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  #1171  
Old 08-25-2023, 03:27 AM
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Yay!
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  #1172  
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.
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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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  #1173  
Old 10-04-2023, 02:58 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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  #1174  
Old 10-04-2023, 02:59 PM
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Back in the saddle but not very much time in front of a computer to write stuff up and SOOO FAR BEHIND!!!!!

I'll do what I can...
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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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  #1175  
Old 10-04-2023, 03:20 PM
stilleto69 stilleto69 is offline
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Hi Chico, welcome back. So glad to see you're doing well. Take your time, waiting for your updates reminds me of a time when waiting for the next installment of something you loved was the best part. :0 Again, welcome back, your updates were sorely missed. Take care.
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  #1176  
Old 10-06-2023, 06:43 AM
Claidheamh Claidheamh is online now
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So glad you're back, Chico!
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  #1177  
Old 10-06-2023, 11:34 AM
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Really missed your daily updates, hope your health has recovered
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  #1178  
Old 11-04-2023, 03:06 PM
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i lived on Ft Huachuca in 95 and live near now. so i might be able to help.

the post has 7-10 pac 75s (21 gun salutes for vips (alive and dead) and change of commands). they even had a local guy remill a breach for one of them in 2005. so they could be brought back live.

Next there was a sig BDE on post with a MP Co. (with crowd control horses)

in 94-95 they had a UAS testing/training unit. with RC (helo and fixed wings) and even a few predators and hunters class of UAS.

They also had the 112 MI BDE (pov) after 9/11

They had the B troop 4th cav (memorial) complete with horses and stuff

The local post stable was called Bufffalo Corral with dozens of horses for rent and to maintain the MP and Cav animals. there is a trail they would ride on from the base to lake Patagonia i road it a few times (on tours) but its a...Challange for horse or foot.

Next the base has a dirt landing strip and Sierra Vista's airport's runway is long enough for U-2 (they would bring them in for airshow displays). Locals say it was for emergency space shuttle landings. (don't know if that is true but its a beast that can land and take off fully loaded 747 without issue (saw it when units came back from overseas)

Next odd thing. There are 18 ICBM (minutemen II) silos in the area. (filmed Star Trek first contact in one of them) used to belong to 390 missile wing. that might be useful for other things now.

next there was a large soda transshipping point near the base. (molotovs for everyone.

Bisbee has more than a few large stills for home brewed drinks. (see Brewery Gulch)

Tombstone. besides a lot of guns, there are lots and lots of mines both active and not in the town and around. Big Nose Kates (bar) even has one you can see in the basement. That is not uncommon in Tombstone and Bisbee to have a mine shaft access. surprise finding open mine shafts is still an issue, but the bats love them.... and bears, and mountain lions ect

almost forgot. the base ASP used to keep goats and sheep to cut the grass under control. Those might be more useful now. along with the three large animal rescue groups in the valley.
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  #1179  
Old 11-04-2023, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cawest View Post
i lived on Ft Huachuca in 95 and live near now. so i might be able to help.
I’d add there was a baseline tank range and a mortar range in the east range complex area, KD and pop up ranges, and an MG transition/ATGM range that supported a USAR M60A3 battalion until the early 90s. Some of the ranges were disestablished following the deactivation of 8-40AR, but I’d wager they’d still be there in T2KU, along with the MATES site and maintenance facilities on the flats.

The airfield (Libby AAF) is huge- never saw a 747 there, but I did see C-5s and E-8s there. It’s a training FOL for the A-10s and F-16s out of Luke, DM, and Tucson. It’s also become a FOL for BORTAC/BORSTAR in recent years. Making it a real tactical/airlift airfield will require MHE, ordnance storage and handling, fueling systems, and more hangarage/revetments. Rigging for personnel drops is easy (chute truck), but there’s no pallet build or rigger loft.

The UAS airfield at Black Tower is good for Hunter sized aircraft, and could easily operate an O-2 or OV-10 class aircraft. Unlike Libby, I don’t believe it’s all weather, but it does have fuel, maintenance, etc. No billeting or DFAC, I believe. It’s a ways out from the cantonment, but it’s got a great field of view and could be a useful outpost. Late 90s I believe there were also some training support structures with water, power, etc. out in the western part of the reservation supporting AIT, OBC, etc.

The area is surprisingly productive. There’s ranching/cattle in and around Hereford and Sonoita, wine production in the Santa Rita’s (not great wine, but it does the job), and dry country agriculture. Additionally, pine and oak is plentiful in the mountains for use as fuel or building material. One critical vulnerability of the area in modern times is a near total dependence on electricity for water/sewage pumping, cooking, etc. This could be offset by solar with planning, but in the late 90s/early 00s, that power came in by line from Tucson with small local plants in Douglas (oil) and Cochise(coal/gas). Fires and weather were able to disrupt the power.

The wildlife is widely varied. Encounters could encompass coyotes, javelina, pronghorns, and bobcats at lower elevations with black bear, mountain lion, coati, and even the occasional jaguar or ocelot at higher elevations. Coues and Mule deer, jackrabbits, and game birds are also widespread. Not to mention snakes. Lots of snakes. There’s a marked monsoon season in the summer, with rain and a temperature drop every day. In the winter, it’s not unusual to have snow on the old parade field at Huachuca with rain on Fry Boulevard in Sierra Vista.

Last edited by Homer; 11-07-2023 at 09:38 AM.
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  #1180  
Old 11-04-2023, 09:17 PM
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i forgot about this. two are in AZ the first one was in 1986 what if they were not in use due to cost until the enemy invaded the US.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tether...t_Radar_System
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  #1181  
Old 11-04-2023, 11:52 PM
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Oh yes, the tethered aerostat site out by garden canyon!

I’m betting it and the other sites would have picked up their original purpose of cruise missile detection very quickly.

Once hostilities with Mexico start, I could see the perimeter getting expanded very quickly down past miller’s peak and the Coronado memorial to keep direct fire off the aerostat site. Naco probably gets evacuated and becomes part of an expanded security zone south of the border to deny the Naco Hwy/92 junction, rail lines, and the the high ground around Bisbee once Mexico enters the fray. The main defensive positions are probably along the San Pedro along the Miller’s Peak/Huachuca Complex to Patagonia, with at least the initial intent of denying penetration up the 92/San Pedro mobility corridor to the whetstone junction and the I-10 junction.

You could hold the Huachuca area pretty easily against anything other than mountain and/or air assault trained light infantry without a lot of trouble. Any force coming in from the south between Patagonia and Lowell has to contend with some pretty gnarly terrain. Rock drops or other blocking obstacles are very viable on the mountain roads and passes, and even infantry movement is canalized. Moving mounted forces across at Naco requires you to negotiate the San Pedro (the riparian area and channel is the obstacle, not so much the river) or fight through the Bisbee/Lowell Area. The other mounted avenue of approach is through the Miracle Valley Area, but to negotiate that you’re going to have to fight through Sierra Vista and the wadi complexes south of town while exposed to potential enfilading fire and masked indirect fires from the west. North of there you get a little break until the Huachuca city/whetstone area. Envelopment from the west is possible once the green valley/sahuarita area is secured, but even then you’ll still have a mountain fight to break through the passes to the 83/82 mobility corridor.

The problem is it doesn’t really get you much. The prizes are the mobility corridors along I-10, the population center in Tucson, the active copper mines around green valley, and the agricultural areas of the Santa Cruz basin. Most of them are outside the immediate area of Huachuca and squarely in the crosshairs of the forces moving north on 19 from Nogales. Unless there is another compelling need, Huachuca and Cochise county could be very easily isolated and bypassed, at least initially.

Last edited by Homer; 01-07-2024 at 12:53 AM.
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  #1182  
Old 11-06-2023, 08:10 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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Glad to see you are back at it Chico.

I think there is a slight continuity problem with GDW's version of the Mexican invasion of the American Southwest.

Namely, they have the PRI-PPS taking power "in summer of 1998" (RSLS), promptly ordering an invasion of Texas (RSLS), the Soviet Division Cuba moving out of Cuba in June (RSLS), and crossing over into Texas (with the rest of the Mexican Army) on June 2 (Howling Wilderness). That's pretty darn efficient work in a couple of days.

I would recommend a modest retcon to have the PRI-PPS take over in Feb, and start mobilizing from there. In the timeline I am building for the 2001-2002 Texas Almanac, I have:

Jan 1998 - Mexico initiates general draft and mobilization (mainly for disaster relief an internal security at this point)
Feb 1998 - Fuel + food shortages leads to rioting and widespread unrest in Mexico, refugee situation in Southwest turns critical (no food there either), and massacres of tens of thousands of refugees follows
Mar 1998 - PRI & PPS join forces and overthrow PAN government. Military ordered to begin planning intervention into Southweset US. Government begins negotiations with Soviets in Cuba.
Apr 1998 - First group of mass draftees graduate to their units, Soviet Division Cuba begins transferring by sea to Veracruz
May 1998 - Mexican army begins deploying to jump off points near the border. Communist guerillas (PRS) and cartel gunmen attached to army as irregularos. Soviet Division Cuba completes deployment to Mexico. US President commits suicide, civilian government collapses.
2 Jun 1998 - Mexican military crosses border into Texas

The above, IMHO, solves a couple of continuity problems; 1 - the original timeline doesn't work, and moving up the PRI-PPS takeover and the Soviet Division Cuba deployment solves that...it takes a while to logistically prepare an invasion. 2 - the invasion force listed in Challenge 27 is too small; the initial force is only about a 4 division equivalent (and that's being generous, including Division Cuba). Even with token military resistance, you basically have a scenario similar to what the Russians faced in Ukraine in the initial invasion - not even enough troops to defend the supply lines against partisans, much less pacify the country. The altered timeline gives the Mexicans the ability to, at least initially, have something between a hope and a prayer before your version's logistical nuke strikes kneecap them and most of their forces wither on the vine anyway.
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  #1183  
Old 11-06-2023, 08:17 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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The prizes are the mobility corridors along I-10, the population center in Tucson, the active copper mines around green valley, and the agricultural areas of the Santa Cruz basin. Most of them are outside the immediate area of Huachuca and squarely in the crosshairs of the forces moving north on 19 from Nogales. Unless there is another compelling need, Huachuca and Cochise county could be very easily isolated and bypassed, at least initially.
I'm not sure foreign population centers are prizes at this point in the war...and judging by the actions of the 43rd Military Police Brigade, they probably aren't prizes for US forces either. Too many hungry mouths to feed.
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  #1184  
Old 11-07-2023, 06:52 AM
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Yep- normally I’d say you’d want to avoid any city by summer of 98, but Tucson is a geographic/demographic/and infrastructure target that’s hard to unwrap from its populated core.

The Tucson population center as an objective only makes sense because it is (1) squarely astride the I10-I19 junction (no bypass), controlling the high speed routes east and north from the border; (2) joins the FERROMEX rail freight line terminus in Nogales, Mexico to the Union Pacific at the Tucson UP yard via a UP branch line that more or less parallels I-19, its on the east side of Tucson but well within the city; (3) contains electrical power generation (gas), defense (Raytheon Missiles division), Biotech/Medicine development and manufacture in both the Oro Valley startups and in Tucson proper, Smelting/mining support in the Oro Valley area (processing ores extracted from further south or locally) industries which can provide materials and potentially whatever finished products are seized; (4) the city has two large military/civilian airfields, Davis-Monthan AFB and Tucson IAP, with 10k+ ft runways and each capable of hosting a fighter wing (Tucson IAP was actually used as an F-16 training base by the RNLAF from the late 80s/early 90s until 2022 and hosted a squadron of Dutch F-16s) Neither are in the city proper, but utilizing them will require controlling a perimeter in the built up areas of south Tucson and east Tucson to deny direct fire attacks; (5) demographically, Tucson (37% Hispanic in 2000 and rising, above Arizona average and with regular cross border linkages common before OTL 2001) has the potential to be neutral/neutral-supportive to the Mexican force if they comport themselves well. That’s a lot of potentially supportive civilians and/or replacements. In addition, Tucson sits astride the I-19/I-10 settlement corridor which forms one of the two major Hispanic population concentrations in the state along with Yuma, both of which are of primarily Mexican-Americans.

I’ve gotten to spend a little time in Tucson, and it seems like the city just grew around the key infrastructure, etc. So, it’d be hard to seize any of that stuff without getting into at least a little bit of the city. Also, the city has grown to dominate the mobility corridors in the area. Getting north virtually requires you to control the city itself, since it sits like a plug between Mount Lemmon and the Tucson Mountains. You could bypass west, dragging your logistics through the desert, but that just gets you into a fight through the gap between the Roskruge and the Tucsons, with the Santa Cruz river channel providing a natural anti-tank obstacle before you reach I-10 at Marana.

If there is a defense/attack in Tucson, a lot of it will be decided around Green Valley/Sahuarita, since the decision to go through or attempt bypass will likely occur here because the terrain opens up. The defender has excellent lateral mobility in Tucson proper using the I-10 system to rapidly move forces, and the advantage of fighting in an urban area with good LOCs to the “rear” (such as it is), but they likely don’t have the forces to fight against multiple axes of advance, so early identification of enemy intent in a security zone centered on Green Valley will be key. The Mexican Army will retain the advantage of a high speed avenue of approach and a simple LOC if they stay on I-19, but will be forced into fighting through Tucson. Bypassing allows them to potentially avoid an urban fight and potentially prevent damage by combat or fire (it is summer) to Tucson and its contents, but they will also be forced to drastically slow their rate of advance and increase logistics difficulties and consumption. I’d offer either side may attempt to negotiate with the Tonoho O’Ohdom for assistance in passage or security as both options are either through or by their land.

Last edited by Homer; 01-07-2024 at 12:53 AM.
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  #1185  
Old 11-09-2023, 02:27 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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Yeah, but then again, I don't see Mexico going deep into Arizona. It's rough country and Sonora, Mx is rough country. Arizona is strategically dubious (at least in the sense the juice isn't worth the squeeze), Mexico didn't invade Arizona with enough troops to come close to even pacifying Tucson, much less securing their supply lines back into Mexico (1 "army" for both California and Arizona), and unlike Texas, there would not have been enough migrants / refugees from Sonora to give Mexican forces home field advantage like they might have enjoyed in South Texas.

800k people in Tucson area...say half starved in 1998, and another half starved in 1999, leaving you 200,000 (American) people in 2000. Mexico has 2500 personnel and 8 AFVs left in Arizona (and Sonora!) by July, 2000. Probably would not be a fun situation to be in.
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  #1186  
Old 11-09-2023, 06:29 PM
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A lot of the Mexico campaign as written suffers from "the map is not the territory" problem. The narrative of the campaign relies on looking at flat maps with highways and state borders and assuming the land is just as flat and featureless. The land of the Southwest is rarely flat and featureless. In fact the settlement patterns and placement of cities in the Southwest was basically determined by low altitude passes through mountain ranges and access to water.

Mexico invading southern Texas? Yeah there's not a lot of movement-stopping geography. The Sonora Desert portion of Arizona and California? Also makes sense. Invading up to Bakersfield? Not a chance. A Boy Scout troop could secure the Techapi and Tejon passes into the Central Valley. The Mojave desert is a barely habitable moonscape, no stretched thin army is going to be holding it. Northern Arizona is likewise not a place an army with long supply lines in a resource-scarce setting could manage to hold. New Mexico has a couple valleys stretching north-south and holding those would be difficult as well.

A nuclear beleaguered US would have a hard time securing its southern border. So an invasion by Mexico could gain ground for sure. It's just not a friendly region without pumped in electricity, power, and food. A small invasion force would be hard pressed to maintain LOCs and make forward movement.
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  #1187  
Old 11-09-2023, 07:14 PM
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Yeah, but then again, I don't see Mexico going deep into Arizona… Probably would not be a fun situation to be in.
Agreed. Much of Southern Arizona sucks to walk through, is questionable in a vehicle, and even can be questionable for rotary wing (Colorado can be worse, but try hot and high in a UH-1 or A model Blackhawk in AZ with fully kitted passengers). Maneuver on the high ground is the almost exclusive province of light or airmobile infantry and the flats provide ample IV lines and wadis that can be both obstacles and micro terrain cover (or be deadly in the monsoon).

Despite the “allure” of charging north into AZ, I think the most likely outcome is that both sides culminate short of a decisive engagement and are left with a security zone/no man’s land between Nogales, AZ and South Tucson. The US is too weak/disputed to push south (and what do they really gain?) and the Mexican Army lacks the combat power to push north and is content to maintain a “Liberated Zone” in the upper Santa Cruz River basin.

With the lack of aerial platforms, I could see both sides trying their hand at raiding using light forces infiltrated through the mountains. However, even that would probably die out as target sets are depleted through breakdown/lack of supply and capacity dwindles. Probably a bad time to be in green valley or sahuarita. I’m thinking they’re probably rubble in the middle of no-man’s land by the time things stabilize.

“Victory” for Mexico probably consists of dropping overpasses/bridges or cratering I-10 to say they cut it, and maybe some raids or bombardments of infrastructure (DMAFB as a symbolic target?) before pulling back to the south with their effective FLOT just north of Nogales, AZ. “Victory” for the US is keeping control of Tucson, retaining the ability to extract resources as permitted, and being able to keep the remaining irrigation/farming/ranching base going to feed the populace and military. This is an area where both sides could easily say they “won”, while allowing things to dwindle as they focus on securing resources and maintaining internal security.

I wonder what Tucson would look like circa 2000-2001. I’m thinking population would have moved close to the river or gone up into high ground like mount Lemmon or elsewhere in the Santa Catalina’s where water is more available and temperatures are more moderate. Maybe dry land agriculture around the riparian areas to the east and west?
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Old 11-11-2023, 09:59 AM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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Agreed. Much of Southern Arizona sucks to walk through, is questionable in a vehicle, and even can be questionable for rotary wing (Colorado can be worse, but try hot and high in a UH-1 or A model Blackhawk in AZ with fully kitted passengers). Maneuver on the high ground is the almost exclusive province of light or airmobile infantry and the flats provide ample IV lines and wadis that can be both obstacles and micro terrain cover (or be deadly in the monsoon).

Despite the “allure” of charging north into AZ, I think the most likely outcome is that both sides culminate short of a decisive engagement and are left with a security zone/no man’s land between Nogales, AZ and South Tucson. The US is too weak/disputed to push south (and what do they really gain?) and the Mexican Army lacks the combat power to push north and is content to maintain a “Liberated Zone” in the upper Santa Cruz River basin.

With the lack of aerial platforms, I could see both sides trying their hand at raiding using light forces infiltrated through the mountains. However, even that would probably die out as target sets are depleted through breakdown/lack of supply and capacity dwindles. Probably a bad time to be in green valley or sahuarita. I’m thinking they’re probably rubble in the middle of no-man’s land by the time things stabilize.

“Victory” for Mexico probably consists of dropping overpasses/bridges or cratering I-10 to say they cut it, and maybe some raids or bombardments of infrastructure (DMAFB as a symbolic target?) before pulling back to the south with their effective FLOT just north of Nogales, AZ. “Victory” for the US is keeping control of Tucson, retaining the ability to extract resources as permitted, and being able to keep the remaining irrigation/farming/ranching base going to feed the populace and military. This is an area where both sides could easily say they “won”, while allowing things to dwindle as they focus on securing resources and maintaining internal security.

I wonder what Tucson would look like circa 2000-2001. I’m thinking population would have moved close to the river or gone up into high ground like mount Lemmon or elsewhere in the Santa Catalina’s where water is more available and temperatures are more moderate. Maybe dry land agriculture around the riparian areas to the east and west?
Between Tucson and Phoenix, you have about 3.3 million people in 1995, and using satellite imagery (modern), ~750,000 acres under cultivation. Anyone's guess as to how much city sprawl has eaten up in terms of cultivated land between today and 28 years ago. An acre of wheat can feed ~6 people for a year in terms of calories, but that's with pesticides and fertilizer and commercial seed. Mechanization is labor efficient but not acreage efficient, so intensive subsistence agriculture would likely counteract some of the yield loss from the collapse of civilization. If we say yields are cut in half, then you get to a back of the envelope math of enough agriculture in the area to support about 2/3 of the pre-war population. Not awful by T2K standards - certainly much better than Manhattan, where you have enough green fields to support maybe 10,000 people (plus however many people you could feed with rats, pigeons, and fishing from the river).

The problem with Tucson proper is it has maybe 2,000 acres inside or even close to the city that are green or cultivated. Sahuarita is 17 miles as the crow flies from Tucson International Airport (itself at the south end of Tucson). So I would think Tucson would be almost entirely abandoned, with maybe 10-15,000 farmers / scavengers / bandits. The US or Mexican military might maintain a token garrison at DMAFB (most likely the Mexicans), and most of the original population either dispersed to shanty towns to the north, or dead from violence or starved during the 1998-2000 period.

Operating assumptions:
1) still sufficient irrigation & power to drive agriculture activity
2) not enough fuel for farmers to commute to work, people would live in close proximity (1 hour's hike, ~5-7 km) to work the fields.
3) food would not be transported by vehicle to "unproductive" city populations. Collapse of central authority = collapse of food distribution.
4) yields decline but not precipitously so
5) roving bands of refugees do not burn out the farms like they did in the Ohio Valley.

Using those assumptions, I could see Arizona retaining 50% of it's pre-war population. If #1 or #5 are false, then you could see Mad Max and a 90%+ population collapse instead, with the remaining population eking out a miserable existence along rivers and the canals.
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Old 11-11-2023, 12:05 PM
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There's enough ground water here in the Tucson area to supply the existing population with potable drinking water. Area farms, however, rely heavily on water from the Coloradon River transported via the CAP canal.

After the nuclear exchange, regional "water wars" between states and municipalities could transpire (the SW states are fighting over it now, IRL). This could cut the Tucson area's access to that crucial CO River water and more or less render large scale agriculture impossible.

Climate-wise, it's quite lovely here for 7 months of the year. Mid-May through mid-October, however, is unbearably hot. It's no surprise that the population of Arizona didn't really grow until the advent of air conditioning.

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Old 11-11-2023, 03:44 PM
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There's enough ground water here in the Tucson area to supply the existing population with potable drinking water. Area farms, however, rely heavily on water from the Coloradon River transported via the CAP canal.

After the nuclear exchange, regional "water wars" between states and municipalities could transpire (the SW states are fighting over it now, IRL). This could cut the Tucson area's access to that crucial CO River water and more or less render large scale agriculture impossible.

Climate-wise, it's quite lovely here for 7 months of the year. Mid-May through mid-October, however, is unbearably hot. It's no surprise that the population of Arizona didn't really grow until the advent of air conditioning.

-
The whole southern United States is unpleasant without air conditioner for long stretches of the year. Summer was about as bad as we've ever had it this year in Texas, at least as long as I've been alive. My Texas joke is we have two seasons in Texas, summer and almost summer.

One thing about AZ is the population has close to doubled since 1995 (and California has increased by ~8 million), so one bright side is in 2000, you'd have 23 fewer years of population growth, reservoir and ground water depletion to contend with. In addition, AZ grows enough food to be self-sufficient in calorie terms. That being said, it looks to me like the water feeding the Phoenix area agriculture comes from Lake Havasu by way of the Colorado River and Yuma...and while Phoenix nor Tucson might fall to the Mexican invasion, Yuma absolutely would, and from there Mexico could cut off much of the water needed for agriculture and starve out much of the American population of Arizona.
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Old 11-12-2023, 08:16 AM
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Tucson may be hot in the summer, but try going there from central Louisiana or central North Carolina. Just removing the constant humidity from the air makes feel downright balmy! Phoenix, on the other hand….
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Old 11-12-2023, 09:59 AM
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Tucson may be hot in the summer, but try going there from central Louisiana or central North Carolina. Just removing the constant humidity from the air makes feel downright balmy! Phoenix, on the other hand….
It's a dry heat.
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Old 11-12-2023, 11:21 AM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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It's a dry heat.

It does make a difference. Sweat doesn't really cool you off in high humidity, and high humidity retains the heat deep into the night. Nothing like walking outside at midnight and it's still 100 degrees outside like it was this year.
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Old 11-12-2023, 12:59 PM
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It does make a difference. Sweat doesn't really cool you off in high humidity, and high humidity retains the heat deep into the night. Nothing like walking outside at midnight and it's still 100 degrees outside like it was this year.
I've spent a lot of time in both Arizona and central Louisiana in the summer. The dry heat totally makes a difference. I've just always been a fan of the saying because I'd always hear it from my relatives in Arizona any time temperature was mentioned. I can take a dry heat. The high wet bulb temperatures of Louisiana were just ridiculous. One time I stepped off a plane onto the tarmac and it felt like stepping into a hot pool.

But all that is to say I think it's interesting to consider terrain (and weather) in all post-TDM scenarios. Without power and pumped water the Southwest US is barely habitable, certainly not at its current population. A lot of lost territory in the Mexican invasion would be territory that was effectively abandoned. Surviving populations of Tucson and Phoenix would likely head west to the Colorado or north. No sense baking and desiccating in the remains of Tucson for six months out of the year.
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Old 11-12-2023, 02:00 PM
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It's a dry heat.
Try that one in August when you’re climbing Tiefort for “team building”! Crash Hill at noon on August is still infinitely preferable to full kit in Shugart-Gordon same time of year…

Agree that much of the modern SW is an empty prize without the power, water, and transportation that contributes to modern carrying capacity. That said, the remaining sources of power and water along with what resources remain extractable and exploitable would likely constitute the strategic objectives in the area. Whether that translates to operations and battles is another matter. If your force is in a relatively good position (water, food, at least a promise of those continuing) and seizing the directed objectives don’t correlate with continuing access to those resources you make be less than enthusiastic about jumping off to an attack. And what’s the real capacity of higher HQs to compel compliance?

Last edited by Homer; 11-12-2023 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 11-24-2023, 02:50 AM
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Just had a week of temperatures between 95 and 104 F here in Perth, Western Australia and it's not even summer yet. Most of Perth's fresh water these days comes from desalination plants. T2K Perth would be marginally habitable. Certainly there would be a catastrophic reduction in population.
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Old 01-05-2024, 10:37 PM
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Chico, just wanted to say hope you are doing better and get back on the typewriter again. Your daily updates were one of the things I looked forward to each day.
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Old 01-06-2024, 08:53 PM
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Chico, just wanted to say hope you are doing better and get back on the typewriter again. Your daily updates were one of the things I looked forward to each day.
I will second this. Your updates are greatly missed.
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Old 02-22-2024, 02:16 PM
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Hi Guys!

As you can tell, I haven't been around for quite some time. I can't really go into details, but last year was challenging for me on a number of fronts (personally, professionally and health-wise) and in December it all came to a head.

As I move forward, I cannot devote the time that sustaining this thread requires - in fact, I was struggling to keep up for most of last year. Indeed, continuing the effort places me in a certain amount of jeopardy professionally. It pains me to do so, but I have to suspend the effort to keep this going, probably for quite some time. I wish I could keep it going, but I just can't risk it.

As a partial wrap-up, the remainder of the action on the Central and Southern European fronts (at a higher level than this thread) were detailed in my earlier document and some pretty photos of the remainder of the war are in my Illustrated History of the Third World War that I worked up a few years back. Google took my website down a few years back and I never completed its replacement (setting that effort aside along with several other efforts), but the Wayback machine has a copy of the website here. Its likely that another document I wrote up will appear in the next edition of the fanzine.

I appreciate all the assistance, support and encouragement that folks here provided! I really did enjoy the opportunity to share stories and make things in the timeline GDW developed come to life.

I will try to stop by from time to time and see what is going on.

Thanks!
(I won't say Good Luck, You're On Your Own! )
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Old 02-22-2024, 02:56 PM
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Chico,

Tremendous appreciation for what I believe to be the greatest contribution to the T2k world in terms of creativity, quantity, and quality. So many thanks to you for all you have done.

Hoping that you see improvement in every front that has been difficult for you.

Comms will be open, while we sit around the fire retelling stories based on the information you have so generously provided to us.
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