The American Phoenix: The History of the United States in the Second American Civil War and the Second Weltkrieg

Introduction

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Introduction

The history of the Second American Civil War, and the United States' contribution in the Second Weltkrieg, though controversial and hotly debated to this day, has long been considered by historians to have been one of the most important stories of the 20th century.

The Second Civil War itself is often seen as a dress rehearsal for the Second Weltkrieg, where the US itself, as well as nearly every nation involved in the latter war, tested out new doctrines and technologies that would become standard and contribute to the mass destruction brought upon nearly every continent around the world in the 1940s. Twenty-two different nations would approve the sending of divisions to participate in the Second Civil War, and individual volunteers from nearly every country would travel to fight in the war that was seen as the battle for Democracy’s safety, for Syndicalism’s global revolution, or for the order and stability craved by authoritarians of the far-right. The Second Civil War itself would have a lasting impact on the culture of the United States; the music, literature, and scars of war lingering in the American psyche and leading to countless films, shows, books, and more recently, games. Its effects and outcome would play a decisive part in the following Second Weltkrieg (often grouped together as one war in popular culture, though in fact several consecutive wars.) Especially notable was the fact that in early 1936, the United States was barely even considered to be a great power.

Politically divided and suffering from a long and devastating economic depression, the United States was a weak country with a military smaller than Portugal’s, and an economy dwarfed by Germany’s. Yet for all its weaknesses, the world recognized its potential for power. The Reichspakt, Entente, and Internationale, as well as other, unaligned yet ambitious nations, all watched it closely, wary that control of the country could lead to a decisive edge in the inevitable war in Europe which hung on the horizon.
The American Phoenix Introduction Picture.jpg

Pictured: The United States in 1936.
 
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Kautz

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Hey everyone! I have officially started my first HOI AAR, after doing one and a portion of a second AAR in Stellaris. This AAR will be in a history book format, with occasional "primary source" accounts from eyewitnesses involved. I am using the Kaiserreich mod, as well as the Kaiserreich music mods (for my own personal enjoyment, not that you will get to see any of that, though I highly recommend them if you are a fan of historical music.)

I played as the United States, as you will probably be able to tell, though I will give perspective and information about other nations involved, especially allied and enemy nations.My play through goes from 1936-1950, and I have already completed all the gameplay. Unfortunately, Kaiserreich got updated my last day of playing and a game crash prevented me from getting screenshots of the conclusion of the final war, but otherwise I have a book full of notes and a large collection of screenshots from in game. I will try to use historical images and self-made maps when I can find ones in the public domain, otherwise I will use my in-game screenshots.

If you have any questions, or criticisms, please feel free to ask or let me know. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it!
 
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Chapter 1: The Road to Civil War

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Chapter 1: The Road to Civil War

The Causes of the Second Civil War

Historians have long debated the causes of the Second American Civil War. Many point to the 1932 reelection of Hoover by the House of Representatives instead of the Electoral College as the point that broke Americans’ trust in the Federal government and democracy itself. Others believe it began earlier with the rise in radicalism due to the Great Depression throughout the late ‘20s and early ‘30s that affected millions of Americans and caused them to view their fellow countrymen, not as neighbors, friends, or family, but as a threat to their own life and liberty. A few even point to the end of the First Civil War, and the failure of the Federal government to reconstruct the South.

Whatever the true cause, or causes, may be, by January 1936 it was clear that once again the nation was dangerously divided. The whispers of possible war that had been on Americans lips for years were now openly spoken in the streets. In the Red Belt of the Midwest and the Great Lakes, Syndicalist politicians openly defied the Federal government and called for radical changes to the nation. In the former Confederate States of America, the authoritarian leader of the America First Party, Huey Long, consolidated power with the backing of Big Business and the bloodthirsty and racist Silver Legion in a bid to take power for himself to rebuild America under his strongman populist ideas.
Huey Long.jpg

Pictured: Governor Huey Long

As these new radical parties grew in power, the military establishment watched with increased worry that the Republic was failing. Top generals, including Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur, privately believed that the era of democracy was coming to an end, and that if either of the radicals won the election of 1936, the military would have to step in and declare martial law to save the country from itself.
General Douglas MacArthur.jpg

Pictured: General Douglas MacArthur

Not everyone in the United States believed war was inevitable, however. Senators John Nance Garner (D-TX) and Robert Ferdinand Wagner I (D-NY) introduced their Garner-Wagner Bill in a bid to help bring the country out of the Great Depression and restore the US’s former glory. The bill contained provisions for Federal unemployment subsidies, as well as work projects designed to help unemployed people get back to work building infrastructure across the economically devastated country. Despite being a Republican opposed to government unemployment spending, US President Herbert Hoover agreed to support the bill in a bid to bring the divided factions together, and promised not to veto the bill again as he had done to previous attempts to provide unemployment subsidies. The bill did gain the support of the Democratic, Republican, and Progressive parties, enabling it to pass the House of Representatives, but Huey Long, and the leader of the Socialist Party of America, Jack Reed, were furious at being left out from having any say in its contents and demanded that senators from their parties reject the bill. It looked as though the Garner-Wagner Bill would fail, further inflaming tensions in the US, but last minute support from Southern Democrats after a passionate speech on the Senate floor by Senator Garner on February 25th, 1936, enabled it to pass with 49 votes, a majority of just one vote in the Senate of 1936 with 96 seats.
John Reed.jpg

Pictured: John Reed
Senator's Break Ranks.jpg

Pictured: A memo presented to President Hoover on January 27th.


The passing of the Garner-Wagner Bill provided some modest, yet desperately needed relief to Americans who had been suffering for over a decade from record-breaking unemployment, but the future of the country was still hanging in the balance especially when Black Monday hit on February 6th, 1936,causing the political divide to grow stronger. The AFP and the SPA attacked the bill from both the extreme left and the extreme right and used the anger of their supporters to organize armed paramilitary groups. Hundreds of partisan militia regiments were formed over the Summer, and political violence increased dramatically, boosted by extremist media such as Longist Father Charles Coughlin’s Golden Hour of the Shrine of the Little Flower radio show, and Totalist John Studer’s newspaper the Militant. Political opposition to the Garner-Wagner Bill further inspired SPA and AFP politicians to run for office outside of their political strongholds in the Red Belt and the former Confederacy.
Charles Coughlin.jpg

Pictured: Charles Coughlin

The spread of extremist ideologies across the country and the rise in violent militia clashes, assassinations, and other partisan violence terrified the political establishment, leading to Senator Thomas Hawking (D-MN) introducing his plan to Congress on April 1st, 1936. The Hawking Plan called for the funding of a national relief plan funded by taxes on large American corporations, in exchange for large tax cuts once the recovery was over. Unsurprisingly, the plan caused outrage amongst the far-right and far-left, though it had enough support from the three moderate Democratic, Republican, and Farmer-Labor parties to pass, earning 49 votes in the Senate, and was signed into law on April 8th.

The strategic-minded Senator Hawking also planned for an Agency to help distribute relief, and organized its headquarters to be established in Minnesota, a critical state caught in a delicate balance between the more moderate FLP and the more extreme SPA, in an attempt to bring the state into the hands of the Federal government. Senator Hawking and members of the Hoover Administration saw the SPA, who held much of the US’s industrial power in their hands, as a greater threat than the AFP, which held the more rural South firmly in their control.

The traditional American political system, and its slight majority in Congress still hung in the balance in April 1936, however. Several special elections were due to be held in Washington and New Jersey, where the three traditional parties’ split votes appeared to give an edge to their radical opponents. Political maneuverings between the three mainstream parties led to all three agreeing to support the Democratic candidates to prevent the election of the extremists. In Washington, Democrat John Main Coffee defeated Syndicalist John F. McKay in a narrow victory. In New Jersey, Democrat John Gerald Milton defeated famed aviator and Longist Charles Lindbergh, who was a sympathetic figure after the kidnapping and murder of his son a few years before, in a nail biter election which was won by only 256 votes.

The political strategy of national unity against radicalism had paid off in both elections and convinced the three parties’ leadership of the necessity of such a move in the general elections coming up in November. Behind the scenes, top Democratic, Republican, and Farmer-Labor leaders negotiated forming a National Unity Party to prevent Long or Reed from taking the presidency. In a move to chip away at SPA power in the industrial heart of America, the parties agreed to nominate Governor Floyd B. Olson (FL-MN) as the National Unity Presidential Candidate, and Governor Quentin Roosevelt (R-NY) as the Vice Presidential Candidate. Long and Reed, naturally, were outraged and claimed this National Unity Party was an affront to American Democracy and was a transparent attempt to keep the American people’s will from being enacted. Tensions from the nomination exploded on May 1st, 1936 when there was widespread rioting and street battles, especially between Longist Minutemen and Syndicalist Red Guards across the country. Authorities laid the blame on the SPA, causing outrage amongst Syndicalists across the country, and increasing radicalization in the South, where many turned to Long as a beacon of stability against the rising menace of Syndicalism. It looked increasingly as though even the National Unity ticket would not prevent bloodshed during and after the election.
Floyd Olson.jpg

Pictured: Floyd Olson
Quentin Roosevelt (2).jpg

Pictured: Quentin Roosevelt


Seeing conflict as a likely outcome, NUP politicians proposed expanding industry outside of the Midwest in states that could be counted on to not support Long or Reed. On May 20th, 1936, the New Industrial Act was signed into law after Vice President Charles Curtiss used his tiebreaking vote to pass the bill in the Senate after opposition from Southern Democrats who wanted industrialization in their rural states. The construction of factories in Colorado and Iowa, and the building of new shipyards in New York, as well as the lack of representation in the NUP ticket led to several members of the Texas and Tennessee State Senates announcing their defections to the AFP in June 1936, putting the states’ legislatures in the hands of Longists. To make matters worse, a record-breaking heat wave known as the “Great Heatwave of ‘36” struck the United States at the same time as political violence spiraled out of control. The “Red Summer,” as it came to be known, saw the country on the brink of collapse, and there were doubts that an election would even take place at all. Cracks began to form in the NUP and Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur began drawing up plans to seize power should the situation continue to worsen. The Great Heatwave itself would last until September 4th and take the lives of over five thousand Americans, a number which would pale in comparison to the calamity awaiting the United States the next year.

In July, 1936, with weeks to go until the NUP National Convention in Sacramento, California, disputes between the various factions of the NUP were putting the entire project at risk until Governor Olson, Governor Roosevelt, and Senator Garner got together and forced a compromise, promising key positions to Democrats in the President’s cabinet despite the Democrats being notably left out of the presidential ticket. Any fears of the NUP disbanding were put to rest and on July 31, 1936 Governor Floyd Olson officially accepted the party’s nomination for President of the United States in front of a massive crowd outside of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento.
Compromise.jpg

Pictured: A memo for leaders of the Democratic, Republican, and Farmer-Labor parties addressing the compromise.


As the election neared closer, the AFP and the SPA made political maneuvers to spread their influence outside of their regional strongholds. The AFP concentrated on winning Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia, where they had strong, but still minority support. Long visited each state on a tour during the months of August and September, and gave rousing speeches, declaring that when he became president “every man will be a king” and criticizing Olson as unfit for the presidency due to his stomach cancer, insinuating that even if he were to be elected, “he would not live long in the Oval Office.”

Reed likewise tried to expand outside of the Red Belt into New England, which had large populations of former industrial workers out of a job, and into the Great Plains, promising Native American enfranchisement, and support for tribes. President Hoover, more worried about syndicalism spreading than about Long’s ambitions, acted to blunt Reed’s outreach. Working with members of the NUP, he pushed the Indian Citizenship Act to ensure the loyalty of Native American tribes in the Great Plains. Despite strong opposition from the AFP, the SPA was effectively forced to back the NUP-sponsored bill, which passed the Senate on September 29th, 1936 by a vote of 70-26. Reed’s plan to spread SPA influence into the West had failed, yet Long’s power had been allowed to advance throughout the former Confederacy, and beyond, unchecked.

The US Army under Douglas MacArthur had been quietly, yet nervously sitting on the sidelines throughout the Red Summer, watching the simmering tension grow, while radicalism continued to rise across the country. The Army was small, weak, politically divided, and had not seen action since the Spanish-American War and the Filipino Insurrection at the start of the 20th century. Recognizing that war was on the horizon, and fearing that Long or Reed could win the presidency and would have the backing of his rivals, General George S. Patton Junior and General Smedley Butler, MacArthur began his first step towards ensuring he would be able to seize power if his worst fears were realized. On October 1st, he ordered General Walter Krueger, and General Lucian Prescott to draw up plans in the event of a Civil War, code named War Plan Blue.

War Plan Blue’s first stage was to secure as many states as possible for the Federal government, especially border states with divided loyalties like Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. The plan called for the US Army to work with Loyalist governors to secure control of state National Guard units to quickly seize strategic locations such as armories, fuel depots, bridges, ports, and industrial centers (and especially New York City, which was considered a top priority). In states where the governors’ loyalties could not be ensured, the US Army would attempt to seize state capitals and weapons depots before orders could be given to National Guard units. Loyal Army commanders would mobilize police forces and Loyalist militias to act as an auxiliary force in the event hostilities broke out, and states where rebel opposition was overwhelming would be evacuated as quickly as possible, bringing as much military equipment as possible with them while destroying anything of value left behind. MacArthur also commanded that his trusted second-in-command, Dwight D. Eisenhower, be put in charge of Army units stationed around Washington DC to “defend” the capital against any offensives from Syndicalists or Longists.

Once the lines were clearly drawn, the US would attempt to knock out the Syndicalists first, as they were seen by far as the greater threat due to their likely hold of a plurality of American industry. National Guard and regular Army units would launch a pincer movement around any Syndicalist ports on the Atlantic Coast to deny them access to supplies and volunteers from their Syndicalist comrades in Europe. In the Southwest, troops would dig in and attempt to keep the AUS contained while in the Midwest, an offensive would attempt to drive towards Chicago and knock it out as quickly as possible. The Navy would attempt to first defeat any Syndicalist naval elements in the Atlantic and keep Longist naval elements away from strategic ports from Boston down to Norfolk.

To further bolster the Army for what seemed like an inevitable conflict, the US War Department was expanded on October 28th, roughly a week before the election, by executive order from President Hoover on the advice of General MacArthur. The move was vocally criticized by Reed and Long as proof that the Federal government was afraid of its own people. Additionally, an intelligence agency, the OSS was founded on November 2nd, 1936, on the advice of Canadian intelligence head William Stephenson, the day before the election was to take place. The Canadians themselves had been watching the developing situation in their southern neighbor and were concerned about the potential of having a Syndicalist power to their South while they were preparing for their planned invasion of the British Isles.
OSS.jpg

Pictured: Founding of the OSS

The stage was set for the election of 1936, while the nation, and the world, held their breaths to see what the outcome would be, and if that outcome would lead to all-out war.
 
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Chapter 2: Ultimatums and Drawn Lines

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Chapter 2: Ultimatums and Drawn Lines

The Election of 1936 and the Fragmenting of the United States

November 3rd, 1936 was a chaotic day for American voters. Voter intimidation and sporadic violence occurred across the Red Belt and in the South especially, though there were incidents in nearly every state. As polls closed at 8PM on the West Coast, the counting began.

It would take five days before the results all came in and the election could be called. Floyd Olson had won in a landslide with 287 electoral votes from thirty-two states compared to 100 for Long from nine states, and 144 for Reed from seven states. Congress and the Senate had turned out a little bit closer, with the AFP performing well in Tennessee and North Carolina, while the SPA had picked up seats in Minnesota and New Jersey. The National Unity gambit had paid off handsomely for the establishment parties, however. It appeared that disaster had been avoided and the United States might back away from the edge. MacArthur himself had spent the week at Fort Myer, just outside of Washington DC, anxiously awaiting the results to see if he would need to order Eisenhower’s troops into DC. Though the election had turned out favorably, he did not yet feel that the danger had passed and stayed in position to move on Washington.
AAR Election of 1936 Map.jpg

Pictured: The Election of 1936. Blue=State won by the NUP, Red=State won by the SPA, Grey=State won by the AFP
The SPA and the AFP contested the results of the election almost immediately, and claimed that there had been a widespread conspiracy of voter fraud and intimidation against their supporters outside of their political strongholds (ironic given that such a thing had occurred in the states that they had won in their favor, though not necessarily at the bidding of Long and Reed themselves, nor is there any doubt that they would not have won the states that they did without irregularities.) Hoover responded by quickly throwing his support behind Olson, stating that the American people had decided to back the best man for the job, and that casting doubts about the election was un-American and dangerous.

As the situation remained tenuous in the United States, around the world, radicalism continued to spread. On November 21st, Norway followed the British and French examples by overthrowing its King, establishing a Syndicalist government, and joining the Third Internationale, a move which was cheered by Reed and the SPA as a step in the right direction towards global revolution. In Brazil, National Populist Integralists won their election on December 9th, putting Gustavo Dodt Barroso into power. Huey Long wrote Barroso a letter congratulating him on his victory and expressing hope that there would be close ties and mutual support between the two. The events overseas would soon come back to influence the events in the United States.
Integralist Brazil.jpg

Pictured: Newspaper headlines telling of the Integralist victory in Brazil

The first shock to the system to take place after the election were SPA-backed strikes that began on New Year's Day, 1937. Unions affiliated with the SPA began their strike in the morning, bringing the already fragile US economy to a halt. They demanded that negotiations begin to right what they saw as a fraudulent election. On January 20th, 1937, Olson was sworn in at his inauguration in the East Portico of the US Capitol Building and the next day he announced that he would meet with Reed to negotiate an end to the strikes after being shown Bureau of Investigation intelligence that the AFL was planning on renouncing its support of Reed and abandoning the strike if negotiations failed. MacArthur sat in the wings, watching carefully, waiting to overthrow the government should the negotiation go “too far”. MacArthur had expressed to Eisenhower that he was afraid Olson, a long time progressive, would give up too many concessions to Reed, and was ready to launch a coup if he felt a line had been crossed.
Olson Announces Negotiations.jpg
Negotiations.jpg

Pictured: White House memos regarding negotiations with Reed.

The negotiations were to take place in Chicago at the City Hall on February 11th, 1937, against the advice of Olson’s cabinet who felt that being in hostile territory was a reckless place for the President of the United States to go to negotiate with traitors. To the South, Long received the news that negotiations were going to take place between Reed and Olson without him being considered an important party. He was reportedly furious, smashing chairs and yelling at his Minutemen bodyguards. He called President Olson and told him that if he were not included, it would mean war. Olson, again against his advisors’ objections, agreed to allow Long to attend.
Negotiations Begin.jpg

Pictured: White House memo regarding the participation of Long in the negotiations.


The Chicago Summit, as the negotiations were called, almost immediately turned disastrous. Despite Olson taking a conciliatory tone and showing genuine interest in compromising, Long and Reed immediately went at each other, yelling and cursing over Olson’s pleas for civility. After about fifteen minutes, Olson managed to get them both to calm down with talks of establishing a Social Security program, which had long been a demand by both Long and Reed. This area of mutual interest kept the talks cool and nearly cordial until Reed demanded an established minimum wage and overtime pay for workers putting in more than forty hours a week. Long went ballistic, accused Olson of being a Syndicalist plant, and threatened to call his Minutemen into the room to have Reed shot for treason. Reed demanded that Long be removed from the meeting after the threat of violence so the Secret Service acted quickly on Olson’s orders and dragged Long out of the building as he kicked, screamed, and declared that it would mean war.

The rest of the meeting went smoothly, and Olson and Reed found many areas where they held common ground and could agree to terms. Unfortunately, however, the meeting was interrupted when Longist Minuteman shot up the front entrance of City Hall, killing three Red Guards and a Secret Service Agent outside, and leading to a thirty-minute gun battle and car chase throughout the streets of Chicago which would leave an additional twenty-two people dead, including four of the Minutemen. Reed, believing the shooting might be a Federal assassination attempt against him that could be blamed on the AFP, pulled out of the meeting, and Secret Service agents quickly rushed Olson away by car to Ashburn Flying Field on the outskirts of Chicago, where he boarded a plane and headed back to Washington DC, his plan of reconciling with the other factions in shreds.
Battle in Chicago.jpg

Pictured: White House memo regarding gun fight in Chicago.

Adding to Olson’s headaches, was a troubling phone call to the Bureau of Investigations reported by a “high-ranking Army officer,” that MacArthur had been planning for and considering launching a coup d’etat against the Federal government during the negotiations. Only President Olson, Vice President Roosevelt, BOI Director Herbert Hoover, and General George Marshall were informed about the planned coup. Fearing that news of the Army’s Chief of Staff plotting to overthrow the democratically elected government at a moment when the country was on the verge of Civil War would only worsen the situation, Olson decided against arresting MacArthur and publicly having him tried. Instead, Hoover publicly revealed that MacArthur was having several extramarital affairs, forcing MacArthur to resign as Chief of Staff. He was sent to command military garrisons in Alaska where he would spend the next three years, safely away from military operations around Washington DC.

On February 19th, 1937, Governor Huey Long, safely back in Louisiana, issued a radio broadcast condemning the American government and calling for President Olson to be overthrown by force. Long gave Olson a thirty-day deadline to step down and give the Presidency over to himself, or he would “face the justice and the wrath of the American people.” The legislatures of nine Southern states, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida, all voted to back Long and declared that they no longer recognized the authority of the Federal government within their borders. Eight of the nine governors backed Long as well, with the exception of the governor of Texas, James Allred (D), who openly condemned the Texas legislature and stated that backing Long was a mistake, but he was soon chased from office by a mob backed by armed Minutemen and was forced to flee to Southern Texas where support for the Federal government was stronger.

The next day, Jack Reed likewise took to the airwaves and stated that the workers of America had to take a stand to protect themselves against the pro-corporate Federal government and the authoritarian Huey Long. Seven governors in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia officially announced their support for Reed and called up their states’ National Guards to begin distributing weapons to workers’ militias. Fighting broke out in Missouri between the loyalist Federal troops, and Red Guard militias who attempted to storm Jefferson Barracks outside of St. Louis to seize arms, though the Red Guards were driven back across the Mississippi River into Illinois after taking heavy casualties. The Governor of Missouri, Lloyd Stark (D), declared his support for Olson and pledged his National Guard units to defend the Federal government.

With large parts of the country now seceding from the United States in all but name and street fighting occurring in every state but Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, and Utah, General Krueger and General Prescott presented War Plan Blue to President Olson on February 21st, 1937. US Army units, along with the Maryland National Guard, and loyalists who had fled Pennsylvania and West Virginia were formed into the newly reinstated Army of the Potomac under the command of General Leslie McNair to defend Washington DC once again against their own countrymen. General Eisenhower, who had been in charge of the troops around DC, was demoted down to a division commander over worries of his loyalty to MacArthur (though historians believe that he was the anonymous officer who blew the whistle on MacArthur’s plot.)

In the Midwest, the Army of the Mississippi was formed under the command of General Lucian Truscott to secure control of a vast stretch of land from Missouri up to Minnesota. Though they succeeded in holding Missouri from Syndicalist assault during the Thirty-Day Deadline, the defection of Governor Elmer A. Benson (FL-MN) to the Syndicalists on February 25th after Red Guards seized control of Minneapolis and its airport forced Loyalist Federal forces out of Minnesota and into the Dakotas and Iowa.

In the West, the Army of the Colorado under General Edwin F Harding was formed to secure control of California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, which they quickly did without much bloodshed. Once they had secured the West, they moved East, digging in on the New Mexico border to defend the West from Longist invasions from Texas.

In New England, the Army of the Delaware was formed under General Omar Bradley to secure New England against widespread rioting across the region and to defend the border of New York and New Jersey from Syndicalist invasion. The Army of the Delaware would see some of the fiercest fighting during the Thirty-Day Deadline, especially around New York City.

The overall command of the United States Army was given to Major General George Marshall, who had replaced MacArthur as Chief of Staff upon his resignation. George Marshall had grown up in a politically divided family, and was rather tolerant of political differences, even to those on the other side. He was seen as an ideal choice to unite the various factions that remained loyal to the Federal government in the coming Civil War and would prove indispensable in command.

War Plan Blue had designated the Syndicalists in the Red Belt as the primary target of military operations, leaving forces defending Loyalist Southern states weakened. While the OSS deployed Agent Hamilton Bee to infiltrate the Syndicalist government and focused their intelligence efforts in the North, Longist forces were conspiring to seize Tennessee and North Carolina, risking cutting off the Federal-held East Coast from the West. On February 27th, Longist militias marched on Charlotte without resistance, and the governor, John C. B. Ehringhaus(D) quickly defected to the American First Party and declared his state for Huey Long. Eastern portions of the state, especially in Appalachia where there was sizable Federal and Syndicalist popularity, rioted against the decision, but they were nearly all driven out or crushed by Minutemen within two weeks. Loyalists across the state frantically tried to make it North to Virginia, though it was a perilous journey with many key roads guarded by members of the Silver Legion or the Minutemen.
Long Seizes North  Carolina.jpg

Pictured: White House memo regarding Long seizing North Carolina.

With conflict breaking out across the land, and army units defecting to the two rebel factions, the Navy itself was dealing with widespread mutinies and desertion, as well as rebel militias seizing ships at port. Federal Naval yards in Charleston, South Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, and Pensacola, Florida either surrendered to, or were overrun by Minutemen units, and naval bases in Charleston, South Carolina, and Key West, Florida defected to Long. In the North, the naval yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania defected to the Syndicalists on February 28th, 1937, and Red Guard militias began a siege of Brooklyn Navy Yard, defended by a small, ad hoc group of navy sailors, loyal dockworkers, and NYPD officers the same day. Though a plurality of the Navy remained in the hands of the Federal government, the two rebel factions had greatly reduced the strength of the United States Navy, which had previously been the largest in the world, outsizing even the powerful German Kriegsmarine.

As the United States fell into disarray, so too, did its colonies and territories. Puerto Rico, which had long had a secessionist movement, was paralyzed by intense rioting and street fighting between secessionists and loyalists to the US. On February 28th, Governor Rafael Hernández Colón requested that President Olson give him emergency powers to declare martial law and save Puerto Rico for the United States. President Olson granted the request, effectively making Governor Colón the unchallenged dictator of Puerto Rico for the duration of the Civil War. The Philippines became de facto independent as American forces in the Pacific headed back to California to reinforce the Army of the Colorado for the coming conflict.

During the Thirty-Day Deadline, all three sides struggled to control the states that were nominally in their possession, and cracked down on dissident groups within their borders, though the Federal government was the most crippled of the three by fighting in its territory. By the end of February, Long had secured control of nine out of the ten Southern states in his possession at that time, crushing pro-Federal and Syndicalist movements within his borders (with the notable exception of Texas that was plagued by strong Tejano guerrilla activity on its border with Mexico where loyalist Governor Allred had fled to after the legislature had backed Long) and began to look outward. The state of Tennessee had been ripped apart by fierce street fighting since Long’s radio broadcast and Longist militias had seized control of much of the state except for Nashville, which had been besieged and subjected to artillery bombardment by Longist elements of the Tennessee National Guard. On March 1st, Minutemen and Longist National Guards, supported by rebel Army units and aircraft from Alabama and Mississippi stormed Nashville, seizing the state legislature and capturing the hapless Loyalist governor, Gordon Browning (D).
Long Seizes Tennessee.jpg

Pictured: White House memo regarding the fall of Tennessee to Longist forces.

Longist militias hoped to bring the entire former Confederacy into the newly declared Longist American Union State, but were finally blunted in Virginia, where the Army of the Potomac and Virginia National Guard defeated pro-Long elements in a decisive battle at Five Forks and forced the survivors to flee South to North Carolina. Virginia, which had fought so hard for the Confederacy and provided its capital in the First Civil War, would be staying with the United States in the Second.

In New York, there had been fierce fighting across the state. Despite War Plan Blue’s priority placed on the state, Syndicalists had also recognized its strategic value and several thousand Red Guards had attempted to seize New York City; battling NYPD and New York National Guard units for weeks down the streets of the boroughs. The Brooklyn Naval Yard had been under siege by Red Guards armed with rifles, a few machine guns and three captured howitzers for five days when on March 4th, the 69th New York Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard marched through Brooklyn. A lieutenant in the unit had his men sing the Internationale as they approached the Syndicalist lines. Thinking the regiment was a Syndicalist unit, the Syndicalists cheered until the 69th arrived at the rebel positions around the beleaguered naval yard, turned their guns on the rebels, and quickly overwhelmed them. The siege of Brooklyn Naval Yard had been broken and New York City was at last entirely in the hands of the Federal government.

The final Syndicalist attempt to expand outside of the Red Belt was Iowa, where Syndicalist workers’ militias had been battling the Iowa National Guard across the Great Plains and had seized control of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. On March 12, the Army of the Mississippi finally moved into position around the two cities and issued a call for the militias to “surrender or be obliterated.” Realizing they had no chance of escape and with no relief coming from the newly proclaimed Combined Syndicates of America, the workers surrendered, leaving the state firmly in the hands of the Federal government.
Iowa Stays Loyal.jpg

Pictured: White House memo regarding the fall of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City to the Army of the Mississippi.
The Final Borders.jpg

Pictured: The final borders of the three factions on March 21st, 1937.


As the looming Thirty Day Deadline arrived on March 22nd, 1937, street fighting died down across America and conventional armies moved into position on their states’ borders. The Second Civil War was about to officially begin.

Deadline Looms.jpg

Pictured: A White House memo regarding the looming commencement of hostilities.
 
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The House is divided - it cannot stand.

It shall have to be torn down and build anew.
 
Chapter 3: The Red, the Blue, and the Gray

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Chapter 3: The Red, the Blue, and the Gray

The Outbreak of the Second American Civil War


On March 22nd, 1937, the guns began to ring out across the United States and hundreds of thousands of Americans advanced against their former countrymen, as the Consolidated States of America, the American Union State, and the United States of America officially began the Second American Civil War. All three sides, though not lacking manpower due to the large number of enthusiastic volunteers, instituted limited conscription as a precautionary measure, and the United States began ordering its overseas garrisons in China and the Panama Canal Zone home. Yet just as in the First American Civil War, the Second would not be fought by Americans alone and attracted significant foreign attention and manpower.

All three sides of the war had the backing of foreign powers, and tens of thousands of independent volunteers had slipped into the country before the war had officially begun. Around the world, Syndicalists who believed in global revolution had travelled far to help the Consolidated Syndicates of America topple the Federal government and defeat the authoritarian Huey Long. The Union of Britain, French Commune, Italian Socialist Republic, Syndicalist Chile, Syndicalist Centroamerica, and the Bharatiya Commune sent organized divisions, military advisors, and equipment to their American counterparts, while self-organized Syndicalists from countries like Spain, Mexico, Austria-Hungary, Poland, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Argentina, Brazil and Russia travelled at their own expense, and often under the threat of arrest from their own governments for doing so, to fight on behalf of the CSA. Famous International units such as the British Tarenni Column, the French Corps Lafayette, the Italian Corpo Garibaldi, the Irish Connolly Column, the German Thälmann-Kolonne, and others would soon make a name for themselves fighting for the revolution in America.

Connoly Column (2).png

Pictured: Irish Syndicalist Connolly Column on the Pennsylvania Front, 1937.
British Volunteers.png

Pictured: British Tarenni Column on the Kentucky Front, 1937.
Italian Volunteers.jpg

Pictured: Italian Syndicalist Corpo Garibaldi on the Pennsylvania Front, 1937.
Corps Lafayette.jpg

Pictured: French Syndicalist Corps Lafayette on the Pennsylvania Front, 1937.

In the American Union State, The German Legion Schwarzer Adler arrived in New Orleans in the weeks before the beginning of the war, along with military advisors and equipment for the Minutemen units mustering. The Kaiser had seen the United States as a potential threat to Germany due to its financial and material support for the Entente during the Weltkrieg, and saw the Second Civil War as a chance to get revenge. Integralist Brazil’s Legião Verde and several Cossack Divisions from Savinkovist Russia arrived to help the AUS bring down the Federal government and stamp out the American Syndicalists as well. Other individual volunteers, without their government’s backing, also traveled to the US before the war started to help fight for the right. Opposing their Syndicalist countrymen and their government’s clandestine support for the Federal government, Ireland’s National Populist Blueshirts sent a brigade of volunteers, mostly veterans of the Irish Revolution, to help the AUS. The foreign volunteers fighting for the AUS, though tough fighters, were small in number compared to those that came to fight for the CSA or the Federal government (with the notable exception of the Russian Cossack units who numbered 30,000 strong at the start of the war.)

German Volunteers.jpg

Pictured: German Legion Schwarzer Adler Infantry on the Missouri Front, 1937.
German Aircraft in Civil War.jpg

Pictured: German Me-109 Flying over Kentucky, 1937.
Russian Volunteers.jpg

Pictured: Officers of the Russian Cossack Divisions on the Missouri Front, 1937.

The US itself had received the unofficial backing of the Entente even before the war began, with Canadian intelligence offering advice to President Olson about how to deal with Syndicalist uprising, though the support fell short of organized units being sent to help with the war effort, as the Entente’s member-states were still growing their forces and preparing for the war in Europe to retake their homelands. The US did, however, receive military advisors and some material support from the Entente, as well as individual volunteers who crossed the border from Canada to fight alongside New England and New York units, or who arrived in San Francisco from Australasia to fight beside Californian volunteers. Mexican President Juan Andreu Alamazán, disturbed by AUS oppression against Tejanos who had backed the Federal government, was one of the few world leaders to send an organized fighting force to back the United States. The Mexican División Águila crossed the Rio Grande into El Paso just days after the conflict officially began. Ireland’s President Michael Collins, despite some of his countrymen deciding to back the two rebel factions, ordered ten thousand men of the IRA to fight for the United States, though to avoid angering his German allies, he had them do so secretly as members of the US armed forces’ newly reinstated Irish Brigades (a division strength formation) as private volunteers. The Japanese too, backed the Federal government and sent two divisions of Imperial Marines to San Francisco, as well as several shipments worth of rifles, machine guns, and artillery guns (though this was not because the Japanese government supported democracy, but instead as a way to sooth US anger over their seizure of Guam and Wake Island the day the Civil War broke out in the name of “preventing instability in the Pacific.”)

Mexican Eagle Division.jpg

Pictured: Mexican División Águila on the New Mexico Front, 1937.

Japanese Troops in the US (2).jpg

Pictured: Japanese Imperial Marines on the New Mexico Front, 1937.

With hostilities commencing as the deadline was reached, War Plan Blue officially swung into action. It had not been entirely accurate in assuming how the war would be reached, (it had assumed Minnesota and Tennessee would stay with the Federal government, while New Jersey and Southern Texas would back the rebels) but it was remarkably close to what had actually happened and put the United States in a good position at the start of the war. The Syndicalists were suffering from disorganization and internal rivalries between their various factions, especially the Federalists (Radical Socialists), and sometimes even the Unionist (Orthodox Syndicalists) whose units demanded that they be allowed to vote on any orders they received from higher ups. This was especially true on the Eastern Front where Second Continental Army Major General Herbert Charles Heitke was struggling to form the various militias under his command into a cohesive force. This disorganization allowed the Army of the Potomac under General McNair and the Army of the Delaware under General Bradley to launch their offensive to seize Philadelphia (though the majority of the latter was still bogged down fighting guerrillas and dealing with terrorist attacks in New England), coined Operation Rubicon, to go off without facing much resistance. The Army of the Potomac swung up from Maryland and Delaware, pushing through the old battlefield at Gettysburg that had last been a key point to save the country, while the Army of the Delaware crossed its namesake river, easily sweeping aside the disorganized Syndicalist militias, who were armed with rifles of various caliber (many of which were obsolete ones from the 19th century and thus were difficulty to supply) that stood guarding the bridges dividing Pennsylvania from New Jersey. Philadelphia was enveloped within two days, trapping the Syndicalist militia “O’Donnell Division” in the city along with the entire Second Continental Navy’s Atlantic Fleet, and cutting off the CSA from its benefactors abroad. The Armies of the Potomac and the Delaware began the siege of Philadelphia and the city was subjected to heavy artillery bombardment as Federal troops repeatedly tried to break the Syndicalist lines to capture what had been the capital of the United States during the Revolutionary War.

Operation Rubicon.jpg

Pictured: The battle plan of the Army of the Potomac in Operation Rubicon, March, 1937.

General Heitke.jpg

Pictured: General Herbert Charles Heitke as a US Army officer, 1936.

Fearing his fleet would be caught at the docks and captured by Federal forces, CSA Admiral Hugh Mulzac ordered the SCN Atlantic Fleet out to sea in an attempt to cross the Atlantic to shelter in the Union of Britain. Awaiting him was Admiral William Halsey Jr. of the United States’ Navy with the USN Atlantic Fleet. On March 29th, 1937, the two navies clashed in the Battle of Delaware Bay. The USN Atlantic Fleet was made up of a single carrier, Halsey’s flagship the USS Constellation, four battleships, (the USS Colorado, West Virginia, Washington, and North Carolina), two cruisers, forty-six destroyers, and twenty-eight submarines, and was supported by a wing of land-based Douglas TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bombers. The SCN Atlantic Fleet lacked any carriers, though it did outnumber the USN fleet in battleships with five (the CNS Idaho, Mississippi, California, Indiana, and Montana) and in cruisers with seven. It was severely outmatched in destroyers with only nineteen, and submarines with only nine.

TBD-1 Attack on SCN Fleet.jpeg

Pictured: Federal TBD-1 Devastator preparing to attack SCN Atlantic Fleet at the Battle of Delaware Bay, 1937.

At 0758 EST,a USN PBY-Catalina spotted the SCN Atlantic Fleet moving from Philadelphia Naval Yard into Delaware Bay and reported its movements to the USN Atlantic Fleet. Admiral Halsey Jr. radioed Naval Air Station Anacostia outside of Washington DC, where its wing of Devastators scrambled to intercept the Syndicalist Fleet. Halsey Jr. ordered his flagship, the USS Constellation, launch its own wing of Northrop BT dive bombers and Douglas SB2D-1 Devastator carrier-launched torpedo bombers while ordering his entire fleet to move to intercept. At 0833 EST, the carrier launched squadrons began their attack run on the SCN. USN BT dive bombers dove onto the cruisers and destroyers which formed a picket line in front of the battleships, scoring hits on three of the cruisers, sinking one (the CNS Charleston.) The second wave of carrier-launched Devastators followed up the attack, sinking two more cruisers (the CNS Chattanooga and the CNS Constitution) as well as two destroyers while losing one plane in the attack. By 0847, the land-based Devastators arrived on the scene and attacked the escort ships, sinking four more SCN destroyers and damaging another cruiser while only losing one plane before returning to NAS Anacostia to refuel and rearm.

BT Bombers.jpg

Pictured: Federal BT Dive Bombers over Atlantic City during the Battle of Delaware Bay, 1937.
USS Constellation.jpg

Pictured: The USS Constellation before the Battle of Delaware Bay, 1937.


As the SCN Atlantic Fleet approached the entrance of the bay, they found the USN Atlantic fleet blockading them in. Admiral Mulzac ordered his battered fleet to prepare to engage when the USN battleships fired upon it. The volley scored hits on the CNS Idaho and CNS Mississippi damaging both and knocking out their forward guns. Three more SCN destroyers were sunk, bringing the total number of lost Syndicalist destroyers at eight at that point. The SCN Atlantic Fleet swung into position and returned fire. Both Federal cruisers, the USS Memphis and the USS Woodrow Wilson were struck, with the former’s magazine detonating, sending a massive explosion into the air which could be heard as far away as New York City and Washington DC. The Woodrow Wilson, though damaged, was able to retreat to port as the battle continued. Despite the loss of the Memphis, the battle was going very much in favor of the USN.

The SCN had a contingent of USN sailors who had defected when the CSA had seceded, but the majority of its ships’ crews were untrained fishermen, dock workers, and merchantmen who had enlisted in the SCN in the month before the war began and had next to no training. Their gunnery skills were lacking compared to their USN counterparts, who were quickly knocking out more and more SCN destroyers, and beating up on the surviving cruisers and battleships. Admiral Mulzac, realizing that his entire fleet, with all hands, would likely be lost if he continued the battle, sounded the retreat at 1015 EST. By the time his fleet made it back to Philadelphia, he had lost all nineteen of his destroyers, and three of his seven cruisers. All five battleships were damaged (the CNS Idaho barely made it back to port and sunk soon after it made it to dock.) The only ships in the SCN Atlantic Fleet that had made it out of Delaware Bay had been his nine submarines under the command of Rear Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, which would survive for a few months out at sea, harassing Federal merchantmen and resupply with the help of Syndicalist sympathizers along the New Jersey and New England Coast before they were ultimately hunted down by Federal destroyers and aircraft. The United States Navy, in contrast, lost only one cruiser and two planes. It was a stunning victory for the weakened USN, and Admiral Halsey Jr. was invited to meet with President Olson as a hero of the United States, where he was proclaimed to be the greatest American naval officer since Admiral Farragut during the First American Civil War.

Battle of Delaware Bay.jpg

Pictured: Graphic Depicting the losses of both sides of the Battle of Delaware Bay, March 29th, 1937.

Throughout the rest of the day of March 29th, Federal forces from the Armies of the Potomac and the Delaware continued to press their advance on Philadelphia. Admiral Mulzac realized the SCN Atlantic Fleet would soon fall into Federal hands, so he ordered it scuttled. The Syndicalist O’Donnell Division was overwhelmed shortly before nightfall and advanced elements of the 3rd Infantry Division under the command of the recently demoted Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the city center to find the SCN Atlantic Fleet at the bottom of the Delaware River blocking off Philadelphia’s access to the sea. Eisenhower was seen as a national hero for his actions in Philadelphia, and due to photographer Robert Capa capturing the famous photo of him during the liberation of the hallowed ground at Gettysburg where Eisenhower had led a training camp before the war. His successes and fame, along with testimony from General Marshall that Eisenhower was loyal to the Republic, led to President Olson reconsidering the demotion he had given Eisenhower for his proximity to the MacArthur Plot.

Eisenhower in the Field (2).jpg

Pictured: Eisenhower at Gettysburg, March, 1937.

With the fall of Philadelphia, the Second Continental Navy would effectively be wiped out on the Atlantic for the rest of the war, and the majority of its Atlantic Fleet’s sailors would surrender in Philadelphia (though Rear Admiral Arleigh Burke managed to slip past Federal lines through the Schuylkill River on rowboats with over five hundred sailors that night, moving up the river to Reading Pennsylvania, a trip of nearly fifty miles (eighty kilometers), a daring endeavor which would get him promoted to Admiral and turn him into a hero of the CSA. He and the sailors he escaped with would continue fighting for the Second Continental Navy on the rivers and Great Lakes of the Eastern United States for the rest of the war. Philadelphia had been conquered in a great blow to the CSA, though the loss of the city gave Heitke the justification he needed to whip the Federalist (Radical Socialist) units into line and by April 1st, he had blunted the Army of the Potomac’s advance on Harrisburg; established a defensive line along the Appalachians and the New York border, and had managed to seize Hagerstown, Maryland, and Saltville, Virginia, giving the CSA a line of control stretching from the New York-Pennsylvania border, down to the Virginia-Kentucky Border.

CSA Defends Pennsylvania.jpg

Pictured: CSA Frontline stabilizes, April, 1937.

The same day that Operation Rubicon began on the East Coast, the Army of the Mississippi under General Truscott launched its offensive into Minnesota, crossing the Red River from the Dakotas while simultaneously driving North from Iowa towards Minneapolis, in what was coined Operation Little Crow. Similarly, to the Eastern Front, the Syndicalists were disorganized and ill-prepared for the Federal offensive. With most of the Army of the Mississippi being on foot, (it only had a few cavalry divisions and only one hundred trucks that were mostly used for towing artillery or carrying supplies), it slowly advanced through Minnesota, taking Minneapolis on April 1st, and St. Paul on April 2nd, 1937 with little resistance. Despite the slow pace of the advance it appeared the Army of the Mississippi would reach Duluth on the shores of Lake Superior within a week. Unlike on the Eastern Front however, where General Heitke had experienced difficulties getting the various Syndicalist factions to work together and struggled to launch any serious counter offensives, the Western Front was commanded by Major General Smedley Butler. Butler was an experienced officer and a war hero who had served in the Spanish-American War, the Philippines War, and the numerous “Banana Wars” that the US Marines had been involved in throughout the ‘20s and ‘30s. He had spent much of the Thirty Day Deadline period training and organizing the Red Guards and other Syndicalist units into a serious fighting force, and he was quick to react. He mobilized Red Guard units in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, conscripted taxis and trains, and rushed them to the front. By April 3rd, the Army of the Mississippi’s offensive ground to a halt on the banks of the Mississippi River to the South, and at the Saint Louis River to the North as they encountered entrenched Red Guard divisions. With the Federal Offensives in the Eastern and Western Fronts halted, Butler realized the need for a total overhaul of the Second Continental Army.

Operation Little Crow.jpg

Pictured: The battle plan of the Army of the Mississippi in Operation Little Crow, March, 1937.

Operation Rubicon Moves on Minneapolis.jpg

Pictured: The Front line of the Minnesota Front, March 31st, 1937.

Butler divided the entire Second Continental Army into seven separate armies. The First Army under the command of General George H. Cannon would be located along the St. Louis River and Mississippi River from the Canadian Border down to the Southern border of Minnesota. The Second Army under the Command of General Evans Fordyce Carlson would form up along the banks of the Mississippi River along the Iowa-Illinois border down to the Southern tip of Illinois. The Third Army under the command of General Maurice Rose would form up on the Northern banks of the Ohio River on the border of Indiana and Western Kentucky, and would be the spearhead in the attempt to split the United States in two and bring the fight to the AUS. General Rose was a close friend of Butler and had held a personal grudge against the Longist General George Van Horn Moseley due to Moseley’s vicious anti-Semitism. General Rose had been eager to fight the AUS since the start of the Thirty Day Deadline and Butler had rewarded him with a command that he had hoped would make that possible. The First, Second, and Third Armies would be directly under the command of Butler himself as part of the Western Front.

Smedley Butler.jpeg

Pictured: General Smedley Butler as a US Marine, 1936.

The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth would be under the command of General Heike as part of the Eastern Front. The Fourth Army under the command of General Oliver Law, would form up on the Ohio River on the border between Eastern Kentucky and Ohio, and would participate in the coming offensive to split the United States in two. The Fifth Army under the command of General Milton Wolff, a Centralist (Totalist) who would command the Second Continental Army in West Virginia. The Sixth Army under the command of General John Tisa would hold Pennsylvania against the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Delaware. The final army, the Seventh Army under the command of General Robert Hale Merriman, would be held in reserve to watch the border in the event of a Canadian intervention and to deal with Longist or Loyalist partisans.

In the South, Major General George S. Patton Jr. had been given command of AUS forces in the Western Theatre, while Major General George Van Horn Moseley had command of the Eastern Theatre. A third group of mostly militia, under Major General Jacob L. Devers, would guard the interior and the Southern Coastline. Just as the Confederacy had organized its armies based on States, so too did the AUS. Patton’s forces, called Army Group West, were composed of three armies at the start of the war. The first army was the Army of Texas, under the command of General Walton Walker, and was formed up from the mouth of the Guadalupe River to the New Mexico border, and up to the Oklahoma Panhandle. The Army of Texas planned to swing South to crush the Texan loyalists, and push into New Mexico to take the state for the AUS. The second army was the Army of Oklahoma, under the command of General Courtney Hicks Hodges, which lined the border of Oklahoma and Kansas. The Army of Oklahoma was part of Patton’s plan, Operation Lightning Strike, to rapidly move up through the Great Plains then swing West to take Denver. The third and final army was the Army of Arkansas, under the command of General Joseph Lawton Collins, which was formed on the border of Arkansas and Missouri. The Army of Arkansas was tasked with taking Missouri to cut the United States in half as a part of Operation Lightning Strike, then driving up towards Chicago to strike the CSA a crippling blow.

Patton.jpg

Pictured: General Patton personally overseeing the Army of Oklahoma's offensive into Kansas.

General Moseley’s Army Group East was likewise divided into three armies. The Army of Tennessee under the command of General Clifton B. Cates formed along the Western border of Kentucky and Tennessee, and planned to attack North to Louisville and the Ohio River, putting a natural border between the AUS and the heart of the CSA. The second army was the Army of Georgia under the command of the ruthless and vicious General Pedro del Valle. General del Valle was especially eager to crush Syndicalists and had requested a command that would put him close to the CSA. The Army of Georgia would form up on the Western border of Kentucky and Tennessee, and also drive North into Kentucky and West Virginia to cut off Washington DC from the Western US, and to push the CSA back from their Southern salient along the Big Sandy River. The third and final Army was the Army of North Carolina under the command of General Matthew Ridgeway. The Army of North Carolina would attempt to retake Virginia, General Ridgeway’s native state, and capture Washington DC if possible.

General Moseley.jpg

Pictured: General Moseley, 1937.

The rest of the ground forces of the AUS under the command of General Devers, mostly made up of Minutemen regiments, would hunt Loyalist and Syndicalist Partisans in the interior of the AUS while watching the coast for possible Federal landings.

With the outbreak of war on March 22nd, the forces of the AUS wasted no time launching an all-out attack on the dug in Federal troops that lined their borders. The Army of Texas poured into the breakaway Southern section of its namesake state and routed the hastily prepared Federal formations of Loyalist National Guard, Tejano militias, and Border Patrol units who pulled back to El Paso to escape the relentless assault of the Longists. With the fall of Galveston on March 31st, all of Loyalist Texas East of the Pecos river had fallen to the Army of Texas, while surviving Federal units reformed with the Army of the Colorado to defend New Mexico and the last bastion of what the Loyalists called “Free Texas.”
US Forces in Virginia.jpg

Pictured: Federal Loyalists' doomed defense of Galveston, Texas, March, 1937.

AUS Offensive into Southern Texas.jpg

Pictured: The New Mexico Front after the Fall of Southern Texas, March, 1937.


The Army of Oklahoma began its offensive on March 22nd as well and rapidly pushed North through the thin Federal lines on the Kansas border. Dodge City, Wichita, and Independence, Kansas all fell to the Army of Oklahoma by April 1st, and Federal troops were driven back to the Northern bank of the Smoky Hill River where they would be reorganized as part of the Army of the Colorado which was now dangerously overextended from Western Texas to Northern Kansas.

AUS Offensive into Kansas.jpg

Pictured: Operation Lightning Strike in Kansas, March, 1937.

The Army of Arkansas had less success than its sister armies during its invasion of Missouri. Although Federal troops in Missouri were spread thin like their counterparts in Kansas, the Army of Arkansas was plagued with supply line problems and guerrilla activity that hampered its advance. Nevertheless, on March 30th, the Army of Arkansas entered Springfield, Missouri, finding it abandoned by Federal forces who had retreated North to the Sac River to reform their defensive line. In East Missouri, the Army of Arkansas advanced along the Mississippi River all the way up to the Meramec River on the outskirts of St. Louis before they were stopped by the entrenched 35th Infantry Division of the Missouri National Guard at the Southern flank of the Army of the Mississippi.

Southern Attack on Missouri and Kentucky.jpg

Pictured: AUS and CSA invasions of Missouri and Kentucky, March, 1937.

Army Group East’s invasion of Kentucky and Virginia suffered similar difficulties. The Federal government had considered Kentucky indefensible in War Plan Blue and called for a total evacuation towards Virginia. Despite the call to withdraw, Loyalist guerrillas, determined to defend their state, sabotaged bridges and rail lines throughout Southern Kentucky to slow the Longist advance as Federal forces and Kentucky National Guard units pulled out to join the Army of the Potomac in Virginia (including a daring and risky plan to evacuate the US’s gold reserves from Fort Knox by air), delaying the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Georgia as their two-pronged offensive slowly progressed through the state. In the face of these difficulties, the Army of Tennessee managed to advance as far as the Green River by April 1st. The Army of Georgia, on the other hand, only managed to capture Middlesboro and Williamsburg in the same amount of time due to General del Valle’s determination to spend his efforts brutally hunting guerrillas with his Silver Legionnaire divisions, an action which would earn him the title “the Butcher of the Cumberland,” and further intensify Loyalist resistance in Eastern Kentucky.

General Del Valle Kentucky Map.jpg

Pictured: General del Valle analyzes a map of the Appalachians in Kentucky to search for Loyalist partisans.

The Army of North Carolina, unlike its counterparts in Kentucky, went up against a well-entrenched and professional opponent in Southern Virginia. The Army of the Potomac’s southern flank had dug in along the banks of the Appomattox River, leaving a detachment of Virginia National Guard to defend Norfolk. Norfolk, with its strategic naval base, was a top priority for the Army of North Carolina, and General Ridgeway was determined to take it at all costs. With the Army of the Potomac’s USAAC wings participating in the attack on Philadelphia, AUS air wings had near total air superiority and bombed Norfolk unchecked for over a week, pulverizing defensive positions in and around the beleaguered city. Rebel artillery batteries unleashed heavy fire onto Norfolk as well, devastating the city’s garrison and forcing it to withdraw by sea when the city was cut off to the North on March 27th. March 28th, 1937, the city fell when North Carolina State Defense Militia entered the city unopposed. General Ridgeway continued his advance along the Virginia coast, with forward elements of the Army of North Carolina reaching the Army of the Potomac’s defensive line around the town of Petersburg on April 3rd, in a reverse of the Siege of Petersburg during the First Civil War, when Federal forces had besieged the city which had been defended by Southern troops. Fierce fighting broke out along the outskirts of the town, but the Virginia National Guard’s 29th “Blue and the Gray” Division defending the perimeter held its ground despite the enemy’s overwhelming air superiority and heavy bombardment. By April 4th, the Army of North Carolina, with its nose bloodied, pulled back from Petersburg, called off its offensive into Virginia and reorganized for a future offensive. General Ridgeway’s dream of quickly retaking his home state, and his hope of even taking Washington DC had been shattered.

Norfolk after bombardment.jpg

Pictured: Norfolk, Virginia after its fall to the Army of North Carolina, April, 1937.

AUS Invasion of Virginia.jpg

Pictured: The Virginia Front, April, 1937.


The Federal government, though suffering the loss of an important naval base in Virginia, and still reeling from the rapid and nearly unopposed Southern invasions of Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky had bloodied both of its enemies in key victories during the first two weeks of the war providing the public with a morale boost and giving them a rallying cry to defend the Republic.
 
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stnylan

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There is a lot of desperate fighting ahead. A CSA first strategy, or so it appears.
 

Kautz

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There is a lot of desperate fighting ahead. A CSA first strategy, or so it appears.
Indeed there will be.

President Olson, though sympathetic to many of the grievances the Syndicalists have (his attempted compromise with Reed is an example of this), he couldn't afford to appear weak towards them, as the majority of the remaining military and political establishment weremore opposed to the CSA than the AUS and the country wasalready in an extremely tenuous situation. He had already been accused by Long of being a Syndicalist sympathizer and certain members of the military like MacArthur were privately concerned about this as well.

Furthermore he, and the military, both recognized that with the CSA controlling the industrial heart of America, the longer they would be allowed to sit back and build up, the stronger they would become. The South was much more rural and would not be able to grow in strength as dramatically as the CSA (though with the loss of Philadelphia the CSA has certainly been set back since it can no longer import resources or arms from the Syndicalist powers around the world.)
 

Crimson Lionheart

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Disgusting Syndicalists. It's for the best that the Feds wipe out the red menace
 
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Chapter 4: The Bell Tolls

Kautz

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Chapter 4: The Bell Tolls

The Collapse of the American Empire Overseas and the Events of April 1937
At the outset of the Civil War, the United States Army found itself stretched thin, especially on the Western Front, where it tried to hold back two enemies across a vast expanse of open ground stretching from the arid deserts of Western Texas up to the temperate forests and rolling prairies of Northern Minnesota. While the Eastern Front would have looked very familiar to veterans of the Western Front of the First Weltkrieg, with trench warfare and massed infantry attacks making up the bulk of the fighting in the early stages of the war (though military advisors from the nations that had experienced the First Weltkrieg tried to quickly rid their American students of these habits), the war in the West was much more mobile. There simply were not enough soldiers to defend the entire front. Enemy incursions behind the front lines were routine and the war more closely resembled the fighting on the Eastern Front of the First Weltkrieg (especially in the Federal salient running from Western Kansas up through Northern Missouri.) Large enemy offensives, such as the Longist blitz into Kansas and Missouri were a major threat for the US Army on the Western Front and little could be done to contain them without risking other vital areas. It soon became apparent that sacrifices would have to be made to secure the lines.

Even before the war began, American troops in the Philippines, Guam, and Wake Island had been evacuated and brought back to the homeland to secure the Western States in the wake of large scale riots (a move that had cost the United States control of those territories, with the Philippines military seizing power, gaining de facto independence, and Japan seizing Wake Island and Guam). With official hostilities commencing, more overseas forces would have to be withdrawn as well. US Marine and Army garrisons in Hawaii, Panama, and the Legation Cities of China packed their bags and boarded transport ships bound for San Francisco, and then trains to the Army of the Colorado encamped on the Texas and New Mexico frontier. It was only a matter of time before this led to further territorial losses overseas.

Hawaii was the first to go. Anti-American sentiment had steadily grown on the island chain during the Great Depression, as waves of unemployment hit the island and left fields of sugarcane and pineapples rotting in the sun. When US military garrisons departed, the island was ripe for an uprising from the patient, yet organized, secessionist movement that had long awaited a chance to reinstall the Hawaiian monarchy to the throne. On March 24th, the same day that the AUS launched attacks into the US on every front from Texas to Virginia, Hawaiian separatists stormed government buildings in Honolulu and declared their independence from the United States. Cuba followed Hawaii’s example two days later, marching its troops into the now undefended naval base in Guantanamo Bay and declaring the American lease on the base void. The greatest loss of all came on April 12th, when Panama seized control of the Canal without any resistance from the skeleton crew of American mliitary forces in the region.
Hawaii Revolts.jpg

Pictured: White House memo regarding the Hawaiian Revolution.

Cuba Seizes Guantanamo.jpg

Pictured: News bulletin regarding the Cuban seizure of Guantanamo Bay.

Panama Seizes Canal.jpg

Pictured: White House memo regarding the loss of the Panama Canal.

President Olson, already caught up in a war at home, was forced to accept every loss with little more than a diplomatic protest in response. He had more pressing matters to worry about than the control of far flung overseas bases that could not be defended when every soldier was needed on the home front. President Olson’s top concern at the beginning of April 1937, besides the ongoing offensives in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, were reports of enemy espionage in Washington DC itself. The borders of the conflict, though more or less fixed by this point, harbored people sympathetic to those on the other side whom they could not safely reach. Many Americans within all three factions in the war had found themselves cut off from the side they supported, and were forced to either fight alongside those they considered traitors, or take the ultimate risk to wage war clandestinely against their neighbors. Washington DC, close to the frontlines of both the CSA and the AUS, was a prime target for espionage for both of the rebel factions. On March 23, 1937, former BOI Agent turned OSS Agent Ulysses Barnum was tasked with organizing a counterintelligence network in the capital in the hopes of rooting out spies. The OSS had previously sent agents to Chicago to gather information on the CSA, and it made sense that the enemies of the Federal government would do the same. The OSS would also establish an Army Department on April 17th, which would focus its efforts on collecting military intelligence and cooperating with Loyalist partisans behind enemy lines throughout the Red Belt and the South.

Back on the Western Front, the Longist Army of Texas prepared for its big offensive to take the last remnant of Free Texas from the Loyalists and to drive the Army of the Colorado out of New Mexico. The Army of the Colorado had struggled to extend itself North to contain other Longist thrusts into Kansas, and the bulk of its forces were made up of undertrained volunteers from California (though it did contain several battle hardened foreign volunteer divisions from Mexico and Japan.) On April 10th, the Army of Texas unleashed a furious bombardment on the Californian, Coloradan, and Loyalist Texan forces opposing them. Yet despite the greenness of the Californians and Coloradans and the severity of the heavy artillery barrage they faced, the Army of the Colorado held its ground. The fresh and untested volunteers proved their merit and cut down thousands of Southerners, mostly Texans, Oklahomans, and Louisianans, who charged with fixed bayonets in neat lines as their ancestors might have done during the First Civil War seventy years before. Supporting the Army of the Colorado, the USAAC strafed and bombed Southern lines, and battled Southern fighters over the clear blue skies of the Southwest.

The Air War, April 1937.jpg

Pictured: The Air war in late April. Green represents area of Federal control; Red represents rebel control.

US air power over New Mexico had an overwhelming edge over its AUS counterpart, and the Southern pilots found themselves outnumbered three to one. Squadrons of Federal P-36 Hawks bore down on their Southern adversaries and dozens were shot down during the Army of Texas’s attack on New Mexico. Federal A-17s strafed and dropped bombs on Longist Militiamen and Texan National Guard who were unequipped with anti-aircraft, and had to rely on firing rifles or machine guns into the air in futile attempts to stave off the onslaught from above. One Texan soldier from the 36th “Lonestar” Infantry Division recalled the battle in a letter to his sweetheart stating:

We attacked the Yankees outside of Fort Stockton today. It was the worst experience of my life by far, and I hope never to see such a day again. The Yankees were dug in and mowed us down like grass as we charged across the scorching, desolate wasteland with nothing but tumbleweeds for cover. The Yankees rained hell down on us with machine guns, artillery, and planes, and I saw many of my brothers blown to bits before my very eyes. There was nowhere to hide, and packed as tight as we were, they couldn’t miss.

I want to drive the Yankees out of Texas as much as President Long and the generals of high command, but this attack was nothing but suicide. Whatever coward came up with the idea for us to attack across the open desert without adequate air support deserves to be shot.

P-36 Hawk over New Mexico 37.jpg

Pictured: US P-36 Over Western Texas, 1937.

The Army of Texas called off its attack three days later after losing thousands of men and failing to gain any significant ground in New Mexico and Texas. Still, the Army of the Colorado was spread thin, especially in Kansas where the Army of Oklahoma was pressing their advance with overwhelming odds and pushed as far as the Kansas-Nebraska border on the outskirts of Superior, Nebraska and taking Fort Riley, Kansas from the US 2nd (Colored) Cavalry Division after fierce, merciless fighting. Fresh divisions of volunteers were being mobilized as quickly as possible in California, but it was a race against the clock to get them to the front to contain Patton’s invasion of the Great Plains.

The Army of Arkansas, which had previously attempted to take St. Louis, only to be stopped by the 35th Infantry Division of the Missouri National Guard, attempted to envelop the city by swinging towards the West of the town of Washington on April 13th. Washington, Missouri had a strategic bridge that would allow Longist troops to cross the Missouri River and get behind the Federal defenses around St. Louis, cutting the city and its defenders off from the rest of the Army of the Mississippi. Unfortunately for the Southern troops, Washington was defended by a Missouri Loyalist volunteer militia who had barricaded the streets and rigged the bridge with TNT they had acquired from local lead miners. The volunteers, armed with a collection of civilian rifles, by some miracle managed to delay the superior Longist advance long enough to blow the Washington Bridge as the town fell. St. Louis, though in a precarious position surrounded on three sides by enemy forces, was not entirely cut off from the rest of the United States. Their attempts to take St. Louis by force having been frustrated, the Army of Arkansas dug in for a siege while Southern air units, which had superiority in the region, began a relentless bombing campaign against the beleaguered Federal defenders.

Siege of Saint Louis, April 1937.jpg

Pictured: Siege of St. Louis

In Kentucky, the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Georgia were still bogged down by fierce guerrilla activity. The Eastern border of the state had seen a flare up of partisan violence, which included the reignition of the old feud between the Hatfield and the McCoy families. The Hatfields had long been involved in Syndicalist politics (William “Sid” Hatfield, for example, had participated in the Battle of Blair Mountain alongside Syndicalist militias in 1921 before his murder at the hands of private security gunmen) and the majority of the family backed the Syndicalists as early as the Red Summer of ‘36. The McCoys on the other hand, had mostly decided to stay loyal to the United States and fighting had once again broken out along the Tug River. That changed when General del Valle began his brutal campaign to subjugate enemy partisans in Eastern Tennessee. Facing a common foe, the Hatfields and McCoys put aside their political and familial differences and worked together to harass Longist supply lines and ambush Longist patrols. Their guerrilla activity further bogged General del Valle’s advance down as he spent more time and effort, including using the AUS’s air superiority in the region, to hunt them down.

Border States, April 1937.jpg

Pictured: AUS and CSA Invasion of Kentucky.

The Second Continental Army quickly took advantage of the slow Longist advance in Kentucky and seized Louisville on April 27th, 1937 with a rapid advance across the Ohio River utilizing ferries, river gunboats, and pontoon bridges. The Federal defenders of Louisville, made up entirely of local police and militia, were quickly swept aside and either surrendered or were routed towards Lexington for a last stand of Loyalists in the state of Kentucky.

The Fall of Kentucky.jpg

Pictured: The Fall of Louisville.

The Fall of Louisville to Syndicalists concerned the Army of Arkansas’s commander, General Joseph Collins. He feared that Syndicalist forces of the Second Army just across the Mississippi River would launch a similar attack and take St. Louis, Missouri out from under his nose. To preempt such an attack, on April 28th, the Army of Arkansas began a massive push to take the city. The main assault would be led by the 31st “Dixie” Division which would push across the Meramec River following a four-hour bombardment of Federal fortifications on the outskirts of St. Louis. The secondary push would come from the 39th “Delta” Division of the Arkansas National Guard which would push along the banks of the Missouri River to try to seize bridges that connected St. Louis with St. Charles. Federal defenders fought bravely, but the overwhelming AUS air superiority hammering every fortification they had soon dislodged them from their positions and pushed the survivors back across the Missouri River to St. Charles.

The Longist American Union Air Corps, or AUAC for short, in the region was led by General Clair Lee Chennault, an aging and sickly officer who was well past his prime and suffered from deafness and chronic bronchitis. Lack of coordination between him and General Collins led to miscommunication which would cost the Army of Arkansas gravely. General Chennault ordered his B-18 medium bombers to target retreating Federal forces crossing bridges over the Missouri River. Both bridges connecting St. Louis to St. Charles were destroyed in the ensuing onslaught, killing scores of Loyalist troops and trapping hundreds more in St. Louis, but prevented the Army of Arkansas from continuing their advance into St. Charles after St. Louis fell. Hundreds of Federal soldiers of the 35th Infantry Division attempted to swim across the Missouri River while under aerial bombardment and a majority, weighed down by their gear and swept away by the strong currents drowned in the river. The rest of the survivors were forced to surrender when the rebel 39th “Delta” Division overran the Southern bank of the Missouri.

The Fall of St. Louis.jpg

Pictured: The Fall of St. Louis.

St. Louis destroyed (2).jpg

Pictured: St. Louis after falling to the Army of the Arkansas, April 28th, 1937.


The Western Front, May 1937.jpg

Pictured: The Western Front, May 1st, 1937.

The War on the Western Front was going poorly for the United States. Their offensive in Minnesota had become bogged down in the face of heavy Syndicalist resistance. They had suffered defeats in the Great Plains, had lost St. Louis, and could do little as the Army of Oklahoma rampaged through Kansas seemingly unstoppable. The only glimmer of hope had been the defense of New Mexico and Western Texas by the Army of the Colorado. The Eastern Front, however, had been successful at nearly every point and provided hope for the nation. OSS reports on the Pennsylvania Front showed that the Second Continental Army’s Sixth Army under General John Tisa was weak, stretched thing, and composed mostly of Federalist (Radical Socialist) militias who were still stubbornly refusing to cooperate with their high command, and the only professional units on the front were the Pennsylvania National Guard 28th “Keystone” Division dug in Greencastle, and the 1st and 2nd divisions of the French Corps Lafayette who were defending Harrisburg alongside local militias. Loyalist General Omar Bradley and his Army of the Delaware outnumbered Tisa’s Sixth Army eighteen divisions to eleven. General Bradley saw this as a critical opportunity to retake Pennsylvania from the Syndicalists, and without hesitation, swung into action. On April 28th, 1937, as St. Louis fell to the AUS, the Army of the Delaware began a massive, hard-hitting offensive across Pennsylvania. Though the French Corps Lafayette and the 28th “Keystone” Division fought bravely and repulsed Federal attacks on their positions, the rest of the Sixth Army’s line buckled under the weight of the Army of the Delaware’s relentless assaults and overwhelming air superiority. By May 1st, it appeared that a large portion of the Sixth Army would be cut off in Western Pennsylvania as Federal units in Northern and Southern Pennsylvania raced to link up in the town of State College.


The Eastern Front, April 1937.jpg

Pictured: The Eastern Front with the Army of the Delaware's planned offensive; late April 1937

Pennsylvania Front, May 37.jpg

Pictured: The Army of the Delaware moves to cut off the SCA Sixth Army near Harrisburg.

The same day in the Union of Britain, Syndicalist delegates from around the world gathered for the Second Internationale, a meeting to determine the course of global Syndicalism. The Commune of France and the Union of Britain had recently shifted from democratic Syndicalism to Totalism as a result of internal political maneuvers and were under the leadership of strongmen Georges Valois and Oswald Mosley, respectively. Both men were fanatical nationalists and were uninterested in the conflict in America. They both held Jack Reed in low regard and disliked his political ideology of Unionism (Democratic Syndicalism). They saw the war in America as a distraction from the inevitable war with Germany, and the CSA’s loss of Philadelphia had made further support of the embattled American Syndicalists nearly impossible and had diminished what little appetite there had been for continuing support of the Americans. Much of the deliberations during the Second Internationale during the first two days centered around the American Civil War and what could, or should, be done about it. Most Totalist factions believed that all efforts should be focused on the coming war with Germany, while traditional Syndicalists and Radical Socialists, including the government of the Socialist Republic of Italy, believed in supporting the American war effort. The Internationale was heavily divided and it looked as though a united front to back the beleaguered CSA would fail until famed American author and the Second Internationale delegate for the American Syndicalists, Ernest Hemingway, took the stage on May 4th.

Oswald Mosley.jpg

Pictured: News article about the rise of Oswald Mosley over a map of Northwestern Europe.

The Second Internationale.jpg

Pictured: A news article about the Second Internationale.

He had been present in New York City during the Thirty Day Deadline and had filmed a documentary about the Syndicalist workers in Brooklyn, entitled American Steel, and had made it out of New York on a ship bound for London just days before Federal forces retook control of the city. After a presentation of American Steel, he gave an impassioned speech calling for the workers of the world to do everything they could to support the CSA. When he concluded his speech, the crowd rose to their feet in a deafening cheer. Oswald Mosley himself was reported to have said the speech and documentary had “nearly moved him to tears.” International support for the CSA had been reinvigorated and plans were soon drawn up to reopen coastal access for the American Syndicalists with Syndicalist commando raids and arms shipments.

Hemingway's Speech.jpg

Pictured: White House memo of Ernest Hemingway's Speech.
 
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stnylan

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It's surely a matter of cutting losses in most places and hoping to win through in others.
 
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PaleoGamer86

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It's surely a matter of cutting losses in most places and hoping to win through in others.
For sure. For the longest time I had no clue how to win in the 2ACW and always ended up either losing or getting stuck in a horrific WK1-esque meat grinder of a stalemate. I just recently (thanks to a YouTube video) realized that the whole key to winning was to concentrate your forces where most important, and to sacrifice the less important land for the sake of victory. I finally won the American Civil War, as Macarthur no less! God Bless the USA!

(now I just have to figure out how to win the Second Weltkrieg singlehandedly after Germany and Austria have capitulated and been carved up, the Entente have already wasted all of their troops on pathetically failed naval invasions, and the Third Internationale has like 300+ divisions and I have a limit of like 200. Any ideas, boys? I wanna get the Best Timeline gosh darnit)
 

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For sure. For the longest time I had no clue how to win in the 2ACW and always ended up either losing or getting stuck in a horrific WK1-esque meat grinder of a stalemate. I just recently (thanks to a YouTube video) realized that the whole key to winning was to concentrate your forces where most important, and to sacrifice the less important land for the sake of victory. I finally won the American Civil War, as Macarthur no less! God Bless the USA!

(now I just have to figure out how to win the Second Weltkrieg singlehandedly after Germany and Austria have capitulated and been carved up, the Entente have already wasted all of their troops on pathetically failed naval invasions, and the Third Internationale has like 300+ divisions and I have a limit of like 200. Any ideas, boys? I wanna get the Best Timeline gosh darnit)
There is another USA AAR here from a few years back (unfortunately some, though not all, of the screenshots are dead) in an earlier version of KR who did this. Quite a few changes since, but likewise he had to figure out what to try and hold and what to let go.
 
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Kautz

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It's surely a matter of cutting losses in most places and hoping to win through in others.
War Plan Blue and the US government recognized that it would be impossible to hold every state especially in the Kentucky Corridor. Unfortunately, sacrifices had to be made and you can see the result in Loyalist Kentucky where the state was abandoned to its fate. Kansas, and to a lesser extent, Missouri suffered a similar fate at the start of the war.
 
Chapter 5: The Keystone

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Chapter 5: The Keystone

The Siege of Harrisburg, The Fall of Kansas, and the Second Anaconda Plan

At the same time Ernest Hemingway was earning the support of the Third Internationale in London, President Olson was considering two proposals by members of his cabinet. The first proposed establishing martial law for the duration of the war. Though the situation behind the front lines had calmed down since the chaos and anarchy of the Thirty Day Deadline, there were few places in the United States that were not plagued by some level of guerrilla activity. General Marshall had recommended instituting a few of the security measures that General MacArthur had drawn up for his planned coup d'état, including the use of martial law, to suppress Partisans (Syndicalists) and Bushwackers (Longists) that were hampering the Federal war effort across the fronts and behind the lines. President Olson was no stranger to martial law, and had utilized it himself during the Minneapolis Teamsters’ Strike of 1934 when he had called upon the Minnesota National Guard to put an end to escalating killings between striking union workers and police. It had paid off in 1934, but in May 1937, as the leader of the self-proclaimed democratic “Free States of America” and having just recently narrowly avoided a military coup against him, Olson felt that ending civil authority would be a catastrophic mistake that would delegitimize his government and open up a pathway for another potential coup attempt. On May 4th, 1937, Olson announced to the military’s Joint Board that civil order would be maintained and that there would be no martial law in states that had remained loyal to the Federal government.

The second proposal was on the strategic air campaign that General Henry A. Arnold of the USAAC had begun against the Red Belt’s industrial centers. USAAC B-17 Flying Fortresses had started bombing industrial districts around the Great Lakes within days of the outbreak of the war, yet the Syndicalists had proven resilient and had worked hard to repair much of the damage caused by high explosive bombs dropped on the factories. General Arnold had come up with a plan to use incendiary munitions to melt the factories’ equipment in an attempt to prevent the Syndicalists from repairing the damage. It was a controversial proposal, as incendiary weapons were considered by some in high command to be “uncivilized weapons unbecoming of a great nation.” Others had long pointed to the fact that the CSA had an industrial advantage over the United States, and that the longer they were allowed to operate their factories unhindered, the more powerful they would become. President Olson, after a careful deliberation, reluctantly agreed to the use of firebombs against enemy industrial targets to cripple the Syndicalists’ industrial power.

Firebomb Campaign.jpg

Pictured: A White House memo on the issue of firebombing.

Another political issue was soon called to Olson’s attention a few days later, as several attacks against conscientious objectors grabbed the attention of the American media. Debates raged over the radio and newspapers as to whether these pacifists were within their rights to refuse to fight or whether they were traitors who were abandoning their country in its time of need. President Olson looked to Abraham Lincoln’s conduct towards pacifists during the First American Civil War and signed an executive order on May 6th, 1937 allowing conscientious objectors to serve in non-military or non-combat roles in lieu of being conscripted. Pacifists and religious groups opposed to killing under any circumstances could serve as combat medics, cooks, factory workers, or as workers on infrastructure projects instead of being conscripted as soldiers, sailors, or airmen.

Conscientious Objectors.jpg

Pictured: White House memo on the issue of conscientious objectors.

Meanwhile on the Pennsylvania Front, the Army of the Delaware’s pincer maneuver around Harrisburg was successful in breaking through the CSA Sixth Army’s militia-held lines. Rivalries between Federalist, Unionist, and Centralist militias had prevented them from working together to halt the US Army’s advance in central Pennsylvania and Loyalist aircraft dominated the skies crippling the Sixth Army’s ability to maneuver or defend its positions. Only the veteran 28th “Keystone” Division, dug in around Chambersburg, stood any chance of preventing the encirclement of the majority of the Sixth Army. On May 7th, Federal troops of the Army of the Potomac’s 3rd Infantry Division under General Eisenhower, with significant help from the USAAC, pushed the 28th Division back and began advancing North towards State College. From the North, the 1st (Massachusetts) Volunteer Infantry Division broke through the Federalist (Radical Socialist) “McCall” militia Division and arrived on the outskirts of State College, Pennsylvania, capturing supply depots holding much of the Sixth Army’s food supply. The commander of the Corps Lafayette, General Paul Legentilhomme, considered pulling his forces out of Harrisburg and attempting to withdraw to Pittsburgh by railroad before it was too late. Unfortunately for General Legentilhomme who was a member of the Travailleur (Syndicalist) Party in France, Sorelian (Totalist) André Marty had been selected by the Third Internationale to have overall command of all International forces in America as Political Commissar. A former navy sailor and hero of the revolution that had toppled the French Third Republic in 1919, by 1937 he had become a paranoid madman who saw conspiracies against himself and the revolution behind every corner, and was all too eager to mete out harsh justice to those who he suspected of being counter revolutionaries. Historians suspect that Marty may have been searching for a reason to take General Legentilhomme out, possibly even on the orders of Georges Valois who had been tightening Sorelian (Totalist) control of the Commune of France at the expense of the Travailleurs and the Anarchistes (Radical Socialists) for months (though Marty’s paranoia and delusions of conspiracies may have not needed any outside help to find an excuse to doom the hapless Legentilhomme.) Commissar Marty forbade him from withdrawing stating “Retreating from Harrisburg and allowing the forces of counter revolution to take the city is an action that would only be ordered by a reactionary traitor and one who wishes to see our global revolution fail. Any attempt to leave the city in Federal hands will be considered grounds for court martial and liquidation.”

Air War May 37.jpg

Pictured: The Air War in May 1937. Green represents US air superiority, Red represents AUS or CSA air superiority.

A-17 in Pennsylvania.jpg

Pictured: A rare colorized photo of an A-17 on the Pennsylvania Front, May 1937.

Andre Marty.jpg

Pictured: A young Marty shortly after the Second French Revolution (1921).


General Legentilhomme had no choice but to remain in place on the outskirts of Harrisburg as Federal troops closed around the city. On May 8th, the 3rd Infantry’s cavalry recon detachment linked up with the Massachusetts volunteers in State College. Seven divisions of the Sixth Army, including the 1st and 2nd Divisions of the Corps Lafayette, were cut off in and around Harrisburg in what would become known as the “Keystone Pocket” after the nickname of Pennsylvania, with both the Sixth Army’s General John Tisa and the Corps Lafayette’s General Legentilhomme trapped in the Harrisburg with little chance to escape. Further compounding the CSA’s troubles in the East, was the sinking of seven of their nine surviving submarines under the command of Rear Admiral Rickover on the Eastern Seaboard, when they were spotted by a PBY patrol bomber and hunted down by USN destroyers. With their defeat and Rear Admiral Rickover’s death during the fight, the CSA’s presence in the Atlantic was all but gone.

Keystone Pocket.jpg

Pictured: The Keystone Pocket.

Subhunting, May, 1937.jpg

Pictured: The sinking of SCN submarines off the East Coast in May 1937.


The War in the East was going well for the United States. The War in the West, on the other hand, was proving far more difficult. Patton’s invasion of the Great Plains, spearheaded by the Army of Oklahoma under General Hodges, was still rolling northward, easily brushing aside what little Federal resistance it encountered. On May 8th, Topeka, Kansas fell to the Longist 45th Infantry Division composed of Oklahoma National Guard units when Topeka police and local militia surrendered after a three hour Southern assault penetrated the trenches around the Western end of the city and seized control of the four bridges that crossed the Kansas River, cutting off their escape route North. Kansas City’s Kansas and Missouri portions south of the Missouri River fell the same day after a three-day siege spearheaded by the 16th (Arkansas) Volunteer Infantry Division drove its defenders, made up of Missourian and Kansan volunteers as well as local police, across the river. With nearly the entire state of Kansas in his hands, Patton turned his focus North to Nebraska and West to Colorado.

The Fall of Kansas.jpg

Pictured: The Fall of Kansas, May 1937.

The surviving defenders on the Great Plains Front lacked the manpower to hold the front, and their defensive lines were simply bypassed or encircled repeatedly as Patton’s Army Group West pushed ever northward. President Olson, desperately needing volunteers, had called for recruiting drives in Native American reservations throughout Nebraska and South Dakota in the hopes of gaining fresh troops who knew the land and could help fill the gaps in the line during the first weeks of the war. On May 9th, four divisions were mobilized in Nebraska and South Dakota, and were sent to the front to hold back the Southern advance. More than half of the soldiers in the divisions were Native Americans, and one division, the 5th (South Dakota) Volunteer Cavalry Division, was entirely made up of Sioux. The divisions were rushed South to the Kansas-Nebraska border to fight alongside the US Army’s 89th Infantry Division which had previously been on its own as the only organized division on the border.


In the East, the Army of the Delaware had been hammering Harrisburg for days, and the Corps Lafayette was in an increasingly desperate situation by May 12th. The USAAC had complete air superiority over Pennsylvania and every defensive strong point the Corps Lafayette held was quickly smashed by B-18 Bolo carpet bombing or accurate A-17 dive bombing runs. As his soldiers fought tooth and nail for every block of the city, General Legentilhomme realized he would have no choice but to retreat against the orders of the fearsome Commissar Marty. To his North, Red Guard militias were dug in throughout the Appalachian Mountains where tree cover could provide some little relief from the relentless air attacks. On May 13th, General Legentilhomme ordered what was left of his two divisions (a little more than three-thousand soldiers) to fall back to the North into the Appalachians, staying behind with a single battalion to act as a rearguard for as long as he could. The evacuation of the city took three hours and by nightfall Harrisburg was once again in the hands of the United States government. The Corps Lafayette’s rearguard had held nearly to the last man, with only a handful being taken prisoner and General Legentilhomme being killed in action during heavy street fighting, allowing the rest of their comrades to slip out of the city to the North. General Bradley, having become sick due to lack of sleep over the course of the campaign, and afraid of pursuing Sixth Army into the mountains, asked President Olson for authorization to negotiate the surrender of the remaining Syndicalist forces, and was given permission on May 15th. Negotiations lasted for three days while USAAC B-18s rained leaflets throughout the mountains calling on Syndicalist forces to surrender. The Sixth Army’s commander, General Tisa was helpless as his troops began to desert and surrender to Federal forces in exchange for a warm meal as their own rations began to run critically low. He had received word from General Heitke that relief would be impossible and that there would be no attempts made to help his remaining army break out. Finally, on May 18th, the surviving divisions of the Sixth Army including the tattered remains of the Corps Lafayette’s 1st and 2nd Divisions surrendered on the promise of good treatment, food, and medical care. It was a huge blow to the CSA and the prestige of the Third Internationale. Jack Reed reportedly stayed in his room for the next three days, refusing to talk to anyone. The Army of the Delaware, with Harrisburg in its possession, continued the drive towards Pittsburgh before finally being halted by regular CSA troops, and International Brigade troops from the Union of Britain, Ireland, Italy, including the surviving 3rd Division of the Corps Lafayette now under the command of the Sorelian General Marcel Bucard on May 22nd. The defeat of the CSA’s Sixth Army and the collapse of the Keystone Pocket was a decisive military and political victory for the beleaguered United States. It had been the first time an enemy army had been wiped out and had led to the majority of Pennsylvania being brought back under Federal control. It also led the cautious Canadian government to officially announce its support for the United States, and offer large-scale military aid and military advisors from the entire Entente to help counter the foreign support for the CSA and the AUS.

B-18 over Pennsylvania, May 1937.jpg

Pictured: A USAAC B-18 Bolo over Pennsylvania in May 1937.

Corps Lafayette in Harrisburg.png

Pictured: The Corps Lafayette during the siege of Harrisburg, May 1937.


Fall of the Harrisburg Pocket.jpg

Pictured: The Fall of the Keystone Pocket.

Omar Bradley falls Ill.jpg

Pictured: A White House memo about General Bradley falling ill after capturing Harrisburg.

Siege of Pittsburgh.jpg

Pictured: The Pittsburgh Front at the end of May 1937.


Canada Declares Support.jpg

Pictured: A White House memo regarding Canada's Declaration of support for the United States.

Further adding to the war effort against the CSA, OSS Agent Hamilton Bee successfully infiltrated General Heitke’s headquarters on May 21st, making contact with a secret loyalist among Heitke’s aides, and provided him with the means to pass vital intelligence over to the US government. Everything looked up on the Eastern Front against the CSA.

OSS Infiltration of the SCA.jpg

Pictured: A declassified OSS document detailing the infiltration of the Second Continental Army.

Down to the South in Longist territory, General Moseley had become jealous of Patton’s successes in the Midwest, especially given the Army of North Carolina’s failure to capture Virginia, and the Army of Tennessee and Army of Georgia’s slow progress in Kentucky that had resulted in over half the state being captured by his hated Syndicalist adversaries. President Long had grown impatient with Moseley’s progress and had been rumored to be privately considering replacing his command of Army Group East with General Devers. General Moseley had heard that Long was displeased with his performance and was eager to take action to remedy his situation. His insecurity about these rumors led him to order a full attack across the Eastern Front to regain the favor of President Long. General Ridgeway and the Army of North Carolina were to launch an offensive into Virginia in a second attempt to capture the state and threaten Washington DC. General del Valle and General Cates were ordered to stop their guerrilla hunting campaigns and to wipe out the last Loyalist pocket in Lexington, Kentucky as well as drive the Syndicalist Third and Fourth Armies back across the Ohio River.

On May 9th, 1937, the Army of North Carolina began a ten hour artillery and air barrage against the Army of the Potomac camped across the Appomattox River and the salient around Petersburg followed by large scale infantry attacks reminiscent of the great offensives of the Weltkrieg. Unlike in the Midwest where Southern air superiority was unchecked, in early May it was the USAAC that ruled the skies over Virginia. Southern air wings in the East under the command of General Demas T. Craw were at a severe disadvantage and suffered heavy casualties to their Federal opponents who outnumbered them four to one. The Southern infantry, mostly from the Carolinas, like their Weltkrieg counterparts, took heavy casualties as they attempted to build pontoons over the Appomattox River or storm the Federal trenches around Petersburg as the Union Army had tried and failed to do over seventy years before during the First Civil War. The Southern offensive lasted for four days and led to tens of thousands of Southern casualties, especially in the Second Battle of Petersburg where North Carolinian troops of the 81st “Wildcat” Infantry Division repeatedly charged across open ground under air attacks and artillery and machine gun fire.

AUS Virginia May Offensive.jpg

Pictured: The Army of North Carolina's May Offensive into Virginia.

On the last day of the offensive, however, the Army of North Carolina managed to wound the Army of the Potomac’s commander, General McNair with artillery fire, leading to the amputation of his right arm. Despite this small win in the middle of an overwhelming loss, the situation enraged both General Moseley, who needed to turn the situation around on the Eastern Front, and President Long, who had expected to have Virginia and Washington DC in his possession far earlier than this point in the war.

Leslie McNair, May, 1937.jpg

Pictured: A White House memo regarding the wounding of General McNair on the Virginia Front, May 1937.

General Moseley’s hopes for a victory would have to rely on Kentucky. On May 15th, 1937, the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Georgia launched twin offensives against their foes in Kentucky. The Army of Tennessee under General Cates pushed up the Ohio River Valley, driving back the Red Guard militias from Ohio and Indiana. The lead units, the 30th “Old Hickory” Infantry Division, supported by Russian cavalry of the 1st Ural Cossack Division, reached the outskirts of Louisville on May 18th to find it garrisoned by the Second Continental Army’s 83rd “Ohio” Infantry Division which had dug in on hills South of the town. The two divisions found themselves evenly matched as they battled for the heart of Louisville, but with the majority of the Red Air Force being held back to defend the CSA’s cities from Federal air raids and to help the First Army hold the line in Minnesota, Longist bombers, including German aircraft of the Legion Schwarzer Adler, rained heavy fire down on the 83rd Infantry Division, driving them back across the pontoons they had built to seize Louisville back in April. By May 25th, the city was firmly in the hands of the Army of Tennessee.

Ju 87 A over Kentucky.jpg

Pictured: A German Ju-87 with the Southern Cross on its wings over Kentucky, May 1937.

General del Valle led the Army of Georgia up into Eastern Kentucky, battling CSA commander Milton Wolff’s Fifth Army and the united guerrilla bands of the Hatfields and McCoys. The Syndicalists in Western Kentucky were helped by the local partisans who knew the land, and every Longist push towards West Virginia was blunted with heavy losses, especially among del Valle’s hated Silver Legionnaires who were favorite targets of the local guerrillas. General del Valle, realizing that he would be unable to drive the Syndicalists back into West Virginia, decided to turn his attention on the last remaining Federal pocket in Kentucky located in Lexington. Despite being hopelessly outnumbered and low on supplies, General del Valle’s reputation as a merciless commander led to the Loyalists militias and police under the command of Kentucky governor Happy Chandler to fight fiercely against del Valle’s Legionnaires of the 3rd and 4th Silver Legions. The Loyalists fought until they were out of ammunition and then engaged the Legionnaires in brutal hand to hand fighting block by block throughout the city in a valiant last stand that resulted in the death of Governor Chandler on May 26th as the city fell. Only a handful of Federal survivors made it out of the city to reach the lines of the Syndicalist forces of General Oliver Law’s Fourth Army several miles to the North, who had promised rewards to anyone in Lexington who defected and fair treatment to those who wished to surrender.

Kentucky Front, June 1937.jpg

Pictured: The Fall of Kentucky, May 1937.

As May drew to a close, General Patton, aware that the US Army was redirecting forces from the New Mexico frontier northward towards Nebraska, halted his advance there, and decided to once again attempt to take Loyalist Texas and push the Army of the Colorado back into New Mexico. On May 25th, the Army of Texas once again launched an offensive. This time, the Longist forces utilized new tactics that they had been taught by their German military advisors after their disastrous attack in April. No longer were they charging in tight masses across open ground. Their new stormtrooper tactics, combined with the overstretched enemy they faced, enabled them to drive the Army of the Colorado back into New Mexico. Fort Stockton, where the 36th “Lonestar” Division had suffered great casualties back in April, fell on May 25th at the start of the offensive. On the night of May 26th, Texas Rangers, mounted on horses, snuck through the lines of the 5th (California) Volunteer Division outside of Hobbs, New Mexico, sabotaging supply lines and sowing confusion in the rear. The next morning the 33rd (Texas) Volunteer Division smashed into the Californian lines, overrunning the forward trenches, and driving the 5th Division back eight miles by the end of the day. By May 31st, the Army of Texas had pushed all the way to the Pecos River in New Mexico and were on the outskirts of Roswell and Santa Rosa. The California Volunteer Divisions had suffered heavy casualties as they were pushed back but managed to reorganize and hold the line on the river, preventing either of the towns from falling to the Southern advance.

Californian Volunteers arrive May 37.jpg

Pictured: The redeployment of the Army of the Colorado in May 1937.

Army of Texas May Offensive.jpg

Pictured: The New Mexico Front, late May 1937.


With successes across every front except Virginia, President Long decided to take a gamble and attempt to launch a decisive blow against Washington DC. The Army of North Carolina had been unable to drive the Army of the Potomac from their positions despite a month of heavy fighting. The AUS Admiral of the Atlantic Fleet, James O. Richardson, had proposed bypassing the Army of the Potomac by sailing his into the Chesapeake Bay and taking Washington DC by naval landing. President Long liked the idea and approved the plan, dubbed Operation Alligator, to begin immediately. On May 28th, the AUS’s Atlantic Fleet arrived in Chesapeake Bay to find the United States’s Atlantic Fleet waiting for them. The AUS Atlantic Fleet had been spotted sailing up the coast of North Carolina by Loyalist sympathizers who had managed to radio broadcast the approach. Each fleet had one carrier. The USN with the USS Constellation, and the AUN with the AUS Langley. The USN had four battleships, (the USS Colorado, West Virginia, Washington, and North Carolina) to the AUN’s three (the AUS Maryland, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.) The AUN had a distinct advantage in cruisers however with seven compared to the USN’s one. The US Atlantic Fleet had forty-six destroyers compared to the thirty of the AU Atlantic Fleet. Supporting the US Atlantic Fleet were twenty-eight submarines compared to seven for the AUN.

AUS Langley before the battle..jpg

Pictured: The AUS Langley at port in May 1937.
AUS Oklahoma.jpg

Pictured: The AUS Oklahoma before the war when it was the USS Oklahoma.


The Battle of Chesapeake Bay began at 1035 hours when fighters from the USS Constellation engaged fighters from the AUS Langley over Northampton County, Virginia. The initial fighting was inconclusive with the US losing one fighter compared to the AUS losing three. By 1125 hours, the two fleets engaged each other as a squadron of American destroyers closed in on the Southern Fleet. Behind them, the US battleships and cruisers turned and opened fire on the AUN, striking the AUS Oklahoma several times, causing it to catch fire and killing forty sailors. The AUN battleships and cruiser returned fire, damaging the USS North Carolina and the USS West Virginia, killing twenty-five sailors total. Between the battleships, destroyers darted around firing at each other and attempting to pass through each other's picket lines to launch torpedo salvoes at the battleship lines. The USN, with its overwhelming number of destroyers managed to slip through the AUN lines and launched over a dozen torpedoes at the Southern fleet, striking the AUS Oklahoma and the AUS Tennessee, as well as three cruisers. Though none were sunk, they were heavily damaged, and Admiral Richardson realized if he continued to fight any longer, he might lose his entire fleet. At 1546 hours he ordered the retreat and the AUN Atlantic Fleet began to withdraw out into Chesapeake Bay. Over the course of the battle, one US destroyer was sunk compared to three AU destroyers and one AU submarine. Four US BT dive bombers and one TBD-1 Torpedo bomber had also been lost, compared to one AU TBD-1.

TBD-1 Attacking AUN Fleet.jpg

Pictured: US TBD-1 during the Battle of Chesapeake Bay, May 1937.

The Battle of Chesapeake Bay Painting.jpg

Pictured: A painting of the Battle of Chesapeake Bay showing US destroyers advancing upon the AUS battleship line to launch torpedo attacks.

The Battle of Chesapeake Bay Day 1.jpg

Pictured: The Results of the first day of the Battle of Chesapeake Bay.


US Admiral Halsey Jr. had no desire to allow the AUN out of his grasp and pursued them. The next day torpedo bombers from the USS Constellation found the AUN Atlantic Fleet and attacked. A brief dog fight took place with the AUS losing two F3F fighters while one US TBD-1 torpedo bomber and one F3F fighter were shot down. The American TBD-1s broke through the enemy fighters, scoring a critical hit on the AUS Langley and causing her to sink almost immediately with all hands. USN BT dive bombers also managed to catch three AUN subs on the surface and sink them. The AU Atlantic Fleet continued to run, however, and the USN was unable to catch them. Despite the AUN escaping, they had lost their only carrier, and every battleship and all but one of their cruisers had been severely damaged in the battle. The damaged ships would take time to repair, and the US Navy was eager to take advantage of the crippling of their foe’s navy.

F3F Fighter.jpg

Pictured: AUS F3F fighter during the Battle of Chesapeake Bay.

The Battle of Chesapeake Bay Day 2.jpg

Pictured: The results of the second day of the Battle of Chesapeake Bay.

AUS Langley sunk.jpg

Pictured: The torpedoing of the AUS Langley.


Admiral Halsey Jr. believed it was the time to cut the South off from the sea to restrict their access to resources, military equipment, and troops that they had been receiving from their benefactors overseas. Just as they had in the First American Civil War, the United States Navy would once again blockade the Southern coastline with a Second Anaconda Plan.

The Second Anaconda Plan.jpg

Pictured: The Second Anaconda Plan.
 
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TWR97

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Seems the CSA will be putting up quite a fight before the Federalists can move in to the heartlands of their territory. The CSA meanwhile is gaining more ground. Hopefully they will be the last enemy the loyalists will engage with when the CSA is defeated. I'd hate for the Mexicans to intervene now in the worst possible time, or even worse, see the Californians secede.
 

Kautz

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Seems the CSA will be putting up quite a fight before the Federalists can move in to the heartlands of their territory. The CSA meanwhile is gaining more ground. Hopefully they will be the last enemy the loyalists will engage with when the CSA is defeated. I'd hate for the Mexicans to intervene now in the worst possible time, or even worse, see the Californians secede.
The Mexican government, a market liberal democracy, actually backed the US government and even went so far as to send a volunteer division, the División Águila, to support the Federal government. As for California and the Western States, they voted unanimously for President Olson and backed his effort to reunite the country. In fact, California provided more volunteer divisions to the US Army than any other state except for New York, and troops from California made up a plurality of US forces on the Western Front during the war.
 
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stnylan

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Despite the desperate times there is definitely room for cautious optimism now. Those are some not insignificant victories.
 

generalis Julius Caesar

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Very nice. However I am forced to support the reds.