GURPS AE Reich 5 - Reichsprotektorat Britain
This post offers more information on Reich 5, the "Naziworld" from GURPS Alternate Earths. Particularly there is info on Reichsprotektorat Britain in case anyone plans to have their players visit there.
Reich 5 in 2004
Politically, nothing has changed in the last 9 years. Victor Alchsneiss is still Reichsfuhrer. Akihito is still Emperor of Japan. David Duke is still US president. There have been no wars, despite the ever-increasing number of secret German and Japanese military research projects. The American Resistance has been keeping its head down. Reich scientists are apparently no closer to discovering the secrets of parachronics.
The real difference between 1995 and 2004 has been the rapid pace of technological advance.
Sophisticated CCTV systems are ubiquitous in all large cities. ID cards now carry biometric information - DNA readouts and iris-scans. Subcutaneous implants enable everyone to be tracked, all the time. Telephone networks (both land-lines and mobiles) are automatically monitored by computers that take notice of and record anything that their programs identify as potentially suspicious. Satellites capable of high magnification watch the earth from orbit. As a result, resistance movements have found it more and more difficult to operate.
German and Japanese newborns are now routinely the result of genetic modification prior to IVF to ensure good health in later life - all known mental and physical defects are edited out of the genome and the immune system is strengthened. In Japan, genetic manipulation has gone further, with more and more couples choosing to have "designer babies" - with a desirable physical appearance or improved athletic ability.
The German space program continues to advance, with an increased German presence on Mars and in the asteroid belt. Project Ymir (the Terraforming of Mars) has had no appreciable impact as yet.
More and more fusion reactors have been built. Limitless cheap, clean energy is beginning to be a reality. New cars and trains are powered by hydrogen, not petrol. "Greening" projects are in place across Germany's Middle-Eastern territories, particularly Reichskomissarat Iran, partly as a German reaction to global warming, partly to provide Project Ymir scientists with experience in environmental manipulation, and partly to give the locals something to do now that oil is on the way out.
Germany now has a clear advantage over Japan, economically and militarily. In the Solar System, Japan is not a player. But Japan continues to hold a technological lead over Germany in genetics, and now also in computer science and robotics (Japanese keiretsu have employed many of the most talented American software designers). As a result of their new belief in the importance of computers the Japanese are encouraging the ownership of PCs, and the keiretsu are starting to become more interested in the American market as a whole.
"Dictators are very popular these days and we may want one in England before long."
Edward VIII (reputedly).
The German invasion of Britain was long and bloody - the invasion was launched in May 1940 and it took until February 1941for the island to be declared "pacified". This was partly due to the fact that the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and his senior ministers, died fighting in a bunker in Neasden that had been built to house the War Cabinet in the event of an invasion. His last words to the nation were "You can always take one with you". Since King George V had apparently committed suicide there was no-one to order or negotiate a surrender. Even after the so-called "pacification" resistance continued, from civilians, the Home Guard, military forces and especially the Auxiliary Units of the Special Operations Executive, who had been trained for the possibility of an invasion, and who in time formed the nucleus of the British Resistance. The Germans made life harder on themselves by their barbaric reprisals against civilian populations (the usual rule of thumb was that 10 civilians would be shot for every German soldier killed), thus increasing the hatred of ordinary Britons towards their German overlords, and by appointing Oswald Mosely, leader of the British Union of Fascists, as Prime Minister. Mosely turned out to be completely incompetent both at running the country and at gaining the respect of the British people. Edward VIII, who became King, was seen as a traitor.
Gradually, however, people had to become accustomed to German rule. Tangible resistance only continued until the 1960s, until the 1970s in Scotland.
Reichsprotektorat Britain is now genuinely pacified, although not quite in the form Berlin would have liked. The British never became ideologically fervent about the ideals of Nazism or British Fascism, and in the end the decision was taken to give up and instead promote a mentality of sentimental nostalgia for an ideal England of "warm beer, village cricket matches and spinsters cycling to evensong". If England could not be an enthusiastic partner in the Nazi dream, at least she would no longer poise a threat to it.
Ulster was gifted to the Republic of Ireland, in return for their helpful neutrality during the War. Metrification was introduced (for some reason coinciding with a renewed burst of resistance activity). the pound was replaced by the Reichsmark. German was taught in British schools from the age of seven onwards.
The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, the Prime Minister is Reinhard Filkes, English, in spite of the name, a fat, bald man with a permanent scowl and a high opinion of himself, and the Reichs Protektor is Ludwig Snyder, a poker-faced intellectual. There are genuine elections, although the British Union of Fascists is the only legal political party - two candidates stand in every seat although friends or allies of the Reichs Protektor or other VIPs always win.
Cultural Life in Britain
Britain in this timeline is even more conservative and backward-looking than it is our timeline. It is as if it were trapped sometime between the 1930s and the 1970s. Businessmen wear bowler hats. Women wear long skirts and head scarves. Northerners wear flat caps. New buildings, where they are not bland concrete carbuncles, are built in deliberately retro styles. Class differences are still important.
Few people other than the genuinely politically inclined are members of the British Union of Fascists. People do, however, seem to like being members of a club. The Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, the Women's Institute, the local Working Men's Club etc. The most popular pastimes among men are going down the pub and gardening (local councils are generous with allotments). Pagan holidays such as May Day or Midsummer's Day are appropriately celebrated (but Bonfire Night has been discouraged - the government doesn't want people getting ideas). Football matches are very well attended, the English national team is the second best in the world (after Argentina).
Of course, watching TV is also popular. BBC1 is English language programming. We would consider the programming very boring - bland dramas set in Yorkshire, predictable sitcoms, endless costume dramas (Oliver Twist seems to shown every year), quiz shows and of course the popular soap opera Luppitt. Still it's better than BBC2 - German language programming. You'd think with the most powerful economy in the world Germany could at least make something worth watching. It mostly seems to be endless films and documentaries about the Second World War, interspersed with dry documentaries, incomprehensible operas, re-runs of Hitler's greatest speeches or the latest Nazi Party Rally. Radio is much better. Radio 1 is news, sport and serious documentaries. Radio 2 is other spoken word material - dramas, comedy, poetry etc. Radio 3 is classical music and Radio 4, jewel in the BBCs crown, is popular music - folk, big band, crooners, comic songs and even, for the youth of today, American country music and German Sturm music. Oh, and the BBC still speaks "BBC English". Regional accents are almost unheard of on TV or radio.
Reading is also popular. Of course, books that contradict official ideology are never published but that still leaves plenty of variety - romances, family sagas, historical novels, murder mysteries, adventure stories etc. Many British authors write in German and become bestsellers across the whole Reich. The most popular books of recent years are the "Draco Malfoy" series about a boy wizard - enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Religious tolerance exists in Britain in a way it doesn't in Germany, due to the Queen's position as head of the Church of England - a job she takes seriously. Almost everyone English is a member of the C of E (more High Chuch in this timeline due to less American influence). Attendence is higher than in our timeline because the Chuch is seen as being anti-Nazi, despite its priests being careful to follow official guidelines on preaching. Higher, but not high.
Food in Reichsprotektorat Britain is a disaster. There are no influences from Provence, Italy or India to provide diversity and stimulate pride in traditional recipes. Instead, the only influence is from Germany, which hardly helps. In this timeline, the great British contribution to world cuisine is the ubiquitous "breakfast roll" (usually eaten for lunch) - baked beans and "sausage meat" in fatty pastry topped with melted cheese and served lukewarm from a canteen or bakers. At least there are plenty of fresh vegetables die to this timeline's obsession with gardening.
There are actually some good things to come out of the Nazi invasion. Despite Britain being very noticably poorer than Germany there is no actual poverty due to a cradle-to-grave welfare state and a government committed to full employment. So there are no inner-city slums or urban underclass. Crime is almost non-existent - more people are arrested for political crimes than for "regular" crimes. Public transport is fast, friendly and efficient. There is less pollution. Tobacco, chewing gum and dropping litter are seriously illegal. People are healthier due to eating less and taking more exercise (bicycles are cheaper than cars) and there is more of a sense of community.
On the other hand, there is constant surveillance, both official and amateur, conscription for young men, either into the army or for "industrial service" in Germany, and almost everything in the British economy seems to second rate or in short supply (think Soviet Union circa 1980). Oh yes, and Trafalgar Square is now Adolf Hitler Square - Nelson's column is in some park in Berlin somewhere, replaced by a statue of good old Uncle Adolf on horseback.