Alternate History

Libya (1983: Doomsday)

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Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Libya
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Coat of arms of Libya
Flag Coat of Arms
Capital {{{capital}}}
Largest city Tripoli
Other cities Benghazi, Sahba, Kufre, Sirt
  others Tamazight
Religion Islam
Demonym Libyan
Area 1,759,541 km2

679,359 sq mi km²

Annexation to Greece: 1988

to Egypt: 2011

Time Zone East European Time (UTC+2)

Libya was a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa and was once the fourth largest country in Africa by area. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. The country collapsed shortly after Doomsday and is now largely divided between Greece, Egypt, Tamahaq and various autonomous tribes.



Libya has for many thousands of years been fought over by various world superpowers, Libya was ruled over by the Romans, then the Arabs, then the Ottoman empire and until the end of the second world war it was ruled by the Italians. However, after the war ended the United Kingdom took control of the country as a British administration colony. In 1951 Libya declared independence from the UK as a constitutional monarchy under King Idris.

On September 1, 1969, a small group of military officers led by then 27-year-old army officer Muammar al-Gaddafi staged a coup d'état against Sultan Idris, launching the Libyan Revolution. At the time, Idris was in Turkey for medical treatment. His nephew, Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi, became King. It was clear that the revolutionary officers who had announced the deposition of Sultan Idris did not want to appoint him over the instruments of state as King. Gaddafi was at the time only a captain and his co-conspirators were all junior officers. Nevertheless the small group seized Libyan military headquarters (due to the sympathies of the stationed men) and the radio broadcasting station with 48 rounds of revolver ammunition. Before the end of September 1, Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida had been formally deposed by the revolutionary army officers and put under house arrest. Meanwhile, revolutionary officers abolished the monarchy, and proclaimed the new Libyan Arab Republic. Gaddafi was, and is till Doomsday, referred to as the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution" in government statements and the official press.

Since the early 1980's Libya began to distance itself from the USA. On August 19, 1981 the US navy was sent close to Libya's coast which resulted in a confrontation where two of the SU-22 fighters supplied to Libya by the Soviet Union were shot down. Following this, Libya was implicated in committing mass acts of state-sponsored terrorism.


On Doomsday, Libya itself was not attacked. However, due to the destruction of many of its trade partners and the fact that the military were fighting a war on the border with Chad to the south, the military and government leaderships were stretched to the breaking point. Emergency plans were immediately put into to place to maintain order and stability. The Libyan navy also began deploying to intercept European refugees and turn them back.


In October 1983, Colonel Gaddafi orders the military to withdraw from the war with Chad to guard the borders from possible invasion from Egypt and help maintain internal order. Over the course of the next few months, internal feuding broke out in the regime. Elements of the Libyan Army began to move against Gaddafi and plot the takeover the Arab Jamahiriya.

Civil War

In early January 1984, due to largely in part to a public outcry against food rationing, a military coup overthrows Gaddafi (his fate is unknown, however it is assumed that he was executed). After major infighting between the members of the new leadership, a brief civil war broke out in late 1984 between the two highest ranking military leaders, one based in Tripoli and the other in Benghazi. Within six months of fighting, both sides had almost wiped each other out and the country had collapsed into anarchy and chaos. With no central security forces, many warlords took control of towns throughout the country. These warlords typically took control of various coastal cities or had the backing of a certain tribe or group of tribes. Notable warlords existed in the pro-Gadaffi remnant in Sirte, the authoritarian democracy in Misrata, and the Berber warlords of Nafusa Mountains. Infighting continued for many years, which weakened the position of Libya militarily.

International investigators assessed that Libya as a unified, independent country ceased to exist sometime early in 1985. After the major initial battles from 1984-1986, the conflict died down. However, western Libya existed in a fluctuating state between fragile peace and low-intensity warfare, with a few exceptional battles and campaigns, all of which resulted in what amounted to the destruction of Tripoli. Meanwhile, the coast was invaded by the Despotate of Morea, which sparked a new round of vicious warfare in the region.

Libyan-Morean War

After Libya


In recent years, the southern parts of the former country have been taken over by Egypt. The coastline was taken over by the Greek state of Morea, and later turned into the Despotate of Cyrenaica. The Touareg, Tebou and Berber tribes that inhabit southwestern Libya were highly resistant to foreign control and the only remaining independent areas. However, the slow degradation of water extraction systems and the collapse of agricultural imports decimated the population of the region. From a pre-Doomsday population of roughly 400,000, the population of Western Libya was reduced to a merely fifty thousand. What remains of the population is scattered among small oasis towns across the desert.


Before Doomsday, the Toureg were strong supporters of the Gaddafi regime. After his assassination, the Touareg were one of the earliest groups to rebel against the central government. Once the civil war began, the Touareg were able to drive out forces from both factions. During the anarchy that ensued, the Touareg estalished their de facto autonomy.

The Libyan Touareg (along with remaining Tebou People) joined with their tribal brothers in the nation of Tamahaq, which slowly took control of parts of southwestern Libya in the late 1990s.


Relations between the various states and tribes in Libya are very complex. Greece and Egypt have had good relations for a number of years. However, some fiction between the two nations occurred in the race to control Libya's oil, but recent pipeline agreements have eased such tensions.

Relations between the Libyan tribes, Greece, and Egypt are much more frayed. Egypt has managed to maintain a somewhat positive relation with the tribes because of the nature of their annexation of eastern Libya and Arab ancestry. Local, mainly Toubou, tribes, villages, and towns invited the Egyptians to take control of the area, now known as Egypt's Al Kufrah province. In exchange, Egypt has helped develop an advanced irrigation and aqueduct system for the region. The nature of the Egyptian takeover has also helped maintain good relations with other tribes in western Libya, though some, mainly Arab, tribes continue to resent, if not act against, their presence.

The western tribes of former Libya have rather bad relations with the Greek state of Cyrenaica. The state was formed following the conquest of the region by forces from the Greek Despotate of Morea. In 1988, Morean forces defeated the local warlords and conquered Benghazi, renaming it Euesperides in honor of the classical Greek city in the region, and the rest of the area quickly followed. Following the Morean conquest, a stream of Greek immigrants settled across the newly conquered territories. The area was declared separate from Morea by the Despot as part of the Despotate of Cyrenaica in 1990.


500px-Libya ethnic.svg

Libya is a very diverse region. It is inhabited by Arabs, Touregs, Toubou, Berbers, and recent Greek and Egyptian immigrants. Most of the new Greek immigrants are concentrated in the city of Euesperides, which is still called Benghazi by the native Libyans, the capital of Cyrenaica. Likewise, the small Egyptian population largely resides in Al Jawf, capital of Egyptian Libya.

Outside the Greek and Egyptian controlled areas, Libya is controlled by a handful of Arab, Berber, Tabou, and Toureg tribes. The Berber, Toubou, and Toureg tribes have largely banded together based on ethnicity to establish rough areas of control. The Berbers, known to themselves as the Amazigh, have established a tribal homeland in the Nafusa Mountains that stretches from Yefren in the north towards Ghudamis in the south. The Toureg maintain control of southwest Libya and cooperate extensively with their fellow tribes in Algeria and Niger. The Toubou tribes control most of southern Libya and make up most of the native population in the Egyptian controlled areas. They also cooperate with their tribal brothers in Niger and Chad.

The Arab tribes of Libya are more numerous than other tribes. Arab-controlled territory stretches from Bani Walid in the north to south of Sabha. Numerous Arab tribes inhabit the area, including the larger Warfalla and Hassawna tribes. Arabs represent the largest population outside Greek and Egyptian controlled territory.


After Doomsday, the climate across the world was heavily impacted. Thanks to the dust and fallout ejected into the atmosphere by the nuclear blasts, there were several years of devastating drought. However, the climate of northern Africa has recently stablised and has become wetter than pre-DD. Rainfall has increased slightly since Doomsday and the desert is beginning to recede in certain areas. The fertile Libyan coastal strip has expanded southward. Additional savannah-like characteristics are slowly coming to the Sahara.

In addition to overall climate changes, eastern Libya has experienced slight greening thanks to Egyptian engineering. Lake Qattara has expanded across the former Libyan/Egyptian border into the area south of Al Jaghbub. This area has experienced a significant climate shift and is now a savannah. Elsewhere in eastern Libya, several aquifers have been dug with Egyptian assistance to provide more water to the local population. The irrigation systems from these aquifers have artificially greened several urban areas in eastern Libya, though these changes are fragile and entirely dependent on the continued operation of the irrigation systems. Some lakes fed by naturally pressured springs and aquifers have also been formed.

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