The Iron Eagle - The History of the Cold War

Who shall emerge victorious in the Reich’s Power Struggle?


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XV - HATIKVAH
THE IRON EAGLE
HATIKVAH

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With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
Psalms 83:3-4

The journey was not an easy one, it was months of planning and hiding that led them as far as they managed to go, and once the coastline was seen they knew they arrived home. Once the peace was made, once the world abandoned them to their fate, every Jew in Europe knew what was to come, that there was no use in hiding for a relief that will likely never come. Those who could, ran away, and Anne Frank's family was one of those fortunate enough to have escaped the so-called "Neuordnung", and in 1944 they arrived at the port of Jaffa alongside hundreds of others in the RMS Queen Elizabeth coming from Lisbon through the dangerous Italian-dominated Mediterranean waters where there was always the fear of an RSHA agent tracking their moves. But once they arrived in that strange land, which still felt so very familiar despite never setting foot there, Otto Frank led his family to establish themselves further north at the city of Haifa, and from there they hoped the nightmare was finally going to be over, the fear of prosecution, of disappearing like so many others, would be gone. Those were the hopes of the thousands of Jews that arrived from all corners of the world coming in to the one place they were free to call a home, as the British relaxed immigration restrictions after the war and the chaos in the former Soviet east caused even more migrants to come. However, the book of Exodus tells the story all over again, of the Jews fleeing from enslavement and massacres and heading to their promised land, but did the Pharaoh let them go easily? Just as the chariots of the God-King of Egypt pursued the people to exterminate them, so would the armies of the Führer prepare, and on the north, at the lands of the former Jewish enemy of Assyria, so did they prepare to once again march south. Hitler would never let his mortal enemies to be free, and the fight for survival was far from over, as from the very beginning, Israel was surrounded by enemies, with the armies that conquered a continent and defeated the greatest powers in the world standing at the ready to finish their job. Less than four years after the Franks and so many other families arrived at Haifa, again would the Reich and it's "Pact of Steel" march to put an end to the dream, but this time they would not allow themselves to be transported like cattle into carts to death camps as those who remained.
However, first it is necessary to understand what was happening in the North between 1943 and 1947, as while tensions increased in Palestine, Syria would seize it's chance of independence and begin to build up to achiever their own dreams. Antoun Saadeh, born on the 1st of March 1904, in a small village of the Ottoman Vilayet of Beirut, grew in a lucky environment, a gifted child, fluent in seven different languages, son of a scholar during the so-called "Syrian renaissance". As his father, Saadeh became a Syrian nationalist, rejecting Lebanese nationalism as a french-created artificial nationality and instead arguing for a different thesis of Nationalism. Saadeh believed in Territorial nationalism, rather than ethnic, where cultures were forged according to their surroundings, geography determined that Syria should expand to it's natural borders: The Taurus mountains in the North, the Zaros mountains in the East, the Arabian desert in the south, and the Suez Canal in the west. At first he created the "Natural Syria" society which was disbanded within a year, but in November 1932 he would create the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), a movement against the authorities of the French dominion, opposing the peaceful approach of the ruling National Bloc. The movement would begin to grow with time, coming under watch of French authorities, Saadeh himself being arrested repeatedly during the 1930s, but it was not destroyed, and 1939 would change the fortunes of the SSNP. The province of Hatay was detached from Syria, later being given to the Republic of Turkey, much to the wrath of the Syrian people, especially after the 1936 General strike and the increasing French repression since the Syrian rebellion in the 1920s. The outrage provoked both by these factors caused President Hashim Al-Atassi to resign, his trust on the French being broken as the Independence treaty of 1936 was yet to be ratified, with France dismembering a part of the so-called "Greater Syria" to be given to a foreign nation. In 1940, with the fall of France, the Petain regime only showed itself even less willing to compromise on the Colonial situation, instead the French continued to benefit from the Syrian concessions of the treaty, namely the use of Air bases.

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It all came to a boiling point in 1941 when General Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani and the Golden Square launched a coup in Iraq, installing a German-friendly State in the crucial Fertile crescent was a conflict of interest between the Reich and the British. Hitler ordered Luftwaffen Squadrons to be sent to support Al-Gaylani and the only nearby air bases were in French Syria, still following the collaborationist policy, Petain and Darlan agreed in hosting the German Air force in Syria, something which the British saw as a breach in the supposed Vichy "Neutrality". British forces in the Middle East, alongside the Free French, attacked Syria and swiftly expelled the Garrison, yet a deathly event happened in Homs where a Free French MB. 170 bomber destroyed the house of the still-popular former President Al-Atassi, killing him in the strike. Charles de Gaulle promised Syrian independence by the end of the war once France was liberated, but his visit to Beirut was famously interrupted when the crowd began to jeer and hurl stones at the General, with the bodyguards retaliating by firing into the sky, the "Beirut incident" would later spark a series of protests in the region, while the National Bloc lost one of it's most important leaders. Bahij al-Khatib, the deeply unpopular Head of State installed after Al-Atassi's resignation was removed by de Gaulle with Taj al-Din al-Hasani, a puppet leader, being placed in charge and tasked with responding to the increasing demands of the allied powers for resources as the Axis powers pushed more into the Mediterranean. The fall of Malta and later Gibraltar lead to a growing isolation of the Mediterranean front and increasing pressure over the Suez Canal. The German Afrika Korps led by General Erwin Rommel continued to make advances, eventually breaking the lines of General Auchinleck's 8th Army at El-Alamein, with Egypt vulnerable to invasion, the Soviet war effort falling apart, and the United States continuously refusing to join the war in Europe, it was no surprise the allies would sue for peace, and the promises of de Gaulle to the increasingly unpopular al-Hasani were the final nail in the coffin, literally.

Saadeh, who was exiled in Argentina since 1937, saw the end of the war as the perfect opportunity, after boarding a trade ship he would arrive at the port of Beirut as the British forces began their withdraw. While the terms of the Treaty of Lisbon dictated that Allied troops should immediately cease occupation of Syria, the Free French, who were never a part of the Treaty, remained with a much reduced garrison, while Petain prepared to reassert control over the nation. Syria, betrayed, mutilated, dragged into a foreign war by European powers, would now become the battlefield of Free French and the French State's forces, but the underground resistance movements, emboldened more and more by the day, finally said enough. Petain's forces arrived in May at Beirut, greeted with pelts and jeers from the crowd similarly to de Gaulle, but they were far less bothered about the wishes of the locals, and the rocks received bullets in return, a massacre in Beirut resulted in the deaths of 11 civilians with one French soldier injured by a rock. If there was ever any intention by the increasingly imperialistic regime to keep the locals on their side, those were frustrated upon arrival. Free French forces resisted the advance of the Vichy regime, with supplies coming through the Hedjaz railway from the British in the southern mandate, the fighting began to wear down both sides, especially as the local Syrians fought an asymetrical warfare against both. The Gaullists were eventually forced to retreat while Al-Hasani died of a heart attack. As the Treaty of Versailles was signed, the French image was tarnished, and it's prestige was dependent solely on it's vast Empire. Petain nullified the Treaty of Independence, now with Laval as the de facto Head of Government to push a more Imperialistic agenda, General Louis Koeltz was placed as the French High Commissioner of Syria, tasked with repressing the unruly population, the Republic of Syria was placed under French Martial Law and the independence was cancelled. Perhaps there was no better way of making sure the fire burned than by throwing a gallon of gasoline on it.

The radicalization from that point on was inevitable, Saadeh entered in contact with members of the National Bloc, many disillusioned at the French arbitrariness and harshness of the new regime with no peaceful path towards independence in sight. At a secret meeting in Al-Raqqa, on the 27th of July 1943, Saadeh was able to position himself as leading figure of the upcoming struggle for Syrian independence around the principles of the SSNP, namely of a United, Secular, Strong Greater Syria to oppose sectarianism, colonialism, and Zionism. Koeltz's forces began to suffer increasing harassment from the growing rebellion as the control of the countryside was reduced to a mere nominal formality, the General requested forces from Europe, and Petain began to send in reinforcements to Syria where a shooting war was starting. The SSNP engaged through a growing paramilitary wing called "Eagles of the Whirlwind", launching fast strikes, capturing equipment leftover by the allies and even receiving support from contacts in the British Mandate of Palestine in order to weaken the French presence. The new Prime Minister of Britain, Atlee of the Labour Party, believed that the anti-colonialist cause of the SSNP could be manipulated against the French, not considering that it could terribly backfire in the long-term and instead trusting that such a movement could be properly "tamed" after independence. Ironically, the Germans also showed interest in the SSNP, Hitler commented to his inner circle that, while the European Empires were a powerful civilizing tool to the world, the French were squandering their own Empire, attempting to show strength only to be miserably beaten repeatedly by a group that they claimed to just be "uncivilized camel jockeys". The weakening of the French effort would only make it more dependent to the German sphere of influence, still rather informal before the creation of the Linz Pakt in 1945. Besides, Hitler held a strong admiration of Islam, although not of the Arabs per se, specifically of it's strong discipline and ethics that he considered superior to the "Jewified" Christianity. While the Reich naturally could not send direct support to an enemy of their supposed "friendly European nation", that did not stop the first contacts between the NSDAP and SSNP from being established in that time.

The French control over Syria was unsustainable, while a rebellion such as the Great Syrian revolt could've been crushed by force of arms, divisions and compromise such as happened before, that was not to be this time. The War-exhausted French society, with a nation attempting to recover from it's terrible economic disaster between 1940-1943, could not sustain a conflict over Syria. While General Koeltz and Chef Petain both desired to continue the fight, Laval began to work behind the scenes to salvage what was possible, the drains in the national reserves brought by a colonial conflict was something France couldn't afford, and the Germans instead desired the French economical effort directed towards paying the Versailles reparations in an ironical twist of History. General Koeltz was assassinated on the 17th of October 1943, killing one of the major proponents of the Syrian war, shortly afterwards, Saadeh made his move in Homs, once one of the major centers of the Syrian revolt. The Syrian forces formed a column in the city, with Saadeh declaring the independence of the "Syrian National Republic" and proclaiming an end both to the French dominion and the Syrian Republic, the march headed south gathering support from towns and headed towards Damascus. Saadeh was inspired by Mussolini's March on Rome, but was also careful to avoid Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch, the forces following Saadeh were made by a core of Arab veterans, including even some volunteers from the Free Arabian Legion, soldiers of the Afrika Korps. The French, disorganized from Koeltz's assassination a day earlier, attempted to mount a resistance, but a General strike was made in Damascus, with protesters closing down the streets and demanding the retreat of the Garrison. Laval met with Ribbentrop on the 19th at the German Embassy in Paris, and after several hours, he returned to meet with the aging Marshal. On the 20th of October 1943, Saadeh's column reached Damascus and the French forces were given a general order of withdraw. The Syrian war of Independence ended in a matter of months, Saadeh declaring Damascus as the capital of Greater Syria and later marching on Beirut, defeating the forces of the Lebanese Phalange, the nationalist rival of the SSNP, and incorporating the Republic into Syria. The French were forced to seek terms and recognize the Syrian independence, which was immediately followed by a recognition from London, Germania, and Washington.

Antoun Saadeh, the "Al-Zaim" (The Leader) as his followers named him, was never a man of National Socialist convictions, his doctrine radically opposed ethnic nationalism as "sectarian" and many times he had to go into Party meetings to remember, especially to the young wing, that Social Nationalism was not National Socialism. While he remained as such for the rest of his life, neither him or anyone else in the SSNP could deny that the Germans did provide a quite necessary technical and military help if they were willing to attach themselves to the principles of the nations of the Linz Pakt. Just as the French had adapted themselves to the new world, the SSNP began to embrace more overtly authoritarian policies, but Saadeh had an obstacle: The Syrian aristocracy, many hailing from the Ottoman times, still possessed great influence and that included the SSNP coalition partners of the National Bloc. Without a common enemy in the French, the unified movement that engaged in the assymetric warfare and marched on Damascus and Beirut was fragmenting itself, many not agreeing with the SSNP's dominance and calling for a General Election of the National Assembly, as well as for the office of President that was temporarily occupied by Saadeh. In 1944, the Syrian elections were called to February, being delayed until April 15th. With resources coming in from Germania and Rome, it was easy for the SSNP to achieve a plurality of seats, and Saadeh was elected President with 47% of the votes. It was a good result and yet not enough for Saadeh to push for a Social Nationalist Constitution without compromises, and so he had two options: Either compromise with the establishment like Mussolini or push stubbornly at any cost to implement his agenda like Hitler.

On the 10th of May, the Whirlwind struck against Saadeh's most fierce opposition: The Communists and Ba'athists, leaders of the movement were arrested on charges of conspiracy and treason, being executed almost on spot in show trials in Beirut. The land possessions of many of the more foreign-alligned and oppositionist leaders in Syria were seized by the State, to be used as communal lands. However, subtly many lands were instead turned over to other groups, in return of membership into the SSNP, many landowners and politicians were bribed and switched loyalties overnight, being assured of the Party's good intentions to Syria as a whole, or so they were told. With the political class either purged or tamed, Saadeh called for a Constitutional convention that led to the 1944 Constitution, based around the principles of the SSNP. All Executive and Legislative powers were given to the President of Syria, who would lead Syria as a Secular, Nationalist, Totalitarian State centered around the principles of Social Nationalism, the SSNP was enshrined as the sole legal party and representative of the National Democracy, it is clear how this System received the influence of the German and Italian "observers" during the process. With a total control of the Press, Saadeh was free to organize Syria as he wished, while the British only now realized the deathly mistake they had done. The Wehrmacht began to send their first "advisors", mainly veterans of the Afrika Korps, to organizing the Syrian army as it began it's creation, German-styled uniforms, German surplus weaponry from WWII, officers sent to train in the Reich. It was no surprise that by 1947 the Syrian army was nicknamed "The little Wehrmacht", placed under the command of General Adib Shishakli, one of Saadeh's loyalists and member of the SSNP youth wing who studied in the Reich between 1943 and 1946.

To the south, the situation in Palestine had apparently settled down since the Arab uprising was quelled in 1939, however tensions were beginning to rise again after 1943. Inspired by the Syrians, many in the Arab side were calling for independence as promised by the British in return of their support to the war effort. Jews, who were escaping Festung Europa at the thousands, also called louder than ever for a national home for the Jews, while militias from both sides clashed on the streets for territorial control. Atlee realized more than his predecessor that the Imperial dream was severely weakened by the World War, and some parts of the Empire were just far too costly in terms of manpower and maintenance to keep, especially one where the population of both sides demanded their exit. However, before leaving, the matter to settle was of the division of the territory and the mere mention of it was enough to provoke shootouts in Jerusalem. The Woodhead commission in 1939 proposed three different plans that were all rejected, different proposals were being presented by all sides from radical Zionists calling for all the Mandate to be a Jewish State to Arabs wanting to send the Jews into the sea, and obviously one side could not have complete leverage over the other. The atitude on Zionism in the west has been changing much ever since the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Kristallnacht, while the full picture of the horrors unleashed by the Reich was not seen in the west, the tales of refugees continued to feed into the public sympathy for the plight of the Jews. Ever since the aftermath of the 1939 revolt, the British attempted to appease the Arabs by limiting Jewish migration into the Mandate, with the Halifax government continuing such policy despite the growing public pressure during the war. In the Post-War, however, with the rise of the United States and the considerable Zionist sympathies in the Wheeler administration thanks to Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. A Jewish-American who made many efforts to convince Wheeler to give his support to the Jewish cause. However, there was a complete reversal of Wheeler's tacit support towards a Jewish state when Cordell Hull became President, known for instructing American consulates to deny Jewish visas to America during WWII.

Between 1943 and 1946, Thousands of Jews would arrive both legally and illegally into the Dominion, which was further sparking the tensions in the area, something the Germans began to use to stroke the fires of Antisemitism in the Middle East. Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and spokesman of the Arab cause had established contact with the Hitlerite regime, especially during the campaign of the Middle East while he was in exile in Italy. Husseini called for the alignment between Arabs and the Linz Pakt in the struggle against Anti-British colonialism, while also opposing Saadeh's regime due to it's secularism, claiming that a Christian should not lead a Muslim people, reffering to the fact Saadeh was an Orthodox Christian from Lebanon. Husseini's broadcasts, added with the increased immigration of Jews into the Mandate slowly boiled over the tensions, and inspired many Muslims to become volunteers in the Waffen-SS, especially in Bosnia against the Yugoslav Partisans. During the War, the Dominion contributed towards the defense of Egypt and the invasions of Syria and Iraq, something that many of the fighters expected to see was the promised compensation of the White Papers of 1939: The Promise of Independence.

The British expected to return the Mandate to the League of Nations, but the entity no longer held any moral authority to decide such matters ever since it failed it's primary goal of preventing the outbreak of the Second World War, furthermore, the German invasion of Switzerland saw the Linz Pakt destroy it's headquarters in Geneva. The Archives of the League were captured by the Reich, with Hitler boastingly declaring that the institution created by the "Zionist-Capitalists of London and New York" was dissolved, although by that time very few of it's member states still paid more than a formal recognition to it's efforts. Ultimately, the decisive change for the establishment of Israel came with the death of Cordell Hull and the rise of President Thurmond. While the young Dixiecrat was not a particular enthusiast of the Zionist cause, he presided over the decisive moment when Hitler made his Volkshalle Speech, considered one of the inaugural moments of the Cold War, and if there is one group of people that the Anglo-Americans could count on to oppose the Reich unconditionally, it was the Jewish settlers who fled from the Reich-dominated Europe. And besides, there was also the influence of Jewish Lobbysts in the American policies, as Thurmond did not wish to run for another term, many potential candidates were approaching the rich funds of such group, and it added up perfectly with the American ideal of self-determination. General MacArthur would make a speech during the Ceremony of the Japanese surrender on the 29th of January, calling for a better world to emerge out of "Peace, Tolerance, and Justice for all Free peoples", later openly giving his support for the Zionist cause, something his counterpart General Patton, refused to do, instead claiming that America should not be involving itself in the "Matters of Zion", unsurprising considering his track of antisemitic declarations.

An International Conference would be called in Philadephia held on January 1st 1946, attended by all nations, except for the Linz Pakt members who obviously denounced the conference as an Internationalist Conspiracy, the Japanese and it's satellite States who were at war with it's members, and the Russians due to the conflicting nature on who was the legitimate government. The Philadelphia Declaration would see the plan for the successor of the League of Nations, an organization headed the United States, China, Canada and the United Kingdom, The United Nations, brainchild of Cordell Hull. The city was chosen due to it's historical significance as the birthplace of Modern Democracy and Human Rights, at least according to Hull, as the Declaration of Independence and American Constitution were both written in there. The United Nations would be called to mediate the Palestinean Partition, and that's where the end of the Hull administration would prove decisive with the American delegation sent in February arguing in favor of a Jewish State, conflicting with the British as the later was attempting to keep friendly relations with the arabs after the Syrian fiasco, seeing as the Eastern Mediterranean was the only area of British interest still able to strike Southern Europe. The compromise was drafted by the General-Secretary and exiled Swedish Red Cross leader, Count Bernadotte, and it did not please either side: Bersheeba and the Jewish settlements in Negev would be given to the Arabs, while the Arabs would have to accept the existance of an independent Jewish State, while the Arab territory was given to the Hashemites of Transjordan as a British attempt to keep them a friendly State in the region. An Independent City-State of Jerusalem was established under International Mandate, with both Jews and Arabs allowed to send in one delegate to the executive council of the City. Naturally Husseini denounced the act as a ploy of Zionists, Saadeh denounced it as Jewish Imperialism, Hitler called it "A base for the enemies of the Reich and Free Europe to conspire to put them back into chains", and even the Jewish radicals of the Lehi group would attempt an assassination of Bernadotte. Ultimately, the plan would end up approved by the United Nations despite the Arab delegations walking out of the Assembly, but to most of the Jews, the plan was a God-sent gift: After 2 thousand years, an Independent Jewish State would be established in Israel, but the UN could only recommend such partition, the real implementation would take the cost of blood, and an unlikely alliance would emerge out of this bloodshed.


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On the 18th of April 1947, just a day before the Mandate was set to expire as British troops were leaving, riots and open conflict between Jews and Arabs already started with the Haganah and Irgun militias fighting off the Arab ones, the intensification of these conflicts only had one inevitable end. Antecipating it, David Ben-Gurion, head of the Jewish Agency, declared the Independence of the State of Israel, and less than an hour later he would receive recognition from the United States, with British recognition in the following day. Ironically, the Reich was the first nation to "recognize" Israel by immediately condemning the creation of the "Nest of the Zionist Viper", and the Arab states did a similar "recognition" by shelling Jewish settlements, with Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia declaring an State of War. Al-Husseini, from his radio waves in Germania, called for a Jihadist War against Israel, calling for all Muslim faithful to "Gather under one cause, so that Israel will cease to exist and there shall be no memory of Israel". Curiously, Saadeh, despite condemning Israel, did not declare War, as he had a different plan for this situation. After barely surviving their greatest persecution, the Jewish people were now facing one last trial before finally achieving it's desired home. Anne Frank wrote in her diary that in Haifa, the climate was of both celebration and aprehension, for the final test had come, at the end of the page of the 18th of April, Anne wrote a biblical verse from the book of Isaiah 41:8-10.

“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."


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The Arab forces did not fully commit in the start of the conflict, and yet they still outnumbered the Jewish militias at least 3-2, with the core of the troops being formed by 4,000 soldiers of the elite Arab Legion of King Abdullah Hussein of Jordan, veterans of the African Front. The first strike came at the isolated Jewish communities in the Negev around Bersheba, cut off from the main Israeli settlements, it was instrumental to ensure the Jordanian access to the Mediterranean sea in Gaza. The Arabs possessed the Air Superiority, thanks mostly to the Egyptians who possessed a surplus from the African front and due to it's frontier with Italian Libya, however, many of these assets remained static at the Italo-Egyptian border as a garrison. On the 24th of April, the Lehi, Haganah, and Irgun militias were formally forged into one, the "Israeli Protection Force" (IPF), with political differences being set aside, the Egyptians launched an attack at the City of Ashkelon, taken by the Jewish militias at the outbreak of the war, managing to push back the IPF forces despite the fierce resistance. It was something Arab forces came to notice during the conflict, the Jewish forces fought unlike any before, they were not as professional as the Axis or Allied troops during the previous war, but the fierce fanaticism and spirit of resistance was at a level not expected before. Hebrew troops fought surrounded by their families, with the families taking up arms alongside, from teenagers to elders, men and women, all knew that if this war was lost then there would have no more hope for the Jewish people, and that was shown when Arab militias massacred the citizens of Barnea, forcing around 80 civilians to march towards the beaches and swim into the sea while being shot at by the militiamen, made that way to fulfill the call of Al-Husseini to "drive them into the sea". It is no surprise that the troops in Bersheeba refused to surrender, many committing suicide instead when surrounded, or by bringing as many enemies as they could, inspired in the siege of Massada during the Jewish revolt of 70.

After the fall of Ascalon and with Bersheeba cut off, the Arab troops launched an attack towards Ashdod, headed towards Tel-Aviv, however disagreements between the Arab leaders on coordination showed, indeed many Egyptian troops were questioning why they should be fighting a war for the King of Jordan. That was the moment the greater cohesion of Israeli troops showed, with the arrival of a shipment of weapons coming from the United States in Tel Aviv, the defenders of Asdote would struggle to hold the city. A squadron of 7 American P-51s and 3 B-17s, some with the scars made by Japanese Anti-Air fire from Operation Sunset, launched an attack on the Arab forces, the shock of the attack hit the morale of the mostly Egyptian troops that halted their advance. Jordanian troops did not advance towards Netanya, which could have divided the Israeli State in two during that vulnerable month of June 1948, as King Abdullah did not have an interest in destroying the Israeli State, in fact he was known as a moderate leader who agreed in principle with the partition, having secured the Negev, Cisjordan, and an exit to the Mediterranean in Gaza. The King reached a secret agreement with the Jewish agency, where Jordanian troops would only stand on the defensive and not attack the State of Israel, and the fact he was made Supreme Commander of the Arab war efforts was a great boon to the Jewish campaign. An Iraqi force, nevertheless, attempted to attack Netanya, only to be repelled by the IPF. At this rate, both sides were exhausted by the conflict with a temporary truce mediated by the UN being called, and at that decisive hour, the Israeli forces were able to build up their strength, from roughly 30,000 troops to over 117,000 in a matter of months. The Arab forces would also use the opportunity to build up their forces, numbering around 68,000 in total. However, Jerusalem's neutrality was a sham, the city was a battleground between Jewish and Arab militias with the UN failing to establish order, the City council of Jerusalem was falling apart and soon, the City was divided into a Jewish and an Arab zone, in October, as the truce negotiations broke down, the Jordanian troops entered the Jewish zone under the pretext of "Securing the order of the city", the short-lived International City ended that same day, and soon IPF forces would launch a massive counter attack against Arab forces called "Operation Danny", capturing the Cities of Lydia and Ramla, pushing towards Jerusalem in an effort to rescue the surrounded Jewish population. Meanwhile another attack pushed the Egyptian troops to the south, retaking Ashkelon, and the territory of Northern Gallilee was taken from the local Arab militias by the better-armed Israeli forces. However, as soon as West Jerusalem was taken on the 20th of October, news came from the north that shock both the Arabs and Israelis.

Saadeh watched the conflict with great interest, for a moment he even considered joining the Arab coalition and secure Northern Israel during the critical first two months of the war. However, he preferred to await his perfect chance to launch a general strike at the levant, the capture of both Israel and Jordan could almost double the size of Syria, and taking the City of Jerusalem while overthrowing the Hashemites would not only strengthen his claim on Greater Syria, but also the destruction of Israel in what he believed to be a show of strength could perhaps achieve a better position for Syria to negotiate it's relationship with the Reich. The Syrian army was, by a far amount, the most well-trained and disciplined force in the region, with around 200,000 soldiers centered around the Syrian Legion, a force of 12,000 Wehrmacht-trained veterans, with several officers trained in Germania and Rome. However, Saadeh was as surprised as the Arab leaders in how the IPF was able to bounce back from it's initial defeats, and as it seemed as the Israeli forces were on the brink of victory, the plans could no longer be delayed. On the 20th of October, the day of celebration of when Syrian troops expelled the French from Damascus, artillery shells fired from the Golan Heights and 80,000 Syrian troops would cross into Israel and Jordan, with the initial objective being the capture of Haifa, Nazareth, and the Jordanian city of Irbid. German-manufactured Fw190 and Ju-87s flew over Israeli Cities, and a campaign of air bombing began, causing an initial wave of panic as Stuka syrens were heard, in the eyes of hundreds of thousands who had just escaped the horrors of the Reich, the Syrian Army was like the chariots of the Pharaoh: Their former tormentors pursued them as they fought to take their home, as if Hitler himself had arrived with his ever-victorious Legions to finish his work. But they would face this challenge, a Ceasefire made with the Arab League to keep the immediate frontlines as borders as they fought a common enemy. Iraqi, Saudi, and Egyptian troops began their retreat as they did not desire to face Syrian troops. Operation "Sennacherib", named after the Assyrian King who subdued the Levantine kingdoms after the death of Sargon, began the First Levantine War.

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The initial Syrian attack was an enormous success, implementing German-styled "Bewegungskrieg" tactics, the local garrisons of the IPF and the Royal Jordanian Army were overwhelmed by the Syrian forces, but pockets of resistance, especially Israeli ones, managed to secure Naharya for long enough for the evacuation of Haifa to be called. The City's population was in an state of panic, as told by Anne's diary, the people fled south towards Netanya and Tel Aviv, many believing it to be the end while refugee columns were bombarded by Heinkel bombers, with the IPF's air force bravely fighting back against the Syrian overwhelming numbers. Others, on the other hand, remained to fight more determined than ever, taking up arms and rushing towards IPF conscription stations, elderly men she had barely seen walk were now holding American-made M1 Rifles to defend their homes, knowing that determination is what made Anne certain they would win the war. Her father, Otto, her mother Edith, and her sister Margot all joined with the IPF, which encouraged Anne herself to join, lying about her own age in a moment where nobody cared how old you were so long as you held a rifle. On the 29th of October, the Syrian Army of 27,000 troops approached the city after the fall of Naharya, with the news coming that Waffen-SS troops had joined up as volunteers, massacring all prisoners in the city and viciously striking down civilians who attempted to flee. The Whirlwind and the Swastika were working side by side as the Battle of Haifa began, with Moshe Dayam, commander of the Jerusalem front, being transferred to the Northern front to lead the defense. During the battle Margot Frank would die, with Otto receiving a leg injury from shrapnel, he refused to retreat and had to be dragged away by his unit, he would walk with a cane for the rest of his life. In the end, Haifa was not able to hold, but it gave the Syrians their first bloody nose, and in retaliation, the first to enter the city were the Waffen-SS volunteers, which formed the so-called "Crescent Brigade", made up mostly by Syrian volunteers. The City's population continued to fight an assymetrical warfare, but that would eventually be a doomed effort if the war was not won. Nazareth would fall on the 31st, and the capture of Irbid would weaken the Jordanian efforts in the war. However, Jordan began to fully mobilize it's effort, spinning the conflict as a war for Independence, a general mobilization was called while Israeli forces retreated south, the IPF attempting to hold off the Syrian attacks as long as possible for refugees to escape, many were already purchasing boat trips to New York at Tel Aviv and Jaffa, preparing for the inevitable arrival of the "Little Wehrmacht".

Israel and Jordan were not alone however, with the threat of a German-aligned State reaching near the gates of the Suez canal and the potential fall of Jordan further weakening British interests in Egypt, a meeting of the United Nations was called over the Levantine War. With the news of the Naharya and Haifa massacres arriving, the public perception of the conflict began to be mobilized. Many theorized a supposed "Domino Theory", if the British and Americans failed to oppose the German advances, eventually the nations of the Middle East, such as Turkey, Iraq and Iran, which already possessed sympathies towards the Reich, would lean to join the Linz Pakt, and a reignition of the war would lead to the fall of Egypt and the Suez canal, with even the possibility of an "Muslim Axis" invading India and declaring a Jihad on Africa. While some of these theories were a wild strech, it shows the panic that was beginning to grip The Democratic nations in the post-war years. However, many in America were still hesitant about a foreign adventure less than a year since the traumatic and destructive Operation Sunset, the memories of the Purple medals and graves being ingrained in American memory for at least a Generation. However, the Thurmond Administration saw that as a Test, the first challenge towards the Reich, and what better way to do so than protecting Hitler's greatest enemies? On the 6th of November1947, the United Nations approved an Intervention force to secure the peacekeeping of the former mandate, led by American General Omar Bradley, a force of 40,000 troops would be sent to Israel, however it would take time to ensure the logistics and the landing of the UN forces, especially as the control of the Linz Pakt at Djbouti and Gibraltar meant that these troops would have to be transported through Iraq or by land through Egypt and Sudan. However, the intervention meant that Saadeh's time was running short, and so he doubled the deploment of Syrian troops, planning to launch two main assaults: One going through the coast towards Tel Aviv and one through the Jordan River valley to capture the strategic and morally important city of Jerusalem. Operation "Whirlwind" was launched on the 10th of September, and for both Israel and Jordan there was only one thing both former enemies could do: Hold their ground.

The strike towards Tel-Aviv, led by Syrian General Fawzi Selu, followed alongside the coast towards Netanya. Selu was a man who was not fighting in his comfort zone, while he fought for Syria, he was less particularly enthusiastic to follow the Anti-Semitic dogma of the SSNP, being disgusted by the actions of the Waffen-SS and the Syrian Legion during the war, he instead desired for peace with Israel. Obviously he did not voice his opinions, fealing to fallout with Saadeh and the SSNP like his Predecessor General Za'im and end up executed for Treason as he did in 1945, but his hesitation is what gave the IPF the chance to organize the defense of Tel Aviv. General Yagael Yadin narrates how things were on the 14th of Novemberin his headquarters, seeing the civilian population in a chaotic race to the ports, refugees telling the stories of the horror unleashed by the Syrian Legion, the panic was beginning to take hold and waver the morale of his troops. However, they would receive the visit of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, which alongside Yadin would call for a fierce battle of resistance to save the Jewish people. The IPF possessed little more than 100,000 troops, with around 50,000 volunteer militiamen, while the Syrian column towards Tel Aviv, headed by the feared Waffen-SS and the Syrian Legion, possessed 80,000 troops. Meanwhile, the first volunteers from Britain and America would begin arriving, with ships carrying much needed ammunition and heavy equipment, from M4 Sherman tanks, to the first British "Centurion" MBTs, going against the German-built Panzer IVs and Panthers, with the Syrians also possessing a few E-50 MBTs, one of the newer additions to the Wehrmacht arsenals, attached to the Waffen-SS brigade to be tested in battle. Between the 17th and 20th of November, Tel Aviv would be under the relentless assault of the Syrian army, however, trained in Wehrmacht tactics, the terrain soon proved a hindrance to the Syrian army, as soon General Selu and Saadeh would realize that said tactics were not adequate to urban warfare, with an attempt to encircle the city by cutting it off from Jerusalem failing at the Battle of Lydia. The Air War began to change as the American planes began to arrive, the P-51 proving a superior fighter to the Fw 190 and the Me 262 losing it's dominance against the P-80. Soon the offensive stagnated, all while the Syrian fortunes met it's decisive turn at the gates of Jerusalem.


“Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:
“He will not enter this city
or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield
or build a siege ramp against it.

By the way that he came he will return;
he will not enter this city,”
declares the Lord.

“I will defend this city and save it,
for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!”

Isaiah 37:33-35
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Ever since it was founded, Jerusalem has been a battlefield, probably no other city in the world has been so central to history, religion and culture than "King David's City". Between the 15th of November and the 1st of December 1947, the Syrians once more descended upon the city to take it when a curious event happened: Both Israelis and Jordanian Arabs fought alongside one another to protect the City. When the Syrian army entered, many of the Palestineans rejoiced an alternative to both Hashemite and Zionist rule, but once Saadeh began to implement the Syrian policies, from the secret police, the secularization, the seizing of farmlands, and the devastation caused especially by SS troops, many preferred to remain loyal to Abdullah and Jordan. There were thousands of defections to the Syrian side, less out of belief in a "Greater Syria" than out of an anger directed at the Jordanian "moderation" towards the Israelites, but many more stayed loyal. Led by General Adib Shishakli, Chief of Staff of the Syrian Army, around 85,000 troops of the Syrian army would approach the city from the East, and although the initial plan expected a quick victory in Tel Aviv with a push coming in from the West by General Selu's troops, that was quickly frustrated by the stubborn defense of Tel Aviv, General Shishakli settled down his troops for a siege, attacking Moshe Dayam's lifeline in West Jerusalem, which kept the city supplied in the so-called "Road to Life". Despite three different attempts to dislodge the troops, the three times the IPF just barely held out, 45,000 troops were allowing the supplies of the of the most important cities in the world to go through the Syrian lines, while the Jordanians supported the IPF's efforts to keep the road to life open, while defeating a secondary Syrian attack towards Amman, the Jordanian capital and harassing the Syrian supply lines at the Jordan river valley. Meanwhile, the first International forces began to arrive, with the defense of Tel Aviv held, supplies were flowing into the Holy Land through American airlift from Egyptian Air bases and the port cities of Jaffa and Gaza. Troops began to gather from Iraq to Amman in order to prepare for the offensive, and as intelligence began to notice the buildup of UN forces, General Shishakli attempted to gamble in an all out attack at Jerusalem on the 28th, resulting in four days of intense urban combat between troops of the Syrian Legion against the IPF and the Arab Legion. Eventually the Jordan Valley offensive forced the Syrian army to retreat, saving the Holy City of it's imminent invaders.

The failure of Operation Whirlwind resulted in the Syrian defeat, and the counter-offensive named "Operation Firestorm", as soon as the UN forces began gathering in strength, a massive counter attack was ordered on the 20th of December, the exhausted Syrian army stood no chance against the combined UN, IPF, and Jordanian forces, sent back to retreat northwards, abandoning the valley of the Jordan and headed back towards the Haifa-Nazareth-Irbid line. For the first time, American and German troops would fight one another during the push towards Haifa, while the USAAF and RAF dominated the skies, launching a bombing campaign of Syria that resembled the fights of WWII, including the use of Napalm, although the military was more restrained from the total war setting in Japan. On the 10th of January, the Syrian defensive line would be broken, with Haifa being liberated by American and IPF troops, the locals who underwent the brutal months of occupation would welcome them as liberators. During the occupation Anne would lose her mother, killed as part of an execution in retaliation to the killing of a Syrian soldier, but both her and her father survived, coming to greet the American troops in Sherman tanks headed north, as well as the IPF's troops that her father was a part of, despite his injuries, he trailed behind with the troops back to his home. Israel, like the Frank family, suffered terrible losses, with devastation across it's northern land, but like them, it survived it's darkest hour, the Whirlwind and the Swastika would go to the North, where many awaited for a final battle to end Saadeh's regime and secure the safety of Israel from the immediate northern danger, but that would not happen.

Fearing that the fall of Syria would embolden the allies, with the Reich still focused on the reorganization of Europe, the Linz Pakt mobilized, sending an Ultimatum that the crossing of any of the UN troops into Syrian territory will be considered an attack on the Pakt itself. Gibraltar was closed off, the Regia Marina mobilized it's assets on the Eastern Mediterranean, German troops and supplies began to arrive at the ports of Beirut and Latakia, Luftwaffe plans were put on high alert and troops in Libya began to be partially mobilized. The message was clear: The United Nations had it's victory, they defended Israel for now, but go further north would mean the restart of the Second World War. General Bradley's troops were ordered to halt at the foot of the Golan Heights as the intense debate began in the Pentagon, Warhawks such as General Patton and Governor-General of Japan MacArthur called for a push "All the way to Hitler's Summer House", cooler heads thought of the enormous human cost that such war would entail, although MacArthur claimed that "With 50 nuclear bombs I can deliver Europe before this Christmas". Atlee and the British, especially, were worried over the fact the invasion of Festung Europa meant Britain would be in the frontlines, with thousands of German missiles ready to fire at London before any interceptation, the Wasserfall Project and the Atlantik Wall meant that an invasion of the mainland would cost perhaps more than even Operation Sunset. While the allies of the Reich in France and Italy meant that the war would reach Africa and the Middle East, with unrest growing in Arab territories and India, the last thing London needed was a restart of hostilities, but the final word would come from President Thurmond, who ordered the troops to stand down at the border. A Ceasefire was made between Israel and Jordan with Syria, restoring the Status Quo borders.

On the 14th of January 1948, the First Levantine War would end, a Status Quo was declared, being a strategic Israeli victory, the first time the Allied forces defeated an "Axis" power. Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan, with Israel managing to expand it's territory beyond the original Bernadotte Plan, an agreement being made with Abdullah to protect the Jewish settlements in Bersheba by making it an Autonomous Zone. The Arab-Israeli tensions were far from over, but for once both sides could breathe in relief. Saadeh was bloodied but not beaten, instead he would be pushed to taking more authoritarian actions in retaliation to the supposed "treason" of commanders such as General Fawzi Selu, whose cautiousness was considered a decisive factor in the defeat at Tel Aviv, which in certain way saved the lives of hundreds of thousands from the fury of his own troops. The relations between the Reich and the Allies became even colder, with the conflict being considered one of the beginnings of the Cold War and the American Grey Scare. As for the Israelis, Ben-Gurion would proudly declare that "The Jewish people, with the support and compassion of the Free world, dealt the first defeat of it's greatest persecutor. Israel shall forever be an enemy of Hitler and his vile regime, he will find nothing but the determination of a people that has learned to fight back."
 
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By the tone of the music I though the Reich would conquer and enslave Israel, but the song is just the Israeli national anthem after all.
 
Isn't this Syria from TNO or TWR?

Very good chapter.
Yes, this is the SSNP Syria from TWR, I found the concept of Saadeh’s Territorial nationalism to be a quite interesting one to add to the Timeline. Trust me, this isn’t the last time you will hear from Syria in this Timeline, as if the name “FIRST Levantine War” isn’t enough of a giveaway.
 
Nice chapter, I hope Israel can survive and thrive in the coming years. Could we also see a chapter about what's happening in Spain and Italy? Keep up the good work.
 
THE IRON EAGLE
HATIKVAH

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With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
Psalms 83:3-4

The journey was not an easy one, it was months of planning and hiding that led them as far as they managed to go, and once the coastline was seen they knew they arrived home. Once the peace was made, once the world abandoned them to their fate, every Jew in Europe knew what was to come, that there was no use in hiding for a relief that will likely never come. Those who could, ran away, and Anne Frank's family was one of those fortunate enough to have escaped the so-called "Neuordnung", and in 1944 they arrived at the port of Jaffa alongside hundreds of others in the RMS Queen Elizabeth coming from Lisbon through the dangerous Italian-dominated Mediterranean waters where there was always the fear of an RSHA agent tracking their moves. But once they arrived in that strange land, which still felt so very familiar despite never setting foot there, Otto Frank led his family to establish themselves further north at the city of Haifa, and from there they hoped the nightmare was finally going to be over, the fear of prosecution, of disappearing like so many others, would be gone. Those were the hopes of the thousands of Jews that arrived from all corners of the world coming in to the one place they were free to call a home, as the British relaxed immigration restrictions after the war and the chaos in the former Soviet east caused even more migrants to come. However, the book of Exodus tells the story all over again, of the Jews fleeing from enslavement and massacres and heading to their promised land, but did the Pharaoh let them go easily? Just as the chariots of the God-King of Egypt pursued the people to exterminate them, so would the armies of the Führer prepare, and on the north, at the lands of the former Jewish enemy of Assyria, so did they prepare to once again march south. Hitler would never let his mortal enemies to be free, and the fight for survival was far from over, as from the very beginning, Israel was surrounded by enemies, with the armies that conquered a continent and defeated the greatest powers in the world standing at the ready to finish their job. Less than four years after the Franks and so many other families arrived at Haifa, again would the Reich and it's "Pact of Steel" march to put an end to the dream, but this time they would not allow themselves to be transported like cattle into carts to death camps as those who remained.
However, first it is necessary to understand what was happening in the North between 1943 and 1947, as while tensions increased in Palestine, Syria would seize it's chance of independence and begin to build up to achiever their own dreams. Antoun Saadeh, born on the 1st of March 1904, in a small village of the Ottoman Vilayet of Beirut, grew in a lucky environment, a gifted child, fluent in seven different languages, son of a scholar during the so-called "Syrian renaissance". As his father, Saadeh became a Syrian nationalist, rejecting Lebanese nationalism as a french-created artificial nationality and instead arguing for a different thesis of Nationalism. Saadeh believed in Territorial nationalism, rather than ethnic, where cultures were forged according to their surroundings, geography determined that Syria should expand to it's natural borders: The Taurus mountains in the North, the Zaros mountains in the East, the Arabian desert in the south, and the Suez Canal in the west. At first he created the "Natural Syria" society which was disbanded within a year, but in November 1932 he would create the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), a movement against the authorities of the French dominion, opposing the peaceful approach of the ruling National Bloc. The movement would begin to grow with time, coming under watch of French authorities, Saadeh himself being arrested repeatedly during the 1930s, but it was not destroyed, and 1939 would change the fortunes of the SSNP. The province of Hatay was detached from Syria, later being given to the Republic of Turkey, much to the wrath of the Syrian people, especially after the 1936 General strike and the increasing French repression since the Syrian rebellion in the 1920s. The outrage provoked both by these factors caused President Hashim Al-Atassi to resign, his trust on the French being broken as the Independence treaty of 1936 was yet to be ratified, with France dismembering a part of the so-called "Greater Syria" to be given to a foreign nation. In 1940, with the fall of France, the Petain regime only showed itself even less willing to compromise on the Colonial situation, instead the French continued to benefit from the Syrian concessions of the treaty, namely the use of Air bases.


It all came to a boiling point in 1941 when General Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani and the Golden Square launched a coup in Iraq, installing a German-friendly State in the crucial Fertile crescent was a conflict of interest between the Reich and the British. Hitler ordered Luftwaffen Squadrons to be sent to support Al-Gaylani and the only nearby air bases were in French Syria, still following the collaborationist policy, Petain and Darlan agreed in hosting the German Air force in Syria, something which the British saw as a breach in the supposed Vichy "Neutrality". British forces in the Middle East, alongside the Free French, attacked Syria and swiftly expelled the Garrison, yet a deathly event happened in Homs where a Free French MB. 170 bomber destroyed the house of the still-popular former President Al-Atassi, killing him in the strike. Charles de Gaulle promised Syrian independence by the end of the war once France was liberated, but his visit to Beirut was famously interrupted when the crowd began to jeer and hurl stones at the General, with the bodyguards retaliating by firing into the sky, the "Beirut incident" would later spark a series of protests in the region, while the National Bloc lost one of it's most important leaders. Bahij al-Khatib, the deeply unpopular Head of State installed after Al-Atassi's resignation was removed by de Gaulle with Taj al-Din al-Hasani, a puppet leader, being placed in charge and tasked with responding to the increasing demands of the allied powers for resources as the Axis powers pushed more into the Mediterranean. The fall of Malta and later Gibraltar lead to a growing isolation of the Mediterranean front and increasing pressure over the Suez Canal. The German Afrika Korps led by General Erwin Rommel continued to make advances, eventually breaking the lines of General Auchinleck's 8th Army at El-Alamein, with Egypt vulnerable to invasion, the Soviet war effort falling apart, and the United States continuously refusing to join the war in Europe, it was no surprise the allies would sue for peace, and the promises of de Gaulle to the increasingly unpopular al-Hasani were the final nail in the coffin, literally.

Saadeh, who was exiled in Argentina since 1937, saw the end of the war as the perfect opportunity, after boarding a trade ship he would arrive at the port of Beirut as the British forces began their withdraw. While the terms of the Treaty of Lisbon dictated that Allied troops should immediately cease occupation of Syria, the Free French, who were never a part of the Treaty, remained with a much reduced garrison, while Petain prepared to reassert control over the nation. Syria, betrayed, mutilated, dragged into a foreign war by European powers, would now become the battlefield of Free French and the French State's forces, but the underground resistance movements, emboldened more and more by the day, finally said enough. Petain's forces arrived in May at Beirut, greeted with pelts and jeers from the crowd similarly to de Gaulle, but they were far less bothered about the wishes of the locals, and the rocks received bullets in return, a massacre in Beirut resulted in the deaths of 11 civilians with one French soldier injured by a rock. If there was ever any intention by the increasingly imperialistic regime to keep the locals on their side, those were frustrated upon arrival. Free French forces resisted the advance of the Vichy regime, with supplies coming through the Hedjaz railway from the British in the southern mandate, the fighting began to wear down both sides, especially as the local Syrians fought an asymetrical warfare against both. The Gaullists were eventually forced to retreat while Al-Hasani died of a heart attack. As the Treaty of Versailles was signed, the French image was tarnished, and it's prestige was dependent solely on it's vast Empire. Petain nullified the Treaty of Independence, now with Laval as the de facto Head of Government to push a more Imperialistic agenda, General Louis Koeltz was placed as the French High Commissioner of Syria, tasked with repressing the unruly population, the Republic of Syria was placed under French Martial Law and the independence was cancelled. Perhaps there was no better way of making sure the fire burned than by throwing a gallon of gasoline on it.

The radicalization from that point on was inevitable, Saadeh entered in contact with members of the National Bloc, many disillusioned at the French arbitrariness and harshness of the new regime with no peaceful path towards independence in sight. At a secret meeting in Al-Raqqa, on the 27th of July 1943, Saadeh was able to position himself as leading figure of the upcoming struggle for Syrian independence around the principles of the SSNP, namely of a United, Secular, Strong Greater Syria to oppose sectarianism, colonialism, and Zionism. Koeltz's forces began to suffer increasing harassment from the growing rebellion as the control of the countryside was reduced to a mere nominal formality, the General requested forces from Europe, and Petain began to send in reinforcements to Syria where a shooting war was starting. The SSNP engaged through a growing paramilitary wing called "Eagles of the Whirlwind", launching fast strikes, capturing equipment leftover by the allies and even receiving support from contacts in the British Mandate of Palestine in order to weaken the French presence. The new Prime Minister of Britain, Atlee of the Labour Party, believed that the anti-colonialist cause of the SSNP could be manipulated against the French, not considering that it could terribly backfire in the long-term and instead trusting that such a movement could be properly "tamed" after independence. Ironically, the Germans also showed interest in the SSNP, Hitler commented to his inner circle that, while the European Empires were a powerful civilizing tool to the world, the French were squandering their own Empire, attempting to show strength only to be miserably beaten repeatedly by a group that they claimed to just be "uncivilized camel jockeys". The weakening of the French effort would only make it more dependent to the German sphere of influence, still rather informal before the creation of the Linz Pakt in 1945. Besides, Hitler held a strong admiration of Islam, although not of the Arabs per se, specifically of it's strong discipline and ethics that he considered superior to the "Jewified" Christianity. While the Reich naturally could not send direct support to an enemy of their supposed "friendly European nation", that did not stop the first contacts between the NSDAP and SSNP from being established in that time.

The French control over Syria was unsustainable, while a rebellion such as the Great Syrian revolt could've been crushed by force of arms, divisions and compromise such as happened before, that was not to be this time. The War-exhausted French society, with a nation attempting to recover from it's terrible economic disaster between 1940-1943, could not sustain a conflict over Syria. While General Koeltz and Chef Petain both desired to continue the fight, Laval began to work behind the scenes to salvage what was possible, the drains in the national reserves brought by a colonial conflict was something France couldn't afford, and the Germans instead desired the French economical effort directed towards paying the Versailles reparations in an ironical twist of History. General Koeltz was assassinated on the 17th of October 1943, killing one of the major proponents of the Syrian war, shortly afterwards, Saadeh made his move in Homs, once one of the major centers of the Syrian revolt. The Syrian forces formed a column in the city, with Saadeh declaring the independence of the "Syrian National Republic" and proclaiming an end both to the French dominion and the Syrian Republic, the march headed south gathering support from towns and headed towards Damascus. Saadeh was inspired by Mussolini's March on Rome, but was also careful to avoid Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch, the forces following Saadeh were made by a core of Arab veterans, including even some volunteers from the Free Arabian Legion, soldiers of the Afrika Korps. The French, disorganized from Koeltz's assassination a day earlier, attempted to mount a resistance, but a General strike was made in Damascus, with protesters closing down the streets and demanding the retreat of the Garrison. Laval met with Ribbentrop on the 19th at the German Embassy in Paris, and after several hours, he returned to meet with the aging Marshal. On the 20th of October 1943, Saadeh's column reached Damascus and the French forces were given a general order of withdraw. The Syrian war of Independence ended in a matter of months, Saadeh declaring Damascus as the capital of Greater Syria and later marching on Beirut, defeating the forces of the Lebanese Phalange, the nationalist rival of the SSNP, and incorporating the Republic into Syria. The French were forced to seek terms and recognize the Syrian independence, which was immediately followed by a recognition from London, Germania, and Washington.

Antoun Saadeh, the "Al-Zaim" (The Leader) as his followers named him, was never a man of National Socialist convictions, his doctrine radically opposed ethnic nationalism as "sectarian" and many times he had to go into Party meetings to remember, especially to the young wing, that Social Nationalism was not National Socialism. While he remained as such for the rest of his life, neither him or anyone else in the SSNP could deny that the Germans did provide a quite necessary technical and military help if they were willing to attach themselves to the principles of the nations of the Linz Pakt. Just as the French had adapted themselves to the new world, the SSNP began to embrace more overtly authoritarian policies, but Saadeh had an obstacle: The Syrian aristocracy, many hailing from the Ottoman times, still possessed great influence and that included the SSNP coalition partners of the National Bloc. Without a common enemy in the French, the unified movement that engaged in the assymetric warfare and marched on Damascus and Beirut was fragmenting itself, many not agreeing with the SSNP's dominance and calling for a General Election of the National Assembly, as well as for the office of President that was temporarily occupied by Saadeh. In 1944, the Syrian elections were called to February, being delayed until April 15th. With resources coming in from Germania and Rome, it was easy for the SSNP to achieve a plurality of seats, and Saadeh was elected President with 47% of the votes. It was a good result and yet not enough for Saadeh to push for a Social Nationalist Constitution without compromises, and so he had two options: Either compromise with the establishment like Mussolini or push stubbornly at any cost to implement his agenda like Hitler.

On the 10th of May, the Whirlwind struck against Saadeh's most fierce opposition: The Communists and Ba'athists, leaders of the movement were arrested on charges of conspiracy and treason, being executed almost on spot in show trials in Beirut. The land possessions of many of the more foreign-alligned and oppositionist leaders in Syria were seized by the State, to be used as communal lands. However, subtly many lands were instead turned over to other groups, in return of membership into the SSNP, many landowners and politicians were bribed and switched loyalties overnight, being assured of the Party's good intentions to Syria as a whole, or so they were told. With the political class either purged or tamed, Saadeh called for a Constitutional convention that led to the 1944 Constitution, based around the principles of the SSNP. All Executive and Legislative powers were given to the President of Syria, who would lead Syria as a Secular, Nationalist, Totalitarian State centered around the principles of Social Nationalism, the SSNP was enshrined as the sole legal party and representative of the National Democracy, it is clear how this System received the influence of the German and Italian "observers" during the process. With a total control of the Press, Saadeh was free to organize Syria as he wished, while the British only now realized the deathly mistake they had done. The Wehrmacht began to send their first "advisors", mainly veterans of the Afrika Korps, to organizing the Syrian army as it began it's creation, German-styled uniforms, German surplus weaponry from WWII, officers sent to train in the Reich. It was no surprise that by 1947 the Syrian army was nicknamed "The little Wehrmacht", placed under the command of General Adib Shishakli, one of Saadeh's loyalists and member of the SSNP youth wing who studied in the Reich between 1943 and 1946.

To the south, the situation in Palestine had apparently settled down since the Arab uprising was quelled in 1939, however tensions were beginning to rise again after 1943. Inspired by the Syrians, many in the Arab side were calling for independence as promised by the British in return of their support to the war effort. Jews, who were escaping Festung Europa at the thousands, also called louder than ever for a national home for the Jews, while militias from both sides clashed on the streets for territorial control. Atlee realized more than his predecessor that the Imperial dream was severely weakened by the World War, and some parts of the Empire were just far too costly in terms of manpower and maintenance to keep, especially one where the population of both sides demanded their exit. However, before leaving, the matter to settle was of the division of the territory and the mere mention of it was enough to provoke shootouts in Jerusalem. The Woodhead commission in 1939 proposed three different plans that were all rejected, different proposals were being presented by all sides from radical Zionists calling for all the Mandate to be a Jewish State to Arabs wanting to send the Jews into the sea, and obviously one side could not have complete leverage over the other. The atitude on Zionism in the west has been changing much ever since the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Kristallnacht, while the full picture of the horrors unleashed by the Reich was not seen in the west, the tales of refugees continued to feed into the public sympathy for the plight of the Jews. Ever since the aftermath of the 1939 revolt, the British attempted to appease the Arabs by limiting Jewish migration into the Mandate, with the Halifax government continuing such policy despite the growing public pressure during the war. In the Post-War, however, with the rise of the United States and the considerable Zionist sympathies in the Wheeler administration thanks to Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. A Jewish-American who made many efforts to convince Wheeler to give his support to the Jewish cause. However, there was a complete reversal of Wheeler's tacit support towards a Jewish state when Cordell Hull became President, known for instructing American consulates to deny Jewish visas to America during WWII.

Between 1943 and 1946, Thousands of Jews would arrive both legally and illegally into the Dominion, which was further sparking the tensions in the area, something the Germans began to use to stroke the fires of Antisemitism in the Middle East. Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and spokesman of the Arab cause had established contact with the Hitlerite regime, especially during the campaign of the Middle East while he was in exile in Italy. Husseini called for the alignment between Arabs and the Linz Pakt in the struggle against Anti-British colonialism, while also opposing Saadeh's regime due to it's secularism, claiming that a Christian should not lead a Muslim people, reffering to the fact Saadeh was an Orthodox Christian from Lebanon. Husseini's broadcasts, added with the increased immigration of Jews into the Mandate slowly boiled over the tensions, and inspired many Muslims to become volunteers in the Waffen-SS, especially in Bosnia against the Yugoslav Partisans. During the War, the Dominion contributed towards the defense of Egypt and the invasions of Syria and Iraq, something that many of the fighters expected to see was the promised compensation of the White Papers of 1939: The Promise of Independence.

The British expected to return the Mandate to the League of Nations, but the entity no longer held any moral authority to decide such matters ever since it failed it's primary goal of preventing the outbreak of the Second World War, furthermore, the German invasion of Switzerland saw the Linz Pakt destroy it's headquarters in Geneva. The Archives of the League were captured by the Reich, with Hitler boastingly declaring that the institution created by the "Zionist-Capitalists of London and New York" was dissolved, although by that time very few of it's member states still paid more than a formal recognition to it's efforts. Ultimately, the decisive change for the establishment of Israel came with the death of Cordell Hull and the rise of President Thurmond. While the young Dixiecrat was not a particular enthusiast of the Zionist cause, he presided over the decisive moment when Hitler made his Volkshalle Speech, considered one of the inaugural moments of the Cold War, and if there is one group of people that the Anglo-Americans could count on to oppose the Reich unconditionally, it was the Jewish settlers who fled from the Reich-dominated Europe. And besides, there was also the influence of Jewish Lobbysts in the American policies, as Thurmond did not wish to run for another term, many potential candidates were approaching the rich funds of such group, and it added up perfectly with the American ideal of self-determination. General MacArthur would make a speech during the Ceremony of the Japanese surrender on the 29th of January, calling for a better world to emerge out of "Peace, Tolerance, and Justice for all Free peoples", later openly giving his support for the Zionist cause, something his counterpart General Patton, refused to do, instead claiming that America should not be involving itself in the "Matters of Zion", unsurprising considering his track of antisemitic declarations.

An International Conference would be called in Philadephia held on January 1st 1946, attended by all nations, except for the Linz Pakt members who obviously denounced the conference as an Internationalist Conspiracy, the Japanese and it's satellite States who were at war with it's members, and the Russians due to the conflicting nature on who was the legitimate government. The Philadelphia Declaration would see the plan for the successor of the League of Nations, an organization headed the United States, China, Canada and the United Kingdom, The United Nations, brainchild of Cordell Hull. The city was chosen due to it's historical significance as the birthplace of Modern Democracy and Human Rights, at least according to Hull, as the Declaration of Independence and American Constitution were both written in there. The United Nations would be called to mediate the Palestinean Partition, and that's where the end of the Hull administration would prove decisive with the American delegation sent in February arguing in favor of a Jewish State, conflicting with the British as the later was attempting to keep friendly relations with the arabs after the Syrian fiasco, seeing as the Eastern Mediterranean was the only area of British interest still able to strike Southern Europe. The compromise was drafted by the General-Secretary and exiled Swedish Red Cross leader, Count Bernadotte, and it did not please either side: Bersheeba and the Jewish settlements in Negev would be given to the Arabs, while the Arabs would have to accept the existance of an independent Jewish State, while the Arab territory was given to the Hashemites of Transjordan as a British attempt to keep them a friendly State in the region. An Independent City-State of Jerusalem was established under International Mandate, with both Jews and Arabs allowed to send in one delegate to the executive council of the City. Naturally Husseini denounced the act as a ploy of Zionists, Saadeh denounced it as Jewish Imperialism, Hitler called it "A base for the enemies of the Reich and Free Europe to conspire to put them back into chains", and even the Jewish radicals of the Lehi group would attempt an assassination of Bernadotte. Ultimately, the plan would end up approved by the United Nations despite the Arab delegations walking out of the Assembly, but to most of the Jews, the plan was a God-sent gift: After 2 thousand years, an Independent Jewish State would be established in Israel, but the UN could only recommend such partition, the real implementation would take the cost of blood, and an unlikely alliance would emerge out of this bloodshed.



On the 18th of April 1947, just a day before the Mandate was set to expire as British troops were leaving, riots and open conflict between Jews and Arabs already started with the Haganah and Irgun militias fighting off the Arab ones, the intensification of these conflicts only had one inevitable end. Antecipating it, David Ben-Gurion, head of the Jewish Agency, declared the Independence of the State of Israel, and less than an hour later he would receive recognition from the United States, with British recognition in the following day. Ironically, the Reich was the first nation to "recognize" Israel by immediately condemning the creation of the "Nest of the Zionist Viper", and the Arab states did a similar "recognition" by shelling Jewish settlements, with Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia declaring an State of War. Al-Husseini, from his radio waves in Germania, called for a Jihadist War against Israel, calling for all Muslim faithful to "Gather under one cause, so that Israel will cease to exist and there shall be no memory of Israel". Curiously, Saadeh, despite condemning Israel, did not declare War, as he had a different plan for this situation. After barely surviving their greatest persecution, the Jewish people were now facing one last trial before finally achieving it's desired home. Anne Frank wrote in her diary that in Haifa, the climate was of both celebration and aprehension, for the final test had come, at the end of the page of the 18th of April, Anne wrote a biblical verse from the book of Isaiah 41:8-10.

“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."


View attachment 706343


The Arab forces did not fully commit in the start of the conflict, and yet they still outnumbered the Jewish militias at least 3-2, with the core of the troops being formed by 4,000 soldiers of the elite Arab Legion of King Abdullah Hussein of Jordan, veterans of the African Front. The first strike came at the isolated Jewish communities in the Negev around Bersheba, cut off from the main Israeli settlements, it was instrumental to ensure the Jordanian access to the Mediterranean sea in Gaza. The Arabs possessed the Air Superiority, thanks mostly to the Egyptians who possessed a surplus from the African front and due to it's frontier with Italian Libya, however, many of these assets remained static at the Italo-Egyptian border as a garrison. On the 24th of April, the Lehi, Haganah, and Irgun militias were formally forged into one, the "Israeli Protection Force" (IPF), with political differences being set aside, the Egyptians launched an attack at the City of Ashkelon, taken by the Jewish militias at the outbreak of the war, managing to push back the IPF forces despite the fierce resistance. It was something Arab forces came to notice during the conflict, the Jewish forces fought unlike any before, they were not as professional as the Axis or Allied troops during the previous war, but the fierce fanaticism and spirit of resistance was at a level not expected before. Hebrew troops fought surrounded by their families, with the families taking up arms alongside, from teenagers to elders, men and women, all knew that if this war was lost then there would have no more hope for the Jewish people, and that was shown when Arab militias massacred the citizens of Barnea, forcing around 80 civilians to march towards the beaches and swim into the sea while being shot at by the militiamen, made that way to fulfill the call of Al-Husseini to "drive them into the sea". It is no surprise that the troops in Bersheeba refused to surrender, many committing suicide instead when surrounded, or by bringing as many enemies as they could, inspired in the siege of Massada during the Jewish revolt of 70.

After the fall of Ascalon and with Bersheeba cut off, the Arab troops launched an attack towards Ashdod, headed towards Tel-Aviv, however disagreements between the Arab leaders on coordination showed, indeed many Egyptian troops were questioning why they should be fighting a war for the King of Jordan. That was the moment the greater cohesion of Israeli troops showed, with the arrival of a shipment of weapons coming from the United States in Tel Aviv, the defenders of Asdote would struggle to hold the city. A squadron of 7 American P-51s and 3 B-17s, some with the scars made by Japanese Anti-Air fire from Operation Sunset, launched an attack on the Arab forces, the shock of the attack hit the morale of the mostly Egyptian troops that halted their advance. Jordanian troops did not advance towards Netanya, which could have divided the Israeli State in two during that vulnerable month of June 1948, as King Abdullah did not have an interest in destroying the Israeli State, in fact he was known as a moderate leader who agreed in principle with the partition, having secured the Negev, Cisjordan, and an exit to the Mediterranean in Gaza. The King reached a secret agreement with the Jewish agency, where Jordanian troops would only stand on the defensive and not attack the State of Israel, and the fact he was made Supreme Commander of the Arab war efforts was a great boon to the Jewish campaign. An Iraqi force, nevertheless, attempted to attack Netanya, only to be repelled by the IPF. At this rate, both sides were exhausted by the conflict with a temporary truce mediated by the UN being called, and at that decisive hour, the Israeli forces were able to build up their strength, from roughly 30,000 troops to over 117,000 in a matter of months. The Arab forces would also use the opportunity to build up their forces, numbering around 68,000 in total. However, Jerusalem's neutrality was a sham, the city was a battleground between Jewish and Arab militias with the UN failing to establish order, the City council of Jerusalem was falling apart and soon, the City was divided into a Jewish and an Arab zone, in October, as the truce negotiations broke down, the Jordanian troops entered the Jewish zone under the pretext of "Securing the order of the city", the short-lived International City ended that same day, and soon IPF forces would launch a massive counter attack against Arab forces called "Operation Danny", capturing the Cities of Lydia and Ramla, pushing towards Jerusalem in an effort to rescue the surrounded Jewish population. Meanwhile another attack pushed the Egyptian troops to the south, retaking Ashkelon, and the territory of Northern Gallilee was taken from the local Arab militias by the better-armed Israeli forces. However, as soon as West Jerusalem was taken on the 20th of October, news came from the north that shock both the Arabs and Israelis.

Saadeh watched the conflict with great interest, for a moment he even considered joining the Arab coalition and secure Northern Israel during the critical first two months of the war. However, he preferred to await his perfect chance to launch a general strike at the levant, the capture of both Israel and Jordan could almost double the size of Syria, and taking the City of Jerusalem while overthrowing the Hashemites would not only strengthen his claim on Greater Syria, but also the destruction of Israel in what he believed to be a show of strength could perhaps achieve a better position for Syria to negotiate it's relationship with the Reich. The Syrian army was, by a far amount, the most well-trained and disciplined force in the region, with around 200,000 soldiers centered around the Syrian Legion, a force of 12,000 Wehrmacht-trained veterans, with several officers trained in Germania and Rome. However, Saadeh was as surprised as the Arab leaders in how the IPF was able to bounce back from it's initial defeats, and as it seemed as the Israeli forces were on the brink of victory, the plans could no longer be delayed. On the 20th of October, the day of celebration of when Syrian troops expelled the French from Damascus, artillery shells fired from the Golan Heights and 80,000 Syrian troops would cross into Israel and Jordan, with the initial objective being the capture of Haifa, Nazareth, and the Jordanian city of Irbid. German-manufactured Fw190 and Ju-87s flew over Israeli Cities, and a campaign of air bombing began, causing an initial wave of panic as Stuka syrens were heard, in the eyes of hundreds of thousands who had just escaped the horrors of the Reich, the Syrian Army was like the chariots of the Pharaoh: Their former tormentors pursued them as they fought to take their home, as if Hitler himself had arrived with his ever-victorious Legions to finish his work. But they would face this challenge, a Ceasefire made with the Arab League to keep the immediate frontlines as borders as they fought a common enemy. Iraqi, Saudi, and Egyptian troops began their retreat as they did not desire to face Syrian troops. Operation "Sennacherib", named after the Assyrian King who subdued the Levantine kingdoms after the death of Sargon, began the First Levantine War.


The initial Syrian attack was an enormous success, implementing German-styled "Bewegungskrieg" tactics, the local garrisons of the IPF and the Royal Jordanian Army were overwhelmed by the Syrian forces, but pockets of resistance, especially Israeli ones, managed to secure Naharya for long enough for the evacuation of Haifa to be called. The City's population was in an state of panic, as told by Anne's diary, the people fled south towards Netanya and Tel Aviv, many believing it to be the end while refugee columns were bombarded by Heinkel bombers, with the IPF's air force bravely fighting back against the Syrian overwhelming numbers. Others, on the other hand, remained to fight more determined than ever, taking up arms and rushing towards IPF conscription stations, elderly men she had barely seen walk were now holding American-made M1 Rifles to defend their homes, knowing that determination is what made Anne certain they would win the war. Her father, Otto, her mother Edith, and her sister Margot all joined with the IPF, which encouraged Anne herself to join, lying about her own age in a moment where nobody cared how old you were so long as you held a rifle. On the 29th of October, the Syrian Army of 27,000 troops approached the city after the fall of Naharya, with the news coming that Waffen-SS troops had joined up as volunteers, massacring all prisoners in the city and viciously striking down civilians who attempted to flee. The Whirlwind and the Swastika were working side by side as the Battle of Haifa began, with Moshe Dayam, commander of the Jerusalem front, being transferred to the Northern front to lead the defense. During the battle Margot Frank would die, with Otto receiving a leg injury from shrapnel, he refused to retreat and had to be dragged away by his unit, he would walk with a cane for the rest of his life. In the end, Haifa was not able to hold, but it gave the Syrians their first bloody nose, and in retaliation, the first to enter the city were the Waffen-SS volunteers, which formed the so-called "Crescent Brigade", made up mostly by Syrian volunteers. The City's population continued to fight an assymetrical warfare, but that would eventually be a doomed effort if the war was not won. Nazareth would fall on the 31st, and the capture of Irbid would weaken the Jordanian efforts in the war. However, Jordan began to fully mobilize it's effort, spinning the conflict as a war for Independence, a general mobilization was called while Israeli forces retreated south, the IPF attempting to hold off the Syrian attacks as long as possible for refugees to escape, many were already purchasing boat trips to New York at Tel Aviv and Jaffa, preparing for the inevitable arrival of the "Little Wehrmacht".

Israel and Jordan were not alone however, with the threat of a German-aligned State reaching near the gates of the Suez canal and the potential fall of Jordan further weakening British interests in Egypt, a meeting of the United Nations was called over the Levantine War. With the news of the Naharya and Haifa massacres arriving, the public perception of the conflict began to be mobilized. Many theorized a supposed "Domino Theory", if the British and Americans failed to oppose the German advances, eventually the nations of the Middle East, such as Turkey, Iraq and Iran, which already possessed sympathies towards the Reich, would lean to join the Linz Pakt, and a reignition of the war would lead to the fall of Egypt and the Suez canal, with even the possibility of an "Muslim Axis" invading India and declaring a Jihad on Africa. While some of these theories were a wild strech, it shows the panic that was beginning to grip The Democratic nations in the post-war years. However, many in America were still hesitant about a foreign adventure less than a year since the traumatic and destructive Operation Sunset, the memories of the Purple medals and graves being ingrained in American memory for at least a Generation. However, the Thurmond Administration saw that as a Test, the first challenge towards the Reich, and what better way to do so than protecting Hitler's greatest enemies? On the 6th of November1947, the United Nations approved an Intervention force to secure the peacekeeping of the former mandate, led by American General Omar Bradley, a force of 40,000 troops would be sent to Israel, however it would take time to ensure the logistics and the landing of the UN forces, especially as the control of the Linz Pakt at Djbouti and Gibraltar meant that these troops would have to be transported through Iraq or by land through Egypt and Sudan. However, the intervention meant that Saadeh's time was running short, and so he doubled the deploment of Syrian troops, planning to launch two main assaults: One going through the coast towards Tel Aviv and one through the Jordan River valley to capture the strategic and morally important city of Jerusalem. Operation "Whirlwind" was launched on the 10th of September, and for both Israel and Jordan there was only one thing both former enemies could do: Hold their ground.

The strike towards Tel-Aviv, led by Syrian General Fawzi Selu, followed alongside the coast towards Netanya. Selu was a man who was not fighting in his comfort zone, while he fought for Syria, he was less particularly enthusiastic to follow the Anti-Semitic dogma of the SSNP, being disgusted by the actions of the Waffen-SS and the Syrian Legion during the war, he instead desired for peace with Israel. Obviously he did not voice his opinions, fealing to fallout with Saadeh and the SSNP like his Predecessor General Za'im and end up executed for Treason as he did in 1945, but his hesitation is what gave the IPF the chance to organize the defense of Tel Aviv. General Yagael Yadin narrates how things were on the 14th of Novemberin his headquarters, seeing the civilian population in a chaotic race to the ports, refugees telling the stories of the horror unleashed by the Syrian Legion, the panic was beginning to take hold and waver the morale of his troops. However, they would receive the visit of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, which alongside Yadin would call for a fierce battle of resistance to save the Jewish people. The IPF possessed little more than 100,000 troops, with around 50,000 volunteer militiamen, while the Syrian column towards Tel Aviv, headed by the feared Waffen-SS and the Syrian Legion, possessed 80,000 troops. Meanwhile, the first volunteers from Britain and America would begin arriving, with ships carrying much needed ammunition and heavy equipment, from M4 Sherman tanks, to the first British "Centurion" MBTs, going against the German-built Panzer IVs and Panthers, with the Syrians also possessing a few E-50 MBTs, one of the newer additions to the Wehrmacht arsenals, attached to the Waffen-SS brigade to be tested in battle. Between the 17th and 20th of November, Tel Aviv would be under the relentless assault of the Syrian army, however, trained in Wehrmacht tactics, the terrain soon proved a hindrance to the Syrian army, as soon General Selu and Saadeh would realize that said tactics were not adequate to urban warfare, with an attempt to encircle the city by cutting it off from Jerusalem failing at the Battle of Lydia. The Air War began to change as the American planes began to arrive, the P-51 proving a superior fighter to the Fw 190 and the Me 262 losing it's dominance against the P-80. Soon the offensive stagnated, all while the Syrian fortunes met it's decisive turn at the gates of Jerusalem.

“Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:
“He will not enter this city
or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield
or build a siege ramp against it.
By the way that he came he will return;
he will not enter this city,”
declares the Lord.
“I will defend this city and save it,
for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!”

Isaiah 37:33-35
View attachment 706381

Ever since it was founded, Jerusalem has been a battlefield, probably no other city in the world has been so central to history, religion and culture than "King David's City". Between the 15th of November and the 1st of December 1947, the Syrians once more descended upon the city to take it when a curious event happened: Both Israelis and Jordanian Arabs fought alongside one another to protect the City. When the Syrian army entered, many of the Palestineans rejoiced an alternative to both Hashemite and Zionist rule, but once Saadeh began to implement the Syrian policies, from the secret police, the secularization, the seizing of farmlands, and the devastation caused especially by SS troops, many preferred to remain loyal to Abdullah and Jordan. There were thousands of defections to the Syrian side, less out of belief in a "Greater Syria" than out of an anger directed at the Jordanian "moderation" towards the Israelites, but many more stayed loyal. Led by General Adib Shishakli, Chief of Staff of the Syrian Army, around 85,000 troops of the Syrian army would approach the city from the East, and although the initial plan expected a quick victory in Tel Aviv with a push coming in from the West by General Selu's troops, that was quickly frustrated by the stubborn defense of Tel Aviv, General Shishakli settled down his troops for a siege, attacking Moshe Dayam's lifeline in West Jerusalem, which kept the city supplied in the so-called "Road to Life". Despite three different attempts to dislodge the troops, the three times the IPF just barely held out, 45,000 troops were allowing the supplies of the of the most important cities in the world to go through the Syrian lines, while the Jordanians supported the IPF's efforts to keep the road to life open, while defeating a secondary Syrian attack towards Amman, the Jordanian capital and harassing the Syrian supply lines at the Jordan river valley. Meanwhile, the first International forces began to arrive, with the defense of Tel Aviv held, supplies were flowing into the Holy Land through American airlift from Egyptian Air bases and the port cities of Jaffa and Gaza. Troops began to gather from Iraq to Amman in order to prepare for the offensive, and as intelligence began to notice the buildup of UN forces, General Shishakli attempted to gamble in an all out attack at Jerusalem on the 28th, resulting in four days of intense urban combat between troops of the Syrian Legion against the IPF and the Arab Legion. Eventually the Jordan Valley offensive forced the Syrian army to retreat, saving the Holy City of it's imminent invaders.

The failure of Operation Whirlwind resulted in the Syrian defeat, and the counter-offensive named "Operation Firestorm", as soon as the UN forces began gathering in strength, a massive counter attack was ordered on the 20th of December, the exhausted Syrian army stood no chance against the combined UN, IPF, and Jordanian forces, sent back to retreat northwards, abandoning the valley of the Jordan and headed back towards the Haifa-Nazareth-Irbid line. For the first time, American and German troops would fight one another during the push towards Haifa, while the USAAF and RAF dominated the skies, launching a bombing campaign of Syria that resembled the fights of WWII, including the use of Napalm, although the military was more restrained from the total war setting in Japan. On the 10th of January, the Syrian defensive line would be broken, with Haifa being liberated by American and IPF troops, the locals who underwent the brutal months of occupation would welcome them as liberators. During the occupation Anne would lose her mother, killed as part of an execution in retaliation to the killing of a Syrian soldier, but both her and her father survived, coming to greet the American troops in Sherman tanks headed north, as well as the IPF's troops that her father was a part of, despite his injuries, he trailed behind with the troops back to his home. Israel, like the Frank family, suffered terrible losses, with devastation across it's northern land, but like them, it survived it's darkest hour, the Whirlwind and the Swastika would go to the North, where many awaited for a final battle to end Saadeh's regime and secure the safety of Israel from the immediate northern danger, but that would not happen.

Fearing that the fall of Syria would embolden the allies, with the Reich still focused on the reorganization of Europe, the Linz Pakt mobilized, sending an Ultimatum that the crossing of any of the UN troops into Syrian territory will be considered an attack on the Pakt itself. Gibraltar was closed off, the Regia Marina mobilized it's assets on the Eastern Mediterranean, German troops and supplies began to arrive at the ports of Beirut and Latakia, Luftwaffe plans were put on high alert and troops in Libya began to be partially mobilized. The message was clear: The United Nations had it's victory, they defended Israel for now, but go further north would mean the restart of the Second World War. General Bradley's troops were ordered to halt at the foot of the Golan Heights as the intense debate began in the Pentagon, Warhawks such as General Patton and Governor-General of Japan MacArthur called for a push "All the way to Hitler's Summer House", cooler heads thought of the enormous human cost that such war would entail, although MacArthur claimed that "With 50 nuclear bombs I can deliver Europe before this Christmas". Atlee and the British, especially, were worried over the fact the invasion of Festung Europa meant Britain would be in the frontlines, with thousands of German missiles ready to fire at London before any interceptation, the Wasserfall Project and the Atlantik Wall meant that an invasion of the mainland would cost perhaps more than even Operation Sunset. While the allies of the Reich in France and Italy meant that the war would reach Africa and the Middle East, with unrest growing in Arab territories and India, the last thing London needed was a restart of hostilities, but the final word would come from President Thurmond, who ordered the troops to stand down at the border. A Ceasefire was made between Israel and Jordan with Syria, restoring the Status Quo borders.

On the 14th of January 1948, the First Levantine War would end, a Status Quo was declared, being a strategic Israeli victory, the first time the Allied forces defeated an "Axis" power. Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan, with Israel managing to expand it's territory beyond the original Bernadotte Plan, an agreement being made with Abdullah to protect the Jewish settlements in Bersheba by making it an Autonomous Zone. The Arab-Israeli tensions were far from over, but for once both sides could breathe in relief. Saadeh was bloodied but not beaten, instead he would be pushed to taking more authoritarian actions in retaliation to the supposed "treason" of commanders such as General Fawzi Selu, whose cautiousness was considered a decisive factor in the defeat at Tel Aviv, which in certain way saved the lives of hundreds of thousands from the fury of his own troops. The relations between the Reich and the Allies became even colder, with the conflict being considered one of the beginnings of the Cold War and the American Grey Scare. As for the Israelis, Ben-Gurion would proudly declare that "The Jewish people, with the support and compassion of the Free world, dealt the first defeat of it's greatest persecutor. Israel shall forever be an enemy of Hitler and his vile regime, he will find nothing but the determination of a people that has learned to fight back."​
Another great update, looks like it has the qualities of OTL Korean War.
 
Here is a question: You are President Thurmond just as the Reich made its ultimatum. Would you go ahead and invade Syria starting a World War or back down? Would you go with Mac’s “50 Nukes for Europe” plan?
 
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Jes Lo

Banned
If you had a sufficient Arsenal would you attack?
If Operation Sunset was as costly as described, the metaphorical and literal fallout of Operation Göttendämmerung
would make the cost too immeasurable to be anywhere near worth the effort.
Btw, sometime when you have the time for it, a little something about Democratic Europe would be interesting.
 
If Operation Sunset was as costly as described, the metaphorical and literal fallout of Operation Göttendämmerung
would make the cost too immeasurable to be anywhere near worth the effort.
Btw, sometime when you have the time for it, a little something about Democratic Europe would be interesting.
Democratic Europe? What Democracy?
Laughs in Reich

You mean Britain?
 

Jes Lo

Banned
Democratic Europe? What Democracy?
Laughs in Reich

You mean Britain?
I noticed on the map how it's Britain and its holdings, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. I know they barely count as "Europe" as they're all island states, but I just call it that to give it a name. It wouldn't be long, obviously, but it'd be interesting to see these few nations interacting with each other diplomatically, especially the UK and Ireland. I also assume Iceland would enter "NATO" if any parallel organization is founded in this story.
 
I noticed on the map how it's Britain and its holdings, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. I know they barely count as "Europe" as they're all island states, but I just call it that to give it a name. It wouldn't be long, obviously, but it'd be interesting to see these few nations interacting with each other diplomatically, especially the UK and Ireland. I also assume Iceland would enter "NATO" if any parallel organization is founded in this story.
I do not know enough about Ireland, Iceland and Greenland to go in deep about their inner politics but there will likely be an UK chapter in the future.
 

Jes Lo

Banned
I do not know enough about Ireland, Iceland and Greenland to go in deep about their inner politics but there will likely be an UK chapter in the future.
I could give you insight into the latter two and the Faroe Islands if you're interested. The one I know the least about is Ireland. The most I can say about it is how it was strictly neutral and opposed to entering the war due to anti-British sentiment. On top of that you had politicians, a few paramilitaries and certain sections of the public either apathetic or sympathetic towards Germany to varying degrees. You'd have a very weird situation between the UK and Ireland during and after the war, with the nationalists not particularly keen on pursuing a relationship with the UK. With the Allies losing the relationship could either degrade or improve depending on how much blame the UK might place on Ireland's neutrality. If you have the Troubles take place, you'd be seeing openly UK/UN-backed Loyalists/Unionists and British forces against Nationalists/Republican forces, some of them backed by Germany, turning it into another Cold War proxy. There's less to tell about the other three, but they'd be impacted from being isolated from the other Nordics, especially Denmark.
 
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