Author Topic: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.  (Read 3062 times)

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Offline Bungle

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Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« on: March 03, 2016, 09:00:41 am »
A late entry this. Multiple reasons take your pick from No Time, Other Projects, Illness, Hospital, Wife's 60th Birthday, Someone else having the same idea as me. February was a no go for me - how bad was it ? I didn't buy a single kit in the whole month that's how bad.

Anyway with apologies to Zenrat and his SeaBeagle I had a similar idea and had made a start in January. With little time left I can only resurrect that idea and come a poor second to Zenrats entry. To make up with it I devised the following backstory from my own personal universe.

"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - Julius Henry Marx (Groucho)

Offline Bungle

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 09:03:45 am »
What If historical Cold War universe.

How simple political actions changed the Cold War. Some of the following is factual some of it fictional but these simple ‘what-ifs’ form the basis of my proposed group build entry (or entries – none of which are even started).

With the United Kingdom and the rest of Western Europe bankrupt in 1949, the formation of NATO looked the only way that Europe could defend itself from the perceived influence of the Soviet Union. The original founders of NATO on 4th April 1949 were the UK plus the US, Canada, Belgium, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Iceland, Norway and Luxembourg. The initial concept proved sound though France considered itself a greater partner than was initially perceived. The US were the dominant force and while the UK carried itself as an equal partner its influence was diminished by their need to comply with everything the US demanded.  Certainly from the American point of view the inclusion of the European states was just an end to a means to allow their forces a foothold in Europe and create a buffer (or a battle ground) should war with the Soviets ever break out. Their attitude caused strain and indignation in many of the European states. Pressure was mounting on West Germany to join as the US military saw their inclusion as vital link in the defensive chain and not least the front line in case an advance was to be made through the Soviet controlled East Germany.

When finally West Germany became a full partner in May 1955 it seriously put the British and French positions within NATO in doubt. Promised funding of the British and French armed forces, especially the Air Forces were severely cut as the Americans poured money into re-arming the West Germans.  Aircraft initially promised were re-routed to the newly formed Luftwaffe while this had only a small effect on the RAF and Armee de l’air other nations Denmark and Italy in particular were unsympathetically treated and promises of re-equipment with F-100 Super Sabres ,F-86s and F-84s were casually dropped in favour of getting the Germans up to speed.

This for the Danes in particular was deemed an almighty snub. While only a small player in NATO they saw themselves as the critical strategic defence for any Soviet naval movements through the Baltics. In January 1955 H.C. Hansen became Prime Minister following the death of Hans Hedtoft, a staunchly anti-German minister. Hansen’s Social Democrats had more communist leanings than previously under Hedtoft but retained the mistrust of the Germans and protested strongly against their re-arming. Hansen also retained the position of Foreign Minister so that he could continue negotiating with the USA, NATO and later approaches from the USSR.

Five days after West Germany entered NATO, seven European countries and the USSR signed a pact, the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance, in Warsaw. The seven countries were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

Into 1956 and there was growing turmoil within the ranks of the NATO members. France was desperately trying to quell the FLN in Algeria. It feared that the Algerian freedom fighters or terrorists as they were then known were being supported and supplied by Egypt. Britain fearing her status as a world power was diminishing while having to play second fiddle to the US, looked to the middle-east to bolster her reputation.  Towards the end of 1955 the United Kingdom had entered into an agreement with Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan. Known as the Baghdad Pact, the British intention was to include Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and be modelled along the same lines as NATO but with Britain, of course, the dominate power. 

Egypt’s leader Gamal Nasser took exception to this Pact. He saw this as an alliance that would diminish Egypt’s power in the region and marginalise his work to be recognised as a world leader. He took steps to undermine the pacts and Britain’s influence in Jordan that resulted in the dismissal of Sir John Bagot Glubb as Commander of the Arab Legion and his exclusion from Jordan.  Nasser then antagonised both Britain and France further by entering into a military aid agreement with Czechoslovakia, in reality with the USSR. Nasser also decided to unsettle the Arab nation from their western partnerships by making incursions into American backed Israel.

British Prime Minister Anthony Eden this almost the final straw. According to Sir Ant “ Nasser was our Enemy No. 1 in the Middle East and he would not rest until he destroyed all our friends and eliminated the last vestiges of our influence.... Nasser must therefore be ... destroyed” .

Nasser now takes another step towards the precipice by recognising the People Republic of China as a sovereign nation – against the wishes of the US. This caused the US government to cancel financial aid for the Aswan Dam project. Expecting Egypt to go cap-in-hand to the Soviet Union the US was caught out by Nasser’s response – to nationalise the Suez Canal. In actuality he nationalised the Suez Canal Company a jointly owned company originally between Britain, France and Egypt, but Egypt sold it shares in the company to the British government in 1875 for £3.9 million (approximately £94 million at today’s rates). Egypt froze the company’s assets with the intention of using the funds to complete the Dam and not to fall further into the pockets of its new Soviet buddies.

The US saw it differently and under the guise of preventing war between Israel and Egypt called a meeting with the British and French.  Grossly underestimating the level of feeling the US was taken back by Britain and Frances intention to keep their main route to both the oil and colonies open and use military force if Egypt threatened to close the canal as it had to all Israeli and Israel bound shipping. The US gravely expressed their view that any military intervention would not meet with their approval. After the meeting Eden and French Premier Mollet took steps to plan a ‘last resort’ military action.

In September 1956 the French suggested to the Israeli’s that any aggression towards Egypt would receive positive support from France and possibly Britain. In discussion with the British government France suggested that Israel may be having cold feet and that they should plan an action between them. Britain suggested that should Egypt attack Israel or vice versa then they would be prepared to enter the fray as peacemakers and at the same time take control of the Suez Canal. Britain did not want to be seen as supporter of Israel to its Arab partners, it took a lot of persuading before France convinced both parties that Israel should be the aggressor and Britain the mediator.

On 29th October invaded the Sinai quickly cutting through the Egyptian forces and gaining control of Gaza Strip. Egyptian warships were despatched to bombard the Israeli port of Haifa only to be surprised to find a large task force of French and Royal Navy vessels in their part of the Mediterranean.

Britain and France kept up the pretence an issued an ultimatum to both Israel and Egypt, Nasser responded by having every ship in the canal immediately sunk and thus rendering the canal blocked and closed. The original plan was for Britain and France to enter the conflict 10 days after Israel’s initial invasion. This was thought to be the length of time needed for Israel to subdue the Egyptian forces and be seen moving towards the Canal. Nasser unexpected act change that and with the French taking the lead, invasion of the Suez zone began with a paratrooper drop on 5th November.

A wave of unrest hit Britain. Supportive of anti-Egyptian action in July by November the British Nation were not in favour of the war. They were not the only ones. Port Said had been taken on the first day of the Anglo-French operation. British tanks were racing to the canal when the Americans stepped in, not with force but a far more subtle action. Bankrupt after the Second World War both France and Britain owed billions to the US and Eisenhower called in the debt. Eden bottled it and called a ceasefire without consulting any other of the warring parties.

The French and Israeli forces, at first did not comply but with a very confused British task force pulling back they were left high and dry. Hostilities ‘ended’ on the 7th November. Britain and France withdrew; Israel also withdrew at far slower pace taking half of the Egyptian network with it. A UN force of Danish (suggested by the Soviet Union) and Colombian policed the withdrawal and the Suez zone until early 1957. The Suez Canal was handed back to Egypt and Britain and France forced to pay repatriation and for the clearing of the Canal.

Britain was humiliated. At least France had stuck to the plan rather than bailing out so soon after the party had started. Eden took the most personal shame and dishonour.  He had lost all credibility and put Britain to the very brink of financial meltdown.  Pressure from within his own party, the media and the general public caused his health to deteriorate and after a short convalescence in Jamaica Eden resigned in early January 1957. First Lord of the Treasury, Harold MacMillan took over the reins but his disastrous negotiations with the Americans over war repayments had him make the statement to the British public that they’d ‘ had it so good, because tomorrow it was going to be lot worse”.

And sanctions began to bite. Britain and France could not afford to buy anything from America. The value of the Pound dropped, the Franc almost disappeared. Tarnished British military exports dried up. The Arab countries shunned the UK, India and Pakistan broke links an export order of 50 Canberra aircraft to Canada was cancelled under pressure from the US. Britain was bankrupt.

In October 1957 MacMillan called a General Election in the hope that unrest in the Labour party following the recent unexpected election of Anuerin Bevan as Labour leader in place of Hugh Gaskill would benefit his election plans. Unfortunately for MacMillan his plan backfired and Bevan courted a landslide victory, the Left wing leader now led a crippled nation.

Within weeks after further negotiations with Americans could not resolve the insistence on Britain paying back all they owed. A move by the Bank Of England get assistance from the IMF was blocked by America causing the Bank to seriously consider devaluing the Pound.  With oil reserves at an all- time low and their supply lines seriously affected by the Suez action Britain called on their NATO partners for help but along with Saudi Arabia a ban of oil sales was placed on both Britain and France. Bevan disgusted America’s actions rescinded Britain’s commitment to NATO, an action repeated soon after by Denmark and France.

The Danes still threaten by West Germany and piqued by their treatment by the USA joined the Warsaw pack in December 1957. Immediately the gap left by the USA empty promises were met by new aircraft supplied at cut down prices from the Soviets in exchange for free passage through Danish controlled waters and the proposal for a base to be setup in Greenland.

With huge financial pressure and bankruptcy looming Bevan, encouraged by Hansen relationship with the Soviets,  flew to Moscow, cap in hand,  for a meeting with Russian premier Khrushchev. Two days later Bevan returned claiming Britain as a Socialist state and a blank check in his hand. Russia would pay the American bill providing American aircraft and missiles left the British Isles. They would supply our army and air force with new equipment as long as Britain signed a non-aggression pact. Bevan refused Britain joining the Warsaw Pact but instead agreed to extend a special relationship towards the Soviet bloc countries.

France looked on with envy as both Britain and Denmark re-armed virtually for free. Socialist governments in Italy, Austria and Finland began their own negotiations with the Soviet bloc. Italy, already upset by America’s pressure on NATO to overlook the Fiat G-91 then in production,  re-negotiated it’s NATO membership and received large financial backing from the US. France not wishing to be left out suggested a treaty of economic benefits for Europe a Common Market to which the UK would obviously be barred.

The British aircraft industry was re-vitalised. In a new era of co-operation Russian aircraft and designs came to Britain, Rolls Royce engine technology went the other way. At that time a British aircraft design on paper was looked at by the Tupolev design bureaux and was seen as a favourable joint venture. The only problem the Russians had was the proposed developments name – TSAR-2 (Tactical Strike And Reconnaissance) . A diplomatic solution was suggested and the TSR-2 was born, though that is another story.
"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - Julius Henry Marx (Groucho)

Offline Snowtrooper

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 06:03:50 pm »
This appetizer leaves me the desire to know more of this timeline!

What happens to the Queen and the royal family? Government-in-exile in Canada or gibbeted on the Traf... errr, Lenin Square?

So the Danes join WarPac. Will Sweden invoke her secret mutual defence pact with the US now (which purportedly Austria, and of all things, Yugoslavia also had), being now under siege by WarPac countries? Norway also suddenly faces the reality that the northern part of the country is essentially indefensible if the Red Army the gains free access to northern Finland (allowing them to cut off the entire North Cape region with relative ease).

Finland is of course a wild card, will President Kekkonen's thirst for personal power (and the tendency to disband any government he disagrees with) be enough to keep the country at least nominally neutral even if it becomes even more accommodating of the Soviet wishes than in the OTL, or will he seek Communist support and even deeper "mutual friendship" with our "great friendly neighbour" to guarantee presidency for life (which he almost pulled off in OTL)? "Socialist" government alone wouldn't have been enough for Finland to drop the pretense of neutrality, the Social Democrats of the time did not want to bow to the Soviets, unlike the Communists who never managed to have a large enough following for the actual revolution/coup they were dreaming of. So everything is up to the dear President, what does he see as the most advantageous option?

With Greenland in the Soviet sphere of influence, Canada would be probably forced to build a carrier force and a sizable interceptor force - fast forward 20 years and the purchase of Tomcats will be a non-issue because Hornets simply won't cut it. What about Iceland? Will it be tempted to join the Danes in the vast family of Soviet nations, or will they become a literal fortress island for NATO?

With Soviet Union fraternizing with monarchies and reactionary imperialists of the decadent Europe, will the Sino-Soviet split happen even earlier and become even more sour? How will this affect Sino-American relations? "The enemy of my enemy is a friend"? US gives up on Taiwan in exchange of China keeping Soviet influence out of Vietnam?

With no UK in the EEC, the European unification will probably be faster and deeper than in the OTL. Being besieged, the European NATO members would probably arm much more heavily than in OTL - I cannot see at least conventional arms treaties taking place unless Soviet Union collapses also in this timeline.

Offline Bungle

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 06:01:08 am »
More wriggly than a bag of eels...

As Mr Snowtrooper suggests there are multiple possibilities than can come from these actions. The blurb was to lead up to a premise of a model or models yet to come but with the GB gate soon to come crashing down, may be none at all. But to keep the ball rolling let me suggest some answers to your questions. Others may also want to chuck in a few suggestions as well.

First off Queen Liz. Now come on we're British, don't you know old chap. Nothing would happen to them they'd just remain a figurehead with less power than they have now (and that isn't much). She may have to downsize a bit but she'll keep her head.

Sweden, of course, would be coveted by the Americans but in the end she would remain neutral. The US then placed their trust in two other nations primarily Norway and the Irish Republic. The proposed UK-US listening post planned for Scotland were to be re-located to Norway while the American airfields in the UK were soon deserted and moved to the Irish Republic.

Finland had signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union in 1948 and this still held, Austria bordered by the Warsaw pact on one side tried their best to be neutral and in the end signed a Partnership for Peace with Finland, Switzerland and Malta.

Canada became another centre of attention for the USA. In return for allowing the US to set up missile batteries across their frozen wastes Canada received financial backing for it own planned deterrant , the Avro Arrow. France also left NATO and set up an alliance with China much to the annoyance of both the US and Russians. With this action China brought pressure on Vietnam to stop it's independence struggles and instead seek a peaceful way to end the colonization by the French.

Britain continued much in the same way as before, but now with more money. The Socialist government put more pounds into the pocket of the common worker but closed it's borders to the Commonwealth and Europe. In 1959 the Royal Air Force was renamed the Royal Socialist Air Force and the Fairey Aviation Company received a number of Ilyushin IL-28 airframes as part of the military cooperation agreement with Russia. Looking for a long range version of the Gannet, Fairey looked to mate the Ilyushin with the Armstrong Siddeley Twin Mamba.......
"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - Julius Henry Marx (Groucho)

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 06:16:01 am »
Royal Socialist Air Force

Now that's what I call a dichotomy! :lol:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

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Offline Bungle

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 08:05:22 am »
I used to tell my girl friend she could use my dictaphone if that's the same kind of thing  :banghead: :banghead:

Anyway on to the build as I said not really had the time to do build, photos, upload, add words and repeat so my apologies that this is all in one chunk.

First off the kit I used was a cheap Bilek Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle. Not sure of it's origins but I don't think it's an Airfix re-pop (built one when they first came out and rember it as a horrible tail sitter).

The first thing was to build the cockpit including the bombaimer though this would be a waste of time as I was going to give it a solid nose.



I added some Tyre balancing weights which should keep it pinned down.

Next came the engines I filled in the jet intake with a blanking plate. No detailed required as the props I'm adding will hide most of it.



Of course if I'm blanking the input I need to fill the jet pipe so I hunted out a pair of drop tanks out of the spares box.



and rammed them home and gave them surgery !



Now a bit of assembly Intakes added to the ings and a hole drilled for the prop.



The props come from the 1/100 scale playfix Tu-20...



Temporary test fit...



Here you can see the tailpipes as they now look




More to come
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 08:20:16 am by Bungle »
"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - Julius Henry Marx (Groucho)

Offline Bungle

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 05:12:28 am »
Ok here's me running ahead of myself. This the problem with doing things in retrospect. My last posting had the engines attached to the wings. This next one has me joining the fuselage together and here you can see the engines dis-assembled. Not a mad halfhour just me getting the photos out of order.  :banghead:

So here we go fuselage halves mated together.



Next it's adding the glazing front and rear and then liberally coating them in Tamiya filler. Actually neither clear part fitted very well. The nose was too thin and the tail too long ! My thoughts on this was to give the model a solid nose with the crew out of sight in a coal-hole arrangement like the Sea Vixen and Canberra.





After that it's on with the wings. They are a reasonable fit but not as thick as the fuselage wing roots so they will need a little filler. Having said that the engines and engines to wings fit was in need of a lot more filler.



So into everyones favourite pasttime - Fill Sand and Repeat. Eventually I got to the point where I could give it a rattle can spray of Halfords Primer.




My idea is to paint the kit with EDSG upper surfaces and White lower so I tape off the cheat line and use a can of Halfords Plastic Appliance White to spray the undersides.





A couple of coats and a day to dry and then it's the great reveal..



Final for the moment and I give it some legs and she's sitting pretty !






"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - Julius Henry Marx (Groucho)

Offline Bungle

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2016, 04:40:54 am »
Time passes oh so quick.

Sorry no photos since the last update but here it is finished....

Fairey Gannet II
















"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - Julius Henry Marx (Groucho)

Offline NARSES2

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2016, 07:55:34 am »
That's interesting, looks quite a "happy" aircraft for some reason ?  :thumbsup:
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Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 08:16:52 am »
I love the look of this one. Love the way the nose looks, and the colour scheme. Great stuff. Defo an idea worth saving !

 :cheers:
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Offline TomZ

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2016, 09:45:47 am »
Great, love those big props.

TomZ
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Offline rickshaw

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2016, 04:39:20 pm »
That's interesting, looks quite a "happy" aircraft for some reason ?  :thumbsup:

Ditto.  Appears to be enjoying itself.  Well done!   :thumbsup:
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Offline zenrat

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2016, 03:33:15 am »
Love it, love it, love it.
The roundels are a work of art and the colour scheme suits it to a tee.
The Italeri "glass" isn't too good a fit either.
I searched high and low for one of those 1/100 Bears to rob the props off before Chris helped me out.
I'm not sure if you needed all that weight as the wings are quite far back.  Mine didn't need any but then the 'dyne legs are at the back of the nacelles.
IRL Tupolev weren't keen on having the tail turret with all its heavy armour plate but it was mandated as it was "policy" for bombers to have them.
Fred

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Another ill conceived, poorly thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

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Offline Bungle

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2016, 04:02:39 am »
Thank you Zenrat.

I was worried that you may have been put out by my choice of subject.

I overdid the weight as having made the Airfix IL-28 many years ago that particular kit was a bit of a tail sitter.
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Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Bungle's What If historical Cold War universe.
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2016, 04:50:03 am »
I really enjoyed looking over the build pics in this thread ! Cheers for that. Now I really want to do my own version  :bow:
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
Where's my beer ?