June 24, 1948: Soviet blockade of Berlin begins.
June 25, 1948-October 31, 1948: Berlin Airlift commences. American intelligence begins funding proxy resistance groups, composed of students, various members of Protestant and Mormon sects, and rearmed Nazis. These organizations are given all possible aid to reestablish access to Berlin as the airlift continues.
November 1, 1948: Citizens of Berlin are killed resisting Soviet authority. The cause of the disturbance was a row between children over a box of chocolates that had been dropped by an Allied plane. One child’s mother is tried and executed by Soviet authorities as an American spy. Truman calls for moderation, privately looking at options up to and including nuclear weapons. Senator West, not privy to these meetings, begins objecting vociferously on national radio.
November 11, 1948: The Berlin Airlift ends. German citizens become even more restless, overthrowing all occupation zones. The Allied authorities evacuate, but Soviet authorities remain behind. This is reported in the west as ideological rigidity leading to a lack of coordination.
November 20, 1948: After a week of deliberation, the United States begins limited airstrikes against the Soviet government in Germany, increasing funding to German citizens’ groups as the occupation government falls entirely.
December 7, 1948: In another chronologically significant move, President Truman authorizes an invasion of Germany in support of the new West German government. The German War has begun, and there is little hope of finishing by Christmas.
December 8, 1948-April 6, 1950: The War continues. By spring 1950, the threat of atomic weapons is at an all time high due to the first Soviet atomic test, and the center of Berlin has become a trench warfare zone. The future of the West hangs in the balance.
April 9, 1950: Benjamin West, Senator from New Mexico, Elder of the Seventy, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, announces his candidacy for President, promising to “end the damn thing one way or another”. Truman spends the day in conference with MacArthur, aware that the war has not really begun.
May-November 1950: In what’s called the Long Summer, Allied and Soviet forces and proxy troops sit and watch each other across the trenches in Berlin. The Chicago Cubs place second in the National League. Jack and Marjorie Parsons are married.
November 4, 1950: With Eisenhower commanding US forces in occupied Japan, Benjamin West is elected president of the United States by a landslide.
Christmas, 1950: The Soviets believe they can get one over on the green, young President. They are correct. In a stunning display of unrestrained military might, their tanks crush the Allied soldiers operating in the Trenches of Berlin. The Ultimatum of 1950 is issued, and rather than see Berlin reduced to ash, President West retreats entirely. West German refugees begin flooding toward the English Channel by 3 AM the next day, Eastern Standard Time.
1951: East Germany and West Germany reestablished by a magnanimous gesture from Stalin. West Germany guaranteed self-determination so long as it “proactively engages in neutrality”, East Germany remains puppet state of the USSR. Berlin, now a skeletal ruin, is designated a demilitarized zone, or colloquially, the Dammerungzone.
1952: MX-774 “Minuteman” missile program officially green-lit, given DX priority funding. German refugees settle in an expanded German belt, led by a spearhead of scientists and engineers, ranging from White Sands, New Mexico and Fort Bliss, Texas to Huntsville, Alabama and scattered north to Wisconsin and Minnesota. German-language television service first broadcast in the United States by the DuMont Network. Jack Tramiel immigrates to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1953: Faced with failing approval ratings, Benjamin West writes to his old friend Jack Parsons for advice. Shortly thereafter, the Hughes Aircraft Company, RAND Corporation, and the United States Air Force announce the goal of placing a man in space. This is secretly a front for reconnaissance and eventual nuclear weapons platforms. Generals LeMay and Schriever command.
1955: Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone” premieres in two languages on the DuMont Network. Its first three episodes attract both praise and controversy by featuring ghosts of the German War, manned spaceflight, and an alternate universe version of West who is universally admired, respectively. Notably, the latter story is not without nuance, as he is the opposite of his actual self, and presented as a non-descript entity, a tabula rasa at the beck and call of his advisers. The first twist ending leaves viewers questioning whether or not this version of West is, in fact, an alien, and which universe the story has been set in all along.
1959: Buddy Holly tours the United States and records a new album.
1960: A group called the Quarrymen arrives in Clovis, New Mexico from Liverpool, England where they catch the eye of Norman Petty, but do not record.
1962: Karl Germer dies, handing leadership of the Ordo Templi Orientis to Soror Candida, AKA Marjorie Cameron.
This will be edited over time. It is intended as a mere guide to a universe I intend to be manic about and research heavily for oh…a whole year if I can help it. I will occasionally write portions of the eventually intended and deeply hoped for work based on this timeline in draft form here, as explorations of the world more than anything else. If I finish the damn thing, you’ll hear about it. If I don’t welp that’s the way the news goes! :p
To everyone who’s hitting this blog up consistently even though I’m being lame about content, thanks very much. We’re on Google now and that’s nothing to sneeze at. I love this job. 😀 You couldn’t pay me to do anything else! 😀
(I have just realized to my abject horror that it’s too early to write. 1950 was not an election year. This may or may not necessitate vast revisions to the Berlin Scenario. For now, simply assume that the timeline seems to kick off in 1952 for a reason, and blame my muse for keeping faerie hours…)