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Alternate History

This is the Dream

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"We are awaiting aggression by Israel and any supporters of Israel. We will make it a decisive battle and get rid of Israel once and for all...this is the dream of every Arab."

Gamal Abdel Nasser, 1959

Scenario

Despite lending substantial diplomatic and economic support to nations such as Egypt and Syria during the height of the Arab Nationalist Movement in the 1960's, the Soviet Union was nevertheless reserved when it came to military support. This proved a poor decision; for the lack of modern military hardware and planning proved decisive when the USSR's primary regional allies were defeated by Israel following the Six-Days War. What if, however, the Soviets were more willing to lend the Arabs the support they needed the most...

POD

Following the fall of Nikita Khrushchev in the Fall of 1964, the Soviet Union's new leadership troika (composed of Leonid Brezhnev, Alexei Kosygin, and Nikolai Podgorny) began to initiate a considerable shift in foreign policy that deviated far from the one employed by their predecessor. Rather than militarily supporting their allies in Africa and Western Asia outright as the Khrushchev regime had done, the troika instead opted for merely economically supporting states such as Syria and the United Arab Republic whilst diverting surplus military hardware to independence movements in South-East Asia as a means to more readily fight against American and Chinese influence, particularly in Vietnam.

In this timeline however, the troika never opts to completely remove the socialist-nationalist states in Africa and the Middle East from their defence network; instead, they continue to supply the predominantly Arab nations aligned to them with the training and hardware they needed to oppose both states that fell under the spectre of American-influence, and their own regional rival; Israel.

Timeline

1964

October 14 - The Presidium and Central Committee of the Soviet Union both vote to accepted what is ostensibly the resignation of First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev. In his place, Leonid Brezhnev is elected to fill the position, whilst Alexei Kosygin succeeds Khrushchev's former role as Premier.

December 10 - Despite overtures to do so during the run-up to the Fall of Nikita Khrushchev, both Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin agree not to militarily abandon aligned Arab states for those of South-East Asia; believing that the newly-re-elected President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, would not begin escalating already heightened tensions in the region following the detonation of China's first nuclear bomb earlier in October. Instead, they maintain their present military support system with the socialist-nationalist states in the Middle East.

1967

May 18 - Israel launches a pre-emptive air strike against the air forces of the United Arab Republic. Whilst the strike is successful, it doesn't completely knock-out the UAR air force, much of which was stationed on the west bank of the Suez Canal. Israel invades the Sinai Peninsula later that day, beginning the Palestine War.

May 20 - Jordan begins shelling Israeli positions along their mutual border, bringing the nation into the Palestine War.

May 21 - Syria mobilizes along the Israeli border in response to news of a UAR victory against Israeli forces in the Sinai.

May 25 - Fearful of a Syrian invasion into through their eastern border, Israel launches a campaign to knock the nation out of war by invading the Golan Heights.

May 28 - Fighting in Arish begins as Israeli soldiers break through Egyptian border defences. Shortly afterwards, Old City Jerusalem falls to the Israeli army.

June 7 - In response to Israeli planes intruding on their airspace, Lebanon begins to mortar bomb Israeli military positions along their border.

June 15 - The Siege of Jerusalem begins as Jordanian forces surround the Israeli-occupied city.

June 19 - An extraordinary session of the Arab League is held in Cairo to establish a unified Arab military force to fight Israel.

July 3 - Israel begins drafting men and women (some as young as 12) into a combatant 'citizen guard' to defend the nation against the encroaching Arab forces.

July 8 - The Israeli front in the Sinai collapses following UAR victory in the second battle of Arish.

July 24 - Trench warfare in the Golan Heights ends following the entry of the Lebanese and Kuwaiti air forces into the conflict.

August 18 - The Israeli garrison in Jerusalem surrenders, ending the two month-long siege.

August 20 - An Israeli plane carrying a nuclear bomb is shot down whilst attempting to destroy the settlement of Gonen which had recently been converted into a base for 25,000 Syrian and Iraqi soldiers. In response, Lebanon completes mobilization and begins a separate invasion of Israel through their northern border.

August 24 - Soldiers within the Arab League begin a week-long offensive with the goal of dealing a decisive blow against Israel.

August 25 - A second Israeli nuclear bomb is dropped over the city of Gaza which then stationed 28,000 UAR soldiers. The bomb, however, does not explode but breaks upon impact, with the contents of the device being seized by the UAR military.

September 3 - Prime Minister Levi Eshkol begins the evacuation of major Jewish settlements along the Israeli coast to the island of Cyprus.

September 5 - A dirty bomb is dropped by Israel over UAR forces converging on city of Ashkelon. The initial blast kills 415 soldiers whilst the spread of radiation would ultimately result in the deaths of over 13,000 soldiers and civilians.

September 6 - The September Massacre begins against Jewish civilians after Arab leaders announce that all Jews within occupied territories would henceforth be considered enemy combatants unless they turned themselves over to military authorities. This date is traditionally considered to be the starting point of the Second Shoah.

September 22 - The conventional stage of the Palestine War concludes after UAR soldiers force the surrender of the remaining Israeli military garrison in Tel Aviv. A guerrilla campaign led by members of the 'citizen guard' begins shortly thereafter.

October 5 - Leaders of the victorious Arab states that participated in the Palestine War meet in Cairo to establish 'zones of occupation' that are initially formed as military territories that would be rebuilt and ultimately transferred to the Palestinian people.

October 8 - President Nasser announces that all Jews remaining within territories occupied by the UAR would be expelled over a period of five years. Jordan, Syria and Lebanon soon begin instituting similar policies.

October 15 - The first mass internment camps begin construction in UAR-occupied Palestine as a means to concentrate Israeli civilians captured in the war and limit threats of guerrilla activity.

November 3 - The Arab League establishes a court in Jerusalem to prosecute captured Israeli officials charged with 'crimes against humanity'.

1968

February 21 - Jordan officially annexes its 'zone of occupation' established following the Palestine War, beginning a series of anti-Jordanian protests by the Palestinian people that are eventually put down.

February 29 - Eight Israeli officials are condemned to death-by-hanging in the first convictions of the Jerusalem Trials. Among the eight was Israeli President Zalman Shazar, Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan, and Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin. Two of the eight would ultimately commit suicide on the day of the hangings.

September 6 - Swaziland becomes independent of the United Kingdom.

November 5 - Vice President Hubert Humphrey is elected president of the United States over the Republican candidate Richard Nixon and American Independent candidate George Wallace

1971

August 25 - An attempted coup in Syria led by Defence Minister Hafez al-Assad fails. During the events of the coup, President Nureddin al-Atassi was fatally wounded and would die four days after his return to power. He would be replaced by the Deputy General Secretary, Salah Jadid.

1972

March 12 - The assassination of King Hussein of Jordan by Emil Rida leads to the anti-Palestinian riots throughout Jordan. In response, members of the Palestine Liberation Organization raid a military compound in Madaba, precipitating the Jordanian Civil War.

June 10 - President Gamal Abdel Nasser of the United Arab Republic, President Abdul Rahman Arif of Iraq, and President Salah Jadid of Syria sign the Second Union Protocols in Port Said; forming a state union between the three Arab republics.

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