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The End Is In Sight
March Several major events occurred, all of which shaped the eventual outcome of the war. First, not insignificant was the election of Oswald Moseley as Prime Minister of the UK. Moseley, released from house arrest, since the original 1941 peace treaty and left alone during the British participation in the Second World War, had regained some of his former appeal and more. He re-formed the British Union of Fascists into the "National Union" Party and worked, after the February 1945 surrender, to enhance its power. At first, few would listen to the man so closely linked with Hitler. But as both Tory and Labour governments collapsed from 1945-1947, his appeal grew. Especially when he was able to capitalize on the idea that "it was the Tories and Labourites who got us into this war over Poland, and cost us the Empire."
German provocateurs aided Moseley in this, with German propaganda radio blaming Churchill, Eden, and Clement Atlee (elected PM in 1946, serving only six months) and the "traditional politicians" for what occurred to England. Eventually, the NU began winning seats; some eleven in the Spring of 1946. Parliamentary elections were held in March 1948, and the NU finally secured the majority, forming a coalition with the Conservatives. Moseley was elected Prime Minister.
Among his first acts was to secure a permanent non-aggression treaty with Berlin. He also "got a raise" on the reconstruction payments the Germans were making (from 100 Million Deutschmarks a year to 150) (The Germans felt it was a wise investment and merely raised taxes more in India and Russia.) Moseley also let it be known that he was willing to see German forces "liberate" the British Caribbean holdings, that the Americans had taken after Eden's surrender. This ostensibly GAVE the British Caribbean to the Germans, though promises were made for their return to the UK "after the war".
Finally, and most important, Moseley ordered MI-5 and MI-6, as well as the Foreign Office, to stop all exchanges of any information with the Americans, Canadians, or any Ally. The UK had covertly been supplying what intelligence it could to the US, not a strict violation of the surrender treaty, but irritating to the Germans nonetheless. The loss of that key link, made the United States effectively "blind" in the Eastern Atlantic to all German activities.
Another key event was the joining of Argentina in the Axis. Juan Peron came to power in late 1947 and made it clear that Argentina's neutrality was coming to an end. He secured an agreement with Hitler in December 1947 to provide arms and planes (for defense against Brazil, still a US ally), in return, German ships and submarines could use Argentinian ports. Effectively an alliance, it was only made official on the 15, 1948, with Peron and Hitler shaking hands in Berlin, with the "Two Evas" kissing cheeks.
Getulio Dornelles Vargas, ruler of Brazil, panics. Though a fascist, he had sided with the United States and the UK at the start of the war, due to greater economic ties and the sinking of Brazilian shipping by German U-boats. But the set-backs for the US in 1947 had made him doubt the soundness of that alliance. Once Peron had secured his treaty, Vargas sent diplomats to Berlin to see if an "accommodation" could be reached. Pleased to see a large country and ally of the US coming to beg for peace, Hitler treated them well but with a snooty air, leaving von Ribbentrop to meet with him, not himself.. Finally, in August 1948, Vargas announced that "his people had had enough of war" and "no longer had interest in protecting Americans with Brazilian blood"....and the alliance ended.
The last key event was the most devastating. Secret plans had been drawn up in the Summer of 1947...for an invasion of Alaska by Japanese forces, protected from the air by German planes based out of Anadyr, in Japanese controlled Chukota (far eastern and northern Siberia). Japanese naval forces had been spread thin, fearful of an American invasion of New Guinea or the Marianas. But with the "defensive stance" of late 1947, they had their moment and pushed Berlin for help in seizing Alaska, while German U-boats (based out of Calcutta) patrolled for Australian Naval incursions.
On May 15th, the same day that Juan Peron met with Hitler in Berlin, a single coded message was sent from the Aleutians to Tokyo and cabled to Berlin "Pour the golden tea"...it was the code phrase for the start of the invasion.
Bypassing the Aleutian Island radar stations, but bombing them (as had been standard protocol for some months), the invasion fleet made straight for the Cook Inlet, as German bombers unloaded on the city itself (already "getting used" to weekly bombing attacks since Spring 1947). Eventually, six cruisers and fifteen transports made it up the Inlet and held position just south of the city. They unloaded their troops. The "mudflats" of the land around Anchorage were the most dangerous part, and several Japanese landing boats got stuck and their troops mucked through them as Alaskan forces began to assemble, slowing progress.
Fighting was fierce, with a US Marine division, two Army divisions, and a division of Alaskan Territorial Guard trying to hold off the invaders. Final casualties were 2300 American, 935 Japanese, with many wounded and hundreds captured among the Americans. President Dewey was informed of the Fall of Anchorage on May 18th.
An immediate counter-attack was launched, but with plenty of German air cover (first out of Siberia, soon out of airfields in Anchorage and Fairbanks), the US Pacific Fleet was unable to break through safely enough for American transports to land. An overland assault, up the Alaskan coastline and through the Yukon Territory would prove difficult with few well-maintained roads and inclement weather the rule, rather than the exception.
July By late month, German bombers were making sorties as far south as Los Angeles and as far inside the US as Denver, the new capital. With an election looming, and Dewey refusing to run for another term, the United States was in chaos. Boeing Aircraft had no employees show up after the 24th. August On the 4th, Congress voted 289-32 (with some absent) in the House and 59-24 in the Senate to suspend national elections and hold a Congressional Presidential election with the House choosing the Vice-President and the Senate choosing the President. Only a few Republicans, in the minority, objected as they saw no possible way for a Republican to win, given key urban Republican areas were emptying. And hardly anyone could figure out how to even hold a national election on a single day, when at least 4-7 US cities would be under bombardment, possibly by nerve gas.
In the end, fate played a hand. All through the late summer and into the fall, German and Japanese bombardments continued. Anti-aircraft batteries began to run out of ammunition as ammo factories were bombed as well. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Seattle were nearly empty.
September The Detroit Arsenal Tank Factory had no employees after the 5th. The Springfield Armory Co., in Geneseo, Illinois, remained open, but metal, wood, and machine parts began to run low, as rail depots in the North were hit.
October On the 31st, 600 German bomber planes launch from Alaska, with one target, and three payloads. The payloads are 1/3 high explosive bombs, 1/3 are incendiary bombs and 1/3 Sarin nerve gas bombs. The first to strike at 13:53 RMT was the nerve gas. The plan was to drive the populace into the new air-tight air raid shelters and then when they had, drop the incendiaries and literally "suck the oxygen" out in a firestorm. The target was of course....Denver, the "temporary" capital of the United States.
Anti-aircraft batteries, forewarned by radar in Aurora, opened up, but a new tactic was also employed by the Germans....six of the lead bombers (well ahead of the others) dropped "chaff" (or Düppel). The effect was a virtual "blanking out" of the radar-guided AAA, rendering it almost useless. The bombs started dropping on time and fully 90% of the bombers were able to unload and get away. The chaff started dissipating, but by then the AAA crews were incapacitated or monumentally confused by what had happened to their radar screens. The second strike hit at 14:44, fifty-one minutes later. The detonations were horrific.
The HE bombs smashed windows and blasted down walls. This opened the way for air to clearly travel through the city streets. Then the incendiaries hit. It was fully effective. Firestorm swept through the city. The old State Capitol Building, commandeered by the US Congress, was awash in flames. Oxygen was burned up with none to replace it. The filters on the Congressional anti-gas bomb shelters were useless, as there was no air to filter. 325 House and Senate members died within minutes. President Dewey, in his Presidential home at the former Governor's mansion, was killed instantly. Not by suffocation, but by a direct hit from an incendiary bomb. It blasted through the top two floors of the mansion and fell down the stairwell leading to the basement. Due to an attempt to get a Secret Service man into the shelter, the main door had been left open. Everyone inside was incinerated.
The War Department, established in the Denver Mint, saw similar results as the Capitol Building. 80% of the generals and top officers died of asphyxiation in their bunker. The rest were injured and didn't receive medical treatment for almost two days, resulting in 30 more dying.
Ultimately of 331,000 inhabitants of Denver....117,500 died. 30% of burns and asphyxiation, 20% from impact or falling debris, and 50% from nerve gas poisoning. Less than 100 people of the Executive Department, Congress, and re-located US Supreme Court, survived. And less than 10% of the top-ranking generals in America's military establishment.
On the 2nd, Hitler dropped leaflets on major American cities, calling on the populace to tell their leaders to surrender or face more devastation. No one had yet revealed that Dewey had died. General MacArthur, one of the surviving generals, assessed the situation with what generals could be assembled at the rescue center at Aurora, Colorado. None had anything optimistic to say. Airplanes, fuel, ammunition, all were running out. Nerve gas attacks was the primary cause. The public rightfully feared remaining in large cities or areas with major rail depots. As such, supplies dropped with no one to maintain the trains, drop off supplies, factories near cities closed, etc.
They debated for three days. The Germans bombed Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Miami again. After the third day, they radioed the Swiss embassy in Cuba (used for what diplomatic messages there were) and told Hitler they would acede to unconditional surrender in two weeks. General MacArthur himself offered to go to Berlin to sign the treaty. On the 15th, he arrived in Berlin upon a German air transport that had flown him out of Madrid. He signed the treaty and presented Hitler his ceremonial sword. Hitler accepted it but shook MacArthur's hand and promised kind treatment for "kindred Aryans in Amerika".