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The main POD is that the USSR develops an atomic bomb before America and uses it on Berlin and Munich to force a German surrender in 1944. There are also some other minor PODs. Everything up to April 1, 1944, however is exactly same as OTL.
April 1, 1944- The Soviet Union secretly detonates the first successful atomic bomb in Siberia. Plans begin to be made; to use the new weapon on German and possibly Japanese Cities.
April 17, 1944- Yalta is captured by the Red Army. Stalin meets with advisors to discuss targets of a Soviet nuclear strike.
May 12, 1944- Soviet troops finalize the liberation of Crimea. Stalin finalizes orders to bomb the German city of Munich on May 20.
May 20,1944- Russian bombers fly over Munich and deploy their sole atom bomb over the heart of the city. The bomb does more damage than the Soviets had ever dreamed. An estimated 200,000 of the inhabitants were killed within the first hour by the initial blast and subsequent disasters. Over time another 60,000 would die of radiation poisoning and other health complications due to the bomb. Stalin demands surrender from Hitler. The U.S. and U.K. criticize the USSR for not telling them of their capabilities and plans.
May 22, 1944- Germany refuses to surrender and unsuccessfully tries to use the bombing to draw sympathy from its populace, however, Stalin is determined to end the war.
June 2, 1944- Without any warning, Russia drops another nuke on the German capital of Berlin during a conference between Hitler and his advisors. Nearly 300,000 people perish that day including the Führer and the German High Command. Stalin is again criticized by Roosevelt and Churchill for his unannounced attack.
June 4, 1944- Apparently one of the last in the line of command in the German Government, Friedrich Richter (one junior advisor to one of Hitlers advisors who was not in Berlin, but in fact helping victims in Munich), is pronounced leader of Germany. He immediately seeks peace with the allies. The Soviet Union sets out to impose harsh terms on Germany.
June 9, 1944- a cease-fire is called and the leaders of the United States, England, the USSR, a provisional French Government, and Germany meet in Geneva, Switzerland to begin peace talks. Meanwhile American forces reach the Philippines and begin fighting off Japanese forces there (this didn't happen till about October in OTL.)
June 14, 1944- During the Geneva Peace Conference, or just the GPC, Soviet representatives demand that Germany surrender full control of its land, military, and populace to the allies. Many of the other countries present protest including the US and UK.
June 20, 1944- Friedrich Richter, the young, new leader of a crippled Germany falls ill, doctors believe it is a result of his being in Munich so shortly after the nuclear strike. He names a not so well known Franz Braun, his second cousin and only surviving relative, as his successor if he dies. This comes as another blow to an already weak Germany and makes it harder to resist Soviet demands.
June 28, 1944- Allied forces in the Pacific finish their campaign in the Philippines and begin to make plans to invade Japanese-held China and more of the Pacific Islands. President Roosevelt travels to New Mexico to witness the progress of the Manhatten Project.
July 2, 1944- Friedrich Richter returns to the peace talks after almost 2 weeks of sickness.
July 3, 1944- The Treaty of Geneva is signed by the heads of state of the U.S.A, England, France, Russia, Italy, Germany and Canada. It states that:
- Germany will withdraw its armed forces from all of its occupied countries.
- Germany will give up some of its lands to the east (to the USSR) and the west (to France)
- Germany's military will be downsized to a maximum of 100,000 men
- The Allies will provide aid to Germany to rebuild Berlin and Munich, but Germany and Italy will also have to pay some mild reparations to France, England, the USSR and Belgium.
- Germany will receive help setting up a new government, but until then will be governed by the new, United World Confederacy (the equivalent of the UN in OTL.)
- Germany must be supervised by the allies until they are judged to be "free of the Nazi Disease."
- Italy is to give up its northwestern lands to France all the way south to Genoa and east to Verona.
- Eastern parts of Germany and some small Western parts of the USSR are to become independent.
Russia tried to push for Germany to be broken up among the allies but English Prime Minister Winston Churchill struck the idea down by saying "It is not our right to disband a sovereign country and carve up their lands for our consumption. We must allow democratic reforms to shape our German cousins into a new people who will, hopefully learn from their past." While many Germans at first opposed these conditions, they later realized how much they need the aid they were getting.
July 4, 1944- The new nations of the German Democratic Republic, the Republic of France, and the United Regions of Italy are declared.
An atomic bomb is successfully detonated in New Mexico. Roosevelt starts planning an atomic attack on Japan for a quick resolve to the war, however unlike Stalin, he consults his European Allies.
July 11, 1944- President Roosevelt makes a statement to Japan stating "If this gruesome conflict cannot be resolved by the 20th of this month, we shall have to do to one of your cities, what Russia has done to Berlin and Munich. Our lines are open, are you willing to call?"
July 15, 1944- Kyoto is chosen as the target of an atomic strike if Japan does not ask for peace.
July 17, 1944- After more than three years of fighting, Japan asks for a cease-fire with the allies, Americans throughout the nation rejoice and celebrate. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo is famous for saying, "We were ready to fight until the very end, to die before surrendering, to kill as many westerners as we could... but then they got the [Atomic] Bomb. We had no choice."
July 22, 1944- A cease-fire is called as Allied diplomats and Japanese officials meet in Wellington to begin peace talks. Nelson Richardson becomes the last casualty of World War 2 as he is killed by an artillery shell.
August 1, 1944- During the Wellington Peace Accords (WPA) a communist radical from New Zealand tries to shoot President Roosevelt. While the President is not harmed, this creates more tension between communist and democratic nations.
The Socialist Republic of Poland is formed from the remains of the country of Poland from before the war. The SRP appoints Antonin Nowak, a Soviet Loyalist, as the Premier.
August 10, 1944- Rogue Russian armed forces in Frankfurt, Germany massacre a crowd of peaceful Anti-Foreign protesters. The estimated dead are 150 Germans and 4 Russian Soldiers.