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Old 06-26-2009, 03:17 PM
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Default Countdown to the end of the world as we know it...



Twilight 2000 Timeline (V1.2): Countdown to Armageddon

This timeline has been creating using much of the work that had been started by a man I know only as Webstral… Whose amazing and wonderful work he had done to expand and clarify many aspects of the original Twilight 2000 timeline is what had inspired me, and kept my interest in preserving the original first edition Twilight 2000 timeline.


Konstantin Dmitrievich Danilov
Danilovism
Danilovians

Nikolai Ivanovich Tukhachevsky, Defense Minister
Tukhachevskyites


1989

By the mid-1980’s, West and East Germany had formed distinct identities. The FRG had become an economic powerhouse. Its military was powerful, possessing a first-rate military tradition and top-notch equipment. East Germany, though a success by Communist standards, was impoverished next to its capitalist half. The population and military were both smaller and significantly less capable. Throughout this period, both halves of Germany were hosts to major foreign military establishments. The United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and France all maintained significant forces inside the FRG to defend their NATO partner from Soviet invasion. For their part, the Soviet Union maintained a massive military establishment in the DDR. Though by the 1980’s there was probably little risk of an outright Soviet invasion of West Germany, both sides maintained a high state of readiness. Germans on both sides of the border hoped for eventual reunification. The West Germans were more vocal about it. It was difficult to see, however, when that might happen.

In 1989, Hungary began to open its borders with the West. Soon afterwards, other Eastern European nations began to allow increased traffic with Western Europe. Gorbachev, the President of the Soviet Union, did nothing. Then, in December 1989, an amazing thing began to happen. The Berlin Wall, which had divided Communist East Berlin from capitalist West Berlin since the early 1960’s, began to fall. It seemed that the Cold War was on the verge of ending. After forty years, the dreams of German reunification were about to be realized. As West Berliners and East Berliners danced on the Wall, hard-line Communists in Moscow made their move.

In a violent coup, the Gorbachev regime was toppled. The new government, led by former KGB man Konstantin Dmitrievich Danilov, immediately set about restoring the Communist situation in Eastern Europe. Soviet troops restored the Berlin Wall with no small amount of bloodshed. Throughout Eastern Europe, the KGB and the Soviet Army reversed the liberalizing trend of the satellite states and reconfirmed Soviet hegemony. Tens of thousands were killed, tortured, or imprisoned. Despite the outcry of many West Germans, NATO stood by and watched helplessly. It was a signal moment for the West German psyche.

A group of KGB hard-liners and military men watched with growing apprehension.

If the Eastern European states had the power to open their borders to the West, there would be an enormous loss of specialized talent to the West. It had happened in East in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. With the border between Communist East and the increasingly prosperous West of Berlin open, professionals and specialists of every description left the DDR in droves. The Berlin Wall had been erected to keep them in. With the Iron Curtain beginning to look more and more like a sieve, the whole scene would be repeated on a massive scale. The economies of Eastern Europe would be devastated. That the Eastern European governments could not help foreseeing this confirmed to the cabal of Soviet hard-liners that the Eastern Europeans had lost their minds. They obviously preferred this self-destructive show of resistance to the USSR to their own economic well-being. There were ominous portents about where this might go. Stalin had conquered Eastern Europe and installed Communist regimes for the principal purpose of providing a bulwark against the West.

But it also would mean that there would be a unified Germany that would be allied with the West, that could invade Russia for the third time in a century if they so wished. The Germans would no longer have to fight their way through East and Poland before reaching Soviet soil. If they lost control of their East European satellites it could mean that Poland might be willing to allow Western forces to transit their country rather than participate in the defense of Russia. The Soviet hard-liners began to make plans, and create a covert network of like-minded allies in many of the East European nations.

In December 1989, the Berlin Wall started to come down. Live television broadcasts showed crowds of Germans on both sides of the Wall partying and attacking the Wall with sledgehammers. And shown as East German border guards who were supposed to be shooting any East Germans as they attempted to cross over to the other side, were instead actually helping West Berliners climb up onto the wall to destroy it. For many, the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 had signified the end of the cold war, but to others it was evidence that their iron grip on the nations of Eastern Europe was waning. And seeing East and West Germans dancing on the Berlin Wall frightened die-hard Communist hardliners throughout the Soviet government to work together and carry out a bloody coup that replaced Gorbachev and his reform government when Gorbachev had done did nothing to stop this travesty.

The hard-liners made their move, and using mostly KGB troops the hard-liners assaulted the Kremlin in the dead night. There was a great deal of violence and bloodshed. Within an hour, a KGB official named Konstantin Dmitrievich Danilov had assumed the top office in the Soviet Union.

Shortly thereafter, Soviet motor rifle troops pulled up to the Berlin Wall in several sectors. There were no warnings. The troops simply opened fire. Their principal targets were the East German border guards, but a good deal of fire was sprayed into the crowds of East German civilians on the Communist side of the Wall. Camera crews caught it all. Numbers of West Germans were caught on the Wall or even on the wrong side and gunned down. The atmosphere of jubilance instantly morphed into a scene of terror as Berliners attempted to flee. The West Berliners, though panicked into mass flight, at least had the Wall to protect them. Hundreds of East Germans died, and many more were wounded. Throughout East and Eastern Europe as a whole, the Soviet security apparatus went into action. Overnight, thousands of East Germans, Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, and Bulgarians were seized or assassinated.

The Soviet garrisons in Eastern Europe were mobilized and moved to take control of key assets. Fighting between Soviet troops and local military units broke out in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.

Stunned, the West looked on in horror.

In a violent coup, the Gorbachev regime had been toppled. And the new government that emerged from the rubble, was led by a former KGB Official named Konstantin Dmitrievich Danilov, immediately set about restoring the Communist situation in Eastern Europe. Soviet troops had restored the Berlin Wall with no small amount of bloodshed. Throughout Eastern Europe, the KGB and the Soviet Army reversed the liberalizing trend of the satellite states and reconfirmed the Soviet hegemony. Tens of thousands were killed, tortured, or imprisoned. Despite the outcry of many West Germans, NATO stood by and watched helplessly. It was a signal moment for the West German psyche.

Just as there had been nothing they could do in 1956 or 1968, in 1989 the Western Allies were forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as the neo-Stalinists reasserted their control over the nations of the Warsaw Pact. Western public opinion exploded, but the heads of the NATO states were not prepared to invade Eastern Europe to stop the Soviets. Where necessary, the Soviets simply replaced the rebellious governments of Eastern Europe with more suitable local personnel. Fighting and insurrection spread in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Danilov mobilized a quarter-million troops from the western districts of the USSR and sent them into Eastern Europe to help the restored Communist governments put down restive elements. Purges continued in the governments. Disloyal military units were cornered and destroyed. Partisan movements sprang up and were hunted down by Soviet forces. All the while, the West lodged vociferous protests but otherwise did nothing. The Western press came to call it the Black Winter. By the time it was over, nationalist tendencies on the part of the Eastern Europeans had been crushed once again.

The Iron Curtain had been restored, and the brief thaw in the Cold War disappeared in a bitter frost that the Western media started to call the Black Winter.


1990

The period immediately after the Black Winter (’89 - ’90) was one of the most tense in the history of the Cold War. The US President, George H.W. Bush, was deeply angered and frustrated by the turn of events in Eastern Europe. Though he was enough of a realist to know that he could not have done much to aid the Eastern Europeans without going to war with the Soviets, it was nevertheless bitterly disappointing to see the Iron Curtain so close to and yet so far from coming down.

Public opinion throughout the West was explosive. One poll in the US found that a majority of Americans were willing to go to war.* The Western press was filled with anti-Soviet vitriol, and vocal leaders in the legislatures of the NATO signatories soundly denounced the Danilov regime. The US Congress drafted and passed a measure to block all shipments of grain and other US products to the USSR. US leaders pressured other Western and Third World nations to follow suit.

[* It is noteworthy, however, that this poll stood out among other similar polls in making no mention of the prospect of nuclear war. Other polls showed that a majority of Americans still believed an outright confrontation with the USSR would lead to a nuclear exchange. Polls which included the nuclear issue showed a much smaller of the United States willing to risk nuclear war to liberate Eastern Europe.]

Behind the scenes, however, the Danilov regime was working to repair the damage to its relations with the West. Even as Soviet intelligence and security forces were locking down Eastern Europe, Soviet representatives were soliciting the United States and other Western nations for loans, credits, grain, and other products. Though the Eastern Europeans were handled brutally, Westerners caught up in events throughout the region were treated with great care by the Soviets.

Although his first act as the leader of the Soviet Union was to have directed the brutal counter revolution throughout Eastern Europe, Konstantin Dmitrievich Danilov was actually in fact a reformer. He understood why Gorbachev had made changes in the Soviet system. Danilov grasped the single overriding fact of Soviet existence at the beginning of the 1990’s: the Soviet Union could survive no longer as it had been operating for more than twenty years. The military budget had imposed a crushing burden on an economy that was much less productive than that of the United States. The pervasive presence of internal security was consuming nation resources at a rate that was small only when compared to the gargantuan military budget. Centralized planning, combined with the essential deceit of the Soviet system, had resulted in a national production situation that produced nothing so much as waste. State-run agriculture was a disaster. The Soviet Union possessed some of the most potentially productive agricultural land in the world, and yet the USSR imported massive quantities of food from the West. Even then, millions of Soviets existed at the brink of starvation.

Unlike many of his cronies in the new Kremlin cabal, Danilov understood clearly that the Soviet Union would implode without significant change. His problem was convincing the hard liners who had overthrown and killed Gorbachev that some measure of reform was required. Danilov needed to convince his co conspirators that their best option for holding onto power was to give up some of the immense power of the Party state before the state collapsed under its own weight.

Danilov’s initial efforts to restore the Gorbachev-era essence to Soviet-Western relations were soundly rebuffed. Bush and British Prime Minister John Major were under enormous pressure from the respective legislatures to find some means of injuring the Soviets. The West German Chancellor didn’t even want to meet with Soviet representatives. The brutality of the Soviet Communists towards other Communist peoples in the Eastern European satellites caused the large socialist segments of the French and Italian political structures to unite with the generally anti-Soviet conservatives of those countries. The smaller members of NATO had neither the resources to supply Soviet needs nor the inclination to buck the leadership of their larger partners.

In May 1990, Danilov sweetened his offers to the United States. He was willing to pay for grain, machinery, loans, and technology with oil. The Soviet Union possessed stupendous petroleum reserves, as well as a massive production capacity. Danilov silenced protests within his own government by pointing out that he was maneuvering the Soviet Union into a position of advantage. If the US (or other Western states) took the oil deal, the USSR would be edging out other vendors of oil. This could only hurt the oil-producing countries that were aligned with the West, like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Venezuela. Moreover, the US would be further discouraged from military adventures with the USSR by the necessity of keeping the oil supply line open. If initial deals proved satisfactory, the volume of trade could increase. American dependence on Soviet oil would grow as a result.

Though sorely tempted, the Bush White House refused the deal. The conservatives understood the risks of becoming in any way dependent on Soviet oil. The grain embargo was hurting the Midwest farmers, but the general mood in Congress remained stridently anti-Soviet. The UK and other NATO states refused to deal with the Soviets for the same reasons.

Without outside intervention, this impasse might have kept Soviet-Western relations in a deep freeze for years to come. However, unexpected events occurring in the Middle East would affect the situation between the Soviets and the West, as they had so many times before. This time, though, the outbreak of war in the Middle East would serve to bring the superpowers to an understanding.

On August 2 1990, Iraq invaded the emirate of Kuwait. Within days, the elite Iraqi Republican Guard overran the small but enormously wealthy country on Iraq’s southern border and stood poised to invade Saudi Arabia.

This would become the first real test of Danilov’s ability as leader of the Soviet Union. Within days of the August 2nd invasion, United States airborne troops were on their way to Saudi Arabia. The Western Allies quickly rallied to the American banner.

Defense Minister Nikolai Ivanovich Tukhachevsky advocated immediate and whole hearted support for Iraq. Though it was infuriating that Hussein had invaded Kuwait without either seeking permission or consultation, the fact remained that a major Soviet client had scored an impressive victory over Western interests. Kuwait was conquered in little more than three days, leaving the victorious Iraqi Republican Guard standing on the northeastern border of Saudi Arabia. The Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia was the major oil-producing zone of the country, and it was one of the richest areas in the world. On the order of a quarter of the world’s proven oil reserves lay between the border of Kuwait and the border of Qatar, and all Hussein had to do was reach out and take it. The Saudi armed forces were still mobilizing, and the only forces the United States could deploy in time to be of any worth were airmobile infantry units and a few Air Force squadrons. With a Soviet nuclear guarantee, the Iraqis would be free to use their tremendous conventional superiority. It was entirely possible for Iraq to capture the northeast portion of Saudi Arabia, thereby denying the enormous Saudi oil wealth to the West. With some Soviet support and a little luck, the Iraqis might capture the western shore of the Gulf south to Oman.

This was a winning position, Tukhachevsky argued. The West would not accept Iraq’s control of so much of the world’s oil. Even with the loss of her expeditionary force in northeastern Saudi Arabia, the United States and her allies would not sit idly by while Hussein’s Iraq controlled the lion’s share of the Gulf oil. By herself, Iraq could not hope to win a long-term war against the United States, her Western allies, and whatever Third World participants the US could bring into the picture. Iraq would have to have Soviet backing. That backing would give the Soviets de facto control over Iraq, which would give the USSR de facto control over a critical share of the world’s oil. The West then could be made to dance to the Soviet tune.

Danilov disagreed with the Tukhachevsky interpretation of the situation. If the oil really were so critical to the economies of the West, they would fight to regain control of it. The Iraqi Army might be able to get control of the Gulf Coast as far south as Oman in the short term, but how could the Iraqis reasonably be expected to control the whole Saudi Peninsula? Nothing less would do, Danilov opined, since the Western Allies would build up for a counteroffensive wherever they could. If the United States could build her forces in Dhahran, she would. If she were forced to build in Doha or Abu Dhabi or Muscat or Jiddah or Mocha, she would. The only way for the Iraqis to prevent an Allied build up on the Saudi Peninsula would be for the Iraqis to secure the entire perimeter of the Peninsula—or at least all the ports and all the potential beachheads. Could it really be supposed that the Iraqi Army, Navy, and Air Force were equal to this task? It was highly doubtful that the Iraqis could secure Dhahran and Riyadh simultaneously, much less march the whole length of the Peninsula against the opposition of the Saudi, Qatari, UAE, and Omani militaries, supplemented as they would be by US naval air assets and arriving Army, Marines, and Air Force assets. And even if they actually captured the Peninsula, the Iraqi Navy was completely incapable of securing the coastline against the US Navy and the Allied navies. By the same token, the Iraqi Air Force could not hope to stand against Allied air power operating off US Navy and Allied carriers in the Arabian Sea and Red Sea and Allied air power flying out of Israel and bases in the Horn of Africa. Without control of the air or sea around Saudi Arabia, there was no way for Iraq to secure the Saudi Peninsula in the long term.

Nikolai Ivanovich Tukhachevsky countered that this was where Soviet support would come in. Soviet Air Force (SAF) regiments could be moved into Saudi Arabia to support the Iraqis. The Soviet Navy possessed the world’s largest fleet of submarines. Surely this force would come in handy in preventing Allied landings along the Red Sea and Arabian Sea.

Such overt support for the Iraqis was tantamount to war with the West, Danilov countered. Was the Soviet Union really ready for this? Such a war could drag on for a year or two while the West built the necessary combat power in the areas adjacent to the Saudi Peninsula. While it might be hoped that the loss of Persian Gulf oil might bring the Western economies to their knees, the fact remained that the West had access to oil from several other sources: Mexico, Venezuela, Norway, Nigeria, and other nations. Some belt-tightening, rationing, and stepped-up production in other oil-producing countries could very well keep the Western economies on their feet—enough so to wage war in the Middle East, at any rate.

Saddam Hussein, leader of Iraq, was confronted by a number of problems at home which he hoped to alleviate by conquering little Kuwait. Having seized power in Iraq in 1979, Hussein soon thereafter came to blows with his neighbor Iran. Iran, a long time US ally, underwent a wracking revolution in 1979. The Shah of Iran was deposed, and a new fundamentalist Islamic government under the Ayotollah Khomeini took nominal control of Iran. At first, Khomeini’s grip on the country was shaky. Hussein decided to use this opportunity to settle a long standing difference of opinion between Iran and Iraq over control of the Shatt-al-Arab, the waterway that was the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates River and which linked Iraq to the Persian Gulf. Iraqi forces crossed the Shatt-al-Arab, secured the eastern bank, and drove east. Hussein believed that the Iranians would not be able to respond effectively, giving him control over the southwestern corner of Iran.

The Iraqis moved quite slowly, however, while the Iranians responded with surprising energy. Within weeks, the Iranians had driven the Iraqis back across the Shatt-al-Arab. Hussein asked for a truce, but the revolutionary Iranians refused. For the next eight years, Iran and Iraq would engage in a war of attrition that would see widespread (if inept) use of chemical weapons, missiles, and human wave attacks by one side or another. Hussein built the Iraqi Army to more than a million men, with a robust park of tanks, APCs, artillery, trucks, and other materiel for mechanized war. Finally, in 1988 the Iraqis launched a series of counteroffensives that broke the back of the Iranians.

The Iraqi economy was devastated by the war. The national debt was huge, despite considerable aid from other Persian Gulf states that did not want to see Iranian-style revolutionaries increase their power. With the end of the war, the Gulf states wanted their money back. Hussein could not demobilize his million-man army because there were no jobs for the soldiers. Worse, the price of oil—Iraq’s chief export—was going down at the end of the 1980’s. Desperate, Hussein turned his attention to Kuwait.

Kuwait was one of the oil-rich Gulf states which provided loans to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. The little emirate had not existed until the demise of the Ottoman Empire, at which time the British created the modern map of the Middle East. Under the Ottomans, Kuwait had been a part of what was to become Iraq. Given the very limited access to the Persian Gulf enjoyed by Iraq, the Iraqi state had long coveted Kuwait. The situation under the Ottomans gave Iraq a pretext of ownership, if a somewhat flimsy one. Further, Kuwait was tremendously wealthy.

For Hussein, conquest of Kuwait promised to solve a number of problems. Control of additional oil wealth would help the cash-flow problem. Eradication of the Kuwaiti state would obviate much of the Iraqi debt while bringing billions into the Iraqi coffers. Conquest of Kuwait also might bring the other Gulf states to the table in a much more compliant frame of mind regarding Iraq’s debts to them. Iraq would have an invaluable addition to her coastline, plus the port of Kuwait City. It was a promising package. Thus on August 2 1990, Hussein sent his elite Republican Guard across the Kuwaiti border.

Worldwide condemnation was immediate. The United States demanded that the Iraqis withdraw from Kuwait and began immediate deployment of the 82nd Infantry Division (Airborne) to Saudi Arabia, which now appeared to be under threat of imminent invasion. The US Central Command (CENTCOM) was now faced with the war in the Persian Gulf for which they had trained and prepared for more than a decade.

Although the United States and France both did business with Iraq, the principal supplier of Iraqi military hardware was the Soviet Union. Soviet advisors and technicians were to be found throughout Iraq, and relations between Baghdad and Moscow were cordial. In the West, the initial assumption was that the new hard-line Soviet government was behind the invasion of Kuwait. Comparisons with the Korean War were on the airwaves and in the halls of power throughout the West before the Iraqi Army had reached the southern border of little Kuwait. If the heavy divisions of the Republican Guard did strike into northeastern Saudi Arabia, they would grind the light troops of the US 82nd Airborne into the sand. By the time the first elements of the 82nd Airborne Division were winging their way to the Gulf, the only real question seemed to be whether the Soviets would direct Hussein to invade Saudi Arabia, thereby bringing the majority of the world’s petroleum reserves into Soviet hands.

In fact, the Soviets were as surprised as anyone by this turn of events. Hussein had neither sought nor received approval from the Kremlin for an invasion of Kuwait. He ignored Soviet attempts at communication during his two-day operation in Kuwait. Only when the US began deploying CENTCOM did Hussein respond to Moscow’s calls.

Now, with the Iraqi Army in firm control of Kuwait, the Kremlin faced a dilemma. How to make the most of the situation?

The Kremlin had ears, and Danilov knew the Americans thought the Soviet Union was behind the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Indeed, it was hard to see how the Americans would believe otherwise. The US had persisted in seeing every Communist action around the world as a part of a grand scheme directed from Moscow long after it should have been obvious that this was not the case. The Americans blamed the Soviets for Korea. To a lesser extent, they blamed the Soviets for Vietnam (despite the fact that the majority of aid for North Vietnam came from China). In the Gulf in 1990, the US was presented with a worst-case scenario of a Soviet client invading an important oil-producing state that was friendly to the West. How could the Americans not see it something done to Soviet advantage?

Many of the Kremlin hard liners argued the very same thing. Though they had not instigated the Iraqi action, the Soviets stood to gain enormously from it. With no effort on their own part, the Soviets were looking at a situation that could deny the West some of the Gulf oil upon which it was dependent. With a little more urging and a guarantee of Soviet protection, Hussein could be moved to take northeastern Saudi Arabia and most of the Saudi oil fields. With the majority of the world’s oil reserves in Soviet hands, the West could be leveraged into providing food and loans to the USSR. A Soviet nuclear guarantee to Iraq would prevent the Americans from using nuclear weapons against Iraq, while a steady supply of Soviet parts and equipment to Iraq would be more than sufficient to offset whatever forces the American could get to the Gulf over the next few months.

Danilov and a few of his more visionary allies saw things differently. The hard liners were right that Iraqi seizure of the Saudi oil fields would put the West in a bad situation. An Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia was likely to backfire. While it was true that the heavy divisions of the Republican Guard would destroy the 82nd Airborne, the United States hardly could be counted on to take this lying down. CENTCOM would continue to deploy to Saudi Arabia—to whatever port could receive the American equipment. The Iraqi Army lacked the troops and the logistical capability to occupy the ports of Saudi Arabia on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, plus the ports of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Oman. The United States would base air and ground units in whatever portion of the Saudi Peninsula was available to them, then open operations against Iraq. The result would be a massive US expenditure, a general Western shift to non-Gulf sources of oil and an overall lessening of consumption, and an heightened American enmity with the USSR that would last for years to come.

The Kremlin hard liners countered that the United States had no stomach for a protracted war in the Gulf. With the aid of Soviet submarines and other naval power, the ports ringing the Saudi Peninsula might be closed to the Americans. Faced with the prospect of fighting their way into Omani or Saudi ports, followed by a campaign over long stretches of desert against an opponent using modern Soviet weapons, the Americans would concede the point. The fact that intense fighting in northeastern Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would ruin the very oil wells the US wanted to control would only make the option of bargaining with the Soviet Union that much more attractive.

Seeing that the Kremlin was deadlocked on the issue of whether the Americans would continue to fight in the Gulf once the 82nd Airborne had been smashed, Danilov changed tactics. He asked his fellow top Communists, who sets policy for the Soviet Union? Regardless of the potential usefulness of current development in the Gulf, the fact remained that Hussein had not obtained Soviet permission before starting his adventure in Kuwait. As a result, the Soviet Union was thrust into a situation in which could not plan, only react. Supporting Iraq now would set a very bad precedent. Other Soviet client states might take unilateral action for their own reasons in their parts of the world, thereby dragging the Soviet Union into one confrontation with the West after another. Sooner or later, the Americans would fight. More to the point, Moscow was supposed to set policy for the client states, not the other way around.

In the light of the current situation, Danilov and a few of his supporters did not agree that the West could be extorted into trading food for oil. More likely, the West would be so incensed and threatened that they would refuse to trade. Non-Arab members of OPEC, as well as non-OPEC oil producers like Mexico and Norway, would be glad to make up the difference in global oil production and reap the profits of higher oil prices.

There was another factor to consider. Hussein had invaded Kuwait because his economy was ailing. Even with Kuwait under his control, Hussein owed billions to other countries. Defaulting on that debt or even conquering the other Gulf states (a feat which the Soviet advisors in Iraq did not think was possible) would not solve all of Iraq’s problems, because Hussein needed hard currency to provide jobs for his million-man army. The Soviet Union could not provide hard currency for Iraq. To obtain hard currency, Hussein would have to sell oil to the West sooner or later, at which point the relationships between the USSR, Iraq, and the United States would become quite complex. Moscow might be put in the position of currying favor with a client state as opposed to the other way around, which again was contrary to the way things were supposed to be.

As the US 82nd Airborne was landing in Saudi Arabia, the United States began assembling support in the United Nations. Most of the UN believed as the United States did that the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was a Soviet inspired scheme. Western governments which had rebuffed Danilov’s efforts to obtain grain, credits, and machinery saw the invasion of Kuwait as a Soviet response. Given the events of the Black Winter, the United States had a certain currency in its efforts to build a coalition of nations to oppose the Iraqi action.

The US ambassador to the UN issued a thinly veiled accusation that the USSR had masterminded the invasion. Naturally, the Soviet ambassador denied any wrongdoing.

There was also the uncomfortable fact that the Soviet Union was highly dependent upon the West for grain. Danilov was openly scornful of the notion that the West could be extorted into selling food to the Soviet Union. Soviet forces might get control of the Persian Gulf, but what would the Soviet people eat during the victory celebration?

Danilov proposed instead that Hussein be left to his own devices. He had invited war with the West without consulting with Moscow. Now the Soviet Union could reverse some of the damage done during the Black Winter by allowing the West to liberate Kuwait. Western grain and loans would continue to come in, and the Soviet Union could set about improving her position for the next time such an opportunity presented itself.

This last argument settled the matter for most of the Tukhachevskyites, if not Tukhachevsky himself. The Kremlin might be willing to chance defeat on the Saudi Peninsula a year or two down the road, but short-term starvation for the Soviet people would jeopardize the position of the new regime. The change of power was still too fresh in the minds of the Soviet people.

At this point, the Soviet Defense Minister, who previously had supported getting Hussein to invade Saudi Arabia, changed his argument. If a US led alliance did assemble forces in Iraq, as appeared likely, the enemy would be providing the Soviet Union an excellent chance to see the Western powers fight. The mood at the UN made it seem like the Americans were going to fight after all. That being the case, and given that Hussein had not sought permission for his actions, why not let Iraq stand on its own? If Hussein did not quickly give up Kuwait, the US-led alliance would have to attack. This would be a superb opportunity to observe the state-of-the-art in American war fighting without any risk to the USSR. At the same time, the USSR could send the message to the other client states that if they acted on their own, they would be hung out to dry. The Soviet Union would not be dragged into regional conflicts without prior consultation.


With the support of the Defense Minister, Danilov made his policy choice. He invited Bush to an emergency summit meeting in Switzerland in the second week of August. There, he and Bush came to terms. In two days of meetings that were often one-on-one, Danilov made it clear to Bush that the USSR had nothing to do with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and that the Soviet Union wanted no confrontation with the West. Bush told Danilov that he wanted Moscow to order Baghdad out of Kuwait. Danilov replied that he didn’t believe Hussein would respond to that, but he promised to give the strongest advice he possibly could.

To further impress Bush with his desire to normalize relations with the West, Danilov offered to issue a public proclamation condemning the Iraqi invasion. Soviet military aid would cease until Iraq pulled out of Kuwait. Perhaps most importantly, the USSR would support a UN resolution demanding an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait backed by military action if Hussein refused. Further, the Kremlin would line up as many of its clients as possible to support the US-led effort in the UN.

Bush returned to Washington and waited for the Soviets to play their part at the UN. When Danilov proved good to his word, Bush had the grain embargo lifted. When some members of Congress protested, Bush made it clear that he felt the Danilov regime was one the US could work with “under certain conditions.”

Hussein refused to give up Kuwait. He was certain the West would bargain with him for the oil. He was equally certain that the USSR would back him again if he could score a battlefield success. Also, successful resistance on the part of the Iraqis would put Hussein in the forefront of the Arab world. This would make him impossible for the superpowers to simply manhandle. The Iraqi Army began to dig into Kuwait.

By the time the US XVIII Airborne Corps had finished its deployment to Saudi Arabia, it was obvious that Iraq was not going to invade Saudi Arabia. It was equally obvious that the US led Coalition was going to have to eject the Iraqis from Kuwait. With the support of the Soviet Union, the Coalition had brought nations like Syria into the fold. To liberate Kuwait, the US was going to need more forces and additional diplomacy.

At a second summit, this one in Reykjavik, Bush and Danilov talked candidly about their desire for good relations. Notes written by Bush during the meeting indicate that Danilov told him a good deal more about his thinking than even people in the Kremlin knew. Danilov believed that the United States and the Soviet Union would always be rivals, but they need not be enemies. He told Bush he believed the military competition between East and West was no longer a viable option. He told Bush that while the Party fully intended to retain power in the Soviet Union, he intended to introduce reforms. He would have to do so in a more gradual manner than Gorbachev had done, or the remaining hard liners would purge him as well. However, he hoped that over the course of the next ten years the US and USSR could agree to a 25 50% reduction in nuclear weapons and a 25 30% reduction in conventional forces. Beyond that, he hoped that the US and USSR could enter into trade agreements that would satisfy both their needs and give Danilov the political capital he would need to further advance reforms.

Danilov promised to back a US-sponsored resolution authorizing the Coalition to use force to liberate Kuwait. He told Bush that the Soviet ambassador would approve verbiage that enabled Coalition aircraft to use Iraqi airspace and Coalition ground forces to use Iraqi territory to the degree that said usage supported the goal of Kuwaiti liberation. However, Danilov stipulated that Iraq otherwise was to remain intact. Hussein was to remain in power in Iraq. Destruction of Iraqi equipment and personnel pursuant to the liberation of Kuwait was acceptable to the Soviet Union. Destruction of Iraqi equipment and personnel pursuant to the destruction of the Hussein regime was not.

Bush understood what Danilov was saying readily enough. The USSR would keep its clients essentially intact, though the clients were not free to do as they pleased. Back in Washington, the Bush Administration argued the virtues of being bound by such an agreement with the Soviets. If the US complied with the Soviet demand for a continuing Hussein-led Iraq that kept all its territory, there would be a de facto policy of detente. Had not the Reagan Administration built up US military might for a more aggressive policy? How would American clients feel about a policy that guaranteed that Soviet clients on their border would be assured their political survival (and likely rebuilding) by the proposed Iraq deal?

Voices of realism pointed out that agreeing to Danilov’s condition was nothing more than the policy of containment the US had been applying for decades. Not since the Korean War had the US attempted to liberate or conquer a Soviet client by force of arms. There did not appear to be any good opportunities for that on the horizon, either—even if future US leadership felt inclined to go that route. Danilov was giving the US his permission to do what was necessary to liberate Kuwait without any threat of Soviet involvement. This represented an opportunity to put the US armed forces through their paces without risking an all out war with the Soviet Union. The deal was too good to pass up.


1991

The US military wanted to use some of its European formations in the effort to liberate Kuwait. The experience would be invaluable in any future European conflict. The Army tapped VII US Corps with two heavy divisions and an armored cavalry regiment. Not yet ready to trust the Soviets completely, the Army moved two divisions and an armored cavalry regiment from CONUS to Europe before moving VII US Corps to Saudi Arabia.*

[III US Corps moves to Europe along with 5th ID(M). Two National Guard formations, 35th ID(M) and 116th ACR are called up and deployed to Europe to take over the duties of VII US Corps. 4th ID(M), which is supposed to transit by air to Europe to draw POMCUS equipment, remains on alert at Fort Carson, CO. 1st CD, 2/2nd AD, and 3rd ACR, all of which are slated for deployment to Europe, are replaced by 49th AD (TXNG), 194th Armd Bde (sep), and 278th ACR (TNNG) as CONUS-based reserves for air deployment and drawing of POMCUS equipment. The USMC activates 4th Marine Division to take the place of 1st Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, which is deploying to Saudi Arabia.]

The Coalition build up in Saudi Arabia continued through the end of 1990. Eventually, twenty-seven nations would provide ground, air, or naval combat forces, with another twelve nations providing non combat support units, financial support for the war, or significant humanitarian support. The main combat power of the Coalition came from the United States, which had five heavy Army divisions, two light Army divisions, two armored cavalry regiments, two Marine divisions, plus separate Marine brigades in its ground forces. Air elements included more than 1300 combat aircraft, while major naval elemis included eight aircraft carriers and two battleship groups. Contingents of division size or greater came from Egypt, France, Kuwait, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the UK. Contingents of brigade size came from Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, and Bangladesh.

UN Resolution 678 stifled ongoing objections from hawkish anti-Soviets in the Bush Administration regarding the fate of Iraq. Passed on November 29 1990, the resolution authorized the US-led Coalition to liberate Kuwait. The overthrow of the Iraqi government and/or conquest of the Iraqi state were not included among the authorized actions. The Soviet Union deliberately stayed on the sidelines in the formulation of the resolution. Bush pointed out that this was evidence that détente was in the international interest and that the United States would reap the greatest benefit from respecting international opinion on the matter.

The Coalition opened its air offensive against Iraq on January 17, 1991. In an extraordinary display of technical prowess and fighting skills, the Coalition air assets literally annihilated one of the densest air defense networks in the world, then severed the logistical links between the Iraq and the Iraqi forces in the Kuwait Theater of Operations (KTO). Aerial bombardment had robbed the Iraqi forces in the KTO of fifty percent of their combat power by the time the Coalition ground offensive got underway a month later.

At the start of the ground offensive, the Iraqi Army had approximately thirty-seven divisions in the KTO. Somewhat more than half of these were non-mechanized infantry divisions occupying extensively prepared defensive positions. Backing these divisions were eight armored and mechanized divisions of the regular Iraqi Army; still further back were six divisions of the elite Republican Guard. This daunting assembly of conventional forces was overrun, routed, and destroyed by Coalition ground forces in a sweeping mechanized offensive that lasted four days. Losses to the Iraqi Army included more than 2,500 tanks, comparable numbers of APCs and IFVs, huge quantities of other equipment, and more than a quarter-million men wounded, killed, or captured.

True to his agreement with Danilov and the letter of the UN resolution authorizing the use of force in Kuwait, Bush stopped the Coalition forces south of the Euphrates River. The Americans pulled back, and Saddam Hussein was left in control of Iraq.

The results of the Second Gulf War (the First Gulf War was fought between Iran and Iraq) were far-reaching. The emirate of Kuwait was liberated. The oil rich Gulf states of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman were more closely tied to the West than ever before. The United States had put its forces and doctrine to the test, resulting in the most one-sided victory in the recorded history of warfare. It was a sea change in the global perception of the balance of power.

Danilov had scored a major victory over the hawks in his own government. Most of them were forced to admit that the United States would have destroyed any Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia that did not involve massive quantities of Soviet troops. By staying on the sidelines, Danilov had secured fresh grain shipments and a measure of East-West good will that would have been difficult to imagine a year prior. The Soviet Union had shown a willingness to respect international law outside its existing sphere of influence. The other Soviet client states were effectively reined in by the example of Iraq. And the Soviets now had a sobering idea of the capabilities of the United States. Danilov had accomplished all this with virtually no cost to the USSR.

In the West, Bush was able to partially redeem himself in the eyes of a public who still ridiculed him for inaction during the Black Winter. This was unfair to Bush, who had no good options at the time. Unfortunately for Bush, the stigma of the Black Winter weighed more heavily against him than his success in the Gulf, even though the results of the Second Gulf War were far more important for the United States. Bush would be voted out of office in 1992.

When the guns had cooled in Iraq and Kuwait, all parties moved quickly to establish themselves in the new order. The USSR offered to rebuild the Iraqi Army in exchange for oil. In the wake of the war, the USSR found willing Western and Third World buyers for its oil; the Soviets accepted Iraqi oil as payment in kind, then sold the oil on the international market for hard currency. Hussein readily accepted the Soviet offer, despite the fact that his sponsors had abandoned him so completely. The Western-aligned Gulf states established a new defensive alliance. Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) forces were stationed in Kuwait to discourage further Iraqi adventures. The United States left a single heavy brigade in Kuwait and pre positioned the equipment for the balance of a heavy division. Iraq rapidly began rearming. The GCC girded for a likely second round of conflict with Iraq, not trusting the apparent agreement between the US and USSR.

Danilov’s deal with George Bush of the United States worked out splendidly for the Soviet Union. Kuwait was liberated, the Iraqi military was savaged, and Hussein remained in power. Hussein was forced back into the arms of the Soviet Union, who quickly undertook to re arm the Iraqi dictator. The Soviets got a front-row seat to the show, from which they learned that US capabilities were even more advanced than the Soviets had supposed. Danilov’s restraint appeared even wiser. Western grain continued to flow to the USSR, as did Western credits. In the end, Danilov gained immeasurably in the eyes of the Party and of the international community.

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1992

The Red Army launches a major program of modernization using the lessons of Desert Storm to make sure that any ground combat between the Soviet Union and NATO will not be as one sided as the US-Led War against Iraq. The Soviet Union attempts to create a professional NCO Corps in a manner similar to that of the West and many of the nations of the Warsaw Pact.

Inside the Kremlin, existing tensions between the various factions of the Soviet leadership became more pronounced after the start of the war. Since the coup in 1989, the highest echelon of Soviet leadership had begun to split into two groups: the Danilovians and the Tukhachevskyites. The former group, led by Premier Dmitri Danilov, had allied themselves with the latter, led by Defense Minister Nikolai Ivanovich Tukhachevsky, for the purpose of deposing and replacing the Gorbachev government. However, the alliance between the two groups was always a shaky one. The Danilov group, smaller and less powerful than the Tukhachevsky cabal, was made up of true reformers. The Tukhachevskyites were arch conservative Communists whose principal goal was to hold onto power. The Danilovians needed the Tukhachevskyites for their control of the military, much of the security apparatus, and the economy. The Tukhachevskyites needed the Danilovians because Danilov was the only rival to Tukhachevskyite power in the KGB and because Danilov was much more palatable to the mid level Communist Party officials and to the international community than any of the Tukhachevskyites. From the start, the intent of the Tukhachevskyites had been to use Danilov as a front man while Tukhachevsky and his cohorts wielded the real power in the USSR.

Danilov proved to be a master power broker, however. He spoke the Tukhachevskyite language fluently. He reminded the Tukhachevskyites, together and separately, that unless the Soviet economy were fixed, there could easily be another coup attempt. Worse, there might be open revolution. Even a successful counter revolution on the part of the Soviet security apparatus would further erode the Soviet economy. Grudgingly, the Tukhachevskyites empowered Danilov to enact most of the reforms he sought.


After the Black Winter, The Soviet Union had replaced Egon Krenz with the return of Communist Hardliner Erich Honecker to power as the leader of the German Democratic Republic. And under Honecker’s leadership, the DDR had quickly proven itself a major stronghold for hardliner communist leadership. Over the next few years Honecker had quickly became a major hurdle for many of the much needed reforms that Danilov had wished to implement throughout the Communist Bloc, and this was why the Kremlin took a direct hand in having Hans Modrow chosen to replace Erich Honecker as the leader of the German Democratic Republic after Honecker had been strongly urged by Danilov to retire due to complications that had increased with his failing health. Hans Modrow quickly proved himself to be much more responsive to the reforms and policies that had been started by to modernize the economy of Eastern Europe.


1993

Madrow reestablishes the office of the President of the German Democratic Republic as a ceremonial head of state with no official governing powers. The creation of this ceremonial position allows the average citizen to elect a representative from any political party or organization. <name> will become the first elected President of the German Democratic Republic, from the <>.

President of the DDR (Head of State).
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the DDR (Head of Government).
President of the People’s Chamber of the DDR (Head of Parliament).


1994

On 29 May 1994, Erich Honecker dies from cancer. <Hans Modrow> uses the death of his predecessor to create a national week of mourning by giving him a state funeral with full ceremony. This allows <Modrow> to launch a major reorganization of East German political power, and ends the stranglehold of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany over political power in the DDR. Even with the modernization of the East German government, <Madrow> does not change the fact that the position of the Chairman of the Council of State of the German Democratic Republic would remain the supreme leader of the DDR.


1995

In August of 1995, a group of world renown archeologists whom where working in the Harbor of Hong Kong searching wrecks from the Second World war discover a lost treaty between the United Kingdom and both sides of the Chinese Civil War that gives the British the rights to Hong Kong in perpetuity (along with several other nations being granted the same rights to their ‘colonial concessions’ such as the treaty made with the German government-in-exile after Nanking massacre). This causes a series of political problems and tensions between the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China that ambassadors and negotiators from both sides to hold a series of summits to decide their countries future course of action. The People’s Republic of China hold talks with East and West German representatives in hopes of economic assistance in exchange for the opening of a neo-colonial concession.



1996 - 1999

After nearly a year of intense five party negotiations, the United Kingdom is able to get the People’s Republic of China to solve the "Hong Kong question" with a referendum of the citizens of the colonial concessions being allowed to decide their own fate. The referendum to decide the future of Hong Kong and the other concessions are held and the people of the cities all choose overwhelmingly to remain independent of the People’s Republic of China. In exchange the People’s Republic of China is able to get the British government and other foreign nations to agree to pay ‘taxes’ to the Chinese Government as well as giving a sweet-heart trade deal that would allow the continued growth of the Chinese economy. This agreement has placed the British Government as the primary powerbroker who is able to negotiate with foreign investment groups and nations and the People’s Republic of China to create new neo-colonial concessions to allow for the economic growth to assist the Chinese economic miracle.

By 1996, Danilov appeared to Defense Minister Nikolai Ivanovich Tukhachevsky to be getting out of control. Danilov’s economic reforms were showing real progress. Relations with the West were as warm as they had been at any time in the history of the Soviet Union. Industrial productivity was up, and for the first time in her history the Soviet Union was feeding herself. Many luke warm Tukhachevskyites were converting to Danilovism. The Soviet people were enjoying more liberties than they had in a generation—more so even than under Gorbachev. And they were demanding more. Just as it had been under Gorbechev, the very existence of the Soviet state as Stalin and Khrushchev had known it was threatened.

Unfortunately, there was only so much Tukhachevsky could do about it. Danilov was terribly popular among the people, the KGB, and most of the Party. His reforms were working, and everybody seemed to be doing better. Simply doing away with him wasn’t an option. Tukhachevsky had to find a way to discredit Danilov before replacing him.

War with China seemed the perfect way. By the late 1990’s, it was apparent that China would have to be put in her place sooner or later anyway. A war that dragged out a bit longer than it should have would fit the bill nicely. China would be set back, while much of the economic progress Danilov had made would evaporate. With Danilov out of favor, Tukhachevsky could move to replace him or at least strip him of much of his power.

Through a series of carefully-orchestrated maneuvers, Tukhachevsky knew that he could bring the Soviet Union and China to the edge of war, then let mutual mistrust and the situation on the border take their natural courses.

Exactly how and why Danilov allowed things to evolve as they did over the next four years is still a mystery. He had much better control over events earlier in his career, when he was technically weaker. It has been suggested that he didn’t really believe war would start. It has been suggested that Danilov believed a last-minute deal with Chinese Premier Zhu would head off a war and bring even greater prestige to himself. Whatever the reason, by the end of August 2000, Dmitri Danilov would find his country involved in a war he had never wanted.

Selling this war would become a painful exercise for Danilov. There was very little he could say to the West that had any meaning beyond the usual propaganda, though he dutifully made his efforts at the UN and in the capitals of the West. For the most part, Danilov was forced to trade in much of the good will he had built in the West over the past decade in an effort to keep the economic credits flowing.

Since there was little the Soviets could do to justify the war in world opinion, it was important that they convince the world that the USSR was winning the war. Superiority of Soviet arms and soldiery would be its own justification in the end. As a result, Soviet propaganda efforts initially focused on the excellent progress being enjoyed by Soviet armed forces in Manchuria. Never mind who was right—the Soviets were winning.

By contrast, China would find it quite easy to portray herself as the innocent victim. Though the Western media were never given the free reign on the Manchurian battlefields they would have liked, images of smashed Chinese villages and dead and injured Chinese civilians poured back to Western television virtually from the outset of the war. The Chinese Communist Party strove to play up two key images: the suffering of the Chinese people and the heroic resistance of the People’s Liberation Army. In this effort they were largely successful.

Beijing quickly moved to exploit the swell of sympathy among Westerners—particularly among Americans. The large Chinese-American community was solicited to provide financial support, political support, and propaganda support for China. Though not successful everywhere, Chinese-Americans answered the call of the motherland in large numbers. Though many conservative Americans were delighted to see the two great Communist powers at war, at least as many Americans were telling pollsters that the gallant Chinese people deserved the support of the United States against the Soviet aggressors. Washington took notice.

Throughout the Western political circles, the initial reaction was one of muted relief. Despite the warming of Soviet-Western relations during the first half of the 1990’s, NATO remained ready to defend against a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Many were concerned that Danilov’s Soviet Union was a more dangerous Soviet Union because her core strength was greater. A Soviet Union with a healthy economy and the ability to feed herself might come under the control of an aggressive militarist. At the same time, the growing economic power of China was causing concern in the West. How long would it be before China’s burgeoning economic power translated itself into military power?

Already the mid 1990’s, the People’s Liberation Army was undergoing a significant modernization. With the Soviet Union and China at war, the West appeared to have killed two birds without actually having to throw its own stone.

Naturally, there was some concern about the war going nuclear. This fear was at its most intense during the first few days of the war, when chemical weapons were used on a large scale both on the front lines and in the rear areas. Some Western military analysts feared that whoever got the worst of the chemical exchange might go nuclear as a means of rectifying the situation. Fortunately, the chemical exchange died down without the use of nuclear weapons; however, there were several very tense days at the UN as Western mediators attempted to get both sides to pledge to no-first-use of nuclear weapons (despite the fact that both parties to the war already had pledged as much).

In Europe, there was some alarm over the rapid rate of advance of Soviet ground forces in the opening weeks of the campaign. If the Soviets could make such short work of the PLA, how would they fare against the much less numerous Western European ground forces? Speculation was rife that NATO would be incapable of stopping a sudden Soviet sweep to the English Channel. As the Soviet advance ground to a halt, such irresponsible talk died down, though.

World opinion elsewhere varied. India gleefully watched one of her two principal rivals stagger under the heavy Soviet blows. Pakistan issued belligerent statements in support of China, one of her chief benefactors. Without China to counterbalance India, the Pakistani security situation was far more tenuous.

Generally, the Soviet client states gave their support for the USSR, while their Western clients loudly decried the invasion. Many countries in trouble spots around the globe heightened their military readiness, and some even mobilized additional troops. However, for the most part things settled down in the countries not directly affected by the fighting. Notable exceptions were the two Koreas, Vietnam, and Pakistan.


2000

Exactly how and why Konstantin Dmitrievich Danilov allowed things to evolve as they did over the past four years is still a mystery. He had much better control over events earlier in his career, when he was technically weaker. It has been suggested that he didn’t really believe war would start. It has been suggested that Danilov truly believed that a last-minute deal with Chinese Premier Zhu would head off a war and bring even greater prestige for himself. Whatever the reason, by the end of August 2000, Konstantin Dmitrievich Danilov would find his country involved in a war he had never wanted.

Selling this war would become a painful exercise for Danilov. There was very little he could say to the West that had any meaning beyond the usual propaganda, though he dutifully made his efforts at the UN and in the capitals of the West. For the most part, Danilov was forced to trade in much of the good will he had built in the West over the past decade in an effort to keep the economic credits flowing.

Since there was little the Soviets could do to justify the war in world opinion, it was important that they convince the world that the USSR was winning the war. Superiority of20Soviet arms and soldiery would be its own justification in the end. As a result, Soviet propaganda efforts initially focused on the excellent progress being enjoyed by Soviet armed forces in Manchuria. Never mind who was right—the Soviets were winning.

By contrast, China would find it quite easy to portray herself as the innocent victim. Though the Western media were never given the free reign on the Manchurian battlefields they would have liked, images of smashed Chinese villages and dead and injured Chinese civilians poured back to Western television virtually from the outset of the war. The Chinese Communist Party strove to play up two key images: the suffering of the Chinese people and the heroic resistance of the People’s Liberation Army. In this effort they were largely successful.

Beijing quickly moved to exploit the swell of sympathy among Westerners—particularly among Americans. The large Chinese-American community was solicited to provide financial support, political support, and propaganda support for China. Though not successful everywhere, Chinese-Americans answered the call of the motherland in large numbers. Though many conservative Americans were delighted to see the two great Communist powers at war, at least as many Americans were telling pollsters that the gallant Chinese people deserved the support of the United States against the Soviet aggressors. Washington took notice.

Throughout the Western political circles, the initial reaction was one of muted relief. Despite the warming of Soviet-Western relations during the first half of the 1990’s, NATO remained ready to defend against a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Many were concerned that Danilov’s Soviet Union was a more dangerous Soviet Union because her core strength was now greater. A Soviet Union with a healthy economy and the ability to feed itself might come under the control of an aggressive militarist at a future date. At the same time, the growing economic power of China was causing concern in the West. How long would it be before China’s burgeoning economic power translated itself into military power?

Already the mid 1990’s, the People’s Liberation Army was undergoing a significant modernization. With the Soviet Union and China at war, the West appeared to have killed two birds without actually having to throw its own stone.

Naturally, there was some concern about the war going nuclear. This fear was at its most intense during the first few days of the war, when chemical weapons were used on a large scale both on the front lines and in the rear areas. Some Western military analysts feared that whoever got the worst of the chemical exchange might go nuclear as a means of rectifying the situation. Fortunately, the chemical exchange died down without the use of nuclear weapons; however, there were several very tense days at the UN as Western mediators attempted to get both sides to pledge to no-first-use of nuclear weapons (despite the fact that both parties to the war already had pledged as much).

In Europe, there was some alarm over the rapid rate of advance of Soviet ground forces in the opening weeks of the campaign. If the Soviets could make such short work of the PLA, how would they fare against the much less numerous Western European ground forces? Speculation was rife that NATO would be incapable of stopping a sudden Soviet sweep to the English Channel. As the Soviet advance ground to a halt, such irresponsible talk died down, though.

World opinion elsewhere varied. India gleefully watched one of her two principal rivals stagger under the heavy Soviet blows. Pakistan issued belligerent statements in support of China, one of her chief benefactors. Without China to counterbalance India, the Pakistani security situation was far more tenuous.

Generally, the Soviet client states gave their support for the USSR, while their Western clients loudly decried the invasion. Many countries in trouble spots around the globe heightened their military readiness, and some even mobilized additional troops. However, for the most part things settled down in the countries not directly affected by the fighting. Notable exceptions were the two Koreas, Vietnam, and Pakistan.

As seen, after a period of increasing tension and escalating border incidents, a full-scale war had erupted between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The Red Army had enjoyed rapid initial successes, and tank columns had roared deep into the northern Chinese industrial heartland.

However, the Chinese surpassed the expectations of most military analysts in their ability to mobilize reserves from the interior and shift them to the fighting front. While the Soviets continued to make impressive gains, their losses mounted and the tempo of advance slowed. Soon, large bodies of citizens' militia were operating in the rear areas, attacking installations and destroying supply convoys. More and more front line troops had to be detailed to mopping up these patches of guerrilla resistance, and the advance ground to a halt.

When the main Chinese conventional forces counterattacked, to the amazement of the world's military experts, large pockets of Soviet troops were formed. Most of the Soviet units, due to their superior mobility and tremendous firepower, were able to fight their way out of the pockets, but Soviet losses were great and the front was shattered.

The Soviet Union had already been mobilizing additional troops from the western military districts, and this was now placed on an emergency priority basis. As a stop-gap, a half dozen combat ready divisions were withdrawn from Eastern Europe and sent to the Far East. But the Far Eastern Front had become a meat grinder, which devoured divisions as quickly as they could be committed. As factory output switched more and more to wartime production, the flow of consumer goods dwindled to a trickle and standards of living in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union fell.

Motor vehicles and railroad rolling stock were increasingly drawn out of the civilian sector to support the war effort. As the first snows of winter fell, the Soviets began soliciting the other members of the Warsaw Pact for volunteer formations to serve on the Far Eastern Front. Resistance to this was surprisingly strong, but by the new year the first Polish, Czech, and East German divisions were traveling east by rail. At least one Hungarian and Bulgarian division would follow once they finished mobilizing and re-equipping with more modern weapons. No Romanians would be going east.


2001

Their ranks swollen with fresh troops, the Pact forces launched a spring offensive against the Chinese. Despite good initial gains, the drive soon stalled, with further horrendous casualties. Winter had witnessed a flood of new, modern equipment through Chinese ports from the NATO nations, particularly the United States. Now Soviet and Pact tanks were not facing obsolete wire-guided missiles, but modern Tank Breaker and Assault Breaker systems that made the massed tank assaults, which had been so successful the year before, suicidal.

New tactics were devised, but more troops were needed. Most Soviet category II readiness divisions were mobilized and sent to the Far East by mid-year, and almost a quarter of the category I divisions from the Eastern European garrisons were committed. Many of the low readiness category III divisions were upgraded to category II or mobilized, and for the first time in fifty years the mobilization-only divisions began training.

Appalled at the losses taken in their expeditionary forces, the other Eastern European members of the Pact agreed only reluctantly to provide more troops. In June, however, a small group of senior officers of the East German Army opened secret talks with a select group of their counterparts in the Bundesheer and Luftwaffe, the army and air force of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In September, a third call for troops from Eastern Europe was made, to be ready for movement by mid-October whether their equipment and training were complete or not. On October 7th, 2001, the Bundeswehr crossed the frontier between East and West Germany and began attacking Soviet garrison units still in the country. The army of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) remained quietly in barracks.

Having not only having been appalled with how the best troops that the DDR could provide where treated by the Soviet Union and with the continuing increase of how harsh the Soviet Forces in Germany where treating the East German citizens who lived near their bases, Hans Modrow realized that his options where severely limited in how to respond and slowly starts to sink into a severe depression. When he received reports that the West Germans had crossed the frontier he made a live radio broadcast where he asked the East German people to remain in their homes, and attempt to avoid conflict with either NATO or Soviets. Hours later when the commander of Soviet Armed Forces in Germany demanded that Modrow order the East German NVA to immediately mobilize and assist in driving the Bundeswehr forces out of the country, Modrow politely refused the order. Even when the Soviet Primer Danilov had personally called Modrow and ordered him to mobilize the E. German NVA, he once more had to politely refuse the order, and he stated that he simply knew that he no longer actually had the power or authority to issue orders the NVA.

Despite the initial surprise, the fifteen Soviet divisions remaining in Germany put up a spirited resistance and were soon joined by two more divisions from Poland and three from the garrison of Czechoslovakia. By November 15th, there were also two Czech divisions and four Polish divisions in Germany, their orders to leave for the Far East hurriedly rescinded. To the surprise of the Western nations, the Czechs and Poles fought well, as neither wished to see a reunited Germany.

By the end of November, the Bundeswehr was in serious trouble. Soviet Frontal Aviation had left their most modern aircraft in the west; these were qualitatively a match for the Luftwaffe and quantitatively more than a match. As the Bundeswehr lines began to crumble, high ranking officers of the East German Army made their move. In a bloodless coup, the civilian leaders of the country were deposed and replaced with a military junta. Two days later the new government ordered the army into the field against the Pact forces in the country and formally requested intervention on their behalf by NATO.

After the bloodless coup Marshall der DDR <name> officially replaced Hans Modrow as the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, who remained as an unofficial advisor for the new provisional government. During the conflict the E. German NVA mobilized all of their reserves, and enacted a nationwide draft to allow the DDR to liberate their nation from foreign occupation.

On 9 December <name>, the representative of the DDR to the United Nations, had announced the German Democratic Republic’s desire to remain an independent state that that would remain neutral in world affairs, and formally requested any assistance and support from the other members of the United Nations. Despite the assurances that the DDR wished to remain an independent state, many other nations did not believe these statements to be true. Despite the initial desire to remain as a separate independent nation, the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany would later reunify as the German Federal Republic after years of negotiation that would see the new government taking the best aspects of both governments, while purging the worst.

<Danilov’s attempt to negotiate an end to the fighting in Europe, and is purged…>


While the political leadership of the European members of NATO debated the prudence of intervention, the U.S. Army crossed the frontier. Within a week, France, Belgium, Italy, and Greece first demanded that U.S. troops withdraw to their start line and then withdrew from NATO in protest. British and Canadian forces crossed the border, however, while Danish and Dutch troops remained in place, still partners in NATO but not party to war.

In the far north, Soviet troops made a bid for quick victory in northern Norway. Most of the best Arctic-equipped divisions had already been sent east, however, and the third-line troops available were unable to break through to the paratroopers and marines landed in NATO's rear areas. As crack British commandoes and U.S. Marines joined the battle, the front line moved east again toward the Soviet naval facilities on the Kola Peninsula, and the elite Soviet paratroopers and marines were isolated and destroyed.

At sea, the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet sortie and attempted to break through the Greenland-lceland-United Kingdom Gap into the north Atlantic. For three weeks the opposing fleets hammered each other, but the western fleet came out on top, badly bloodied but victorious. 80% of the Soviet northern fleet tonnage rested on the bottom of the Norwegian and North Seas. Scattered commerce raiders did break out, however, and by year's end were wreaking havoc on the NATO convoys bringing ammunition and equipment across the Atlantic.

Having repeatedly given excuses when asked to provide troops for the war effort, Romania was finally presented with an ultimatum on December 5th: either support the war effort fully or suffer the consequences. The time limit expired without a formal reply from the Romanian government, but throughout Romania troops hurried to their emergency mobilization posts.

The Warsaw Pact apparently had expected Romanian compliance with the ultimatum, for it was not until December 20th that sufficient troops were assembled to begin an invasion. As
Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Soviet troops cross the border, Romania formally withdrew from the Warsaw Pact, declared war on the three invading nations, and applied to NATO for assistance.

The first nation to rally to Romania's aid was her neighbor, Yugoslavia. Within 24 hours, three divisions and five brigades crossed into Romania and two days later were at the front under Romanian command. NATO responded shortly thereafter with the offer of full membership in the security organization to both nations, which they accepted. More concrete assistance took the form of the Turkish 1 st Army, which launched its offensive against a thin Bulgarian covering force in Thrace on Christmas Eve.


2002

On the first day of the new year, the NATO heads of state declared their support for a Polish government in exile, headed by a committee of Polish émigrés. While the news was greeted with scattered worker uprisings in Poland, the majority of the Polish Army remained loyal to the central government, and open resistance was soon crushed. An underground movement began forming, however, and by spring small guerrilla bands, leavened by Polish Army deserters, began to harass Warsaw Pact supply convoys and installations.

During January, continuing Turkish successes in Bulgaria sparked a wave of patriotism in the Turks, particularly since Greece had remained neutral in the fight against the communists. On Cyprus, unoccupied and supposedly re-united for three years, the Turkish Cypriots demonstrated in favor of Turkey. The demonstrations turned into anti-Greek riots, and the Cypriot Army moved to restore order. In response, the Turkish Army invaded Cyprus and quickly occupied most of the island. Greece first sent military units to Cyprus to resist the Turks and then declared war on Turkey and attacked the Turkish forces in Thrace.

In late February, the socialist governments of Italy and Greece concluded a mutual defense pact. While Italy was not obligated by the pact to enter the Greco-Turkish war, the Italian government declared the war to be a regional conflict unrelated to the more general war raging elsewhere, promising to intervene on Greece's side if NATO tried to tip the balance in Turkey's favor. Within a week Greece declared a naval blockade against Turkey and warned the world's shipping that the Aegean was now considered a war zone.

In an attempt to restore the situation in Germany, Soviet and Czech troops went over to the offensive in southern Germany but did not have the strength to make any significant gains. With the coming of spring the NATO offensive gained momentum and in April the first German troops crossed the frontier into Poland. By June 17th, Warsaw was surrounded, and Polish army units and the citizens of the city prepared for a siege.

By late spring, NATO's Atlantic fleet had hunted down the last of the Soviet commerce raiders, and the surviving attack carriers and missile cruisers moved to northern waters. The NATO drive in the north had bogged down on the banks of the Litsa River, but the Northern Front commander now contemplated a bold move to destroy the remnants of Soviet naval power there. While U.S. and British units attempted a rapid outflanking move through northern Finland, the NATO Atlantic Fleet would close in on Murmansk and Severomorsk, subjecting the Soviet fleet anchorages and air bases to a massive bombardment. On June 7th the ground offensive was launched and the fleet closed in on the Kola Peninsula shortly thereafter.

Finland had been expected to offer token resistance to the violation of its territory; instead the Finnish Army fought tenaciously, seriously delaying the flanking move. At sea the plan fared even worse, as coastal missile boats and the remnants of Northern Fleet's shore-based naval aviation inflicted crippling losses on the NATO fleet. By mid-June the last major naval fleet in-being in the world had been shattered.

In the south, the front in Romania stabilized and entered a period of attritional warfare. Soviet mobilization-only divisions, largely leg-mobile and stiffened with a sprinkling of obsolete tanks and armored personnel carriers, entered the lines. Although the Romanians proved better soldiers than the over-aged and ill-trained Soviet recruits, the manpower difference began to be felt. The best Soviet troops were shipped further south to Bulgaria, and by May had managed to halt the Turkish drive. As Greek pressure on the Turkish left flank in Thrace built, unit after Turkish unit was shifted to face the Greeks. It became clear that, without aid, the Turkish Army would have to fall back or be defeated.

On June 27th, a NATO convoy of fast transports and cargo ships, accompanied by a strong covering force, attempted the run to the Turkish port of Izmir with badly-needed ammunition and equipment. Light fleet elements of the Greek navy intercepted the convoy and, in a confused night action off Izmir, inflicted substantial losses and escaped virtually unharmed. Two days later NATO retaliated with air strikes against Greek naval bases. On July 1st, Greece declared war against the NATO nations, and Italy, in compliance with her treaty obligations, followed suit on the 2nd.

In early July, Italian airmobile and alpine units crossed the passes into Tyrolia. Scattered elements of the Austrian army resisted briefly but were overwhelmed. By mid-month, Italian mechanized forces were debouching from the Alpine passes into southern Germany, and their advanced elements were in combat against German territorial troops in the suburbs of Munich. The Yugoslavian Army launched a gallant but costly offensive against northeastern Italy, but soon was stalled. Italy responded with a major counteroffensive which, while draining troops from the German front, quickly shattered the thinly-spread Yugoslavian northern grouping.

The Italian Army enjoyed tremendous success in the first month of its involvement in the war, primarily for logistical reasons. Most of its opponents had already been at war for six months or more. Their peacetime stocks of munitions and replacement vehicles had been depleted, and their industries had not yet geared up to wartime production. The Italians had intact peacetime stockpiles to draw on. As summer turned to fall, however, the Italians too began feeling the logistical pinch, aggravated by the increasing flow of munitions and equipment from the factories of their opponents.

In Asia, pro-Soviet India and anti-Soviet Pakistan drifted into war through an escalating spiral of border incidents, mobilization, and major armed clashes. Outright war began in the spring, and by mid-year the Indian Army was slowly advancing across the length of the front, despite fierce resistance.

By early July, NATO advanced elements were closing up on the Polish-Soviet frontier in the central region, while continuing the siege of Pact-held Warsaw. The Polish government in exile established its temporary capital in the city of Poznan, and asserted its claim to the pre-1939 Polish borders in the east. In the Far East, Pact forces began major withdrawals all along the front, and the mobile elements of the Chinese Army began a victorious pursuit.

On July 9th, with advanced elements of the 1st German Army on Soviet soil, the Red Army began using tactical nuclear weapons. In the West, they were used sparingly at first, and for the first week were used only against troop concentrations no further than 50 kilometers from the Soviet border. In the Far East, however, they were used on a massive scale. Chinese mechanized columns were vaporized, caught in the open on the roads in imagined pursuit. Strike aircraft delivered warheads on the northern Chinese population and industrial centers still in Chinese hands. The Chinese response was immediate, but Soviet forward troop units were dispersed and well-prepared. Ballistic missile attacks on Soviet population centers were frustrated by an active and efficient ABM system, and the Soviet Air Defense Command massacred the handful of Chinese bombers that attempted low-level penetration raids. Within a week, the Chinese riposte was spent, but Soviet attacks continued. The Chinese communication and transportation system, already stretched to the breaking point, disintegrated. The roads were choked with refugees fleeing from the remaining cities, all of them potential targets. China began the rapid slide into anarchy and civil disorder.

On the western front, the forward elements of both armies on the Soviet-Polish frontier were hit hard by tactical nuclear strikes, as NATO matched the Warsaw Pact warhead-for-warhead. By late August, the first of the Soviet divisions released from the Far East were entering the lines. Although the front lines were fluid everywhere, they began moving gradually west. On September 15th, the siege of Warsaw was lifted, and a week later Czech and Italian troops began a renewed offensive in southern Germany. The southern offensive gained momentum, and NATO forces in Poland increased the rate of their withdrawal, practicing a scorched earth policy as they fell back.

The Soviet and Bulgarian forces in Thrace also began a major offensive against the Turks in September. The one-sided use of tactical nuclear weapons broke the stalemate, and by month's end Bulgarian tank brigades were racing toward Istanbul. Simultaneously, Greek and Albanian troops launched a drive against southern Yugoslavia, and the Yugoslavian Army began to break up. The Yugoslavian expeditionary force in Romania was recalled for home defense, but before it could return, Beograd had fallen to Italian mechanized columns. At the same time, the limited use of tactical nuclear weapons, the increasing numbers of Soviet reserves, and the withdrawal of the Yugoslavians caused the Romanian front to collapse. As War saw Pact columns swept through both countries, isolated military units withdrew into the mountains and began to wage a guerrilla war.

In the west, NATO air units began making deep nuclear strikes against communication hubs in Czechoslovakia and Byelorussia in an attempt to slow the Warsaw Pact advance. The Pact responded with similar strikes against German industrial targets and major port cities. NATO's theater nuclear missiles were launched against an array of industrial targets and port cities in the western Soviet Union. Throughout October the exchanges continued, escalating gradually. Fearful of a general strategic exchange, neither side targeted on the land-based ICBM's of the other, or launched so many warheads at once as to risk convincing the other side that an all-out attack was in progress. Neither side wished to cross the threshold to nuclear oblivion in one bold step, and so they inched across it, never quite knowing they had done it until after the fact.

First, military targets were hit. Then industrial targets clearly vital to the war effort. Then economic targets of military importance. Then transportation and communication, oil fields and refineries. Then major industrial and oil centers in neutral nations, to prevent their possible use by the other side. Numerous warheads were aimed at logistical stockpiles and command control centers of the armies in the field. Almost accidentally, the civilian political command structure was first decimated, then eliminated. The exchange continued, fitfully and irregularly, through November and early December, and then gradually petered out.

Pakistan and India waged their own nuclear war. Facing defeat, Pakistan launched a pre-emptive strike on India's economy and nuclear strike force. Although industrial centers were hit hard, enough of India's nuclear arsenal survived to launch a devastating retaliatory strike. The Indian-Pakistani war soon wound down, as each country's economy no longer could feed its civilians, let alone supply military units.


2003

The winter of 2002-03 was particularly cold. Civilian war casualties in the industrialized nations had reached almost 15% by the turn of the year, but the worst was yet to come. Communication and transportation systems were non-existent, and food distribution was impossible. In the wake of nuclear war came famine on a scale previously undreamed of. Only the exceptionally cold winter delayed simultaneous epidemics. In the nations of the Third World, destruction of their major industries together with cessation of western food aid caused severe dislocations, with famine and starvation in many areas. With the spring thaw, the unburied dead finally brought on the epidemics the few remaining medical professionals had dreaded but were powerless to prevent. Plague, typhoid, cholera, typhus, and many other diseases swept the world's population. By the time they had run their courses, the global casualty rate would be 50%.

In Europe, France and Belgium had been hit the lightest and stood virtually alone in maintaining a semblance of internal order throughout the cataclysm. As refugees began flooding across their borders, the French and Belgian governments closed their frontiers, and military units began turning back refugees with gunfire. The French government authorized the army to move west to the Rhine to secure a solid geographical barrier. As the refugees piled up on the French and Belgian frontiers, a large lawless zone sprang into existence. Open fighting for food was followed by mass starvation and disease, until the lawless zone had become barren and empty.

The average strength of NATO combat divisions at the front had fallen to about 8,000, with U.S. divisions running at about half of that. Warsaw Pact divisions now varied widely in strength, running from 500 to 10,000 effectives, but mostly in the 2-4,000 range. Lack of fuel, spare parts, and ammunition temporarily paralyzed the armies. Peace might have come, but there were no surviving governments to negotiate it. Only the military command structures remained intact, and they remained faithful to the final orders of their governments. In a time of almost universal famine, only the military had the means of securing and distributing rations. Military casualties had been much lower than casualties among civilians.

In the Balkans, the partisan bands in the mountains of Romania and Yugoslavia had escaped almost untouched, while many Pact regular units had been destroyed in the exchange or had just melted away after it. The Romanians and Yugoslavians began forming regular combat units again, although still structured to live off the land and subsist from captured enemy equipment. At first, there was a great deal of enemy equipment just lying around waiting to be picked up.

There were border changes as well. The Italian Army formed the satellite states of Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia while the Greek Army directly annexed Macedonia. The Albanian Army, always a reluctant ally, first protested, then withdrew from the temporary alliance, and finally began sporadic attacks on Greek military units. At the same time, many Italian and Hungarian units were withdrawn from the Balkans and shifted to Czechoslovakia and southern Germany.

In North America, a flood of hungry refugees began crossing the Rio Grande, and most of the remaining military forces of the United States were deployed into the southwest to deal with the mounting crisis. They moved at the orders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now the de facto government of the United States. Widespread food riots and violence in refugee areas were met with military force. The Mexican government protested, and within months Mexican Army units crossed the Rio Grande to protect Mexican lives. More U.S. units were shifted south. Scattered fighting grew into open warfare, and Mexican armored columns were soon driving northeast toward Arkansas and northwest into southern California. The front quickly stabilized in northeast Texas and central California. Elsewhere in the U.S. civil disorder and anarchy increased with the withdrawal of Army units.

In late June, the Pact forces in southern Germany renewed their offensive in an attempt to seize the scattered surviving industrial sites in central Germany. Actually, the most intact parts of Germany were those areas in the south which had been under Warsaw Pact occupation, as neither side was willing to strike the area heavily. Galvanized into renewed action, NATO forces made a maximum effort to reform a coherent front, and the Pact offensive finally stalled along a line from Frankfurt to Fulda. In late August, NATO launched its own offensive from the area of Karl Marx Stadt, driving south to penetrate the Pact rear areas in Czechoslovakia. The thinly-spread Czech border guard units were quickly overwhelmed and Pact forces in central Germany began a precipitous withdrawal to Czechoslovakia, laying waste to southern Germany as they retreated.

A simultaneous offensive by the Yugoslavian Army drove north in an attempt to link up with NATO. The Yugoslavians were halted near Lake Balaton, however, and then thrown back. As more Pact units arrived in Czechoslovakia, the NATO drive ran out of steam and lost its sense of direction. Troops were shifted west to garrison the recaptured but devastated south of Germany, and many lives were wasted in a futile attempt to force the Alpine passes into Italy. As the autumnal rains began, NATO and the Pact initiated a short and weak second nuclear exchange, directed primarily at surviving industrial centers in the United Kingdom and Italy.

Fighting gradually ran down to the level of local skirmishing as both sides prepared for another winter.


2004

Once spring planting was finished, the United States Congress reconvened for the first time since the first exchange of missiles. Senator John Broward (D, Ark), the former governor of Arkansas who appointed himself to fill one of the two vacant senatorial seats, was elected President by the House of Representatives. General Jonathan Cummings, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, refused to recognize the constitutional validity of the election, citing the lack of a proper quorum and numerous irregularities in the credentials of the attending congressmen.

(Although Cummings' decision would later be widely criticized, there was much validity to his position. Many congressional seats were disputed; several of the congressmen in attendance were merely self-appointed local strongmen who had gained control of large parts of the old congressional districts, and some had never seen the districts they purported to represent. There was at least one confirmed shooting between rival claimants to a seat while Congress was in session.)

General Cummings declared a continuation of martial law until such time as a new census was practical, that being necessary for a meaningful reapportionment of congressional seats and presidential electoral votes. President Broward responded with a demand for Cummings' resignation, which Cummings declined to submit. While some military units sided with the new civilian government, the majority continued to take orders from the Joint Chiefs, particularly those overseas, for two simple reasons. First, the habit of obedience was deeply ingrained, and, in many cases, was all that had allowed units to survive thus far. Second, the Joint Chiefs controlled virtually all surviving telecommunications networks.

In North America, the main effect was a further erosion of central authority. Forced to choose between two rival governments, both with considerable flaws in their claims to legitimacy, many localities simply chose to ignore both.

The surviving foreign and national organizations dealing or concerned with the United States, choose between the rival governments. The German military government and Polish government in exile continued relations with the Joint Chiefs, while the partisan commands of Yugoslavia and Romania recognized the civilian government. The remnants of the Central Intelligence Agency obeyed the orders of the civilian government, while the Defense Intelligence Agency, loyal to the Joint Chiefs, organized a field operations branch to replace the CIA "defectors." Officially, forces of the two governments refrained from violent confrontation, but there were sporadic local clashes over key installations, occasional bloody coups within military units, and numerous assassinations and "dirty tricks" by rival intelligence agencies.

In the autumn, the dispatch of troops to Europe resumed, although only as a trickle. A few warships were available as escorts, and various old merchant vessels were pressed into service as transports. Initiated by the civilian government, both governments briefly competed in a struggle to outdo the other, viewing success as a litmus test of their ability to mobilize the nation. In fact, the call-ups affected only the Atlantic coast and led to widespread resistance. The dispatch of troops, supplies, and equipment to Europe made little sense to most, considering the appalling state of affairs in the United States.

The actual reinforcements sent included a small number of light vehicles and ammunition but consisted mostly of light infantry. Mortars were becoming the most popular support weapon for troops, as they could be turned out in quantity from small machine shops and garages.

In Europe, the fronts were static for most of the year. Low troop densities meant that infiltration raids became the most common form of warfare. The "front" ceased to be a line and became a deep occupied zone, as troops settled into areas and began farming and small-scale manufacturing to meet their supply requirements. Local civilians were hired to farm and carry out many administrative functions in return for security from the increasing numbers of marauders roaming the countryside. In other areas, the security the military unit provided to its civilians was from the unit itself. Many units stationed in barren areas drifted apart or turned to marauding when supplies did not arrive. Although most attacks by large bodies of marauders were directed at areas held by "the enemy", they begin to be directed at "allied" units as well, although at first not against units of the same nationality.


2005

By the spring of the year 2005, the armies of Europe had settled into their new "cantonment" system. Civil authority had virtually ceased to exist. Most military units were practicing extensive local recruiting in an attempt to keep up to strength, and stragglers were often incorporated into units regardless of nationality. Thus, U.S. units contain Germans, Poles, Danes, and former soldiers of Warsaw Pact armies in addition to Americans. Nominal titles of units (brigades, divisions, etc.) have little bearing on the actual size of the unit.

In early summer, the German Third Army, spearheaded by the U.S. Eleventh Corps, moved out of its cantonments on what was to become one of the last strategic offensives of the war.
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