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Horace Wilson
HWilson
Historical Figure
Nationality: United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 1882
Date of Death: 1972
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Politician
Political Party: Conservative Party (UK)
Turtledove Appearances:
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): The Big Switch;
Coup d'Etat
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Political Office(s): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): In at the Death
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Political Office(s): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Sir Horace John Wilson, GCB, GCMG, CBE (1882-1972) was a British government official who had a key role in the appeasement-oriented government of Neville Chamberlain just prior to World War II. Somewhat ironically, Wilson had been sent to meet personally with Adolf Hitler in September 1938 in advance of the Munich Conference, and affirm Britain's alliance with France and Czechoslovakia. This position changed in the Chamberlain administration in short order. Wilson subsequently admitted to feeling out of his depth in dealing with Hitler, and has been identified as one of those to blame for the actual appeasement.

Horace Wilson in The War That Came EarlyEdit

In 1940, a few months after the "big switch" saw the United Kingdom and France join their former enemy Germany against their former ally the Soviet Union, Sir Horace Wilson succeeded Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.[1]

Wilson followed Chamberlain's tactic of keeping an eye on his opponents, using Scotland Yard officers to follow people.[2] Nonetheless, a group of politicians, led by Ronald Cartland were able to meet and discuss the less-than-democratic turn the country was taking.[3] Even so, Wilson survived a non-confidence vote in the closing weeks of 1940.[4]

However, as 1940 passed into 1941, Wilson's actions grew noticeably more ruthless. He was also more obsequious to the Nazis.[5] As the year went on, Wilson showed less tolerance of public protests.[6] More government (including King George VI himself) and military officials grew alarmed, but respect for constitutional principals held them all back from direct action.[7] Finally, in the Spring of 1941, after a few Wilson opponents (including former soldier Alistair Walsh) were arrested and detained without charges,[8] the military acted, arresting Wilson and his Cabinet, and freeing political prisoners.[9]

The new interim government, mindful of its "extra-constitutional" status, did not execute Wilson. He was held in preventive detention, from which he was able to write out endless complaints to friendly newspapers.[10] In the meantime, the U.K. went back to war with Germany.[11]

Horace Wilson in Southern VictoryEdit

In 1944, Sir Horace Wilson led a vote of non-confidence against the government of Winston Churchill following the dropping of three German superbombs on Britain in one day, and the failure of the Royal Air Force to respond in kind. Upon the collapse of Churchill's government, Wilson formed a provisional government as Prime Minister and immediately sued for peace with Germany.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Big Switch, pg. 339.
  2. Id., at pg. 342.
  3. Id., pg. 342-344.
  4. Id., pg. 408.
  5. Coup d'Etat, pg. 22, HC.
  6. Ibid., pg. 104.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 91-94.
  8. See, e.g., pg 134.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 151-152.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 187-188.
  11. Ibid., pg. 187.
  12. In at the Death, pgs. 363-68.
Political offices
(OTL)
Preceded by
Sir Warren Fisher
Head of the Home Civil Service
1939 - 1942
Succeeded by
Edward Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges
Political offices
(The War That Came Early)
Preceded by
Neville Chamberlain
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1940-1941
Succeeded by
Interim Military Government
Political offices
(Southern Victory)
Preceded by
Winston Churchill
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1944-19??
Succeeded by
Incumbent at series' end, 1945

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