What If Germany and Japan Had Conquered the United States?

Neither Axis power ever had a serious plan to invade the continental United States. But what if they had?

Man in the High Castle North America map
Map of North America from the opening credits of The Man in the High Castle

Earlier this month, we looked at some hypothetical Axis invasion plans of the United States. In reality, neither Germany nor Japan ever had a concrete plan to attack North America. But what if they did?

Philip K. Dick’s 1963 novel The Man in the High Castle gives us a world in which the two Axis powers not only mounted an invasion of America but succeeded in conquering it.

His story diverges from the real world in 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt does not survive an assassination attempt. Without Roosevelt and the New Deal, America is poorer and unwilling to enter World War II until it is too late. Nazi Germany defeats Britain and the other European powers; Japan conquers all of Oceania. The United States surrender in 1947 and are split in two: Japan establishes a Pacific States of America on the West Coast, Germany a puppet United States on the East Coast. A buffer is kept between them in the Rocky Mountains.

The novel was adapted for television by Amazon in 2015. The series largely follows the original plot, but specifies that Germany won the war by developing the atomic bomb before America and dropping one on Washington DC.

It also somewhat ridiculously calls the German part of America the “Greater Nazi Reich” when the Nazis never named any territory after their party. But I suppose it does sounds even more ominous than Dick’s original.

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