A Devastating Alternate Second World War

October 07, 2010

New material on my other project...

If anyone is following my other project, Unity's Call(a high fantasy novel/worldbuilding project in progress), I posted some new material for it just now.

October 06, 2010

Shattered World - Micro-Segment 56.1.2

November 20th 1949 to November 22nd 1949

Eastern Front :

November 22nd 1949

At precisely 5:00 AM, in the unseasonably bitter cold of both northern and Southern Russia, German forces launch operation 'Red Downfall'.  The offensive is to be the great hope of Germany, the final push to knock out or cripple the Soviet Union once and for all. Almost the entirety of German industry has been directed to fuel and re-equip the great armies in the East, as has the last real manpower reserve been squeezed dry to replenish the ranks of the fallen. Everything that can be spared, and some things that cannot be, has been stripped from the west to sustain and power the carefully planned winter offensive. The timing could not be better for the operation : The Soviet Union was increasingly starving, desperately short on fuel, her war machine sputterrnig from lack of men and material. And there was little relief in sight, with the Siberian ports still closed and the worst winter in modern history icing in the Soviet ports in the north and wreaking havoc with Alliance rail lines through Persia and Afghanistan. 
   Indeed, such was the cooperation of the wheather that whispers in the superstitious inner clique of the Nazi party spoke of the gods themselves stretching out their hands 'to aid the Master Race'. Ironic, that; given that much of the dust, whose cloak was the real cause of the harsh winter, rose from the ashes of German cities. It was not the hands of divine gods that ushered in the cold, but the atomic fists of men. 
   In the north, German armored divisions and mechanized infantry strike east and northeast, seeking weaknesses in the Soviet lines south of Leningrad. But there are no weaknesses to be found, for desperation has driven the Soviets to sew the land with every defensive work known to man. Yet, despite the strength of Soviet defenses, the heavy German forces grind forward. Their commanders know that they only need to crack the hard exterior, after which their mobile forces can maneuver at will against inferior, and under-fueled,  numbers of Soviet tanks. With grim determination, and despite heavy casualties, the Germans pound forward several kilometers into the Soviet lines by the early evening while Finnish volunteers and light German forces harass the lightly defended Soviet lines to the northwest of Leningrad. 
   In the skies, armadas of German heavy bombers drops untold tons of explosives and chemical bombs on the stubborn, skeletal, edifices of Leningrad and Beriagrad while medium and light bombers penetrate obsolete Soviet air defenses to attack Soviet troop concentrations and logistical hubs at will. The Red Airforce, a shadow of its former glory, can offer only meager resistance; and very few Soviet bombers of any type appear in the skies over Axis forces.

   In the South, the largest single army anywhere on the planet is on the move. Army Group South, flush with the latest panzers and personnel carriers from the ever-churning factories of central Europe, is advancing headlong into brittle Soviet lines and simply moving around the surprisingly few pockets of real resistance. Here and there, Red Army units already on the verge of mutiny simply surrender or melt away into the countryside. Further east, fighting between regular Red Army units and secret police detachments breaks out as the regional Red Army command moves to purge the local political apparatus. Though still resisting the Germans where they can, the remnants of the Ukrainian Front Army in southern Russia have had enough of Beria. It is open Mutiny. 
   In Moscow, the grim Soviet High Command loses communictions with one unit after another, and can do nothing as the southern front melts before their eyes. Despite the confusion, the general thrust of the German offensive there is clear - they are aiming to take Beriagrad, and with it all of southern Russia. With no other choice, Beria authorizes the deployment of the Soviet Union's last reserve army, stripping all of Moscow's remaining mobile reserves to bolster it. By the end of the day it is embarking onto trains that will take it south, to defend the line of the Volga. The dice, then, were thrown. The last of Germany's real might would face the last of the Soviet Union's remaining strength. The Soviet Union would survive the winter, and take vengeance on the Red Army mutineers in the south, or it would simply cease to exist. Both sides were all in, to the knife. 

Europe & Atlantic :

November 22nd 1949

Despite spoiling German counter-attacks, U.S. forces have secured their beachheads in Portugal and begun fanning west, north, and south to envelop Lisbon and push Axis forces well away from the coast. Pro-German elements resisting the Portuguese defection have been crushed by Portgaul's police and army after two days of scattered violence. 
   German ballistic missile attacks on the beacheads and the Canary Islands continue but have caused only minimal disruption to U.S. operations. 

In Britain, the effects of the German VX attacks on London, Manchester, and Liverpool continue to be felt. With German submarines still sinking a lot of shipping in the Atlantic, and with Britain's two largest ports still heavily disrupted, the British people begin to feel the cruel hand of real hunger. Rations have been cut again, to caloric intake barely above that of starvation level. Already, there are rumblings of "peace at any cost" from some political quarters. In an effort to stave off such talk, the U.S. has launched the greatest logistical effort in human history.
   In a speech before Congress broadcast in America and across the Atlantic to the British Isles, President Dewey promises that "The Arsenal of Democracy shall fill the pantries of the brave British people". To do this, the U.S. begins a massive renewed effort to ship food to the British Isles via sea and air in combination with even more aggressive action against German submarines in the north Atlantic. 
   Privately, officials in the U.S. wonder if Britain can hold out until the Spring. 

   Meanwhile, at SBC airbases in Britain, Ireland, and the Canary Islands there is a dramatic uptick in the level of activity. A careful examination of the logistical flow of these bases would have shown that something big was in the works. Indeed, several clever Axis intelligence officers told there superiors as much, only to have their reports lost in the bureaucracy. 
   The U.S., after all, wielded ever more nuclear weapons as production slowly ramped up back in the States. And it intended to use them. 

Far East :

November 22nd 1949

Around the Japanese Islands, the noose continued to tighten. More and more mines litterred the shallow seas, more and more U.S. aircraft and submarines patrolled off the coasts and in the vital waterways. More and more U.S. heavy bombers dropped seemingly limitless loads of explosives, incindiery, and chemical weapons on the increasingly shattered Japanese cities. More and more Japanese died - from starvation or fire, choking clouds of death or raining bombs in the night.  
   Only two vital objectives remained for the U.S. Pacific Fleet : Secure the Siberian ports and break Japanese lines of communication between the Home Islands and from the Home Islands to Korea. The plans to achieve both objectives, and sooner rather than later, were already drawn up. And with an armada unlike anything ever seen before, the USN was more than ready to enact those plans. 

North Africa & The Middle East :

November 21st 1949

In Syria, nationalist pro-German elements launch a virtually bloodless coup, seizing control of government buildings and communications centers in Damascus while infiltrated border units throw open the border gates to Turkish forces. After several hours of confusion, Free-French garrison forces move into the center of Damascus and fighting erupts. The coup plotters, however, have been carefully planning their power grab for years and have thourougly pentrated all levels of the colonial government, police, and army and have much of the Free French civilian leadership in their custody before the Free French military units can react. 
   By the late afternoon, Free French forces find themselves engaged in standing battles in the cities with hostile native units while Turkish forces are freely moving into the country and driving unopposed towards Damascus and the Lebanese coast. 
   In Palestine, the British are hastily mobilizing for an intervention but have been caught completely by surprise by events in Free-French-Syria. Already, nationalist and Islamist mobs are protesting and rioting in support of the Syrian coup in Tel Aviv, Amman, and Cairo.  

November 22nd 1949

In northeastern Libya, the British 7th armored division uses its last fuel reserves to launch an attack into the left flank of the German salient stretching across the Cyrenaica to the Mediterranean coast at Al Bayda. With the forces roughly even in quality and quantity, the pitched battle rages through the morning and afternoon as jet aircraft clash in the skies and dueling bombers pounce on armored columns and rake opposing infantry concentrations. In the end, the anti-tank rockets of German panzergrenadiers make the difference and the British armor is unable to break Gustov's flank; the German salient holds, keeping Benghazi and the 7th armored division cut off from British forces to the east. 
   The stalemate is very much a short-term strategic victory for Gustov, since the 7th armored division spent most of it's fuel trying to break out of the Benghazi pocket. However, the U.S. threat far to the west looms large on the horizon. Gustov is desperate to consolidate his gains, strengthen his wedge between Benghazi and Egypt, and meet the British 8th armored division now approaching his right flank from the east. There is a glimmer of hope for Gustov - he has an oppurtunity to defeat the two British armored divisions in detail and then resume his push eastwards towards the Egyptian frontier. Al Bayda, and its huge fuel dump, is the crucial point.

South America :

November 22nd 1949

At La Serena, the largest Chilean city in left-coalition rebel hands, civilian cargo ships under nuetral flag arrive carrying arms and international "volunteers" to aid the rebels. The arms and volunteers are funded clandestinely by the U.S. although it is not exactly a huge secret. The Junta issues a formal protest to the U.S. but otherwise ignores the provocation. SAFB arms and "volunteer" forces are already crossing into Chile in significant numbers and the Junta remains condident it can crush the rebels despite the U.S. mettling. The blockade of their coast is far more damaging, already causing massive economic turmoil across divided Chile. The Junta, however, is smart to realize it can do nothing but ride out the blockade while securing the country internally.
   After heavy initial fighting sent poorly organized and equipped rebel forces hastily retreating to the north and south of Santiago, the lines in the civil war have now stabilized as both sides marshall their resources. The rebels have more men in absolute numbers but the Junta has more trained forces, more industry, and dominates the center of the nation. It also has direct SAFB support; indeed, Argentine fighter/bomber prop aircraft are already operating out of Chilean air fields with impunity, severely harassing rebel forces.