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  #571  
Old 07-10-2023, 04:07 PM
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June 29, 1998

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

A series of confused actions break out in the ruins of Los Angeles and Orange County, California as 63 (my XVI) Corps begins moving into the metro area in force, encountering Mexican troops of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and allied criminal and biker gangs. Neither side has the troop density to secure the area and supplies and communications on both sides are poor.

To the east, 89 (my II) Corps' coordinated attacks are making progress, with Mexican forces falling back before the massed American armor. Unfortunately, the American formations are short of infantry, leaving many isolated groups of Mexican stragglers in the American rear. American commanders are pleased with their success, but ammunition and fuel supplies are rapidly dwindling.

In San Diego, Mexican troops have broken onto the eastern end of the Marine base, fighting through several administrative and barracks structures on the east end of the base. The elite paratroops who landed at Miramar Naval Air Station on the first day of the invasion are sitting out the fight, as are the Mexican marines; both high-quality formations instead moving north along the coast against scattered opposition while clearing the coastal axis for further use.

The School Brigade begins its breakout from surrounded Fort Bliss, heading out over unpaved range roads out of the cantonment area. The column, a mix of tactical, civilian and commercial-type vehicles, moves at an aggravating 7 miles per hour, creating a massive dust cloud that causes drivers to repeatedly jam on their brakes after losing sight of the vehicle ahead of them. The rearguard 6th Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery, holds off a probe by troops of Brigade Torreon.

Further east in Texas, 4th Mexican Army's western force resumes its advance after sweeping through San Antonio. Finding the SIGINT station at Merida ablaze, the Mexican forces make a modest attempt to segregate the station's staff from the trainees in the mass of POWs, but they are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of military personnel that they are suddenly responsible for. Numerous escapes occur as the American troops slip away past the overwhelmed Mexican guards; The 4th Army commander is willing to delegate administration of the city and the POWs to his allied criminal and biker gangs, allowing his troops to continue their drive north.

The Mexican "Coastal Column" accelerates its drive against the widely dispersed and under-equipped American 46th Infantry Division. The Mexican command sends its infantry regiments (each roughly equivalent to an American light infantry battalion although lacking anti-tank firepower) on multiple parallel roads, seeking out American positions. When one is found, the entire regiment concentrates its firepower on the Americans, who are often in squad or platoon strength. The speed of advance is faster than the overwhelmed American command can respond to, and by nightfall another roughly eight companies of Americans have been defeated and the front line moved 12 miles north, skirting the western edge of the ruins of the Houston Metroplex.

The American deep reconnaissance teams in the Mexican rear have traced the flow of supply trucks back to railheads in Mexico, the overtaxed Mexican rail operator unable as yet to extend service into captured American territory. When news of this is relayed back to Colorado Springs, nuclear planners, using relatively rudimentary maps of the Mexican rail network, focus on four key junctions in the Mexican rail network that can isolate the border region from the rest of Mexico. Urgent orders are issued for detailed radar reconnaissance to be performed of the sites; a E-8 JSTARS aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma is readied for flight.

The Mexican Ministry of Defense issues orders for units in Mexico to stand up additional infantry regiments, calling on the tens of thousands of partially-trained draftees released into the reserves in prior years; the new regiments will allow additional forces to be fed into the fighting in Texas and California.

Daily gains by Pact forces advancing in southern Germany are measured in hundreds of meters rather than kilometers. Pact forces have depleted their initial stockpiles and are not able to obtain food and fuel from the areas they have overrun. The Soviet effort does not have enough fuel or trucks to replenish units in action. Meanwhile, NATO resistance has stiffened.

In Heidelberg, having lost several hundred men for only nominal gains, the Soviet commander of the 41st Army orders his motor-rifle troops (the 30th Guards Motor-Rifle Division) to maintain the pressure on the city's defenders while directing his armored reserve - the battered 62nd Tank Division - to bypass the town to the west, attempting to "thread the needle" between Heidelberg and the ruined city of Mannheim to the northwest, with the Army's remnant 1318th Independent Air Assault Regiment (down to six weak companies) attempting to infiltrate in advance to locate a suitable crossing point over the Neckar River.

The Iranian Air Force continues its attempts to liberate its country by weakening the enemy forces occupying its territory. While the remaining attack helicopters (a few dozen pre-revolutionary AH-1 Cobras that were rebuilt in the US and Israel from 1994-6, bringing them nearly on par with the US Army and USMC's AH-1V King Cobras) are dedicated to supporting the ongoing counter-marauder operations, the fixed-wing fighter-bomber fleet is striking Soviet targets behind the front lines. An example of this is the day's mission package, which sees an early-morning sortie by F-20s of the 42nd Tactical Fighter Squadron with reconnaissance pods to verify targets located the prior day. The flights last less than 45 minutes, at low altitude, and the aircraft are met on the taxiway by a jeep, ready to rush the onboard film to waiting intelligence analysts. (The Iranians are not equipped with the latest real-time recon pods). A quick review concludes that the target, a battery of ML-20 152mm howitzers of 32nd Army's 400th Gun Artillery Brigade, are still in place and the waiting flight of F-4Es of the 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron takes off. Top cover is provided by a pair of F-15s from the American 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, with command coordinated by Iranian officers operating from a hardened bunker under Shiraz International Airport. The F-4s, flying at low level through the Zagros Mountains, attract scattered small-arms fire as they approach the target area, popping up to 1000 feet for weapons delivery. The artillery battery, located some 15 km behind the front line, is defended by the 32nd Army's depleted 272nd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade; the defenders light up a single SA-11 launcher's radars and fire three missiles, all that the ready battery has remaining. (The battery was alerted by the earlier F-20 overflight to the possibility that the Iranians might be back.) One of the missiles peppers the trailing Phantom with shrapnel, and it continues on the attack run trailing smoke rather than peel off and be vulnerable to being picked off separately; the other two missiles miss. The F-4s blanket the battery (down to three guns from its prewar four) with 96 500-lb bombs, set for a mix of impact and airburst; the blast and shrapnel from the dozens of bombs thoroughly demolish the howitzers, their prime movers, crews and much of the ammunition dumped at the battery. The return flight is uneventful, and upon landing the damaged Phantom is assessed as likely needing several months of repair in the conditions of 1998 Iran.
__________________
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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  #572  
Old 07-12-2023, 03:35 PM
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June 30, 1998

The 106th Guards Air Assault Division arrives in the Ryazan area for reconstruction from the remaining elements of the Airborne center there. (Unofficially) It ends up absorbing not only the center's remaining personnel but also a number of local militias and MVD troops. It also dispatches a detachment to scavenge the site of the Kubinka Armor Museum, which yields a hodgepodge of aged and unique armor, a mixed blessing given the burden it places on the unit's mechanics.

Unofficially,

The destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32), which reactivated in November after over a decade in reserve, appears off the coast of San Diego. Its missile launchers are empty, but the ship boasts over 450 rounds of ammunition for its pair of 5-inch guns, many of which are expended over the next few hours as experienced ANGLICO spotter teams ashore direct the destroyer's fire on Mexican positions. This fire forces the Mexican force to avoid the open ground along the base's southern and western edges.

The Marine Corps belatedly organizes the cadre and miscellaneous staff at its base at Twentynine Palms as an ad-hoc force composed of two infantry battalions and a LAV-25 scout company and places the command, designated Task Force Devil Dog, at the disposal of the 89 (my II) Corps commander. That corps' attack is beginning to slow as the meagre stockpiles of fuel in California are increasingly depleted by the movement of 63 (my XVI) and 89 (my II) Corps.

The School Brigade's overland movement out of Fort Bliss continues, with the rearguard 5th Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery slipping out of the cantonment area in the early morning hours, leaving a massive inferno behind as the few remaining undamaged buildings are torched to deny them to the enemy. The column is forced to halt mid-morning as the temperature rises and the many civilian-type vehicles begin to suffer from the relentless dust and rough tank trails; the halt gives the column time to clear filters, refuel and distribute water to the passengers.

To the west, the Torres Motorized Cavalry Regiment (releasing the cavalry regiments of the Torreon and Durango Brigades back to their parent commands to pursue the School Brigade) begins advancing on the next strategic target, New Mexico's largest city, Albuquerque. The Mexican armored cars advance up Interstate 25, staying on the western bank of the Rio Grande.

4th Army's drive up the Interstate 35 corridor resumes, with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment reaching the perimeter fence of Bergstrom Air Force Base and the capital city of Austin, which the Governor and his bodyguard of Texas Rangers has fled for the safety of, initially, Waco. To its east, Brigade Saltillo is engaged in fierce combat with the 2nd Texas Brigade at Camp Swift; the relatively fresh Mexican troops have greater amounts of ammunition as well as more heavy weapons (particularly mortars) which give them the advantage. The 91st Training Division dispatches its reaction regiment to Austin to try to slow the Mexican advance, while directing its remaining trainees to preparing defenses for Fort Hood.

A E-8 JSTARS of the 968th Airborne Warning and Control Training Squadron, one of two training aircraft remaining in the US, flies an operational sortie over Mexico, its radar system mapping a number of targets throughout the central part of the country. It is escorted on the mission by a pair of F-16s of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing to ensure that the Mexican Air Force's F-5 fleet, believed to be neutralized over a week prior, does not interfere with the vital mission. When the JSTARS crosses back into American territory the radar map information is relayed to the Joint Chiefs as well as several Air Force bases in the region. Upon receipt, the data is pored over by mission planners and by midnight orders are being issued.

The 47th Infantry Division, fighting alone in British Columbia, tries to hobble together a defense of the vital transportation hub of Prince George. The isolated division commander fears that Soviet troops advancing overland from the port of Prince Rupert will sever his escape route as his troops undertake a fighting withdrawal against Soviet troops that are pushing south from the Yukon.

The pace of the Pact advance in southern Germany is limited by logistic challenges and poor communications and motivation - Soviet, Czech and Italian troops are aware of the strategic goal of the campaign but are reluctant to be killed in a war that it is very clear has been lost by all sides. Isolated NATO positions are taking days or weeks to reduce, since there is insufficient ammunition (or troops) to overrun them, resorting to sieges to defeat the defenders.

The defense of Heidelberg holds, despite appalling conditions for everyone (soldiers on both sides and civilians which have not fled) in the city. Fires rage, the streets are choked with debris and trash as well as running with a disease-ridden ooze of oil, sewage and who knows what. Supplies for the defenders are running low, with hastily drafted civilian porters and NATO headquarters troops daring to cross the Neckar River carrying duffel bags stuffed with a somewhat standard allocation of ammunition (including a handful of pre-loaded magazines), water and rations. Soviet troops make minimal gains in the day's fighting.
__________________
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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  #573  
Old 07-12-2023, 04:01 PM
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July 1, 1998

With North Korean People's Army support, the Soviet 194th Motor Rifle Division, reinforced by the 203rd Air Assault Brigade, crosses the DMZ and forges south.

Unofficially,

effects
American bombers and missiles fan out in the early morning hours, carrying out the Joint Chief's orders to use nuclear weapons to slow or halt the Mexican invasion. A B-1B from the 337th Bomb Squadron takes off from its dispersal base (Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma), heading for Mexico City with a pair of B-61 bombs aboard. As it crosses the border over Big Bend National Park at low level and Mach 1, the 214th Field Artillery Brigade, evacuated from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico launches a pair of Pershing II Intermediate-Range missiles at the railyards at Los Mochis and Torreon. Meanwhile, F-16s from the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing head for the Mexican cities of Saltillo and Monterrey, to strike railyards hubs near those cities. The B-1B arrives over Mexico City after the rail strikes have occurred, striking the Ministry of Defense building with one of the bombs. The bomb is set for 0.3 kT, enough to flatten the building but not enough to start a firestorm or create massive damage on Mexico's largest city. The Pershing II and F-16 strikes, all ground bursts, are higher yield in order to ensure the destruction of the railyards. (The steel rails, heavily anchored and only centimeters above the ground, are particularly resistant to blast and thermal damage; a ground burst vaporizing the rails as it forms a crater is the surest way to ensure destruction.)

The Mexican Navy's Pacific Fleet sorties from its forward base in Ensenada, ordered to drive off the American destroyer USS John Paul Jones and interdict the San Diego battle zone. The Mexican task force is built around two Second World War-era American destroyers, which have been meticulously maintained but are running low on fuel.

The final surviving member of the 1048th Assault Gun Regiment's ill-fated raid into II MEF's rear area in northwestern Poland is finally killed by US Marines as he shelters in a dugout underneath his disabled ISU-152 assault gun.
__________________
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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  #574  
Old 07-13-2023, 02:52 PM
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July 2, 1998

Allied airstrikes slow the Soviet advance across the battle-scarred ground south of the DMZ (fought over 18 months prior) as ROK and American mechanized forces are quickly marshalled into place to respond.

Unofficially,

The nuclear strikes on Mexico City and key railroad bottlenecks has an immediate effect on the Mexican war effort. Central control over the actions of the three engaged armies disintegrates following the destruction of the Ministry of National Defense headquarters, and 1st Army, responsible for rear area operations in most of Mexico, is forced to shift emphasis from generating additional forces and supplies for the war to the north to maintaining order among a desperate, scared and unstable populace. The Presidential Guard Brigade is deployed to secure other government buildings (and, unofficially, neighborhoods populated by rich and powerful regime members and supporters), while the Military Police Brigade and Engineer Brigade try to provide disaster relief and maintain order.

There is little immediate effect on the armies fighting to the north, as there are still a few days of supplies already in the pipeline north of the strikes, and except for a few senior officers the fighting troops are wholly unaware of the strikes to their south, so poor is communication with the center.

The Joint Chiefs are grimly satisfied with the execution of the strikes and issue orders for the special operations teams which provided spotting and bomb damage assessment for the strikes to withdraw, remaining undetected if possible.

The fallout from the surface bursts begins to fall closer to the border, although of lower radiation intensity.

An old-fashioned naval battle rages off the California Coast as the Mexican Pacific fleet engages the American destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32), the newest vessel in the engagement at 40 years of age. The gun battle favors the Mexicans, whose World War Two-vintage destroyers feature a total of eight 5-inch manually fed guns facing the American's two semi-automatic 5-inch guns and a magazine depleted by days of shore bombardment in San Diego. Both opponents' fire control systems are equally dated, and the crews of about equal ability (the American crew a mix of inexperienced draftees and seasoned veterans, the Mexicans well-trained pre-war regulars). The Mexican flotilla splits into two parallel columns sailing north, one to the seaward side of John Paul Jones' track and one in between the American ship and the shore. The maneuver forces the American ship to concentrate the fire of its forward, unobstructed turret, on one enemy ship, the inshore Quezacoatl, while zig-zagging to allow the rear turret to fire at the seaward Netzahuacoyotl without presenting the a broadside opportunity. After a few minutes of back-and-forth gunfire the range drops to six nautical miles and both sides rapidly begin registering hits. Quezacoatl is the first one to fall out of battle, its bridge perforated by shrapnel and its aged steam plant offline. John Paul Jones' steam plant is the next to fail from battle damage, and as it glides to a halt the damaged Netzahuacoyotl unleashes another eight rounds, leaving the American ship ablaze. The damaged Netzahuacoyotl breaks off the engagement and turns south, heading to Ensenada for urgently needed repairs, leaving the sailors of both floundering ships to make their way ashore on their own. By sundown both destroyers have slipped below the waves, with moderate loss of life from both crews.

Some of the American sailors land in Mexican-controlled territory and begin a cat-and-mouse effort to evade patrols, while a dozen or so manage to come ashore into territory still held by the embattled marines, who once again repulse a fierce Mexican attack. LCpl Steven Barker, one of the defending recruits who has already been recognized for his coolness under fire and bravery, destroys one of 1st Mechanized Brigade's AMX-13 light tanks with a well-placed shot from his M203 grenade launcher.

Farther up the coast of California, the forward detachment of the 196th Infantry Brigade, advancing into Anaheim from the high ground south of City of Industry, catches a resupply column supporting the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment unawares, capturing the unit's supply of food, fuel and water for the day as well as crippling future resupply capability. The 2nd Brigade, 40th Infantry Division has relieved the 10th California Cadet Brigade, whose largely teenaged soldiers have been evacuated to secure the Interstate 5 corridor leading north to the vital Bakersfield refinery complex, source of 6th Army's fuel.

2nd Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery, which has assumed the lead of the School Brigade's column, encounters the first enemy troops in the unit's breakout drive, an isolated squad from Brigade Chihuahua in the small mountain community of Pińon, New Mexico. The Mexicans are surrounded and surrender without a fight.

In southern Arizona, Brigade Nogales, which has been sitting nearly immobile for weeks, increases its patrolling, trying to determine if the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade at Fort Huachuca and the defense force at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson are still strong forces that the isolated brigade cannot overcome.

While still struggling to deal with the capture of San Antonio, the Mexican 4th Army closes its forces on Austin. The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment sweeps across Bergstrom Air Force Base, although too late to capture any intact aircraft or significant supplies; the defenders burned many of the buildings before evacuating. The division-sized Coastal Column is bypassing the ruins of Houston, sweeping aside penny packets of infantry dispatched in an ineffective effort by the 46th Infantry Division's command to halt the Mexican invasion while still maintaining tight control of the oilfields, ranches and farms and refugee camps of East Texas.

In southeastern Nebraska the winter wheat harvest begins. Military forces are deployed in what force can be spared to protect the tankers bringing fuel to the agricultural areas and to guard the harvest as it is brought in. Many grain depots on the rail lines double as garrisons for the troops that are dedicated to ensuring that this vital source of food for the nation is secure; the harvest continues through the month.

In the refugee camps west of Pittsburgh, a charismatic leader is making the rounds, raising an army of disaffected evacuees from Ohio to "seize the stocks of food that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is holding back from us and our suffering armies."

X German Korps and XII German Korps are heavily engaged on the front lines south of Frankfurt and the meatgrinder battle for Heidelberg. While composed of West German territorials, border guards (both former East and West German) and East German reservists, these additional trained and motivated troops stiffen the NATO defense.

Maltese authorities raise another ineffective demand for the USS John F Kennedy battle group to move on. The American admiral in charge of the flotilla refuses, citing the damage to his flagship (while ignoring the inability of any shipyard in Malta to repair it to a sufficiently seaworthy condition; the small boatyard in Marsaxlokk is sufficient solely to support the town's fishing fleet).
__________________
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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  #575  
Old 07-13-2023, 03:55 PM
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July 3, 1998

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

The fighting in San Diego continues, although not to the advantage of the encircled Marines. The heroic pilots of the CH-53Es from HMT-302 return overnight, brining in additional supplies of ammunition, water and food and evacuating over 50 wounded Marines, but one of the huge helicopters is shot down by Mexican machinegun fire while taking off on the return flight, crashing on the Recruit Depot's northern perimeter, which is already behind the Mexican front line. With the squadron already displaced from its home station at MCAS Tustin by the advance of Mexican paratroops, forcing it to operate from Port Hueneme, the squadron commander prohibits further resupply flights during clear nights. In the encircled garrison, Mexican troops of Brigade Hermosillo advance into the northeastern portion of the base, reaching the wide Belleau Wood Avenue after overrunning a maze of burning supply and service buildings.

Reinforced with the infantry of Task Force Devil Dog and additional fuel supplies, 89 (my II) Corps resumes its assault in the Imperial Valley, driving Brigade Mexicali back to the cover of the shattered and abandoned city of Palm Springs. To the east, the other pincer of the corps offensive sees success, with the 108th Armored Cavalry Regiment cutting off Brigade La Paz along Interstate 8 west of Yuma, Arizona; the Mexican command begins to infiltrate its troops back across the border to avoid encirclement and elimination.

The Torres Motorized Cavalry Brigade's advance up the Interstate 25 corridor is halted south of the town of Truth or Consequences by dug-in troops who are (comparatively) well-equipped with anti-tank weapons and aggressively employed HMMWVs equipped with Mk-19 grenade launchers and machineguns. Brigade Ciudad Juarez and Brigade Torreon resume their advance, with the depleted Brigade Ciudad Juarez trailing the retreating School Brigade and Brigade Torreon headed east into the vastness of West Texas.

Confused fighting rages in Austin, Texas, with an ad-hoc American defense force (composed of armed civilians, troops from Fort Hood, stragglers from San Antonio and other battles to the south and Air Force personnel displaced from Bergstrom Air Force Base) tangling in yet more urban fighting against Mexican troops, who are growing increasingly desperate in their attempt to capture ground and supplies as word begins to trickle forward that the feeble trickle of supplies from home is going to be disrupted.

HQ, 4th Armored Division is disbanded. Each of the division's brigades become independent, reporting to their respective Corps headquarters (1st Brigade - 89 (my II) Corps in California, 2nd Brigade - VIII Corps in the Pacific Northwest and 3rd Brigade to 90 (my XIII) Corps in Texas).

In the American Midwest, the withdrawal of the first battalions of the 49th Armored Division for movement to the front has caused a wave of unrest, as local authorities are unable to provide the resources and stability the troops did and as various armed groups decide to take advantage of the rapidly developing security vacuum.

ROK mechanized troops and an American armor-heavy task force built around the 163rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Montana National Guard) are in position to strike the flank of the Soviet force south of the DMZ. The 194th (my 67th) Motor-Rifle Division, in the lead, is depending on the 203rd (my 14th) Air Assault Brigade (reinforced with North Korean stragglers integrated into the elite paratroop force) to protect the exposed sides of the salient created by the attacking force. Morning fog provides partial protection from allied airpower.

Northwest of the fierce fighting for Heidelberg, the Soviet 62nd Tank Division (still badly depleted from its fighting in Erbach an der Donau in May and June despite an influx of T-34s and Uzbek teenagers) reaches the banks of the Neckar River on the outskirts of the ruined city of Mannheim. An aggressive young officer leads a team of dismounted motor-riflemen across the river, capturing the abutments of a partially-collapsed railroad bridge; by dusk division engineers are hastily reinforcing it to support heavy traffic.

The Hungarian 53rd Mechanized Brigade, slowly moving through eastern Siberia as it tries to make its way back home, has reached the town of Kemorovo. It has taken nearly a month to gather the fuel to move the formation a little over 300 miles, fighting occasional skirmishes against armed bands (and some local authorities that object to the Hungarians' passage).
__________________
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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  #576  
Old 07-13-2023, 04:08 PM
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July 4, 1998

Nothing official today. Unofficially,

Americans are not in their usual celebratory mood on this, the 222nd anniversary of their nation's independence from Great Britain. Hundreds of thousands of troops are scattered in desperate combat around the world, including in five American states and in neighboring Canada, the first time America has been under land attack since the War of 1812. Millions have died in the prior year from Soviet nuclear attack and the side-effects of those strikes, and not a single citizen's life is unaffected. The government that was established in the 18th century has been, at least in theory temporarily, supplanted by a ruling council of senior military officers, and many areas are completely lawless.

Fighting in Los Angeles becomes more widespread as increasing numbers of Mexican criminal gangs, paratroops, marines and armored cavalrymen arrive in the ruined city. As with other areas of the front, the cessation of resupply (barely adequate and haphazard as it may have been) as a result of the nuclear attacks has had a perverse effect - Mexican troops need to continue their advance to capture food and fuel from the Americans; to remain in static positions is to to court disaster without resupply.

The troops facing the Torres Motorized Cavalry Brigade at the New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences are identified as USAF security police, the 1606th Security Police Group, reinforced with local militia and police. The Mexican rear area is suffering from pinprick attacks from the cadre of the USAF special operations school at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. To the east, Brigade Chihuahua is coming under increasing pressure as its strung-out infantry outposts, scattered over 450 miles of New Mexico and Texas, are cut off from resupply and attempting to deal with a largely hostile (and heavily armed) local population.

Grae notes that long hot dusty days are spent harvesting the winter red wheat in Nebraska to feed the nation in the coming year. Rail transportation moves the crops east to distribution points as best they can, given the poor state of the transportation network.

South Korean infantry (mostly reservists), liberally supported by Allied airpower, fights the advancing Soviet 194th (my 67th) Motor-Rifle Division to a halt on the outskirts of the ruins of Yongjiu, which was destroyed in the 1997 fighting. The effort presents an opportunity for the American 163rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Montana National Guard) and South Korean 20th Infantry Division (Mechanized) to smash into the Soviet flank. The North Korean troops pressed into Soviet service drop their weapons and run, while the elite Soviet paratroops of the 203rd (my 14th) Air Assault Brigade seek to use the rough terrain and high ground to disrupt the armored counterattack.

The fighting in Macedonia escalates further, with the intertwined former allied Greek and Albanian units struggling to sort themselves out, defeat their opponents and form a coherent front line. Adding to the difficulty, both nations are struggling to sustain their forces in occupied Jugoslavia in the face of dire conditions at home - meaning that, despite the propaganda and exhortations coming from government mouthpieces, the troops at the front are starved of ammunition, fuel and the other supplies they need to sustain the fighting.
__________________
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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  #577  
Old 07-14-2023, 03:55 PM
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July 5, 1998

(Unofficially) As another day of clear weather presents the pilots of attack aircraft with picture-perfect targeting opportunities, the Soviet drive across the DMZ falls apart. ROK infantry launch a counterattack out of Yungjiu while Allied armor slices through the Soviet rear, sweeping aside the resistance of the remaining Soviet paratroops of the 203rd (my 14th) Air Assault Brigade. (Officially) The Allied armored/mechanized force savagely mauls the enemy formations and forces them back across the border. It will prove to be the last major Soviet-led offensive of the war in Korea.

Unofficially,

The final transports arrive in the Mexican port of Altamira carrying troops and supplies for the Soviet Division Cuba. The crews of Soviet ships in the ragtag flotilla are drafted into service with the division, Major General Femorov accepting the risk that the experienced sailors he needs to continue his journey back home may be lost in combat, so desperate is the need for men for Division Cuba. Most of the Mexican vessels are abandoned as well, but the third-country ships (including the Bulgarian A.B. Buzko, the Polish Orlęta Lviv and the Greek Paraguay Express) begin scrounging fuel to return to sea rather than be stranded in Mexico. The Mexican naval authorities do what they can, securing some poorly refined crude that can be burned in the Bulgarian steamship's boilers.

Harold Thomas, leader of the refugee army forming west of Pittsburgh, tests out his force, which to date has been indifferently armed with whatever weapons individuals brought along with them. Thomas sets his sights on an isolated military facility - an Army Reserve regional vehicle maintenance center on Neville Island in the middle of the Ohio River downstream of downtown Pittsburgh. Since the deployment of the units the facility supported in peacetime, its staff (composed of civilian workers and soldiers medically disqualified from deployment) was reassigned to perform repair duties on seriously damaged vehicles evacuated to the US from combat zones around the world; the base was assigned as a repair center for M-750 armored cars and M35-series 2 1/2-ton trucks. He leads his ragtag force of desperate refugees (that many would characterize as marauders) in a multi-prong attack on the base, which straddles the middle of the long, narrow island and has been supported by river traffic since the nuclear strikes in November and December. As human waves of lightly-armed men assault from the landside, an "elite" force of Thomas' most loyal fighters crosses the river from the north bank in small boats. Fierce close-in fighting ensues, in which the Army personnel are overwhelmed. Thomas' group captures three operable M-750s and a dozen trucks as well as a healthy stockpile of parts, tools and damaged vehicles; the bodies of the expert mechanics needed to employ them, however, are scattered all around the plant, reducing the value of the prize. The armored cars have very little ammunition, and the biggest prize is the contents of the base's arms room, with three dozen M16s and five M60 machineguns as well as the machineguns for the M750s and the small arms wielded by the late employees.

A pre-dawn Mexican attack on the Marines in San Diego is partially successful; little ground is captured but the Marines lose several dozen men and expend increasingly scarce ammunition repelling the assault. The weather is too clear for any risky resupply flights to be flown.

89 (my II) Corps to the east is immobilized while awaiting additional fuel tankers to arrive; the force's Marines of Task Force Devil Dog ambush a Mexican patrol attempting to infiltrate behind the corps' lines through the broiling-hot Joshua Tree National Park.

In New Mexico and West Texas a strange calm reigns, with the retreating School Brigade, short on supplies and reliant on increasingly breakdown-prone civilian vehicles, attempting to make its way to friendly territory without a major clash with their Mexican opponents, who are equally reluctant to fight, given their poor supply situation and extreme dispersal.

Fighting in eastern Texas is increasingly confused as Mexican Army and allied criminal and biker gangs contest control of Austin; an informal force of snipers (all US Marine Corps veterans) ensconce themselves on the Texas Tower's 27th-floor observation deck, dominating the campus with accurate rifle fire. The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment bypasses the city once again, passing through the city's eastern suburbs and looping west to block Interstate 35 once again. North of Houston, the Mexican Coastal Column is gradually spreading out, with individual regiments advancing north and east nearly independently, overrunning equally dispersed detachments of the ill-fated 46th Infantry Division.

In British Columbia, the 47th Infantry Division comes under coordinated attack by the 13th Guards Air Assault Division from the north and the 114th (my 202nd) Motor-Rifle Division from the west. While short of ammunition and fuel, the American infantry and their Canadian allies turn back the assault.

The 34th (my 14th) Tank Division, a category C unit that saw much action earlier in the war in China and Turkey, is shifted from occupation duty in Thrace under 14th Army's command to 5th Guards Army in Romania, where it is assigned to secure the Ukrainian-Romanian border west of the ruins of Odessa, keeping the two-way flow of supplies and petroleum with Romania secure.

Outside the northwestern Russian town of Volkhov, a group of three deserters from the 115th Guards Motor-Rifle Division take over an isolated farmhouse, taking the residents (an elderly couple and their teenage granddaughter) hostage, forcing them to cook for them as they rest and steal what few valuables the locals possess. The couple's 12-year old grandson, who was out hunting when the deserters arrived, notices that something is wrong and hides in the woods to observe. Seeing the armed deserter, the boy flees to town and alerts the local MVD security troops.
__________________
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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Old 07-17-2023, 03:04 PM
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July 6, 1998

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

A fierce battle erupts in Duluth, Minnesota between a semi-official militia (led by a former sheriff's deputy, his family and a group of younger members of the town's VFW post) and a group of desperate refugees from the Twin Cities that have been sheltering at the nearby Jay Cooke State Park, who are trying to seize control of a grain elevator in the town's port. The storage facility contains nearly 3.5 million bushels of grain harvested late in 1997 that has been stranded in the port by the frozen Lake Superior and the breakdown in transportation. The refugees assault is repelled, but the militia has sustained heavy losses in the defense.

After two weeks of training, the first Mexican Army independent Voluntarios companies are declared combat ready. Ten companies are dispatched to each army operating in American territory under command of junior officers, many seconded from the Rural Guard force. Privately, many surviving senior officers in Mexico City figure they are sending the barely trained soldiers, most of whom were civilians less than three weeks ago, to their death if they were to face US Army troops. Unbeknownst to them, however, a group of generals within the Ministry of Defense have coordinated with senior PRI politicians, who see the Voluntarios as a useful way to reduce the population of impoverished people that would otherwise threaten instability under the pressures of economic collapse and American nuclear attack.

The transport USS Frederick is dispatched from Port Hueneme back to the San Diego area carrying supplies and another LAV-25. It is escorted by the light frigate USS Joyce and the Coast Guard cutter Chase, detached from the USS Oriskany group in San Francisco Bay.

In the San Diego fighting, the Marine's last remaining armored vehicle, a LAV-25 brought in by helicopter, is destroyed when one of 1st Mechanized Brigade's remaining ten AMX-13s catches it dashing from cover to cover, ripping it apart with a 90mm high explosive round. Mexican troops have established a foothold in the recruit training area, having crossed under cover of darkness and smoke. The Marines launch a furious counterattack but, low on ammunition, are unable to drive them out; they reluctantly resort to lighting the barracks the Mexicans have seized partial control of on fire, withdrawing the remaining friendly troops and using the previously meticulously maintained landscape in between as a kill zone.

A patrol from the battle-scarred New Mexico Military Institute links up with a scouting party from the withdrawing School Brigade west of Artesia. The cadets inform the Army unit that the nearby town (and its supplies of food and fuel from nearby oil wells) is held by two companies of Brigade Chihuahua's 35th Infantry Regiment and informal Mexican auxiliary troops and allied gangsters.

Fighting continues to rage in Austin, with the Mexican advance essentially halted by American resistance, disorganized as it is.

Troops of the 62nd Tank Division are able to break out of their bridgehead on the north side of the Neckar River in the ruins of Mannheim; the division's engineers restore the shattered railroad bridge enough for the unit's T-34s and T-55s to cross over as the division's troops race north. 1st Southwestern Front gives the formation priority of supply, ordering the rest of the front's troops to keep up pressure on NATO troops elsewhere along the line.

Allied troops in South Korea sweep the area evacuated by retreating North Korean and Soviet troops, hoping to identify any booby traps left behind, salvage weapons and ammunition and ensure that no stragglers, deserters or stay-behind parties are operating in the area.

A squad of MVD troops from the Volkhov garrison surround the farmhouse outside town that has been taken over by a group of three deserters from the 115th Guards Motor-Rifle Division. The squad leader calls for them to come out; one does so and is arrested but his two compatriots refuse, holding three civilians hostage.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...

Last edited by chico20854; 07-17-2023 at 03:09 PM. Reason: spell check
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Old 07-17-2023, 03:09 PM
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July 7, 1998

Canon is silent on the day. Unofficially,

Fighting is now widespread throughout the Los Angeles basin; while there are no defined front lines Mexican forces have overrun the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station and are carefully navigating the less-heavily-damaged corridor between the Torrance and Carson refinery nuclear strikes.

After a hard overnight's steam, the small American task force of the USS Frederick, the USS Joyce and the USCG Chase arrive off of San Diego. The Chase's helicopter is able to drop a sling load of ammunition and food in an open area between burning Marine barracks before briefly hovering to pick up five wounded Marines. It takes heavy Mexican fire as it departs over the international airport. Despite this, it returns to the area an hour later, accompanied by another HH-65 from the Joyce. This mission brings in more food and water as well as three corpsmen from the ships who volunteer to remain ashore assisting the wounded. The helicopters once again take heavy fire, forcing the commander of the Frederic to delay beaching his LST or landing boats until after dark.

In eastern California, 89 (my II) Corps is still immobilized by lack of fuel; water supplies for the troops in the 120+ degree heat are also a vital logistical concern. Brigade LaPaz has almost completely withdrawn from American territory, shifting west to come to the aid of Brigade Mexicali.

Brigade Chihuahua's garrison in Artesia, New Mexico is crushed by a predawn American attack. The cadets of the New Mexico Military Institute attack the town from the north, while three battalions of the School Brigade (the 2nd, 3rd and 6th Battalions, 56th Air Defense Artillery), reinforced with the veteran gunners of the Air Defense School, attack from the south, east and west, respectively. The 300 or so Mexican defenders last less than 45 minutes before the Americans have restored control of the town.

The Mexican Coastal Column's effort in eastern Texas has proven spectacularly successful, with the 46th Infantry Division disintegrating under relentless, widely dispersed attacks. The success comes at the cost of the gradual dissolution of the Mexican force, as it spreads out over an ever-increasing area in pursuit of fleeing American troops and resources.

The Soviet assault on Prince George, British Columbia, defended by the 47th Infantry Division and remnants of the Canadian 39th Brigade, resumes. This time, the Soviets launch numerous dismounted infantry assaults, forcing the 47th to commit its reserves. With Allied troops and reserves suitably tied up, the Soviet hammer blow falls, with the 114th (my 202nd) Motor-Rifle Division dispatching its 414th Tank Regiment, down to 32 T-55s accompanied by a half-dozen BTR-50s and several dozen riflemen clinging to the turret sides, cross-country to cut the defenders off from the south.

Soviet tanks and troops rush north through the Dead Zone north of Mannheim, opposed only by scattered detachments of German territorials, reaching Darmstadt by sundown. The commander of SOUTHAG orders NATO troops south of the Main (mostly in the Heidelberg area) to evacuate behind that barrier, taking advantage of the rough terrain to the east of the Dead Zone.

The Bulgarian freighter A.B. Buzko departs the Mexican port of Altamira; having received decent treatment while in Cuba and low on fuel, the ship's captain decides to head to the port of Cienfuegos on Cuba's southern coast.

In the early morning hours, the teenage girl held hostage by a pair of deserters outside Volkhov, Russia emerges from the farmhouse, escorted by one of the men. A MVD sniper shoots at the deserter, killing him with one shot, and the girl flees. The remaining desperado remains in the cabin, killing the elderly couple inside before the MVD troopers can rush in and overwhelm him. The troops execute him on the spot.
__________________
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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  #580  
Old 07-17-2023, 03:15 PM
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July 8, 1998

The replica USS Constitution departs the Azores, its crew swelled with the addition of American servicemen (some Navy and Air Force personnel effectively abandoned there, others that escaped Eastern Europe, in an incredible saga, in Greek fishing boats). The ship is also carrying paying passengers, 40 French school girls and their teacher.

Unofficially,

Division Cuba begins the process of expanding from a motor-rifle brigade to a division. An census is performed of the military advisors and civilian technicians evacuated alongside the 7th Motor-Rifle Brigade to assess their skills and rank (if any), while the brigade commander sits down with General Femerov to discuss his subordinate commanders. A process is identified - to the extent that the advisor pool can supply qualified officers (such as motor-rifle colonels and lieutenant colonels), it will be relied on to provide leaders for the expanded unit. (The basic plan is to take the existing motor-rifle brigade and increase the size of each element - the BMP battalion, for example, will become a BMP regiment; if a suitable colonel cannot be identified the existing battalion commander will become the regimental commander, while if experienced majors or lieutenant colonels cannot be tasked to serve as battalion commanders some or all of the company commanders will be promoted to major and given the job. This evaluation is carried out division-wide.) Advisors and civilian technicians that can be assigned staff or support jobs are assigned appropriately, while the rest (such as many of the sailors from the transport fleet) are handed over to the 7th Brigade's sergeants to be trained up as motor-riflemen, tank drivers or artillery privates.

While fighting in Los Angeles continues to be intense, the troops of 63 (my XVI) Corps are gradually finding themselves outnumbered by the ever-increasing numbers of Mexican forces, while the daily deliveries of ammunition are growing smaller. While the MPs of the 221st MP Brigade and the teens of the 10th California Cadet Brigade are attempting to secure the rear area, the corps' supply columns are coming under more frequent attack.

The appearance of Soviet armor in the 47th Infantry Division's rear causes considerable distress, especially since it has been months since the war-weary National Guard division received a resupply of anti-tank weapons. Many squads are down to just a single LAW and the division's cavalry squadron, the 1st Squadron, 194th Cavalry, which has been set up as the division's anti-tank reserve, has eight TOW missiles remaining, the last ATGMs in the entire 47th. (The Canadians, composed of reserve units, are equally devoid of anti-tank weapons). The commanding general radios to Fort Lewis seeking any assistance that can be provided; in the interim the Allied troops hunker down and prepare for a siege of Prince George.

Under cover of a smokescreen laid by its escorts, the American LST USS Frederick makes a run for shore in San Diego with a load of vitally needed supplies. The attempt goes disastrously wrong, with Mexican troops ashore taking the ship's bridge under fire, inflicting massive losses on the command crew. The ship broaches, turned parallel to the beach by the waves, which then rock the ship back and forth, digging its hull into the sand. The sand kicked up by the transport's props as the chief engineer desperately tries to free the ship gets sucked into the engine's cooling water intakes, forcing the propulsion system to be cut back lest the filters clog. As the tide comes in the ship remains stuck and it takes more and more enemy fire, despite the efforts of the hovering escorts to support it.

In Duluth, Minnesota the refugees make a second assault on the downtown port's grain elevator; this time the assault force advances behind the cover of a mass of children and teenagers from the refugee camp established at the nearby state park campground. The remaining defenders are reluctant to open fire on the children, allowing the armed and desperate men seeking shelter among them to advance to within striking range. The teens, worked into a frenzy by the deceptive teachings of the camp leaders, savagely beat the remaining militiamen to death as they overrun the grain elevator.

The NATO defenders of Heidelberg try to slip away in the fog of the early morning hours, crossing the few remaining bridges before the opposing Soviets realize they are leaving.

In the Balkans, the reforming Jugoslav Army has in many cases swept Soviet occupation forces out of the mountains of Bosnia, reaching the banks of the Sava River, where they pause to distribute the vast quantities of captured and abandoned Soviet kit and integrate reinforcements. Their opponents in the various puppet armed forces are trying equally hard to increase their strength.
__________________
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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  #581  
Old 07-17-2023, 03:44 PM
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July 9, 1998

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

Under the protection of the 36th Engineer Group (Construction) and using power from a half dozen hydropower plants in the region, one reactor of the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant in eastern Tennessee is restarted. The power is carefully rationed to support food and war production and further support reconstruction efforts.

In British Columbia, the 47th Infantry Division receives partial salvation from the sky. The generals calls for help have been answered with a single sortie of a F-111A from the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing's 4007th Combat Crew Training Squadron, flying from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Montana. The bomber drops a single B61 tactical nuclear bomb on the Soviet tank regiment, disrupting its command and control as well as destroying several tanks and unprotected personnel. (The attack is widely considered the only NATO nuclear attack on Canadian territory.) The American division commander, who had no prior notice of the incoming strike, orders an immediate withdrawal, unfortunately through the fallout plume of the nuclear strike. The Soviet troops to the north and west launch an immediate attack, and the withdrawal becomes a rout, with disorganized columns of American troops streaming south, with scattered Soviet detachments in pursuit.

The Army in the United States is making progress in its rushed effort to convert training divisions to light infantry divisions. While in theory there could be a uniform process, in reality it is much more complicated. Each division, composed of basic, advanced and one-station (combined) training battalions, has a unique mix of specialties it instructs - the 70th Division turns out infantry recruits, while the 76th trains combat engineers and the 85th cavalry scouts and tankers, with appropriate allocations of training equipment and appropriate instructors. Transforming an infantry training battalion to an infantry battalion is comparatively simple, but converting an engineering training battalion to an artillery one (and finding any quantity of artillery for it to operate) is a much more complicated effort. Nevertheless, so dire is the situation that officers throughout the Army's embattled training command are putting in long hours planning and executing the conversions.

The 63 (my XVI) Corps commander takes the drastic step of limiting resupply convoys south of the Hollywood Hills to nighttime only, so intense are the ongoing attacks on them in prior days. American troops begin to retreat northward through Los Angeles County, abandoning their remaining positions south of Interstate 105, which hopefully can serve as a wide dead zone that can be covered by automatic weapons fire.

A single CH-53E flight makes it into San Diego in the early morning hours, dropping off water, 5.56mm ammo, grenades and canned food; it is to prove the last resupply flight into the embattled garrison. The surrounded Marines also attempt to salvage the supplies from the beached USS Frederick, but the open ground between the garrison's remaining territory and the beach is too dangerous to cross. The ship's crew and the Marines mutually reinforce each other but unable to establish a secure link. Brigade Ensenada has managed to expand its positions within the depot's central recruit training area, with fighting devolving into hand-to-hand struggles at ultra-short range.

The drive of the Torres Motorized Cavalry Brigade north along Interstate 25 towards Albuquerque has effectively come to a halt, the Mexican artillery out of ammunition and the entire force short of spare parts, fuel and ammunition needed to maneuver around the US Air Force blocking force at Truth or Consequences. The Mexican commander, well aware of the existence of the massive nuclear weapon stockpile at Albuquerque's Kirtland Air Force Base, is reluctant to exert too much pressure on the defenders lest they decide to separate him into his constituent atoms.

A group of 18 bikers from the Ataúdos biker gang, offered a reward of five kilos of marijuana seized from the Austin Police Department evidence room, storm the University of Texas Tower, killing the Marine veteran snipers that have held up Mexican control of the capital city. (One of the ex-Marines is thrown over the parapet to her death).

The veteran 20th Tank Division locates and exploits a gap in the NATO line along the Main River near Frankfurt and, in one of the war’s last river crossing operations, throws troops across.

The masters of the mass of miscellaneous NATO naval and merchant vessels gathered in Loch Ewe, Scotland hold a conference to determine what their next steps should be. The supply of fuel in the fuel depot ashore, which had been refilled in the weeks and months following the Battle of the Norwegian Sea, has been largely depleted, burned by the generators keeping life aboard the ships possible. The local population ashore, in one of the most remote areas of the Scottish Highlands (who were only connected by road to the rest of the UK during the Second World War), is too small to produce nearly enough food to support the sailors on the ships. The decision is reached to dispense the remaining fuel to naval combatants that are still seaworthy, reserving a portion for some of the merchantmen, which will transport the crews back home, at least one ship for each of the NATO nations and others to transport citizens of neutral countries (the many Filipinos, for example) home
__________________
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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  #582  
Old 07-18-2023, 03:44 PM
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July 10, 1998

In the Battle in Pittsburgh, Washington Militia control of the southern portion of the city is challenged when a powerful and heavily armed marauder force under Harold Thomas crosses the Monongahela from downtown Pittsburgh on the Liberty, Smithfield, and Fort Pitt bridges. They are temporarily held up by automatic weapons fire from the heights across the river but manage at last to reach the cover of the Fort Pitt and Liberty Tunnels under Mount Washington and emerge on the south side of that steep-sloped ridge. From there, they are able to climb the slopes of Mount Washington and trap the militia defenders against the nearly vertical bluffs above the river. In a heroic stand, the outnumbered Washington Militia, under the command of former Marine Major Jason Fairbanks, hold the vastly superior enemy forces at bay into the night.

Unofficially,

The Soviet pursuit of the retreating American 47th Infantry Division falters as the supply of fuel dries up. The first contingents of the 47th Infantry Division cross the border back into American territory shortly before midnight.

The Mexican 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment disrupts the 63 (my XVI) Corps defense of LA when it appears in the San Gabriel Valley, having passed through Pomona largely unopposed. The American commander hastily redeploys the 221st Military Police Brigade to throw up a defensive line, but the MPs are short of heavy weapons and the move leaves supply convoys dangerously exposed to attack by the numerous groups of armed irregulars operating in the confused and crowded rear area. The move causes the 6th Army command, operating from a forward headquarters in Bakersfield, to divert more scarce resources away from 89 (my II) Corps to the southeast, which is secure in its positions around Palm Springs and have the eastern column of 2nd Mexican Army contained.

With the capture of the dominating Texas Tower in Austin, the Mexican attackers begin to gain the upper hand in the fighting for Texas' capital city. The Coastal Column, which is now approaching Tyler in northeast Texas, is losing focus and slowing dramatically as the flow of supplies from the rear has ceased, cut off by American nuclear strikes on the rail network and eaten up by the distance from the border.

The 8th Special Forces Group in Chiapas undertakes its first direct action mission alongside its indigenous allies. The American-led guerilla force attacks an outpost of Brigade Tapachula, a force that has already been battered by American airstrikes. The detachment also establishes a pair of observation posts along the Guatemalan border, watching for truck traffic crossing into Mexico carrying vitally needed fuel from Guatemala's refinery, one of the few remaining in operation in this area of the world.

8th Tank Army has been fed into the line south of Frankfurt, allowing 41st Army’s remaining forces to pursue the retreating NATO troops from Heidelberg. 8th Tank Army's 523rd Pontoon Battalion deploys ferries, transporting the T-86s and BMPs of the 20th Tank Division's 76th Guards Tank Regiment to reinforce the dismounted motor riflemen that crossed the prior day. The border guards of the German 4th GrenzJaeger Division, lacking anti-tank weapons, break and run. The Soviets pursue, but the ferries are unable to bring more than a trickle of armored vehicles across at a time. Attempts to have the BMPs and BTRs swim across are halted after it is discovered that most vehicles have damage that defeated their watertight integrity and that watertight seals in their hulls have become brittle with age. By dark most of the division’s 70 tanks and 4500 soldiers have crossed the river, leaving the artillery regiment, rear services and most of the soft-skinned vehicles on the south bank.
__________________
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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Old 07-26-2023, 09:13 AM
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July 11, 1998

In Pittsburgh, a relief column from the Route 70 bridge arrives and hits the marauders from behind. The marauder forces are crushed on the south flank of Mount Washington and Thomas himself is killed. Perhaps one in ten of the attackers manage to escape back across the river, and the power of the marauder bands in Allegheny County is temporarily broken.

Unofficially,

The first five companies of Voluntarios arrive in the rear areas of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Armies. The generals are somewhat baffled what to do with the poorly trained and equipped troops. 2nd Army, having taken heavy losses in the Battle of San Diego, sends them to the front to fill out the battered Brigade Ensenada and 1st Mechanized Brigade while 3rd Army assigns its contingent to secure the ruins of El Paso and patrol the vulnerable Interstate 25 supply line that the Torres Motorized Cavalry Brigade is dependent on. 4th Army uses them to patrol its vast rear area, home to a hostile and heavily armed civilian population.

The 63 (my XVI) Corps position in Los Angeles is in a precarious state as Mexican troops sweep in from the northwest, as the armored cavalry seeks weak points in the 221st MP Brigade's thinly-spread hasty defense. Mexican paratroops and marines and allied irregular armed groups press forward against positions held by the 40th Infantry Division (-), driving the last American defenders north of Interstate 10.

In San Diego, the defending Marines, who are growing increasingly short of ammunition, are unable to prevent Mexican troops from crossing the Recruit Depot's hallowed Parade Deck, being driven out of many of the buildings that overlook the large open space.

The School Brigade and its local allies, the (reduced but now battle-hardened) cadets and cadre of the New Mexico Military Institute, are still located in the town of Artesia, New Mexico following their successful attack on the isolated Mexican garrison there. The Army formation expended the last of its fuel reaching the city and many of the civilian and commercial vehicles that made the trek from Fort Bliss have been nearly destroyed by the rough conditions. The brigade commander is able to make contact with higher headquarters after nearly a month without a reliable radio link; his maintainers are working with the town's mechanics to determine what vehicles can be repaired for further travel, which should be cannibalized and what vehicles in town can be requisitioned for further service. In the latter effort, the priorities are for ruggedness and off-road capability, diesel power and commonality of parts within the fleet. While the local Permian Basin is continuing to produce a trickle of oil, there are no refining facilities, so the town works with the brigade's troops to establish a crude distillation tower, which can boil crude and separate it into very rough approximations of gasoline, diesel, kerosene and fuel oil.

In the early morning hours, reinforcing German troops from VI Korps take up positions surrounding the Soviet 20th Tank Division's positions north of the Main River, containing the bridgehead south of the A66 autobahn. At dawn a flight of German PAH-1 attack helicopters from the 1st Army Aviation Command, using the unit’s last remain stocks of fuel and HOT missiles, attacks the Soviet crossing site, sinking all of the 523rd's PMP and GSP ferries. The helicopters then call in an artillery strike on the marshalling area on the south bank and the egress points on the north shore, which use the last of the 4th PanzerGrenadier Division’s stockpile of FASCAM munitions as well as significant amounts of high explosive; the strikes have the effect of cutting the forces on the north shore off from the south.

The Bulgarian freighter A.B. Buzko arrives in Cienfuegos, Cuba after transporting Soviet troops of Division Cuba to Mexico.
__________________
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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Old 07-26-2023, 11:37 AM
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July 12, 1998

Nothing official for today. Unofficially,

The inhabitants of the refugee camp at Duluth's Jay Cook State Park, Minnesota, having gained control of a grain elevator containing nearly 3.5 million bushels of grain are dismayed when the "leadership council" of the camp declares that it is assuming essentially dictatorial control of the camp and city, using the combination of the weapons captured from the town militia and the ability to grant or withhold food as their means of control.

As conditions grow increasingly desperate in the San Diego Marine perimeter, the two remaining naval combatants offshore, the light frigate USS Joyce and the Coast Guard cutter Chase, which have nearly expended their entire onboard ammunition supplies providing support, use the last of their aviation fuel supplies to fly a series of evacuation flights, bringing out the wounded, even those that would be considered lightly wounded and still fit for action. The flights bring out approximately 150 men. By sundown, the Marines have been pushed into a single building, the Recruit Training Regiment headquarters building, Lejeune Hall.

Fighting swirls throughout Los Angeles as 63 (my XVI) Corps' front line is reduced to a series of independent isolated positions unable to control territory beyond range of their guns. Patrols come under attack from an array of Mexican units, allied gangs and various bandit groups, all intent on looting the wealth of America's biggest city. In Texas, the city of Austin is similarly engulfed in widespread citywide fighting, with no front line as it becomes increasingly difficult to discriminate between attacking American (and allied) forces and fighting for plunder. North of the city, the Mexicans approach Fort Hood, which is defended by the 95th Training Division.

US Air Force security troops, reinforced with local armed civilians, attempt to dislodge the Mexican Torres Motorized Cavalry Brigade from its positions outside Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The attempt fails when the Mexicans deploy mobile reserves to reinforce the threatened sector; the American troops lack fire support heavier than 81mm mortars and Mk-19 grenade launchers.

Two new Soviet divisions arrive at the front in Germany - the 122nd (my 66th Guards Training) Motor-Rifle (assigned to 41st Army) and the 106th (my 232nd) Motor-Rifle (assigned to 16th Army). Despite this, Soviet forces remain short on infantry.

21st Army, on the former East German-Czechoslovakian border, reinforces the efforts of its Czech allies to the west, launching an attack with the Category A 102nd Guards (my 254th) Motor-Rifle Division against the American XV Corps. The attack hits the outer defensive line of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), the Soviet tanks forced to halt their advance and provide fire support to engineers called forward to clear lanes through the defensive minefields; the T-80s too valuable to be used as improvised mine-clearing vehicles.

The Panamanian bulk carrier Seaway Ace, sailing to France with a cargo of Argentinian grain, is sunk by a torpedo from the Soviet Victor III-class nuclear attack submarine 60 Let Shefstva VLKSM.

Italian recovery crews are nearly finished in their efforts to restore operation of the Sonico hydropower plant north of Verona.

In Jugoslavia, the JSA’s engineering cadre (long-service prewar engineer officers and professional NCOs) of Group Vrbas have been able to locate sufficient equipment from the confused masses of abandoned vehicles and organize enough troops to repair a damaged bridge over the Sava at Bosanska Gradiška. The Group's infantry, who crossed over by raft in prior days, drive off the small garrison of the Italian-allied Croatian Nationalist Army
__________________
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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  #585  
Old 07-28-2023, 11:18 AM
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July 13, 1998

Nothing in canon for today. Unofficially,

STAVKA orders the commander of the Yalu Front to arrest the commander of the Soviet 35th Army, deciding that the recent failure of the attack across the DMZ was the result of his collaboration with Allied forces. The Front commander decides to ignore such a ridiculous order, confident that STAVKA has little recourse to his insubordination.

The first barges carrying troops of the 49th Armored Division (Texas National Guard) arrive in Muskogee, Oklahoma, as far along the Red River and as close as the riverways can get the unit to the rally point it has been ordered to, Fort Sill in south-central Oklahoma.

The end finally arrives for the Marines defending the San Diego Recruit Depot, with the last structure under American control, the Recruit Training Regiment headquarters in Lejeune Hall ablaze and under unrelenting attack. The 400 remaining Marines, a mix of partially trained recruits (now seasoned veterans), their drill instructors and other cadre and other staff from the base, surrender to the commanding general of the 1st Mechanized Brigade. As the guns finally fall silent, the American ships offshore turn north, heading for the nearest friendly naval base at Port Hueneme.

In northeastern Texas, the Mexican drive has come to a halt as the flow of supplies from Mexico has completely ended, a hostile local population requires large numbers of troops to subdue. While organized American resistance has evaporated, the so-called Coastal Column has spread out over hundreds of square miles of territory and, short of ammunition, fuel and replacements and is unable to undertake further offensive action.

Throughout the day, more small-scale attacks and incursions on the Soviet 20th tank Division's lines deplete the Soviet ammunition supplies, wear out the troops and force the unit to deploy its remaining armored vehicles to reinforce threatened areas, draining their gas tanks. After dark, German jaegers and dismounted panzergrenadiers slip in between the Soviet positions.

The 102nd Guards (my 254th) Motor-Rifle Division's troops breach the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division's minefields and push the 66th Tank Regiment forward, with the BMP-mounted 95th Motor-Rifle Regiment in close support, all under an artillery barrage. The resulting battle sees the brigade's tank battalion (2nd Battalion, 64th Armor, which has absorbed the remnants of the brigade's other armor battalion, the 3rd Battalion 64th Armor) and reinforcements from the 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry rushed forward to halt the breakthrough, while overhead an air battle rages as both sides seek local air superiority.

JSA engineers along the Sava, in preparation for the force's breakout from the mountains of Bosnia-Hercegovina, secure two more crossings over the Sava River, at Bosanski Šamac and Badovinci. Both crossings are at or near pre-war bridges and follow skirmishes which have driven off local collaborationist militias.

The replica USS Constitution is intercepted in the Bay of Biscay by the French destroyer La Galissonničre; after boarding and inspection the sailing ship is permitted to continue to Brest.

In the Persian Gulf region, the remnants of the USS Independence's A-6 attack bomber fleet, consolidated in a single squadron VA-185, flies a deep strike mission. Taking off from the airfield at Bushehr in the early morning darkness, six A-6Fs fly at low level across the Zagros mountains deep into Kurdistan, where friendly guerillas have located a 7th Army logistic site. The flight, led by LtCdr Mark Winslow, drops nearly 25 tons of high explosive on the site, setting off numerous secondary explosions and depriving the Soviet force of months' worth of carefully hoarded supplies.
__________________
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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  #586  
Old 08-11-2023, 03:26 PM
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July 14, 1998

Father Wojiech Niekarz forms the Wojsko Ludowa (People's Army) to free Poland of all outsiders.

Unofficially,

The conflict between Mexico and the US has rapidly evolved in the 32 days since Mexican troops first crossed the border. The poor logistical readiness of the Mexican Army, fierce American resistance and the nuclear strikes on the rail lines connecting the fighting forces with central Mexico have combined to starve Mexican troops of much of their fighting power. The attack on the Mexican Ministry of Defense and pinprick strikes throughout southern Mexico have further limited the amount of effort Mexican authorities can devote to the fighting in the north; the combination of all these factors as well as fatigue and declining combat power cause the struggle to take on (for both sides) a nature somewhere between conventional medium-intensity warfare and counterinsurgency. The Joint Chiefs, assessing the situation, determine that additional nuclear strikes in Mexican territory are unlikely to have a significant effect on the outcome of the fighting, and the large-scale use of tactical nuclear weapons needed to drive Mexican troops from American territory is impractical in the conditions, even if they were comfortable with the concept of using nuclear weapons on American territory. (They are not.)

In California, the center of gravity of the fighting has shifted northward with the collapse of American resistance in San Diego. (In that city, small bands and even individual Marines who survived the battle and evaded capture begin moving north and east, out of areas actively patrolled by Mexican troops and their criminal allies). It is another day of confused fighting in Los Angeles, with American troops under attack from all directions as Mexican troops and allies slip through the porous American front line.

Vicious short-range firefights rage throughout the 20th Tank Division's sector and by noon a steady stream of demoralized Soviet soldiers are fleeing back to and across the Main, abandoning their vehicles and many of their wounded or dead comrades.

The Soviet breakthrough in the US 3rd Infantry Division sector is brought to a rapid halt with the deployment of a trio of M422 eight-inch tactical nuclear rounds fired across the width of the Soviet breakthrough sector by the guns of the 209th Field Artillery Brigade. Elsewhere along the front the Soviet offensive peters to a halt in the face of rising NATO resistance.

The final Jugoslav crossings of the Sava River are initiated with the opening of ferry service at Slavonski Brod and the completion of a pontoon bridge at Sisak, Croatia.

In the wale of the prior day's airstrikes, the Soviet 7th Army instructs its subordinate units to preserve what supplies they have on hand while increasing "local provisioning", a euphemism for seizing needed food and fuel from the local population.
__________________
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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  #587  
Old 08-11-2023, 03:37 PM
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July 15, 1998

The replica USS Constitution arrives in Brest, France and discharges passengers.

Unofficially,

A hodgepodge collection of trucks, both military and requisitioned civilian heavy vehicles (often with their drivers), is assembled in Muskogee, Oklahoma along with a fleet of iconic yellow school buses to transport the troops and equipment of the 3rd Brigade, 49th Armored Division the 225 miles to Fort Sill.

In southern Mexico, the Green Berets of the 8th Special Forces Group step up their activity levels, forcing the local military forces to expend more resources in tracking down the elusive American commandos.

The front in Germany has generally stabilized along the line Fulda-Frankfurt. Western TVD does not have the combat or logistic strength to continue the assault and behind the lines is struggling to absorb the territory it had seized, extend its supply system to reach the new front line and send what little replacement troops and equipment it receives forward. Likewise, the slapdash NATO defense has barely succeeded but has left units hopelessly intermixed and disorganized and expended most of the remaining stocks, leaving the German, British and American units in no condition to go over to the offense. In addition, the surviving NATO command staff has a more ambitious plan to drive the Warsaw Pact out of southern Germany and possibly liberate Austria.

The American 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) launches local counterattacks against the elements of the Soviet 102nd (my 254th) Motor-Rifle Division that were isolated by the prior days tactical nuclear strike along the route of the Soviet breakthrough. Isolated Soviet troops fight with a desperation seen all too often by NATO troops in Europe, taking many "fine American boys with them as they fight to the death.

The Italian-allied Croatian Nationalist Army ramps up its recruitment effort, sweeping men and boys off the streets of Zagreb and provincial towns as it furiously tries to hobble together a force sufficient to halt the advancing JSA, which is emerging from its strongholds in the Balkan Mountains and gaining strength daily as it too gathers recruits to man the weapons and armored vehicles abandoned by Soviet forces in the aftermath of the nuclear exchange.

An air assault by members of the 9th Infantry Division's 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry attacks the home base of a group of 250 marauders, mostly IPA deserters, 100 km north of Kazerun. With the support of helicopter gunships and fire by the division's artillery the attack is a success and few of the bandits escape capture by the American troops; the Iranians are arrested by a small detachment of the Iranian National Security Force while Soviets are treated as POWs and any Western deserters are placed under arrest by the battalion commander.
__________________
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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  #588  
Old 08-23-2023, 03:59 PM
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July 16, 1998

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

In southern Arizona Brigade Nogales has received three companies of Voluntarios from its home state of Sonora. The contingent includes several miners, men with great experience in using explosives, who quickly identify the potential to protect the brigade from American counterattack from the east through blocking the roads through the Santa Rita and Patagonia mountains with the careful application of demolitions. Semi-permanently blocking the handful of routes through the mountains would force the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade to either advance overland across the rugged desert terrain or undertake a long march north into the Tucson area to face the Mexican force. The brigade's commanding general gives the order for the effort to be undertaken as quickly as possible.

63 (my XVI) Corps in Los Angeles orders two simultaneous, and somewhat contradictory, orders. The main effort of the corps' defense is to shift northward, abandoning the Los Angeles basin to attempt to hold the Santa Monica mountains; the reinforcing 196th Infantry Brigade is directed to sweep eastward across the San Fernando Valley to drive the main body of Mexican troops back to Burbank, where a more defensible line can hopefully be established. Simultaneously, the corps' troops are to engage in aggressive patrolling into the Los Angeles basin, taking whatever opportunities can be found to attack isolated groups of Mexican troops and their allies.

The Soviet commander of 2nd Southwestern Front, at the western end of the long front line that stretches from the Baltic to the Rhine, orders a temporary pause in offensive operations to allow his battered command to resupply and absorb reinforcements (should any arrive) before resuming their offensive. Soviet troops and their Italian, Czech and Hungarian allies begin digging defensive positions to protect them against any NATO counterattack.

On the other side of the lines, Allied commanders are in no condition to launch an immediate counterattack. While a trickle of reinforcements and supplies are arriving in the theater, the Soviet offensive has forced the expenditure of much of the materiel that survived the long, cold winter and the relative bounty of supplies extracted from the French as compensation for their seizure of the Rhineland.

The highest intensity fighting the day sees in Europe, in fact, is between the French occupation forces and a patrol of Dutch Marines who have infiltrated into occupied Holland as part of the Dutch government's effort to demonstrate that they are not acquiescing to the Franco-Belgian occupation of significant portion of their country. The elite Dutch marines' ambush of a French patrol is masterful, as is the ambush they have emplaced to deal with the inevitable French reaction force. As is often the case in the Dutch insurgent struggle, the tide turns with the arrival of French aircraft overhead, forcing their retreat before they are able to overrun the kill zone and grab supplies, prisoners and intelligence.

The Italian 5th Corps begins withdrawing troops from the areas it occupies, turning responsibility for maintaining order to its local puppet forces - the Croatian Nationalist Army, the Liberated Slovenian Armed Forces (LSAF) and the Serbian National Army (SNA). The Italians leave a single brigade in each republic's capital to ensure the loyalty of the local puppet regimes, allowing the excess troops to be returned to assist in rebuilding shattered Italy or support the offensive in southern Germany. They provide limited logistic support, ironically, consisting of abandoned Soviet equipment as well as stocks of Jugoslav weapons that had been captured by the Italians during their conquest of Jugoslavia.

The Shiraz state munitions plant in Iran expands its production of ammunition following the reactivation of a brass shell casing press, relieving the IPA from dependence on reloading scavenged brass. It does, however, crease a need for some other source of brass, much of which turns out to be scavenged from not only the battlefield but also the civilian economy.
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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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  #589  
Old 08-29-2023, 03:58 PM
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July 17, 1998

Another day with nothing in the canon. Unofficially,

The Butler, Pennsylvania-area biker gang the Blackhawk Bike Club, running low on food, attacks the "Akron " Refugee Camp outside of the hamlet of West Sunbury. Depending on the terror effect of his gang's screaming motorcycles, its leader Grunge McLeod is able to subdue the camp's ragtag defensive force and seize over a hundred pounds of food, enough to sustain the gang for several weeks.

2nd Brigade, 40th Infantry Division launches an armored raid deep into Mexican-held territory in Los Angeles. A battalion task force of the 2nd Battalion, 185th Armor Regiment (two companies of M60A4 tanks, a platoon of M728 CEVs and a M113-mounted infantry company from the 2nd Battalion, 160th Infantry) performs a "Thunder Run" - a slow but steady convoy movement forward through Mexican lines in Century City, through the ruins of Beverly Hills (destroyed in the rioting that followed the nuclear strikes in November) to the La Brea neighborhood, before turning west on a parallel course to return to its start lines on Interstate 405 near the UCLA campus. The raid is executed with guns blazing; the overwhelming firepower of the tanks unleashed at the slightest sign of resistance induces panic among the scattered Mexican Army and allied elements that dare allow themselves to be spotted.

Mexican Voluntarios assigned to Brigade Nogales detonate 100 kg of dynamite (seized from local mines and ranches), blocking Arizona highway 82 in the remote canyon northeast of the small town of Patagonia. Following the explosion they begin constructing defensive positions in the hills overlooking the rubble pile.

After a month of labor filling in the crater in a rail line created nuclear explosion in the remote hills of eastern Czechoslovakia Specialist Cutler has come to the very clear realization that the life of regimentation and work he led as a light wheeled vehicle mechanic in the 36th Infantry Division in Germany wasn't so bad and that he possibly made a mistake deserting his unit in the chaos of the Battle of Ansbach.

The Soviet Victor I-class attack ssubmarine 60 Let Shefstva VLKSM continues its rampage against shipping in the eastern Atlantic, attacking the French-flag freighter Antilles as its en route to resupply the Dakar garrison. The Soviet sub puts a single 21-inch torpedo into the Antilles, inflicting fatal damage. The crew manages to radio a distress call before the ship slips beneath the waves, giving a reasonably accurate location and relaying that it was hit by a submarine-launched torpedo.

SOCCENT (Special Operations Command, Central) dispatches a trio of A-Teams from the 7th Special Forces Group into the area along the Soviet border with Iran, instructed to infiltrate into the Soviet rear area and assess the status of a number of facilities that the CENTCOM G-2 has identified as potentially being vital to Transcaucasian Front's war effort. The heavily-armed teams are dropped individually in the early morning hours; despite their impressive firepower the teams are ordered to avoid engagement, instead radioing in status reports of their assigned targets. CENTCOM will assign other assets - mostly 9th Air Force aircraft, but also including the USS Salem's and USS Cowpens' Tomahawk cruise missile batteries - to strike the targets if warranted.
__________________
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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  #590  
Old 10-04-2023, 02:57 PM
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July 18, 1998

Nothin official for today. Unofficially,

North of Austin the Mexican 4th Army resumes its northward march, driven more by the need to capture additional food and fuel than any particular drive to continue the dwindling northward offensive. The lead elements of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment almost immediately encounter outer pickets of the 95th Training Division's 2nd Battalion, 291st Infantry. The poorly trained and equipped American force gives ground almost immediately. (The American formation is composed of two platoons of draftees, each led by a single drill sergeant, with trainees who "show leadership potential" promoted to corporal and given command of squads. Ammunition is limited to one 30-round magazine per soldier, and the force has a single M-60 machinegun with 50 rounds as its sole support weapon). (One of the drill sergeants, wounded in the fighting for Dresden in 1996, has been unable to obtain his medications since early in the year, turning to drink as a substitute. He is lost in the retreat).

Another series of explosions rock the remote mountains of south-central Arizona as miners in Brigade Nogales destroy the two other paved roads that cross the remote Patagonia mountains. An entire company of Voluntarios is assigned to cover the main roadblock on Arizona Route 82; they begin emplacing general-purpose machineguns and 60mm mortars to cover the obstacle as well as preparing booby traps to embed in the pile of rubble blocking the highway.

Local Italian authorities succeed in resuming operation at the Sonico hydropower plant in the Alps north of Verona. The plant provides 73 megawatts of desperately needed electrical power, much of which is split between irrigation and industrial uses. Teams are working on reactivating five additional plants; engineers direct most of the power from the Sonico plant to these additional efforts.

A rescue effort is launched to rescue the crew of the torpedoed French freighter Antilles, which went down approximately 100 nm west of Lisbon, Portugal. The French Navy launches a pair of Atlantique maitime patrol aircraft - one carrying rescue equipment and another loaded with anti-submarine torpedoes and depth charges, while vectoring the patrol ship Cormoran and two French fishing boats to the area. The first aircraft drops a life raft and supplies to the ship's survivng crew, while the ASW aircraft sanitizes the area to ensure that the submarine does not attack the rescue force.

The situation at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland is rapidly deteriorating. The base's BMEWS early-warning radar was knocked out by a high-altitude Soviet nuclear strike back in April, but the blast inflicted only moderate damage on the airbase and the interceptors and tankers based there. The passage of time, and the presence of additional stranded aircrews and the ground crew and staff of the 119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 177th Fighter Interceptor Wing, have now led to dangerously low levels of supplies on the base, which normally receives an annual visit in July by a freigter and tanker loaded with the materiel and fuel that the base will need for the coming year. The situation in Norfolk, Virginia has prevented the ships' dispatch this year, and although additional supplies had been provided in July 1997 they are now running low. With the early warning radar out of commission and fuel supplies on the base dwindling, the commanding general makes the decision to evacuate most of the remaining personnel, leaving a caretaker detachment behind to try to keep the runway clear and provide a refuge for any friendly bombers or tankers that may be slated to recover to the remote northern base after future strikes on the USSR.

In the Smolensk area of western Russia, the 20th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, which was withdrawn to the area after taking heavy losses in the Battle of Germany and subsequent NATO invasion of Poland, is ordered to gather additional troops from its local area and convert to a cavalry division. In light of the dire situation at the front, the formation is to be ready for battle in 30 days according to the orders issued by STAVKA.
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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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