I was working on a story project some years ago which featured a highly alternate near future in which, among other things, a 3-way cold war had spread across the solar system. There were many other F&SF aspects mostly irrelevant to this question, so I'm not (necessarily) asking for why space travel developed faster in this world. The issue is...
What could lead to a post-WW2 world where Western Allies, Communists and fascists are locked in a three-way standoff?
The real WW2 featured a team-up of the "West" and "East" Blocs against the "Central", which broke down into a conflict between the winning alliance. Axis victory scenarios typically lead to a Cold War, but of the variety "East loses, standoff between West and Center"; the USSR is conquered, or reduced to a rump state that's no longer a great power.
My first idea was "A plot to kill Hitler succeeded." Post-Hitler Germany was then able to secure a truce, USA-USSR relations break down without a common enemy, all 3 sides develop the atomic bomb, an unconquered Germany is first into space... I don't think that's a good answer, though. It ignores that Axis =/= Germany. Germany (almost) alone can't come close enough to matching the industrial power of the other two blocs, thus can't credibly sustain a cold war with them for generations. So I'm asking for something better.
No, "WW2 didn't happen" isn't an acceptable answer, even though the desired "present" situation bears some resemblance to the pre-WW2 situation. Some kind of major war has to have still happened circa 1940.
Clarification: The story expected / required that the "present" situation have USA, UK (and at least preferably also France) in the Western bloc, Russia/USSR and at least part of China in the Eastern bloc, Germany, Japan (and at least preferably also Italy) in the Central bloc. This means your answer has to allow all the powers to remain in (or get back into) place after the war.
(Different situation from Could Nazi Germany, Surviving WWII, Survive the Cold War? , I think.)