Thanks for your kind comment
Dalian was meant as an Inchon analogue-- I suppose it is a bit obvious
Dalian was meant as an Inchon analogue-- I suppose it is a bit obvious
Really great, please continue.World War III- Part Four
"He who defends everything defends nothing."- Frederick the Great
Following the nuclear defeat at the Second Battle of Jena, the already precarious Soviet position tipped over the edge into the abyss of inevitable defeat. Everywhere one looked, the dam was bursting. The Chinese had liberated the ruins of Beijing, India was proving a useless ally, and the German front was on the verge of being cracked open. Nonetheless, Brezhnev refused to even admit that defeat might be imminent, fighting on at mounting cost and in spite of ever-increasing odds...
March 1, 1965: Once the full scale of the losses at the Second Battle of Jena become apparent to the Soviet public, a series of protests and demonstrations of varying degrees of violence break out in the cities of the USSR. They're viciously subdued by the Soviet police, but constitute an unwelcome symbol of what is to come...
Over the course of the first week of March 1965, similar protests break out in the Warsaw Pact capitals, which are suppressed with even greater brutality by the Soviet occupying forces.
While these protests carry on, the broken Communist armies are pushed back all along the front, as there are no effective substitutes for those units put into the Jena gamble from other sectors of the front.
In the Allied camp, there is now a debate on the best way to exploit the Jena victory. With the Soviet salient in West Germany collapsing by the day, opinion is divided on whether to advance to Berlin or Prague. The West Germans favour the former, while the British feel that the latter will be a softer target. In the end, the Americans side with the West Germans, and plans are drawn up to capture the East German capital.
March 6, 1965: Wolfsburg is liberated by the British, who are pleasantly surprised at the comparatively low casualties which they suffer
March 12, 1965: Operation Thumbtack is launched by the Americans and West Germans, an offensive designed to begin the process of isolating Berlin. Leipzig and Halle both fall after four days, and by the 20th, the West German-American force is situated 35 km from Potsdam.
Operation Thumbtack is accompanied by a smaller British offensive in northern Germany, which crosses the Elbe between Luneburg and Salzwedel, with the end goal of taking Rostock, both to divert Soviet troops and isolate still further the German capital
March 16, 1965: All along the Chinese front, a general offensive codenamed "Imperial Dragon" commences, designed to throw back the weary Red Army with waves upon waves of inexhaustible Chinese manpower. The exhausted Soviets fall back quickly, seeking only to retire to the pre-prepared positions in Manchuria which were built by Khruschev and Mao for the People's Republic of North China in the 1950s. More than one correspondent compares the Red Army's situation to that of the Wehrmacht following its catastrophic defeat in Operation Citadel. Zhangjiakou, Chengde, and Qinhuangdao all fall in short order, with remarkably low Chinese casualties, especially when compared to the losses in earlier battles.
April 1, 1965: In a stunning blow (dubbed in later years "the last Allied defeat of the war"), President Lyndon Johnson suffers a heart attack in the middle of the day, and rapidly slides into critical condition. He is hospitalised, and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey takes over the day-to-day running of both the government and the war. (1)
April 9, 1965: With the Anglo-American-West German force rapidly approaching Berlin, the first domino in the collapse of the Warsaw Pact falls. East German dictator Walter Ulbricht is arrested en route to a meeting of East German military leaders. He and several other major regime figures are thrown into prison, and attacks on the Russian garrisons of both East and West Berlin begin, the people all too glad to have a try at liberating themselves before the Allies arrive. Willi Stoph, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, declaring his intent to "pull a Donitz", proclaims himself leader, and calls on the East German army to placidly surrender. Although many are fearful of the reprisals of Allied troops for the various nuclear attacks on Allied cities, a decent number are willing to go over, especially to their Western brethren. However, these East Germans are not treated as co-belligerents, instead, they're thrown into prison camps. However, the treatment they receive is markedly better than that meted out to captured Russians...
In a fit of fury, Brezhnev has the various rubber-stamps left in Moscow declare war on East Germany, and fighting breaks out all over the country between East German and Soviet troops. He also gives orders that Berlin be destroyed with nuclear weapons as punishment. However, this order is deliberately "lost", and the Soviet dictator is informed that the city has been destroyed, later being shown a film of Beijing's destruction to fool him. Those left alive in the USSR who aren't total yes-men realise, now more than ever, that Brezhnev will have to be destroyed, or else a sea of nuclear fire will consume Russia...
Meanwhile, following East Germany's example, revolts break out in Poland, Hungary, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania, as well as in the Baltic provinces of the USSR. Russian troops clash with those of their erstwhile puppets, and for the rest of the war, a guerilla fight will be waged between the Russians and the people to their rear, although the communist governments themselves will remain theoretically loyal. The East German fiasco prompts the Soviets to increase their troop presence in Shenyang, Changchun, and especially Harbin, to prevent Deng Xiaoping or anyone else attempting to do something similar in the Soviet Republic of Manchuria.
April 11, 1965: After the short, anticlimactic Second Battle of Berlin sees the Allies and people of Berlin expel the last Soviets remaining, East Germany formally surrenders to the Allies. Stoph is arrested, along with all of the regime heads, and- much against the will of plenty of Britons, West Germans, and Benelux- an amnesty for all East Germans who lay down their arms is announced. This last point is mostly acting President Humphrey's doing.
That same day, Lyndon Johnson experiences a small revival- he is able to make a televised five-minute announcement from his hospital bed, declaring his faith in Humphrey as acting president and praising the nation for fighting on. However, he is in no state to return to office, at least not yet.
April 14, 1965: In a daring move, US General Maxwell D. Taylor lands five divisions behind enemy lines at the Chinese port of Dalian, from where they rapidly advance to Shenyang. The Dalian bridgehead is rapidly reinforced with both American and Chinese troops, and the Allies stand poised to advance either into Korea to topple the Kim regime, or into the heart of Manchuria.
April 16, 1965: Italy, Yugoslavia, and Turkey all declare war on the Warsaw Pact, rushing troops into the Balkans and Caucasus
News of this is enough to provoke further the barely controlled turmoil in Moscow and other Soviet cities, with fresh rounds of riots breaking out. In the cities of the Warsaw Pact satellites, meanwhile, the chaos is far less controlled, with Soviet troops battling locals in the streets. The satellite armies, meanwhile, are in varying states of mutiny.
April 20, 1965: Following a long, hard month of advances after the Second Battle of Jena, the Allies pause to regroup on the Oder River. Now, a version of the old "broad front/narrow front" argument from World War II is resurrected, with some Allied commanders wanting to conquer Poland as the prelude to an advance into the USSR's heartland itself, while others want to remove the flanking threat posed by Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Proponents of the latter point to the need to relieve Yugoslavia, which is presently fighting on a wide front indeed.
April 23, 1965: Even as Italian and British troops stream into the country, Austria declares war on the Warsaw Pact.
April 28- May 18, 1965: Operation Sunrise is launched by a joint American-Chinese force, designed to utterly cripple the Soviet Republic of Manchuria. Over the course of three weeks, the pre-prepared defences are utterly swept away, as one city after another falls to the Chinese and Americans. When Harbin falls on May 10, Chairman Wang Ming has already fled to Russia, and Zhu De takes over the Soviet Republic of Manchuria, now little more than a guerilla force operating on the Russian border- just like the Chinese Communists just prior to the Second Manchurian Storm. State president (2) Deng Xiaoping, meanwhile, is captured and taken back to Nanjing.
May 3, 1965: After a long struggle, Lyndon Johnson finally expires, dying in his sleep at two AM. The next day, Hubert Humphrey is formally inaugurated as the 37th POTUS, with David Rusk as vice-president. In his inaugural address, President Humphrey calls on Brezhnev to surrender and pledges to "continue the fight until all the people of Eastern Europe and China are free"
May 7, 1965: In New Delhi, an important development occurs. Kandispal Vispoot is forcibly removed from power and a civilian government dominated by the Swatantra Party and the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, two covertly Chinese-backed pre-communism parties which went underground at the start of the Vispoot era, takes power. Within hours, an armistice with the Chinese and Pakistanis is requested and granted, with a peace treaty to be signed later on.
May 14, 1965: Operation Frederick (2) is launched. Frederick consists of a massive Allied assault across the Oder into Poland. The Red Army is driven back closer and closer to their homeland, and by this point, the Polish army is fighting pretty much on the side of the Allies. Insurgents have already liberated Warsaw by the time the Allies reach it, on May 20.
Meanwhile, the Baltic states go into revolt, as do the republics of the South Caucasus. Soviet troops are pulled from the now-forgotten Xinjiang front to quell the uprisings, with the result that Ma Bufang's troops are poised to enter Soviet Central Asia by the start of June.
With the Soviet Union collapsing in a way far more thorough than in the summer of 1941, and riots visible from the windows of their Kremlin offices, a certain cabal of Soviet apparatchiks have finally had enough...
On May 18, 1965, a clique of Soviet leaders who Brezhnev hadn't purged (and who weren't mindless yes-men)- Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers Dimitry Polyansky, Prime Minister of the Russian Soviet Federal Republic Gennady Voronov, and Yuri Andropov, together with a unit in the Moscow garrison willing to defect and a hefty helping of local rioters, mount a coup, arresting Brezhnev and several others major figures in the regime. The Allies are immediately contacted through the Swedish embassy, and a request for an armistice is granted...
World War III is over
(1) As a great fan of David bar Elias' TL-191: After the End, I was quite pleased to find out that, as Johnson's VP, Humphrey (something of a hero in that TL) would get the presidency in TTL as well!
(2) Named after the medieval German prince Frederick Barbarossa, whose name Hitler used for his own invasion of the USSR. The Allies doing this in TTL is a way of casting two fingers at the Soviets, so to speak
Really great, please continue.
Nasser ITTL: "Oh, don't mind us; we're just watching this show..."
Why would Turkey declare war in the USSR? I understand they hating the Soviets and wanting territorial concessions but why they aren't afraid of nuclear retaliation in their population centers?
Sounds like a pretty fair treaty.The Signing of the Treaty of Moscow and the End of World War IIIWorld War III was, to the surprise of many, saved from bearing the title "bloodiest conflict in human history". That, however, was only because Hitler's six-year war, when compared to Brezhnev's seven-month one, would put anything and anyone in the shade. (1) Although precise estimates are still hard to come by, it seems safe to say that Allied military deaths hovered around 2,750,000, of which perhaps two million were Nationalist Chinese. Meanwhile, the death toll of the Red Army was in all probability closer to one million. When combined, the Warsaw Pact nations likely suffered 600,000 or so deaths, the result of the way in which the Soviets treated them as cannon fodder. (2) Indian casualties likely hovered around 175,000, owing to the more defensive nature of their front.
That number, of course, excludes civilian casualties. In Beijing prior to the war, there were approximately 4,600,000 people, nearly all of whom died during the war, be it in one of two city-wide street battles, in the Soviet nuclear attack, or due to radiation. In Suzhou, a further six and a half million died. In the Soviet Union, meanwhile, approximately 1.2 million died in the nuclear destruction of Leningrad, either in the blast itself or as the result of cancer directly caused by the atomic attack. Minsk saw 100,000 deaths, with similar numbers in Kiev, Kharkov, and Smolensk. The destroyed Allied cities of Norwich, Ipswitch, Amsterdam, Brussels, Kassel, and Fulda, meanwhile, suffered an average of 90,000 deaths apiece. Add to this 500,000 or so West German civilian deaths from being located in the combat zone and executions from the harsh Soviet occupation and perhaps 50,000 deaths of Warsaw Pact insurgents, and one gets a rough total of 18,315,000 deaths in the 249 days between Chiang Kai-shek's declaration of war on India and the May 18 armistice request, which amounts to a horrifying average of 73, 555 deaths per day. For comparison purposes, if that figure- and with it, the intensity of combat which created it- were to be extrapolated to every day of World War II, then the number of deaths in that conflict would be approximately 162 million.
All of this was very much on the minds of the Allied leaders as they travelled to Moscow in the late spring of 1965. Even as they did so, defeated Communist regimes in Eastern Europe fell. Nicolae Ceacaseau, Władysław Gomułka, Alexander Dubcek, Todor Zhvikov, and István Dobi all found themselves hounded from power by the masses in whose name they ironically claimed to rule. As the few units left fighting in these armies for the Soviets threw down their arms, Allied troops advanced eastwards, being welcomed into Warsaw, Budapest, Prague, Sofia, and Bucharest as liberators. Meanwhile, the Baltic and South Caucasus remained in a state of turmoil, and chaos spread to Ukraine. Latvia was the first to go, declaring its independence on June 1. The next day, Armenia and Estonia formally seceded from the USSR, followed by Azerbaijan on the third. Lithuania quit the union on the fifth, and Georgia on the seventh. However, it should be noted that none of these newly proclaimed nations as of yet controlled all of the territory they claimed, and indeed would not succeed in evicting the still-loyal units of the Red Army before their independence was confirmed by the Treaty of Moscow. Really, the only area where the USSR didn't have a headache brewing was in Central Asia, where the republics there made no move to secede. Additionally, the Belarusian SSR remained fairly calm.
Thus, on June 1, 1965, when the Allied delegation arrived in Moscow to present terms to Polyansky, Voronov, and Andropov, they were not in a benign, forgiving mood. The Americans sent President Humphrey and his new Secretary of State John Moore Allison, picked for his close ties to the Chinese government. Great Britain sent Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart, while Chiang dispatched his son and future successor Chiang Ching-kuo. West Germany, meanwhile, was represented by Foreign Minister Oskar Fischer. Since the USSR's fragile domestic situation post-coup meant that it didn't actually have a foreign minister right when one was needed most, the top three selected Dimitry Polyansky to represent them, although all three communicated quite regularly by telephone.
In a sign of the way they were going to handle this treaty, the Allied delegation arrived at Moscow with four armoured and four infantry divisions, one from each major combatant. Until the negotiations were finished, Moscow would be under Allied military occupation. This aroused everyone's ire and infuriated the Soviet troika at the top, but what could anyone do? The Allied garrison was well-behaved, with remarkably few incidents of looting or "incidents", even from the extremely vengeful Chinese and West Germans. For the first time in several months, the protests and riots, alongside the accompanying street violence these entailed, came to a halt. The fact that the Allied soldiers came with food also helped to smooth relations somewhat between them and the locals, whose rations had been decreasing for months. Nonetheless, this was clearly a military occupation, complete with propaganda posters, occupation zones, and curfews.
The Allies differed immensely on their objectives at the treaty signing. Virtually everyone was unanimous that their raison d'etre was to prevent the Soviet Union from ever threatening their hegemony again. However, the Americans, whose cities had never tasted nuclear fire, were markedly more moderate in their approach to the defeated USSR than the others. From Humphrey's perspective, dismembering the USSR completely would only send it spiralling downwards into warlordism and chaos for the foreseeable future. The instability thus created would not only prove dangerous for the nations bordering the Soviet Union but would also be a humanitarian catastrophe. At that last point, however, the Chinese and West Germans effectively said, "Precisely." Revanchism was high on the lists of priorities of all the Allied nations save the United States. In seven months, the Chinese and West Germans had come to hate the Russian people in a way the Americans did not. The United States saw its role as essentially akin to the one it played twenty years past- namely, it had to reconstruct and reform Russia. Stewart, Chiang Jr, and Fischer responded to that point with, "well, Germany was occupied and thoroughly de-Nazified in 1945, no?" To which Humphrey replied with the obvious- even if we wanted to, we couldn't occupy all of Russia! Humphrey was also afraid of repeating the Treaty of Versailles- namely, by inflaming public anger amongst the peoples of the Soviet Union against the West with a harsh peace treaty which punished the average man in the street. That, in turn, might make them turn to some kind of neo-Brezhnev who promised to "restore the glory of the Motherland", or something to that effect. The other Allies responded with the same argument, that "if we outlaw communism and dismember the bloody place, that won't be an issue, will it?" Why, they asked, couldn't the Occupation of Moscow be replicated elsewhere in Russia? A smaller bone of contention came when the Yugoslavian dictator Tito announced his intention to keep hold of Albania, which he had conquered, and annex it. Eventually, the weary Allies decided to give him the green light there, although they remained displeased.
However, some points went over much more smoothly. Central and Eastern Europe had to be brought into the Allied fold, and democracy had to be fostered in these areas. Additionally, the areas of the USSR fighting for independence had to be recognised as independent nations. Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia were to be treated as victims of Soviet aggression and permitted to join NATO. Also unanimous was the desire for German reunification. Chiang's claim to Mongolia and a swathe of the Russian Far East also went unopposed. The Soviet Union would also be deprived of all nuclear technology, plus its Security Council seat. Hubert Humphrey dangled the promise of additional reconstruction aid over the heads of the other Allies in exchange for their agreeing to leave the rump USSR intact, and, muttering "against my better judgement", they eventually acquiesced.
It should go without saying that Polyansky was not present at these inter-Allied debates. The bill was presented to him a week later, on June 7, 1965:
With the signing, World War III formally ended. The world could now look ahead to the future, whatever that might consist of...
- The USSR is to acknowledge the independence of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus.
- The USSR is to cede the provinces of Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur, and Yevery to the Republic of China. Mongolia is also to be annexed to China.
- The USSR is to pay the Allies 5 billion rubles in reparations
- Leonid Brezhnev and other key regime figures are to be handed over to the Allies for trial and punishment.
- The USSR is to cede all nuclear weapons and is banned from ever researching nuclear energy for any purpose
- The Red Army is to be reduced to 125,000 men
- The USSR is to give up its seat on the UN Security Council
- The Warsaw Pact is dissolved
- Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia are to be admitted into NATO
(1) Except, that is, for OTL's Great Leap Forward...
(2) As always, these figures are very rough ones
Can you please show us a map of the post-war Far East?
But the WP nations are now part of NATO and a strong China would surely prevent WW4 from happening.I think is definitely Versailles material, they did lose a LOT of territory. A lot more than Germany in WW1. They even lost Vladivostok.
ITTL's Korean war is still going be a forgotten battlefield.Kim Il-sung's Korea has yet to be conquered- it'll be mopped up in the next update by the KMT
Fearing an American invasion now that Soviet nuclear missiles have been withdrawn, Fidel Castro wisely decided to keep Cuba neutral
The Far East will be covered next update, including a peace treaty with India.
China and Germany will both look to become regional leaders in the postwar years