Passing the Baton
0000 May 1st 1948
Underground Bunker, Germany
"Welcome back, gentlemen. It's been a while. Let's begin with Heinz for a change. Heinz, what's the current state of our Armed Forces?"0000 May 1st 1948
"The Wehrmacht currently totals zero divisions, and--"
"I beg your pardon? Zero?"
"Yes, zero divisions. The AuthAAR hasn't yet bothered remaking our divisions, so we're pretty much stuck."
"Oh, awful. And how are we going to pretend to defend our Country while this AuthAAR sits on his lazy bum?"
"Our situation is identical to almost every other Country in the world, Martin."
"That's great. Let's pretend I didn't hear anything of that... how's our research doing, Hjalmar?"
"Thanks to improvements to the management consulting... err," Schacht grabs a tiny piece of paper "to the simulation software developed by Bee Magic, a subsidiary of Pair o' Ducks, we are now able to fund ten projects.
We are using this opportunity to focus on infantry research and on better scientific instruments of research."
"How boring. Intelligence report?"
"Spies from all over the world are taking a relaxing vacation, as there is nothing to spy upon. Nearly every Country in the world hasn't got an Army whatsoever, as it seems the Vatican poses the biggest threat with its Armed Forces of four Swiss Guards."
"Hmpf. What has war come to. Joachim? Any news from the globe?"
"We're not the sole warmongers anymore. There's a little war that's sparked up in Asia.
The British have sold Mongolia to Communist China, apparently, for no sensible reason. This gave the commies a land connection to Chiang's China, and the two spent little time getting busy. The Chinese Civil War has begun, once again."
"That sounds fun. Do they have divisions, at least?"
"Euh, no, not yet."
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Fort Lauderdale was a busy naval base of the United States; in the past few months, preparations had been made to turn the fort into an unpenetrable fortress. Despite not facing any real threat at the moment, US high-ranking officers were very afraid of enemy intelligence activities, as the meeting that would take place in Fort Lauderdale would have strong repercussions for the Allies and their war proficiency.
"Welcome, gentlemen. Everyone please take a seat."
US President Harry Truman was speaking. He sat on a chair equal to all the others, around a big, round table, adorned with state-of-the-art carbon microphones everywhere, in a large, well-lit building of Neoclassic style.
As the table was round, everyone in the meeting was given equal importance. The room was now full with heads of governments of different Countries, plus a hefty number of diplomats. Truman would try everything to appease these leaders.
"Gentlemen, I shall be dry and quick with my words. I shall remember you that the German menace is cruelly ravaging the world with an insane speed. I shall remind you how we've been beaten in the fields by these devils, ready to nothing but bitter death. I shall point out that we, the Allies, are the only bulwark standing between them and Freedom.
Gentlemen, my message is clear. Eventhough we may feel not threatened, each day that passes is one more day closer to our final destiny. Valdes, leader of Mexico; Batista, leader of Cuba; Ariza, leader of Guatemala; Betancourt, leader of Venezuela; Castro, leader of San Salvador; Galvez, leader of Honduras; Somoza, leader of Nicaragua; Guardia, leader of Costa Rica; Pérez, leader of Colombia; Tola, leader of Ecuador; Sayan, leader of Peru; Garaizabal, leader of Bolivia; Videla, leader of Chile; Costa, leader of Argentina; Beres, leader of Uruguay; Villasanti, leader of Paraguay; Vargas, leader of Brazil: each one of you is leader of a sovereign country.
But for how much longer? If we continue to lead different paths in this war, we are only immolating ourselves to the enemy. We must stand united as one! We have no time to bicker about nationalities. First, the few remaining neutral countries must join this war. Second... gentlemen: I know this is a harsh proposal. But in dire times such as this, I am forced to request that you join the United States by temporarily ceding your sovereignity to us. Only if we act as one we can have a chance in this war. An impenetrable wall must be formed, a wall that admits no dissent! One single, immense army: the army of freedom.
Remember, gentlemen. We need sacrifices in order to win this war. If we don't act now, we're in for dire consequences. Together we stand; divided we fall."
Truman was sweating copiously as he sat again; his speech was applauded by a few of the men in the hall, but the majority was quietly murmuring.
"Mr. President of the United States" Costa, leader of Argentina, spoke up "several of the Countries you invited aren't even at war with Germany, such as we, and Chile, and Peru. Why should we accept to give up our sovereignity, when we've been neutral till now?"
"In a war like this, there is no such thing as neutrality" Truman answered "it's either with us or against us. I may be harsh, but the whole world is in danger and we don't accept neutrality as an excuse. Look at Belgium! Holland! Norway! Sweden! And countless other countries crushed under Germany's imperialistic boot! Did they ask them whether they cared about their sovereignity back then? Heck nay! They were facing two alternatives: die or surrender, and sometimes both things would happen!
What are we to say to these men who defended their freedom, when it's our hour? That we were too coward and frightened to oppose Germany? Too blind to notice her heinous crimes? Too weak to stand a chance anymore?"
Sayan, leader of Peru, took the initiative: "Mr. President, we don't see the need of such drastic measures at the moment. We are well aware of the critical situation in Europe, and we are developing our army as well as the other South American countries. I feel this act could only exacerbate relations among our peoples and actually put a strain on military cooperation among Allied countries."
Batista counterattacked: "Mr. Truman is right. If we won't take this matter in our hands now, we're in for a great danger in the future. We should accept no different point of views. We should move in one single direction, that of ultimate victory."
"Gentlemen," Truman answered "at this point of the war, even the mere 'not acting with us' is considered a hostile action against the Allied powers. Every act of non-belligerance from your side is a tacit consent of Germany's war. The Countries of Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay will be considered enemies of the Allied powers shall you decide not to join the war with us."
Following this statement, the leaders of such Countries talked to each other. After a few exchanged words, Costa, the leader of Argentina, spoke up: "Mr. President, while your statement is indeed harsh and aggressive to say the least, we have the spirit to realize that your intentions are not bellicose, but rather aimed to defeat the German menace. Therefore, we agree to join the War, but we do not agree to become part of the United States."
"I understand your position, gentlemen. I don't want to force you into joining us entirely, although I hope you will see the benefits of it one day. Anyone has anything more to say on this matter? If not, we shall proceed to the final decisions."
Everybody sat in religious silence, so Truman continued speaking.
"Very well. Let's begin. Proposal number one: join the war with the Allies against Germany. Applicable for: Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Betancourt, will Venezuela join the war against the German menace on the Allied side?"
"Yes, mr. President."
"Sayan, will Peru join the war against the German menace on the Allied side?"
"Videla, will Chile join the war against the German menace on the Allied side?"
"Costa, will Argentina join the war against the German menace on the Allied side?"
"Beres, will Uruguay join the war against the German menace on the Allied side?"
"Villasanti, will Paraguay join the war against the German menace on the Allied side?"
"Proposal number two: cede total national sovereignity, including economical, justicial and military matters, to the Allied powers, until the end of the War against Germany. Who is against this proposal?
Every South-American leader raised his hand, except for Pérez, leader of Colombia. The only agreeing to this proposals were the Central American countries, including Cuba. Truman was not happy to see this result, but he kind of expected that.
"I congratulate you for agreeing to part your sacrifices with ours; I understand those who are against this proposal, but I urge you to reconsider it, one day. Gentlemen, this meeting is over."
As Truman ended his statement, the room became a center of activity for diplomats, ready to delve into the bureaucratic details that were required to carry out the Proposals. He would get back to the White House with a half success: eventhough he didn't convince the free world to fight united, he could at least paint Mexico blue without firing a single shot.