Fenians, Brits, Mexicans, Canucks and Frenchies....OH, MY! An alternate American Civil War

Chapter 393
February through April 1919


The revolt of the French soldiers in late 1918 had deeply shaken the French Commune. For years, the Marxist doctrine had assumed three things:

  • That Marxism would be so obviously righteous and correct that the people of the world would naturally come to accept it quickly and peacefully.
  • The Marxist economic doctrine would swiftly overwhelm the decrepit economic policies of the old reactionary order.
  • That the universal focus of the people would swiftly allow for rapid conquest of any intransigent parties.
Thus far, the first maxim had failed largely due to the violence and injustice of the Hindu Socialist Republic and Commune of France. The leadership of the Marxists were repressive in so sickening a manner that even the old French Kings would have been horrified.

The second maxim would prove rather…..disappointing as well. Despite the claims of massive industrialization by focusing the whole of French society towards a single goal, the French industrial complex remained well behind Britain, Germany and America…..and falling further every day as bureaucratic waste and incompetence withered the French economic growth in its tracks.

The final maxim would hold that no mere nation or army could withstand a people unified under socialism. But the French disappointments in Spain and Germany would lead to a severely shaken confidence in France.

Hindu Socialist Republic

The dogma of the HSR was….complex to say the least. If there was ever an odder fit with Marxism than a Hindu nation, it had not been found.

Given the by-nature segmentation of Hindu Society by Caste, the avowed “egalitarianism” of Marxism would be viewed as a rude shock. While the “Caste” system was rejected by Marxism, the Hindu faith continued to flourish….in so much as it was used as a weapon against the HSR’s enemies: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, etc.

While the HSR had successfully evicted millions of Muslims, Christians, etc…..destroyed their monuments, shrines, mosques and churches (even the great Taj Mahal was leveled) built over the past half-millennium…….the effort had gained the HSR nothing except economic chaos and famine. Attempts to reestablish order via a state-sponsored Hindu system would bring increasing unrest.

Borneo, Sulawesi, Lesser Sunda Islands

Ove the past decades, the Dominion of Australia had actively sought immigration to the British East Indies. Christians were preferred…..but Muslims, Hindus, Farsi, Buddhists and others were welcome too. India and the Philippines would dispatch the largest quantity of laborers but China, Vietnam, Siam, New Guinea, the Solomons and other regions also provided migrants to work the mines and plantations of the East Indies.

And not only the large islands of Borneo and Sulawesi received large numbers of immigrants but Timor, Sumbawa, Flores, Lombok, Bali and the Moluccas as well.

In only a few years, the demographics of the region had changed enormously. The region had become nothing less than a stunningly diverse racial and ethnic polity.

But diversity did not prevent the continued public agitation…..supported by ALL facets of society…..for ever increasingly levels of political empowerment. Borneo had already been given a legislature to control local affairs. Sulawesi would follow as would Bali and Timor.

The Australians would attempt to mitigate this political resistance by dividing and conquering. Instead of creating an “East Indies Parliament”, every major island would instead be given their own (though less powerful than might be expected) local government which would be less effective than banding together. This created a political class in which leaders often were intent on maintaining the status quo to retain their own power (lest they cede it to some greater East Indies).


The Republic of China would find governing somewhat more difficult than rebelling. While the Mandarin under the Cixi Regency had railed against corruption and waste, the work had only really begun after decades of toil.

The Republic would dispatch thousands of bureaucrats to audit regional books. The results would be….disappointing. Crushing local warlords took years. Rebuilding a functioning government with the trust of the people would take longer.

So intent upon the internal politicking that China effectively ignored the what was happening beyond her borders. Japan was militarizing again, as was Russia. Old client states were forging new paths.

But the Middle Kingdom (a “Kingdom” no more) would strain under the weight of the rebuilding its internal socio-political climate….just as Russia, Japan, France and other nations were doing. Even Britain, America and Germany convulsed in unrest.


After fighting for its life for the third time in three decades, the German states would embark upon creating a new Constitution which would further centralize power in the nation. This was supported by most facets of society (with the notable exception of the assorted Crowned Heads who had already seen their power evaporate over the years) but regionalism remained strong in some ways. In particular, the linguistic and religious divide of north and south would remain contentious as the Germans sought to communize the diverse dialects of the Germany. Southerners were also disproportionately Catholic and faith, while not remotely as divisive as past centuries, still mattered.

Political integration continued though often in lurching steps.

But the German people would look at the map and realize that they were surrounded by enemies. Ironically, they would look to Poland and the other recently emancipated from Russian domination Eastern Europeans and the similarly recently unified Italians (with which Germany had already a history of conflict) as allies to protect her borders and independence.

The Central European Military and Economic Alliance (CEMEA) continued to evolve as well by necessity.

Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden (and Norway), Spain and Portugal would all agree to lowered tariffs and increased “cooperation” as would, to a lesser extent, America, the Ottoman, Egypt and Morocco.

If the previous war had any particular benefits to CEMEA, it would be the fact that Bulgaria and Greece, long Russian clients, would take the Russian incapacity to regain her former provinces as an opportunity to express their own independence. Never again, the Kings of Bulgaria and Greece swore, would they obey Russian dictates.


Ove the course of the past decades, the Muslim dominated states of Egypt (and the Levant) and the Ottoman seemed to fall over themselves to ape European culture, fashion, etc.

Morocco and Persia remained somewhat more traditional but still open to the benefits of European culture and technology.

However, Arabia remained an entirely different matter. Horrified by the actions of their Muslim brethren, the Arabs would remain entrenched in their ancient Bedouin traditions (though many Arabs, if not a majority, had long resided in cities and towns rather than follow a migratory lifestyle) and loathed the loud and debauched western culture.

More importantly though, as always, were regional tribal rivalries. Dozens of Arab tribes would fight over the arid lands of Mesopotamia and Arabia, following ancient vendettas and territorial disputes.

However, oil had been discovered under the sands and more than a few neighboring nations were showing increased interest in the backwater.

Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil

Outraged over the loss (yet again) of huge swathes of territory, a mob stormed the Emperor’s Palace, forcing him to flee to the hills outside the city.

Worse, the Army seemed disinclined to do anything about it. The Emperor’s stupidity (in their eyes though, to be fair, the governments of the past decades had supported him and the wars had been, in the beginning, popular) had shattered the largest nation in South America.

Now the Amazon Basin was lost to the Americans, northeastern Brazil had declared itself a Republic as had the southern States (supported by the Argentine and other Spanish-speaking nations of the Rio Plata).

The continued existence of the Empire of Brazil was questionable…..at best.

The last native Monarchy in the west was tottering on its last legs.


After months of discussion and delay, the Irish Parliament would formally announce the opening of debate regarding the topic of independence. Ironically, the Irish Parliament would rely upon British forces to maintain peace in Ulster while debating the final severance of ties to King Albert I.
Chapter 394
April, 1920


The Republican Convention of 1920 would be contentious as Vice-President La Follette of Roosevelt’s Progressive Faction would duel for influence with Senator Warren Harding of Ohio and Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts.

La Follette was something of a Radical even within Progressive Circles and it quickly was clear he could not gain the nomination. However, Harding’s somewhat less than clean political record was not particularly appealing either. Coolidge, a good Party man, was also not terribly close to the President, who still had great influence in the Convention.

Other candidates like isolationist Hiram Johnson of California, General Leonard Wood, General Jeb Stuart II and Governor Frank Lowden of Illinois.

In the end, Frank Lowden, a man without major affiliation to either Conservative or Progressive faction, would be chosen as the lesser of the various evils.

From the Democratic side, Governor James Cox of Ohio and Governor Al Smith of New York were the lead candidates as old standbys like Woodrow Wilson declined in age and health and were removed from consideration.

In order to entice the “Southern Democrats” back into the Party, the Democrats would offer the Vice-Presidential nomination to a southerner. However, this would not prove to be enough and the Southern Democrats would go with Carter Glass of Virginia (an avowed opponent of desegregation) in hopes that no single candidate could win a majority in the Electoral College and the election would be thrown to the House to decide. At that point, the Southern Democrats could set their own terms.

The November Election would, once again, see a Republican victory. However, the majority remained barren, and the Southern Democrats would actually win more Electoral votes than the mainstream Democratic Party.
Chapter 395

Austro-American Antarctica

An expedition had been assembled for over a year between various American and Australian figures to fully explore the huge continent of Antarctica.

Beyond the typical terrestrial equipment, the expedition would be notable for bringing along several airplanes with skies to scout the endless terrain. Seeking a pilot, the expedition would settle upon a young University of Wisconsin engineering dropout named Charles Lindbergh who had spent much of the past year in Nebraska learning how to fly.

Lindbergh was off in search of adventure and was sure, at the bottom of the world, he would find it.

Empire of Brazil

Though the process took months, the Emperor was able to regain the Capital of Rio de Janeiro. This, however, came with a terrible cost. What was left of the Brazilian Empire was economically ruined as the war ended most of the mining and coffee harvesting which sustained the Brazilian economy. The nation would struggle for years to recover from that and the psychological blows of losing most of its territory.

To the surprise of many in Santa Cruz, the Emperor was unable to ever mount a significant expedition to regain what was once the center of the global sugar production.

Pedro III would see so much resentment against what was considered his own decision to make war upon the United States three times (though, to be fair, at the time he and his government had strong public backing) that he was prepared to abdicate his throne to his 17 year old son if the Brazilian Parliament and public thought this best. To his relief (and a bit of surprise), he would receive a modest upsurge in support….with the generally accepted provision that he avoid politics in the future. Desperate to save the House of Braganza, the Emperor agreed and even quietly dismissed a number of his former Ministers in favor of opposition politicians who had surged to prominence in Parliament.
Chapter 396
March, 1921


President Lowden would be sworn into office in March and promptly began reorganizing the Cabinet. To the surprise of many, he kept William Jennings Bryan as Attorney General and even offered his rival for the Republican nomination, former Vice President La Follette, the highly important office of Interior Secretary. From this platform, La Follette would be able to influence a wide degree of governmental policies. Lowden was eager to gain the support of Bryan and La Follette in order to distance himself from the perceived cynical corruption of Senator Warren Harding, his most bitter opponent.

Charles Evans Hughes would remain as Secretary of State while Winston Churchill was to maintain his position as Secretary of the Navy. Both were allies of Roosevelt and Lowden saw no reason to alienate a man who was still powerful in Party politics even after retirement.

Viewed prior to the election as closer to the Conservative faction, Lowden would steer the middle way between the Conservatives and the Progressives.

Among La Follette’s duties was managing the preservation of the Amazon Basin as a massive nature preserve and Indian reservation. La Follette would also dutifully continue Roosevelt’s policies of expanding national parks and honorably upholding Indian Treaties.

There was a similar issue emerging as oil had been discovered in, of all places, Alaska. Many of these strikes were on Indian territories and the Secretary of the Interior would be damned if he allowed the land to be stolen or the oil extracted with only token compensation to the natives.

Of more immediate concern was the fact that the Empire of Russia continued eastwards towards Mongolia. If the Czarina would be successful in rebuilding the Trans-Siberian Railroad……then the American claim on Kamchatka would not be worth the paper it was printed upon. Even the Ainu Islands would be at threat…..assuming that Japan did not reach them first.

In truth, La Follette (who was given a broad leeway by Lowden in his duties) wished that America had never laid claim to the region. Simply looking at a map made clear the fact that the territories could not be defended against a determined regional enemy. Beyond working closely with the Secretary of the Navy, there was not much La Follette could do but attempt to develop the region and aid in constructing naval bases to protect it. While there was SOME American migration to the area, the larger share of settlers were Siberian natives, Koreans (calling them “Joseons” was falling out of style) and Russians (which also included “Green Ukrainians” and other races of the current and former Russian Empire).

The population remained modest. And vulnerable.


To the surprise of many, Luanda would be selected as the location of the Co-Protectorate Parliament (the African National Congress) which oversaw the regional Councils. A compromise location in which it didn’t take quite as long to reach by ship from Eastern Africa, Luanda was already known for having perhaps the most developed society and economy in Africa. Both Africans, Freedmen from the Americas and Europeans would arrive in hordes to partake in the local oil, iron and agricultural boom. With the diversified economy and, by African standards, reasonable climate, Luanda was simply the place to be in the Co-Protectorate and soon developed the reputation as the “Jewel of Africa”. Streetlights and other modern amenities were soon more common there than in many European cities.

The African National Congress would rapidly assume more and more power from the founders of the Co-Protectorate, Britain and America, and effectively rule itself by the 1920’s. Indeed, as was the case of most governments, it sought to expand its authority over the regional councils as well as “annexing” what was left of inland Africa.

Soon, the African National Congress was splintering in partisan factions. With such a huge and diverse population, this actually took longer than some expected. But eventually, the “Pan-African” Party which supported centralized government, universal English and all facets of modernization would be contesting elections with a somewhat less organized (by definition) “Tribal” Party which was focused on preserving tribal lands, language, etc. The Tribal Party would be hindered by the fact that no one tribe was powerful enough to make much of a difference in the ANC or even usually in local Councils. The areas was so vast that often hundreds of tribes (if not thousands) were being represented in regional polls. The only way to effect power was to throw their voices to a larger political machine.

Among the key issues of the Congress was compensation to regional tribes for the scattered rich deposits of minerals throughout the continent. Do the underlying loads belong to the Co-Protectorate (which would sell to the highest bidder and tax it according) or to the regional tribe upon whose land it may have chanced to lay under?

Eventually, a compromise would be struck in which deposits were licensed to certain companies….but not ownership. Licenses would be withdrawn in short order should the Companies treat workers badly or fail to pay taxes or fees. A % would be negotiated with the local governments or tribes to ensure they got their cut. It was not a perfect system but generally the peace was kept.

But political unrest was rising and, surprisingly, it was not aimed at the Americans or British. As the foreigners conceded more and more authority, they simply became less and less relevant by the year.


The Kobe Shipyards would slowly return to life as the Emperor’s favor turned against the Army, which had been in ascendance for so long. Years of domination had undermined the Navy so much that Japan was unable to even truly participate in the previous war. If Japan had declared hostilities in 1916, they would have lost at sea….badly…..to China, Russia, America, Britain, Australia and probably even the Joseon Kingdom.

With the launch of several new vessels by the previously backwards Joseon Kingdom, the Emperor would have enough hand demand that the Navy be returned to some semblance of its former self. This was a dangerous decision as the Army was more than capable of overthrowing the government and the Emperor at any point. However, the strategy worked and the Ministers took a breath of relief that some Army General would not set himself up as the next Shogun….or simply overthrown the dynasty.

In 1922, the Imperial Navy would receive its newest heavy battleship, the Kyoto. Similarly, new submersibles, destroyers and light cruisers compatible with western vessels were launched in coming years.

Politically, Japan was not much altered. The old order remained. When a few Marxist students began agitating to overthrow the government, the amused police officers would simply throw them off the nearest cliff. Marxism was not viewed as compatible to the Japanese mindset.
Chapter 397
July, 1921

Staten Island, New Jersey

President Lowden would visit Staten Island, New Jersey (this had been transferred over decades ago to New Jersey) and Manhattan, New York and Brooklyn, Long Island in the summer of 1921 during the Congressional recess. Lowden was already exhausted with his job but was enough of a politician to know when to bolster his support with a well-timed public relations tour.

The past election had maintained the Republican majority in Congress. Fortunately, the Democrats remained divided. Lowden was happy with the reprieve. He arranged with his Congressional allies to make common cause with one Democratic faction or the other when feasible.

Lowden would be startled to learn (he only been to the coast a few times in his life) that there were now Portuguese speaking neighborhoods in Staten Island and Brooklyn, mainly south Americans from Santa Cruz or Brazil which had migrated after the previous Brazilian-American Wars. The first few hundred immigrants would form a neighborhood and then send for their kinfolk just as dozens of other ethnicities did.

Lowden would also learn that Georgia was a COUNTRY, not just a state as a street of Georgian immigrants resided in Brooklyn. Who could have guessed?

Hailing from Illinois, Lowden knew of most of the Eastern European peoples as Chicago had long been a destination for Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, etc but more and more obscure peoples seemed to be settling in the country (Brazilians, Syrians, Finns, Greeks). For the most part, Lowden didn’t care. He just hoped he could shut up Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and his anti-Catholic faction of the party. The last thing Lowden needed was for millions of votes to switch to the Democrats due to a few eastern snobs.


The brutal history of Hispaniola had, by the 20th century, finally quieted down. Once the center and primary destination of the French slave trade, Hispaniola’s slaves had rebelled only to be crushed in the most brutal fashion by Spain. The European, Cuban and Puerto Rican invaders would massacre much of the black and mulatto population and then quickly turning around and marrying the surviving women. Decades of encouragement of immigration from Europe and South America would drastically change the once-dominant black population into a mixed race, multi-cultural tropical paradise…or hell….depending on how you liked the weather.

Stunningly beautiful, Hispaniola would remain important in coffee, sugar and other cultivation but quietly stagnate over the coming years and fall behind newly independence Cuba as the center of the West Indian civilization and economy.

Vilnius, Lithuania

After years of public speculation, young King Albert of Britain would marry the strikingly beautiful blond Princess Vigdis of Lithuania, the daughter of the Danish-born King Charles of Lithuania (Charles, a cadet member of the Danish Royal Family, had been selected for the Lithuanian Crown by the Parliament after liberation from Russia).

While some Britons would find the name “Vigdis” somewhat off-putting (there were relatively few “Vigdis’ Christened in Britain in the coming decades despite the Queen’s popularity), the wedding would be taken as a welcome respite from the seemingly endless problems affecting Great Britain. With Ireland, the Co-Protectorate and even the Dominions demanding ever greater political autonomy (or independence), the British Empire seemed nothing less than on its last legs.

Almost as humiliating, the virtual entirety of Europe had waged war without so much as a “by your leave” to Great Britain. That Great Britain lacked any capacity or desire to enforce her will on the matter was debated greatly by the public.

Exactly how this happened was not immediately apparent. Yes, the Indian rebellion had severely damaged the nation’s economy and depleted her manpower resources. But the defacto independence of the Dominions (Australia, Cape Colony, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) was perhaps just as deflating. Here, the British Parliament lost authority without even so much as a fight. That Britain’s economy had rebounded and was as productive as ever did little to compensate for the relative increase in global leadership by Germany, Russia and America.

Like many nations, Great Britain was also torn from within as government turned to what was being derisively termed a “nanny state” and women’s suffrage was at the forefront of debate. While some may consider women voting a good thing or a bad thing, the fact remained that it did little to affect British global hegemony.

It became increasingly clear that America ruled the Western Hemisphere while Africa was getting increasingly independent. Asia had long since been lost to western Colonialism.

What was left?

There seemed to be no worlds left to concur. 20th Century British politics seemed condemned to revolve around petty social issues, not global empire.

It was a truly depressing thought.


Prohibition had been passed in numerous states over the past few years but the large immigrant population, particularly the Germans, were among those most adamant against it. While it was true that a hugely disproportionate number of crimes, not to mention failure of men to provide for their families, could be at least partially attributed to alcoholism.

President Roosevelt had been a modest supporter of prohibition, but President Lowden was not. He had too many German constituents in Chicago to support such a radical agenda. Instead, Lowden tried to find the middle ground and make everyone happy. He declared his intention to veto a “full” prohibition but was willing to agree to halting liquor sales on Sundays and after midnight.

Naturally, this made NO ONE happy and Lowden’s popularity only suffered as a result.

Of course, Women’s Suffrage was also coming, and the President suspected that this would be heavily in the “yes” column towards Prohibition. But the last thing that the Republicans needed was to alienate yet another constituency. The Democrats already had the “Solid South” and too many Republican politicians had alienated Catholics despite half a century of Republican Presidents attempting to coax their votes. Southern Democrats, Northern Catholics and Western Farmers made a strong coalition against Republican hegemony.

120 years ago, the Federalists had made terrible errors in judgement and effectively turned the nation over to the Democrats for 60 years.

In 1860, the Democrats started doing the same and Republican domination had been nearly as comprehensive for the following 60 years.

Who knew what the next 60 years would bring?

Women’s suffrage was now mooted only as a “when” not an “if”. The President knew he must entice as many women as possible into the Party lest the Democrats do it. That means that he must support their suffrage and potentially put up with a higher degree of prohibition in the future.
Chapter 398
July, 1922

Antarctica, Vigdisland

In honor of the marriage of the British (and Australian) sovereign the previous year, the Austro-American exploration team which finally (after many delays) arrived on the Southern Continent would name a huge jutting peninsula in “East” Antarctica (direction is relative at a pole) after the new Queen. While Vigdisland would be several times larger than Great Britain itself, like the rest of Antarctica, the population was zero so no one really cared.

The American contingent had been promised that they could name the next geographic region whatever they wanted.

The young 22-year-old Charles Lindbergh had taken the extra year granted by the delay to learn a bit more piloting. In truth, there had been few experienced pilots willing to accept the dangerous job. Lindbergh, on the other hand, would relish the opportunity. He even spent several months in the Yukon learning from the best cold-weather pilots in the world.

The modest custom-built “hanger” could be quickly assembled and disassembled would be delivered to the coastline, giving the plane an inland structure moderately free from the elements. Aircraft had made many advances in the past years, especially during the war, but were still flimsy under the best of conditions. Even the Antarctic “summer” was devastatingly dangerous. But Lindbergh was eager to make a go of it. He would repeatedly scout inland in his plane, every time knowing that, should it fail, he would likely never be found.

But soon a map of the inland continent began to take shape, dozens of miles inland, which gave future explorers a good lead on where to commence a land-based exploration.

For months, the expedition would sail around the continent, her powerful hull repeatedly impacted by submersed ice.

Albert Peninsula, Lowden Peak, Roosevelt Volcano (considered appropriate), the Ford Mountain Chain (Henry Ford had helped bankroll the expedition), Churchill Bay (after the British-born Secretary of the Navy who also supported the project financially) and other notables and supporters were so honored.

Tragically, on the final day that the expedition was planning to set foot upon Antarctica’s soil, Lindbergh pushed his plane too far while investigating a valley and crashed into the sheer cliff wall. By happenstance, this occurred within eyesight of his colleagues. Over the next four days, the expedition would trudge 20 miles across the frozen tundra to recover Lindbergh’s body. Finding it crushed beyond recognition, the Austro-American expedition leaders agreed to bury him under a cairn of rocks beside his plane.

In honor of their late comrade, “Lindbergh Valley” would be christened.

He would be forever remembered, though, as “Unlucky Lindy”.


Poitiers, France

Henry Ford would be welcomed to “invest” in France in 1919 by building a “joint venture” automotive plant with the Paris Commune. Eager to make a peaceful gesture, Ford even advanced the joint venture the machinery to build the plant in 1921 in the historical town of Poitiers. Many centuries before, the Islamic advance into western Europe was halted in this city and many remarkable monuments, churches and the like remained to this day (the French tended not to destroy churches but convert them to government offices. In 1918, the largest church in Poitiers was taken over by the Commune’s secret police and was the regional center for sniffing out discontent).

Within months of its opening, though, the Commune ceased sharing any production numbers with Ford and quietly told him not to bother asking for profits. Eventually, they ceased taking his calls despite his millions in investment and years spent training the French in his world-class manufacturing process. This gullibility would make Ford the butt of international jokes. His old friend Thomas Edison had warned him as much back in 1918. More alarmingly, the Commune would seek to adapt Ford’s moving assembly line to commence building tanks and other weapons of war. By the late 1920’s, the entire Poitiers plant would be converted over to military construction. Horrified, Ford vowed never to interfere in politics again.

Instead, he returned to his manufacturing and newsletters regarding the dangers of Jews.

North America

President Lowden would convene a meeting of North American states in 1922 in which tariffs, border crossings and other hindrances to trade would be heavily reduced. Soon, the American borders with Canada, Quebec, Newfoundland and New Brunswick (and Nova Scotia though that one didn’t actually border America) would be the longest undefended border in the world.

The American-Mexican border remained a bit more regulated, mainly due to the continued existence of bandits raiding American towns on occasion. But American investment in Mexico continued, particularly in the Sonoran Mining sector.

Long ago, Sonora had been effectively offered to America as collateral against loans. Well-meaning American politicians would remove that humiliating clause later in an attempt to improve relations with their southern neighbor. That worked but the discoveries of mineral wealth in Sonora made some Americans regret that decision. But much of the product of northeastern Mexico would be shipped north in exchange for American manufactured goods. Most of the railways built in Mexico over the past half century were constructed by American companies as were a large share of the mining concerns. Henry Ford had built the first Mexican automotive plant in Pachuca, near Mexico City.

For generations, the United States had paid close attention to the economic and political health of Mexico. Now dominating North America geographically, there were few countries in the world which could threaten the American mainland. Their populous southern neighbor, though, could be conceived as a threat thus the Americans actively sought to aid Mexican prosperity at every point in order to ensure good relations with their northern neighbor.

America also was grateful that Mexico was willing to take responsibility for the failed nation-states of Central America – Honduras, Nicaragua, etc. This eliminated a headache for America and furthered Mexican prestige.

Mexico often intervened on American behalf with the Latin countries of Central and South America. At one time, various Presidents of Mexico were called “America’s greatest ambassadors” and served as a middleman with nations less than eager to deal with a protestant-majority hyper-power.

It may have been an unequal partnership….but a partnership it was nevertheless.

Given America’s less than positive relationships with much of Latin America, the “Southern American” summit of 1923 would be held not in the United States but in Mexico City. Many of the nations formed from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, etc would have refused to come if invited by an American.

Mexico happily presented a proposal for a similar regional reduction in tariffs, etc and many of the small states emerging from the rubble of South America would happily agree to participate. Only what was left of Nicaragua and the Empire of Brazil declined to attend and at least agree in principle.

Over the coming years, the Summits would become more regular and eventually seek to create a regional political accord to end the litany of border conflicts via diplomacy than war.


Though the Jewish population of Poland had formed several dozen regiments to fight for their freedom from Russia, the Poles would reply with repression between the wars and Jewish emigration would only ramp up as urban violence escalated. This would always be counterproductive economically and demographically and Poland made weaker for it.

The German Confederation, Hungary, Bohemia and other states would object but not for reasons of justice. They last thing they wanted were Jews crossing their borders and largely blocked significant Jewish immigration. Thus, the Jews were largely left to sail to the United States, South America, South Africa and Australia.

The first two decades of the 20th century would see over a third of the Polish Jews settle abroad and that would only escalate in the third decade. Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, Chicago, Detroit, Charleston, Baltimore, etc, would see entire Jewish neighborhoods expanded to street after street. In short order, the Jews would travel west via train to San Diego, Tijuana, San Francisco and other coastal regions.

Unlike Jews of western Europe, the Polish Jews had maintained their own language, Yiddish. Most German, French, Dutch, Spanish, etc Jews had long since integrated into the surrounding culture. But there were so many Jews in Poland that they were able to maintain a sense of separate culture. This was perhaps part of the reason why the Polish peoples seemed to have such a loathing of them.

With Polish populations increasing, the emigration of the Jews would see their traditional Demographics drop in comparison. This only made them more vulnerable to repression. From 1900 to 1920, over a million Jews would depart Poland. From 1921 to 1930, this number would be exceeded.


The Arab tribes of the interior, now believed to be holding vast oil wealth, would continue their decades of rivalry (really centuries) and routinely attack settlements. It would get so bad by 1921 that the King of the Hejaz, which controlled the Holy Cities, would threaten to ban any of these combatting tribes from Mecca and Medina.

This helped slow the conflict.

What did more to make peace was the obviously jealous looks from the King of Mesopotamia. Even his own wealthy oil fields were dwarfed by what was believed to lurk under Arabian sands. Fearing domination from the north, the Arabs sought to divide their tribal lands with a measure of honor.
Chapter 399
December, 1922


In the dying days of 1922, the Irish Parliament would finally determine to approve full Independence. Having anticipated this for years, the King and British Parliament were prepared to let them go….with provisions. As the Irish Parliament would “guarantee” freedom of religion, nothing written in law would make the Protestants of Ulster feel they would be oppressed. But the Orangeists were adamant about either remaining under King Albert’s protection….or declaring independence themselves.

Unfortunately, the Orangeists had worked the King’s last nerve over the years with their constant provocations and both King Albert and his Labor Ministers would refuse to sanction a division of Ireland. This would cost Labor in the polls in the next election but would smooth the way for Irish Independence on December 31st, 1922. British forces withdrew, no doubt as tired of the Protestants as the Catholics. It had been a long, thankless task. The Irish Army which marched into Belfast were ordered to merely “keep the peace”, not make reprisals against Protestants. But bombs going off in barracks and in Catholic neighborhoods would swiftly lead to a hardening of attitudes.

In the first months of Irish Independence, the Protestant population of Ireland decreased by nearly 5%, mostly in Ulster. Oddly, the Protestants were treated better in heavily Catholic regions (non-Ulster) than in the area where their numbers made them dangerous. When you are already outnumbered 20 to 1 in Cork or the West of Ireland, it was best to avoid radical politics.

Despite genuine assurances that Protestants were free to practice their faith without hindrance and guarantees of equal treatment, the Orangeists would make one enemy after another. Even many Protestants were revolted by pictures of bodies of schoolchildren blow up by terrorists.

The Irish Government reacted by banning private organizations, both Protestant and Catholic. The Fenians only existed as a political party, not a military force as in the past. But this did little to stop the violence.

On more than one occasion over the years, King Albert was grateful not to have to deal with Irishmen any longer.

As it was, the King was preoccupied with the impending birth of his first child. Queen Vigdis was heavily pregnant and he wanted his offspring to solidify the British throne after years of disappointments and setbacks.


Contemptuous of the failure of the regime to keep the trains running on time, a series of small parties would combine forces and form a new political entity, the Italian Socialist Worker’s party. Some feared this was another Marxist group as it focused on workers but this was inaccurate. This was much more of a Nationalist group in the mold of the governments of Russia, Portugal and Spain. However, it would not find a constituency it may have expected by promises of making the trains run on time.

However, the call for imperialistic conquest was received with a collective disinterested sigh. This was 1923, not 1823. Colonialism had largely ended in failure as the European colonies in the west had (with the exception of a few petty West Indian states) ended in Revolution.

Meanwhile, conquests in Asia ended in revolt.

Even the more modest Italian dreams of an Empire in Africa seemed dead as Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia and other ancient kingdoms were welcomed into the family of nations as equals. Central Africa, perhaps the most backward region on earth, was even marginalizing British and American rule.

The idea of going out and conquering a foreign people just because you can didn’t resonate as much in the 20th century as it may have a hundred years ago. Instead, a proposal for a League of Nations dedicated to peaceful coexistence and the outlaw of war was being bandied around.


Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes would support the idea of a League of Nations. As the world had seen half a dozen wars in the past half century expanded to all corners of the globe, it was obvious that the miracle of technology’s greatest drawback was that the world was now small enough for any conflict to spread to even the most remote regions.

Beyond America, much of central and eastern Europe were interested in participation. Hughes was certain that the rest of the world would fall into line if only to avoid being left out.

In 1924, a global meeting would be held in Brussels, Belgium among diplomats to discuss the formation of the League. The location was not an accident but selected by CEMEA to remind the world of the repeated French invasions of a neutral country and allow the diplomats to witness the scars firsthand.

The meeting was well-supported by Europe, North America and Africa but many South American nations (having been splintered in the past decades) did not send representatives and many Asian nations simply ignored the invitation. The French Commune dismissed the idea as a “Reactionary Tool” to suppress the masses and the Czarina found the idea of treating her former subjects in Eastern Europe as equals utterly absurd.

Still, the meeting was still productive and a plan established to form the League within two years by formally being approved by each participating government was a good start.

Anglo-American Co-Protectorate

Throughout the 20th century, an estimated 50,000 Black Americans per year would take the long voyage to Africa to work as administrators, teachers and the like. Many would return home eventually, but others would actually settle, even sending for their families in a reverse migration.

While the schooling and University system of Africa was growing, there was always a needed for English-speaking personnel to assume administrative capacities in the huge, spread-out continent. Much as British “Factors” and “Residents” had taken over the running of the Princely states of India in the 19th Century, Africa was being colonized by her own prodigal children. Western-born blacks and mulattos continued to have a disproportionate influence on government and politics in Africa and would be a force for change (good change or not was a matter of perspective) over the inland tribes of the Dark Continent.

Ambitious black men (and women) of the West Indies, lacking any significant outlet for their energies, would depart the west in the greatest numbers (percentage wise) as the hardest working, most intelligent, most educated and generally most vital workers to the local economies would desert the West Indies en masse for the sake of their own careers. Previously, these men would be relegated to farm work or, at best, some modestly paid bureaucrat or teaching position. There simply wasn’t much else to do in the Caribbean. Africa, though, was the new (old) frontier and a clever schoolboy from Antigua may find himself by his mid-twenties administering the Co-Protectorate Laws and services to a tribe of half a million. Or, if he entered the private sector, may stake a claim to mines or use his contacts to obtain a loan and purchase an entire plantation.

American blacks had somewhat more opportunity than in the past but those disappointed with stubborn American resistance to black prosperity would also migrate to Africa. Their prospects and results were not always great in Africa but many enjoyed seeing more and more faces that look like theirs. The overall demographics of Black Americans would not change markedly (it was estimated that, even if NO reverse migration back to Africa had occurred in the past 50 years, that this only amounted to about a 10% of the black population having departed).


As Great Britain had been evicted from the Indian subcontinent, the Royal Navy forces had successfully evacuated many colonial settlers and soldiers to Ceylon. This would become a bastion in the Indian Ocean for Great Britain and a good link with the Dominion of Australia. However, “Sri Lankan” rebels would launch a low-level insurgency for years and drive the British Governor to distraction. As the British hopes of somehow regaining India rapidly died, the utility of Ceylon would similarly be debated.

Too many British soldiers were dying, too much treasure was being wasted and the island itself was proving an embarrassment. The Labor Government in London knew that Mysore, Hyderabad and other Indian states were deeply concerned about the repression in Ceylon and this was hindering the British attempts to reconcile with their former colonies.

The proposal to allow Ceylon autonomy or independence would suddenly take center stage in London, bringing the coalition government into internal conflict and the Conservative opposition to condemn Labor for openly flirting with the end of the Empire. Already the Labor Government had quietly accepted the loss of Ireland. When Ceylon could dictate to the metropolis, then the Empire was truly dead.
Chapter 400
April, 1924


To the shock of most of the Republican Party, President Lowden would opt NOT to seek a separate term. Even four years of peaceful governance was a lot to stomach in politics and Lowden was happy to turn the office over to someone else.

A slew of candidates would step forward in the 1924 Republican Convention only to be eliminated one by one for reasons of political rivalry. Finally, the party agreed (on the 38th ballot) to recommend the least offensive of their candidates, Herbert Hoover, undersecretary of the Interior Department. Hoover had been tasked with the heavy reforestation of Wichita and other parts of the country in 1921, when a cloud of dust emerging from the denuded Plains reached Washington. Thousands of men would be hired in Wichita, Texas, Kansas and other areas to replant forests according to the best agricultural scientists available (forest reserves were also greatly increased under Lowden).

While a junior functionary in the Interior Department was hardly an ideal choice, the Party was still facing fragmentation between the Conservatives and Progressives. The latter had been in ascendance for a generation and Hoover was thought to be able, like Lowden, to work with both halves of the Party.

As it was, the Republicans were confident as the Democrats and Southern Democrats remained at war, each selecting separate candidates. It seemed unlikely that either could possibly gain enough Electoral Votes to win.

The long domination of the Republican Party was assured….or so it seemed.

Al Smith was chosen as the Democratic Party standard bearer while the Louisiana politico Huey Long was accepted by the Southern Democrats, though he did not necessarily agree to abide by many of the ante and post-bellum Southern Democrat strategies. However, Long WAS able to attract supporters from outside the traditional Southern Democrat political base. He was popular among Unions and Northern Catholics.

Andean Republic

After years of civil war and interference from Peru, the breakaway southern region of the old Peru called the Andean Republic would finally collapse in 1924. Rather than suffer under the Junta based in Lima, Peru, the Andean Republic’s remaining leaders would instead vote to join Bolivia, whose weak central government were less likely to interfere in local affairs.

Threatened by Bolivia and the United States, Peru dared not launch any form of offensive to regain her southern boundaries.

Peru would, however, protest the heavy-handed Americans once again intervening in South American affairs. America had a direct hand in the division of Venezuela and Brazil (America taking land from each) into smaller entities as well as quietly supporting the breakup of Peru into four nations (one which was just absorbed into Bolivia).

American allies Bolivia and Colombia were condemned as “puppets”. However, Colombia was quietly prospering under a stable democracy and no conceivable threats from abroad due to their alliance with America and Britain while Bolivia was slowly emerging from its decades of internal dysfunction and attempting to form a viable government.

By 1924, it was perhaps less surprising that the Andean Republic had collapsed than the fact that so many of the divided nations emerging from the wreckage of Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru had not already followed suit.
Chapter 401
November, 1924


To the abject shock of many, Al Smith of New York would take not only New York but Long Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois and sweep the heavily Catholic states of Orinoco, etc. He also won Lower California and several of the plains states.

This, however, did not mean that Smith had enough electoral votes to win. He came in several dozen short. However, Hoover would also fail to meet the electoral requirements.

That left Governor Huey Long of Louisiana who, as the Southern Democrat standard bearer, would win a dozen southern states.

With no single candidate winning a majority in the electoral college, the matter was thrown to the House of Representatives….which held a Republican Majority.

In what was widely derided as a “stolen election”, Herbert Hoover would swiftly be selected by Congress as President despite winning only 22 states and barely 31% of the Electoral College.

Even many Republican supporters considered Hoover’s “victory” fraudulent. Many Americans, who didn’t understand the electoral system and constitution, would riot.

But Hoover was nonetheless approved by Congress and was sworn in. However, he would be destined to have a miserable term of office as the new Congress in 1925 would have only the barest of majorities. Also, the Democrats and Southern Democrats, realizing that their divisions had cost them an election in which a unified party would have crushed the Republicans, would meet over the summer of 1925 to reconcile their differences as it was obvious neither faction could possibly win under the current Constitutional system.

Hoover, like Lowden, would attempt to reach a middle ground between Conservative and Progressive Republican factions…and would be condemned by both.

Hoping to bolster his support, Hoover, unlike Lowden, would actively promote a Constitutional Amendment over the next two years to grant female suffrage in America. While Lowden was inclined to give lip service but do nothing to advance the cause, Hoover invited ladies into the White House to publicly discuss the matter.



The HMS Eagle would be the first, custom-built, Aircraft carrier in the world. The Americans had already launched the USS Biddle but that had been a converted cruiser. In a remarkable demonstration, the HMS Eagle would launch a dozen “torpedo-boats” off of Newfoundland armed with the latest American-built Whitehead Company torpedoes at a pair of old and obsolete British battleships.

In less than 10 minutes both were sinking to the bottom.

Secretary of the Navy Churchill, who retained his position now under three consecutive Presidents, would take the hint and order his engineers to design a new class of “Aircraft Carriers” capable of exceeding the HMS Eagle in capacity.

Churchill had long suspected that the age of battleships would end as quickly as it began due to the rise of torpedo-armed submersibles, destroyers and torpedo boats. Now, it appeared that the vessels didn’t even need to come within sight of lumbering heavy battleships to sink them.

However, the Secretary of the Navy would receive a great deal of resistance from the Admiralty, who generally did not agree that modern vessels with ever thicker hulls and more efficient anti-flooding bulkheads would be as susceptible to torpedoes.

A compromise was reached in which the US Navy would continue to order battleships….but also Aircraft carriers.

There was another party which watched the demonstration with great interest: Japan.


With the return to favor of the Imperial Navy faction in government, the Japanese Navy would order several of these new “carriers” over the next few years. More importantly, the Japanese industrial complex would also commence a concerted effort to upgrade their fledgling Air Force with an eye towards designs which could also capably launch from the decks of Carriers.

The potential for conflict was already rising rapidly as the Joseon Kingdom was developing quickly. For years, the Kingdom had been a popular target among the Emperor’s Ministers for conquest due to a combination of proximity and natural resources in the north of the Joseon Kingdom. Japanese avarice was one of the primary reasons for the “Hermit” Kingdom to enter the global community and execute their own crash course in modernization.

Seeking reassurance, the Joseon Kingdom would renew close ties with China as well as the United States. Trade rapidly increased on both sides of the Pacific while technology was imported from both parties.

China desired closer relations with the former Imperial client state of the Joseon Kingdom to offset any realistic threat of a Manchu resurgence in China (pretty unlikely at this point) as a possible hedge against Japan.

America similarly wanted a close regional ally to counter-balance Japan and happily aided with the modernization of the Korean Army (no one used “Joseon” to describe the people themselves anymore).

Seeing the benefits of two powerful allies, the Korean people would warmly endorse the King’s efforts.
Chapter 402


Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt had just returned to New York after an extensive hunting expedition in Eastern Africa (the Roosevelt National Park in East Africa was named in his honor). Unfortunately, the strong natural preserve system he’d helped put in place in his youth and the strengthening he supported while President would prevent the hunting of several species of large game animals and he’d been stuck shooting gazelles and the like.

Oh, well.

He was pleased that Herbert Hoover had been selected by Congress for President….but also conceded the election was more than a little illegitimate. The Democrats were having a field day. In some ways, it would have been better had Smith emerged the victor as it now gave the Democrats common cause again.

Hoover, good man that he was, could not do anything without drawing criticism. He supported every controversial issue from Women’s suffrage to prohibition to forced desegregation in schools (Virginia had been at the forefront of the opposition). When black students in Virginia took their case to the Supreme Court, Hoover rallied all Republicans and Moderate Democrats to rally to the cause. The Court struck down the Virginia position and this allowed Hoover to dispatch the National Guard to forcibly desegregate Virginia’s schools. He won the battle but this action was considered extreme even by many Republican voters.

Still, Hoover managed to restore any threat of black voters migrating to the Democrats in the near future. Between the now reconciled Democratic Party’s platform starting to pander to the southerners, this would all but ensure that Republicans gain 80% plus of black voters nationwide despite many black men working in labor Unions and manning farms in the Plains (which tended to support Democrats for their positions on low tariffs, taxes, etc).

Roosevelt knew his friend needed any win he could get.

The old President was walking downtown to his favorite restaurant. He had a lunch appointment with young Theodore Churchill, Winston’s second son (and Roosevelt’s namesake and godson), who had just graduated from the Naval Academy, when Roosevelt collapsed in a sudden heart attack. He would be carried to a nearby hospital but would expire the next day after a second attack.

Having never married, Roosevelt left behind no children (that he admitted to though he was suspected of siring a pair of daughters with his African housekeeper in the 1880’s) but did have the comfort of having his Godson, Lieutenant Theodore Churchill, at his bedside as he expired.

President Hoover would declare a week of national mourning in which all flags were left at half-staff in honor of the man who led the nation for 12 years, including a war against Brazil.


Halifax, Nova Scotia

Over the course of the past 80 years, railroads had been snaking back and forth through North America, uniting the people of the disparate nations. However, few of these railroads were international.

In 1926, the ceremonial golden spike was driven into the ground at Halifax which where the North American Continental Railroad would commence construction. The Railroad would unite Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Canada, the United States and Mexico, perhaps to be extended in the future to Costa Rica and Colombia.

Soon, the railroad would link Halifax, Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, San Antonio, Monterrey, Mexico City all the way to Oaxaca.

Further, the Pacific Railway from Esquimalt to Tijuana would be extended south through Hermosillo, Guadalajara and other Western Mexican ports.

November, 1926


The Congressional elections of 1926 would maintain a slight Republican advantage in the House of Representatives but the loss of 8 Senate seats would put even that traditionally Republican stronghold in jeopardy.

Still, Hoover knew that things could be worse. The level of vitriol by the Democrats for the past two years had worn heavily upon the President. Despite having several victories in legislation (desegregation, reforestation, trade increases, manufacturing increases, etc), Hoover nevertheless felt the weight of his office. With two years to go, he was already considering declining to run for another term.

However, Hoover would “win” in one arena in 1926. A Constitutional Amendment was approved in Congress to extend suffrage to women. Soon, the process of ratifying among ¾’s of the states would commence. In truth, Hoover was uncertain if this would prove successful. There was a great deal of resistance to women’s suffrage throughout the huge and diverse nation. Getting ¾’s of the states to agree on ANYTHING was always difficult. Such a controversial topic was going to be nearly impossible despite Hoover’s support.


The government of Germany would uncover a terrible conspiracy among several high-level scientists working on various military projects. Chemists, physicists and other “intellectuals” had been secretly sharing classified information with the French Commune. Likely many self-proclaimed “intellectuals”, they deemed Marxism a great boon to the human race and saw themselves not as the equals of the working man…but their natural leaders. Thus a group of economists and philosophers who had never worked a day in their lives had convinced a number of scientists to support the most radical political theories on earth.

Several dozen would be caught and executed for sharing new nerve toxins, rocket technology and other vital state secrets to the French Marxists.


Robert La Follette, like several other high-ranking officials (Churchill and Bryan), would remain in the administration as Hoover sought to reconcile the diverse interests of his party. Considered the most Radical of the Progressives, La Follette’s leadership had stretched from food safety to reforestation to nature preserves to tribal treaties to resource extraction.

La Follette’s health was giving out and the man resigned in 1926, returning home to Wisconsin. The former Secretary of the Interior would expire only months later.

He would be among the most influential politicians of the early 20th century.


The Labor Government would, in 1926, concede “Home Rule” under Dominion status to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) as well as to Borneo. The latter had been nominally under Australian control over decades but the Australians would prove little more capable or interested in enforcing their will over Borneo and the rest of the “British East Indies”. By 1928, Sulawesi, Timor and Bali would follow in “Home Rule” which the assumption being that it would only be a matter of time before any pretense of fealty to King Albert I would be formally withdrawn.

In the end, the prospect of suppressing an inevitable revolt was simply too expensive to consider even as the revenues from mining and agriculture in these regions declined.

Colonialism just cost too much for Britain once the true jewel in her crown, India, had been lost. Taxes from India’s treasury and use of Indian manpower had effectively subsidized the British Empire for 150 years. Once that was lost, the range of British power was severely reduced even as foreign nations expanded dangerously.

Despite a fairly steady economy, there was a surge in emigration from Great Britain as the growing population would clog the cities. Australia continued to offer subsidized sailings for British immigrants and nearly 250,000 per year would leave Great Britain including Irish Protestants who were unhappy under the Republic of Ireland’s rule.

The United States, Australia, Santa Cruz, Uruguay, Brazil, the Argentine, Buenos Aires, the Dominion of the Cape (formerly Cape Colony), the Boer Republic and Australia would benefit from continued arrivals of British, Irish, German, Italian, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish and other groups migrating from Europe in hordes.

Oddly, nearly 100,000 North American blacks (and some whites) and Europeans were also migrating annually to the Co-Protectorate to take advantage of economic opportunities.


America was feeling the same pinch as taxpayers were wondering why they paid for three wars in Brazil so they could make the Amazon a huge natural preserve. They also wondered just why they hell they were paying to develop the Ainu Islands and Kamchatka when all parties suspected they were indefensible from multiple regional powers.

President Hoover was not an expansionist by any measure and loathed the expense of these far-flung possessions offering very little (Orinoco’s oil was a notable exception) to the country beyond ego gratification.

Rio de Janeiro

Having suffered terribly over the past fifty years, the new Constitution of Brazil was enacted under the threat of revolution. Emperor Pedro III gave a shockingly remorseful speech taking partial responsibility for the fiascos of the past and promptly announced his abdication in favor of his son.

Hopes that these reforms would entice Santa Cruz or the Garibaldian Republic back to the Empire were in vain as demographic differences between the regions of Brazil had long caused friction.

But Brazil began to heal as manufacturing and trade rebounded, the mines were reopened, and agricultural exports renewed.

Pedro IV would be much more in the titular monarch mold and would expressly avoid politics for fear that one more national disaster would end the only monarchy native to the Americas (many were shocked that hadn’t already happened several times over).


A delegation of Arabs including the King of the Hejaz would visit Cairo in 1926. Though greeted warmly by the Khedive, the Arabs were horrified to see unveiled women in knee-length skirts displaying their lower legs for all to see, their dark hair waving in the wind.

By most accounts, the skirts were even shorter in the Levant and the decadent Ottoman Empire. Disgusted by the display before them, no doubt encouraged by western styles, the King would stalk out of the Khedive’s palace and return home immediately certain that the Egyptians were defiling Muslim beliefs.

Among the visitors were senior members of the Arab tribes of the interior, including the House of Saud. Within months, several leading Sheiks would determine that something must be done before drunken debauchery was witnessed on the streets of Mecca.

Hindu Socialist Republic

After the failure of the previous war, the leaders of the HSR would be overthrown by another faction. Marxism and Hinduism were an odd mix. While still professing sanctity for Hindu faith, the Caste System was severely suppressed as all members of society were granted the right to partake in any occupation they desired…if that was where the Hindu Socialist Party wanted them.

The severe oppression of the land-owning class had gained much support in rural areas while urban dwellers were often pleased with the dismantling of the Caste system.

But economic and military gains proved ever more difficult to realize. Beyond dispatching agents into neighboring countries to create ethnic, religious, economic and social unrest, the HSR had singularly failed in its goal to “purify” the Subcontinent under their “Hindu” rule. Infighting among the Party would continue for the foreseeable future.

Hoping for aid against the HSR, their neighbors in Mysore, Hyderabad, Gujarat and others would seek political support from Britain. This was, naturally, capitalized upon in a HSR propaganda campaign.


A new wave of auditors would spread throughout China demanding to see local account books for expenditures. Again and again, the Republic officials would be horrified by the graft even after the nominal destruction of regional strongmen. Instead, the embezzlers would simply take their graft underground.

Huge numbers of bureaucrats were unveiled and fired for their offenses, but the problems would continue for years.

The best news of 1927 would be the successful launch of the new Chinese Battlecruiser Republic, the first of her line. Every six months, a “fast cruiser” which had the benefit of powerful guns but was also highly maneuverable would be launched from China’s shipyards.

Similarly, a new domestic class of destroyers and torpedo boats would be launched as the Chinese Navy was rebuilt. The Chinese would also cooperate with the Joseon Kingdom in producing submersibles in a Korean shipyard.

With Japan rearming, China was intent to do the same. This time, though, China would have allies in the Joseon Kingdom, America, Australia and Great Britain if it came to war.
Chapter 403


The Charter for the League of Nations was formally approved in 1927 with the intent of being embodied in 1928. 37 nations signed the initial Accord and this was expected to double within a few years.

The formation of the body would be delayed indefinitely not due to political opposition….but a dispute over the location of the headquarters.

It had long been mooted that the League of Nations would be set up somewhere in Europe, the continent which had, until recently, effectively run the world. However, regional rivalries would bring this to a halt as the new League would debate a proper home.

Many demanded that a “neutral” country like Switzerland be chosen as the home of the League lest the host country impose its will over the organization inappropriately.

There was also opposition to any location in Europe hosting the League at all by a number of former colonies.

The United States would confer with Britain and offer a solution. The United States had several lightly populated West Indian territories (St. Barts, St. Eustatius, etc) which could be leased to the League of Nations in effective sovereignty. However, there was little interest in placing the League in some tropical hell plagued with malaria and hurricanes.

Suggestions that the League “buy” some European territory like Luxembourg, Mallorca or Cyprus were heatedly rejected as well.

The entire time, nations in the Southern Hemisphere or Asia wondered why they were not considered at all. Several Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist nations demanded to know why only Christian territories were considered.

A Radical proposal recommended Jerusalem. It was thought that a body dedicated to peace would be well represented in a city that was Holy to three religions (four, including the Bahai). But this was dismissed as impractical.

Other suggestions included Beirut, Ottawa (or one of the other Canadian towns as Canada was known for its neutrality in international affairs), Quebec, Bern, Athens, “Carthage” (placed upon the ruins of ancient Carthage) and even more bizarre suggestions.

Some nations in contention would be happy to host in their capital while others didn’t want to deal with thousands of foreigners with diplomatic immunity infesting their city. Manhattan, Rome, London and other cities were discounted.

The fact was that most of the potential representatives to the League did not want to live in some isolated and poor region. They wanted to be close to culture and wealth where their children could be put in fine private schools and their families could live in the most modern of neighborhoods.

The mess could continue for years and prevent the embodiment of the League of Nations indefinitely.

April, 1928


The Republican Convention of 1928 would become deeply divisive when President Hoover announced only weeks beforehand that he would NOT be standing for a second term. Though his accomplishments were many, the President had long been fatigued with the weight of office.

This left many Republicans scrambling to enter their name on the ballot. The line between Conservatives and Progressives would once again come to the fore.


The Democratic Convention would be more peaceful as it was agreed nearly two years earlier that Al Smith and Huey Long would be the Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees….though not necessarily in that order. Most agreed that a southerner like Long was not particularly likely to be elected and Smith eventually negotiated the top place on the ballot….but had to concede to the Southern Democrats on many issues including tariffs. Surprisingly, the Democratic platform would not utter a word against desegregation (even Huey Long came out in favor) even after months of pre-negotiation.

But the Party was united and, for the first time in generations, were expected to truly compete with the Republicans on a regular basis. If the Democrats were to return to relevance, the Party had to unite.

Both Smith and Long were willing. Thus the die was cast.

As it was, there would be a tremendous number of new voters as, after over a year of arm-twisting among the states, the female vote would finally be heard in Washington as ¾’s of the states had ratified the Amendment.

No one was sure of the effect. Some dismissed female suffrage as relevant as they would simply vote for whoever their husband or father voted for. Others weren’t so sure.

Already, there was talk of a new Amendment to be proposed for national prohibition.
Chapter 404


The mammoth Poitier automotive plant would be turned, in 1928, into the Poitiers tank plant. The heavy armored vehicles had proven less mobile and versatile in the previous war than expected. Thus the French Department of War would seek to make them lighter, faster and more maneuverable.

The Bordeaux Rocket facility was also being built during this time to test the rocket designs stolen from the German Department of War by sympathetic Marxists. The designs were still rough but plainly possessed promise. There was even talk that these rockets may be loaded with assorted poison gasses someday…or even worse.

But that day, fortunately, was well off and the cause of global Marxism would be delayed for years or even decades.

Still, the Commune was certain it would come someday.


The Russian Army had not, in the past war, utilized armored vehicles. The General Staff would review the potential of tanks in the wide-open distances of the East and find that they may be more successful than in the West where mountains and rivers provided more natural boundaries. Also, the Eastern Front of the previous war seldom possessed the trench warfare capacity as in the West.

All of this meant that the Czarina, whose knowledge of war put some of her Generals to shame, would demand the construction of her own “cavalry” of tanks.

November, 1928

Albany and Baton Rouge

The 1928 election would hinge very much upon public perception of the “stolen” election of 1924 in which Hoover was selected by the Republican Congress after no individual candidate won the majority of electoral votes in the Electoral College.

Hoover was not personally unpopular but the specter of 1924 loomed large.

Al Smith and Huey Long, having agreed to reunite the factions of the Democratic Party, would win 38 of the 61 states including the vital New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

For the first time in a generation, the Democrats would control both the Presidency and the Lower House of Congress.

President Smith would even agree to allow Huey Long to remain in Louisiana as Governor of that state. Smith didn’t exactly want his rival, a known pain in the ass, to spend his time in Washington anyway. The Attorney General could not find any law AGAINST the Vice-President holding a state elected office though a lawsuit was naturally filed by Long’s Republican opponent.

Long was popular in his home state and, unlike many southern Democrats, was intent on treating black Louisianans fairly, even promoting several to high offices in his administration.

Key to the Smith/Long victories would be gaining a high portion of the Catholic vote in the northeast, the Union vote in key states, midwestern and Plains farmers and, of course, Southern Democrats.

Given the Republicans were unable to use the power of incumbency to their advantage in the 1928 election, the general disarray of the 1928 Republican convention and a vague Party platform, the Republicans would view this as a botched campaign.

As it was, actual governance would prove more difficult than opposing Republican administrations as the Democrats would soon face the same problems as their predecessors. Newly enfranchised female voters would demand Prohibition.

However, neither Smith (who had many German and Catholic constituents who opposed such a measure) nor Long (who liked to have a good time) were in favor of prohibition. Delays would only irritate female voters.

In spring of 1929, a prohibition bill was placed before the President. Agonizing, Smith would veto the bill knowing that there simply not enough votes in Congress to overturn it. Many Republicans would be secretly pleased that Smith started out his administration angering a great deal of American voters. As it was, a third of the states of America had already passed local laws regarding temperance but Smith was soon taking the majority of the blame for the remainder.

In those states which had passed Prohibition (mostly the west and Midwest), there was also a marked increase in gang warfare as an underclass of “bootleggers” would soon form as men and women inclined to drink found a way to do so.

It would seem that not a year went past when a few more states passed local laws for prohibition….and a few more repealed them.

The issue would dominate the 1920’s.

February, 1928


While Newfoundland had once been a profitable fishing center, the trade had largely died off, leaving the Dominion of Newfoundland utterly bankrupt and defaulting on her debts.

Schools would close for lack of funds, teachers wouldn’t be paid for months, Doctors would pack up their practices and move to the neighboring countries….Newfoundland was simply proving to be a failed state.

Geographically isolated with limited resources, the island looked back to Great Britain for subsidies. However, the British Empire was already tottering and was not inclined to dispatch annual payments to the Newfoundlanders.

In order to pay off debts and bring in additional funds to keep the government afloat, the Newfoundlanders would offer to sell Labrador to the Americans…..or just the highest bidder.

President Smith, fearful that an unfriendly power may attempt a foothold in North America, would offer $10,000,000 to the government of Newfoundland. This would wipe out all debts and subsidize the government for several years.

Labrador had some mineral resources identified though it was questionable if the remote and frigid land would ever attract enough settlers to be made viable.

“Smith’s Folly” would surprisingly be approved by Congress with only moderate deliberation. Mostly, the President was mocked in the media for paying good money for useless land. “Greenland Next!” was a humorous slogan by the opposition as they lambasted Smith’s willingness to purchase anything worthless.


Still recovering from the previous war financially, the Commune would place ever greater sacrifices upon the French people. Meat became almost unheard of and many young Frenchmen would never know the taste of pate. Wine, once considered the best in the world, was degraded into a miserable cheap tonic for the masses while only a small amount of quality wine was reserved for export (and Party officials).

Bread was usually a staple but potatoes, loathed by the French people, were making up an ever greater % of the French diet due to the superior calories per square meter than almost any other product.

Whenever the French government ran low of some necessity (grain in 1925), hundreds of precious paintings and other art treasures were quietly sold abroad for desperately needed currency. In one notable instance, the Mona Lisa was sold for $500,000 in America while several dozen “Old Masters” were shipped to Britain, Denmark and, of all places, Hyderabad. While France was largely self-sufficient, there were always rare metals, oil, rubber and other goods to buy abroad and France now produced little which anyone wanted. The French government had seen a purge of the old “intellectual” guard after the last war and was now run by rough Union kingpins and soldiers who found such cultural treasures “bourgeois”. The Louvre was converted to the new Paris headquarters of the People’s Army. The fine buildings, museums, castles and chateaus of France were neglected in the single-minded race to modernize the Army.

Anyone who stood in the way would be punished:

When a former head of a notable French hunting club was discovered to have been quietly feeding his beloved hounds with fish, pigeons and ducks he caught in his spare time, the government would sentence him to hard labor for 20 years. The hunting dogs were duly poisoned to eliminate a few extra mouths. More than one breed of French dogs would go extinct over the past and future decade.

When the scion of a noble family would be discovered hiding a series of family heirlooms including swords, medals, coats of arms and family portraits (deemed by the Party as public property as they were “obtained over the backs of the proletariat”), he was simply dragged from his home (a servants’ quarters above the family stable as the mansion had been converted to apartments for the proletariat) to the middle of the street and shot in the back of the head as his family and neighbors watched in horror.

With the “French Fence” long since a barrier to flight, the number of refugees from France would drop to a few thousand a year (from nearly 150,000 per year in the early days of the Commune). Viewing the future labor of an individual the property of the state, considering departing the country was by nature a crime and a grueling labor gang for life common retribution.

But order was maintained by terror, and few chose to speak out. The entirety of the state focus was upon rebuilding the army in order to ensure the survival of the Party via global Marxist conquest. Anything less was to doom France to inevitable destruction. Germany, Italy and Spain (and probably Britain) were intent on the suppression of the people and the reinstalment of reactionary government.

Anything was justified in the defiance of this fate.
Chapter 405


Despite British fears, the Irish Republic did not start confiscating British owned property en masse. In truth, over the past century, the British government had actively supported the sale of land to Irish Catholics and, by 1922, the actual quantity of land in Ireland between Catholic and Protestant was nearly equal to their respective populations.

The British were also generous in allowing cultural treasures of Ireland to remain within the Emerald Isle (with a few exceptions).

The result of all this was the continued high levels of trade between the two nations.

By 1928, the violent wing of the Orangeist Order had largely departed Ireland. Most of the Protestants that remained were reconciled to the new government. As promised, there were no restrictions on suffrage, employment or religious observance. The new Irish Constitution enshrined the freedom religion. This was somewhat at odds with alarmist predictions of forced Catholic conversions or mass slaughter.

Ulster remained tense but the worst of the troublemakers had departed the nation and the remaining Anglicans and Presbyterians found that the Catholics were NOT inclined towards vengeance.

That being said, there had been a short-term exodus from Ireland of Irish Protestants. Most would go to Britain but others would sail for North America or Australia. Of the pre-Republic population of 1.5 million Protestants, nearly 250,000 would depart within 6 years. After that, the situation settled and tension slowly reduced throughout the country. It helped that the government Ministers would actively stamp down upon the Catholic gangs that occasionally enjoyed beating up Protestants in Ulster.

Peace would descend upon Ireland by the late 1920’s and the nation would quietly prosper. Of course not everyone shared in this prosperity. Emigration was common among Catholics as well though the United States was the overwhelming destination.



The “Trial of the Century” would take place in 1928. William Jennings Bryan, having purchased his first automobile, would get behind the wheel and accidentally hit a pedestrian who had drunkenly entered the road.

Since Bryan was deemed at fault by police for failing to signal at an intersection as he turned (and then ran over the drunk), the local prosecutor would bring up charges.

Bryan would hire Clarence Darrow as his defense attorney. The jury would take only 6 hours to deliberate after a remarkable final defense and Bryan was found guilty after the pedestrian was deemed at fault.

However, Bryan’s reputation was severely damaged and he would suffer a stroke only three days after the trial. He lingered for a few months before dying. With Roosevelt and La Follette already dead, this would effectively put to bed the Progressive end of the Party. However, Roosevelt had already achieved much of what he desired in food safety, national parks, trust-busting, etc and the Progressive agenda had largely been indoctrinated permanently in government. Even President Smith, the first Democratic President in a generation, would make few efforts to undo any of the previous Republican policies.
Chapter 406


Instead, Smith would rely upon the tried and tested lowering of tariffs (not exactly a hot button issue in 1926) and other long held Democrat ideals while also supporting labor Unions, accusing the Republicans of anti-Catholicism, etc, etc (the latter two being important in the vital northeastern battleground states).

The November, 1926, Congressional elections went poorly for the Democrats. By the closest margin in history, only three votes, the Democrats retained control in the House of Representatives and they lost six seats in the Senate.

Virtually none of Smith’s platform addressed Southern Democratic desires like rolling back desegregation laws. Indeed, Smith even ordered Federal forces into Virginia when, once again, local politicians sought prevent black students from attending “white” schools. Virtually no one in the party believed that Smith was willing to cross his southern supporters. However, Smith not only supported desegregation but knew that failing to put a stop to this behavior would ensure that not a single northeastern state would vote Democrat in the near future.

Even Vice-President Long, during a short visit to Washington (he remained Governor of Louisiana), would condemn Virginia’s government for their actions, accusing them of perpetuating “ante-bellum” policies. Unfortunately, this would end badly for Long as, in 1927, an outraged Louisiana Democrat would shoot the Governor/Vice-President in the liver as he walked down the streets of Baton Rouge. He would die the next day. It was the first major political assassination in recent American history.

Though he experienced a bit of a boost in sympathy after the assassination of Huey Long, Smith would alienate yet another constituency when he ordered the Justice Department to investigate accusations of corruption in various Unions, most notably the National Brotherhood of Teamsters under the foreign born “Big Joe” Jughashvili as he was now known.

“Big Joe” had been in command of the New Jersey Teamsters when the famous Indian-born Labor Lawyer Mohandas Gandhi had “disappeared” after seeking to investigate the New Jersey Teamster books. He would not be happy to learn that the candidate he’d helped elect was now sticking the Presidential nose in his business.



After years of seeking respect for female accomplishments in aviation, the young Amelia Earhart would pilot her custom-built plane across the Atlantic with her co-pilot the young Anne Morrow from Boston to Cork. They were but the latest in a long line of female aviation pioneers. However, none would reach the Earhart/Morrow level of fame as no one had ever piloted across an ocean before. That it was a team of WOMEN doing this would make the two world-famous and inspire a generation of young girls.

The two would commence a world tour in 1928 and be feted wherever they went.

In 1928, they would form an all-women’s “Ladies Flying Circus” with such luminaries as Willa Brown, Pancho Barnes and Katherine Cheong. Eager to gain support for their products, Brewster would donate a dozen of their latest model aircraft to the flying circus and even paid for the mechanics and spare parts.

For the next 22 months, the Ladies Flying Circus, with 18 female pilots, would dazzle the world….and make a great deal of money for the Circus. Maneuverable biplanes would make death-defying leaps while the new Brewsters would give live demonstrations of firepower as the women blasted fixed targets on the ground. Finally, mock dogfights would astound the public.

Perhaps more shocking, not a single life was lost in these demonstrations, quite unusual for the time. Even the best-designed planes would regularly malfunction….and malfunctions while a pilot was attempting maneuvers was a bad situation. Thus, the Ladies Flying Circus would become globally famous.

Of course, there were always doubters. Many conjectured that women were not actually flying the planes and some sort of “switch” was taking place. This would irritate the pilots greatly and eventually some local notables would be “invited” to partake as passengers. Normally after a stomach-tossing ride, the regional politicians and press would be forced to eat their words…..and hope they didn’t throw them back up.

By 1931, the Ladies Flying Circus would travel to China. Already over a dozen Chinese Women had trained with the Flying Circus and it was thought that the show would be equally successful in China.



The USS Princeton, the first custom-built American aircraft carrier, would launch in 1928. A series of bi-planes would service the massive ship as fighters, torpedo craft and even experimental bombers (new designs for a “dive-bomber” were already in the works in numerous countries, most notably America, Japan, Great Britain and Italy).

France would see this trend and, having failed to significantly upgrade her Navy, would instead opt to concentrate precious resources upon heavy bombers over the next decade with the assumption that capital ships would be unable to bring down high-flying planes at thousands of feet.

While the aircraft carrier program had been initiated under Hoover, Smith would support it and three more of this Princeton-class Carrier (Saratoga, Lexington and Concord) would launch in the next four years. Smith also approved designs for a larger class, the Ranger-class, to supersede the Princeton-class vessels in 1933.

This would be matched only by Japan, which would launch four carriers by 1932 and, like America, move on to a new model in 1933.

Great Britain would nearly keep pace with three carriers by 1933 but Great Britain would also convert several old cruisers to “escort” carriers in the next few years (as would America).


For the past several years, the modest German National Workers’ Party remained a minor regional power. However, the German Liberal and German Conservative coalition in power would be slow to condemn the rise of Marxist “elitism” (an odd expression but an accurate one as most of the Marxist figureheads in Germany were not “workers” or “proletariat” but, in the eyes of the GNWP, spoiled upper class self-proclaimed “intellectuals” with degrees in Liberal Arts and, unsurprisingly, never worked a day in their lives. When such people spoke of the coming “Revolution”, they generally did not see themselves working in fields or factories alongside the “Proletariat” but ruling over them, taking adulations for their leadership.

The German National Workers’ Party was comprised of actual workers and veterans and was as dedicated to a fair deal for workers as they were against the loathsome French Marxists. Naturally, they frequently accused Liberal and Conservatives of virtual treason for their ill-preparation during the previous two wars against the Commune.

The German National Workers Party was led by Ernst Rohm, a rather “flamboyant” fellow with a knack for organization and propaganda (and a penchant for handsome young party members).

Rohm would see his petty regional Party grow in the aftermath of the latest war and force itself into the coalition with the fading Conservatives who had feuded with their Labor colleagues. In 1928, the Conservative/Liberal coalition fell and the Conservatives and Workers Party would form an unwieldy alliance.

March, 1928

St. Louis

President Al Smith would announce his intention to run for a second term in 1928 despite his unpopularity in the South, with Women and with the Unions, all key demographics in the Democratic Party. Several candidates opposed him in the 1928 St. Louis Convention but few were able to forge any form of alliance and Smith would be selected on the first ballot despite his perceived weakness.

Worse, the stock market had crashed in 1927. Only the laws passed by the Republican Progressives demanding a three day “break” in sales in the face of a major selloff and the active intervention of the Bank of the United States would prevent a total catastrophe.

But the nation was shaken economically, and Smith was taking the blame.

Still, Smith’s political outlook was not too bad. The Republicans had yet to present a unified front and had lost many of the old “Progressive” vote.

Smith would take the bland John Nance Garner of Texas as his Vice-Presidential Candidate.

The Party Platform would outrage Southern Democrats who, once again, failed to gain any significant concessions on the Democratic platform despite usually providing half the Democrat electoral votes.

The Republicans would oddly tout the accomplishments of the “Progressive” years but run Robert Taft of Ohio, a well-known Conservative. His vice-President would be Jeb Stuart II of Virginia (though he’d spent most of his life outside of that state), oddly the scion of a Confederate General but a war hero to all of America after his service in Brazil. Taft would cannily refer to this as a “unification” of America.

November, 1928


In a heatedly contested election, Smith would win a second term despite Taft actually winning more of the popular vote. Several close state elections would swing in Smith’s favor despite claims by the Republicans that several Unions had fraudulently arranged for large numbers of dead people to somehow climb out of their graves and vote Democrat.

Vitriol would be so great as these claims were largely proven through 1929 (after Smith took office) that the relationship between Parties would dip to a terrible extent.

Viewing the election, in retrospect, a referendum on Republican policies, Taft, now effectively the standard bearer of the Party, would directly attack any anti-Catholic Republicans, even to the point of threatening to evict them from the Party. The Republicans also formally supported the right to “peaceful strike” and publicly assailed any businesses which even threatened strikebreakers.

Most cunningly, the Republicans also condemned Smith’s veto of Prohibition….while also not supporting it.

Smith would continue to take the blame for the Stock Market Crash of ’27 for no other reason that he was in power at the time.

Perhaps more unlucky than incompetent, Smith’s policy of cleaning up Unions would receive a great deal of resistance from corrupt Union officials including the head of the Teamsters’ Union.
Chapter 407
August, 1929


President Al Smith would collapse over his soup while dining in his favorite Manhattan restaurant. Smith had intended this visit home as a publicity tour but searing pain in his innards would rather spectacularly ruin his day.

Hours later, arsenic would be discovered in his vomit and Presidential Security and local police (a security guard would wisely seize the remnants of the President’s soup) and fall upon the restaurant owner. Within half an hour, the man confessed that the leader of a local union head had approached him to put several members of their organization on his staff in return to paying off the man’s debts. He swore that he had no idea that an assassination was planned. He just assumed that the Teamsters wanted to meet the President so they have a story to tell their grandchildren.

The “waiters” were promptly identified and a manhunt was launched. However, the men would never be found (they were at the bottom of the Hudson). When the leader of the Teamsters was confronted by the accusation, the Georgian-born man would laugh and claim that his Union “was not in the business of bailing out restaurants and denied having any such men on Teamster payrolls”. In truth, no evidence was ever found despite a rigorous investigation.

However, the Justice Department investigation would find “irregularities” among the Union books and would severely lean upon the Teamsters.

Worse, several letters between the Vice-President and multiple Unions would imply that Garner was in opposition to Smith’s policies and “had he been in charge” would have acted differently. While this was feeble evidence, the Vice-President was smeared with the insinuation.

In the meantime, the Southern Democrats, irritated by lack of Democratic support for their issues, would openly discuss separating from the main Democratic Party once again.

Smith would survive his attack. Despite the bump in personal popularity, the administration was fatally weakened, and little was done to remedy the ongoing recession. Smith was almost continuously ill, the Vice-President utterly isolated, the Southern Democrats and Union bosses were resentful, and the Republicans were at least positioning themselves as Progressives again.


The Radical Nationalist Party would suffer terribly in the 1928 election as it gained only 6% of the vote (4th place out of six parties). The Nationalists would be invited as a very…..very…..junior member of a three Party coalition and only granted low-level Cabinet positions.

Once in ascension, dreams of a Nationalist Italy were fading fast.


The Spanish Nationalists, on the other hand, were assuming control from the Monarchists…..though the distinction was weak at best. Mostly both Nationalists and Monarchists wanted to reclaim Navarre, the Basque territory and Catalonia…..while also seeking vengeance upon France.

The latter seemed unlikely given the strides France was making militarily….which were not even remotely being matched in Spain.


Czarina Anna would personally visit the new “Tank” factory in which tooling was being installed for the new “Peter” Tanks. By most accounts, this would be the best armored tank on earth with the heaviest gun. While perhaps not as fast or maneuverable than others, the Russian machines would make up with raw power.

Rumor had it that the German, French and American designs rolling out for production would find the Russian Armor difficult to penetrate and would be unlikely to survive a single shot of the Russian machines.

The Nationalist Government would pursue a tact of free land in Central Asia to Russian farmers, well-paying (and protected) jobs for urban workers and a propaganda campaign of “Slavism, Orthodoxy and Crown”. It would work fairly well as the Russian economy progressed with the improvement of infrastructure. Resource extraction skyrocketed in the Urals with the expansion of the railroad, canals, roads, etc.

Henry Ford, fresh from his embarrassment in supplying a factory to the Commune in hopes of advocating peace, would then try the same in Russia (where at least he would be allowed to take profits) after visiting in 1926. A new automotive plant outside of St. Petersburg would generate thousands of jobs. The rising middle class of Russia would consume hundreds of thousands of new automobiles a year and Ford wanted a piece of that market.

Ford would also open factories to supply airplanes and tractors (two lesser-known branches of his Empire) in Russian cities.

Pleased to see all three plants producing by 1928, Ford would turn his eyes to Colombia, China, Australia and Africa. Visits to Luanda and Shanghai would see the wealthy industrialist open new factories in 1929. Melbourne and Medellin would follow in 1930 and 1931, respectively.

Central Arabia

While many local tribes would agree that the “western” (i.e. Egypt, the Levant and the Ottoman) nations had become decadent and heretical with their grasp of European Christian social mores, they were NOT willing to accept Saud’s Salafi “leadership”. A vicious war sprung up in central Arabia as the traditional Bedouin tribes clashed for domination. Eventually, a coalition of tribes would push the House of Saud from their own lands into the Hejaz….their nominal allies.

However, the remnants of the House of Saud would take advantage of this hospitality by seizing control over the Kingdom and thus dominating the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina.

In past years, the King of Hejaz had banned “western” Muslims to pilgrimage until they mended their ways. Under threat from Egypt, this was withdrawn. The leader of the House of Saud would use this as justification to overthrow the King of Hejaz and declare himself the new Khalif of Islam and declare Salafism to be the true path of Islam. While many Muslims would agree that their “western” cousins had strayed, no significant polity was inclined to put up with the pretentions of the House of Saud.

However, to the surprise of many, there was little actual external movement against the Hejaz. Egypt and Persia were enduring a transfer of power to new monarchs while the Arabs of central Arabia were more interested in splitting the oil-rich Saudi lands among themselves. Eventually a compromise was reached in which a new “House” was founded via intermarriage between several powerful neighboring Arab states.
Chapter 408

Hindu Socialist Republic

The HSR, while preparing for yet another advance across their borders, would see a major insurrection by Indians who had tired of the Socialist experiment. The nation’s economy was in tatters, millions had been killed or displaced and many Hindus remained resentful of the HSR’s repudiation of the Caste System (which they viewed as central to Hindu orthodoxy).

It was a regional strong man, a General with pretentions of seizing power in Oudh, that commenced the rebellion of 1928. While that particular officer would swiftly be murdered by his second in command and be just as quickly forgotten, this would-be regional strongman would kick off the general revolt as Indians tired of economic depression, hunger and war would violently rebel against the Hindu Socialist Republic, which had effectively failed in their every goal.

February, 1930


“Big Joe” Jughashvili had, in the eyes of many Union officials, vastly overstepped if his participation in the attempted Presidential assassination was even remotely true.

Other Union bosses would quietly seek to oust the man from office. However, “Big Joe’s” popularity would be so high that no vote among the general Teamster population would go against him. Finally, several high-ranking executives would quietly make a deal with a local gangster in Chicago named Capone to eliminate their problem while Big Joe was visiting local Teamster offices.

A group of men wearing police uniforms would intercept Big Joe’s party with the statement that the Justice Department wanted to interview him again. Big Joe would laugh as nothing the Justice Department would or could be pinned upon him. However, instead of being driven to the nearest police station, the group would be ushered into a nearby building to “await the wagon”.

As the Teamsters joked among one another, several of the “police” would return with machine guns and cut the Union men down in cold blood. The “police” then departed and disappeared. It would be termed the “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre”.

Immediately rumors abounded that President Smith had arranged the murders in retribution. Others stated it was Vice-President Garner who wiped out his allies to cover his tracks. There was conjecture that other parties in the Teamsters arranged it while some thought it was related to gang retaliation for the Teamsters refusing to pay protection money.

As it was, President Smith would continue to weaken and frequently be unable to attend his duties. The Democratic Party as well as the administration would weaken with him.

January, 1931


In 1931, the African National Congress based in Luanda would formally issue a statement of intent to eliminate the “appointees” to the Congress and the local Councils by Great Britain, the United States, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia and Madagascar.

While these “appointed” members were now in a substantial minority and most of which were African-born or of African-American descent, the ANC was plain regarding that Africa was not to be ruled by foreigners.

When asked if they were intent on dissolving the Co-Protectorate, the leaders were coy. Africa had prospered with the Anglo-American relationship and the protection afforded by those two nations had ensured that France, Italy and other potential colonial nations were stymied in their ambitions. Lacking a navy (and having no financial resources to create one), the ANC was willing to maintain a level of relationship if it be a relationship of equals. The Protectorate, they reminded the Americans and British, was not a colony nor the property of those nations.

As both America and Britain were currently ruled by anti-colonial governments, this was undoubtedly the best time for the Congress’ leaders to act. Still, many doubted that both Britain and America (particularly the former) would simply accept the removal of appointed Congressmen and Councilors.

But the ANC would prove correct in wagering that the weakened Al Smith lacking the slightest interest in forcing Africa to his will. Even the Ramsay MacDonald government in London would find little support to dispatch army and navy units to Africa to maintain control. The ANC would be careful to ensure that British and American financial interests were not threatened and widely proclaim that maintaining the long-time defensive alliance to be Africa’s deepest desire.


After years of construction, nearly 2000 French tanks (mostly Renaults)had been built and quietly stored throughout the country. The number was carefully kept secret while ten divisions of French armored cavalry were openly trained on older models.

Years of work was coming to fruition. The Germans had kept pace with technology….but not quantities. The French standing army was bigger, the reserve was better organized, and actual materials were in greater volume.

But this was not the true measure of French plans. The same advantage had been held in the last war and this turned into a miserable failure. Instead, an appalling secret treaty was approved with the arch-reactionary, the Czarina of Russia.

A coordinated strike against Germany, Poland and the other “democracies” and an agreement to divide Europe between the two countries signed. Absolutely no one in Europe would even accept possibility of such a treaty given the degree of political antipathy between Nationalist Russia and Marxist France.
Chapter 409
Joseon Kingdom, March, 1932

While the Joseon Kingdom’s economy had made great strides, politically it remained quite stagnant under the King and his powerful court of advisors.

In 1932, several Generals at the behest of a number of jailed dissidents would overthrow the King and declare a Republic. Immediately, it became apparent that the Republic of China had quietly supported the action. The King and hundreds of his advisors and high-ranking officials were exiled from the Joseon Kingdom under penalty of death should they ever return. Most would end up on Hokkaido where they became wards of the state. Another 10,000 Monarchists, political rivals and their family members would soon join them. Eventually, a large portion would arrive in San Francisco upon a special visa from the Smith Administration, becoming the first major wave of Asian immigrants since the Anti-Asian laws were put in place almost a century prior.

Oddly, this did not damage relations between the United States and the new Republic of Korea. Indeed, the Koreans were grateful to America for the favor. Not desiring to commence their new nation with a massacre, the removal of the Old Guard would lead to a smoother transition. Also, the American economic ties to Korea would remain in place.

However, both the Manchu Emperor in Manchuria and the Emperor of Japan would loudly object. The last thing they wanted was another Republic on their borders (or, in the case of Japan, across a narrow body of water). Japan would, in early, take advantage of a temporary clash between regional rivals in Korea to invade. Of course, the Japanese had no intention of putting the Joseon Emperor back upon the throne. Instead, they meant to conquer, this time a land closer to home which was more easily defended.

The Japanese Navy, newly rebuilt, would ferry dozens of regiments of Imperial Army across the narrow sea. Within weeks, the entirety of the country, barring a few partisans in the mountains, would be under Japanese control.

The Republic of China openly threatened war if the Japanese did not withdraw. This was roundly ignored.

April, 1932


Against any expectation, Al Smith, his visage mottled after his poisoning, actually lived to see the Democratic Convention in 1932. Unsurprisingly, the Texan John Nance Garner would NOT be nominated for the Presidency.

Instead, it would be a relative neophyte in Congressman William McAdoo from Tennessee who would be named the candidate.

For the Republicans, Robert Taft was the presumed frontrunner but would be shocked to find resistance to his candidacy. Instead, his former Vice-Presidential running mate, Jeb Custer Stuart II would be put forth as it was deemed he had less of a political record to defend. Taft was offered the Vice-Presidential position but politely declined through gritted teeth and stated that he could do more good from the Senate.

June, 1932

Sea of Japan

After months of threats, the Chinese Navy would sail forth towards the Republic of Korea. With four heavy battleships, five cruisers and eight destroyers, the Chinese commander was confident.

Unfortunately, the Chinese Admiralty had not yet fully reckoned with the threats from above. Many indeed doubted that the new torpedo planes or bombers could even dent the paint of a capital ship.

They were proved wrong with astounding speed. Without even catching sight of the Japanese fleet, the Chinese would lose two battleships and a cruiser to air assault. Another cruiser would be crippled by a submersible.

The trailing Chinese convoy bearing 60,000 troops would wisely turnabout and fortunately return without losing a single transport.

It was only at this point that the Chinese realized that they had VASTLY underestimated the potential of air combat. Indeed, there was not a volume aircraft manufacturer in China. Most of what the Chinese had were aging biplanes intended mainly for scouting.

The only way that the Chinese could expel Japan from Korea was to march through Manchuria via land. But the Japanese had, once again, beaten them to the punch.

July through October, 1932


Newly confident, the Japanese Army would march north into southern Manchuria. The conquest would likely have been easy had it not been for the threat of the Chinese Republican Army advancing through the narrow strip of Manchurian land between China and Korea.

The Japanese would be forced to turn to face them. Ironically, this would save the Manchu Emperor who still claimed China as his Kingdom. By 1932, the Chinese no longer cared about the Emperor and certainly didn’t view him as a threat. If anything, China was amused by the aging buffoon. Lacking any interest in conquering Manchuria itself, China’s Republican leadership would march through southern Manchuria in hopes of liberating their Korean allies.

Southern Manchuria would become a charnel pit as two modern armies would clash. Unlike the vast gulf between the Japanese Army Air Corps and China’s “scouting corps”, the Chinese army was technologically quite compatible in training and technology to the Japanese. If anything, the Chinese artillery was superior in quality and the standard rifles and machine guns were equivalent.

But the Chinese would find the Japanese control of the air almost insurmountable. While the Japanese Army Air Corps was considered well behind in design to the Imperial Navy (often comprised of older Kawasaki 29 biplanes), there was still a massive gap to the Chinese.

Desperate, the Chinese Republic would appeal to the only group available with modern combat aircraft: the Ladies Flying Circus. Comprising nearly 40 women at this point, the Flying Circus had trained over a dozen Chinese females to fly. Indeed, the number of hours flown by these women were higher than the average Imperial Navy pilot (fuel wasn’t cheap).

Though the idea was considered absurd in some areas, the Chinese government, hearing endless complaints that even the modestly effective Japanese bombers (usually escorted by biplanes) were blunting the Chinese offensive, would offer any of the Ladies Flying Circus a thousand dollars for each Japanese plane shot down. This had been intended to only apply to the Chinese women in the Circus. However, 14 American (and one Canadian) women would agree to fight for China alongside 12 Chinese pilots.

Among the volunteers were the founders of the Flying Circus, Amelia Earhart and Ann Barrow. Both were revolted by the depredations of the Japanese Army in Korea, including forced sexual slavery of Korean women.

The twenty-seven female pilots would form a military wing named after the primary Brewster plane which they flew: the Buffalos.

Over the course of the next four months, the Buffalos would quietly assemble on airstrips behind Chinese lines and, in one day, give the Japanese pilots the surprise of their lives. The Japanese Mitsubishi 31 bombers, the preeminent light Japanese bomber at this point of the war, could pinpoint large bombs with startling accuracy. However, they were also slow and poorly defended with small defensive machine guns prone to jamming. Intended to also serve as torpedo planes, the aeronautical potential of the plane had been severely compromised by the design committee.

The Buffalos were superior in speed, maneuverability, armor and firepower to the bulk of the Japanese Air Corp planes in use.

From September to October, the Buffalos would shoot down 20 bombers and 18 fighters (mostly old biplanes). No expecting any real resistance in the air, the Japanese Army had failed to upgrade their planes on a regular basis. Not helping was the fact that the Imperial Navy, now back in good graces in Kyoto, would successfully allocate virtually all new planes to their service, their development having been paid for by the Navy and designed for carrier operations, refused to relinquish a single plane to their rivals in the Army General Staff.

A series of reporters would, almost in disbelief, dispatch report after report of the Buffalos ’ heroics. The western world would be simultaneously awed and horrified that WOMEN would actually be fighting men….and dying…..and WINNING!

By October, eight of the Buffalos had been shot down and another two wounded in combat.

Amelia Earhart, however, would be formally and globally recognized as the first American ace having seven confirmed kills.

And she wasn’t even fighting for HER country.

But the efforts of only a small number of women would have disproportionate influence on the front. The Japanese bombers dared only fly in formation with as many escorts as possible. This severely reduced their effectiveness and the suddenly confident Chinese Army of 250,000 would crash into 75,000 Japanese in southern Manchuria.

The Manchuria Army itself would not be idle. Attempting to push back the Japanese had proven pointless. However, the long-suffering Manchurians WOULD seize upon the old Manchu Emperor as the cause of their woes and overthrow him in his own makeshift capital. Like the Koreans, the Manchurians would quietly force the Emperor across the border and then to Hokkaido….and then on to San Francisco where he would, rather unbelievably, set up his court in an adjacent neighborhood to the Joseon King with his own huge Court of almost 2000 loyalists.

Declaring the “Republic of Manchuria” was popular with the people…..but did little to affect the military situation.

Mongolia, which had paid lip service to the Mandarin for years, would formally announce a Republic but no one - not the Japanese, Manchurians, Koreans or Chinese - were inclined to spend much time caring about that.
Chapter 410
November, 1932


With a surprising majority (78% of electoral votes and 60% of the popular vote), General Jeb Stuart (retired) would win the Presidency. Within days of his acceptance speech, Stuart would visit with President Smith and the two would share a brief but surprisingly amicable discussion.

Stuart informed the President that war was already here in Asia and would almost certainly spread soon to the Ainu Islands while war in Europe was inevitable.

He asked that President Smith begin the process of readying the nation’s resources for war. To his immense surprise, Smith agreed. He had long shared the same beliefs that Japan, France and possibly Russia intended yet another attempt at their own regional (or, in the case of the French Commune, GLOBAL) domination. The Democracies of the world – China, Germany and Italy – were under dire threat.

As the reach and destructive power of submersibles and aircraft continued to expand exponentially, it was obvious to Stuart that war must come to America.

And who could say? Maybe BRAZIL would like a fourth Brazilian-American War?

The new Aircraft Carrier, USS Ranger, a behemoth, would launch the following month with the Wasp expected by late summer (Stuart would request this got pulled forward if at all possible).

Smith agreed to formally request an immediate expansion of 100,000 volunteers to the army and massive surge in munitions and other military supply orders.

Three of the four American carriers (and two “escort” carriers), six battleships, seven cruisers and a host of destroyers and submersibles were consolidated in the Pacific Theater including large squadrons in Hokkaido, Sakhalin and the Chamorro Islands. Several squadrons of Army Air Corp fighters and bombers were dispatched to Hokkaido as were 20,000 soldiers.

Stuart would be forever grateful that his predecessor put country ahead of politics and four months of preparation were not wasted. He imagined that President Lincoln would have loved to receive the same cooperation from President Buchanan in 1860/61. He resolved never to speak ill of Smith in public.

The President-elect only wished his close friend George Stuart Custer Jr was still alive. He would have happily put the man in command of the army in Hokkaido. So who would he turn too?

The “old generation” of Blackjack Pershing, Leonard Wood and others had either died or grown infirm. They had served their countries well but it was time for a new guard.

By Christmas, Stuart had already determined that men like Douglas MacArthur and George Patton were next in line for high command. Stuart had served with most of the highest ranking soldiers still in uniform and knew which ones were flexible enough to fight in a new age with new weapons.

The President-Elect would also quietly meet with the British Ambassador. Relations between the two nations had chilled in recent years after America purchased Labrador from Newfoundland and Britain received no assistance from America over maintaining power in the Co-Protectorate (though even the British Labor Government was lukewarm on that issue).

Stuart would gage the British will to intervene in Europe AND Asia. By the preponderance of resources, Australia was more important than Britain in Asia, but Britain would still often dictate policy. At the very least, Australia would not go to war without Britain.

The Ambassador could not reply but vowed to immediately request a response on the general global condition from Downing Street. Stuart hoped that the old Anglo-American relationship may lead to a joint response to the aggression of the Marxist and Nationalist governments worldwide.

December, 1932


The German Confederation’s leaders (they had filter through four Chancellors in as many years) would not be completely blind to the threat. Belatedly, the Germans would call for an immediate increase of production of tanks and other war materials for themselves and their eastern allies.

Bizarrely, the current coalition had brought back in the National Workers Party into their alliance and their leader, Ernst Rohm, would serve as Minister of War. While considered a dangerous man, he was also a capable organizer and was respected among the working man (despite rumors of his sexual proclivities and general loathing of the man by his coalition partners).

The German reserve system’s creaking machinery would begin to grind. However, Rohm suspected that it was already too late.

He would prove correct.

January, 1933


Against all expectations, the Commune would launch an attack by land in the dead of winter. Within days, the combination of air and land artillery would crush the scrambling Belgian Army and drive eastwards across the frozen canals of the Netherlands bound for the Rhine. Led by thousands of maneuverable and fast French tanks (the Renaults sacrificed power for speed and reliability), the French forces brushed aside the Belgians, Dutch and advance German troops and cross the Rhine in a lighting attack. With beachheads established, nearly a million French troops would be across the Rhine into the Rhineland by February.


By common agreement, the Russians would strike in the dead of winter as well. On the eastern front, the spring rains were as big an obstacle as the winter snows. The Russians, however, were accustomed to fighting in the snow. The new Russian tank, while simple, was the most powerful (both in arms and armor) on earth. It was also the heaviest and the Russians preferred to use it in the snow rather than the mud of spring. Also, the Russians had mastered the art of keeping engines running in the most frigid of conditions (the German tanks would not have such design dedication).

But Byelorussia would fall almost before its allies could even recognize the situation. The Ukraine and Poland were still in the midst of mobilizing when the Russians reached their own borders.

Neither had an armored Corps worth the name and the eastern front would witness thousands of Polish horse cavalry charging Russian tanks with the most predictable of results.
Chapter 411
February 1933


Less than a month away from the Oath of Office, the President-elect would summon the senior Republican on the House Military Oversight Committee, Harold Clark. He was also a black man from Mississippi and a former West Point graduate.

“I don’t have time for idle chatter, Congressman,” Stuart waved him into a chair. “You are the most knowledgeable in Congress on military affairs. Will you serve as Secretary of War?”

The Congressman was stunned. Jeb Stuart was somewhat controversial in the Republican Party for being the son of THE Jeb Stuart of the Confederate Army. Despite the senior man returning to serve the Union honorably for decades and the junior having been a loyal American his entire life, there remained questions about the President-Elect’s fealty. Offering a black man one of the highest offices in the land was something of a shock.

But the Clark swiftly agreed and was directed to prepare a proposal, pre-inauguration, to Stuart as to how rapidly America could ramp up production. Having already thought of this, the Congressman agreed to offer highlights of American military status and how quickly the industrial complex could be mobilized…both before and after an actual declaration of war. Stuart commented he was sure he found the right man.

The Secretary of the Navy position would be easy to fill. Winston Churchill had surprisingly lost a Senate election four years earlier in New York but remained powerful in the Party. Having served three presidents as Naval Secretary, he was happy to make it four (though he actually longed for the Secretary of State position). Two of Churchill’s sons were active-duty sailors. One commanded the USS Princeton now steaming for the Pacific and another a destroyer in the Atlantic.

When Churchill asked just when the President-elect planned on direct intervention, Stuart would reply, “It is only a matter of time before the Marxists or Nationalists choose that for us.”

By the time Stuart was being sworn in, it was the Japanese who had determined this.

March 1933

Waters off of Republic of Korea (Japanese client state)

The Chinese Navy, still stinging from its defeat, would resolve to regain their honor as best they could. The threat of the Japanese aircraft carriers had been adequately proven in any mind. However, where the surface ships had failed, the Chinese hoped that their flotilla of eight submersibles would succeed.

Entirely domestically designed, the Chinese submersibles were small and underpowered by some measures….but were remarkably quiet as well. Six out of the eight functional Chinese submersibles would sail out in a pack. By more dumb luck than skill, they happened upon a convoy of Japanese reinforcements and supply bound for Korea. Six transports and two supply ships were sent to the bottom with a loss of over 12,000 men. The Japanese escorts, including two cruisers and six destroyers, would launch lethal depth charges over the side at the rapidly diving Chinese submersibles. Amazingly, none were sunk but two had been shaken badly and sprung enough leaks to convince their Captains to return home for repairs as soon as the Japanese ships circling overhead departed.

Seeking more prey, the Chinese submersibles would break out into two packs of two. One of these would sink a pair of large Japanese fishing vessels and a lone Japanese supply ship.

The other pair of Chinese submersibles would find bigger prey two days later when they encountered a small convoy of Imperial Navy ships. Waiting patiently for the Destroyer screen to pass by, the submersibles would put three torpedoes into the “Light” or “Mini” Carrier Shoho. The vessel would attempt to make for home waters but eventually would lose power and capsize.

The vengeful Japanese Destroyer Captains would manage to sink one of the Chinese submersibles but the second would return home to tell the tale.

March, 1933

Waters off of Hokkaido

Angry at the loss of so many ships, the Japanese navy would show no mercy against Chinese, Korean or Manchurian vessels (there weren’t many left of the latter two).

After a quartet of Chinese “Torpedo Boats” managed to sail from a hidden cove along Manchuria’s small Pacific Coastline and sink a Japanese Destroyer, the Imperial Navy effectively began firing upon anything that floated. This included an American ship transporting Manchurian Monarchists (and some Americans) from Manchuria to Hokkaido. Over 200 lives were lost including 43 American civilians and sailors.

Hamburg, off of the North Sea

In secret agreement with the incoming American President, the British Royal Navy would escort a convoy bearing 200 American “Grant” Tanks and 180 British “Cromwell” Tanks to Hamburg per a “pre-negotiated” series of treaties with Germany.

Though Germany possessed 2200 Tanks compared to 2000 French and 1500 Russian, many of the German tanks were obsolete and too small to be put into the field. They also had the minor problem of fighting on two fronts. Thus the “already agreed” sale of British and American tanks would be delivered “despite the hostilities”.

The Germans would gratefully receive the armored vehicles as they had thousands of trained armored cavalry personnel without functional tanks. Even unfamiliar vehicles were better than nothing.

However, the British and Americans would not get away with this so easily as French aircraft would bombard the port and sink two American (both transports) and three British ships (two transports and one destroyer).

Condemning the British and Americans as cowards for breaking long-standing global conventions on not supplying combatants, the Commune made no pretense or claims that they believed the ships were “German”.

Indeed over the preceding years, the Commune had formed a level of contempt for both Britain and America, considering the former too weak and cowardly to engage in a general European war any more and the decadent Americans contemptable for preferring to wage war on “Banana Republics” rather than real powers.

As Jeb Stuart II was being sworn in, the British Empire (“What was left of it!” the Commune would caustically retort) was already moving towards a declaration of war.

Hindu Socialist Republic

After an extended Civil War, the Hindu Socialist Republic had effectively collapsed under its own weight. Bereft of a central authority, assorted Generals and regional Governors would begin declaring themselves Rajas, Princes, Presidents-for-life, Dictator, etc, etc. The misery of the northern subcontinent would continue after years of turmoil. Millions had died of hunger and warfare….and millions more would follow.

Southern Manchuria

Swollen with reinforcements, the Japanese Army would press the Chinese slowly backwards. With very little armor present on either side and limited bomber support, the Japanese would rely upon maneuver and, if all else failed, direct assaults. This would prove costly to say the least as the Chinese would repeatedly dig trenches akin to previous wars. In Europe, these were no longer feasible…but the Japanese Army had not been formed with armored vehicles at the forefront. Instead, the army had been designed to conquer and occupy isolated islands throughout the South Pacific, usually home to undeveloped peoples.

The only armor immediately available to the Japanese were what they referred to as “mini-tanks”. These were adequate to repulse bullets but were completely vulnerable to shells of almost any kind.

Still, the Japanese would, by necessity, seek to emulate the massed tank attacks of the previous war (and the one ongoing) in Europe by concentrating 87 of these mini-tanks in hopes of creating breakthroughs. This would work…..until the Japanese came upon a Chinese detachment with 40 American “Grant” Tanks and dozens of anti-tank guns, all “hull-down” dug into the earth to reduce their profile. The Japanese mini-tanks were utterly obliterated in the first and last significant tank engagement in the war.

However, the Japanese would not quite there. Instead, they organized a massive artillery bombardment upon the area and forced the Chinese back with heavy reinforcements….to the next trench.

Just as importantly, the Japanese would begin to truly dominate the skies. The “Buffalos ” had, over the past months, been decimated after repeated engagements. Nearly half the original women in the unique military unit had been killed and several others had suffered nervous breakdowns. Even the arrival of a male squadron of “volunteers” in the new “Tiger” planes specially designed for the US Army Air Corps had not been near enough to turn the tide. The “Flying Tigers” were not as experienced as the Buffalos but would prove almost as effective. It was simply a numbers game that the Americans and Chinese were losing.

However, weeks of continuous engagement would wither even these new arrivals. The Japanese Army Air Corps had plans in the works to increase their numbers tenfold from 1933 to 1938. But the planning stage was long past.

Bereft of materials, most manufacturing in Japan was grinding to a halt.

More urgently, the Japanese Empire possessed virtually no local oil deposits. Years of careful stockpiling had ensured a year, perhaps a year and a half of oil to wage war. New technologies to convert coal to oil had been introduced but it was uncertain exactly how much this would gain.

Even the most optimistic estimates stated that the nation would be helpless within two years….starting months ago at the commencement of the war. Had Japan been able to maintain control over the East Indies and their oil deposits (and metals)….things may have been different. Considering that the greatest supplier of oil and metals until recently was…..the United States and China……this was a bit of a problem.

With a ticking clock, Japan knew it must consolidate gains to the point that the gaijin would seek peace and allow Japan to renew trade.

More immediately, the Japanese High Command would commence a daring plan to seize the offshore Borneo oil fields. These had proven disappointing and expensive to extract by the Australians (thus explaining why Australia gave up on administering Borneo) but even modest deposits may keep the Japanese war machine flowing. Rumors that oil had been found in Sakhalin were not immediately relevant as no attempt to actually exploit them had been made by the Americans. Even a successful conquest of the Ainu Islands….or even Kamchatka…..would have no immediate effect on the primary Japanese problem. It would take years to begin extraction in any quantity. By definition, Japan didn’t have years.

Japan must win….quickly….or die in the attempt.
Chapter 412
April, 1933


Less than a month after taking the Oath of Office, President Stuart would request a declaration of war. His Party had made gains in both the Senate (3 more seats) and House (29 seats) and held modest majorities. However, it was uncertain if there would be significant Democratic support. To his relief, over half the Democrats in Congress answered the call and many of those that didn’t chose to abstain rather than vote no.

Stuart would take this as a mandate for war against France and Japan.

In recognition of their alliance with France, Russia would declare war upon the United States.

Days later, Great Britain would join the crusade, condemning the aggression of the Marxist and Nationalist movements.

To the surprise of both America and Britain, the Co-Protectorate African National Congress would join them in declaring war. The Marxists, in particular, had clandestinely sought to influence Africans against the “Colonial Overlords”. While many Africans had come to resent Britain and America, the governing body was deeply distrustful of French Commune intent especially since the Commune was targeting regional tribes to rebel against the ANC itself, not just the colonial powers.

In recognition of this support, President Stuart suggested that the previous years’ ANC proposal to end British, American and “other” (Egyptian, Moroccan, Madagascarian and Ethiopian) appointed Congressmen and Councils to be enacted after the conclusion of the current war. More begrudgingly, Britain’s Labor Government concurred. The other four African nations were not consulted. Further, any American “appointees” from this point to the end of the war would be native-born or naturalized Africans.

This would be publicly announced in Luanda in June of 1933. While several divisions were formed of Africans, few would ever depart the Continent. Indeed, most would simply go on to serve the ANC in future years against Marxist guerillas and recalcitrant interior tribesmen.

The coming months would also see the Dominions of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Australia to formally declare war upon France, Japan and Russia. To the disappointment of Great Britain, there was little support in Cape Colony or Newfoundland. Cape Colony had been bogged down in arguments with the Viceroy while Newfoundland was still resentful that Great Britain had not bailed them out during their bankruptcy.

April, 1933


Ireland, of course, was long past caring about Britain’s feelings about anything. However, in perhaps the most shocking event in the course of the war, Ireland would formally declare war upon France itself. For years, the Commune had sought to pit the Irish against the British (as if the Irish needed any prompting for that). However, Ireland owed France no favors and utterly despised the repressive administration and anti-religious policies of the Commune. Moreover, the repeated French invasion of small, neutral countries like Belgium and the Netherlands would resonate with the Irish. No one on the island desired Marxist expansion beyond a handful of Trinity College liberal arts majors who sat about coffee tables in Dublin discussing the proletariat and bourgeoisie.

Ireland would offer use of the island as a supply base and provide victuals and light military support (mainly the use of their waters and modest navy in anti-submersible warfare). The Irish Air Force would, surprisingly, be relatively modern with American planes. Half a dozen squadrons of experienced pilots would be put at the allies’ disposal.

May, 1933


With 25,000 American servicemen, the island of Hokkaido was hardly enormously protected. Indeed, even the creation of a 5000 man Corp of Ainu Islands natives and a 5000 man Korean Brigade would do little make the large island particularly defensible. Though mountainous, the island could not possibly be defended from a determined invasion with such numbers.

The Americans DID, however, have the benefit of a fairly powerful 120 plane Army Air Corps.

The US Navy, now bearing an impressive three aircraft carriers and two escort Carriers, were now largely split across the Ocean.

The USS Saratoga and escort Carrier Biddle were stationed in Sakhalin.

The USS Princeton and escort Carrier John Paul Jones were stationed in the Chamorro Islands.

The USS Lexington was, with the British Carrier Eagle, stationed in Darwin.

All were waiting upon the order to converge upon Japan.

However, Japan was preparing to gamble.


An elite advance force of Japanese three carriers would appear almost out of nowhere, having skirted along the eastern coast of New Guinea.

In short order, both the Lexington and Eagle suffered a torpedo strike as would two Australian cruisers.

As the American commander of the Lexington shouted, “Shit, they caught us with our pants down!”.

The situation could have been worse if not for the presence of three squadrons of Australian Airforce fighters stationed outside of Darwin. They threw themselves into the air and, with about half a dozen American fighters which managed to launch from the Lexington, would take a toll upon the Japanese diver bombers and torpedo planes. Similarly, the attack would have gone far worse if an alert Australian tug pilot had not taken the initiative to pull a decrepit hull of an old freighter before the Eagle as it sat helpless in the harbor. The old freighter would take not one but three torpedoes for the British aircraft carrier…..and the tug would take one, killing all aboard. The tug pilot would be posthumously granted an award by the Royal Navy for his heroism.

While the Japanese torpedo planes had proven deadly, the bombers were not yet effective. Late to the attack by barely eight minutes, the Japanese bombers would prove too slow and un-maneuverable against the American and Australian fighters. With the exception of one bomb hitting a supply ship, the Japanese bombers proved disappointing.

Still, two enemy aircraft carriers had at least temporarily been removed from the war.

And the entire expedition was, of course, merely a distraction anyway.

May, 1933

Northern Borneo and Sumatra

Led by a small escort carrier, a modest force of 4 destroyers and 4 frigates, a Japanese force descended upon the east Indies. The intent was not destruction or conquest….but robbery.

Borneo and Sumatra were what passed for oil producing nations in eastern Asia. While not MAJOR producers, the desperate Japanese would need all they could get. However, Borneo, still nominally part of the British Empire, would naturally cut off shipments to Japan. Even neutral Sumatra had no intention of shipping oil to the Orient until the hostilities were over.

Thus Japanese fleet of fast, small ships were dispatched to raid these islands and effectively hijack any oil tankers they could find. This would succeed beyond their expectations as four tankers were seized on the seas off of Borneo and six would be taken in the harbors at Sumatra.

Each of the Japanese vessels would carry over 60 “prize crew” personnel to steer the tankers back to Japanese waters.

By summer of 1933, the Japanese were not counting the war in casualties of expense….but number of additional days before their oil reserves were depleted and the nation rendered helpless.

Already, virtually all civilian use of petrol had been curtained except for manufacturing. The ten tankers would gain the Japanese another 6 to 8 weeks of war….before their nation collapsed.