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WHAT PRICE VICTORY?
PART I: 1941-1948

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese level Pearl Harbor in a massive attack by hundreds of Japanese aircraft.  Within a week President Roosevelt asks for and receives a declaration of war on Japan.  The United States military mobilizes, but it is not fast enough; the attack on Pearl was thorough, and too much of the Pacific Fleet was destroyed or disabled.

In February of 1942, the Japanese launch a full-scale invasion of the American west coast.  By mid-1943, they have reached the Mississippi, and whatever sections of the western states that remain unconquered have long reverted to martial law.

Throughout 1943 and '44, the United States military pushes the Japanese forces to the Montana and Wyoming borders, where a truce line is drawn on August 14, 1944.  As prisoners and civilians begin to band together, massive uprisings occur in the southwest.  In what becomes known as the San Francisco Rebellion, rioters take control of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico from the Japanese.

As the fight becomes isolated in the south, Texas, seeing that the US military is fighting a losing battle, denounces ties to the US.  It, along with Oklahoma, officially secedes from the Union, forming the Independent Republic of Texas on May 22, 1945.  Adding injury to insult, Roosevelt dies on August 14.  Vice President Truman immediately replaces him.

By early 1945, the new Texan army has defeated the remnants of the Japanese military and retains all prisoners of war indefinitely.  They claim the border to the Rio Grande as far north as the Colorado border.

Following the Texans' example, the pocket of resistance in the southwest creates an official military and government to go with it--the American Pacific Republic is created on January 4, 1946.

The Union continues to denounce both the IRT and the APR and threaten both governments with war, but everyone knows the United States cannot sustain another war, not now, and not for a long time.  The US forces manage to keep the Japanese at the Montana-Wyoming line, and the APR also keeps their southern border in check.  The five states remaining under Japanese control become known as Japanese Occupied Territory, JOT.

The Allies land forces in France on June 6, 1946; in an operation known as D-Day, Allied ground forces storm German defenses in the Bay of Biscay and in Brittany, Normandy and Belgium.  After a week, a foothold has been established throughout ports on the North Sea and English Channel.

After a year of fighting, the Germans are forced out of France and Belgium.  The Allied navy begins bombarding Sicily and other heavily fortified areas of Italy in preparation for what the media calls "D-Day II."  In November 1946, the Allies invade the Italian peninsula.  Within two months Rome is captured, but Mussolini refuses to surrender, instead relocating to San Marino.

After numerous inconclusive naval battles, the Japanese and the APR call a truce on December 1.  The Japanese Empire maintains Guam, Saipan, the Marianas, the Marshalls, Midway, Wake Island, and Hawaii, along with the northwest continental States, now known as the Japanese Occupied Territory.  The United States refuses to surrender to the Japanese, seeing them as allies of the Germans and bitter enemies.

By January of 1947, the Allies have taken the southern quarter of Italy and the entire western coast.  Mussolini remains safe in San Marino, despite Allied attempts to assassinate him with covert bomber groups.

President Truman begins to contemplate the use of atomic weapons.  In the confusion of the San Francisco Rebellion and the Texan secession, one of the Union's two atomic bombs have been "misplaced."  Unable to locate through conventional means, the CIA begins sending covert agents into the APR and Texas to locate the bomb.  Meanwhile, after much debate, Truman and the Joint Chiefs decide to drop "the bomb" on the German suburb of Bielefeld.  It is hoped that the displayof power made by the bomb will convince Hitler to surrender.

The newly-formed APR Navy begins the Battle of the Gold Coast, bombarding Rommel's forces, now controlling all of northern Africa.  The bombardment is little more than show; Rommel is currently on the other side of the continent.

In March of '48, CIA agents report that the other atomic bomb was "lost in transit."  Ordered to a storage facility in Colorado, the bomb was forgotten by the APR government during the San Francisco Rebellion.  Almost immediately, secret agents for the APR learn that the US is planning to retrieve the bomb, and a border skirmish breaks out along the Colorado-Nebraska border.  Once again, no one knows where the bomb has gone.

On April 13, 1948, the bomber Enola Gay enters German airspace and barely survives to her target, Bielefeld, and drop the atomic bomb nicknamed Fat Man.  Thirty thousand German civilians die instantly, with another hundred thousand projected over the next year.

On April 18, the APR carrier Enterprise sees signal smoke coming from the region of Port Harcourt.  Moving closer, the fleet receives an open-frequency message requesting a meeting with an emissary.  On April 19, General Rommel presents himself to Admiral Bill Halsey, requesting asylum for him and his officers in the American Pacific Republic.

Rommel's surrender is followed subsequently throughout Europe by the surrender, defection and betrayal of a great many German officers and enlisted men.  The Soviets bash their way into Berlin on May 7, 1948 and demand the surrender of German forces.  On May 10, Hitler commits suicide.  The next day his remaining commanders surrender to the Russians.

Allied forces now concentrate their efforts on the remains of Mussolini's military.  After two more weeks, the Allies are at the road to San Marino, but now the hard part begins.  It takes two full months of fighting, even with Italian troops defecting constantly; on August 15, the Soviets reach Mussolini's bunker and demand his surrender under threat of another atomic bomb.  Mussolini commits suicide the next day.  World War II is over.

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