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Old 02-27-2019, 03:41 AM   #1
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default [IW] Patton-2

PATTON-2, 1978

Current Affairs
The Western civilization and way of life has won over most of the world, but not all that glitters is gold.

Divergence Point
1940; the Manhattan Project is hastened, the atomic bombs are used against Nazi Germany and then against the Soviet Union.

Major Civilizations
Western (empire with rivals).

Great Powers
USA (representative democracy, CR4, CR5 for minorities), British Commonwealth and Empire (oligarchy, CR4 for full citizens, CR6 for subjects), China (oligarchy, CR4), Brazil (representative democracy, CR3).

Worldline Data
TL: 7 Mana level: low
Quantum: 6 Infinity Class: P3 Centrum Zone: orange


PATTON-2
THE DIVERGENCE
In 1940, a neutral cargo ship left Lobito, a Portuguese port in Angola, headed for the USA. It carried several hundred tons of uranium ore from Belgian Congo, the main source of fissile material in the world. On Homeline, that and subsequent shipments reached Staten Island and came to be used in the first nuclear bombs. On Patton-2, that first ship just disappeared.
Its disappearance did not go unnoticed to the US authorities who were considering whether the risk mentioned in the Einstein-Szilard letter to the President required serious action. Until then, not much funding had been granted for atomic research. With that ship's disappearance (and the fear it had been sunk, or, worse, captured by a German U-Boat), the USA began spending more dollars, and more quickly, on what would become the Manhattan Project. The US decision makers feared they were in an undeclared race with the German scientists. Their decisions more than made up for that first lost batch of uranium.
The result: the first nuclear bombs were ready by March 1945.

THE WAR CONTINUES
The first bomb was dropped on Paderborn, Germany, on March 12, 1945. The second hit Mainz. The targets, minor cities but significant logistical junctions in Western Germany, had been chosen in order to cripple the already agonizing logistics of the German units facing West. The Western Allies also hoped the Germans would surrender. When this did not happen, the third bomb was dropped on Munich, a fortnight later.
This broke the dam. A half-baked coup by a few generals managed to kill Hitler, even though those same generals were put to death by the SS. German units in the West began surrendering on their own. Goering, no longer bound by his oath to Hitler, finally took control, but made a mess of it. In the end, the US and British vanguards advanced virtually unopposed, while the Soviets were still launching their spring offensive against tough resistance. It was a US flag to be unfurled over the ruins of the Reichstag at the end of April, 1945.
The Western forces should have fallen back, out of the areas of Germany assigned to the Soviet Union on the basis of the freshly undertaken Yalta agreements. But the knowledge that exceptionally powerful weapons were now available apparently influenced the judgement of the commander of the 3rd US Army: General George S. Patton. He postponed the withdrawal for the units at his command.
The incident took place West of Pilsen. It's unclear who fired on the US troops there. Possibly, mistaken Soviet units who had not been informed the Westerners had not withdrawn yet. Or maybe German units that had not laid down their weapons. Patton's orders, famously, were to "defend aggressively" whenever attacked. By the time when Eisenhower weighed his options, the whole front was ablaze.
At first, the Soviets could exploit their superiority in armor and numbers, and made inroads into Western-held territory. But the bombers took off again, first with conventional bombs, then with nuclear ones, hitting their supply lines. The T-34s stopped, with no fuel left. The Soviets fell back in disarray.

THE ENEMY WITHIN
By mid-June, 1945, with the Westerners advancing in Poland, Stalin, the Soviet leader, was ready to make a deal. He was also desperately trying to reach an agreement with the Japanese.
What nobody had expected was that the war against Communism wasn't necessarily popular in all of the West. On June 18, 1945, the French Communist Party attempted its revolution, managing to take control of some city halls and prefectures. The Italian and Greek Communists followed suit. The British Labourists went on strike in the factories, the ports and the mines. Even in Washington, there were anti-war protests.
This couldn't be tolerated, with the war still raging and the danger of a Japanese-Soviet alliance. Martial law was proclaimed, the revolutions were choked in blood, and the police cracked down on protesters. Eventually, nuclear attacks were made on Minsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kokura, Hiroshima, and other Soviet and Japanese cities. The Soviets counterattacked with chemical weapons, but to no avail.
By September 1945, the Japanese surrendered. The Soviet Union crumbled without surrendering, hit by the Western advance, an attempted military coup, and local nationalist insurrections. Stalin had a stroke and was replaced by a string of nameless and ineffective party officials, who eventually withdrew the Soviet Union to the East of Kazan. In China, the Nationalists, strongly supported by the West, continued fighting the Communists.

ALL IS NOT WELL IN THE WEST
Victory was proclaimed notwithstanding the fact that no armistice had been signed with the rump Soviet Union or the Chinese Communist redoubt in Sinkiang. But that victory was marred by the feeling that the Communist infection had spread to the victors themselves. The only solution was constant, severe vigilance.
The 1952 presidential elections were won by nobody else but Patton. His frontline leadership not just against the Germans but also against the Soviets, and his hard-line stance as to "seditious chatter on the home front", made him the most popular runner. Together with the FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, and the most representative figure in the US Senate, Senator Joseph McCarthy, they shaped the USA over a crucial decade. The USA of Patton-2 thus remained very conservative and strongly anti-Communist. In 1956, when a formal ceasefire with the shambolic Soviet Union and the hard-pressed Communist China seemed possible, a small nuke went off in Calais, France. The evidence apparently pointed to a truck-bomb that the Soviets were trying to carry to London. This prompted the nuking of Sverdlovsk, the new Soviet capital. And, what's more, that event and the sporadic terrorist attacks throughout the West made strict laws and strong police forces still a necessity.
Given that the recent history of the power balance on Patton-2 has been based on atomic weapons, it's no surprise that all the great powers listed above (and no other country) have nuclear weaponry. The US conventional forces could still defeat any other army or fleet single-handedly. But, much to the US general chagrin, the nuclear upstarts, China and Brazil, have or seem to have nuclear reprisal capability.
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GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral

Last edited by Michele; 02-27-2019 at 07:23 AM. Reason: Suggestions by TGLS
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:41 AM   #2
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: [IW] Patton-2

TODAY
It's 1978, but a visitor from Homeline could be excused if he thought it was the late 1950s. The US President is John Stock, a Republican and a USMC veteran of the "peace-keeping" counter-insurgency missions to Central America. The government's presence is pervasive, and the media, the trade unions, the minority party all march in step; those who don't toe the line, expose themselves to the accusation of being crypto-Communists. Communist parties, and parties that are defined as such by the government, are obviously illegal. The all-seeing FSA-ND (Federal Security Agency – National Division) keeps tabs on an inordinate number of citizens and is ready to crack down not only on terrorism, but also on many forms of non-violent dissent. Women are expected to stay at home; minorities must know their place and stick to it. African-Americans are formally citizens, but they are strongly discouraged from exercising their rights; extremely conservative and racist organizations are not a priority for the ND agents. Homosexuality is still a crime in most states. Marginal religions are looked down at, with suspicion. The needs of the industries, especially the military ones, trump everything else, and coupled with the numerous atmospheric nuclear explosions, this means the general environmental situation is much worse on Patton-2 than on Homeline in the 1970s.
The USA maintains "Associate Territories" under control, such as the Philippines, the Kuriles, Iceland, Panama, and others. US military bases can be found all over the world.
In the British Commonwealth and Empire, members of a few hundreds of important families always end up in Parliament and in the government. The BCE has a two-tier system, by which only full citizens have full rights, the rest of the population being "subjects of the Crown". The rules for qualifying as citizens are exacting, byzantine, and ever-changing, but the end result is that, for instance, in India only 5% of the population has citizenship rights. Subjects don't pay personal taxes, but the indirect taxation and the top-down pricing system make sure they contribute to the glory of the Commonwealth. The British are staunch allies of the USA.
Other minor Western countries, including France and Germany, have similar systems, and live in the shadow of the USA. Many still have their colonies. No European Union exists, President Patton opposed that. "Western" Russia is a capitalistic but inefficient and corrupt dictatorship.
"Western" China is a success story, and the price in terms of lack of individual freedom was paid without much fuss. Since 1969, China has nuclear missiles; Homeline's space race has taken place later on Patton-2, and it is going on between the USA and China.
The Soviet Union (also called the "Communist Siberian Anarchy" in the West) has become little more than a number of Asian semi-independent Communist townships. When they seem on the verge of reorganizing, that is considered as a threat, and a bombing campaign takes place. Currently the most important town is Krasnojarsk, after the recent bombing of Novosibirsk. The Chinese comrades fare slightly better by keeping a very low profile in Urumqi. Homeline analysts wonder whether these Communist bogeymen aren't kept alive simply in order to remain on the warpath forever. There are other vaguely Socialist countries around, but they tend to be small and unimportant (such as Denmark or Slovenia), and often demonstrations of failure, too (such as Montenegro or Somalia). That doesn't mean the Communist threat has faded in the Westerners' perception. Tiny but fanatical terrorist groups survive and strike in Europe and the USA. And guerrilla wars flare up, drag on, or are suppressed in Africa, South America, South-Eastern Asia and Western Russia. Since no external power is able to provide these guerrillas with weapons and funding, these movements are hopeless.
Brazil, the Dutch Empire and New Zealand break the pattern on Patton-2. The latter has recently seceded from the BCE and has passed liberal legislation; London has not opposed the secession, surprisingly. The Dutch are an empire, yet they have no racial discrimination and the independence movements in the colonies are unpopular and not very belligerent. Brazil never bought in the exclusionary world views that became prevalent everywhere else, even though the FSA-ID (the International Division of the US FSA, operating abroad) always sponsored and funded Brazilian conservative parties and wealthy landowners. Notwithstanding the US and British opposition, Brazil acquired nuclear technology from China in 1973, and now they say they have ballistic missiles for a retaliatory strike. This allows them enough freedom to allow free elections. And free love.
Indeed, new trends are as of now spreading among the Western youngsters, largely inspired by Brazilian attitudes and music, rather than by any politics. Young people, in places like San Francisco, London and Marseilles, claim they are entitled to "friendship and love", and openly ignore traditional Western values like patriotism, duty and anti-Communism.

OUTWORLD OPERATIONS
Currently, it is Centrum that is most active on Patton-2. Centrans clearly like the fact that one civilization, with one superpower, is on the brink of gaining complete supremacy on this world. Their agents are supporting the USA, and they seem to consider Brazil and China much more of a threat in the long term than the surviving Communist statelets. Probably, they expect to win over the whole place to Centran views. The politics of Patton-2 are very far from the meritocratic ideals of Centrum, but maybe they hope they'll be able to change that later on.
The Patrol is mostly carrying out surveillance as to Centran operations. There would be the possibility of supporting Brazil, and, even more tempting, to aid the budding cultural changes in the West. But the Intelligence Division deems Centrum does not know yet that Patton-2 has been reached by Infinity, and any blatant operation would show the Patrol's hand. It's difficult to decide whether that advantage should be forfeited in order to take a more proactive stance.
Presently, there is no evidence of smuggling, unauthorized operations, or other tampering. The divergence seems suspiciously minor for causing such a change, but Patton-2 is not alone in this. Commerce and tourism are not allowed. Technological progress is slower on Patton-2, so there is no immediate threat to the secret – at least, not from autochronous scientists.

OTHER PATTONS
Patton-1 was discovered first and was considered as an uninteresting hell parallel. Most human life had been killed there. Subsequent surveys showed the divergence was the same as on Patton-2 (thus leading to the renaming), but that around 1974, somebody started using bacteriological weapons. It is now 1988, and most cities are huge open-air cemeteries (no Gotha zombies – it must have been something else). At night, the lights are on in places like the Falklands, Greenland, Nome in Alaska, and some towns along the Yenisei River. No contact has been established yet with the populations of those areas, also because any safe contact would require conspicuous NBC suits.
Patton-3 is in Quantum 8, and no direct access has been established. Several intelligence sources describe it as the successful parallel, now in local year 2002 and at TL8. Western civilization (now locally called "Modern") has co-opted the Chinese, with some cultural contamination in the other direction. Centrum seems on the verge of operating overtly there, and probably that's because they are dissatisfied with how the locals have espoused meritocracy. Indeed, on Patton-3 pupils are immediately classed by their school tests, and "high-merit" students go ahead to higher education, and eventually land high-merit jobs. But as it happens, these are almost always children of high-merit parents, while almost all the children of "low-merit" menial workers achieve low-merit jobs. Nor is the issue going to solve itself over time, because high-merit citizens very seldom marry "lowmers". Lowmers tend not to be of European descent.
Patton-4 has just been discovered. There, the shootout in 1945 remained an isolated "friendly fire" incident, for reasons unknown as of yet. It's 1951, and the familiar Cold War scenario is in place, save that the Soviets are feared and hated even more. However, Patton had no car accident, has left the Army at the peak of his popularity, and rumors have it that he's going to enter the Republican nomination race against Eisenhower and Taft. It should be noted that the Soviet atomic bomb project has been delayed here, and the first test explosion has just taken place. The Soviets still aren't, in practice, a nuclear power – but they will be in two to three years.
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GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral

Last edited by Michele; 02-27-2019 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Suggestion by TGLS
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:47 AM   #3
Michele
 
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Comments welcome.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:42 AM   #4
TGLS
 
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Well, here's things I noticed on first pass:
- Parallels can't be shifted only echos can; Centrum has no chance of moving this timeline, but they can hope to bring it towards there point of view.
- There's been an apparent backslide of the British Commonwealth; some of the dominions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa), were effectively independent from the Britain starting in 1931 (there were some small things left over where appeals could theoretically be made to British courts and some ability for British parliament to pass legislation that effected the dominions, but this was marginal). It just seems a little odd that over the next forty years it pushes heavily in the other direction.
- Empire with satellite states seems misleading; the British clearly view themselves as equals to the Americans and don't appear to be taking orders from them, the Chinese and the Brazilians are even more independent. While the Americans clearly have satellites, it would probably be more accurate to describe them as "Empire with Rivals".
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:22 AM   #5
Michele
 
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Default Re: [IW] Patton-2

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Well, here's things I noticed on first pass:
- Parallels can't be shifted only echos can; Centrum has no chance of moving this timeline, but they can hope to bring it towards there point of view.
- There's been an apparent backslide of the British Commonwealth; some of the dominions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa), were effectively independent from the Britain starting in 1931 (there were some small things left over where appeals could theoretically be made to British courts and some ability for British parliament to pass legislation that effected the dominions, but this was marginal). It just seems a little odd that over the next forty years it pushes heavily in the other direction.
- Empire with satellite states seems misleading; the British clearly view themselves as equals to the Americans and don't appear to be taking orders from them, the Chinese and the Brazilians are even more independent. While the Americans clearly have satellites, it would probably be more accurate to describe them as "Empire with Rivals".
Thank you for the input!

I don't find it overly strange, given the premises, that the BCE still exists. On Homeline and over here, Churchill ran for the post-war election on a platform that certainly did not envision to abandon the overseas possessions; at most, the "Empire" parts would be allowed to inch towards "Commonwealth" status. Churchill lost the election - but not on Patton-2, where the elections were held in 1947 and Labourists were hamstrung by the allegations of being "fellow travelers" of the Communist, their leaders barred from running, their activists under close police scrutiny.
Naturally, places like Canada or Australia are no less effectively independent on Patton-2 than they were in our timeline in the 1930s. But given the nuclear war, the ever-present Communist scare, and the overall life of the mind on Patton-2, they find it convenient to remain in the Commowealth, and under the aegis of the British nuclear missiles. And if they don't want this to go on, they can opt out - like the New Zealand example makes clear.
It's another story in India, Malaya or Kenya - but the locals mostly don't get to vote there. It's the Empire part of the thing.
The South African government is enthusiastic about being in the Commonwealth, and love to get British contributions to the budgets of their special units, as well as know-how from the American advisors of the FSA-ID.
I hope this explains my take of things.

As to your other remarks: you are right. I'm editing my original posts to reflect that. Thank you again!
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
The first bomb was dropped on Paderborn, Germany, on March 12, 1945. The second hit Mainz. ... the third bomb was dropped on Munich, a fortnight later. ... Eventually, nuclear attacks were made on Minsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kokura, Hiroshima, and other Soviet and Japanese cities. ... By September 1945, the Japanese surrendered.
This outline requires at least a dozen nuclear weapons available in 1945, and possibly many more (depending on what it took to disrupt Soviet supply lines). If memory serves, this production rate is dramatically faster than Homeline: one of the reasons Truman didn't use nuclear weapons to blunt the Chinese entry into the Korean War in 1950 was for fear of giving away just how few of them the US actually had. I suggest that you consider (as the US war planners would) how you could achieve the same effects with the fewest possible nuclear strikes. Maybe fly delegations of observers to the ruins of Mainz to make the point?
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by thrash View Post
This outline requires at least a dozen nuclear weapons available in 1945, and possibly many more (depending on what it took to disrupt Soviet supply lines). If memory serves, this production rate is dramatically faster than Homeline: one of the reasons Truman didn't use nuclear weapons to blunt the Chinese entry into the Korean War in 1950 was for fear of giving away just how few of them the US actually had. I suggest that you consider (as the US war planners would) how you could achieve the same effects with the fewest possible nuclear strikes. Maybe fly delegations of observers to the ruins of Mainz to make the point?
It's not a dramatic increase IMHO. The third bomb would have been ready by August 20. Estimates made in July said that an additional plutonium bomb would be ready by the end of August, and three in September, and six more in October. Then a reasonable output could be 7 bombs per month, or an all-out production might reach 9. Part of this depended on being flexible as to the fissile material (and therefore as to the yields).
Note that the Soviet supply lines were attacked by means of conventional bombing, too.

Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment too!
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Comments welcome.
What is the status of space flight on Patton-1 in 1978? Who has it and who has done what with it?

What is the status of Catholicism vs. Protestantism in the Western nations?
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Well, here's things I noticed on first pass:
- Parallels can't be shifted only echos can; .
One notes that Centrum appears to believe that Homeline CAN be shifted by shifting its echoes. Me I'm inclined to think that parallels do have echoes even if Homeline hasn't spotted them yet because to assume otherwise would be overly Homeline-centric.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
What is the status of space flight on Patton-1 in 1978? Who has it and who has done what with it?
Given that there are ICBM knocking about, I suppose we must assume at least orbital capability...
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