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A Tale of Two Assassinations

(The Creation of An American Dictator)

Part 2

By Michael W Moore

(Part 1)

(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
creation of an American dictator.

I felt that much like in Germany, the best and the most likely period of time for
this to occur, would have been between the wars.

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
President Garner was a good man and good politician but in no way could he have rallied the country in this terrible time.

Huey Long was ‘as advertised’ and the only realistic candidate for dictator I
could find and I do think he would have reacted much differently from Roosevelt to the events of WWII.

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.
Long was very much ‘a bigger than life’ character.

As to the question would Britain sell off her colonies in this fashion?

I think so, like most unpalatable happenings, it begins slowly.
Much like the old saw...

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
sale of Britain’s Caribbean possessions. In this ATL the fall of 1940 would have looked like a very bleak time to Britain and its Commonwealth partners. The ‘Battle of Britain’ is raging and the U-boats are sinking ships faster than they can be built. The only place outside of the Commonwealth to get any significant help would have been a much less friendly and even possibly hostile USA.

I think it’s important to note how conditioned we are to looking at the USA as we
do. In this ATL Long’s USA is a vastly different place from Roosevelt’s USA in OTL. Long is definitely no friend to Churchill or Britain.

Long would have informed Churchill of the ‘Long Doctrine’ and the planned
seizure of French and Dutch colonies in the Americas.

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.
Indeed the purchase of the British colonies would also be kept secrete from the American public, in Long’s America this would certainly be possible.

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
Virtually all training and weapon development is one to two years ahead by this time.

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 destroyer escorts.
It has16 more light and heavy cruisers than in OTL.

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
production scheduled to commence by midyear.

Pearl Harbor, the Panama Canal Zone, and Bermuda are greatly augmented naval/air stations from OTL.

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.

With Japan in mind, the U S Army and Army Air Corps hasn’t benefited as greatly as the Navy from this ATL buildup but most weapon designs are at about a year ahead of OTL.

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.
He has ordered a build up of US armored divisions and personally promoted General George Patton to a higher position in the ranks than in OTL.

In this ATL the Atom Bomb project is moving slower. President Long is bigger on the large conventional weapons projects that bring ‘pork’ and employment to Congressional districts around the country, increasing his political capital.

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
In OTL the impact of the American eugenics movement was felt far beyond the United States shores. While in prison in the 1920s, Hitler read The Passing of the Great Race by American eugenicist Madison Grant and called it “my bible”. What the Germans called ‘racial hygiene’ was based on American ideas. After the Nazis came to power, they naturally looked to the United States as a model. The Nazi sterilization law explicitly cited a similar California statute. The Nazis, who were not restrained by “mistaken” and “sentimental” beliefs in “divine law” and “the sanctity of human life,” soon surpassed their American teachers. This prompted one American eugenicist to admiringly proclaim, “The Germans are beating us at our own game!”

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.
The growing American eugenicist movement’s preferred instrument of change was forced mass sterilization of those deemed ‘unfit’. They also advocated segregation of the ‘unfit’ and even euthanasia. Specifically, they promised a world where those who are considered ‘unfit’ never are born and thus never a burden on the rest of us.

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.
By and large on Dec. 6th 1941 America is prosperous and back to work. The depression is over and the President gets much of the credit for ending it. Long is hugely popular.

On Dec. 7th 1941 the bombs start to fall.

End Part 2

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