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  #451  
Old 03-20-2023, 03:51 PM
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March 1, 1998

The 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania National Guard) is withdrawn from the lines to reorganize and refit after suffering heavy casulties from enemy conventional and nuclear attacks in the withdrawal across Poland.

Unofficially,

The second and third flights of A-37s are arrive in Norfolk and are prepped for ocean transit as the first two (and its pilot and crew chief) are loaded aboard the American ro/ro ship El Moro, part of an overdue resupply convoy for AFRICOM.

Quebecois forces arrive at the NATO air base at Goose Bay, Labrador, where they are confronted by a composite defensive force made up of troops from around European NATO, mostly administrative, maintenance and logistic support staff of the NATO air training detachment at the base. The overextended Quebeckers do not have the firepower to immediately attack the base, and instead try a bluff, demanding the base's immediate surrender. The Canadian base commander and the somewhat befuddled German Luftwaffe Oberst (Colonel), the senior non-Canadian officer, reject the demand out of hand.

Attacks on the beseiged outposts of the 158th Motor-Rifle Division in central Jugoslavia continue. As supplies of ammunition and fuel dwindle, demoralized soldiers at some isolated outposts begin to surrender; others just slip away from their positions at night, casting aside their uniforms and joining the growing numbers of desperate armed men wandering Eastern Europe.

A French tanker lingers in the port of Bizerte, Tunisia, awaiting the opportunity to purchase the output of the refinery ashore. Rumors abound about the loss of the Italian Norvegia G, the possibility of collusion between the Americans and the French to deny the valuable resource to the Italians, and even about the quantities of gold aboard the French ship, which is quite ostentatiously armed and crawling with dangerous-looked armed men.

Pro-NATO guerrillas overwhelm the guards of a stalled Soviet supply truck 25 km northwest of the city of Isfahan. The truck yields food, ammunition, and most valuable, a pair of SA-14 shoulder-launched SAMs.

MVD authorities in Lithuania disavoy any further responsibility for suppression of the renegade Colonel Skrebys in Trakai, declaring that they have made a valiant attempt but ultimately it is the Army's responsibility to maintain the discipline of its own officers, of which Colonel Skrebys is one.
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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...
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  #452  
Old 03-21-2023, 03:20 PM
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March 2, 1998

The sailors aboard the Soviet ballistic missile submarine Barrikada begin to count the days until they can abandon their patrol and return home after a nine-month patrol. (Unofficially, they are nervous about the fate of their families but exhausted by the strain on endless months of combat patrol as the last of the fresh(ish) food received from a supply ship a month ago has been depleted, forcing them to subsist on canned and preserved food.)

The remnants of the Jugoslav and Romanian high commands begin to reform units to oppose the Soviet occupation forces. The forces are structured to live off the land.

Unofficially,

As news breaks of the governing arrangements of the newly forming Franco-Belgian Union, Dutch speakers and diehard Belgian nationalists in northern and central Belgium begin protests, with isolated outbreaks of violence. Within hours, heavily armed gendarmes (both French and Belgian, but uniformly French-speaking) in armored riot control vehicles arrive to break up the protests. Recriminations reverberate for years, with the authorities claiming that they quelled dangerous violence before it could spread and others claiming that the French-speaking population, capitulating to French interests, violently suppressed opposition to the deal, which was never put to a referendum.

The food provided by American authorities to civilians (and soldiers) has changed over the past several months as American food processing plants remain shuttered by lack of electrical power. Frozen food was the first to disappear, followed by refrigerated (in warmer areas) as fuel and electricity grew more scarce. By early in the year, much of the preserved food being distributed was canned, with the vast majority of specialized ready-to-eat and dehydrated foods reserved for military use. What remains to be distributed are fruit and grains that have been in storage, locally produced food and, increasingly, foods preserved using older methods, such as smoking, pickling and salting.

US troops at the front lines along the Czechoslovakian front are pleasantly surprised when they are issued French RCIR rations. They are most impressed with the small bottles of wine that each contains, and the menu items are exotic to troops that have begun to miss the much-dreaded MRE pork patties, ham slices and chicken-a-la-king. They (relatively) feast on salmon and rice, Basque chicken and hare pate.

In northeastern Victoria, Australia, the small town of Glenrowan is raided by a "bushranger" (rural bandit/rebel). Wearing a homemade steel helmet and multiple bulletproof vest, the charming raider claims his name is Ned Kelly before he and his friends vanish into the countryside.
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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...
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  #453  
Old 03-21-2023, 03:37 PM
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March 3, 1998

The Americans and their Iranian allies are not completely without concerns. Large marauder bands have formed during the winter. These bands are a mixed lot of guerrillas from all sides, refugees, deserters from various armies, and just plain bandits. Some of the bolder groups engage in firefights with U.S. and Iranian units. Many marauder bands openly claim control of areas and challenge the Iranian National Emergency Council's authority. U.S. and Iranian military units begin a series of search and destroy operations with the goal of clearing the Bushehr-Shiraz-Bandar Abbas triangle. The 9th ID and the 101st AAD participate in the operations, as do marines from I MEF in Bandar Abbas.

The 342nd (my 81st Guards) Motor-Rifle Division is withdrawn from Manchuria to help restore order and provide security in western Siberia. It is ordered to take up positions in the city of Novokuznetsk.

Unofficially,

Despite the near-total collapse of crude oil production as a result of EMP damage to the electrical grid, America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve remains over half full. The SPR had been run up in the months leading up to war, to a 120-day supply of crude, including the commissioning in early 1997 of the newest SPR sites at Irontown, Ohio and Lexington, Kentucky and the reactivation of the Sulphur Mines, Louisiana site. The damage inflicted on the nation by the Soviet nuclear strikes have disrupted the transport links (rail, barge and pipeline) to discharge the SPR, and with massive portions of American refining offline the 120-day supply could quite easily last for over twice that time.

The 11th Airborne Division has managed to force the Soviet defense of Fairbanks largely into the area surrounding the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, with isolated pods of resistance scattered elsewhere throughout the city. Both forces are out of artillery, mortar and large caliber ammunition, missiles of all types and are rapidly running out of grenades and anti-tank rockets.

In occupied Breda, Netherlands, a patrol of the French 403e Régiment d'Artillerie (an air defense unit re-roled with internal security duties due to the lack of enemy air activity) is ambushed by unknown assailants. After 15 minutes a quick reaction force arrives to reinforce the survivors, but the unknown attackers slip away into the city.

The cruiser USS Virginia departs Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico on a patrol of the central Atlantic.

The troops of the Hungarian 53rd Mechanized Rifle Brigade are sobered as their troop transports pick their way through the ruins of Ulan Ude, Siberia, after the city's rail infrastructure, industry and military headquarters were struck by American bombers in December. While they had become familiar with the devastation wrought by Soviet conventional munitions in China, the effects of the strategic nuclear warheads is of an order of magnitude greater. Worse, the American attack succeeded in damaging the vital rail junction between the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian Railroads, forcing the unit to have to partially dismount in the heart of the blast zone and manually repair the line. The silence is eerie and the soldiers are deathly afraid of the radiation; the engineers have an abundance of soldiers willing to work feverishly to speed the unit's departure from the radioactive zone.
__________________
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...
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  #454  
Old 03-22-2023, 03:30 PM
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March 4, 1998

Heavy rains ravage Kenya wreaking havoc on both civilians and the military forces on both sides as floods devastate the country, washing out roads and temporarily cutting the rail lines.

Unofficially,

The 2nd Platoon, 221st Ordnance Company (a unit of 21st TAACOM) in central Germany completes an update of a Peacekeeper Armored Car that arrived on the last convoy of reinforcements; the vehicle had previously been used for airfield security. The update includes applying camouflage paint, an engine overhaul and substitution of a M2 Browning .50-caliber machinegun for the captured Soviet DShK machinegun that had been added to the vehicle in Poland.

In fighting in Alaska, the paratroopers of the 11th Airborne Division are reinforced by combat engineers of the 109th Engineer Group (Combat) (South Dakota National Guard), whose expertise in demolitions and destroying obstacles are expected to help in overcoming the dug-in Soviet troops on the University of Alaska campus. Elsewhere in the city, the gunners and ammo handlers of the 197th Field Artillery Brigade begin clearing isolated pockets of enemy resistance, acting as dismounted infantry after their howitzers shot off their last rounds.

Dutch troops infiltrated into the occupied zone launch another guerrilla attack on the occupiers, ambushing a supply convoy headed for the Eindhoven garrison.
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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...
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  #455  
Old 03-22-2023, 03:42 PM
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March 5, 1998

The 40th Training Division, formed from the remnants of the 40th Infantry Division that took heavy losses during the fighting in Poland, is relieved of disaster relief, security and reconstruction duties in Oregon, and placed under command of the newly-activated 63rd US (my II) Corps and moves south by road to California

The survivors of the Dutch 103rd Reconnaissance Battalion move to the town of Zutphen.

Unofficially,

The last contingent of ships from the laid-up merchant fleets in the North Sea completes the shut-down process, loading aboard the (former East-)German corvette Prenzlau and oilfield supply ship Merk Dragon.

In the heavily-damaged German naval base of Wilhelmshaven, the German naval command has concentrated its remaining assets, a motley collection of ships and craft and exhausted sailors and shore staff.

The anti-bandit sweeps in Iran yield their first success when a patrol from the 9th Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry stumbles on a remote fortified hamlet that has been terrorized by a band of Red Army deserters (mostly Georgians and Armenians, who resented the dominance of Russian and Ukrainian troops in their units). The deserters succeed in destroying the lead HMMWV gun truck, but the rest of the patrol retreats and calls in reinforcements. Unlike the MVD's experience in Lithuania, the support is well coordinated, with a AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter dispatched to provide overhead cover for the reinforced company team that responds, as well as fires from a composite battery of 105mm and 155mm howitzers from a nearby firebase. The American attack is quick, fierce and successful, with the desert band being wiped out and only seven American casualties (including the three lost in the HMMWV).

Noting the difficulty Soviet occupying forces are experiencing in maintaining control with the limited numbers of troops and supplies they have, the Italian 5 Corps along the Sava River basin begins forming formal collaborator units as auxiliaries to the overstretched Italian occupation force. Taking advantage of the desperation of individuals as well as centuries of conflict between the various ethnic and religious groups, the call to take up arms (and receive weapons and food) receives an enthusiastic response. The Italians establish the “independent” puppet states of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia from the remnants of the former Jugoslav republics, granting Montenegro to Serbia and splitting Bosnia-Herzegovina between Serbia and Croatia. Each of the satellite states establishes an army, usually a co-opted local militia or band of armed nationalist fanatics, which receive limited logistic support from the overstretched Italians. Ironically, much of that support consists of transfers of abandoned Soviet equipment as well as stocks of Jugoslav weapons that had been captured by the Italians during their conquest of Jugoslavia. The newly-formed forces are called the Croatian Nationalist Army (CNA), the Liberated Slovenian Armed Forces (LSAF) and the Serbian National Army (SNA).
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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...
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  #456  
Old 03-22-2023, 03:56 PM
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March 6, 1998

American and Kenyan military and civilian personnel do their best to distribute relief supplies and food to the flood-affected areas but over 350,000 Kenyans starve before food can reach them.

Unofficially,

Troops of the 36th Engineer Group (Construction) restore power from the first of six hydropower plants between Knoxville and Chattanooga. (The colonel in command of the group had incurred the wrath of the Tennessee Valley Authority in early November when he took the plants offline and shielded their transformers underground). On the other side of the nation, troops of the 115th Engineer Group are forced to abandon their attempt to restore the control system of the Grand Coulee Dam, America's largest hydropower plant, as it becomes apparent that the system has been irreparably damaged by the Soviet high-altitude EMP during the Thanksgiving Day Massacre and that there is no way American industry can produce a new system.

The commander of the 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania National Guard) makes the difficult call about which subordinate units to deactivate. He makes his judgements on a variety of factors - seniority and combat history (recent and historical) of various battalions, their condition and current strength, the likelihood of receiving replacement troops and equipment (high for some sort of replacements for infantry battalions, low for the armor and artillery battalions) and the strength of their surviving command staff. Each of the division's brigades deactivates one battalion, and the divisional support command and other divisional units (Air Defense Artillery and Military Intelligence battalions and MP and Chemical companies) deactivate one third of their force, on average.

The nuclear-powered cruiser USS Virginia arrives off Freeport, Bahamas as it searches for Soviet raiders rumored to be sheltering in the region.

The Italian corvette Sfinge departs Bizerte, Tunisia; US Naval Intelligence agents note its departure but are unable to track it once it disappears over the horizon.

In Brownsville, Texas, BMSA (Boatswains Mate Apprentice) Rodney Cutler, assigned to a refugee camp that is overflowing with refugees from both sides of the nearby border with Mexico, is caught taking liberties with an underage female, offering her food from his slim rations. The girl's father is enraged when he catches the startled sailor, and the panicked Cutler shoots the father with his assigned Ruger P-85 pistol. The gunshot and subsequent hubbub draws an increasingly large crowd and Cutler loudly exclaims that he was ambushed by the family, who wanted to steal his food and weapon. The situation continues to escalate, not helped by the lack of Spanish-speakers in Cutler's command staff, and soon the camp's naval detachment is facing a full-scale riot. Cutler is badly beaten but manages to extract himself, and the camp is locked down as the naval guard force deploys lethal force. 48 refugees are killed in the gunfire and over a dozen other sailors are hurt,
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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...
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  #457  
Old 03-22-2023, 04:00 PM
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March 7, 1998

President Munson begins to show signs of strain as the challenges facing the nation multiply and resources continue to diminish. Communication is growing increasingly difficult as emergency equipment begins to fail after months of heavy use and fuel tanks of even the longest-lived post-strike emergency facilities run dry.

The 16th Marine Regiment, the remnant of the 6th Marine Division, engages Soviet troops along the new front line in Korea.

The Dutch 103rd Recon Battalion begins to incorporate local police and militia units into itself, to maintain its strength and centralize control.

In Iran, the 101st Air Assault Division is reunited for the first time in months with the return of its aviation elements from Saudi Arabia. With the return of its aircraft, the Screaming Eagles form up at Bushehr and take part in the clearing operations in the Bushehr-Shiras-Bandar Abbas triangle. The division's unmatched mobility allows it to undertake highly effective search and destroy missions, able to insert blocking forces behind armed bands that are fleeing other Allied forces.

(And noting unofficial for the day! )
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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...
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  #458  
Old 03-23-2023, 03:32 PM
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March 8, 1998

Alberta closes its borders to protect itself from marauders who are after the province's petroleum resources. Brigadier General Parker, the senior Canadian Army officer in Alberta, names himself Prime Minister of Alberta and establishes a capital at Bowden, where the refinery complex has not been completely destroyed, and a trickle of refined petroleum products enables the local government to retain a measure of autonomy. Alberta's self-isolation severs the supply lines from eastern Canada to British Columbia and has a crippling effect on the Canadian Army units fighting the Soviets in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

Unofficially,

The Mexican government makes a formal protest about the death of its citizens in the Brownsville, Texas camp riot.

Dutch guerrillas in the town of Maastrich fire bomb the French gendarme station in the Mariaberg district, killing five of the occupiers.

Soviet, Hungarian and Czech authorities succeed in completing a continuous rail route between Uzhgorod, Ukraine and Munich, Germany, traversing Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria. The route uses several sections of local track to avoid areas of the mainline that were damaged by NATO airstrikes, and the route is dependent on a POW camp at the Czechoslovakian-Soviet border for labor to manually transfer cargo from broad Russian-gague cars to standard-gauge ones.

Jugoslav rebel troops break through the defenses of the Zenica steel mill, headquarters of the 158th Motor-Rifle Division, which they have been attacking for several weeks. While some Soviet troops head into the catacombs winding underneath the plant to continue the fight, most of them (including the division commander) surrender. The commander of the division's northernmost and strongest motor-rifle regiment, the 549th, assumes theoretical command of the division's remaining outposts, all of which are surrounded by hostile troops and are largely out of communication

While few Soviet replacements are arriving at the front, those that do are most frequently mostly or completely untrained. The few older recruits (most recalled reservists to date have been in their 20s, but desperate authorities are dispatching men as old as 55 to the front, often as a means to reduce the number of mouths to feed in their local area) retain memories of their decades-ago military service. The younger ones, including women in their 20s and teenaged boys as young as 16, have had paramilitary training as part of their schooling but require training in their units.
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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...
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  #459  
Old 03-23-2023, 03:35 PM
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March 9, 1998

The return of the 101st Air Assault Division's helicopters to action in Iran presents an opportunity for the 6th Air Cavalry Combat Brigade to once again withdraw to Saudi Arabia for rest and long-overdue maintenance.

The 25th Infantry Division (Light) is reformed in Korea with fewer than 1000 surviving personnel. The "Tropical Lightning" Division had been hit by six Soviet tactical nuclear weapons in October before being overrun.

Unofficially,

As fuel supplies, food and spares dwindle, the staff of the Gulfwind oilfield off Brownsville, Texas begin shutting the platforms, subsea installations and pipelines down. They take care to ensure that the facilities are prepared as possible to survive the harshest weather the Gulf of Mexico can inflict (all offshore facilities have a long-standing hurricane plan) and hopefully last an extended period of abandonment. Similar activities are underway in dozens of other oil fields between the Mexican border and Mobile, Alabama.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, fierce combat continues along the eastern end of the University of Alaska campus as the Soviet defenders fight with a ferocity their forefathers in Stalingrad would have been proud of.

Recognizing the excellent performance of its service as part of 21st Army in southern Germany in the 1997 campaign, the commander of the Western TVD raises the 48th Motor Rifle Division to a Guards unit.

Also in southern Germany, military authorities, working alongside the Austrian government in exile, gather stragglers and isolated units of the Austrian Bundesheer together into a single, unified formation. The combined force is given the title of the Bundesheer's only prewar division, the 1st Panzergrenadier, and assigned to the German IV Korps in southern Germany. The Austrians retain a roughly regiment-sized force to guard the remaining government in the extreme western province of Vorarlberg, nestled between Lake Constance and Switzerland and unconquered by the overstretched Italians.
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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...
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  #460  
Old 03-23-2023, 03:39 PM
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March 10, 1998

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

As the transportation system breaks down in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, the first food riots break out in the camps holding recently arrived Mexican refugees. The 3rd Texas Regiment, a state defense force unit formed from part of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, is sent in to restore order; its troops are met with gunfire from the heavily armed Mexican gangs which are attempting to assert control in the camps.

As the fighting in Fairbanks continues, the commander of the 147th (my 261st) Motor-Rifle Division makes the decision to preserve his command rather than commit his men to further slaughter as American paratroops and combat engineers blast them out of the tunnels and shattered buildings of the University of Alaska campus. Preparations are begun for a breakout.

With food stocks aboard dwindling, the master of the Danish containership Susan Mae, anchored in Long Island Sound, sends a team ashore to obtain supplies.

The USS Virginia departs Bahamian waters after taking aboard a dozen shipwrecked American sailors, both Navy and civilian Merchant Marines.
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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...
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  #461  
Old 03-23-2023, 03:45 PM
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March 11, 1998

Another day when canon is silent. Unofficially,

Quebecois forces, who have been stalled outside the NATO air base in Goose Bay, Labrador, finally launch their attack on the post. The defenders beat back the attack, taking and inflicting heavy losses.

In Fairbanks, the remaining troops of the 147th (my 261st) Motor-Rifle Division launch a daring and fierce attack on the screening force the 11th Airborne Division threw up along the western end of the University of Alaska campus, which had been a (relatively) quiet sector. They break through the paratroops and in a matter of minutes are attacking the lightly-manned blockade positions maintained by the exhausted 1st Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon) on the highway leaving the city. By lunchtime the Soviet division has broken through and begins evacuating south and west; the exhausted troops of X Corps unable to pursue effectively.

Dutch troops strike yet again, firing a mortar at a French Air Force C-160 transport that is unloading replacement troops at the nuked Gilze-Rijen air base; the airplane is riddled with shrapnel and abandoned by the aircrew before it is consumed by flames.

The surrounded and increasingly desperate troops of the 158th Motor-Rifle Division begin to mutiny, disobeying their officers and fleeing their positions, heading for the perceived safety of the Sava River valley. The garrisons in Maglai, Doboj and Modriča collapse, leaving the 549th Motor-Rifle Regiment's positions along the Sava River at Bosanski Šamac as the sole remaining portion of the division.

The 1890th Assault Gun Brigade, forming a significant portion of the garrison of the Central Asian city of Samarkand and faced with isolation, disease, privation and hostile citizens, begins to lose troops to desertion. Fortunately, most conscripts slip away with their personal weapons and not the brigade's massive SU-130 assault guns.
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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...
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  #462  
Old 03-23-2023, 03:49 PM
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March 12, 1998

An Italian air strike heavily damages the last fully operational oil refinery in North Africa at Bizerte in Tunisia, with Italian attack aircraft pressing the attack home in the face of SAM’s and Tunisian and US jet fighters. As a result of the attack, the US must greatly curtail its naval and air operations in the Mediterranean.

Unofficially,

At Goose Bay, Labrador, the Quebecois commander once again offers a parlay. He offers a continued ceasefire, repatriation of non-Canadians to their homelands and evacuation of Canadians to Nova Scotia in exchange for evacuation of the base. With supplies running low, the NATO commander and his Canadian counterpart accept the offer.

The 147th (my 261st) Motor-Rifle Division's retreat from Fairbanks, Alaska is celebrated by the 25th Corps headquarters in distant Anchorage, which dispatches a force equipped with captured civilian vehicles to speed their return to Anchorage.

With the coming of warmer weather, ice on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system has broken up enough for ships to transit. A number of smaller freighters, which have been frozen in for the winter, begin to resume their voyages.
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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...
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  #463  
Old 03-27-2023, 03:48 PM
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March 13, 1998

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

With the threat of additional nuclear strikes appearing unlikely for the time being and resources running low, TACAMO flights (relaying orders to submerged missile submarines) come to an end, ordering remaining boats to return to designated dispersal ports on a staggered timeline.

1st Western Front, stationed along the Oder River (the Polish-German border) receives a contingent of reinforcements from the USSR - 1500 unruly and scared teenagers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania grabbed from refugee camps, farms and semi-ruined cities by press gangs organized by rear area authorities in the Baltics. The untrained teens lack uniforms, equipment or weapons; the front commander suspects that Party authorities decided to unload 1500 mouths on him to feed and control, relieving themselves of the responsibility.

The German corvette Prenzlau and oilfield support ship Merk Dragon arrive in Wilhelmshaven, Germany carrying supplies and sailors from the 40-odd merchantmen laid up at Ålesund, Norway, the final batch of excess ships in the North Sea for now.

The supertanker Kapetan Panagiotis, seized in the Arabian Sea from its Greek owners in 1997 and pressed into service transporting crude oil from Saudi Arabia to Japan before the nuclear exchange, completes its overhaul and upgrade in Bahrain. The ship, renamed the Captain Pickering after the CENTCOM logistics officer killed in the Spetsnaz raid in May, begins moving to Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf, where it will load over 350,000 tons of diesel, aviation fuel and bunker fuel before being dispatched to Diego Garcia as a strategic reserve for CENTCOM.
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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...
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  #464  
Old 03-30-2023, 03:21 PM
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March 14, 1998

Nothing official for the day! Unofficially,

The landing party from the Danish containership Susan Mae returns to the ship at anchor in Long Island Sound. They report that law and order ashore has broken down and that food is not available. They refuse to go ashore again unless they are armed with more than the single pistol that the master entrusts to them.

In Goose Bay, Labrador, a trio of Air France 747s land to evacuate the NATO defenders. As the last plane takes off, headed to Europe with mostly German Luftwaffe ground personnel aboard, the demolition charges they had placed throughout the base detonate, rendering most of the base's fixed facilities useless. The Royal Canadian Navy begins to assemble the remnants of its fleet in the Maritimes in the Strait of Canson, the narrow but deep body of water that divides mainlain Nova Scotia from Cape Breton Island.

Adapting to the decline of global transportation, Nhaziern Khazi, a small-time drug smuggler abandons his trade running hash from Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf. He, two cousins and some followers join a Pasdaran militia unit instead.

The nuclear cruiser USS Virginia continues its patrol of the central Atlantic, turning to the southwest from a point 300 miles west of the Azores.
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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...
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  #465  
Old 03-30-2023, 03:24 PM
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March 15, 1998

While the orders received by the Soviet submarine Barrikada permit the boomer to end its time on station in the North Atlantic, the boat cannot return to its homeport outside of Murmansk, which was heavily damaged in the fighting of 1997 and, naval command believes, at risk of being captured by NATO troops. Instead, the sub must head for what remains of the port of Vladivostok in the Pacific. Barrikada's captain decides to make way to Vladivostok via the Arctic, and the boat turns northeast.

Unofficially,

The Lieutenant Governor of New York, who is effectively single-handedly ruling western New York, scores some valuable assets when the Liberian freighter Holstenracer arrives off Buffalo on Lake Erie, continuing its voyage to Europe with 11,000 tons of Wyoming coal aboard after being frozen in Lake Erie over the winter. The ship is detained by quick-thinking Buffalo Police patrol boats, which bring the ship and its' valuable cargo to the city's pier.

Dutch special forces troops (for that is who now constitute most of the active guerrilla force) in occupied Holland launch another attack, once again ambushing a French supply column despite its escort by French VAB APCs. The attack outside Nijmegen destroys four escorting VABs and six trucks; a dozen more carrying various supplies of food, fuel and munitions, are driven off by the Dutch troops. By dark the food and fuel have been distributed to the remaining local population and the trucks burned on remote roads.

In an early test of effectiveness, the resurgent Romanians beseige an outpost of the 97th Guards Motor-Rifle Division in a remote pass in the Carpathians, surrounding the Soviet firebase and subjecting it to constant artillery, mortar and small arms fire while cutting off the flow of supplies to the base and capturing a dismounted patrol the overconfident Soviet commander sent out to investigate his attackers.

Internal strife in Saudi Arabia makes a brief flare into public view, with early morning clashes in the city of Taif between the remnants of the Army Royal Guard Regiment and troops of the National Guard 1st Mechanized Brigade. By 8 a.m. quiet retuns to the city, although a strict curfew is in effect, enforced by the Bedouins of the National Guard. During the mid-afternoon, General McLaren is informed by his Saudi hosts that Prince Badr has assumed the throne after the sudden death of his cousin, King Abdul, who himself had assumed the throne following the death of his uncle King Fahd as a result of Soviet nuclear attacks on Riyadh late in 1997. Prince Badr is a graduate of RMA Sandhurst.
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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...
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  #466  
Old 03-30-2023, 03:25 PM
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March 16, 1998

Although the national (and state-led) relocation effort has been abandoned, refugees continue arriving in western Pennsylvania. Hostile locals discourage them from settling on their farms and in their already-overcrowded towns, so some set up camp in Oil Creek State Park, a 6,250-acre haven north of Pittsburgh. While the park does not have a campground, desperate refugees set up camp at the park's picnic areas and near the administrative buildings.

The 82nd Airborne Division is returned to action in Iran, again committed to combat in central Iran near Shiraz where it fights the first of a series of sweeps and raids to clear the area of armed bands.

Unofficially,

In Lake Erie, the Buffalo Police seize another freighter headed for the Atlantic; this time the prize is the Grenadine Tasmia, carrying 9,000 tons of Manitoba wheat.

French occupation authorities order a search and destroy mission by the Nijmegen garrison to locate and annihilate the attackers from the prior day. French Gendarmes travel behind the Army troops, searching civilian homes for the food distributed the day before. Some civilians resist and are shot, others reluctantly surrender their bounty (and are arrested anyhow), and in a disappointingly few cases the Frenchmen have mercy on the suffering civilians and allow them to carry on their hardscrabble and miserable existence.

In the first naval action in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in many decades, the Royal Canadian Navy performs a sweep of the waterway leading to breakaway Quebec. While a mere shadow of operations of a year ago, it represents a major effort by the Canadians and is more than sufficient to counter the weak Quebecois force at sea (whicch is composed of requisitioned civilian vessels and the lone RCN vessel which went over to the secessionists, the auxilary minesweeper HMCS Anticosti). A lone CP-121 Tracker martime patrol aircraft (one of the aged type's last operational missions) sorties across the Gulf, locating and identifying craft at sea. The aircraft's radar locates the Anticosti and a mass of rebel ships sheltering off the town of Sept-Îles on the Gulf's north coast. The Canadian task force that has assembled in the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia departs at the greatest speed available fuel supplies will permit.
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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...
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  #467  
Old 03-30-2023, 03:31 PM
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March 17, 1998

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

In Texas, the 3rd Texas Regiment is engaged in large-scale skirmishing with Mexican gangs inside five refugee camps in the area between Del Rio and Eagle Pass. The guardsmen (mainly former cadets at Texas A&M University) adopt a strategy of surrounding the camps, cutting off supplies of food, water and electricity while carefully screening any of the civilians that attempt to leave the cordon.

President Munson begins issuing orders to the Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Housing, individuals that were killed in the attack on Washington in November; his staff gently try to direct him but he only grows enraged with their "insubordination".

The Canadian naval task force (three destroyers and two patrol craft) proceeds northwest across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, hoping that the Quebecois navy remains in harbor. 880 Squadron, the CP-121 Tracker squadron operating from Prince Edward Island, cannot launch a sortie today to verify the enemy position. The task force sights several small fishing craft but cannot identify them or determine if they are relaying news of the sighting to rebel authorities.

The command of the Western TVD, or what remains of it, succeeds in dispatching the first trainload of supplies to the front using the new route through Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria, following several days of manually transloading the cargo of ammunition (a mix of new-production from the few remaining operable factories and Second World War-vintage artillery, small arms and mortar ammunition of questionable reliablity), foodstuffs and an oddball collection of old armored vehicles and civilian trucks scraped up from all over the western USSR. While Western TVD would prefer the cargo go to the battered units in Poland, the efforts to restore rail links across the Carpathians between Poland and Czechoslovakia have not yet borne fruit.

After weeks of delay and frustration, the resupply convoy from Hampton Roads to AFRICOM departs. Besides the 30th Marines and a contingent of A-37 light attack aircraft, the fleet contains a small amount of fuel, supplies, spares and munitions.

The replica USS Constitution departs Cape Horn with 15 tons of electronic parts for Portugal and machinery for Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
__________________
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...
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  #468  
Old 03-30-2023, 04:29 PM
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March 18, 1998

Facing dwindling stocks of fuel and fuel at the Alternate Miltiary Command Center at Raven Rock, Maryland, the remaining Joint Chiefs decides to relocate to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the assets of the US Air Force Academy, Fort Carson and NORAD headquarters can be used to sustain continued operations. They do not inform President Munson, at another bunker in central Virginia, of their decision.

Unofficially,

The Canadian Naval task force in the St. Lawrence is slowed by an engineering failure of the aged frigate Margaree, which costs the task force a day's transit.

With it looking increasingly unlikely that the supply of fuel in Europe will be sufficient to support operations of the remaining USAF Europe force structure, an inter-theater transfer of excess units is organized. Reflecting the biases of the pre-war active duty leadership, the departing units are Air National Guard and USAF Reserve - the 183rd Tactical Fighter Wing (Illinois National Guard), which is transferred to the CENTCOM area of operations, the 125th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Oklahoma Air National Guard), transferred to AFRICOM from Turkey along with the 169th Tactical Air Support Squadron (Illinois National Guard) from East Germany and the 180th Tactical Airlift Squadron (Missouri National Guard), whose C-130s have been under threat from the chaos of the Dead Zone outside the wire surrounding their base at Weisbaden Army Airfield. The entire evolution is supported by the tankers of the 134th Air Refuelling Wing (Tennesse and New York Air National Guards), which has been resupplied with fuel by a small tanker dispatched to its operating base Lajes in the Azores.

After three days of attacks on the outpost in the Carpathians, the division commander of the 97th Guards Motor-Rifle Division sends a reinforcement column tobreak the siege. The column, composed of a (reduced) motor-rifle company mounted in BTR-80s, a platoon of four T-86 tanks and a pair of ZSU-23-4 air defense vehicles escorting a dozen supply and fuel trucks, is ambushed by the Romanian attack force's rear guard, who were emplaced along the mountainous road leading to the Soviet outpost to deal with just such an eventuality. Using RPGs, mines and AT-4 ATGMs scavenged from last year's battlefields the Romanians knock out the Soviet tanks and anti-arcraft vehicles before raking thte column with machinegun fire. The surrounded motor-riflemen fight valiantly, but they are sitting ducks in the remote canyon and soon are overwhelmed.

In the Far East, the Hungarian 53rd Mechanized Rifle Brigade's transit around Lake Baikal is blocked by a tunnel destroyed by an American nuclear strike, stranding it on a remote hillside above Lake Baikal.
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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...
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  #469  
Old 03-30-2023, 04:52 PM
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March 19, 1998

In Djibouti, the French and Djibouti forces, already pushed to the limit dealing with Somali and Ethiopian marauders and Afar rebels, are overwhelmed with tens of thousands of desperate refugees as the Republic of Somaliland collapses due to a plague outbreak killing almost half its population.

Unofficcially,

At Fort Ritchie, Maryland, the support base of the Raven Rock "backup Pentagon", the garrison marshalls all available vehicles and fuel for the evacuation of the Joint Chiefs. The vast majority of the trip to Colorado will be conducted by rail, loading at the mostly intact Frederick, Maryland railroad station. To get there, however, the Joint Chiefs and staff will have to traverse the blast and fallout zone of the nuclear strikes on Camp David and Fort Deitrich; fortunately radiation levels have dropped in the intervening months.

The Battle of St. Lawrence Gulf rages in that body of water as the Royal Canadian Navy closes in on the ragtag Quebecois fleet. The Canadian task force receives the support of 880 Squadron, RCAF with a sortie of two CP-121 Tracker maritime scout aircraft, which confirm that the main body of the rebel force remains at anchor at Sept-Îles, with a few picket boats to prevent total surprise. The Trackers sink two of the picket boats with rocket fire before turning back, but the boats manage to get word out before going under. The RCN task force closes on the town and its harbor, subjecting it to sustained gunfire. (The Canadians are out of surface-to-surface missiles). The Margaree, the Canadian frigate that suffered an engineering casaulty the day before, continues its streak of misfortune when it is caught by an improvised Quebbecois command-detonated mine which rips its stern off. The remainder of the Canadian task force stands off from the harbor, as the Quebecois fleet refuses to sortie, bombarding it from medium range with gunfire and engaging in a duel with a battery of 105mm howitzers hidden among thhe town's buildings. The Canadians manage to launch a sole CH-124 Sea King helicopter to provide spotting support, which, after a long and sloppy engagement, results in heavy losses among the Quebecois fleet, including nearly all the requisitioned ferries and the sole pre-rebellion naval craft, the auxilary minesweeper HMCS Anticosti). The Canadian victory eliminates the threat of a Quebecois amphibious landing in Newfoundland or the Maritimes absent a more overt French intervention.

The remaining elements of the battered 158th Motor-Rifle Division attempt to cross the Sava River out of Bosnia-Hercegovina. The panicked troops abandon their vehicles and heavy equipment when they discover the bridges are down, crossing the river in small boats and makeshift rafts. They are met on the far shore by a Red Army colonel, who is able to deploy a mix of shaming and informing the deserters that they need to cross over 1,000 km of enemy territory before reaching Soviet soil to rally many of them into an ad-hoc formation.

In Poland, the army restructures some of its divisions, stripping some of their vehicles (which are transferred to other understrength formations) and converting them to cavalry, using horses seized from local farmers.

Joining the exodus of aircraft from Europe, the 155th Tactical Airlift Squadron (Tennessee Air National Guard) begins transferring personnel and equipment from its operating location at Cairo West Air Base in Egypt to Moi Airbase in Kenya.
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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...
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  #470  
Old 04-04-2023, 02:54 PM
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March 20, 1998

Nothing for the day in canon. Unofficially,

New Mexico State Police officers are called to the remote Datil Wells State Park to investigate the deaths of several families of Mexican refugees that had taken up residence in the parks campground. The campground's other residents, all evacuees from El Paso or Albuquerque, deny any involvement with the deaths or even the most rudimentary information about the Mexicans.

After nearly a month in transit, the 27th (my 90th Guards) Tank Division has only succeeded in making way from Manchuria to Ulan Ude, where it is halted seeking a route across or around Lake Baikal. The route ahead is blocked by obstacles recently emplaced by the Hungarian 53rd Mechanized Rifle Brigade to slow pursuers the Hungarian commander presumes 1st Far Eastern Front has dispatched. (The Hungarian commander doesn't realize how serious the situation is and that the 27th (90th Guards) are being transferred to the European front, not chasing him.

The Polish government, expending carefully husbanded resources in an effort largely hidden from its Soviet allies, manages to restart production at one of two small oil refineries in the remote foothills of the Carpathians in the southeastern corner of the country. The Jaslo refinery, one of the world's first (opened in 1888), is brought back online using portable generators and manpower from the OTK Territorial Defense Troops, who remain under national rather than Warsaw Pact command. Fed by a trickle of locally produced crude, the refinery (with a maximum prewar output of 3,000 barrels a day) turns out about one sixth that, 500 barrels on its first day of production. That output, nearly 80,000 liters of diesel, gasoline and fuel oil, is enough to support a single division in the field but is but one seven hundredth of prewar national consumption.

The commander of the 97th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, responding to the loss of its relief convoy and increasingly untenable situation in the beseiged Romanian city of Bistrița, forms a major relief column to force the relief of the isolated outpost. Stripping the division's other outposts of troops and armored vehicles, he forms an operational manuever group built around the 294th Guards Motor-Rifle Regiment. The group contains the division's reconnaissance company, two companies of T-86 tanks and two batteries of 2S1 self-propelled howitzers as well as two nearly full-strength battalions of motor-rifle troops; in all nearly half of the 97th Guards' remaining combat strength. A call to 38th Army headquarters for additional supplies, reinforcements and air support (either fixed-wing or helicopter) is denied, as is the division commander's request for army-level rocket and tube artillery reinforment. (Those assets are dug in at other firebases throughout the Army area).
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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...
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  #471  
Old 04-04-2023, 02:56 PM
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March 21, 1998

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have arrived in the Pittsburgh area from across the mountains, from as far away as New York City and the communities around what is left of Washington DC. Many have come all that way on foot, travelling from refugee camp to refugee camp, alone or in bands numbering a few tens or hundreds. Others come from the west. No authority in the town of Erie has any control and the limited services that had been functioning break down as the population of nearly three million taxes the available resources. There are riots over food and shelter, but there is none to be had.

Unofficially,

The nuclear-powered cruiser USS Virginia links up with the slow-moving AFRICOM reinforcement convoy in the mid-Atlantic.

Troops of the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Battalion, 325th Infantry surround a band of Soviet deserters and their Iranian allies that have been terrorizing traffic on the vital Kazerun-Shiraz road through the Zagros Mountains. The bandits respond with a heavy volume of fire, so the American paratroops position their forces out of small-arms range and pummel the surrounded marauders with mortar fire.

US and Kenyan authorities deploy their limited resources to relief in flood-ravaged areas and securing Kenya's borders against additional refugee pressure from disorder to its north.
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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...
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  #472  
Old 04-04-2023, 02:57 PM
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March 22, 1998

The remnants of the U.S. 2nd Armored Division, which suffered heavy casaulties from Soviet tactical nuclear strikes during the retreat from Warsaw, complete regrouping. The division is re-formed as a single brigade (the 2nd) and excess command and support troops are used as replacements for other units in Germany.

Unofficially,

The 97th Guards Motor-Rifle Division launches its major effort to relieve the surrounded garrison of the Romanian city of Bistrița, which has been under attack by the resurgent Romanian army since the 15th. The massive column of over 250 vehicles makes disconcertingly rapid progress in the early part of the day - the nervous Soviet troops notice that there are no Romanian civilians out and about as the column passes under clear spring skies. Soviet engineers are brought to the front of the column twice to replace destroyed bridges, delaying progress while assault bridging is emplaced. The delays result in the column entering the most mountainous portion of the route after nightfall; the division commander decides to press on rather than bivouac for the night, minimizing the chance of the massed formation being attacked while immobile (as well as preventing wavering draftees from deserting their guard posts, presenting a double threat).

After a night of unceasing harassment fire, the troops of B and C Companies, 4th Battalion, 325th Infantry attack the surrounded bandits along the Kazerun-Shiraz road in central Iran, accompanied by a detachment of Iranian National Security Force paramilitary police. Resistance soon crumbles as the Soviet deserters try to slip away, abandoning their Iranian compatriots. The decision is a poor one, since the Soviets are fired upon from behind by the abandoned Iranians as they rush towards the guns of A Company, 4-325 AIR. The cleanup of the operation is completed by lunchtime.
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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...
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  #473  
Old 04-04-2023, 03:01 PM
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March 23, 1998

The Dutch 105th Recon Battalion is disbanded, its remaining troops used as reinforcements for other formations.

Unofficially,

In the Rio Grande Valley the Mexican refugee camps have become full-fledged combat zones. The 3rd Texas Regiment, reinforced with armored cars from the nearby Laughlin Air Force Base and under orders from the Governor, is ordered to shut them down and deport all the surviving inhabitants.

The Dutch authorities reassess the guerrilla campaign in the occupied territories; while the effort has inflicted a number of embarrassing blows to the French and their Belgian allies, they have not materially impaired their occupation of the territory and there is not even the remotest chance of the Dutch military being able to successfully launch a campaign to evict the occupiers. Therefore, while not calling for an end to resistance, the authorities quietly decide to reduce, and eventually end, material support to the resistance movement, directing the scarce resources to the increasingly dire situation within territory still under government control. Elite military units such as marines and deep reconnaissance units will still be permitted to spend up to 50 percent of their time operating against the French, but with an aim of vengance rather than in preparation for recapture of the lands taken by force.

In the early morning hours the trap set for the 97th Guards Motor-Rifle Division is sprung when the resurgent Romanian Army springs its ambush on the Soviet unit in a narrowing river valley leading to the isolated garrison of Bistrița. The Soviet reconnaissance troops responsible for securing the high ground overlooking the main body have been unable to keep up with the road-mobile column, as the routes through the high ground are in much worse condition than the already abomidable main road (and the division commander's request for helicopter support was denied), so the main body is traveling largely blind, reliant on speed and Romanian disorganization for security. The bet is a bad one, and the Soviet formation is halted by a massive command detonated mine that blasts the road apart, blocking forward progress as emplaced and pre-registered mortar and artillery fire begins to land. The roadsides have been mined as well, restricting the Soviet troops to the road as long-distance machinegun and anti-tank missile fire rake the column. Still, the division is an impressive array of combat power, and the first Romanian assault, by dismounted infantry as darkness falls, is beaten back with massive Romanian casaulties.

A mixed merchant-military convoy departs Kazerun, Iran for Shiraz. Among other cargoes the convoy contains a trailer-mounted 250-kw diesel generator, donated by Saudi authorities, destined for use in increasing the operations of the government-owned munitions plant in Shiraz. (The plant has been in operation since the 1970s, although recently it has been limited to repair of weapons and vehicles of the Shiraz garrison and limited production of spare parts.)
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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...
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  #474  
Old 04-04-2023, 03:24 PM
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March 24, 1998

Nothing official in canon. Unofficially,

At the end of a brutal winter that killed as much as a third of the New England population (four million people), disease spread by unburied bodies and poor sanitation practices carries off another two million. The Mexican government receives notice of the deaths of its citizens at the Datil campground, as well as the first columns of refugees being driven out of Texas; the reaction from the Mexican authorities and public is extremely negative. Anti-American riots break out in Veracruz, Mexico City and Hermosa, targeting American expats and businesses.

In Alaska, the battered remnants of the 147th (my 261st) Motor-Rifle Divison are traveling largely on foot the hundreds of miles to Anchorage. To their rear, X Corps has consolidated its hold on the heavily damaged city of Fairbanks, rested its troops and is (finally) ready to pursue the retreating Soviet force. It dispatches the 1st Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon) west along the Tanana River (a tributary of the Yukon), with orders to proceed independently, living off the land, to clear the Yukon River valley to the Bering Strait. The 2nd Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon) follows the retreating Soviet force closely, while the 10th Mountain (my 11th Airborne) Division prepares for a deeper raid to cut off the retreating enemy force.

The French and Belgian governments complete delivery of the "agreed upon materiel" (the term selected in lieu of "reparations", "compensation" or "payment" in order to avoid hurt feelings) into German territory. The 10 million rounds of small arms ammunition, pre-packaged combat meals and gallons of diesel fuel, 1 million gallons of aviation fuel, 100,000 rounds of 20-40mm autocannon ammunition, 100,000 mortar rounds, 100,000 artillery rounds, 25,000 105mm tank gun rounds, 25,000 120mm tank gun rounds, 100,000 tons of bulk food, 12 F-16As, 500 Sidewinder Air-to-Air missiles, 2,5000 dumb bombs and package of spare parts will allow NATO forces in Germany to remain fighting through much of the year.

The surrounded column of the 97th Guards Motor-Rifle Division fights with the desperation of surrounded men facing a determined enemy. The Romanians maintain their long-range harassing fire throughout the day but do not repeat the failed frontal assault of the prior day. 38th Army headquarters desperately casts about for fire support assets to intervene, but the force is out of range of the Army's long-range guns and Frontal Aviation cannot deem the situation dire enough to release attack aircraft.

The South African Volksraad meets in Capetown to formalize a number of emergency measures put into place over the prior 18 months to disband the racist Apartheid regime. Recognizing the threat South Africa faced from Communist regimes in Angola and Mozambique as well as other hostile neighbors and the demands placecd on the already shaky economy by the World War raging around it, the Defense Ministry began demanding change early in the war. The Army needed combat troops at the front, not deployed on internal security duties in the townships, and a robust logistic structure to support high intensity operations in the field; restriciting military service to the 13 percent of the population that is white and maintaining a never-ending state of emergency was seen as unlikely to be sufficient to sustain a national war effort. The South African Defense Forces therefore began integration of existing mixed-race soldiers into combat units and expansion of existing all-Black units, as well as increasing the employment of non-White personnel in defense establishments (except for the highly-secertive nuclear weapons development and production apparatus). The Volksraad session that begins today revokes the state of emergency, authorizes multi-racial recruitment in the SASF and defense establishment and authorizes the formation of a constituent assembly to draft a new, color-blind constitution. It also provides for integration of various township tribal militias and illegal defense forces into the police forces and the recognition of ANC armed units as a preparation into their eventual integration into the SADF.
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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...
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  #475  
Old 04-04-2023, 03:31 PM
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March 25, 1998

Another day where canon is silent. Unofficially,

Aware of the deteriorating capabilities of 25th Corps in Alaska, Aleutian Front orders a resumption of the offensive into British Columbia which had been halted by the winter. The Soviet troops, trained with (and to a great degree, naturally equipped with) a greater tolerance for cold weather warfare, achieve surprise and overrun the outposts of the combined Canadian and American force which were established to provide overwatch of the Soviet front line.

Anti-American rioting continues in Mexican cities as the police (not considered the most diligent and honest in the best of times) make sure that only American-related sites are looted. Additional columns of Mexican reugees expelled from Texas arrive in Matamoros, Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Laredo.

The first of three trains carrying the Joint Chiefs and their staff depart Frederick, Maryland en route to Colorado Springs.

The Polish Communist Party opens the first of several stud farms to raise draft horses for farm, industrial and transport uses. The site, located on the outskirts of the ruins of the town of Sokółka in northeastern Poland, is secured by a small border guard force to protect the site from bandits and passing units (Soviet and Polish) that might see a use for the horses.

The replica USS Constitution arrives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria with a cargo of machinery.
__________________
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...
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  #476  
Old 04-05-2023, 04:00 PM
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March 26, 1998

The spring planting begins in Nebraska after the long, brutal winter of 1997-8 when the first potato crop of the year goes into the ground.

In Alaska the war has flared up, with A Company of the 2nd Battalion, 511th Infantry making its first combat jump since the Los Banos raid in the Philippines in February 1945 from the hodgepodge of bush planes operated by the 2nd Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment. The company establishes a blocking position along the highway between the retreating 147th (my 261st) Motor-Rifle Division and a detachment of the 110th Guards Motor-Rifle Division dispatched from Anchorage to link up with the 147th/261st and establish defenses to the northern apprroaches of Anchorage. Far to the east and south, the 71st Tank Division commandeers local small craft and what fuel it can find in preparation for a landing on Vancouver Island from its winter quarters on Quenn Charlotte Island.

The (former East) German 18th Marine Regiment returns to its prewar garrison on Rugen Island in the Baltic.

In northeastern Poland, the Category C 144th Guards Motor-Rifle Division is disbanded, its remaining troops and equipment redistributed to other units of 11th Guards Army.

Gurkhas of the 1/6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles arrive in Bandar Abbas, Iran from Bahrain, where they have been on internal security duties, to assist the Marines of I MEF in clearing the area of bandits, deserters and marauders. The Gurkha's experience fighting a guerrilla war in the region against Soviet paratroops the prior summer proves highly valuable.

The surrounded troops of the 294th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment, 97th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, are low on ammunition, water and food. The regimental commander organizes a breakout towards the column's rear, but it quickly falls apart as the Romanians see the dismounted infantry get up to remount their vehicles which are frantically trying to turn around on the narrow road. The Romanians assault during the disorder and overrun the regiment.
__________________
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...
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  #477  
Old 04-06-2023, 03:48 PM
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March 27, 1998

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

The last large fire in Tampa still blazing after the nuclear strikes on Thanksgiving Day burns out, not due to any firefighting effort but from lack of fuel to burn. McDill Air Force Base continues to burn.

In Alaska, the roadblock inserted by the 10th Mountain (my 11th Airborne) Division initially succeeds, yielding several truckloads of Soviet troops and supplies who are unawaare of the American presence in the area. In Yukon, the 13th Guards Air Assault Division and 1st Arctic Mechanized Brigade begin capturing territory, advancing to within 50 km of Whitehorse.

The first resupply train reaches the rear area of the 16th Army, bringing with it fresh recruits (a mix of green students and reservists over 35), several boxcars of 122mm howitzer ammunition, manufactured in 1945 and found in semi-abandoned warehouses in Siberia, two dozen T-62s and 50 GAZ-131 trucks from collective farms in the Krasnodar region.

There are changes in the command structure of the Saudi Army following the ascension of King Badr to the throne. The King's half-brother Abdul is named Minsiter of Defense and nearly all of the brigade commanders in the Army are replaced, either by ambitious officers several years their juniors or colonels from the bloated Saudi National Guard headquarters apparatus.

Captain Christiansen of the replica USS Constitution obtains a small fortune in diamonds.
__________________
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...
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  #478  
Old 04-06-2023, 03:50 PM
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March 28, 1998

The 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment has completed its reorganization. The battered unit, which lost most of its original vehicles to Soviet commerce raiders in the opening months of the war, fought the Polish campaign with one normally-equipped squadron (the 2nd) and two equipped with a motley assortment of civilian vehicles and light armored vehicles taken from USAF airfield defense units. The losses in Poland forced another reorganization, this time to a single composite squadron under the command of Lt. Colonel Dwight Bergstrom. The unit was largely equipped with M750 (Commando V-350) and Peacekeeper armored cars.

With conditions in Norway quiet, the marines of the Dutch 1st Commando Group commandeer the freighter Eemsgracht from Trondheim and set sail for home.

Unofficially,

The roadblock established by the 2nd Battalion, 511th Infantry on the highway between Fairbanks and Anchorage is subjected to a well-coordinated attack from Soviet troops assaulting from both directions - the 110th Guards Motor-Rifle Division from the south and the 147th (my 261st) Motor-Rifle Division from the north. The inexperienced American company commander heeds his first sergeant's advice and the paratroopers fall back to the high ground to the east, leaving mines and booby traps among the abandoned Soviet trucks they captured the prior day. While taking Soviet fire as they retreat, the enemy does not pursue, allowing the American force to keep the road under long-range fire.

Morale among the Marines of the 30th Regiment aboard the resupply convoy to AFRICOM drops. The Marines have been aboard the collection of aged amphibious ships and civilian freighters for over 40 days without any shore leave (their commanders were afraid of desertion in the weeks they were anchored off Norfolk) and the fresh food has run out. Due to the dire condition at home, the fleet was stocked with large quantities of corn meal, canned vegetables and pork and cheese powder; the shipboard cooks (some of whom are 18-year old draftees that were never trained to be cooks and had never helped their mothers in the kitchen!) have expended their creativity with the limited list of items, forcing the troops to eat endless amounts of pork enchiladas and tacos. The Marines are permitted (and, in fact, encouraged) to supplement their megre rations with fish they catch during the few hours each day they are not training above or below decks.

Chaos reigns in the countryside outside the battered Siberian city of Irkutsk as bands of deserters from the 143rd Motor-Rifle Division (which disintegrated the prior summer) clash with bandits from the former 195th Motor-Rifle Division, which mutinied in October.
__________________
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...
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  #479  
Old 04-06-2023, 03:56 PM
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March 29, 1998

Hurricane Jeff strikes Florida; with no warning systems in place, over 50,000 people are killed, depopulating the coastal regions. The high-rise hotels and condos of the gulf barrier islands and the concrete and rebar foundations resting on little more than white sand and seashells collapse like card houses before the wind, their foundations literally washed out from under them by the giant waves. Major changes are created in the geography of the offshore islands: the sea reaches out and took away a billion tons of sand, concrete, asphalt, homes, palms, and people in one mad night of natural fury. The mouth of Tampa Bay with its deep water channel is almost silted shut by the same storm winds. Although depopulated by the Thanksgiving Day strikes and subsequent exodus, the area is still home to millions who are determined to stay in their homes or else. The beach area becomes a desert uninhabited by anything but crabs and gulls.

The first three months of the year have seen massive casaulties, both military and civilian, in the USSR. Fuel shortages, coupled with the extremely cold winter, lack of water and medical care, and the breakdown of civilian control have all contributed to the huge number of deaths. Over one-half of the civilian population in the Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic states, and White Russia perished in those three months. Thousands of refugees have fled the destruction of the cities and scavenged the countryside. Many try to flee to Western Europe, while others join with deserters or marauders to form enclaves of security. The Soviet Government tries desperately to maintain control, but the only real authority and order is in those areas where Soviet troops are present. Most field armies are in control of their own destinies, and even though many remain loyal to the Soviet government, many have little contact with that government.

Army Front commanders take over the role of civilian authority as well as military authority and reestablish some sense of order in the western areas of the Soviet Union, but control is very limited. The Government of the Soviet Union, now centered in Ryazan, actually only controls the Strategic Reserve Forces and still has some authority over the forces engaged in Iran. The Politburo's interaction with the forces in the west are more like dealings with foreign powers rather than their own army. The men of the Politburo begin to act more and more like Hitler had in the Fuhrer Bunker during the last days of World War II, giving orders to units that either no longer existed or no longer had any intention of responding to those orders.

Unofficially,

As the Army in Europe reorganizes, Private First Class Randall Cutler is promoted to Specialist.

The 53rd Hungarian Mechanized Rifle Brigade has succeeded in extracting itself from the blocked rail line along Lake Baikal and seizing a number of small craft and two ferries, allowing the process of ferrying the formation across the lake to begin. The brigade's rear guard encounters forward detchments from the 27th (my 90th) Guards Tank Division; after an initial clash of small arms fire the two units determine that the Soviet tankers are headed to the Western Front and not pursuing the Hungarians.
__________________
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...
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  #480  
Old 04-06-2023, 04:03 PM
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March 30, 1998

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

The Soviet force in Yukon succeeds in driving the ragtag force of American and Canadian defenders from the territorial capital, Whitehorse.

Further north in Alaska, the main body of the 147th (my 261st) Motor-Rifle Division has passed the abortive American roadblock and linked up with the 110th Guards Motor-Rifle Division's forward detachment. The American paratroops have succeeded in inflicting additional casulties on the retreating Soviet force, so the effort was not in vain.

The Bulgarian freighter A.B. Buzko, which has diverted from the Mediterranean with a partial cargo of grain and iron ore, arrives at the Soviet enclave of Mariel, Cuba. It begins unloading the grain; the bewildered Soviet commander has no further orders for the ship, which is running low on fuel.

In Europe, the NATO front line consists of a series of forward outposts linked by wire communications to fortified platoon and company positions (located on hilltops, small towns or large farms). Positions are well spread out to avoid creating a lucrative target for tactical nuclear weapons, but the low troop density at the front results in some positions being so isolated that they are not able to effectively reinforce each other. They are also undermanned, assigned frontages appropriate for full-strength units rather than the actual strengths present (which for European NATO units averages 8,000 men per division, 4,000 for American divisions). Additional soldiers are diverted to civil relief duties as well.

Pasdaran guerrillas shoot down a Soviet Mi-17 helicopter with a captured SA-14 missile as the helicopter approaches the city of Esfahan's airport.

The commanders of the 53rd Hungarian Mechanized Rifle Brigade and 27th (my 90th) Guards Tank Division meet and arrange a truce between the two units. The Soviet formation agrees to assist the Hungarians in their crossing of Lake Baikal in exchange for the Hungarians agreeing to hand over the craft they are using to cross rather than sink them on the western shore.
__________________
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...
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