Twilight of the Red Tsar

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In fact it seems likely that this Southeast Asian miracle would be the basis for creating a Economic Bloc to fill the void left by the defunct Soviet Bloc.

Will this bloc have the same borders as the former French Indochina?

Speaking of which, it might make French culture and influence more durable than OTL, since TTL the United States wouldn't need to sent as many troops and money.

I wonder who leads Cambodia?

Maybe Sihanouk, as OTL; he might avoid the OTL conflicts with the military caused by the presence of foreign Communist guerillas since, TTL, North Viet Nam will keep to itself.
 
Will this bloc have the same borders as the former French Indochina?

Speaking of which, it might make French culture and influence more durable than OTL, since TTL the United States wouldn't need to sent as many troops and money.

I believe South Vietnam and Cambodia will be included alongside OTL Thailand and Philippines, but I doubt French Language or culture would play a part since the Vietnam war was started over expelling the colonial french.
 
In 1955, the Soviet Union said they would launch an artificial satellite in the near future, and that they would beat America into space. This would spawn the genesis of the Space Race, an intense but ultimately short-lived contest that quickly demonstrated the differences between the two powers. While the American scientists worked out in the open, most Soviet scientists, notably Vasily Mishin and Sergei Korolev were working out of prison camps for research, known as sharashka. They were severely hampered by Stalinist restrictions, not to mention near non-existent supplies due to so many resources being thrown into the Chinese inferno.


Despite backbreaking effort, it was all for naught, and the Americans proudly announced the first artificial satellite in outer space, Explorer 1, on January 31st 1958. While it was champagne at the White House, it was quite a different mood in the Kremlin. Stalin, now totally devoid from reality, ordered the entire Soviet rocketry program shut down, and its members to be investigated for sabotage; fortunately for Korolev and Mishin, Stalin’s death prevented the likely imminent killings of them and most of ther staff. Stalin then claimed the Space Race was simply a Capitalist ploy to stop him from funding his army, and refused to restart the program – owing to the severe financial difficulties the Soviet Union faced, the program would not be restarted even after Stalin’s death. However, due to the lack of solid American intelligence in the Soviet Union, Nixon decided to keep going to “Really spike the football on those bastards”. He announced that he intended that an American would be in space while he was still President, which would ultimately come to pass when John Glenn went into space on February 20th 1962. While this was met with standing ovation in America, more ambitious types wanted to push onto the moon, including Werner Von Braun, the head of the American rocketry program. Ultimately, as it became clear the Soviets offered no response to America’s litany of victories, Nixon announced in 1963 that the space program would be scaled down to a ‘military only exercise’. By the time Knowland had come in, the arch-conservative had little stomach for the massive expenditure to reach the Moon after America’s space superiority had been so totally demonstrated. To that end, many Democrats cared more about money going to their poverty-stricken constituents than wild pie-in-the-sky schemes. It would be many years still before a Moon Landing would happen.
I guess I was partially right in that technological development would be slowed down in general due to a lack of a space race (or rather a very brief one that was basically one sided). Sorry for the late response to this but it's something I must add in regards to the specifics of TTL.
 
I believe South Vietnam and Cambodia will be included alongside OTL Thailand and Philippines, but I doubt French Language or culture would play a part since the Vietnam war was started over expelling the colonial french.

Well , we do have influence over our former colonies . Even in Algeria . So i believe at least South Vietnam will be a part of the Francophonie (Like OTL) and maybe more in the economic sector ?
 

chankljp

Donor
This is such a massive, detailed TL that I am not entirely sure where to start. So, I will just share a few thoughts that I came up with while reading though everyone’s past comments:

(1)
For my own family, in OTL, for my mother’s side of the family, she was the youngest daughter in a family of 5, raised by an illiterate widow from Chaozhou who managed to get out of the Mainland and immigrated to Hong Kong shortly after the Communist revolution (My grandfather died shortly after my mother was born). As such, she did not exactly had lots to eat growing up, with even less creature comforts…. Yet when her family returned to the mainland to visit relatives during the 70s’, she told me that the shortages and hardships under Mao’s rule meant that everyone in the village were commenting on how tall, fat, and well-dressed she was! ITTL, things are going to be much worst for the people in Mainland China, even in areas in the south that were not directly hit by the war….

While for my grandfather on my father’s side of the family, during WW2, he managed to get out of Hong Kong, and fled to the Portuguese colony of Macau. However, he told me that he still witnessed the scene of people, mostly other refugees fleeing the from the war, just literally starving to death in the streets, with him thinking that he is going to be next the entire time. ITTL, with all the refugees once again swarming into both Hong Kong and Macau as a result of both the Soviets and the Second Civil War, he very well might end up getting a PTSD flashback while out in the streets upon seeing all the refuges dying from smallpox, saying that it is happening all over again…

And while I am on the topic on Hong Kong, those of you that follow my own thread might recall that I once mentioned how there was a KMT remnant enclave in Hong Kong located in Tiu Keng Leng, with people even nicknaming the place ‘Little Taiwan’. ITTL, the KMT exiles will absolutely be breaking out all their illegal arms caches that they had been stockpiling since the end of the first Civil War, and go north to join up with Chiang Kai-shek’s forces as volunteers to reclaim the Mainland from both the communist (Or ‘Red bandits’, as KMT loyalist call them) and the Yellow Banner. The British colonial government will be happy to see them go, both to relief the city’s already stretched supply situation, and to get rid of this troublesome segment of the population (For quite sometime, Tiu Keng Leng was a ‘no-go zone’ for the police). Heck, London might even decide to use the KMT volunteers as a conduit to funnel supplies and covert support to the Chiang Kai-shek.

(2)
There is one person in particular in the US that I have been wondering what his reaction would have been to the madness ITTL: The famous African-American singer Paul Robeson, who was a strong supporter of the Soviet Union with Stalinist sympathies.

In OTL, he was awarded the International Stalin Prize in 1952, penned the song “To You My Beloved Comrade”, praising Stalin shortly after his death, famously wrote the English version of the Soviet national anthem.

It might be tempting to say that Robeson would have rejected Stalinism ITTL due to the sheet madness that Stalin has caused. But I highly doubt this, considering that in OTL, even after Khrushchev's 1956 Party Congress, he continued to support the USSR, viewing the country as the guarantor of political balance in the world against capitalism, and publicly supported the Soviet’s brutal invasion and crackdown on the Hungarian Revolution.

ITTL, I will honestly not put it above him to double-down on supporting the USSR to the bitter end, even as he gets universally condemned by both the mainstream media and Civil Rights Movement alike, and blacklisted from performing. With him being used as a case study of someone suffering from dogmatic cult-like behaviour, who blatantly rejects reality.

(3)
Just a horrifying thought: While TTL is certainly very GRIMDARK, filled with pain, suffering, death, cultural destruction, etc, that is only when in comparison to OTL. In the infinite possibilities of alternate history, by having Stalin lived past 1953, the people in this TL might actually be having it BETTER OFF, since they are now free from the horrors of say… the “Cuban Missile War”, “ABLE ARCHER 83”, or the “1983: Doomsday” TLs, which are all only possible if Stalin died in 1953 as per OTL, and have things be much worst for the entire world in the long-run…. Just think about that cosmic horror inducing thought for a moment….

(4)
If this TL is going to be represented in Hetalia form, I think it will be too easy to just have Russia as this deranged mass murdering psychopath that enslaves Central and East Europe, plus China while laughing like your typical fantasy evil overlord. Instead, it might be a great plot twist to have the entire world THINK that’s how he is like, only for them to later discovered that Stalin actually had Ivan thrown into a gulag just like a lot of other people that were a threat to his power, but too useful to just kill. And when the Second Russian Civil War broke out, he is actively fighting for them NSC forces to reclaim his honor.

* EDIT:
A little something more on Paul Robeson. In OTL, before the POD he visited the USSR in 1934, commenting that, 'Here I am not a Negro but a human being for the first time in my life .. I walk in full human dignity.'

In addition, he was friends with two Soviet Jews that were part of the "Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee", Solomon Mikhoels and Itzik Feffer. When Robeson visited the USSR again in 1948, he was bluntly informed for the latter that Mikhoels has been killed by Stalin, while he himself has been thrown to a gulag, and will in fact be summarily executed shortly afterwards. Robeson, however, instead of exposing this to the world, denied that any persecution existed in the Soviet Union in order to protect the reputation of communism, and to
prevent the right winger from gaining the moral high ground.

ITTL, this is going to backfire catastrophically on him when the information comes out...
 
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Come to think of it, we probably should get a post linking to all the maps on here. I personally missed most as I read just the posts as I thought reading through two hundred pages would be a bit much, but I recall a map on here showing the settlement of Russians in areas depopulated of Balts and such. That mostly leads into my next thought of which groups support the Russians? Certain groups gained more land than others did IOTL from the depopulation of their neighbors, though that was in pretty peripheral areas at times.
 
Maybe it is just all my wishful thinking (I am a big fan of Robeson), but I believe that Robeson eventually will abandon his Stalin fanboyism. IRL, his support for Stalin mostly came from the fact that Soviet Union, in comprasion to the contemporary US, banned the racial discrimination and presented itself as the center of anti-imperialism and thus Robeson believed that any criticism of Soviet Union would just strengthen the reactionary powers in America.

In the world where Stalin commited the second Holocaust and genocides of Baltic and Caucasian peoples, and those crimes became just undeniable, further Robeson's support for USSR would be support for everything he stand against in his homeland.

He will be definitely ostracized by the American society, though.
 
Maybe it is just all my wishful thinking (I am a big fan of Robeson), but I believe that Robeson eventually will abandon his Stalin fanboyism.

He'll just say that the West is making it up. He was absolutely knee-deep in Stalin-apologism for years - it takes a lot for people to admit the thing they argued and cared about passionately in public for decades was not only wrong, but more wrong than he could have ever imagined. Human beings don't work like that - human beings would rather win the argument and still be wrong than admit their mistakes.
 
He'll just say that the West is making it up. He was absolutely knee-deep in Stalin-apologism for years - it takes a lot for people to admit the thing they argued and cared about passionately in public for decades was not only wrong, but more wrong than he could have ever imagined. Human beings don't work like that - human beings would rather win the argument and still be wrong than admit their mistakes.

Can he say that with Stalin dropping nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons on the Middle Kingdom for standing up to the USSR and the mess over Korea? Then Stalin destroyed a Communist Ally over a disparagement?

Or the fact the Russians are nuking each other in a second civil war?
 
Can he say that with Stalin dropping nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons on the Middle Kingdom for standing up to the USSR and the mess over Korea? Then Stalin destroyed a Communist Ally over a disparagement?

Or the fact the Russians are nuking each other in a second civil war?

"Hey! Mao shot down Stalin's jet, Stalin had to respond! And who are we to question Stalin's use of nuclear weapons while we first dropped them on Japan and then Korea?"

"That Civil War? All a bunch of Fascist subversives. Just look at [generic corrupt CNS guy]! Look at the destruction these so called freedom fighters brought to Russia! People had enough to eat during Stalin. Now? The whole country is in ruins!"

Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug.
 
"Hey! Mao shot down Stalin's jet, Stalin had to respond! And who are we to question Stalin's use of nuclear weapons while we first dropped them on Japan and then Korea?"

"That Civil War? All a bunch of Fascist subversives. Just look at [generic corrupt CNS guy]! Look at the destruction these so called freedom fighters brought to Russia! People had enough to eat during Stalin. Now? The whole country is in ruins!"

Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug.

So Stalin had the right to drop smallpox onto the Chinese population (causing the Smallpox Epidemic), and nuking every Chinese city he found? And the reason for tens of millions of Chinese fleeing.

It is Stalin's fault for what happen to Korea.

The USSR did not helping Egypt, being the reason for Egypt becoming a insane, Middle Age, Muslim state that is running out of population.

(Really, I what someone like this to meet a survivor of the Second Holocaust, or a Chinese person who survived the Sino-Soviet War, and see what happens.)
 
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So Stalin had the right to drop smallpox onto the Chinese population (causing the Smallpox Epidemic), and nuking every Chinese city he found find? And the reason for tens of millions of Chinese fleeing.

It is Stalin's fault for what happen to Korea.

The USSR did not helping Egypt, being the reason for Egypt becoming a insane, Middle Age, Muslim state that is running out of population.

(Really, I what someone like this to meet a survivor of the Second Holocaust, or a Chinese person who survived the Sino-Soviet War, and see what happens.)

Hardly there is any dictator whom wouldn't have apologists. Even in OTL is several Hitler and Pol Pot apologists or even denialists. I wouldn't be surprised if ITTL would be people who defend or deny Stalin's acts. And person who openly defended Stalin in OTL despite that he was even questioned about that, hardly just turn his views around and begin hate Stalin.
 
Hardly there is any dictator whom wouldn't have apologists. Even in OTL is several Hitler and Pol Pot apologists or even denialists. I wouldn't be surprised if ITTL would be people who defend or deny Stalin's acts. And person who openly defended Stalin in OTL despite that he was even questioned about that, hardly just turn his views around and begin hate Stalin.

I know.

My biggest hope is to have at least a better, and larger effort in dealing with apologists and denialists.
 
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