The North Star is Red: a Wallace Presidency, KMT Victory, Alternate Cold War TL

First of all i want to apologise to @TastySpam . Your timeline didn't deserve all this drama and all the attention should be focused on its developing.

I read FoM to start to finish, often posting comments on it. I should have posted my criticism there but i was afraid to start needless drama so i stayed quiet. My stupidity however is causing needless drama on another timeline that didn't deserve it.

But i have to say this for myself and to quite literally sleep well at night

Oh no, i am sure you didn’t realise the unfortunate implications that a reader can found in your handling of decolonisation and fascism but unfortunately there are quite a few of them.

For example the Congo. You pointed this out as one of the examples that your timeline does not glorify colonial empires. Except that the Congo in FoM didn't collapse because of the Belgians, did it? He collapsed because you made Patrice Lumumba a Marxist. You obviously didn’t bother to explain why Lumumba in your timeline is willing to embrace communism, even though in real life he never showed any particular sympathy for the Soviet Union and that in FoM the Soviet Union has lost all legitimacy and already has abandoned its allies in the past.

Of course this is problematic enough when you consider that in real life Lumumba was literally cut into small pieces as the US was concerned that he was secretly a Communist. In FoM it almost seems to confirm that they were right to commit such a crime, that if Patrice Lumumba had lived the shadow of the Kremlin would have extended to the center of Africa.

There is also the problem of how you solved the Congo crisis: it was not solved by the Congolese but by the intervention of France through one of its puppets .. I mean allies.

So the Congo crisis in FoM was caused by the vilification of one of the best known victims of the Cold War paranoia and solved by the intervention of a European power that restored peace to a nation at war and heroically placed said country under its protective wing.

But hey Lumumba isn't the only one to have suffered a similar fate in FoM.

After all, what you wrote about Rhodesia is another glaring problem with your timeline. You see, unlike Ian Paisley, Ian Smith, he never repented for what he did, did he? Even in his final days he has always maintained that the defense of his eighteenth-century racial ideas was more than enough to justify all the chaos, death and violence that occurred under his rule.

In FoM, however, this man is suddenly sane, presented as a reasonable authority figure who obviously hopes to find a peaceful solution with the rebels.

Meanwhile Mugabe is the same asshole as OTL and all the other rebels who in OTL opposed him and his policies are either dead, inexistent or completely willing to collaborate with Ian Smith to create a better future.

But hey the way you talked about it at least the Europeans suffered severe repercussions for their actions right? Except it didn't happen.

I still remember discussions of how De Gaulle's decision to use an atomic bomb against the FNL would have probably made the war in Algeria even more brutal, but in the end there was no consequence.

As in Vietnam, France simply killed a few individuals in particular and suddenly the war was won, with all the other resistance groups completely disappearing.

And what about Africa under fascist rule? Libya and Morocco are perfectly integrated with no protests and resistance with almost no explanation outside of "Rome and Madrid send more and more of their citizens to live in colonies" and "the natives are treated with respect" (forget the fact that historically this would have been contrary to the founding principles of Italy and Spain's governments) and only Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia were in a worse situation than OTL because of the Roman Alliance. In fact, Ethiopia is the only one of these examples to achieve independence and the only country in all of Africa whose independence leaders were not vilified or non-existent.

Seriously if one looks at the map of Africa at the end of FoM he will notice that more or less 75% of the continent is still one way or another under European control (with most of these territories not even considering the idea of pursuing indipendence after WW2 for fearr of a fascist invasion) and that these parts of the continent are presented as the most developed.

The message seems to be more "Africans need European help to have a stable society" than "Africans can achieve greatness independently".

Oh by the way the part about Libya? I wasn't exaggerating, Mussolini was a white supremacist whose views wouldn't have been out of place at a KKK rally or on the Stormfront website. As early as 1921 he had been advocating theories of "white genocide", arguing that blacks were in the process of overtaking the number of whites through the large number of their births. His position regarding the natives of the colonies? He promoted a series of racial discrimination laws considered extremely severe even for the other European colonial powers. He literally freacked out and wrote a telegram of protest after reading a report of a non-commissioned officer playing cards with a native Eritrean.

But of course I imagine a counter-argument could be that somehow the fact that having his life saved by a fictional character may have persuaded Mussolini to abandon his racist and anti-Semitic positions (in 1919 he blamed the Jews for the Russian revolution), right? Except that this doesn’t explain why suddenly all the other colonial powers are doing the same

Of course , but it is difficult not to notice that all the historical leaders who could endanger European domination in Africa are the ones continually and constantly vilified or more simply don't exist in the timeline.

Oh, I really believe it. This is why I am surprised at how you managed to glorify fascism without realizing it.

You will obviously wonder how you did such a thing, pointing to the war crimes committed during FoM's Ethiopian War as clear evidence that this is not the case.

But the problem is, you washed away the worst aspect of fascism to tell your story.

You see the problem with your interpretation of Benito Mussolini is that he has little or nothing in common with the man who led my country in some of the most disastrous militant defeats in our history.

You know what the problem is with using massive doses of Historical Hero Upgrade with the founder of fascism? That fascism itself receives such massive doses.

You didn’t just give us a more heroic portrait of Mussolini and half of Europe's dictators of the time but also of the Fascist ideology itself.

You didn't just created a more heroic version of that wretched bald asshole who brought my country to ruin, but of all of his ideology. Suddenly, when Mussolini develops a coscience, the same happens with fascism. Suddenly this ideology shifts from the constant search for another to hate, to the sudden need to protect of Jews and other minorities. Now it would not be a problem if you did it only with Mussolini, but you did it with all the dictators allied to him, including Franco who IRL was ready to compile lists with the names of Spanish Jews to be delivered to Hitler. Suddenly all these people acquire an intense desire to protect a group particularly dear to Mussolini, even if ia lot of them in real life they were fervent anti-Semites.

You have not simply made Italy, Spain or Bulgaria more competent than OTL, but fascism itself. The economic ruin, the military disasters caused by the paranoia of the dictators towards their armies, the stagnation of cultural life caused by fascism are almost completely ignored if not for a brief mention. Suddenly, together with morality, fascism found competence. I don't think you understood the gravity of this while you were writing FoM. You probably just wanted to have a more competent Italy than usual but at the same time you also introduced the idea that fascism can work, maybe with some obstacles but it can still work.

You made sure that all of Mussolini's plans were a complete success from his military adventures to his diplomatic projects, you made sure that fascist Italy was able to develop atomic bombs and even get to the moon, without suffering from the problems and failures that plagued the USSR in OTL. You made fascism an acceptable ideology by repeatedly testifying that FoM is not treated with the same level of disgust as OTL.

All the incompetence, the corruption that afflicted Mussolini's reign here are non-existent. They certainly made themselves heard at the end of your timeline ... some thirty years after the POD.

You managed to glorify fascism without realizing it, simply by making it survive and thrive for so long.

I don't expect you to understand. I don't think it's easy to imagine the ridicule and madness that Mussolini's regime managed to achieve in our timeline long before the start of WW2. But you still ignored that incompetence or at least significantly downplayed it to tell your story.

A story about the darkest period of my country, about a small and selfish dictator whose thirst for power even led him to kill his wife and son that completely ignores what fascism has represented and still represents for some, including me. You basically turned Mussolini in a man he couldn’t and didn’t want to be for a literary exercise

I am not angry with you nor do I accuse you of having fascist sympathies (maybe monarchist sympathies are more likely) but God I am happy not to live in FoM.

Dude, i should have told you the first time you used it. This is not evidence nor it is an article about Henry Wallace. It is quite iterally a very poor defence of Trump's actions regarding his deals with Russia, entirely based on Whataboutism.
We have far more researched and well written articles about Henry Wallace and a quite a few members of this site are experts or at least know a lot about him and his actions during the 1948 elections.
All of them tend to paint a very different portrayal of the man.

I also wish to point out that seeing that your timeline has basically the Republicans becoming the only party in the US and another series of plot-points (namely Churcill being able to win the 1945 elections thanks to a speech against the USSR, the number of times a monarchy is brought back or saved from its OTL end and you very much insisting that there are no political bias in FoM's take on Wallace) that seem to suggest there are a ot of political bias in your portrayal of the man. I mean political bias are very normal but i think you are the very first one who has his target's dead body being destroyed and dispersed in a river.

I know this last part may be rude and/or less articulate than the other two but i am tired and honestly i have been keeping my opinion about your source regarding Wallace for a long time.

BTW i wasn't lying. FoM is very well written, but it troubes me on multiple levels.

I am going to bed now

Also again i apologise to those (especially the author) who have to deal with me diverging the attention from a beautiful timeline like The North Star just to deal with something i should have done a long time ago.
You should move this well thought out critique to the proper timeline.
You should move this well thought out critique to the proper timeline.

Yeah, I believe it's a very interesting discussion, and I certainly do enjoy how everyone involved in discussing substantively and respectfully - but I'm not sure this is the ideal topic for it. Just my opinion that future replies would be better quote-replied in the applicable thread (I think you can just copy/paste the quoted text).

I personally don't mind it being done here, but I'd prefer not to see anyone kicked or anything.
Chapter 198 - Conqueror of the British Empire and the Last Qing Emperor New
Conqueror of the British Empire and the Last Qing Emperor
The accelerating collapse of Great Britain's colonies abroad were especially unwelcome by one group of anti-colonial activists: the vast majority of residents in Tanganyika. Idi Amin's backers loathed him - but they still viewed him as East Africa's bulwark against Communism. One CIA operative referred to Amin as a "sociopathic son of a bitch - but our sociopathic son of a bitch." Indeed, they knew that one of Amin's first purges were against civilian politicians known to be more moderate in their orientation to the West. For example, Jomo Kenyatta, was simply murdered in his cell by Amin's thugs early on in the East African War. In the end, almost every intellectual in Kenya, Northern Uganda, or occupied Tanganyika with moderate views was murdered and unceremoniously dumped in local rivers, which ironically sent most of the leftists into hiding. Julius Nyerere only narrowly escaped the same fate, escaping after a housekeeper tipped him off.

Amin often liked to portray himself as an insane buffoon to appear less threatening, but his purges had a twisted logic to them. He wanted to be the only option for the Americans in East Africa - he knew he would only continue enjoying support if he was the only option besides supposed "Communists." As a result, he portrayed his invasion of Kenya and then Tanganyika as a "crusade against Anglo-Bolshevism", in an uncanny parallel of Nazi propaganda during Operation Barbarossa. Like in Operation Barbarossa, his troops were ordered to be merciless. Accounts from the "Rape of Dar Es Salaam" spoke of mass rape, cannibalism, infanticide, and even acts that combined all three. The atrocities were intentionally encouraged in his hopes of terrifying Tanganyika and Kenya into submission.

The West generally turned a blind eye as his armies ravaged Tanganyika. France viewed the region as irrelevant to French national interests. The Americans (covertly) supplied Idi Amin's forces with modern weaponry - a practice that the newly-elected President Siler immediately ordered a halt to. However, unbeknownst to him, the CIA continued to supply Idi Amin, with modern weaponry that he could pay for due to his intimate involvement in the drug trade (massive drug addiction was instrumental aspect of pushing his troops towards atrocities). In particular, Amin loved procuring American napalm, Agent Orange, and flamethrowers - tools which he saw as indispensable in crushing the resistance that moved into the countryside after the Rape of Dar Es Salaam. Away from the front-line, Amin was not entirely despised, because a semblance of normality had returned to those areas, heavily subsidized by pillage and Amin's self-proclaimed reputation as an ardent anti-imperialist.

Several British officials had failed to escape Dar Es Salaam in time - and Idi Amin proclaimed himself "Conqueror of the British Empire" after having them fed to alligators. The incident outraged Britain, but the new Liberal government opted to do nothing after the Americans non-subtly told them that they would be highly opposed to a British re-entrance into East Africa. Idi Amin didn't actually mind Western imperialism that much - he just saw it a useful political stance to take.

The Tanganyikans, like many nations with no other meaningful friends, turned to the major economy of last resort, the Italians. However, the Italians told them that their hands were tied. With the British hastily working out independence proceedings for British Somaliland, Somalia (former Italian Somalia) was aware that most of Somaliland's politicians sought independence rather than union with Somalia. The British were attempting to effectuate Somaliland's independence against Somalian protests, so the Somalians had actually been secretly helping the CIA funnel arms to Idi Amin, in hopes of battering the British. In addition, Idi Amin, hoping for to stave off Italian intervention, quickly penned an agreement with Somalia "readjusting" the Kenya-Somalia border to include the majority-Somali Northeastern province of Kenya in exchange for a military pact, which the Somalians quickly accepted.

Nyerere, who became increasingly prominent in the resistance movement as his rivals simply were killed off, grew increasingly desperate and asked the Soviets, who also flatly declined, stating that their new administration was seeking a detente with the new American president, who seemed rather dovish. Interestingly, the first offer of help was given by a rather unexpected nation - Burma had at least offered some advisors. The Pakistanis then offered actual arm shipments, which delighted the resistance movement. However, Pakistan was still in the middle of its "Sifar Revolution" which saw millions either killed or expelled in a revolutionary storm, while the Burmese were also going through internal crisis. Only one Eastern bloc nation seemed actually semi-stable at home - and willing to help. A young Chinese military officer, Mao Yuanxin, the nephew of the late Mao Zedong, openly penned a memo excoriating the current leadership of the People's Republic of China for abandoning the East Indonesian cause after Soviet troops withdrew - and North China, unwilling to fight the Indonesian War on its own, also left. Mao didn't actually demand re-entering Indonesia since it would have probably significantly escalated the Indonesian War to possible conflict with the West - he had actually received Nyerere's letter and penned a poster demanding "Afro-Asian solidarity against modern imperialism" - he had cleverly depicted Amin's new "East African Federation" as an expy of Imperial Japan. Much to the bewilderment of PRC leadership, party cadres marched through the street demanding war against a nation that almost nobody in China had even heard of. This was in spite of military spending already eating up almost 19% of North China's budget after the East Indonesian drawdown, with tens of thousands of North Chinese casualties.

Yet, the government decided that the drawdown in Indonesia meant that it was not impossible to start another war. Not to mention that the last three wars (Israel, Iraq, and Indonesia) were all seen as humiliating defeats - and rather than simply "take the L", PRC leadership decided they needed a win somewhere. The Iraqi Civil War had also come to an end - and there seemed to be a stable enough armistice with Syria. Forces would be rotated out of Iraq and Indonesia - and sent to invade East Africa. However, one major problem arose: how on earth would they get there? Somalia was supporting Amin, as was the Central Africa Federation, the Belgians (in Rwanda-Burundi), Royalist Congo, South Africa, and Portugal (in Mozambique) - in short, every neighbor of Amin. The new government of Madagascar, which had unilaterally declared independence from France during the 1963 French crisis, saw itself immediately battered by Western sanctions would be willing to at least operate as a base. This became even easier in the future as the PRC would eventually build close links with the Madagascan military, aiding them in eventually launching a coup that would established a one-party Marxist-Leninist state (indeed, Madagascar would be often cited by anti-communists as an example of "red imperialism"). The bigger problem is that it became much harder after that. Dar Es Salaam had fallen - so it wasn't really possible to easily land in Tanganyika except by amphibious assault - which the PLA had in no ways the military or technological capabilities of actually doing.

A very unusual alliance was struck. When elected in 1963, the George Brown government declared its support for a transition to "black majority rule" in Africa, especially in the Central African Federation. Liberal imperialist Roy Welensky, who while opposed to black majority and generally holding very racist views, did not entirely rule out slow movements towards black majority rule, which satisfied the George Brown government. Ian Smith's white nationalist Dominion Front was formed by disaffected white settlers who loathed Welensky's relative moderation - and who were even more horrified after white settlers from Kenya fled from Idi Amin into the CAF, bringing stories of Amin's atrocities. The new Liberal government in Britain seemed to be demanding much more rapid action on black majority rule, which spurred the Dominion Front to the unthinkable. The vast majority of members personally loathed Amin (due to knowing those who had suffered from his atrocities), and quickly reasoned to themselves that the only way to defeat Welensky and Amin was to terrify the Western powers into supporting their belief system - by linking "black rule" and Communism in people's minds. The Dominion Front had managed to seize control of many local governments in Rhodesia and in short, had control of most of the CAF's major airports, including Salisbury International Airport. And thus the scheme was agreed to.

Constant flights between Madagascar and Salisbury ferried in thousands of People's Volunteer Army veterans. From Salisbury, they were secretly transported to the Malawi by white nationalist Rhodesians, who reasoned that a Communist army invading Tanganyikan and creating a "black Communist" threat to the CAF would end calls from London for black majority rule. The PVA, sailing across Lake Malawi, then sailed down the Ruvuma River (poorly guarded by the Portuguese dealing with growing unrest in the urban areas of Mozambique), and finally landed east of the port of Mtwara, which had a surprisingly large port built during the disastrous Tanganyikan Groundnut Scheme (it was abandoned shortly after). PVA forces attacked a totally unsuspecting East African garrison, overwhelming them by sheer surprise. They then quickly repaired the abandoned port (still in mostly great condition), as they began immediately ferrying in troops from Madagascar. Idi Amin was reportedly shocked when he was told by a commander that he had been invaded by some sort of "oriental." North Chinese troops immediately moved into the Tanganyikan countryside to support anti-Amin rebels, who were genuinely shocked to be receiving aid. In a declaration from a random cave in rural Tanganyika, Julius Nyerere declared the creation of the Democratic Federal Republic of East Africa, a new polity that would include at least some part of Tanganyika, Kenya, and Uganda after the overthrow of Amin. Oginga Odinga, a prominent Luo chieftain and one of the leading anti-Amin voices after the murder of Kenyatta, immediately heeded the call, sparking a similar revolt in Kenya. The Rhodesians immediately feigned ignorance and outrage at the "Afro-Communist war on the white race" taking place, but they were secretly jubilant.

A massive escalation of what is often called the "Great East African War" had begun - with the first but not last foreign intervention. In fury at the North Chinese intervention taking away at the last moment Amin's dream of ruling over all of East Africa as an unchallenged despot (the Great East African War would not end anytime soon), one of the titles that Idi Amin appended to his long list of titles was "Qing Emperor", in a deliberate taunt of North China. Amin even had distributed a picture of him riding a horse with a bow and arrow and what was supposed to be Qing imperial regalia (the clothing was generally not very historically accurate). In a similarly odd response, the actual last Qing Emperor, the former ruler Puyi was still alive, and was specifically summoned by the North Chinese government to attach his signature to a declaration "rebutting" Idi Amin's claim on the Qing throne, clarifying that the Qing Empire no longer existed, that Manchukuo was not a legitimate successor state, and that Idi Amin's East African Federation was also not a legitimate successor state to the Qing Empire. The contents of the letter were generally not controversial.
A young Chinese military officer, Mao Yuanxin, the nephew of the late Mao Zedong, openly penned a memo excoriating the current leadership of the People's Republic of China for abandoning the East Indonesian cause after Soviet troops withdrew - and North China, unwilling to fight the Indonesian War on its own, also left.​
Wasn't he the guy who became the Lesser Mao in Fear, Loathing and Gumbo on the Campaign Trail '72?

Anyways great chapter!
If you knew that you were out of line posting this particular Text Wall in this thread, why in the Name of the Great Spaghetti Monster did you do it?

Do not repeat.

I apologise again. It's just that i held this inside myself for almost a year and i needed to say this.

I will delete the post

Yeah, I believe it's a very interesting discussion, and I certainly do enjoy how everyone involved in discussing substantively and respectfully - but I'm not sure this is the ideal topic for it. Just my opinion that future replies would be better quote-replied in the applicable thread (I think you can just copy/paste the quoted text).

I personally don't mind it being done here, but I'd prefer not to see anyone kicked or anything.
Yeah,again i apologise. I should have avoided this
Ah, Amin doing his thing. I’ve always been morbidly fascinated with the man; “The Last King of Scotland” remains high on my list of best films I’ll never watch a second time, Forest Whitaker’s central performance was so magnetic and powerful I had legit nightmares about it
North China continuing their storied history of the maddest of dogs and the chadest of chads. Managing to be unimpeachably the lesser evil here too, the lucky bastards.

This is not a good sign in that case.

It would be if FLaG's portrayal was rooted in anything close to reality, rather than an early example of the TL careening merrily of the rails of even vague plausibility, yes. Fortunately this is not the case. Mao Yuanxin was fundamentally a bit of an idiot but his primary role in OTL was a tool for the Gang of Four rather than an opium swilling kill peopleist loon.
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The North Chinese are really flexing in this chapter. One and a half new Communist countries established in the span of three paragraphs. And now their foe is maybe the only person in the world who makes even the harshest regime in the Eastern Bloc look tame in comparison. I'm getting strong VIetnamese-Cambodian War vibes here, with Idi Amin as the Pol Pot equivalent. Tragically, we've already been told that this won't be resoved as quickly as its OTL counterpart.
I don't think any actually high-ranking Jews were permanently purged - I think they explicitly excluded scientists, politicians, and other "high-value" people
Oh God, i can see the fucker screaming like a madman against Beria's reforms and complaining about North China being too friendly with Israel.

I really hope he shows up in the future of this TL just to see him defend and praise Stalin's antisemitic purges
Chapter 199 - The Battle of the Montewara Perimeter (Part One) New
The Battle of the Montewara Perimeter (Part One)
One power was particularly horrified by the North Chinese invasion of East Africa - one of Europe's most embattled colonial powers, Portugal. Unique among European colonial powers was the lack of autonomy Portugal gave to its "overseas provinces", which immediately became subject to significant levels of Portuguese settlement. A Frenchman was very rare in France's Tuareg possessions, but not so for Portugal's African possessions. The Rhodesian Dominionists believed a surge of Communism would terrify London - but in reality, it mostly terrified Lisbon which had just begun to see guerilla movements pop up in Mozambique itself. Angola had been wrecked by years of war - and now the flame of revolution had come to Mozambique. Unlike Angola, where resistance movements ended up divided by ethnicity and easier to isolate and control, Eduardo Mondlane had managed to unite all of these various groups into FRELIMO, the Liberation Front of Mozambique. Portugal was one of Amin's keenest supporters, simply because FRELIMO operated out of Tanganyika, where colonial authorities were too afraid to crack down on them. Amin's invasion of Tanzania had seemingly ended the FRELIMO threat, as FRELIMO guerillas turned towards fighting off Amin.

However, that seemed to come entirely to an end with the North Chinese entrance into the war. Seizing the port city of Mtwara, the North Chinese immediately began shipping in arms and supplies from Madagascar, with the help of Admiral Didier Ratsiraka, who was more gung-ho about the general process than the actual government Madagascar. Amin immediately radioed in to foreign powers for help. Despite the fact that the CIA had been generously supporting Amin, they told him that it was likely not possible to get the US Navy to interdict the North China navy as requested - simply because the U.S. Navy was the least independent of the American military branches after the 1957 Revolt of the Admirals - and the newly elected President Siler would almost certainly veto American naval operations. However, they did not come up empty-handed. Operating through Mossad contacts (which was always up for trying to bloody North China, the patron of Judeopalestine), the CIA was able to pay and furnish a well-armed mercenary group led by mercenary lord Otto Skorzeny to aid Amin. In contrast, the British were distracted by widespread riots in Zanzibar and other areas of their residual empire. The Italians were willing to turn a blind eye to Somalia, but they weren't willing to outright help Amin. Only Portugal answered the call. And once Portugal was in, France was willing to render modest aid (supplies, use of nearby Comoros as a navy base, etc).

Idi Amin dreamed of a grand battle of annihilation, where two large armies would clash and he could destroy the rebels once and for all (a mix of FRELIMO militants and Tanganyikan Army remnants, namely the 1st and 2nd Tanganyikan Rifles). This was a weird mixture of individuals since the Tanganyikan Rifles had mostly British officers - who while anti-Communist and condescending towards the natives, hated Amin more. Some took the hate so far, that they simply disregarded orders by London to return to Britain, going completely "native." Luckily for Amin, Nyerere seemed to give him that opportunity. Realizing quickly that Amin's army was converging on Mtwara (and not entirely aware of Portuguese mobilization), Nyerere announced the creation of the Revolutionary ("Mapinduzi") Army, a coalition of forces that would liberate all of East Africa, including Mozambique (it was generally assumed that Tanganyika and Kenya would form one polity due to shared British institutions, but Mozambique would be separate). The new Mapinduzi Army quickly converged on Mtwara.

However, the Portuguese had mobilized. Taking almost the entire garrison of Mozambique, the Portuguese Army prepared to assault Mtwara (Montewara in Portuguese) in conjunction with Amin's forces. Ironically, once Nyerere realized that the Portuguese were planning on jointly assaulting the port city, it was too late to retract the order - the fight would be at Mtwara. In practice, the Portuguese Army would vastly outclass every other army in the Battle of the Montewara Perimeter. A modern army equipped with aircraft, helicopters (for rapid aerial assaults), naval support, artillery, tanks, and motorized and mechanized infantry, the Portuguese Army vastly outclassed Amin's army, which was at best a violent mob of drugged-up infantry raiders. The Mapinduzi Army had the Tanganyikan Rifles, but was mostly untrained guerillas and furious villagers. The PVA was ironically the most combat experienced force, but they weren't able to take much heavy equipment with them, relying mostly on small arms, mortars, and cavalry. Heavy equipment was coming in from Madagascar however, which meant the PVA grew stronger day after day. Very quickly, the Portuguese realized the earlier they attacked, the better.

Portuguese forces had the challenge of crossing the Ruvamu River. The most obvious road from Mozambique to Tanganyika was to cross the river at Namuiranga into Kilambo, a suburb to the south of Mtwara. This would allow Portuguese forces to reach Mtwara in a pincer, as Amin's army was coming from Lindi to the north. However, the PVA had already anticipated this. With the Portuguese enjoying general air superiority (the closest Communist air base was in Madagascar, quite far away), what few AA weapons held by the North Chinese were precious and not often risked. This meant that large troop movements were risky. North Chinese AA was ordered to only engage Portuguese aircraft if an obvious kill could be made. During the entire Battle of the Montewara Perimeter, only 4 Portuguese helicopters and one aircraft would be downed, one helicopter by mechanical engine failure. However, the possible risk of North Chinese AA meant that the Portuguese were unable to fly helicopters aggressively. In addition river crossings were difficult in general, especially a large river like the Ruvamu. However, the Portuguese were well-trained, had aerial support, and were a largely mechanized army.

North Chinese general Chen Xilian (who was sent due to being a rare PLA general enthusiastic about the war), was a heavy believer in the use of artillery and coincidentally one of North China's few experts in amphibious (specifically, river) warfare. Realizing that the nature of the Ruvamu River meant that the Portuguese had to stop on various islands in the middle of the river, Chen had secret North Chinese engineer teams massively cover each of the islands with land mines. The Portuguese obviously had minesweepers, but this would at least slow them down. As Portuguese troops advanced across the river, they immediately came under shocking artillery fire. The Portuguese Air Force was mobilized to destroy North Chinese artillery, but they were surprisingly hard to locate. Chen had brought alongsides as a military adviser the former Qing cavalry general Zaitao, coincidentally the uncle of the actual last Emperor of China, Puyi (he was also the brother of the Guangxu Emperor, the second-to-last Emperor). Working with Chen, they had built a cavalry artillery strategy, where PVA troops would fire artillery shells, hook up to the artillery to the horses immediately, move locations to avoid Portuguese counter-battery bombardment, only then reload - and fire again.

Shocked by motorized infantry losses (North Chinese artillery weren't heavy enough to disable a Portuguese tank or APC except on direct strike), Portuguese forces rushed across the river quickly, only to quickly run into nasty minefields. After undertaking severe artillery fire, it was understood that the Portuguese could simply power through, take some degree of losses, and crush the enemy once reaching the other side of the river. However, it was judged by Portuguese officers to cost too many Portuguese lives, which would harm war support at home, so the decision was made to eventually withdraw. The PVA had won the first day of the Battle of the Montewara Perimeter, though this simply meant that the Portuguese Army would divert westwards, and cross instead at Negomano, itself the location of a battle between Portugal and Germany in World War I. North Chinese and Mapinduzi troops were easily dispersed there. However, this represented a significant detour, which bought the Mapinduzi Army even more time to receive arms and supply shipments from Madagascar, whose ships made constantly runs despite constant Portuguese harassment and bombardment. The Portuguese attempted to blockade Mtwara, but this meant significant battles off the coast between the North Chinese Navy, which was largely comprised of unwanted Soviet submarines (no longer needed after Beria's reform of the Soviet Navy into a largely surface-based carrier fleet). This naval war quickly became hard to restrain, as North Chinese submarines began even harassing Portuguese ships near Macau, with possibly disastrous consequences.

In addition, instead of assaulting from the north and south, the Portuguese would advance from the west, while Amin would advance from the north, a significant narrower front. Furthermore, several rudimentary airfields had been created in Mtwara. Most were immediately bombed by the Portuguese Air Force, but some survived, which gave some semblance of an air force. Portuguese and East African forces advanced at a rapid pace, believing that it was necessary to crush Mtwara here and now. Otherwise, the extremely large fronts in Africa would mean that it would be impossible to stop the flow of supplies towards Mapinduzi guerillas, causing the war to drag on far longer than the Portuguese or Amin hoped it would. Amin grew quite reliant on Skorzeny's advice, who generally had a strong grasp of tactics and was personally exhilarated over fighting a pitched field battle again. The Battle of the Montewara Perimeter would become the largest land battle fought in Africa since the Battle of El Alamein - and the largest in Subsaharan Africa since Fascist Italy's invasion of Ethiopia. The Mapinduzi Army would be the primary fighting force defending Mtwara proper. Nyerere's radio addresses called on peasants and villages furious at Amin's brutal occupation to simply come to Mtwara, where in most cases, they were simply handed a North Chinese Mosin-Nagant or SVT-40 with a few strips of ammo, a shovel, and if they were lucky, a grenade. The shovel would be for ditching desperate trenches and foxholes. A truly surprising amount of volunteers would show up, which meant that the equipment trickling in from Madagascar had to be shared. In some cases, one rifle was given to two or three soldiers, who were told to use the rifle if their comrade was killed. Most of the new volunteers had little idea or knowledge of the world outside of their local regions and villages terrorized by Amin, so they likely did not quite understand why Nyerere said that the fate of an entire continent rested on the shoulders of these soldiers, but he was ultimately telling the truth.
Very pleasant to see updates so frequently.
If Nyerere and his force survives the onslaught then Amin is probably toast. I guess the Portuguese have more western support ITTL and I think Meyere can win because of the Portuguese aversion to taking losses and Amin's army would be busy looting the countryside and would probably lose even with enormous numerical advantages when on the offensive.
Is it safe to assume that the British officers 'turned native' due to Amin feeding their friends to the alligators?
We haven't heard of South Asia for a long time. Is the remnant of Old Pakistan facing the Taiwan problem in Bangladesh or has Pakistan evolved into Bangladesh. Did Guinea Bissau fall or the Portuguese are still holding it? How many colonies are left in Africa? And how is Rhodesia doing?