Author Topic: 3 cornered Cold War  (Read 2823 times)

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3 cornered Cold War
« on: November 05, 2023, 01:53:32 AM »

Introduction/Background
 
Post war Europe found itself largely rebuilding from the effects of WWII.  Economies as well as actual countries had been devastated by the war.  Meanwhile the beginnings of what would soon be termed the Cold War were forming as the geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies was underway.  On the Western side, the American foreign policy pledged American "support for democracies against authoritarian threats” and this was strongly supported by the likes of Great Britain.  However, trouble was brewing…
 
Beginning in 1946, President Harry Truman’s approval rating had dropped significantly due to multiple domestic issues compounded by Truman’s own strained relationship with journalists. This dissatisfaction would lead to large Democratic losses in the 1946 midterm elections, and Republicans took control of Congress for the first time since 1930. 

1948 would prove to be a pivotal year.  In late February, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia through a coup d'état.  In March, the Treaty of Brussels was signed by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, providing for economic, social and cultural collaboration and collective self-defence.  In June, the West faced a crisis when the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control.  This would soon become known as the Berlin Blockade and would witness the establishment of an airlift to ensure the survival of the city.
 
In the USA, it was an election year and President Truman was now far from popular.  The euphoria of winning the war was long diminished and the transition of the economy back to a peacetime one had witnessed the ending of price controls and as a consequence, inflation was soaring.  It didn’t help that a block of Republicans and conservative southern Democrats formed a powerful "conservative coalition" voting bloc aimed at undermining Truman’s initiatives.
 
Concurrently, the long tradition of American isolationism was finding resurgence with many decrying the 400,000 plus deaths as reason why the USA shouldn’t be involved in such overseas wars.  This even though the USA only entered the war after being directly attacked by Imperial Japan.  There was also a growing sentiment that in Europe at least the likes of Great Britain and much of Western Europe had been bailed out by the USA and that they were owed for doing so.  Such sentiment was further enflamed when in March /April, President Truman signed what would soon become known as the Marshall Plan.  This plan was to provide foreign aid to Western Europe to help rebuild their economies and to infrastructure.  Many in the USA expressed growing anger with such aid with calls for the aid to be spent at home instead. 
 
Into this environment, General Douglas MacArthur stepped.  Having gained a reputation, in no small part to his own self-promotion, as a war hero in the Pacific in WWII and more recently, as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) in Japan, MacArthur built a reputation as the statesman who had "transformed" Japan.  Sensing the growing discontentment, in March MacArthur issued a press statement declaring his interest in being the Republican nominee for president. 
 
Momentum behind MacArthur soon built and by the Republican National Convention in June he was the leading candidate and was endorsed as presidential candidate over his primary rival, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey.  Campaigning on an increasing isolationist platform, MacArthur got a further boost when President Truman signed an Executive Order ending racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces.  MacArthur leapt on this decision and declared that Truman was undermining the Armed Forces that he had led.  He also campaigned on a popular isolationist policy of “Bringing our boys back home!” which would entail ending American troop deployments and associated expenditure offshore.  Seen to be fighting a national hero, Truman struggled to gain traction, even trying to enlist the support of another former general, Dwight Eisenhower who did not like MacArthur and was quite willing to help.
 
Alas, come election day in November, the results were in and in a result that shocked no-one, voters elected MacArthur as the 34th President of the USA.
 
In January 1949, President MacArthur was thus sworn in.  He quickly moved to implement what he declared his “America First” agenda.  These included a combination of isolationist policies such as his “Bringing our boys back home!” promise, especially from Europe.  He also tore up the Marshall Plan declaring it as socialist support for wealthy Europeans who had dragged the USA into their war.
 
The effect on Great Britain and the European nations was dramatic.  With an increasingly belligerent USSR on the doorstep and now with the USA seemingly pulling out of Europe and reverting to an isolationist mindset, many were hoping that once the bluster of the election was over and once in office proper, MacArthur would revert to more traditional policies.  That said, leaders such as British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, French President Vincent Auriol and Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent all travelled to Washington DC to meet with the new American president.  They were to be disappointed though as MacArthur not only stuck firm to his policies but indeed went further.  With the Marshall Plan already dead, MacArthur now moved to call in the European powers’ debts demanding that those from both world wars and the loans since be repaid post-haste.  This move was popular at home as MacArthur promised it would be spent on Americans rather than Europeans to rebuild their empires.
 
The commencement of the withdrawal of American forces forced European leaders to scramble for a solution in the face of the Soviet threat.  This was especially the case since, following the US declarations, the decision had to be made to give up Berlin.  This resulted in deplorable scenes as the last planes out of Berlin were rushed by Berliners trying to get safe passage out of the city.  The Soviet forces allowed remaining Allied ground forces to drive out unmolested, but no civilians were to accompany them.  The last forces left on the 12th May 1949.  Thus ended one of the last relics of WW2.
 
It soon became evident that Europe now needed to work together with a collective defence approach as no one single nation had the power to face the Soviet forces individually.  Even then, it was feared that all of Europe would not be enough, especially since many were still recovering from the war.  It was also recognised that it was impractical for their front line, in the form of West Germany, to not be a part of this.  Therefore, on the heels of the Bonn–Paris conventions whereby West Germany was no longer treated as an occupied nation and that its armed forces, the Bundeswehr would also be reformed. 
 
Eventually, it was Britain, who offered a solution by bring its British Commonwealth to the table to help bolster the European nations.  Thus, on 4th April 1949, building upon the Treaty of Brussels, the British Commonwealth-European Treaty Agreement (BETA) was created.  At its inception this comprised the following members:
•   Britain and its Commonwealth (thus Canada, Australia etc…)
•   France
•   West Germany
•   Belgium
•   Denmark
•   Greece
•   Iceland
•   Italy
•   Luxembourg
•   Netherlands
•   Norway
•   Portugal
•   Spain
•   Turkey
 
These actions resulted in a tense situation on the border with the USSR and it’s Eastern European allies as Soviets claimed nothing had changed since WW2 and that a "4th Reich" was being created.  That said, as their recent win in Berlin was fully digested and not being willing to do anything that might provoke the USA to change its withdrawal of forces, nothing further would happen…for now.
 
Meanwhile in the East, the Chinese civil war was in its final phases.  The Kuomintang (KMT) led government was increasingly seen as corrupt, vindictive, and with no overall vision of what China under its rule should look like.   Their forces were being overwhelmed and were falling back everywhere.  On 1 October 1949, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Mao Zedong formally proclaimed the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.  Chiang Kai-shek and approximately two million KMT soldiers subsequently retreated from mainland China to the island of Taiwan in December after the communist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) advanced into Sichuan province. Isolated Nationalist pockets of resistance remained in the area, but the majority of resistance collapsed after the fall of Chengdu on 10 December 1949.

Thus ended the 1940s…
« Last Edit: February 27, 2024, 01:35:10 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2024, 04:08:24 AM »
1950s

The fifties commenced with the world remaining a troubled place with many nations struggling to work out which way things were heading.  There were now the beginnings of 3 growing divisions/power blocks forming:

1.   The USSR and its allies including those Eastern European states and especially the new People's Republic of China,
2.   The USA which was increasing isolationist, and
3.   Great Britain and its Commonwealth along with their European BETA partners.

In the case of the BETA nations, they felt very much stuck in the middle between the isolationist USA and a growing threat in the East.  Moreover, with most European countries still recovering from the war, times were difficult.  This was heavily compounded by the withdrawal of US forces, and their associated money.  Moreover, the tearing up of the Marshall plan and the call for immediate payment of debts threatened to make things much worse.  It was a price the likes of Great Britain and France and other nations simply couldn’t afford.  In Great Britain, this became a central issue in the 1950 election with both PM Attlee and his challenger Winston Churchill campaigning that they would address it.  In February, the Labour Party led by Clement Attlee, won the election, despite the Tories, led by Winston Churchill, increasing their seats in the House of Commons.  Shortly thereafter in April, the newly re-elected PM Attlee and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hugh Gaitskell, shocked many when they announced that they were suspending any debt repayments to the USA declaring it unreasonable to place the country and its population, still recovering from the war, in such hardship.  They further justified this decision by declaring that the USA had initiated this situation by breaking the deal in the first place.  Soon thereafter, France and other European countries declared that they would be following Britain’s lead here and doing likewise.

In the USA, the reaction was one of indignation.  MacArthur declared it outrageous and tantamount to robbery.  He also declared that if the European nations failed to reverse their stance and pay what was owed then he would find other means of being compensated, including seizing the assets or similar of those countries involved.  As a first step, he declared that those British possessions subject to the Destroyers-for-bases deal, which had granted the USA land in various British possessions for the establishment of naval or air bases with rent-free 99-year leases, would become parts of the USA proper.  This therefore resulted in the affected parts of the following:
•   Newfoundland
•   Eastern side of the Bahamas
•   Southern coast of Jamaica
•   Western coast of Saint Lucia
•   West coast of Trinidad
•   Antigua
•   British Guiana
Becoming declared permanent parts of the USA.  He further stated that he would direct the US State Dept to seek means, including via military means if need be, of seizing other territories such as Greenland, which the USA had in fact occupied during WWII.  Similarly, any British or European assets including shipping and aircraft in Continental USA or US waters would be seized as would bank accounts associated with British/Europeans.

These actions very quickly ratcheted up the simmering tension between the USA and Europeans and their respective allies.  In the case of the BETA nations, there were calls for them to stand united and to not tolerate such actions from the USA.  There were even warnings that any attempts to seize Greenland, which was a territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, would be treated as an act of war.  While such bellicose statements were a shock to most, it was not an idle threat given the strategic geographic location of Greenland vis-à-vis Canada and the North Atlantic as well as its fisheries and other natural resources.

While the USA and BETA nations were going through all of this, the USSR and other Communist nations were watching and planning.  Sensing that the west would collectively be too distracted to react, in April 1950 Stalin gave the North Korean leader Kim Il Sung permission to attack the government in the South and thus to reunite Korea.  If successful, Stalin also would consider this the first step to also seizing West Germany and even taking more of Japan, beyond the Kuril Islands that they already occupied.

Thus, at dawn on 25 June 1950, North Korean forces crossed the 38th parallel behind massive artillery fire.  The assault was justified with the claim that South Korean troops attacked first and that the North Korean forces were aiming to arrest and execute the "bandit traitor Syngman Rhee" (President of South Korea).  With the North Korean forces comprising a combined arms assault including tanks supported by heavy artillery against South Korean forces who had no tanks, anti-tank weapons or heavy artillery, the advance was quick.  For a short while the US-BETA arguments were put to one side as both condemned the actions of North Korea and declared that they viewed both the USSR and Communist China to be equally complicit in the attack.  Britain and France tried to introduce resolutions in the United Nations Security Council condemning the North Korean invasion.  These were unsuccessful though, with the USSR using its veto power to block them.  In light of this, and correctly viewing a likely follow up action being an attack on Japan, which he had an especial affinity for following his time there, MacArthur was determined that alternative, decisive action was needed.

Thus on the 9th September, MacArthur directed head the Strategic Air Command (SAC), MAJGEN Curtis LeMay to conduct a decisive strategic bombing campaign of North Korea.  Most importantly, this would include the authorisation to use nuclear weapons to strike 10 targets including the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, major ports and air bases as well as the advancing forces already in South Korea.  These strikes were undertaken using Japan based B-29s and B-50s over the following 2 days.  Suddenly the war in Korea took a whole new turn…and more was to follow. 

On the 15th September, following pre-arranged commitments made to both North Korea and the USSR, the Chinese leader Mao Zedong ordered Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces to cross the Yalu River and to intervene in the war and to render what assistance it could.  Sensing this as an escalation and believing it was always part of the overall Communist Plan, MacArthur gave an enthusiastic LeMay permission to expand SAC’s strikes to the PRC in mainland China.  Thus, over the coming 3 weeks, SAC B-29s, B-50s and even some B-36s operating from the USA conducted a series of conventional and nuclear strikes across North Korea and China.  These were supported by an amphibious invasion from Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek and his KMT forces taking advantage of the situation.  In total, some 50 nuclear strikes were undertaken.  The result was total anarchy in both countries as all forms of government control broke down.  At home MacArthur was able to joyfully declare that he had ended the Eastern Communist threat to Japan and the USA without the need to deploy American troops in an invasion.  Moreover, he declared that he had no intent of sending troops to aid the aftermath declaring that “…the Commies got themselves into this mess…they can get themselves out of it”.

Luckily for the people in the affected areas, especially those hit by nuclear weapons, the rest of the world did not view things the same way.  A multi-national force comprising elements from both the BETA nations and the USSR as well as a multitude of other non-aligned nations would quickly send both military and civilian forces to help those in China, and the whole of Korea.  This would soon become known as the “Chinese Emergency” even though it included the Korean peninsula as well.

1951 would see a continuation of the crises from the previous year.  The actions by the US dominated thinking with other countries treading carefully.  For Stalin and the USSR, plans for further actions were shelved and consolidation of those forces in Eastern Europe were bolstered.  The BETA nations also found themselves in a delicate position.  In part they were not backing down over Greenland and indeed were rapidly moving additional forces to the North Atlantic and US-Canadian border.  This would become a permanent deployment with various BETA nation forces spending time on the Canadian border.  They also carefully tied up the US in a seemingly never-ending round of negotiations over those territories and assets seized.  While this was occurring, the BETA forces in the Atlantic in the vicinity of Greenland were strengthened with constant naval patrols involving at least two aircraft carriers at all times on station.  Such actions would drive the need for BETA nation navies, especially they Royal Navy, to maintain a greater fleet of carrier.  To satisfy this demand, at first the existing Colossus-class ships were used with previous plans to decommission HMS Glory, Pioneer, Theseus and Perseus scrapped.  Concurrently, designs for new, larger carriers were initiated.

Despite horrors witnessed in China and Korea, the situation with both the USA and USSR also forced Great Britain to accelerate its nuclear weapons program.  On 3 October 1952, it detonated an atomic bomb in the Monte Bello Islands in Australia in Operation Hurricane.  This would be followed by Thermonuclear weapons later in the decade.  One controversial element of the program was that Great Britain would share its weapons technology with its two main Commonwealth partners, Canada and Australia.  This was done so as to help share the burden and to also ensure that the capability was somewhat dispersed – the result being that there was a North American capability as well as a south Pacific capability.  In all three cases, initially the weapons would be carried by Vickers Valiant bombers though this would soon be supplemented by more capable bombers and eventually both cruise and ballistic missiles.  This capability would also provide the basis for the nuclear strike capabilities of the whole of BETA for many years.

In the East the recovery actions in China and Korea continued.  In China, a civil war of sorts had broken out as various warlords competed for territory and for UN and other supplies.  This resulted in famine and necessitated the likes of BETA and other nations to also deploy military forces in the region to protect both their people and the supplies being sent.  In the case of the BETA nations this was led by the likes of Australia and India along with some elements from Japan.  Portugal and the UK also deployed forces to protect Macau and Hong Kong and France also deployed forces from Indochina.  These actions would continue well into the 1960s.

Given the multiple challenges facing it both with the USA, USSR and in the East, the major BETA nations found that they were being stretched too far.  Furthermore. they needed to win over further allies to help take up some of the burden and to help counter persistent claims of being just the old imperialist powers (coming from both USA and USSR), in 1952 the BETA countries collectively declared that they would be ending all forms of colonialism and would work with any nation that wished to join the collective agreement.  Over the coming decade, all those countries previously considered colonies of the European powers, primarily those of Great Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands would be given the opportunity to become independent.  Most voted to do so. 

In parallel to this, France and Great Britain also felt a need to resolve tensions in the Middle East, since the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence and subsequent Arab-Israeli war.  Seeing that this had the potential to open further unwanted conflicts to their Southeast, and feeling continued obligations to the area given their colonial presence in recent decades, both took deliberate efforts to resolve the disputes and to pursue a policy of rapprochement.  The fact that having good relations with the countries in this region would also provide potential strong economic benefits played no small part in this decision. 

Over the coming 5 years, a series of formal conferences and uncounted informal discussions took place.  A key breakthrough would come in 1955 in what became known as the “Meeting of Monarchs” in Cyprus.  This involved the new Monarchs of Britain, Queen Elizabeth II; Jordan, King Hussein; and Iraq, King Faisal II along with that from Iran, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, along with the relatively new Presidents of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Lebanon, Camille Chamoun, and finally the President of Israel, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.  These leaders, especially the younger ones, were able to forge a sense of mutual understanding and friendship.  As part of this, they recognised that whilst wrongs had been committed in the past it would serve no one’s benefit to continue to look backwards.  Moreover, by recognising each countries’ peoples’ rights to both exist and prosper, they would all benefit.  On the basis of this, over the following years, a series of agreements would result in past issues and perceived injustices being largely resolved.  This included especially such activities as the return and/or compensation of Palestinians displaced during the 1948-49 period.  Those willing to return would be offered Israeli citizenship while those deciding not to return would be offered citizenship in the country they were in or Great Britain or France.  It would also see the Arab nations agreeing to formally recognise the State of Israel.

In parallel to this, in 1956 Britain and Egypt agreed to modify the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement of 1954 on the phased evacuation of British Armed Forces troops from the Suez territory, the terms of which included that the Suez Canal Company would revert to the Egyptian government in November 1968.  The modification would see this accelerated by 10yrs to 1958.  This agreement, which was brokered by Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies, was seen as a victory by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser at home and avoided his previously planned nationalisation of the canal.

Finally, Israel and the Arab nations would negotiate an Economic Trade Agreement with Britain, France and the other BETA nations.  This agreement, known as the Middle East – Commonwealth – Europe – Agreement (MECEA) renewed economic development in Europe, the Middle East and beyond.  Overall, the promotion of trade would later be seen as a key element underpinning peaceful relations.

Meanwhile in the USA, the isolationist government of MacArthur was taking a more right-wing bent riding upon a wave of pro-American populist bravado.  In 1952, MacArthur was re-elected as president, this time with a new Vice President Joseph McCarthy, after his previous VP Strom Thurmond resigned to take fill a vacant position on the US Supreme court.  VP Joseph McCarthy would quickly lambast the United States Army for being "soft" on Communism and European Imperialism and called for 'correct' American religious training to become mandatory in both schools and Military.  He was eventually forced to back down (at least in public) when challenged about this contradicting the US 1st Amendment.  Despite this setback, both MacArthur and McCarthy and their allies in Congress would continue take a hard line on other policies including calls for civil rights reforms especially in the South.  In fact, to counter these was one of the reasons Strom Thurmond had made his decision.  Such actions, which included US Army forces being called to bolster National Guard forces ‘restoring order’ in some southern states to counter growing protest movements, made for a marked contrast with the end of colonialism happening elsewhere.
In the USSR, there were also changes.  In early March 1953, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died.  Following a brief struggle between contenders, Nikita Khrushchev would emerge dominant becoming new first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and thus effective ruler.  Khrushchev would quickly stun the world with his denunciation of Joseph Stalin's crimes and would embark on a policy of de-Stalinization.  Khrushchev also sought to sharply reduce levels of conventional weapons, planning instead to largely defend the Soviet Union with missiles. He believed that without this transition, the huge Soviet military would continue to eat up resources, making the goals of improving Soviet life difficult to achieve.  Over the remaining years of the decade, this would see a reduction in the size of Soviet conventionally armed forces by a third as more advanced weapons, such as ballistic missiles, were used to make up for reduced troops.
One side effect of this was that it would allow for the development of the Soviet space program (riding on the back of the ballistic missile development).  By the end of the decade this would witness the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit; along with the first mammal, the dog Laika into orbit on Sputnik 2; and the successful Luna 2 and 3 Lunar probes being the first to land on the moon and photograph the far side respectively.
Turning to Europe, the 1950s also witnessed two leaders rising to prominence.  These were Charles de Gaulle in France and Konrad Adenauer in Germany.  Both would become strong advocates for BETA and in particular European cooperation.  The Franco-German cooperation would rapidly become a cornerstone of efforts within Europe to ensure strong defences were maintained to face the Soviet threat, while leaving Great Britain and the Commonwealth nations to take the lead in facing the threat from the USA.  Other smaller nations would contribute various forces to both efforts depending upon geographic proximity to the threats and individual capacities and capabilities.

One particular action taken in Europe within this new environment was the rapid re-introduction of West Germany to the world stage.  Being right on the front line with the Soviet/Communist forces, West Germany and its armed forces, the Bundeswehr, were key to the Defence of Europe.  German Chancellor Adenauer was a crucial advocate of this strongly pushing for the end of de-Nazification activities.  The Bundeswehr was officially established in November 1950.  Through a combination of former Wehrmacht veterans and new conscripts it very quickly established itself with a size of approximately half a million uniformed personal.  Initially it was equipped with a mix of equipment including some former WWII items as well as a large proportion of British equipment, including most prominently, and quite ironically given they had originally been developed to fight NAZI Germany, Centurion Mk 3 main battle tanks and de Havilland Venoms and Gloster Meteor F.8s.  Soon though it would start to develop/produce new designs in partnership with other BETA nations such as France.

Turning back to the American sphere, in 1958, Cuba was a well-advanced country in comparison to other Latin American regions.  It was however ruled by a dictator Fulgencio Batista who in 1952, with army backing, had staged a coup and seized power.  In doing this, he was supported by the U.S. government which used its influence to advance the interests of and increase the profits of the private American companies.  By the late 1950s, U.S. financial interests owned 90% of Cuban mines, 80% of its public utilities, 50% of its railways, 40% of its sugar production and 25% of its bank deposits.  This created fertile conditions for revolution and finally in 1959, after years of struggle, the Cuban revolution would see the overthrow of the Batista by the revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.  Although the United States government was initially willing to recognize Castro's new government, it soon came to fear that Communist insurgencies would spread through the nations of Latin America.  Meanwhile, Castro's government resented the Americans for providing aid to Batista's government during the revolution.  Conversely, the nations of Europe and BETA while not necessarily agreeing with the Communist element, were willing to recognise the new government and maintain diplomatic relations.  This would become a point of friction in the coming decade.   

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2024, 04:09:12 AM »
1960s

The 1960s would see the established 3-cornered Cold War continuing and indeed, the major blocks settling into their respective corners.  Europe and BETA for their part had overcome the challenges of the last decade and economically were now much more comfortable, in no small part due to the benefits of the MECEA as well as through trade with Great Britain’s extended Commonwealth.  Moreover, those countries that were former colonies of the European powers had largely continued trade with their former colonial rulers, thus ensuring stable economies.

To the East, the USSR under Khrushchev, had experienced what was soon referred to as the “Khrushchev Thaw”.  This involved the relaxing of repression and censorship due to Nikita Khrushchev's policies of de-Stalinization and peaceful coexistence with other nations. Hand in hand with this were economic and cultural reforms, which were largely adopted by other members of the Warsaw Pact.  Khrushchev would also push for thawing of relations with the West believing that the struggle was entirely unnecessary and was very expensive for the Soviet Union. It also diverted attention away from the neutral developing world, where progress could be made, and it weakened Moscow's relationship with its East European satellites.

In the USA on the other hand, things had taken a darker tone.  Repression especially continued of black communities in the South.  1960 was an election year and this brought forth many protesting for civil rights.  These protests, although largely peaceful were met with massive police responses, in some cases supported by the National Guard.  Leaders of the Civil Rights movement such as Martin Luther King Jr. were arrested en masse.  In the case of the Presidential election later in the year, this would witness Vice President Joseph McCarthy running after President MacArthur decided to stand down after 3 terms.  Running against him was a popular young former war hero, John Fitzgerald Kennedy who many pinned their hopes upon as being able to overturn the regime.  Unfortunately, in the months leading up to the election, his campaign was rocked by scandal as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who strongly supported McCarthy, released evidence of Kennedy’s affairs with numerous women and of drug consumption.  This included numerous photographic and film recordings of Kennedy.  As such, in November 1960 Joseph McCarthy would win a landslide election win.  It would be a short-lived victory though as 1 week after the election, he would suddenly die from what was reported as a stroke, although some of his supporters claim that he was poisoned by either Soviet or European operatives.  In his place in January 1961 his Vice President-elect, Richard Nixon would be sworn in as President.

Turning further south, in Central America and South America there was a growing sense of Pan-Americanism.  To a large part this was a reaction to the developments in the Middle East.  It was however, also inspired by the events in Cuba as well as a reaction to what many were witnessing occurring in the USA.  Almost a decade earlier in late 1951, the governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua had signed a treaty creating the Organization of Central American States (Organización de Estados Centroamericanos, or ODECA) to promote regional cooperation and unity.  In December 1960, this would be further strengthened by the formation of the Central American Common Market, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) and the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA) which were all established by the five Central American nations on 13 December 1960 at a conference in Managua.  Shortly thereafter ODECA would grow as Mexico and Panama announced that they too were joining the group.

1961 would commence with the new US President Richard Nixon declaring that he would strengthen US forces facing threats to the North and South, playing very much on the theme of “they are trying to surround us”.  To this end, he declared a major build-up of American Air Defense Command forces on both the Canadian and southern borders.  This would eventually see the number of squadrons grow to in excess of 100.  Backing this up were also thousands of Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs), many of which carried nuclear warheads.  On the other side of the ledger, the US Ballistic missile forces were also to be strengthened under President Nixon’s plans.  This would include both short and medium range as well as the new intercontinental ranged missiles capable of hitting targets in the USSR and Europe.

Against this, both BETA and Warsaw Pact forces also increased their own defences.  In the case of BETA, this would see fighter/interceptor forces in Canada and increased including with detachments from other BETA countries, though for obvious reasons, those from Europe were kept relatively small given the threat also faced there.  These aircraft were also backed belts of SAMs and anti-aircraft gun systems of multiple types.  Given Canada had to dedicate much of its Defence budget to Air and Ground forces on the US border, it only maintained a relatively small coastal Navy.  This was possible though as it was able to rely upon its BETA partners, particularly the Royal Navy to the East and Royal Australian Navy to the West which picked up the slack.  The core of this would be the new 65,000t Queen Elizabeth class fleet carriers.  These had been designed in the late 1950s and were deemed crucial as the existing WWII era carriers, despite numerous upgrades, were rapidly both wearing out due to more regular patrols and also were increasingly not viewed as being sufficient in modern war.  The first of the new class was launched in late 1961 and eventually the class would grow to include 6 British ships, 2 Australian, 2 Indian, 2 French and a single Dutch ship.

Much the same would occur with West Germany as well, as this country faced the brunt of likely Soviet/Warsaw Pact aggression, even though things had stabilised post the loss of Berlin and the Khrushchev Thaw.  Never-the-less, West Germany like Canada, focussed primarily on Air and Ground forces with detachments from other BETA nations.  Amongst other capabilities, this would see Germany returning to one of its strengths from WW2 with the development of a new “Europa-Panzer”, later called the Leopard.  This would quickly adopted by multiple BETA nations with thousands produced in factories in Germany, France and Italy with one of it’s advantages being that it shared the same gun and ammunition as the already very prevalent Centurion tank.  This would be backed by a new heavy tank in the form of a British development called the Chieftain which was also adopted by a number of BETA nations including both Germany and Canada.  On the other end, France would develop a series of lighter tanks (and associated family of vehicles) called the AMX-13 series as well as a number of armoured cars such as the Panhard EBR series (which was also produced in multiple forms).  Both of these lighter armoured vehicles provided BETA airborne and rapid reaction forces to punch well above their weight through the concurrent introduction of new Malkara and SS.10/SS.11 ATGMs. 

All was not rosy for the Commonwealth though.  In March 1961, South Africa announced it would withdraw from the Commonwealth of Nations, upon becoming a republic.  This was triggered largely by continued criticism of South Africa’s racist/segregationist Apartheid policies that had grown throughout the 1950s.  As a response to this action, and as a way to encourage a change of policy, the Commonwealth nations along with many others, would institute a range of sanctions against South Africa, covering everything from sporting events through to economic and defence ties.  The South African Government, which already held strong anti-communist views soon established stronger relations with the US Government as a way to help counter these actions.

Soon the South African developments would take second stage though.  Over the 17th – 20th April, an amphibious landing operation took place at the Bay of Pigs, on the southwestern coast of Cuba by Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front (DRF), consisting of Cuban exiles who opposed Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution, covertly financed and directed by the U.S. government.  This force comprised of over 2000 paramilitaries supported by Alabama and Florida National Guard liaison officers along with 8 CIA-supplied B-26 bombers and 6 Douglas AD-5 Skyraiders.  At first more US forces and aircraft were planned to be involved by this was rejected by new USAF Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay and President Nixon who believed that the “ramshackle Cuban Air Force only flies some old WWII planes which will all be destroyed before they can do a thing”. 

On the night of 17 April, the invasion force landed on the beach at Playa Girón in the Bay of Pigs, where it overwhelmed a local revolutionary militia.  The Cuban Revolutionary Army under Prime Minister Fidel Castro quickly recovered however and started action to repell the invaders.  In this they were aided greatly by the Cuban Air Force, the Fuerza Aérea Revolucionaria (FAR). Despite claims from the B-26/AD-5 pilots to have destroyed them, the Hawker Sea Fury FB.11s of the FAR were able to make their mark as four aircraft piloted by Major Enrique Carreras Rojas, Captain Gustavo Bourzac, Lieutenants Douglas Rudd and Carlos Ulloa were soon over the invasion area.  Between them they were able to quickly down 4 B-26s and 2 AD-5s.  Thereafter they continued to provide support alongside the FARs own B-26s and T-33 jets, attacking the landed troops as well as their support ships while also preventing further air support.  Another 2 B-26s and single AD-5 were eventually shot down for the loss of only a single FAR Sea Fury and B-26. 

As the invasion force lost the strategic initiative, the international community found out about the invasion, and U.S. President Nixon got cold feet and decided to veto further support being provided. Without further air support, the invading force were defeated within three days by the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces and surrendered on 20 April. Most of the surrendered counter-revolutionary troops were publicly interrogated and put into Cuban prisons.  The invasion was a U.S. foreign policy failure. The Cuban government's victory solidified Castro's role as a national hero and would soon be seen as emboldening other Latin American groups to undermine US influence in the region.  As a way of further infuriating the USA, the surviving FAR Sea Furies would be quickly supplemented by 12 de Havilland Venom FB.50s from Great Britain as well 24 MiG-15s from the USSR.

1962 would witness the Chinese Emergency finally coming to a close after over a decade.  The end result was that mainland China was split into 4 main elements:

1.   Those annexed by the USSR including Xinjiang, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and parts of Gansu;
2.   Those under British/Commonwealth, French or Portuguese control including Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan and parts of Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Sichuan;
3.   Those under remanent Chinese Communist Control (mainly bordering USSR controlled areas) and including Ningxia, and parts of Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Heibei; and
4.   Those under Chinese Nationalist control comprising Taiwan and the remaining mainland areas.

Concurrent to this, Korea was also finally under a single government based in the new combined capital Seoul (the pre-war alternate, Pyongyang being a nuclear wasteland) which declared itself a neutral party moving forward and only maintaining minimalist police and border protection forces, mainly focussed on preventing smuggling groups from nearby former Chinese territories.

On 22 August 1962 the world was shocked when French President Charles de Gaulle and his wife were assassinated by a small group led by Frenchman Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry.  This group were angry at de Gaulle’s support for the independence of Algeria.  The group were captured and trialled shortly thereafter with multiple members being executed.  Prime Minister Georges Pompidou would be sworn in as new French President.

Despite early popularity, after a decade in power, Soviet leader Khrushchev's popularity was beginning to erode plagued by flaws in his policies, a growing erratic form of decision making, often making decisions without consultation as well as a perceived willingness to further reduce the power of the Communist party.   This emboldened his potential opponents, who quietly rose in strength and finally in October 1964, deposed him in a bloodless coup.  Unlike the losers of previous Soviet power struggles, he did not suffer a deadly fate and instead was pensioned off with an apartment in Moscow and a dacha in the countryside.  In his place, a totally different leader came to power in the form of Leonid Brezhnev.  Brezhnev was adept at politics within the Soviet power structure. He was a team player and never acted rashly or hastily. Unlike Khrushchev, he did not make decisions without substantial consultation from his colleagues and was always willing to hear their opinions.  Brezhnev's policies however also included ending the liberalizing reforms of Khrushchev, and clamping down on cultural freedom, enforcing an increasingly authoritarian and conservative attitude.

In 1965 developments in Central America would take a further major step with the declaration in March of the Republic of Central America (República de América Central (RAC)) formed comprising Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and Panama.  This was immediately reacted to by the USA with threats to send troops to Panama and declaring the Republic a threat to its interests (primarily the Panama Canal but also its hegemony in the Caribbean).  Major US forces were quickly moved to bases in neighbouring Columbia and Venezuela.  The USN 4th Fleet was also re-activated to add firepower.

The European and BETA nations as well as USSR and its supporters on the other hand recognised the Republic and called for USA to withdraw troops and to recognise the right of the people in the nations to determine their own way forward.  BETA forces (primarily British) were also sent to reinforce British Honduras (Belize).  The USSR also sent observers based out of Cuba.  The build ups would continue throughout the rest of the year.  Attempts to discuss and defuse the situation at the UN were also undertaken.

Meanwhile in November, in Rhodesia, the white-minority government of Ian Smith unilaterally declared de facto independence.  While seemingly in line with BETA’s existing policy of supporting decolonisation efforts, the British government had also adopted a policy of no independence before majority rule, dictating that colonies with a significant, politically active population of European settlers would not receive independence except under conditions of majority rule.  White Rhodesians balked at the premise of this, and many felt they had a right to absolute political control, despite their relatively small numbers.  In this, they were also supported by neighbouring South Africa and the USA.  With the ongoing activities in the Caribbean and Central America, for now Britain and the Commonwealth did nothing more than apply extensive sanctions matching those already applied to South Africa.  A combined Commonwealth naval force comprising ships from Britain, Australia and India were dispatched to monitor oil deliveries in the port of Beira in Mozambique, from which a strategic pipeline ran to Umtali in Rhodesia. The warships were to deter "by force, if necessary, vessels reasonably believed to be carrying oil destined for Rhodesia".

The situation in Caribbean and Central America continued until 19th May 1966 when President Nixon, frustrated with the embarrassment at the Bay of Pigs earlier and declaring the RAC and its support from Europe and the USSR to be a threat to the Monroe Doctrine, ordered the US Military to launch an attack on Panama to re-claim the canal which was deemed a vital US strategic asset.  This would lead to what was quickly called the Central American war as RAC forces fought to repel the attack.  In doing so, they were bolstered by Soviet in-country forces (basing out of Cuba) and equipment as well as some Spanish forces.  The remaining BETA nations also formally warned the USA not to use Nuclear weapons.  This warning was heeded due to the need to ensure the canal remains intact and the feeling in the USA that they should be able to easily defeat the RAC.  The latter is quickly shown to be misplaced as RAC forces actually fought well and, more importantly, were actively resupplied with both Soviet and BETA systems.  Even in Panama, which was occupied relatively quickly, there was an active insurgency campaign.  The war would continue for the next 7 years and would involve many US service men including forces operating from the US mainland bases.  In 1967 it would expand further as US ally Colombia entered the war and allow US forces to also operate from their territory.  The USA also tried numerous times to pressure Mexico to allow troops and other forces to transit through or operate from their territory but Mexico did not bow to this pressure declaring itself neutral.  To bolster its capabilities under this pressure, it soon asked fellow neutral country Sweden to supply equipment to bolster their capabilities and to base forces in country, nominally or training purposes.

Turning to other events, during the decade the development of space would continue and become a point of competition between the 3 power blocks.  The earlier Soviet successes were quickly followed up in 1961 when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, followed by Alan Shepard as the first American in space.  3 years later in 1964 the first British spationaut, Eric Brown would follow in the Endeavour capsule fitted to a modified Blue Streak missile.  The British Space Program would soon evolve to become a European-Commonwealth one with the main heavy launch facility being located in the North of Australia.  While some had hoped for a rapid race to land men on the moon or similar, all nations adopted a steady development path with a focus on low Earth orbit to begin with.  This would include satellites (initially for military observation) but soon for other tasks such as communication.  All looked to develop in orbit labs/stations and other vehicles.  This would continue into the 1970s.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2024, 04:09:46 AM »
1970s

The 1970s would commence with the Central American War continuing.  US forces, including those operating from the USA itself, continued to fight RAC forces which were being supported by BETA and the Soviets.  There were however some positive developments too as the three main blocks signed a number of treaties on the nuclear weapons side.  These included the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Seabed Arms Control Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.  Eventually, in the growing spirit of trust between the parties, in 1973 Peace Talks aimed at ending the Central American War commenced.   A formal peace treaty would be signed in September that year in Cairo.  Amongst other elements, this would see the RAC remain intact and US forces pulled out of Panama.  The RAC would however ensure US forces retained access to transiting the Panama Canal.

However, just as one war ended, another was heating up. In southern Africa, the advent of global decolonisation and the subsequent rise in prominence of the Soviet Union among several newly independent African states was viewed with wariness by the South African and Rhodesian governments.  In part, this wariness would be justified as internal anti-white rule protest groups, along with their more militant guerrilla movements, were increasingly vocal.  Often these groups were further bolstered by Soviet and Cuban forces.  In response to these actions, both South African and Rhodesian forces increasingly undertook military operations against the insurgents.  Things would step up though in 1970 following a UN Security Council Resolution that declared South Africa's continued occupation of Namibia (formerly South West Africa) illegal.  Open fighting quickly broke out between the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) and the South African authorities in August 1970.   The South African Defence Force (SADF) was soon staging massive conventional raids into Angola and Zambia to eliminate PLAN's forward operating bases   It also deployed specialist counter-insurgency units to carry out external reconnaissance and track guerrilla movements.  South African tactics became increasingly aggressive as the conflict progressed.

Rhodesia was also participating in its own similar battles against Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) forces fighting against white-minority rule in Rhodesia.  In both cases, the white forces were largely outnumbered though they did maintain an edge in military capability.  This capability was increasingly at risk though as both were largely equipped with British or French weapons which were subject to sanctions.  Although efforts to establish indigenous weapons development/production capabilities were intensified there was only so much that could be done.  In 1974 a solution would be found when US President Nixon visited both countries and in Pretoria, alongside the leaders of both South Africa and Rhodesia, announced that he had signed a treaty of mutual support.  This treaty would provide the basis for US military equipment and advisers to be sent to the countries.  Nixon declared that “this was crucial to ensuring the South African bastions of civilisation were not overrun by the black communist savages”.  The result of this would quickly see influxes of US aircraft and ground systems.  Although US military forces were not formally deployed, a large number of technical and operational ‘advisers’ were soon to be found in country.  In retaliation, the USSR supplied more equipment and advisers, including Cuban veterans of the recent Central American War to the likes of Angola and Zambia. 

BETA forces did not get directly involved in these conflicts, which were soon referred to as the collective “Bush Wars”, though they did maintain sanctions and the naval presence.  They were unwilling though to directly challenge/prevent US supplied equipment coming in.  At the request of the Government of the Republic of Botswana, which found itself right in the middle of the conflict area, BETA forces were deployed to ensure the territorial integrity of the country and to act as observers.  In parallel, the Botswana Defence Force also equipped itself with more modern BETA supplied equipment.  This was possible due to the economy of Botswana being quite strong having benefitted from strong post-independence economic growth.  The Bush wars would continue to trouble Africa for the next decade, well into the 1980s.

On a different note, the 1970s would also see the Space Race accelerating.  Each of the three main blocks had treated space as an extension of their other forces, in essence seeing space as a form of ‘high ground’.  In addition, the use of rockets to launch satellites also provided proof of the ability of the same rockets to launch nuclear payloads.  That’s not to say that the satellites themselves didn’t prove useful of course.  The ability to provide communications and intelligence gathering/surveillance was highly valued and provided capabilities previously only dreamt of previously. 

Interestingly, each of the main antagonists took slightly different approaches to providing their space-based capabilities.  The Soviets took the most basic and arguably the quickest (hence their early lead) comprising the use of staged, liquid fuelled rockets such as the Vostock/R-7 rocket and also Proton rocket, both derived from ICBMs.  Apart from satellites, these rockets were also used to launch a series of relatively simple ballistic capsules, ultimately centring upon the Soyuz family of craft.  Supplementing this were a series of manned orbital space stations of the Salyut family.  These were launched throughout the 1970s and spent increasing durations in space.  They provided both a manned observation capability supplementing the unmanned satellites as well as a platform for some limited research.

The USA adopted a similar approach to the Soviets to comment with utilising ballistic capsules primarily of the Gemini family launched using ICBM derived Titan and Thor launchers.  They also developed a similar series of space stations known as Manned Orbiting Laboratories (MOLs).  These were conceptually similar to the Soviet Salyuts.  In addition, the USAF also developed a winged orbiter known as Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar ("Dynamic Soarer").  This was more advanced than the existing Gemini family (though they never quite replaced them) and whereas spacecraft such as Gemini or Soyuz, were space capsules with ballistic re-entry profiles that ended in a landing under a parachute, Dyna-Soar was more like an aircraft.  It could travel to distant targets at the speed of an intercontinental ballistic missile, was designed to glide to Earth like an aircraft under the control of a pilot and could land at an airfield.  It also provided a degree of re-usability being reconditioned after each mission.

Last of the three powers to enter space were the Europeans.  Getting off to later start because of the costs of rebuilding post WWII and the need to rapidly divert budgets towards supporting their Defence forces facing both the USSR and USA meant that resources were limited.  That said, the later start also allowed the Europeans to benefit from later technological developments and lessons learnt.  Moreover, in the mid 1950s, the Europeans also benefitted from an influx of leading rocket scientists as a result of the MacArthur/McCarthy purge of many former German scientists brought to the USA at the end of the War.  As such, luminaries such as Wernher von Braun, Walter Dornberger and Krafft Ehricke along with many others were expelled from the USA and soon found their way back to their European homelands.  These would provide a boon to the soon to be named Commonwealth and European Space Agency (CESA – pronounced Caesar) and would enable the rapid catch up and arguably, overtaking of the USSR and USA.

While the first activities followed a similar ICBM derived Endeavour ballistic capsule using the Europa launcher derived from the Blue Streak missile, focus was quickly turned to a far more advanced platform.  This was centred upon a concept developed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) working in conjunction with their French and German counterparts.  Initially called the Multi-Unit Space Transport And Recovery Device (MUSTARD), in service this was renamed the Hermes Reusable Launcher and was a fully reusable multistage rocket, with the individual stages comprising near-identical spaceplane modules. These planes, or stages, were hypersonic vehicles. Following a vertically standing launch, each stage was progressively separated during the ascent, after which they individually flew back towards a suitable landing strip. The final spaceplane was capable of attaining orbital trajectory before also performing a controlled return. Following a conventional landing, all of the stages were able to be reused multiple times.  Not only was this system fully reusable, it was actually far more capable than simple ballistic capsule/rockets.  Moreover, individual stages were capable of being used individually as suborbital hypersonic platforms.  Not only did these provide a suborbital military capability (both for reconnaissance and strike missions) but a derivative was also adopted as a sub-orbital, passenger transport.  This was used for both military roles and also as a high-end civilian transport.  In the latter form, it was given the name Concorde and was capable of carrying 60 passengers from London to Sydney in approximately 2hrs.  The CESA in conjunction with BETA also developed their own series of orbital stations.  These were named Athena after the Greek goddess of wisdom and military victory and were similar in concept and size to the Salyuts/MOLs.

Both the USA and USSR also launched a series of space-based weapons platforms designed to provide an in space orbital bombardment system capable of launching warheads with very short notice and providing a space-based arm of their nuclear forces.  This path was not taken by the BETA nations given the short/medium range IRBMS they used and the rapid ability of the MUSTARD system to be used.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2024, 04:10:25 AM »
1980s

The 1980s began with the Bush War continuing and indeed the USA was sending increased numbers of advisors which were starting to get involved in actual fighting.  Likewise, the CIA was operating from Sth Africa as well as supporting mercenary operations in the region.  These activities were beginning to take their toll though.  After the years of the Central American War and then the growing involvement in the Bush Wars in South Africa, the American public were tired.  When combined with the many years of essentially being a one-party state with elections a joke as the republicans stage managed things or downright cheated, be that through falsifying votes, restricting those who could vote or preventing legitimate opposition and/or elections, a growing discontentment was apparent.  For instance, Richard Nixon now had been president since 1961.  Most Americans could not even remember what it has been like before 1949. 

Likewise, many Europeans had known nothing more than roughly two decades of facing threats from both the East (with the USSR/Warsaw Pact) and West (USA).  A two-decade cold war had ensued between the three blocks, sometimes flaring into conflict via proxies and similar but more often than not, just a continued stalemate and need to maintain force on alert, both nuclear and otherwise.  In places such as the Inner German border and Canadian/USA border, opposing forces faced each other heavily armed and ready for conflict. 

However, soon a groundswell of public frustration would begin.  Starting first in the USSR in March of 1984 when a new, young and dynamic Mikhail Gorbachev would assume the leadership of the USSR following the death of first Brezhnev and then in rapid succession, his successors Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko.  Gorbachev's leadership style differed from that of his predecessors. He would stop to talk to civilians on the street, forbade the display of his portrait at the 1985 Red Square holiday celebrations, and encouraged frank and open discussions at Politburo meetings.  In a style reminiscent of the “Khrushchev Thaw”, he would also promote the joint terms/policies of Perestroika, an all-encompassing series of reforms to restructure society and the economy, and Glasnost, the concept of openness and transparency.  Under his leadership and these policies, the USSR again started to open up and warm relations with the West.

Just as momentous developments would also occur soon in the USA.  Beginning in May 1984, when Richard Nixon suffered a stroke and died.  He was immediately succeeded by his latest vice president (there had been a number over the last 20+ years), Ronald Reagan, an ex-Hollywood actor selected mainly for his perceived popularity with the public.  Although generally a liked character, Reagan had the misfortune of becoming president at a time when the public were fed up and looking for a change.  The election in November 1984 would provide that change.

Although elections in the USA had for long become a joke with successive Presidents since MacArthur finding ways to manipulate the outcomes to remain in power, that in 1984 was different.  Ronald Reagan wanted his election to be legitimate believing that the public liked him enough to ensure victory without the usual manipulations.  However, he did not contend with his rival, Democrat Jimmy Carter, a retired USN nuclear submarine captain, and the popular movement he was able to muster.  Inspired largely by the developments in the USSR with Gorbachev, he was soon leading a campaign to change things in the USA.  Starting in his home state of Georgia, he soon became a vocal advocate of Civil Rights, especially those of the long oppressed negros.  Joining in marches and rallies with them and adopting the slogan “It’s time [for a change]”, he conducted a very grassroots campaign.  Come the November election, the world was astounded when not only did Carter win a massive majority but more so, that the incumbent Ronald Reagan ensured a peaceful transfer of power.

The changes in both the USSR and the USA were watched with great interest from Europe and elsewhere.  While at first cautious, soon a mood of positivity began to take hold.  Over the next two years, a series of summits were soon held involving key leaders of each of the three blocks.  Europe was probably the least changed as the democracies in the British Commonwealth, mainland Wester Europe and the Middle East largely continued as they were, albeit with a reduced need for military spending.  In the East and West though, momentous changes were taking place.  In the USSR, Gorbachev gave his blessing to the bordering nations, and indeed many parts of the USSR to adopt the principles of Perestroika and Glasnost and indeed to hold their own open elections, even when the results of such did not go the way that was hoped.  A key example being that of East Germany which quickly moved to reunify with their West German brethren.

In the USA, President Carter also moved quickly.  He immediately ordered the removal of all US military or related forces operating in the Bush Wars and the cessation of US sourced military support to the South African and Rhodesian governments.  While this did not mean the end of the fighting in Africa, it was seen as a significant signal to all concerned and one that would later be the trigger for peace negotiations by the end of the decade and the deployment of BETA peacekeepers to the area.   Within 100 days of Carter’s election, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts would also became law.  These landmark pieces of legislation outlawed discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex, and national origin and also went a long way to ensuring open, free and fair elections.  Soon thereafter, he took steps to de-escalate tensions on the Canadian border, inviting then Canadian Prime Minister Flora MacDonald to meet with him at Niagara Falls. In the months after this, he would also meet with Gorbachev and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Australia.  In 1986, the landmark Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) were commenced aimed at de-escalating tensions between all parties and encompassing staged reductions in both nuclear and conventional forces facing each other.

Also in 1986, on the 25th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight, Soviet leader Gorbachev proposed a joint USSR-USA-Commonwealth/European space initiative to put a human on the moon before the end of the century.  By combining the capabilities of all three power blocks’ space forces, it was hoped that this could be achieved within a decade, with Gorbachev making a famous speech challenging the parties “…to choose to go to the Moon within a decade…”.    Moreover, it was seen as a way to help drive a sense of solidarity.  In this it was wildly successful, with Roberta Bondar, a Canadian-Ukrainian spationaut becoming the first person to step on the moon in 1992 after her Solidarity spacecraft arrived in orbit above the moon, having first been constructed in Earth orbit.  She was quickly accompanied by her Soviet and American companions, cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and astronaut Story Musgrave. 
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2024, 04:12:38 AM »
This was originally something I was working with Stephen (aka apophenia).  It is meant to be the backbone of a far bigger story.
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Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2024, 04:48:01 AM »
 It's pretty good so far. MacArthur as President....brrrrr.

Offline Claymore

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2024, 06:26:29 AM »
 Great storyline Greg and a veritable wealth of whiffing potential.  :smiley:
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2024, 10:50:21 AM »
It's pretty good so far. MacArthur as President....brrrrr.

I aim to scare.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2024, 10:53:32 AM »
a veritable wealth of whiffing potential.  :smiley:

Yep…that was the plan
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2024, 05:33:20 PM »
Apart from the thawing of international relations in the 1980's, it's also a decent springboard into the world of the RAN's Pirate-class nuclear submarines. ;)
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Offline apophenia

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Re: 3 cornered Cold War
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2024, 11:01:27 AM »
Nice work. Greg!   :D

... It is meant to be the backbone of a far bigger story.

Looking forward to that  :smiley:
"It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes." - Agent Rogersz