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Conclusion first – this is NOT an attempt to outline the most likely
ATL. Rather, it starts with the
conclusion and finds plausible ways to get there.
Where we are trying to get to is a paranoid, imperialist American
national security state – the one out of the world left’s nightmares and
rantings since WW2. So take this as
how such a state COULD have happened, not how likely that ATL was.
Now it should be obvious that I do not agree with that characterization.
Here is 1940 to date as I see it.
The US is not the political and ideological virgin it likes to think of
itself as. Nonetheless our
interactions with the world are in the main more a combination of willful
ignorance and total indifference mixed with a streak of idealism that expresses
itself as isolationism, interventionism and pacifism depending on who is framing
the media agenda at that moment in American history.
I regard the Depression as the greatest shock to the American
sociopolitical system and cultural identity since the Civil War.
The system almost came apart. Millions
lost everything. Tens of millions
more were hit hard and were scared spit less.
FDR may or may not have saved the US economy (a different debate for a
different day). He definitely saved
the American polity and psyche. To
his many supporters he was a secular God. To
his extreme detractors, largely on the right, he was Satin incarnate and a class
traitor to boot. His detractors on
the left have found it politic to mostly blame evil advisers and Truman for
FDR’s loss of nerve after 1938 (the failure of court packing and party purge).
Except for a brief period coinciding with the Spanish American war, the
US has not been particularly imperialist beyond North America / Manifest
Destiny. Even there we accepted a
separate Canada after 1815 and a separate Mexico after 1850.
There was little sentiment to take Manifest Destiny further.
Our Caribbean adventures were always half hearted.
Our Pacific ones were even more so.
We were manipulated into WWI (combination of external British
manipulation, Wilson’s own power trips [taking Colonel House as his minion
rather than a separate plotter], Wall Street’s need for a bailout from the
risk of a British default, and an Anglophile Eastern elite that still largely
ran the country). We never quite
understood what happened but knew we didn’t like it and vowed to never do it
again. So post WW1 there were
Anglophile and financial interests who wished de facto alliance with Britain.
There was a China Lobby that advocated opposing Japan.
The bulk of the country didn’t want to get involved.
Ideologically the right feared big government and high taxes.
The left feared a plutocrat’s alliance against Russia.
Major ethnic groups – Irish, Germans, Scandinavians, Italians –
opposed European entanglements for various ethnic reasons.
Even our miniwar in Nicaragua against Sandino proved to be more than our
political system would tolerate.
We also had a basic aversion to major military expenditure.
This was much more so for the Army than the Navy.
Specific economic interests supported the navy – the big steel makers,
those with an interest in foreign trade and finance, the few states and cities
with major naval bases or shipyards. Also
navies fitted the Fortress America concepts of the nonpacifist isolationists.
Finally navies were not seen as threats to liberty – fleets do not
had diverse enemies in our polity. There
was the old tradition dating back to England of seeing standing armies as a
threat to liberty. There was the US
tradition from classic 19th century liberalism of seeing local
government as best and low taxes as a divine right.
There was a Dixie distrust of the Army from Reconstruction.
There was a left distrust of the military as strikebreakers. There was a
New England distrust of war as somehow immoral. There was the absence of big
army contractors like the steel companies and shipyards were for the navy.
There was a deployment pattern of tiny forts left over from
Reconstruction and the Indian Wars such that few places had a major economic
stake in a bigger army. There was
the perpetual American belief that our militia / National Guard was closer to
the people and good enough. There
was the very realistic fear that a big army would be used to involve us in
European Wars on behalf of England, Wall Street and a cosmopolite elite.
OTL, we begin naval rearmament in 1938. We
started building the Army in 1940 after the fall of France.
We essentially ease off war production starting in the winter of 43-44
[for fear of producing too much – we cancelled contracts for more ships in
43-44 than the rest of the world combined possessed] and radically demobilize
the military 45-46. Our last
division in WW2 never saw action (98th Infantry in Hawaii).
We begin modest rearmament in 1948 and go to mobilization with Korea in
1950. Ike puts the brakes on in the
50’s. Kennedy takes them off
61-63. We begin building down with
Nixon in 1969 and only reverse it in Carter’s last year.
The Reagan buildup ends in 1986 and we’ve been drawing down ever since
[post 911 is stopgap emergency spending, not a new buildup].
Each peak sees a smaller percentage of GDP spent on national security in
its various incarnations.
terms of internal security, the extreme right is leaned on all through FDR’s
terms and never recovers from WW2. The
populist return of a radical right in more recent times stems from internal
causes and has few foreign connections that would trouble us from a national
security standpoint. Talk radio
call-ins aside, it has little real popular support – nothing like America
First had 40-41 and the Klan had into the 50’s.
FDR forms a popular front with the left that, with a hiccup for the Nazi Soviet
Pact years (39-41), lasts until the Democrats start a major domestic purge at
roughly the end of WW2 (there had been a minor purge from 1938 onwards but it
never got real political traction). The
Republicans make it partisan from 1948 onwards but it always has heavy
Democratic support until the realignment of the 60’s (1963-1969 saw the remain
of the old progressive [Rockefeller-Dewey] wing of the Republicans turn
Democratic and the white populists [George Wallace, Scoop Jackson] move to the
Republicans). Ike breaks McCarthy
in the mid 50’s and the Nam / civil rights realignment breaks internal
security in the Nixon era. We are
first starting to deal with that now.
national security state takes money. Our
lib left has always wanted to use available taxes for a bigger social democratic
welfare state. Essentially we have
had a few lurches towards that goal (33-38, 64-66, 75-78) but mostly incremental
inchings towards that direction. Our
post WW2 right wing has backed military spending up to a point but never let it
get in the way of their fondness for tax cuts except for the Reagan years where
we did both. We will need an
alignment of economic interests to support the tax base to fund this.
economic alignment will in turn require a different political alignment.
It will seem that I will be spending too much time on political side
issues. I feel they are the key to
getting both a national security state and still having elections (only the
ideological true believers on the left deny we have electoral politics).
we must overcome the lack of American imperialism.
We have always had our anticommunist zealots and our Ugly Americans.
However, as a whole we have been a profoundly conservative power since
WW2. Essentially we grabbed most of
the valuables at the end of WW2 – Western Europe, the Middle East, and Japan.
The loss of Eastern Europe and China was annoying but hardly fatal.
Decolonization and the 3rd world in general were treated as
adjuncts to European policy or Japanese policy in East Asia.
The 3rd world nations [other than Israel for domestic reasons
and the oil countries for economic ones] were regarded as distractions.
Even in the Western Hemisphere we regarded our neighbors as distractions.
As long as they kept off the front pages and didn’t go over to the
Block militarily we were mostly indifferent.
The exception was the Carib, but, then it always has been.
we now will make changes. What
follows is the less extreme of the two basic TL’s.
We change WW2 but not anything much earlier.
There is a much more extreme version that I call the Panay War.
Makes this look like the world of light.
change begins in 1940. FDR does not
pick Wallace as VP. He takes Wilkie
more seriously earlier and realizes that he needs a border state moderate with
good labor credentials. Basically
we do not rewrite FDR which is messy. We
just bring Truman in one term early. Exit
half a million votes to whoever the Popular Front protest candidate turns out to
be. Enter two million more votes in
the Middle West from Truman campaigning whistle stop to whistle stop across the
Heartland [Harry was always a great retail politician whatever his other
has no simpatico with Harry. Treats
him as in 44-45 except he’s given the chairmanship of a federal commission on
waste, fraud and abuse very similar to the Senate committee he headed in OTL.
major change: using black funds out of Lend Lease and blacker disbursements from
the British Treasury funneled through Wall Street via the City of London, FDR
bypasses Hoover and sets up the OSS (future CIA directorate of operations in OTL)
a year early and includes domestic responsibilities, hidden behind US
Marshall’s badges. In OTL FDR ran
scared of Hoover who had sexual dirt on him and Eleanor.
In this TL someone hands FDR the counter dirt on Hoover’s sexuality
(probably the legendary Mafia photos). Now
OSS under Donavan was known as ‘ Oh So Social’.
Let one of their recruits be a spoiled college boy from Massachusetts,
one Jack Kennedy. The key here is
both the Kennedy connection and breaking the Bureau’s monopoly on domestic
will now have a foreign change. In
OTL Hitler had a couple of major panic episodes over Narvik and Guderian’s
exposed southern flank during the Western campaign.
Jodl covered him on Narvik by refusing to allow Hitler’s retreat order
to be sent. He couldn’t or
didn’t in France, with the result that the BEF gets away.
Hitler learns from this. He
will still control grand policy. He
will NOT risk his personal prestige meddling in operational details.
The Kietel – Jodl – Paulus team is given operational carte blanche.
let us stop here to be clear on what this change means as it may not be obvious.
This is not one of the Victorious German Arms ATL’s.
Germany will still lose the Battle of Britain, start a war with Russia,
declare war on the US in a fit of absent-mindedness and ultimately lose.
What we need is for Germany to lose more slowly, destroying more of
Europe and Russia in the process. There’s
that annoying gap between the end of WW2 and the start of the Cold War
mobilization sometime in the period 1948-50 that needs filling.
Adolph does not become warlord as in OTL. What
changes? Probably nothing major
before the winter of 41-42 in a purely military sense.
However if he’s not drowning in military trivia he’s available as
head of state and head of party to bring some order out of that chaos court
instead of delegating through Borman.
let Goring be effectively (but nonpublically) demoted after his failures at
Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. He’s
still Air Marshal but day-to-day control passes to Kesselring as military head
of OKL, in this TL firmly subordinated to OKW.
So Goring has political time to be deputy party head and administrative
time as head of the four-year plan and a variety of other admin-econ agencies.
Have Adolph give him his favorite architect Speer as techno deputy.
was a hard war man. Germany will
mobilize more efficiently and sooner. More
tanks, more planes, better labor utilization, much less wastage on competing
construction schemes of the Gauliters, better use of captured European
resources, much less fear of mobilization producing a revolt a la 1918 as Hitler
and Goring are both actively involved in morale building measures, visiting
bombed cities, etc. Also more
fighters sooner so the Combined Bomber offensive will take longer to bite.
Finally Goring gets back his
control of the Gestapo so there is some counter to Himmler.
is pretty much our 1941 except for a few little things.
The Russian manpower and equipment swept up in the initial blitz is more
effectively gathered up using allied armies – Hungarians, Italians, Croats,
various antiBloshie White Russian and Western legions [think of this as
mobilizing the 1942-44 Allied Axis Armies for the 1941 campaign so that there is
someone to gather in the bottomless loot].
Also the flow of German weapons is a bit better and the railway
reconstruction is pushed a bit harder. This
is all at the margin. The only
major additional conquest is that (with a better appreciation of the merits of
sea transport on logistics) Leningrad is sealed and stays sealed – falls
March, 1942 after the cannibal remnants of the garrison can endure nothing more
– last round and almost last man.
other change is that Rommel’s disobedience has consequences in this TL.
He was supposed to hold Tripoli and instead launched a halfcocked but
very successful offensive. His
success made him untouchable in OTL. In
this TL he’s bumped up to command of a Panzer group in Russia – lets give
him the 4th to help seal Leningrad.
Hoth is sent to North Africa to conduct a defensive battle in Cyrennaica.
No assaults on Tobruk. British
force Hoth back to the Gazala Line but Malta does fall as Kesselring makes the
resources available from increased production without having to strip an entire
air fleet out of Russia for the winter campaign.
fast-forward to December of 1941. We
will not do the Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories.
We will take the Toland thesis that the disconnect was racist – FDR and
his cohort simply couldn’t believe that the inept little Japs who couldn’t
even finish China off would be able to damage FDR’s precious fleet if they did
strike Pearl. So Pearl goes
historically but Franklin is in the cruiser Augusta visiting Atlantic fleet
ships at sea on the antisubmarine patrol. FDR
was an old Navy man (Navy department under Wilson).
In one of those little mistakes that mark warfare, his ship is torpedoed
and lost with all hands. A case of
mistaken identity but to the country it looks like a German decapitation stroke
as it occurs within an hour of the lead wave on Pearl.
The Germans then clinch the PR disaster by declaring war on the US the
FDR’s funeral will outdo OTL’s JFK’s.
The caisson with the empty casket only this time there is an ugly wife
walking behind. Instead of just
hating Japan the country will hate the whole Axis [there was much trouble is the
US with the Europe First strategy in OTL – the country just didn’t hate the
white Germans the way they did the yellow Japanese].
Also in the DC chaos of a change in administrations Kimmel is left in
charge at Pearl long enough to relieve Wake.
In OTL a Coral Sea type battle was shaping up when Kimmel and his ships
is one of those ones that may be difficult to follow.
Japan not taking Wake is good for Japan and bad for us.
Japan will have a few more setbacks below.
They will not get ‘victory disease’ and thus not throw away the war
at Midway and in the Solomons. They
will follow their original strategy of fortifying and trying to attrition us
into a compromise.
in the USA and the Pacific War – MAJOR CHANGES:
King will not be allowed to botch more than the early stages of the
Battle of the Atlantic. The initial
fiasco off the East Coast and in the Carib will see Nimitz bumped to CNO.
Marshall becomes Chairman of the JCS (a job that didn’t yet exist in
OTL), Eisenhower becomes Army Chief of Staff.
Production of ASW and Amphibious shipping begun in good time.
Navy and Air Force quickly subordinated to Marshall.
B-24’s put in to close North Atlantic gap and strategic bombing be
Macarthur will be ordered into Bataan after the Clark Field fiasco.
No wasted campaign in North Luzon. He
will be closely supervised to be sure he DOES put all possible food into Bataan
[in OTL Mac’s army was starved out by an inferior Japanese force].
Far East Army will not be starved out in this TL.
Bataan will hold until September of 1942.
It will take till early 1943 for the Japanese to mop up Mindanao and the
smaller islands. Doug will still
come out submarine at the very end but no PT boat ride and no “I shall
Coral Sea happens, Midway doesn’t.
Guadalcanal not contested by Japan after Japanese naval victory at Savo.
Faced with greater resistance than expected in Philippines, East Indies
and Burma, Japanese will play a MUCH more cautious hand.
Holding Papua and Rabal will matter more as expansion will be out of the
Malaya goes as historically – short of shooting Percival it was
East Indies fall more slowly as British are not as badly pressed in the
Med. Timor does not fall until
February of 1943
British 18th Division and other reinforcements not wasted on
Singapore. Instead they go to
Burma. Alexander gets just enough
to make a real fight of it. Instead
of blitzing Burma, the Japanese need into the summer of 1943 to slowly win this
Mark Clark, the Army amphibious expert sent to Australia with first two
divisions. The hopping strategy
will come on schedule in New Guinea.
The net effect of the above is that the Pacific uses somewhat fewer
combat resources in 42-43. The big Solomons and New Guinea battles mostly
don’t happen. Both sides spar at
a distance instead. It is one big buildup for the push in 44 when the Essex
class carriers give the US naval superiority.
However, Australia faced with a seemingly much stronger Japan [the
resources that aren’t lost in the Solomons can make raids on Australia,
especially submarine strikes against shipping and mining of ports], does
institute the Brisbane line proposal. Australia
north of the line becomes a US military protectorate with Macarthur as
Major difference on Presidential style between Truman and FDR.
FDR was a 19th century Hudson Valley patrician who played
politics as a game, constantly playing subordinates and advisors off against
each other, thereby keeping the decisions all on his desk. He told contradictory
things to different people and tried to be all things to everyone, always hiding
his true intent, if any, beyond the game itself.
He was a navy man, a Wilsonian idealist, an anti-imperialist [this
greatly influenced his policies as regards the British Empire], looked down on
all economic interests and was broadly uninterested in the nitty gritty of party
politics although he was a fierce partisan [while firmly upper class his
particular family were hereditary Democrats].
He had also lost his political nerve after the failures of 1938, and
hoarded his personal political capital. Truman
was a decision maker –“ the buck stops here” - who was very willing to
delegate implementation. He had strong policy views which he clearly expressed.
He was not afraid to be seen as changing his mind or asking advice.
Strong subordinates didn’t scare him.
He was an Army (National Guard) man fiercely proud of his WWI service.
[He had once sincerely said that he’d trade the Presidency for the
Congressional Medal of Honor]. He was a retail politician who could get down and
dirty on patronage and contracts in ways that FDR never would.
He was a fervent anticommunist, an issue FDR was indifferent to. He cared
about race relations while FDR played politics with it.
He was tight with labor in a way that FDR never was.
However, in typical border state Democratic fashion, he saw no
contradiction in bringing business interests into the party’s big tent as long
as the overall thrust stayed populist. He
will thus be much better at the nitty gritty of economic mobilization.
MAJOR DEPARTURE – He and Marshall recognize the manpower problem from
the beginning. In OTL, FDR and
Marshall simply never grasped until far too late the manpower limitations of a
world war with a massive economic mobilization.
Coming out of the Depression where the problem was a bottomless excess of
workers they just couldn’t grok it. This
will be the first alien space signal as it were.
The facts were there for anyone who examined them rationally and not from
a Depression mind set.
First manpower related move – FDR tried to get civilian labor
conscription and failed. Truman
will work at it by salami slices after the failure, the way the Clintons got one
small healthcare expansion after another through after Hillary’s 1993 debacle.
By 1946 the US Government will have the right to assign you a job and
jail you if you won’t fulfill it. It
will have the right to close businesses deemed not in the national interest,
There will be somewhat less rationing and price fixing as Truman will react
faster to the scandals that too heavy a hand produced in OTL but it will be a
top down statist economy geared to guns and enough butter to keep civilian
Second manpower related move – the world was awash in refugees – we
would suspend the immigration laws and take whomever we can find.
The ships transporting troops and supplies overseas will return filled
with people. All the males from 16
–45 will be press-ganged but their dependents will be safe in North America
and working in the war economy.
Third manpower related move – our old Carib Empire will be shotgunned
into a NAFTA – NATO type of relationship.
Full labor mobility to the States and being inside the US tariff wall but
their militaries, police and merchant marines become part of the US forces (at
US wages paid in USD by the US Treasury) and subject to the US draft.
Puerto Rican status except they send ambassadors instead of delegates to
DC. This is Liberia, Cuba, DR,
Haiti, all of Central America [Guatemala will be an exception brought in
in the 50’s].
We tell the rest of South America that we are recruiting labor but with a
catch – you send two guys, one of whom we pressgang and the other of whom can
work in the States at US wages. A
second large labor and recruit source will come on line from this 42-43.
We badger the British to apply the above to the British Americas.
Ditto Dutch and Free French.
We make MUCH better use of black troops and labor.
White Native Born Americans are guaranteed Jim Crow units but may
volunteer for mixed units. The
foreigners have no such promise. We
also make extensive use of blacks in domestic war plants and overseas civilian
jobs in our north Australian protectorate, Hawaii, Alaska and new Carib Empire.
We also take female labor mobilization more seriously.
Major national efforts on flex hours, childcare at war plants, and mass
production of prefab housing without regard to local zoning or union work rules.
Manhattan Project happens on schedule BUT Goddard and the rocket
enthusiasts also get to Truman (let the sponsor be George Patton just for
giggles). Full rocket and space
program authorized. NASA started
4/15/42. Presume that we have Ultra
intercepts on von Braun’s work. Space
Race is on for recon, weather satellites (an easy sell to Harry the farm state
Senator), comsats, space stations, lunar mining, near earth asteroids, etc.
Also battle rockets and SAM’s.
With all of the above a full infrastructure and development program in
the new Empire. Latins may hate the
US imperialism but our neighbors cannot help notice major building of roads,
ports, airfields, schools, factories, etc. in our Carib protectorates.
Those that cooperate get US loans to build themselves up.
Those that don’t [Mexico forex] are left to stagnate.
With the above the 90-division gamble does not happen.
US Army will rise to 125-150 divisions without running out of rifle
replacements. There will just be a
slow rotation of Caucasian native born out of the line companies into support
units [the line companies were under 25% of the ground forces but take 95% of
the casualties] with their replacement by the world’s floating populations.
The grind to victory will actually produce 20-30% fewer dead among the
native born white population even though casualties will in toto be MUCH
With the labor and population influxes, domestic and foreign, will come
expanded state and local police and a large national police – FBI, OSS, CIA,
domestic branches of military police and intelligence, ATF, Marshal’s Service,
etc. National ID cards, a national
work registry linked to both Selective Service and Social Security.
Paranoia at its best but even paranoids have enemies.
The purge of the left will begin with Truman’s swearing in.
Klan and similar forces will wage a constant low-key guerilla against the
civil rights moves. Nativists will
fight against the influx of foreigners. Local
cops will not support national policies unless watched.
A leviathan of a corporate state will need endless policing, as so much
of economic and social life will be under government direction.
Hoover will be just one of the many police chiefs [there was no dirt on
Truman and he didn’t bluff easily]. Truman
will get nasty at turf fights, limiting Hoover’s overreach.
A young man from California, Richard Nixon, will join the expanded
bureau. Notice however that there
is no European style Ministry of the Interior or Homeland Defense and no single
Himmler or Beria. We will repress
dissent, spy on everyone, etc. This
is the left’s fantasy and here we shall make it real.
However, respressing the left will be minor. It simply wasn’t that hard
to arrest them all if we had the will to do it. Keeping a statist economy
running while absorbing major influxes of foreign refugees and making changes in
race relations will be the major causes for an instrusive policy state as
opposed to a permanent black list against leftists and those opposed to the war
policies [which we do but are fairly easy].
As we will not have a late 1944 infantry replacement crisis, the young
men in the A 12 and V 12 programs will be allowed to continue their educations.
We will graduate more scientific and professional people, all of whom
will have heavy national service obligations.
We also will be funding basic as well as applied science in a MAJOR way
all through the war.
We will not put limits on female war participation other than no
conscription and no direct combat duty.
Ever the practical politician, Truman will find a precedent in Lloyd
George’s ‘ticket’ system – cooperative non-Democratic office holders
will be given a pass and allowed to run as Unity candidates on both party lines
– regulation of party system taken over on a national basis to insure this.
Catch is that an equal number of Democrats get a Unity pass and Truman
gets to pick whom. Beginnings of
the merger of the realist wing of the Republicans into the Democratic Party.
The War in
Battle of the Atlantic won by late 1942.
German submarine force destroyed by combination of ASW craft, US ship
building, baby carriers, stripping of strategic bombing units for use as ASW
over North Atlantic Gap and Bay of Biscay transit zones.
Also Truman shamelessly bullies Eire for old British naval bases on Irish
west coast for US (not British) use. Dev
caves in to Irish American financial squeeze and promise of massive American aid
– Irish to be allowed labor entry to the US without the 50% to the military.
US to build up Eire as it is Central America.
Irish conscripts exempt from service outside of Eire.
Our Empire has a new member. get
in on the boom.
FDR, Hull and Wells
shamelessly manipulated Lend Lease financial accounts to insure Britain would be
on a very short leash in the postwar. Truman
could care less about postwar British economic liberalization or colonial
policy. We are hard ass on things
that matter (bases and populations in the Western Hemisphere and Pacific,
British failure to honor promises on Normandy, British obsession with strategic
bombing at the expense of any valid ground operations).
So an economically stronger UK emerges but one more firmly subordinated
to the US strategically.
US forces Brits and Free Belgians to agree to a three way codominium over
Belgian Congo, officially to insure pitchblende supplies – practically because
this provides a handy place to give good government and corporate jobs to
educated blacks – think of it as civil rights politics Truman style –over
the course of the war this concept will be expanded to the Mid East oilfields
and the Portuguese Empire – an emerging economic and political block is
forming here that lives on development contracts and will vote imperialist
within the Unity Block
The winter crisis in Russia happens as scheduled including Hitler’s
famous no retreat order. It is
honored in the breach. OKH takes
the heat – Halder demoted earlier than in OTL (given 6th Army to
replace Reichnau). OKH put under
OKW. Rundstedt made general in
chief (Hitler takes direct command formally as in OTL but Rundstedt is given a
de facto title of top soldier, although no command authority).
Paulus made head of OKH under Jodl at OKW.
Kluge bumped up to C in C East. Guderian
gets AG Center, Kleist gets South and Rommel North.
Winter retreats, losses of men and equipment bring a further round of
command replacement. Kleist gets
c-in-c East. Manstein gets South,
Rommel Center and Model North. Front
stabilizes on roughly historic lines [but without the Russian bulges and pockets
in German rear] but greater Russian casualties, many fewer partisans.
Bulk of 1941 partisans escape back across the lines in the chaos.
The extra air fleet has made a major difference.
Summer of 1942 sees no operation Blue.
Germans clear up mess in Center and North, take Donbas, Kuban, Crimea,
Sevastopol, and advance slowly on Moscow chewing through the Russian reserves.
Moscow will be saved when the Germans go into winter quarters and stop
attacking after Torch, see below.
TORCH goes a bit differently. Patton
lands in Algiers instead of Morocco. Early
push is enough to convince Germany that they only want to hold Tunisia long
enough to cover Hoth’s withdrawal from Libya.
Last Axis forces lifted from Tunis and Bizerte under heavy air cover from
Sicily February of 1943.
Germans are not such political virgins in this TL.
In the aftermath of TORCH, sufficient SS sent to Italy to allow a fascist
hard line purge (the Salo Republic boys). Mussolini
kept as figurehead, but the hard
boys and bitters enders are running things, firmly subordinated to Germany.
Italy will stay in this war to the bitter end.
House of Savoy and 100K royalist and Papist officials and key cadre sent
to labor camps in the east. Military
unrest in Italian forces put down by Fascist militia.
Same system applied to Hungary (Arrow Cross) and Rumania (Iron Guard).
Another 200K zeks for Goring’s slave labor factories.
The minor allies will stay in the war to the bitter end.
Their armies in the East have not been destroyed as in OTL.
They have better equipment and small German units as corset stays (what
the Germans did in WW1 with their allies only to see Hitler ignore this
experience in WW2)
Goring takes over the Jewish question from Himmler after Wanasee and the
bungle that was the Einsatzgruppen. Jewish
question to be ‘solved’ by labor camps for the benefit of the war economy.
More will die this way as the war will be longer but it will be retail
death, not industrial. Start of the
GG as the German gulag.
No Russian Alliance. Truman
still sends them Lend Lease but no attempt to portray them as our friends.
Russian barbs on the second Front countered with American barbs that in a
bidding contest they can offer Hitler more of Ukraine and the Caucasus than
Stalin will. In the first of many
people trades, imprisoned Reds from US and Carib swapped for Polish POW’s.
Anders Army out and policy of zek swaps established.
Brits still fuck Overlord for 1943.
However, greater American war effort, less of a 1943 Pacific War, earlier
end of North African campaign means 1943 will see campaigns that take Sardinia,
Corsica, and Province but less of Southern Italy.
Sicilian campaign a bloody stalemate till Hoth and Messe leveraged out by
Allied landings behind them in Calabria and Appulia.
By end of year Allies are barely north of Naples and Foggia.
Success of TORCH is also the lever to force Portugal to grant bases to
US, UK, Brazil in Azores, empire, Cape Verdes and Portugal.
These air / sea bases finish off the remnant submarine threat.
Patton’s Provence campaign is brilliant.
Takes front up to the midRhone Valley (Lyons) and out into the Alps,
Massif Central and Pyrenees. Combined
French and US Ranger and Commando units gets docks at Toulon and Marseilles
intact but fail to do the same at Nice and Sete.
Winter crisis of 42-43 sees Germans driven back 50-100 klicks before
Moscow while giving Stalin massive casualties.
Russian army bleeding out badly and no Stalingrad to raise morale.
As the Axis Allied armies are not left to be destroyed the way they were
at Stalingrad, Germany has enough armies for sensible unit frontages and decent
theater reserves. Also the added
arms production and better use of captured Russian war stocks clearly being felt
here. The Allied armies have some
real armor, real AT units, plentiful captured Russian 76mm dual purpose guns on
SP mounts and enough small German subunits to preserve cohesion.
US does not join the British in strategic air attacks against Germany.
Instead we bleed out the German air force in attritional air battles in
the Med, Italy and France. Our
independent Air Force guys are kept in check by an Army orientated President who
wants direct support for his troops. We
still have massive numbers of B-17’s and B-24’s but they attack railroad
marshalling yards, supply depots, etc., all with VERY heavy fighter escorts.
No unescorted death rides into Central Europe.
No Axis offensive in 1943. Axis
forces driven back to line Vokolov – Vladi – Bryansk – Vyazma – Kursk
– Kharkov – Belogrod – Mius by year end.
Russian numbers and equipment quality are slowly beating down a German
army starved for reinforcements by fronts in France and Italy.
However, the Allied (Italian, Hungarian, Rumanian) armies are given
enough German corset stays plus SS and local fascist police in the rear so they
don’t run or dissolve. They also
fight only from entrenched positions with adequate artillery, AT and air
support. In OTL Germany never had
enough divisions to make a coherent front post Kursk.
Here there is always an entrenched front with reserves and a fortified
area to the rear.
The hard war boys (Goring, Gobells, Speer) get Hitler to adopt the
propaganda and political line of 43-44 in the autumn of 1942.
Pan European anti-Bloshie crusade. Much
greater use of conquered resources and some political alliance instead of total
subordination. The 1945 foreign
divisions arrive in 1943. Labor and
military draft across occupied Europe.
The Pope is a prisoner in St Peter’s.
He supposedly dies in an Allied air raid late 1943 (actually captured
allied heavies used as false flag by Lw). Rump
conclave in Rome elects Stepanack (the Croatian exterminationist who is now
being made into a saint). Boycotted
by the rest of the world, a rival conclave in Rio elects Cardinal Roncalli –
OTL’s John XXIII who at that time was Papal legate in Istanbul.
Second Babylonian Captivity of the Church.
Pope sets himself up in Rio, wholesale elevation of Latin American, North
American and African bishops.
Russian front 1944 – more blood baths to advance to line Odessa –
Uman – Smolensk – Vitebsk – Riga. Finland
switches sides on schedule but given better terms.
Normandy in May of 44. Rommel
is still in the East but some Atlantic Wall improvements made anyway.
No Montgomery to ruin the British. The
hero of North Africa is Auchinlek. But
no stand and die orders. Orderly
series of withdrawals so year ends on front Somme – Aisne – Belfort.
Italian front goes nowhere. Both
sides content to remain on the defensive here.
Allied landings clear Crete, Aegean, Ionian Islands, Greece to Athens.
Aerial destruction of Western Germany, occupied Western Europe, rump of
Italy, Balkans MUCH worse. We make
shorter raids with VERY heavy fighter cover.
Also far more of France is being fought over and for longer.
German wonder weapons do not win war here either but it gets still more
money for NASA. First nav sat 1945,
followed by endless recon, com, other.
1945 takes Allies across the Rhine, up the Balkans to Nish and Savajero.
Continually shrinking British Army is a major holdup [British Army was
breaking up roughly one division a month from mid-1943 onwards to keep the
others at strength]. Red Greek,
Albanian, Yugoslav partisans swapped to Soviets for still more zeks of various
kinds – Balts, Poles, Ukrainian nationalists, Rumanians, minority
nationalities, etc. Bulgarian King shot by SS while trying to bring his country
over to Allies. Turks join Allies
and ravage Bulgaria. Russians take
bulk of Rumania but held from Transylvania and burning remains of Polesti oil
fields. Front now on line of
Carpathians – Vistula – East Prussian border forts.
Massive starvation in Axis Europe. Allied
POW’s survive on Red Cross parcels, with half or better stolen by the guards.
The GG’s labor force is literally worked to death, scattered rising
easily suppressed. Situation in
Axis occupied Yugoslavia and Italy is the worst.
Air attack destroys anything that moves.
First nukes used August 1945 – Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Penemunde.
They are seen as terror weapons as they do not end the war or even kill
as many as the by now round the clock fire raids on any surviving city.
Americans have by now joined the British in city busting.
Every Axis occupied city suffers OTL’s Dresden’s fate.
The first half of 1946 sees Americans with ever decreasing British
support slug their way to the Elbe and beyond.
They take Prague, Vienna and Zagreb, meeting the Russians in Serbia and
on the Austrian side of the border with Hungary. Italy pinched off, surrenders
along with rump Norway after fall of Berlin. Berlin is OTL’s siege of Budapest
on a scale FAR beyond OTL. Major
Nazi remnants – SS, Party, Euro fascists, elite armored units make fighting
retreat across Poland and go down in a Valhalla run over the multiply nuked
ruins of Berlin. Hitler dies at the
front as the infantryman he once was. Goring
leads a breakout to the American lines. Dies
with his face towards the enemy commanding the final rear guard.
Himmler flees to Spain. Borman
and Muller go over to their Russian paymasters, retire to their Dacha’s in
Moscow. Russia’s casualties are
50% higher than OTL, devastation even greater.
Cold War on full force from the two separate VE Days (May 10th,1946
in East, May 8th in West). There
is no final German surrender. They
just cease to exist. We will keep
buying out Norse, Finns, Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians, etc. in trades with the
Soviets for Western, Latin, 3rd world Reds and Lend Lease but
everybody keeps what they grabbed. Finland
is given ultimatum and occupied by Red Army as the Finnish army covers a
shrinking perimeter behind which everyone who can flees to Sweden.
Swedes join the Western Alliance. Russians
take Norway to below Narvik, pinch off Swedish Lapland – no ultimatum, they
just do it. They directly annex to
the USSR their zone in Iran and everything they’ve occupied in Europe.
Marshall Plan basically starts with US liberation of each area but
rebuilding is as links to US and UK economies.
First Potsdam conference July, 1946, is a mutual hate session.
Cements Cold War. Establishes
the Cold Truce. There are two
imperiums in the world – Anglo-Saxon and Soviet with a true Iron Curtain
between. Comintern reestablished.
German space and rocket programs scoffed up by joint SAS and OSS raid at
The Pacific War
– 1943 to end
Essentially 1943 is spent building the Essex class carriers, our bases in
Greater Australia, reinforcing the Hawaii – Wake – Midway complex and some
very bloody minor actions in New Guinea and Papua.
Both fleets avoid major action. Our
subs start to choke Japan but the torpedo problem isn’t solved until late in
the year. No Tarawa.
We start to roll in 1944 but the Japanese have a bigger fleet and air
force and much higher pilot quality as the South Pacific
and Midway attrition didn’t happen.
We take the Marianas but the Battle of the Philippine Sea is an
attritional bloodbath, not the Marianas Turkey shoot of OTL. We clear enough of
Papua to blockade Rabal and force the Japanese fleet back from Truk.
Japanese fleet and air withdraw to Asia.
The Army garrisons are trapped and left to starve.
In this TL there is no attempt by the British to get Burma back.
Britain has enough to do in Europe.
The coalition has already made the decision to abandon India after the
war and doesn’t buy Churchill’s argument of Imperial prestige.
The Burmese – Indian border will remain quiet until war’s end.
There is no major USAF in China. We
clearly see China as hopeless. We
airlift enough supplies and dollars to keep Chiang in the war and fly back
Chinese soldiers that we arm and train in India.
They skirmish with the Japanese to gain battle experience on the Burma
– India border but essentially just replace Empire troops for the Balkan
campaign. However, Chiang will have
combat ready American armed and trained divisions for the postwar period.
1945 sees us finish the isolation of the Japanese garrisons in New
Guinea, the Solomons, the Mandated Territories.
Anzus forces retake bases in Timor and Mindanao but fierce Japanese
resistance and kamikazes limit further advances.
The great German sub breakout sends the remaining U Boat fleet, complete
with sub tankers from Europe to the East Indies.
We take Okinawa, Iwo, Tshuima, Pusan and begin the blockade of the Home
Islands. B29’s and fire raids,
massive air dropping of mines. Hirohito
dies in great Tokyo fire raid. Military
shogunate rules Japan.
We proceed more slowly in this TL than OTL in part because there is
simply no way politically we will be able to redeploy the European armies to the
Pacific. The citizen component will
have to be demobilized. Fifth and
later nukes used to finish off the Japanese Fleet.
Shanghai, Yowata, Kure, Burunei, Singapore, Cam Rahn, Yokahama all nuked
45-46. Japanese fleet and merchant
marine cease to exist above the coastal craft level.
Japanese partially evacuate civil population from Home Islands by light
craft over the Sea of Japan. Millions
die in transit, tens of millions starve to death in Japan 45-46.
The Japanese become an armed diaspora in Asia.
We spend 1946 clearing the Philippines and retaking the East Indian oil
fields. Japanese basically drive
Chiang back into Szechwan, occupy much of rest of China.
Mao’s forces savaged. Civilian
population of the Japanese Home Islands are gone or dead, but the garrison holds
on, awaiting an invasion we do not want to make.
Truman has read the projected losses and feels the invasion will be
Pacific War ends with Japanese on mainland surrendering to the Soviets
[Stalin has offered them a deal as a subordinate client state and they take it].
Russians begin to move 12/25/46. Soviets
occupy Manchuria, most of China, most of Korea.
US threatens to nuke Moscow, second Potsdam conference, 3/8/47, gives
Chiang’s forces behind the new Soviet-Maoist-Japanese lines safe passage to a
large chunk of South China – Kwangtung through Fukien and out to Szechwan –
Japanese Home Islands given to US along with Kuriles and Sakhalin.
Japanese and allied forces evacuate Southeast Asia, remaining Pacific
strongholds, East Indies, Japan. Take
most local reds and nationalists [collaborators] with them.
US keeps an enclave in Korea around Pusan.
US occupies Taiwan with Han portion of population either following their
Japanese masters or being given to Chiang in Canton.
It takes till the middle of 1948 to complete the population movements.
Everybody cheats. Massacres,
repressions, roundups of suspected stay behinds, sleepers sent through with
transfers. The alliance structure
is off and running. US unilaterally announces that it owns space and will fire
on the heat signature of any rocket it sees.
Reserves the right to do the same to nuclear installations.
Party structure becomes Unity as mainstream Democrats plus moderate
Republicans. They run a joint
Truman – Dewey ticket in 1944 and 1948. In
1952 it is Eisenhower and LBJ. To
their left Eleanor and Wallace run a Progressive Party with whatever leftists
are out of the internment camps in the Mohave and the more liberal New Dealers.
To their right, the Republicans under Taft combine the nonDixie nativists,
the Babbits and everyone scared of or mad at the new Federal Leviathan.
The States Rights Democrats are the Dixie supremacist party with enclaves
elsewhere. They are populist
By 44-45 the domestic security internment camps [habeus corpus is
permanently suspended after Pearl Harbor] are producing grunts for penal rifle
companies as prisoners take the offer of ten years with the colors for
restoration of citizenship rights. Hoover
didn’t fit into the new police environment.
He died in a traffic accident in 1943 on the way home from the race track
with his ‘friend’ Tyson (it was an OSS hit with a team of deniables with
fatal diseases who traded their lives for good pensions for their survivors).
The population of the US increases by 50% during the war years.
Citizenship status, work permits, etc. are shamelessly manipulated for
political purposes. So are
government contracts, draft status, labor conscription, etc.
It is NOT an authoritarian police state.
There is a permitted spectrum of discourse.
War policy can be criticized. The
war itself cannot be. The
underlings can be criticized savagely. Truman,
Dewey and Marshal can only be in error.
The standard of living for civilians grows during the war but a bit more
slowly than in OTL. There is no
falloff in war production after the 43-44 peak.
Part of this is a longer war. Mostly
it is a fundamental restructuring of the economy.
We are the engine for a force draft modernization of the friendly areas
of the planet Earth and the solar system. In
OTL the postwar Depression was fought with consumer spending.
In this TL planned obsolesce does not happen.
Tail fins on cars do not happen. Space
shuttles and airports in the Empire happen.
It is capitalism but of a very governmental sort.
Think postWW2 France or Italy in OTL.
There are real enemies in our society.
They are savagely repressed. So
are those with powerful enemies plus the normal type of cranks that complain.
Remember that anyone can be drafted, have his business closed or
requisitioned, drafted to take a job, or just disappear on ‘security
charges’ or no charges at all. It
is not Beria’s Russia but is more severe than Pinochett’s Chile.
Kennedy and Nixon typify a new generation of amoral apparatchiks who will
be our new nomenklatura.
Race relations are a mixture of legal civil rights outside the south and
government affirmative action but without any of the enforced integration of OTL
or any real attempt to crack Jim Crow in Dixie.
Virginia and Tennessee will become de facto border states in the 50’s.
Florida and Texas will in the 60’s.
The core of the old South stays locked in the same old same old.
It never modernizes as in OTL. This
Dixie solves its race problem by exporting its blacks and mechanizing its
The Unity people at the top have no intention of ever demobilizing.
Their whole political – economic system is built on maintaining a
permanent war economy and the controls that go with it.
The top people really do not especially want to wipe out the end of war
Stalin – Mao – Japanese Junta enemy. They
want containment but containment with a vengeance.
What we have we keep, except for India – Burma, which the British give
up and we really do not want. We’ll
take the Anglo Indians and whatever of the educated classes want to move to the
new American protectorate of ex-Japan. We
have no real use for South Asia.
Beria succeeded Stalin after his death in 1953.
He was followed in 1964 by Andopov who was followed in 1983 by Putin.
The Cheka rules Russia. Mao
died of an allergic reaction to a state dinner in Moscow in 1948 (poisoned on
orders of Beria). Lin Piao ran the
show followed by Deng. The Japanese
Junta still runs Manchuria, Inner Mongolia rump Korea and China north of the
Great Wall – their Chinese clients moved there in the transfers as did their
others from Bose to Sukarno. The
industrial progress of rump Japan has amazed the world [essentially Japan Inc.
is a Soviet client while we have the island of Japan which we have repopulated
and Americanized while they made Japanese out of their mixed Asian clients and
the children of their comfort women].
The three are less than integrated as one nation but not fully
independent. It’s complicated.
The UK did not go bankrupt as in OTL.
They formed their own Stirling block within the American Empire.
UK, France, rump Norway, rump Sweden, the Benelux, the French and British
Empires less the condominium zones, Switzerland, Iberia, Greece.
They have won their savage wars of peace. Their empires are being
developed but will never be decolonized. Palestine (there is no Israel – the
US took the few survivors who made it West, the rest are in the Block), Egypt,
Aden, Kenya, Malaya are all still in the Empire.
The White Dominions aren’t except in a nostalgic sense. They have moved
to the dollar block. Britain is the permissible other influence allowed in South
America. Algeria is still French as
is Indochina – Ho and Giap died in a French paracommando raid in 1956 on one
of their mountain camps. The
standard of living in the Sterling Block is less than half that of the US.
There is only very limited trade with the US but the big US
multinationals all operate in the Sterling Block and some of the big Sterling
ones operate in our zone. Currencies
are not easily transferable. There
is a constant population transfer – the bright, well educated and ambitious
move to the US Empire – the sensitive and progressives go the other way.
There is careful police monitoring on all travel, all economic
The US started limited demobilization of native born combat veterans in
late 1944 when the war was clearly won. Partially
it offered some hope besides wounds and death for the combat troops.
Partially it was a political plum to be manipulated by Unity.
As the US overran more territory there were more mobilizable DP’s and
thus more people could be released. But
always subject to recall – another social control.
As in Israel anyone up to 50 can be recalled for ‘the good of the
service’. Basically in all
countries everybody serves multiple years of military service.
Education postpones service but adds years.
There are still swaps of people desiring to move offering to do each
The Nazi Pope died in Spain in 1972.
The Russians created their own in 1947 in Warsaw.
The Papacy took possession of the charred ruins of St Peter’s at
war’s end but the new Papal Enclave in Rio has been HQ ever since.
Tech level is as current except nuclear power is widespread.
There is a full SPS system. Most
major manufacturing is off earth by now. We
exploit the whole near earth area, Luna, the Martian moons and the Belt.
We have experimental stations out to Pluto and on the Martian surface.
Block residents cannot go to space (there are rumors of black [secret and
we will destroy if we ever found] colonies based on undetected launches but…).
The Sterling Block has some space facilities but no launch facilities.
Fusion has past break even but is not yet in use.
We have laser launch and nuke powered craft for quick transit within the
solar system. We have big rocks we
can drop if we are really pissed. We
are not nice guys.
Unity is the American equivalent of the old Mexican PRI.
It can lose individual elections but never for President, never the
Governor of a major state, and never any house of any legislature.
There is some fraud but mostly its just dirty politics – they control
the media, the economy, the police and the government.
The other three parties exist as safety valves.
The different police agencies have their own factions in the party –
Nixon’s boys rush the Bureau, the Kennedy Mafia runs the OSS and a New England
– Texas clan, the Bushes, runs CIA, having inherited it and its CI mandate
from the legendary Angleton. The
police spend as much time watching each other as watching the enemies.
However there are real enemies. Assassinations
and sabotage take place. Foreign
nationalists (Cubans wanting revenge from the multiple suppressions, Argentines
still wanting revenge from the Plata war of 1948, etc. ), greens, reds (domestic
and foreign), white supremacists, old America liberty types (the Andrew Jackson
US GDP is 50% higher per capita than OTL but the standard of consumer
spending is 1960’s – think Japan where the growth is used to fuel capital
spending, government, research, infrastructure, and (in our case) a major
national security state. Basics
cost the same or less (education, medical, manufactured housing).
Consumer goods cost more. There
are many fewer malls, discounts are once a year after Christmas.
This is all governmental manipulation.
Maintaining a clean police / security record almost from birth is the key
to a decent life. The watchers can
watch anyone but mostly focus on those who give them a reason.
Everyone is well housed,
well fed (well not everyone but you have to work at falling through the cracks
– the welfare state component is much bigger – single payer health insurance
for basic care, guaranteed government job for citizens with a clean record,
basic ration foods you can get for existing again with a clean record and a
willingness to do workfare, a minimum wage you can actually live on).
As the population is double our current one that gives us a GDP in
current terms of 30 trillion instead of 10.
However, we do not have a society of winners and losers like today.
The gap between the janitor’s salary and the office manager’s is more
like Japan in 1970 than the US in the 21st
Latin America got the message after the Plata War of 1948.
Peron got uppity about sovereignty. The US, Brazil and Chile took out
Argentina in two months, shipped half the population off to Euro colonies in
Africa over the next year and brought in ten million ‘others’ to maintain a
viable and subservient colony. Patagonia,
the Andes and Tierra Del Fuego went to Chile in codo with the US.
Brazil got the rest on the same terms.
The rest of Latin America seethed but learned.
Those that cooperate get trade and development privileges – those that
don’t can trade with the British. Really
piss us off – Guatemala in 1954, Cuba the next year and we send the Marines.
After the Marines land we kill who we wish, trade whomever Moscow wants
for another round of Poles and ship the balance to the bleeding heart Euros.
We don’t care if we are loved as long as we are feared.
The Brits trade with the Block. We
monitor it and put quiet limits on it. We
don’t. The Brits and other Euros
have a national security state but not to our degree.
Think a comparison between Scotland Yard and McCarthyism in the 50’s.
We feel free compared to the Block and rich compared to the Euros.
have an evil fascist USA repressing much of the planet.
We have a somewhat less evil Sterling Block and a Stalinist Empire of
Eurasia. My basic view is that had
the left gotten the America they kept describing and predicting this is about
what would have happened. We were
over 40% of the planet’s industrial strength in 1940.
Fortunately for mankind we were neither fascists nor imperialists.
The rest of the world bores us too much to want to really own and
dominate it. The American attitude
is best summed up by Will Smith’s character in ID4.
He his beating the alien senseless after outcheating it in a dogfight.
What patriotic words is he screaming?
“You ruined my weekend. I
could have been at a barbeque!!!” Our
national totem should be the grizzly bear.
If left alone, we are quite capable of ignoring the rest of the planet
most of the time. When annoyed we
can reach as far as Afghanistan to make our annoyance felt.