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|Battle of New York|
|Date||July 7 1939 - October 14, 1940|
|Result||Decisive American victory|
Many say there have been key battles in war, from Thermopylae to Salamis, from the Adrianople to Gallipoli, but if you ask an American, they will say the Battle of New york was the United State's finest hour.
Operation Burgoyne was in full swing, and the American forces were being crushed. So President Hitler ordered that a last stand be made in New York City, his birthplace, which was set out in the "not one inch back" executive order. He thought it fitting that this would be the place for his possible death. He also ordered that every man who can hold a gun mount a defense of the city. The American population was already supplemented by millions of Jews fleeing from Germany alongside countless Hispanics leaving an already totalitarian government in Mexico, people of Jewish and Irish descent fleeing Canada and the British Commonwealth, and because they feared the consequences of America's fall, many of these immigrants, even Women, enlisted to serve the US military. When Operation Burgoyne broke out, The Americans were ready for war.
The US forces had suffered many major setbacks, and were in desperate need of a victory. Many were now defending their homes and families, and were fighting that much harder for it.
The US forces, repeatedly mauled by the British tank divisions, now finally had an effective Anti-Tank gun, the 60mm M6. large numbers of the M3 Lee/Grant were now in service, and though they were almost obsolete, they still slugged on. Plans for a new heavy tank were being finalised
The forces of the British Empire, almost victorious, were at the height of their successes. however the hell of street fighting was about to claim many of them.
Among the new equipment arriving at the front, was the highly effective Cromwell Cruiser tank. fitted with a very effective 75mm Gun, high speed and good armour, it could take on any American equivalent. But it had the weakness of not being designed for street-to-street warfare, and also had an exposed exhaust, which a well-aimed Molotov cocktail would be capable of destroying.
1. Opening moves
President Hitler took full control, but kept constitutional liberties intact, especially the right to keep and bear arms (which is why the gun control lobby is significantly weaker than in OTL). A militia was formed from the NYC citizens. He famously said, while loading an automatic rifle, that "If I were to die in this battle, then I would at least be refreshing the tree of liberty with my patriotic blood" (alluding to the "patriots and tyrants" quote of Thomas Jefferson)
The battle began on July 7 1939. The 5th US army tried to hold back the Axis, but were pushed back into the city itself. This battle would last for a year with many people dead.
On September 5, the American 24th and 32th Divisions organised a massive attack against the VI army. The RAF helped the British forces repulse the offensive by subjecting American artillery positions and defensive lines to heavy attack. The Americans were forced to withdraw at midday after only a few hours. Of the 120 tanks the Americans committed, 37 were lost to air attack. American operations were constantly hampered by the RAF. On 18 September, the US 1st and 24th divisions launched an offensive against VIII army at the lower East side. VI Bomber group dispatched wave after wave of dive-bombers to prevent a breakthrough. The offensive was repulsed, and the Dive-bombers claimed 41 of the 92 American tanks knocked out that morning while escorting Spitfires destroyed 77 American aircraft. Amid the debris of the wrecked city, the XIV army, which included the 1st Rifle Division, anchored their defense lines with strong points in houses and factories. Fighting was fierce and desperate. The life expectancy of a newly-arrived American private in the city dropped to less than 48 hours, while that of an American officer was about 7 days. The British pushing forward into New York suffered heavy casualties. What made it worse for them was the US and Brazilian navies (now an ally power) were blockading NYC, preventing British ships from assisting the Imperial forces. US hummingbirds could not help in NYC because of British spitfires swarming the city.
2. The Final Efforts
British military doctrine was based on the German tactics of combined-arms teams and close cooperation by tanks, infantry, engineers, artillery, and ground-attack aircraft. To counter this, American commanders adopted the simple expedient of always keeping the front lines as close together as physically possible. George Patton called this tactic "hugging" the British. This forced the British infantry to either fight on their own or risk taking casualties from their own supporting fire; it neutralized RAF close air support and weakened artillery support. Bitter fighting raged for every street, every factory, every house, basement and staircase. There were fire-fights in the sewers.
3. Operation Garrote
On August 10, the US army unleashed Operation Garrote. The attacking American units under the command of Gen. George Patton consisted of a total of 14 infantry divisions, six tank divisions, and two motorized divisions. Thinly spread, outnumbered and poorly equipped, the 14th British reserve Corps, was shattered. On august 20, a second American offensive was launched to the south of New York. The defending forces collapsed almost immediately. US forces raced west in a pincer movement, and met two days later near the town of Albany, sealing the ring around New York. The US later re-enacted the link up for use as propaganda, and the piece of footage achieved worldwide fame. The attack trapped the whole British 4th Army, and some of the British 6th army as well, almost 70,000 troops in all. The RAF now began Air supply missions, but the slow and lumbering transports fell easy prey to American Fighters. too few supplys came in, and to few wounded were flown out.
4. Operation Autumn Storm
General Montgomery now planned a relief attempt to break into the New York pocket. Using the newly created XIX Armoured Corps, including the Newly arrived 6th Armoured, fresh from a stint in the Middle east, Monty would break into New York, and relieve the trapped IVth Army. With the veteran 6th Armoured in the middle, 14th Armoured to its left and 5th Canadian Armoured to its right, plus the remnants of the 14th Reserve Corps holding the thinly-manned flanks, the offensive began on 12 August The force made good progress at first, but was drawn into heavy fighting. The relief force ground towards New York, using up precious time. In New York itself, General Barker dithered as to whether to instruct his exhausted troops to break out to the North, where they would join with Monty’s Tanks and together withdraw to Boston. Without a direct order from Mosley, he could not make the decision. As the relief force made its thrust, George Patton hit the Axis front line further to the north. Now a decision had to be reached. Continue to drive to New York, and risk losing the whole eastern front army, or pull out, and leave the IVth army to its fate. The decision was taken out of his hands with a new American offensive, which rapidly cut into his real areas. Monty was forced to withdraw to the north. as the 6th Armoured division wheeled around, an officer stood rigidly erect in the turret of his Cromwell, faced south in the direction of New York, snapped off his finest salute, and then turned and sped away. the IVth army was now doomed.
The British forces, tough outnumbered and starving, still had several cards to play. one was the fact that they had placed charges on the Brooklyn bridge, and they would blow it the moment that the American tried to cross it. Lieutenant Richard Heydrich led 200 US Army Rangers to the Brooklyn Bridge (Manhattan was the main center of combat). They managed to circumvent the Axis soldiers by use of the sewer systems and capture the Bridge allowing US forces to enter the city. But, Heydrich was shot in the leg by an SAS sniper (which would be nearly as fatal as Hitler's wound in the trenches OTL) as he raised the US flag over a ruined Empire State Building (fortunately he was on a winch so he would not fall), and he was moved to a hospital in Utah. Several pockets of British troops continued to resist, but one by one they surrendered. But as NYC was ruined by the combat, the Axis suffered a major loss with a massive portion of their forces dead or captured, and the new US Pershing tanks and F-3 fighter Jets capable of matching the Cromwell and Me262s respectively alongside the Pogo finally having its bugs ironed out, the war was turning in the USA's way.
This was the first major defeat for the Axis, and the USA's first victory in this conflict. A large portion of the British military was slaughtered or captured in NYC. To make it worse, Washington DC and Seattle did not fall as required for Burgoyne to succeed, and Guerrilla combat in the Rockies meant the factories were largely undamaged. General Patton personally recommended Heydrich for the Medal of Honor for his role in the battle.