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Old 03-14-2010, 10:58 PM
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Default A Bit More Coast Guard

Webstral

A Bit More Coast Guard

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I’ve been puttering about with my idea for the USCG in New England again. (Why aren’t I putting my scarce time into finishing my big-picture timeline or Thunder Empire? Lack of discipline, I suppose.) The more research I conduct, the more I see that “The Last Submarine” misses a lot of the picture in New England. Although New England is notoriously under-militarized, there are nevertheless some important assets that aren’t mentioned in “The Last Submarine”.

Here’s my creative question: what should the Coasties of a Port Security Unit (PSU) be called? Coast Guardsmen just seems like a mouthful. Also, the PSU is a specialty unit within the Coast Guard. Don’t they deserve their own name? I thought about calling them Marines, since they will essentially behave as Marines. However, that name is already taken by the USMC—a few of whom will find themselves serving with 1st District in 2000 and 2001. Also, the United Brotherhood of Fishermen (UBF) troops are called Marines. It won’t do to have the UBF infantry and the USCG infantry be called the same thing. Too confusing. So what should I call these guys? The best I’ve been able to come up with so far is “troopers”. Neither exciting nor inspired, I’m afraid.

Reviewing my notes, I have come up with a few more adaptations to the picture. At the time of “The Last Submarine”, USCG 1st District is based out of Portsmouth Naval Yard in Kittery, ME (Portsmouth, NH). When Boston started falling apart in late 1997 and early 1998, the District HQ was evacuated to Portsmouth. The DoD wanted to maintain positive control of Portsmouth Naval Base and Bath Iron Works to support naval operations in the Atlantic. Brunswick NAS had the assets available to secure Bath Iron Works; however, there was no one left to bolster the defense of Portsmouth. Accordingly, 1st District was ordered to move all remaining personnel and materiel at CGAS Cape Cod and other stations south of Gloucester, MA to Pease AFB just west of Portsmouth. All remaining federal forces at the Massachusetts Military Reserve facility on the Cape, including federalized National Guard, Air National Guard, and Army Reserve forces and their dependents, were to be moved to Portsmouth and the surrounds. Included in this list were all Coast Guard Reserve and Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel and equipment.

As a result of the wholesale relocation of virtually every USCG and USN asset in post-TDM Massachusetts to Portsmouth and, later, NAS Brunswick and Bar Harbor, John Carlucci of the UBF could make a somewhat legitimate claim that his Marines made a virtually unopposed takeover of an unpopulated Cape Cod in late Spring 1998. Almost all military personnel and most of their gear had been moved, along with large numbers of dependents and just about anything else the Coast Guard thought might be useful further north. The local police and militia on Cape Cod either had left with the Coast Guard or were co-opted by the UBF.

Once the move to Portsmouth was complete, 1st District began concentrating on supporting local fishing, protecting and supporting Portsmouth Naval Yard, and providing security for the surrounding area. An accident at NAS Brunswick left Rear Admiral Kolchek in command of all maritime facilities and operations between Gloucester and the Canadian border.

As I think I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, the USCG steered clear of conflict with the UBF Marines throughout 1998-2000 timeframe. There were several reasons for this. First and foremost, there didn’t seem to be much profit in messing with the UBF. The Coast Guard and the UBF were doing basically the same thing: using light infantry and light naval assets to safeguard fisheries and fishermen who were providing food for a starving populace. Both the 1st District Coast Guard and the UBF were full of military personnel and police of every description. Both were organized, disciplined forces keeping local pirates away from productive towns. Both were more concerned with securing their land frontiers than engaging in maritime warfare with each other.

In late 2000, MilGov decided against using 1st District to aid in the search for the USS Corpus Christi. Relations between the pro-CivGov UBF and 1st District were entirely too fraternal for the Joint Chiefs. Contact between the two forces was frequent and infrequently involved gunfire. DIA informers inside 1st District had led the Joint Chiefs to believe that if 1st District were involved in the hunt for Corpus Christi, the UBF would find out in short order. MilGov was unwilling to risk having Corpus Christi fall into CivGov hands; as a result, MilGov decided to use a small Special Forces-style unit to hunt for the submarine. The Coast Guard was left out of the action.

By early 2001, the Coast Guard was ready to change the situation in New England. They were embarrassed that they had not kept abreast of the developments surrounding Corpus Christi, despite having a number of paid informants in the UBF. The areas under 1st District had stabilized. A number of islands and easily-defended peninsula along the Maine coast were reliably producing food. The population under 1st District control had stabilized at about 175,000. This population was mostly adults fit for work and reasonably well-fed by 2000 standards. There were enough trained technicians to operate the ships and equipment. Most importantly, it had been possible to pull the Port Security Units (PSU) away from their regular security duties and train for large-scale maritime/amphibious operations. The tumultuous years 1998-2000 had been required to bring into being a reliable, stable, reasonably well-equipped militia to safeguard the base areas while the PSU trained in anticipation of other duties.

The most logical target for First District was the UBF. However, a straightforward slug-fest would be wasteful. The Coast Guard would probably win such a fight, as lengthy repairs and refitting of the cutters of the force were finally complete. Nevertheless, the District leadership decided that a decapitation stroke against Carlucci and his senior supporters would yield the best results. Ideally, a single battle on Nantucket would enable the Coast Guard to bring the entirety of the UBF Marines into the fold.


Webstral


Webstral


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DeaconR


Web: I generally like your take better--frankly my only real criticism is that you didn't come up with it last year when I was running my campaign set in the New England/Atlantic region.

I have to say I quite like your explanation for why the 1st District would not have been directly involved with the Corpus Christi incident. Unlike some other material yours would be easy to slip into a further campaign if for instance I wanted my players to return to the region.

A few other thoughts:
1. What about NOAA assets, which at the very least could be used for transport and for communications?

2. Who precisely do you think the UBF troopers ARE? They are listed as veterans for several encounters--and I remember there was some discussion about them. I have my own thoughts but I'd like to hear yours.

3. How then will this fit with the Challenge Article describing the USCG unit in Rhode Island?

4. How have they had to respond to the mutiny of the MPs?


DeaconR





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Webstral

1) I’m not familiar with the NOAA, other than what it does. Any input on ships, gear, etc. would be welcome.

2) I think the UBF are a collection of former service members and police, plus assorted thugs and other miscreants who have the necessary drive and skill to make enlistment in the UBF work. I see the UBF as a tough, no-nonsense organization that used good leadership and high standards to make the force work from the inception of the organization. After the TDM, the Marines have their choice of large numbers of young men and women in the southern New England area. Regular training and constant practice with coastal and riverine warfare have turned the Marines into a force to be reckoned with. This is why the Coast Guard has been reluctant to mix it up with them but also wants to bring them into the fold.

3) I haven’t read the Challenge article. However, as a blanket policy I have had 1st District broken into two pieces. From Woods Hole north is still 1st District, under the command of the 1st District HQ at Portsmouth. From Woods Hole south, 1st District has been incorporated directly into the Navy structure. Any surviving Coast Guard units in Rhode Island would be under the control of Atlantic Fleet HQ, unless of course any of the usual developments of Twilight: 2000 were to cause a USCG unit in Rhode Island to go another way.

4) The actions of the 43rd MP Brigade have not much endeared the MPs to First District. From a purely practical standpoint, increased unrest in eastern MA has had a direct impact on Portsmouth. The Portsmouth cantonment soon noticed the upsurge in refugee traffic out of the area and rise in marauder activity, including pirate activity. Arguably, the 43rd MP withdrawal from eastern MA set back First District plans to take back the Cape and the Islands by a year or more. As far as the breakup of the MPs goes, I haven’t incorporated too much of that. Yes, the MPs experience an attempted coup. The coup fails, and the survivors flee. Otherwise, the MPs remain intact, albeit diminished. Where is there a better deal, except maybe with the UBF or the USCG? Although there are small forces and cantonments controlled by the surviving governments of Vermont and New Hampshire, the situation isn’t any better in Concord or Montpelier-Burlington.


Webstral



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thefusilier

Webstral, in addition to eagerly awaiting additional Thunder Empire material, I'd very much like to hear more about your New England project. I'm in the process of finishing off my own Atlantic Canada project and would appreciate to hear more ideas for just south of the border. Granted, that area of the world (Eastern Canada) may not be as overly exciting as other parts, but I've been wanting to contribute something solid for a while. Considering the proximity of the two regions, whatever you have to add to what I have from Last Sub or Challenge would be great.

DeaconR, same to you since I've already been looking over saved threads you made in the past concerning New England.

To anyone... has anyone ever come up with anything for the New America enclave which supposedly exists in northern Maine? I can't remember where I read about it, but there is one there right?


thefusilier





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DeaconR


Very interested in all this--fusilier I'll be glad to answer any questions you might have. In "Howling Wilderness" it mentions a group of New Americans having taken over an area with a nuclear power plant in it. I don't have the book anymore--I lost it when I had to move unexpectedly. I had wanted to develop them more but I had not been sure what to do with them--I wanted to make them a little different from the already published material.

Webstral: NOAA operates two ships out of Woods Hole and has a research lab there as well. Here are links about both ships:
http://www.moc.noaa.gov/al/index.html
http://www.moc.noaa.gov/de/index.html

In my game I had depicted these ships having been taken over by the UBF Coastal Patrol. Since it seems in Carlucci's best interests to keep marine research going provided it is to make sure that the fishing goes well I figured he would keep the scientists at work--in fact I depicted them as approving of the fact that SOMEONE was keeping people able to live at least somewhat decently.

The Challenge Article depicts I believe an Admiral in the Coast Guard who commands some 600 cadets as well as a now out of date Coast Guard cutter and some auxiliary tugs and suchlike. I think that he had control of the USCGC Eagle as well. (in any case kind of cool to include another tall ship in the setting)


DeaconR





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thefusilier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Webstral
As far as the breakup of the MPs goes, I haven’t incorporated too much of that. Yes, the MPs experience an attempted coup. The coup fails, and the survivors flee. Otherwise, the MPs remain intact, albeit diminished. Where is there a better deal, except maybe with the UBF or the USCG? Although there are small forces and cantonments controlled by the surviving governments of Vermont and New Hampshire, the situation isn’t any better in Concord or Montpelier-Burlington.



From my understanding it read like the entire Brigade just melted away. I never liked that myself, even if a some large factions desert and head off on their own as marauders or whatever. I take it you agree that a chunk of MPs would remain intact?


thefusilier





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DeaconR


Actually what I did in my game was have a similar thing with a remnant group at Fort Devens while another group gone rogue went to Westover and other elements had gradually either deserted or just gone kind of bad in the area, to confuse the situation generally. So that for instance rumors that they were still trying to operate and being in contact with friendly forces were true, while rumors that they had gone marauder were also true.


DeaconR





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Webstral

Paratus Iterum: "Ready Once More"

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I like the Eagle, too, as a cool factor. As for a Rhode Island-based Coast Guard element using cadets, one must bear in mind that "The Last Submarine" claims that the staff and matriculants were inducted directly into the Navy in 1998. Not that we aren't perfectly free to ignore canon. I do it all the time when it suits me.

I'd ask a couple of questions about a USCG command in Rhode Island. What is the relationship between the Coasties and the Isolationists, if any? Where are the Coasties based? How have they organized their cantonment? How many people do they control? Where do they get spare parts, manufactured goods, etc.? Naturally, these are the very same questions one asks of every Y2k unit.

Assuming I were to include a Rhode Island-based Coast Guard unit into my campaign, I'd have to explain why two USCG admirals were operating in the same district on apparently separate pages. This isn't an insurmountable problem--just one that has to be addressed. Perhaps the commandant of the Coast Guard Academy took command of the cadets and staff. We could fudge the canon explanation so that the Navy absorbed the Academy en masse, then decided against breaking them up. It may have seemed better to send them back to New England to conduct coastal security operations. By the time they got back, New London had been overrun by that mob that gives the UBF their chance to make off with Corpus Christi. Perhaps the USCG was sent back explicitly to secure New London and the precious submarine, only to find that the place had been thrashed. We still must explain why this force wasn't involved in the hunt for the sub, but surely that can be worked out as well.

As for the MPs, I see the majority of the force staying at Westover AFB. The mutineers might head back to Devens, but they aren't likely to find anything of value once they get there. Scavengers and marauders will have made off with anything of value following the departure of the brigade in 1998. I just can't see anyone with a stake in affairs at Westover being dumb enough to strike out into the wilderness with nothing more than what can be carried on soldiers' backs and a few vehicles. The stupid soldiers will be dead by 2000, leaving the ones with strong survival instincts.

There are a few more additions to the canon. The surviving government of Vermont controls the Montpelier-Burlington axis. All surviving military assets have been consolidated into the Green Brigade, which is actually little more than a battalion. The presence of UVM (University Viridis Montes, or the state university of Vermont) in Burlington gave the government access to a large body of young men and women and a large pool of educated personnel. This combination has enabled the State to make the most of meager resources and hang on through the cold winters.

The surviving government of New Hampshire controls Concord and the surrounds. The State's forces are somewhat limited, as First District absorbed many of the available personnel into federal service. There is, in fact, some bad blood between the State and First District. The Coast Guard effectively has taken control of the short New Hampshire coastline using, in part, people and assets New Hampshire feels rightly belong to New Hampshire. The only fish coming inland goes through First District's cantonment. The District has not shown much inclination to get involved with events further inland, despite repeated pleas from the State to aid in such mundane tasks as liberating Nashua from its tin-pot dictator and conducting anti-marauder operations. As a result, a good deal of potentially productive land in southern New Hampshire lies fallow.

[The other side of the coin is that many of the people outside the District's boundaries have fled to the coast. While this has created some overcrowding along the coast, it has given the District a pool of compliant labor working inside somewhat secure boundaries. In some ways, the situation is rather like a wetter, colder version of Thunder Empire. In others, of coursem, the situation is entirely unique.]

My last addition for now is the group that inspired Thunder Empire: the Black Watch. The Watch started as a small group of survivalists who established themselves in Brattleboro, VT before the nuclear exchange. They managed to survive the chaos of 1998 by the skin of their teeth. Using woodland survival skills and sheer determination, the Black Watch kept the population of the southeastern corner of Vermont alive. By 2000, several small towns in the area have joined into the United Communities of Southern Vermont. They give lip service the legal authority of the State of Vermont but little else. Although the Watch is small (about 300 all told), they are exceptional. They have been much more active than the better-supplied and more numerous First District regarding anti-marauder duties. During winter, the Watch takes to skis and snowshoes and takes the battle to bandits in their winter encamments in central Vermont, southwestern New Hampshire, and northwestern Massachusetts. Their most famed exploit is the 1999 overthrow of a tin-pot dictator who had come to power in Keene, NH. In many ways, it can be said that the Watch's exceptionally aggressive winter operations have given them the breathing room to do other things during the growing season. The State of Vermont is exasperated by the Watch's refusal to come into the fold. The State of New Hampshire thinks these guys are the best thing since sliced bread, now that Keene is free of its warlord and operating as normally as can be expected under the circumstances. The government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts no longer exists, but the 43rd MP Brigade thinks the Watch provides a useful service by attracting and destroying marauders who might otherwise be drawn towards Westover AFB. The minimal contact between the Watch and the MPs has secured a very modest good will that enables occasional trade and exchange of information.]

A final omission is that First District effectively replaces the much weaker Gloucestermen, who are mentioned on the last page or two of "The Last Submarine." First District occupies essentially the same area as the Gloucestermen--the coasts of northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and southern Maine. The chief differences are that First District is much more powerful, having much more materiel, many more personnel, and a somewhat stable if not universally adequate base of food, power, and industry; and First District does not have the anti-Carlucci vitriol of the Gloucestermen. The fishermen of this area really are civilians who ply their trade under the protection of the Coast Guard. I have retained the Salem Defense Force, which is mentioned in "The Last Submarine" as providing a barrier between the megapunks of greater Boston and areas north. The SDF cooperates with the Coast Guard in that they regularly exchange information, conduct some trade, and occasionally cooperate in military matters.


Webstral





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DeaconR


Webstral:

1. I would agree that having two admirals is redundant; I'd suggest perhaps having the commander of the Eagle establish the base in Rhode Island. It was not really perfectly done in the Challenge Article and in fact I had depicted the USCG as well as the players helping evacuate an area in Rhode Island that had been overrun by gangs. While the main government is Isolationist I had depicted what passed for prewar type government in the region cooperating during emergencies at times. I had played up everyone being haunted by what happened at Groton and New London and Boston. I kind of like your idea better than the Challenge Article which I now remember was called Rifle River. A lot of your questions were not answered to my satisfaction but I remember that they were around Newport and supporting a fishing community as you have depicted for Gloucester. 600 personnel is what I remember. I had wondered myself about ammo production and maintenance and fuel but these questions were not as I remember it well answered.

2. Finally someone with clear ideas on Vermont and New Hampshire! I always thought it was a copout to depict those areas as almost depopulated. One thing that would make the Black Watch work well would be for them to mostly be using hunting weapons; then they could be doing their own reloads and certainly they'd have to forage for themselves at times. I picture that they would have military assault weapons reserved for big missions and a few heavy weapons as backup just in case, but if they are as canny as you describe they'd husband their resources and try to live off the marauders perhaps?

3. I like you generally replacing the Gloucestermen with the USCG. The game setting gave almost no ideas on how to carry out this conflict, which I found frustrating. (though at the end of the day the players never tried to infiltrate, they just snuck around a lot at night and avoided encountering anyone till they actually got to the sub)

4. Why didn't the USCG take part in the sub hunt? I like your original reason but I would also speculate that the very reason it might have been kept secret is that it seems to me that in the last year or so Civgov and Milgov have been at odds but tried to avoid coming to direct blows.


DeaconR





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Jason Weiser

Web,
This is great stuff, and it's really good to see you posting again. Mind if we crib it for our "recovery project"? I think the UBF is going to be very interesting politically, as things heat up between the two US governments and New America.

Deacon,
I PMed you a while back, I was kinda hoping to get your campaign notes from you. Mainly, a rundown of where your campaign had been, and where was it going. Us working group folks have plans for those guys...big plans that work very well. Suffice to say, they do a lot for their country.

Jason




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DeaconR


Jason: I never got your pm--I was away for a bit and my pm log got clogged up I think. If there was other stuff in it could you send it again? Otherwise I'll get to work on sending you that in some kind of intelligible form.


DeaconR





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Jason Weiser

Never sent one as it turns out, thought I did..aw hell. I did send one to Web. Web, Dan and Flamingo and Law and I have sort of an offer to make to you if you'd like. PM me if you're interested.

Jason




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DeaconR


Please do.


DeaconR


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Jason Weiser

Well, it applies to both you and web.
__________________



Jason Weiser

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thefusilier

Anyone want to spend a minute to give an opinion on Maine? Forces and the current situation.

thefusilier





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DeaconR


First of all: I have found it weird for a while that Loring AFB (one of the biggest SAC bases in the Cold War east of the Mississippi) was not hit. I don't want to resurrect old discussions on target lists but I would mention that here you'd have a lot of trained personnel who wouldn't just vanish.

Second, there are the Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Yard. Webstral has mentioned these and I like his take on them so I'm going with that. That's in Maine. He also covers Brunswick NAS which is also there.

Personally I'd go with the idea of the units at Loring (presuming that the B-52s and the KC-135s have long gone) will have teamed up with the local naval units.

As for the New Americans in Maine...

I'm going to give it further thought, fusilier, but suffice to say that I'd thought of them overlapping both Maine and New Brunswick in their activities.


DeaconR


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thefusilier

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconR
First of all: I have found it weird for a while that Loring AFB (one of the biggest SAC bases in the Cold War east of the Mississippi) was not hit. I don't want to resurrect old discussions on target lists but I would mention that here you'd have a lot of trained personnel who wouldn't just vanish.

Second, there are the Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Yard. Webstral has mentioned these and I like his take on them so I'm going with that. That's in Maine. He also covers Brunswick NAS which is also there.

Personally I'd go with the idea of the units at Loring (presuming that the B-52s and the KC-135s have long gone) will have teamed up with the local naval units.

As for the New Americans in Maine...

I'm going to give it further thought, fusilier, but suffice to say that I'd thought of them overlapping both Maine and New Brunswick in their activities.



I agree about not bringing up nuke hit lists. Google Earth shows Loring in the middle of some farm fields in that part of Maine, so I guess they could sustain themselves.

New America. I believe we think the same for some of this. Cannon mentioned that along with a number of US states - 3 Canadian provinces had cells as well. While it didn't mention them - I named them British Columbia, Alberta, and New Brunswick (like you I closely linked that group with Maine - now overlapping)


thefusilier



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DeaconR


What I'd suggest is this: the New Americans according to canon are trying to get a nuclear power plant online again. A few thoughts about this:
1. If they have thought of it, so have others. Any Milgov/Civgov units in the area would have thought of it. So there has to be a reason why they haven't made the attempt--it could be that they have had other priorities but surely they will at some point think of sending a team to investigate the area.

2. The Maine-Yankee plant is in Wiscasset, Maine. This is a town of about 3,000 on the coast in the southern part of Maine in Lincoln County. It was decommissioned in the mid nineties.

3. The New Americans in the area would I imagine have some kind of coastal patrol boats--if only launches or the like--and would probably either be holding the locals remaining captive or else have supplanted them altogether.

4. Another strong image comes to mind with these people--they are cut off. The nearest enclave of New Americans would be in Plattsburgh, New York. Communications are apparently poor.

5. On the other hand to New Americans this is good. Bear in mind, those of us who have read New American-esque literature know that they WANT disaster, they want a total social upheaval so that they can rebuild society in the US in their own image. They don't care how many people suffer and die for them to accomplish this--they don't see it as their fault anyway. So they are probably cheering at the disintegration of things in the New England states. They will want the Isolationists, UBF, and Milgov units in the area to fight among themselves. I'm picturing that as with Florida there is probably some kind of provocateur on a ham radio or something.

6. Further bear in mind that they are insidious. New Americans only take over wholesale when they know they've pretty much got the advantage. Otherwise they prefer to undermine local social structures and use acts of terrorism and the like.

7. The surviving New American cells as depicted in canon all have something in common--they all managed to grab their caches of arms and ammunition. They are probably quite decently armed and fed if they have remained around this long.


DeaconR


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thefusilier

Thanks DeaconR, I'm pretty much online with much what you said already, but your opinion has cemented the ideas.

If not the Maine-Yankee plant there is the Point Lepreau plant in New Brunswick.


thefusilier


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Webstral

With respect to canon, which as you all know I am more inclined to try to preserve than change, I can’t see a New American cell successfully operating at Wicasset, ME with an intact and successful 1st DST (my working abbreviation for First District) cantonment so nearby. At the risk of being self-centered, I’m going to choose my project with its more in-depth treatment of coastal New England over a blurb in “Howling Wilderness”, which we have almost universally rejected. I’ll bet Frank Frey would support me, so long as I’m doing decent work.

Now what would be very interesting is to have a New America cell literally on the border of 1st DST—at least for a while. While the District is sorting itself out, the New Americans begin sorting out their area. During the tumultuous 1997-1998 phase, the Coast Guard has little attention to spare for events in Wicasset, even if it is right up the street. The New Americans are smart enough to hide under the guise of legitimacy for the time being.

Perhaps one of the reasons 1st DST doesn’t undertake offensive operations further south in 1999 is that they are busy with New America in and around Wicasset. For a time, the New American cell plays nice and gets away with it. After a while, though, things come to a head. Word is going to get to Portsmouth that someone is messing about with the nuclear plant. Someone goes to investigate, and then there is trouble. The District discovers that the New Americans are well-armed, more numerous than expected, and well-equipped. The District mounts a major offensive that destroys the New American cell (although not killing all the New Americans). This operation costs the District dearly in manpower and materiel. They spend the next year rebuilding their forces. As an added bonus, this operation will give 1st DST a valuable base of experience for mounting large-scale operations. Of course, escaping New Americans might cause more trouble at another location.


Webstral


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thefusilier

Thanks for further insight Web. I try to preserve cannon as much as possible myself... but as you said there can be exceptions.


thefusilier

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Webstral

Some of the very best stuff is exceptions to the canon. GDW only had so much time and attention. Those of us who have opted to carry the ball have much more time and energy to devote to developing the world and expanding on the material provided in the 80's. Each of us has a favorite area, etc. Everyone can contribute excellent exceptions to canon, I think.

Webstral


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Webstral

Life in 1st DST Notes 01

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As of January 2001, the USCG 1st DST controls an area extending roughly from Rye, NH along the Maine coast to Bar Harbor. By road, this is a distance of nearly 240 miles—an impressive area to control in early 2001. However, not all is as it appears. The District, as both locals and the USCG call the Coast Guard realm, holds sway no more than ten miles inland in any location. In most areas, 1st DST controls the hinterland to a depth of less than five miles. Thus the District controls a sliver of territory clinging to the sea. In many areas, control is nominal—there isn’t anybody along certain stretches of coast to contest the Coast Guard. In most other areas, control really rests in the hands of local militias who receive training and support from the Coast Guard and who conduct coastal trade under the protection of USCG cutters and boats. The Coast Guard maintains order throughout its slender domain with its manpower and materiel stationed predominantly at four bases: Portsmouth Naval Yard in New Hampshire, the City of Portland in Maine, Brunswick Naval Air Station in Maine, and the City of Bar Harbor in Maine.

Life in the District is in many ways typical of American life in 2001. The luxuries of the late 20th Century are long gone. Modern life is about the struggle to produce enough food and to survive the hard winters. Violence, starvation, and disease have carried off more than half the population; everyone has lost someone. The old economy has collapsed. In the new economy, the most valuable asset is productive farmland—or, the case of the District, a working fishing boat and the ability to harvest the bounty of the sea. The next most valuable commodity is the rifle and the ability to use it to defend the productive farmland and the fishing vessels. Those who have weapons and who are ready to use them to take what other survivors have are ever-present wolves lurking beyond the borders of towns and cities struggling to survive in the harsh world that is post-attack America. In this regard, 1st DST is like any other place in the United States of 2001.

In other regards, however, the District is completely unique. The area retains a surprisingly large percentage of its pre-war population. Although many of the original residents of coastal southern Maine have died, they have been replaced by refugees from inland areas. The harsher winters of inland Maine, coupled with the rising tide of marauders and bandits, drove survivors towards the coast by the tens of thousands. The produce of the sea kept them alive—as well as keeping the local governments and the District itself in control of the situation. Without the sea, with its fish, lobsters, shellfish, and seaweed, the whole region might have collapsed in 1998. However, with control over a reliable food source, the District had control over the local population. This gave the District its opportunity to sow crops and reorganize southern coastal Maine for self-sufficiency. At the same time, the disparate armed units throughout the area—from Coast Guard personnel to active duty and reserve personnel from every branch of the armed forces to law enforcement of every stripe—were welded into a cohesive force by never-ending small unit actions against the inland bandits seeking to encroach on the coastal enclaves.

By late 2001, life in the District has stabilized considerably. Food is reliably available—so much so that the District can consider trading some to other cantonments in New England. Corn and fish are the staples of the District diet, supplemented by beans, potatoes, tomatoes, squash (including pumpkin), carrots, beets, various garden greens, chives and garlic, and small game. Local farms and garden shops provided the seed for 1998’s planting season. Local farmers and agricultural experts provided the know-how. The Coast Guard and its supporting militias provided the security.

Food is still rationed, except for what is grown in gardens. Fishing boats are required to operate out of USCG-controlled facilities, to which they are required to return with their catch. The boat crew can keep a certain percentage of the catch. The rest goes into the general supply and is distributed through the ration system. The same is true of the produce of farms and greenhouses. Local governments handle the rationing under the watchful eye of USCG officials.

Living conditions are cramped. Houses with many people in them are much warmer in the winter. Tightly-packed communities are safer, given the limits on manpower and the ever-present threat of marauders from inland. Many homes have been lost to fires over the past three years, and there has been limited new construction. However, those who have made it to 2001 are generally safe in the District. Public health is not quite what it used to be, but neither are people greatly at risk from disease.

Pirates, who represent a major threat to many other coastal communities throughout 2001 America, are no longer a significant threat to the District. The District has fought a vigorous anti-pirate campaign from 1998 until the present. Some have excoriated the District for its failure to reach any appreciable distance inland in its security efforts. Instead of securing the Maine hinterlands, the District has hunted along the Maine coast and even into Canada for all pirate bases. Using its Port Security Units as marines, the Coast Guard has attacked pirates in their own bases, sinking or capturing scores of ships, killing or capturing thousands of maritime bandits, and forcibly relocating their dependent populations to prevent further outbreaks of piracy. Thus while Augusta is outside the District security zone, District-based fishermen can operate throughout the Gulf of Maine without escort.

For all intents and purposes, the District is divided into two parts—North District and South District. In South District, the security zone is a more-or-less continuous belt running from just south of Portsmouth, NH to Newcastle, ME. Patrols by local militia and Coast Guard troops are frequent throughout this area. Although only the unwise travel unarmed outside the urban areas, lawless elements are generally small groups of individuals who survive by being unobtrusive. Large groups of marauders who move into this area have met untimely ends so frequently over the past few years that they generally stay away from the District.

North District, running from Newcastle to Bar Harbor, is a different story. Here, District control is limited to easily-defended areas. Islands and isolated peninsulas in Muscongus Bay, Penobscot Bay, and Blue Hill Bay have been turned into cantonments. Thanks to persistent patrols by the Coast Guard, offshore islands generally are safe from marauders. Small groups using one or two boats generally are discovered and dealt with by the island militia. Larger groups requiring multiple boats simply never get the chance to assemble. The Coast Guard has fought several one-sided engagements in the area, smashing every attempt to land a sizeable force on any of the islands.

The peninsula enclaves typically are defended at the necks of the land bridge. The forest is cleared to create a wide barrier of open space. Fixed fighting positions are supplemented by patrols and LP/OPs manned by local militia and/or Coast Guard personnel. Infiltration here is much easier for bandits, although the use of dogs at the barriers makes this a real challenge nonetheless. The largest of these peninsula enclaves is Mount Desert Island which, though technically an island, is joined to the mainland by the Bar Harbor Road/Rte. 3 Bridge at the northwestern tip of the island. The bridge crossing is heavily fortified and manned at all times.

The situation is sufficiently stable for the existence of local politics. Municipalities elect their own officials, who have some leeway in how to use municipal resources. However, final say in all matters remains with the Coast Guard. Thus far, there have been few complaints about the situation. More than half of the population of the District has come from elsewhere in Maine, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts. A steady stream of refugees keeps the local population aware of how good they have it relative to many parts of New England. The occasional sound of small arms fire from the perimeter of the District reminds the population that they are under the protection of the Coast Guard and their local auxiliaries. For now, at least, there is no real restiveness among the natives.

The District maintains a force of 2000 Coast Guardsmen under arms, including all boat and cutter crews, all PSU (Port Security Units), and command and support personnel. About a third of this number were originally USCG, USCG Reserve, or USCG Auxiliary. Around a quarter are military personnel originally from other services (principally Navy personnel from Brunswick NAS and National Guard from Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire), while the last portion are former police and local recruits. The equipment of the Coast Guard is good, if worn, and the ammunition is adequate if not bountiful. Many pre-war gunsmiths have been relocated to the four main bases, where they keep the Coast Guard’s weapons in good repair.

Approximately 8000 militia are scattered throughout the District. One fifth of this number is active duty/cadre troops, almost all of whom were military or police before the war. The remainder is reservists who serve, on average, one week in every four. Their level of training is generally modest, although most can give a good account of themselves in a fight. The equipment of the militia forces in the District is virtually all small arms. As the Coast Guard has claimed almost all the assault rifles and machine guns, the militia uses hunting rifles, shotguns, handguns, and a sprinkling of older military rifles. Ammunition is not as abundant as anyone would like, but the militia is better-supplied than the marauders who have been testing them for the past year.

Although the exact number is unknown, the most reliable estimate of the population of the District is 150,000. The single largest economic activity is farming, whether on regular farms, in labor-intensive gardens, or in greenhouses. Fishing is the next most prominent economic activity, followed by manufacturing of all kinds and military activity. Having solved the basic problems of food and security, the District finds itself at a crossroads. Further industrial recovery will require more labor, more expertise, more energy, more tools and fixtures, and more raw materials. Expansion of the District’s territory will meet some of these needs but not all. Machine shops, which are fairly common throughout eastern and southern New England, can solve some of the District’s problems. However, the issues of energy, skilled labor, and raw materials will continue to plague the District for the foreseeable future.


Webstral



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thefusilier

Once again, well done Web. This is amazing work. This is really helping me with my Eastern Canada project.


thefusilier





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Webstral

Life in 1st DST Notes 02

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In early 2001, the neighborhood of 1st DST is far from peaceable; and yet, the situation in New England is not as bad as it is in some parts of the country. Put simply, the people who were going to die of starvation, disease, and violence are mostly dead. Pre-war stocks of food were eaten in primarily 1998, though some lasted through 1999. However, during 2000 virtually everyone in New England was eating food that had been grown or gathered since the nuclear exchange. Though something more than half the pre-war population of New England (about twelve million) was dead, the survivors were growing or gathering enough food to keep themselves alive—at least for the time being.

By January 2001, certain patterns have evolved throughout New England. Cantonments of various sizes and populations have developed. Each has a mixture of various ingredients for the recipe of success in post-exchange America. Each cantonment that has survived to the beginning of 2001 has productive land, farming labor and crops, a self-defense force with at least some weapons and ammunition, a defensible area, and some source of power for whatever industry is being used to meet the needs of the farmers and the self-defense force. Although these elements vary hugely in their quantity and proportion from place to place, virtually every cantonment in existence in New England in 2001 has these things.

Outside the cantonments are small groups that survive by escaping notice, hunter-gathering groups, and marauders. By early 2001, there are fewer marauders in New England than in many other locations in the country. New England winters are hard—especially inland. Those who make their living through banditry are finding pickings increasingly slim outside the cantonments. In 1998, much of the suburban populations of the New England states remained in place. Those who had fled the cities and suburban areas died in large numbers over the winter. By the end of 1998, the breakdown of food and fuel distribution resulted in another surge of refugee movement, thievery, and escalating civil violence. Those inclined towards more-or-less peaceful cooperation banded together, as did those inclined towards the use of arms to secure their needs. Like medieval towns and cities, the population centers of post-attack New England became islands of housing and industry surrounded by their fields (figuratively speaking). Beyond the safe zones, marauders roamed. Those who chose to live outside the cantonments that rapidly came into being in late 1998 and throughout 1999 frequently died of hunger or violence or turned to violence themselves to meet their needs.

Thus by January 2001, New England is mostly a series of cantonments separated by areas of wilderness sparsely populated by those who survive by their wits. The term wilderness is, of course, something of a misnomer. Many of the unpopulated areas are filled with homes, malls, and industry. However, these places have been given over to the bandits as well as those small groups of hunters and farmers who choose to remain outside the cantonments for whatever reason.

Many of the larger and more successful of the marauder groups have set up bandit kingdoms of their own, complete with warlords. Foremost among these are the megapunk fiefdoms throughout greater Boston. Other examples exist throughout the region, where marauders concluded their chances for success were better if they controlled the cantonments.

As a result, a tenuous stability exists throughout most of New England at the beginning of 2001. Though on its knees, civilization has not collapsed completely. The survivors represent the young, the adaptable, and the iron-willed. A few of the more powerful cantonments have begun to look around them as they consider the future.

Manchester, NH
The government of the State of New Hampshire has survived—barely—in the largest pre-war metropolitan area. Like most surviving urban areas, Manchester is more a city-state like Krakow (Poland) than a traditional city. Much of the original population of the city is gone, and many of the current residents are from elsewhere in the state. The government has endured, albeit as a skeleton of its former self. In late 1998, the State Treasurer conducted a coup with the support of the state police and some leaders of the hastily-assembled New Hampshire Military Reserve. Federal representatives like the commander of USCG 1st DST and the commander of 43rd MP Brigade used this development to justify severing ties with the State of New Hampshire.

The new Acting Governor of New Hampshire moved the surviving government assets to Manchester. The New Hampshire Military Reserve (NHMR) had been formed using weapons and equipment left by New Hampshire National Guard and Air National Guard units. The single largest concentration of these was in the Manchester area. Also, industry was more concentrated in Manchester than elsewhere in the state. The acting governor wanted to consolidate every government asset in the area most likely to yield a sustainable cantonment (although he did not use that term himself). He promptly abolished the municipal government “pending future developments”.

As of January 2001, the population of Manchester is 60,000—down from a pre-war high of 100,000. About forty percent of the population lived in the city in November 1997. The remainder have moved to the city fleeing marauders and chaos elsewhere. The city has survived through the high level of volunteerism and cooperation of many of its residents. Few seem to view the acting governor’s actions as suspect. In fact, many see his actions as the only reasonable course of action, given the state of things in late 1998.

Another factor that has helped the city survive is the abandonment of every other part of the state. Throughout the northern half of New Hampshire and in many other locations, state assets were simply packed up and moved south under the guns of the NHMR once the new acting governor had assumed control. When Nashua fell to a strongman who became a petty dictator, Manchester did nothing. When Concord was overrun by a marauder group, Manchester did nothing. Manchester has little idea what is happening beyond its own borders.

Despite all this, the state government survives—if in name only. The Granite Brigade disposes 400 full-time soldiers and another 1400 militia commanded by the pre-war State Adjutant. Training and equipment are mixed. Regular attacks by marauder bands of various sizes have hardened the Granite Brigade considerably.

Life in Manchester is hard. Food is barely adequate. The winters are cold. There is some electricity from ad hoc hydro power and other sources, but the government uses all of it to operate the sparse industrial base. Despite this, everyone knows it could be worse. Life in the city is relatively safe. Those who work on the farms ringing the city and those who patrol the outskirts are the ones who bear the brunt of the danger.

Manchester suffers the same problems as most New England cantonments in early 2001. Nearly everything is in short supply. The pre-war equipment is wearing out, and no one knows where replacements will come from. The state government has sold their souls to survive (and, to their credit, to keep a city alive), but no one can say whether the future will bring redemption.


Webstral

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Last edited by Webstral : 05-20-2007 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Correct grammar


Webstral





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DeaconR ,266


Web, you have a gift. I'm also very impressed. You manage to evoke that sense of isolation and desperation that was so well conveyed in Alas, Babylon.

Here is some of my take on New England based on my own game.

Connecticut is a state of contrasts. Part of it along with northern New York is a devastated area partly emptied by panic over radiation fears but also from a wave of disease that went in a swathe from New Jersey to central Connecticut. With civil unrest and food shortages already stretching state government to the max the plague hit like a tidal wave striking an open coastline.

Along with the riots in New London and Groton the devastation of the disease left the coastal regions of the state all but depopulated. Refugees, the most ill armed and timid of marauders, scavengers and the sick and dying are most of what remain.

One of the main enclaves in the area is New Haven.

New Haven was almost overrun by marauders and refugees and general mobs when they were rescued by an unexpected source--the 11th Connecticut Militia. While normally these people were a Revolutionary era reenactment society they proved to be following the overwhelming of some of the last police blockades in the area one of the few cohesive forces of altruistic citizens. They exchanged their muskets for hunting weapons and privately owned pistols and presented a startling sight--not in their eighteenth century uniforms but simply in their civilian coats and jackets--marching shoulder to shoulder with excellent discipline, discharing their weapons into the air and warning off the mobs. With some difficulty but with determination--after all it was their homes they were fighting for--they managed to help local police restore some order, build defenses and begin to patrol the area.

New Haven's Marsh Botanical Gardens have been altered to suit growing food and medicinal plants instead of hothouse flowers.

Yale University contains one of the most important libraries remaining in the country, as well as a repository of knowledgeable people. Currently it is able to manufacture a certain amount of basic medecines as well as provide information about vital needs for economic recovery. Some of the important collectibles such as rare medical texts and Elizabethan era works have been carefully placed in guarded and sealed vaults.

Unlike some other cities New Haven has its own power station right in the city--admittedly the city is small, with a present day population of only 80,000. Careful screening of refugees has made certain that there are people capable of running the plant. The only major problem is that fuel is now desperately short. In order to run the hospital and the gardens they need the power station. There is talk of sending a major expedition at some point to reconnect to some kind of supply line to get fuel.

New Haven is run by its mayor and a city council. They are only vaguely in touch with the outside world--much of the immediate area surrounding them is a horror show of devastation and death, and they fear that much of the rest of the country is in the same shape. What few sparse radio communications they've had indicate a country gone mad--what is Milgov? What is Civgov? Who are the New Americans?

In general people in New Haven eat nutritiously but are constantly on the verge of a near starvation diet--everyone is always hungry though they have just enough to keep working. Luxuries are few; a warm bath is considered a luxury. However no one is scavenging rats to eat and you can walk down the street without wondering if you are going to be robbed. Work is almost constant--lurking behind any smile is the fear that the power station may have to be turned off, that the night will come with a vengeance and close around them. That someone sick will get through the safety net and infest everyone. That they'll run low on ammunition at a crucial moment when another crazed, starving mob of the dying and sick comes in on them.


DeaconR





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thefusilier

You guys are amazing.
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Webstral

I’m glad you have produced something about Connecticut. I have shied away from Connecticut so far. The Connecticut River is a major thoroughfare, so Connecticut should figure prominently in recovery plans for New England, if for no other reason. Given that a New Haven cantonment is in a position to interdict river traffic, the cantonment leadership might have some decisions to make. Do they have contact with the UBF? Do they have their own fishing fleet? Has the 43rd MPs shown any interest in New Haven? Is New Haven self-sufficient regarding food, or do they need to trade manufactured goods with surrounding communities a la Krakow?

I love that you’ve brought in Yale. I tend to focus on higher education as a resource, too. UVM is a cornerstone of the survival of the government of Vermont in the Montpelier-Burlington corridor. The catch for us is keeping a substantial percentage of the staff and student body (preferably the upper classmen and graduate students) in the locale until the surviving government puts them to work. I wonder if some formula might be devised?


Webstral


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DeaconR ,266


thanks Web for asking the pertinent questions!

New Haven only produces so much food--while some sail operated fishing ships bring in some protein they generally trade for more with information and technology to the UBF and the Isolationists. They have even traded with some of the more friendly and stable communities in New York. However they are wary of travelling too far afield since they lack long range communications as yet and more importantly the ammunition to make such journeys safe. Thus far New Haven is safe largely because its militia are known to be armed and determined.

Yale did not have a full student complement after the TDM but there were still a number of students and professors along with other staff stranded there. This being the case it was felt that they could be more easily protected if they remained on campus--and city leaders realized that they might have a valuable asset in the students.

First of all, some few of these students were ROTC and these were quickly put to work helping to improve the militia along with the instructors who had been assigned to them.

Second: while free to leave they were strongly encouraged to stay. For some it was a desperate lifeline--few truly know what nuclear targets were hit, what cities were entirely evacuated or what precisely happened. Those who stayed gathered their courage and determined to make the best of it. They are highly valued members of the community--they are not just working on degrees but on survival and hopefully prosperity! Interestingly the structure of the college as far as social hierarchy remains in place but as in all such cases at times true leadership rises beyond the norms. Thus student union members have a lot more influence at the college and in town than they normally would have--they make important decisions about work projects on the campus grounds, about changes in bylaws, about security and even on their own work.


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chico20854

Deacon, Web-

Some concepts we are discussing for the recovery plan that may bear on your work on New England:

-It seems that the Army (& presumably FEMA) had relocation plans for evacuating cities. The third-world style refugee camps with acres of blue plastic tarps aren't really a long-term housing solution. I found references in an obscure Army regulation (which I didn't jot down, drat!) to authority to requisition real estate, especially hotels & apartments for non-military purposes. Desirable criteria were remoteness from military installations & cities. It seemed to imply that these were for refugee resettlement. The two types of areas that seem to spring to mind are resort communities and colleges/universities in rural areas. So I could see Branson, MO, Vail & Aspen, CO and Killington, VT as relocation sites, in addition to places like Lafayette, IN (Purdue Univ.), State College, PA and College Station, TX.

-Universities- we seem to see eye to eye on their desirability. ROTC students were gone by the end of the Spring 1997 semester - the seniors as officers, the rest of the students as NCOs or privates, the instructors to the battlefields of the world. Many lost a portion of their student bodies during the TDM (most students were home and were unable to return). Refugees were moved into the dorms of many of them. Even community colleges have libraries and labs full of priceless equipment and the educated personnel to make them work, while the many arts & humanities teachers can continue the existence of civilization by preserving higher learning and teaching the next generation. We will probably feature "university rescue or recovery" type missions in the recovery plan, where governments send a team (perfect for a group of PCs) to essentially raid a university campus and salvage library materials, lab supplies and bring back to a cantonment faculty and staff of a university in an unsecured area.

Great work, guys!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854
-Universities- we seem to see eye to eye on their desirability. ROTC students were gone by the end of the Spring 1997 semester - the seniors as officers, the rest of the students as NCOs or privates, the instructors to the battlefields of the world. Many lost a portion of their student bodies during the TDM (most students were home and were unable to return). Refugees were moved into the dorms of many of them. Even community colleges have libraries and labs full of priceless equipment and the educated personnel to make them work, while the many arts & humanities teachers can continue the existence of civilization by preserving higher learning and teaching the next generation. We will probably feature "university rescue or recovery" type missions in the recovery plan, where governments send a team (perfect for a group of PCs) to essentially raid a university campus and salvage library materials, lab supplies and bring back to a cantonment faculty and staff of a university in an unsecured area.



Reminds me of The Day After. The only 'hospital' was the campus one... they also rigged up a ham radio for trying to contact other towns, as well as measuring radiation from the fallout.
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DeaconR

Chico--I'm dubious about your general draft idea. The only reason for my wariness is that it reminds me of my doubts about the draining of even the training cadres for bases like Camp Lejeune or Valcartier for instance. If they were shipping troops out AFTER the TDM then surely there were still plans to train for replacements et al?

Another question--do you have some idea according to your canon modifications as to what relocation plans were successful?


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chico20854

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconR
Chico--I'm dubious about your general draft idea. The only reason for my wariness is that it reminds me of my doubts about the draining of even the training cadres for bases like Camp Lejeune or Valcartier for instance. If they were shipping troops out AFTER the TDM then surely there were still plans to train for replacements et al?

Another question--do you have some idea according to your canon modifications as to what relocation plans were successful?



Flamingo is working on the general draft issue. We are working off of US Army doctrine for full mobilization, contained in FM 25-5 (located here):

"The United States Military Academy (USMA) and military colleges and institutions will graduate the senior class as soon as possible and then reduce their programs to three years. At nonmilitary colleges and institutions, Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs will be suspended when full mobilization is called and mobilization tasks are completed. ROTC cadets who have completed the ROTC advanced camp will be commissioned immediately upon receipt of instructions from HQDA and will attend the appropriate officer basic course (OBC). However, ROTC cadets who are under contract and have completed basic camp or MS II training will be ordered to active duty as enlisted reservists to attend an officer candidate school (OCS). All other contract students will be ordered to active duty immediately as enlisted reservists to attend BT. If they complete BT and demonstrate officer potential, they may be offered the OCS option.

Upon full or total mobilization, State Army National Guard military academies will accelerate completion of the OCS classes in session. The assigned cadre will be reassigned to TRADOC and earmarked as OCS faculty. OCS graduates will attend an appropriate OBC.

Infantry, armor, field artillery, and engineers will establish branch-specific OCS programs. Others may be added as required. However, branch-immaterial OCS programs will be established at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Bliss, Fort Gordon, Camp Robinson, and Fort McClellan with an input of 200 per week beginning at M+5 weeks. These programs will supply second lieutenants to OBC programs being conducted at other branch schools.

Qualified individuals with or without prior military service will be procured by HQDA as temporary commissioned officers in the Army of the United States (AUS). They will report for immediate active duty to meet mobilization requirements for those personnel who cannot be provided from the Reserve Components."

There are training cadres intact (we are projecting the training divisions continue some training even after conversion to infantry divisions, in addition to the rest of the training base). It's just that there are quicker ways to get Second Lieutenants than ROTC (and West Point and other military-academy type schools are churning ones out on a 3-year program). Other intact training centers are at the regular basic training sites - Sill, Dix, Benning, Leonard Wood, Jackson, etc.

We haven't got around to making any sort of comprehensive evacuation plan or analysis yet. We're still getting started identifying possible sites. I wonder how some of them would fare over a longer term, with limited food supplies and possibly limited arable land or hostile neighbors.


chico20854






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DeaconR

Thanks chico that clears things up a great deal.


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Webstral

If FEMA is identifying places with available rooms, it seems like northern New England is a natural for relocation—provided simply being away from the major cities is the primary criterion. Vermont and New Hampshire both have lots of ski areas that would be identified. It’s funny the subject of refugee movement should come up. I’ve been working on something for the past couple of nights I will put up soon.

On the matter of a general draft, do we believe the US goes to a general draft in 1996? I suspect most or all of us would do so were we President. However, that doesn’t mean the President thinks the way we do. He has a lot of competing realities. For instance, does he present a draft bill in October 1996, when the Bundeswehr crosses the border into the DDR? I think most of us can agree that Congress wouldn’t back such a move, although you never know. Let’s imagine that the President decides against a general draft at that time because the US is supposed to be staying out of the fight.

Does the President present a general draft bill in December 1996? There is a good deal more urgency, to be sure. However, the attack into the DDR is not supposed to be a part of general war. The US is acting to seal the West German victory. The Soviets are supposed to see reason (they are doing poorly in the Far East) and accept the situation in Central Europe. Can the President persuade Congress that a draft is necessary in December 1996?

The opening of North Korea’s offensive in late December 1996 might be the impetus a draft needs. I have envisioned an Iraqi offensive into Kuwait in January 1997. The Pact launches an offensive into southern Germany in February, aiming to inflict major casualties on I & II Ne Corps, which have taken over for V & VII US Corps in southern West Germany. At any point along this road, Congress might be convinced of a draft. Then again, they might not be. A good deal depends on what the polls are saying the American public wants and/or will tolerate.

NATO opens its offensive across Poland in April. This attack is meant to drive across Poland and Belarus to the Dvina-Dnepr line, thereby knocking the USSR out of the war without actually destroying the Soviet state. (At least, the Western powers believe that the Soviets should be able to survive. Sauronski knows that his regime will not survive. This is all that matters.) I believe the White House and the Pentagon want to launch the offensive in early 1997 because they know it will be a year before a draft will yield large numbers of fresh divisions. In a year, both sides will have more men and more equipment in the field. Defeating the Pact will be that much more expensive. With the North Korean invasion crushed and driven back across the 38th Parallel and USAEUR as strong as it is likely to get for the near future, the American leadership wants to be bold and get this thing over with as soon as possible.

As a result, the draft passes when Congress gives its approval for the invasion of the Warsaw Pact. However, these things take time to set up. OIF has demonstrated that even the Army Reserve divisions have their limits of throughput—especially at the beginning of a mobilization. We won’t see a real increase in the flow of trained replacements until at least ninety days after the first draftees start basic training. This brings us to July—right at the start of the nuclear exchanges. Four more months brings us to November. We can hardly expect TRADOC to bring any appreciable percentage of the available manpower into the service in that time, much less train them and provide them as reinforcements. A lot of young men may have received draft cards by November, but very few of them will have been expected to show up. Two hundred thousand is a lot of people to train in seven months, but it’s a fraction of the US college population; there should still be a lot left on campus as of November 1997.

Except, of course, that they are all at home for Thanksgiving. I’m feeling a bit dim that I’ve never thought of such a basic fact. I don’t know how many to expect back at school. On the order of none? This is a problem I’m going to have to mull over.


Webstral


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DeaconR

I have to admit that I quite forgot that Thanksgiving is a more important holiday in the US than in Canada. That is something I'll have to consider as well.


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FightingFlamingo

Web,
regarding the draft. The President does not require congressional approval to reinstitute the draft. It was halted by executive order during the Nixon Administration preemtively, to prevent the Congress from repealing the Selective Service Act. The Selective Service Act (1940), and the Militia Act (1791), give the President the power to draft members of the resident population (to include non citizens, legal residents or otherwise) it to the armed forces of the United States as needed to fill personel requirements at his discretion.
With the War in China, especially as you have described it, I think it would be difficult myself would find it difficult not to reactivate the draft at some point in late '95 or early '96.
After the Soviets invade China, the Bear has shown his teeth, and defense spending for their own defense (no counting military aid to the PRC) would go up immediately. The Sino-Soviet War just shows the West that the Soviets really mean what they have said for a generation, "We Will Bury YOU". And they're starting with the Revanchist Chinese.

Any President of the United States that didn't do so, election year or not, would be critized in the media, and repeatedly compaired to Chamberlin, and any attempts at accomadation would be called "Munich"...

I think the most plausible behavior for the US, which is much more engaged internationally than it was in the late 1930's, is a repeat 1940 call up of the National Guard for 12 months, and a similar form of consription as occurred then...

This explains how 116 ACR is in Germany prior to the Start of the Second Russo-German War (or is it the third)(prior to escalation into a general conflict).
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Cold Blue Steel - the spirit of the bayonet


FightingFlamingo





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Webstral

The State of Vermont

Pre-war Vermont was a surprisingly well-developed state, given its geographical size, location, and population. Most tended to think of Vermont as a state bed-and-breakfast hotels and maple sugar farms. While these ideas were not wrong, they did not represent pre-war Vermont as a whole. Dairy farming was widespread, as was the production of hay, corn, and oats to feed the cattle. Industry was also widespread in the small cities of Vermont, such as Burlington and Rutland. Electronics led the state’s manufacturing receipts, followed by finished metal goods and wood products.

As with all states, the war in Europe saw the call-up of Vermont’s National Guard and Reserve units. These units were subsequently deployed—never to be seen again, for the most part. Left behind was a core of VTNG personnel and the Vermont State Guard. The VSG originally came into existence in the early days of World War II—when National Guard units were being called into extended federal service. Governors were left without effective military forces. State guards were brought into being. The state guards were essentially National Guard units without a federal mission. Disbanded in the 1950’s, the VSG was brought back into being in the early 1980’s in preparation for possible extended National Guard deployments in the future.

The outbreak of the Sino-Soviet War caused massive alarm among Americans. Many were convinced that a nuclear holocaust was around the corner. Among the many reactions in state houses across the nation was the resurrection of defunct state guards and the rejuvenation of existing ones. The level of volunteerism varied from place to place. Vermont experienced an unusually strong level of support for its state guard.

The various scares leading up to the Massacre gave Vermont some idea of what to expect in the event of a real US-Soviet exchange. Tens of thousands poured out of the metropolitan areas of southern New England. Of those fleeing to Vermont, most were from Springfield (MA), Hartford, New Haven, Worcester (MA), and Boston. There even were some refugees from New York. During the Alarm (July 1997), Vermont was nearly overwhelmed by refugees from further south. The details of events like these have been recited ad nauseum elsewhere and need not be repeated here. Suffice to say that the level of mayhem, suffering, and destruction caused by this human tide flowing into Vermont made the Vermonters determined that such a thing would not happen again. They were prepared to be generous to a fault to their fellow Americans. They were not prepared to be devoured by a tide of human piranhas. As soon as the panic of the Alarm died down and the crowds went home, Vermont prepared for the next time.

The most significant developments were the expansion of the VSG and quite thorough preparations for managing a refugee tide of a million. It became a point of pride among Vermont college students who had refused to join the military to enlist in the VSG to protect the state from the next wave. Civil defense was the vogue during that last fateful semester at the main UVM campus in Burlington. Elsewhere in the state, volunteerism was high. Everyone seemed to recognize that Vermont could only survive if the people fleeing New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts cities could be managed when and if the bombs dropped on American soil.

FEMA, at the height of its powers between July and November 1997, lent a helping hand to Vermont in the form of tents, generators, and emergency supplies of every description. FEMA had taken a keen interest in the refugee problem resulting from the Alarm, to say the least. The federal government accumulated a working map of refugee movements following the Alarm and made predictions for the future. While some of FEMA’s predictions were wildly off, they did agree with Montpelier that Vermont could expect upwards of a million refugees in the event of a “significant exchange”. The results of the Alarm had been bad enough. If an exchange were to occur during the winter months, the death toll to exposure could very well run into the hundreds of thousands. While it was not possible to fix this problem overnight, resources were made available to federal agencies operating in Vermont and the State of Vermont itself.

Montpelier made plans to disperse the refugees among a number of camps throughout the state. Additionally, lists of available hotel, motel, and bed-and-breakfast rooms were compiled. These were surreptitiously earmarked the most desirable of refugees, once the desirables could be identified. Equipment and supplies would be pre-positioned in the camp areas. Resources for moving people from southern Vermont to camps in the central and northern parts of the state were allocated. When, quite early on in the planning process, Montpelier realized that the personnel, gear, and supplies at their disposal were going to be inadequate for handling a million hungry, panicked refugees, the VSG made backup plans for establishing a triage system in the state. Those areas that were completely overwhelmed would be isolated—by force of arms, if necessary. Those areas that could be helped by further aid (policing, food, shelter, fuel, medicines, etc.) and which played an important part in the health and welfare of the state, would receive aid. Naturally, certain areas were identified as “core” Vermont. These areas would be defended and supported to the greatest extent possible.

The TDM brought to Vermont a wave of refugees every bit as great as the pessimists had predicted. Although no final count exists, Montpelier estimated that in December 1997, 900,000 southern New Englanders and New Yorkers had entered Vermont in search of sanctuary.

The initial tide broke in southern Vermont. Montpelier had directed that the bridges across the Connecticut River be blocked to refugee traffic, thus sparing central eastern and northern Vermont from the numbers who drove through New Hampshire. Nevertheless, a tremendous number of people arrived in the Brattleboro and Benington areas in the space of a few days after the Thanksgiving attacks. Vermont National Guard (NVG) and VSG units, working side-by-side, attempted to shuttle them to camps in the central portion of the state. These efforts were at best partially successful. Refugees often refused to leave their cars—a prerequisite for movement to a camp further north. Refugees often refused to comply with the most basic of instructions. Refugees frequently resorted to violence out of sheer emotion. Many of them were promptly killed if they fired on uniformed personnel. As with all refugee situations, the one in Vermont was filled with every description of human agony and suffering. Perhaps a quarter million managed to reach prepared camps or rooms where their situation was stable, if not luxurious. An equal number found shelter of some sort in other ways. Upwards of a half-million died of violence, exposure, disease, and starvation during the 1997-1998 winter.

The situation around Brattleboro became untenable for Vermont by mid-December. The huge number of refugees simply swamped the ability of state and federal agents. Roadblocks at the Vermont border helped the situation briefly. Thousands abandoned their cars as the traffic backed up for miles. Refugees plunged into the woods and the towns of northwest Massachusetts, which were plunged into anarchy. Tens upon tens of thousands crossed the Vermont border on foot. Ironically, this made life easier for the Vermont forces, which found cold, hungry, and foot-bound refugees far more compliant than those which had to be separated from their warm cars. Nevertheless, after a time the sheer numbers of urbanites overwhelmed the local relief forces. On December 20, 1997, Montpelier gave the order for Vermont forces and assets to redeploy further north. Brattleboro was on its own.

[Soon thereafter, the nascent Black Watch, which had been riding out the storm in nearby Putney, got involved. They solved the problem of disorder in Brattleboro by shooting everyone and anyone who refused to do as they were told. Although many later excoriated the Watch for their MVD-type tactics, survivors in Brattleboro uniformly praise the Watch for doing what the state could not or would not do.]

In spring, Vermont began preparing for its future. The government agencies had seized control of the fuel stocks, seed stocks, and stored food in December. The fuel was distributed to the farmers in the central portions of the state, where grain was grown to feed dairy cattle. This year, the grain all would go to feed the Vermonters and those refugees who were still alive and not interested in going home. The farmers received protection and direct support from military and police personnel.

In mid-1998, the Second Mexican-American War began. The federal government withdrew much of the remaining federal presence in Vermont to support Fifth and Sixth Armies in the Southwest. Left to its own devices, Vermont consolidated its control over the counties the in central third of the state, where the capitol, largest cities, industrial base, and most productive farming were located.

By January 2001, the state government still controls the central third of the state. Although life here is hard, there is enough food for the survivors. Montpelier controls a population of nearly 150,000, including residents of the state and refugees who have been absorbed. Electricity is scarce, but there is some available from hydro, steam (wood-fired), and wind. The Green Brigade, which includes all military forces of the State of Vermont, disposes 1700 regulars. Various militia units throughout the state add another 4000 men and women under arms. Motor transport is scarce, but alcohol fuel is generally sufficient for what remains.

Montpelier has managed to keep generally abreast of events in the surrounding areas, thanks largely to the tireless efforts of a small number of long-range scouts with the Green Brigade and the efforts of ham radio operators. Relations with the United Communities of Southern Vermont (UCSV) are somewhat strained, given that the UCSV feels that Montpelier left them high and dry in their time of need. However, both parties recognize that they have a common interest in bringing the areas between them under control and increasing trade between the two areas. Montpelier is unhappy that what amounts to an autonomous multi-county government has appeared in the southern part of the state. However, there is very little they can do about it for now.

The State of Vermont is also aware that the northern third of the state has fallen into complete chaos. Long-range reconnaissance has revealed the presence of a major marauder force—a horde in MilGov parlance—dispersed throughout a large portion of the northern part of the state. While the horde is in winter quarters, the rest of Vermont has little to worry about. Spring will bring a serious problem as the horde takes to the road in search of new supplies.

Sporadic radio contact with Manchester, NH has resulted in some exchange of information. The Vermonters are aware that Nashua has become a dictatorship and that Concord has been burned to the ground. Montpelier also knows that most of New Hampshire north of Manchester has become a land of scattered fortified towns, ruins sacked by marauders, and small groups of survivors.

The outlook for Montpelier is mixed. For now, the large cantonment is stable. Problems of supply remain. The horde phenomenon—the concentration of marauders into super-gangs—threatens to undo all the work that Montpelier has accomplished. How the State of Vermont will meet these challenges is anyone’s guess.


Webstral


Webstral





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Webstral

Flamingo, that’s good information about the draft. Thanks.

As for the Sino-Soviet War, I could see an increase in defense spending and an increase in the personnel caps for the various services. But I’m dubious that much of a draft would be enacted. Sure, the Bear has shown his teeth. But are people going to be scared enough to support a draft? After all, as you mention in 1995 and 1996 the President is going to be heading into an election. With the Chinese and the Soviets deadlocked in Manchuria, what kind of support is there going to be for a draft? Let the Communists beat each other into the ground without involuntarily calling up American boys, many will say.

Calling up Guard and Reserve formations for 30-90 days of refresher and advanced training might be politically possible, though. As a result of such a decision, Regular Army divisions with a National Guard roundout brigade are able to deploy on short notice. 5th ID is a good example of this.

Clearly, the situation in Germany will change things a good deal. If the President doesn’t require Congressional approval, we may see a draft enacted before the end of 1996. This would mean that the first trained replacements for USAEUR would be arriving at their units as early as March. This fact may give some support to the timing of the NATO offensive into Poland. From that point forward, the US can expect an increasing flow of replacements. (Whether this flow will match casualty rates is another issue.)


Webstral


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DeaconR

Very good and very thorough, Webstral. A few thoughts:

1. What about southern parts of Canada? Fusilier and I might need to put our heads together because what affects N. Vermont will surely affect Canada as well...

2. Who are these marauders? I know some would just dismiss them as 'scum' but I like to know what KIND of scum--to get a sense of their scope of operations and capabilities and eccentricities.


DeaconR





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Webstral

Deacon,

I haven’t given a lot of thought to Canada, I’m afraid. It would seem to me that there is a lot less margin for error when it comes to survival in post-attack Canada. The growing season is shorter—too short for any cereal crops in some areas. The winters are longer and colder than in the US. Those who find themselves without food and proper shelter in November are in a tough spot. I know most of the population lives within 100 miles of the US border, which obviates some of the growing season issues. Still, a glance at the plant hardiness map of the continent shows that many crops have to go in the ground at a very specific time if they are to mature before the first frost. Marauders and civil unrest can really mess this up.

The marauder army in northern Vermont during the 2000-2001 winter is part of a growing phenomenon MilGov calls “hordes”. Having rejected the “Howling Wilderness” drought, I find myself nonetheless obliged to examine changing conditions. Going back to my description of circumstances in New England in January 2001, I see the civilization as being a contest between the medieval towns and the forces of destruction. During the first couple of years after the TDM, American civilization goes through a shakedown process. The elderly and infirm die, along with lots of children and people who are killed by violence and starvation. Some survivors will take to highwaymanship as a means of filling their bellies. Masses of refugees are especially susceptible to the leadership of a would-be warlord. GDW addresses this phenomenon in “Allegheny Uprising”. Predatory bands will gradually clear out the less well-defended sources of supply, thereby adding to the refugee problem. Better-organized cantonments will survive the depredations of smaller bands.

As time goes by, a sort of distillation process will result in larger, more effective bands of marauders, more concentrated groups of survivors, and more sacked and wasted areas that used to be suburbs and small towns. Perhaps crystallization is a better term. At any rate, by January of 2001, New Englanders will tend to live in armed and organized cantonments like 1st DST, UBF territory, Manchester and Nashua, and even the megapunk turfs in Boston. The status of the producers in each cantonment will vary, but the overall dynamic will be quite similar. Just as in feudal times the farmers and craftsmen supported a fighting class who protected them from outside violence, the survivors in 2001 New England largely support the armed forces that keep the highwaymen at bay.

For their part, the highwaymen have become increasingly organized and concentrated. The very success of the marauding over the past three years has either depleted the easily hunted game or driven the game into protected areas. Small bands of marauders find tackling fortified communities difficult—more so as natural selection produces increasingly well-defended cantonments. As a result, groups of marauders are increasingly banding together into small capable of going after the remaining cantonments.

MilGov has observed this process. The MI family has given the consolidating marauder groups a name: horde. A horde is a marauder band with 500 or more combatants (as distinct from dependents, who are often found with larger marauder groups). They live on plunder and survive by moving from one location to the next. The very size of the group necessitates frequent moves. Larger groups are capable of taking larger targets, and so the trend is for surviving marauders to combine forces.

Hordes often are either motorized or mounted. In some locations, they are foot-mobile. However, as hordes grow they tend to accumulate baggage that has be carried somehow. Thus even foot-mobile hordes acquire a wagon train for their possessions.

It should be noted that a horde is defined by its disinterest in taking over production in the conquered areas. The group that conquered Nashua, NH merely replaced the existing leadership with its own warlord and his lieutenants. Otherwise, the base of production remained intact and continues to serve the needs of the city-state and its armed forces. This sort of thing has happened all over the US during the past three years.

As a marauder band becomes a horde, the likelihood of its leaders assuming the throne of the cantonment, as it were, decreases. Hordes must be fed. As the numbers of marauders increase, fewer and fewer settlements are capable of providing the sustenance the horde needs over the long term. As the horde grows in size, its members become increasingly rapacious when combat devolves to sacking. Each sub-group within a horde becomes anxious that the best booty will be taken by another sub-group; and so everyone literally takes everything they can lay their hands on. The basis of subsistence often is shattered, leading to a crippling of the cantonment. Thus even if a warlord wanted to stay in a conquered cantonment, his troops often ensure that the cantonment no longer can support the horde. The survivors of the cantonment often join the horde out of desperation, and the cycle of destruction continues.

The horde in northern Vermont is motorized. Like most hordes, it is a polyglot of sub-groups from many backgrounds. This group is exceptionally dangerous because it is fairly well-organized and has all the components typically associated with a surviving military unit in Europe of 2000. There are stills in trailers to provide methanol for the vehicles. There are towed tool shops and trailers of spare parts. There are mechanics, engineers, expert scroungers, and even logisticians. The members come from the military, police, motorcycle gangs, criminal elements, and average pre-war citizens from both sides of the US-Canada border. The fighting force includes infantry, cavalry, and even light artillery (mortars). No one is quite certain how the horde was formed, but some elements of it plagued upstate New York and southern Quebec in 2000. Other elements were known to operate in northern New Hampshire, northern Maine, and inland New Brunswick. Now, however, the group has taken up winter quarters in northern Vermont. The towns and farmsteads that have survived up to this point will be stripped bare by spring. Like army ants, the horde will move out looking for new sources of labor and food. Both the Black Watch and the Green Brigade have had long-range scouts conducting reconnaissance to estimate the scope of the threat. Reports indicate that the horde has between 8,000 and 15,000 members, of whom half are likely to be combatants. Interrogation of a few prisoners taken by the scouts indicates that the horde is eating everything in sight—including some of the surviving locals. Despite the fact that the horde is spread out over a wide area, the land cannot sustain them—at least not without the vital seed they are ravenously consuming this winter. Food will run out by spring. Montpelier and Brattleboro (seat of government for the UCSV) agree that hunger will keep the horde together as long as the marauders believe that numbers will enable them to survive by pillage where small groups would fail to eke out a living. The horde knows of the existence of the State of Vermont super-cantonment, the UCSV, the city-states of New Hampshire (Manchester, Nashua, Keene, and a handful of others), the Maine cantonments outside of First District, First District itself, and even such far-off cantonments as Westover AFB, New Haven, Providence, and Cape Cod. No one knows exactly what the horde will do when the snow breaks. One thing is for certain: the horde will go someplace. It has no choice.


Webstral


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DeaconR

That's very good Webstral. The dynamic of such a group is a necessary description. It's easy enough to accept that the big marauder groups in say Poland are deserted and mutinous military units, but in the USA it is not so clear.

I also like the fact that these hordes are made to visibly differ from say warlords or cantonments--I had always wondered what would make them different.

One possibility btw for what might have slowed down the USCG and the UBF from venturing too far afield:

The Year of the French

(coming soon--ideas welcome)


DeaconR





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Webstral

Adventure Plots in New England early 2001

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There are a number of forces at work in New England during the second half of the 2000-2001 winter. Player characters have plenty to keep them busy. Most of the work revolves around reconnaissance and courier work.

The great horde wintering in northern Vermont is going to get on the road sometime after the snow breaks. Four to eight thousand desperate, battle-hardened combatants will be unleashed on the surviving cantonments of New England (and maybe Atlantic Canada) at that time. Currently, no one in the region has the combat power to defeat such a group without being destroyed themselves. The smaller cantonments will simply be overrun.

The commander of USCG 1st DST has received word of the horde through an informant in the United Brotherhood of Fishermen, who occasionally trade with the City of New Haven, who found out through the 43rd MPs, who found out from the Black Watch, who have been sharing information with Montpelier. The USCG admiral wants to assemble a brigade-sized force with proper support to meet the horde and destroy it away from any of the cantonments. The Coast Guard possesses no such force. At best, the District could put a 1,000-man force into the field. However, if an alliance could be arranged between the various surviving factions in New England, it might be possible to put together a combat team that could destroy the horde.

The District intends to bring the UBF into the fold by decapitation. The Port Security Units (PSU) of the District will be landed on Nantucket to capture or kill John Carlucci, head of the UBF. All three cutters of the District, plus numerous armed boats, will be used to interdict all seaborne traffic off Nantucket. Naturally, the island will have to be subjected to thorough reconnaissance before several hundred Coast Guardsmen go ashore. This would be an excellent job for player characters.

Electronic communications between the various cantonments have broken down completely. The District wants to ensure that the leaders of the cantonments have a more reliable means of communication than couriers and word-of-mouth. The Isolationists in Providence have the necessary equipment to provide the requisite number of radios and replacement parts so that the New England cantonments can talk to each other and coordinate activities without worrying about their messengers being intercepted. Someone is going to have to take those radios to their destinations.

Another critical duty will be engineering reconnaissance. No one has a very accurate picture of the conditions of the roads in New England. Assembling information possessed by the various cantonments will be useful, but this is only part of the picture. The District’s engineers will want to see primary and alternate routes throughout the region before committing forces to a (hopefully) mobile campaign. Someone is going to have to provide security for the engineers.


Webstral


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DeaconR

Those are good adventure hooks Webstral, all of them are plausible. Also they are all highly relevant most importantly.

BTW: what about the Isolationists?


DeaconR





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Webstral

More Manchester

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I've been doing a bit more research on and thinking about Manchester, NH and the conditions in the area. I think I am going to have to do some revising. I still see Manchester as pretty isolated from the outside world, but I don't think I can make the place as isolated as I had originally conceived. To feed a population of 60,000 with grains and vegetables requires approximately one acre per capita. Obviously, there is wiggle room in this figure, but it suits my purposes for planning. 60,000 acres is 96 square miles of arable land--a fair chunk of arable land. If the Granite Brigade controls everything within 10 miles of Manchester, the city can defend 314 square miles. Only some of this land is suitable for agriculture, even if all the trees are cleared. There will still be a fair amount of that territory under buildings, under roads, underwater, and otherwise unsuitable for growing things. Fishing, hunting, and gathering the fruit of the woods will add measurably to the larder of the community. Nevertheless, I have to wonder if 60,000 people can be fed by 314 square miles of territory in southern New Hampshire.

Even 314 square miles might be too much for the brigade to handle. The brigade has 400 regulars, about 150 full-time militia, and 1250 militia. The militia are on-duty one week in every four and are on-call at all times. The regulars are organized into a single rifle battalion with two rifle companies and supporting troops, plus the brigade command and staff, support units, cadre for the New Hamsphire Military Reserve (which handles all the training), and a platoon of full-time police/MPs. The militia are divided into three battalions, which are commanded by full-time militia and staff. Each battalion has three rifle companies, which are commanded by a full-time captain, XO, first sergeant, and a couple of staffers. The companies are divided into five sections, each with about twenty troops. One section provides support, such as the weapons squad with two machine guns each and the mortar section with two 60mm mortars. The other four sections are on active duty one week in every four. This gives the brigade nine sections of militia riflemen, or about 180 troops, who will active under normal circumstances at any time. Only half of them will be on-duty at any time under normal circumstances. The 90 troops who are on-duty must help the police maintain internal security, man checkpoints, conduct patrols, and train. Is this enough?

Can the two companies of regulars really control 314 square miles around Manchester? It seems like an enormously tall order to me. Granted, having the locals on their side will make the job much, much easier. By 2001, the countryside beyond Manchester's reach will be pretty well deserted. This should make the Granite Brigade's job much easier. Still, it seems like a lot. There will still be numbers of interlopers of every description who will need intercepting and dealing with. 314 square miles seems like an awful lot for two rifle companies, even if they are occasionally supplemented by militia out in the field. I suppose if platoon-sized patrols are constantly out and that these patrols are supplemented by LP/OPs, they have a good chance of intercepting any large groups entering Manchester turf. Small groups will be easier for armed farmers and other citizens to deal with. Anyway, it's a matter that bears more thought.

Webstral

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Last edited by Webstral : 06-10-2007 at 01:33 PM. Reason: poor grammar


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DeaconR

I think it would be a constant struggle. Like consider the difficulty of the 78th ID controlling a good half of New Jersey and there only being about 1000 combat effective troops. What I had done is suggested that there were about four main zones of control each held by a company and that the road between them as well as the coastline were well patrolled but the rest of the state was not. This is part of why Rover Team was necessary in order to help the CDC conduct field research in the area.


DeaconR





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Ed the Coastie

Sorry I've been gone for so long (again), but real life keeps intruding upon me...you would think that there was a war on or something.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Webstral
Here’s my creative question: what should the Coasties of a Port Security Unit (PSU) be called? Coast Guardsmen just seems like a mouthful. Also, the PSU is a specialty unit within the Coast Guard. Don’t they deserve their own name? I thought about calling them Marines, since they will essentially behave as Marines. However, that name is already taken by the USMC—a few of whom will find themselves serving with 1st District in 2000 and 2001. Also, the United Brotherhood of Fishermen (UBF) troops are called Marines. It won’t do to have the UBF infantry and the USCG infantry be called the same thing. Too confusing. So what should I call these guys? The best I’ve been able to come up with so far is “troopers”. Neither exciting nor inspired, I’m afraid.


Back in the '80s, the Coast Guard toyed with the idea of getting a slice of the Special Operations pie for themselves. Coast Guard Combat Operation specialists -- nicknamed "Hammerheads" -- were envisioned as being formed into 12-man teams composed of a variety of specialties. Extensively trained in a variety of duties from small-boat operations to damage control, Hammerhead teams were intended to be capable of pretty much anything from high-risk boardings to combat-zone beach security to serving as forward observers for naval gunfire.

After the Coast Guard dumped the idea, a lot of the former Hammerheads finished out their active duty enlistments and went into the Reserve so they could join Port Security Units. Many more simply returned to civilian life, but stayed in touch both with their former teammates and with the local Coast Guard Auxiliary...

...because when the Navy calls, 98% of the Coast Guard's personnel gets assigned to the Navy. The remaining 2% serves as cadre for the CGAux, who steps forward to take over the duties of the Coasties who have left. It was an unspoken agreement that the local ex-Coasties would also return to uniform and serve alongside the Auxiliary...expecially those former Hammerheads who had been "hidden" from the Navy.
__________________
Magician, Sailor, Adventurer...been there, done that....


Ed the Coastie


Visit Ed the Coastie's homepage!



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Webstral

Ed,

I love it! I'm going to adapt the Hammerhead name to the PSU in 1st District.

Have you ever done anything with character generation for the Coast Guard?

Webstral


Webstral





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Ed the Coastie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Webstral
Have you ever done anything with character generation for the Coast Guard?


I keep meaning to, but I never seem to be home long enough to actually work on it. However, I'm supposed to be home for the next fortnight or so...maybe I will have an opportunity to work something up and put it on my website.
__________________
Magician, Sailor, Adventurer...been there, done that....


Ed the Coastie


Visit Ed the Coastie's homepage!



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Webstral

I have been learning some very cool things as I further research my New England concepts. The Internet rocks! One of the tidbits I have come across is a page on the suitability of various crops for conversion to biodiesel. Biodiesel can run trucks and other diesel engines—in some cases without modification. Sunflowers are one of the best sources of vegetable oil for biodiesel, and they are about the best candidate for the New England climate. If 1st District can cultivate enough sunflowers for seed, the cutters and boats can be kept mobile.

Of course, this is a tall order. The numbers I have found indicate that 100 gallons of biodiesel is a good reference number for an acre of sunflowers. The Hamilton class high endurance cutter (of which 1st District has one—the Gallatin) tops off at 230,116 gallons of fuel. Assuming for the moment that all of this fuel will be applied to the two diesel engines, this means that 2,301 acres planted with sunflowers are necessary to yield a full load of fuel for Gallatin. This means 3.56 square miles of sunflowers. A lot of land and a lot of labor for no food value, although the biomass of the sunflowers will be useful as compost and methanol fuel stock. How many fuel loads will Gallatin consume in a year? Not that many if 1st District is fueling her with agricultural resources. Of course, there are two Island-class cutters and a number of boats in line for biodiesel, too. And let’s not forget that the District needs lubricants. And let’s not forget that a certain percentage of the seeds have to be held back for next year’s crop. This may help explain why the District hasn’t flexed its muscles a lot more. Fuel constraints and the need to escort the fishing boats working George’s Bank will keep the cutters on a tight leash. The occasional operation against smaller pirate enclaves along the northern Maine coast and in remote areas of the Maritime Provinces is probably the best that can be done until sunflower acreage increases further. Or until a better source of diesel comes along.

Clearly, the business of supporting a machinery-intensive cantonment isn’t a game for the poorly organized or casual warlord. I guess the good news is that those who can support this kind of effort have a major advantage over those who cannot—materially, at any rate.

Webstral


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kato13

A few disjointed points which I hope come together in the end.

Sunflowers are a nitrogen fixer. They can be planted in alternating rows with corn or such. One of my friends is doing yield experiments with Illinois farmers this year but the effect on corn crops is supposed to be negligible.

I have done a ton of research on this for my morrow games. The biggest problem with biodiesel is that you need some form of pure alcohol, preferably methanol and the game's description of how to make methanol is completely false. You can make ethanol from cellulose stock using bacteria rather than yeast but it takes longer with a theoretical peak output being 3.95 kg of dry wood producing 1 liter of anhydrous ethanol.

Methanol (before the widespread use of petrochemicals) was created from the destructive distillation of wood not from any form of yeast reaction. Yeast actually will metabolize methanol.

Distillation of wood produces the following

Yield per ton (1 000 kg) of air dry wood

Acetic acid 50 kg

Methanol 16 kg

Acetone and methyl acetone 8 kg

Soluble tars 190 kg

Insoluble tars 50 kg

As you can see the numbers given in the game are way off base.


Going back to my original point you need a form of alcohol to make biodiesel. I think the numbers i came up with were 16 liters of alcohol per 100 liters of biodiesel. Ethanol can be used but it must be over 99% pure which is impossible using only distillation. You need some for of hydrophilic material to filter the water out of the ethanol.

In my game with 862kg of light weight equipment (still, biodiesel refinery, Ethanol Dehydrator,seed grinder and press,ect) my teams can make over 100 liters of biodiesel per week if they have the right oil source. It takes up 200 cubic feet however (mostly in the form of plastic storage tanks). If they chose to go for pure ethanol from grain stock i think they can produce 64 liters. And ethanol from cellulose stock 24-32 liters (These are rough numbers).


Hope some of this information was useful.

edit changed weight and volume as i chose the per unit weight column from my spreadsheet not the total weight and volume

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Last edited by kato13 : 06-15-2007 at 04:06 AM.


kato13





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Webstral

Great stuff, Kato! An ethanol requirement can be a good thing, provided cellulosic stock can be used. There will be plenty of cellulosic stock available after each harvest. Obtaining the bacteria might be a bit more problematic. I'll have to look into that.

I see 1st DST setting up a major centralized operation for something so important as fuels. Perhaps Portsmouth, Portland, Brunswick NAS, and Bar Harbor all will eventually have large-scale operations for the production of oils, alcohol, and biodiesel from agricultural products.

Webstral


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kato13

This is what i have found

Sugar to ethanol
Ethanol resistant yeast
this can take the fermentation to ~25% alcohol
this is extremely high end 15% is more likely in non optimum conditions.

Celuose to ethanol
Zymomonas mobilis, Clostridium thermocellum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Escherichia coli have all been used. (There are also some enzymatic solutions but I have not researched these much).


I believe non genetically engineered versions of these bacteria can only process up to maximum of 10% alcohol solution before they will be inhibited. This means you need a larger (more cellulose diluted) fermentation tank when compared to sugar based fermentation.

Distillation from these lower percentages to 96% can take place with heat alone. The size and weight for such a still are surprisingly small. From several home brewing websites I have found 50kg distillation rigs which can produce 20 liters per hour of 192 proof (96%).

The last step in removing the remaining 4% water is extremely hard without the right equipment. This is due to the fact that if you attempt to boil 192 proof alcohol as much water will evaporate as alcohol. So the water must be removed chemically or by fractional filtration. In my scenario the alcohol is run through pipes containing zeolite. Zeolite will absorb the water and not the alcohol. After filtration the pipes can be heated causing the water to evaporate and the zeolite pipes can then be reused. I found Zeolite on ebay during my research so it is not too hard to come by (it is used in aquarium filtration among other things).


edit just discovered that Saccharomyces cerevisiae is bakers yeast. This has been successfully modified to metabolize cellulose on a small scale. Most of my research has been Zymomonas mobilis which I expected to be genetically modified for my morrow teams.

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Last edited by kato13 : 06-15-2007 at 09:30 PM.


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Webstral

Dude, you are the man.

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Webstral

There are a few examples of this sort of thing in Twilight: 2000. It's to be expected, given the volume of material generated. Anyway, I read the same thing in the Challenge article I received yesterday on the state of affairs in New Jersey. How can there be 4,000 Garands if Annapolis was hit? We have to make some choices when we encounter these little snafus. No bad on GDW--they did great work. I'm inclined to interpret Annapolis being hit as being close enough to DC to receive some damage from the DC attack.

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Old 03-14-2010, 11:02 PM
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No problem Web you have done much more work to advance the t2k world than i ever will.

My research has been for a morrow game so I was semi fanciful in my equipment expectations since morrow teams would be expected to have bleeding edge tech.

I have done a little research today and have found that pre 1997 all four organism mentioned above had been researched and modified to some extent to be enhanced in ethanol from cellulose production. The percentages and efficiency would be less than sugar based ethanol production as they are just matching those numbers in 2007 research.

If scholarly papers are any indication research on them was taking place in dozens of universities. For example there are 615 scholarly papers on "ethanol production" "Escherichia coli " pre 1997. This could be a possible source of the initial strains.

In the end ethanol production from cellulose would be difficult for small communities to improvise on their own. Either acquiring the strains, having them provided to them, or doing significant biological research would be necessary. But since they are biological organisms once they are discovered/created they can be duplicated at virtually no cost.


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Targan ,534

Thanks Kato, you have provided very useful information in a succinct and concise format. What you have written about the strains of organisms used to ferment cellulose made me think of stone age people who would keep glowing embers from their camp fire with which to start the next camp fire. You would have a modern equivalent with your fermenting organisms among T2K parties wanting to produce their own alcohol as they moved.
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The more work I do on First District and northern New England in general, the more I see that I am going to have to treat much of what I have put on this board as a first draft. In particular, the distances involved in southern New Hampshire don’t leave as much room for chaos and marauders as I had originally thought. The space between my planned zones of control between 1st DST along the coast and Manchester (NH) is not very great. This is not going to be fertile territory for marauder bands. If they are small, they won’t be able to tackle anything but small targets. If they are larger, they are likely to bring down a PSU from the USCG zone of control and/or a Granite Brigade patrol from Manchester.

South of Manchester is Nashua, which we know is controlled by a tin-pot dictator. (“Howling Wilderness”) The kind of territory needed to keep any substantial population fed in Nashua is going to see Nashua’s zone of control butting up against Manchester’s zone of control. This works for me, but it doesn’t work very well for marauders. Again, small groups may survive by hiding most of the time, but they are likely to suffer attrition fairly rapidly as they run up against well-armed hunters, merchants, and farmers. If the bandits become too successful, they will bring down on themselves troops from Manchester, Nashua, or both.

The there is northeastern Massachusetts, for which I haven’t worked out many details. However, I do know that 1st DST maintains control of the coastline more-or-less as far south as Gloucester. The Salem Defense Force controls that city and some of the territory inland. There’s a gray area northwest of Salem, west of Gloucester, and southeast of Nashua; but it’s not that big a gray area.

Essentially, then, I am looking at a swath of turf in southeastern New Hampshire, south central New Hampshire, and northeastern Massachusetts that is pretty locked down as a result of the size, stability, and proximity of the local cantonments. Small groups of bandits may be able to survive here—especially in the gray zones where cantonments meet. However, I’m starting to think that medium-sized bands (say, 25-100) aren’t going to last after the cantonments start getting things in hand. These medium-sized groups are too big to ignore and not large enough to stand up to full-scale search-and-destroy efforts by the defense forces of the cantonments—not when the defense forces have a halfway decent supply of ammunition and crew-served weapons. If the medium-sized bands can’t survive, they won’t have an opportunity to become large-sized bands (or hordes). The larger bands either have moved on, have taken control of a cantonment of their own (such as Nashua), or have been engaged and dispersed by one or more of the local defense forces.

This fact has major ramifications for the economy in the area. Contrary to what I originally wrote about Manchester, I’m thinking that the whole area actually has a fair amount of commerce (by 2000 standards, of course). If the bandits in the gray zones between the cantonments are forced to operate in small groups, there is no reason merchants can’t form convoys with enough hired guns to move between the cantonments. If the whole area is somewhat under control (compared with northern New Hampshire, for instance), groups of hunters, salvagers, and the like can operate. Fish can be traded inland for whatever goods can come out of Manchester, Nashua, and so forth. Within the general Twilight: 2000 context, this is promising.

So instead of isolated cantonments, I’m thinking that southern New Hampshire represents a somewhat solid—perhaps critical—mass of controlled territory, military might, food production, and population that can be used as a foundation for further recovery. Of course, all of this could be destroyed by the horde wintering in northern Vermont and northern New Hampshire. I’ve been doing a bit of work on them, too. The fragile stability being established in southern New Hampshire, central and southern Vermont, and elsewhere could be undone once the Crusade of the Blood Cross is unleashed.


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Targan ,534

Web, if you can you really should get hold of the Rifle River module from Challenge Magazine. The Challenge articles on T2K are basically canon after all. I'm not saying you should abandon what you are working on for the Coast Guard, I'm just saying that reading the canon material on the CG might be useful. For instance, I love using what people on these forums write up, but I can't throw out stuff that is already in my campaign in favour of something new that comes along. And I own an original copy of the Challenge mag that Rifle River was published in, and have been using that material ever since my campaign moved back to the CONUS.

Just a suggestion anyhoo. No disrespect intended towards your good works.
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Webstral

I'm all in favor of canon (except, of course, where it doesn't suit me). I have no idea how I would obtain the old Challenge articles, though. Do people sell them online?

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Reaction to "Rifle River"

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Okay, thanks to Tigger (and with many generous offers of help from my fellow Twilighters) I now have “Rifle River”.

My first comment is that I love it. My second is that it’s a little spooky how similar my ideas and GDW’s are. I was on the verge of writing up an idea I had for the horde in northern New England. Essentially, this horde has gathered under the leadership of a Hitler-esque bishop who is preaching a holy crusade. The war was God’s doing. Now the horde must finish God’s work. The horde must work its way to the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. All along the way must join or die. This would spell doom for the surviving cantonments of New England, unless they can join together and destroy the horde. Sound eerily familiar?

My third comment is that I’m not going to feel bound by this particular work of canon, although I usually do my best to honor canon. At this point, I’ve done too much work on New England and on First District in particular to throw it away. I am going to work “Rifle River” into my ideas for New England, though.

Rear Admiral Scott MacDowell was the Commandant of the USCG 1st District when the United States entered WW3 in December 1996. Although USCG assets were mobilized for combat duty at that time, it wasn’t until mid-1997 that Coast Guard cutters and personnel were absorbed directly into the Navy. MacDowell continued to perform his pre-war duty from the 1st District Headquarters in Boston, MA with a somewhat reduced but essentially intact base of Coast Guard personnel and smaller cutters. After some changes in personnel and resources, MacDowell was in charge of coastal defense from Rhode Island to the Maine border by Thanksgiving 1997.

“After Washington and Annapolis were hit by nuclear strikes, the Naval Academy briefly relocated to Newport, Rhode
Island, home of the Naval War College and OCS program. With its combat-ready resources already stretched thin, the navy assigned HoIsgirder the duty of providing local security and defense for the new Naval Academy. HoIsgirder welcomed the assignment; Newport was a perfect base of operations and very likely to last through the dark ages he saw on the horizon. He began shifting his assets out of bases on Cape Cod and Maine, and reorganizing them into a full-time fighting force at Newport.” (“Rifle River”)

At the time, Holsgirder commanded only USCG assets that were not operating under the direct command of the US Navy. He and MacDowell traded hard words over the movement of Coast Guard ships, crews, and equipment from northern New England to the southern New England coastline. MacDowell believed firmly that the fishing fleets were the key to keeping the coastal population of New England from starving and turning into the kinds of rioting masses that had driven him out of Boston. These fleets needed Coast Guard protection and succor. Although MacDowell commanded a force with US Coast Guard on its uniforms and ships, he was acting under Navy orders. Already, his force had been tapped to provide replacements and to escort Army units (including a recently-raised brigade of New Hampshire Army National Guard troops) to reinforce Europe. MacDowell believed it was necessary to keep every USCG asset possible in northern New England to protect shipping and fishing in the event the Navy decided to move more of MacDowell’s assets. Holsgirder flatly disagreed.

“On 19 May [1998], President Munson suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be relieved. His successor (the former Secretary of State) soon succumbed to heart failure, and his successor (the former Secretary of Energy) was so overwhelmed by the enormity of the job that she committed suicide. There was no longer an operating CLS to locate a successor, and the military assumed de facto control of all federal functions.” (“Howling Wilderness”)

The Secretary of Energy-cum-President of the United States was named June R. Flaherty. She was first cousin of Scott MacDowell. As soon as he heard the news about his cousins’s assumption of the presidency, MacDowell contacted her. For some time, he had been developing a plan to use his remaining forces to maintain control of two facilities he believed absolutely critical to the future of the Navy and Coast Guard: Portsmouth Naval Yard and Bath Iron Works. At the same time, MacDowell intended to provide security and support for the fishing fleets operating out of Maine, New Hampshire, and northern Massachusetts. Holsbirger could take care of the fishing fleets operating out of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and points south with his own ships and people. MacDowell presented his plan to the new President. Flaherty already was completely overwhelmed by the enormity of the job. She signed off on Macdowell’s scheme after a few cursory questions and without consulting the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Specifically, MacDowell’s plan was to recreate USCG 1st District with a new boundary running from Woods Hole to the border with Canada. All Navy assets within that zone—former USCG, Navy personnel, and Navy installations—would come under the command of 1st District. MacDowell provided President Flaherty with specific verbiage that would enable him to escape control by any authority short of the Joint Chiefs, if he so chose. Flaherty’s staff wrote the orders, and she signed them.

MacDowell wasted no time consolidating his new command. He abandoned Cape Cod wholesale, taking everything and everyone of value from the Massachusetts Military Reserve. MacDowell even managed to scoop up number of Coast Guard Auxiliary and Coast Guard Reservists who had been operating under Holsbirger’s orders. Holsbirger was furious, but there was nothing he could do except hang onto everything he had left after MacDowell had made his grab.

“On June 2 [1998], the Mexican government, in order to protect its citizens, sent its army (including the Soviet “Division Cuba”) across the Rio Grande [and into New Mexico, Arizona, and California]. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (who were now governing the country) sent Army units in response.” (“Howling Wilderness”)

The Joint Chiefs, who had plenty to do from the moment they took charge, were not even aware of the new orders concerning 1st District until June 1. Flaherty hadn’t consulted them. Eventually, minutes of the day revealed that the President, who by then had committed suicide, had executed some sort of orders regarding the Coast Guard and Navy chains of command in New England. By the time the Joint Chiefs began to look into the matter, the Mexican Army was crossing the border. Eventually, of course, the Joint Chiefs learned the sordid details of MacDowell’s coup. However, the Joint Chiefs had far bigger fish to fry. In any event, MacDowell still obeyed orders (albeit not always from the Commandant of the Coast Guard or Atlantic Fleet Headquarters) and was maintaining control of a useful cantonment where so many others had simply melted away or turned warlord. The orders granting MacDowell his unique command were never altered.

At the time of the events of “Rifle River”, Commandant Holsbirger despises Admiral MacDowell, whom he views as a naked opportunist. From the Commandant’s point of view, MacDowell had built his own little empire along the northern New England coast when more heavily populated southern New England needed to manpower, equipment, and ships more. The almost fraternal relationship between 1st District and the United Brotherhood of Fishermen galls the Commandant, who views the UBF as a dangerous gang of thugs.

MacDowell sees Holsbirger as the agent of the split. If Holsbirger hadn’t pulled out of every station north of Fall River, MacDowell might not have been forced to create his own solution. Obviously, MacDowell is full of fertilizer, but he doesn’t see things that way. Ironically, MacDowell and Holsbirger see a number of things the same way. Both believe that the UBF will come to constitute a real problem as Carlucci becomes more paranoid and reactionary. Both leaders have used their older hands to train a new generation of seamen. Both leaders have created somewhat stable cantonments that have the critical ingredients of success.

Where the two leaders differ is in their relative might and their intentions for the future. With a comparatively large and capable force, including several operational cutters and four 200-man hammerhead units (otherwise known as Port Security Units), 1st District has developed a powerful offensive capability. MacDowell intends to use this force to decapitate the UBF’s leadership with an amphibious assault on Nantucket that should lead to the death of John Carlucci. The remaining UBF forces, infrastructure, and settlements will be given the opportunity to join 1st District with full amnesty.

If the USCG 1st District can bring this about, MacDowell will have to carefully consider how he wants to deal with the Commandant of the Coast Guard.


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Potentially moot point/question... It says Annapolis was hit? I though it was only abandoned due to fallout from nearby strikes on DC and others. Thats how the New Jersey State Militia came into having 4000 Garand rifles.
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There are a few examples of this sort of thing in Twilight: 2000. It's to be expected, given the volume of material generated. Anyway, I read the same thing in the Challenge article I received yesterday on the state of affairs in New Jersey. How can there be 4,000 Garands if Annapolis was hit? We have to make some choices when we encounter these little snafus. No bad on GDW--they did great work. I'm inclined to interpret Annapolis being hit as being close enough to DC to receive some damage from the DC attack.

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