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The Southern Victory series or Timeline-191 are fan names given to a series of eleven alternate history novels by author Harry Turtledove, beginning with How Few Remain (1997) and published over a decade. The period addressed in the series begins during the Civil War and spans nine decades, up to the mid-1940s. In the series, the Confederate States defeats the United States of America in 1862, thereby making good its attempt at secession and becoming an independent nation. Subsequent books are built on imagining events based on this alternate timeline.
The secondary name is derived from General Robert E. Lee's Special Order 191, which detailed the C.S. Army of Northern Virginia's invasion of the Union through the border state Maryland in September 1862. Turtledove creates a divergence at September 10, 1862, when three Union soldiers do not find a copy of Special Order 191, as they in fact did historically. Historians believe their find helped General George B. McClellan of the Army of the Potomac prepare for his confrontation with Lee, and contributed to the Union's eventual victory at the Battle of Antietam.
- 1 List of books in the series
- 2 The First and Second "Wars between the States"
- 3 Great War
- 4 The American Empire
- 5 Settling Accounts
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
List of books in the series
The Southern Victory series consists of 11 books, published between 1997 and 2007. The first book in the series is How Few Remain, and the remaining 10 books are part of three sub-series within the overall series. These sub-series are The Great War (1998–2000) trilogy, The American Empire trilogy (2001–2003), and The Settling Accounts (2003–2007) tetralogy.
- How Few Remain (1997)
- The "Great War" Trilogy
- The "American Empire" Trilogy
- The Settling Accounts Tetralogy
The First and Second "Wars between the States"
1861–1862: War of Secession ("First War Between the States")
Before the Battle of Antietam, Federal troops accidentally recovered a copy of Special Order 191, which detailed Lee's plan for the invasion of Maryland. Using this intelligence, Federal forces under George B. McClellan moved north and forced the Battle of Antietam, ending the invasion.
In Turtledove's alternate history, Confederate troops recover Lee's orders before the papers fall into Union hands. The resulting Rebel advance catches McClellan and the Union Army by surprise. General Lee forces McClellan into a battle on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and destroys the Army of the Potomac in the Battle of Camp Hill on October 1, 1862.
After this decisive Confederate victory, Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia move eastward to occupy Philadelphia. The Confederate States earns diplomatic recognition from the United Kingdom and France. The two European nations force mediation on the United States; the C.S. achieves independence. This "War of Secession" ends in less than two years.
While considering the mediation offer, Abraham Lincoln mentions to the British Ambassador Richard Lyons that he has a proclamation that would have freed the slaves in the C.S. Lincoln has discussed the proclamation with his cabinet, but after the U.S. defeat at Camp Hill, he decides against issuing it. Lyons warns Lincoln that to have issued the proclamation would have been seen as acting in desperation. The Union at the time was ready to officially concede defeat. When Lincoln warns Lyons that the C.S. only won due to European allies, and the situation may change in the future if the Union can find European powers to ally with on its own, Lyons scoffs that no other major European powers currently exist.
1862–1881: American Changes
Shortly after the conclusion of the Battle of Camp Hill, C.S. general Braxton Bragg completes the conquest of Kentucky. Sometime after the U.S. agreed to mediation, Kentucky becomes the twelfth state to enter the C.S. In addition, the pro-C.S. Five Civilized Tribes of the Indian Territory receive territory of their own in the C.S., later to become the State of Sequoyah. In 1878 the C.S. purchases the Caribbean island of Cuba from Spain for $3,000,000, and admit it as the 14th C.S. state.
The Democratic Party candidate (not named in the book, but believed by many readers to be Horatio Seymour) defeats Lincoln and his vice-presidential candidate Hannibal Hamlin in the 1864 election in a landslide. Republicans become minority in Congress and no Republican candidate will become president of the United States again until 1880: tired of the Democrats' soft line against the C.S., voters push Republican candidates into the U.S. Congress as a majority. In the meanwhile, the Whig Party continues as the main party of the aristocratic right in the C.S., and wins every election. A social liberal party, known as the Radical Liberals, becomes the main opposition, but never gains power.
In the late 1860s, Russia offers Alaska to the United States with a purchase price of US$7 million (the historical Alaska Purchase occurred in 1867 during President Andrew Johnson's tenure). In the alternate history, the U.S. is financially drained and cannot purchase the territory. It continues as a Russian colony.
With nowhere else to regain lost strength or vent its military frustrations, the U.S. conquest of the Great Plains in the Indian Wars proceeds a little faster in this timeline, largely concluding by 1880. George Armstrong Custer and his younger brother Thomas Custer are still alive in 1881: as there was no Little Bighorn. In reaction to the (historical) Sioux uprising of 1862, the US Army conducts a war of extermination against them. Prior to the Great War, the Dakota Territory enters the Union as a single state known as Dakota (rather than North Dakota and South Dakota in our timeline).
In the Presidential election of 1880, Republican James G. Blaine of Maine defeats the incumbent Democrat Samuel J. Tilden of New York. Blaine runs on a hard-line platform, which ultimately brings about a war against the C.S. over the latter's purchase of the Imperial Mexican provinces Sonora and Chihuahua from a cash-strapped Emperor Maximilian, who is also still alive in 1881. This purchase allowed the C.S. to build their own Trans-Continental railway lines, along the southern route (as advocated historically by United States Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi). They avoided having to use the heavily taxed United States lines through the Rocky Mountains further North.
1881–1882: Second Mexican War ("Second War Between the States")
Early on in the war, C.S. troops under Jeb Stuart captured a large quantity of gold and silver ore from a Union mining town after successfully occupying the newly purchased Mexican provinces. Meanwhile, Union Colonel George Armstrong Custer launches a raid from Kansas into Sequoyah, using Gatling guns against Kiowa Indians and C.S. cavalry. The United Kingdom and France, both C.S. allies, blockade and bombard U.S. port cities such as Boston and New York City.
During the war, the Mormons in Utah Territory rebel by severing transcontinental communication, and transportation around Salt Lake City is disrupted. John Pope is appointed as the military governor, puts down the revolt, and imposes martial law. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is classified as a political organization and the Mormon leaders are executed, including the historical Brigham Young.
The U.S. attempt to invade the now-C.S. state Virginia is easily thrown back by Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as the U.S. struggles to find a man his equal. A key reason for the C.S. success in the war, in addition to fighting a defensive war, is that the C.S. is led by excellent generals like Jackson, while the United States' military, despite possessing an advantage in numbers and resources, suffers from incompetent leadership. William Rosecrans, the commander of the U.S. Army, says at one point that there is no overall strategy for winning the war whatsoever. He envisions the opposing armies trading counteroffensives and believes the U.S. can win. This lack of strategy leaves the German/Prussian military observer, Alfred von Schlieffen, aghast (this purportedly influences him to develop his own invasion plans for use by Germany against its enemies).
The United States begin to invade Louisville to repel the C.S. out of Kentucky. They are fought to a stalemate by the C.S., commanded by "Stonewall" Jackson. The Union's use of the technology of breech-loading artillery and repeating rifles is seen to hamper its ability to take a position. Under Jackson, the C.S. Army never goes into U.S. territory which it did not control before the war. First, it does not have the resources for an offensive into hostile lands. Second, C.S. success hinges on the support of the United Kingdom and France, who feel they are aiding a smaller nation wrongfully attacked by a larger one. Invading U.S. territory might cost the C.S. its allies. Galled by orders to wage a purely defensive war, Jackson takes them to the extreme, pioneering tactics of full-scale trench warfare, which devastates Louisville (these scenes refer to the history of events in World War I). The Louisville campaign quickly bogs down for the United States, and results in a bloodbath with little territory gained. The United Kingdom and France continue to shell the Great Lakes ports; France also shells the small southern California towns of Los Angeles and San Pedro, while the British bombard San Francisco and raid the Federal mint there.
The United States receive some good news when a young volunteer cavalry colonel, Theodore Roosevelt, and George Armstrong Custer rout a British division under Gen. Charles "Chinese" Gordon, invading Montana from Canada's western province of Saskatchewan. However, the British invade northern Maine in the East and annex it to the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Finally, facing defeat on almost all fronts, Republican president James G. Blaine is forced to capitulate. The U.S. surrenders on April 22, 1882, ending the Second Mexican War.
C.S. President James Longstreet, in an attempt to appear the conciliator, offers generous terms to end the war, and asks the U.S. to officially recognize the C.S. acquisition of the two Mexican provinces. Most of northern Maine is annexed into the Canadian province of New Brunswick, demanded by the British for their participation in the war. President Blaine takes the end of the war hard.
Both American nations experience major changes after the war. In the United States, many Republicans are voted out of Congress in the 1882 elections. Stung with the loss in the Second Mexican War, Blaine is ousted as president two years later. The elections of 1882 and 1884 begin Democratic control over Congress and the White House, which lasts 36 years.
In return for British and French governments' assistance, President Longstreet proposes the nominal manumission ("emancipation") of the country's slaves, which proceeds throughout the 1880s. The United Kingdom and France have already abolished slavery, and their vital alliance with the C.S. will not continue unless slavery is abolished, at least in theory. Moreover, even President Longstreet realizes that as the C.S. builds up its own industrial base, it will increasingly become less reliant on manual slave labor in a predominately agricultural society, looking ahead to the 20th century. Despite being technically freed, the C.S. black population continues to live in apartheid-like conditions, under a dehumanizing status like not even being allowed to have surnames.
The defeated United States, realizing it needs powerful European allies to counter the C.S. alliances with the United Kingdom and France, begins an alliance with the newly unified German Empire (helped by the fact that both countries have large German populations, the U.S. in particular being home to a sizable German community as well as an ever-increasing anti-British Irish population). It adopts many of the latter's military and economic practices under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.
Following the collapse of the Republican Party, former President Abraham Lincoln, now an orator, allies with U.S. socialists and leads left-wing Liberal Republicans into their fledgling Socialist Party. Meanwhile, Benjamin Butler leads most of the right-wing Conservative Republicans to the Democrats, which results in pushing the party even further to the right and causing a majority of it to adopt a hard-line foreign policy and the gearing of American society to nationalism and revanchism. Both of these groups are attracting many of the new European immigrants, who comprise the working class in the U.S. industrial cities. Thus the ideology of "Remembrance" is born. With the exodus of its right-most and left-most members, the remaining Republican party fades into obscurity, though it still limps along as a minor regional party representing only the Midwest (which is booming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries). They do not win the presidency or another Congressional majority.
1914: Declaration and invasion
The Austro-Hungarian Imperial Crown Prince and Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia are both assassinated by a bomb while touring the city of Sarajevo in the newly annexed Austrian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina in June 1914. The Austrian government quickly learns that a Serbian group was responsible, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire quickly accuses the government of nearby Serbia of colluding with the terrorists. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia backs Serbia, while Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany backs Austria-Hungary. The major powers of each system mobilize their militaries, effectively signifying their intent to go to war. In August 1914, the "Great War" begins, initially putting Great Britain, France, and Russia against the Empires of Germany and Austria-Hungary.
Across the Atlantic, Democratic President Theodore Roosevelt orders the U.S. military to mobilize in late July, following Germany's lead. In response, C.S. President Woodrow Wilson orders the C.S. military to do the same. Fighting soon breaks out on their common border and the high seas.
The United States officially brings the war to North America when Roosevelt declares war on the C.S. in early August 1914. C.S. President Wilson responds in kind, although he had hoped to avoid a war. Wilson's speech, given in a tightly-packed public square in the capital of Richmond, Virginia decorated with statues of Southern war heroes, George Washington from the Revolutionary War, and Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston from the War of Secession.
Unlike the Second Mexican War, the C.S. allies the United Kingdom and France were now preoccupied fighting Germany (and the other Central Powers) in Europe, leaving the North American powers to decide their front of the war without outside intervention. This left the C.S. outnumbered by the much more populous United States. Moreover, this new generation of industrialized, stalemated trench warfare granted even further advantages to the United States, with its greater industrial base. The C.S. was able to humiliate the U.S. in two wars in part because of the brilliant leadership of its generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson - but after their generation died out, the C.S. did not attempt to maintain a rigorous officer corps.
Instead, the plantation-owning class formed a generational aristocracy (mirroring older European patterns): many of their current military leaders owed their positions simply to being the grandsons of actually skilled generals (i.e. JEB Stuart III, and many other III's and IV's). In contrast, the United States was so utterly humiliated by its incompetent generals in the Second Mexican War that it "reformed along Prussian lines", improving the efficiency of not only its economy but actively trying to produce better military leadership. Even if the South did produce another Stonewall Jackson - which it didn't - this new era of attrition warfare in trenches removed the X-factor of a brilliant general outmaneuvering the enemy with weaker forces.
Hoping to emulate General Robert E. Lee's successful Maryland Campaign, the C.S. Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) launches a massive invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania in August, targeting the northern de facto capital of Philadelphia. The ANV quickly overruns the de jure capital of Washington, D.C. and pushes on through Maryland; it surrounds Baltimore but is unable to take the city, which is resupplied and reinforced from the sea.
The U.S. Army takes a different approach and orders the U.S. First Army under Lieutenant General George Custer and the U.S. Second Army under Major General John Pershing to cross the Ohio River and invade Kentucky. Although C.S. resistance is high, especially from river gunboats modeled after the original iron-clad U.S.S. Monitor of the 1860s, the U.S. succeeds in establishing a bridgehead on the southern bank. U.S. forces also invade western Virginia, aiming for the rail junction at Roanoke, Virginia, which comes to be known as "Big Lick".
A separate U.S. invasion of Sonora, intended to capture the sole C.S. Pacific Ocean port of Guaymas, soon becomes bogged down. A young army captain named Irving Morrell is wounded in this venture, and spends much of the next six months recuperating in Tucson, New Mexico (Arizona is part of New Mexico in this book).
The U.S. also launches attacks on Canada, specifically in Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Perhaps the most successful maneuver during these early stages of war is the U.S. Navy's capture of the British base at Pearl Harbor in the Sandwich Islands in a surprise attack.
1915: Stalemate and rebellion
Both American offensives soon stall, however; the U.S. armies find it difficult to push south, and the Army of Northern Virginia is slowed by the winter of 1914–15. The C.S. invasion of Pennsylvania soon grinds to a halt at the Susquehanna River, only 50 miles from Philadelphia. From that high-water–mark, U.S. forces slowly start to push the C.S. back into occupied Maryland.
Although the U.S. forces easily conquer the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River, crossing it proves another matter. The geography of the Niagara Peninsula soon bottlenecks the invading army. Though Winnipeg, Manitoba, as a major rail junction, lies relatively close to the U.S. border, the War Department allocates too few troops to capture it.
Trench warfare becomes ubiquitous as each side digs in for protection from machine guns. Troops huddle in these trenches as heavy artillery in their rear pounds the enemy lines night and day. They dread the order "Over the top!" which means they have to leave the safety of their lines to charge into No man's land, in the hope of capturing the enemy trenches on the other side. The US, drawing on German chemical expertise, seeks to push forward using chemical warfare. The use of chlorine gas, however, makes only minor gains. Far from the quick, glorious conquest each side had imagined, the "Great War" becomes a long, bloody stalemate.
Early in 1915, another front opens when the Utah Mormons attempt to secede from the United States and declare themselves the independent nation of Deseret. Mormon relations with the rest of the country had been hostile since the Utah War of the 1850s and the brief uprising during the Second Mexican War. They wrongly believe that the distracted U.S. government will be unable to subdue them. However, as Utah sits on one of the major transcontinental rail lines, President Roosevelt states the U.S. will not tolerate unlawful rebellion. The Mormon rebellion rages until mid-1916, when it is finally crushed and Salt Lake City is captured. Utah is then placed under military rule by Roosevelt, a situation that will continue until the 1930s.
In the autumn of 1915, as the armies of the C.S. are fighting those of the United States along the border regions, blacks in the C.S. rise up in revolt. Bitter over their treatment by whites, and fueled by a rhetoric of Marxism and the teachings of Abraham Lincoln, the blacks declare "Red Revolution" in several areas across the C.S. and establish "socialist republics", while massacring whites and seeking justice against their former white masters; most trials are shams, however, and the executions brutal. These rebellions are gradually crushed by 1916, although white justice mellows somewhat as thoughts are preoccupied with winning the war. Ironically, the lasting effect of the "Red Revolt" is to make white people start to believe in the military potential of blacks.
Taking advantage of C.S. plight, the U.S. First Army marches into western Tennessee after slogging through western Kentucky, while the C.S. Army of Northern Virginia is pushed south toward Washington, D.C.. In mid-spring of 1916, a new armored technical advance called the "barrel" (referred to as a tank by the British) is introduced to combat for the first time by U.S. forces operating in the Roanoke River Valley of southwestern Virginia.
In this case, as in our time line, the name of the vehicle comes from the cover name used. In Great Britain, those assembling the vehicle were told they were mobile water tanks; in this time line, they are coded 'barrel,' though there is some indication something called a 'barrel' was coming. Private Reginald Bartlett, escaping with a C.S. naval officer, heard U.S. soldiers singing a song, "Roll Out the Barrels" (not related to our timeline's Czech/Bohemian polka music "Rosalinda", which became popular in 1938 and was given the English-language lyrics "Roll Out the Barrel").
While in the C.S. state of Tennessee, Lieutenant General Custer transforms his tactics for cavalry into a doctrine for the new barrels (which anticipates the German "blitzkrieg" tactics of World War II in our time line), but the U.S. War Department is not interested. When Custer's summer offensive begins, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers are lost attacking C.S. lines, and the new barrels, deployed singly in an infantry support role rather than massed as an armored fist, break down in the hilly terrain to little effect.
The lack of British troops in Canada means that the U.S., while initially held back by the Canadians, slowly advances toward their triple objectives of Quebec City, Toronto, and Winnipeg. Largely thanks to the efforts of Irving Morrell, U.S. forces push up to Banff, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies and cut off the second of three mountain passes that connect the Pacific coast to the rest of Canada.
At sea, the great Battle of the Three Navies is fought, with the U.S. on one side and the United Kingdom and Japan on the other. This prevents the "Entente" from recapturing the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). With the Central Pacific in American hands, a U.S. Navy flotilla makes its way south toward Cape Horn and around to the Atlantic, with the intent of cutting off Argentine grain and beef shipments to Great Britain.
On the Maryland front, the state is cleared of C.S. soldiers, save for those holding Washington, the de jure U.S. capital. In the autumn, the U.S. continues to attack the state capital of Nashville, Tennessee to no avail, raising the spectre of a possible Democratic loss at the polls, and the possibility that a Socialist President will seek peace with the C.S. and renounce all the bloody gains. Except for a local attack on the Roanoke Front that pushes the U.S. out of western Virginia, the C.S. stays on the defensive through the autumn, attempting to drain the U.S. dry in the hope that the U.S. population will become sick of the war.
Nevertheless, Northern President Theodore Roosevelt easily beats Socialist Eugene V. Debs in the November election. In Richmond, however, the hopes of new President Gabriel Semmes (a descendant of naval commander Raphael Semmes), elected in 1915, and his Cabinet are dashed. The U.S. government has four years to crush the C.S. before needing to seek re-election, while the C.S. are running out of white soldiers to further the conflict. President Semmes successfully proposes a bill to authorize the training and arming of black troops to serve, with civil rights (excepting interracial marriage) to follow after the war, including citizenship in the C.S. The U.S. also begins the process of formally returning Kentucky to the Union.
In Europe, the war seems little changed from our own real timeline, with the exception of the French fortress of Verdun's capture by the Germans, and an apparently heavier use of North African infantry by the French Army. In addition, Italy remains neutral in the conflict and the "Easter Rising" by the nascent Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Dublin is not put down, spreading to the rest of Ireland.
Lieutenant General Custer secretly develops a scheme for the U.S. to quickly win the war, using a massed-barrel formation, despite its prohibition by the War Department. Disguising his true intentions to all but his adjutant, Major Abner Dowling, and Lieutenant Colonel Irving Morrell, and lying to President Roosevelt, Custer launches his Barrel Roll Offensive on Remembrance Day — April 22, 1917 — and quickly breaks through the C.S. trench lines north of the Tennessee capital of Nashville.
The C.S. withdraws to a line centered on Nashville, where Custer hits them again three weeks later by outflanking the city using a plan concocted by Morrell. Nashville soon falls, despite the best efforts of the newly formed C.S. colored regiments to stave off Custer's barrels, and the state capital becomes the U.S. First Army's headquarters.
From Nashville, in July, Custer attacks the C.S. lines in the direction of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Near Nolensville the U.S. receives a C.S. request for a local armistice. President Roosevelt assents, and peace on the North American front comes to Tennessee a week before the rest of the U.S. – C.S. frontline. Custer is outraged at the halt, but Roosevelt explains that it would be difficult for the U.S. to defend the large salient into Tennessee it has captured, and at the same time, the southeastern chunk of Kentucky that still remains in C.S. hands would prove a nuisance in postwar years as Kentuckians elected to the C.S. Congress would constantly demand a new war against the U.S. to recapture lost territory in their state. Roosevelt's plan calls for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from captured Tennessee territory in exchange for all remaining parts of Kentucky.
On the same day that the "Barrel Roll Offensive" began in Tennessee, the U.S. Army in northern Virginia attacks southward toward Manassas (the site of two major battles fought in the War of Secession) at the same time that U.S. troops enter occupied Washington, D.C. The de jure U.S. capital is recaptured after several days of intense street fighting, which levels the city and its famous landmarks (such as the Washington Monument and the White House).
In northern Virginia, several U.S. attacks force the C.S. Army of Northern Virginia to retreat south. In battles at Round Hill, Centreville, and Bull Run (at the same site of a famous War of Secession battle), rear-guard actions led by a few battered batteries of the "First Richmond Howitzers" prevent the complete destruction of the latest incarnation of Robert E. Lee's fabled army. However, it is obvious the war is on the verge of being lost; this does not sit well with C.S. soldiers, who reckoned the war won only a few months before.
The C.S. started sending peace feelers to Philadelphia as early as the fall of Nashville, but Theodore Roosevelt refused to grant a cease-fire until certain that the C.S. was severely hammered elsewhere. The last hammers on the C.S. Army come in late July, when fighting reaches the town of Fredericksburg, Virginia, only fifty miles from the C.S. capital. With a cease-fire already in effect in Tennessee, Sequoyah is overrun, and fighting in Texas and Arkansas diminishing, the C.S. agrees to a general armistice on land and at sea. For the first time since August 1914, the guns fall silent in North America.
At sea, the submarine CSS Bonefish, led by C.S. Navy officer Roger Kimball, carries out a sneak attack on the USS Ericsson (named for Swedish-born inventor/engineer John Ericsson who developed the iron-clad ships and transformation of naval power during the War of Secession) despite being fully aware of the war's end. For a few years after the war, both the U.S. and C.S. believe that the ship's destruction was the work of the British Royal Navy, the war between the U.S. and the British Empire at sea still not over at this point.
In Europe, mutinies in the French Republic Army prove serious enough to lead to France's exit from the war (in reality, these mutinies — caused by French soldiers' disgust at being ordered into suicidal and utterly pointless attacks across "no-man's" land — resulted in the French Army command agreeing to order no more offensives in exchange for French soldiers continuing to fight only defensively until the Hundred Days Offensive). Without the U.S. troops, this causes France to surrender. The Russian Empire is threatened by revolution and anarchy (similarly to our timeline), leaving only the Confederate States and the United Kingdom to fight against the United States, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. Italy remains neutral and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) lately joins the war on the side of the "Central Powers". In South America, Brazil abandons the neutrality it had held since the beginning of the War and allies with Chile and Paraguay (who support the "Central Powers") against Argentina (which supports the "Allies" (Entente), threatening the South Atlantic supply line to Britain.
In Canada, Custer's barrel methods are used to break through the Anglo-Canadian lines, leading to the fall of Quebec City and Winnipeg. The United States establishes the Republic of Quebec out of the Canadian province, and U.S. and French-speaking "Québécois" forces charge towards Toronto, Canada. By this point the C.S. has been defeated, and with all the U.S. soldiers on the U.S. – C.S. Front now ready to head to Canada, the British Empire requests a cease-fire, which is granted in early June 1917. With U.S.–German-Brazilian naval operations cutting off the United Kingdom from its Argentine and Australian food suppliers, the United Kingdom sues for peace later that summer; it was the last opponent of the "Quadruple Entente" still in the war.
The American Empire
1918: Old Animosities Rekindled
The United States celebrates during 1918, having finally taken revenge on the C.S., with parades and parties lasting well into the autumn. President Roosevelt and General Custer (who is now a four-star general, Roosevelt having promoted the aging officer in Nashville towards the end of the war) ride together in the Philadelphia Remembrance Day Parade, the biggest to date. The tradition of showing the national flag upside down to show distress is put aside to show that the U.S. had reversed the outcomes of 1862 and 1882.
Longer term ramifications of war begin to be felt, and both the U.S. and C.S. navies have to deploy minesweepers to clear their harbors, an activity which continues through to the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Not everyone in the victorious United States shares in the celebration of the victory, however. Returning veterans find scabs working for cheaper wages in the factories and mines they worked at before going away to fight. More veterans find themselves being put down by factory owners, and go on strike in industrial centers like Pittsburgh and Toledo. The owners deploy the "Pinkertons" and police against the strikers, but the war veterans, who had faced far worse challenges in the trenches, repel them. The country seems to be on the verge of revolution, and the Socialist Party capitalizes on gains among the lower classes. In November 1918, they capture the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time, disrupting Theodore Roosevelt's future plans for domestic and foreign affairs.
Meanwhile, citizens of the defeated and truncated C.S. are hardly in a mood to celebrate. President Roosevelt forced humiliating terms upon them in return for peace, for which President Semmes had no choice but to agree to them. Significant amounts of territory were lost: Kentucky had already rejoined the Union in 1916; western Texas had been admitted into the Union in 1917 as the State of Houston (named after former president and governor of Texas Sam Houston who was staunchly opposed to secession as a Southern Unionist during the War of Secession), with its capital at Lubbock, and the Territory of Sequoyah was under occupation. Pieces of northeastern Arkansas, northwestern Sonora, and Virginia north of the Rappahannock River held by U.S. troops at the Armistice were also annexed into Missouri, New Mexico (a state that comprises our modern American states New Mexico and Arizona), and West Virginia respectively.
In addition, the post-war settlement severely curtails the size of the C.S. Army and Navy, and demands the payment of massive reparations to Philadelphia. These terms contribute further to C.S. anger. The reparations cause the C.S. dollar to spiral out of control, as hyperinflation ruins the C.S. economy. (This is directly analogous to the inflation in the newly proclaimed German Republic at Weimar after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles).
As a result, anti-U.S. sentiment among C.S. whites increases, and several reactionary political parties form across the C.S.. One of these fringe groups is the Freedom Party, founded by Anthony Dresser in Richmond, Virginia, sometime after the end of the "Great War" (in our real history, the original early founder of the then-fringe National Socialist German Workers Party Nazi Party of whom the Freedom Party is based off — later ousted by Adolf Hitler — was named Anton Drexler).
President Roosevelt forces London to recognize the Republic of Quebec (established in April 1917 as the war in Canada was drawing to a close) and the Republic of Ireland (including all of the largely Loyalist Ulster in northern Ireland), and to relinquish claims to the Atlantic island chains of the Bahamas and Bermuda, as well as the Sandwich Islands, Newfoundland, and all of the Dominion of Canada in North America.
The German Empire annexes the French Congo and Belgian Congo colonies in central Africa, occupies Belgium, and sets up the puppet states of Ukraine and the Kingdom of Poland, which "has the same relation to Germany as Quebec has to" the United States of America. The exact status of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) is unsure, but they are mentioned as being neutral in the Settling Accounts series.
In Canada, the Dominion government is declared an illegal assembly. The U.S. Army sets up its occupation headquarters in Winnipeg and turns each province into a military district. The U.S. Army uses a harsh policy of hostage-taking to prevent Canadians from rising up. If a U.S. soldier is shot or another act of rebellion occurs, U.S. forces take from 10 to 30 hostages and demand that the perpetrator turn him or herself in or the hostages will be executed by firing squad. "Occupied Canada" is declared U.S. territory as part of the new "American Empire", "stretching from the Gulf of California to the Arctic Ocean." In 1919, General George Custer requests and is granted the post of governor-general of "Occupied Canada" in retribution for what he perceives to be the Canadian "murder" of his brother Tom in the previous fighting of 1881.
1919–1924: Blood & Iron
The Freedom Party achieves successes in Richmond. Its chief speaker — a vengeful, spiteful, and bitter ex-sergeant named Jake Featherston — harangues crowds at public meetings and squares about how the C.S. has been "stabbed in the back" by the Whig Party, the War Department, and, most of all, the black minority, who rose up in Red rebellion in 1915 (analogous to Adolf Hitler's life and his anti-Semitic and anti-establishment rhetoric displayed in Germany). Featherston's angry mannerisms connect him and his Party to the masses, and soon the Freedom Party becomes the white man's proto-version of the Socialists popular with C.S. blacks and Northerners in the U.S. (although much more analogous to the Nazi party in reality). Featherston comes to be seen as the Party's true leader, and the "Sarge" wins the Party's leadership in a power struggle against Dresser in mid-1919. Once comfortably settled in his new office, Featherston reorganizes the Freedom Party into a political party revolving around his goals and ambitions, and white-shirted "stalwarts" (analogous to the SS) are soon elected into the C.S. Congress, while their assault squads take on Featherston's enemies (similar to the Sturmabteilung).
The victorious United States, with its "American Empire", ignores political events occurring in the C.S. Most members of the American Congress pay no attention to the rise of the Freedom Party, save for Flora Hamburger, a worried Socialist Representative from New York City. Despite her calls for action, her party takes no notice, instead focusing on voting President Roosevelt out of office in 1920. The Socialists succeed, with their candidate Upton Sinclair defeating Roosevelt in the election that November — the first time since the election of 1880 that a Democrat has lost a presidential race. Sinclair is inaugurated president of the United States on March 4, 1921 to much rejoicing from the Socialist party (the Socialists seem, however, to have moderated compared to our timeline, behaving more like a social-democratic party and not nationalizing industry).
Later in 1921, Jake Featherston runs for office against Wade Hampton V of the Whigs and Ainsworth Layne of the Radical Liberals. Featherston loses by a narrow margin to Hampton, but resolves to fight on. In 1923, Grady Calkins, a deranged Freedom Party stalwart, assassinates President Hampton at a Birmingham, Alabama rally. The Freedom Party immediately begins to lose support, suffering losses in the elections of 1923 and 1925. Another factor limiting the Freedom Party's chances for success is American President Sinclair's lifting of the war reparations (requested by Hampton's successor, Burton Mitchel), which removes a key plank from the Freedom Party's platform. Featherston and his most ardent stalwarts spend the next several years in the "political wilderness" (analogous to the Nazi Party's popularity and status post-Munich Beer Hall Putsch).
In U.S.-occupied Canada, Governor-General Custer rules the former Dominion with an iron-felt glove, surviving several assassination attempts by Manitoban farmer Arthur McGregor. Custer kills McGregor in the farmer's final attempt as he is parading through Winnipeg, Manitoba. At this point, the war hero is retiring, having been forced out by the new Socialist administration. Sinclair aims to return the U.S. to the days of peace, hoping that by treating its neighbors with respect there will never be another war. He is popular enough to win re-election in 1924 — the same year the Freedom Party begins to involve its stalwarts in the Mexican Civil War (compare to the real-world Spanish Civil War of 1936–39), an action where the U.S. supported the Republican rebels, but its meager support was limited, compared to the supplies, weapons, and barrels that the C.S. gave to Emperor Maximilian III.
1924–1934: The Center Cannot Hold
The new medium of "the wireless" (our timeline's radio) offers novel ways for politicians to reach the people. Jake Featherston is the first politician to realize its potential, and soon people sitting in their homes can hear his raspy, thundery voice shouting from their radio sets, telling them the "truth" about the Yankees, Whigs, and blacks. Even with this broadened appeal to the masses, the Freedom Party's hopes fades further with Featherston's defeat at the polls in 1927 against incumbent Burton Mitchel III. The C.S. people are just starting to enjoy the fruits of peace and prosperity, and the War and black uprisings are coming to be seen as part of the past, despite Featherston and his stalwarts, doing their utmost to keep them alive in the collective memory. Things change when, in early 1929, the world's stock markets crash and financial and economic depression results.
In the C.S, Burton Mitchel III is blamed. In the U.S. which came out of the 1920s with a booming economy and with the Canadian revolt having been crushed in 1925, newly elected President Hosea Blackford takes the heat, with shantytowns and slums being named "Blackfordburghs". Millions lose their jobs, and in Utah, (occupied since 1916), a fanatical Mormon sniper guns down Governor-General John J. Pershing. When Japan and the U.S. go to war in 1932 after Japan is caught smuggling weapons to the occupied Canadian province of British Columbia by the warship USS Remembrance, and Japanese bombers attack Los Angeles, President Blackford is easily turned out of office by the Democratic ticket of former Governor of Massachusetts Calvin Coolidge and his running mate Herbert Hoover of Iowa in the 1932 presidential election. On January 5, 1933, President-Elect Coolidge dies of a heart attack one month before he could take office (in our timeline, former President Coolidge died on the same date). Vice President-Elect Hoover assumes the presidency, practicing Coolidge's campaign policy of government non-intervention in the economy.
At the same time in the C.S., whole cities are echoing to the boot-steps of marching Freedom Party stalwarts, their ranks flowing once more with angry citizens, preparing for Election Day 1933. Jake Featherston attacks the Mitchel C.S. Administration with the venom and hate, blaming Mitchel for the Crash, and condemning his ineffectual response to the floods that devastated the Mississippi River valley in 1927. The C.S. responds well to Featherston's rants. On taking the oath of office on March 4, 1934, the world holds its breath: "Freedom" is on the march.
In Europe, the storm clouds are also beginning to gather. The final vestiges of the Bolshevik Communist revolution were crushed by 1927; among the last holdouts was the Volga town of Tsaritsyn under the "Man of Steel" and his second in command the "Hammer". Under Tsar Mikhail II, Russia remains a primarily agricultural, backward country. Frequent anti-Semitic pogroms and foreign loans manage to deflect further restlessness but the latter were a contributing factor in the 1929 crash when Austria-Hungary demanded the repayment of a loan that Russia was unable to fulfill.
Austria-Hungary itself remains a united empire but only the Austrians and Hungarians feel any loyalty to the Habsburg Dynasty monarchs. In fact, the multi-ethnic federation seems to be held together only by German financial and military aid. The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) also appears to be in the same boat, undertaking the genocide of its Armenian population. Despite strong censure from the United States, and more lukewarm protests from Berlin, the Turks continue the genocide until the Ottoman Empire is nearly devoid of Armenians.
Kaiser Wilhelm II rules a strong Germany and his troops continue to occupy Belgium, the Ukraine, and the puppet Kingdom of Poland, but post-war relations with the U.S. sour to the point that many people on both sides of the Atlantic believe that Germany and the United States will someday be engaged in a full-fledged war. The Business Collapse puts an end to that, however, and the old alliance reassert itself once more. It is in connection to this that an unnamed German Army sergeant is mentioned, whose political views are compared to those of Featherston closely enough at length (one page) to strongly imply that this is actually Adolf Hitler.
After the Collapse, France finds itself under Action Française and a new monarchy under King Charles XI, who begins talking about the return of Alsace-Lorraine to French rule. In Britain, the fascist-inspired "Silver Shirts" under Oswald Mosley hold similar views, and support Action Française, though they never become more than a minority in the British Parliament. Italy never comes under Benito Mussolini's Fascist rule but, other than this, little information is provided about its history in this alternative timeline.
In the Pacific, Empire of Japan is far from quiet. Prior to the Pacific War with the United States, Japan pressured both France and the Netherlands to cede Indochina and the East Indies, respectively, with proper compensation. Great Britain fears that its Pacific colonies of Hong Kong, Malaya, Borneo Singapore, and possibly India will also be invaded and annexed by Japan; however, Japan shows no interest in doing so. Japan also gains much influence in the Nationalists' Republic of China during this period and seems to have established a puppet state of Manchukuo in the northeast of Manchuria as well. This empire is in addition to Japan's possessions in the Philippines which it "liberated" from Spain in the early years of the 20th century (eliminating our history of American temporary colonization).
1934–1941: The Victorious Opposition
The Great Depression lingers on in the U.S. and "Occupied Canada" through 1934 and 1935, with millions of men out of work and productivity down. President Herbert Hoover's only highlight during this time is ending the Japanese War but many people continue to question why it was fought in the first place. In the U.S. Congress, Flora Hamburger Blackford questions why Hoover and the Democrats are allowing the C.S. to enlarge its army in violation of the peace treaty. At the same time, Congress has to deal with several Freedom Party congressmen from the former C.S. states of Kentucky and Houston (formerly part of western Texas), who disrupt Congressional sessions with calls for a plebiscite in their home states. When Socialist Governor of New York, Alfred E. Smith is elected over Hoover in 1936, the Freedom Party's shouts start to be heeded.
The Freedom Party in the C.S. has begun to turn the country into a one-party state, with the C.S. Congress passing laws proposed by President Jake Featherston. He faces no opposition from the C.S. Supreme Court, having maneuvered the high court into making its position vulnerable, whereupon he merely extended executive power and abolished the judicial branch. Forced elections in 1935 and 1937 solidify and confirm Freedom Party control of the House and Senate, with state legislatures and governorships captured as well. The Army is purged in 1936 and conscription recommences in 1938. The troublesome Vice President Willy Knight is removed from office after his attempt on Featherston's life later that year and soon imprisoned. The police force is slowly padded with stalwarts and soon, with a nod from the national administration and Attorney General Ferdinand Koenig, the states are installing correctional camps for "riotous" and "unruly" Whigs and Radical Liberals.
Radical Liberal Louisiana is toppled by Freedom stalwarts, with Governor Huey Long assassinated in 1938, his regime being replaced by an administration more compliant with Featherston's interests. With black rebellions flaring up all over the C.S., Featherston has begun looking for quiet and suitable places to exact revenge for real or imagined (mostly imagined) wrongs that the blacks have committed. Louisiana is the perfect place to begin "reducing population."
In late 1940, Al Smith narrowly defeats Democratic candidate Robert Taft and Republican candidate Wendell Willkie in the 1940 presidential election and finally agrees to hear Jake Featherston's demands for the former C.S. states of Houston, Kentucky, and Sequoyah. In the resulting plebiscites of January 7, 1941, Kentucky and Houston vote to return to the C.S. with Houston also rejoining Texas. Featherston promises not to remilitarize them, or to ask for Sequoyah (which votes pro-U.S.) or other former C.S. territory such as the annexed areas of northern Virginia, northeastern Arkansas and northwestern Sonora. Within weeks, Featherston breaks his promise and plants his modernized and expanded C.S. Army on the Ohio River, convincing Smith that the time to face Featherston down has finally come.
Tensions rise in Europe when Germany's longtime ruler Wilhelm II dies. The new Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm III refuses to return the former French territory of Alsace-Lorraine that France's ruling party had demanded. The United Kingdom, France and the C.S. soon declare war on Germany, with Russia joining in days later.
With war breaking out in Europe, Jake Featherston feels it is time to have his revenge against his greatest enemy: the United States of America. On the first day of summer in 1941, he orders Operation Blackbeard to begin. The next day — June 22, 1941 — the C.S. brings the war to North America with a surprise attack on Philadelphia and southern Ohio (the German invasion of the Soviet Union — in our timeline — occurred on the same day. The name of the German invasion plan was Operation Barbarossa, named after a well-known German Emperor in the Middle Ages who had according to legend, 'a great red beard', thus the C.S. operation's name).
1941–1942: Return Engagement
At 3:30 am on June 22, 1941, the North American front of the Second Great War kicks off with massive bombing raids on Philadelphia and military installations all over southern Ohio. In an immediate joint session of Congress, President Smith calls for and receives a unanimous declaration of war against the C.S. Soon afterward, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the rest of the Entente announce hostilities against the U.S.
Philadelphia expects Featherston to strike in the east, following the pattern of the last war, but instead the C.S. blow takes the form of a massive combined-arms assault into Ohio. Brigadier General Abner Dowling and Colonel Irving Morrell know better and have prepared for the coming strike as best they could, but U.S. forces in Ohio do not have the equipment or manpower needed to halt the C.S. Army under George Patton.
Within two months, Sandusky, Ohio on Lake Erie falls to C.S. soldiers, preventing raw materials in the west from reaching the factories of the east. Just before Sandusky fell, radical Mormons armed with C.S. weapons begin a new drive for independence in Utah, capturing the Wasatch Front settlement belt from Ogden in the north to Provo in the south (see Utah Troubles).
At sea, the U.S. fares little better although neither side wins control of the sea lanes. In July, the Royal Navy lures the carriers USS Remembrance and Sandwich Islands away from Bermuda. The island, a strategically valuable submarine and air base, falls to a joint British-C.S. task force as a result. The Bahamas are next to fall, with U.S. Marines being forced to fight island by island before surrendering.
Stalemate characterizes the war in the Pacific throughout most of 1941. The first major clash between Japan and the U.S. comes at the Battle of Midway (which takes place on December 7, 1941, the date of the attack on Pearl Harbor in our timeline). During the battle the USS Remembrance, transferred to the Pacific after the loss of Bermuda, is sunk and the island itself taken. Although Japan suffers one carrier sunk and another damaged, the U.S. Pacific Fleet is now left devoid of aircraft carriers and reliant upon land-based air cover (in this timeline, the Panama Canal is never constructed due to the hostility between the U.S. and C.S.; ships must sail around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America to transfer between the two oceans).
The war in Europe spawns early triumphs for the Entente. In Ukraine, the local soldiers and population welcome the arriving Russians as liberators, ensuring that most of the German satellite nation is lost. Elsewhere, the manpower-swarming tactics of the Russians, unchanged from the last war, ensure that they suffer heavy losses for small gains. The Kaiser's army, particularly its panzers and 88mm flak cannons, prove instrumental in preventing the loss of East Prussia and the satellite kingdom of Poland.
In South America, a tense peace is maintained between Argentina and Chile, who both decide that they have had enough fighting in the First Great War. All of South America's nations are apparently neutral in this new conflict.
In the West, the French Army swiftly recaptures Alsace-Lorraine and stands on the Rhine River. Ireland is overrun by the British, while the Anglo-French thrust through the Low Countries succeeds beyond all expectations. The Belgians welcome the Entente as liberators. The Dutch, though more pro-German, are brushed aside, and some of the North German Plain was overrun.
Yet victory does not follow. Churchill's plan for a British end-run through Norway fails spectacularly, and does nothing more than drive the Norwegians into the "Central Powers" camp. France proves unable to cross the Rhine and the Germans on that front soon rally. Austria-Hungary, despite its clear weakness, remains united, and though Bulgaria wavers as a German ally, she never abandons Berlin entirely. Only the Low Countries campaign still shows promise for the Entente by the end of 1941, but Hamburg still remains unconquered. By February 1942, the German Army feels confident enough to launch counter-offensives against the British outside Hamburg and the Russians in the Ukraine.
In North America, the post-Blackbeard season proves uninspiring for both sides. Shortly after Sandusky falls, Jake Featherston declares that he will make peace with the U.S. if his 'reasonable' demands are met. All the 'unredeemed territory' is to be handed back, the post-"Great War" reparations that destroyed the C.S. economy are to be repaid and the Northern (but not Southern) side of the border is to be demilitarized. President Smith replies that night with the heaviest air raid on the C.S. capital Richmond yet, but not before announcing on the wireless: "I have not yet begun to fight!"
Despite Smith's bravado, the situation for the U.S. seems bleak into February 1942. A counter-attack in northern Virginia under Daniel MacArthur soon bogs down. With too many men sandwiched between the Appalachians and the Atlantic, the U.S. Army crosses the Rappahannock River but is held at the Rapidan line. A subsequent C.S. counterattack under Patton fails to dislodge the U.S., and both sides settle in for the winter.
After the Virginia front stalls, Featherston realizes that another knock-out blow is needed, and begins planning for a drive eastwards in the spring of 1942. Ohio remains quiet, with nothing more than local offensives. The revolt in Mormon Utah shows no signs of ending; by Christmas 1941, U.S. forces are stalled in Provo.
Neither side achieves a decisive advantage in the air war, which is characterized by Clarence Potter as a "duel with machine guns at a pace and a half." Both air forces soon resort to night attacks on the East Coast, as flak and fighters make daylight raids too costly. Farther west, daytime raids continue. On a tactical level, dive bombers prove effective at hitting ground targets but are vulnerable to fighters and flak; C.S. "Asskickers" suffer enormously from both. Neither U.S. Wright-27s nor C.S. "Hound Dog" fighters have any great advantage over the other.
It is during this time that the "population reductions" in the C.S. begin in earnest. Any black man whose passbook is out of order is immediately arrested and shipped out to a camp; in the cities blacks are used as war plant labor while suffering reprisals for black car bombs and other terrorist acts.
In the Louisianan camps, the slaughter begins with submachine guns, a method that proves inefficient. The camps simmer at the edge of rebellion, while most guards cannot stomach the job and some commit suicide by gun. Soon poison gas, which one guard uses to kill himself, is found to be an acceptable, more efficient alternative. Sealed trucks are ostensibly used to transfer blacks between camps; in practice the fumes leave them dead and ready for disposal in mass graves.
Despite the Freedom Party's best efforts, news of the killings reaches the U.S. capital at Philadelphia. Congresswoman Flora Blackford announces the crimes of the C.S. to the world, only to receive scathing comparisons with Utah from the Entente and sympathetic but indifferent reactions from U.S. citizens (with C.S. victory in the War of Secession, the real-life African American Great Migration never happens, leaving the U.S. largely devoid of a black population and disconnected from reports of the killings).
In February 1942, C.S. bombers, which have been bombarding Philadelphia since the war's beginning, manage to hit the Powel House, severely damaging the building and destroying its underground bunker, killing President Al Smith. His vice president Charles W. La Follette is sworn in as president shortly afterward. In his first speech as president, La Follette vows to continue the war and win it for the United States.
1942–1943: Drive to the East
The U.S. determination to keep fighting, even though it is now separated into two non-contiguous territories after the Ohio campaign, is a major setback to C.S. plans; the C.S. hoped for a short war and quick victory. The C.S. decide to concentrate troops in Ohio for an attack into western Pennsylvania to capture Pittsburgh, a major industrial center for the U.S. In order to have enough troops, the C.S. is forced to pull troops from other fronts, as well as under-equipped, unenthusiastic allied forces from the Empire of Mexico.
The campaign succeeds in reaching Pittsburgh but is unable to occupy the city fully. General Nathan Bedford Forrest III, the chief of staff, commanding the C.S. military, advises that the fighting in Pittsburgh has achieved its strategic aim of destroying the city's industrial capacity and recommends pulling out the C.S. troops. However, President Featherston refuses to allow any withdrawal. U.S. forces under Brigadier General Morrell next surround and attack Pittsburgh, destroying the light Mexican screening force. Still, Featherston refuses to allow the encircled forces to attempt a breakout. The C.S. Army is whittled down to a few ragged survivors by determined U.S. resistance and brutal house-to-house fighting. On February 2, 1943, the C.S. still inside Pittsburgh are forced to surrender. As a result of this defeat, General Forrest begins to discuss with Clarence Potter the possibility of overthrowing Featherston.
In other plotlines, Rep. Flora Blackford becomes more hawkish on the war, opposing the Administration's attempt to negotiate a settlement in Utah, where the Mormon uprising continues. She finds herself frequently agreeing with Robert A. Taft, the Democratic Senator from Ohio. (Taft was a Republican in our timeline)
In Utah, the Mormon rebels have realized that they cannot achieve a conventional military victory and so resort to a series of bombings throughout the United States, first with car bombs and then with suicidal "people bombs". Blacks in the C.S. soon begin imitating these attacks.
The C.S. extermination campaign against its black population continues and is expanded, with Jefferson Pinkard remaining a pivotal figure. Cyclone poison gas, originally used for pest extermination, is brought into the camps. However, the C.S. is worried when a diversionary attack, launched at the same time as the Pittsburgh campaign and led by Major General Dowling, threatens to capture the main extermination camp in Snyder, Texas and expose its operations to the world.
The naval war remains inconclusive. The U.S. beats back a Japanese attack against the Sandwich Islands and achieves an advantage in the Pacific. In the Atlantic, the main activity is preventing British convoys from bringing supplies to the Canadian underground. The Royal Navy and the Imperial German High Seas Fleet meet in battle late in 1942, with both sides claiming victory.
The United Kingdom and France are still bogged down in western Germany, while C.S. newspapers report that the Russians are driving on Warsaw. Partisan and insurgent resistance rises on all fronts: Britain contends with Irish rebellion, Russia fights Jews, Finns, Chechens, and Azerbaijanis, while the Empire of Austria-Hungary bleeds from (amongst others) Serb, Bosnian, and Romanian rebels, with people bombs killing several prominent military leaders.
By 1943, both the United States and the Confederate States, along with other countries, have initiated programs to develop atomic weapons. While no power has developed a weapon yet, it appears that the United States and German programs are ahead of the C.S. one, with Germany the closest to completion, due to the participation of Albert Einstein. Around the turn of the New Year in 1943, the U.S. achieves its first sustaining chain reaction at its plant in Hanford, Washington. The British and the French are also rumored to be working on atomic weapons.
1943: The Grapple
Following the defeat of the C.S. military at Pittsburgh, C.S. forces find themselves on the defensive in Ohio. Neither the U.S. nor the C.S. forces have adequate supplies for a major push; however, the U.S. position is getting stronger daily. After sufficient buildup, a massive invasion from Indiana crosses the Ohio River and enters Kentucky. General Morrell employs the "blitzkrieg"-like tactics which the C.S. first brought to the battlefield, surrounding and bypassing any center of C.S. resistance.
Meanwhile, the Mormon rebellion in Utah is finally suppressed. Mormons outside of the ruins of Salt Lake City surrender to occupying U.S. troops. Plans are put forth in Congress to expel the rebels from Utah, possibly to the Sandwich Islands. These same soldiers are sent to put down the flames of revolt in Canada. In mid-1943, Winnipeg is surrounded and under siege by the U.S. and Québécois armies.
Mexican Army forces are deployed to provide internal security in the C.S., replacing white C.S. soldiers sent to the front lines. Their efficiency against experienced guerrilla bands is limited, and the guerrillas' hit-and-run attacks become more and more brash.
To the surprise of the U.S. Navy, an assault on Midway Island reveals the Japanese have completely abandoned their garrison there. Many suspect that the Japanese are concentrating their resources for an assault on British-held Malaya and Singapore, abandoning the alliance. An amphibious assault on Wake Island in the western Pacific some months later regains U.S. control of the island but also finds no signs of the Japanese.
C.S. President Featherston demands more progress from the C.S. nuclear program, fearing that the U.S. will develop the weapon first. In an attempt to slow down the U.S. nuclear program, C.S. bombers fly an unsuccessful long-range mission to bomb the "uranium works" in Hanford, Washington. A later U.S. bombing raid on the C.S. atomic program in Lexington, Virginia kills several prominent C.S. nuclear physicists.
The U.S. conquest of the Baja California peninsula takes place soon after the beginning of the lull in Pacific operations. U.S. Marines land midway down the peninsula and take Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip, while the U.S. Army pushes from San Diego in Upper California, down deep into the territory, seizing control of the remainder of Baja. Harassment operations soon begin against the C.S. forces in Guaymas and the Sonoran coast.
A seaborne operation led by the U.S. to re-recapture Bermuda from British and C.S. forces succeeds. The United States begins running guns to Irish rebels fighting against the British occupiers. As these operations continue, the U.S. also sends arms to anti-Freedom Party rebels in C.S. Cuba, including a band led by a teenage Fidel Castro.
General Dowling's Eleventh Army continues to put pressure on Lubbock, Texas, the linchpin of C.S. defenses in the west. After Lubbock is captured, and the State of Houston subsequently revived, Brigade Leader Jefferson Pinkard destroys records and gas chambers at Camp Determination before the Yankees break through. Freedom Party Guard Units are deployed to slow down the U.S. advance, delaying the capture of Camp Determination. These fanatical Featherston loyalists, analogous to the historical Waffen-SS, wear camouflage rather than butternut uniforms and are notorious for brutality and refusal to surrender. Pinkard is put in charge of Camp Humble, not far from Houston, Texas, to continue population reductions. The United States use the mass graves at Camp Determination as propaganda.
In Europe, the German Army drives British forces out of their territory and over the Netherlands border. Subsequent operations are undertaken to free the Netherlands and "liberate" Belgium from Franco-British forces. In the east, German armored units deal a decisive blow to Russian forces outside of Kiev, tightening German control in the Ukraine area. Another thrust is aimed at the capital of Petrograd, which the Russians unsuccessfully try to turn back. Russia is no longer able to mount offensive operations, now trying to defend their "Motherland" with a battered and wounded army. Austria-Hungary is wracked by terrorist attacks but continues reprisals against the Serbs.
Facing off against C.S. General Patton, Morrell grinds down through Tennessee to capture the railroad junction of Chattanooga. In August 1943, United States airborne forces seize Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, overlooking Chattanooga, Tennessee, forcing the collapse of the C.S. defenses of the city; General Patton plans to treat the city as a "Second Pittsburgh", forcing a bloody attrition battle on the U.S. Instead, C.S. forces are forced to retreat to northwest Georgia. After several more counterattacks by the ill-equipped C.S. forces, the United States is poised to capture Atlanta, the last major transportation hub still linking both halves of the C.S. As the U.S. Army moves through Tennessee, plans are put forth in Congress to return Kentucky and Tennessee to the United States (under martial law), along with a revived State of Houston.
With the surprising success in its war effort, U.S. President La Follette, in a speech to the American Congress in fall 1943, demands that C.S. President Featherston surrender unconditionally, with him and his inner circle being banished to a distant island. Paralleling Al Smith's refusal of a similar demand in 1941, Featherston refuses, responding to it by ordering two V-2 rockets to be fired into Philadelphia, proving to the United States that he is unwilling to give up so easily.
1943–1945: In at the Death
U.S. forces continue to advance across the board as 1944 opens. Major General Irving Morrell moves to encircle Atlanta, forcing Patton's C.S. army there to escape to the south and west. Mechanized elements of the U.S. Army penetrate deep into eastern Georgia and South Carolina, eventually reaching the sea and cutting the C.S. in half, in a 1940s analogue of Sherman's March to the Sea. Major General Abner Dowling is recalled to Philadelphia from the newly re-created State of Houston to assist in the new thrust on Richmond being planned by General MacArthur.
The world is shocked when Germany uses the first superbomb to destroy Petrograd, Russia. The C.S. is not far behind and Featherston sends Potter with a jury-rigged plutonium (Jovium to C.S. scientists) truck bomb to infiltrate and attack Philadelphia. The carnage is fearsome, but critical government buildings are spared atomic destruction, as the bomb explodes on the outskirts of the city west of the Schuylkill River. Soon after, Featherston is forced to flee Richmond, while Patton pulls back to Alabama to defend the C.S. munitions works at Huntsville and Birmingham. U.S. planes drop a uranium bomb on Newport News, Virginia, narrowly missing the C.S. president, who is giving a speech in nearby Hampton Roads. The U.S. drops a second superbomb, this time on Charleston, in apparent revenge for South Carolina being the first state to secede from the U.S. back in 1860.
Germany uses its next superbomb against Paris, while the United Kingdom strikes Hamburg with its own superbomb. Germany retaliates with three superbombs on British cities nearly simultaneously; London is the most prominent, along with Norwich and Brighton. Winston Churchill promises a swift response, but a German turbo airplane shoots down the British bomber containing the second British bomb in Belgium, sparing Germany.
In the wake of German atomic attacks, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom, after a change of government, request armistices; the U.S. continues to gain territory and further squeeze the C.S. The U.S. recognizes an independent Republic of Texas, which splits the C.S. yet again, cutting off Sonora and Chihuahua from the rest of the C.S. The new President of Texas arranges for U.S. forces to liberate the death camps in his state. Jefferson Pinkard is arrested for crimes against humanity.
With Patton's army surrendering in Alabama under threat of atomic attack and U.S. forces advancing north through the Carolinas, Featherston attempts to flee to what remains of unoccupied C.S. territory by aircraft. Patrolling U.S. fighters shoot down the dictator's plane, and he and his party, surviving, attempt to proceed on foot. In a chance encounter, the black guerrilla Cassius (the son of a former black socialist rebel during the Great War, and sole survivor of his family) recognizes Featherston and shoots him dead. C.S. Vice President Donald Partridge becomes President long enough to sign a statement of unconditional surrender, which is accepted by General Morrell on behalf of the United States. With this, the Confederate States of America, after 83 years of independence, ceases to exist.
U.S. troops settle in garrisons for the long occupation of the defeated C.S. The black population of the C.S., decimated by genocide, has been reduced to scattered bands of guerillas who aid the victorious "Yankees". The final infantry campaigns have been brutal, and the U.S. Army has to deal with "bush whacker" insurgents who use small arms and explosives in widespread raids against the "Yankee" occupiers. In retaliation, they shoot tens or hundreds of C.S. civilians for every attack against U.S. forces. The U.S. also holds criminal trials to punish crimes against humanity in a similar manner to the "Nuremberg Trials" of our timeline, executing the deposed Attorney General and Director of Communications, as well as numerous camp guards. A defiant Jefferson Pinkard is among them, tried and executed in Texas.
However, the victorious US Army is shown as itself regularly resorting to acts which in our world would be considered as major war crimes, especially the executing of randomly taken civilian hostages in retaliation for the killing of its soldiers; in one episode, thousands of inhabitants of Miami, Florida are rounded up and shot to death in retaliation for an attack on a US naval vessel. Evidently, International law in this history knows nothing resembling the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The final dispensation of the defeated warring powers' territory is unclear, though the U.S. makes it clear that it plans to eventually absorb the whole of the former C.S. into the U.S. It is not clear what will become of the new U.S. ally Texas (which voluntarily joined the U.S. in 1845 after its original independence), or the now ex-C.S. states of Chihuahua, Sonora, and Cuba, which were never part of the U.S. One character suggests letting Mexico have Chihuahua and Sonora back, however it does seem in later chapters that the U.S. intends to keep all three states. In Canada, the simmering rebellion is put down after the U.S. agrees to treat captured Canadians as prisoners of war, and also threatening to superbomb Saskatoon in Saskatchewan.
Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Thomas E. Dewey and his running mate Harry S. Truman defeat Socialist President Charles W. La Follette and his running mate Jim Curley in the United States Presidential Election of 1944. Harold Stassen comes in third place, running as a Republican, carrying electoral votes from Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. However, because the Democratic victory came as a surprise, the Chicago Tribune had printed headlines the night of the election proclaiming "La Follette beats Dewey" (an allusion to "Dewey Defeats Truman").
At his inauguration on February 1, 1945, Dewey pledges to continue the occupation of the former C.S. with the intent to integrate the ex-C.S. states back into the U.S. He also pledges to continue La Follette's policy of racial equality in the armed services. Addressing the international stage, Dewey proposes a continued partnership with the United States of America's ally, Germany known as the "Dewey Doctrine". The Dewey Doctrine would allow the United States and Germany to police the world and prevent the spread of Superbomb technology to former enemies France, Japan, and Russia.
Reviewer Lionel Ward noted  that "Turtledove's long-running Southern Victory Series ends in an apparent happy ending. Fetherston, Koenig, Pinkard and Co. develop in the later books into very monstrous villains indeed, and they fully deserve the bad end which they get - three cheers for the victorious Good Guys! But a more careful look shows that in fact the series ends with an enormous cliffhanger which Turtledove seems uninterested in ever resolving. The actual post-1865 history shows how difficult and traumatic it was to re-integrate the South into the US after just four years, when everybody there had a recent experience of being a US citizen. How much more difficult to do it after several generations when the Confederacy was a fully independent, recognized nation state, its basic national identity focused on difference from and enmity to the US! Strike out "difficult". Integrating the Confederate territories into the United States would be an impossible mission, if ever there was one.(...) It would have been far more sensible to revive the Confederate Whig Party under US auspices and establish some kind of pragmatic co-existence with a rehabilitated Confederacy. But it seems that US decision makers do not even seriously consider this option. Instead, they rush into establishing an open-ended military occupation of a very large sullen population, which would inevitably burst into rebellion sooner or later - and Turtledove himself showed us how difficult it was, just before the war, to hold down just two rebellious Southern states. Factor in the smoldering embers of Canada, where nothing was resolved; add the unfinished problem of the Mormons in Utah. What do you get? The series ends with the US holding by the tail not one tiger but two, plus a big aggressive wildcat.(...) In this history, the post-1945 United States has nothing like the dominant global position it had in the equivalent period of actual history. There are several rival powers with the both the means and the motive to make trouble for the US and actively foment rebellion."
- Fictional characters in the Southern Victory Series
- Historical characters in the Southern Victory Series
- Institutions in the Southern Victory Series
- Second Mexican War (Southern Victory)
- American Civil War alternate histories
- Guns of the South, another Harry Turtledove-written novel dealing with a C.S. victory
- Dr. Lionel P. Ward "Is Alternate History An Amusing Pastime, Or Does It Have Something Serious To Tell Us?" in Barbara De Hartog (ed.) "Round Up of Recent Essays In and On Speculative Fiction"
- The Great War page an official website