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Operation Coalscuttle

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Operation Coalscuttle
Part of The Second Great War
Date 1942
Location Western Pennsylvania
Result United States victory
Belligerents
United States Confederate States
Commanders and leaders
Irving Morrell 34Stars George Patton CSA
Operation Coalscuttle was a failed attempt by the Confederate Army during the Second Great War to move through Western Pennsylvania and to capture Pittsburgh, one of the United States' key industrial cities.

In preparation, the Confederates thinned their defensive lines in Virginia to build up in Sandusky. When completed, the Confederates launched a short, sharp artillery barrage both to the east and west of Sandusky in order to prevent the U.S. from knowing in which direction the attack would go.

At first C.S. troops under General George Patton swept through eastern Ohio into western Pennsylvania quickly taking Youngstown, Akron, and Cleveland‎. The U.S. troops had some warning about the attack but they were still unprepared and had not reinforced their lines. After taking these cities, in succession, Patton proceeded toward Pittsburgh.

However, when Brigadier General Irving Morrell took command, U.S. forces began to slow the C.S. advance. Not having enough barrels to counter-attack, Morrell elected to concentrate his forces in built up areas by Lake Erie between Cleveland and Erie, Pennsylvania. Because he could resupply his forces with the help of the U.S. Navy, the Confederates could not surround the cities and take them at their leisure with infantry and artillery. If the Confederates left them partially surrounded, Morrell could build up and attack to their rear. Instead, the C.S. had to quickly take them with barrels and accept the heavy casualties it required.

While slowed, Patton succeeded in reaching the city of Pittsburgh. However, by this time, Morrell had his forces reinforced with newer model, up-gunned barrels. He forced Patton to enter the city and then began harassing his flanks while inflicting heavy casualties inside the city with house to house fighting. C.S. military experts then wanted to retreat out of the city to limit C.S. casualties, but C.S. President Jake Featherston ruled otherwise.

Instead, the Confederates launched a counter-attack from their salient in Ohio to attempt to link up with their army in Pittsburgh. However, Morrell was able to exploit the Confederate Army's thinning numbers by attacking its flanks and encircling the Pittsburgh army and forcing the rescue force to retreat so they could continue to hold Ohio. The Confederate Army in Pittsburgh was able to hold out for some time, but eventually they were forced to surrender. Patton was airlifted out of the city.

While the Confederates succeeded in heavily damaging Pittsburgh, the loss of virtually all of the invading army more than compensated the U.S.

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