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Thread: Southern Cross: The Confederate States in World War II

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    Southern Cross: The Confederate States in World War II

    The beginning of the year 1936 found the Confederate States of America mired, like most of the rest of the world, in the great depression which had brought the markets crashing from New York to Berlin in 1929. Though economic conditions had somewhat improved through the early 1930's, the state of the nation was such that a populist firebrand like Huey Long could sweep into the Gray House on his 'Every Man a King' program in 1934. Despite bombastic rhetoric, and some real progress, especially in the Tennessee Valley where the states of Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana pooled resources in extensive hydroelectric damming projects through 1931 - 1935, as the new year dawned, the CSA was still searching for a way out of the depression, and some sign of what their place would be in a rapidly transforming world.

    As President Long convened his cabinet on January 2, 1936, there were many items on the meeting's agenda. The President had commissioned in the last quarter of 1935 an analysis of the armed forces, their capabilities and current technical levels. These analyses all eventually came together in the Graves Report, as it was presented by Chief of Staff William Sidney Graves, and its' findings did not fill the President with confidence. Of the 4 divisions of the Confederate Army, all were still armed with equipment dating back to the Great War, save for the cavalry division of the Confederate Expeditionary Force, currently billeted in Hermosillo. The Air Corps was diminuitive, with a single squadron of interceptors, based in Hermosillo as well, and one squadron of tactical bombers currently based in Norfolk. The Confederate Navy boasted quite a few submarines and warships, but most of the ships had been built either at the end of the Great War, or in the naval building programs initiated in the mid 1920's. In short, the equipment, ships, planes, and in some ways training of the Confederate Armed Forces were all very outdated and in serious need of revision. With this in mind, the Presdient authorized sweeping research programs to improve the arms and equpiment of both infantry and cavalry divisions. He asked researchers at Duke University to begin looking into an update of the venerable old 'Cipher' encryption systems of the Great War. Executives from the Gulf Oil Corporation agreed to expand their agrichemical researches, and ship designers from the Norkolk Naval Yards were commissioned with drawing up designs for a new class of destroyer.



    The needs of the military were not the only things on the President's mind as 1936 dawned. As part of his economic revitilization program, President Long authorized two new factory complexes to be built under federal government supervision but using labor and materials from the states where the construction was to take place. Though response in the Congress was lukewarm, owing to the long held and somewhat sacrosanct doctrine of state's rights and federal noninterference, the bill had great popular support as the Southern people wer looking for any way out of a depression that seemed to have some spots of relief but no end in sight. By the middle of January, Long had received the go ahead for his new factories, one near the capital of Richmond, the other in Columbia, South Carolina.



    Though none of these moves had any sort of immediate impact on the economic malaise, most of the population of the Confederacy were encoraged by a president who was at least willing to do something, even if there was no precedent or if the move was unpopular politically. Despite having no real concrete progress to show, as 1936 went on, the people of the Confederate States were filled with if not optimism, then at least quiet hope.

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    February 10, 1936

    The traffic through the Confederate capital was sparse as Jim Gratton made his way through the darkened early morning streets on his way towards his appointment. The winter air had a chill, but Gratton walked anyway, wanting the time to sort through his thoughts as he made his way to the very unordinary appointment he was keeping. He had served in the Confederate Army since 1922, too late for the Great War but just in time for the Cuban Insurrection of 1925. He had served on General Robert Jameson's staff as adjutant, and had quickly been recognized as both intelligent and resourceful by the veteran general. Upon his return to Richmond on 1926 Jameson brought the young Captain with him and secured him a place in the nascent Army Intelligence Corps, an outgrowth of the Signal Corps Intelligence Bureau from the Spanish-Confederate and Great Wars. Gratton had shined in his new assignment, dispatched throughout central and South America in various capacities throughout the years. His recall telegram which had reached him two weeks ago in Buenos Aires still had him confused as to what it could all mean. He had arrived in the capital and been met by a polite but uninformative driver who had ensconced him at the Stonewall Hotel, then disappeared. A telephone rang literally as Gratton walked into the room answering the caller had told him only when and where he was expected to be the following morning. He noted the uncivilized hour. He was used to more lax schedules after so many years abroad and was slightly annoyed by the tone of the caller, treating him like some wet behind the ears fresh from the course. Despite these internal annoyances, he simply acknowledged his orders and bathed, ate, drank some Tennessee whiskey he had been denied for far too long, and went to bed early.

    Now here he stood before the Confederate War Department, the sun just beginning to peek over the cityscape, and wondered again just what he could be doing back here. Realizing he would never get his answer standing in the street, Gratton ascended the marble steps quickly and entered the lobby, nodding to a sergeant posted behind an enormous mahogany desk and stepping to a sign detailing where the various departments were located. Scanning the list quickly, Gratton found what he was looking for on the fourth floor and crossed the lobby to an untended elevator. He let himself in and set the controls for the fourth floor, arriving with a muted ding and stepping out of the elevator car. Turning to the raight at random, he strode down the empty hallway, his steps echoing slightly. A door stood at the end of the short hallway, a simple 'Army Intelligence Corps' stencilled on the frosted glass of the door. Gratton opened the door and stepped through.

    An alert lieutenant looked up from a small desk and stood, stepping forward and saluting.

    "Captain Gratton?"

    "Yes, Lieutenant -?"

    "Nelson. Could I see your papers please?"

    Gratton's right eyebrow rose, but he produced his military identifications without comment. Everything about this was strange, but he had a feeling he would soon find out what all the strangeness was about. After inspecting his papers quickly and thoroughly, Lieutenant Nelson handed his documents back.

    "Appreciate your cooperation sir."

    Gratton simply nodded.

    "If you could step this way, you'll be right on time for your appointment."

    Following the younger officer through a doorway, Gratton looked around the office. Bookshelves, a filing caibnet, two overstuffed chairs, typical government office accountrements. Swinging his gaze to the man behind the desk as Lieutenant Nelson left he room, he was mildy surprised to find the commander of the AIC, General Smith. He had only met the General personally twice in his 11 years with the AIC, and it was a small corps. Gratton understood the General preferred to remain in the background, and in truth Gratton preferred an aloof commander. It left him the greatest possible latitude for action.

    Coming to attention and saluting, Gratton was again surprised when the General rose and returned the salute. With a muttered 'at ease', Gratton returned to the position from muscle memory, since it had been some years since he had come to attention for anyone. The general looked to his desk and flipped through a file langourously, as though daring Gratton to ask what this was all about. He kept his silence, focusing his gaze on a particularly interesting spot on the general's woodgrain wall.

    "Any trouble finding the offices? I understand you haven't been in Richmond since the new building was finished."

    Gratton knew damn well Smith knew his every move since he had joined the AIC, since he had enrolled in VMI, come to that. His curiousity suddenly grew.

    "No sir, no trouble. I was a bit surprised at the summons however."

    The general's eyebrow quirked as his gaze finally fell fully on Gratton, and the captain was struck suddenly by its' intensity. General Smith may have been old, but his mind was still as sharp as ever.

    "Surprised at an order to report to your headquarters for new orders? My, we have had you on a loose leash haven't we?"

    Biting back his annoyance, Gratton measured his tone. "I have fulfilled every assignment I've received. To the Army and the country's satisfaction, or so I believed."

    Smith grunted and leaned back, "Oh of course you have, or we wouldn't have kept yo on at all, but you do seem to enjoy doing things whatever way you see fit."

    "I follow orders."

    "I never said you didn't dammit, but Gratton, it's time for you to grow up."

    Gratton's eyes widened and he came to attention reflexively.

    "Oh, for god's sake son, would you listen to an old man, who alos happens to be your commanding officer, before you decide to get all ruffled? You're a good man who's done good work for the country and the Army, as you said. But you still need to grow up. You think calling you here was a mistake, that you'd be of more use down in Argentina, or Mexico, or Honduras, or any of the other half dozen countries you've been in in 10 years. Well, you're wrong. You've been having fun, playing 'red indians' on the government's dime, and I'll admit we've gotten good use out of you, but now it's time to put your tomahawk away and come inside. I've got something important, from the President direct important, and I want you to run it. Now sit down and listen like a good soldier for once."

    Gratton sat.

    "Good. Now, we're setting up a counterintelligence branch, and before you stalk out of here and tell me I'm nuts, hear me out. I told Presidnet Long the same thing when he came to me last month, how the only kind of 'spies' we get down here are Yankee reporters and Mexican union organizers. But he had something, something I didn't think we'd ever see in this country, and, well, I need someone who's not gonna hesitate to root this kind of thing out."

    Smith slid the folder he had been perusing over to Gratton, and tapped on three photographs clipped to the top.

    "NKVD agents, dispatched from Moscow sometime in '30 or '31 we think. Slipped in through northern Mexico, ended up in New Orleans by 1932. Two of 'em set up a printing shop, supposedly with money form their aunt's inheritance, but nothing on that's proven to be real. The two slipped out of New Orleans when Naval Intel, of all people, smelled something funny, but we know they're still somewhere in the CSA. The bottom line, Captain Gratton, is that there are foreign agents of a hostile power operating on our soil. I want you to set up shop, find them, kill them, and make damn sure it doesn't happen again. Are you ready to grow up, son?"

    Looking at the photos, Gratton said a final wistful goodbye to his metaphorical childhood, then met the general's eyes and nodded.

    "Let me at these bastards."


  3. #3
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    Great Start. Your writing is very good. GOOD LUCK!!!

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    The Confederate States of America, March 1936


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    April 1, 1936


    "-and the new service rifles that the boys at Benning are testing should definitely give us a leg up in the future. Other than that, there's -oh, wait."

    President Huey Long was unable to keep interest from his face as General Graves stopped and flipped through his report to the last page. Stifling a guffaw, the General read on.

    "And finally, it appears that representatives from the Cuban Republican Army and Confederate Petrol Cuba have contacted us and decided to share some of the fruits of their research."

    Long regarded the general, looking for any sign of a put on.

    "Seriously?"

    "Seriously. They've actually come up with some pretty good working prototypes of mobile anti air artillery and some new equipment sets for mountain troops. CPC has got some new refining process plant going in Havana that they're raving about."

    "Well then, quite a nice surprise from our little southern neighbors. Put together something nice for them back Sidney, let's see if we can't get some of the boys from the Southern Pacific or Texas Oil down there, help 'em out a bit. Anything else important?"

    "No sir, we're done here."

    "Alright then, I'll let you get back to real work General, until next week."

    "Next week, Mr. President."



    June 6, 1936


    "And the progress with the new rifles and kits?"

    "Excellent Mr. President, the Army's been completely refitted and we're sending the troops out now for some field exercises, let them work some of the kinks out and get an idea of what their new hardware can do."

    "Sounds like a good idea Sidney, got to keep the men sharp. It's looking more and more like a dangerous world out there."

    "Indeed so Mr. President. Hitler's sent troops into the Rhineland and the Japanese are making noises at the Chinese."

    "Though the Japs are the Yankees' problem. Just why they would sail halfway across the damn world just for the Phillippines is beyond me."

    "Well, they thought it would help them get their foot in the door in China, which worked for a while, but-"

    "Anyhow Sidney, I don't figure the Japs are gonna be our problem any which way we slice it." Long interrupted. Japan was not really on his list of things to worry about. "That Hitler though.....he's just nuts. Plain and simple. I don't like him, and I especially don't like him sitting in Berlin. We had a hell of a time with the Huns the first go round."

    "We whipped 'em too, Mr. President. We could do it again if we had to. But don't you think you're getting a little worked up over nothing? After all, the Rhineland's always been German, always will be German. No sense in keeping them out of their own back 40."

    Long regarded his chief of staff and slowly nodded.

    "You've got a point there Sidney, you do. Especially since we've got worries a lot closer than China or Germany."

    The chief of staff's face pinched at Long's words. He knew exactly what was going through his commander in chief's mind.

    "Mexico."

    Looking down, Long saw the order he had drafted authorizing the Army to expand by three divisions. He had his feelers out in Congress, and it was looking like a pretty sure bet he could get the funding. Doubly sure if he could get the backing of his influential and respected Army chief of staff. Wordlessly sliding the paper over to the general, Long watched as he picked it up, read it, met the President's eyes, and nodded.

    Taking ti back, Long scrawled his signature at the bottom and sent for a messenger. By the end of the next day the call would be out, and young men would flock to the Confederacy's banners once again.

    For what purpose exactly, neither of the two men could yet precisely say.


  7. #7
    Major EmprorCoopinius's Avatar
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    Technological progress continued apace in the CSA as 1936 passed. New equipment and arms for the infantry and cavalry, new techniques and machines for farming and food production, new ship designs for the aging CS Navy, even some preliminary work on a new generation of interceptor aircraft, though the numbers of the Confederate Air Corps were still rather small. In the summer of 1936 though, scientists, physicists, and technicians at Duke University in North Carolina began construction of nuclear research labs, taking their cue from German and Yankee scientists who were publishing intriguing reports concerning atomic behavior and qualities. Pitched to President Long in early July by Dr. Stephen D.H. Giles, after consultations with his cabinet memebers and certain scientific advisors, Long gave the go ahead for construction of the 'Atombreaker' project some 15 miles from Duke in rural North Carolina. Though none of the men involved could imagine what the project would bring, still they were taking the first steps into a larger, perhaps more dangerous world.



    The start of 'Atombreaker' was of course not front page news for the average Confederate, bt the Spanish Civil War was. Francisco Franco's Nationalist armies struck at government installations across Spain in late July, and by the beginning of August full fledged civil war between the Nationalists and Republicans had spread across the Iberian Peninsula. Britain and France offered mediation but would not commit to any sort of concrete support, but the more totalitariam regimes of the world did not feel any similar qualms. German and Italian planes, tanks, and advisors were in Spain by the middle of August, and by September the Soviet Union had begun supporting the Republican cause with much the same means as Germany and Italy were using to support the Nationalists. In the CSA reaction was divided, with most of the Whig Party and the old line conservatives seeing the Nationalists as overzealous perhaps but the lesser of two evils, with their hearts in the right place for the preservation of legitimacy and religion. The Democratic Party, however, with much of the Upper South and western States supported the Republicans, decrying the Nationalists as nothing more than fascist traitors to a legitimate government. This mixed bag of reaction made CS intervention in the conflict even more politically impossible than it was already with the isolationist mood of most of the country, and Long, though he bucked the prevalent Whig trend and wished for a Republican victory, was unable to offer any substantial help to the Spanish Republicans.

    With stories from Spain making appearances in Confederate newspapers almost daily, reports also began to filter north from the CSA's long suffering southern neighbor, Mexico. Wracked by revolution and unrest for nearly 50 years after the final fall of the Emperor Maximillian, the radical socialist Lazaro Cardenas had seized control of the capital in 1930 and proceeded to preside over and win the first nominally free elctions in Mexico in 25 years. He was solidly supported by nearly all classes of Mexican citizens, though some of the far right army officers and land barons were unhappy with his socialistic plans and tendencies. Nevertheless, Mexico seemd a nation which was finally headed in the right direction. Confederate reaction was muted, many happy to see some semblance of peace and order restored south of the border, but some nervous over what they saw as creeping Communist encroachment in North America. The first steps of the puiblicly announced National Recovery Plan, broadcast by Cardenas on the evening of August 20, 1936, seemed to lend credence to those fearful of leftist subversion. In the speech, Cardenas announced the nationalization of all railway and trunk lines by the end of September, and a formation of a National Industrial Board to recommend more industries that would benefit from tighter government control. Though the speech was only directly heard in parts of south Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, the text, reprinted in most major Confederate papaers the next day, ignited a storm of controversy. The Confederate upper classes from east to west were implacably opposed to Communism, indeed, anything that even smacked of Communism. Not only that, but the President of Mexico's stong condemnation of continued Confederate occupation fo Hermosillo, seized during the Mexican Intervention of 1916 and held ever since as the CSA's only Pacific port, raised concerns in all classes and all regions about just what was going on down in Mexico these days. The combined impact of the speech was such that President Long ordered the Army of the West south from Louisville, Kentucky to Biloxi, Mississippi, purely as precaution, but also to see what, if any the Mexican reaction would be. The move was reported but went mostly unnoticed and uncommented upon, and Long exhaled, hoping that maybe Cardenas's speech had been nothing more than a way to cut the legs from under those still dissenting to his rule. Despite the effective nationalization of all Mexican rail lines on September 10, 1936, by then tempers had cooled and only a formal note of concern reached the Mexican foreign minister from the Confederate ambassador. For the moment, at least, calm had prevailed.

  8. #8
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    September 1, 1936

    Lieutenant Terry Collins, A Company, 11'th Infantry Regiment, 15'th Brigade of the 4'th 'Jefferson Davis' Infantry Division stared across the empty parade ground at the disappearing sun. He was a graduate of the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, class of 1936, and he counted himself damn lucky to be here. Competition between graduates of the military academies, the Confederate War Academy, VMI, and the Citadel for the available officer posts was always fierce, and Collins thought that President Long's decision to raise three new divisions was possibly the only thing that had gotten him out of the dull grey of the South Carolina militia and into the muted tan of Confederate butternut.

    Not that he wasn't young, and intelligent, and talented, but so were the thousand other like him that the military schools fo the South produced every year. Most went straight from the academy parade ground back into civlian life, perhaps as militia lieutenants or captains or, if they were scions of the wealthy, lieutenant colonels. A few, however, still used the state institutions as pathways to career Army service and though the Confederate War Academy at Montgomery was the source of most new officers, a graduate of VMI or the Citadel could, with hard work, dedication, and perhaps a pinch of influence or luck gain a commission in the Army. Collins figured having a bigger need to fill hadn't hurt his chances any at all.

    Night came quickly to the parade ground and Collins watched as a group of enlisted men on liberty streamed through the open fence gates on butternut buses. The 4'th Division had been rebuilt around a cadre, and had actually seen service in both the Spanish-Confederate and Great Wars. He was glad to be part of a formation with a history, and as something of a history buff himself he approved of the 'Jefferson Davis' moniker. Turning from the darkened grounds, Collins walked through the screen door into the officer's baracks he shared with three other lieutenants, all but one older than him by at least 5 years. His youth hadn't won him too many friends his first days here, but by the end of the second week when he had shown he really did have some idea of what he was doing, the older officers stopped being only critical and became occasionally helpful. As far as he knew all three of them were off base on liberty this evening, which suited him just fine. He'd never been this far west before, and he didn't imagine that Alexandria, Louisiana was the most exciting place the Army cold've picked for him to get acquainted with the other half of his country, but it was where they had picked so he supposed it would just have to do. Falling onto his cot with a muted sigh, Collins turned and regarded the books staring back at him. After a moment of thought, he turned aside, rolling onto his back and lighting a cigarette, watching the smoke drift lazily to the barracks ceiling.

    He realized he was bored, but not sfficienty motivated to do anytinhg about it. This was an uunexpected respite, a moment of calm in what he imagined was only the eye of a very big storm. Ever since graduation and that one 4 day window of freedom spent with a girl named Natalie whose parents thought she was with her Aunt on the Outer Banks, his life had seemed to be one continuous march from train station to barracks, barracks to parade ground, parade ground to train station, station to barracks, ad nauseum.
    A smile came back to his face as he remembered Natalie, 20, blonde, vivacious, too forward for a respectable Southern lady by half.

    Which was probably what had drawn him to her. Not that he'd been particularly looking for a lady, having only four days as he'd had, but she had been different than some of the other weekend trysts he'd snuck in in his years at the Citadel. Or perhaps he was simply deluding himself with the fondness of memory. Either way, she wasn't here now, so there was really no point in thinking about it anymore. Sighing and turning back to the books regarding him ominously, he acknowledged defeat and selected 'Infantry Small Unit Tactics' from the pile, sitting up and wading into the text.

    All in all, he decided, daydreaming about Natalie had proven just about as fulfilling.



    Terry Collins (centered) and some of his classmates, Citadel Class of 1936

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    September 29, 1936

    Gratton was quite sure as he sat at his desk within the innocuously titled 'Maps Section' that General Smith had known that this job was going to drive him insane within 6 months. Six months of reading, writing, planning, analyzing, recruiting, devising - for a man of action like Gratton, all the brain work was starting to make him feel a little off the deep end.

    Not that he was a stupid man - stupid men didn't last long in any kind of Intelligence work, especially if they made their living in the field as Gratton had done for the past decade. It was just that he was a man who infintely preferred the action to the planning. He hated any kind of delay in solving a problem or completing a task, and so his natural disposition had always told him to wade in, both fists figratively swinging.

    In the last months however, he had learned a cxertain sense of patience and calm which up till the current time had been foreign to him. He could honeslty say that perhaps General Smith had not been completely insane when he had offered - well, more like unloaded - this job on Gratton.

    Instead of insanity, perhaps it was just the first stirrings of senility.

    Gratton cast such meanspirited thoughts aside as the door to his office opened and an enlisted runner entered, saluted, handed Gratton an envelope, and pivoted and left the office, all without saying a word. Shaking his head a bit at the General's ideas of efficiency, he tore the beige envelope open and pulled the folded letter out, scanning the typewritten note quickly. When he was finished he followed the instructions contained in the last line of the note and tore the paper into small strips, using a ciagrette lighter to burn them in the sawed off end of an artillery shell he used as an ashtray. That done, he leaned back in his wooden cair and fished a pack of Camels from his uniform pocket, lighting one of the cigarettes and taking a long first drag. He mentally ran through a list while he exhaled the smoke, watching it eddy upwards towards the off white ceiling.

    Well. It was as if the General had eavesdroppers in his mind. Here he had been carping to himself about lack of action, and lo and behold what should cross his desk but some of that very same, and to make it even better, a little piece of the Intelligence world that Gratton had never seen or been involved in before. He stood then, walking around the desk and opening the door into the small office cointaining his staff, currently two sergeants, a lieutenant of engineers named McReilly, and a young woman, Nancy, from the secretarial pool, very brunette, very curvy, very sexy, and very married. Gratton halfheartedly cursed the fates that had allowed that before he had had a chance, but he had met her husband, a rather dashing young chap with the Air Corps, and decided that just perhaps this one time the supreme being had known what he was doing.

    The young woman caught Gratton's eye and rose without being told, crossing the small room and stepping into Gratton's office as he stepped aside and clsoed the door behind her. Walking behind her, he took his seat again and stubbed his cigarette out, meeting Nancy's curious green gaze as she sat across from him.

    "So Captain, what's up?"

    Gratton watched as she settled in, her sharp gaze searching his eyes for any clue as to what this was about. Nancy had worked in the War Department ever since getting her teacher's certificate and then discovering that she was not overfond of other people's children. In the years since, she had learned to almost smell when something was in the works. She cocked her head quizzically, waiting for her boss to explain.

    "I'm going to be making a quick buisness trip in the next few days, and I'm going to need you to run interference. McReilly'll officially be in charge, but don't give him anything too important to sign and try to make sure he doesn't do anything too stupid. If anyone asks, tell 'em I had to make a quick trip to Norfolk to see family. Mother's sick, uncle fell down a well, use your imagination."

    Nancy giggled in surprise, then frowned, her eyebrows coming together as she replied mock severally "He's not an idiot Captain. In fact, I think he's a quite capable young officer. General Smith wouldn't have assigned him to your....department if he wasn't"

    "I know that Nancy, and I agreem he is a quite capable young officer, at least at building bridges. Running a completely confidential conunterintelligence operation, no. At least not yet. I like the kid too Nance, but just trust me on this. Give him a little time. And keep him in the dark.

    Mollified, the young woman nodded and watched as Gratton stood again, opening his left desk drawer and pulling a small Selma .38 caliber pistol out an holstering it under his left armpit. She was surprised since she had never seen Gratton arm himself before.

    "If I may sir...where exactly will this business trip be taking you?"

    Gratton smiled as he watched her for her reaction.

    "Place I've never been before. New York City."

    Nancy gasped. Gratton laughed.

  14. #14
    Power-Hungry Demagogue Raze's Avatar
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    Good job adding southern Arizona and New Mexico which were unfortunately CSA territories.
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  15. #15
    Second Lieutenant Caligo's Avatar
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    Very good start so far.

    Looks like you need to go "save" Mexico (or should I say South CS) from the EVIL commies.

    It's also a pitty the Californians thought that the US was a more natural home as it would have made one hell of an addition to the CSA.

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    excellent so far!
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  17. #17
    Major EmprorCoopinius's Avatar
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    Raze - Thanks a lot, I'm using CSABadass' 'Southern Road to Armageddon' which prespposes a Southern victory at Sharpsburg and then a sort of detente between the two powers. Personally, I find it kind of refreshing. Anyhow, the mod supposes that in the treaty negotiations that the CS gets New Mexico and Arizona territories.

    Caligo - California would have indeed been quite the useful. Ah well, it keeps the Japanese from being my problem, so it could be worse.

    rcduggan - Thanks!

    Working all day, update hopefully tonight or tomorrow morning.

  18. #18
    Major EmprorCoopinius's Avatar
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    "-though the two republics were naturally at odds in the years immediately following the War of Southern Secession, a noticeable thaw in their relations could be detected by the mid 1870's, concurrent with the Anglo/Union detente which was formalized in the Treaty of Halifax in 1873. After all, the two nations shared a common history, a common language, culture, taste for the arts, religion, and had to some extent reverence for the same national hereoes. Adding to these powerful but intangible forces was the economic impetus for at least grudging neutrality. The two parts provided goods that the other needed, and as such soon Southern cotton was again feeding Northern mills and Northern machine parts and manufactured goods made their way South in increasing numbers by 1874. Simple economic expediency had made another war between the two American republics almost impossible to imagine by the 1880's, and indeed, when the two nations next went to war, it was alongside one another against the Spanish Empire in 1890, the results being Confederate occupation of Cuba and Puerto Rico and US occupation of the Phillippines. This war brought both the US and CS into the Age of Imperialism with staunch imperialists in both nations winning their Presidential contests and-"


    -excerpt from Confederate Scholastic Encyclopedia, "Postwar Relations between the American Republics", copyright Cavalier Publishing, 1967
    Last edited by EmprorCoopinius; 20-08-2007 at 18:45.

  19. #19
    Major EmprorCoopinius's Avatar
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    October 4, 1936

    As Jim Gratton stood outside the Hotel Union he silently cursed the luck that had brought him to New York City in October.

    He was a Southern boy who had spent his whole life south of the Mason Dixon line, save one visit to cousins in Ohio when he was 7. After he had entered the Army he had been to Cuba, then with his work in Intelligence he had been all over the Southern Hemisphere. Winters had varied in length and severity, but Gratton had never experienced anything like this.
    New York City was cold, and he didn't like it.

    Bracing himself against another biting wind, he let his eyes snap up to the revolving doors as guests bustled in and out of the hotel. The sheer size of the city had floored him when he'd made his way north 4 days ago, though he had known that the metropolis was one of the world's biggest cities. Knowing something intellectually and seeing it with your own eyes were two entirely different things. He had struggled a bit with his navigation, but instincts and training and a few hastily purchased maps had given him enough of a sense of direction so that he wasn't looking lost anymore as he walked the packed streets. He concentrated now on his objective, glancing at his watch and noting he had 15 minutes until his rendezvous with his contact.

    His thoughts meanderd back over the last few days as he crossed the street away from the hotel, blending in effortlessly with the crowd. General Smith himself had briefed him on the operation, and very quickly brought the erstwhile field agent back down to earth.

    "Leave the pistol at home Gratton, I'm not going to have you shooting anyone in the USA."

    And it had just gone downhill from there.

    The basic outlines of his job were laid before him, a engineering student currently interning with Boeing at the New York Naval Shipyards had come across design sketches of the new PBY Catalina naval bomber. The student in question was a Alabaman, sent up north for schooling who had immediately seen the value of things of this sort for his mother country. Discreetly contatcting the Confederate consul in New York where the project was taking place, word had quickly traveled south and across the President's desk, then on to General Smith's, who had immediately pegged Gratton as the best man readily available for the job.

    Gratton had never done any work in the northern states or Canada, but his field experience still made him the best choice for the proposed operation, a quick meet with the young student in New York where his carefully redrawn schematics could be passed to Graaton, who could then make his way back down south. The initial plan had been for Gratton to bring the young man back down to the CSA with him, but as yet there seemd to be no suspicion on the part of the Yankees, and General Smith thought it best to leave the young man in place and simply assign him a liason with Intelligence to glean any more useful tidbits that might come his way. Gratton was glad for that. He was already slightly miffed that he was expected to go into a foreign country unarmed, no matter how friendly, and was even less thrilled by the prospect of having to smuggle someone out of said country. He thoght his chances were much beter with just him and the plans.

    Finally, the General had emphasized how important it was for Gratton to avoid violence on this particular assignment. There had been peace between the USA nad CSA for close to eighty years and Smith made it clear that no blueprints, however innovative, were worth a war between the two republics. Gratton bristled a bit at the implied leashing of his own intiative, but he had to agree with the General's sentiment. He had no quarrel with Yankees, seeing them as most Confederates did, members of the same family who chose to live in seperate houses for mutual benefit.

    Come to that, Yankees probably thought of their Southern brethren the same way. It didn't prevent them from engaging in friendly, and sometimes not so firendly competition.

    Turning his gaze back to the hotel revolving doors, Gratton caught sight of a fairly tall brown headed young man, lanky but not as skinny as some in these times making his way across the street. He quickly matched the man to the photograph he had memorized and fell into step behind him, checking all around for any signs of counter surveillance. He didn't spot anyone obviously looking his way or following, though that meant less in a city like this than he was used to, but he nonetheless blended with the crowd as he followed the student, a Mr. Hamilton Fisk, through the streets. The young man meandered like someone on a not particularly important errand, and Gratton noticed the folded newspaper in the man's hand. He shook his head inwardly at the cliche, he was certain the youhng student had stashed the plans inside the newspaper. Watching from a distance of some twenty to thirty feet, Gratton watched as the young man stopped at a streetside fruit cart, inspecting then buying an apple, dawdling long enough in his payment for Gratton to catch up with him. Fishing change from his pocket, he bumped the younger man softly, catching his eye.

    "Cold day. Wind's coming in mighty hard from the harbor."

    The young man's eyes widened but he gave no other sign as he turned back to the vendor, receiving his change and waiting as Gratton paid for an apple as well.

    "More from the north I'd say."

    Gratton grunted noncommitably and nodded to the vendor, satisfied with the recognition code and watching as the young man made his way a few feet forward through the crowd, then dropped the newspaper. Directly behind him, Gratton bent to retreive it, offering it back to the flustered young student.

    "Your newspaper."

    "Oh, you can keep it. I've finished with it already."

    Gratton's eyebrow rose and he suppressed a chuckle. Noone would mistake them for New Yorkers, that was for sure. The crowds on either side of them noticed them not at all, which was all to the good, but the sudden humor of this situation struck the agent. Small cultural differences did exist between the two peoples, and the courtesy the two men were showing was decidedly more of a southern trait.

    "Thnak you sir. Have a good day."

    "You too sir, you too."

    Gratton took his next right and retraced his steps back through alleyways and side streets, fading into the city like a ghost. Half an hour after he was locking the door of his small hotel room behind him and opening the folded newspaper up. He flipped through the first few pages, then stopped at the sports section, seeing three blueprint sheets folded around the head sports sheet. Examining them quickly, he recognized schematics for an airplane, and what looked to be some sort of new torpedo or bomb as well. He shook his head, marveling again that the whole thing had been this easy. He was still unarmed except for a small boot knife he had all but smuggled north with him despite General Smith's admonitions and he quickly made arrangements to leave the following morning, packing efficiently and dropping off to sleep only fitfully.

    He checked out of the hotel with no problems and made his way to Grand Central Station, purchasing a ticket for Harrisburg at one counter then doubling back and purchasing another ticket for Baltimore. Scanning the two waiting areas he found no sings of anyone watching him, but he was too close to the finish line to begin getting sloppy, and he boarded the train for Harrisburg then got off three cars back from where he had boarded, crossing the terminal and catching the train for Baltimore just as it was pulling out. Ten hours later he was in Richmond and was quickly ushered out of Jefferson Station and into a waiting car which wound its' way through the capital's traffic and deposited Gratton behind the War Department. Quickly passing through security, Gratton lit a cigarette as he was led in to General Smith's office, and he couldn't help but notice the look of satisfaction in the General's eyes when he held the blueprints.

    "Quite a trick we pulled over on the Yanks, wouldn't you say Jim?"

    "Yessir. Went down a lot easier than most of the other assignments I've handled."

    "Well, that's all to the good Jim. Didn't expect you to fix up a Presidential election or anything like that. Save the stuff like that for Nicaragua"

    Gratton smirked at the General's gibe, but ignored the sally. He was too tired for any sort of verbal sparring matches. Perhaps noticing this, General Smith set the blueprints down and regarded Gratton.

    " Now, what say you get out of here for 48 hours and get yourself some rest. You've earned it."

    Gratton heartily agreed and simply nodded, pivoting about face and striding from the General's office.

    Half an hour later, he was sleeping well for the first time in six days, the sleep of the satisfied.
    Last edited by EmprorCoopinius; 20-08-2007 at 18:46.

  20. #20
    Second Lieutenant Caligo's Avatar
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    It could get a bit messy in the Yanks find out that you keep borrowing their paper work. Although saying that at the start of the game the USA doesn't really have any troops (different in the MOD?) so it wouldn't be too hard to nip up and grab some of the more industrial provinces before visiting DC.

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