Alternative History
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The Alaskan Autonomous Territory
Автономная территория Аляска

Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Aleutian Islands West
Flag Coat of Arms
Flag Coat of Arms
Location of the AAT
Location of the AAT
Capital
(and largest city)
Adak
Other cities Attu, Atka, St. George, St. Paul
Language
  official
 
Russian, Aleut
  others English
Area 9663 km² km²
Population approx. 1500 
Currency Ruble

The Alaskan Autonomous Territory (Russian: Автономная территория Аляска) is a small territory of the USSR located in the western part of the Aleutian Islands. It was created after fighting occurred between the USSR and Alaska in 1987 which left Soviet forces in occupation of a small part of US territory.

History

Soviet invasion

After Doomsday, the situation in the Bering Sea region was desperate. Nuclear missiles had destroyed most major military installations and larger cities, and with them most military and political leaders who could have taken control of the state. No contact was made with the mainland and remaining leaders were not sure how to proceed. Surviving military knew they were at war but had little strategic guidance. Poorly coordinated and half-blind attacks occurred in this border region; similar scenes played out in Europe in the Baltic and along the length of the Iron Curtain.

Almost immediately following the attacks, surviving Soviet forces in Siberia landed a few hundred troops along some of the militarized Aleutian Islands. Surviving US troops skirmished with the Soviets but mostly fell back; the Soviet Union advanced as far as the Alaskan Peninsula. But neither side had the capacity to sustain a major conflict. Soviet forces did not stay long on the Peninsula and instead gathered on Unalaska. Another attempt to land at Nome failed as winter settled in and supplies ran out.

US forces mounted a counterattack in the spring. The Coast Guard landed troops on Unalaska Island and occupied Dutch Harbor, but this alone could not dislodge the Soviet forces.

The American Provisional Administration

The American Provisional Government formed in early 1984, based in Australia. They convinced the Australians to send some supplies to Alaska, but poor communication and the lack of US personnel would hamper any major response.

The Gathering Order brought a large number of American naval forces to Australia. Subsequent to it, near the end of 1984, the US sent a force to liberate Alaska. It consisted of two tank landing ships, an amphibious transport ship, three destroyers, two frigates, two nuclear attack submarines, and several military and civilian supply and cargo ships with a few hundred Marines. British forces also present sent HMS Hermes with a mixed US/British air group, a destroyer, and a tanker; while the Australians sent a frigate, a minesweeper, and HMAS Jervis Bay with a marine contingent. The task force represented the largest conventional operation by a Western power during the late phase of World War III.

The allies deployed a few hundred troops with armor, artillery, and air support, driving the Soviets from Unalaska and Umnak. But the Soviets successfully reinforced their troops and dug in on Adak and Attu. The campaign again reached a stalemate. Fighting continued for another two years.

The Sitka Accords

By 1987 neither side had any desire to continue fighting. They had begun with the belief that the Aleutians campaign represented the first phase of a conventional war for survival; it had instead devolved into petty skirmishes to gain toeholds in a chain of remote islands. The US administration wanted to devote its meager resources to stabilizing Hawaii and the rest of Alaska, while planning an operation to secure a foothold on the mainland USA. The Soviets were dealing with increased raids from northern China and didn't want to continue committing hundreds or thousands of troops to secure a few additional islands with no real strategic value.

The Sitka Accords are considered to be the end of WWIII. The Siberians were allowed to remain in possession of the islands from Segum on west. The uninhabited Islands of Four Mountains were made a neutral demilitarized zone. In exchange, the Soviets provided security guarantees to Alaska and the APA. Additionally, the two nations agreed to cooperate to prevent piracy in the North Pacific.

Creating the AAT

The western Aleutians remained under military rule until 1991. In that year, responding to a local petition, the Siberian government organized an Autonomous Territory within the Socialist Union. The very small, largely indigenous population was given some power over its own local affairs.

Today

LoN post in the Islands of the Four Mountains

Siberian authorities continue to discuss long-delayed plans to integrate the AAT into the Russian SFSR as the Alaskan Autonomous Socialist Republic. The delay is caused by the tiny size and remoteness of the territory, along with opposition from the now-independent Free State of Alaska and the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand, which is responsible for the Free State's defense. Both nations would consider any change in the islands' status to be a violation of the Sitka Accords. Furthermore they argue that if any modification of the treaty is to take place, it should be to return the islands to Alaska. Since the Sitka Accords are considered to be a cornerstone of world peace today, it is likely that the Aleutians' status will not change for the time being.

Since 2009, the LoN stationed a small team of observers in the DMZ to ensure peace in the region.

Economy

The economy of the Alaskan Autonomous Territory is primarily driven by the fishing of King Crabs and Halibut in the Bering Strait.

Demographics

The majority of the population of the Territory is of Aleut descent. Many of the people have some Russian ancestry. The USSR has promoted the use of the Aleut and Russian langauges over English.

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