high by both Conservatives and Labour, so in the end Wilson formed a minority government. This situation changed when Wilson called a snap election the following May, winning a majority of 7 seats. With a new government in place after “Thirteen years of Tory mis-rule”, there was some hope amongst the British people that the scandals of the previous government would be left as a thing of the past.

    Scandal was not something unique to Britain, and even Macmillan might have reflected that things could have been worse as he looked towards the trials (literally) facing the West German government. In late 1963 the Defence Minister, CSU chairman Franz Josef Strauss made an announcement that the BRD was scaling back its order of Avro Arrow fighters from Canada to 150 aircraft, compared to the original order of 300 placed in 1961. The reasons he gave were the increasing projected maintenance costs of the Arrow and the success of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, that had started delivery in 1962, in the Luftwaffe’s interceptor role. This caused much anger in Ottawa, as the reduced order would further increase the already heavy burden being borne by the Canadian government to keep Avro solvent in the face of the Arrow’s enormous development costs. In response to the reduced order, Avro was forced to announce a large number of politically damaging layoffs at their main production plant.

    In February of 1964 a junior civil servant at the Canadian embassy in Bonn met with a journalist from der Spiegel magazine and handed over a dossier of records relating to the negotiations that had taken place in early 1959 relating to the sale of Arrows to West Germany. At that time there had been considerable pressure within the Canadian government to cancel Arrow, but the final decision had been deferred pending the results of a project review in March 1959. Just two weeks before that review took place, Defence Minister Strauss had signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the BRD to purchase at least 400 Arrows over the period 1962-67. With the expectation that the German order would open the gates to other foreign sales, the Canadian government had agreed to continue with the development of the Arrow, to the point that by the time it was realised that no further orders were forthcoming the programme was considered too far along to cancel. However, the documents obtained by der Spiegel indicated that just prior to the signature of the MoU, Avro had transferred six million Canadian dollars (almost US$6.5 million) to a firm fronted by Aloys Brandenstein for “design consultancy services”. Brandenstein had close ties to Strauss’ CSU party and to Strauss personally (he was the uncle of Strauss' wife), and it didn’t take much further digging to turn up evidence that almost all of the Canadian money had ended up either in the Party funds or in a Swiss bank account suspected to be linked to Strauss himself. Defence Ministry documents from the time, obtained via a leak from within the Ministry, appeared to confirm that there had been no intention to purchase Arrows until after the Minister had personally intervened.

    When the story was published in March 1964 Strauss loudly and belligerently denied all of the charges, accusing der Spiegel of undermining the defence of the country and demanding that charges of treason be put to the journalists and those who had leaked Defence Ministry documents to them. Adenauer publicly backed Strauss, echoing his sentiments that the story was a betrayal of the German people, and several journalists were arrested over the following weeks. This provoked a huge backlash in the press and the public, with the government facing accusations of a return to authoritarianism and the quashing of press freedom.

    Finally, with fresh accusations emerging over potential bribery in the purchase of Starfighters and other military hardware contracts in addition to the Arrows, in May the police formally charged Strauss with corruption and the Defence Minister was forced to resign. Having backed his Minister to the hilt, Adenauer’s own position became untenable, and he too resigned in the following week to be succeeded as Chancellor by the former Minister Without Portfolio Heinrich Krone. Krone tried valiantly to clean up the image of the CDU/CSU, but the stench of corruption clung to the government, and their electoral chances took a further hit when Strauss was convicted of bribe-taking and sentenced to six months in jail in June 1965, just three months before the general election. Adenaeur escaped criminal charges, but received a punishment in many ways harsher when his arch-nemesis Willy Brandt, the man Adenauer had once dismissed as “the Bastard from Berlin”, was returned as Chancellor at the head of an SPD-FDP coalition in September 1965.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
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  4. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

    Feb 2, 2013
    Yay for Vulcans getting Skybolts

    That mean the larger B.3 version, carrying six Skybolts, gets built?

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
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  5. Michel Van Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Liege Belgium Europe
    What for a Post about Germany

    Here in 1962 editor-in-chief of Der Spiegel magazine Rudolf Augstein never got papers about "Fallex 62" NATO exercise.
    (it uncovered the sorry state of the Bundeswehr in case of Soviet invasion)

    The 1964 Spiegel scandal not only on cover the AVRO and Lockheed bribery but also Franz Josef Strauß had his finger in buy Lockheed Constellation und Electra for the Lufthansa (west German state Airlines).
    also with the connection to chairman of Deutschen Bank Hermann Josef Abs in that affaire.

    and if other new magazine join force with der Spiegel like Stern, Bunte, Revue they will on cover more...

    What make matter worst for Franz Josef Strauss is the Onkel-Aloys-Affair, the uncle of Strauß wife, Aloys Brandenstein became millionaire with kickbacks on weapons deals.
    Alos they will look back into the FIBAG-Affair were a construction company belonged to Hans Kapfinger, a friend of Strauss.
    1962 FIBAG got contract for for construction of several thousand apartments for the American military in Germany, order by Ministry of Defense under Franz Josef Strauß.
    Contract cancelt on Order of German parliament after request by SPD order a parliamentary commission on that matter.

    The HS-30-Scandal
    German infantry fighting vehicle build by Hispano Suiza in 1956, who pay millions to CDU and staff member of Franz Josef Strauss
    in end The HS-30 was unusable for service
    as the German parliament start a parliamentary commission on that matter in 1967, allot of people start to died.

    Those affaire are adequate to destroy Franz Josef Strauß political career for good even inside the Bavarian CSU !

    note to nixonshead
    replace that "car component factory outside Munich" with uncel-Aloys or the bavarian cigaret firm of Werner Plappert (He and his firm part of The HS-30-Scandal, found death in 1970)
  6. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    It’s possible. Certainly there’s a chunk of money that IOTL was spent on ballistic missile submarines that will now be freed up. OTOH, Wilson has just gotten into Downing Street, and we know what a patron of military jets he was…

    Basically just taking a look round at the wider impacts of the PoD. And because Strauss proved himself such a useful fellow in meeting one of my other objectives ;)

    Yep, Strauss dodged that bullet, but as you’ve surmised he then turned out later to be sitting on a powder-keg of other scandals when der Spiegel dropped their match. Once difference this time is, whilst the press do indeed get leaned on, he doesn’t actually go so far as to order a foreign power to arrest a journalist, so the constitutional impact on West Germany is a little less ITTL. However, like Fallex 62, that’s a bullet dodged now that’s likely to turn into a hand grenade later...

    Good tip, thanks. I’ve updated the post.
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  7. Threadmarks: Part II Post #7b: Outrageous Fortune

    nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Following up from our quick look at the UK and Germany, we now cross to North America for a special guest post by Brainbin.


    Part II Post #7b: Outrageous Fortune

    The Dominion of Canada had found itself in a unique position when the Cold War began, as it was located directly between the two superpowers, with the United States to the south, and the Soviet Union to the (far) north, on the other side of the Arctic Ocean. This was an immediate concern in a world where atomic bombers - and later missiles - had sufficiently long ranges that the two countries could engage each other directly, and quite possibly over Canadian skies. Obviously, the fear was primarily of the Soviets - Canada was a founding member of NATO and a close ally of the United States - but the Canadian national identity had always been predicated on its distinctiveness from that of the US, and many Canadians did not simply want to fall into lockstep with Washington over foreign and defence policy. Canada had eagerly fought in Korea alongside American and British troops, but the country had been demilitarizing at a fairly swift pace since then - the third-largest navy and the fourth-largest air force in the world in 1945 was rapidly diminished as early as 1960.

    The Liberal Party of Canada had governed the country since 1935, assuming power when the Conservatives proved unable to surmount the economic challenges of the Great Depression. The Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, governed until 1948, replaced by his Quebec lieutenant, Louis St. Laurent. “Uncle Louis”, as he became known, allowed his party to grow complacent and corrupt, and made the fatal mistake of underestimating the dynamic, charismatic Tory challenger, John G. Diefenbaker, in the 1957 election. In a victory that nobody saw coming, the PCs won a tenuous minority government - only to be followed by a snap election and Canada’s largest majority ever the following year. Diefenbaker was positioned to govern Canada in whichever way he saw fit in the years that followed, a task he took to with considerable relish. However, the early-1960s were an economically tumultuous time for Canada - by the time 1962 rolled around, the country was in a worse relative position than it had been in 1956. More immediate was Diefenbaker’s concern with foreign policy. He got along very well with President Eisenhower - the two had served alongside each other for nearly four years. His successor, Richard Nixon, on the other hand, was somewhat less agreeable than Eisenhower had been, and was far less patient of Canada’s attempts to assert its independence from the United States. It was probably inevitable: both “Dief” and “Tricky Dick” had such strong personalities, after all.

    Nevertheless, Diefenbaker entered the 1962 campaign with his party as the odds-on favourites to win a second majority term, something that the Tories had not done since 1917, when they were heading a wartime coalition government. The leader of the opposition Liberal Party was Lester B. Pearson, who had also led the “Grits” in 1958, surviving the scale of his defeat based on his international reputation as the statesman who had resolved the Suez Crisis (for which he won the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize). But that didn’t translate to very much success on the home front - many (English) Canadians still felt considerable attachment to their British Imperial heritage, and considered Pearson’s actions a betrayal. Pearson, for his part, made no bones about his desire to have Canada distance itself from Perfidious Albion, even making the adoption of a “uniquely Canadian” national flag a campaign issue. At the time, Canada had no official national flag - however, de facto, the Red Ensign (with the British Union Jack in the canton, and the Canadian arms defacing the fly) had been used for several decades. Canadian troops (when distinct from Imperial/Commonwealth troops as a whole) had served under that flag in both world wars. Diefenbaker personally had a great affinity for it, and often mentioned “the flag which our Canadian boys fought and died under” when defending it. But the flag was in general a minor campaign issue - Dief fought vigorously in support of his “Bill of Rights”, legislation he had passed in 1960 which enshrined the rights and freedoms of the Canadian citizen. However, this legislation was toothless in that it could be repealed by any later government (including the Liberals, who showed no interest in supporting it). Unlike the British government, the Canadian government was bound by overriding constitutional law… which could only be amended by the Westminster Parliament, even though Canada had otherwise been fully independent of British legislative authority since 1931. Diefenbaker made enshrining his Bill of Rights, and other social reforms, the cornerstone of his platform. Despite a shaky economy, he also pointed to the Avro Arrow, a natively-designed and built supersonic interceptor aircraft, as a demonstration of Canadian technological competitiveness, and that buyers were already being lined up worldwide. This would come back to haunt him in his second term.

    For sure enough, the PCs won a second majority, though much smaller than their previous one had been - they were elected in 140 ridings, down from the 208 they had won in 1958. As the House of Commons had 265 seats, this gave them a workable majority of 14 seats. They would need every last one of those in the years ahead. The Tories lost a few seats to the resurfacing Social Credit Party (who had been wiped out in 1958) in the West, along with the New Democratic Party, formed out of a merger between the rural agrarian Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress. The NDP, as it became known, saw only modest gains east of Manitoba - the Liberals largely won most of the Tory seats lost in the most populous province of Ontario. Quebec was another story. In 1958, the PCs had swept the province with support from the Union Nationale, which formed the provincial government. In the intervening years, the provincial Liberals had been elected and, under their leader, Premier Jean Lesage, Quebec was undergoing a rapid shift from a rural, pastoral, and deeply traditional and conservative society into one more modern, secular, liberal and progressive, with government agencies taking the reins of social and educational programs previously in the hands of the Church - one of their last bastions of temporal power in the industrialized world. Quebec was changing, and that too would prove significant in the years to come. For the time being, however, it meant the collapse of Tory strength in that province, though they retained 17 seats there, still well above average by their standards. The Liberals picked up some of the slack, but the Quebec wing of the Social Credit Party, which had never been an electoral force east of Manitoba before, picked up a whopping 23 seats - against five in the rest of Canada. The Socreds (“Creditistes”, in French) were popular in Quebec due in large part to their leader, Real Caouette, who controversially did not lead the party as a whole - party bosses in the Prairies revolted at the notion of a Francophone Catholic in charge and backed R.N. Thompson, who controversially won the leadership convention on the first ballot (vote totals were never released). Still, his party had never done better, winning 28 seats on over 10% of the national vote.


    After Parliament reconvened in the autumn of 1962, Diefenbaker faced several pressing issues. First and foremost was the possibility of nuclear warheads on the BOMARC anti-ballistic surface-to-air missiles which had been developed by American military contractors. Diefenbaker was extremely resistant to Nixon’s proposition that Canada equip their missiles with nuclear warheads, and did his best to defer any commitment to them, earning the ire of the President. Even before Arrow planes began flying for the RCAF, critics began observing that they were obsolete - and that Canada had tossed aside the future of warfare for a pointless exercise in chest-thumping nationalism. It didn’t help that the buyers which Avro had been claiming would line up to purchase these shiny new supersonic interceptors never materialized. West Germany greatly reduced their preliminary order for Arrows, thus weakening Avro’s standing with regards to their only committed foreign client, and this in turn would set off the payola scandal in both countries. The few other countries which had shown an interest in the Arrow disappeared from the bargaining table entirely, and notwithstanding the tenuous German interest, it seemed that the plane made entirely by Canada would be flown solely by Canada. The crowning achievement of the Canadian aviation industry, its pride and joy just a few years before, had become nothing more than a flying white elephant, and the scandal tainted the triumph of the first Arrows entering RCAF service. The press was merciless in its criticisms: “ARROW FLIES - AT WHAT COST TO CANADIANS?”, asked the Toronto Daily Star. The Toronto Telegram was less diplomatic: “AVRO PAYS GERMANS TO FLY OUR OWN PLANES”, read the headline. Their editorial commentary was even more blatantly Germanophobic: “Our planes have fought Germany’s in two wars over the last fifty years - now Avro is practically giving them new planes for whatever purposes they see fit.” The Defence Minister, George Pearkes, was sacked from cabinet as a consequence of the emerging Arrow Scandal, resigning his seat in Parliament shortly thereafter. Diefenbaker, meanwhile, sought to focus on domestic policy for the remainder of his term, aware that he would likely lose power to the opposition Liberals - led by right-winger Robert Winters since Pearson had resigned his leadership position shortly after losing his second consecutive election (making him the first Liberal leader not to become PM since Edward Blake in the 1880s).

    The Canadian press came to see the Avro Arrow as a symptom of all that was wrong with the nation under Diefenbaker.

    Diefenbaker’s frenemy, Richard Nixon, faced considerable domestic issues of his own. Civil Rights, a burgeoning concern throughout the 1950s, had come to the forefront. Disenfranchised blacks demanded the basic rights that had been denied them for most of American history, and found increasingly sympathetic supporters for their cause in Congress. The Democratic Party, which controlled both Houses, was split between its Northern and Southern wings, but the minority Republicans were overwhelmingly supportive, and gave the pro-Civil Rights factions a decisive majority. President Nixon was lukewarm on the expansion of civil rights, partly as continuing resentment at many black leaders endorsing his opponent in 1960, Senator Kennedy, and partly because the “slow-and-steady” approach had worked for his predecessor, President Eisenhower - who won nearly 40% of the black vote in 1956, the most for any Republican candidate since the Great Depression, simply by abiding by Supreme Court rulings such as Brown v. Board of Education. Even Nixon won about a third of their ballots cast in 1960. But the days of gradualism were past. Civil rights agitators wanted radical change, and if they could not achieve it peacefully, or playing by the white man’s rules, they were increasingly prepared to do so by any means necessary. By the early-1960s: two alternatives had emerged: peaceful integration, or violently-enforced “black supremacy” and “separatism” from white society. It was likely that an emerging extremism led many who were otherwise resistant to change to back the “compromise” espoused by moderates, and these culminated in the bipartisan Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, notably a Southerner, was a principal architect of the bill, signed into law by President Nixon (who only reluctantly supported the legislation, when it was clear that most Americans did). Both parties tried to take credit for the bill in the 1964 elections, but many Americans came to see the bill as a “bi-partisan” effort; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted that both Republicans and Democrats were united in drafting and passing the bill. It was also consistent with other bi-partisan cooperation between President Nixon and Senator Johnson that year, such as the appropriation of funding for the National Environmental and Space Sciences Administration in Houston (located in Johnson’s state of Texas).

    Although both parties had come together to support the Civil Rights Act, one of those two parties was deeply divided: the majority of the Democratic Congressmen and Senators from the US South opposed extending any civil rights to blacks. Alabama Governor George Wallace, who had become a nationally-known figure for his direct and active opposition to desegregation, announced that he would run for President in February of 1964 on the Democratic ticket, in order to reverse the party’s policies on segregation and civil rights. He soon lined up the support of most Southern Democratic operatives, making it clear that a lone Northerner would have to do the same in order to have a chance opposing him. John F. Kennedy considered running again, as Adlai Stevenson had done in 1956, but his health was in decline and he eventually announced his retirement from the Senate; his younger brother, Robert F. Kennedy, sought and won the nomination to replace him. Lyndon B. Johnson wanted to run, but knew that he could never win the nomination - he decided to play kingmaker instead. Among those candidates who did run were: Pat Brown, Governor of California; John Reynolds, Governor of Wisconsin; Matthew Welsh, Governor of Indiana; Daniel Brewster, Senator for Maryland; Henry M. Jackson, Senator for Washington; and Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator for Minnesota. Humphrey was liberal but staunchly anti-communist and an ardent civil rights supporter; he had played a key role in the Democratic National Convention of 1948 presaging the party’s movement away from their segregationist past. More ominously, Humphrey’s influence convinced southern Democrats to abandon the party and rally behind South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond (who had later been elected to the Senate, where he remained in 1964 - naturally backing Wallace for the Presidency). History would repeat itself after Johnson endorsed Humphrey (who chose Johnson’s fellow Texan Senator, Ralph Yarborough, as his running-mate as an obvious proxy), and Wallace and his delegates walked out of the Democratic National Convention, announcing that he would run for President on the schismatic “American Democratic Party” ticket (forcing the Northern Democrats to identify as the “National Democratic Party” - especially in the states where Wallace co-opted existing Democratic infrastructure).

    Although the Democratic schism of 1948 had not been successful in preventing Truman from securing re-election (much to most everyone’s surprise), Wallace was more optimistic about his run hampering Humphrey. In fact, given how close 1960 had been, Wallace hoped to deadlock the Electoral College, preventing either Nixon or Humphrey from winning a majority of the electoral vote, thus forcing them to negotiate with him and commit to adopting some of his policy planks. Wallace had a more universal appeal than Thurmond, however, and was popular with the white working class voter. He also ran in states outside the South, even choosing a running mate from Nevada, Rep. Walter Baring (who also opposed expanded civil rights). Both Humphrey and Wallace attacked the incumbent Nixon on civil rights - Wallace claimed that Nixon administration had gone too far, while Humphrey claimed that the President hadn’t gone far enough. Naturally, many blacks supported Humphrey, though others, particularly those in the South who had been newly enfranchised, were loyal to Nixon.

    In the election that November, Nixon was returned to office by a surprisingly slim margin in terms of the popular vote, less than three points ahead of Humphrey on only 44.4% of the total, translating to over 31 million votes. This time, a split in the Democratic Party would prove sufficient to allow the GOP to emerge victorious, though Nixon had the advantage of incumbency and a fairly solid domestic record, despite his shaky foreign policy in his first term. Humphrey received 41.7% of the vote - the gap in absolute terms was about two million. George Wallace did very well for a nominally third-party ticket (he insisted that his ticket was the “real” Democratic ticket, though most observers disagreed), picking up over 13.5% of the vote (nearly ten million ballots cast) and winning seven states - six in the former Confederacy (two better on Thurmond’s run in 1948) and Nevada, in a close three-way. The state’s reputation as the “Mississippi of the West” was firmly cemented in the popular imagination. His seven states were good for 56 electoral votes. The National Democrats won close races in New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, allowing them to take 174 electoral votes. Nixon won 308 electoral votes, actually a slight improvement on the 286 he had won in 1960. This allowed him, like most Presidents who won a second term, to technically better his first-term performance despite a reduction in his popular vote share. His Republican Party also performed well in the House and Senate - particularly in the Northeast and Midwest - gaining seats in both Houses of Congress, though the Democrats retained their majorities.

    Richard Milhouse Nixon was inaugurated into his second term as President of the United States on January 20, 1965. It would prove a most eventful four years…

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
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  8. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA

    "Is this absolutely necce..."
    "You bet boy, completely nessa!"

    Um, what is the reasoning behind putting space sciences and an environmental administration in one bureaucratic sack? I can see a vague connection in that the new satellites being orbited during Nixon's first term will be branching out into a broadening spectrum that go beyond demonstrations, spy sats and com sats to include early Earth observation satellites such as the first generation of weather satellites--certainly an environmental bureau will want satellite imagery and will want to order satellites to their own specifications, but it hardly seems, well, "nessa" to have the satellite makers therefore under complete control of the environmental administration! An even more tenuous connection is that after all the Terran environment is an aspect of our position in the Solar System, with the Sun's history and likely future behavior relevant, the variation of our planet's orbit and axial tilt also quite relevant...but of course these are the very aspects of our environment we don't control; an environmental agency would be more properly concerned with stuff that we do control, such as emissions of various substances.

    At best, stuffing the two into one eclectic bag looks like politicians mindlessly picking up on two bandwagon issues and throwing them together for momentary convenience--the "new stuff we've all just recently been gossiping about Administration!"

    OTL Nixon signed off on the EPA because the environmental movement had been gaining momentum over the decade of the Sixties; it therefore seems rather early for it to get Congressional attention of this magnitude a decade before. Or is a deep passion for environmentalism some unsung aspect of Nixon's character that is well known to his more attentive students?

    Anyway it is hard to fathom why environmental concerns and implementation of space science are given a single new Administration, instead of tacking the latter on to NAACA.
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  9. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    We'll be exploring the establishment of NESSA in more detail in a couple of weeks, so I won't say too much now, just to say that the "Environmental" part of NESSA is not related to OTL's EPA. NESSA is not about policing environmental regulations, it's more to do with Earth Science and remote sensing.
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  10. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Apr 13, 2007
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    More like NASA+NOAA, rather than NASA+EPA, then, eh?
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  11. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA
    Sure, but it just seemed odd to subsume deep space exploration into something like NOAA, although that makes a little more sense than into the EPA. Maybe not so crazy when we consider that ITTL, with Mars probes still in their infancy (maybe no one has yet launched anything at all toward Mars?) the scientists more optimistic about finding life on Mars (and the general public, including Congress members, who still probably assume there must be some, thanks to Lowell and a couple generations of sci-fi movies) still hope Mars has an atmosphere to speak of, and that Venus is not quite the hell planet we know it to be, and so Terran style weather phenomena are still going to be highly relevant to Martian and Venus studies. Well, indeed those two planets do have atmospheres and in a highly generalized sense Earth science and planetary science is sort of the same thing--then too the gas giants are essentially made of atmosphere, as far as we can directly probe anyway, and several distant moons also have substantial atmospheres. The fact that none of them closely resemble our own doesn't remove them from some correlations with our own completely, and studying them can give insight into Terran conditions and possibilities as well.

    Still it seems oddly limited, to put planetary and interstellar and solar studies in the same bailiwick as Earth. Maybe the idea is that it makes political sense at the time, and the outcome is a different dynamic of funding for space science--instead of the space scientists competing with the "Buck Rogers" manned space exploration budget, NAACA gets the funding to develop space vehicles for whatever other federal agency (or conceivably, private investors) want to order some, and the other agencies drive the missions--the Air Force getting manned space missions. So NESSA decides they want to to do a Grand Tour probe, and contract with either in-house subagencies (campuses of NESSA), private contractors (including universities, who may or may not contract with private engineering firms) or other governmental agencies (domestic or foreign) to make probes to their design, and then either they have to also get funding to launch the thing, and go to NAACA with order to launch and payment in hand, or else NAACA is funded to develop and launch the payload according to their own mandate and budget.

    If NAACA got to absorb any previously existing labs that were not already NACA campuses--JPL or Huntsville for instance--I don't recall that being mentioned. Actually we do know what happened to Huntsville--it simply got disbanded, with von Braun taking some of his team to Chrysler, and then presumably with him again to NAACA. But I don't know whether JPL is still in independent existence as a branch of Cal Tech that contracts with whoever they can interest in rocket development, nor whether as OTL they branched out into space probe design or not.

    NESSA presumably might have an opportunity to absorb such concerns, except that for one thing I imagine it is on a shoestring budget right now, and for another, when NASA was formed OTL it not only had a large budget but a grand remit to absorb anything having to do with space that wasn't military--launcher and other rocket development; space probe design, whatever, if space was involved they could try to swallow it up.

    Both NAACA and NESSA are pretty closely defined at this point though; the former approaches space travel from the angle NACA approached aeronautics--theoretical investigation of cutting-edge possibilities and getting experimental data on cutting-edge implementation, but actually cutting metal and making vehicles beyond a few handcrafted experimental craft is a job for someone else. So, NESSA might not go to NAACA to get something launched after all but directly to some private contractor who has made a line of suitable launch vehicles, or a consortium of them, one contractor for each stage, with NAACA involved perhaps only to consult on the engineering of integrating them and perhaps serving a role like the FAA, examining the product and certifying it for reasonable levels of soundness and safety.

    Then maybe all the funding for space science will have to go through NESSA's budget unless some entity wants to do it with other funds outside the federal system completely--NESSA having to not only procure the probe, but the launch vehicle and the funding to pay to launch it.

    Who owns the launch facilities that currently exist? I guess again an eclectic mix of previously existing entities--mostly the Air Force for Mercury and Dyna-Soar, maybe White Sands still operates on a certain scale under its former administration, maybe JPL has its own launch site? Does the Navy have a site of its own for testing submarine and ship-launched missiles before advancing to installing then on actual vessels and testing them there? (Or do they have to kowtow to the Air Force for permission to launch from Canaveral or some other USAF site?)

    NAACA might eventually have a site of their own, but one competing with all these other entities, not given a remit to appropriate them.

    All right, you'll tell us more in some weeks. I'll abide in confusion until then.:eek:
  12. Workable Goblin Chronicler of the Pony Wars

    Aug 3, 2009
    Not as much as you might think...

    This is essentially cracking out the Science Mission Directorate and making it its own agency. I expect that it will on the balance probably have a bit less funding than SMD@NASA and probably a larger fraction of its funding focused on the "Earth" side, especially if it picks up any of the various agencies that were, IOTL, folded into NOAA (though if it does pick those up, then its budget will probably be increased). On the plus side, it won't (directly) be competing with astronauts for funds, so I suppose that's a positive.

    I expect that as per OTL, the Air Force runs Canaveral, which is also the Navy missile testing ground (and has been since 1948), as well as Point Arguello/Vandenberg, while NAACA runs Wallops, though that's mostly a sounding rocket site, and JPL tests stuff at Edwards or White Sands (if they're still in the rocket business at all, by this point).
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  13. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Jul 26, 2009
    The British Empire
    Great to see my guest update posted! :D I just wanted to clarify that, although I wrote the bulk of it and provided the infobox for the 1962 Canadian federal election, nixonshead himself created both the delightful ATL Telegram front page (astute TWR readers may recognize the defence correspondent's name), and the 1964 Presidential election infobox.
  14. NCW8 Being Analogue in a Digital World

    Feb 9, 2011
    Just caught up with this one again. Interesting to see how the race into space is evolving.

    Yep. Don't want to open that can here ! Still it's interesting that Doctor Who in the Sixties basically involved teleporting from one planet (and time) to the next, just like TTL's Far Frontier. Also Sydney Newman has some similar opinions about Science Fiction as Roddenberry:

  15. nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Well, I must admit I was expecting the main focus to be on the saving (and flopping) of the Arrow, but it seems that one little teaser line has stolen the show :D

    Well, this is an interesting analysis… ;)

    No Mars missions have come up in any posts to date, but we'll be taking a look at missions to the Red Planet in an upcoming post.

    NACAA hasn’t expanded much since gaining its second ‘A’. It’s mainly based at Langely and runs sounding rockets at Wallops, but its focus is very much on aerospace R&D. Like NACA before it, NACAA does fundamental research and partners with industry and the military for specific projects.

    Regarding Huntsville, this is still run by the Army for their short- and medium-range ballistic missile development work, and is used by the Defense Research Agency for rocket engine development and testing. The Air Force had taken over all other ICBM and space launcher work.

    Also, just to note von Braun went to the DRA (heading up their Space Systems Division), not to NACAA.

    The development of the commercial launch industry is something that will be explored in Part-III, but for now I’ll say that in the early-mid sixties at least, the Air Force is the only operator of space launchers in the US. You want something sent up, you have to talk to them - and get in line behind their own higher-priority missions.

    Workable Goblin has it pretty much spot on. The Air Force runs Canaveral, Vandenberg, Edwards and White Sands on behalf of the Pentagon, but the other services have access for their own projects as needed. NACAA has Wallops for their sounding rockets and regularly uses Edwards and White Sands for X-plane testing. As mentioned above, the DRA shares Huntsville with the Army for their engine development work.

    Great to have the post, Brainbin! Your attention to detail has been a real blessing when working through the political implications of all those flapping butterflies.

    Glad you’re enjoying it!

    I think there’s definitely something to that comparison, and Newman’s words would indeed seem to fit the Roddenberry of the sixties. Of course Star Trek was also often a “planet of the week” show, with their method of getting there almost unimportant - in fact often downright inconvenient, as they would have to come up with ways of isolating the main cast on a planet such that they couldn’t call on the resources of the Enterprise. Doctor Who often needs an equivalent plot device (“I can’t cross my own timeline… well, not this week”) to constrain the power of the TARDIS. As Shevek23 pointed out, The Far Frontier’s long range teleport has similar drawbacks along these lines, which will require some smart writing to circumvent (as has been done IOTL by Orci and Kurtzman for… oh, right…).
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  16. Threadmarks: Part II Post #8: The King is Dead

    nixonshead Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    For this week's post we're back in the USSR for...


    Part II Post #8: The King is Dead

    At the beginning of 1962, Nikita Khrushchev appeared to be in an unassailable position. The fear created by the Berlin Crisis, where his misjudgement of the strength of Eisenhower and Nixon’s response had almost led to war, began to fade following the Geneva summit meeting of June 1961. The summit helped to diffuse tensions between the Superpowers, establishing the so-called “Nixon Doctrine” of no further change to Cold War borders through use of force. This principal saw the Soviets give guarantees on the status of West Berlin and South Vietnam in exchange for a promise of no military action by the US against Cuba or North Vietnam. The summit also saw an agreement to establish a Hot Line between the White House and the Kremlin, so that future crises could be diffused before they escalated too far. Finally, there was an agreement to conclude the delayed talks on a nuclear Partial Test Ban Treaty, which saw the Treaty finally signed in October 1961.

    Although some within the Soviet military and the government (not to mention Peking) saw the Geneva Summit as giving too many concessions to the West in the struggle for World Socialism, in most quarters it was seen as a substantial boon to the Soviet Union. The primary objective of the Berlin operation, to secure the Inner German border and stem the flow of migrants from East Germany to the West, had succeeded. Ulbricht’s DDR had been shored up, whilst the establishment of the long sought after Soviet-enforced Free City Zone within Berlin gave Khrushchev direct control of a potential flashpoint. The signing of a formal peace treaty between the USSR and the DDR in March 1962 gave the East German government civil authority and de jure sovereignty within the Zone, but granted Soviet control of the Free City/West Berlin border and effective immunity from interference for Soviet personnel based there.

    Khrushchev took advantage of the boost these successes gave him to shore up his position internally. There were rumblings from Party members still unreconciled with Khrushchev’s denouncement of Stalin’s policies, as well as those in the military who had long disliked Khrushchev’s focus on the domestic economy at the expense of the Red Army. This faction managed to get the KGB Chairman Alexander Shelepin promoted to the Central Committee secretariat in November 1961, but Khrushchev was able to partly offset this move by ensuring Shelepin’s replacement at the KGB would be the former head of the First Directorate Aleksandr Sakharovsky, not Shelepin’s protégé Vladimir Semichastny, who was widely expected to have been little more than a puppet for Shelepin had he taken the job. Khrushchev was able to further exploit his political capital in a minor purge of the Central Committee in early 1962, replacing several opponents with allies.

    However, the political situation became more difficult for Khrushchev as 1962 progressed. After some initial successes, the gains of his late-1950s agricultural reforms and Seven Year Plan were starting to slip, and in June the government was forced to raise food prices, leading to riots. At the same time, his reorganisation of the Party at local and national level generated significant opposition within the Soviet power structure. The international triumph of Yuri Gagarin’s flight in September was overshadowed by the growing split with Mao, with the USSR finding itself giving political backing to US-supported India against Communist China in the Sino-Indian war. Khrushchev was glad to see Mao thwarted, and did not object when Nixon authorised the sale of fighter jets and military equipment to India in support of their war effort, but ideologically it did not look at all good.

    In 1963, even as Soviet cosmonauts continued to stun the world with their achievements, the situation on the ground was only getting worse for Khrushchev. Early in the year he was forced to abandon his Seven Year Plan two years before its completion, whilst a drought saw the end of his dreams for agricultural reform and the humiliating necessity of buying in food from the West. Then in September, with US sanctions biting and Moscow apparently unwilling to provide support for his revolutionary insurgencies in Central America, Castro declared that Cuba was leaving the Moscow camp and aligning itself with the People’s Republic of China.

    The breaking point finally came on 14th March 1965 with the death of Frol Kozlov, Secretary of the Central Committee and a Khrushchev supporter. With Khrushchev out of Moscow on a visit to Romania, Alexander Shelepin moved quickly to step into the role of Acting Secretary of the Central Committee and convene the Presidium to debate the future direction of the Soviet government. Upon Khrushchev’s return on the afternoon of the 15th he was informed that the Presidium had decided that the burdens of leadership of both the Central Committee (a body of the Communist Party) and the Council of Ministers (part of the Government) were too heavy for any one person, and so the roles should be split. Of course it would be poor reward for all of Khrushchev’s fine work if he were to find himself demoted, and so instead the Presidium suggested he take a well-deserved retirement and allow others to carry on his legacy.

    Khrushchev, aged and exhausted from his long years of politicking, agreed without a fight. The next day, the Presidium and the Central Committee both accepted Khrushchev’s resignation “for health reasons”. Leonid Brezhnev was made Chairman of the Council of Ministers, whilst Alexander Shelepin was appointed First Secretary of the Central Committee, splitting the leadership of the Government and the Party. It was initially agreed that a principle of collective leadership would be followed in the post-Khrushchev period, but as time went on Shelepin would gradually gain the upper hand on his former ally.

    The March Coup which saw Khrushchev ousted and Shelepin installed as Party Chairman had an immediate impact on Soviet space efforts. At a stroke it removed Chelomei’s principal patron and political protector, replacing him with a collection of old-school Stalinists. In particular, Dimitriy Ustinov, whose influence over the military had been key to the success of the plot to remove Khrushchev, was made Chairman of the Supreme Council of the National Economy. This gave him extensive powers to direct spending priorities and control resource allocation throughout the Union, including in the space industry (which was now directed by Ustinov’s protégé Nedelin at the Military-Industrial Commission). Ustinov had harboured a dislike of Chelomei ever since the latter had tried to by-pass him to push through the September 1959 decree on space projects. This dislike had intensified over the years, partly due to Chelomei’s arrogant style but also due to the perceived lack of progress and utility of OKB-1’s output compared to Mishin’s space spectaculars or Yangel’s consistent meeting of battlefield needs. Ustinov was well aware of the standard joke within the military: “Mishin builds for TASS. Chelomei builds crap. Yangel builds for us!”

    The joke was particularly cruel coming at a time when Chelomei’s large UR-500 rocket was in the middle of flight testing, with all the inevitable setbacks that entailed. A total of four flights had been attempted starting in November 1964, of which only one had been a complete success. Though perhaps only to be expected, the negative perception of this record was compounded by the fact that the UR-500 no longer had a clear military mission. The heavy ICBM role for which it had been proposed in 1959 was not needed in 1965, with the Strategic Rocket Forces more than happy with the power of their new hydrogen warheads on Yangel’s efficient R-16 and R-36 missiles, with added advantage that these could be based from silos, protected from any American first strike. In comparison, the size of the UR-500 made silo or mobile basing impractical, meaning Chelmoei’s “Super ICBM” would be vulnerable to enemy attack. Lastly, the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) which the UR-500 was to have deployed was in the process of losing its advantages. Intended to sneak up on America from its less-protected southern border, increased US radar deployments had greatly lessened the chances of achieving surprise, whilst advances in submarine based missiles promised the same level of strategic surprise with a higher number of warheads. FOBS had lost its advantages whilst the costs continued to escalate.

    Chelomei of course argued that even if it were no longer an effective weapon, the three-stage version of the UR-500 was still needed as a space launcher for the Raketoplan system. The first prototype Raketoplan spaceplane had launched unmanned on an R-200 in August 1964, and Chelomei was planning a manned launch later in 1965. The heavy versions of Raketoplan would require his UR-500, as would the “Almaz” military space station, heavy interplanetary probes and manned lunar flyby missions he was planning, all leading into development of his UR-600 100 tonne class rocket for a manned Moon landing.

    In these ambitions however, Chelomei was stabbed in the back by rival Chief Designers. Yangel argued that, given the lack of a clearly identified mission, larger Raketoplans weren’t needed and his R-200 could continue to launch the initial versions to maintain parity with Dynasoar. Mishin agreed with this approach, whilst pushing evolved versions of his successful Zarya capsule as the main Soviet manned spacecraft, with his own Heavy Manned Space Base (TPKB) concept replacing Almaz as a military base in orbit. This would be supported by a 50 tonne class kerolox/hydrolox launcher called M-2, which would also enable all of the missions proposed for the toxic UR-500 as well as enabling a multi-launch Moon landing mission. Alternatively, Mishin offered his M-3 super-heavy launcher design to support a direct ascent manned mission to the Moon by 1975. Yangel, with Glushko’s support, offered his R-56 concept as a third alternative super-heavy lifter.

    This plethora of alternative options, combined with Chelomei’s perceived connections to the ancien regime, led to the Council of Ministers issuing a decree in June 1965 extensively reorganising the Soviet space industry. Mishin’s OKB-385 was to absorb many of the facilities and personnel of OKB-1 to form a new “Central Design Bureau of Specialist Equipment” (“Tsentral'noye konstruktorskoye byuro spetsial'nogo oborudovaniya”, TsKBSO). This bureau would take over the Almaz station project and lead future developments of manned spaceflight and scientific missions. To Mishin’s disappointment, the nearly-complete UR-500 would not be scrapped, but control of the production facilities and future development was transferred to Yangel’s OKB-586. Despite serious consideration being given to moving Raketoplan development under the Mikoyan Design Bureau, a residue of loyalty within the Soviet Air Force meant that Chelmoei kept control of his spaceplane at the rump OKB-1, as well as continuing development of the IS “Fighter Satellite” ASAT weapon.

    All three bureaux were authorised to conduct preliminary conceptual studies into Moon missions, but the main focus was to be on military applications in Earth orbit. The new guard in the Kremlin disliked the way Khrushchev had provided lavish funding for rockets whilst cutting back the Air Force, Navy and especially the Red Army, and they intended to correct this imbalance. From now on, any project that was not directly contributing to the enhancement of Soviet military power was liable to be cancelled. Nixon apparently hadn’t felt the need to regularly shoot men into orbit to prove American virility, and so neither did the USSR.

    There remained one last chance for Chelomei to shine though. Even as his empire was being taken apart, the first space worthy Orel Raketoplan was being shipped to Baikonur. Once on site, the plane was encapsulated in an aeroshell and joined to a reduced-sized service module before the entire assembly was mated to an R-200 rocket and rolled out to the pad on 3rd September 1965. the next week was spent on tests, with fuelling commencing on the 9th. On the morning of Friday 10th September, cosmonaut Yury Artyukhin ascended the tower and entered his Raketoplan spaceplane.

    An R-200 rocket carrying the Orel spaceplane stands ready for its first manned suborbital flight.

    At 10:43 local time, the R-200’s four RD-240 engines ignited, lifting the rocket from its pad and marking the start of the Orel-1 mission. Ten minutes later the 900kN second stage engine completed its burn to place the Raketoplan into long ballistic arc. Artyukhin reported all systems operating as planned as the Orel and its aeroshell separated from the R-200’s upper stage.

    Artyukhin tested the Raketoplan’s manoeuvring capability during the apex of his trajectory, using the service module’s thrusters to turn the spacecraft on all axes. Although the systems worked as designed, Artyukhin reported that the lack of visual cues caused by the aeroshell blocking the Orel’s windows made positioning difficult. Despite this issue, the cosmonaut was able to use his instruments to successfully orient the craft for its re-entry into the atmosphere and jettison the service module.

    The most challenging part of the mission remained - would the full-scale, manned aeroshell behave as well as the unmanned test articles? Fortunately for Artyukhin the answer was yes. The conical aeroshell fully protected the Orel spaceplane within, and Artyukhin was able to use the shell’s control surfaces to manoeuvre his craft towards its landing zone whilst travelling at hypersonic speeds. At an altitude of 15 km, still flying at more than Mach 2, the aeroshell was blown away and Artyukhin was at last able to look outside the cockpit of his aircraft.

    At this point of the mission the plan was to bleed off speed before starting the Orel’s small jet engine and guiding her down to a landing at the new runway at Dzemgi air force base at Komsomolsk-on-Amur. However, upon reaching subsonic speeds Artyukhin was unable to start the engine. Keeping a cool head, the cosmonaut-pilot reported his situation to the ground and began his approach in pure glider mode. It was a situation for which he had trained many times at Khodynka, but which meant there was no margin for error. Followed down by two Su-9 chase planes, with only light cross-winds to interfere with his approach, Artyukhin placed the Orel on the runway just two metres from the centreline. As the plane rolled to a stop, Artyukhin popped the canopy and waved to the approaching recovery vehicles. The success of his mission ensured that in spite of his recent political setbacks, Chelomei could not be counted out of the game just yet.
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  17. Bahamut-255 Space Lover

    Jul 28, 2010
    Quite a bit going on then, though with Mishin getting a lot more added to his plate - along with Yangel - I can't help but think that his Vodka consumption is going to increase as a result, given the added pressures that he's now carrying.

    What I wonder about, is that with the "Space Race" being a lot slower and cooler relative to OTL, will this eventually make for an overall better history? With regards to what is accomplished? With less of a Mad Dash for a single target, I suspect they won't end up burning themselves out once they meet such a Goal.
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  18. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

    Feb 2, 2013
    Interesting: How long til Fidel realized that Mao's funding won't be as extravagant as the Soviet largesse would have been?

    Red China doesn't need the annual one million tons of cane Sugar that Khrushchev agreed to, with the perk of selling Cuba Soviet Oil at below World price and a 100 million Dollar line of credit. Red China can't afford that loan, and has no Oil to Barter

    The next part is Pakistan.

    With far improved US/Indian relation, that puts them in a hard spot over the desire to take Kashmir via covert and overt action.

    India doesn't look weak, by not losing the OTL border skirmish with Red China in 1962 and having real US support from Nixon

    But OTL, Mao offered aid that that Ayub Khan declined.

    Will Pakistan move to the Chinese?
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  19. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA
    Sorry so much love went into the Arrow only to be neglected!

    I started a reply on this a long time ago, last Monday I think, only to be sidetracked. In the interim I read up on the Arrow some more.

    Canadian aero firms certainly do and did come up with some exciting, or alternatively remarkably cost-effective, airplanes and other flying vehicles from time to time. But there are timelines here at the site whose authors appear to believe the Arrow was capable of anything an SR-71 or an F-15 could do, with just a few tweaks here and there--capturing successive and improving world speed records, conquering world sales markets with its sheer quality combined with an affordable price...quite the miracle plane, or so some circles believe anyway.

    From what I read on it, it appears to have quite a good plane of its type--that is, a fast all-weather interceptor. I look at pictures and immediately think of my Dad's favorite plane to fly, the F-106. But the Arrow had two engines and two crew, and massed considerably more than a Delta Dart. Similar philosophy of weapons stowed in a bay, which my father says was key to the 106s magnificent performance--it flew clean, none of that nonsense of stuff attached to the wing which slowed down other planes. (There was the option of drop tanks, but they were quite streamlined too-still I think when he speaks of the plane just zooming up to a gratifying fast speed he's talking about flying without the drop tanks).

    The Arrow's weapons bay however seems to have been more flexible, capable of stowing a variety of different types of missiles as designed; I don't know if it could have also been easily redesigned to take yet others. Whereas modifying the 106 weapons bay to take new types of missiles would have been a bitch, apparently, and the project to give it machine gun capability with a retractable Vulcan cannon was quite difficult. And of course when engaging the cannon would have to come out of the bay, spoiling the streamlining during the battle, when you might want it the most.:(

    It would seem thought that you and your advisors consider that the cancellation that happened OTL was not the irrational bolt from the blue the Arrow's champions suggest, brought on solely by hardball politics, but was a decision made easier by the fact that sober projections of the probable market share it could take had it falling short of the cost of continued development. Which does not directly prove there was anything wrong with the airplane, or even that it would not have been superior in many roles to the rival firms' products that filled those roles instead--only that the projected cost of finalizing such an ambitious design would never have been paid back by the likely sales; between various national services having older planes on hand already judged "good enough" and the porkbarrel politics of vendors operating in the leading candidate nations for purchasing the Arrow who might well wind up charging the taxpayer more for an inferior product that leaves more of that nation's airmen dead or lost or having to survive a bail-out, and more of any enemy airmen and other targets fighting another day--even so, the fact that the rival planes are made in the purchasing nation itself and so the procurement funds feed back into the revolving door of national political patronage to prime the pump for another round of favored gold-plated national asset company getting the business again is just a barrier any Canadian-made military product has to overcome to poach any business at all from nations like the USA or France that have their own national arms dealers to favor. Canadian aero industry has managed to do it from time to time anyway, and the product is always of such unique value that the US or other country procuring it swallows their national pride and pays the Canadians.

    In an earlier phase of the Cold War OTL, for instance, the Arrow's predecessor, the subsonic but all-weather CF-101 "Canuck" (apparently that was its official name!:p) was, in the early 1950s, the only all-weather interceptor available to NATO forces in Europe, and so the Belgians purchased a number of them.

    But it seems you feel that despite the Arrow's sterling qualities, Avro Canada would have to bribe a foreign government (even one unprejudiced by not having a domestic product that could pretend to compete, like West Germany) to get any sales at all.

    And then--a Yankee company comes in, steals the market from them anyway.

    I have no doubt at all that if Avro-Canada had to resort to bribery, than Lockheed also used the same stratagem, because they did OTL, and because the Arrow does seem quite superior for the very different mission than high-speed, long-range interception both the Arrow and the F-104 were designed for. But the Arrow, with its greater size, its internal weapons bay, and its delta wing strikes me as less of a mismatch for close air support strike missions as well--the delta wing is very large and so it would be at less of a disadvantage in relatively low speed and low altitude maneuvers.

    Procuring the -104 for the tactical support missions the Europeans who bought it OTL strikes me as mass insanity. And the tactic of bribing the West Germans to buy it was cost-effective if Lockheed did not have to bribe all the other nations that bought it too--some would be taking the chance on the Starfighter on the theory that the West Germans must know what they are doing.

    Avro however does not get that leverage benefit, presumably because Canada is not the United States and Avro does not have the deep pockets Lockheed does, due to the American corporation getting lots of revenue from the US taxpayer for a wide variety of aircraft. The bribe "investment" presumably cancelled out much of the profit from selling 300 Arrows to Germany, and then having that order slashed in half probably ate up all of what was left, leaving the company on the verge of bankruptcy.:eek: Or over it.:( The upshot being the company goes under anyway, as per OTL; whether its honor is better off (hey, they did make the good airplane) or worse (but they got caught in the act of bribery!) is hard to judge.

    I suspect that the 150 Arrows in German service will prove themselves pretty well in the years to come, and there have to be a number of them in Canadian service as well. Avro will be vindicated when the Lockheed scandal comes to light at last (if anything I imagine they played harder ball than OTL, with the Arrow competing for their market). But the company will be long gone by then.

    And there is no NASA for its engineers to turn to.

    I guess we avoided reacting to the Arrow story because it is very sad.

    More on your recent post on ATL USSR pretty soon, I hope.:eek:
  20. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA
    Ok, so the removal of Khrushchev was much as OTL--but the details of who picks up what portfolio are shuffled. Shelepin gets the top Party position. Normally that is very significant, even decisive.

    In the Soviet Union, high officials wore two hats. They were functionaries in the Soviet state, and they were members of the Communist Party. Both tracks served important functions--basically the state implemented Party policy, so their jobs as state officials involved technical details. But policy was a matter for the Party. The same individuals generally were involved in both, but in distinct modes. And the guy who managed to get the top Party position was generally the real ruler of the country. So, it would seem we face a Shelepin era instead of Brezhnev, who is "merely" the head of state.

    But I think one reason the top Party position was the indicator of who really ran the Soviet Union was that fighting one's way to the top on the Party track, one had to show some flash and some brilliance in the ideological sphere. Or not so much that as cleverness in managing the apparatus, building a solid basis of an alliance that would support one in the bid for the supreme position, because ones allies have reason to believe they would be allowed to carry out their ambitions too.

    Since Stalin also there was a lot of weight placed on the idea that all power should not go to one man--even though Khrushchev did wind up appropriating both the top government position and top Party position (as Brezhnev would do in his turn eventually OTL) the fact that this coup could turn him out shows in both OTL and ITTL that he hardly centralized power the way Stalin did.

    Shelepin, OTL, seems to have been basically an ambitious weasel as well as an authoritarian. I think he thinks that by controlling the KGB to oust Khrushchev he has put himself in the commanding position and so he appropriated the top spot--Party Chair--for himself, figuring that puts him in charge of everything. But I wonder if he isn't suffering from a bit of a "cargo cult" mentality, mistaking the trappings of power for the real thing. To be a Party Chair in the Soviet system, an effective and commanding one that is, one has to have vision about where the Soviet Union is going, vision that resonates with the apparatchiks one is guiding. Khrushchev started out sharing power with several other major figures; when he maneuvered them out of power he had the support of a collegial bunch of high Politburo members. Eventually he alienated them by consulting with them less and less, and mistakes were made in consequence--hence his ouster. Brezhnev on the other hand was a gray blur, the ultimate go along to get along type with no ideas or causes--and that's what the Politburo generally liked about him.

    Shelepin has I fear some more definite ideas about how things should go, and thinks now that he's in the Party Chair position he can just impose them. He'd got allies too, lots of them. But he'll also have enemies and the more Stalin-like he acts, the more feared he'll be. He might just discover that a Party Chair who is not as closely attuned to the way the winds are blowing as Stalin was and who does not seem as dependent on allies as Khrushchev was is someone whom the system will evolve to bypass, until he becomes too much an obstacle and is abruptly removed. He might wind up as obscure as he was OTL!

    Most of what we care about here is of course, what does this mean for Soviet space enterprises? We've made much of Chelomei's fall, but I'm still worried about Mishin, he being out of step with the prevailing wisdom about hypergolic rockets. The real winner of the coup in the rocket world would seem to be Yangel--the military, with its Stalinist leanings, is riding high, in tune with both Shelepin and Brezhnev. Yangel delivers the rockets the military wants, and he can make them as big as either of his space-struck rivals should the regime desire to continue with space ventures. The U series rockets appear to be at a dead end and good riddance. Mishin is not in as bad a position politically as Chelomei was, but neither is he positioned to enjoy any wind in his sails, what with his insistence on ker-lox rockets that are useless as missiles (useful as launchers for military satellites to be sure, but so can Yangel's hypergolic rockets be, and they'd be cheaper for being evolved from the missiles) and a vision of blue-sky space exploration for the heck of it. He does have a bit of Marxist-Leninism on his side there--but the arbiters of what is and is not good Leninism today are no longer the sometimes childlike Khrushchev with his sense of wonder, but a gray Stalinist in the Party chair and a gray apparatchik running the state and their friends are a bunch of generals.

    For me, the coup was just bad news, and I'm probably guilty of wishful thinking hoping Shelepin will get flushed soon. And if he is? That just leaves us with an ATL Brezhnev era.:(