Night over the Rising Sun
"Somebody set up us the bomb"
1305 April 21st 1945
Diplomatic Offices, Berlin, Germany
As the news were rolling in minute after minute, von Ribbentrop was busy beyond limit trying to give a meaning to the huge stream of information that reached his desk. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Head of Intelligence, was with him. Minutes after, he picked up a phone linking to the Reichstag.1335 April 21st 1945
"Eh?... Yes, it is that important. No... no, I can't disclose anything at all now!"
"What did they say?" Kaltenbrunner asked.
"I couldn't talk to Bormann, looks like he's busy playing golf."
The two were about to go to the Reichstag anyways, but a few minutes later the phone rang.
"Yes? Ah, Martin. Yes... it's a delicate matter. We need an emergency cabinet set up as soon as possible... Understood." Von Ribbentrop ended the phone talk.
"Wants you to play golf with him?"
"No Ernst, we have a cabinet meeting thirty minutes from now."
Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
Everybody had a premonition of what was going to happen. In this hurried meeting were von Ribbentrop, Kaltenbrunner and Guderian. Martin Bormann arrived soon after.
"So here we are, gentlemen. What happened, Joachim?"
"Something terrible. Awaited, but terrible nonetheless.
"We got signal of a possible Japanese surrender days ago already with the demise of Siam. What is it, is it that Japan has surrendered already?"
"It's that indeed."
"This is how things stand, gentlemen. Over the last hours I have received an unstoppable stream of news coming from our operatives in Asia. Apparently the Japanese forces have signed an unconditional surrender. Manchukuo has been annexed by the Soviet Union, Japan is now an US puppet state, China regained all her territories lost to the Japanese, and so does Korea. All of Japan, which was well on the way to destruction, now belongs to the USA as a puppet nation."
"That's impossible! We knew Japan had no chance to survive for long, but such a quick surrender, with most of their Army in Chinese soil, is unbelievable! Joachim, are you sure your information is reliable?"
"I'm afraid it is, Martin. Apart from our Asian operatives, we've received several desperate messages from people we've never communicated with before."
"Yamamoto, Ozawa and other skilled Japanese commanders are still alive and are leading what is left of the IJN still afloat and in open seas; they refused to lay down their arms and pledged allegiance to us and are now seeking refuge. They will try to travel thousands of kilometers trying to reach the safer port of Bordeaux. Whether they will make it alive or not, we cannot know at the moment. But there's more."
"I received word that more than thirty Japanese divisions and several Bomber and Fighter squadrons are trying to march all the way from China to Berlin. It is a foolish but desperate move from more than three-hundred soldiers that do not want to surrender in any way. But I doubt they will ever reach our homeland alive."2200 April 23rd 1945
"That is stunning! I thought the Japanese were a bit early to sign a surrender treaty now, but the heroism of such people just surprises me!" Guderian was particularly moved from this news.
"Well, it is unlikely they will make more than one hundred kilometers of distance. Anyways, the surrender of Japan is fact and we will not benefit from this. Joachim, keep us informed if news evolve in Asia. For the moment there's little we can do as usual, so let's come back to our usual business: the Soviets".
Diplomatic Offices, Berlin, Germany
The trail of news did not end at von Ribbentrop's desk, and once again he had some big news to tell. Needless to say, a new emergency meeting was scheduled.2220 April 23rd 1945
Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
"More news from Asia, gentlemen."
"Good or bad?"
"Might be good, perhaps."
"As Guderian predicted, with Japan eliminated Asia has a hollow sphere of influence, which has to be occupied by either the Soviet Union or the United States. This surely stirs up tension between the two superpowers, as such balance of power is undefined. Korea is one of such examples: the North is under the Communist sphere of influence, the South pledges his allegiance to the US. There's more."
"Just one day after the surrender of Japan, Mao and Chiang are bitter rivals once again. The Chinese Civil War restarted again so fast, and their common enemy has just been defeated one day ago. There is surely much resentment between the two factions. I wouldn't be surprised if one day we see Korea being theatre of a phony war between the Soviet Union and the United States."0900 April 24th 1945
"All in all, considering what happened just yesterday, this can be considered good news. We'll follow the Asian situation closely. For now, make sure we get those Japanese ships to our ports. And make sure we have enough tombstones for those heroes trying to travel all the way from China to Berlin."
"Where do we find 300,000 tombstones?"
"Well, Speer might have some Industrial Capacity to spare. Ask him."
Once again, Ringel and many German commanders had much better news. German troops had not been advised about the sudden change in Asia, as it would hurt their morale that was experiencing a new high these days.
In one day, three Soviet divisions formally ceased to exist, leaving the still fresh Armored divisions more exposed to the fearless Luftwaffe.
German fighters scored another win against unescorted Soviet bombers, which would be so stubborn to fly again.
Von Falkenstein intercepted them again, and inflicted further damage, yet not enough to bring them completely down.0800 April 28th 1945
While the Soviets had defended so tenaciously for weeks, it took just days to render their situation hopeless as their strenght and morale crumbled to absolute zero. Soviet no-retreat policy was beginning to give its fruits.
Two Soviet divisions had been destroyed in less than one day of bombing, and many more would await their same fate.0700 April 29th 1945
Gaspar Strait, off the coast of Somarang
Thanks to the Japanese, the Germans now knew the Soviets actually had a fleet of sort.
Japanese submarines would escape this futile blockade for now, but the journey would still be long.