"Joe Steele" redirects here. For other uses, see Joe Steele (disambiguation). For other things named for Stalin, see Stalin (disambiguation).

Joseph Stalin
Historical Figure
Nationality: Georgian citizen of the Soviet Union (born in the Russian Empire)
Date of Birth: 1878
Date of Death: 1953
Cause of Death: Stroke (rumors of poisoning persist, but are unsubstantiated)
Religion: Atheist
(Georgian Orthodox in youth)
Occupation: Criminal, Revolutionary, Politician, Author of Non-Fiction
Parents: Besarion Jughashvili and Ketevan Geladze
Spouse: Ekaterina Svanidze (d. 1907)
Nadezhda Sergeevna Alliluyeva (d. 1932)
Children: Yakov (d. 1943), Vasily, Svetlana
Military Branch: Soviet Armed Forces (as Marshal of the Soviet Union)
Political Party: Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Political Office(s): Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR,
General Secretary of the Communist Party
Fictional Appearances:

Joseph Stalin (Russian, Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин; Georgian, იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე ჯუღაშვილი) (born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, 18 December 1878 - 5 March 1953) was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state, establishing an autocratic regime on a model now known as Stalinism, which has been often imitated ever since.

As one of several Central Committee Secretariats, Stalin's formal position was originally limited in scope, but through increasing control of the Party from 1928 onwards, he became the de facto party leader and Soviet dictator. His crash programs of industrialization and collectivization in the 1930s and his campaigns of political repression cost the lives of millions of Soviet citizens through state-sponsored violence. However, it helped to make the Soviet Union the second largest industrial nation by 1937.

During Stalin's reign, the Soviet Union played a major role in the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War (1939–1945) (more commonly known in Russia and post-Soviet republics as the Great Patriotic War). Under Stalin's leadership, the Soviet Union went on to achieve recognition as one of the greatest superpowers in the post-war era, a status that lasted for nearly four decades after his death.

After his death, Stalin's eventual successor, Nikita Khrushchev seized on the horrors of Stalin's reign to gain political advantage, embarking on a program of "de-Stalinization" that was designed to tear down the lingering remnants of Stalin's cult of personality and politically neutralize Stalin's surviving supporters. In the last days of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev candidly condemned Stalin and his brutal regime. However, with the fall of the Soviet Union and periods of instability in Russia, as well as the erosion of Russian commitment to democracy, a certain nostalgia for the days of strong, capable leadership (or at least for an idealized impression thereof) has seen some rehabilitation of Stalin's reputation.


  • I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.
    • Said in 1923, as quoted in The Memoirs of Stalin's Former Secretary (1992).
  • The Pope! How many divisions has he got?
    • Said sarcastically to French Prime Minister Pierre Laval in 1935.
  • He can't even shoot straight.
    • On his son Yakov’s suicide attempt.

Joseph Stalin in The Gladiator

The Gladiator
POD: Mid-20th Century
Earliest Known POD: October-November, 1962
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references

After the USSR won the Cold War, Joseph Stalin was considered one of the great heroes of the Soviet Union and the world, and remained a figure of high renown at the close of the 21st century.[1]

Around the world, communal apartment blocks, known for their cheap and simple construction, were mockingly called "Stalin Gothic."[2]

Joseph Stalin in The Hot War

The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away;
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references (direct via radio in BA)
Date of Death: June, 1952
Cause of Death: Killed in a hydrogen bombing
Political Office(s): General Secretary of the Communist Party

While Joseph Stalin had given his authorization to Kim Il-sung's invasion of South Korea, in June 1950, the Soviet Union's role in the Korean War was initially limited to Soviets piloting MiGs.

In November 1950, after Chinese troops intervened in the Korean War and thoroughly destroyed three divisions of American forces between the Chosin Reservoir and Hungnam, U.S. President Harry Truman decided to authorize the use of atomic weapons against Manchuria.[3] Stalin had previously recognized the communist government of China, and the Soviet Union had successfully developed its own atomic bomb the year before.

As the US position in Korea worsened into January 1951, Stalin ordered fighters and bombers onto airstrips in southeastern Siberia[4] and placed the Red Army on alert.[5] After weeks of tension, on January 23, 1951, the United States dropped several bombs on strategic points in Manchuria.[6] Within hours, Truman appeared before the country explaining the action and his reasons for approving it. He also emphasized that Soviet territory had not been attacked.[7]

Despite Truman's assurances that the US had no quarrel with the USSR, Stalin, sensing an opportunity, retaliated on behalf of his ally, China, and ordered six atomic attacks against U.S. allies, launched from Pechenga: Aberdeen and Norwich in the United Kingdom; Nancy and Rouen in France, and; Augsburg and Bremen in West Germany. The attacks against Britain and France had an additional provocative element: both were members of NATO, and the treaty required that all signatories treat an attack on one as an attack on all, meaning the U.S., also a NATO member, had to respond or the NATO treaty would be a dead letter.[8]

The day of the atomic attacks, Stalin also ordered the Red Army west, and compelled his allies in Eastern Europe to do the same.[9] He then issued a statement on Radio Moscow, describing the European bombings as punishment for the USA's actions. Stalin also took pains to remind President Truman that the USSR had not attacked US territory, and would not unless the US attacked Soviet territory.[10]

The attacks on Britain and France effectively triggered the NATO treaty. British Prime Minister Clement Attlee and French President Vincent Auriol immediately demanded the U.S. respond. Truman ordered an attack on Pechenga on February 4, 1951. In response, Stalin ordered the destruction of Elmendorf Air Force Base on February 7.[11] The Soviets flew well below radar, and moreover painted their Tu-4s to look like B-29s.[12]

In response, Truman authorized atomic attacks against Russia's satellites, destroying Zywiec in Poland, Szekesfehervar in Hungary, and Ceske Budejovice in Czechoslovakia in an effort to cripple key transportation hubs.[13] Two days later, Stalin initiated the invasion of West Germany, and World War III was now past the point of no return.[14]

The Soviets, making the most of their own numbers, made substantial gains in West Germany, Austria and northeastern Italy, despite huge casualties inflicted on them by Allied forces.[15] In response, on 24 February, U.S. launching bombing raids against various targets within the USSR and its allied countries, including Warsaw and Krakow in Poland, Prague and Bratislava in Czechoslovakia, and Budapest in Hungary, and the Soviet cities of Leningrad and Vladivostok, as well as Minsk in Byelorussian SSR and Rovno in the Ukranian SSR. Allegedly, the Leningrad attack (a night raid) killed several children playing in a park for which Stalin promised retribution.[16]

As February wound down, the U.S. attacked several transportation hubs in Russia's satellites with atomic weapons.[17] Stalin ordered retaliation. On 2 March 1951, the Soviets launched an audacious bombing raid against the U.S., successfully destroying several cities in the western part of the country, as well as Bangor, Maine, and a location in Newfoundland in Canada.[18] In response, beginning on March 4, the U.S. destroyed several ports cities, Kiev, Leningrad, and Moscow.[19] Stalin was not killed in Moscow, and quickly broadcast a speech in which he proclaimed that the struggle for communism would continue on to victory.[20]

In April, the Soviet Union attacked several airfields in the U.K. with conventional explosives, including USAF barracks at Sculthorpe. While the attacks killed several and did a fair amount of damage, compared with an atomic bomb, the attacks were more nuisances.[21] However, days later, the Soviets successfully detonated atomic bombs in the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal.[22] Shortly after, the Soviets destroyed Bordeaux, France.[23]

The following month, the U.S. was able to destroy Khabarovsk and Blagoveshchensk, two key Soviet cities on the Trans-Siberian railroad; the attacks were designed to hamper Soviet aid to its allies in Korea.[24] As Soviet troops and their allies were pushed into the Ruhr,[25] the Soviets dropped an atomic bomb on Paris in an effort to disrupt America's supply lines. The attack also effectively wiped out the French government.[26]

By July 1951, Stalin had the upper hand: Soviet forces had crossed most of West Germany and were approaching the borders with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and held the Po Valley in Italy, and it appeared victory was within reach,[27] until a desperate Truman decided to use atom bombs on the Soviet forward positions in West Germany.[28] The U.S. attacks destroyed most of the Soviet forward positions, forcing the survivors to retreat back east.[29]

While Truman gave a press conference, and once again offered Stalin the status quo ante bellum, with all communist forces in Europe and Korea pulling back to their pre-war borders.[30] Stalin still had a sufficient atomic arsenal to respond. Even as the Allies began to move forward for the first time since the war began, the Soviets attacked Pusan and Chongju in South Korea in August,[31] and then destroyed the U.S. airbase in Sculthorpe, U.K. (an attack which also destroyed the nearby town of Fakenham) in September.[32] Finally, a daring attack on Antwerp a few weeks later further disrupted Allied supplied lines into Western Europe.[33]

Stalin did score a minor propaganda victory when President Truman announced he was not running for re-election in 1952.[34] Predictably, Stalin called Truman a coward, and promised that he would not give up until Socialism dominated the world.[35]

NATO forces continued their frantic drive east to regain territory. In short order, NATO troops retook Lippstadt,[36] Marsberg,[37] and Warberg.[38] Only in Warberg did NATO see anything like actual Soviet resistance. Further north, the town of Paderborn became a NATO stronghold,[39] as the Soviets made repeated and costly attempts to take the town.[40] Once the Soviet drive halted, U.S. troops attempted their own advance, but soon came to grief against the now-dug in Red Army.[41]

While Paderborn was proving to be a disaster for the Soviets, the Soviet Union was able to gain further momentum in Italy, although that front remained a backwater, as Soviet generals were much more interested in using it as a southern road into France. In March 1952, the Soviets made their way into Bologna, although the Italian military denied that the Soviets actually controlled the town.[42] In the rest of Europe, the Soviets were reduced nuisance raids using Ilyushin II-28s (reporting name "Beagle").[43]

Concurrently, Stalin was faced with problems in his own sphere of influence. In the fall, a coup in Czechoslovakia managed to seize Bratislava. The Soviet air force bombed the city with conventional ordinance, but it was not enough to completely put down the uprising.[44] Moreover, Slovakia's restiveness spread to northern Hungary.[45]

In May 1952, Stalin ordered one last desperate gamble. After months of practice, the Soviet Air Force had perfected a technique of mid-air refueling of the Tu-4s. Still seething after the destruction of Moscow, Stalin ordered several Tu-4s to attack the U.S. cities of Washington, DC, New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. U.S. experts had not counted on this, and the cities were completely vulnerable.[46] While Philadelphia was spared by luck,[47] the other three were totally destroyed.[48] President Truman had been at a political function in Buffalo, and so was spared the two bombs that landed between the White House and the Capitol. However, most of the Federal government was killed, along with Truman's family.[49]

The survival of Truman and even a few legislators meant that the U.S. was not decapitated. Truman remained publicly defiant,[50] immediately ordering atomic attacks on Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Odessa.[51] Almost concurrently, a nationalist uprising erupted in Poland, requiring the Soviet Union to pull a whole division away from Paderborn to try to bring Poland back under control.[52]

Despite his best efforts to stay ahead of U.S. intelligence gathering, Stalin stayed too long in Omsk in June 1952. When the U.S. confirmed Stalin's location, they deployed the recently tested hydrogen bomb against Omsk, successfully killing Stalin at last.[53]

The Soviet people mourned Stalin. He was briefly succeeded by Lavrenty Beria,[54] but he proved unequal to the task of leading the country to victory. Beria was replaced by Vyacheslav Moltov, who brokered a peace with the U.S.

Joseph Stalin in The Man With the Iron Heart

The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references

It was Joseph Stalin's stated intention that Germany never be able to invade the Soviet Union again. To that end, he gave the Red Army a very free hand in the conquest and occupation of Germany, encouraging his forces to meet violent resistance with even greater violence. However, Stalin's generally suspicious nature did him no favors, as Soviet occupation authorities were strictly forbidden from cooperating with their Western Allies in their fight against the German Freedom Front. Indeed, it was only after NKVD agents in Berlin transferred custody of a DP to their American counter-parts that GFF leader Reinhard Heydrich was found and killed.

Joseph Stalin in "Ready for the Fatherland"

"Ready for the Fatherland"
POD: February 19, 1943>
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references

Joseph Stalin gladly accepted Field Marshal Erich von Manstein's offer for a separate peace between the Soviet Union and Germany in 1943, despite the Allied Forces' stated goal of unconditional surrender.[55] After the United States began occupying Japan, Stalin ordered the invasion of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. In 1953, Stalin ordered American-occupied Tokyo destroyed by a sunbomb. The United States bombed Vladivostok in response. Manstein, who had become the leader of Germany, helped broker a peace before the conflict could escalate into full-fledged war. Stalin's sudden death helped make the peace possible.[56]

Joseph Stalin in Worldwar

POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance
Striking the Balance
Type of Appearance: Direct

Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill led the Allied Forces in World War II

Iosef Stalin[57] ruled the Soviet Union during World War II and during the battle against the Race's Conquest Fleet. Under his leadership, the Soviet Union withstood the Race Invasion, despite a pervasive paranoia that hampered may of his advisors' ability to do their jobs effectively and a meddlesome style of government that led him to interfere in a number of projects which he did not fully understand.

Stalin was recognized as "not-emperor" of the Soviet Union until his death in 1953. Throughout his life, he supported Mao Tse-Tung's Communist revolution in China. After his death, he was succeeded by Vyacheslav Molotov.

Stalin and Adolf Hitler of Germany most closely resembled of all the Tosevite "not-emperors" the Race's conception of a true "emperor". However, neither man had any hereditary claim to their position, which explained, from the Race's perspective, why both ruled through terror and force.

Joseph Stalin in In the Presence of Mine Enemies

In the Presence of Mine Enemies
POD: c. 1940
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references
Date of Death: c. 1947
Cause of Death: Killed during the Second World War, precise circumstance unknown

Joseph Stalin (1878 to mid-1940s) led the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany during the Second World War, and was ultimately defeated.[58]

In 2010, a German stage musical about a terrible play about the evil of Stalin and Churchill became a smash hit.[59]

Joseph Stalin in The War That Came Early

Joseph Stalin had been interfering in the affairs of continental Europe through much of the 1930s. During the Spanish Civil War, Stalin supported the Spanish Republicans against the Spanish Nationalists, who were in turn supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Stalin also entered into a mutual-protection pact with Czechoslovakia.

The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Contemporary references throughout
Type of Appearance: Direct via radio (The Big Switch)

While the Soviet Union was not asked to attend the 1938 Munich Conference by either Britain or France, the two western Allies' decision to declare war on Germany once Germany attacked Czechoslovakia emboldened Stalin to honor his own alliance with Czechoslovakia, and declare war on Germany himself.

In the early phase of the war, the Soviet Union provided the most assistance to Czechoslovakia. However, Czechoslovakia was separated from the Soviet Union by neutrals Poland and Romania. As the USSR had asserted territorial claims in both, neither permitted the Red Army to cross their territory. Thus, Soviet aid to Czechoslovakia was limited to air support. The Western Allies did not act aggressively, and by November, 1938, Czechoslovakia had fallen.

Nonetheless, Stalin called for continued engagements with Germany, including bombing raids on East Prussia. Stalin also continued to press Poland to allow Soviet troops to cross its frontier. Stalin ordered an invasion in early 1939. Poland aligned itself with Germany in response.

This new front did not prove immediately successful for the Soviet Union. Adding to the chaos, in April 1939, Japan, which had invaded China, invaded Siberia.

For the remainder of 1939 and into the summer of 1940, the USSR fought a two-front war against the German-Polish Alliance in the west and Japan in the east. Stalin concentrated his country's efforts primarily on the West. As the months passed and it was clear Britain and France were at best lukewarm in their war efforts, Soviet propaganda grew increasingly hostile to the country's ostensible allies. As Germany made gains in Scandinavia, Stalin announced in the closing months of 1939 that the USSR had grown concerned about Finland's ability to maintain its neutrality. Concurrently, after Stalin had several officers executed, the Red Army made substantial gains in Poland by the end of the year.

However, in the early months of 1940, it soon became clear that there would be a political adjustment in the west when Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess parachuted into the U.K., and was able to convince the governments of both Britain and France to join Germany against the USSR. Anticipating that Hess might prove successful, Stalin ordered Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov to travel to Tokyo to complete a truce with Japan. Stalin willingly surrendered Vladivostok, and began preparing for a larger invasion force. After Britain and France accepted Germany's offer, the new alliance invaded Russian territory, making substantial advances as it moved eastward. Soviet tanks and planes gradually improved, putting more and more pressure on the Germans and their allies. Stalin also took a measure of revenge against his former ally, Great Britain, by bombing Scapa Flow. By the end of 1940 the arrival of winter brought the European advance to a halt.

The drive proved short lived. Unrest in the British military and political establishment led to a coup d'etat in 1941 against the appeasement minded government of Prime Minister Horace Wilson, and Britain went back to war with Germany, and Stalin welcomed the renewed alliance with Britain.

With Britain out, and while French troops continued to drive into the USSR, France began negotiating an end to the war with the USSR. In December 1941, France withdrew from the Soviet Union and its alliance with Germany. The Germans were once again fighting a two-front war, and were quickly losing ground in the West where their forces were being defeated in Belgium and in Russia where the German and Polish forces were pushed out of most of the Ukraine. With the return of a two-front war, Hitler's popularity at home waned throughout in 1942 and 1943.

In the Winter of 1943, Münster, which had been restive for year, began an open revolt, prompting marshal law.[60] Further, after months of tension, Hitler decided to initiate war with the United States when U-boats attacked several American merchant ships in March 1944.[61] This prompted several military leaders to form the Committee for the Salvation of the German Nation, with General Heinz Guderian as their leader. When Hitler decided to broadcast a speech from Münster in an attempt to regain the country's trust, the group successfully assassinated him with a bomb, despite the heavy security measures the SS put into place.[62]

A civil war broke out almost immediately. Several of Hitler's would-be successors were arrested or killed. Ultimately, Guderian and the Committee triumphed, and fighting ceased on all fronts in Europe.[63]

Stalin used the peace process to insure several Soviet gains. Germany agreed to withdraw from the Low Countries, Denmark and Norway along with the areas of the USSR it still occupied (mostly Byelorussia and Ukraine).[64] In return, the pre-war annexation of Austria was confirmed and the Sudetenland annexation which was the casus belli was allowed. Czechoslovakia was broken up into the puppet state of Slovakia and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.[65] The Soviet Union gained the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which became new Soviet Socialist Republics. In addition, the Soviet Union gained Wilno and the surrounding territory from Poland and added it to the Lithuanian SSR.[66] Not all of Stalin's new acquisitions were happy with the new status quo. In mid-1944, Ivan Koniev, the Soviet military governor of Lithuania, was assassinated by nationalists, leading to a declaration of martial law.[67]

With Europe secured, Stalin turned his attention back to Vladivostok and made plans to restart the war with Japan in an alliance with the U.S.[68].

Joseph Stalin in "The Phantom Tolbukhin"

"The Phantom Tolbukhin"
POD: c. 1937
Type of Appearance: Contemporary (?) references

During the 1930s, Joseph Stalin's purges led to the executions of many senior Soviet generals, including Georgy Zhukov and Ivan Koniev. Germany's success in defeating the Soviet Union in May 1941 was attributed to the resulting disorganization of the Red Army.[69] Still Stalin was able to control the tattered remains of the USSR as it struggled to expel Germany in 1947.[70]

Literary comment

At a minimum, the characters believe Stalin is still alive in 1947, but the matter is left unresolved.

Joseph Stalin in Joe Steele

Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Both
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Joe Steele")
Nationality: United States
Date of Death: 1953
Cause of Death: Stroke
Occupation: Grape-picker, Lawyer, Politician
Spouse: Betty Steele
Children: Two deceased sons
Political Party: Democratic Party
Political Office(s): United States Representative from California
President of the United States

Official Presidential Portrait of Joe Steele, 32nd President of the United States.

Joseph Vissarion "Joe" Steele (born Iosef Dzhugashvili, December 18, 1878 - March 5, 1953) was a California lawyer and politician who served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1953. He was elected to an unprecedented six terms. He lead his country through the Great Depression, World War II, and the Japanese War, but his efforts to assert his will over the country while claiming to act in its best interests severely curtailed democracy in America during his life, and set the stage for the final collapse of democracy after his death.

Early Life and Career

Steele was born a few months after his parents arrived in the United States. He grew up in Fresno, California, where he picked grapes in his youth. He put himself through law school and opened his own practice. He entered politics, first becoming a city councilman in Fresno, and a Democratic Congressman.[71] He married a woman named Betty. The couple had two children, but lost both to diphtheria within days of each other. Steele threw himself into his work (Betty was left adrift).[72]

Gaining the White House

In 1932, Steele and New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt became the front runners for the party's presidential nomination. Steele touted his Four Year Plan, which included collectivizing farms, updating the country's power grid, and nationalizing the banks. Roosevelt pledged his New Deal plan.[73]

Steele secretly attended the convention at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, a fact known only to his close advisers: Vince Scriabin, Lazar Kagan, and Stas Mikoian. AP reporter Charlie Sullivan also knew after running into Steele and Scriabin in a hotel elevator. As Sullivan backed Steele over Roosevelt, he kept his peace.[74] Conversely, Roosevelt remained in Albany as was the custom.[75]

After the first day of balloting, Roosevelt held a press conference in Albany, during which he extolled the virtues of his proposed New Deal. He also implied Steele's Four Year Plan was proof of Steele's authoritarian tendencies, and that as the child of immigrants, Steele didn't truly understand how America worked.[76]

Meanwhile, in Chicago, after two days of votes, neither had the needed two-thirds majority, although Roosevelt had a slight edge.[77] Realizing he might lose after another day of voting, Steele directed Scriabin to have Roosevelt burned alive at Executive Mansion in Albany.[78][79] Kagan and Mikoian were not privy to the initial planning.[80] However, Sullivan, by happenstance, overheard Scriabin on the phone giving the order for the arson.[81] Steele never knew this. However, in light of Sullivan's "fairness" in his reporting, Steele personally met with Sullivan and promised that Sullivan would always have access to Steele's camp.[82]

With his primary opponent gone, Steele became the party's presidential nominee.[83] His running mate was John Nance Garner, with whom Steele had reached an early arrangement.[84] Through his vigorous campaigning, populist appeal and his relatively concrete Four Year Plan, Steele handily defeated his opponent, incumbent President Herbert Hoover.[85]

First Term and the Four Year Plan

From his inauguration, Steele put his Four Year Plan into action. While he wasn't a particularly dynamic speaker, he did speak with confidence. During his inaugural address as president on March 4, 1933, he emphasized his humble beginnings, his status as a self-made man, and promised that the American people would have jobs in his Four Year Plan. Moreover, he promised that he would be "rough and harsh" toward those who were "harming" the United States. He concluded with one last populist promise to nationalize the country's banks, which was met with thunderous applause.[86]

Steele didn't waste time, calling a special session of Congress, and introduced legislation that nationalized the banks. When he was met with opposition from conservative members of Congress, Steele reached out to young-and-coming Bureau of Investigation chief J. Edgar Hoover to investigate opponents of the nationalization scheme, including the opposition's leader, Senator Carter Glass, who, despite being a fellow Democrat, vehemently opposed Steele's expansion of Federal powers. Hoover "discovered" that Senator Glass had had a secret love child with his family's Negro maid in his youth.[87] When Steele shared this information with Glass, Glass caved and changed his vote. Soon enough, the remaining opponents fell in line.[88]

With the nationalization complete, Steele continued proposing legislation to regulate the country's financial institutions and labor unions. Moreover, after his willingness to blackmail his opponents during the nationalization fight, the bills Steele proposed sailed through Congress. He also instituted make-work projects and proposed community farms in the Midwest. While some critics suggested Steele's community farms were identical to the farms in the Soviet Union, Steele responded by telling the people: "If you want to see food on the table and men proud of what they do, let your Senators and Representatives know about it." The farm bill passed.[89] The various comparisons of Steele's policies to the Soviet Union's were ironic, as Steele was quite vocal in his hatred for Soviet leader Leon Trotsky. Indeed, the US did not recognize the Soviet government until the outbreak of World War II.[90]

In mid-1933, Steele proposed legislation for electrifying the Tennessee Valley, the last piece of legislation in the special session. He went on radio to ask the American people tell their Senators and Representatives to support the bill. The Administration also took the liberty of composing letters, claiming to be from citizens, and sending them to Congress.[91]

However, the federal judiciary began overturning the legislation on appeal, and soon, most of the Four Year Plan was before the Supreme Court, which systematically began ruling the legislation unconstitutional.[92] In response, Steele ordered J. Edgar Hoover to investigate the court.[93] Then Steele gave a radio speech in which he denounced the Supreme Court as nine old men who were not elected, and who were actively wrecking the country. Steele implied the Court's actions were deliberate, and promised that there would be an investigation.[94]

Hoover discovered "evidence" that four justices, James McReynolds, Pierce Butler, Willis Van Devanter, and George Sutherland, (who were also the most consistent in ruling the Four Year Plan unconstitutional) were in fact colluding with foreign powers against the United States. In February, 1934, Hoover led a group of agents to very publicly arrest the Supreme Court Four for treason while they were in the middle of deliberations.[95]

Steele then took the additional step of suspending the writ of habeas corpus, much to the astonishment and horror of many. Steele argued that, while the country was not in a rebellion or at war with another country, it was at war with hunger, want, and poverty.[96]

In the midst of these larger national issues, Mike Sullivan, a reporter with the New York Post, and brother of Charlie Sullivan, received a copy of the arson report for the fire that killed the Roosevelts. Mike Sullivan did not support Steele. Charlie had previously told Mike about Vince Scriabin's long distance call at the convention, and Mike himself had attempted to further review the Albany Fire Department's investigation of the fire, but had hit a brick wall.[97]

Now, two years later, Mike received the report and published a story, which noted that the report implied that bottles of some flammable liquid may have played a part in the fire, but did not say conclusively that the fire had been an arson. Sullivan's story further described the conflict between Roosevelt and Steele, and the fact that Roosevelt appeared to be on the verge of winning the nomination when he died. Sullivan made no direct accusations.[98] Steele ordered Vince Scriabin to meet with Charlie Sullivan personally, and demand Charlie get his brother under control[99]

In September, 1934, the Supreme Court Four were tried by a military tribunal. The Four confessed to colluding with Germany, and were sentenced to death by the tribunal. Further, the Four identified Louisiana Senator Huey Long and radio personality Father Coughlin as being part of their "conspiracy".[100] While their attorneys did appeal to the remaining Supreme Court and Steele himself, Steele refused to grant clemency, and the Four were promptly executed.[101]

Coughlin was taken into custody, but Long immediately returned to Baton Rouge ahead of an arrest, and began railing against Steele's new "War of Northern Aggression". Long's hold on the state was such that even Federal officers kowtowed to him.[102] Steele's calm response was that the laws of the country had to be obeyed, and that Long should taken into custody.[103] The issue was rendered moot when Long was shot through the head by a sniper while speaking in front of city hall while giving a speech in Alexandria. His bodyguards responded in a confused manner, with several opening fire into the crowd, killing an additional twenty people.[104] Long's assassin was never caught.

Coughlin was placed before a tribunal. Like the Four, Coughlin confessed, and was sentenced to death.[105] When his lawyers appealed to Steele for clemency, Steele declined, quoting Abraham Lincoln: "Must I shoot a simple-minded deserter, while I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him to desert?"[106] Coughlin was executed a few days later.[107]

In 1935, Steele introduced legislation that would allow the Federal government to draft prisoners out of local, state, and federal detention facilities and put them to work building infrastructure in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions. It cleared the House of Representatives quickly and quietly before anyone took notice. Mike Sullivan became aware of the bill after reading a column in the New York Times.[108] Sullivan wrote a piece entitled "Land of the Free and Home of the Labor Camp", which was highly critical of the bill.[109]

In response, Vince Scriabin once again sat down with Charlie Sullivan. After showing Charlie a part of the legislation that seemed to prevent indefinite detentions, Scriabin convinced him to write an article supporting the legislation. Charlie, wanting to maintain access to the Steele administration, agreed. The bill passed the Senate the following week, and Charlie was invited to watch Steele sign the bill into law. J. Edgar Hoover was at Steele's right elbow[110]

In March, 1936, German leader Adolf Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland. Steele, who hated Hitler about as much as he hated Leon Trotsky, albeit for different reasons, condemned Hitler's move. He also condemned France's failure to respond, and stated (after the fact) that the US would have supported France in any way possible short of war. Steele and Hitler shared a series of retorts and insults that meant little given geography.[111]

Steele's public speeches stood in stark contrast to the Republican Party, which was completely silent about international affairs in the months before the 1936 election. At their convention, they nominated Kansas Governor Alf Landon, with Frank Knox as his running mate.[112].

Landon initially tried to present himself as the true populist in the race, reminding the country that Kansas had been home to the first Populists. However, that appeal was quickly drowned out when Charlie Sullivan used the definition of the word "populist" Ambrose Bierce created in The Devil's Dictionary: "A fossil patriot of the early agricultural period, found in the old red soapstone underlying Kansas; characterized by an uncommon spread of ear, which some naturalists contend gave him the power of flight, though Professors Morse and Whitney, pursuing independent lines of thought, have ingeniously pointed out that had he possessed it he would have gone elsewhere. In the picturesque speech of his period, some fragments of which have come down to us, he was known as 'The Matter with Kansas.'"

In short order, Landon was dubbed "the Matter with Kansas" by the Steele campaign. Landon unsuccessfully tried to turn the name around, claiming that if he were the Matter with Kansas, Steele was the matter with the whole country.[113] Steele won in a landslide, carrying 46 out of the 48 states, with only Maine and Vermont going to Landon.[114]

Second Term

At his second inauguration (during a cold, wet rain), Steele announced the Second Four Year Plan, promising to build on the foundation of the first, and promising neither Reds nor Fascists would derail the country.[115] After the speech, he met with Charlie Sullivan, and thanked him for the "Matter with Kansas" line. He also reminded Sullivan how critical of Steele his brother Mike remained.[116] Still, he continued to notice Charlie.

In March 1937, Steele and his staff traveled to Chattanooga to celebrate the completion of a dam in the Tennessee Valley. He was met with large crowds, although one person yelled out "Who killed Huey Long?" The speech was held at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium. Before he got very far into his speech, a soldier named Roland Laurence South jumped to his feet and fired two shots at Steele before the Secret Service men shot him dead. One shot did hit Steele in the chest, but only after it had struck the lectern Steele was standing behind and lost its momentum, causing only a superficial wound and cracked rib.[117]

Steele appointed J. Edgar Hoover to head the new Government Bureau of Investigation, and charged him with investigating the U.S. Army. In a radio speech announcing the creation of the GBI under director J. Edgar Hoover, Steele also declared that there were wreckers in all levels of society, including in the press.[118]

In the summer of 1937, J. Edgar Hoover announced the arrest of several officers in the Army and Navy, including generals and admirals for conspiring with "foreign powers" in Roland South's efforts to assassinate Steele. As with the Supreme Court Four, the arrested officers faced military tribunals[119] and were executed.[120] This purge gave Steele the opportunity to cultivate officers loyal to him. The arrests were by no means restricted to the military; civilians were also swept up as "wreckers" and taken before an administrative judge, who rubber stamped their sentence to a labor camp.[121]

Among these was Mike Sullivan. Despite Charlie Sullivan's close ties and support for Steele, his brother Mike remained a consistent critic. When Mike Sullivan published a piece entitled "Where is Our Freedom Going?" for the New York Post, a piece that compared Steele to Hitler and Trotsky, the GBI arrested him. He was found guilty of libel against the Administration and sent to Montana.[122]

Prelude to World War II

As the GBI rounded up wreckers as home, storm clouds were gathering around the world. Japan had begun a war in China in 1937. The Spanish Civil War had become a proxy war between Adolf Hitler and Leon Trotsky.[123]

The year 1938 proved to be momentous. In March, Hitler ordered the annexation of Austria to Germany, and immediately began making claims on the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia.[124] Despite loud support from Steele and Trotsky (both of whom feared what Hitler might do unchecked), France and Britain, rather than fight Hitler, brokered a deal in which the Sudetenland was granted to Germany in September 1938.[125]

In response, Steele decided to issue a statement, but found his writers not up to the task. He summoned Charlie Sullivan to the White House and asked him to help. After fifteen minutes of work, Sullivan produced a draft that greatly pleased Steele. In fact, Steele was so pleased he offered Charlie a job as a speechwriter on the spot, which Sullivan accepted.[126] Six months into the job, Steele tasked Sullivan and his other aides with writing a speech about Germany's annexation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and creation of the independent Republic of Slovakia, and how this now positioned Germany to move on Poland.[127]

Hitler now turned his attention to the Polish Corridor. Leon Trotsky, realizing that France and Britain could not be counted on, sent his foreign commissar, Maxim Litvinov to Berlin to negotiate a non-aggression pact with Litvinov's German counter-part, Joachim von Ribbentrop.[128] (Some found it ironic that the Jewish Trotsky had sent the Jewish Litvinov into the "world's capital of anti-Semitism."[129])

Steele and his administration realized quickly that the U.S. was too far away to influence anything beyond publicly pleading with Britain and France to stand firm against Germany, while condemning both Germany and the Soviet Union, to no avail.[130]

Germany invaded Poland a week later, setting off World War II.[131] The Soviet Union attacked Poland from the east a few weeks after that.[132] Upon Poland's capitulation, Hitler and Trotsky met at the new frontier.[133]

Steele didn't enter the war, instead giving what came to be called the "Plague on Both Your Houses" speech, which promised that the U.S. would not enter into Europe's "latest stupid war".[134]

World War II and gaining a Third Term

Despite Steele's pledges of neutrality, he grew alarmed by Hitler's substantial successes from September 1939 through May 1940. When Germany defeated and occupied France, and forced British troops off the Continent, Steele realized that now only Britain stood between the U.S. and Germany in the Atlantic. He decided to supply Britain with arms and money, and pushed legislation through Congress to make this support possible. The American people accepted this plan, although they were still wary of entering the war directly. Winston Churchill, who'd become prime minister earlier in the year, responded to the aid by saying "If the Devil opposed Adolf Hitler, I should endeavour to give him a good notice in the House of Commons. Thus I thank Joe Steele." Steele remembered the back-handed compliment.[135]

Against this backdrop, Steele decided to run for an unprecedented third term in 1940. Despite Steele's control over the country, the GOP still nominated a candidate, Wendell Willkie in Philadelphia in 1940. Steele was officially nominated by the Democrats three weeks later in Chicago, without conflict.[136]

Willkie was energetic in his campaigning, making speeches across the country. Conversely, Steele didn't campaign as much, leaving his machine to do most of the heavy lifting. He campaigned on a promise that he would not send Americans to die in any foreign wars. In the six weeks leading up to the election, Steele frequently met with J. Edgar Hoover, who was digging up information to help Steele insure victory.[137]

Steele won even more handily than he had in 1936, which seemed rather inconsistent with how vigorously Willkie had actually campaigned.[138] When Willkie did gave his concession speech on election night, he did acknowledge certain irregularities in the vote in some areas, but also acknowledged that they wouldn't change the result. He wished Steele luck.[139]

Steele and his cronies were amused by the "irregularities"; while none of them said it out loud, the administration had engaged in quite a bit more to secure the election than the irregularities suggested. Steele all but confessed it when he turned to J. Edgar Hoover and asked Hoover if he knew what "Boss" William Tweed said about votes in the mid 19th century. Steele supplied the answer: "As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?" Then he pointed at himself and said. "And I damn well do!"[140]

Third Term

As Steele's third term began, the war in Europe seemed to stabilize, with Germany invading North Africa, Yugoslavia and Greece in order to save Italy's floundering efforts. Japan continued to advance in China, and were making advances into Indochina with Vichy France's tacit approval.[141]

This move concerned both Churchill and Steele, as both the UK and US had interests in the region, and Indochina would make a viable launching pad for Japan to attack those interests.[142] In response, Steele decided to stop selling Japan scrap and oil, and to freeze Japanese assets in the U.S. While he commissioned Charlie Sullivan to write a speech designed to mollify the Japanese government, Steele's actions instead increased the tension between the two countries.[143]

Five days after Steele made this decision, Germany attacked the Soviet Union. Steele immediately called a conference of several generals, during which General George Marshall predicted the Russians would last six weeks at most. While Marshall argued a German victory would be a deadly danger to the whole world, Steele delighted in the idea of "dead Germans floating down the river, each one on a raft of three dead Russians."[144] However, the Soviets were still in the war six weeks later, confounding expectations.[145]

As Russia was fighting for its life, Steele met with Winston Churchill for the first time in Portland, Maine. Churchill had wanted to meet in Canada or Newfoundland, but as Churchill was the one with hat in hand, Steele demanded the Portland meeting. The two actually met aboard a Royal Navy destroyer off the coast.[146] Churchill's first request was that the U.S. extend aid to Trotsky as it had with the U.K. Steele initially refused Churchill's request, but Churchill was insistent, reminding Steele that the U.S. was as much a prison state as Trotsky's Soviet Union. He also argued that compared with Hitler, Trotsky was reasonable. Without committing (the U.S. still hadn't recognized the Soviet Union), Steele and his aides returned to their ship after extending a dinner invitation to Churchill.[147]

Alone with his advisers, Steele asked if Churchill was right. While Scriabin and Mikoian argued against aid, and Kagan held his peace, Charlie Sullivan argued that if Russia did fall, Britain would be next, and then the Atlantic would not be wide enough to keep the U.S. safe.[148] That evening, after some cagey behavior, Steele acknowledged that he'd start sending aid to Trotsky, based on Sullivan's advice. Churchill was delighted.[149]

Steele tried to keep the aid quiet, dealing through the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, but Churchill couldn't help but crow about the agreement to the world. Hitler decried the deal, but he did not launch a war with the U.S.[150]

While the German advance in the USSR did see the capture of Kiev and Smolensk, the fall rains reduced Russian roads to mud, effectively halting the advance.[151] Japan was able to completely occupy Indochina, enraging Churchill and Steele. After Steele insulted Japan publicly, the Japanese government sent Foreign Minister Saburō Kurusu to Washington to hammer out a deal.

Kurusu demanded the U.S. unfreeze Japan's assets and to begin selling scrap and oil again. However, he refused to accept Steele's demand for Japan to withdraw from China, claiming Japan was entitled to an empire. Privately, Steele and his cronies dismissed the threats, based on estimates that without the oil and scrap, Japan would grind to a halt within the next year. This assessment was filtered through the prism of racism, and everyone in the administration was convinced that Kurusu would soon come back on bent knee.[152]

The U.S. Enters the War

Instead, on December 7, 1941, Japanese forces attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor and the Philippines.[153]. Steele ordered a Cabinet meeting, and began preparing a speech asking Congress to declare war on Japan. He also ordered an investigation into Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short, the military leaders in charge of Pearl Harbor.[154] The next day, Steele gave his speech, asking for the declaration of war. In his speech, Steele called on the entire population of the U.S. to rally against the Japanese threat. He also announced the creation of a National Committee for Defense. Despite this stirring speech, the vote for war was not unanimous: two Representatives and one Senator voted against it.[155]

After the speech, word came that Japanese planes had destroyed U.S. planes on the airfield outside Manila, this despite the fact that the fighting had already been on for a day. Steele now also turned his attention to General Douglas MacArthur's actions.[156] On December 11, 1941, Germany declared war on the U.S.[157] On December 14, 1941, Steele had Kimmel and Short put on trial. They were convicted of dereliction of duty. Steele denied their appeal, and they were executed in short order.[158]

The Philippines continued to fall apart. General MacArthur followed doctrine and had his garrison and Filipino forces retreat to the Bataan Peninsula to deny the Japanese the use of the Manila harbor. Unfortunately, the attack on Pearl Harbor damaged and sank too many U.S. ships, preventing MacArthur's forces being relieved, which was also part of the planning.[159]

Steele was displeased with MacArthur and tried to get him to return to the U.S., ostensibly to be given a new command. MacArthur refused, claiming he wished to face the same fate as his soldiers. Eventually Steele had General George Marshall order MacArthur to return. MacArthur did so via a PT boat pick-up and then a B-17 to Honolulu. From there he flew to San Diego and then traveled by train to Washington, DC. He was arrested at the train station by Captain Lawrence Livermore, faced a military tribunal and convicted of negligence and incompetence and then executed. Unlike others, MacArthur didn't appeal his sentence. The day after the execution, Steele issued a public statement explaining his decision.[160]

Throughout 1942, the U.S. and its allies made some important advances on several fronts although not without cost. Admiral Raymond A. Spruance defeated the Japanese fleet at Midway. The Soviets met German forces at Trotskygrad, held them, and were able to cut those forces off in the fall, prompting Steele to commend the Soviets on striking the Nazis a heavy blow.[161] A few days later, U.S. General Omar Bradley led a landing of US and British troops in North Africa, driving the German forces out of Egypt through Libya. While the plan had called for a complete capture of German troops, the Afrika Korps were able to fall back to Tunisia.[162]

Things continued to go better for the Allies into 1943. The remaining German troops in Trotskygrad surrendered. However, the German military decided to let the Soviet advance exceed its supply line, and launched a counter-attack, again putting the Soviets on the defensive. In the Pacific, the Americans under Dwight Eisenhower and Chester Nimitz took the Solomon Islands and pushed into New Guinea. Privately, Steele and his administration were pleased with the course of the war.[163]

As Allied victory seemed more likely, Steele agreed to attend a conference with Winston Churchill and Leon Trotsky in Basra, Iraq. Steele's entourage included Scriabin, Mikoian, Kagan, J. Edgar Hoover, George Marshall, and Charlie Sullivan. This marked the first time Steele and Trotsky met in person. Their interactions were cordial but frosty. They shook hands, and Steele was quite public in praising the sacrifices of the Red Army. During the conference, all parties consumed substantial amounts of alcohol. [164]

The public statement coming out of the conference declared independence for the captured countries of Europe and the Far East and punishment for the German and Japanese leaders causing the war. It also promised the creation of an international organization strong enough to make a lasting peace. Private agreements were also reached where the Soviet Army would help the U.S. invade Japan when it became feasible. Trotsky also had wanted hegemony over all of Eastern Europe and the Balkans but Churchill convinced him to yield influence over Greece to Britain.[165]

In 1944, the end of the war was in sight. Omar Bradley oversaw the successful invasion of Normandy, thereby opening the long anticipated second front in Europe.[166] Paris fell to the Allies quickly thereafter. The Soviets' drive prompted Finland and Bulgaria to exit the war, and Romania to change sides. While Germany was able to overrun Slovakia and Hungary, and to hold a line in Italy, the writing was on the wall. At home, the economy was in great shape, with people now earning more than they had before Steele took office in 1933.[167] Steele turned his attention to gaining a fourth term, running against GOP candidate Thomas Dewey. While Dewey campaigned hard, it was difficult to campaign substantively against Steele's successes. Moreover, Steele's apparatus was difficult to contend with. Steele trounced Dewey.[168]

Fourth Term and the end of World War II

A few months into his fourth term, the war in Europe was over. With two armies bearing down from either direction, Hitler committed suicide in April, 1945. Germany surrendered a few days later. They attempted to surrender to the Americans and British only, but Steele ordered Bradley to tell them they would do it the Allies' way. Steele celebrated the victory in a radio broadcast, but reminded the American people that Japan was still fighting. Steele promised to rain destruction on Japan until it surrendered (Tokyo had been firebombed extensively the month before).[169] In the meantime, U.S. forces continued their island hopping campaign, pushing Japanese forces closer and closer towards the Home Islands. This included a bloody fight for the island of Okinawa, which finally fell in mid-1945.[170]

In November 1945, the U.S. launched Operation: Olympic: the invasion of Kyushu.[171] Concurrently, the Soviet Union finally went to war with Japan, attacking and pushing Japanese forces out of the Asian mainland (taking the time to establish a puppet government in Korea), and invading Hokkaido, the northernmost Home Island.[172]

Despite this pincer attack and months of bloody fighting, Japan's government refused to yield. In March, 1946, Operation: Coronet began: the U.S. attacked Shikoku and Honshu from the south, and the USSR attacked Honshu from the north.[173] While Japan's prime minister, General Tojo, died leading Japanese forces trying to drive the Americans off, his death did not lead to a Japanese surrender. Instead, Japan's military and civilian population both fought as hard as they had on Kyushu.[174]

Just prior to Coronet, Steele was informed by Captain Hyman Rickover of the U.S. Navy about certain German programs involving the use of uranium as an explosive weapon. Steele summoned Albert Einstein to the White House. Among those present for the meeting were Mikoian, Scribian, and Kagan, J. Edgar Hoover, Rickover, and Charlie Sullivan (who knew little about uranium, but turned out to know more than all of Steele's confidantes, save Mikoian). When Steele asked about the German program, Einstein admitted that he'd learned of early experiments with uranium in 1938 or 1939. When Steele asked Einstein why he'd done nothing, Einstein calmly responded that he was afraid Steele would build the bomb and use it.[175]

Steele briefly let his rage show. He proclaimed Einstein the "king of the wreckers", and ordered Hoover to immediately place Einstein under arrest. Once Einstein was gone, Steele asked Rickover if he could complete the project. Rickover promised to do his best. Steele also gave Rickover access to a number of people who'd already been placed in custody as wreckers. Steele cautioned that if any of these people did anymore wrecking, they would be eliminated.[176]

About a month later, Emperor Hirohito was killed by a U.S. air attack as he and a convey fled from Tokyo to Kyoto. A cease-fire came came at last.[177]

Immediately, Steele and Trotsky began establishing new governments in their respective parts of occupied Japan. The Soviets held Hokkaido and northern Honshu, and established the Japanese People's Republic under Fedor Tolbukhin, with some Japanese Reds acting as his puppets. Similarly, the U.S. established the Constitutional Monarchy of Japan in southern Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Hirohito's son, Akihito, who was only twelve, became the new emperor, although it was General Eisenhower who actually ran the country.[178]

In the late summer of 1946, Steele met Trotsky one last time in Wakamatsu. This conference was purely between Steele and Trotsky; Churchill's successor, Clement Attlee, was not invited.[179] Relations between Steele and Trotsky were no less frosty than they had been at Basra. Nonetheless, each side recognized the new Japanese states created, with a three-mile demilitarized zone along the Agano River. Trotsky was actually more easy going here than in Basra; he'd seen the war in Europe as one of survival. The war against Japan had simply been "a war".[180] Towards the end of the conference, Steele presented Mike Sullivan with a Bronze Star for correctly identifying Hirohito. Steele astonished Mike (and Charlie, who'd come as part of Steele's entourage) by remembering Mike. When Steele was out of earshot, both brothers were darkly amused that the world was effectively divided between Steele and Trotsky.[181]

While the war was over, at home Steele's administration grew alarmed at the spread of Trotsky's influence in Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as the Red movements in France and Italy. The GBI now turned its attention to finding Reds in the U.S. Steele began as his bid for a fifth term.[182] In 1947, Steele gave the "Red Curtain Speech" (written primarily by Charlie Sullivan), condemning the USSR's sweeping hold on large parts of the world.[183] The GBI made several arrests in all levels of the Federal government, and Attorney General Wyszynski got convictions, as did a young Assistant AG from California who'd gained Joe Steele's favor.[184]

The Japanese War and election to Fifth Term

In June 1948, North Japanese forces invaded South Japan in a surprise attack, launching the Japanese War.[185] From Steele's perspective, the war came at the worst time: the GOP had just nominated Harold Stassen as their candidate for the 1948 election, a comparative unknown from Minnesota. Previously, Steele had assumed he'd defeat Stassen in a walk, but now the attack required Steele to actually campaign while overseeing a war.[186]

The course of the war went badly for the U.S. at first. Despite warning signs that many in the south had noticed, the attack was a complete surprise to the high command, and the South Japanese Constitutional Guard showed little interest in fighting back. The U.S. attempted to bomb North Japanese cities with B-29s, a strategy used against the Empire of Japan during World War II. However, the air defenses of the North had been re-built with Soviet help and new, jet Gurevich 9s proved much more deadly then older propeller fighters. (It was an open secret that the Gu-9s were often piloted by Russians.) As such, daylight raids were attempted for only a few days but losses were unacceptable so only occasional night raids were continued.[187]

U.S. forces were finally able to regroup and halt the North's advance at Utsunomiya.[188] With this military victory, Steele concentrated on winning the election. While a few states went to Stassen (including those that contained resettled wreckers), Steele carried the majority of the electoral vote and won his fifth term.[189]

With the North's advance stalled, the U.S. and South Japanese, over the course of the next year with bloody and hard fighting, forced the invaders back to Sendai, well north of the border.[190] By the summer of 1949, Hyman Rickover's group had successfully tested an atomic bomb. The test, which took place in New Mexico, was covered up and officially called a munitions dump explosion.[191] On the night of August 6, 1949, a flight of B-29s dropped an atomic bomb on Sendai, destroying it and the North Japanese forces concentrating there.[192]

Steele spoke the next day, announcing the deployment of the atomic bomb, describing its power, and calling on Trotsky to end the Japanese War, concluding his speech by saying "Enough is enough."[193] Trotsky's response came on August 9, 1949, when a Soviet atom bomb destroyed the South Japanese city of Nagano.[194] The Japanese War ended with the status quo antebellum restored.[195]

Two months later, in November 1949, in China, Mao Tse-Tung and his Reds pushed the government of Chiang Kai-Shek off of the Chinese mainland.[196] The U.S. had backed Chiang, and refused to recognize Mao. For a time, Joe Steele had considered using atomic bombs to support Chiang. However, during a meeting in October, the Soviet ambassador to the U.S., Andrei Gromyko, suggested that any U.S. atomic attack in China might be met with a Soviet atomic attack in Europe. After further consultation with Stas Mikoian and George Marshall, Steele opted not to use the bomb.[197] While Steele was not pleased to see China fall, he was more than happy to find Reds in the U.S. to take the blame, and the arrests and prosecutions of alleged Reds accelerated, this time, scooping up scholars of Chinese history, literature and culture.[198] In the meantime, Steele was aging, and noticeably slowing down,[199] but he was getting ready for another run at the presidency.[200]

Postwar Years: Declining Health, Final Election, and Death

In late 1950, Steele woke up in the night with a terrible headache, and after some prompting from his wife, Betty, received late night attention from his personal physician, Tadeusz Pietruszka. The incident was kept quiet, and Steele seemed to have no lasting issues.[201]

The remainder of 1950 and 1951 were uneventful. Steele lost interest in Red hunting for a time, and turned his attention to the 1952 election.[202] The Republicans nominated Senator Robert Taft. They'd attempted to draft either Omar Bradley or Dwight Eisenhower, but Steele privately dissuaded both from entering the race.[203] Steele was renominated himself three weeks later, on a platform of "Twenty Years of Progress." An isolationist, Taft called for bringing U.S. troops back from Europe and South Japan, arguing for arming those areas instead.[204] Steele forcefully argued that the U.S. was a part of the world whether it wanted to be or not, and that the march of progress would one day make it possible for the country's enemies to attack the U.S. with rockets.[205]

Taft went down to defeat. He carried his home state of Ohio, and a few other states, but Steele carried the rest (including Maryland, which had gone Republican in the last election).[206] On election night, Steele broke with usually tradition of celebrating with his cronies, preferring to stay in his room with Betty.[207]

Steele's final inauguration on January 20, 1953 was normal, with Steele giving a reasonably solid speech decrying the Reds. In private, he told his aides that he was planning to outlast Trotsky, who was about the same age as Steele. He was convinced that the USSR would fall apart once Trotsky was gone. Instead, during a meeting with his key cronies on March 5, 1953, Steele seemed to have a hard time concentrating on what was being said, and kept rubbing behind his left ear. He said, "I have a terrific pain in the back of my head." Then his eye widened, slid shut, and he slumped forward. His aides carried him to a couch. He did mumble, "Be careful", but didn't say anything else. Dr. Pietruszka announced that he'd had another stroke, and that nothing more could done. Steele died shortly after Pietruszka made his diagnosis. His aides all burst into tears.[208]

His successor, John Nance Garner, ordered an appropriate funeral. Steele's body lay in state in the Rotunda of the Capitol for three days in a row to accommodate the crowds who came to express their grief. When the authorities closed things down despite the remaining crowds, angry mourners threw rocks and bottles at the police and GBI agents who tried to clear them.

Steele was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, and President Garner gave the memorial address.[209]

Joseph Stalin in "Liberating Alaska"

"Liberating Alaska"
POD: c. 1867
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Political Office(s): General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Joseph Stalin succeeded Vladimir Lenin as the leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin resented the fact that Lenin had been forced to cede Alaska to the United States as a consequence of the West's intervention in the Russian Civil War.

In 1929, Stalin initiated an invasion of the territory. As the town of Siknazuak was closest to Siberia, Stalin sent in pro-Soviet agitators to create an uprising against the American garrison there. Weapons and "volunteer" fighters from the USSR followed. Stalin intended to turn Siknazuak into a labor camp akin to the ones Lenin had created, with the goal of extracting the remaining gold in the area. For the few weeks the agitators held Siknazuak, they followed Stalin's plan, persecuting local Russians for being "Whites", and either executing them or working them to death by having them dig for gold.

The United States Marine Corps liberated Siknazuak after a fierce battle at the end of June, 1929.[210]

Joseph Stalin in Southern Victory

Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): The Center Cannot Hold
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference (as "Man of Steel")

The "Man of Steel" was a general of the Socialist faction of the Russian Civil War. He and his right hand man "the Hammer" commanded Socialist forces in the city of Tsaritsin in 1925.[211]

See Also


  1. The Gladiator, pg. 8, HC.
  2. Ibid., pg. 10, HC.
  3. Bombs Away, pg. 5-9 ebook.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 40-41.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 20-21.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 55-61.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 58-61.
  8. Ibid., pgs. 64-65, 70.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 66-67.
  10. Ibid., pg. 71.
  11. Ibid., pg. 93.
  12. Ibid., pg. 95.
  13. Ibid., pg. 104.
  14. Ibid., pgs. 110-118.
  15. Ibid., pg. 134.
  16. Ibid., pgs. 120-121.
  17. Ibid. pgs. 138-140.
  18. Ibid., pgs. 141-150.
  19. Ibid., pgs. 162-178.
  20. Ibid., pg. 178-179.
  21. Ibid., pgs. 278-280.
  22. Ibid., pgs. 291-294.
  23. Ibid., pgs. 309-311.
  24. Ibid., pgs. 372-376.
  25. Ibid. pgs. 410-414.
  26. Ibid., pgs. 427-430.
  27. Fallout, loc. 1611-1641, e-book
  28. Ibid., loc. 1641-1688.
  29. Ibid. loc. 1751-1886.
  30. Ibid, loc. 1917.
  31. Ibid., loc. 2152-2213.
  32. Ibid., loc. 2428-2487.
  33. Ibid., loc. 3094-3167.
  34. Ibid., loc. 3945-3987.
  35. Ibid. loc. 3987.
  36. Ibid., loc. 3506.
  37. Ibid., loc. 4745-4768.
  38. Ibid., loc. 5446-5505.
  39. Ibid.,loc. 3766-3778
  40. Ibid., loc. 3766-3778, loc. 5083-5095.
  41. Ibid., loc. 6199-6257.
  42. Ibid., loc. 5535.
  43. Ibid.
  44. Ibid., loc. 3646-3718.
  45. Ibid., loc. 4194-4267.
  46. Ibid., loc. 6541-6615.
  47. Ibid., loc. 6810.
  48. Ibid. 6620-6692.
  49. Ibid. 6620-6692.
  50. Ibid. loc. 6797.
  51. Ibid., loc. 6953.
  52. Ibid., loc. 7116-7176.
  53. Armistice, pgs. 69-78, ebook.
  54. Ibid., pgs. 79-80.
  55. See, e.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, pg. 97.
  56. Ibid., pg. 92.
  57. The spelling used throughout this series.
  58. In the Presence of Mine Enemies,, pg. 4, generally.
  59. Ibid., pg. 139.
  60. Last Orders, pgs. 116-119.
  61. Ibid., pgs. 269-70.
  62. Ibid., pg. 300.
  63. Ibid., pg. 382.
  64. Ibid, pg. 318.
  65. Ibid, pgs. 341-343.
  66. Ibid, pg. 344.
  67. Ibid., pgs. 373-374.
  68. Ibid., pgs. 345-346.
  69. See, e.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, pg. 112.
  70. Ibid., pgs. 106-107.
  71. Joe Steele, pg. 46.
  72. Ibid., pg. 42.
  73. Ibid., pgs. 2-3.
  74. Ibid., pgs. 1-2.
  75. Ibid.
  76. Ibid., pgs. 12-15.
  77. Ibid., pg. 15.
  78. Ibid., pg. 16-17.
  79. Ibid. pgs. 18-21.
  80. Ibid. pg 22.
  81. Ibid., pg. 16.
  82. Ibid., pg. 27.
  83. Ibid., pgs. 22-27.
  84. Ibid., pg. 2.
  85. Ibid., pg. 38.
  86. Ibid, pgs. 45-48.
  87. Ibid., pg. 58-59.
  88. Ibid. pgs. 49-51.
  89. Ibid, pgs. 64-65.
  90. Ibid., pg. 203.
  91. Ibid., pgs. 67-70.
  92. Ibid., pg.71-72
  93. Ibid., pg. 73-74.
  94. Ibid., pgs. 76-77.
  95. Ibid., pgs. 83-84.
  96. Ibid, pgs. 87-89.
  97. Ibid., pg. 56-62.
  98. Ibid., pgs. 92-94.
  99. Ibid., pgs. 95-96.
  100. Ibid., pgs. 101-104.
  101. Ibid., pgs. 111, 117-118.
  102. Ibid., pg. 112.
  103. Ibid., pg. 113.
  104. Ibid., pg. 113.
  105. Ibid., pgs. 124-125.
  106. Ibid., pg. 125.
  107. Ibid., pg. 126.
  108. Ibid., pgs. 127-128.
  109. Ibid., pgs. 128-129.
  110. Ibid., pgs. 129-134.
  111. Ibid., pgs. 134-135.
  112. Ibid., pgs. 135-136.
  113. Ibid., pgs. 134-136.
  114. Ibid., pg. 137.
  115. Ibid., pgs. 138-140.
  116. Ibid., pgs. 141-142.
  117. Ibid., pgs. 143-148.
  118. Ibid., pgs. 150-151.
  119. Ibid. pgs. 155-157.
  120. Ibid., pg. 159.
  121. Ibid.
  122. Ibid., pgs. 166-169.
  123. Ibid., pg. 159.
  124. Ibid. pg. 196.
  125. Ibid., pg. 202-203.
  126. Ibid., pgs. 203-204.
  127. Ibid., pgs. 205-207.
  128. Ibid., pg. 212.
  129. Ibid.
  130. Ibid., pg. 213.
  131. Ibid. pg. 214.
  132. Ibid., pg. 215.
  133. Ibid., pg.
  134. Ibid., pg. 216.
  135. Ibid., pgs. 223-224.
  136. Ibid., pg. 225.
  137. Ibid., pg. 226.
  138. Ibid., pgs. 227-228.
  139. Ibid., pg.
  140. Ibid., pgs. 228-229.
  141. Ibid., pg. 234.
  142. Ibid.
  143. Ibid., pgs. 234-235.
  144. Ibid., pg. 235.
  145. Ibid. pg., 236.
  146. Ibid., pgs. 237-239.
  147. Ibid., pgs. 239-240.
  148. Ibid., pg. 241.
  149. Ibid., pgs. 241-242.
  150. Ibid., pg. 242.
  151. Ibid., pg. 243.
  152. Ibid., pgs. 243-244.
  153. Ibid., pgs. 244-245.
  154. Ibid., pgs. 246-247.
  155. Ibid., pg. 248.
  156. Ibid., pgs. 248-49.
  157. Ibid.
  158. Ibid., pgs. 249-252.
  159. Ibid, pg. 256.
  160. Ibid, pgs. 257-260.
  161. Ibid., pgs. 265-267.
  162. Ibid, pg. 268.
  163. Ibid., pgs. 270-271.
  164. Ibid. pgs. 276-283.
  165. Ibid., pgs. 282-283, HC.
  166. Ibid., pgs. 290-292.
  167. Ibid., pg. 295-296.
  168. Ibid., pgs. 296-298.
  169. Ibid., pgs. 299-300.
  170. Ibid., pgs. 301-302.
  171. Ibid., pgs. 307-313.
  172. Ibid., pg. 314
  173. Ibid., pg. 315.
  174. Ibid, pgs. 320-322.
  175. Ibid., pg. 317-318.
  176. Ibid., pgs. 319-320.
  177. Ibid., pg. 323-325.
  178. Ibid., pg. 325.
  179. Ibid., pg. 326.
  180. Ibid., pgs. 324-328.
  181. Ibid., pg. 328-329.
  182. Ibid., pgs. 333-337.
  183. Ibid., pgs. 339-340.
  184. Ibid., pg. 344.
  185. Ibid., pgs. 349-354.
  186. Ibid., pg. 354.
  187. Ibid, pg. 354.
  188. Ibid, pgs. 355-358.
  189. Ibid., pg. 359.
  190. Ibid., pg. 364.
  191. Ibid., pg. 365.
  192. Ibid., pgs. 366-369.
  193. Ibid., pgs. 368-369.
  194. Ibid., pg. 371.
  195. Ibid., pg. 373.
  196. Ibid., pg. 376.
  197. Ibid, pg. 376-377.
  198. Ibid., pg. 378.
  199. Ibid.
  200. Ibid., pgs. 382-383.
  201. Ibid., pgs. 389-390.
  202. Ibid., pgs. 391-393.
  203. Ibid., pg. 397.
  204. Ibid., pg. 398.
  205. Ibid., pg. 399.
  206. Ibid., pg. 400.
  207. Ibid.
  208. Ibid. pgs. 403-406.
  209. Ibid., pgs. 414-415.
  210. Asimov's Science Fiction, July/August, 2018.
  211. The Center Cannot Hold, pg. 92, HC.