1944: President Franklin Roosevelt chooses to keep longtime Vice President Henry Wallace on his ticket for the election, rather than replacing him with Harry Truman. Wallace, a major New Deal Democrat, scientist and advocate of a softer stance on communism, remains a popular choice.
1945: Roosevelt dies. Wallace becomes president. World War II ends slightly differently. Wallace, a sympathizer of Stalin and proponent of reproachment with communism, allows Stalin much greater gains in Eastern Europe, and a different policy towards Germany - the Morgenthau Plan. Germany becomes jointly occupied by the Allies, rather than divided into zones. The industrial complex in Germany is dismantled and Germany is to remain an agrarian nation to prevent further aggressive warfare. Starvation begins to loom in Germany by the year's end.
1946: Cities begin to empty in Germany as the factories are demolished and potential jobs vital to any imagined recovery vanish with them. Resistance movements begin to appear in cellars and country houses, of both communist and Nazi ideologies. President Wallace insists the proposed Marshall Plan include the Soviet Union. The bill fails to pass by a large margin. Communist parties in France and Italy begin to grapple for supremacy in the next year's elections. Communist forces gain supremacy in the war in Greece this year as well.
1947: France and Italy's elections result in the victory of Stalinist-influenced communist parties. Greek communist forces, supported by Josip Tito's government in Yugoslavia gain supremacy and establish a government. Bombings by resistance organizations begin in Germany. French Indochina is allowed independence by the new French government, headed by the Viet Minh.
1948: The Soviet Union tests its first nuclear bomb. The Chinese Communist Party wins the civil war in China. Henry Wallace loses the presidential election to Thomas E. Dewey on a platform that communism has spread out of control and a harder line must be taken. His point is reinforced by massive revolt in Germany and the proclamation of a communist government, recognized and co-opted by Stalin and accepted by Wallace.
1949: Dewey gets a mass of legislation passed in the U.S. Congress to allow routing of communist influences in the United States.
1950: War begins in Korea. Dewey sends U.S. troops to intervene against Soviet-supported North Korean forces. The communists in China begin sending volunteers.
1952:' Use of nuclear weapons against Harbin and Mukden in Manchuria by the U.S. to stop Chinese support of North Korea. Stalin recognizes he lacks the nuclear arsenal to back a Chinese confrontation with the U.S. at this point, and forces a compromise handing the entire Korean peninsula to the South Koreans.
1953: Radical socialist parties gaining strength and support in Britain as the empire deteriorates and the economy flags without a Marshall Plan. The more prominent parties are lead by House of Commons firebrands Goldstein, Aaronson and Rutherford.
1954: Stalin dies. His replacement is a more radical hardliner than Khrushchev. Recession intensifies in the United States. Protests against ban of the Communist Party of the United States are crushed by the California National Guard in San Francisco.
1955: Incident provokes war between the two power blocs. The Soviet Union launches nuclear bombers against many American cities and cities in affiliated nations in a preemptive strike. Most major cities on both coasts of the U.S. are destroyed, and the federal government crippled, but not before launching its own bombers, targeting industrial centers in Western Europe and the Soviet Bloc. Both power blocs are crippled and in chaos. One nuclear bomb hits the United Kingdom, destroying the city of Colchester.
1956: Millions are dead of the nuclear strikes or their after-effects. Several rival civil defense organizations spar for control of the U.S. government. The Soviet Union fared better in the war, and control is being restored to the Communist Party from its temporary capital in Novosibirsk. The radicals in Britain seize control, marching on London and declaring a new government to deal with the emergency. Affiliated parties begin agitation in war-ravaged North America, South Africa and Australia. A British party member formulates the Principles of English Socialism and becomes the face of the new government on a series of propaganda posters.
1957: A government affiliated with the British radicals comes into power in Canada in the provisional capital in Montreal and begins co-opting a few of the civil defense factions in the United States.
1958: Confused fighting based on old feuds and ideology in East Asia. Communist China renders the Viet Minh and Korea effective puppet states, but faces insurgencies as it attempts to extend its influence into war-ravaged Japan and Indonesia. Civil defense organizations in the United States submit to their Canadian and British sponsors increasingly, seeking steady supplies of food aid and weapons as they slowly restore order. Draconian laws as harsh as anything in the Soviet Union or East Asia now in place in the Western Hemisphere.
1958-1960: The remains of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa, in response to the threat of the Soviet Union's rearmament and East Asia's rise as a communist power combine governments to form Oceania.
1960-1970: All three major powers materialize. A balance of power is maintained through massive arsenals of nuclear weapons and relatively solid spheres of influence, as well as iron control of everyday life of their respective citizenry. Advances in fiber-optic technology allow routine surveillance of the populace in all three major powers.
1970-1984: The populace in every nation becomes much more complacent with the state of the world.