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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Lighthearter

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March 23rd, 2003

The sky was peaceful. The sun shone down over the tropics, casting what could both be called a scorching heat or a pleasant warmth, depending on your point of view. A flock of birds rose, hunting for food across the Caribbean Sea beneath them. Then the noise filled the air. The birds looked up as one, then suddenly scattered.

The three F-99 Mercury Multi-Role jet fighter-bombers screeched through at almost the speed of sound, moving for the Cuban coast up ahead. They were moving in a V-formation, obviously expecting something to happen.

"Richard, you locked and loaded?" Asked Thomas Lee Robertson.
"Sure thing, buddy." Richard Jackson responded.
"James?" Lee continued checking his flight's readiness.
"Ready to wrestle a shark!" The other pilot responded. Lee smiled. That was just like James White. He was the man who was always ready and willing. He was just the man that the recruiters wanted, even if the drillers back at Jonesboro Academy had ridden him harder then the others in his class. That was because he had potential.

Lee pulled the nose of his Mercury up a bit, climbing high into the clear sky. Before him lay Cuba. Before him lay the enemy. "God damn all the bastards." he snarled. Two of his nephews had died on 9/11.
"The Cuban terrorists?" Jackson commented. "Yeah, damn the lot of them. My mother was in the Trade Center when it went up. She escaped, but most of her friends didn't. Damn the bastards to fucking hell."
"My sister died in the attack." White said. "That's why I joined. I plan to kill as many of those lousy fuckers as I can for her."
"Well then, let's do this!" Lee said with conviction. He pulled up the nose of the jet a bit more, then flipped the cover off one of the two buttons on top of his joystick. "Armed." he said. His wingmen quickly followed suit.

They soared out from above the water into Cuba, passing over a chain of mountains before dipping into a valley. They shot along, coming up fast on the target zone. "Remember," Lee said, "The Marines go in right after us. Don't screw this one up."
"Worry about screwin' it up your own self." Jackson said amiably. "I sure as hell won't." He was likely right. Jackson was probably the best pilot in the wing.

The target zone flashed up. A series of tents and wooden huts had been erected across a small Cuban valley. Gathered around them were whole hosts of Cuban men holding Russian-manufactured AK-series weaponry. Of course, Lee didn't notice so much detail. He was focused on making sure all the numbers aligned just right on his attack run.

One of the Cubans looked up and noticed him. It was too late. Each of the planes dropped four glide bombs as they screamed over the Cuban camp. The warheads exploded violently, sending men, pieces of huts and pieces of men flying across the area. Great clouds of smoke filled the air behind Lee. The pilot laughed. "That's what you get when you screw with the -"

"Lee! Missile Launch!" Jackson interrupted his commander.
Lee shoved the stick into a dizzying turn, circling to come out several thousand feet lower then he had been. He looked in horror to see two missiles streaking up after his wingmen.
"Jackson! White! BREAK!" he screamed.
Break they did. White shot upward, releasing flares. The missile veered off, slamming into one of the Cuban mountains.

Jackson twisted his plane left, then right, then released flares. It was dizzying to watch as he executed a barrel roll immediately afterward.

It wasn't enough. Lee watched the missile hit his friend's plane. The entire wing snapped off, spinning away behind him. Flames poured from the severed stump of his wing, leaving a trail of black smoke behind him. The stricken jet spun crazily for a moment before slamming into the ground and exploding in a massive ball of fire.

Jackson had never bailed out.

Lee watched, completely numb to the very fiber of his being. White was too. The two pilots said nothing as they flew back out to sea. Finally, as the carrier Robert E. Lee became visible they both began to speak at once. Neither one stopped. Grief poured from them in that one moment.

Then they landed on the carrier. After their two planes were stowed and they informed Captain Richards what had happened, they went down below decks. They had been told that they wouldn't go up on any missions tomorrow. And that they would be listed as present in the next morning's role call. That was clearly an invitation to go get drunk and sleep it off.

It seemed to be the instant they arrived in the lounge and sat down with a bottle of whiskey that another man appeared. "Gentlemen, I require a word."
Lee sized him up. Clean uniform, Intelligence badge, Naval Air Wing insignia, Purple Heart, Venezuela, Panama and Columbia service medals. His response was then "Have a seat." instead of "Fuck off."

The man took a seat, then handed White a photo. "Do you know what that is?"
White stared for a moment. Then he passed the picture to Lee, saying "Yeah, I do - that's an American Stinger anti-air missile launcher."
It depicted a Marine holding a battered Stinger launcher gingerly, with some oddly familiar geography in the backgound. Lee was regretting that second glass of whiskey. He would be thinking clearly without it.
"Do you know where that photo was taken?" the officer asked.
"How should we?" Lee demanded.
"Very well, lieutenant. That photo was taken in the terrorist camp you just hit earlier today."
Lee knew he was staring. He couldn't help it. "You mean that's the damn thing that killed Jackson?"
"It is highly probable."
"But how? Why would the USA supply Cuban terrorists?"
"I don't know - but I feel sure my superiors will be investigating soon. We thought we got all the US's gunrunners before this whole mess began, but evidently we were wrong." the officer stood. "Gentlemen, this is disturbing news, and since it involves you I wanted to share it with you personally."

Lee stared again. Not a bad guy after all, he though. "Can I ask your name, sir?" There. He'd called the officer sir.

"Jake Featherston II. My grandfather had the name before me." His eyes glinted mischievously. "Most people call me 'Jackie' though. That's what my pa wanted to call me." Featherston's smile vanished. "He died on 9/11."

"I'm sorry." Lee said. "I lost both of my nephews."
"I lost my sister." White added sadly.

Featherston nodded to the two pilots. "The bombing of the Charleston Trade Center is what brought us onto the world stage against terrorism. We have to keep going. And I'll tell you now - If Richmond finds out that the USA is supplying Cuban terrorists right here in our backyard, there will be a war or the Confederate States of America will have new leadership next election, no doubt. And if we find out the USA was helping the terrorists with 9/11 - well, if there isn't a war then the people of the CSA will impeach their president so fast his eyes will cross."

The CSS Robert E. Lee pushed on through the Caribbean.
 
Last edited:

Lighthearter

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Hello everyone! This is an attempt to create a better AAR then my recent failed League of Mutual Co-Prosperity. I am playing the Modern Day Scenario mod modified my own way to include the Confederate States. You'll find out the alternate history premise soon enough, but I'll tell you this: It's not Antietam or the Trent Affair;)

Enjoy!

Credit to Thure for the Stars and Bars and the CSA skin, as well as some of my minister photos.

Current Modding Status:
CS Army: Done
CS Navy: Done
CSAF: Done
US Military: Done
Installations: Done
International Diplomacy: In Progress
Confederate Techteams: Done
Confederate Leaders: Conceptual
Confederate Ministers: In Progress
Confederate Starting Techs/Models: Done
 
Last edited:

Sectorknight21

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Looks very interesting! Can't wait to see the background history!
 

Lighthearter

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Looks very interesting! Can't wait to see the background history!
Excellent! The first to secede from the Union is here . . . . :D

I'll give you the same hint that's in the LMCP thread:

"It's amazing, really, how one man's living or dying can make a world of difference";)
 

Metroid17

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Let's hope this Featherston isn't as crazy as Turtledove's.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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It's seem that there is a lot of alternative-MDS worlds lately. Mejoins, then.:p
 

Le Jones

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Looking good, will be watching.
 

Lighthearter

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All - Welcome aboard!

Metroid17 - Here's hoping. No guarantees though:D

Kurt_Steiner - Great to have you along:)

Le Jones - Welcome to you too! Ill post the first history update soon.
 

Asalto

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You sir, are doing a great job. CSA in 21st Century? That's more than awesome. Will follow!
 

Lighthearter

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Excerpt from The History of the Confederate States, Volume II: Secession (1999)

The history of the modern Confederate States of course begins at Fort Sumter in April of 1861. South Carolinian militiamen opened fire on the Union fort on the twelfth of the said month and continued the bombardment until the surrender of the fort on the thirteenth. After the Union forces surrendered, President Abraham Lincoln declared the secession of the Southern states unconstitutional. At that point, the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas joined the seceding states. Robert E. Lee, a US army officer who served in the Mexican-American war, chose to side with his home state, abandoning the United States.

In the opening months of the war, the Confederate States performed excellently. At the first battle of Bull Run (1861) Thomas Jonathon Jackson, a veteran of the Mexican-American war and a former Instructor of Artillery at the Virginia Military institute, led his well-drilled companies into the breach at Manassass, sparking the comment from another Confederate officer "Look at Jackson standing there like a damned stone wall!" Jackson's units took the most grievous casualties of any C.S. companies that day, and the famous comment earned the general himself his nickname - "Stonewall" Jackson.

Over the course of the next few months, the CSA won a series of smashing victories against woefully unprepared Northern forces. After Lee's glorious victories across Virginia and "Stonewall"'s Valley Campaign, Lee made an effort to drive up out of Virginia and into the North, resulting in the Battle of Antietam (1862). When General McClellan obtained a copy of Lee's Special Order 191, though, the offensive was halted. Lee withdrew to Virginia to consolidate and find a new opportunity.

Soon, though, the Union and Confederate armies met again, at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia (1863). The Confederates, after intense maneuvering by Lee and Jackson, soundly defeating the Union. In the dead of night on May the second, while Jackson was returning to his force with his party, Confederate pickets intercepted him and mistook his group for Northern cavalry. The pickets were on the verge of firing on Jackson's party in the night when Jackson himself announced his identity.

Jackson's brush with friendly fire was a horrifying reminder to the South that anything could go wrong on the battlefield - but "Stonewall"'s near miss was to be completely eclipsed by the astounding operation in the next month that was the Gettysburg Campaign.

The war was never the same afterward.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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OH YEAH!

Stonewall survives!!!!

Awesome. Send Ewell to rest a bit, 'cause Stonewall is here.

I'm going to like Gettysburg...:D
 

Lighthearter

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Oh, Gettysburg is still a southern defeat.

Notice it says the "Gettysburg Campaign";)

Nonetheless - I'm a fan of old Stonewall, and he's the only person who could have averted the disaster at Gettysburg. Longstreet tried hard to convince Lee the game was up on the first day, but well - he wasn't Jackson.:(
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Oh, Gettysburg is still a southern defeat.

Notice it says the "Gettysburg Campaign";)

Nonetheless - I'm a fan of old Stonewall, and he's the only person who could have averted the disaster at Gettysburg. Longstreet tried hard to convince Lee the game was up on the first day, but well - he wasn't Jackson.:(
Oh. Well, more interesting, indeed. Another fan of Stonewall here -and of the Old War Horse, indeed. And of Lee, it goes without saying.

Indeed, the Tycoon was hard to be persuaded when he was up to something...

We'll wait eagerly for the next chapter.

PS: Get rid of Bragg, for Dixie's sake! :p
 

Lighthearter

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Excerpt from The War of Secession - A Battlefield History(2001)

It was in June of 1863 that Lee moved out of Virginia to begin the historic Gettysburg campaign. With Longstreet, Stuart, Pickett and Jackson, he had the entire core of the Army of Northern Virginia - the same core that had been through all major actions to this date, not counting Longstreet's absence from Chancellorsville. Swiftly the army made its way through Northern Virginia, then Maryland, seeking to bypass the Union forces. US General [Joesph] Hooker was completely caught off-guard, attempting pursuit only to be relieved and replaced with [Major General Gordon] Meade.

By the end of June, the Confederate forces were in sight of Gettysburg, but the USA had reached it first and dug in hard. On the first day of battle, the CSA failed to break through the Union positions, suffering heavy casualties assaulting Cemetery Ridge against US artillery. As night fell, the Confederate commanders gathered to debate their next move. Lee was in favor of continuing the engagement, as was Stuart, who had, at Jackson's advice, been denied his request to flank around the US positions. However, Longsteet was in favor of cutting from Gettysburg and pushing on.

There. That one moment. That was probably the one moment that decided the war. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson got up and sided with Longstreet. Lee would listen to Jackson. Jackson said that newly-installed General Meade was open to be mislead and disconcerted. As far as he knew, Lee could have been moving for Harrisburg, or Philadelphia, or even further north. Until Meade knew, all he could do was follow at a distance and react desperately to any of Lee's decisions. Jackson recommended Philadelphia. Eventually, Lee agreed.

The Army of Northern Virginia had withdrawn from Gettysburg by dawn, leaving a very confused Union Army of the Potomac behind. When word reached Meade that Lee was approaching Philadelphia, the Union general was forced by strong political pressure to pursue and drive the Southerners away whatever the cost. Lee, however, once again on Jackson's advice, had dug in along the road to Philadelphia. Meade was forced by even more political pressure from Lincoln to destroy Lee's army. In the fabled "Meade's Charge" almost the entire Army of the Potomac was flung at the Army of Northern Virginia in an all-out assault.

After the Army of the Potomac broke and shattered under CS firepower, Lee drove south, aiming for Washington. General Grant's Army of the Susquehanna was recalled to face down Lee, but it found itself broken in a similar way to the Army of the Potomac. By the end of summer, 1863, Britain and France had intervened. The United States officially recognized the Confederacy as a sovereign nation, and negotiations on territory began.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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One would have guessed that the Yanks had learnt the lesson at Fredericksburg about charging against the Grey lines...:D
 

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Kurt_Steiner - :D

_________________________
Excerpt from The Confederate States of America - The Early History (1995)

After the stunning victories at Philadelphia and Baltimore against the United States, the British and French interference in the war came as no surprise. On the US surrender, however, there were man in store.

Initially, the argument would seem sound. The CSA was to be granted independence. However, the CSA and the USA disagreed on quite what was Confederate territory. The original eleven Confederate States were undisputed parts of the new nation, those comprising South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. However, the two nations were in uproar about three key areas: the East, the West, and Virginia. The last of those areas was the most hotly disputed. West Virginia had seceded from Virginia after Virginia had seceded from the Union. No agreement seemed to be possible, as President Lincoln was determined to keep West Virginia and President Davis was just as determined to keep it himself. With Virginia bogged in arguments between angry diplomats, the main eye of the negotiations turned to the east.

The Confederates agreed to renounce their claims on Maryland and Delaware in exchange for the Union's acknowledging Kentucky as part of the CSA. However, they would not back down from their stand that Oklahoma was part of the Confederacy by rights. They also wanted Missouri. Lincoln was adamant that they should remain in the union. The winter of 1863 was about to give way to the new year 1864, and only small progress in the negotiations had been made. Many wondered if any would ever be made. However, then Lincoln acknowledged the CSA's control over New Mexico. After Philadelphia, so much of the US Army had been called east that event the CSA's ragged corps out west had been able to seize the territory. Lincoln really had no choice but to acknowledge Southern control. Quickly Davis came up with an initiative.

He offered to exchange Missouri for Oklahoma, in a bold move the wisdom of which is still debated today. We know with hindsight that the US government was on the brink of giving in and handing over both states to the CSA, but the Confederates of the time of course had no way of knowing that. That left West Virginia disputed. The Confederates would not hear of letting it go, and the USA would not here of letting it go themselves. It seemed that the debate might spark a continuation of the war. However, Davis saw an opening. Since the CSA controlled the entire New Mexico territory, he almost ad a direct route to the Pacific. Negotiations with Mexico about Sonora and Chihuahua had amounted to nothing, so Davis sought an alternative option.

He declared that if Virginia was to be divided, then the North should have one of its states suffer the same fate. Lincoln was apoplectic. However, in the end he had not choice but to split California north and south.


North America after the War of Secession. The CSA is in red, the USA in blue.
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
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Well, not a bad peace. And giving up Missouri you get rid of a dangerous bulge in your lines :D
 

Lighthearter

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Kurt_Steiner - true.

Anyone know the HOI2 bitvalue for the minister trait "resigned generalissimo"? I'm busy modding CSA ministers and need to know, as I'm working with a save game, not the .csv files:(

I'll provide the closing update on the nineteenth century tonight. The family's coming down for Easter and I expect that will take up my day.:D
 

Vaximillian

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I'm aboard!:) 'll soon provide you will colored pics of ministers'n'leaders!

Btw, bitvalues for ministers? lolwut? Aren't they just defined by words?