- Continued- The March 15-17th meetings in Pawling, gave little options for the United States. It was not a matter of personnel (with some five million men in uniform) or resources (with America relatively self-sufficient in oil, metals, etc. and rubber overland route from South America). It was a matter of distance, and to a degree, technology.
Though there was almost no chance of a German invasion of North America, there was also almost no way for the US or its allies to strike at German-held territory, but more importantly German industry and resource centers. As noted by General Collins, bombers capable of reaching Germany would still be months off, plus they would face extreme danger from both German interceptor jets as well as a new form of an anti-aircraft missile known as a "Wasserfall", being deployed throughout France, Germany, and on loan to the Italians.
Meanwhile, the Germans COULD obviously hit the United States with impugnity, either from across the Pole or via the "rocket submarines".
Dewey, still reeling from his wife and children's death, would drift in and out of his own thoughts, missing elements of briefings. On advice from General Collins, he approved a major strategic change for the war, goving from what had been a nascent offensive posture ("island hopping" in the Pacific, trying to re-take Iceland or even invade North Africa) to a purely defensive one, increasing anti-aircraft batteries in all major cities and upping coastal patrols. Radar sites were added in Canada, forming what would (oddly, given its identical counterpart in OTL) be called the "Distant Early Warning" network. Additionally, the Army and Marine inductions were reduced, and more and more draftees were sent to the Navy and the Army Air Corps.
All in all, America became a fortress.
Offensive measures did continue. Dewey authorized the start of American production of chemical weapons and research into nerve gases. He also began funding for an American rocket program. Though Robert Goddard had died two years earlier, and few in the Army even remembered his plans for a rocket program, many of his team were found and reunited at Goddard's old test site in Roswell, New Mexico. With nearly 5 million dollars in "starter money", they began development of "the American Polar Missile", capable of striking Germany.
Meanwhile the spring and summer of 1947 dragged on. Dönitz and von Braun lauded for the SLBM attacks were given approval for three more, all using Sarin warheads. Washington, DC was hit again and 3400 people died. Dewey was forced to re-locate the capital to Denver, Colorado. Miami, Charleston South Carolina, and the Newport News Shipyards were also hit, with a casualty total of 133,000. Thousands fled the coastal cities for small towns and farms and in July 1947, President Dewey had to declare martial law to maintain order.
Goring too had called up for two more bombing runs, with the results being another attack on Boston and Hartford, Connecticut and Montreal, Canada hit. Anti-aircraft and stepped-up jet patrols succeeded in downing most of the German bombers, and the casualty rate, though horrific at 83,000, was held down from previous attacks.
August - Meanwhile the Kriegsmarine and the Wehrmacht were seizing the opportunity of America's "defensive posture" to go on the offense. With partisan activity down in German Russia, more troops were available for the West and on the 5th, 1947, the Germans were able to launch a successful invasion of Bermuda, seizing it from the United States. Fighting was fierce, as both sides knew the importance of the island. Some 13,500 Americans and some 5200 Germans died in the battle, with 20 American ships sunk and 11 German ones, including a battleship. Ultimately though, General Charles Bonesteel, commander of the Bermuda garrison, surrendered.
This put the Germans less than 900 miles from Halifax, Nova Scotia; less than 700 miles from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; and 1,100 miles from Miami. All easily within range of the Focke Wulf Ta-183 jets, to escort Junkers and Heinkel bombers into the American East Coast and back. The Americans of course knew this too and hoping to prevent the Germans from establishing their air base, began bombing runs with B-29s as soon as Bonesteel had radioed that all was lost on the ground front. German carrier-based Me-262Fs intercepted them, giving time for the old American airfields to be repaired and new land-based fighters (as well as anti-aircraft guns) to be deployed. For weeks, the air battle continued, but without a means of re-taking the island, eventually it became too dangerous for the USAAF to sortie over Bermuda.
Late September-December - German bombers now begin a bombing run on the East Coast of the United States. Fortunately (if it could be fortunate), Sarin nerve gas is rarely used, and conventional explosives with the occasional incendiary explosive are the order of the day. P-80 jets and P-61 night fighters fly almost constant patrols, scoring numerous kills and slowing the progress of the German bombing offensive. But as winter sets in, fear of another set of rocket or "rocket sub" attacks increase and are justified.