America's Silver Era, The Story of William Jennings Bryan

German Wins and Losses
The outcome of the war hinged on France. If Germany failed to knock out France, it would face an invasion from the west. Germany had the numbers and had better technology, but time was on France’s side. The more time went by, the more French soldiers could be trained and equipped, and the more allies could come to France’s aid. On July 5 a German army attacked Amiens. The French defenders fought back until the Germans were pushed back on the 10th. While the Germans were gaining ground elsewhere, their advance was slowing down. By the end of the month, a small Canadian force had arrived in France to help out. Not long after, a larger American force arrived. In August, Germany launched another offensive with the aim of taking Amiens, this time with more men. The Second Battle of Amiens lasted for two weeks, and the German forces finally took the city.

While Germany had won a great victory, there were millions of enemy soldiers standing between the German Army and Paris. Germany was making little progress on the Eastern front after the occupation of Poland, as most of Germany’s attention was turned towards France. Germany’s entry into the war did hurt Russia by preventing a rapid reconquest of their Eastern territory. Germany also had air superiority, and rained death upon the civilians on London and Paris. On sea, Germany suffered a series of devastating defeats across the Atlantic Ocean. The British and American Navies were too much for Germany to handle. Liberia declared war on Germany, followed by Venezuela. Germany, by this point, had ceased to care about its international relations, with some exceptions. Germany was closer to Japan than at any point in history. In addition, Germany was offering generous foreign aid in return for Finland and Sweden entering the war. Their offers were refused.
Disaster in the Baltic Sea
Germany’s strategy of defeating France first was not working. It was determined that German forces in France should assume a defensive position. Entrenchments would be dug just like 60 years earlier. Germany’s attention would then turn to Russia. It was determined that two atomic bombs should be dropped, but this time against civilian rather than military targets. St. Petersburg and Moscow would both be targeted. Germany was currently in possession of one atomic bomb, with another soon to be completed. The only problem was how to get the bombs to their targets. Germany no longer had airfields in Finland to make use of. Sweden was unwilling to led German planes launch raids into Russia from their territory. Germany would have to renovate a decommissioned aircraft carrier from the 1930s that had been sitting in port in Stettin for decades (Germany’s other carriers had been sunk or severely damaged already). Fortunately for Germany, the Baltic Sea was still firmly under the control of the Kriegsmarine.

Unfortunately for Germany, a British spy had uncovered their plans. Russia was informed of the disaster about to strike them. In September some German planes landed on the aircraft carrier, which was stationed not far from the Finnish coast at the time. Russia responded by launching an attack against the carrier by air. As the Russian planes attacked, the German planes scrambled to get in the air to fight back. The plane carrying the atomic bomb tried to fly away from the carrier, its pilot hoping to make it back to Germany. The Russian pilots were unaware that the plane was carrying the bomb, and it was shot down. The plane went underwater and the bomb detonated at the sea floor. The carrier, along with multiple ships escorting it, were destroyed along with all German and the majority of Russian planes. The blast caused minor seismic activity and affected coastal villages miles away. Herman Zimmerman was furious, and fired dozens of air and naval officers who he blamed for the disaster in the Baltic Sea.


(German planes)

Outside of Europe, the battle to liberate Indonesia began when Australian and New Zealander forces landed on West Papua. They would soon be joined by American and Canadian troops. Japan began bombing Manilla and other Philippine cities. Japan was also able to push back a Russian invasion of their ally, Xinjiang. Japan failed to keep Russia from taking back the Siberian city of Taishet. Liberia declared war on Germany while the Portuguese parliament narrowly rejected a declaration of war. Many Portuguese thought highly of Germany because of recent cooperation between the two countries in Africa. The war was raging in Africa as well. German Southwest Africa was blockaded, meaning that atomic bombs produced there would need to be transported by air rather than by sea. In Tanganyika German troops controlled the cities but had to deal with fierce guerrilla warfare in the countryside. In September, the German colonies of Southwest Africa and Kameroon were invaded by South Africa and Nigeria respectively.
The New France
After the defeat of Communism in the Second Great War, France was ruled by an ultra-conservative traditionalist Catholic monarchist government. The Patriotic Resistance Front, founded by dissident French officers in 1928, was made up of right-wing opponents of the Cartier regime, and popular among exiles. During the occupation, it became the largest political party in the country. Left-wing opponents of the Cartier Regime, such as Louis Barthas, formed the Socialist Opposition. The Patriotic Resistance front would soon split into Monarchist and Republican factions. The Monarchists formed the French National Party, which would dominate French politics for two decades, and the Republicans formed the Patriotic Republican Party. In addition to disagreements on the issue of monarchy, the Patriotic Republican Party was also much more secular and libertarian in outlook. France under the French National Party went out of its way to avoid any association with the Cartier Regime. In particular, Catholicism became the official religion of France and the Catholic Church gained much influence over education.

Postwar France was a poor country, especially compared to the rest of Western Europe. But the country was devastated and not much could be done about it. King Alphonso XIII of France and Spain died in 1950. His oldest son became King Alphonso XIV of Spain. His second oldest became King Jaime I of France. Jaime was never very popular in France, in no small part due to his sympathies for Germany. His father was pro-German as well, but had also played a role in liberating France from Cartier. Then there were also the anti-Monarchists, who simply didn’t want France to have anyone as king. Opponents of monarchy ranged from the right-wing Patriotic Republican Party to the Socialist Party to people who admired Adolphe Cartier. The Cartierists were irrelevant at this point. They rarely voted and the political parties they tried to form were outlawed. Their continued existence was useful for the French National Party to claim they were supporting their opponents.

The French economy was hurt by the 1959 Depression, but not nearly to the same extent as Germany, Britain, or the United States. And thus, unlike the Republicans in the US, The Social Democratic Party in Germany, or the Conservatives in the UK, the National Party of France maintained power in the elections that followed. Aubert Proulx was a rising star among those who opposed the National Party. He was born in Bordeaux 1906 and had no affiliation with the government under Cartier. He worked as a shop manager until he was bedridden by a serious illness in 1938. This meant that he was exempt from the draft by the time that Cartier had expanded conscription to include people over 30. Thus, he never fought in the French Army in the Second Great War. After the war he recovered from his illness and became a successful businessman. He was later elected to the French parliament in 1960. Four years later he won the party’s leadership election as a dark horse candidate.

In the 1965 elections Proulx campaigned on the idea of a “New France,” one that was free of both Cartierism and reactionary politics. He also called for a buildup of the French military in response to the outbreak of war in Eastern Europe. His Patriotic Republican Party won 45% of the vote, a coalition of middle-class professionals, businessmen, nationalists, Protestants, Jews, the growing French Mormon population, and some leftists. The National Party received 36% of the vote. The remaining 19% was split between Socialists, a fiscally left-wing but socially right-wing Catholic Party, and minor parties. Proulx became the new French prime minister, and gave a speech declaring how proud he was to be French and how France was the greatest country in the world. Among those who had supported him were French ultra-nationalists who agitated for war with Germany. When Proulx came into office, however, France was in no position to do so. He oversaw a massive military buildup, which greatly concerned German leadership, and the threat of France joining Russia was a contributing factor in Germany agreeing to a ceasefire in 1966.

Aubert Proulx originally had no desire to declare war on Germany. But after the coup in April, he was convinced that the new German government was dangerous and needed to be stopped. Many members of the National Party opposed war with Germany, as did King Jaime. The French Parliament still overwhelmingly approved a declaration of war on Germany and Japan. He called for the reclamation of Alsace-Lorraine, which had been ruled by Germany for nearly a century. Many of France’s new allies opposed any French expansion, as memories of the Cartier regime were still fresh in the minds of many. American President Ryan Norwood enthusiastically backed France on this matter, and said that the United States would support having Alsace-Lorraine returned to France as part of the eventual peace treaty. Norwood and Proulx got along very well together. On the other hand, the British and the Italians didn’t like him very much.


(French soldiers)

France was, with foreign help, able to keep the Germans confined to the Northeastern part of the country. Still, French cities were regularly attacked by bombers or by rockets. Meanwhile, King Jaime began to change his tune on the war with Germany, hoping to keep his throne secure. This caused a rift with his brother, Alphonso XIV, who was still strongly pro-German. He reminded Jaime that Germany was one of the few countries to support their father during his exile in Puerto Rico. Even the United States and Britain recognized the Communist government in Madrid as the real government of Spain right up until they declared war. A small contingent of National Party members along with pacifists opposed the war, but most of France was united in supporting the war effort. Many French citizens believed it was time to get revenge for 1871, 1918, and 1941.
War in Western Africa
In Europe, May 1967 meant the resumption of hostilities. In the German colonies in Africa, the conflict had been ongoing, in some cases since the 50s. May 1967 just brought new players into the conflict. Britain was in the gradual process of ending its global empire, but still had possessions on the continent, as did Italy. German Togoland was already gone, and all of German Africa was experiencing some sort of unrest. Only in Southwest Africa and Madagascar was the situation under control for Germany. Kameroon was soon invaded by Nigeria, and by December 1967 Nigeria was in control of the entire colony. In November, Leopoldville was bombarded by the US Atlantic Fleet. An amphibious assault was launched, with the Americans going first, followed by a second wave of Brazilian troops. The city was captured after two days of fighting. Most of the other German forces in the Congo agreed to surrender to the Americans not long afterwards, as they figured that America would be more merciful than the locals who had rebelled against them. They would spend the rest of the war in a POW camp in Texas.


(American soldiers in the Congo)

German Southwest Africa was an important target. It was attacked from three directions. Britain invaded from the West, from its colony of Bechuanaland. South Africa invaded from the South, and the Americans invaded from the sea. The Germans in Southwest Africa realized that they didn’t have the numbers to repel all of them. They began to shut down their secret nuclear testing facilities. One last atomic bomb was completed in September. It was determined that it should fly from the testing site in the desert to Leopoldville, to Cairo, to Vienna, to Berlin on a civilian plane. Upon arriving at the Cairo airport, however, Egyptian authorities ordered an inspection of the plane. All passengers (scientists and military officials) were detained. Egypt was now in possession of the only nuclear weapon in the entire world. The nuclear testing site was captured by British colonial troops on November 10. Two days later, the Americans captured Walvis Bay. American, British, and South African troops converged on Windhoek on the 28th.

After one week of fighting, the German forces surrendered. America, Britain, and South Africa then began looking for nuclear scientists still in the colony. Many of the scientists were happy to accept the deal to work for a country their nation was still at war with. Of course, that each scientist was given at least one million dollars to defect was a big part of why this was so. By the end of 1967, Germany no longer had any presence in West Africa. In addition, the government in Madagascar declared that it was still German, but no longer recognized the government in Berlin as legitimate. Thus, the only part of Africa still loyal to Berlin was Tanganyika. And even in Tanganyika, the countryside was mostly in the control of rebels. Germany’s Asian colonies were falling as well. However, the German forces in Europe would be a much harder opponent to defeat.
Nice to check in fully on this front. Of course, now we're going to have nuclear proliferation after the war, and that's never great.
Nah, it is far worse than that. Germany was using nuclear weapons liberally and somehow it didn't matter in the slightest. So next war will be a full-blown nuclear war because nukes will be seen as just another weapon instead of escalating things to MAD.

And since for maximum impact one would have to go with hitting all doable targets at once early on chances are we will see dozens of them thrown around by each side before people realize the consequences. And given how committed to wars people IITL are it is possible by then enough won't care enough to stop.
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War in the Pacific
The entry of the United States and the United Kingdom into the war meant that the Japanese Navy faced a serious threat for the first time in the war. Japan’s puppet state in Indonesia was also immediately under threat from the entrance of Australia and New Zealand into the war. While the Japanese Army benefitted from Russia turning its attention back to Europe, many began to wonder if it was worth being at war with three world powers instead of one. In 1964, America was able to get supplies into Russia through Russia’s far eastern ports on the Pacific Coast. These would then be flown to larger Russian cities. Japan took these key locations early on in the war. US and Canadian Marines cleared the Kamchatka Peninsula of its Japanese presence in July and August. American and Canadian ships faced off against their Japanese counterparts in a series of engagements in the Northern Pacific, off the coasts of Alaska, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Sakhalin Islands. These naval engagements were mostly defeats for Japan.

In the South Pacific, the Imperial Japanese Navy was under attack from America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Colombia, and Brazil. Italy and Greece sent some ships to help as well. Just as in the North Pacific, Japan lost the majority of them. On August 4, Japan lost an aircraft carrier, a destroyer, and two cruisers off the coast of the Philippines. Later that month, American, Canadian, and British forces converged on German New Guinea. The colonial leadership there surrendered a few days later when it became obvious that the small garrison stood no chance at repelling the invaders. Meanwhile, Japanese-occupied West Papua was taken by Australia and New Zealand. An Island-hopping campaign commenced, and fighting in Indonesia would last for the rest of the war. As the New Alliance (as it was now being called) went from island to island, they were helped by local freedom fighters who saw them as liberators.
Republicans Divided
As 1967 came to a close, the 1968 election was less than a year away. Thanks to America rallying behind the wartime president, Ryan Norwood’s renomination was inevitable. Anti-war Democrats would challenge him, and the former Montana Governor Franklin Brand would be their standard-bearer. His candidacy was not taken seriously by anyone, and almost every elected official in the Montana Democratic Party endorsed Norwood’s reelection. No Democratic President was this secure going into the Democratic convention since William Jennings Bryan in 1920. This was quite an accomplishment since the Democratic Party was full of internal divisions. While Republicans had their divisions as well, they were traditionally much more united than their opponents. By declaring war on Germany and Japan, Norwood not only United Democrats, he divided Republicans. Norwood, while positioning himself a man who represented all of America, gleefully watched on as Republicans were at each other’s throats.

1964 Republican nominee Carl Herman decided not to run again, as he had received less than 40% of the vote in the general election that year. Conventional wisdom was that Herman lost in a landslide because he was too conservative. That meant that the more liberal Brandon Bird, the runner-up at the Republican National Convention who had served as mayor of New York City and Governor of New York, was the ideal nominee in 1968. But Bird wanted to wait until 1972. He was convinced that Norwood was going to win in a landslide, and wanted to be spared that humiliation. He still planned on being an active player in the fight for the Republican nomination. He would need to find a candidate to support. Such a candidate would need to support the war effort and be palatable to most Republican voters. Bird hoped to throw his support behind a moderately conservative candidate and then support his bid for the presidency. This was all part of his plan to get the conservative wing of the Republican Party to warm up to him.

The first Republican to announce his intention to run for president was Kirk Wagner, Governor of New Mexico and a candidate in 1964. Despite having a German last name, he was one of the strongest supporters of the war out of anyone. He called for the internment of Japanese-Americans. He had also ordered the removal of children from Porcherite households in 1966. Representative Augustine Ira Taylor of Maryland was a more liberal pro-war candidate who touted his own service in the military during the Second Great War and his foreign policy credentials. There was Representative Eugene D. Cosimo of California. The D stood for Debs, as his parents were committed Socialists. Cosimo, however, decided to go in the opposite direction when it came to his political beliefs. He advocated for massive spending cuts and privatization of most government services. At the same time, he called for the decriminalization of drugs. His entire philosophy was that the government should mostly be limited to defending the country from outside threats. He was supported by Oregon’s Ann Alexander, who would have run for president had she not been ineligible due to being born in Russia.

Then there were the anti-war Republicans. Senator Glenn Gage of Iowa was famous for two filibusters. The first one, in 1965, had prevented a war with Japan. The second one, in 1967, had failed to do so. Nevertheless, he was still wildly popular with Republicans who opposed the war. Along with his stance on the war, Gage was a staunch Conservative, advocating for the re-privatization of healthcare and going as far as to suggest bringing back the Electoral College. Senator Rupert Kneller of Kentucky was more moderate, mixing populist elements into his campaign. Though Kneller’s parents were born in Germany, he insisted that his vote against the declaration of war was not in any way indicative of supporting the German government. The two men had an informal agreement to not attack each other and to not compete against each other in certain states. Another anti-war candidate was conspiracy theorist Bill Atwood, who was running his fourth presidential campaign.


(Glenn Gage)

The Republican establishment was unimpressed with the candidates who had declared by November 1967. Some party insiders begged Brandon Bird to run again, but he refused. Then, a group of GOP officials contacted Joseph Niall, former governor of Michigan and a wealthy businessman who was also a donor to Republican candidates. He was conservative, but not to the point of alienating a sizable portion of the Republican electorate. He was a strong supporter of the war effort as well. Thus, many Republican officials saw him as the man who was the most electable in both the primary and in the general election. A good portion of the Republican establishment, especially in the Northeast, backed Representative Taylor of Maryland. Brandon Bird, who was popular among the moderate and liberal Northeastern Republicans, surprised everyone by throwing his weight behind Niall. This virtually guaranteed him victory in the New York primary, which was a state that a liberal Republican like Taylor absolutely needed in order to win.


(Joseph Niall)

In December a debate was held in Los Angeles. Bill Atwood was barred from entering. Joseph Niall, Rupert Kneller, and Glenn Gage were considered to have performed the best. However, many people, especially young people, were drawn to Eugene Cosimo’s message of extremely limited government. In January, the primaries began. On the Democrat side, President Norwood received over 90% of the vote in all three states. On the Republican side, North Dakota narrowly selected Gage over Kneller by 31% to 30%. Niall came in third with 22%. In New Hampshire, Niall triumphed over Taylor by 38% to 35%. The final primary of the month was Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Republican Party was full of anti-war and pro-German politicians, some of whom openly praised the Kaiser. Their pro-German stance played a role in the usually solid Republican state having a Democrat legislature and governor. Gage won the state with 56% of the vote as Kneller agreed not to contest it. Niall won 25% of the vote.
The pictures I used for Glenn Gage and Joseph Niall are of actual Republican politicians. Both of these men have sons who are still alive today and much more famous than their fathers, do you know who they are?
Gage is not nearly as famous as George Romney.

Howard Buffett, father of Warren Buffett
Are these people completely made up and you just decided to use pictures of real life people or are these just alternate versions of real life people? Like Ryan Norwood is an alternate George Wallace and Brendan O'Reilly is an alternate John F. Kennedy and you had them both from the same states they're from in our timeline?
Are these people completely made up and you just decided to use pictures of real life people or are these just alternate versions of real life people? Like Ryan Norwood is an alternate George Wallace and Brendan O'Reilly is an alternate John F. Kennedy and you had them both from the same states they're from in our timeline?

It's a mix of both. Most characters are not just alternate versions of the people in the pictures, but most have at least some similarities.
War and Politics
In the February Democratic Primaries, Ryan Norwood once again swept all of them. His worst state was Nevada, where he got 85% of the vote. Since the primaries were merely a formality, Norwood was already campaigning for the general election. He wanted to win in the biggest landslide since James Monroe. He believed it was possible to win all 50 states. Polling had him winning over 50% of the vote against any Republican challenger. 54%-38% against Joseph Niall, 58%-33% against Rupert Kneller, and 59% to 32% against Glenn Gage. Of course, if the Republicans united behind a single candidate the polling gap would shrink, but it was quite a gap to overcome. A column in the New York Times in February stated that if the election were held today, Norwood would be guaranteed to win 47 states. Hawaii would vote for the Republican. Vermont would be a tossup, which was good news for a Democrat. South Carolina was a tossup as well, and the results would depend on whether white or black residents of the Palmetto State had higher turnout.

Norwood was eager to get more African-Americans involved in the Democratic Party. In 1967 he appointed James Anderson as the first black mayor of Washington DC. An addition to being a first, Anderson would also be a last. He was last mayor of DC to be appointed by the president. In 1968, an amendment was passed that gave DC the right to vote in presidential elections, elect their own mayors, and send one representative to congress (DC would get no senators). Many were skeptical of Norwood’s outreach to African-Americans. Representative Horace Griffith, a black Republican congressman representing part of Philadelphia, criticized Norwood for signing the segregationist Tallahassee Manifesto in 1947. A few days later, Rupert Kneller gave a speech to a mostly black audience in Memphis where he talked about the Tallahassee Manifesto and how several politicians from Kentucky signed it. Kneller refused to sign it, and he touted his important role in getting the Civil Rights Act of 1955 passed (though he was essentially neutral on the topic before that point).

Rupert Kneller did not fare well in the February Republican primaries. He put most of his effort into Arkansas and Pennsylvania, and Joseph Niall won both. In addition, Niall was victorious in New York in no small part due to support from the popular Governor Brandon Bird. He won 52% of the vote there, Augustine Taylor came in second with 26%. He defeated Glenn Gage in Illinois 33%-30%. Niall went on to win New Jersey and Connecticut by wide margins. The only Northeastern state he lost was Massachusetts, which narrowly selected Austine Taylor over him by 39% to 38%. This win inspired Taylor to stay in the race, even though his campaign looked hopeless by this point. Glenn Gage won his home state of Iowa in a landslide and won Minnesota against Niall 40% to 35%. Nevada, the state with the fewest Republicans in the country was won by Kirk Wagner with 25% against Kneller’s 21%, Gage and Niall’s 18%, and Cosimo’s 17%.

In March, a reporter from the American Broadcasting Network got to interview President Norwood. One of the first questions he asked the president about was the infamous Tallahassee Manifesto that he signed in 1947. “When were a Representative, you signed a manifesto pledging to support segregation, along with many other state and local officials throughout the South. Did you actually believe in the cause of upholding segregation, or did you just do it because it was politically expedient?” Asked the reporter. Norwood responded “I believed it, I thought that segregation was good and right. But I was wrong, and I apologize for my error.” People were divided on whether they believed that he actually had a change of heart, but the whole controversy only slightly damaged his presidential campaign. Meanwhile, his attention was drawn more towards events in France, where American and French forces were launching an offensive.


(American and French soldiers in France)

The British had arrived in France before the Americans, and had tried to position themselves as the leaders of the fight against Germany. But America sent over more men, and had better relations with the French government. British generals argued for an offensive along the coast, while American generals wanted to launch an offensive to liberate the areas of France near the German border. Britain was supported by Italy and the exiled Belgian forces. America had the support of France. American and French forces would launch an attack in March. French forces would attack the Germans at Nancy while America would attack at Verdun. The German positions were heavily fortified but they were outnumbered. Both cities were eventually captured early in April, but both America and France suffered heavy losses. Still, it was a victory. On the Eastern Front, Germany launched a new offensive against Russia, and used chemical weapons.

Norwood was quick to denounce Germany’s use of chemical weapons. The other leaders of the New Alliance denounced Germany’s actions as well, as did the leaders of most neutral nations. Though chemical weapons had been used in the first two Great Wars, they were seen as unnecessarily cruel by 1968. In 1944, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, China, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and some other nations all agreed to never use chemical weapons in the future. Japan had not signed this agreement, though it had not yet used chemical weapons at this point in the war. Germany’s popularity took a further hit from this, but German leadership was convinced it was necessary to win the war. The anti-war movement in countries like America and Britain was weakened as most people believed Germany needed to be stopped.