New Deal Coalition Retained III: A New World

The Second Russian Civil War I
  • The Second Russian Civil War: Part 1

    While the Third World War had officially been over for over a year, the Second Russian Civil War, a byproduct of said conflict raged on. The Four Main factions described earlier would be joined by outside forces including the Chinese, Japanese, US, Germany, and more. Two factors would come to dominate the SRCW: Nuclear Missiles and Oil.

    During the gradual collapse of the USSR, the high command had done an excellent job disabling permanent nuclear launch sites before they fell into allied, Timurid, or Zhinorvsky’s hands. Through kill switches, launch-site detonations, and a simple lack of fuel all of the underground missile launch sites had been disabled. The paranoia brought about after the October Coup lead to greater centralization of the controls for soviet underground-launched missles. In addition, the soviet fleet surrendered in unison to allied forces 1 day after the formal surrender of the USSR, and neither the rump Russian SFSR, National Republic, nor Tara, or Yakutsk separatist movements were able to seize control of nuclear submarines. Near the end of the second world war, the American Air Force embarked on Operation Thunderdome: the systematic destruction of every soviet aircraft capable of dropping a nuclear payload, Every TU-95 and TU-160 was to be destroyed on sight. Most soviet bombers were being employed in conventional or chemical attacks, anyways, but the threat of a soviet nuclear strike in desperation was too high. While many of the warheads/bombs from the previous sources could be detonated or used for dirty bombs by terrorist groups, and while it was rumored that the rump Russian SFSR did have a nuclear arsenal without a delivery system, it seemed unlikely that the nuclear option would be depoyed. That is, if it wasn’t for one class of delivery system that we have so far ignored: mobile missile launchers.

    Near the end of the war, while only 20% of soviet nuclear missiles could be launched, the majority of these were mobile based systems which had been sent into the wild forests of Siberia, where they had been captured by…

    -Excerpt from An Analysis and short history of the Second Russian Civil War by Historian Mike Stafford for the CIA, Top Secret-

    Initially, the Russian Civil War was tame from a military territorial perspective during the end of the Rumsfeld Presidency, as all sides gathered their strength. Brutal ethnic cleansing, programs, and purges by all sides helped establish firm borders and firm control within the various factions as all dissenters and “troublemakers” “disappeared”. Rumsfeld attempted to intervene to prevent such actions, but was unable to corral the resources needed to force change, in part because of “dilly dallying” from the Germans, and Moscow Republican leadership, etc. Meanwhile, the necessary arms for such a conflict were acquired through legal and illegal means by the various factions. Rumsfeld, who didn’t trust the leadership of the Free Russian Republic after the near nuclear holocaust, sent non-military aid but refused to help otherwise. However, the Frey was more than willing to send surplus military equipment, ammunition, uniforms, etc.

    Arguably, the main deciding factor in the Russian Civil War was oil. Most of the political and military leadership of the various factions knew little about how to rebuild once victory was achieved or how to run an economy, but they all knew that if they controlled the oil fields that they would become very wealthy. In addition, all side had difficulty traversing the vast Russian expanses because fuel was so short. While the short “breather” had allowed for some oil wells to be rebuilt, all sides’ effective espionage lead to constant shortages. As a result, air power was rare for a modern conflict. Helicopters were used in abandon, but Jet Fighters and Bombers were most often stuck on the ground. While tanks were employed, they could not be used to exploit gaps in the line for fear of losing fuel, only to punch gaps. Most importantly, infantry would have to move on foot or horseback in the mud, fields, and forests, as APC’s sucked too much precious fuel.

    In the summer of 1992, the war heated up. Zhirnovsky nearly entirely destroyed the Yakutsk independence movement (driving it nearly to the frozen sea,) in search of oil. Zhirnovsky also advanced towards steadily towards Vladivostok and the few far-eastern territories held by the western-supported, but poorly equipped and static, armies of the Free Russian Republic. Many predicted he would win the Russian Civil War during the winter campaign break in the winter of 1992.

    Zhirinovsky’s success was in part thanks to the incredible mobility of his army. Zhirinovsky used relatively energy efficient civilian vehicles to cross the few roads in the vast expanses of Siberia (thankfully more had been built after the October Revolution as part of an “Eastern Development Initiative”. These transports would be defended and flanked by horse cavalry who would protect the few transportation lines from partisan attack and helicopters whose watchful eye would spot any potential threats. As a result of this strategy, Zhirnovsky’s army was able to pursue retreating forces, outflank defensive positions, transport reinforcements where needed, and even feed his troops more often (small cars would often come from the rear with loot from nearby farms that would be cooked using car motors as grills) than his enemies. However, it was a much more high-tech mobile weapons platform that would make Zhirinovsky's force infamous to those with high enough security clearance.

    One of Zhirnovsky’s requisitioned automobiles captured and seized by Japanese Intelligence

    -End Excerpt-

    On June 1st 1993, the U.N. Security Council met to discuss a join CIA-Free Russian Intelligence Report. After the fall of Moscow, all of the former Soviet Union’s mobile missile units were systematically accounted for and handed to the enemy. However, upon a further review conducted in January of 1993, it was found that forty RT-2PM Topol loaded systems had gone unaccounted for in Siberia in territory controlled by Zhirnovsky.

    In March, a CIA agent infiltrator had sent a photograph of three of these systems to the CIA before he was killed to prevent their location being found. In May, a defector captured at the Timurid border was handed over to the CIA for questioning. He revealed that he had operated one of these systems before he received a report that some of the weapons were planned to be used in the planned 1994 summer offensives. Upon reading the CIA dossier, Iaccoca immediately convened the leaders of the U.N. Security council to find a way to remove these weapons from the madman who now seemed poised to take over Russia. However, China, who did not want a Free Russian Republic Victory in the civil war and was in fact seeking potential territorial gains in Siberia-in search of oil, blocked all military options. The Chinese leadership thought that it could either strike an exclusive deal for oil with Zhirinovsky that wouldn’t be possible with either the Russian SFSR or the Moscow Republic. Some in the Politburo even believed that the CIA had faked the crisis as an excuse to intervene militarily into the Russian Civil War. Meanwhile, the more pacifist ideas suggested by the Europeans were not assured to deal with the crisis. The council finally settled on a public “cease and desist” condemning Zhirinovsky's extremism and sanctions against his fledgling republic, measures that sailed through the U.N. in a secret vote kept hidden from the press (the official justification for the sanctions was religious repression). However, the council had failed to deal with these weapons. Yet again Iaccoca would have to go it alone in another"Imperialistic act justified by the words of a certain Kipling Poem” (Ralph Nader’s Greatest Speeches). Iaccoca would justify his actions in his personal journal: "If America didn't act per its manifest destiny God would frown upon all of the Earth".

    Iaccoca knew that putting boots on the ground, so soon after the Third World War, was politically impossible. In addition, his CIA director said that a spy operation would not necessarily destroy the missiles in time.

    Iaccoca was at a loss as he sat in his desk in the Oval Office on the night of the 9th of June.

    -Tape from the Lee Iaccoca Presidential Library, Top Secret, Not to be revealed to the public until 2030- (Author's note: Internal Thoughts are obviously not on the tape)-

    Iaccoca: I think we’ve just about exhausted every idea.

    Defense Secretary Kirkpatrick: That’s about right sir,

    Iacocca (in his head): I knew I should have appointed Carter not this dumb bitch

    Kirkpatrick: What is it sir? (If something happens, I'll be infamous in history)

    Iaccoca: Nothing (Yeah but he was a damn confederate southerner the northern liberals would have hung me, Wait! A Confederate that's who I need), Jeane, I gotta make a call...

    Kirkpatrick: to whom?

    Iaccoca: A friend I made at the convention, someone with some experience with this sort of thing, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like this to be private

    Kirkpatrick: Ok, I’ll go review the latest intelligence reports.

    Iaccoca: Ok I’ll let you know when your needed.

    -Kirkpatrick walks out of the room and Iaccoca dials the number-

    Iaccoca (to himself): I hope the damn union bastards patched up the connection

    - Iaccoca puts his feet on the desk and the phone stops ringing-

    Iaccoca: Hey George, I’m in a bit of a pickle and I need some advice, I hope you’ve gotten a chance to read those reports I sent you


    George: *Coughs* I'm flattered that you answered my humble requests and broke national security law to get my advice... *Coughs* now you better listen you damnyankee or were all gonna end up glowing at night...
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    Second Russian Civil War II
  • Second RCW PART 2

    On June 20th 1993, Three Nuclear Explosions were detected 2 miles above various parts of central Siberia. Zhirinovsky’s main advantage, mobility, disappeared as his army’s transports were stranded as their transmissions were disabled. All radios, walkie-talkies, and phones were fried as well. Zhirinovsky threw a fit when he learned that his nuclear missiles were disabled. Because of top-secret updates made to their guidance systems before capture, then followed by a period of disrepair, the missiles were unable of being launched nor aimed. In the short term, food and heat for his armies in the field disappeared overnight in the middle of the summer campaign season. While the Russian SFSR was crippled on its eastern flank while Zhirinovsky’s other opponents were relatively unaffected. No army was as reliant on movement and coordination as Zhirinovsky’s. Meanwhile, within the National Russian Army morale and order collapsed completely.

    The Yakutia independence forces were the first to push back to their “national borders” where they set up a defensive perimeter. Moscow Republic forces which had been pushed to the Urals and forced to destroy their oil supplies now had a fierce counterattack (supplanted famously by cavalry charges). Zhirinovsky’s empire was collapsing. Its demise would lead to the rise of one nation whose existence had previously been considered a joke.

    Kaadyr-ool Bicheldey, founder of the Tuvan Independence Movement, whose alliance with general Viktor Dubynin of the 40th Army had instantly given the Tuvan Republic an outsized army, understood the importance of oil more than any other post-soviet leader. While Kaadyr-ool wanted independence for Tuva above all else, he knew that for his people to be self-sufficient and independence they would need a “Revenue source”: and that source was oil. While most of the Siberian oil was too close to the Urals and the western-supported Free Russian Republic, there were sizable reserves just north of Tuva. However, they would first have to get through Zhirinovsky.

    Map of Russian Oil

    The EMP's were the miracle the Tuvan Army needed. Luckily for the Tuvans, their army was unaffected as its electrical equipment was either out of range, in training on the Mongolian border, or simply non-existent. Most of Zhirinovsky’s army was not on the border of Tuva, as Zhirinovsky did not intend to attack “the worthless bastard sons of Genghis Khan”. With his army in complete disarray, Dubynin knew it was the time to strike.

    In July 1993, the Tuvan army attacked north. By the end of the summer the Tuvans would more than double their landmass and take control of the key oilfields north of them, while striking a peace deal with the Yakutsk separatist forces.

    Meanwhile, the Japanese, in response to Zhirinovsky’s aggression and reports of nuclear weapons, decided to intervene, as they had done in the past Russian Civil war. Firstly, they started supplying through air transports the Yakutskian army with infantry equipment and food. They considering aiding the Russian Democratic forces in the far east, however, after intelligence found that Free Russian Forces in the far east were in complete disarray, it was concluded that the Free Russian Republic was too weak to wield any serious power, and at risk of angering its WWIII allies, Japan pursued an expansionist policy. To justify their aggressiveness, they set up the puppet regime of “Free Green Ukraine” north of Chinese Manchuria. Their hand was forced when China responded to “Russian Terrorists” and invaded territories held by the Free Russian Republic in the Western Part of Manchuria.

    These interventions set off a chain reaction. The Ukrainian Hetmanate, seeking to claim its ancestral territory in Don-Kuban and the oil-producing territories of the Caucusus attacked the Russian SFSR on August 1st 1993. However, they did not officially do so, instead emplying mercenaries and unmarked troops (defying military law). These were the so called "little green men" which would dominate TV screens for a short while. The various other Caucasian Republics protested, but were too unstable to do anything as they themselves were too weak at the time. The Russian SFSR, engaged in brutal trench warfare with the Free Russian Republic, poorly defended its southern flank, in part because it thought it could retake those territories after it took Moscow, which never occurred. By the end of September the Ukrainians had successfully created “Greater Ukraine”, and more importantly had struck a little oil. This immediate conquest also "helped" improve the Hetmanate’s reputation. In response to this aggression, and the tough position the Tatar rebels found themselves, the Timurid Empire attacked the Russian SFSR’s southern central flank, which just so happened to be a direct path to Russia’s central oil resources.

    One would think that the Free Russian Republic would be the main beneficiary of this chaos. However, since the civil war started the Free Russian Republic had not only been battered by National Republic advances but embroiled in bitter trench warfare with the Russian SFSR, this was not the case. The Free Russian Republic couldn’t give chase to retreating opponents on any front nor could it maintain a firm handle on the countryside in areas in full revolt. Meanwhile, their was chaos in the government at home as assassinations and backstabbing were common, and compromise was not.

    A Free Russian Republic trench line 30 miles South of Moscow

    The Free Russian Republic and Russian SFSR also had to fight numerous new separatist movements as just about every subjugated ethnic group rebelled. In the Caucusus, the Ukrainian Hetmanate subjugated most of the new republics not recognized by the Treaty of Warsaw, besides the Kalamykia people. The Hetmanate was frustrated it could not reach the Caspian, until it finally captured the old Astrakan Oblast late in the fall. Good personal relations between the Kalamykia Lama and the Hetman sealed what would become a productive relationship.

    The Moscow Republic would have to face the rise of the Free Komik State and the Nenet’s Natural Gas Workers Revolt, and in revolts by the Mansi. The Mansi would be easily, but brutally repressed, but the other two movements were too strong and had too much of a stranglehold on the Republic’s resources. Even the Tuvans would now be bordered by the Free Nation of Altai and would have to suppress a revolt by the Kahkassians. The Chinese would prop up the puppet “People’s Democratic Republic of Baryutia” to the east of Tuva in response to Japanese aggression. The Japanese in return, continued to arm the "Green Ukrainians" in Amur, and so created a subservient puppet state.

    The Russian SFSR, which should have been making progress vs the Free Republic in the planned fall offensive, had to deal with a coordinated revolts in Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, and Mordovia. While these revolts often had trouble controlling large swathes of territory, as long as they could disrupt the already weak supply lines of their opponents, they would maintain some level of success. The Russian SFSR, therefore, could defend the territory they already held, but advances were impossible.

    The National Russian Republic would completely collapse when Zhirinovsky was rumored to be killed in an assassination attempt by a Chinese infiltrator. His commanders started a civil war amongst themselves and all pretenses of civilization collapsed. Some of the worst debauchery, rapes, mass murders, and pillaging would occur in the chaos. When Zhirinovsky returned from hiding during his recovery he found that his dreams of a new nationalist Russia were up in smoke.

    Unlike Rumsfeld, who failed desperately trying to create a functioning Russian Republic along the lines of the treaty of Warsaw in his last year of his presidency, Iaccoca thought that the whole project was “a waste of time” and “typical liberty conservatism fantasy foreign policy”. In addition, Iacocca believed that Russia, and the continued threat of Russian power, was at the heart of the three world wars of the twentieth century [See A/N below]. In a private interview post-presidency Iaccoca said “I hoped to divide and conquer the Russian Menace” and he wanted “to support the rights of those people wronged by the Russians for centuries”. Many psychologists would wonder after listening to the white-house tapes later in the 21st century whether Iaccoca was racist against Russians (Author’s note: think OTL when the Nixon tapes with his comments on minorities were released).

    In September of 1993, American forces would engage in limited actions, seizing the northeastern most parts of Siberia across from Alaska in order to prevent further Japanese expansionism that would destabilize the region. Progressives protested heavily. However, the public felt that a strong US hand, as had been played in Rwanda, would ensure stability in the region.

    The fall of 1993 would also bring Belarus’s entry into the war, as per Ukraine’s model pursued a “Greater Belarus” and attacked the Russian Moscow Republic on September 20th 1993. While Belarus was supposedly western-aligned, it now had attacked Europe’s “favorite” in the civil war. A week later, unmarked Ukrainian forces would attack north right into territory that had flipped between “Red” and “White” Russian hands. All the while, the French, Italians, and British, all committed to a “Free, democratic, and unified Russia” where shocked and infuriated by Ukrainian and Belorussian aggressiveness. Frey and Germany, didn’t mind in part because of the Freyist nature of Ukraine and Belarus, which infuriated the neighbor’s leadership, and stalled any allied action. Meanwhile, many voters were simultaneously afraid of another war and some even sympathized with the Ukrainians after watching numerous propaganda films about the Holodymor during WWIII. The elites and policymakers thought otherwise, but they couldn't force any European action. Iaccoca secretly was surprised at Ukrainian success and saw a Black Sea to Caspian Sea Ukraine as a potential ally. He also thought that if he could appease the Ukrainians he could persuade them to adopt a more liberal democratic regime.

    Iaccoca had to personally abuse and threaten the Belorussian King over the phone to stop his armies at the eastern border of the Smolensk Oblast whilst sending his secretary of state to a “tour de force” across Europe to prevent the break-up of NATO. Bennett's skill grew apparent as the worst was weathered in the fall months, although the disputes that popped up in 1993 and the growing divide across the Atlantic would appear again. Thankfully, as winter came the fighting started to die down, and the peace process could begin ahead of schedule.


    ITL, a need for a unifying thread between all three conflicts leads to Russia, and Communism, getting more of the blame for causing the Three World Wars than Germany at this point in time form the balance of power and political science perspective.

    In WWI, Russian Industrialization, combined with desire for warm-water ports as a source of expansionism, is seen as having made Austria-Hungary and Germany more aggressive in their actions. Combined with Russian pan-Slavism, which lead to unwavering support for Serbia, and thus WWI. Russia is seen as having been partially culpable to the destabilization of Europe pre-WWI at this point in time ITL.

    Russian technical assistance to the Germans in the 1920’s, World Communism polarizing domestic politics, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, west-ward expansion (which is seen to have pressured Romania, Bulgaria, etc. into chain-ganging with Hitler), is seen as key help in how Germany was able to perceive the balance of power in their favor enough to start WWII. The Germans are still responsible, but the rise of Fascism isn’t just seen as a pathology that emerged soley within the Axis powers, but a disease supported form the outside. For example, financial/ideological support of Mussolini and Hitler from the west is also seen as a more important element of the rise of fascism.

    Pre-WWIII, Russian Imperialism, through the ideology of world communism, is seen as the long-term cause of the war. The rise of the Hardliners is taught as inevitable, just as historians/experts now teach that Communism was always going to fall in the early 1990’s.

    In short, the old Russian/Soviet Empire, combined with Russian Imperialism/World Communism/support for a resurgent Germany pre-WW2 is the clumsy ITL attempt to have a unifyinig IR theory at this moment in time.

    This is not a reflection of the writer's personal political views but an attempt to understand how I.R. Theorey would change ITL and how this would reflect in policy. It is also important to remember, that blaming Germany, and ally, is not a popular idea at this moment. ]
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    Second Russian Civil War III
  • Part 3

    Iacocca announced he would pursue peace talks in Geneva that would “ensure every side of the conflict got its fair share” and “that no single nation would dominate the former Russian SSR” in a speech at Gettysburg College on the 16th of October. The leaders of the Free Russian Republic protested, but after the government was defeated in the October 25th elections by a peace campaign from opposition parties, it was decided that the Free Russian Republic would accept peace talks and end claims to all of the former Russian SSR. Talks began in November in Geneva with all of the warring parties, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Throughout the winter, Iacocca, Kirkpatrick, and Bennett would hound the various sides of the disputes, always reminding them of the threat of American muscle. Iacocca remarked to PM Churchill “if you guys can’t sort this out, I have half a mind to annex half of Russia and give Germany the other half”. In the middle of the talks, American soldiers advanced up to the borders of the Yakutsk Republic in the west and south into territory once held by the Japanese in Kabarokosk before winter, in a show of force and American winter warfare capabilities. This nearly lead to the dissolution of the entire peace process as it infuriated Zhirinovsky.

    However, Winston Churchill deftly handled Zhirinovsky’s rage
    (and his suspicions that the US had been the cause of the mysterious disabling of his army), and pushed him back to the negotiations table. Churchill lessened tensions when he proposed that Moscow and the surrounding Moscow Oblast be made into a United Nations “Free City” so that it wouldn’t be a disputed territory. While the Free Republic protested, the idea was widely popular with all other Russian participants.. In addition, the Russian speakers around Samara were given their own state not ruled by another ethnic minority or the communists.

    Zhirinovsky also agreed to give up his nuclear weapons in return for massive loans from the Big 11, thus closing the door on possible nuclear Armageddon. While he had tinges of insanity, his greed was greater than his lust for power. While those western powers that had control of intelligence satellites suspected that the mysterious nuclear detonations had been of American origin, no powers revealed anything as they all wanted a piece of the Russian pie.

    On Christmas Eve 1993, all participating factions signed the Treaty of Geneva, (the US Senate held a special session seven days after Christmas to agree to it) formally ending the short, but incredibly brutal, Second Russian Civil War.

    President Iaccoca speaking at Gettysburg college about the peace treaty

    The Most Famous Photo of the War: Grandmother Holding Bags

    New States Created by the Treaty

    U.N. Legation City the Republic of Moscow.

    1. The Republic of Yakutia (OTL Borders+Northern parts of Krasnoyarsk)

    2. Tatarstan (OTL Borders)

    3. The People’s Republic of Baryutia (OTL Borders)

    4. The Republic of Green Ukraine (OTL Amur Oblast)

    5. The Kingdom of Free Altai (OTL Borders+Altai Krai)

    6. The Communonationalist Republic of Baskortostan

    7. Russian Republic of Samara (OTL Samara Oblast, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Saratov Oblast, Orenburg Oblast)

    8. The Kingdom of Kalmykia

    9. The Mari El Khanate

    10. Federal Republic of Mordovia

    11. Udmurtia

    12. Chuvashia

    13. Independent Russian Republic of Stavropol-Krai

    14. Russian Republic of Siberia –Zhinorovsky's Regime

    a. Kemerovo Oblast

    b. Tomsk Oblast

    c. Novosibirsk Oblast

    d. Khakassia (absorbed)

    15. The Soviet of Volga-the Russian SFSR

    a. Kurgan Oblast

    b. Sverdlovsk Oblast

    c. Perm Krai

    d. Kirov Oblast

    e. Nizhny Novgorod Oblast

    f. Kostroma Oblast

    g. Ivanovo Oblast

    h. Vladimir Oblast

    i. Chelyabinsk Oblast

    j. Khanty-Masi Autonomous Okrug

    16. The Free Russian Republic

    a. Pskov Oblast

    b. Penza Oblast

    c. Voronezh Oblast

    d. Kaluga Oblast

    e. Yaroslav Oblast

    f. Lipetzk Oblast

    g. Oryol Oblast

    h. Ryazan Oblast

    i. Tula Oblast

    j. Tver Oblast

    k. Arkhangelsk Oblast

    l. Nenets Autonomous Okrug

    m. Vologda Oblast

    n. Remainder of the Leningrad Oblast (not ceded to the Finns)

    o. Novgorod Oblast

    p. Yamalo-Nenetsk Autonomous Okrug

    q. Komi Republic

    r. Tambov Oblast

    Territorial Gains for Existing States

    Ceded to the Ukrainian Hetmanate. The Hetmanate would gain all of the territory it had gained militarily, in part because it threatened to leave the talks over disputes with Poland over claism to eastern poland, which would have to be settled later. Many of these territories would be re-settled with Ukrainian immigrants form Poland.

    1. Rostov Oblast

    2. Krasnador Krai

    3. Stavropol Krai

    4. Adygea Oblast

    5. Volgograd Oblast

    6. Astrakan Oblast

    7. Belgorod Oblast

    8. Kursk Oblast

    9. Bryansk Oblast


    1. Smolensk Oblast


    1. The rest of the old Kamchatka Krai

    2. The Old Jewish Autonomous Oblast

    People’s Republic of China

    1. Zabaykalski Krai

    United States of America-These territories would become part of “American Siberia” which would govern itself ala Puerto Rico. Debate over its future would become an intriguing issue in the future.

    1. The non-Japanese portion of Khabarokosk Oblast (done to prevent further Japanese expansionism)

    2. Magadan Oblast (which just-so happened to give the US access to arctic oil)

    3. Chukotka Autonomous Okrug

    Timurid Empire

    1. Omsk Oblast

    2. Tyumen Oblast

    Tannu Tuva

    1. Irkutsk Oblast

    2. Krasnoyarsk Krai

    Map of OTL Russian Republics for guidance



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    Australian Federal Elections 1990
  • Australian identity and the overseas conflicts its sons and daughters served and died in had always been intertwined. In the First World War, as men from halfway across the world bled to death on the shores of Gallipoli, Australia had broke from Britain, forging the idea of what being an Australian was. In the darkest days of the Second World War, the Rats of Tobruk had defined the Australian values of determination, companionship, and a little bit of cheekiness too. All the while, Australia was drifting further from its roots in the United Kingdom, and when the threat of invasion loomed on the mainland itself, in a defining moment, Prime Minister John Curtin appealed to the United States, instead of its traditional protector, for safety from the imperialism of Japan. The Third World War was no different. Fighting in various fronts across the world, Australians had spilled blood in the name of freedom and democracy across the world. And one election was to define what the Australian experience in the new world order would be. The mid-war election of 1990 was to be remembered by most as a chaotic election. With Europe still in Soviet clutches, the Second Blitz blackening the skies, the Australian people craved stability, to show the world that Australia was still “a lighthouse on the hill” for democracy. With Howard and Hawke still at the helm of their respective parties, the leaders made a pact to campaign on a relative status quo – neither party promising major shake ups to either foreign policy or domestic policy, instead leaving campaigning to seat-by-seat member battles, with incumbents being left relatively unscathed....

    Or at least, that was the plan.

    What the leaders of both parties hadn’t banked on was the emergence of the hysterically pro-war “Freedom Party”. Demanding that Australia do more to help the war effort, the son of long-time Coalition MP Bob Katter Sr, Bob Katter Jr started a movement that neither Howard nor Hawke was prepared for. Describing the war effort in a speech that was described by some as “Australia’s answer to Churchill", Katter declared: “We are standing at the precipice of either the death of democracy or its rebirth, having to watch our allies in Freedom die during the horrors of this Second Blitz. Our Diggers stand proudly for freedom and democracy, and they know the risks when they signed up for this war. And it was a risk they are willing to take, a price they are willing to pay, over and over, so the peoples of Europe can live without the fear of oppression by the Communist system. Our leaders need to be doing more, not less, to be helping our kin in Europe, fellow humans in chains. Australia cannot half commit either way. Either we fight this war with every ounce of breath we have, or we pull our men out of harm’s way. And with so much at stake, I do not see the latter as any choice at all”.

    The speech led to a mid-election surge for the Freedom party, with both Labor and the Liberals being seen as somewhat meek. Polls had the Freedom party gaining up to 10 seats at the expense of both Labor and the National party, one half of the Liberal/National coalition. However, on the domestic policy front, the Freedom party was accused of being chameleonic, unable to hammer down a proper stance on any issue apart from the war. Katter himself also stumbled after one interview, where in response to a question about a post-war order, Katter failed to produce a satisfactory answer in regard to his vision of the world at the end of the conflict, giving a timid answer about democracy, in great contrast to his lion’s speech given earlier in the campaign. As a result, support for Katter’s new party tapered off toward the end of the election campaign, with hopes of either a Coalition or Labor majority in the air for the supporters of their respective parties.

    Hawke was on the phone before all the results were even in. Unfortunately for him, Howard was even quicker. With the promise of greater troop commitments, and a position as Foreign Minister, Katter was sold in negotiations and ready to see the war out.

    NOTE: (This was supposed to be groundwork for the '90 update, but due to timezone issues and a bit of a mix up it didn't happen. Anyway, here's some context for the previous update).
    Australian Federal Elections 1993
  • From @Zharques

    By the time 1993 rolled around, the Australian people had begun to tire of the Coalition. The short-lived Freedom party had integrated with the Liberal/National Coalition, with 4 MP’s joining the Nationals (including Katter) and 1 joining the Liberals. 1 defected to Labor, leaving the seat totals for most of the parliament at a very unrepresentative 77 – 73 Coalition majority. This left the Labor party in an unenviable position – should it get rid of Hawke, who had failed to deliver a Labor government in his tenure as leader. Did the party need new leadership, most likely in the form of Keating? Hawke had been a great leader for the Labor party, especially during the tumultuous years of the Third World War. But was it time for the Australian Labor party to put those days behind them, and search for a post war leader who could reflect the new age that the Labor party hoped to usher in. The speculation on Hawke’s leadership was largely a non-event. Political capital and goodwill toward the Labor party would be wasted on a costly leadership challenge, especially on a WWIII hero such as Hawke. Potential rivals were unwilling to put their hands up to challenge the might of Hawke, and in any case, would be unable to build a case against Hawke’s effective leadership of the party.

    Coalition leadership, however, was far more tired. Effectively running the government during the war, especially in the depths of an unexpectedly hard campaign in 1990 and keeping Australia safe during one of the most uncertain times in human memory, was no small feat. John Howard, of course, received the prestige all successful war time leaders deserve, with his more contentious decisions being lost in the wave of appreciation for the man who had so effectively steered the ship of Australia through another long, national nightmare. But Howard now longed for a quiet, post-retirement lifestyle that being the leader of a nation couldn’t offer. It was at the end of 1992 that John Howard decided that his political career was to come to an end. In a symbolic gesture, the day after the presidential election in the United States, John Howard resigned both his position as Prime Minister of Australia, and his duties as a member of Parliament for the seat of Bennelong, symbolising the end to the era across the nations of the world. Leaving behind a legacy of courage in leadership, and a steady hand in uncertain times, John Howard left office a content man, with the Australian public deeply satisfied with the Australia Howard had left in his wake. Members of the Liberal party activated their machines in the wake of the announcement, in order to take Howard’s place as leader of the nation. Most senior level officials probed the water, but in the end, it came down to firebrand and political outsider Bob Katter, and Defence Minister Peter Reith.

    It was Katter who emerged the victor, despite being a party outsider. Giving another memorable speech where he decried himself the “ideological successor to the greatest PM the greatest nation has ever known, Katter immediately geared himself for election next year. The formalities of the election in 1990 were largely forgotten. It was impossible for Hawke to criticise the leadership of Howard during WWIII, so he chose a different tact, instead presenting himself as an Australian Clement Attlee – if Howard had been Churchill, Hawke was the Attlee, despite the fact that Hawke had not been a part of government during the war years. This strategy was risky – after the chaos of the Third World War, would Australian’s still remember the post war reformations of labour candidates across the world? Hawke attempted to reinforce his message with bold, experimental policy, the cornerstone of which was the introduction of a new system of voting – Mixed Member Proportional. Australia had long been a laboratory for democratic ideas – introducing the secret ballot was one of the revolutionary ideas the free minded people of Australia had introduced to the world. Arguing that it was more necessary now than ever to keep democracy ever-expanding, ever-changing and representative, Hawke attempted to ride the euphoria of the “end of history” to the ballot box.

    The Coalition’s tactic was much simpler – to remind Australia of John Howard. However, this did create problems for the Coalition as its new leadership could not simultaneously run on the ideas of the past and the future. Katter struggled to find his feet in the arena of policy ideas, struggling against Hawke’s MMP proposal, and being mostly memorable for being a war hawk, nothing more. In the end, it was no contest. The Australian people hungered for change, and it was Bob Hawke, charismatic leader, war icon, and true Australian, that would deliver Australia into the new era of democracy it so desired. Some particularly brave commentators had declared Hawke as “Australia’s answer to Gerhard Frey”, but many only saw similarities in the commitment to freedom.

    Thank you @Zharques