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Thread: Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two

  1. #5881
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Now I wonder what the Commies Yanks are doing in the Pacific...
    Crashing uselessly against the Japanese like waves against a cliff.
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  2. #5882
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperhawkZ View Post
    Crashing uselessly against the Japanese like waves against a cliff.
    Wavews will eventually corode a cliff. More like cottonballs against a cliff.

  3. #5883
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Larkin View Post
    Wavews will eventually corode a cliff. More like cottonballs against a cliff.
    I think the idea is that yes, they do eventually exhaust Japanese manpower and resources.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperhawkZ View Post
    I think the idea is that yes, they do eventually exhaust Japanese manpower and resources.
    Succesful Americans? In this TL? That simply can not be allowed.

  5. #5885
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Kurt_Steiner More on that soon.

    ViperhawkZ Not quite.

    Agent Larkin&ViperhawkZ Actually the Americans have one more major campaign laid on for this year, taking the Marshal Islands. That said, the campaign will be a bloody one.
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  6. #5886
    Trekaddict

    One problem with the encyclopaedic entries. Why the hell aren't we getting 3 a day!

    Actually the shipyards will probably still contract fairly sharply once the war is over simply because money will be short and so many ships already in service. However the continued threat from the US, with a strong naval element to it will ensure the Andrew doesn't fade like OTL.

    "chocking on a chicken-bone Colonel Sanders" -

    Steve

  7. #5887
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    The Andrew won't faint much. True, the pre-war Dreadnoughts and BCs (save Warspite and Hood) will be gone by 1950, along with all of the pre-war Carriers (including the Lusties) by 1960 but there will be lots of new construction. The Merchant Navies of Britain and France have suffered much (though not as much as OTL), all in all enough to prevent the dying of shipyards we saw IOTL. So for the moment Britannia will go on ruling the waves, as is proper.

    These entries will be more frequent the farther we get away from the point of divergence, though not three a day.


    Also, whilst I go there all too rarely I adore KFC.
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  8. #5888
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    Darn it. I'll have to do something for the British shipyards in my own AAR...
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  9. #5889
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Ayup. Massive RN construction programme? Germany buying four KGVs with German guns? KGVs with 3x triple turrets?
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  10. #5890
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    Ayup. Massive RN construction programme? Germany buying four KGVs with German guns? KGVs with 3x triple turrets?
    Mmmmh, interesting idea. Perhaps the KGM may buy, during or after the war, three or four Illustrious/Implacable carrier. Or the Malta class
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  11. #5891
    what I am interested to see is what is going to happen in China as we know that the current Chinese government is going to collapse, and you know I honestly can imagine people in Britain being happy if the British just stopping at the Philippines, basically saying we forcing Japan out of land they took when the war started but none of the land that they had pre war

  12. #5892
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    The Chinese Government will hold on, because for the moment the Soviets are ironically the bigger threat to China and must be fought, so at least in the northern Region they have considerable support.

    As for the Japanese question, I can see that too but due to spoilers I can't say more than this will be considered.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  13. #5893
    Trekaddict

    In case you're not aware, you may need to clear out you're private message buffer. Tried replying and got a response "trekaddict has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space."

    Steve

  14. #5894
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevep View Post
    Trekaddict

    In case you're not aware, you may need to clear out you're private message buffer. Tried replying and got a response "trekaddict has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space."

    Steve

    About to be done.
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  15. #5895
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    Chapter 334


    The British were coming. For most of the soldiers in the Japanese 2nd Guards Division the fight was far from over even though many of their Officers quietly felt that for them the war was about to end. The British Marines that faced them were nothing like the decadent, weak western Soldiers the new recruits among them had been told to expect and they were frighteningly well equipped.

    Their Artillery seemed to be everywhere at once and they had used the accursed guns with gusto, relentlessly pushing northward. Two full Artillery Brigades were concentrated on near where the 2nd Guards was holding the line from the coast to six miles in-land, but what they did not know was that this was merely a distraction.


    The Japanese had been constructing this line since it had become apparent that the British had forced the way open to Singapore and ever since the 1st Royal Marine Division had been moved to Singapore and stayed there efforts had been redoubled.

    However Major General Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, commander of the 1st Marine Division was in no mood to slam his head into field fortifications, being far too impatient for a to his mind lengthy breakthrough battle or trudging through the jungle and countryside for hours.

    So instead he detached 5th Marine Regiment, loaded them onto landing craft and in an operation remeniscent of the crossing of the Johore straits[1] send them on landing craft to the south of Melaka and between the town and the Japanese lines.

    The Japanese had not expected anything like this and the group of Royal Marines rampaged through their rear areas, one squad even going so far as to hoist the Union Flag atop city hall in the town, thereby capturing the commanding General of the Japanese 2nd Corps. This loss of higher command and the accompanying artillery fire and probing attacks, after dawn joined by increasing air attacks by RAF Infiltrators[2] and Close Air Support aircraft froze the 2nd Guards Division in place. Air support was weak, as Singapore could not yet hold as many aircraft as were really needed.

    Still one Regiment wasn't a large force and thus, with the permission of General Hunton, then CO of the I Royal Marines Corps an all-out attack against the Japanese was launched.

    Japanese resistance was uncharacteristically weak and uncoordinated at the Division and Brigade level but individual companies, squads and sometimes even sections fought to the death in places but enough holes in their lines were opened by Royal Marine Artillery and Royal Artillery.


    But that left two Divisions almost totally unengaged on that day. The 56th Infantry to the immediate left of the 2nd Guards and the Chinese 300th Infantry. These days Chinese Divisions were never deployed in the actual front against Allied Forces as past experience and traditional Japanese disdain for the Chinese conspired to make them less than even cannonfodder and third rate troops barely fit for guard duties.

    And had there not been the very real and (at that time at least) immediate threat of being cut off the 300th would have been moved back to China where the best and most reliable Divisions were always desperately needed. Since there was no way of moving them away one might as well use them as a local reserve.

    Orders thus went out to the 56th and the 300th to attack the 1st Marines in the flank. For the 56th these orders were only that, since with the loss of the Corps Commander these orders had come directly from General Kuribayashi to the Division command post only after the 2nd Marine Division had engaged them and the Royal Canadian Marine Division kept others from interfering with the battle that was dismantling the far right flank of the Japanese line.

    However what was far worse than that was that the sheer distance and lack of passable roads (of which a lot were pre-sighted by Allied Artillery) made any reinforcement difficult at best.

    What broke the Japanese on that day however was the Royal Marine Armoured Support Group. This company-sized formation was equipped with the Centaur I, an off-shoot of an early Cromwell prototype that was equipped with the same Ordnance QF 95-mm Howitzer that was used by the Army's Churchill class Assault Guns. Here in this environment even the less than stellar armour penetration abilities and long-range accuracy of the gun did not matter and thus the RMASG was sent with the 10th Marine Regiment to attack into the rear areas of the Japanese Guards.




    Due to the low number of roads and the still reigning confusion (after the 5th had cut the lines to and captured the main telephone exchange in the town) the 2nd Guards Division was cut off for all intents and purposes. The Japanese could (and over the next hours some did) escape through the countryside but most units were totally unaware of the fact that they couldn't retreat anywhere even if they had desired to do so.

    The Division's commander however did know it. He was part of a group of Officers like Kuribayashi that, while the term 'Jeune Ecole' is overstating things, was looking into fighting the war by western methods as far as possible. Unlike Kuribayashi he had been travelling Britain extensively before the war at the behest of none less than the Emperors brother and thus 'knew' that in any situation like this he was running out of options and that any British Division commander would soon consider surrender.

    While this did in turn understate the tenacity of any more or less regular British commander surrender was indeed the only option open to him. The 56th was far too engaged with more British Marines and in any case, it was too far away to react quickly enough.

    The 300th on the other hand would have been able to engage the Royal Marines after only marching south-west for less than a few minutes only that... they did not move, nor was the Japanese chief 'advisor' on their staff anywhere near a wireless set.

    That was because he had been shot hours ago. The Chinese commander and for that matter all of his Brigade and Regimental commanders had no love for the Japanese and getting them to accept his orders had been easy. Republic of China Flags that had been hastily made over the last night and their few vehicles were adorned with the white star on the roofs. Orders were going out by both messengers and over the rare Division and Regimental wireless sets. The 300th Division of the Chinese State Army was surrendering to the Allied Powers.

    This also reached the commander of the 2nd Guards Division. He was furious but was also a reserved man at nature so he eventually forced himself to examine the situation carefully. Whether or not the Allies accepted the surrender of the 300th Division, the 2nd Guards was now almost six miles from the nearest Japanese unit with jungle and vengeful Royal Marines.

    Now any Allied commander would have started considering surrender, but the 2nd Guards of the Imperial Japanese Army would not surrender any more than the Guards Infantry and Armoured Divisions of the British Army would.


    By four in the afternoon the day's fighting was over as both sides took stock of their position.

    In spite of his failings in estimating the likely actions of his opponents he did know that the British would seek to destroy his command and his men and resistance would serve no purpose at all. The Singapore Siege force had been torn apart and Malaya was lost. In a singular occasion he thus ordered an offer of surrender to be broadcast, committing suicide right after making sure that his largest still coherent subunits had accepted the orders.

    In the days and weeks to come this would be seen as cowardice by the Japanese High Command and the General's name was expunged from the list of the fallen of the Division, it was acted as if he had never existed. Meanwhile in the Allied camp it exited no further notice, especially with the goings on elsewhere but it would be remembered almost wistfully.




    British and Japanese Officers walking to the surrender ceremony of the Japanese 2nd Guards Division[3]



    But however one thought about the surrender, one thing had been accomplished. The Japanese position in Malaya had been broken beyond repair. Over the next two days the Allied Marines not only accepted the surrender of the 300th but also brought the other Japanese units to battle and dispatched them in a series of pitched and hard-fought battles. Less than a week after the Marines had crossed the straits the way up towards where the Free China Army was marching down towards them.


    While all this was going on the Dutch on Sumatra were finding that even starving Japanese troops could put up a fight. By the time the 2nd Guards Division they had pushed the Japanese into a perimeter along the northern tip of the Island and it would take them another week to dig them out of this position because by that time the forces there knew they were doomed and with nowhere else to go they fought to the death almost to a man.[4]


    That did not mean that the Japanese were taking all this lying down. However their response was mainly by air. The Navy was massing in the Philippines to defend against the expected American move against the Marianas. Because of this the response was mainly by air and that ran against the intentions of the Fleet Air Army and the Royal Air Force.

    While far from one-sided the air-battles over the South China Sea and the Gulf of Siam generally favoured the Allies who not only had the advantage of RDF (in this case aboard Carriers, Dreadnoughts and Cruisers but also (unknowingly) began to benefit from the fact that the Allied training machine could produce more and better pilots. These days the Japanese Navy concentrated the surviving veterans of the Chinese conquests and the earlier battles with the Carriers, just as the Japanese Army send a large part of it's best pilots against the Soviets.

    So one for one Allied pilots were better trained than their Japanese counterparts while at that time the British were not yet (like the Americans) having only Officer pilots any average British Flyer had far more flying hours before his first deployment than his Japanese or let alone Chinese counterpart.

    Losses were still high and no less than four Destroyers were lost, with heavy damage to several more and four cruisers but the cost was deemed appropriate for the liberation of Malaya and thus at last security for the Indian Ocean, the lines of communications to the ANZAC countries and most of all the turn-around of the Japanese once and for all.

    +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    Comments, questions, rotten Tomatoes?

    [1] Yes, Millin was there, played the pipes and survived.

    [2] Tactical Bombers.

    [3] I just had to use that picture at some point.

    [4] Think of it kind of like the liberation of Guam IOTL. Parts of the Island were never fought over as the Japanese withdrew to a prepared position for a final stand.
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    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
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  16. #5896
    so now the empires land is fully liberated and now its time for the empire to strike back into the Japanese I would say once they finish on Siam and begin to move to the Philippines they should consider an attack on Taiwan

  17. #5897
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppelin247 View Post
    so now the empires land is fully liberated and now its time for the empire to strike back into the Japanese I would say once they finish on Siam and begin to move to the Philippines they should consider an attack on Taiwan
    Southeast Asia might be a bit more difficult, since the locals joined up with Japan on their own initiative. The Thais and Vietnamese especially should be a bit more difficult than the Empire's nationalities or the Chinese.
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  18. #5898
    are the French and Dutch going to make any kind of reforms to their empires after the war?

  19. #5899
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    I always thought that the pic of the Commonwealth and Japanese officers when Singapore surrendered was misleading, because the Japs looked a bit haggard
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  20. #5900
    Quote Originally Posted by ViperhawkZ View Post
    Southeast Asia might be a bit more difficult, since the locals joined up with Japan on their own initiative. The Thais and Vietnamese especially should be a bit more difficult than the Empire's nationalities or the Chinese.
    Possibly, although the area has been occupied by the Japanese for a year or so under more stressful circumstances than OTL so their welcome might well be wearing thin. Also there is the factor that between the empire and the Soviets attacking in the north the prospects for a Japanese victory are looking grim so at least some will be looking to the future and not seeing a red sun.

    Steve

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