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Old 12-03-2008, 05:36 PM
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Default Latin America in the Twilight War (T2K v1.0)

I didn't want to thread-jack so here's one for discussing the "Mexican Front" in the v1.0 Twilight War.

Yes, it's incredibly unlikely that Mexico could mount any kind of effective strategic offensive against the United States.

However, I don't think that logistics would be much of an issue.

Mexico maintains a massive fleet of sixteen wheelers that regularly traverse the border. Mobilizing this civilian fleet would provide the Mexican army with a massive lift capability and help supply their spearhead.

Second, Mexico has it's own petroleum supply and could fuel their vehicles with gasoline/diesel long after that capability was severely curtailed for the U.S. military.

Hundreds of thousands of Mexican civilians infiltrate the border every year. As a prelude to a conventional assault across the border, I can envision teams of Mexican army "commandos" doing the same to launch attacks on military installations, power plants, and other strategic targets to disrupt a coherent U.S. response.

As for landing Division Cuba in the U.S., well, I find that a lot harder to justify.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:03 PM
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One more thing about infiltrators preceding the coup-de-main, if caught (and some of the teams assuredly would be), they could very believably claim to be drug or human smugglers. I'm sure some U.S. spies, Mexican diplomats or gov. officials in the know would spill the beans, but I can see them being brushed off by a preoccupied U.S. gov.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:11 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Personally, I never found Mexican participation realistic. Besides, it was the Soviets that nuked Mexico's oil refining infrastructure to deny it to the U.S., so why would the Mexicans, even with a leftist coaliton government in Mexico City, join the war on the Soviet side? Someone at GDW had to be either on something or have had a brain fart. Back on the old RPG host forum, I showed a conversation between General Cummings, the deputy JCS Chairman, and the acting CINC-SAC, with Cummings saying that the border situation is drastic, and with no forces available to stop the invasion, drastic measures are necessary. The deputy points out that history may not judge Cummings' decision favorably, and he replies, "Let the historians a hundred years from now have that debate. Right here and now, there's a foreign army crossing our border and we can't stop them conventionally. We have no choice." He then turns to the acting CINC-SAC and says "You have your orders, General. Carry them out." And the acting CINC says, "Yes, sir." A couple hours later, two B-1s and a B-52 strike Monterey, Hermosilo, Chiuhihua City, and Tampico,with B-61 gravity bombs (average yield 100 KT) while a Trident SSBN strikes Guadalajara and Mexico City with 8x 475 KT weapons each (two Trident-II D-5 missiles).

Invasion splutters to a halt when the Mexican commanders see "instant sunshine in their rear view mirrors, and the various Mexican units either turn and go home, turn warlord/marauder, or disintegrate. The CO of Division Cuba asks the CG of US 90th Corps for asylum.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:28 PM
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We've pretty much come up with the same ideas, Rae.

The Mexican invasion is really helped along by the massive number of illegals already in the U.S. (There was an additional flood after the nuclear exchange - I could imagine that the Mexican oil industry would be some of of the "major industrial and oil centers in neutral nations, to prevent their possible use by the other side" hit during the exchange). JCS, within days of the first Mexican units crossing the border, nukes Mexico City and the state of Mexico falls apart. The invasion continues, however, for several reasons. First, there is little organized opposition capable of stopping a regular military force - county sheriffs, border patrol offices, patriotic vets with a mishmash of small arms, the remnants of State Guards already stretched to the breaking point dealing with evacuees and an ongoing nuclear exchange, Army training units composed of crippled, service support instructors and raw recruits. Second, the American rear area is already infiltrated by Mexican Army sympathizers (biker and criminal gangs plus tens of thousands of disgruntled refugees), who act as a fifth column and in some areas effectively become the Mexican army. Third, the nuking of Mexico means that there is nothing left for the Mexican Army to retreat to. Continued advance means more rich territory to live off of/loot, retreat means having to scrape out an existence in a place worse than what was retreated from.

One example we have talked about is the Battle of San Diego. The Navy base puts up somewhat of a fight, but the sailors there aren't infantrymen and in many cases are unarmed. The USMC Recruit Depot in town doesn't have much ammunition on post and no heavy weapons - all the ranges are located north of town on Camp Pendelton. The Americans fight hard, but the issue is never really in doubt, especially after the convoy carrying ammo south into town is halted by a roadblock on I-5 and torn apart by hundreds of Mexican gangsters (at great cost).

Logistically, the issue the Mexican army faces is more fundamental than trucks (although that partially is how we answered the question of how the invasion is supported more than 20 miles over the border). Once the nukes (both Soviet and American) hit Mexico, there is NO logistical support coming north. They have to live off the land, which isn't such a stretch for them to do given the area of operations (lots of truck stops for parts, tons of pickups to replace broken down jeeps, small arms that accept common civilian calibers).

In the environment of chaos in the US following the exchange and invasion, I could see Division Cuba's intervention. (And as for where they get the lift - well, there's tons of Pact merchantmen sheltering in Cuban ports, unable to make it back to the USSR, just as others sheltered in Cam Ranh at the outbreak of war).

In the next week or so I'll put up the piece about VII Corps in Texas, which has some more details about how the Mexican invasion pans out.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854
In the next week or so I'll put up the piece about VII Corps in Texas, which has some more details about how the Mexican invasion pans out.
Excellent as always, but suggest ahead of time you not use VII Corps in Texas, since it was in Germany with 7th Army, unless you left off an I or X somewhere
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:38 AM
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VII Corps returns to Texas from Europe as part of Operation Omega. See the second to last update of the US Recovery plan...

No more Division Cuba!
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854
VII Corps returns to Texas from Europe as part of Operation Omega. See the second to last update of the US Recovery plan...

No more Division Cuba!
Ahhhhhhhh so you're talking post 2000 rather than the invasion which took place in (what year was it? '98? )
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:38 AM
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Mexican invasion (continues) well at least that means there will be plenty of G3A3 rifles lying around, woohoo! for 7.62NATO battle rifles
Too bad Mexico hasn't used the FAL for a long time

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Old 12-04-2008, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother in Arms
Mexican invasion (continues) well at least that means there will be plenty of G3A3 rifles lying around, woohoo! for 7.62NATO battle rifles
Too bad Mexico hasn't used the FAL for a long time
I think that Mexico uses the Israeli Galil as well so add another fun gun to your Southwestern U.S. campaign!
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:35 PM
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Sounds good, Chico. The Mexican army is trapped, directionless (in a traditional strategic military sense), and forced to live off the land in the SW U.S. The Southwest is starting to look more and more like central Poland! I like!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854
In the environment of chaos in the US following the exchange and invasion, I could see Division Cuba's intervention. (And as for where they get the lift - well, there's tons of Pact merchantmen sheltering in Cuban ports, unable to make it back to the USSR, just as others sheltered in Cam Ranh at the outbreak of war).
The shipping is available but couldn't just a single, old, Sturgeon class SSN sink it all, though? The PACT shipping wouldn't have much in the way of ASW escorts. I may be underestimating them but I don't think that Cuba has much capability in that realm.
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
The shipping is available but couldn't just a single, old, Sturgeon class SSN sink it all, though? The PACT shipping wouldn't have much in the way of ASW escorts. I may be underestimating them but I don't think that Cuba has much capability in that realm.
Yes, a single old Sturgeon could rip the invasion fleet apart. If the USN knew it was coming. And if the USN had a Sturgeon within range. A Sturgeon carries up to 19 torpedoes, so if they send 20 ships at least one will get through! It's just over a 3 day voyage at 15 knots from Cienfuegos to Tampico.

But given that in the spring of 1998 the US is in "strategic shock", with lines in Europe and Iran pretty static as everything gets sorted out, I would see the remaining USN submarine force being oriented towards boomers - hunting down Soviet boomers and riding shotgun (most likely in a "zone defense") for American boats. I can't see maintaining a patrol of the Caribbean as a high priority for the remnants of the US SSN force. I'd say that interdiction by maritime patrol aircraft (US Coast Guard Falcons or C-130s; the Navy's P-3s are in deep water) would be most likely, but the limited strike aircraft are tied down supporting the battle ashore. My gut feeling is that the Soviet transport fleet makes it through undiscovered due to the chaos in the US following the exchange. That failure burns the USN deeply, so much that they assign LA-class boats to patrol the entrances to the Caribbean on an occasional basis, leading to the torpedoing of the Bulgarian A.B. Buzko by the Corpus Christi (yes, that's what's written in Gateway to the Spanish Main!) on November 1, 2000 off Grenada.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:20 PM
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Any thoughts on the Panama Canal?
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:00 PM
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I've done a write up on what happened in Panama in my campaign because the PCs have been associated with a group colloquially known as "Team Panama" which became stranded down there and had to make their own way back to the States. They were a motley crew from a variety of branches ranging from military support personnel and State Department people to spec ops who had been operating in countries near Panama and regrouped there for evac only to end up stranded. In my campaign the canal ended up closed mid-war because the Russians claimed to have mined it with nuclear ordnance and in the end the French Navy turned up and kicked everyone out after doing a deal with what was left of the Government of Panama.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:59 PM
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Raellus
you might be thinking of some of the south American countries there are a lot of Galil's in Columbia. But never seen any references to Mexico being armed with the Galil.

Mexico Makes G3 rifles and they Made under license by DIM (Departamento de la Industriá Militar) and DGFD (Dirección General de Fábricas de la Defensa).

They are soon to be replaced by the FX05 which is a g36 clone.

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Old 12-05-2008, 02:16 AM
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The biggest thing Mexico has that come close to a modern tank is the French ERC-90. A very good vehicle, standing almost unmatched in several African conflicts (including against T-54) but far from enough to invade US.

Moreover, I never understood why Mexicans would flee to the US (a country that has been massively hit by nukes) while only Permex (near Veracruz I think) was hit in their own country. As a result I turned that thing the other way around.

US citizens, many from Mexican decent (but many others too), would cross the border into Mexico. That is too much, however, for the Mexican governement to deal with and they set up several huge refugees camps. In the meantime, the Joint Chiefs have move what third line troops they have available to the Mexican border in order to stop that population bleeding (in time like these you don't want to lose what is left of your work force).

At last, when violence burst into the camps, the Mexican military (who is well known for its sense of measure toward civilians) meet that unrest with military force. When false rumor of widespread massacre get to the U.S. the Joint Chiefs order several U.S. units to move in to protect U.S. citizens. As a result, the Mexican government move more troops to the area and declares war.

Cuba effectively takes the oportunity to get rid of the Russians and "Division Cuba" crosses to Mexico (that gives quite some more punch to the Mexican army with may be 100 T-72s and as many T-55s or/and T-62s+BMPs and BTRs). When that occurs, the U.S. 4th Fleet is badly understrength and the sending of the Russians is over by the time it can gather enough ships to fight the Mexican navy. In addition, what Russian pilots are there with several planes (including Fulcrums and Floggers) are also sent to Mexico from Cuba. Despite the Cuban not being involved, you can also expect to see volunteers forming air units in a Cuban version of the Flying Tigers. Also expect to see several volunteers from other South American countries to form units ressembling the International Brigades that fought in the Spanish Civil War.

As someone said, Mexico still as oil and retain some refining capacity, despite the destruction of Permex, and that makes its mobile forces and its air force a very good asset (hey! The F-5E Tiger II is a very good U.S. made aircraft and I always had a deep feeling of tenderness toward it. Don't ask why but it remains my favored aircraft to these days). Moreover, I suppose that even a M151 equipped with a 106RCL or a Milan can be more than a matched for a standing tank with no gas to run on). Then, it is not impossible to see M5 stuart take out M113, or so I think. Finally, Mexico has a small weapon industry as it builds the G3 locally as well as a mechanical and aircraft industry that might be of help.

Nevertheless, the offensive doesn't last and things settle pretty much as per cannon essentially from lack of sufficient proper equipments and strategic will. After all the Mexicans were only defending themselves and had no real intention about conquering U.S. Internal unrest might also become a problem but a full fledge Mexican Civil never convinced me. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mexicans getting control over a number of frontier town in exchange for peace, (why not) fresh military supply, and limitations on drug exports. Ok, Americans could have a problem about accepting that but this a time of despair and as long as they don't ask for the all southern Califonia or Alamo... Then, I wouldn't be surprised to see some tough negociations take place in better times.

By the way I don't recall if by v1.0 the Sandinistas are still in power in Nicaragua. If that's the case they might move some troops south across demilitarized Costa Rica to try taking the Panama Canal. I don't think they will succeed, especially with Honduras and a U.S. base there but that might further delay the reinforcement ot the U.S. 4th Fleet.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother in Arms
Raellus
you might be thinking of some of the south American countries there are a lot of Galil's in Columbia. But never seen any references to Mexico being armed with the Galil.
Hmmm. I must have been thinking about Columbia when I posted that.
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