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Spoiler alert



They did do it. Eventually. It took them incredibly long to get off their posteriors but eventually they did steamroller Japan.
 

trekaddict

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How long is long?

Let's say somewhat longer than OTL, which actually fits with the background they have in the story.
 

El Pip

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Truck mounted land matresses, shiny! Though hopefully someone has remembered to rename the 60pdr rocket; if it's 'enlarged and more powerful' then it probably has more than a 60pd warhead. But then when has the British Army ever been logical? :D
 

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Truck mounted land matresses, shiny! Though hopefully someone has remembered to rename the 60pdr rocket; if it's 'enlarged and more powerful' then it probably has more than a 60pd warhead. But then when has the British Army ever been logical? :D

The SRLS is basically an improved Katyusha. The rockets themselves probably were renamed, though to what I have no idea atm.
 

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trekaddict

Been awake a week or so and just catching up now.

Well, at the moment the Japanese are ruling the Pacific. Outside of the Dutch East Indies and perhaps the eastern Marshals and the Dutch East Indies Allied and US Fleets tread wearily. The British are for the moment content with leaving everything north of the Phillipines to the Americans, so if the Japanese go the whole way the Americans will be seen as the premier pacific Power just as the British will be seen as the rulers of the North Atlantic.

A cold war is inevitable in this situation. But you do have kind of a point, the Americans will have something of a inferiority complex when it comes to comparing their accomplishments in the war to that of the British. But even so, aside from the RN the actual percentage of British (not counting Allied and Commonwealth) forces in Asia is at best 20%. In regards to Asia they would be perfectly happy with a negotiated peace that gave them a Sino-Japanese withdrawal from South-East Asia, the 'Nam, security for India and maybe influence over the Philippines. Granted, this is incredibly short-sighted but Churchill and the other Allied leaders have understandably most of their attention on Europe.

What I mean to say is that if it comes to digging the Japanese out of every hole they are in the Americans will be left to do all the digging and dying.

While the Americans are considerably weaker than OTL [civil war losses and communist incompetency] are the Japanese actually that strong at sea? They have a much bigger empire in China but also fighting on a larger front as well as against the Soviets so that will be consuming huge losses. Also at sea the much strong RN and allies probably more than counters the weaker USN.

On the final sentence above that's a solution I can live with. Especially given the amount of digging out we will be doing in the southern regions and even more so in Europe. One thing that could hurt the Americans here would be if, like the Red Army, there's more reliance on sheer weight of manpower thrown into the battle, rather than firepower.

On the various chapters:
a) You made a bit of a mess of the numbers for the attack on the Canadian carriers. Is it possibly to correct it so its a bit easier for anyone reading it please. [Reference to 8+8=20 in the defending fighters and switching between 2 and 3 Zero's reaching the carriers.

b) Similarly I presume you're using game squadrons rather than RL ones for the other air attacks mentioned. [I found it awkward that it switches squadrons and air fleets in their terminology:(].

c) I think with Habakkuk what will kill it in this TL is that the RN doesn't face the same sub threat. Believe the main purpose wasn't to provide a mega carrier for fleet battles/land attack but to help close the air gap over the Atlantic. With the Germans having pretty much given up the sub war [I think?] and it possibly being less important with no friendly US there is nothing like the need, even without a stronger RN.

d) So Fairey is going to be the big copter developer. Could be a very useful weapon in the latter stages of the war. Doubt they will get around to arming them heavily in time but the sort of things suggested could be very useful, especially in the east against Japan and possibly also in another east ;) against the Soviets.

e) Is it actually worthwhile clearing the Japanese from Sumatra? While the Dutch would want to for political reasons wouldn't it be better leaving them to die on the vine. Digging them out of the assorted jungles and urban centres could be costly in both time and blood. Once Malaya was liberated and especially clearing Borneo as well and their a/c removed they don't really pose a threat to the allied position.

f) The fact the Japanese are using kamikazes already could make for a really bloody battle across the Pacific, especially if the Americans can't apply the same economic pressure to cripple their production. [Will still face oil problems but with most of China secured, provided they could supply the island outposts it could make for a long and bloody path]. Especially if the Japanese, woken up by their losses elsewhere learn a few lessons and have better discipline and leadership. [Thinking they defend more rather than the stupid banzai attacks].

g) Would Rommel be that defensive? I read him as more the counter-attack immediately at full strength and gamble, especially since he knows the allies have suffered heavy losses already and committed most/all their available paras. Or are you just applying what the AI did to the fact Rommel is the defender on this front?

Steve
 

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trekaddict

Been awake a week or so and just catching up now.


Happy to have you back.

While the Americans are considerably weaker than OTL [civil war losses and communist incompetency] are the Japanese actually that strong at sea? They have a much bigger empire in China but also fighting on a larger front as well as against the Soviets so that will be consuming huge losses. Also at sea the much strong RN and allies probably more than counters the weaker USN.

On the final sentence above that's a solution I can live with. Especially given the amount of digging out we will be doing in the southern regions and even more so in Europe. One thing that could hurt the Americans here would be if, like the Red Army, there's more reliance on sheer weight of manpower thrown into the battle, rather than firepower.

The Japanese took some more months to prepare attacking and that gave them three more Carriers, at the cost of some Cruisers and all but two Yamatos. They used to have around ten Carriers of all sizes with several more on the slips.

On the various chapters:
a) You made a bit of a mess of the numbers for the attack on the Canadian carriers. Is it possibly to correct it so its a bit easier for anyone reading it please. [Reference to 8+8=20 in the defending fighters and switching between 2 and 3 Zero's reaching the carriers.

Yeah, I think I might be going and edit that. I wrote parts of that over a couple of rather crazy busy days and yeah...

It's supposed to be twenty planes (again, 4 were already up on Cap) and the larger number of planes.

b) Similarly I presume you're using game squadrons rather than RL ones for the other air attacks mentioned. [I found it awkward that it switches squadrons and air fleets in their terminology:(].

Not sure what you are saying, though I will point out that I do place my FAA Carrier Air Group size and composition on contemporary OTL USN practice.

c) I think with Habakkuk what will kill it in this TL is that the RN doesn't face the same sub threat. Believe the main purpose wasn't to provide a mega carrier for fleet battles/land attack but to help close the air gap over the Atlantic. With the Germans having pretty much given up the sub war [I think?] and it possibly being less important with no friendly US there is nothing like the need, even without a stronger RN.

True. The Germans haven't given up yet but the U-Boats will be defeated by the end of the year. And the Airgap never really existed as when the Axis Navies were defeated the pre-war Carriers (including Ark Royal) were to a man releagated to convoy escort.



d) So Fairey is going to be the big copter developer. Could be a very useful weapon in the latter stages of the war. Doubt they will get around to arming them heavily in time but the sort of things suggested could be very useful, especially in the east against Japan and possibly also in another east ;) against the Soviets.


Pretty much. In a lot of ways the last ~2 years of the war will resemble Korea a lot. Jets, early Helicopters and over it all hovers the threat of the product of the Torchwood Institute.

e) Is it actually worthwhile clearing the Japanese from Sumatra? While the Dutch would want to for political reasons wouldn't it be better leaving them to die on the vine. Digging them out of the assorted jungles and urban centres could be costly in both time and blood. Once Malaya was liberated and especially clearing Borneo as well and their a/c removed they don't really pose a threat to the allied position.

Of course it isn't worthwhile.

But try to sell that to Churchill and the Imperial General Staff especially when a whole lot of Officers and exiles in Britain and in the field see the Japanese on Sumatra as much more of a threat than they can ever be. Also the Navy doesn't like having a large Japanese presence astride the convoy lanes to Singapore.


f) The fact the Japanese are using kamikazes already could make for a really bloody battle across the Pacific, especially if the Americans can't apply the same economic pressure to cripple their production. [Will still face oil problems but with most of China secured, provided they could supply the island outposts it could make for a long and bloody path]. Especially if the Japanese, woken up by their losses elsewhere learn a few lessons and have better discipline and leadership. [Thinking they defend more rather than the stupid banzai attacks].


Well the way I've read over the years the Kamikaze attacks we know were a late-war phenomenon for the most part but there were early isolated incidents throughout. (IIRC there is even one in TORA TORA TORA), and these were nothing more than that.

But yes, the slog will be long and hard especially since the British will, once they have them, save their Nukes for use against the Axis in Europe, figuring that considering how bloody damn expensive they are they might as well use them to remove the most immediate threat first. The Japanese will indeed be better led than OTL, but they are still slaves to their own society so expect a lot of the stupid we know from OTL.


g) Would Rommel be that defensive? I read him as more the counter-attack immediately at full strength and gamble, especially since he knows the allies have suffered heavy losses already and committed most/all their available paras. Or are you just applying what the AI did to the fact Rommel is the defender on this front?

Steve

I mostly use the AI behaviour as a guideline, though the dates of major battles are still the same. :D

Anyway, Rommel is shackled by orders from on high at the moment. As long as Hitler can't make up his addled mind on what he wants to do with the front defensive is the thing of the Hour.

Rommel also has been beaten by Alexander time and again with the British often having numerically inferior forces, so to at least some degree Rommel is not as confident as the one we know and is less willing to risk everything. Though he does know that every inch he retreats brings the front closer to his home (and mine, so my hometown will feature, a second battle of Reutlingen, the first having been fought in the 14th Century when we told the local duke to shove it) and thus his confidence will return.

The war in Germany can be awesome three ways to sunday. Reverse Fulda Gap offensive, massive Tank Battles, Allies marching on Berlin... the list is long. And awesome.

EDIT: So yes. British Army of the Rhine vs 3rd Shock in the Fulda Gap, only that the BAOR will be doing the advancing.
 

stevep

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Happy to have you back.

Glad to be back.:D

Not sure what you are saying, though I will point out that I do place my FAA Carrier Air Group size and composition on contemporary OTL USN practice.

What I meant is that the terminology in the game is the reverse of real life for the air units. Ie groups individual units [called wings] are combined into squadrons. Page 77 of the manual, in the description of Air units. At least in the RAF squadrons are the smallest tactical units and combinations of those were called wings at times. [Think of the 'Big Wing' argument during the BoB.

You were referring to attacks on Sumatra by small numbers of land based a/c as well as the carriers, think it was a couple of squadrons of Mossies and something like that. I was wondering if you meant RL [i.e. say 20-30 a/c] or game term where squadrons are much larger units? Hope that clarifies what I mean.


True. The Germans haven't given up yet but the U-Boats will be defeated by the end of the year. And the Airgap never really existed as when the Axis Navies were defeated the pre-war Carriers (including Ark Royal) were to a man releagated to convoy escort.

Ugh! In RL, given the limited numbers of escorts that would be a very, very bad idea. That's how we lost Courageous after all. :eek:

Rommel also has been beaten by Alexander time and again with the British often having numerically inferior forces, so to at least some degree Rommel is not as confident as the one we know and is less willing to risk everything. Though he does know that every inch he retreats brings the front closer to his home (and mine, so my hometown will feature, a second battle of Reutlingen, the first having been fought in the 14th Century when we told the local duke to shove it) and thus his confidence will return.

Best of luck in preserving you're home town. Hopefully it won't be that long, even with Soviet 'support' that increasing numbers of Germans start realising that their only prolonging the war and worsening the destruction of Germany.

EDIT: So yes. British Army of the Rhine vs 3rd Shock in the Fulda Gap, only that the BAOR will be doing the advancing.

Now that's not something you see every day, even in AH.:D

Steve
 

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Glad to be back.:D



What I meant is that the terminology in the game is the reverse of real life for the air units. Ie groups individual units [called wings] are combined into squadrons. Page 77 of the manual, in the description of Air units. At least in the RAF squadrons are the smallest tactical units and combinations of those were called wings at times. [Think of the 'Big Wing' argument during the BoB.

You were referring to attacks on Sumatra by small numbers of land based a/c as well as the carriers, think it was a couple of squadrons of Mossies and something like that. I was wondering if you meant RL [i.e. say 20-30 a/c] or game term where squadrons are much larger units? Hope that clarifies what I mean.

RL. There is some issue since at first I used the in-game classification. But to state once and for all for RAF Fighter Command: 2 planes make up a pair, 2x Pairs make up a flight (which uses the German finger-four formation, the RAF isn't above using someone elses tactics), 5 flights (Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, White) make up a Squadron.


Ugh! In RL, given the limited numbers of escorts that would be a very, very bad idea. That's how we lost Courageous after all. :eek:

True, but they are loaded up with Seafires and ASW Sworfishes (who can do anti-shipping in a pinch) and escorts aren't that short since at the same time the U-Boat Force is smaller. Basically the pre-wars take over the role of the CVEs.



Best of luck in preserving you're home town. Hopefully it won't be that long, even with Soviet 'support' that increasing numbers of Germans start realising that their only prolonging the war and worsening the destruction of Germany.

My hometown will be preserved. I have the battle plotted out already, except that I can't actually decide what units are involved until I arrive there. Only thing decided already is that the city hall survives to prevent the ugly 50s concrete monstrosity we have instead.

As for the Germans, something like that will eventually happen to some people but when and to what degree I won't tell yet.



Now that's not something you see every day, even in AH.:D

Steve

Yeah. The prospect makes me smile.
 

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On that I do need to do some research first.
 

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Then probably not. But then again, there's always the Goons and all those influenced by them.
 
Jun 28, 2011
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just wondering what is going on in the Czech republic as surely now with the Allies crossing the Danube and basically at the countries borders there must be some desire to make a separate peace or try and change sides like Romania and Hungary did
 

El Pip

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Then probably not. But then again, there's always the Goons and all those influenced by them.
As long as the Goons make it having Mel Brooks die in utter obscurity is a small price to pay. That said thinking about most of his material I can see him going down well in a Communist nation; for instance the OTL Soviets liked Westerns and I can't see even the worst Commissar finding anything politically unsound or subversive with Blazing Saddles.
 

Agent Larkin

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As long as the Goons make it having Mel Brooks die in utter obscurity is a small price to pay. That said thinking about most of his material I can see him going down well in a Communist nation; for instance the OTL Soviets liked Westerns and I can't see even the worst Commissar finding anything politically unsound or subversive with Blazing Saddles.

I could live with that. The man deserves to at least get a film career.
 

trekaddict

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Well Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe did meet in Singapore during the last days of the Siege.

As for Mel Brooks...I can't tell you that, because it's hard enough to figure out where British and European Pop culture goes.


As for the Czechs: Nominally they are still independent but have de facto been reduced to their OTL status.
 

trekaddict

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If these encyclopedic entries get annoying, honk. :)

Chapter 333


The station commonly known as Radio Free China in the west is mostly called by it's official name in China, as the “Radio Corporation of China”a name under which a company of the same name still operates to this day. It was only one of almost a dozen Radio stations that beamed Allied propaganda into Axis and Sphere countries though the German and French Services of the BBC are most commonly known for this in British and European publications. Radio Free China was started in 1942 only months after the Sphere declared war on Britain.

Previous efforts to disrupt the Japanese had been less than successful which was hardly surprising considering the distance and disadvantageous placement of the strongest British Transmitters (even when in Canada) so when the war did break out at last it was decided that aiming it at the Japanese was a waste of time considering that they were far more coherent politically and slaved to authority than even the Soviet or German civilians.

Even though the station called itself the RCC it was payed for and run by the British military. Run by a mixture of MI6, the Australian Secret Service and the military at first the station was using pre-recorded broadcasts and pre-war reels of Chinese music. However these were few and of low quality, but it would still take until September 1942 for things to change.

Even then still limping from a wound received in Burma James Winthorpe Sanders, freshly promoted and late of the 2/26th Cavalry surveyed the broadcast station around the transmitter in southern Australia. Built in summer 1939 it had at first been meant to counter Soviet/German and Japanese propaganda and also relieve the Overseas Service of the BBC of some of it's responsibilities. Originally the plans had called for merely 50kW of transmission power but several high-ranking ABC executives successfully lobbied the Government for a high-powered station instead. So when built Shepperton Station near the town of the same name in Victoria consisted of not one, but three transmitters, of which none saw any service before war broke out and the site was seized by the Department of Defence.

5512773595_b9594d75dc.jpg

One transmitter with 50kW, another two with 100kW were now ready for use. With a permanently stiff leg and his throat still sore from nearly chocking on a chicken-bone Colonel Sanders instantly axed most of the programming. In times of the 'White Australia' policy there hadn't been a single actual Chinese on the staff and whatever his personal convictions had been on the matter Sanders realized that this needed to be changed.

The Chinese exile community in Australia was not as large as it is today but Sanders still put the recruitment of those speaking the broadest number of dialects possible on the list. His superiors reluctantly agreed on the insistence of Admiral Cunningham who saw the station as something that would aid the war effort and thus needed to be supported.

This proved to be harder to accomplish than one might suspect at first glance. The 1901 Immigration Restriction Act was at least officially still on the books (and would be until 1970) even though it hadn't been fully enforced since the Sino-Japanese War had ended and because of this there were less than 50.000 ethnic Chinese in Australia and of those more than half had been born in-country and spoke only a passing form of any dialects their ancestors might have brought with them. Still, two months later the station could sport regular broadcasts in Mandarin and Cantonese, with Chinese music donated by the community.


+++++

The following transmission day has been recorded and saved for prosperity by the RCC and excerpts are used with their permission. The Mandarin and Cantonese broadcasts were made simultaneously (albeit on different frequencies) and nearly identical. ISBS Heritage Centre, 2010

The first thing we hear is a pre-war recording of the late Cole Porter's 'Anything Goes[1]' performed in Mandarin in Shanghai in 1936. The song is the daily opener for the programming and is also played numerous times during the day. The song is followed by an assortment of contemporary British and pre-war Chinese music selected each evening by a lottery among the staff of the station. After half an hour the nine o'clock news begin.

“12th April 1943, and this is the RCC Morning News. This morning four Dutch Divisions landed on and began the liberation of the Japanese-occupied Island of Sumatra. Good progress has been made and all units are fully ashore.[...]”

“In Burma Allied Forces, including the Republic of China Army, have resumed offensive operations against Siamese-Japanese Forces and crossed the border into Siam itself.[...]”

“In Malaya two Allied Marine Divisions have conducted an assault crossing of the Johore straits and[...].”

After between fifteen and twenty minutes of news another ten minutes of Music follow before the news is repeated again. After the second round of news morning programming begins. On the 12th April this included one adapted and one original episode for the Australian version of 'It's that man again' translated into Mandarin and sometimes slightly changed for the intended audience. For the entirety of the morning until twelve o'clock, punctuated once every hour on the clock for fifteen minutes of news. This practice was adopted by the BBC as early as 1940 and is generally credited with the emergence of the 45 minutes (without commercials) format for Radio and TV shows alike.

At twelve there would be a mid-day short summary of the news broadcast throughout the day, followed by two hours of popular music. The afternoon, until the end of programming was spent with 'information' and 'education' programming, with news again broadcast at four and again shortly before the end of the daily programming at six.


'Propaganda and Disinformation in the Asian Theatre' Kashmir Central University Press. 1997


~**---**~​


To Admiral Cunningham the RCC was merely one of more than a dozen major and minor projects that beamed propaganda into the Sphere but he was aware of how important it could be. The Free Chinese Army was a tiny force when compared to others and there were those that doubted it would stand up to the Japanese if it had to fight for real but Cunningham, and thus by extension the British Pacific Command had no choice but to trust them. The Pacific Theatre was not starved of equipment as it had been during the first dark months but his ground Forces were still smaller and expected to do more with less than in Europe.

If the FCA could bring in another two or three Divisions then he wouldn't push them away. The RCC was incredibly important for that goal. Not only were several employees former members of the Chinese Army but also recruitment for the FCA (and that did include the Republic of China Air Force) was picking up since the station was run by Sanders and his staff. Sanders had spent six years in China, part in the British concessions before the Great War, part as a salesman for Vickers before the fall to the Japanese. He had argued for more British support for the Nationalists and at the same time gained an appreciation for the people of China and the station reflected it.

The Japanese could not do much in response. Of course there was the usual propaganda coming out of Tokyo and the Chinese were fighting hard against the Soviets but that was not because they were loyal allies to the Japanese, it was because they hated the Russians almost as much as the Japanese.

That didn't mean they liked the British much, the countries shared too much history for that but at the very least the Chinese Exile leaders that passed for any Exile Government of the Republic of China knew that the British Empire had no designs on Chinese territory except for maybe a more defensible frontier for Hong Kong, a small enough price to pay.

What the British also did was to give them massive support for their own efforts at home. The farther north one went the harder it got as the people were more scared of the Soviets than of the Japanese but in the souther provinces, especially along the coast and on Hainan. There the insurgency was becoming increasingly violent as strike and counter-strike fuelled the spiral of violence though the British weapons that trickled into the area certainly helped.

In a way China was tearing herself apart and there was nothing anyone could do but fuel the fire. It was here that the post-war partition of China had it's roots.

Still, the Free China Army would bloat to no less than eight Divisions before the war was over (of them two Armoured) before the war was over and form the professional core of the post-war Chinese Army. During the war itself it would fight everywhere in South-East Asia and China itself and eventually turn out to be a far more professional and competent than the Army of the Chinese State. Being paid, fed and housed properly was probably a large part of why the recruiters among the recently surrendered could pick the best and most reliable of them.

But in April 1943 the Army had yet to prove itself though it would soon get the opportunity to do just that for Siam would soon attempt to change sides, thus imitating the the minor Axis countries in Europe. The problem there was though that Tokio had read the same Newspapers.

Even as they advanced the three and a half Marine Divisions (1st and the fresh, mostly Indian 2nd Royal Marine Divisions, the newly re-named Canadian Marine Division and an ANZAC Brigade) advanced up Malaya against stiff but scattered Japanese resistance. The former Siege Forces had pulled back into a better defensive position but even so the drive eastwards along the coast by the Chinese 2nd Division into Siam threatened to cut the significant Sphere forces on the Malay Peninsular off from the Siamese capital and trap them between two Allied Armies.

The British 1st Marines were already, less than three days after the crossing approaching the main Japanese defensive line outside of Melaka and poised to smash it to pieces with the help of the Air Force and the Allied line of Battle that was standing ready to support the advance on both sides of Malaya, with half of Force A, five Carriers, cruising up and down in the bay to keep away the enemy air units in French Indochina and Siam. Several tries to attack both the Dreadnoughts and the Carriers had each time little damage had been inflicted. The Canadians were still short one deck, Bonaventure was still in Darwin under repairs and would not be able to re-join the fleet for at least another two weeks but for the present HMAS Melbourne had joined Battlegroup Able-Two-Seven and together with Illustrious, Implacable and Formidable they formed a bulwark, while Furious, Invincible, the brand new Rodney[2], Victorious and Indomitable[3] attacked the Japanese positions on Borneo. There was a great risk to all Allied ships but Cunningham gambled that with the help of RAF and RAAF out of Singapore they would be able to chew up most, if not all Japanese attacks.


+-+-+-+-+-

Comments, questions, rotten Tomatoes?

[1] Of course a version with better Mandarin than that, but that scene gave me the idea.

[2] Remember, the old HMS Rodney was sunk by the Scharnhorst... Somehow...

[3] And that's just what the RN has in the Pacific, and the Senior Service is ever-growing, though not near as fast as the USN did IOTL. British ship-building is severely taxed and would not be able to do it would they be forced to build anything like the OTL convoy escort force. If the U-Boats were even half as effective as in OTL 1943 then this would force the Allies in the Pacific to stay on the defensive for at least another year or even two. But alas, the U-Boats are all but defeated so instead of expanding small docks for Black Swans, large ones are constructed for Carriers, Cruisers and Destroyers. The British ship-building industry will be in excellent shape after the war and with the RN having to do the job that in OTL was left to the US Navy. H&W, Vickers and the lot won't go bust any time soon.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Now I wonder what the Commies Yanks are doing in the Pacific...