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March 19, 1967. Washington D.C., United States.

Gregory Madison, Ph.D. (History), entered the Library of Congress with his notebook and a sense of purpose. He was about to become one of the first historians to read some of the Depression cabinet documents, finally being unlocked after their 30 years in storage.

30 years, he thought, was a long time. A very long time. Madison was in his forties - the grey hairs had begun to spring up, finally showing a physical sign of the many years he had endured. Madison had landed on Utah Beach with the 8th Infantry Division as a private on D-day, and had served in the East, too, fighting in the Philippines following the redeployment of the 8th to the Pacific. And now, he began to look at the decisions which lead up to the war.

Madison's trip to the Library, however, was not without issue. For one, the relatively new Beltway around D.C. had its problems - the traffic was terrible. Following on, he'd run into someone on the way in, and nearly knocked him down a flight of stairs. Madison's excitement, however, meant that he kept going, ignoring the person he'd just knocked over.

Entering the Library, the desk beckoned for him. Books, archives, records of all sorts were kept here - one of the greatest libraries in the modern world. He'd had his name down to review these documents for two years now, and was similar to a small child just before Christmas - he could hardly hide his anticipation.

The lady at the desk asked for some identification, which Madison duly delivered. She sighed. 'Are you going to be back here in 30 years to review the decisions leading to another war, Mr Madison?' looking at the paper next to her, announcing further advisors to be sent to South Vietnam within the next month. Madison smiled. "While I know that the Viets are tough, surely this isn't something America will involve herself in - it's a nationalist fight, and those are the ones that we can't get in the way of. Especially after what happened to the French in '56. Bobby wouldn't be that stupid - his brother might have been, especially with the Cuba debacle, but Bobby's far more sensible than Jack ever was."

"I hope you're right, Mr. Madison. Here they are. Cabinet Documents, 1936."


Author's Notes: This AAR utilises WiF by Fernando Torres, thanks to him. This is my second attempt at a US WiF AAR - they're a lot of fun to play, especially in the European war.
While the classification system I am using was not implemented until the Nixon Administration (Executive Order 11652, March 8, 1972), it is generally accepted now that there is a 30-year wait before the release of classified documents, and as such, this makes it more consistent from a storytelling perspective.
 
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Early Days

March 19, 1967, Washington D.C., United States

Gregory Madison proceeded into a booth in the back corner of the Library of Congress. In his hand, he held documents marked TOP SECRET and OFFICIAL EYES ONLY, as well as one set marked only for the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Sitting down, he opened the first report: a summary of the United States economy at the beginning of 1936, as well as the minutes of the first Cabinet meeting of '36.


Oval Office
The White House
January 1, 1936

SUMMARY OF THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The beginning of 1936 is looking towards the beginnings of a slow recovery for our economy. The Great Depression continues to hurt the nation - our production capacity is still below 1929 levels, and there are signs that a recession could be on the way. However, the New Deal programs continue to stimulate some growth for the economy, as well as encouraging confidence at a time when it is in desperate need.

Great infrastructure investments across the country have improved many of the nation's roads, schools and government facilities. Furthermore, naval investment has meant that the United States Navy will take delivery of the USS Yorktown at the end of September.

It is recommended, now, that some economic expansion should be encouraged. While we will not completely feel the benefits due to the depth of the depression, the expansion and creation of new factories will surely assist the creation of some permanent employment, as well as stimulating growth through the creation of more goods.

Attached is a range of economic reviews, as well as an idea on some research projects that business and scientific leaders are undertaking, both of their own accord and on behalf of the United States Government.

Henry Morgenthau
Secretary of the Treasury


Madison's notes on this brief document moved from the optimism that Morgenthau seemed to possess about the US economy, through the investment in factories to the interest in the construction of the Yorktown as an economic policy. What could this spell for future US projects?
 
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TheHyphenated1

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Aha! Haven't seen you in quite some time... Great to see you starting an AAR. I'm a big fan of the false document narrative device. :)
 

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I know, I know. I blew up my power supply, lost everything. Been re-installing HoI2 off an iPod.
 

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State of Affairs

March 19, 1967, Washington D.C., United States

Madison, intrigued by the report regarding the Yorktown, flipped to a report by Secretary of War George Dern on the state of the Armed Services at the beginning of 1936. This report had been de-classified earlier - much had already been made of the buildup to war that the US forced itself into all the way to 1941.


Oval Office
The White House
January 1, 1936

ARMED SERVICES SUMMARY - 1936

United States Army
4 Infantry Divisions
- > All are at approx. 40% of combat capacity
- > 1 division deployed to the Philippines
1 Cavalry Division
- > At approx. 40% of combat capacity
7th Cavalry Brigade (Experimental armor formation)
- > Currently at approx. 30% of brigade strength - only 10% of divisional strength.
7 Garrison Divisions
- > Deployed across the Pacific at Wake, Midway, Bataan, Mindanao, Johnson, Samoa and Phoenix Islands.

United States Navy
2 Lexington-class aircraft carriers
2 Ranger-class aircraft carriers
- > USS Yorktown to be commissioned Oct. 1, 1936
3 Colorado-class battleships
11 New York-class battleships
1 Arkansas-class battleship
6 New Orleans-class heavy cruisers
- > USS Quincy to be commissioned Jun. 11, 1936
10 Pensacola-class heavy cruisers
10 Omaha-class light cruisers
3 Farragut-class destroyer squadrons
23 Clemson-class destroyer squadrons
2 S-boat submarine flotillas
2 Perch-class submarine flotillas
2 Barracuda-class submarine flotillas

Appendix I - US Army Air Force strength
4 Douglas B-18 Bolo squadrons
2 Curtiss P-36 squadrons

George H. Dern
Secretary of War


The mere existence of the experimental armored brigade was news to Madison. Patton's command would become significant later in the war with the formation of the armored corps to out-gun the Germans, but for now he was left with a smidge of his future.

Madison took a break, standing up and heading to the toilet. On the way, he noticed a man studying intently a few booths away from him, and couldn't help but notice that he was somewhat familiar...
 
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Hmmm, most interesting. I think the format promises to throw up some most interesting commentaries, looking back on events from 30 years should allow more perspective on events and actions, which will be unusual but in a good way.

The addition of a 'modern' plot (for I presume Madison will do more than just dryly read archives) could be the icing on the cake.

I'll certainly be following this one. :D
 

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El Pip - Of course. While I personally do enjoy some historical documents and this sort of documentation, I do also understand that it can be amazingly dry.

That said, it's hard to make any HoI2 game for the United States for at least the first year interesting...I'm going to probably only do 3 actual points in time up until the Spanish Civil War.

Update on the way.
 

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Building an Empire

March 19, 1967, Washington D.C., United States

Madison now looked at two different documents - one marked OFFICIAL EYES ONLY, the other TOP SECRET. The first was a schedule for the expansion of the US - both the production of the Yorktown and the Quincy, as well as the expansion and construction of factories in most major cities in the US. The second, however...


Oval Office
The White House
January 1, 1936

REPORT ON INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY THE UNITED STATES

The United States has been slowly expanding its intelligence agenda, aiming to stop the infiltration of government departments by foreign agents as well as gather information on the orders of battle for nations which are believed to pose a threat to the US.


Germany

The Third Reich, as it calls itself, is rapidly expanding its armed forces. It has breached the Treaty of Versailles' armed forces limit, as well as manoeuvring to re-militarize the Rhineland. Germany has the potential to become a major threat to European interests, and must be watched carefully.


Japan

The Japanese Empire poses the most direct threat to US interests - the IJN is the most powerful navy in the Pacific, and Japan has the ability to strike both at China, as shown in the 1931 invasion of Manchuria, as well as the interests of the United States in the Philippines and the Pacific.


The Soviet Union

The communists pose the most significant ideological threat to the US, however, they do not pose a direct military threat yet. The Red Army is made up of Great War-era infantry and the Soviet Navy is a mess. However, the endless supply of resources that the Soviets have could pose a threat, with the potential to build a land army that could significantly threaten Europe AND Asia.

George H Dern
Secretary of War


Madison was shocked. The US recognised the Soviets as a threat in 1936. As well as the Japanese. Yet they failed to move both times - how could they be so STUPID? Madison hoped that the lessons of the past taught the government something for the future - maybe that is why Vietnam is so important, he thought. He left the idea behind, instead noting down the intelligence analyses of the three nations, intending on comparing them to later reports from the government.
 
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El Pip - Of course. While I personally do enjoy some historical documents and this sort of documentation, I do also understand that it can be amazingly dry.
Don't get me wrong, I'd be happy with a just historical update only approach (I share your interest in that regard). I was just commenting that the additional plot on top was a welcome bonus.

On the update, I wonder what Madison expected the 1936 US to do? The flip side of 30 years of perspective is the danger of 20:20 hindsight I suppose.
 

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On the update, I wonder what Madison expected the 1936 US to do? The flip side of 30 years of perspective is the danger of 20:20 hindsight I suppose.
You may have to wait and see - the United States may be a different place to the one we know and love...
 

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The Year Ahead

July 27, 1967, National War College, Washington D.C., United States

"...and thus, the early days of World War II can in fact be traced back to the conflict between Fascist and Communist in the Spanish Civil War - the first of many clashes between the three great ideologies leading into the war. The US, however, was still trapped in its rut - the Great Depression continued to cause damage to the US economy, damage that would not be repaired with anything but the war."

Madison concluded his lecture, then followed on with 'Questions?'

'Yes, you at the front,' offering to a USMC lieutenant.

'Mr. Madison, why wasn't the threat from the Axis and the Soviets recognised with their interventionism in the Spanish war? Especially with intervention by two fascist states - surely this rang alarm bells about both Hitler's and Mussolini's intent?'

'One must remember that at the time, domestically there was huge opposition to intervention. If there wasn't such opposition, Wilson would have had us join the League of Nations, and none of this would have kicked off. Pig-headed isolationism entrenched by the Harding, Coolidge and Hoover administrations meant that Roosevelt, combined with his domestic problems, faced opposition to ANY country interfering in the affairs of a third party. FDR had to concentrate on the basics first - the New Deal and his own policies - before concentrating on Europe.'

'What of the Japanese?' a USN commander asked.

"This is also pre-Marco Polo. The threat to the US from the Japanese wasn't recognised until Marco Polo - and various measures were used later, from Pitman to the oil embargo to the Lend-Lease shipments to the Nationalists provided a headache for the Japs."

"You mentioned domestic support. Surely, with Germany, Japan and the USSR all rising, there was some groundswell?"

"There were minorities, but not greatly. The vast majority of the population was apathetic to Europe - no direct impact helps, a lot. Roosevelt seemed to choose the right path - his landslide victory over Landon on the back of non-interventionism and the New Deal sealed that."

"Surely the Allies have some part to be blamed in this mess? I mean, France allowed the Germans to re-militarize, eventually bringing the war to them..." chimed up a US Army major.

"Yes, but France herself was crippled. The Third Republic was plagued by huge internal issues, and was without the unity that it carried into World War I. The state would have shattered of its own accord, with the fall of the Fourth Republic and the French Civil War being the eventual conclusion - the war merely prolonged the fate of France. Okay, that's enough for today. Thank you very much." Madison received some applause as the gathered officers and officials proceeded to depart.

Towards the back, someone packed up their black notebook and proceeded to leave through the rear entrance of the lecture hall...
 
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El Pip

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Towards the back, someone packed up their black notebook and proceeded to leave through the rear entrance of the lecture hall...[/font]
Ahh the long fingers of intrigue. I wonder what Madison is doing that is attracting such attention? I look forward to finding out certainly. :)
 

Karmic Knight`

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Well thats quite an uncommon and most intresting format.
Count me in as a reader.
I concur, the style is very interesting. I will also follow this.
 

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The Spanish Civil War - A History

August 16, 1967, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom

Madison entered the lecture theatre back as a student for the first time in years. The lecturer, James Cowell, PhD., was the world's leading researcher on the Spanish Civil War, and was well-known for his sympathies for the Republican cause. He was also a cruel taskmaster for a professor - known for sending students and colleagues into Spain for research on the Republicans because he knew the risks that would have to be taken, due to the Spanish blackout on all things Civil War-related, especially to do with the Communists.

"So, the Spanish Civil War. Today I'll give you a basic timeline and some early analysis of events."

"March, 1936. Amidst growing instability, an election. Two main fronts run - the National Front with Franco as head, and the Popular Front with the current government. The Populars win, but immediately the election is challenged. Government control begins to collapse."

"As government control collapses, Franco begins to make moves within the army to gain loyalty from various groups within the armed services. By July, the Nationalists had readied, and proceeded to use the army to try to fell the legitimate Republican government."



"Immediately, nations of the world sought to intervene in this ideological battle. The Germans, Soviets and Italians all intervened, providing men and matérial, the most notable example being the armoured divisions. Both sides began to construct fortifications across the country, with the most powerful being in Madrid, still nominally the Republican capital, and Burgos, where Nationalist command was based."

"Unfortunately, the decadent democracies of France and Britain refused to intervene. Their decisive intervention could have turned the tide; instead, they sat by and left the Republicans to rot."

"Many expected the war to be slow - it was quite the opposite. Both Nationalist and Republican forces advanced in various areas, cutting each other off, encircling and destroying each other. Eventually, however, the Nationalists gained the upper hand, after destroying all Republican forces south of Badajoz."




"The intervention of other nations could have nipped the fascist threat in the bud. Instead, they simply allowed the Nazis to--"

Gunfire rang across the room. Two men, both in dark trenchcoats, were standing in the middle of the room, firing at Cowell. People screamed and ducked. Madison hit the floor, waiting and hoping that they didn't move around the room.

One of the men spoke. "That's for Ireland, you schwachkopf!"
 
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El Pip

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Well that's unfortunate, though somewhat strange; For Ireland but using German.

And sadly it appears somethings haven't changed, some idiots still think killing people will help problems in Ireland rather than make them worse. :(
 

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Finding the Square Root of -1

August 22, 1967, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., United States

Madison had returned to the US immediately after the shooting, purchasing the first possible flight. As soon as was convenient, he returned to the Library, wondering what the Nazis could have been doing that could cause the life of a British researcher into the Spanish Civil War to be killed.

Madison reflected. Instead, they simply allowed the Nazis to.... what? There was the Guernica bombing, but that couldn't have been it - that was simply a massive bombing run by the Luftwaffe.

He returned to combat statistics again, reviewed Nationalist force strengths, German volunteer divisions and units, German home front issues, and all of the above.

Madison spent two or three days analysing every aspect of the Civil War. He still came up with nothing. Frustrated, he noted down all of anything that could be important, and packed up to leave.

Two men observed silently, watching Madison's every move.

"Could he have cracked it?"

"We haven't yet. It's going to take time, but the worry is that we don't have enough time."
 
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Striker475

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Karmic - Welcome!

El Pip - What the Real IRA did is an absolute tragedy. I'm so pleased that there was the mass protest today - one must not stand for terrorism in any form.