Tensions rise in the Pacific. On orders from President Dewey, secret supply runs are being made to the Russians, via the Siberian city of Magadan, to the Chinese (via the British in India, across the Himalayas), and to the British holdings in the Pacific as well as the Australians and New Zealanders. Closely guarded as a secret, it is eventually discovered first by the Japanese, who then (attempting to re-kindle American isolationism) release the information to the world and American press.
The strategy backfires and American support for the supply runs is overwhelming. Though a strict violation of the Neutrality Act, Congress immediately grants a "waiver" to the President and pushes for more aid to China, Russia, and the British Allies. Japan is outraged.
March - On the 20th, they declare unrestricted submarine warfare for an area basically encompassing the Pacific west of Guam, leaving only a straight route from Hawaii to the Philippines open to US sea traffic. Dewey ignores the threat, feeling that the Japanese are too scared of a full-out war with America to sink US civilian ships. On the 23rd, the S.S. Killian is bringing rifles and ammunition from Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand. It is sunk without warning by the Japanese submarine I-32. Survivors make it to Palawan and inform Washington. Dewey warned the Japanese that if they sank one more American ship, war would be declared. Meanwhile in Tokyo, the Imperial Navy had already drawn up plans for a surprise attack on the US Naval forces at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. This plan initiated by Admiral Yamamoto and devised by Captain Genda was over six months old, and had been authorized soon after the "secret" American supply runs had been detected. It called for the 1st, 2nd and 5th Carrier Divisions in a combined fleet to attack Pearl Harbor and sink both battleships and aircraft carriers. It was executed perfectly. On the 26th, the Japanese carrier battle group, already assembled in Hitokappu Wan in the Kurile Islands, sortied for Hawaii, under strict radio silence.
April - On the Sunday morning of the 9th, they launched their planes. Just four minutes later, the Japanese Ambassador, Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura, and special representative Saburo Kurusu informed Secretary of State Wendell Wilkie that Japan had declared war on the United States. Wilkie was stunned for a few moments, then rushed to the phone to call the White House. He got through to President Dewey just as radar installations at Opana Point detected a massive flight of unknown aircraft. The harbor anti-aircraft was immediately alerted and pilots alerted at Hickham Field and Bellows Field, but the Japanese planes were already strafing the field before the planes could be moved out to launch position. Only a dozen P-36s and P-40s were launched. Meanwhile, the Nakajima B5Ns were already hitting Battleship Row as well as the three aircraft carriers in the Harbor (the "Yorktown", "Hornet", and "Enterprise"). In the end, the attack wrecked two U.S. Navy battleships, one aircraft carrier (the "Enterprise"), and one destroyer beyond repair, and destroyed 98 aircraft; personnel losses were 1,811 killed and 918 wounded. Damaged warships included two cruisers, four battleships (one deliberately grounded, later refloated and repaired; one sunk at their berths, later raised, repaired, and eventually restored to Fleet service), and one aircraft carrier (the "Yorktown", also raised and repaired). Of their 353 aircraft launched, the Japanese lost 43, mostly the slow B5N bombers to antiaircraft fire and US fighters. Their fleet returned safely to Japanese waters.
On the 10th, President Dewey addressed Congress and called for a declaration of war against Japan. There was no objection, save one Congressman, and the declaration passed nearly unanimously. Hitler honored the Tri-Partite Pact and declared war on the United States AND re-declared war on Great Britain. Troops were re-shifted back to France and Norway and the Luftwaffe once again began bombardment of British targets (actually 2 hours before Hitler's announcement, the Port of Dover was attacked by a squadron of Junkers Ju 288 bombers with FW-190 escorts. The RAF downed six bombers out of nineteen, but the port was moderately damaged along with six Royal Naval destroyers.)
(Note: The previous hostilities between England, France and their allies and Germany is referred to as the "Short War".)
American forces are mobilized. President Dewey calls for 200,000 volunteers immediately, but begins preparations to institute a draft with Congress. All US forces are put on alert and destroyers begin patrolling the sea lanes for the inevitable attacks by German U-boats, even Japanese submarines. British forces are bolstered by an increase in US aid and the arrival of new American aircraft and ships. General W. Bedell "Beetle" Smith is named "Supreme Allied Commander-Europe" and settles into a new headquarters in London. Meanwhile in the Pacific, General George Grunert prepares for the inevitable invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese. He doesn't have to wait long, the invasion force lands on Luzon on the 11th. More Japanese troops were landed on the 17th and the 20th.
May - On the 9th, the Battle of Bataan begins in the Philippines.
August - British rations are dropped.
September - Luftwaffe raids are stepped up. The King and Queen are moved to Edenborough.
October - General Sharp surrenders the entire Philippines. General Grunert attempts to escape to Australia on a PT boat, but unfortunately he is intercepted by a Japanese cruiser and captured south of Mindanao. In Russia, direct aid from the US is proving less useful than hoped. The new German offensive has pushed into Yakutsk and driven Stalin to Vladivostok on the Pacific Coast. Reports come out that generals have been hinting at signing an armistice with the Germans, giving them vast stretches of Eastern Russia in return for the Soviets keeping Siberia. Other reports indicate that Stalin has had some of those generals shot by KGB forces loyal to him. By the time the winter begins though, German planes are within bombing range of Khabarovsk (and begin to strike it) and the end is in sight for the "Soviet Union"
Japan, reluctant to attack Russia with America on its flank, invades Vladivostok. Stalin orders all available troops to defend Vladivostok. Aided by German bombers and their own, and a brutal pounding from Japanese naval vessels, much of the city is reduced to rubble and 1/2 the defenders killed before a single beachhead is made. 3900 Japanese troops land in the first wave and immediately push to the port and take most of the Zolotoy Rog Bay. Russian defenders make a valiant effort, but by the third day the Japanese invaders, supplied by another 2000 troops, take the city center. Stalin's bunker is found and after killing his last dozen contingent of NKVD loyalists, he is found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Lavrentiy Beria was found in an adjoining room, suicide by poison as well as his wife and son. A single Russian general was left alive to sign the official surrender.
Three weeks later, faced with German and Japanese bombardment, Magadan and Petropavlosk, the two remaining "hold-outs" in Far Eastern Siberia, surrender to the Axis. November 19th, 1944...the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceases to exist.
November - The second blitz begins on the 1st. Election time in the United States had occurred, and President Dewey had been leading in the Gallup polls by almost 65% to any Democratic contender. They end up choosing Mississippi Senator Pat Harrison, though many insiders acknowledged that Harrison was a "throw-away" candidate and they knew they stood no chance against a "war-time President" like Dewey. In the end the vote was extremely lopsided, Dewey winning by 62-38% and 47 states, with Harrison carrying only his home-state of Mississippi.
Republicans fared slightly better, but many of the old isolationists took a beating and in the end, the 79th Congress had a 20 seat lead for Republicans in the House and a 4 seat lead for Republicans in the Senate. Given the war, there was little domestic agenda for Dewey to work on regardless. British rations are dropped again.
The British are in dire straits. German U-boats (especially a new model called a Type XXI, capable of high speeds underwater as well as many other innovations) were wiping out Allied shipping. 100s of thousands of tons were being sunk, and American shipyards, just recently re-tooled, were having a hard time replacing them.
Ammunition and parts too were running low, with many anti-aircraft batteries in the north and in Scotland, stripped of their shells and sent down to London and the southern ports. American C-47 transports attempted to fly in relief, known as the "Belfast Airlift", but increasing threat of German long-range planes curtailed that.
December - On Christmas bombings in England are stepped up.
January On the 5th, "Operation: Sealion" (long dormant since 1941) was resurrected and given the go-ahead for initial startup preparations by Hitler.
"Sealion" had to rely on several things happening at once and several key elements coming about (one of which was useful invasion transports, which did not exist in OTL, but which had been developed in Germany following the fall of Western Russia in late 1942.).
The first was of course air superiority. Production of the Me-262 Schwalbe fighter jet (introduced in late spring 1944) and the Junkers 287 jet bomber (introduced in October 1944) had been given top priority. And German jets were already patrolling both France and making sorties into relatively lightly air-defended regions of England in July 1944, downing RAF forces still reliant mostly on Spitfires and a few American P-51 Mustangs. The jet bombers began to strike targets in southern England Christmas of 1944, mostly port facilities, but one major strike against the Scapa Flow was made on December 27th, that damaged six cruisers and sank two destroyers, though costing the Germans 50 of 108 bombers in the process.
In late January '45 to early February, the full push was on. Me-262s escorting Junkers 287s were again bombing London, Portsmouth, Bristol, Dover and even striking Birmingham. V-2 rockets were now in production and they were launched before manned aerial bombardments, to disrupt anti-aircraft and create civilian panic. For a week (January 22 to January 29th), there was not a time that some neighborhood in London was not on fire or had several buildings flattened from bombing. US invasions of Guadalcanal and Japanese invasions of Midway are repulsed.
February On the 1st, General W. Bedell Smith was killed in a bombing raid on London. Morale plunged when it was learned that the American Allied commander had been killed. Smith, who had been suggested many times to leave London for safer havens in the north, had always refused such advice and said that if he abandoned the capital it would send a bad sign. His death sent an even worse one.
Talk in Parliament began to signing a new armistice and granting the Germans AND Japanese any concessions they wanted. With another potential drop in the food and heating fuel ration and spring still months away, such talk was not looked upon as surrender, but perhaps facing reality.
American efforts to bolster the UK were tenuous as best. Shipping to England, even under the tried-and-true "convoy system" and with new American anti-submarine detection, was taking a beating. Tonnage sunk stayed steady, or even spiked on occasion as the new German U-boats, operating in their "wolf pack" formations, were nearly unstoppable.
Meanwhile, since the late fall of '44, Hitler, still unsure about the success of "Sealion", kept his diplomats in Spain "hinting" to British diplomats that Germany would accept another armistice with England, if they fully disarmed and ceded all Mid-East holdings to Germany and let the Germans "manage" India and the African colonies. He would, in return, pay "reconstruction payments" to England to re-build its cities and infrastructure and promise a "non-aggression pact for 50 years". The terms were outrageous at first to the British, but as the winter of 1944-1945 dragged on, it began to appeal to more and more of the Foreign Office.
On the 7th, the largest bombing raid in history to that point occurred, as some 1000 German bombers (half jet, half the propeller-driven Junkers-188 tactical bomber), plus escorts of Me-262 fighter jets, hit London in four raids. They drop over 2900 tons of high-explosive bombs, destroying nine sq mi of the city, collapsing the Parliament building and setting the eastern wing of Buckingham Palace on fire. The King and Queen were in Edinburgh (since September of '44), but several dozen military officers, including six generals, who were using the Palace as an office were killed.
Estimates of civilian casualties vary greatly, but most place the figure between 14,000 and 20,000.
On the 8th, Prime Minister Anthony Eden receives a telegram from the British Embassy in Madrid, the Germans are re-offering peace, with all the same conditions, or else "face a February 7th, every week from now on".
The RAF and the other British military advisors to the new Prime Minister can't offer much hope. At best, American planes making it across Greenland and Iceland to the UK and what few Spitfires are being produced in the north simply aren't enough to stop a German bombing campaign. (Only 86 of the 1000 German planes were shot down during the "Great Bombing of London".)
Plus British intelligence has picked up on the first hints of "Sealion" and though many think the invasion plan would be "tricky" at best, none can say it wouldn't be successful in at least giving the Germans a solid beachhead from Dover to Portsmouth, a beachhead that fighters from France could defend and bombers and minefields could protect from the dwindling Royal Navy.
Eden speaks with President Dewey via transatlantic telephone. Dewey at first attempts to keep Eden from surrendering, pointing to increasing American production (up nearly 200% since the war's start) and new ships coming off the shipyards in New York and Philadelphia. Eden says he would try, but the British public is nearly starving, cold from the long winter, and "desperate to re-build their lives, at least under British rule, not German domination".
Dewey concludes the conversation by saying that America will not sign a separate peace treaty with Germany, but continue fighting out of Iceland and possibly even re-take Northern Africa. Eden says according to the terms the Germans have given, England MUST remain neutral and cannot even appear to be helping the US. Both men end the phone call by wishing each other "good luck". On the 10th "The Sun Sets on the British Empire"- Anthony Eden meets with German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Portsmouth, and formally signs the surrender of the British Empire to the Greater German Reich. As stated, India becomes a "Reichskommissariat" as does the British Mandate over Palestine and Transjordan and all British holdings and colonies in Africa (such as Rhodesia, etc.) The Suez Canal becomes Reich property.
In return, the Germans promise 100 million Deutschmarks every year for ten years in "reconstruction aid" to the British. (actually a pittance given the wealth they have just taken and the taxes they will now gain).
Von Ribbentrop returns to Berlin and presents the treaty to Hitler, who goes on German radio and (surprisingly) is gracious and generous to the British people and Eden and proclaims a "new era of peace for Germany, England, and Europe".
With the UK out of the war, America's allies number in the handful. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, plus various partisans and resistance fighters from France to Far East Siberia to western China. The war in the Pacific keeps dragging on. Guam and Guadalcanal had fallen to the Japanese in the early summer of 1944 and final pull-out of New Guinea had occurred in September, with Australian forces bracing for invasion, and American ships desperately trying to patrol the Australian waters and keep supply lines opened. Perth, Australia and Sydney, Australia were shelled by Japanese submarines and Darwin started getting bombed by Japanese planes out of Lae in the fall of 1944.
And America was still re-grouping and re-tooling itself after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the collapse of the British in February of 1945, meant that virtually all European maneuvers had to be airborne out of the base in Iceland, and those were few and far between (mostly bombardment of German U-boat pens in Norway).
In the Pacific, the Japanese now felt safe on their western flank. Holding the East Russian possessions; their solid, but still primarily coastal control over China; and with Germany now in control of India, they were able to deploy all their forces eastward towards Hawaii, northwards towards Alaska, and southwards towards Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, aid from Germany was coming across the Trans-Siberian Railroad (with only slight interruptions from former Soviet partisans), and German supply planes were "flying the Hump", bringing supplies across the Himalayas to Japanese held Southeast Asia and eastern China. Oil and rubber as well were flowing from the Japanese holdings in SE Asia, though American submarines were beginning to make a dent in the shipping.
A new American bomber, the B-29, was operating out of Alaska and Hawaii and beginning to make strikes against Japanese ports and supply depots. Three groups were sent to Australia and they operated out of Darwin, hitting New Guinea and even the eastern Dutch East Indies. Unfortunately, just as their operational capabilities got going, German jets were being introduced to the Japanese Air Force, and the battle in the air suddenly turned against the Americans. B-29 losses were high (roughly equivalent to OTL early days of daylight bombing by B-17s).
In the Atlantic, Germany was finally able to launch a formidable surface Kriegsmarine, with the launch of the "Zeppelin", a brand-new aircraft carrier from the shipyards at Kiel, as well as a host of new cruisers. Range was the problem. Fortunately, the Germans had failed to demand Bermuda or any of the Caribbean island holdings from the British under the terms of the surrender, and Prime Minister Eden had "expressed outrage" when American forces landed in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands and claimed them as American "strategic interests". The British, the Germans, and the Americans all knew that Eden's "outrage" was phoney, but none made any mention of it. Regardless America secured the western Atlantic from German surface ships. The problem was the BELOW surface ships. Type XXI submarines, and the new XXI-B (with another 500 miles additional range), were operating freely from Cape Horn to New Brunswick, Canada. American destroyers were making kills, but at a rate of one German U-boat for every 50,000 tons of American/Allied shipping sunk. Until the U-boat threat could be contained, the plans for "Operation: Torch", an invasion of Morocco and Northern Africa, by American forces was put on permanent hold.
April - On the 5th, 1945, the Germans made the largest naval maneuver since they had during the Battle of Jutland. The new "Zeppelin" aircraft carrier, seven battleships, three battle cruisers, 16 light cruisers, and 20 Type XXI U-boats attacked the American Atlantic Fleet 40 miles southeast of Ammassalik, Greenland. Though the battle was essentially a draw (American F4U Corsairs holding their own against German carrier-based aircraft that were new, but had inexperienced pilots), the battle was a strategic victory for the Germans.
On the 11th, secure that American naval forces had returned to Halifax, Germany invaded Iceland, taking Reykjavik in less than two days and capturing the American ground as well as Army Air Corps bomber contingent on the island nation. It was a major blow to American north Atlantic operations, as there was little to defend Greenland and it ended all American bombardment of any German holdings.
Meanwhile, a push was made to work on an atomic bomb. Code-named "The Manhattan Division Project", it had been in minor development before the war, but without real funding from Congress. After Pearl Harbor, President Dewey called on a massive spending allocation and the creation of laboratories in Tennessee, Washington State, and a test site west of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Scientists from across the country were called in to work on the project. Vannevar Bush was made project leader and General Leslie Groves, military co-ordinator. Early on, the theory of using a "plutonium gun-type" bomb was worked on, by late 1946 though, it had been switched to the "implosion type" bomb due to lack of fissile materials.
The Germans, through agents in Mexico, had learned of the American "fission bomb" project and started working on their own. They were at least two years behind the Americans, but had a good leader in Kurt Diebner, with men like Werner Heisenberg and Otto Hahn as assistants. Debate over the amount of fissile material ended, after it was learned that the Americans had started their project, as most felt the weapon would have to be much smaller than thought before, for a bomber plane or rocket to carry it.
In the end, 1945 was a year of a weakened American position, with the fall of Iceland, the continuing U-boat threat, and Japan fortifying its position in the Western Pacific.
American advanced PB4Y-2 Privateer were now given priority production, to try to increase anti-submarine activity. Destroyers too were given priority, more than aircraft carriers, as the "Sumner" and "Gearing" class vessels were put into production. Lockheed P-80As, the first operational combat jet for the US, was also put into production, with an outlay of 4000 planned by 1948. Work continues on the atom bomb project, and plans are drawn up by General Patton and General MacArthur for an invasion of Far Eastern Russia, via Alaska, and attempt to move south from there and cut off the Japanese from German supply. Other plans are drawn up as well, one particular is to develop Bermuda as a long-range bomber site, utilizing the still-in-development B-36 "Peacemaker" or the problem-plagued Flying Wing B-35 from Northrop.
All of these technological innovations seem hopeful, in a year that is seeing little of it in the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres.
In the Atlantic, new co-ordination between PB4Ys out of Virginia, Florida, Halifax and Bermuda and destroyer "sub killer" groups is aiding in reducing the U-boat threat, but it still remains a danger for ships between the Panama Canal and home ports on the Eastern Seaboard. Greenland sees a German outpost established in Ammassalik, primarily as a weather station to aid the U-boat. It is defended by two battalions and a Me-262 group. No American plans for removing it are put into place. Meanwhile, a new German jet, the Focke-Wulf Ta-183, enters service and starts supplanting the Me-262 Schwalbe.
February - In the Pacific, another great sea battle occurs in the Coral Sea in February, the second time US and Japanese forces have met there. The Japanese somewhat diminished in ships, are supplanted by German jet fighters operating out of island bases and new German/Japanese cooperative submarines, built in Italian seaports and the captured Alexandria seaport, and sent across the Indian Ocean to aid the Imperial Japanese Fleet. The American forces succeed in winning the battle, but only sink one Japanese carrier and damage another.
April - The worst comes. German rocket engineer Werner von Braun completes his tests of the "A9/A10" intercontinental rocket. Since the invasion of Iceland, a launching facility has been built and the "Amerika Rockets" are being shipped to Reykjavik and set up in the winter of 1946. On April 19, 1946, the first of five is launched at 09:55 GMT. The other four follow in the next six hours. They will be launched OVER the North Pole and guided partially by radio, by German ice-breaker ships just short of the permanent ice pack. Number One falls in the Arctic, its second stage failing to ignite. Number Two succeeds in going sub-orbital and lands two miles outside of Cobalt, a town in the Timiskaming district of Ontario, Canada. It kills two miners.
Number Three succeeds both in flight and targeting. It detonates in the North Side of Chicago. 209 people are killed. No one realizes for days what caused the explosion, some even think it was an accidentally dropped American bomb, from a bomber at Meigs Field. Number Four detonates in a field outside of Fargo, North Dakota and Number Five lands short of Toronto, but kills four on a farm. Attempts by the Dewey Administration (and the Mackenzie King government in Ottawa) to keep the attacks quiet failed, as soon as German radio (now reaching the American East Coast) claims the Number Three attack as a "successful German rocket attack".
Panic erupts, as Americans become convinced that a "rain of German rocket bombardment, unstoppable by anti-aircraft fire or fighters, is imminent." In fact, it will be another six weeks before another 5 A9/A10s are shipped to Iceland, and two weeks after that (due to weather) that they can be launched. Regardless, Dewey and Prime Minister King have a populace scared to death and demanding constant air patrols, even in cities (thought to be by the Allies and known to be by the Germans) well outside the range of the rockets, such as Los Angeles, Miami and New Orleans.
To allay fears, Dewey goes on the radio and promises more patrols over northern cities. He calls in the Army Air Corps, as well as scientific advisors, and demands some kind of response. Brigadier General Curtis LeMay, just back from overseeing Australian operations, has a suggestion, though it is radical. He proposes firebombing Berlin.
The plan is unique to say the least. 25 B-29 bombers based out of Bermuda would be launched towards Europe, with extra fuel and incendiary bombs. The planes would cross Spanish airspace (a violation of Spanish neutrality, but few actually considered Franco a "neutral" anymore) and would attempt to bypass the German radar perimeter (located mostly in northern France, the Netherlands, and Belgium, and attack the Nazi capital. Then, with no fuel for a return flight, the pilots and crew would abandon their planes over neutral Sweden and hope to either be repatriated by the neutral Swedish or ride out the rest of the war in Sweden or, in a worst case scenario, be turned back over to the Germans. He called for 285 volunteers (15 of which would be stand-by crew, to replace those who may drop out at the last minute). LeMay himself would be the lead pilot of the mission. He acknowledged that if captured by the Germans, he would likely be executed, if the firebombing was successful.
June - "Island-hopping" begins in earnest in, with the US Navy attacking and re-taking Guadalcanal. 100,000 US Marines taking on approximately 19,200 Japanese. The fighting was intense, but under pressure from battleship bombardment and carrier-launched air attack, eventually the American forces re-took the island. But the cost was tremendous on both sides. 5921 American dead and another 17,529 wounded. On the Japanese side, 18,555 dead and 664 captured. It grants the US a victory and allows for bomber basing within range of New Britain and eastern New Guinea. In the meantime, another A9/A10 rocket attack came on the 20th. Five were launched. This time two failed to reach the North American continent, falling into the Arctic Circle. Two others reached the United States, but failed to reach their targets (still killing three people in rural areas). The fifth made it to Windsor, Ontario; it struck the city in the South Walkerville neighborhood, killing 530 people. Fear emerged again in Canada and the United States.
August - Meanwhile, American atomic bomb work is reaching a milestone, as Vannevar Bush's team at Los Alamos receives the first sample of produced plutonium and discovers that it is too flawed to be used for a "gun-type" plutonium bomb. They immediately switch to an "implosion-type" bomb, but it wouldn't be until early 1947 that the team is finally reorganized into the new mode. Germany was making its inroads, with two nuclear reactors going on-line and with the implosion-type already approved, not relying on plutonium for their program.
From July until late November, twenty more rockets were launched from Iceland and into North America. Accuracy, as well as rocketry success, increased and 1300 people were killed in Chicago, Bangor, Albany, and Milwaukee. Public demand for SOME action from the Dewey Administration increased throughout the summer and into the fall.
November - On the 5th, 1946, the planes took off from the base in Bermuda. Almost immediately, it seemed as if it was doomed to failure. One plane suffered a major hydraulics failure and had to return to base. Another suffered two engine failures and had to land in West Africa (the crew later made it to Monrovia, Liberia and were returned to the United States four weeks later). The rest crossed over Spain (The Spanish Air Force, Ejército del Aire, thought they were a German formation, RETURNING from an attack on Bermuda.) and into first Vichy France, then German-held France. None recognized them for American bombers.
On approach to Berlin, outside of Saxony-Anhalt, a training squadron of Focke-Wulf Ta-183s spots the formation. They alert Berlin Air Defense and pursue. Just outside of the capital, they hit the tail planes of the formation, downing five of them almost immediately. LeMay, holds steady, and keeps the group together and as anti-aircraft batteries open up on him, he drops his payload less than a mile from the Reich Chancellery. A firestorm six city blocks wide and long begins. It lasts for four hours and in the end 5300 people are killed. Among them is Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels. Hitler was in Berchtesgaden, as was Goring and Speer. Himmler and others either survived or were not in Berlin as well.
As soon as the bombs dropped, LeMay told the group to split, hoping to draw away the German fighter jets to individual B-29s and allow the some to escape. Six more fell before leaving the surrounding state of Brandenburg. Four more before they reached the North Sea had gone down. The original Ta-183s had run out of fuel, but other Me-262 groups stationed in Denmark were already scrambled. As LeMay and his remaining seven planes raced for Swedish air space, the German jets closed in. They down the remaining planes in a matter of forty minutes. Twenty miles south of Malmö, LeMay's plane "Helen E" is hit in two engines and he orders the crew to bail out, while he tries to keep the dive from becoming too steep. They make it out and two hours later a Swedish coastal patrol boat picks them up. Five minutes after they bail out, the starboard wing of the "Helen E" snaps off, the plane goes into a spin, and smashes into the ocean, exploding. Of the 270 crew of the raid, 20 never make it to Europe (the two planes that dropped out), 100 are killed and 150 are captured either in Germany or by the Swedish. Of those captured by the Swedish, none are given sanctuary and they are promptly turned over to the German Embassy (and the Gestapo) in Stockholm. Every one of the captured airmen are executed within six weeks, over the protests of the Swiss Red Cross and even many high officers of the Luftwaffe.
The effect of the "LeMay Raid" is extreme. Hitler is as outraged, as the German people, relatively untouched by the war for years, are stunned. None believed it possible that such a mission was possible, much less that the Americans would attempt it. A sense of vulnerability, that the Americans felt after the A9/A10 missile attacks in April, now settles on the Germans ... but also a demand for revenge, one that Hitler is more than willing to promote. He orders full scale deployment of the A9/A10s to Reykjavik, more funding for Diebner's atomic bomb program, and increased development of the "Amerika Bomber" program, with a demand for a "raid on New York" within the year.
In the United States, the effect was extreme as well. As soon as information leaked out about the raid (via Swiss and Spanish news sources), the public was ecstatic. Dewey insisted on a Congressional Medal of Honor for LeMay and of course immediately got it. All the families of the "LeMay raiders" received a call from Dewey thanking them for their sacrifice (at that time, it was still hoped some might remain POWs ... when it was learned they had been executed, joy turned to outrage, but re-energized the population again).
December - German reprisal for the raid was quick. More rockets were launched, but von Braun under pressure to hit an American city as hard as Berlin had been hit, starting aiming them solely at New York City. This increased the range needed to fly, and only three hit the city proper (two in Queens, one in Brooklyn) and one hit the Upper West Side on the 13th. 890 people were killed in the raids, though militarily the strike in Brooklyn was significant as it damaged the power plant of the Brooklyn Naval Yards and shut it down for more than a week.
But German aid continues, and Mitsubishi is now making the Me-262 jet under German contract and supplied with parts from Messerschmidt itself. Additionally, Germans are now supplying the Japanese with the Fliegerfaust hand-held automatic rocket launchers, Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles, and the Zielgerat 1229 night vision equipment. All of which, are not as important as the supplies of oil, rare minerals, and coal trundling down the Trans-Siberian Railroad every week. Despite former Soviets attempting sabotage along the railroad and the occasional destroyed bridge, tons of material get through to Japanese-held Vladivostok.
Back in the Atlantic Theatre, rocket attacks from Iceland end just before Christmas as heavy weather sets in. But American and Canadian intelligence believes that something bigger is on the horizon, given German radio still continues to stir up anger and promise "retribution" for the bombing of Berlin. January 23, 1947 would prove them right.