Ghastly Victories: The United States in the World Wars

It's quite interesting that the modern American Fascist party is openly condemning of antisemitism (rather than using dogwhistles) and regretful that Sanna's economic policy wasn't adopted. This American Fascist Party sounds like it's more towards Fascism's revolutionary roots.
 
Part 4-8
…The consolidation of the KMT’s authority in the Central Plains War alarmed the Japanese Kwangtung Army. Attempts by Northern Warlords to resist Chiang Kai Shek’s demands of demilitarization led to them launching a futile uprising, which was now being crushed. With the warlords soon to be neutered, the KMT would be able to build a real centralized state, and thus a powerful army that could threaten the Japanese position on the Asian mainland.

Obviously the leadership of the Kwangtung Army thought this situation was intolerable. However the civilian government of Japan was unwilling to make any aggressive moves in China, lest Japan’s position on the world stage be weakened substantially. At this point the senior leadership of the IJA was not yet willing to defy Tokyo to such an extent. Their attitudes did however influence the hyper nationalistic lower ranks to take matters into their own hands, confident of support from higher up.

In November 1932 a Major of the IJA’s 8th division, commanding a garrison in Jehol province as per the terms of the Boxer Armistice, took action when the KMT government replaced a police inspector who had been loyal to the Zhang family, who led the Japanese puppet Beiyang government in Manchuria. The Major demanded that the local NRA garrison replace the police inspector, claiming they did not have the authority to replace him. When the NRA commander removed, the Major faked an attack on his garrison and called for reinforcements.

The 8th Division quickly sent such, followed by the remainder of the Kwangtung Army and even elements of the IJN. A large scale battle soon erupted as the Japanese routed the NRA and pushed them out of Jehol Province and the rest of the area north of the Great Wall. Had that been all to the incident it may well have been papered over, the Great Wall still being seen as the border between China proper and its outer territories, Jehol and bits of Inner Mongolia being added to Manchuria alone would not have aroused much condemnation.

The actions of the Japanese garrison in Shantung could not be so ignored. With the division commander having taken ill several battalion and a regimental commander were free to act on their own initiative. This led to a serious of “preemptive” attacks on NRA troops that were “menacing” their positions. This quickly escalated to involve the entire Japanese garrison of Shantung, along with reinforcements from Korea and naval forces. Like in Jehol the Chinese were routed and the Japanese rapidly overran the entirety of the province. Unlike Jehol, Shantung was considered an integral part of China proper and was something that the world was not prepared to ignore…

…Condemnations from the nations of the world began to pour in and the United States announced that under no circumstances would it recognize any change of Chinese territory by force of arms. The League of Nations, after almost a year of deliberating and fact finding expeditions condemned the act in late 1933, resulting in Japan leaving the body and demonstrating the general uselessness and powerlessness of the organization…

…Emperor Hirohito and the elected government of Prime Minister Baron Wakatsuki were both furious about the Army acting without authorization. Steps were taken to bring the Army under control and the Prime Minister began negotiations with the KMT about a face saving withdrawal. Word of these negotiations soon reached the pseudo-Volkist Cherry Blossom Society and the similar League of Blood.

Composed of hypernationalist young officers and cadets aligned with the pseudo-Volkist Kodoha movement the two secret societies saw a withdrawal of the recently taken territory as intolerable. Thus on March 22nd 1933 they attempted a coup, successfully assassinating the Prime Minister, but failing to achieve their other objectives. The survivors were rapidly taken into custody during the night.

Emperor Hirohito was positively livid about the assassination of the prime minister and had to be dissuaded by his advisors from ordering the plotters to make use of the Gardens of the Imperial Palace. In what he later claimed was his greatest mistake as Emperor he agreed with them, instead they would be given very public trials to show why this was not acceptable, something that would preserve the aloofness of the Imperial throne.

This backfired in the worst possible manner. The plotters used the trials as a platform to spread their ideology, giving long speeches why they did what they did and how it was for the good of Japan. The Japanese public was exposed to their rhetoric and found they agreed with it. Demonstrations in support of the plotter soon broke out and public pressure resulted in most of them receiving mere slaps on the wrist. Rather than reestablishing civilian control it had been weakened…

…The March 22nd Incident did have one important effect. The Kodoha movement was severely weakened relative to its more reasonable and fascist inspired rival the Toseiha. The Toseiha were far more clear eyed about Japan’s position and prospects, militarist expansionists with Volkist tendencies still, but conscious that Japanese Spirit was not an adequate substitute for firepower and industrial might…

…The need to divert troops to deal with the Japanese expansion in Jehol and Shantung weakened the KMT in the south, strengthening the local warlords and setting back centralization efforts. Guangzhou would attempt to secede under a splinter faction of the KMT and remain defiant until 1936. Even worse the campaigns against the Communists in the south were impacted, giving the Chinese Communists a respite when they were on the verge of total defeat. This was inarguably the worst result of the offensives in that it allowed the Communists to survive and rebuild from their losses…

-Excerpt from Unfinished Business: The Making of the Second World War, New American Press, Chicago, 2007
 
Cool to see Japan try to reign the militarists in, sad to see it backfire so badly though.

Interesting- sounds like there's less pressure than OTL on the communists in the south- no Long March this time perhaps?
 
The real interesting thing here seems to be that Hirohito is taking a more active role in the government compared to OTL. Which means when the war inevitably goes to shit for Japan he might be able to force a surrender before the country minus the cities on the nuke list is razed.
 
Part 4-9
…In order to have some chance at winning the election despite a deep association with the Depression the Republicans turned to a popular outsider with excellent rebuilding and disaster management credentials. Herbert Hoover had been the coordinator for the late WWI and immediate postwar famine relief efforts in Europe. He had further involvement with the reconstruction of France and Belgium and had been appointed by Curtis to handle the relief from the Great Mississippi floods. He thus had perfect credentials to lead the recovery from the Depression and was endorsed by President Curtis. Thus with no more than token opposition from favorite son candidates he was chosen on the first ballot as the Republican candidate. Senator Irvine Lenroot was chosen as his running mate…

…The Democratic choice for candidate was more troublesome than the Republican one. Governor Roosevelt of New York was the most popular choice, having assembled a wide base of support from all walks of the democratic party. His opposition was in the form of the preceding candidate Al Smith, who represented the political machines Roosevelt had made an enemy of, and Speaker of the house John Garner, who did not campaign for it but was backed by newspaperman William Randolph Hearst.

Roosevelt came in slightly under the required 770 votes on the first ballot, but managed to squeak through on the second after some favorite son candidates conceded their votes. Governor Albert Ritchie of Maryland was chosen as Vice President, a conservative Southerner to mollify the Deep South Wing of the party after Roosevelt’s attempt to do away with the two thirds rule for nomination alienated many of them…

…Despite a fierce campaign on the part of Hoover the outcome was not really in doubt. The Depression had been ingrained in too many minds as a problem caused by the Republican Party. Roosevelt too lacked many of the weaknesses that had haunted past democratic candidates, being Protestant, not machine backed and having only a tenuous connection with Wilson. Roosevelts association with the Wet cause was in 1932 not the problem it was in 1928 for Smith, and Hoover made himself particularly vulnerable by proposing a compromise that offended both Wets and Drys alike. He was further hindered by the Bonus Army incident during the Summer, where a veterans march asking for early payment of their pensions authorized in 1922 was dispersed by the Army with excessive force after its infiltration by Communists, with the latter not generally known at the time.

Both candidates made active campaigns with numerous speeches and travels across the country. Indeed both had relatively similar platforms, with Hoovers providing somewhat less government aid than Roosevelts. The Roosevelt campaign made much greater use of the medium of Radio than its counterpart and this was arguably the reason the results were so lopsided.

When the polls closed on November 8th Roosevelt won 54% of the popular vote, compared to 42.5% for Hoover. In the electoral college Roosevelt won 413 to Hoover’s 118 in an election second in its lopsidedness only to 1920’s. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the 32nd President of the United States…



…Moller’s plan took time to organize. He knew that the tactic his chose to copy from the anarchists had failed when they used it. For Moller, that failure was because they lacked both a greater plan and did not act on a large enough scale for their propaganda of the deed. For the former Moller had a plan to hijack the apparatus of the KPD, which had over 300,000 members and a 100,000 strong paramilitary force. Through them he thought he could mobilize 12 million workers, in a similar manner to the strike of 1920. With them he thought he could succeed where the Spartacists had failed in 1919, given the demobilization of the Freikorps and the small size of the Reichswehr under the Versailles treaty.

However he needed something big enough to get the KPD to act, something that would also paralyze a response by the Weimar government to give him time to work. Given his limited resources he could not make a very large gesture, thus he needed to make the gesture he could make disproportionately effective. That required an opportunity to both present itself and for his group to learn of it in a timely manner so they could make final preparations, preliminary preparations for several scenarios having already been made.

In late 1932 such an opportunity presented itself when a sympathetic staff member at the Hotel Kaiserhof approached Moller’s group…

…The DNF held a major convention in the second week of December 1932 at the luxurious Kaiserhof Hotel as part of a movement to more tightly integrate the disparate parties that made it up before the next election. On Thursday December 8th, while the convention was ongoing, the higher ups of the DVP came to meet with the leaders of the DNF to negotiate further arrangements for the 1933 elections. This amounted to having the entire cabinet in one room, even if it was not officially a cabinet meeting and not at the Reich Chancellery.

Ordinarily this would not have been a problem, but one of the desk staff was a closet communist sympathizer and friends with a member of the Moller group. He had seen a copy of the agenda when arrangements were being made in November and informed the Moller group. This had been the opportunity they were waiting for and final preparations were quickly made.

A hundred and ten pounds of dynamite were stolen from a quarry and packed in a used Magirus truck of dubious origin along with several tons of Ammonium nitrate fertilizer purchased through an intermediary. On December 8th the truck was driven to the Hotel Kaiserhof and stopped right outside the window where the conference was to take place. The driver set off a small smoke device in the hood and claimed a breakdown, in order to provide an excuse for the grungy old truck to be improperly parked next to a luxury hotel for twenty minutes. He then set a timer and left to supposedly make a phone call about a tow, while really clearing the blast radius.

At 1:37 PM Berlin time the bomb detonated and the Cabinet of the Weimar Republic, along with the leadership of its most prominent parties ceased to exist. 137 people died and over 1000 more were injured, with damage extending for blocks. The Hotel Kaiserhof had to be completely rebuilt from the damage it sustained in the blast…

..The senior surviving member of the governing parties was the scar-faced propaganda chief of the DSP, absent due to political friction with the rest of the party leadership. With the senior survivor on the DNVP being out of step with the rest of the party since the early 20’s and that of the DVP being a bureaucratic nonentity he was unfortunately the logical choice for Hindenburg to appoint as Chancellor. Hindenburg did so on December 11th despite profound personal misgivings that would be proven correct in the worst possible manner over the coming decade and a half…

-Excerpt from Unfinished Business: The Making of the Second World War, New American Press, Chicago, 2007





Okay this should be the second to last update for P4, I wanted it to be the last but I'm too fond of cliffhangers for that. Anyways this last bit of this one and part of the next one are what I think the most single implausible element of the TL is
 
Have we gotten a name for Mr. Scarface yet and I forgot it, or is that something you've still been keeping under your hat?

Otherwise, so far, so good. Another great update. ^^
 
Ok so the reds ACTUALLY destroyed something this time instead of the fascists inventing it. Well, guess we're not getting a Red Germany but more usual fascists. Question remains, just who will fight on their side?
 
Okay, so Roosevelt gets a slightly smaller public vote, and less electors, how does the Congress go?


The bomb is certainly plausible, but I would have thought they'd be more worried about anarchists and security measures in this time period - there have been vehicle bombings before in a variety of prominent locations; including the 1920 Wall Street Bombing.


 
Have we gotten a name for Mr. Scarface yet and I forgot it, or is that something you've still been keeping under your hat?
Next update you will find his name
Okay, so Roosevelt gets a slightly smaller public vote, and less electors, how does the Congress go?

The bomb is certainly plausible, but I would have thought they'd be more worried about anarchists and security measures in this time period - there have been vehicle bombings before in a variety of prominent locations; including the 1920 Wall Street Bombing.
No barriers were visible on a 1931 photo of the hotel I looked at for research

Congress is still solid democrat, 55 Senators (OTL 58) and 297 Reps (313 OTL)
 
Part 4-10
…The scar faced former Senior Private known as Adolf Hitler was an unlikely leader for Germany. Born in Austria to a minor customs official he never completed high school and lived the life a starving artist for several years after failing to get into the prestigious Vienna School of Fine Arts eventually drifting into Munich. Medically exempted from service in the Austrian Army he volunteered for the Bavarian one and was accepted due to an administrative error. He spent the war as a courier attached to a regimental headquarters, was wounded in 1915, 1917 and 1919, and decorated with the Iron Cross Second Class in 1914 upgraded to First Class in 1919. He was hospitalized during the last Entente offensives from the shell burst that left him with his distinctive facial scarring and only released after peace broke out.

Discharged in Munich in 1920 he drifted around Bavaria after having to leave Munich due to high cost of living. In 1922 he attended a meeting of the German Socialist Parts in Ingolstadt and was immediately hooked. The party leadership in turn discovered his unique talent for oratory and he rose to lead the party’s propaganda department by the end of 1923. At this time he met the failed writer Joseph Goebbels and recruited him into the party. The two men formed a formidable team and Hitler’s charisma along with Goebbels skills enabled the explosive growth of the German Socialist Party.

Hitler however did not get along with the leadership of the party for both ideological and personal reasons and from 1926 on was increasingly excluded from administrative matters, kept on only for the brilliance of his oratory and fear of splitting the party. The creation of the German National Front in 1931 enabled the party leadership to begin working to squeeze out Hitler without fear of him defecting to another far right party. By the Kaiserhof meeting in 1932 this was almost complete, with Hitler’s dismissal planned for right after the 1933 elections, hence Hitler’s absence from it on that fateful day…

…Hitler’s elevation to Chancellor saw him immediately issue an emergency decree banning the German Communist Party and suspending freedom of the press and habeus corpus. He then had an enabling act passed by the Reichstag to transfer legislative powers to the cabinet for a matter of years. With the Communist deputies absent only the SPD voted against it as the other parties decided it was necessary to put a damper on the chaos of the Weimar Republic…

…Following the Enabling Act Hitler took the chance to merge the German Peoples Party along with the other parties of the National Front into the Socialist Volks Party, the SVP. It was this party that would contest and win the election of 1933, which Hitler allowed to give his new party a sense of legitimacy…


-Into the Abyss: The leadup to the Second World War, Harper and Brothers, New York, 2009


…Avoiding Hitler is of course the biggest WWII related POD there is as he is responsible for starting it. Utopian Counterfactuals often start with avoiding him, WWI often being seen as enough of a horror to avoid another world war without someone like him. Other better thought out ones, usually from Britain or the European continent have a more nuanced view of what a world without Hitler would look at, though of necessity far better for Europe than ours.

Mostly however replacing Hitler is used to make things worse in popular counterfactuals. It is something of a trope that attempts to improve history by removing Hitler always fail miserably. Either a more competent Volkist or Psuedo-Volkist replaces him or worse his absence leads to Germany becoming Communist.

This of course misses the parts of Hitler that made him so dangerous. His success was not the result of careful planning and manipulation but recklessness backed by freakish levels of luck. A “competent” dictator of Germany would not have ran the German economy to the edge of default multiple times in a hideously rushed militarization. A “competent” dictator would not have risked war with half of Europe with an underprepared army against the advice of his own generals not once or twice but three times. Thus most “competent Hitler replacements” do almost everything the same as Hitler in order for a Second World War to occur with only a few details…

…A somewhat worrying trend is for authors on the far-right to have “like Hitler in every way but not genocidal” Hitler stand ins that lead Germany to glorious victories….

…Similarly Hitler has a habit of showing up in positions of power in counterfactuals he has no right to be in. His becoming chancellor was due to his being at the right place at the right time, no more. He had a talent for oratory and winning the respect of his underlings, but his time in the DSP showed his difficulties working with equals and superiors, along with a somewhat lacking work ethic and notable personal foils. Outside the very specific circumstances that occurred he has no path to becoming Chancellor of Germany, let alone some of the odd positions he keeps being found in…

…While unlikely to come into being and even less likely to survive any length of time a Communist Germany is perhaps the only thing that could be realistically worse than real life’s Volkist Germany. German industry and science mated to Russian resources and manpower would be a nightmare scarcely imaginable…


-Excerpt from Sideways: An Examination of Common Divergences in Counterfactual History, Gate Publishing, Atlanta, 2016




This Concludes Part IV of Ghastly Victories: The United States in the World Wars

Part V: The Downward Stairs will begin shortly









Okay here is what I think is the most implausible part of the TL, at least so far, Hitler still ending up Chancellor. Basically to get a 1940's WWII as nasty as possible for the US with what I see as a reasonable 1914 POD that still results in an Entente victory in WWI you need a German leader who acts more like Hitler than is reasonable, and rather than just create another Notler, I decided screw it I'm going with Hitler even if the plausibility sucks
 
I really did not expect it to be Hitler, so you pulled that surprise really well.

I am curious how Hitler will be different, because it sounds like he will - despite apparently also being genocidal. Which is weird too, because we keep getting an undercurrent of sympathy for the Germans in the source material, but if Hitler is really as bad as he was IRL, where does that come from?

It is interesting - but seems to fit the trends of the TL - that the idea of communist germany is considered far worse than Nazi-by-another-name Germany. Suggests things about where the TL is going.

🤔
 
I am curious how Hitler will be different, because it sounds like he will - despite apparently also being genocidal. Which is weird too, because we keep getting an undercurrent of sympathy for the Germans in the source material, but if Hitler is really as bad as he was IRL, where does that come from?

It is interesting - but seems to fit the trends of the TL - that the idea of communist germany is considered far worse than Nazi-by-another-name Germany. Suggests things about where the TL is going.
This TL is basically a mash up of three TL notes I had, a worse WWI TL, a Pacific War TL and somebody actually guessed the gist of the third TL awhile back, that one explains the incongruity
 
I really did not expect it to be Hitler, so you pulled that surprise really well.

I am curious how Hitler will be different, because it sounds like he will - despite apparently also being genocidal. Which is weird too, because we keep getting an undercurrent of sympathy for the Germans in the source material, but if Hitler is really as bad as he was IRL, where does that come from?

It is interesting - but seems to fit the trends of the TL - that the idea of communist germany is considered far worse than Nazi-by-another-name Germany. Suggests things about where the TL is going.

🤔
maybe he isn't antisemitic?
With no camps, the eastern front is just 'War' and all the atrocities, well, the soviets are the soviets. (that is to say, there is room to pretend it was just war, and to degree it wasn't, nobody cares about the soviets).
 
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