Here's a new worlda scenario based on the Russian/Eastern European strategy game Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath
from 2005. It can also be found on DeviantArt
For those not familiar, The Aftermath
is set in an alternate history where the Cold War goes hot in 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis. The ensuing nuclear war, however, doesn't end the world but simply leads to a rather grim, desperate and crazy take on World War III in which the four main factions fight each other, and the changing climate, for survival. Eventually, it leads to a rather curious epilogue
where in they wind up partitioning the remaining inhabitable regions of the planet among themselves.
While the map is heavily influenced by that epilogue video, the focus here is more on a more plausible take, while still retaining much of the European and Slavic hijinks. While also adding a bit of influence from works like The Peshawar Lancers
(which coincidentally the map resembles a 1960s take of) and the various alternate history mods for Hearts of Iron IV, notably TNO.
Also, a special nod to
, whose base used for his Battlefield 2142
map served as a foundation for this work.
At any rate, this is a work of fiction. This is not meant to be a political or ideological spiel. All rights belong to their respective owners.
All that being said, hope you enjoy!
Cuban Missile Crisis: Long After the Aftermath
In the period leading up to what history records as the Cuban Missile Crisis, a Cold War had been brewing between the Capitalist, Democratic West (led by the United States of America) and the Communist East (lead by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), which had all but split the world between them. A socialist revolution in Cuba in 1959 and subsequent rise of Fidel Castro, however, sent shockwaves across the world. The US, under newly elected President Kennedy, could not accept the notion of an openly Communist country so close to home, while Soviet Chairman Khrushchev threatened repercussions should the island be threatened. The situation only escalated as naval blockades, aerial reconnaissance and general military activity were conducted with growing severity, which only worsened with the botched Bay of Pigs invasion. Before long, it was discovered that the USSR had positioned nuclear missile silos on Cuban soil, ostensibly in response to NATO aggression and American warheads in Turkey. Then, on October 27, 1962, A U-2 spy plane was shot down over Cuban airspace. This proved to be the point of no return. Within a day, though after much heated deliberation, both camps braced for war. Warsaw Pact forces crossed the Iron Curtain as nuclear bomber and missile contrails began streaking the skies. Atomic fire soon followed, resulting in multi-million casualties.
It was not, however, the end of the world. The worst-case outcomes of Mutually Assured Destruction didn't come as projected, nor did World War III end in a matter of hours or days. Despite the chaos and breakdown of civil authority (if not outright societal collapse in some places), government and military contingency plans were put into effect by the surviving combatants. President Kennedy, elements of the US Government and Joint Chiefs of Staff managed to escape Washington DC in time. Establishing contact with what's left of the United Kingdom (the Royal Family having similarly been relocated before London's destruction) and any surviving NATO units on Continental Europe, the so-called "Anglo-American Alliance" began its plans to withdraw towards greener pastures. Meanwhile, realizing that NATO was effectively gone, what remained of the French and West German military command assumed control. Forming the "Franco-German Alliance," it quickly unified much of the Continent, bringing in even former Warsaw Pact nations that had rebelled against their masters. Unfortunately for either, the USSR didn't fully implode. Thanks to contingency measures enacted by Khrushchev, the Soviet Armed Forces assumed overall control, mobilizing whatever remained and conscripting survivors to push further westward. In Asia, Chairman Mao's decision to exploit the turmoil (striking American assets in Japan and the Philippines) results in a belated nuclear attack on Beijing, plunging the People's Republic of China into civil war even as PLA divisions fight desperate Soviet garrisons. Amidst the quagmire, revolutionaries opposed to the Maoists joined forces with the still-intact Kuomintang in Taiwan to take matters into their own hands.
As all these transpired, the effects of nuclear winter became increasingly pronounced. Scientists soon independently arrived at a horrifying revelation: that this would not only affect much of the Northern Hemisphere, but it would also usher in a new ice age. The next decade would see all sides engaged in grueling struggle for survival as each major power, with varying success, undertook a Great Migration of Peoples unlike any that had come before. Whether through conflict, diplomacy, squabbles over resources or sheer numbers, the geopolitical map changed dramatically. Though the bulk of the fighting would peter out by the end of the 1960s, wouldn't be until the Cape Town Accords in 1975 that World War III would officially come to a close. "Never again," the preamble intoned, "would mankind slide into the darkness of barbarism."
Precious few are alive now who remember when peace rang out. Know that it is the year 2042. Eight decades have passed since that fateful moment. The four political blocs that emerged from the ashes of atomic holocaust continue to preside over a calm world, tense as it may be beneath the surface.
The US, formally known as the United States of the Americas, remains a global power and the self-proclaimed leader of the Free World (more colloquially called the "American Sphere"). Although not without hardship and conflict, the efforts to resettle in Latin America proved to be relatively bloodless and organized. From Puerto Rico and the reconstructed Canal to the Patagonian lands ceded by Chile and Argentina, the American way of life remains alive and well, even recreating portions of New York (complete with the Statue of Liberty) in Panama. Granted, one would find as many "Amestizos" nowadays (with sizable numbers even in countries such as Mexico) as there are Whites, while a number of states and allies have more military or corporate influence than others. Still, a "melting pot" policy of cultural assimilation has long made Segregation and Martial Law a thing of the past. Meanwhile, the other half of the Anglo-American Alliance has established a powerful dominion across the Pacific as the United Kingdom in Exile. Based from Australia and under the rule of King Edward IX, the realm has proven itself to be capable of holding its own against any outside threat, all while preserving pure Anglo culture. Then, there are the myriad countries across the globe under the Bald Eagle's watch that, in their own way, uphold the virtues of liberty. Whether it's America's intertwined New World network (in which the Brazil-led South American Federation is first among equals), or the stubborn yet steadfast Union of South Africa, few can deny the might of capitalism and democracy.
The USSR has also endured still as the dominant face of the New Comintern, the successor to the old Warsaw Pact. Much of this is due to a blend of ruthlessness, sheer numbers and desperation as their forefathers sought greener pastures, crushing anyone who stood in their way (whether Iranians, rogue militias or stranded colonial garrisons) on their southward march. Though it came at great cost, they succeeded in finding their new promised land. Granted, some of those claiming descent from Russians, Ukrainians, Yugoslavs and others have at least some native blood, while the beating heart of Communism has long shifted away from the surviving sliver of "original" SSRs to Africa and the Middle East. Nonetheless, a rigorous campaign of Russification and Slavification have all but recreated the lost Motherland, which combined with the insistence of retaining many pre-WWIII symbols can make it seem as though the nuclear apocalypse never happened. They also found vital allies along the way, however, which the emerging Party leadership either elevated into positions of power or rewarded with privileges within the bloc, provided they remain loyal. Whether it's the United Arab Republic, the populous Socialist Republic of Bharat or the competent, anti-colonialist People's Union of East Africa, the heirs of Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev are not alone in this brave new world. Anyone who disagrees with these views or the tenets of Marxism-Leninism, are few and far between. The mighty Soviet Armed Forces, along with the reinvigorated KGB, have seen to that.
Then, there's the New European Union. The Franco-German Alliance, faced with both an increasingly severe nuclear winter and a similarly desperate foe, soon realized the impossibility of clinging onto the Continent. Thus, evacuating as many Europeans as they could, from Scandinavia down to the crumbling Spanish and Portuguese heartlands, they moved into the western half of Africa, which was still largely in the midst of decolonziation. It didn't take long for the exiled refugees, which formally proclaimed themselves the NEU in 1975, to begin the painful yet rigorous process of consolidating territory and remaking their new domains in their image. Various regions were designated as "Core States" where the various European peoples could recreate their lost nations, with themselves as the majority. The tripartite capitals of Dakar, Windhoek and New Europa in particular are living monuments to millennia of civilization, though the great re-engineering of the Congo (based on old Atlantropa designs) that has made the "Heart of Darkness" much more livable is a close second. Alongside these prosperous beacons are the myriad Non-European States that were integrated over the years. Though under Black rule and seen as equals, in practice those who either are of at least partial descent or otherwise "Europeanized" wield considerable influence, while these former colonies have been further developed to suit their erstwhile better. Though even they would consider their lot a massive improvement compared to the "Special Native Territories." Here, the NEU's pretensions of enlightened humanism and the supremacy of "proper" Western culture (compared to the Americans and UK in Exile) are at their weakest, with the nominally "free" Africans in such areas living in even worse conditions than the old Bantustans of South Africa. Those these haven't stop the sons and daughters of Europe from trying to help everyone, or to prevent their native "wards" from getting any ideas about anti-colonialism.
Lastly, there's the Sovereign Republic of China. The anti-Maoist revolutionaries and the Kuomintang proved themselves triumphant in the protracted civil war that wracked the PRC even as it collapsed, all the while fending off any Soviet and Anglo-American forces hoping to take advantage of the chaos. As more of the Northern Hemisphere grew increasingly inhospitable, they proclaimed victory and, leaving the Maoists to die, brought many of the survivors south to Southeast Asia, overwhelming any opposition that stood in their way. From Singapore, the SRC was formally proclaimed in 1970 and quickly expanded, taking advantage of the new landmasses that were emerging with the declining sea levels. Since then, they have firmly established themselves as a nigh-unquestioned hegemon over their corner of the world. Over time, a blend of technocracy, "Three Principles" Republicanism and a sense of cultural supremacy has emerged as the dominant ideology, while generations of Sinification (albeit with mixed results) have thoroughly changed many of the lands under its control forever. Mirroring the Imperial dynasties of old, the reformed nation also maintains a closely-knit system of client states that, though largely left to their own devices, are glorified tributaries. While some are more favored or given greater leeway than others, most notably the militaristic Democratic People's Republic of Korea (though Juche has evolved to the point of barely being socialist), all those "under Heaven" know who their suzerain is, with those of Chinese descent or with connections to the government having significant sway. What hasn't changed from Mao's day, however, is a firm desire to never again be belittled by the great powers, and for China to reclaim its rightful place in the world.
Although experimental prototypes were deployed by all sides largely out of desperation, such as the Soviet Object 279 heavy tank, the later stages of WWIII and the early years after the Cape Town Accords gradually saw a technological and industrial regression to early 20th (if not late 19th) Century living at best. With the overriding concerns of survival, conflict and reconstruction, the scant resources allocated to R&D were instead largely focused on geo-engineering (with the NEU's efforts in Africa being among the more dramatic) and generally preventing any outright collapse of civilization. It wouldn't be until around the 2020s, however, that the more developed territories among the blocs began to regain standards of living comparable to the pre-war world of 1962. This is once more an age of jets, transistors, TVs and sophisticated tech, though frontier regions still tend to be lucky to have regular electricity or telephone access. Societies, meanwhile, have evolved both out of necessity in adapting to the new world and along lines that, while recognizable to Cold War humanity, are arguably taken closer to their logical conclusion. Each of the blocs, whether the "Free World," the New Comintern, the NEU or the Chinese-dominated "East Asian Sphere," see themselves as increasingly distinct in representing their visions for mankind that any parallels are becoming few and far between. Though ironically, some of the means with which they achieve this remain rather similar.
While the world is no longer split between East and West, the partitioning of the globe among the four blocs has solidified the borders between them into the so-called "Steel Curtains." Tracing their origins to the front lines during the latter years of WWIII, these nominally demilitarized zones almost immediately came to be defined by an armed buildup that had never really stopped. By the early 21st Century, it's not unheard of to find all kinds of measures from heavily monitored checkpoints to fortification networks that make the old Maginot Line and Berlin Wall pale in comparison, and the latest weaponry, whether it's hovering American infantry platforms or Chinese heavy tanks (coincidentally patterned after stolen Soviet designs). Ostensibly intended by all sides as deterrence against any aggressive designs, these have not really stop them from engaging in proxy battles, subterfuge, espionage and all kinds of tactics short of open conflict. The African Steel Curtain arguably is the clearest example of this in action, further exasperated by the landmass' vast resources, ideological grandstanding and anti-colonial sentiment. Still, despite rumors of nuclear weapons and even more exotic systems being placed on reserve in the event of yet another global clash, many still hope that the status quo holds, in the name of peace.
Though there are concerns that any outbreak of war may come from the unlikeliest of places: the desolate wastelands further north. As early as the 1970s, the various blocs had sent tentative expeditions to the carcasses of their old homelands, whether out of nationalist pride, recovering cultural artifacts or extracting valuable secrets. While some have been more active at this venture than others (most notably the SRC's push into the Chinese mainland and the NEU's successful resettlement of Sicily), the claims still eld by the major powers are largely maintained by scattered outposts and bases. Outside of surveyors, explorers and military expeditions, few dare venture far from safety. For while the icy lands do host the occasional enclave of civilization (such as Mormon homestead communities in old Utah), they're fraught with irradiated dangers and the degraded cannibal descendants (including what remained of the old Maoist cliques) of those left behind. Increasingly, however, there are unconfirmed reports of curious findings amidst the ruins, as well as clashes with other expeditionary forces over conflicting claims. Combined with new research and incentives potentially opening the Northern Hemisphere to widespread reclamation, it may be a matter of time before tensions boil over again.
Long after the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, it seems like some things never change.