Chequers (British Prime Ministers Country Estate)
England late 1955
Tittington relaxed back in his study a fat cigar in one hand and a good port in the other.
Things had been good for Great Britain over the last 10 years since the end of World War II.
One of the consequences of the "scuffle" with the Russians over Berlin was that the Soviets never entered the war against Japan. The potential attack against the Japanese army in Manchuria never happened. The Russians feared further difficulties with the British and for a time maintained vast forces in Europe.
The Americans had been the first to use the A-bomb, at Hiroshima and a few days later at Nagasaki. However some weeks afterwards the Japanese were still prevaricating over surrender and the Americans had no more A-bombs immediately available. It was looking like a long and costly invasion of Japan, for the Americans that is.
However just when things were looking a little grim Tittington used Britain's one and only A-bomb fresh from the production line. The Japanese surrendered the next day, three such attacks being just too much for them. Tittington had wanted to call it "fat man" after Winston Churchill but the Americans had beaten him to it.
Post war relations between the United States and Great Britain were decidedly frosty. A sort of loose military alliance remained in an attempt to counter the Russian bear but the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which would exist in some realities, never got off the ground.
For its part Britain turned both to a slowly recovering Europe and to its former Empire now becoming a Commonwealth. A huge trading block involving Western Europe and the British Commonwealth of Nations was formed.
Economically weak initially Britain haggled with the US in the early days of creating the post war economic framework. Where Tittington lacked economic muscle he made up for it guile, in sheer force of personality and in astute use of his European and Commonwealth connections. Tittington also applied sound economic theories and principles that seemed well ahead of the times. One small example was to float the previously overvalued pound sterling which had started to come under heavy speculative attacks. This saved the Bank of England having to draw down on precious foreign exchange reserves in order to defend a currency overvalued at the then fixed rates of exchange.
When the general election had been called right towards the end of the war the British people had overwhelmingly returned Tittington. They knew they were on to a winner here. "Thank goodness that insipid little man Atlee didn't get in" Tittington had thought to himself at the time.
There was a brief thaw in US/British relations at the time of the Korean War. Reluctant as he was to place British troops under American command he couldn't in all conscience allow the yanks to go it alone in this situation. While they did have concerns in other parts of the world the Brits came to the party.