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The First HoS List Challenge

The First HoS List Challenge

  • Time Enough (UK)

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • Japhy (US)

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • The Red (Poland)

    Votes: 12 54.5%
  • Mumby (International Brigades)

    Votes: 14 63.6%
  • Charles EP M. (Italy)

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • Cevolian (Japan)

    Votes: 9 40.9%

  • Total voters


Britain expects that every man will do his duty...
My house, in the middle of the street
Welcome everyone to the Inaugural HoS List Challenge!

How it works is simple: every month there will be a theme, and the challenge is to write an alternate Head of State list (with an accompanying description of no less than 200 words) based on that theme. The theme is intended to be a prompt, and as such the amount of focus you give to the theme can vary as much as you wish. Cabinet lists are also acceptable. All HoS/Cabinet lists should be plausible. Unless stated otherwise, the list can be for any country.

The theme for this month is “The War of 1938”.

As you will all know, 1938 was a year packed with potential flashpoints for conflict. Anschluss and the Sudetenkrise are the best known, but in 1938 the Spanish Civil War was still in the balance, the French and Italians had a diplomatic crisis and the Polish issued the Vilnius Ultimatum. Outside of Europe there was the Integralist Coup against the Brazilian government, and the first minor skirmishes of the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War took place. The possibilities are endless!

For this challenge, any PODs used for the list should not take place earlier than the 11th November 1918.

Entries should be posted in this thread and you can submit as many entries as you please but only the first will be considered to be competitive. At the end of the month a public vote will be held to decide on a winning list, and a second vote will be held to decide on a future theme. Entries are open with immediate effect, and will close on the 26th September.

Any questions, comments or suggestions are welcome either in this thread or sent to me by PM.

Good luck everyone!

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
We Need Action! The War of 1938 List:

Prime Minister of Great Britain:
1918-1923 Austen Chamberlain (Conservative)

1918 (Majority) def: David Lloyd George (Liberal), William Adamson (Labour)
1923-1928: J.R.Clynes (Labour)
1923 (Coalition with Liberals) def: Austen Chamberlain (Conservative), David Lloyd George (Liberal)
1928-1931: William Joynson-Hicks (Conservative)
1928 (Majority) def: J.R.Clynes (Labour), David Lloyd George (Liberal), Harry Pollitt (CPGB)
1931-1935: David Lloyd George (Liberal leading Action Coalition)
1931 ('Action' Coalition) def: Oswald Mosley ('Action' Conservatives), Nye Bevan ('Action' Labour), Herbert Samuel (Liberal), Herbert Morrison (Labour), James Maxton (Independent Labour Party), William Joynson-Hicks (Conservative), Harry Pollitt (CPGB)
1935 (Majority) def: Samuel Hoare (Conservative), Herbert Morrison (Workers), Stafford Cripps-Harry Pollitt (Popular Front), Herbert Samuel (Liberal)

1935-1936: Oswald Mosley (Conservative leading Action Coalition)
1936-1938: Anthony Eden (Conservative leading Action Coalition)

1938-: Stafford Cripps (Popular Front leading War Goverment)
1938 (Majority) def: Anthony Eden (Action), Oliver Baldwin-Nye Bevan('Socialist' Action), A.V.Alexander (Workers), Samuel Hoare (Conservative), John Simon (Liberal)

1918: David Lloyd George doesn't try and pull off the 'Coupon Election' and instead decides to fight an election as the Liberals, Bonar Law is hit with Spanish Flu and is replaced by Austen Chamberlain who manages to batter David Lloyd George who is losing support to Labour in some sections. The Chamberlain Government handles a lot of things poorly, workers rights, the Irish Revolution and the raise in Socialist thought across Europe. By 1923, most of Europe is Red or Black and Chamberlain is left holding the bill.

1924: Labour manages to awkwardly stumble into Government and after 4 years of Coalition they manage to get most of there program through (though arguments are had over free trade vs. Protectionism). But in the end the Conservatives go with an anti-Communist Populist Campaign and the Liberals finally collapse leading Labour in the lurch. The Jix Government handles trade unions and workers rights worse than before and decides to ally with the raising Fascist Government of Mussolini. An attempt to ban the Communist Party of Great Britain goes poorly and the snubbing of Soviet leader Nikolai Bukharin doesn't help international relations. When the Great Depression hits the Hicks Government is seen as being out of touch and incapable dealing with the problem at hand. It was time for Action.

1931: A new group enters the scene, the Action Coalition a rather disparate group of Keynesian inspired folks from across the political spectrum decide to join together to declare War on Poverty and the Great Depression. The Coalition gets a majority after chaotic election and Grand Keynesian style projects are brought about, dams, power plants and much more are built. Lloyd George becomes more friendly with Burharin's Government and it seems Britain maybe be able to get out of the depression, but meanwhile in Europe trouble is afoot. Herman Goring manages to become Fuehrer of Germany, Mussolini has his eyes set on Albania and France and Spain collapse into chaos. But Lloyd George and his successor (once Lloyd George becomes ill) decide to pursue a policy of appeasement thinking that Europe won't battle each other. However as the French and the Spanish Civil War's occur and Italy invades Albania and Germany starts expanding it seems that appeasement won't work. Anthony Eden goes down a more pragmatic path of trying to avoid taking sides and building up his army but when Germany, Italy and Poland (alongside other Eastern European countries) band together to declare war on the Soviet Union it seems he'll have to take a side. So he puts it to the people, vote Action and avoid War or vote another party and join it.

1938: Who would have thought that Popular Front would win the election? Certainly not Anthony Eden, though he should have gotten an inkling when Oliver Baldwin and Nye Bevan created a splinter group that would support the Popular Front Government. But now Britain is going to war in the first time in 20 years, and this time it's going to fight for Freedom, Liberty and Democratic Socialism...well that what's Cripps says. Harry Pollitt and Palme Dutt may have other ideas...


The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
Patreon supporter
This is a great idea, @Venocara, though I may not have an entry given I'm up to a thousand words and counting. Since that rather defeats the spirit of the List format, I might have to put it in the Writing forum.


The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
Patreon supporter
Alright, so what I've decided to do is post the list here and the explanation separately to minimise thread bloat. @Venocara can judge whether or not this counts as an appropriate entry.

MIT BRENNENDER SORGE : The Holy War of 1938 List

Bishops of Rome (Benedictine Succession)

Benedict XV (Giacomo della Chiesa) 1914-1922

Sede Vacante, 1922-1938

Pius XI* (Eugene Pacelli): 1938-1944

Urban IX (Ivan Ŝarić): 1944-1947

Dominic I (Enrique Pla y Deniel) 1947-1959

Dominic II (Geraldo de Proença Sigaud) 1959-1985

Benedict XVI (Marcel Lefebvre) 1985-1994

Leo XIV (Richard Williamson) 1994- present

*Confusingly, Pacelli considered himself to be Pius XII. It would take until Pope Dominic I for the Doctrine of Sedevacantism to clarify that there was no Pope between 1922-1938.

Bishops of Rome, (Piusine Succession)

Benedict XV (Giacomo della Chiesa) 1914-1922

Pius XI (Achille Rati): 1922-1938

John XXIII, (Elia della Costa) 1938-1944

Paul VI (Achille Liénart) 1944-1965

John XXIV (Giovanni Montini) 1965-1967

Pius XII (Albino Luciani) 1967-1982

Francis I (Carlo Martini) 1982-2011

Francis II (Jorge Bergolio) 2011-present
Last edited:


Drunk like a fox appointed professor of drunking a
Published by SLP
Albany, NY
War of '38

The War of '38, and thus the Second World War (1953-1957) was from a certain perspective written from the notes of the Bloody 20's. America had hardly overcome the trauma of President Wilson's death and certainly had failed to process the Trauma of WWI when the National Strike of 1920 began in March of 1920. No one at all was prepared for the assassination of President Marshall just two months later on May Second. In the aftermath what Attorney General and then President Palmer would continually declare the Second Civil War was underway. Strikes, Assassinations, Round-Ups, Suspensions of Civil Liberties, Massacres, Lynchings, and Ambushes would drag on through the Two Red Years and beyond. All the building blocks of Americas own Fascist regime were built under the democratically elected administrations of Palmer and Dawes as the decade continued. Meanwhile the harsh reaction created forces of its own. The Ku Klux Klan, The American Legion, The American Protective League, The Khaki-Shirts and The Councils of White Citizens were on the march, sometimes embracing, sometimes breaking with the parties with the tides. After years of Economic struggle Dawes sought to create a boom, and by 1927 had done so. But rampant speculation on the American Market made the good times short, and after 18 months of wild prosperity the labor struggle, rising fascism and political discontent exploded as the boom was shown to be a bubble and popped.

Al Smith swept in 1928 offered a way out, economic recovery he felt was impossible to establish without political liberalization. But of course by then the forces of the right were entrenched, a far right VP plotted along with political opponents in his own and two opposition parties. And as debts rose, lawlessness dragged on and the economy staggered they struck. American Democracy died as Smith was dragged into a show impeachment and Long, viewing himself as a bulwerk against the "True Radicals" of the Far-Right brought them into his government hoping his own brand of authoritarianism would be enough. In some ways it was. Otherways led to the other crises of the years to come.

By 1938 American relations with the nations of Europe and Asia were imploding, but this hardly seemed to matter to the American Regime, America being perhaps the only country in the world suited to attempt Autarky. The bread and circuses weren't interrupted, the slave labor of the camps could keep producing and the White Welfare State was entrenched. But there were considerations other than the economic at play. Manifest Destiny had dragged America into War with Mexico in 1936, and while victory seemed inevitable it was slowed drastically by the European Liberal Powers, the Japanese and the Soviet regime sending arms, aid and volunteers. by the Spring of 1938 though it was over, with America recognizing the Independence of the Yucatan Separatists and the last of the Republican forces of Mexico heading to prison, the grave or exile in Central America where now, Britain and Japan were maintaining naval bases. For Long, for his Patriotic nation, and especially for the forces of Industry, Capital, the Army, and the Party, this was unacceptable. And so plans were dusted off, and operations readied. And another target was focused on.

On August 1st the War of '38 began, not with landings of troops in Guatamala or Honduas or Costa Rica but instead far to the North. It was a war that began with Sarin gas falling upon the Ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Of Admiral Halsey's daring landings at St. Johns. And of columns of Tanks and motorized troops, with not so much as a horse or mule in sight, pouring North into Canada. The British Forces that had supplemented the Canadians too newly arrived. The border was too long. Much of the Country was too indefensible. Only a day into the war the Canadian Government was forced to attempt to create an Eastern Redoubt, abandoning Ontario and the West to nothing but Partisan Warfare by Territorials. But with fighting all across the Maritimes, in the sister Dominion of Newfoundland and the dark killers of Chester Nimitz' submarine forces striking as far afield and as in such a safe haven as Scapa Flow and Gibraltar Harbor it was all so much pointless sacrifice. Dwight Eisenhower, fated to join the cabalists of '57 finally cleared himself of the cloud of suspicion that was placed upon him by his ties to the purged MacArthur was the one to accept the surrender of the Quebec City Garrison, and with it of most of the Canadian Government not seven weeks into the brief war. The war would drag on until the end of the year. But in the End the British and French were only able to salvage some of their colonies with reinforcements in the Lesser Antillies and in Guyana. And while the Jungle and the Mountains proved harder for American triumph in Central America by January the Popular Front in France was screaming for Peace and Foreign Minister Winston Churchill was demanding the same in London. And so it was that the American Fascists were simply allowed to win.

At least for a time. By the mid-fifties the wheels were off in America, the insurgencies stretching from the Artic Circle to Panama dragged on. France and Britain were now leading lights in a European Confederacy. Japan had long ago joined them to Contain American Threats. And in Moscow, the government of Iron Lazar was ever more concerned that with the collapse of Fascism in Japan and Italy that America could become a universal danger. But what changed most of all was classified in the Australian desert as a decade of Franco-German-British cooperation was coming to ahead.

1920-1921: Bainbridge Colby / vacant (Democratic) [Acting]
1921-1925: A. Mitchell Palmer / Josephus Daniels (Democratic)

1920: Leonard Wood / Irvine L. Lenroot (Republican), William D. Haywood / William Z. Foster (Socialist)
1925-1929: Charles G. Dawes / Herbert C. Hoover (Republican)
1924: A. Mitchell Palmer / Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democratic), Robert L. Bullard / T. Coleman du Pont (Nationalist), William D. Haywood / Elizabeth G. Flynn (Socialist)
1929-1931: Alfred E. Smith / S. M. Breckinridge Long (Democratic)
1928: Herbert C. Hoover / Henry C. Wallace (Republican), Charles E. Russell / Robert M. La Follette, Jr. (Socialist), Alvin M. Owsley / Burton K. Wheeler (Nationalist)
1931: S. M. Breckinridge Long / vacant (Democratic)
1931-1945: S. M. Breckinridge Long / Warren O. Grimm (Democratic-Nationalist-Emergency, later American Social Pact)

1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt / Herbert C. Hoover (Constitutional Democratic-Republican), Norman M. Thomas / Huey P. Long (Socialist-Farmer-Labor)
1936: Robert A. Taft / Alben W. Barkley (Unionist)
1940: Scattered
1945-1949: S. M. Breckinridge Long / H. DeForrest Bogart (American Social Pact)
1944: Scattered
1949-1957: William D. Pelley / Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (American Social Pact)
1948: Charles A. Lindbergh / Hamilton Fish III (“Liberal” ASP)
1952: Scattered
1956: Scattered
1957-1959: Hanford MacNider / Lyndon B. Johnson (US Military-Washington Establishment Junta)

The Red

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Great idea for a challenge.

The War of 1938 on the Bug

Leaders of the Second Polish Republic (Official titles vary)

1918-1922: Józef Piłsudski
1922-1926: Stanisław Wojciechowski (Piast)
1926-1935: Józef Piłsudski (Sanacja)
1935-1937: Edward Rydz-Śmigły (Sanacja) [1]
1937-1939: Triumvirate (Sanacja) [2]
1939-1942: Władysław Kiernik (Centrolew) [3]
1942-1947: Diarchy (Sanacja) [4]
1947-1950: Adam Ciołkosz (Polish Socialist Party) [5]
1950-????: Władysław Raginis (Sanacja)

[1] The Marshal was hardly comparable to the man who preceded him as the effective leader of Poland but he was a veteran of the wars for Polish independence in his own right and enjoyed the confidence of the military. This wasn't enough to see him through. Although Rydz-Śmigły had the benefits of being the chosen successor of Pilsudski's 'healing' movement and was keen to maintain the great man's style of charismatic military rule from the background he quickly finds himself beset by political figures no longer willing to play along. His military clique ends up at odds with factions based around the President, Ignacy Mościcki and the Foreign Minister, Józef Beck. The lax constitutional set-ups that had worked previously now create serious tensions which feel eerily similar to the chaotic democracy prior to the May coup and eventually it becomes clear that the military can no longer govern by decree. Beck and Mościcki are invited to share power in the hope of quelling their factions and returning some stability to government.

[2] Except the three men still vehemently disagree with each other on almost every pressing issue of the day and though they have agreed to be civil with each other the policy of government remains reactive, when it exists at all. This doesn't change when the big issue approaches. The German demands on Czechoslovakia and the willingness of the Anglo-French to stand by the Czechs causes a war panic across Europe. Poland has military commitments to France, albeit over a decade old and Rydz-Śmigły feels they should be honoured in the event of any German attack but Mościcki doesn't trust the French to react in kind. Beck is a Francophobe on top of this and once again the only response possible to Anglo-French feelers is non-committal.

The renewed offer to join the Anti-Comintern Pact from von Ribbentrop, Beck's German counterpart, meets a more united response. The offer comes a few days before the beginning of Fall Grun alongside a proposal to carve up Czechoslovakia between Hungary, Poland and themselves but the Triumvirate rejects it out of hand. Although Beck's foreign policy has been far more pro-German than his predecessors it is acknowledged that actively tying Poland's destiny to Germany's would at best leave their fate in Hitler's hands and at worst would be outright suicide. The Soviets have made their own assurances to the Czechs and the French after all.

When the war finally breaks out in September the Soviets honour their commitments, as do the Anglo-French. This is of little direct help to the Czechs beyond what can be flown over via Romania and after several weeks of heroic struggle the Heer marches through Prague. Poland is hit by a refugee crisis which includes many Polish dissidents who had decided to take their chances with their fellow countrymen. The triumvirate prepares for the worst but after the fall of Czechoslovakia an uneasy calm settles on the Franco-German border and there is some hope that this situation can still be resolved without a clash between the major powers. The Anglo-French have the advantage in waiting for the British blockade to do what it did to Germany in the last war, Poland suffers from this as well although the damage is offset by the vast increase in trade with Germany.

The Germans grow increasingly desperate over the winter, what can be gained from their Czech conquest and from trade with neutral nations isn't nearly enough to circumvent the economic strangulation. Italian initiatives towards a peace meet the reply that Germany will have to return to its pre-war borders and as such Hitler dismisses the entreaties. Instead the Spring of 1939 sees an all-or-nothing German lunge into Belgium. The Anglo-French had been preparing for this but find themselves on the backfoot. The Belgians collapse, the Germans reach the Somme and appear to threaten Paris.

The Soviets take it upon themselves to salvage the situation, not wishing to be the only anti-fascist power on a German dominated continent. If scores can be settled with Poland to achieve that then all the better. In May the Poles are given a blunt ultimatum, allow Soviet troops through Poland to attack German territory or be considered a German ally. Beck responds that Poland is neutral and appeals to the Anglo-French, who unfortunately for the Poles aren't in any position to look a gift horse in the mouth. They urge the Poles to agree to the Soviet request but don't declare war when the Soviets do in response to the Polish refusal.

The Poles are ready for the invasion when it comes and the Red Army has been damaged by the recent purges but they are assisted by Ukrainian nationalist uprisings and their advantages in equipment and numbers force the Poles back over the Spring and into the Summer. The Poles refuse any German help but the Wehrmacht is forced to shift assets east regardless, derailing any hope of continuing the offensive in the west. By July the Soviets are threatening to cross the Bug and Anglo-French counter-attacks are tearing the depleted German army to shreds amidst a shattered Wehrmacht retreat through Belgium. Rydz-Śmigły is occupied at the front, leaving Beck and Mościcki to craft a way out by themselves. The situation is untenable, so better to blame the Marshal for the defeat and leave responsibility for the peace to one of the recently returned dissidents.

[3] The elevation of Kiernik from prison cell to the Presidency is a hurried one. Although being locked up immediately upon his return there is enough grudging respect for the former minister amongst what's left of the Sanacja regime to leave him responsible for the mess they had caused. By the time he had recomprised a cabinet of old allies and some fresh faced military veterans of the ongoing struggle the Soviets have already made their new demands.

The first major act of Kiernik's new government is to sign away Polish territory east of the Curzon Line, an act which poisons his attempts to restore democracy, or even just to halt the worst reactionary impulses of the Triumvirate over the following years. The resulting refugee crisis returns the republic to the chaos of its formative years and though the final German collapse helps restore some sanity it only serves to enshrine Poland's new border with some sparse 'compensation' in the form of the parts of East Prussia the Soviets don't want. The severe retraction of the European economy that follows the end of the war is only worsened for Poland by the millions of refugees flooding the cities and although Kiernik's government successfully holds off the Kasprzycki coup attempt following a general strike, he is told shortly after by the military men in his cabinet that he is once again surplus to requirements.

[4] With Kiernik returned to his cell the Sanacja regime reasserts itself in the form of the disparate elements of left and right who had previously backed the initial movement. The Socialist Rajmund Jaworowski becomes Prime Minister with the Conservative Jerzy Gościcki becoming President, Although at ideological odds both men work well with each other, the President whipping up a nationalist, revanchist fervour in the face of the incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union and the new Gottwald regime in Czechoslovakia whilst the Prime Minister positions himself as the voice of the unions. The regime is more pluralistic than the triumvirate and less hapless than Kiernik's but it's not enough for many. Goodwill wears thin and the employment initiatives sponsored by the regime seem to consist of getting people to work for food. The unions demand real elections and invigorated by their success against Kasprzycki threaten to do the same to the Sanacja movement as a whole if their demands are not met.

[5] The first real elections for some time are also the most conclusive in the history of the young republic. The new Prime Minister is empowered to carry out his programme of land reform, slum clearances and full employment. Even his detractors find it difficult not to get swept up in the boldness of this new direction. Perhaps in some way it is a sign that the Polish people are ready to walk out from under the shadow of the formative years.

However it's not long before a group of nomads in central Siberia wonder why a shadow is being cast over them at all.

After all, the sun already rose several hours ago.


Always mysterious!
Published by SLP
Municipal Commune of Bourne
General-Commanders of the International Brigades

1936-1937: no unified leadership
1937-1939: Emilio Kleber
1939-1941: Robert Hale Merriman
1941-1943: Paul Eluard
1943-1946: Bernard Knox
1946-1949: Oliver Law
1949-1957: Subhas Chandra Bose
1957-0000: Malcolm Little

The transformation of the volunteer brigades into the modern equivalent of crusading knightly orders happened in the bleak years of 1937 to 1939, as the Spanish Civil War transformed first from a Manichaean conflict of Nationalist/Fascist vs Republican/Loyalist into a multifaceted one in which virtually every province of Spain was smashed apart, and then into a wider European conflict.

Cut off from coherent direction from either the Comintern or the collapsed Popular Front government, the scattered foreign volunteers took matters into their own hands. They needed to eat, so they formed alliances with villages under threat from fascists or bandits, or forced them to bend the knee. Villages became forts, and forts turned into fiefs. A coherent structure for the 'army without a state' began to form.

The International Brigades truly took on a life of their own as war spread across Europe, with the virtually simultaneous attempted coup by the PSF in France, and the German invasion of Austria. The French civil conflict gave Germany unprecedented leeway to realise their goals, but they gambled too far. Europe was tipped into war. Existent far left partisans in France were galvanised by the eventual Nazi occupation and the division of the country into SS governed Reichskommissariats (Gaul, Burgund and Occitan), and in stepped the International Brigades - for the first time stepping beyond the bounds of their ostensible masters in Moscow.

This would set the tone going on. The General-Commanders were often selected to suit the tone of the times, from the French poet Eluard during the bloody guerrilla and propaganda war in Western Europe, to the selection of an Englishman when it came time to cooperate with the Anglo-Saxons. The eventual bloody victory over fascism did not spell the end of the International Brigades however.

Europe had been reshaped by war, and the acquistion of myriad holdings by the Brigades was acknowledged, begrudgingly by governments that more often than not swung in the direction of the Brigades 'Third-And-A-Half Internationale'. Beyond the shores of continental Europe however, there was a world to win, and it was the hope of powers like Great Britain, Japan and to a lesser extent, the United States, that they could keep things as they were.

Oliver Law took the war overseas, and it was he who committed the Brigades to supporting the Indian independence effort when the former First Sea Lord Churchill attempted to keep the subcontinent in the Empire by force. Bose would become the longest serving General-Commander and the International Brigades would swell to unprecedented size - at one point becoming the largest volunteer army ever assembled in human history.

With India's independence, Bose would retain his position, in an organisation oriented toward the anti-imperialist struggle, commanding an army without a state that had all the trappings of a government. When he stepped aside, it was to ensure that this would take its logical conclusion - a confrontation with the new superpowers. As the Civil Rights Struggle became increasingly bloody, the ascent to power of Malcolm Little was a direct challenge to the United States - set your house in order, or we will. And with the revelation of the International Brigades successfully testing their own atomkraft in the Indian Ocean, it is clear that this is no idle threat.

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
LET THEM FIGHT: The War of '38

Leaders of Fascist Italy

Benito Mussolini (1922 - 1939)

Pietro Badoglio (1939 - 1940)

Rodolfo Graziani (1940 - 1942)

Italy was committed to preserving Austrian independence as a counter to Hitler's growing power and war was inevitable - and the German war machine was better than Italy's, and helped by the fact many Austrians wanted to unify. While Italy held off the Kriegsmarine, the Luftwaffe and Wermacht pasted their counterparts and Mussolini, er, well, either shot himself or was shot, nobody has ever been sure.

Either way, Italy was being invaded and Badoglio, Chief of Staff, took full command of the state as well as military to save Italy. But he had to evacuate the government and king to Sicily to do that. And then he had to evacuate to Libya.

For a year, Badoglio and the Reich's appointed puppet leader Graziani - who defected in large part due to a falling out with Badoglio - both claimed to be the legitimate ruler of Italy. Wars were fought in Africa and across the Mediterranean, but in the end the Germans' industry allowed Graziania's brand spanking new Italian Social Republic and its "friends" to take Libya.

The other nations of Europe were content to sit back, watch, and eat food. (The Ethiopians took this opportunity to revolt, and won) All of German's aggression was distraction and the Italian fascists were removed from the board, while Europe's many far-right parties splintered and fought each other over who they backed. While the end result was Italy became a client state and Nazis now controlled a chunk of the Near East, the Med, and East Africa, in those two years everyone else had a chance to arm up, watch Nazi tactics, and form alliances, and Hitler found himself violently shut down when he tried to monkey around in the Sudetenland. Graziani fell with him, ending the first fascist experiment with a bloodied whimper


Well-known member
The War of ‘38

Prime Ministers of Japan (Shōwa Restoration)

1936-1937: Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu (National Principle Faction)
1937-1940: Gen. Sadaro Araki (Imperial Way)
1940-1942: Gen. Kazushige Ugaki (National Self-Defence Committee)
1942-1942: Gen. Jinzaburō Masaki (Imperial Way)
1942-1942: Nobusuke Kishi (National Self-Defence Committee)

Leader of the Japanese Provisional Government

1942-1944: Joseph W. Stilwell (US Army // Provisional Government)
1944-1944: Hitoshi Ashida (Japan Harmonious Self-Rule Committee // Provisional Government)

Prime Minister of Japan (Heisei Era)

1944-1946: Hitoshi Ashida (Liberal)
1944 (National Compact with Socialists) def. Nobusuke Kishi (Democrats), Sanzō Nosaka (Communist), various ‘Imperial Way’ successors
1946-0000: Kōzō Sasaki (Socialist)
1946 (National Compact with Communists and ‘Left’ Liberals) def. Ichirō Hatoyama (New Japan Alliance // ‘Right’ Liberals and Democrats)

Although American historians have, traditionally, been wont to situate the eruption of the “War of ‘38” (known as the Pacific War in Japan) at the confluence of the simmering geopolitical tensions of the interwar period and the explosive Panay and Allison incidents, as the revisionists of the Sacramento School have long argued, such this dehistoricised narrative, in ignoring the domestic situation in Japan, unmoors the war from critical contingencies in Japanese history, and creates a false sense of inevitability. Indeed, whilst it is undeniable that certain geo- and power-political pressures created the conditions for Nippono-American war (particularly the resource depletion of the Japanese economy and the growth of American power in the Pacific with the waning of Britain), it is likely that war could, at least, have been avoided had Japan not succumbed to the lure of ultranationalist authoritarianism in February 1936. The now infamous coup of February 26th was itself a highly contingent affair: had one or two pieces not fallen perfectly into place (if General Araki had not swept in to support the plotters, if Prince Chichibu had not induced his elder brother’s compliance, had they failed to assassinate Prime Minister Keisuke Akada) the whole plot was liable to collapse, and we might now remember the Imperial Way and National Principle Factions only as reactionary footnotes in Japan’s peaceful march to modernity. Instead, they brought to power a clique of embittered reactionaries and militarists. From 1936-1937, the ‘Shōwa Restoration’ led by Prince Chichibu turned Japan into the most nominal and totalitarian of democracies: plebiscitary, nationalistic, hyper-majoritarian; a state ruled under the nominal sanction of the people, but controlled tightly by their masters in the imperial palace and military command. By the time Chichibu stepped aside for the power behind the throne, General Sadaro Araki, Japan had joined Italy and Germany in the camp of nationalist totalitarian states.

It was against this backdrop, that Japan and the United States slid towards war. Although Araki's 'Imperial Way' faction's principle geopolitical aim had been a "Strike North" against the Soviet Union, events would intervene: the sinking of the USS Panay in December 1937 exacerbated the already growing tensions between the two powers, and draw them to the brink of war as a diplomatic crisis extended into the new year over Araki's refusal to issue a formal apology. But it was the Allison Incident in Nanking a month later which would be the final straw. On the 26th January, John Moore Allison was struck by a Japanese officer in the midst of fighting around the American Embassy during Japanese soldiers' massacre of Chinese civilians: this confrontation could have ended otherwise, but when Allison fell and struck his head, his death sealed the fates of both of the Pacific's major powers. War might have been avoided, but a bullish Japanese government certain that war was imminent anyway, and too proud to issue any sort of apology and an American government pressured by popular opinion to seek satisfaction found themselves colliding. Two months after Allison's death, an abortive Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour would see the formal commencement of Nippono-American hostilities.

To begin with, the war was arduous but the combatants evenly-matched, but whilst the United States had rich access to the materiel demanded by war, Japan did not. As the war raged on, a slow and brutal "island hopping" campaign by the Americans drew closer to Japan. With much of the Japanese navy at the bottom of the Pacific, the Emperor dismissed Araki in 1940 in favour of the moderate General Kazushige Ugaki and the National Self-Defence Committee. The first six months of Ugaki's premiership saw a limited revival of Japan's fortunes as the American war-machine switched to propping up the United Kingdom against Germany as the Allies' position in Western Europe collapsed, but by 1941, Japan was all-but surrounded, expelled from China by the United Front and faced with American invasion as Marines swarmed into Seoul and occupied Formosa. Even as Britain reached a peace with Hitler, in the East it was democracy in the ascent against the hideous ambitions of fascism. The country blockaded and on the verge of collapse, Ugaki was overthrown in a second coup in March, but the ultranationalist government of General Jinzaburō Masaki could do little to turn things around, and never possessed the confidence of the imperial family. Although the first American landing in June was repelled, a second more successful landing near Nagasaki in July was more successful. With the prospect of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of casualties on both sides looming over Japan, and the collapse of the economy unsettling the Japanese elite, moderates in the army, big business, and the Emperor aligned to remove the nationalist zealots, and install a government led by the former 'Economic King' of Manchuria, Nobusuke Kishi which surrendered to the Americans unconditionally in September.

The reconstruction of Japan, at the hands of commander of the United States' East Asian forces, Joseph W. Stilwell, would be the making of modern Japan. Stilwell recognised, early on, that Japan would need to be rebuilt in the American image if the nation was to win the coming Cold War with Nazism as the Third Reich's forces laid waste to the Soviet Union, and as the collapse of Stalin's forces became inevitable, the Roosevelt Administration and State Department had no choice but to agree. Whilst the Emperor Hirohito was compelled to resign as Emperor, his nine year-old son was able to remain upon the throne, and Japan's business elite, for their cooperation with the occupation and role in the surrender, were fully incorporated into the new order. With the end of Japanese reconstruction in 1944, Hitoshi Ashida of the Japan Harmonious Self-Rule Committee (the 'party of the collaborators' as it was and is dismissed by Japanese nationalists) was invited to serve as the chairman of the provisional government, a position from which he called fresh elections. These were won handily by the National Compact, the successor to the JHSRC, an alliance of Liberals and moderate Socialists.

But the coalition would not last long. As President Wallace drew America, and her Japanese client, closer to the Soviet Union and the ever more Communist dominated Republic of China, a new Socialist/Social Democratic international alliance began to emerge: the creation of this new league, the United Nations, was finalised in 1946 with the signing of the London Accords by Wallace, Zhdanov, Mao, and Attlee. This triggered a political crisis in Japan, and the right-wing of the Liberal Party quit the coalition under the leadership of the nationalist leader Ichirō Hatoyama, entering into an alliance with Kishi's Democratic Party. This rupture paved the way for the Socialists to take the reins of government after the new National Compact won the 1946 elections, bringing the Communists into the cabinet. As the West's Cold War with the Third Reich grew in hostility as it bled itself dry against the Soviets in the Urals, Japan joined the UN as an outpost for American influence in the Far East - as a new generation of Imperial Way inspired fanatics turned to desperate political terrorism funded covertly by the Nazis, the long shadow of the 1938 war began to darken Japan's bright political future with talk of a new war for Japanese national liberation...
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Token Marxist
Cold war against the reich leading to communists being seen as allies and moderate socialists as the default middle ground is interesting. I wonder how that turns out of Japan though, considering the Americans seem to have an understanding with its business elites.


Well-known member
Cold war against the reich leading to communists being seen as allies and moderate socialists as the default middle ground is interesting. I wonder how that turns out of Japan though, considering the Americans seem to have an understanding with its business elites.
At the risk of cluttering up the thread, my thinking was that Japan’s business elite are supporters of Rooseveltian reconstruction and have an understanding with the new regime at first, but then when Wallace takes over and the US shifts left, the Zabiatsu get shafted and their two vehicles unite to form the NJA. That said, the Socialist government is still very much at the centre left even with the tug of the Communists.