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Quadratic Pact

One of the odder historical facts is that Stalin was quite eager to join Hitler’s ‘pact of steel’ with Italy and Japan.  Hitler rebuffed gentle enquires as he had already set his heart on taking ‘living space’ in Russia.  What if he had not and Stalin had become Hitler’s military ally?

We need a reason for Hitler’s change of heart – or find him a reason to accept a delay.  Let’s assume that Petain refuses the German terms for surrender in 1940 and sails to Algeria with the few loyalist units had can ship out and the French Fleet.  Vichy is governed by a pro-German government.  I am no expert in French politics, so let’s just say that Petain becomes head of the Free French, with DeGualle as military leader.  Most of the French colonies would probably join the free French with the possible exception of Indochina.

The addition of the French troops and ships means that Italy will be defeated in Libya before the Germans can become involved.  Sealion is even more impossible, so Hitler is forced to conclude that Britain needs to be defeated first before going east.  Therefore, he sends diplomatic enquires to Stalin, accepting the soviet proposals for an alliance.

Instead of a North African War, the Germans spend the summer of 1940 either conquering or allying with the Balkan nations, laying supply lines through the Balkans, while the Russians build up outside Iran.  The Russians take modern-day Moldova, convincing Romania, Greece and Yugoslavaia to join the Germans.  The British take Crete from the Greeks.

The Turks have been trying to stay out of the fighting, even when it’s coming their way.  The Germans and Russians issue a joint ultimation, which the Turks reject – Russia was not very good in Finland and the Germans have bad supply lines.  The two powers invade and, despite limited British assistance, Turkey is occupied.

Historically, there was a pro-German uprising in Iraq around this time.  Let’s have the Germans permit Rommel to launch an attack into Iraq (from Turkey) to support the Iraqis and the soviets invade Iran.  The Iranians fight well, but the soviets out power them, while the British are overstretched.  French rule in Syria collapses and the Germans push into Palestine.  Radical Arabs get the task of solving the Jewish problem.

The British collapse in the Middle East tempts the soviets to try for India and Afghanistan.  Afghanistan is brutally crushed, although bitter fighting continues, and north India falls.  The soviets very quickly make themselves unpopular, causing riots and Muslim uprisings, which spread through the Muslim SSRs as well.  Japan is also tempted and starts to pressure the British in Hong Kong and the other small British islands.

An alarmed FDR slaps sanctions on the Japanese and sends what help he can to British, short of war.  The Japanese seize Hong Kong, The Dutch East Indies and Indochina.  Britain, ironically, does not have a Singapore as there aren’t as many soldiers available.  America declares war on Japan, Germany, Italy and the USSR.

Chances are this pacific war follows the same path as OTLs, at least until Midway.  The Japanese knock out most of America’s possessions, bomb Australia and threaten to invade Pearl Harbour.  However, the Japanese are very interested in invading Burma and India first, hoping to seize more of the goodies before Germany or Russia gets them.  British authority over India collapses entirely.

British, strengthened with lend lease (more available as no support goes to Russia) builds up in Egypt.  The French support resistance movements in France, but that’s limited as the French communists are supporting the Germans and the Germans are stronger as there’s no eastern front.  Once the US defeats the Japanese fleet in 1943, there is a combined allied landing in Arabia and a war across the Arabian Peninsula.  The Germans have captured the Saudi royal family, but their authority collapses as their armies evaporate and the Germans run out of supplies.  The British and Americans flush the Germans and Russians out of the Arabian Peninsula and Palestine, but face powerful Russian forces in India and Iran.  India is collapsing into anarchy as the Japanese grab all the supplies for themselves and there is mass starvation.  The Russians have brutally crushed all resistance.

The atomic program goes quicker in this TL and the Russians are further behind, although they’re sharing what they get with the Germans.  The allies build up in Britain for an invasion of France, in early 1945, as well as bombing German targets in the Balkans and Turkey.  Resistance movements are growing across Europe and the Ukraine. 

First use of an atomic weapon on Hamburg.  (Allies wanted Berlin, but the air defences are still strong.)  Hitler and the reminder of the nazi elite head east and push their own work forward as allies land in France.  Allies get bogged down in Normandy, but grind forward step by step. 

Italy tries to switch sides after reading about the damage to Hamburg.  Hitler flies in reinforcements, occupies the country, seizes Italian fleet.  Allies attack Sicily and Sardinia from North Africa (mainly British and French).  Japan firebombed constantly, but still not giving in.  Russians make plans to seize Japanese territory if Japanese fall.  Chieng and the ChiComms have made common cause, are pushing Japanese hard, forcing them back to Manchuria.  Japanese cut off from Japan, dependent upon Russian generosity.  Heh heh.

Allies attack Norway and occupy Finland, rearming the Finns.  Stalin launches a second attack into Finland, but is defeated with very high cost.  Allies start airdropping supplies into Poland, Ukraine, and Czechoslovakia.  Resistance movements are costing the occupiers dear.  Second atomic bomb: Leningrad.

Germans have completed their own bomb and are practicing with V2s.  Germans launch aerial offensive at the Normandy pocket, force the allied air forces back, then drop their bomb on the allied troops.  Normandy forces destroyed in the fighting.  Allies concentrate on increasing the air defences of Britain, Norway and Finland – Stalin is demanding the bombing of Helsinki.  Germans launch a lighting invasion of Sweden, but get bogged down with the Swedes and allied support. 

Anglo-Americans have finally driven the Russians out of Iran.  Russian troops are undersupplied and ill equipped.  Muslim rebellions in the Caucasus make the supply situation impossible – Russians defeated.  Russians withdraw from India as best as they can, leaving millions of dead Indians behind them.  Indian princes are attempting to set up their own states and seeking allied recognition, allies airdrop supplies and leapfrog Japanese positions, allowing the Indians to destroy them.

British 1945 general election – Churchill boosted by victory in Iran and endless war.  Labour discredited because of links to British communists and the fact that the war is still on with no clear winner.  British Commonwealth is wavering: South Africa is reluctant to supply any more troops; Australians need to garrison ex-Japanese islands, Canadians short of men.  British speed up their own atomic project with help from America.  British are also developing rockets after capturing a number of unexploded V2s. 

Allied bombing is slowly chipping away at the German defences, but far too slowly.  Allies now have five atomic bombs without a target, Axis (Germans/Russians/Japs) have two more German bombs.  Germans have been trying to penetrate the air defences of Britain, but so far have failed. 

Germans threaten Franco with atomic attack unless he takes Gibraltar.  Allies refuse to send support – Franco takes the fortress.  Allies send help to anti-Franco forces in Spain, occupy Morocco and Spanish Islands.  Spanish Civil War restarts – Spain is soon a bloodbath.

Short Break here to give the situation. It is now middle 1946.  The Axis holds Europe, Russia and Turkey.  The allies hold the Middle East, parts of India, Africa, America, Britain and the Commonwealth.  Pretty much of the rest of the world is being fought over.  Both sides have atomic bombs.

Ready?  Here’s the rest:  The allies are having severe manpower shortages.  They solve them by drafting almost everyone they can; black Americans, Africans, Algerians, Indians and Arabs.  The Germans have converted the extermination camps into work camps and have enslaved the Jews and Italians.  Frenchmen suspected of resistance activity are force-drafted into the camps as well.  German production is expanding rapidly and their technical levels are higher than the allies.  U-Boats are still making a nuisance of themselves in isolated waters, although the allies have enough escort ships to make that very expansive.

Hitler sees this as a war of nerves and refuses to blink first.  Stalin is dependent upon German technology and sees the possibility of realising historical Russian goals.  Both main axis partners are suspicious that the other is going to cut a deal with their foes and leave the other one alone.  Japan is being firebombed into the ground – the main Japanese forces have evacuated themselves to Manchuria along with their biological warfare equipment and the royal family.  The majority of the Japanese people have been allowed to starve, as well as being infected with disease, in hopes of ruining an allied invasion.  Diseases are also sweeping across China, Indochina and Vietnam.

The allies are exterminating Japanese remments as soon as they find them.  Indian forces are being used to locate and isolate Japanese units, which are then bombed into submission.  Every Japanese island is being taken by brute force – Truk gets the first nuke deployed against a Japanese target.  Ho Cho Minh has seized French equipment and is waging a greuala war with support from the OSS.  America has quietly agreed to recognise Ho as the legitimate ruler of Indochina, with French support. 

The Free French are having problems in Algeria – they’re training Algerian fighters who don’t have a stake in the French-dominated society.  Petain is prepared to allow them some voice, but insists on retaining French dominance; so fighting has broken out in some places.  A particularly nasty incident occurs when a French private refuses to salute an Algerian officer.  The Libyans and Egyptians are also threatening to revolt, although the British have made compromises that allow both sides to keep their honour.  Jews who have escaped extermination in Palestine are taking a bloody revenge on the Arabs.

Hitler is looking for a silver bullet.  He thinks he’s found one by equipping a u-boat with a nuke and sending it to New York.  The city is destroyed in a flash and America goes nuts with rage.  Allied atomic bombs are used against Bremen, Dresden, Rome and Archangel.  The Italians revolt again and the allies ship in support, tying down a large German force.  Hitler vows to fight on and equips two new u-boats with the same weapon.  A coup by the German army is defeated after a close shave.

The Americans storm ashore on Japan in 1947.  They find only a few million Japanese – disease, hunger and war have wiped out nearly seventy percent of the population.  Allies send no help to the population, but at least they stop the bombing.  Japanese forces in Manchuria vow to fight on.  Chieng dies in an accident and the popular front dissolves in China.  The British recover Hong Kong with a sneak attack, but soon discover that it’s practically destroyed and depopulated. 

1948 – the rocket war.  Germany is bombing America with inaccurate rockets from Germany.  They’re trying to build one big enough to carry a nuke, but so far they’ve failed.  Britain is bombing Germany with rockets as well, but it’s not a big success.  Italian revolts have been crushed, as have the Spanish resistance fighters.  Russian troops have moved into Manchuria beside their Japanese allies and are occupying China to prevent it being used as a base.  Afghanistan has been depopulated – refuges are fleeing from the Muslim SSRs to the Middle East.  Stalin is building up in North Russia to reinvade Finland.

Allies launch an invasion of Turkey through Iraq.  Turkish resistance stalls German attempts at reinforcements, but the allies have bad supply lines.  The invasion bogs down into a stalemate.

Allies and Russians are battling it out in China.  Stilwell has pulled the Chinese into an alliance as reports of genocide come in from the Russian-occupied areas.  American air power supports Chinese troops as they head north, exterminating Japanese and Russian troops they encounter.  Allied medicine is bringing the epidemics under control, but china is staving. 

The Americans have managed to launch a manned spaceplane designed to pass over Europe and take pictures.  (Something like the dynasoar).  Germany is starving as allies turn their bombers into firebombers and hit German farms.  Germans kill allied troops in captivity.  French, Italians and Balkans starving as Germans use them as slave labour. 

Americans invade France again, this time with bigger forces and atomic bombs.  Every large German base in the region is nuked – Rommel is killed after failing to evacuate.  Free French and British forces invade southern France and split Spain away from Germany.  Granada is nuked and Franco given a choice between surrender or the systematic destruction of Spain.  He surrenders to America and has his forces lay down their arms.  Many Spanish citizens take the opportunity to extract revenge for their treatment – priests are a special target. 

German position is collapsing as their air defences weaken.  Berlin and the reminder of the German cities are nuked.  German factories slow their output as mass slaughter follows.  German hardcore retreats with their atomic weapons to Poland and their Russian allies.  Stalin makes peace overtures, but refuses to surrender the German scientists, Poland or the Ukraine.  Turks launch massive rebellion and defeat German occupiers, inviting the allies into turkey.  Greece collapses and the Turks take the chance to seize disputed islands.  The Balkans become a slaughterhouse as the Germans retreat, although Russians do try to seize vital targets.

German war willingness is gone.  (Well, mostly).  The ordinary German trooper is surrendering to the allies if he can.  The hardcore is in Russia and is co-operating with Stalin.  Russian troops occupy all of Poland as Berlin (what’s left of it) falls.  The Poles launch a rising against Stalin, but are brutally slaughtered. 

Russians deploy atomic bombs against Finnish positions and invade.  The American forces are defeated in the confusion and the soviets seize most of Finland.  The Americans fall back to Sweden and keep fighting.  Italy has managed to break free of Germany, but is starving as well, asking for aid.  Allies send a little support, but not much.  The British are exhausted.  They’re still fighting, but they don’t have much left.  Churchill is thinking about the end of the conflict as well; preparing for the future. 

The Algerian war breaks out as the French reoccupy France.  The Algerians demand equal rights to Frenchmen in their own country, but the French refuse.  The fighting starts bitterly and is far worse than OTL; the French have a bigger population and they’re seeing it as a stab in the back.  The fighting is brutal and merciless – it rapidly spreads to the other African colonies.  The Congo becomes a bloodbath.  South Africa leaves the war – occupies Rhodesia – invites white colonists to immigrate.  Australia also leaves the war, choosing to annex the East Indies and part of Japan.  Religious fighting spreads to Saudi and Iraq.

Germany surrenders once a suitable candidate for surrendering is found.  Russia digs into Poland, refuses to budge and forces Poles out into Germany.  The allies attack up from Turkey and into Poland, fighting a brutal war.  The soviets deploy their next bomb against the Turks – Sevastopol falls to a British amphibious attack.  The British are feeding men who will fight for them and sending them into the meatgrinder of the Russian/Turkish front.  The Turks have declared a Jihad against the godless communists and are recruiting Muslims from India and Arabia.  Baku falls in 1950, pinching Russian oil supplies.

The Americans and British had finally made a bomb that can go on a rocket.  Moscow, Stalingrad and Minsk are destroyed, fatally disrupting the Russian system.  As it collapses, the Russian troopers tend to desert and go back to their farms.  Stalin is killed at Moscow.  The Ukraine raises in revolt.   The allies advance slowly to the ruins of Moscow, and then to the Urals, destroying the Russian factories.  Russia collapses – Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltics and the Muslim SSRs claim their independence.  The Japanese in the far east fight to the end and are finally crushed by the Chinese. 

As the fighting tails off, the shape of the postwar world takes shape.  Care to guess what it looks like?  Here are my thoughts:

  • America is likely to go back to isolation without a creditable threat from outside, although the civil rights era might come earlier as there would be far more well-trained black troops returning.
  • Britain would probably suffer massive economic collapse as soon as the war ends, unless there is some form of Marshall Aid, and there won’t be any attempt to hold on to the colonies.
  • France would probably fight bitterly in Algeria as it would be a nicer place to live than a radioactive France.  I suspect the French would win and marginalize the natives.
  • Germany, unless torn apart, would probably rise again at some point, perhaps 1970.  They would have suffered much more damage, true, but they would not have been a separated nation.
  • Poland would be independent, but would probably have major disputes with the Ukraine.
  • Russia would probably never develop a new central authority.
  • Turkey would have the chance to recover most of the Ottoman Empire, with possibly thousands of immigrants from India.
  • India would probably end up as a federation of princely states.
  • Israel won’t exist in this TL (fewer Jews, devastated Arabia).  The remaining Jews will probably end up in America or perhaps South Africa. 

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