Peshawar Lancers Redux: North America

President Theodore Roosevelt selected Brigadier General Henry M Arnold for promotion to Major General and to head the new Army Air Corp. General Arnold would eventually bring the Army Air Corp into a separate service as the United States Air Force in 1946.


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In 1939 the President discussed plans with his family about whether to run for re-electio. The White House doctor had expressed some concerns about some of the President's health. The President made some changes in his diet and exercised more. But the family was supportive and the party seemed to be lined up behind him.
In October 1939 President Theodore Roosevelt III announced that he would seek a second term as President. The Economy was growing and everything looked good.The administration had put off any capital ship sales to China. He was to meet with the Japanese Foreign Minister and attempt to broker a deal between the Japanese and Chinese Governments.
The Campaign of 1940 left the President feeling drained of energy. He had campaigned as hard as his father and as a result he pulled off another victory. But the Democrat party had made some gains in the congress.
The President and Vice President were sworn into office in January 1941. A week latter the President was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center and was admitted to the Hospital. Army doctors checked the President and a specialist was called in. It was the opinion of the specialist that the President had suffered a minor heart attack but would recover. He would stay in the hospital for the next ten days and then return to the White House. The Speaker of the House , Senate Majority Leader and the Vice President met to consult on the matter. A decision was made that the government would function as is unless doctors found the President unable to function.
The President's recovery was completed and he returned to fully doing what a President is suppose to. However,He did give the Vice President more responsibility. The President was up at 7am and found that he often needed to take things easier as his doctors were concern The administration had put the USS Nevada into the reserve fleet but the Oklahoma was scrapped. Some in the Congress favored the sale of at least 2 New Mexico class battleships to China but the President continued to not want to do that and set up an arms race in Asia. The USS North Carolina had joined the fleet and the USS Washington would soon join it. Work on the South Dakota was ahead of schedule.
The 1940's were seeing a lot of new ships replace older ones in the US Navy. The Navy was to launch the first carrier. It was to be a light carrier but if it worked out two more would be built and then work would begin on a large fleet carrier.. It was because of this that the idea of selling the Chinese the New Mexico class of Battleships kept coming to the surface. So far President T Roosevelt III threat to veto any sale had kept it from happening but his recent heart attack had once again renewed the idea.
The President had a long conversation with his Vice President over the issue of the sale of Battleships to China and why he remained opposed to it He did not want to trigger either an arms race or a was between China and the Empire of Japan.
The President submitted a plan to separate the Air Corp from the US Army and thus create a separate United States Air Force. He also put Hap Arnold on the list to be promoted to Lt General.
The President was lobbying his party in the Senate not to pass the bill selling the 2 New Mexico class Battleships to China. The vote was currently 34 to34with 28 Senators all Nationalist-Republicans left to vote. The President would normally easily defeat the bill but the China Lobby was hitting a lot of cords that were swinging to vote to their position. First China was attempting to reunify the country and it needed to increase its Navy to insure that it could protect the coast that it held. Second the Republic of China wanted to show the Japanese Empire that they needed to talk about returning lands to the Republic,which was the rightful heir to the Chinese Empire.
The President was able to defeat the bill selling the two battleships to China. Six months latter a new Bill to sell the USS New Mexico to China gained steam. It barely passed the house but in the Senate the pressure was really on. The Liberal Democrat Party supported China. The Bill finally passed 48 to 42 with 6 Senators not being present. The President was prepared to veto the bill when the Intelligence community reported to him of Japans work on 2 new powerful battleships. With this he called in both party leadership teams and proposed that he would veto the bill but would sign a new bill selling all three ships to China.
The Secretary of State explained to the Japanese Ambassador that the President would not be vetoing the new bill as it had passed the Senate with 2/3 approval rate. He did not let him know that the US was aware of the Japanese new Battleship construction.
Congress passed the Naval Act of 1942 in late 1941 it called for an additional Improved North Carolina class Battleship and for the design work on a new proposed Battleship to be called Iowa.It also began work on 4 aircraft carriers. The new Battleship of the Improved North Carolina class would be named either the New York or Oregon.
The House Armed Serves Committee passed a bill authorizing another Improved North Carolina Class Battleship and the construction of 3 new Iowa class Battleships. It sent the Bill to the Senate where it passed. Funds from the sale of the 3 battleships to China would help to pay for the construction to a degree.
Both the USS Pennsylvania and USS Arizona went through a modernization upgrade that saw the secondaries replaced with new 5"/38. radar improved AA and upgrade to the engines. In early 1942 the two ships returned to the Pacific fleet in San Diego and were sent to the Philippines to show the flag.
President Roosevelt approved the establishment of a US Military Advisory Group China in an effort to help train the Chinese Military and prevent any more border clashes between the Republic of China and Imperial Japan. The Japanese Emperor was attempting to reach an understanding with the Chinese as he did not want a war. Already there had been some readjustment of borders and allowing trade between the Han Puppet state and the Republic of China.
With Congressional elections taking place latter in 1942 the President was tooking forward to maintaining his party's control of the Congress but he was now attempting to move from a pro-Chinese position to one which was more balanced. This was to encourage the moderates in Japan.
The President was asking for a report from the commander of the Military Advisory Group China on the Chinese Military,weapons supplied, training etc so that he could make a judgement call. While not stopping the sale of weapons to China the President was using his power to delay any further sale. The President was asking the newly created Central Intelligence Agency for a brief on both China and Japan. He spoke with the Chinese and Japanese Ambassadors regarding a reduction in tension between the parties.
President Theodore Roosevelt III had decided to reorganize the entire Military establishment. He Proposed the Creation of the Department of Defense which would ovesee the Department of the Army, Navy,(which included the Marine Corp) and the new Department of the Air Force. It was an overhaul of the entire National Security Establishment. Senators Robert Taft and James Longstreet would hand the legislantion in the Senate In the House Cong. William Mosby Nat-Rep-Ca would push the legislation..
The election of 1942 saw the Liberal Democrat Party make some small gains in the congress. They picked up another senate seat and 8 seats in the house. What surprised everyone was the emergence of an unknown Liberal Democrat Senator from Missouri as the star of the party. He was not like some of the Nationalist-Republicans like William Mosby or James Longstreet II or Senator Robert F Taft but he hit a cord within the Liberal Democrat Voters and independents. The man was Senator Harry Truman LD-Missouri and it was beginning to look like this dark Horse would be the Liberal Democrat Party's candidate for President in 1944.
The US joined Hawaii and Britain in seeking to get a diplomatic solution to the Sino-Japanese problem regarding borders in China. Progress was made. Japan was now facing trouble with Russia and had to keep forces available for the defense of Manchuria.