The Bear & The Eagle: A Graphical History

Introductory Post
  • The Bear & The Eagle
    Cold War.png

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    What is this?

    I've recently been struck by interest in a 'different' Cold War. Especially interested in the aesthetics of it all and different proxy conflicts. This will be a small graphics-focused TL based on this alternative Cold War and exploring or developing things within it that pick my fancy until its conclusion.

    I have to credit inspiration from Fear Nothing But God for introducing me to the format and the idea of a graphics TL in the first place.


    What's it about specifically?

    As you might be able to gleam from the 'box cover', this Cold War is between a gosh darn socialist America and a blaspheme inducing fascist-y Russia, with some Great powers lying in between in a desperate bid to maintain relevancy. This graphics TL will not soley focus on the two superpowers or be soley from their perspective, however (unless my whims change in the future) they and their viewpoints will remain the focus of this TL by and large.

    Why a graphics TL?

    Because I like to make them over writing purely about the alternative world to be frank. Nontheless there will also be some text to explain and give depth to the theme or event presented by the graphic.

    Ideas, suggestions and questions.

    I welcome the influx of any questions, or suggestions on other parts of the world to help create this collage to create a nice alternative historical discussion and chat on this path through the cold war.



     
    The Okhrana and Russian intelligence gathering in America
  • The Birth of the Okhrana's foreign branch
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    The double headed eagle of the Okhrana will forever stand as a testament to the long reach of Russia

    The Okhrana’s efforts to infiltrate the America and begin their policy of espionage has a singular origin for its rapid head start: the Russian exiles. Following the civil war and the flight of the majority of the Liberal forces and their socialist allies, many fled to France and – especially those in the east – to America. Despite its own recovery efforts, America remained attractive due to the likely difficulty of the Okhrana even locating the exiles.

    The exiles however were far from uniform with socialists, liberals and even some hardcore nationalists who had found themselves on the wrong side by the war’s end leading to the exile communities’ organisations beginning to be as opposed to each other as they were to the Russian People’s Republic.

    It is in this atmosphere that the outbreak of the Second World War and the eventual Anglo-German [1] invasion of Russia began. With the American government initially remaining sceptical of intervening in the war, let alone assisting the Russians, many of the exiles decided that they might be of use to their fatherland – even if it did not want them. Initially acting as liaisons between two countries which did not even have any diplomatic relations let alone recognition between each other, a significant amount of exiles began to see their place as Russians in assisting their state in its goals and aims.

    With the eventual negotiations between the Commonwealth of America and the Russian People’s Republic leading to mutual recognition and American promises of assistance, the exiles mostly acted as lobbyists for Russia, although a sizeable amount (a minority by this point) continued to oppose American rapprochement with their homeland, harbouring the dream of its liberation.

    It is at this time however, that the Okhrana are assumed to have begun hunting down closet anti-socialists within America with the aim of establishing spy rings. These would see success, although not as much as the Russians hoped as the atomic bomb would continue to elude them and gave the Russians unparalleled insight into their temporary ally which America would struggle to replicate in these early stages of the Cold War.

    Due to the end of the war , and the collective belligerency of both the Russians and the Americans in its direct aftermath, the American governments, unions and factory committees began to have far less sympathy for the Russians who remained in their country, with many being correctly assumed as being at least somewhat in league with Russia. Yet even Russian socialists were targeted, seen as deceitful and untruthful, they were expelled in various waves from America resulting in a string of assassinations.



    [1] Despite being called an Anglo-German invasion by many, operation Ritterbrüder was a German dominated affair and British actions from Afghanistan were limited.
     
    The Occupations of Britain and Germany
  • The Two Horns of the Devil
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    American armour in the 1947 Victory Parade in Berlin
    The Second World War was the single most bloody conflict in human history. Fron the Argentinian plains to the Indonesian islands, the Tagus to the Volga, from the great Sahara to the Congo jungle the greatest war was waged. Within the war an alliance was forged, an alliance strong enough to break the back of the devil: The Entente. The Entente would not repeat the mistakes of the world before it, the world would move into a period of cooperation and peace with war, although not necesarily gone, would no longer blight the world as it had done throughout history.

    That was what was meant to happen.

    Instead, as the Entente moved to punish the fallen and exorcise the evil from within them, their alliance began to fray at such a rapid rate that not only was future cooperation questionable, but the threat of a third war even greater. In the disagreements, politicking and crises that followed it was certain that the 'Cold War' began with the occupation zones.

    The Entente's attempt to 'Chain the horns of the devil'[1] began with Germany.

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    After having surrendered to the Entente, Germany was divided between the French, Americans and Russians, with smaller and technically equal 'areas' under Italian and Netherlander juridstiction. The initial plans for Germany were rather simple: a neutral, dismembered and disarmed Germany. The French, wanting a buffer between them and Russia and not wanting excessive American influence to remain on their border, were the main proponents of this plan. Despite their paranoia and unwillingness to cooperate with either the Americans or the French Savinkov, the Vozhd of the Russians, agreed with the plan if only to gain gravitas with the French and expel the American presence from the continent. Even the Americans initially agreed, with President Abern's dream of securing peace in order to begin the process of decolonisation.

    Two events would shatter the rather 'easy' occupation of Germany. First, the death of Abern to a heart attack in 1949 saw his anti-colonialist focus replaced with James Burnham's rabid anti-totalitarianism. Burnham had no desire whatsoever to accomodate the 'disgusting criminals' of Savinkov's 'filthy demonpit.'[2] and withdrew from the tentative agreement for the future of Germany. The second was the 'Return Crisis' which saw the withdrawal of Netherlander and Italian garrissons due to financial and political reasons. The original plan in case of withdrawal had been to divide the areas between the big three. Burnham however refused to permit anything of the sort and occupied the Netherlander section of the Kiel Canal. Savinkov was initially outraged at this move, but soon, at the advice of his foreign minister, attempted to convince the French of the need to eject the Americans. The French had not expected this and feared most of all a permanent occupation, which its economy would not be able to handle attempted to make a new compromise to please the Commonwealth.

    Savinkov however, would famously blunder in to make things even worse. Missassessing Burnham's actions not as hatred of his regime but as a sizing up of a fellow predator, combined with a desire to not loose face over Germany, the Vozhd decided to reply in kind. Having previously remained quiet on the fate of Newfoundland, Alexander Derental (The foreign minister of Russia) stated publicly that Russia would recognise the American occupation of Newfoundland if the Americans recognised their return to Poland. Privately, attempts were made to present this as part of a deal, with the other half concerning a Germany more in line with the American wishes.


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    President Burnham, the architect of the survival of international anti-fascism.
    Burnham's fury could only be matched by the incredulous reaction of the Russians, refusing any similarity in the situations between Poland and Newfoundland he instead demanded the reestablishment of Polish independence in return for 'discussions.' Savinkov balked and began to resume his violently anti-American rhetoric. More significantly, the Russian army began to lower the amount of troops on 'bandit hunting', moving troops towards the border of their zones instead.

    Napoleon VI attempted to personally mediate, fearing the affects of the conflict on France itself. His Prime Minister, however, was rebuffed by the Burnham administration. The Americans instead made an offer of financial and material support for the merging of their German zones. Despite initial scepticism and over the opposition of Napoleon VI, the French began negotiations regarding the merging of the zones.

    The Russians in response, began preparations for their own states and in March 1950 proclaimed the Austrian Volksstaat[3]. Further troop movements and a French disagreement away from a Franco-American invasion of Russia[4] later, the Russians then proclaimed their own German state.

    Deciding that an American aligned state was more important than ideological orthodoxy, Burnham conceeded to French demands for a liberal democracy in the Bizone stating, "I'd rather a liberal spear than a socialist dagger." Although demands for the legalisation of the Socialist parties and a joint provisional government were accepted. The most important of all however, was the clause which would permit permanent basing of American forces, "Of all types in preparation of waging anti-fascist war or in the defence of German liberty."[5]

    Thus by the 2nd of September 1951 the occupation of Germany had officially ended and Germany split into three.

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    The joint occupation of Britain was a far less 'pleasant' affair than that of Germany. The combination of a nuclear stench, low intensity guerrilla activity and already heated tensions made the island an unwelcome addition to the tension maker of Germany.

    The Americans main goal with Britain was twofold, a base of operations should the Russians succeed in driving west too quickly and the securing of the north coast of Scotland in order to maintain a cordon against any possible Russian incursions into the Atlantic.

    The French were far less welcoming of this idea however. The 'capitulation' to the Americans over Germany and the fear that France would not only be denied her due reparations from Britain, but also the chance to punish it had led to a change in government. Although hardly fascist they were far less receptive to Burnham's forceful methods of persuasion on such a prideful topic as the French occupation of Britain.

    Buoyed by his success in Germany and by his belief that an independent Scotland was not a viable state, Burnham, demanded the withdrawal of the Russian occupation zone and the formation of a British Republic. The French refused any suggestion that Britain would survive the war and would only accept at the very most an English Republic under the same deal as with Germany.

    Burnham refused this again, feeling the relative safety of Britain from Russia would require it to be socialist in its foundations to maintain the course of anti-fascism rather than falling into detente with the fascists. Even with the threat of ending economic aid, a threat which was a bluff as the fear of the French going to the Russians instead preyed upon the Burnham administration's minds, the French instead demanded that the Russians and Americans withdraw from Britain.

    The Russians complied, wanting to try and pull the French from the Americans and to prevent the two from unifying to any supposed Russian threat on the island. The Americans refused however and the French responded by blockading the American section of London. The blockade would eventually be lifted due to its expense, but the French refused to concede the point. Declaring Scotland's independence in 1952 and England's in 1954. The Americans responded a month later with the declaration of the British Commonwealth.

    The sudden and unexpected breach between the Americans and French is considered to have been the main reason for there not in fact being a Third World War, although many dispute there ever having been a real chance of that in President Burnham's plans. Nontheless it did see the anti-colonial policy of the Americans return to the fore, as well as the temporary collapse of the French 'Fraternity of Nations' concept in popularity.

    [1]James Burnham, The Socialist Crusade.
    [2]Attributed to Burnham, although the actual origins are unknown and unconfirmed
    [3]Known in English as the Austrian State, the people's removal is deemed to originate from a mistranslation or mistake.
    [4]There is significant debate in how far Burnham's 'Rollback' strategy was intended to go for Russia and Japan. For Russia especially his rhetoric was famously aggressive yet evidence seems to suggest that the Commonwealth was not willing to actually go to war.
    [5]Originally, Burnham had wanted this to be placed within West Germany's temporary constitution and to be removed after Germany had been reunified. This was objected to not by the French(yet), but by the SPA who viewed an action like that would be a step too far.
     
    The Greek Coup of 1953
  • Rollback Theory: The successes
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    A PCI report on Greece, 1953

    The Bulgarian Army parading following the surrender of Britain.
    James Burnham’s administration is vital for understanding the cold war as a whole. The incredible aggressive moves dictated by ‘Rollback Theory’ saw America push hard against the fascist powers throughout the world in order to begin a domino effect of sorts, as they would all come crashing down. Most famously this policy was ‘confirmed’ to be a failure with India, becoming such a colossal failure that Burnham and the SPA would lose power for twelve years.

    However, the doctrine of Rollback had successes and would seemingly prove Burnham right - although far too long after the fact. The first and by far the most successful of the aggressive American moves into the blocs of the other powers was in Greece, where the post war situation had left it in an incredibly unstable state.

    Following the Second World War, the Greek People's Republic was barely able to stand on its own two feet. The initial Russo-Bulgarian occupation was more of a continuation of the Second World War rather than a bloody end, with Greek Army hold outs lasting until 1949 and guerrillas and partisans springing up across the entire country.

    The Russians wanted no part of this however, already having to deal with various 'bandit problems' throughout the rest of Europe and parts of Asia. As such, the Russians withdrew from Greece in 1949, instead placing their bets on Albania as a more stable base for the Russian navy. The Russians left behind the Bulgarians to dominate Greece. Left with the basic government structure imposed by the Russians, the Bulgarians continued. Finding a mere handful of collaborators and placing them in the government. Calling for reparations, garrisson payments as well as payments for damages caused by Greeks in Bulgarian territory, the end of the war - to the Greeks at the very least - seemed more like a continuation of military occupation rather than any period of relief from the pain and suffering from the war.


    The famed Bulgarian Peninsular Garrison marking down partisan locations for airstrikes.
    It is in this atmosphere that the Burnham administration took an interest. Seeing the possibility to create the flagship of Rollback Theory, the People's Commisariat of Intelligence (PCI) began to infiltrate and make contacts with the leftist opposition of the Rallis regime. In this, the picture of utter chaos surprised many Americans. The domination of much of the centre and west of the country by the EEAS, stopped from heading east only by the garrison itself, the complete disdain in which Rallis was held in by the entire population and then Papagos himself.

    The realisation that Alexandros Papagos, the Minister of Defence and simultaneous Chief of Staff, was planning something was all too obvious. The fact that coup attempts had possibly originated from him and yet he had not been removed from holding these two powerful positions simply shows just how reliant Rallis was on Papagos. The PCI did not want Papagos however, they needed a socialist - or at the very least any democratic government - one which would fear the fascist enough to allow Commonwealth presence. Discovering in the army a large group of leftist and liberal dissident officers the PCI set to work.

    The coup, as all coups do, relied on timing. For the 6th Fleet's helicopters to get to Crete unmolested, the Peninsular Garrison's air wing had to be distracted elsewhere for as long as possible and communication to the troops cut off until the helicopters could ferry the Cretan Garrison to the mainland. As such, the EEAS fighters had to begin an offensive large enough to take up the entire garrison's attention and much of the government's. Although doable, the offensive would be incredibly bloody in loss of lives and equipment. The offensive did do its job and the Lukash and his bloodhounds were indisposed in those vital moments.

    Following the commencement of the EEAS offensive, the rebel forces of the Cretan garisson too began to seize important areas of the island as well as detaining units who were not part of the coup. An essential part of the coup was the secrecy of its goals, despite the general mystery of the end goal - deliberately made and enforced by - the PCI was intent on the establishment of a workers' state which would not surrender itself to the fascists' and capitalist turncoats. Thus, the only defining cry of the coup to attempt to convince soldiers not to resist was, "Long live free Greece!" A cry which was effective enough, although far from universal.



    A Greek soldier during the People's Republic: The Greek Army was said to be a multinational army, British Uniforms, German equipment and Greek bodies
    Within Athens, Strafis had to bide his time. Crete was of no consequence to the Peninsular Garrison, who wouldn't have even cared if it had declared independence, they were far too busy with the partisans. The American intervention was a separate issue and would likely have been met by the Garrison, Strafis and his men would have to make sure that their probable control of Athens' AA equipment would discourage any attempt to prevent the airlift.
    However, in Athens, Rallis had predictable called together his generals to see who was with him. Likely believing Papagos had begun his plans and was probably attempting to make a deal. The plan was to let this expected meeting to happen, in order to capture as much of the snake nest as possibly. Papagos was by far the priority and that is why this had to occur, it was the only chance of getting him outside of the barracks where his soldiers protected him.

    As Strafis gave the green light and his men began to rapidly move through Athens, arresting any loyalist writers, seizing the national radio and most importantly detaining Papagos' forces. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that Papagos had fled Athens, his troops with him, a dire threat to the plan. On the bright side however, that meant the majority of troops in the way of the coup had left, allowing for the rapid capture of Rallis and the vast majority of his cabinet and 'loyal' leadership.

    On Crete however things had not gone to plan. The 6th Fleet's helicopters had not arrived and the Cretan Garrison's forces were slumping around the landing zones, with the EDE standing by. Tensions seemed to be rising between these once enemies. As an hour passed panic began to creep its way into the plotters' minds, until the helicopters finally arrived.

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    American Helicopters of the 6th Fleet, with their marking painted over, landing on Crete
    The transport helicopters were late, but had arrived. The ferrying finally began at 7am, an hour behind schedule. With 2 helicopters carrying 40 men at a time, the waiting was the real threat, as it cut at the sanity of all those involved.

    In Athens, Strafis had successfully managed to maintain an order of calm, despite his private panic as he realised that Alexandros Papagos had successfully vacated Athens without him realising. Deciding to break the plan and seize the initiative, should Papagos attempt the same, Strafis proclaimed on the national radio at 7:30 am that "The traitor Ionnas Rallis and his fellow criminals have been arrested, the army is in control and a temporary, provisional government has been established to maintain the freedom of Greece. Long live Greece!" Such a statement was meant to decieve Papagos loyalists of their position in the coup. Whether it would work, was a separate issue.

    As the men from Crete successively flooded into Athens, men began to leave the capital in order to make contact with EEAS forces, as well as to block the garrison from making a push back into Athens. It is also around this time, predicted around 8:54am, that Rallis was shot by over eager soldiers.

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    The Arrival of the 2nd Tank Brigade in Athens, 11am.
    Despite the worrying loss of Papagos, the coup had begun to righten itself again. Troops began to radio Strafis - some of them likely believng his was a stand-in for Papagos - and requestiong orders. Strafis gave these orders, the primary one being the driving out of the Peninsular Garrison. With tanks and a large group of infantry at his disposal, Strafis began to deploy forces north.

    The most important effect of this, was not the Garrison's withdrawal from Greece, but the dispersal of Papagos-aligned units away from vital areas. As the EEAS guerrillas came out of the mountains with the end of their offensive, they marched into Athens at 11:30am, with Aris Velouchiotis' entry into the capital the coup was confirmed a success.

    Even better was the news that Papagos had been located. He had been spotted making a move towards a loyal garrison in Achea, but had been intercepted and ambushed by some EEAS partisans, who had assumed him to be a government minister fleeing.

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    General Strafis announces the coup on public televison at 2pm.
    The death of Papagos was kept secret, but unofficially became known after the next few days. In that time however, Strafis and Velouchiotis began to hunt down anyone who might rally the Papagos loyalists, arrest anyone who might not approve his murder and put under watch anyone who had like Papagos.

    Furthermore the two, Petrakis the official third member was still in Crete acting as ade facto governor, officially announced the coup's success at 2pm to the nation, proclaiming the Fourth Hellenic Republic and 'freedom from the oppressive fascist forces who wished to destroy our proud Greek nation,'

    Although this de jure triumvirate would not develop into the famous Red Junta for another year, the seeds for this famously oppressive and faction-ridden government as well as its even more famous successor, the seeds for both became visible in this period of crisis. Where Burnham's first stab into the belly of the beast had succeeded.

     
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