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A rather different WWII by QuantumBranching A rather different WWII by QuantumBranching
Ok, this is a slightly ASB map based loosely on the postwar situation in Stuart Slade's "The Big One" ( [link] [link]).

It's a world where a "Farthing"[1] type right-wing coup took the UK out of WWII after the fall of France, and a Japan facing an undistracted UK as well as the US was more cautious and avoided drifting into war. Germany had a run of luck, including some hairbrained armchair generalship from Stalin and the disruptions following his death when a German bomber fortuitously intercepted an armored train, but the USSR was still a goddamn huge county armed for bear, and the war in the east bogged down. Reluctantly the US was drawn into the affair given the extemely unattractive prospect of Germany running all of west Eurasia, and by 1943 was a full co-belligerent. With the UK out of the war an invasion from the west was a lot harder, and with an invasion from the east (with US troops transported from Vladivostok fighting on the front lines - the post-Stalin leadership being less paranoid) bogged down in a hell of chemical warfare in Poland, the US turned to the newly developed nuclear weapon as a means of bringing the war to an end - and Hitler being Hitler, it took most of a year and a ramping up of production that led to dozens of nukes hitting Germany to finally collapse the German resistance in early '48.

After an even longer and bloodier war than ours, the Soviets were in no shape to conquer Eastern Europe and in any event the relatively good relations with the US at war's end made the occupation of eastern Europe as a "buffer zone" seem pointless, although Serbia and Albania went Red on their own (and Greece nearly did). France had two (or one and a half, depending on who you ask) civil wars. There was a Marshall Plan of sorts, but an all-Europe one. Tarred with the brush of Nazi collaboration, the Baltic states found few defenders against Soviet reoccupation, but the Soviet government went with puppetization rather than direct incorporation, feeling it would play better in Peoria.

Some 17 years later things are quite different from pre-war. The Japanese, with the other powers distracted, were able to finally batter the Chinese into submission, and reorganized China in such a way as to cement their dominion. They developed their own atomic bomb by 1952, and a long-range (one-way suicide, really) bomber capable of reaching the US by 1955. Over the last decade there has been some very quiet US-Soviet conversation on the subject of atomic first strikes against Japan, but the general conclusion remains that the odds that the Japanese would be able to pull off some sort of hells-heart-stabbity effort remain too high. (With a more bomber-based approach to atomic war, ICBMs are less developed than OTL 1965, although all major powers are working on the problems). The chemical, bacteriological, and in the last stages of the war, radiological "revenge attacks" launched by the Germans against the US east coast and the Soviet heartland after the bombs began to fall were bad enough. [2]

Realtions with the UK are correct but cold: the "emergency regime" was out of power by the early 50s, but US anti-colonialism remains strong as ever, and the finally wrapping up of the British Empire seems to be within sight, although the Brits (in better economic shape than in our world) are trying harder to hold onto their remaining holdings. The French Sixth Republic, run by a left-wing coaltion combining socialism and intense nationalism, gets along with the USSR about as well as De Gaulle's France got along with the US, and doesn't like the US at all (could you maybe be a little later to the war next time?). There is no big US-Europe alliance in this world, just US allied individual nations.

The USSR is slowly moving in the direction of democracy, although still a one-party state. It retains an alliance with the US, to a large extent to contain the One Last Great Fascist Power, the Empire of Japan.

Not enough Jews made it out of German Europe for Israel to reach a certain "critical mass" and emerge as an independent state. Rather, in this world secular Arab Unionism did rather better, and Palestine ended up being absorbed into the UAR. The US was initially sympathetic to Arab union, but the United Arab Republic had bitten off a bit more than it could easily chew, and the need to maintain control over a variety of frustrated people led its already authoritarian government to turn to extreme methods of supression. This, combined with it's friendly trade relations with the Japanese Empire (oil for arms) has definitely put the UAR in the US's black books: people now talk of a "New Axis" with the Arabs playing the junior partner role. Indeed, the UAR, although still years from success, has been working to develop it's own atomic weapon with Japanese technical help. There is still a sizeable Jewish minority in Palestine: as long as they speak good Arabic, mouth the proper national slogans, and keep their heads down they are usually OK - so far.

France has dumped most of its Empire, holding onto a few bits of economic, sentimental or assimilatory value. As OTL, Algeria is a running sore.

Japan is definitely seen as the current Big Bad, although there is some doubt it will be able to survive nationalist threats of revolt backed by the USSR and US. It competes for influence with the US in South America and among the recently independent African nations.

[1] [link](novel)
[2] The Germans dropped radioactive waste from their first reactor on New York: AH writers from this TL make much play of the fact the Germans probably would have had a bomb of their own by '49, alternate history fans grumble the Germans surviving as long as they did was unlikely.
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area12 Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
How did the UK get Cameroon?
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
Darn it! Fixed...
AvroArrow Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
So did Canada just kinda pull a South Africa after the UK descended into chaos, or did they upright declare publicly the UK had collapsed and there forming their own government? Otherwise as always amazing maps
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
The UK didn't descend into chaos, there was a right-wing coup and a "temporary state of emergency." The Canadian government publically declared that they did not consider the new government legitimate and sent the new Governor-General packing, although it was a few years before they gave up on Britain sorting itself out quickly (they hoped that if they didn't, at least the monarchy would relocate to Canada, but were dissapointed) and reorganized things in a more republican manner.
freivolk Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
Slades idea of a rather different WWII and post-war World is interestting. Still the Republican-wank and the Caliphat out of nowhere are problematic. Good idea of you to replace the Caliphat with a nasserist UAR. And this could theoretical still have a islamic Revolution in the 1970th/80th.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
Certainly possible: after all, look at the rise of the religious right to political power in the supposedly "secular" and "modern" USA...
freivolk Featured By Owner May 12, 2012
I had more the example of modernist and secular Iran turning in a theocraty in mind.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner May 12, 2012
I was picking a relatively extreme example, to indicate my agreement as to the possibility of an Islamicist movement doing well even in a relatively secular society. Iran is really an iffy example, since it was in many ways well set up for a revolution. The Shah was a brutal dictator of the old-fashioned monarch type and little or no popular legitimacy, and the (still very patchily distributed) modernization was seen by many as imposed by outsiders, while Iran (unlike most of the Islamic world) had a long tradition of a powerful, independent Clergy with claims to political influence and a tradition of religious messianism similarly unusual. Sure, there was an energetic population of westernized, cosmopolitan Iranians, but they were a very small percentage of the overall nation: I would hardly call Iran "modern" or "secular" in 1979. You haven't been listening to Iranian exiles or their descendants bitching, have you?

In any event, I was imaginng Islamicization through gradual political evolution and pro-Islam dictators in the line of succession, like in Pakistan. I cannot think of any examples of an _Arab_ country where theocratic movements overthrew the government: the "Arab Spring" of still uncertain fate was a mass popular movement led mostly by the young and pissed off, and tended to catch the Islamicist leaders by surprise, although they were quick to attach themselves to the revolts.
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May 10, 2012
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