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Peace Without Honour

In 1941, the Japanese decided to throw their lot in with Nazi Germany and attacked the western powers.  It was, as Scott pointed out, an idiotic decision.  The Japanese could not hope to conquer the USA, or even the UK, and without that possibility their eventually defeat was certain Ė unless the US decided to give up the struggle at some point.  This timeline may be the only possible way that Japan can win WW2.  As to wither or not it counts as ASB, Iíll leave that up to you to decide. 

Letís have Japan win at Midway, and by Ďwiní I mean the near-complete destruction of the pacific fleet, including all the carriers.  Thatís the first POD.  The second POD, which may or may not follow on from the first, is FDRís death of a heart attack just after news of the disaster comes in.  Henry Wallace becomes president of America. 

Wallace was pro-USSR.  He would have been more receptive to the desperate soviet demands for more lend-lease and a second front, even at the expense of the pacific.  If Japan had offered to negotiate, or even the US launched the idea, he might well have been receptive.  Letís assume he is receptive, ignores Churchillís pleas and agrees to a peace conference. 

The US-Japan peace treaty is signed a month after Midway.  The US accepts Japanese control over their conquests (Burma, Malaya, Indochina, Dutch East Indies and the parts of New Gununi they hold).  Japan withdraws from the Philippines, Midway and gives certain guarantees for American trade and Chinese rights.  The US reoccupies the Philippines, but the treaty states they have to remain demilitarised.  Japan formally apologises for Pearl Harbour. 

Britain receives a Japanese guarantee of no further inroads into India and the remainder of the Far East Empire, including Australia and New Zealand.  The British are far more uneasy about the peace deal and accurse the Americans of a sell-out.  The alliance is fractured, so the British will be more up-front about looking after themselves first and placing American objectives second.  The Free French get a boost in the form of the repatriated IndoChinese garrison. 

The Pacific War is over.  The US moves its remaining ships to the Atlantic and continues preparation for an invasion of France.  The UK refuses to commit more than a division to any Ďoverlordí plan and demands that the desert war ends first.  Rommel is defeated in late 1942, allowing the Americans to launch Ďoverlordí in mid-1943. 

Itíll probably fail.  American troops would be untrained and inexperienced.  The British would probably refuse to commit troops to France with Japan eyeing the weakened British India and considering overrunning it.  Once the Germans have mopped up the American forces, they can knock Stalin back again.

My presumption is that this leads to a crisis in American politics.  Not being an expert, I wonít say who might win, but I suspect that Truman might come out ahead.  Programs to help the USSR for nothing will be suspended.  America will use Britain as a base, but not have any extra alliance beyond that.  America will also build up its navy fast and face Japan.  However, the war is still very much in the balance

Cue LizardsÖ


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