Alternate History

The Tangier and Straits of Gibraltar Zone (1983: Doomsday)

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The Tangier and Straits of Gibraltar Zone
Zona de Tánger y los Estrechos de Gibraltar
منطقة طنجة ومضيق جبل طارق

Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Spanish Provinces of Huelva, Sevilla, Cadiz and Malaga, Moroccan Provinces of Tangier-Tetouan and Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen, British Oversea Territory of Gibraltar, and the Spanish Autonomous City of Ceuta
Flag of The Straits Zone

Nulli Expugnablis Hosti (Spanish, Arabic)

(and largest city)
Other cities Ceuta, Tetouan
Language Spanish, Arabic
Government International territory administered by the Atlantic Defense Community
Area app. 35,000 km km²
Population app. 1,000,000 
Currency Peso Español, Riffan

The Tangier and Straits of Gibraltar Zone was created by the League of Nations after the War of the Alboran Sea, in order to prevent the sea traffic going through the straits Gibraltar from being disrupted. Since its creation it has been administered by the Atlantic Defense Community from the city of Tangier. The zone includes most of the coastline on the Straits of Gibraltar excluding the cities of Huelva, Cadiz, and Tarifa, which were ceded to the Republic of Spain in 2010 due to growing Spanish immigration to the regions after it was reported that the radioactivity had dropped significantly since it was last tested in 1990.

Doomsday 1983-1984

Three bombs fell on what would later become the international straits zone. All of the bombs fell on the the European side hitting the British Naval base at Gibraltar, the Spanish Naval base at Rota, and the Moron airbase, also in Spain. The fallout from the bombings mainly spread south to Morocco, the evacuation of the effected areas were disastrous mainly because the Moroccan Government drastically underestimated the amount of supplies that would be need. The refugee crisis eventually lead to the collapse of Morocco, which allowed warlords and gangs to gain power in much of the region around Tangier. On the Spanish side of the straits, the situation wasn't much better, the remnants of the Spanish Navy tried to evacuate as many people as they could to the Canary Islands and the Balearic islands. A few poor souls tried to flee to Morocco on improvised boats, not realizing that they were only jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Most of the surviving Spanish refugees fled east to Granada as rumors spread that the local government had manged to remain relatively stable through the crisis. Granada, however, would skim on the brink of collapse because of the influx of people, barely surviving by collectivizing farming and implementing harsh rations.

Post-Doomsday 1985-2003

By 1985, much of what would later become the international zone was left mostly dominated by nomads and rogue gangs. Although on the African side, a few warlords were able to establish independent city states, the most famous of these city states include Kenitra, whose inhabitants valiantly resisted the Islamists to south, Ceuta which was controversially re-founded in 1987 by a large group of Spanish refugees fearful of being absorbed into the Moroccan majority, and Ksar el-Kebir, which became a powerful bandit-state that lead the main resistance against being absorbed by the international zone. In 1990, Pais de Oro attempted to re-colonize the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, however, it was soon found that the radiation was still strong and the effort had to be abandoned.

The War of the Alboran Sea 2004-2007

The importance of the straits of Gibraltar was rediscovered by the international community in 2004 when much of the region fell to Sicily during the the War of the Alboran Sea. Local resistance was brutally crushed as Sicily solidified its control over the region and trade going into the Mediterranean was cut by Sicily in an attempt to strike a final debilitating blow to its enemies in Northern Italy and Pais de Oro. However, this move also gave Sicily a new enemy, an international coalition made up of the Republic of Rif, the Celtic Alliance, Portugal, Chile and the United American Republic were called into the war by Pais de Oro in order to contain the growing power of Sicily. In late 2005 Ceuta had been liberated by the coalition after months of Sicilian occupation, turning the tide of the war. The Coalition now controlled the straits allowing for operation to help relieve PdOr troops that had been under siege for years on the Balearic Islands. The coalition continued to push forward until forcing Sicily into an uneasy peace in mid 2007.

ADC Occupation 2007-Present

After the war, there were many questions over what was to happen the straits region. Initial proposals included splitting the region between PdOr and the Republic of Rif. However, these were soon overlooked due to PdOr temporary instability after the war and fears of sparking a war between the Republic of Rif and Morocco by giving the disputed region to the Republic of Rif. It was soon decided that the territory would be governed by the brand new Atlantic Defense Community, the successor to the wartime coalition founded to contain Sicily. With the notable exception of Ksar el-Kebir, the city states on the Moroccan side of the zone welcomed ADC rule seeing it as the beginning of a new era of stability and safety from both external and internal raids. The Spanish side was sparsely populated by nomads, so their was no serious reaction either way towards incorporation into the Straits zone. In the past few years both sides of the straits zone have experienced much growth, the Moroccan side has become a fiscal paradise and has seen a huge economic growth due to geographical position next to some of the world most important trade routes. Spanish side has been limited due to its low population but has recently received many immigrants from the Canary Islands after it was reported that radiation levels had dropped to habitable levels. In 2010, after pressure from the local inhabitants, the cities of Tarifa, Cadiz and Huelva were transferred to the newly formed Republic of Spain paving the way for the future incorporation of the entire European side of the zone into Spain.


According to the last census, about half of the one million people living in the straits zone identify themselves as Riffian. Moroccans make up the largest minority accounting for 250,000 of the inhabitants in the zone. Spaniards number at 180,000 and make up over 80% of the European side of the straits zone. Portuguese, French, other Europeans, and Algerians make up the remaining segment of the population. A majority of the zones inhabitants live on the African side numbering approximately 870,000 people while only about 130,000 people live on the European side. Most people living in the straits zone consider themselves Muslim although their are large community of Jews and Christians that make up a sizable portion of the population.

Disputed Status

The Republic of Spain has recently asked the ADC to transfer the remaining the former Spanish territories within the zone back to Spanish control. Controversially, Spain also requested ownership over the ruins of what once was Gibraltar, this caused a sharp rise in tensions between Spain and New Britain which claimed Gibraltar, being a former British oversea territory. However, despite ties with the Commonwealth, Canada has supported Spanish claims preferring that the strategic entrance to the Mediterranean to remain within the hands of a fellow ADC member. It is believed that, unofficially, Canada was also eyeing its own dispute with France over Saint-Pierre and Miquelon when making the decision. With no objections within the ADC, it is likely that the European side of the strait will soon be given to Spain. However, the Moroccan side could prove to be much more complicated with various factions rivaling over control of the zone. The Kingdom of Morocco and the Islamic Republic of Morocco both claim the entire African side as successors to the pre-1983 Moroccan state. The Republic of Rif also lays claim most of the region due to large support of the majority of the zones inhabitants for integration into the Republic of Rif. Ceuta, which was resettled in 1990 and remains primarily Spanish, is claimed by Spain. Recently, however their has been a rising tide of support for the Establishment of an independent Republic of Tangier in order to keep intact the flourishing commercial activity the region has experienced after becoming an tax free international territory.

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