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Thread: Jumpstarting the American Century: USA 1936 AAR

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    Jumpstarting the American Century: USA 1936 AAR --- Now with exciting new screenshots

    This is my first AAR ever, although it's my second HoI2 game, and I played HoI to death. Hope everyone enjoys and feel free to offer opinions on my strategy.

    Jumpstarting the American Century

    Dramatis Personae

    Legend
    Primary Character (1st Appeared in Post #; Date): Position, Status: Other Posts Appeared In.

    Secondary Characters (1st Appeared in Post #; Date): Position, Status: Other Posts Appeared In.



    President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1; January 26, 1936): U.S. President, Alive: 3; May 15, 1940 / 5; July 24, 1940 / 8; September 27, 1940 / 9; October 14, 1940 / 10; December 23, 1940 / 12; February 11, 1941 / 16; April 30, 1941

    George (1; January 26, 1936): Personal Assistant to the President, Alive: 3; May 15, 1940 / 10; December 23, 1940 / 12; February 11, 1941 / 16; April 30, 1941

    General Malin Craig (1; February 3, 1936): Former Chief of the U.S. Army, Former Chief of the Armed Forces, Alive, Retired

    General Oscar Westover (1; February 3, 1936): Former Chief of the U.S. Army Air Force, Alive, Retired

    Admiral Claude Swanson (1; February 3, 1936): Former Chief of the U.S. Navy, Alive, Retired

    Admiral Harold Stark (3; May 15, 1940): Chief of the U.S. Navy, Alive: 16; April 30, 1941

    Prime Minister Eduoard Daladier (5; July 24, 1940): Prime Minister of France, Alive

    Anthony Eden (9; October 14, 1940): British Foreign Minister, Alive

    General George C. Marshall (10; December 23, 1940): Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, Chief of the U.S. Army, Alive: 12; February 11, 1941 / 16; April 30, 1941

    Air Marshall Henry “Hap” Arnold (10; December 23, 1940): Chief of the U.S. Army Air Force, Alive: 16; April 30, 1941

    Dr. Robert Oppenheimer (10; December 23, 1940): Nuclear Physicist, Alive

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Ensign Joel Kohn (2; March 20, 1940): Former Anti-Aircraft Gunner aboard the Brooklyn Class Light Cruiser USS Nashville, KIA October 24, 1940: 3; May 24, 1940 / 9; October 24, 1940

    Ensign Jacob Krandall (2; March 20, 1940): Anti-Aircraft Gunner aboard the Brooklyn Class Light Cruiser USS Nashville, Alive: 11; January 7, 1941

    Private First Class Larry Huddleston (11; January 7, 1941): Marine, 3rd U.S. Marine Division, 50th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive:

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Lieutenant Travis Bernard (2; April 19, 1940): Fighter Pilot, P-40 Warhawk, 14th Squadron, MIA February 11, 1941, Captured by Gestapo May 23, 1941, Status Unknown: 4; June 28, 1940 / 8; September 6, 1940 / 13; February 11, 1941 / 15; April 14, 1941 / 19; May 23, 1941

    Lieutenant Frank Bozung (4; June 28, 1940): Fighter Pilot, P-40 Warhawk, 14th Squadron, Alive: 8; September 6, 1940 / 13; February 11, 1941

    *Private First Class Timothy James Bernard (8; September 6, 1940): Infantryman, 9th Infantry Division, 1st Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Second Lieutenant Gene Rollins (13; February 11, 1941): Fighter Pilot, P-40 Warhawk, 14th Squadron, KIA February 11, 1941

    Second Lieutenant Gordon Beach (13; February 11, 1941): Fighter Pilot, P-40 Warhawk, 14th Squadron, Alive

    Second Lieutenant John Harper (13; February 11, 1941): Fighter Pilot, P-40 Warhawk, 14th Squadron, Alive

    Lieutenant Casey Hampton (13; February 11, 1941): Fighter Pilot, P-40 Warhawk, 14th Squadron, Alive

    Lieutenant Jarred Schnicke (13; February 11, 1941): Fighter Pilot, P-40 Warhawk, 14th Squadron, Alive

    The Doctor (15; April 14, 1941): Member of Dutch Resistance, Unknown

    Lisette (15; April 14, 1941): The Doctor’s Daughter, Unkown

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Private First Class Ryan Treynor (2; May 7, 1940): Infantryman, 24th Infantry Division, 1st U.S. Army Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 3; June 3, 1940 / 4; June 14, 1940 / 5; August 4, 1940 / 6; August 17, 1940 / 9; November 1, 1940 / 10; November 27, 1940 / 14.1; February 20, 1941 / 18; May 15, 1941

    Corporal Warren Emory (2; May 7, 1940): Infantryman, 24th Infantry Division, 1st U.S. Army Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 4; June 14, 1940: 9; November 1, 1940 / 10; November 27, 1940 / 14.1; February 20, 1941 / 18; May 15, 1941

    Sergeant James Baumer (2; May 7, 1940): Squad Commander, 24th Infantry Division, 1st U.S. Army Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 4; June 14, 1940 / 5; August 4, 1940 / 9; November 1, 1940 / 14.1; February 20, 1941

    Private First Class Fletcher Brown (2; May 7, 1940): Infantryman, 24th Infantry Division, 1st U.S. Army Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 9; November 1, 1940 / 18; May 15, 1941

    Private First Class Sean Wills (18; May 15, 1941): Infantryman, 24th Infantry Division, 1st U.S. Army Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Lieutenant Kyle West (5; July 4, 1940): Company Commander, 25th Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 8; October 11, 1940 / 11; January 21, 1941 / 15; April 27, 1941 / 19; May 21, 1941

    Private First Class Brandon Bailey (5; July 4, 1940): Infantryman, 43rd Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Captain David Turrill (5; July 4, 1940): Regimental Commander, 43rd Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 11; January 21, 1941

    Lieutenant Charles Barker (5; July 4, 1940): Regimental Supply Officer, 43rd Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Private First Class Jason Ellison (15; April 27, 1941): Infantryman/Radio Operator, 25th Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Sergeant Joe Napier (15; April 27, 1941): Squad Commander, 25th Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Private First Class Mortimer White (15; April 27, 1941): Infantryman, 25th Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Private First Class Terrence Bartlett (15; April 27, 1941): Infantryman, 25th Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Sergeant Stephen Serles (15; April 27, 1941): Squad Commander, 25th Infantry Division, 7th Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Captain Scott Welch (7; August 25, 1940): Pilot, A-20 Havoc, 21st Squadron, KIA August 25, 1940

    First Lieutenant Bill Groom (7; August 25, 1940): Co-pilot, A-20 Havoc, 21st Squadron, KIA August 25, 1940

    Second Lieutenant Tom Federhoff (7; August 25, 1940): Bombardier, A-20 Havoc, 21st Squadron, MIA August 25, 1940

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Private First Class Troy Bernard (10; November 17, 1940): 37mm Loader, M3A3 Lee, 8th Armored Division, 45th Armored Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 11; December 28, 1940 / 15; April 4, 1941 / 19; May 28, 1941

    Private First Class Phil Deters (10; November 17, 1940): 37mm Loader, M3A3 Lee, 1st Armored Division, 43rd Armored Corps, American Expeditionary Force, KIA April 5, 1941: 11; December 28, 1940 / 15; April 4, 1941

    Captain Aaron Russell (11; December 28, 1940): Company Commander, 1st Armored Division, 43rd Armored Corps, American Expeditionary Force, KIA April 4, 1941: 15; April 4, 1941

    Corporal Joseph Clemens (11; December 28, 1940): Radio Operator, M3A3 Lee, 1st Armored Division, 43rd Armored Corps, American Expeditionary Force, MIA April 4, 1941: 15; April 4, 1941

    *Private First Class Timothy James Bernard (8; September 6, 1940): Infantryman, 9th Infantry Division, 1st Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Private First Class Henry Baxter (15; April 4, 1941): 75mm Gunner, M3A3 Lee, 1st Armored Division, 43rd Armored Corps, American Expeditionary Force, KIA April 4, 1941

    Private First Class Gerald Mathers (15; April 4, 1941): 75mm Loader, M3A3 Lee, 1st Armored Division, 43rd Armored Corps, American Expeditionary Force, KIA April 4, 1941

    Nancy Bernard (15; April 4, 1941): Mother of Troy, Travis, & Tim, Alive

    Captain Ronald Scholtens (19; May 28, 1941): Company Commander, 8th Armored Division, 45th Armored Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    First Lieutenant Harold “Hal” Randle (19; May 28, 1941): Tank Commander, M3A3 Lee, 8th Armored Division, 49th Armored Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Oberleutnant Heinrich Wesel (14.1; March 10, 1941): Schwarm Commander, Fw. 190, Jadgeschwader 26, I. Fliegerkorps, Alive: 17; May 11, 1941

    Dena Wesel (14.1; March 10, 1941): Heinrich’s Wife, Alive

    Dieter Wesel (14.1; March 10, 1941): Heinrich’s Newborn Son, Alive

    Hauptmann Friederich Buren (14.1; March 10, 1941): Squadron Commmander, Jadgeschwader 26, Alive

    Leutnant Edgar Ohms (17; May 11, 1941): Fighter Pilot, Fw. 190, Jadgeschwader 26, I. Fliegerkorps, Alive

    Leutnant Konrad Zollner (17; May 11, 1941): Fighter Pilot, Fw. 190, Jadgeschwader 26, I. Fliegerkorps, Alive

    Leutnant Gunter Huge (17; May 11, 1941): Fighter Pilot, Fw. 190, Jadgeschwader 26, I. Fliegerkorps, KIA May 11, 1941

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Obergefreiter Jens Luchow (14.2; March 29, 1941): Infantrymen/Sniper, 163rd Infanterie Division, 25th Korps, Alive: 18; May 19, 1941

    Oberpionier Hans Meier (14.2; March 29, 1941): Infantrymen/Sniper, 163rd Infanterie Division, 25th Korps, KIA March 29, 1941

    Gefreiter Rudi Backer (18; May 19, 1941): Infantrymen/Sniper, 163rd Infanterie Division, 25th Korps, Alive

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Private First Class Eric Moser (17; May 3, 1941): Paratrooper, 82nd Airborne Division, 42nd Airborne Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 19; June 2, 1941

    Private First Class Samuel Bennett (17; May 3, 1941): Paratrooper, 82nd Airborne Division, 42nd Airborne Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive: 19; June 2, 1941

    Sergeant Jebediah Walker (17; May 3, 1941): Squad Commander, 82nd Airborne Division, 42nd Airborne Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    Major Clarence Webb (19; June 2, 1941): Battalion Commander, 82nd Airborne Division, 42nd Airborne Corps, American Expeditionary Force, Alive

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    Feldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt (19; May 29, 1941): Commander, Heeresgruppe A, Alive

    Adolf Hitler (19; May 29, 1941): German Fuhrer, Alive

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

    * -- Only characters who actually speak, act, or are otherwise integral parts of each scene are noted here. Characters without names (such as the Belgian nurse, or an anonymous soldier) are absent unless they are recurring characters (i.e. The Doctor).
    1

    January 26, 1936: A cold wind howled by the window, reminding Roosevelt of the frigid reception his new policies had recieved in the last few weeks. Already, Senate Republicans were calling him an imperialist at the very same time they howled about his plans for scrapping the fleet. Sighing, he gazed intently at the report from Claude Swanson, Chief of the Navy, confirming in less than cordial language that the United States had exactly 6 heavy cruisers, 3 battleships, and 1 aircraft carrier left to defend it's considerable overseas interests. "Your orders have been carried out to the letter. The United States is now utterly defenseless. All we have left us is just enough to present a target."

    Roosevelt shook his head. Swanson was as blind as the rest of them, content to rest the defense of American democracy on the shoulders of aging admirals and their mouldering battlewagons. The ships he had decommissioned were Great War vintage, most of them barely sea worthy, and none of them, if the intelligence reports were correct, capable of holding their own against their foreign contemporaries. They would have been especially good targets for the newest Japanese ships. No, the new American Navy would be centred around the aircraft carrier, and would consist of only the most modern vessels.

    "Mr. President, General Westover has arrived."

    "Thank you, George, tell him I'll be there shortly."

    Roosevelt sighed again, this time in relief. Westover didn't give a damn if there was a fleet out there or not. He cared about his planes, and Roosevelt's plans called for lots of those. Sliding Swanson's report into's its proper folder, the President of the United States rolled into the next room.

    Scrapping the Fleet


    All We Have Left Us


    February 3, 1936: General Malin Craig of the Army and General Oscar Westover of the Air Force sat in uncomfortable silence, waiting for the President to enter and this strange meeting to begin. Admiral Swanson was also there, sitting not so much in silence, but in a sort of glum rage. "Damn shame, what he did to your boys," Craig managed. Swanson nodded, but said nothing. Another minute of silence passed before Westover blurted out "I heard he's gone crazy, had some sort of dream, thinks the Nazis are gonna come burstin' through the doors at any moment." Craig snorted. "If that's the case, maybe we'll finally get some real funding, be able to buy more than just some old Fords." Swanson's face turned red. "F^%$ your funding. This meeting damn well better be about what he's going to do about the Navy or I'm gone, I'm retiring."

    "You need not be so hasty, Admiral, your fleet will be reborn."

    The three officers leaped to their feet, saluting, startled that the President had snuck up on them. "Mr. President..."

    "Please gentlemen, I've had a busy day already and we have much to go over. Be seated." When they were seated and silent, Roosevelt began.
    "The armed forces of the United States are in a pathetic state, and were in such a state long before I sent your boys home, Swanson." The Admiral glared darkly at that statement, but remained silent. "I have called this meeting today to inform you that this country will undergo a significant buildup of its military strength over the next four years, both in quantity and in quality. By the summer of 1940, the Navy will consist of 6 Colorado Class battleships, 6 Yorktown Class aircraft carriers, 6 Lexington Class battlecruisers, 15 New Orleans Class heavy cruisers, 15 modern light cruisers, and 18 squadrons of modern destroyers. In addition, at least 6 squadrons of modern submarines will also be in operation, possibly as many as 18. Beyond the summer of 1940, the Navy will continue to expand, adding a further 16 battleships, 16 carriers, 16 battlecruisers, 42 heavy cruisers, 42 light cruisers, 48 squadrons of destroyers, and 30 to 42 squadrons of submarines over the course of three years, all, of course, of the most modern design. This will bring the total size of the United States Navy to an operational strength of 280 capital ships with their escorting destroyers by the summer of 1943. Admiral Swanson, are you all right?"

    Swanson had been taking a sip of water when the President had said "280," and now was struggling to remove that water from his windpipe. Red-faced, he stared at the President in disbelief. "But, Mr. President, that fleet is even larger than the one you just scra--...disbanded, sir. Where will you get the funding? Congress certainly won't approve that large a buildup. And besides, you'll just end up scrapping the whole thing again. Sir."

    "Admiral, your concerns are well founded. Let me assure you first and foremost, this fleet we will build will not experience the same fate as the last. By building the fleet in four stages, each stage utilizing a newer class of ship, we will be able to maintain the vitality of the Navy while vastly expanding its size and power. And when the time does come that those ships currently being constructed (again, Swanson choked) are obsolete, we will only be forced to disband a quarter of our strength rather than the whole, and will have their replacements either ready or at least on the way."

    "Excuse me, sir," Westover interrupted. "Did you say there are ships currently under construction?"

    "You heard correctly, General. Currently 1 carrier, 3 battleships, and 4 battlecruisers are already on the way, and will be ready sometime next year. As time passes, and Hoover's "Small World" campaign begins to take effect, we'll be able to build more."

    "Small World?" Craig wondered aloud.

    "Yes, General, Mr. Hoover over at the FBI has been listening to my ideas and has offered his assisstance in educating the American public about their responsibilities in the modern world. A Mr. Disney, whom I think you are all familiar with, has lent his assisstance as well, and the two of them have named their campaign "It's a Small World." Catchy, isn't it? Anyway, back to business. General Westover, you will be happy to know that I have secured adequate funding and a contract with Boeing to build 500 B-17s to augment your current force of 100. Planes should begin coming off the assembly line within weeks. In addition, I have spoken with Air Marshall Arnold..."

    "Major General Arnold, sir."

    "Not anymore, General. Arnold has assissted me in putting together plans for our new Air Force, and he will take over operational command of your B-17s. As soon as a decent escort fighter can be designed, 600 of those will also be delivered to him. They will form our 1st Strategic Air Arm, and should be ready by 1939 at the latest. In addition, the United States Air Force will have by 1940 600 naval bombers, 600 tactical bombers, and 300 close air support aircraft, all of them with equal numbers of escort fighters. Also, while Mr. Limbergh continues in his unfortunate support for Hitler and his cronies, his ideas on the utilization of fighters have some merit. A force of 1200 air superiority fighters will complement the strategic and tactical components. Like the Navy, the Air Force will triple in size by 1943. Any questions, General Westover?"

    "Um, no sir."

    "Good. Moving along. General Craig, as it currently stands, the United States Army has exactly 5 divisions, is that correct?"
    "Yes, sir, 4 infantry and 1 cavalry."

    "The cavalry is worthless, and will be disbanded, as will be the infantry in the Philippines..."

    "Mr. President!"

    "I see no reason to maintain an armed force in the Philippines at the present moment. Japan is a nuisance for now, Germany is the real threat, and that is what this meeting is about. General Craig, the United States Army will, by 1939, consist not of 5 divisions but of 60, divided into 10 corps. The first troops are already, as you know, training in Georgia."

    "Is that all, Mr. President? 60 divisions? If the intelligence is correct, Germany has about 40 already, and by '39 will probably have over 100! And what about tanks? The few we have are hopelessly obsolete."

    "I'm well aware of that, General, but I've got my plate full enough with Swanson's ships, Westover's bombers, and your infantry. We simply don't have the funding to build tanks at this points. And, as you pointed out, what would be the point? We will have to put off the construction of our armored forces until the time is right."

    "Yes, sir. So what happens after the first 60 divisions are delivered? The Air Force and the Navy continue their expansion. Will the Army?"

    "The expansion of the Army will be conducted in a slightly different manner. As we have already mentioned, we won't be building any tanks until we have some worth building. Also, I've heard the Russians have constructed a motorised division, with the infantry riding into battle on trucks instead of slugging it out on the ground. We should be doing that, and when we are ready, we will augment our marching infantry with motorised. If it is at all possible, I think we should look into constructing mechanized infantry as well to escort our tanks."

    "What about paratroops?" Westover chimed in.

    "Again, something the Russians have beaten us to. If the theory is proved viable, I see no reason why we should not utilize paratroopers. But we have drifted to far from the point. You asked about the expansion of the Army. If all avenues of research pan out, by 1943, the Army should consist of 60 frontline infantry divisions with an additional 30 in reserve, 60 frontline motorized infantry divisions with, again, 30 in reserve, 30 armored divisions, and possibly 30 mechanized infantry divisions, 6 to 18 divisions of mountain-combat trained infantry, and 6 divisions of paratroopers in 2 corps. For the Pacific..."

    "There's more?!?" Craig blurted.

    "For the Pacific, a garrison of roughly 1,000 men will be organized for each of our possessions, except, of course, the Philippines. Between 18 and 30 divisions of marines will be organized by 1943, augmented by 12 to 24 infantry divisions, and an equal number of motorized infantry. If possible, 6 armored and 6 mechanized infantry will also be ready. In total, minus garrison units, the Army will have between 318 and 378 active divisions by 1943."

    A stunned silence blanketed the table as the three men pondered Roosevelt's new plan.

    "Sir, by 1943, we'll be the greatest military force on the planet. I agree, sir, we need to beef up our forces, but my God, sir, what ever will you need so many troops for?"

    "Gentlemen, I'm sure you are both aware of our poor relations with Germany and Japan. While the prospects for war now seem distant, I fear they are much closer. And I have had a dream. I dreamt that I saw American boys dying in droves on wet sand. Up the beach, on the crest of a ridge, flew the Nazi flag, the red sun of dawn rising behind it. Then it all disappeared in a blinding flash of light, which faded very slowly. Then I was looking at more American boys, again in dirty uniforms, huddling together for warmth as strange planes screamed overhead. Their faces blurred, and suddenly I was staring again at young soldiers, this time in fresh uniforms, manning a roadblock in a great city. There were frightened and pointing into the distance, where I saw boys from some other country building a great wall of stone and barbed wire. I blinked, and now I was struggling through a dense, steaming jungle, looking for something, but I did not know what. All through the dream I felt this unrelenting sadness and dread. When I woke up, I knew what I had feared. Gentlemen, this Army, this Air Force, this Navy I am building is for one purpose, and one purpose only: to destroy the Soviet Union."


    August 29, 1936: Roosevelt was exhausted, and angry to boot. News from the Spanish Civil War was bad, and getting worse. Fascist forces under General Franco had forced the Republicans into a pocket in the southeast and were now preparing for one last assault. When it had broken out six weeks before, he had urged Congressional leaders to sanction his call for volunteers. They had refused, and had instead intensified their campaign against his arms buildup. "Imperialist" was heard in the halls of Congress so often these days, it had lost much of its sting, but he would not countenance being called a communist. Damn Joe Stalin! He had sent volunteers and material to the Republicans almost immediately, and with the refusal of Britain and France to do the same, to aid the Republicans would make him out to be precisely what they called him. At least Congress didn't know that Stalin was his ultimate target, not a potential ally. If Congress didn't know, the world shouldn't know. Still, he felt compelled to do something to cover his tracks, and managed to work out a trade deal with the Republicans in which the United States would provide ample supplies of coal, oil, metals, rare materials, and even cash in exchange for promises of future reimbursement. He had intended to make this deal the centerpiece for an entire policy aimed at aiding those nations defending their freedom, but the bleating cows in Congress opposed him at every step. At least most in his own party seemed to be falling into line. Good thing, too, with the election only six weeks off...


    July 18, 1937: With a great deal of pride and a flourish of his pen, Roosevelt signed the Pittman Act, pledging American material support the Nationalist China and it's United Front allies against the aggressive war waged on it by Japan. Finally, with the impending doom of the Republicans in Spain, and the rapid advances of the Japanese, Congress seemed to be wising up. Indeed, he had almost the entire backing of his party. The "Small World" campaign was finally beginning to pay dividends as well, and several more ships were under construction in New York and Norfolk. The camera bulbs popped and flashed, and Roosevelt smiled for the world to see.


    September 1, 1937: His stomach growled, but he paid it no mind as he poured over the latest reports from China. He was too busy to eat. Fortunately, the Japanese seem to have been halted for the time being. Unfortunately, they had captured Nanjing two weeks before, and the horror stories from there were still coming in. He wondered how many of them were true, how many were false, how many were exaggerated. He didn't really care in any case. Japanese soldiers had murdered innocent civilians, that much was sure. At least with their armies stalled, they wouldn't be able to sack anymore cities. Not yet, he reminded himself glumly. Still, the "Small World" campaign was working, and he had even heard some Congressmen calling for an immediate declaration of war on Japan. Of course, there wasn't nearly enough support in the country for that drastic a measure, and Roosevelt wouldn't have done it anyway...the Navy wasn't ready to deal with Japan. He glared at a report from the OSS. It said the Soviets were also sending aid to the Chinese, and had been since August 17. He welcomed any assisstance against the Japanese, and was secretly glad they had signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and Italy, but worried about how close Chiang Kai Shek would get with Stalin. Probably not very, but you never could tell about these things. A small lump of ice settled in his stomach as he pondered throwing the Soviets out of China, or even worse, a communist China.

    Japan Stalled in China


    March 26, 1939: Roosevelt pounded his fist on the table, shouting in anger. He had just recieved the official reply from the British government. He had asked, hell, practically begged them to confront Hitler now, to refuse to allow any aggression against the Czechs. Instead they had folded, and signed some treaty in Munich. He had taken Austria, and now they had let him take Czechoslovakia. If they seriously thought he would leave them alone now, they were in for a rude awakening. His promise to make no more territorial claims in Europe had already proven hollow, since he had pressured Lithuania to give up the city of Memel after he had annexed part of the Czechoslovakia and left the rest for his Slovak puppet, Tiso. Now Italy had declared war on Albania. Dear God, Albania! What could that twit Mussolini want with Albania? Well, Obviously, it would be a launching point for any Balkan adventures the Italian dictator decided to embark upon, but would the British and French confront even Mussolini? An emphatic "We'll do our best" was their answer. For a moment, he contemplated confronting Il Duce himself, but then backed off. The country wasn't ready. The army still only had about 40 divisions, enough to fight Italy, but not if Germany intervened and Roosevelt had no allies. Besides, the Navy wasn't ready, it was still waiting for its destroyers. And while his strategic bombers were ready, there would be nowhere to bomb Rome from without England or France. Steaming, he resigned himself, and Albania, to their respective fates.


    September 3, 1939: The White House was abuzz with activity, fear and anticipation permeating the air. News of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had astounded the world only 10 days before, and the last vestiges of Congressional opposition to his armament policies had vanished as Europe seemed certain to plunge itself into war. In the waning days of August, Latvia and Lithuania had given in to Russian demands and become part of the Soviet Union. Two days ago, German forces plunged into Poland. Finally, after much hand wringin, Britain and France led their Allies into war with Germany. Roosevelt, convinced the time had come, prepared to join them. The fleet was still about 4/5 completed, but vital transport units were ready to float the Army to Europe. Air Marshall Arnold had already packed his belongings and claimed to have purchased tickets for the first ship to Britain. President Roosevelt gave the orders for all military units to go on high alert. The Army began moving men into the ports at New York and Norfolk. He had already announced he would be making a special announcement on radio tomorrow night concerning the conflict in Europe. The day after that, he would ask Congress for a declaration of war.


    September 4, 1939: Roosevelt sat ashen faced in front of the microphone as the seconds ticked away. Yesterday, he had been ready for this moment, he had been ready to lead his nation first against Germany, then later against Russia. But things were different today.

    "You're on, Mr. President."

    "My fellow Americans, as you well know, eleven days ago, Germany and the Soviet Union entered into what they termed a non-aggression pact. It appears that pact has only deterred aggression against each other as each nation has in recent days attacked its neighbors. Now, the great democratic civilizations of the West are engaged in a mighty struggle with the forces of Nazi Germany, a struggle which, until yesterday, I believed this nation would join as well. However, it is apparent to me now, after the massive peace demonstrations of yesterday and today, demonstrations that took place in every major city across this great country, that this nation does not want this war, and will not fight it. Therefore, I will not ask Congress for a declaration of war, as I had intended. Instead, tomorrow, I will address the Congress, asking that whatever we have to give to the heroic defenders of freedom in Europe should be given. It is my earnest hope that peace will soon reign again over Europe, but be assured, this government will maintain our present steady growth of military might if it does not. Goodnight, and God Bless You."


    November 16, 1939: With a half-hearted smile, Roosevelt signed the bill making his "Arsenal of Democracy" policy law. He now had more funding than ever before to bolster the armed forces, but no support for involving the United States in the war now smouldering in Europe. Poland was already long gone, the eastern half of it occupied by the Red Army sometime in late September, and with the Altmark incident, the war was threatening to spread to Scandinavia. Still, with little happening on the ground, support for American intervention remained stagnant. Sighing, Roosevelt prepared himself mentally for another bout with the final few Congressional Republicans still concerned with the constitutionality of his military buildup.


    March 1, 1940: The day broke cold, but mercifully clear after the steady rain of the past week. The dawn held a deeper meaning to Roosevelt, however, as it symbolized his nation finally awakening to its destiny. While little seemed to be happening between Germany and the Allies, Hungary had joined the Axis in November. More importantly, the Soviet Union had fought a disastrous war against Finland which, while the Finns were forced to give in, seemed to have been the straw that broke the camel's back. Popular demonstrations against the war had ceased, and now people were actually marching in favor of American intervention. The time was ripe, and Congress was waiting. Across the Atlantic, the Allies were waiting as well.

    "Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States."

    The applause was thundrous as he approached the podium, his son helping him stand. When the clapping finally died down, he began to speak.

    "For six months now, the free men of Europe have been assailed by those who would make them slaves. We free men have stood idly by, unable, or unwilling to help. We have watched the newsreels as Warsaw was bombed to rubble. Now we watch and wait for something to happen in Europe. No more. The events of the previous weeks, the letters from your constituents, from the American people, have poured in along with thousands upon thousands of volunteers. Opposition to the war is over. America is giving you her voice, let her speak. Let America be the one to strike the deciding blow in the conflict. Let America liberate Poland. Let America liberate Czechoslovakia. Let America liberate Austria. Let America liberate Germany. Gentlemen, I ask that the Congress declare that a state of war exists between the United States and Germany."

    America Joins the War


    Please watch the f-word. Thanks & good luck in this one!

    Stroph, AAR Moderator
    Last edited by invertigo2004; 15-04-2005 at 15:44.

  2. #2
    Not working

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    This looks wvery promising indeed

    One small thing though, perhaps you need to break up the text in smaller sections within the pst?

    Large blocks of white on grey is hard to read

    But still I will keep reading

    V

  3. #3
    thanks, hoped the changes helped

  4. #4
    Great post.

    However, a small, minor detail...

    Roosevelt was paralyzed as a result of polio....

    Also, um...the Philippines...

    They're the same as Hawaii was at the time, legally. Just that we'd committed to giving them independence by 1946. Until then, we'd agreed to provide for their defense.

    Finally...

    "It's a Small World" as an ad campaign? That's cruel.:-D

  5. #5
    I know Roosevelt was paralyzed, but he could stand with assisstance, and it didn't feel right to talk about him "rolling" from place to place hehe.

    As for the Philippines, well, I'm departing from history pretty drastically here, and it's just the reality of my plan that I simply don't have the resources to defend the Philippines.

    Thanx for the input, glad you liked it, will have more maybe tonight, probly tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Penta
    Great post.

    However, a small, minor detail...

    Roosevelt was paralyzed as a result of polio....

    Also, um...the Philippines...

    They're the same as Hawaii was at the time, legally. Just that we'd committed to giving them independence by 1946. Until then, we'd agreed to provide for their defense.

    Finally...

    "It's a Small World" as an ad campaign? That's cruel.:-D

  6. #6
    Absentee Member ThewEiRdOne27's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by invertigo2004
    I know Roosevelt was paralyzed, but he could stand with assisstance, and it didn't feel right to talk about him "rolling" from place to place hehe.
    Roosevelt: WHEEE!

    Eisenhower: Mr. President, would you please stop rolling across the room...

    Roosevelt: No! This is how I plan defeat of Germany: to ROLL over them! *giggles*


    BTW: Nice AAR.
    "There are no continues, my friend."
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    "Man schlägt jemanden mit der Faust und nicht mit gespreizten Fingern."
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    "Yes Kenny, what Gamera has done today is beneficial to all."
    -Joel Robinson, right after Gamera destroyed a power plant, Ep. 302 Gamera

  7. #7
    WeirdOne: You have a very f&^%$d up mind.

    It's damn funny.:-D

    Invertigo: Yeah, he could stand, but it was very, very uncertain standing.

    As far as 'rolling' from place to place...Why would it feel weird to say that?

    Please watch the f-word.

    Stroph, AAR moderator
    Last edited by Stroph1; 05-02-2005 at 03:00.

  8. #8
    First Lieutenant Deflare's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3Divine WindHeir to the Throne
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    Now this is interesting. A much more aggressive Roosevelt could have altered the course of history from an American/Soviet victory to an American/British victory. Unfortunately, things seem to not be going very differently in your game. Is America going the have the power to deal with the Soviets after Germany is finished?

  9. #9
    Just out of Curiousity. Wasn't the Ribbontrop-Molotov Pact a secret...?

  10. #10
    First Lieutenant Deflare's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that the pact itself wasn't secret, but the details were. However, I'm not an expert.

  11. #11
    AARlander
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    Very interesting first post! Hope to see more like it.
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  12. #12
    Corporal DataKing's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deflare
    I'm pretty sure that the pact itself wasn't secret, but the details were. However, I'm not an expert.
    Deflare is correct. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was not a secret, but the "secret protocols" were...well...secret. These protocols included, but were not limited to, the partitioning of Poland after the German conquest, and giving Stalin a free hand in the Baltics without fear of German intervention.

    Good start to the AAR Invertigo2004. I'll be following along.

  13. #13
    The parts of it that partitioned eastern Europe were, but the non-aggression pact was not.

    Quote Originally Posted by pedal2000
    Just out of Curiousity. Wasn't the Ribbontrop-Molotov Pact a secret...?

  14. #14
    I don't want to give anything away just yet, but at the moment things are looking up. Also, can anyone tell me how to post screenshots? I can't post attachments, but it tells me my image code is on, so what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deflare
    Now this is interesting. A much more aggressive Roosevelt could have altered the course of history from an American/Soviet victory to an American/British victory. Unfortunately, things seem to not be going very differently in your game. Is America going the have the power to deal with the Soviets after Germany is finished?

  15. #15
    Corporal DataKing's Avatar

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    You need some external source to host the screenies (I use web space from my provider). Then you use <IMG> and </IMG> tags, with the URL of the screenie in between (replace the < and > with brackets). If you don't have web space available, I believe there are external places you can use, like imageshack.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by DataKing
    You need some external source to host the screenies (I use web space from my provider). Then you use <IMG> and </IMG> tags, with the URL of the screenie in between (replace the < and > with brackets). If you don't have web space available, I believe there are external places you can use, like imageshack.
    Thanks a lot! I've figured it out after some trial and error, look for links to my screenshots later tonight!

    OKAY, IF YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED ALREADY, LINKS TO MY SCREENSHOTS HAVE BEEN INSERTED INTO MY FIRST POST. I'm working on my next post, which will cover just about 18months, right now.
    Last edited by invertigo2004; 05-02-2005 at 02:05.

  17. #17
    Absentee Member ThewEiRdOne27's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Penta
    WeirdOne: You have a very f****d up mind.
    And I'm damn proud of it!
    Last edited by ThewEiRdOne27; 06-02-2005 at 05:37.
    "There are no continues, my friend."
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    "Man schlägt jemanden mit der Faust und nicht mit gespreizten Fingern."
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    "Yes Kenny, what Gamera has done today is beneficial to all."
    -Joel Robinson, right after Gamera destroyed a power plant, Ep. 302 Gamera

  18. #18

    Jumpstarting the American Century, Part II: March-May, 1940

    I'm experimenting with a little different form of AAR. Instead of focusing on FDR, this next few parts will be from the point of view of an American sailor, pilot, and soldier. If it goes over well, I'll intersperse other "personalized" accounts to detail the battles and other happenings that Roosevelt would only have distant knowledge of. Let me know what you all think of this technique.

    2

    March 20, 1940: Joel Kohn nearly fell out of his bunk when the klaxons blared for the fourth time in the last day. Scrambling to pull up his scivvies, he flew with practiced ease up deck after deck, past dozens of sailors doing precisely the same thing. He was almost to his battlestation when the klaxon's hooting abruptly stopped. Last month, he would have walked the rest of the way to the anti-aircraft gun he manned on the USS Nashville, but this time, as he had every other time in the last 19 days, he continued sprinting until he was in position and snug in his helmet. As the minutes passed, it seemed like this alarm was just like every other had been since America joined the war...a false one. Sure enough, after about 20 minutes of scouring the gray sky for any signs of German aircraft, the all-clear sounded. Joel swore aloud, letting anybody within earshot know precisely how little he appreciated false alarms. A month ago he would've been happy to get the chance to go above decks, to look out across the sea at the rest of 5th Squadron. With the war on, he'd rather not stick his head out where it could be shot off. Anyway, on a clouded, misty day such as this, the battlewagons at the center of the formation were hard to make out. That smudge against the horizon might have been the battleship South Dakota, or the heavy cruiser Quincy. On a clear day, he'd have known.

    Ambling his way back below decks, Joel could think of little else than returning to his bunk, and that fantastic redhead he'd been dreaming about. He was nearly asleep when a rumbling baritone voice startled him once again.

    "Hey, Joel, you hear the news?"

    Groaning in disgust, Joel scowled at the obscenely happy face of the man who slept below him. Jacob Krandall was a hulk of an Irishman, as big as his voice was deep. Joel often wondered how the man, a fellow anti-aircraft gunner, managed to squeeze into position when the klaxons sounded.

    "What news?"

    "We're comin' into port. I saw it myself durin' the alarm. An' a little bird told me we'll be ashore by nightfall."

    Had it been a week already? The captain hadn't said anything about where they were going, only that they would put to sea for seven days on a combat patrol. And it wasn't like Admiral King was in the habit of filling an ensign in on the Navy's plans for 5th squadron, let alone the light cruiser Nashville. Jacob rumbled again.

    "Word is we'll be goin' back to battlestations in a bit, wanna look sharp for the Frenchies."

    Joel cocked his head, confused. "Frenchies?"

    He wasn't confused for very much longer. As Jacob had predicted, the klaxons blared again after a few hours. From his gun, he struggled to see anything through the haze. Of course, if land was directly in front of the Nashville, he wouldn't have seen it. His turret was to starboard, and well aft. But it wasn't his eyes that told him Jacob was right, but his ears, and the tell-tale sound of sea-gulls buzzing the ship. A couple hours later, his eyes confirmed what his ears had told him. At first, the shore was just a long, dark smear on the horizon. After awhile, the details became more clear, among them hundreds of young girls waving tri-colored flags. Suddenly, Joel Kohn was very, very happy to be above decks.

    USS Nashville, Brooklyn Class Light Cruiser


    * * *

    April 19, 1940: The chill running down his spine had nothing to do with the freezing cold of high altitude, held at bay, though it was, by the Buffalo’s feeble heating system. That line of tan he was about to fly over marked the boundary between the North Sea and Germany. Travis shivered again, trying to will himself to be calm. This was his first combat mission in Europe. Indeed, this was America’s first combat mission in Europe. Six hundred B-17s flew in formation below him, an equal number of Brewster Buffalo’s escorting them. He didn’t know their precise target, only that the target city was Rostock. He didn’t need to know the target, or so he’d been told. It wasn’t his job to do the bombing. He was supposed to protect the guys who did.

    He searched the great blue sky for any unwelcome visitors, but the Germans seemed content to let this great armada lumber on. The intelligence seemed to have been accurate. The Germans remained unconvinced that America had been ready for war, refused to believe they had anything to fear from across the Atlantic for at least a year. So they hadn’t redeployed their interceptors, kept them along the Franco-German border where they could tangle with the few French aircraft that dared oppose them. If there were any interceptors down there, they were oversleeping. Travis smirked under his oxygen mask. They’d get a rude awakening today.

    Several tense hours passed as the formation thundered on. Every once in a while the radio would explode with static as some wide-eyed pilot called out a bogey he supposedly saw. Each time they had been false reports, and the pilots who had given chase to the phantom enemy would have to ease their planes back into formation. For a second, he thought he saw one himself, but a quick brush of his hand against the cockpit glass convinced him otherwise.

    Travis eased back in the cockpit a bit, exhausted and cold. He pulled his goggles up, rubbing his tired eyes. This was only his first mission, and already he was bored and tired on top of frightened. Although he knew he was lucky nothing was happening, he secretly wished for something, anything, to break the boredom.

    “Flak, 12 O’Clock level!”

    The voice that blasted through the static was high-pitched and tense. All Travis could think about was if that guy was even old enough to join the Air Force. Scanning the sky again, he could see hundreds of tiny black dots where there should only have been open sky. The dots did not move, but instead slowly dissipated, only to be quickly replaced by others. As the formation approached, his plane began to buck in the turbulence. He swore he could hear the explosions. Gritting his teeth, he cursed himself for tempting fate. He’d asked for it, and indeed, something, it seemed, was about to happen.

    Standard Strategic Bombardment Squadron, 1940


    * * *

    May 7, 1940: Ryan Treynor felt like one large, red-headed sardine. As soon as the news of Hitler’s attack in the Low Countries came, they’d packed him and the rest of the 24th Infantry division as tight as they possibly could onto a few transport ships, and sent them out to sea, presumably for France. They’d only been gone for a day, but the whole ship already smelled of vomit, seasoned only slightly by the smell of the salty sea. A Massachusetts fisherman, Ryan’s stomach was strong as iron. Nevertheless, he currently felt supremely stupid for joining the Army.

    “What’s the matter, Emory?” he snickered at a particularly green-faced G.I. “Have a bit of bad meat from the mess?”

    “F*^# you, Treynor,” Warren Emory shot back, then keeled over the side of his bunk once more, wretching his lunch onto the floor.

    Laughing out loud, Ryan turned back to the card game he’d been playing. He’d been in the Army now since ‘36, and had made only slightly more money at poker than he’d lost. He supposed that made him a fair player. From this hand, he figured he could add to that total. He was just about to call when the klaxons began to hoot.

    The soldiers began rubbernecking every which way, looking for someone to tell them what to do. Then, almost by instinct, they began reaching for their life jackets. The lines of bunks, recently so boisterous with the sounds of young soldiers were now quiet as a tomb, the only sound coming from the still howling alarms.

    “Treynor, what the hell is goin’ on?” The disembodied voice floated up from somewhere down the line.

    “How should I know? I look like your Sergeant?”

    “No, you look like his mother!” Nervous laughter flickered through the soldiers.

    “Settle down, fellas.” That was the Sergeant, a man called Baumer. He wasn’t too big, but Ryan had seen him knock a few fly-boys on their cans before the war, and figured his best bet was staying on the sergeant’s good side. What’s more, he’d fought for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, and had the scars to prove it. He and a couple hundred others had been smuggled in with shipments of coal and iron ore. Only a couple dozen had made it out. The men treated Baumer like the wisest man on Earth.

    “What is it, Sarg?”

    “Word is a lookout plane from the Ranger spotted a U-boat tailing us. Admiral Leahy has brought the whole squadron to battle stations, figures the Krauts got a welcoming party for us a bit ahead. So keep your jackets on till the all-clear sounds, got it?”

    “Yes, sir!” the men chorused.

    Ryan settled back down into his bunk, too nervous to think. The card game resumed after a few minutes. After an hour, the men were almost back to normal, heckling each other, poking fun at the Navy boys, grousing about officers, and bragging about hometown sweethearts. All the loud talk made the first distant explosions nearly impossible to hear. Someone heard them, and within seconds the men waited in silence. Every few seconds there was a faint rumble. The men eyed each other in apprehension. Were those depth charges or shells striking the sea? Were they being fired upon or were their escorting ships doing the shooting? There were no sailors around to tell them the difference, and as the rumbling grew louder, the men began to fear the worst.

    “Sarg, what do we do if we get hit?” Emory asked, his face still a little green. Ryan didn’t feel like making fun of him this time, though.

    Someone else spoke up instead. “We’ll be lucky if we live long enough to know.”

    “Shut up, Brown.” Baumer thundered. “Everybody got their Mae West on?”

    “Yes, sir!” came another chorus.

    “Good, keep it that way. We get hit, we make for the top, then into the lifeboats. If you don’t make it to a lifeboat before this tin can goes under, you just jump. Your Mae West will keep your head above water, and from there you can find a boat. Understood?”

    The ship suddenly lurched with a roar, sending men flying from their bunks. Ryan found himself on the deck, tasting blood, running his tongue over the fresh gash in his lower lip. He tried to get up, but his arms and legs wouldn’t cooperate. He opened his eyes, and realized they didn’t want to be much help either. After a few seconds of dizziness, he managed to pull himself to his feet. Another scream told him his feet had found another soldier on the deck.

    “Sorry, mac.” Helping the man up, he said, “We’re hit, we better get moving.”

    “Right behind ya, Treynor.” The stink of vomit on the man’s breath told Ryan it was Emory long before his eyes managed to focus.

    Looking around, Ryan realized everybody else seemed to be coming to the same conclusion. Before the trickle of men could become a flood, however, a voice blared over the ship’s intercom.

    “This is the Captain speaking. We had a close call there, but the ship is undamaged, repeat, the ship is undamaged. All Army personnel will remain below decks until the all-clear sounds.:

    A couple seconds of silence passed before the men began shuffling back toward their bunks. Ryan was still dizzy, and nearly fell trying to climb back into his. Baumer saw him and the blood on his shirt, earning him a trip to the infirmary. He spent the rest of the day there getting his lip stitched back together, and getting his head looked at. He hadn’t realized, but he must have banged his head pretty hard on the fall. There was a pretty good sized chunk of skin missing from the side of his head. Looking around, he figured he was the most seriously wounded in this day’s action. He hoped so, anyway.
    Last edited by invertigo2004; 17-02-2005 at 03:23.

  19. #19

    Jumpstarting the American Century, Part III: May-June, 1940

    3

    May 15, 1940: “Mr. President, you’re on.”

    “My fellow Americans, tonight I speak to you not of the serious danger our country and the world finds itself in, but of the pride and honor with which I received the news that today, as American pilots let Hitler feel American power, as American sailors kept the North Sea clear of German ships, today advanced units of the American Expeditionary Force disembarked in secret locations in France, and are at this moment advancing toward the front. While I remind you that this great struggle will be desperate, and deadly, I wish to impart on all of you the solemn pride that I feel at this moment for the sons of our nation. Hitler believes his hordes will sweep all before them, as they did nearly a year ago in Poland. We will show him otherwise. We will show him that America will not be cowed, will not be broken, will not be swept away. No! We will fight, and we will win! Thank you, and God bless you all.”

    Sighing, Roosevelt slumped back into his chair, exhausted. It had been a very, very long day, as had every other for two and a half months. The real fighting hadn’t even started yet. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Arnold’s bombers had been operating virtually without pause for a month, and if the reports were accurate, the Germans’ initial lack of opposition was long gone. Some bomber groups were already down to 70%, and the Buffalos simply weren’t up to snuff against Messerschmitts. The Air Force would have to do something about that, but not now, probably not for some time. Too many other projects had priority.

    “George, I’d like to be left alone for the rest of the evening. Unless there’s an emergency, I want no visitors tonight.”

    “Yes, Mr. President. Will you be needing anything else?”

    “Coffee, and lots of it.”

    “Of course, sir.”

    “Thank you, George.” The butler ambled out of the Oval Office, leaving Roosevelt once more to his thoughts, and of course, the endless piles of reports, requests, and complaints.

    Admiral Fletcher’s carriers had finally arrived in Europe, joining King’s battleships and Kalbfus’ battlecruisers. They would all begin patrolling along the Norwegian coast once Fletcher had refueled and restocked. Roosevelt scowled. The Nazis had overrun Denmark in April, and landed troops in Norway shortly thereafter. He hadn’t really planned on sending troops anywhere but France, and so long as the Norwegians held, as they currently were, he wouldn’t have to. In the meantime, he would have to content himself with raiding German supply convoys. A second, significantly smaller thorn in his side was Denmark’s plea that American troops occupy Greenland and Iceland. He had agreed, of course, but wasn’t all that happy to have yet more overseas territories to defend. He’d already determined to give Iceland its independence after the war.

    George returned now with his coffee, which he sipped before rifling to Admiral Leahy’s report on the action of May 7th. Leahy wasn’t one to shower praise on anybody, so Roosevelt was particularly please to hear the Admiral was impressed with his idea of a “transport fleet:” a dozen transports escorted by 2 carriers, 2 battleships, 2 battlecruisers, 3 heavy cruisers, 3 light cruisers, and 6 squadrons of destroyers. His 4th Squadron was a transport fleet, and had been ferrying the 1st U.S. Army Corps and the 1st Corps to France when it had bumped into some German cruisers during the night. Without air cover in the darkness, and little moonlight, the cruisers managed to get close and pop off a few shots at the transports, one of which was almost capsized by near-miss. Their luck didn’t last long, however, as their muzzle flashes helped the gunners on every American ship pinpoint their position. Within minutes, the lead German cruiser was riddled with shells, but according to Leahy, they managed to slip away before daylight. Air reconnaissance failed to find them the next day, and with strict orders to get the soldiers to France, Leahy decided not to pursue them.

    Roosevelt nodded in satisfaction. Leahy may not like it, but he understood the importance of getting those troops to Europe as soon as possible. Since the Kriegsmarine had been small before Germany had declared war on Poland, there hadn’t been much to shoot at to begin with. By the time American joined the war, the Royal and French navies had already sunk the battleship Bismark, the battlecruiser Schleswig-Holstein, 4 heavy cruisers, and 4 light cruisers. Naval intelligence claimed only the battlecruiser Schleisen, 4 light cruisers, and an assortment of destroyers and submarines were left. Roosevelt nodded again, thinking Yes, get them ashore, and come back for more.

    There were plenty more. Leahy had delivered 12 divisions to Calais two days ago (he’d fudged the date on the radio on purpose), and was already on his way back to New York to pick up a dozen more in 2nd and 4th Corps. With 60 divisions total, that would mean five round trips across the Atlantic. With a seven day one-way transit time, that meant it would be mid-July before the entire Army would be in Europe. Considering the reports coming out of Holland and Belgium, he didn’t think Hitler would give him that much time. After a few moments thought, he picked up the phone.

    “Yes, Mr. President.”

    “Admiral Stark, have Vice Admiral Glover’s transports in Norfolk sail up to New York. We need them to get the Army across the Atlantic.”

    There were a few seconds of silence before Stark replied. “Mr. President, you do realize Vice Admiral Glover’s transport are unescorted. They’ll be sitting ducks for any German vessels out there. I’m sure you’re aware of Admiral Leahy’s recent experience.”

    “I’m aware of it, Admiral. Please do as I say.”

    “But Mr. President...”

    “Now, Admiral.”

    “Yes, sir.” Stark hung up.

    Frustrated, Roosevelt took another sip of his coffee, and flipped to another report, this one not from a military man, but a civilian named Oppenheimer.

    * * *

    May 24, 1940: Joel Kohn sprinted for the millionth time to his gun, cursing the damn fool whose imagination had set off the alarm. Sliding into position, he instinctively began scanning the skies for German aircraft, knowing he wouldn’t see any. No Kraut plane had the range to fly this far out into the North Sea, and the last he knew, they didn’t operate aircraft carriers. Speaking of which, he suddenly and fiercely wished some American carriers were here so the Nashville wouldn’t have to unload its guns. The Nashville may be the most modern American light cruiser afloat, but it was still a light cruiser, and if it was close enough to shoot at something, odds were that something was close enough to shoot back.

    Joel tried not to think about shells soaring through the sky toward him, but failed. He’d seen what those shells could do to a ship like his. A couple weeks ago, another ship in his squadron, the light cruiser Honolulu, had been hit by a shell from a German battlecruiser. The ship had trailed smoke all the way back to port in Sheffield, and after finagling some shore leave, Joel had managed to sneak a look at her in drydock. The sight of steel twisted and torn like so much paper shook him to the core, and one of the repair crew had let him know exactly how lucky he was that he’d come after they’d cleaned up the gore.

    Suddenly a wall of water flew up in front of him, spraying him as it fell back down. He’d been so busy searching the sky and thinking about the Honolulu that he hadn’t even noticed the appearance of several menacing shapes on the horizon. One of those shapes was much larger than the others, and even at this distance, he pegged it as a German battlecruiser. For a moment, he wondered why the Germans kept sending their capital ships out when they were so heavily outnumbered. Then he remembered the dozen or so transports his squadron had sunk in the last few days. Those transports had been carrying food, fuel, and munitions to their comrades fighting in Norway. These Germans were undoubtedly here to make sure the next shipment got through. Joel nodded to himself. That took guts.

    Water spouts began shooting up in front of the German ships, accompanied by the roaring of dozens of guns. The Nashville was still out of range, and thus was little more than a target at the moment, but the guns of 4 battleships and 4 heavy cruisers had begun to thump. If the Germans didn’t break off soon, Joel had no idea how they’d survive the barrage coming down on them. A few seconds later, he had a better idea.

    A blinding flash of light suddenly erupted from the Kraut battlecruiser, much too bright to be the flash of its cannon. Within seconds the light, and the battlecruiser, were gone. Joel blinked and rubbed his eyes, then looked again. No doubt about it, where once there had been a ship, now there was nothing. Joel said a brief prayer for the men who’d been aboard. No telling when the same thing could happen to him.

    The battle continued for another hour or so, but no more shells came near the Nashville, and the ship never got close enough to fire. Another Kraut ship went to the bottom, a light cruiser by the looks of it. This one wasn’t as spectacular as the battlecruiser, but Joel had a hard time watching all the same. The heavy American ships practically clubbed it to death, raining shells down on it until it finally rolled over and into the sea. After that, the remaining German ships hightailed it for home, slipping into fog and darkness.

    Joel thought for a moment that they’d managed to surprise Admiral King when the squadron suddenly turned due west. Then the all-clear sounded, and on his way back to his bunk, the rumors began to circulate. Several destroyers had gone to the bottom, and the Maryland severely damaged. Wiping sweat from his forehead, he threw another prayer up, this time for the Americans lost this day, then, as an afterthought, thanking God he hadn’t been one of them.

    USS Maryland, Colorado Class Battleship


    * * *

    June 3, 1940: Ryan hung his head as he and the rest of 24th infantry marched sullenly away from Eindhoven. Scuttlebutt was they wouldn’t stop until they’d reached Antwerp. He’d only been in country about 20 days, and already he’d tasted victory and defeat. Two weeks ago, he and the rest of 1st U.S. Army Corps had evicted the Germans from the Dutch city of Eindhoven. On May 28th, the Germans came back in force. Fighting had raged in the city for over five days, turning much of the city into rubble and ultimately sending 12 full divisions into headlong retreat back into Belgium. So far, the brass kept saying casualties had been light. Ryan wasn’t so sure about that...he’d seen lots of dead soldiers in the last three weeks, and didn’t care to see anymore. Sighing, he reminded himself of just how much the brass cared about what he thought.
    Last edited by invertigo2004; 17-02-2005 at 03:24.

  20. #20
    Corporal DataKing's Avatar

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    Mar 2003
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    Excellent stuff Invertigo. I've always liked AARs that give you a personal feel for what's going on. I look forward to following these servicemen through the course of the war.

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