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Thread: The United States: 'Prophets of a New Order'

  1. #821

  2. #822
    Something tells me they won't capitulate. Call it a hunch.

  3. #823
    Field Marshal TC Pilot's Avatar
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    Enewald: Britain declared war on Denmark fairly early in the war. It fell to the French just after the German army collapsed, and a puppet government was propped up.

    As for the rest of your posts, I feel that much of what I could write in response to them would be just repeating what I'll be writing in the update anyway.

    -----


    1945 - Part IV

    The French government unsurprisingly received the American ultimatum with a great deal of confusion and a healthy dose of skepticism. But Foreign Secretary Pierre Brossolette resisted the urge to dismiss the communiqué out of hand and alerted the Central Committee. Chairman Faure, disturbed by the potential threat, immediately convened an emergency session and took measures to maintain secrecy, ensuring that no word of the ultimatum leaked to the public. After a brief session, the Committee called for the Commune's foremost authority in the field of nuclear physics, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, whose laboratories in Paris had, since the fall of Germany and the general plundering of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, become the leading center of Europe's study of nuclear physics. Joliot-Curie, the Committee concluded, was the most qualified man available to determine the credibility of the superbomb the Americans claimed to possess.

    Joliot-Curie was brought with all haste and quickly apprised of the situation. Records taken at the meeting show the French physicist only responded after an agonizingly-long moment taken to ponder the revelation. Finally, Joliot-Curie spoke, emphasizing that, though French researchers had not yet progressed to such a stage in their experiments to conclusively confirm or deny the feasibility of an atomic bomb, he could not discount that such a device was at the very least theoretically possible. Pressed to elaborate, Joliot-Curie explained that his team had not yet even verified the possibility of a sustained or controlled chain reaction. He further speculated that the chief impediments to a superbomb, quantity of useable material and efficiency in exploiting that material, were technical rather than theoretical, and that such impediments would not long stand in the way of a concerted effort of some of the most brilliant minds in the scientific community, men who Joliot-Curie knew currently resided in the United States.

    Having confirmed, much to their displeasure, that the American superbomb was not merely a ridiculous fantasy, the Central Committee went to work formulating a response. The debate carried on long into the night and into the morning of the 27th. Antoine de Saint-Exupery immediately suggested a portion of the air force be redirected to intercept the bomber carrying the bomb, arguing that, if the American did indeed possess such a weapon, they could not permit the Americans the opportunity to use it. General Duclos agreed, pointing out that the American 'demonstration' could very well be a ruse used to allow them to attack France unmolested.

    Others were not so certain. General Epstein proposed to allow the Americans to demonstrate their new weapon as they had offered in the note. Amidst de Saint-Exupery's impassioned protest, Epstein pointed out that, if the Americans did intend to strike France on the proposed July 1 date, sending the note made no sense. The Americans' new B-47 'Stratojets' were already incredibly difficult for anything in the Syndicalist arsenal to hit or intercept, to say nothing of their rocket bombs. Furthermore, destroying the Americans before they could drop the bomb would deprive the French of the opportunity to see exactly what it was the Americans had developed. Even the most optimistic appraisal of France's air defenses could not guarantee safety from attack, thus it was in the nation's bests interests to at least use the chance to presented to study the problem in the hopes of developing some countermeasure or defense.

    Charles Rappoport, Chairman of Internal Security, then pointed out that under no circumstances could he seriously contemplate allowing any of those present to actually attend the demonstration, in consideration of the small possibility that it was all just an American ruse. Chairman Faure and Pivert agreed without objection from the Committee that Joliot-Curie or at the very least a contingent of his research staff must be present. Lt. General Verneau, commander of the coastal defenses in the designated sector, would also be ordered to observe. It was then decided, somewhat off-handedly, that Jack Reed, still residing in Paris after fleeing the United States, would be invited to witness the demonstration. Reed's popularity with the French, earned during his electrifying performance at the Third International in '36, had not waned over the years, and it was believed he could offer valuable insight into the American social and political motivations.

    Having decided on their course, the Central Committee rapidly went about preparing for the approaching American demonstration on July 1. Reed, with little else to do, eagerly agreed to the French request. Measures were taken, as per the American warning, in the event of a tidal wave, to ensure that no civilians be harmed. Intelligence and reconnaissance reports confirmed that the Americans were doing much the same on the opposite side of the Channel. All was set when on the morning on the 1st, the French observation team, numbering some forty scientists, officers, and civilians in all, arrived at the Channel coast in Normandy northwest of Caen.

    The group did not have to wait long. General Arnold had already given the order to carry out the demonstration. The bomber, specially modified to carry the massive weapon, was escorted out over the Channel by an entire squadron of fighters and two other bombers meant for observation. Within four hours of their arrival, the French observation team spotted the aircraft, which quickly veered away as it flew over the drop zone. It took almost a whole minute for the bomb, another 'Thin Man' U-235 gun-type fission device like the one detonated in New Mexico weeks before, reached optimum altitude and detonated. The resulting explosion, approximately ten miles from the coast of France and with a force equal to 18 kilotons, stunned the French observers. A lieutenant, who declined to wear any protective eyewear, was rendered nearly blind; the shockwave from the explosion nearly knocked Reed backwards off his feet into a ditch; Lt. General Verneau, overawed by the explosion, went into hysterics, screaming 'My God! The air's on fire!' Tidal waves soon came crashing onto the beach, nearly breaching the cliffside.


    The nuclear demonstration, as seen from the tail of the American bomber 'Necessary Evil.'


    Thus the United States had delivered its warning, in the hopes that it could force the French to surrender without needing to use the weapon offensively. The French observation team's initial report back to the Central Committee suggested the Americans may very well have been successful in their plan. Joliot-Curie, at once grasping the enormity of the threat now facing the country, stated, 'The United States has tapped into a source of destructive power beyond the scope of our imaginations.' He predicted that even with an all-out effort, which the strained French war economy was by no means capable of providing, they were still years from catching up to the Americans. Verneau, having regained his composure, announced that the Americans could easily annihilate a city like Paris at will with such a weapon. Reed, however, was more skeptical, questioning whether Roosevelt truly had the will to inflict the single most barbaric act of destruction in the history of the world by employing such a weapon against cities.

    The Central Committee, once again in emergency session, contemplated their next steps. de Saint-Exupery and Duclos immediately took Reed's assessment to heart, arguing that France should not even be contemplating surrendering to capitalist America. Pivert was of a different mind, as were many of his Travailleur associates on the Committee; it was precisely the fact that capitalist America possessed such a weapon that made the situation so perilous. Who could honestly stand by and watch Paris be destroyed? Who doubted the Americans were capable of such a crime? Rappoport and Brossolette were inclined to agree. Syndicalism was by now too deeply rooted across the entire continent for the United States to be overturned in the people's hearts and minds; far better to save France from destruction rather than risk everything in a display of ideological chauvinism. They retorted that Syndicalism was indeed rooted across the Continent, such that the Americans could never hope to destroy them, no matter how many rocket bombs or atomic weapons they had up their sleeves. This ultimatum was nothing more, Duclos argued, than a ruse meant to trick the French into laying down their arms; even as they spoke, French armies continued to keep the Americans at bay in France, while at the same time driving the combined Hungarian-Croat armies back in full retreat.

    Neither side, it seemed, would budge. The arguments, growing increasingly heated in spite of Faure's attempts to keep the debate under control, continued until midday on the 2nd, when at last Faure called a vote. The Central Committee, by a vote of 5-2-2 - Admiral Deat and Chairwoman Picqueray abstaining - favored agreeing to a general armistice. The subsequent vote, to accept the term's for a 'free Europe' described in the American note, barely passed with a vote of 4-3-2, Deat and Picqueray once again abstaining.

    Duclos and de Saint-Exupery stormed out of the meeting in a rage. As members of the radical Jacobin party, the only representatives of either the Jacobins or the equally radical Sorelians in the Travailleur-dominated government, they were convinced France would inevitably survive any American nuclear attack and, indeed, would only emerge stronger, having demonstrated to the world capitalist America's horrendous barbarism. Thus, the pair hurried to the offices of Maurice Thorez, leader of the Jacobin wing, to report the momentous and wholly unacceptable measures taken by the Central Committee. Thorez immediately concluded that Pivert and Faure had to be stopped. The two military men immediately voiced their whole-hearted support.

    But the conspirators had to move quickly; Pivert intended to announce the existence of the American superbomb and the acceptance of the armistice on July 5. Thorez hurried to sound out support amongst his fellow Jacobins in the General Assembly, most of whom he could trust to react violently to any suggestion of surrendering. But the Jacobins were still a minority within the Assembly. After some hesitation, he finally approached Marcel Bucard, leader of the Sorelians, who since the fall of Germany had lost much of their earlier relevance. But the revanchist party still maintained an appreciable influence within the Assembly, one that would be enough to ensure the legitimacy of any emergency government. Bucard made only moderate demands: the deputy chairmanship in the new government, and the office of the dreaded Directory of Information, the Commune's intelligence apparatus and, in the wrong hands, key to ultimate power. Without hesitating, Thorez agreed to Bucard's demands.

    But no amount of political intriguing would be enough to oust Pivert's government in time. Duclos, as chief of the Army, had the authority and influence necessary to tip the balance in the conspirators' favor. But Epstein, in charge of the General Staff, both outranked Duclos and was a staunch Travailleur, and could very easily bring the full force of the military to bear against the conspiracy. Thus, the commander of the Parisian garrison would be the linch-pin of the entire plan; he could either rush to Epstein's call to arms or ensure a smooth transition between governments. Fortunately for Epstein, the garrison's current commander, Marshal Auriol, and the commander of the divisions currently passing through the city en route to Spain, General Georges, were both acknowledged Jacobin sympathizers. After meeting with the two, Duclos was confident of their compliance.

    In just two days, the group had orchestrated a massive conspiracy, making skillful use of all the various ideological partisans who they had forced upon a reluctant Travailleur government over the years. On the morning of July 4, after a final meeting between the principal conspirators in the pre-dawn hours, Duclos and Thorez went to work. Orders were rushed to the city garrison to seize control of all transportation and communication, as well as to surround the General Assembly and the residences and offices of several prominent Travailleurs. Air raid sirens cleared the streets, and revolutionary songs such as Le Marseillaise blared from all frequencies on city radios. Calling an emergency session of the Assembly, Thorez announced to the crowd, comprised mostly of Jacobins, Sorelians, and a scattering of Anarchistes who braved the military checkpoints that ‘Pivert and his weak-willed associates have failed in their sacred duty, and threaten us all with complete and utter ruin.’ On cue amidst a torrential outburst from the gathered politicians, Marcel Bucard called for a motion to be passed deposing Faure as Chairman and dissolving Pivert's government in favor of one more in tune with, ‘the revolutionary imperatives necessary for the preservation of our nation in the face of the grave threats arraying themselves against her.’

    The motion, seemingly initiated spontaneously by one of Thorez's most vocal critics, carried by a wide margin, no doubt helped so by the presence of scores of armed soldiers. Thorez, now the new Chairman of the Commune, proclaimed the coup's success on the radio, threatening harsh suppression of anyone who protested. Violent outbursts from Travailleur and Anarchiste partisans within Paris were quickly put down; Pivert and Faure were quickly hunted down and placed under arrest, as were all the other Travailleur members of the Central Committee. Travailleur army commanders could only watch helplessly from their distant vantage points in Hungary, Spain, and Africa as the heart of any potential resistance was gutted before it could even form.


    France's new Jacobin-Sorelian coalition government, July 4, 1945.


    By Jacobin standards, the coup was commendably bloodless and tidy. Duclos, heading the new government, was determined to maintain order and instill military discipline on the populace. France had just given the United States her response to the ultimatum. They prepared to brace themselves for the nuclear hellfire they feared was on the way.

  4. #824
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    The question now is... is US to dare to use the Bomb?
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  5. #825
    Major Zeldar155's Avatar
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    I guess this will be like Hiroshima and Nagasaki then?

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  7. #827
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    So Roosevelt's ultimatum has achieved the opposite of the intended result. The 'hawks' are going to be strengthened now, and I think we're going to see just how much destruction it'll take to force the French to surrender.

  8. #828
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    Guess the 'shock and awe' strategy failed. Guess Roosevelt must choose between fighting a bloody regular war or wiping some French town from the map to make a point. Still think Roosevelt will not be willing to nuke Paris. That would make him the biggest war-criminal in human history.
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  9. #829
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    Wow! The situation just became a tad more complicated Superb action pulling off such a perfect coup, though I wonder how the French people will feel once they realise the new pro-war government is essentially inviting nuclear destruction... Then again, the next bomb's a fair way away, and anything can happen in that time...

    If nuclear bombardment is going to be used as a way to make the French surrender, there needs to be a fifth column to get around the totally pro-war Jacobins and Sorelians, say the French people or the defection of Travilleur-leaning commanders. OTL the Japanese only surrendered after Hirohito took decisive action against the cabinet who were still committed to ending the war favourably for Japan...
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  11. #831
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    Unleash everything!!! Make Europe a nuclear wasteland!
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    My money is on Roosevelt not daring to (or not wanting to, after all the bombs number so few just now) use it. Should he, a sick man, succumb to his illness, however...
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    Do not drop it on major cities for the same reason the US did not hit Osaka or some other big city during World War II. You want the French to be your friends after the war and millions dead from a nuclear bomb is not going to be conducive to that. Therefore, I would use it only against troop concentrations if at all. I am still against using it at all because I think it is cheap and almost cheating to do so.
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  14. #834
    At first it might sound like the frenchies just called US' bluff, but if you look deeper the bomb seems to have cracked the nut. France has been divided, and just needs some more pressure for reign of terror II.
    Then the 'evil capitalist" won't seem so evil after all.
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  15. #835
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    Sorelians and Jacobins cooperating? Something must truly be rotten in the Commune of France.

  16. #836
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by History_Buff View Post
    Do not drop it on major cities for the same reason the US did not hit Osaka or some other big city during World War II. You want the French to be your friends after the war and millions dead from a nuclear bomb is not going to be conducive to that. Therefore, I would use it only against troop concentrations if at all. I am still against using it at all because I think it is cheap and almost cheating to do so.
    The reason we didn't hit Osaka or some other big city is because those cities were already reduced to ashes. It's counterproductive to nuke an ash pile.

    Quote Originally Posted by quaazi View Post
    My money is on Roosevelt not daring to (or not wanting to, after all the bombs number so few just now) use it. Should he, a sick man, succumb to his illness, however...
    ...We might get an President who will do whatever it takes to win the war.

    Quote Originally Posted by TC Pilot View Post
    ...the shockwave from the explosion nearly knocked Reed backwards off his feet into a ditch...
    Would have been symbolic justice had he falled into a ditch.

    Quote Originally Posted by yourworstnightm View Post
    Unleash everything!!! Make Europe a nuclear wasteland!
    But spare Sweden! They need to make this game one day!
    Last edited by Nathan Madien; 24-05-2010 at 18:29.
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  17. #837
    Field Marshal TC Pilot's Avatar
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    For those curious, this "coup" was the result of a series of events I made. Basically, depending on how far into Spain I had advanced would determine the likelihood of France surrendering or carrying on the fight. As an aside, I ran the event chain 10 times, and France only chose to fight on in 3 of them, despite having only a 25% chance of choosing to surrender.

    Kurt_Steiner: We'll find out within a year, at the most.

    Zhuge Liang: Actually, comparatively speaking, the war has been rather less destructive than WW2. The idea of carpet bombing never really took off, and the Syndicalists are no Nazis.

    FlyingDutchie: It is interesting that he would hesitate to deploy it against Paris but not against, say, a Japanese city.

    Andreios II: The tale of the Japanese government near the end of the war is a tad complicated, owing mostly to the controversy over the actual use/importance of the atomic bomb and to a lesser extent the myth of Hirohito's "innocence" in terms of his involvement in the war. Quite a few Japanese leaders were willing to destroy the entire country rather than let the monarchy be dissolved by foreign occupation forces, but they were equally terrified of the possibility of a communist revolution (for much the same reason). Until the Soviet declaration of war, they were actually engaged in an attempt to broker an armistice through Moscow, perhaps as a testament to how utterly disconnected they were from reality. Despite a popular misconception that Hirohito was merely a figurehead sidelined by a clique of fascists or militarists (born in part from an attempt to justify retaining him in the throne, despite calls for him to be put on trial as a war criminal or, at the very least, abdicate), had the Emperor really wanted to end the war at any point, he could have done so.

    History_Buff: Nathan Madien's correct there. Most of Japan's urban centers had already been completely gutted by LeMay's strategic bombing campaign (in at least one raid over Tokyo killing more people than either atomic bomb, to boot). Kyoto, however, was originally going to be the first target, but Stimson flatly rejected the idea and forced the Army to change targets because he saw it as a priceless cultural site.

    BipBapBop: Interesting take. Obviously I won't say whether you're right or not.

    Milites: I realize there's a certain incongruity between Sorelians and Jacobins cooperating. However, keep in mind I'm still ostensibly playing the game on an older version of Kaiserreich. So old, in fact, that in my version such distinctions didn't yet exist. So far as I saw it, Sorelians were simply a radical anti-German faction, with Jacobins being more of the "spread world revolution" ala Trotskyites. Suffice to say I wasn't operating under any strict conception of what the four main groups stand for.

    Nathan Madien: Or had been rendered blind by the explosion.

    -----


    1945 - Part V

    The Roosevelt Administration received the news of events rapidly unfolding in France with great disappointment. Although France's new Foreign Secretary did not send the new government's scathing condemnation of the American ultimatum until July 6, Roosevelt knew full well that the fall of the Travailleurs from power effectively closed any possibility of a negotiated settlement. What the President and his advisors could not know for certain, however, was whether the French had called their bluff or were merely willing to suffer an atomic attack. The former suggested a mole inside the Manhattan Project - not an impossibility, given the immense number of people and resources employed - or some intelligence leak, whereas the latter suggested a fanatical determination to fight to the bitter end; neither prospect filled the President with much confidence.

    With the ultimatum to France, the existence of the atomic bomb could no longer be hidden from the wider world. Though Secretary of State Byrnes, who assumed the office following the sudden death of Edward Stettinius less than two weeks earlier, briefly toyed with the idea of 'admitting' that the United States did not, in fact, have any nuclear weapons, Roosevelt quickly squelched the idea, not least for the humiliating impact it would have on America's diplomatic standing. Instead, the President braced himself to suffer the full wrath of an indignant Congress and American people.

    Much to his surprise, the political backlash for his "demonstration strategy" proved lighter than expected. Many Congressmen from both the Republicans and Democrats did indeed chastise the President for 'wasting' a weapon of such immense power on mere 'fireworks displays' while Americans died in distant battlefields; although touching on several valid complaints, they gained little traction against Vice President Truman's spirited defenses, particularly given the fact he had, until the '44 election, been the leading voice against waste and corruption in the federal government. Most quickly acknowledged the prospect of actually turning such a weapon against civilian targets was distasteful to say the least. Some, mainly Social Progressives, quietly thanked Roosevelt for attempting a peaceful solution first before turning the weapon against the Syndicalists.

    Regardless, there was still a war for the United States to fight, in spite of Roosevelt's efforts to the contrary. Indeed, even before the Jacobin-Sorelian coalition could settle itself into power, the Americans continued there northward push in Spain. On the 5th, Harmon's III. Armored Corps began a concerted push toward Badajoz. After driving the Spanish defenders, three infantry divisions and a division of local militia, into full retreat by the 7th, Harmon was only stopped in the unfavorable terrain around Almendralejo by a fierce counterattack by Lt. General Martinez de Aragon two days later. This, however, only proved to be a temporary setback. After receiving reinforcements in the form of three mechanized divisions from IX. Army directly under General Eichelberger's command, the attack resumed. Martinez de Aragon had squandered the brief respite, and only one division was in position when the attack began. All across the front, the United States was advancing with good progress, and Syndicalist resistance remained minimal and, ultimately, insufficient to seriously block the advance. But despite all this, Americans attention were diverted back home.

    On July 15, after a day of meetings with his advisors over how to best react to the French refusal to surrender to the threat of the atomic bomb, Roosevelt complained of sharp, severe pains in his head. A doctor was quickly brought in, despite the President's annoyed protests. 'It will pass by morning,' he said, before suddenly losing consciousness. Those words, ironically enough, were to prove his last. Within a few hours, he was dead, victim of a massive stroke. On July 15, 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was dead. Americans all across the globe were shocked by the news, and most joined together to mourn the President's passing. Two days later, in a massive outpouring of grief, tens of thousands took to the streets of Washington D.C. to watch the President's funeral procession through the capital and millions more listened in silence from around their radios.


    President Roosevelt's funeral procession, July 17, 1945.


    Roosevelt's death left a gaping hole in the hearts of many Americans, so great was his presence and impact on the country. Emerging from a privileged life shielded from the great upheavals tearing apart the fabric of American society around him, Roosevelt became a political colossus and the most charismatic and moving voice in American politics, the longest-serving President in American history, and in many ways the embodiment and symbol of an American way of life threatened by economic catastrophe, political radicalism, and a violent and uncertain world. It was Roosevelt who preached moderation and peace, offering Americans an alternative to the violence and promising an end to their misery. It was Roosevelt who refused to flinch even as the Union collapsed around him and armies rose up to destroy the old order, never wavering in his determination to save the United States. Roosevelt's was the voice on the radio who inspired renewed hope in the masses wracked by crushing poverty and adrift in a storm of chaos and instability.

    Franklin Roosevelt was without a doubt an imperfect man and an imperfect politician. Certain of his policies and reforms proved underwhelming or unsuccessful, and many could find fault in the wars begun under his leadership. But all his successes and failures paled in comparison to the single, all-important belief held in the hearts of millions of Americans: Franklin Roosevelt was America's savior.

    So ended the life of one of greatest presidents in the history of the United States. But there was still a war to be fought and won, a country to be governed and lead; the great responsibility fell to Vice President Harry S. Truman, sworn into office just after midnight on July 16, a man who neither sought or, as it turned out, truly wanted the job.


    Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States.


  18. #838
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    I based what I said on what my History professor told me. This year, he told our class that the Americans did not hit a major city because they wanted the Japanese to become allies of the Americans after the war so the United States would have at least one ally in Asia after the war. He did tell us that most of the major cities were devastated, but he also told us that they wanted the Japanese to be our friends after the war because Truman was already thinking about the coming Cold War. Admittedly, WWII is not my area of expertise though.
    Last edited by History_Buff; 28-05-2010 at 08:19.
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    Harry will come through, in some shape, or indeed some fashion to win the war!
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    Looks like you may not need the bomb to win the war if you continue to advance in Spain. If you can continue to push them back across the Pyrenees, you can afford to withdraw some men and while they are eyeballing your men in the Pyrenees send them somewhere else, most likely Northern France and force them to fight on three fights at once.
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