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Tsar Alexander

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  1. Good episode Ross, the only thing is, I would have probably added more 90's jokes if I were you I mean come on, Bill Clinton, Family Matters, 56K modems, so much to joke about!
  2. There was a slight chance of Iraq continuing as a unified country a couple of years ago when a Sunni-Shia coalition, Al Iraqia, almost won the elections. In fact they did win but then the Maliki clique fixed the election results and reinstalled themselves as the ruling party (with the US, unfortunately, closing their eyes on these shenanigans). When that happened, it became clear that the country is not going to stay intact. Regards You also see Syria locked in a brutal civil war though. Libya has it's own crisis right now, and other conflicts in and around the region have the potential to ignite in the future, though not quite yet. Most of those "nations" we know today in the mid-east, are byproducts of either Ottoman or European imperialism. I would argue that for many places in the middle east and Africa, the "nation-state" model is not even the best approach. Where do you draw the lines? Keep in mind that pockets of populations exist everywhere in many country's. It might be that some sort of confederation of tribes/city states might be a better option.
  3. I was wrong in immediately assuming Baghdad would become the next Saigon--apparently (some of) the local Shiite population is digging in it's heels and ready for a fight against the Sunni radicals. I actually consider the deployment of some Iranian special forces to Iraq a plus, I don't want Iraq turning into another Afghanistan (meaning, a base of terrorist operations). That whole region is unraveling, you might see in the next decade or two redrawn borders. "Nations" like Iraq were just artificial constructs of Ottoman and British/French imperialism to begin with, and the lack of an ideological cold war leaves little reason for these "nations" to exist anymore. So much for the "War on Terror" making us any safer
  4. *From my play through of Civilization 4, Beyond the Sword, Road to War mod. Hope you find it mildly entertaining. Also, a lot of this is from memory, so it may not be totally accurate, enjoy Prologue Germany, 1939: -Invasion of Poland. Poland falls by the end of the year as German forces slice through like a hot knife through butter. Eastern portions of Poland given to the USSR, as I simply have trouble maintaining enough influence to maintain control of those areas. 1940: -The western allies did not react to the Polish invasion. However, in order to secure general German security, France (and thusly, the Netherlands and Belgium, along with all the other non fascist continental European nations) were invaded, and either taken over wholesale, or in the case of France, a puppet fascist government installed. Britain remains neutral, and Germany gladly lends the British Empire money and resources to placate her. America is mad, but is in no position to intervene. Norway is also invaded and taken over, though Sweden "steps in" and obstructs German forces, delaying the total take over of Norway by at least a few months. This does not lead to any armed conflict however. 1941: -Much the same as 1940, though Italy and Spain invade France, and I cannot seem to really stop them. Preparations are made for the big pinnacle of Nazi ideology, the acquiring of Lebensraum in the east. Three army groups are formed. Each Army group consists of at least one tank "unit", numerous infantry units, and an air HQ consisting of both fighters and bombers. I do not bother building towed artillery for two reasons, one, it takes production resources away from tanks and planes, and two, towed artillery slows down army group thrusts quite a bit. Use of airpower allows Blitzkrieg to continue. German plans call for the elimination of most of the Red Air Force, which is stationed on the borders, and what is left well be dealt with by experienced German pilots. Each army group is assigned a final objective: Army Group North (HQ Konigsberg): Capture of Leningrad, destruction of Soviet access to the Baltic sea. Army Group Center (HQ Warsaw) : Capture of Moscow. General seizure of central Russian cities to advance a general front line. Secondary objective after Moscow is to continue pushing through central Russia to cut the USSR in half. Army Group South (HQ Bucharest) : Capture of Caucuses oil to starve Soviet industry. The front opens 1942: In March of 1942, with winter past, around 2 million German soldiers invade the USSR (and the Baltic states). Army group north captures the Baltic states,and makes it to just outside Leningrad. Army group center is able to capture a few hundred miles of land in the center, but is unable to advance too far partially because of fierce Soviet resistance, but also because army group center was able to capture Moscow using a pathway established by army group north, as opposed to having to fight another path to Moscow . The most success was achieved with army group south. Army group south captured the Ukraine, and was poised to push into the caucuses until winter hit. However, not everything was going well. The Wehrmacht was sustaining horrific losses to the tune of hundreds of thousands while invading the USSR. On top of that, around September 1942, Soviet forces landed in lightly defended Norway, and easily overpowered the light garrison stationed there. As OKH (me) was concerned more with the war in the east, few if any units were sent to Norway, which was seen as a nation that could be retaken once Russia herself was subdued. Meanwhile, France erupted into revolt, and the government attempted to reconvert to Democratic ideals. This necessitated a second invasion of France to reinstall a fascist government. While the French could not really stop the German war machine, they resisted bitterly, keeping troops occupied in France that could have otherwise have been used in Russia. Moscow is captured by the end of the year, and OKH believes (falsley) that Russia has been basically cut in half. Branch Reports: Heer: Land forces caught and maintained momentum against inferior Soviet forces, though at the expense of major manpower losses in the infantry. Luftwaffe: Strong air force that dominates the skies. Able to severely weaken any resistance via bombing before a Heer thrust. Kriegsmarine: Small naval force, used to support some operations in Norway. Not able to expand as most German port cities are unproductive compared to their heartland counterparts, making procurement of new ships difficult. Towards the end of 1942, with severe losses being sustained, the gigantic one million man force in the west, with the dual duties of policing France and being prepared to repel any possible Anglo-American invasion, is largely withdrawn to the east to help replace losses. 1943: The year starts off as a strong one for the Wehrmacht. The Heer completes it's drive into the caucuses, capturing the oil, and basically shutting off the spigot to Russia. Successes are racked up. the OKH is confident of victory being near. But three things were underestimated: -Just how large Russia exactly was. Owing to poor military intelligence (an area the OKH had not bothered to invest in in the prewar years), and lack of real reconnaissance flights, the assumption was the capture of Moscow would cut Russia in half, thus allowing each army group to simply pick off remaining forces. However, the Russians had built many cities beyond Moscow, thus keeping lines of communications open. -Slavic resiliency: Germany had captured the oil. But the Russians fought on. Where tanks could not be built, anti tank guns and towed artillery were built. Where planes to defend airspace could not be built, thousands of anti air guns were. -The western allies: Britain and America had had enough. The false friendship between the British Empire and the Reich was shattered when the two nations issued back to back declarations of war. By mid year, the situation is far less hopeful. In the east, the Wehrmacht has captured all that was set out for it. OKH was confused as to the next move. A half hearted attempt to have a corps sized German unit push even further beyond Moscow is defeated as Russian forces slowly chip away at the force. In the west, England lands forces in the Netherlands. While the invasion is poorly planned, and the Luftwaffe owns the skies, this new reality is not helpful. The force is quickly expelled, but not before Amsterdam, and the possible future production center for a new Kriegsmarine, is damaged. Furthermore, the Anglo-American alliance has total naval supremacy, going so far as to intrude into the Baltic sea. In this year, the terror raids begin, Anglo-American forces landing in German costal cities. While these raids are usually poorly planned, and German forces are able to expel the landing forces quickly, these raids help demoralize the German nation, and put additional strain on the Heer to defend Germany itself now. Branch Reports: Heer: By late 1943, the Heer is having difficulty maintaining sufficient manpower to fulfill all its duties. On the Eastern front, the Heer starts to encounter more trouble as Russia has now began raising gigantic armies of millions of men. Few forces are able to be spared for the western war, meaning terror raids are usually repelled by a hodgepodge of personnel from several city garrisons. Only one or two tank units are at the disposal of the newly formed army "group" west. In Norway, the Soviets continue their slow but steady march southward, inching ever closed to mainland Europe, now joined by Americans and Englishmen. Luftwaffe: The Luftwaffe still maintains air supremacy, however a threat is still at threat, and it is not unheard of for a single Anglo-American bomber to be able to squeeze off a bomb on a German city once in a while. Kriegsmarine: Largely destroyed while conducting a support operation in Norway. What few ships remain retreat to the Baltic sea, but are unable to do much to stop the massive USN and Royal Navy from owning every body of water. German forces had lost some morale, as no clear objective existed in the USSR anymore, however, Adolf Hitler wanted a major operation that would restore decisive German thrusts, and restore purpose to the forces in the east. A Finnish declaration of war briefly routed army group north, Finland was quickly beaten back, and a temporary peace signed. Still, a communist Finland was a new threat to contend with. 1944: Kursk. This single city ruined the chance of German domination of Europe. The winter of 1943-1944 came and went. German forces hunkered down for most of the winter. As the thaw began, a decision was made. A large bulge existed in the center of the German lines. One of the main cities behind this bulge was Kursk. While the battle of Moscow was actually quite small... no more than 200,000 soldiers on both sides combined, it did show that Germany was losing some of the initiative, as its forces were too spread out and depleted now. However Hitler and the OKH simply viewed this as a loss of vision, the planned offensive at Kursk was meant to bring back the vigor of 1942. Only a few expected failure, and no one expected how severe the coming failure would be. It was assumed that the Heer, along with the Luftwaffe, which still owned the skies, would simply cut through the Russians like butter, and that all that was needed was a concentrated thrust on two sides. It was assumed Russian troops were inherently inferior to their German counterparts, and would be defeated easily. In March of 1944, two years after the invasion began, the remains of a depleted army group center, along with a still massively strong (stronger than ever in fact) army group south proceeded to the town of Kursk to close the bulge. What ensued was a massacre of epic proportions, which shall be broken down here: -Stage one, the traditional bombing of a target before the land forces moved in, failed. The Russians lacked planes, but they made up for this with a gigantic collection of anti air guns. The bombers were only able to inflict mild damage, and most returned to base damaged. -Stage two, the land thrust, led by tons of armor, failed. While the Russians had almost no tanks at Kursk, they did have thousands upon thousands of anti tank guns. The Russians vastly outnumbered the German force. While German forces were able to take out many Russians and their equipment, the scale of the fighting left German forces totally exhausted after round one, and taking severe casualties themselves. However, it looked like as though it might have been a ssalvageable situation, until the Russians sent reinforcements fresh from behind the lines, and began counterattacking. The fresh (and now with better training and equipment) soldiers and gunners were able to slaughter a totally exhausted Heer. Army group south, and the armored remains of Army group center were destroyed. Up to 700,000 German soldiers may have perished in this decisive battle. Russia might have lost just as much, but they could afford those losses. Germany could not. The battle was a total disaster for the Wehrmacht, after Kursk, a long but sure retreat ensued for the Wehrmacht. Hitler and all of the military top brass were severely depressed. However, Hitler did not want peace, even though he still could have obtained it with Stalin. He felt that Army group north still had a chance to regroup, and do battle, and that this was just a temporary setback, and that German industry would catch up and replace the losses incurred at Kursk. In the North, units were withdrawn from garrison duties, and were gathered around the city of Vilinus, forming a force of half a million to a million men. There was to be a final battle that would decide the fate of Germany here... but not yet. Branch Reports Heer: March 1944 was the high water mark of the Heer. With gigantic losses incurred at Kursk, the Heer never really recovered. What future "groups" and armies that would be formed, would consist of regrouped forces drawn from garrison duty from captured cities, leaving these areas exposed, though Russia was often not very bright, and did not attack these cities until later. German industry was simply not able to produce enough infantryman to keep up. The situation with tanks was slightly better however. Luftwaffe: Eastern front air supremacy was maintained, however in the west, British and American pilots, chiseled by a year of war, were getting better. Attacks on the Fatherland became more frequent and severe. Kriegsmarine: In shambles. Unable to effectively do anything at this point. Furthermore, Anglo-American-Soviet forces in Norway were gaining ground. By December, they had captured most of southern Norway. Once the last German troops were destroyed, it was assumed the Americans and Russians would begin landing. Finland also rejoined the war, and began playing a decisive role now. Finnish forces and Russian forces fought side by side, as the USSR had financed a communist revolution in Finland a few years prior. 1945: In January 1945, American forces landed in Denmark, quickly taking over. This was not a terror raid. This was an actual, large scale amphibious operation meant to break into Germany. The landings in Denmark terrified Hitler and the OKH/OKW, as the small and flat terrain, as well as small size, left German forces in the west, now also quite weak, little to work with. Hitler frantically tried to get peace with the western allies, but Anglo-American peace terms were considered unacceptable, and just a ruse anyway. After this, Hitler furiously attempted to drag Mussolini and Franco into war, however both of them abstained. Germany was now alone against three great nations. German forces in the west engaged the Americans at Copenhagen, holding them back, but not being able to win a victory as before. Later in the year, British forces landed in the Netherlands, and by this point, the western forces was totally overwhelmed. However, OKH and Hitler insisted the focus needed to remain in the east, as the Russians would do far worse things to Germany than the English or the Americans would. By April 1945, the western allies were poised to break into Germany herself. The western allies finally broke through with this two prong approach, and quickly took over the Rhineland. By the end of 1945, the western allies controlled almost all of western Germany. In the east, the battle of Vilinius was raging, as the Heer waged a defensive campaign, which tied up Finno-Soviet forces for about six months. However, finally, army group north was defeated, and with it, the last large scale force that was able to defend Germany, as well as Germany's last hope. The Russians had neglected the south though, and strangely enough, while Americans were in the Rhineland, Germany still controlled Ukraine, the Caucuses, and the Balkans. The Soviet juggernaut was headed straight for Berlin. It did not have time for these other regions. Branch Reports: Heer: Severley damaged. By the end of 1945, only about one million soldiers remained, opposing 6 million Soviet troops, and millions more Anglo-American troops. Heer troops were scattered and poorly coordinated and weak, compared to a high water mark of 2 to 3 million soldiers in early 1944. The Heer was overwhelmed, and with failure at Vilinus, there were no doubts left about who would win. After Vilinus, peace was also not an option. Stalin was then determined to destroy not just Nazism, but Germany herself. Luftwaffe: Damaged. Retained some capability to protect German airspace. But the both increasing number and quality of allied pilots meant that Germany was being severely bombed. The relative peace of air of 1943 or even 1944 was long gone. The introduction of jet fighters helped little. Kriegsmarine: Destroyed. 1946: The year was bleak. The Soviet-Finnic-Anglo-American machine was destroying Germany. No peace was possible with Stalin, and the American's and British were demanding enormous amounts of money that could not be paid to both Britain and America. The USN was also using its edge. American forces had liberated Greece in 1945. In 1946, American forces landed to liberate the rest of the Balkans. Turkey joined the war. Two major battles stand out in this year: Berlin: Close to one million troops were stationed in Berlin. Tired of being purely defensive, and waiting for a sure death, the OKH decided to attempt an attack to destroy a Soviet army, and to try and regain something resembling momentum. This was partially successful in terms of destroying the army, but in the end, the Heer was weakened, and Soviets stormed into Berlin. Hitler fled to the mountains of Bavaria and Austria. Kiev: After the battle of Kursk, the OKH decided the production of towed artillery was to finally commence in large numbers. German forces in the Balkans regrouped in Romania, and with large artillery support, and limited air support, attacked the city of Kiev. The attack was successful initially, destroying a major Soviet airbase, and retaking the city. However a few weeks later the city fell. There were simply not enough soldiers to continue an offensive, nor to defend the city. After this failure, Soviet forces surged into the Balkans. Kiev had shown even when the Wehrmacht could win, it was still losing. A testament to a hopeless situation. By the end of 1946, only a few south German cities and Slovenia remained in German hands. Branch Report: Heer: Virtually destroyed. Down to 300,000 troops by Christmas. Luftwaffe: Destroyed. No fighters and few bombers left by December. Kriegsmarine: Destroyed. Germany did not even control any coastal territories at this point. 1947-The end: By January 1st, 1947, Munich was the only major German city left that was still in German hands. 300,000 fanatical Nazis pledged to make a final stand, and to make the allies bleed. In typical Heer fashion, pure defense was not an option. A final, (THE final offensive of any kind of the war) offensive was launched to retake the city of Rhine. The operation succeeded initially in defeating a light American garrison, however, the US Army quickly counterattacked, retook Rhine, and then took over Munich. Germany was now totally destroyed. American forces were simply too large. By February, the last of these fanatics were dead. Nazism was dead. Americans were in Germany, and Russia had turned into a gigantic industrial superpower, while supporting new communist governments in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. America and Russia liked each other in early 1947, but who knew how long that friendship would last? Perhaps the stage was being set for a new war, this time capitalism vs communism, and now with atomic weapons. This world war, however, was essentially over. Branch Report: Heer: Non existent Luftwaffe: Non existent Kriegsmarine: Non existent Luftwaffe: Non existent Germany: Non existent Hope you enjoyed this little strategic tale.
  5. Seems you have finally decided on a direction, the series is moving away from a let's play type deal, to more a quasi "mind series". I think this episode was good, though I honestly thought what they get the AI in Black Mesa to say (that was not there in the original HL) was pretty damned hilarious. Best of luck in pushing the series forward, though I would recommend maybe some sort of backstory if you want to do a more scripted type deal (Maybe Freeman got a sex change in Poland while he was super drunk/high?). Just a thought
  6. While they could be related, the video I linked to proves that REAL views are being cut also. The reason being is the guy set up a link where more people clicked on the link to his website, coming from Youtube, than Youtube reported as viewing the actual video. If you're confused by this, that's because what I'm describing is impossible in reality. Since that's what YT is reporting though, the only conclusion to draw is that YT isn't reporting all the views. Stuff like the like-to-view ratio and statistically improbable events are circumstantial evidence, the website results however, are direct evidence. I can't say WHY Youtube is doing this, just that they are. also, this is very discouraging for me as a begginer, even with Ross's support. It's like every time anyone gets too much power in their hands, they start shitting on everybody with less power. :/ And I'm not saying "beginning youtuber" because I hope some alternative will show up for youtube. Good times for new people are not anymore I just wanna go and slap all Google managers in their faces "Take your head out of your ass RIGHT NOW!" Blah! Really, is it a good time to start anything anymore (youtubing, college, military career......) with all our human corruption? I agree though that Google kind of ruined Youtube. I might put up a whole post later on my thoughts about the internet and society in general. But I think it is sad to see what was once a truly free creation turn into a corporate monstrosity.
  7. I read there was evidence yesterday of far right Western Ukrainian militia's attacking the Polish border. I have also heard rumors that there are now anti Jewish pogroms underway by some far right Western Ukrainians.
  8. I told you ultra nationalism will upend the traditional order we became accustomed to... Yeah, well if Russia starts a war, they are going to lose. Civil unrest at home, a dysfunctional military with abusive officers, horrible infrastructure and industry, and all of NATO against them, with few allies. The war might not be quick, or easy, but we will win, as long as no one uses the nuclear option. US victory is not a given. Or if it is, the price would be so gigantic, that we would end up like Britain after WWII, and be a paper superpower. Russia may not be a full fledged superpower, but it does have a significant capability to conduct operations west of the Urals. And who is to say all of NATO would join us? Western Europe needs Russian energy, not to mention that if we are initiating hostilities, that we may have some sort of Iraq type situation in terms of international opinion. Plus, what is the US supposed to do anyway? To kick Russian forces out of the Ukraine would require months of deployment of heavy weaponry and air forces to Poland and other nations. If we wanted prolonged operations over all Ukraine, that would require at least a million troops, and might require brining back the selective service system. And quite frankly, most Americans are sick of war. I am sure if we had another prolonged war, which included massive casualties and a draft, that there would be a revolution in America. People are tired of warfare, and so far we have not been totally outraged since it is other people doing the dying in an all volunteer military.
  9. I told you ultra nationalism will upend the traditional order we became accustomed to...
  10. Terminator for DOS (1990) might also be good. It has 3d graphics as well!
  11. That example I think is more grey. I see Obamacare as both helpful AND harmful to people, depending on what bracket a person is in. What I see as clear-cut evil is our system that rewards health insurance companies for denying coverage to people that need it at the same time they take in massive profits. That's literally profiting on the misery and death of people who need their help. Collectively, they spent about 500 million on lobbying in 2012. With Obamacare, Obama clearly compromised heavily with these forces, so that makes him "not good" at least. As for him being evil, his actions seem to deviate from what he says a lot. I can't really say if he's evil or not, his intentions seem totally unclear to me. I mostly see him as a conduit for larger forces at work. I've thought many times that we should just rename the USA to "Crazyland" and it would make us far more consistent. You can point to Christianity as a source of morality, but in the USA, things get surreal. My favorite example of this was at the republican presidential candidate debates where Ron Paul was for suggesting we abide by "the Golden Rule." So in other words, you have a demographic of people who are largely Christian booing somebody for quoting a central theme from Christianity. I certainly agree that American Evangelical Christianity can become very perverse at times. To me, the most horrifying thing is the "prosperity gospel" and "Christian Zionism." In that same vein of craziness: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/old-testament-army/ I would point out though, that for a long time, most people were Christians, but not that radical or crazy in this nation. I think the fundamental truth stands about still needing a new morality. The end of the Cold War and the loss of desire to justify exactly who we Americans are, also creates new challenges.
  12. With the sort of "death of Christianity" looming over western societies, we will likely see more "evil" occur since there will be no easily available, relatively simple morality to guide a lot of people. This century will be vital in the history of western nations: Basically, we need to establish some type of "new morality" and the appropriate justifications. In the meantime, there will be a quite good deal of chaos in western societies.
  13. I believe it may either be a bread and circus type deal, or simply a profit scheme. I would say a bit of both. Our media often hypes up divisions over often symbolic issues. I imagine it serves to distract from the issues at the heart of our problems, and maybe get some of those party/special interest group contributions up as well.
  14. Wow, maybe I need to get my news from Conan from now on In all seriousness, the mainstream media does not cover stories of value anymore. Luckily the number of people watching TV news has declined a lot in recent years, so we may possibly see the end of TV news coming soon. I think it's stupid that CNN covers cat videos, when they could be using the 24 hours news cycle to cover things like economics, or Mideast policy. The only real program I watch on CNN with any consistency is Fareed Zakaria GPS (I also used to watch Ali Velshi, but oh well...), I honestly think I would watch more CNN (for instance) if they had more Fareed's, and less cat videos. Add on top of their often worthless stories, you also have the mainstream media sprinkling their own brand of political bias on top of certain stories, so that is another point against them. But in general, I agree, there is a trend to try and distract Americans in general from our problems.
  15. "We need to nuke this place once I get out" Did I detect a vague Opposing Force reference here? For that matter, when it finally comes down to the actual teleportation chamber, I hope Ross makes a nod to Shepard's mind....
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