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Old 08-15-2020, 05:54 PM
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Default Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia is one of the most enigmatic locations in T2k (v.1). There are US and Soviet forces there (three divisions a piece, and an Air Assault Brigade for the latter) but it's never made clear in either the v.1 history or the US and Soviet Vehicle Guides why they were sent there.

Yugoslavia started WWIII unified. It declared for NATO after the Soviet invasion of Romania in late December, 1996. It sent mechanized forces to help its neighbor. In August of 1997, Yugoslavia invaded northeastern Italy but the attacking forces were hurled back by the Italians. The Greeks and Albanians invaded Romania in mid-September (the Greeks ultimately annexing Macedonia, creating a rift with Albania).The country was partitioned by the Italians in early 1998. Internecine warfare broke out shortly thereafter (that's a Balkans conflict we can all remember from RL).

It's a mess. So why did the US send forces there (two light infantry divisions in the autumn of 1998, and an infantry division in late '99)? Strategically, what was the point? The Soviets sent forces to Yugoslavia from Romania after its collapse in September 1997. Again, what was the point? Yugoslavia, by that point, was no longer a threat to the WTO.

According to the US Vehicle Guide, the American divisions sent to Yugoslavia end up fighting Croatian and Albanian nationalists instead of the Soviets, Italians, or Greeks. The Soviet Vehicle guide only mentions the Red Army divisions in Yugoslavia fighting partisans. In either case, what's the point?

It seems like a sideshow. I can't understand why, in terms of strategy, either the US or Soviet Union sent forces there (especially the latter, given that its new Warsaw Pact allies, the Italians and Greeks had already defeated the Yugoslavs and ignited internecine warfare. For the US, maybe the Ploesti oil fields in neighboring Romania were the objective? But how are three infantry divisions (two of them light) going to fight their way there and arrive in any shape to eject Soviet Danube Front (consisting of two Armies and an AAB)? That's not going to happen. The v1.0 history suggests that the US 42nd ID was sent to Yugoslavia in late 1999 as a statement of sorts. If so, CivGov's competence in matters of military strategy and geopolitics should be strenuously questioned.

Did the writers have bigger plans for Yugoslavia but not get the chance to follow through on them? Is the question of why the US and/or CCCP send forces to Yugoslavia addressed in an adventure module or Challenge article? Have any of you run or played a Yugoslavian campaign?
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Old 08-15-2020, 07:26 PM
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Challenge magazine 47 had an article titled Our Friend Albania that touches on the border region with Yugoslavia (Kosovo).
I had a quick look through my copies of Challenge and aside from that one article I don't think there was anything dealing with Yugoslavia.
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:05 PM
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Especially considering that the forces were sent AFTER the Mexicans had invaded the US. So those three divisions would have been much better employed against the Soviet and Mexican forces that were on AMERICAN soil - i.e. why the hell were they sent to Yugoslavia?

Those three divisions sent to Texas would probably have retaken most of the state - or sent to CA they would have been enough to at the least send the Mexicans running back to San Diego

Plus NYC is in absolute chaos and you send the 42nd and its tanks to Yugoslavia and leave NYC in the hands of a light infantry division that has no heavy armor?

FYI the write up for the 42nd has a massive typo in it - it says it was dispatched to Europe in Autumn 1999 - then says it fought the Croatians on 10/7/98.
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:22 PM
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See page 26 and 27 of the V1.0 book. It lays out the actions of the CENTAG that would had US forces land in Jugoslavia/Yugoslavia. NATO was driving into southern Germany to seize the industrial region that borders along the Czech border region. While the Romanians and Jugoslaivians army was driving north to try and assist and break any lines of communication between the PACT and the Italian/Greek army that had occupied Jugoslavia. The offensive was wasted by the end of the year. It says that the Jugoslavian drive was held up at Lake Balaton, which is located in Hungary. So assume that the Jugoslavians, Romanians, and US forces were driving north up to Hungary and meet up with the German IV and V corps which were in Southern Germany (see the W. German OOB in NATO vehicle guide) that were driving south to meet up.

So more than likely those units from the US were sent to try and help bolster the Jugoslavian push against Italians and make the meet up with the CENTAG and capture those industrial zones not damaged in 1997 of Southern Germany, Northern Italy, and Czech region. The move was probably made before the actions of Mexico and the Soviet forces in Mexico invaded the southern states. At which probably when the ships were at sea that the Mexicans came across and well past the point of radio communication to come back.

Even money guessing the total collapse of all command and control as well as the governmental split in 1997-98, that the JCS only knew what the DIA could tell them from what limited human intelligence could gather and report back via long communications (there manual makes references that even radios are heavily damaged due to EMP effects and and limited to LOS [both due to radiation in the air and real world applications] so you have to daisy-chain radio data back to someplace and hope the message stays together correctly). In my mind then it makes it reasonable that forces were already in transit to their ports of embarking or were embarking when the Mexican's cross the Rio Grande, again if not already at sea. So trying to turn them around to respond to the newest threat wasn't considered until those ships were past a point of no return compared to the fuel already expended.

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Plus NYC is in absolute chaos and you send the 42nd and its tanks to Yugoslavia and leave NYC in the hands of a light infantry division that has no heavy armor?
The answer to this would be MOUT, Military Operations in Urban Terran, all the tactics manuals says to keep heavy armor out of major cities. The threats from above to armor is just too dangerous as well as hostile forces making easy tank traps of all manner that keeps armor moving to specific kill zones. See some of the photos from the Russian experiences in Chechnya with their armor being massacred. That is why in the real world, the Russians started to develop armor that basically vaporized whole buildings with a metric butt ton of guns and rockets. If not having heavy bombers come over and raining theater ballistic missiles into an area and level whole city block. Which would allow for their armored forces to move thru a city.

Similar, examining the Allied Forces experience going through the German forces in Europe and the German forces experiences in Russia showed that armor even then would be dangerous. Which lead to the Soviets to develop the assault guns with a 122m to 152mm gun installed and the Germans to do things like the Strumpanzer and Strumtiger. While the Allied forces never developed specific urban assault vehicles.
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Old 08-16-2020, 10:51 AM
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See page 26 and 27 of the V1.0 book. It lays out the actions of the CENTAG that would had US forces land in Jugoslavia/Yugoslavia. NATO was driving into southern Germany to seize the industrial region that borders along the Czech border region. While the Romanians and Jugoslaivians army was driving north to try and assist and break any lines of communication between the PACT and the Italian/Greek army that had occupied Jugoslavia. The offensive was wasted by the end of the year. It says that the Jugoslavian drive was held up at Lake Balaton, which is located in Hungary. So assume that the Jugoslavians, Romanians, and US forces were driving north up to Hungary and meet up with the German IV and V corps which were in Southern Germany (see the W. German OOB in NATO vehicle guide) that were driving south to meet up.

So more than likely those units from the US were sent to try and help bolster the Jugoslavian push against Italians and make the meet up with the CENTAG and capture those industrial zones not damaged in 1997 of Southern Germany, Northern Italy, and Czech region. The move was probably made before the actions of Mexico and the Soviet forces in Mexico invaded the southern states. At which probably when the ships were at sea that the Mexicans came across and well past the point of radio communication to come back.

Even money guessing the total collapse of all command and control as well as the governmental split in 1997-98, that the JCS only knew what the DIA could tell them from what limited human intelligence could gather and report back via long communications (there manual makes references that even radios are heavily damaged due to EMP effects and and limited to LOS [both due to radiation in the air and real world applications] so you have to daisy-chain radio data back to someplace and hope the message stays together correctly). In my mind then it makes it reasonable that forces were already in transit to their ports of embarking or were embarking when the Mexican's cross the Rio Grande, again if not already at sea. So trying to turn them around to respond to the newest threat wasn't considered until those ships were past a point of no return compared to the fuel already expended.
Thanks. You're right, the timing of the two US light divisions' arrival in Yugoslavia does fit with the Yugoslav's offensive into Hungary, so it stands to reason that they were sent to assist in said. The problematic bit, though, is that in April, the Italians partitioned Yugoslavia into Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia, and the Greeks annexed Macedonia. It seems odd that there's still an intact, unified Yugoslavian army after that, let alone one that would launch a major drive into Hungary.

Also, the Romanians aren't mentioned as being involved at all. According to the v.1 history, the Romanian military was shattered in September of 1997 and the survivors were fighting as partisans in the Carpathians- they would have had their hands full. At no point after 9/15/97 were there less than 7 Soviet divisions in Romania so I just don't see the Romanians participating in a major offensive anywhere other than on home soil.

CivGov sending 42nd ID in late '99 still doesn't make sense, though. Even with fried long-distance coms, by then, CivGov would have to know that turning things around in Yugoslavia was nothing more than a forlorn hope. And by then, Mexico and New America are firmly established as major threats to home soil (not to mention the potential of fighting MilGov forces). The only thing I can think of is that Romania declared its allegiance to CivGov in the spring of 1999, so perhaps sending 42nd ID was a show of solidarity by CivGov. If so, it was a very expensive- wasteful, even- symbolic gesture.

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The answer to this would be MOUT, Military Operations in Urban Terran, all the tactics manuals says to keep heavy armor out of major cities. The threats from above to armor is just too dangerous as well as hostile forces making easy tank traps of all manner that keeps armor moving to specific kill zones. See some of the photos from the Russian experiences in Chechnya with their armor being massacred. That is why in the real world, the Russians started to develop armor that basically vaporized whole buildings with a metric butt ton of guns and rockets. If not having heavy bombers come over and raining theater ballistic missiles into an area and level whole city block. Which would allow for their armored forces to move thru a city.
Strong point. Tanks and IFVs might be useful in the suburbs, but in the built-up areas of the city, they'd be extremely vulnerable to Molotovs tossed from upper floors. If the OPFOR has access to LAW-type weapons, fahgettaboudit!
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:10 AM
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Rae, Iím fairly confident thatís a typo and the writers intended for all three Divisions to arrive in 1998. If you look at the US Army Vehicle Guide it states that the 76th and 80th Divisions both came under the command of IV US Corps when they arrived in Yugoslavia in late 1998. The US Army Vehicle Guide also states that IV US Corps HQ arrived in Yugoslavia in the same convoy as the 42nd Divisionís 2nd Brigade and for IV Corps to have taken command of the 76th and 80th it follows that it (IV Corps) must have been in situ in 1998. Also, (as has been mentioned) the 42nd is stated as having gone into action against Croatian forces in October 1998.

What I donít get is how GDW worked out the relations between the different factions. I donít claim to be an expert in Balkan politics, but based on where weíre at right now in the real world, the idea of the US being allied with the Serbs against the Croatians seems to be me to be mixed up. Iíd have expected Croatia to be the pro NATO faction and Serbia the pro Pact faction.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:29 AM
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Rae, I’m fairly confident that’s a typo and the writers intended for all three Divisions to arrive in 1998. If you look at the US Army Vehicle Guide it states that the 76th and 80th Divisions both came under the command of IV US Corps when they arrived in Yugoslavia in late 1998. The US Army Vehicle Guide also states that IV US Corps HQ arrived in Yugoslavia in the same convoy as the 42nd Division’s 2nd Brigade and for IV Corps to have taken command of the 76th and 80th it follows that it (IV Corps) must have been in situ in 1998. Also, (as has been mentioned) the 42nd is stated as having gone into action against Croatian forces in October 1998.
I'd totally agree with you if the v.1 history didn't support a late 1999 date for the dispatch of 42nd ID. It doesn't actually specify what unit was sent, but the history states that CivGov initiated the late war reinforcements, so the timelines match up.

The reference about IV Corps HQ accompanying 42nd ID suggests that, in late 1999, CivGov was trying to assume command of the US forces that had been in-country since mid-'98.

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What I don’t get is how GDW worked out the relations between the different factions. I don’t claim to be an expert in Balkan politics, but based on where we’re at right now in the real world, the idea of the US being allied with the Serbs against the Croatians seems to be me to be mixed up. I’d have expected Croatia to be the pro NATO faction and Serbia the pro Pact faction.
I agree, but I have a theory to explain this. The Italians partition Yugoslavia in the spring of '98 but, in the summer, the Yugoslavian army tries to link up with NATO forces in Hungary. My hypothesis is that this rump Yugoslavian army was made up of a Serbian majority. Since the Serbs were supporting NATO, and the US presumably sent those two light IDs to support that [majority Serbian] army driving into Hungary, the Croats got pissed off and got in the American's way. The US Army Vehicle guide mentions at least one of the US light IDs fighting Croatian separatists. The most likely port of entry for the US forces is Split, which is located in present-day Croatia. It actually seems kind of plausible.

At the same time, the Soviet forces sent from Romania in '98 most likely would have entered Serbian territory, perhaps provoking a strong anti-Soviet response from the locals. So, in this scenario, the Serbs remain aligned with NATO, and the Croats join the other side. This theory seems to line up with the end state established by the game writers, at least. I don't know if this alignment is what they were intending, or whether it was established by accident because they didn't have a firm grasp on Balkans history/politics, etc.

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Old 08-16-2020, 11:49 AM
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Sorry, I don't agree about the 42nd. I'm convinced it's a typo.

From the US Army Vehicle Guide (bolding mine)

Quote:
In the autumn of 1999, the [42nd] division was deployed by sea to Jugoslavia. Upon arrival it came under com- mand of US IV Corps, the headquarters of which arrived in the same convoy as the division's 2nd Brigade. The division entered combat against Croatian Nationalist Army units on 10/7/98.
So there's a contradiction there already. It cannot have arrived in Yugoslavia in the autumn of 1999 and gone into action against Croat units in October 1998. One of those dates is wrong.

As for IV Corps, it's stated in the write ups for the 76th and 80th Divisions as already being in country in 1998.

Quote:
On 8/2/98, the [76th] division began moving overland to Virginia and suffered considerable casualties en route from bandit ambushes. The division arrived on the eastern seaboard in early October and began deploying to Jugoslavia by sea in late October. Upon arrival it came under command of US IV Corps and first entered combat on 11/5/98 against units of the Albanian Peoples Liberation Front.
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The [80th] division was formed on 7/20/98 by redesignation of the 80th Training Division (U.S. Army Reserve) in Richmond, Virginia. In October of 1998 the division was deployed by sea to Jugoslavia where it came under command of the US IV Corps and entered combat against Croatian Nationalist Army units on 11/1/98.
The only way that's consistent with the HQ element of IV Corps arriving in 1999 is if the rest of IV Corps deployed in 1998 without its HQ element (and then waited for a year for its HQ element to arrive).

Personally, I take the view that all of IV Corps arrived in 1998, which would be consistent with the 42nd going into action against Croat forces in 1998.

I'm not sure about the Serb / Croat thing. I need to take a deeper dive on that.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:54 AM
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So there's a contradiction there already. It cannot have arrived in Yugoslavia in the autumn of 1999 and gone into action against Croat units in October 1998. One of those dates is wrong.
Maybe. Or maybe I now have a late Rad Zone contest entry involving 'rumors of a time-machine in Jugoslavia.'
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:00 PM
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Maybe. Or maybe I now have a late Rad Zone contest entry involving 'rumors of a time-machine in Jugoslavia.'
LOL...I was going to mention blue police boxes. Or a Delorean.

There's also a brief reference to the 42nd in Armies of the Night

Quote:
By the summer of 1998, it became obvious that the harvest from the midwest was going to be very small and virtually impossible to transport. The newly formed 78th Infantry Division was assigned to New York City, replacing the detachments of the 42nd (which were being deployed to Jugoslavia).
Now, it's not conclusive as it doesn't mention an actual deployment date so I suppose they could have spent a year preparing for deployment but I doubt it...
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:22 PM
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Sorry, I don't agree about the 42nd. I'm convinced it's a typo.
That's cool. I'm just trying to reconcile canon.

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So there's a contradiction there already. It cannot have arrived in Yugoslavia in the autumn of 1999 and gone into action against Croat units in October 1998. One of those dates is wrong.
Yep, and the date that's wrong could be the 1998 one. 42nd ID could have arrived in Autumn of '99 and gone into action against Croat units in October 1999. That's entirely plausible.

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As for IV Corps, it's stated in the write ups for the 76th and 80th Divisions as already being in country in 1998.
That's not in dispute.

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The only way that's consistent with the HQ element of IV Corps arriving in 1999 is if the rest of IV Corps deployed in 1998 without its HQ element (and then waited for a year for its HQ element to arrive).
Not necessarily. Two light infantry divisions does not a corps make. If they were sent to support the Yugoslavian army's drive into Hungary in mid-1998, it's entirely possible that intention was to place the two US divisions under Yugoslavian command for the duration of the offensive. As it turned out, they couldn't link up with the Yugoslavs. There's really no reason that they couldn't still operate for a year or so without a dedicated corps HQ.

My reasoning is that, after the Yugoslavian gov't recognizes CivGov's legitimacy in the Spring of 1999 (as per the v.1 history), CivGov decides to lay claim to the two US divisions stuck in Yugoslavia, thus solidifying CivGov's presence in SE Europe, so it sends along a Corps HQ when it dispatches 42nd ID to Europe as reinforcements in the autumn of '99.

The v.1 history states, "In the autumn [of 1999], the dispatch of troops to Europe resumed, although only as a trickle. Initiated by the civilian government... the call-ups affected only the Atlantic coast..."

The 42nd ID checks off all of those boxes. Atlantic Coast- check; deployed by CivGov- check; arrived Autumn '99- check. AFAIK, it's the only US division in the US Army Vehicle Guide mentioned as being deployed to Europe, by CivGov, in late 1999. It all fits, but for that one typo. It's all circumstantial, but the majority of the evidence supports 1999 as being the correct date.

It may not be pretty, but it all lines up.

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Old 08-16-2020, 04:30 PM
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And MilGov was organizing forces to go after the Mexican invasion in mid-1998- if you look at the US Army Sourcebook there are repeated references to units being sent into action against the Mexicans - i.e. if the comms are that badly fried how did some units get contacted and sent into action and others didnt?

And a three division Corps - especially one that had at least a division with heavy armor- would have stopped the Mexicans cold most likely and probably taken care of the Texian Legion once and for all in Texas.

Plus how the heck was CivGov going to support the troops they sent to Yugoslavia? At least the units in Germany and Poland and Austria had some logistics and remaining ammo - but once those three units arrive in Yugoslavia they are basically on their own.

FYI I also agree that the authors didnt do their research on the people's of Yugoslavia - the Croats would have been allies for sure of the US not the Serbs - the Serbs have always been the ally of the Russians. And given the real world events of what happened in Yugoslavia I dont see the Bosnians as being pro-Soviet either. A much more likely alignment is the Croats joining up with US forces along with the Bosnians and the Serbs joining up with the Soviets - with the Greeks and the Macedonians and Albanians fighting among themselves and the Slovenes trying to support German and Austrian forces
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Old 08-16-2020, 04:40 PM
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Like I always say, you're free to do what you like with your T2kU. I'm trying to find a way to reconcile what's in canon. I think I've figured out a plausible way* to arrive at what's established in the v1 history and vehicle guides. It ain't pretty, but it works- the pieces fit. If you prefer to go a different route, more power to you.

I find canon-bashing to be kind of a futile exercise. It is what it is, and no one's going to change it. As Ref's, though, we're free to modify it to suit our own sensibilities. In my mind, it's better to find ways to make canon work than to RETCON it, but that's just my POV and I'm not trying to push it on anyone else.

It'll be interesting to see what Free League does with Yugoslavia, if they touch on it at all.

*Thanks again to Southernmap for finding the missing piece- a good reason for the US to send two light infantry divisions to Yugoslavia in 1998.

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Old 08-16-2020, 06:16 PM
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I'm not sure about the Serb / Croat thing. I need to take a deeper dive on that.
My mother is Croatian; Croatians HATE Serbs and vice versa. It's racist, etc. but there it is. It's long, deep, unreasoning hatred that goes back to the days that the Ottoman Empire was the local superpower. In addition, the Serbs tend to side with whoever is the winner -- they were the first to side with the Nazis, and Austro-Hungarians, and Tito. (As a matter of fact, Tito is the only this that drew some Croats and Serbs together.) But my mother still distrusts Serbs, even though she cannot give you many logical reasons why.
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Old 08-16-2020, 07:10 PM
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I think a more general question is why would any governing power in CONUS even think of deploying forces overseas in 1998? The 76th was attacked by bandits moving through Virginia. Who then thought "you know what it's cool send them to Yugoslavia"? There's enough problems in CONUS where even two under strength light divisions could do a lot of good.

My problems:
  • The US Navy essentially ceases to exist as a force by 1998. What sort of escort will a dozen slow-ass freighters have crossing the Atlantic?
  • By 1998 (IIRC from Med Cruise) Gilbralter is a glowing chunk of rock and the French practically blockage the Straight of Gibraltar. They're going to let an American convoy pass into the Med?
  • Does Yugoslavia even have an adequate port to disembark the two divisions? It's probably a dozen ships, you'd need a decent sized port to disembark the divisions in good order.

Now I could maybe buy a POMCUS setup where there's vehicles and supplies in Yugoslavia but they need warm (trained) bodies to operate them. So a dozen airliners are cobbled together and the personnel are flown over with their equipment to use the in-country vehicles/supplies. They could be in Yugoslavia in a day. A relatively small forward force could set up an airport or two.
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:29 PM
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I think a more general question is why would any governing power in CONUS even think of deploying forces overseas in 1998? The 76th was attacked by bandits moving through Virginia. Who then thought "you know what it's cool send them to Yugoslavia"? There's enough problems in CONUS where even two under strength light divisions could do a lot of good.

My problems:
  • The US Navy essentially ceases to exist as a force by 1998. What sort of escort will a dozen slow-ass freighters have crossing the Atlantic?
  • By 1998 (IIRC from Med Cruise) Gilbralter is a glowing chunk of rock and the French practically blockage the Straight of Gibraltar. They're going to let an American convoy pass into the Med?
  • Does Yugoslavia even have an adequate port to disembark the two divisions? It's probably a dozen ships, you'd need a decent sized port to disembark the divisions in good order.

Now I could maybe buy a POMCUS setup where there's vehicles and supplies in Yugoslavia but they need warm (trained) bodies to operate them. So a dozen airliners are cobbled together and the personnel are flown over with their equipment to use the in-country vehicles/supplies. They could be in Yugoslavia in a day. A relatively small forward force could set up an airport or two.
And keep in mind that there would still be Italian and Greek naval ships left as well - and all it takes is one or two destroyers to really screw up your day if you dont have any escorts.

And you definitely need a port in at least decent shape to disembark the tanks of the 42nd - you can get troops and mortars and even towed howitzers off a hell of a lot easier than a bunch of tanks
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:10 PM
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I think a more general question is why would any governing power in CONUS even think of deploying forces overseas in 1998? The 76th was attacked by bandits moving through Virginia. Who then thought "you know what it's cool send them to Yugoslavia"? There's enough problems in CONUS where even two under strength light divisions could do a lot of good.
You're right, but canon says it happens, so I'm trying to answer those questions. The best I can come up with ATM is that the Pentagon believes it can win the war in Europe, after which it could bring most of its troops home to eject the Mexican military and restore law an order.

As for Yugoslavia, it shares a border with Romania, a new NATO nation in which canon tells us there are oil fields/refineries still capable of producing fuel.

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My problems:
  • The US Navy essentially ceases to exist as a force by 1998. What sort of escort will a dozen slow-ass freighters have crossing the Atlantic?
  • By 1998 (IIRC from Med Cruise) Gilbralter is a glowing chunk of rock and the French practically blockage the Straight of Gibraltar. They're going to let an American convoy pass into the Med?
  • Does Yugoslavia even have an adequate port to disembark the two divisions? It's probably a dozen ships, you'd need a decent sized port to disembark the divisions in good order.
Those are legit, but I don't think any of the obstacles presented are insurmountable

-The v1 history says a few naval vessels are are cobbled together to serve as convoy escorts.

-Nuking Gibraltar is not going to close the straits. Now the French navy, that's another proposition. But if the US made clear through diplomatic channels that the convoy was en route to the eastern Med, why would the French risk trying to stop them? Does France really want to risk going to war with the US (especially in the nuclear phase of the conflict) just to display dominance in the western Med?

-Split's got decent port facilities. Neither of the divisions sent in 1998 had heavy armor. The 42nd ID only has a dozen M60s or so. Split could handle that.

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So a dozen airliners are cobbled together and the personnel are flown over with their equipment to use the in-country vehicles/supplies. They could be in Yugoslavia in a day. A relatively small forward force could set up an airport or two.
That would definitely be faster, but if the Greek and Italian navies could stop a sea convoy, their air forces could stop some airliners. It's more likely that, by mid-98, the Greek and Italian navies had been effectively neutralized, and/or the USN escort force was strong enough to deter them or keep them at bay. And ships are better at transporting bulk supplies (rations, ammo, etc.) than aircraft.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:52 PM
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Nuking Gibraltar is not going to close the straits. Now the French navy, that's another proposition. But if the US made clear through diplomatic channels that the convoy was en route to the eastern Med, why would the French risk trying to stop them?
I don't mention Gilbralter being nuked to suggest the straight would be closed. It's does mean there's no friendly force/port for an American convoy in the Strait. By 1998 I wouldn't consider the French as allies, not enemies but definitely not allies. I don't see the French having any reason to let an American convoy into the Med unless it was specifically to evacuate American forces.

Not everything has to make sense but it's one of those things that just sounds really weird and doesn't make any sense. The writers did it for a reason but it's still weird looking back on it.

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If the Greek and Italian navies could stop a sea convoy, their air forces could stop some airliners. It's more likely that, by mid-98, the Greek and Italian navies had been effectively neutralized, and/or the USN escort force was strong enough to deter them or keep them at bay.
I would assume the Italian and Greek navies are coral reefs and their air forces non-existent by 1998. If the French are going to let an armed American convoy sail into the Med I don't see why they won't let some airliners through. They'll have a faster transit, you know they don't carry heavy weapons, and if they so much as sneeze in the wrong direction they'd get shot down.
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Old 08-16-2020, 10:06 PM
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I don't mention Gilbralter being nuked to suggest the straight would be closed. It's does mean there's no friendly force/port for an American convoy in the Strait. By 1998 I wouldn't consider the French as allies, not enemies but definitely not allies. I don't see the French having any reason to let an American convoy into the Med unless it was specifically to evacuate American forces.
Right, but why risk war with the US by refusing the convoy passage? The US has already proven itself more than willing to huck a nuke or several at its enemies. Is that a risk the French would take to stop a convoy headed for Yugoslavia, a country in which it has little to no strategic interest c. 1998 (compared to other parts of the world)? Americans in Yugoslavia are not going to be able to help Germany stop France from annexing the Rhineland. Why turn them back so they could divert to NW Europe instead?

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I would assume the Italian and Greek navies are coral reefs and their air forces non-existent by 1998. If the French are going to let an armed American convoy sail into the Med I don't see why they won't let some airliners through. They'll have a faster transit, you know they don't carry heavy weapons, and if they so much as sneeze in the wrong direction they'd get shot down.
Maybe so, but the Italians and Greeks still presumably have operational SAMs. As recent events have shown, airliners are very vulnerable to SAMs.

As you pointed out, when it comes to the Balkans, the writers made some decisions that are pretty hard to explain/justify, but that's what I'm trying to do.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:40 AM
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The answer to this would be MOUT, Military Operations in Urban Terran, all the tactics manuals says to keep heavy armor out of major cities. The threats from above to armor is just too dangerous as well as hostile forces making easy tank traps of all manner that keeps armor moving to specific kill zones. See some of the photos from the Russian experiences in Chechnya with their armor being massacred. That is why in the real world, the Russians started to develop armor that basically vaporized whole buildings with a metric butt ton of guns and rockets. If not having heavy bombers come over and raining theater ballistic missiles into an area and level whole city block. Which would allow for their armored forces to move thru a city.

Similar, examining the Allied Forces experience going through the German forces in Europe and the German forces experiences in Russia showed that armor even then would be dangerous. Which lead to the Soviets to develop the assault guns with a 122m to 152mm gun installed and the Germans to do things like the Strumpanzer and Strumtiger. While the Allied forces never developed specific urban assault vehicles.
There are some other considerations?

1. The fact is, heavy equipment on the streets of NYC when it's in the grips of chaos isn't going to improve anyone's calm either. Light and calm might have been a thought of someone in charge, but here's a question? The 78th was loyal to MilGov, but the 42nd sided with CivGov. Was CivGov's deployment of the 42nd one of those "dirty tricks" alluded to in the v1 Referee's Guide? "Hey, let's force MilGov to worry about policing NYC, we've got the troops and the means to send them, let's show everyone we're just as capable as they are to still reinforce Europe!" (No comment about how dubious a decision this is). And, here's an open question? Who in the heck did the NY State Government side with? They never did establish that. (Nor did they for most of the other state governments, not that many of them are intact by 2000?)

2. Consider the other divisions sent, IIRC, were light divisions formed from Training divisions, which means a cadre of DSs and other training and support staff formed around a mass of half-trained basic trainees? This cannot portend well for these ersatz divisions. It's one thing to use them against marauders, or lawless elements in the US, but send them to Europe and sic them on the Soviets et. al without some means of "stiffening?" Probably not a good idea (Probably the only good idea in the entire enterprise). I can so see a staff officer at IV Corps saying as they embarked "Is this trip really necessary?" I just cannot see the military necessity for this at all. Even before the Mexicans invade, let alone after. But, there's plenty of real-life examples of military stupidity abounding.

3. As for the French, well it's not just the nukes. If I am France, I don't mind if the American governments fritter away their remaining strength in useless gestures to impress governments who could care less. It helps me in the long run. And if the Americans are forced to ask France for help getting out? Sure, of course we'll help...no charge at all. But the world will see a broken "superpower" being helped out of a jam of it's own creation by a resurgent France. And that is something France wants the neighborhood to see.
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:30 AM
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Keep in mind that the 42nd had over 120 M113 type vehicles and 58 tanks at full strength - and they had been in the US the whole time basically on riot control duties - so they probably went over at close to full strength

They may only have 6 operational M60A4's by June 2000 but thats probably more a function of being in combat a year and a half, no replacements and most importantly probably zero spare parts given they are the only tanks that got sent to Yugoslavia - and no parts to draw on from the rest of the US forces

So you need a decent amount of ships to transport that many tanks - also it appears to be multiple convoys - if you look at the wording on the three divisions its pretty clear they didnt all come over together

76th Inf - left the US in late Oct 98
80th - left US possibly with the 76th

42nd - assuming the date for starting combat against the Croatians was not a typo they got there first - i.e. they entered combat on 10/7/98 while the other two units were still on the water

and they had to have been there or the two light inf divisions would not have survived a year without them - all that would have been left would be shredded remnants most likely without the heavy armor that the 42nd had
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:51 PM
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Jason, those are some good points.

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and they had to have been there or the two light inf divisions would not have survived a year without them - all that would have been left would be shredded remnants most likely without the heavy armor that the 42nd had
I think this is overstating the case. Certainly, having MBTs is better than not having them, but by mid-to-late 1998, the Yugoslavs probably have very few, if any, MBTs of their own. They've been at war for at least a year and a half, and have been fighting one or more (usually more) of the following armies- Soviet, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, and Albanian- during that time. If the Yugolsavs have any operational MBTs by the time the Americans arrive, they're probably antiquated T34-85s. The US light divisions certainly would certainly arrive with enough AT weapons to handle whatever tanks the Croats (for example) could manage to throw at them.

The Soviets show up in Yugoslavia shortly after the Americans but, AFAIK, there's no mention of the two superpowers fighting each other in Yugoslavia. The VGs mention the US fighting Croatian and Albanian separatists, and the Soviets fighting "Yugoslavian partisans".

Considering how long Tito's partisans (no tanks) survived against the Wehrmacht (some tanks) in WW2, those two American light divisions could last the two years between their arrival and the T2k "start date" of July 2000 or so without the 42nd ID's tanks.

Also, it's quite possible that the 42nd lost some of its tanks during the Atlantic crossing. There would probably be a few Soviet subs still lurking about in mid-98 and beyond.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:03 PM
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Keep in mind that the 42nd had over 120 M113 type vehicles and 58 tanks at full strength - and they had been in the US the whole time basically on riot control duties - so they probably went over at close to full strength

They may only have 6 operational M60A4's by June 2000 but thats probably more a function of being in combat a year and a half, no replacements and most importantly probably zero spare parts given they are the only tanks that got sent to Yugoslavia - and no parts to draw on from the rest of the US forces

So you need a decent amount of ships to transport that many tanks - also it appears to be multiple convoys - if you look at the wording on the three divisions its pretty clear they didnt all come over together

76th Inf - left the US in late Oct 98
80th - left US possibly with the 76th

42nd - assuming the date for starting combat against the Croatians was not a typo they got there first - i.e. they entered combat on 10/7/98 while the other two units were still on the water

and they had to have been there or the two light inf divisions would not have survived a year without them - all that would have been left would be shredded remnants most likely without the heavy armor that the 42nd had
I have to question the need for lots of ships to transport 58 tanks and 120 M113s. The Algol class Fast ROROs (Roll-on-roll-off) operated by SEALIFT Command wouldn't break a sweat hauling that and they can do it at 30 knots sustained speed. The USS Denobula carried all of the 10th's SEVEN HUNDRED TRUCKS with room to spare and it is rated for about 750 heavy wheeled vehicles.
In fact, these ROROs are built like parking garages with ramps connecting the various decks. There is a heavy ramp both at the stern and along the side amidships with a lighter ramp unfolding from the bow. In Somalia, we would drive into them from the amidships ramp down into the bowels of the ship and begin a caravan up each deck before leaving from the bow ramp on the weather deck. Each deck would have palletized supplies stationed in the middle of the cargo deck for loading by overhead jib cranes into our trucks with different cargos (food, ammo, medical supplies, and repair parts) on each deck. We would pull onto the outside travel lane painted on a deck, get pallets loaded by crane and then drive up to the next deck for their cargo drop. Repeating this level by level until we had all our supplies. We would then drive down the bow ramp to leave. It was both fast and efficient

The new BOB HOPE class RORO, which was commissioned in 1998, can carry 1,000 heavy vehicles plus freight in her bowels.

Carrying a couple of hundred vehicles is a JOKE to SEALIFT Command.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:06 PM
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I have to question the need for lots of ships to transport 58 tanks and 120 M113s. The Algol class Fast ROROs (Roll-on-roll-off) operated by SEALIFT Command wouldn't break a sweat hauling that and they can do it at 30 knots sustained speed. The USS Denobula carried all of the 10th's SEVEN HUNDRED TRUCKS with room to spare and it is rated for about 750 heavy wheeled vehicles.
In fact, these ROROs are built like parking garages with ramps connecting the various decks. There is a heavy ramp both at the stern and along the side amidships with a lighter ramp unfolding from the bow. In Somalia, we would drive into them from the amidships ramp down into the bowels of the ship and begin a caravan up each deck before leaving from the bow ramp on the weather deck. Each deck would have palletized supplies stationed in the middle of the cargo deck for loading by overhead jib cranes into our trucks with different cargos (food, ammo, medical supplies, and repair parts) on each deck. We would pull onto the outside travel lane painted on a deck, get pallets loaded by crane and then drive up to the next deck for their cargo drop. Repeating this level by level until we had all our supplies. We would then drive down the bow ramp to leave. It was both fast and efficient

The new BOB HOPE class RORO, which was commissioned in 1998, can carry 1,000 heavy vehicles plus freight in her bowels.

Carrying a couple of hundred vehicles is a JOKE to SEALIFT Command.
The convoys in 1998 per the canon had CivGov and MilGov scraping up some cargo ships to get the troops across with a few escorts - I agree with you those RORO ships could handle the 42nd easily - but from how its described its more like ramshackle old freighters and transports that are pretty much either the bottom of the barrel or below the bottom of the barrel
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:09 PM
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Jason, those are some good points.



I think this is overstating the case. Certainly, having MBTs is better than not having them, but by mid-to-late 1998, the Yugoslavs probably have very few, if any, MBTs of their own. They've been at war for at least a year and a half, and have been fighting one or more (usually more) of the following armies- Soviet, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, and Albanian- during that time. If the Yugolsavs have any operational MBTs by the time the Americans arrive, they're probably antiquated T34-85s. The US light divisions certainly would certainly arrive with enough AT weapons to handle whatever tanks the Croats (for example) could manage to throw at them.

The Soviets show up in Yugoslavia shortly after the Americans but, AFAIK, there's no mention of the two superpowers fighting each other in Yugoslavia. The VGs mention the US fighting Croatian and Albanian separatists, and the Soviets fighting "Yugoslavian partisans".

Considering how long Tito's partisans (no tanks) survived against the Wehrmacht (some tanks) in WW2, those two American light divisions could last the two years between their arrival and the T2k "start date" of July 2000 or so without the 42nd ID's tanks.

Also, it's quite possible that the 42nd lost some of its tanks during the Atlantic crossing. There would probably be a few Soviet subs still lurking about in mid-98 and beyond.
I doubt there are any Soviet subs left by mid-98- if Last Submarine's description of the US and Soviet Navies is accurate. And also the US Army Sourcebook was very clear on what units got hit getting across - i.e. it mentioned several by name that ran into Soviet raiders and lost a lot of men and equipment getting to the front - and none of those three units have any losses mentioned in transit

Except one of the light infantry divisions that took some pretty good losses just crossing Virginia!
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:11 PM
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Keep in mind that the 42nd had over 120 M113 type vehicles and 58 tanks at full strength - and they had been in the US the whole time basically on riot control duties - so they probably went over at close to full strength

They may only have 6 operational M60A4's by June 2000 but thats probably more a function of being in combat a year and a half, no replacements and most importantly probably zero spare parts given they are the only tanks that got sent to Yugoslavia - and no parts to draw on from the rest of the US forces

So you need a decent amount of ships to transport that many tanks - also it appears to be multiple convoys - if you look at the wording on the three divisions its pretty clear they didnt all come over together

76th Inf - left the US in late Oct 98
80th - left US possibly with the 76th

42nd - assuming the date for starting combat against the Croatians was not a typo they got there first - i.e. they entered combat on 10/7/98 while the other two units were still on the water

and they had to have been there or the two light inf divisions would not have survived a year without them - all that would have been left would be shredded remnants most likely without the heavy armor that the 42nd had
Olefin,
By 1989 42 ID had three (3) Tank Bns, 1 Mech Bn & 6 H-Series Inf Bns
From my research it was one of the ARNG Inf Divs that they were going to experiment with a 3 AR 3 Mech 3 AA 1 TLAT Bn mixture.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:16 PM
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Olefin,
By 1989 42 ID had three (3) Tank Bns, 1 Mech Bn & 6 H-Series Inf Bns
From my research it was one of the ARNG Inf Divs that they were going to experiment with a 3 AR 3 Mech 3 AA 1 TLAT Bn mixture.
I am going with the unit as described in the US Army V1 Sourcebook as to how many tank and mech battalions it had - didnt check the V2.2. to see if its the same
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:19 PM
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Ole,

Forgot about that, I was thinking IRL
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:19 PM
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Ole,

Forgot about that, I was thinking IRL
actually thats a good point for V4 - will they modify the units to match real life or keep them with V1 or V2.2. sourcebook descriptions?
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:31 PM
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Olefin,

Great question, besides the ARNG Inf Divs, 9 ID was slated to become a Mech Div but in the interim was supposed to field both Mech & Motorised units.
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