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Alternate History

World War Three (Victory in Vietnam)

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Timeline of Events


1945 - Lt. Audie Murphy, U.S. Army, is wounded while holding off a German attack. For his action he receives the Medal of Honor. The wound nearly prevents him from attending West Point, and beginning his career in the Army.


1949 - Audie Murphy graduates from West Point.


1950 - Capt. Audie Murphy is a company commander serving in Korea during the war. He takes part in the defense of the Pusan Perimeter, and the Inchon Landing. Murphy is promoted to Major and takes command of a battalion, leading it to safety during the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir. He receives his second Medal of Honor, being only the twentieth member of the U.S. armed forces to be so honored. Promoted to Lt. Colonel, Murphy is assigned to the staff of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Murphy manages to prevent MacArthur from making public statements challenging the authority of President Truman.


1951 - U.N. Forces advanced beyond the 38th parallel, pushing back Chinese and North Korean forces after a series of amphibious landings on both coasts. President Truman relieves MacArthur of his command for exceeding his authority. Lt. Col. Murphy is given command of a regiment. The war drags on.


1953 - The Korean War comes to an end. In exchange for a U.N. withdrawal to the 38th parallel, all Chinese forces will be withdrawn from the North. Murphy has been promoted to Brigadier General and is an assistant division commander.


1955 - To Hell and Back, a movie about the life of Audie Murphy is released. Steve McQueen wins an Academy Award for the role.


1966 - General Audie Murphy becomes Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. President Johnson comes to rely on the advise of the most decorated soldier in U.S. history.


1967 - Receiving intelligence of an upcoming Viet Cong offensive, President Lyndon Johnson warns the American people that while the U.S. is winning the Vietnam War, the enemy may attempt a "Battle of the Bulge"-like attack.


1968 - The attacks take place on the Tet Holiday, and while the fighting is heavy LBJ is able to claim victory. LBJ announces he will run for a second full term, and due to his increased popularity defeats a primary challenge by Robert F. Kennedy. In exchange for ending his campaign, RFK is offered the Vice Presidency in May. Lyndon Johnson defeats Richard Nixon in a close race in November.


1969 - President Johnson sends more troops to South Vietnam to "finish the job." U.S. forces reach 750,000 by the end of the year. North Vietnamese Army regulars, in place of the destroyed Viet Cong, take heavy losses. Frequent bombing pauses, and restrictive rules of engagement prevent an invasion of the North.


1970 - The war drags on, and U.S. troop levels reach 1,000,000. China, fearful of a U.S. invasion of the North Vietnam, sends forces into that country as "advisors." Republicans make huge gains in Congress. General Audie Murphy retires, angered over President Johnson's failure to bring the war to a successful conclusion. He runs for the U.S. Senate in Texas and Defeats Lloyd Bentsen.


1971 - President Johnson dies of a heart attack. President Kennedy begins negotiations and begins bombing targets in the North. China and the Soviet Union supply North Vietnam with troops and military equipment, the strain of which leads to negotiations that result in the withdrawal of Chinese forces from North Vietnam, and U.S. and North Vietnamese forces from South Vietnam.


1972 - President Kennedy appoints Henry "Scoop" Jackson as his running mate. Because of the "defeat" in Vietnam, China and Russia are drawn closer together. RFK defeats Richard Nixon and wins a full term as President. On the tenth anniversary of the Bay of Pigs, Fidel Castro is assassinated. Rioting takes place all over Cuba, and U.S. forces intervene to "restore order". Soviet forces on the island are taken completely by surprise, and are quickly overwhelmed. Cuba's new pro-U.S. government "asks" the Soviets to leave. This on the heels of the defeat in Vietnam make the Soviet Union seem weak. Because of the crisis the U.S. rejects an Anti-Ballistic Missile system treaty and begins and an extensive ABM and air defense network.


1973 - The Yom Kippur War takes place in October. The Soviet Union has failed to provide enough modern military equipment like surface-to-air or anti-tank missiles and both Syria and Egypt suffer heavy losses. President Kennedy orders the U.S. Sixth Fleet to prevent any re-supply of Arab forces, and the 82nd Airborne to Israel on a "peacekeeping" mission.


1974 - President Kennedy is on a congressional campaign swing in California when he is shot and killed by Sirhan Sirhan. Secret Service agents kill the assassin, and the investigation indicates his motive was the U.S. intervention in the Middle East. Henry "Scoop" Jackson is sworn in as President. ABM system completed.


1975 - President Jackson begins a military intervention into the Middle East to prevent any rise of anti-American forces. Soviet counter-efforts fail, leading to the perception that Communism is on it's way out.


1976 - The death of Mao brings an opportunity for better relations with the United States. President Jackson begins negotiations. An economic downturn and sixteen years of Democratic control of the White House lead to the election of Ronald Reagan as President, and Audie Murphy as Vice President.


1977 - Economic conditions in the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact get worse and worse. Defeats all over the world have led to the belief that communism is a dying system. In desperation, the Warsaw Pact launches a conventional attack against Western Europe, Japan, and Iran. The Iranian invasion force takes Tehran, but U.S. forces coming up from the Gulf hold Soviet forces north of the mountains in the center of the country. The invasion of northern Japan fails due to U.S. naval intervention. The Soviet Army manages to reach the Dutch border in the north, but a U.S. counter-attack pushes into East Germany from Bavaria and cuts off the Soviet Army's supplies. The NATO counter-attack pushes to the Polish border by year's end. Soviet naval forces sink over two thousand merchant ships in the first three months of the war, but fail to prevent U.S. reinforcements from reaching Japan, Iran, and Europe. Within six months, NATO forces control the world's sea lines of communications. China, neutral at the beginning of the war due to the efforts of former President Jackson, enters the war on NATO's side after the Soviet defeats in Europe. On Dec. 25, 1977, the Soviet Union launches an ICBM attack on the United States and China. The U.S. ABM defense system destroys most of the Soviet ICBM's in flight, but ten of the missiles impact their targets; ICBM silos in the Dakotas. Because they are ground bursts, a large cloud of fallout is released over the Great Plains. In all, three hundred thousand Americans die. President Reagan orders a counter-strike, taking out the remaining Soviet nuclear capability. Because the strikes take place in isolated area of the Soviet Union, civilian losses are under half a million.


1978 - The early months of the year are far colder because of the limited nuclear exchange. Fighting dies down as both sides try to deal with their own civilian casualties. Most of the strategic nuclear weapons have been either expended or destroyed, and both sides have functioning ABM systems. Despite the difficulties, however, neither side is willing to negotiate. President Reagan is determined to bring about the defeat of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet leaders have no choice but to continue to fight. A new U.S.-led offensive got as far as the Baltic states, but a Soviet counterattack pushed NATO forces back to Warsaw. U.S. Forces arrived in China, Iran, Norway, and Greece in hopes of opening new fronts. Allied navies systematically destroyed Soviet coastal defenses, opening those areas up for amphibious operations.


More to come.

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