The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Battle for Yuma

The fighting along the California-Jefferson border proved to be the only bright spot in the entire Confederate war effort. Even a month after the battle of Gettysburg and weeks after the disaster at Cairo, the Confederate western hook reached its apex. The advance across Jefferson was slow, not even reaching within a hundred kilometers of California by the time of Gettysburg. Battle was too strong a word to describe the conflict out west. Since the start of the war, the State of Jefferson has been nothing but a four-month long running battle, skirmishes between small units. The battles were mobile, but consisted of mechanized infantry and artillery. Only a few tanks were seen on either side of the battle. With a large portion of the aerospace industry in California, Americans had a decisive advantage in air power.

The start of August found the Confederate Army surrounding the city of Yuma. In the morning of August 5, Confederate forces stormed the town. For all day and night, both sides battled in street-to-street, and even house-to-house combat. By August 6, the Confederates had a firm toe-hold on the city. With more time, they likely would have crossed the Colorado River within a week. The battle ended that same day. It was not the fault of the local commander, Brigadier General Howard Wellington III, but the disasters back east forced Birmingham to recall all units out west.

The assault was abandoned after a day, and Confederate forces retreated across Jefferson. With American forces taking full advantage of the retreat, Wellington ordered a scorched Earth policy in his retreat. Railroads and highways were destroyed, any factories in the path of the Confederates were destroyed. Marginal farmlands were destroyed, along with the irrigation network built up by both American and Confederate settlers over the past sixty years. Wellington later stood trial at Charleston for his actions in the retreat. Unlike most Confederates at the Charleston Trials, Wellington was not sentenced to death. Instead, he faced ten years in a federal prison, and upon release he left the restored Union to become an advisor to the rebel government in Mexico.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cuba in World War II

On April 2, 1940, some forty thousand Confederate Marines, under the command of Brigadier General Holland Smith (an ironic name for a Confederate), serged across the Florida Strait. Landing at and around Havana was largely unopposed, save by a few irregular militia. The city fell without a fight, and a supply line was established between Havana and Confederate ports along the Gulf Coast. The lone U.S. Naval squadron in the city found itself victim of the Confederate Air Force. In one of the few clear-cut Confederate victories of the short war, the American squadron was sent to the bottom, with most of its crew.

The victory was short-lived, as Smith failed to carry up his attack and completely subjugate the entire island. Opposing him was but a small U.S. Marine garrison of ten thousand under the overall command of Colonel Marion “Duke” Morrison. Instead of fighting them straight on, and since a USMC unit has never surrendered, Morrison gave the order to break up his unit and take to the hills. The guerilla war lasted until badly needed reinforcements could come in from the north. In response to these attacks, the Confederates enacted harsh reprisals against the civilian populations under their control, including taking of hostages for each attack.

After a month of fighting, and slowly being bled, Smith ceased patrols in the countryside under platoon strength, and fortified his own positions within the cities. As the war entered its second month, the United States Navy began to take control of the waters around Cuba, severing supplies with the mainland. With the landing of the U.S. Army, under the command of Eisenhower, Smith soon found himself outnumbered and now the hunted. He fought a delaying action as Eisenhower slugged his way north and west from Guantanamo (which the Confederates failed to take).

Trapped in Havana and under siege, it was Smith who was forced to surrender along with his surviving Marines, thus ending the existence of the C.S.M.C. in October of 1940. His defeat paved the way for Operation Overlord, and the end days of the Confederate States themselves. For his own actions on the island, Morrison found himself promoted to Brigadier General, and put in command of a Marine Division in the Pacific.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

State of the Union: California

Statehood: September 9, 1850
Population: 37,463,102
Area: 567,366 km2
Capital: Vallejo
Largest City: San Francisco
Crops: Grapes, Citrus Fruit
Resources: Minerals, Lumber, Fish
Industry: Aerospace, Entertainment, Banking

California entered the Union without territorial status. During the Mexican War, Federal agents, such as John Fremont, convinced the Californios that they would get a better deal being one of the United States. Thus, they rose up against the central government in Mexico. Only shortly after gaining control of California by treaty, a gold strike in the Sierras brought in a flood of immigrants from around the world. Further gold strikes brought in more prospectors. Many returned home after they failed to strike it rich, but hundreds of thousands stayed and settled the Central Valley.

The influx of immigration by sea, as well as trade up and down the Sacramento River, lead for San Francisco, and its superb natural harbor to become the largest port on the West Coast. Other ports, such as Los Angeles and San Diego would grow in importance as the 20th Century progressed, with the latter being home to the Pacific Fleet prior the Great War. Los Angeles brought in hundreds of thousand of workers during World War II, and most of those stayed after the war was complete, turning the port into a sprawling urban complex. With the annexation of San Jose in 1947, and Oakland a couple of decades later, San Francisco reclaimed its spot as the largest city in the state, reducing parts of Los Angeles to ghost town status.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

State of the Union: Florida

Florida's population that would have existed within our own world migrated further south, to the State of Cuba, and a few still further south to the State of Costa Rica. Cuba is the most popular relocation destination for old folks in the AHN's United States.

Statehood: March 3, 1845; readmission: May 12, 1948
Population: 7,301,410
Area: 170,304 km2
Capital: Tallahassee
Largest City: Jacksonville
Crops: Citrus fruit, tropical fruit, sugar, tobacco, corn, tomatoes, strawberries
Resources: Timber
Industry: Agriculture, tourism, aerospace

Florida was admitted to the Union on March 3, 1845 as the 27th State. Its union with the United States was short as it seceded on January 10, 1861. Florida served as a strategic location for the Confederate States of America, and held several naval bases, as well as shipyards in the panhandle. Western Florida saw Operation Overlord in 1941, where the United States launched an assault against the Confederacy’s soft underbelly. Following the dissolution of the Confederate States of America, Florida was one of the first former Confederate States to be readmitted to the Union.

Today, Florida is demographically split between the populous north and vacant and largely rural south. The largest city in southern Florida is Fort Lauderdale, home to the 61st Armored Dragoons, with a population of 43,102. Most of southern Florida is given over to the Everglades National Park. Northern Florida holds 6.5 million of the state’s inhabitants along with the bulk of its agriculture and industry. Heavy industries, such as the aerospace giants, Lockheed, Convair and Boeing-Martin employ tens of thousands of workers in the Jacksonville-Gainsville area, as do Lockheed owned shipyards in Pensacola.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Confederate Disaster

Battle of Cairo

Even more so than the events at Gettysburg, a couple weeks earlier, the events on July 17, 1940, sounded on of the death nails of the Confederate States of America. What occurred on that day was the most disastrous attempt at a river crossing in modern warfare. Lacking air support– in fact, the United States had its own Air Superiority over the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers– the Army of the Tennessee attempted a crossing of the Ohio east of Cairo, Illinois. American General Omar Bradley had his own 2nd Army dug into and around the city.

Confederate crossing of the Ohio was but a repeat of the American crossing of the Ohio at the start of the Great War, in 1913, up to the point of using the same technology. Open barges, riverboats, and anything that could float, were brought together by the Army of the Tennessee. Armor faced a more difficult challenge. Confederate riverboats were all the army had to escort it across the river. The gunboats were the first targets destroyed by American dive-bombers. After the gunboats were sunk, American air, river and artillery units chewed to pieces the Army of the Tennessee.

On that single day, Bradley succeeded in doing what Arnold failed to; he destroyed the enemy army. Not since the days of Rome had a single army lost so many soldiers in a matter of hours. More than a few companies within the Confederate Army faced casualty rates upwards to 70%. By night fall, what remained of the Army of Tennessee was in full retreat, in some cases unit discipline all but gone. Bradley faced disorganized resistance in his own invasion of Tennessee, mostly from dissolved units of Confederate who have fell back on bush-whacking and other irregular tactics.