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Old 03-18-2020, 08:46 AM
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Default 1998 European Campaign

Keeping up with the effort that produced last year's Advent Crown history, I have prepared the attached history of the 1998 European campaign. Since many of us are cooped up at home, I thought it might make a good read to pull you away from Netflix for a while!

It'll be on my website (https://sites.google.com/site/chico20854/) shortly.

Enjoy!
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File Type: pdf Battle At Dusk - 1998 European Campaign.pdf (194.8 KB, 89 views)
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for this, Chico. Capital stuff, as always.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:50 AM
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Amazing work!

Really helps to flesh out what happened during the war years in Europe! You are amazing!
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Old 03-30-2020, 11:29 AM
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Chico would you think that the various militaries would be starting the large scale switchover to alcohol fuels in late 1998 or is that more a 1999 event?
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:44 AM
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Chico would you think that the various militaries would be starting the large scale switchover to alcohol fuels in late 1998 or is that more a 1999 event?
I think it would probably start in the spring of 1998, as logisticians realized that the stocks of petroleum they had were not being refilled from their national economies, or at least in sufficient volume to sustain mobile operations and support the civil population. I think it would start in lower priority units or sectors, like the Polish Army and units that were far from oil producing areas or ports, since a not insignificant amount of fuel would be burned just moving it.

As 1998 goes on into 1999 what began as an expedient for those units gradually becomes the only way for most units to retain mobility. I'm not sure how to address the concept of reserving what oil is produced for lubricants, since the large refineries are out of commission and hardly responsive to distant customers who are unable to communicate!
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I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...

Last edited by chico20854; 03-31-2020 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:56 AM
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I can see the conversion starting probably by the later part of 1998 as the US attempts to recover their economy start to falter - and accelerating with the last of the nuclear strikes in 1998 probably taking out what infrastructure was left in Great Britain to get fuel from the North Sea for NATO. It also depends on how long was Ploesti knocked out - we know it was back in operation by early 2000 to get the oil the Soviets needed for their last great offensive which destroyed the 5th. There probably was still a lot of fuel and oil available well into the middle of 1998 (keep in mind just how much fuel there would be to scrounge at least at first) - and then as infrastructure repair efforts didnt achieve results in the US and the Middle East it rapidly began to dwindle as the switchover to using what was left for lubricants and to keep ships operating to bring what supplies could be produced over to Europe and Iran and Korea and Kenya.
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:20 AM
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I'm thinking most of the lubricants would be synthetic in nature rather than oil based. Existing supplies don't really last very long - a few weeks, perhaps a month if not glowing in the dark. Yes, civilian vehicles will provide some fuel, but it's not just the military needing and scrounging for it either.

Regardless of how the war is progressing, people still need to eat. Fuel is needed in the modern world to till the fields, harvest the crops, transport them to processing facilities (which also need power to operate), and distribute to the starving masses (those who are left after the initial nukes anyway).

Given there's little ongoing oil supply, and Europe in general has little crude oil that isn't under a few hundred metres of sea water, some very tough choices would have to be made to allocate what little there was to best effect. No point sending it all to civilian and industrial needs if you completely paralyse the military and lose the war, whereas giving the military priority may prevent defeat, but at the cost of tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands to starvation, disease, etc.

But what about animal power to drive production you say? Well, the late 1990's is a very different time to even the 1950's. Almost all farms, distribution, etc had switched away from horses, oxen, and so on many decades before. SOME of the old animal powered machinery still exists, but in poor, unmaintained condition, and certainly not in sufficient quantities. Also very few animals trained to pull plows and the like, and probably even fewer people who know how to hook them up, let alone train others.

The discussion regarding alternate fuels would have started well before the nukes. As evidence I point towards the existence and relatively wide spread use of multi-fuel engines. Seems pretty clear there has been serious thought put into what to do in the event oil supplies dried up - limited fuel has after all been an issue almost since mechanisation. Just look at the issues faced by both sides in WWII.
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:40 PM
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the question as to agriculture is how many horses, oxen, donkeys, etc. would have been converted to agriculture - the US in 1997 has 3.15 million horses, donkeys, mules and ponies - a lot would have been eaten of course but if even ten percent are still left that leave 310,000 such animals. In Europe the countries that had a lot of horses included the UK, France and Germany.

Given the level of fighting I would think that France is one place where they made the switch back to horses the most along with the UK (i.e. they wouldnt have been as many eaten by starving civilians as there would have been in places like Poland or Germany)
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:38 AM
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In 1912 the US had 20,000,000 horses. That's twenty MILLION.
In 1968 that had dropped to seven million, mostly riding horses and not all that suitable to agriculture.
In 1997 using your figures, that had dropped to a bit over three million, with even less trained and/or suitable to heavy farm work.

Meanwhile, the US population was approximately 95 million in 1912 and in 1997 about three times that numer (271 million).

Even if the population is halved in November 97 and follow up strikes, etc, that's still about 1.5 times what it was in 1912 with a tiny fraction of draft animals available to pick up the slack on farms. I think it's clear petrochemicals along with every other conceivable power source would be of vital importance to have a hope in fending off even more deaths from famine.

Of course that's the US too. Europe, as mentioned, is in a MUCH worse state. Seems very likely the military would have to accept virtually no petrochem supply would be forthcoming. What little they received commanders would probably have to make some hard decisions about - try and maintain even a rudimentary mobile force, or grow food for themselves (very unlikely civilians production would even come close to providing what them themselves required, let alone essentially non-productive military).

I believe this is borne out by the extremely limited military actions detailed in the books for this early post nuke period. Seems likely the first year would have been absolutely horrific and those who survived would look back at it as a time of extreme and unrelieved hunger.
The second year might be a little better, if only because there were less mouths to feed and they had more of an idea of what they needed to do to survive.
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Old 04-01-2020, 06:48 AM
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There are actually a lot of horses that are still bred for farm work here in the US because of the Amish and Mennonites and other groups like that. There were close to 160,000 Amish alone in the US in the mid-1990's that were spread thru 21 states - and all of them were using horses and oxen for farming and transport (both of cargo and personal transport). They owned a huge number of horses and all of their agriculture was designed around animals being used not tractors. Thats where the game is 100% wrong - they only mentioned the Amish in PA - but Ohio is actually where the largest numbers are - I know I lived in Ohio in the exact time that the game was supposed to occur.

The largest populations are in OH, PA, IN, WI and MI. So the US may actually have been in a much better situation to be able to go back to an animal powered agrarian culture than Europe because of that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ish_population

There are no such groups in Europe - thus I definitely agree with Leg that scarce fuel would have had to been used at least in 1998 to get in some kind of crop while they learned how to transition back to using horses and other animals for farm labor - i.e. its one thing when you have a relatively large population already doing it as the US does versus the situation in Europe where the number of farmers still using animals for agriculture was very small in comparison. That would have further reduced what fuel there was for military operations.
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Old 04-01-2020, 09:07 AM
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Tractor and horse power would, I think, be largely replaced, or at least heavily supplemented, by human power. Refugees from the cities would be put to work collecting the 1998 harvests. They need to eat, and farmers need the muscle. That, I think, would be the way of European agriculture for the next few years, at least.
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Old 04-01-2020, 09:59 AM
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Tractor and horse power would, I think, be largely replaced, or at least heavily supplemented, by human power.
When you look at the numbers and take into account the lack of adequate farm equipment, it's the only way it could be done. A hundred people with hand tools doing the work of one tractor. But even when you are able to produce food, you've still got a distribution problem. Without fuel trucks are useless - too big and heavy for even the strongest team of horses or oxen to pull efficiently but what choice is there really until enough wagons and carts can be made? Trains aren't an option either given almost all in by the late 20th century ran on either diesel or electricity with steam relegated to a handful of engines laid up in museums. Clearly alternate fuel is a pressing necessity.

Germany under nazi rule could not hope to produce enough food or fuel for it's needs, and that's in a period when animal power was still predominant. The only way they were able to avoid starvation as a country was to steal from their neighbours (stripping every last crumb in many cases). The nazi's, Hitler in particular, were strong believers in the now debunked "shrinking markets" economic theory and so ceased almost all international trade in the 30's in order to preserve what resources they had. Totally ludicrous I know, but...

Tik on youtube has a bunch of really good videos on the subject which directly relate in my opinion to T2K. https://youtu.be/PQGMjDQ-TJ8
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Old 04-01-2020, 12:32 PM
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Keep in mind that some of what was raised would have been reserved for fuel production - that cuts down the amount of food raised but it would also give some fuel for transport - not to take it hundreds of miles but to distribute it locally - i.e. you have a bunch of work by hand and then some of it is distilled, along with methanol, for distribution within the area - probably confined to the areas that the various military forces and marauders controlled or otherwise limited

FYI there would be some ability to get trains going in areas that burn coal where you have museum engines or tourist railroads and access to coal nearby - the Strassburg Railroad for instance or Steamtown USA in Scranton in the US have locomotives that still run on coal and access to local supplies of coal

Not sure if there are similar railroads or museums like that in Europe - I know that the UK has at least one locomotive that still runs on coal - saw it on Top Gear
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Old 04-01-2020, 12:57 PM
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Right, and that's another reason city folk would move out to the countryside to find work on farms- it's the only way they're going to eat, given the issues in food distribution that go along with the drastic reduction in fossil fuel availability (to the civilian, market especially).

The Germans also made use of POWs and conscripted civilian laborers from among those that they conquered. By 1945, most German farms in Prussia counted on this source of labor since so many German men had been conscripted into the armed forces.

I also think agriculture is a major driver behind the development of the cantonment system. Military units need to control farming areas so that they can eat and brew fuel. Civies need protection from hostile soldiers and bandits and what-not. Hence, there's a return to feudalism. The local military unit provides protection, the local civies provide food and labor. The military gets the better end of the deal, but then feudalism was always like that.
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