Overview Edit

A TL where the communist conquers Taiwan and Korea.

Timeline Edit

October 2nd, 1950: In response to UN forces crossing the 38th Parallel, the Chinese government decides to intervene in the Korean War. Zhou Enlai immediately flies to Moscow to confer with Stalin regarding Russian support for the operation. Peng Dehuai is ordered to fly back from his base in Xi'an to command the Chinese forces in Korea. While Peng is angry that he was not consulted about the decision by Mao and Zhou, he accepts command of the Northeast Frontier Force, redesignated as the People's Volunteer Army. 

October 4th, 1950: Stalin agrees to provide material support for China's intervention in Korea. Stalin informs Zhou that the Soviet Air Force will take 2-3 months before it can commence combat operations over Korea. Although Stalin considers limiting VVS operations to Chinese airspace, NKVD sources indicate that UN forces in Korea have become overconfident and overstretched. Stalin sees a golden opportunity to humiliate the United States and decides to take it. (1) The Central Military Commission identifies rations, winter clothing and radios as priority items required by the PLA in order to conduct an effective campaign in Korea. 

October 10th, 1950: The PLA unit nearest to the Yalu PVA 13th Army Group readies itself for combat operations, however, it's ordered to wait until more PLA units can be moved in from further south. 

October 19th, 1950: Pyongyang falls to US 1st Cavalry Division. Other UN forces in Korea start to race towards the Yalu River. Gao Gang, the overall commander of the PLA forces in Northeast China, decides to order the 13th Army Group across the Yalu under the cover of night. 

October 25th-29th, 1950: The 13th Army Group makes several probing attacks along the length of the UN lines. The UN forces are so weak and unprepared that the ROK II Corps is rendered combat ineffective in 4 days of fighting. Pleased by the performance of Chinese troops in combat, Stalin decides to increase shipments of men and materiel to China. 

November 1st, 1950: The bulk of the PVA is still not ready to move across the Yalu yet. The recently arrived 9th Army Group, which had been preparing to invade Taiwan, still does not have enough winter equipment, despite Russian shipments. The 13th Army Group disappears into the mountains of North Korea. UN command is convinced that the Chinese have not intervened in force and prepare for another offensive in Northern Korea.

November 10th, 1950: The 9th Army Group has finished outfitting in Manchuria and moves into Korea. This movement is not detected by UN forces. (2)

November 24th, 1950: The UN launches a Home By Christmas offensive intending to mop up resistance in Northern Korea. 

November 25th, 1950: The 13th Army launches a massive attack against the US 8th Army along the Chongchon River, catching UN forces off guard and completely destroying the ROK II Corps and US 2nd Infantry Division guarding the right flank of the 8th Army. At the same time, the PLA 9th Army launches attacks around the Chosin Reservoir area, seizing the critical airfield at Hagaru-ri and the Toktong pass south of Sinhung-ni (3). 

November 26th, 1950: General Walton Walker attempts to order the US I and IX Corps to cover the gap in the lines left by the ROK II Corps. However, this is unsuccessful as the I and IX Corps have suffered heavily from Chinese attacks coming from the north and are retreating to the south. 

November 27th, 1950: The PLA 114th Division ambushes the Turkish Brigade guarding the road to Kunu-ri, a village on the IX Corps' axis of retreat. Although the Turks fight to the last man, they fail to substantially delay the 114th Division, which takes Kunu-ri by the morning of November 28th. Tahsin Yazıcı, the commanding officer of the Turkish Brigade is captured by Chinese troops and mysteriously dies while in captivity. The Turks accuse the Chinese of torturing him to death, while the Chinese maintain that Yazici died of wounds incurred during battle. 

November 28th, 1950: The entirety of the I, IX and X Corps, over 200000 men, are trapped and encircled by the PVA. The ROK II Corps, having been destroyed in combat, is leaderless and retreating south as quickly as possible. Although the US Air Force and US Navy attempt to intervene, bad weather and PLA camouflage discipline make airstrikes very difficult. 

November 29th, 1950: President Harry Truman addresses the American people on the radio and television a solemn speech, explains what has happened and that the bulk of American and UN forces in Korea have been trapped by the PLA. This is one of the first important speeches to be televised. 

November 30th, 1950: The following forces are ordered to move to Korea from the United States, Pacific and Europe:

-US 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions -US 4th, 28th, 43rd Infantry Divisions -US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions -USMC 2nd and 4th Divisions

President Truman declares a national emergency and orders that additional conscription begin immediately. Additionally, the US Navy and Air Force is to begin moving as many units as it can spare to Korea. Mark 4 nuclear bombs are ordered sent to Okinawa for potential use against Chinese and North Korean targets. 

November 30-December 5th: Repeated attempts by the X Corps to break out fail as PLA units move to engage in close combat with them. The US 1st Marine and 7th Infantry divisions are destroyed in savage fighting around the Chosin Reservoir. The 1st Marines would take over 50% casualties before surrendering. 

December 5th: Forward elements of the PLA drive the I ROK Corps from Hungnam, preventing evacuation of the bulk of X Corps. However, elements of the 3rd Infantry Division evacuate under heavy naval gunfire support. They leave behind most of their supplies though. 

December 10th, 1950: The PLA retakes Pyongyang but does not move much further south since it needs to deal with the trapped American units in northern Korea. 

December 13th, 1950: General Walton Walker is killed somewhere south of Pyongyang when a roving Chinese bazooka team attacks his jeep. The Chinese soldiers quickly scurry away before reinforcements arrive, taking Walker's remains with them. Matthew Ridgway is appointed commander of the 8th Army and is dispatched to Korea. 

December 16th, 1950: An emergency meeting of the United Nations is called. A ceasefire is drawn up offering China most of the Korean Peninsula above the 36th Parallel, as well as a meeting by the UN Security Council to resolve the status of Taiwan. Both China and the US reject this proposal. 

December 20th: Starvation starts becoming a problem in the trapped 8th Army and X Corps units. The US Air Force can only deliver 250 tons of supplies a day and many of their air drops are ending up in Chinese hands. 

December 25th, 1950: Christmas in the US really sucks. The first American reinforcements begin to arrive in Japan and will be sent to Korea sometime in January. Nobody's home for Christmas but many, many people are volunteering to fight against China. 

December 26th, 1950: The VVS begins operations over the skies of Korea. 

(1): Stalin waffled on this OTL until the Chinese entered Korea and made probing attacks against II ROK Corps. He changes his mind here.

(2): As per OTL, Chinese units could sneak into Korea undetected. 

(3): They attacked the 1st Marine Division head-on OTL. This time, the PLA cuts off X Corps' retreat.

January 2nd, 1951: With the US X Corps and ROK I Corps destroyed, the 9th Army Group, having recently been reinforced with new equipment and additional infantry divisions, sweeps south, moving down the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula as far as Sokcho.

Engineering and railway construction regiments enter from China. Working under VVS cover, they begin to repair and rebuild North Korea's infrastructure at a quick rate.

Soviet pilots are flying planes hastily painted in PLA Air Force or North Korean People's Air Force colors. Everyone knows that the Soviets are intervening on the side of the Chinese but the legal fiction is that only Chinese and North Korean pilots are involved thus far.

January 4th, 1951: The PLA 13th Army Group retakes Seoul. Peng Dehuai, commander of Chinese forces in Korea, declares that the US 8th Army has been completely destroyed. This is somewhat untrue as some American units marched south on foot. Although many died of starvation and frostbite, significant numbers of men have made it south past PLA lines.

January 6th: What American reinforcements have arrived in Korea so far are scattered around Pusan. Their job is to guard USAF planes flying out of airbases around Pusan.

January 10th, 1951: Despite the lack of US troops in the Area, Chinese forces stop their advance around Wonju, somewhere south of Seoul. A lack of trucks and fuel is hampering the ability of the Chinese to supply their armies and it would likely be months before rail lines can be built from the Yalu to 38th Parallel.

The Chinese are forced to turn over much of the supplies and equipment captured from the Americans in exchange for more Soviet equipment. However, Stalin does not give a timetable for the arrival of this new equipment.

January 11th, 1951: Zhou Enlai meets with US Secretary of State Dean Acheson in Geneva to negotiate a peace treaty between the US and China. North Korean representatives are conspicuously absent at this meeting.

January 15th, 1951: Chinese forces are ordered to dig in around Seoul. Chinese engineers are ordered to improve the airfields in North Korea so that MiGs can operate off of them.

January 24th, 1951: Ho Chi Minh is very, very, very pleased to learn that the Soviet Union has ordered China to send captured American equipment to the Vietminh.

January 26th, 1951: An attempt to bomb Chinese supply lines moving down south goes awry as Mig-15s from the 64th Fighter Aviation Corps shoots down several B-29 bombers flying from Japan. The US Air Force orders all bombing operations to be suspended over Korea for several months. (1)

January 30th, 1951: Talks in Geneva are stalled as the Chinese demand to be admitted to the UN, that the US stop protecting Taiwan and that all UN forces withdraw from the Korean Peninsula. The US, which has been dealt a stinging defeat, cannot accept any of these terms for political reasons. However, the US still greatly fears Soviet domination in Europe and East Asia in general doesn't seem like a huge priority.

February 1st, 1951: Chinese probes south of the lines at Wonju reveal that UN lines are very thinly manned.

The supply situation is somewhat easing up as the Soviets have been flying in supplies to nearby Gimpo Airbase. An army of workers, guarded by Soviet planes and air defense guns, are working feverishly to repair rail lines from Sinujiu to Seoul.

Peng Dehuai sets April 1st as the date when offensives would resume. To prepare, 2 additional army groups, the 3rd and the 19th, cross the Yalu and move into the Korean Peninsula. In addition, the 9th and 13th Army Groups are reinforced with motorized artillery elements. Meanwhile, the NVKD works hard to recruit South Korean communist sympathizers who will rise up in rebellion once the Chinese move south again.

To facilitate this and to end annoying bombing raids over the Korean Peninsula, Stalin orders the 67th Fighter Aviation Corps to Manchuria to be sent into Korea once the airfields in northern Korea have been prepared.

Tens of thousands of refugees are leaving Korea via the port in Pusan. Most of them will be heading towards the United States and Australia.

February 4th, 1951: Dean Acheson, US Secretary of State, makes thinly veiled threats against China involving nuclear weapons. Earlier that day, Senator Joseph McCarthy gave a fiery speech in the Senate demanding that nuclear weapons be used against the "Godless Savages" in Korea and that nuclear weapons be used against Chinese and if necessary, Soviet cities. McCarthy goes on to call President Truman a coward for not immediately using nuclear weapons to break the trapped 8th Army out when he had the chance to.

February 6th, 1951: General Douglas MacArthur, meeting with President Truman in Guam, suggests that salted nuclear explosives be dropped across the neck of Manchuria to deny the Chinese access to the region. Truman orders that MacArthur calm down and not demand that something so drastic occur. Truman then blames MacArthur for the disaster in Korea which resulted in the destruction of the 8th Army and X Corps but this is thus far a private conversation.

This just leaves the question of whether or not Little Mac will go public or not. Truman thinks Little Mac is bound to go public eventually.

(1): Something analogous happened to this in OTL, where the US lost air superiority for several months. The relative lack of American forces on the Korean Peninsula means that the PLA can spend a great deal of time digging in.

February 24th, 1951: Joseph McCarthy makes another fiery speech on the Senate floor roundly denouncing President Truman for not using nuclear weapons against the Chinese. 

February 28th, 1951: William C. Patrick, an Army bioweapons engineer, testifies before Congress that biological weapons could be used against the Chinese wheat and rice crops and suggests several organisms which may be helpful. Congress provides some money for Patrick to further investigate this possibility. 

March 1st, 1951: Soviet planes begin to operate out of airbases in the Korean Peninsula, making interdiction of Chinese supplies even more difficult. 

March 15th, 1951: Negotiations in Geneva stall again. Secretary of State Dean Acheson explicitly threatens to use nuclear weapons against Chinese forces if China does not pull out of the Korean Peninsula. 

March 29th, 1951: Chinese forces launch their offensive several days early. 800,000 men in four Army Groups push south, backed up by heavy artillery and armor provided by the Soviets. 

April 1st, 1951: The remaining skeleton forces outside of the Pusan Perimeter, which is made up mostly of South Korean troops, collapse almost instantly under the weight of the Chinese advance. 

The US Navy is cramming refugees into every ship it has, with every cargo ship leaving Pusan filled to the brim with people wanting to flee Communist forces. The SS Meredith Victory in particular, was notable for the number of refugees it managed to carry. Despite being rated only for 12 passengers, it managed to evacuate over 14,000 people in a single trip. (1)

April 3rd, 1951: Soviet MiGs, operating out of Gimpo Air Base near Seoul, pursue an unusually heavily escorted cargo plane flying out of Pusan over the Sea of Japan. While it's not normally Soviet policy to pursue UN planes over the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan, this plane is somewhat special. 

5 F-86s are shot down for the loss of 3 MiGs. One of the MiGs manages to put several cannon shells into the cargo plane, causing it to disintegrate mid-air. 

South Korean President Syngman Rhee was a passenger aboard that cargo plane. A communist sympathizer with knowledge of Rhee's location had tipped off Soviet intelligence services earlier, prompting the Soviets to send planes in pursuit. 

The decoy cargo planes failed as the Soviets went straight for the plane carrying Rhee. His body was never recovered. 

April 5th, 1951: Chinese forces take Daegu. American troops deployed near Pusan fight desperately against the battle hardened veterans of 9th Army Group. 

April 6th, 1951: 4 B-50s, armed with newly developed Mark 6 nuclear bombs, take off from Johnson Air Force Base in Japan, escorted by F-86s carrying drop tanks. Due to the Chinese tendency to use infiltration tactics, the B-50s ignore the troops at the front and go for command centers in the Chinese rear.

3 of the bombers are shot down before they can reach their targets. 

One of them finds the position of Mao Anying, Mao Zedong's oldest son, who had been serving on Peng Dehuai's staff. 

A 160 kiloton blasts levels the younger Mao's headquarters.

April 6th, 1951: Since Mao Anying was Peng Dehuai's Russian translator, only an impromptu trip to the front lines had saved Peng's life. Without any further orders, Peng decides to press the attack against the Pusan Perimeter. American troops are resisting fanatically but lack the numbers and experience the PLA has. 

April 7th, 1951: An inconsolable Mao Zedong locks himself in his room and refuses to provide any orders or guidance. In a series of phone calls between the frontlines in Korea, Beijing and Geneva, Peng Dehuai, Liu Shaoqi, Lin Biao and Zhou Enlai discuss the situation. The Americans would probably drop more bombs and the next ones would be dropped on Chinese cities, so it would be in their interest to stop the war as soon as possible.

Stalin is of course, furious. He puts Soviet forces in Europe in high alert. 

April 8th, 1951: One of the Mark 6 bombs dropped from the B-50 had failed to detonate and instead had fallen harmlessly into a rice paddy. Without telling the Soviets about it, Chinese troops carry the bomb away. Although it probably wouldn't be too useful as a weapon, an intact nuclear device would provide a great deal of insight into the workings of a bomb. The Soviets are instead provided a largely intact F-86 which had crash landed in Korea. 

To the west of Pusan, the US 2nd Marine Division is overrun by the PLA 114th Division and is forced to fall back to Pusan. To the north, the PLA 80th Division ambushes and encircles the 43rd Infantry division. Without air support, the Americans are finding it very difficult to repel the enormous numbers of Chinese troops. 

April 10th, 1951: The first Chinese units make their way into Pusan. 

In Geneva, Dean Acheson informs Zhou Enlai that the next targets for American nuclear weapons will be Beijing and Shanghai. The Americans are desperately afraid that the Soviets will intervene in Europe and this gives Zhou Enlai room to negotiate. Henri Queuille and Clement Atlee have both been pressuring President Truman for months to seek an end to the Korean War, especially since British and French troops were amongst the ones captured by the PLA back in January. 

April 11th, 1951: An immediate ceasefire is declared on the morning of April 11th. The remaining American troops are permitted to evacuate from Pusan. As per the terms of the ceasefire, Chinese troops will move back outside the Pusan Perimeter for the time being.

April 18th, 1951: Zhou Enlai understands that he has a surprising amount of leverage when it comes to negotiations with the Americans. He demands that Taiwan be reunified with China as condition for the return of the American prisoners held by the Chinese. Acheson thinks about this but cannot accede to this request on his own. 

April 20th, 1951: Mao, having come to his senses somewhat, flies to Moscow to meet with Stalin. 

Stalin agrees to grant extensive aid to the Chinese, especially with regards to its nuclear program. Although he knows that China won't play second fiddle to the Soviets for long, the Americans had already used nuclear weapons twice in the last 10 years against conventionally equipped opponents, while waging offensive wars that it had started. Therefore, Russia needs strong friends if it's to survive in the long run against an imperialist power willing to use nuclear weapons. 

April 21st, 1951: Kim Il Sung is last seen taking a train out of Korea escorted by PLA guards. 

April 25th, 1951: After a briefing by General Curtis LeMay regarding the readiness of American forces in Europe, Congress narrowly votes to return Taiwan to the PRC. Senator Joseph McCarthy denounces this act as cowardice. However, the United States simply does not have enough nuclear weapons to defeat both the Soviet Union and China at this time. 

April 30th, 1951: A preliminary treaty is signed in Geneva between China and the United States. The provisions are as follows:

-The US 7th Fleet is to withdraw from the Taiwan Straits and US airbases on Taiwan are to be closed. Members of the Nationalist Government will be evacuated at their request. The United States will not hinder the PRC retaking Taiwan but they are not obligated to assist either.

-Prisoners will be transferred starting immediately. 

-The People's Republic of China will be admitted to the United Nations and will take the ROC's place on the Security Council pending a vote by the UN General Assembly. 

-Korea is to be divided along the 38th Parallel, reflecting pre-war borders. However, Chinese troops will not withdraw from their positions until Taiwan is under PRC control. The fate of Korea will be decided later.

Since Congress never declared war on China, the treaty will not need to clear the Senate.

May 1st, 1951: Senator Joseph McCarthy, fortified by copious amounts of Irish whiskey, delivers a speech at a press conference decrying the American government's handling of Korea, McCarthy's speech galvanizes American hawks and conservatives. 

May 11th, 1951: Zhang Xueliang escapes from house arrest. It is unknown who let him escape. 

May 13th: The US 7th Fleet withdraws from the Taiwan Straits. US Air Force personnel begin to evacuate American bases in Taiwan. 

May 14th, 1951: Mao orders the 14th and 22nd Army Groups to Fujian in preparation for the invasion of Taiwan. The 1st Army Group, which was already in position on the coast of Fujian, commences bombardment of Jinmen and Mazu, two islands off the coast of Fujian. 

May 22nd, 1951: After a week of bombardment, the 1st Army Group lands and retakes Jinmen and Mazu from the Republic of China. 

May 30th, 1951: The Guomindang is in dismal financial straits, especially since American assistance is about to end. This fact, as well as the upcoming invasion from the Mainland, makes many RoC soldiers contemplate their future. 

June 1st, 1951: Lin Biao reports that the invasion of the Pescadores should be able to proceed within 3 months and that Taiwan can be invaded by 1952. While Mao wants to invade Taiwan more quickly, Lin is backed up by Peng Dehuai, who notes that conducting an invasion of Taiwan would be significantly more difficult than invading Korea. 

June 4th, 1951: Senator Joseph McCarthy goes on the warpath, accusing several high ranking members of the military of having communist sympathies. Among the accused is Matthew Ridgway, who McCarthy accuses of not having done enough to extricate the trapped 8th Army from Korea.

Korean Peace Treaty Provisions (Final): 

-The US 7th Fleet is to withdraw from the Taiwan Straits and US airbases on Taiwan are to be closed. Members of the Nationalist Government will be evacuated at their request. The United States will not hinder the PRC retaking Taiwan but they are not obligated to assist either.

-Prisoners will be transferred starting immediately. 

-The People's Republic of China will be admitted to the United Nations and will take the ROC's place on the Security Council pending a vote by the UN General Assembly. 

-Korea is to be divided along the 38th Parallel, reflecting pre-war borders. However, Chinese troops will not withdraw from their positions until Taiwan is under PRC control. The fate of Korea will be decided later.

June 5th, 1951: Matthew Ridgway shrugs off Joseph McCarthy's criticism of him. 

June 6th, 1951: Marshals Chen Yi and Peng Dehuai and General Ye Fei meets with Mao in private to discuss the upcoming invasion of Taiwan. In the meeting, they express deep concerns about the nascent PLA Navy's ability to take Taiwan, especially since most of the PLAN still consists of wooden junks, while the Taiwanese still have plenty of serviceable naval craft given to them by the Americans. 

Mao badly wants to take Taiwan but cannot dismiss the concerns of his generals outright, especially from a men like Peng Dehuai and Chen Yi, who have been nothing but capable and loyal. 

July 8th, 1951: General Douglas MacArthur appoints Kim Seong-Su as interim head of the provisional Korean government. 

July 15th, 1951: Under pressure from the other Marshals, Lin Biao is forced to revise his assessments regarding the invasion of Taiwan. 

August 10th, 1951: It doesn't take very long for the provisional government to begin widespread reprisals against suspected communist sympathizers. 

Chinese troops, who are still occupying large parts of South Korea, don't do anything to stop the killings, although they do assist some refugees in moving northwards above the 38th Parallel.

August 15th, 1951: Chinese soldiers, in addition to a large number of Chinese laborers, have been hard at work rebuilding North Korea's infrastructure. The locals have been organized into labor units and are sent to fix roads and railways. Soviet engineers show up to assist in rebuilding powerplants. 

August 20th, 1951: Joseph McCarthy once again criticizes Matthew Ridgway but is ignored. Some Congressmen and Senators begin to criticize Douglas MacArthur for staying in Tokyo during the war and not leading from the front. MacArthur ignores these people, however, McCarthy sees an opportunity here and popular sentiment is on his side this time.

August 30th, 1951: Joseph McCarthy publicly criticizes Douglas MacArthur and demands his resignation from the Army. This gets the attention of both President Harry Truman and General Dwight Eisenhower, who is considering a run for President. Truman uses the uproar as an excuse to demand MacArthur's resignation from the Army. MacArthur refuses to resign, so Truman places him in a stateside command with no real duties. Matthew Ridgway is appointed governor of Japan and South Korea. 

September 6th, 1951: Dwight Eisenhower approaches Joseph McCarthy with the prospect of McCarthy becoming Eisenhower's Vice-Presidential candidate. 

September 8th, 1951: General Ridgway orders the ROK Army to stop the mass extrajudicial killings of suspected communist sympathizers. 

October 14th, 1951: A man in uniform does not sexually abuse James Marshall Hendrix, since said man was mercifully killed in the Korean War. 

November 9th, 1951: Stalin refuses to provide China with landing craft for the time being, since China has asked for enough equipment in the last year or so. 

December 24th, 1951: All surviving American prisoners have been released from Chinese prison camps and are home for Christmas. Sadly, many POWs died in the harsh conditions of Chinese or North Korean labor camps. (1,2) China has not exactly been forthcoming with information related to deceased or missing POWs. 

January 1st, 1952: The new year has arrived. China has still not invaded Taiwan and the US is left to deal with the worst military defeat in its history. 

(1): The death rate for POWs in the Korean War OTL was roughly 40%. The death rate ITTL is less but still substantial, since many of the POWs were being fed the same food given to North Korean peasants and denied medical supplies. 

(2) Several hundred prisoners defected to China, the Soviet Union or North Korea. No Turkish prisoners defected, or even provided actionable intelligence to the Chinese, a highly admirable feat.

January 12th, 1952: Joseph McCarthy announces that he is running for President of the United States. 

January 20th, 1952: Stalin informs Mao that he can support the delivery of landing craft to the Chinese but does not give a specific timeframe. "3, 4 years tops" is not something that Mao really wants to hear. 

January 31st, 1952: The PLA Navy and Marine Corps lands on the uninhabited Dongsha Islands, nominally under RoC control. The junks they use are at least up to the task putting men ashore in calm seas with absolutely no resistance.

February 4th, 1952: Lieutenant Alexander Haig leaves the hospital after recovering from wounds inflicted during his time in a Chinese prison camp. He begins to write a book detailing the torture that was inflicted on him and other prisoners unfortunate enough to have been captured by the Chinese. 

February 10th, 1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower appears to be the front-runner in the upcoming 1952 Presidential Elections. Douglas MacArthur declines to run because MacArthur is seen as a loser and Ike is a winner. But a winner needs a running mate too. It's early in the campaign season but Ike is already starting to examine potential candidates. 

Still, it's annoying that McCarthy had announced his candidacy earlier....

February 15th, 1952: The PLA invades the Dachen Archipelago off the coast of Zhejiang. Jinmen and Mazu had fallen earlier, so Jiang Jieshi is desperate to hold onto the Dachen Islands, especially since they're in an optimal position to interrupt shipping lanes to Zhejiang.

There are over 15000 RoC troops in the Dachen Archipelago and they are deeply dug in. However, the PLA Air Force, equipped with the latest in Russian aircraft, heavily bombard Nationalist defenders there.

February 25th, 1952: The Yijiangshan Islands, an island chain close to the Dachen Archipelago is invaded by PLA forces. RoC forces on the island cease to resist by the end of the day. 

March 10th, 1952: Colonel Fulgencio Batista is arrested for attempting to overthrow the elected government. 

March 15th: An attempt by the RoC Navy to rescue the troops trapped in the Dachen Archipelago fails miserably, with the RoC losing several ships to Chinese bombers. 

March 28th: All resistance on the Dachen Islands ends. 

April 15th, 1952: Vietminh troops successfully defend Hoa Binh (1) against an attempt by the French to take it. The French lose more than 8,000 men in the attempt, causing a large outcry in Metropolitan France. 

April 29th, 1952: Senator Joseph McCarthy has thus far, been trouncing Eisenhower in the primaries. The defeat in Korea has caused a deep loss of faith in the American military, something that Senator McCarthy is taking advantage of.

McCarthy gives a speech demanding that President Harry Truman intervene in Cuba on behalf of the island's wealthy planter class. Truman, who had already been preparing for intervention, bows to public pressure and gives the final go-ahead.

April 30th, 1952: After taking serious losses in the most recent PLA campaign and not having been paid in 4 months, the Taiwanese Navy mutinies. The anger spreads to the civilian population, many of whom have been poorly treated by the Nationalists. Protests break out in Taipei and Gaoxiong (2). Despite very harsh sedition laws put in place by the Nationalist government after the White Terror, many of the protesters are shouting Communist slogans and holding up portraits of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. 

May 1st, 1952: Nationalist army leaders are indecisive. On one hand, many of the rioters are pro-Communist but on the other hand, they know the jig is up. Several army units defect to the rioters by the afternoon of May 1st. 

May 2nd, 1952: RoC Army troops fire on unarmed civilian protesters in Taipei. This in turn, causes the protestors to respond violently, looting Taipei and breaking into armories to capture weapons. Many army units, assuming they did not defect outright, do not attempt to stop the protesters. 

May 5th, 1952: On May Day, Zhang Xueliang resurfaces, leading several defecting army units against the government. Jiang Jieshi publicly reiterates his intention to die fighting against the forces of Communism. 

May 15th, 1952: The 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, as well as the reconstituted 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions, invade Cuba. The Cuban Armed Forces, already unhappy with Batista's arrest, don't bother to resist. 

May 18th, 1952: Fulgencio Batista is released from prison and installed as President of Cuba. President Carlos Prio is captured by American troops and turned over to the newly minted Batista regime.

May 19th, 1952: All combat operations off the coast of Zhejiang come to a close. The PLA has taken more than 15,000 RoC troops prisoner. 

May 20th, 1952: Soviet physicist Vitaly Ginzburg informs Stalin that they a little less than a year from testing a thermonuclear device. Ever since the US detonated a nuclear device in Korea, Soviet efforts towards a nuclear fusion weapon have redoubled. In the last year or two, Ginzburg's proposal for a lithium deutride based weapon has seemingly won out over Andrei Sakharov's layer cake design. Ginzburg's design is compact and scalable, which, according to KGB sources placed in the American nuclear program, gives them an advantage over the American hydrogen bomb design. 

June 6th, 1952: The fighting in Taiwan has gotten especially bad and has turned into an all out civil war, with Zhang Xueliang leading a pro-Communist faction and Jiang Jieshi leading die-hard Nationalist holdouts. The Taiwanese Aboriginal population supports Zhang because of the atrocities that the Nationalists committed against the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. This makes moving into the hills very difficult for RoC troops. 

Specially picked PLA tactical air controllers with radio equipment parachute into Taiwan and make their way to pro-Communist lines. 

June 8th, 1952: The PLA Air Force, equipped with the latest Soviet fighters, begins to openly intervene over the Taiwan Straits. The RoC's lack of modern jet fighters puts them at a significant disadvantage against the recently introduced MiG-17. The Mig-17's new radar gunsights, which were copied from the crashed F-86 that the PLA gave to the Soviets, has been proving to be highly useful. 

The Chinese are merely testing the Mig-17s and have to return them once they take Taiwan, but for now, their presence is greatly valued. 

June 10th: Gaoxiong falls to pro-Communist RoC troops. In Taipei, the loyalists hold only the docks and the center of the city. PLAAF planes are bombing GMD positions around the clock, vectored in by the forward observers the PLA had parachuted in earlier. 

June 12th, 1952: While desperately attempting to fend off pro-Communist troops in a sugar mill in Taichung, someone sets fire to the 5,522 crates of priceless artifacts that had been taken from the Mainland when it fell to the Communists. The collection includes work from the Forbidden City, Nanjing Museum, Nanjing Library and Beijing City Library.

The Communists blame the Nationalists and the Nationalists (wait for it) blame the Communists. The loss is devastating to China's national psyche and will have repercussions for years to come. 

June 14th: Keelung falls to Communist troops. Although Nationalist troops blow up the port facilities in the city beforehand, it's not as if the PLAN has large ships which require actual docking facilities. 

June 15th, 1952: The first PLA Marines land in Keelung. 

June 22nd, 1952: Surrounded in the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Jiang Jieshi makes his last stand. After breaking into the Presidential Bunker, PLA Marines capture Jiang Jieshi. The Nationalist leader is flown back to Beijing. 

However, Ye Fei, the commanding officer in the Taiwan Straits region, orders that Jiang Jingguo and his family be allowed to flee the country. Ye will report to Mao that Jiang Jingguo fled the country beforehand. 

June 24th, 1952: Jiang Jieshi is quickly convicted in a show trial in the Great Hall of the People.

July 1st, 1952: In a speech in Tiananmen Square, Mao Zedong declares the end of the Chinese Civil War. Jiang Jieshi is then publicly executed by firing squad. (1)

July 3rd, 1952: Song Meiling is ordered into exile and sent on a plane to Tokyo. 

July 8th, 1952: Major combat operations in Taiwan end. As per previous policy, Nationalist troops may either join the PLA if they wish to continue in military service, or simply leave to return home to their villages. Many Nationalist troops decide to leave Taiwan and return home. 

July 11th, 1952: Joseph McCarthy is nominated as the Republican Presidential Candidate of the United States. He selects Richard Nixon of California as his Vice-President.

Memorandum Regarding Arms Manufacture, October 14th, 1952:

From: Peng Dehuai To: Lin Biao. Re: Guns and Ammo.

Congratulations on getting stuck with the task of assembling a report on how our troops have done in Korea and in the Taiwan Straits. Sucks to be you but I always did think you were and are a piece of shit.

What's that? You'll have me shot for being a revisionist or something? Oooh, I'm terrified. Fine goddamnit, I'll cooperate. I should note that I wasn't the one who suggested that China could never win. Being afraid to think big gets you nowhere these days, which is exactly where your political career is headed. You're so useless that even your attempts at being a sycophant have fallen flat.

But, I should still help you, since you are petulant enough to have my family tortured over minor matters such as compiling an after-action report.

I can't comment on Taiwan, you'll have to ask Xiao Ye (1) about that, so we'll limit our discussion to Korea and how the army performed there.

The gist of it is that industrial war requires actual industry. We won because the Americans were so retarded that I'm shocked they're able to swallow their food without choking, much less conduct expeditionary warfare. I don't expect the same result to happen again since the next guy might actually have a basic understanding of tactics and strategy, in which case we would be absolutely fucked.

But, since you're such a brilliant strategic mind, that's probably something neither you nor the Great Helmsman (2) want to hear, since it doesn't mesh with your preconceived notions of how warfare should be conducted. By the way, how's that old pedophile doing? (3)

You wouldn't know, would you? Ol' Mao's never really trusted you in any case.

Anyway.... Some strategic considerations:

1.) Motorized transport would definitely help the infantry but that would add to the burden on China's logistics network. Since one of us is a professional, I should note that idiots study tactics, amateurs study strategy and professionals study logistics.

Modern warfare is by necessity a war of industrialization. The concept of People's War therefore needs to be expanded to the scientific and industrial sectors as well.

2.) Air superiority was very useful to us as it let our troops move during the day and attack at night. The advantages in reconnaissance also helped immensely. Xiao Ye will confirm this for the Taiwan Straits as well. Primary focus should be on contesting air superiority with the Americans. They won't send their bombers in if enemy fighter cover is too great.

3.) Divisions should be larger, so as to accommodate a greater level of organic fire support. I'm a particular fan of the large sized US Marine Corps' divisional structure. This change in divisional structure would also flatten the hierarchy of the PLA, thus promoting greater small unit initiative.

4.) We need to start building railways and improving China's road network ASAP. Airstrips would help too. Given the paranoia and racism of our neighbors to the north, I think they're going to be our next enemy. Not now, not in 5 years or 10 years but maybe 40-50 years down the line. That gives us some time to prepare our infrastructure but it's something we're going to need. Also, India might start acting up. It's only a week's drive from Chengdu to Lhasa, and that's if nothing goes wrong.

5.) Quite a few American scientists of Chinese descent want to return to China, since it looks like that lunatic Joseph McCarthy is about to be elected president of the United States. We've already secured the release of Qian Xuesen in exchange for some American prisoners but there are others probably looking for a way back before McCarthy decides to detain them for spurious reasons. Mao should probably look the other way if they do decide to come back and the rest of us should try to cut down on the Capitalist Roader bullshit that a lot of the civilians in the Party like tossing around. We're all Chinese here, right?

6.) Our air force should also train in the anti-shipping role. The thought of American aircraft carriers operating freely in the Western Pacific makes me a bit queasy.

You probably didn't want any of that because to you, I'm merely an infantry officer. You wanted my opinion on infantry tactics and small arms, I'm guessing that's why you wrote to me in the first place. Are you going to throw a hissy fit and publicly demand I self-criticize if I don't help you? Yeah, you'd do that, would you?

Some basic principles:

1.) Combat should be conducted at night. Air and artillery support are less effective at night than during the day.

All firearms should have a flash hider of some sort, to aid in concealment at night.

Speaking of night combat, we captured some M1 carbines modified with infrared optics. We should bring them to the Russians so that they can make a copy.

2.) Positioning is hugely important. Both our troops and the enemy troops love the Browning Automatic Rifle, since a single trooper can crawl up to within 10 yards of the enemy on his belly before letting loose with fully automatic fire. Emplacing a medium or heavy machine gun is time consuming and the crew is frequently exposed to fire while setting the machine gun up.

That being said, full sized bolt action rifles are basically obsolete, since they're about the size of boat oars, fire slowly and while very accurate, simply have more range than the average infantryman needs. The M1 Garand, French MAS 36 and Belgian FN49 are good, reliable rifles but still too big and heavy for the roles they play. We should continue producing the Type 24 Mauser rifle for snipers and militiamen in mountainous areas.

3.) Volume of fire is also very important. However, sub-machine such as the M1 Thompson (4) tend to have inferior ballistic properties to full sized rifles. The .45 ACP round will put large, messy holes in enemy troops but they don't tend to go in a straight line past 50 meters.

Some sort of intermediate cartridge weapon like the SKS is better. The new AK-47 apparently has some reliability issues with the receiver but their magazines are quite reliable. (5) Some sort of method to pair the AK's gas and feed system with the furniture of the SKS would be nice. (6)

4.) Weapons such as the Zb-26, DP, Bren and Type 97 are lighter than the M1919 but lack the volume of fire required for the medium machine gun role. They're also too heavy for the fireteam level automatic rifle role. Belt fed medium machine guns tend to rather heavy and difficult to control. A lightweight, belt-fed support weapon such as the Soviet RPD would be a nice upgrade over the BAR in terms of the volume of fire it can produce. It's also lighter than weapons such as the Bren.

5.) While we produce a copy of the MG-34 medium machine gun, it is a complicated and difficult weapon to produce. We should ask the Russians for a captured copy of the MG-42, since it will be easier and cheaper to produce. The SG-43 and DP-46 are suboptimal weapons and run into the same issues that the American M1919 does.

6.) Helmets. Helmets would be nice. The American M1 helmet is nice, as is the German Stahlhelm. Point is, a cloth cap doesn't stop grenade fragments from entering your brain.

7.) We need to acquire armor and train with it. There was an instance, before we entered the war, where KPA armored units overran an American infantry unit. That's the sort of shit I live for. Anyway, armor is highly effective and should definitely be used.

8.) Our tactical air controllers are good at what they do, which is why we should train more of them.

9.) I don't think we should use the same types of ammunition as the Russians, so that if they ever invade us, they can't loot ammunition from us to sustain their campaign.

Anyway, that's it for now. If I have anything else, I'll let your wife know.

Thank you for writing this letter, I hope you die painfully after being hit by a truck.

Go Fuck Yourself, Peng Dehuai

P.S: Did your mother ever tell you that you have the appearance and mannerisms of a rodent?

P.PS: I think that rat motherfucker Gao Gang's going to make a move. I don't like you that much but you're still a military man. Stay on your toes and don't let civilians do any dumb shit.

(1): Ye Fei, commander of the Nanjing Military region.

(2): He's being sarcastic here.

(3): I'm aware that many people who personally knew Mao have contradicted statements made by Mao's doctor regarding the Chairman's habits. Peng in this case won't care, he's intentionally trying to insult Mao.

(4): Both the Chinese and the Americans utilized the M1 Thompson.

(5): Early AKs had trouble with their receivers being welded incorrectly.

(6): Done IOTL:

February 5th, 1953: The Soviets ship a working copy of the MG-42 to China. The Central Military Commission, realizing that the weapon was still too complex, demands that a simplified version be made. 

February 6th, 1953: One of the first laws proposed by President Joseph McCarthy is the Federal Government Security Act of 1953. This law will greatly increase the FBI's ability to perform background checks on individuals working in sensitive security capacities. In practice, this law would basically give the President carte blanche to remove people at will from the Executive Branch. 

February 7th, 1953: At the recommendation of former general Dwight D. Eisenhower, President McCarthy appoints Allen Dulles as Secretary of State. Although McCarthy first offered the job to Allen's older brother John Foster Dulles, John declines, citing ill health as a reason. 

Walter Bedell Smith is asked to remain as Director of the CIA after both Vice President Nixon and Secretary of Defense John F. Kennedy talk McCarthy out of appointing Roy Cohn as Director of the CIA. (1)

February 15th, 1953: President McCarthy, a bachelor and possible homosexual, decides to start looking for a wife, as he believes this would improve his public image and because going everywhere with your "special counsel" Roy Cohn isn't exactly going to get the rumors to stop. 

February 18th, 1953: Vietminh troops overrun multiple French outposts in Laos. 

February 19th, 1953: Due to recommendations by Marshal Peng Dehuai, the the PLA decides to reject shipments of Russian small arms and artillery in favor of manufacturing its own weaponry. (2) Air and naval cooperation are maintained, since China does not have much in the way of indigenous manufacturing capability yet. 

February 27th, 1953: French forces decide to dig in along the De Lattre Line. Operations outside of the Red River delta are nearly impossible due to large numbers of well armed Vietminh troops. 

March 1st, 1953: China pledges further support to the Vietminh, up to and including direct military intervention if necessary. This, plus shipments of weapons from China and the Soviet Union greatly emboldens the Vietminh. 

March 2nd, 1953: Vietminh infiltrators slip into Southern Vietnam. Many people in Southern Vietnam sympathize with Vietminh ideals. 

March 5th, 1953: Feeling unwell after partying all night, Stalin decides to go to bed early. Unfortunately, the poison that Nikita Khrushchev had arranged to be served to Stalin instead ends up in the body of Georgy Zhukov, who promptly dies from a massive brain hemorrhage. 

March 8th, 1953: Stalin orders that Nikita Khrushchev be arrested for treason and for the murder of Georgy Zhukov. 

March 11th, 1953: The Soviet Union, on a tip from one of their spies in MI6, decides to rein in the activities of the Tudeh Party in Iran. 

March 22nd, 1953: Gao Gang meets in secret with Mao Zedong in Beijing. What occurs in this meeting is unknown. 

April 4th, 1953: Stalin also orders a purge of Jews from the government and society of the Soviet Union, starting with Vitaly Ginzburg, a scientist working in the Soviet Hydrogen Bomb program.

Although the MVD acts quickly, so do many Jews, who decide to flee the Soviet Union. 

April 18th, 1953: Vitaly Ginzburg successfully flees to China. The Chinese government, as per their policies regarding Jews, do not turn him over the Soviets. Despite the presence of Soviet Jews in China being an open secret, Mao vehemently denies that he is harboring Soviet Jewry. 

This marks one of the first major breaks between the Soviet Union and China. It will not be the last. (3)

Ginzburg is instead transferred over to Lop Nur, where the Chinese nuclear bomb program is located. 

April 20th, 1953: Stalin wants to punish China but he doesn't have very many friends in the world and he knows this. 

Nikita Khrushchev is executed in Moscow after a swift show trial. 

May 1st, 1953: Vyacheslav Molotov is found dead in his Moscow home of an apparent heart attack. His wife, Polina Zhemchuzhina is found dead next to her husband, also from a heart attack. 

May 18th, 1953: Disgruntled ex-baseball player Fidel Castro decides to assassinate Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Although Castro fails to get grenades past Batista's security, a thrown rock does the job admirably enough. Apparently Castro has a very excellent fastball, since the rock caves Batista's skull in. 

Castro is promptly gunned down by US Marines and paratroopers working security for Batista. 

Batista dies on the operating table later in the day. 

May 20th, 1953: Marshals Rodion Malinovsky and Vasily Sokolovsky are sidelined and placed in unimportant districts. Stalin, although an anti-Semite, is not foolish enough to repeat his earlier mistakes with regards to purging talented generals.

June 1st, 1953: Stalin's anti-Jewish pogrom has been proving to be a massive boon to China and Israel as thousands of Jews flee the Soviet Union. Fewer Jews flee to the United States, since they fear that they may be persecuted under the policies of President Joseph McCarthy. 

June 6th, 1953: Experiments in China have revealed that the 6.5x50mm round fired by the Arisaka Type 38 is ballistically superior to the 7.62x39mm round. Chinese armorers decide to place the 6.5mm round in a necked down version of the 7.62x39mm cartridge. This results in significantly greater accuracy and range than the Russian cartridge. 

A rifle which resembles a modified version of the SKS is also rolled out at around this time. The new Type 53 rifle will be mass produced to arm the PLA. (4)

June 7th, 1953: Riots break out in Havana and other Cuban cities. The protesters are holding up pictures of Fidel Castro and former president Carlos Prio. 

June 8th, 1953: Protesters camp outside of the prison where Carlos Prio is being held. 

June 9th, 1953: Protesters attempt to rush the gates of La Cabana military prison where Prio is being held. The Cuban soldiers guarding the prison offer no resistance but US Marines from the 1st Marine Division open fire on the crowd, killing hundreds of people. This incident, known as the La Cabana Massacre, galvanizes leftist movements across South America. 

June 18th, 1953: With Chinese troops gone and with an anti-communist in power in Washington, President Kim Seong-Su of South Korea could decide to initiate the mother of all anti-Communist purges. He instead calls for healing and reconciliation in a public speech. This causes President McCarthy to go ballistic.

McCarthy makes a phone call to Beijing.

June 19th, 1953: General Park Chung Hee is freed from a Chinese prison and is flown back to Seoul. Some Chinese American scientists who had previously lost their jobs due to McCarthyism are allowed to fly back to China.

June 20th, 1953: Two Puerto Rican activists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, make their way to Washington D.C

July 4th, 1953: Robert La Follette Jr., a one-time political opponent of Joseph McCarthy, pulls out a pistol and shoots himself in public in front of an assembled crowd at a Fourth of July celebration in Washington DC. 

(1): Now *that* would have been a boondoggle. 

(2): This is a real life Chinese policy, since the Chinese don't want the enemy to use their ammunition stocks in the event of invasion. I just pushed it up further.

(3): Spoilers!

(4): Without the pressure of the Korean War, the PLA is free to experiment with their own tactical concepts. Additionally, the Russians haven't sent a very large number of guns into China thus far, so the Chinese are going to choose their own calibers.

July 5th, 1953: The messy public suicide of Robert LaFollette Jr., an event which was caught on live TV, casts a shadow over President McCarthy's new administration.

Some people wonder if McCarthyism was responsible for driving LaFollette into despair, since LaFollette was due to testify before the Senate regarding his knowledge of communist sympathizers within his inner circle. 

Benjamin Bradlee, a writer for the Washington Post, begins to look into LaFollette's suicide and the circumstances leading up to it. 

July 8th, 1953: President McCarthy orders J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, to investigate certain individuals for violations of the Smith Act of 1940, which bans membership in groups advocating the overthrow of the United States Government. 

The same day, McCarthy proposes to Congress the Sedition Act of 1953, which will give the Federal Government wide ranging powers to crack down on various types of speech in the United States, especially speech deemed to be subversive or harmful to national security. 

July 18th, 1953: President McCarthy personally attends the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The execution is set during the Jewish Sabbath. Although the Rosenberg's lawyer protests the execution date, his pleas fall on deaf ears. 

The execution of the Rosenbergs convinces many Jewish people that McCarthy is an anti-Semite. (1)

It is rumored that McCarthy (while holding hands with Roy Cohn), laughed as the Rosenbergs were electrocuted. 

July 21st, 1953: Congress passes the Federal Government Security Act of 1953 and the Sedition Act of 1953. 

August 1st, 1953: Using Vitaly Ginzburg's notes, Andrei Sakharov manages to complete the first Soviet hydrogen bomb. Unlike Edward Teller's massive device, the Soviet bomb is noticeably more practical and compact. 

Stalin orders that the bombs be put into serial production.

August 2nd, 1953: While due to testify before the Atomic Energy Commission regarding his security clearance, J. Robert Oppenheimer flees the United States instead. 

August 3rd, 1953: An enraged President McCarthy orders individuals close to Oppenheimer charged with violations of various laws, such as the newly passed Federal Government Security Act of 1953. 

Oppenheimer's wife Kitty is among those charged by the Federal government. She is taken into custody after refusing to disclose Oppenheimer's whereabouts. 

August 8th, 1953: Other individuals charged in the sweep include T.S Eliot and Freeman Dyson. 

Physicists Yang Zheming and Li Zhengduo would have been charged but they had already left the United States to return to China.

August 24th, 1953: Lavrentiy Beria is found dead in his residence in Moscow of an apparent (2) homicide. He had attempted to force himself upon a young woman he had met on the street. The young lady, whose name remains lost to history, stabs Beria in the neck with a letter opener she finds on his desk. The girl's fate remains unknown but it is rumored that an anonymous benefactor in the Politburo helped her make her way to China. 

September 9th, 1953: According to the CIA, an individual rumored to be J. Robert Oppenheimer turns up in Shanghai. This is the last public appearance of Oppenheimer, rumored or confirmed. 

September 22nd, 1953: Camilo Cienfuegos, a young Cuban communist, drives a truck filled with ammonium nitrate, propane, diesel fuel, scrap metal and old artillery shells into a US Marine barracks in Havana. 322 Marines are killed and 107 are injured, including Randolph Pate, commander of the 2nd Marine Division. 

September 23rd, 1953: In response to the bombing, the American expeditionary force under General Williston Palmer declares martial law in Havana and other Cuban cities. 

October 1st, 1953: Brigadier General Chesty Puller's remains are exhumed from a shallow grave outside of Hagaru-Ri in North Korea. Congress will later award him the Medal of Honor, based partially on the testimony of Chinese troops fighting at the Chosin Reservoir. (3)

October 13th, 1953: Ernesto Guevara, a young Argentinian doctor and communist arrives in Guatemala. 

October 15th, 1953: An unknown assassin of Pashtun descent attempts to assassinate Pakistani Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan. The attempt is a failure.   (1): Which he is. (2): Justifiable. (3): Which is funny because he could never seem to win one while alive.

October 18th, 1953: Part of the White House collapses. Although President Truman had wanted to repair the White House, he never really did, due to the debacle which had occurred in Korea. 

Although nobody is hurt in the collapse, President McCarthy is forced to move out while the White House is totally rebuilt. (1)

October 19th, 1953: Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola decide to alter their plans. Initially, they were going to charge into the White House guns blazing in a suicide attack. However, Camilo Cienfuegos' demonstration in Cuba gives them some ideas. The two men decide to buy a used Mack truck.

Collazo, a former metal polisher, is quite familiar with how to obtain and handle sodium cyanide....

October 29th, 1953: Gao Gang meets with Mao in secret again. Or at least he thinks the meeting is secret. Peng Dehuai, in collusion with security chief Luo Ruiqing, has a listening device placed in Mao's personal quarters. 

During the meeting, Mao reveals to Gao that he is dissatisfied with the more moderate elements in the Party and is looking to get rid of them. He names, among other people, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping and Peng Dehuai as "rightists" and enemies of "revolution". Mao wishes to aggressively confront the United States and American interests, no matter the cost to him or to China. 

November 4th, 1953: Gao Gang approaches Lin Biao with what Mao had told him regarding Mao's feelings. Lin sympathizes with Gao and offers Gao his backing in exchange for Gao endorsing Lin for a promotion. 

Peng, although he dislikes Liu Shaoqi, decides to inform him and Zhou Enlai about what he heard in the meeting. 

Zhou notes that acting immediately is impossible, since the largely rural, deeply impoverished and highly radicalized populace of China love Mao. Even if every Marshal of the PLA pledges to get rid of Mao, there would be a risk that demagogues similar to Mao would become popular in the future. Zhou proposes that Mao be made into some kind of powerless figurehead, to be trotted out during ceremonies and the like. 

November 9th, 1953: On orders of Stalin and MVD head Sergei Kruglov, Lazar Kaganovich and Georgy Malenkov are ordered detained for "promoting revisionism", being part of a "Jewish-led conspiracy" and "espionage on behalf of rightist powers." Both men are executed after a show trial the next day. 

November 18th, 1953: General Williston Palmer, de-facto military governor of Cuba, (2) announces a program of forced relocation of Cuban villagers into American controlled settlements in order to reduce attacks on American forces. 

November 24th, 1953: Operating on the belief that Stalin may have gone insane and fearing for the safety of his Jewish wife, Kliment Voroshilov and a cadre of handpicked troops decide to detain Stalin at his dacha outside of Moscow. 

Loyalist troops, including MVD detachments, surround Voroshilov's troops and a standoff develops at Stalin's dacha. 

November 25th, 1953: More troops under Voroshilov's command arrive at Stalin's Dacha and scatter the Loyalist units. There are sporadic gunfights around Moscow as army units battle for control of government buildings.

The rest of the Soviet Army stays put due to confusion and command paralysis. Sergei Kruglov flees the country. He will eventually make his way to London with numerous classified files. 

November 27th, 1953: Marshal Kliment Voroshilov announces on radio and television that his forces have taken control of the Soviet government from "revisionist traitors" and that Comrade Stalin was on "vacation" for "health related reasons". 

November 30th, 1953: Kliment Voroshilov declares himself as acting Premier and Party Secretary while Stalin is on "vacation". Stalin is of course, alive and well, but has been sidelined by the military. 

Secretary Voroshilov recalls Rodion Malinovsky and Vasily Sokolovsky from Siberia. 

December 1st, 1953: Worried about the coup in Moscow, President McCarthy puts US forces in Europe on high alert. This is probably the best Christmas present that McCarthy could have given Voroshilov since it prevents a counter-coup from occurring. 

December 10th, 1953: Earl Warren is appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President McCarthy thinks he has sufficiently conservative credentials and might quash the looming Civil Rights movement.

December 20th, 1953: Kitty Oppenheimer is formally charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 with aiding and abetting Robert Oppenheimer. She decides to hang herself in her jail cell rather than face trial.

January 1st, 1954: A new year and endless possibilities. 

In Vietnam, Vo Nguyen Giap is planning a major offensive.

(1): Yes, I know the rebuild had actually started in 1949, I decided to have Truman delay it slightly, which means that ITTL, it never happens. 

(2): Nobody wants to be the civilian ruler of Cuba at the moment, not even the most die hard of rightists.

Minister of Iran, does not do anything to stop the killings. 

January 16th, 1954: Prime Minister Winston Churchill calls McCarthy to discuss a joint invasion of Iran to retake oilfields which were previously nationalized by Mossadegh. McCarthy enthusiastically agrees. 

January 17th, 1954: Mossadegh calls Soviet Premier Kliment Voroshilov about his situation. Voroshilov does not want to directly intervene as doing so would risk nuclear war with the United States. But he does agree to send weapons to Iran. Voroshilov suggests that the Iranians adopt a Maoist strategy of hiding in the mountains of Iran and waging guerrilla war. Mossadegh wants airplanes but Voroshilov explains that 6 weeks is not enough to get the Iranian military up to speed with modern aerial combat. The PLAAF took over 24 months before it could conduct independent aerial combat operations and that was with much more extensive Soviet support. 

Voroshilov's policy has the effect of substantially cutting into weapons shipments to the Chinese. However, the Soviets will continue to share technology and intellectual property with the Chinese, mainly because Soviet leadership is still tickled pink at what happened to the US in Korea at the hands of the PLA. 

January 20th, 1954: Marine and airborne units begin to rotate out of Cuba, to be replaced by US National Guard units. 

McCarthy doesn't want to jump in just yet. The last time the US just went into combat, it suffered heavily. This invasion would have to be well planned. 

January 22nd, 1953: Peng Dehuai meets with Zhu De and secures his loyalty. 

January 30th, 1954: Although China had considered sending troops to Northern Vietnam at around this time of year, Zhou Enlai decides to hold off, not just because he's planning to deal with Mao but because he hears that the US intends to invade Iran and wants to wait until the US is sucked into Iran before moving into China's next conflict. 

The Chinese inform Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap about their plans. The Vietminh begin to wind down combat operations for the time being, although Vietminh units will still continue to infiltrate southern Vietnam.

February 1st, 1954: One day after the Vietminh seemingly melt back into the jungles, the French retake Hoa Binh. The once heavily fortified area was apparently abandoned in the middle of the night, with the Vietminh not even bothering to take their rations with them. 

General Henri Navarre is delighted at this turn of events and prepares to launch major offensives in northern Indochina in order to secure the area. General Raoul Salan, Navarre's predecessor, attempts to warn Navarre against overextending his men but Salan's pleas are ignored. 

February 16th, 1954: President McCarthy begins to quietly funnel money from government owned front corporations to various media outlets, in order to play up the case for a war against Iran. 

Benjamin Bradlee of the Washington Post is terminated before he can release an expose on McCarthy's 1946 Senate campaign. 

February 17th, 1954: At a Party meeting, Gao Gang severely criticizes Zhou Enlai, Peng Dehuai and Liu Shaoqi for being rightists. He is joined by Mao and by Mao's wife, Jiang Qing. 

Zhou notes that this criticism is unwarranted, especially since Peng Dehuai had brought China a great victory over the West. Zhou stops short of claiming that Lin Biao, one of Mao's favored generals, is a defeatist. He instead suggests that Lin Biao take charge of the planned Chinese intervention in Vietnam. 

Peng, as a man of the people and as a great general, is essentially untouchable at the moment and Mao knows this. In order to prevent Peng from taking the field again, Mao appoints Peng as head of the Central Military Commission, ordering Zhou Enlai to focus on foreign policy instead. 

Gao Gang's ploy has succeeded somewhat in that he has explicitly gained Mao's backing regarding the creation of policy in China. However, he has not managed to displace either Liu Shaoqi nor Deng Xiaoping, despite Mao's antipathy for them. 

February 24th, 1954: A hastily planned airdrop of French troops on the area surrounding the town of Dien Bien Phu succeeds. The French proceed to set up an airstrip in the area. 

February 28th, 1954: Lin Biao is selected to command the Chinese campaign against the French. General Ye Fei is placed in charge of supporting naval and air force units. At the suggestion of Zhou Enlai, Gao Gang is made political commissar of the forces which will enter Vietnam later in the year. 

The Chinese force is designated the Black Flag Army, after a group of ethnic Zhuang bandits who fought the French in the 1880s.

March 1st, 1954: Zhou Enlai meets with Premier Voroshilov to discuss raw materials transfers to China. Voroshilov cannot promise anything, especially since China cannot produce enough grain to secure the transfer of Soviet minerals. 

Zhou says he understands this but suggests that a propaganda coup against the French, especially with the upcoming Western invasion of Iran, would severely damage the credibility of the West. Voroshilov has no choice but to agree. 

March 5th, 1954: Lucky Luciano's idea for turning Cuba into a tourist attraction has fallen somewhat flat, thanks to the military occupation of the island. While in Naples, he quietly makes contact with the KGB. 

March 14th, 1954: T.S Eliot is found not guilty of sedition and is deported back to England after being released from jail. 

March 29th, 1954: People in Japan are beginning to wonder why Japan's sovereignty still hasn't been restored yet. (1)

April 1st, 1954: The standoff in Western Europe between NATO and Soviet troops is now in its 5th month. 

Stavka considers sending its troops westwards in a sudden attack but the KGB informs military leadership that the Americans have nuclear landmines buried along all routes of approach, making the chances of a successful attack rather low. 

April 5th, 1954: KGB agent James Jesus Angleton is appointed head of counterintelligence by CIA director Walter Bedell Smith. 

April 8th, 1954: Congress approves a resolution calling for the deposition of Mohammad Mossadegh. Meanwhile in Iran, Soviet and Chinese weapons are being distributed to every man, woman and child, including the Russian RPG-2 rocket propelled grenade launcher and the Type 51 90mm rocket launcher. 

April 14th, 1954: An anonymous tip results in the arrest of Jonas Salk under the provisions of the Federal Government Security Act of 1953. He is immediately fired by the University of Pittsburgh. 

April 18th, 1954: Jonas Salk dies mysteriously while in Federal Government custody. Much of his work is seized by the FBI. 

April 29th, 1954: The Anglo-American invasion of Iran begins at sunrise. The 1st and 2nd Marine divisions are targeting Bandar Abbas, with the 3rd Marine division following up 24 hours later. The 11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd and 101st airborne divisions are all flown in once the Marines have captured airfields. 

British paratroopers are also flown in. Heavier mechanized units will follow up within two weeks. 

May 2nd, 1954: Fighting in Bandar Abbas is very heavy. Fanatical Iranian fighters, armed with Soviet anti-tank weaponry, have turned the entire city into a death trap. USMC casualties are very heavy and fighting is room to room.

Iranian efforts, though heroic, are ultimately in vain. The newly introduced B-52 bombers fielded by the US Air Force can carry over 30 metric tons of bombs. This fact is pointedly demonstrated when a group of B-52s dropping incendiaries burns Bandar Abbas to the ground, turning many Iranian bunkers into crematories. 

Other bombers, flying from various bases in the Mediterranean and Middle East also drop bombs on Iranian cities. Firestorms rage out of control in areas like Tehran, Qom, Isfahan and Tabriz. 

It's not quite clear what the US is trying to do by terror bombing Iranian cities but this is what happens when you leave Curtis LeMay in charge of your air force. 

May 5th, 1954: While it's not been proven that French troops at Dien Bien Phu are selling opium on the black market for money, the circumstantial evidence seems to suggest that such things are happening. Many troops rotating out of Dien Bien Phu have been spending exorbitant sums of money at the brothels and casinos in Saigon, or sending back large amounts of cash to France. 

May 15th, 1954: The Iranian military abandons urban areas and move into the mountains. 

May 17th, 1954: The Supreme Court unanimously rules that racial segregation is illegal in Brown vs. the Board of Education.

May 19th, 1954: Benjamin Bradlee travels to Turkey, hoping to cross into Iran document what exactly is going on. The expedition is funded by several of his former colleagues at the Washington Post and by individuals in the US with connections to the KGB. 

May 30th, 1954: Josef Stalin is free to move about the Soviet Union and associate with anyone he wishes. He finds however, that his authority within the Soviet Communist Party has evaporated. People simply do not want to hear what the old man has to say. 

With nothing to do, Stalin begins to write his memoirs.

June 1st, 1954: The Harbin Russian community has doubled in size, thanks to Stalin's last round of purges and because in the chaos that ensued during the coup, many political prisoners were freed, either accidentally or due to escape from labor camps.

June 6th, 1954: 10 years after the Normandy landings, US forces are stuck chasing Iranian guerrillas outside the firebombed ruins of Shiraz.

June 8th, 1954: One fine morning, Alan Turing dips an apple in potassium cyanide. He decides not to go through with eating the apple and leaves Britain for France instead. 

June 11th, 1954: Significant numbers of Chinese troops begin to secretly cross the Sino-Vietnamese border and the Sino-Laotian border. Their excellent camouflage discipline prevents them from being detected. 

June 15th, 1954: Thrilled with the success of the Dien Bien Phu base, the French High Command orders more troops to move into Laos. 

June 20th, 1954: King Saud of Saudi Arabia pledges his support to the United States. He indicates that Saudi troops will be available for occupation duties in Iran.

June 27th, 1954: Peaceful protesters in a town outside of Santiago, Cuba, link arms to prevent their forcible resettlement. US National Guard troops, unsure of what to do, open fire. 208 people are killed and 521 are injured as the National Guard troopers' use of force turns into an outright massacre. American soldiers also rape many of the women present at the scene. 

480 mercenaries sent to overthrow the elected government of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz are captured when they are ambushed by the Guatemalan military. Dr. Ernesto Guevara, an Argentinian citizen providing medical aid to Guatemala's poor, decides to offer his services to the Guatemalan government. 

July 1st, 1954: With American troops tied down in Iran, Cuba, Japan and South Korea, President McCarthy is having some trouble finding enough men to invade Guatemala. He instead tries a diplomatic route, attempting to assemble a coalition of right wing Latin American nations to put Guatemala in its place. 

However, many Latin American nations, disgusted at how American troops have repeatedly gunned down unarmed civilians in Cuba, refuse to aid McCarthy. 

July 5th, 1954: United Fruit's properties in Guatemala are nationalized on orders of its legislature. This causes its stock price to plummet, causing a chain reaction on Wall Street. By the end of the day, the Dow Jones has lost over 12% of its value, a figure which hasn't been seen since the Great Depression. 

July 6th, 1954: President McCarthy convenes an emergency meeting of his cabinet. He begins to call wealthy investors and prominent members of the Republican Party he knows, asking them to buy stocks to buoy consumer confidence. 

July 8th, 1954: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. , a Senator from Massachusetts, begins to suggest privately that McCarthy's obsession with the Red Menace may be having detrimental effects on the United States. McCarthy tells him to fuck off, since obviously nothing is a greater threat to the United States than the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. 

July 12th, 1954: General Matthew Ridgway publicly criticizes President McCarthy's policies at a press conference he holds in Washington D.C. In response, McCarthy orders Ridgway's arrest under the Sedition Act of 1953. Rather than go through with Ridgway's arrest, Attorney General Herbert Brownell resigns in disgust. 

July 16th, 1954: As the Dow Jones continues to slide downwards, a general strike by the combined AFL and CIO trade union federations occur. Now many more Congressmen and Senators begin to criticize President McCarthy's policies, especially the intervention in Iran. The Republican Party is becoming increasingly unpopular and elections are coming up in November. 

July 20th, 1954: Strikes begin in Britain and France in solidarity with strikes in the US and because workers in those countries are tired of Britain and France's foreign interventionism. 

July 21st, 1954: Vo Nguyen Giap and Lin Biao discuss when to strike. Lin, wanting to win a quick victory, demands to attack French positions in Indochina immediately. Giap wants to wait until the strikes in Metropolitan France weaken the Fourth Republic. Lin gives the orders to attack but is overruled by Peng Dehuai. 

Peng cannot sideline Lin but instead, dispatches his deputy Deng Hua to Vietnam report on Lin's actions. 

July 30th, 1954: The strikes grow into riots in London and Paris. The riots in London are especially severe since losses in Iran have been heavier than expected. 

August 1st, 1954: Winston Churchill fails to survive a vote of no-confidence in Parliament. 

(1): Truman forgot about this and I think McCarthy would try to control Japan for as long as possible.

August 3rd, 1954: The strikes in the US take on a racial element when groups of armed white workers lynch black strikebreakers outside of a steel plant in Birmingham, Alabama.

The problem is made worse when governor Gordon Persons of Alabama does little to intervene. Although the Alabama National Guard is deployed, the guardsmen spend most of the time attacking Birmingham's black community instead of stopping white workers from attacking blacks.

August 5th, 1954: Racially motivated riots spread across the country, with primarily white union workers attacking black and Hispanic strikbreakers.

August 7th, 1954: In Beijing, Mao was about to publicly condemn Peng Dehuai for delaying the attack in Indochina, but apparently, the Imperialists are more than willing to tear themselves apart without any issue.

August 14th, 1954: National Guard troops get things under control in California, Illinois, Michigan and New York. However, the South is slowly turning into a warzone as black communities arm themselves to defend their homes.

August 16th, 1954: President McCarthy orders the US 3rd Infantry division to march out from Fort Benning to restore order in the city of Atlanta.

The Dow Jones plummets in value once again. The US economy has officially entered into a depression.

A lot of poor whites who have lost their jobs begin to wonder whether or not their economic woes really are the fault of black people.

August 17th, 1954: Although most of the Georgia National Guard stands down, 3rd Infantry Division units exchange fire with units of die-hard racists in the Georgia National Guard and with a hastily armed militia consisting mainly of KKK members.

Riots and violence continues to rage on in other southern cities. President McCarthy orders National Guard units from other states into Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas. While President McCarthy could have federalized National Guard units in the Deep South, he has failed to do so, choosing instead to drink himself into a stupor.

August 18th, 1954: Congress calls for President McCarthy to withdraw from Iran. Senator Strom Thurmond has some especially harsh words for McCarthy.

"Mister President, how can you decide to go on a camping trip when your house is burning down?"-Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

August 21st, 1954: Fearing that the US will soon start withdrawing from Iran, Peng Dehuai gives the greenlight for Lin Biao to begin his attack.

August 22nd, 1954: Most French troops in Indochina are quite drunk from weekend partying when the Black Flag Army attacks at 1 a.m. (1) Within hours, the de Lattre Line is breached in multiple places. Chinese troops cut off multiple French garrisons in the Red River Delta.

Simultaneously, Vietminh troops attack French troops in Laos and at the critical base at Dien Bien Phu.

August 23rd, 1954: General Henri Navarre, commanding the war from the safety of Saigon, orders troops to move up from southern Vietnam towards Northern Vietnam.

General Rene Cogny, commander of the Tonkin region, is shocked at how much artillery the Chinese are bringing up. Attempts by the French Air Force to relieve the garrison in the Tonkin region or in Dien Bien Phu are blocked by the presence of the PLAAF, which is operating in full force over northern Vietnam.

The French Air Force, flying World War 2 vintage F8F Bearcats, is shredded like wet tissue paper by brand new Mig-19s provided to China by the Soviet Union.

Chinese pilots do report high levels of oscillation in the craft, as well as a lack of control authority at supersonic speeds (2). The Soviets inform the Chinese that the Mig-19 is still in fact experimental and that they would be better off keeping all engagements subsonic for the time being. Even still, the Mig-19 does an excellent job over the skies of Indochina, so long as the pilots don't go too fast.

August 30th, 1954: Realizing that he has some major problems on his hands, President McCarthy calls off the invasion of Iran. National Guard units from other states finally restore some semblance of order across the the Deep South.

September 2nd, 1954: Hanoi falls to the Black Flag Army. General Cogny is captured and sent back to Beijing.

Attempts by the French Navy to rescue French troops in the Tonkin region fail due to attacks on French shipping by the PLAAF.

Troops moving up from southern Vietnam are ambushed repeatedly by Vietminh guerrillas and take heavy casualties.

September 12th, 1954: Colonel Pierre Langlais, commander of the base at Dien Bien Phu dies while launching a desperate bayonet charge against Vietminh positions. The base falls soon after.

September 17th, 1954: 1st. Lt. Ted Kennedy, the brother of Secretary of Defense John F. Kennedy, is killed when his convoy is ambushed by Iranian fighters as US troops withdraw towards Bandar Abbas. Apparently, Lt. Kennedy was riding in a staff car on a bridge when Iranian fighters demolished the bridge, sending the car into a river below.

Ted Kennedy, 1932-1954

Joseph P. Kennedy vows revenge on McCarthy.

September 25th, 1954: Massive riots, instigated by Vietminh sympathizers, break out in numerous cities in southern Vietnam. French troops guarding General Navarre open fire on civilians in Saigon.

Riots in Britain are quashed and the military is called in to break up the strikers.

In the meantime, the general strike in France is getting worse and while the military considers intervening and overthrowing the government in a coup, many generals realize that they have lost a great deal of credibility due the occurrences in Indochina.

The French government sends a desperate request to the US to help rescue French troops trapped in Indochina.

But seeing as how the US Navy is busy evacuating American troops from the Middle East, it's difficult to see how they can help.

McCarthy spends all night drinking and taking pills with Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

September 27th, 1954: President McCarthy informs Mao that unless Chinese troops cease all combat operations and withdraw immediately from Indochina, there will be a state of generalized thermonuclear war between the United States and China.

Mao tells McCarthy to go fuck himself.

President McCarthy gives Jack Kennedy a supply of the "good pills". What he doesn't tell Jack is that the pills are laced with rohypnol, rendering the Secretary of Defense somewhat unable to control his inhibitions.

McCarthy after all needs Kennedy's approval to use nuclear weapons.

September 28th, 1954: 6 B-52s and 12 B-47s take off at night from Clark Air Force base in the Philippines, escorted by as many fighters as the US could scrape up from Korea and Japan.

More nuclear equipped bombers ready themselves at Kadena, Gimpo and Johnson air force bases in Okinawa, South Korea and Japan.

MiGs are formidable opponents but the Air Force only needs air superiority for a short time and it's not like the weapons the bombers are carrying require any particular level of accuracy anyway....

September 29th, 1954: Early in the morning of September 29th, half a dozen Mark 24 thermonuclear devices and another dozen fission based devices detonate in and around Chinese positions in the Red River Delta and along their supply lines in northern Vietnam. Tens of thousands of Chinese troops are instantly vaporized, along with an unknown number of Vietnamese civilians. (3)

A few minutes after the detonations in Indochina, Secretary of Defense Kennedy regains his senses.

He immediately recalls the bombers heading towards Chinese cities and gets on the phone with Mao and Secretary Voroshilov.

Later that morning, in an unprecedented move, the Cabinet declares President McCarthy incompetent and has him taken into custody.

Vice President Richard Nixon assumes the duties of the President for the time being.

Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America

(1): This event causes alcohol to be banned in the French Army.

(2): All real life problems associated with the Mig-19.

(3): The death toll has to be in the multiple millions at least. A 13.5 megaton blast over mostly wooden cities such as Hanoi would cause uncontrollable fires far from the blast zone. 

September 30th, 1954: Secretary of Defense John F. Kennedy and Secretary of State Allen Dulles fly out to Geneva to meet with Secretary Voroshilov of the Soviet Union.

President Nixon stays behind to take care of business at home.

A bomb explodes aboard a Chinese airliner which was supposed to be carrying Zhou Enlai. However, the Premier is not on board. Zhou obviously smells a rat but cannot do anything for now.

October 1st, 1954: On the 5th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Mao declares victory over Franco-American imperialists in Southeast Asia.

French troops all over Indochina are ambushed and massacred by Vietminh troops as they try to make their way to the nearest port. The furious Vietnamese people show no quarter to the French. When asked about this by Lin Biao, Ho Chi Minh simply shrugs and says he cannot assuage the anger of the people.

October 2nd, 1954: Zhou Enlai flies out to Geneva, where he joins the American and Soviet delegations.

October 4th, 1954: All riots die down, however, the economies of the United States and Western Europe have entered into depression.

October 11th, 1954: The Indochina question has been settled by the unilateral withdrawal of French forces from the area. Ho Chi Minh will become the leader of Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia are left to their kings.

However, the question of Korea remains, as does the status of West Germany. The Americans demand that China withdraw from North Korea and that they accept the neutrality of the new nations of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Furthermore, the Americans demand the Soviets cease to occupy Austria and accept the re-armament of West Germany.

The Soviet Union will accept none of these things, since it is demonstrably clear that the United States is an imperialist power willing to use nuclear weapons to further its interests.

Voroshilov threatens to invade if Germany is re-armed. Although he is bluffing, the Americans have no way of knowing this. They do have nuclear landmines buried throughout Western Europe but those wouldn't stop a determined Soviet invasion.

October 13th, 1954: The Americans offer to withdraw from South Korea if the Soviet Union accepts the rearmament of West Germany and withdraws from Austria.

Although Zhou tries to pressure Voroshilov into accepting this deal, Voroshilov refuses. He demands that the US make a concession specific to the Soviet Union.

Mao, when hearing about what Voroshilov did over the phone, is furious at the Soviets.

October 18th, 1954: Kennedy comes to the realization that the US has essentially wasted the upper hand it had with relations with the Soviet Union. He confers with Secretary of State Allen Dulles and suggests that they deal directly with the Chinese instead. However, they are rebuffed by the Chinese delegation, which does not want to alienate the Soviet Union.

October 21st, 1954: Both the Soviets and the Americans fear that they will get absolutely nothing, so they both agree to withdraw from Austria, which will become a neutral, demilitarized nation. Both NATO and Soviet military forces will have to be out of Austria by 1955.

October 30th, 1954: President Richard Nixon decides to unwind for a bit and fly back to his native California.

October 31st, 1954: A trio of masked Korean War veterans, having been strongly influenced by the writings of Mao Zedong during their time in a Chinese prison camp, open fire at a costume party in Los Angeles attended by the Hollywood elite. Expertly wielding M3 automatic carbines and a Browning Automatic Rifle, the attackers also use grenades and various other sorts of explosives against the assembled celebrities.

The attackers get away because they had left a couple of old artillery shells attached to tripwires a few hundred meters down the nearest road. This definitely stymies any police pursuit.

The Los Angeles Halloween Massacre results in the death of 87 people with hundreds of additional injuries. Many actors, celebrities, musicians, politicians and journalists are listed amongst the dead.

President Nixon, who was attending the party, is slightly injured by grenade fragments. More than anything, he's angry. Very, very angry.

November 1st, 1954: President Nixon orders the head of the Veteran Affairs Administration to pull up the records of military personnel who were taken prisoner in the Korean War. 

J. Edgar Hoover informs President Nixon that the attackers did not speak to one another during the attack, nor did they expose any skin. This gives the FBI very little information to work with. The car they had arrived in was found torched beyond recognition. 

In Algiers, massive explosions tear through the Casbah of Algiers during lunchtime, killing dozens of white French colonists. 

November 2nd, 1954: Although Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola had intended to blow up their cyanide filled truck bomb at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the attack in Los Angeles puts somewhat of a damper on their plans. They decide to delay until the security climate becomes somewhat more favorable. 

Someone claiming to be one of the three gunmen that hit Los Angeles on Halloween shows up at Collazo and Torresola's hideout in Brooklyn. 

Captain Audie Murphy (US Army, ret.) explains to Collazo and Torresola the principles of People's War and suggests that attacking the Macy's Thanksigiving Day Parade would have been a terrible idea.

He suggests targeting a general shareholder's meeting of the JP Morgan Corporation coming up next February, since it would be popular with lower class Americans, especially since America's economy is in depression and millions of people are out of work. 

November 8th, 1954: The Republican Party is hammered in mid-term elections. President Nixon now has to deal with a Democratic supermajority in both houses. 

November 10th, 1954: Alert navy doctors prevent one of their own from attempting to lobotomize former President Joseph McCarthy. When questioned, the doctor claims that Joe Kennedy had paid him a lot of money to have the procedure performed. 

The Secret Service doubles the security around McCarthy and replace all the Navy doctors with ones from elsewhere in the country. 

McCarthy, being himself, suggests to Nixon that he have the US Attorney General investigate Joseph Kennedy's financial connections to various members of the House and Senate. 

November 15th, 1954: French Prime Minister Pierre Mendes France orders additional security units be sent to Algiers. In the meantime, weapons are flowing freely across the border between Libya and Algeria. 

November 25th, 1954: Collazo and Torresola take Audie Murphy's advice. Thanksgiving in the US passes uneventfully.

November 30th, 1954: The United States is not in a particularly good position to help France with its problems in Algeria. However, Nixon does deploy a small group of American Special Forces units to Algeria under Major General Aaron Bank (1).

December 15th, 1954: Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina meets with his former commander Matthew Ridgway. They discuss Presidential politics over drinks. 

December 25th, 1954: Christmas passes uneventfully.

January 1st, 1955: A new year and who knows what's in store for the world?

(1): Only made Colonel IOTL.

January 2nd, 1955: Zhou Enlai's Rolls Royce explodes somewhere on the way to Beijing Nanyuan Airport. 

Zhou had learned of the plot beforehand and had switched cars with Lin Biao before canceling his travel plans for the day. 

Lin's no fool either and had decided to lend the vehicle to Gao Gang, deciding for once in his life to ride a bicycle.

January 18th, 1955: Former British scientist Alan Turing makes contact with KGB agents in Paris. 

January 29th, 1955: Studies conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences indicates that up to 10 million Vietnamese civilians may have perished in the nuclear bombing of Northern Vietnam. This is over one third of Vietnam's population at the time. 

This doesn't include additional deaths by famine or displacement. Neither China or the Soviet Union are in much of a position to ship food to Vietnam, so the country is brought to its knees by famine. 

This places President Joseph McCarthy amongst the top 5 mass murderers in history. One commentator suggests this is exactly where McCarthy's soul belongs. 

Although nobody wants to publish his work for fear of violating the Sedition Act of 1953, his articles and images make their way to Europe. 

February 18th, 1955: Protests begin outside of the American embassy in London. 

February 21st, 1955: A massive explosion at 23 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan nearly levels a city block and causes several buildings on Wall Street to collapse. However, that's hardly the worst problem New York is going to have that day. The slow winds over Manhattan means that the large cloud of cyanogen chloride (1) gas emanating from the blast crater will move very slowly up the length of Manhattan Island. 

Thousands of people are killed and thousands more are injured. Hospitals in New York City are overwhelmed with the dead and dying. 

The perpetrators, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola disappear and are nowhere to be found. 

February 22nd, 1955: Military units are sent to New York to try and decontaminate Lower Manhattan, as well as provide medical aid to the thousands of people injured in the attack.

President Nixon, realizing the gravity of the situation, orders that US troops withdraw from Cuba.

February 23rd, 1955: Two bodies, similar in shape and size those of Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola wash up in Brooklyn. The bodies lack heads or hands and have been partially eaten by fish. 

The FBI suspects that the two bodies don't belong to the perpetrators of the gas attack. It's too suspicious.

March 2nd, 1955: Claudette Colvin, a black high school student from Montgomery, Alabama, refuses to give up her seat on the bus home. 

In response, the white riders of the bus drag her out, beat her senseless and attempt to hang her from the nearest tree. However, a group black men nearby drive off the white men and free Colvin. 

March 3rd, 1955: There is open warfare in the streets between blacks and whites in Montgomery. 

The federalized Alabama National Guard moves in to crush the rioting in Montgomery but run into heavy resistance from heavily armed local citizens and the Montgomery Police force, which has essentially revolted against the Federal Government. 

March 4th, 1955: Rioting spreads to the North after NYPD officers are seen executing an innocent black man accused of looting in the Wall Street Blast Zone. 

March 5th, 1955: Robert Wagner Jr. the mayor of New York City, asks for the governor of New York to declare martial law in New York City and the surrounding environs. 

March 6th, 1955: The protests outside the US Embassy in London grow into riots as hard left protesters attempt to storm the gates. The police drive the protesters back. 

Unemployment is growing across Europe, which is making the KGB very, very happy. 

March 11th, 1955: Communist riots begin to break out in several cities in Italy. 

Strom Thurmond delivers a speech in Alabama where he says that the US Government should "put America first."

Because of the riots going on in Alabama, he does not mention race as even though he is fond of racial rhetoric, he does not want to inflame the situation further and because of...other reasons.

March 14th, 1955: China and Israel secretly establish ties with one another. China will provide intelligence on the Soviet Union to Israel and in exchange, the Israelis will transfer Western technology to China. (2)

March 16th, 1955: Soviet and American forces begin to withdraw from Austria.

March 24th, 1955: The Italian police and military are having a bad time of things controlling communist riots in their cities. The Milan Commune in particular has resisted multiple assaults from the police and army. 

Enrico De Nicola, President of Italy, takes a key role in negotiating with the members of the Milan Commune. 

March 30th, 1955: The US watches helplessly as many communists declare their intention to run for office in Italy. 

April 4th, 1955: The Malayan Emergency officially ends for the British. Luckily for them, the People's Republic of China never did support the communists in Malaysia. 

April 19th, 1955: Large parts of the southern US are essentially under martial law due to the riots which took place in 1954. 

While martial law rubs people the wrong way, the Federal government has been putting people to work building roads and bridges, which makes things a bit more bearable. Most of the work crews are racially integrated, which means that for the first time in the lives of some of the workers, they are working with members of another race.

April 29th, 1955: There is minimal disorder in the United States as a direct result of the economic depression, mainly because of the many people who remember the first Great Depression. 

Well, besides the race riots and terrorist acts. 

Yup, totally minimal. 

May 4th, 1955: A brazen daylight robbery of a bank in Evansville, Indiana goes horribly wrong for both the perpetrators and the police. The 5 robbers, who are experienced, combat hardened veterans of World War 2 and Korea, kill several pursuing policemen. However, their car breaks down and they end up taking refuge in Oak Hill Elementary School. 

May 5th, 1955: After a tense, 20 hour hostage standoff where the robbers make increasingly insane demands related to poverty relief in the United States, the National Guard storms Oak Hill Elementary School. 

The building catches fire during the fighting, trapping several hundred children inside....

May 7th, 1955: While President Nixon wants to simply resign, he knows that he cannot, since that would only throw the country into further chaos. 

Dead schoolchildren, a smoking, toxic crater where Wall Street used to be, dozens of dead celebrities in Los Angeles...

Nixon summons J. Edgar Hoover into the Oval Office and promptly fires him. 

The FBI is going to need to be something else....

May 11th, 1955: Major Arthur David Simons is appointed head of the FBI. A former US Army Ranger, Simons' first priority is to make some kind of anti-terror assault unit for stopping crazed, heavily armed gunmen. 

Nixon suggests that these new FBI agents will be called the Special Weapons Assault Team (3). He also allows Simons to recruit men directly from the military in order to fill out the assault team's ranks. (4)

May 20th, 1955: J. Edgar Hoover is found in a "compromising position" with his partner, Clyde Tolson during a police raid on their Washington DC residence. Both men are thrown in prison under existing anti-sodomy laws. 

Hoover is playing the long game though and decides to keep his mouth shut for the time being. He has leverage against Nixon he can use. 

May 30th, 1955: Nixon meets with Joseph McCarthy at his padded cell in Bethesda Naval Medical hospital. McCarthy informs Nixon that Hoover knows way too much about Nixon's personal corrupt dealings. 

Nixon suggests having Hoover killed in prison but McCarthy notes that Hoover is already 3 steps ahead of Nixon and would have made provisions to release large amounts of compromising information in the event of his unnatural death.

Nixon does note that McCarthy is looking much healthier after having stopped his consumption of alcohol and barbiturates. 

June 1st, 1955: Nixon visits Hoover in prison. Hoover doesn't go into details but strongly suggests that Nixon pardon Hoover and Tolson as his last act in office. 

June 5th, 1955: Peng Dehuai meets with aerospace engineer Lin Tonghua to discuss new airplane designs for the PLAAF. Lin suggests that the Chinese manufacture a version of the Mig-19 with a radar dome and the engine intakes moved to the side. Peng agrees and designates this new project the J-6. 

(1): Cyanogen chloride is a more effective, efficient method of using cyanide as a weapon. 

(2): As per OTL arrangement.

(3): Too lazy to come up with a new acronym. 

(4): A major weakness of the FBI's OTL SWAT teams and HRT teams is that they cannot recruit directly from the military. A lot of enlisted ex-military men with tactical experience don't have college degrees

June 7th, 1955: The NAACP files a lawsuit on behalf of Claudette Colvin against the State of Alabama.

Nixon, fearing a fresh round of violence in the South, orders US Marines to Montgomery to guard Colvin and her lawyers. 

In the meantime, blacks all across the South have been boycotting public transit.

June 16th, 1955: Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, meets with Zhou Enlai in Islamabad to discuss Sino-Pakistani ties.

June 21st, 1955: Frustrated by the lack of progress and direction in the Chinese nuclear program, Peng Dehuai puts Nie Rongzhen in charge of the Chinese nuclear program. 

Nie is an able administrator and realizes that his scientists have the know-how to build a bomb but it will take systemic changes in China's engineering and manufacturing environment before they can manufacture and test a bomb. 

Nie's report recommends that China become a modernized, industrialized society centered around scientists and engineers. Only then, he says, can China be an independent nuclear state. Currently, China can barely make bicycles without help from the Russians, much less make a nuclear reactor.

June 30th, 1955: Mao confronts Nie Rongzhen over the contents of his report, claiming that the changes recommended within are not in the spirit of agrarian revolution. 

Nie publicly castigates Mao for being an ideologue. He notes that the United States has used nuclear weapons on Chinese troops twice in the past 5 years and the only reason that Shanghai or Beijing hadn't gotten leveled was because the Americans changed their mind at the last second. He says that China must not live by Russian charity and American mercy. Bringing prosperity to the Chinese people is the most important task the government has and communism is ultimately a means to that end and not an end in and of itself. 

Nie's speech earns him a standing ovation from the other officials gathered in the room. 

July 8th, 1955: Mao cannot order the arrest of either Nie Rongzhen, who stood up to him, or Peng Dehuai, who appointed Nie. In any case, they seem to have a point. While Mao is a Communist, he is also a Chinese nationalist at heart. 

Mao asks his secretary Chen Boda what he should do.

July 25th, 1955: Strom Thurmond meets with Matthew Ridgway again.

Ridgway, due to his popularity, is positioned as a kingmaker in the Democratic Party and anyone wanting to become president next year will need his endorsement. However, Ridgway is also strongly for racial equality, which Thurmond is decidedly against.

Thurmond pleads with Ridgway for his endorsement but Ridgway refuses until Thurmond can demonstrate that he is pro-civil rights. Ridgway also points out that Thurmond missed his own daughter's wedding because he didn't want to be seen in public at an interracial union. 

Thurmond's face screws up in pain when Ridgway confronts him with that shameful fact. For a moment, it doesn't really matter that Ridgway is not supposed to know about his secret daughter. (1)

July 30th, 1955: Strom Thurmond gives a speech where he renounces segregation and racism. He then announces that he plans on running for president the next year and to convince people that he is sincere, he will not step foot in South Carolina again until racial equality is achieved in the United States. (2)

While he's very glad that South Carolina doesn't have recall provisions, the KKK isn't and firebombs his (mercifully vacant) offices in Columbia, South Carolina. The perpetrators are promptly arrested and sent to Federal Prison.

August 14th, 1955: Due to the Second Great Depression, the high unemployment rate and interracial violence gong through the roof, membership in the KKK has been skyrocketing. 

The KGB and Ministry of Public Security have taken an unnatural amount of interest in the KKK and its members.

August 17th, 1955: Albert Einstein has a second surgery to reinforce an aortic aneurysm in his chest. 

September 14th, 1955: Audie Murphy, having heard about the formation of the FBI's SWAT team, decides to plan a diversionary attack.

He recruits itinerant writer Lucien Carr to wear a "special" vest for him when the time comes. 

There are others too but Murphy will bring them forth in due time. (3)

September 28th, 1955: Actress Marilyn Monroe marries writer Arthur Miller. 

October 15th, 1955: FBI SWAT performs its first mission when it arrests notable gangster Vito Genovese with minimal incident. 

November 1st, 1955: Strom Thurmond meets again with Ridgway. Ridgway says that Thurmond has tentatively secured his endorsement. 

November 26th, 1955: President Kim Seong Su of South Korea dies. General Park Chung Hee promptly seizes power in a military coup. This move is condemned by China and the Soviet Union. 

December 8th, 1955: Secretary Voroshilov decides to provide China with more technical assistance in building nuclear reactors. 

Marshal Nie Rongzhen notes that the large, thick chain of mountains running through China's interior between Beijing and Yunnan would be perfect hiding places for reactors providing fissile material to China's nuclear weapons program.

December 24th, 1955: Someone throws a bundle of dynamite through the window of NAACP leader Edgar Nixon's home on Christmas Eve. Nixon, his wife and his son are killed in the explosion. Although US Marines stationed close to the house promptly shoot the assailants dead, nearby white "militiamen" attack the US Marines and retrieve the bodies of the assailants. 

December 25th, 1955: Christmas in Montgomery, Alabama is unpleasant and that's all I have to say about that. (4)

December 26th, 1955: Pleas for peace go unheard as violence breaks out in Montgomery again. 

December 28th, 1955: The Marines are rotated out and replaced with Alabama National Guard troopers, many of whom try to reason with both the white and black community in Montgomery. Things settle down, for now at least.

January 1st, 1956: A massive explosion takes out a military convoy on a remote road 30 miles east of Tupelo, Mississippi. The troops were Wisconsin National Guardsmen assigned to enforce martial law in the South. 

Happy New Year.

(1): I changed Strom Thurmond's backstory a bit.

(2): A more self-serving reason for why Strom Thurmond does an about face with regards to racial equality is that he loves power more than he hates black people. 

(3): I can't believe I turned one of America's most beloved military heroes into a villain. 

(4): The Marines, having taken casualties when attacked outside of Edgar Nixon's house, decide to get revenge by shooting several young white men who they deemed to be responsible for the attacks. Some of them are executed while celebrating Christmas with their families.

January 3rd, 1956: A racially integrated militia attacks a group of KKK militiamen in Lake Mary, Florida. The Klansmen are scattered. 

January 6th, 1956: Secretary Voroshilov begins to transfer a large number of weapons to Egypt. This alarms Israel, Britain and France. 

Britain wishes to retain control of the Suez and its own influence in the Middle East, however, Nasser wishes to seize control of the Suez Canal for his own uses. 

January 7th, 1956: Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser forms an alliance with Iran and Syria to oppose Iraq and the Gulf States. 

January 9th, 1956: Prime Minister Anthony Eden is briefed on the feasibility of invading Egypt. He is told that Britain can only furnish 50,000 troops but 80,000 troops are needed.

Due to heavy losses in Indochina and the deteriorating security situation in the Maghreb, the French cannot spare any troops. 

Knowing that he doesn't have anything, Eden is resigned to letting the Egyptians seize the Canal Zone. 

David Ben Gurion cannot take the Suez Canal Zone on his own and he knows the Egyptians and Syrians are prepared to invade in 1957. He begins to make preparations for war. 

China notes that while it has secret ties with Israel, it cannot overtly send aid due to the potential for alienating the Soviet Union. 

January 25th, 1956: Multiple racially integrated militias pop up in the South. Even though many of these militias are explicitly communist, the US government turns a blind eye towards them for the time being because at least they're not blowing up soldiers and Marines. 

February 2nd, 1956: While Strom Thurmond has already announced he will run for President, the Dixiecrats are mightily displeased. Senator James Eastland announces that he will run for President as a candidate of the States' Rights Party.

February 8th, 1956: Trouble begins to brew in Hungary. The populace is discontented with their government's excessively pro-Soviet stance. 

February 22nd, 1956: President Nixon decides to leave more policing duties in the South to local National Guardsmen, many of whom are getting sick of the violence, regardless of their personal feelings on race. 

March 18th, 1956: Egyptian troops expel British troops from the Canal Zone. Although there is some fighting, the affair is largely bloodless. Israel considers invading the Sinai but General Moshe Dayan informs Prime Minister David Ben Gurion that Israeli logistics are too disordered for them to go in on their own. 

March 29th, 1956: President Nasser meets with Syrian president Shukri Al Quwatli to discuss an upcoming invasion of Israel. 

April 14th, 1956: China's first domestic tractor factory is established. The intention of the Chinese authorities is to mechanize Chinese farming and thereby free up labor to work in factories in the cities. 

April 20th, 1956: Algerian guerrilla fighters seize several critical portions of the city of Algiers. 

May 8th: 1956: French troops begin to fight to retake Algiers. The city must be cleared room by room. The fighting is some of the most brutal urban combat since Stalingrad as fanatically motivated and heavily armed Algerian fighters ambush the French in and around the city.

May 19th, 1956: The White House is still being renovated and work has fallen significantly behind schedule. 

June 30th, 1956: Carlos de Leon is elected President of Guatemala. Outgoing president Jacobo Arbenz peacefully hands over power, marking an important transition in Latin American politics. 

July 4th, 1956: President Carlos Prio of Cuba secretly meets with Soviet diplomats in Vienna. 

July 18th, 1956: On a fine summer evening in Manhattan, itinerant writer Lucien Carr pulls out a gun at Delmonico's and begins herding the terrified patrons into the restaurant's walk-in freezer.

Two other gunmen, Neal Cassady and Herbert Huncke begin to trade fire with the police. The NYPD cordons off the restaurant and a siege develops. There are still multiple hostages in the main dining area of the restaurant. 

FBI SWAT units arrive on scene two hours later. 

Entering through the restaurant's back door, SWAT agents kill Cassady and Huncke. However, they fail to notice that Lucien Carr is wearing an explosive vest. 24 restaurant patrons and 5 SWAT agents are killed in the resulting blast. 

During the chaos, several hostages escape from the restaurant, led out by decorated former soldier Audie Murphy.

The FBI mistakenly fails to question or detain Murphy for any period of time. Murphy disappears into the shadows again. 

July 21st, 1956: Clarence Smith (1), one of Audie Murphy's accomplices at the Los Angeles Halloween Massacre, had been a bystander outside of Delmonico's. 

Murphy and Smith compare notes on the tactics used by SWAT agents.

August 13th, 1956: Strom Thurmond is nominated as the Democratic candidate for President. However, many Southern states refuse to list him on the ballot as the Democratic candidate, choosing James Eastland instead. 

Thurmond picks John F. Kennedy as his running mate. Kennedy is popular because his quick thinking during the Indochina Nuclear Crisis is seen as having prevented a wider nuclear war. 

August 21st, 1956: Richard Nixon declines nomination as the Republican candidate for the Presidency, since even with a split Democratic vote, the Republicans are almost certain to lose the next Presidential election. Henry Cabot Lodge is nominated instead. 

September 8th, 1956: Bull Simons begins to add Explosive Ordnance Disposal capabilities to FBI SWAT, to avoid a debacle like the one at the Delmonico Siege. 

September 22nd, 1956: Fashion designer and Nazi collaborator Coco Chanel is found shot dead in her Paris apartment (2). Maoist writings in Russian and French are found nailed to her body. 

October 9th, 1956: Nixon pays another visit to the padded cell in Bethesda. 

McCarthy praises Nixon's choice not to run and suggests that Nixon run for president at some later date. He also suggests that Nixon should return to the Senate whenever appropriate. 

November 6th, 1956: Strom Thurmond is elected President of the United States with 38% of the vote. James Eastland of the States' Rights Party and Henry Cabot Lodge of the Republican Party get 31% apiece. 

November 13th, 1956: The United States Supreme Court orders an end to the segregation of public transport in the South. 

(1): Aka Clarence 13X. 

(2): Good riddance.

November 15th, 1956: Secretary Voroshilov orders several divisions of troops to move from Russia to Hungary to crush a revolt that has taken place in the country. 

November 18th, 1956: Similar revolts break out in East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Troops moving through Poland towards Hungary are ambushed by Polish partisans. 

Secretary Voroshilov orders the mobilization of the Soviet military. The Soviets inform President Nixon that any attempt to intervene in Soviet affairs in Eastern Europe will result in nuclear war. 

November 20th, 1956: The revolts in Romania are comparatively minor and put down quickly, however, the revolts in East Germany and Poland are much worse. Despite Voroshilov's threats of a nuclear war, the CIA has been busy smuggling weapons from West Germany and Austria into East Germany and Hungary. 

November 30th, 1956: Soviet units are bogged down in urban warfare in Warsaw and Krakow. This is the second time in less than 15 years that both cities will be razed to the ground. 

December 6th, 1956: President-elect Strom Thurmond announces his intention to appoint Matthew Ridgway as Secretary of Defense. Many in the Republican and Dixiecrat parties see this as quid pro quo. (1) But Ridgway is popular, level headed and a good choice for Secretary of Defense. 

December 8th, 1956: Soviet troops retake Budapest. An orgy of rape and murder follows as frustrated Soviet conscripts take their anger out on the locals. Although the Soviets have a media blackout in the region, pictures do leak out. 

The rebels in Poland, many of them hardened veterans of World War 2, declare their intention to fight to the death.

December 24th, 1956: French troops finally retake Algiers from rebels. Just in time for Christmas too. 

December 25th, 1956: For once, Christmas in the United States is peaceful. 

December 28th, 1956: Zhou Enlai meets with Secretary Voroshilov to discuss a trade pact between China and Soviet Russia. China will agree to provide food and consumer goods to the Soviet Union in exchange for raw materials, military aid and technology transfers. 

Although Zhou's offer isn't really in the spirit of socialism, Voroshilov can't quite say no to cheap shit and accepts the offer, especially since the average Soviet citizen is lacking in the sort of creature comforts that many Americans have. (2)

Mao agrees that elements of capitalism are necessary on the road to establishing a Communist society in China but he disagrees on whether this is the best way to go. Zhou proposes a compromise in which major industries relevant to strategic security are owned by the state but that industries which make goods for frivolous consumption can be privately owned. 

December 30th, 1956: Dresden is retaken by Soviet troops. This time, Soviet commissars begin to summarily execute any man found guilty of raping or pillaging. (3)

January 1st, 1957: A new year is upon us. 

Fighting still rages on on Warsaw, Krakow and other Polish cities. 

The Saarland becomes part of (West) Germany again. 

January 2nd, 1957: The new Communist government of Italy announces that it is willing to work with NATO but that it will not tolerate interference in its domestic affairs. 

January 21st, 1957: Strom Thurmond is sworn in as President of the United States. 

Work on the White House is finally finished, which means that Thurmond gets to move in. However, Jean Crouch, President Thurmond's wife, decides to live at the Blair House, proclaiming loudly about how she needs "space". 

Jean Crouch-Thurmond will of course, be the hostess for public engagements at the White House, especially since the extent of Tunch's relationship with Thurmond cannot be publicly known. 

January 23rd, 1957: To reaffirm his commitment to civil rights, Thurmond appoints Harvard educated lawyer Essie Mae Washington as his Chief of Staff (5). Otherwise, people would start asking questions about why a random member of the public would be getting unprecedentedly close access to the President which would be far more appropriate for a family member than for a comparatively junior staffer.

February 2nd, 1957: Soviet troops finally retake Warsaw after months of brutal fighting. 

The atrocities committed by Soviet troops during the fighting does much to discredit global communism, or at least the Soviet brand of Communism. 

Maoism and the idea of People's War is however, alive and well in many parts of the world. 

February 18th, 1957: In addition to the millions of deaths caused by nuclear weapons, millions of Vietnamese people have died of famine. President Thurmond's first action is to try and salvage the situation in Southeast Asia by sending no strings attached food aid to Vietnam. 

March 1st, 1957: FBI Director Bull Simons indicates that there might be a terrorist attack in either Los Angeles or San Francisco. President Thurmond orders Simons to stop the attack. 

March 19th, 1957: Failed actor James Dean is arrested by FBI SWAT while trying to stuff explosives into the trunk of his Cadillac. 

When questioned, he reveals that he has been in contact with Americans who believe in the principles of Maoism and of People's War. Before he can reveal anything else, Dean bites down on a cyanide capsule concealed in a rear molar, killing himself. 

March 22nd, 1957: The dentist responsible for James Dean's cyanide capsule is found shot dead in his practice along with all his assistants. His files and patient logs have been taken and burned. 

March 25th, 1957: All Bull Simons can tell President Thurmond is that terrorists are intelligent, motivated and immensely methodical. He suspects that they are former military or intelligence personnel, judging by their level of training and access to military grade firearms and explosives. 

Simons suggests that the FBI work more closely with the NSA to establish some sort of surveillance network for law enforcement use. He additionally suggests that a Civil Rights Act is of critical importance, as would a second New Deal. These laws would deny support for practitioners of People's War in the United States. 

April 10th, 1957: President Thurmond, repeatedly using the word n(expletive) to describe black people, delivers a 24 hour speech to a joint session of Congress explaining why there must be a Civil Rights Act. He notes that even white Southerners like himself are sick of the violence in the South. He then proceeds to point out that the real breeding ground for Communism in the United States is poverty and inequality and as such, the United States must become far more equal in both laws and opportunities, lest the Red Menace win. 

April 29th, 1957: Senator James Eastland of Mississippi delivers another 24 hour long speech against Thurmond's proposed Civil Rights Act. 

May 5th, 1957: Sick of all the lengthy debates, some Senators drag a vending machine onto the Senate floor. 

May 18th, 1957: According to unconfirmed reports, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola resurface in Chicago. 

May 29th, 1957: Krakow is finally pacified by the Soviet Army. 

June 11th, 1957: An especially severe polio epidemic breaks out in the United States. Over 20,000 people will end up dead with many, many more paralyzed. 

If only there was a vaccine...

(1): Which it is.

(2): Cheap shit is quite helpful in distracting the populace from the problems in Eastern Europe. 

(3): This helps, this helps a lot. 

(4): I couldn't find a picture of Carrie Butler. She died before the POD IOTL but I decided to keep her alive for this TL. If anyone can find a picture, I would be very grateful. 

(5): I had Strom send his daughter to Harvard Law School as well.

June 15th, 1957: London and Paris report severe polio outbreaks as well. 

Alan Turing, who had been tracked by British intelligence, disappears without a trace. 

June 18th, 1957: The first cases of polio appear in war ravaged Eastern Europe. Due to the damage caused to public health services in Eastern Europe, the disease spreads like wildfire.

June 30th, 1957: The first cases of polio appear in the Soviet Union. Soviet authorities move aggressively to quarantine people suspected of having polio or being in contact with those suspected of having polio. 

July 1st, 1957: China orders that all travelers be quarantined until they test negative for polio. 

July 4th, 1957: Independence Day celebrations in the US are curtailed due to people not wanting to be outside for fear of contracting polio. 

July 9th, 1957: Senator Walter F. George of Georgia collapses and dies of a massive heart attack during an intense debate with Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas. 

July 16th, 1957: Upon returning from their week off, the Senate passes the Civil Rights Act 48-47 with one abstention. The new act would put an end to Jim Crow and ensure voting rights for minorities. 

The bill makes its way to President Thurmond's desk where it is promptly signed into law. 

July 18th, 1957: Essie Mae Washington gets a rude surprised in the form of an incendiary grenade being tossed through the window of her Georgetown home at 3 in the morning. Washington, her husband Ted Sorensen and her children Juliet and Isiah, manage to get out safely. However, 6 people are killed in the ensuing fire.

July 19th, 1957: The perpetrator of the previous night's firebombing is caught at a safehouse in Wheeling, WV. As he is being led away, Navy Commander Lincoln Rockwell loudly proclaims his loyalty to the American Nazi Party. 

President Thurmond summons Bull Simons and orders him to find and arrest every American Nazi Party member he can find. 

August 1st, 1957: At a dinner with Albert Einstein in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion of Israel expresses his worries that Egypt and Syria will be invading soon. Einstein suggests that the Israelis make some kind of plan to evacuate the country if need be. 

August 5th, 1957: Bull Simons and Secretary of Defense Matthew Ridgway express concern that there might be a "substantive" White Nationalist element in the United States Armed Forces and that President Thurmond's signing of the Civil Rights Act may have exacerbated such sentiments. 

August 19th, 1957: The polio epidemic in the Soviet Union is declared contained. However, the disease is still ravaging Eastern and Western Europe. 

August 20th, 1957: The first case of the summer's polio strain appears in Vietnam. China and the Soviet Union send teams of doctors down south to help as best as they can. 

September 1st, 1957: At his arraignment, Lincoln Rockwell again proclaims loyalty to the American Nazi Party, repeatedly attempting to salute Hitler despite his hands being shackled to his belt. 

September 18th, 1957: President Thurmond proposes a new set of laws to Congress. The Second New Deal would provide money for infrastructure but would introduce national service for all young people. 

October 1st, 1957: President Thurmond speaks with Prime Minister Ben Gurion of Israel about the security situation in the Middle East. He notes that he cannot shoot at Egyptian or Syrian forces without provoking retaliation from the Soviet Union but does agree to provide weapons and ammunition to Israel. As a precaution, the President increases US naval deployments to the Middle East. 

October 3rd, 1957: The Soviets launch Sputnik, the first artificial satellite.

October 22nd, 1957: Israeli forces attempt a pre-emptive strike against Egyptian and Syrian forces. However, a KGB plant in the Israeli Defense Ministry tips off Egyptian and Syrian forces.

The IDF walks into an ambush and is massacred. Egyptian and Syrian forces surge forward. 

October 25th, 1957: Syrian and Israeli forces are locked in brutal urban combat in Tel Aviv. To make things worse for the Israelis, Jordanian forces cross into the West Bank. 

October 30th, 1957: The Syrian military hoists its flag over the ruins of Tel Aviv's City Hall. Egyptian forces reach Gaza. 

Prime Minister David Ben Gurion vows to fight to the death. 

November 1st, 1957: Jordanian forces begin to lay siege to Jerusalem. 

November 4th, 1957: Pro-Israeli groups plead with Congress to intervene in Israel. However, the US government rebuffs these overtures since it doesn't want to risk a wider war with the Soviet Union or its allies. 

November 10th, 1957: Egyptian forces capture the Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona. 

November 21st, 1957: Egpytian and Syrian forces link up. 

November 30th, 1957: Jerusalem falls to Arab Forces. The State of Israel no longer exists. 

December 1st, 1957: Although Secretary Voroshilov attempts to stop the massacre of Jews in what was once Israel, his orders go unheeded. 

The US 6th Fleet threatens to conduct airstrikes against Cairo and Damascus if the killing of Jews continues. The US Navy, as well as CIA chartered merchant ships, begin to evacuate Jews from Israel. 

December 5th, 1957: At a dinner with Albert Einstein in Einstein's New Jersey residence, David Ben Gurion just shrugs when asked about Israel. 

December 18th, 1957: Worst Hanukkah ever.

January 1st, 1958: Hey, cheer up emo kid, it's 1958!

January 2nd, 1958: Soviet scientists decide not to put a dog in space until they find a way to bring the spacecraft back. (1)

January 11th, 1958: President Gamal Abdel Nasser discusses a potential union with Syria. Jordanian representatives are mysteriously absent. In these talks, Nasser offers Syria the entire Levant in exchange for political union with Egypt. 

The Syrian government finds this to be a good deal and decides to set a date for the invasion of Jordan. Nasser talks the Syrians out of invading Jordan since the Jordanian Army is heavily Nasserist anyway. 

January 15th, 1958: Soviet scientist Mikhail Chumakov decides to try out a polio vaccine of his own invention. It seems to work well. 

Soviet authorities begin to secretly inoculate test subjects. 

January 31st, 1958: Explorer 1, the first American mission to launch a satellite into orbit, is successful. (2)

February 2nd, 1958: Feeling sidelined, Mao gathers the press to witness him swim across the Yangtze River in order to demonstrate that he is prepared for revolution. Although it is the middle of winter, the old man does admirably and makes it all the way across.

This stunt however, does not do much to help either the Marshals or the Mandarinate (3) regain any confidence in the Great Helmsman. 

February 18th, 1958: An open letter castigating Mao is published in the People's Daily. The letter is signed by 9 of the 10 Marshals of China and several high ranking members of the Communist Party, 

Lin Biao's signature is mysteriously absent, possibly because Peng never gave Lin a copy of the letter to sign. 

February 19th, 1958: Lin Biao is arrested on orders of Peng Dehuai. His wife, children and many of his closest subordinates disappear along with him.

February 20th, 1958: Mao's secretary Chen Boda is also arrested. 

Mao himself cannot be arrested because he is a symbol of China's independence and repudiating his ideology would result in awkward questions for the new government. 

February 21st, 1958: An Indian special forces unit sneaking into Aksai Chin sees that China has constructed a road from Kashgar to Chengdu along the southern edge of Tibet. National Road G219 is a good road, solid year round despite the harsh weather and paved in many sections. (4)

However, before they can report back to headquarters on the location of this new road, the Indian patrol disappears. (5)

(1): Many of the scientists in the Soviet space program deeply regret sending Laika into space and wish they hadn't done it. 

(2): Given the dystopic tone of this timeline, I could have had the rocket explode on the launchpad. 

(3): Civilian officials such as Zhou Enlai, Chen Yun, etc.

(4): OTL road was built in 1957. 

(5): PLA troops cremated some according to Hindu custom and buried others according to Muslim custom.

February 28th, 1958: President Thurmond signs the Second New Deal into law.

The main provisions of the Second New Deal are as follows:

Selective Service Expansion:

1.) There will be national service for all young Americans, both male and female, after their final year of secondary education unless provided with a deferment.

2.) National Service may take three forms: The military, the Peace Corps and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

3.) Anyone pursuing higher education first will be permitted to go to college. Anyone pursuing doctorate degree will be able to get out of serving as they'll probably be older than the Selective Service cutoff of age 26 by the time they graduate. College students may be trained as a reserve officer at their pleasure and may be commissioned when they join the military after their education.

4.) The military will get their pick of medically able men and women who are not philosophically opposed to war. This will occur up until force size limits have been reached. Speaking of women, the Women's Army Corps is abolished by the Second New Deal and women are now permitted to join the US Army directly.

5.) After the military has had its pick, highly capable individuals who are medically able but have not been picked by the military for whatever reason are sent to the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is fairly small in size and selection criteria are very strict. They will be sent overseas to perform aid work for American allies as a sign of goodwill.

Most conscientious objectors capable of military service will likely be sent here. Service in the Peace Corps will invalidate the draftee for future military or intelligence service. (1)

6.) Anyone not picked for the military or Peace Corps may choose to volunteer for the Civilian Conservation Corps. The scope of the Civilian Conservation Corps has been expanded beyond that of the original program during the Great Depression.

While young people will be made to perform labor on things like infrastructure or other public works, others might be taught a trade or encouraged to create artistic works.

Due to the expected size of the CCC, college scholarships will only be offered to those who are most able.

7.) During times of war or national emergency, the CCC may conscript individuals to serve in its ranks.

Anyone refusing to do any form of National Service will serve a prison sentence and forced to do hard labor.

8.) Anyone medically deferred from the military and not wishing to go into the CCC may go about their business unless Congress deems otherwise.

Social Benefits:

1.) Free medical care will be implemented for individuals 65 and older.

2.) Emergency medical aid will be expanded to cover individuals with little to no income.

3.) All individuals with the means to do so must purchase some manner of healthcare.

4.) Free or reduced price meals will be provided at schools for low income students.

5.) Food assistance will be provided to low income families.

Employment, Culture and Education:

1.) Funding for trade schools and community colleges will be increased.

2.) Funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities will be increased.

3.) Funding for women's colleges will be increased.

4.) Funding for various cultural centers will be increased.

5.) A National Public Broadcasting Service will be created.

(1): This is to prevent the Peace Corps of being accused of being an extension of the US military or US intelligence services.

March 1st, 1958: Noting that the Civil Rights Act and Second New Deal would deprive him of much of his support in the United States, Audie Murphy leaves the country and is hired as a military consultant by the government of Indonesia. 

March 3rd, 1958: General Raoul Salan, head of French forces in Algeria, is assassinated by French DST agents in a false flag attack blamed on the KGB.

Lt. General Aaron Bank (1), a US Special Forces advisor to the French government, finds out about the false flag nature of the attack and cautions against relying excessively on such underhanded tactics. 

The French disregard him as support for the French military by the general public increases a great deal. 

March 8th, 1958: The US finally gets around to restoring Japanese sovereignty. The Japanese had been dictating their own affairs for the past few years anyway since the military governorship of Japan had been left vacant after McCarthy's hospitalization. 

Secretary of State Adlai Stevenson signs over sovereignty to the Emperor of Japan in a ceremony in Tokyo Bay. 

March 23rd, 1958: Peng Dehuai, not much for the spotlight, turns over day to day governing duties to Zhou Enlai. Marshal Chen Yi is made Foreign Minister. 

April 8th, 1958: The first intercontinental ballistic missiles enter operational deployment in the Soviet military. 

April 24th, 1958: Resettlement of Algerians into strategic hamlets is going about as well as could possibly be given the circumstances. Which is to say that massacres of Algerian villagers by French troops and Algerian auxiliaries (Harkis) are occurring regularly. 

May 13th, 1958: A Nasserist revolt in Lebanon topples the Prime Minister there. Lebanon becomes part of the United Arab Republic under Abdel Gamal Nasser. 

May 30th, 1958: British intelligence agents begin to suspect that a Nasserist coup. Prime Minister Harold Wilson considers sending troops to Iraq but realizes that he does not have the ability to do so, nor does he have troops to spare. The best he can do is send the SAS to guard King Faisal. 

June 4th, 1958: Matthew Ridgway visits J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson in their home in Washington D.C. The purpose of this visit is unknown. 

June 15th, 1958: The first batch of troops conscripted under the Second New Deal graduates from Basic Training. SecDef. Ridgway hopes these new troops would drown out the rumored far right sentiments in the US Military. 

July 4th, 1958: Captain Rigoberto López Pérez, a known Communist, shoots and kills Anastasio Somoza García, dictator of Nicaragua (2). Shortly thereafter, he and a group of Nicaraguan military officers declare Nicaragua to be a Communist state loyal to the ideals of Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong. 

July 16th, 1958: President Thurmond mulls military intervention in Nicaragua. The problem is that doing so would further damage the credibility of the United States in the Western Hemisphere. 

Essie Mae comes up with a novel solution. She suggests that Thurmond pay the neighboring nations of Guatemala and Honduras to invade Nicaragua. 

July 30th, 1958: King Faisal flees the country shortly before a Nasserist revolt occurs in Iraq. Iraq becomes the 4th country to join the United Arab Republic. 

August 28th, 1958: President Carlos de Leon of Guatemala and President Ramon Villeda Morales of Honduras both simultaneously declare war on Nicaragua. Neither of the men can fully articulate their reason for doing so but both nations received large aid packages from the United States in the weeks prior to the conflict. 

September 2nd, 1958: The beginning of the school year in Memphis, Tennessee involves a bunch of white men attacking black students attempting to attend a high school which used to be all white.

President Thurmond sends SWAT and the 82nd Airborne Division to Memphis to ensure compliance with the Civil Rights Act. 

September 14th, 1958: Former Soviet Premier Josef Stalin completes his memoirs. 

Finding himself isolated with little remaining purpose in his life, Stalin drinks a bottle of vodka and shoots himself in the head in his dacha outside of Moscow. 

His manuscript is hidden by his daughter Svetlana before KGB personnel can arrive on the scene. 

September 30th, 1958: Stalin is given a massive funeral parade in Moscow. 

October 7th, 1958: Although Honduras and Guatemala had declared war against Nicaragua in August, they only manage to begin their invasion over a month later. 

The Nicaraguans are well prepared and the invaders progress very, very slowly. 

October 19th, 1958: Writer Arthur Miller is called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify regarding his knowledge of and association with communists in Hollywood (3). 

Miller is a shy, reserved man with little public speaking ability. When he breaks down and sputters on the stand, his wife, actress Marilyn Monroe, speaks on his behalf, giving a powerful, moving speech decrying Congress' rabid jingoism and inability to actually resolve America's problems. 

Many members of Congress actually applaud despite both Miller and Monroe being arrested on the spot for contempt, sedition and perjury. 

November 1st, 1958: William F. Buckley, a noted conservative activist, meets with Savitri Devi and Otto Skorzeny in Madrid. Both Devi and Skorzeny are notable National Socialists. 

November 4th, 1958: The Democrats retain a narrow majority in both the House and Senate despite the defection of the Dixiecrats. 

November 19th, 1958: Honduran and Guatemalan troops take the Nicaraguan capital of Managua. Costa Rica seals its border with Nicaragua. 

Systemic massacres of communist Nicaraguans and Nicaraguans suspected to have communist sympathies begin to occur. 

December 6th, 1958: A massive explosion destroys 75% of the Grand Kremlin Palace during a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. A second explosion destroys the Lubyanka Building five minutes later. 

Secretary Voroshilov was running late that day so he isn't blown up. 

He orders what's left of the KGB to conduct an investigation. 

December 9th, 1958: The KGB suspects that the individuals who planted the bombs are native Russians with Stalinist loyalties. 

Other suspects include Poles, Germans or Jews angry at the Soviet support of Egypt. 

December 25th, 1958: China announces that it has a working nuclear reactor.

Additionally, a minor seismic event occurs in North Korea. The CIA informs President Thurmond that they suspect the Chinese have conducted a nuclear test of some sort. Thurmond orders the CIA not to inform the media. 

December 31st/January 1st, 1959: Troubled alcoholic poet Dylan Thomas and former actress Frances Farmer strap explosive vests to themselves and wander into a New Year's party in Manhattan attended by New York's financial elite. 

They blow themselves up when the clock hits midnight. 

--- (1): Was given a promotion. 

(2): Lopez was a musician IOTL.

(3): This is a bit silly since communists gunned down so many celebrities at a Halloween party just a few years back.

January 1st, 1959: Henry S. Morgan of Morgan Stanley is counted amongst the dead at the ill fated New Years party in Manhattan, as are dozens of other members of New York's financial elite. 

January 2nd, 1959: Stock prices take another violent tumble. President Thurmond orders the head of the SEC to halt all trading temporarily. Many large banks begin to relocate to other areas of the country. 

January 3rd, 1959: The People's Republic of China conducts its first public test of a nuclear weapon at the Lop Nur test site in Xinjiang.

To prevent further economic damage, major media outlets in the US are ordered not to report on the news of China's successful nuclear weapons test. However, rumors abound and people are gossiping. 

If it wasn't for the fact that it was a Saturday, the Dow Jones would have collapsed even further. Congress passes an emergency resolution banning trading of all securities for the next two weeks. 

Despite the presence of the FDIC, millions of people try to take their money out of banks, only to find their banks closed. 

January 5th, 1959: Many banks move their money to Federal Reserve branch banks. President Thurmond orders US troops to guard these banks to prevent further capital from being removed from the banking system. 

January 13th, 1959: A militia attacks a bank in Trenton, Georgia rumored to have money in it. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard had deliberately spread the rumor in order to lure out and ambush the heavily armed locals.

January 20th, 1959: Rioting spreads to Europe once more as the effects of lowered stock prices in the United States are felt in Europe. 

In London, rioters storm the US Embassy and take the staff hostage. The situation is resolved in a few hours by the SAS but leaves the Americans feeling deeply uneasy. 

January 21st, 1959: Trading resumes on Wall Street, as do a spike in suicides amongst bankers. 

A group of men proclaiming to be American Nazis attack a synagogue in Brooklyn. Although they're easily driven off by the NYPD, the attack is a bad, bad sign. 

January 22nd, 1959: FBI SWAT is redesignated as Special Weapons Assault Tactics. While this change is cosmetic, the President gives Bull Simons the authority to establish a SWAT team in each of the FBI's field offices across the country, with a centralized National SWAT team for operations abroad. 

January 30th, 1959: The same National Guard unit which had led the ambush in Trenton is itself ambushed by Georgia National Guard units. Several dozen soldiers on both sides are killed. 

February 1st, 1959: President Thurmond hesitantly pulls troops out of South Korea as they're needed more in the United States. Troops in Germany stay put in order to guard against the Soviets. 

President Thurmond threatens China with nuclear annihilation if any PLA or KPA troops cross the 38th Parallel. 

North Korean leader Lee Kwon Mu consults with Peng Dehuai about testing President Thurmond's resolve. Peng decides against it, noting that the only reason McCarthy didn't blow China to Kingdom Come the last time was due to a struggle in McCarthy's cabinet. 

February 13th, 1959: President Thurmond gives a speech to Americans exhorting them to rise to the challenge posed by China and the Soviet Union. 

February 27th, 1959: President Thurmond calls Secretary Voroshilov and suggests that the US and USSR perform a preemptive strike on the Chinese nuclear program. 

Voroshilov declines, barely able to suppress his laughter as he does so. 

March 8th, 1959: The stock market stabilizes somewhat as investors realize they have no other place to move their money to. 

March 11th, 1959: Japanese socialist politician Inejiro Asanuma and communist Sanzo Nosaka visit Premier Zhou Enlai in China. 

Zhou recognizes Nosaka from his time in Yan'an and greets him warmly. He then suggests that the Socialists and Communists in Japan form a coalition against the Japanese Far Right and against pro-American elements in Japanese society. 

March 19th, 1959: Upon returning to Japan, an assassin attempts to kill Asanuma at the airport. The assassination attempt, which is caught on film by the NHK, results in people talking about the Japanese Left. 

April 3rd, 1959: The Soviet Union quietly begins to provide oral polio vaccines to children by slipping it into their food. The program is highly classified and reported as a vitamin supplement. 

April 28th, 1959: Algeria is beginning to look rather bleak and Congo-esque. Pied-Noir death squads are running around the interior of the country, burning Algerian villages and taking the land for themselves. Local resistance is quashed brutally by the hundreds of thousands of French soldiers in the country. 

April 30th, 1959: Libya joins the United Arab Republic. Nasser declines to invade Algeria though, since he fears doing so would result in NATO invoking Article 5. 

May 11th, 1959: China announces that it will begin to step up training of pilots in its air force. 

May 14th, 1959: Stock prices begin to rise in the United States, restoring consumer confidence somewhat. President Thurmond has the Federal Reserve move money back into local banks. Congress sets a ceiling on loan interest rates to encourage people to borrow money. 

June 1st, 1959: More large scale polio epidemics occur in the West. The Soviet Union seems mysteriously untroubled by it. 

June 3rd, 1959: Chinese intelligence discovers the existence of the polio vaccine. They don't contact the Americans though, since they know that their head of counterintelligence is a KGB agent. 

They instead go to the Soviets with their knowledge and demand access to the vaccine, or otherwise, they will stop vital grain imports to the Soviet Union. 

A campaign to increase grain production in the Soviet Union had recently failed, so Voroshilov has no choice but to agree. Chinese leadership also squeezes additionally technology transfers from the Soviet Union at this time, including designs for submarines. 

June 15th, 1959: Expecting more rioting to break out in the South during the long, hot summer, President Thurmond pulls out more troops, this time from Germany. He threatens the Soviets with nuclear annihilation if they interfere in the affairs of Western Europe.

The US demonstrates its ballistic missile capabilities just to make sure the Soviets get the message. 

June 16th, 1959: West Germany unilaterally re-establishes its military. Konrad Adenauer openly dares the Soviets to invade. 

June 19th, 1959: It's been 3 days since Germany announced the re-establishment of its military forces. Nobody invades. 

June 20th, 1959: Inejiro Asanuma delivers a public speech in Japan accusing the Japanese Far Right of being American puppets. He furthermore notes that the American people are inherently racist against Asian people, since every use of nuclear weapons in anger thus far has been against Asian people. 

Asanuma's speech resonates powerfully with the Japanese people and quickly splits the Japanese right into pro and anti-American wings. 

June 22nd, 1959: President Thurmond orders the CIA to assassinate Inejiro Asanuma and Sanzo Nosaka.

July 4th, 1959: China begins to immunize the children of the Party elite against polio. Further deployment of the polio vaccine is held back. 

In the United States, Independence Day celebrations are once again curtailed by the fear of polio. 

In the Soviet Union, hardliners like Leonid Brezhnev are questioning why Secretary Voroshilov backed down in the face of American threats. Voroshilov invites Brezhnev to fight the nuclear war alone, since it's clear that the military doesn't want to needlessly throw away their lives. In any event, even if the Germans re-militarized to WW2 levels, the United States would still provide the vast bulk of NATO's fighting power. 

July 6th, 1959: So far in summer, unemployment rates, especially amongst black Americans, has shot up, as have instances of police and military related brutality, especially in the South. 

July 9th, 1959: As President Thurmond predicted, massive race riots break out in urban areas across the country. More alarmingly, poor whites and Hispanics are joining black rioters, many of them hoisting Maoist banners and chanting Maoist slogans. 

July 12th, 1959: President Thurmond orders military and National Guard units to attack both rioters and conservative militiamen. He does not want to inadvertently empower right wing groups.

Conscription is coming in very handy at the moment since it's moving groups of young men outside their support networks, preventing them from rioting.

July 20th, 1959: State legislatures around the country pass laws sentencing people to hard labor if they are caught rioting. 

July 22nd, 1959: The CIA Station Chief in Japan is found stabbed to death in a brothel somewhere in the Roppongi district of Tokyo. Maoist slogans are found carved into his chest. 

July 25th, 1959: President Thurmond orders the Japanese government to arrest Inejiro Asanuma and Sanzo Nosaka. Prime Minister Nobosuke Kishi notes that neither man has broken any Japanese laws and that therefore, there is no cause for their arrest. He notes that although he doesn't like either man, that Japanese law must be followed on principle. 

July 26th, 1959: President Thurmond considers withdrawing American support from Japan but is counseled against it by JFK. Kennedy notes that even a communist Japan would probably want some help defending themselves against the Russians and Chinese. 

July 30th, 1959: Delegates from the United Arab Republic meet in Damascus to draft a constitution. 

August 6th, 1959: Senator James Eastland of Mississippi meets with Senator Richard Nixon of California to discuss merging the Dixiecrats with the Republican Party. 

August 20th, 1959: Audie Murphy secretly meets with Chinese intelligence agents in Borneo. He once again pledges his undying loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.

September 1st, 1959: Jean Crouch, ostensibly the wife of President Strom Thurmond, is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.

Because President Thurmond doesn't actually spend time with Ms. Crouch, he doesn't really know about her condition. 

September 19th, 1959: The rioting and violence in American cities dies down somewhat. 

October 1st, 1959: The People's Republic of China celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its founding with a military parade. The new radar equipped version of the J-6 fighter is featured prominently during the festivities. 

October 22nd, 1959: Peng Meikui, Peng Dehuai's favorite niece, is appointed head of an initiative to bring modern medicine to rural areas. 

November 5th, 1959: French troops begin to clear Muslims from Algiers. The idea is to make major cities like Algiers and Oran French-only zones. 

November 22nd, 1959: Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola are briefly spotted in Mexico City. 

December 1st, 1959: The new United Arab Constitution is finalized. Abdel Gamal Nasser is appointed President for Life. However, the UAR has a bicameral legislature, a lower house which is popularly elected and an upper house which represents traditional tribal and ethnic interests.

December 18th, 1959: Italy finishes its new Olympic stadium. The Olympics will be held in Rome next year.

December 28th, 1959: Popular actor (2) Buddy Holly narrowly avoids death in an accident after his car flips over several times on an icy road in California during an unusual snowstorm. 

Not so lucky is his passenger, actor Ronald Reagan, who is thrown through one of the windows of the Cadillac and lands on a jagged pile of rocks before the car comes crashing down on him seconds later.

January 1st, 1960: A boring New Years day. Thank goodness.

January 6th, 1960: Jean Crouch dies from brain cancer, aged 33. She dies alone in her hospital bed at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital. 

January 11th, 1960: "You know Tunch", says Strom Thurmond as he rolls over in bed, "I have this strangest feeling that something really important is happening today and that I'm missing it."
Carrie Butler shook her head, "Yeah Jim, (1) Jean's funeral started an hour ago. I tried waking you up but you told me to go back to sleep."

"Jean, who's th---oh shit." Thurmond's eyes widen as the realization dawns upon him. 

President Thurmond ends up being two hours late to the funeral of his "wife". The fact that he shows up unwashed and in his shirtsleeves doesn't help.

(1): James Strom Thurmond.

(2): Changed his career field.

January 11th, 1960: Strom Thurmond forgets Jean's name while delivering a platitude filled eulogy at her funeral, as if he never really got to know her. 

While most of the President's staffers at the funeral know why this is the case, many members of the Crouch family storm out in protest. 

January 12th, 1960: For some odd reason, the KGB really wants writer Albert Camus dead, since Russian intelligence agents blow up the train he was riding in, killing 200 people but not Camus. (1)

January 18th, 1960: South African social worker Winnie Madikizela is first exposed to the writings of Mao Zedong. (2)

January 25th, 1960: With not much else to do, Mao begins to wonder whether he should just shoot himself and avoid lingering like Stalin did. However, since nobody's bothering him, he decides to start writing books on philosophy and People's War. 

February 12th, 1960: Soviet scientists announce the return of the dog Laika from a successful trip in orbit. Laika is the first living creature to have gone to space and returned. 

February 15th, 1960: Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona announces that he is running as Republican candidate for President of the United States. No Dixiecrat announces his candidacy. This suggests that the South will swing Republican during the next election. 

February 18th, 1960: Frantz Fanon, an French psychiatrist and philosopher, testifies before the US Congress regarding French massacres and ethnic cleansing of the Algerian people. Fanon notes that if the United States wants to take a leading role in post-colonial Africa, they need to do something to rein in the French. 

President Thurmond is disturbed by the report but doesn't know what to do. This news, and the news that the Dixiecrats have merged with the Republicans causes Strom to pay a visit to a certain padded cell in Bethesda.

February 19th, 1960: McCarthy requests a favor from Thurmond before dispensing advice. Apparently, Nixon had forgotten to pardon J. Edgar Hoover before leaving office and although Hoover has since been freed, he still has a criminal record. 

February 21st, 1960: President Thurmond quietly pardons J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson. He goes back to visit McCarthy. 

McCarthy suggests if the Democrats want to win the next election, the Federal Government should intentionally take measures to make sure that blacks and poor whites are able to vote in the South. This would cut the legs out from under the Dixiecrats. 

He also suggests that Thurmond actually remember his next fake wife's name, since the Crouch family has been quietly rallying Republican support in the South. He also suggests that there might be videotape of Strom's eulogy at Jean Crouch's funeral.

As for France, McCarthy recommends trying to turn Britain against France.

February 29th, 1960: The FBI raids several homes across the American South, destroying several incriminating copies of the funeral tapes. 

Prior to the raids, Thurmond informs Bull Simons that the government can deal with the resulting lawsuits later. Jean Crouch's parents Ettie and Horace are arrested, as are her siblings Horace Jr. and Robert. All of them are charged with conspiracy and sedition. The FBI had planted falsified evidence beforehand to ensure that the Crouch family would be convicted. 

Lists of names of politicians the Crouch family has been in contact with are also seized. 

March 1st, 1960: Several Republican and Dixiecrat legislators on Capitol Hill are confronted by the FBI with compromising evidence of various illegal or unsavory activities they have committed. They are ordered to fall in line or else. 

March 14th, 1960: Congress and British Parliament jointly pass a bill levying limited economic sanctions on France. Lt. General Aaron Bank, the American Special Forces advisor who had been assisting French forces is called back from Algeria. 

The French government begins to panic, especially as the French stock market takes a dive. 

March 22nd, 1960: Patrice Lumumba has a problem. He has enough money to pay for his civilian government but not for his army. 

Luckily for him, Zhou Enlai contacts him with a deal; the People's Republic of China will make a loan to the Congolese government in Soviet Rubles and in exchange, the Congolese government will give the Chinese mining concessions and preferential contracts for infrastructure development. 

Lumumba says that Zhou has a deal only if the Chinese promise to send weapons and advisers free of charge as well. 

In Japan, Otoya Yamaguchi, a right wing activist, uses a sword to assassinate the commander of Yokohama Naval Base. He is immediately arrested by American MPs. 

March 23rd, 1960: Large numbers of Japanese protest outside the gates of Yokohama Naval Base, demanding that Yamaguchi be freed. 

Protests start in South Korea outside the US Embassy in Seoul and outside American military bases. Many of these protests are tied to the numerous sexual assaults on Korean women committed by US military personnel. 

March 25th,1960: The Japanese Diet begins to debate a resolution requesting that the United States withdraw all military forces from Japan. 

March 30th, 1960: The South Korean military mutinies when ordered to put down protests in Seoul. Many soldiers join the protesters, shouting Maoist and anti-Western slogans. 

President Park Chung Hee is arrested, as are most of South Korea's top generals. 

The new South Korean military junta, made up mostly of junior officers and enlisted men, declare their intention to reunite Korea under one government. They give the United States government 6 months to leave the country. 

April 6th, 1960: Protests in Japan grow larger and spread from Yokohama to Tokyo. The sentiment that the United States is a racist and imperialist nation is gaining increasing traction amongst the Japanese people.

April 18th, 1960: President Thurmond is in a bad position as he knows that troops are needed at home due to the civil disorder and rioting. The Japanese for their part, don't act violently, they merely decide to camp in front of American military sites in the Japan and elsewhere.

April 30th, 1960: China reverse engineers the polio vaccine. However, since polio is rare in the country, they don't immunize children en masse just yet. 

The Chinese government contacts the US government and demands the transfer of key technologies in various areas, such as agriculture, medicine electronics and metallurgy. If they refuse, the Chinese government will tell the American press that the US government allowed Americans to die by not accepting China's offer. 

May 18th, 1960: Congress debates the offer in a closed doors session. Nobody in Congress wants to cave in to the Reds but nobody wants to be blamed for the deaths of thousands of children either. (3)

May 20th, 1960: Congress agrees to transfer the desired technologies to China, including working examples of machine tools, scientific instrumentation and electronics. 

May 28th, 1960: French parliament votes to withdraw from Algeria. 

In response, French paratroopers and intelligence agents arrest Parliament and install Charles DeGaulle as President of France. DeGaulle is actually a figurehead and the real leaders are French generals. 

General Henri Navarre, the leader of the putsch, informs French labor leaders that strikes will be harshly punished. Navarre orders the DSI to keep tabs on various labor leaders, anarchists and communists and to detain or assassinate anyone getting out of line. 

June 6th, 1960: Predictably, riots break out in France but with minimal coordination, these riots are easily smashed by the police and army. 

June 9th, 1960: Matthew Ridgway and Aaron Bank meet with President Thurmond to discuss the possibility of intervention in France to restore democracy. 

(1): They were unable to determine which car Camus was riding in, so they blew up the whole train. 

The joke is on the KGB as Camus was taking a car that day. 

(2): Spoiler: White South Africans are in for a very, very, very bad time.

(3): Albert Sabin is working on a vaccine but doing so on the down low since he doesn't want to be accused of being in league with Communism.

June 11th, 1960: Congress orders a fresh round of economic sanctions on France but declines to intervene militarily. The US does begin to provide weapons to groups in Morocco and West Africa though. 

The US is joined in its sanctions by Britain, Italy and Germany. 

June 13th, 1960: There is another, somewhat spontaneous general strike in France. The strikers are more or less part of an astroturf movement since although the French military junta decapitated the French labor movement, they failed to get rid of the numerous deep cover KGB agents who part of the French Fifth Column. 

DeGaulle slips out of the sight of his military handlers and crosses the strike lines. 

When several gendarmes come to arrest him, DeGaulle simply turns his back.

The gendarmes are conflicted, as some of them served under DeGaulle in World War II. The ultimately decide not to arrest DeGaulle. 

The strikers march towards the Elysee Palace. Many police officers and gendarmes join the strikers. 

June 14th, 1960: Strikes break out in other parts of France as well, causing what was left of the French economy to grind to a sputtering halt. 

Alarmed by the strikers, General Henri Navarre, leader of the military junta, flees to Switzerland. Unfortunately, his plane experiences "mechanical issues" on the way there, courtesy of DeGaulle's orders.

Some of the other generals in the junta order their troops to fire on the strikers. However, their men aren't hearing it and arrest them instead. 

June 15th, 1960: Charles DeGaulle appoints himself President of France. Elections will resume shortly. 

DeGaulle calls up President Thurmond and informs him that he had been planning to take over France for quite some time and that the economic sanctions weren't needed. He informs the Americans that the French government will hold a referendum regarding Algeria's fate by the end of the year. 

June 16th, 1960: Congress ends the economic sanctions on France. 

June 18th, 1960: The US government begins to conduct trials of the polio vaccine in various American cities. 

This alarms the Russians, who call the White House and demand to know exactly how the Americans got their hands on the vaccine. 

President Thurmond immediately tells the Russians the Chinese stole the vaccine and sold it to the US in exchange for technology transfers. Technology that the Russians don't know about. Thurmond vows that he will get the same technologies transferred to the Soviet Union as soon as possible.

Essie asks why Thurmond didn't try to wring any concessions out of the Russians. Thurmond replies that they would never have believed him if he tried quid pro quo. 

Besides, losing some blueprints is a small price to pay for potentially driving a wedge between the Russians and the Chinese. 

June 24th, 1960: After several days of investigation, the KGB concludes that the Chinese did indeed steal the polio vaccine. 

Voroshilov's not in a good position to punish China since the Soviet Union is dependent on Chinese grain exports and its dependence will only increase in the long run. Still, he bans all military aid for the time being and increases the interest rate on loans made to China. 

June 30th, 1960: There are heavy clashes in Tokyo between Japanese Communists and members of the Japanese far-right. 

July 5th, 1960: Several Indonesian generals known to be opposed to communism are killed in a bombing in Jakarta. 

Various members of their families, especially male relatives, turn up dead in various parts of Indonesia. (1)

July 7th, 1960: Several conservative imams, especially in Aceh Province, are also found murdered in their homes. 

July 16th, 1960: A communist revolution breaks out in Jakarta. It quickly spreads to other cities. Multiple army generals and prominent landowners are lynched by angry mobs. 

Sukarno, who already had communist leanings, decides to let the riots take their course. 

July 25th, 1960: The CIA, not understanding the role Audie Murphy played in establishing communism in Indonesia, makes contact with Murphy and offers to evacuate him. Murphy declines, stating that he will find his own way out. 

July 30th, 1960: Audie Murphy turns up in Hawaii. 

(1): Since Indonesia IOTL has had female leaders, this is going to be a huge oversight on Audie Murphy's part.

August 1st, 1960: As the security situation in Indonesia deteriorates, all the Americans can do is watch helplessly from the sidelines. 

August 4th, 1960: Barry Goldwater is nominated as the Republican candidate for President. 

August 13th, 1960: Exactly 19 months after its first nuclear test, the People's Republic of China detonates its first hydrogen bomb.

Thankfully, the test takes place on a Saturday. The President immediately orders all securities trading to be suspended for 2 weeks starting on Monday. He also puts a freeze on all bank withdrawals for a similar period. 

August 15th, 1960: The American trading freeze doesn't stop a general strike from happening in Britain. Also, the volatility in the world's economy hasn't helped much with the UK's finances either; Her Majesty's Treasury reveals that, barring a miracle, Britain can no longer service its debts and will default by the end of the year.

August 17th, 1960: President Thurmond and Prime Minister Harold Wilson have an emergency meeting in Washington. 

President Thurmond agrees to abandon the Gold Standard and float the dollar. This will allow the US government to print more dollars to bail out the British government. 

August 20th, 1960: Communist rebels take the staff of the US Embassy in Jakarta hostage. 

A mixed force of FBI SWAT and Navy SEALs, designated as Force Neptune, are quietly sent to Malaysia pending further instructions. 

3 aircraft carriers are ordered to move towards Indonesia. However, a Ministry of Public Security agent near Yokohama Naval Base tips off the rebel leaders in Indonesia. 

August 27th, 1960: Force Neptune quietly makes its way ashore in inflatable boats and moves into Jakarta. 

August 28th, 1960: After marching all night, Force Neptune makes its way to the American Embassy. 

Unfortunately for them, the rebels have turned the embassy grounds into a hardened kill zone. 

Force Neptune quickly calls for air support from overhead American attack planes flying off the carriers nearby, which breaks the ambush. However, this action results in the death of many Indonesian civilians. 

An enraged mob attacks the embassy and lays siege to it. Force Neptune hunkers down. While the Indonesian Army attempts to destroy the embassy with artillery, they are quickly dissuaded by airstrikes on their positions. 

September 2nd, 1960: A rapid reaction force of US Marines and Army Rangers land in Jakarta and fight their way to the American Embassy, breaking the siege and freeing Force Neptune and the trapped embassy staff. They also kill thousands of Indonesian soldiers and civilians but it's not like America cares much for civilian lives in other countries.

September 3rd, 1960: Upon hearing what has happened in Jakarta, Peng Dehuai begins to plan a suitable punishment for the United States. 

The six month deadline for US forces to vacate Korea is fast approaching. The CIA notes that the South Korean military is preparing to attack US military bases there. 

September 5th, 1960: President Thurmond, knowing that he cannot risk another war, decides to pull out of the Korean Peninsula by September 30th. 

September 30th, 1960: After quickly packing up and breaking everything down, the last US troops leave South Korea. 

October 1st, 1960: The next day, PLA and KPA troops enter Seoul to cheering crowds. 

October 3rd, 1960: Congolese government forces under Patrice Lumumba massacre tens of thousands of Katangan separatists in the Katangan capital of Lubumbashi. (1)

October 5th, 1960: Massacres of suspected capitalists and South Koreans with pro-American sentiments begin. Many Koreans pack their bags and flee. 

In Indonesia, the same thing begins to happen. 

October 10th, 1960: The successful rescue of the American Embassy staff in Jakarta has increased President Thurmond's poll ratings significantly. 

As for Korea, many Americans have developed a distaste for the place and want American forces out of the Korean Peninsula. 

October 15th, 1960: Following in the footsteps of the Koreans, the Japanese Diet votes to repeal Article 9 of the Constitution and to expel the United States from Japanese soil. 

October 20th, 1960: President Thurmond refuses to tell the Japanese his plans for the country. He hints that the US may occupy bases in Japan by force. 

US forces retreating from Korea are stationed in Japanese bases. 

October 22nd, 1960: Gary Powers, a U2 pilot performing reconnaissance over the Manchuria, is shot down by an HQ-1 surface to air missile.

The PLA takes Powers into custody. The U2 on the other hand, performs a low speed, shallow angle glide into the Amur River after Powers ejects. Powers had failed initiate the plane's self destruct charges, so the Chinese are able to capture the plane intact. 

October 24th 1960: The Chinese government offers to trade Powers back to the US for a ransom to be paid in US Dollars. Or failing that, assistance in developing new strains of wheat, rice and corn to improve agricultural output in China. 

November 8th, 1960: Although President Thurmond had forgotten to campaign, he still narrowly wins re-election, thanks to large numbers of black voters in the South voting for the first time.

November 9th, 1960: President Thurmond quietly transfers American strains of wheat and corn to China. 

In the meantime, he orders American forces in Japan to seize Japanese SDF bases. He knows that even if the Japanese take to arms, they can't win due to the lack of potential for resupply. 

November 18th, 1960: Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Yi flies to Accra to meet with Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah. 

By seizing Japan, President Thurmond has essentially conceded that America is a neo-colonialist nation. The Communist Bloc will obviously take advantage of this. 

November 29th, 1960: President Thurmond declares that Japanese left-wing leaders Inejiro Asanuma, Kenji Miyamoto and Sanzo Nosaka must be turned over to American military authorities immediately. Otherwise, the United States Navy will begin to blockade Japan and prevent food shipments from entering. 

The three men in question turn up at Yokohama Naval Base and surrender to American authorities.

December 14th, 1960: A Liberian flagged vessel arrives in Havana. It's not a regular merchant vessel however as the ship belongs to the KGB and is carrying nuclear armed ballistic missiles. 

December 20th, 1960: Sukarno is dragged out of his residence and lynched by a communist mob. 

Indonesia now has no government. 

January 1st, 1961: A new year arrives.