The North Star is Red: a Two Chinas, Two Japans, Alternate Cold War TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by TastySpam, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1 - Introduction

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    Considered, but rejected titles include: The Place Promised In Our Early Days. So without ado, here's the POD intro post.

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    The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima, Surrender of Japan, and Start of the Chinese Civil War

    The Trinity Test was originally scheduled for July 16th, but after a freak fire during the May 7th rehearsal, it was delayed until July 31th[...][1]

    The American delegates argued that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima was the crucial catalyst that forced Japanese surrender, but the Soviet delegates were skeptical. The bombing, on August 11th, took place after the qualified Japanese acceptance of the Potsman Conference...it did not seem credible to most outside observers that the event precipitating surrender was anything but the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, though the Americans insisted that it helped push the Japanese towards unconditional surrender[...]

    Soviet diplomats were firmly unwilling to compromise on the original agreement to divide Japan and Korea into occupation zones. Although the Americans hoped to place the entire Japanese mainland under their new SCAP government, they were unable to convince Moscow to relent. In contrast, the United Kingdom and China both agreed to fold their occupation zones in SCAP...the Soviet occupation zone included Hokkaido and the Tohoku region, while the rest of the Home Islands were placed under SCAP[...]


    [​IMG]
    [2]

    Viewing the Soviet presence in Japan as a more pressing concern, the State Department convinced Marshall to dissuade Chiang Kai-Shek from flooding Manchuria with troops, trashing the earlier American plan to ferry hundreds of thousands of troops into the region.[3] Chiang Kai-Shek responded with rage at his American advisors when Manchuria quickly fell to Communist forces, ignoring the American excuse that it might have been worse had he fought a losing battle there[...]
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    [1]: I just delayed the atomic bombing, so they don't scare the Soviets into accepting unified American control of Japan. I am aware that there is a historical dispute over why Japan surrendered, but there's pretty much a consensus among Japanese historians that it was the invasion of Manchuria and the atomic bombings primarily kept the Soviets out (which is why left-wing historians are angrier about it). Even if you disagree, hey, it makes the TL a lot easier to set up. :)
    [2]: Picture is not my own, but rather from real history.
    [3]: OTL, Marshall encouraged Chiang Kai-Shek to send troops to Manchuria and the USA actively helped ferry them there via airlift. Ironically, staunch American support actually hurt the KMT here. From what I can tell, the idea that the USA "lost China" by not supporting the KMT is a more 1950's political attack than truth.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 2 - The End of the Chinese Civil War

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    The End of the Chinese Civil War

    Outside of Chiang Kai-Shek, much of the KMT was shocked at the speed of Communist advancement in Manchuria after the break-down of the United Front in 1946. The Communists immediately established total control of the countryside, with KMT garrisons in the industrial cities quickly surrounded and destroyed. This stood in stark contrast to the rest of China, where the KMT faced a strong rural guerilla movements, but did not lose total control.[1]

    Outside of the Northeast however, the KMT remained on the offensive. The Communists were strongest in three other regions. First, the traditionally left-leaning Shandong peninsula, second the Yan’an base area, and third Henan province near the Yellow River, where the KMT was still despised for its role in the 1938 Yellow River Floods, a scorched earth policy that led to nearly one million deaths.[2]

    Reinforced by troops that would have otherwise been sent to guard the now-lost cities of Northeastern China, KMT armies quickly established control over central China, seizing control of the Yan’an.However Shandong seemed impossible to crack for KMT troops. The Northeastern Field Army under Lin Biao, transferred from Manchuria to Shandong inflicted horrible losses on advancing KMT troops.[3]

    By 1948, after another costly failure to dislodge Communist forces from Shandong, Soviet foreign affairs began to reassess the nature of the Civil War. Moscow had originally judged Mao’s endeavor as hopeless and ironically, much like many Americans, initially hoped for a coalition government in China However, they began to see that as unlikely and suspect that a Communist buffer state in Manchuria might be preferable. In addition, Chiang Kai-Shek’s began to soften, as his American advisors, worried about the situation in Japan, encouraged him to spend less time trying to crack the Northeast and more time on solidifying his control of the rest of the country, where the KMT seemed to advance more easily.

    On 1948, Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong informally agreed to the Hurley Agreement, setting the Line of Control.[4] Perhaps cleverly for the KMT, the territory left under Communist control was roughly analogous to the territories of former Manchukuo and Mengkukuo, leading to a generation of young Chinese being taught to revile “Red Manchukuo.” The KMT did not recognize Soviet control over the Ili region of Xinjiang, but had no means to dislodge them.

    In a shock to international observers, Mao then declined to sign the agreement and resigned, turning over power to Lin Biao, successful commander of the Northeastern Field Army, claiming that he had “better things to do than sing in a yellow cage” (yellow being the traditional color of the Manchus), before disappearing.[5] Lin immediately signed the agreement.

    Depicted below: ROC lands under Communist Chinese occupation (light red) and Soviet occupation (dark red). As shown, the Communist-Nationalist border largely follows the Great Wall of China and the Ordos Loop (of the Yellow River). Beijing, Tianjin, and Ordos remain under KMT control, while Changde, Hohhot, and Datong remain under Communist control.

    [​IMG]

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    [1] OTL, the KMT rushed hundreds of thousands of troops to guard several cities , including modern Shenyang and Changchun, which fell when the CPC destroyed those armies. Here, they don’t, and those cities just fall immediately with fewer KMT losses.
    [2] This is actually OTL.
    [3] This is the same army behind PLA victories in the decisive Liaoshen Campaign, so they’re presumably the PLA’s crack troops.
    [4] Patrick Hurley gets brought out of retirement to convince a largely successful KMT that they don’t need to drive into Manchuria.
    [5] He’s planning something! Also, Lin Biao becomes the natural successor because he leads the most successful PLA army of the war, the Northeastern Field Army, and because well, Mao has his own internal calculations.
    Disclaimer: I will try to make this map look better one day.
     
  3. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

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    Will North China be a "mega-North Korea", complete with a psychotic expy of the Kim family by any chance?
     
  4. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    actually I could see them merging or as you say on the same page in goofyville
     
  5. Noblesse Oblige Reaper Squad Member

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    Two Chinas, Two Japans...will this include Two Koreas to complete the North Star Hat Trick?
     
  6. Tal Shiar Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Tal Shiar

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    If Stalin has occupational zone in Japan, then he must have taken South Korea too.

    I think that the Japanese communists will secure more independence than European satellites of the Soviet Union. They are further from the Soviet lands, they are strategically important - if they approach US then Soviets will lose influence on the Home Islands. Some sort of Socialism with Japanese characteristics maybe?
     
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  7. Noblesse Oblige Reaper Squad Member

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    Well further in the sense that it's far from the main Soviet centre of power, and you do have a point there. I dunno how it would develop though, I suppose it depends on if a Sino-Soviet divide still happens.
     
  8. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps a better way to put it is a very different page of goofyville? At the heart of it, Northeastern China and North Korea are fundamentally very different societies and cultures. And that has some impact. For example, East Germany, Romania, and Hungary ended up very different kind of states, albeit with common themes. Course, I'm not exactly sure yet if NK develops OTL.

    I had to double-check, but the division in Korea arose because the US/USSR couldn't agree on a unified coalition government in Korea, which is the same thing that happened in China. Except war didn't break out because of relatively smaller armies. That shouldn't be changed, so yeah, Two Chinas, Two Japans, Two Koreas, Two Scoops of Ice Cream.

    Yes, though outside of Eastern Europe, that was kind of the norm for even Soviet-aligned Communist states. Think Cuba and Vietnam, both of whom were USSR-aligned but had distinct systems.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  9. dbakes994 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...
     
  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 3 - The “Red Marshall” (“赤元帥”) of Japan

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    The “Red Marshall” (“赤元帥”) of Japan
    It remains difficult to open an modern article on the Occupation of Japan without encountering a flurry of Japanese invective against the “Red Marshall”, the derisive nickname given to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, Douglas MacArthur.

    Although MacArthur at first took a conciliatory approach to the preexisting Japanese political order, shelving an early proposal to ban former Imperial-era legislators from politics and limiting it to only supporters of the war [1], tensions between MacArthur and local Japanese politicians quickly became toxic upon the release of MacArthur’s draft Japanese constitution. MacArthur’s constitution, as drafted by Milo Rowell and Beate Sirota, was immediately attacked as radical. The Constitution cribbed sentences from the US Declaration of Independence (“the consent of the governed”), instituted a gender equality clause, guaranteed the right to strike, renounced war as a tool of government, instituted separation of church and state, and restricted the Emperor to being a “symbol of the state.”[2]

    Furthermore, although he declined to purge many wartime politicians (at the apparent behest of President Truman), MacArthur clearly favored the moderate (Christian) socialist Tetsu Katayama [3], in his failed attempt to prevent division of Japan, further angering conservatives.

    After Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama informed MacArthur that he needed to make several changes to the Constitution if he wanted to guarantee the Diet would ratify it, MacArthur responded by dissolving the Japanese diet. Japan went to the elections for the second time in 1946 (the first time in April, this time in October). The elections returned a Socialist plurality, and Tetsu Katayama was made Prime Minister.[4]

    The Katayama Government (1946-1948)
    [​IMG]

    However, MacArthur failed to placate the Communists, who demanded a total elimination of the role of the Japanese Emperor, the removal of all symbols of Empire (including the flag), and a constitutional recognition of state control of industry.[5] However, the fact that the Communists supported the Constitution with only some changes further outraged Japanese conservatives, who tarred MacArthur as a covert Communist. Meanwhile the Communist-controlled North continued to drift farther and farther away.
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    [1] ITL, due to the worryingly close Communist threat, the USA bans fewer wartime Japanese politicians from office, sparing many of those who opposed the war, chief among them Ichiro Hatoyama, who ends up a MacArthur opponent.
    [2] All OTL.
    [3] Also OTL.
    [4] OTL, this election outcome happened in early 1947.
    [5] In OTL, the Japanese Communist Party supported the MacArthur Constitution but proposed some amendments.
    Note: MacArthur is a stubborn person and governs almost the exact same way he did in OTL, not letting external differences change his positions. However, this leads to drastically different career and reputation outcomes in a Japanese political atmosphere that is significantly more spooked by Communism than OTL.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  11. CommanderVonBruning In command of the torpedo gunboat 'Blitz'

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    Watched.
     
  12. TheMoonUnderWater Well-Known Member

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    i love that MacArthur is seen as a Red lol
     
  13. Tal Shiar Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Tal Shiar

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    Can you imagine McCarthy accusing MacArthur on being a communist? That would be fun to write and fun to read :)
     
  14. Noblesse Oblige Reaper Squad Member

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    Well things are started to ramp up quickly.

    With Communists in control of the North, they must've been a bit more emboldened to try and bring the rest of the country to that red spectre.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Chapter 4 - The Second Chuang Guandung

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    The Second Chuang Guandung

    The migration of millions of pro-Communist peasants from the Yan’an Base Area (Shanxi and Gansu) and Shandong was the largest migration into Northeastern China since the original Chuang Guandung.[1][2] This “settler heritage” would eventually became integral to the national identity of the People’s Republic. Before his resignation, Chairman Mao had impressed on his lieutenants the importance of population size to national power, and historical documentation suggests that one of Mao’s last official orders was for local Communist commissars in “liberated areas” to take back as many people with them as possible in order to maximize the population of the People's Republic.[3]

    Another consequence of the quick fall of the Northeast to Communist forces was that the KMT was unable to keep its promise to the other Allied powers - to safely and securely repatriate Japanese settlers back to Japan. The Mao-Lin government outraged Tokyo by refusing to repatriate those settlers due to one simple calculus - it needed more human capital. Despite largely being very poor, stranded Japanese settlers were relatively well-educated.[4] PRC officials also suspected that many of these settlers might go instead to the American zone of Japan, which it saw as an enemy.

    In the midsts of all of these radical changes, Chairman Lin declared the formation of the People’s Republic of China (Zhungxua Rhenmin Gungxeguo).

    At the end of the Second Chuang Guandung, the Republic of China controlled territory with 460 million residents. The People’s Republic of China controlled territory with 64 million residents, including 16 million immigrants from the South and 1 million Japanese settlers.[3]

    Oddly enough, upon the conclusion of the civil war, huge swaths of the PLA was somehow absent and unaccounted for. The First (Yan'an), Third (Shandong), and Fourth (Manchuria) Field Armies crossed the Great Wall. To the surprise of even most CPC members...the Second Field Army never showed up.
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    [1] Weird romanization is on purpose. Genius cookie to anyone who can guess why.
    [2] Chuang Guandong is the term for the mass migration of Han Chinese into today’s Northeastern China during the Late Qing Empire. Guandong means east of the gate (of the Shanhai Pass), the famous pass in the Great Wall of China which the Manchus invaded through in 1644. Guandong is the closest Chinese analogue to the term "Manchuria", which does not exist in China.
    [3] OTL Mao was a big believer in the idea that more population = more power. Not to editorialize, but it's kind of ironic when you think about it…
    [4] There is some parallel with TTL PRC's treatment of Japanese and how the USSR banned Jewish emigration.
    [5] 16 million immigrants out of 64 million residents is roughly 25%, which is about the same proportion of modern Taiwan’s population that came over in 1949. OTL Taiwan had 6.1 million, which swelled to 8 million.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  16. varyar Who?

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    Gee. Can't imagine where they might be and what they might be doing.

    (btw, [3] is listed twice in the actual text.)
     
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  17. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Fixed.

    Also, I'd actually be really impressed if anyone correctly guessed what's up.
     
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  18. Threadmarks: Chapter 4.5 - Flag of the People's Republic of China

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    (Flag of the People's Republic of China) [1]
    ---
    [1] The rather unoriginal flag is a result of two things. 1) The fact that most artists and creative types are South of the Great Wall and 2) the adoption of the Five Races flag is a distinct shot against the KMT, representing the PRC's staunch anti-KMT ideology.
     
  19. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

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    Why not "recycle" one of the flags of the Chinese Soviet Republic?
     
  20. Xianfeng Emperor Amateur Iran-o-phile

    IIRC a significant portion of the intelligentsia were rather pro-Communist throughout the Chinese civil war.
     
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