A Tale of Two Assassinations
By Michael W Moore
(An Author’s note follows to clarify some points and premises made in Part 1)
My main interest in writing this AH was in
exploring the possibility of the
The pre-war conditions described in the ATL were factual.
America was in dire straits in the 1930s.
I think Roosevelt’s assassination in 1933 pushes
it over the edge. VP, now
Huey Long was ‘as advertised’ and
the only realistic candidate for dictator I
Long was a most charismatic populist politician with a huge appetite and he was regarded by many as the best public speaker of his day.
He had set up virtual dictatorship in Louisiana and
I don’t see why he wouldn’t attempt to do the same thing nationally if he
had gotten the chance.
I think so, like most unpalatable happenings, it
If you throw a frog into a boiling pot of water he jumps out.
If you put him in a pot of water and gradually turn up the heat, he thinks its a Jacuzzi, and becomes dinner.
Timing is everything, lets say the first
deal is proffered in mid August, i.e. the
I think it’s important to note how conditioned we
are to looking at the USA as we
Long would have informed Churchill of the ‘Long
Doctrine’ and the planned
To Britain the first step, to sell off her strategically insignificant and relatively economically unimportant Caribbean possessions, at this time might seem like a good trade off to get some much needed help and keep the USA at least relatively friendly.
What kind of help? Say for starters, 100-mothballed WWI USN destroyers complete with ‘temporary training crews’ and 200 U S Army Air Corps fighters with 200 ‘volunteer’ pilots delivered in four weeks. Along with this aid comes a large credit line to purchase USA goods of all kinds.
Anyway I’m sure it could have been worked in a politically correct style. For instance all property rights of existing British citizens of these colonies would be guaranteed and no barriers in the future to any Commonwealth companies or citizens.
The actual sale of the colonies would be kept
secrete from the British public, who would only be told that the USA was taking
over the defense of these colonies.
It is important to consider that many of these colonies were actually a drain on the British treasury and those costs would not be missed.
Also with each colony sold Commonwealth defence lines are shortened and personnel freed up.
The next sale happens in April of 1941 as Rommel is chasing the British out of Libya. The Falklands and Bermuda quietly change hands for a $25M credit line and as 250 US tanks are delivered to North Africa.
The Japanese occupation of French Indochina in Sept. of 1940 had upset the equilibrium of all of Southeast Asia.
May 1941 Britain openly sells Malaysia to the USA (sans Singapore).
Britain sells openly this time to hopefully forestall Japanese aggression in the area. This sale, from Britain’s point of view, potentially brings the USA into a confrontational position with Japan and naturally creates an American defensive barrier for Australia. It also frees up many British assets that can be used elsewhere, such as Singapore, Burma, and the Mid-East.
As a condition of this sale a secret defence treaty is signed by the USA, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. The treaty is strictly defensive in nature and only for the Pacific area in the advent of any Japanese aggression against any member nation.
In return for a generous credit line to purchase USA armaments, Australia and New Zealand sign a sweeping trade agreement with the USA that essentially eliminates trade barriers between the nations. Long intends to get these allies deeply in debt to the USA in the next few years.
The American acquisition of many of Britain’s African colonies comes during the height of the Barbarossa campaign. It effectively gets the USA into the war on Britain’s side, a pretty good trade off?
This all I think is possible. In this time line I don’t think Britain is craven or imprudent in selling off its colonies, but rather stuck between that proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’.
The taking of European colonies was not something that Huey Long had originally contemplated.
As each opportunity presented itself he simply took advantage of it, as he had his whole career.
A complete megalomaniac he sees the aggrandizement of the USA as an extension of his own person.
He has no preference for Britain’s side in this war.
In fact he has observed and approved of much of what Hitler has accomplished in Germany and much of America’s post depression recovery was patterned on the German model.
He gradually sides with Britain because they have something he decides he wants, namely treasure and empire.
So… it’s Dec. 6th 1941. Lets look around and see what’s different about this TL.
First with Long’s use of the Panay incident to
‘rouse the rabble’ the USA military buildup, particularly naval and air
power, is greatly accelerated compared to OTL
ATL US Navy- The fleet has 4 more carriers than in OTL, though 2 are still undergoing sea trials.
4 more battleships are a building and will be ready by the end of ‘42 along with the first Essex class carriers.
It has a whopping 250 additional destroyers and
Over 300 additional submarines are available along with some 500+ P.T. and gunboats.
3 additional Marine divisions have been constituted.
Close to 15,000 more planes have been produced by the end of 1941 in this ATL. The Navy’s Hellcat fighter entered service in mid 1941.
The first Corsair fighter/bombers will roll off the
line Jan. ‘42, with full
The Philippines are better defended in general.
The USA has many new bases scattered throughout the American East Indies.
President Long has ordered the creation of a massive naval/air station at Dakar, one that will be big enough to dominate the Mid & South Atlantic from.
All major facilities are covered with increasingly effective radar systems.
Much of the extent of this build up has been
concealed from the rest of the world.
Army observers in France in 1940, N. Africa, and Russia have reported on the success of the panzer divisions and the blitz style of warfare.
Taking special note of the T-34 a decision was made to up-gun the Sherman to a 76mm gun.
Work on heavier tank designs is accelerated.
President Long’s interest the German success in
armored warfare is strong.
Code breaking has been given a high priority.
In the realm of politics a very popular President Long has been gathering and concentrating power at a steady pace.
All intelligence gathering services and federal police force are now under Long’s control.
The lone holdout had been Hoover’s FBI. But when information was uncovered that Hoover really did dress in dresses on occasion and preferred boys to girls, his independent career was over. He was first black mailed into becoming just another one of ‘Huey’s boys’ and soon he retired from public life.
The FBI was given the mandate of seeing over all elections in the country, at all levels of government. This allowed Long much power in manipulating those elections.
In this ATL America becomes the “guiding light”
of the eugenics movement, that odd combination of Darwinism mixed with
pseudo-science and prejudice
Christians, people like Billy Sunday and William
Jennings Bryan, who led the opposition to eugenics in the United States OTL, are
stifled in Long’s America. By 1941 much of the press and radio was controlled
by supporters of President Long.
By 1941 Anti Semitism is growing and becoming more
open in the USA, and Jim Crow laws are starting to spread from the South to the
rest of the country.
On Dec. 7th 1941 the bombs start
End Part 2