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"We stand as a bulwark against the gibbering madness of the wasteland. The raiders, Custer, Canadians..."
―General Marcus Williams in a radio address

The American Northern Army (ANA) is a military coalition of many different groups in the Badlands Territory, both in North Dakota and South Dakota. The different factions inside the American Northern Army are diverse and have their own internal problems, but they are ultimately united against the various threats of the Territory.

American Northern Army
American Northern Army
Political Information
Group type:Coalition Army
Leader:Marcus Williams, Paula Hopper, Jonathan Byrd
Societal Information
Location(s):North Dakota and South Dakota
Historical Information
Policy Information
Goals:To restore peace to the Badlands Territory and oppose raiders and Custer
Allies:Rockers

History

Origins

The American Northern Army's origins date back to one point: the beginnings of the Great Raider Wars. Civilized groups in North Dakota and South Dakota had finally begun to emerge from the shadow of the Great War and create their own civilizations, in Tall Town and Deadwood specifically. This upset the raiders of the area, who knew they would not be able to survive if any semblance of order was restored. So, the raiders of the Badlands Territory began their great offensive against civilized man, the Great Raider Wars, in 2238.

The raiders, together in a sort of temporary alliance, began viciously raiding settlements, with towns in North Dakota taking the brunt of the attacks. Villages like Little Grande and Spittle were sacked or massacred while larger settlements such as Tall Town and Belfield were safe from direct attack but had their trade cut off and their farms burned.

In Tall Town in 2250, the New-Merican Society was feeling the choke of the Great Raider Wars especially hard. Public opinion of the Society was dipping as their opinions on the continued fight against raiding and maintaining slavery were becoming very unattractive to the average man. They needed something to respark patriotism.

The Society's president, Circe Birch, saw such an opportunity in the Plains Militia of Belfield. Why not create a larger alliance to fight the raiders and restore the public's faith in them? Many in the Society saw problems in this plan but neglected to point them out, as this was coming from their president.

The head of the New-Merican Milita and several members of the Society went to Belfield to try to negotiate the Plains Militia into some kind of an alliance or a union. The town's mayor and the militia's "General" were adamantly against any type of alliance, but others convinced the common people otherwise, and an alliance was negotiated. Signatures were attached to a document, and the creation of the army was announced the next day. The head of the New-Merican Militia, Edgar Phyllis, was made the General of this new army, to the disappointment of the former General of the Plains Militia, Patricia Barns, who became a Brigadier General.

FirstANAFlag

The First ANA Flag (2251)

In the first months, there was no new name for this new alliance. After much deliberation, the alliance was named the American Northern Army in early 2251. This was due to their location in the former US and as a potential sign of unity for the future. The first ANA flag, inspired by the stripes on the American flag, was created later the same year.

The Great Raider Wars

After the American Northern Army's creation, the ANA went straight to work fighting the Great Raider Wars against the various raiders of the Badlands Territory. The largest and most dangerous raiders in the area, the notorious Motorhead Gang, who stretched from North to South Dakota, was continually hounded by the American Northern Army until they were defeated in a battle at their camp in 2253. Many raiders such as the Wilson Gang saw this as a sign and left North Dakota while others like the Sons of Bismarck stubbornly tried to hold out against this new enemy.

By 2254, the Great Raider Wars had come to an end. Raiders either had stopped their large scale attacks and resorted to smaller stuff or had left the area and fled south. On May 8, 2254, after a particularly satisfying victory over the Sons of Bismarck, General Phyllis assessed that the Great Raider Wars were over and declared in the next day. Celebrations occured from Belfield to Tall Town over this announcement. This was, of course, ignorant of the fighting still going on in South Dakota but that was no concern of the American Northern Army (at least for the moment).

Southern Tensions

After the conclusion of the Great Raider Wars, there was a period of positivity among the ANA. The success of the cooperation between the New-Merican Society and the Plains Militia gave hope to many of a united, peaceful land, akin to the New-Merican Society's mystical view of "Merica". The ANA stayed a strong force in Belfield and Tall Town, keeping the area secure from remaining raider groups. In 2256, many people started wanting to just join the American Northern Army, not one of its united groups. This was seen as alarming and was shot down by both the Plains Militia and the New-Merican Society. The issue was never brought up on a large scale again.

Soon enough, the ANA began focusing on expansion. In 2256, the American Northern Army discovered the Badlands Roughriders, centered in Williston. Seeing an opportunity to expand membership, overtures were made to the Roughriders offering membership in the ANA. These first overtures were refused, but the ANA refused to give up.

In 2257, patrols near Williston were intentionally ramped up to show the security that the ANA could bring. This strategy was criticized as short sighted by many, as it was seen as a useless diversion of resources and possibly antagonizing to the Roughriders. However, this turned out to work out when a ANA patrol, led by the then Sergeant Major Marcus Williams, rescued a large group of Badlands Roughriders from raiders in a battle that became known as Logan's Folly, the name of the Roughriders' slain general.

ANA2Flag

The Second ANA Flag (2257)

After the battle, the grateful Roughriders were happy to join the ANA, though on their own terms. The Badlands Roughriders were given a special place in the ANA, with their own General and command structure. It was at this time in late 2257 that the Armies of the West and East were created, under the command of their respective generals. The ANA was also modified to fit the now three groups inside the organization.

In the late 2250s however, funding and interest in the American Northern Army began to drop, as the ANA now had no real defined goal or enemy. Their towns were safe but ungrateful. This attitude of indifference caused funding for the ANA to decline slowly and as this happened, raiders began to creep back into lands they were once forced out of.

This was only reversed in 2260, when the ANA in Tall Town was shocked to be met with met with emissaries from two groups from the south: Custer's American Army and the Dakota Regulators. The two groups were enemies and hoped to gain the ANA's support or perhaps even an alliance. Negotiations were neutral at first but the New-Merican Society soon screwed up everything, accusing Custer of being a delusional dictator and just being jerks in general to the diplomats from Custer's American Army. The Dakota Regulators were given a wider berth by the ANA but were not allowed to join yet, as many feared a war with Custer if they did.

Others cared less for this and many in the New-Merican Society became War Hawks, encouraging the Dakota Regulators to join and for the ANA to go to war. When the Dakota Regulators actually joined the ANA in 2261, the entire Army of the East mobilized and readied to march south. Raiders in North Dakota were even cleared out as a show of force. However, Custer was intimidated by the ANA and decided against a war.

American Northern Army

The Final ANA Flag (2262)

Although the ANA leadership saw this a successful aversion of a potentially bloody war, many rank in file men, especially members of the ANA, saw it as an anticlimax and others cried cowardice. In 2262, the ANA, especially the northern part, had become passive once again. Also in this time, the ANA flag was updated a final time, as adding new stripes began to be bothersome as small militias and other groups joined. The ANA top brass decided upon the then current number, nine, and flipped the flag sideways to set it apart from the other various flags being brandished by ANA groups.

The Lull

After the brief period of tensions with Custer's American Army, a lull in activity fell upon the American Northern Army from 2262 to 2280, at least in the north. The ANA in the north mostly resorted to staving off raiders and looking threatening. The only major event in the north was the renaming of the Army of East to the Army of the North.

One group still active was Renner's Raiders, an elite squad from the north that was sent south. This was to assist the newly formed Army of the South (the Dakota Regulators and other local militias) in their perpetual fight to take and/or cleanup the ruins of Rapid City as well as whipping the Regulators into a real army. These operations were mostly against mutants, slavers, and raiders, but in the 2270s, the Army of the South and Renner's Raiders began coming into conflict with Custer's American Army in alarming frequency.

The Generals' War

This came to a head in 2276 when Custer's American Army took over Vault 52, an abandoned vault that lay squarely within ANA territory. Not wanting to provoke a war, Sergeant Tom Renner decided to attack the vault with just the Raiders (disguised) with the support of the Rockers as mercenaries. The Battle of Vault 52 was quick but decisive. Renner's Raiders and the Rockers went into Vault 52, massacred the entire garrison there, and torched the place.

This move alarmed Custer, but he did not suspect the ANA of any wrongdoing, at least at that moment.

However, it was not Custer that struck the ANA first. It would be a force from the north, the relatively new Canadian Liberation Army. A group of organized Canadian raiders using nationalism as a kind of justification for their actions, the CLA attacked the Badlands Territory in 2280. Their first challenge: Tom Renner at Yate's AFB. Renner put up a hell of a fight and even killed the CLA's top commander, but he was ultimately felled by a hail of bullets.

This set a spark of outrage throughout ANA territory, as Renner was regarded as a hero to many. Search parties were sent north to look for his killers, as they thought it was a lone raider band that did the job. The CLA managed to retreat beyond the ANA's reach for the moment, even the vengeful clutches of Renner's Raiders.

Before the ANA could even recover from the death of one of its most revered members, another disaster struck. Through the torture of a captured Rocker, General Custer figured out that the ANA was behind the destruction of his base in Vault 52 in 2280. Enraged, Custer instantly moved most of his army to quickly take out the Army of the South. After initial victories in Rapid City, Custer closed in on their base in Rapid Valley. This began what would be known as the War of the Generals.

Fortunately for them, ANA spies managed to relay news of Custer's attack back to command. Hoping to divert Custer's attention north and draw him into a pitched battle, General Williams mobilized the Army of the North and marched south from Belfield towards Deadwood. The going south was slow though, and Custer was able to catch wind of the approaching army. Diverting his attention away from the weakened Army of the South, Custer marched most of his army north to try to throw up a defense before the Army of the North arrived.

Custer was successful at this endeavor, and when the Army of the North arrived at the North Dakota-South Dakota border, they were met by a series of trenches occupied by Custer's American Army. General Williams decided to take a chance and charged the trenches, hoping to break the enemy quickly and continue their march south. However, these charges proved to be failures, and the Army of the North was forced to dig their own trenches. Thus, the Borderlands were born.

At first, charges from both sides of the trenches were common, bloody affairs. By the winter of 2280 though, fighting in the Borderlands had slowed to a trickle as the two armies took refuge from the cold and scrounged for rations. Custer's American Army was hit especially hard, since they did not have an organized baggage train like ANA. However, the ANA was unable to exploit this due to ignorance and pure laziness brought on by winter.

In Rapid City, the Army of the South managed to hold off Custer's American Army, at least for that winter.

In the spring of 2281, fighting began once again in Rapid City and the Borderlands on a smaller scale than the previous year. The ANA hoped to seize on this and go on the offensive, even sending Renner's Raiders south to assist the ANA there. But yet again, a familiar enemy emerged from the north.

The raiders of the Canadian Liberation Army finally mustered enough courage to return to the Territory in the early summer of 2281. Led by a new commander, the CLA attacked the small ANA outpost of Freedom's Progress in force, killing everyone there and looting the place. Simultaneously, another CLA commander raided Brook, a town under the protection of the Army of the West. The CLA was unsuccessful in sacking the town but still managed to make off with loot and women.

These attacks shook the ANA to its very core, as it showed that the people they were dealing with were not simple raiders but highly organized and coordinated. The Army of West was mobilized, and General Bennett sent many letters to General Williams urging him to return north to protect his own lands.

General Williams was alarmed by the news from the north but was determined to be the one to defeat Custer, sending several charges through the Borderlands to try to break Custer's American Army in the summer of 2281. It took a message from the President of the New-Merican Society to convince him and most of the Army of the North to return north. The fighting in the Borderlands had, at that point, become slack as Custer had stopped the ANA dead in its tracks. The Plains Militia and a few other groups were left in the Borderlands to stop Custer from making a counterattack (or at least slow him down). They would stay there for six more years, fighting and dying in the stagnant mud.

In the south, the Army of the South, with the help of Renner's Raiders, had pushed back at Custer's American Army, turning them back into the Rapid City. This would change Custer's strategy, as he figured if that he had to control the anarchic ruins of Rapid City before taking Rapid Valley and defeating the ANA. This led him into conflict with Rapid City's raiders as well as the ANA, but it is a battle Custer is winning, to the alarm of the Army of the South.

Meanwhile in the north, the Armies of the North and West have fortified their towns against the CLA. This has worked for the most part, with only about two towns being attacked a year by the CLA, but so far the ANA has not succeeded in winning any decisive victories over the CLA or kill any of their commanders since 2280.

At the moment, the ANA sits on the edge of a knife. The Armies of the West and North are neurotic about attacks from Canada, and rumors of an offensive by Custer in the Borderlands have begun to circulate. People are scared for their very way of life. The Army of South is an even worse situation, as they are still warring with Custer but are watching the (metaphorical) ground beneath them disappear. If Custer takes Rapid City, they would be completely surrounded.

For now, the ANA top brass can only wait and see what will come from the Generals' War. Victory over the CLA is an expected but still faraway goal. The real question is if Custer's unification of the south can be stopped. If not, the Army of the South and Renner's Raiders are doomed. Only time can tell.

Organization

The American Northern Army is organized into three major groups, the Army of the North centered in Tall Town, the Army of the South centered in Rapid Valley, and the Army of the West centered in Williston. A few subgroups like Renner's Raiders interact between the armies, but this is a rarity.

The Army of the North (formerly known as the Army of the East) is the larger, more formal of the three. Led by decorated General Marcus Williams, a member of the New-Merican Society, the Army of the North has a efficient supply train that allows it to remain in the field and occupy captured positions much longer.

The Army of the South, led by Dakota Regulator General Paula Hopper, is smaller but more tightly organized. Centered around Rapid City, the Army of the South rarely leaves the city and mostly focuses its efforts on securing the Rapid City area.

The Army of the West, led by General Thomas Beckett, is the smallest Army, consists of just the Badlands Roughriders and one or two other small groups. However, the Army of the West is very mobile and adept at fighting raiders. The army's name is a tad ironic, since Williston is actually much farther north than Tall Town or Belfield.

The American Northern Army holds very little in the way of actual territory, with most ANA territory being member's towns and a few outposts such as Freedom's Progress. The ANA does however send patrols between towns to clear out raiders and protect caravans. The effectiveness of these patrols vary.

Each group in the ANA and the settlements they protect contribute in the army's upkeep in some form or fashion, whether it be weapons, brahmin, or water.

Culture

The American Northern Army is quite culturally diverse, since it is made up of many different military groups and settlements. However, the almost universal feature of American Northern Army is the presence of a martial culture, the result of generations of battling Indians, raiders, and mutants.

Currently, there are two divisive issues dividing the American Northern Army: mutation and slavery. The issues are not deal breakers at the moment since everyone is suffering together so to speak. However, these issues will eventually have to come to a head. The northern part of Army, led by the New-Merican Society and supported by the Badlands Roughriders and Plains Miltia, holds a pro-mutant, pro-slavery culture as a result of the New-Mericans "free" culture. The southern part of the Army, led by the former Dakota Regulators, is anti-mutant, anti-slavery because of the Regulators lasting resentment of slavers and mutants in the ruins of Rapid City.

Equipment

The equipment of the American Northern Army is varied among different groups of the coalition. However, their most common equipment is from the New-Merican Society, who in turn gets their equipment from Smithsforge.

The standard ranged weapon of the American Northern Army is the service rifle, a knockoff of a gun from the west. They also use a variety of other weapons manufactured in Smithsforge and Tall Town, including the .45 auto submachine gun and 10mm pistol. The ANA also uses pre-war weapons if they are in well enough condition.

The American Northern Army has no standard uniform, but their most common is a variation on military fatigues.

Notable Groups (over fifty members)

Army of the North

Army of the South

Army of the West

Independent/Allies

Notable Individuals

General (of the North) Marcus Williams

A rare old soldier in the ANA, General Marcus Williams leads the Army of the North and is a member of the New-Merican Society. The hero of Logan's Folly, Williams was already well known in the ANA before becoming General. He worked his way up the ranks in both the ANA and New-Merican Society until he became General of the North in 2272.

Since his promotion, General Williams has served the ANA well. However, his battlefield prowess has not translated well into strategy or tactics during the War of the Generals. He is still well liked by the public though for his warm and honest demeanor. The top brass of the ANA have differing opinions of him.

General (of the South) Paula Hopper

The General of the South, Paula Hopper is a Dakota Regulator through and through. Battle hardened and battle scarred, General Hopper is a bit unhinged but is actually quite successful in her command, holding off the dangers of Rapid City for years with minimal support from the north.

General Hopper is demonized as madwoman by many in the north but maintains a cordial relationship with General Williams through letters. She cares little about the brasses' opinion of her and even less of her enemies'.

General/High Marshal (of the West) Thomas Beckett

Leader of the Badlands Roughriders and the Army of the West, Thomas Beckett is seen as a bit of an oddball, but he is an effective one at least. Beckett's command over his isolated command is absolute, and he has little patience for bureaucracy.

Brigadier General Roger Adams

The Brigadier General of the Plains Militia within the Army of the North, Roger Adams is a man simply making his way through life the best he can. He leads his men in the Borderlands though, so life is hard and has slowly driven him to depression and alchoholism.

Sergeant Major Thomas Renner

A Sergeant Major in the Army of the North, "Tom" Renner was also the head of Renner's Raiders, an elite unit that often moved between armies. He cooperated mostly with the Army of the South and the Rockers and fought at Vault 52 and Yate's AFB. By the time Renner was transferred back north, he suffered severe post-traumatic stress syndrome. Tom Renner died in battle against the Canadian Liberation Army at Yate's AFB in 2280 and is fondly remembered among many in the ANA.

Quotes

By

"The American Northern Army might not be what the Territory wants, but it is certainly what it needs."
―General Marcus Williams in a secret meeting of the New-Merican Society
"What's my thoughts on mutants? They should just stay in their place, then we wouldn't have to shoot 'em."
―General Paula Hopper and her army's opinion on mutants

About

"Can an army really make a nation? That's all it is right now, really."
―A Follower of the Apocalypse in Fort Angel on the ANA
"The American Northern Army is strong but divided. They might just kill each other before I have to."
―General George Armstrong Custer II about the ANA
"Nice guys to have a beer with. Too bad they don't let you have it here, huh?"
―A caravan merchant in Belfield on ANA soldiers there
"If you don't like the strong arm in one town, don't worry you have options."
―Anonymous drifter

Gallery

This has been written by MongoosePirate. Please contact this user before editing this article.
Northern Commonwealth

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