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#1 Stargrunt6

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 1359 PM

I've always wondered how the Cold War would've panned out if the US never bought Alaska from Russia. Here some things to ponder:

1) The nuclear situation: do you think Russia would've even thought of posting nukes there?

2) Border deployments: Would the border be as militarized as it was in Europe? What type of force compositions would there be?

3) The role of Canada: How would her defense policy change? How would its government respond? What type of government would the people elect?

4) The Role of other nations: How would other nations deal with this, such as Japan?

Any other questions are welcome.
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#2 T19

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 1644 PM

Canada nearly got Alaska had the russians not gotten cheesed at the uk.

But not the tread. I think nukes would have been there and the USA would not have a leg to stand on. Not a way to block the deployment



#3 thekirk

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 2205 PM

What makes you think the Soviets would have wound up controlling Alaska?

Would not the Bering Strait have been the ultimate barrier for the Whites to have defended behind? And, wouldn't the US, Canada, and the UK have been a little hesitant to allow a Red enclave on the North American continent? Hell, with somewhere to go, the majority of the Russian emigres following the Soviet take-over would have likely gone to Alaska, and then who knows what would have happened? I can guarantee you one damn thing: If the US, UK, and Canada were worried about the Soviets when they were in Eurasia, the likely reaction to an attempted take-over of Alaska would have been positively gargantuan. I'd guess at significant support for an effective Alaskan refugee government, or an outright takeover by the three concerned parties, perhaps with formation of a puppet Russian government-in-exile.

If the Russians had chosen to keep Alaska, I would presume a very Taiwan-like end state. There would have been a mass evacuation of Whites from Vladivostok, and Alaskan Russia would have likely seen some significant historical changes from what actually transpired in our timeline. Hell, the entire course of world history would likely have been very, very different--I can easily see Hitler making common cause with the Russian Alaskans, and the Soviets having to keep significant forces in Siberia to guard against potential invasion.
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#4 Nobu

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 2241 PM

This would have increased the stakes of the Russo-Japanese War, to be decided in Japan's favor at Tsushima. Alaska, and its untapped oil potential would be integrated into Japan's natural sphere of influence.
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#5 thekirk

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 2304 PM

This would have increased the stakes of the Russo-Japanese War, to be decided in Japan's favor at Tsushima. Alaska, and its untapped oil potential would be integrated into Japan's natural sphere of influence.


How?

Japan had neither the economic or the manpower reserves to do anything with Alaska, and had they tried to take the place, the likelihood is that Teddy Roosevelt would have slapped them down. As it was, Korea was about the limit of what Japan could comfortably digest, and we all know how well that worked out. I seriously doubt that anyone in North America at the time would have stood by while the poster-children for the "Yellow Peril" fears established control over even a part of North America. It wouldn't have gone at all well for the Japanese, in either the short run, or the long run.

About all it would have accomplished? Radicalizing the Japanese a generation earlier than the historical timeline had it happen after the West shortchanged them after WWI.

Communists or Japanese, neither one was going to be allowed a toe-hold on North America.
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#6 Nobu

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 0029 AM

Japanese supremacy at sea after the destruction of the Russian naval presence in the Far East puts poorly-garrisoned Russian possessions that are both within range of unchallenged Japanese Squadrons and dependent on seaborne access for supply and reinforcement in peril. Alaska falls into this category.

Any attempt to intervene by Teddy Roosevelt involving military force would trigger an immediate declaration of war upon the United States by Great Britain in accordance with the terms of Article 3 of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.
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#7 thekirk

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 0113 AM

Japanese supremacy at sea after the destruction of the Russian naval presence in the Far East puts poorly-garrisoned Russian possessions that are both within range of unchallenged Japanese Squadrons and dependent on seaborne access for supply and reinforcement in peril. Alaska falls into this category.

Any attempt to intervene by Teddy Roosevelt involving military force would trigger an immediate declaration of war upon the United States by Great Britain in accordance with the terms of Article 3 of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.


Yeah. Good luck with that one--The Anglo-Japanese Alliance was only good so long as the Japanese weren't threatening British interests. Note how swiftly that "alliance" evaporated in the face of post-WWI settlements. The likelihood of the UK allowing Japan to move in next door to Canada? Laughable. And, the US wouldn't stand for it, either--Do remember all the cute little racist immigration policies which were put into place in that time frame. Any attempt by Japan to establish control over Alaska would have been met with panic in Washington, D.C., and in Whitehall. If you think Japan got screwed by Roosevelt in the peace settlement in our timeline, I shudder to think what would have worked out had they tried to grab Alaska.

Another thing you're leaving out: Had Alaska stayed Russian from the time of Seward, what do you think the effects would have been on Russian naval expenditures in the Pacific? How likely is it that Tsushima would have even happened? With Russian Alaska as a consideration, Russian naval power in the region would have likely been a hell of a lot stronger. There would have been no need for an around-the-world reinforcement effort, as the forces to relieve Port Arthur might well have been available as close as Dutch Harbor or Juneau. The fact that Russian naval forces were spread out over more bases than just Port Arthur might well have led to the Japanese deciding not to go to war in the first place, given the forces they had available.

Leaving everything else out, consider this: Let's say the Russians kept Alaska, reversing the logic of our timeline. What follows from that? A far more Pacific Ocean-centric Russian Empire. Something would have had to have been done to both justify keeping Alaska, and make the territory pay for itself. Logic does not allow for a static condition, where things don't change from the time of Seward. The period from 1867 to 1905 would have seen massive changes from our timeline, simply in order for the Russians to have been able to keep Alaska. US and UK pressure would have forced a lot of things on the Russians, not the least of which would have been increased naval power in the Pacific. To posit them keeping Alaska, and still suffer Tsushima? Not bloody likely.

Hell, one thing would certainly have changed: The Trans-Siberian Railway would have been a priority a lot earlier, and that factor alone might have spelled doom for the Japanese ambitions that led to the Russo-Japanese War in the first place.

No, too many other things would change if the Russians kept Alaska. That's really a huge historical cusp--Had they kept the place, tensions between Russia on the one hand, and the US and UK on the other might have led to some very interesting ramifications. And, those tensions would have been exacerbated by Russian proximity to the US and Canadian territories. I could easily see the UK going to war with the Russians over tensions arising from the Russian treatment of natives in Alaska. Hell, can you extrapolate the likely fallout from the Alaskan/Yukon Gold Rush in 1897? One certain side effect would have been a huge increase in the Russian naval presence, and lots and lots of tensions with the US. I imagine that there would have still been a huge influx of American gold-seekers, much like the situation with Texas vis-a-vis Mexico.

The course of history in the North Pacific would have been so utterly different that it might well have precluded the Japanese from even thinking about starting the Russo-Japanese War in the first place.

The Russians keeping Alaska? That's a huge historical change, and the side-effects are not going to be trivial.

Hell, think of the opportunity costs: Let's say the Russians did keep Alaska. The resources going into keeping the place are going to have to come from somewhere, and the likelihood is that the Russians would have had to drastically curtail their efforts in the Trans-Caucasus regions, along with all the other Silk Road Islamic satrapys. What flows from that? Faster development and settlement of the Siberian regions? A more open immigration policy, similar to the US? What happens if all those Germans and Central Europeans emigrate to a liberalized Russia where Alexander II is putting his policies into effect more quickly and more audaciously than in our timeline, under pressure to develop Siberia so as to be able to keep Alaska?

The more I think about it, the more this seems like a far more significant (at least, potentially...) change-point than it seems on the surface. Maybe not as great as the one that curtailed Zheng He's voyages, but still pretty significant. Russia might have become totally different, under the pressure to adapt to this different policy.
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#8 BansheeOne

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 0538 AM

What makes you think the Soviets would have wound up controlling Alaska?

Would not the Bering Strait have been the ultimate barrier for the Whites to have defended behind? And, wouldn't the US, Canada, and the UK have been a little hesitant to allow a Red enclave on the North American continent? Hell, with somewhere to go, the majority of the Russian emigres following the Soviet take-over would have likely gone to Alaska, and then who knows what would have happened? I can guarantee you one damn thing: If the US, UK, and Canada were worried about the Soviets when they were in Eurasia, the likely reaction to an attempted take-over of Alaska would have been positively gargantuan. I'd guess at significant support for an effective Alaskan refugee government, or an outright takeover by the three concerned parties, perhaps with formation of a puppet Russian government-in-exile.

If the Russians had chosen to keep Alaska, I would presume a very Taiwan-like end state. There would have been a mass evacuation of Whites from Vladivostok, and Alaskan Russia would have likely seen some significant historical changes from what actually transpired in our timeline. Hell, the entire course of world history would likely have been very, very different--I can easily see Hitler making common cause with the Russian Alaskans, and the Soviets having to keep significant forces in Siberia to guard against potential invasion.


I was thinking the same. Lately I've thought about a What If in which the Whites manage to survive the Russian Civil War in the Amur region; all sorts of interesting ramifications, from no Korean War (unless it materializes as another attempt of the Soviets to conquer the Far East post WW II) to another direct land border between the USSR and the West (in the guise of an expanded SEATO including the never-divided Korea and likely even Japan, all having troops based there similar to Germany).

But disregarding that and postulating that Alaska somehow in fact becomes Soviet, here are my thoughts: Yes, there will be a heavy military presence on either side of the border, but that's more than twice as long as the IGB with huge swathes of sparsely-populated land on either side. I believe forces would be concentrated on the line with British Columbia, both for Western fears of the Soviets striking against the Vancouver area, and the Soviets fearing to be cut off from the bulk of Alaska in a NATO (counter-)offensive (which would actually be a logical move).

There is no way you could garrison the Yukon border like Germany, so there will be mobile formations up there whose mission would be to protect the South against flanking attacks, trying to outmaneuver each other in the Arctic areas. Both Canada and the US will need to maintain more forces than historically against a threat on their own continent. Canada would likely institute conscription to have at least a standing army corps. The US might have another active corps too (let's say 4th Armored Division remains active after WW II, 11th Air Assault stays to cover the Arctic North, and theres at least one other Mountain Division besides 10th).

Overall, NATO would be less Euro-centric; the Canadians surely would concentrate their forces at home rather than basing them in Germany. There might even be a British presence, and contingency plans for deployment of German forces like there were in case of a Soviet flanking attack on Norway or Turkey. Retaining conscription might be a question for the US and UK, too. Why, even the French might commit to protect Quebec by nuking the rest of Canada once the Soviets have smashed through the rest of the allies. :D

And I don't see what would keep the Soviets from basing nukes in Alaska. It would be their own turf after all, not some hot place far away in the enemy's backyard that could be negotiated away in a quid-pro-quo like after the Cuba Crisis.
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#9 Marek Tucan

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 0607 AM

If RU have Alaska, then it is definitely a "White Taiwan" candidate. And maybe even reason enough for the Western and Japanese forces to maintain hold on the Amur regions against the Reds.
If Amur region stays white, then it would probably be of much interest for the Japanese. If Japanese were there, fighting with Whites to get more of Siberia instead of going to China, noone would possibly object - it might then result (if WWII starts as it did) in West declaring war over Poland on both Germany AND USSR, with Japan being part of the Allied camp?
It would also possibly lead to Japanese forces acting in China in coalition with the Nationalist forces, to root out the commies.

If only Alaska stays White, then I guess it would have strong ties to US and Britain (via Canada), but not to Japan, so WWII generally takes its course.

Ofc there is the possibility of someone invading alaska due to gold - Tzar probably won't be able to exploit the gold up there as effectively as the 'murricans.
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#10 baboon6

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 0628 AM

I think it's far more likely that Alaska would have become a Russian Taiwan. I agree with the thekirk though that the ramifications involved in Alaska not being sold to the US may have been far-reaching. Was there a possibility of it being sold to Britain as T19 wrote?
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#11 shep854

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 0751 AM

What would be the financial/resource drain on the USSR if Alaska did go Red?
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#12 Josh

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 1213 PM

Sticking with the Soviet scenario, which I actually think the least likely, I don't think there would be large formations of troops on either side. Logistically there's just no way to do that. Putting a corps there? That would probably outnumber the residents in modern day Alaska, never mind at the previous turn of the century. there would be troops there, but in limited numberes because both sides would have scant ability to supply the area, particularly in time of war or tension, and neither side could support a major invasion against the other over that turf. It would be easier to actually just do a landing on Vancouver or Vladivostok then try to push through Alaska or fight your way south down Canada. ALL the supplies would have to be brought in by ship anyway; might as well deliver them directly to the target.

Historically when was Alaska found to have large oil deposits? Or gold for that matter? Other than that, its a waste land of little value that no one would particularly want to populate or have to defend.
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#13 thekirk

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 0720 AM

Sticking with the Soviet scenario, which I actually think the least likely, I don't think there would be large formations of troops on either side. Logistically there's just no way to do that. Putting a corps there? That would probably outnumber the residents in modern day Alaska, never mind at the previous turn of the century. there would be troops there, but in limited numberes because both sides would have scant ability to supply the area, particularly in time of war or tension, and neither side could support a major invasion against the other over that turf. It would be easier to actually just do a landing on Vancouver or Vladivostok then try to push through Alaska or fight your way south down Canada. ALL the supplies would have to be brought in by ship anyway; might as well deliver them directly to the target.

Historically when was Alaska found to have large oil deposits? Or gold for that matter? Other than that, its a waste land of little value that no one would particularly want to populate or have to defend.


Er... What do you know about Alaska? Obviously, not a hell of a lot. The fisheries alone were/are worth billions, along with the timber and other resources. Just because the US has chosen to lock a lot of it up in National Parks doesn't mean the Russians or Japanese would have. Southern Alaska's timber resources would have been perfect for the Russians or the Japanese to exploit for sale to the Pacific Rim, the fisheries would have made huge money, and the minerals we've left untouched in the interior would likely have had the same industrial-scale rape and pillage treatment such things got under the Soviets. The foreign exchange available from those resources would have been key to whomever had them, aside from the UK or the US, and would have been exploited to the maximum possible amount--And, a lot earlier in our timeline. Refugee White Russians would have had to, the Soviets would have had to, and the Japanese sure as hell wouldn't have bothered.

Of course, with that huge set of resources available, Japan wouldn't have been under nearly the pressure that they were for natural resources, and probably wouldn't have felt as much need to go into either Manchuria or Indonesia, depending on when they found the oil and figured out how to get at it. Again, huge changes flowing from small things like someone else buying "Seward's Folly".
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#14 BansheeOne

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 0400 AM

I've given the Russian Taiwan scenario some more thought. Their main weakness would have been population numbers; even if every Russian who emigrated between the Bolshevist revolution and Glasnost/Perestroika (I found a total number of about three million) wound up in Alaska, with some extras encouraged by the geographic proximity and maybe some transmigration by previous emigreé families once it turns into a reasonably free and democratic society (but Taiwan did not before the 90s - not to mention Alaska being not too physically inviting) plus other immigrants attracted by the natural riches, at best you get a very stretched version of Norway - a sparsely-populated, cold and rugged country with a looong coastline, though eventually rich on oil.

Would have been very dependent on US support for defense; bases as per real history, likely a NATO member, natural part of NORAD, and thus never given the Taiwan treatment in the UN. Though both them and the Soviet Union being on the same side in WW II would have been quite interesting, as would have possible drives for reunification after the latter's breakdown (I tend to think they would have wisely refrained).
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#15 thekirk

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 0825 AM

I've given the Russian Taiwan scenario some more thought. Their main weakness would have been population numbers; even if every Russian who emigrated between the Bolshevist revolution and Glasnost/Perestroika (I found a total number of about three million) wound up in Alaska, with some extras encouraged by the geographic proximity and maybe some transmigration by previous emigreé families once it turns into a reasonably free and democratic society (but Taiwan did not before the 90s - not to mention Alaska being not too physically inviting) plus other immigrants attracted by the natural riches, at best you get a very stretched version of Norway - a sparsely-populated, cold and rugged country with a looong coastline, though eventually rich on oil.

Would have been very dependent on US support for defense; bases as per real history, likely a NATO member, natural part of NORAD, and thus never given the Taiwan treatment in the UN. Though both them and the Soviet Union being on the same side in WW II would have been quite interesting, as would have possible drives for reunification after the latter's breakdown (I tend to think they would have wisely refrained).


Seward bought Alaska back in the 1870s, no? How much more development would have happened, in the eventuality the Russians hadn't sold the damn place? My guess is that they'd have had to do something more than what happened in our timeline, if only because of the rising threat of Japan. I'm thinking that predicting the course of this alternate history is extremely difficult, and there are a whole bunch of branches and sequels to that one seemingly simple difference of the Russians not selling it, and keeping it.

As for the numbers of Russians who would have likely emigrated after the Revolution? Who really knows? It could have been a Taiwan-esque backwater, or it could have been a bloody powerhouse. Imagine if some of the Tsar's family escaped there, to serve as a rallying point for the Whites? With all that time between the Revolution and the pre-empted sale, there's no way of telling what sort of place Russian Alaska could have been or become.

Hell, more emphasis on development to justify keeping the place might well have meant that the Yukon gold was found far earlier. All that Alaskan gold might have done a lot to shore up the Russians, and it would have interested a lot of people back in the 1880-1890 time frame in developing the place a lot earlier--Which in turn could have either stopped the Revolution in its tracks, or given the Whites a refuge. Once that die was thrown, there's really no way to tell which side would have landed facing up.

Edited by thekirk, 02 August 2012 - 0832 AM.

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#16 BansheeOne

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 0942 AM

It's still the parliamentary summer break, and my boss is on an official tour of South America. So I'm slightly bored at work while having access to an internet-capable computer - always a dangerous situation. In this instance, I have been spending too much thought on independent Russian Alaska again ...

This Alaska, never sold to the US, emerged as a counter-revolutionary state from the Russian Civil War as described in this thread, supported by the Entente powers, foremost the Americans of course. It covers the same area as present-day Alaska, except also including Big Diomede Island in the Bering Strait and possibly the Kommandorski Islands off Kamchatka, which the Soviet Union didn't have the means or will to take before both sides consolidated, similar to Quemoy and the other Taiwanese-controlled islands just off the Chinese mainland.

Before the split, Russian Alaska had a population of only 200,000, about two thirds of which were deportees under the katorga system (hey, other countries have successfully emerged from penal colonies). During the Civil War, between one and two million Russians fled here, with a slower stream of emigrés remaining afterwards. At this point, the new state was basically a military dictatorship, still dreaming of retaking the mainland one day. It's main allies obviously were its closest neighbors, Canada and the US - at the same time the biggest trading partners, with Japan coming third. American and Canadian companies dealing in wood, seafood and natural resources and importing/producing machinery and other finished goods set up shop, with English becoming the second-most spoken language after Russian.

Skirmishes with Soviet forces continue throughout the 20s and 30s in the form of naval battles - such as there are with the fleets remaining - and fruitless mutual landings of small forces in remote places. The security services on either side have their work cut out too as both try to infiltrate agents to spy on and agitate against the other while trying to root out the opposition, and Alaskans running ratlines to help escapees from the Soviet Union.

Of course this gets blanketed when the Japanese land in the Aleutian Islands in 1942, making Alaska enter WW II - on which it was not too keen previously with the Soviet Union on the Allied side. Belatedly, the government adopts the Atlantic Charter, which proves to be a fortunate decision in the long run. After routing the Japanese with US and Canadian support, most of the Alaskan Army basically sit for the last two years of the war waiting for an invasion of Northern Japan that never comes, though they eventually see occupation duty there in 1945. However, a small contingent is sent to the European theater and participates in the D-Day landings instead.

This course of events results in the Soviet Union and Alaska both becoming founding members of the United Nations, a step taken with much grumbling and declarations of non-recognition on either side; but Soviet demands of having its rogue province returned to it for the sake of wartime alliance are rebuffed by the US unlike in the similar Baltic Question. In the upcoming Cold War, mutual relations soon return to default frosty, but at least between internationally recognized nations now. In the face of reality, the government comes to abandon the illusion of winning back the mainland, though nationalist circles still cling to that idea.

In 1949, Alaska becomes a founding member of NATO, though with the Soviets across the Bering Strait and a population of just over three million by now, the country is a net receiver rather than net provider of military support. The US in particular retains basing rights from WW II and uses them mostly for air reconnaissance and refueling missions towards the Soviet Union and air defense of the North American continent while maintaining a token ground force (initially 4th Infantry Regiment). As native speakers of Russian descent, Alaskans are however much sought after throughout alliance staffs for their unique perspective on the Soviets, and some special forces outfits have at least contingency missions to Europe for behind-the-lines work.

An Alaskan contingent also serves in the Korean War, and in 1958 the country becomes part of NORAD. After the end of the Stalin era, internal changes take place too; reassured by formal alliance with the West and with the democratic societies of Canada and the US right next door to look at, a middle class increasingly well-off on the country’s natural riches demands more democracy from the military leadership still in power, which is also under gentle pressure by its partners to look more like an alternative to the Soviet system. A new constitution is eventually adopted in 1959, ending the permanent rule of military law over the previous four decades, though it will take some time to fully overcome authoritarian rule.

The development of oil and gas fields leads to an economic boom in the 60s, which is also reflected by another boost in population growth, partly domestic and partly by immigration, the latter not exclusively by ethnic Russians. Publics signs become commonly lettered in both Russian and English due to the increased influx of North American business, and there is even a proposal to do away with the Cyrillic alphabet altogether to underline that Alaska is a nation in its own right now. Nationalists raise holy hell though, and the issue is left alone; children learn both anyway since English is mandatory first foreign language in school.

The increased population base and internal revenues means also less dependence on foreign military aid given mostly by the US in exchange for guarding the back door to the North American continent. The Alaskan armed forces remain rather small even with conscription, but are quite well-equipped, the main source of arms still remaining the US, and some emphasis being put on common gear with them and/or Canada. By the early 80s, allied basing is concentrated on 172nd US Infantry Brigade, 6th US Strategic Wing and possibly 343rd US Composite Wing while the bulk of ground and air defense missions (including radar sites) is run by Alaskans.

At this point, population is about five million, half of which live in five cities: Stoyanka (1.8 mill.), Krasiviyebyeryega (my Russian doubtlessly sucks …) and the capital of Junograd (each 200,000), Novoarkhangelsk (60,000) and Ketchikan (50,000). With trade going mostly across the Canadian border and the Gulf of Alaska which is the prowling ground of the US and Canadian Navy, the mission of the Alaskan Armed Forces is primarily to defend their territory against possible Soviet sea landings and airborne intrusions; particular importance is put on security of the oil and gas installation in the High North and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Fishery protection is a major national interest, too. Within their capabilities, the Armed Forces will also contribute to securing the air- and seaways to the continent in general.

I have spent some thought on their organization with an emphasis on the 1980-1990 period already and will try to develop it over a couple posts.

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#17 Colin

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 0958 AM

Hmmm A Soviet Alaska means a much different Canada, much of our resources are placed to defend the border. While many areas are impassable, there are numerous points which can be used, but far enough that they have difficulty in supporting each other. The advent of the large transport aircraft forces the RCAF to provide air fields with more modern fighters (Rather than the Balckburn Sharks actually used) and the RCA has to spend much time and money on AD and coastal defense of Prince Rupert. Just on the Panhandle alone you have 6 land/river routes into BC.


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#18 shep854

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 0807 AM

A quick read of BansheeOne's above ruminations made we wonder if a White Alaska might not have morphed into something of a 'Finland West'; independent of the USSR, but still under heavy influence, but also undergoing a slow assimilation by 'Western' culture and mores.
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#19 BansheeOne

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 1527 PM

Finland had the Soviets sitting right across a land border. Alaska is pretty much self-defending. My first plans for their armed forces involved grandiose mechanized formations that would have brought tears to the eyes of Guderian as they battled the invading Red Hordes™ on arctic plains - until I took a closer look at the geography. Then I asked myself where John Milius ever got the idea of the Soviets driving armored columns through there and down into CONUS. I pity da fool who'd try it.

There's probably a reason why Alaska was always rather lightly garrisoned by the US - a weak light infantry division (6th) at the best of times, backed up by the "Scout Group" that is the AKNG; in essence another light infantry brigade. Alaskan Air Command topped out at 300 fighters in six squadrons during the 50s, but once the main threat changed from Soviet bombers to ICBMs, it degraded to four to three to two squadrons in the late 70s - both with F-4Es, one of which converted to F-15s, the other to A-10s. The only permanent naval presence is by the Coast Guard.

Obviously if the Soviets had really tried something, the US could always reinforce; the 7th and 25th Light Infantry Division would have been likely candidates, along with 82nd Airborne, 101st Air Assault, and various long-range air and naval assets. While our Russian-Alaskans might also hope for Big Brother to back them up, they would need a domestic surge capacity, and their own assets in place. To the US, the main military value was for early warning and ELINT purposes, and as a pitstop on the great circle route to Japan; to our Alaskans, it would be all the home they got and of intrinsic value to defend.

I've been looking at the Scandinavian countries as similar in geography and population base for inspiration. The essentials to me seem to be airspace and coastal defense, and highly mobile and self-sustained units to counter possible thrusts inland. Light infantry rapidly deployable by road or air to block chokepoints and make use of the terrain for flanking counterattacks supported by friendly air appears to be on order, not the Alaskakorps.
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#20 BansheeOne

BansheeOne

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 0643 AM

Some general thoughts for the 1980-1990 period. In addition to the Scandinavian role models, this will obviously be colored by my own background in Cold War Germany.

Out of my population of five million, I expect about 50,000 young men to reach military age annually. I conservatively estimate 80 percent or 40,000 of those to be fit for military service. My target is to recruit 2.5 percent or 1,250 volunteers per year for an average service time of twelve years to give me a cadre of 15,000 professional soldiers. This may be supplemented by 0.2 percent or 100 of the women from the same class for an additional 1,200 female professionals mostly serving in medical, signals, logistics, military police and staffs.

This is still a little short of actual garrison levels. With US forces based in-country, it could come out to the same plus my own navy; but for a national surge capacity similar to what the US could have deployed to Alaska in wartime, I cannot do without conscription. The minimum term that makes sense to me for training a soldier to become a combat-ready reservist is 18 months. I intend to give the top 10 percent or ca. 3900 of eligible non-volunteer males of a class NCO training so they can serve as squad leaders or in comparable positions in the last third of their term. Volunteers serve overwhelmingly as officers and NCOs already.

My active leadership cadre thereby increases to ca. 18,000. I expect those to handle twice their number of enlisted conscripts as an average over army, air force and navy with their necessarily different ratios of higher and lower ranks. I therefore need 24,000 recruits each year to have a total of 36,000 conscripts serving their 18 months, for a total active force of 54,000. This leaves ca. 11,000 males per class surplus to military requirements. I could shorten the term to twelve months to make room for them, but this cuts into useful time served after basic training, and my conscripted JNCOs specifically would go home right after being promoted Mládshiy Serzhánt.

Instead, I will create a civilian defense corps similiar to the German THW which will employ 6000 of a class - including conscentious objectors - for an active strength of 9,000, plus a professional leadership of 1,000 recruited from the non-military pool, including women. The remaining 5,000 will be given the opportunity to volunteer for coast guard, police, fire and medical services, again on the German model. With some tweaking of fitness categories to supply and demand, this should work.

After finishing their basic term, conscripts are put in the immediate reserve. Upon mobilization, the last four classes discharged will be recalled to replace recruits in training and, along with reserve cadres, fill activated reserve units, bringing the total force strength to 198,000. There will usually be a month-long reserve drill at the half-time mark of the four-year immediate readiness term to keep reservists current, deducted from the basic conscription term so the total stays at 18 months. Upon reaching the age of 25, most are put into the inactive reserve, to be called up and trained as necessary to replace losses in wartime.

I will look at the individual forces next to see how this translates into structures.
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