This AAR is based on the ICE mod and will follow the lives of several young Americans in throughout the game as well as overviews of actions and decisions that affect the course of the game. I will be playing the game from 1936. This is my first attempt at this so any advice will be appreciated.
PART 1 Introduction and 1936
1 JAN 1936
President Roosevelt sat down with his cabinet, which was almost entirely the same as his previous administration except for replacing Claude Swanson with William Leahy as Chief of the Navy.
Admiral Leahy being promoted to Chief of the Navy
They began to lay out a plan for the future of the United States both economically as well as militarily. As far as they were concerned, at this time the United States is at peace and thus should focus on maintaining peace. But they did agree that the current building plans should be easily convertible to military purposes. Thus began one of the largest construction programs in US history. The project would be funded under the Industrial Act of 1936 which provided 26 major cities funding to begin construction over the next several years on huge industrial facilities.
Not to be ignored was the military, in particular the navy. While a huge amount of resources was being spent to increase the industrial base in the US, no few than 9 Destroyer squadrons of several classes, 7 light cruisers of the Brooklyn class, 3 Heavy Cruisers of the New Orleans Class, and 2 new Yorktown class Aircraft Carriers, the Yorktown and Enterprise and the air groups to accompany them.
The Army also began a reorganization of the National Guard from a 4 Regiment structure to 3 Regiment structure. While this would lower the manpower in each Division, it would provide the ability to include support brigades as they became available. They also decided to focus on increasing the amount of support regiments available to each Division as soon as possible.
National Guard Reorganization
Roosevelt also ordered the Chiefs to begin research that would allow the current military forces to be brought up to date since many of the tactics as well as equipment were from the Great War. The biggest focuses were on infantry and armor techs, as well as updating the escort fleet. Attention was also paid to the industry area, particularly leadership and efficiency.
15 May, 1936
Micheel Roberts sat in the cool summer breeze in Annapolis, Maryland. It was graduation for the class of 1936 at the United States Naval Academy and Micheel was wondering what his life had in store next for him. Roberts had excelled at Navy, both academically and in football. He had been a Wing end for the Football team that went 26-12 over his 4 years and went 2-2 in the all important Army-Navy game, including scoring the only touchdown in the 1936 Navy win. Ensign Roberts came from a large family in Boston that had for three generations worked as ship builders in Boston Harbor. After spending the weekends looking at the ships being built, Micheel decided he didnt just want to work on them he wanted to serve on them. Micheel had been able to secure a nomination to the Academy in 1932 which during the great depression was a major feat for someone with his families background. Ensign Roberts was to report to the USS Houston, a Heavy Cruiser of the Northampton class. Houston had in April been moved to San Francisco, which is where he would begin to serve as the Turret Officer of 2nd Division, being the #2 main Battery Forward.
Graduation at the Naval Academy, 1936
It was a warm afternoon when Jonny Bissle left home in Eugene, Oregon. Eugene had been having a tough time finding work in town and the surrounding area. His mother bugged him every morning that he should get off his lazy butt and go find a job. Jonny did not find the idea of working in a lumber mill or store appealing at all. He longed for adventure, and felt that at 18 years old their was so much he had left to do. As he a buddy walked down 12th Street later that day, they ran into a local Marine Corp recruiter that offered the the chance of adventure while making them into men. To Jonny, this was exactly what he was looking for, so he enlisted right then and there. Jonny went home and the moment he walked into the door, his mother began to hound him that he had wasted another day away when he could of been working. Jonny just tossed the papers that he had received for the recruiter onto the table and said, "Mom, I leave in the morning." His mother was in shock, and tried to put up a protest that this is not what she had meant when she said find a job. Jonny was already upstairs packing his bags. He was on the first train out and on his way to San Diego the next morning with his buddy Ryan at his side.
5 June, 1936
In Washington, President Roosevelt was speaking to Chief of the Navy about the importance of upgrading the battle fleet. Admiral Leahy agreed that more time had to be spent developing the technology to create Battleships that were more powerful than what we currently had. Thus one of the highest priorities at the moment became the development of new Battleships.
Advancing Battleship Tech
10 July 1936
The Army reported today to President Roosevelt that the reorganization of the National Guard was completed that day. After the Reorganization the National Guard still consisted of 15 divisions, but also now included 15 independent Brigades that would eventually after more upgrades and training become 5 new Regular Army Divisions.
Reorganized 29th Infantry Division (National Guard)
28 July 1936
Jonny had just graduated from Marine Corp Boot Camp after the 7 weeks of training and he had loved every moment of it. While he wasnt to fond of being called maggot and worthless, he learned to appreciate the DI's and listened to every word they said. He loved learning to fire the Springfield 1903 and even enjoyed going on the forced marches and hours spent on the parade ground. Jonny spent 2 full weeks at the rifle range learning how to become a rifleman. Jonny scored a sharpshooter, the second highest ranking for marksmanship in the Marine Corp and received his sharpshooter Badge. Jonny received his first orders to report to the Aircraft Carrier USS Lexington across the Bay in San Diego. He would begin his time in the Corp as a part of the Fleet on the largest Ship in the United States Navy.
Marine Detachment, USS Lexington 1936
1 Sept 1936
The Summer of 1936 had been a rather quite one for the nation, and it was no different for William Ellisor. “Willy” as he was known was still 17 years old when he left for the A&M College of Texas in the fall of 1936. He planned on studying engineering and joining the Fighting Texas Aggie Band. Willy was following in the footsteps of both his father and his grandfather, who was part of the first graduating class at A&M. Willy also wanted to receive a commission into the Army, specifically the Infantry. He looked forward to the day he would lead men into combat. Little did he know of what was to come.
Fighting Texas Aggie Band at Kyle Field, Fall 1936
31 Dec 1936
In Washington, then end of the year was celebrated at the White House as President Roosevelt celebrated a successful year. He had continued to expand and improve the navy and had set about the largest construction plan in US history and the first facilities were coming online. There had been no major international incidents to worry about and the world seemed at peace. All is good in 1936 and 1937 is looking to be even better.
For Ensign Roberts and Private Bissle, New Years Eve consisted of drills as the Lexington accompanied by the Houston and USS Northampton and two flortillas of destroyers sailed back to San Diego after operations in Panama. Ensign Roberts had received high marks in his six month evals and seemed on the fast track to promotion. His 2nd Division had won the Ship's Company gunnery award for the year and Roberts had won the respect of the other officers on board. As for Bissle, it took some adjusting to life at sea, but he grew used to living aboard the carrier. He was impressed with the size of the ship and of the two escorting cruisers. But while he enjoyed seeing the world on the great warships, he wished he could serve in an actual infantry battalion.
USS Houston and Northampton escorting USS Lexington in the Pacific. 1936