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

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    Democracy is non-negotiable!


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    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by naggy View Post
    Super Truman...isn't he the predecessor to Liberty Prime?
    You mean Dwight Eisenhower is Liberty Prime?
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    1945 - Part VI

    With the death of President Roosevelt, American policy was suddenly thrown into a chaotic state of flux. Immediately after taking his oath of office, Harry Truman was presented with a number of serious problems that demanded immediate attention. For better or worse, Roosevelt had taken a direct role in the daily affairs of governance, and his death left the state largely rudderless at a time when just such leadership was absolutely crucial. To compound matters, despite his obvious decline in health, Roosevelt had made virtually no effort to include the Vice President in any significant decision-making. Indeed, Roosevelt operated almost as if Truman did not exist, only meeting with him three times since the presidential election and always keeping him in the dark on major decisions; Truman, for instance, did not even learn about the existence of the atomic bombs he had so nearly uncovered in '43 until it was announced to the American public in June.

    But with the United States in the midst of war, the Social Progressives still antagonistic to the mainstream Democrats, and lingering criticism over America's atomic policy, uncertainty and inexperience were qualities that could prove fatal to the new President's political career. Unfortunately, Truman was not only inexperienced, but also plagued with serious doubts regarding his ability to lead. To begin with, Roosevelt was not an easy act to follow; where Roosevelt was affluent, sophisticated, and eloquent, Truman was plainspoken and downright rustic, and practically unknown outside of Missouri. But the new President accepted the new responsibility thrust upon his shoulders as best he could manage, and threw himself fully into the colossal effort of steering the ship of state.

    One of Truman's first acts in office was the announcement that he would retain all of Roosevelt's former Cabinet members as a gesture of continuity and his faith in Roosevelt's policies. But the decision was not without its problems: Secretary of State Byrnes, only recently appointed, privately regarded Truman as an inexperienced country bumpkin and placed little stock in his ability to lead. Harry Hopkins at the Commerce Department was expected to either resign or die before too long due to his debilitating stomach cancer. Others would soon find dealing with Truman to be difficult, accustomed as they were to Roosevelt's personality and style, particularly Henry Morgenthau and Harold Ickes.

    In Europe, the change in leadership in the White House made little difference. American forces continued to advance northward toward Madrid with little opposition. Meeting with General Marshall on the 19th, Truman was assured that combat operations would continue smoothly. Indeed, the President was delighted to receive news that General Walker was in the process of advancing along the Mediterranean coast from Valencia to Castellon. In the center, Eichelberger made a bold attempt to assault the Spanish capital on the 20th; attacking from the southeast, IX. Army was to smash through the paltry defenses erected by Mj. General Rovira north of Toledo and Tarancon, while a small contingent held the flank at Guadalajara.

    Although Rovira's forces were initially scattered, the Syndicalists were not prepared to surrender Madrid so easily. Just a day after Eichelberger's offensive began, the armies formerly under Marshal Duclos' command suddenly appeared in Catalonia; approximately twelve divisions of infantry swarmed against Walker's armored corps, which was finally forced to abandon Castellon on July 23. Compounding the Army's difficulties, the Syndicalists continued flooding reinforcements into Madrid, stiffening the defensive works just south of the city. Eichelberger pushed his men onward, hoping his mechanized corps could overwhelm the defenders, but it was not to be. Bogged down just twenty miles from the capital, the offensive was finally aborted on the 27th.


    The American attack on Madrid fails, but only just so.

    For Truman, the news of these setbacks was very discouraging, unaccustomed as he still was to the presidency. Utterly lacking in military experience and wracked with doubts, Truman fretted incessantly in the early weeks of his administration over events in Spain. 'I can't stand just sitting by,' he remarked on the 27th. 'I'm the President, and I ought to be doing something about this mess in Spain!' Marshall did his best to soothe the President's doubts, but the situation continued to worsen. On August 2, General Guillame, now commander of the entire Iberian front, launched a massive counter-attack against the American salient at Guadalajara, employing at least five tank divisions and an equal number of infantry divisions. Overwhelmed at Guadalajara and believing at least a dozen divisions were about to spring on Valencia, Eichelberger and Beddel-Smith retreated in good order, but did not stop until reaching a suitable defensive line almost fifty miles south of Toledo.

    The string of defeats suffered in Spain began to produce ripples of discontent back at home. Old talk of an armistice and immediate negotiated peace with France began to appear in Social Progressive circles, and some Republicans newspapers began grumbling that perhaps American 'resources' should not have been frittered away on 'fireworks displays' for the Syndicalists, referencing the atomic bomb. But Truman had been in office for nearly a month now, and was finally beginning to settle himself in to the role of leader. Although caught in a delicate game of winning back those who had defected with Wallace, Truman strongly lashed out at any talk of negotiations. 'The United States has already offered terms of peace that any reasonable man should have no difficulty accepting.' Further, he pointed out, the coup in France had brought radical extremists to power, playing on the misgivings many in the American left felt for Thorez's Jacobins. As for Republican grumblings, he ignored them, content in the belief that they had already conceded to Roosevelt's policy in June.

    Nevertheless, Truman still hoped for some improvement in America's military fortunes. General Bradley hoped to deliver it in the form of a renewed attack on Burgos in northern Spain. The assumption was that the Syndicalists had stripped its northern defenses to deal with the American threat to the south, and that a renewed attack from this quarter would force Guillame to halt his offensive and deal with the attack. The attack began on the morning of August 6 with high hopes of success. As it turned out, the Syndicalist defenders, thirty-two divisions strong, were ready for them. Though a few divisions had been pulled south, the defensive line remained practically unassailable, and Bradley's attack made practically no headway, bogging down almost before it had begun.


    American soldiers in northern Spain. The early August attack on Burgos failed spectacularly.


    Realizing that continued operations would do nothing but waste more men and material, Bradley called off the Burgos offensive within a day. Worse still, all intelligence reports indicated the attack had served to have the opposite effect on the French commander. Convinced his rear flank was now thoroughly secure and that an American breakout from the northern pocket was impossible, Guillame continued his pursuit of Eichelberger's retreating IX. Army. The President, unsurprisingly, was greatly distraught by the news. Everything, it seemed, was going horribly wrong, and it seemed as if the Army would do no better in Spain than it had in Scotland. Worse still, Hungarian resistance in the east was rapidly collapsing, and it seemed only a matter of time before the Syndicalists could direct their full weight to the Iberian peninsula. If Truman were to fight off calls for peace, he would need a great victory to boost his flagging administration.

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    Do you have the manpower to land somewhere else? I would suggest one of three places. First Normandy, It is close to Britain and you could be able to slice off a good bit of territory before they react. The downside is that their is no natural defensive position nearby and you would be surrounded on all sides by enemies in that position and if you advance too far inland to quickly, evacuation and reinforcement could become difficult. Then their is Brittany. It is farther away from Britain, but it is a natural defensive position you can withdraw to if the offensive bogs down as they can only attack you on a very narrow front and you can amass a good deal of power on that front. Also, IIRC, most if not all of its provinces border the sea making evacuation and reinforcement very quick. Both of these are likely to turn into minor annoyances but they will tie down troops for a while and ensure that reinforcements go somewhere other then Spain. The Third is Italy. I do not know how many men the Italians have or where they are, but if you can at least reach Cassino then you have a chance. If you can lodge yourself somewhere that is two provinces deep then you can make it very difficult to dislodge you. Better yet, land somewhere near the midpoint of the peninsula if they have men to the south of the point, you can land men in both sea provinces (I think Southern Italy is only two provinces wide at places) and trap and annihilate those south of those provinces. Even if the front bogs down, you will have done significant damage that Italy cannot recover from as easily as France could. If you succeed, France will have to send tons of men to reinforce their ally. You could also use these attacks to drive excessive amounts of men to one place to make them vulnerable to nuclear attack if you decide to use nukes.
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    Send help to Hungary?
    Free world ought to stand united.

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    Canadian Nationalist Spitfire_Pilot's Avatar

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    Bah! Syndicalism will stand strong. For a united, free world, free of capitalist oppression!! For the Revolution!

    Good update!
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    Methinks the Tactical use of Nukes will become inevitable.
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    Nuke them all to shit, like a true American.
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    I do feel sorry for Truman, he's inherited a bogged-down war that he's taking the blame for and can't exactly do much to fix right now.

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    Ohhhh dear, this isn't looking good. The absence of a reasonable second front is really telling on American progress in Spain. Hungary just isn't strong enough to form a credible long-term diversion for the Internationale. I fear using DA BOMB may become inevitable, the 'Least abhorrent choice'

    While the US can use their naval superiority to land anywhere, I'm starting to think that advantage may not be enough...
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    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhuge Liang View Post
    I do feel sorry for Truman, he's inherited a bogged-down war that he's taking the blame for and can't exactly do much to fix right now.
    That's exactly how I feel. Everything is falling on Truman and he doesn't have an umbrella with him.
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    History_Buff: Manpower as in in-game manpower, or actual manpower? In-game, the American army is limited, bizarrely enough, due to IC constraints (gotta keep the Navy and Air Corps happy!). The American army is much more resource-intensive than its Syndicalist counterparts, and as such is far smaller altogether. Worse, I have this annoying tendency to let my transports get blown out of the water when I'm not looking (fortunately never while transporting armies).

    Enewald: Sending help to Hungary would be quite a feat, since they're landlocked.

    trekaddict/yourworstnightm: Sadly, that'll have to wait until 1946.

    Viden: That might not be the best of signs to use, you know.

    Andreios II: That may be precisely the problem. The Americans can land just about anywhere they please now, it's just that one wonders if it'll matter.

    After all, with their hold of Spain tenuous at best, is it wise for the Americans to fritter away resources on secondary (now tertiary) landings?

    Nathan Madien/Zhuge Liang : I'm sure Truman's glad to know he's got some friends!

    -----


    1945 - Part VII

    The first month of the Truman administration had not been kind on the new President. Faced with a string of military reversals in Spain and confronted with a contentious and chaotic political situation back on the home front, a lesser politician might have despaired or panicked. Truman, entrusted with his country's highest responsibility and finally acclimatizing to the sudden elevation to the presidency, was determined to weather the storm. In spite of all the unfavorable news returning from Spain, the President refused to contemplate any change in the chain of command of the sort MacArthur had begun to speak more and more publicly about; the President was confident that Generals Eisenhower and Bradley would deliver a victory, if only given more time.

    Truman’s continued faith in his generals paid immediate dividends. Although the United States had been forced to hastily evacuate Guadalajara in the face of a massive Syndicalist assault, General Guillaume had chosen to leave only a modest garrison behind as he continued onward to Madrid. Now reinforced, Bedell-Smith made another attempt on the city on August 12, enjoying significant success as he pushed north, essentially reestablishing the front lines as of the start of the month in that sector. But reinforcements continued to pour in from both France and Britain, with the Syndicalists choosing to continue stripping their defenses north of Burgos and sending them south. Well-aware of this, Bradley hoped that a renewed attack would enjoy greater success than it had on the 6th. On August 20, Bradley ordered a renewed offensive; though the Syndicalist defense had been reduced down to twenty-four divisions, such numbers were still more than enough to completely block the American attack.

    Although it failed to make any appreciable tactical gains, Bradley's August 20 attack on Burgos bought Eisenhower several days of badly-needed time to bring II. Army, fresh off the boats, to the relatively empty front stretching for miles between the Guadalajara salient and Valencia. On August 23, Eisenhower unleashed II. Army on Castellon. The offensive appeared to take Guillaume off-guard, as only five divisions were in position to resist the American assault. Outnumbered almost five to one, the Syndicalist defenders retreated in short order, essentially transforming the all-important Guadalajara salient into a sharp right angle and putting greater pressure on Madrid.

    Guillaume's fixation on keeping the Americans out of Madrid now began to play right into Eisenhower's hands. Already, the French commander-in-chief had ceded large amounts of New Castile and Aragon to the invaders to that end. Essentially pinned to the capital and with American reinforcements continuing to pour in from the south, the Syndicalists surrendered the initiative to Eisenhower and Bradley, who abandoned any hope of breaking through to Burgos and began shifting the bulk of his army eastward in secret. On September 3, the duo launched a simultaneous attack: in the south, Eisenhower made a surprising attack into the mountainous Sistema Ibérico, aiming to clear a corridor between Siguenza and Calatayud with II. Army and IV. and V. Armored Corps; meanwhile, in the north, Bradley delegated an even more massive attack on Bilbao and beyond to MacArthur. In the south, General Mast, commanding only six divisions to Eisenhower's nineteen, could do little to stem the American onslaught. But in the north, MacArthur was faced with a grueling slog through prepared defenses and seemingly endless streams of Syndicalist reinforcements. With the assistance of the Navy, he was able to advance as far as San Sebastian on the coast, but Bilbao held on with incredible tenacity.


    The American offensives of September 3.


    From the outside, it seemed as if Guillaume's position was rapidly falling to pieces. But the Syndicalist commander did not lose his head; Bilbao continued to hold on, earning what Thorez called 'the truest admiration of the working class,' and the war in the east would be over any day, freeing up dozens of divisions for service in Spain. Further, no sooner had American soldiers marched into Siguenza when they were set upon from seemingly every direction by as many as forty Syndicalist divisions under the direct command of Field Marshall Sanjurjo. Moreover, on September 11, MacArthur finally halted continued attacks on Bilbao, the city's defenses now filled to bursting with reinforcements.

    Despite the twin failures at Siguenza and Bilbao, the United States continued to hold Calatayud and the roads south of Bilbao. Spending a week to reinforce and reorganize the battered American armies, Bradley ordered another two-pronged offensive, this time with Logrono and Zaragoza the respective targets for the northern and southern wings of the offensive. Capturing both cities would completely split the Syndicalist forces in half, and sever the lines of communication and supply between Madrid and France. Yet with so much of the Syndicalist army centered on Bilbao, Burgos, and Madrid-Siguenza, Guillaume could offer nothing but moral support to General Georges, who could spare only eleven divisions for the whole defense of the Aragon heartland that was being assaulted by five times that many American divisions. Realizing the peril, Spanish and French units alike fought with suicidal ferocity and the countryside swarmed with guerillas, but to no avail.

    Fully aware that he was now faced with a massive encirclement, Guillaume ordered a desperate breakout from Madrid on September 20. Guadalajara was immediately swarmed by twenty-two divisions, the American defenders unable to hold the city for long. Now faced with the possibility of the French turning the entire American right flank, Eisenhower ordered IV. and V. Armored Corps to fall back on Valencia; but the advance on Zaragoza would not be halted, while Logrono had already fallen to MacArthur's pincer. American tanks and halftracks finally rolled into Zaragoza on the 22nd, cutting the Syndicalists in Spain in half. As with the fall of Siguenza, Sanjurjo immediately launched a counter-attack on Logrono. The defense of the city fell to General DeWitt, whose forces were badly outnumbered by those at the Spanish general's disposal and facing attack from two directions.


    American forces battle desperately to hold onto the corridor now separating the Syndicalist armies.


    But all of these attacks and counter-attacks had badly disrupted the cohesion of the Synidcalist defensive lines. Sensing a golden opportunity, MacArthur launched an all-out attack on Burgos with what forces were not pinned outside Bilbao or engaged at Logrono. Only eight divisions under the command of General Molero Lobo now defended a line that stretched hundreds of miles. While Bradley practically strolled out of Galicia, MacArthur's forces tore Lobo's defensive line to shreds and fell upon Burgos. The sudden fall of the Syndicalists chief redoubt in the north wrecked Sanjurjo's assault on Logrono. With the southern breakout at Logrono a failure, it was then the turn of General Blanco, hero of Bilbao, to make the attempt on September 25. Although throwing fifteen divisions against DeWitt, the American line held firm. Guillaume and the majority of the Syndicalist armies in Spain now faced disaster. Generals Eisenhower and Bradley had delivered the victory President Truman had been hoping for, but few could fully appreciate the sheer magnitude of the victory the United States had just scored against the Syndicalist coalition.


    American intelligence estimates sixty or more divisions are trapped in central Spain, September 1945.

  15. #875
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    I was asking if you have the armies to land somewhere else. I believe it would divide their attention and allow you to face more manageable numbers
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    WaHa! Now Spain's rightful king can return to her shores!

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    Yey, out with the syndies once and for all. It's really interesting to read this AAR.

    And a little typo in the beginning of the last paragraph. "...the cohesion of the Snyidcalist defensive lines." Snydicalists?
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  18. #878
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    Caught in Castille-Leon.
    What a nice pocket.
    Too bad they get supplies.

  19. #879
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    Ah, gotta love how weak the AI is against encirclements.

    They're still getting supplies from Madrid, but if you take that and get lucky, their capital might move out of the pocket to Barcelona. That should probably be your first priority.

  20. #880
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmberry View Post
    WaHa! Now Spain's rightful king can return to her shores!
    I don't know, Truman might be more pragmatic than Roosevelt, but would he really want to re-establish Spain as a monarchy? And who's the current claimant on the throne anyway?

    Great AAR, don't know why I didn't subscribe to it ages ago.
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