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On 2 August 1964, the destroyer USS ''Maddox'' fired on several torpedo boats that had been stalking the Gulf of Tonkin. Initial claims that the [[TheDogShotFirst North Vietnamese fired first]] were revealed to be false, although the ''Maddox'' fired warning shots and may well have been the target for an attack anyway. Two nights later, the ''Maddox'' and another destroyer fired on phantom targets. The North Vietnamese were doing nothing on that night.

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On 2 August 1964, the destroyer USS ''Maddox'' fired on several torpedo boats that had been stalking the Gulf of Tonkin. Initial claims that the [[TheDogShotFirst North Vietnamese fired first]] first were revealed to be false, although the ''Maddox'' fired warning shots and may well have been the target for an attack anyway. Two nights later, the ''Maddox'' and another destroyer fired on phantom targets. The North Vietnamese were doing nothing on that night.


The Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania—had decided to secede from the Soviet Union long before the August Coup. Now the rest of the Republics began to leave. In November 1991 Yeltsin banned the Communist Party. The Soviet Union itself was dissolved on December 8, 1991. Gorbachev, no longer with a country to rule, resigned as President of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day, 1991. That night, the Hammer and Sickle was lowered for the last time over the Kremlin, and Yeltsin declared the new Russian Federation to be the successor state to the USSR, allowing Russia to assume the USSR's global responsibilities (especially its permanent seat on the UN Security Council).

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The Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania—had decided to secede from the Soviet Union long before the August Coup. Now the rest of the Republics began to leave. In November 1991 Yeltsin banned the Communist Party. The Soviet Union itself was dissolved on December 8, 1991. Gorbachev, no longer with a country to rule, resigned as President of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day, 1991. That night, the Hammer and Sickle was lowered for the last time over the Kremlin, and the following day, the Supreme Soviet voted itself out of existence. Yeltsin declared the new Russian Federation to be the successor state to the USSR, allowing Russia to assume the USSR's global responsibilities (especially its permanent seat on the UN Security Council).


Precisely what Johnson, [=McNamara=] or anyone else knew is unclear, but they were probably not telling the whole story. Johnson sought and got the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution from Congress, authorising [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar full-scale American intervention in Vietnam]]( Though the English-speaking world generally refers to this period as the Vietnam War, the U.S. Congress never approved a declaration of war. ).

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Precisely what Johnson, [=McNamara=] or anyone else knew is unclear, but they were probably not telling the whole story. Johnson sought and got the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution from Congress, authorising [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar full-scale American intervention in Vietnam]]( Though Vietnam]] (though the English-speaking world generally refers to this period as the Vietnam War, the U.S. Congress never approved a declaration of war. ).
war).


In 1916, it all started to unravel, as the last year off the war when Russian industry could replace all its' material losses. Coupled with the focus of the Central Powers being drawn against the Western Allies (with Germany coping with the siege of Verdun and the Somme, Austria-Hungary fighting the Italians and Greeks, and Turkey facing British offensives into the Levant and Mesopotamia), it seemed like the very best time to turn the war around, especially with requests from the Allies to draw troops off. Unfortunately, the first offensive ended in bonafide massacres at Lake Naroch and Baranovichi where the Russian armies in the Baltics and Belarus tried to break through the German fortifications and wound up breaking themselves. Realizing the key problem with this, the Tsar turned to [[FourStarBadass Alexei Brusilov]] and asked him to try and salvage the situation. Brusilov decided to focus on icia, which was still mostly controlled by the Austrians. In a stroke of brilliance that lasted for several months, he shattered the KuK, took hundreds of thousands of prisoners, and seemed on the verge of knocking the Habsburgs off until the Central Powers panicked and transferred enough troops from the West to blunt the offensive. The result made Brusilov a hero and raised the morale of the Russian army, but it was still a bloody victor, was particularly expensive in material (such as artillery shells), and ultimately failed to turn the course of the war. With the Russian heartlands increasingly exposed to the prospect of German invasion, farmland and infrastructure loss undermining the food supply, and little prospect of it a winter of discontent with the way the war was going, the flaws in government, and starvation caused morale and discipline to crack. The failure of another offensive- this one driven by the ethnic Latvian units in the Russian army- in December just underlined it.

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In 1916, it all started to unravel, as the last year off the war when Russian industry could replace all its' material losses. Coupled with the focus of the Central Powers being drawn against the Western Allies (with Germany coping with the siege of Verdun and the Somme, Austria-Hungary fighting the Italians and Greeks, and Turkey facing British offensives into the Levant and Mesopotamia), it seemed like the very best time to turn the war around, especially with requests from the Allies to draw troops off. Unfortunately, the first offensive ended in bonafide massacres at Lake Naroch and Baranovichi where the Russian armies in the Baltics and Belarus tried to break through the German fortifications and wound up breaking themselves. Realizing the key problem with this, the Tsar turned to [[FourStarBadass Alexei Brusilov]] Brusilov and asked him to try and salvage the situation. Brusilov decided to focus on icia, which was still mostly controlled by the Austrians. In a stroke of brilliance that lasted for several months, he shattered the KuK, took hundreds of thousands of prisoners, and seemed on the verge of knocking the Habsburgs off until the Central Powers panicked and transferred enough troops from the West to blunt the offensive. The result made Brusilov a hero and raised the morale of the Russian army, but it was still a bloody victor, was particularly expensive in material (such as artillery shells), and ultimately failed to turn the course of the war. With the Russian heartlands increasingly exposed to the prospect of German invasion, farmland and infrastructure loss undermining the food supply, and little prospect of it a winter of discontent with the way the war was going, the flaws in government, and starvation caused morale and discipline to crack. The failure of another offensive- this one driven by the ethnic Latvian units in the Russian army- in December just underlined it.


The French were a bit more reluctant to let their empire go, not least because part of it was actually an honest-to-goodness part of France proper, and both of the wars they fought to hold on to it made use of tens of thousands of soldiers from [[UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons the former Wehrmacht]] who fought as part of their Foreign Legion (and numberd at some 35% of the total in the immediate post-war period). [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar The first conflict]] would [[{{Foreshadowing}} later involve napalm]] and will be mentioned later. The second involved [[UsefulNotes/{{Algeria}} French North Africa]] and the significant French cultural minority in modern-day Algeria which composed as much of 1/8 of the total population there. Their efforts to stamp out the Algerian Independence movement included the employment of the JackBauerInterrogationTechnique en masse [[LaResistance by former Gestapo victims]] and the use of the police force as a tool of state repression and terror as organized by [[LesCollaborateurs Nazi-sympathizer former-collaborators]] from [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the Vichy- and Occupation-era administration]]. ''Film/TheBattleOfAlgiers'' is a well-known film depicting the period. The war brought about the collapse of the Fourth Republic and the return of [[UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle de Gaulle]], who gave Algeria a referendum on secession in which they showed their desire for full independence—which they promptly got. Some French people were not happy, to the point that they tried to kill de Gaulle. Several times. The film ''Literature/TheDayOfTheJackal'' contains not only a fictional attempt that very nearly succeeds, but a pretty accurate account of a real one at the beginning.

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The French were a bit more reluctant to let their empire go, not least because part of it was actually an honest-to-goodness part of France proper, and both of the wars they fought to hold on to it made use of tens of thousands of soldiers from [[UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons the former Wehrmacht]] who fought as part of their Foreign Legion (and numberd at some 35% of the total in the immediate post-war period). [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar The first conflict]] would [[{{Foreshadowing}} later involve napalm]] napalm and will be mentioned later. The second involved [[UsefulNotes/{{Algeria}} French North Africa]] and the significant French cultural minority in modern-day Algeria which composed as much of 1/8 of the total population there. Their efforts to stamp out the Algerian Independence movement included the employment of the JackBauerInterrogationTechnique en masse [[LaResistance by former Gestapo victims]] and the use of the police force as a tool of state repression and terror as organized by [[LesCollaborateurs Nazi-sympathizer former-collaborators]] from [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the Vichy- and Occupation-era administration]]. ''Film/TheBattleOfAlgiers'' is a well-known film depicting the period. The war brought about the collapse of the Fourth Republic and the return of [[UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle de Gaulle]], who gave Algeria a referendum on secession in which they showed their desire for full independence—which they promptly got. Some French people were not happy, to the point that they tried to kill de Gaulle. Several times. The film ''Literature/TheDayOfTheJackal'' contains not only a fictional attempt that very nearly succeeds, but a pretty accurate account of a real one at the beginning.


Khruschev's polices of destalinization also marked the origins of the Sino-Soviet split. UsefulNotes/MaoZedong warned him that many communist parties around the world counted on Stalin's leadership for their legitimacy (including his), and by discrediting Stalin in such a manner, they would politically compromise the relationships of satellite communists to the metropole.(Mao's leadership of the CCP was never as secure and firm as Stalin's. The CCP didn't exist until the Soviets formed it in Shanghai during the 20s, and indeed the Soviets backed the KMT of Dr Sun-Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Shek. Stalin suggested to the CCP, in the words of the Soviet Emissary to China, to serve the KMT "as a coolie" yet repeated purges by the KMT made that impossible for them to do and eventually Mao led the CCP during the 30s and 40s to an independent KMT course that Stalin did not authorize but finally shrugged his shoulders and accepted) Khruschev went ahead nonetheless, and this, coupled with constant border clashes between the Chinese and the Soviets at the Amur River, marked the start of a break between the two largest Communist nations. (Mao was a ruthless and calculating leader who had been a [[LaResistance "resistance"]] leader against the Japanese, [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything whom he was careful to maintain unofficial truces with at all times]], and the Guomindang. Unfortunately, by the end of 1952 the Civil War was completely over and he was the undisputed leader of the entire country. "Unfortunately", [[ModernMajorGeneral his policies]] [[DidntSeeThatComing proved]] [[YouFailEconomicsForever disastrous]]. The Second Five-Year Plan/"Great Leap Forward" killed a couple of dozen million through starvation-related diseases and exposure to the elements (no more, please, let's not go for sensationalism) and The Cultural Revolution killed tens of thousands (and traumatised tens of millions) in brutal and disturbingly mass-hysteric ways. These included many of the Communist Party’s own revolutionary leaders, who were [[{{Unperson}} unpersoned]] as “reactionary rightists”.)

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Khruschev's polices of destalinization also marked the origins of the Sino-Soviet split. UsefulNotes/MaoZedong warned him that many communist parties around the world counted on Stalin's leadership for their legitimacy (including his), and by discrediting Stalin in such a manner, they would politically compromise the relationships of satellite communists to the metropole.(Mao's leadership of the CCP was never as secure and firm as Stalin's. The CCP didn't exist until the Soviets formed it in Shanghai during the 20s, and indeed the Soviets backed the KMT of Dr Sun-Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Shek. Stalin suggested to the CCP, in the words of the Soviet Emissary to China, to serve the KMT "as a coolie" yet repeated purges by the KMT made that impossible for them to do and eventually Mao led the CCP during the 30s and 40s to an independent KMT course that Stalin did not authorize but finally shrugged his shoulders and accepted) Khruschev went ahead nonetheless, and this, coupled with constant border clashes between the Chinese and the Soviets at the Amur River, marked the start of a break between the two largest Communist nations. (Mao was a ruthless and calculating leader who had been a [[LaResistance "resistance"]] leader against the Japanese, [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything whom he was careful to maintain unofficial truces with at all times]], and the Guomindang. Unfortunately, by the end of 1952 the Civil War was completely over and he was the undisputed leader of the entire country. "Unfortunately", [[ModernMajorGeneral his policies]] [[DidntSeeThatComing proved]] [[YouFailEconomicsForever [[ArtisticLicenseEconomics disastrous]]. The Second Five-Year Plan/"Great Leap Forward" killed a couple of dozen million through starvation-related diseases and exposure to the elements (no more, please, let's not go for sensationalism) and The Cultural Revolution killed tens of thousands (and traumatised tens of millions) in brutal and disturbingly mass-hysteric ways. These included many of the Communist Party’s own revolutionary leaders, who were [[{{Unperson}} unpersoned]] as “reactionary rightists”.)


[[caption-width-right:320:[-I think the other guy just blinked.-] ]]

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[[caption-width-right:320:[-I [[caption-width-right:320:"I think the other guy just blinked.-] ]]
"]]


The USA's Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM(No, [[NamesTheSame not]] [[XComUFODefense those]] [[XCOMEnemyUnknown guys]])) discussed what to do about the missiles on Cuba. JFK secretly recorded the meetings, which helps historians a lot. The Joint Chiefs were being GeneralRipper before that trope first appeared. Indeed, Air Force General Curtis [=LeMay=]— the inspiration for Ripper — was at the meetings advocating airstrikes. Eventually they settled on a blockade. Since that is legally an act of war, they called it a "quarantine", and JFK announced the existence of the missiles to the world. This completely wrong-footed Khrushchev and Castro. Their secret alliance was supposed to have been, well, ''secret'' until they chose to publicly declare it (when the missiles were all in-place). Declaring its existence ''after'' the revelations about the missiles would make it look like they were lying (in addition to not having had legal grounds for moving Soviet war material onto Cuban soil because they hadn't had an alliance), so they never ended up revealing it. The USA's Strategic Air Command (SAC) went to [[DefconFive DEFCON-2]] for the only time in its history.

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The USA's Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM(No, [[NamesTheSame not]] [[XComUFODefense [[VideoGame/XComUFODefense those]] [[XCOMEnemyUnknown [[VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown guys]])) discussed what to do about the missiles on Cuba. JFK secretly recorded the meetings, which helps historians a lot. The Joint Chiefs were being GeneralRipper before that trope first appeared. Indeed, Air Force General Curtis [=LeMay=]— the inspiration for Ripper — was at the meetings advocating airstrikes. Eventually they settled on a blockade. Since that is legally an act of war, they called it a "quarantine", and JFK announced the existence of the missiles to the world. This completely wrong-footed Khrushchev and Castro. Their secret alliance was supposed to have been, well, ''secret'' until they chose to publicly declare it (when the missiles were all in-place). Declaring its existence ''after'' the revelations about the missiles would make it look like they were lying (in addition to not having had legal grounds for moving Soviet war material onto Cuban soil because they hadn't had an alliance), so they never ended up revealing it. The USA's Strategic Air Command (SAC) went to [[DefconFive DEFCON-2]] for the only time in its history.


With West Berlin being faced with starvation, the West started a massive airlift to keep the city going, using the air corridors. On top of the massive amounts of staples like foodstuffs, medicines and fuel being delivered, the air forces jumped at pilot [[PerpetualSmiler Gail Halvorsen's]] idea for the children of Berlin and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming dropped tons of candy in little parachutes for Berlin kids]], becoming known as "Candy Bombers" to ''literally'' [[IncrediblyLamePun sweeten]] the propaganda effort (Halvorsen was eventually given the incredibly adorable nickname of "Uncle Wiggly-Wings" by the mini-Berliners, because he would wiggle his wings on his descent as he dropped his candy). Since Stalin didn't want to start a war any more than the West did, he could do little to stop this. After about a year, the Soviets backed down; the Western Allies continued to fear the Soviets going for Berlin again, but the West had quite solidly won the hearts and minds of the children of Berlin, which ended up becoming a surprisingly significant factor in the future. (Halvorsen, a citizen of Salt Lake City, was subsequently asked by the German delegation to be their flagbearer during the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics, a request he happily granted.) Halvorsen is still alive today after a long career in the USAF (and, ironically, a period as a missionary in St. Petersburg), enjoying a happy and healthy retirement in his hometown of Salt Lake City.

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With West Berlin being faced with starvation, the West started a massive airlift to keep the city going, using the air corridors. On top of the massive amounts of staples like foodstuffs, medicines and fuel being delivered, the air forces jumped at pilot [[PerpetualSmiler Gail Halvorsen's]] idea for the children of Berlin and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming dropped tons of candy in little parachutes for Berlin kids]], kids, becoming known as "Candy Bombers" to ''literally'' [[IncrediblyLamePun sweeten]] the propaganda effort (Halvorsen was eventually given the incredibly adorable nickname of "Uncle Wiggly-Wings" by the mini-Berliners, because he would wiggle his wings on his descent as he dropped his candy). Since Stalin didn't want to start a war any more than the West did, he could do little to stop this. After about a year, the Soviets backed down; the Western Allies continued to fear the Soviets going for Berlin again, but the West had quite solidly won the hearts and minds of the children of Berlin, which ended up becoming a surprisingly significant factor in the future. (Halvorsen, a citizen of Salt Lake City, was subsequently asked by the German delegation to be their flagbearer during the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics, a request he happily granted.) Halvorsen is still alive today after a long career in the USAF (and, ironically, a period as a missionary in St. Petersburg), enjoying a happy and healthy retirement in his hometown of Salt Lake City.


Russia entered UsefulNotes/WorldWarI as France's ally (as per the ''Entente Cordiale'') on the one hand and as the protector of Serbia and Montenegro on the other. The "Russian Steamroller" was the dominant force on the Entente side, making the single largest land contribution of any of the combatant countries by fielding two million combat troops in the Eastern Theatre on two fronts and a number of other ones elsewhere, forcing the Central Powers to tie down between a million and two million troops to face them. And contrary to the cliche, they were not that poorly off. [[note]] One factoid often singled out is the fact that many Russian soldiers didn't have rifles. This is nowhere near as damning as it seems, though it did become more of a problem later in the war. Because 1/3 of all troops in all armies of this period were needed for logistics—they were needed ''not to'' fight, because without them everyone else would die of thirst while starving and drowning in their own shit. Most first-rate armies still had rifles for those logistical troops anyway, but the Russians didn't and deduced they didn't need them. Which was almost true. This same factoid comes up again with regards to the Red Army in World War Two. However, it did become a problem because if the enemy broke through to the rear echelons they could wrap up thousands of unarmed logistics personnel who couldn't resist effectively, and later when production dipped down further, people needed to fight started having fewer rifles. [[/note]]

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Russia entered UsefulNotes/WorldWarI as France's ally (as per the ''Entente Cordiale'') on the one hand and as the protector of Serbia and Montenegro on the other. The "Russian Steamroller" was the dominant force on the Entente side, making the single largest land contribution of any of the combatant countries by fielding two million combat troops in the Eastern Theatre on two fronts and a number of other ones elsewhere, forcing the Central Powers to tie down between a million and two million troops to face them. And contrary to the cliche, they were not that poorly off. [[note]] One (One factoid often singled out is the fact that many Russian soldiers didn't have rifles. This is nowhere near as damning as it seems, though it did become more of a problem later in the war. Because 1/3 of all troops in all armies of this period were needed for logistics—they were needed ''not to'' fight, because without them everyone else would die of thirst while starving and drowning in their own shit. Most first-rate armies still had rifles for those logistical troops anyway, but the Russians didn't and deduced they didn't need them. Which was almost true. This same factoid comes up again with regards to the Red Army in World War Two. However, it did become a problem because if the enemy broke through to the rear echelons they could wrap up thousands of unarmed logistics personnel who couldn't resist effectively, and later when production dipped down further, people needed to fight started having fewer rifles. [[/note]]\n)



In the end, it was the Tsar's attempt to do everything to avert the trope of Russian soldiers being ill-armed and ill-equipped that ironically helped bring down the monarchy and ultimately the war effort. In an effort to squeeze out a full production run off of a shrunken base, he converted ''all available industry'' to war production, as he'd been pressured into doing (in 1915, when they were suffering numerous defeats, and all the other powers had already started doing it). However, this meant that the normal industrial goods weren't being produced, more rationing had to be implemented, and even greater hardships happened at the precise moment when war weariness was already in full swing and faith in the monarchy was decisively shaken. Consequently, the amount of grain farmers sold at market fell because with no new industrial goods being produced, there was nothing of that kind left that they wanted to buy. Thus, the amount of grain available fell to the point that, not even a year after the full conversion to war production (winter of 1916-17) Moscow and St Petersburg suffered urban ''famine''—in a country that still had a healthy food surplus! [[note]] Britain, France, and Italy did not have this problem despite full conversion to war production because the USA, the Colonies/Dominions, Latin America, Japan, and China were willing and able to sell them the balance of normal/consumer goods that they would otherwise have had to forego. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia all had this problem on, the other hand, because they were all effectively under blockade (the Trans-Siberian and Arkhangelsk—Moscow lines could only have brought in a tiny fraction of what Russia needed, and were in any case almost entirely used to import machine tools (for the conversion) and other war matériel. Gallipoli was an attempt to break this blockade by defeating Turkey, but it failed miserably and kept the sea route into the Black Sea ports closed. Fixing this problem would've required one of two things: reconversion from war production, or the seizure and distribution of the unsold food still held by the farmers. Interestingly, the famine continued well into the Civil War and was only solved when the Bolsheviks abandoned their policy of food seizure and moved instead to promoting free industry and trade—''i.e.'', reconversion. [[/note]]

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In the end, it was the Tsar's attempt to do everything to avert the trope of Russian soldiers being ill-armed and ill-equipped that ironically helped bring down the monarchy and ultimately the war effort. In an effort to squeeze out a full production run off of a shrunken base, he converted ''all available industry'' to war production, as he'd been pressured into doing (in 1915, when they were suffering numerous defeats, and all the other powers had already started doing it). However, this meant that the normal industrial goods weren't being produced, more rationing had to be implemented, and even greater hardships happened at the precise moment when war weariness was already in full swing and faith in the monarchy was decisively shaken. Consequently, the amount of grain farmers sold at market fell because with no new industrial goods being produced, there was nothing of that kind left that they wanted to buy. Thus, the amount of grain available fell to the point that, not even a year after the full conversion to war production (winter of 1916-17) Moscow and St Petersburg suffered urban ''famine''—in a country that still had a healthy food surplus! [[note]] Britain, (Britain, France, and Italy did not have this problem despite full conversion to war production because the USA, the Colonies/Dominions, Latin America, Japan, and China were willing and able to sell them the balance of normal/consumer goods that they would otherwise have had to forego. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia all had this problem on, the other hand, because they were all effectively under blockade (the Trans-Siberian and Arkhangelsk—Moscow lines could only have brought in a tiny fraction of what Russia needed, and were in any case almost entirely used to import machine tools (for the conversion) and other war matériel. Gallipoli was an attempt to break this blockade by defeating Turkey, but it failed miserably and kept the sea route into the Black Sea ports closed. Fixing this problem would've required one of two things: reconversion from war production, or the seizure and distribution of the unsold food still held by the farmers. Interestingly, the famine continued well into the Civil War and was only solved when the Bolsheviks abandoned their policy of food seizure and moved instead to promoting free industry and trade—''i.e.'', reconversion. [[/note]]\n)



From [[UsefulNotes/RedOctober 1917]] to 1923, the "White Army", with the largely nominal aid of foreign troops [[note]]100,000 Japanese there basically to try to get Siberia to become their puppet state, 30,000 Czechoslovaks who had fought for the Russians but accidentally kickstarted the Civil War there when the Reds were trying to deport them via the Trans-Siberian railway and some idiots tried to disarm them around Omsk or thereabouts, and 20,000 British-Canadian-French-American-Greek-Australian troops (including two who received the Victoria Cross for their actions against the Red Army) who were trying to get back all the war matériel they'd sold to Russia and all their nationals who were still in the country[[/note]], battled for control of Russia against the communist Bolsheviks and their [[UsefulNotes/RedsWithRockets Red Army]]. It should be noted that the Whites (anti-communists), Blacks (anarchists), and Greens (small armed bands organized on the village level—sometimes for self-defense, sometimes for banditry) were not monolithic groups, but were composed of several different armies led by different generals. In addition to fighting the Bolsheviks, these factions [[WeAreStrugglingTogether frequently fought each other]] as well. All sides had penchants for cruelty to the local populations (and, for that matter, [[WeHaveReserves their own troops]]).

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From [[UsefulNotes/RedOctober 1917]] to 1923, the "White Army", with the largely nominal aid of foreign troops [[note]]100,000 (100,000 Japanese there basically to try to get Siberia to become their puppet state, 30,000 Czechoslovaks who had fought for the Russians but accidentally kickstarted the Civil War there when the Reds were trying to deport them via the Trans-Siberian railway and some idiots tried to disarm them around Omsk or thereabouts, and 20,000 British-Canadian-French-American-Greek-Australian troops (including two who received the Victoria Cross for their actions against the Red Army) who were trying to get back all the war matériel they'd sold to Russia and all their nationals who were still in the country[[/note]], country), battled for control of Russia against the communist Bolsheviks and their [[UsefulNotes/RedsWithRockets Red Army]]. It should be noted that the Whites (anti-communists), Blacks (anarchists), and Greens (small armed bands organized on the village level—sometimes for self-defense, sometimes for banditry) were not monolithic groups, but were composed of several different armies led by different generals. In addition to fighting the Bolsheviks, these factions [[WeAreStrugglingTogether frequently fought each other]] as well. All sides had penchants for cruelty to the local populations (and, for that matter, [[WeHaveReserves their own troops]]).



The Bolsheviks won thanks to their superlative planning, organization, coordination, [[WeHaveReserves numbers]], and industry. Lenin's strategy for the October Revolution was fundamentally internationalist, i.e. he hoped that the October Revolution would detonate a global revolution in many countries. Specifically, he intended a Revolution to break out in Germany believing that the October Revolution would never be consolidated without a revolution in an advanced nation. A revolution did in fact break out in Germany, starting uprisings in Berlin, and the formation of the Bavarian Soviet in Munich. When the the UsefulNotes/PolishSovietWar of 1919-’21 broke out, Lenin inspired by early successes and seeking to aid German revolutionaries, extended the campaign in the hope of building a bridgehead in a more advanced nation. The reversal of the Red Army at the Battle of Warsaw, their losses in battle, a growing famine crisis, the brutal crushing of the German soviets at hands of Freikorp paramilitaries[[note]]Who would mostly go on to become Nazis[[/note]] put a stopper on this strategy. The Soviets were in no position to extend international revolution no matter how much Lenin and Trotsky wanted it. The level of foreign intervention in the Civil War, the lack of international recognition of the new state, and the repeated espionage attempts heightened a [[EverythingTryingToKillYou “siege mentality”]] in the Soviet Union.

Without support from the West, they turned inwards and faced a host of problems at hand: they were a one-party state in a largely rural nation with poor urbanization in need of modernization, their working-class urban base which propelled them to power was depleted as a result of their participation during the Civil War, while their war communism policies were harsh and unpopular among rural peasants. Initially Lenin offset it via New Economic Policy (NEP) which was intended to lessen the hostility of peasantry to the Bolshevik party. This attempt at a mixed economy bore short-term results and the USSR started to recover. After his death, there was another power struggle with some advocating a continuance of the NEP (Nikolai Bukharin), others arguing for world revolution, collectivization of agriculture and mass industrialization (UsefulNotes/LeonTrotsky). World revolution was decisively unpopular with both Bukharin and UsefulNotes/JosefStalin. Collectivization and industrialization started looking very attractive to the Politburo, on account of the fact that the gains made by NEP did not allow for investment and development of industry and military at the pace they would need to close the gap between them and the advanced nations. Stalin being more familiar with Russian traditions than Marxist-Hegelian dialectic, was motivated by fears of Western invasion and exploitation of Russian vulnerability[[note]]Based on memories of the Mongol invasions, the Time of Troubles, the invasion of Sweden and the invasion of Napoleon[[/note]] and the legitimacy this could provide the Soviet Union. This launched the famously brutal decade of TheThirties beginning with incompetently managed collectivization that exacerbated a food crisis and a drought in 1933-1934 into a horrific famine across the Soviet Union, greater centralism and control of bureaucracy that ultimately oversaw the brutal purges, as well as massive industrialization that, at terrible human cost, was closing the gap between the Soviet Union and the West.

International observers did not cool their own fears in the face of the Soviet Union's retreat from its inherently revolutionary origins. The United States of America, UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire, [[UsefulNotes/{{France}} the French Third Republic and its Colonial Empire]], the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic were well aware of the appeals of Communism to a good portion of their own citizens and subjects. The October Revolution inspired freedom fighters of different political persuasions across all Imperialist colonies, receiving praise and commendation from the likes of Sun Yat Sen (whose KMT received official support and patronage from the USSR), Jawaharlal Nehru, and Ho Chi Minh[[note]]A graduate at Whampoa Military Academy set up by the Soviets to help the KMT[[/note]] taking inspiration from UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin[[note]]Who continues to enjoy a neutral and/or positive reputation in these ex-colonial nations[[/note]] and the Bolshevik Party. The Bolsheviks had promised voting rights for women, anti-racist and anti-colonialist ideals, self-determination, labour reform and unionization. In retrospect they obviously promised more than they eventually delivered, but in the face of official hostility to their nation, they relied greatly on the goodwill and common aspirations of late 19th Century Internationalism and in the wake of the sudden and shocking toppling of an hitherto untouchable autocracy and the conversion of the world's largest nation with Europe's largest population to a Socialist form of government had two effects. In the case of Europe, it vindicated the apocalyptic reactionary fantasies of entrenched traditionalists and this led to the rise of Fascism. In the case of more developed nations with liberal infrastructure, namely the Anglophone, [[TheMoralSubstitute it generated consensus for reform on the part of moderate conservatives]] and centrist liberals leading them to put into effect many planks of the Bolshevik platform.

Female suffrage in England and the United States took effect a few years after the October Revolution, while the British Empire passed more reforms after the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI that finally and decisively put into effect universal suffrage in the metropole (albeit not its colonies which it maintained until UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and a more committed anti-colonial Democrat President entered office). The United States for its part, under Woodrow Wilson, encouraged national self-determination and limited but not complete decolonization, measures to end imperialism to erode the appeals of Communism at home. But American isolationism and the vested interests of industrial elites which supported both parties led to the repression, and mass deportation of many American radicals during the first RedScare. This would moderate during TheThirties in the wake of TheGreatDepression, under the Presidency of UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt. He was the first American President to officially recognize the Soviet Union, and he instituted the New Deal, a social democrat policy partially inspired by the (perceived) successes of the USSR's First Five Year Plan, [[TheMoralSubstitute and created with the goal to co-opt class angst and anti-establishment feelings]] that might potentially strengthen the cause and appeal of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA). The CPUSA was always a marginal party but it was at its ''least'' marginal during the 30s, having a good deal of influence in the Union movement, and taking up the cause of African-American enfranchisement by marching to the South in the 30s[[note]]which laid down the foundations for the UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement[[/note]] which generated fear, anger and reaction among American conservatives, as well as moderate liberals.

Within England, the Labour Party enjoyed growing consensus, leading the Conservatives to agitate and engage in anti-communist campaigns. The Labour was social democrat rather than Communist, but the existence of Communist party made their less-radical-by-few-degrees platform more consensual and attractive to the English base[[note]]Lenin also recommended the British Communist Party to ally and support them[[/note]]. An early victory by Labour in the 20s was derailed by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinoviev_letter the propaganda success of the forged Zinoviev Letter]], while Oswald Moseley's British Union of Fascists, admittedly fringe, managed to attract high profile support from England's elites. The international appeals of Communism also led the UsefulNotes/TheRaj to go lightly on seemingly moderate and harmless reformers like UsefulNotes/MahatmaGandhi whose political successes led in turn to widespread international consensus for decolonization and Indian Independence, permanently tarnishing the formerly widely believed British propaganda about benevolent colonial enterprise. UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill was a fierce anti-communist and imperialist. He was favorable to General Franco during the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar and opposed the Republicans[[note]]mostly because they were supported by the USSR[[/note]] and indeed England, France and the USA refused to intervene in said conflict, which became a celebrated cause for the Popular Front coalition sponsored by Comintern (an anti-fascist alliance between multiple leftwing parties to halt fascism).

to:

The Bolsheviks won thanks to their superlative planning, organization, coordination, [[WeHaveReserves numbers]], and industry. Lenin's strategy for the October Revolution was fundamentally internationalist, i.e. he hoped that the October Revolution would detonate a global revolution in many countries. Specifically, he intended a Revolution to break out in Germany believing that the October Revolution would never be consolidated without a revolution in an advanced nation. A revolution did in fact break out in Germany, starting uprisings in Berlin, and the formation of the Bavarian Soviet in Munich. When the the UsefulNotes/PolishSovietWar of 1919-’21 broke out, Lenin inspired by early successes and seeking to aid German revolutionaries, extended the campaign in the hope of building a bridgehead in a more advanced nation. The reversal of the Red Army at the Battle of Warsaw, their losses in battle, a growing famine crisis, the brutal crushing of the German soviets at hands of Freikorp paramilitaries[[note]]Who paramilitaries(Who would mostly go on to become Nazis[[/note]] Nazis) put a stopper on this strategy. The Soviets were in no position to extend international revolution no matter how much Lenin and Trotsky wanted it. The level of foreign intervention in the Civil War, the lack of international recognition of the new state, and the repeated espionage attempts heightened a [[EverythingTryingToKillYou “siege mentality”]] in the Soviet Union.

Without support from the West, they turned inwards and faced a host of problems at hand: they were a one-party state in a largely rural nation with poor urbanization in need of modernization, their working-class urban base which propelled them to power was depleted as a result of their participation during the Civil War, while their war communism policies were harsh and unpopular among rural peasants. Initially Lenin offset it via New Economic Policy (NEP) which was intended to lessen the hostility of peasantry to the Bolshevik party. This attempt at a mixed economy bore short-term results and the USSR started to recover. After his death, there was another power struggle with some advocating a continuance of the NEP (Nikolai Bukharin), others arguing for world revolution, collectivization of agriculture and mass industrialization (UsefulNotes/LeonTrotsky). World revolution was decisively unpopular with both Bukharin and UsefulNotes/JosefStalin. Collectivization and industrialization started looking very attractive to the Politburo, on account of the fact that the gains made by NEP did not allow for investment and development of industry and military at the pace they would need to close the gap between them and the advanced nations. Stalin being more familiar with Russian traditions than Marxist-Hegelian dialectic, was motivated by fears of Western invasion and exploitation of Russian vulnerability[[note]]Based vulnerability(Based on memories of the Mongol invasions, the Time of Troubles, the invasion of Sweden and the invasion of Napoleon[[/note]] Napoleon) and the legitimacy this could provide the Soviet Union. This launched the famously brutal decade of TheThirties beginning with incompetently managed collectivization that exacerbated a food crisis and a drought in 1933-1934 into a horrific famine across the Soviet Union, greater centralism and control of bureaucracy that ultimately oversaw the brutal purges, as well as massive industrialization that, at terrible human cost, was closing the gap between the Soviet Union and the West.

International observers did not cool their own fears in the face of the Soviet Union's retreat from its inherently revolutionary origins. The United States of America, UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire, [[UsefulNotes/{{France}} the French Third Republic and its Colonial Empire]], the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic were well aware of the appeals of Communism to a good portion of their own citizens and subjects. The October Revolution inspired freedom fighters of different political persuasions across all Imperialist colonies, receiving praise and commendation from the likes of Sun Yat Sen (whose KMT received official support and patronage from the USSR), Jawaharlal Nehru, and Ho Chi Minh[[note]]A Minh(A graduate at Whampoa Military Academy set up by the Soviets to help the KMT[[/note]] KMT) taking inspiration from UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin[[note]]Who UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin(Who continues to enjoy a neutral and/or positive reputation in these ex-colonial nations[[/note]] nations) and the Bolshevik Party. The Bolsheviks had promised voting rights for women, anti-racist and anti-colonialist ideals, self-determination, labour reform and unionization. In retrospect they obviously promised more than they eventually delivered, but in the face of official hostility to their nation, they relied greatly on the goodwill and common aspirations of late 19th Century Internationalism and in the wake of the sudden and shocking toppling of an hitherto untouchable autocracy and the conversion of the world's largest nation with Europe's largest population to a Socialist form of government had two effects. In the case of Europe, it vindicated the apocalyptic reactionary fantasies of entrenched traditionalists and this led to the rise of Fascism. In the case of more developed nations with liberal infrastructure, namely the Anglophone, [[TheMoralSubstitute it generated consensus for reform on the part of moderate conservatives]] and centrist liberals leading them to put into effect many planks of the Bolshevik platform.

Female suffrage in England and the United States took effect a few years after the October Revolution, while the British Empire passed more reforms after the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI that finally and decisively put into effect universal suffrage in the metropole (albeit not its colonies which it maintained until UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and a more committed anti-colonial Democrat President entered office). The United States for its part, under Woodrow Wilson, encouraged national self-determination and limited but not complete decolonization, measures to end imperialism to erode the appeals of Communism at home. But American isolationism and the vested interests of industrial elites which supported both parties led to the repression, and mass deportation of many American radicals during the first RedScare. This would moderate during TheThirties in the wake of TheGreatDepression, under the Presidency of UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt. He was the first American President to officially recognize the Soviet Union, and he instituted the New Deal, a social democrat policy partially inspired by the (perceived) successes of the USSR's First Five Year Plan, [[TheMoralSubstitute and created with the goal to co-opt class angst and anti-establishment feelings]] that might potentially strengthen the cause and appeal of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA). The CPUSA was always a marginal party but it was at its ''least'' marginal during the 30s, having a good deal of influence in the Union movement, and taking up the cause of African-American enfranchisement by marching to the South in the 30s[[note]]which 30s(which laid down the foundations for the UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement[[/note]] UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement) which generated fear, anger and reaction among American conservatives, as well as moderate liberals.

Within England, the Labour Party enjoyed growing consensus, leading the Conservatives to agitate and engage in anti-communist campaigns. The Labour was social democrat rather than Communist, but the existence of Communist party made their less-radical-by-few-degrees platform more consensual and attractive to the English base[[note]]Lenin base(Lenin also recommended the British Communist Party to ally and support them[[/note]].them). An early victory by Labour in the 20s was derailed by [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinoviev_letter the propaganda success of the forged Zinoviev Letter]], while Oswald Moseley's British Union of Fascists, admittedly fringe, managed to attract high profile support from England's elites. The international appeals of Communism also led the UsefulNotes/TheRaj to go lightly on seemingly moderate and harmless reformers like UsefulNotes/MahatmaGandhi whose political successes led in turn to widespread international consensus for decolonization and Indian Independence, permanently tarnishing the formerly widely believed British propaganda about benevolent colonial enterprise. UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill was a fierce anti-communist and imperialist. He was favorable to General Franco during the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar and opposed the Republicans[[note]]mostly Republicans(mostly because they were supported by the USSR[[/note]] USSR) and indeed England, France and the USA refused to intervene in said conflict, which became a celebrated cause for the Popular Front coalition sponsored by Comintern (an anti-fascist alliance between multiple leftwing parties to halt fascism).



In 1943, [[UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt Roosevelt]], [[UsefulNotes/JosefStalin Stalin]] and Churchill met in Tehran, Iran. There they agreed that Germany's new eastern border would be the Oder-Neisse Line and that the Polish eastern border would be pretty close to the Curzon Line, which was also very close to the division of Poland in 1939. [[note]]The Curzon Line had been an earlier proposed Polish-Russian border—based on the third partition of Poland in 1795—which had a lot of Soviet ethnicities on the east side. The area of land, Kresy, had historically consisted of a Polish minority, largely among the szlachta warrior caste that colonized the lands and enforced Polonization among its elites who ruled a land largely consisting of ethnic Ukrainians and Belorussians. Before UsefulNotes/WorldWarII it had been the poorest part of the Second Polish Republic, consisting of Ukrainians and Belorussians who felt marginalized by the dictatorship of Pilsudski[[/note]]. To compensate them, Poland would receive lands from German provinces of Pomerania and Silesia. The Polish government-in-exile wasn't happy, but Stalin refused to reconsider[[note]]In his eyes, the German lands were far richer and resourceful than the Kresy and the Polish were turning down a great bargain[[/note]]. Naturally the Germans residing in these territories weren't happy especially since it would trigger mass expulsion and population transfer. By the Yalta Conference in February 1945, it was obvious to more or less everyone, bar Hitler, that Germany was going to lose the war. Stalin wanted a Soviet sphere of influence in Central and Eastern Europe, a "buffer zone" so to speak. The German invasion had led to the deaths of some 26 million Soviet citizens, including 17 million civilians, at that time. Most Soviet Republics had lost far more than the national average of 12%, with Ukraine losing a fifth of its population and Belarus a full quarter. Neither Stalin nor the Soviet people, were willing to go through that again. EVER.[[note]]Not least because the western Allies had barely suffered a million dead between them, despite their greater population (nearly 400 million to the USSR's 180 million): if it came to a war, the Soviet Union would need all the territory it could get so it could have some hope of avoiding total conquest despite the necessity of a 'space-for-manpower'/'defense-in-depth' strategy.[[/note]]

to:

In 1943, [[UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt Roosevelt]], [[UsefulNotes/JosefStalin Stalin]] and Churchill met in Tehran, Iran. There they agreed that Germany's new eastern border would be the Oder-Neisse Line and that the Polish eastern border would be pretty close to the Curzon Line, which was also very close to the division of Poland in 1939. [[note]]The (The Curzon Line had been an earlier proposed Polish-Russian border—based on the third partition of Poland in 1795—which had a lot of Soviet ethnicities on the east side. The area of land, Kresy, had historically consisted of a Polish minority, largely among the szlachta warrior caste that colonized the lands and enforced Polonization among its elites who ruled a land largely consisting of ethnic Ukrainians and Belorussians. Before UsefulNotes/WorldWarII it had been the poorest part of the Second Polish Republic, consisting of Ukrainians and Belorussians who felt marginalized by the dictatorship of Pilsudski[[/note]].Pilsudski). To compensate them, Poland would receive lands from German provinces of Pomerania and Silesia. The Polish government-in-exile wasn't happy, but Stalin refused to reconsider[[note]]In reconsider(In his eyes, the German lands were far richer and resourceful than the Kresy and the Polish were turning down a great bargain[[/note]].bargain). Naturally the Germans residing in these territories weren't happy especially since it would trigger mass expulsion and population transfer. By the Yalta Conference in February 1945, it was obvious to more or less everyone, bar Hitler, that Germany was going to lose the war. Stalin wanted a Soviet sphere of influence in Central and Eastern Europe, a "buffer zone" so to speak. The German invasion had led to the deaths of some 26 million Soviet citizens, including 17 million civilians, at that time. Most Soviet Republics had lost far more than the national average of 12%, with Ukraine losing a fifth of its population and Belarus a full quarter. Neither Stalin nor the Soviet people, were willing to go through that again. EVER.[[note]]Not (Not least because the western Allies had barely suffered a million dead between them, despite their greater population (nearly 400 million to the USSR's 180 million): if it came to a war, the Soviet Union would need all the territory it could get so it could have some hope of avoiding total conquest despite the necessity of a 'space-for-manpower'/'defense-in-depth' strategy.[[/note]]
)



The next key Cold War conference was held in Potsdam, a Berlin suburb. Here the borders were finalized. The conference is most notable for a discussion between Truman and Stalin. Truman told Stalin that the U.S. had a [[EleventhHourSuperpower powerful new weapon]] it would use as part of [[MeaningfulName Operation Downfall]] against Japan [[note]]Stalin already knew about the weapon (before Truman was briefed, no less) thanks to his scientists intuiting the existence of an Atomic Project on account of the sudden and total disappearance on all information about nuclear energy in scientific journals, when it had hitherto been a growing field in physics. In addition, the Soviets also infiltrated the American nuclear weapons project and learned about Nazi Germany's atomic project[[/note]]. The weapons were not used to establish beachheads for the landings, in the end, but as a coda to the U.S.'s strategic bombing campaign to destroy Japan's cities. The UsefulNotes/AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki have been rather controversial in the U.S. and Japan ever since the 1950s or so. The blood price of a Japanese surrender without them being used in the manner they were (or not at all) is impossible to determine. The use of these weapons however significantly changed the dynamics of US-USSR relations and it triggered the arms race with the Soviet Union reactivating and launching its own nuclear program to close the gap between itself and the West.

The relations between the West and the USSR started deteriorating rapidly. Just as the war in Europe is ending, there is ''serious'' consideration among some Western and Soviet leaders to [[AxCrazy attack the other side while they are deployed in Europe]]. Winston Churchill has the British Joint Planning Staff draw up "Operation Unthinkable" (appropriately named) while General George Patton famously says he'll have the Germans rearmed for reinforcement against the Russians. Fortunately, much of the Supreme Allied Commander's staff are sane, knowing that even with America's industrial might, they could only hope to defeat the USSR militarily after several years[[note]]although they have little understanding of or respect for her military leaders, the way the USSR has twice their number of tanks and other combat vehicles and thrice their number of combat troops speaks for itself. Even ''Slavs'' are dangerous, they reason, [[ZergRush when they outnumber you so badly]] ([[HypocriticalHumor though they could never hope to compete on a man-for-man basis with their racial superiors, of course]]).[[/note]] On the other side of the equation, the USSR isn't happy at her prospects in a protracted war either. She has exhausted her male manpower reserves and less than 92% of her military personnel are male (versus 100% for the Allied Powers). Continued war would mean the recruitment of ever-larger numbers of women and ethnic minorities and this would accordingly have a destablizing influence during and after the war (what with them being entitled to medals and pensions, something the USSR actually managed to deny theirr female fighters for the most part). While Franco-Commonwealth manpower is exhausted, on the other hand, the USA has barely even scratched the surface of her vast manpower reserves and if need be might actually be willing to use women as well. So while the conquest of western Europe would certainly be possible, within two or three years, the USA could field ground forces even bigger than the ones she'd lost and could force the USSR to confront these in Africa or Asia.[[note]]The USSR also has serious economic problems to contend with which will hurt her performance in a protracted war. Europe in 1945 is dependent upon imports of food from the Commonwealth and the Americas thanks to the massive disruptions to European agriculture caused by the economic mobilisation and collapse, conscription, and battle damage. Even the USSR herself gets all her beef and as much as a fifth of her grain from outside Europe (despite having been a grain ''exporter'' pre-war), and this supply would of course be cut off in a Soviet-Allied war. This would generate massive unrest throughout Europe, fueling partisan movements such as the one in the Ukraine and quite possibly leading to open rebellion in some areas. It is also impossible for the USSR to sustain her current level of military production as her neglect of civilian/consumer goods has reached a critical point; the reconversion of the majority of her war industries back to their original purposes is necessary to avoid either a domestic economic crisis or (if the government tries to stop said crisis effectively by taxing people more) massive domestic unrest—fueling the partisan movements, etcetc. But if they choose to reconvert the bulk of their industries, this will drastically diminish the USSR's ability to reinforce her current forces and generate new ones, increasing the Allies' long-term advantage over the USSR in these respects.[[/note]]

to:

The next key Cold War conference was held in Potsdam, a Berlin suburb. Here the borders were finalized. The conference is most notable for a discussion between Truman and Stalin. Truman told Stalin that the U.S. had a [[EleventhHourSuperpower powerful new weapon]] it would use as part of [[MeaningfulName Operation Downfall]] against Japan [[note]]Stalin (Stalin already knew about the weapon (before Truman was briefed, no less) thanks to his scientists intuiting the existence of an Atomic Project on account of the sudden and total disappearance on all information about nuclear energy in scientific journals, when it had hitherto been a growing field in physics. In addition, the Soviets also infiltrated the American nuclear weapons project and learned about Nazi Germany's atomic project[[/note]].project). The weapons were not used to establish beachheads for the landings, in the end, but as a coda to the U.S.'s strategic bombing campaign to destroy Japan's cities. The UsefulNotes/AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki have been rather controversial in the U.S. and Japan ever since the 1950s or so. The blood price of a Japanese surrender without them being used in the manner they were (or not at all) is impossible to determine. The use of these weapons however significantly changed the dynamics of US-USSR relations and it triggered the arms race with the Soviet Union reactivating and launching its own nuclear program to close the gap between itself and the West.

The relations between the West and the USSR started deteriorating rapidly. Just as the war in Europe is ending, there is ''serious'' consideration among some Western and Soviet leaders to [[AxCrazy attack the other side while they are deployed in Europe]]. Winston Churchill has the British Joint Planning Staff draw up "Operation Unthinkable" (appropriately named) while General George Patton famously says he'll have the Germans rearmed for reinforcement against the Russians. Fortunately, much of the Supreme Allied Commander's staff are sane, knowing that even with America's industrial might, they could only hope to defeat the USSR militarily after several years[[note]]although years(although they have little understanding of or respect for her military leaders, the way the USSR has twice their number of tanks and other combat vehicles and thrice their number of combat troops speaks for itself. Even ''Slavs'' are dangerous, they reason, [[ZergRush when they outnumber you so badly]] ([[HypocriticalHumor though they could never hope to compete on a man-for-man basis with their racial superiors, of course]]).[[/note]] ) On the other side of the equation, the USSR isn't happy at her prospects in a protracted war either. She has exhausted her male manpower reserves and less than 92% of her military personnel are male (versus 100% for the Allied Powers). Continued war would mean the recruitment of ever-larger numbers of women and ethnic minorities and this would accordingly have a destablizing influence during and after the war (what with them being entitled to medals and pensions, something the USSR actually managed to deny theirr female fighters for the most part). While Franco-Commonwealth manpower is exhausted, on the other hand, the USA has barely even scratched the surface of her vast manpower reserves and if need be might actually be willing to use women as well. So while the conquest of western Europe would certainly be possible, within two or three years, the USA could field ground forces even bigger than the ones she'd lost and could force the USSR to confront these in Africa or Asia.[[note]]The (The USSR also has serious economic problems to contend with which will hurt her performance in a protracted war. Europe in 1945 is dependent upon imports of food from the Commonwealth and the Americas thanks to the massive disruptions to European agriculture caused by the economic mobilisation and collapse, conscription, and battle damage. Even the USSR herself gets all her beef and as much as a fifth of her grain from outside Europe (despite having been a grain ''exporter'' pre-war), and this supply would of course be cut off in a Soviet-Allied war. This would generate massive unrest throughout Europe, fueling partisan movements such as the one in the Ukraine and quite possibly leading to open rebellion in some areas. It is also impossible for the USSR to sustain her current level of military production as her neglect of civilian/consumer goods has reached a critical point; the reconversion of the majority of her war industries back to their original purposes is necessary to avoid either a domestic economic crisis or (if the government tries to stop said crisis effectively by taxing people more) massive domestic unrest—fueling the partisan movements, etcetc. But if they choose to reconvert the bulk of their industries, this will drastically diminish the USSR's ability to reinforce her current forces and generate new ones, increasing the Allies' long-term advantage over the USSR in these respects.[[/note]]
)



The Soviet Union had promised to hold free elections in the areas under its control. The elections held, however, are [[YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo generally considered to have been unfree]]. [[UsefulNotes/IronCurtain Communist governments were slowly installed in the various states, who declared their allegiance to Moscow.]] The monarchies of Romania and Bulgaria were abolished, literally at gunpoint in Romania and with a ridiculously blatant rigging of a plebiscite in Bulgaria. [[note]]In a strange twist, Simeon II, last Tsar of Bulgaria, would much later be democratically elected prime minister of that country.[[/note]] In 1948, the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk was found below his bathroom window in Prague. He had played a role in the February 1948 Czech Coup, where non-communist members of the unity government quit trying to force elections. This led to the communists forming a new government instead. Masaryk had been unhappy about Czechoslovakia's decision not participate in the Marshall Plan. The government called his death a suicide, but his cause of death is debated to this day. Many call it the [[DestinationDefenestration Third Defenestration of Prague]] [[note]](after the First Defenestration that had started the 15th-century Hussite Wars and the Second Defenestration that started the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar).[[/note]]

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The Soviet Union had promised to hold free elections in the areas under its control. The elections held, however, are [[YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo generally considered to have been unfree]]. [[UsefulNotes/IronCurtain Communist governments were slowly installed in the various states, who declared their allegiance to Moscow.]] The monarchies of Romania and Bulgaria were abolished, literally at gunpoint in Romania and with a ridiculously blatant rigging of a plebiscite in Bulgaria. [[note]]In (In a strange twist, Simeon II, last Tsar of Bulgaria, would much later be democratically elected prime minister of that country.[[/note]] ) In 1948, the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk was found below his bathroom window in Prague. He had played a role in the February 1948 Czech Coup, where non-communist members of the unity government quit trying to force elections. This led to the communists forming a new government instead. Masaryk had been unhappy about Czechoslovakia's decision not participate in the Marshall Plan. The government called his death a suicide, but his cause of death is debated to this day. Many call it the [[DestinationDefenestration Third Defenestration of Prague]] [[note]](after ((after the First Defenestration that had started the 15th-century Hussite Wars and the Second Defenestration that started the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar).[[/note]]
)



In Eastern Europe, Soviet Union strained by wartime deprivations, a famine in 1946, nonetheless took the task of wartime reconstruction and organization. In Poland, they rebuilt with the aid of Polish residents, much of Warsaw which had been destroyed by Nazi Germany[[note]]Many Polish also believe that the Soviets enabled this by refusing to aid the Home Army during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, but recent military historians such as David Glantz and Richard Overy agree that the Rokossovsky's Belarussian Front faced a counter-attack and they could not have realistically aided the Uprising and while Stalin was definitely not a man with Poland's best interest at heart, this would qualify as a case of NotMeThisTime[[/note]], undertook the task of agrarian reform. Wartime reparations from Germany as well as the use of German [=POWs=]s as forced labour, aided them considerably in post-war reconstruction. The greater wartime losses of its population and the post-war famine, was one of the factors why the USSR did not see a baby boom compared to post-war America, which eventually led to the latter exceeding the Soviet Union in population size.

to:

In Eastern Europe, Soviet Union strained by wartime deprivations, a famine in 1946, nonetheless took the task of wartime reconstruction and organization. In Poland, they rebuilt with the aid of Polish residents, much of Warsaw which had been destroyed by Nazi Germany[[note]]Many Germany(Many Polish also believe that the Soviets enabled this by refusing to aid the Home Army during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, but recent military historians such as David Glantz and Richard Overy agree that the Rokossovsky's Belarussian Front faced a counter-attack and they could not have realistically aided the Uprising and while Stalin was definitely not a man with Poland's best interest at heart, this would qualify as a case of NotMeThisTime[[/note]], NotMeThisTime), undertook the task of agrarian reform. Wartime reparations from Germany as well as the use of German [=POWs=]s as forced labour, aided them considerably in post-war reconstruction. The greater wartime losses of its population and the post-war famine, was one of the factors why the USSR did not see a baby boom compared to post-war America, which eventually led to the latter exceeding the Soviet Union in population size.



With West Berlin being faced with starvation, the West started a massive airlift to keep the city going, using the air corridors. On top of the massive amounts of staples like foodstuffs, medicines and fuel being delivered, the air forces jumped at pilot [[PerpetualSmiler Gail Halvorsen's]] idea for the children of Berlin and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming dropped tons of candy in little parachutes for Berlin kids]], becoming known as "Candy Bombers" to ''literally'' [[IncrediblyLamePun sweeten]] the propaganda effort (Halvorsen was eventually given the incredibly adorable nickname of "Uncle Wiggly-Wings" by the mini-Berliners, because he would wiggle his wings on his descent as he dropped his candy). Since Stalin didn't want to start a war any more than the West did, he could do little to stop this. After about a year, the Soviets backed down; the Western Allies continued to fear the Soviets going for Berlin again, but the West had quite solidly won the hearts and minds of the children of Berlin, which ended up becoming a surprisingly significant factor in the future. [[note]]Halvorsen, a citizen of Salt Lake City, was subsequently asked by the German delegation to be their flagbearer during the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics, a request he happily granted.[[/note]] Halvorsen is still alive today after a long career in the USAF (and, ironically, a period as a missionary in St. Petersburg), enjoying a happy and healthy retirement in his hometown of Salt Lake City.

to:

With West Berlin being faced with starvation, the West started a massive airlift to keep the city going, using the air corridors. On top of the massive amounts of staples like foodstuffs, medicines and fuel being delivered, the air forces jumped at pilot [[PerpetualSmiler Gail Halvorsen's]] idea for the children of Berlin and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming dropped tons of candy in little parachutes for Berlin kids]], becoming known as "Candy Bombers" to ''literally'' [[IncrediblyLamePun sweeten]] the propaganda effort (Halvorsen was eventually given the incredibly adorable nickname of "Uncle Wiggly-Wings" by the mini-Berliners, because he would wiggle his wings on his descent as he dropped his candy). Since Stalin didn't want to start a war any more than the West did, he could do little to stop this. After about a year, the Soviets backed down; the Western Allies continued to fear the Soviets going for Berlin again, but the West had quite solidly won the hearts and minds of the children of Berlin, which ended up becoming a surprisingly significant factor in the future. [[note]]Halvorsen, (Halvorsen, a citizen of Salt Lake City, was subsequently asked by the German delegation to be their flagbearer during the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics, a request he happily granted.[[/note]] ) Halvorsen is still alive today after a long career in the USAF (and, ironically, a period as a missionary in St. Petersburg), enjoying a happy and healthy retirement in his hometown of Salt Lake City.



Korea had been a ''de facto'' Japanese colony since the UsefulNotes/RussoJapaneseWar of 1905 and an official one in 1910, and much like Germany was supposed to become one independent country after the war. However, the Soviets and NATO were as unable to agree on the form of government such a new nation would take in Korea as they were in Germany, and so Korea was split (without actually bothering to consult the Korean dictators or people, natch). The Soviet occupation zone became the [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny Democratic People's Republic of Korea]] (UsefulNotes/NorthKorea), and got a Communist one-party government under the leadership of Kim Il-Sung. [[note]] Kim had played some ill-defined role as a Communist rebel leader against the Japanese before and during the war; his official biographers give him a heroic role, but outside observers claim he did little but sit in Soviet territory and make surprisingly practical plans.[[/note]] The American occupation zone in the south became the Republic of Korea (UsefulNotes/SouthKorea), and got a Capitalist kleptocracy under the leadership of Syngman Rhee. This is because the NATO occupation forces thought a 'firm hand' was necessary to curb communist influence, and Rhee (who'd been in exile in the USA) fit the bill nicely. Both dictators sought to unify the peninsula by force, but as a partial democracy South Korea's politicians were ultimately able to veto the armament programme that Rhee needed to impose his rule upon the north. On 25 June 1950 (which is why the war is known as the 6.25 War in Korea), North Korean forces unexpectedly crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea, using that age-old justification that they were attacked first. (In this case, they weren't.) When it became very clear that South Korea was losing badly, Truman went to the United Nations to get approval for what he termed a "police action". This rather strange term allowed him to avoid actually getting a declaration of war from Congress, which he felt would be too time-consuming. The legality of this is disputed, but it has since proved [[CombatPragmatist a useful maneuver in U.S. foreign policy]]. As someone once said, "Decisions are made by those who show up". In this case, it was the Soviet Union who very deliberately didn't - because they ''wanted'' a USA-PRC confrontation of some sort, the bigger the better.[[note]]The logic was simple: USA-PRC conflict would prevent Sino-American rapprochement and strengthen Sino-Soviet ties whilst keeping the USA's attention focused in East Asia and not Europe. This would help keep Soviet changes to the political nature of eastern Europe (which was already barely-independent, but had to be brought under close and proper Soviet control to guard against defections to 'The West') out of the spotlight in the US media. To this end the Soviets boycotted the UN's Security Council meetings over 'the China issue'.[[/note]]

The Chinese Civil War had been ongoing since about 1916 or so, and the two strongest factions to emerge from it in the final years of the conflict were the German-Soviet-US-backed Guomindang (lit. National People's Party, aka 'The Nationalist Party') and the Soviet-backed Communist Party. After winning the conventional war with the capture of Hainan island in May 1950, the Communists went on to stamp out the last Guomindang and Muslim insurgencies (bar those in Burma) by the mid-1950s. The USSR strongly insisted that the new People's Republic of China should have the permanent Security Council seat in the UN, not the Republic of China/Taiwan. Because of the boycott, the USSR didn't have to abstain from voting on UNSC Resolution 82[[note]] If the USSR ''hadn't'' been able to find a way to avoid attending, vetoing it would probably have been necessary to avoid the appearance of selling the PRC out - even though this would not have been in the USSR's interests. Appearances matter [[/note]] which was passed on 27 June. For the first time in its history, the UN was going to war. 17 countries showed up, with nearly all the work being done by the U.S. (who provided 88% of the UN task force) and South Korea. After initial setbacks the UN started to push the North Koreans back; when they pushed too far, the Chinese did just as Stalin had hoped and joined the party to forestall what they saw as a potential NATO invasion. The Soviets were then able to make a killing selling the PRC all sorts of semi-obsolescent weaponry (such as semi-automatic rifles, which assault rifles like the [[CoolGuns AK-47]] had just made redundant) and greatly strengthened their alliance and 'Revolutionary Cred' within the 'Second World' (by fighting the capitalist First World, of course) by providing anti-air weaponry to and fighter cover for the Chinese forces. [=MacArthur=] got sacked for wanting to actually attack - and, indeed, ''nuke'' - China proper. ''[[Literature/{{Mash}} M*]][[Film/{{Mash}} A*S]][[Series/{{MASH}} *H]]'' dealt with a lot of incoming wounded.

Korea is notable for being the first jet war, where jet aircraft were used in a big way, especially the [=MiG-15=] and F-86 Sabre. It was still, however, a guns-only environment, since air-to-air missiles were not around yet. A lot of the 'North Korean' pilots were from the Soviet Air Force. The UN knew this and chose to ignore it, the US pointedly not following through on what they later called 'Massive Retaliation' doctrine (immediate nuclear carpet-bombing of the USSR's cities in the event of any US-USSR conflict whatsoever). After a short period of back-and-forth campaigns, followed by a long stretch of negotiations while fighting over the same set of meaningless hills around the 38th parallel, the war ended in a stalemate, unresolved to this day.[[note]]Upon Stalin's death the new Soviet leadership, a Troika under Lavrenty Beria (who, depending on who you ask, was either a sociopathic serial rapist and murderer or a regular Soviet senior official who actually tried to push through genuinely beneficial reforms but [[WrittenByTheWinners got vilified after losing]]), decided that the USA was becoming just a teeeeeeensy bit too paranoid and nuke-happy for them to be comfortable with continuing an open war against them. Consequently the Soviets pushed for a truce and got it. Both sides declared [[PyrrhicVictory victory]] - but since the UN, China, and the Soviet Union never officially declared war, no treaty was signed. The two surface combatants, North and South Korea, still have not officially signed a treaty to end the war.[[/note]]

to:

Korea had been a ''de facto'' Japanese colony since the UsefulNotes/RussoJapaneseWar of 1905 and an official one in 1910, and much like Germany was supposed to become one independent country after the war. However, the Soviets and NATO were as unable to agree on the form of government such a new nation would take in Korea as they were in Germany, and so Korea was split (without actually bothering to consult the Korean dictators or people, natch). The Soviet occupation zone became the [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny Democratic People's Republic of Korea]] (UsefulNotes/NorthKorea), and got a Communist one-party government under the leadership of Kim Il-Sung. [[note]] ( Kim had played some ill-defined role as a Communist rebel leader against the Japanese before and during the war; his official biographers give him a heroic role, but outside observers claim he did little but sit in Soviet territory and make surprisingly practical plans.[[/note]] ) The American occupation zone in the south became the Republic of Korea (UsefulNotes/SouthKorea), and got a Capitalist kleptocracy under the leadership of Syngman Rhee. This is because the NATO occupation forces thought a 'firm hand' was necessary to curb communist influence, and Rhee (who'd been in exile in the USA) fit the bill nicely. Both dictators sought to unify the peninsula by force, but as a partial democracy South Korea's politicians were ultimately able to veto the armament programme that Rhee needed to impose his rule upon the north. On 25 June 1950 (which is why the war is known as the 6.25 War in Korea), North Korean forces unexpectedly crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea, using that age-old justification that they were attacked first. (In this case, they weren't.) When it became very clear that South Korea was losing badly, Truman went to the United Nations to get approval for what he termed a "police action". This rather strange term allowed him to avoid actually getting a declaration of war from Congress, which he felt would be too time-consuming. The legality of this is disputed, but it has since proved [[CombatPragmatist a useful maneuver in U.S. foreign policy]]. As someone once said, "Decisions are made by those who show up". In this case, it was the Soviet Union who very deliberately didn't - because they ''wanted'' a USA-PRC confrontation of some sort, the bigger the better.[[note]]The (The logic was simple: USA-PRC conflict would prevent Sino-American rapprochement and strengthen Sino-Soviet ties whilst keeping the USA's attention focused in East Asia and not Europe. This would help keep Soviet changes to the political nature of eastern Europe (which was already barely-independent, but had to be brought under close and proper Soviet control to guard against defections to 'The West') out of the spotlight in the US media. To this end the Soviets boycotted the UN's Security Council meetings over 'the China issue'.[[/note]]

)

The Chinese Civil War had been ongoing since about 1916 or so, and the two strongest factions to emerge from it in the final years of the conflict were the German-Soviet-US-backed Guomindang (lit. National People's Party, aka 'The Nationalist Party') and the Soviet-backed Communist Party. After winning the conventional war with the capture of Hainan island in May 1950, the Communists went on to stamp out the last Guomindang and Muslim insurgencies (bar those in Burma) by the mid-1950s. The USSR strongly insisted that the new People's Republic of China should have the permanent Security Council seat in the UN, not the Republic of China/Taiwan. Because of the boycott, the USSR didn't have to abstain from voting on UNSC Resolution 82[[note]] 82( If the USSR ''hadn't'' been able to find a way to avoid attending, vetoing it would probably have been necessary to avoid the appearance of selling the PRC out - even though this would not have been in the USSR's interests. Appearances matter [[/note]] ) which was passed on 27 June. For the first time in its history, the UN was going to war. 17 countries showed up, with nearly all the work being done by the U.S. (who provided 88% of the UN task force) and South Korea. After initial setbacks the UN started to push the North Koreans back; when they pushed too far, the Chinese did just as Stalin had hoped and joined the party to forestall what they saw as a potential NATO invasion. The Soviets were then able to make a killing selling the PRC all sorts of semi-obsolescent weaponry (such as semi-automatic rifles, which assault rifles like the [[CoolGuns AK-47]] had just made redundant) and greatly strengthened their alliance and 'Revolutionary Cred' within the 'Second World' (by fighting the capitalist First World, of course) by providing anti-air weaponry to and fighter cover for the Chinese forces. [=MacArthur=] got sacked for wanting to actually attack - and, indeed, ''nuke'' - China proper. ''[[Literature/{{Mash}} M*]][[Film/{{Mash}} A*S]][[Series/{{MASH}} *H]]'' dealt with a lot of incoming wounded.

Korea is notable for being the first jet war, where jet aircraft were used in a big way, especially the [=MiG-15=] and F-86 Sabre. It was still, however, a guns-only environment, since air-to-air missiles were not around yet. A lot of the 'North Korean' pilots were from the Soviet Air Force. The UN knew this and chose to ignore it, the US pointedly not following through on what they later called 'Massive Retaliation' doctrine (immediate nuclear carpet-bombing of the USSR's cities in the event of any US-USSR conflict whatsoever). After a short period of back-and-forth campaigns, followed by a long stretch of negotiations while fighting over the same set of meaningless hills around the 38th parallel, the war ended in a stalemate, unresolved to this day.[[note]]Upon (Upon Stalin's death the new Soviet leadership, a Troika under Lavrenty Beria (who, depending on who you ask, was either a sociopathic serial rapist and murderer or a regular Soviet senior official who actually tried to push through genuinely beneficial reforms but [[WrittenByTheWinners got vilified after losing]]), decided that the USA was becoming just a teeeeeeensy bit too paranoid and nuke-happy for them to be comfortable with continuing an open war against them. Consequently the Soviets pushed for a truce and got it. Both sides declared [[PyrrhicVictory victory]] - but since the UN, China, and the Soviet Union never officially declared war, no treaty was signed. The two surface combatants, North and South Korea, still have not officially signed a treaty to end the war.[[/note]]
)



UsefulNotes/JosefStalin died in the March of 1953 in suitably horrific circumstances much to the relief of many Soviet Jews who were suffering during his final purge of the Doctor's Plot, which was immediately ended and reversed at his passing. What followed was a serious power struggle in the Soviet Union's leadership. The first to come to power was [[FourEyesZeroSoul Lavrentiy Beriya]], the former head of Stalin's secret police (the NKVD). Unfortunately for him, nobody trusted and everybody hated him. He moved to take down his troika partners and premier enemies within the party and government, but in doing so overlooked UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev.[[note]] Khruschev was a mere 'second-tier' leader in Georgiy Malenkov's faction at the time, but in response to Beria's attempts the party and the government rallied around him as a new leader. Khrushchev and General Georgy Zhukov ([[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII yes]], ''[[UsefulNotes/RedsWithRockets that]]'' Georgy Zhukov) rallied enough members of their respective factions to mount a coup. Troops loyal to Zhukov accompanied him as he personally arrested Beria and ensured he got the trial (and subsequent execution) he'd had coming for so long for his crimes against the Soviet people in general and the Soviet leadership in particular.[[/note]] This period of uncertainty, as revealed in Soviet Archives, had the potential for detente. During his brief time in power Beria had seriously proposed the re-unification of Germany as a neutral state. There was a surprising amount of genuine support for the initiative, but Beria's association with the initiative made it politically unacceptable for Malenkov to give it the go-ahead once he took power. In addition, [[https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/18/last-days-of-stalin-joshua-rubinstein-review none of their proposals were seriously considered by the West]] even if UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill of all people supported the potential for changes in the Soviet Union. It was not in the interests of the Eisenhower administration to allow the Soviets to play peacekeepers and pacifist. The Soviet Invasion of Hungary was far more to their liking. The administration did not do anything to help the Rebels citing the potential for the nuclear war but they also saw it as an opportunity to further discredit the communists, which it did. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was bad, but for most fellow travelers of Communists and actual party members, this became the true BrokenPedestal moment[[note]]After Beria's removal Malenkov, one of the few leaders of the Soviet Union to not be bald, took power with Khruschev and Zhukov as his seconds. During his premiership, the Soviet Union invaded UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}} to suppress the popular anti-Soviet revolutions that were going on. However, Beria's attempted purge of Malenkov had actually made him and Khruschev equals, and Khrushchev proved quite influential in running the country during Malenkov's premiership. He was the first advocate of reducing nuclear arms in order to refocus the economy on consumer goods, which required peace talks with the U.S. Eventually Malenkov ran afoul of Khrushchev, to whom he referred as "the moon-faced idiot", and was ousted as Premier and replaced with Nikolay Bulganin, who basically just let Khrushchev run the country. Malenkov ended up as [[ReassignedToAntarctica a manager of a hydroelectric plant in Kazakhstan]]. An improvement from Stalinist times; in the past he might have been shot as Khruschev so helpfully reminded him[[/note]].

The victor of Stalin's death is, without a doubt, [[BaldOfAwesome Nikita Khrushchev]]. For most of his reign he was the First Secretary of the Communist party, but he was definitely in control of the Soviet Union until about 1963. His policy of "Peaceful Coexistence" was essentially a rip-off of Malenkov's ideas—since the fall of the capitalist devils was inevitable, the USSR would have no need to oppose the U.S., because fate would take care of it for them. As such Khrushchev could focus more money on the Soviet domestic economy. Khrushchev was a fairly simple, plain-speaking guy...which got him (and the world) into trouble a few times. [[note]]Such as his accusation, on being barred access from Disneyland, that the U.S. government was keeping secret nuclear missiles hidden under Tomorrowland—presumably in the same place they're keeping Disney's frozen corpse.[[/note]] An important aspect of Khrushchev's reign was the policy of de-Stalinization, whereby he discredited Stalin, and by extension Stalin's network of client-patronage (which formerly had included him). He accused Stalin of being heavily involved in purges and he reconstructed many of the victims during the 30s, while leaving out the fact that he himself had submitted execution quotas during ThePurge. Some political prisoners were freed and some of the gulags were closed; [[Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn a survivor of the gulags]] was even allowed to publish his experiences. However, Khrushchev stopped short of initiating a true political liberalization.

Khruschev's polices of destalinization also marked the origins of the Sino-Soviet split. UsefulNotes/MaoZedong warned him that many communist parties around the world counted on Stalin's leadership for their legitimacy (including his), and by discrediting Stalin in such a manner, they would politically compromise the relationships of satellite communists to the metropole.[[note]]Mao's leadership of the CCP was never as secure and firm as Stalin's. The CCP didn't exist until the Soviets formed it in Shanghai during the 20s, and indeed the Soviets backed the KMT of Dr Sun-Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Shek. Stalin suggested to the CCP, in the words of the Soviet Emissary to China, to serve the KMT "as a coolie" yet repeated purges by the KMT made that impossible for them to do and eventually Mao led the CCP during the 30s and 40s to an independent KMT course that Stalin did not authorize but finally shrugged his shoulders and accepted[[/note]] Khruschev went ahead nonetheless, and this, coupled with constant border clashes between the Chinese and the Soviets at the Amur River, marked the start of a break between the two largest Communist nations. [[note]]Mao was a ruthless and calculating leader who had been a [[LaResistance "resistance"]] leader against the Japanese, [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything whom he was careful to maintain unofficial truces with at all times]], and the Guomindang. Unfortunately, by the end of 1952 the Civil War was completely over and he was the undisputed leader of the entire country. "Unfortunately", [[ModernMajorGeneral his policies]] [[DidntSeeThatComing proved]] [[YouFailEconomicsForever disastrous]]. The Second Five-Year Plan/"Great Leap Forward" killed a couple of dozen million through starvation-related diseases and exposure to the elements (no more, please, let's not go for sensationalism) and The Cultural Revolution killed tens of thousands (and traumatised tens of millions) in brutal and disturbingly mass-hysteric ways. These included many of the Communist Party’s own revolutionary leaders, who were [[{{Unperson}} unpersoned]] as “reactionary rightists”.[[/note]]

From about 1956-1961, China and the Soviet Union slowly split apart due to a myriad of issues and bad blood in general. In the post-war period Stalin took advantage of Communist China's isolation from the rest of the world to force Mao into a series of ''very'' unequal trade agreements in exchange for the limited technical assistance the USSR gave China.[[note]] This is on top of the whole "insult to injury thing" whereby the Soviets had literally stolen half of China's industry. By dismantling all the industries of Manchuria wholesale (and shipping them back to the USSR) during their occupation of the region, they doomed 100,000+ locals to starve and/or freeze to death during the winter of 1945-46.[[/note]] Mao for his part believed that Stalin's successors were too soft and that, as their senior, ''he'' should be leader of the Communist ("Second") World. In any case, tension mounted until it escalated into border clashes. China developed her own nuclear weapons largely as a deterrent against the Soviets and even began to compete with the Soviet Union for satellite states; notably, Enver Hoxha’s Albania switched to China’s side in 1961. [[note]]After Mao’s death Hoxha would pursue a paranoid isolationist policy, denouncing both the PRC and the USSR, and proclaimed Albania to be the world’s only Marxist-Leninist state[[/note]] The break opened up China to America more, starting with sporting tournaments and building to Richard Nixon's famous visit in 1972. [[note]]As an aside, the saying "only Nixon could go to China" is symbolic of Nixon's conservatism: a liberal would've been accused of being a Communist himself, but Nixon (like Eisenhower before him) couldn't be.[[/note]] Mao Zedong's death in 1976 brought the more capitalist Deng Xiaoping into power, and he instituted many economic reforms. By the end of the Cold War China had abandoned much of the Maoist ideology and fast moving towards becoming a market economy, though it remains to this day a one-party state.

to:

UsefulNotes/JosefStalin died in the March of 1953 in suitably horrific circumstances much to the relief of many Soviet Jews who were suffering during his final purge of the Doctor's Plot, which was immediately ended and reversed at his passing. What followed was a serious power struggle in the Soviet Union's leadership. The first to come to power was [[FourEyesZeroSoul Lavrentiy Beriya]], the former head of Stalin's secret police (the NKVD). Unfortunately for him, nobody trusted and everybody hated him. He moved to take down his troika partners and premier enemies within the party and government, but in doing so overlooked UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev.[[note]] ( Khruschev was a mere 'second-tier' leader in Georgiy Malenkov's faction at the time, but in response to Beria's attempts the party and the government rallied around him as a new leader. Khrushchev and General Georgy Zhukov ([[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII yes]], ''[[UsefulNotes/RedsWithRockets that]]'' Georgy Zhukov) rallied enough members of their respective factions to mount a coup. Troops loyal to Zhukov accompanied him as he personally arrested Beria and ensured he got the trial (and subsequent execution) he'd had coming for so long for his crimes against the Soviet people in general and the Soviet leadership in particular.[[/note]] ) This period of uncertainty, as revealed in Soviet Archives, had the potential for detente. During his brief time in power Beria had seriously proposed the re-unification of Germany as a neutral state. There was a surprising amount of genuine support for the initiative, but Beria's association with the initiative made it politically unacceptable for Malenkov to give it the go-ahead once he took power. In addition, [[https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/18/last-days-of-stalin-joshua-rubinstein-review none of their proposals were seriously considered by the West]] even if UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill of all people supported the potential for changes in the Soviet Union. It was not in the interests of the Eisenhower administration to allow the Soviets to play peacekeepers and pacifist. The Soviet Invasion of Hungary was far more to their liking. The administration did not do anything to help the Rebels citing the potential for the nuclear war but they also saw it as an opportunity to further discredit the communists, which it did. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was bad, but for most fellow travelers of Communists and actual party members, this became the true BrokenPedestal moment[[note]]After moment(After Beria's removal Malenkov, one of the few leaders of the Soviet Union to not be bald, took power with Khruschev and Zhukov as his seconds. During his premiership, the Soviet Union invaded UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}} to suppress the popular anti-Soviet revolutions that were going on. However, Beria's attempted purge of Malenkov had actually made him and Khruschev equals, and Khrushchev proved quite influential in running the country during Malenkov's premiership. He was the first advocate of reducing nuclear arms in order to refocus the economy on consumer goods, which required peace talks with the U.S. Eventually Malenkov ran afoul of Khrushchev, to whom he referred as "the moon-faced idiot", and was ousted as Premier and replaced with Nikolay Bulganin, who basically just let Khrushchev run the country. Malenkov ended up as [[ReassignedToAntarctica a manager of a hydroelectric plant in Kazakhstan]]. An improvement from Stalinist times; in the past he might have been shot as Khruschev so helpfully reminded him[[/note]].

him).

The victor of Stalin's death is, without a doubt, [[BaldOfAwesome Nikita Khrushchev]]. For most of his reign he was the First Secretary of the Communist party, but he was definitely in control of the Soviet Union until about 1963. His policy of "Peaceful Coexistence" was essentially a rip-off of Malenkov's ideas—since the fall of the capitalist devils was inevitable, the USSR would have no need to oppose the U.S., because fate would take care of it for them. As such Khrushchev could focus more money on the Soviet domestic economy. Khrushchev was a fairly simple, plain-speaking guy...which got him (and the world) into trouble a few times. [[note]]Such (Such as his accusation, on being barred access from Disneyland, that the U.S. government was keeping secret nuclear missiles hidden under Tomorrowland—presumably in the same place they're keeping Disney's frozen corpse.[[/note]] ) An important aspect of Khrushchev's reign was the policy of de-Stalinization, whereby he discredited Stalin, and by extension Stalin's network of client-patronage (which formerly had included him). He accused Stalin of being heavily involved in purges and he reconstructed many of the victims during the 30s, while leaving out the fact that he himself had submitted execution quotas during ThePurge. Some political prisoners were freed and some of the gulags were closed; [[Creator/AleksandrSolzhenitsyn a survivor of the gulags]] was even allowed to publish his experiences. However, Khrushchev stopped short of initiating a true political liberalization.

Khruschev's polices of destalinization also marked the origins of the Sino-Soviet split. UsefulNotes/MaoZedong warned him that many communist parties around the world counted on Stalin's leadership for their legitimacy (including his), and by discrediting Stalin in such a manner, they would politically compromise the relationships of satellite communists to the metropole.[[note]]Mao's (Mao's leadership of the CCP was never as secure and firm as Stalin's. The CCP didn't exist until the Soviets formed it in Shanghai during the 20s, and indeed the Soviets backed the KMT of Dr Sun-Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Shek. Stalin suggested to the CCP, in the words of the Soviet Emissary to China, to serve the KMT "as a coolie" yet repeated purges by the KMT made that impossible for them to do and eventually Mao led the CCP during the 30s and 40s to an independent KMT course that Stalin did not authorize but finally shrugged his shoulders and accepted[[/note]] accepted) Khruschev went ahead nonetheless, and this, coupled with constant border clashes between the Chinese and the Soviets at the Amur River, marked the start of a break between the two largest Communist nations. [[note]]Mao (Mao was a ruthless and calculating leader who had been a [[LaResistance "resistance"]] leader against the Japanese, [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything whom he was careful to maintain unofficial truces with at all times]], and the Guomindang. Unfortunately, by the end of 1952 the Civil War was completely over and he was the undisputed leader of the entire country. "Unfortunately", [[ModernMajorGeneral his policies]] [[DidntSeeThatComing proved]] [[YouFailEconomicsForever disastrous]]. The Second Five-Year Plan/"Great Leap Forward" killed a couple of dozen million through starvation-related diseases and exposure to the elements (no more, please, let's not go for sensationalism) and The Cultural Revolution killed tens of thousands (and traumatised tens of millions) in brutal and disturbingly mass-hysteric ways. These included many of the Communist Party’s own revolutionary leaders, who were [[{{Unperson}} unpersoned]] as “reactionary rightists”.[[/note]]

)

From about 1956-1961, China and the Soviet Union slowly split apart due to a myriad of issues and bad blood in general. In the post-war period Stalin took advantage of Communist China's isolation from the rest of the world to force Mao into a series of ''very'' unequal trade agreements in exchange for the limited technical assistance the USSR gave China.[[note]] ( This is on top of the whole "insult to injury thing" whereby the Soviets had literally stolen half of China's industry. By dismantling all the industries of Manchuria wholesale (and shipping them back to the USSR) during their occupation of the region, they doomed 100,000+ locals to starve and/or freeze to death during the winter of 1945-46.[[/note]] ) Mao for his part believed that Stalin's successors were too soft and that, as their senior, ''he'' should be leader of the Communist ("Second") World. In any case, tension mounted until it escalated into border clashes. China developed her own nuclear weapons largely as a deterrent against the Soviets and even began to compete with the Soviet Union for satellite states; notably, Enver Hoxha’s Albania switched to China’s side in 1961. [[note]]After (After Mao’s death Hoxha would pursue a paranoid isolationist policy, denouncing both the PRC and the USSR, and proclaimed Albania to be the world’s only Marxist-Leninist state[[/note]] state) The break opened up China to America more, starting with sporting tournaments and building to Richard Nixon's famous visit in 1972. [[note]]As (As an aside, the saying "only Nixon could go to China" is symbolic of Nixon's conservatism: a liberal would've been accused of being a Communist himself, but Nixon (like Eisenhower before him) couldn't be.[[/note]] ) Mao Zedong's death in 1976 brought the more capitalist Deng Xiaoping into power, and he instituted many economic reforms. By the end of the Cold War China had abandoned much of the Maoist ideology and fast moving towards becoming a market economy, though it remains to this day a one-party state.



The end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII had meant that the colonial powers could no longer afford to maintain their empires without American support. Roosevelt was committed to decolonization and classic old-fashioned imperialism had seen its day. Ideas like democracy, self-determination and nationalism began to spread around the world and many in the colonies were no longer willing to tolerate colonial rule. Neither the Americans nor the Soviets were keen on colonies either, and called for "decolonization" in the name of self-determination and freedom. [[note]]Arguably this was hypocritical given that America had itself had been a colonial power after their Civil War and 1898 Spanish-American Wars, in Cuba and the Philippines. The USSR had reclaimed most of Imperial Russia's former territories after their own Civil War and WWII (to be fair, Russian "colonization" was drastically different from and arguably more benevolent than that of other European powers, with no ethnic/racial dimension but a ''very'' strong religious/ideological one).[[/note]] During the Cold War, outright colonialism was replaced with two superpowers aggressively pushing various countries in their political direction, and helping foster revolts in the ones that didn't. This bears resemblance to the Anglo-French continental great power rivalry of the 18th Century but now played out on a global scale[[note]]England and France between say 1712-1815 engaged in a century of wars across all their colonies backing rivals and rebellions to weaken each other's position. One French proxy-war was the American War of Independence and the Americans received French patronage to weaken the First British Empire. This ended with UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution and Napoleon's defeat which led to the consolidation of UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire[[/note]]. As countries in the so-called "Third World" gained independence one by one with varying degrees of Sino-Soviet aid, the West and the Soviet Union (and China too) competed in various morally-questionable ways to bring them into their respective spheres.

The British eventually left the Indian Subcontinent, which given more than a century of enabling caste and religious disputes and prejudices[[note]]Including one failed partition of Bengal[[/note]], was an inevitably violent process, known as the Partition which resulted in the deaths of more than a million Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus during one of the largest population transfers and human migration in history.[[note]]It's a bit fuzzy ''why'' exactly the British favoured a two-state solution to Indian independence, but some recent research has proposed that Indian-Muslim leader Ali Jinnah and his party were simply trying to use the threat of a two-state solution to secure greater influence for Muslims in a hypothetical unitary Indian state. However, it seems that the Indian-Hindu leader Jawaharlal Nehru and ''his'' party weren't willing to give them ''quite'' as much leeway as they wanted and in any case the British apparently took his proposals at face value (rather than seeing them as the bargaining-chips they were), leading to a two-state solution that nobody actually wanted. Worse yet, the British were completely broke thanks to five years of Total War and could not raise the money they needed to both implement and fund the NHS (which practically doubled government spending overnight) ''and'' fund a two-year de-colonisation programme. Since Clement Attlee's Labour Party had been sworn-in promising to create the NHS, they cut the latter down to just one year, resulting in a shambolic mess that got hundreds of thousands—if not millions—wounded (and many killed) and a great deal of property and wealth being lost.[[/note]] This led to two states, India and Pakistan. The former became a Republic that claimed to be part of the Non-Aligned Movement refusing to side either with the United States and the Soviet Union, but generally leaned towards the Soviet Union. Pakistan would in turn be backed by the United States of America, an alliance that continued even after the end of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, well into TheWarOnTerror. The partitions Palestine and Cyprus, both British possessions, were also less than perfect and the British notably killed and tortured a few tens of thousands during the 'Mau-Mau' uprising in Kenya[[note]]One of the victims was apparently UsefulNotes/BarackObama's grandfather[[/note]]. The British also helped the newly-independent (albeit still with ''very'' close economic ties to Britain) Malaysian Federation put down a Maoist insurgency amongst her ethnic-Chinese population[[note]] to which the somewhat simplistic but undeniably effective solution was simply to imprison the entire ethnic-Chinese population in the areas the insurgency operated in. They'd correctly noted that since the extremely strong ethnic/racial component to politics in the fledgeling federation meant that only Chinese people were supporting the guerillas (since the Malay majority had wanted to impose "socialist" employment quotas that would require all businesses to have a minimum number of Malay employees, a measure that in the long run really did help lift the relatively disadvantaged Malay population out of poverty) [[/note]] and keep troops around to make the newly-independent Indonesian Republic think twice about trying to annex Malaysia.

to:

The end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII had meant that the colonial powers could no longer afford to maintain their empires without American support. Roosevelt was committed to decolonization and classic old-fashioned imperialism had seen its day. Ideas like democracy, self-determination and nationalism began to spread around the world and many in the colonies were no longer willing to tolerate colonial rule. Neither the Americans nor the Soviets were keen on colonies either, and called for "decolonization" in the name of self-determination and freedom. [[note]]Arguably (Arguably this was hypocritical given that America had itself had been a colonial power after their Civil War and 1898 Spanish-American Wars, in Cuba and the Philippines. The USSR had reclaimed most of Imperial Russia's former territories after their own Civil War and WWII (to be fair, Russian "colonization" was drastically different from and arguably more benevolent than that of other European powers, with no ethnic/racial dimension but a ''very'' strong religious/ideological one).[[/note]] ) During the Cold War, outright colonialism was replaced with two superpowers aggressively pushing various countries in their political direction, and helping foster revolts in the ones that didn't. This bears resemblance to the Anglo-French continental great power rivalry of the 18th Century but now played out on a global scale[[note]]England scale(England and France between say 1712-1815 engaged in a century of wars across all their colonies backing rivals and rebellions to weaken each other's position. One French proxy-war was the American War of Independence and the Americans received French patronage to weaken the First British Empire. This ended with UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution and Napoleon's defeat which led to the consolidation of UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire[[/note]].UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire). As countries in the so-called "Third World" gained independence one by one with varying degrees of Sino-Soviet aid, the West and the Soviet Union (and China too) competed in various morally-questionable ways to bring them into their respective spheres.

The British eventually left the Indian Subcontinent, which given more than a century of enabling caste and religious disputes and prejudices[[note]]Including prejudices(Including one failed partition of Bengal[[/note]], Bengal), was an inevitably violent process, known as the Partition which resulted in the deaths of more than a million Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus during one of the largest population transfers and human migration in history.[[note]]It's (It's a bit fuzzy ''why'' exactly the British favoured a two-state solution to Indian independence, but some recent research has proposed that Indian-Muslim leader Ali Jinnah and his party were simply trying to use the threat of a two-state solution to secure greater influence for Muslims in a hypothetical unitary Indian state. However, it seems that the Indian-Hindu leader Jawaharlal Nehru and ''his'' party weren't willing to give them ''quite'' as much leeway as they wanted and in any case the British apparently took his proposals at face value (rather than seeing them as the bargaining-chips they were), leading to a two-state solution that nobody actually wanted. Worse yet, the British were completely broke thanks to five years of Total War and could not raise the money they needed to both implement and fund the NHS (which practically doubled government spending overnight) ''and'' fund a two-year de-colonisation programme. Since Clement Attlee's Labour Party had been sworn-in promising to create the NHS, they cut the latter down to just one year, resulting in a shambolic mess that got hundreds of thousands—if not millions—wounded (and many killed) and a great deal of property and wealth being lost.[[/note]] ) This led to two states, India and Pakistan. The former became a Republic that claimed to be part of the Non-Aligned Movement refusing to side either with the United States and the Soviet Union, but generally leaned towards the Soviet Union. Pakistan would in turn be backed by the United States of America, an alliance that continued even after the end of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, well into TheWarOnTerror. The partitions Palestine and Cyprus, both British possessions, were also less than perfect and the British notably killed and tortured a few tens of thousands during the 'Mau-Mau' uprising in Kenya[[note]]One Kenya(One of the victims was apparently UsefulNotes/BarackObama's grandfather[[/note]]. grandfather). The British also helped the newly-independent (albeit still with ''very'' close economic ties to Britain) Malaysian Federation put down a Maoist insurgency amongst her ethnic-Chinese population[[note]] population( to which the somewhat simplistic but undeniably effective solution was simply to imprison the entire ethnic-Chinese population in the areas the insurgency operated in. They'd correctly noted that since the extremely strong ethnic/racial component to politics in the fledgeling federation meant that only Chinese people were supporting the guerillas (since the Malay majority had wanted to impose "socialist" employment quotas that would require all businesses to have a minimum number of Malay employees, a measure that in the long run really did help lift the relatively disadvantaged Malay population out of poverty) [[/note]] ) and keep troops around to make the newly-independent Indonesian Republic think twice about trying to annex Malaysia.



Some of the Cuban revolutionaries were staunch Communists. Arguably, Castro had not been one of them,(at least that's what he initially stated) seeming more interested in general ideas of independence from U.S. and foreign capital. Given the political climate of the day, though, a side had to be chosen. Very soon after the revolution, Cuba established a partnership with the Soviet Union - who loved them to bits. The propaganda value of the Cuban Revolution (which had succeeded in 'overthrowing American Imperialism' with basically no Soviet involvement) was immense. This partnership did not go down well with the U.S., which had been taking a wait-and-see approach up to this point (it didn't help that Castro had seized thousands of dollars of Cuban & U.S. Property in Cuba and murdered those who resisted). They quickly put a trade embargo on the place that remains to this day.[[note]]Although the Obama Administration has been attempting more diplomacy recently, as ignoring the problem clearly hasn't made Cuba any less communist.[[/note]] Dwight D. Eisenhower decided to covertly fund a [[UsefulNotes/BayOfPigsInvasion CIA coup of Cuba by means of revolutionaries dispatched to invade Cuba's Bay of Pigs]]. They seem to have seriously believed they could cover up their own involvement in the operation. The plan was not complete when JFK became president, but JFK decided to go ahead anyway - believing that the CIA and military knew what they were doing. He didn't want to deal with the criticism that he abandoned Eisenhower's plan, and he also didn't like Communism.

to:

Some of the Cuban revolutionaries were staunch Communists. Arguably, Castro had not been one of them,(at least that's what he initially stated) seeming more interested in general ideas of independence from U.S. and foreign capital. Given the political climate of the day, though, a side had to be chosen. Very soon after the revolution, Cuba established a partnership with the Soviet Union - who loved them to bits. The propaganda value of the Cuban Revolution (which had succeeded in 'overthrowing American Imperialism' with basically no Soviet involvement) was immense. This partnership did not go down well with the U.S., which had been taking a wait-and-see approach up to this point (it didn't help that Castro had seized thousands of dollars of Cuban & U.S. Property in Cuba and murdered those who resisted). They quickly put a trade embargo on the place that remains to this day.[[note]]Although (Although the Obama Administration has been attempting more diplomacy recently, as ignoring the problem clearly hasn't made Cuba any less communist.[[/note]] ) Dwight D. Eisenhower decided to covertly fund a [[UsefulNotes/BayOfPigsInvasion CIA coup of Cuba by means of revolutionaries dispatched to invade Cuba's Bay of Pigs]]. They seem to have seriously believed they could cover up their own involvement in the operation. The plan was not complete when JFK became president, but JFK decided to go ahead anyway - believing that the CIA and military knew what they were doing. He didn't want to deal with the criticism that he abandoned Eisenhower's plan, and he also didn't like Communism.



The Soviet military was quite right to point out that basing strategic nukes in Cuba would benefit the USSR's own national security, whether or not an agreement was reached with the US. The Soviets were still considerably behind the U.S., their UsefulNotes/MnogoNukes being far less capable than the Americans' UsefulNotes/SuperiorFirepower. [[note]]To give an example, the Americans had just put Polaris submarine-launched missiles into service. These (the A1 version) had a range of 1,367 miles (2,200 km), could be launched submerged and 16 could be carried by the ''George Washington'' class of converted ''Skipjack'' nuclear submarines. The best Soviet SSBN at the time was the [[ReportingNames Project 658 "Hotel"]] class, which had R-13/SS-N-4 "Sark" missiles with a range of only 404 miles (650 km), and had to launch them surfaced. This process took twelve minutes. Surfacing when you're a boomer is a pretty bad idea. [[/note]]

The Soviets’ ICBM forces were a) very few, b) ''very'' vulnerable as they were not in silos[[note]]The USSR used a mostly train-based missile launch system, under the (ultimately mistaken) impression that a mobile force was more difficult to destroy than a stationary, reinforced location. A direct side effect of this is that US intelligence agencies became ''very'' good at finding things with the increasingly ubiquitous SpySatellite, which was more or less developed to spy on 'the Russians'.[[/note]], and c) time-consuming to launch[[note]]Most Soviet missiles used a particularly toxic and, more importantly, ''corrosive'' blend of rocket fuel (the R-7s that also served as satellite launchers ran on relatively benign liquid oxygen and kerosene, but see below). Because Soviet metallurgy was not as advanced as U.S. efforts, the Soviet missiles could only be fueled for a limited time (a few days) before they would have to be unfueled, maintained, and refueled (with the R-7s, the liquid oxygen would evaporate in even ''less'' time, about a day). As a result, unless an offensive posture was needed, missiles were kept empty of rocket fuel until they were set to be launched. Since fueling a missile can take up to ''four hours'', it was understandably a problem for launch preparedness. This is why Cold War movies make such a big deal about missiles being fueled: it is neither a secret process, and it indicates a dramatic increase in offensive posture. U.S. missiles did not have this problem.[[/note]].

to:

The Soviet military was quite right to point out that basing strategic nukes in Cuba would benefit the USSR's own national security, whether or not an agreement was reached with the US. The Soviets were still considerably behind the U.S., their UsefulNotes/MnogoNukes being far less capable than the Americans' UsefulNotes/SuperiorFirepower. [[note]]To (To give an example, the Americans had just put Polaris submarine-launched missiles into service. These (the A1 version) had a range of 1,367 miles (2,200 km), could be launched submerged and 16 could be carried by the ''George Washington'' class of converted ''Skipjack'' nuclear submarines. The best Soviet SSBN at the time was the [[ReportingNames Project 658 "Hotel"]] class, which had R-13/SS-N-4 "Sark" missiles with a range of only 404 miles (650 km), and had to launch them surfaced. This process took twelve minutes. Surfacing when you're a boomer is a pretty bad idea. [[/note]]

)

The Soviets’ ICBM forces were a) very few, b) ''very'' vulnerable as they were not in silos[[note]]The silos(The USSR used a mostly train-based missile launch system, under the (ultimately mistaken) impression that a mobile force was more difficult to destroy than a stationary, reinforced location. A direct side effect of this is that US intelligence agencies became ''very'' good at finding things with the increasingly ubiquitous SpySatellite, which was more or less developed to spy on 'the Russians'.[[/note]], ), and c) time-consuming to launch[[note]]Most launch(Most Soviet missiles used a particularly toxic and, more importantly, ''corrosive'' blend of rocket fuel (the R-7s that also served as satellite launchers ran on relatively benign liquid oxygen and kerosene, but see below). Because Soviet metallurgy was not as advanced as U.S. efforts, the Soviet missiles could only be fueled for a limited time (a few days) before they would have to be unfueled, maintained, and refueled (with the R-7s, the liquid oxygen would evaporate in even ''less'' time, about a day). As a result, unless an offensive posture was needed, missiles were kept empty of rocket fuel until they were set to be launched. Since fueling a missile can take up to ''four hours'', it was understandably a problem for launch preparedness. This is why Cold War movies make such a big deal about missiles being fueled: it is neither a secret process, and it indicates a dramatic increase in offensive posture. U.S. missiles did not have this problem.[[/note]].
).



The USA's Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM[[note]]No, [[NamesTheSame not]] [[XComUFODefense those]] [[XCOMEnemyUnknown guys]][[/note]]) discussed what to do about the missiles on Cuba. JFK secretly recorded the meetings, which helps historians a lot. The Joint Chiefs were being GeneralRipper before that trope first appeared. Indeed, Air Force General Curtis [=LeMay=]— the inspiration for Ripper — was at the meetings advocating airstrikes. Eventually they settled on a blockade. Since that is legally an act of war, they called it a "quarantine", and JFK announced the existence of the missiles to the world. This completely wrong-footed Khrushchev and Castro. Their secret alliance was supposed to have been, well, ''secret'' until they chose to publicly declare it (when the missiles were all in-place). Declaring its existence ''after'' the revelations about the missiles would make it look like they were lying (in addition to not having had legal grounds for moving Soviet war material onto Cuban soil because they hadn't had an alliance), so they never ended up revealing it. The USA's Strategic Air Command (SAC) went to [[DefconFive DEFCON-2]] for the only time in its history.

to:

The USA's Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM[[note]]No, (EXCOMM(No, [[NamesTheSame not]] [[XComUFODefense those]] [[XCOMEnemyUnknown guys]][[/note]]) guys]])) discussed what to do about the missiles on Cuba. JFK secretly recorded the meetings, which helps historians a lot. The Joint Chiefs were being GeneralRipper before that trope first appeared. Indeed, Air Force General Curtis [=LeMay=]— the inspiration for Ripper — was at the meetings advocating airstrikes. Eventually they settled on a blockade. Since that is legally an act of war, they called it a "quarantine", and JFK announced the existence of the missiles to the world. This completely wrong-footed Khrushchev and Castro. Their secret alliance was supposed to have been, well, ''secret'' until they chose to publicly declare it (when the missiles were all in-place). Declaring its existence ''after'' the revelations about the missiles would make it look like they were lying (in addition to not having had legal grounds for moving Soviet war material onto Cuban soil because they hadn't had an alliance), so they never ended up revealing it. The USA's Strategic Air Command (SAC) went to [[DefconFive DEFCON-2]] for the only time in its history.



UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy increased aid to South Vietnam and sent more military advisors,[[note]] There were approximately 1000 U.S. advisors in Vietnam when Eisenhower left office. That number rose to 16,000 under JFK[[/note]] but Diem was getting increasingly unpopular, and the NLF were getting increasingly popular. A monk burned himself to death in public protest. The U.S. administration, fearing a "domino effect" if Vietnam went Communist, backed the overthrow and murder of Diem without Kennedy's advance knowledge or approval.

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UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy increased aid to South Vietnam and sent more military advisors,[[note]] advisors,( There were approximately 1000 U.S. advisors in Vietnam when Eisenhower left office. That number rose to 16,000 under JFK[[/note]] JFK) but Diem was getting increasingly unpopular, and the NLF were getting increasingly popular. A monk burned himself to death in public protest. The U.S. administration, fearing a "domino effect" if Vietnam went Communist, backed the overthrow and murder of Diem without Kennedy's advance knowledge or approval.



Precisely what Johnson, [=McNamara=] or anyone else knew is unclear, but they were probably not telling the whole story. Johnson sought and got the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution from Congress, authorising [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar full-scale American intervention in Vietnam]][[note]] Though the English-speaking world generally refers to this period as the Vietnam War, the U.S. Congress never approved a declaration of war. [[/note]].

By 1970, face of rising domestic and international disapproval and mounting casualties, the United States was looking for a way out. A ceasefire was declared in January 1973, with military forces from the U.S., South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand leaving the country by the end of March. [[note]]The Nobel Peace Prize went jointly to North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Lê Đức Thọ and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Lê Đức Thọ, however, declined the award.[[/note]] Fighting between Vietnamese forces resumed within months. On April 30, 1975, after thirty years of war in Vietnam, first involving the French and then the Americans, the government of South Vietnam surrendered unconditionally to North Vietnam.

to:

Precisely what Johnson, [=McNamara=] or anyone else knew is unclear, but they were probably not telling the whole story. Johnson sought and got the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution from Congress, authorising [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar full-scale American intervention in Vietnam]][[note]] Vietnam]]( Though the English-speaking world generally refers to this period as the Vietnam War, the U.S. Congress never approved a declaration of war. [[/note]].

).

By 1970, face of rising domestic and international disapproval and mounting casualties, the United States was looking for a way out. A ceasefire was declared in January 1973, with military forces from the U.S., South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand leaving the country by the end of March. [[note]]The (The Nobel Peace Prize went jointly to North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Lê Đức Thọ and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Lê Đức Thọ, however, declined the award.[[/note]] ) Fighting between Vietnamese forces resumed within months. On April 30, 1975, after thirty years of war in Vietnam, first involving the French and then the Americans, the government of South Vietnam surrendered unconditionally to North Vietnam.



The Khmer Rouge, led by a man called Pol Pot, had a less strictly Marxist philosophy than that espoused by, say, the North Koreans. Or, for that matter, by the Dutch. "Communism" in this case was a purely agrarian utopia for peasants only, and required the elimination of industry, modern technology, the urban environment, and anyone guilty of propagating these social ills. Since all other Communists regarded modern technology and industry as the best thing since sliced bread[[note]]Well, there was no sliced bread in CommieLand. Let's just say bee's knees.[[/note]], this quickly resulted in the Khmer Rouge having no friends.

to:

The Khmer Rouge, led by a man called Pol Pot, had a less strictly Marxist philosophy than that espoused by, say, the North Koreans. Or, for that matter, by the Dutch. "Communism" in this case was a purely agrarian utopia for peasants only, and required the elimination of industry, modern technology, the urban environment, and anyone guilty of propagating these social ills. Since all other Communists regarded modern technology and industry as the best thing since sliced bread[[note]]Well, bread(Well, there was no sliced bread in CommieLand. Let's just say bee's knees.[[/note]], ), this quickly resulted in the Khmer Rouge having no friends.



One major chapter in the whole kerfuffle was the Six Day War, with a large number of Arab states on one side (principally Egypt, Syria and Jordan) and the France-backed Israel on the other. Naturally the Soviet Union wanted in on this, and helped the Arab states as best they could. The war began with preemptive Israeli airstrikes which all but destroyed the air forces of the Arabs, and ended six days later with Israel in control of Sinai, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Ironically, it was faulty Soviet intelligence which caused the rapid escalation of existing tension which led to war and Arab defeat in the first place. [[note]]Notably, during this war, an Egyptian missile boat became the first to sink another vessel with guided missiles.[[/note]]

to:

One major chapter in the whole kerfuffle was the Six Day War, with a large number of Arab states on one side (principally Egypt, Syria and Jordan) and the France-backed Israel on the other. Naturally the Soviet Union wanted in on this, and helped the Arab states as best they could. The war began with preemptive Israeli airstrikes which all but destroyed the air forces of the Arabs, and ended six days later with Israel in control of Sinai, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Ironically, it was faulty Soviet intelligence which caused the rapid escalation of existing tension which led to war and Arab defeat in the first place. [[note]]Notably, (Notably, during this war, an Egyptian missile boat became the first to sink another vessel with guided missiles.[[/note]]
)



For backstory, we have to go back to UsefulNotes/WW2. Britain and the USSR repeated their feat from WWI, which had been to invade and occupy southern and northern Iran respectively (to protect the Royal Navy's oil supply from the Ottoman Empire)—but this time, it was also done to secure a second route by which Lend-Lease material aid to the USSR could be delivered to them all-year-round [[note]] The other route, around Scandinavia to the port of Arkhangelsk as in the First World War, was closed for six months of the year when the seas froze over in winter and its ships were also subjected to constant and ''fierce'' raids from ''Luftwaffe'' and ''Kriegsmarine'' forces based in Norway and Finland. The main route used during World War I, Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian Railroad, was made unavailable by Japan's declaration of war upon the Allies and the USA just five months after the USSR had been brought into the war [[/note]]. They installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran. He fled the country in 1951 when the popular Mohammad Mossadegh was democratically elected as Prime Minister. The CIA and MI6 launched a coup d'état that removed Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah. The autocracy then secularized and Westernized the nation—often ignoring the Iranian Constitution. This caused nationalist, Leftist and Islamist groups to resist, though usually they weren't united. This is possibly why conspiracy theorists lump Communists and Islamists together, despite many of them hating the other with a passion.[[note]]This isn't to say that there weren't some Islamist leftists; indeed, one of the biggest Islamist factions, the Mojahideen-e-Khalq (People's Mojahideen) followed the Islamic Socialism of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Shariati Ali Shariati]], which tried to synthesize Islam and socialism.[[/note]] The tension from the suppression and fighting culminated in the Iranian Revolution in 1979, leading to the current Islamic Republic of Iran, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

to:

For backstory, we have to go back to UsefulNotes/WW2. Britain and the USSR repeated their feat from WWI, which had been to invade and occupy southern and northern Iran respectively (to protect the Royal Navy's oil supply from the Ottoman Empire)—but this time, it was also done to secure a second route by which Lend-Lease material aid to the USSR could be delivered to them all-year-round [[note]] ( The other route, around Scandinavia to the port of Arkhangelsk as in the First World War, was closed for six months of the year when the seas froze over in winter and its ships were also subjected to constant and ''fierce'' raids from ''Luftwaffe'' and ''Kriegsmarine'' forces based in Norway and Finland. The main route used during World War I, Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian Railroad, was made unavailable by Japan's declaration of war upon the Allies and the USA just five months after the USSR had been brought into the war [[/note]].). They installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran. He fled the country in 1951 when the popular Mohammad Mossadegh was democratically elected as Prime Minister. The CIA and MI6 launched a coup d'état that removed Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah. The autocracy then secularized and Westernized the nation—often ignoring the Iranian Constitution. This caused nationalist, Leftist and Islamist groups to resist, though usually they weren't united. This is possibly why conspiracy theorists lump Communists and Islamists together, despite many of them hating the other with a passion.[[note]]This (This isn't to say that there weren't some Islamist leftists; indeed, one of the biggest Islamist factions, the Mojahideen-e-Khalq (People's Mojahideen) followed the Islamic Socialism of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Shariati Ali Shariati]], which tried to synthesize Islam and socialism.[[/note]] ) The tension from the suppression and fighting culminated in the Iranian Revolution in 1979, leading to the current Islamic Republic of Iran, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini.



UsefulNotes/{{Poland}} has its national consciousness tightly connected to the Catholic Church. It was one of the few countries behind the Iron Curtain where the Church had greater power than in the west. Poles are to this day maintaining that the church represents the nation more accurately than the state. The Communists did not like it, and they weren't subtle about it. [[note]]In Stalin's times Cardinal Wyszynski - the leader of the Polish Church - suffered three years of house arrest, priests and bishops were sent to prisons, and even convents were raided by the police.[[/note]] Numerous strikes in Poland (Poznan in 1956, Gdansk in 1970[[note]]events in nearby Gdynia became commemorated in protest song "The Ballad of Janek Wisniewski"[[/note]], Bydgoszcz in 1976) were caused by rises in prices of staple food, the literal "bread and butter". Sometimes these increases would be as high as 50%. The Church attempted mediation, but ultimately nothing could be done. By 1976, growing discontentment led to first semi-organised opposition groups showing up to protect the rights of the strikers. They would later form a large part of the intellectual core of democratic opposition.

to:

UsefulNotes/{{Poland}} has its national consciousness tightly connected to the Catholic Church. It was one of the few countries behind the Iron Curtain where the Church had greater power than in the west. Poles are to this day maintaining that the church represents the nation more accurately than the state. The Communists did not like it, and they weren't subtle about it. [[note]]In (In Stalin's times Cardinal Wyszynski - the leader of the Polish Church - suffered three years of house arrest, priests and bishops were sent to prisons, and even convents were raided by the police.[[/note]] ) Numerous strikes in Poland (Poznan in 1956, Gdansk in 1970[[note]]events 1970(events in nearby Gdynia became commemorated in protest song "The Ballad of Janek Wisniewski"[[/note]], Wisniewski"), Bydgoszcz in 1976) were caused by rises in prices of staple food, the literal "bread and butter". Sometimes these increases would be as high as 50%. The Church attempted mediation, but ultimately nothing could be done. By 1976, growing discontentment led to first semi-organised opposition groups showing up to protect the rights of the strikers. They would later form a large part of the intellectual core of democratic opposition.



The government opted to "calm the country down".[[note]]Whether it was forced by the Soviet Union or did it on its own is a matter of discussion.[[/note]] They introduced martial law, interred Solidarity leaders, let the ZOMO riot police attack workers still on strike, and generally hurt the public image of themselves. This caused the international reaction, including UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan introducing import sanctions on Poland. This is quite possibly the only time in history when someone has helped a foreign nation by ''not'' trading with it. The American support to Solidarity is one of the reasons why today's Poland is one of the most pro-U.S. countries in the world.

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The government opted to "calm the country down".[[note]]Whether (Whether it was forced by the Soviet Union or did it on its own is a matter of discussion.[[/note]] ) They introduced martial law, interred Solidarity leaders, let the ZOMO riot police attack workers still on strike, and generally hurt the public image of themselves. This caused the international reaction, including UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan introducing import sanctions on Poland. This is quite possibly the only time in history when someone has helped a foreign nation by ''not'' trading with it. The American support to Solidarity is one of the reasons why today's Poland is one of the most pro-U.S. countries in the world.



Gorbachev wanted to see Eastern Europe embrace its new freedoms and establish moderate Communist regimes similar to his own. Eastern Europe, however, was force-fed Communism by Moscow for 40 years and decided it had enough. Instead of a revitalized Warsaw Pact, within two years all the Eastern European countries would abandon communism and the Warsaw Pact itself would cease to have any relevance whatsoever. The events of 1989 came to be called the "Autumn of Nations", but here at Tv Tropes it was the "UsefulNotes/HoleInFlag Revolution". [[note]] So-called because when nationalists and democrats marched against the ruling Communists in 1989 and brought them down they were flying flags with the Communist state symbols cut out.[[/note]]

to:

Gorbachev wanted to see Eastern Europe embrace its new freedoms and establish moderate Communist regimes similar to his own. Eastern Europe, however, was force-fed Communism by Moscow for 40 years and decided it had enough. Instead of a revitalized Warsaw Pact, within two years all the Eastern European countries would abandon communism and the Warsaw Pact itself would cease to have any relevance whatsoever. The events of 1989 came to be called the "Autumn of Nations", but here at Tv Tropes it was the "UsefulNotes/HoleInFlag Revolution". [[note]] ( So-called because when nationalists and democrats marched against the ruling Communists in 1989 and brought them down they were flying flags with the Communist state symbols cut out.[[/note]]
)



Czechoslovakia had their own "Velvet Revolution". With the country paralyzed by protests and strikes, and their Communist comrades losing power one by one, the Czechoslovak communists under hardliner Gustáv Husák yielded and gave up power. Writer Vaclav Havel became Czechoslovakia's first noncommunist President since 1948.[[note]] Alexander Dubcek, the moderate communist leader who was the architect of the reformist "Prague Spring" in 1968 and was later ousted by Soviet troops, returned in triumph as Chairman of the Federal Assembly.[[/note]]

In Bulgaria, an environmental protest movement quickly broadened into a general demonstration demanding political reforms. Though the Communist regime bought itself some time by ousting their longtime leader, the hardline Todor Zhivkov, and replacing him with the more moderate Petar Mladenov, striking workers and protesters continued to tie up the country until Mladenov announced that the Communists had abandoned power. [[note]]The Communists promptly rebranded themselves "The Bulgarian Socialist Party" and retained power at the country's first free elections in 1990; they were not voted out until 1996.[[/note]]

Romania was a special case. It was ruled by one Nicolae Ceauşescu, a hardline, oppressive and possibly insane Stalinist. [[note]]However, he was praised by Western leaders for pursuing his own foreign policy independent of Moscow.[[/note]] An arrest of a local minister triggered riots in Timişoara, which then sparked protests around the country. Protesters were shot by the secret police, the militia and the Army, before the Army switched sides and began fighting on the same sides as the protestors, and the tide turned. Ceauşescu and his wife were captured and shot on national television after a [[KangarooCourt brief show trial]].

to:

Czechoslovakia had their own "Velvet Revolution". With the country paralyzed by protests and strikes, and their Communist comrades losing power one by one, the Czechoslovak communists under hardliner Gustáv Husák yielded and gave up power. Writer Vaclav Havel became Czechoslovakia's first noncommunist President since 1948.[[note]] ( Alexander Dubcek, the moderate communist leader who was the architect of the reformist "Prague Spring" in 1968 and was later ousted by Soviet troops, returned in triumph as Chairman of the Federal Assembly.[[/note]]

)

In Bulgaria, an environmental protest movement quickly broadened into a general demonstration demanding political reforms. Though the Communist regime bought itself some time by ousting their longtime leader, the hardline Todor Zhivkov, and replacing him with the more moderate Petar Mladenov, striking workers and protesters continued to tie up the country until Mladenov announced that the Communists had abandoned power. [[note]]The (The Communists promptly rebranded themselves "The Bulgarian Socialist Party" and retained power at the country's first free elections in 1990; they were not voted out until 1996.[[/note]]

)

Romania was a special case. It was ruled by one Nicolae Ceauşescu, a hardline, oppressive and possibly insane Stalinist. [[note]]However, (However, he was praised by Western leaders for pursuing his own foreign policy independent of Moscow.[[/note]] ) An arrest of a local minister triggered riots in Timişoara, which then sparked protests around the country. Protesters were shot by the secret police, the militia and the Army, before the Army switched sides and began fighting on the same sides as the protestors, and the tide turned. Ceauşescu and his wife were captured and shot on national television after a [[KangarooCourt brief show trial]].


Eventually, a long-running border dispute with Vietnam kicked off into a full-scale war. The Vietnamese invaded, occupied the country and pulled off a successful humanitarian intervention (no industry means no rifles, no ammo, no tanks… WhatAnIdiot!) The piles of skulls shocked the world. The fact that it was a bunch of ''Communists'' who stopped Pol Pot is almost never mentioned. Piles of skulls are still found in memorials in the country.

to:

Eventually, a long-running border dispute with Vietnam kicked off into a full-scale war. The Vietnamese invaded, occupied the country and pulled off a successful humanitarian intervention (no industry means no rifles, no ammo, no tanks… WhatAnIdiot!) tanks…) The piles of skulls shocked the world. The fact that it was a bunch of ''Communists'' who stopped Pol Pot is almost never mentioned. Piles of skulls are still found in memorials in the country.


* Traditionalist - [[BlackAndWhiteMorality USA good, USSR evil]].
* Revisionist - [[GreyandGrayMorality USA bad, USSR bad]].
* Post-revisionist - [[BlackAndGrayMorality USA bad, USSR bad/evil]] (the status of the latter hinging of course upon the incumbency of UsefulNotes/JosefStalin).

to:

* Traditionalist - [[BlackAndWhiteMorality USA good, USSR evil]].evil.
* Revisionist - [[GreyandGrayMorality USA bad, USSR bad]].
bad.
* Post-revisionist - [[BlackAndGrayMorality USA bad, USSR bad/evil]] bad/evil (the status of the latter hinging of course upon the incumbency of UsefulNotes/JosefStalin).


However, the U.S. took significant karmic backlash. The mujahideen counted a Saudi named Osama bin Laden among them, and [[WhatTheHellHero al-Qaeda would later be formed from its members]].

to:

However, the U.S. took significant karmic backlash. The mujahideen counted a Saudi named Osama bin Laden among them, and [[WhatTheHellHero al-Qaeda would later be formed from its members]].
members.


Some of the Cuban revolutionaries were staunch Communists. Arguably, Castro had not been one of them, seeming more interested in general ideas of independence from U.S. and foreign capital. Given the political climate of the day, though, a side had to be chosen. Very soon after the revolution, Cuba established a partnership with the Soviet Union - who loved them to bits. The propaganda value of the Cuban Revolution (which had succeeded in 'overthrowing American Imperialism' with basically no Soviet involvement) was immense. This partnership did not go down well with the U.S., which had been taking a wait-and-see approach up to this point. They quickly put a trade embargo on the place that remains to this day.[[note]]Although the Obama Administration has been attempting more diplomacy recently, as ignoring the problem clearly hasn't made Cuba any less communist.[[/note]] Dwight D. Eisenhower decided to covertly fund a [[UsefulNotes/BayOfPigsInvasion CIA coup of Cuba by means of revolutionaries dispatched to invade Cuba's Bay of Pigs]]. They seem to have seriously believed they could cover up their own involvement in the operation. The plan was not complete when JFK became president, but JFK decided to go ahead anyway - believing that the CIA and military knew what they were doing. He didn't want to deal with the criticism that he abandoned Eisenhower's plan, and he also didn't like Communism.

to:

Some of the Cuban revolutionaries were staunch Communists. Arguably, Castro had not been one of them, them,(at least that's what he initially stated) seeming more interested in general ideas of independence from U.S. and foreign capital. Given the political climate of the day, though, a side had to be chosen. Very soon after the revolution, Cuba established a partnership with the Soviet Union - who loved them to bits. The propaganda value of the Cuban Revolution (which had succeeded in 'overthrowing American Imperialism' with basically no Soviet involvement) was immense. This partnership did not go down well with the U.S., which had been taking a wait-and-see approach up to this point.point (it didn't help that Castro had seized thousands of dollars of Cuban & U.S. Property in Cuba and murdered those who resisted). They quickly put a trade embargo on the place that remains to this day.[[note]]Although the Obama Administration has been attempting more diplomacy recently, as ignoring the problem clearly hasn't made Cuba any less communist.[[/note]] Dwight D. Eisenhower decided to covertly fund a [[UsefulNotes/BayOfPigsInvasion CIA coup of Cuba by means of revolutionaries dispatched to invade Cuba's Bay of Pigs]]. They seem to have seriously believed they could cover up their own involvement in the operation. The plan was not complete when JFK became president, but JFK decided to go ahead anyway - believing that the CIA and military knew what they were doing. He didn't want to deal with the criticism that he abandoned Eisenhower's plan, and he also didn't like Communism.


Within England, Churchill moderated his anti-communism after grasping the immediate threat of a remilitarized and rearmed Germany in the Continent. Upon the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union, he immediately recognized the Soviet Anexation of Kresy (Eastern Poland) as part of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, [[StrangeBedfellows and both England and the Soviet Union jointly invaded Iran to seize its oil fields]].

to:

Within England, Churchill moderated his anti-communism after grasping the immediate threat of a remilitarized and rearmed Germany in the Continent. Upon the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union, he immediately recognized the Soviet Anexation of Kresy (Eastern Poland) as part of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, [[StrangeBedfellows [[EnemyMine and both England and the Soviet Union jointly invaded Iran to seize its oil fields]].

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