This is the official timeline for the alternate history 1984: We Begin Bombing

((Not finished yet, will continue to add more))

Point of Divergence

Ronald Reagan

Official portrait of Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States

While running for re-election, President Ronald Reagan was preparing to make his weekly Saturday address on NPR (National Public Radio). As a sound check, he said a statement (intended as a joke) to the radio technicians:

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

In fact, it was actually a parody of the opening line of that day's speech:

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you that today I signed legislation that will allow student religious groups to begin enjoying a right they've too long been denied — the freedom to meet in public high schools during non-school hours, just as other student groups are allowed to do."

Point of Divergence: President Reagan refuses to make a sound check, and instead backs up his joke, bombing Soviet targets within five minutes of his statement

11 August, 1984, The Beginning of WWIII

  • 9:06 AM - President Reagan surprises everyone from his ranch at Rancho del Cielo, CA by announcing that the United States will begin bombing targets in the Soviet Union within five minutes.
  • 9:07 AM - Soviet Premier Konstantin Chernenko convenes an emergency session of the Politburo to discuss the statement; the Friendship Games are interrupted at this point, and the Soviet military is placed on high alert.
  • 9:09 AM - American bombers begin their bombing runs in the Russian SFSR and East Germany.
  • 9:30 AM - First bombs are dropped off in 32 towns and cities across East Germany and the Ukrainian and Belorussian SSRs. American bombers were also spotted in some towns in the western Russian SFSR.
  • 9:31 AM - Soviet Premier Chernenko finally declares war on the United States and its allies. World War III begins.

Mid-1984: First Stages

  • 12 August - Massive aerial bombardment continues, Soviet Air Force jets begin attacking American bombers, destroying three bombers and seven fighter escorts. American troops stationed in South Korea are placed on high alert in case of a North Korean attack. NATO begins preparations for an invasion into East Germany.
  • 16 August - The start of the NATO invasion of East Germany; NATO troops quickly take Suhl and the surrounding areas, while Soviet and East German troops hold their positions in rest of the country; the Red Army begins shelling West Berlin in an attempt to take the city. Start of the Great Baltic Rebellion
  • 17 August - NATO troops take Erfurt, Gera, Magdeburg and Wismar, and Schwerin as Soviet troops withdraw to deal with the rebels; Kim Il-Sung declares war on South Korea, and Japan declares war on North Korea in return
  • 18 August - A secret conference is held between Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Finnish President Mauno Koivisto, and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Together, they would agree to form an alliance to retake land lost to the Soviet Union, China, and other communist nations.
  • 30 August - Without warning, Boer ultranationalists and military officers (led by General Constand Viljoen) seize power in South Africa, killing Prime Minister P.W. Botha, and many other high officials. They officially disband the republic and replace it with a military junta (with Viljoen as leader); Great Britain is powerless to stop them, focusing their attentions to the war in Eastern Europe.
  • 1 September - NATO troops finally reach the outer limits of West Berlin; the Siege of Berlin ends and the Berlin Wall is demolished at this point.
  • 2 September - Soviet troops make surprising gains against the Baltic rebels. NATO decides to act decisively to aid the rebels.
Baltic Rebellion

A Lithuanian man waves his flag as NATO troops enter Lithuania to assist the rebels

  • 5 September - Great Baltic Rebellion: A large contingent of NATO troops arrives (by boat from bases in Denmark) to Kaliningrad Oblast to open a new front against the Soviet Union and to aid the rebels, almost immediately; they retake Soviet gains in Lithuania and Estonia (Latvian rebels however, are still losing badly against the Soviets)
  • 7 September - Great Baltic Rebellion: NATO troops drive out the last remaining Soviet forces in Kaliningrad Oblast and begin the invasion of Poland itself. Meanwhile, the rest of NATO forces in Central Europe begin to push to the Oder River, taking Leipzig, Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz), Rostock and other major towns in the process.
  • 8 September - Rather than fight to the death, the East German government (residing in Dresden) surrenders and Germany is reunified once more. By then, NATO troops have crossed the Oder-Neisse Line and have already taken Szczecin (Stettin)
  • 15 September - More NATO troops arrive in the Baltics and finally drive out the last Soviet troops in Latvia, while NATO troops in Lithuania/Kaliningrad take Olsztyn.
  • 16 September - The Tripartite Pact nations (Finland, India, and the Philippines) finally declare war on both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China; in response, Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping declares war on the United States and its allies. The 2nd Continuation War begins.
  • 17 September - In one surprising declaration, Gen. Viljoen strips millions of non-Boer South Africans(including millions of British South Africans) of their citizenship. Again, Britain protests but does nothing.
  • 20 September - NATO/Finnish troops begin preparations for the invasion of East Karelia and the Kola Peninsula; Massive aerial bombardment still continues during this time.
  • 24 September - Without warning, North Korean troops suddenly attack American/South Korean positions in the DMZ, while Chinese troops invade Kinmen Island in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan.

Late 1984: The Escalation

  • 25 September - While the war is still ongoing, Morocco sees the opportunity and declares war on Algeria and Mauretania, while Algeria and Mauretania's leaders in turn join the Warsaw Pact.
  • 26 September - Backed by popular demand, Argentine president Carlos Menem suddenly declares war on Great Britain to retake the Falkland Islands. Just like in South Africa, Britain protests, but does nothing.
  • 4 October - NATO and Finnish troops finally begin the invasion of East Karelia, taking Vyborg (Viipuri), Sortavala, Porosozero (Porajärvi) and other areas. NATO troops in the Baltic states also take the Pechory (Petseri) and Pytalovo (Pitalova/Abrene) regions, largely abandoned by the Red Army around this time.
  • 5 October - Turkey begins the invasion of Transcaucasia, taking the Armenian and Azeri SSRs within a matter of days.
  • 8 October - Argentine troops finally take Stanley, effectively ending all resistance in the Falklands.
  • 17 October - Last troops in Baku and Derbent surrender. Turkey proclaims Azerbaijan's independence (with all of Armenia attached to the new state).
  • 19 October - Gen. Viljoen formally announces the annexation the former LoN/UN mandate of South-West Africa in a televised address to members of the military. He also declares his intent to "reclaim" Basutoland (Lesotho), Bechuanaland (Botswana) and Swaziland.
  • 23 October - Indian soldiers finally break the Chinese defenses in Aksai Chin and southern Tibet. They eventually siege Chinese troops stationed in the city of Lhasa.
  • 5 November - American, Philippine, and ROC troops repel a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, and retake Kinmen island. At the same time, American and South Korean troops take Panmunjom, Kaesong, and other towns, in an effort to take the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.
  • 6 November - In a landslide victory election, President Reagan becomes the 2nd President of the United States (after George Washington) to win by a unanimous vote, defeating his rival Walter Mondale.
  • 12 November - NATO and Finnish troops finally take Murmansk(Kuola), Petrozavodsk(Äänislinna), Kandalaksha(Kantalahti), and other towns across East Karelia. Soviet troops in the Kola Peninsula are now isolated.
  • 23 November - The last Soviet troops in the Kola Peninsula surrender near Lovozero(Luujärvi). With all resistance in East Karelia crushed, Finnish President Koivisto formally announces the creation of the 'Republic of Greater Finland'.
  • 12 December - Indian troops finally capture Lhasa and the surrounding areas, finally ending China's rule over Tibet
  • 13 December - The Dalai Lama returns home to announce the liberation of Tibet.
  • 14 December - Soviet premier Chernenko orders a new offensive to drive out the Turks from the Caucasus; he also orders troops to hold the line in Eastern Europe (so as to prevent NATO troops from taking more territory).
  • 20 December - Jean-Bédel Bokassa (along with several sympathetic generals) seizes power in the Central African Republic, quickly restoring the Empire. France tries to save President André Kolingba, but can do little to stop the coup. Kolingba would later be executed (on Emperor Bokassa's orders).

Early 1985: The Dénouement

  • 13 January - Soviet troops finally win a crushing victory against the Turks at Ganja. Baku falls a few hours later.
  • 20 January - Ronald Reagan is inaugurated for a second (and final) term in office as President of the United States.
  • 29 January - The Azerbaijani government finally surrenders to the Soviets. As a punishment to the Azerbaijani government, Chernenko gives both the Nagorno-Karabakh (and surrounding area) and Nakhchevan ASSRs to the Armenian SSR.
  • 11 February - American and South Korean troops finally take Pyongyang and begin marching to the Yalu river. The North Korean government flees to Chongjin.
  • 12 February - Emboldened by the latest victories in Korea, ROC and American troops launch an invasion into Fujian and Guangdong provinces, with American troops taking Xiamen and Fuzhou within the first few days. British troops stationed in Hong Kong take Shenzhen and other regions in the eastern Guangdong, while Philippine troops stage amphibious landings in the rest of southern Fujian.
  • 13 February - Japanese troops stage an amphibious landing in the Southern Kuril islands, taking all but Iturup(which was heavily guarded at the time)
  • 23 February - With North Korean troops fleeing to Chongjin to defend the government, American and South Korean troops finally take Sinuiju, reaching the Yalu river in a few weeks.
  • 1 March - Soviet Premier Chernenko falls unconscious after attending a dinner with members of the Communist Party in Moscow and dies later that night. Evidence found in the 1990s will eventually show that Chernenko was poisoned by disillusioned generals seeking peace.
  • 2 March - With Chernenko dead, Mikhail Gorbachev is named Soviet Premier by the Politburo; at this point, NATO and Warsaw Pact troops are now in a stalemate in Eastern Europe.
  • 15 March - As the stalemate continues, the Moroccans finally capture Algiers and Nouakchott. Without Soviet assistance, the Algerians and Mauretanians sign a peace treaty, giving the Algerian provinces of Tindouf, Bechar, Naama, Tlemcen, Sidi bel Abbes, and Ain Timochent, as well as the Mauretainian regions of Tiris Zemmour, Dakhlet Nouadhibou and Inchiri. The peace treaty also sets up puppet Alouite kingdoms in these countries.
  • 17 March - Soviet Premier Gorbachev finally agrees to sign an armistice agreement, pending a peace agreement to be negotiated by the United Nations. World War III at this point finally ends.

The Treaty of Geneva

Following the "St. Patrick's Day Armistice", members of NATO, the Warsaw Pact, and the Tripartite Pact, as well as Japan, China (both PRC and ROC), and Korea (North and South) meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the terms of a final peace agreement. UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar was the mediator during the negotiations. The resulting provisions in the treaty ...

  • Adjusted the Oder-Neisse line to give the Germans control of Stettin and the surrounding area.
  • Recognized the independence of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Tibet, as well as granting independence to Prussia (giving it all of East Prussia, which was divided between Poland and the USSR in 1945). Estonia and Latvia were given territories that were controlled by NATO at the time of the armistice
  • Recognized NATO/Tripartite control over East Karelia, Aksai Chin, and the Spratly/Parcel Islands.
  • Gave the Japanese all of the Southern Kuril Islands (except Iturup, which was kept by the Soviets)
  • Gave South Korea and the ROC control over the territories they conquered.
  • Recognized the status quo ante bellum in all other cases

The treaty was signed on 8 May and ratified by the United States and the Soviet Union on 9 May, with most other countries ratifying the treaty by 30 May. The People's Republic of China would reluctantly ratify the treaty on 7 June.

The late 1980s: A New World


  • 19 May - The Central African Empire (in conjunction with Libya) declares war on Chad

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