The Finnish elections end for 65% in favour of the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL), though many believe this number was rigged, with REAL support numbering less than 25%. A huge military parade between Finnish and Soviet communists is held on April 4th and they march from Hamina to Viipuri, where the latter was then transferred back to Finnish control.
By now, Clement Atlee is tying the Commonwealth closer together with a set of free-trade agreements.
The Popular Democratic Front wins the 1948 Italian General Elections, the second (or first, depending on what your stance is on the 1946 Finnish elections) time a communist government has come to power in legitimate elections. The United States decides to act quickly. The Allies in southern Italy re-established the "Kingdom of Two Sicilies" (really referred to as simply "Sicily") under a temporary regency and ruled by the Christian Democrats, with its capital in Naples. Sardinia is proclaimed an independent republic from both Italy and the southern kingdom, being declared non-aligned in the Cold War.
Thomas E. Dewey wins the 1948 U.S. Presidential Election.
The Tito-Stalin Split occurs. Greece, still under civil war, decides to side with Tito and the Greek Communists reject all offers of aid from the Soviet Union.
Jan Smuts and the United Party wins the South African general election.
North Korea crosses the 38th parallel and invades South Korea. They annihilate the South Koreans and while President Dewey gave some aid in the form of arms shipments, he did little to help the oppressive, criminal regime of Syngman Rhee.
President Dewey nearly had to cancel a speech in Mississippi after almost getting hit in the head by a shoe. A young man, Martin Luther King Jr., gives an impromptu speech of his own, and becomes famous overnight. Dewey invites him to the White House to become the spokesperson for abolishing the Jim Crow Laws, marking the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Jan Smuts dies, and his successor is sworn in the same day.
NATO standardization reaches a stalemate, as the British insist of the .280 cartridge and the Americans, the much more powerful 7.62 cartridge. The British maintain that the 7.62 is much too powerful to be contained in sustained fire, but the Americans do not want to sacrifice the power of well aimed shots. By now, the British, Commonwealth and Belgian forces have adopted the .280 in the EM-2 and FAL guns respectively.
After much debate, the Americans suck it up and settle on the .280 British, renaming it the 7mm NATO. The FN FAL is adopted as the main service rifle for the U.S. military. By now, most of the commonwealth countries have adopted the new EM-2 assault rifle, and the rest of NATO has mostly adopted the FN FAL.
Stalin, the brutal leader of the Soviet Union, dies at the age of 74. A collective leadership comprised of Georgi Malenkov, Premier of the Soviet Union; Lavrentiy Beria, head of the Ministry of the Interior; and Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). A power struggle breaks out, mainly between Malenkov and Khrushchev.
Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev makes his famous "Secret Speech". Khrushchev said that Stalin's purges among the party and military were a bit "excessive", but wisely chooses not to directly attack him.
In September, Republican presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower suffers a heart attack that unfortunately kills him, taking him out of the election, giving Adlai Stevenson the presidency.'
Richard Nixon is sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.
President Charles de Gaulle's plane is shot down in Brittany by French fighters. A military coup is staged and a junta composed of retired generals Maurice Challe, Edmond Jouhaud, Andre Zeller, and Raoul Salan takes power.
The United Arab Republic launches a series of preemptive air strikes on Israeli airfields, starting what will be known as the "Six-Day War". Israeli territory is overtaking in these Six Days, and the Palestinians are allowed to return from their exile under the condition that it join the United Arab Republic. Hatred towards the United States begins as they did nothing to help the Israelis, they even had a fleet near Israel, but the Navy decided not to attack, fearing (wrongly) that the Soviets would intervene. Most Jews are expelled with nothing but their clothes on their back, and the Israeli military's senior officers and politicians are tried for "war crimes". Some Jews prove that they are descendants of Jews living in Palestine prior to the Jewish state being established, and are allowed to remain as second class citizens.
Ronald Reagan wins the 1968 U.S. presidential election.
France begins a campaign to disband NATO, saying if the US didn't help their ally Israel, who says they'll help them.
Lebanon is forced to join the United Arab Republic. The Iraqi Republic, thinking it will be forced to join next, voluntarily joins the UAR.
Socialism reaches the stars! Soviet Cosmonauts successfully land on the moon and return home. Alexei Leonid's first steps on the moon and his planting of the Soviet flag will be forever immortalized. The Americans dispute this, claiming that the Soviets faked the landing. The Americans scheduled the Apollo 8 flight on the same day, however before the crew could launch, a fire broke out in the cabin, killing the entire crew and destroying the Command Module (CM). This day will live on in both dignity and infamy.
China is defeated in the First Sino-Soviet War. Korea, a fervent pro-China nation, cuts all ties with Soviet Union. China becomes a Soviet Ally under Liu Shaoqi.
West Germany and the United Kingdom withdraw from NATO, dissolving the organization. France, the Benelux countries and West Germany sign the European Defense Community act, unifying their militaries.
Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev dies, and is succeeded by a Troika with Kosygin as Premier, Brezhnev as General Secretary, and Anastas Mikoran as Chairman of the Presidium. Theoretically, they are equal, however Brezhnev is in the process of assuming more power within the government.
Brezhnev is stricken with illness. Kosygin assumes his post as General Secretary, but to prevent him being perceived as a man with too much power, he relinquishes his post as Premier to Andrei Gromyko.
The "Gang of Four" faction within the Chinese Communist Party reaches for power. Liu Shaoqi's bullet-riddled body is thrown into the Yangtze river. They reverse Shaoqi's de-Maoization and return to its pre-war ways. Soviet leader Alexei Kosygin decides not to intervene, not wanting to spark another war. Korea resumes relations with China.
The Soviets win the Second Sino-Soviet War. Manchuria becomes a Soviet satellite state, and the rest of China is allowed to be reunited with Taiwan under Kuomintang rule, so long as China declares non-alignment in the Cold War.
Seeing the defeat of China, Korea isolates itself once more. However, the new leadership under the reformist faction take power and put the Maoist hardliners on trial. They then start slowly liberalizing the economy.