1 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Norfolk remained the largest and most capable naval base in the world when the Second Great Depression began. That left it in a unique position when the Convention of States reorganized the Federal government. Most of the United States Navy’s larger ships maintained their loyalty to the new Federal government, but the Norfolk yards and harbor had split for Virginia. The Navy needed a home port, and Norfolk was still the best place for that. And Norfolk needed ships to maintain or it would have to shut down much of its capacity. They came to an agreeable compromise in the end. The Commonwealth of Virginia agreed to lease much of Norfolk to the United States Navy for a small yearly fee, and that relationship remained in practice throughout the centuries that followed. Its importance waned after the construction of Yosemite Yards, but the story was not over. When Yosemite fell, the Navy returned to Norfolk in force, and it became one of the arsenals of freedom that sent ships out again and again to face the Shang and their allies.
2 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The Commonwealth of Virginia maintained Norfolk as its primary naval base for the decades and centuries that followed. They leased much of the yards to the Federal Navy, but they held onto enough to support their own fleet. The other coastal States followed the same plan, maintaining their own defense fleets in their own yards while leasing parts of those yards to the Feds. Gulfport. Charleston. Kings Bay. Mayport. Every major naval defense port in the Confederation of Dixie also housed or built United States warships, and that brought in a great deal of money the Confederation States needed. It also constituted a simple majority of the reformed Federal government’s budget, and the long-term symbiosis of that relationship remained true for the centuries that followed. The Confederation publicly stood against the power of the Federal government, all while taking money to maintain the Federal fleet. Some called that hypocritical. Others simply considered it realistic.
3 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The USS Iwo Jima was homeported as part of the Mayport reserve when the Second Great Depression began. She was an old amphibious assault ship the size of a World War II carrier that had long since been placed on the reserve roster, and had not set sail in years. Florida was quick to “recruit” the crew to their cause. Technically, the recruitment had happened long before when they made certain that the entire reserve crew was composed of native Floridians. Florida had put similar thought into securing a Marine fighter unit capable of flying off the Iwo Jima, so when it came time for Florida to cast off the surly bonds of an abusive Federal government, they were more than ready to patrol their own coastlines. Various destroyers and frigates escorted her at all times, and when Florida eventually joined the Confederation of Dixie, the Iwo Jima proved to be a powerful addition to the Confederation Navy.
4 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Charleston, South Carolina was a major Coast Guard base when the Second Great Depression began. They supplied naval fleets from Charleston, and a half-dozen deep-water Coast Guard cutters kept their homeport there. South Carolina was quick to “nationalize” them into their new navy once the Federal government effectively collapsed. While not as heavily armed as “proper” United States warships, these cutters were more heavily armed and armored than most warships in the world. They also supported light aircraft and drones via their flight decks. The Coast Guard had used these for customs and rescue missions. South Carolina replaced them with attack helicopters and defense drones, making the former cutters a far more credible threat to those harboring ill will towards their State. They would prove an integral part of the South Caroline Navy in the decades that followed, and set sail with the Confederation Navy numerous times before the end of the century.
5 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Wilmington, North Carolina had long been home to various Coast Guard cutters, usually named Diligence, long before the Second Great Depression began. The last of them had departed for Florida decades before due to the changing nature of the Coast Guard’s mission, but when that ship was retired, Wilmington purchased her and brought her home again. They kept her seaworthy, took her out on celebrity cruises, and generally treated her as the city’s most welcome guest and attraction. Then the Second Great Depression began, and North Carolina realized it required a navy of its own. They had very little to work with. They were no longer blessed with major United States naval bases, but they did have multiple Navy and Coast Guard reserve stations, filled with naval reservists looking for a what to serve their State. And they had Diligence. That was how a 210 foot retired Coast Guard cutter became the flagship of a major American State Navy. She did not serve in that capacity for long. They acquired better ships in time. But she was the first flagship of the North Carolina Navy, and Wilmington does not let anybody walk by her dock without telling them of that fact.
6 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The Kings Bay submarine base in Georgia had a difficult Second Great Depression. The entire United States Navy ballistic and cruise missile submarine force was homeported at Kings Bay. It was a powerful force, capable of devastating any nation on Earth. One of their submarines, USS Georgia, followed Federal orders and fired those nuclear missiles at Virginia. Nobody knows why their missiles did not detonate, and we probably never will. A nearby attack submarine, ironically the USS Virginia, sunk the Georgia with torpedo fire immediately after the larger boat began firing her missiles. That kept the Georgia from firing the full volley most military historians believe she was attempting to fire, and removed all chances of finding out why her crew executed the order in the first place. It was a horrible blow to both the tight-knit submarine fleet, and to Kings Bay itself. They had all known that they were meant to fight America’s enemies. The fact that they had been ordered to kill Americans, and that one of them had actually attempted to do so, shook them all to the core of their beings. That attack would change America’s submarine service forever.
7 - Medron - Normandy - This has been a long week. Starting with Memorial Day and going on to the anniversary of the D-Day landing that started the end of the Third Reich. There is a lot of sacrifice we remember this week. Lives ended while fighting for the world we live in now. Two entire American generations have grown up never seeing fully-mobilized war, thanks to those we remember this week. Thanks to this fateful day on Normandy. Never Forget.
8 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - There were three American submarine bases on the East Coast when the Second Great Depression began. New London in Connecticut, Kings Bay in Georgia, and Norfolk in Virginia. The sinking of USS Georgia after it fired nuclear missiles on Virginia would have drastic effects on all three bases. Connecticut would join the New England Federation when it formed, just as Georgia and Virginia would join the Confederation of Dixie in time. But the submarine service was united in its wish to not be ordered to fire on Americans again. No matter which flavor of Americans they were. Which is why, once the Convention of States reformed the Federal government, the submarine bases became joint commands of the States they resided in and the new Federal government. With the binding agreement that they would never be deployed against any other American State. Ever. Under any circumstances.
9 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Kings Bay in Georgia had been a ballistic missile submarine base for over half a century when the Second Great Depression began. The crews were famous for remaining underwater, acting like holes in the ocean, for months on end. Always ready to fire missiles that could end civilization as we knew it. Aware that if the balloon ever went up, they could be the last surviving Americans in the world. Or that some Soviet or Chinese attack submarine could kill them before they knew it. Mutually Assured Destruction was the entire basis of their existence. They hoped they would never be required to fire their weapons, but if they did, they would kill as many Soviets, Russians, Chinese, or whatever the target of the decade was. Then one of their number fired missiles on America. On Virginia. The worst part for the crews of Kings Bay is that the crew that fired on home was not a phantom threat to them. They knew each other. They went to the bars together. Many had served on every boat. They were faces and names and friends. And then other Americans killed them after they followed the worst orders in the world. It is impossible to underestimate how that affected them.
10 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The ballistic missile submarine crews who made Kings Bay their home became more insular after one of their number followed Federal orders to fire on America before being immediately sunk. They had always been a bit squirrelly by the metrics of other sailors, but they withdrew further after that incident. They were angry at the friends who pulled the trigger, on both sides. They never wanted to see anything like that happen again, and so they set about making certain it never would. Their first action was to investigate all current crewmembers for potential foreign or Federal entanglements, and then unilaterally kicked dozens of men and women off the literal boat. They changed the screening procedures that investigated potential crewers for submarine duty, and improved their psychological and financial support structure. Georgia desperately wanted to keep them in Kings Bay and supported every effort to reform and rebuild. Against all odds, they succeeded.
11 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The ballistic missile submarine crews from Kings Bay became far more distrustful of strangers after the USS Georgia was sunk. Their screening procedures became far more intensive, and they held themselves further apart from the other American military services. They overhauled their training systems and followed more vigorous policies when it came to removing people from the boats for what was once considered minor reasons. Anyone or anything could be a threat to them after all. So it was only prudent to remove as many threats as possible to reduce the chances of Bad Things happening. And they became even more determined to disappear into the oceans whenever they deployed. Decades of lax policies were trimmed and they became the wraiths of the oceans once more, keeping away from both their foes and their friends. Assuming they had any friends of course.
12 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Kings Bay in Georgia erased decades of lax security and personnel procedures in the months following the sinking of USS Georgia with all hands. One operational method they used was never admitting when or how they spent time in dock, even when undergoing long term repairs or maintenance. As the months turned into years and then decades, historians know that Georgia retired or lost some of their ballistic missile submarines as maintenance became harder and more expensive. But they never admitted it. All boats remained on their fleet registers and were officially “on patrol” at all times. Even their funding and expenditures remained at a level required to operate their entire official fleet. They banned funerals and memorial stones for crewmembers who died in the line of duty. Social media presences remained active, and letters continued to go to family as usual. Pay accrued and was deposited into family accounts as usual until they officially died of old age or a random illness that had nothing to do with their duty on board a nuclear boat. Because all of Georgia’s boats continued to operate as the final deterrent to any foreign power that may have ill intent towards America. Everybody knew it was a lie at the time, but no one knew where the lie was, so they had to treat the lies as possibly true.
13 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The Kings Bay ballistic submarine crews made it their mission to make certain another of their number was never sunk again, either by enemies or friends. Especially friends. Because a boat with the firepower to end Civilization as we know it has few true friends in the end. They redoubled their efforts to become holes in the ocean, only coming out of the darkness when they felt the times were right. Holes in the ocean that nobody ever saw required a little theater when it came time to ask for funding after all. So they developed a tradition of hunting other submarines. Or as retired crewmembers explained it, waiting for some unlucky bastard to pass their hiding place and using remote drones to lock them up with full sonar pings. Followed by an announcement, thanking them for taking part in this scheduled test of the Georgian Navy’s targeting systems. The Boomers never revealed themselves during these “scheduled tests,” and quickly scooted away to another hiding place after each one, but they made certain nobody ever forgot they were out there, watching, waiting, and ready to strike at any time. You may guess this earned them few new friends, and a great many people who believed the Georgian Navy was insane. They were not entirely wrong.
14 - Medron - Flag Day - Today is Flag Day, the commemoration of the adoption of the flag of the United States of America on June 14, 1777, by the Second Continental Congress. They were standing up against a tyrannical government and needed a new flag of their own. So they passed a resolution of a new flag with thirteen stripes and thirteen stars on a blue field, one for each of the Colonies. One of the most famous versions of that is the Betsy Ross Flag, with the thirteen stars in a circle. We have a few more stars now, but the same number of stripes to remember the original thirteen States that risked everything to form the nation we live in now.
15 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Kings Bay was the home of America’s old Atlantic ballistic submarine force for some decades after the Second Great Depression. All of them were retired due to expensive maintenance or lost due to equipment failures as time went by, though Georgia has never released the records. Georgia does not even have the records, and Kings Bay keeps them on air-gapped servers behind cybernetic systems who consider it their mission in life to keep anybody from accessing them. Nobody outside Kings Bay’s senior leadership knows when exactly the last of the old ballistic submarines were retired, because boats of the same name continued to operate. They replaced the old Boomers with much smaller submarines that were far cheaper and easier to operate, and eventually expanded the numbers of the fleet. Each sub had far less magazine space than the older Boomers, but the missiles they had were smaller and could still reach anywhere on the globe. They could no longer kill all of America’s enemies ten times over by the end of the century, but Georgia had far more limited resources than the America that built those old Boomers. What they built was sufficient to their needs.
16 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Kings Bay expanded their submarine fleet from a handful of big old Boomers during the Second Great Depression to dozens of smaller subs in the next century. The new subs lacked the vertical launch systems of the older Boomers, but carried torpedo-launched missiles with similar range to the old Tridents they replaced, in addition to standard anti-ship torpedoes. These much smaller submarines were cheaper to build and operate, especially since they used smaller micro-nuclear reactors in place of the massive reactor spaces of older submarines. They were a revolution in submarine technology, pressed into service by finite budgets that proved less and less capable of keeping up with the missions the old boats had to perform. Those technologies were cross-developed for use in space, tested on the submarines, and then used in Georgia’s first steps in their exploration of the Solar System. They launched from Georgia’s best launch facility. Kings Bay.
17 - Medron - Cancer - Wednesday was cancer treatment day, as usual per the last months. The not-chemo infusions are down to once a month now, but the blood draws and the hospital visits are still every week. The doctors want to make certain that the oral not-chemo is working and that the various bodily organs aren’t shutting down in protest over all the crazy going on. Good news. They aren’t. The body is responding like a champ and cleaning out the nasty dead stuff the treatments are targeting very happily. Bad news. None that the doctors can see. Treatment is going along well, and they are looking forward to the next three months of treatment to verify that all is going well, and then six more months of maintenance treatment to make certain it is gone. Cancer sucks, but thank God for the Mayo Clinic. They are making things good.
18 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Kings Bay became the Confederation of Dixie’s second space launch facility, but it would not be the last. Every other State started their own space agency in time, built their own launch facilities, and flew their own ships into space. But Kings Bay had the best training facilities. It turns out that the best way to train people for flying through space in a tin can is to put them in a tin can beneath the ocean. Long-term cruises under those conditions helped Georgia prepare crews for space, and many of the early Confederation crews trained at Kings Bay. The other States would eventually build their own training programs, but Kings Bay is still home to the best training program and space launch facility in the Confederation. In their opinion. Florida disagrees on both points, as one would expect.
19 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The impact of Kings Bay on Georgia’s space program cannot be underestimated. It was started at Kings Bay, Kings Bay crew served aboard the vessels, and Kings Bay training made everything possible. And Kings Bay culture drove it into a number of interesting cul-de-sacs. For one thing, they do not fly or sail on spaceships. Georgia has boats that dive into subspace, not ships and hyperspace as many other nations term them. And Georgian boats rarely stand out front and center in any battle. They are some of the stealthiest vessels in space, and they prefer to poke around the edges of battle and send in small numbers of stealth torpedoes rather than more active massive missile salvoes. They do not wish to stand out in battle, even limiting their energy armaments to those needed to maintain their point defense networks. In case all of their plans fail and someone actually sees them well enough to shoot at them.
20 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The Georgian Navy does not stand and fight like tanks at ten paces the way other navies do. They strike from the darkness and do not wield weapons that make them easy to find. They utterly lack heavy gravitic cannons, as well as the heavy capital lasers other navies use. Instead they fire torpedoes that move in slowly and carefully until achieving final attack range. Some carry one-shot gravitic cannons or laser emitters, while others have more standard gravitic or explosive warheads. All carry integral deflection grids and point defense networks that allow them to penetrate active defense grids. It is important to note that those Fleet 2300 warships they purchased were heavily refitted with torpedo launchers and heavier stealth systems rather than maintaining their standard armaments. This has done nothing to reduce the thoughts of other navies that the crews of Kings Bay are a squirrelly lot.
21 - Medron - Fathers Day - This weekend we thank all Fathers for helping to raise the next generation that will inherit the Earth. And maybe beyond if our best natures manage to work out. A Father is an example to a daughter of the king of man she should find, and for a son the kind of man he should group up to be. To all who rose to this challenge, whether you were involved from the beginning or you walked into the job later, we all thank you for weathering the storms and making things better.
22 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The Georgian Navy shares much more in common with the United States Scout Service than it does with the various battle line fleets out there. Submariners looking to continue their squirrelly ways in the new era of space exploration formed the Scout Service as well. The main difference was that Georgian submariners were accustomed to having access to weapons that could end any conflict in the world. That is why their boat designs have always carried heavy weapons. They proved during the Hyades Campaign that they could hide nearly as well as the Scout Service boats, and often worked in tandem with them on deep strike missions against Chinese colonies and convoys. Scout Service boats often acted as their eyes and ears, locating targets and guiding torpedoes launched from beyond targeting range all the way in. It was a partnership made in heaven, or hell, depending on your point of view.
23 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - It should be noted that the Georgian Navy turned out to be amazingly effective against both Earthborn and Alien opponents. Most Western Alliance warship required heavy Peloran upgrades before they could stand toe-to-toe against Shang or Roderan warships in equal numbers, but the Georgians spent most of their time hiding in the deep black. They did become far more dangerous after the Peloran upgraded their torpedoes, but that was a minor refit at most. They may also have upgraded the electronic warfare systems, almost certainly provided improved hyperdrives, and surely boosted the effectiveness of the deflection grids, though the Georgians never confirmed those rumors. Official Georgian reports are that all War upgrades were produced inside Georgia or her various colonies, and that their survivability against the Alien threats was due more to superior tactical and strategic doctrine than anything else. Though they do credit the Peloran torpedoes with increasing their lethality. They absolutely celebrate that as a successful melding of Georgian and Peloran capabilities.
24 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Kings Bay was the primary Terrestrial Georgian military space base throughout the Great Space Race, The War, and the Post-War Era that followed. They built other facilities at their various colonies, such as Luna, that became far busier than Kings Bay. But Kings Bay has remained their official headquarters, and every single one of their boats has been officially sworn into service at Kings Bay. Many of these swearing in ceremonies were performed after The War ended, along with a ceremony for all boats that were built elsewhere and never made the trip to Earth. Due to the mass production of new boats during The War, that was the largest addition to the “on patrol” list that Kings Bay ever made. It was purely coincidental that this ceremony took place while certain other Family interests of the New England Federation were in turmoil, of course.
25 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - I should note that the Georgian Navy and the Cowboys often worked with each other throughout The War and beyond. Both organizations practiced asymmetrical warfare, especially during the Hyades Campaign, and Georgian boats softened up many planetary defense grids before the Cowboys moved in to secure the way for invasion forces. That cooperation continued in the decades that followed, with Cowboys often operating off Georgian boats or bases. The Georgian Navy also participated in numerous Cowboy interventions over the decades, most often against raider bases that had escaped the attention of the larger Western navies. Georgian torpedoes have often heralded the start of such an action by sweeping in from the dark without warning to shatter the orbital defense grids. The Georgian Navy may be a squirrelly lot by the standards of other navies, but the Cowboys found them to be valuable allies, and perhaps even kindred spirits when patrolling the dark of space against those who would unravel civilization if given the chance.
26 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The port of Mobile, in Alabama, had been a rich and profitable port for centuries when the Second Great Depression began. It had a long history in the shipbuilding industry, and had been one of the major yards during World War II a century before. But it had only a minor and short history as a military port compared to others. Naval Station Mobile had been closed over half a century before, and there were no reserve naval forces in the area. In an America that had been cutting back on military spending for decades, Mobile had no effective history as a major naval military port. The Second Great Depression caught them woefully unprepared for the day when ships from other States would defend them from attacks. Not that there had been many attacks in the Gulf of Mexico they needed to prepare against, of course.
27 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - Anyone who has studied Alabama history knows about the fall of Mobile during the Second Great Depression. The stand down of the police. The riots. The looting. The uncontrolled fires. Decades of corrupt government left the city ripe for the kind of chaos and death that occurred in many of America’s larger cities in that time. What saved Mobile in the end was also what had always made it great. The Port of Mobile. The Aeroplex. The various shipyards. Mobile was the center of trade and production for both the civilian and military industries, and the various yards and industrial parks in the region simply could not allow the riots and looting to destroy their infrastructure. They had been hiring retired veterans for their private security for decades, and when the looters and rioters came to burn it all down, the security teams saved one of the richest and most important concentrations of industrial and economic might in Alabama.
28 - Medron - Compromise - This week, Biden and Congressional Republicans came to a compromise on an infrastructure bill they could all vote for. Were not necessarily happy with, but could agree to support. Which is often what compromise is. Then two hours later, Biden said that he would not sign that compromise bill, unless the Congress passed all the other stuff he was asking for in a separate bill. I hate to say it, but this isn’t really how compromise works. This isn’t how any of it works. And its exactly this kind of double-speak that makes most Americans distrust politicians in general.
29 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - The important thing to remember about the fall of Mobile during the Second Great Depression is that the city leaders were on the side of the looters and the rioters. They ordered the police to allow the looting and rioting to continue, and ordered the arrest of anyone caught defending their property. The Port of Mobile, the Aeroplex, and the other industrial centers literally broke with Mobile over those policies and declared their own autonomous zones where the Mobile police were not allowed. They did not want their own security teams arrested for defending their property after all. They officially formed their own small towns in time, with the corporations picking the town councils to make certain they supported corporate policies. Mobile tried to close them down of course, but the corporations defended their industrial centers with every option available to them.
30 - Charles - The Confederation of Dixie - One should not think of the corporate towns that rose up in and around Mobile during the Second Great Depression as bastions of law and order and peace. They had their own laws and their own order, as corporate towns have had wherever they have sprung up. They stamped on anything that hampered productivity, and that resulted in towns that most people would not wish to live in. Many of them had no residential districts at all, in fact. And most of them had their policies heavily curtailed after the Convention of States reformed the Federal Government. The reformed Supreme Court had some doubtful views on many of their practices. But in the midst of the rioting and looting endemic in Mobile at the time, they provided a valuable bastion of safety and productivity that helped Alabama survive and rebuild as a functional State.