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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Advance North: The 'Allies' and Imperial Japan

japanesedocvig.jpg

VictoryInManchuria.jpg

Japan In Manchuria


Contents:
May '36 - Aug '36 Reigning In the Millitary
Aug '36 - Jan '37 The Army Strikes Back


Most Japanese AAs follow the historical path of Japan during the years 1935-1945 with invasions of China and the general ‘Advance South’ policy which was designed to give the IJN more influence in military matters and try and prevent a northern expedition against the Soviets.

In this AAR I will be attempting to show a different route in more ways than one; firstly this AAR will focus on a Japan that has its eye on Manchuria and increasing belligerency with the Soviets. Secondly it is going to follow a more conservative Japan, one in which during the 2-2-6 incident and afterwards the government in Tokyo is able to help reign in the military factions, and thus exercise more sensible policy and tactics in the conflagaration that is world war two. Thirdly unlike in many other Japanese games I will be following the historical military equipment path for Imperial Japan, somewhat neglecting to modernise the army and pouring most efforts into air and naval design.

Part of this is that I will not chose my own alignment (yet) to any of the three factions and instead it will be left to natural drift to see where I end up. Thus my long term opportunities and strategies will be limited by a randomness factor. In addition to this I will give you, the readers, an opportunity to influence my game by at the end of every update giving you an ‘event decision’ for how you wish Japan or her neighbours to act. This means that you will be able to influence other nations to befriend or antagonise me in my game and not give myself full control.
Finally I have reduced the game victory conditions to mostly very basic ones with each faction group having at least 1 more difficult condition. The goal being that in this game I have to try and prevent or beat one of the major ideology groups from gaining their conditions.



House Rules & Modifications:
-HPP SF Plus;
--Three more international status levels and a production efficiency/leadership ratio balanced for an S curve between Hyperpower and Undeveloped Nation

--Intelligence, Weather, Politics given more randomness and strength.

--Improved .Lua scripts that give more emphasis on naval and air builds for majors and less for minors and mid minors leaving armies more competitive on size.

--I have opened up several other nations like the Ukraine and Algeria to spice up the game and introduce a more interesting war in Europe to follow (although they don't appear to all stay 'in game' reverting back to their major as if annexed).

-I shall be using AI command for divisional movements.

-No very gamey tactics like Para dropping a capital etc.

-V.Hard difficulty in the sense of +75% IC for AIs and supply bonuses for them, malus for me etc.

I have not played these settings before other than the modded aspects to check balance (several times) and so should be entering a game setup that I would not otherwise be familiar with.

JAPMAN.jpg

What was Imperial Japan’s aims in Asia throughout the Meiji era?
The first thing we must recognise when talking about Imperial Japan is that its history is based right back in the 1860s well before the turn of the last century. Furthermore we must know that Imperial Japan never really was on a par with the rest of the western world, agriculturally, politically, industrially and finally militarily. The point being that one cannot analyse Imperial Japan just in the context of 1935-1945 because it fails to recognise the entire history of the country that governs its actions within the second world war.

The 1800s:
Japan had heard of the 'gunboat diplomacy' that the west had pursued in China, and how the western powers had carved up the coastal regions of China and imposed their colonial will on it. This meant that in the late 1860s when the west tried to 'open up Japan' like China, the Japanese coincided to western co-operation rather than suffer auspice. This helped both end the old regimes and forge the new ones with unrest caused from 'capitulating' to another power and not standing up for Japan’s own honour, thus forming Japan’s central government.

Since the central government now controlled the tax revenue from the old daimyo domains, it, in effect overnight became a lot stronger than feudal Japan had been.

This allowed the very first central army to be formed based on conscription, rather than samurai privilege. This army would be trained by both Europeans and later American officers so literally from the grass roots, Imperial Japan had been brought from medieval warfare to early industrial level. As part of this, the early Meiji central army was totally designed on the basis of defence from foreign invasion and internal security given the unrest from the old samurai class. Thus the early basis for central authority.

After the 1870s the old samurai lost in a new Japan stripped of their privileges often found their only recourse was to join the central military, and hence find an outlet for their 'talents'.

This meant that by this period you have a totally new, up-to-date military populated with an officer class brought up from almost birth with the wish to fight and die with honour, but with no internal warlords to fight any more this officer class began to look abroad. Most notably at Korea. However the regime at the time of the Korean Expedition did not yet have support in the populace, nor did it have the money to sustain any operations.

Thus in time over the 1870s the military budget increased to sometime like 1/3rd of Imperial Japan’s budget, and in the 1880s this led to even further modernisation of the Imperial Armed forces, putting the idea of Korea back into prominence. Given the way China had auspice over Korea these Japanese ambitions would create tension between China and Japan.

While Peking was determined to fight the Japanese over Korea, Japan had prepared for this war for almost 20 years and so in the 1890s the Japanese overran Korea in just a couple of months, surprising at the time, but not surprising given the historical understanding of where Imperial Japan had come to at this point.

Since the Chinese had been caught with their pants down by the time the Japanese were encroaching on the Liaotung peninsular and would soon threaten Peking the Chinese had no recourse themselves except suing for peace.

This capitulation of the Chinese is what might be seen as the very first step in how Japan became to be involved in WWII, had the Chinese not surrendered when they did, the Japanese would have eventually had to settle for a more equal armistice. Thus had they not got other nations to call them the 'most favoured nation in asia' it might not have led to the Japanese getting as arrogant as they did. However this is only speculation.


The World Looks To Asia:
Of course Europe was surprised by the Japanese annexation of Korea. It was never expected that Japan would do as well as they did. Furthermore many powers had their own claims in China and a strong Japan might threaten the status quo.

Thus the Liaotung peninsular became a point of contention.

The European powers pressed for its return to China so that Japan would not directly threaten China. Of course to Imperial Japan this was an utter humiliation. Japan was in no position to make their own demands as they were still reliant on foreign trade in resources and expertise, and didn't want to risk a war with any of the European powers.

This decision on 'upping the anti' can be seen as the second step on Japan’s road to participation in WWII. In Tokyo they had been humiliated. This meant that the armed forces had to be strengthened yet again, literally doubling the strength of the armed forces. There was also decision to align Imperial Japan with the European powers such that if they could play the European powers against one another and gain political clout in Europe. Hence in future they would have one of the European powers backing them.

In 1902 this led to British-Japanese relations improving greatly with an Alliance to counter balance Russian interests in Manchuria. From the British point of view having an ally in Asia, particularly a naval alley would mean that Britain would have a second naval force and friendly bases in Asia should any war arise.

In the context of the times all the European powers were in a naval arms race due to improvements in industrial practice. Britain would soon set her aims to have a fleet twice as large as all other competing nations. This goal was extreme, and because of this they needed friends in the naval community.

From Japan’s point of view this was a great victory as it got Britain to recognise Japan’s interests in China and Korea, and would put Japan in great stead against the Russians.

This quickly led to Japan flexing her muscle against Russia in Manchuria and following Russian reprisal attacks, an declaration of war on Russia in Manchuria. Here we see the famous battle for Port Arthur and invasion of southern Manchuria, again stunning observers and quickly leading to peace as Russia had troubles of social unrest and Japan found yet again its armed forces were not quite sufficient, although they had been underestimated yet again.

Of course the commanders of the time didn't believe they had been underestimated, rather they believed that their troops were better and thus were arrogant. This myth would be continued through much of the early 20thC.

The peace was signed under American auspice and while in home Japan was looked upon that the Japanese had got a raw deal, the military could take pride in its successful foreign policy and overall victory.

With victory came consolidation, Korea would be annexed by 1912, and Manchuria would become an economic outpost for Japan.


The Great War:
Since Imperial Japan’s main issue with further expansion was what the Europeans would do in response, the Great War was a very welcome surprise to the Japanese. It meant that Japan could declare war on Germany and along with the British quickly annex German colonial holdings.

Thus by 1915 the Japanese held a strong position on the Chinese mainland on the Shantung Penisular, Tsingtao, Kiaochow and elsewhere.

What hurt Japan here was their decision to ask for the 21 demands, while they were able to get China to concede to most of the demands, the warning bells had been started to be rung. Thus after the war the Chinese and Americans pressed the issue to return to the status quo at the Paris Peace conference, angering the Japanese, but overall the Japanese stayed in de facto control in China.

By 1923 all these gains were effectively formalised in the Nine Power Treaty, and within Japanese politics their was a mood to internationalism and consolidation. This stance lasted throughout the 1920s and could have been the way of things to come.

In 1930 the political zietguiest changed, Imperial Japan had been reliant like many other nations at the time on American trades and as the world economic crisis would deepen as part of the Great Depression this would come to effect home Japanese well being and create a disenfranchisement of the people towards its government; Why talk of friendship in China when the Chinese would not buy Japanese goods?


Mukden & the 1930s:
Whether or not their had been a militaristic strategy before Mukden to dominate China, the point was that in 1931 the Government had been looking to support the Geneva Disarmament conference and reduce the military's power.

Of course with the military and people seeing a future in China, and with the Soviets rearming and the Military holding the power in Manchuria it was only inevitable that the army would ignore the government in Tokyo and take matters into their own hands.

Thus throughout the period of 1931-1935 with the aid of supporters in Japan and assassination of political leaders unsympathetic to the military, the Japanese 'Control Clique' took command of the government by assassination.


1936 and the 2-2-6 Incident:
Where the game begins, and history differs...
Early 1936 was marked by the naval faction within the armed forces gaining support, several naval vessels were soon to be completed and additional destroyer squadrons had been order corresponding with more technical teams being brought into government plans.

Despite this the Imperial Army still have heavy influence with the armed forces and much of the material needed for these ships was being diverted to military matters.

On February the 26th there was a deplorable incident in the capital at Tokyo one and a half thousand troops moved against the government to assassinate leaders seen to be holding back Japan and create a new Showa era. As several government ministers were assassinated lead officers gained an audience with the Emperor to read out his manifesto.

Troops_occupying_Nagata-cho_1.jpg

Troops occpuying Nagata-cho area, Tokyo.

The Emperor ordered the incident to be squashed immediately and called up units from Kofu and Sakura to guard himself, the government and to restore order. Later that evening having met with the ex-prime minister Kivoura Keigo it was decided at the Emperors order to enact Martial Law and to deal with the coup leaders and soldiers.

In a historical context the Emperor was not happy had having to ‘deal with’ the ‘troops involved’ as they were ‘but his servants’ and acting under good will for Japan. However his mind was swayed across the course of the 27th under advice that the ‘rebels’ be ‘dealt with’.

Across the 28th and 29th the order came direct from the Emperor that the coup was illegal and that military action would follow; the coup being a threat to stability in Japan. The Emperor going so far as to call for those involved to commit suicide, although their actions were in contravention of bushido.

In the aftermath troops loyal to the Emperor restored order within the capital and moved into government buildings to protect ministers and the government. The Emperor making clear that the differences between the armed forces and government would need to be resolved.

On the 3rd of March a new constitution would be formed between the government and military by the people following a round of elections to replace the civilian government. Thus the civil government would be elected by the people in the spirit of the coup, but the military's increasing influence in government matters would be nipped in the bud.

HoI3_18.jpg

The State of Government immidately following the incident

Hirohito would remain the head of state as part of a constitutional monarchy and head of the armed forces. Matters of a civil nature would fall to the SC Seisukai party apart from foreign policy which as an extension of the armed forces was seen to need a military figurehead but who would be responsible to Hirohito. Elsewhere positions in the military would remain with military officials in a two party system. These chiefs of the armed forces would report to the Emperor directly and not be part of the government such that the government and military would not be able to argue over eachs sphere of influence.

In such a regard the Emperor reasserted civilian control over the military by denouncing the rebels in front of their peers, yet at the same time acknowledging the military's demands to a new civilian government preventing a full military incident. By reasserting himself with governmental responsibility and control their was the possibility to reign in the military.

With this new constitution some matters would no longer be the concern of the military. Research and develop, particularly in scientific manners were now the responsibility of the civil government, and no longer under military or the Emperors auspice, as such nuclear scientists even before all the guns had been put back in their lockers lobbied government for funds to construct a new set of cyclotron labs in Tokyo.

HoI3_22-1.jpg

Japanese Production Roster early 1936

Manchukuo:
The period after the 2-2-6 incident was also marked by several trade initives with the State of Manchukuo. Being a puppet state of Japan, Manchukuo was created following the Japanese invaison of Manchuria in 1932 and hence all its surplus resources were sent back to mainland Japan to help fuel her industry.

It was ruled by the last Qing Emperor Pu Yi as regent, but real power lay in the Kwangtung armed forces. Manchuria lacked oil and supplies needed for its economy and millitary and traded for these with Japan during this period.


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Mogami Class Crusier

Event Decisions:
EDIT: Unfortunatly the moderators of the board have decided in their wisdom, that letting you vote on various options is "too interactive", and therefore you may not vote on what will happen. What will follow in the next update will be determined by a random dice roll. Sorry.

At the end of every post I will give you a set of decisions that you the readers can influence. It will be a simple vote, you pick one of the 'options' A, B or C from each of the 'event arcs' 1, 2, 3, ... the decision with the most votes will get enacted next time I play the game before an update. Some of these events are in game decisions as part of the mod, others I will add in myself. You will get a brief description of the effects and and likely knock on effects from these decisions.

Event Arc 1.
Hirohito in Command, following the 2-2-6 incident and the Emperor taking a route to place himself as a buffer between the armed forces and the state it was imperative that he reinforce the milltaries backing of him, but also to so the civilian government and the people that his new consituiton could balence civilian and millitary matters. Thus it was advised he meet with the various branches of the armed forces;

Option A.
The Emperor meets with the army commanders of the Kwangtung theater. The commanders in Manchuria feel strongly that they need to futher their strength in Asia believe that Japan such support a Mongolian Insurgency into northern China, and form the state of Mengjiang. Doing so will most likely threaten the Chinese and their is a fair attempt that creating an incident of this nature may spark a conflict between Japan and China, but if it is succesful then Japan would have another buffer state in the region.

Option B.
The Emperor meets with the navy admirals. The Admirals are concerned with the army and its lack of control and wishes to lobby to divert funds and industry towards the navy so that the army will not be inclined to begin any new operations without forces needed. In particular the navy impresses upon the Emperor to up-gun the Mogami class cruisers, and reconstruct the IJN Hiei to make the navy a more effective fighting force.

Option C.
The Emperor tours Manchuria to meet local commanders and reinforce his will upon the army. In doing so they impress upon him the need to futher industrialise Manchuria so that it can provide even greater profits to Japan. This would mean getting the Emperor to impress upon Pu Yi to switch over his current investment plans to only building industry for the next year and a half [I tag switch to Manchukuo and change its production roster manually].


history-Manchuria.jpg

Conditions in Manchuria

---------------------------------------------------------------------------​

Notes:
I will be happy to answer questions on matters of history of the period, or on the game posting additional information (if I have a screenie of it) as and when you might request it, as well as take advice if given.

Principally I will be planning a war in Siberia and against the Soviet Union and what will be needed for that, you will not get to influence this, however I will be letting you choose the timing of that war and I will also be opening up various events that may drag me into other wars that I don't want to fight, like in China these if they come to pass may see me having to fight elsewhere thus requiring me to keep reserve forces and not be complacent in my game.

I hope you enjoy and subscribe ;)!

If you have been enjoying this AAR please vote in the Aarland Choice Awards (ACA)! It doesn't have to be for this particular AAR, but any you have enjoied reading. It is only with your help that we will improve and produce the best top quality material for your enjoyment. Thankyou.




 
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Jagdpnzr

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Wonderful, I will be following this one for sure. I vote option C, this will perhaps set Manchukuo on the road to fielding a decent Army in the future. It will be needed against the Soviets.
 

Barvinok

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Option C. Although, I've never seen a Comintern Japan. If there is a sliver of possibility of it occurring here...I hope it happens.
 

unmerged(62170)

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This is excellent so far, Japan rarely gets an 'alternate' take. I support C. as well, an effective Manchu army could be very useful.
 

unmerged(245758)

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Option C. Although, I've never seen a Comintern Japan. If there is a sliver of possibility of it occurring here...I hope it happens.

It's unlikely (but not impossible if the Soveits start influencing me) given how their isn't a strong socalist left party in Japan, its org is something like 5 so it will never be very popular, hence Japan is more likely to drift somewhere between Democracy and Facism. I won't align to either of these groupings. If diplomacy swings to a relivant corner I will then leave the decision to the readers of the AAR as to if Imperial Japan should align and join the faction.

As part of this, I'm not playing a diplomacy/intelligence game anywhere on other nations, just on my own nation for counter espionage and simmilar.

--------------------------------------------------

It looks like option C is gaining strenght. From a past game playing as Manchuria once you do have a fair amount of IC under this mod ~38IC I think off the top of my head. However the region is very resource rich so the nation is really underutilised and it makes a good amount of sense to gain a good few years extra IC than to just send bulk resources to Japan who without major IC expansion will never use them.

What holds Manchuria back at the moment is not having enough brigades to move to the next tier of international development. This however will happen within the year, fairly soon anyway, so its not a big issue.

To be frank Manchuria won't help a lot and its more me not wanting them to build masses of troops thus screwing over my AI commands than me wanting them to have an army that will be my long term considerations. In the way I have balenced my .lua just a couple more points of IC will switch them over to a different build priority set that will include light aircraft, so by doing this in the long term it should allow the Manchu AI to field some larger form of air wing then it starts with.


The other opitions would be equally interesting as Advancing North over time will decrease my priority for naval builds (the current ones being pre-established decisions) and so those rebuilds would have improved the navy to allow it for contingency which is what might be needed. Futhermore like many things its worth getting a navy built before a war, rather than during it when you will be needing to pay for supplies and simmilar.


Establishing Mengjiang is also a very interesting decision because while the state doesn't have much IC at all, it drags some manpower and if established early has some time to cement itself with some power in the region. Personally I'm not that much of a fan of Mengjiang as it 'gets in the way' and has a tendacy I've seen to go after the Three Ma's leaving a gap in your lines rather than keep with your own troops/AI. But it could throw me into a war with China totally unexpected and thus change international politics from the very beginning. So given I enjoy some risk....



Eitherway, these are one time decisions. I might leave it till tonight to play the next three months as to be frank not much is going to happen in this time.


EDIT: Struck out referance to voting.
 
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VonMudra

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I like the idea, though I'd say, if Japan went with a "move north" approach of an invasion of Russian Siberia and Mongolia, then historically they would not have built up their navy as much to the detriment of their army. The strong navy was for the pacific empire, but in this case, you're talking about an east siberian land empire, in which case a navy is going to do very little.
 

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PuYi5.jpg

Pu Yi and Hirohito at the May Conferance

Reigning in the Military
May 1936 – Aug 1936

In the months following the 2-2-6 Incident the new government faced some serious decisions. A key element of reforming the armed forces under the Emperor and separating civil and military matters was that the militarist factions within Japan had much of their influence cut overnight. With their influence gone, the Imperial Armed forces found it impossible to lobby for increased spending. The Imperial government outright refusing to raise new divisions or invest heavily into new equipment for the armed forces.

This decision was taken following a tour of Japanese assets in Manchuria. Rather than favour either of the militarist factions of the navy or army, the Emperor decided in the cool of May to visit Manchuria and remind commanders in the field who was in charge of the military.

These visits had another motive in the Central Government trying to reduce Pu Yi's reliance on Japanese industry such that more investment could be spent in the home islands as their infrastructure was little better than Japanese dominions;

The 17th of May conference at Dongfeng was intended to impress upon Pu Yi that as Japanese regent in China, he must take responsibility for his nation.

The old regime had promised Pu Yi equipment to train 19 division of Manchu soldiers for the Manchu regime, during the incidents in the capital these plans had been put on effective hold and the Emperor was now here to renegotiate with his foreign minister the terms of Manchukuos relationship with Japan.


__HoI3_46.jpg

The Jan 1936 Manchu Production Roster

The Japanese delegation pressed for an immediate cut in Manchu military spending in line with Japan’s own new regime that would now be spending money on social welfare and matters of technological, industrial and scientific advancement. The freed up funds would be directed at a program of industrialising Manchuria.

The regents delegation however was not inclined to acquiesce, suggesting that without its own armed forces their would be no way for Manchuria to assert its national authority and the All Russian fascist party under the Regent would just have its authority eroded ever more until it would eventually be annexed like Korea had been if it didn't have its own de facto power in Manchuria.

With negotiations at a stalemate the question revolved around not around Manchurian Industrialisation, but rather when would Manchukuo receive its armaments? The Manchu delegation reasonably happy to accept such an ultimatum so long as it would have its own bargaining chip with an armed forces.

The May conference ended with a Manchu promise to begin industrialisation policy pending the formation of its armed forces. Thus the ball was thrown back in the Japanese Central Government's (JCG) court [see Event Arcs].


The State of the Navy:
The new JCG was still initially influenced by naval commanders and naval thinking. In retrospect, given that the Japanese navy was seen as a comparatively modern fighting force the Emperor and new cabinet were more willing to let the more moderate naval admirals and chiefs of staff have their ships and government research teams.

Of particular note two high profile research projects gained support during this period; the first being new hull materials for constructing a lightweight main armour belt on warships, and the second to upgrade capital guns to have their main battery fire an 18” shell.

HoI3_58-1.jpg

Key Capital Design Programs

Naval doctrine was support of producing an advanced navy of a small number of high profile, high strength warships, the naval admirals lobbying for a scheme to scrap and rebuild all of the old destroyers within the navy to take advantage of new techniques in warship building, since as a whole the IJN was not impressed with the Shiratsuya class warships.

Given that the Emperor had declined earlier wishes to rebuild some of the cruisers of the fleet and one of the battleships, this idea fell on deaf ears in the JCG as the government didn't want to commit itself to these issues.

Still throughout June several new warship research teams projects came to completion and many of the same were continued will little change from the central administration. Similarly 5 new destroyers in the Asashio Class were ordered to be laid down to keep the navy from an all out protest.

Asashio-class.jpg

Asashio Class Destroyer​

State of the Army
The new JCG quickly came to perceive the IJA as responsible, or at least complicit in the attempted February coup. Thus the Army was repeatedly denied its lobbying for additional spending, both in upgrading old equipment, or training new. Much to IJN commanders ire.

Thus the IJA was critical of the new regime in private. In public however the Emperor had acted in support of their manifesto. Thus many of the top level commanders were bitter-sweet about what had been achieved.

The JCG not wanting to find itself the target of a second coup opted to keep current levels of investment in new military equipment, improving a range of training techniques and defensive weapons programs, most notably in officer training and in tank armouring.

The army was keen to lobby for investment in a prototype production model of a new medium tank that had been named the 'Chi-ha' and would become a workhorse general support tank for the infantry following the school of thought that tanks should be used to support the infantry.

type-97-chi-ha-sagami-arms-manufacture.gif

Technical Drawings of the prototype Chi-ha medium infantry support tank

While this program was green lighted by the JCG, other ones in improvements in infantry equipment were denied. However it was decided that due to poor unit coordination that all new troops would receive advanced training in the full millitary structure. Thus it was hoped that the army would be able to suit the most disciplined soldiers into the officer class, and those officers that showed promice in the naval or air ranks would be prioritised to those branches greatly reducing the time to train up the new crews for these vehicles.

The downside to this change in policy is that educating the lower branches of the military would take rather longer to achieve basic training, then basic training in just how to fire your rifle and follow orders would have been.

HoI3_73.jpg

The implications of an 'Advanced Training' policy

The State of the Air force:
Imperial Japan for all her backwardness in some areas of precision expertise were not so in having a world leading aviation industry that had been producing aircraft on a par with the Western Powers since the Great War. Following its conclusion, the old regime bought up many examples of surplus allied war planes and pressed them into service as quickly as they could, even using them in 1920 against the Russians. Furthermore in 1921 Mitsubishi met with Herbert Smith of the British Sopworth Company to design a specific carrier based fighter!

Before the end of the 1920s Japan was not only producing her own native variants of aircraft, she was doing so in every conceivable role, from dive bomber to naval patrol torpedo bomber to trainer aircraft.

Part of this was down to the old regimes belligerent foreign policy that meant there was a string of incidents in which aircrews could gain experience and develop air doctrine. This meant in principle that both the JAAF (Japanese Army Air Force) and JNAF (Japanese Navy Air Force) were staffed with combat veterans at all levels; experienced in the most up-to-date tactics and aviation principles.

Consequently both branches were the most efficiently organised elements of the entire armed forces, with its own well defined hierarchies and groups. Furthermore not only was the Japanese Air Force world leading in quality, it was too in quantity having in numbers around 1,300 aircraft, giving Japan an approximate numerical advantage of 2:1 over all her possible adversaries in the field combined.

In the early 1930s world military aviation began to change drastically, the school of thought from the Great War was that fighter plans should be manoeuvrable to dogfight, and that bombers should directly support the infantry. Yet as technology developed bombers became much faster, outstripping manoeuvrable bi-plane and triplane designs which could no longer catch the bombers.

Thus world opinion looked towards low-wing monoplanes, enclosed cockpits and retractable landing gear. While the Japanese aircraft of the age didn't always have all these features, medium bombers like the G3M certainly had enough of them, or were suitably well designed for these misgivings to be forgotten. Thus as the new regime took over the Japanese Airforce had all the components to make it the key battle winning element of any army or navy operations.

Nakajima_AT-2.jpg

Nakajima AT-2 air transport aircraft.

The new JCG inherited a production plan that had called for a significant number of air transports to be produced to aid with troop movements and supply missions for either pacific or Manchurian theatre demands. The Nakajima Aircraft company had thus be given order to produce two air wings of transport aircraft for this role in early 1936.

Nakajima produced these aircraft in short order, but the investment meant that it was able to approach the JCG with the possibilities of what heavy lift aircraft could be possibility be used for. With the army and navy both competing with each other and the Japanese Air Force having a top notch track record the JCG felt much more comfortable to support the Nakajima Aircraft company in producing a replacement for the ageing twin engine medium-heavy bomber fleet.

Thus orders were laid to produce two four engine heavy bomber wings capable of delivering new heavy ordinance for the JAAF.

G5N.jpg

The new Nakajima heavy bomber prototype model.

Note HPP Guys: You've got the picture of the Nakajima G5N ('41) (above) labled as the Mitubishi Ki-1 ('36) unless I'm mistaken.

Strategic Bombing as a notion at this time was totally unproven, and it is point that the JCG distrusted both the navy and army to such a degree to go with the air force on producing equipment for an unknown doctrine.

This strategic doctrine would revolve around the heavy use of aircraft in supply operations given the lack of high throughput infrastructure in northern Manchuria and Siberia. The idea being that supply could be dropped right behind the front line troops and their would be no long vulnerable supply lines running through Manchuria back to Hamhung or Harbin.

The heavy bomber element would be required and used in exactly the opposite role to disrupt enemy supply lines in logistical interdiction. Without supply Soviet or Chinese army elements would be isolated and unable to put up strong resistance.

At this time the Japanese air force was very much a bomber focused branch. While it had several excellent fighter interceptor designs and in quantity it lacked a heavy twin engined fighter workhorse that would be able to operate as an escort fighter. Such short comings were noted at the time, but their would be little the JCG would give the air-force to develop this at this time.

HoI3_78.jpg

The civil state of Imperial Japan & Korea.

The State of the Civil Sector:
As much as a breath of fresh air the new constitution was, it had not yet solved issues such as large military spending, or improving homeland infrastructure or industry. While their was good grounds in providing scientific investment construction and civil utilities were thin on the ground.

The civil government was strongly critical of the Emperors foreign policy and its debacle over Manchurian investment when at home the situation was little different. The civil government in particular wanting funds to begin a 5yr infrastructure improvement plan in the home islands.

This would aim to connect 60% of all homes, services and communities to the road and rail network, starting with cities, ports and existing lines of communication, before then finally moving on to connect up the rural areas.

The civil government was also concerned that although they now controlled the police service that they didn't have a paramilitary force to act on matters of security. Incidents between the armed forces and civilian populace still always being closed cases in favour of the military.

The homeland security department of the JCG wanting to recruit its own militia force with attached Kempeitai to guard ports and important civilian centres both on the home islands and in Korea.

While the armed forces had been outspoken against this, part of the new constitution called for this separation of powers and would have to happen sooner or later in order to keep the government valid. The IJA were in particular vocal about how that the JCG would soon have these militia forces manning coastal defences while the IJA would pushed out of the role of home defence. Inferior military units hardly able to put up a fight for Japan.


-----------------------------------------------------------

EDIT: Unfortunatly the moderators of the board have decided in their wisdom, that letting you vote on various options is "too interactive", and therefore you may not vote on what will happen. What will follow in the next update will be determined by a random dice roll. Sorry.

Event Arc 2
The change of regime in Japan led to a renegotiation of Manchukuo's relationship with Japan. Since the invasion of Manchuria the Japanese regime had been strong in denying the Manchurians a sense of self-determination, instead plundering Manchuria for its mineral and economic wealth. Thus when the industrialisation ultermatum was put to the puppet regime they sensed weakness in the new Japanese regime, they would follow Japanise wishes to support greater industrialisation, but in return the new Japanese regime would have to supply them with arms for a Manchu Armed forces. The old guards in Japanese foreign policy didn't like this turn of events.

Option A.
We should give the Manchurians what they want, an armed forces, then they will support our industrialisation program. Further we won't need as many forces in Manchuria.

The 'old guards' claim that given the current Manchukuo regime this may lead to the Manchurians standing up to our authority more often.

It will make us look weak to the Soviets and Chinese.


Option B.
Aquise to Pu Yi's position, but put in place operatives to destabilise his regime and make it more supportive of the new JCG, thus supporting our conservative government position in Manchuria.

Set up an intelligence network in Manchukuo, then have it support our party policy.

The 'old guards' claim that given the current Manchukuo regime this may lead to the Manchurians standing up to our authority more often.

It will make us look weak to the Soviets and Chinese.


Option C.
Use our military to seize Manchu government offices and forbid the formation of a Manchurian Armed forces until they have accepted our ultimatum.

Manchuria -50 relations with Japan.



Event Arc 3.
Improving the civil sector. For the new regime to keep legitimacy it will need to improve the social well being in the home islands.

Option A.
Invest in a 5yr infrastructure improvement plan to connect 60% of communities (Lv.6 minimum infra) across Japan.

Option B.
Form a paramilitary Kempeitai force for garrisoning ports and civil centres in the home islands and Korea.

Option C.
Let the military step in to block such plans. Use the saved IC for army projects.

Disillusionment in the public for the JCG not keeping to the constitution.



-----------------------------------------------------------------​

Notes:
As you can see I'm forcing some moral, and political choices on you readers. Its not going to be as simple from now on, with your actions having very real influence on matters of policy.

I want to also make a point right now that discussion of the historical Kempeitai is not to be broached here. Period.


You might be concerned at where is the army investment? Well if I'm to keep this in the context of RP, then a constitutional government would not be pushing for war, nor would the army be as confrontational. This in principle means that I won't be jumping into war 'that early' although you will have control of this situation via the events I put up, hence I don't know how long it will be till I'm thrown into war.

Yet, raising an army is less important than other aspects. Imperial Japan already starts with a large army capable of holding its own (even if the AI doesn't quite think that).

One is going to have to do some limited number crunching to work out what can be supplied where, so I don't want to commit myself to a particular division design until it makes sense strategically. From the past I know that going into Siberia either works, or stalls very quickly. Finally I'd like to keep my international threat fairly low since I don't want to screw alienate the Americans too quickly since they are my best opportunity to stockpile the vast amounts of oil I'll need in the future.


In discussion of the navy:
There will be a fair likelihood of a war with the United States or one or other of the naval powers, hence having a strong navy is of some priority. Japans navy was also one of its top class branches, and so would be loath to not invest in it, irrespective of where Japans foreign policy lies. In this game I have accepted the Second London treaty and so will be limited with the tech limitations that entails, hence building a small number of modern ships will do me well as Japan would have done.

A key element is that the pacific war is not discluded in this game, and like a real life Japan I would need to be prepared for 'eventualities'.


Because of the regime change as well, I shall be RPing in a manner of Japan is not directly looking to 'get involved' and won't know that Manchuria may be a showdown. Thus I'd rather not 'game myself' by putting in place 3 years of direct build up, instead opting for planning and sensible aquistions as the path to war is laid out.

Don't expect massive numbers of capitals and escorts, but they will still appear in my build queue for political reasons and contingency.


PS: There is now a contents section in the OP for easy navigation ;)

 
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Jagdpnzr

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Even 2, Option C, and show the Manchurians who is boss. Even 3, go with Option B. The citizens on the home islands will fill more secure once the defense garrisons have been raised and that will also keep the populace in check so you can begin to spend more IC on an offensive military which will be needed against the Soviets.
 

unmerged(245758)

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Any more opinions on Imperial Japans homeland or foreign policy a head of me playing the next three months sometime tomorrow (11th) night?


-------------------------------------------​

The Kempeitai Home Militas will be;

2xMIL 1xGAR

This is because I forgot that HPP FTM gets rid of MP brigades, so I will be using GAR as stand ins giving the division 2.66 suppression each at basic tech level (EDIT: 7.66 I believe after first tech for policing).

Unless, I just reactivate MP brigades rather than use GAR (as they appear to have the highest suppression of the units around).

Either option is on the table.
 
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Barvinok

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Option B on the Manchurian event, and A on the civil sector.
 

unmerged(245758)

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Thankyou Belgiumruler. Would you like to have your input on foreign and home policy? At the moment its a bit of a stalemate so I'd have to flip a coin if it stays as it is ;).

-----------------------------------------------​

I've noticed an issue with the Manchurian production AI minister in that it lets much of its IC (about 15IC!) go to waste which is a shame. I thought it my be my changes, but having rolled back to HPP FTM vanilla (i.e. 2.6.81a) and done a test case, its still the case even there I'm afraid. Which is a little bit of an annoyance, but well....that's what happens with corrupt regimes!


EDIT: struck out reference to reader input
 
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robw963

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Very interesting Gensui Yamamoto! You've been hinting at a new AAR for awhile now...and here it is!

I love the clear, well thought-out presentation style you're using. Just the right amount of graphics to support your well-written, informative text. Even more, I appreciate that you're taking a different than usual path with Japan, complete with your own modifications AND putting yourself at the mercy of us the readers! Brave! In that spirit, I'll cast my vote for Option C as well. Consider me eagerly subscribed.

EDIT: Sorry for not being clear, yes....2c
 
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unmerged(245758)

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I love the clear, well thought-out presentation style you're using. Just the right amount of graphics to support your well-written, informative text. Even more, I appreciate that you're taking a different than usual path with Japan, complete with your own modifications AND putting yourself at the mercy of us the readers! Brave! In that spirit, I'll cast my vote for Option C as well. Consider me eagerly subscribed.

I presume that is Option C with Event Arc 2 (Seize Manchu government offices), given that it follows Belgiumrulers post. There is also event Arc 3 for choosing a home policy.


Indeed I am at your mercy, particularly when you'll be playing the part of the Chinese and Soviet generals when it comes to escalating the skirmish events into full blown wars, hence
I won't know if war is coming in '38, '39 or soon after, similarly I don't know where things will end up on the diplomatic score since until I naturally drift to a corner that won't be decided, then you get the final decision on if I join the faction or have to go it alone. Finally since I a giving myself the nuclear option, in principle I have to finish with a 'bang to rights glowing victory' ¬.¬


Well if the event chains play out one way Manchuria might be annexed, thus Pu Yi is consigned to history, if they play out another way he stays a puppet regent, if they go another he would become an independent Qing Emperor ('again'). So you have to vote for the decisions you think will get him there. I've got a rough digram/list of possible plot arcs already written up, but they don't go beyond 1940 because I don't know where things will go yet.

Remember I have a good working knowledge of how to mod the game so if I get calls to restore Pu Yi as head of a puppet KMT or something I can certainly oblige!

I'll finish 1936 off tomorrow night and give my breakdown on reorganising the Kwantung theatre under the new regime, the situations in Europe and fallout of events in Asia!



Query: Would readers like more in game screenshots to supliment historical images, or is the balence good?


EDIT: Struck out referances to reader input/voting
 
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red_KLG

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Hey Gensui, excellent work !!!

Regarding Event 3, I propose option B... and I hope you never get to use them :p :p
 

Gen. Marshall

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A well-written AAR indeed, although it could indeed use a few more screenshots. Things like OOBs are always good to see. I vote for Option 2c, or even better, an invasion of Manchuria - When your puppet government doesn't do what you tell them, their use has run out ((AI is retarded, better take some free IC yourself)). Also, I prefer Option 3b, you'll need good port guards as well as law&order now, and even more so when you're dealing with Russia and/or China.

One thing though - isn't this technically an interactive AAR now? You might want to check this with a (demi-)mod. I am sure they will approve, but it is better to tell them than to have a moderator discover it himself. Keeps you out of trouble ;)