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Panay War

© Final Sword Productions LLC 2003

all rights reserved

copying for noncommercial personal use permitted


I am not attempting to say that this is the most probable or indeed a very probable TL.  However, in coming up with Dark America one of the things I kept tripping over was that without going into the Depression years there is a problem with creating the greatest potential Yankee Fascist Imperialist Beast.  This Beast is the post WW2 left version of the US as an aggressive fascist capitalist imperialist entity.  There was always this giant gap between the left’s rhetoric and how relatively little use we made of our vast power relative to the rest of the world.  We had the largest economy by far.  We had a tremendous geographical advantage – WW2 was going to be fought on other peoples lands, devastating them.  Also while we had some 40% of the world’s industrial strength, the other 60% was not allied against us.

FDR simply wasn’t going to get us there.  He was a 19th century Hudson Valley patrician, not a 20th century blood drenched demagogue. So Franklin had to go.  The easiest way consistent with this being a populist imperialist state as opposed to a complete dictatorship would be to have the Gunpowder Plot come off.  The Gunpowder Plot in OTL was a half-assed attempt by the corporate plutocracy centered on the Dupont corporation groupings to use a Marine general to overthrow the New Deal.  It was so nebulous that some writers question whether it was real.

Next problem, Garner was hopeless as the American Fuhrer.  Man was a Texas Tory with populist tinges.  Plus no Southerner was going to wield that kind of power in the 30’s.  Our Civil War hang-ups still ran WAY too deep. (I am old enough to remember Carter’s accent winning votes for Gerry Ford in ’76.  We are all old enough to remember the Clinton Era with Arkansas = Dogpatch jokes). 

OK so we have to have a Cabinet member succeed FDR.  Possible in terms of coup and civil war.  So I did a Trumanesque figure out of the American prairie populist and progressive ilk but with a militarist and imperialist side.  He is the first alien space bat as you have to presume he hid his foreign policy views.  Then again, a Colorado state politician out of the business community and aiming at the governors chair wouldn’t be expected to have many public views on foreign and military policy. 

The charismatic Chicana wife is Eva Peron, a few ex-lady friends, a few other people, mostly dead or fictional.  Yes, I recognize the political handicap in America in the early 30’s.  You just have to accept alien space bats or that he’s a hell of a politician or make him from New Mexico(which has its own believability problems).  (or make her some other ethnicity – I must admit that this one is largely personal whimsy and not necessary to the story – my old friend Ron will recognize some of the exgirlfriends subsumed here – Stirling fans will recognize pieces of Suzette Whitehead – you’ll both be right – I have this thing for Kali avatars (destructive chaotics with severe personality integration problems and let us politely say extremely sociopathic tendencies – they are the only human in a Phil Dickian world of automatons)  and…).

            Now why the Depression changes?  Consider this – the US finished WW2 as the only superpower but no one quite realized it.  It took us so long to mobilize that we were still deploying as the war ended.  Ike’s last division (13th Airborne) got something like 3 days front line service.  The 98th Infantry Division in the Pacific never got into action before Japan surrendered.  TORCH had a British Army and an American Corps up front.  As of Normandy Ike had more Empire than US divisions available.  For the US to be the player it could have been you need the 44-45 mobilized forces for the key European years 40-42. 

            In OTL we start naval rearmament in 1938, with the big building program getting going in 1940 (2 Ocean Navy Bill).  We have to interrupt the program twice for the Battle of the Atlantic – transports and escorts – and once for a priority on LST’s.  However by the end of 1943 we are launching the battlefleet (Essex class, etc. ) that won the war and canceling naval contracts wholesale to avoid overbuilding.  So the deployment time on big ships is 3-4 years till you start seeing massive results – with small ships and baby carriers available en masse in two years.  With the building program starting in 1934 for little auxils and 1936 massively for everything else, the main battle fleet, the horde of ASW, the massive amphib capacity, a giant merchant marine, and enough escorts to win the battles of the convoys all arrive late 38 to early 1940.  Essentially for naval war 1939 is 1943 of OTL and 1940 is 1944.  After 1940 we essentially rule the worlds oceans with a sea and land based naval air arm to match.

Army and Marines in OTL get going with the reserve call-up and the Selective Service Bill after the Fall of France (6/40).  By the time of Pearl Harbor we have maybe 12-15 deployable divisions (essentially what we fought Guadalcanal, Paupa New Guinea and Torch with).  Then 18 months more gets you to 15 more and then we rise rapidly to our 90 + 6 [USMC].  Rapidly means another 18 months.  Pipeline was dry by 1945.  Essentially there were only three waves, in part because delays in the naval situation in both oceans backed up divisions stateside for over a year so no new ones were formed [we ran out of base camps to put them in], in part from a very stupid set of manpower decisions and policies, in part from limitations on our manpower base.

 How do we start earlier without imagining a different nation with our resources?  We are not going to create a military to intervene in Europe.  The concept was wildly unpopular.  Fighting the Japanese was another story.  Our elite really wasn’t that interested, but if you work with the China Lobby plus an extremely powerful racism, you can get the American people worked up against the Asian Menace.  We’ve been obsessed with that one since before WW1.  Asiatic Exclusion Leagues were a common political feature in most Pacific and Mountain states cities post Civil War – you even see a sign for one in one of the two relatively recent Wyatt Earp movies – the one with Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday.

So in this TL you can start the war with two dozen deployable divisions (somewhat bigger peacetime military plus a few very good guard divisions) plus real Pacific garrisons and a good training establishment.  The Guard and Reserve should be ready faster as we are more prepared and do not have to share production with the Brits.  However the really big armies are still going to take 24-36 months.  However that means we have the war winning armies of the last year by mid 1940 and are beyond our real OTL limits by the end of 1941.  We also will field an Army with more teeth up front than OTL as there will not be the constant worry about where to find ground forces replacements.  We will also send replacements by whole trained companies instead of the chaos of individual replacement. 

                        As in Dark America we are going to have to deal with the manpower crisis.  We do so here in a much more extreme way with more extreme social and political consequences.

1932 – FDR + Garner elected as per OTL – in other words no changes in anything except Colorado has a different Governor with a very powerful Mrs. – an ex-GOP Progressive who stumped the Mountain and Plains States to help bring them in for FDR – that’s why Colorado, it being the only state that can make a good sociocultural case for being in both camps.  As a regional power boss he’s entitled to a Cabinet Post (Agriculture), gets the AAA put under him, and gets a Congressional mandate to bring farm prices up by any means expedient (the first of many ‘blank cheque’ laws), which he does by using the power of the purse to put a floor on prices, converting the surplus into canned rations, giveaways for WPA workers and the urban bread lines plus overseas swaps – bread for Guatemala and bananas for the giveaways and rations – populist farmer protection plus progressive using of the market with heavy regulation and production for use plus Italian fascist / Catholic corporatism [in other words he is as ideologically eclectic as FDR was but more open about it – neither he nor the Mrs [they come as a team] care much about ideas per se – they are typically American pragmatists – their difference is in being willing to take advisers outside the box and having even fewer scruples than many two fisted selfmade types] – makes a ton of friends among the small towns of America.  Also tailors programs for family farmers, not big agribusiness and plantations.  Begin rural electrification, town development funds for dieing farm towns, and rural highway building via a rural WPA.  It’s a team effort.  He has tame intellectuals for the ideas.  He’s the traveling dealmaker and troubleshooter.  She’s administration, politics and personnel.  They build an ultraloyal cadre of opportunist apparatcheks.  They also make enemies in the boardrooms.  Makes bigger enemies down South by end running the color bar.  Miz Terri does not take well to Dixie slurs on her complexion (or whispers about possible Jew blood in his ancestry).  They survive two botched Klan hits before the coup – given their own Secret Service protection by FDR when J Edgar claims its not his problem. Secret Service gets used to working with their own ‘privately paid for’(by a PAC she administers with very heavy contributions from every interest that benefits by his policies – the Evita like charitable trust (The American Dream Foundation) will come later, after they’ve assumed the Presidency). FDR is considering dropping him for Henry Wallace but hasn’t finessed the politics when the coup comes.  FDR played subordinates against each other to keep all power in his lap.  He detested subordinates who successfully worked around him to build empires with their own political bases.

1934 – In OTL there was a plot by the economic royalists (ultra rich) who thought FDR was going to destroy the American capitalist republic and bring some form of European collectivism in via the New Deal.  FDR had been elected running economically to the right of Hoover, promising to balance the budget and put in a national sales tax.  He probably couldn’t have been elected by claiming he was going to go statist with a New Deal.  Whether the New Deal lurch to the left was his plan all along or the market and banking collapses of 32-33 triggered this swing died with him at Warm Springs in 1945 – FDR was notorious for telling contradictory things to different people.  It was one of his political tools to keep a broad coalition with all power in his own hands.  The coup plotters were financed mostly by the DuPonts but there were many other backers among the elite.  They picked the wrong man to lead it – a retired Marine General named Smedley Butler.  He went public and sunk the thing.

Lets presume that Butler was the ambitious little populist toad the plotters thought he was or that he was buyable.  He was popular among the more right wing factions of the American Legion.  So presume an ‘army’ of some 200,000 American legionaires, labor goons, professional strike breakers from people like Pinkerton, and reactionary fools is mobilized.  Small arms of all types, machine guns, some armored cars (real and makeshift), a few ancient artillery pieces, very little command structure and cash in lieu of supply lines. 

Hoover chooses not to pass along what he picks up.  FDR gets bits and pieces but simply cannot believe his fellow patricians can actually be that stupid.   So in this TL the Gunpowder Plot comes off as Wet Firecracker (or Four Months) Rebellion – coup kills FDR, Garner and all of Cabinet except Sec of Agriculture (whom we will make a Mr. Secretary Janus Longstreet, a Harry S Truman near clone, former governor of Colorado – Progressive Republican convert to FDR Demo – combat engineer to Truman’s artillery in WWI (DSC at Belleau Woods in support of the Marines, Silver Star in the Argonne), Mexican-American RC wife (Miz Teresa / Miz Terri))

March on Washington to ‘save Democracy’.  The guns go by separate trucks and are distributed to the core people at their last encampment before DC.  Local and Maryland State cops are mostly in on it and the rest are bought.

Coup forces storm the White House –FDR dies after refusing to surrender.  Eleanor is traveling and safe in Red Manhattan.  Coup basically takes the major cities of the Rust Belt but is put down outside there with scenes out of Madrid and Barcelona in ’36.  Class war can be a bitch when you lose.

Hoover forts up in the bureau HQ, cutting his own phone lines to dodge responsibility.  Miz Terri knew it was coming and has mobilized her own ‘guards’ (read as personal loyalist thugs – the first of many such – think Uncle Huey’s Louisiana only someone with the Federal Treasury for patronage and even fewer scruples) to supplement the Secret Service.  Longstreet gets the Marines from the K Street Barracks, arms volunteers from the DC government workers, many of them black (he’s packed his department with temporary employees who are his personal loyalists), and counterattacks to retake the White House.  He shoots Butler with his own hand while Terri works the phones rounding up loyal units. 

Most senior Army officers do not answer the phone – the exceptions are Marshall’s clique – himself, Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Stillwell, etc.  Marshall’s military rolodex and her political one line up key support in the first 72 hours.  Essentially the bad guys get nowhere outside the Rust Belt – a mixture of National Guards, a few Army boys and home guards with deer rifles finish them off.  Much settling of local scores.

Hoover, on the spot after the retaking of the White House, brings out his men on the loyalist side for the rest of the Battle of Washington.  Arranges to have killed ‘resisting arrest’ his direct contact links with the coup plotters.  Miz T faces him down and gets access / copies of his legendary files.  A gunpoint state dinner with Hoover and his boyfriend hostage while a military + ‘volunteer’ (remember her private guards – they are about to become the Executive Protection Service of the US Marshals) raiding force led by a Major Eisenhower takes FBI HQ followed by an elite crew of file clerks and court stenographers (more of Miz Terri’s people – black government workers terrified of their fate in the coup plotters’ America).  Hoover will not be given the opportunity for another turn of his coat.

 Navy and USMC ultra loyal – small detachments of local Marine auxils from Carib active (Pan Am airlifts Marine trained locals from DR, Haiti, Panama, Cuba, PR, Nicaragua) – back of the revolt basically broken in first week, balance is spent negotiating the rebels out from their hostages in Philly, Wilmington – DC – Balto – Wheeling –Chicago – Detroit – Buffalo combined area plus scattered pockets.  End result 100K dead (mostly collateral damage civilians and settling of local scores) – 200K + dependents allowed to leave ‘no questions asked’ (2 hand lifted and carried bags and cash in wallet).  Armed loyalist guards riding the tops of sealed RR cars taking the exiles to the designated embarkation ports where the USN will ferry them to exile.  Exiles go to Latin America and Europe, with Dupont, Imp Chem and IG Farbin smoothing the way.  Another 100K stripped of positions as police, army officers, corporate officials, etc. (half will choose exile in next three years).  

This is the start of a permanent internal security bureaucracy.  FBI, Secret Service, EPS, military intelligence, the DNC under Mis Terri’s careful watch, Marshal’s Service – everyone’s keeping files on who jumped which way.  Several major Dixie prisons seized for hardcore prisoners.  The corp rats and country club types will wind up as bitches for the Klansmen.  The rest are put behind wire out in the Mohave.  National ID’s (your papers please) begun – this will take a generation to be fully effective as most Americans really have no paper trail in the modern sense.

Many major companies nationalized starting with Dupont (note: not all shares taken, just those owned / controlled by ‘losers’) .  End result is a statist New Deal more along the lines of Italy’s IRI / a more extreme version of the actual NRA without it being gutted by Congress and the USSC.  Major Federal financial investment in transport, roads, infrastructure of every type.  (This is to create jobs and specifically as regional development – one of our mid century problems was a post USCW US in which the rest of the country was essentially an economic colony of the Mid West and East) .  No $ for arts or makework.  Major reforestation / Youth Corps to save Dust Bowl.  Think the Nazi National Labor Service more than the WPA – this is all somewhat militarized.  Expansions of park lands and national battlefields.  Universities and military bases get overhauls and expansions (see under race relations below for how this plays down South).  Virtually any port, airfield, rail, road, canal project gets funded. This is especially true if it improves communication with the Pacific Coast or improves port structure on Pacific Coast (this is being sold as regional development but will have military repercussions).  Major $ for science, basic and applied.  In essence the Federal government is both a basic science incubator and a venture capital fund. 

Forced industrial investment.  Corporations told where to invest and given Federal funds (via federal purchase of shares, bonds, formation of jointly owned subsidiaries and partnerships – in effect all the tricks of the post 1940 period start six years earlier but used for capacity expansion and modernization – as compared to OTL we will be an even bigger power but even more overweighted towards big industry for government contract and capital goods and away from consumer goods).  New investment is made profitable by government contracts for rail modernization, urban transit systems, public housing based on manufactured units, regional development and of course the military).

Fleet built up to treaty limits (the US had not built up to then limits of the 1922 Washington Treaties; FDR had vetoed some naval construction in OTL – here the President is building on the presumption that Japan will denounce the naval arms limits in 1936.  He’s setting us up for a breakout building binge).  Auxils, fleet train and naval air built beyond any balance to treaty limits.  Essentially the Navy is expanding as fast as it can get ships and find men.  Navy allowed to accept nonresident foreign volunteers whenever it’s short of quota.  Color bar finessed by creating a few mix race auxils first, with combat ships coming later as nonwhite cadre is trained.  Precedents are being set…

Army and MC expanded (500K= 385 Army + 115 USMC, this is a somewhat bigger Army and a vastly bigger Marine Corps – see who did and didn’t respond during the coup) but given first class equipment by mid 30’s standards.  The 1939-40 prepping of the ground forces in OTL begins right off the failed coup.  Means we will have a bit more outmoded equipment.  Also means we are starting the learning curve 6 years early.  Major uplift of Guard and Reserves after initial purges.  Army forced to take in volunteer units from winning side of Wet Firecracker War wholesale including noncredentialled officers, US equivalent of Frei Corps from our little civil war only these lower class, vaguely leftist types (populists, trade unionists, New Dealers instead of right, racist nihilist as in Germany – this will be the start of a cadre of hard charging junior officers loyal only to Longstreet directly and promoted by Presidential directive outside normal promotion boards – for now it’s a protection against an officer corps he doesn’t trust – with the war it will become something else altogether)(Organization names include Lincoln Rifles and USCT etc.)  Macarthur sent as Philippine Field Marshal in 1934 to create the Philippine Army of our 1942 by 1936.  Also US military get political commissars – nominally ‘troop welfare officers’, in practice they are Miz Terri’s eyes and ears – they do not have the command authority of the Soviet variety but do have separate reporting ability and immunity from command discipline.  The military also gets a massive counter-intellience branch.  Both of these are nominally to prevent another coup.  Practically they are a third officer cadre – hers as opposed to his and blatantly politicized).

Small US Empire rebuilt – Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, DR, Haiti, Liberia, Cuba.  Major dollars for infrastructure in the Empire.  They are brought into US economy in a major way – branch plants for US corps, airfields, ports, roads, railroads, schools.  Local police and military on the US direct payroll [literally direct – US paymasters so zero chance of theft although patronage still possible].  Imperial expansion also used as a jobs program for educated blacks – we break the color bar on a massive scale down south in the Carib, Liberia, Pacific.  Note: this eases the pressures in Dixie by draining off the most talented and most ambitious blacks to government service, often abroad.

Oh yes, and mixed into this imperial development cum jobs project is one absolutely off the wall idea – pushed through by sheer presidential stubbornness.  To safeguard our China Trade (such as it is at the height of the Depression) from the increasingly frosty Sino-Japanese relations, we buy a license from the Brits to build a modern railway from Karachi, through Sind, Punjab, Kashmir, Ladak and Tibet and on out the other end to Chunking in Szechuan (local warlord franchise for the last section).  There will also be a four lane all weather companion highway and (ultimately) a pipeline.  This is a political absurdity but no more so than many Depression era make work projects.  The actual idea is part of the anti-Japanese preparation.  This will be a topic of endless political fights but has a key part in the later story – the railroad to the roof of the world as it were.  It also excites MAJOR Japanese and KMT paranoia.  The Brits just think we’re nuts.  The construction is run from a large extraterritorial chunk we lease labled the Karachi Base Area.

Major $ into air and rocket research and major series production, especially on long-range transport, recon, and ASW. The heavy bomber frames are funded but little interest in strategic bombardment at this time.  The B-17 is funded as a long range recon and antisub platform rather than as pursuit of the fantasy of victory through bombing cities.  Major land based Navy and Marine Air arms to insure proper training and coordination to protect and cooperate with moving ships.  Massive pilot and tech training – in other words the national security state of OTL’s revisionist Left’s nightmares starts in 1934 instead of 1941.  We also start building and training on the special amphibious ships.

The Navy could buy into ‘preparedness’ against their major enemy – War Plan Orange and all that.  They had more trouble with being told to scrap Orange and plan a variant – enough of a garrison to contest the Philippines and an approach to the South of the Mandated Territories.  They were told to plan on the Japanese denouncing the naval Treaties in 1936.  War was expected anytime starting twelve months  thereafter.  State Department was told to start prep work for an alliance with Australia and New Zealand including basing and transit rights.  War Department was told to revise the Bataan Redoubt to cover Metro Manila and Cavite as well.  Main Asiatic fleet base was shifted from Suibic to Davo, which was fortified as a second redoubt.  A third was to be built in the mountains of North Luzon. 

Domestic policy: FDR’s FDIC in effect rebuilt the barn after the fire but did nothing to restore personal and small business savings destroyed by the rolling bank crisis 1929-33.  Longstreet handles that by retroactive bank nationalizations to restore destroyed personal and small business savings. You get back up to $20K of lost funds.  Traditionalists are in an uproar.  Populace is widely accepting.  It is his first major political crisis.  The response is indicitive of what is to come.  The vote buying in Congress is out of Georgian England.  Court rulings against the legislation as simply ignored – think Andy Jackson and the Trail of Tears.

In OTL FDR’s New Deal was largely gutted by adverse court decisions and the rise of a conservative coalition in the House.  We are dealing with people here who will overthrow the Republic to advance themselves.  FDR would play hardball but ultimately was a man of his class and times, not a revolutionary.

 Here a mixture of impeachment (2 USSC justices and 30 lesser federal judges in total), court packing, Hoover’s black files, and an amendment in effect mandating Baker v Carr but with reapportionment done by a DC commission backed by Miz T tilt the scale 34-35.  It is a coup d’etat by constitutional means.  Courts packed.  Fed packed – new debt funded at need.  Permanent manipulated House majority by partial restoring of black vote – voters on US bases now can vote, so blacks on bases given work and protected from KKK -  plus government indirect funding of New Dealers in Dixie and Progressives in Republican areas (giant state and semi-state sector generates many private groups dependent on administrative fiat for their livelihood – they in turn kick back contributions to the proper candidates – think Italy in the First Republic).

Now to make the above chronology clear:  FDR’s initial New Deal was a series of ad hoc measures.  This is a conscious plan along American progressive / Italian Fascist lines.  There is an economy to revive, a dead cat agricultural sector, massive unemployment.  A government that didn’t give a rat’s ass about inflation, economic orthodoxy or what the established opinion makers thought could do great things and win great loyalty.  Think a combination of Hitler’s economic boom with the politics of Huey’s Long’s Louisiana mixed with those of Peron’s Argentina.  There are opposition parties and theoretical freedom but there are political police and informers, accepted as an anti-coup measure.  Essentially the bulk of the Democrats and many Republicans are accepting the economic and social results, while ignoring the blatant loss of liberty and unconstitutional nature of the whole show.  The elections post 1934 are nominally free.  Miz Terri pulls the strings with media and patronage.  Longstreet has FDR’s secular god status with Lloyd George’s political scruples. 

Race policy is one area of immediate change.  Jim Crow is NOT attacked head on.  However WPA jobs are provided for black companies with all black work forces on the expanded Federal military bases and in the Empire.  On base it is the equal part of separate but equal.  Real education.  Voter registration by Federal officials with Congress refusing to seat the delegations of states that will not count the votes.  In effect black ghettos are created on US land but as a step up, not down.  Also the Federal police forces are used to enforce basic civil rights (like not being lynched).  Legal segregation is not threatened.  No attempt is made to enforce separate but equal with any equality off Federal land.  However the Federal police and courts do fight the abuses of the system, especially as involve the use of criminal and civil proceedings to enforce subordination.  They also actually put extreme Kluxers in Federal detention along with other ‘traitors’ (habeus corpus was suspended during the coup as an ‘emergency’ measure only the ‘emergency’ will never end).  There is also a patronage soaked system whereby prisoners with politically loyal friends or relatives are bought out of Dixie jails and sent into the Empire on ‘work release’, think of it as an exile’s Gulag but who wouldn’t rather be doing construction work in North Luzon or Tibet compared to being a convict in 30’s Dixie.

Part of this is genuine belief (that’s the Truman piece of Longstreet).  Part of it is Mis Terri’s pique.  Most of it is very excellent social, economic and political analysis.  What to do with Dixie had been one of the great unsolved problems of America.  Secession was not allowed.  Radical reconstruction died in the Congress’s fights with Andy Johnson.  Grant wasn’t a radical and neither were the Presidents who followed him.  Grant basically let the Southern Republicans die a death by violence and fraud rather than convert the US Army into permanent Republican poll watchers.  Hayes completed the process when he conceded the last states (Louisiana, Florida and South Carolina) in 1876.   The South stayed backward as the price of keeping the black man down.  Yet it could not let up on the race issue without having white control voted out of existence up and down the black belts.  The long-term trick was to find a palatable way to raise the educational and skill level of the blacks while reducing their number so that they lost their majorities in much of the South.  The solution here was a federal and imperial mixture – blacks were made into federal workers and shuffled onto bases and overseas.  Southern discontent was partially alleviated by populist socioeconomics and a frankly regionalist development policy.

1936 – As soon as Japan denounces naval treaties, US Congress votes 2 Ocean Navy ( a navy bigger than Japan and Brit Empire in Pacific plus bigger than all of Europe in Atlantic).  Additional ASW, baby carriers, Amphib, and massive militarized Merchant Marine.  PT / MTB / SS Fleet for Asiatic waters.  Later neutrality acts never passed. Prior ones made voidable subject to 90 day Congressional counter-veto.   Government seen as America First but in an armed sense.  Giant Navy, AF (a workable version of FDR’s 100K plane AF) – lighter than air kept and expanded – very moderate ground forces with no push for expeditionary forces to fight Europe’s wars.  However Guard, Reserve, ROTC, State Guard cadres allowed to take 6 to 24 month regular service advance training courses – this is a jobs program and a cadre buildup. 

Trade focus on state – state blocked accounts, not tarrifs.  Longstreet end runs Smoot – Hawley by in effect monetized barter. 

Now all of these changes convert the Depression into a mild but labor intensive boom.  Standard of living still below late 20’s peak but unemployment heading for zero (think Hitler’s Germany in the late 30’s where the same combination of massive public works, rearmament sweeping up men into uniform and war production produced a labor shortage).   This is handled in several ways – allowing favored nations to use up unused immigration quota from prior years, some labor mobility from the new Empire, a host of private immigration bills for family reunificiation.  Family reunification provides yet another form of patronage for the Democratic urban machines.  Your ward boss has to co-sign your request to bring in Cousin Giovanni…Also Presidential exemptions made for skills – scientists, technicians, special skills [German refugees who can help us duplicate their advanced optics for example].

This is turn presents the beginnings of a labor shortage in the Empire.  This is handled by using the oncoming world crisis as a population gathering system.  The test cases are the persecuted Iraqi Christians and Austrian Social Democrats from their mini civil war of 1934.  By 1936 they have gathered in the Jews of Poland, the Baltic States, and Rumania plus many Arab Christians, Armenians, White Russians, and European political refugees.  Those with key tech or scientific skills get exceptional leave to enter the CONUS.  For the rest,

the extra people are swept into Empire and the Base Area on special external only passports (what the Brits did to the East African expats in OTL)– all rights of US green card holder except right of entry to lower 48.  Oh yes, they are also liable to US taxes and conscription.  

Hawaiian and Alaskan statehood.  Fortification of Dutch Harbor, Wake, Midway, Oahu, Davo, Suibic, Bataan, Manila, N Luzon redoubt – ammo, food, basic kit.

The 1936 election is both less and more of a rout than historical.  FDR in OTL took 46 out of 48 states.  Here the Republicans will take 5 out of 6 New England states plus California while a States Rights Democratic candidate will take 5 deep Dixie states.  However, the wipeout in Congress and on the local levels is worse.  Loyalists (democratic and progressive) have 70 –80% majorities in both houses of Congress and the legislatures of 35 states.  Every major city except NYC is in loyalist hands.  This is both a dictatorship and a popular democracy.  The elections aren’t free but would loyalist newspapers and radio stations where ever they cannot buy or intimidate the existing media.  The propaganda machine is a mixture of Goebells, Madison Avenue and Walt Disney.

The party structure is more postwar OTL than 30’s.  Mrs. Roosevelt and Wallace lead the Popular Front – FDR loyalists, the Socialist party, the US CP, the left wing of the CIO, and those radicals who either value liberty or wish for a real revolution.  It’s a big city bicoastal party with too many Jews and Reds to ever really threaten nationally.  However, it provides a convenient way for Unity to avoid being successfully Red baited.

The Republicans lose their whole Progressive wing and gain a few Dixie Tories and Al Smith conservative Democrats.  They have pockets of local strength but beyond the Republican name they are double dammed with the coup (they didn’t support it but represent the class that verbally thought it was a good idea at the time) and Herbert Hoover’s economic record.  They are also overloaded with aging pols clinging to the old verities, each with their own small, aging following.  They are mostly loyal on foreign policy but ardently oppositional on domestic issues. 

In reverse the States Rights Democrats have shed their extreme Tories to the Republicans.  They are broadly supported of the nonracial aspects of domestic policy, but rabidly white supremacist and isolationist.  They will increasingly flirt with Nazi ideology, especially in trying to crack into pockets of German and Scandinavian voters in the MidWest.  It also means the white prison gangs get to lead group singing of the Horst Wessel Lied as well as Dixie and I’m a Good Old Rebel as the political prisoners are led down that Green Mile at Angola State Correctional (now under Federal control) to Old Sparky.

In another sidelight, when the Popular Front sends the Lincoln and Washington brigades to fight in Spain, Longstreet will quietly arrange leave for several hundred sympathetic Army and Marine officers to volunteer (not all the sympathizers will really be politicals – some hard chargers will be told that there will be promotion for gaining combat experience – imagine Major General Patton leading the American International Volunteer Division to stop Franco before Madrid in 1936 – also a few Jose Marti air squadrons to see how P40’s stack up against German and Italian planes).  He will also arrange for Popular Front sympathizers to divert some weapons production to Republican Spain via Mexico – field testing anyone?

Runup to war:  The US is not specifically seeking war.  It is more a matter of both expecting one and finding a visible foreign enemy convenient to its political and economic program.  We are quite open about creating an anti-Japanese military and alliance structure.  We have a semi-functional supply line rapidly approaching Chunking – the first train will arrive on New Years Day 1938.  Cheneault’s Flying Tigers plus two fronts – Flying Tiger Airlines and Air Cathay – are already being organized by early 1937, with training facilities at Karachi and Lhasa. We have ‘understandings’ with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Portugal, Brazil and Holland.  The Brits are sympathetic but unwilling to commit in view of the situation in Europe.  The French are frankly unsympathetic.  Chiang is confused.  We seem to be supporting him irrespective of his policies.  He is correct but does not see context.

Our public has been prepped with racist slanted news that keeps implying that war with Japan is probable and inevitable.  The good government pacifists (our traditional moralists, idealists and legalists) are split between those who agree with much of the domestic program (and thus find it hard to go oppositional) and those already marginalized in the Republicans and Popular Front.  Split into three warring camps, their influence is much less than OTL.  

November 37 – Panay Incident.  As in OTL unprovoked deliberate attack on US gunboat and several Standard oil tankers it is guarding in Yangtse River above Nanking.  In OTL FDR soothed the situation.  Longstreet and Terri use the movie footage of the Japanese straffing men in the water around a sinking ship with a giant US flag the way Lincoln used Ft. Sumpter.  An explosion of racial hatred and xenophobia follows.  US mobilizes.  Fleet to Pearl.  Strip Atlantic Fleet for Pacific.  In this TL we actually have the beginnings of a 2 Ocean Navy which we did not in OTL’s 1937-38.  Evacuate Americans and garrisons and local Christians from Far East.  Our China squadron and garrisons sail for Manila.  Our concessions are leased out to the Spanish.  Our river squadron retreats with Chiang.  Institute selective service.  Freeze trade and Japanese assets but do not penalize Dutch and Brits for refusing to do so.  We basically do everything except declare war.  It’s a narrow line so that we appear defensive to the American public and aggressive to the Japanese.  However the PR offensive is obvious and continuous.

December 37 - ANZUS Pact.  US – Brazilian alliance.  NORAD Pact with Canada.  Japanese apology is more halfhearted than in OTL and basically ignored by both sides.  US actively whips up public flames with movie news shots of Japanese planes sinking Panay and strafing survivors. Major administration figures tour key cities making ‘patriotic’ speeches. Nonessential civilian evacuation of Philippines, Guam, Aleutians.  Tests reveal US torpedo defects.

Full industrial mobilization including conscription for war production over teeth of AFL-CIO.  Start of feud with John L Lewis and UMW.  We rush small garrisons to key sites in Australian Oceania – Rabal, Guadalcanal, Pt. Mosby, etc.  Japanese freak out.  Chiang screams defiance but keeps retreating. 

January 7th, 1938 – day that will live in Infamy – Battleship row as in OTL (except that there are torpedo nets so Arizona is the only torpedo hit making the repairs easier) but far higher Japanese casualties from larger US air contingent and some sanity in US command – fleet AAA is manned and ready, base is on alert from first sub contact– no question of 3rd strike (also 2 fewer Japanese carriers so fewer Japanese planes available and higher loss rate per carrier).  Congress basically hands White House blank check – full control of economy, military, equivalent of DORA, creation of OTL’s postWWII alphabet soup – this is a militarized national security state ruling by decree subject to postfacto Congressional review.  Congress cracks down on abuses and graft, makes sure the boodle / bounty gets spread around but basically concentrates on shielding favoring individuals and groups from the administrative state.  Compared to OTL administrative discretion is vast.  In OTL the trend has been towards a legalized rights based culture.  The secondary political actors (state and local bosses), churches, party leaders, unions, ethnic associations in this TL retain their power.  Think Daley’s Chicago on a vast scale.  There is basically no legal appeal of administrative or political action.  All rights are subject to higher needs and administrative convenience.  However, the structure can provide recourse.  It helps to be a Unity voter or to have a client – patron relationship with someone to intercede for you.  THIS IS A MAJOR CHANGE.  Conscription is enforced on a party oriented basis.  So is everything else.

Guam surrenders without a shot per plan.  Philippine Army under Eisenhower and Patton withdraws into fortified regions on schedule.  Three years food even with civilians and two years ammo.  Major Japanese losses at sea to MTB’s, subs, small local air arm.

All immigration, manpower, and enlistment made Presidential administrative decisions saving only final citizenship except for military service or by act of Congress. 

1938 – Actual Japanese sweep (less Brit possessions not in war) EXCEPT : Wake Holds.  Western Sumatra holds as US corps coming long way around Africa arrives under Bradley.  Macarthur brought out of Philippines as Philippine forces come under US command and sent to Australia (gets him off Ike and Patton’s back).  Brisbane line plan instituted in Australia, with US taking charge of everything north of the line ‘for duration’.  Brit and French empires stay out of war.  Portuguese and Dutch in as Japanese attack them.  Scratch US force under General Davis clings to Rabal.  Venezuela, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Chile, Peru, Ecudor dragooned into Alliance for Democracy – known informally as Alliance of Death or Alliance of the Dead.  Small allied forces cling to pieces of Timor, Celebes, Bali, W Irian, Pt Mosby, Guadalcanal.  US force structure equal to late 42 – early 43.  Unprepared troops with deer rifles used when necessary.  Much use of 2nd class refugee citizens as cannon fodder, especially in Philippines and Sumatra. Battles of the ‘Lines of Manila’ are first war captured up front by TV crews, with footage run out by submarine to Australia and from there by special courier to US.  Battles are a week to two weeks old but it’s the up front blood and gore, not sanitized.  Emphasis on individual heroism, Japanese subhumanity.  Many noncitizen and nonwhite heroes.  Further war rage fueled by footage shot of Japanese death marches of captives across Luzon (grainy and at a distance but includes up front interviews with the few escapees). US completes road, rail, air base, pipeline route from Karachi through Tibet to Chunking – Road Through the Roof of the world.  Beginnings of vast expansion of Karachi base area.  US assumes control and responsibility for Australia north of Brisbane line as de facto US protectorate – the Australian base area under proconsul Macarthur. US garrisons to Liberia and Saudi oilfields.  US – ROC treaty.  US accepts role as paymaster to Chiang.  Beginnings of Chunking base area with refugee and Asiatic ‘vol’ (read merc) units holding vast base area.  US only concerned with Chiang as army in being to tie down Japanese.  Basically US sells China supplies and dollars for bases and manpower. 

In Austria and Czechoslovakia massive use of US checkbook and green cards to get people and key goods out through Mid East towards Karachi.  Trainloads of Czech officers and technicians with key machine tools and drawings from Skoda, etc.  coming out through Salonika.  The entire Skoda design staff airlifted out via Turkey to Detroit.

1939 to August 1st – US Irish alliance.  Irish Americans discover they really aren’t isolationist after all. US assumes old Brit Western Ports bases.  US trade in the event of war to be channeled thru Eire, Portugal and Holland.  US ‘unofficially’ allows Eagle Squadrons to begin recruitment (volunteers allowed to ‘desert’ without penalty or citizenship problems).  US bases Azores, Cape Verdes.  Loyal American Legion allowed to form in Canada (de facto accepted as equivalent of US military service for draft purposes).

Holland is our ally in the Pacific.  Therefore we assume responsibility for the defense of the mother country.  Fortress Holland but made clear to Germans that Dutch remain in command / ‘purely defensive’…Evacuation on nonessential population from Holland began to N Am and from Portugal to Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique. 

Japanese push bridgeheads into North and Northwest Australia but pinned down by US, Alliance and ‘volunteer’ [we will recruit any desperate refugee anyplace with a US consulate – if the menfolk enlist we will take the dependents to safety] forces with little Auzzie help.  Naval battles in NEI, Coral Sea, Solomons, Midway, Aleutians, Wake and off North Australia destroy both sides carrier fleets and major surface components.  Japanese reduced to dependence on land based air.  US makes major use of slow, vulnerable but plentiful CVE’s.  Kiska, Attu lost.  Wake, Midway, Guadalcanal, Pt Mosby and Rabal hold but barely (Martin Luther King, Jr., caught in transit with his father, wins the CMH as the legendary boy chaplain of the Rabal siege garrison).  Pure attrition . 

Japanese make pact with Russians to meet manpower needs by drawing down Manchurian and North China armies – de facto truce between Japanese and Mao, Kim Il Sung.  US subs mostly ineffective.  Japanese subs extremely effective but poorly employed.  Already major reliance on non-citizen manpower.  Essential personnel in guard and reserves (public safety, key skills) allowed furlough to ‘help the Home Front’.  This will grow in time to slow leakage of politically favored individuals out of combat and home.

August 1 1939 – December 31st 1939: Runup to war and alliance structure as in OTL except again US active with the checkbook and green cards.  Most Balts lifted off to Sweden and Finland by promise of US transit visas.  Remaining Jews, Uniates, White Russians and dependents of Polish officer corps out by August along with retired officers, key government officials and Enigma.  Polish cadre will in this TL break for Rumanian, Hungarian borders instead of dieing in place.  US has food, trains, visas waiting.  No attempt to save weapons.  Russians furious, Germans mostly relieved.  Start of US units in Punjab like Our Lady of Cracow’s East Chicago Lancers.

            In this TL Japan expands the Pacific War to include France and Britain as of 9/3/39.  Japanese romp through UK – RF colonies – only south Malaya holds as combined US and ANZAC force covers Singapore from the North.  Patton gut shoots Percival to stop British retreat.  Brits furious but in no position to do much about an Uncle Sugar that is producing 12,000 planes a month. 

Burma Road lost with Burma.  US and Chinese forces (somewhat smaller than OTL) retreat on Assam instead on back to Yunnan.  Mainland campaign victory revives waning Japanese morale.  Pacific War in this TL was not the romp it was in OTL.  Neither was China.  Chiang has plentiful ammo and crew served weapons.  He also has a real Air Force at Chunking and Kumming. Shift of Japanese emphasis to the mainland provides enough of a break in island slaughter for final Allied victory on Guadalcanal, Paupa, New Guinea, and resupply (but not relief) of Manila / Bataan / Davo.  

            Large US missions to Nordic countries to aid removal of Balt and Polish refugees.  Advise strict neutrality but basically force Danes to lease ‘civil’ air bases Greenland, Iceland, Faeroes. 

            Finland was popular in the US as the only country in Europe to pay off its WW1 debts.  Unity wants the Scandinavian vote.  Anticommunism is a good political seller in much of the US.  So Russo Finnish War prompts immediate US ‘volunteer’ forces – corps strength plus major air and logistics.  They had already been deployed in support of the Baltic evacuation, including nominally civilian garrisons to hold the RR back to Narvik, which is the refugee evacuation port.  US and CCCP go to war.  US crosses Bering in midwinter, take far side of straits and Wrangel Island.  Scandinavian civilian evacuation to North America begun.  Swedish old age homes in the Mississippi Delta…

            Weird belligerances – Russia is allied with Japan in Pacific.  Germany is neutral in Scandinavia.  Germany occupies Hungary and Rumania over winter (one year earlier than OTL).  Major Hungarian and Rumanian refugee exodus through Turkey.  US and Germany are neutral against each other in Western Europe.  Turkey and Iran are de facto US allies with large missions in place but claim to be neutral and US does not attack Ivan from either.  US is allied with UK Karachi East but not in Med or Atlantic but convoy Brit ships as far as Lisbon and the Irish coast.  There is a US corps (nominally the Dutch East India Expatriate Labor Force but no one is fooled) guarding rail and road lines across the Midlands to link with ‘neutral’ Fortress Holland.  Denmark is clearing out its civil population but not militarizing.  There are US units at Narvik and along the RR thru Sweden to Finland but in theory they are the Scandian Volunteer Corps  (devout anticommunist volunteers plus Scandinavian Americans and German Americans allowed to volunteer for transfer out of other military units – isn’t it amazing how many MidWesterners in the California embarkation ports suddenly remember their Swedish grandmother and can mispronounce a few dozen words of one of the relevant languages – also favorites of local Unity party cadres allowed to be sent to Scandinavia in lieu of Pacific service – this is the start of a trend that will be repeated in Portugal, Eire, England and Holland – European service is a prize, especially non-infantry European service and everything is political) .  The sides make as little sense as the Thirty Years War before the French entry.  They are about to simplify.

January 1, 1940 – May 7th 1940:

Our Japanese juggernaught in OTL basically came up short at the Burmese – Indian border.  There was simply no way to supply a modern force over these mountain goat and donkey tracks without air resupply which was beyond Japan’s resources at this time.  However, we postulate here a slightly crazier Japan.  We will make the INA and BNA slightly larger.  We will give direct backing to the Japanese from the local reds and the left wings of the respective Congress parties [Burmese and Indian].  The Brits in late 39 were much weaker in both Burma and India than in early 42.  So essentially the Japanese push scattered infantry columns with no supply echelon behind them across the mountain hell.  The few heavy weapons and a little ammo are carried by horse, mule, bullock cart, elephant, porter, bicycle, whatever.  They are supported by native levies with a few rifles, shotguns, swords, daggers, clubs, whatever.  The Brits coming off the retreat never get their feet.  They are also burdened with vast civilian refugee columns, the first of the great Imperial treks – Empire civil servants, Indian and Chinese expats, Eurasians, ethnic minorities – anyone who anticipated trouble from a Burman nationalist state under Japanese control – clog the few roads and intermingle with the retreating troops to the point where most unit cohesion is lost, so what’s coming out are partially armed refugee mobs.  They are hustled out of Assam into Bengal while the provinces rise behind them.  Ghandi and Nehru declare a general strike and the handful of Brits, plus Muslim Leaguers, tribals, loyalists, and the remnants of the Burma and Bengal armies retire on Dacca and Calcutta.  India trembles.

The RussoFinnish War maintains its deadlock.  The Americans and Swedes (volunteers of course – with the US protecting them Sweden will be a bit more forthcoming with her support for Finland in this TL) keep feeding in strength to counter each Russian buildup.  By April of 1940, the Russians have overrun much of the Gulf of Finland but are still held on the Mannerheim Line and have been hacked to pieces further North.  Instead of the German push North being a surprise, it comes in response to ever more urgent Russian entreaties. 

Denmark surrenders in historic time – roughly 30 minutes.  Only this time the bulk of the Danish Army, fleet, air force, the royals, the gold reserve and a substantial part of the few remaining civilians have already fled to Sweden ahead of the German push. 

Norway isn’t caught napping.  The Germans need two weeks to fight their way into Oslo.  Only Bergen is a walkover.  Trondheim and the center are a confused welter of competing German, Allied and Norse / American bridgeheads.  Narvik is a solid American victory.  By early May the Germans will have south Norway, south Sweden and an all too active war on their hands.  The Nordic Union will be an American protectorate.

By late April Russian formations are being brought to the Scandinavian front by train through Germany and then up through Denmark and across by ferry as German units are replaced for the Western offensive.

Holland responds to the Scandinavian War by again reaffirming her neutrality.  The American forces in Holland don Netherlands East Indies uniform, fooling no one but giving the Germans a fig leaf.  America admits to being a cobelligerant of the Nordic Union but denies it is otherwise at war with Germany and further denies that its forces in Eire, England, Holland and Portugal are belligerant against Germany.

The Brits have a Scandinavian disaster as great in OTL.  The disaster for the German Navy is greater.   It is essentially annialated.  The Sovs lose their Baltic Fleet going for the Aaland Islands and their North fleet trying for Petsamo.  After 2 years of war, American land based naval air can easily sink poorly protected European ships, none of whom have the AAA of American or Japanese ships.  The ferry service works by tieing up very large numbers of Russo-German AAA in the same manner as the Straits of Messina in OTL in 1943.  In this TL the USN has large land based air units as did the IJN.  They are easily ferried in from the ‘civil’ bases in Iceland and the Faeroes.  Baby carriers from the Narvik run also active off Central Norway.

The kick off on May 8th and after go exactly as in OTL except that the German 18th Army attacking Holland gets its butt kicked by the US reinforced Dutch.  There’s a full American mech army in Holland (3rd) under George Patton (in this TL the US will move major commanders around at need as Stalin did in OTL).  Basically Holland holds less besieged Maistricht.  The Dutch actually push the frontier back a few klicks in many places.  Student’s paras essentially cease to exist on day 1.  The Americans then wheel south to cover Antwerp.  The Belgians get drawn into the American orbit.  The Brits are saved by American troops moving south behind them to hold Dunkirk.  American reinforcements by sub help hold besieged Calais.  The BEF comes out on schedule but brings the whole French 1st and 7th armies with it.

Now the massive divergence begins.  The French want a very large AngloSaxon force sent to help hold the Somme.  The Brits have no army to send as the BEF has come out but the equipment is still piled up in Antwerp and Amsterdam awaiting shipment.  Ditto for the two French armies.  There are large depots of American equipment in Eire but America has no alliance with France.  America feels no gratitude for the French leaving them to fight Japan for two years and then basically surrendering Indochina without a fight.  America remembers all too well how the French repudiated their WWI debt.  America wants solid collateral before bailing France out again.  France notes that no such collateral was asked of Britain, Scandinavia or Belgium (actually untrue but as its all being done very quietly it does appear that way).  US is simply more simpatico to its English cousins and little countries they can dominate.  Basically while the Battle of Belgium rages the French and AngloSaxons have another cat fight.  Net effect is that the French ask Hitler for an armistice BEFORE the breach of the Somme line and the fall of Paris, while they still have a functional army.

Hitler says yes.  Will not advance further but French army to retire below the Loire – large war indemnity, surrender of war material, transit rights through French ports, etc.  AngloSaxons enraged.  French equally so but in reverse.  Italy hasn’t yet entered war in this TL.  Told not to yet by Berlin AND Moscow. 

Battle of Belgium continues.  Germans pushed slowly back on Brussels by weight of American firepower.  German 6th Army stands siege in Belgian capital as front solidifies in late July.  German horsedrawn divisions are easy meat for US air.  Lw chewed to pieces in frontal air battles.  The overcommitment of AAA to cover the ferry lines to Scandinavia comes back to haunt the Germans. 

Provocations between Anglos and French escalate in same period.  French impede Brit withdrawl from now neutral France.  British impede French transit through UK.  Anglos ignore French civil administration in occupied NE France.  Brits try to seize French ships in Alexandria and UK.  France and the AngloSaxons are at war.  French attack Nigeria, Gold Coast.  Seize Gambia.  Sierre Leone only held with American support from Liberia.  Dutchess of Windsor’s Own West Indian Home Guard airlifted in – island militia with shotguns and ‘privately donated’ US deer rifles led by multiracial West Indian notables and US bluebloods with their retinues of loyal retainers…

Basic African stalemate: French have numbers and quality on the ground but no easy way to reinforce.  From Algiers to the front is 1000+ miles of nothing.  Brits and Americans have little on the ground but have the ports, airfields and US baby carriers.  Anything within air range of the coast is a walkover.

Vichy joins Pact of Steel.  Brit Mid East endangered by French in Syria, Italians in Libya.  US Second Armored Corps en route to Karachi under Ridgeway diverted in the Indian Ocean in time to hold Egypt. Iraq rebels to join Axis once Vichy joins. US and Anglo Indian force from Karachi dispatched to the Gulf – special ops boyos secure Basra over Iraqi Reds and Nationalists – Stillwell’s Sino-Sikh force headed by the mounted Polish lancers lead the advance to Baghdad – Our Lady of Cracow’s East Chicago Lancers (a mixed Polish and Turkomen (Sinkiang refugee mercs) mounted force) relieve the main Brit air base outside the city. 

Italy and Spain join war.  Franco is given 12 hour ultimatum to join or be invaded by Italy, France and Germany with Russian support.  Malta and Gibraltar (taken by Italian Alpini and Marines after the Spanish and Germans both fail) fall by end of July.  Salazaar refuses to be forced into Axis – pulls all of Portugal out through Lisbon.  Fortress Lisboa!

Lusitanian Union of Brazil and Portuguese Empire in mid August.  Portugal’s Salazar becomes President, with Brazil’s Vargas as Chief of Government.  The governmental style is a mixture of Salazar’s old Catholic fascism with Vargas’ populist version of the same.

Two days later combined Russo-German airborne force lands in Dover region.  Massive at sea losses to the mostly French sea force but lodgement secured.  German alpine and jager units go straight up the cliffs at Dover (led by the old mountain Jager medal winner Erwin Rommel).  Fall of Chamberlain government. 

MAJOR DIVERGENCE – Chamberlin falls later and is replaced by Halifax, NOT Churchill.  In this TL Halifax overcomes his constitutional scruples and Churchill pays the price for his complete mishandling of Norway.  Winnie packed off to India as viceroy to get him out of the way politically.  He brings two generals with him – Auchinlek and Alexander.

Brit army fails – prepared to retreat on London ( GHQ Line).  Yanks pull a veto.  US Corps brought South from Midlands to save London.  Eire joins AOD for 2 more counties plus Catholic ghettos in Derry and Belfast.  Latin fleets go down covering invasion but much of Brit home Fleet falls to Euro bombs, mines, subs.  British admirals prove as inept without Winnie as they did with him.

British are both grateful and enraged.  Hate Yank superiority shit and feel Yanks deliberately dawdled in getting their equipment home from the continent.  Enough blame to go around.  This will not be an ‘Ike’ war like OTL.  Much acrimony every step of the way.  Egos and issues.

Halifax government becomes associated power – refuses to join AOD.  Much more arm’s length than OTL.  Halifax and Longstreet cordial but not friendly.  Each side of the ‘cousins’ league is VERY wary of being cheated by the other.  Brits stripped of New World assets, bases, many other assets but preserve stronger economic position (unlike FDR, Longstreet allows British to continue nonmilitary exports to earn FX during war – Rolls Royce moves main production to Kingston Jamaica to better service the New World’s war boom – imported British goods help fill American home front buying power) at the cost of weaker military (they will ultimately mobilize more manpower by using colonials and refugees but more British manpower kept in industry and better balance of military and export production – much smaller Bomber Command for example) – in OTL Churchill bankrupted UK for victory.  Halifax’s priorities include Britain’s postwar position as he sees no way for final victory over united Europe, Russia, Japan.  Also very wary of becoming US lap dog.

India in the meantime has blown completely.  The Japanese lightly screen Calcutta / Dacca and head straight for the Hindi speaking plains of north india.  Ghandi calls a general strike.  Every red, Congress and dacoit gang in India rushes to grab its share of the crumbling Raj.  Millions die in a few weeks as the Brits are driven back on a handful of seaports.  However, there is nothing to replace them besides localized anarchy.  The remaining Brits in Hindistan retire on Delhi.  The Americans and Chinese retire on Lahore to defend Punjab and the road to Chunking.  Ghandi, Nehru and the bulk of the Congress Presidium become ‘honored guests’ of their Japanese cobelligerants. 

Basic South Asian stalemate:  Japan has too few troops and no supply route.  Britain has other fish to fry.  America is concerned (for now) only with Karachi to Chunking.  End result, chaos, slaughter, degeneracy (total collapse of civilization in many areas – scenes out of the Thirty Years War or the Mongol conquests) and American access to India’s starving masses.  The limiting factor on America’s ground forces begins to fray badly.  US whips out the checkbook and buys British cooperation.  Agrees to pay for the South Asian theater if they can get their choice of players, Duke of Windsor as Prince Regent (of India, Malaya, the South Seas and the Americas), Churchill as Viceroy, Alexander as C-in-C India Army and Auchinlek as commander of the Bengal Army.  Brits gather up the immediately deployable 4th,5th,8th,10th Indian Divisions plus extras making III Indian Corps and redeploy to Mid East.  9th,11th Indian Divisions and IV Indian Corps to follow once training cycle completed.  Britain will continue to drain India of ‘loyalists’ until their break with the AOD, see below.  India is now an American dependency. 

UK Theaters by end of 1940 are Dover Front, Biscay Crossing, West African interior front, East Africa, Eastern Basin of Med

US has primary responsibility for Scandinavia, North Sea, Holland, North Atlantic, Central Atlantic (including captured Spanish islands), South Atlantic, Turkey, Indian Ocean, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Phil, PNG, Australia, Pacific, Solomons, North Pacific

Care and feeding of Lisbon is shared    

Land link to Calais has been re-established.  British garrison had been replaced by mixed US and Polish units.  German 6th Army is starving in Brussels.  Allies have relieved Maistricht and retaken most of Belgium.  Western Front is a sea of slaughter.  Euro manpower expended against bottomless American artillery and air.  Axis has brought in Yugoslavia at gunpoint.  Greece and Turkey attacked.  The Thracian, Salonika and Attican fronts are even nastier versions of the same.  Russians make slow progress in the Caucasus against horrendous casualties.  Afghanistan is a no man’s land of competing raiders.  Interior India is a slaughterhouse while progressively more of the population huddles around a few base ports living as war slaves to the American sausage grinder.  Interior Africa is a deadlock.  Allies have held South Greece, beaten the Iraqi insurgency and are slowly beating down resistance in Syria, East Africa and Madagascar (all gone by mid 41).  The starving Japanese are being worked out of key positions across the South Seas.  Japan’s and Germany’s economies are totally dependent on Russian raw materials.  None of the Eurasian allies trust each other.  Chiang’s army grows ever bigger but does little beyond securing West China for himself and arming ever more guerillas n the Japanese rear.

1941 sees the sausage machine grind ever onwards.  Interior Africa is cleared back to mid-Sahara.  Cuban and Guatemalan Red / Nationalist revolts surpressed.  Rest of South America dragged into Alliance (basically at gunpoint).  The South Seas are firmly in Allied hands except for the key islands of the NEI and the old Japanese mandate islands.  Kiska, Attu are lost in a surprise Russo-Japanese operation but the resultant sea battle leaves no Eurasian Fleet outside the Home Islands. 

Tarawa at dawn.  First live TV battle.  There are camera crews in the lagoon as the Marines wade in.  The slaughter goes direct to every CATV hookup in the US as one of the first Comsats happens to be lined up right.  Also to the command ship where Longstreet is watching the botch.  He pulls one small carrier with the first copters and three transports with some extra units he insisted be brought – a mixed race SEAL team, a company of ‘baby buffalos (black teen volunteers from deep Dixie with retired regular military black cadre) and a company of the 100th Neisi Infantry Bn (the Yankee Samuari).  SEALS circle to the back of the island by speedboat, swim ashore on the back of the atoll (which is supposedly unapproachable by sea – largely correct but these are dedicated volunteers, and they take their losses getting through the breakers over the rocks and coral after which the copters airlift the rest in.  Longstreet will more than win his CMH live on national TV reverting to being the engineer officer he was, blowing one Japanese bunker after another down the spine of the atoll to break the deadlock in the lagoon and at the sea wall.  This action marks his complete break with the military promotion system as he ceases to pay any attention to the rules when promoting and assigning his favorites – the officers who were with him in this all have major career push (the equivalent of being in one of the two elite airborne divisions in ETO in OTL).  Also the start of the ‘Loyalist League’ (known by its detractors as ‘The Cult of the Honored Dead’) by which a political movement is formed of the military vote, with exservicemen (often war disabled) as candidates.  A little privately made pin, a black attol outline on a dark blue sea with the hint of dawn over the horizon, given to those who can substantiate the claim that they were ‘at Tarawa at dawn’…

The pipeline  finally reaches Chunking.  As long as this pipeline functions Chunking and thus Chiang are largely undefeatable.  The Dover pocket and Brussels succumb to starvation.  The twin Arctic ‘fronts’ are fluid war zones backed by supportable bases. 

1941 as a strategic situation: the Eurasian powers distrust each other, cooperate poorly and have a common agricultural weakness.  German technology plus Russian manpower and production are the core.  There is no combined general staff or Politburo.  All the major players are essentially looter states with little regard for the lives or property of non-citizens. 

The Alliance has only one major power.  The cousins are associated but not essentially hostile.  Ditto the White commonwealths.  The Combined Chiefs may be advisory but they are light years ahead of what’s on the other side.  So the war is fought in the American style – lavish logistics and incredible firepower with little operational finesse. 

In OTL the counterpoint is that both Anglo Saxon powers were incredibly short of combat staying power at the sharp end.  They ran through their manpower base while making insufficient provision  for combat units and within that for replacements.  So they always had too few divisions and those divisions always had to be carefully monitored to prevent burnout from lack of replacements.

Neither is true in this TL.  The manpower resources of Latin America, Africa, India and China are all available.  This means that citizen forces can be kept in the XXth century jobs feeding the firepower machine while auxils in endless new replacement companies do most of the dieing.  It also means that Anglo Saxon labor can be stretched by endless quantities of labor troops and garrison units in all their many guises.  The fact that the major food producers (US, Canada, Australia, NZ, Argentina) are all on one side helps.  In a world of privation you can mobilize as many men as you can clothe and feed.  Also while the color bar is an impediment, it is nothing compared with the race bar to the Nazis or the internal enemy to the Reds.  Force draft import of 3rd world labor will keep the cousin economies humming at better than full production.  Sea and airlift will provide strategic mobility.

However, it will do nothing to change the fact that the cousins are on external lines.  The Eurasian positions are a series of balloons surrounded by disconnected cousin positions on peripheries.  To counter this the cousins have air power.  The Eurasians could contest the air war in their Euro heartland and in Northeast Asia.   Elsewhere the differential basing situations preclude this.  So they are being attritted across Africa, India, Southeast Asia and much of the Pacific.  The U-Boat war has turned negative attritionally also.  Essentially it is costing some large multiple of x for every x of shipping killed.   This leads to the bulk of the Eurasian sub fleet being converted to transport roles or used against warships. 

Similarly the US aerospace predominance means that strategic air warfare all runs in one direction.  Western Europe, the Med and the Baltic are increasingly dominated in one direction from the air.  Production must be step by step pulled back towards the Eurasian heartland, with European plants moving to the Central and Eastern Europe and Japanese to the mainland.  The multinational nature of the alliance complicates all of this. 

In 40-42 the cousins are training their sepoys.  From 43 onwards the tide will truly roll.  Also the Eurasians keep trying to find offensive solutions to win the war.  The cousins prefer local and theater victories while not losing the total war.  This puts the attritional pressure mostly on one side.  The Brits want Africa and ultimately Western Europe (if possible).  The US wants to keep China in the war long enough to destroy the Japanese Empire and occupy the Home Islands.  Neither cousin has great interest in the other’s sphere.  The Brits want a semi-restored balance of power.  The Americans want revenge (and have internal political reasons geared around that). 

The Eurasians want to at least rule the Eastern hemisphere as seemed highly possible in mid1940.  They are not seriously looking at compromises, especially as those compromises would fall asymmetrically on Japan and the non-German Euro Axis.  Germany needs the Latin Euros to counterbalance Russia.  Russia needs some victories to validate the sacrifices of the war.  Japan fears for her survival.

Finally, in this period the American space program begins to pay off.  The first recon and com sats are up.  A rudimentary GPS has begun.  Space Station Freedom will begin launch from the Cape on January 7, 1942.  Not every rocket works.  This is war. Casualties are quite acceptable.  Who can object to dead astronauts after the live pictures from the lagoon at Tarawa or the pitiful survivors’ accounts of the Luzon death marches.

So basically 41 and early 42 see one attack after another repulsed in Karelia, Scandinavia, the West, Libya and the Aegean.  It’s the Western Front of 1916 on a supercontinental scale. 

The new dance begins April of 42.  The two sides have been playing ‘surprise swoop’ in the Frisian and near North Sea islands for two years.  Now the Allies use a blown swoop to cover a full-scale (AG level) invasion of Denmark .  In a stroke they cut off a million Axis troops and half a million Allied civilians in south Scandinavia.  Insane battles of material across the North and Baltic Seas and the Jutland peninsula do not budge the stalemate.  It is a classic American small strike.  Tiny frontage, massive use of firepower and material.  Large but far from war winning gain.

May sees the Central Pacific’s turn.  The Marianas.  Instead of trying to take back the South Seas first it is the beginning of a direct push on the Home Islands.  Entire remaining Axis Pacific Fleet and long range air brought to battle and trashed – Marianas Turkey Shoot – land battle is an attritional hell but successful. The new pattern is 2 men of the Japanese garrison cause one Allied casualty in being destroyed.  This almost broke the US late in OTL’s Pacific War [Marianas, Luzon, Iwo, Okinowa].  Here the losses are disproportionately not US citizens.

June is Europe’s turn again. Roundup .   Joint landing in Normandy gets Army Group level bridgehead and port of Cherbourg.  Axis seals the penetration but loses balance of Pas de Calais and NE France on the bounce.  Axis now faced with defending every stretch of coast in occupied territory.  Each new bridgehead just moves the airfields and artillery further forward.

Unlike OTL the tank quality game is largely matched.  Axis tanks will always be bigger and better but response with Pershing and then Patton is months, not years.  Also TD’s are fully armored with a good 90mm high velocity gun (we had such a AAA gun but never caught onto the idea of using it in an AT role).  Killer copters a generation earlier than OTL. 

July sees a quick amphib jab into Cyrennaica – CRUSADER - create mobile conditions.  The Libyan front turns fluid and is driven back to El Aghelia by October.  This is turn unhinges the Italians in the Fezzan and the French in North Chad.

August is the Pacific’s turn again.  Iwo Jima is laid waste in an even worse battle than OTL as the US just keeps sending in fresh rifle companies in an endless stream.  The squad at Surabachi is among the few citizens on the island.  The Japanese High Command begins to know internal fear.  Evacuation of the Home Islands by ‘nonessential’ personnel and ‘key war industries’ accelerates.  No B-29 raids as no way this project runs faster – there were extreme aerodynamic problems with this bird from the getgo.

September the hammer falls on Morocco from Casablanca to Tangiers – TORCH .  Patton’s Army Group take a series of bridgeheads and slowly links them through the fall and winter.  A smart Axis would have fled from the remaining Sahara positions.  These boys do not know the word retreat – its politically dangerous.  Hitler had learned Stalin’s trick of shooting defeatists.  Hydrich and Beria are now drinking buddies with monthly ‘liason’ meetings in Warsaw on the border of their realms.  A third material battle as the Axis tries to outreinforce Algeria ahead of the American push. 

October is back to the Pacific month – Okinowa this time.  By now it’s a ritual.  American landing.  Internal slaughterhouse.  No kamikazi.  Planes being horded instead for the battle of the Home Islands.  First major Axis push at Chunking repulsed.  It is a logistical no brainer.  Starvation in the South Seas eating away at Japanese garrisons.  Morale shot as ‘key cadre’ evacuated by supply subs and replaced by Korean, Soviet, Manchu, Chinese, Filippino fillers.  Puppet Republics of Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma, Philippines ordered formed.

November is back to the Med.  HUSKY . US 7th Army lands SE Sicily.  British 8th Army lands near Syracuse.  Cdn II Corps makes key landings in Italian toe.  Four month slog to clear island and bottom of foot.  This will over the winter make the Western Basin into the sea of death.  Constant pressure here will allow a New Year’s linkup between the two Western Fronts along the Seine.

Secondary winter operations take Tshuima and Pescadores in Pacific, Pusan in Korea.  Seige of Japan begun.  Winter offensive from Finland by forces freed from collapse of Scandinavian front in turn takes Gulf of Finland and Baltic islands.  Still more advanced bases.

New year’s coups ( 1/1/43) in the three Latin capitals replace governments by hardline brown red coalitions.  Russians begin evacuating industrial working classes (or the Red portions thereof) to Soviet heartland to build still more industries in Urals and Western Siberia.  Starvation pandemic in Axis India, Southeast Asia, much of rural China, South Seas, Axis Africa.  Winter push begun on Soviet salient in greater Kurdistan.  Again a push from both sides at the top.  Plenty of time to withdraw.  No inclination.  Over the course of the year another million plus loser.

Security cadres keep off African surrender until June of 43.  Massive deaths from hunger and firing squads.  Little allied pressure on the sack.  Concentrate instead on taking Balaerics, Sardinia, Corsica, Elba.  Pacific system.  Landings.  Airheads and logistical bases.  Then the endless stream of replacement companies into the interior kill zone.  Air losses great enough to effect air battle over Europe.  Allied air superiority west of the Elbe and within range of the sea.  Essentially the Eurasian bomber and transport fleets bleed to death here the way they did in Tunisia and Stalingrad in OTL. 

Spring 43 – British land in and take greater Andulasia - BREVITY, Galacia / BATTLEAXE – link up with bands of fleeing Franco loyalists who defect as soon as there are Brits to run to.  Break out of lines of Lisbon to retake most of Portugal.  Massive Brazilian forces involved.  US lands in and takes Brittany – POINTBLANK ; Allied forces slow but steady link up North sea coast to Danish Army Group.  Essentially take old Kingdom of Westphalia.  The attrition is starting to show and Stalin is rationing Soviet formations outside USSR.  More evacuation of economically useful population to east of the Elbe and north of the Danube.

42-43 : Bypassed Japanese chased into mountains of Philippines, Celebes, Timor, Bali, New Guinea.  Driven into the sea in Australia, mostly by hunger and large scale defections of nonJapanese. 

43 –44 Spratleys and Parcels taken.  Surviving Japanese in Pacific slowly reduced and replaced.

April 15, 1943 : Olympic – 14 division landing after greatest air sea battle in history.  Kamikazis.,  Suicide MTB’s.  Human torpedos.  V-1’s.  TV guided bombs.  Japanese air force totally ceases to exist.  Sov FE Air Force plays RAF in France.  After X number of squadrons they stop coming.  US will take till November fighting its way half way up the island.  Graveyard of the Japanese Army.  Most garrisons on mainland Vietnam and north given over to Soviets, Euros, Asiatic secondary troops.  Most reliable of Asiatic ferried across to Japan to die as well.  Sovs take over garrison duty Kuriles, Sakhalin, Hokkaido.  Hirohito killed in first Tokyo fire raid (US Lancasters from Okinowa) .  Fire raids reduce Japanese cities to hot ash.  South Kyushu becomes #2 base after Karachi. 

May 1, 1943 – Avalanche – Salerno.  SOF and Camora take Naples docks.  Ten day bridgehead battle ends with Allied air beating Axis land.  South Italy line unhinged.  Axis withdraws to already built Gustav Line covering Rome by July.  Foggia bases for bombers.  Albanian coast exposed. 

June 6th , 1943 – Overlord – Biscay landings at Bordeaux.  Frantic Axis reserve movements including release of Russian reserves contain landings to coastal Aquitaine but linkup with main front by August.  Paris besieged.  Petain wisked off to Germany.  Degrelle left as Fortress Fuhrer in Paris.

June 20th, 1943 – Warhammer – Barcelona landings intended to pinch off Spain.  Further Russian reserve fronts sucked forwards to prevent necessity of evacuating Iberia.  Iberia front is now (October) long salient past Madrid to Seville but with little coastline left.

August 2nd, 1943 – Coronet – landings east of Tokyo.  It will take almost a year to clear Tokyo – Osaka plain.  In meantime Axis takes massive losses pulling key personnel out of home islands.  Allies will take remaining ports 43-44.  Form lodgement.  Send bn’s and rgt’s into interior on kill sweeps.  Think Draka in Erin’s books and then think that the first ranger unit sent in are all orphans from the Nanking massacre.  By end of 44 they control all ports in home islands.  100K wild Japanese and Eurasian in interior.  Japanese have broken the jewel.  Less than 14M of the 100M are still alive.  3M are in garrisons in the South.  More than half the remainder are honorary Japanese – Taiwanese, Koreans, Manchus, Mongols, misc. Asiatics, Jews, White Russians, partially Japanese children of comfort women and concubines.  The Yamato Race is dead.  They are the ruling elite of a war communist Russian satellite running from Manchuria and Far North Korea through North China to Peking, Tiensin, and Shantung.  They hate the ‘allies’ who left them to die almost as much as they hate the few surviving samurai officers who they blame for the whole stupid war.  

October 10th, 1943 – Iceberg – Anzio landing.  Brit idea.  Debacle.  Oversized corps pinned down in glorfied pocket.  Proves strength of Anglo navies.  It holds.  Bleeds like old Gallipoli but it holds. 

November 11, 1943 – Winnie – landings at Durazo in Albania.  Pries lose Balkan front.  Over winter front driven back to Montenegro – Nish – Sofia – Black Sea.  Opens Balkans as yet another theater to deploy Allied manpower.  New Macedonian air bases close Danube to axis traffic, force remaining war production back to USSR.  Massive relocation of Euro industry with interruptions of production.  First jet battles up the cost of the air war but change nothing.    Allies just interdict all extra long runways.  Axis not able to do the same in reverse. 

November 20, 1943 – V1 bombardment of London and south English  ports begun from Paris region outside the Allied siege lines.  British morale goes down yet again.  Hallifax needs the whips to survive the no confidence motions. 

Axis garrisons starved out of Kuriles, Aleutians and Sakhalin by combination of tight blockade and SOF – all gone by Easter 44.

Prisoners swaps begun through North Iran.  Latin American reds and captured cadre swapped for Poles, zeks, etc.  Limited but first positive result of long Swiss talks.

Britain feeling strain of long war much worse than US and other cousins.

April 30, 1944 – Camerone – US landings at Hue and Dannang break ground supply line to India.  Axis forced inland.

May 1, 1944 – Diadem – Anzio breakout coupled with unhinging of Italian front – advance to Gothic Line by autumn

May 15, 1944 – V2 (longer ranged version) bombardment of London, Antwerp and Amsterdam begun from central Germany.  Further drop in British home front morale.

June 6, 1944 – Edward – Dobrovnik landings – Balkan front unhinged again and driven back to Croatia – Slavonia – Danube by year end – slow sweep into Kamchatka, Yakutia, Byrutia, Kolyma – will take two years of slow give and take but yet another bleeding ulcer comes on stream

August 15th, 1944 – Dragoon – new landing seizes Provence but contained in southern Rhone Valley.  Logistical situation in Iberia and Pyrennes approaches hopeless.  Pinchout will come near Vichy on 6 January, 1945.  Over 2 million lost this time.

August 20th, 1944 – Berlin fire raid kills Hitler, Borman, much of OKW but not OKH.  Goring new Fuhrer. Was in Orleans (mis)managing air supply and evacuation of Iberian Front. Accepts subordinate status to Stalin but not satellite.  German and Euro industry begins final stage of evacuation to USSR.  Combined General Staff under Stalin, Zhukov and Manstein.  Generals can see handwriting on the wall.  Too many troops in Balkans and Europe.  Danger of losing remainder of West and Central Europe.  Japan spent and overextended.  Need for a diplomatic solution.  Need to split cousins alliance.  Weak link is UK.  Will they be satisfied with France?  What will satisfy US?

September 15th – Chromite – Inchon landings – Soeul falls.  Push up Korea to waist through fall into spring 1945.

Reprise : the Axis bleeds from a hundred wounds.  The bankrupt British stare at a war without end.  The Americans prefer war to Depression.  The American President is already lining up another term in 1948 and refuses peace without Asia and return of all POWs and Allied friendly civilians – Stalin wants to bargain on an equality he’s lost and will not face a superiority that is coming on him with all the grace of a falling hammer.  The longer the war goes on the greater the American hegemony economically and technically.  Germany’s super weapons and the combined Axis bomb project are already trumped by the American space force.  The nuclear race will end at Munkden in August of 1945.  The new Japanese Emperor, his high command, his court and a quarter of a million random people will die.  The Sov rocket center in Kazakstan will be next, followed by the nuclear center in the Urals near Sverdlovsk.  Munkden was pure spite.  By now its one of the few cities outside the USSR not burned to the ground.  The killing machine grinds into Germany by mid 45.  The Po Valley collapses in April.  By June Czechia and Hungary are Allied occupied graveyards, pinching out another million man pocket in Austria and the upper Alps.  Leningrad, Archangel, Murmansk, Kotlas, Grozny, Tiblis, Baku, Tallinin, Riga.  It’s a slow slaughter machine.  Its an efficient slaughter machine.  It is grinding for Berlin by May of 46 when at last Stalin concedes land in Slovakia and Rumania to get his British peace.  An exhausted British cabinet signs and doesn’t even wait for the General Election results to hand power over to Labor.  The Tory right and the Labor left plus enough little Englanders and weary pols have combined to take any peace.  Britain’s stab in the back will buy the Big Man another election but in fact America knew it was coming.  They didn’t object.  They merely declined to participate.  England inherits the bulk of Africa and most of Europe without the resources to feed itself for a week.  The British privations will go on.  Only the killing will stop.  Uncle Shylock will drive a series of ever harder bargains, driving the white commonwealths to gradually forsake the mother country rather than pay England’s debts.  The US will keep Turkey and Persia as its spoil.  The Belgian Congo and Portuguese Africa will be jointly exploited.  Fortresses Benelux and Scandinavia remain in the American camp.  The American occupation zone (basically most of Germany west of the Berlin) is a pit of blood.  America accepts that the war is over from the Caspian West. 

America has used 45-47 to massively partially demobilize their own citizens while putting the war on a longterm basis.  They’ve reoccupied Java, Sumatra, Borneo, coastal Indochina, Taiwan, Shantung, Hainan, Shanghai, Hong Kong – Kwangtung – Canton.

In the meantime the rot in Chaing’s China has passed redemption.    Axis pressure on his West China stronghold increases year by year.  His armies are getting weary of fighting off one offensive after another.  The warlords won’t fight.  The US mercs will only fight for Chunking and a few airheads.  The nationalist rank and file increasingly ask themselves if they are the victim of Chiang’s anticommunist obsession.  Paradoxically the endless supply of dollars is beginning to fuel an inflationary vortex as it exceeds the goods available for purchase.  The new coastal enclaves and support for irregulars seems to hint at American plans to occupy China as the Japanese did.  The intelligent answer would be to move Chiang back to a coastal base of power – Canton or perhaps Shanghai.  He fears to go without his armies.  The armies in turn are trapped by the external lines.  To bring them out through Karachi to Canton would take years.

South and East Asia now present a circular paradox.  At any time from 1948 onwards the Axis could have secured most of China by ceasing to pass resources further up the chain to Southeast Asia and India.  The Allies could have secured India by letting the Chinese be crushed.  Both sides wanted both.

Essentially the Americans foresaw that even at the reduced rate they were fighting the war after Europe they would ultimately bleed / run the Axis out of India, Southeast Asia and most of China before the logistical situation turned neutral somewhere between Nanking and Lake Bikal.  They saw no reason to settle for anything less as politically they were prepared to fight forever.  War kept the economy humming.  War provided an excuse to run their alliances as an American Empire.  War kept their fractured political coalition together.  At the price of 60 – 100 K citizen dead / year on a rapidly rising citizen population of 150 million, the costs were manageable.  The noncitizen and semicitizen dead really didn’t enter into the equation.  A few of their dependents would become citizens and vote for the war party to validate the honored dead.  Meanwhile they built up their infrastructure, forged ahead in science and solidified their hold on the resources of the solar system.

Stalin wanted peace.  Each year he has prepared to take the deal he could have had a few years earlier.  He would not allow himself to be publicly proven wrong by accepting the slowly worsening corrolation of forces.   The facts were that the blood price was killing off his core Russians, Germans and Japanese faster than they were reproducing.  The facts were that his supply lines east of Sverdlovsk were always weaker than the great American air – sea – seebee machine.  No marvels of the human spirit like the Siam – Burma railroad could make up for what American capital and bottomless labor could produce.  His German scientists were always one step ahead of the Americans.  The Americans always caught up before there was any strategic significance.  His German factory technicians were always superior to the Americans.  American weight of numbers negated German superweapons.  American command of the air forced the bulk of his production into the far interior.  It forced it to dispurse even then.  The fact simply was that American command capitalism was more productive than a Stalinist or Nazi police and party state.  The Americans had the miracle nukes first.  They replied to every Eurasian bomb attempt several fold.  America lost Dutch Harbor (1949).  The Russians lost Kiev and Breslau.  A second atomic round centered on sub launch weapons and nacent German ICBM’s (1952) cost America Hartford, Pittsburgh CA, and a few random villages (the ICBM’s and cruise missiles were not very accurate) and a lot of dead fish – the suicide bomb torpedoes rarely penetrated harbors.  The response cost Russia every major city in Central Asia, Western Siberia and the Urals.  The final round (1953) saw two dozen superbombers take off from hidden fields in Siberia.  Four got past NORAD and the US lost Albequerke NM (Beria’s boys were a little off on Los Alamos after being penetrated), Berkeley CA, Tacoma WA, and Omaha NE.  The American loss of patience saw a 1/4th sized dino killer powered rock take out Moscow and the bulk of the combined Politburo with Stalin. (the all volunteer all ex-zek, last survivor of extended Kulak family crew rides the rock in, broadcasting a group singing of Orthodox hymns in Ukranian and Russian)  The new Moscow Sea made a shining picture from orbit.  Eurasia rang like a bell.  The remaining cities and major bases of Eurasia vanished under a steady stream of American H Bombs – Eurasia had tested them first but could not get past the bombardments for sustained serial production.  Stalin and Beria die.  So do most of the Politburo.  A new one is cobbled together from the regional party bosses who were out of town led by the Ukranian boss, Nikita Khrushchev.

Prior to this Stalin had finally yielded to military necessity.  The long retreat from India began in mid 1949.  It ended with the last few tens of thousands crossing the flooded Yangtse under massive air and artillery bombardment in 1956.  Over five years tens of millions of people died and an additional hundred million were displaced to get under a million out.  It was one of the great demographic disasters of human history.

In the meantime came the tragedy and triumph of China.  An all out series of pushes saw the fall of Chunking in 48-49.  The warlords defected or fled.  The Americans past a certain point would not save Chiang from himself.  The Peanut’s Court went down in a blaze of glory.  The main American force retreated up the railroad towards Tibet.  The main Chinese was cut off.  Chiang would not allow retreat.  By the time of his death they occupied a vast pocket to the south and east of the city.  A ripe fruit waiting to fall.  Only it didn’t happen that way.  The Chinese generals and Chiang’s son were willing by this time to listen to impolite Americans in the face of certain death.  The Eurasians were set up to block a linkup with the RR. So the Nationalists retreated the other way.  To and past Kumming.  Ultimately to the sea at Canton.  Fifteen million people came out by ground.  Another three million by air. Millions more stay, surrounded in a series of fortress airheads. The retreat took 29 months.  It was the air power story of all-time.  The moveable fortress, as it was called, basically blocked the Eurasian retreat route out of Southeast Asia.  Kumming holds.  Some of the other airheads fall.  Its warring states to a tune of SOF’s and Tiger tanks.  Eurasian bravery falls to the organized American murder machine.  After 90 days rest the Chinese army turns around and heads back to Chunking.  A second major force leaves Shanghai to work its way up both banks of the Yangtse.  From mid 1953 onwards the impossible begins to happen.  The surrenders come in droves, in waves.  The samuri fanatics, the commissars, the punishment regiments, nothing can make human flesh stand up to the endless rain of bombs and shells backed by an endless stream of armored supported infantry [this is Ridegway’s offensive in 1951 Korea in OTL but with infinite manpower].  The fighters are pushed into the mountains to starve.  The rest wait in the valleys under white flags.  Chunking falls in reverse by the end of 1954, Nanking in early 1955. 

The Eurasian generals are frantic.  The police and politicals cannot or will not see the end.  The American Arctic lines are beginning to creep forwards again.  A signal is being sent.  If America has to occupy all of Eurasia it will.  The issues keeping peace off now are POW’s and civilians.  The Americans want all of theirs back but only want to return those they choose to.  Goring, who missed the Moscow killoff by being up at AF Theater HQ outside Peking, is the front for a coalition of senior military and industrial people.  Koniev brings over enough of the armed Russian police.  Hausser, Dietrich and Steiner bring in the Waffen SS.  Zhukov and Rommel bring over the two main armies. 

July 20, 1955 – the Night of the Generals –

200K police and party cadre die in 72 hours, 1.5M will follow before the bloodbath runs its course.  The new Junta asks the Americans for a truce on 8 August,1955.  The final peace comes on July 30, 1958.  Three years of squabbles on POW’s, American interviews of disputed civilians, demarcating lines from Turkmenistan to the Soviet Maratimes.  Of forcing in the last U Boats.  Of getting the last bypassed garrisons to accept that this peace rumor was real, lay down their guns and be flown home.  Of getting assassins to the Mao’s, and Kim’s, and Ho’s who simply wouldn’t end a lost war.  The Eurasian Federation is both more and less than the USSR.  Less in having lost Leningrad and much of the Arctic, of losing half the Baltics, most of the Caucasus and a piece of Central Asia.  More in the last Euro strip of Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Reuthania and the Japanese NE China Combined State. 

The Eurasian standard of living is at roughly 1600.  They are eating rats to afford a competitive military.  Civilians get ersatz everything and very little of that. 

The British Home Islands  standard of living is at 1890, with dependent territories at every level between Eurasia and Britain.  The Europe they got had most of its population forceably relocated – they are rebuilding with a mix of refugees, colonial peoples and volunteers from Latin America who prefer life in the British Euro Raj to its American variant at home.

Switzerland is at 1929.  America’s empire is at 1960 with America at  say 1975.  (Note: the American 1975 is GDP per capita – consumer goods are more expensive, more value oriented and less plentiful than OTL – no planned obsolescence, no tail fins – more of the GDP is in the form of state services (education, health care, day care, etc.) – much less suburbanization, smaller houses, better mass transit – essentially instead of Big Business making the key decisions technocrats have much more say – also no parasitic urban welfare population).    China and India are dead except by American charity.  Within all of them the state is richer and the individual poorer than OTL.  Personal consumption is a relative thing.  If you have more than last year and more than others you are well off.  America and her immediate friends are well off.  Everyone else isn’t and knows it. 

America has space stations, moon bases, L’s, near earth asteroids, orbital defenses, asteroid and Jovian exploitation bases in development, SPS, GPS, comsats, spy sats, CATV, computers.  They have orbital bombs as well as NORAD and SAC.  They have missile subs.  Eurasia is not allowed atomics – America will bomb any suspected installation.  Eurasia is not allowed missiles or spacecraft – repeat last answer.  Eurasia is not allowed even fishing boats, much less a navy.  Britain lives on its US pension as it were, resenting the shit out of it.  India and China are being slowly reconstructed, the former under the Emperor Edward and his American wife (practically under Churchill’s children and political heirs, with Jinnah and the Muslim League as valued allies) .  The latter under Chiang the younger and his American advisors.  The Russian first wife is politely set aside publicly and an American Born Chinese woman installed in her place. There are codominium base zones and a long slow program for their removal.  America will keep all the islands from Japan south as permanent imperial soil.

American civilian standards of living will continue to accelerate as America is on a much higher growth path than OTL as it is actively developing its ‘Empire’ and the solar system, while funding both American style basic research and endless ‘Japanese’ (WW2 American) incremental development.  (We turned away from incremental development postWW2 – the glamour was the Manhattan project – bold leaps that hit grand slam home runs instead of pain staking small improvements that had been our prior forte).  Instead of getting our growth off consumption, our driving engines are serving as the tech and capital goods sources for a globe and solar system spanning unit.  We also are major investors in the Stirling Block, as the new British Empire comes to be known.

Goring, Zhukov, Koniev, Vatuin, Manstein, Guderian, Rommel, Degrelle, Hausser, Dietrich, Balbo, Brezhnev, Kosigan, are the leaders but with Slavic supermajorities at every level.  The Russ are the governing race.  The Germans are their tech support.  The little Asiatic statelet is drained of manpower for rebuilding elsewhere.  All are shocked that it leads Eurasia in recovery.  The surviving Japanese and Asiatic Reds are hard strong men who have learned much from their disasters.

Culturally America is a one party populist dictatorship.  Rock and roll is not oppositional.  Elvis headlines the Loyalist League convention in Vegas in 58 along side Sinatra, Little Richard, Ritchie Valens and Perry Como.  Youth culture means what the troops will like.  It is not driven by Madison Avenue as a device to sell product.  Miz T will suceede to the Presidency in 1960 as the old man retires to be head of the Alliance from a lunar base.  The States Rights Party will be overtly racist.  The Republicans will turn more on class distinction.  The Popular Front will seem as semitraitors, but useful ones in that they justify the ‘emergency’ never ending.  Space is an Alliance preserve with some British participation but no Empire launch capacity.  Not permitted you know.  The Empire trades with the Eurasians, the Alliance does not.  So Empire tagging serves as a fig leaf in both directions.  The Empire / Stirling Block gets a steady ‘brain drain’ of the more ambitious and a reverse drain of those who value their liberty and freedom of expression.  It about evens out.  Trade is along the lines of the world of the 70’s – the major corps have plants in both zones rather than actually moving all that much product – trade is raw materials, specialties too narrow to be worth a branch plant (British racing cars), and luxuries (Rolls Royce, aged Scotch).  Much tech licensing, although Alliance restrictions on items deemed ‘security’ sensitive.

In the interests of brevity (you may all giggle at once), I am not going to repeat every conclusion in Dark America followed by blacker, nastier, worse…Essentially except for most of the UK and part of Scandinavia (plus ever neutral Switzerland) the rest of Europe, India, China, Korea, Japan, much of the Sov Union, Southeast Asia and Africa bounded within the line roughly north of the Congo and Kenya is a charnel house out of Stirling’s Eurasian War.  If you figure 100 each for Eurasia, China and India and 50 for the rest the world has had 350 Megadeaths with at least as many DP’s.  Plus the whole postwar generation doesn’t get born in Asia and most of Eurasia.  Its 1955-58 before enough men get demobilized to start families, and the social disruption is going to greatly retard the process.  You are back to ox drawn plows across much of the world while another part goes to space.  A pale remnant of liberal democracy lingers in the UK, Scandinavia, the Benelux and Switzerland.  The rest of the world consists of a populist dictatorship (the US), its satellites (think the Greece of the colonels or El Salvador in the 80’s as the best of the lot and it goes rapidly downhill from there), and the Endless Night across the Eurasian Soviet Republics.  Welcome to the Nightmare…