Hitler Doesn't Declare War On The US
7th December 1941: Japanese forces attack Pearl Harbour. Owing more to luck than judgement, the carrier USS Enterprise manages to get into attack position and launch an attack against the Japanese fleet. Although the American pilots suffer heavy losses, they manage to sink a Japanese carrier along with most of its crew. The Japanese CO, already timorous about the operation, chooses to withdraw rather than hunt down the remaining American ships. It is a decision that results in his relief by Yamamoto.
8th December 1941: The US, UK and assorted minor powers declare war on Japan. Much to Churchill’s alarm, however, the Germans do not declare war on the United States. Two days later, the Japanese sink two British battleships, humiliating the Royal Navy.
11th December 1941:US forces beat off a Japanese attack on Wake Island.
In Germany, Hitler is undecided. His Admirals want to go after the US, noting that an undeclared war has already been going on in the Atlantic. On the other hand, the Japanese haven’t had an overwhelming success and Hitler – a profound racist – isn’t really confident in the abilities of the ‘little yellow men.’ The US success at Wake Island causes him to consider delaying the declaration of war – besides, as the situation in the east worsens, the Nazis have too much else to worry about.
12-18 December 1941: Japanese continue to press the offensive. Germans start falling back from Moscow. Hitler declares himself supreme commander of the German Army.
Hitler makes another peace offer to the UK. In order to concentrate against the USSR, the German Navy will unilaterally withdraw all ships from the Atlantic (mainly u-boats) and stop attempting to starve out the British. The u-boats will be redeployed to the Med and the convoy routes to Russia. This comes on the heels of an Italian success with human torpedoes, which sink two British battleships.
In the meantime, the Germans make another decision. It is time for the holocaust to begin.
20th December 1941: With the Battle for Wake Island still underway, Churchill and Roosevelt meet to discuss the war. Unfortunately, with the German refusal to declare war, Roosevelt is unable to take the US into the Atlantic War. Worse, there are questions being asked about supplying the communists when the war material could be used against the Japanese. In a series of discussions, the US basically agrees to continue supplying the UK – which is also at war with Japan – but to cut down on the lend lease sent to the USSR, which has refused to declare war on Japan. The British will pull back from Singapore and start building up a new army – in theory, to wage war on Japan – in India.
January 1942: The Russians begin a concentrated advance against the Germans, who are still falling back from Moscow in disarray. The war in the desert is still seesawing back and forth, but the deployment of additional German u-boats and aircraft to the area results in increasingly heavy losses for the British. The Japanese are still advancing, but facing stronger and more determined opposition. Although Singapore falls at the end of the month, the victory is sour because the British pulled out most of the troops and redeployed them into Burma and India.
February-March 1942: The massive Russian offensive starts out well, but then begins to fall apart as the Germans launch a series of counterattacks. Hitler, now supreme commander, congratulates himself on his own wisdom in not declaring war on the US, as it allows him to forward far more forces to the east. Stalin, in public at least, is undeterred by the loss of most lend lease, but the Russians are very aware that it will reduce their own production. They need supplies of everything from trucks to radios and they’re not going to be coming from the US anytime soon.
As the Philippines fall to the Japanese, General Macarthur is killed by a Japanese air raid. Admiral Nimitz is appointed supreme commander of the Pacific War. The US plans to build up the USN and large forces in Australia and India, before crushing the Japanese like bugs.
The Japanese High Command is concerned. Although they have been successful, they have not destroyed the USN or forced the US to sue for peace. Accordingly, Admiral Yamamoto decides on a plan to draw the remains of the American fleet into battle. As the Japanese learned that their carriers were vulnerable at Pearl Harbour, they decide to be far more careful with how they use them.
April-June 1942: The war news isn’t good for Churchill. The UK gets a surprising morale boost when German paratroopers, attempting to land on Malta, are slaughtered by the British defenders, but even so, it is becoming harder and harder to send ships through the Mediterranean. Hitler keeps pressing the Spanish into recovering Gibraltar and, even through the Spanish are proving resistant, the last thing Franco wants is to be on the wrong side of the war. If Hitler wins, he isn’t going to treat the Spanish too well.
In the east, the Germans have regrouped and started their summer offensive against the Russians. Hitler has targeted Stalingrad for occupation, allowing the Germans to break through to Baku and seize the oil wells. The Russians are attempting to stop the Germans from advancing, but the Germans are still better than them at armoured combat and outfight the Russians. In theory, the Russians have endless manpower, but Stalin knows that the Red Army is actually losing its mobility. The Germans score several impressive successes that destroy entire Russian armies. The only bright spot is that the partisan war is taking a huge toll on German morale and manpower.
The US and Japanese navies fight it out over several weeks in the Corel Sea. There is no single decisive battle, although both sides are itching to fight one. Instead, there are brief encounters and several losses to submarines. US submarines have been redeployed up to sink as many Japanese ships as they can. Admiral King, CINC USN, is very keen on it and so it happens. On the surface, the Japanese are still winning; underwater, the story is very different.
In Burma, the Japanese Army mounts an offensive that is supposed to take it to the gates of India. They run into a reformed and revitalised British/Indian Army and, in a series of bloody battles, are driven back into Burma. British logistics are insufficient to take the offensive – Churchill is worried about losing one of his few armies – but honour is satisfied.
June-December 1942: Disaster strikes in the Mediterranean. Malta, under constant bombardment, is finally starved out after a disastrous attempt to resupply the Island. The Island reluctantly contacts the Italian Navy and offers to surrender. The Italians, smarting under endless German scorn, accept the surrender and occupy the island. In a gesture of respect, Mussolini allows the British officers and men to be interned in French North Africa rather than sending them to POW camps. Hitler is furious, but in the wake of the victory, reluctantly accepts his decision.
This is followed rapidly by a second disaster as Rommel breaks out of his box and streaks across the desert towards Cairo. This might not have been a total disaster, were it not for the uprising in Egypt and rioting in the British rear. The UK is forced to fall back to the Suez Canal, allowing the Germans and Italians to occupy most of Egypt. The Egyptians welcome their new overlords, convinced that the Axis merely intends to defeat the British and then leave. They’re deluded. The British position disintegrates as uprisings between Arab and Jewish factions in Palestine divert British forces, allowing the Germans to get across the canal. In delight, Hitler promotes Rommel to Field Marshal and appoints him supreme commander of the Middle Eastern region. (This is at least partly a jab at Mussolini.)
Calamity strikes as German forces enter Palestine and close in on Jerusalem. The largely-Jewish defenders of the city, suspecting their fate, prepare to fight to the death as the British Army withdraws through Saudi into Iraq. Rommel is prepared to treat them as legal combatants and allow the civilians to withdraw with the British, but he is overruled by a furious Hitler, who delegates the solution of the ‘Jewish Problem’ to the Grand Mufti and his men. The ensuring slaughter destroys the Jewish defenders – although not thousands of civilians, who unaccountably make it through the German lines and down into Iraq.
Although few are aware of it, the Japanese expansion has reached its zenith. They have occupied more than they expected to hold, but looking at the Pacific, Yamamoto knows that they have only a few months before the US becomes mightier than they could ever understand. The submarine campaign is starting to bite.
In the East, German forces finally take Stalingrad after bitter fighting and break through to Baku. The Russians don’t go easily – the oil wells are destroyed before the engineers are evacuated, making repairing them a pain – but as rebellions break out all over Central Asia, the Soviet position starts to disintegrate. The Russians find themselves forced to pull their troops out of Iran (occupied jointly with the UK in 1941), leaving a weakened UK to handle security alone.
Stalin has a problem; it’s a big one. His army is powerful, but largely immobile. It’s a sledgehammer, which is only useful when the target decides to stand still and be hit. His factories are ordered to start producing trucks instead of tanks, but that makes the Red Army weaker. He needs help from the United States, but that isn’t going to be easy. The Polish Vote in the US is very determined that Stalin should be made to pay for his treatment of Poland in 1939 before he receives any help from the US. Stalin is willing to make whatever promises are necessary, yet the Poles insist on more before any aid is sent. The Russians allow thousands of Polish refugees to slip out through Iran (before the Germans cut the links), but it isn’t enough. Matters explode when the Germans discover the mass grave of Polish officers, killed by the Russians. The Russians attempt to dismiss it as German propaganda, yet the Poles refuse to believe them, as do die-hard anticommunists in the US.
To add to Stalin’s woes, Leningrad finally surrenders towards the end of the year.
Hitler finds himself caught on the horns of a dilemma. On one hand, he has been far more successful than he dared hope. On the other, the German Army is exhausted. He decides to hold on to what he has and prepare to advance on Moscow in 1943. Speer, appointed Minister for Production, is working wonders. By 1943, the Germans will be much more powerful and dangerous.
The collapse of the British position in Africa brings Vichy France into the war as Hitler starts tightening the screws. The French find themselves trapped between two fires; if they help Hitler, they are not going to receive any consideration from the allies, but if they don’t, they will be destroyed. Vichy reluctantly sends some French troops to Russia, where there isn’t such a great chance of the troops defecting to the enemy.
Roosevelt studies the end of the year with some satisfaction. True, the US isn’t at war with Germany and isn’t likely to be anytime soon. On the other hand, the US’s war production is reaching much higher levels and the Allied armies are becoming far more powerful. India is producing a massive army, armed by the US, while even the Chinese are showing signs of being prepared to fight. And, as they are receiving effectively free lend lease, the British are getting more powerful too. Perhaps they can beat Hitler on their own…
January-May 1943: In a desperate move to prevent the Americans from building up and then crushing the Japanese, Yamamoto leads the Japanese Navy and Army in an invasion of Australia. (The Army, which wanted to invade Russia, wasn't keen on the idea and only reluctantly took part.) Unluckily for the Japanese, they underestimated both the strength of the Australian and American armies and the USN, which had received new carriers from the US. The ensuring series of battles resulted in the destruction of Yamamoto’s fleet and several Japanese divisions. The atrocities the Japanese committed when they landed on Australian soil convinced the Australians that the only good Japanese were dead Japanese, resulting in the near-complete annihilation of the Japanese.
Pushed by the US, Anglo-Indian forces advanced into Burma and down towards Singapore. The Japanese Army, stunned by the scale of the disaster down under, either tried to fall back or died in place, fighting savagely. General Slim didn’t try to be clever and used vastly superior firepower and airpower to crush any Japanese who seemed determined to resist. After the way they’d been treated during the occupation, the Burmese were more than willing to assist the British in any way possible.
This is something of a relief for Churchill, for the UK isn’t doing well elsewhere. The Germans have started to advance through Syria and into Iraq, provoking riots and rebellions against British rule. The British have started to fall back towards Basra, unable to get a pause to rebuild their armies. The Germans have been trying to talk to the Saudis to convince them to join the war, but the Saudis keep spinning between German and American representatives. The US’s oil interests in the country might, Hitler reasons, pose a call to war, so he refrains from pushing the Saudis too hard. The collapse of British power in Iraq has also brought the Turks into the war. They recover Mosel and other lost territories, but refuse to go any further.
Germany itself is changing quite rapidly. Speer has started to employ women in the factories, freeing up hundreds of thousands of men for military duties elsewhere. Hitler and the old guard of Nazis don’t approve, yet in the flush of victory they feel that they can roll back the changes later, after the war is won. The Germans are also pressing the Italians to improve their own forces, rebuilding the Italian Army with German or Russian weapons. The results are not as poor as one might think.
June-July 1943: In the east, the Germans have redeployed their armies and are now advancing on Moscow, taking on heavy resistance as they press against the city. The Red Army is still tough and has plenty of fight in it, but many senior communists know that the end may well be nigh. The Germans press onwards against stiffening resistance, determined to do the job properly this time. They deploy their allied forces to take as much of the suffering as possible, maintaining German forces for the final push. By the end of June, they have surrounded Moscow and sealed it off.
A brief probe into the city reveals that the Russians have turned Moscow into a fortress, determined to hold out as long as possible. Hitler wants to order the German Army into the meatgrinder anyway, but his Generals convince him otherwise, reminding him of what happened when the Germans went through Stalingrad. The Germans offer to accept surrender, yet no one in Moscow believes their honeyed words. The city will have to be starved out.
Stalin throws his last cards into the pot. The Russians promise the world, literally. Poland and Eastern Europe will be free to do whatever they like after the war. French Communists are encouraged to attack the Germans and divert what they can of German strength. American and British Communists are urged to demand intervention, although there is little the Western Allies can do. Churchill orders British forces in the Middle East to mount an attack on the Germans, yet it isn’t enough to divert German attention. The Russians even launch biological attacks with the remains of their biological weapons program, infecting a few hundred German soldiers. The Germans stamp on it hard and retaliate with chemical weapons.
The chemical weapons tip the balance of power in the dying city. An NKVD officer is gunned down by a civilian he is trying to bully. Fighting – and repression – spreads rapidly, with fear and hatred tearing the Russians apart. The Germans sit back and watch as the starving Russians rip through their own defences, breaking down into chaos. The chaos even starts to spread outside the city to the redoubts in the Urals. Thousands of Red Army soldiers, in scenes like they had in the First World War, just start heading home. Others, knowing that the Germans will show them no mercy, refuse to flee. No one ever found out what happened to Stalin. He just disappeared in the chaos.
The Germans enter Moscow and secure the remains of the city. They’re exhausted, but they won. Over the next few months, they will redeploy their army and start coping with the remains of the Russian government.
August-December 1943: As the Germans grow more powerful, the Japanese start to wither on the vine. American submarines, joined by UK and Australian boats, continue to slash through the Japanese shipping, slowly starving the Japanese to death. With the remains of the Japanese Navy scattered, the USN starts raiding Japanese-held islands, hunting for targets of opportunity. The massive army and USMC the Americans have created is put into action, securing vital targets and allowing others to wither and die.
Anglo-Indian forces have, despite mounting concerns about Iran, pushed down and recaptured Singapore, before starting to push up towards Thailand and French Indochina. The French (and their Japanese masters) have been having colossal problems with a fellow named Ho Cho Minh. The OSS is quite happy to supply him with everything he needs to make their lives miserable. Although Churchill has his doubts, an independent Vietnam is definitely on the cards. The French will never be allowed to recover their colony. The Thais surrender when the army reaches their border – they were never very keen on fighting – and accept token punishment.
Towards the end of the year, American bombers start hitting Japanese cities. The Japanese Government is divided. Some want to admit that the war is lost and seek terms, others intend to fight on, reminding them of the days in Japanese history when all seemed lost, before the gods intervened to save the faithful. After a quick bloodletting, the militarists are in control and Japan’s course is set. They will fight.
Roosevelt has been getting more and more annoyed with China. The US has funnelled in colossal amounts of weapons, food and other vital supplies, even to the point where they have been placing Chinese demands above American or allied demands. The results have been mixed. The Chinese have fought the Japanese in places, but broken far more often. General Stilwell knows exactly why; the Chinese Government is weak, corrupt and as much a massive blight on the country as are the Japanese. Even though the Japanese are losing elsewhere, they are still strong in China.
In Russia, Molotov finds himself the head of a reconstituted government based in the Urals. The Russian system has been largely shattered. Only hatred for the Germans kept it going under the pressures of the war. For the moment, the Germans cannot get at the new government, but they’re in control of the most important section of Russia. Over the next few years, if they cannot be stopped, they will use it to bootstrap themselves as far forward as the Urals, if not as far as the Far East. Even so, there is little that the provisional government can do to stop them. Even their manpower – largely from non-Russian groups – is unreliable.
The Germans have their own problems. They redeploy large parts of their army to cope with endless partisan attacks across Russia, using the most ruthless methods possible to crush the insurgents. Various German units have been – unofficially – experimenting with coming to local accommodations with the Russians, or even employing Russians as auxiliary units. They find that Ukrainians will be quite happy to grind the Russians into the soil and vice versa. If the Germans could give the Ukrainians a little freedom, they might be the most loyal supporters Hitler had. Nazi racial theories make it impossible, though.
Churchill is finding his position increasingly untenable. More and more of the British Establishment is coming to the conclusion that the Germans are unbeatable and the war is lost. He orders the transfer of British and Indian units from India to Iran and Iraq – with American support, the British logistics in India are much better than they were – and uses them to prevent the Germans, who are operating on a shoestring from going any further. Even so, now that the Germans have effectively crushed Russia, they can start funnelling down troops and supplies into North Iran.
Roosevelt is willing to do as much as he can, but Congress – now Republican and anti-Russian – places limits on American involvement in the Middle East. The British Army is much stronger than it was, yet the Germans are receiving their own supplies through the Mediterranean. The fighting surges forwards and backwards in Iraq without a clear winner.
January-April 1944: The US has taken and occupied a number of islands close to Japan, intending to use them as a base for invasion. With heavy American bombers flying from those islands, Japan is burning every night and losing the war. Even so, the government is still in firm control and the Emperor is a prisoner in his palace.
The Germans don’t realise it at first, but they’ve actually stumbled across a treasure trove. Deep within Moscow, untouched by the fires, are the NKVD archives. When they finally discover them, they discover – to their horror – that the British had been reading their codes all along. The hellishly-efficient Russian spy network had penetrated both Britain and America, to the point where they knew more than Roosevelt about many subjects. Worst of all, the Germans know about the atomic bomb.
Hitler is alarmed, to say the least. He had always dismissed atomic science as Jewish science and therefore worthless. Now, he finds himself facing the possibility of an Anglo-American super-weapon. He orders a crash program into developing and producing a German atomic bomb. He also orders the German intelligence service to work on reopening the links to the communist spies, in the hope that they can be taped for Germany. The Germans, already working on rockets, would be supremely powerful if they managed to mate rockets and atomic bombs.
The fighting in Iraq continues to stalemate until the Germans manage to start pushing troops down from Russia. The Iranians, who are sick and tired of British domination, revolt, forcing the British to pull back from Basra and escape. The Royal Navy evacuates what it can as the German air force starts hacking away at the remaining British positions. German logistics are poor, allowing the more experienced British commanders to give them a series of bloody noses, but they’re still advancing.
Churchill faces a vote of no-confidence in the House of Commons and loses. Technically, this should lead at once to a General Election, but the Conservatives and Labour manage to work out an agreement that postpones the election until after the war is over. Lord Halifax becomes Prime Minister pro tem. Churchill is packed off to India to serve as Viceroy.
To Roosevelt’s dismay, the new British Government reaches out to Hitler, seeking terms to end the war. Halifax isn’t a peacenik – he trusts Hitler about as far as he could throw the Houses of Parliament – but he knows that Britain is at the end of its endurance. The country is bankrupt and dependent upon American charity. The peace talks convene in Sweden and, after much arguing; finally end the war, at least for the moment.
The British recognise German primacy in Europe and their conquests. The Germans recognise the remainder of the British Empire, splitting Iran down the middle and sharing it between the two powers. The smaller powers get rewards of their own. The Turks get a chunk of Iraq, Italy gets a chunk of Africa and Vichy France gets Syria. The Spanish demand the return of Gibraltar, but the British refuse, backed up – oddly – by the Germans. Hitler doesn’t feel like doing Franco any favours. The British are also compelled to repudiate the Free French.
Despite Japanese protests, the British remain in the Pacific War.
May-July 1944: The USMC storms ashore in Japan, following a final offer to accept surrender that was rejected by the Japanese Government. The early days are savage, with Japanese forces using suicidal tactics and civilians to soak up American fire. The Marines rapidly learn to take nothing for granted and start refusing to accept surrenders, believing that most of them are faked. The US Army follows, spreading out to hold and secure the remainder of Kyūshū. Atrocities are common on both sides.
They discover that the Japanese civilians are starving to death, literally. The militarists have been diverting all of Japan’s production to fighting the war. What little food there was left was often destroyed by allied bombing raids. Many civilians, particularly away from the early landing zones, are listless and unconcerned with the war, just wanting it all to be over. The death rate is staggeringly high. Although senior officers disapprove of it, it isn’t unknown for American servicemen to make deals with Japanese women, feeding them in exchange for sex.
The general collapse spreads as the US mounts a second invasion, this time on Honshū. The Japanese fight savagely as the Americans advance on Tokyo, but listlessness and defeatism is spreading throughout the island. The Emperor is finally driven to order a surrender, only to discover that no one will listen to him. Tokyo burns as allied bombers hammer the city, before the American army advances into the slaughterhouse. The Japanese city isn’t well designed for fighting and the capital falls rapidly. Disease and deprivation stalk the ruins like…two giant stalking things. The Emperor is killed in the fighting, leaving the country without anyone who can surrender. The Americans eventually take most of Japan by killing anyone who offers resistance. Most of the Japanese civilians are dying and unable to fight, or even to cooperate.
Japanese units outside Japan have mixed reactions. Some are willing to surrender, recognising that the war is lost. Others are reluctant to surrender, including the Japanese forces in China and Korea. Urged on by the US, Chinese forces start pushing at the Japanese, but the Japanese fight savagely to remain free. China won’t be liberated for a long time, if ever.
Hitler and his country are preparing themselves for peace. Recognising that some of the social changes won’t go away, the Germans plan to keep most of their army mobilised and handling counter-insurgency duties in the occupied territories. The locals who welcomed the Italians and Germans – particularly in the Middle East – find out that they have a habit of outstaying their welcome very quickly. The Egyptians discover, to their horror, that their country has been partitioned between the two main Axis powers. Their attempt at an armed uprising against the Germans results in a quick massacre. The Germans are not interested in bringing peace and freedom.
Worse, known to the outside world, the Germans are completing the Holocaust. 99% of the Jewish population of Europe is either dead or in hiding.
August-December 1944: The British population is quietly relieved that the war is over, although the country is in a very poor state. A General Election brings a Labour Government into power, but the country has very little money to pay for much-needed repairs. There are demands for mass demobilisation, yet the British Army is needed in the Far East. Attlee is forced to tolerate it because the US is willing to pay for British help. Without US support, the British are going to go down hard.
Roosevelt is determined to fight for a fourth term in office, despite his own tiredness and failing health. His campaign is almost torpedoed when the Germans attempt to reactivate the soviet spy network, branding Henry Wallace as a Russian spy. Selecting Truman as his running mate, Roosevelt campaigns on his successful war record and finally wins re-election. It doesn’t last long. Two months after winning, Roosevelt’s heart finally gives out and he dies. Truman becomes the President of the USA.
The war in the Far East is slowly winding down. With US support, Korean insurgents have started routing the Japanese, forcing them to flee for their lives or surrender. The Koreans are not too interested in accepting surrender, unlucky for the Japanese. The Chinese are fighting the remains of the Japanese Army, but they’re also clearly building up for a civil war. The nationalists are determined to exterminate the communists. With anti-communism growing within the US, it’s certain the US will provide support.
Churchill finds himself surprisingly popular in India, as the war has actually proven a boon to the Indians. Even so, it is gently, but firmly made clear to him that India will no longer accept a subordinate position within the British Empire. Truthfully, India had been effectively independent for a long time. As his swansong, believing that a strong British Commonwealth was all that stood between Hitler and World Domination, Churchill uses all of his considerable oratorical powers to convince a united India to remain within the British Commonwealth as a full and equal partner.
1945: The Russian Government finally signs a peace agreement with Nazi Germany, although neither side has any illusions that it will last for long. Molotov just needs to buy time for the rump USSR to pull itself together again. Hitler, for his part, doesn’t want the hassle. The Germans have too many other problems to worry about.
In Western Europe, the French Resistance manages to pull off a spectacular success and kill a visiting German dignity. In retaliation, the outraged Germans burn a dozen French villages and kill over a thousand French men and women. This horrifies Truman, who has inherited Roosevelt’s fear that a united Germany under Hitler would – eventually – be a mortal threat to the United States. Truman uses the incident – the Nazis, unwisely, allowed the information to spread throughout the world – to galvanise Congress. Reminding them that the US stands for freedom and liberty, he convinces them to maintain a large military force in being to deal with a potential threat. The alliance with Britain is reaffirmed.
Under conditions of great secrecy, the US tests the first atomic bomb.
The Pacific War effectively comes to an end in 1945, although there are few formal peace treaties signed by the Japanese. The US occupation authority begins the task of reshaping the Japanese into something the US regards as more civilised, a task made easier by the massive die-off. Nearly two-thirds of the Japanese population died in the war. Japanese forces on isolated garrisons were hunted down and scattered, leaving handfuls of soldiers hiding in the countryside, unaware that the war was over.
It’s hard to tell in China, though, as the two sides promptly begin a civil war.
Technology is developing rapidly in Germany. Rockets are being launched and growing more accurate, followed by jet aircraft and even early computers. The German atomic program is lagging behind the US’s program, luckily for the rest of the world. Even so, Germany leads the world in many important categories.
1946: Despite the best efforts of many senior Nazis, Speer’s massive economic program has finally started to bear fruit. The Germans now have enough to eat and to maintain their war machine. Hitler’s social programs are also working, creating a massive German population boom. This is done through both openly encouraging mothers to have more children and, covertly, kidnapping Aryan children from Poland, France and Norway and giving them to German parents.
The conditions in Russia are dreadful. The Germans have not only removed all the Jews – not something to make the Russians unhappy – but they have proved themselves to be far worse masters than the Communists ever were. Hitler is effectively starving most of the Russian population to death, while using them as slave labour to build Germany’s network of autobahns, or forcing them to farm to feed the Germans. Unsurprisingly, the partisans keep fighting, but in the absence of any real hope they are dispirited.
Things are not much better in Europe. Pushed by the Germans, Vichy France has started a massive emigration program to French North Africa (Algeria). This is not warmly welcomed by the natives and war breaks out, at first a handful of minor riots and then a set of far more serious uprisings. The French put them down savagely.
American and German interests clash in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis think that the Germans are great for wiping out most of the Jews (Jewish refugees in Saudi Arabia have been passed on to the British or sent back to the Germans) but at the same time they’re looking at the German actions in Egypt and Palestine and they don’t like them. Truman dislikes the Saudis on principle, but the US needs to keep a major presence in the Middle East. In exchange for free access to Saudi oil, the US will safeguard them against the Germans. The Germans are not too happy about this, but reluctantly accept it.
1947: The Germans are having social problems of their own, as two of their chickens have come home to roost. In order to win the war, the Germans made massive and unprecedented use of female labour. Now, with the war won, those women are being far more assertive in the public field. They’re breadwinners; they don’t want to accept a subordinate role any longer. Even so, that brings them into conflict with the New Order, which believes a woman’s place is pregnant and in the kitchen (if not barefoot). The Gestapo can keep a lid on any overt discontent, but it is becoming increasingly evident that the power balance is shifting. Soldiers coming home from the war/deployment discover that their wives are MUCH more assertive.
The second problem is more serious. Hitler was never in the best of health, even before he started listening to a quack doctor. As he grows older, he becomes more deluded, infected with Parkinson’s Disease. The Reich faces a crisis; who, they ask, will replace the Fuhrer once he is gone? Many of the Nazi Old Guard – Goring, Himmler, etc – believe that they have a shot at becoming the boss, but the newer Nazis are less keen on the idea. Himmler is feared, but widely disliked. The issue remains underground as long as Hitler lives – loyalty to Hitler is one of the few things that binds the Nazi Party together – yet when he dies, everyone knows that the seat of ultimate power will be up for grabs.
With Hitler largely uninterested in power, the day-to-day running of the Reich devolves upon an unlikely triumvite of Himmler, Goring and Speer. It isn’t a happy marriage. Goring wants to build the air force into a global power, while Himmler wants to continue to build the National Socialist State and Speer wants a more balanced approach to military spending and building. It isn’t going to remain stable for long.
The German atomic program has hit snags. Although they are promising an atomic bomb by 1949, it is believed unlikely that they will actually make that target.
India becomes formally independent, although still part of the British Commonwealth – and, as Churchill promised, an equal voice at the table. Britain, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand make up the Council, cooperating on everything from food to defence. The British Commonwealth has its own atomic weapons program, but there will be no independent nuke until at least 1950. The alliance with the United States, however, gives Britain an extra degree of safety.
1948 – 1950: The United States, having rebuilt Japanese society, agrees to allow the Japanese some voice in their affairs. The Japanese Senate has limited local authority, although the Americans maintain control over defence and foreign affairs. The United States has also annexed a number of formerly-Japanese islands, including Taiwan and Okinawa. The US intends to withdraw completely from Japan – excepting military bases – over the next twenty years. Even so, Japanese culture has been shattered, a trend accelerated by the birth of thousands of half-breed children. Quite a number of them, much to the horror of the Japanese, are half-black!
The Chinese Civil War finally dies down as the Nationalists press the Communists into a remote area of North China and then drives them into Russia. The rump Russian government is willing to intern them, but not to give them any actual help – it would annoy the United States, which is providing the Russians with limited support. The Chinese Government, however, would remain notoriously corrupt for years, taking investment from the US and elsewhere and pocketing it. Steadily, with American and British influence along the coastlines, change begins – a slow process, but a radical one. China hasn’t had a fair government in centuries.
Truman wins re-election despite a social platform that horrifies many conservatives. In order to heal wounds within America, he has desegregated the military and launched a program intended to heal racism within the nation. Not all of his programs were popular, but with growing public revulsion at the Nazis and awareness that the Nazi Regime was just over the Atlantic, Truman was seen as a safe pair of hands.
In 1950, there are three powerful power blocks on Earth. Nazi Germany, dominating Europe and much of the Middle East, the United States and the British Commonwealth. The principle flashpoint lies in the Middle East, where American, German and British interests collide, with smaller flashpoints in Africa – where proxy wars are common – and between Germany and Rump Russia.
Latin America is a conflicting mass of states, with the superpowers competing for influence. The Mexican Government is pro-American, but the Mexican people are not; Argentina is pro-Axis, while Brazil is pro-American.
Although the Americans are ahead in nuclear weapons, the Germans are ahead in many other branches, including rockets, computers and military science. The USN is the most powerful naval force on Earth, yet the Germans are starting their own naval expansion program – and their newer u-boats, silent and deadly, may tip the balance if war comes.