Could A Sino-American War Have Started During The Cold War?

MacArthur either takes the initiative or is given permission to start nuking Chinese formations north of the Yalu. Probably goes really poorly for the Chinese, the Soviets fume but can't really do anything at this point.
 
Well, Americans and Chinese did fight each other during the Korean War in OTL. But if you meant something more than that, you could go kmmontandon and have it escalate further.
 
Well, Americans and Chinese did fight each other during the Korean War in OTL. But if you meant something more than that, you could go kmmontandon and have it escalate further.
Wonder if the NVA do much worse in Vietnam? Say the south is far less corrupt and badly run, and the north is clearly losing the war. Perhaps you’d get a Korean War 1.5 and have “volunteers “ sent to help the north out?
 
Wonder if the NVA do much worse in Vietnam? Say the south is far less corrupt and badly run, and the north is clearly losing the war. Perhaps you’d get a Korean War 1.5 and have “volunteers “ sent to help the north out?
The North were backed by the Soviets not the Chinese, if anything North Vietnam will drop fighting the south briefly to combat the Chinese invaders.
 
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North Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan Straits. Perhaps even Hong Kong. A small POD and it is not difficult to have a Sino-American war.
 
Didn't the US go to Russia for help in keeping China from developing nuclear bombs? As in help with bombing Chinese nucular facilities.
 
It’s not hard at all. If there’s no Korean War, China would invade Taiwan, which would likely pull America in., starting a war. Indochina is tougher since the Viet Minh hated China, but, it’s not inconceivable.
 

CalBear

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MacArthur either takes the initiative or is given permission to start nuking Chinese formations north of the Yalu. Probably goes really poorly for the Chinese, the Soviets fume but can't really do anything at this point.
Goes really badly for everyone. MacArthur would almost certainly have tried to push ground forces into China, straight through the regions that had been nuked.* The long term deaths would have been substantial, especially if several weapons were used.

*in 1950-51 the REAL danger of fallout was still a bit underestimated. As late as 1955 (Test Wasp) the military was sending personnel to within 1,000 yard of a detonation Ground Zero WHILE the mushroom cloud was still expanding.
 
The '58 Taiwan Strait Crisis could easily have escalated into a war. Ike told Pacific Command to use conventional weapons only if the shooting started, because war plans assumed nuclear use at or just after the start. Nuclear use later on? Might be a different story. The ROCAF's F-86s taking on ChiCom MiG-17s over the Straits-and winning thanks to good pilots and AIM-9Bs helped convince Mao that crossing the Strait wasn't a good idea without cast-iron air cover, which the USAF and USN would deny, while the ROCAF went after invasion shipping.
 
Goes really badly for everyone. MacArthur would almost certainly have tried to push ground forces into China, straight through the regions that had been nuked.* The long term deaths would have been substantial, especially if several weapons were used.

*in 1950-51 the REAL danger of fallout was still a bit underestimated. As late as 1955 (Test Wasp) the military was sending personnel to within 1,000 yard of a detonation Ground Zero WHILE the mushroom cloud was still expanding.
If memory serves correctly they knew the radiation was dangerous, but they only thought the initial burst of it released by the nuclear detonation itself was of concern. IE they didn't consider the radiation that the resulting radioactive isotopes would release.
 

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If memory serves correctly they knew the radiation was dangerous, but they only thought the initial burst of it released by the nuclear detonation itself was of concern. IE they didn't consider the radiation that the resulting radioactive isotopes would release.
Pretty much. My Dad was stationed in San Diego in the early 50s. He spent some time in the base Hospital at the time, which was not too far from the motor pool. He told me that they used to watch while they had the guys in the brig for whatever infraction they had committed go out and wash the trucks and buses after the tests.

He always wondered just how many of those poor bastards wound up dying years before their time.
 
Conflict could have easily started over Taiwan across the entire time period.
It would have gone incredibly badly for China.
Seeing the Iraqis, who had largly the same equipment, be defeated badly in Desert Storm is what spurred the Chinese military modernization we see up to today.
 
Oh definitely yes: Korea and the Taiwan Straits.

An even lesser-known POD is have the Huks in the Philippines conduct a terrorist attack on the bases of either Clark or Subic. The Huks in OTL were supplied with weapons by the PRC and the USSR. In this scenario, have the Huks do a Marawi Seige in one of the U.S. bases. After finding out the source of all these weapons linking back to China, the U.S. responds by launching strikes on Chinese cities.

Better to have this before the Chinese gets nuclear weapons by 1964. Hence, why a war with China during the Vietnam War would be suicide because China already had nukes at that point.
The '58 Taiwan Strait Crisis could easily have escalated into a war. Ike told Pacific Command to use conventional weapons only if the shooting started, because war plans assumed nuclear use at or just after the start. Nuclear use later on? Might be a different story. The ROCAF's F-86s taking on ChiCom MiG-17s over the Straits-and winning thanks to good pilots and AIM-9Bs helped convince Mao that crossing the Strait wasn't a good idea without cast-iron air cover, which the USAF and USN would deny, while the ROCAF went after invasion shipping.
I remember one of the Sidewinders that was a dud got stuck in one the MiG-17s. The Chinese then sent it to the Soviets where they reverse-engineered it into the Vympel K-13 (NATO: AA-2 Atoll).
 
Quite so. A more intact example was stolen from a NATO base in West Germany and smuggled into the East.

IIRC there were five carriers within strike range of the Taiwan Strait during that crisis. And they did have nuclear-capable aircraft aboard (A3D Skywarriors, A4D Skyhawks, F2H Demons, and FJ-4B Furies).
 
MacArthur either takes the initiative or is given permission to start nuking Chinese formations north of the Yalu. Probably goes really poorly for the Chinese, the Soviets fume but can't really do anything at this point.
if he "takes initiative," he dropped that thing without the president's approval. in an effort to avoid precedent and stall the conflict (which is the point of the thread, but is still really bad for any president) could he be put on trial for insubordination and some sort of other crime?
 
An even lesser-known POD is have the Huks in the Philippines conduct a terrorist attack on the bases of either Clark or Subic. The Huks in OTL were supplied with weapons by the PRC and the USSR. In this scenario, have the Huks do a Marawi Seige in one of the U.S. bases. After finding out the source of all these weapons linking back to China, the U.S. responds by launching strikes on Chinese cities.
Oh, that's how we should have fought! If we had not chewed snot in Afghanistan, but attacked Islamist bases in Pakistan and Iran, now Najibula would still be sitting in Kabul, and the Taliban would still remain innocent victims of communist tyranny.
 
Oh, that's how we should have fought! If we had not chewed snot in Afghanistan, but attacked Islamist bases in Pakistan and Iran, now Najibula would still be sitting in Kabul, and the Taliban would still remain innocent victims of communist tyranny.
That depends on the setting of the decade.

The U.S. in the 1990s did not sure want to attack Pakistan and Iran. Afghanistan wasn't their problem in this period and by 1998, Pakistan already acquired nuclear weapons.

The Philippines is still an important ally of the U.S. in the region. If the Huks laid siege to an important U.S. base in the Philippines and committed acts of terrorism in areas frequented by American servicemen, the U.S. would naturally want retaliation. If this was 1950s America, the Red Scare would intensify now that the PRC in this scenario is a state sponsor of terrorism. In the 1950s, the PRC did not have any ways to retaliate against the U.S. and their allies in the Indo-Pacific so it would be in favor towards the American.
 
Conflict could have easily started over Taiwan across the entire time period.
True.
It would have gone incredibly badly for China.
That's what I am planning for my TL.
Seeing the Iraqis, who had largly the same equipment, be defeated badly in Desert Storm is what spurred the Chinese military modernization we see up to today.
From what I heard from many Chinese in my University of Milan, the PLA is sort of a paper tiger/ house of cards.
 
The North were backed by the Soviets not the Chinese if anything North Vietnam will drop fighting the south briefly to combat the Chinese invaders.
I think it’d asked for and not an invasion. A Chinese invasion to help the north by invading the north is a bit too silly here
 
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