The Iron Eagle - The History of the Cold War

Who shall emerge victorious in the Reich’s Power Struggle?


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@Kaiser of Brazil after the end of TTL European WW2 Cyprus remained British right?
Cyprus is British for now, and it was a quite well used base to disrupt supplies and bomb Syria during the Levant War. But they are in an increasingly isolated spot and the British hold becomes more and more tenuous. Their only link to London is the Suez Canal, with a relatively friendly Egypt. But if a certain group of officers were to take over the land of Pharaohs and cut that vital lifeline...
 
... Honestly, for your Gnadenlos chapter, I don't see why the Reich would not exterminate a large part of the Russians; they could do so but instead keep larger numbers of Poles, Lithuanians, Belarusians, ect. around. If they want to use the divide and conquer strategy, then it's better to work with the divisions that are already there via different ethnic groups rather than count on the formation of new divisions by "encouraging" the regionalization of the Russians. Really, the only reasons for them to try to divide up the Russians would be if they already destroyed the other groups or if they decided to not do much extermination at all, keeping the other groups but also wanting the Russians as workers too.

It's also probably pretty easy to "justify" not killing many of the non-Russian ethnic groups; they're closer to Germany, after all, so conceivably could be more "Germanic" through Germans having children with the natives combined with the Ostsiedlung efforts of Germans moving eastwards many centuries ago; so are "arguably" better to keep than the Russians, who were further away and thus "have less German blood."

Especially since they're planning to move their slaves around anyways; so while the Poles/Balts/Ukrainians/Belarusians/ect. are in more inconvenient places since they're closer to Germany, they're also easier to move, while the Russians are closer to the frontier, thus harder to move around but at the same time closer to the troops, so conceivably would be easier to exterminate via using the Wehrmacht.

...Geez, this is awful stuff to think about. D:
REALLY glad this TL never happened.
 
I predict that the Russian Civil War (actually, both the first and second) will be constantly used for Nazi whataboutism a few decades later...

Like, "okay, Nazis went too far in Russia, but Russians were just as bad if not worse, look at what they were doing to each other. Even if the Nazis hadn't invaded, they would have slaughtered each other anyway. And hey, there were even Russians who sold out other Russians ! ".

Just like people who downplay African slavery by saying that "Africans were enslaving and killing each other too before Westerners came, and some even sold out their African brethren to Europeans ! So they are just as bad as their oppressors ! ".
 
... Honestly, for your Gnadenlos chapter, I don't see why the Reich would not exterminate a large part of the Russians; they could do so but instead keep larger numbers of Poles, Lithuanians, Belarusians, ect. around. If they want to use the divide and conquer strategy, then it's better to work with the divisions that are already there via different ethnic groups rather than count on the formation of new divisions by "encouraging" the regionalization of the Russians. Really, the only reasons for them to try to divide up the Russians would be if they already destroyed the other groups or if they decided to not do much extermination at all, keeping the other groups but also wanting the Russians as workers too.

It's also probably pretty easy to "justify" not killing many of the non-Russian ethnic groups; they're closer to Germany, after all, so conceivably could be more "Germanic" through Germans having children with the natives combined with the Ostsiedlung efforts of Germans moving eastwards many centuries ago; so are "arguably" better to keep than the Russians, who were further away and thus "have less German blood."

Especially since they're planning to move their slaves around anyways; so while the Poles/Balts/Ukrainians/Belarusians/ect. are in more inconvenient places since they're closer to Germany, they're also easier to move, while the Russians are closer to the frontier, thus harder to move around but at the same time closer to the troops, so conceivably would be easier to exterminate via using the Wehrmacht.

...Geez, this is awful stuff to think about. D:
REALLY glad this TL never happened.
That’s a... quite gruesome detail to talk about but let’s get into it. The Russians are still going to suffer the genocide, perhaps only behind the Poles and Jews when it comes to proportion. But I stated merely that those who remain will be targeted by the Reich into indoctrination programs to create semi-artificial identities. The idea is that even if the Russians start to make moves in the East, the people of Moscowien are not to consider themselves as Russians, this confusion and distrust would make it harder for the partisans left to coordinate themselves, while spreading around Russian workers throughout Europe would make coordination harder.

Sure, killing them all might be easier, but the growing Megacorps are expanding on the East, and like it or not they are going to need laborers and expertise of the locals. It’s one of the instances where it’s more “pragmatic” to deport, enslave, and brainwash the locals than to just kill them all.

“Oh no, we are not killing people in the East. Those were just war casualties! What do you mean deportation? They are just enjoying employment opportunities in our Free Europe! What do you mean brainwashing? We are just educating them on regional dialects! We aren’t the bad guys, I swear!”

-Albert “The Good Nazi” Speer.
 
“Oh no, we are not killing people in the East. Those were just war casualties! What do you mean deportation? They are just enjoying employment opportunities in our Free Europe! What do you mean brainwashing? We are just educating them on regional dialects! We aren’t the bad guys, I swear!”
You know, it's even less truthful and believable then most conspiracy theories in the Internet, even counting the absurd ones. The world is going to see the horrors going on in Eastern Europe and go like "WTF?!"
 
You know, it's even less truthful and believable then most conspiracy theories in the Internet, even counting the absurd ones. The world is going to see the horrors going on in Eastern Europe and go like "WTF?!"
But then, the world will gladly buy cheap "Made in Russia" products and look the other way...
 
XVIII: DIXIE IN THE WHITE HOUSE New
THE IRON EAGLE
DIXIE IN THE WHITE HOUSE

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"Who would have guessed that after years of fighting a Civil war to keep'em south, them Dixies would take over the north?" It was a joke told in the streets at the time of Cordell Hull's untimely death, not ever since McKinley did a sitting President die in office, and now the result of the "Devil's pact coalition", as many nicknamed the 1936-1948 compromise in the Democratic Party, was that a young southern politician, preaching for "States' Rights" and Southern Nationalism, was now in the White House. No one truly expected that the position of Vice President would become relevant, at most with many of the Democratic leadership considering it a token in return for the Dixiecrat support for the Wheeler, and later Hull, Presidency. Like it or not, the Democratic Party needed the vote of the southerners and the midwest, especially with the powerful Ku Klux Klan organization, which exploded in popularity in the late 1910s, stagnating it's growth in the 1920s after the record number of 5 million members was achieved. The hooded radical nativists declined in popularity through the 1930s, especially with the growing unpopularity of the Prohibition and the economical depression ravaging the nation, and yet, the coming of the Pacific War proved a boon to the group as many saw the war as an "Anglo-Saxon crusade against the Asiatic threat", which completely disregarded the Sino-Indian contributions in the conflict that provoked the majority of the IJA losses. Although much reduced to it's grand numbers in the 1920s, going down to a fifth of it's greatest extent, the group still held a strong influence over Midwestern state legislatures, especially around Indiana, adding to the control of the traditional Dixiecrat elites that held control over the southern states, sometimes turning them into de facto one-party States while keeping the rule of the Jim Crow Laws. However, while this "consensus" was not being particularly liked by the Northern Democrats, it granted the party an uninterrupted control of the White House for 12 years, while also now being associated by it's status in the victory over Japan, new issues began to arise in this new world, and the increasing social pressure, the rise of the German Reich, the beginning of American involvement in world affairs first started by Woodrow Wilson, would bring an new age for America just as the purple hearts began to return home.

The Pacific War was the deathliest conflict in American History, while the general consensus is that the Civil War had between 600 and 800 casualties, the losses from the island-hopping campaign, the naval battles, and especially from the brutal bloodbath of Operation Sunset resulted in between 1 and 1.2 million casualties, including the deaths of practically all American PoWs captured before the invasion, as their execution was ordered shortly after the beach landings of Operation Olympic. The American Army inexperience in fighting a large-scale amphibious operation cost the lives of thousands while causing a delay that killed even more, the tenacious Japanese resistance, both from the military and the local population, made the year of 1946 the bloodiest year in American Military History. Kyushu was a bloodbath, settling into a war of attrition where General Kuribayashi used every single advantage, exploiting blunders and infighting between American commanders, launching small and localized offensives, strikes behind the lines, tunnel and guerrilla warfare that dwarfed the experience of Okinawa. In the "mainland" island of Honshu, the sheer fanaticism of the army and population resulted in acts of sabotage, mass disobedience, intelligence leaks, and unnecessary losses such as in the Battle of Satsuma. Many even questioned if it was necessary to drop the Atomic Bomb at Sendai, with claims that it was used mostly to intimidate the Reich and as a spiteful revenge on the Japanese, others argue over Operation Gomorrah, claiming it was just a show of force by the Thurmond administration to distract the public after the scandalous Black Case Files leaked to the public. But in the end, nothing of that could come close to overshadowing the sheer euphoria the American people felt at the Victory day in 1947, millions of troops returned from the waters of the Pacific, the sea that was covered by oil, blood, fire, and now hundreds of tons of sunk ships, many returned in graves, many never truly returned as their minds were lost, but most returned in triumph at the greatest victory in a generation. After over a decade of economic depression and hardship, isolationism, struggles against the nature itself, America rejoiced in victory and returned to the world stage as the leading power of the Free World.

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However, the next two years would be controversial, to say the least. President Thurmond has a mixed legacy, being hailed for his foreign policy achievements such as the victory on Japan, the Russian Intervention, and the Levantine War. However, his policies, especially the ones linked on the tense Racial relations in America are still subjected to much criticism, although he was considered a "moderate" on the racial matters, that was in comparison to the standards of Jim Crow South Carolina. The Labor relations were also targeted, as the Dixiecrats, led by Russell and Thurmond, desired to weaken the power of the Unions, specifically with the 1947-48 mass wave of strikes causing instability in the economy. While during the war, the industrial boom caused by the mobilization caused the economy to skyrocket, recovering from the Decade-long depression/recession, the end of the war put back the priorities of the civilian sector while millions of soldiers were now unemployed and left to be absorbed by the market. The United States entered a recession in the post-war period as the transition from a war to a civilian economy arrived, which was only worsened by the embargo made by President Wheeler on German products and the mutual closing of the European market after the formation of the Linz Pakt in 1945. The growing inflation also resulted in economical uncertainty, while Unions, still dissatisfied over the broken promises of the Wheeler era, began to press for growing rights of action while the government attempted to crack down on it. To make matters worse, the Thurmond government would begin to deal with a wave of racial unrest, with the President's refusal in desegregating the armed forces sparking outrage amongst veterans while Klansmen confronted Black American veterans in fights that became increasingly bloody, eventually all culminating in the "Battle of Swainsboro".

The relationship between the President and Congress were tenuous at time, especially with the House of Representatives which was dominated by the Republican Party at the time, the 1946 midterms struck hard the previously dominant Democratic Party. The long war that seemingly had no end in sight, right in the aftermath of the Battle of Satsuma, the lack of a firmer stance on the German invasions of Sweden and Switzerland, the wartime rationing and price controls, as well as a general pendulum after 12 years of Democratic control, all led to the growing unpopularity of the Democrats in the midterms. The death blow was no doubt the Black Case Files, a scandal that led to President Hull's stroke, which led many to question just how much the government was hiding of it's wartime actions against their own citizens, there was a panic if the Japanese could have still launched further attacks on American soil, which were shown during mass lynchings against Japanese-American citizens in the West Coast. The loss of the Congress restricted many of Thurmond's ambitions, however, he did inherit a relatively friendly Supreme Court made during the Wheeler Era, some of the justices being recommended by initiative of the Dixiecrats in the coalition, although there was a general trend in supporting the expansion of government powers, Wheeler was able to appoint a whooping 8 justices between 1937 and 1945, 3 of these under the recommendation of his Vice-President and de facto leader of the Southern wing of the Democrat Party Richard Russell. It was not uncommon for the President to veto legislation, such as the "American Labor Relations Act of 1947", which argued for a greater expansion of Union bargaining power, the veto being one of the causes of the mass strikes in the post-war years. Thurmond still had some areas where he achieved his wins, namely the foreign policy decisions such as the success in Russia and the critical support of the United Nations during the Syrian invasion of Israel, although many criticized this more confrontational policy. There were very few in America who would agree to jump the gun and invade the fearsome "Festung Europa" after the invasion of a much smaller territory of a nation that was weakened for years cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans in an invasion that lasted over a year, but the majority agreed that something had to be done against the increasingly expansionistic Reich.

In the Racial matters is where Thurmond's legacy is tainted the most, the President had the not-very-subtle support of several leading "White Leagues", and specifically from the KKK and smaller southern groups, which immediately put him at odds with Civil Rights organizations. In 1947, as the veterans returned home, Thurmond was still attempting to appear as a "moderate southern gentleman", but that pretense immediately ended after the NAACP congress of 1947 when a proposal was made, suggested publicly to the President to desegregate the Armed Forces and lift restrictions on the Federal Civil Service, first placed by President Wilson 30 years earlier. Thurmond not just shoot down the proposal, but threw a gas tank into the fire by publicly declaring "Our boys did not fight a war to come back and being forced to mix with lazy Niggers", he also claimed that African-American regiments showed a much poorer performance in the war, ignoring the fact that many times they were given much inferior equipment, and passed on many African-Americans in the Distinguished Service commendations, such as of the former cooker that shot down Japanese planes during the Pearl Harbor attack, Doris Miller. Not just he refused to grant him the medal which was previously ignored by President Wheeler, but he also claimed that Miller not only did not shoot any planes in the battle but also was one of the first who abandoned the sinking ship USS West Virginia. That only sparked a scandal as it was discovered that Miller's name was put up in consideration, with former President Wheeler confirming it in an interview, publicly apologizing to the man for "giving in to the pressure of certain interest groups in the White House". The scandal was just one of the many caused by Thurmond's increasingly charged declarations, which many blame on the stress of the Presidency, and soon things would be made worse.

The small town of Swainsboro in Georgia was roughly divided equally between blacks and whites, and on the 14th of April 1947, things would soon blow up between these two groups. As a group of Black veterans from the Pacific War returned home, the local chapter of the Klan began to harass the group, and justifiably there was anger where many believed they had fought to the end for a country which treated them worse than even non-Americans, British troops they came in contact with were impressed by their fighting and equally outraged at their treatment. The veterans remained in contact with one another, forming a small association similar to many other Veterans' associations growing across America, and the men, who belonged to the same all-black platoon during the war, swore protection with one another. After a particularly firely night at the local chapter, a group of three Klansmen decided to take action on their own, attacking the house of one of the veterans in the middle of the night, and as they broke in and attempted to put it on fire, the veteran appeared with a military M1911 pistol and a M1 Garand rifle, blowing up a hole in one of the "Confederate Ghosts", the man fell down on the floor and soon bled to death. The other two ran away from the man's home back to the chapter, claiming that the veteran, named Joshua Smith, had attacked them first as they passed near his house, which led to the Klansmen swearing revenge while Joshua approached his Veteran's club. On the night of April 15th, the Klansmen appeared in front of the Smith residence, with torches and chants meant to intimidate the former soldier, right before one of them tossed a grenade into the house door, what began next was the "Battle of Swainsboro", with the former veterans rallying with their comrade against an attack of "hooded men". The fighting lasted for over an hour and soon began to escalate as other citizens began to join in, the veterans being accused as aggressors resulted in the formation of a lynch mob, invading the black-majority neighborhood the next day, the local police doing nothing to stop them, instead it seemed like they were supporting the lynchers. The veterans organized their neighborhood, and soon the battle itself began with the town's tension turning into a feast of violence, fires breaking out in the area while each side launched retaliations against the other, eventually the news reached Atlanta to the shock of the population. Governor Talmadge, known for his rather enthusiastic support for White Supremacy, dispatched the National Guard to restore the order, and yet it became clear that there was a bias in favor of penalizing the black mob rather than the white one. Joshua and his veterans were brought to the Georgian Supreme Court, and while many called for the death penalty for all in the State, only Joshua would take the capital punishment over the killing of the Klansmen, with the prosecution arguing that the men suffered of Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder after the fighting in Japan, the other 11 veterans received varied prison sentences. The Case gained national awareness and President Thurmond's only comment was that "Justice was done in the State of Georgia", further eroding his popularity in the North.

Thurmond's popularity was not particularly appealing for another term, it was no surprise the fact he did not desire to remain as President, instead he claimed to wish to work for his Home State of South Carolina instead, as either a Governor or Senator. Instead he desired to use the remainder of his term to crackdown against traditional enemies of the south: Labor Unions. The war pledge to end strikes during the Pacific War was mostly kept by the unions, yet the pledge would be broken by February 1947 as the war ended and the strikes began. Not since Wilson did the President crackdown so harshly on strikers, with Strom Thurmond being known as the main enemy of organized labor in America, especially in using the FBI to dismantle the efforts of the Congress of Industrial Organizations in unionizing the southern textile industry, the so-called "Operation Dixie" was a terrible failure as it not just met the local resistance of the landed elites, but also sabotage from the Federal Government. The police repeatedly was used to break strikes, while the government used powers given during wartime to seize "vital sectors", such as when a railroad strike ended with the government taking control of several railroads across America. It was quite ironic when the advocation of States' rights was many times ignored when it came to crushing the enemies of Thurmond and the Dixiecrats. Furthermore, despite it's unpopularity, Thurmond still refused to revoke the Prohibition of alcohol, which was only strengthened during the war as part of the rationing policies on wheat.

Not all was lost for the Democrats, the economy began to recover in 1948, the worst of the racial controversies ended in 1947, and the campaign against the strikes began to show results. Thurmond's attempt to pass a "Right-to-Work" act failed in congress as both parties began to block the President's more radical initiatives, hoping to prevent further controversy and a repeat of 1920. There was a far greater concern growing in the minds of the American people, as the nation stabilized and the economy began to grow once again, the worry came from the outside across the seas as Germania began to make it's moves again. After the January Address to the Volkshalle, Hitler began to divert more and more his focus towards the United States, the American troops intervening in the Levant to save Israel just solidified more and more the paranoia of a Jewish-Capitalist conspiracy centered across the Atlantic in Washington, and a United Russia just brought back the Reich's hated rival back together. In April, on the day of the Tag das Sieges, and The Führer's 59th birthday, the "Second Book" was published, a second volume of Mein Kampf which detailed Hitler's personal life between 1925 and 1945, although obviously hiding most of the aspects of the Reich's inner government and his opinions on his ministers, although many references could be found to certain members of the Inner Circle. The book, differently from Mein Kampf which named the Soviet Union as the Reich's main enemy, claimed that the ultimate adversary of the Reich was none other than the United States, claiming that it was inevitable that there would be a confrontation between the "Cosmopolitan, Capitalist, Degenerate, Zionist America" and the alliance of the "Free Europe" led by the Reich (Free in the sense it would be free from "Jewish machinations" rather than any support for liberalism, obviously). The book became the immediate best-seller of Europe, practically every member of the NSDAP needed to have one, in time, not having the book would be practically sacrilege and treason, and it's publishing came in a time where the Reich pushed for an aggressive Naval buildup, calling for the Linz Pakt to mobilize it's naval forces, every drydock from Taranto to Lisbon to Narvik and Halderstadt was being put to work to produce what could only be compared to Napoleon's own plans for a grand armada. Tensions were spiking up again, and many in America feared a war, but more than that, feared the enemies within.

It all came in April 1948, when a leak from the German Abwehr, later discovered to be the retired Admiral Canaris, through his contacts with Colonel Oster and other members of the German Military intelligence, gave the FBI the tip it needed. Hoover's men discovered a group of RSHA agents infiltrated inside the United States West Coast, and after their arrest it was revealed that the Black Case Files were leaked by German agents in an attempt to keep the country focused on the Pacific War by sparking a national response. The discovery was a boon for the Democratic leadership still tainted by the whole affair, with Thurmond claiming that the whole plot was a fabrication in the first place, instead making a speech where he accused the Germans for trying to sow division in America and using them as scapegoats for the turbulent year that passed. Of course, the Reich was not responsible for all the decisions Thurmond made, the RSHA was much more worried with the internal policing of Europe than a mass expansion into their American operations, that did not stop the paranoia from spreading over to the West. Soon, the "Brown Scare" would begin, named as such due to the color of the SA uniforms, and while it's start was in 1948, it would only begin to build up before reaching the levels of the next administration that was yet to be decided in the national elections.

Thurmond damaged the Democratic Party, but it was not beaten yet, it began to make a recovery, especially after the President publicly declared he had no intention of running for reelection, that led to a vacuum in the Democratic Party as many wondered who would take his place. The more conservative wing of the movement was weakened, while a more progressive outlook was taking shape, ironically coming from the south in a figure that has given headaches to traditional Dixiecrats since the 1930s. Huey P. Long Jr, Senator of Louisiana and the de facto "Caesar" of the State. Differently from other figures such as Bill "Alfafa" Murray, Talmadge, and Theodore Bilbo, he did not engage in Racial baiting, in fact he was known for his relatively favorable views towards the Blacks and Disfrachised (At least for Southern standards). Long was known for his populist platform, called the "Every Man a King" program, calling for wealth redistribution, large public works, public welfare, and the expansion of infrastructure and education, all while fighting large corporations. It was bold and audacious, gaining an enormous appeal in the 1930s, however he failed to win the Democratic nomination in 1936, and became known as the main opposition figure towards the Wheeler government inside the Party due to his moderation in the Government programs, many times having those initiatives sabotaged by Russell. In 1944, due to his previous support for Isolationism, and dealing with the personal loss of his brother Earl, victim of an assassination attempt aimed at him, he did not contest Hull's nomination although he warned about Thurmond's inexperience on National Politics and Hull's advanced age was not a winning combo. He finally ran in 1948, with the past of his radicalism and isolationism left behind, the 55-year old Senator ran his campaign, seeing as the momentum in America was swinging towards the left, he planned to capitalize on it with his populist platform and mass appeal. Long began planning his campaign in 1946, and by 1947 he was already holding rallies across the nation while his speeches began to be more critic, it began to resonate to the American public, frustrated by the lack of the promised reforms of the Wheeler Administration. As he began to transmit his speeches through radio, and even showing his rally in Banton Rouge on TV, his star began to rise once more.


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The Republicans, on the other hand, had a candidate in mind across the Pacific. Serving as the Supreme Commander of the Occupation Forces in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur did not hide his political ambitions, and few could deny his capacity to enter that field. He was the most famous military commander in America, known for leading the troops which defended Hawaii and pushed all the way to Tokyo itself, although how much of it was thanks to his efforts is a quite debatable topic. MacArthur was good in taking the credit of hid underlings for sure, and he showed himself a competent administrator in Japan so far. But while he was an active duty officer, unable to actively campaign in politics due to the military honor, that did not stop him from subtly informing the party that he would accept the nomination if given to him, and that began the "Draft MacArthur" movement, rallying the grassroots and machine of the party together. It was clear the nomination would favor the General, and when offered it, he "humbly" accepted, resigned his office by delivering a letter to President Thurmond that only arrived when he was already landing in California. In San Francisco, the General received a Heroes' welcome, thousands cheered him in the streets, calling him already as "Mr. President" or "President Mac". The resistance inside the party came mostly from the veteran conservative Robert Taft, the Senator of Ohio warned that the General's Hawkism could result in a Third World War, however, Taft's increasingly unpopular brand of isolationism came in a worse position after Hitler's second book was published targeting America. MacArthur would ally with Governor of Minnesota Harold Stassen to bring a more experienced and liberal counter to MacArthur's flamboyant ego and conservatism.

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The Democratic nomination was more contentious, Long was a radical departure from the Party's compromise, the entire system created in 1936 had shown it's contradictions, and yet Russell and Byrd, the two leading figures of the Democratic South, reached towards a more "edible" option. They reached prestigious Senator James F. Byrnes of South Carolina, who accepted many of the old Progressive policies, while also remaining a firm southerner that embraced segregation but who could be more tolerable than Thurmond thanks to his experience. The nomination was a disillusionment to the Northern and Eastern Democrats, who finally broke with the Party's reactionary policies by approaching the only other alternative popular enough to challenge MacArthur: Huey Long. Led by New York Congressman, member of the local committee, and relative of former President Theodore Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, this delegation approached Long proposing a joint ticket to win the primaries, with Roosevelt choosen as Long's Vice-Presidential pick, after long hours of negotiations, the deal was struck, and when the nomination came, Long defeated Byrnes, becoming the candidate of the Democratic Party to challenge MacArthur. That meant fighting an uphill battle against the popular war hero, but that is where Long showed his maturity after years in the Senate, while the former General had never been a part of this political game before.

Douglas MacArthur believed that his name alone would win him the White House, spending more time in his speeches speaking of the past, of the bloodbath in the Pacific, and of America's necessary place as leader of the Free World against the Reich. Naturally that was an appealing message to Veterans and War Hawks, but once he was asked what were his plan on matters such as old age pensions, tariffs, and labor relations, the General was many times left with hesitant answers, not being able to discuss the details as he lacked experience in such matters of the "Civilian Life". That is when Long played his greatest card, he challenged his opponent to a public debate, to be transmitted through radio in NBC, and despite the protests of his campaign advisors, MacArthur went to the radio, never backing down from a challenge. What happened next was a massacre unseen since the Pacific War when MacArthur's lack of a proper political program was put in contrast to Long's "Every Man a King" program, and the entire nation would hear as the "Warlord" shouted across the table by accusing Long of communist sympathies, followed by the immediate accusation that he was collaborating with Hitler by preaching Fascist demagogueri, which was as paradoxal as one may think. Ultimately, Long narrowly avoided being punched in the face by the irate General, and yet he was still slightly behind the polls as October came, and thats when General George S. Patton, the all-American hero who purged Russia from Bolshevism and defeated the Japanese with his tank legions, gave a critical support for Long. After publishing his memoirs, Patton would move heavens and earth to avoid having to call his rival MacArthur as "Commander" ever again, and as such he made a speech denouncing his former superior as a fraud, and while he did not sympathize with Long, he would support the devil himself if the enemy was "Doug Mac". That declaration came in days before the 5th of November when the election finally arrived and the results came in: Huey Pierce Long Jr was elected President of the United States of America.


 
THE IRON EAGLE
DIXIE IN THE WHITE HOUSE

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"Who would have guessed that after years of fighting a Civil war to keep'em south, them Dixies would take over the north?" It was a joke told in the streets at the time of Cordell Hull's untimely death, not ever since McKinley did a sitting President die in office, and now the result of the "Devil's pact coalition", as many nicknamed the 1936-1948 compromise in the Democratic Party, was that a young southern politician, preaching for "States' Rights" and Southern Nationalism, was now in the White House. No one truly expected that the position of Vice President would become relevant, at most with many of the Democratic leadership considering it a token in return for the Dixiecrat support for the Wheeler, and later Hull, Presidency. Like it or not, the Democratic Party needed the vote of the southerners and the midwest, especially with the powerful Ku Klux Klan organization, which exploded in popularity in the late 1910s, stagnating it's growth in the 1920s after the record number of 5 million members was achieved. The hooded radical nativists declined in popularity through the 1930s, especially with the growing unpopularity of the Prohibition and the economical depression ravaging the nation, and yet, the coming of the Pacific War proved a boon to the group as many saw the war as an "Anglo-Saxon crusade against the Asiatic threat", which completely disregarded the Sino-Indian contributions in the conflict that provoked the majority of the IJA losses. Although much reduced to it's grand numbers in the 1920s, going down to a fifth of it's greatest extent, the group still held a strong influence over Midwestern state legislatures, especially around Indiana, adding to the control of the traditional Dixiecrat elites that held control over the southern states, sometimes turning them into de facto one-party States while keeping the rule of the Jim Crow Laws. However, while this "consensus" was not being particularly liked by the Northern Democrats, it granted the party an uninterrupted control of the White House for 12 years, while also now being associated by it's status in the victory over Japan, new issues began to arise in this new world, and the increasing social pressure, the rise of the German Reich, the beginning of American involvement in world affairs first started by Woodrow Wilson, would bring an new age for America just as the purple hearts began to return home.

The Pacific War was the deathliest conflict in American History, while the general consensus is that the Civil War had between 600 and 800 casualties, the losses from the island-hopping campaign, the naval battles, and especially from the brutal bloodbath of Operation Sunset resulted in between 1 and 1.2 million casualties, including the deaths of practically all American PoWs captured before the invasion, as their execution was ordered shortly after the beach landings of Operation Olympic. The American Army inexperience in fighting a large-scale amphibious operation cost the lives of thousands while causing a delay that killed even more, the tenacious Japanese resistance, both from the military and the local population, made the year of 1946 the bloodiest year in American Military History. Kyushu was a bloodbath, settling into a war of attrition where General Kuribayashi used every single advantage, exploiting blunders and infighting between American commanders, launching small and localized offensives, strikes behind the lines, tunnel and guerrilla warfare that dwarfed the experience of Okinawa. In the "mainland" island of Honshu, the sheer fanaticism of the army and population resulted in acts of sabotage, mass disobedience, intelligence leaks, and unnecessary losses such as in the Battle of Satsuma. Many even questioned if it was necessary to drop the Atomic Bomb at Sendai, with claims that it was used mostly to intimidate the Reich and as a spiteful revenge on the Japanese, others argue over Operation Gomorrah, claiming it was just a show of force by the Thurmond administration to distract the public after the scandalous Black Case Files leaked to the public. But in the end, nothing of that could come close to overshadowing the sheer euphoria the American people felt at the Victory day in 1947, millions of troops returned from the waters of the Pacific, the sea that was covered by oil, blood, fire, and now hundreds of tons of sunk ships, many returned in graves, many never truly returned as their minds were lost, but most returned in triumph at the greatest victory in a generation. After over a decade of economic depression and hardship, isolationism, struggles against the nature itself, America rejoiced in victory and returned to the world stage as the leading power of the Free World.


However, the next two years would be controversial, to say the least. President Thurmond has a mixed legacy, being hailed for his foreign policy achievements such as the victory on Japan, the Russian Intervention, and the Levantine War. However, his policies, especially the ones linked on the tense Racial relations in America are still subjected to much criticism, although he was considered a "moderate" on the racial matters, that was in comparison to the standards of Jim Crow South Carolina. The Labor relations were also targeted, as the Dixiecrats, led by Russell and Thurmond, desired to weaken the power of the Unions, specifically with the 1947-48 mass wave of strikes causing instability in the economy. While during the war, the industrial boom caused by the mobilization caused the economy to skyrocket, recovering from the Decade-long depression/recession, the end of the war put back the priorities of the civilian sector while millions of soldiers were now unemployed and left to be absorbed by the market. The United States entered a recession in the post-war period as the transition from a war to a civilian economy arrived, which was only worsened by the embargo made by President Wheeler on German products and the mutual closing of the European market after the formation of the Linz Pakt in 1945. The growing inflation also resulted in economical uncertainty, while Unions, still dissatisfied over the broken promises of the Wheeler era, began to press for growing rights of action while the government attempted to crack down on it. To make matters worse, the Thurmond government would begin to deal with a wave of racial unrest, with the President's refusal in desegregating the armed forces sparking outrage amongst veterans while Klansmen confronted Black American veterans in fights that became increasingly bloody, eventually all culminating in the "Battle of Swainsboro".

The relationship between the President and Congress were tenuous at time, especially with the House of Representatives which was dominated by the Republican Party at the time, the 1946 midterms struck hard the previously dominant Democratic Party. The long war that seemingly had no end in sight, right in the aftermath of the Battle of Satsuma, the lack of a firmer stance on the German invasions of Sweden and Switzerland, the wartime rationing and price controls, as well as a general pendulum after 12 years of Democratic control, all led to the growing unpopularity of the Democrats in the midterms. The death blow was no doubt the Black Case Files, a scandal that led to President Hull's stroke, which led many to question just how much the government was hiding of it's wartime actions against their own citizens, there was a panic if the Japanese could have still launched further attacks on American soil, which were shown during mass lynchings against Japanese-American citizens in the West Coast. The loss of the Congress restricted many of Thurmond's ambitions, however, he did inherit a relatively friendly Supreme Court made during the Wheeler Era, some of the justices being recommended by initiative of the Dixiecrats in the coalition, although there was a general trend in supporting the expansion of government powers, Wheeler was able to appoint a whooping 8 justices between 1937 and 1945, 3 of these under the recommendation of his Vice-President and de facto leader of the Southern wing of the Democrat Party Richard Russell. It was not uncommon for the President to veto legislation, such as the "American Labor Relations Act of 1947", which argued for a greater expansion of Union bargaining power, the veto being one of the causes of the mass strikes in the post-war years. Thurmond still had some areas where he achieved his wins, namely the foreign policy decisions such as the success in Russia and the critical support of the United Nations during the Syrian invasion of Israel, although many criticized this more confrontational policy. There were very few in America who would agree to jump the gun and invade the fearsome "Festung Europa" after the invasion of a much smaller territory of a nation that was weakened for years cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans in an invasion that lasted over a year, but the majority agreed that something had to be done against the increasingly expansionistic Reich.

In the Racial matters is where Thurmond's legacy is tainted the most, the President had the not-very-subtle support of several leading "White Leagues", and specifically from the KKK and smaller southern groups, which immediately put him at odds with Civil Rights organizations. In 1947, as the veterans returned home, Thurmond was still attempting to appear as a "moderate southern gentleman", but that pretense immediately ended after the NAACP congress of 1947 when a proposal was made, suggested publicly to the President to desegregate the Armed Forces and lift restrictions on the Federal Civil Service, first placed by President Wilson 30 years earlier. Thurmond not just shoot down the proposal, but threw a gas tank into the fire by publicly declaring "Our boys did not fight a war to come back and being forced to mix with lazy Niggers", he also claimed that African-American regiments showed a much poorer performance in the war, ignoring the fact that many times they were given much inferior equipment, and passed on many African-Americans in the Distinguished Service commendations, such as of the former cooker that shot down Japanese planes during the Pearl Harbor attack, Doris Miller. Not just he refused to grant him the medal which was previously ignored by President Wheeler, but he also claimed that Miller not only did not shoot any planes in the battle but also was one of the first who abandoned the sinking ship USS West Virginia. That only sparked a scandal as it was discovered that Miller's name was put up in consideration, with former President Wheeler confirming it in an interview, publicly apologizing to the man for "giving in to the pressure of certain interest groups in the White House". The scandal was just one of the many caused by Thurmond's increasingly charged declarations, which many blame on the stress of the Presidency, and soon things would be made worse.

The small town of Swainsboro in Georgia was roughly divided equally between blacks and whites, and on the 14th of April 1947, things would soon blow up between these two groups. As a group of Black veterans from the Pacific War returned home, the local chapter of the Klan began to harass the group, and justifiably there was anger where many believed they had fought to the end for a country which treated them worse than even non-Americans, British troops they came in contact with were impressed by their fighting and equally outraged at their treatment. The veterans remained in contact with one another, forming a small association similar to many other Veterans' associations growing across America, and the men, who belonged to the same all-black platoon during the war, swore protection with one another. After a particularly firely night at the local chapter, a group of three Klansmen decided to take action on their own, attacking the house of one of the veterans in the middle of the night, and as they broke in and attempted to put it on fire, the veteran appeared with a military M1911 pistol and a M1 Garand rifle, blowing up a hole in one of the "Confederate Ghosts", the man fell down on the floor and soon bled to death. The other two ran away from the man's home back to the chapter, claiming that the veteran, named Joshua Smith, had attacked them first as they passed near his house, which led to the Klansmen swearing revenge while Joshua approached his Veteran's club. On the night of April 15th, the Klansmen appeared in front of the Smith residence, with torches and chants meant to intimidate the former soldier, right before one of them tossed a grenade into the house door, what began next was the "Battle of Swainsboro", with the former veterans rallying with their comrade against an attack of "hooded men". The fighting lasted for over an hour and soon began to escalate as other citizens began to join in, the veterans being accused as aggressors resulted in the formation of a lynch mob, invading the black-majority neighborhood the next day, the local police doing nothing to stop them, instead it seemed like they were supporting the lynchers. The veterans organized their neighborhood, and soon the battle itself began with the town's tension turning into a feast of violence, fires breaking out in the area while each side launched retaliations against the other, eventually the news reached Atlanta to the shock of the population. Governor Talmadge, known for his rather enthusiastic support for White Supremacy, dispatched the National Guard to restore the order, and yet it became clear that there was a bias in favor of penalizing the black mob rather than the white one. Joshua and his veterans were brought to the Georgian Supreme Court, and while many called for the death penalty for all in the State, only Joshua would take the capital punishment over the killing of the Klansmen, with the prosecution arguing that the men suffered of Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder after the fighting in Japan, the other 11 veterans received varied prison sentences. The Case gained national awareness and President Thurmond's only comment was that "Justice was done in the State of Georgia", further eroding his popularity in the North.

Thurmond's popularity was not particularly appealing for another term, it was no surprise the fact he did not desire to remain as President, instead he claimed to wish to work for his Home State of South Carolina instead, as either a Governor or Senator. Instead he desired to use the remainder of his term to crackdown against traditional enemies of the south: Labor Unions. The war pledge to end strikes during the Pacific War was mostly kept by the unions, yet the pledge would be broken by February 1947 as the war ended and the strikes began. Not since Wilson did the President crackdown so harshly on strikers, with Strom Thurmond being known as the main enemy of organized labor in America, especially in using the FBI to dismantle the efforts of the Congress of Industrial Organizations in unionizing the southern textile industry, the so-called "Operation Dixie" was a terrible failure as it not just met the local resistance of the landed elites, but also sabotage from the Federal Government. The police repeatedly was used to break strikes, while the government used powers given during wartime to seize "vital sectors", such as when a railroad strike ended with the government taking control of several railroads across America. It was quite ironic when the advocation of States' rights was many times ignored when it came to crushing the enemies of Thurmond and the Dixiecrats. Furthermore, despite it's unpopularity, Thurmond still refused to revoke the Prohibition of alcohol, which was only strengthened during the war as part of the rationing policies on wheat.

Not all was lost for the Democrats, the economy began to recover in 1948, the worst of the racial controversies ended in 1947, and the campaign against the strikes began to show results. Thurmond's attempt to pass a "Right-to-Work" act failed in congress as both parties began to block the President's more radical initiatives, hoping to prevent further controversy and a repeat of 1920. There was a far greater concern growing in the minds of the American people, as the nation stabilized and the economy began to grow once again, the worry came from the outside across the seas as Germania began to make it's moves again. After the January Address to the Volkshalle, Hitler began to divert more and more his focus towards the United States, the American troops intervening in the Levant to save Israel just solidified more and more the paranoia of a Jewish-Capitalist conspiracy centered across the Atlantic in Washington, and a United Russia just brought back the Reich's hated rival back together. In April, on the day of the Tag das Sieges, and The Führer's 59th birthday, the "Second Book" was published, a second volume of Mein Kampf which detailed Hitler's personal life between 1925 and 1945, although obviously hiding most of the aspects of the Reich's inner government and his opinions on his ministers, although many references could be found to certain members of the Inner Circle. The book, differently from Mein Kampf which named the Soviet Union as the Reich's main enemy, claimed that the ultimate adversary of the Reich was none other than the United States, claiming that it was inevitable that there would be a confrontation between the "Cosmopolitan, Capitalist, Degenerate, Zionist America" and the alliance of the "Free Europe" led by the Reich (Free in the sense it would be free from "Jewish machinations" rather than any support for liberalism, obviously). The book became the immediate best-seller of Europe, practically every member of the NSDAP needed to have one, in time, not having the book would be practically sacrilege and treason, and it's publishing came in a time where the Reich pushed for an aggressive Naval buildup, calling for the Linz Pakt to mobilize it's naval forces, every drydock from Taranto to Lisbon to Narvik and Halderstadt was being put to work to produce what could only be compared to Napoleon's own plans for a grand armada. Tensions were spiking up again, and many in America feared a war, but more than that, feared the enemies within.

It all came in April 1948, when a leak from the German Abwehr, later discovered to be the retired Admiral Canaris, through his contacts with Colonel Oster and other members of the German Military intelligence, gave the FBI the tip it needed. Hoover's men discovered a group of RSHA agents infiltrated inside the United States West Coast, and after their arrest it was revealed that the Black Case Files were leaked by German agents in an attempt to keep the country focused on the Pacific War by sparking a national response. The discovery was a boon for the Democratic leadership still tainted by the whole affair, with Thurmond claiming that the whole plot was a fabrication in the first place, instead making a speech where he accused the Germans for trying to sow division in America and using them as scapegoats for the turbulent year that passed. Of course, the Reich was not responsible for all the decisions Thurmond made, the RSHA was much more worried with the internal policing of Europe than a mass expansion into their American operations, that did not stop the paranoia from spreading over to the West. Soon, the "Brown Scare" would begin, named as such due to the color of the SA uniforms, and while it's start was in 1948, it would only begin to build up before reaching the levels of the next administration that was yet to be decided in the national elections.

Thurmond damaged the Democratic Party, but it was not beaten yet, it began to make a recovery, especially after the President publicly declared he had no intention of running for reelection, that led to a vacuum in the Democratic Party as many wondered who would take his place. The more conservative wing of the movement was weakened, while a more progressive outlook was taking shape, ironically coming from the south in a figure that has given headaches to traditional Dixiecrats since the 1930s. Huey P. Long Jr, Senator of Louisiana and the de facto "Caesar" of the State. Differently from other figures such as Bill "Alfafa" Murray, Talmadge, and Theodore Bilbo, he did not engage in Racial baiting, in fact he was known for his relatively favorable views towards the Blacks and Disfrachised (At least for Southern standards). Long was known for his populist platform, called the "Every Man a King" program, calling for wealth redistribution, large public works, public welfare, and the expansion of infrastructure and education, all while fighting large corporations. It was bold and audacious, gaining an enormous appeal in the 1930s, however he failed to win the Democratic nomination in 1936, and became known as the main opposition figure towards the Wheeler government inside the Party due to his moderation in the Government programs, many times having those initiatives sabotaged by Russell. In 1944, due to his previous support for Isolationism, and dealing with the personal loss of his brother Earl, victim of an assassination attempt aimed at him, he did not contest Hull's nomination although he warned about Thurmond's inexperience on National Politics and Hull's advanced age was not a winning combo. He finally ran in 1948, with the past of his radicalism and isolationism left behind, the 55-year old Senator ran his campaign, seeing as the momentum in America was swinging towards the left, he planned to capitalize on it with his populist platform and mass appeal. Long began planning his campaign in 1946, and by 1947 he was already holding rallies across the nation while his speeches began to be more critic, it began to resonate to the American public, frustrated by the lack of the promised reforms of the Wheeler Administration. As he began to transmit his speeches through radio, and even showing his rally in Banton Rouge on TV, his star began to rise once more.



The Republicans, on the other hand, had a candidate in mind across the Pacific. Serving as the Supreme Commander of the Occupation Forces in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur did not hide his political ambitions, and few could deny his capacity to enter that field. He was the most famous military commander in America, known for leading the troops which defended Hawaii and pushed all the way to Tokyo itself, although how much of it was thanks to his efforts is a quite debatable topic. MacArthur was good in taking the credit of hid underlings for sure, and he showed himself a competent administrator in Japan so far. But while he was an active duty officer, unable to actively campaign in politics due to the military honor, that did not stop him from subtly informing the party that he would accept the nomination if given to him, and that began the "Draft MacArthur" movement, rallying the grassroots and machine of the party together. It was clear the nomination would favor the General, and when offered it, he "humbly" accepted, resigned his office by delivering a letter to President Thurmond that only arrived when he was already landing in California. In San Francisco, the General received a Heroes' welcome, thousands cheered him in the streets, calling him already as "Mr. President" or "President Mac". The resistance inside the party came mostly from the veteran conservative Robert Taft, the Senator of Ohio warned that the General's Hawkism could result in a Third World War, however, Taft's increasingly unpopular brand of isolationism came in a worse position after Hitler's second book was published targeting America. MacArthur would ally with Governor of Minnesota Harold Stassen to bring a more experienced and liberal counter to MacArthur's flamboyant ego and conservatism.

The Democratic nomination was more contentious, Long was a radical departure from the Party's compromise, the entire system created in 1936 had shown it's contradictions, and yet Russell and Byrd, the two leading figures of the Democratic South, reached towards a more "edible" option. They reached prestigious Senator James F. Byrnes of South Carolina, who accepted many of the old Progressive policies, while also remaining a firm southerner that embraced segregation but who could be more tolerable than Thurmond thanks to his experience. The nomination was a disillusionment to the Northern and Eastern Democrats, who finally broke with the Party's reactionary policies by approaching the only other alternative popular enough to challenge MacArthur: Huey Long. Led by New York Congressman, member of the local committee, and relative of former President Theodore Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, this delegation approached Long proposing a joint ticket to win the primaries, with Roosevelt choosen as Long's Vice-Presidential pick, after long hours of negotiations, the deal was struck, and when the nomination came, Long defeated Byrnes, becoming the candidate of the Democratic Party to challenge MacArthur. That meant fighting an uphill battle against the popular war hero, but that is where Long showed his maturity after years in the Senate, while the former General had never been a part of this political game before.

Douglas MacArthur believed that his name alone would win him the White House, spending more time in his speeches speaking of the past, of the bloodbath in the Pacific, and of America's necessary place as leader of the Free World against the Reich. Naturally that was an appealing message to Veterans and War Hawks, but once he was asked what were his plan on matters such as old age pensions, tariffs, and labor relations, the General was many times left with hesitant answers, not being able to discuss the details as he lacked experience in such matters of the "Civilian Life". That is when Long played his greatest card, he challenged his opponent to a public debate, to be transmitted through radio in NBC, and despite the protests of his campaign advisors, MacArthur went to the radio, never backing down from a challenge. What happened next was a massacre unseen since the Pacific War when MacArthur's lack of a proper political program was put in contrast to Long's "Every Man a King" program, and the entire nation would hear as the "Warlord" shouted across the table by accusing Long of communist sympathies, followed by the immediate accusation that he was collaborating with Hitler by preaching Fascist demagogueri, which was as paradoxal as one may think. Ultimately, Long narrowly avoided being punched in the face by the irate General, and yet he was still slightly behind the polls as October came, and thats when General George S. Patton, the all-American hero who purged Russia from Bolshevism and defeated the Japanese with his tank legions, gave a critical support for Long. After publishing his memoirs, Patton would move heavens and earth to avoid having to call his rival MacArthur as "Commander" ever again, and as such he made a speech denouncing his former superior as a fraud, and while he did not sympathize with Long, he would support the devil himself if the enemy was "Doug Mac". That declaration came in days before the 5th of November when the election finally arrived and the results came in: Huey Pierce Long Jr was elected President of the United States of America.


Huey Long wins!!
 
Nice chapter, I hope Long has a good and successful presidency. I hope race relations improve faster in TTL USA, maybe have some KKK groups found with genuine support from the Reich could destroy the South with people backing away from supporting their views from not wanting to be seen as traitors. Keep up the good work.
 
Nice chapter, I hope Long has a good and successful presidency. I hope race relations improve faster in TTL USA, maybe have some KKK groups found with genuine support from the Reich could destroy the South with people backing away from supporting their views from not wanting to be seen as traitors. Keep up the good work.
The problem in this part is that even for the Nazis, the KKK is a bunch of rabble-house weirdos in hoods and torches. If the Reich would ever support them it would be out of pragmatism, and you don’t exactly expect Hitler to be pragmatic.
 
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