Disclaimer:Aw, come on, we all know the drill by now. We don't own anything… If wishes were horses, we'd have a herd! Enjoy!

A Papa Bear of His Very Own

by Jordre

Foreword

Like most works of literature, this tale began with a "what if:" What might have happened to Hogan's Heroes and the Rat Patrol if America had never entered World War II?

Simple, you say: The Heroes and the Rats would have stayed home.

But would they? It's historical fact that many men rushed to England after the blitzkrieg and joined the English forces; Sam Troy's brother was one of them. So our premise became this: Hogan, Kinch, and Baker were in the RAF instead of the Army Air Corps, and Troy, Tully, and Hitch were in the UK army. The rest is explained in the Introduction.

A few notes: Dialogue in German is indicated by « and »; in such dialogue, all nouns are capitalized as in proper written German. Actual German appears only in short statements, or when a German character's English is less than fluent and his speech sometimes lapses back into German. Please forgive all errors in our German; we're trying (very).

All code names are rendered in all caps as per Intelligence usage; eg, Hogan is PAPA BEAR; Marie Louise Monet is TIGER, etc.

And, yes, this is a long spiel before we actually get into the story, but it's necessary. Trust us. (hehehehe)

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Introduction

After World War I, Americans were tired of war, and popular sentiment was to leave Europe to its own problems. Europe's increasing militarization, and, in particular, Hitler's rise to power and subsequent activities in Germany, moved the isolationist US to pass a neutrality act, which forbade the sale of arms to any aggressive country.

Some Americans, however, were increasingly concerned by the potential threat posed by events in Germany, though they were very much a minority among a people whose main concern was surviving the Great Depression.

The divergence begins in 1939, three days after the blitzkrieg swept into Poland. On his September 3 Fireside Chat, President Roosevelt said, "This nation will remain a neutral nation, and I ask that every American abide by this decision." This statement prompted Congress to present a bill to this effect, expanding the arms embargo to include assistance by any individual or group. The lobbying efforts of Charles Lindbergh and his America First Committee played a key role in the passage of this bill, even as young Americans flocked to England to enlist in the British military. This new Neutrality Act was signed into law in October, and those who had enlisted in foreign military services were ordered to return home, an order which was largely ignored. A number of those volunteers went so far as to renounce their American citizenship and become British citizens instead.

In 1941, Hitler began to consider declaring war on the US. German High Command knew that this would mean defeat for Germany, so they threw in their lot with the growing anti-Hitler movement and, in a second departure from "our" history, succeeded in killing the Fuhrer in November of 1941. They followed this by purging the Gestapo and SS of their more fanatic and sadistic elements. They also repealed the Gestapo Law with its infamous proviso, "Neither the instructions nor the affairs of the Gestapo will be open to review by the administrative courts," placing the Gestapo once more under the same rule of law as the rest of the country.

The third major change was the end of the Holocaust. Since the atrocities against the Jews had been precipitated in the name of crimes they had supposedly committed, it was declared that the "guilty parties" had all been removed from circulation, and those Jews still at large were to be left unmolested. Those still behind the wire received medical attention and better food, and were slowly reintegrated into society.

A fourth divergence occurred in the course of the Sino-Asian War. Japan initially won decisive victories against the largely rural, provincial Chinese, sweeping as far west as Inner Mongolia. Instead of leaving the Chinese to their fate, however, Stalin opted to protect his own eastern border by entering that fray on the side of the Chinese. This had the dual effect of weakening the Soviets' western border, turning the tide of that battle in favor of the Germans, and engaging the Japanese far too thoroughly for them even to consider invading Pearl Harbor. As a result, the US never entered the war.

The end result of these and several other, smaller divergences, was that England, forced to admit defeat, surrendered to Germany in October of 1942. Germany's battle against Russia had drawn to a stalemate, and a truce was called in November; a peace treaty was subsequently negotiated, and signed in January of 1943. This enabled the Soviets to turn their full attention to the Sino-Asian war, and the combined Soviet and Chinese forces succeeded in driving Japan completely out of China by the end of that year. Japan might again become a threat in the future, but for now the Empire of the Sun seemed content to consolidate its victories in the Pacific.

(1) Actual text was "but I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well."