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Transvaal at War


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When a messenger reported to Van Haesten that Prime Minister Van Matteus would be arriving in Cape Town he gave a non-commital shrug and said, "Hmm, very well," before turning back to the massive map of Cape Province that had been hung on the wall in Cape Town City Hall, which had been essentially appropriated by the Tahoan Armed Forces (much to the silent chagrin of the mayor). Dozens of orange dots, represtening Transvaler Police or military were contrasted with green dots, for Tahoans, and blue dots, for potential enemies.

Tahoan troops had been shot at on more than one occassion, and at least ten houses had been destroyed by helicopter gunships, but so far resistance had been minimal and casualties light. Only a few dozen wounded, mostly from accidents and not enemy operations, and none killed.

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[color="#000080"]A few hours later, still intensely studying the map, General Peter van Haesten heard a voice behind him almost purr “…congratulations, General!”. He turned around in an instant to see Prime Minister Annetjie van Matteus standing there with two cups of coffee in her hands.

“Your people tell me you never take a break – but come, let’s go outside and get some air… and talk” as she hands him a cup of black coffee. “Sorry I couldn’t find any milk, there hasn’t been any around since the war began.”

They walked down to the waterfront not far from Van Haesten’s command centre at Simonstown, the great spralling naval base which the [i]Transvaler Seemag[/i] had called home. Now it was occupied by Tahoan ships, as the remaining ships of the [i]Seemag [/i]stayed stationed out at sea, lest their anchorage in Cape Town draw the undue attention of an enemy nuclear warhead.

Van Matteus always seemed relaxed whenever she was around the General – which sometimes made the professional soldier in him uncomfortable. Unbeknownst to him, she deeply admired the man and regarded him a true friend of the Transvaler nation. She viewed him as a true man of action and someone she saw eye to eye with on almost all matters. She admired his toughness in the face of calamity and with all the recent chaos and uncertainty in Southern Africa, she was pleased that the Tahoan government had sent him.

“General, I think your work in Cape Town will soon be completed. Internal resistance, what little there has been, has practically dissipated now in the zones under government control. We anticipated a full-fledged communist revolt but according to Marshal Malan, much of the Marxist terrorist cells and leadership died during the nuclear attacks. We expect that we shall be able to re-establish control over the Cape in the next week.”

“Once the war is over and the shooting has finally stopped, where we are going to have serious problems is along our frontier regions of Northern Namibia and Southern Angola, which we have lost all influence over. We have requested the Arcticans to take our interests in Northern Mozambique, but our northwestern flank is severely vulnerable. We have lost the use of our facilities at Walvisbaai where we have shipyards, drydocks, and a harbour located.”

“Until my government can begin reconstruction and re-assert its influence over those areas, which may take a couple of months, we are going to require your assistance in maintaining the security of the northern Botha Line. I suppose what I am wondering is: what will your government’s reaction be to essentially setting up a colony in Southern Africa? We know your enemies such as Rebel Army will raise a stink about this and possibly UMS too. The Sercans will probably feel uneasy having Tahoman colonial troops stationed along one of their frontiers – but I think I can convince them that Tahoe poses no harm to Southern Africa. They have always been good at ignoring us and we visa versa. It would be nothing but a temporary measure until we can get our own house back in order.”

“As an aside, we are also seriously considering buttressing our Rhodesian allies by handing over our Rhodesian Province to them. We know that reunification with their traditional capital of Salisbury has always been something they desire – even though they have never broached the topic with us.”[/color]

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As van Matteus finished her remarks Ambassador O'Grianna strolled up with an annoyed look on his face, saying, "Madam Prime Minister, no one told me you were here yet." O'Grianna glanced at General van Haesten, who merely shrugged and said in his deep voice, "I hope you are recovering well, Ambassador. My staff is very busy dealing with military matters." Van Haesten looked like he was about to address the Prime Minister's questions but O'Grianna quickly interdicted, "Prime Minister, despite being an old, injured man, I could not help but overhear your last question for the good General. Let me answer first, as it involves certain political matters important to our Government and the National Party. Under no circumstances will the Government of the Tahoe Republic condone, permit or assist in any way with a Colonial Government in Africa. I realize your wordchoice is limited and understand the true implications, but no, we will not set up a colony of any sorts involving [i]civilians[/i]."

Van Matteus knew Tahoans were blunt and had dealt with them enough in her past, Ambassador O'Grianna in particular to not get particularly offended, but his outright denial of her suggestion was upsetting considering all Tahoe had done in the past.

Van Haesten looked again as he was about to speak but again O'Grianna cut him off, "Now, as I said we will not set up a colony. I have made no mention of an increased military commitment."

Van Haesten added, "Yes, I have just gotten off the radio with Captain O'Doul and he reports that his transports and their escort should be docking within the day. That is the 2nd and 8th Battalions of the 4th Northern California Regiment. They can be deployed along the border immediately. We do, as the Ambassador is attempting to suggest, need a political solution, though."

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[color="#000080"]Annetjie van Matteus seemed dismayed but the reaction from Ambassador Ó Grianna was pretty much expected. She knew full well the Tahoan government’s opposition to colonialism – but she nevertheless wished that General van Haesten had had the opportunity to finish their discussion, as he would probably have a more creative solution to her political dilemma. The General may not be a politician but he certainly knew his way around politicians.

“Very well” she shrugged. “Do you have any suggestions Ambassador? – as we might well have to cut Southern Angola adrift and we fought tooth and nail with the old PAC to regain control of it after the last time we lost it.”

Actually, Transvaal had given up Southern Angola to the PAC peacefully and then snapped it up again like a vulture on that organisation’s demise but Van Matteus wasn’t concerned with the exact details at this moment. What she was concerned about was if the Republic lost its grip on it again, it would likely become a permanent loss.

“However you [i]still [/i]could redeploy in Northern Namibia, no?” [/color]

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Van Haesten gave an annoyed look to the Ambassador before responding to the Prime Minister.

"Ma'am, I fully believe I have the ability to hold onto both Angola and Mozambique. I believe the Ambassador was merely stating that any government by civilian Tahoan's is out of the picture. Military government is another story. Granted, we may need to get creative in how we respond, since the world and locals alike won't like Tahoans running things. Perhaps...perhaps, hmm, this may be unorthodox but I believe it is my perogative as Commander in Chief in Africa" Van Haesten gave a sharp look at the Ambassador, who merely raised an eyebrow, "to order such a thing...if you gave me command over perhaps 4,000 Transvaler soldiers as well as my 4,000 Tahoans, I can hold any area of the country. You may have to give me a commission in the Transvaler Army, since I know Tahoans at least would refuse to take orders from a foreign officer."

Van Haesten paused and looked around to gage the reaction. O'Grianna gave an impassive look back, and van Matteus murmured, "Go on..."

He continued, "We have to move fast. Those regions are already slipping out of control and will only continue to do so. I only have 4,000 troops and to be honest, if I have to butress the government across Transvaal I don't know how I will manage. I can't hold firm control over Cape Town AND Angola or Mozambique. The interior has to be turned over to local troops but I can hold the frontier."

O'Grianna looked like he was about to speak but Van Haesten cut him off, "Ambassador, I respect your opinion as the representative of the Tahoan government and a senior member of the National Party, but I am not a politician. I am a soldier. I will do everything in my power to carry out my orders, which are to support the Government of Transvaal in any way possible. You do not have the authority to countermand any of those. It is customary in the military to speak only when prompted or given permission."

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[color="#000080"]‘Now, [i]this [/i]was classic Van Haesten in action’ thought Annetjie van Matteus. ‘No intimidation in the face of danger nor with whom he spoke to – he always appeared cool and unfazed by authority figures.’

“General, unless our troops are required to undergo another offensive, I should be able to spare you 4,000 soldiers. And don’t worry about a commission, since our two countries are formal allies through Nordreich, during wartime your rank carries full weight with our soldiers. No different when we have launched co-ordinated offenses under the command of another nation’s command of the front.”

Then she gave a conspiratorial smile… “Besides, your name is well-known, respected – ...and feared – by our troops. Don’t you worry General, trust me they [i]will [/i]listen to you and they [i]will [/i]carry out your orders.”

“At this point, shift your focus now shift to maintaining our frontier territories. My government is now stable enough to re-exert our authority over the Cape Province, so your troops can be relieved there. Don’t worry about Mozambique; our eastern frontier is safe in the hands of the Arcticans. They too realize that their own regional security relies on a strong and united Transvaal. Your objective now should be the occupation of Southern Angola and the areas of Northern Namibia not currently under our SOI.”

[i][b]Map showing Arctican occupation zone in navy blue and Tahoan occupation zone in yellow[/b][/i]

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A large convoy of trucks and armored vehicles rumbled into the city of Lubango as the sun rose. Locals recognized Krygsmagte uniforms and equipment but few recognized the distinctive Tahoan Army patterns and armored vehicles. General van Haesten and his staff quickly got busy dealing with local authorities (the few that remained) while Tahoan and Transvaler troops began the construction of a major military base in the hills overlooking the city to the west. Bulldozers flattened terrain and vegetation and began preparing to pour concrete on a double runway featuring reiforced shelters for the aircraft. A small tent city popped up in lieu of barracks, but those would certainly follow soon after. Three tall flagpoles bore the banners of the Tahoe Republic, Republic of Transvaal and the flag of their formal alliance, an eagle with odal rune and cross. A large country estate, formerly belonging to a wealthy white Transvaler farmer who was killed by rebels along with his family served as the headquarters for the base.

The roughly 9,000 soldiers (four thousand Tranvaler infantry and 4,000 Tahoan motorised infantry plus 1,000 Tahoan support crews and pilots) would in the next week or so be distributed to firebases across southern Angola and northern Southwest Africa. Eight military districts, each under the command of a colonel would be set up with absolute authority of the Governor in Lubango.

Intelligence staff is expecting a brutal bush war to start as soon as the locals recover and as such Van Haesten is moving quickly to arrest dissidents and gain control of as much of the territory as possible as well as working with local leaders, especially police, to secure the area.

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[color="#000080"]Despite having an on-going presence in Southern Angola since January 2008, the territory was far and away one of the most destitute parts of the Republic – if not the entire continent. The words “squalor”, “hopelessness” and “abuse” came foremost to mind to describe the place, as it was obvious the Transvaler Government had done practically nothing to improve the lives of its misfortunate residents.

Southern Angola was an anomaly in the Republic – too important in the Republic’s regional defense plan as a buffer region to permit it leaving the Republic, yet remote and culturally different enough that successive Transvaler governments omitted it from government investment and infrastructure budgeting.

A Transvaler colonel walked up to General van Haesten and saluted. “Welcome to the toilet of Africa, sir” he said in all earnestness and honesty. “I am Colonel Viljoens, nominal commanding officer of the [i]Krygsmagte [/i]forces operating in Angola. I have been instructed to place my troops under your command for the duration of your stay here.”

As Van Haesten walked around examining the burnt-out plantation which served as his headquarters, Viljoens gave him a run down on the situation in Angola.

“The people here – the native Negroes, I mean – are pretty passive now and try their best to avoid us. Years ago, back when the SWF-LSF threat in Southern Africa was at a peak, the local populace tried to rebel against us but we beat the snot out of them pretty good. Since then, they just stay out of our way and do as little to attract our attention. As you can see, the entire territory is pretty remote as there are practically no paved roads. Pre-war pretty much the only government activity here was border patrols along the Transvaler-Sercan frontier. Occasionally we have had to deal with smuggling operations or coastal piracy, small scale stuff really. So long as it doesn’t get in our way, we just let it go as part of the local ‘economy’”.

The Viljoens stopped and turned around to face the General. “You know sir, as much as I dislike the place and its people and everything to do with it, it would help matters if Pretoria actually threw a little money in this direction. Even for basic necessities such as clean water. This place is an absolute dump and Pretoria does nothing to alleviate the misery even a little. If the people here ever did find the courage again to rise up, I cannot say they wouldn’t have justification. I’m thinking here in preventative terms, sir. Snuff out the seeds of discontent before they can take root…” [/color]

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General van Haesten indeed had seen the shellshocked stares on the dirty faces of locals as they convoy drove through Lubango. Even without including the Tahoan soldiers, the Transvaler contingent was easily the largest goverment presence most locals had ever seen.

"Well Colonel" van Haesten said in his now nearly pefect Afrikaans (he even spoke with the accent of the Witwatersrand remarked Colonel Viljoens), "whether they like it or not, Southern Angola is going to have a permanant government presence from now on. We were ordered to secure the region, and I don't see how to do that except to extend government rule here permanantly. I saw these kind of places: backwater, poor, inhabited by negroes, while I was stationed in Cuba. Our government was effectively bringing poor rural regions that had historically been antagonistic to white Tahoan authority in Havana under control through a mix of social programs and military power. We have the latter, now we need the former."

Van Haesten walked with Viljoens back to the tent that was serving as the headquarters while the plantation house was being rebuilt. A bulldozer and dump truck rumbled by (both driven by locals) to work on the runway. A helicopter gunship roared overhead from north where a patrol had been engaged by a group of rebels before being pulverized by a mix of gunships and ground forces that had been dropped off via helicopter. Van Haesten had integrated the units, so every Tahoan company had a corresponding Transvaler company (who knew the terrain).

Once back in the tent, Van Haesten asked Viljoens to assist him in appointing 4 of the 8 military districts with Transvaler officers of his reccomendation, as well as to help decide what exactly the districts should be, geographically speaking. Van Haesten wanted to start deploying his troops around the region within a week, as any longer would only hasten the difficuly in bringing them back under government control. Disturbing reports of small scale rebel activity and anarchy were reaching his ears daily.

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[color="#000080"]“Until very recently the two Portuguese regions of the Republic were simply ignored – except for Maputo and its immediate area on our eastern coast because it had strategic port value. We used to call them the [i]ongewenste witmense[/i], the ‘unwanted whites’, even though most are mixed-blood or negroid”

Switching back and forth between Afrikaans and English in describing the situation in Angola, General Van Haesten noticed how Colonel Viljoens used the word “negro” in his English speech – a term almost never heard on the African continent. On asking why, it turned out Viljoens had trained in Tahoe during one of the frequent training exchanges between the two countries and had heard the term used there amongst other Americansims he had picked up. In fact, as he listened closer, Van Haestens figured that Viljoens had probably acquired his knowledge of English in Tahoe rather than being around Anglo-Transvalers.

“But ever since the Arcticans became involved in Mozambique, the Portuguese have been starting to gain some recognition and grudging respect from us Afrikaners and also the Anglo’s. I wouldn’t be surprised that during the post-war reconstruction, we see some Portuguese influence begin to creep in – a subtle racial realignment if you can call it that. I don’t know if the Afrikaners will ever regard them as equal whites on the same level as the Anglo’s but I think those which can pass for being European will be in demand from a country which will once again require more immigration from sympathic Western European nations to buttress our numbers.”

As Viljoens spoke, he thumbed through his paperwork to find suitable officers for the military districts. Van Haestens sat at his desk which had been hastily set up for him.

“Now, as for the [i]Krygsmagte [/i]troops under your command... along with myself, there is 1 other full colonel – his name is Kurt Martiens – and 4 lieutenant colonels assigned to our force of 4000. We also have 18 majors and captains, 53 lieutenants and ensign officers, 528 non-commissioned officers of various ranks between an assortment of warrant officers, sergeants, and corporals, and finally 3395 men of private ranks. We [i]could [/i]also request up to two generals from the [i]Krygsmagte [/i]for a force of our size, if we liked... however between you and me, we probably don’t need [i]them [/i]here interfering with what is [i]your [/i]command.”

Just then, the two men heard a voice behind them, calling for their attention from the doorway. “Sir, this message just came in over the radio from Pretoria…”

The corporal saluted both men and handed the note to Viljoens, out of habit and familiarity rather than any disrespect intended towards the more senior officer sitting at the desk. “It’s from the prime minister” said Viljoens, who quickly read it and handed it over to Van Haestens.

[font="Courier New"]<< TO VAN HAESTENS & HQ: War over, peace declared. Maintain pacification in Angola until further notice – PRETORIA PM-AVM >>[/font]

“Huh, just like that… and it is all over. I wonder who won?... if anyone did... she made no mention of that,” pondered the colonel.

“However Colonel Viljoens, our war here [i]still [/i]continues” replied Van Haesten. “If you please, carry on with your briefing.”

“Sorry, General… err, as to the set-up of military districts, we will need detachments here at Lubango as well as Namibe on the coast is critical as it is our only seaport – otherwise I would suggest Canongolo, Menongue, in the Burma-Poço district, Caconda, along the coast north of Chapeau Armado, plus one roving group based in the national parkland in the southeast.”

Colonel Viljoens then walked over to General Van Haesten's map of Southern Angola – the general seemed to have a knack for commandeering maps and office suuplies from the most unlikely (or unwilling) sources – and began to mark the location of the units on the wall.

“What do you think? This should cover all sizable population areas as well as secure our northern frontier. We are perhaps a little thin along the Namibian border as well as in the southeastern parklands – however, I do not anticipate any problems coming from Namibia while the Southeast is pretty wild country, difficult to navigate about, and almost impossible to control anyways… not only for our troops, but would also be for any potential rebels which might attempt to operate from there.”

[i][b]Van Haesten's wall map[/b][/i][/color]

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Van Haesten looked at the unit markers Viljoens had placed on the wall. The geographical distribution looked good and though having only a thousand troops in each district (except Lubango) would leave the troops very spread out should an unlikely large scale rebellion take place, the helicopter gunships and 9 surviving fighters would give the Tahoe-Transvalers a good deal of firepower that could be brought to bear, if necessary.

"That all looks good Colonel. I will have the orders drawn up for Colonel Martiens to take control of Namibe and Colonel Joe McKelvey will command in Menongue. I'll keep you here to command the central district and be my chief Transvaler advisors. I'll appoint three Tahoan Lieutenant-Colonel's and two senior Transvaler Lieutenant Colonels to command the two remaining districts."

Van Haesten stood up from his desk and called for his secretary, a staff sergeant who had served with him since van Haesten was a newly minted platoon leader in the Armtha SS, quickly stepped into the tent. He asked what van Haesten needed (in a surprising degree of familiarity that surprised Viljoens) and once told to draft orders for individual units and officers to deploy to their assigned district once the survey crew finished scouting locations for firebases across the theater stepped out yelling orders to his assistants.

"I'd also like to consider the formation of a local militia like we did in Cuba. Local whites, in this case mostly Portugese - in Cuba it was Spandiards - would form a heavily armed paramilitary that can be deployed anywhere in the Province. They can probably be trusted with armored vehicles and other weaponry and will help local whites integrate into the greater Transvaler culture through military service and language since orders would be in Afrikaans, though I'd expect they use Portugese, or whatever language they prefer for day to day operations. The second militia and this one truly would be just a militia, would be drawn from the Negro and Coloured populations that can protect villages and towns across the region. There will be some rebel influence and I would fully expect some weapons given to them to turn up in the hands of rebels, but it [i]should[/i] make them loyal as they are given the chance to protect themselves and participate in the rule of the region, albeit safely under the control of the whites. What do you think?"

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[quote name='presidentmichael' date='26 February 2010 - 07:33 PM' timestamp='1267241810' post='2205775']America(ingame) nuke the world(ingame) and this is over [/quote]

[color="#000080"]OOC: I cannot tell if you are contributing to the RP or just trolling it? [/color] <_<

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[color="#000080"]Colonel Viljoens thought about Van Haesten’s suggestion about the militias.

“That might prove difficult, sir. There aren’t many whites of any sort in Angola, certainly not now. The few that were here that didn’t get killed, ended up fleeing for the safety of the Republic when war broke out and government control… well, what little there was anyways… evaporated.”

Viljoens took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “Sir, what we have here to work with is an endless supply of uneducated natives most of whom cannot read nor write. Finding natives here with knowledge of Afrikaans and English is out of the question – but finding Portuguese speakers shouldn’t be too much of a problem.”

“But I will see what we can find. After all we have to start somewhere…”

The following day, Colonel Viljoens reported back to General Van Haestens that, surprisingly enough, 10 local Africans had been located in Menongue, Lubango, and Namibe that could read and write Portuguese. Five of them could even converse in very rudimentary English which they had picked up listening to foreign broadcasts on the shortwave radio. Along with these men, which he had conscripted, he had another 116 men who could be recruited as ‘volunteers’ if they were fed and provided with boots and a uniform.

“Half of these people are Nhaneca-Humbe from the central region around Menongue while the rest are Hereros, who also overlap into Namibia, that reside more towards the coast.”

“Two of them, one named Iddrisu Bijoudebola and the other Simâo Mba Lubaki, seem to have some sort of secondary school education – they would probably be the best candidates for any NCO positions.”[/color]

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[quote name='presidentmichael' date='26 February 2010 - 07:33 PM' timestamp='1267241810' post='2205775']
America(ingame) nuke the world(ingame) and this is over [img]http://forums.cybernations.net/public/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif[/img]
[quote name='Botha' date='26 February 2010 - 11:30 PM' timestamp='1267256050' post='2206221']
[color="#000080"]OOC: I cannot tell if you are contributing to the RP or just trolling it? [/color][img]http://forums.cybernations.net/public/style_emoticons/default/dry.gif[/img]
OOC: Just ignore him. I am enjoying this thread hopefully more even than you are enjoying writing it. ;)

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Van Haesten's helicopter circled a hilltop along the Sercan border before it landed on a cleared patch at the top. A few huts stood in a circle along the top of the hill along with some trucks and tents. A flagpole flying the flag of Transvaal floated in the hot dry breeze. Van Haesten stepped out of the helicopter along with his staff and greeted the Transvaler base commander, a captain.

"A tour of the firebase, captain, and then fill me in on the situation in your sector if you please."

The captain obliged and showed Van Haesten the huts, built with the help of locals, which housed the 150 or so Transvaler soldiers. This was a minor firebase and thus had no artillery, but the Transvalers did have six heavy mortars situated in dugouts along the rim of the base. A series of trenches and barbed wire protected the base and machine guns poked out of bunkers spaced every 30 feet or so.

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