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Plan Gold: New Scenario
By Steve Cabral
April 2013

During the Great War vast deposits of oil were discovered in Venezuela. By 1920 the oil industry was creating great wealth that would last into the 1980s. However, "Debt Collection; Operational Scenario 4" in Great War at Sea: U.S. Navy Plan Gold postulated the need for France to send collectors for defaults on foreign investment in the early oil field development.

One effect on Venezuela from the discovery of oil was the “Dutch Disease,” an economic malady in which a nation that finds a great natural resource soon sees her manufacturing and agricultural sectors failing or fading. It is not impossible the collectors are here for defaults on investments in those industries wanting the oil revenues to cover them and make up for Weimar's dodgy war repayments in worthless marks.

Scenario changes include the downsizing of each side's forces with the Washington Treaty in effect. The Mexican CD was removed, reluctantly, as she was not acquired by Mexico from Brazil until 1924. A number of French ships were also subtracted that entered service in or after 1924. The August date allows the French to coincidentally take advantage of the death of Warren Harding on 2 August 1923 in San Francisco and assumes he had issued combat orders to navy CNO Edward Eberle verbally a day earlier while Vice President Calvin Coolidge and Congress will be unaware of such details for several days. The old CNO Adm. Robert Coontz had been replaced by Adm. Eberle on 23 July 1923, creating change in the Navy Department at this critical juncture.

Central American Navies

The Central American nations and Mexico maintained very small navies with just a few gunboats in the GWAS time frame. Only the following three nations had any sea-going capability from 1900 to 1934.

Mexico had two small cruiser-transports of 1600t the General Guerrero and Progresso along with seven gunboats varying from 824 to 1,600 tons. These were Blanquet, Bravo, Tampico, Vera Cruz, Plan de Guadeloupe, Agua Prieta and Zaragoza. Four of these were discarded in 1924 and Coast Defense ship Anahuac was purchased that year. No new ships arrived until 1934 with a large purchase order to Republican Spain. Of the three destroyers and 10 gunboats, the Republicans delivered all but two of the destroyers. They were classified as gunboat-transports rather than DD.

Columbia maintained no blue water navy until 1933 with war tensions at a peak with Peru. Two Portuguese-built 1200t Yarrow-designed destroyers were added to the three 142t river gunboats that were put in service in 1930.

Venezuela had three 19th century-era gunboats: Mariscal Sucre, 1,100 tons; General Salom, 750 tons; and Miranda, 200 tons. These were not reinforced until 1938 when two Italian-built gunboats were purchased. In 1946 they purchased seven surplus Flower-class corvettes of which two were lost by 1949.

Debt Collection: Past Due Notice
2 August 1923
Operational Scenario 4 from Plan Gold with historical forces

The U.S. is neutral but will fight an undeclared naval war vs. France as was done in the 1798 Quasi War. U.S. forces are limited as New York and San Diego need covering if France activates its British alliance against the U.S., which means Britain will most likely call to her just lost ally Japan.

Time Frame: 100 turns
Starting Weather Condition: 1 (Clear)
Starting Turn: Turn 1

French (Central Powers) Forces
At Fort de France (AB54):
BB01 Courbet
BB02 Ocean (Jean Bart)
BB03 Paris
BB05 Provence
BB06 Lorraine
BB07 Bretagne
CL04 Colmar
CL06 Strasbourg
CL07 Metz
DL01 Amiral Senes
9 x Kaba-class DD
4 x Granit-class MS
24 x large transport
35 x small transport
Airship Dixmude
5 x GL.22

Within two zones of Sea Zone E61 (each ship has burned three fuel boxes; therefore the small transports will not make it to Venezuela without refueling):
B01 Condorcet
B03 Diderot
B06 Voltaire
AC01 Edgar Quinet
AC02 W. Rousseau
CL05 Mulhouse
CL08 Thionville
DD41 M. LeBlanc
3 x Kaba class DD
5 x Durand-class DD
8 x Amiens-class GB
10 x large transport
24 x small transport

Flotilla 1: 3 x submarines
Flotilla 2: 2 x submarines
Flotilla 3: 2 x submarines
Flotilla 4: 2 x submarines

American (Allied) Forces
At Caracas (AK41):
8 x MB-2
4 x PW-5

At Colon (AM15):
CV01 Langley
        2 x VE7
        2 X PT
AC04 Pittsburgh
AC08 Frederick
AC11 Seattle
CL04 Omaha
6 x Wickes-class DD

At Guantanamo Bay (Q25):
BB30 Florida
BB33 Arkansas
12 x Clemson-class DD
3 x Bird-class MS

At Ket West (G11):
BB34 New York
BB35 Texas
BB36 Nevada
BB37 Oklahoma
BB38 Pennsylvania
BB39 Arizona
CL05 Milwaukee
9 x Clemson-class DD
9 x Wickes-class DD
3 x Bird-class MS

Flotilla 1: 3 x submarines
Flotilla 2: 3 x submarines
Flotilla 3: 2 x submarines
Flotilla 4: 2 x submarines

Special Rules
The Key West force may not move until two turns after French forces engage Allied Forces in combat or have landed in Venezuela. If responding to an invasion the Key west forces may move two turns after a landing at a city, three turns after landing adjacent to a city or five turns if landing two zones from a city. The closest landing counts.

Counters: the French ships not in USN: PG are in GWAS: Mediterranean. The U.S. BB are in GWAS: Jutland and the CLs are in Black Waters/Plan Black and Plan Orange. Langley is in Plan Orange.

Hit records are available for Plan Black and Jutland ships online at 119694_avalanche Press. Langley and the French ships are in their respective boxed games.

Only CL07 Metz may lay mines. It may start with them and/or load mines in French "at start" ports; this is at the French player's choice.

Victory Conditions

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