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Point of Divergence


Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard

Leo Szilard (originally Leo Spitz, 1898-1964) was a Jewish-born Hungarian and later American physicist and inventor. He was 21 years old when convinced himself that the post-war Hungary was no future for him therefore Szilard left his homeland for Berlin. The young man enrolled at the Friedrich Wilhelm University where he met Albert Einstein, Eugene Wigner and John von Neumann. Szilard received German citizenship in 1930 but was already uneasy about the political situation in the country.

When Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, he urged his family and friends to flee Europe while they still could. In our timeline he also successfully moved to England, but what would have happened if Nazis arrested and executed him in 1933? Probably, he never wrote the letter for Albert Einstein's signature that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb.


  • 1945


    Soviet flag over the Reichstag

    After the Potsdam Conference, which started in late July, the United States couldn't use atomic bombs against Japan because Enrico Fermi built the first American nuclear reactor only in 1947. So President Truman had to rely on Operation Downfall, and the attack begins on October 14, within few days casualties was massive for both sides. Five months later Hirohito's representatives surrendered before the Allies in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Missouri. The Greater Japanese Empire fell apart, and the World War II ended.

    Meanwhile, after months of planning the United Nations Conference opened in San Francisco. The intergovernmental organization officially came into existence on 6 December, upon ratification of the UN Charter by the five permanent members of the Security Council (United States, Soviet Union, France, United Kingdom and Republic of China).

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  • 1946

    Communist enters Beiping

    Communist troops in Manchuria

    The Soviet Union liberated from the Axis powers and occupied a significant part of Europe and Asia. These territories became satellite states of the forming East Block. In January, the first communist government set up by Enver Hoxha in Albania. The new socialist countries not only had to reproduce Soviet command economies but also had to adopt the brutal methods employed by Stalin.

    In March, Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of United Kingdom, had given his famous speech in Fulton urging the democratic forces of the world to fight the Soviet Union.

    At the Tehran Conference, the Allies guaranteed the post-war independence of Iran, but the Soviet troops, which stationed in the country, refused to withdraw in March. In late 1945, two socialist puppet state, the Azerbaijan People's Government and the Republic of Mahabad, came into existence in this area. Despite Iran's official complaint to the newly formed Security Council, the Red Army openly joined the conflict and captured Mashhad, the second most populous city of the Islamic monarchy. The Soviet-Iran War has begun.

    By the end of the Second World War, the balance of power in China's civil war has shifted in favor of the Communists, thanks to the Stalin's assistance. On 20 July, Chiang Kai-shek launched a large-scale assault, and this marked the final phase of the conflict.

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  • 1947

    Soviet Tabriz

    Soviet tankmen drive through the streets of Tabriz

    After minor clashes, the mainly Azeri-Kurdish troops invaded Tehran and several other northern cities; therefore, the residents of these areas, including the royal family, had to flee to Isfahan. The hostilities continued until August, despite the Security Council calls for the ceasefire. The war finally ended with Resolution 19 which was accepted by both sides. The Tabriz Peace Treaty signed on 12 August and went into effect the following day. The Shah ceded a portion of Kurdistan and the entire North-Iran while the capital city returned his country.

    Meanwhile the United States, in accordance with the Truman Doctrine, declared active role in Greek Civil War. The democratic forces, with weaponry assistance of America, repulsed the communists until the end of the year. In December, the rebels announced the formation of a Provisional Democratic Government but nobody recognized the new leadership.

    At the same time, the United States enacted the Marshall Plan, the economic support to help rebuild European countries after the end of World War II. Although, offered participation the Soviet Union refused the aid and also blocked benefits to whole Eastern Bloc.

    On November 18, the successful assassination against Josip Broz Tito, the prime minister of Yugoslavia resulted in numerous strikes all over the state. Two weeks later the Red Army invaded Belgrade and other regions of the country, and the new Soviet-installed government had suppressed all public opposition.

    The Azerbaijan People's Government, following a controversial referendum, joined the Soviet Union at the end of the year; meanwhile Mahabad stayed de jure independent and changed its name to the People's Socialist Republic of Kurdistan.

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