Chapter One
  • In this TL, the point of divergence comes when Chiang Kai-shek ignores George Marshall's call for a cease-fire and continues the offensive against Mao and his Communists in Manchuria. Note: I have no Chinese-language skills whatsoever, so I am reliant upon Google Translate. If I make a mistake here with translation, please leave a comment saying so! Enjoy.

    September 2, 1945: Imperial Japan surrenders, marking the end of the Pacific War (and WWII). Large swathes of China, including Manchuria, are occupied by the Soviet Union. From the mountain base in northern Shaanxi province, Yan'an, Mao Zedong plans to take over much of this area.

    The rest of China is ruled by Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalists (KMT). The KMT carried the brunt of most of the fighting against the Japanese during the war, and is as such exhausted. Chiang tells the Japanese troops which have not yet surrendered to await the arrival of Nationalist troops and not surrender to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

    Both sides make grabs for territory- the occupied regions of Hunan, Hubei, Guangxi, Zhejiang, and Hebei provinces are captured by Chiang's Nationalists, while the CCP takes control of Shandong. However, the CCP also has control of a number of bases left over from the war in these areas, formed by Communist partisans equipped and dispatched by Mao. These cells have a combined population in the millions, and will cause the Nationalists much headache in the coming conflict...

    October 10, 1945: The Double Tenth Agreement (the tenth day of the tenth month) is signed in Chongqing, the Nationalist capital. This agreement has Mao accept Chiang as the leader of China, in exchange for which he is granted a sphere of control centred around Yan'an.

    Neither side plans to abide by the treaty for too long, however. While Mao is in Chongqing, US forces land in northern China to accept the surrender of the Japanese garrisons of Tianjin and Beijing, which are then promptly handed over to the Nationalists. The US Navy also begins operations to ferry Nationalist troops to Manchuria as a prelude to fighting the CCP for control of the territory. American troops are stationed in key Chinese cities, and US money is funnelled to the KMT. The Soviets, meanwhile, direct captured Japanese weaponry and equipment to the Communists. Both sides fully expect conflict to resume in the near future....

    October 1945: The Second Chinese Civil War begins as Mao launches military operations centred around the Great Wall of China to keep the Nationalist forces out of Manchuria (itself still under Soviet occupation). The Communist commander in the Manchuria front is Lin Biao, while his Nationalist counterpart is named Tu Yuming. Communist reinforcements arrive from the Shandong Peninsula, while the US Navy sends squadrons close to the Manchurian coastline and ferries in a handful of KMT troops.

    The campaign, however, plays out rather inauspiciously for the Communists. Their only military experience has been as guerilla fighters: first as quasi-bandits during the 1920s, then on the Long March, then during World War II, when under Mao's orders they studiously avoided combat with the Japanese. Although this means that their forces are far less fatigued than Chiang's, it also means that they have far less experience in the field. By contrast, the Nationalists, while lacking in morale and tired from eight years of combat, are experienced and have access to relatively high-quality military equipment, the majority of which was given to them by the US during the Second World War, but some of which was taken from the Japanese as they surrendered city-by-city on China's east coast.

    Morale is also a serious problem for the Communist troops. Almost all of them have been viciously indoctrinated in Yan'an, with Maoist "self-criticisms" par for the course. Life is extremely stressful for them, and many choose to abandon the fight and defect. In addition, Mao cannot count on the support of a hundred per cent of the peasantry: although many are attracted to his revolutionary ideology, a large number of Manchurian peasants back Chiang, as they have just come out from under fourteen years of Japanese occupation and desire peace. These peasants have missed the worst corruption of the KMT regime, and as such see Chiang as far more legitimate than Mao.

    All of these factors combine to mean that the Communists cannot keep the Nationalist forces from entering Manchuria. At this stage, a divergence over strategy in Manchuria emerges in the Communist camp. Mao is insistent upon holding Harbin, Shenyang, and Changchun, the three major cities of the region. Lin Biao and Liu Shaoqi (Mao's deputy) advocate for abandoning the three cities and establishing a firm base along the borders with the USSR, North Korea, and Mongolia, and standing primarily on the defensive, allowing the Nationalists to weaken themselves in futile attacks while the Communists receive aid from Russia. However, Mao's view prevails. The results are disastrous for the CCP, which over the months of October and November loses much of southern Manchuria.

    October 24, 1945: The United Nations is formed. The UN Security Council consists of the USA, Britain, France, the USSR, and Chiang's Nationalists.

    November 17, 1945: A cable arrives for Mao from Moscow, ordering the Communist leader to follow Lin and Liu in abandoning the cities and building up a base on the border. The shock of what he sees as a betrayal nearly sends Mao into a nervous breakdown, but he goes ahead, aware that he cannot afford to be abandoned by his patron.

    February 1946: The minutes of the 1944 Yalta Agreement are finally made public to the world. In them, the Tsarist-era privileges in China claimed by Stalin are revealed to the world. These consist basically of an economic sphere of influence in the north and west, including recognition of Outer Mongolia's independence (and thus its status as a Soviet puppet), the independence of the Second East Turkestan Republic (a small Muslim Communist state carved out of Xinjiang province by a Soviet-backed uprising in 1944), and Soviet economic influence in Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. The publication of the treaty causes widespread anti-Soviet feeling across China, and the people's opinion of communism drops, meaning that their views on the Nationalists improve. Lin Biao summed it up best: "People are saying that the 8th Route Army shouldn't be fighting the government army... They regard the Nationalists as the Central Government." (1)

    March 4-5, 1946: US general George Marshall visits Yan'an. Marshall, himself quite liberal, hopes to see a joint CCP-KMT coalition rule China. He is swayed by Mao's promises that the Communists will peacefully accept their role as second fiddle to Chiang, and will forsake armed warfare. Mao also claims that the CCP are not real communists like those in Eastern Europe, and are certainly not stooges of the USSR like the Eastern European parties. Instead, Mao portrays his force as left-wing agrarian reformers committed to fighting corruption and poverty and establishing a new China which will chart its own path through the world. Marshall returns to Washington confident that he can end once and for all the conflict in China, which has lasted two decades in one form or another (going back to the Northern Expedition).

    May 3, 1946: Approximately ten months after first entering China, the last Soviet Red Army units are withdrawn. They coordinate with Mao so as to allow the Communists to take over what they occupied while keeping Chiang's Nationalists shut out. The vast majority of Manchuria is now under direct Communist rule, save those parts occupied by Chiang.

    This decision proves fatal for the Communists, however, as it means that their source of aid- the Soviets- is now further away than before, meaning that they are on their own. Manchuria is conquered within weeks, and by June Shenyang, Dalian, Jilin, and Changchun have all fallen to the Nationalists. On June 3, Mao orders Lin Biao to evacuate Harbin (the last major Manchurian city under Communist rule) and focus on establishing bases on the Soviet, North Korean, and Mongolian borders.

    June 4, 1946: US Secretary of State George Marshall proposes a cease-fire in the conflict. He demands that Chiang agree to a two-week armistice with Mao, on pain of having all American equipment and aid revoked.

    Marshall's ultimatum sparks fierce debate amongst the Nationalists. The prospect of being without American aid or equipment is deeply unappetising, and as such some in the Nationalist camp advocate for accepting the Marshall ceasefire. The most prominent of these figures is Wei Lihuang, who Chiang suspects is a Communist sleeper agent. However, Chiang reasons that the Communists are so close to defeat that even in the event that US aid is cut off, they can be crushed and it will be worth it. The Chinese Civil War will continue. (2) True to Marshall's threat, America stops loans to Nationalist banks and ends all shipments of military equipment to the KMT army.

    June 8, 1946: After two days of fighting, Lin Biao is forced out of Harbin. Communist control in Manchuria now consists of a belt of territory wrapping around the Soviet-Mongolian-North Korean borders. Mao is forced to accept plans to "go over to guerilla warfare on a long-term basis".

    In the Soviet Union, fears are aroused after the fall of Harbin that all of China will soon be under the rule of the hostile Nationalists. Stalin begins to prepare for the possibility of taking steps to secure Communist dominance of Northeast Asia...

    June 14, 1946: Stalin's foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov meets with Mongolian leader Khorloogiin Choibalsan to discuss "the possibility of the Mongolian People's Republic acquiring, at a certain date in the near future, a part or all of the region of Inner Mongolia." An Inner Mongolian provisional government is formed and plans to annex the region to Mongolia (itself a Soviet puppet) are prepared for execution.

    July 5, 1946: Nationalist troops reach the Amur River (and Soviet border) opposite the Soviet town of Amurzet, dividing the Communist territory remaining in Manchuria in two. Chiang gives very strict orders not to cross the river, even in pursuit of retreating Communist forces. Two Nationalist soldiers- Ling Changfu and Zhuang Tsehai- who kill a Russian trader for his purse are executed following a court-martial. In spite of these precautions, Chiang is sure that the Soviets will strike against him in the near future, especially as his border with the USSR grows almost by the day. Apollon Pietrow, the Soviet ambassador to Chiang, warns Nanjing (Chiang's capital) on the sixth that "the Soviet Union may be faced with no choice but to take action on behalf of Mao Zedong and to protect our own eastern provinces if troops of the Chinese Central Government are not withdrawn from all positions along the Soviet border within one week." Chiang decides to take a massive gamble and continues the offensive against Mao. The Red Army, meanwhile, has been building up on the Chinese border for a second invasion, with many veteran units of 1945 being shunted eastwards.

    July 14, 1946: At 12:15 AM, fifteen minutes after Pietrow's ultimatum expires, Soviet Field Marshal Rodion Malinovsky leads the newly created Manchurian Front (3) into China. The front between the Nationalists and Soviets is approximately 340 miles long and runs between Da Hagan Ling and Yichun, both of which are just barely under Nationalist occupation. 750,000 troops are used in this operation, along with 1200 T-34 tanks and 580 IS-2 tanks. Nationalist forces, while superior to the guerilla armies of the CCP, are in no state to fight fresh, superbly equipped Soviet troops who considerably outnumber them in the theatre. Chiang orders a general retreat through Manchuria, hoping to stretch the Soviet supply columns and lure Malinovsky into a trap. However, he knows that the odds are now very long indeed...

    To be continued....

    (1) Quote taken from the OTL Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and John Halliday, page 285.
    (2) POD, obviously in OTL Chiang agreed to the ceasefire
    (3) Front being the Soviet term for army group
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    Chapter Two
  • July 14, 1946: In Washington, President Truman is awoken with the news that the Soviets have invaded China. The US government is torn as to what to do. Some figures, such as Secretary of State Dean Acheson and a young Wisconsin firebrand, Joseph McCarthy, favour harsh measures, including even a declaration of war on the USSR. Others, such as Secretary of Defence James Forrestal and major Democratic Party leader Henry Wallace, adopt a policy of indifference. To them, China is an ocean away, and with the Second World War not even a year over, a war with the Soviets is unthinkable. Opinions on Chiang and his whole regime are also mixed amongst American leaders. Although all leaders remember reading about the Rape of Nanjing and fire-bombing of Chongqing during WWII and how the Nationalists withstood such a horrid conflict at the side of the USA, Chiang's corruption and inefficiency are also high in many minds. Some have also been swayed by George Marshall and his positive messages about the Communists, portraying them as peaceful agrarian reformers.

    In the end, Truman decides on a middle course. Aid to the Nationalists is resumed immediately, and the latest American bombers are sent to Chinese airfields. However, no ground forces are sent to China. The reasons for this are numerous. First, Truman believes that if US and Soviet troops clash directly, it will mean World War III. Even with the advantage of nuclear technology, such a conflict would be horrendously bloody for the already tired USA. Second, there are no American forces in East Asia ready for instant deployment to combat zones in China. The largest force in the Pacific is the Eighth Army, presently tied down in the occupation of Japan. The risk of losing Japan to an uprising, be it communist or far-right, is seen as too great. (1) While there are other US troops in the Pacific, these are mostly in out-of-reach places where they cannot be easily retrieved.

    July 19, 1946: The United Nations Security Council meets in New York to pass Resolution #8, formally condemning the Soviet Union for its "serious violation of the sovereign territory of the Republic of China in the form of supplying active military units to anti-government forces operating in the Manchuria region." The USA, Britain, France, and Nationalist China all vote in favour, however (and obviously, really) the Soviet Union votes no, thus the resolution is not passed. The possibility of sending a UN force to help Chiang is now past. (2)

    July 1946: Throughout the month of July, Nationalist forces are steadily pushed back through Manchuria. General Tu Yuming, the KMT commander in Manchuria, is an average commander with a slightly-below- average army. He has grown accustomed to CCP guerilla warfare and wiping out with relative ease any conventional formations assembled by Lin Biao. Now, Malinovsky's Manchurian Front shoves aside the guerilla remnants of Mao's force and engages directly with the KMT army, to great effect. On the eighteenth, Da Hagan Ling is captured by the Russians, the city is rapidly turned back to Communist control. Halfway between Hulun Buir and Blagovarchesk, five KMT divisions are annihilated. Chiang orders the Nationalist forces in the area to retreat to Harbin and to make a stand with all he has there.

    July 30, 1946: Mongolia declares that it will intervene "on behalf of our brethren in Inner Mongolia and restore them to their rightful government." Mongolian troops using Russian equipment pour into Inner Mongolia. Although Nationalist forces in the area are few, the Mongolians are very much at the same level. Xilin Gol, the largest city in Inner Mongolia, barely holds, and after that, a stalemate largely ensues. However, Baotou and Bayan Nur do fall to the Mongolians.

    August 12, 1946: The Battle of Harbin begins. Twenty-seven KMT divisions face off against thirty-five Russian ones, including the majority of the advanced armour, plus two CCP divisions. "Not a foot of ground is to be ceded", exhorts Chiang in a cable from Beijing, "no soldier of the Republic of China is to give an inch of ground without first taking the life of a foreign devil." Stalingradesque rhetoric aside, however, the Nationalists are very poorly prepared for such a massive confrontation. Although they have access to top-of-the-line American equipment, not all entrusted with it know how to operate it. Morale is also a problem after a month-long retreat right when the war seemed on the verge of ending.

    As the Soviet armour sweeps over the Songhua River to Tu's left and right, Russian troops surge forth in human wave attacks which break the Nationalist defenders. One correspondent from a British newspaper writes in his journal on August 16th "Before I was assigned to cover this (the Battle of Harbin), I confess that the ideology of communism made a degree of sense to me. I was attracted to it, as it seemed a route out of poverty. Yet, when I witnessed the Russian human wave attacks against Chinese troops, in which men were thrown forth like lambs to the slaughter, I was shocked. For if the leaders of the Communist world care so little about the lives of their own men, who after all fought the Nazis for four long years, then how can I hope that they will care about me, a foreigner of no importance at all?" (3)

    The city is encircled by Russian armour and surrenders on the seventeenth, with 12,000 Nationalist troops going into captivity or joining the Communists.

    August 1946: At the headquarters of the Manchurian Front, Malinovsky and Lin Biao (the former being very much the senior figure in the partnership) confidently assume that Manchuria will be theirs within weeks. Plans for a drive on Beijing in mid-September are drawn up. Their optimism seems well-placed, as the Nationalists suffer defeat after defeat in Manchuria over the course of the month. Changchun and Shenyang fall to the Soviets two and three weeks respectively after the start of the Battle of Harbin, and Chiang prepares to defend Beijing. However, his horrific losses in Harbin mean that only seventeen divisions can be mustered when the Russian tide comes rolling in....

    September 1, 1946: Chiang, however, need not have worried. By this point, the United States cannot stand to see the Red Army on Chinese soil any longer. That very day, five B-29s equipped with atomic bombs take off from San Francisco, they land in Shanghai four days later.

    September 5, 1946: In a private conference with Soviet Ambassador Nikolai Novikov, President Truman warns that the USA may use tactical nuclear weapons "on the forces of the Chinese Communist Party" (read, Soviets) unless "all parties concerned immediately agree to some form of an armistice."

    Novikov rapidly relays the message to Stalin. Privately, views on the US ultimatum amongst the Soviets are mixed. Many feel- although the Stalinist repression means that they dare not voice it out loud- that with Operation Barbarossa only five years past, the threat of a nuclear strike from America is too great. Stalin, meanwhile, converses with Mao on this issue.

    The CCP chairman is unafraid. "If the imperialists should use the nuclear bomb on the Red Army", he tells Stalin over the phone the next day, "it will spark a third world war. Should that occur, millions will die, but the capitalist world will be obliterated, and the rest of humanity will become socialist." Mao blatantly refuses to consider the prospect of a cease-fire with the Nationalists now that the Red Army has arrived to save his bacon. A few high-level Soviets begin to contemplate the possibility of regime change in China out of fear that Mao will escalate the conflict irresponsibly, but the anti-Mao faction knows that it must keep its head down for the moment. The Chinese Civil War will continue...

    September 9, 1946: Truman interprets this as a rejection of his ultimatum, and after a few days of soul-searching, decides that he cannot afford to have Stalin call his bluff. That night, the B-29
    City of Lansford takes off from an airfield in Shanghai, carrying one nuclear bomb. It is escorted by a squadron of P-51 Mustangs. Target: Baicheng. The small Manchurian village has become a staging ground for Red Army and CCP troops and is widely believed to be the springboard for a future attack on Beijing. At five minutes past eleven PM, it becomes the third victim in world history to suffer a nuclear attack. Tens of thousands of Red Army troops are killed in the blast, along with virtually the entire civilian population, while many more die in the following weeks and months from radiation and subsequent sicknesses.

    In the Kremlin, many panic. Surely, they feel, now that Soviets have been killed by US nuclear bombs, the Americans are already preparing to strike the major cities of the USSR- for all they know, the bombers might be en route. Surrender and abandonment of China are essential. In the West, this will become known as the Baicheng Strike, in the Communist world it will be known as the "September 9 Nuclear Incident." (九月九日核事故,
    9 Yuè 9 rì hé shìgù)

    September 10, 1946: At twelve thirty in the morning, Stalin and Mao have an emergency conference on the phone. Mao claims that "the USSR put the Chinese revolution into a situation whereby it stationed Russian forces on Chinese soil to force the Chinese people to suffer a nuclear strike from the imperialists." This absurd statement- blaming the US nuclear strike on the Soviets when it was Mao who advocated for the war to continue after Truman's ultimatum, and Stalin who was pro-peace- infuriates the Soviet leader, and will give rise to many conspiracy theories later on. Stalin brusquely informs Mao that he will be seeking a cease-fire with the USA, whether or not the CCP Chairman likes it or not. Of course, Mao now wants peace to save his regime, but he wishes to use the Soviets as the fall guy.

    At eleven AM US time, the Soviet ambassador to the United States informs Secretary of State James F. Byrnes that the USSR "will be willing to seek a cease-fire to end the Chinese conflict in which we have become entangled so as to prevent any further usage of nuclear weapons." Truman is immediately informed, and plans are made for negotiation...

    September 12, 1946: KMT, CCP, and Red Army commanders agree to a three-week-long ceasefire.

    September 16, 1946: The Changchun Conference opens. The US delegation consists of Byrnes and US ambassador to China John Stuart. The Soviets send Molotov and Malinovsky, while Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai represent the CCP. Finally, Chiang Kai-shek and General Tu Yuming represent the Nationalists. In addition, Khorloogiin Choibalsan represents communist Mongolia.

    Neither side has a definite edge in the negotiations. The main fighting occurred in Manchuria, but Mongolian troops also control Inner Mongolia and Chiang is in no position to evict them. Additionally, the Communists still retain control over Yan'an, which lacks a border with Manchuria. The communist Second East Turkestan Republic, under Ehmetjan Qasami's leadership, has also survived the war fully intact. Truman may have been willing to use one tactical nuclear weapon to force the Communists to the bargaining table, but mass nuclear attacks on Russian cities is something else again. Stalin knows that were it not for the US nuclear threat, he could formally declare war on America and flood China with Russian troops. Mao and the rest of the CCP know that they have, in effect, failed in the civil war, and have been rescued by the Soviets. As such, prudence dictates that they keep their objectives modest, although the Chairman is not above setting his sights high. Finally, Chiang Kai-shek can see that he has failed to stamp out the Communists, but that the alternatives to negotiation are a massive war with the Soviets or sitting back and watching America drop nuclear bombs all over Communist-controlled Manchuria. The end result is a treaty containing a number of compromises which neither side is too happy with, but sees as the lesser evil.

    September 28, 1946: The Changchun Accords are signed. The provisions are as follows:

    • All fighting between the KMT and CCP is to cease immediately. Both sides are to retain the territory they control. The exception to this are the small Red bases outside of Yan'an, which are to be ceded to the Nationalists.
    • All Soviet troops are to evacuate China within thirty-one days, and all US bombers are to do the same.
    • The Republic of China is to regain control over Inner Mongolia, and pledges not to invade Outer Mongolia.
    • The independence of the Second East Turkestan Republic is to be confirmed.
    • The Communist-controlled Yan'an region is to remain under CCP rule.
    • The USA pledges not to station nuclear forces in China, and the USSR pledges to do the same should it develop an atomic weapon.
    October 1, 1946: In Harbin, Mao Zedong proclaims the formation of the People's Republic of North China. The fledgeling Communist state controls the territory corresponding to the Japanese puppet empire, plus Yan'an. In an attempt not to be seen like a Soviet knockoff of the Japanese puppet regime, Harbin is chosen as capital over Changchun. The August 12 battle is held up as a "great revolutionary liberation campaign which will live in the annals of history for 10,000 years." in CCP propaganda. A new flag is created, a red star inside a blue star inside a yellow one on a red background with the Chinese for "Long Live the Enclave of the Three Great Socialist Races of China", referring to the Han, Mongols, and Manchus.

    In practice, the PRNC is little more than a Soviet client state like Poland or Hungary. Although the Red Army is back north on the appropriate schedule, the Russians exert a great deal of economic influence over the young socialist state, and Mao is reliant upon the Red Army for help in building up his own military, the People's Liberation Army. Mao is displeased at his failure to conquer China and awaits his moment...

    (1) In the OTL Korean War, the 1947 constitution was already in place. Here, with the Japanese surrender just nine months past, the thought of ending the Occupation is impossible.
    (2) In the OTL Korean War, the only reason that the USSR did not veto sending UN troops to Korea was because Stalin and Mao wanted the US to be bloodied fighting Communist Chinese troops. Here, the hostile KMT has the manpower advantage, and sending in UN troops will only exacerbate the problem.
    (3) Roughly analogous to the British actor Michael Cane's response to seeing human wave attacks in the OTL Korean War by communist Chinese troops.
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    People's Republic of North China Flag
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    Flag of the TTL People's Republic of North China. The red background stands for communism. The yellow, blue, and red stars stand for the Manchus, Mongolians, and Han respectively, while the Chinese text says "Long Live the Enclave of the Three Great Socialist Races of China!"
    Post-Changchun Accords Map
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    A map of China after the signing of the Changchun Accords. Sorry for the low quality- if someone could please tell me how most maps on this site are created, I would appreciate it.

    The Soviet puppet Second East Turkestan Republic controls northern Xinjiang, while the People's Republic of North China controls Manchuria and Yenan. In spite of the activites of some Mongolian separatists, Inner Mongolia remains part of the Republic of China, while Tibet remains independent for the moment. The two Koreas are also in a tenacious peace...
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    Chapter Three
  • With the signing of the Changchun Accord, the Second Chinese Civil War passed into history. (1) On one level, it had been a relatively brief conflict. Only twelve months passed between the surrender of Imperial Japan and the Changchun peace. With the exception of some low-level battles in Inner Mongolia, the fighting had also taken place solely in Manchuria. The great cities of China, Beijing and Shanghai, Nanjing and Chengdu, Xian and Chongqing, had seen no more of the Red Army than Mao's face on propaganda posters vilifying the CCP. For the vast majority of China, reconstruction from the Japanese war was the order of the day and had been so for the past year. The vast majority of Han Chinese were grateful to Chiang for freeing them from a decade of war and viewed the KMT as the legitimate government, one which they could throw their weight behind. So in terms of its impact on the general population, the conflict had been fairly minor.

    Yet, the impacts of the Second Chinese Civil War were in fact tremendously deep. One postwar historian was not wrong in calling it "the most significant postwar development in East Asia up to the present." Manchuria lay in ruins. China was divided for the foreseeable future. Yet, most importantly, another nuclear weapon had been used by the United States. Many now felt that Truman had set an example: the atomic bomb was a weapon which could be used if it was absolutely necessary.

    China is now divided in two, with neither side the total victor. Although Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China controls the vast majority of the country at its 1912 borders, its victory is by no means total. Manchuria and North Shaanxi are united as Mao's Soviet puppet. Although a cease-fire is in effect between the two, neither recognises the other, and Chiang retains a claim to the territory of the People's Republic of North China. As with Mao, so with Mongolia. What had once been a Qing province is now a nation all its own, albeit a Soviet puppet. Chiang, however, continues to claim the country as his own, not recognising it as independent. The Second East Turkestan Republic is receiving Soviet military aid and enjoys diplomatic relations with the Eastern bloc, while Tibet retains its de facto independence. At the time of the Changchun cease-fire, no-one is sure if the arrangement would hold. Would the Red Army continue to pour men into China, and if they did, would they be met with American nuclear bombs? And if so, would that escalate to a nuclear bombing of all the Soviet cities? Or would the cease-fire hold, and a formal peace treaty be signed formalising the new status quo amongst a quarter of humanity? As it turned out, the answer is neither. Days lengthened into weeks and months, and it became clear that the two sides were not about to start shooting again, but nor were they about to sign a peace treaty and fully let bygones be bygones. (2)

    In the new Republic of China, there is a great deal of optimism. Once it becomes clear that the cease-fire will carry on into the immediate future, 460 million people begin to look towards the future, and reconstruct from the past. A great deal of positive feeling for Chiang exists, as in spite of his myriad faults, he has led the country through warlordism and the Second World War. The US is also conveniently overlooking the Kuomintang’s distinctly unfree style of rule. The Nationalist Party remains the sole legal political party, and dissidents and critics are punished harshly. Nonetheless, a return to war is so feared that many will give Chiang the benefit of the doubt...

    The People’s Republic of North China, by contrast, seems to be gripped with uncertainty. Mao Zedong knows all too well that his regime exists only because of the Red Army, and that he must do Moscow’s bidding if he wishes to survive. In spite of the Changchun Accords, Red Army troops continue to be present in his country. Mao takes steps to solidify his power, having himself promoted as “Chairman Mao” (毛主席, Mao zuhxi). His Foreign Minister and number three in the Party is Zhou Enlai, while Liu Shaoqi is the formal president of the People’s Republic of North China (in keeping with the Stalinist tradition of the Communist Party being more powerful than the actual state) and No. 2 in the Party. Marshal Lin Biao is commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army, Mao’s grandiosely titled army, while Marshal Peng Dehuai is the commander of all forces in the Yan’an region, cut off from the rest of the PRNC. A personality cult around Mao is developed- his portrait is hung in all public places, especially in Harbin, while a plethora of propaganda posters saturate Mao’s new subjects with pro-regime messages.

    With a little background information in place, this update will cover the 1940s…

    December 2, 1946: The 79th US Congress passes the Aid to the Republic of China Act by 466-69. The act provides for $8 billion dollars ($64 billion, very approximately, in today’s dollars) in military and economic aid to the Nationalists. Thanks in large part to this generous American aid, the KMT capital of Nanjing is fully reconstructed within four years, the damage from the 1937 Rape of Nanjing still very much left done. The act also helps to better integrate Taiwan into the ROC after decades of Japanese rule.

    Additionally, some old World War II surplus equipment is sold to Chiang, including fifty B-25 bombers and twenty-five M4 Shermans. The US has an abundance of such equipment floating around and is more than happy to give some to Chiang.

    December 19, 1946: Fighting breaks out between French colonial troops and Vietnamese rebels known as the Viet Cong, led by Ho Chi Minh. This rapidly escalates into a full-fledged uprising, and Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Giap makes plans to assault Hanoi with thirty thousand men. French troops are shipped in to hold down the colony.

    In a private audience a week later, V.K. “Wellington” Koo, Chiang’s ambassador to the United States, says that China is planning to adopt a posture of pro-French neutrality: namely, slipping weapons covertly to the French and not allowing Viet Minh troops to slip into China.

    February 1947: In Harbin, work begins on two new structures designed to make the city into a Communist capital: the Great Hall of the People’s Congress and Chairman Leadership Compound (主席领导组合, Zhǔxí lǐngdǎo zǔhé). In order to accommodate these structures, Zhaolin Park and the Temple of Heavenly Bliss are both torn down. The Chairman Leadership Compound will be completed in nine months and will cost a total of 900,000 yuan- a shockingly high sum for a personality-cult project.

    Projects such as these are funded in large part by the Soviets, who give the PRNC industrial equipment and money in considerable quantities. (3)

    1947: During the year 1947, the Viet Minh take their cues from Mao during the Civil War and WWII. Namely, they flee and adopt a policy of guerilla warfare, not meeting the French in open battle. Covert Chinese hostility means that they have no support and Ho Chi Minh knows that his survival depends on if he can make the French bleed enough that they will throw in the towel.

    March 27, 1947: As a response to Soviet-backed coup attempts in Greece and Turkey, the Truman Doctrine is announced, committing the US to anticommunism.

    August 15, 1947: India and Pakistan formally gain independence from British rule. The granting of independence weakens London greatly in the long term, marking its decline as an imperial power. A dispute over the border region of Kashmir puts the two states- one Hindu, the other Muslim- on bad terms from the get-go.

    October 7- November 8, 1947: The French launch Operation Lea against the rebels in Vietnam. Although Ho Chi Minh and General Giap manage to escape, the Viet Minh suffer 6,000 casualties, for them a serious loss, and their territory is considerably reduced.

    By this point, the war has reached a stalemate. Neither side can make much headway- domestic politics prevent a further escalation of the war on France’s part, while the Viet Minh lack the strength to do much.

    It is at this stage that the Chinese spy an opportunity. In exchange for certain economic benefits, Chiang agrees to intervene in the Vietnamese conflict…

    December 25, 1947: The Christmas Day Offensive (圣诞节攻势, Shèngdàn jié gōngshì) begins. 400,000 KMT troops cross the border between Yunnan and northern Vietnam and engage in combat with Ho Chi Minh’s forces. The commander of the force is General Li Zongren, veteran of the KMT army for two decades. Although morale and junior leadership continue to be major issues for the Nationalist army, the Vietnamese field armies are brushed aside with relative ease, and within four weeks a rendezvous with the French has been achieved.

    Ho himself flees to Shenyang in Mao’s China, where he will die in 1969. The Nationalist army, however, is not properly prepared for a long anti-guerilla conflict in northern Indochina, and as such the Viet Minh is never completely eradicated.

    January 1, 1948: The Treaty of Hanoi is signed. France recognises the independence of the Empire of Vietnam, the Kingdom of Laos, and the Kingdom of Cambodia. The leader of Vietnam is Bao Dai, leader of the ancient Vietnamese kingdom before it was conquered by the French when he was a boy. All three states are French client states, with little economic independence, and Paris retains de facto control over foreign policy. The Chinese, however, manage to retain a sphere of influence in the Empire of Vietnam, everything north of 21.20 degrees north. Chinese troops are stationed in military bases in northern Vietnam, and Chinese businessmen dominate the economy of the local region (to the anger of locals). The French are not perfectly pleased with this- they dislike what they perceive as Chiang trying to make Indochina his- but it is better than relinquishing control totally.

    January 1, 1948: In the People’s Republic of North China, Mao launches his “Campaign to Eliminate Counter-Revolutionary Cultural Aspects.” (4) This involves a major crackdown on corruption, as well as the expulsion of virtually all Westerners. Christians are also targeted heavily, as are ethnic Japanese. All writers, artists, and the like are forced to submit to the genre of “socialist realism” or face death. Some try to flee abroad, but the Communist bloc states refuse to accept refugees, and anyone who attempts to defect to Nationalist China faces death if caught, and their family will suffer.

    A general crackdown on perceived Nationalist spies begins, with many who have had significant dealings with the ROC being purged and executed. In addition, collectivisation is also implemented, although this will take place slowly.

    The totalitarian campaign creates something of a rift within the CCP. Mao, Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai, and Kang Sheng are all for it, while Liu Shaoqi and others have their reservations.

    April 2, 1948: Chiang Kai-shek announces in a televised speech that the city of Shenzhen, bordering British Hong Kong, will become China’s first Open Investment Zone. (5) Almost all restrictions on foreign trade are abolished in the city, and regulations seriously loosened. Firms which relocate to Shenzhen are given a small subsidy by the government.

    The end result is that by the end of the year, Shenzhen becomes a haven of Western investment. Many Western firms find that low-cost Chinese labour is a more cost-effective means of manufacturing than doing so in the US, or wherever else their plants might be located.

    By the end of 1949, similar zones will be opened in Nanjing, Shanghai, Qingdao, and Beijing, and the Westerners will come knocking.

    The gains of this policy, however, are not evenly distributed- a small number of Chinese tycoons become inordinately rich, but they all have some kind of connection to Chiang and the Nationalist Party. The workers who toil away in sweatshops for twelve hours a day and next to nothing in terms of pay are bitter towards Chiang. Some radicals begin to look towards Marxism, but they are too few in number to do much. Mao, however, is noticing all of this…

    April 3, 1948: The Marshall Plan is created, proving $12 billion in aid to Western Europe.

    May 23, 1948: The Americans, French, and British combine their occupation zones in Germany to form the Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany. The Soviets follow suit on October 7, with the creation of communist East Germany.

    November 2, 1948: In a close election (even closer than OTL), Harry Truman beats Thomas Dewey to the presidency. One of his campaign promises is to never use nuclear weapons unless a foreign power does so first.

    April 4, 1949: NATO is created, an alliance designed to counter Soviet power. The founding members are the same as OTL. The Republic of China opts not to join, as it is not an Atlantic nation, but instead signs a pact with the USA.

    August 29, 1949: The USSR explodes its first atomic bomb in Kazakhstan. Stalin keeps the news secret for a time, but there is immense pride amongst the Soviet leadership at being admitted into the nuclear club. The age of nuclear competition has well and truly begun...

    (1) Eastern bloc historians claimed the date of peace as October 1, the founding of the PRNC.
    (2) Analogous to the OTL Korean War never formally ending.
    (3) This is in large part OTL.
    (4) Loosely based off of Chiang's New Life Movement of the 1920s. This is sort of a Communist version.
    (5) Do I need to explain it?

    Comments? Thoughts?
    Last edited:
    Chapter Four
  • March 7, 1950: A Chinese delegation arrives in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa with instructions from Chiang and his Kuomintang. The lead negotiator, Vice-President Li Zongren, presents what will become known as the Twin Proposals. They are to make the Republic of China responsible for Tibet's foreign, military, and domestic policies, and to permit the stationing of Chinese troops in Tibet. (1) The Tibetans, however, are unwilling to simply hand their country over to Chiang, and realise that they may soon have a war on their hands.

    June 1950: North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung begins to send frankly irritating requests to Moscow, asking permission to invade the South. Stalin, however, refuses. He knows that with China divided between a strong pro-American south and a weak pro-Soviet north, a Korean war could rapidly escalate in the West's favour if Chiang decides to step in. That would in all probability prove the death-knell for Mao's regime, which would necessitate Soviet intervention. And if Soviet and Chinese troops came to blows, nuclear war with America could all too easily begin. (2) Plus, Stalin is feeling generally more cautious after almost losing China completely. Kim recognises that he will be on his own if he invades, and opts to concentrate on ruling just the North for the moment, although he still dreams of a day when he can unify Korea under his regime.

    October 6, 1950: KMT general Li Mi leads forty thousand Chinese troops into Tibet in the early hours of the morning. Morning newspapers the next day proclaim the start of the "Campaign to Suppress Tibetan Separatist Movements"(镇压藏独运动, Zhènyā cángdú yùndòng), as the regime's propaganda puts it. The Nationalist army gives a generally better account of itself than in previous operations, although that likely has more to do with the fact that only 8,000 Tibetans are available to defend the country. At the thirteen-day Battle of Chamdo, the Tibetans are routed.

    In the aftermath of the Battle of Chamdo, the regent steps down and the 14th Dalai Lama is placed in power. Chiang promises autonomy for Tibet if it will agree to join China. For example, he promises that the Dalai Lama will be allowed to retain power.

    May 23, 1951: After months of Chinese-led negotiations, the Tibetans finally cave and accept annexation into the Republic of China. Tibetan culture is allowed to survive for the moment, but Chiang plans eventual sinicisation...

    Because of Cold War politics, the USA is forced to officially back the annexation of Tibet. Privately, however, many in the US government are furious at this blatant violation of a sovereign country's independence. ROC ambassador Zhou Shukai is told in no uncertain terms that the USA cannot and will not accept this, and several angry cables are sent back and forth between Washington and Nanjing. Sino-US relations become colder, and several US companies leave Shenzhen...

    July 1951: The Shenzhen Labour Protests begin. Workers in a British-owned textiles company launch a strike against the low wages and poor conditions, which rapidly spread to other enterprises. By the end of the month, perhaps half a million labourers are protesting against foreigners having such a large stake in the Chinese economy. Chiang is fearful that the protests will spread to the other Open Investment Zones, and orders police to force people back to work.

    Mao, meanwhile, considers the possibility that the protesters could respond positively to his own ideology. At some point in the month of July, several thousand Communist pamphlets are smuggled into Shenzhen, exhorting the protesters to "study the works of Marx and of Mao Zedong-ism." However, little comes of this, and police crackdowns mean that by the autumn, a tenacious peace returns to Shenzhen. A few companies make minor improvements to the conditions and wages, but little else changes. No-one is interested in a socialist uprising... yet.

    1951: Throughout 1950 and 1951, conditions within Japan deteriorate. (3) The economy proves sluggish, with few jobs created. Although the people are glad that the Americans have helped to rebuild the country, memories of starvation and of bombing remain high. Some Japanese begin to look towards more extreme ideologies, searching for a reason for their poverty. The Leftist Socialist Party, the most radical party in Japan, begins to gain traction amongst Japanese voters in certain sectors- namely, those who are unemployed and/or have been connected with industrial work in the past. Secretly, the Minpei (people's militia), affiliated with the left-socialists, begins to operate in major Japanese cities. They blame Japan's current economic ills on the Americans and on capitalism and call for the expulsion of both. They keep a low profile for the moment, but grow in strength...

    February 1952: The Hundred Flowers Campaign (4) begins in the People's Republic of North China. Mao orders the CCP to "let a hundred flowers bloom", inviting dissent of the regime. This serves two goals. One is to create a safety valve for the people, and the other is to let those who disagree with Mao come out in the open, where they can be destroyed. After two years, the opponents of communism have revealed themselves, and the crackdown begins. Many leading intellectuals across the People's Republic are executed, many more flee to China. Chiang is more than willing to accept refugees, and this improves his standing in American eyes.

    November 3, 1952: Republican candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower, celebrated World War II commander, wins the presidency. His vice-president is Harold Stassen (5).

    1950-1954: Low-level nationalist insurrection in Vietnam continues. Although the Viet Minh has largely collapsed, its place has been taken by the Dânquân Giảiphóng (Liberation Militia), led by Duc Dang, a veteran of the first war. His operations are concentrated in the far south, and the Saigon region is prone to guerilla attacks against national and French troops. In the Chinese sphere of influence, the status quo is generally calmer, as a second Chinese intervention would have serious consequences for Vietnam.

    French domestic politics mean that Paris cannot send in more troops to reinforce its proxy in Vietnam. There is fear in the West that Stalin or Mao will try to get their feet in the door and fund a communist revolution in Vietnam. Chiang, however, spies an opportunity. On May 2, 1954, the Chinese government issues the Kunming Declaration. This declaration states that in the event of Communist unrest in Southeast Asia, the ROC will "employ all forces possible to counteract the insurgency." Chiang's motives for issuing this declaration are twofold: on the one hand, he seeks to remain in the West's good books, and he also wants Vietnam as his proxy, not France's.

    The declaration is greeted with mixed reactions in the West- while losing Vietnam to the Communists would be bad, Washington wants Paris, not Nanjing, to remain the dominant regional power.

    March 5, 1955: Joseph Stalin dies of a heart attack in Moscow. (6) Conspiracy theories abound as to why, with some saying that he was killed by NKVD chief Lavrenti Beria, others that he was poisoned by his Jewish doctor. These, however, are just conspiracy theories. A power struggle grips the Soviet leadership for the next eighteen months.

    By January of 1957, however, Nikita Khrushchev has cemented his power as the strongest leader of the USSR- Beria is shot in an underground prison in December 1955.

    Khrushchev advocates for a policy of "peaceful coexistence"- namely, focussing less on armed conflict between East and West and more on improving living standards in the Communist world to convince countries to align themselves with Moscow.

    August 3, 1955: "Day of the Red Sword." That is how later Japanese governments and historians will refer to this date. Members of the Minpei spark riots in all the major cities of Japan against the Americans and the government. The American garrison is swift in reacting, but the rebels have been equipped with an abundance of Soviet weaponry, and the conflict rapidly escalates.

    Two days later, President Eisenhower addresses the nation, declaring a state of national emergency and claiming that "the Japanese people are being forced by a radical minority to choose between peace or socialism, and that it is our duty to restore peace to the Home Islands." He authorises a 55,000-strong reinforcement for the Eighth Army, which is sent off from San Francisco and Los Angeles throughout the autumn.

    However, the rebels are adroit and skilled. The USSR smuggles in large amounts of equipment, and the People's Republic of North China and North Korea both send in smaller amounts of aid.

    August 15, 1955: The August 15 Proclamation is issued by the socialist rebels in Japan, declaring that "a bright new dawn is ahead for the land of the rising sun", and exhorting the Japanese people to "embrace the inevitable, joyous, socialist future."

    Over the next few months, Japanese rebels take almost all of Hokkaido and a sizeable chunk of western Honshu, as well as smaller pockets of territory elsewhere. Property in rebel-held areas is collectivised, and all able-bodied men are forced to serve in the Japanese Red Army. Meanwhile, in the US/government-controlled areas, martial law is imposed and the 1947 constitution suspended. Anyone suspected of being a Communist is executed, and there are cases of US troops executing innocent Japanese civilians on charges of being a spy. (7)

    January 1956: At a CCP conference in Harbin, Mao unveils his plans for the Second Five Year Plan, known to history as the Great Leap Forward. Throughout the People's Republic over the next few years, all farms are collectivised. Peasants are forced to move onto huge collective farms, which resemble labour camps more than anything else. The government becomes responsible for distributing rations to them, and largely fails in doing this.

    Another part of the Great Leap Forward is breakneck speed industrialisation- Mao hopes to see the PRNC become a major industrial player within fifteen years. (8)

    The whole thing is a massive failure, as the government does not distribute the rations properly. A whopping 4.3 million die of starvation between 1956 and 1960, in a country of approximately 86 million people. The hardest hit region of all is mountainous Yan'an, which has already suffered from Communist rule during World War II.

    1956: Throughout 1956, the territory controlled by the Japanese insurgents gradually shrinks. US troops manage to capture all of the main cities save Sapporo, and increasingly focus on anti-guerilla warfare. Many Japanese have lost their enthusiasm for the revolution, as it has clearly failed to solve the country's economic problems. Nonetheless, to many, the image of US bombers pounding Japanese cities and of American and Japanese troops clashing evokes hateful memories from World War II, and a generation of Japanese learns to revile the US as the WWII generation does. Even those fighting for the government are disheartened.

    October 31, 1956: President Eisenhower discusses in a conference with his cabinet the possibility of using an atomic bomb to quell the uprising in Japan by launching a nuclear attack on Sapporo. What follows is one of the most shameful episodes of his whole presidency, which will become known as the "Halloween Scandal." The presidential elections are only four days away, and Eisenhower does not want to do anything dramatic. Although he does not come out and say it, he plans to use the nuclear option if he wins re-election.

    November 4, 1956: The American public, not knowing what the consequences of their actions are, vote to grant Eisenhower and Stassen another four years.

    True to his word, ten days later an atomic bomb is dropped on Sapporo. (9) The city is devastated, and millions of Japanese are killed. Following the bombing of Sapporo, the communist revolt largely unravels, and by the end of the year a tenuous peace holds in Japan.

    Eisenhower pays a heavy price for his actions. With three of their cities the target of US nuclear weapons, the Japanese- even Emperor Hirohito- come to revile the USA. The Eighth Army continues martial law, and the 1947 constitution is "suspended." Plans for a CIA coup against Hirohito are drawn up, but are shelved for the moment. Eisenhower's opponents dub him the "Butcher of Sapporo", a term which comes into fashion both in Japan and in Communist circles.

    July 2-August 1, 1957: The Yingkou Conference opens in the PRNC port city of that name. (10) At the conference, Mao discusses the Great Leap Forward with his top circle, including Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Lin Biao, and Peng Dehuai. At the conference, Mao turns on Peng Dehuai for criticising the Leap, saying that he is "only fifty metres away from being a rightist". Peng is ousted and replaced as defence minister by Lin Biao, and is subsequently executed.

    February 25, 1958: Nikita Khruschev gives the "Secret Speech" denouncing Stalin's personality cult, calling him a "bloody tyrant." Mao does not take kindly to this speech, seeing it as a threat to his dominance...

    March 10, 1959: Tibet erupts in revolt against Chinese rule. For nearly two weeks, Lhasa is under the control of rebels before the ROC army arrives and quells the uprising. The Dalai Lama flees to India, and Tibetan self-rule is de facto abolished. Sinicisation is attempted in Tibet to better integrate the territory.

    Peng's downfall sets a precedent- namely, that criticism of Mao or his policies will be met with death. The Great Leap Forward will be abolished in 1960, but Mao's appetite for demonstrating his power has not yet been satisfied. However, his opponents have been strengthened as a result of his failure. The 1950s were a turbulent decade for East Asia, but more is yet to come...

    (1) This is an almost exact mirror of OTL
    (2) The reason that Stalin gave Kim permission to invade in OTL was because he knew that Chinese troops could fight any Western force and exhaust it, and that Soviet troops would not be needed. Here, since Chiang boasts the manpower advantage over Mao, the USSR would be forced to intervene in Korea, which could spark WWIII.
    (3) The Korean War proved a major boon to the Japanese economy in OTL and helped spark an economic recovery. Not only does that not occur in TTL, but the Nationalist Chinese economy dominates East Asia, meaning that Japan's economy has no means of developing.
    (4) OTL, except since Mao's regime was founded in 1946, not 1949, it occurs three years ahead of schedule.
    (5) In OTL, fear of Communism meant that Eisenhower chose Richard Nixon as his vice-presidential candidate, owing to his anti-communist credentials. In TTL, since China does not fall to communism, the fear of communism is slightly less, and Stassen is chosen as VP.
    (6) It's accepted by many that Korean War-related stress helped to kill Stalin. Since the Korean War does not occur in TTL, I give him a few more years. This is why the Secret Speech occurs in 1958.
    (7) Based off of the actions committed by some US troops in Vietnam OTL
    (8) For a country encompassing Manchuria and the mountains of Yan'an, catching up to Britain in fifteen years is too ambitious even in Mao's mind.
    (9) Loosely based off of the US threat to nuke Saskatoon in TL-191. I said that there was almost no taboo against nuclear weapons in TTL!
    (10) The Lushan Conference, except since Lushan is in the ROC, I chose Yingkou.
    East Asia Update
  • East Asia Regional Update

    Before I progress into the 1960s, I want to take a look at the nations of East Asia so that we're all on the same page going forward...

    The Republic of China is on its way to becoming a first-world nation. A whole generation dubbed the "Second Nanjing Generation" (the first being in the early 1930s), or "Chinese Boomers" has grown up knowing nothing but Chiang's peaceful, albeit authoritarian, regime. Living standards are fairly high in the eastern coastal cities and Open Investment Zones, at least by regional standards. The cities of Xian and Chongqing are also wealthy and prosperous, both fully recovered from World War II. In the countryside, peasants have it harder, but a seventy-year-old man in 1960 would say without a trace of doubt that times are better than he has ever known. Indeed, access to imported American farming technology, combined with a good crop year in 1958 (1), means that rural China is in a golden age. Food prices remain relatively high, and Chiang is able to export rice and meat to Western nations at favourable rates.

    The Open Investment Zones are still a controversial issue, with many Chinese comparing them to pre-Boxer Rebellion concessions. People in them strongly dislike working for low wages in poor conditions for foreign companies. However, since 1951 there has been no major unrest in the cities. What cannot be denied, however, is that the ROC economy has been immeasurably strengthened by them- by 1960, China's GDP will be on a par with Great Britain. (2)

    However, Chiang's remains an authoritarian dictatorship. Critics of the KMT are imprisoned, and the human rights situation in China remains poor. In particular, ethnic Mongols, Manchus (Manchuria being under Communist rule), Muslims (the Second East Turkestan Republic being a Soviet puppet), and Tibetans are all persecuted fairly viciously. Christianity, however, is allowed to thrive in China, Chiang being a Methodist himself. With the exception of tolerance of Christianity, Chiang's programme is overall Han-specific sinicisation.

    Relations with America remain generally good throughout this period, although there are a few bumps in the road, such as over the annexation of Tibet. Owing to the with-us-or-against-us politics of the Cold War, America turns a blind eye to Chiang's human rights abuses. (3)

    Warlordism is long dead, although some of the old warlords hold sway in their old bases in exchange for loyalty to Nanjing (Long Yun is governor of Yunnan and Yan Xishan governor of Shanxi, minus of course Yan'an). The old Young Marshal of Manchuria, his domain lost, is currently living as a private citizen on Taiwan, and will later retire to Hawaii.

    Chiang's main goal in this period is to gain the atomic bomb. Chinese nuclear scientists are given very good treatment from the regime, and there is a fair deal of co-operation with the USA. With a nuclear-armed USSR right on China's border, many feel that Chiang needs nukes to defend himself.

    Chiang is also grooming his son Chiang Ching-kuo to take over one day...

    The People's Republic of North China, by contrast, is reeling from the Great Leap Forward, which managed to kill five percent of the country and only widened the gap between it and the West. The fallout has created a division in the leadership. Mao and defence minister Lin Biao are all for the continuation of Mao's style of rule, while state president Liu Shaoqi is opposed to Maoist economics ruling the day. Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping both keep their opinions on the Leap and on Mao's policies in general quieter, not taking direct sides.

    The people of the PRNC, meanwhile, have one basic goal- to survive. Although the Great Leap Forward and related famine are mostly over by 1960, the suffering and its aftereffects will last for a long time.

    Maoist propaganda plays its role well, though. The Great Leap Forward was not the fault of the Great Helmsman Chairman Mao, but of rightists in the government like Peng Dehuai- or so they’ll tell you. Although some tried to flee to China or North Korea during the famine years, the trickle was never large and abates completely by 1960. Sadly, the people of Communist China have little idea of what else is in their future…

    Yan’an is by far the poorest region of the PRNC, as it suffered an additional decade and a half of brutal communist rule dating back to the Long March. By this point, it consists of a few memorials, army bases, and dirt-poor mountain villages.

    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea could, in fact, be doing a great deal worse. Ruled by Kim Il-sung, it has managed to avoid the turmoil faced by its neighbour to the northwest. Kim still dreams of invading South Korea, but he recognises that going in alone carries too many risks. Since Mao is not strong enough to ensure his victory, and Khruschev will not be sympathetic should he invade, Kim must keep his troops north of the 38th parallel for now.

    During this period, North Korea becomes a fairly well-to-do Communist state, better off than some Eastern European countries in Moscow’s orbit. Since liberation in 1945, the country has been at peace and received a fair amount of economic and military aid from the USSR. Although Kim has resisted de-Stalinisation, he knows that he is dependent on currying favour with Khruschev, and as such cannot develop a cult of personality too far. (4)

    The image of North Korea is also further heightened by the fact that Chinese refugees are fleeing into his country to escape the Great Leap Forward famine. As such, Kim enters the year 1960 fairly optimistically…

    The Republic of Korea, by contrast, leaves a lot to be desired. It is under the rule of the authoritarian Syngman Rhee, who one American critic describes in a 1958 editorial as “a wannabe Chiang Kai-shek without the guts or the bald spot”.

    South Korea lacks much industry and is forced to buy equipment from China and the US. Between 1945 and 1955, it played host to elements of the Eighth Army, before they were transferred to Japan to quell the uprising there. When US ground troops were withdrawn, President Eisenhower signed the Defence of the Republic of Korea Pact with Seoul and Nanjing. The provisions were numerous, but basically boiled down to if you attack, Kim Il-sung, prepare to have a nuclear bomb land on Pyongyang one morning, and Mao, if you get involved, prepare to have millions of ROC troops pouring into Manchuria.

    Rhee attempts as much as possible to ape Chiang, copying his dictatorial, corrupt, one-party style of rule while buying ROC military equipment. Although its situation is not as bad as Japan (there is no active socialist underground, for instance), South Korea is effectively an economic colony of China, with Chinese dominance preventing much industry from developing. Thus, Rhee and the whole population of South Korea continue to muddle along, putting one foot in front of the other.

    Indochina is clutching at straws of hope. No Vietnamese, Cambodian, or Laotian much likes their semi-independent status as a French protectorate, as exemplified by a Vietnamese political cartoon depicting Vietnam as a man being torn apart by two horses: one being labelled Paris, the other Nanjing. However, most of the radicals realise that Hanoi or Saigon could be struck with a nuclear weapon a la Sapporo, and as such armed revolt is not on anyone’s immediate radar.

    The Soviet Union continues to exert a tremendous influence in East Asia, even if China is increasingly a viable regional counterweight to its power. With a comparatively more liberal regime under Khruschev in power, Moscow is doing its best to pull Harbin and Pyongyang in the direction of de-Stalinisation. In both cases, however, it is failing. Mao’s personality cult is as strong as ever, while Kim Il-sung is neither liberalising or cracking down. There is virtually no Sino-Soviet trade in this period, and plans are ready for war with the ROC.

    The Kremlin is also worried that Mao is destroying the PRNC with his Great Leap Forward, and has a plan to prevent its North Chinese proxy from collapsing. Its name is Wang Ming…

    Finally, Japan is a hot mess. The country is under military rule by the US, and neither Hirohito nor the Diet have even an iota of power. Matthew Ridgway, commander of the Eighth Army after Douglas MacArthur’s death, has been dubbed the “American Shogun” by friend and foe alike. The people live in constant poverty and fear that they may be the victim of a nuclear strike if they so much as protest. Japan’s economy is in too deep a hole to be salvaged for years, and the locals are dependent on the cold US authorities for absolutely everything. Sapporo will not recover from the nuclear strike until the mid-1970s. The people of the island are too cowed to have another go at revolt, however…

    1. This good crop year is actually OTL, but Chiang won’t squander it like Mao obviously did.

    2. Mao is in no state to appreciate the irony.

    3. There is a precedent for this, such as America backing Mobutu’s tyrannical regime in the Congo in OTL (and, for that matter, TTL)

    4. OK, this is a controversial one. My reasons for butterflying away the Kim cult are twofold: with no Korean War, a lot of the DPRK’s core mythology does not exist. Second, with Mao’s own personality cult coming from a country which is not Kim’s main sponsor, and de-Stalinisation coming from a country which is, Kim will be placed under a lot of pressure internationally should he develop a personality cult like OTL. He is still a tyrant, though.
    Chapter Five
  • Spring 1959: During this period, the Tibetan revolt is quelled. Tibetan culture is suppressed, and the Dalai Lama flees to India. This sparks criticism from the US and other Western nations. One interesting side effect is the formation of the Tibetan Liberation Army, funded in large part by Moscow. The TLA has only a thousand or so members to start with and has chapters in both Tibet and India. The Dalai Lama covertly criticises the movement for its militancy, but as such its goal of a Moscow-aligned, socialist Tibet is a long way off.

    April 1960: The Spring Revolution in South Korea. Authoritarian president Rhee Syngman is overthrown by student revolutionaries. After a brief power vacuum, General Park Chung-hee becomes president. Park, however, rapidly proves himself just another dictator, whose sole saving grace is his pro-American policies.

    June 27- August 1, 1960: The Mongolia Claim Crisis. (1) Chiang Kai-shek decides to attempt to enforce the ROC's claim to Mongolia, and stations over two hundred thousand troops on the border. Border clashes erupt between Mongolian and Chinese troops, and on July 28, Soviet and Chinese troops clash for the first time in fourteen years. Fears are immediately raised that Russia and China are on the brink of war and that Nanjing will need either nuclear weapons or for America to take part in a nuclear conflict with Russia to prevent atomic strikes obliterating China. Of course, this was Chiang's plan all along. His goal at this point is to get nuclear weapons, and sees frightening the Americans into giving him the technology as the quickest way to do so.

    The gamble, however, does not work. Eisenhower is not willing to give Chiang the most powerful weapon in the world, not really trusting him. In the end, Chiang climbs down with an incredibly petty concession- he agrees to formally drop the ROC claim to Tannu Tuva, once a part of the Qing Empire, then a semi-independent domain until 1944, when its communist government voted to join the Soviet Union. "The Tannu Tuva question... it is no longer of importance," he claims. "As we do not at present share a land link with the territory, the area in between being under the control, unfortunately, of separatist leaders, it serves us no purpose, and we resolve to grant the Soviet Union the territory." However, he continues to claim Mongolia, and conversely, Mongolia retains its claim to Inner Mongolia. Nothing, then, has changed.

    November 4, 1960: John F. Kennedy is elected President of the United States.

    January 22, 1961: With tremendous pride, Chiang announces in his Chinese New Year's Day speech, broadcast on state television, that the Republic of China's economy is now officially larger than Britain's, thus making it the second-largest in the world. Growth remains at a solid ten percent, meaning that if current trends continue, the ROC should be the largest economy in the world at some point in the mid-1970s. This is taken as a full validation of Chiang's economic policies. However, many note that income inequality remains a real problem in China, and many interior provinces are far behind those on the coast. The ROC's greatest triumph, however, will come later in the year...

    1961: During this period, the ideological distance between Moscow and Harbin grows ever greater. Mao increasingly comes to see the USSR as having exchanged communism for a centrally-planned capitalist economy, and to have betrayed communism by eschewing Stalinism. Meanwhile, Khrushchev comes to see the Maoist regime as dangerously backwards, as evidenced by the Great Leap Forward. Although Mao knows that he is by no means strong enough to challenge the Soviets, the distance is growing. Mao is also wary that Khrushchev might try to sponsor a coup by one of his rivals in the CCP leadership such as Liu Shaoqi, or else to launch an armed invasion. The threat from Chiang Kai-shek, of course, cannot be discounted either.

    September 19, 1961: After years of waiting, and with more than a little help from American scientists, China explodes its first atomic bomb. The test site is in Tibet, approximately fifty miles from Lhasa. Now, the last barrier to China being seen as a great power has fallen. Its programme will take time to develop, but by 1975 it will be on par with the Soviet Union. The ROC's many enemies take a dim view towards a new nuclear power. The USSR now makes plans to launch atomic strikes on Chinese nuclear facilities should the need arise. Mao wishes that there was some way to get the bomb, but knows that it is out of reach.

    Another country's foreign outlook is affected by China becoming a nuclear power: India. Under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the country begins to look towards the USSR, already attempting to woo it, for a nuclear shield. Increasingly over the next few years, India tilts towards Moscow, and away from Washington. The Indian Communist Party gains traction, although it does not yet come to power.

    January 3, 1962: In the People's Republic of North China, Liu Shaoqi is confirmed as state president. Seemingly an innocuous gesture, this is meant to heighten his profile in the event of any power struggle with Mao. Many within the CCP leadership come to see Liu as a potential alternative to Mao, who is blamed for souring relations with the Soviets and for the Great Leap Forward.

    October 16-28, 1962: American spy planes discover Soviet missiles in Cuba, aimed at the continental US. For thirteen days, the world stands on the brink of nuclear war, until finally the Soviets agree to remove the missiles in exchange for a promise not to invade Cuba. (2)

    May 1963: The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution officially begins. (3) The Cultural Revolution Small Group consists of Mao, his wife Jiang Qing, Chen Boda, and Kang Sheng.

    In the summer of 1963, under Mao's reformed leadership, the People's Republic of North China becomes a state wracked with terror. Mao's Little Red Book occupies an even greater position than that occupied by Mein Kampf in Nazi Germany. Being labelled a "revisionist"- that is, one not sufficiently loyal to Maoism- is grounds for torture and death. Many CCP cadres are viciously purged and meet dreadful fates. Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi are both labelled as "capitalist-roaders" and are viciously persecuted. Deng is placed under various house arrests and is denounced. Liu, however, has a far worse fate coming for him. He is purged in August and will die in 1966, a broken man.

    Mao makes a great deal of effort to incite violence across the PRNC, especially against foreigners and conservatives. Students, in particular, are exhorted to be violent. One of the most famous (or infamous, depending upon who you ask), is Zhang Pinfou, a high school student in Changchun. In July 1963, he and a group of friends beat their chemistry teacher to death with wooden poles after the teacher suggests that "perhaps Chairman Mao could let the people rule for a change and stop the persecutions." Zhang is granted the opportunity to meet Mao, and changes his name to Zhang Baoli, the given name meaning "violence". (4) All over the PRNC, incidents such as this take place.

    In addition, Chinese culture is heavily attacked. Historic texts and monuments are all destroyed en masse, and scholars and academics are persecuted in droves, either forced to sing Mao's praises or killed. Even traditional Chinese opera and horticulture are stamped out. Places with high feng shui value are deliberately desecrated. All of these violent actions are possible in large part because of the creation of the Red Guards. This unit carries around the Little Red Book at all times, and attacks those denounced by Mao. Red Guards are given a high societal standing for their actions and frequently throw their weight around.

    Many foreign leaders are also attacked- along with virtually all of the major Western leaders, many "revisionists" within the Communist world come under criticism. Posters in Harbin and elsewhere denounce Kim Il-sung as a "fat revisionist", while Khrushchev is criticised as placing the survival of his own power above Marxism-Leninism. For the Soviet leadership, the Cultural Revolution is simply the last straw. Plans are made to topple Mao's regime before it collapses and is swallowed up by Chiang Kai-shek...

    (1) Analogous to the First Taiwan Strait Crisis
    (2) It is altogether possible, that in TTL, where nuclear weapons are a little less taboo than OTL, the missiles could actually fly, but I didn't want to butterfly in the destruction of all humanity.
    (3) Remember, since the PRNC was founded three years ahead of OTL, many events in its history are three years ahead of OTL as well.
    (4) Analogous to the story of Song Binbin, but since Song hailed from Nationalist Beijing, I created this fictitious character to replace her.
    The Division of Communist China
  • The September 1963 Coup and the Division of Communist China

    When Mao Zedong began his Cultural Revolution in the summer of 1963, he intended for it to be a means of consolidating his own power. By viciously eradicating any other potential source of political or cultural strength, the people of the PRNC would have only one thing in their lives to look up to or admire- him- and have no distractions- such as books or music- from their lives spent as Mao worshippers. It was an absolutely horrifying image, but it would elevate Mao's own personality cult and power within the CCP, and to him, that was all that mattered

    For four months, the People's Republic of North China lived in a state of anarchy and fear. Nothing was safe or sacred, except for Mao's portrait and Little Red Book. All aspects of Chinese culture were viciously purged. Anyone found with books or music in their homes was tortured and most likely executed, such was the level of depravity. People learned to live in fear. But that was not all. Any of Mao's opponents- that is, anyone who did not sufficiently worship him- was purged. State president Liu Shaoqi was toppled in August, and at the time of the coup, he was awaiting imprisonment in a state of de facto house arrest, having been branded "the biggest capitalist-roader". The second-biggest "capitalist-roader" was Deng Xiaoping, who was subject to house arrest and occasional denunciations and lived in fear of being exiled or imprisoned. Mao's inner circle at this point consisted of Zhou Enlai, Lin Biao, Kang Sheng, and his wife Jiang Qing. They all had the power to ruin anyone’s life. Of course, they all knew that currying favour with the Chairman was essential to their own survival. This meant that they stomached the Great Leap Forward, and were willing to throw their comrades under the bus during the Cultural Revolution.

    However, the People’s Republic of North China was moving in a direction which its Soviet patron refused to stomach. In the eyes of Moscow, it was one thing for a satellite nation to conduct a purge, or even to implement agricultural reform reminiscent of the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s. However, when that nation loses five percent of its population to a famine, and then not ten years later attacks the rest of the Communist bloc as revisionists, that was something else again.

    Three days after the downfall of Liu Shaoqi, Wang Ming, a former CCP member who had fled to Moscow during World War II, received a knock on his door. He opened it, to find five KGB men standing there, armed to the teeth. Wang assumed that he was to be taken to prison or the gulag, and nearly cried with joy when they reassured him that that was not what they wanted him for. Wang was driven to KGB headquarters in Moscow, where he was met by none other than Vladimir Semichastny, chairman of the KGB. Semichastny poured Wang a drink, and reassured him that he was not in any trouble. Then, acting on behalf of Khruschev, he explained the situation and informed Wang that he was to become the next chairman of communist China. Realising that if he said no, his life would end very shortly, Wang agreed. On August 22, 1963, a Soviet train from Irkutsk arrived in Harbin. Two dozen KGB men were aboard, disguised as Russian migrant labourers. Wang Ming was present too, disguised as a People’s Liberation Army captain, complete with dog tags and uniform faked by the Russians. It seemed like nothing out of the ordinary…

    Ten days later, at five minutes to 1 AM on September 2, the plotters struck. Bombs planted by the plotters over the past ten days were remotely detonated in Mao’s compound in an attempt to kill the leadership. In the midst of the confusion, the KGB men slipped in and went hunting for the leaders. Mao and Lin Biao managed to flee in separate planes, Mao in a (ironically enough) Soviet-built plane, Lin in his personal plane, the Trident. Both had the same destination: Yan’an. The Nationalists, whose airspace the two vessels crossed, were too surprised to do much, and in any case, Nanjing was not yet aware of the situation. As such, Mao was able to land in Yan’an unmolested. Lin Biao, however, was not so fortunate. His car had been pursued by KGB men, and his plane had had to take off in a hurry, there not being enough fuel in the tank. As such, at approximately 4:30 AM, his plane crashed into Nationalist territory, somewhere between Xinzhou and Taiyuan. Aboard was Lin, his wife, their daughter Lin Dodo, and their son Lin Liguo, along with the Lin family’s butler. (1) Mao did not learn of the circumstances of Lin’s death for over a month.

    Back in Harbin, the plotters quickly assumed control over the government. Liu Shaoqi was released from prison at nine AM. Zhou Enlai, meanwhile, was caught and executed along with Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng. Deng Xiaoping, however, managed to keep his head down, and was able to safely remain in Harbin. Twenty-four hours after the coup began, the Manchurian part of the PRNC was solidly under Wang Ming’s control. On September 4, the front page of People’s Daily was dominated by two articles. One formally announced the takeover by Wang, and the other was the text of a speech by Liu Shaoqi formally condemning Maoism. The next day, Wang gave a speech in which he proclaimed the establishment of the Soviet Republic of Manchuria. “We renounce the errors and over-pursuit of the revolution by Mao Zedong, and will stand by our Soviet comrades for 10,000 years.” he said. Wang also pledged to undo the Cultural Revolution, and to help recover from the Great Leap Forward. The Little Red Book, Mao’s portrait, and the hymn “The East is Red” were all banned. The new Manchurian government consisted of the following: Wang Ming as CCP Chairman, Liu Shaoqi as state president, Deng Xiaoping as vice-president and interior minister, and Zhu De as defence minister, along with plenty of others. The Communist world, acting on Moscow’s orders, granted Manchuria diplomatic recognition.

    Meanwhile, in Yan’an, Mao was reeling from the loss of his country. Virtually all of his hierarchy had either chosen to throw in with Wang Ming (Liu, Deng, and Zhu), or been killed (Lin, Zhou, Kang Sheng, and Mme Mao). He decided, then, that there was only one thing to do- to abandon the PRNC and create a new Communist regime in Yan’an, even more totalitarian than his old country. The People’s Commune of Yan’an was formally inaugurated, ironically enough, on October 1, 1963, seventeen years to the day after the founding of the People’s Republic of North China. However, it received no support or recognition from any Communist countries, and was from its birth an international pariah. Conditions within the country were appalling from the get-go: Yan’an was already a very poor part of China, and Mao was determined to show no mercy towards it. A personality cult dwarfing that of Stalin was rapidly put in place (2), with Mao's personality cult elevated to heights that, had they not had such horrible consequences for those forced to live under them, would've been comic. Myths were created that the Chairman had personally fought in 100,000 battles during the Sino-Japanese War and the civil war, and that the only reason that Yan'an was the sole part of China under his rule was because of the Americans and their nuclear weapons. It was the duty of every subject of his, Mao claimed, to "strive aggressively, and to be prepared for our next conflict with counter-revolutionary elements in China and elsewhere." Khruschev was also condemned as a "counter-revolutionary revisionist", and a "lackey of the imperialists", while Wang Ming was "the biggest counter-revolutionary bastard and the biggest capitalist-roader, along with Liu Shaoqi." The Cultural Revolution continued in Yan'an. Prison camps- dubbed laogai- were constructed to hold enemies of the regime (read, those who had displeased Mao in any way, shape, or form) or anyone who attempted to flee to the ROC.

    Thus, Communist China was divided in two.

    (1) Analogous to one account of Lin's OTL death.
    (2) Hey, I had to put the North Korean personality cult in somewhere!
    People's Commune of Yan'an Flag
  • Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 8.34.04 am.png

    Flag of the People's Commune of Yan'an. The red star denotes Communism, the black border the defence of Communism, the white background Nationalist China, which the PCY is obviously surrounded by.
    Soviet Republic of Manchuria Flag
  • Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 3.42.19 pm.png

    Flag of the Soviet Republic of Manchuria. The red stands for both Communism and traditional Han Chinese, while the yellow represents the Manchu aspect of the new Communist regime. The hammer and sickle was chosen over the red star to symbolise closeness to the USSR.
    Chapter Six
  • "Tao guang yuan hui."- Chiang Kai-shek's response to learning of the coup d'etat. (1)
    "Tell me one good thing that has come out of this damned coup- and don't say the Nationalists invading Manchuria!"- JFK, commenting a week before his death.
    "This is good. Wang Ming will be more willing to accept the idea of peaceful coexistence than Mao. Besides, if we let Chiang Kai-shek conquer Yan'an, then that can only make us look better in Nanjing's eyes. Mao... Mao has served his purpose."- Nikita Khruschev to the Politburo.
    "Now that the Soviet revisionists have conspired with that son of a turtle (2) Wang Ming, my power to lead the Chinese revolution has been reduced... I must reclaim China for the sake of socialism."- Mao Zedong, a journal entry on October 10, 1963.

    These four quotes basically describe the attitudes of all parties concerned to the coup. For Mao, the main thing is his loss of power over Manchuria, while the Soviets are glad to have someone more dependable at the helm. The Great Leap Forward had been hard to swallow, but the Cultural Revolution was simply a bridge too far. The attitude in Moscow is that Yan'an would last only a few years at most, and then everyone can put this whole Maoist mess behind them and get behind Wang Ming, while Moscow tries to covertly get a slice of the cake that is the Chinese economy. Of course, that means that approximately three million people are slightly f*cked, condemned to living under Maoism on steroids for who-knows-how-long, but Khruschev and the like are willing to pay that price.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese attitude is very much one of "wait-and-see". An invasion of Wang Ming's Manchuria might be militarily successful in the short term, but the long-term consequences would be very serious. For all of his talk of "peaceful coexistence", Khruschev would have no qualms about coming to the Soviet Republic of Manchuria's aid should the need arise, and would certainly use nuclear weapons against the KMT army. That would result in World War III. Prideful though the Generalissimo might be, he is not stupid and realises this. Yan'an, however, is a different story. It is an absolute pariah amongst the nations of the world- its communist ideology means that the West wants nothing to do with it, and since the USSR just tried to purge its leader, the Communist bloc keeps its distance. In other words, should Chiang try to conquer the small, mountainous, territory, he will succeed. Nonetheless, Mao has been granted a stay of execution, as other things rank higher on Chiang's list of priorities.

    The People's Commune of Yan'an is perhaps most aptly described by the words of one American political scientist: "a blend of Ukraine in the 1930s and the Cultural Revolution-era PRNC, all to the power of 2". Yan'an by this point has been under Maoist rule for almost thirty years and is as such extremely poor. It suffered greatly in the Great Leap Forward, and during the Cultural Revolution became a useful dumping ground for exiled Manchurian cadres. Within two weeks of the coup, virtually all of the exiled cadres are dead. The Maoist propaganda cult, already more extravagant than any in the world, is "turned up to eleven". (3) Not wearing a Mao lapel is grounds for arrest (read: death), and from the age of ten or so, carrying around a Little Red Book and wearing a Mao suit becomes obligatory. Boys are forced to wear their hair like the Chairman, although they do not have to give themselves a bald spot! (4)

    During the later 1960s, the rift between the US and ROC widens. This is due to a number of factors: Nanjing's continued authoritarian style of rule, where only the Kuomintang is permitted and dissent is crushed, the occupation of Tibet, Chiang's habit of getting into tense situations with the USSR, forcing America to step in and avert WWIII (such as the Mongolia Claim Crisis), and simple jealousy on the part of Washington as the gap between Washington and Nanjing narrows, both in terms of economy size and as the world's leading anti-Soviet power. Although relations remain cordial for the moment, this gulf will widen...

    The Soviet Republic of Manchuria's motto is not "We dodged a bullet", but it might as well be. Wang Ming ensured his popularity with the Manchurian people right from the get-go by condemning Maoism, and by undoing the Cultural Revolution. Little Red Books are banned, as is Mao's portrait. The political atmosphere is also loosened an iota. That said, though, Wang Ming is still a dictator of a Communist country, on a par with Erich Honecker in East Germany or Wojciech Jaruzelski in Poland (or, for that matter, Kim Il-sung in TTL). Manchuria is by no means liberal or capitalist, but it is better off than in the Cultural Revolution days.

    October 3, 1963: In Yan'an, the Chinese Communist Party is formally outlawed, with Mao claiming that it is "in the hands of Wang Ming and the counter-revolutionary aspects which are stooges of the Soviet Union." In its place, the Chinese Maoist Revolutionary Party is created. (It's a mouthful in Chinese as well, for the record- 中国毛主义革命党, Zhōngguó máo zhǔyì gémìng dǎng). The central goal of the party is "to advance Mao Zedong Thought". This represents the ludicrous cult of personality centred around Mao in the newly independent Yan'an- worse than that surrounding Stalin in his day.

    November 22, 1963: US President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. His replacement is Lyndon B. Johnson. A sign of the deteriorating state of Sino-US relations is that, whereas normally Nanjing would have dispatched a senior government official to the funeral, the ROC delegation consists merely of vice-ambassador Luang Linbo, who stays for as brief a period as possible and refuses to make a speech.

    December 17, 1963: The China Space Bureau is formally launched- pun intended- with its headquarters in Beijing. Its leader is China's premier rocket scientist Qian Sanqiang (5). Construction on a rocketry base in Lop Nor, Xinjiang, is begun, projected to cost somewhere in the region of $100 million USD. (6) The US does not offer much in the way of technical assistance, preferring a joint Sino-American space project. Hopes of this come to nought, however, as Chiang views outer space exploration as a means of giving vent to nationalism.

    May 27, 1964: Indian Prime Minister Jawalahru Nehru dies. Two weeks of power struggles follow, before the Indian Communist Party gets its man into power: Kandispal Vispoot. (7) Vispoot pledges to "aid our Tibetan comrades", "resist Chinese aggression", and "show the imperialists that they have no place in this corner of the world."

    The Western world takes a very dim view towards Vispoot's taking power. America steps up aid to Pakistan and offers a security guarantee to Sri Lanka. Chinese troops are rushed into Tibet, both as a precaution against another uprising and in case Chiang decides to go to war with India. Moscow, meanwhile, is elated. Already close before India's conversion to communism, aid massively steps up. Red Army advisors help modernise the Indian Army, and Mig-21 jets and T-64 tanks are sold to India.

    Throughout the summer of 1964, it becomes evident that China and India are on the brink of war. Since China is a nuclear power and India is not, New Delhi is dependent on a Soviet nuclear guarantee, which would in turn involve the USA... and there we have World War III again. Frantic American negotiators try to extract a guarantee that Chiang will not start a war, but Nanjing is noncommittal.

    During this period, the USSR sponsors the Tibetan People's Committee- an organisation of Tibetan emigres who see Moscow as a potential liberator. Its militant wing, the Tibetan People's Liberation Army (TPLA), is a very small force but is well-equipped.

    June 22-July 1, 1964: Starting on the twenty-third anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, the Vostok Soyuz military exercises are held in Mongolia. The USSR, Manchuria, and Mongolia all send troops to practice "for a liberation war in East Asia"- read, war with China. In total, three million communist troops take part. The East Turkestani ambassador to Moscow, Pashid Ruhazizi, also declares that the Second East Turkestan Republic will permit "any and all units of the Soviet Red Army through East Turkestani territory." In
    People's Daily, Liu Shaoqi urges the "Indian comrades to boldly venture forwards, unafraid of the rightist army opposing them."

    June 30, 1964: In a speech given to the Chinese Parliament, which has been called into an emergency session to discuss mobilisation, Chiang Kai-shek claims that China is under threat from "a great red arc stretching from Harbin to Moscow to Urumqi to New Delhi." In the end, the Republic of China mobilises for war.

    August 1, 1964: Chinese Ambassador to the US Zhou Shukai converses with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Zhou asks for a guarantee that if the USSR uses nuclear weapons on Chinese soil, America will enter the conflict. Anything else, he promises, China can deal with. In order to placate the US, Zhou promises to grant American companies a major stake in the soon-to-be-opened Taipei Open Investment Zone. Johnson is noncommittal but does promise that in the event of an unprovoked, pre-emptive nuclear strike on the ROC, the US will place all of China under its nuclear shield. The US also expels a number of Indian diplomats, although it retains the ambassador and vice-ambassador.

    August 1964: Violence against occupying Chinese troops in Tibet increases, and is met with harsher and harsher crackdowns. Border skirmishes between Chinese and Indian troops also occur, although these are limited to individual soldiers taking shots and throwing rocks at each other, and the like.

    August 12, 1964: US Secretary of State Dean Rusk travels to Islamabad to meet with top Pakistani military officials. His goal is to negotiate an arms sale between the US and Pakistan, as well as to advise the Pakistani military in how best to resist India's inevitable invasion should war break out. He leaves two days later. The ageing Nationalist general Li Zongren also visits Pakistan for the same purposes.

    The term "Summer of 64" will become ubiquitous in the years to come with the China-India slide to war. Fearful observers in both the US and USSR predict a Third World War. The situation is widely compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis of two years previous.

    During this period, large numbers of Red Army troops enter Manchuria and East Turkestan, just in case...

    August 28, 1964: Start of the Great Tibetan Uprising. Soviet-educated TPLA leader Mi-Gyaltsen (8) sparks an uprising in Lhasa, which quickly ejects the KMT garrison. The slogan "Chinese go home!" is shouted in front of government buildings, and ROC army barracks are attacked, in the name of "the people". The conflagration spreads quickly, and within three weeks much of 1959 Tibet is in revolt. In response, Chinese troops become increasingly vicious,

    The Dalai Lama is hesitant to throw his weight behind the new rebellion- while he naturally wants to see the ROC leave Tibet and is not opposed to some of the tenets of Marxism, it is clear that what will come of this revolt is a state-atheist, communist Tibet under Moscow's thumb.

    India begins to send arms and men covertly through Himalayan passes to the rebels, while also escalating border incidents with Chinese troops. Prime Minister (and General Secretary of the Communist Party) Kandispal Vispoot urges "the brave Tibetan comrades to oppose Chinese imperialism, aware that the Indian people stand behind them." It is taken as an Indian promise to go to war soon.

    September 3, 1964: A development in the USSR sets events moving beyond the point of no return. Nikita Khruschev is ejected from power in a coup led by Leonid Brezhnev (9). He retires to a house in the countryside and cedes all of his official posts. He will die in obscurity seven years later. Brezhnev is opposed to peaceful coexistence and is dead-set on confrontation with the West. Two days after his confirmation by the Politburo, he dispatches his number two Alexei Kosygin to New Dehli to confirm that the USSR will stand by India should war break out.

    September 9, 1964: Eighteen years to the day after the bombing of Baicheng, the storm breaks. Chiang Kai-shek formally declares war on India, sending troops to attack Indian positions on the border. The USSR, Mongolia, Manchuria, and Second East Turkestan Republic declare war on China that same day, and Pakistan declares war on the communists a day later. America, for the moment, remains neutral, although it has contingency plans drawn up to use nuclear weapons and declare war should the need arise...

    (1) Deng Xiaoping will never get to use this iconic quote ITTL, and I wanted to use it somewhere.
    (2) A Chinese phrase roughly equivalent to "son of a bitch"
    (3) I can promise that ITTL Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap still gets made ITTL, by the way) is not a supporter in any way, shape, or form of Mao's dreadful personality cult. I couldn't resist inserting this, though!
    (4) Roughly analogous to a mistaken rumour that in OTL North Korea, young men are forced to wear Kim Jong-un haircuts.
    (5) IOTL Mao's top nuclear scientist
    (6) ITOL Mao's main nuclear test site
    (7) A fictitious character
    (8) Traditionally, Tibetans lack surnames. Mi-Gyaltsen, as far as I can tell, translates very roughly as "people's conflict." If anyone has access to a reliable Tibetan translator, please leave a comment saying so!
    (9) This coup had been in the works since March. ITTL, with the slide to war, Brezhnev might decide to go ahead a month earlier.


    Chapter Seven- WWIII
  • World War III-- Part One

    "The Japanese lost the war because, although they could take Peking, Nanking, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, they could not hold those areas against the will of the inhabitants and dig us out of our mountains. Now... now, the Russians will learn this too."- Chiang Kai-shek, in a journal entry on September 10, 1964

    "For the third time, communism will be brought to the Chinese people from the north."- Mao Zedong, in an address to the Yan'an Politburo


    Well, everyone- I'm not dead, and neither is this TL. After a long hiatus, I've decided to pick the KMT up again and see where it goes. Thanks to everyone who decided to give this update a chance- I hope that you won't be disappointed.

    In 1964, the Republic of China was in a precarious strategic position. The colossus of the Soviet Union stood to the north and west, ready to penetrate the RoC's borders and invade its homeland. Meanwhile, hostile India created a second front, and furthermore was doing all it could to undermine the Chinese position in Tibet. Only on the southern flank- with the pro-Western regimes in Indochina- could the Chinese afford to rest easy. The United States was an ocean away and was, to Chiang's chagrin, adopting a stance of neutrality, preferring to concentrate on potentially fighting the Soviets in Western Europe. Although China possessed the atom bomb, the airfields from which bombers could take off to destroy Moscow or New Delhi would soon be gone- plus, using the ultimate weapon would come at the cost of whatever American goodwill Chiang still possessed. Realistically, China had only one advantage in the ensuing fight: population.

    Along the Manchurian border alone, the ROC Army- commanded by the ageing Li Zongren- disposed of a million and a half troops, while in Beijing and the surrounding area, three-quarters of a million were utilised. The North Chinese Front of the USSR, under the command of General Kuzma Galitsky, consisted of over 350,000 men and the most modern, up-to-date armour and Red Air Force detachments, while the Soviet Republic of Manchuria had approximately 650,000 men, virtually all of which were made available to the Russians. Furthermore, although precise numbers are hard to come by, very approximately 200,000 Mongolian troops were ready to pour into China , themselves accompanied by two Soviet armies. In the far west of China, Alexander Altunin's Turkestan Front was roughly 200,000 strong, and accompanied by East Turkestani soldiers, was ready to pour into the vast western hinterland of China. Meanwhile, India brought approximately 800,000 soldiers to the Himalayan front, although small Pakistan, fighting on the Chinese side, offered a distraction which kept Indian troops tied down. (1)

    Chinese strategy, then, was designed to make maximum use of the country's massive numerical superiority. Namely, the goal was to tie the Soviets down in an attritional battle- the further north, the better. Although it was clear that Beijing was untenable, if the Soviets could be brought to heel north of the Yellow River, that would put the Chinese in a good position to wear their foe out while not having their valuable east coast subject to another long-term foreign occupation like in 1937-1945. In the Himalayan front, the plan was simply to use the fact that the Indians would be advancing in some of the worst terrain possible to stand on the defence, while the vast expanses of Xinjiang were to be traded for time, allowing the Russians to stretch their supply columns to the breaking point. Of course, the nuclear option remained on the table, while Chiang's main hope- namely, that the USA would get into the war- remained...

    September 11, 1964: With war well and truly declared, the invasion of China commences on an almost six-thousand-kilometre front. In the vast western reaches, Chinese troops fall back, trading space for time. However, in the eastern extremity of the front, where the density of forces is much higher, the Soviet advance is much slower. The invaders lack the element of surprise and suffer heavy casualties as they push the Chinese back. The town of Qinhuangdao, located a mere twenty-three kilometres from the Manchurian border, surrenders in forty-eight hours after a devastating artillery bombardment, but at the cost of 80,000 Soviet casualties, the majority of which are Manchurians. Chinese casualty figures are similar.

    September 15, 1964: Chengde and Tangshan are both occupied by the Soviets, along with Kashgar in the far west.

    September 17, 1964: Indian troops, advancing through the Khyber Pass, invade Pakistan. A smaller force also moves into Kashmir. In spite of being heavily outnumbered, the Pakistanis are able to put up a strong defence, entrenching in the high mountains. Many international observers compare the fighting to the Isonzo front of the First World War.

    That same day, hundreds of miles away, the Russian and Chinese armies clash just to the northeast of Beijing. In spite of suffering heavy casualties, the Soviets win the day, thanks in large part to the superiority of their armour. However, their own losses, to go alongside those of their Mongol and Manchu allies, were not inconsiderable...

    In spite of the casualty figures, the Stavka is confident that it can now wheel south and prepare for an assault on Beijing.

    September 19, 1964: In a macrocosm of the fighting in Kashmir and Khyber, the Liberation Offensive is launched against Chinese positions in the Himalayas. This front will prove an absolute logistical nightmare for both sides, with rations and supplies seldom reaching the troops. As such, this will be dubbed the "forgotten front", as for months nothing will be accomplished here save the tying down of Indian and Chinese troops.

    September 20, 1964: The "Lhasa Massacre". After continued riots and sedition in the Tibetan capital, Chiang gives the go-ahead to bomb the city to quell it into submission. Although the death toll is horrifically high- with some giving an estimate of 5,500- this only furthers the determination of the Tibetans to seek their freedom from Chinese tyranny.

    September 23, 1964: The Yan'an Annihilation Drive is launched, a concentric attack on Mao Zedong's remnant regime. The people are more than happy to cast off the Maoist yoke after thirty years, and Chiang's troops are welcomed as liberators. Although organised resistance is relatively weak, a small guerilla campaign will last even past the end of the war. Mao himself is killed in the initial assault by a KMT sniper. The death of Chiang's oldest enemy is a morale-booster to the Chinese public, who have precious few things to cheer about. Nonetheless, its actual strategic value is minimal.

    September 25, 1964: Taking advantage of the chaos in the region, North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung decides to finally fulfil the dream which he has harboured for fourteen years- namely, to invade and conquer his southern, pro-Western neighbour. Nine Korean People's Army divisions, equipped with Soviet tanks of varying age, accompanied by tactical bombers, cross the 38th parallel at 3:30 AM, catching the South Koreans off-guard. Within hours, the Southerners are being pushed back. Seoul will fall the next day, with President Park Chung-hee fleeing to Busan.

    October 1, 1964: After a brief pause, the Soviets commence the "Beijing Encirclement Strategic Operation". This consists of a heavy armoured thrust to take the town of Tianjin from the west, thus encircling and isolating the Chinese capital. Chiang is more than willing to let this occur, as it fits in nicely with his goal of bringing the Soviets to battle in an environment where Chinese manpower superiority can make itself felt, wiping out as much of the Russian heavy armour as possible.

    The KMT commander in Beijing is Fu Zuoyi, a former warlord soldier who distinguished himself considerably in the Sino-Japanese War and brief Manchurian epilogue. (2). He has approximately a million soldiers at his command, which gives him a very slight numerical superiority over the Soviets and their allies.

    October 5, 1964: Russo-Mongolian troops capture Jiquan, site of the Chinese nuclear tests and rocket programme. Although all nuclear weapons have been evacuated from the site, several classified documents are captured by the Soviets and sent back to Moscow.

    October 12, 1964: The Indians launch a new offensive through Arunachal Pradesh, aimed at taking Lhasa. It quickly becomes reminiscent of Ypres or Passchendaele- namely, a pointless slaughter that gets nowhere, and the Chinese, although suffering heavy casualties, cede almost no land.

    October 16, 1964: After almost two weeks of street-fighting, the city of Langfang on the outskirts of Beijing falls to the Soviets. By this point, both sides have suffered almost half a million casualties each, and the war is only a month old. Brezhnev visits the Warsaw Pact capitals, demanding that each satellite provide troops for the war. Brezhnev does not want to pull Russian troops out of Eastern Europe for fear of losing political control, and sees the forces of his allies as more "expendable".

    October 21-24, 1964: The Xianghe Skirmish. Over the course of three days, this small Beijing suburb is reduced to rubble as Chinese and Soviet troops clash. Horrified by the losses, and aware that if this kind of attritional fighting is extrapolated to the rest of the Chinese seaboard then the war will be lost, Brezhnev decides to take the ultimate step...

    On October 25, 1964, the defenders of Beijing awoke to the ominous whistling sound of a rocket, followed a moment later by a blinding flash of light and a great mushroom cloud. Li Zongren was killed instantly in the attack, along with millions of Chinese, both soldiers and civilians. Suddenly, the Red Army's task had just become a whole lot easier...


    (1) These numbers are all extremely rough estimates.
    (2) Commander of the KMT army defending Beijing in the OTL Chinese Civil War
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    Chapter Eight- WWIII
  • World War III- Part Two
    "We Chinese have 600,000,000 people. Is sacrificing a few million of them so that the American genie may be released from its bottle a fair trade? I think so." Chiang Kai-shek to his son, upon hearing of the destruction of Beijing.

    For the third time in forty-seven years, the United States Congress met in a joint session convened by the President. Mincing no words, Lyndon Johnson asked for a declaration of war on the Soviet Union, "for the good and freedom of all the peoples of Asia and the world." He was quickly granted the request, and on October 27, 1964, the United States declared war on the Soviet Union. Now, this raised an important dilemma: namely, that while the ROC was an American ally on decent terms with all of the West, it was not a NATO member, and as such, NATO was not bound by Article V to come to its defence. Many in Western Europe were adamantly opposed to joining an East Asian war on the other side of the planet just because the USA wanted to get involved- one commentator in Holland compared it to the idea of Sweden declaring war on Hitler after Pearl Harbour to keep relations with America good. It was pointed out by many that western Europe would have to face the Red Army and tactical nuclear weapons, and would be suffering civilian casualties. The first one to opt out was France. "We have no desire to bleed for the Chinaman.", declared Charles de Gaulle. While de Gaulle did not make any moves to leave NATO or expel foreign troops, he did make it clear that the Allies would be forbidden to use French ports or rail lines, for fear that such behaviour would invite pre-emptive Soviet nuclear strikes. Tiny Denmark, fearful of being conquered in a day, was on the verge of proclaiming neutrality when the Americans and British pledged to rush additional troops to the country to protect against the Red Army. In the Far East, the still unpopular (and not particularly trusted by the Americans) Japanese government refused to join the war, although it did permit the transit of US forces through its territory. Turkey and Italy also refrained from joining the war.

    NATO (excluding France) had very approximately 2.5 million (1) forces ready in western Europe, including naval and air personnel, while the Warsaw Pact had roughly 3 million. (2) Brezhnev was aware that the commitment in China meant that there was simply no way for the Warsaw Pact to win an attritional war in Europe-- it just couldn't be done. Therefore, as he conferred with the Stavka, a new Soviet strategy took shape. The Red Army was to advance through the Fulda and Kassel gaps, aided by tactical nuclear weapons, and from there converge at Marburg. From Marburg, it was a straight shot to the French border. That was the essence of it. On October 28, 1964 (3), the defenders of Fulda and Kassel- including a young soldier by the name of Colin Powell (4)- were awoken by a terrific artillery bombardment, creating chaos as commanders attempted to co-ordinate a response. The panic only lasted for perhaps fifteen minutes, as first Kassel, then Fulda, felt the brunt of tactical nuclear weapons. As soon as it was safe to do so, Warsaw Pact troops- mostly Russians, with satellite states supplying cannon fodder- advanced west. The greatest gamble had begun.

    October 28, 1964: All along the front line, the Soviet Union advances against the NATO armies, driving deep into West Germany. Two East German battalions, meanwhile, overwhelm West Berlin. Although many Western units fight long and hard, they are overwhelmed by the first shock of the Soviet offensive.

    November 1, 1964: The last Chinese units in Beijing surrender to the Russians, who now begin planning for a drive south. However, their own casualties in the Battle of Beijing were not inconsiderable. Although the sheer size of Beijing meant that much of the city survived the initial blast, radiation now creeps through the city, infecting Soviet troops.

    Chiang, meanwhile, is harbouring plans for an offensive of his own…

    November 3, 1964: Running on a platform of patriotism and support for the new war, Lyndon Johnson is easily elected as President in his own right, defeating Barry Goldwater by an even larger margin than OTL

    November 4, 1964: In a move designed to please the West, new Saudi king Faisal announces drastic cuts in the price of Saudi oil to neutral nations. The hope is that they will buy cheaper Saudi oil instead of Soviet supplies, which Moscow cannot afford to cut right now owing to the cost of maintaining the war effort.

    November 4, 1964: The last pocket of South Korean troops surrender in Busan. General Park is found dead amongst the ruins of the city. The Korean Civil War- as it will come to be known- is now over. The outpost of Jeju Island surrenders upon hearing the news.

    November 12, 1964: After a long fight, Soviet troops capture Wolfsburg from the West Germans. The city is largely in ruins, with its famed auto works no more.

    That same day, the two Soviet armies which set out from Fulda and Kassel achieve their rendezvous at Marburg. Two West German divisions remain encircled at Alsfield, and will be mopped up by Polish troops over the next week.

    November 15, 1964: The Soviet armies invading from Xinjiang and Mongolia link up at the Qinghai town of Hainan. In spite of the symbolism of this defeat for the Chinese, on one level it is a good thing for Nanjing: the Soviets are now in some places thirteen hundred kilometres from their supply bases, and that distance will only increase. (5) Nonetheless, the Chinese high command now realises that a threat to Xian exists, and that plans must be drawn up to defend the city.

    November 19, 1964: Sun Lijen is appointed commander of the forces in the Beijing theatre. Although he has previously had a rocky history with Chiang, the KMT army’s need for a good commander, plus Chiang’s vulnerability to bribes, mean that Sun now finds himself in Chiang’s graces. Sun has roughly a million men at his command, giving him a considerable numerical advantage over the Soviets. However, many of the best KMT troops have been chewed up and obliterated in the Beijing battle, and as such these units are of poorer quality.

    November 24, 1964: The Battle of Frankfurt commences. Soviet armoured forces clash with American tanks. The first day ends in a draw, and only human wave attacks and massive air and artillery support- all accomplished at very high cost in Russian casualties- are sufficient to push the Americans out.

    November 29, 1964: Operation Eagle Liberty is launched by the Americans. Commanded by General William Westmoreland, it incorporates two American corps and three British divisions, along with one regiment from both Holland and Belgium. Westmoreland's target is Magdeburg, which is to be liberated by means of a drive from the south-east. Eagle Liberty catches the Soviets off-guard, but they soon manage to draw the Allied forces into a stalemate battle inside Magdeburg itself. Fearful that his forces will fall victim to a Soviet tactical nuclear weapon, Westmoreland decides to cancel the operation on December 2, abandoning the ruins of Magdeburg to the Soviets once more.

    December 5, 1964: Commanded by General Creighton Abrams, Jr, six US infantry divisions land in Nanjing harbour, the first of many. They will travel by rail to the Beijing theatre. Additionally, several squadrons of US B-52 bombers land in Nanjing, from where they will strategically bomb-- using only conventional weapons-- rail lines and infrastructure behind the Soviet lines.

    December 12, 1964: After a long push forward, Soviet troops capture Karlsruhe, very close to the French border. West Germany is now almost completely divided in two. Brezhnev- running the war from Moscow and giving the Stavka limited freedom- now hopes to capture Hanover and Hamburg, and from there, overrun Denmark.

    However, the strategic situation is slowly slipping out of Soviet control. Their advance into West Germany has more or less taken the shape of a salient 200 kilometres long, one which, though frightening on paper, is a logistical nightmare for supplies, given that the two largest cities at its base have been nuked. This congests the remaining roads, which are in turn prime targets for Allied conventional bombing. The Red Air Force can protect these roads, but only at the cost of sacrificing combat air superiority.

    The body count is also piling up. The density of forces is much higher than in World War II, and weaponry all that much more advanced, meaning that combat is far more intense and casualties are much higher. (6) While this certainly generates a fair amount of resistance to the war in Western countries (7), they have the advantage of an almost bottomless reservoir of American men and industry to feed into Germany. Meanwhile, the Soviets are fighting a two-front war and are dependent in large part on their Warsaw Pact “allies” for cannon-fodder. In Warsaw, Bucharest, Sofia, Budapest, and even Berlin, there are whisperings of revolt, as the Russians send more and more of their young men to die while still finding the manpower to occupy their homelands…

    December 19, 1964: In a telephone call between Lyndon Johnson and Chiang Kai-shek, the US President gives the Chinese his tacit permission to use tactical nuclear weapons, and hints that he may do the same himself…

    December 25, 1964: In what will be dubbed “Santa’s gift to Chiang” by one New York Times columnist, a joint Sino-American offensive opens up against the Soviets in the city of Cangzhou. Although the Russian troops in the city fight hard, the Allies are surprised by the numbers of Polish and Hungarian troops who are all too eager to defect to the Americans.

    However, in a harbinger of things to come, one ethnic Latvian regiment which defects en masse to the Chinese on the 27th, expecting to be treated well, is instead summarily massacred. General Sun manages to keep the incident hushed up, but word leaks to the Americans. After this, although Warsaw Pact troops are still willing to surrender to the USA, they almost universally fight to the death against the Chinese. Many put this down to the fury and hatred the Chinese feel for the Soviets after the nuclear attack on Beijing.

    January 1, 1965: Assisted by several American divisions, the Pakistanis make a fresh attempt to achieve a breakthrough in Kashmir. The mountainous town of Leh is reduced to rubble, but little ground changes hands. America now begins to consider the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons of its own to achieve a breakthrough in the high mountains…

    January 6, 1965: The Allies commence Operation Scorpion, a pincer attack on Mannheim designed to cut off the Soviet forces at the tip of their long salient. This time, their attack meets with success, as the poorly-supplied, tired Soviet forces- who are hindered, as always, by the willingness of the Warsaw Pact troops to go over to the Americans or British (8), give way. After ten days of heavy fighting, Mannheim falls, along with Heidelberg.

    The news that tens of thousands of Soviet troops are now cut off sends Brezhnev into a fit of rage, and he decides to take the ultimate step, one from which he has until now refrained for fear of retaliation.

    On January 7, 1965, Norwich, Ipswitch, Amsterdam, Brussels (9), and Suzhou joined the list of cities to meet nuclear death. The next day, a furious America, using its ICBMs stationed in England, added Kiev, Kharkov, Minsk, Leningrad, and Smolensk to the list, bringing the total to seventeen cities to meet firey nuclear death.

    (1) Again, a very rough number. Bear in mind that this excludes French troops
    (2) See above
    (3) October 28 German time, October 27 US time
    (4) No Vietnam War means that Powell would be stationed in Germany for longer
    (5) For comparison purposes, just slightly over the distance between the current front in Europe and Minsk, Belarus
    (6)This is not a guerilla war like Vietnam-- combat is direct, and out in the open, with no real places to hide on the flat North German Plain
    (7) Although things like draft-card-burning have not come around yet, there are plenty of young hippies passionately opposed to this war. However, there are plenty more people who view this as a "good-vs-evil" fight, like WWII, and anti-war dissidents have a lot less respect amongst the mainstream of society, especially those who fought in WWII.
    (8) Given that the war is being fought on their soil and that the Soviets have nuked two of their cities, the West Germans were not known for their kindness towards prisoners, either. This includes East Germans, who are typically sent to the Chinese front for fear that they will be disloyal.
    (9) After this, the Americans were pretty much the only ones taking prisoners
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    Chapter Nine- WWIII
  • World War III- Part 3

    When the smoke cleared from the ruined cities, the situation had profoundly changed. Before this, it had been acceptable to use nuclear weapons in a tactical setting. The bombings of Beijing, Fulda, and Kessel had infuriated the Chinese and West Germans but had not come as a great moral offence to the rest of the world. Going back further, while the world was shocked by the ruthlessness of Truman as he nuked three Asian cities to get his way, and while some had been horrified by Eisenhower's destruction of Sapporo, these were all seen as within the accepted rules of modern war. But indiscriminately destroying city after city as a means of blackmailing the enemy into submission, without any clear purpose save to create terror... that was something else again. Of course, the brutal new strategy had its defenders. People pointed to the Allied strategic bombing of Germany in World War II, and especially to the destruction of Dresden, as examples of a precedent for this sort of action. The Americans, furthermore, were able to say, "well, Brezhnev started it." Yet, there was a moral red line which, in the eyes of the world, both Brezhnev and Johnson had crossed. Lastly, on January 6 and 7, 1965, a new meaning was given to the phrase "playing with fire." On those two days, the human race had come perilously close to extinction, in a day which made the Cuban Missile Crisis seem pale by comparison. (1) Everyone was conscious that, unlike all of the other times when nuclear weapons had been deployed, the human race had truly been brought to the brink. That was no doubt one of the reasons why World War III remained the last nuclear conflict on Earth- everyone became aware of the deadly potential of the weapons they held in their hands in a way they had not been for the past 20 years.

    However, little of this was obvious on January 8, 1965. All throughout Europe, China, and the Soviet Union, people lived in fear that they would be obliterated in a nuclear strike. Not just civilians, but soldiers in the field were fair game. Yet... hours lengthened into days, and nuclear death didn't come. Although Brezhnev and Johnson kept their fingers on the nuclear buttons, they didn't push them again. This was because Brezhnev, rage-filled though he was, had figured out what the Americans were doing. Five Allied cities had been indiscriminately targeted for long-range destruction simply for terror purposes, in retaliation, five Soviet cities had met the same fate. Johnson's plan was to deter Brezhnev from destroying any more cities by destroying a Soviet city with ICBMs for every Allied one to fall: Stalingrad was next on the list, followed by Alma-Ata. The reason for not placing Moscow on the list for destruction was that, although it would've slaked the Western thirst for revenge to wipe out the Soviet government, to do so might send the USSR collapsing into warlordism, and no-one in the West was too keen on the notion of warlords going around indiscriminately with nuclear weapons and the ICBM capacity to hit anywhere east of the Prime Meridian with them...

    Nonetheless, although the tide was rapidly turning, the war would continue until the Soviets gave in...

    January 9- 16, 1965: Allied intelligence tricks the Soviets into thinking that an offensive aimed against Frankfurt is coming, through the newly reopened (albeit tenuous) corridor between southern and northern West Germany. Allied radio communications allowed to fall into Soviet hands discuss a concentration of troops in Saarbrucken and Heidelberg, for an offensive presumably targeted at Frankfurt. The Stavka also picks up the name "Operation Gettysburg"...

    January 13, 1965: Sun Lijen's troops commence a siege of Tianjin. Fearful of what the Chinese will do to them, most of the Soviet troops fight to the death. However, many of the Manchurian troops (at least, the Mandarin-speaking ones), are all too eager to discard their Communist uniforms for Nationalist ones and cross over to the enemy lines. General Sun is aided by a timely uprising amongst the city's populace.

    January 16, 1965: Operation Gettysburg commences. Contrary to the expectations of the Stavka, it is located nowhere near Frankfurt. Instead, it is a powerful thrust towards Gottingen, in central Germany. Gettysburg is accompanied by massive Allied air support to prevent a Soviet tactical nuclear weapon being used, however, the Stavka do not utilise the ultimate weapon here. Gottingen is liberated on the twenty-fifth by the West German Second Panzergrenadier Division. The Soviet positions in Wolfsburg and Brunswick are now increasingly vulnerable...

    January 22, 1965: Although this will not be revealed until the brief Occupation of Moscow later in the year, on this date Leonid Brezhnev orders state premier Alexsei Kosygin executed. With Kosygin dead, there is now no-one left to oppose Brezhnev's will, which will make for a dangerous situation once the Soviet leader's already fragile mental health begins to tumble further...

    February 1, 1965: Sino-American troops liberate the city of Langfang, placing them within range of a strike against Beijing.

    February 5-17, 1965: Another Indian offensive into Tibet bogs down, causing nothing more than higher piles of bodies on both sides. Some within India begin to consider removing Prime Minister Kandispal Vispoot and the Communist Party from power, although no-one presently has the means for such a coup.

    February 12, 1965: The largest Allied attack of the German war thus far- Operation Skeleton- opens with all armies attacking the perimeter of the great Soviet salient from Bayreuth to Frankfurt to just south of Kassel created by the Scorpion and Gettysburg operations. Many are quick to compare this attack to Operation Citadel of 1943, especially those West Germans and Soviets whose fathers fought in that battle, or indeed, those officers who were mere infantrymen at Kursk.

    The going is long, slow, and hard, with the Russians giving ground very slowly and inflicting the highest casualties of any battle in WWIII- for that matter, since day one of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 (if nuclear attacks are discounted, that is.) An astounding 63,000 Warsaw Pact troops alone are killed on day one alone, while the Allies lose approximately 38,000 dead. One reason for the (comparatively) lower Allied casualties, from an army of only slightly larger size, is the fact that their tactics place less emphasis on human wave attacks. It need not be said that prisoners are not being taken here. Every day, the weakened Soviets retreat just enough that the Allies retain the will to keep going, but do not for one moment fold. Both sides commit huge numbers of fighters to ward off enemy nuclear bombers, and dogfights become common sights in the skies above. Perilously, Russian resistance is weakest (although that is very much a relative term here) at the base of the salient.

    February 21, 1965: The Second Battle of Beijing commences. It's the largest action in either theatre of WWIII so far, with 1.2 million Chinese troops and nine American divisions taking part. Weakened by the conventional bombing of supply lines (as well as the near-constant carpet-bombing runs by both Chinese and US bombers), conditions rapidly become hellish for the Soviet defenders. Over the course of three weeks, the city is combed of Warsaw Pact troops in a battle every bit as vicious as Stalingrad. The radiation in Beijing only makes things worse, and an astounding 90% of soldiers who survived the battle will develop cancer at some point in the next five years. By the time Beijing is liberated, it will be in complete ruins, with quite literally not one building left fully intact. Almost all of the city's residents are dead, with only a handful having been able to get away before the Soviet occupation, after which there was no escape.

    February 27, 1965: After fifteen days of fierce fighting, the Allies and Soviets have a climactic clash at the Second Battle of Jena, which will put its Napoleonic counterpart in the shade. For much of the day, it seems to be simply one of the largest land battles in history, however, the Allies retreat from their pincer assault unexpectedly at four PM, seemingly ceding the whole base of the salient to the Soviets. The Warsaw Pact commanders should have realised the danger and dispersed their force into several packets. Instead, they attempt to switch over to the offensive, thinking that the Allied retreat was conducted out of weakness. However, only fifteen minutes after their "victory", the first mushroom cloud goes up...

    The loss to attrition and nuclear fire at Jena of such a huge chunk of the Red Army- to say nothing of the Warsaw Pact cannon fodder so necessary to provide a buffer- sends Brezhnev into a rage, and he quite literally "shoots the messenger"- that is, he orders the execution of the man who tells him. However, a lick of sense remains in his brain, as he does not order more strategic nuclear strikes against Allied cities, as he knows that Soviet ones will be destroyed in retaliation. Nonetheless, more than ever, Brezhnev remains determined to win the war, even as the odds lengthen...

    The next post will conclude World War III

    Comments? Suggestions?

    (1) Indeed, TTL's view of the Cuban Missile Crisis will be far less extreme than in our world
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    Chapter Ten- WWIII
  • 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 (3) 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

    Thoughts? Comments?

    (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) Former state president Liu Shaoqi had died only a few weeks prior to the outbreak of WWIII, the result of his suffering in the Cultural Revolution
    (3) 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
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    The Treaty of Moscow and the End of World War III
  • The Signing of the Treaty of Moscow and the End of World War III
    World 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:

    • 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, as is the Second East Turkestan Republic
    • 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 Kaliningrad area is to be annexed into Poland
    • The Warsaw Pact is dissolved
    • Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia are to be admitted into NATO
    • North Salakhin and the Kuriles are to be transferred to Japan
    With the signing, World War III formally ended. The world could now look ahead to the future, whatever that might consist of...

    (1) Except, that is, for OTL's Great Leap Forward...
    (2) As always, these figures are very rough ones

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    Europe After the Treaty of Moscow
  • Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 10.23.45 pm.png

    Europe after the Treaty of Moscow
    With the exception of the Soviet Union, the coloured countries are NATO members
    Note: This map reflects the situation after the Czechoslovak Civil War, and Moldovan plebiscite, both of which will occur next update
    Chapter Eleven
  • June 11, 1965: Operation Double Thunder is launched by the Chinese, consisting of an advance down the Korean Peninsula into Kim Il-sung's country. The Korean army has been expecting this, but is unable to put up serious pressure and begins a long, slow retreat southward. Pyongyang falls within a week, and Seoul four days afterwards. By the end of the month, all of Korea is under Chinese occupation. Kim Il-sung and his family are killed in Pyongyang.

    June 16, 1965: The Treaty of Kabul is signed in neutral Afghanistan between India and the Allies. The points are as follows:

    • India is to cede Uttaranchal, Arunachal Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh to China
    • Jammu and Kashmir are to be ceded to Pakistan
    • India is to hand over Kansidpal Vispoot and other key Communist figures for trial
    • A demilitarised zone along the Indo-Pakistani border is to be manned by UN peacekeeping troops until June 16, 1985
    • India is forbidden from researching nuclear weapons
    The Indian government accepts these terms, grateful for having escaped the comparatively harsher fate which befell the Soviet Union.

    June 22, 1965: The Warsaw Trials begin. Widely seen as a successor to the Nuremberg Trials of two decades before, these see Brezhnev, Vispoot, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping , the leaders of the various Warsaw Pact states, and several other Communist officials in the dock. The United States, Britain, Germany, and China each supply two judges to the prosecution. The defendants have access to legal representation, and the whole trials are filmed and televised.

    The defendants do not go quietly, however. Brezhnev heavily criticises the US on grounds of hypocrisy, pointing out that they had no compulsions about destroying five Soviet cities or Jena, and effectively stating that use of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons does not constitute a war crime. The debate thus created will foster decades of discussion amongst academics.

    July 1965: The Chinese begin a programme of deportation and resettlement in former Mongolia, Second East Turkestan Republic, and Russian Far East. Vladivostok is renamed Zhudong, while Ulanbataar becomes Wuerjia and Urumqi becomes Xicao. (1) Ethnic Russians and Mongols are deported to the Soviet Union. As of July, this process is fairly limited, but Chiang will not stop until total sinicisation has been achieved.

    July 16, 1965: The sentences are handed down: Leonid Brezhnev, Kandispal Vispoot, Walter Ulbricht, Nicolae Ceacaseau, Władysław Gomułka, Alexander Dubcek, Todor Zhvikov, and István Dobi are sentenced to death, along with Wang Ming in absentia. The other defendants receive prison sentences ranging from five years to life.

    July 5, 1965: President Humphrey signs into law the United States Cancer Research Act, providing $10 million per year for the next ten years towards cancer research and treatment, both through the UN and through multilateral channels with foreign nations.

    July 30, 1965: Leonid Brezhnev, Kandispal Vispoot, Walter Ulbricht, Nicolae Ceacaseau, Władysław Gomułka, Alexander Dubcek, Todor Zhvikov, and István Dobi are executed by hanging in Warsaw's Mokotow Prison

    Their deaths are celebrated with clinking glasses all over the Western world

    August 1965: In the new Republic of Czechoslovakia, tension increases between the Czech and Slovak subjects, with the latter demanding more autonomy. Social issues and pressures kept silent by the presence of Soviet troops begin to come to light, and several protests break out in Slovak cities, along with calls for a general election.

    Czechoslovak president Janas Svobak (2) promises a general election in two months, on October 1, but refuses to grant any immediate concessions. Privately, he converses with American ambassador Malcolm Toon, requesting American military aid should it be needed to combat an insurgency in Slovakia...

    August 12, 1965: After over a month of naked Chinese military occupation, the Republic of Korea is created, with Chung Hoo-lin as president. Chung rules as a dictator backed by the Chinese army and is in every way Nanjing's puppet. Under his rule, Communism is outlawed and anything pertaining to Kim Il-sung is destroyed.

    September 3, 1965: The "Wuerjia Massacre". Seven hundred Mongolians about to be deported to the USSR riot and Chinese troops open fire. One hundred and four are killed, including three Chinese troops, and seventy are injured. Chiang has the whole thing hushed up, but nonetheless, word leaks out about the harsh nature of the Chinese military regime in Mongolia (as well as in the ex-Soviet Far East, for that matter). The Mongolian communities in the United States and elsewhere condemn the Chinese government, but no-one is too interested in crossing Chiang.

    September 1965: More and more violence breaks out in Slovakia, including a riot which leaves ten dead in Bratislava. President Svobak redoubles his calls for foreign military aid, and openly considers instituting martial law in Slovakia.

    The turmoil in Czechoslovakia also sets off minor discontent in Albania, newly annexed into Yugoslavia. Marshal Tito, to the concern of other NATO members, sends in the military to quell any and all discontent

    October 1, 1965: The Czechoslovak general election occurs. It's effectively a referendum on the success of President Svobak, and a test of the strength of the union under democratic conditions. However, the election is clearly rigged, with innumerable cases of Slovak voter suppression. When Svobak's conservative Democratic Unity Party wins a nine-tenths majority in Parliament, the Slovaks decide that enough is enough.

    October 5, 1965: A general strike commences in Bratislava, Kosice, and other major Slovak cities. More violent demonstrations also occur but are suppressed by the police. The protestors demand a fair rerun of the election, but Svobak refuses to even consider the notion.

    October 26, 1965: Newly elected Polish president Stefan Brominski announces plans to deport the Russians living in the province of Miastokrolka (3) to the USSR. Although he does not say it openly, his goal is clearly to Polonise the province in the same way that Chiang is doing in Mongolia and Siberia.

    November 2, 1965: After a month of chaos in Slovakia, labour leader Tomas Tichy declares the Democratic Republic of Slovakia, starting the Czechoslovak Civil War.

    The response from bordering nations is generally one of strict neutrality- no-one is in any mood for fighting to spill over into their territory so soon after WWIII. The USA and Great Britain offer to mediate but are rebuked.

    November 11, 1965: In the Moldovan general election, the Liberal Nationalist Party defeats the Conservatives. Over the course of the month, petitions start to flood the new president, Ivan Postan, for the possibility of federation with Romania. Although many within the Moldovan government are hesitant to take such a measure, they recognise that a significant portion of the population is in favour of such a measure...

    December 5, 1965: The US Congress passes the Reconstruction Aid to Europe and Asia Act, colloquially known as the "Humphrey Plan" or "Marshall 2.0", for obvious reasons. It provides for over $25 billion dollars to be dispatched to the former Allied nations, especially to Germany and China. Controversially, the act also earmarks 2.5 billion to go towards the Soviet Union, a move which only barely passes Congress and is deeply unpopular with the people...

    November 29, 1965: After several months of failing to do anything, and facing a vote of no confidence- or worse, a coup d'etat- Janus Svobak decides to throw in the towel and recognise Slovak independence, a move which the rest of the world quickly follows. Svobak himself will resign on Christmas Day and be replaced by a more liberal successor. Slovakia, meanwhile, is quickly admitted into NATO.

    January 1, 1966: In the Indian general election, Indira Gandhi wins the presidency on a platform of "peace and reconstruction, and hope for a bright future." She is the first woman ever to win the Indian presidency, and international observers hope that she will move India in a more liberal direction.

    January 2, 1966: Moldovan and Romanian citizens go to the polls for the question of federation. In the end, the two countries vote to unite by a slim margin: the actual union date will not be until January 1, 1971, so as to give both countries adequate time to prepare.


    (1) These are all based off of the Mandarin translations of the names of these cities from their native languages
    (2) Janas Svobak, Chung Hoo-lin, Stefan Brominski, and Tomas Tichy are all fictitious characters
    (3) "Kaliningrad" means "king's city" in Russian, and "Miastokrolka" means approximately that in Polish