A/N: I'm making Einstein be born much later, so that he can be around until after the Psychic Dominator Disaster. About shooting without seeing the target in that theatre back in Ch 4: she could see their legs/feet from under the rows of seats, so she knew where to sweep her gun.

THE STORY BY NO MEANS REPRESENTS MY OPINION DIRECTLY, MERELY WHAT THE CHARACTERS WOULD DO UNDER GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES. I PERSONALLY DO NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WITH ANY GROUPS… except for being fundamentalist in my rejection of fundamentalism, ironic, isn't it?

To Somebody-Nobody, thanks for the kind words. I know that they are working toward Generals 2, but I'm planning on most likely disregarding that just like I'll disregard RA4 if that ever happens, or C&C5. Unless… you said there was something like an Orca in it, hmm, maybe the first use of dual-turbine assault gunships near the end of the War on Terror? And how did you think I could throw away MCVs? They ARE, practically, C&C. What did you think of the MCV-1956 series (only A model produced so far)? For once, imperfect mechanical reliability.


Chapter 6: It All Comes Crashing Down

July, 1956

Prime Minister Anthony Eden was under immense pressure from Conservative MPs at home who drew direct comparisons between the events of 1956 and the Munich agreement in 1938. The vast majority of Britain's population was screaming for action against Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal, and the king of Iraq, with whom Eden was dining when he got the news, told Eden to "Hit Nasser hard, hit him soon, and hit him by yourself". Even the leader of the Opposition immediately agreed that military action may be needed, but warned Eden the Americans were to be kept informed.

The French Premier of the time, Guy Mollet, held up a copy of Nasser's book, The Philosophy of the Revolution, and stated "this is Nasser's Mein Kampf, . If we're too stupid not to read it, understand it and draw the obvious conclusions, then so much the worse for us". On 29 July, three days after Nasser moved, the French Cabinet decided on military action. This would have disastrous consequences, as it gave Stalin a better jump-off in the form of Hungary for his great plan.


Late October, 1956

The Austrian State Treaty in 1955 had raised hopes of Hungarian neutrality, as their neighbour had successfully become neutral. In June 1956, an uprising in Poland that had been put down resulted in a series of concessions to Poland by the Soviets. Hungarian-US relations began to improve in 1956, but the Hungarian Ministry of Internal Affairs slowed things down, fearing better relations with the West would weaken Communist rule in Hungary.

Students and journalists formed intellectual forums discussing the problems facing Hungary, these became crushingly popular and attracted thousands of participants. On October 16, the "Union of Hungarian University and Academy Students" (MEFESZ) was re-established in Szeged in defiance of the official Communist Student Union, the DISZ. Within days, other student bodies followed suit. The Technical University's students compiled a list of sixteen points including several national policy demands.

At the same time, all SI units in Germany were put on DEFCON 4 just in case.

The students heard that the Hungarian Writer's Union planned to express solidarity the next day by placing a wreath at the statue of General Bem, a hero of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, and planned a parallel demonstration of sympathy. In the afternoon of October 23, 1956, 20,000 protesters rallied near Bem's statue and the two groups, the Writer's Union and the students, read their manifestoes. The crowd then chanted the censored patriotic poem, the "National Song", which refrains: "This we swear, this we swear, that we will no longer be slaves." The Communist coat of arms was cut from the center of the Hungarian flag by a protestor and the others followed. By 6 PM, the crowd had surged across the Danube and swelled to two hundred thousand strong. The spirited and loud demonstration was surprisingly quite peaceful, but at 8 PM, the First Secretary of the country broadcast a speech taking a hard-line condemnation of the writers and students' demands. Having hoped for a reasonable explanation and negotiations like they had heard happened with SI and protestors, the demonstrators were enraged and carried out one of their demands, demolishing a 30-foot (9.1 meter) bronze statue of Joseph Stalin that had been erected on the site of a church that had been demolished for it. By 9:30 PM the jubilant crowd stuffed Stalin's boots, all that remained of the statue, with modified Hungarian flags.

At the same time, the Radio Budapest building also had a peaceful but overwhelmingly huge mob outside it. A delegation sent to broadcast the crowd's demands was detained and rumours spread that they had been shot, hence elevating the tension of the crowd. State Security Police, the AVH, fired the first shots after tossing canisters of tear gas from the windows, thus beginning the violence. The AVH attempt to hide arms and smuggle them in via ambulance to re-arm themselves didn't work, as the ambulance was intercepted and the payload seized. The Hungarian soldiers sent to relieve the AVH hesitated only for a moment before tearing the red stars from their caps and siding with the crowd. Provoked by the AVH's attack, the crowd set police cars alight, vandalized communist symbols, and seized weapons from depots to distribute to the masses.

The reports Hannah got from Budapest grew increasingly alarming. The mob was doing this all wrong… police cars made excellent rapid-transport and fast-attack vehicles in a communist country where few had motor vehicles, distribution of weapons needed to be organized… ah well, they were amateurs anyhow.

As for the Moscow reaction, Zhukov's disagreement with Stalin regarding use of brute force got him booted from office and the next highest General brought in, namely Gradenko, who was authorized to use all the old T-50s available to put down the uprising. They had contingency plans ready, now they used them. Soviet tanks and soldiers forced their way into the city, shooting anyone who shot back.

The Hungarian communist government fell on the 25th even while the crowds barricaded key roads and battled Soviet tanks with Molotov Cocktails and improvised explosive devices in the narrow streets of Budapest. The UN didn't bother intervening because it didn't want a war with the USSR, other than trying to pass a resolution critical of the Soviet intervention, a resolution that was vetoed by the Soviets. Eisenhower was aware of the US National Security Council's recommendation against intervening in Hungary, and did nothing. Hannah Shepard was similarly guilty of doing nothing to attack the USSR at the time, instead preferring to fortify the German borders and countryside while broadcasting instructions as to how to fight and smuggling rocket launchers and the newest battle rifles, created in 1954, and designated the A-WBR-7.5-100B. It was a good full-auto-capable rifle, useful for marksmanship at mid-range as well as assault duty, with a wrap-around mechanism distributing recoil to two springs on either side of the barrel and shortening the gun considerably in conjunction with the bull-pup configuration. Having the same calibre and barrel length as the first rifle she produced, it was designated B for the reason of avoiding confusion, but most just called it the BR-54 for convenience.

Thousands of Hungarians were smuggled out of Hungary by SI military intervention, which included several stand-offs with Soviet forces. However, these went peacefully, as most of the five local Soviet divisions sympathized perhaps too much with the Hungarians. However, it all came down on November 4, when 17 additional Soviet divisions were spotted entering Hungary and the SI forces beat a hasty retreat, grabbing as many refugees as they possibly could. What Hungarian revolutionaries were left were left fighting throughout the winter from whatever ramshackle shelters they could find. They would finally be slaughtered to the last woman and child—the men were long gone—mere days before their country's liberation from the Soviets during the looming war, after years of fighting against their oppressors. They died, but never would they be forgotten in any SI territory, unlike some other countries (here, the Archivists would like to extend a pointed glare toward the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the French Republic) who preferred to study the Suez Crisis instead in their history classes instead of taking on the guilt of inaction.


Early November, 1956

The British and French took until August to agree to a solution to the Suez problem, since SI was steadfastly refusing use of Palestine's territory and facilities, and to invade such a long-standing ally's Client State was political suicide. So, they had to rely on doing things the hard way, in the form of straight-up confrontation. On 30 October Britain and France sent their ultimatums, and the next day they began their invasions with a bombing campaign from Malta and the fleets in the Mediterranean. Nasser sank all 40 ships then in the Canal and closed it to all shipping in response. Despite the threat of invasion in the Canal zone, the Field Marshal of the forces in the Sinai believed that his army was more needed on the long border with Palestine since SI warships had been spotted off the southern tip of the Sinai and one War Factory had been spotted at a firebase on the border.

In fact, that War Factory was for the sake of an A-T-1955 that had been driven over a small escarpment as part of field testing. In less glorified terms, the men were so bored that they decided to test the safety of the vehicle and it was authorized when Hannah realized she had neglected to test that aspect of the vehicle's safety. This was crash safety, since it was inconvenient to find a barricade they could ram 100 tons of Main Battle Tank against without breaking through. Once she okayed the tests, three cadavers were obtained from a nearby morgue and cleaned up, dressed up, and strapped in before the tank was shoved over the escarpment by another tank.

The crumple frame fitted on the armour in the form of the rather solid and well-braced slat armour grilles and the spacing between the external and main armour served well in crumpling. The airbags that had been experimentally fitted into the cockpit of the vehicle to complement the crash webbing (sophisticated seatbelts) helped too. The result was that the vehicle's interior electronics had been severely damaged, its weapons lockers had stayed intact, the water-glycerin bags used in wet stowage burst to ensure nothing cooked off, and its weapons targeting systems were off-line. The main gun had only been saved from harm by the recoil absorption system taking the brunt of the impact with the sandy terrain and by the muzzle recoil dampener, which also functioned as a rather large crumple zone. The crash site had been pretty ugly and the tank had fallen over after impact to land on its side, then tipped over thanks to the slope in the sand, finally landing with the turret on the bottom and track pods in the air, the main gun pointed to the side. Not even the flamethrower fuel, which was basically a mix of diesel and ethanol nowadays, or pure ethanol when diesel was running short, had cooked off thanks to the fuel tank's containment systems, namely foam filling and reinforced double hull.

As for the three cadavers put inside, though most of the hardware inside the tank was ruined, no objects had flown around inside the vehicle, at least not hard enough to penetrate the rubber and plastic visors, helmets or padded body armour the cadavers were dressed in. They were all declared to be "survivors" after inspection for external and internal injuries, but the tank was trashed enough that a Service Depot would not be able to bring it back to functional condition in any reasonable time with so many internal systems wrecked. Hence they'd put up a War Factory so that it could be repaired quickly, however, the Egyptians didn't know that. The Egyptians also didn't know that the SI fleet at the southern tip of the Sinai were supposed to help mediate a peace as soon as possible between the impending belligerents, to try to contain the conflict and prevent a major war from breaking out, since Nasser had the support of the USSR and the US, which was looking to appease the Soviets.

Okay, so maybe the single vehicle was just an excuse, but one had to admit it was very suspicious how the Egyptians insisted on maintaining such a presence in the Sinai when they should have been in the Canal Zone… The Major General in charge of SI Middle East Theatre was concerned and had one War Factory set up in a border firebase just in case the Egyptians tried something stupid, just as a token gesture of "we are ready for you if you come at us". Unfortunately for the Egyptians, that precautionary measure locked them up in the Sinai enough that they were about to get their asses thoroughly kicked, militarily at least.

The British troops were well-trained, experienced, and with good morale, but suffered from budget limitations (so much that they actually used Field Refineries when possible to help offset the cost of war) and technological limitations from the new Depression. The Royal Navy however could project a lot of power through its guns and planes. Keightley, the invasion force commander, believed air power to be sufficient to defeat Egypt. His deputy believed in methodical and systematic armoured operations centered around the Centurion battle tank. The vehicle's effectiveness was on par with the older Raider I models, but was cheaper to build and maintain thanks to its lack of track pods. It was also shorter and a bit taller, with a 90mm gun about even in power with the aging 95mm guns of the Raider Is still in service with Britain (the UK hadn't updated those, in favour of eventually phasing out the Raider I for their own tanks).

French troops had recent experience from the Algerian War, which concluded with Algeria becoming an SI Client State—hey, it was better to have a trusted ally watch over an ex-colony than let it run amok—but suffered from extreme budget cuts. They had the elite Colonial Paratrooper Regiment, which had a "shoot first, ask questions later" policy toward any battlefield targets, which would result in several massacres of fleeing civilians. The French commanders had a good carrier force to call on, but few landing craft, and wanted fast operations.

That idea was rather castrated by the vehicles the French used. The main French tank was equipped with, to quote Hannah when she first looked at what they'd chosen to get instead of the (expensive) Raider Is she offered to sell to them, "about as much protection as a wet paper bag". It was the AMX-13, a fast tank, though that term was debatable, with a 75mm high-velocity anti-tank gun in the unique turret. If Intelligence data was accurate, the gun was being implemented on all Allied tanks too light to fully accommodate a 90mm cannon without modifications. It was a derivative of her old WTC-75-60 series, namely the most recent 75mm gun she'd created for the purpose, the WTC-75-70A, and so was quite reliable. However, the armour was at its thickest 40mm of RHA, to ensure the thing only weighed 15 tons combat-ready. She could kill it with one of her APCs and have said APC survive despite return fire regardless of the orientation of the vehicles relative to one another so long as they were on the same horizontal plane. That had to say something… then again her APCs did outweigh the AMX-13 more than two to one and had a better engine that let it run around even faster than the French vehicle, given the changes in the suspension since the twenty-year-old APC design entered use. The engine mostly only ran at full power when dozing something aside, otherwise the speed could get dangerous even for the reinforced treads. In fewer words, the French tanks were TERRIBLE.

If it wasn't because of how shitty the Egyptians were, things would be even worse. Politics, not competence, was the criteria for promotion, and Field Marshal Amer was only a close friend of Nasser's, who would prove grossly incompetent as a general. Rigid lines between officers and men meant mutual distrust and contempt, they were okay in defensive operations, but lack of rapport and small-unit leadership meant offensives were absurdly overcomplicated and difficult.

General Stockwell, in overall command of the task force, had in mind Operation Musketeer, capturing Alexandria by sea and then allowing British armoured divisions to engage in a decisive battle south of Alexandria and north of Cairo. The troop requirement for Musketeer was what led Britain to seek France out as an ally. To destroy the 300,000-strong Egyptian Army in a battle of annihilation Stockwell estimated 80,000 troops would be needed, or, if SI support could be garnered and assured in at least divisional strength, anywhere above 50,000 could probably pull it off. Unfortunately, following the terms of the Treaty of '52, SI was not willing to enter the war on the British side, so Stockwell had to seek out France, as he only had 50,000 soldiers at his disposal.

Unfortunately that battle plan was swayed by the French back to taking Port Said and the Canal Zone. It was termed Operation Revise, and came in three phases, the first involved securing air superiority, by mass destruction of all but the Cairo airport (through which Americans were being evacuated) and the Egyptian Air Force. On November 3, 1956 Nasser finally ordered his troops to the Canal zone instead of following Amer's advice. The leading French General had been driving for taking the Canal Zone ASAP instead of taking ten days to level Egypt's economy from the air in Revise Phase II. He only got approval on November 4, far too late to have the element of surprise.

Operation Telescope, the air landing part of the operation, was very rough. The first units of the 3rd Battalion of the British Parachute Brigade dropped on El Gamil Airfield late on November 5. They were able to use their mortars and anti-tank weapons to good effect once they were down, duelling it out with Egyptians supported by Soviet-made T-50s in urban combat. French Paratroops managed to seize the sewage plant and waterworks in Port Said by nightfall on the 6th, but only air support kept the T-50s back. However, the French were also methodical in executing POWs, which was rather stupid as it only garnered more resistance for them from units too scared to surrender.

The British stormed the beaches on November 7th with naval fire support and, on Sierra red beach, Centurion tanks. It was the only beach that succeeded after Nasser declared the war a "People's War", ordering soldiers to don civilian clothing and freely distributed weapons to the populace. The indecisiveness of Prime Minister Eden in bombing and shelling meant that soon many of the beaches were bogged down by T-50s parked next to apartment complexes or in market squares. Only the Centurion tanks were able to stack up to the T-50s in anything approaching even matches, as the French AMX-13s being landed proved to be one-strike fire-starters and had a hard time punching through the armour of the T-50s. On the other hand, the Centurions were doing fairly well, matching evenly against the T-50s thanks to better tactics, though their frontal armour didn't fully stack up.

The problem with Eden's interference was that the whole point of Phase II of Operation Revise had been to terror-bomb the Egyptians into the dirt. The drop near Port Fouad ended in disaster when the air-dropped AMX-13s met T-50s and were ground to pieces by the heavier tanks with heavier guns. The Egyptians destroyed Port Said's inner harbour, forcing the British to use the Fishing Harbour to land forces, and it took some time before enough Centurions were ashore to fully challenge the Egyptian T-50s. It took until November 8th before the British and French could break out of Port Said, and even then sniper-clearing operations continued.

In the meantime, Hannah Shepard was reading the reports forwarded to her and tittering about the Allied shortage of APCs. The UN were also getting together for a resolution declaring a ceasefire, spearheaded by the US and USSR. In her opinion, this was not a battle over the Suez Canal, but a fight between the Old Powers and the New Powers, minus her own armies. The Allies couldn't condemn the Soviets for Hungary if they were doing the same shit themselves… which was unfortunate. The war had lasted long enough, in her opinion, the world needed to focus back on Hungary and how it was being brutally ground under the heel of the Soviet oppressors instead of over this petty squabble. Hence, on November 7th, 1956, to elevate her own standing in the Arab world AND get more popular with the anti-war crowds in Britain and France, she telegraphed Nasser "Am willing to offer assistance in blockading Anglo-French forces from their objectives and mediating a ceasefire if the United Nations don't come up with something fast enough for our tastes. Signed: Hannah Shepard" and broadcast it across all radio stations. The response was an immediate affirmative, and Fifth Division, already at DEFCON 4, was dispatched to establish a buffer zone between the Egyptians and the Anglo-French forces. At the same time, she launched a media campaign across the world to rally support to her role as a mediator of peace and a protector of Small Powers. She did her best however to avoid irritating Britain or France, and sold it as "A government too embarrassed to quit needs a friend who can step in and give it an excuse to stop. SI is a friend of the British and French by helping them stop the war."

Very few friendly fire incidents occurred, surprisingly, and the front ground to a halt on November 9th in the morning as Egyptian troops retreated behind a solid line of T-1955s that closed up once the last Egyptian vehicles had gone by. The Egyptians had retreated through the night to and through the line, behind which three MCVs sat, having set up Field Hospital structures for injured Egyptians and a number of AA Guns to keep the skies watched just in case. This was in addition to the fairly new Sabre jets SI had purchased as an interim until a superior fighter could be obtained, namely the Arrow which SI had bought over once Diefenbaker tried to trash the project. Supposedly he believed interceptors weren't needed, well, SI was redesigning the thing to be a full fighter-bomber, true, but the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) was looking into purchasing American Bomarc missiles. In less glorified terms, Diefenbaker had been pressured by the Americans into becoming an American territory with the signing of the NORAD agreement.

If he'd been a baker before he was Prime Minister, Hannah would likely have put out posters with the slogan "Die-F***-en-baker" or some variant thereof, unfortunately, he was not a baker or a cook. At least, he didn't cook up anything other than shitty deals selling his country to the US. He hadn't even given the Arrow a project review before trying to scrap it! The engine was good, the fighter was good, the only problem was the fuel and range, and the asshole had decided to try to throw it away. Well, she would show him… The Bomarc was a strictly defensive weapon, and nuclear detonations used to destroy clouds of Soviet bombers coming over the North Pole? Bullshit, they would fly far enough apart that only a few would be taken down, and the fallout would spread over much of Canada. The day that would have been called Black Friday by the Canadian aviation industry was renamed The Day Of Reckoning when the new loyalty of the Arrow project was announced and most of the research staff moved over to an SI facility, towing all aircraft, engines and parts along with them, escorted by a guard of four T-1955s to make the point that, according to her news broadcasts, "Just because the Canadian government wants to castrate Canadian aviation does not mean we the people will let it get away with that." Diefenbaker was powerless to stop her and would have been political suicidal to even try it, so he could do nothing but shrug and reply with "It is heartening to see private industry so invested in the well-being of our great nation. This display of patriotism only further proving that Canada is the best country to live in by far."

Many suspect that this display of overwhelming incompetence—the fact that the Avro Arrow was severely over budget until SI (well, more like Jane Shepard) came down on the researchers like a hammer one month after buying the project was glossed over—was what got Diefenbaker voted out of office by such a landslide later on. The Brain Drain to the US was astounding, almost a quarter of the engineers decided to go to the NASA program the US had, while the other, much larger, lot elected to stay in Canada and work under SI's fighter-bomber program.

Anyhow, the Sabre jets obtained as an interim solution was keeping the aerial stand-off working as the ground forces formed two long lines opposite each other. The turrets of the T-1955s and the earlier T-1945s (Raider IIs) were quite distinctive, so the British and French, seeing their long-time allies staring them down, ceased advancing and began broadcasting messages in confusion. The reply was that they were here to mediate a ceasefire. Needless to say, the British and French generals were quite angry about this, but as of 6 November a 40,000-strong mob had marched to Eden's home at 10 Downing Street and attempted to storm the building. It was where the Cabinet was meeting that day, and the clashes between protestors and police severely demoralized the Eden government to the point of wanting to get the war over and done with ASAP. This offered a politically convenient solution to them that would be easily accepted by the masses, who still well remembered the SI troops marching through their countries liberating them from Nazi oppression. These reasons of course were why Hannah offered the solution anyways, in addition to elevating her stance in the Middle East, having in the eyes of the Arabs successfully forced two European Great Powers to stand down.

The United Nations was also grateful as she helped buy them time to squabble it out regarding the peace terms the UN would enforce. However, the Soviets were not nearly so happy, and would not stand idly by. Reports began leaking from the USSR of a gas that was being used by the USSR for chemical warfare, reports that were quite alarming to say the least.


Moscow, November 27, 1956

Stalin finished flipping through a sheaf of photographs "Gradenko, how long did it take for the gas to work?"

"Is it safe to speak?" Gradenko glanced at Kane.

Stalin snorted "Of course."

"The kill time depends on the weight of the subject, uh, the children were terminated in less than fifteen seconds and the adults took longer… eighteen to forty-two seconds."

Stalin nodded appreciatively "No survivors?"

"None, Comrade Stalin."

Nadia spoke up at this point "You covered it well?"

"There were… eight hundred and forty people in the village." It was a Polish village that had been used to test the Sarin gas.

Nadia frowned "My intelligence says there were eight hundred and seventy-seven people in the village. How do you account for this discrepancy?" She glared at him.

Gradenko glared back "Inaccurate intelligence?"

Stalin interjected "Enough, begin full production of the gas." He signed some papers, oh the paperwork that came with being General Secretary…

"Already under way, Comrade Stalin." Gradenko stated.

Stalin waved him off "That is all, Gradenko."

"Forgive me Comrade Stalin but there is something else. Outside Torun we have met with guerilla resistance. They have blocked the roads into town here and here." He gestured at the map.

Stalin rolled his eyes in boredom, more rabble? "They are enemies of the People. Destroy the town and kill everyone in it." He got up "come Nadia, I have an assignment that requires your special skills." The both left the room.

Gradenko left through a different door, after Kane left the room, knowing perfectly well that Nadia's special skills were probably those she had when she was on her back. He strongly disliked Stalin's mistress, but it wasn't like he could do anything about it.


A/N: Note, in the later battles against racism and sexism, I will make it clear that Hannah considers actions like the ones in Die Hard 3 (walking around half naked with a placard that says—*censored for racism*) not to be hate crimes (it is however grounds for bringing the man to a police psychiatrist), but if there's more than two people doing it at the same time then that's an organized hate crime. Also, painting it in public on the side of a wall or a fence for example is a hate crime, and so is having it on your car. At the very least, the police will not interfere if you get your ass kicked unless it's life-threatening i.e. they walk over instead of run over to where you're being beaten up.


End of 1956

Hannah Shepard was starting to get a headache and began to understand exactly why Eisenhower had shoved the hot potato of Alabama at her. It was a full-scale counterinsurgency, or, in less padded terms, the whole region, hell, most of the American South, needed a good purging. Sometimes, maybe there was a modicum of usefulness in the methods of Hitler, Stalin, and so on after all… She could not believe she'd just thought that, but it was true.

The Suez problem had been resolved, but more alarming news had come up regarding Soviet actions in Poland and Hungary. Whole villages were being killed to the last man, woman and child as the Soviet Army chased… something. Whoever or whatever it was, it was trying to head for Germany… The Hungary garrison of 22 infantry and armoured divisions also seemed poised on the border of Austria the Czech Republic… She sent a message to her five divisions in Germany to go to DEFCON 3 immediately upon news of a Soviet incursion, thus giving authorization to engage when needed, and quickly made arrangements with Jane so that she could leave Canada and head out to Germany right away.

The new report coming in just now said that the Soviets were chasing survivors from a chemical weapons test, and that her Black Ops squads in Germany had, acting out of pure conscience, picked them up. Well, she couldn't condemn the units for doing what she would have done, but she wasn't happy with it either. The reports were however rather interesting, speaking of a nerve agent used to massacre a Polish village just to test its effectiveness, then resulting in a Soviet Army stampede to the German border in an attempt to kill the escapees and cover things up, or was it to cover up an impending invasion?

She had a terrible feeling that World War Three was about to start, probably before New Year's. Little did she know at the time that her question of what the Soviets were trying to cover up had a one-word answer: Both.


December 25, 1956

Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh SI Field Divisions were collectively annoyed. Eleventh had been retrained mostly from personnel from the now-disbanded First Aviation Division along with some Logistics Brigade troops who had wanted front-line duty. Well, here they were, stationed fifty kilometres behind the German border and five kilometres behind the main defence fortifications, on CHRISTMAS DAY. Most of the other Allied units had partying, leave, or SOMETHING today, but not them, excluding fresh turkeys brought in and cooked in the field kitchens for Christmas breakfast.

That annoyance lasted right up until a general distress call came from the front line near the Oder where massed Soviet tanks were attempting to cross the river but being nailed in place by the first groups out of thousands of Gun Turrets (these first groups were earlier, cheaper versions with the 90mm Allied gun instead of 110mm SI gun) and artillery installations installed behind the border. These heavy tanks resembled the T-50, but had two guns in the turret instead of one, more bulk and less speed, and were eventually identified as T-55s. Infantry trying to get by the fortifications were mown down en masse by Pillboxes while aircraft duelled it out with AA Guns. The four SI Field Divisions were soon on the move toward the border of Germany, using the Czech Republic as a buffer for now to buy time on that front while they descended on the Soviet forces crossing the Oder like a giant hammer.

Einstein, the most respected physicist of the 1900s, had stated "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Well, he would soon be very wrong, as he would know soon with what weapons World War Three would be fought, making the first clause false and thus the entire statement false.


A/N: Well, I've already posted Ch 1 of SI Archives Part 3: Stalin's Lunacy, and to think that at one point I thought this arc could last 7 or more chapters…

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