Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
20.117
654
Even if I don't say a word, I'm still here, reading...
 

H.Appleby

Part of the Problem
46 Badges
Mar 20, 2011
1.127
24
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Rome Gold
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I've just had a thought about the lack of McMamara at Defence - no Project 100,000 / McNamara's Morons. No-one else is going to force the military to take draftees who've failed the IQ test, so the US army is probably hurting for manpower (Air Force and Navy managed OK as they were more attractive / more exciting / safer). OTL Project 100,000 meant there was a regular supply of warm (if not very bright) bodies coming in, so there was no need to take the
politically tricky step of cracking down on draft dodging. But that isn't the case here.

To be fair, no Project 100,000 is probably better for everyone involved. That and not firing Westmoreland were the two worst things McNamara ever did.
 

Nathan Madien

Field Marshal
Mar 24, 2006
4.463
38
AtlanticFriend: One of the things I respect about Bush 41 is how he handled his loss to Bill Clinton in 1992. He accepted it, treated Clinton as his equal, wrote him a very gracious letter welcoming him to the White House, and even invited Dana Carvey (who made fun of him on SNL) to the White House to entertain the White House staff. Completely different from how Donald Trump handled his loss to Joe Biden.

On this side of the pond, we hear a lot about Russia and...well...Russia.

I really like John McCain as well. Unfortunately for him, he received the Republican Presidential nomination at a bad time. Eight years of Bush 43, the 2008 economic crisis, and the meteoric rise of Barack Obama made winning the Presidency very difficult for McCain if not impossible. As for a suitable "spiritual heir" surge in the coming decade, I am not sure who it could be if anybody. The GOP of today has wrapped itself too tightly around Trump.

El Pip: That's true. If people are suffering economically and Forbes is living the high life, it won't take long for the President to look out of touch with ordinary people.

I plan on talking about the Forbes Administration's cracking down on draft dodging. To say it is controversial might be an understatement.

Historically LBJ was criticized by conservatives for not doing enough to deal with the Vietnam War protestors. Here I imagine Forbes will be criticized by liberals for being overzealous in dealing with the Vietnam War protestors.

Kurt_Steiner: I appreciate that. :)

H.Appleby: In TTL 1965, Robert McNamara is still serving as the President of Ford Motor Company. I don't plan on doing anything with him.

After not posting anything for two years :eek: , I have finally been able to write an update. Hopefully the next update - which will be about Vietnam - won't take two years to write as well.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Barents Sea Incident
For navigator Captain Stuart McKeon, it was just another day at the office. In his case, the “office” was an RB-47H spy plane. It was January 25th, 1965, and McKeon and his five crew mates boarded their plane, a Boeing B-47 Stratojet modified for electronic intelligence missions, for yet another flight over the Barents Sea. Covering 540,000 square miles, the Barents Sea made up the coasts of Norway and the Soviet Union and was strategically important in the Cold War. It was through this portion of the Arctic Ocean that Soviet nuclear submarines stationed in Murmansk made their way into and out of the North Atlantic Ocean. To monitor these submarines, the United States Air Force based RB-47H spy planes in England which could fly out to the Barents Sea and gather intelligence on their locations. Being crammed with bulky electronics made the plane cramped and uncomfortable for the six-man crew who had to be in it for missions lasting 12 hours. On January 25th, McKeon’s plane took off from its’ air force base in Oxfordshire county and headed towards the Barents Sea on a routine mission. Having done this several times already, the crew was expecting this mission to be no different than the previous ones.
httpsfunkyimg-comi3c77c-jpg.jpg

Ten days later on February 4th, McKeon and co-pilot Captain Harry Phillips found themselves being paraded before the cameras in Moscow as inmates of Lubyanka prison. How they ended up here depended on who you asked. According to the Forbes Administration, the plane had been performing weather reconnaissance in international airspace near the Kola Peninsula when they were shot down unprovoked by a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 single-seat, twin jet engine fighter aircraft. According to Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, the Americans had been spying on them and their plane had been in Soviet airspace; thus the shoot down was justified. Of the six-man crew, only McKeon and Phillips survived. The bodies of three of the four crew members killed were never found. After ending up in the water, McKeon and Phillips were rescued by a Soviet fishing trawler and were immediately taken to Lubyanka prison for their incarceration. Khrushchev’s announcement (which was largely an angry tirade against the United States) on February 4th that they were in his country’s custody deepened tensions between the two superpowers – which were already tense. The Americans demanded that McKeon and Phillips be released at once; the Soviets refused. The Soviets demanded that the Americans admit and apologize for their routine aerial reconnaissance flights over their country as a condition for their release; they refused. Washington and Moscow became locked in a Cold War stand-off, with neither side willing to budge an inch on their demands. As for the families of McKeon and Phillips, they were left to wonder and worry if they would ever see their loved ones again.
httpsfunkyimg-comi3c77f-jpg.jpg

(One of the jail cells at Lubyanka prison, where Americans Stuart McKeon and Harry Phillips were held)
For President Malcolm Forbes, the Barents Sea Incident and the stand-off that followed was not at all how he wanted to start his dealings with the Soviet Union. He had come into office interested in improving relations with the Soviets, greatly encouraged by a 41-year-old German-accented Harvard professor named Henry Kissinger. Originally born in Germany during the highly volatile Weimar Republic period, Kissinger immigrated to the United States in 1938 and served in the Army during World War Two. After the war he went to Harvard where he excelled academically – graduating Phi Beta Kappa – and established himself as an expert on foreign policy. Kissinger’s intellect attracted the attention of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who recruited him to serve as his foreign policy advisor for his unsuccessful 1960 bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. After Rockefeller’s second bid in 1964 was torpedoed by public outrage over his decision to leave his wife and children for a married woman who had children of her own, Kissinger deserted him and offered Forbes his services. He did so largely out of personal ambition; Kissinger wanted to directly influence US foreign policy and the then-New Jersey Governor looked very likely to not only win the 1964 Republican Presidential nomination but also the general election against Democratic Senator George McGovern of South Dakota.
httpsfunkyimg-comi3c77g-jpg.jpg

Despite Kissinger’s ties to Rockefeller (whom Forbes didn’t get along with at all – to the point that he completely excluded him from his subsequent Administration), Forbes received him with an open mind. They had a thoughtful discussion on foreign policy, after which Forbes hired him to be his foreign policy advisor. What sealed the deal was that Kissinger was a proponent of Realpolitik, a German word meaning “realistic politics”. Under Realpolitik, foreign policy would be based not on ideological or moral premises but on pragmatic considerations of given circumstances. Kissinger believed it was important for America to deal with the world as it was and not how she wanted to see it. This was especially the case with the Soviet Union. “The time has come,” he declared, “That we stop talking about containing [the Soviets] and start talking to them on an equal basis.”
Kissinger believed that the threat the Soviet Union posed to other nations in the early years of the Cold War had passed and that she could now be engaged with in a peaceful and practical manner. Forbes agreed. Unlike his predecessor President Henry M. Jackson (1961-1965) who viewed the Soviet Union as being – in the words of Ronald Reagan – the “Evil Empire” who couldn’t be trusted in negotiations, Forbes felt that the potential was there for rapprochement with the Communist superpower. “There has to be some sort of basis in which our two countries can live together without blowing each other up.”
Another reason Forbes was interested in seeking a relaxation of US-Soviet tensions was to counter the Republic of China. Under the leadership of President Chiang Kai-shek, China was aggressively seeking to establish herself as the dominant economic, military, and political power in Asia. This made her a dangerous threat to America’s interests in Asia and the Western Pacific. By improving relations with Moscow, Forbes believed it would free him to better deal with Nanjing (who was far more willing to directly confront Washington than Moscow). “I would much rather have one enemy at a time than two.”
Following his landslide election in November 1964, Forbes instructed Secretary of State-designate Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. to find an advisory position for Kissinger at the State Department. “He has some very good ideas,” the President-elect stated, “And I want to turn those ideas into reality.”
With Kissinger installed at the State Department, the Forbes Administration set about establishing a new policy in dealing with the Soviets: détente. A French word meaning “relaxation”, détente comprised of several elements including:
  • Expanding economic opportunities between the two nations
  • Promoting educational and cultural exchanges
  • Greater dialogue between the two governments, including regular summit meetings
  • Negotiations over arms control
When Forbes took office, there had been no negotiations between Washington and Moscow over banning nuclear testing. He made negotiating such an agreement the first step of détente, not seeing the point in the continual testing of nuclear weapons. “We already know how powerful and destructive these nuclear bombs are. Why do we need to keep demonstrating how powerful and destructive they are?”
httpsfunkyimg-comi3c77h-jpg.jpg

(US nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean during 1962)
Since any treaty his Administration reached with the Soviets would have to be ratified by the United States Senate, Forbes invited a bipartisan group of key Senators to the White House in the early days of his Presidency to discuss negotiating a treaty. Although consulting Congress about major initiatives was something Forbes regularly did, he went into this particular meeting thinking about President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) and his failure to get the Senate to ratify the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 following the end of World War One. After leaving Republican and Democratic Senators alike completely out of the loop during the Paris Peace Conference, Wilson refused to compromise with a group of Republican Senators led by Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts who were willing to support ratification of the treaty provided that they could attach reservations to it clarifying how the treaty would be implemented in the United States. Wilson fully expected the Senate to give their consent to the Treaty of Versailles without giving their advice; he got rejection instead. Regarding the 28th President as an example of what NOT to do, Forbes sat with the Senators in the Cabinet Room, giving them his thoughts about a nuclear test ban treaty and listening to their feedback. The President viewed the treaty as being the first step, one that would make it possible for more comprehensive negotiations down the road. “We will not end the possibility of nuclear war overnight,” he said, “But by putting limits on the testing of nuclear weapons, we can start to move away from that possibility.”
The limits of course had to be mutual. The President opposed unilaterally stopping nuclear testing, believing that doing so while the Soviet Union continued to perform tests would undermine US national security. Nor did he view a “ban the bomb” treaty as being realistic. Nuclear weapons were a fact of life; instead of getting rid of them outright, he just wanted to rein them in (which he thought would be more palatable to those who possessed them). Some of the Senators responded warmly to a nuclear test ban treaty while others were dubious that the Soviet Union would go along with it. When the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee asked what would happen if the Soviets refused to negotiate, the President answered simply, “We will just have to keep at it.”
Of all the Senators in the room, Democratic Minority Leader Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota seemed to be the most enthusiastic supporter of a nuclear test ban treaty. Arms control was an issue near and dear to his heart. He had been frustrated by Jackson’s refusal to negotiate a treaty and now here was a President who wanted to seriously pursue arms control. Ecstatic, Humphrey promised Forbes at the meeting that he would wholeheartedly back any agreement he reached with the Soviets concerning this issue. The Democratic Senate Minority Leader was sincere in his vow to give the Republican President his unconditional bipartisan support on arms control, even though it meant taking it off the table as a campaign issue when Humphrey ran against Forbes in the 1968 Presidential election.
httpsfunkyimg-comi3c77i-jpg.jpg

(Although they had sharp disagreements on several issues like the Vietnam War and Medicare, Forbes and Humphrey found common ground on other issues like arms control and civil rights)
On March 5th, Lodge arrived back in Washington from Geneva, Switzerland where he had met his Soviet counterpart Andrei Gromyko to discuss the ongoing standoff as well as the nuclear test ban treaty. Walking into the Oval Office, the Secretary of State got straight to the point:
“Mr. President, they don’t want to negotiate.”
According to Gromyko, the Soviets could not trust the Americans to negotiate in good faith when they had been caught spying on them and were refusing to apologize for it. That was the official reason. The real reason the Soviets didn’t want to negotiate at the time had to do with the balance of power...which did not favor them. For all of Khrushchev’s tough guy talk about "burying" the United States, the Soviets were acutely aware that the Americans had the advantage in the Cold War arms race. The USA possessed more missiles, more nuclear submarines, more nuclear weapons, and more strategic bombers than the USSR did and had a greater ability to field those weapons than the Soviets did. The United States had ringed the Soviet Union with bases from which to launch strikes deep into the country. The Soviet Union on the other hand couldn’t set up a base anywhere in the Western Hemisphere from which they could directly strike the United States. The Soviets knew that if a nuclear war was to break out, they would bear the worst of it. They were therefore reluctant to enter into arms control talks. In their view, it would simply lock into place their military inferiority. Disappointed that the Soviets didn’t want to come to the negotiating table, Forbes asked:
“Is there any good news?”
Lodge answered that there was one piece of good news, if you could call it that. Although Khrushchev was angry at the United States over the Barents Sea Incident, he had instructed his Foreign Minister to let Lodge know that he would keep the door open for a possible summit meeting with the new American President. Lodge was ambivalent about it because he wasn’t sure a summit meeting with the Soviet General Secretary would make much of a difference at this point. The other side seemed to be dug in. Forbes disagreed with his Secretary of State. If he could sit down with Khrushchev and talk to him face-to-face, then perhaps they could find a breakthrough. Remembering what he had said to the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the prospect of the Soviets refusing to negotiate, Forbes said that a summit meeting was something “we will just have to try. We cannot give up on this, Henry. It is too important.”
httpsfunkyimg-comi3c77j-jpg.jpg

(Andrei Gromyko proved to be durable as the Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, serving in that post from Khrushchev's ascendance as General Secretary in 1957 until reform-minded Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary in 1985 and promptly fired him)
This was not at all how the President wanted to deal with the Soviet Union. He had wanted to ease Cold War tensions; the Barents Sea Incident exacerbated those tensions instead. Now the Soviets were refusing to come to the negotiating table. Without arms control, Forbes felt that the rest of détente couldn’t be achieved. Compounding matters, two Americans were now sitting in a Moscow prison with no sign that they would be released any time soon. Unwilling to risk more American lives, on February 21st the President quietly ordered the suspension of aerial reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union. He directed that reconnaissance of that country be performed exclusively by spy satellites. Technology had advanced a great deal since the United States launched the world’s first manmade satellite into Earth’s orbit in May 1957. There were now satellites in orbit – Telstar for example – which were improving communications and helping meteorologists make better weather forecasts. The 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan became the first to use satellites to telecast the games internationally instead of being taped for later broadcast. Space probes entered the mix in 1962 when NASA launched the Mariner program to make scientific observations of Venus and Mars. What mattered to Forbes the most though were spy satellites, which could obtain the same information that spy planes provided but without putting lives at risk. Unlike spy planes, spy satellites couldn’t be intercepted and shot down. As a result of the Barents Sea Incident, spy satellites went from being a secondary source of intelligence-gathering for the Americans to being the primary source (although spy planes continued to be used, particularly in Asia).
httpsfunkyimg-comi3c77m-jpg.jpg

(In July 1965, Mariner 4 became the first space probe to reach Mars. As it flew by the planet, Mariner 4 transmitted back to Earth close-up pictures of a lifeless Martian surface which gave scientists a better understanding of the Red Planet)
 
Last edited:
  • 3Like
Reactions:

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
20.117
654
The comeback of a classic...
 

El Pip

Lord of Slower-than-real-time
47 Badges
Dec 13, 2005
7.943
2.169
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Battle for Bosporus
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
It lives! Welcome back my dear sir, you are most welcome. And what a return it is - spies, explosions, satellites and KGB prisons. All the ingredients for a good Bond Film, from which you have produce a chapter about a test ban treaty. Good work. :)

The crew of that RB-47 were lucky to get caught by the KGB (not often one says that), life expectancy when dropped into the Barents Sea in Winter is measured in minutes. Given they aren't going to get that badly treated, the Soviets have to keep them in fairly good condition for when they trade them back, things could be worse for them, though I doubt it is a pleasant experience.

Forbes is being fairly rational about all this so I wish him success. Arms Control probably is a step too far at this point for the reasons mentioned, but a test ban treaty is surely a decent start. Carefully phrased it could even be a way to flatter the Soviet egos, get them to agree that they understand nuclear weapons so well that there is no need for them to do further tests.

In any event I do hope we see you more around the place after this and that it doesn't take quite so long for us to (finally!) get to Vietnam. If you carry on being this majestically paced I may need to hand you my title of Lord of Slower-than-real-time, and that would never do! ;) :D
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Le Jones

Protect and Survive
73 Badges
Sep 3, 2008
1.270
425
  • Rome Gold
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Cities in Motion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pride of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
It's back! It's back! So excited. This feels so 2008 - @El Pip writing about aircraft engines, me plodding on with British politics, and you with this masterful effort. I nominated you, last year, for special recognition - and I would also commend the works of @DensleyBlair - his superb writing reminds me of yours.
 

DensleyBlair

No Milk Terrorist Son (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.798
2.051
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
With thanks to @Le Jones, both for his kind words about my writing and (more importantly) for making me aware that masterpiece this was back, I will happily sign on for the ride from this point on. Admittedly I’ve never sat down and read the whole thing front to back, but I’ve dipped in and out over the years and frankly anything Cold War on these boards will always capture my attention. Interested to see how things go from here! :D
 

Nathan Madien

Field Marshal
Mar 24, 2006
4.463
38
Kurt_Steiner: After two years of no updates, it feels good to post an update again. I see the Paradox forum underwent a face-lift while I was gone.

El Pip: Thank you very much, El Pip. I see you got a new AAR that I will check out. I also see you finished your Slovakia AAR. I got to read it when I get a chance and see how T&T fared (probably poorly. It is Slovakia after all).

What do you even feed American prisoners in a KGB prison?

Since Forbes historically never became Governor of New Jersey nor President of the United States, I am left to figure out what kind of President he might have been. He strikes me as being a moderate, pragmatic Republican. Not too politically liberal and not too politically conservative.

Historically JFK pushed for arms control and the best he could do in 1963 was a limited nuclear test ban treat. Since Scoop Jackson historically believed that you couldn't trust the Soviets at the negotiating table, I couldn't see him pursuing arms control like Kennedy did. That means Forbes has to start the process from scratch.

You're in luck: the next update is all about Vietnam. I even have screenshots of the Vietnam mod! :D

I couldn't take your Lord of Slower-than-real-time title, El Pip. You're the master; I am just the humble student.

Le Jones: Thank you. I appreciate that. :)

DensleyBlair: Considering this AAR has 108 pages, I completely understand that you have never sat down and read the whole thing front to back.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inheriting Vietnam
When Malcolm Forbes became President of the United States in January 1965, there were 140,000 American combat soldiers stationed in South Vietnam. The vast majority of those troops – described by one journalist as “rock-and-rollers with one foot in the grave” – had been deployed there by Forbes’ predecessor Henry M. Jackson to help the South Vietnamese Army fight the North Vietnamese Army and the North Vietnam-backed Viet Cong guerrillas who were invading their country. Ho Chi Minh, the Communist President of North Vietnam, was determined to defeat South Vietnam – which he regarded as being nothing more than America’s puppet – and reunify the two countries under his rule. In the conflict that followed, Ho found himself an unexpected ally: Chiang Kai-shek, the authoritarian President of the Republic of China. China in the 1960s was flexing its’ muscles on the international stage, showing the world that it was a major power to be reckoned with and that the days of kicking the Chinese around were over. A major component of China’s aggressive foreign policy was establishing a sphere of influence in the former French colony of Indochina (comprising of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia).
01.jpg

(President Chiang Kai-shek, seen here presiding over the celebration of Double Ten Day in Nanjing in October 1966. The Republic of China in the 1960s was a paternal autocratic state that had big plans and a militant dictator determined to make those plans a reality)
China’s first move in Indochina came in July 1961 when it invaded Laos on the grounds of restoring order in a country that was in the midst of a civil war. When China’s military intervention formally ended in April 1962, Laos had been transformed into a puppet state with a collaborationist Laotian General installed as the new Head of State by the Chinese. While securing Laos, the Chinese turned their attention towards the situation in Vietnam. Ho viewed the division of Vietnam into two countries as being unacceptable and waged war against the US-allied South Vietnam with the goal of reuniting the two Vietnams under his Communist rule. Chiang regarded South Vietnam as being nothing more than America’s foothold in the region...a foothold that needed to be eliminated if Indochina was to be exclusively a Chinese sphere of influence. Operating on the principal that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, Nanjing recognized Hanoi as being the only legitimate Vietnamese government and Chiang traveled to Hanoi to sign a treaty of friendship with Ho. The new Sino-North Vietnamese alliance, like the alliance between the Allies and the Comintern during World War Two, was driven more by having a mutual enemy than by shared ideology. Chiang himself wasn’t a Communist; rather, he was an opportunist who was willing to get into the proverbial bed with the Communists if it meant strengthening China. He viewed a united Communist Vietnam as being a better partner for China than a divided Vietnam. While Ho welcomed Chiang’s backing publicly, privately he didn’t trust him. Chiang had a reputation as a shameless backstabber who was willing to throw anyone under the bus for the sake of his own power. While he created the impression that he was a true friend of Hanoi, the weary North Vietnamese leader couldn’t be certain if his Chinese counterpart was genuine or was simply putting on a facade. That he was dealing with Ho with a sharpened knife behind his back.
02.png

(President Ho Chi Minh, who was distrustful of his new ally Chiang Kai-shek)
The Jackson Administration viewed China’s move into Indochina through the prism of the Domino Theory. Formulated by President Adlai Stevenson in 1953, the Domino Theory held that if one country fell to the enemy, others would follow right behind it. With Laos gone, if North Vietnam succeeded in taking over South Vietnam, Cambodia would be ripe for the pickings and Thailand would then find China knocking on her front door. It was to stop the dominoes from falling in Indochina that Scoop made the fateful decision in April 1962 to sharply escalate America’s military involvement in Vietnam. From less than 1,000 at the start of 1961, the number of soldiers swelled to 140,000 in four years. To command the US forces in South Vietnam, the President chose General Maxwell Taylor. Taylor had experience in fighting Communists, having led the US military mission in Yugoslavia during the 1950s which helped the pro-US royalist regime defeat a Communist insurgency. Taylor arrived in Saigon armed with a three-prong plan to:
  • Destroy the Viet Cong and kick the North Vietnamese Army out of South Vietnam
  • Strengthen the South Vietnamese Army so it could defend the country largely on their own
  • Withdraw the majority of his forces from South Vietnam, leaving behind a small garrison of 2,000-3,000 soldiers
Taylor confidently predicted to his bosses back in Washington that he could achieve the first prong of his plan by the end of 1965 and start making a methodical withdrawal in 1966. With Taylor in charge, the Americans, the South Vietnamese, and (starting in March 1964) the Australians/New Zealanders fought the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese in a series of heated battles in which the upper hand swung back-and-forth between the two sides. In the fall of 1964, the upper hand swung decisively in America’s favor. Pleiku was recaptured, a concerted effort by the North Vietnamese to take Quang Tin was defeated, and Da Nang was retaken. On Election Day in the United States, the Americans and the South Vietnamese stood ready to attack the Viet Cong base at Saravane and fight to liberate the Imperial City of Hue from North Vietnamese occupation. The way things stood, the United States was winning the Vietnam War.
03.png

While America was scoring victories on the battlefield, there was a major problem hindering the effort to build a strong South Vietnam: the South Vietnamese government. To say that Saigon was incompetent might be an understatement. For years Washington had been urging South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem to create a stable, prosperous, and democratic society that would increase public support for the government. Diem stubbornly insisted on going the other way, creating a strong authoritarian regime run by his family that did little to address the rampant poverty, repression, and injustice that the citizens were suffering on a daily basis. This suffering, Washington worried, would undermine South Vietnam from within and make it more vulnerable to the looming Communist threat. Diem’s iron-fisted autocratic rule would ultimately cost him his life; in February 1962, he and several members of his corrupt government were killed by a pair of South Vietnamese Air Force pilots who brazenly bombed the Independence Palace in Saigon. Whether the air attack was a military coup or the work of lone wolves seeking to put an end to their oppressive leader was unclear to the Jackson Administration; what became clear to them was that the South Vietnamese military which then took control of the government was no better at running the country than Diem had been. If anything, they were worse. Saigon descended into political chaos as the Generals constantly schemed against each other for the top leadership position, not having any interest in putting together a stable lasting government. One of those Generals was Duong Van Minh. “Big Minh”, as he was called, was a stocky six-footer who loved certain things:
  • Rare, exotic birds
  • Tennis
  • Classic books
  • Classical music
  • Power
It was power that Big Minh loved the most. Viewing himself as being the best person to run South Vietnam (a view that was shared by every other General), Big Minh overthrew another General who was in charge and put himself in charge. Once in power though, he seemed to spend more time on the tennis court and tending to his birds than he did personally attending to the affairs of state. Not surprisingly, General Nguyen Khanh thought he could do a better job and ousted Big Minh in a coup. Sporting a distinctive goatee and tall ego, Khanh raised eyebrows in Washington by making off-color anti-American remarks despite claiming to be America’s best friend in South Vietnam. He spent most of his time going after enemies real or imagined and dreaming about invading North Vietnam and marching into Hanoi personally (an invasion that was never part of America’s plan for the Vietnam War). After a while, Khanh too was overthrown in a coup. By the time Forbes was inaugurated President of the United States in January 1965, General Nguyen Van Thieu was the latest person to be in charge of South Vietnam. Thieu portrayed himself as a reform-minded leader who could restore the people’s confidence in their own government. It wasn't hard to see why that confidence was lacking. Between February 1962 and January 1965, South Vietnam went through seven governments. Forbes inherited the daunting task of trying to figure out how to shut down the revolving door in Saigon and finally persuade South Vietnam’s leaders to put their own personal ambitions aside and establish a stable lasting government.
04-518x640.jpg

(Nguyen Van Thieu in 1964, the year he became the latest General to take charge in South Vietnam)
On November 4th, 1964, while Forbes was basking in the glow of defeating his two opponents George McGovern and George Wallace in the Presidential election, the enemy launched a major counteroffensive. The Viet Cong opened the offensive, suddenly capturing Quang Duc and Phuoc Long in central South Vietnam. Their attempt to capture Lam Dong was defeated by the South Vietnamese on November 8th. The next day, North Vietnam received military support from her two major allies. The Soviet Union sent weapons and supplies (including tanks) while China publicly announced that it was deploying infantry divisions to North Vietnam. According to Nanjing, if American soldiers could fight alongside the South Vietnamese, then Chinese soldiers could equally fight alongside the North Vietnamese. China’s entry into the Vietnam War troubled those who were doing the fighting; not only did they have to contend with the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese, they would now have the Chinese shooting at them. In Washington, the news triggered a debate about how best to deal with this new enemy. Some hawks in Congress, most notably recently re-elected Republican Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, advocated the use of tactical nuclear weapons. So did the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Let’s nuke them,” the gruff cigar-chomping Air Force Chief Curtis Lemay demanded. “Let’s make those chinks regret ever setting foot inside Vietnam!”
From the standpoint of the Joint Chiefs, using tactical nuclear weapons made perfect sense. Since they were designed to be use specifically on the battlefield, tactical nuclear weapons would enable the Americans to decimate the waves of Chinese soldiers they were anticipating would be joining the fight. Scoop, who normally deferred to the military’s judgment, was uncharacteristically noncommittal. He felt that a decision of this magnitude, one which would irrevocably alter the course of the Vietnam War, shouldn’t be made by a one-term Commander-in-Chief who was on his way out the door. He tossed the decision over to his successor. Forbes made it crystal-clear that he was against the use of tactical nuclear weapons. The last thing he wanted to do was escalate the Vietnam War into a nuclear war. Once they used them, the new Commander-in-Chief argued, the Soviets would feel compelled to arm their North Vietnamese ally with tactical nuclear weapons and put the Americans on the receiving end. The result would be a nuclear exchange the likes of which the world had never seen before...one which might lead to the end of the world. “We are not going to nuke anybody,” he pointedly rebuffed Lemay. “We are not going to have mushroom clouds rising up all over Vietnam. These are not ‘just another weapon’, as Barry [Goldwater] put it, that we can use casually.”
No. Forbes would continue to wage a conventional war in Vietnam...and hope that China wouldn’t overwhelm the Americans with sheer numbers.
05.jpg

(As Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force during the Jackson Administration, Curtis Lemay was responsible for the strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam which began in September 1964. His aggressive style however clashed with Forbes’ cautious “let’s not rock the boat” handling of Vietnam; following several disagreements with the President over strategy, Lemay resigned his post in May 1965)
On November 9th, the same day North Vietnam was getting support from the Soviet Union and China, the South Vietnamese defeated an effort by the Viet Cong to capture Tuyen Duc. This victory prevented the Viet Cong from literally cutting South Vietnam in two. However, the South Vietnamese were too spread out to fully contain the enemy’s offensive. The Viet Cong had occupied Darlac and Binh Long by November 14th, and had established a foothold in the Mekong Delta at Rach Gia. With the Viet Cong rapidly gaining ground and the South Vietnamese clearly in danger, Taylor turned away from Saravane and Hue and shifted his forces south. The Americans made contact with the Viet Cong at Darlac on November 19th, defeating them in short order. That same day, the North Vietnamese joined the offensive, overwhelming South Vietnamese forces left behind at Da Nang. Da Nang was occupied two days later. The North Vietnamese then put Kontum under siege, their goal being to grind down the strength of the South Vietnamese defenders. American General Hamilton H. Howze reoccupied Darlac, which was situated in a hilly area, on November 26th. The Americans then spent the next month focused on rolling back the Viet Cong in central South Vietnam, retaking their last position at Tay Ninh on December 28th. Taylor’s next step was to clear out the Mekong Delta, half of which was under the Viet Cong’s control.
06.jpg

(The American advance on Darlac)
While the Americans were regaining ground in central South Vietnam, the South Vietnamese were losing ground to the north. For weeks the North Vietnamese forces had been laying siege to Kontum. The defenders of the strategic mountainous position were holding their own, but weeks of constant attacks were wearing them down. Finally the enemy launched a frontal assault which they couldn’t repulse. Kontum fell on December 19th; with the loss of Kontum, resistance in north South Vietnam began to collapse. Quang Tin fell on December 27th, followed by Quang Ngai on January 4th, 1965, Pleiku on February 2nd, Qui Non on February 12th, and Phu Bon on February 21st. The South Vietnamese were being pushed back and desperately needed help from their American ally to stem the tide.
07.jpg

While disaster was unfolding up north, Taylor was intently focused on the Mekong Delta. The capture of Rach Gia and Vinh Long had given the Viet Cong control over half the area, trapping a South Vietnamese division at An Kuyen. With no way to escape, this division faced certain destruction. Taylor felt he wouldn’t be able to reach An Kuyen in time to provide relief before the South Vietnamese were overwhelmed. However, he did recognize a golden opportunity to deal a major blow against the Viet Cong. According to intelligence, there were six enemy divisions in Rach Gia and one in Vinh Long. That meant the Viet Cong would use the bulk of their divisions in Rach Gia for their attack on An Kuyen. If Taylor could attack and capture Rach Gia before the Viet Cong could rush back, he could cut off their only avenue of retreat and pin the Viet Cong against the coast. The seven divisions could then be completely destroyed, inflicting a tremendous blow on the Viet Cong. Taylor ordered his forces to halt their advance at Kien Phong and wait for the window of opportunity to present itself in which to launch what would become known as Operation Double Eagle. That window began to open on January 4th, 1965 when the Viet Cong attacked and destroyed the South Vietnamese defenders at An Kuyen. The bulk of the Viet Cong forces at Rach Gia then went and occupied An Kuyen. This was the moment Taylor had been waiting for. He ordered Howze to attack Rach Gia on January 6th. The two Viet Cong divisions which were left behind were defeated and retreated to An Kuyen. Rach Gia was reoccupied on January 11th, pinning the Viet Cong against the coast. Two days later, the Americans attacked An Kuyen while the South Vietnamese simultaneously attacked Vinh Long. Fighting together, they destroyed the seven trapped Viet Cong divisions. General Alexander Haig reoccupied An Kuyen on January 17th and the South Vietnamese took back Vinh Long on January 20th – the same day Forbes was inaugurated the 39th President of the United States.
08.jpg

Operation Double Eagle was a major victory for the United States in the Vietnam War. Not only was the Mekong Delta secured, the Viet Cong had suffered the lost of seven divisions. Immediately Taylor shifted his forces back north to try and halt the unstoppable North Vietnamese advance. American forces reached Darlac on February 18th, their arrival providing much-needed relief for South Vietnamese troops who had been retreating in the face of a powerful enemy. While fighting was raging across South Vietnam, Bangkok had been watching nervously from the sidelines. Bordering Indochina, pro-US Thailand was alarmed by the prospect of the area becoming a Chinese sphere of influence and was worried about its’ own future as an independent nation. Believing that keeping North Vietnam from conquering South Vietnam was in his country’s best interest, Thai Prime Minister Thanom Kittikachorn announced on February 20th that his country would deploy soldiers to Vietnam to fight alongside the South Vietnamese. Thailand’s entry into the Vietnam War became another sign that the war was not only escalating but was also becoming more internationalized. The Vietnam War was a mixed picture for the Americans at the end of February 1965. On the one hand, they had landed a decisive blow against the Viet Cong in the Mekong Delta. On the other hand, they were further away from the 17th Parallel – which divided Vietnam in two – than they had been just three months earlier. With intelligence indicating that he faced at least sixteen divisions, Taylor had to figure out how to push the enemy back and regain the initiative in the north. For the commander of US forces in Vietnam, waging this war was proving to be more difficult than he had imagined.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well look at that: a second update in less than a month! I have already written more in 2021 than I did in 2019. :D

The next update will also be about Vietnam. There's a couple of things I wanted to also mention that I couldn't fit into this update.
 
Last edited:
  • 6Like
Reactions:

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
20.117
654
Shadows of Corea'50 and of Nam'72 and 75...

A pity that Thieu is the best that Saigon has at hand...
 

DensleyBlair

No Milk Terrorist Son (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.798
2.051
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
Interesting set of alliances forming in Indochina, not least the incredibly pragmatic friendship between Chiang and Ho. The VC are obviously making fair progress up around the border, but securing the Mekong Delta is no insignificant thing. Should help put a stop to any infiltrating through Cambodia, should the VC be minded to expand the trails.

Curtis Lemay seems as unhinged as ever, so thank god Taylor and Forbes seem to be a steadier pair of hands. With the pace that things are escalating, the last thing anyone wants to happen is a 'tactical' nuclear detonation…
 

El Pip

Lord of Slower-than-real-time
47 Badges
Dec 13, 2005
7.943
2.169
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Battle for Bosporus
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
described by one journalist as “rock-and-rollers with one foot in the grave”
An Apocalypse Now quote, excellent.
DYAEiOu.gif
Though let us hope that is not a harbinger of what is to come.

In a strange way the Internationalisation of the conflict probably favours the Americans, they are good at fighting a conventional stand-up-fight war even if out-numbered, it's what they are trained and equipped for. Maybe not the jungle part of it, but set piece battles and enemies who stay to fight not melt back into the jungle. The most men China brings in, the more targets they will provide for US air power and artillery (up to a certain point anyway).

That said America was quite good at winning the battles in OTL (for a given value of 'win), the US political leadership just completely lacked any idea of how to win the war and the generals never seemed to ask for one. Getting a South Vietnamese government that the population would actually want to fight for should be Step One, but alas it appears Forbes is just as unwilling as the historic leaders to grapple with that admittedly very difficult problem. Van Thieu is not a leader anyone is going to want to rally round so General Taylor can win every battle but I fear the US will still lose in the end.

Finally as the ANZACs have turned up, and the conflict has been internationalised, I wonder if Rab Butler (who I think is British PM at this point if I remember correctly) may be tempted to send a token British contribution? It is a bit of an alt-history cliche but it may be possible here, the OTL distractions (Brunei Confrontation, Aden, Kenya etc) aren't a factor so troops are available and historically the US was prepared to help 'offset' British costs in the interest of making the war seem less about the US imposing things on Vietnam and more about the 'world' helping South Vietnam defend itself. Of course I suspect the OTL British concerns would apply, not least around the lack of a real political plan, and I can't see Forbes being happy to take high level strategic advice from Britain (which is fair enough, the US will be doing 90% of the fighting and 99% of the paying so why should he let a minor ally direct the war). Basically I think the British will take a look, ask some difficult questions and then walk away nervously, perhaps passing on some "are you really sure about this?" advice to Canberra and Wellington.

Or I will be completely wrong, Forbes will bite the bullet and come up with an amazing plan to reform the South Vietnamese government that doesn't involve puppet leaders, generals or rigged elections. Stranger things have happened. ;)
 

Le Jones

Protect and Survive
73 Badges
Sep 3, 2008
1.270
425
  • Rome Gold
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Cities in Motion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pride of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
Masterful as ever, and I always adored this AAR for its attention to detail and excellent prose.

Pausing to recover from the shudder that Le May always produces, you really do get the sense of how precarious the US / South Vietnamese position is (the map was strikingly effective at this). I'm with @El Pip on the effects of the war becoming more international, it will be interesting to see how different the outcome is from OTL.
 

RV-Ye

Captain
8 Badges
Jan 31, 2018
426
60
  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • March of the Eagles
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
I remember having read this AAR in the past, though it was so long ago and I can't properly remember the entire AAR. But it's so nice to see it's still being written, checked up the latest update and it was amazing, I love the map in this mod (I assume it's a mod?), It looks so detailed, so perfectly done to depict the Vietnam War; it's so wonderful.

Sadly Darkest Hour's only alternative to the vanilla big chunk map is the ultra detailed map that turns my potato into an old potato. Would love to have a map like the one in here, :p

Anyways, I'll try to start all over soon.
Impressive AAR you got here :)