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Alternate Cold War 1960 - Cold War in Europe

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This is part of the same alternative historical timeline as this one: Alternative Cold War: Soviet Empire 1960. See also: 
Alternate Cold War 1960 - Europe Political
Soviet Finland and the USSR in Northern Europe

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The map depicts the division of Europe into the communist and non-communist camps; east and west. Following is a short description of the main regions:

 

Scandinavia: The Soviet Union defeated Finland in the Winter War in 1940 and established a puppet government in the country. Later in the war, Soviet troops crossed the borders into Norway and liberated Northern Norway from the German occupying forces. When the Germans surrendered in late 1945 and the US-backed Norwegian government-in-exile returned, some Soviet troops had reached as far south as Trondheim. The Red Army liberated Denmark in the autumn of 1945. Post-war negotiations between the US and the USSR lead to an agreement in 1945, in which the US and Norway agreed to the Soviet annexation of Finnmark and Troms regions of Northern Norway, in addition to the town of Narvik , as well as sovereignty over Svalbard. In return, Stalin agreed to withdraw all troops from Denmark and the remaining Norwegian territories leave them to join NATO. The Norwegian population of the annexed territories were deported southwards, and the area was repopulated by Russians over the course of the next decade. According to the agreement, the Americans agreed to look the other way when the Finnish Democratic Republic was fused with the Karelian SSR in 1949, in other words, as Finland was annexed by the Soviet Union. In response to all this, Sweden found herself forced to join NATO in 1950 out of fear of Soviet aggression.

Western Europe: The nations of Western Europe were liberated mostly by American troops during 1945. After the war, they bound together and formed NATO in 1949 along with the United States and Canada, as a response to the perceived threat of the Soviet Union.

Germany: As Nazi-Germany crumbled, the Americans and the Soviets agreed to that Germany would be carved up into four states, each occupied by either power: West Germany and South Germany (USA), East Germany (USSR) and Austria, which was occupied by both at the end of the war. Negotiations on a final settlement regarding Germany and Austria dragged on in the post-war year due to mutual mistrust. In 1950, as the Cold war had settled in, the Americans went on an released a relatively independent German state in the Western and Southern zones. Stalin reacted not only by establishing an East German state, but by claiming the right to control Austria by releasing an Austrian communist state in the Soviet occupation zone of Austria. Until a settlement will be reached on the Austrian matter, the US-occupied western Austria remains integral with West Germany.

Central-Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania were gradually pupetized by the Soviet Union after liberation from Nazi-Germany. Along with East Germany and Austria, these states make up the Warsaw Pact states in Europe. Stalin initially wanted to annex Poland, but his hand was forced by the Americans and British during post-war negotiations. An officially independent Poland was the least the Western Powers could ask for, since the war had after all begun over the issue of Polish independence.

The Balkans: Yugoslavia was the only country in Europe to be almost completely liberated by partisans in the war. In the post-war years, talks between communist Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria about the establishment of a Balkan Federation were supported and fuelled by Moscow until the Stalin-Tito Splilt in 1949. By that time however, it was too late for Stalin to veto the formation of the federation which was established in 1951.

Communists came to power in Greece through direct and indirect support from Yugoslavia. Greece is undoubtedly closely aligned with Yugoslavia and was projected to join the Balkan Federation. However, the Soviets enjoy enough influence in Athens to effectively halt Greece’s accession. Greece gained territories from Turkey in Thrace after the war, and Greek communists work closely with the Turkish communists and Soviet authorities in the administration of the Straits Zone, where many Greeks are living.

Turkey: Turkey entered the Axis and the invasion of the Soviet Union out of fear of Soviet expansionism in the Middle East and in order to regain its former pre-WWI standing in the region. For a number of reasons, mostly geopolitical and strategic but also based on old Russian-Turkish animosities, Stalin was especially demanding when it came to punishing Turkey after the war. Large territories were annexed into Kurdistan, parts of Turkish Thrace was annexed to Greece and some areas were annexed by the Armenian SSR. The Straits Zone remains under Soviet military administration and is still formally considered an occupation zone, but it has a joint Turkish and Greek civil administration. The remaining Turkish territories are controlled by a communist puppet government in Ankara.

The Middle East: Back in the era of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, when the Soviets were effectively in a state of war with Britain, Stalin directed his attention to Central Asia and the Near East. With British influence in the region declining or gone, he managed to establish pro-Soviet regimes in Afghanistan and Iran, as well as the creation of a free Kurdistan in 1940-41. A treaty with Iran saw to it that Azeri- and Turkmen-populated areas of Iran were transferred over to the Soviet Union. Kurdistan was formed from Iranian and Iraqi territories in following Soviet-orchestrated uprisings in Iraq during the war in 1940-41, and became the bastion of Soviet influence in the Middle East.

Being the regional power in the Middle East with its solid puppet allies in Turkey, Iran and Kurdistan, the Soviet Union could affect the post-war developments in the former mandates of Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq, where Soviet-supported Arab Socialist parties came to power in opposition to the former European imperialist powers. Moscow gained the Arab Socialists’ friendship more through support than threats and violence, which otherwise was often Soviet communists’ way of doing business. For example did the USSR support Syrian acquisition of Lebanon in the immediate aftermath WWII; the Soviets reconciled with Iraqi leaders in the 1950s by orchestrating the return of Mosul and Kirkuk from Kurdistan to Iraq and supported Iraqi annexation of Kuwait formerly under British influence. Furthermore, Soviet leaders gained the support of Palestinian Arab Socialists when, in 1949 they vetoed the establishment of Israel as proposed by the Western Powers.

Naturally, some government circles in other communist states, most notably in Central-Eastern Europe, would prefer that kind of relationship vis-á-vis the Soviet Union. But currently, the Red Army has the Warsaw Pact states firmly kept in rigid Sovietism behind the barbed wire of the Iron Curtain.


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EDIT 16.04.2017: Fixed "Lybia"- "Libya"; edited paper layer and revised margins.

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Picqot's avatar

Cool idea, Greece having an access to the Black Sea ^^