I had the chance this weekend to resume my odd World War II simulation, in Hearts of Iron II. Given some time I was able to get through 1941 and half of 1942, although the way it turned out it's hardly worth bothering. Up to 1 January 1941, Japan had conquered all China except the Communists, and had just gone to war with them; and the German demands for the Sudetenland were refuse by Czechoslovakia, provoking a German invasion which eventually spread to Poland and became a war between the Axis and the Comintern.
Japan --- which has not joined the Axis --- conquered Communist China as of the 14th of May 1941, and the rest of the year settled to my finding that funding partisan uprisings was expensive and not all that clearly effective, which seems to be the rule in such things. With Japan's total conquest of China various historical events, such as the economic sanctions against Japan, haven't happened; it should not be surprising then that Japan hasn't attacked Pearl Harbor et al. The Axis/Comintern war, meanwhile, stalled out along the Dnieper River with neither side able to get very far across it one way or another. This bothers me since it seems clear the Allies will have to fight whoever wins this war, if anyone does, and their armies are building experience that the Allies just are not.
For the Allies, the exciting news was on the 9th of April, when Belgium joined, which says pretty much what a year that was. And in the rest of the world the big excitement was the 19th of July, when Peru demanded territory from Ecuador and Ecuador courageously gave in to their demands, since who could hope to stand up to the military prowess of Peru?
With the United States safely in the Allies and the Allies at peace, other historical developments have not happened: there's not been a destroyers-for-bases deal, for example, nor a British or eventual United States occupation of Greenland and Iceland. There's also been no talk of Lend-Lease, but there hasn't needed to be either.
As the United States I've realized I've fallen behind in developing strategic doctrines, which are (three!) technology trees, much like industrial or naval developments. I need to shore those up --- they affect how well units function in combat --- but it does feel ahistoric to me to have doctrines advance much when a nation's steadily at peace.
The peace has given me time to consider grand strategy options for the three probable wars to eventually come, and realize I have a huge potential problem with no good solution.
Trivia: A mid-Atlantic hurricane in March 1943 forced the cessation of U-boat operations, with most returned to base for refitting and refueling. Source: Why The Allies Won, Richard Overy.
Currently Reading: The Wilson Plot: How The Spycatchers And Their American Allies Tried To Overthrow The British Government, David Leigh.