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  #61  
Old 01-20-2011, 12:28 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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In addition to being cut off by terrain and (potential) Pact forces, I'll stick to my opinion that the XI US Corps leadership is influenced by the Polish Free Congress representatives that are with them. The PFC is still trying to win over nearby Polish forces, despite their failure to do much before the offensive. In addition, the "loss of contact" implies to me that after the III German Corps broke contact, the Americans lost faith in their higher-ups. If we further assume some kind of communications breakdown (loss of radios or codes or whatever), then they are truly out of contact.

Where they are, the remainder of XI Corps can try to make the best of a bad situation. Every other NATO unit that's tried to leave their position (5th Mech, 8th Mech, even III Corps) has been driven back or swallowed up by the Pact forces all around. I can certainly see why they want to hunker down for the foreseeable future.

Yeah then throw into the account that the UK and other US units are leaving front line positions after things settle down so to evacuate home. It would be enough to make any Commander to think twice about stirring up a hornet nest again. No sense of giving the Soviet any more reason to move more units.
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  #62  
Old 01-20-2011, 04:48 PM
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I don't see the PFC being much of an influence on the XI Corp at all. What can they really offer the Corp that they either don't have already, or can simply reach out and take?
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  #63  
Old 01-20-2011, 05:38 PM
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I don't see the PFC being much of an influence on the XI Corp at all. What can they really offer the Corp that they either don't have already, or can simply reach out and take?
They're stronger together. An adversarial relationship will only harm both parties. Their respective territories are adjacent if not overlapphing. They are both hostile to the Soviets and their lackeys. It would be quite odd, IMHO, if they chose not to work closely together.
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  #64  
Old 01-20-2011, 06:04 PM
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I don't buy the "geography" explanation. As the crow flies, the XI is really not all that far from Bremerhaven. Quite a few of the American units listed as "in transit" to the evac point are travelling much greater distances (from Austria, for example) in order to get there. Even if the various river bridges between the Kolobrzeg region and Bremerhaven were down, the XI should include adequate engineer and bridging units to get the bulk of the Corps' men, if not its vehicles, across. I don't see hanging on to their AFVs as being an issue as OMEGA dictates that they be left behind anyway. They could simply be driven to the nearest uncrossable river and scuttled.

Furthermore, the Danish Jutland division somehow made it home. They were listed as being in NW Poland with the XI Corps in the summer but, by Going Home, they have successfully made the journey back to Denmark. Didn't some German units attached to or working alongside the XI Corps also return to German after the failure of the summer offensive? If they can make it that far W, why can't the remainder of the Corps?

There's got to be some other factor/s keeping the XI Corps en situ during OMEGA.

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The NATO had been caught completely by surprise how fast the the Soviets were able to move the 22nd Cavalry and 4th Guards Tank Armies. At this time when they were closing in on the 5th Mechanized Division it was only then that the XI Corps Commander faced a hard chose. The 5th was too far south and out on it own. The 8th had equally went out on it own. As the Third German Army and III German Corps started to pull back. The Corps commander was left with hard choice. If he withdrew it would mean 3/4 of his command would be either destroyed or isolated.
This is an interesting point, Abbott, and one that I hadn't considered. There may some merit to it. I wondering though, would the Corps commander risk the remainder of his command being stranded indefinitely in Poland in the hope that the bulk of the 5th and 8th IDs return? By the time the OMEGA orders are issued, he must have received enough intel to have reached the conclusion that the 5th was all but annihilated. The 8th might be in better shape, but why strand several divisions to wait for only one? Once again, there's got to be something else going on.

It might be a bit of an intellectual copout, but perhaps all of the factors identified so far are in play. Perhaps a more holistic explanation incorporating geography, fraternity, politics, and logistics is in order.

Another idea- forgive me if it's been mentioned previously- supporting the notion that XI Corps' decision to stay in Poland is, at least in part, voluntary is that XI Corps has invested so much time and energy into developing its cantonments in NW Poland, that many of the men have put down roots there and simply don't want to leave. Assuming the various components of XI Corps have been stationed/operating in NW Poland since at least the Spring of 2000, it's possible that there's a sense of belonging/ownership has developed. Perhaps, when given the choice between a long and difficult forced march west, over difficult terrain (geography), to face a long and dangerous ocean voyage back to a devastated country that many of them haven't seen in 2-3 (or more) years, or a relatively safe, well supplied cantonment in a place they've lived and fought in for nearly as long, many men decided on the latter option. Perhaps some of the men have married local women and possibly even started families there?

If the men of XI Corps feel that they have a personal stake in NW Poland, then it stands to reason that they cooperate with the PFC and those former PA units loyal to it.
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  #65  
Old 01-20-2011, 06:22 PM
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They're stronger together. An adversarial relationship will only harm both parties. Their respective territories are adjacent if not overlapphing. They are both hostile to the Soviet's and their lackeys. It would be odd, IMHO, if they chose not to work together.
Rae,

I would agree, the military benefits are obvious. An ally would at least protect your flank, if nothing else. The PFC needs all the friends it can get, and XI Corps are natural allies.

Politically, there are benefits for the PFC, if they can work out a polite fiction the XI Corps is there at their behest and that they retain sovereign control over the combined territory. This is much how foreign recognition enhances the legitimacy of a government.

On XI Corp's side, they would actually derive some benefit themselves from the arrangement. If nothing else, they are less likely to be treated as hostile occupiers. (Not impossible but at least less likely.) They would have translators at the least, at best if the PFC administers their territory on behalf of the Free Polish government they wouldn't have to take that responsibility on themselves. At least at the time of "Going Home", XI Corps is not planning on staying permanently so there's little to gain by exercising direct controlling Polish territory if there's someone willing to administer it for them.

I think you'd at least see direct liaisons between HQs with the exchange of officers, with regular communications established.

Tony
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  #66  
Old 01-20-2011, 07:47 PM
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The point about the Danes is a good one, however I believe that can be explained fairly simply.

The Danes were held in reserve by the XI Corps and were therefore further west at the time the Corp came under threat of being cut off. The bulk of the Corp was in fact spread out over a very wide area - the 5th ID down to the southeast, 8th disappeared over the eastern horizon and the 2nd Marines stretched over the Vistula delta.
If you follow my assessment of the offensive, the entire Corps was short on fuel due to loss of shipping capacity in the Baltic (this loss of shipping also helps explain why the Corps can't be evacuated by sea).

The Danes however were probably the link unit between the US/Canadians and the Germans. They were able to squeeze back into Germany before the route was cut by the advancing Pact forces - the remainder of the Corp too crippled by the fuel shortage to move fast enough (and the Marines still spread across numerous rivers).

Although crippled by the lack of fuel, the XI Corps still posed enough of a challenge defensively to deter the Pact forces from pressing against their enclave in an attempt to push them into the sea - the XI Corp still possessed much of the ammunition, food and other stores gathered over the preceeding months, even years for their intended offensive operations.
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  #67  
Old 01-20-2011, 08:07 PM
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The point about the Danes is a good one, however I believe that can be explained fairly simply.

The Danes were held in reserve by the XI Corps and were therefore further west at the time the Corp came under threat of being cut off. The bulk of the Corp was in fact spread out over a very wide area - the 5th ID down to the southeast, 8th disappeared over the eastern horizon and the 2nd Marines stretched over the Vistula delta.

If you follow my assessment of the offensive, the entire Corps was short on fuel due to loss of shipping capacity in the Baltic (this loss of shipping also helps explain why the Corps can't be evacuated by sea).

The Danes however were probably the link unit between the US/Canadians and the Germans. They were able to squeeze back into Germany before the route was cut by the advancing Pact forces - the remainder of the Corp too crippled by the fuel shortage to move fast enough (and the Marines still spread across numerous rivers).

Although crippled by the lack of fuel, the XI Corps still posed enough of a challenge defensively to deter the Pact forces from pressing against their enclave in an attempt to push them into the sea - the XI Corp still possessed much of the ammunition, food and other stores gathered over the preceeding months, even years for their intended offensive operations.
It makes sense, and I'm tempted to buy in, but, who are these advancing Pact forces? Where did they go? Why aren't they still between the remainder of XI Corps (the "trapped" bits) and Bremerhaven when OMEGA gets under way. There's nothing listed in that area in Going Home. If there are no enemy forces between their cantonments and Bremerhaven, why can't the elements of XI Corps just walk west? Several units in Germany are listed as legging it towards the evac point, so it's not unprecendented. A fuel shortage explains, in large part, the ultimate failure of the Summer XI Corps offensive but it doesn't explain the failure of XI Corps to evacuate northern Poland in the fall. The fuel issue, at the time Omega is unveiled, is kind of moot. Like I said before, if XI Corps is out of gas, why wouldn't it just scuttle its tanks in place and hoof it?

If the answer is enemy forces to the west, where are they? If they're not strong enough to merit a mention in any of the canonical sources, then they shouldn't be much of an obstacle to a powerful NATO Corps.

If the widely scattered 2nd MarDiv can reassemble and return to its cantonment by the time the OMEGA orders come down- fuel shortages and everything- why can't it continue west? There are hostile Pact forces at several points along the Baltic Coast and elements of the 2nd MarDiv would presumably had to have fought through a couple of those as well to reassemble at its fall cantonment. If they could do that, why couldn't the entire XI Corps break out to the west?

I really wish we could get an original developers explanation for why XI Corps stays behind in Poland.
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  #68  
Old 01-20-2011, 09:37 PM
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I'm just going to say this so that we can acknowledge it and move back to the process of trying to force sense out of why XI Corps would just sit on its hands and watching TF 34 sail over the horizon.

This is a continuity error. Plain and simple.The writer claims IX Corp is cut off by Pact Forces and then failed to position any Pact Forces to do the job. Just an oversight.

Now, back to the RetCon.

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  #69  
Old 01-20-2011, 09:46 PM
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I'm just going to say this so that we can acknowledge it and move back to the process of trying to force sense out of why XI Corps would just sit on its hands and watching TF 34 sail over the horizon.

This is a continuity error. Plain and simple.The writer claims IX Corp is cut off by Pact Forces and then failed to position any Pact Forces to do the job. Just an oversight.

Now, back to the RetCon.
So, the RetCon is to place a PACT Corps between U.S. XI Corps and German III Corps? I'm game.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:17 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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There were some Polish Troops, also there may have been rumors of Soviet troops moving north which some did during the counter offensive. Granted after the bulk of the one Polish Army more or less switch sides and several of the rest of the Polish army units making the consideration.

Now the real trick is how whatever Governments reclaim control of Germany and Poland do get along. The III German Corps withdrawing wouldn't make many friends with the Poles. The Poles in all aspect wouldn't really be too friendly to the UK or the French either. They were both part of the selling them out to the Soviets, even though the French were along for the ride at that point.

So even with large Pro-NATO in northern Poland. The government would not really trust the Germans who they felt started the war to begin with. UK would be trusted but within reason, they did after all allow the Government-in-Exile to continue to function in London even after they handed Poland to the Soviets. France it saving grace is the long history of alliances at times when the Polish were free against the various common enemies (ie Germans, Austria-Hungarian Empire, Russia) in the pass and they pulled out of the NATO and didn't actively take part in the what they would of seen as the German led invasion during WWIII.

As for the French being able to provide aid, well they will certainly have agents all over Europe. Them and Isreal will have several agents at the various large power centers in Central and Eastern Europe trying to make sure that only the ones they supported would eventual rule over these regions.

As for real physical help, for Poland at least they will stay away at least Northern Poland. Southern Poland would be pretty much cut off from formal help from the French, unless the France would be willing to use their Air Force to send aid. Two reason with troop on the Rhine region of Germany and not being in NATO, these two countries are more or less in undeclared war. France is in no position to slug it out with a weaken German Army and lay claim to more devastated areas.

Not only that the French would be interested in standing up the other Baltic State and other regions of Europe back on the path of stabilization. For nothing else to make sure they don't have to spread out their already spread out force.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:28 PM
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The XI Corps, at least the Canadians, 50th AD and 2nd Marines, is still a very strong formation. Writing off that firepower isn't somethng ANYONE is going to do lightly, even if it's preventing large scale evacuation.
As I've proposed, some transportation is available between XI Corps and the remainder of Nato, which would allow the transfer of individuals between them. Some from XI may wish to go home, while, as we know from Going Home, many other US troops chose, for various reasons, to stay - these people may choose to move into XI Corps AO.

The thought may be that with approximately 1/4 of US manpower staying in Europe, a second evacuation may occur in the following months. While waiting for this to be organised, XI could have been distilling fuel for a breakout to the south and west, taking with them absolutely TRUCKLOADS of vehicles, ammunition and other stores, all vital to either the Germans, or US recovery.

I do agree that there should be a Pact blocking force in place. I agree that the lack of such is either an oversight, misprint, or misinformation. The players should NEVER know exactly where the enemy is unless they've personally laid eyes on them. Leaving an obvious gap on the BYB map (and in the other books) could be construed as a part of this vagueness.

It is my personal belief that the map of unit locations in the 2.x book, cannot be taken as gospel - a fair indication perhaps, but I believe that during writing of all versions, the developers were a little pressed for time and this is one of the things they overlooked.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:54 PM
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The XI Corps, at least the Canadians, 50th AD and 2nd Marines, is still a very strong formation. Writing off that firepower isn't somethng ANYONE is going to do lightly, even if it's preventing large scale evacuation.
As I've proposed, some transportation is available between XI Corps and the remainder of Nato, which would allow the transfer of individuals between them. Some from XI may wish to go home, while, as we know from Going Home, many other US troops chose, for various reasons, to stay - these people may choose to move into XI Corps AO.

The thought may be that with approximately 1/4 of US manpower staying in Europe, a second evacuation may occur in the following months. While waiting for this to be organised, XI could have been distilling fuel for a breakout to the south and west, taking with them absolutely TRUCKLOADS of vehicles, ammunition and other stores, all vital to either the Germans, or US recovery.
I believe those other than the XI Corps have chosen to stay. Of course, there will be this unit or that missed the boat, but for the large part units like the one Brigade from the 44th Armor Division and 11th Armor Cavalry Regiment stayed for various reason. One was to get power plant operation and set up their own kingdom if not use it as resource for the coming 'power' struggles, while the other returned to the region it was deployed before the war (which didn't make sense in the overall picture of things, but hey it was their story) that some in the unit still had ties too. The rest of the units of the US 7th and 4th Army and the other Corps that had been attached to a German Army that had stayed had done so in order to help the Germans rebuild.

If there was 2nd evacuation it would for the US XI Corp assuming that Northern Poland did stay with NATO.

As for the Corps staying, these units have learned what the Armies of Centuries past had already known. Once summer has past, it was time to start to preparing winter quarters. This would include setting up a Corps Supply Base, Divisional Supply, and Brigade/Regimental Supply Bases and then setting up the various Battalions, Squadrons, Companies, and Troops in an array to control the Corps XI as well as train local militia and police units.

IF the Corps decide to move, there was no way know for sure they would make it. No one in Germany would of been able to absorb and the pain in ass to realign units to give XI Corps a part of the line or place it in reserve. It would mean the Corps would have to start from scratch if they were placed in reserve and pissing off the local population when they realize their food stores would have to be shared with their new neighbors. Or much worse the Corps and the units they displace would have to build up, not from scratch, but the confusion during this time would lend itself where units would be more prone to Pact attack/raids.

I think it was probably the hardest choice that was made with the Supreme Commander, US Army, Europe Commander, and US XI Corps Commander and their HQs already having access these questions. Not know how loyal the newly NATO flagged Poles would be and if they would mind the units they had previous been fighting month ago would let their former enemy free passage too. Beside the unknown of the fighting effectiveness of the Soviet units moved north to replace the Polish units that were fighting the 3rd German Army during the offensive and the run away 5th and 8th US Mechanized Divisions.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:29 AM
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A second evac would indeed have to be aimed mainly at extracting the XI Corp, however those units which stayed to assist in rebuilding would surely find a berth available also.
A second evac would be much smaller than Omega and require a lot less resources. It's also presumable that the Nato commanders acknowledged the war was effectively over in September/October 2000 or else they probably wouldn't have authorised Omega. By Spring 2001, there may be enough Pact units withdrawn to allow XI Corp a decent chance too.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:35 AM
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I'm just going to say this so that we can acknowledge it and move back to the process of trying to force sense out of why XI Corps would just sit on its hands and watching TF 34 sail over the horizon.

This is a continuity error. Plain and simple.The writer claims IX Corp is cut off by Pact Forces and then failed to position any Pact Forces to do the job. Just an oversight.

Now, back to the RetCon.
Scott,

Part of the retcon could be that XI Corps feared there were PacWar forces in between them and Bremerhaven. Given the state of intelligence gathering, it's possible that they mistook the position of real PacWar forces or the blocking force is completely imaginary.

Tony
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:58 AM
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This is probably a bit out of the box, but from time to time I've thought about the possibility of XI Corps "catching a lift" with the BAOR when it returns to the UK.

My thinking (which I haven't gone into in any great detail as it's not something that I would use myself*) is something along the lines of HMG offering space to XI Corps on the ships sent to bring the BAOR back to the UK (possibly with whatever AFV's and heavy equipment they can get to Bremerhaven); the British might even be able to send ships right into the Baltic to pick them up.

In return for this XI Corps would then assist HMG in restoring order in the UK (and considerable assistance that would be - it would I think virtually double the manpower available to HMG). The last part of the deal would involve HMG supplying transport for XI Corps to ultimately return to the US (and Canada) some time towards the end of 2001 (Of course I'm sure anyone that wanted to stay in the UK would be made quite welcome...). Again, this would be with whatever AFV's etc they had brought with them from Europe, so there is a long term benefit there for (presumably) Milgov. Also saves Milgov having to arrange a second evacuation.

So...really just a random thought...XI Corps get a ride home courtesy of the British Government late in 2001 in exchange for six months of peacekeeping in the UK..

(*Main reason I wouldn't use it as I think that having such a large body of reasonably well equipped and experienced troops available would heavily tilt the balance of power in favour of HMG and mean that law and order would be restored much quicker, which I don't think would be conducive to decent RP'ing opportunities - for example I don't think the Duke of Cornwall or any of the separatist Governments would stand much of a chance against them)
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  #76  
Old 01-21-2011, 08:20 AM
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Although XI Corp have their backs solidly against the ocean, there simply aren't any port facilities in the area capable of handling them, even today. Throw in several years of warfare and nukes, and....

For the XI Corp to go anywhere, it has to be by land, at least in the initial stages.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:17 AM
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That is the entire point by Spring or early Summer 2001 there may be enough withdrew/faded away/change sides from in between the German III Corps and the US XI Corps?

Then the next question is how much of the of the forces left in this area are Pro-NATO and if they would it be more productive to keep the XI Corps there to keep their portion of Poland stabilized long enough for the for NATO friendly government in Poland to take control of their region.

With the US and UK largely out of the fight. What is left of NATO on the main land have to turn their attention toward rebuilding and consolidating. I am sure there would be number of troops who would want to leave for home in the XI Corps, but I don't see Germany, Danish, Sweden, or any other government that was still left in NATO in 2001 being willing to support such a move. As a whole what remains of NATO would be disappointed in both the US and UK for their leaving them high and dry. Not many of the Governments could blame the US or UK doing so.

What real value would the US and/or the UK would get out of the XI Corps even if they were able to withdraw the remains of the Corps including the the remains of the II MEF which would have collapse upon the 2nd Marine Division. I am sure the remains of the various elements of German, Polish, and Danish Governments would love to keep the XI Corps in their region to help rebuild.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:44 AM
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What real value would the US and/or the UK would get out of the XI Corps even if they were able to withdraw the remains of the Corps including the the remains of the II MEF which would have collapse upon the 2nd Marine Division.
I've said before that I personally think that as soon as the BAOR comes home the game is up for most if not all of the separatist and marauder elements in the UK - quantitively and qualitively I don't think they are any match for the BAOR. The only question is how long they can hold out (and how much damage they inflict on HMG whilst doing so).

XI US Corps (or even a relatively small part thereof) would be an immense force multiplier. I'm not suggesting thay a combined BAOR / XI Corps would "pacify" the country in six months, but XI Corps' presence could (I think) significantly reduce the time that it takes HMG to get large parts of the country back under control.

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I am sure the remains of the various elements of German, Polish, and Danish Governments would love to keep the XI Corps in their region to help rebuild.
I don't doubt it, however what the UK Government might - and it is a very big might - be able to offer that others cannot is an eventual way home to North America. We know from canon that the UK has sufficient shipping to withdraw two Divisions with equipment at some point in time and also has access to North Sea oil, so there is a possibility that eventually those who want to go home can do so. And as I mentioned previously, there's an added benefit to the US Government inasmuch as they eventually get more troops home, possibly with AFV's and heavy equipment without having to arrange the evacuation themselves - the British do everything for them.

Like I said, it is a totally random, and in some ways totally "out there" idea, and there are problems - Leg pointed out the lack of suitable ports on the Baltic, which simply never crossed my mind...but maybe it could work...
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:45 PM
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If there are no enemy forces between their cantonments and Bremerhaven, why can't the elements of XI Corps just walk west? A fuel shortage explains, in large part, the ultimate failure of the Summer XI Corps offensive but it doesn't explain the failure of XI Corps to evacuate northern Poland in the fall.
It can, if the nearby Pact units to the East are still mechanized and mobile. There doesn't have to be anyone blocking them in the West.

If they hoof it out on foot, leaving their heavy armor behind, then the Pact units nearby won't have a hard time running them down, outmanuevering them, and simply using superior (one sided now) firepower.

XI Corps can be fixed in place, unable to move, because if they do they won't be able to break contact and will be ultimately overwhelmed. Their armour and artillery would be like a double edged sword - keeping them alive but helplessly trapped at the same time.

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Old 01-21-2011, 12:50 PM
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Part of the retcon could be that XI Corps feared there were PacWar forces in between them and Bremerhaven. Given the state of intelligence gathering, it's possible that they mistook the position of real PacWar forces or the blocking force is completely imaginary.
Intel gathering in 2000 is definitely not what it was in early '97, but XI Corps should have enough recon assets (LRS companies, ad-hoc LRRP units, and elements of the 116th ACR) to determine that significant enemy forces aren't blocking the route west.

Granted, precedent does exist for massive intel failures in the Twilight War (i.e. the "misplaced" Pact Corps that destroys 5th ID), but that's a slightly different situation. The 5th was plunging deep behind enemy lines and at least a couple of the units that smashed it were thought to be in the Ukraine or thereabouts. In the case of XI Corps, were talking about much shorter distances and an area essentially behind friendly lines. The XI Corps commander would have to be paralyzed by fear in order not to do anything to at least determine ground truth in the AO before making such a far reaching decision (i.e. to stay put in NW Poland indefinitely).
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:57 PM
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It can, if the nearby Pact units to the East are still mechanized and mobile. There doesn't have to be anyone blocking them in the West.

If they hoof it out on foot, leaving their heavy armor behind, then the Pact units nearby won't have a hard time running them down, outmanuevering them, and simply using superior (one sided now) firepower.

XI Corps can be fixed in place, unable to move, because if they do they won't be able to break contact and will be ultimately overwhelmed. Their armour and artillery would be like a double edged sword - keeping them alive but helplessly trapped at the same time.
This is a good point. I suppose that IF XI Corps was entirely out of fuel AND all the bridges between their positions and Bremerhaven were down AND they thought that significant PACT forces (at least a strong armored or mech Corps) were driving for the Baltic in order to cut them off, then staying put makes a ton of sense.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:36 PM
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Perhaps we should break it down. There are a lot of issues/factors at play here, and things are starting to get muddled.

Going Home states that "The XI Corps was cut off from higher headquarters after the Pact counteroffensive of July, and has remained in its positions out of necessity rather than by choice. It has been written off by USAEUR. The XI US Corps HQ staff is currently wintering in Kolobrzeg, Poland, along with the remnants of the 50th US AD. At of the beginning of the adventure, word of the evacuation has just arrived. Most of the Corps' personnel will decide to remain in place rather than risk the journey to Bremerhaven." (Going Home, p. 14)


1.) "The XI Corps was cut off from higher headquarters after the Pact counteroffensive of July..."

This is the smoking gun, as far as I'm concerned, suggesting a fairly serious continuity error on the part of the writers. No such forces are identified or mentioned in any of the canonical sources as being in the region in either July, autumn or winter of 2000. If a RetCon is required, this is what needs to be addressed. A powerful Soviet/Pact Corps or Army needs to be created and placed in NW Poland, either between XI Corps and the German border, or in the immediate vicinity.

2.) "...and [XI Corps] has remained in its positions out of necessity rather than by choice."

Once again, this suggests that the above-mentioned hypothetical enemy forces are still in the area between XI Corps and the German border and pose a clear and present danger to a large-scale evacuation/general withdrawal.

3.) "[XI Corps] has been written off by USAEUR."

If it's unable to move because of points 1 & 2, then this makes perfect sense and needs no further explanation. If no such enemy units exist, then perhaps USAEUR decided to sacrifice XI Corps to protect the evac site from a possible Dunkirk scenario.

Rainbow has theorized that XI Corps will be evacuated later, by way of the UK, after assisting in stabilizing that island nation. This is an interesting theory, but one belied by the "written off" bit. I still think that this alternative theory provides an intriguing segue for American PC groups wishing to play a campaign in the UK.

I've posited an alternative, political explanation, where the XI Corps command is suspected of throwing in its lot with CivGov, and is therefore deliberately left behind to strengthen MilGov's hand in CONUS upon the return of the OMEGA sealifts. Perhaps SACEUR feeds XI Corps bogus intel suggesting a possible PACT attack to keep them in place.

4.) "At of the beginning of the adventure, word of the evacuation has just arrived. Most of the Corps' personnel will decide to remain in place rather than risk the journey to Bremerhaven."

"[R]isk the journey..." supports the RetCon placing strong Pact units between XI Corps and the German border in the Autumn of 2000.

Also, its possible that the command element and soldiers of XI Corps are personally invested in the area and have made a conscious decision to "remain in place".
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:25 PM
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This is a good point. I suppose that IF XI Corps was entirely out of fuel AND all the bridges between their positions and Bremerhaven were down AND they thought that significant PACT forces (at least a strong armored or mech Corps) were driving for the Baltic in order to cut them off, then staying put makes a ton of sense.
XI Corps doesn't need to be completely out of fuel, but "low" can be low enough. If they have to abandon their heavy vehicles to walk out, even Red cavalry or barely mechanized forces can mop them up easy.

There may not be strong Pact forces in position to their west, but the possibility exists (not least in the minds of XI Corps HQ) that the Soviets could move one there. Once 5th Division ceases transmitting, does the Corps HQ really know where 4th Guards Tank Army is? IMO, they could believe that there are more Pact forces, gas/diesel-fueled, lurking over the horizon. For a general & staff trained to fight for years with the benefits of radio communication, satellite and aerial reconnaissance, and other goodies; now that they've lost them, the "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns" can add up pretty quickly. Do they really know where Red Bear Chelkov and his Army is? The CIA claims to be in contact with forces near him, but do you trust them? Those reports are pretty out of date by the time they get to XI Corps HQ.

Also, it's been mentioned that the Corps and its forces have some reconnaissance assets, but those can't go very deep and still provide rapid information anymore. If there are cavalry patrols (Pact Poles and Soviets) to the east, they can report that. How would you interpret it? Whatever is out there to the east, it drove off III German Corps. That's a significant point of data.

Someone above said "paralyzed with fear"-- I would expand that to "with fear and uncertainty." And maybe command exhaustion. "There are no tired regiments, only tired colonels."-- Napoleon(?)

As for the Danes, I could support either the idea that they followed the Germans out, or that they found enough shipping on their own to float out. Neither event is likely to raise the morale of XI Corps HQ.

Finally, I think the idea of the British making an offer to pull them out in 2001 via the UK would make an excellent "Return to Europe" adventure for a group of PCs.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:23 PM
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I...the units that smashed it were thought to be in the Ukraine or thereabouts.
The 22nd Cavalry Army had in fact been confirmed to be in Byelorussia at the beginning of the offensive.
The 4th GTA were also confirmed to be in the Ukraine.

As of November 2000, there is little to indicated that either of these formations (particularly the 4th GTA) were short on fuel. It can be assumed though that the destruction of the US 5th ID took a lot out of them, requiring weeks, or even months to rebuild.

Throughout all the available resources, we see that there was widespread activity in the summer of 2000 all along the Poland / German front. It can be presumed that few units were not in contact to varying degrees with the enemy. It can also be presumed (or should have by the various commanders) that units pushed back from the front and relieved would have been rallied and held in reserve. Without modern recon abilities (air, satellite, etc) a commander could not know the exact state of these units and had to assume (until evidence was provided otherwise) they could be a problem for any operations.

We, as players, GMs, writers, etc know that the real state of affairs was one of utter confusion. Almost no unit retained much structural integrity, let alone offensive capability. The people on the ground however had lived, fought, and seen men die for up to five years. Even after units, cities, factory complexes and civilisation in general had been nuked almost back to the stone age, the military had remained. A relatively small (compared to a few years before) offensive wasn't likely to do what the nukes couldn't...

So, right up until physical confirmation had been received that the enemy had given up and gone home, commanders HAD to assume the war was still being fought and react accordingly, or risk their entire unit, nay, the entire war being lost.

This fact has to be at the core of all decisions a commander makes - in our current topic of conversation, the decision to stay put in a defensible location and not withdraw as per Omega.

Now, NATO in general may have felt the US leaving to be a betrayal, however they left all their heavy equipment behind, allowing the Germans to rebuild their military. The reduction of tens of thousands of hungry mouths from Germany would also have been a welcome relief for those who stayed.

It wasn't until the following year, once the situation had apparently stabilised and information was available to indicate the Pact were no longer a credible threat that the British withdrew. With the situation at home, it was also quite clear to the remains of the British government that leaving the troops in Europe was probably going to cause more problems than it solved. Bringing them home and using them there was definitely going to solve more problems than it created.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:33 PM
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The same said UK Forces were already in and around the Hanover region of Germany. Quite a bit far from their starting points of the 2000 offensive began and not in direction that would place them in contact with enemy Pact Forces either.
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:55 AM
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A VERY different situation. The British, as far as I can work out, were Nato's reserve prior to the 2000 actions. Although there are indications they fought in the summer of 2000, they were never in danger of being cut off.
The British are also in a stronger bargaining position than the Americans too - they don't require anywhere near the same amount of fuel to get home (and as previously indicated, they can probably supply it themselves from the North Sea wells). Therefore, it's extremely likely they'd be able to take all their heavy equipment with them (not that they'd really need tanks and artillery back home, unlike the Americans with Mexican and Soviet forces on their soil).
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:11 AM
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This is probably a bit out of the box, but from time to time I've thought about the possibility of XI Corps "catching a lift" with the BAOR when it returns to the UK.
I don't think that's out of the box at all.

Even if XI Corps couldn't make OPOMEGA's departure date, where do you think a couple of thousand English speakers are going to want to settle down permanently? Poland? or the U.K.? If I were HMG I sure as heck would be mulling over the possibility of recruiting all those Americans and Canadians.

Besides the language barrier, I've always wondered why US forces are always treated so hospitably by Poles in TW2000. Sure, the Sovs are brutal douche-nozzles, but the Americans sure did toss a lot of nukes around the Polish country-side. Even if there is such a thing as pro-NATO Polish Free Congress, I can't imagine their attitude towards Americans is going to be anything other than "Thanks for the Rads and for the mauling the Red Army... now f@*& off."

A. Scott Glancy, President TCCorp, dba Pagan Publishing
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:51 AM
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Besides the language barrier, I've always wondered why US forces are always treated so hospitably by Poles in TW2000. Sure, the Sovs are brutal douche-nozzles, but the Americans sure did toss a lot of nukes around the Polish country-side. Even if there is such a thing as pro-NATO Polish Free Congress, I can't imagine their attitude towards Americans is going to be anything other than "Thanks for the Rads and for the mauling the Red Army... now f@*& off."
Living in Poland was not easy in the 80s. Eastern Europeans also had a very low standard of living during the Cold War.

I have read several books on the Estonian Forest Brothers. Only a small part of the Estonians began to resist the brutal oppression of the regime. Even food donations freedom fighters demanding a great deal of courage. This, therefore, despite the fact that Estonians have had universal military service (men knew how to use weapons) and weapons were readily available as soon as the fighting ended on Estonian soil. In real world partisan action is for those who are very brave or who have nothing to lose.

I can well imagine the Polish village. Local young men have died in the war at China in 1996 and 1997. Soviet troops committed quite serious raping & looting while they retreated through the village.

The villagers feared that scorpions will follow the snakes. To everyone's surprise, the Americans behaved like gentlemen. Freedom of speech was introduced. Communist regime absurd regulations were withdrawn. All unemployed men received well paying jobs from road building engineer unit. State owned land was distributed to local farmers. And there was something to buy from local shops.

When NATO retrieved many villagers were shot by polish state police. Nobody owned nothing anymore and kids were hungry - again. And now the russian started to use nuclear weapons! In october 1999 villagers killed their local communist officials and last ZOMO troops.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:13 AM
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If I were HMG I sure as heck would be mulling over the possibility of recruiting all those Americans and Canadians.

Besides the language barrier, I've always wondered why US forces are always treated so hospitably by Poles in TW2000. Sure, the Sovs are brutal douche-nozzles, but the Americans sure did toss a lot of nukes around the Polish country-side. Even if there is such a thing as pro-NATO Polish Free Congress, I can't imagine their attitude towards Americans is going to be anything other than "Thanks for the Rads and for the mauling the Red Army... now f@*& off."
Scott,

As tempting as that might be to HM's government to poach such personnel, Canada is still an ally (and Commonwealth member), still at war and who still needs all the personnel it can get. There might be a political cost, perhaps a diplomatic break some time in the future. Granted, Canadian and British personnel have been welcome in each others' ranks in wartime due to Canada's close relationship to the "mother country". Perhaps there would be some kind of quid pro quo with British personnel stuck in Canada being taken into service in the CF (as opposed to merely being part of the Anglo-German brigade).

Your point about Poland is well-taken. This element tends to be glossed over because American PCs (and other NATO countries, particularly German) would otherwise be put into a rather difficult position. I would imagine that even in games where NATO was fighting against a communist Polish government (v1 and v2/v2.2, depending) even the considerable numbers of Poles sympathetic to Solidarność and the Free Polish government will have a complicated relationship with their "liberators".

In Raellus' T2K game (running for a few years now at least) I play a Pole who in the past was a little ambivalent about his companions. Near the start of the game, my character had a philosophical discussion with a fellow Pole about the group's commanding officer, a German, as they passed through the ruins of Nowy Huta floating down the Wisla:

[Dawid] slouched over the rail, thinking about what [Griet] said. "Well, let us say I trust Kapitan Bayer as a leader, even though as a Pole I have little love for the rest of his people. After all, we're perhaps only 50 kilometres downriver from Oświęcim... what the Hitlerites called "Auschwitz"."

"I am proud to be a Pole and I love Poland! It hurts me what's been done to our country. The North Atlantic Pact [aka NATO] soldiers say they came to liberate us, but," he gestured at the destroyed city around them, "please, let us not ask the good people of Nowy Huta if they feel "liberated" in their graves. Those that have graves, that is."

While playing this game I also came to the realisation that the people of Poland, communist and non-communist, were getting a raw deal with the "RESET" situation. There were suggestions in "Free City" about how different factions could benefit from the plans and how the players could turn a profit. Nothing about how the Poles could benefit from what is one of the few remaining Polish national treasures (so to speak) that was likely gained at the expense of the lives of many or most of the remaining Polish scientific community. At least in "Black Madonna" there is the option of benefiting the Polish people via supporting the Wojsko Ludowa ("People's Army").

Tony
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:16 AM
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It wasn't until the following year, once the situation had apparently stabilised and information was available to indicate the Pact were no longer a credible threat that the British withdrew.
Per the Survivor's Guide to the UK, the first two Divisions to come home (2nd and 5th) left Bremerhaven for England some time in December 2000.

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Therefore, it's extremely likely they'd be able to take all their heavy equipment with them (not that they'd really need tanks and artillery back home, unlike the Americans with Mexican and Soviet forces on their soil).
LOL...better to have and not need than need and not have...

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Scott,

As tempting as that might be to HM's government to poach such personnel, Canada is still an ally (and Commonwealth member), still at war and who still needs all the personnel it can get. There might be a political cost, perhaps a diplomatic break some time in the future. Granted, Canadian and British personnel have been welcome in each others' ranks in wartime due to Canada's close relationship to the "mother country". Perhaps there would be some kind of quid pro quo with British personnel stuck in Canada being taken into service in the CF (as opposed to merely being part of the Anglo-German brigade).
Tony, original theory was that after an agreed time assisting to stabilise the situation in the UK, the final part of the deal would be HMG providing transport to the US and Canada for any member of XI Corps who wished to go home. That said, I don't doubt HMG will offer all sorts of incentives to any individuals who choose voluntarily to stay in Britain, but ultimately anyone who wants to go home would be able to do so.

You raise a valid point about the Anglo German Brigade - perhaps once the Canadian contingent of XI Corps is home, the Canadians might be able to look at ways of getting those troops back to the UK, possibly using the same ships that brought XI Corps to North America.

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