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Thread: The Pearl of the Orient

  1. #41
    Capitán General RPG Leader Cloud Strife's Avatar
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    GeneralHannibal

    Many, many, many thanks for the tip. Now I can go sick my army on Moros in-game.

    Spacehusky

    He'll be around. Rest assured. In fact he'll be back during the next update.

    Though I think i'm going to slow down my update regimen to accommodate readers; i'll have mercy on them and limit the largess of my updates per week. I've mostly been writing this AAR to erase the boredom of sitting through college classes where i've been going over material i'm familiar with. The first series of tests i've taken have vindicated my study habits; or lack thereof.

    That being said i'm noticing that other AARs have in-game screen shots or are mostly comprised of them. Is this a requirement or what?

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloud Strife
    That being said i'm noticing that other AARs have in-game screen shots or are mostly comprised of them. Is this a requirement or what?
    Of course not, as your loyal band of readers indicate.

    A picture heavy AAR is normally, but not always, faster to put together and faster to read. For people short on time (or attention span ) this makes them a better option to read/write than an text heavy AAR. That's why they're more prevalent.

    While a few pictures/maps do help to break up the text and illustrate points there's no point sticking them in for the sake of it, no need to waste valuable writing time if you don't have to.
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  3. #43
    Contra-Vice-Double Colonel Alexus's Avatar
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    Sterling work, this. I've only scanned it so far, but later I plan to get a nice cup of tea, sit down, and read the whole thing

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexus
    Sterling work, this. I've only scanned it so far, but later I plan to get a nice cup of tea, sit down, and read the whole thing
    what does "sterlin work" mean?
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  5. #45
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    ster·ling [stur-ling]
    –adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or noting British money: The sterling equivalent is #5.50.
    2. (of silver) having the standard fineness of 0.925.
    3. made of silver of this fineness: a sterling teapot.
    4. thoroughly excellent: a man of sterling worth.

  6. #46
    Capitán General RPG Leader Cloud Strife's Avatar
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    Thanks to all those who've taken time out of their busy lives to read this AAR. And of course to those who don't mind a lack of screenshots and pictures.

    I’ve reached July 1940 in the game and game speed is beginning to slow down as WWII goes into fully swing. Denmark and Norway has been annexed by the Germans, Finland held out during the Winter War, and Belgium and the Netherlands have been overrun. Hmmm, come to think of it the preceding sentences could be construed as an AAR in and of themselves.

    --

    Padre Manuel's War: Part III - December 1939 – July 1940

    The fortunes of the Commonwealth took a turn for the better as the Army played one tribal Datu off another. Personal ambitions began to outweigh any coherent sense of a future Moro State and Muslim Filipinos began to see the benefits of political integration with the Commonwealth. The remaining Moro rebels began to concentrate themselves in the Zamboanga peninsula, in South-West Mindanao and prepared themselves for the eventual Filipino campaign. Sea power had proven decisive throughout the course of the insurgency as it enabled the Commonwealth to rapidly shift forces from one area of Mindanao to the next.

    Soldiers of the I. Philippine Corps now found themselves stationed in Zamboanga City. The city was founded in 1635 and served as a way station for Spanish patrols in the Sulu Sea. Zamboanga City was one of the few solidly Catholic areas controlled by the central government; this contrasted sharply with the countryside which continued to be dominated by Islamic Moros. Lieutenant Borbón found himself and his platoon assigned to pickets, 10 miles outside the city proper. Picket Duty was viewed as trite owing to the fact that the Moros had stopped assaulting urban centers for lack of manpower. The monotony was relived by radio broadcasts and mail call every Saturday. Radio Manila was by far the most popular station having a balanced combination of news broadcasts and music. Most news filtering its way via the airwaves dealt with the status of the Commonwealth Navy, the war in Europe, the war in China, and the occasional broadcast about the war in Mindanao. Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands had fallen to the Germans. The Soviets had taken the Baltic States and were barely driven from Finland by Mannerheim. The United Front in China and the Japanese had fought to a stalemate in China. And the Commonwealth Navy had received the last two Carriers that it had been promised in 1936.


    ---

    Mid-Morning, 10 miles outside the city limits of Zamboanga

    Borbón finished his breakfast (comprising a slice of cured ham coupled with toast and eggs) and assembled his platoon for review. After checking that all as in order a courier from Division HQ arrived via bicycle with new orders. Credible intelligence reports had pointed to a possible Moro arms cache in a village 3 miles up the road from where Borbón was stationed. A relief platoon would arrive in an hour’s time to take up the picket thus freeing Borbón to evaluate the intelligence report on the field. Once his relief arrived, Borbón was free to lead his platoon up the road and into a possibly Moro stronghold. Expecting to find warriors or at least hostile locals the Commonwealth troops were disappointed to note that there was not one recognizable fighting man among the residence of the village. But a peaceful community such as this one would make a perfect depot for storing arms. Who would suspect such a place for harboring rebels?

    Borbón’s men inspected the village residence by residence or rather hut by hut. There was no resistance met until they arrived in front of the local Church. Strangely enough it was not decorated or buzzing with the energy inherent in a Catholic structure. The Roman Catholic Church constituted the dominant religious faith in the Philippines since the time of the Spanish Conquest. She had no serious rivals to primacy until the coming of the Americans in 1898. Protestant sects had swarmed them islands in an attempt to win converts. And this Church was clearly an outgrowth of Protestant attempts to ‘Christianize’ the Filipino. Borbón could feel the Puritanical essence seeping from the Church; the same Puritanical essence that had convinced American politicians to deny the Filipinos what could best be described as that Wilsonian Right of Self-Determination on account of the lack of ‘civility’ inherent in the Filipino ethos; oh how wrong those politicians and holy men had been. But Borbón did not order a search of a Church out of spite or ideological conviction; a large building such as a place of worship was a perfect place to hide ordinance, arms, and the occasional insurgent combatant.


    “Alright gents, let’s take it easy and go scope out that Church in front of us. It’s pretty much the only place we haven’t checked in this area. If we don’t find anything there we’re not going to be finding anything anywhere else. So let’s be through so we can get out of here before night falls.” The innards of the Church were plain; it was big enough to be impressive but bland enough to be thoroughly boring. Borbón had taken one group of regulars inside with him and commanded the rest of his platoon to take up positions outside the Church and to note anything suspicious. After ordering those worshiping inside out Borbón and his men began to probe the ground looking for any signs of a trapdoor or some opening into the ground. Though just as the search began it was interrupted by a booming voice of an aged pastor who barged his way into the building.

    “And what in particular is your business here Sirs?” He was middle-aged, clearly an American national, and wreaked of naivety.

    “I’m Lieutenant Borbón of the Commonwealth of the Philippines Army. We are here to search for any contraband items which include but are not limited to swords, daggers, rifles, pistols, ammunition, explosives, and anything which may aid the insurgency in their war effort.”

    “Sorry to disappoint you but this is a house of God! And your actions are harming my flock. Is not the House of the Lord a place of peace? Take your weapons...” but before the Pastor could finish.

    “If I wished to partake of sermons brought forth from the bully pulpit of Calvin or Luther, I would have become a Protestant. But as I am Catholic I shall have to pass the…” As Borbón strode forward to show the Pastor the way out, his foot chanced upon an odd sounding floorboard; beneath the blue carpentry there was a hollow of some kind. After retrieving his trust dagger he cut through the carpet and pried the floorboards away to revel a trapdoor. “Most interesting… I wonder what’s lurking in the depths beneath us. Private Jurado, restrain our friend the holyman while I scout this opening. Ruiz, Ortiz, follow behind me.” What awaited Borbón behind the trapdoor was a flight of stairs leading down to a cellar full of contraband arms. From rusting swords to a stack of Browning Automatic Rifles, it was a menagerie of what could be found on the Asian black market. Finished surveying his surroundings, Borbón emerges from the hole in the ground and motions for the Prelate to be led into the cellar to see for himself. After a good five minutes the missionary emerged, quite shaken.

    “I never would have… I mean, the villagers seemed so eager to participate in the faith. They built this Church…” but before the missionary could complete his tirade the Lieutenant interrupted him. “A society will do what it must to achieve its goals. Moros are of an honorable an ancient race though there are some malcontents that would resort to using houses of worship as arms depots. In any case I shall have to commander your radio transmitter to call for back up; I need more hands to help me dispose of these arms. After all, as you said, weapons shall find no sanctuary in the House of the Lord.”

    Padre Manuel's War, the fruits of Quezon's ambitions to an abrupt end as Moro rebels found themselves without ammunition stores. The diligent efforts of soldiers, sailors, and airmen had made it impossible for the remaining Moro groups mount serious resistance to the Commonwealth Army. An agreement whereby special elections were called to allow Moros to seat their delegates in the National Assembly was instituted and the lands of Mindanao finally came under the control of the central government. But as one war ended another lurked just around the corner. Japan had begun to stall in China; she was running out of raw materials and needed rubber, tin, scrap metal, to continue the fight. The Roosevelt Administration was hesitant at providing the Japanese with the means to continue fighting the Chinese. The way was now clear for resource advocates in Japan to press forward plans to seize the raw materials of South-East Asia.

  7. #47
    To be honest, I feel the pastor had a little bit catholic essence on him... I'll guess you're catholic yourself.

    Anyway, great update! Good luck with the japanese.
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  8. #48
    Very nice update, I'm eager for more
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  9. #49
    Capitán General RPG Leader Cloud Strife's Avatar
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    Hannibal Barca2

    I'll need a little bit more than luck with the Japanese; hopefully my frantic efforts at researching naval doctrines will pay off.

    Quanto

    Thanks. Hopefully i'll be able to hold off the Japanese onslaught. Then again if defeated I could continue the AAR as the collaborationist/semi-resistant to Japanese Imperialism 2nd Philippine Republic.

  10. #50
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    Well, thats a nice story with an original country.

    I'd suggest you to focus on defending the main island where is located you capital and wait for the USA to send help... wich maye take some time.
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  11. #51
    Capitán General RPG Leader Cloud Strife's Avatar
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    General_Grant

    We shall see. And i've seen a few Philippines AARs out there but none so far that seem to have been completed.

    ---

    The Best of All Possible Worlds: Part I. August - December 1940

    Malacañang Palace, Manila, Afternoon

    The political map of Europe changed faster than mapmakers could keep up. France had fallen and factionalism now divided Petain's Metropolitan 'National Revolution' and General de Gaulle's Government-in-Exile 'Free French'. Of more importance to the Commonwealth Government was the fate of French Indochina. In the 1870s the French had managed to setup shop in the Mekong Delta and convince themselves that they had vanquished the Vietnamese, had loyal collaborators in the guise of the Nguyen Dynasty, and had won themselves a new and profitable colony. But Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia were eyed by the Japanese for their raw materials and had managed to bully Petain into transferring jurisdiction of Indochina to Japan. Now the Imperial Japanese Navy and Imperial Japanese Army had bases plenty to flank the Philippines, British Malaya, and the rump Dutch Government in Batavia. Quezon called together another session of the Cabinet to discuss options and necessary precautions the Commonwealth had at its disposal. At the end of the meeting Quezon gave an usually concise warning to his fellow civil servants and defense officials.

    "Gentlemen, the tipping point soon approaches. I'll spare you the usual postulations and thunderous words in defense of democracy and progress to the heart of the matter; we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into the same complacency that came over the Poles and Frenchmen. Our fleet is out gunned and out manned; the same story repeats itself for our air assets and army. I guess it shall all come down to doctrine, defense, and God's will. And I hope that we find ourselves in possession of all the forenamed blessings."

    ---

    Quezon City, Diliman

    As with most Nationalists, Quezon dreamed of creating a symbolic break with the past. In 1938 Quezon realized this dream by created the People's Homesite Corporation. The task of this group was the construction of a new capitol of the Commonwealth to replace Spanish founded Manila. Many in the Administration and a majority of the Filipino populace were apathetic to the move but Quezon pressed forward. Commonwealth Act 502 brought 'Quezon City' into existence. But as of 1940 Quezon City was more of a college town than a national capitol.

    Founded in 1908 as the ‘American University of the Philippines’, the University of the Philippines soon outgrew its facilities in Manila and was moved piecemeal to the Diliman district of Quezon City. Construction of various division buildings began in 1939 and a new glut of funding enabled the majority of the University to be completed in early 1940. While the University did a far job at turning out the Commonwealth’s future politicians, engineers, and doctors among Government officials the university had a reputation for harboring sentiments too friendly to the far left and ‘Pan-Asian’ sentiments. And such were the circumstances of now Major Borbón’s visit to the University. Several left leaning professors and outright Japanese sympathizers had invited the Quezon Administration to produce evidence of the ‘threat’ Japan posed to the Commonwealth. To this effect the Government had tasked the Army to come up with someone who could connect with the easily malleable students of the University and perhaps rid their minds of any thoughts of disloyalty to the regime. And who better to send than a decorated hero of the Spanish Civil War? A man who had fought for the thoroughly left leaning Republican regime and whose loyalties to the Commonwealth were never suspect.

    The auditorium chosen for the address still smelt of fresh paint and good intentions. Students and faculty had piled their way into the arena and expected Borbón to make an appearance in dress uniform or whatever those military types wore when they addressed civilians. Borbón thought it prudent to disappoint the crowd and opted to appear in a rather plain grey three piece suit. A podium had been set for him on stage but Borbón opted to have it moved out of the way; he did not want anything to separate him from his audience. He had written a few thoughts down the night before but in the end opted to deliver his words extemporaneously and tailor his language to the moods of the audience and they shifted back and forth.


    “Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished faculty and students of the University of the Philippines, I bid you greetings and salutations. Before I begin I think it prudent to reveal a bit about myself; I am Major Luis Borbón of the Commonwealth of the Philippines Army. I have been a solider since the age of 17 and served in multiple campaigns during the Spanish Civil War in the service of the Republican Army before serving the Commonwealth in the Moro Insurgency.” Not deterred by the lack of enthusiasm Borbón continued. “I am not here to encourage or condone military methods or to disguise such realities with euphemisms. War is not ‘aggressive diplomacy’ or a ‘fight for freedom’; war is dirty, bloody, and godless. That is why war and talk of war is convinced as an instrument of last resort. So then it follows that we as a people should be prepared for the possibility and not delude ourselves into to discussing only arguments against it. The Japanese have found themselves rather disposed to the use of war when economic and political realities do not align with their needs. We only need to gaze across the pond to China to see proof of that in action.”

    “But just what do we find ourselves fighting against in the likely event of a Japanese attack? The Imperial Japanese Army and Navy form the largest single concentration of military power even gazed upon in the Orient. Their military police, the Kempeitai, has consistently shown itself to disregard the basic democratic principle of free speech. Ask any Korean or Chinese national, they will describe to you their brutality both through their language and the scars they bear on their body. The Japanese therefore are the antithesis of everything this Commonwealth and this institution, this University, stands for. And it is the duty of every Commonwealth citizen to make that conscious choice to do nothing, in both thought and deed, which may threaten the freedoms we currently exercise.”

    Borbón seemed to be making headway among the crowd but was interrupted by a raise hand thrust into the air. One of the leading doves among the student body had now made herself known. “Has not the Commonwealth’s new military acquisition program provoked the Japanese into looking at the Philippines as a threat rather than a potential friend? And how could a true fighter for the Republican cause claim to be one when he serves a lapdog of that US hand puppet Quezon?”

    --

    Yes, that’s enough for today. Tomorrow I’ll post part two once it’s proof-read.

  12. #52
    Lt. General therev's Avatar

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    What a great subject for an AAR - and you are doing it justice. I look forward to the Japanese making their presence felt and your response.

  13. #53
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    Wow a Filipino AAR never thought i will see these


    MABUHAY ANG PILIPINAS

  14. #54
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    therev

    Indeed, it is a great subject to do an AAR. And if I don't get stompped by the Japanese outright that's another bonus. In terms of doctrine I hope the US-esque firepower focus will do well against what the Japanese can throw again us. I had neglected to create some artillery attachments for my divisions and currently that's my priority now.

    nolanj92

    I know of two other Philippines AARs that preceed my effort by at least two years. Both were abandoned though. PI AAR 1 and PI AAR 2. The first one was solidly in the realm of alt-history while the other one was skipped right to the Japanese invasion in 1941. Both are certainly worth a look at.

  15. #55
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Wait.... is that THE Marcos?


    edit: also... Why didnt you build DD's for your fleet? 2 flotillas might be enough.
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  16. #56
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    trekaddict

    Not enough IC to do everything at once. And two DD flotillas of 4 DDs are only good for ASW when I need the IC to equip my infantry divisions with artillery. And Marcos did show up in the middle of the Moro rebellion, he'll pop up again when the invasion starts.

    ---

    The Best of All Possible Worlds: Part II. December - February 1940

    “To be frank Miss… and your name is?” inquired Borbón. “It’s Larissa, Larissa Smith.” Borbón wanted to scratch his head. Why would the daughter of an ex-US serviceman turned shipping baron and a Filipina heiress wish to protest against the Commonwealth? The spawn of the current generation of ricos hombres did tend to align themselves with the left and Pan-Asianism, mostly out of a general disregard for the social structure which kept the Philippines united and bastion of stable government in South-East Asia. “Miss Smith, you do bring up excellent points. It is the position of the Administration as well as my own personal opinion that the best way to secure the fruits of independence for our land is to construct the tools upon which we can secure our freedoms; those tools being a military powerbase and robust economy. To allow our military to atrophy in the face of increased Japanese material build up would be a mistake. Furthermore our new fleet stands as a testament to our technological prowess as construction and acquisition of raw materials was completely solely in the Philippines.” Borbón wisely chose to fudge this figure; through construction was done solely in the Commonwealth, Cavite Naval Yard was constructed by Americans and blueprints for the majority of fleet assets had come directly from the US Navy. True the Commonwealth personnel did command the fleet and service her ships but as with the Army, Naval doctrines and know-how were a result of over 30 years of training by United States advisors. “There is nothing more homegrown in this Commonwealth than our fleet. And to secure our continued growth and eventual independence we must take a page out of Mahan and secure our sealanes. No successful nation-state in the past 500 years has survived without a strong navy to rule the waves. Materially both China and India stood a good chance of developing in the dominant superpowers but both Qing and Mughal Empires were overcome by the West and the materially lacking Japanese. Our fair Philippines is both resource blessed and guarded by the sea from land based powers. We only have to fear the Japanese and their fleet. No matter what the quality of their army is, as long as it never steps foot on our shores it will be of little consequence in any future war. And that is why our Commonwealth Navy should and shall continue to expand to protect our freedoms and those of the rest of the free world.”

    Have silenced or at least muted any discontent, Borbón was now at liberity to continue.

    --

    That same day, Afternoon

    “Aside from that leftist redhead I think the entire thing went splendidly, just splendidly. I’m sorry you couldn’t make it to see the fireworks and critique my presentation. If I do say so myself I think I turned some of the more impressionable chaps around.” Afternoon tea was an institution among Commonwealth officers; most chose to patronize the government owned and operated Manila Hotel. It had the dubious reputation of being the residence of Field Marshal MacArthur and spent almost as much time there as he did in the US Army and Navy Club across the street. After delivering his address Borbón and Lieutenant Marcos had met up with a couple of their associates to discuss current events tableside. “In any case I’m thinking about changing my specialty. Carrier air power will be the decisive arm of battle in any future war; a pity the US Navy continues to classify carries as fleet scouts instead of capital ships.”

    Marcos shrugged. “The Americans rely on the prestige of the battleship line as we do on the prestige of our carriers. The Philippines is the only power on Earth that has chosen to base their entire battle strategy around carriers; something air power advocates in the US and Japan are looking towards for guidance. But I think we’re making a mistake by neglecting our army. We have five divisions at full strength assigned to three corps. And Quezon’s decree that we are not to raise standing militia forces comes as something of a shock to me. What we need against the Japanese is quantity, quantity, quantity.”

    “If you want your constituents to be reduced to a pile of dead potential voters we could go in that direction. I understand you have thoughts of going into politics after your stint in the Army? If so I’d humbly suggest that instead of taking up military issues as your carrot, go for something with more punch such as Land Reform. The electorate will eat it up and I’d imagine northern Luzon would be interested in retaining her position as the breadbasket of the islands and the only way to do so would be to introduce government subsidies for staple crops and to break up the latifundia dominating agribusiness. Win the hearts of the people and you’ll be elected to the Assembly. It may be dirty Populism but I’d rather see you in office than some leftist twit following the dictums of Lenin in power.”

    “Somehow I doubt, seriously doubt, we’ll be seeing much of the Vanguard Party in the islands. Did you know I did my thesis while studying in UP on the methods by which a democratic regime can be undermined? Our middle class is solidly conservative, our peasantry is still god-fearing, and the rich are… well, rich. The Americans are not harsh masters; in fact sometimes they seem more of a brotherly figure than an oppressor. So in short there is absolutely nothing that could incite a ‘workers and peasants’ rebellion. Communism and all the derivative forms of Socialism go against the close family bonds which define our people. We enjoy being paternal in character and as long as the rich provide a worthy source of emulation the people do not mind following them and their whims. While we are by no means the perfect society, I think we have enough sense as a people to come to the conclusion that Communism is just another damned foreign import; same with true democracy. The workings of government on the whole are too sensitive to be left to the whims and wills of the mob.”

  17. #57
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    Wielding the Trident: September – October 1941

    To consolidate the Nacionalista’s hold over the political life of the Commonwealth the Philippine Senate was revived in late 1944 to serve as the upper house of the Legislature; unsurprisingly the Nacionalistas were elected to all Senate seats. This clear mandate gave the Quezon Administration enough backing to pass the ‘Civil Defense Act’ which regulated militia contributions from provinces and organized them along the lines of a regular force. Garrison divisions were deployed throughout the island of Luzon to guard major cities and thoroughfares. In time of invasion these garrison forces would revert from the Philippine Constabulary to the regular army. The attachment of artillery brigades to all divisions of the Philippine Army made application of US military doctrine a true reality. But the biggest military development was Commonwealth Chief of Naval Operations Jose V. Andrada plan to take the entire fleet out to partake in maneuvers. Individual squadrons had put out to sea for training in the past but September 5th marked the first time in history that the Filipino Fleet conducted training as a single unit.

    As of September 1941 the Commonwealth Fleet consists of the following ships:

    Quote Originally Posted by ”Home Fleet”

    I. Carrier Battle Group
    a. CPS Ciudad de Madrid (CV-1) [Early Carrier]
    b. CPS Ciudad de Cebu (CV-2) [Early Carrier]
    c. CPS Ciudad de Manila (CV-3) [Early Carrier]
    d. CPS Ciudad de Baguio(CV-4) [Early Carrier]
    e. CPS Miguel de Legaspi (CL-1) [Early Light Cruiser]
    f. CPS Andres Bonifacio (CL-2) [Early Light Cruiser]
    g. CPS Jose Rizal (CL-3) [Early Light Cruiser]
    h. CPS William Howard Taft (CL-4) [Early Light Cruiser]
    a. CPS Tarlac (DD-5) [Early Destroyer]
    b. CPS San Fernando (DD-6) [Early Destroyer]
    c. CPS Dagupan (DD-7) [Early Destroyer]
    d. CPS Tuguegarao (DD-8) [Early Destroyer]

    II. Home Fleet Battlegroup
    a. CPS Manuel L. Quezon (CG-1) [Early Heavy Cruiser]
    b. CPS Tomas Claudio (CG-2) [Early Heavy Cruiser]
    c. CPS Juan Araneta (CG-3) [Early Heavy Cruiser]
    d. CPS Admiral Dewey (CG-4) [Early Heavy Cruiser]
    e. CPS Carlos III (CG-5) [Basic Heavy Cruiser]
    f. CPS Felipe II (CG-6) [Basic Heavy Cruiser]
    g. CPS Fernando VII (CG-7) [Basic Heavy Cruiser]
    h. CPS Felipe V (CG-8) [Basic Heavy Cruiser]
    i. CPS Luzon (DD-1) [Early Destroyer]
    j. CPS Abra (DD-2) [Early Destroyer]
    k. CPS Danday (DD-3) [Early Destroyer]
    l. CPS Agusan (DD-4) [Early Destroyer]

    III. Commonwealth Submarine Forces
    a. Cavite Flotilla (SS-1) [Medium Range Submarine]
    b. Luzon Flotilla (SS-2) [Medium Range Submarine]
    c. Norte Flotilla (SS-3) [Medium Range Submarine]
    d. Sur Flotilla (SS-4) [Medium Range Submarine]

    IV. Commonwealth Naval Transport Forces
    a. 1st Transport Flotilla
    b. 2nd Transport Flotilla
    Andrada’s goals were simple enough; take the entire fleet out to sea in good order, simulate a carrier based airplane attack on Clark Army Air Base, and if time and weather permitted make a fast run at Taiwan to test the ability of the fleet to keep formation. The maneuvers started promptly at dawn on the 5th of September. American sailors of the Asiatic Fleet also based at Sangley Point, Cavite awoke to the sights and sounds of mock war. The four carriers of the fleet and other large ships were being towed by tug to the harbor limits while destroyers and other lighter vessels went underway on their own power. From his flagship, CPS Fernando VII, Andrada maneuvered the Home Fleet into Manila Bay and from there out to the South China Sea. It was a landmark event; the first time in history a South East Asian state put to sea a naval force modeled on Western Lines. No longer could the United States make the claim that the Commonwealth would have to rely on American aid to defend her interests.

    At 10 A.M. the fleet wired back to Sangely Point that air operations against Clark were to begin in four hours. While the fleet maneuvered into position Andrada began to plan the fleet’s speed trial exercised aimed at the Japanese island of Taiwan. While the fleet would not cross into recognized Japanese waters, the Home Fleet would maneuver close enough for their radio singles to be picked up by the Japanese. The hope of the Quezon Administration was that the Imperial Navy would be more cautious on news of the Commonwealth’s naval capabilities. Failing that, maneuvers make an excellent morale boost and would cement the Commonwealth’s lead as one of Asia’s leading naval powers.

    At 2 P.M. Manila time the exercise against Clark began. US and Commonwealth pilots had been told ahead of that the there was an air drill scheduled for the 5th. However, they were not informed on when the drill would take place to maintain as much realism as possible. Relay stations 10 miles outside of the airbase spotted the City class Aircraft Carriers airwings at 2:30 P.M. But the carriers still managed to jump the land based wings and dropped their complement of paper Mache bombs on the runway. Though harmless these clusters of paper cast all those who doubted the power of the sea based plane into believers in Carrier warfare. 1 airwing and the No. 1 runway at Clark were judged be inoperable if the exercise was real. At 3:10 P.M. the exercise was terminated and all Carrier Wings made their way back to their respective ships.

    After spending the night taking on supplies at Subic, the fleet made its way into the South China Sea proper. This expanse of wide ocean would be the initial battlefield of any Filipino-Japanese fleet action. The collapse of French power in the region had encouraged the Commonwealth to occupy the length of the Spratley Islands to deny any possible staging posts for aerial assaults of the home islands. The Home Fleet visited the major posts to deliver fresh supplies and new transceiver equipment to the Commonwealth garrisons. With this task completed the fleet began to steam for the Babuyan Islands and Taiwan.

    This string of islands marked the sea between Luzon and Taiwan and formed the next most likely battleground for the Home Fleet. As the fleet began approaching Taiwanese waters and much to the delight of the fleet, Japanese radio stations began to be picked up. A strange mix of military music and clearly Western inspired music prevailed on the airwaves, punctuated by the occasional new broadcast. Or at least the Filipino crews assumed they were news broadcasts; fluency with the Japanese language was never a requirement for induction in the fleet. Meanwhile Andrada had his communications officers observe the known Japanese military channels. Though these messages could not be deciphered the amount of traffic could be gauged and sorted by area. Via this method the Admiral had a reasonable amount of information to ascertain whether or not the Japanese had detected the Home Fleet. Strangely military traffic had not ignorantly changed during the duration of the operation. Either the Japanese had known about the operation from the beginning of had cared enough to screen for a Commonwealth Fleet operating in the area. The US did continue to claim that the final responsibility for defense of the islands rested with them. As later events would prove the Japanese continued to view the Commonwealth Navy as simply an extension of the US Asiatic Fleet; this would be an assumption Tokyo would later regret.


    --

    This is the last update before the war begins and the moment everyone’s been waiting for. Will the Commonwealth stand up to the invaders or will Quezon and Company be cut down like dry grass? Find out in the next exciting and much more combat packed installment of the ‘Pearl of the Orient’.

  18. #58
    Major Kasakka's Avatar

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    I would say "good luck, you'll need it!" if the AI was even a bit better. But as it is now, I doubt you'll have any difficulties whatsoever in keeping them out. It just doesn't know how to make landings...
    However, your writing is so superb that I'll follow regardless, and shall eagerly wait for the first wartime update of this marvelous AAR!
    Support Tibetan, support Basque, support Catalan, support Chechnyan, Québécois, Tamili, Acehian, Kurdish and Kosovian independence!
    Free country for all who want one, dammit.

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

  19. #59
    Action, yes!

  20. #60
    Waiting eagerly.

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