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Thread: The Greater Japanese Empire - A Japan 1936 AAR

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    The Greater Japanese Empire - A Japan 1936 AAR

    The Greater Japanese Empire - A Japan 1936 AAR

    Part One
    January-February 1936
    The 2-2-6 Coup


    On January 1st 1936 the Japanese Cabinet met to consider the issue of the completion of the conquest of China, and it was decided that over the course of the next two years that an expansionist mainland Chinese policy would be implemented. Emperor Hirohito personally ratified this policy and Imperial General Headquarters were asked to draw up war plans for continued expansion into China. Further, it was decided that any new military operation should begin before the end of the year at the latest and that “military preparations should commence forthwith to that effect”.

    *


    In the upper echelons of government the decision was taken to focus research efforts on industrial technologies so that Japan may make more efficient use of her moderately sized industrial base. To that end, Mitsui (which specialised in chemical manufacture and industrial engineering) was contracted to research and develop improvements in machine tools. Additionally, in light of the scarcity of domestic oil supplies and the reliance on foreign imports, Sumimoto was tasked with improving the synthetic oil refinery process.

    Alongside industrial research and development, the decision was taken to direct research towards infantry and land war based tactical and strategic doctrines and developments. Tomoyoki Yamashita was asked to personally oversee developments of early field hospital systems and the Tokyo Arsenal was tasked with the producing equipment for mountain infantry personnel. Finally, Hideki Tojo was asked to develop his concept of deep logistics organisation.

    *


    Armaments Minister Machida Chuji was directed to implement the policy of greater state involvement in industry. It was thought that with greater central planning in the economy, industry could be made more efficient and made to work much more for the needs of the military.

    Chuji was a busy man in January. At the start of 1936 the Japanese military was equipped with obsolete weapons systems and equipment. The decision was therefore taken to increase funding of upgrade efforts, and Armaments Minister Machida Chuji was to implement this policy. Right across the Japanese military decades old weapons and equipment were scrapped and replaced with newer models.

    *


    With the decision taken to implement an expansionist mainland Chinese policy over the course of the next two years, it was obvious to those in power that the Imperial Japanese Army would have to be expanded as quickly as possible. Additional infantry and militia divisions were to be recruited, with the overall aim of increasing the number of foot infantry divisions (which at the start of the year stood at 25) and bulking out newly formed corps with hastily recruited militia.

    *


    In January a report crossed the desk of intelligence chiefs detailing the potential risk of revolts, in both the annexed Chinese province of Dalian and the island of Taipei. Local partisan forces and bandits had been reported operating in these areas, and so four garrison divisions that had been stationed in the north of the Japanese archipelago, were swiftly relocated to these trouble spots and assigned anti-partisan duties.

    *


    In early February 1936 Japanese Secret Services intercepted a message from the United States of America to a Japanese American citizen living in Tokyo. Once decrypted it was clear that this individual was a spy who was being instructed to begin disseminating various falsehoods about the Japanese political elite. Immediately efforts were made to apprehend this individual. Furthermore, funding was made available in order to allow a counter-intelligence operation to begin. Shortly afterwards the spy was arrested and found to be in possession of literature questioning Emperor Hirohito’s mental health and which also made several claims of the cabinet. The spy was later executed. The ensuing diplomatic incident seriously undermined relations between the two parties. At a cabinet meeting in late February the issue of the United States of America and her new belligerent foreign policy was raised and it was decided that the Japanese Secret Services were to begin forthwith planning and preparations for Japanese covert operations against the United States in response. They were to present to the cabinet on the 1st March 1936 various plans from which to choose.

    *



    Coup troops occupy the Nagata-cho area in Tokyo during the February 26th coup.

    On February 26th a group of young officers who sympathised with the political ideals recorded in An Outline Plan for the Reorganisation of Japan and whose slogan was “the Showa restoration” and “Revere the Emperor, Expel the Evils” launched a coup attempt. With approximately 1,483 soldiers they targeted six political leaders, including Prime Minister Okada Keisuke and Finance Minister Takahashi Korekiyo. The building of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department was occupied by coup troops, along with the official residence of Home Minister Goto Fumio and several other buildings in Tokyo.

    When told of the coup, and fearing bloodshed on the streets of Tokyo, the Emperor ordered that their demands should be “listened to”. With the coup a success the liberal Taisho democracy was abolished, political parties outlawed and so-called “dissidents” arrested. Power now lay in the hands of Emperor Hirohito and the military leadership. Ushio Shigenosuke replaced Goto Fumio as Home Minister, Fujita Hisanori replaced Osumi Mineo as Chief of the Navy, Kawasaki Takukichi replaced Machida Chuji as Armaments Minister, Takasu Shiro became Head of Intelligence, while Oikawa Koshiro replaced Yamamoto Isoroku as Chief of the Air Force. Finally, Senjuro Hayashi replaced Okada Keisuke as Prime Minister in this new authoritarian and extreme nationalist government.


    ---

    Notes: I am playing vanilla Doomsday with the last patch installed, on medium difficulty and medium aggressiveness, as Japan in the ‘36 scenario.

    I decided to play as Japan since I can’t seem to recall ever really getting my teeth into a good game as Japan back in the day, and I thought it would be an interesting challenge. I haven’t played Hearts of Iron 2 for about four years, so I thought I’d write an AAR -- I always find that in games where a lot of planning is involved, writing an AAR along the way helps me to organise my thoughts and I usually play a bit better.

    As I say I haven’t played this game for years and I am going to be very rusty. I am sure I will make mistakes and lose battles, but I will not be reloading or cheating in any way; what happens happens and I will write about it in the AAR.

    Also, since I am writing this more as an aid to my gameplay than anything else, I may make historical mistakes in my writing, and I will be giving more of an overview of events as opposed to really detailed descriptions.

    I plan to update once or twice every week, with each update covering months of gameplay. Unless something drastic happens (like my computer dies or something) I intend to carry on until the end of the game.

  2. #2
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Okay, cool. I will follow this.
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  3. #3
    Part Two
    March-June 1936
    The Siam-Japanese War


    On the 1st March 1936 Takasu Shiro presented the new government in Tokyo with possible covert operations that could be carried out against the United States of America in response to the foiled smear campaign of the previous month. Of all the available options, Shiro favoured a campaign of industrial espionage and sabotage. The cabinet agreed and Emperor Hirohito approved Operation Kanban, which would see agents recruited and dispatched to the United States throughout the remainder of the year. These agents would then initiate a campaign of industrial sabotage and industrial espionage during 1937.

    At the start of the month only three Japanese spies were active in the United States, and these were joined by four more by the end of June. There were notable failures, however, and on four separate occasions American authorities were able to uncover these activities. Despite this, and amidst worsening Japanese-US relations, Operation Kanban was ordered to continue, the new hardline Japanese government unwilling to back down.

    *


    May saw the development by Mitsui of improved machine tools, which by years end was estimated to have boosted industrial output by 5%. Mitsui then proceeded further with such research, and began research and development on improved welding techniques and industrial ceramics.

    *


    By May 1936 it was clear the deficit in Japanese raw materials would have to be dealt with sooner rather than later. A shortage of metals and rare materials were identified as threatening industrial output. The political and military elite debated the issue, and the Emperor favoured taken what resources were required via conquest. With Japan not yet ready for a second war on mainland China, nor a conflict with any of the European colonial powers, Siam was quickly identified as the source of these raw materials, with their southernmost provinces Singora and Kra in particular being resource rich.

    The plan drawn up by the Imperial General Headquarters called for an amphibious invasion by 12 divisions in total in the south of the country, to begin late June/early July, and then to advance northwards to the capital “as soon as is feasibly possible”.

    *


    On June 20th the Japanese foreign ministry reported that Guangxi Clique had declared war upon Nationalist China. With planning and preparations for the proposed Japanese war on the mainland continuing, this was a situation that was to be monitored closely.

    *



    Japanese troops pictured in Singora province.

    On June 24th the Empire of Japan formally declared upon Siam. Only minutes later the landings began, with the nine divisions of General Shima’s newly formed 1 Gundan spilling onto the invasion beaches. After days at sea these troops were reportedly eager to complete their mission and secure Singora province. Opposing Shima’s men were Major General Chitnasongkhla’s single division. The fighting on the beaches was quickly won by Japanese troops and Chitnasongkhla’s men fell back to the interior of the province. The battle for Singora was won when Japanese units, who had advanced quickly ahead of the main force, were able to ambush the remnants of the enemy division opposing them. On the 27th of June the battle for Singora was over, with Siamese forces routed and Shima advancing north into Kra. It was during the battle of Singora that General Shima won his reputation as an excellent “hills fighter”.

    *


    In response to Japanese aggression against Siam the United States of America and the Netherlands unilaterally cancelled trade agreements with Japan. President Roosevelt announced an embargo on all oil exports to Japan and the Dutch enacted legislation to cutoff supplies of rare materials. Despite the American oil embargo Japanese oil production exceeded consumption. However, the Imperial Japanese Navy estimated that at current levels it had less than 12 months of oil stockpiles in the event of a major war breaking out in the Pacific.

  4. #4
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Getting the oil embargo in 1936...too early for comfort. I hope you can find a way out of that problem.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    Getting the oil embargo in 1936...too early for comfort. I hope you can find a way out of that problem.
    Yes, I wasn't quite expecting that. I am running an oil surplus, but as soon as I start moving my ships around, the stockpile goes down. In my next update I deal with how I replaced the loss of rare materials from the Dutch (which I needed to do to keep my industry moving), but clearly the oil issue is hugely important and will need addressing before long -- certainly before any major naval war begins. I'll proably have to trade for it, but it'll be tight what with all the things I want to do.

  6. #6
    Part Three
    July-December 1936
    Victory Against Siam


    Early July saw General Shima’s 1 Gundan defeat the enemy in Kra province in a battle that lasted less than 48 hours. After a few days rest and recuperation, Japanese forces advanced once again and by the 11th Thon Buri province was won from enemy hands. Only hours after this defeat the Siamise leadership offered peace terms. Six provinces, including the resource rich Singora and Kra regions, would be ceded to Japan. The Emperor, on the advice of his military leadership, accepted these terms and so the war was over and peace restored between Japan and Siam. Some had argued that the war should continue until the entirety of Siamise lands were subjugated, but the argument that the goals of the war were won and that Japan should not exert herself needlessly when a major campaign against China was only months away, won the day. With potential enemies surrounding these newly conquered lands, 1 Gundan was ordered to garrison the area.

    *


    On the morning of the 14th of September the Japanese Secret Service arrested a Chinese national in Japanese administered China on suspicion of espionage. Evidence pointed to this individual acting on behalf of the Nationalist Chinese leadership. He was tried, found guilty, and executed as a spy.

    *


    The Japanese ambassador in Berlin successfully completed the negotiation of a trade deal which would see German raw materials replace those lost when the Dutch cancelled trade links with Japan in response to the Siam-Japanese war.

    *



    Japanese economic report, December 1936.

    Further advances in industrial manufacture saw Japanese industrial output boosted a further 5%. Armaments Minister Kawasaki Takukichi was instructed to invest further in industry, with automation the next major industrial technological advance to be pursued.


    Notes: Probably not that realistic for me to accept the terms offered by Siam, but the provinces I had my eye would be mine and I had other, more important goals to think about -- I didn’t want to spend too much time and energy where I didn’t need to.

    Everything seems to be progressing nicely. I have agents in place to launch a wave of espionage attacks against the US next year and my army expansion will allow me to field enough units for the Chinese campaign I plan launching next year (I was going to do it this year but Japan is not ready). The only problem I have is the oil issue.

  7. #7
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    I am looking forward to seeing what kind of havoc you wage on the US.
    "In America, anybody can be President. That's one of the risks you take."
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  8. #8
    I'll have to end this, I've had computer problems and I lost the save game.

    I played for a bit longer until that happened though. My intel actions were largely failures, although two did get through (tech team sabotage and industrial sabotage). My war with China had also begun and I was advancing only very slowly. I had taken a handful of provinces after months of fighting.

  9. #9
    I've always had a fair bit of trouble as Japan fighting China.

    Shame about the save game :/

    I didn't comment but I was interested in this. I hope to see more from you!
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  10. #10
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    I am sorry to hear that.
    "In America, anybody can be President. That's one of the risks you take."
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    The Presidents: The Vietnam War Edition
    President of the United States in 1962: Henry M. Jackson (Democrat-Washington)

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