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Clement Attlee
Attlee
Historical Figure
Nationality: England, United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 1883
Date of Death: 1967
Cause of Death: Pneumonia
Religion: , later
Occupation: Lawyer
Spouse: Violet Millar ( 1964)
Children: Four
Military Branch: British Army World War I
Political Party: Labour Party
Political Office(s): Member of Parliament for Limehouse and Walthamstow West
Deputy Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1945-1951)
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Armistice
Type of Appearance: Direct
Political Office(s): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Direct
Political Office(s): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Political Office(s): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC (3 January 1883 – 8 October 1967) was a British democratic socialist politician, who was elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1945. He had served as Deputy Prime Minister under Winston Churchill in the wartime coalition government, before leading the Labour Party to a landslide election victory over Churchill at the 1945 general election. He was the first Labour Prime Minister to serve a full Parliamentary term and the first to have a majority in Parliament.

Attlee's ministry was dedicated to rebuilding the post-war U.K., establishing a variety of programs based on democratic socialist principles, which saw nationalization of a number of services, an emphasis on income equality and worker's rights, and decolonization abroad. While Attlee initially sought to maintain good relations with the Soviet Union, he came to see the USSR as a possible threat, and grew much closer to the West as the Cold War began.

While Attlee held his office after the 1950 election, Labour, now an aging party with little in the way of new ideas, and divided by how to pay for Britain's involvement in the Korean War, was defeated in 1951. Attlee was succeeded by his predecessor, Winston Churchill. Attlee continued as Labour's leader, but met with increasing challenges from within his party. He contested the 1955 election, but the Conservatives held the government. He retired from the party, but maintained his social activism. He died in 1967 after contracting pneumonia.

Clement Attlee in The Hot WarEdit

Clement Attlee was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the outbreak of World War III.[1]

Prior to World War III, the United Kingdom, under Attlee's direction, contributed troops to the UN forces during the Korean War.[2] Britain also maintained an occupation zone in West Germany.[3] Consequently, when the United States used atomic bombs in Manchuria on 23 January 1951,[4] the UK was the target of a Soviet retaliatory attack on 1 February, which destroyed Norwich and Aberdeen. France and West Germany also suffered the loss of two cities each.[5]

Prime Minister Attlee and French President Vincent Auriol immediately contacted U.S. President Harry Truman, invoking the NATO treaty.[6] Truman, in the hopes of mollifying his allies, ordered a mission to bomb Pechenga, the base where the Soviet bombers had flown out of. Truman even used flyers from Britain and France.[7]

After this initial attack, Britain proper went largely unmolested for the next few months. British forces met the Soviet invasion of West Germany when the ground war phase of World War III began in earnest later in February.[8] Mid-April saw the Soviets launch a series of bombing raids against British airfields, using conventional explosives. While the attacks were destructive, in many ways, they were a nuisance compared with the atomic attacks.[9] In fact the British (and allied) war effort was hindered in April when the Soviets were able to get an atomic bomb into on a freighter and detonated it in the Suez Canal, thoroughly destroying the canal.[10]

Clement Attlee in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

Prime Minister Clement Attlee's government was troubled from the start. Despite Germany's total defeat in 1945, an organized resistance movement called the German Freedom Front, led by Reinhard Heydrich, immediately began inflicting casualties on Allied troops.[11] In 1946, Attlee's government received a substantial black eye when Heydrich personally led a mission to kidnap several German physicists the British were holding in Alswede.[12] In 1947, GFF men successfully snuck into London, and destroyed St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey with truck bombs.[13]

Making matters worse, Attlee received substantial criticism from his predecessor, Winston Churchill.[14]

Attlee issued a statement condemning the attacks and affirming Britain's commitment to the occupation. He then ordered the rebuilding of the two monuments.[15] Attacks continued on British occupation forces though, and the British abandoned their efforts to garrison Germany at the same time as the U.S

Clement Attlee in Joe SteeleEdit

Clement Attlee succeeded Winston Churchill as Prime Minister in 1945. However, he was not invited to participate in the Wakamatsu Conference by U.S. President Joe Steele or Soviet leader Leon Trotsky, as the United Kingdom had no role in the invasion of Japan. This also symbolized how much the post-war world would be dominated by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.[16]

Literary commentEdit

As the broader course of British history was not affected by the POD, it is likely that Churchill unseated Attlee and returned to office in 1951 as in OTL. This is not stated, and so should not be presumed.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Bombs Away, pg. 89, HC.
  2. See, e.g., Bombs Away, pg. 88, ebook.
  3. Ibid. pg. 15.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 53-55.
  5. Ibid., pg. 65-70.
  6. Ibid., pg. 86.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 87-90.
  8. Ibid., pg. 111.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 278-280.
  10. Ibid., pg. 295.
  11. The Man With the Iron Heart, generally.
  12. Ibid., pg. 182.
  13. Ibid., pg. 319-322.
  14. Ibid., pg. 324.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Joe Steele, pg. 326.

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