Pay the Bonus

Discussion and original thread here. If I misplaced anything or mangled a copy-paste, let me know ASAP in a pm! :)



"I told that trigger-happy fool not to go down there. I told him it was no place for a Chief of Staff. If only we could have foreseen what tragedy it would have become, I would have disobeyed orders. May God forgive us."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower, aide-de-camp to General Douglas MacArthur during the Bonus Army Massacre of July 28, 1932

"Flash news bulletin! This is Jerome Jenkins for WFED, 1500 on the dial. Chaos has struck our fair Washington today after the Bonus Expeditionary Force march was brutally and utterly crushed by military and police forces. Chief of Staff MacArthur claimed he was under orders from President Hoover to disperse the throngs of angry Great War veterans and restore law and order. He also claimed that the makeshift organization had become a wing of Communists. General MacArthur personally led 1000 troops to remove the protesting vets from government property. However things have rapidly spiraled out of control after the Army opened fire on the mobs, killing and injuring at least 30, including several children. Reports of violence and civil unrest all across Washington are coming in now and we are getting told that a bomb inside of an automobile has exploded in front of the White House. We will bring you more as we have it. Now back to the Roaring Ragtime Orchestra Hour."

"Get me MacArthur! I will have that man's arrogant neck!" declared a vexed and panicking Hoover, pounding his fist against the desk of the Oval Office. His assorted staff of some twenty officials and officers were in there with him, sweat stains clearly showing through their uniforms and suits. "I tell that man to restore order and coax those people into going home and he shoves a bayonet in their back and mows them down like they were some of the Kaiser's boys!"

"Mr. President," an Army Captain barged in, "We need to evacuate, sir. We need to secure the capital and we can't do that with our President in danger. I would ask you all to-"

A ball of fire erupted on the White House lawn, rattling the windows and sending everyone to the floor, hands clutching their heads.

"Mr. President! We need to leave! Now!" shouted Vice President Curtis. "We need to evacuate immediately! We need to ensure continuation of government."

"Yes," said Hoover, picking himself up off the floor. "This is an attack on the US government. This is MacArthur's doing, and he's going to stay here and clean this disaster up. Prepare to leave."

It was July 28, 1932. Just days before in Germany, Reichswehr troops under Gerd von Rundstedt had seized control of Prussia following severe civil unrest and rioting. Political violence seemed to be sweeping the globe. And it was about to jump off Americans' newspaper pages and into their everyday life. It was July 28, 1932. At 12:03, the first shots rang out. Within seconds, total pandemonium gripped the US capital. At 1 pm, as Army troops began destroying the camps of the homeless BEF marchers, a 1925 Ford parked in front of the Hoover White House exploded, killing two police officers with a homemade bomb and maiming several civilians. The White House's iron fence was blown open by the homemade bomb and dozens of BEF rioters ran through the wreckage and began pelting President Hoover's residence with rocks and bottles.

President Hoover, Vice President Curtis, and hundreds of members of the government fled to a military base in Delaware. Violence erupted nationwide and angry veterans and citizens took to the streets overnight and when July 29 dawned, the world was watching as the United States teetered on the brink of total civil breakdown. How President Hoover handled the situation from this point on would determine the fate of the troubled nation. Whatever happened, a political storm was on the horizon that had not been seen since 1865...


Bonus Army supporters rally at the Capitol in defiance of the government, August 1, 1932

"In recent days, unrest has gripped the core of our nation, and many Americans do not know what to think about our future, or how to survive in the present. It is clear to me that by only laying down our arms and working toward a brighter, industrious future, can we once again live fulfilling lives and get our economy roaring back to what it once was or greater. Civil unrest and targeting law enforcement officials is no way to deal with our problems. I also wish to apologize on behalf of my entire administration for the actions of my Chief of Staff, Douglas MacArthur, and the men under his command. He has been arrested, and will be administrated military justice at a court-martial. I never wished or ordered for him to fire upon protestors and I was mortified by it beyond belief. He has been replaced as Chief of Staff by General Malin Craig, an honorable Missouri native and a true patriot. We are sorry. My government made mistakes. And we deeply apologize. It has become clear that the people of the United States no longer have confidence in my administration. As such, I will not be seeking reelection this fall. My last act as Commander in Chief is to call for national peace, national brotherhood, and national compassion. Furthermore, I feel that I can no longer fulfill the duties entrusted in me as President, and effective at noon tomorrow, I will step aside in favor of my vice president, Charles Curtis. It has been an honor to be President of the greatest country on earth. May God bless you all, and may God bless America."

-President Herbert Hoover, August 1, 1932

It had been just a handful of days since the Bonus Riots had broken out, and violence and unrest had swept the nation. The already tanking global economy stood on edge as they watched America descend into violence. Hoover was a villain to over half of America. Millions cried out for him to be impeached. His government, now operating out of Dover, Delaware, at a small military base. Navy ships floated just off shore, ready to evacuate the entire government to sea if there was a further escalation. Hoover was fearing all-out civil war as he took to the airwaves on the first of August to announce he would become the first president in US history to resign from office. The news was greeted at first with jubilation by many, and then by concern. Charles Curtis was a relatively unknown quantity. He hadn't actually said much of anything nice about Hoover before he had been pacified with the vice presidency. He was infamous for his 1930 remark, "Good times are just around the corner." He seemed like most people's bungling, but lovable, uncle.

Except many viewed him just as culpable as Hoover for the "Bonus Massacre." To the hardliners, he was guilty too. Everyone in the government was held up by the veterans as part of the problem. And they wouldn't stop until everyone who held office on July 28, 1932. They were going to "drain the swamp," at gunpoint if need be. And so it was that multiple groups of disgruntled citizens around the country had commenced a vigilante war on the establishment. Congressmen received death threats by the hour. The Washington Metropolitan Police Chief, Henry Pratt, was assassinated in his office by a Polish-American Great War veteran, Henry Poniatowski, who had served as his janitor for two years. The man emptied a Colt revolver into Pratt before being blown away by several nearby officers.

In the South, as the economy and politics had tensions running high, race relations weren't getting better either. A showdown between several KKK-linked groups and some liberal socialist and communist organizations was getting bloody. Many local blacks took to the communist cause as they suffered through possibly the worst of the Depression. Black unemployment was quadruple the national average, and many saw the Republican Party as the emancipation party but also as the party of mistreating veterans and tanking the economy. However they also scorned the casual racism of the Democrat Party. It was in the deep south that the first Communist Leagues began to form. However, the same could be said of the radical militant right that began to resent that the conservative Republicans were letting violence get so out of hand without it being crushed. It was to that end that radical pseudo-fascist militias formed almost instantly to confront the communists. Everyone seemed hated Hoover. The Republicans wanted him gone and never to talk about him again, and the likely 33nd President-to-be, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his Democrats wanted to beat the Hoover horse long after it was dead. And dead it soon would be, with all seriousness.

On August 2, 1932, at high noon, Charles Curtis was sworn in as the 32nd President of the United States, in Dover, Delaware. Hoover shook the man's hand, wished him well, and then retired to his quarters on the base. There he typed out a quick note:

"I, Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st President of the United States, wished nothing but good for the world, and the people of America. I strove every day for excellence, and I regret the many mistakes I made personally that led our nation down this path of violence and troubles. I feel every day for the families mourning their fathers and sons that were so brutally slain by my Chief of Staff. I should have never let it get that far. I cry every day for the failures I have wrought upon this my nation. I see us about to go over the brink into the abyss, and so I go to meet that abyss, in an effort to hopefully make amends and remove my tainted name from the public discourse. I, Herbert Clark Hoover, am a patriot. And a failed President. I wish nothing but love to my wonderful wife Lou, and my amazing sons Herbert Junior and Allen. I am sorry I failed everyone around me and my country. I go now to the abyss. Goodbye."

After sealing the note in an envelope and handing it to an army sergeant stationed to guard his quarters, he did a brisk salute and told the soldier he was to go give the note to President Curtis. And then he retired to his quarters, and at 4pm on August 2, 1932, former President Hoover ended his life at his desk, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He died instantly.

To the entire world, this was absolutely stunning, and everything everywhere seemed to screech to a halt. And now a new President had one hell of a mess to clean up. And three months to do it.


The Bonus Brigade, a militant group of anti-government protestors, rally in Philadelphia, August 20th, 1932
The global economy was a complete shambles. President Curtis now had to deal with the aftermath of his predecessor killing himself, an economy teetering on nonexistent, a Chief of Staff on trial for slaughtering citizens, the rising power of Nazism in Germany, and radical wingnuts from every political faction rioting in the streets. And he had only three months to make sure Roosevelt didn't utterly annihilate the Republican Party from history.

The Bonus Brigade, a militant anarcho-socialist organization headquartered in Philadelphia, with many Communist members, was drawing support from across the nation. A commune was created on the outskirts of Philadelphia promising work for food, and a place to build a "Hooverhouse" for each family. Veterans and homeless poured in from near and far, and soon over 25,000 people were all living in the giant slum. Curtis was not keen on this and neither was the military or the mayor of Philadelphia, J. Hampton Moore, a staunch Republican.

All over the nation, radical socialistic thinking was spreading like wildfire. Maybe it was time for a Socialist States of America. However, there were still a majority of Americans who were hesitant or even downright hostile to socialists. As unrest plagued the nation, street battles between the right and left, not unlike those in Prussia and the Germanic regions, became daily events. The death toll was creeping into the upper hundreds and Curtis needed to do something about it or he would look like an inept fool. But at the same time if he clamped down too hard he would have the same fate as Hoover, if not the same end. He immediately signed emergency legislation authorizing the payment of many bonuses to veterans, but to many of them it was too little too late.

Meanwhile, MacArthur's trial was expedited and he faced his Army court martial on August 22. He was found guilty of insubordinate conduct under Article 91, conduct unbecoming an officer under Article 133, and manslaughter under Article 119. However, during the proceedings MacArthur made it very clear he viewed the trial as a "Communist witch hunt."

"I regret that so much life was lost in Washington, but not everything is as clear-cut as it seems. We are under a threat of Communist infiltration, Communist subversion, and Communist degeneration of our country and society. Ain't no way in hell a man like me is just going to stand by while damned revolutionaries take to our streets and break our laws. I did my duty. I can do no other."

-Douglas MacArthur, August 22, 1930, before being sentenced to his dishonorable discharge

Meanwhile, young Major Eisenhower refused to admit any wrongdoing and claimed over and over he told MacArthur to stand down. However, he also said during the proceedings that the fear of Communism overshadowed MacArthur's thinking. And he claimed that even though the Bonus Marchers were wronged and brutalized, there were real communists among them and they need to purge themselves of those elements. But largely he was out to preserve his career and wanted nothing to do with the incident. He was acquitted after it was decided he was "just following orders."

And on the other end of the spectrum was Major George S. Patton. A hellion of a man, Patton insisted he only was following orders but that:

"Now that the cat is out of the bag, and we got commies running around with a bunch of decent Americans, causin' trouble and raisin' cain, we need to act swiftly before we wind up with a second Civil War on our hands here. We need to crush communism wherever we find it. We don't need it here. It's not American and by God we need to stamp it out before we all end up like a bunch of Russian sumbitches starving in a hellhole somewhere."

Major Patton was acquitted of any wrongdoing and restored to active duty. He would have quite the future indeed.

In other matters, no President had ever resigned before. And some people saw Curtis as an illegitimate leader. This was about to come to a head in one of the gravest crisis in American history.

New Jersey had been absolutely overrun with riots since July, and for the popular Democratic Governor, A. Harry Moore, Curtis's presidency was the last straw. To him, Curtis was a no-good, half-Indian, lame duck of a President who shouldn't even be in office. And Curtis's initial lackluster approach to ending the rioting despite the fact that Trenton and Newark looked like battlefields pushed him over the edge. Moore mobilized all New Jersey National Guardsmen on September 1st and marched them to a Federal headquarters building. There he told the Federal troops they were to leave the state immediately and leave combating the rioters to them. Moore also announced that he saw the entire current political structure of the nation as a "failing republic of overreach and empty promises." He also claimed that President Curtis was just as much of a disgrace as the late President Hoover and that he needed to be removed from office.

Curtis finally was angry. He didn't see himself as a great President, but he did see himself as a legitimate one that was trying his best with what he had and he saw Moore's actions as an egregious attack on the Constitution and the Federal government, and as spitting on Hoover's attempted suicidal redemption. He had had enough. On September 4th, three days after the withdrawal of Federal troops from New Jersey, Curtis ordered Chief of Staff Malin Craig, with Major Patton in tow, to march to the New Jersey capitol building and arrest Moore and his advisors for sedition. Patton led his tank column down the main thoroughfare in Trenton with speakers and bullhorns advising any members of the National Guard or state government were to surrender immediately. Many did become intimidated by the Federal troops and gave up without a peep. However, it was not National Guardsmen who were about to ambush the tank corps.

At 2:21 pm, some twelve blocks from the capitol, a small handful of black flag anarchists hidden inside some high-rise office buildings began firing on the tanks with small arms. Four soldiers were killed immediately before the tanks opened fire on the buildings, blasting them to bits. The Federal troops immediately became spooked and some began firing on the surrendered National Guardsmen during the chaos. It was a bloodbath. Patton tried to calm his men and regroup to the south, but it was too late. A rolling gun battle had erupted across town. For the first time since 1865, American troops fired on American troops. After an hour most of the fighting had stopped. There were few casualties after the initial ambush, as most of the battle was just covering fire or deliberate misses at fellow Americans. Patton meanwhile was not about to give up. He was furious. To him, Moore was to blame entirely. He pressed on after the ambush and fired warning shots at the capitol building. At 7:35 pm, Governor Moore and his advisors marched down the steps of the building and were arrested.

As news of the "Battle of Trenton" swept the nation, stocks tumbled even further. Curtis had another massacre incident on his hands. But this time it was in self-defense. Or so he hoped people would see it. What most people saw was an inexperienced Kaw Indian in over his head and now American soldiers were dead. He had been the first president since Lincoln to see such a thing. A second wave of violence shook the nation. Most scholars refer to it as the September Insurrection. As the country fell apart, radical KKK groups tied to the Democratic Party began patrolling towns from the Deep South all the way up the Ohio and into Indiana. The Bonus Brigade in Pennsylvania began throwing talk out of running a socialist candidate in November. Republican radicals and fascists actually began clashing with the Klan. Negroes began putting their support behind the radical socialists, with many civil rights groups and black organizations putting their lot in with the Bonus Brigade. On September 19, the Bonus Brigade hosted the "Rally for a New America." Thousands showed up to informally nominate a candidate for the Presidency. With an almost overwhelming margin, they decided on the 42 year old socialist and Great War veteran Milton Stein.

Meanwhile, Franklin Roosevelt was preparing himself for a landslide victory he was sure would be his. However, with a secret truth about his health about to leak out, the political scene was about to get even more interesting....


Franklin Roosevelt, Democratic candidate for President, addresses the media about his health and recent scandals within his political alliance
Things were looking peachy for the Democrats as October of 1932 dawned. However, their well-oiled machine was about to have a wrench thrown in its gears. Roosevelt was secretly crippled, a fact he managed to hide very well. Never letting it get in his way, he managed to keep it quiet for years. Many in Washington knew, but were either paid or chose not to bring up the matter. However, as total electoral annihilation loomed in about 40 days, President Curtis decided to pull out all the stops and had it leaked to the press. And though Roosevelt did take a dip in the polls, especially with some Democrat voters defecting to socialists under the Reverend Norman Thomas, the Republicans still trailed far behind. Curtis essentially resigned himself to defeat and tried to keep the country from plunging into civil war. New Jersey had become a spark that might ignite a bonfire, and Federal martial law there certainly was winning him no votes. What he did not know was another scandal was about to break in the Democratic camp.

It was in New York City on October 3rd, at the Empire State Building, that a "gentleman's club" was hosting a high society get together of well-to -do industrialists and political kingmakers. Hosting the event was Al Smith, former Governor of New York, vehement ant-Roosevelt Democrat, and CEO of Empire State, Inc.. Co-hosting with him was Robert Sterling Clark, hero of the Boxer Rebellion and heir of the Singer Sewing Machine Corporation. Among the attendees were the CEOs of Heinz foods, Winchester Repeating Arms, Goodyear, Standard Oil, and General Motors among others, several governors, numerous lower-ranking politicians, and a handful of military officers. They all feared one thing: Communism. And they were determined to keep America from turning even farther left than it had in recent months. The event was masked as a get-together to view and discuss some of the Empire State Building's planned upgrades and to show off some of Clark's recently acquired antique paintings.

At dinner that night, after talking for hours of various ways to stump Roosevelt's success, most had given up, slowly realizing the landslide in November could not be stopped. Unknown to all was that Smith and Clark had an ace up their sleeve. It was none other than newly-promoted Lieutenant Colonel George S. Patton who entered the dining hall with a beige folder under his arm. He summoned everyone's attention before stepping up to the table and tossing the folder down.

"Good evening, everyone. I come to you tonight as an American. A patriotic, red-blooded boy. A capitalist. I come to you to bring something to the light which the communist bastards have tried to hide in the shadows for several years. I have here, in this little damn folder, testimonies from eye-witnesses to multiple visits to Democrat and Roosevelt headquarters and events by agents of the Kremlin. These papers show strong evidence of, how you say, collusion. Hell of a bathroom reader if you ask me. Hell of one. Gentlemen, we can sink wheelchair boy before he becomes President of these states, or we can do what my associate Mr. Clark has to say. I think we should all listen to him for a moment."

The Singer Sewing Corporation heir rose from his chair and leaned forward on the table, fire in his eyes and said, "We're going to take this country back from the abyss, just as Hoover wished. We're going to save the United States. We're going to save the economy and feed our veterans and starving homeless. Now we have a plan, and it's dangerous. But you all are trusted friends. What we are about to discuss cannot leave this room. A plan has been drafted... We shall go ahead and let Roosevelt win. Yes, that's right, we let him become President. We have no need for that bumbling fool Curtis or the tainted Republican Party. We need to make people forget about the entirety of the Hoover administration. Then, faced with slowly trickling evidence of Soviet collusion, Roosevelt will become a shame on this country and voters will reject him utterly regardless of his policies. We shall show them that the threat MacArthur warned us about at his Court Martial, the threat which set this ball in motion, is real, and it reaches to the very highest offices of this once-great country. The people will reject Socialism, Communism, Progressivism, and the two party state that we have so long endured. They shall see the threat posed by the Godless Kremlin and our country will come roaring back. And we have a plan to remove Roosevelt from office once the public has sufficiently turned against him. That is where Lt. Col. Patton comes back into things." Clark gestured for Patton to resume speaking.

Patton nodded and continued. "Thank you, Mr. Clark. You see, all across America there are thousands of upset veterans that feel left out or wronged or stabbed in the back by our government. They're mad as hell and we all know they have a damn good reason. We tried reaching out to Major General Smedley Butler, a decent man, but he turned us down and called us crazy. So lately I have been in talks with General Pershing, our hero and commander from the Great War, and I have good faith in the man to follow through on his word. He has confided in me that he has no faith in Curtis or Roosevelt to lead us. Now General Pershing is a little up in his years now, but he has contacts with every veteran organization in this country. In Germany they called it Der Stahlhelm. Here we call it the American Legion. Thanks to our friends at Winchester Repeating Arms, and the good old Second Amendment, Pershing has informed us that if Roosevelt moves us in the wrong direction, namely cold and easterly if you get my drift, that he can gather at least 500,000 men to march on Washington and arrest Roosevelt as a Communist spy and a foreign agent. Pershing would then lead the government as Secretary of Internal Affairs. The Cabinet would be purged and reorganized, and then new elections could be called to decide on a figurehead President. But the military will rule and capitalism will be saved. Order would be restored and many reforms could be put in place under more... heavy-handed tactics... to ensure the revival of American industry."

"Lt. Col. Patton, where did you find this information of the Russian collusion?" asked a young industrialist named Prescott Bush from the Union Banking Corporation, a company with heavy ties to German steel magnate Fritz Thyssen.

"Well, can't say we did it alone. Army intelligence, one of my main areas at the moment thanks to our ongoing coup in New Jersey, has been watching Roosevelt like a hawk, don't get me wrong, but it was actually a few calls from German intelligence that tipped us off. The Hun bastards have been spying on Russian agents inside the US and they decided the situation was interesting enough to tip us off. Grateful to them that they did, or else we might be saying President Roosevelt for the next four years."

And so it was that the Business Plot was hatched. Those who weren't sold on the idea quickly came to their senses when news broke shortly after the meeting that Smedley Butler had been involved in a deadly car accident several blocks from FBI headquarters. This was it, a plot to overthrow the soon-to-be President of the United States.

Robert Sterling Clark
As news was purposely being gradually leaked out about his ties to Russia and increasing concerns about his health, Roosevelt still led in the polls by a large margin, but doubt started to slowly set in on Democrat voters. Was their man a Russian agent? Just the mere question began to eat at the popular consciousness, slowly starting to erode the feelings of total outrage after the Bonus Massacre. The recent popularity of socialism, and the growing Philadelphia Veteran Commune, was concerning. Roosevelt went into November still a sure-fire winner, but things were about to get very hairy very quickly. And the most interesting thing of all was that Patton's dossier was largely nothing but German and Italian manipulation.


When November and the election rolled around, FDR won by a wide margin, akin to Hoover's victory in 1928. However, his reputation was already in shambles. A self-feeding media frenzy kept up an unrelenting barrage of accusations about his ties to Russia. Most frequent were questions about his alleged meetings with Soviet Ambassador to the US Boris Skvirsky, and Skvirsky's visit to the Philadelphia Veteran's Commune.

"It was a mere polite introduction to Mr. Skvirsky at a luncheon engagement. I also met several other nation's ambassadors and they were all polite, kind men of distinction, and we talked over some finger sandwiches like gentlemen. Nothing more!" Roosevelt addressed the press on November 12th.

"Mr. President-Elect," started the ABC reporter, "Is it true that a Russian oil company donated large sums to your campaign?"

"No! AMPET stands for American Petroleum, what part of that do you not understand? Their Vice Chairman of the Board might be a Jewish immigrant from Russia originally, but that has no impact on anything at all!"

"Is it true that the liberal wing of the Democrat party seeks total desegregation of whites and blacks in America? Is that what you stand for?" asked NBC.

"That is absurd. We are not about to undermine American Society. We have no interest in such radical changes. What our people of every color want is jobs, jobs, jobs, and food in their pot! And that is what I will give them. I want to fix the economy and all you people do is jabber on about my nonexistent ties with Russia and if you're going to put me before this kind of firing squad at least give me a cigarette first."

"Mr. President, what are your goals with New Jersey?" inquired CBS.

Roosevelt took a sip of much-needed water before answering, "Finally a damn question I can respond to. My goals are to gradually end martial law and call for proper elections to determine a new governor. Our brothers and sisters in New Jersey will eventually go back to jobs, food, and a normal life."

"Mr. President, what have you to say of Mr. Skvirsky's visits to the Philadelphia Veteran Commune, a Commune which, frankly, went strongly for you or the Socialist Reverend in the election?" the ABC reporter shifted the discussion back to the last thing he wanted to talk about.

"Look," Roosevelt pointed a stern finger at the media man, "I have no control nor say over how Mr. Skvirsky spends his time. He is a fully recognized diplomatic official and is entitled to the respect owed him and may travel wherever his papers allow. I know nothing about his trips and I've had about enough cockamamie conspiracy theories running around about them. I don't know if he went to pass out candies in the camp or if they sang the Internationale together. I don't know and frankly am not interested. I've had about enough of this witchhunt pandering to reactionaries among us who have already come to their own conclusions that I absolutely adore Joseph Stalin and wish to implement Marxist policies simply because I want to create public welfare agencies and take us off the gold standard, a standard which got us into the economic depression we are currently stagnating in. It was unhinged capitalism which took us from a thriving country to the depths of the depression."

"So, you're saying capitalism is to blame? Would, say, socialism be a better form of government in the current situation?" pressed the ABC man again, his eyes squinting in suspicion under the brim of his fedora.

"No damn it!" Roosevelt stamped his hand on the podium. "We need a regulated free market and we need to inject it with capital and ensure our economy recovers."

"So you want to bail out failing companies for the good of us all? Isn't that by definition redistribution of wealth? Taking from Bob to keep Sally from going under? Marxism, if you will?" Roosevelt could hear the accusing tone in the man's voice.

"No, no, no, it is a New Deal for the American people, rich and poor. I am not tied to Big Industry and I will always be there for the little man. That man need's security, knowing the government won't let businesses and monopolies tank the economy without any guidance from the government whatsoever. Now you can read any Liberty League-leaning rag and you'll read the phrase socialism until your eyes are raw, but what you won't read are my programs to reform banking, agriculture, and grab America by the bootstraps and set our ship on it's proper course again. Now, I have urgent matters to attend to and so I take leave of this ambush. Good day to you all."


Members of the Philadelphia Commune prepare for the arrival of Federal troops
Roosevelt was a very unhappy man. He was struggling to get anywhere, and he hadn't even been sworn in yet, until March. Congress however, had voted to move the inauguration of future presidents back to January 20, but that wouldn't take effect until 1937. President Curtis was holding the country together in the meantime as best as he could, but FDR worried he wouldn't get anywhere at all with all the communist conspiracy theories. In early January of 1933, however, the situation in Europe became much more alarming. Paul von Hindenburg had finally proclaimed the young firebrand German National Socialist German Worker's Party (NSDAP) leader, Adolf Hitler, as Chancellor of all Germany. And it was in these times where the right was seeing a surge in popularity that the Philadelphia Veteran Commune was about to make headlines again, and the nation would be plunged into civil unrest once again, and the results would not help the left in the nation at all.

On February 3rd, 1933, President Curtis moved Federal troops to Philadelphia in response to growing reports of revolutionary activity at the Commune. Some 15,000 members of the Army and Marines and 1000 policemen from across Pennsylvania arrived and surrounded the camp. Two days before, it was reported that the Communal Committee had developed a plan to overthrow the government of Philadelphia and proclaim a Soviet-style People's Republic. The Federals began ordering for the dispersal of the Commune at 9am. When the veterans and their families refused to budge, Lt. Col. Patton ordered his tank column forward. As the tanks crept closer to the walls of junk and refuse that the leftists had stacked up, the veterans inside started chanting, "Shame! Shame!" Patton again ordered the militias to disperse. He was determined not to repeat MacArthur's mistake, so he tried to give them multiple opportunities to surrender and go home. Each time the tanks crept a bit closer.

At 3pm, Patton announced a final warning over his tank's speaker system:

"The people of America and Pennsylvania wish no ill on you. We respect the service you offered us during the war. Hell, I fought alongside many of you salty bastards. However, due to confirmed reports that your leaders are planning to overthrow the duly-elected local and state government, and in an effort to prevent this state from becoming a second New Jersey, and also again to shut down this unlawful assembly, the United States government and the state government and local law enforcement give you one more chance. If you have not shown an effort in good faith to withdraw from this campsite by 4pm, we will have no choice but to enter your campsite and disperse you with force and arrest your leadership. Once more, disperse by 4pm, or we're coming in."

US Marines rushing across the fields during the Battle of Philadelphia

The men inside the fortifications looked pale. A couple thousand men and their families jumped fence and deserted to Federal lines. But most stayed. When 4pm rolled around and the veterans remained, tear gas was deployed and Patton lowered himself into his tank and closed the hatch. With a jolt, his tank started forward and became the rallying point for all the other armored vehicles. As the M2A2 tank smashed through the main gate, bullets began to fly on both sides and the destruction was unimaginable. As the veterans attempted to stop the tank column to no avail they were being mowed down in droves. Five biplanes flew overhead and dropped grenades on the main barracks buildings, which set off massive explosions of stockpiled ammunition and ordinance, killing at least 100 in the initial blasts. Within 30 minutes the veterans had been totally routed, and Patton had the ringleaders arrested. As some of the vets scurried into Philadelphia proper, the US Cavalry charged down the empty streets in search of runaways.

"I was only 5 at the time, but I remember my mother holding me under the front window and trying to keep my head down. I asked what all the explosions and horses were about. And then I heard the screams. A few hours later, we opened our door and saw five men's bodies in the street, dressed in rags, two in Great War uniforms, and also a horse, laying atop a badly wounded US Cavalryman. We dragged the wounded man into our house and bandaged him up. My mother turned to me and said, 'This is what the Communists bring to our home.' I never will forget ever."

-Jericho Wallace, eyewitness to the Battle of Philadelphia, describing his experience in Marlon Spear's 1974 historical account Red Blood: The Crushing of the Philadelphia Commune

US Marines present a captured Commune battleflag, Philadelphia, February 3rd, 1933

Towards the end of the day, most of the revolutionaries had been killed, arrested, or chased off. As the Federal troops began tearing the camp apart they made a very interesting discovery. Inside one of the main depots were dozens of crates with Red Cross insignia, all labeled "Goodwill Food Relief." Inside them were hundreds of Soviet-made rifles, handguns, and assorted military goods, mostly hidden under layers of canned vegetables and soup. Before long, newspapers across the country were running stories about the "attempted Communist revolution in Pennsylvania" and how close the state had been to becoming a Soviet Republic. The country, just earlier that year, had been leaning far left. Now, as the smoke cleared over the Commune, far right hysteria hit a zenith nationwide and anyone with ties to the radical left now found themselves being watched like field mice by an owl's nest. Most all of the Liberty League's accusations of FDR being tied to socialism were bogus, but now an attempted Communist insurrection had been put down in the nation's heartland. Truly, the first months of FDR's presidency would be difficult indeed.


President Roosevelt addresses the nation and replies to the challenge of Congressman Hamilton Fish

Franklin Roosevelt's reputation was absolutely on the rocks by the time Inauguration Day, March 4th, 1933 rolled around. The smashing of the "Philadelphia Putsch" had undermined the impact of the Democrat victories, and the likes of Al Smith and even Vice President John Nance Garner of Texas turned their backs on him. In fact, Garner seemed to actively work against the new President. Almost immediately the Supreme Court shot down all of his policy ideas. And as the tensions between the Executive and Judicial offices grew, there was mounting frustration from the American people, many of whom were calling for FDR's resignation.

In late May, the twenty leaders of the Philadelphia Commune were executed for treason, inciting violence, attempted overthrow of a duly-elected state government, local government, sedition, and collusion with foreign agents. It was a show trial unlike any the nation had seen in decades. And the Russian angle was becoming a major international incident. Other nations began speaking their minds on the subject.

Included among those was the very opinionated German Chancellor, who, because of the Reichstag Fire and its aftermath, had been given dictatorial powers some weeks earlier. As he was leaving an official function with his general staff in tow, reporters asked him a few questions on recent events in America.

"Sieg heil, mein Fuhrer! What do you think of recent events in America, such as the evidence pointing to a potential attempt at overthrowing the government and creating a Marxist republic, mein Fuhrer?" inquired a reporter respectfully, while his men took rather strapping photos of the photo posing with the Italian ambassador.

The Fuhrer made a shoulder shrug gesture and replied, "Well, when ones country is overrun by Communists and left-wing radicals, those things are bound to happen. They need a stronger leader there, one who can handle the Marxist threat and keep the American people safe! Unless law and order is restored there, there is no hope, and they shall never see the kind of growth and stability we Germans enjoy in the Reich. We saw the likes of the spasms they are going through in the Weimar days, we had Der Stahlhelm for that. We had the NSDAP for that. They need something to unite their people in a bipartisan effort. No excuse me. Sieg heil!" The Fuhrer then saluted the Italian ambassador, the press, boarded his staff car, and drove off.

Also coming out to speak his mind was Crown Prince Edward of Britain. As he enjoyed a night out in London he took time to do several short interviews, including one with the BBC in which he gave his opinion on American matters.

Edward took a long drag off his cigarette and told the reporter, "The Yanks need to learn when a firm hand is needed. They have been so huzzah for personal liberties and their Founding Fathers that they haven't realized times have changed and Communism is no laughing matter. It isn't the British way, nor the American way, and I shan't like to see the likes of it take over our former colony and ally."

The BBC man held a pencil to his chin momentarily, thinking of his next question. "What do you think of President Roosevelt's struggles to earn national respect and to win the confidence of the people?"

"I... don't think it's possible."

"You don't think it's possible, sir?" the BBC man eagerly asked for confirmation, knowing headlines would be made.

"No." Another cigarette drag a sip of a martini followed. "If I was the American Congress I would go for a vote of no confidence, er, ah, impeachment... as the Yanks would say. If I was Roosevelt I would just, well, resign. Besides, being in the shape he is, how much more stress can he really handle? I admire him for his steely determination but Mr. Roosevelt is not a well man, and we all know of his physical limitations. It would be better if he just step down. Let a stronger chap take over, perhaps Vice-President Garner. Cowboy though he is, he seems a feisty one. Even if Roosevelt is not a Russian agent or some such nonsense he is not fit for the office."
Americans headlines soon screamed in big black letters, "FUTURE KING CALLS FOR FDR'S RESIGNATION."

Hamilton Fish III, creator of the House "Fish Committee," later known as the House Committee on Un-American Activites

As the weeks dragged on, by mid June there was to be the final straw. Congressman Hamilton Fish III, a wheeler-dealer New York Republican, Great War veteran, and dogged anti-Communist (and member of the Liberty League), called for President Roosevelt to come speak before the Fish Committee about the subversion accusations. Roosevelt was now caught between a rock and a hard place; if he refused to go before the committee he would be accused of being a coward and a Russian agent, and if he accepted he would be lambasted and roasted on a spit by Fish, a man with nothing but contempt for him going back decades. When Fish was shipped off to France during America's entrance into the Great War, Fish felt as though he was going to his death. His transport ship, the USS Pocahontas, was in open waters with no protection from German submersibles. When he wrote to then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy, none other than Franklin Roosevelt, to complain about the lack of an escort, Roosevelt sent a simple reply back: "We all have our risks to take." FDR was in deep trouble, and his cabinet was at a loss as to what to tell him. Blood was in the water, and Fish could smell it.

When the President finally had to give his answer, he did so over the radio, publicly, on June 20th:

"I have been asked by Congressman Hamilton Fish III to appear before the Fish Committee in the House to discuss my dealings with agents of Soviet Russia. This follows months of bizarre and fantastic stories of me being some sort of Benedict Arnold selling us out to the Kremlin, something which couldn't be farther from the truth and which I repudiate utterly. No part of my campaign, no part of my administration, not one single, solitary part or particle of my personal life has ever been in any way tied to Russia or Communism or any sort of Marxist ideology. This sham has gone on long enough and is nothing more than an attempt by the vestiges of the old guard of Washington to hinder my policies and to bring down my personal reputation, as well as those of the members of my administration. This will not stand and I will not feed into it any longer. I reject Congressman Fish's invitation to speak before the House. I am the duly and democratically elected leader of this republic, and nothing in the Constitution gives Congressman Fish these almost godlike powers to summon whom he will at any given time, to make them as fools and pariahs on the national and global stage. I am done with the theatre of these accusations. The demagogues in the press harangue me daily about things which simply are not true. It is true, that a Soviet backed coup attempt occurred in Philadelphia some months ago, resulting in the tragic loss of over 5,000 men, women, and children... the largest of loss of blood on American soil since the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Also, a handful of days ago, five servicemen and two citizens lost their lives in a shootout in Kansas City with gangster Charles Floyd. And, as I mentioned the late President a moment ago, I feel his words hold more truth than ever before; that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Again, I shall not be appearing to speak before Mr. Fish nor any other member of Congress, unless I were to suddenly commit a crime in the future. As of today, I have done no wrong, simply try to bring our country together and I have been fought tooth and nail every step of the way. I hope you shall join me in my cause, to bring a New Deal to the American people, and a brighter tomorrow for all. May God bless each and every one of you, and may he guide us through these troublesome days."

Despite the well-written speech and some supporters feeling rejuvenated upon its broadcast, the stocks quickly fell and the press went into convulsions trying to cover the story. The headlines now screamed, "FISH VS ROOSEVELT: FIGHT OF THE CENTURY" and PRESIDENT REFUSES TO TESTIFY ABOUT CONNECTIONS TO KREMLIN."

That night, Franklin's wife Eleanor gazed out the White House portico windows. "Can you hear it, Franklin?" she asked, turning to him.

Franklin wheeled himself closer but frowned and shook his head, "I hear nothing, dear."

"I hear it, Franklin. It's the sound of troubles. It's the sound of a ticking time bomb. This won't go on forever. We are nearing the breaking point. I do hope and pray for your success, Franklin. But I fear we are losing this one."

The First Lady's words would soon prove prophetic. It was the evening of June 21st, 1933. Just thirteen days were left before General Pershing would begin his triumphal march into Washington...


"The Old Liberty Bell still has some rings left in her!"
-General Black Jack Pershing, July 4th, 1933, addressing the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington, DC

She's as fair as Shannon's side,
And purer than it's water,
But she refused to be my bride,
Though many a year I sought her,
Yet since to France I sailed away,
Her letters oft remind me,
I'll be returning from the fray,
To the girl I left behind me!

She says, "My own dear love come home,
My friends are rich and many,
Or else abroad with you I'll roam,
A soldier stout as any,
If you'll not come not let me go,
I'll think you have resigned me",
My heart near broke when I answered "No",
To the girl I left behind me!

For never shall my true love brave,
A life of war and toiling,
And never as a skulking slave,
My native land be soiling,
But were it free or to be freed,
The battle close would find me,
To America bound no message need,
To save the girl I left behind me!

It was July 4th, 1933. Almost two weeks had passed since Roosevelt had rebuked Hamilton Fish. And at the Independence Day Rally of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington DC., General John "Black Jack" Pershing marched out through the central thoroughfare of the packed stadium. Thousands of veterans were gathered, each adorned and festooned with medals and liveries of conflicts going back to the Civil War. As the 73 year-old marched down the carpet in his dress uniform and riding boots, he paused to shake hands with as many as he could. He loved these men. They had experienced a bond almost closer than that of man and wife. They had fought together, from the Indian Wars, China, to the Philippines, Cuba, the Banana Wars, and the Great War. There were veterans with missing eyes, limbs, but most were missing something else: Pride in their nation. The intensity of the moment gripped him, and he could see the yearning to make America great again.

He saluted and shook the hand of a leather-faced 7th Cavalry veteran. The man was still standing like a rock at his age and looked like Father Time, with a beard to match. He was worn down, gaunt, and you could see a century of stress and war on his face. But the one thing that was in brand new shape, in perfect condition, was his Union Blues. His cavalry kepi sat proudly on his head, and medals for the Civil War, Indian Wars, and Cuba shone on his breast under the stadium lights. He shook Pershing's hand with a firm grip and then pulled him in closer, whispering in Pershing's left ear, "He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword."

"Glory, Hallelujah, my brother," said Pershing, a rare tear coming to his eye. He continued his march, as "The Girl I Left Behind Me" finished. It then shifted to his personal favorite, "Over There."


Pershing saluted to wild applause. The singing continued.


Pershing was greeted by numerous high ranking former generals and veterans as he neared the stage and the podium.


The song finished as he slowly ascended up the steps to the podium. Huge flags hung from the walls, and a massive portrait of George Washington hung from the wall. "Funny," he thought to himself, "I technically outrank him." The song took on new meaning for him. "The Yanks are coming, to Washington, and we won't come back till we have restored our country." He then adjusted the microphone and dead silence shot through the hall immediately. He spoke.

"Gentlemen, the dames of France are fond and free, their lips are warm and willing, I have warmed the maids of Italy and Spanish eyes are thrilling."

Huge applause and laughter.

"Gentlemen, my fellow veterans and Americans, it is an honor to speak before you today. It is a hell of an honor. And though we have endured countless hardships here we stand today, united as patriots, to celebrate our nation's independence. But as we celebrate 1776, many of our boys are not here to join us. We left their dying embrace and silent tears on the fields of Cuba, on the shores of the Philippines, even on the plains of Gettysburg. And on the shelled out craters of the Marne. They sacrificed all they had on this earthly plain of existence to secure a safe future for us, and our children and grandchildren. Every day I kiss my wife and hug my grandchildren, and then I think about those wives and grandchildren who will never see their husbands and grandfathers again. Now I ask you what did they die for? They died for freedom and for the United States. If they all rose from their tombs today like they will some day when the Lord deems fit, what would you think they would say of our current situational report? As a military? As a nation? Do you think for one moment they would approve of the wholesale slaughter of veterans and the Russian puppet sitting in the Oval Office just a couple miles from here? You all know the answer. They would be ashamed."

Pershing saw the somber faces through the crowds, some weeping. He continued.

"Corporal Leonard P. Jones. Army. 2nd Infantry. Hell of a man. Killed in action, December, 1917, during the collapse of the Kaiser's forces. The war was already won. But he drew a short straw and stepped on a landmine and was removed from this earthly realm. That man died on Christmas Day. Sergeant William McElmore, Marines. Killed in action while saving children in a school from an active battlefield situation, 1899, Philippines. These are just two men I knew that come to mind. They would be ashamed of what we have been reduced to. But I do not come to you today to cry out in the wilderness with you all and weep about our glory days or fallen comrades. I come to uplift us all. To announce a plan to restore our country and make America great again. You see, there is a coalition waiting in the wings of honest, God-fearing Americans, most of them veterans or active duty, who seek a restoration of American pride and power. To truly drag us out of this Depression and to make sure the world knows America is back. And better than ever. America First, not League of Nations globalism, will be our credo! We will not agree to any deal, 'new' or not, unless it of sound economic and national principle! We shall drive out socialist, Communist, Anarchist, and Marxist drivel from our Republic! We will make America whole again. We will make America first again. We will make America great again!"

Wild applause.

"This coalition of the willing is waiting for your support with an outstretched hand of friendship. It waiting for you to say 'yes, I too wish to restore the Republic'! It is the Liberty League! They tried to take our birthplace of democracy, Philadelphia, and turn it into a degenerate hellhole. They would have destroyed the 'bourgeois symbols' of our Republic! But it still stands, freshly wet with the blood of patriots and of the Soviet agents who thought they could desecrate its sacred grounds. The Old Liberty Bell still has some rings in her!"

The stadium literally shook. The applause and hollering was almost deafening.

"I ask you to join me! Together, Billy Yank can break Franky Red just as we did Johnny Reb. All those who wish to join the Liberty League are welcome to join! Because at this moment, all across this region, over 400,000 men are in waiting, all veterans or patriots, for my signal. Upon my signal we shall take up arms and march upon 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue and force Franklin Roosevelt, the no-good two-timing coward, to resign! The swamp of muck and mire will be drained by the point of a bayonet. We shall restore the Republic and right our ship! Join me for the Second American Revolution!"

Halfway through the announcement sounds of shock and jubilation rose to a fever pitch. Immediately as Pershing saluted the crowd and stepped away from the podium thousands of eager veterans shouted, "USA! USA! USA!" "DOWN WITH MARXIST TRAITORS!" and "DOWN WITH ROOSEVELT!"

Within 30 minutes, Pershing was outside watching volunteers stream in from every road and street, from the coffee shops, from the tailors, and from the farms. Hundreds of thousands of men. Equipped with Winchester rifles the Liberty League had distributed and with whatever they had in their homes, including rusting swords, veterans lined up cheered as Pershing rode up and down the ranks, his own sword drawn one last time. White and blue banners of the Liberty Bell flew high, emblazoned with the words "The Old Bell is Still Ringing."

Meanwhile, just a few miles away, the Roosevelt White House was in a full-blown meltdown. Staff scurried everywhere, papers flew through the air, trucks loaded up important documents and items, and women wept.

"Mr. President! We need to evacuate you immediately to Camp Hoover! The reactionaries are coming, sir!" said a secret service agent.

Roosevelt stared in horror out the window. "I know. I know. But it is too late, Vice President Garner has just informed me all routes of escape have been cut off. We are trapped."

"Sir, if we mobilize the National Guard up from Virginia and Maryland we can try to bust through their lines and make a run for Delaware and set up a government in exile!"

"No. Agent Williams half of the National Guard has mobilized. For Garner."


"Agent Williams, my own Vice President has cut off my escape. Garner and Chief of Staff Craig have joined the Liberty League. They have made us sitting ducks."

"Sir, as your personal bodyguard I will defend you to the death. We all will."

"There will not be a need for that, son. I will give myself up to Pershing. He is a decent human being, however misguided, and I do not think he wishes me bodily harm. I will not risk my staff or my family in some sort of damn-fool last stand of the First Family. That would be beyond selfish. No, I shall turn myself over. It has been a pleasure working with you, Agent Williams. I wish you the best of luck in life. Now, please, prepare the main hall to look respectable. I don't want Pershing to think I live like a barbarian."

"Sir, yessir. It's my honor serving under you, Mr. President." Williams saluted. Roosevelt saluted back. Williams scurried off.


US Troops on parade before leaving to collect payment of American war debts
The ruling Liberty League had to act fast. When Pershing took the White House and arrested FDR for espionage and collusion with a foreign government, VP John Nance Garner, marshal of the National Guards of Virginia and Maryland, was immediately installed as President, which helped to make the League's rule look more legitimate. However, Garner was merely a figurehead, and Pershing held the real power as the "Secretary of General Affairs." Due to his sincere loyalty and service to the League, Patton was promoted to General and placed in charge of the security of Washington, DC.

Now, the new government was on the move. It had to placate the people immediately. It outlawed the Democratic and Republican Parties, but didn't discourage new ones for now. In that moment in time, there was only the League. The Constitution was suspended under a state of emergency by an executive order signed by Garner and Pershing, and Congress and the Supreme Court disbanded. Acting with no constraints, Pershing immediately announced Prohibition had been ended. This was a wise move, and it won the loyalty and support of a vast, vast percentage of America. Now they had to begin some sort of fix for the economy. Many plans were bandied about, but by early August, the President, Pershing, and the Cabinet had arrived at a conclusion.

For over 40 years, Starting with the Spanish-American War, America had been embroiled in a series of conflicts to the south of the border. Known collectively and informally as the "Banana Wars," it had seen an extensive loss of men and treasure, with little to be gained. For most of the conflicts, America had crowned itself a liberator or savior in Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic, all in the Caribbean, and the Philippines in Asia. From fighting the Sandinista, to quelling Pancho Villa, putting down the Negro Rebellion in Cuba, to supporting Panama's declaration of Independence from Colombia, America had invested much. Now, Pershing, a veteran of many of those same conflicts, said it was time to be rewarded for their efforts. The Pershing Plan was simple: March into the countries America had aided or assisted and collect tribute. This would then be used to pay veterans their bonuses and to put capital and spending money into the economy.

Above all was Mexico. The unstable nation had a deep-seated rivalry with the US, and above all was the Zimmerman Telegram, in which Germany had conspired with Mexico to attack the US and reclaim Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. To quote Pershing's speeches, "Mexico stabbed us in the back and cannot be trusted!" Mexico had gold. Mexico had oil. Mexico had farms. Mexico had things which the struggling US needed badly. And so it was that in mid-August, 1933, Pershing called all able bodied men to join the military. He whipped into a shape in weeks that hadn't been seen since 1919. Millions of men, ready to go at any time.

General Patton was then instructed to take troops, cavalry, and tanks to Corpus Christi, Texas, and they were placed on high alert. On August 20th, the US ambassador to Mexico acting on behalf of the American government demanded Mexico's government under Abelardo L. Rodríguez pay the USA the sum 700 million dollars in installments over the next five years. If the money was not paid, the US armed forces would march south and confiscate appropriate resources and put in place a trade embargo to squeeze it out of them. Mexico, very unstable since the resignation of President Pascual Ortiz the year before and still recovering from losing a fifteenth of its population in a decades long civil war, was thrown into a panic.

Many cried for war, but the President knew his country would simply be annihilated by the vastly superior US forces. He had good reason to fear Patton, as the man had practically invented mobile vehicular warfare during the Pancho Villa Expedition, and had strapped the corpses of Mexican fighters to the front of his truck. On August 28, 1933, General Patton and his entourage of some 500 troops crossed the border under truce flags and arrived in Mexico City on September 8th. There, Patton and Rodríguez signed the 1933 Expeditionary Force Reimbursement Accord, and Mexico pledged to deliver the sum of 600 million dollars, plus 20 percent of the money gained from oil sales. Also the US was given exclusive trade rights with Mexico until the year 1999. Rodríguez was utterly humiliated, and his regime was very unstable. However, in exchange for his cooperation, the US was to open Camp Coolidge, five miles from Mexico City, as a permanent base for 400 US troops who were sworn to uphold Rodríguez as the rightful President of Mexico. This also approved the leasing of several tanks to the Mexican government, plus military trainers. They were almost immediately needed, as riots broke out across the capital city. With the use of tear gas and small arms, the attempted revolt was almost immediately crushed. This firmly cemented Mexico as a puppet of the United States and a major early and much-needed success of the Pershing-Garner government. On a side note, taking a major interest in these affairs was Nazi Germany, whose agents and officials were quite present at the signing of the Accord.

Patton's Army marches to Mexico City to attend the signing of the 1933 Expeditionary Force Reimbursement Accord and to begin the construction of Camp Coolidge
As Mexican treasure was sent back to the States, the first real payment of Bonuses was accomplished, and armed with this new cash some veterans began to create new business or get a new lease on life. Next, that fall in late October, similar demands were sent to Cuba and Nicaragua, and as the US Navy was anchored not far from their shores, they also gave in to US demands. The rest of the regions followed soon after, and before long gold, oil, and cash was flowing into the US economy, and its effects could be felt nationwide. Things were still not good, but definitely getting better. Critics were shut down by Pershing: "We are owed this. Our boys died for them. This is merely fair. You can't ask for your neighbor's help when you are down and not expect him to do the same. Besides, we keep this entire damn hemisphere safe thanks to the Monroe Doctrine, and this is the least they can do. I don't look upon them as inferiors, but merely as neighbor's who can't afford to protect themselves from aggressive foreign powers."

This all led to the summoning of national leaders to Miami, Florida, in December of 1933. On Christmas Day, Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Panama all agreed to sign themselves into a treaty and trade agreement with the United States, known as the North American Protection Sphere (NAPS). This treaty placed every country which had been "assisted by the US government in internal conflicts from 1899 to present day" under a yearly reimbursement debt, and also promised the US easy ports for their Navy and the first say about trade agreements. However, in exchange the US also promised immediate protection from any foreign powers, leasing or gifting of military equipment, and assistance to the governments of said nations in the form of cheap foodstuffs, emergency relief, and "in-country advisors" that would essentially help keep whichever dictator happened to be in power in any given region.

The world's reaction to NAPS was quite mixed, and France especially officially condemned it as "wanton aggression by a state gone rogue." The Soviet Union also condemned it. Britain remained neutral, however many resented the formation of the alliance (though however Prince Edward and Oswald Mosley of the British Union of Fascists (BUF) spoke positively). Germany, Italy, and Spain all applauded the effort by the US to pull its economy back together whilst strengthening trade and borders. Also, after the US, those same countries were next in line for any trade deals and they were to profit heavily from the US's "hemispheric protection racket."

As 1933 drew to a close, America's economy had come roaring back, but at the expense of constantly battling civil unrest. However, the improvements in the economy were undeniable, and many "found their loyalty bought with a bonus."


Henry Ford, the creator of National Industrialism

The seeds were planted for the corporatocracy the United States would become as the main companies that financed the overthrow of Roosevelt now found themselves wielding most of the power amidst a climate of hysteria about Marxism. This was their hand to play, and they did not want to miss their chance.

When Henry Ford was appointed as Chief Advisor to the Secretary of General Affairs, he began formulating an entirely new method of governance and way to worm the US out of the Depression. He discussed with Pershing and Garner a new method to completely revive the economy. The first, he said, was to eliminate Prohibition. This was done almost immediately. Now, the next step was to have meetings with all the major corporations and businesses. A "Convention of the Corporations to discuss the prospects of reviving American infrastructure and capital" was hosted at the Empire State Building, now the central office for the Liberty League as a political party and movement. There a new way of business was about to be unveiled.

Ford unveiled the "Clan System for National Industrialism" on September 9, 1933. It would be months before bickering was ended and rules were set, but for the most part it was a success. Each part of an industry was divided between the five "Business Clans." These clans were as follows:

  • The Transportation and Machinery Clan - Headed by Robert Sterling Clark, this Clan consisted of the Singer Corporation, Santa Fe Railways, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Fargo Motor Company, and many others.
  • The Banking Clan - One of Nazi Germany's innermost tentacles inside America, it was possibly the most important clan, consisting of all the major banks in the country. It was helmed by Prescott Bush, and heavily influenced by German tycoon Fritz Thyssen
  • The Distilleries Clan - Led by a redeemed Al Capone following his full pardon due to his syndicate going to bat for the US government against leftists during the Chicago Riots following the Fourth of July Coup and later assistance in ratting out illegal liquor manufacturers in the North American Prosperity Sphere. Extremely influential and wildly popular, he led the major mob families that had pre-existing illegal distilleries into "going legit." Capone Brewery opened in late December, 1933, employing thousands of people.
  • The Agricultural Clan - Led by a convoluted chain of command, it mostly just had control of seed supplies, and was supposed to ensure appropriate distributions to local markets. Worked a lot with with the Transportation and Machinery Clan to ensure adequate supplies and tractors and other resources reached farmers struggling through the dust bowl.
  • The Armaments Clan - Captained by Winchester's board of directors, and probably the second most influential clan. Worked hand-in-hand with the Banking Clan and the US Government. Included all major firearms companies. New guns without the "ARMTC" seal of approval were almost worthless.
What National Industrialism was all about was the fact that companies and clans could essentially set their own policies and self-regulate, but whatever they did had to be toward improving the country. "Free to do whatever you wish, as long as it is healthy and good for the Nation." It was really Ford taking heavy inspiration from German National Socialism, but the "S-word" wouldn't have been popular in the States at the time. Companies that violated standards or did things which hurt the economy could be punished by their clan or even kicked out, in which case products and ventures by the company would not be given the clan's seal of approval, making their products near worthless and their stocks bomb. Ford had created a self-governing economy, almost completely free of Federal interference. It was a bizarre system never before seen, but it showcased the assembly line style thinking of Ford.

The first mission Ford gave the clans was to create enough jobs for everyone. Surprisingly, this mostly worked. Unemployment fell a staggering 9 points between September, 1933, and January, 1934. The cost and goods needed for Patton's excursion into Mexico, and then later base and ship building within the NAPS as a whole, shot the economy right in the arm and the American people began to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel... Even if the light led to fascism. It is interesting to note that for the longest time Adolf Hitler's office in Berlin had had a portrait up of Henry Ford, the only portrait in the entire office. Following the release of Ford's manifesto, Hitler had a new portrait commissioned and sent as a good-will gift to Ford himself. Ford repaid the favor and hung a portrait of Hitler in his own office and then commissioned a portrait of Hitler to be made and sent to the German Chancellery.

Portrait of Chancellor Adolf Hitler of Germany (1933), commissioned by Henry Ford and gifted to the Reich Chancellery

Now, as the government prepared its economic policies, the military was overwhelmed trying to crush mutinies and revolts. In California oil hands staged a leftist rebellion. Dwight D. Eisenhower, now a Lt. General, was placed in charge of quelling the uprising. It quickly became a massacre as the leftists were systematically rounded up and executed. More and more of the Left began fleeing north to Canada, such as William Z. Foster and Louisiana's Huey Long. There they set up the US Government In Exile. They petitioned the world to aid them in attaining the release of Roosevelt to lead their cause, and received aid from France and the Soviet Union, but were largely ignored by the rest of the world. This was likely because the world of the Great Depression merely wanted America to remain stable for a while or risk another financial collapse. Indeed, that is one reason why German and Italian agents were so ready to help out the fledgling government.

Now the government began it's true propaganda campaign. They would rope Hollywood into it, form a secret police force, and crack down even harder on dissent in 1934. They would also experience a major international incident that would in turn lead to the severing of diplomatic relationship with its new arch enemy: France.


Logo of the Camelots du Roi

It was in the early morning hours of February 6th, 1934, that members of the far-right French paramilitaries and political groups 9marched on the Palais Bourbon in Paris demanding the abdication of the leftist French government. Riots quickly broke out and all out street battles ensued between the authorities and the far right activists. By 5 that afternoon, vandals had set fire to several buildings around Paris and the Palais Bourbon had received massive damage from rocks, stray bullets, and assorted items being thrown at it, and the National Assembly inside was in a panic. Protestors chanted "We want a king! Out with the Assembly!" The Third French Republic was on its knees until the arrival of the Army to put down the mobs. It took until midnight, but the uprising was quelled and its leadership arrested.

Chief among the right wing groups was the Camelots du Roi, a fascist monarchist organization. And when government forces raided their headquarters the next day, what they found was an explosive amount of intel linking the Camelots to members of the German, Italian, and American governments. A letter from the famous Charles Lindbergh, then Secretary of the newly-minted Department of Foreign Affairs, guaranteed American support for any potential revolutionary government in Paris. Similar promises came from Germany and Italy. When the bank accounts of the organizations were raided they were discovered to be full of funds that had been funneled in from sock puppet organizations of the NSDAP and the North American Protective Sphere. This outraged the French government who then expelled the ambassadors of Germany, Italy, and the United States from its soil and public rallies were held where Frenchmen burned swastika, Italian, and NAPS flags in the streets and beat effigies of Hitler, Mussolini, and Pershing. France started looking more inward and became much more leftist. The League of Nations tried to pass a denouncing of the three involved countries, but to no avail.

Prescott Bush, founder of the Union Banking Corporation and Head of the US Banking Clan

America then sent Prescott Bush, head of the Banking Clan, to Paris to try to restore some sort of diplomatic relationship a couple weeks later. However, as his motorcade was en route to the National Assembly it came under fire by five assassins who had perched themselves high on the rooftops. Banking Clan security guards, clad in black leather not unlike that of the German SS, returned fire with automatic machine guns. Bush was thrown under a car during the conflagration and the firefight lasted a good 15 minutes. Two Banking Clan guards were killed and three of the assassins were shot dead in turn. Finally able to coordinate an escape, the caravan sped off, bullets still plinking off the sides of the cars.

France issued an apology to Bush as he prepared to escape the country at the Paris Airport. Bush calmly and quietly turned to the French diplomat, looked him dead in the eye, and said, "Go to Hell, you red son of a bitch." He returned to America on March 1st, three days later, to a hero's welcome. Banners reading "GIVE 'EM HELL, PRESCOTT!" were draped over the entrance at the Glen H. Curtiss Airport in Queens, NYC, and flowers were left for him in droves. People cried out in rage over the deaths of the two American guards and before long all across the country people had begun anti-France rallies. Some called for war even.

Secretary Pershing, speaking to the American people on radio that night, said:

"This act of treachery, far worse than any involvement we had with any of their political parties, has ended with the deaths of Anthony Floyd and John Trent, two American boys simply doing their jobs. We will not accept this treatment by an ally. We will not tolerate treachery. Effective immediately, all trade and diplomatic relations between the United States and the North American Protective Sphere with the Third Republic of France are hereby ended. We will do quite well without them, and they will not share in trading with our now booming economy. Let them fester in the darkness of the Depression. America shall go alone! Beginning today, I also call for the dissolution of the useless, inept, and corrupt League of Nations. This entity has proven that it has no real use except to promote Globalism, Socialism, and to hold God-fearing nations down. It deserves to be torn down, and the nations of the world can govern their own affairs quite well on their own."
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Members of the Liberty League Party prepare to greet the German and Italian leaders in Washington, DC, (July 4, 1934)

July 4, 1934, the first anniversary of the Liberty League's coup d'etat, had arrived. Unemployment had dropped from almost 25 percent to a mere 5 percent. Money from the NAPS poured in and veterans had their long-sought and hard-won bonuses finally in hand. Farming began to recover, and what dust bowl damage was still ongoing was made up for by the satellite nations of the NAPS and their lucrative equator plantations. The economy was absolutely booming. However, there was no constitutional law of any sort, many dissidents were rounded up and thrown in jail, and some political enemies of the League would vanish overnight. There were occasional terrorist attacks by anarchists, Marxists, and people loyal to FDR, but for the most part the nation was at peace and thriving under Black Jack's jackboot.

As the Fourth of July festivities were being planned, with the spotlight on a massive military parade with units from all over the Protective Sphere, the Reich Chancellery informed Secretary Pershing and President Garner it wished to "celebrate our cordial relationship and brotherhood and conduct a good-will tour of the United States", starting in Washington. Pershing was keen on the idea and, since he had only spoken a brief handful times over the phone with Hitler, wished very, very much to meet the "fascinating man."

Late in the evening of July 3, Hitler, Mussolini, and their officers and entourage stepped off their plane (a new model Mussolini had bought from Howard Hughes), and were welcomed with jubilation from hundreds of onlookers. Secretary Pershing, President Garner, Secretary Lindbergh, and General Patton waited at the bottom of the ramp and quickly introduced themselves. A motorcade then picked them all up and took them to the Bayfort Hotel, one of the nicest hotels in the United States. Security guards swarmed the entire capital and watched like hawks for any possible threats, but the day was mostly peaceful. The next day, the European dictators were to join the US leadership on the White House portico for a massive parade and then a state dinner.

In the meantime, Secretary Lindbergh met with Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda, and the two began a longtime friendship. It was there, however, that an... unfortunate idea... would be placed in Lindbergh's head by his new friend.

"Very beautiful city you have here, Herr Lindbergh," said Goebbels politely as they enjoyed dinner with their wives and staff at one of the nicest restaurants in Washington. Lindbergh was an absolute sellout to German culture had always been part of the "America First" crowd that wanted the US to let Germany rebuild. He even was emulating Goebbles by wearing his Medal of Honor around his neck, much like Goebbel's Iron Cross.

Lindbergh smiled and raised a toast, "To America! Und Deutschland!"

"SIEG HEIL!" shouted all the German staff merrily. Hesitantly, the American staff also joined in the cheer, but had trouble pronouncing it correctly.

Linbergh stood up and waved his arm at his men, "C'mon, boys, it ain't hard to do it right. Sieg. Heil."

The American officers looked at each other and stood up from their seats, outstretched their arms.

"SIEG!" screamed Lindbergh happily, raising his right arm in the air.

"HEIL! SIEG HEIL!" spat the officers in their still-heavily-American accents. Everyone sat down and laughed and went back to their meals.

"So," said Goebbels, lighting a cigarette, "How do you maintain order here? In Germany last year we reformed ours as the SS, SD, and the Gestapo. I'm sure you've heard of them. Surely, you also have some manner of dealing with degenerates and criminals against the state, ja? But I have not had the pleasure of hearing yours. I imagine you would also need them to police the Protective Sphere."

Lindbergh was a tad embarrassed and sat down his fork and wiped his mouth a napkin before reluctantly answering, "Nein. At the moment we have the police and the National Guard who sometimes breakup conspiracies and terrorists, but other than that there is not quite the infrastructure for such a paramilitary unit. That is an excellent idea though. I shall bring it before Secretary Pershing."

Goebbels was stunned, "Ooh, yes! Yes! You most certainly should! A proper modern nationalist state such as yours needs something like the SS. If you like, I could send you one or two of my officers, perhaps. On lease! It wouldn't be the first time a German officer came to your aid, if you remember your Revolutionary War correctly!"

Lindbergh's mind started racing with excitement, "By golly, that sounds like a plan to me! I shall discuss this with Pershing tomorrow and get right back to you!"

Hitler (in black suit) ascending the steps at the newly remodeled US Capitol Building to speak before members of the US Armed Forces (evening of July 4, 1934)

Washington Stadium, the same place Pershing had launched the Second Revolution from, waiting for Hitler and Mussolini to address the crowds, July 5, 1934

Reinhard Heydrich speaks to members of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in New Orleans, Mississippi (it was from the KKK that many of the SSL recruits would be selected) July 10, 1934

Members of the Liberty League march through NYC upon Hitler's arrival there (July 8, 1934)

Hitler dedicating the German-American Bund's Horst Wessel monument in Central Park, NYC
The Independence Day festivities were huge, and as the American and visiting leadership stood on the portico of the White House, they were joined by the various leaders of the Central American nations with the Sphere as their nations' troops paraded by.

Pershing looked out over the sea of people and could see unit after unit marching for miles. He turned to Hitler and said, "You Europeans always put on a grand show, but we're still learning. But we're getting pretty damn good at this if I do say so myself."

Hitler nodded and patted his shoulder, "Ja! Very well. It is a proud sight."

An announcer blared overhead on the speakers, "And all the way from Fort Bliss in President Garner's home state of Texas, please welcome the famed 7th Cavalry!" Thousands of men in parade uniforms atop the finest stallions trotted past, "Garryowen" playing on the bagpipes, giving a salute to the American leadership and an outstretched arm to the Europeans.

Mussolini leaned over from Pershing's other side and said, "Too bad Custer isn't here, eh? Imagine if he lived to the days of tanks!" surprising Pershing with his knowledge. He hadn't expected such an oily, obtuse man to be of much knowledge on American history. Unbeknownst to Pershing, however, was his advisor was feeding him lines to butter Pershing up. It worked.

The announcer continued, "And from one of our allies in the North American Protection Sphere, please welcome members of the Nicaraguan Defense Force!" Almost 1500 Nicaraguan soldiers in parade uniforms marched by. President Juan Bautista Sacasa ascended the White House steps with his entourage to greet the other leaders.

Pershing pumped his hand with vigor and introduced him to the German Chancellor and Italian Duche. After some formal moments, the Secretary said to Hitler, "Thanks to Mr. Sacasa's help, we finally hunted down and killed Augusto Sandino, a violent revolutionary terrorist. Together, we have brought peace to the region!"

Sacasa couldn't stand anyone currently talking to him, but his mask was still on, "Thank you, Mr. Secretary. It is Nicaragua's honor and privilege to receive US military assistance to keep our country a nation of laws and order." He knew disrespect at this moment would be a death sentence.

The parade was over, and all the leaders retired to the main dining hall. It was supremely gorgeous, and had just been renovated earlier in the year. The finest foods were served and the Americans proved they were going all out by remembering to ship in a bottle of Hitler's favorite brandy. As the leaders discussed matters over the brandy, Lindbergh and Goebbels put forward their idea. Lindbergh would indeed get Pershing's approval and would indeed meet again with Goebbels the next day. It was agreed that later that year SS-Sturmbanfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich would cross the Atlantic and spend several months training an "elite national police force." This group would eventually become the "Second Sons of Liberty (SSL), Vanguards of the Second Revolution." Lindbergh would step down from his post at the Department of Foreign Affairs to run the SSL. Heydrich, present for the dinner, was intrigued by the idea and he excused himself to plan his strategy. He left July 2 to tour the country on his own. He ended up picking most of the SSL's recruitment list from members of the Knight of the Ku Klux Klan.

While some minor policy making was attempted, the visit was mostly just a friendly one. The countries were friends, but not allies. However, with the signing of the Franco-Polish Entente a year later, that was all about to change...


Officer's of the US SSL Charles Lindbergh Division, the most elite SSL division

The Second Sons of Liberty
march in the lands of the enemy
And they sing a devil song
A sentry guards banks of the Rio Grande
And he raises voice and hand
"We sing everywhere we shall fight
And the rest of the world can do it
Cursing or praising
Yes, do just what you like."

Wherever we go, always on the front!
And the devil, he laughs with us!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
We fight for Mr. Pershing
We fight for Mr. Lindbergh
Red never rests anymore.

We have already fought in many wars,
We have slain the throngs of foreign hoards
And now we are ready for battle
As Red does his saber rattle
The SSL do not rest, we devastate
And strive to make America great!
And even though our ranks are thinning,
For us there is never a retreating!

Wherever we go, always on the front!
And the devil, he laughs with us!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
We fight for America
We fight for Pershing

Red never rests anymore.

-Battle anthem of the Second Sons of Liberty


We are the Second Sons of Liberty.
These men are my brothers.
These men are my comrades.
I shall never forsake them.
We shall stand against any enemy.
Foreign or Domestic.
From the musket in my forefather's hand.
To the grenade launcher in mine.
We shall never die.
We shall never surrender.
We shall never forsake our Cause.
Or allow Liberty to perish from the Earth.
Of this I pledge.
So help me God.

-"Eternal Oath of the Second Sons of Liberty"

When the Second Sons of Liberty were founded in late 1934 by Charles Lindbergh and Reinhard Heydrich, it was a difficult task. Candidates were first selected from the current military staffing, and the rest were drawn from various hard-right organizations throughout the country, from the Liberty League, to the Ku Klux Klan, to the VFW and American Legion, and the Sons of the American Revolution.

The first task was to create an officer staff for the group. Lindbergh was in over his head as far as the gravity and weight his position carried. Several well-known members of the former government were provided new jobs as Standard Leaders. Among them was none other than Dwight Eisenhower, George Marshall, and Joseph Kennedy. These Standard Leaders were assigned control of SSL Army Groups, consisting of a general region's SSL Field Armies, with about 150,000 elite, highly trained men planned to be in each Army Group by the year 1940. The US National Guard was disbanded after almost 200 years of service. The crack, most radically devoted National Guardsmen were sent to SSL training camps constructed in each Region to further push them into total loyalty and unquestioning devotion to "Mr. Pershing and Mr. Lindbergh." President Garner was promised that when his term was up in 1937. a seat as Standard Leader of the Group Appalachia would be open for him. Francis Alphonse Capel were appointed head of the SSL National Committee, which controlled the Police Unions and was in charge of public affairs and propaganda. Old Guard radical Hamilton Fish III was appointed Chief of SSL Propaganda and Public Relations, which combined with the Liberty League's Propaganda Office. This showed the almost invisible line separating the League and the SSL.

  • Group New England - Standard Leader Joseph Kennedy
  • Group Appalachia - Standard Leader George Marshall
  • Group Deep South - Standard Leader Theophilus ("The Bull") Eugene Connor
  • Group Midwest - Standard Leader Arthur Hornbui Bell (former KKK Grand Wizard)
  • Group Texiana - Standard Leader Dwight Eisenhower
  • Group Central - Standard Leader Horace Whitetower
  • Group Plains - Standard Leader William "Buffalo Bill" Blythe
  • Group Deseret - Standard Leader Ezra Taft Benson (also head of the LDS Mormon Church)
  • Group Pacific - Standard Chester Nimitz (also Admiral of the US Navy's Pacific Fleet)
Joseph Kennedy, patriarch of a political dynasty and early friend of the Nazi party was rewarded by Heydrich for his early commitment by being placed in charge of Group New England. Kennedy had served in the National Guard and had been the emergency military governor of New Jersey put in place by Patton. The "Appeal to Heaven" Tree Flag of the American Revolution was it's eagle-topped standard, a very Roman- and Nazi-esque vertical banner.

Group Appalachia went George Marshall, a Pennsylvania native, who was distraught his home state was not included in his region, but rather in New England. Lindbergh assured Marshall that it was because Philadelphia was an extremely symbolically important city which was easier for New England units to reinforce in an emergency. In exchange, Marshall was placed in charge of the Washington, D.C., Metro Area. However, Lindbergh would control Washington proper with his elite German-trained US SSL Charles Lindbergh Division. Appalachia's standard was the famed "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden Flag.

Rabid fascist and strongman Theophilus "The Bull" Eugene Connor, of Alabama, was to reign over Group Deep South. Awash in Confederate nostalgia, heavy Klan membership, and Bible-thumpers, the Deep South was one of the most hardline and devoted to the cause, and Bull Connor would soon prove his nickname time and again over. A modified Confederate battle flag served as its standard and its motto was "Dixie Forever."

Group Midwest went to, ironically, a New Jersey native and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Arthur Hornbui Bell. A complete racist, he was a driving force pushing for more hardline racial policies within the SSL, Liberty League, and the United States as a whole. He also pushed for more radically anti-Semitic laws, akin to Germany's, but was mostly blown off for the first part of his career. Group Midwest was a powerhouse and the second largest Group, behind New England. Chicago alone provided a quarter of its troops. It's eagle standard was a Liberty Torch, very similar to the Indiana state flag. It's motto: "America's Heartland Shall be Defended."

Group Texiana was placed under the command of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had been a Pershing bootlicker for long enough to merit such a promotion. He was also of fairly good strategic thought, and being in charge of Group Texiana was no meager task as it lied directly on the Mexican border. If the pro-NAPS Mexican government felt threatened by revolution, which it did at several times, Eisenhower would cross the border with Group Texiana and quell any rebellion. It's standard was the famous "Come and Take It" cannon flag of the struggle for Texas independence.

Great War officer Horace Whitetower was given Group Central. Formerly a general in the Missouri National Guard, there was nothing wildly exceptional about his career other than his full support of Pershing's coup and the fact that he near bloodlessly overthrew the government of Missouri in full support of the July 4th Coup two years earlier. With St. Louis in its grasp and with feelings of deep patriotism in helping end the Dust Bowl, the thankful citizens of the Central Region were glad to volunteer for the SSL units. It's standard was a Cardinal with the words "Central to Our Freedom, Second to None."

The rambunctious and eccentric William "Buffalo Bill" Blythe was installed as Standard Leader of Group Plains, the numerically smallest of the SSL Groups, but about equaled Texiana in total territory under its administration. Blythe was the oldest of the Standard Leaders, at 70, and he was a true veteran of the Banana Wars, having fought in Nicaragua, Haiti, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. His Group was extremely focused on mobile warfare, as it had to cover such large, empty states, and also was famous for having black Union Cavalry-style stetsons as its official hat. It also had a very large population of Native Americans in its ranks, which would later form the US SSL Sitting Bull Division, one of the fiercest and most dreaded American units in history. Group Plains's standard consisted of an Art Deco-styled Cowboy hat, with the motto "Rough Riders of the Plains."

Group Deseret was a very politically-advantageous unit, as it encompassed only Utah and Nevada and left the Mormons and their Church of Latter Day Saints to essentially run themselves. Exra Taft Benson, head of the LDS Mormon Church, became Standard Leader and essentially dictator of the entire region. Pershing allowed this as he simply didn't care too much about religious differences and wanted to keep Mormon support. Also the construction of the Coolidge Dam had been in safe, capable Mormon hands for a few years now and he was fine to leave it that way. The US SSL Joseph Smith Division was its most famous unit, and they became the Temple Guards for the main LDS churches and patrolled the borders to try to lower the number of non-Mormons moving to Utah and Nevada (though non-Mormons were not openly discriminated against, as Washington would immediately have assumed emergency control and disbanded the Group). It's eagle standard was a stylized Beehive of Industry, with the motto, "To God be the Glory."

Finally Group Pacific went to Admiral Chester Nimitz. Even though some inspiration had been had from the Japanese Empire's Co-Prosperity Sphere in the creation of NAPS, America still viewed the "Slant-eyed Samurai" with suspicion, and just beyond Japan was America's mortal enemy Russia. Group Pacific also included Hawaii, Alaska, and the Philippines, and was an extremely important SSL Group. Nimitz simultaneously served as Admiral of the Pacific Fleet of the US Navy, which had begun a buildup around this same time in the face of growing fears about Japanese and Russian naval expansion. Their logo was a Californian Bear clutching an anchor with the motto, "No Foreign Feet Upon Our Sacred Shores."

These men all came together in the fall of 1934 to organize their new branch of the government. Pershing-supporting state governors had been elected in new elections in late 1933, and the state government continued to function, but over time the governors recognized that any slip up might end in an SSL Standard Leader removing them from office and squelching state sovereignty. So in effect, Standard Leaders outranked State Governors, even though they weren't technically or officially promoted as such.

Meanwhile, back in America's capital, the first division of 30,000 men to successfully complete Heydrich's training course, the US SSL Charles Lindbergh Division, had become the most elite unit in the Armed Forces and trained in every form of warfare. It also fielded a rather large assortment of plains in conjunction with the US Army Air Force Command and helped turn Washington into a fortified bunker of a town by 1936. They operated out of the Old US Capitol Building, which had become the US Armed Forces High Command. The Division used Gestapo tactics in its policing of the nation's capital and slowly established spy networks across the country, and even spied on Standard Leaders and reported back to Lindbergh. This was how Lindbergh was able to keep himself "one step ahead" of his officers, look smarter than the other Standard Leaders, and remind them he could have them removed at any point if they ever showed a hint of disloyalty. The old Federal Bureau of Investigation was absorbed into the Lindbergh Division, and rabid anti-Communist J. Edgar Hoover would become commander of it. In fact, the SSL banner was largely based on the FBI logo to begin with. Their contacts, spies, and agents came with the deal. With Prohibition over and many of the crime families working for the government now, the Division kept itself busy with looking for communists.​

Also stationed in Washington was the US SSL Supreme Court Battalion, a rather bizarre arm of the old US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had been stacked with pro-Pershing judges who rubber stamped everything he did and voted to reinstate the state of Constitutional Suspension every year on the dot. The Battalion was the nation's main legal force and consisted mostly of uniformed lawyers working day and night on new proposals to keep Americans happy, healthy, fed, and in line, without pushing too many buttons. They also operated an extensive spying and wiretap operation on, ironically, the Supreme Court, making sure no "foreign agents or degenerates" hatched any plots to somehow vote to repeal the state of emergency. This, even more ironically, would end with the Battalion advising Pershing to overthrow the Court. He would turn down.

Thus the Second Sons of Liberty, "Vanguards of Our Freedom," came into being.


Representatives of Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, France, and Poland sign themselves into the "Alliance of Free Nations"
1934 was not a good year in Europe. In Spain, uprisings in the Catalonian and Asturian regions had almost pushed the country to civil war. An assassination attempt on King Alexander I of Yugoslavia had almost triggered war between Yugoslavia and its allies against Hungary and Italy, nations the Yugoslavians were sure were behind the plot. Adolf Hitler, on August 2, shortly after his return from his state tour of America, was proclaimed Fuhrer of All Germany and given near absolute power with the approval of 90 percent of his people. As the League of Nations scrambled to prevent all-out war in Europe, a crisis in Africa was about to shake it to its core and aid in its downfall.

Italy had encroached onto Ethiopian territory in December, garrisoning Somalian volunteers in a fort well inside Ethiopia proper. The Ethiopian Army showed up and demanded the Italian forces leave the area. After a skirmish that spiraled out control, huge casualties were inflicted on both sides. Ethiopia's Emperor, Halie Selassie, denounced the battle as Italian aggression and took his problems to the League of Nations, while the Italians formerly condemned his testimony and demanded compensation for the losses suffered. Over a month passed with no formal League proclamation. Stating, "Italy shall go its own way!" Mussolini withdrew his nation from the League in protest. Slowly, one by one, others began joining in the dissolution of the once mighty organization.

The Soviet Union had strongly considered joining the League, but as the "Abyssinian Affair" drew on, as well as the failure to prevent the Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia, their confidence in the group was shattered and the Soviets rejected further advances made by the League. Stalin said, "If the League of Nations cannot resolve the ongoing conflict between Italy and Ethiopia, how then will it resolve conflicts in Europe? The Soviet people will have no part of such a corrupt or bourgeois organization." This was the death knell for the League, and by mid-1935, it would close its doors for the final time. Only France and a handful of nations friendly to it remained, along with Britain. Britain announced its withdrawal in February, 1935, stating that a more traditional alliance of nations would be more effective at this point in time. France finally was the last nation to leave and formally ended the League of Nations. However, they in turn, extremely wary of growing Nazi power in Europe, went looking for new allies. Britain rejected their advances amid a growing trend of isolationism from the Empire. However, the French would soon win over friends in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

On March 16, 1935, Germany announced it would re-arm itself in violation of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. This brought on panic and mass hysteria in France and areas of Europe. Also re-arming was Admiral Horthy's Kingdom of Hungary and Engelbert Dolfuss' Austria, "in the face of growing instability in the world and the collapse of the League of Nations." Interestingly, Dolfuss was assassinated two months later and the Austrian Nazi Party came to power shortly after, banning Dolfuss' Fatherland Front party. Conscription was reintroduced by Germany, Hungary, and Austria shortly thereafter, also flouting the Versailles Treaty.

Admiral Horthy, Regent of Hungary and later "Vezető," or "Leader"
Also staggeringly important in the understanding of the affairs of 1934-35 was the tragic death of British King George V and his uncontrollable, Hitler-supporting son's coronation as King Edward VIII. Edward's out-of-control love of partying and just being king made him less concerned about external affairs at this point. The British Union of Fascists made huge gains in acceptance and public support, and their leader Oswald Mosley warned the citizens of being drawn into a war on behalf of France, "a nation we long detested and warred against, and made the mistake of aiding in the last war."

With Italian, German, and Austrian support, Horthy announced the end of the Kingdom of Hungary in favor of a new Republic of Hungary, with himself as "Vezető," or "Leader." Bulgaria also drifted closer to the German orbit. This was the last straw for France, Poland, and its friends in the Balkans. On June 1, 1935, the governments of the Third Republic of France, the Second Polish Republic, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Kingdom of Romania, and the Republic of Czechoslovakia signed themselves into the Alliance of Free Nations. Many in Britain wished to join the Allies but the British government under Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, seeing tensions ripe just like 1914 and worrying France would just heat it up, firmly said no. King Edward also made his opinion known to MacDonaldthat the Alliance was "a bit of balderdash and bravado by those continually wishing to destroy Germany a second time in a war that would cost us everything."

"No part of the British people desires a repeat of the events of 1914. No segment of our people yearn to see countless lives lost and homes destroyed. We will not be pushed into another Great War. We will not let Paris dictate to London, nor will we support the growth of leftist interests or International Communism. The Nation of Germany has not warred against anyone and they have not forcefully acquired new territory as of this time. We, the People of Britain, do not seek a fight with the People of Germany. With the Good Lord's blessing, may all Europe and the World continue to live in Peace in Our Time."

- Excerpt from Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald's "Peace in Our Time" speech, June 4, 1935

Everyone knew reactions would be soon coming from the fascist and conservative nations before long. Representatives of Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the United States would meet in Rome on July 28, 1935, and bring the world one step closer to Total War....

The newly-crowned King Edward VIII of Britain during a state visit to Germany, 1935

"The Sphere turns upon the Axis."
- Charles Lindbergh

The American Embassy in Berlin, July 29, 1935, one day after the creation of the Axis
When the major right-wing and fascist powers came together in Rome on July 28, 1935, the world knew it was inching closer to war. Hitler arrived in person to speak for Germany and was the first leader to be met by Mussolini's welcoming committee. Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria arrived next, followed by Charles Lindbergh on behalf of Secretary Pershing. Unbeknownst to many, Pershing was in the midst of a minor health crisis and was to ill to attend. Lindbergh brought Hamilton Fish III with him, officially as an advisor, but it was really Fish moving and shaking things throughout the conference. Japan was invited to attend the conference, but it rejected the offer. Many were unaware the Japanese Emperor resented how the American upstarts were slowly taking Japan's place at Germany's table, and the US also controlled many territories the Japanese strongly desire to be their own, such as the Philippines. The Japanese East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere gave Pershing the idea for the the North American Protective Sphere, but it was clear the two Spheres were not getting along. This delighted Hitler as he much preferred the "Aryan" Americans against the Japanese "untermensch." Hitler had been holding America up as an example of how adopting "National Socialist style principles and policies" had repaired America's economy, military, and infrastructure.

The sun was shining brightly on the day that the leaders met at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome. Thousands of supporters lined the streets as they awaited news of the meeting. The talks stretched on for 14 hours and at 10:00 pm that night Hitler, Mussolini, Boris III, and Lindbergh stepped outside on Mussolini's favorite balcony and announced over the megaphone system and radio stations around the world that the deal was made. Mussolini took to the microphone first:

"Citizens of Rome and the World! It is my honor and privilege as the Duche of Italy and as host of this diplomatic conference to announce that the papers have been signed! The red wax has been stamped! No longer shall Italy stand alone against the decadent powers the sinister men who brought the League of Nations against us! We told that same League, last year, to go kick someone else around! We told them the proud Italian people and their Duche would no longer accept globalist and socialist orders, that we would go our own way! But we need not go alone! We are joined by the fine citizens of the German Reich! Of the Stati Uniti d'America! And of the noble Regno di Bulgaria! Today, about twenty-five minutes ago, I, Benito Mussolini, guaranteed a future for the free and noble Italian people by signing the Rome-Berlin-Sofia-Washington Concordat! With the League of Nations gone, the world needs a new Axis upon which to turn. Together, we shall fight the powers of the corrupt financiers and the international communist conspiracy! Today we form the Axis and boldly and proudly proclaim to the world that we will take orders no longer! We will not stand idly by as certain nations of Europe try to halt the spread of our ideals! We will make Italy great again! We shall make Germany and Bulgaria great again! And we shall make America great again! Any provocation, any act of hostility, and any aggression will be met by the people's bayonet! Long live Italy! Long live Germany! Long live the United States! Long live Bulgaria!"

A sweaty Il Duche stepped back from the microphone and shook hands with all the leaders of the Axis before Hitler took the microphone in his best Italian, as he had been practicing both his English and Italian since an alliance had looked likely for some time:

"Greetings, National Socialist people of Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, the United States, and the World. Today is a day of monumental importance for everyone on this planet. The international Zionist conspiracy is on the run after badgering and gutter-sniping us for the last twenty-some years. Around the turn of the century, it began to encircle the German Reich and it began the World War in 1914. Germany was defeated in 1918 only because of its inner disunity. The results were terrible. After first hypocritically declaring to be fighting only against the Kaiser and his regime, they began the systematic destruction of the German Reich after the German army had laid down its arms. As the prophecy of a French statesman, who had said that there were twenty million Germans too many, began to be fulfilled through starvation, disease, or emigration, the National Socialist movement began building the unity of the German people, thereby preparing the rebirth of the Reich. This rebirth has been aided by our many friends across the world, from Rome, where we stand today, to across the Atlantic. This new revival of our people from poverty, misery, and shameful contempt was a sign of a pure internal rebirth. France was not affected, much less threatened, by this. Nonetheless, it immediately renewed its hateful policy of encirclement against Germany. Both at home and abroad, we faced the plot we all know about between Jews and democrats, Frenchmen, Bolshevists and reactionaries, all with the same goal: to prevent the establishment of a new people’s state, to plunge the Reich again into impotence and misery. This conspiracy that controls France, which is now flanked by Poland and Yugoslavia, wishes to destroy all that we are. Now that the Third Reich stands proudly with the fellow members of the Axis powers, we say to that conspiracy, in unison, we will not be made puppets or lapdogs! We will not bow to the whims of a globalist, Zionist government in Paris that we already have destroyed! And we will set aside our differences and work toward a brighter, more stable, economically viable, and culturally superior future for our nationalist realms! People of the Axis, Sieg Heil!"

The crowds were being whipped into a rabid frenzy and everywhere one looked, one could see Italian, German, US, and Bulgarian flags. Men stood atop roofs waving them and cars were driving through Rome with rumble seat-riders proudly cheering and raising them. Directly across from the Palazzo, at the American embassy, the embassy staff (mostly members of the US Marine Corps and in full dress uniform) were chanting "USA! USA! USA!" and "Give 'em hell, Adolf!"

Lindbergh took to the microphone and saluted the crowd with an outstretched fist, the recently adopted official greeting of the Liberty League. Then he spoke, in English:

"Hail the Victory! Hail the United States! Hail the Axis! Today is a wonderful day in the annals of my nation's history. We are living proof that you can live without the League of Nations and its corruption and bloated bureaucracy. We never joined it to begin with, because we recognized, even then, that it was a tool of a ruthless international power clique hellbent on creating a Marxist, liberal, immoral, and decadent world government! Years ago, my country was used as a tool by the Old Allies and the future founders of the League of Nations to aid and abet in bringing unimaginable death and destruction upon the People of Germany. On this day we renounce our prior hostilities and persecution of the hard-working, God-fearing, and brave German Reich. We have much more in common than we can even describe and convey in a mere speech such as this. We share the same spirit! We strive for excellence in all that we do and we believe that the future belong to us, with hard work and the blessings of the same Almighty God. We both have, in recent years, thrown out the ruthless Red clique of power-brokers who thought they could carry on, politics as usual, while the people and veterans starved, calling out for help in the wilderness of misery and despair. We told them no! We told them to get off the tracks, because our train was going to smash them in their smug, arrogant faces. They did not listen, and we ran them over! Italy and Bulgaria, too, have done these things! Though under different circumstances. We all pulled out vast Communist, Bolshevik, leftist, chaff out from our wheat! We fought them in the streets! We fought them in the churches! We fought them within the ranks of our very own governments! We have brought greatness and excellence to our nations. And on this day it is the American people's honor to pledge loyalty to this Axis. We bring not only ourselves, but the proud nation-members of the North American Protection Sphere with us! For at this moment in history, I am proud to say, the Sphere turns upon the Axis!"

All over the world, the reaction was met with excitement and horror. Immediately, the Alliance sent a formal condemnation of the Axis as a "dangerous, militant snake intent on imposing its fascist and evil control upon the rest of the world. We are not at war, but we will not accept any aggression from this new so-called Axis. We will show them the world turns upon freedom and the Alliance and law and order, not upon the whims of jackbooted dictators thirsting for glory on the bloodied backs of their neighbors and their own citizens."

Austria, Hungary and Albania joined the Axis within the week.
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In a little honky-tonky village in Deutschland
There's a guy who plays the best piano by far
He can play piano any way that you like it
But the way he likes it best is eight to the bar
When he plays it's a ball
He is the swingin' Fuhrer of 'em all!
The volk gather round when he gets on the stand
Then when he plays he gets a hand (in the air)
The rhythm he beats puts the cats in a trance
Nobody there bothers to dance
And when he jams with the bass and guitar
They say "Mein-a Fuhrer, Beat me, eight to bar!"
A plink, plank, plunkin' on the keys
A riff, well, a-riffin' out with ease
And when he jams with the bass and guitar
They holler all, "Come on and beat me Fuhrer, eight to bar!"

- The Andrews Sisters' 1936 smash hit, "Beat Me Fuhrer Eight to the Bar"

The United States of 1833 onward was on one hand very intolerant, and another extremely tolerant. However the receivers of this tolerance were usually the useful ones. With Catholic Italy, Catholic Austria, and Catholic Hungary as allies (as well as a large Catholic minority in Germany), anti-Catholic bigotry was deliberately curtailed by the government. The Ku Klux Klan, while once a useful idiot and a great recruitment tool for the SSL, was simply too anti-Catholic for the government's tastes. In late 1935 a series of undercover moves dubbed Operation: Jaybird was launched that slowly purged anti-Catholic leadership from the ranks. SSL Group Deep South tried to promote stories of Catholic support during the Civil War and encouraged Catholics to join its ranks. Al Smith, the Catholic New Yorker who hosted the first meeting of the Liberty League, was also key in setting this policy. Pershing was a very traditional, yet non-aggressive, Christian, and he had no desire to launch pogroms onto potential Catholic soldiers and taxpayers. Also, Axis support was high in Ireland, where the people wished for King Edward to join the Axis (a step Edward considered many times with its possibility of uniting England and Ireland in a joint cause). All in all, morale for Catholic Americans during the build-up before the Second World War was high, and they found levels of acceptance not previously imaginable.

On another front of the civil rights area, Pershing pushed for a "separate but equal" policy in as far the "Negro Question" went. The last thing he wanted was a socialist or anti-government movement of blacks and so segregation was still strictly enforced under pain of billyclub, but again the KKK-elements within the government were growing frustrated by Pershing's seeming "patronizing of second class citizens." Lynchings still occurred across the nation and the government did little about it. However, when the case was obvious the killers would be arrested and executed. Pershing believed in law and order, and vigilante justice was not of his liking. Beginning in late 1935 during the build-up, propaganda posters popped up everywhere encouraging young black men to join the army. They were not, however, allowed to serve in the SSL. The main reason for the tolerance of blacks, though, was not an attempt at showing compassion or brotherhood, but to make sure the predominantly black, colored, Hispanic, and mestizo communities of the North American Protection Sphere. If there was an uprising due to minorities feeling put down, it would divert far too much of America's attention to do much of anything in Europe or Asia.

The one group that was most certainly looked upon with suspicion more than anyone else was the Jews. Seen as immoral Marxist leeches by over half of America, even by blacks and other minorities, Lindbergh made quite the obvious reference to them in his speech in Rome when the Axis was signed. The other members of the Axis made their thoughts on the Jews quite clear. The ornery, bigoted former Grand Wizard of the KKK, Arthur Bell, Standard Leader of Group Midwest, preached with fire and vigor against the Jews and wanted the government to hunt them down and force them into exile or prison. Bell was later actually warned about the potential removal of himself as Standard Leader if he continued alienating Catholics). Antisemitism became the main drive of the Klan from 1935 onward following Operation: Jaybird, and they hosted anti-Jewish rallies across the nation. This came into conflict with the members of the Distillery Clan, some of whom had ties to the Jewish mafia and the infamous Purple Gang. This was soon rectified by, interestingly, a Catholic.

Capone Breweries CEO Al Capone enjoying a White Sox baseball game with the Governor of Illinois, 1935

Al Capone, pardoned of his crimes for assisting the government and now wealthy CEO of Capone Breweries, launched a massive assault on the Jewish infrastructure across the nation with backing from the new Klan and Mussolini's Italy. In the "Inner-Clan War of 1935-36," Capone managed to have leading Jewish mafia bosses and executives assassinated or driven from the country, buy up their companies, and solidify his monopoly on booze and organized crime. It speaks volumes for the government's complacence when Capone was awarded the Secretary of General Affairs National Service Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Pershing and Garner respectively, for his "forthright and honest service to the American People and Economy and for turning away from vice and illegality." Many more Jewish wheeler-dealers were dealt with when SSL undercover agents and Capone thugs framed the Jews for high crimes and brought out some of their nasty genuine skeletons from their closets. In a massive SSL raid in January, 1936, sometimes called the American Kristalnacht, Capone thugs and government agents killed or arrested 2,000 Jews for illegal drug trafficking and "suspicions of subversion and collusion to bring down the US government and institute a Jewish-led Soviet Republic." 12,000 Jews from the Midwest region were deported to Canada and told never to come back. 3,000 more were imprisoned. An undisclosed number were never seen or heard from again with no official story of what happened to them.

Capone then threw all his attention back to "legit" business, and purchased, among others, the National Grocery Store and Walgreen's chains, turning them into "Capone Grocery Stores, Inc." He also popularized a little-known Italian dish at these stores that would become an American icon: the Pizza. Or rather, the "capone." He continually tried to push the actual name of pizza, but no matter; to the American people, it was a cheesy, pepperoni covered "capone." Capone had gone from public enemy to a millionaire CEO of a company providing just about anything one could imagine, from "A" to "Z," even purchasing the Chicago White Sox and later the Cubs. Steadily wiping out competition and utilizing the complete laissaz faire economics of his time, Capone was a virtual monopoly and became a face of American capitalism and a huge boost to the Italian export economy, providing his stores with European goods and foods. With this came even more input in government and policy, and in 1936 he would become the official US Ambassador to Italy. There he could conveniently run his business empire safe from assassins, business rivals, and old enemies with the protection of 50 Marines and 30 Italian soldiers. As one could imagine, Capone's success was not to the welcome of other major corporations like Sears and Roebuck and Macy's, who despised him. Sears and Roebuck would become his main competitor for years to come.

Storefront of a Capone Grocery Store in Michigan City, Indiana, circa 1936

When the disgraced Jews were exiled to Canada, they were not the first Americans to find refuge there. When Pershing had seized power and outlawed the Republican and Democratic Parties, many of the Old Guard of Washington who knew they would not be welcome fled to the "Friendly North." This included men such as the hugely influential Warner Brothers, Robert M. La Follette, the Marx Brothers, and Charlie Chaplin (who was officially a British citizen but living in Hollywood at the time). Many in Hollywood, especially the Jewish community there, knew what was coming and fled early on. However, some unfortunately fled to the conveniently located Mexico, which came under NAPS rule shortly thereafter, forcing them to flee again, some to British Belize and others still to South America. Most still found their way to Canada and were a huge push behind trying to get Britain to join the Allies. However, this made them look like traitors to the ordinary American worker and further cemented the Klan propaganda about Hollywood and the Jews. The former liberal governor of Minnesota, Floyd B. Olson was arrested in early 1936 for funneling funds from America to the Jewish exiles to field an army to liberate FDR from his prison in upstate New York. He was tried in court and was likely to receive the death penalty for treason, but he passed of stomach cancer in late 1936.

However, this certainly wasn't a dark period for filmmaking, with Italian-American filmmaker Frank Capra producing cinematic masterpieces such as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, The Bitter Tea of General Yen, and the celebrated fascist masterpiece Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring James Stewart, a riveting story of an ordinary man during the Curtis administration fighting his way to a senate seat only to discover Washington is a hopelessly corrupt, broken, morass of liberal deviants. The film ends with Mr. Smith looking out over his balcony as Pershing leads the July 4 Coup against FDR and delivering the famous lines:

"This country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don't get lost once they come to light; they're right here! You just have to see them again. You just have to latch onto them. Only then can we make America great again. And with God and General Pershing on our side, I don't see how we can lose."
-James Stewart as Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Columbia Pictures, 1936)

Meanwhile, Charlie Chaplin in Canada was busy at work trying to turn public opinion against fascism. With the early 1936 release of "The Great Dictator," a mockery of National Socialism and National Industrialism, he nearly went bankrupt paying for the film himself as no major Canadian or British studio wanted to be associated with such a liberal, openly socialistic star for fear of an American or German backlash and boycott of their entire studio. The film was a undeniable masterpiece but didn't reach nearly as many crowds as Chaplin desired. "It's a shame," he said in late 1936, "If more people had watched my film perhaps the world would see where common sense really lies."

Chaplin in character as a Hitler-type and Bernard Jones as the mustache-sporting "Marshal Perish," a clear putdown of Secretary Pershing
Other major hits of this period were films such as Universal Studios' The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, and the immortal Disney classic and first entirely animated production Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Snow White became such a huge hit overseas that it played for an entire year in Berlin, with Hitler personally viewing an ungodly 75 times, calling it, "The greatest film ever made. Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was a fine film, and formerly my favorite American one, but Mr. Disney has captured magic in a bottle. From the obviously Jewish sorceress to the metaphor for Aryan beauty that is Snow White, it is the perfect entertainment."

Music was another important aspect of culture, but it really didn't change all too much from before the Liberty League had taken power. Jazz was the predominant form, but was steadily being replaced by the fast-paced lively piano numbers of boogie woogie and swing. Interestingly, both forms of music directly sprung from black culture such as Duke Ellington. Count Basie, and the wildly popular Ink Spots. However, white bands and singers appropriated them and made them their own, such as Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers, the Andrews Sisters, and the jumping jive of Glenn Miller and his orchestra. Many of the popular songs reflected the attitude of loyalty to the state and military service, while the rest were standard tunes of the time about love, cars, and "having the blues." One of the most popular singers and musicians of the entire decade though was Louis Armstrong, the "Face of the Black People." Loved by even the most rabid fascists, he even performed in person for Secretary Pershing and President Garner.

Louis Armstrong joking around with the White House Marine Band for a press photo (1936)

Young women and servicemen dancing to the Andrews Sisters' "The Berlin Stomp" circa 1936


Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief Werner von Blomburg inspects the troops in the occupied Rhineland (1936)

It was a shocking move when Germany invaded the Rhineland in March of 1936. Declaring it a bold move against Allied and Soviet encirclement, Hitler ordered his Wehrmacht commander-in-chief to take back the old German industrial territory from France. Germany violated Articles 42 and 43 of the Treaty of Versailles and Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty of Locarno, but this was not unexpected coming from a nation that had so boldly and fragrantly showed no respect for the articles in some time. France and the Allies were stunned, and though many cried out for war and saw it as an assault on French soil, the French government was absolutely unprepared for this conflict and thought German was still a year or more away from combat effectiveness. France itself was in the midst of political turmoil and was still unable to win Britain over to the Alliance of Free Nations. Absent more support and woefully unprepared militarily, France's leadership elected to order a general retreat from the Rhineland.

Hailed as a "master stroke of maneuvering and political muscle," and "conquest without blood," the Germans took back the entire region and made France look like a fool globally. The French had actually sealed their fate; the Soviet Union had been in talks for months about joining the AFN, but now with scuttlebutt sweeping Europe of "French cowardice" and their limp-wrist response to an actual assault by 20 German infantry battalions and cavalry units, the Soviets scrapped their plan to join. Besides, the Japanese Empire was growing restless in the East and Stalin was busy purging his army. No, proclaimed Russia, they would look inward at solidifying Stalin's rule and prevent Japan from sneak-attacking them from the rear. Also, Finland, a satellite but not an official member of the Axis, made Stalin's imagination run wild with thoughts of bringing the wayward capitalist Finns back under Russian domination.

Japan was another matter all together. Japan resented both the United States and the Soviet Union, but with little reason to fight the US other than a handful of islands and with Stalin eyeballing their home region, Emperor Hirohito ordered the plans for a sneak attack on the United States (which Japan saw as a rising rival imperialist power) scrapped in favor of rallying the nation against the Russians. Hirohito proclaimed that that the pseudo-fascism of the Americans was more tolerable and had more in common with their beliefs than the godless Soviet hoards. Also, the treasures of China lay just off shore, and something might need to be done to curtail Soviet and Communist activities in that area. In late 1936, Japan began preparing an invasion force for an all-out assault on the Chinese. The Russians, they thought, would be next. They would need to solidify their control of China and then turn toward total war and aim for the destruction and capitulation of all Russia. They also would need to deal, they thought, with the British Empire and Australia. But with Britain turning inward and a blind eye to encroaching Japanese Imperialism, Russia and China became enemies number one.​

Hirohito, God-Emperor of Japan

Back in Europe, Spain had become an absolute mess. Generals Franco and Sanjurjo and their right-wing nationalist radicals had been fighting a war against leftist, socialist, Marxist, and anarchist Republicans for a while in the shadows, but in 1936 tensions boiled over and led to full-scale war that pull in all the major powers of Europe and the Americas. Hoping to gain a satellite, Soviet troops were brought in to fight on behalf of the Republicans, and they were soon joined by troops from France and Poland who were hoping to avoid another embarrassing situation as this was just shortly after the German invasion of the Rhineland. French troops immediately occupied the Northern region of Asturias where miners allied with various socialist causes had led an uprising against the government in 1934, that Franco had quickly crushed. To get there, French troops pushed through and "liberated" most of the northern regions of Spain in mid-1936. Forming the "Pyrenees Confederacy" and with the force of the French and Polish military aid and international funds, the Nationalists assault against the Republicans began to falter and the Allies began discussing a drive toward Madrid to decapitate the fascist leaders once and for all. Sanjurjo would die in a plane crash however, leaving just Franco to continue the fight.

This was where things got interesting. Seeing a potential shift in the power in Europe toward the Allies, the Axis began acting quickly starting in September of 1936, after the Berlin Olympics had finished. On September 5, massive bombing raids by German and Italian planes decked out with Spanish livery caused utter destruction on the Pyrenees Confederacy and all along the French border. More Nationalist reinforcements were coming up from Spanish Morocco with the help of German and Italian naval assistance. Moroccans hit hard and fast, stealthily being shipped around the west coast of Iberia and hammering into the undefended northern beaches of Asturias. Portugal, under dictator António de Oliveira Salazar, aided greatly in this, with Portuguese ships running scout for the German ships. Salazar was essentially a fascist who wanted no part of a Communist Republic on his only border.​

Communist Republican forces dig in against the fascist onslaught (1936)

Some truly unfortunate events transpired soon after, with an December 2 assassination attempt on Salazar by Communist spies driving his country toward war. On December 12, with a bandage still on his arm, Salazar declared Portugal to be at war with the Spanish Republic. Thousands of troops marched across the border and joined the fray, reinforcing Franco and pushing the Republicans back to the French border. Franco and Salazar met on New Year's Day, 1937, in Madrid to plan out their next attacks.

This was when America, too, wanted to test its military muscles. Crack troops, veterans of the Subjugation of Central America, landed in Lisbon, Portugal, on February 14, 1937, with General Patton at their head. On March 1, they crossed the border and joined Portuguese, Spanish, Moroccan, and German troops already at the front lines. Chief among those were troops of the US SSL Sitting Bull Division, the "Butchers of Catalonia." The Division was made up entirely of reservation Indians and fought like demons. They were the first to "liberate" Catalonia from Communist forces, and the massacre that followed was legendary.

With whoops and war-cries, the Sitting Bull Division stormed Barcelona following a lengthy German bombing campaign on April 3, 1937. The Communist forces were absolutely horrified at the trained brutality of the Sitting Bull Division and when they tried to surrender they were instead killed on the spot. Lieutenant Roger Broken Arrow, one of the commanders of the massacre, said to his men before the storming of the city, "I came here to get one thousand Communist scalps. I want 1000 Communist scalps. You will bring me 1000 Communist scalps." The Division earned its nickname as "Cossacks of the Americas" through the slaughter of 15,000 Communist, French, and Polish soldiers and civilians in on the bloodiest battles fought on earth since the end of World War One. They were not alone, as Spanish and German troops poured in right behind them, mostly trying to pick over the bodies of the dead and scalped Barcelonians.​

"It was as something from my darkest nightmares. Everywhere I looked was carnage and blood and death. The sounds of babies crying in the distance mixed with the din of the rifles and machine guns, and the sounds of whooping Americans. The craters from our German bombs were filled with the dead, most missing scalps, some ears, others fingers. Many had been lined up immediately upon surrender and shot once, directly in the face. Some had been killed with hatchets. Some had been blown to bits by artillery and bombs, their blood misting through the air like spray paint. I saw the Americans dip their fingers in it and run war paint stripes down their faces. They looked like demons. They slaughtered everyone. I was so scared I almost forgot... they were on our side. And I thanked God for that."
-Corporal Hans Kohler, German infantryman and veteran of the Genocide of Barcelona.

Painting depicting Spanish artillery shelling the Catalonian capital of Barcelona

The war crimes committed at Barcelona were par for the course with the entire conflict, which already had seen murder and slaughter hearkening back to the days of Attila the Hun. Things weren't much better when Asturias finally capitulated in late summer, 1937. Legions of Spanish and Portuguese troops torched entire towns and sent locals fleeing east and then north across the French border. The Basque Country, a diehard bastion of the Republicans, was bombed for weeks in the fall from early September all the way through the middle of October. Hardly anything was left standing. It is estimated over 25,000 people were killed in the mayhem. Disrespecting the laws of war, both sides committed unimaginable atrocities. When Patton and Gerd von Rundstedt rolled in to Vitoria-Gasteiz, the Basque capital, at the head of an army of volunteers from all across the Axis, Patton remarked to von Rundstedt, "My God, there is nothing left. I wanted to capture a town, not a gravel parking lot."

The war from that point on was hopelessly slanting toward the Axis and French attitudes at home wanted the conflict ended. Over 20,000 French troops had been lost, and the unwavering slaughter the fascists seemed willing to continue forever further demoralized the French populace. First the Germans had taken the Rhineland from them and now fascists were busy committing ethnic cleansing and genocide right on their southern border. The people cried out for massive improvement of the armed forces and prayed for one victory. The National Assembly hoped and prayed for one victory, because without it there were growing calls for the overthrow of the government.

It would take until mid-1938 and many more back-and-forth border changes and massacres would occur, but the fascists were on the march. On August 1, 1938, the last Republican force surrendered in Gerona. A rally was held in Madrid by Franco and attended by Salazar, Patton, von Rundstedt, and several other fascist volunteer commanders, to celebrate the "Reunification of Spain" as the Second Spanish Republic. Thousands of troops, now scarred and battle-tested, marched past the strongmen. They had been forged in fire. Now they were ready for the main event, which would send the world into total war, and the crimes that would be committed would make the Spanish Civil War look like nothing...​

Berlin had won the right to host the 1936 Olympics in 1931, two years prior to Hitler seizing power. Hitler vowed the Nazi Olympics were going to be a spectacle for the ages. With tensions on the brink and Europe still recovering from von Blomburg's invasion of the Rhineland and Italy's annexation of Ethiopia, the Axis and Allies were eager to hand each other defeats in a more symbolic way.

It was a sunny day on August 1, 1936, when the German sprinter entered the stadium carrying the Olympic torch. Wagner played loudly over the sound system as the main cauldron was lit and thousands of people cried "Sieg heil! Sieg heil! Sieg heil!" Hitler proclaimed the games to be open with an outrageously lavish Classical-style ceremony.

For the next two weeks, until the closing ceremony on August 16, Germany and America dominated the medal tallies, almost completely shutting out every other nation. This was in spite of the fact that fan-favorite African-American runner Jesse Owens sprained his ankle in a mysterious incident at the Olympic Village, which left room for the German runners to take the gold medals in the sprinting events. Owens complained to his managers that someone had pushed him down a flight of stairs, but this event remained unproven and in the realm of conspiracy theories for years until it was proved through formerly hidden letters that his own teammate, Tennessee native Cal Clarkson, had pushed him down the stairs in the middle of the night because he resented Owens' being there as a black man and having to share a room with him at the Olympic Village.

What really was far more important than the games, however, was the fact that Germany and Austria would be competing on a unified team. This was a major sign of things to come. Finally, on August 26, 1936, just about ten days after the closing ceremonies at Berlin and just around a week before the German bombing campaigns in Spain would begin, a surprise referendum was held and the people voted for unification in Austria. German troops crossed into Austria to thunderous applause, flowers, and hugs. With two moves in 1936, Hitler had unified the German people: by reoccupying the Rhineland and by annexing Austria, both in flagrant violation of everything that the Treaty of Versailles said (as well as violating other, less major treaties). Hitler looked like a genius who was humiliating the Allies at every step of the way, and the French and Poles were furious. America applauded the act as a fulfillment of German "manifest destiny," and General Pershing said it was a "very normal desire to unify one's people, especially a people that had been so recently maligned by the deadliest war in history."

German troops cross the Austrian border to unify the German people

Reaction in Britain was most important. Many in the government claimed that Germany had done nothing not understandable or unforgivable, and Austria had certainly welcomed them in, but others were amazed at their country's stubborn streak to acknowledge that Germany had to be thinking about even greater expansion into non-German lands. What was even worse was that Britain had just signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty that same day, withdrawing all troops from Egypt except those required to guard the vital Suez Canal. Said radical Winston Churchill:

"Our nation was happy when France kept Germany busy and Germany kept France busy, when the scales were balanced, but with their ever-encroaching expansion the Axis is slowly going to dominate the continent and our current isolationism won't spare us from Hitler's boot heel. The man will stop at nothing and his allies in America are licking their chops and ogling the Canadian border. We are surrounded by expansionists and this current status quo simply will not hold the dam back much longer. The King simply has to see that we need to do something to prevent total German leadership of the world. We rule the waves, he says. Well, Germany and its allies will soon rule enough land that the waves won't even matter."

The Americas were also seeing a struggle erupt in Nicaragua as the secretly anti-American president, Juan Bautista Sacasa, was removed in a military coup orchestrated by the US Government on October 1. They suspected that Sacasa would attempt to lead a coup and rally the other Latin nations to his cause and overthrow the North American Protection Sphere. American-educated Anastasio "Tacho" Somoza García was installed as dictator, and the US warned its satellites that any attempt at rebelling or leaving the NAPS would result in a change of leadership and half of the rebel nation's tax money being split with the other members for five years. This gave the NAPS the incentive to police itself and curb-stomp other Latin nations from fighting against their US overlords.

Anastasio "Tacho" Somoza García, pro-American dictator of Nicaragua


"That man has done more to damage our cause then all the French and Polish legions could ever do."
- Reinhard Heydrich after Heinrich Himmler's letters were made public, 1937
"There is no way we can lose a war," proudly proclaimed Adolf Hitler at the beginning of 1937. Due to an unfortunate scandal shortly thereafter, that attitude was about to change, and so was the British Empire's opinion on growing German and Axis success.

On February 12, a letter written by Heinrich Himmler, Head of the SS, to Martin Bormann, Chief of the Party Chancellery, was somehow leaked to the French press. In this letter, it contained (in Himmler's handwriting) multiple references to "the English fool Edward" who is "too busy playing boy-king and staring at himself in the mirror" and complained that he has refused "every generous offer to join the Axis."

"I simply cannot understand why the king of such a lovely, Aryan nation would turn down a chance at building the New Europe. I have met Edward on multiple occasions and the man is a fickle dotard more than content to enjoy wine, women, and song than stand for anything at all. Oh well, such is life, I suppose, Herr Bormann. It is all very well, for after the war is over we shall deal with England. If they do not wish to be our ally, then they shall be our enemy."

Heinrich Himmler, English version published in the London Times on February 13, 1937

This was an absolute nightmare for the German government. They had gone from being on the upswing in Spain and halting Communism and uniting the German people, to dealing with a mole somewhere in their own government. Hitler was livid at such an embarrassment. Such letters were carried only by German officers and not by mail. Someone somewhere had opened Heinrich Himmler's own personal messages and copied them down, before delivering them to Bormann. This could not stand, for the German state had perfected secrecy and protection of information. This was simply not possible. Yet here they were, arguably the most powerful country in the world and there had been a leak in the offices of the SS itself. British reaction was immediate. Thousands of people poured out into the streets demanding Edward join the Alliance of Free Nations. Protestors burned German, American, and British Union of Fascists flags in the streets, chanting, "DOWN WITH THE REICH!" Oswald Mosley, head of the BUF, drove quietly with some of his inner circle to the US embassy in London and asked for diplomatic immunity. It was quickly granted. As people started to realize what was going on, thousands of angry Englishmen rioted, screaming, "DEATH TO AMERICA! DEATH TO MOSLEY! DOWN WITH THE FASCISTS!" US Marines, scared stiff and clutching their rifles, felt the sweat drip down into their eyes as bricks and bottles started heading their way.

Immediately, Hitler summoned Himmler from his castle in Wewelsburg to Berlin for a private meeting. Hitler gave Himmler two choices: The first was he would resign from his post effective immediately and live a quiet life in the countryside in East Prussia, and the second was if he refused the first option he would be arrested and sent to a concentration camp. It wasn't a hard decision. On February 15, 1937, in a final farewell drill at Wewelsburg Castle, Heinrich Himmler formally resigned as Head of the SS, Chief of German Police, Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationhood, and Reich Minister of the Interior. With one last salute, he was gone.

The Resignation of Heinrich Himmler, February 15, 1937, the last photo ever taken of the disgraced Waffen SS leader alive
It wasn't clear what Hitler's offer had really implied until February 24, the anniversary of the 1920 founding of the NSDAP. At 8 o'clock that evening, Himmler killed himself with a cocktail of drugs at one of his farms in East Prussia. The nation took notice, but there were no mentions of it at official events or on the radio. It merely spread by word of mouth. Himmler was dead and gone, but his final scandal was still fresh.

Police photo of Himmler's body

If there was one thing Germany didn't like, it was a power vacuum. Immediately upon Himmler's resignation, Reinhard Heydrich became Head of the SS (which he merged fully with his own SD), Chief of Police, Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationhood, and Reich Minister of the Interior. Heydrich immediately began to tear the SS apart looking for the spy or spies. By early March, he claimed to have found their trail and reported to Hitler the case would soon be closed. On March 14, three unnamed SS officers were taken on a car ride they never came back from, and Heydrich's men allegedly found numerous papers in their offices detailing their links to the French Army and the Allies. Heydrich appeared before a rally of some 20,000 Waffen SS and Wehrmacht troops in central Berlin and spoke to them. It was also broadcasted to all Germany.

"Germans! National Socialists! Justice has been served! Let the world know that the Jewish Marxists in Paris had found their crooked fingers deep within our sacred institutions, and within the heart of the Schutzstaffel itself! They sought to undermine our nation and bring us to war. Yesterday, three traitors were identified and summarily removed from this earthly realm. Let this be a lesson to all those who seek to betray the Fatherland! We will not cease, we will not rest, we will not stop our mighty struggle until every single last traitor within our midst has been arrested and executed! We are many, we are legion, we are the SS and the SD! No matter what happens, Germany needs to count on you all to fulfill your vows before Fuhrer and Fatherland to stay true to our values and bring honor and glory to our nation. I swear to you all, that as long as I breathe I will secure the Reich and it shall last for a thousand years! Heil Hitler! Sieg heil!"

Reinhard Heydrich, Head of the SS
Certain conspiracy theorists around this time began the great "Heydrich Question": Had Heydrich leaked Himmler's letters himself in order to get rid of the bespectacled gentleman and become head of the SS himself? Had Hitler actually been in on the plan because of sneaking questions about Himmler's loyalty? Had there been an internal coup between the SS and the SD, and had Hitler chosen to purge his ranks once more, just as he had during the Knight of the Long Knives when he murdered Ernst Rohm and the SA? Or had Hitler had all he could stand of Himmler's bizarre esoteric belief systems he worried would alienate the Christians within the Reich? Heydrich was a Catholic. But then why would Hitler deliberately ruin his relationship with England? It was a bizarre, mysterious situation and the farther theorists looked, the more confusing things got. Then there were the really crazy theories, about how it had been the US SSL Charles Lindbergh Division orchestrating a silent coup on behalf of their founder Heydrich and opening up the possibility of invading Canada should a war break out. Historians knew instantly this was a monumental point in history that would be long debated, and the debates will likely go on for hundreds of years.

Meanwhile, Britain had already begun re-militarizing. Winston Churchill, the formerly disgraced radical anti-German, became Prime Minister in May, beating out the weak Neville Chamberlain. King Edward was in a tizzy and he wanted revenge. He also was finally waking up to the threat posed by the Japanese in the Pacific, but at the same time realized Americans were practically picking out real estate in Canada. He also demanded the release of Oswald Mosley to his government for sedition, but "somehow" the slippery devil had escape the country and was currently living in an undisclosed exotic locale. The "Summer of Rage" swept Britain in mid-1937, with almost daily rallies against the Axis and Japan on every street corner. The people demanded action, and Churchill would give it to them. On September 1, 1937, Great Britain joined the Alliance of Free Nations. The stage was set. The actors now waited for their scripts...


When President John Garner's term expired in 1936, no new elections were called. As many pundits had predicted, the office of the President of the United States was dissolved 147 years after George Washington took the oath. Pershing was now the head of government and of state, but the ailing, elderly man had no clear successor. Some had put up Lindbergh's name, but he was deemed as not quite capable enough and too invested in the Second Sons of Liberty. Some had said Al Smith or Robert Sterling Clark, but Smith's Catholicism wouldn't appeal to all and Clark seemed more concerned with business matters. Many more championed inventor-statesman Henry Ford, but at 73 he was no spring chicken and seemed to not want the responsibility, but was content to craft American policies from the shadows. Next there were the generals and standard leaders, but only two had enough widespread appeal to the country to actually be effective: Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton. Pershing finally cracked after relentless pushing by Patton for months after Garner's final day in office. On July 4, 1936, Patton was officially designated Under-Secretary of the General Affairs, and policies were put in place for a smooth transition in the event of Pershing's death. This was known as the General Affairs Line of Succession Decree of 1936. In the meantime, Patton left the US with his "Yankee Volunteer Army" to cross the Atlantic and fight in the Spanish Civil War. Also according to the decree, Eisenhower was third in line, with Lindbergh fourth.

Pershing, in early 1937, finally completed his pet project, the US Highway System. The enormous system of roads and bridges leading all over America had begun in 1934. Now years later the skeleton was finished and many more additions were being planned. It was comparable to the German Autobahn but many times its size and it had put millions to work. Broke and starving dust bowl farmers had had a second lease on life, trading the pitchfork and tractor for the hammer and steamroller. It was a grand achievement and Pershing said of it, "I can die knowing generations of my countrymen can live in a country I helped create and that they can see any part of it by simply getting in their automobile and stepping on the gas pedal." Upon his death, the US Highway System was renamed the Secretary John J. Pershing Memorial Highway System. Future generations would call it simply "The Black Jack."

A "Pershingville" neighborhood

The workers on the highway were almost all jobless men just trying to feed their families amid the suffering of the dust bowl and the depression. These men were rewarded for their labors by being assigned free housing in "Pershingville" neighborhoods - towns built all across America with row upon row of nearly identical middle class houses. They were also assisted by government grants and the Industrial Clans worked with the government under Ford to further assist the downtrodden "Joe Shmo" after the main highway system was finished. Many of them went to work at new factories built near the Pershingvilles and other worked on border defenses and walls for the Army. The common catchphrase was "Hoover burned our huts. Pershing gave us castles." The castles might have been two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottages with a car port, but this was an amazing leap up for millions of Americans across the nation just trying to earn an honest dollar. One of the main reasons there was almost no protest when Garner left office without an election was because so many had been rewarded by the government that they wouldn't have dreamed of standing up to it and risking everything again. Interestingly, on a side note, the government insisted all houses had to be two-bedroom to encourage the workers to have children, because, as Lindbergh put it to Pershing shortly after their construction, "Uncle Sam needs a fresh supply of soldiers to enforce our policies. We have soldiers for the '30s. We will have three times as many by the '50s."

To deal with the new Pershingvilles across America, new businesses took off and some old ones moved in as well. This era also had a huge boost in profits for Al Capone, whose grocery stores and beer factories saw a 1000% increase compared to just two years earlier. By 1938, nearly every American town of distinction had a Capone's, a Sears and Roebuck, and a Patriot Burgers malt shop and diner alongside their school, library, and church. Millions of men went from farmers to road workers to retail associates as the plethora of jobs ensured a healthy economy. Those who didn't want factory jobs could ship out to the NAPS nations, as part of American work details and port authorities. Their families could go with them, with the hope that eventually Central America would be predominantly white and traditionally American one day.

Many more also were called to military service starting in 1935 after the creation of the Axis Powers. For the same reasons that so many were unwilling to oppose the government, many more were willing to fight and even die for it. "Corporal Joe," a US soldier serving in Spain and interviewed in Why We Fight (a series of propaganda reels produced by the legendary Frank Capra in 1937 in the midst American involvement in the Spanish Civil War) summed it up well:

"Hey, there. I'm Joe. This is my rifle. I'm cleaning it and making sure no Commie gets the better of me! I picked up this rifle because five years ago I was down on my luck in a bad way, begging for scraps on the street corner and sleeping in train yards at night, contemplating taking my own life because, you know, cat, I just didn't see a way things were gonna get better. I just knew the swamps of Washington didn't care about me, especially when they started shooting veterans like my dad in the streets just for demanding the Old Congress give them the money they had fought and bled for in an unnecessary war. When Mr. Pershing took power I shrugged and said 'eh, this don't involve me. A new face, but the same old story. Promises, promises.' Then came the Sphere! Then came the highways, linking up our greatest cities and putting millions of guys like me to work. After my years of service building those roads and giving me a clean, Christian job, I was awarded a pension, tax incentives to afford a family, and a brand new house to call my own. I got married to a real dollface, and I have a little baby due next month, and he'll love growing up in his own bedroom in our modern American house, living in security and stability and never having to worry about where his next meal will come from. If I don't sign up to defend our nation from the menace of the so-called Alliance of Free Nations, what kind of ungrateful citizen am I? What kind of father am I? When a friend helps you pull yourself out of the gutter and feeds and clothes you and puts a roof over your head, and then later that friend is attacked by a violent gang of Marxists and leftists and calls upon you for help, would you let him down? Would you let him die? This corporal won't! I'll fight to the death my country, my family, and my Uncle Black Jack! Ladies and gentlemen, this Old Bell Still Rings!"

The propaganda masterpiece was also one of the first films ever presented entirely in color, and it upped recruitment numbers by 25%. Patriotism soared to never-before-seen heights, inspiring hit movies like Jimmy Cagney's Yankee Doodle Dandy (1937, Columbia Pictures). The film was a massively successful and critically acclaimed upbeat musical biography of Pershing. Cagney's co-star Marion Morrison (who portrayed Patton with use of lip-sincing for the musical numbers) called it "a true American's response to the seditious Great Dictator movie that no-account heathen Chaplin spewed out of his ass. This is a movie to make a pilgrimage to see. Every American should saddle up and see it." The film also starred Billy Northampton in a mocking portrayal of an immoral, high-living wheelchair-bound FDR (insinuating that his paralysis was caused not by polio but by a sexually transmitted disease). FDR was still imprisoned in upstate New York at the time of the movie's release. The movie out-sold Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, formerly the number one movie in America of all time, as well as runner-up Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

James Cagney as young John Pershing in the epic musical biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy

Another major development in the nation during this period was the growth of the Indian Reservations. The US SSL Sitting Bull Division's patriotism, fierceness, and selflessness in battle in Spain had redeemed the Native Americans from "backward noble savage" to "honorary Aryans" in the eyes of white, National Industrialist Americans. The Reservations worked with the Industrial Clans and it was a majority-Indian workforce that constructed the legendary Route 66 through the middle of the nation. And when gambling was legalized in 1936 the tribes worked with the Mormon mafia and the Industrial Clans to build Las Vegas, Nevada, from nothing into a gambling mecca drawing tourists from all around the world.

Las Vegas, 1937 (Hotel Apache and its Eldorado Club became the most successful hotel and casino ever owned by Native Americans up to this point, and a major landmark; it would later remodel into a ten story tower later on)
The good times of Pershing's rule would come to an end however. Everyone knew the Secretary was ill, but he was still able to address the nation one more time from the steps of the Old Capitol Building, on the 4th:

"My fellow Americans. Fellow members of the Liberty League. Brothers. Sisters. Today we gather and celebrate not just our nation's independence from Britain, but also independence from the shackles of post-modern Marxist and socialist infiltrators. We celebrate the triumph of National Industrialism. We hold our heads high, proud of our accomplishments. I wish I had the power, just for this evening, to be present at all of these gatherings. Today, as we rally against the terrible scourge of International Communism and Marxism and as we go forward toward the greatest contribution that any generation of human beings can make in this world, the contribution of lasting security for your nation, I ask you to keep up your faith. I measure the sound, solid achievement that can be made at this time by the straight edge of your own confidence and your resolve. I am proud to be your leader. And to you, and to all Americans who dedicate themselves with us to the making of an abiding security for our children, I say:

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. I ask you all to guard your liberties, guard your families, and guard your nation. May God bless you, and may God bless America and the North American Protective Sphere. This Old Bell Still Rings!"

Last photo ever taken of John "Black Jack" Pershing, July 4, 1938

Just a few days later, on July 12, at 11:43 am, Secretary Pershing collapsed in the White House and was immediately attended to by staff, who tried desperately to keep him alive. He was pronounced dead at 12 noon. The cause of death was heart failure. Patton was summoned to the White House immediately and the news spread like wildfire. The Great Black Jack was Dead. His casket was shuttled around the country on a train, so as many people as possible could pay him respects one last time. Liberty League members draped his train in black satin and half-staff American flags, with the flag of the Secretary of General Affairs proudly hanging on the side. The official funeral was held on July 20, 1938, with a procession beginning at the steps of the Old Capitol Building, now the Headquarters of Military Affairs. Diplomats from all over the world participated in the procession, even from nations like Poland, and Adolf Hitler himself was present. It would be the last time many of the world leaders would see each other under friendly circumstances. Pershing's body was laid to rest and buried at Arlington Cemetery as the United States Marine Corps Band performed "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." "Ich Hatt Einen Kameraden" was performed in Berlin simultaneously in the only time the funeral dirge was performed for another head of state.

Pershing's coffin is carried down the steps of the Old Capitol Building

Pershing lies in state, guarded by armed members of the SSL Charles Lindbergh Division. Foreign dignitaries and state governors file past.

Patton was sworn in as Secretary of General Affairs about forty minutes after Pershing had breathed his last. However, he only made a brief announcement to the nation informing them he was in power, and said he had no desire to talk policy until after Pershing's funeral:

"My fellow Americans, this is General George Patton speaking to you live from the White House. I come to you with a heavy heart and stricken with grief, for about one hour ago, our beloved leader John Pershing left this mortal existence to be with the Lord. Our dear Black Jack, the General of the Armies, Secretary of General Affairs, hero to every boy and girl, has died. I have been sworn in as Secretary of General Affairs, per Pershing's orders in the General Affairs Line of Succession Decree of 1936, and government continuity has been achieved. Our hearts and prayers go out to our dear leader's family in this time of sorrow. However, we should not let this depress us to the extent of national paralysis. I know John Pershing was proud of every accomplishment and every battle he ever fought, political or literal. He was proud of what this nation has become, and he pulled it almost single-handed from the muck of turmoil and unrest into a global force the likes of which the world has never seen. He loved America, as do we all, and if he were here today his words would be, 'Chin up, you bastards. I'll tell Washington and Lee you said hello. Don't cry because I'm gone, smile because I was there.' Stay tuned for further updates. May God Bless America, and may Almighty God take John Pershing into the comfort of his bosom and dwell in the House of the Lord forever, amen. This Old Bell Still Rings."
In early August, Patton began to make his goals fully known. This was a new era. A new America. On August 3, Patton decreed that the title of Secretary of General Affairs was now retired, as Pershing was the only one worthy of holding it. Patton then created the title "Commander," putting a much more dictatorial sound to his position. On August 4, coordinating with Charles Lindburgh and US SSL Supreme Court Battalion chief Stuart Beauregard Colbert, the Supreme Court was overthrown in one night mission in about sixty minutes. The last vestiges of the Old Washington had finally been trashed. No longer would a rubber-stamp Court be required to rule. Patton now had a completely free hand to do whatever he wanted, and no one could say anything about it. And in just a few weeks, war would begin and test the resolve of the power-hungry US leader....​

Official State Portrait of Commander Patton as Head of Government and State

August 20, 1938, at Reinhard Heydrich's SS Main Office in Berlin:

"It is a... pleasure to meet you, Herr Molotov. I wish it were under better circumstances." Heydrich greeted the Soviet Ambassador with a slight bow and nod in his personal office. The hook-nosed Heydrich, the "Blond Beast," eyed the portly Russian in a way that made Molotov uncomfortable. The Russian felt as if Lugosi's Dracula was based on the German and got a creeping feeling as if he might lunge over and suck his blood dry at any second.

Vyacheslav Molotov bowed in return and offered a outstretched hand which the German man took in his iron grip. Heydrich reminded Molotov of the devil, if he believed there actually was one. At the very least, one of the arch-demons. Although Molotov had to admit to himself he got the same feel about his own leader back in the Kremlin. "The pleasure is mine, Herr Heydrich," he said in his best German. He had heard rumors that the wickedly smart and gifted German could speak Russian, but he doubted it was anything he would admit to. No, he would stick to German. He would not risk upsetting this man. "My understanding is that you wish to discuss important matters relating to a future potential conflict?"

Heydrich sat down in his black leather cushioned high-back chair and pulled a gold cigarette case out of his pocket. It was a gift from Charles Lindbergh and had the Reichsadler etched onto it. He popped it open. Inside the top of the lid was the line, The Sphere Turns Around the Axis. A gift from a thankful friend. He took one of the cigarettes out and put it in his mouth and then offered the Russian one, "Would you care for a smoke?" the SS chief asked politely, his perfect teeth clenching into a vice-like smile. The Russian kindly refused. Heydrich picked up a large silver lighter on his desk, engraved with ornate flourishes and the two sig runes of the SS in the center. He inhaled once and then sat back and exhaled the smoke. Then his piercing blue eyes stared into Molotov's soul. "Mein Fuhrer wishes to discuss terms with Herr Stalin about the potential signing of a non-aggression pact. The way we see it, war would only grind our armies into stumps and bring about the destruction of millions for no discernible benefit to anyone other than that we get our rivalry out of our systems and onto the battlefields. This does not benefit Germany, this does not benefit Russia, this does not benefit Stalin nor Hitler. It merely hampers efforts we both could be making elsewhere."

The Russian was shocked. The Nazis and their allies seemed to continually live in fear of a ever-looming communist threat. He didn't trust this blond vulture for a reason. "My word, I would never expect such a thing. With all due respect, I can't imagine Stalin going for this idea, sir. What would the benefit to the Soviet people be besides guaranteeing Germany a free hand in Europe?"

"Poland." Heydrich immediately shot back. He took his cigarette out and looked at it thoughtfully before he continued. "France, Britain, Czechoslovakia and Poland offer us an unimaginable fight if war were to come. We would be fighting multiple fronts and multiple wars against multiple nations all at once, and while I believe we would inevitably come out on top that will cause an utter bloodbath. That is untenable. My Fuhrer knows the grudge the USSR has against Poland for their embarrassing defeat against the nascent Polish Republic in the '20s--and I do say embarrassing with quite a lot of emphasis. If the Soviet Union were to guarantee my country claim to the Corridor to link East Prussia up with the rest of the Reich as well as rule over the Free City of Danzig and a third of Poland, the Soviet Union could finally have its revenge. In the event of a war, we would need to focus most of our attacks on France and Czechoslovakia. Poland offers little to the Reich in a time such as that other than to be a pain in our side. If Germany granted Russia a free hand in Poland, perhaps Russia wouldn't care if the Reich were to expand into Western Europe."

Molotov was stunned. Concessions were the last thing he thought Heydrich would offer. He figured that the German would never dream of letting the USSR occupy another single strip of soil in Eastern Europe. He was suspicious, but he had to admit it the plan had its good points. However, he thought of some burning questions. "What of Finland? Finland is rightfully Soviet and is one of our most annoying neighbors. Stalin wants to rule the North, and he cannot do this with the Axis selling the Finns boat loads of military equipment and food. Also, we are increasingly wary of Japanese aggression in the East. We might not want a two-front conflict any more than you do, Herr Heydrich."

Heydrich looked wistfully at a portrait of Otto von Bismarck on the wall. The stalwart Prussian hung in a gilded frame on the dark wood wall. There were three portraits hanging in the office: one of Bismarck, one of Hitler, and one of himself. He thought matters over for a moment and replied, "Mein Fuhrer has come to terms with this fact, too. We will cease funding of the Finns if you agree to stay out of Sweden and Norway, who are ours by blood. The Aryan race can be united, as well the Soviet peoples. Separate, but equal. Also, Japan has increasingly veered into talking with the Allies. I have promises from Fumimaro Konoe, the Japanese Prime Minister, that if Germany can draw Russia into a war in Eastern Europe and leaving Japan to deal with China and Southeast Asia, that the Empire of Japan and its mighty Imperial Navy will blissfully sail the seas of neutrality and respect Soviet borders. The Orient is a vast place, Herr Molotov. I saw it once in a trip with the late Herr Himmler, on an SS research expedition to the Himalayas to document Aryan history. It is impossibly large. Japan will be tied up in that region for decades if they decide to turn south. The Japanese Army marches only as fast as it can rape, as Mein Fuhrer has said to me before. This deal would also benefit our allies in Washington, as they would be guaranteed their holdings in the Philippines. Also, a certain General Tojo, very close to the Emperor, wishes to see his nation go back to the tables to discuss working with the Axis, and possibly an eventual joining. For in the Orient are vast British, Dutch, and French holdings. It would benefit them none to join the Allies when they have so many colonies within their range that are ripe for invasion, and it would likely end in a war with both Russia and the Axis."

Molotov couldn't believe his ears. This was sounding more and more practical all the time, but at the same time he loathed the idea of making a deal with the Nazis, of all people. "Mein herr, these terms sound agreeable enough, but what of the Washington you mentioned? The Americans openly hate us and would love to see nothing more than any and all comers take on the Soviet Union and annihilate our workers republic from the face of the planet. I know my leader will not agree to work with those people."

Heydrich waved his hand and took another drag from his cigarette and leaned forward again. "The United States' current incarnation was founded on a fear of Soviet infiltration and subversion from within, not entirely unjustified I may add considering your nation's 'care packages' at the Philadelphia Commune a number of years ago. However, that movement was largely led by Secretary Pershing and the Liberty League. Pershing is recently deceased, and may he rest in peace. Now, currently, a more... morally utilitarian man sits atop the American throne. Commander Patton has consolidated all power in him alone and he would not be averse to agreeing not to menace the Soviet Union as long as the Soviet Union guaranteed its neutrality in a coming conflict. After all, there are no shared borders between America and Russia and Patton would be delighted at not having to fund some ill-fated Axis expedition against your nation halfway across the globe and through the heart of enemy territory and with a possible combination of the Royal and Imperial navies blocking them anyway."

Molotov tried to discourage himself from the very ideas he was considering. "No, no, it was only last year that your Reich had almost entrapped the British into the Axis and we all saw what Himmler had to really say about them."

Another hand wave from Heydrich as he snuffed out his cigarette on the large brass ashtray on his mahogany desk. "We are aware of what the late Herr Himmler said. However, I hope you are aware of his immediate sacking by our government and his suicide in disgrace. Those were the words of one man who was in no way responsible for managing our war goals."

Molotov stretched his arms out in disbelief. His gray suit was a tad short in the arms. "But Herr Heydrich, you too hold the same position Himmler held and you are currently negotiating war goals!"

Heydrich's long face went back in an ominous laugh. "No, no. I am not the of the same position as Himmler. In case you didn't read the papers, I have been called the second most important person in the Reich! Even greater than Hess. Hess agreed to this scheme by the way. I am Heydrich! I consolidated the SS and the SD! I hold the keys to our kingdom, if you will. It is said Goebbels controls information in the Reich. That he says what is truth or is not truth. Herr Molotov, do you know who tells Goebbels what is truth?" Heydrich leaned forward and got to within inches of Molotov's face and the Russian could feel his spittle as he answered his own question: "Heydrich. I control all information, police, and the mighty Waffen SS, SD, and Gestapo and I have been entrusted with offering you this deal by the Fuhrer and Deputy Fuhrer. I ask now that you consider it heavily. Your people may not like the idea of a strong German empire in Western Europe. I can promise you you would not like the expansion of British and French powers either. Their mad quest to 'liberate' the world and at the same time shore up your mortal enemy Poland will eventually have them turn their eyes to you as the next target of their absurd crusade to punish any nation not a so-called democracy. It would eventually come to a head. It would be bloody. It would be nasty. And you would lose, Herr Molotov. If Germany falls, so does Russia."

Molotov stood up and bowed. "It has been an honor, Herr Heydrich. I understand your terms and goals, and I shall return to Stalin with them and hopefully give you a prompt answer. May fortune smile upon us both."

"Indeed," said Heydrich, shaking the Russian's hand. "Indeed, you Slavic fool." he thought to himself.
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