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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

stnylan

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So this was a quite amusing little interlude.

I think the Derrflinger turning up would be enough to unsettle anyone's morning.
 
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Specialist290

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Already the vultures are circling...

I can't help but feel a pang of sympathy for Captain Diamond there -- he's certainly had a bad run of luck, and it could only get worse from the moment the Germans showed up. All told, though, I think that this was the best possible way of resolving the situation for all involved, and the Captain can't be held responsible for what happens when he's clearly not in a fit state to command...
 
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Germany swooping in and seizing the Samoa's. Even from the Pacific, everyone could tell that the Old Republic is doomed
 
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First moves

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June 1st is considered the date that the Civil War began in earnest, as the forces of each breakaway nation crossed into Federal territory. On the West Coast, the PSA moved into Carson city and other border cities, without firing a shot, the National Guard forces having been pulled back to hold major roads in delaying action until Macarthur’s promised reinforcements arrived.

On the other side of the Country, important political decisions were being finalized as MacArthur’s mettle was tested for the first time. The Combined Syndicates of America placed the young Socialist organizer Paul Mattick in charge of the Central committee, essentially Jack Reed’s Vice President. Mattick preferred a less authoritarian style of Socialist organization, but this translated into an extremely vigorous deconstruction of all vestiges of the Capitalist system. Outside CSA lines, Red Guard forces were active in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, rolled out the red carpet for the CSA advance into Davenport, and had Cedar Rapids and Iowa City under their control. At the site of the Blair Mountain siege, an even larger rebel force routed local authorities at the same time as Morgantown was taken over, and another revolutionary committee was established in Braxton county. Harlan county rebels in Kentucky also organized to oust the unprepared private security goons and policemen, winning the “war”. Red Guard advances also prioritized Indianapolis, Columbus, Philadelphia, and from the West and North, Pittsburgh. This led to the first clash between Federal and Rebel forces in Carmel, just North of Indianapolis. Loyal units of the Indiana National Guard launched a primitive armored assault on the center of the Red Army line with a force of 20 FT-17s and 24 T1 Combat cars. The end goal was to split the line in half and surround the disorganized irregulars…


Private Peter Sosnicki was already huddling in the hastily-dug slit trench after the warning went out. It did little to protect his ears from the impact of multiple shells in quick succession. And as the muffled screams rising around him proved, even the light 37mm cannons could do monstrous damage to more than his hearing. Softer thunk-thunk-thunks of machine gun runs rose and fell as they stitched across the Mickiewicz battalion's lines. No return fire could be heard-not that it mattered, the battalion had not even a machine gun under its control.

Some kid ahead of him tried to peak over the rim of the trench. Peter yanked him down. He remembered well the stories of his Father during his service in the Tsar’s Army. Trying to get a look at the enemy only ended with getting sniped-or worse. The rain of dirt that fell on them from suppressive fire only confirmed his fears. Not that he could blame the kid. He was still dressed for a night on the town, apart from the red armband. More than likely he came from a line of factory workers, not soldiers.

Peter gripped his M1903 while the ground rumbled harder beneath him. At least he’d managed to keep all of his gear with him when he deserted from the Guard. Many of the people in the battalion didn’t even have a rifle. They just made due with pistols confiscated from police until they could pilfer one from the dead. Detroit’s “peoples factories” were supposed to be on a war footing by now, but Peter doubted the transition would happen very fast. He also didn’t want to guess at the scale of the logistical nightmare that was surely going on behind the lines.

There was no relief to be found in his weapons now. The tanks could resist bullets, and could cover each other well enough to make any feats of bravery with his hand grenades a bust.

Another heavy gun went off just ahead of his trench, and Peter braced himself for another assault on his ears.

When the blast did come, it was far enough away that he realized something odd-the shot itself went off behind their lines!

As he also noted that the sound of an engine directly ahead of him had faded, Peter heard the sharp crack again, definitely not a 37mm. There was a loud clunk nearby, followed by a muffled scream. When he dared to glance up at the field, he saw two figures sprinting away from an abandoned FT tank. The one right ahead of his trench was a burning wreck, fragments of its turret and cannon lying several feet away in all directions. A dozen other tanks remained, but they were sitting motionless while their turrets scanned the area; several even had their rear hatches open so that the crew could exchange reports.

A third FT lost it’s left tread to a hit, and the gunner tore out of the hatch seconds later.

Sosnicki brought his gun up and fired at the crewmen that followed. This seemed to be enough for his confused squadmates to raise their pistols and start firing, as another tank was hit in the turret…



The attack was stopped by a lone Red soldier armed with a Weltkrieg era German Anti-tank gun looted from a private collection in Chicago. With the tip of their spear cut off, the National Guard broke and ran. Indianapolis was under CSA control by June 9th.

Most confrontations in divided states played out this way, as MacArthur’s generals did not want to dilute their forces even further for the sake of preserving every major city. MacArthur instead ordered those forces already in contested states to hold their ground, on the assumption that the Red Army wasn’t organized enough to fight pitched battles.Time and time again, he was proven wrong in the form of stalemates or the occasional disaster like the one above. Furthermore, the Federal hold on Pennsylvania grew more tenuous even before the first Red Guard offensives, as vengeful Union workers launched massive guerilla warfare operations in Pittsburgh and rebels in West Virginia threatened to sabotage MacArthur’s defensive line there. Other bad news came when the National Guard base at Governor’s island in NYC surrendered to the CSA. By mid-June, the tough decision to abandon most of Western PA was made, further influenced by events on the other end of Federal defenses.

On the AUS front Charles Lindbergh was chosen as Vice President and given the authority to organize the war effort. Arkansas had been secured, and the advance into Southern Missouri was going swiftly. Minutemen rebels were active in the Daniel Boone Forest, Central City, Lebanon MO, Wichita, Grand Island NE, and several towns in the Eastern half of Virginia. Multiple cities in Oklahoma also pledged their allegiance to the AUS at the urging of Governor William Murray.

But the Union State was also in grave danger before their advances had even started in earnest. The source of this threat was Texas, which had been a thorn in Huey Long’s side during the 1936 election. John Nance Garner had won his home state with a comfortable edge over Long. The Texan branch of the AFP was numerous, but the Democratic Party’s political machine in the state had more organization and funding behind it. Loyalist forces in Texas managed to suppress the pro-long Putsches that sprung up throughout the state except in Texarkana. National Guard forces on the Arkansas side of the city crossed state lines for the purpose of “maintaining order”. But the total strength of AUS forces in the city amounted to just 2000 men, and they only advanced into the nearby countryside.

Knowing that Texas was firmly under Federal control, Macarthur sent orders to the reservist and NG forces in the state for a simple yet ambitious plan. They would cross into Southern Louisiana with New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and the surrounding towns in their sites. Even if the AUS government escaped, the propaganda victory of seizing their center of power would be devastating. There was also a decent industrial base in the area that Long had built up while he was Governor.

For this operation, the US Army had a National Guard division, a reserve division, and enough loyal units from the “Dixie Cavalry” and 63rd NG divisions to form two brigades. Loyalist militia groups like the “Texas Rangers” and “Bowie knife battalion” were also incorporated into the plan. Overall command of the operation was given to LT General P.D. Glassford.

In response, Huey Long personally ordered 2 divisions of Louisiana minutemen, the “Louisiana Cajuns” volunteer brigade, one Lousiana State Police brigade, 2 Silver Legionnaire battalions, and almost all of the Louisiana National guard to meet the threat. The man in charge of the defense was, oddly enough, a Texan: William Simpson.He was awarded with a promotion to Major General for defecting.

For training and organization, the US Army forces were unmatched, yet the whole operation was undermined by poor decisions at the top. When the soldiers crossed the border from Orange TX into Calcasieu Parish on June 1st, secessionist forces were still not being taken seriously enough by MacArthur and the Loyalist General staff. With no forces being spotted directly at the border, the advance was a leisurely one. Furthermore, the Army conducted no aerial reconnaissance and didn’t even send their Cavalry to scout ahead into Vinton, the first town on the route to New Orleans. When the small police detachment in the town fled without firing a shot, this decision seemed justified. No other organized resistance was encountered in the 13 miles between Vinton and the town of Sulphur. Even guerilla attacks were absent. These reports greatly pleased General Glassford. MacArthur’s prediction that even the people of Huey Long’s home state wouldn’t die for him at the moment of truth seemed accurate. By June 4th, Army forces had secured Sulphur and were resting along the Contraband Bayou. Advanced parties crossed the twisting waterway by boat and entered Lake Charles during the afternoon. Once again, the population never went beyond antipathy. When it was visible at all, that is. From his forward HQ in Sulphur, Glassford passed off reports of how deserted the streets were as the result of panicked civilians fleeing. Hopefully, he said in a message to MacArthur, any resentment that was growing at this upheaval in their lives could be turned towards Huey Long.

As night fell, Glassford ordered all advances across the Bayou halted (without specifying his desire for the men to dig in) while the rest of the infantry caught up. Their march on Lafayette was to resume by the following afternoon.


Captain Foster was no Artillery Officer. His service at Fort Benning had been centered around Signals, as he’d reminded the AUS General Staff. But serving as an instructor was considered expertise enough, and the new Army was short on officers. What he felt reassured by was that he had an easy job. His battery already knew exactly where they had to fire. It wasn’t a welcoming prospect, shelling a friendly town, but he’d been assured that much of the population was either long gone or awaiting their chance to charge back in. That chance was coming soon, perhaps even later today.

The lamplight shone on his watch tick-tick-tick-ticking past the VI mark. Not much longer now.

VII...IX...X…

4:15 AM!

“Go for it!” Foster shouted. His 4.7-inch guns would be delivering the first salvo as a signal for the rest. “Time for the next Bull Run.”



Glassford was startled out of his slumber by the impact of 60 shells on both sides of the Bayou. AUS artillery dealt with no response, as the Loyalist officers hadn’t seen any point in deploying most of their guns. Inexperienced gunners struggled to find the source of the firing, while AUS guns just shot into the vicinity of both towns. The disorganized and unfortified soldiers occupying the area were still recovering from the shelling when the first star shells went up. Former National Guard troops charged across the dark fields and into Lake Charles, capturing the forward positions on their side of the Contraband Bayou. Many Texan National Guardsmen gave up without firing a shot.

But they were only a fraction of the entire force committed to the area. Troops on the Sulphur side of the bayou made meager attempts to suppress Union State forces on the banks, though they usually weren’t aiming at anything in particular. When Lake Charles was confirmed as secured, several AUS batteries started shelling Sulphur, though their trajectories had been adjusted so much to avoid friendly fire that they usually overshot the town. Even then, this had the unintended effect of hitting incoming reinforcements and supply convoys-those that made it there.

The rest were targets of the AUS plan’s other half. With the sound of Artillery fire as their signal, Minutemen forces camped out to the North of Sulphur or around Clear Marais to the South advanced on the main road leading from Vinton to Sulphur. They were accompanied by the Silver Legionnaires and volunteers from each occupied town.

General Simpson didn’t expect these lightly-armed thugs to cause a rout. All they needed to do was hold up the reinforcements and supply convoys bound for Sulphur. Indeed, this was accomplished perfectly. Knowing only that enemy forces were attacking them from two sides, the troops found themselves pinned down with no clear guidance from any officers outside the immediate vicinity. General Glassford had to be alerted of the sudden halt in new arrivals before he realized what was happening. Pressure on the front was expected to spike before dawn if the current offensive continued, so he was not willing to spare many troops. Cavalry companies already in Sulphur were ordered to charge the attackers, and the same order was given to mounted soldiers moving in from Orange, but relaying them would take time.

What the men riding in from the East soon realized was that they had no idea where exactly the AUS troops were positioned. As a result, it was a half-hour before battle was joined on either side of the road. To the South, the commanding Major had his men dismount a safe distance away and march forward until they blundered into the edge of the AUS line. The men to the North had worse luck as they strayed too close to the road and rode into the line of fire. Both groups tried to extricate themselves within 15 minutes of the first shots being fired due to general confusion and fear of being outnumbered. Some squad-level formations on the lower end missed the order and continued clashing with the Minutemen until dawn. Half of the battalion-sized force in the North made the short trip back to friendly forces on the main road instead of retreating back to Sulphur under fire.

By 5:45 AM, the next phase of the attack was underway. AUS artillery resumed firing in full. Sunrise saw the first big push across the Bayou and the Calcasieu river. Loyalist troops never really recovered from the shock of the opening strike. They barely contested what should’ve been easy targets at the river. Defenses crystallized around Sulphur proper. Two hours of sporadic bombardment had been enough to level parts of the town of 1900 people. Loyalist forces tried to turn every hunk of ruins into a bulwark, but they just didn’t have time or coordination to prepare. Dangerously close to the frontlines, General Glassford was almost in a panic. His front was porous, his artillery disabled, and the back to safety was fraught with danger. Troops had stopped rushing into town from the ambush. There were no reserves to commit. Runners reported that Vinton was being stalked by Snipers. Only the lack of AUS shelling and the news that a concentrated push was being organized to hit the raiders gave him any relief.


Point. Shoot. Reload. Aim again.

These were the steps that governed Jefferson Davis Griggs’ life for the past 2 hours. He wasn’t even sure if he was hitting anyone. But their orders said to lay down suppressive fire, so that’s what he did.

Too bad the task was starting to become much harder now that the Texans were pushing back. He and the rest of the Company had found a nice little hedgerow to shift into when the enemy started coming from the West. It was a fine source of shade while he fired at the troops that advanced across the open fields before him. Trouble was, they couldn’t keep this up forever. Sooner or later artillery was going to start smashing the treeline. Or the Minutemen would exhaust their ammo dump a few miles behind the lines. Neither outcome left Jeff with a chance to fight back.

What he began to hear instead of the dreaded artillery was something far worse. A thousand angry wasps, perhaps, all buzzing forward with a great hum in the distance.

“There we go, they went and called in bombers,” someone sighed. An Officer quickly silenced him.

“No, wait, think about it boys! Those aren’t Federals! They’re coming in from the wrong direction!”



The AUS air force had entered the battle in the form of several YA9 Shrike squadrons. Few AA guns had been deployed by the Army, and those were limited to towns with large gaps in between. Dozens of dive bombers wrecked the Federal counter-offensive, weakened the defenders of Sulphur, and disrupted the movement of troops in Vinton.


News of this unfolding battle shocked the nation. Combined with the aforementioned events outside of Indianapolis, it served to confirm fears that this would not be a short war. Even though the battle could still go either way, people in AUS states rallied around Huey Long after learning how the bold first offensive had succeeded.

In DC, a furious Douglas MacArthur made his first major strategic change. Up until then, the air service had remained grounded. Now that a rebel faction had employed their captured planes in combat, MacArthur decided to respond in kind. Bombers were first deployed in support of the brittle National Guard forces still trying to delay CSA offensives into their states, and to aid the defense of Norfolk.

Back in Louisiana on the 5th, General Glassford did what he could to reform his defenses. Initial shock aside, he was not willing to give up just yet. Without their artillery cover, the AUS troops were starting to slow their advance into Sulphur. Further back, AUS air strikes had been used by the exhausted Minutemen guerillas to withdraw from their positions. This allowed them to join with Louisiana National Guard forces attacking Sulphur and surround Glassford’s position, but it also took the pressure of those troops caught on the road. Since the bombings had focussed on the Federal counter attack and Sulphur, the reinforcement escaped from being caught in the open and mashed to paste apart from a few stray attacks. Officers on the scene took the initiative and had almost all capable troops head to Sulphur, while the rest stayed behind with the walking wounded to clear the road and return to Vinton.

General Simpson’s troops were also exhausted by the afternoon, and several companies were down to 50% or less fighting strength. All offensives were halted while the Minutemen linked up with regular lines and the artillery shifted forward. Post-war analyses strongly asserts that Glassford needed only to order a strong push at the upper and lower edges of AUS lines-held solely by worn-out Minutemen troops-to fracture their whole defensive scheme and keep them off-balance. There were still enough untouched NG troops and Cavalry to get it done. But the concerned General is known to have been focused simply on strengthening his defenses where they were.

Preparations went on through the 6th. On the morning of June 7th, AUS Artillery resumed firing once more. General Simpson committed all of his reserves, the State Police brigade, and the volunteer brigade to the front. The Texans were hunkered down and prepared, letting them halt the first advances into Sulphur. Hearing this news, Simpson just waited for the Shrikes to go into action again. Loyalist lines remained tense despite the bombings, but the AUS had more fresh troops to throw into the fight and General Glassford was still concerned about protecting his flanks. By the afternoon, his men were holding a sliver of ruins and the dense woods just behind Sulphur (Basically this). Again, the AUS offensive halted to prepare for this next step. The Texas guardsmen had fallen back from a decent position to a superb one. Glassford knew that rooting his men out from the woods would be a costly task for the AUS. By maintaining his current lines, the man could keep pressure on the Union State to an extent much greater than he should’ve. The egotistical Huey Long wouldn’t stand for his home state being occupied even to this limited extent, he guessed. Additional troops were likely to be pulled from other fronts to kick his men out, giving MacArthur’s men in the North more chances to strike back.

That was Glassford’s expectation until an utterly outrageous piece of news was sent to him on the 9th.

Being an enthusiastic Syndicalist republic, Mexico’s relationship with the United States was always tense. Mexican politicians spoke of American racism towards Latinos, and the United States played host to several Mexican anti-communist organizations. There was little change in the relationship between the two countries even after President Zapata’s assassination in May 1936. When the Army took power in the confusion, some in America predicted that the new government would happily shift towards the United States.

They were wrong.

After a month, the Military regime was kicked out of power, but by an unexpected group: the radical Catholic Partido Fuerza Popular with a Sinarquista political platform that was far more ambitious than the goals of the tepid Military Dictatorship. Their efforts to flip the Mexican economy on its head received far more attention than some of the more eccentric aspects of their platform.

When the Sinarquist regime declared war on the United States on June 9th, Americans belatedly realized how serious some of their promises were.

Instantly, the Louisiana offensive came to an end. General Glassford ordered a withdrawal right after getting the news. After 4 days of fighting, Loyalist casualties were around 4200. Most of these were suffered by the Texas National Guard division and Cavalry committed to holding Sulphur. Another 300 men were captured. Glassford had preserved the Reserve infantry division that bore the brunt of AUS airstrikes during their failed counter attack. No tanks had been lost in the battle either, they all remained at a depot in Orange. These facts did not save Glassford from being sacked.

His replacement, Geoffrey Keyes, had the distinction of battling the Mexicans before during the Villa expedition. What he was expected to do against the majority of the Mexican Army with various under strength units and a rising tide of Texan militiamen was left to his discretion by MacArthur.

1900 AUS troops were casualties of the battle, most from the second half of it when Loyalist shock wore off.

The front just before Mexican troops crossed the border. (St. Louis will get an explanation later).

A/N: Your update for the day. Foreign involvement and more will come soon! Google maps was my source for the terrain of Louisiana, working on the assumption that both towns on either side of the river were smaller and the forests behind Sulphur more expansive in 1937. Mickiewicz battalion was the Polish segment of the Spanish Republican's international brigades, they're Polish-Americans here.
 
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stnylan

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Things continue to go from bad to worse for these disunited states.
 
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Maciej-Kamil

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Very good uptade!

I liked the small - but significant - detail about Mickiewicz, and your style - which combines stories told from soldiers' perspective with textbook-like descriptions is very interesting.

The only thing which I didn't like was lack of maps - more of this will be appreciated, especially if it will also show movement of the troops.
 
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Things are bout to get very bad with the Mexicans launching their invasion.
 
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International involvement and the rest of June.

SgtGranite

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While the news of Mexican intervention was a shock, it would be events on the other side of the world that spurred further international involvement. On June 10th, German Naval forces occupied Guam and the American Samoa. When Europe’s main superpower chooses to intervene, all bets are off. Japan captured Wake Island on the same day. The Hawaiian state took over Johnston, Midway, and several nearby atolls. But the most grandiose swipe of American territory was performed by Canada. On June 12th, Canadian troops moved into the undefended territory of Alaska, while Caribbean soldiers landed in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Even the tiny exclave of Point Roberts was occupied.
On the other side of the Atlantic, State authorities in the isolated region of New England put their trust in Canada to do what MacArthur couldn’t and halt the Syndicalist advance. For a few weeks, an undeclared state of war existed between Canada and the CSA as Canadian bombers assisted National Guard forces in New York and Connecticut in pushing the Red Guards back. Canadian troops then moved in and restored state borders, for the most part. Retaking New York city was written off as too costly a move. By June 25th, the occupied states were organized into a "New England Republic" and formally recognized by the Entente nations. MacArthur is recorded as trying to pay very little attention to this operation, hoping to avoid the same fate as John Garner.
As for Glassford’s hope of capturing Huey Long’s attention, the man would’ve had enough troops to push him out anyway. Back in May, tentative agreements had been made with certain nations to allow Volunteer battalions to serve in the AUS military. Success in the battle of Lake Charles meant that whole divisions of volunteers would be sent over next.
Where did these men come from? Oddly enough, the first group was Cuban. In the unstable Democracy of Cuba, a strongly liberal president shared power with the Army, which was funded by the United States. But after the first wave of secession in April, the Generals were convinced that they needed to look elsewhere for support. It was decided that Huey Long’s faction stood a better chance of defeating the CSA than MacArthur’s controversial Junta. Of their own accord, they sent troops to occupy Guantanamo bay and began a recruitment campaign for a volunteer brigade. The civilian government went along with this initiative as a way to get certain ultranationalist rabble-rousers that were taking inspiration from Mexico’s Sinarquists out of the country.
On May 15th, the hastily-assembled brigade of 5000 men arrived mostly unarmed in New Orleans. Another 3 weeks was spent training them at Fort Benning.
In late May, the first cautious investments in what would become large-scale support also arrived. Friedrich von Prittwitz Und Gaffron, German ambassador to the United States, had previously submitted a report to Berlin that summarized the brewing war and the state of each faction. Support for the CSA was off the table, of course. The teetering Federal government was labeled too unstable, especially after MacArthur coup. On the West Coast, the PSA’s intentions were for regional survival rather than a nationwide takeover. That left Huey Long as the strongest bulwark against Syndicalism in North America. Ambassador Von Prittwitz Und Gaffron was ordered to maintain communications with the Federal Government (he delivered the ultimatum warning of Germany’s intent in the Pacific should the war persist) while efforts were made in private to contact Huey Long and oversee the formation of a German volunteer battalion.
Meanwhile, Germany’s ostensible rival in the east was making similar arrangements. In Russia, General Wrangel had restored the Tsardom under Vladimir III while he held the real power. He favored Huey Long’s overtly anti-Syndicalist stances and strong popular support. A Russian volunteer battalion was organized around the same time as the Germans with the help of Russians emigres who had left the economically struggling nation in prior years. Wrangel’s industrialization plans were in the process of ending this flow by 1937.
Germany’s occupation of American South Pacific islands opened the door for more than just additional land-grabs. A day later, the German general staff drew up a plan to organize two whole volunteer divisions. The continuing depression caused by Black Monday meant that there were many unemployed men with few other options. Wrangel matched this commitment with a volunteer force of his own.
Next came smaller European nations. A joint effort by the Sicilian Kingdom and the Papacy led to the formation of an Italian division for the AUS and the Irish sent over a brigade. Across the Mediterranean, the anti-socialist French government in-exile was not willing to spare a full division, so they sent a fighter group and a battalion to the AUS instead.
Down in South America, Argentina sent a “division” with a large Paraguayan component to the AUS.
On the other side of the conflict, there was no pause for apparent German approval before support started flowing.
The Internationale had experienced it’s own tumultuous elections in 1936. In the Union of Britain, the Maximist faction of Oswald Mosley made large gains, but had to settle for a coalition rather than full control of the government. Christian Socialists were the victors in the Italian Socialist Republic. In France, the Jacobins didn’t just win the election, they won in the streets, kicking off their victory with a massive purge as part of their effort to form the perfect revolutionary state.
Days after the CSA’s initial territory was consolidated, all 3 nations pledged to support Jack Reed’s efforts. France and Britain sent volunteer divisions and air squadrons, Italy provided a division. But alongside these divisions came several “International brigades”. They were from all over Europe-German labor activists and exiles living in France, Dutch Syndicalists motivated by the upcoming election, anti-German Belgian revolutionaries, Ukrainian socialists, Spanish socialists, Russians who fled following Wrangel’s takeover, and even a KMT battalion from the Chinese Republic that controlled much of the former 8-provinces League.
Closer to the front, Mexican socialists who fled the Synarquist regime organized their own volunteer formations. The friendly governments in Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, and El Salvador also sent volunteers.
As volunteers flooded in, the war would expand on other fronts. Canada held off on taking the Panama canal until after loyalist elements of the US Pacific fleet based there had left. While Caribbean troops landed on June 15th, the American ships sailed straight into a trap. The CSA, happy to flex its Naval might, sent a task force led by defector Hyman Rickover into the Caribbean to catch these stragglers.
On the night of June 17th, they caught the American fleet South of Jamaica. Loyalist sailors had been on high alert for weeks and plagued by dissent among the ranks, with no knowledge of what awaited them. On the other side were highly-motivated CSA sailors who had clearly-set objectives and superior numbers. Not that it helped them much in the unfamiliar conditions of night combat. But with the element of surprise on their side, the Red fleet struck first and maintained a determined pursuit. The Battleship Wyoming unknowingly tried to duel with the former USS Colorado (now CSS Michigan, the name changes that were implemented during and then after the Civil war remain a source of frustration for outsiders) and was destroyed. A lucky torpedo volley crippled the Armored Cruiser Pueblo and left her an easy target. 4 Loyalist destroyers were also lost.
By day, the CSS Yorktown launched her aircraft to attack the survivors. Fighters and Dive Bombers had the most luck in strafing attacks; Dive bomber pilots trained infrequently before the war and only managed to damage the topside structure of the Arizona and Utah. Torpedo bombers were even worse-the US Navy couldn’t maintain a stock of training torpedoes under the depression budget. The aerial torpedoes in service were designed by the Goat Island Naval Station without any insight into foreign techniques and the aforementioned lack of live testing. Unsurprisingly, the lone hit recorded (on the USS Idaho) was a dud. No consolation at all to MacArthur, the Navy had just been defeated by poorly-organized mutineers with no damage done in return. Adding to that, the messy industrial situation in Loyalist territory meant that repairs for the extensive damage done to their ships would be a low priority.
The source of more pressing issues was of course the unexpected Mexican advance. At Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo, and El Paso, scattered border defenses surrendered immediately to the massed Mexican troops that charged into Texas. Smaller elements of the Army advanced on Las Cruces and Tuscon, while the other great concentration of troops hit the flank of the PSA troops advancing from Yuma. Probing attacks were also launched from Tijuana and Calexico with limited success-the border was lightly-guarded but the Goldshirt paramilitaries involved in these advances lacked training and heavy weapons.
Still, General Keyes couldn’t reposition his troops fast enough, and was powerless to stop the Advance into Arizona and New Mexico.The best MacArthur could hope to do was concede these states and hope the Mexicans were satisfied with taking them. Mild civilian resistance was all Mexican troops had to deal with for the 2 weeks of their advance. It went quickly, non motorized though they were.
As June went on, MacArthur found himself forced to abandon more states. New troops just weren’t coming in fast enough. Minnesota was falling to Red Guards at a rapid pace, and another Red uprising had taken control of Des Moines. Oklahoma would be written off for the time being as well due to the heavy Minutemen resistance springing up in most major cities. Federal troops concentrated their efforts on Longist pockets in Kansas and Nebraska instead while they organized for a push on the key city in the Midwest: St. Louis.
St. Louis was in a unique position by June 1937. Dissent had never died off following the March 12 conflict. After the Pittsburgh protests and the CSA revolt, Red Guard fighters in the city and surrounding countryside rallied to take the city. The fight took a strange turn when another group chose to ally with the Socialists: Anarchists belonging to the so-called “free territory of the Midwest”. The Makhnovists were already in the process of destroying all nearby bridges over the Mississippi river when they offered to ally with the Syndicalist and Vanguardist militias in St. Louis against the “reactionary thugs” of both MacArthur and Long. Knowing that reinforcements would not be quick to arrive, the alliance was agreed upon without much debate. There was certainly Anarchy in St. Louis from then on, in terms of chaos, that is. National Guard forces and Minutemen both converged on the city in a three-way stalemate, with each side counting on help from their faction to arrive first. Lacking the weaponry of the NG or the numbers of the Anarchist-Leftist alliance, the Minutemen fared the worst in this fight, and were confined to the very outskirts of the St. Louis area.
MacArthur understood the threat posed by this destruction, of course. There was a very real danger of Loyalist land being cut in two if the city couldn’t be secured. But securing the city meant little if the surrounding countryside was under enemy control. For this reason MacArthur sent troops to try and hold Southern Illinois and Indiana while directing spare forces in Missouri to delay both AUS and CSA advances.
Close to DC, he sent troops to harass the flanks of AUS forces who had charged recklessly through Eastern Virginia to link up with Minutemen forces as far West as Roanoke and directed the Navy to oversee a resupply effort for what he hoped to be a long siege in Norfolk. Air Corps planes also hammered pockets of resistance in West Virginia and Kentucky.
Huey Long, ever the opportunist, was more than willing to push through the now-unguarded Texas border. He made a radio announcement addressing the People of Texas that urged them to rise up against the “half-wit government” responsible for letting Mexico advance into their state.”
After two weeks of R&R, AUS forces involved in the battle for Sulphur charged across the border into Orange, joined by advances out of Texarkana and Shreveport. MacArthur and Keyes expected this, but their only possible response was to try and assemble a defensive line further East around Dallas and Houston. In Virginia, General Moseley’s troops were nearing the Kentucky border in the furthest east Appalachian corner of the state, but their march towards Norfolk was halted by coastal artillery based there and over in Hampton. Marines and Regular Army troops manned a well-fortified defensive line that would not be cracked anytime soon.
Over on the west Coast, the Mexican declaration of war was frightening for the PSA, but the willingness of state authorities in Idaho and Nevada to join them kept the momentum of their advance high. Knowing that the Mexican Army’s decision to attack all along the border was surely diluting their fighting strength, General Arnold ordered the California National Guard to stand firm.

The situation by June 25th.

Your belated update for the day.
 
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Maciej-Kamil

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Your description of St. Louis was great, and it is indeed an interesting place with all three factions fighting each other.

It's also a good thing, that Long received so much support, while the USA got none - this will make this war much easier.
 
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Specialist290

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As the United States falls further into chaos, opportunists continue to gnaw away at the edges. The increasing radicalization of the Third Internationale powers is concerning, both for their own sakes and in light of the influence their volunteers and "advisors" could have on the revolutionary CSA as well.
 
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stnylan

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The collapse of America accelerates.
 
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Probably going to bring this to a swift end.

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Rewriting a year-old AAR from memory and incorporating new lore for entire continents was always going to be a tall order. Now that I'm out of my comfort zone and on the verge of a full-time job, I don't feel too hot about writing a world-spanning story based off of this. I have a good idea of how the American war will end, and that's it (The AFP is an isolationist party here, after all). Instead, I've been thinking of an entirely from scratch Kaiserreich story instead that flips this one upside down. Essentially, the American civil war is won by the Combined Syndicates of America, only for internal squabbles to end in a coup by the AMERICAN NAZBOL GANG Vanguardists, who then bring the breakaway states to heel and try to square off with Japan. Let's just say it won't go as well for this America as it did historically.
 
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stnylan

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