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Thread: Mirror, Mirror

  1. #21
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    Uuuuuuuuuuuuupdate!
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  2. #22
    I guess it is dead.
    "If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; may your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

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  3. #23
    Seconded... and so forth
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  4. #24
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    Thirded!
    This will be updated if we keep crying for updates, won't it?
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  5. #25
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    Let's try a diferent approach.

    Don't you dare update. You silly person.
    And multiply this sentance by let's say 50 becaus I'm to lasy to press Ctrl+V

  6. #26

    Exclamation Not Dead Yet

    Colonel Markson adjusted his uniform for what must have been the fifteenth time in the last thirty minutes. He had reason to be nervous. Here he was sitting with the heads of the Marines, Army Air-core, Army, and the Navy. Not to mention President Roosevelt, and several Generals and Admirals that had been called in to advise. They had already been briefed on the startling developments, so that was out of the way. What worried him the most was that now, they all had questions for him.

    Henry Arnold, the recently appointed head of the Army Air-core was talking, "All in all Mister President. What the letter says in quite fascinating. It appears that between now and 1941, Germany and Japan will launch strikes all across Europe and the Pacific, aided in part by almost complete control of the air. Apparently the attack that destroyed the US Pacific fleet was conducted almost entirely from the Air."

    Admiral Halsey, one of the observers nodded, "Yes. From all appearances the attack was carried out with complete surprise. Our forces were caught completely unaware. Many of the fighters were on the ground. The carriers didn't have time to launch their aircraft before they were sunk. it appears that they were the target of the attack."

    President Roosevelt leaned forward a little in his wheel-chair, "What does that tell us?"

    Admiral Halsey continued, "From all appearances, the Japanese believed that our carriers were the greater threat. According to the letter, they were the first ships hit. And judging by the efficiency of the Japanese aircraft carriers, there appears to be good reason for the Japanese to have been afraid of our carriers."

    Roosevelt nodded, listening intently as Halsey continued, "It appears that much of this war will be fought in the air, even the Navy will need to deploy a trained wing of airmen, General Arnold?"

    Arnold took up where Halsey left off, "It also appears that a good deal of this war involves aircraft being used to support infantry and armor quite closely."

    An Army officer spoke up, "Mister President."

    Roosevelt turned, "Ah, yes, Colonel Patton. The Secretary tells me that you are our premiere proponent of armored warfare."

    Patton nodded, "Yes Mister President. I've read over the letter, and from what it looks like, the Germans developed several highly successful tank designs, focusing on firepower and armor." Patton paused, then continued, "According to armored doctrine, a tank has three areas of specialization. Armor, firepower, and speed. A tank can perform well in two of those areas, but must sacrifice performance in the last. The German tanks had very heavy firepower and armor, but speed was lacking. Our own tanks appear to have been based on speed, and were unable to fight the German tanks effectively. My staff has already prepared several designs for us to consider. I must stress, however, that we must rethink our armored doctrine in its totality. Up until this point, armor has been used to support the infantry. Looking at the information that our mysterious future benefactor has given us, it is must more effective to use infantry to support the armor. Armor units form "spearheads" and breach enemy lines, then the infantry moves in to hold the area."

    Nodding his head, George C. Marshall spoke, "I understand, Colonel Patton, that you have have a talent for armored warfare, but how do these "spearheads" perform if they must wait for the infantry to catch up?"

    The Colonel seemed to ignore Marshall's question, and continued without turning away from the President, "The infantry will need to be mechanized. Looking at these pictures," he gestured at the photographs, "it seems that the Germans had developed armored vehicles to carry personnel to battle, while providing protecting for the troops. If we can replicate these designs, or create some of our own, the issue of the infantry falling behind the armored units is no longer an issue. The tank is a highly important weapon. As well, our industry would have little issue adapting to produce tanks during a time of war; we already have the factories for producing trucks and tractors for agriculture. The basic mechanics are very similar."

    Marshall, an advocate of armored warfare himself, seemed pleased, and the President picked up, "Very well. I'll have funding allocated to both air research, as well as whatever we need to make these armored units work. The remaining issue is how we hide preparations for war from the Congress. Many in Congress are isolationists and won't approve of millions of dollars being funneled into what they think is a useless apparatus."

    Markson leaned forward, "May I speak, Mister President?"

    "Of course Colonel."

    "What if we disguise the preparations for war as part of the New Deal. What better way to get Americans employed than to employ them directly for the government. Business won't mind. Their factories will be working again; maybe not for passenger cars, but it will still provide money and jobs. We bill it to Congress using Germany as an example. They are already moving to expand their military, and their economy is doing well. That should convince the doves in Congress to sign onto this. As for the money, we borrow. If we win the war, we can extract the money as war reparations, if we loose, debt will be our last worry."

    Roosevelt nodded, "Very well. This meeting is adjourned. Gentlemen, we have three years."

    "Six, Mister President." Markson said.

    "But the letter states that Germany invaded France in 1939, Colonel." The President responded, obviously a little confused.

    "Yes Sir, but the United States did not enter the war until were attacked in 1942."

    "Then the question is," said Admiral Halsey, "do we stand with our soon-to-be allies, or do we wait until we are attacked directly."

    Markson shook his head, "To be frank, Mister President, the citizens of the United States will not react strongly to an attack on France. It will take an attack on the United States to rile the population to war."

    "Right. But what if the Japanese attack before then?" Halsey asked.

    "Then let's say that we must be ready for war by January 1941." Colonel Markson responded.

    "January 1941 it is. Colonel, glad to have you with us."

    "Thank you, Mister President."



    [OOC]
    Alright, first, I understand that things look a bit weird in terms of what rank people are, but bear with me you historians. This is an alternate universe, based on another alternate universe, so things are a little out-of-order compared to our current time-line. You'll find out more as time goes on. Sorry for the lack of an update, but my laptop's HD died, again. I'm continuing on my desktop now; I lost the old save, hence the lack of any actual in game related events. Yes, I have bad luck with my laptop hard disks.
    [/OOC]
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  7. #27
    Yay! And you're right, Open Source HoI2 would be awesome. No need for stupid EU3 graphics and a new game.

  8. #28
    I like the more "war-room"-esque HoI2 graphics. This isn't a Total War game (even though they are excellent), we don't need 3D graphics! I enjoy being able to play on my laptop with integrated graphics... when the HD doesn't die on me.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  9. #29
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Nice update. This is a very intriguing story.
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  10. #30
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    Nice! Almost believable.
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  11. #31
    As he prepared to walk out of the room, Roosevelt called him over, "Colonel, I'm transferring you to directly under my command. You will act as my advisor during the lead up to the war. I need someone who understands this phenomena more than the admirals and generals."

    "Mister President," Markson stumbled a little over his words, not sure how to respond, "I'm honored, of course, but I really don't have any more insight into this than your other advisers..."

    "I understand that, but you, or at least an alternate you, wrote that letter, and I have to believe that you must have some insight. Stay a minute, please." Markson watched nervously as the others filed out of the room, leaving the Colonel in front of a massive map on the wall, "Tell me Colonel. What is to be done with MacArthur and his Philippine Command? Should we abandon them?"

    "Mister President, in the alternate time-line the Navy was almost completely wiped out, and we barely had enough troops to defend the coast. If we manage to save the fleet, it seems to be obvious that we should at least put up a significant fight for the Philippines. We know those waters, the Navy has conducted training there before, and that should give us an advantage. As well, it seems that the Philippines would be an excellent staging area. If we can hold Guam and Wake, we can bypass most of the Japanese islands, maybe striking the naval and air bases at Truk, Kwajalein, and Eniwetok to cut off the Japanese fleet. We could then attack Taiwan and Okinawa. That would put us right within striking range of the Japanese home islands. If we hold those positions, we could end most of the threat from the Japanese and concentrate on Europe."

    Roosevelt nodded, "This of course, relies on the US fleet surviving an attack. We can't keep the fleet away from Pearl, that would mean that a Japanese attack would never come. If I'm reading these letters correctly, the move to Pearl provokes the Japanese. If we don't provoke them, we have them waiting until our backs are turned."

    "Yes sir, that is correct. But what if we trap them? Put up enough warning sites and AA guns, keep our aircraft on alert, and the Japanese planes will fly into a death trap. Start the alert procedures in late 1941, December should be fine. I have heard that some scientists are working on something they call "radar" to detect incoming aircraft. It might do us well to put some of those experimental receivers into place. Another idea from these letters is to use a tactic that the Germans will use against the British. Flood the ocean near Japan with submarines based out of the Philippines; cut off Japanese oil supplies. Their fleet and aircraft will be parked after a few months. Combine that with a constant air bombardment, and it shouldn't be too long before they collapse. As well, we need to limit Japanese power in the Pacific. Maybe if we can provide China some significant support, we might be able to forestall the Japanese for a little while."

    "And Markson, this is why I want you to be a permanent adviser."

    Colonel Markson smiled sheepishly, "Yes Sir, point taken sir."

    "Any insights on Europe, while we're at this?"

    "Only thing that springs to mind, maybe we should offer technological assistance to the French? We can't just give them units, that would be too suspicious, but surely blue-prints of designs could be transferred. Maybe fill in some of their abysmal gaps in armor technology. They might still fall to the Germans, but they might last a little longer. We need to buy as much time as possible, to prevent Britain from falling to the Germans before we can get our troops over there. To be honest sir, we're the deciding factor. If we can build a military that is professional, well equipped, and well trained, by the time that we enter the war, we could bring this to a swift conclusion, god willing. If we muck it up, we could be in for another Great War."

    The President nodded, "Then let us hope that we don't 'muck it up'."

    "Sir, yes sir."

    As the days passed, and the United States entered winter, some reporters began to notice changes. Long silent factories were being brought back online, as requests began to go out for skilled welders and riveters. Few people who worked at the facility knew what they were making; nor did they care. They were employed, and that was enough to halt any probing questions. The Untied States steel industry began to slowly revive. Much like the giant steam locomotives that supplied the factories, industry started slowly. First the coal and iron mines began to receive massive request orders from steel suppliers, then the railroads began to notice increasing traffic requests, people near the factories began to notice the long dead lights turning back on, and the giant smelters once more burning with a hellish red fire. Giant metal plates began to stack up on the rail cars. Steel billets and wood blocks began to arrive at factories in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Lathes once more cut metal and steel, and barrels were once more heat-treated in giant furnaces. Rifles began to fill long-empty armories.

    It was slow, painstaking work to coax the giant out of his sleep early. Step by step, the sinews of war, factories, began to repair themselves, the leaders carefully guiding the repairs. At Norfolk News Naval Shipyard, the piers swarmed with workers as three giant pieces of metal cluttered three once empty dry-docks. They were keels, the backbones of massive ships of unknown class. The Navy had decided to wait until they finished research on a new design before they started construction, but the giant metal spines were already in position, waiting for the go-ahead.

    Markson had taken a special interest in the new armored core, and was shocked to discover that the United States was behind the rest of the world, still using tanks left over from the First World War. Within days, the design teams at Christie were hard at work bridging the gap, the Liberty VIII tank was ready by February, but that didn't impress Markson, and research on the T4E1 was started immediately. Work also had to be done in the field of aircraft design, where the US was woefully lacking in anything that resembled dedicated close air support aircraft. Thankfully, the Navy didn't require the same scramble, but the primary concern there was when to start building the darn ships. Tank units can be given new tanks or modernized older tanks, but ships have to be rebuilt from the keel up, so when did they start building? That would have to be decided in the future. As he looked out over a parking lot in front of the new Christie factory, he had to smile as he watched brand new, albeit out of date, tanks roll off the assembly line, piloted by rosy cheeked young tankers. He felt sorry for these modern day knights, atop their mechanical beasts; in a short few years, they would be heading for war.

    The giant was awakening early.

    [OOC]Yes, fast update. Trying to make up for the drought[/OOC]
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

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  12. #32

    Thumbs up

    The more the merrier.

  13. #33
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    It's not like fast updates are a bad thing. Do whatever you can, I'll keep my eyes peeled for this thread until it's truely dead or it's done. Preferably the latter.
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  14. #34
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    I like the extended metaphor. Very descriptive, the awakening giant.
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  15. #35
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    Very well written!
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  16. #36
    Colonel, sorry, Field Marshal Patton looked out over the field from his position on a near by hill. Maneuvering in the plain were phalanxes of brand new M2 tanks. They were slow, hard to maneuver, and had a pitifully small armament for any armored vehicle. On the other hand, they were all Patton had to work with, and they would do for training at least. Even then, Patton mused to himself, he was using just about every amount of his new clout to influence the President into funding research for new tank designs. He had heard from Markson that they were working on a new design, the M3. It couldn't come soon enough. Turning to look at Colonel Markson, Patton had to chuckle. This kid had managed to convince some of the most hard nosed men in the United States that they were about to see the unthinkable: another war.

    Colonel Markson watched the tanks maneuver silently. The President had in a week created a new military position and promoted Patton to it. A Field Marshal was supposed to direct an entire army group of up to twelve divisions and any attached specialist brigades that had been assigned to the unit. The President had then assigned Markson to act as the liason between the White House and the First Army. It was planned to compose of eleven tank divisions and a command division. It would have air support placed under the command of the Field Marshall. That had made the air-force incredibly pleased. Markson smiled, that had been a discussion between the President and Arnold that had bordered on insubordination from the air commander. After that had been sorted out, things were starting to normalize.

    Shaking his head, Markson had to hand it to Patton, the Field Marshal didn't mix words. If he wanted something, he said so. If he didn't like something, boy, did he every say so. Currently, he was grumbling about the lack of decent tanks for his crews to train on, "Field Marshal, have your men train on these, I admit they are inferior, but those pictures were taken in the late war! We can better tanks to your troops later, this is all we have to work with."

    "Yes! I know, but how can I expect my men to fight on machines they haven't trained on! I can't send my men into combat in brand new equipment they haven't had time to train in! Get me more funding and we'll be fine!"

    "Sir, with all due respect, the Airforce needs planes, I have the Navy breathing down my neck for some new ships with AA guns that aren't soldiers on the superstructure with rifles! We have limited funds and we're giving you as much as we can. I understand your position, but darnit, we're doing our best. It takes time to research brand new armor units. We're already hitting technological issues that are mind boggling. For instance, do you know how much weight some of your ideas would require? I understand that you want a tank with a 90mm main gun and a armor belt ranging from 25 to 110mm of steel, but do you have any idea how large the engine has to be at this point?"

    "So? Stick an aircraft engine in it for all I care! Just get me the equipment made, and the tanks rolling off the assembly line. That's all I care about."

    "Field Marshal, take my word on it, we're trying our best."

    "Very well."

    Markson sighed; this was going to be a long assignment.

    And Markson was right. The biggest challenge was getting the resources to the services that needed them the most. The Air Force and Army were getting most of the funding, while the Navy was getting relatively short-changed. In 1940, according to plan, the funding would switch around, and the Navy would start a massive building program, with keels being laid for eight carriers. Tanks and planes can be modernized, carriers can't be. But until that time, Markson had the joy of telling the Navy to "be calm" until the building program rolled around.

    Meanwhile, at a testing range in the middle of the desert, a rocket streaked high into the sky. On the ground, a cluster of scientists and two Air-Force officers watched. One of the officers turned to the other, "Can it deliver?"

    "The primary issue is damage."

    "Altitude detonation?"

    "Right. Increase the radius."

    The officer nodded, and looked back up at the rocket heading ever skyward.



    [OOC: Issue, I can't find any info on an "M4E1," I've taken the photo to two friends of mine who are ever more WW2 buffs than I am. The only M4E1 any of us know of is an experimental Sherman. The M2 inter-war tank fits more exactly. It had a 37mm gun mounted on a turret, and was introduced in 1935, so the time frame is pretty close. If anyone can find info on the M4E1, please forward it to me. As for the missile, you'll see.]
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  17. #37
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    As for the missile, you'll see.
    That sounds awesome.
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  18. #38
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    Naval emphasis makes sense for the US.
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  19. #39
    Roger, and thanks for all the feed-back, it's keeping me going.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  20. #40
    Date: July 7th, 1937
    It appears that things are already turning out differently. According to preliminary reports from the network of spies that we've placed in Japan, war was narrowly avoided today. The Japanese attempted to create what appeared to be a pretext for war with China. Japanese officers claimed that one of their soldiers was missing in the town of Wanping and wanted to search the town. The Chinese refused and the Japanese threatened to attack. The Chinese held out, and the Japanese backed down. Maybe the Japanese are worried that if they start a war with China, that the United States will become involved. If so, it is strange considering that our preparations are no where near completed. As is, Carrier Task Force Alpha under Nimitz only has four of a planned eight carriers, and those four are the pre-war ships Lexington, Enterprise, Saratoga and Yorktown. Surface Action Group 1 won't be finished until 1941 at the earliest, and the defenses in the Pacific are only partially complete. Well, at least Patton has those M3 Lee tanks now and has shut up. Thank god. Now if I can get Halsey to do the same, I'll be fine.

    Date: April 1st, 1938
    If Japan decided to be nice because of the US, Germany never got that memo. From our spies in the Reich, we're hearing that Germany has absorbed Austria. Seems to fit with the the information we received. We're calling the letters "Operation Headlamp" in case any of the documents leak out. The President is worrying now. He's having a moral dilemma whether not trying to stop the war is a immoral thing. The issue is that we know that millions of soldiers and civilians will die, but this war could place the United States in a position of massive strength. And even if we do stop the war, the tensions that are the underlying causes will continue to build. In other words, all we'll do is forestall the war, and who knows what weapons Germany and Japan will have by the end?

    Date: September 30th, 1938
    Well, Germany just absorbed the Sudetenland. Not that we didn't expect it. "Headlamp" predicted it down to the hour of the announcement hitting the US media. Things are starting to speed up around here. The Army is working like mad to get their troops trained in mobile warfare, and the Marines are training in amphibious assaults. In the mean time, we're working on shifting the population's view of intervention. Many people are still isolationists, but every now and then we get an opportunity to gently nudge the general mindset into a more interventionist mindset. It's slow going. The economy is recovering quickly because of the influx of dollars that a massive military buildup generally entails. I'm glad I don't work in the General Accounting Office, the red ink would probably drown me. We're making a significant amount of money selling arms and equipment to nations that feel threatened by Germany. Heck, I think we're selling oil to the Germans. It's ironic, when I think about it. We're providing Germany with the supplies to run their war machine in the short term; yet in the long term, they're fueling the industrial machine that will hopefully grind them into dust.

    Date: October 14th, 1938
    That was interesting. I just got back from a two week diplomatic visit to Germany. Apparently Hitler is interested in trying to make friends with the United States. I was able to see the German Panzer corps in action. I have to admit, it's quite amazing to watch the armored vehicles maneuver. I'd say that our tanks are slightly inferior to what the Germans are using, but our commanders are more used to individual warfare and decision making. The Germans are very well trained and drilled, but they're very centralized. If the unit commander goes down, the tank commanders are thrown into confusion. Glad to be back in the states. Seeing people walking around snapping "Heil Hitler" salutes is disconcerting.

    Date: March 16th, 1938
    The Czechs have been annexed. Not sure what else to say. Germany annexed Czechoslovakia and installed a puppet state in its stead. Not much we can do.

    Date: December 25th, 1938
    Merry Christmas! The mood seems brightened all around the country. But preparations still go on. I just got back from the Norfolk yards where the keels for four new Essex class advanced carriers have been laid. The employees at the yards are working almost 24/7 to get these carriers afloat, but that task in front of them is massive. I feel sorry for them. It's only going to get busier as 1941 comes closer. The preparations must be finished on time, otherwise I might find out who those blood stains on the letter belong to.

    Date: March 20th, 1939
    The United Kingdom has offered assistance to Poland should Germany attack. This is starting to look like the Great War. If Germany attacks Poland, then the UK and France, with their puppets, will be dragged into this war. We of course, will be maintaining neutrality for as long as possible, or at least until the UK is threatened. If the UK falls to Germany, then they will be open to attack us here in the US, and the President has already stated that he will not allow this war to reach US soil.

    Date: March 23th, 1939
    Poland is trying to avoid war at all costs. They have caved to German demands and ceded the Nazi government Memel. I was sent by the President to deliver a message to Germany, warning them that if they didn't cease their aggressive stance, that the United States might have no choice but to get involved. It looks like Germany is pretty much ignoring us. The USSR is starting to worry me. Some of the tanks that we couldn't identify in the pictures have finally been identified. They were Soviet. If that wasn't a shock, our spies in Germany and Russia are reporting that the two nations are getting a little too cozy for any of our tastes. I have alerted the President and our military commanders.

    Date: March 25th, 1939
    It's definitely speeding up around here. The President just finished a conference with myself as well as the other main US military commanders to put together the primary strategic war-plan for the United States. According to it, recently promoted Field Marshal MacArthur will be placed in command of a significant detachment of infantry in the Philippines. He will stop the Japanese from taking the Philippines at all costs. General Lear will hold Guam with the three divisions of the 3rd Army Corps, three divisions of the III Corps, as well as over twelve divisions of Marines and Paratroopers. The Paratroopers will attack Saipan and Tinian. We will then build an airfield on Saipan and allow our short range aircraft to hit enemy positions on Iwo Jima. At the same time, a massive amphibious assault will be launched against the Japanese naval base of Truk by the combined forces of the IV Corps, and VII Corps; totaling six divisions. VIII corps will be held in reserve to either assist in the assault on Truk, or attack the Japanese base at Eniwetok. From Eniwetok we can then regroup our forces and strike at the remaining naval base at Kwajalein. That will essentially confine Japanese forces to the island of Taiwan and the Japanese mainland. With the Philippines under our control, we can then strike at Taiwan and begin a sustained air based bombardment of Japanese cities. That will give us time to invade the Korean peninsula and isolate Japan. Without oil or the other raw materials, and with their industry under constant bombardment, Japan should cease to be a threat, and we can wait them out. Well, that's the plan at least.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

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