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Would be not call another election after the purges? Democracy is the last thing the Brits had to hold onto. Now what prevents them from not making peace with Germany.
Well, such an election, assuming such a thing would be held, would very much be a stage-managed one where only pro-Edward VIII candidates could run.
Why on Earth would India so such a thing? Ceylon is very likely to be a friendly state and its addition somewhat affects the demographic balance in the country.
Would be not call another election after the purges? Democracy is the last thing the Brits had to hold onto. Now what prevents them from not making peace with Germany.
The idea is that India came in as the British left it under their control, there was no independent State in there.

At this point would it even be a democracy? Edward always wanted a more active political power for the Monarch and is already a very unorthodox Monarch. And Democracy has absolutely nothing to do with being willing to make peace with Germany, otherwise the Tsar and Hess would be happily drinking Vodka in Moscow now.
At this point would it even be a democracy? Edward always wanted a more active political power for the Monarch and is already a very unorthodox Monarch.
And on that note, would you agree with me the best OTL equivalent would be the Balkan royal dictatorships or the Shah of Iran prior to the 1979 Revolution? And speaking of which, what is the Mountbatten cabinet like in its composition? I imagine it is a weird mix of military officers, nobles, and technocrats, thought that may just be me.
And on that note, would you agree with me the best OTL equivalent would be the Balkan royal dictatorships or the Shah of Iran prior to the 1979 Revolution? And speaking of which, what is the Mountbatten cabinet like in its composition? I imagine it is a weird mix of military officers, nobles, and technocrats, thought that may just be me.

Edward wasn't exactly a close friend of the High Nobility in England, you can expect some Labourists included (even Mountbatten was somewhat more inclined towards them at times). This is not a stereotypical right-wing dictatorship only because it removed a left-wing Prime Minister.
Edward wasn't exactly a close friend of the High Nobility in England, you can expect some Labourists included (even Mountbatten was somewhat more inclined towards them at times). This is not a stereotypical right-wing dictatorship only because it removed a left-wing Prime Minister.
On that note, how "democratic" would the regime be? Would it be holding (rigged/stage-managed) elections for the House of Commons where only pro-Edward candidates would be allowed to run for seats or would it do away with parliamentary elections altogether?

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King George V was just months away from his death when he finally saw his firstborn be married in the Royal Chapel, Edward Albert, Prince of Wales, was not much the wedding type, indeed his father sometimes confided that he would very much rather he did not, but the Prince's visit to Sweden actually proved useful. Princess Ingrid of Sweden, granddaughter of King Gustav V of House Bernadotte, actually caught the attention of the Prince, their wedding in 1935 was one of the greatest ceremonies of the age, representatives of several nations had attended even, at the then insistence of the groom, Joachim von Ribbentrop. There is a stark contrast between the Edward before the War and the one after the war which the press and royal historians have attempted to minimize, but it is undeniable that the future King Edward had a certain admiration for Hitler until the War proper started, just like many in the British establishment and aristocracy which wanted a settlement with Germany in Munich. Present there was also Prince Albert, the Duke of York and the next in line for the throne until the birth of Edward's son, a shy man with a stutter, but otherwise with a great intellect. The two brothers, before Edward's ascension, had a complicated relationship, at times it felt more like Edward bullied Albert over his stuttering while the younger brother reprimanded Edward's scandalous behavior in seeking mistresses and in his ambitious plans for the Monarchy.

But when Albert died, after so many years being a wise advisor, Edward felt that loss, unlike the loss he felt when his younger brother John died from epilepsy as a child, the two had been close, and Albert many times gave Edward advice that almost sounded like their father's voice. Such was the case in 1946 when his wife's home country was invaded by Germany and an enraged Edward almost forced through a continuation of the war against Germany before being prevented from calling Atlee by Albert. In another case, after the Suez War, Edward felt tempted to do away with the Conservative government entirely for their abysmal performance under Eden and call for a General Election by dissolving Parliament, again he was stopped by Albert who calmed him down. The Duke of York never openly confided to others about his brother's emotional triggers except for his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, who was the third in the line of succession after the Prince and her father. Elizabeth, always taking her father's trust seriously, never spoke in public about her concerns over her uncle, but Edward was thought by her to be little more than a disgrace to the Monarchy's image.

The public wholeheartedly disagreed with the Princess, however, Edward was a very popular man, even before the war he was beloved by the people by his outspoken concern for the poor and his personal charisma. He was seen highly by the military for being a veteran of the Great War and later in his speeches which encouraged Britain even during the dark times of the War and defeat, he still continued to praise the troops for their performance and helped to rally support for the war against Japan after the Treaty of Lisbon. He was also a personal friend of Clement Atlee and several Labour politicians, who he personally preferred compared to the Conservatives, who were many times at odds with the way he behaved in public by going in support of popular causes such as the public welfare of miners and criticizing the lack of proper care for Veterans after the war. Yet, it was a political suicide to go against the King, there was a non-unsubstantial amount of Britons who believed him to have a Divine Right, others liked more a Monarchy engaged with it's people instead of staying as a reclusive figurehead, others just disliked politicians and liked Edward himself better.

Britain as a Nation was not in an enviable position after the war, economically they were on the verge of a depression with the struggle to pay back the enormous debts to finance the long war, drained of it's resources while separatist movements in India and Africa were stronger than they ever were before. In Ireland, the defeat would serve to galvanize the Irish Republican Army, which would cause terrible consequences in the late 1950s, especially following the Integralist takeover in Brazil. In the Malay Peninsula, a guerrilla war would begin following the war, sponsored by China after 1952. And of course it has been shown before the true extent of the British troubles in the Middle East, as their influence over much of it practically had evaporated by 1954 when Iraq fell to the Syrio-Iranian troops. All while their only reliable allies was a group of exiled governments in Africa, which was quickly becoming a trend at this point, and the Commonwealth, which lost both South Africa and India. The United States could not be trusted or relied upon, the "Special Relationship" between the two nations was shaken by the American isolationism, first by the continuous refusal of President Wheeler to approve effective measures to support Britain during the War, to the point of vetoing a proposal by the Republicans in Congress to lease destroyers to the Royal Navy, then after by the actions of Huey Long. He was at first an isolationist who pushed for America to not intervene in Europe, an example being how Britain and their allies were abandoned during the Dakkar crisis and left to fend for themselves. Later it did not become any better, Long was a man who wanted to be flexible in his options even at decisive moments, meetings between hm and Prime Minister Butler usually ended more with "maybes" and "perhapses" than with concrete results. A proposal to formalize an Anti-German alliance was absolutely refused by Long in 1953, who rather desired to conduct bilateral agreements with other nations in an individual basis to fully leverage his own advantages and give himself flexibility in his commitments, it did not help the fact that he seemed more worried at times with stopping Maoists in Korea than Fascists in Europe.

Was it really a surprise that when Rudolf Hess began reaching for a detente there were many who wanted to listen? Hitler was dead, he was the one that nobody trusted to hold an agreement, but if Hess was so bold to the point of flying alone into the night to meet the British Prime Minister to oppose the Italian expansion in the Mediterranean, could he really be a conman? The MI6 knew about Hess, he was unorthodox but he was no liar, he was genuine in his belief of an Anglo-Germanic race, he was genuine in desiring a detente with London, even before the war he had been outspoken with Hitler in trying to pursue peace with the UK. Perhaps he was someone they could come to an agreement with even if just out of necessity. Britain could not economically sustain it's war footing, with the swollen army and enormous investments in the Armed Forces, the people was aprehensive to say the least about the fact thousands of rockets from the Festung Europa could pulverize entire cities in a matter of minutes following a war declaration, especially since the Germans did not hide their growing nuclear arsenal. Hess offered a peace, he cut down the investments on a German surface fleet that Hitler had ordered, he had transferred many assets from the west to the east, he cut back the German support for the IRA which Hitler engaged in during the 1940s, he condemned Pan-Arabism which threatened the British control over the Middle East, he pressured Iran to allow British citizens to remain living in the nation following the Shah's coup, Hess was a new face which was mostly concerned about an "Asian Horde", which many believed to be Communist China, someone who wanted a friendship with Britain.

British politics had changed after the war, the Labour Party had grown to form a majority for the first time in it's history under Clement Atlee after the end of the National Unity Government following Edward Wood's resignation in the aftermath of the embarrassing Treaty of Lisbon in April 1943. Lord Halifax claimed that he could no longer lead the government after such a disaster, instead a General Election had been called with the National Unity Government coming to an end. The War continued to rage on in the East, but it was far more of a sideshow compared to the European conflict for most Britons. As to be expected, the Conservatives were largely blamed for the loss due to the previous policy of appeasement championed by Neville Chamberlain, with Atlee's Labour government being brought up into power. King Edward had seen this as a positive change, he was a personal friend of the new Prime Minister and was overjoyed in calling him to form a new government. But the new Prime Minister would see many challenges, the greatest of which was his failure in 1944 to create the National Healthcare System. Even within his own Party, Atlee would see resistance to the measure due to the ongoing war in Asia draining the reserves. But the main reason is perhaps the fact the war did not affect Britain itself with the level of destruction inflicted, the Luftwaffe mostly avoided raids on Britain, instead most of the German war effort against the British focused on the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Atlee's government can be divided between his rule between 1943 and 1947, and the post-war government of 1947-1950, a greater emphasis should be given to what happened following the destruction of Sendai and the Japanese surrender. Britain was triumphant in the east, but even that celebration was put on the backseat when Germany struck both Switzerland and Sweden in 1946 and Hitler made his infamous speech in 1947 calling for a future conflict with the West. The German industry had started to produce it's war machines again, German forces began to use Syria as a base and almost hit the Suez Canal later that year during the First Levantine War, furthermore, the Russian Civil War had just ended and revealed that the Eurasian nation was under no condition of standing against a German invasion. In London, the Parliament was far more divided than Atlee expected, in fact his calls for decolonization sparked outrage even amongst the Labourists such as Aneurin Bevan, the Minister of Health who continued his attempts to push the NHS without much success other than granting easier access to Veterans, who agreed with the Labour's opposition to Imperialism but worried about the strength Britain could afford against Hitler. Atlee believed that an alliance with the United States and the formation of a democratic bloc including nations such as India was more sustainable in the long term, he had started to make arrangements with President Hull which were interrupted by his untimely death in 1946, Thurmond proved himself to be a more arrogant man about America's place in the world, he mostly waved out going with the previous "Atlantic Charter" plans made between his predecessor and the Prime Minister. When Long took over on an Isolationist platform and made former President Wheeler the new Secretary of State to guide the foreign policy of the United States, his plans were buried, bringing even more problems to his government.

Overall, Atlee was hardly a perfect leader, he showed himself unprepared for the environment he found in the post-war world. His ideas for a more leftward push in Britain did not start badly, the Bank of England was successfully nationalized in 1947, the harsh winter that year also pushed for the nationalization of Coal mining industries and electricity, afterwards the steel industry would also be nationalized, there was a substantial push towards a greater state command in the economy brought in by the war and the need to protect "strategic interests", Workers generally saw an improvement on their conditions, although the nationalization never delivered on the promises of greater control of their work environment. Secondary Education was declared a right for every British Citizen through the Education Act of 1945, there was also a greater investment on the resetlement of over a million refugees who escaped Europe between 1943 and 1947, especially for many Jews who were allowed to settle in Palestine. However, Atlee's constant rhetoric appraising Socialism, previous support for the Soviet Union and even his support for Stalin during the War, backfired terribly on him and many Labour leaderships as Patton's expedition's findings became public in 1948, revealing that the Soviet Union ran an enormous system of concentration camps, with State files recovered from Novosibirsk revealing Stalin's role in the infamous Holodomor in 1929, his cruel purges in 1936-38, and his own disastrous decisions during the German invasion that allowed Hitler to rule the Continent. Furthermore, Soviet forces under his rule unleashed a reign of terror during the civil war with the use of chemical and even biological warfare. While Patton's report minimized the role of the now Russian Empire on the civil war's ills, it did little to hide the atrocities of the other factions, two of which were once considered the bastions of Socialism in the world, the Communist Party and the Red Army.

Another factor that caused Atlee's downfall was his colonial policy, namely the controversial Indian question. It was no secret that India was Britain's most prized dominion and perhaps one of their greatest advantages in both World Wars. Indian soldiers fought on the trenches, from the cold fields of Flanders to the Deserts of Egypt and the Jungles of Indochina. It was also no secret that the Indians did not think the Indian control with positive thoughts. However, when Atlee promised Independence to the Indian leaders after the war and passed the "Indian Independence Act" in 1947 after a long battle and under razor-thin margins, he was giving up their greatest asset on fighting Germany: Manpower. South Africa in 1948 went through an election, which ended on a close vote in favor of the Boer-led National Party, which put in power a government that began to drift the country away from the Commonwealth as a whole and into the claws of Germania. Two dominions which were so important to the British war effort were lost, and with India gone, it was only a matter of time until Burma and Ceylon both needed to have their status revaluated, and then where would the next domino fall? Atlee seemed content, at least in the eyes of his opposition, to deliberately weaken Britain while his grand bet of an international coalition against Germany would go down in flames after Long's election. The Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Eden, continuously questioned Atlee's leadership, and there was no small number of those who suspected him of being a German spy.

In the end, it was his push for the Parliament Act of 1950 that doomed his government. Ever since 1911, the House of Lords had lost much of it's power to veto legislation, however they did hold a powerful card through the delaying action of non-financial bills that could be kept for up to 2 years, crucial for negotiations among the parliamentarians. The Labourists made no secret that they wish the end of the House of Lords as it only served as the holdout of an old age of aristocratic privileges and class division. However, Atlee underestimated how much stronger his opposition became after the 1947 elections led to a Conservative rebound that almost took back the House of Commons, truth is that Long's election is what buried Atlee's government, from that moment onwards, many began to despair that Britain would remain alone in the world, the Independence of India and Hitler's growing mobilization with MI6 reports that Germania was close to a nuclear bomb led to the Labour Party, although it would be mostly a move prompted by the right-wing led by Gaitskell, to abandon Atlee. When the Prime Minister began to make his push to further weaken the House of the Lords, he would see the opposition of many within his party who called for it's full abolition, including Hugh Gaitskell. In a gamble, Atlee threatened to call for a snap election if his current proposal was denied, but Gaitskell was already in close contact with Conservative "Rab" Butler, ans so he called the Prime Minister's bluff. Overnight, an entire wing of the party had defected, claiming that Atlee's growing rejection due to his "disarmament" rhetoric was going to deliver Britain on the arms of Hitler. Indeed, Atlee had earlier proposed budget cuts on the military spending in an effort to combat the terrible economic situation which the United Kingdom found itself in. And so, Anthony Eden became Prime Minister after the fall of the Labour Government and the return of the Conservatives, it was the expected result, but the betrayal of the party was made more as a desperate attempt of "damage control" with the coming elections and the loss in trust of the uncharismatic Prime Minister.

The British post-war economy was never benefitted by the distance the United States had over the conflict, there were no monetary reserves left, the war in Norway, France, the Atlantic, Mediterranean, East Africa, Egypt, Burma, Southeast Asia and even their involvement during Operation Sunset in a conflict that lasted almost 8 years had drained the British coffers. Furthermore, the military spending could not be reduced either, not with the Germans quickly building up a formidable surface fleet, which added to the Italian and French navies could pose a formidable threat to the Royal Fleet unseen ever since the days of Napoleon. Indeed with the resources of an entire continent, the German Air Force was already a much stronger opponent compared to the RAF by use of innovative Jet designs focused on speed, although they would not develop a strong arm of heavy bombers until later in the decade with the Amerika Bomber project. An invasion of the Continent was deemed "Unthinkable", mockingly the plans to invade the beaches of France was nicknamed "Operation Unthinkable", the Atlantic wall, which only became stronger in the passing years, covered from Bordeaux to Narvik with powerful bunkers, trenches, anti-aircraft guns and missiles such as the Wasserfall, an Anti-Aircraft supersonic device equipped with a radio control system to guide it to targets. That is not even counting the fact the Wehrmacht both outnumbered and outgunned the Royal Armed forces who would have to do the initiative in targeting the continent, with France itself now being a legitimate nation-state with a friendly government towards Germania. All of that was discounting support from the United States which could be decisive in tipping the scales, however Washington did not show any inclination towards joining a war in Europe after 1949 and that was only confirmed in 1951.

Atlee and Eden both inherited an awful economic situation, all that was keeping London afloat was a loan granted by the Thurmond government in 1948 of over 5 Billion dollars, however with a substantial 8% interest rate. Hull had made plans for a lower interest loan and a program of economic help to Britain which was never implemented by Thurmond, who was more concerned with the post-war recession striking America between 1947-1948 due to the closing of European markets and the demobilization of the economy. The American Economy would only be improved after Long's heavy interventionist policies on wealth redistribution to support the lower and middle class to increase consumption and foster the growth of small business, especially with attacks on monopolies, leading to the growth in the 1950s. In Britain, Atlee had pushed for Nationalization and attempted to cut back costs by reducing the British colonial commitments, relieving a large burden from the garrison and bureaucracy of the Raj for instance. Eden was far less inclined towards the decolonization proposals, he increased the spending of the military between 1950 and 1952 to more than twice the amount Atlee last proposed in the 1949 budget, it cannot be said he was not justified as he inherited the closest Britain came to an open conflict with Germany in a decade when Hitler tested his Atomic bomb in the Russian Tundra and called up his reservists and mobilized the nation for war. He knew that the United Kingdom likely would suffer a devastating barrage of attacks unlike any the world had ever seen within the first 72 hours, thousands of missiles and planes were ready to take off as Hitler lost his patience towards London. He could not go to war without the US as shown during the Dakkar Crisis and only Hitler's well-timed death and a coup attempt in Germania prevented the Home Islands from being turned into glass. Needlessly to say, he also greatly invested on Nuclear Technology, although his government would not live to see the results.

Eden's premiership saw Britain entangled into several colonial conflicts. In Malaya, the precious rubber exports (which were worth more than all domestic exports from Britain to the US) were being extracted at record numbers to pay for the costs of war from American banks, but the post-war realities of the region no longer allowed for Britain to exploit their colonial holding in such fashion. Indonesia gained it's independence as Japan collapsed and President Soekarno was establishing the bases of a formidable nation right besides British Malaya, Singapore, one of Britain's main bases in the region, had been turned into ruins by the intense and suicidal resistance of the Japanese, and Indochina finally achieved independence with Ho Chi Minh, a Communist leader, preaching anti-colonialism in the region, and Huey Long also pulled the US away from the Phillippines completely in 1949 despite initial resistance from Thurmond. Communists began an uprising in the Peninsula, mainly with the support of the large Chinese population of the region, this Maoist group only became stronger after 1952 when Mao won the war in China, later inspiring the rebellion against Paik Sun Yup's coup in Korea. Eden, instead of attempting negotiations like Atlee, only cracked down on the uprising, emphasizing the strategic importance of Malaya and playing the tactics of Red Scare which increased following Mao's takeover, claiming that China could end up becoming the greatest threat to the British Empire, while Germany was a threat to Britain at home.

Similarly, in Kenya, the Kenya Land and Freedom Army, also known as Mau Mau, began an uprising following the increasing abuses of the British Authorities that were only made harsher under Governor Evelyn Baring, recently reassigned from his office in South Africa. Kenya was an strategic position to Britain, mainly because of it's border with Italian East Africa, which led to the State holding a disproportionate amount of military force. There were fears in London that an uprising in Kenya would allow for the Italians to extend their influence on the region, and it could also result in Ethiopian rebels supporting this group in hopes of inspiring a rebellion against Italy. Kenya could not be lost, Eden decided, with Martial Law being put in place and an overwhelming response by the Royal Armed Forces being launched against the guerrilla groups. Although Governor Baring proposed a more sensible "divide and conquer" tactic, the British Army at times carried out reprisals that only radicalized local groups, which began alienating many other collaborators in Africa. Furthermore, the British armed forces at times had to intervene in the Congo where the Force Publique struggled to put down the local separatist movements, only leading to further spending and overextension for the colonial garrison.

It is needless to repeat how much Eden's government was a disaster in the Middle East, with Iran, Jordan, Egypt and the Suez canal being all lost within a year, all of that leading to Eden's resignation before the year even ended, in December his government was already unsustainable. Rationing policies continued to prove unpopular, the economy only suffered more due to Eden's growing spending in trying to increase the harshness of colonial rule, the defeat in Egypt brought the national morale to new lows and some rumors were spread that Eden had contacted a high-ranking German officer during the Suez War, although he refused to entertain such accusations with answers until his memoirs were later published and he refused to mention King Edward's presence in that encounter. His last gamble had been that McCarthy could win the American election as both had negotiated a new commitment of the US towards Britain and a new loan by the Bank of America at lower interest rates to support the British economy. Once Long's victory was confirmed, he announced his resignation during the Christmas of 1952 at the peak of Winter as the British public were at their lowest morale, the people were losing faith in the system, in the Parliament, the Labour and Conservatives alike had both failed to deliver a minimum of optimism to the public, the economy was stagnated, inflation was beginning to soar, to some, this was truly a "Winter of Discontent".

Trust in the government was in an all-time low when Richard Austen Butler became Prime Minister following an internal election in the Conservative Party. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had worked hard behind the scenes to achieve his own leadership of the Party, ever since his alliance with Hugh Gaitskell, which was nicknamed Butskellism, seeing his opportunity after Eden's incredibly short Premiership. The two had formed a certain consensus between the Labour and Conservative policies, helped by the fact Gaitskell was now the Leader of the Opposition, perhaps now it was possible for Britain to have a consistent policy based around a mixed economy with a strong state sector, nationalization and collaboration with Trade Unions. Butler, also was supportive of a retreat "up to a certain point" of the Empire, a reaction to Eden's hardline colonialism which was necessary to ensure a level of governability through a consensus with the opposition. While not all of the British Empire could be given up, there were certainly some colonial "adventures" which were far more costly than they were worth keeping, while some strategic areas such as Malaya could be kept. Harold Macmillan criticized Butler's policy, claiming that Britain could not afford to weaken itself in face of the threat of Nazism. But Butler, once one of the chief strategists of the appeasement policy, was bold in claiming that, if the United States could not support Britain in Europe and Hess was offering an olive branch, it was viable that London and Germania could make a common agreement to scale back on the militarization and return to a level of normalcy, if only for sake of the British economy.
Butler's election was a very controversial affair, the one most outraged in Britain could very well be King Edward himself. When he received Butler in Buckingham, he was not even able to hold a pretense of neutrality, he very clearly asked if it was only rhetoric or he truly wanted peace with Hess, Butler responded that he did not hope for a true reconciliation and nor did he desire it, but that he wished for a de-escalation among both sides, only this way could rationing and the rampant militarization end. Nuclear siren tests, air bomb shelters, children being taught to hide under their desks to avoid the blast of bombs, that was not the future he wished and neither did many Britons. Besides, they could not rely on Huey Long to commit the United States to protect the Home Islands, he claimed, and Britain could not fight against such enemies by itself, especially with communists in China starting to arm uprisings in places such as Malaya, who knows if the next target wouldn't be Hong Kong? Eden's decision to keep Ceylon, partially in response for the declaration of the Indian Republic, had already caused further hostility with India, the Pan-Arabist movement only became stronger, the decision to double down on keeping the Empire as an alternative was not working. Butler may not be fully supportive of decolonization but he recognized the need of a gradual withdrawal from several locations and commitments. Edward was unconvinced, but he did not voice his opinions there, he acted instead as if he had understood Butler and their meeting ended, only for the King to receive the news of his brother's successful operation in removing his left lung, Albert's health just declined more every day and the Royal Family hoped that this could improve it. Princess Elizabeth was concerned for her father's health and only after the operation did she agree to go on a goodwill tour in Africa with her husband Philip Mountbatten.
They were not in London when Albert's health declined, rather Elizabeth was in Australia when the news came. It was the Saturday, April 4th of 1953, when King Edward and his brother last met when the two, alongside their wives, Queen Ingrid and Elizabeth, Duchess of York, as well as Richard, Prince of Wales, and Princess Margaret. The Prince, only 14 at the time, remembered how they went to Northern Ireland for Easter celebrations at Hillsborough castle, the residence of the Governor of Northern Ireland John Loder. Edward believed that a visit to Northern Ireland would help cool the tensions in the area, spending the Easter in Ireland and even deciding to make a radio speech that Saturday. At the evening, the Royal Family celebrated the night in particular, with Albert feeling strangely disoriented, perhaps tired from the journey to the castle. However, at 7:30 AM, he did not awaken in his room, the pulse was felt an assistant who counted the hour of the day and left the room immediately headed to the King's quarters. Edward was awakened on the Easter Sunday to receive the news that his brother, who grew to become a close confidant of him after years of rule, had passed in his sleep. Prince Richard woke up with the commotion outside to see his father hurrying to his uncle's room, hearing the cries of Albert's wife and watching with a certain curiosity just how his father had felt devastated by the loss of the Duke of York, he would go on to comfort his cousin Margaret while the arrangements were already put into place to return to Britain and announce in the BBC about the terrible loss that had hit the King and his family. Little did anyone know at the time, but the death of Prince Albert of Windsor would set in motion the events which completely changed the course of British history.

After the funeral, Butler's government began to make it's own moves to deal with the internal situation in Britain, the fact he rose up to his position during the infamous Great Smog, a period where London was completely covered with a thick fog of pollution due to the unusually cold weather, brought in concerns about the regulations of industry, which he used as an argument to strike down a proposal to privatize the British Steel Industry which was nationalized by Atlee, keeping his consensus with Gaitskell's Labour Party for sake of political stability after Eden's resignation. A triumph would come to Butler's government in 1954 with the first Nuclear Bomb, the "Mark V" device was the first successful test of a Nuclear weapon made fully by British means, with the detonation of the bomb in Australia signaling the beginning of Britain's nuclear age and widely celebrated across the country. Surprisingly, Butler actually received a congratulatory note from Rudolf Hess of all people, praising Britain's achievement as a source of pride in discovering the atomic potential through true Aryan Science, again showing the superiority of the Anglo-Saxons, Germanic compatriots. The note was, as with many of Hess' antics, considered unorthodox, it was never delivered publicly and indeed the Germans made no official declaration, but it made Butler believe that there was some genuine desire from Hess to create a peace between both nations, and with the power of the atom they could reach at least some parity in negotiations.

And these negotiations actually happened, they were at very low level but there was a certain goodwill and interest from the part of Rudolf Hess, even if not as much from his deputy at the time, Reinhard Heydrich, who was still locked in an internal war with Paul Wegener. Thankfully for Hess, Bohle was his man in the Ministry, and so it was decided for the meeting to happen in Lisbon, which was the underground channel for many negotiations at the time. It was not made public, however the two sides played around with ideas of de-escalation across the channel on the 21st of January 1954, Bohle went to the next meeting himself to represent the Reich, offering several concessions to Britain in terms of offensive weaponry in France and the former Benelux, as well as reducing the traffic of U-Boats in the English channel in over 70%. When asked about other armaments such as missile bases and ballistic missiles, Hess conditioned it to a public declaration of friendship and brotherhood which was outright refused for obvious reasons, not even Bohle believed in that proposal. But they agreed to re-open the embassies in London and Germania, which were kept shut down since before the War. That would be a first step for better communications, surprisingly the MI6 would report that the Germans did greatly scale back on the offensive weaponry in the Atlantic Wall, many of the rocket bases being transferred to near the Volga. The British essentially did not have to concede anything in this agreement and the Germans pulled back the immediate threat towards the Home Island, long and medium range bombers were moved out of France and back into Germany proper and U-Boats in St. Nazaire were now taking the longer path around Britain and the Danish straits to reach Hamburg or Kiel, which allowed them to be better watched by British bases in Iceland and Scotland.

Butler considered that a victory, but he did not wish to make the matter public, although he could hardly hide the re-opening of the German embassy in London. The next meeting still happened in Lisbon, the foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home, Earl of Home, met Bohle that time and received a surprising offer for Hess to visit Britain again, to which the Earl seemed confused. Bohle did end up telling Home about Hess' secret visit during the Suez War, confirming the rumors, including that the King was present at the meeting, a matter which was kept as one of the most important state secrets in Britain. The Secretary said he would look on the matter but he did state that it was rather unlikely due to the British sentiment about Germany, it would be a risk to both governments to make such an affair public. Instead he was granted something more subtle, another concession, the end of the German Naval buildup ordered by Hitler in 1950. The Secretary could not really believe all these tales about the German willingness to cooperate and reach a peace agreement, especially as just as this meeting happened, Iraq had been overrun by Syrian and Iranian forces, although Britain could hardly claim to be protecting Iraq when the Pan-Arabists had ousted the British-backed Hashemites just a few days prior. But actually the Germans did stop the enormous rate they were building up ships and, after the meeting, some dockyards just ceased completely, spy planes did confirm it.

There was also one incident where a British high-altitude spy plane was detected by the Luftwaffe and shot down above the Ruhr, with the pilot parachuting and being captured by the German Police. When hearing of the incident, tensions increased between both nations and another meeting was called in Lisbon in July that year, surprisingly, at the meeting and under Hess' orders, the pilot was simply delivered back as a gesture of goodwill, with high suspicions that he was turned into a double agent, but the MI5 did observe the pilot for months afterwards only to find out that there was no indication he was a spy. There was a lot of fume and frustration in Germania from both Heydrich and Wegener over the fact Hess was willingly giving up advantages that Germany had over his insane belief that Britain was their natural ally, as well as his naive beliefs about the British Aristocracy, which is why he trusted Douglas as Foreign Secretary. In London, the year of 1954 just continued the trend of Rudolf Hess' insanity making everyone else believe they were insane.

But the gestures of goodwill were undeniable now, and in 1955 Butler was finally able to lower the military spending, especially as the Mau Mau revolt was crushed and the Malay uprising began losing strength against the British "Divide and Conquer" tactics and Mao switching his priority to supporting the Korean communists. Things were looking better, the relationship between Britain and the Linz Pakt was still obviously cold, but some believed that Germany's, or at least Hess' goodwill could be used to reduce the threat Britain was under. Meanwhile, others believed this was still a ruse by the Germans, refusing to grant even an inch in weakening their own military assets on their side of the channel, some going as far as demanding that the Germans retreat to the pre-1939 borders before any concession was even considered. Thankfully for Butler, the cooler heads still prevailed, a Detente was a necessity for the economic welfare of both sides, as well as the mental state for several Britons. One person who was still hostile to the idea was the King, he had already felt deceived by Hitler before the war and his wife became a greater influence on him without Albert to keep a moderate voice around, she certainly did not like how her family was exiled while the Germans ruled their country. Edward met with Butler again following the return of the British pilot, he voiced quite clearly his distaste for the Prime Minister's policies on Germany and this time did not even try to hide his disgust at the opening of the German embassy in London. Rab was shocked that a King showed himself as such a partisan figure, Edward had mostly tried to keep his own concerns hidden but ever since the Duke of York died, the King seemed to be falling back to his old ideas of what a Monarch was supposed to be.

Butler was not worried about the fact Edward disliked the direction he was taking the country. Mostly he was worried about the fact the British economy was so stagnant that it's growth rate lagged behind even the economies of rivals such as Germany and Italy, in negotiations, the Bank of America offered another 5 billion dollars in a loan but at an even greater interest rate of 9%. The Americans did not see in good eyes the "detente" between Britain and Germany, although Huey himself hoped that this could lead to a reduction in tensions and prevent the US from being dragged into an European War when he was concerned in financing the conflict in Korea. The French in Africa were concerned, the idea of Britain retreating from their Empire would only serve to add pressure on their own colonial population, something which was already being seen in Belgium. What other alternative was there for de Gaulle? Salazar? Now centered at Dakkar, the Free French needed the British support as part of their strategy to keep control over their colonies, the only factor that made them relevant in the world stage was the fact they controlled around a fourth of a continent. The Commonwealth was a reliable alliance for London to fall back to for sake of strength. Australia, New Zealand and Canada were the most cooperative countries, but in time the South African government was distancing itself from Britain, as shown by the negotiations to sell uranium to Italy, which sparked outrage. Ironically, Mussolini was considered a more aggressive threat than Rudolf Hess despite the fact he was the lesser partner in the Linz Pakt.
1955 and 1956 saw more attempts at deescalation, mostly a willingness to talk, Butler made public his intentions of seeking an "end to the war", campaigning it as the end of rationing and conscription to the British population. British citizens were protected in Iran, the Syrians ceased aggressive provocations in Kuwait, even Mussolini toned down on his anti-British rhetoric, Nasser's support for Pan-Arabists in Northern Sudan had caused a low-level guerrilla war since the Egyptian Revolution and now it seemed like the RSHA was cooperating with the MI6 to track the weapons shipments to the rebels. Why? Because Rudolf Hess ordered them directly and nobody in Germany could question their Führer. Even Wegener, the new Deputy Führer, was all too happy to appease Hess with these Anglophilic moves in return for the Führer's continued support for his much grander personal ambition of Partification. The process was slow but there was a certain optimism among many Britons that their nation could truly "demobilize" and that would bring better economic and social conditions to the people, there was certainly that expectation among the youth who were heavily affected by the conscription laws necessary to provide a military that could face a potential German invasion.
And then, on the Easter of 1956, everything changed as the Reich launched it's attack against Christian churches, unleashing a wave of terror and refugees who crossed the channel, using Portugal was an escape port. Churches were burned, priests were arrested or killed, Catholic groups were outraged in Britain, especially in Northern Ireland as they quickly began to energize the IRA for the conflict that was soon to happen. Butler lost the government right there, it was just a year before the elections and a snap election had been called days prior to the German attacks, Butler was optimistic of his chances to increase his majority but instead the surprise assault resulted in the greatest loss the Conservatives have suffered since 1943. Hugh Gaitskell became the Prime Minister and was invited by Edward with the King having mixed feelings over the Labour leader's previous informal cooperation with Butler as part of the post-war economic consensus. The outrage in Britain on the German attack on churches led to an enormous protest on the German embassy in late April, with Gaitskell suspending diplomatic ties between the two countries, the detente, it seems, had lasted for little time.

The New Labour government planned to continue many of the economic policies of Butler's Premiership, however they also grew more radical during the time in opposition. The worry about the welfare of the people while rationing was implemented, the growing inflation which was only starved off by abusive American loans, the continued lack of a proper Healthcare system, the growing voices to skyrocket the military spending despite the economical situation, the growing costs to suppress decolonization movements in places such as Malaya and Africa, as well as the beginning of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland after the trending growth in the radicalization of catholic movements following the rise of Brazilian Integralism and now the persecution of the church by the Germans while the British government had been apparently seeking a reconciliation with the Reich. All of that were concerns that Gaitskell had to deal with, but as time passed, the situation in Britain was becoming more critical, the people tired of the status quo was seeking more radical solutions, the left-wing of the Labour Party led by Bevan was becoming more militant and blaming the House of Lords and the British establishment for much of the stagnation, and there were still those who pointed out that Anglican churches were not affected by the German assault and pragmatism dictated that a detente was still necessary for economical reasons. Gaitskell started off his government with an unpopular Tax Hike for 1957, hoping to approve Atlee's old plan for a Nationalized Healthcare System.

Meanwhile, the Military spending was being unsustainable for Britain to bear by itself, not only did British troops have to garrison colonial holdings that were increasingly agitating for Independence with the backing of foreign powers such as India and China, but the same had to be done in Congo, Equatorial and West Africa as the British forces had to provide support for the exiled governments in the vain hope of one day reconquering Europe, a dream more unrealistic by the day. Not only that, Russia and Israel both began to request more support with the military moves made by their neighbors. All while in the US, Huey Long was shot and unfortunately for Gaitskell he had survived, so even the more agreeable Patton Presidency was a short affair. Now, military conscription had to be ramped up in response to the aggressive moves by the IRA in Belfast, which started a campaign of guerrilla bombings which even included attacks on British soil. One such attack happened on the 9th of August of 1957, when Philip Mountbatten, husband of Princess Elizabeth, was killed in a terrorist bombing of his car by a group affiliated with the IRA. The attack on the Prince was decisive not only in increasing the terror atmosphere in a nation under constant siege mentality like Britain, but also to turn his uncle, the Chief of Staff of the British Armed forces, who served with great distinction during the brutal conflict against Japan from India to Indochina, Lord Louis Mountbatten, in favor of some radical measures that Edward attempted to talk him into for the last year.
Gaitskell's government was short-lived, the tax-hike on a population which already had to make many sacrifices under rationing was already an unpopular measure, he also had to deal with the radicalization of the left-wing of the party under Anthony Bevan who argued in favor of a greater commitment to decolonization and widespread reforms to restore the public faith in the Labour Movement. Bevan and his wing were growing stronger since the disastrous end of Butler's government and the losing faith of the British public in the traditional political establishment. The moment was compared to the Great Depression or the Post-WWI crisis, including with the Irish crisis, but this time they could not rely on the help of France or the United States, Britain stood alone. Gaitskell approved the "Restoration of Order Act" following Philip Mountbatten's assassination as the Government of Northern Ireland was placed under direct rule from Westminster and Martial Law was declared after a terror attack on Belfast killed 17 people through a car bomb, many suspected that the IRA was being armed with German weapons. In fact they were, but not by Germany, rather it was the Italians who diverted weapons from the Linz Pakt to the Irish in order to further destabilize the British government as Mussolini attempted to go around Rudolf Hess and used Ethiopia to support Pan-Arabist rebels in Northern Sudan, a longer route but better hidden from the RSHA.
Gaitskell was able to finally pass the creation of the National Healthcare Service, however he immediately went to blows with Bevan over the charging of proscription glasses, further causing attrition between the two rivals in the Labour Party, he also approved the retreat from Ceylon after years facing growing unrest and a general strike on the island, allowing for India to quickly take control of the territory in the aftermath of the retreat. Many were denouncing Gaitskell as if he was giving up the Empire, and yet he was a moderate compared to who would come after. On the 29th of September 1957, Hugh Gaitskell was assassinated in Manchester by a car bomb, with the IRA being the ones responsible for the shocking murder of the Prime Minister. The greatest fears of the British political establishment came as Aneurin "Nye" Bevan became Prime Minister, defeating Anthony Crosland in the leadership contest and swinging the Labour Party further to the left with an agenda based around the Principles of Democratic Socialism. Upon taking power, he would denounce the assassination of Gaitskell but also the bloodshed in Ireland as a whole, he claimed that the "Empire has expired it's natural life expectancy" and should not be artificially extended, Winds of change, he claimed, were sweeping across the world and sooner or later Britain would have to sail according to these winds. He denounced the obstruction of the House of Lords as they used the loopholes of the 1911 Parliament Act to delay "crucial" bills for up to two years, claiming it to be a relic of old times which would have to be disbanded as it contradicted all lawful principles of equality before the Law. Furthermore, Bevan expanded, Britain must reconsider their current alliances and commitments, such as "constantly bankrolling failed Empires in Africa which exploit the lives of millions for sake of hopeless dreams". He meant to say the dreams were of Imperial domination, but many interpreted it as the dream of return, as if Bevan was claiming that the "Free Governments" had to readequate themselves to the reality. There were more than a few who remembered the old alliance between Hitler and Stalin, and with both Mao and the Linz Pakt working to undermine Britain, Bevan could very well be trying to go the way of Butler, but even worse they would be dismantling the Empire itself. Bevan contacted the new Secretary of State for the Colonies, Richard Crossman, to study the formation of a Decolonization committee.
Bevan made perhaps one of the most disastrous speeches in British political history that day in October when he became Prime Minister, his government would also be nicknamed the "Winter of Discontent", starting in October of 1957 and ending at the end of the Spring of 1958. During this time, Labour unrest soared in Britain, with Bevan turning the Labour Party away from Gaitskell's consensus and intensifying his demands for greater worker's representation and control of business, using his influence on the Unions to pressure Parliament and enforce Party discipline against the moderate Gaitskellists led by Anthony Crossland. The Conservatives, similarly, radicalized themselves on the opposite direction following Butler's and Eden's disastrous governments under the leadership of David Maxwell Fyfe, former Home Secretary under Eden and Butler, who also served as a deputy to Butler during the WWII government, Fyfe was an intimidating leader for many Conservatives, who decisively began to turn the party towards an uncompromising stance against the "Red and the Black", a reference to Mao and the SS (at the time, SSK), he wanted Britain to uncompromisingly take a stance for sake of Western Civilization against the barbarity of Nazism and the destruction of Communism, he saw Bevan as a threat as the Labour leader was still not comfortable with fully committing to facing Rudolf Hess and escalating back the tensions with proposals such as shutting down the German Embassy and recalling the ambassador from Germania. Bevan favored the Nuclear deterrent but he disagreed with higher military spending, claiming that such would cut back from several necessary measures of social welfare he planned to implement. When Bevan sent his proposal for the budget of 1958, he even "readjusted" the military spending to continue on the same level left by Gaitskell and Butler since 1955 despite the indications of military mobilization coming from the MI6.
Another death would shock the nation in January when Anthony Crosland was killed on his way to Parliament by a radical student, claiming that he stood in the way of a true revolution in Britain, the assassin was a 19-year old named William Grayson, who was incarcerated after firing two shots at the MP. It was an outrage that the leader of the opposition to Bevan in the Labour Party had been murdered in London itself. This incident led to protests against the Prime Minister later that month, a march of people from all types and backgrounds who were afraid, a generation growing up tired of living under the threat of annihilation from Germany, with the stagnation of politics, with the stagnation of the economy, tens of thousands would take to the streets and a counter march would be made by Bevanite supporters with the same complaints, but this time blaming the establishment which stood on the way of a true "social revolution" in the country. The odd number of communist slogans and flags, including Soviet flags, was enough to leave the British leadership unnerved by the raising tensions, the protests would slow down as winter still was ongoing, but controversy would skyrocket in April again as Bevan finally launched the "Parliament Act of 1958", calling for the complete abolition of the House of Lords. He only did such move after several meetings, including one to King Edward who, apparently, approved of this proposal to modernize Britain to this new age. But that was a trap, with the House of Lords itself threatened, as well as the precedent in Northern Ireland of the Prime Minister using a crisis to create essentially a Police State, the idea that Bevan was leading Britain to a Communist Revolution gained force.

May 1st, Labour day, would be the day Bevan began to rally support from the streets in order to pressure his internal opposition to fall in line in favor of the Parliament Act, Trade Unions marched across the Country and the Prime Minister held a rally in Birmingham, a traditional Unionist center, where his passionate speech threw more fuel to the fire. He claimed that the British establishment in the Westminster Palace did nothing but obstruct the necessary changes to rejuvenate the nation, he promised to the people an end to rationing, an end to conscription, of reckless spending in a costly Empire which only oppressed those who did not wish them to remain. He claimed that Britain needed a true "Social Revolution", with workers engaging workplace democracy in State industries, promising further Nationalizations and a full reform on the "Archaic and Classist" British System. Needlessly to say, that speech sparked even more controversy, but even that would be overshadowed by the wave of terror which engulfed the country.
The 12th of May was the day British citizens were awakened by sirens, it was only temporary as they realized the attack was not directed at them, but the news showed that the German troops were on the march for the first time in 15 years. Over a million soldiers, accompanied by a heavy barrage of artillery, rockets and waves of bombers would cross the Volga and strike at Russia, bringing back the spectrum of War in the Continent and finally bringing the need to action to one man who apparently was only meant to watch, a man all underestimated, who had been apparently "appeased" after his rough ascension of power. The King, Edward VIII of House Windsor, had awaited years, using his own power in subtle ways as he learned very well the world of politics during the war, the war which turned him from a hedonistic prince to a leader, a leader who now had to save his nation from the threat of invasion and collapse.
The 18th of May was a Sunday, apparently a peaceful day where the British population was settled down at home, unaware of what was about to happen as they slept. Lord Mountbatten, now Chief of the Imperial General Staff, had been carefully considering what he was about to do. Above everything he was loyal to his King, and his King had demanded of him what could be called Treason, but with so much danger, division, with such extraordinary circumstances, refusing such duty was a luxury he could not afford. The Coup was made, under the guise of a military exercise to defend London from an increasingly likely German invasion. Communications were the first to go, radio stations, journals, the BBC, phone stations, all cut off, as well as the occupation of the London Airport, all just as part of the exercise. The good thing of a people who spent years fearing an attack, is that military exercises were not uncommon, and so the people was not aware that the coup was ongoing. The PMs were escorted to Parliament, for sake of their own protection they were given military escorts, with the Building quickly becoming noisy in the middle of the Night as the House of Commons was packed, once it was quorate, a loud bang was heard on the door and, to the shock of all, King Edward VIII had entered the House of Commons.

"The events of the last days have been brought to my attention, I have observed as the Nation I am meant to protect fell into defenselessness, I have observed as the people have remained aprehensive and afraid, hopeless for their future as the shadow of war looms and their representatives reduce themselves to conspiring amongst themselves for the advancement of their own ambitions. I have watched as the tyrannical hordes of pagans burned churches in Europe and Asia, as all that we hold dear and sacred is destroyed. I observed as this very House tore itself apart over petty squabbles while the people starve, yearning for a future. I was born to rule, raised to rule as King and Protector of this Nation and It's dominions as well as my God-given duty to watch over the Church of Christ. Over these last years, vile fiends have struck our nation, left abandoned by many of those who once sworn to ally us, showing that we must rely on our own strength to face the forces of evil from right and left alike. I had hoped that one day you would be led to action, but just as my subjects, I have grown tired of waiting. Therefore I declare this Parliament dissolved and invite Lord Louis Francis Mountbatten to form a National Emergency Government in my name."
The Parliament was in uproar, many to the right applauded the King, many in the Left, who knew Edward to be no friend of the old Conservative establishment either, also did so, but many others shouted out in protest, as the Speaker confirmed the King's Imperial Prerrogative and the Government was dissolved, Edward broke one of the main political traditions in Britain. And so Mountbatten came into Parliament, as a Member of the House of Lords, he was named Prime Minister and formed a National Unity government for this time of crisis as war began in Europe again. His first act was to, right then and there, to bring back the Act of Defense of the Realm, last used in 1914 due to the Great War, with some pre-made alterations which gave the Government dictatorial powers to act as necessary, including the restoration of censorship laws. Bevan and many MPs from the radical left would be arrested that day as his claim for "Social Revolution" was declared a Breach of the Treason Felony Act of 1848, an old law which forbade the call for abolition of the Monarchy, although Bevan tried to defend himself, he would still be taken to House arrest and died of a stomach cancer before his trial. Overnight, one of the oldest democracies in the world had died after almost two decades of tension which broke the British establishment. Edward, despite the controversies, was actually praised for his action by the British people, he was popular, charismatic, concerned with the public welfare, respected by the military, and a war leader who rallied the people during the harshest days of the war. Now, through Mountbatten and the military, Edward managed to do what not even Charles I was able to do, he had defeated Parliament.

I wasn't so excited about a British chapter, but this greatly exceeded my expectations. There's a HOI4 path which is kinda like this. How are the Dominions going to react?
On that note, how "democratic" would the regime be? Would it be holding "elections" for the House of Commons where only pro-Edward candidates would be allowed to run or would it do away with parliamentary elections altogether?
You can expect the Parliament Act of 1911 revoked to make sure the House of Lords, where the King has far more control on who sits in there, is capable of vetting laws from the Commons again. Technically Parliament will still exist, although political parties will have to be reorganized and rebranded, while Mountbatten uses the Defense of the Realm Act to prevent potential dissent.

Elections will still happen, how important will they be? Depends on Edward and his successor.
The fact you said "his successor" is quite ominous, especially as Edward VIII IOTL had no children and all that.
He had here, I suspect Wallis Simpson was the one who did not wish to get pregnant and he was not under pressure to have an heir anyways. Here he has one son, Richard Albert Christian Patrick Andrew (yeah I don't get their naming scheming either) of House Windsor. His son with Princess Ingrid of Sweden (He actually fell in love with her during a visit rather than being forced to marry).
By the way, the current plan is to make a new thread after chapter 43, I decided to end this one on that specific number as the war did end in 1943 in Europe and it was the starting year of the Timeline. To not have this thread become even more intimidating if anyone new begins to read it, I will split off into a new one for the 60s onwards.

And it's the 60s we are talking about, there will be differences such as the introduction of more characters who did not exist or did not gain prominence in our world due to different circumstances, while I do intend to keep some familiar figures to start with. The end of the Ural War on the Russian chapter is a good starting point for a new world as the dust gets settled. So far the plan is:

Chapter XLI - India and Southeast Asia
Chapter XLII - The August Storm and End of the Ural War
By the way, the current plan is to make a new thread after chapter 43, I decided to end this one on that specific number as the war did end in 1943 in Europe and it was the starting year of the Timeline. To not have this thread become even more intimidating if anyone new begins to read it, I will split off into a new one for the 60s onwards.

And it's the 60s we are talking about, there will be differences such as the introduction of more characters who did not exist or did not gain prominence in our world due to different circumstances, while I do intend to keep some familiar figures to start with. The end of the Ural War on the Russian chapter is a good starting point for a new world as the dust gets settled. So far the plan is:

Chapter XLI - India and Southeast Asia
Chapter XLII - The August Storm and End of the Ural War
So the war should end inconclusively in the Urals? I guess a ceasefire with the current lines of control. Goebbels can't surrender that much land and still have enough political capital to push for a Cultural Revolution. I just hope the Russians end the war with at least a little bit more land than they started it.

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