I wonder if Hollywood will produce an alternate Mississippi Burning type movie, but with Mestizos as the victims. Can't wait for the next chapter.
Kind of a unrelated question, but how would ITTL USA react to OTL Russia and vice versa for OTL Russia reacting to ITTL USA? The next chapter has to talk about the Tenth Crusade, will there be US volunteer units? Will Jerusalem be taken? What's the Pope's reaction to all of it, will he make a declaration of fighting for the Holy Land? Keep up with the good work.
Culture War: The New Jihad/Tenth Crusade
Culture War: The New Jihad/Tenth Crusade


South African colonial troops in rural Lebanon (1978)

The German Middle East had always been an inherently unstable creature. A predominantly Arab Muslim region being ruled by a Teutonic Christian power was never going to jibe well with the locals, no matter how benevolent German rule was. The fact that German rule, while not horrifying, was somewhere between the OTL British Raj and French North Africa didn't exactly help things. The presence of Kurdish and Assyrian Martial States further agitated the local population. Nonetheless, between Germany's seeming invincibility and a slow trickle of expanding rights and prosperity, the region was quiet in the immediate post-war era. However, the rise of a young, restless, and somewhat more prosperous generation in the region led to a steady growth of jihadist movements in the Middle East, specifically in German Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, Spanish Israel, as well as more limited growth in Italian Arabia and Scandinavian Arabia. Unrest ultimately erupted on December 9th, 1976, after it was learned that German secret police had illegally entered the Independent City of Mecca in Italian Arabia, violating the millennia old rule that non-Muslims could not enter the city.

What began as riots in Baghdad and Beirut soon spiraled out of control. Thousands of young men flocked to the banner of jihadist organizations, the most famous being the Islamic Caliphate of Mesopotamia led by Abdullah Ibrahim Saleh, a 27 year old theologian who preached Arab nationalism and radical Sunni Islam. Terror attacks began to rock the region, with over 1200 police officers and soldiers wounded or dead by Christmas. The Germans prepared 10,000 troops to march in and restore order, and they landed by January 18th. What they were greeted with was warfare. The presence of such a large German army again inflamed local sentiment. An armor column going from Beirut to the Lebanese countryside was annihilated by Improvised Explosive Devices and a sudden ambush on January 31st. Local collaborators refused to name who the terrorists in their communities were, sparking German reprisal attacks on local villages. In the Kurdish and Assyrian Martial States, the Kurds and Assyrians were fearful of total collapse, and another 20,000 German troops marched into those regions to shore up the Martial Races, who in their desperation were resorting to increasingly ham fisted tactics to maintain order. When "High Cleric" Abdullah Saleh declared the war "A New Jihad" in April, things further deteriorated. The entire German Middle East erupted in rebellion, and disorder spread to the Spanish Holy Land. The Spanish regime would react with nigh-genocidal brutality, with clouds of mustard gas being spotted over the holy sites of Jerusalem. This in turn sparked more religious fervor, triggering uprisings in Italian and Scandinavian Arabia, albeit more limited in scope. By November of 1977 the entire Middle East was a de facto warzone.

This utterly tanked the global oil market. The Middle East was the epicenter of the global oil trade and the massive disruptions in the region made supplies intermittent. Fuel riots broke out in Mitteleuropa, most of the continent enacted mandatory rationing, and the European economy witnessed the biggest sustained drop in growth since the 1930's. The New Jihad, dubbed by German nationalists as the "Tenth Crusade" (this was decidedly not endorsed by the Pope) was becoming an existential crisis. Further inflaming matters was the fact that Eurasia had begun supporting the rebels. This was not done out of any great sympathy for religious extremists or even a desire to see German rule collapse. Instead, Moscow's reasoning was simple: sans German and Italian oil, the ravenous Chinese economy was dependent on imports from Eurasia and her Iranian puppet state. While Germany and the US were torn with internal dissension and economic crisis, Eurasia experienced a huge resurgence in fortunes based on this alone. Dragging out the crisis could only further improve Moscow's profit margins. Thus, an atheistic power began supplying millions of dollars worth of aid to Islamic extremists. Germany was aware of this but was powerless: even they had begun buying Eurasian oil and natural gas to cover shortfalls. In face of this crisis, Germany brought out the big guns.

The Republic of South Africa was no one's favorite ally. The grasping apartheid state along the Cape was notoriously secretive, infamously paranoid, and still operated along an increasingly unpopular kind of racial hierarchy. However, what they lacked in affability they more than made up for in counter-insurgency experience. In fact, it was rarer for South Africa to not be fighting some kind of counter-insurgency than vice versa. In other words they were the perfect people to call when one was faced with a massive insurgency. In return for binding pledges of investment and a statement promising non-interference in South African affairs (i.e. no complaining about apartheid) some 120,000 South African troops flooded into the Middle East by May of 1978, almost meeting Germany's 200,000 active troops in the region. There, they plied their uniquely brutal form of counter-insurgency. Whereas German methods mostly pertained to rooting out cells and attempting to win hearts and minds through love and force alike, South Africa waged a very different kind of counter-insurgency. South African insurgencies were not between people of somewhat similar cultures and backgrounds within a context of at least limited respect for each other's rights. South Africa practiced the counter-insurgency of paranoid, existential race war. However, contrary to what one might think, this was not a policy of rape, murder, and terror (although some of that did happen). Rather, taking a page out of old colonial and Britannianist playbooks, the South Africans went about methodically destroying each and every method by which the Arab population might feed themselves. Thousands upon thousands of acres of farmland were razed, ancient fig and olive groves burned, herds of goats and cattle were shot and skinned, and foodstuffs from individual houses were collected when possible. The European powers had the logistical capability to feed the soldiers, colonists, and loyal ethnic minorities (although they frequently got shafted when hiccups occurred). Within several months, most of the German Middle East was actively starting to starve. In a final act of diabolical genius, South African soldiers armed ethnic and religious minorities, who again were often not being well fed due to logistical limitations, and encouraged them to rob their Sunni Arab neighbors as revenge for the legitimate terror they had experienced at the hands of extremists. Christians, Jews, Druze, Yazidi, Kurds, Assyrians, and more took up arms and set upon their already starving neighbors out of paranoia, greed, and sheer desperation. While they might have fed themselves, this was ultimately a deal with the devil. Having sided with the colonial powers and set upon their neighbors, they were now desperately in need of continued European protection to prevent reprisals.

Despite this, the war ground on into 1981 (in German Arabia). The local population was able to feed themselves enough to continue fighting in some sense. Most of this was due to smuggling and local ingenuity, although there was a small but not insignificant amount of food that came from Berlin as even members of the normally cold-hearted German High Command began having misgivings about the genocidal pressure being applied in the region. While a majority of High Command tolerated it, several generals "accidentally" misallocated food to Arab communities with no punishment. The South Africans had de facto taken over the ground game, and little could be done to shift policy without arousing the curiosity of the German public. In an implicit acknowledgement of guilt, German and European media were under strict orders to only broadcast state approved news about the war, which was solely focused on the atrocities of the extremists. The final blow came with the arrival of the American Expeditionary Force. On April 4th, 1981, with permission from the Germans, the Castro Administration landed 15,000 American soldiers in Kuwait City, who then marched on Baghdad. Their goal was simple: obliterate what was left of the ICM, including Abdullah Ibrahim Saleh. The Americans made sure to drop leaflets telling the locals "our quarrel is not with you, but rather with the Islamic Caliphate of Mesopotamia." The fighting on the way to Baghdad was relatively limited, but the Siege of Baghdad itself was fierce. In two weeks, the Americans dropped more bombs on Baghdad than they had on Tokyo in the last month of World War II. One of them hit a by now crazed Abdullah Saleh, who died immediately. American soldiers marched into Baghdad on April 23rd, 1981, cut down the black and white banner of the ICM, and began giving out supplies to the locals. Although the Americans were under strict orders to not mention the dire situation in the region as part of the deal with Berlin, the Castro Administration quietly allowed over half a million Arabs to seek asylum in the United States, and the Americans restarted food imports to the region even before the Germans did.

This was the Tenth Crusade as it occurred in the German Middle East, the main theater of war. The Crusade would drag on in the Spanish Holy Land for another 4 years, with the Spanish also getting help from South Africa. Italy and Scandinavia wrapped up their unrest in 1980, with much less bloodshed on both sides, as their more moderate styles of rule had caused less violent uprisings. In the German colonies though, the devastation was palpable. Some 2.5 million Arabs died, mostly as a result of the South African starvation strategy. Another 1.1 million had been rendered homeless by ethnic pogroms or bombings. 512,130 Arabs would flee to the United States, predominantly settling in the Philippines and Canada. As the Germans took stock of the region and began to rebuild, many who were in the know were privately unnerved by the brutality with which the German-South African forces had acted to restore order. Thousands of pages of documents on the Tenth Crusade (its official name outside of the Muslim world) were burned by High Command. The Crusade would have long term effects on the German Empire. German rule in Africa actually lightened a great deal, as the continent's relative quiet was taken as a sign of loyalty. There were even plans drawn up for some states to receive independence at a later date, mainly to lighten the burden on German resources. However, German Arabia would remain a police state indefinitely, and flare ups of jihadist activity would occur. To help head these off, Germany solidified its deal with the devil: Smutsville and Rhodesburg were founded outside of Beirut and Baghdad, collectively housing 30,000 South African troops and their families. In Cape Town, the veterans of the Crusade paraded through the city in front of adoring crowds and an uncomfortable looking German delegation. Germany would never again attempt to moderate South African domestic policies.


ICM forces with Eurasian gear push back German forces outside Mosul (1977)


South African troops wearing gas masks while attacking a jihadist position in Palestine (1980)


An ICM child soldier in action (1979)
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Nice chapter. Can't wait to see the Castro Presidency and what he does. Would like to see more about Italy and what there doing after WW2. I wonder how the Arab migrants will adjust to the US, hopefully better and happier than OTL. What is it like in Smutsville and Rhodesburg? Keep up the good work.
Nice chapter. Can't wait to see the Castro Presidency and what he does. Would like to see more about Italy and what there doing after WW2. I wonder how the Arab migrants will adjust to the US, hopefully better and happier than OTL. What is it like in Smutsville and Rhodesburg? Keep up the good work.

Castro is coming up! I'm debating if I should focus more on the rest of the world before finally diving in. The migrants will likely have an easier time than OTL, thankfully. Smutsville and Rhodesburg are pretty much typical base cities.

What is the relationship like between the USA and South Africa?

One's a multiracial democracy, the other is an apartheid state propped up by an American rival. They won't be exchanging love notes anytime soon.

"Castro Administration." Fidel or Raul?

Watch as all the German friendly States and trading partners begin to look for other options.
Unfortunately, the true scale of South Africa's war crimes has been kept secret. Some of Germany's allies might break off, but most of them will probably just put up with it for fear of sacrificing a good status quo.
I belive that most of germany's allies will stick with Germany but I hope that aleast Scandinavia will decide to ally them selves with America.
Unfortunately, the true scale of South Africa's war crimes has been kept secret. Some of Germany's allies might break off, but most of them will probably just put up with it for fear of sacrificing a good status quo.
And even then, those who break off are more likely to declare neutrality than defect to America.
A interesting if chilling update. I haven't commented on LtES much, but this is a good example of why I like this story Murrica. The way I'd describe it is that the narrative is dark in places, but not grimdark. Ie, people are still people, and they have a variety of reactions to things.