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Kurt_Steiner

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To sit down and wait with all of us ;)
 

KiMaSa

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Don't make me send in the big guns Trek...
 

MarcusAurelius1

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stevep But the Allies don't know that for sure and in any case, they don't have the resources to spare to do it. They can (and if need be will) arm the Chinese with second-line gear (such as Cromwells and so on) but they don't have the stuff to spare to fight a land front even larger than Europe. Besides, the key to defeating Japan is at sea, TTL as OTL, so an RL-ish strategy is the best way to go.

The RL strategy worked out that well because the Chinese army bled Japan white even before Pearl Harbour. A bloody undertaking, in every definition of the word, but without like 80% of IJA tied down, a lot of things could go differently for the Allies IOTL.

Hainan and Formosa, yes. The idea is that taking those Islands gives the Allies a good base to have limited operations against mainland China from, cuts the Japanese south of Shanghai off from help (mostly) and it's also a show to the Americans that at the very least southern China is the Empire's playground.

From what I know of HoI2 there should be the Guangxi and Yunnan Cliques in play when it comes to China. What are they up to ITTL? Because if they support the Allies (and perhaps the Chinese Government-In-Exile, too, but that'll take a lot of negotiating and horse-trading, I'd imagine) you get a better base for staging further operations in south and southwestern China. Hainan will still have to be taken, if only to deny IJN of an important forward naval base, but Formosa... actually any Allied operation against Ilha de Formosa/Taiwan is not advisable - that island is too mountainous for large-scale operations and just might end up an OTL Iwo/Okinawa writ large. More on this later.

Also, unless anyone managed to cut off the Beiping-Wuhan (Pinghan) and Jinpu (Tianjin-Pukou) Railways, IJA forces south of the Yangtze can still be supplied. This is the reason Japan launched Ichi-Go IOTL when USN is starting to gain decisive control of the seas.

As for the Japanese, Formosa is the one target in the area they really, utterly can't ignore, mostly because their fleet is stationed there and because it would allow the Allies a bomber base with which to attack the Home Islands.

But if said fleet is destroyed, then it wouldn’t matter, right? Which reminds me: how are the Americans doing? Are they anywhere near the Marianas yet? Could stage bombers from there just like OTL.

Formosa/Taiwan is actually further away from the Home Islands compared to, say, Fujian or Zhejiang Provinces. Should the Allies get involved on the mainland those could be good spots to put airfields in.

As for the Philippines, the Allies and the Americans came to a deal a while back. The Islands and Formosa are a British zone of influence. In return the Allies stay out of the Home Islands with ground troops (air and Naval attacks are allowed but need to be co-ordinated, an agreement that won't actually be relevant until Formosa has been secured) and the Americans have a first go at Korea.

That means TTL’s Downfall will be a purely American affair, then, although the Allies still get to occupy Japan, yeah?

I know that this is selling out the Koreans, but it's not quite as odious as what happened with Poland OTL.

A Peninsular Too Far. :(

Marc A
 

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I'm working on the next chapter, but RL issues (over-stretched ligament in an ancle and work) have prevented me from doing much writing this month.
 

trekaddict

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The RL strategy worked out that well because the Chinese army bled Japan white even before Pearl Harbour. A bloody undertaking, in every definition of the word, but without like 80% of IJA tied down, a lot of things could go differently for the Allies IOTL.

That's what the Soviets are doing TTL. Remember, the British are in the lucky position that the two enemies they can't really afford a standup fight against (the soviets because they are so huge, the Japanese because they are so far away) are tying the lion's share of each other's manpower down. The War in northern China is a bloody, personal affair, since the Soviets use their mechanized forces in Europe and the Japanese don't really have any.



From what I know of HoI2 there should be the Guangxi and Yunnan Cliques in play when it comes to China. What are they up to ITTL? Because if they support the Allies (and perhaps the Chinese Government-In-Exile, too, but that'll take a lot of negotiating and horse-trading, I'd imagine) you get a better base for staging further operations in south and southwestern China. Hainan will still have to be taken, if only to deny IJN of an important forward naval base, but Formosa... actually any Allied operation against Ilha de Formosa/Taiwan is not advisable - that island is too mountainous for large-scale operations and just might end up an OTL Iwo/Okinawa writ large. More on this later.

Officially, those Cliques have been defeated (as in, the Japanese annexed them in the game) but southern China is a hotbed of the resistance for a very good reason. Major horsetrading has been going on and is going on, but behind the scenes so that the RoC in exile can present a united front to the outside world. Hainan is going to be taken, by the Paras no less. (I am aware the terrain is less than ideal, but the Allies know (think they know at least) that they can pull it off.


Also, unless anyone managed to cut off the Beiping-Wuhan (Pinghan) and Jinpu (Tianjin-Pukou) Railways, IJA forces south of the Yangtze can still be supplied. This is the reason Japan launched Ichi-Go IOTL when USN is starting to gain decisive control of the seas.

That's part of the reason why they want Taiwan, as an airbase from which they can prevent a move like that. You can also expect the Guerillias in that area to receive a big influx of arms and training.


But if said fleet is destroyed, then it wouldn’t matter, right? Which reminds me: how are the Americans doing? Are they anywhere near the Marianas yet? Could stage bombers from there just like OTL.

The Japanese still can't ignore it, since for one they still hang onto their Decisive Battle Doctrine and think they will defeat the Allies in the South China Sea that close to their own airbases and it's part of their inner defence perimeter for the Home Islands.

THe Americans have taken the Islands, but at the moment are still building up their bomber forces there. You should also remember that TTL there's no Mustangs to escort those raids.


Formosa/Taiwan is actually further away from the Home Islands compared to, say, Fujian or Zhejiang Provinces. Should the Allies get involved on the mainland those could be good spots to put airfields in.

Good point that. *makes notes*

That being said, it depends on how far north the Chinese can clear the Japanese out. IF the front were to be, say, a few miles north of Shanghai, then London won't risk airbases on the mainland.

That means TTL’s Downfall will be a purely American affair, then, although the Allies still get to occupy Japan, yeah?

One of the updates coming soon after the Battle will include a conference where they decide that, but yes, the Allies get half the country to occupy. The argument they will be making, and rightfully so, is that it was the Allies who defeated the Japanese at sea and in the air, and by proxy in part at least on land. In many ways the Western historical narrative will see the American campaign the same way the South-East Asia campaign in 44-45 in Burma and so forth is seen, i.e. a somewhat meaningless sideshow. Yes, I am aware that view is not accurate in the least.

A Peninsular Too Far. :(

Marc A


Pretty much, yes.
 

KiMaSa

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I'm working on the next chapter, but RL issues (over-stretched ligament in an ancle and work) have prevented me from doing much writing this month.

Don't push it any more than you can help it. In the meantime, this should speed your recovery...

[video=youtube;c6c3v9iihgw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6c3v9iihgw&x-yt-ts=1422579428&x-yt-cl=85114404&feature=player_detailpage#t=11[/video]
 

KiMaSa

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COLLINGWOOD_zpsnplqaahx.jpg


Reinforcements for the Far East Fleet.

(I actually found these on a Japanese language site. It looks like a Kongo Killer Fast Battleship using the twin 14" turret design planned for the KGVs but foregoing the troublesome quads)
 
Last edited:

trekaddict

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Chapter 381

22nd March 1944

To say that 1944 was when the Allied Pact won the war would be an overstatement, since it continued for several years afterwards. But it was certainly the year when Germany was defeated even though the last remnants of German forces would not be defeated until summer 1945.

The Allied Spring Offensive was instrumental in that achievement.

The attack on 22nd March was a risky gamble for two reasons. For one, it risked defeat in detail of the immensely valuable Armoured Divisions, second, it relied heavily on untested and freshly arrived troops from India and the strategic reserve in North Africa, thirdly, it was carried out far more hastily than anyone in Allied Headquarters in Vienna was comfortable with. There had been an issue of timing from the beginning, but ULTRA revealed Axis plans for an attack using the bulk of the German Panzer Divisions aimed at the centre of the Allied lines, meant to drive towards Vienna and force the western flank of the Allied front to either withdraw or face being cut off from their only easy route of resupply.

In and of itself, the plan for Operation Hardtack was nothing special. The armies in the centre, primarily the 21st and 22nd Army Groups would attack and fix their German opponents in place, forcing them to commit at least part of the Panzers in counter-attacks or to plug any gaps that might arise, even though a breakthrough in those areas would not be sought. Once that had happened at the first Axis attack been defeated, carefully husbanded and hidden Armoured Reserves (among them the King's Jewish Legion) would attack on the flanks of initial Allied advance and break through the thinned out German lines.

It was part of a change in Allied strategy that had taken place recently. The goal was no longer to conquer German territory, the goal was to destroy the German and Soviet Armies in the field with minimal Allied losses. Hardtack was supposed to force Field Marshal Rommel to commit his Panzers in places of Allied choosing, and allow them to be defeated in detail and generally ground down by superior Allied firepower.

But because no one in Vienna really expected Rommel to fall for this very old idea, the idea worked out by Colonel Hackett was to aim the psychological part of the plan not so much at Rommel or anyone in the OKW, but at Hitler directly. Even though someone questioned the wisdom of this and the decision to send the KJL towards Nuremberg has since been called into question as well, the sheer idea of Jewish Soldiers 'defiling' the 'Captial of the Movement' would be sure to send the upper echelon of Nazi Leadership into a rage and would entice them to 'do something stupid' as Hackett had said it in the initial briefing with Alexander and his staff.

Such as bring the Panzers into the open where they might be attacked by Allied tactical Aircraft, harried by roving British PIAT teams and generally be attacked by every weapon in the Allied arsenal. The second thrust, once it had broken through, had Munich as their general target, even though neither was expected to actually reach their destinations, since at that point they were still actually a fair distance from the Allied front. No one expected Nuremberg to become synonymous with urban warfare and the sheer, stark brutality of war. A battle that would leave ninety-eight percent of the city in ruins, though oddly enough, most of the Party Rally Grounds would survive with little damage.

Initial attacks began just before dawn on the 22nd when the massed guns of four Allied Armies and the borrowed Army-level guns from two more opened with a devastating barrage on the Axis lines, closely followed by the advancing mechanized elements of those self-same armies, a force that contained far more Infantry than would have been the case six months ago. They engaged the forward Axis positions, advanced a few miles and seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough, but by noon little, if any forward progress was made by them. The Allied guns continued to go through a frightening number of shells, the fire reaching an intensity in some areas not seen since the height of the Western Front in the First War, but little territory changed hands any more and it was then that Field Marshal Rommel made likely the most serious misjudgement of his career.

Before the attack, Field Marshal Alexander had voiced the concern that his German counterpart might smell a rat and deduce the Allied plans, since if someone looked at the big picture it was fairly obvious that the attack stopped a bit easily and far too quickly if one was going by past standards.

However, Rommel ended up taking the bait, hook line and sinker, to the point that he dismissed reports of movement behind the flanks of the Allied attack and a slackening of enemy air activity as the strike planes that were in the air started to be re-tasked.

The actual main attack, when it came at two o'clock that afternoon, was by sheer coincidence timed perfectly to coincide with Rommel's first counter-attack and by the time he realized what was going on, tanks from India, the United Kingdom, several African Dominions, Belgium, and the Netherlands had already driven deep into his lines and were well on their way to smashing through. Attempts were made to disengage the units attacking the suddenly barely yielding Allied lines, but to no avail. Either they were too engaged with the enemy or in entirely the wrong position in any event, and what reserves he had left were too light on Armour to do anything but be torn to shreds by the Allied spearheads, which were not only teeming with Comets but also drove forward under a massive umbrella of the newest Allied aircraft types.

He duly sent a request to first the OKH and then directly to the OKW to release the Panzer reserves directly to him, but at that point Hitler was still convinced that the flanking attacks were merely meant to distract from the failed attack in the centre.

However, that did not last past breakfast on the 23rd, when Hitler was told that the British Broadcasting Corporation had released a special bulletin that said that Allied tanks were almost within artillery range (albeit only by the big 155mm guns that formed the Royal Artillery's Heavy Regiments) and that what was left of Heer Intelligence had identified the King's Jewish Legion as the point unit. By that time the KJL was more a Corps in it's own right, with Jewish soldiers from all over the Empire and the mandates serving in it, and the Armoured Division was driving towards what they saw as the belly of the beast as fast as their engines would go, the Infantry fast behind in it's Armoured Infantry carriers.

That changed everything.

Minutes later, with two aides arrested on charges of treason for having failed to find that out sooner, Hitler issued orders that Rommel be given every Panzer he asked for and then some.

The first part of the Allied gamble had worked out as intended.

Normally Rommel's reaction would have been to attack the Allied bulges at their base, to cut them off to be destroyed later, but directives from Berlin and the fast-changing realities of the situation forced his hand, and he was forced to attack the Allied spearheads directly, with very mixed results.

While the preparations for that went on, the other Axis armies in the field in Germany were not standing still, but increased movement behind Allied lines, deliberately not disguised did it's own to keep them from interfering directly, as did orders from the Führerhauptquartier to stay where they are, since Hitler had come to expect further attacks elsewhere, not knowing that the Allies had thrown far more of their reserves into this one than they were fully comfortable with.

Guderian and Manstein loaned some of their already scarce Panzer reserves to Rommel, but to little effect.

The attack on the pincer aimed at Munich had the desired effect, the advance was stopped cold after a pitched tank battle by a mixture of Allied losses, the relative inexperience of the units involved and the generally greater distance they had to go, but the Allied drive towards Nuremberg ground on, and set up what promised to be a very bloody battle even to allied planners, since the three Divisions that defended the city itself were all drawn from the 5. SS-Panzerarmee. Under the circumstances the final breakthrough towards Nuremberg and what happened afterwards was a foregone conclusion.

Late on 2nd March, at a time when Rommel was already desperately searching for an excuse to retreat clear out of Bavaria, an ambush set by elements of the 2. SS Panzer-Division 'Das Reich' savaged the forward units of the KJL, but at the same time gave them early notice of what would await them. The ambush itself consisted only of a troop of Panthers supported by a company of infantry, and was eventually defeated, but it served it's purpose in that the Allied advance was sucked into Nuremberg itself as the remnants withdrew, even though that had not been the intention of the Allied commanders and allowed the regular Wehrmacht forces in the area to withdraw.

Overall the situation was deteriorating fast for Army Group Centre, because when the Allied pincers had driven into their rear areas, the Allied units to their front had renewed their attacks, and now he had only a relatively narrow corridor to withdraw through, and that was already under almost constant Allied air attack. Clearly, Bavaria was lost. All that remained for him to do was to withdraw as fast and far as he could before his orders were countermanded from Berlin. By the evening of 3rd March, when British Field Artillery was already shelling the outskirts of Nuremberg on one side while the civilian population was streaming out the other at Rommel's express orders, Axis units began to disengage wherever they could and move north-west.

However, what would shape the campaign was that the bulk of the German Panzers in the salient could not do so. Part was that ever-increasing toll that Allied air power was taking on their support elements but also that they were so heavily engaged that any attempt to withdraw would invite disaster in person of an immediate Allied attack.

Still, most Panzer units attempted to do so, but the cost of withdrawal was high.

It was at that point that fate intervened. When told about the troubles in Bavaria and especially Nuremberg, Hitler suffered what is now most commonly thought to be a mild heart attack. If it was caused solely by the news or by the questionable ministrations of his household 'physician', Doctor Theodor Morell is unknown, but what is known and more important is that he incommunicado for almost three days, and during that time the front shifted massively.

When Rommel's withdrawal, at the cost of nearly half of Germany's standing Panzer Divisions being gutted, became knowledge to the other Army Group commanders, they too contemplated their options, and that started a chain reaction. While Manstein couldn't really do much, given that he was occupied with keeping an eye on the Poles who were seemingly recruiting everyone who could hold a rifle in the liberated areas and on the threatening Allied troops in Czechoslovakia, Guderian knew that he was about to loose any direct contact with Rommel's Forces and too was forced to withdraw, deep into the north of what is modern-day Baden-Württemberg and thusly opened a hole that might allow the Allies to drive along the Swiss border straight into occupied France.

Which in turn forced Field Marshal von Rundstedt, relegated and fuming as Commander of Army Group France, or the joint Axis occupation forces in France to divert units from the southern Front to cover the gap. As a result, the French Army, after years of back and forth, finally managed to break out of the front and speedily advance towards and then liberate Marseilles by 11th March, the Axis forces already having been on the breaking point.

Hitler began to take interest in the world again by the 6th, and the first act was to have his former Doctor arrested and then shot for having induced the heart attack, and then try to countermand Rommel's withdrawal orders. When it was pointed out to him that firstly it was too later for that and that elements of the Waffen-SS were still holding Nuremberg and would do so until they were relieved, he once more accepted things as they stood, seemingly having been somewhat changed by his near-death experience.

Whatever the reason, the stark truth was that the Axis position in Western Europe was coming apart, and quickly at that. In Moscow this led to a re-appraisal of the German alliance, and several large reinforcements for the West were cancelled and turned into the so-called Belorussian Reserve that would give the Allies such grief later on. Meanwhile the Soviet units in Germany were told to husband their resources for one last great attack, what would become the Battle of the Fulda Gap and decide if Berlin was captured intact or in ruins.

However, all that paled against events in the Far East....


tbc
 

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Nice! Giving the fascists a good walloping.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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A pity to see Rommel failing but... c'est la guerre....

Why the German generals don't get rid of Hitler?!?!
 

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Trekaddict

Excellent to see an update and also further allied successes, albeit at some losses. But far heavier losses for the Germans I suspect. With a good chunk of their homeland occupied and other losses I suspect their going to have problems rebuilding those battered armoured units. Plus presumably their research and general non-military production is heading for the floor at a fast rate. :)

Steve
 

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BritishImperial Glad you liked it. And no, they aren't diverting Rivers.

Bafflegab Thank you. Indeed the situation is similar to the one between West and East Germany after World War 2.

The Americans still have a lot of rebuilding to do, and much of their Industry is either destroyed beyond repair or fled to Canada when the fall of the United States seemed imminent. ( I gave them 20 extra base IC ) The American economy is still partially in tatters, but Browder is currently working on making it perform, and [possible spoilers below, highlight to read] they also look to expand their own influence in central and south America, rightfully believing that the British are preoccupied with events in Europe.

As for Canada, their economy struggeled too during the years after the revolution, but in TTL King became PM again in 1933 instead of 35, and he quickly dashed to redirect at least part of Canadas Industry back to Europe and South America, especially Brazil. That, together with the influx of US Capital, technology and Manpower in the aftermath of the Communist takeover enabled the Canadian economy to recover relatively fast. The British also increased trade relations, and that lead incindentally to something a bit like watered down Imperial Preference, but it was enver amde official policy.

The Canadians still allow American merchant traffic to traverse the St. Lawrence Channel. Should however war break out at any time or even a crisis of some sort then the Canadians will close the channel sharpish. The Border is far from impregnable, and it won't be for another decade at least, even an undamaged US economy couldn't do it any faster.

And that with Ottawa, that is a typo, I ment Ontario, it will be corrected post haste.

Sorry to bring up this post, but how did WLMK become PM in 1933 given that R.B.Bennett and the Conservative Party won the 1930 Canadian Federal Election with 135 seats out of a possible 245 giving them a majority (57.45% of the seats)?
 

ViperhawkZ

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Sorry to bring up this post, but how did WLMK become PM in 1933 given that R.B.Bennett and the Conservative Party won the 1930 Canadian Federal Election with 135 seats out of a possible 245 giving them a majority (57.45% of the seats)?

The setting diverged as early as 1901, so there's certainly room for that to have changed.
 

stevep

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Guys

Anyone heard from Trek? Things seems to have been quiet for a while and when I tried to send him a mail it appears he hasn't been on the forum for a month. I lost touch for a while when they changed the accounts and only got back a few days back. [Partly because after a year away from it I started playing AoD again which means a chronic time shortage. ;)] Tried sending him a mail but can't see the option under the new system. Hope he's OK.

Steve
 

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Sorry, sorry, sorry. Thing is, real life was insanely busy, and much of my free time was dedicated to writing things for the Galaxy Far Far Away. HOWEVER! The next chapter is nearly done and will be posted within the next eight hours.
 
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trekaddict

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Chapter 382


While Field Marshal Alexander was methodically demolishing Army Group Centre in Europe, in the Far East Admiral Cunningham unleashed his own forces. Though there is no evidence that this timing was anything other than a coincidence, it did make an impact, as it showed that the British Empire was capable of fighting major actions on opposite ends of the Earth. This view of course does not consider that one was primarily carried out by the Army, while the other was the area of the Royal Navy, and neither really needed much of the other for it.


The first Allied units to leave port for Operation Jaywick were the escorting units of Force Z, since the gunline was the slowest of the Task Forces and the idea was for all units to arrive in the area at the same time. They sortied from Singapore, after hurriedly re-provisioning HMCS Arizona, closely followed by the Fleet Train that carried the second wave of reinforcements.


The faster Carriers followed a day later, their own escorts.


On the 20th, with the official beginning of the rainy season on Hainan little more than a week away, hastily prepared airfields all over northern Vietnam were abuzz with activity. Many of them were little more than rough dirt strips hacked out of the jungle, but they all hosted every troop-carrying Douglas Dakota that the Air Transport Command owned, along with the often irritated but by now very well acclimatized members of the Royal Parachute Corps. Three Divisions, the 6th, the 1st and the Indian-Burmese 10th Airborne Division. While the Anglo-Canadian Marine Force would land conventionally by sea, the Paras would introduce vertical envelopment to the Japanese Army on a grand scale. Elsewhere logistics, the terrain or the sheer distance of the target would prevent further operations of this sort, such as Jaywick Two where the Paras would not take part.


On that day however, their mounts could easily make the distance with range to spare, and even though the terrain was far from perfect and would indeed cause frightful losses on some units that missed their dropzones or where intelligence was faulty. Overall though the attack was entirely unexpected in spite of the lengthy preparations. The 6th would reach it's dropzones first, with the Royal Gurkha Airborne Rifle Brigade and the 101st Airborne Regiment once again bringing up the lead, both units long since having been returned to full strength.


The airborne portion of the attack was timed so that the units arriving over their dropzones would have enough light to fight and to see the terrain, because unlike in the various operations in Europe, the dropzones were confined and very substandard in many respects, leading to post-war accusations that Cunningham had forced the use of the paras.


While there may be some truth to it as some of the early drafts that the Admiral is known to have read did not contain that component, but there is no definite proof.


In any case, as usual the battle did not come off as planned. While the timing was accurate and the jumps of the 6th Airborne went, for once off as planned and with minimal casualties, the 1st was scattered more than expected and dropped onto ground that turned out to be far more rocky than expected. Casualties there were severe. 10th Airborne had the worst deal and the greenest troops. They jumped right into an unforeseen exercise of a company of Japanese regulars with a few squads of Chinese auxiliaries attached. A Burmese Regiment was torn to shreds still in their chutes.


Eventually the Japanese were overwhelmed and killed to the last man.


In spite of the losses, the British Army had established itself on Hainan.


Out at sea, the Japanese had yet to respond when the Dreadnoughts hove to and trained their guns at the shore even as farther inward the Marines boarded their landing craft. As the small vessels departed, the heavy naval guns spoke. The bombardment was aimed at the Japanese beach defences, but everyone knew that this would have only limited effect against the sturdy Japanese field fortifications. Five British, one Canadian and one French Dreadnought, together with two British Battlecruisers fired their heavy Artillery at Japanese positions in the dawn light, already supported by aircraft from the CANZAC Carrier Group that provided close support while Force A was farther north, covering them against air attack from Formosa and in case the Combined Fleet came out.


The Japanese forces at the beach hunkered down in their fortifications and tried to ride out the shelling. Since almost all of them had originally been part of the Kwantung Army and therefore stationed on the Island for several years, their memories from the conquest of China did not adequately prepare them for the sheer volume of fire the Allies could put out. Even though the shelling lasted only fifteen minutes, many of the men were so dazed by it that the first wave of Free Chinese Infantry had already begun to land before the Japanese opened fire. The resulting fight was brutal and savage, but mercifully also relatively short. As was the usual Allied tactic, Tanks had been landed with the first wave, and the Japanese had little that could do more than scratch the paint of a Centaur.


The Heavy Support Company of the 3rd Tank Battalion was the last holdout of the venerable type, and on that day it showed why, since the howitzers they were armed with made short work of the Japanese fortifications, never mind that the entire frontage on which the leading Brigades landed was defended by what was a single Japanese Infantry brigade on paper but which had maybe the equivalent of half that in real terms.


Farther north fighting was more substantial and spread out. The first response to the Allied landing was an uncoordinated mess as single units went to investigate the fighting they had heard in sometimes only platoon strength. Against elite light Infantry they stood little chance, but they accomplished their mission. By mid-morning the Japanese were now aware that there was a substantial Allied force sitting astride the few roads south, cutting the bulk of the Sino-Japanese forces on the island off from their comrades in the south.


One of the great fears that had driven Allied planners during the run-up to Jaywick One was that the Japanese might concentrate aerial assets and strike at the invasion fleet, which had dictated the deployment of the carriers. In general this proved to be unfounded as the mainland air assets had started redeployment northwards and away from the danger posed by the increasingly bold Chinese partisans in the area and for the first day were simply unable to respond.


On Hainan itself there simply were no more planes that could pose any sort of threat to the Allies. What little there still was from what had been two full Airfleets each from the Naval and Army Air services was for the most part caught on the ground by Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Naval aviators. A few Japanese fighters managed to take to the air, but they proved to be almost laughably outclassed against the Hawker Sea Fury.


So for most of the morning the Allies had a relatively easy time of it. Even though it was hellishly difficult by roving Allied aircraft, by mid-afternoon the Japanese commander of the southern defences had managed to assemble what he felt to be large enough of a force to counterattack against the 10th Airborne. If it was him underestimating just how much firepower the average Parachute Company carried or dismissal of the Burmese and Indian troops as racially inferior is unknown (since he would perish in an air raid before the day was out) but the ferocity of the assault put paid to any idea that the Japanese on Hainan would give up. In and of itself the outcome of the action was predetermined, the only thing it was remarkable for was the first use of a new technology that would soon change the face of warfare, the proximity fuse.


Even though each Division had only been issued with a few dozen of the precious shells, the Artillery commander of the 10th made good use of them. Each shell that exploded above the ground instead of in it showered the area around in lethal shrapnel. The Japanese troops were devastated.


Thus ended the first and largest attack on the Allied position.


~**---**~


The two Hawker Sea Furies belonging to the Royal New Zealand Navy were nearing the end of their patrol. The Commander (Air) of the Melbourne had been very insistent that no one was to fly over the northern coast of the Island, lest they be forced down on the mainland. Both pilots didn't really mind that. Even though news from there was scarce it was obvious that going there would be a really, really bad idea. Black One and Black Two therefore scanned the air and the ground for targets.


Two spotted something on the ground. “Two,One. A couple of Nip lorries down on that road at 9 o'clock.”


“Let's pay them a visit then. Tally ho, tally ho.”


With those words, both planes banked away, curving around to approach along the road instead of perpendicular to it. Both planes had already fired their rockets and dropped their bombs, but shells for the 20mm cannons were still plenty. The convoy Two had spotted consisted of a staff car and two lorries acting as an escort and travelled roughly northwards, away from the fighting. The Japanese conscripts driving the forward lorry didn't see the two dark spots in the air until they were almost upon him and before his world ended in the roar of engines, and flicker of guns and a sea of fire.


The two pilots would never find out that they had just killed the commander of the Japanese forces on Hainan, and by the time they returned to Melbourne, the tide had already changed.


~**---**~


The lack of cohesive leadership between the commander of the southern defences going missing and his deputy taken over was devastating to already doomed defenders. By sheer coincidence a half-troop of the 3rd Tank Battalion supported by a company from the 231st Infantry Regiment broke through and almost literally ran into the forward sentries of the Gurkha Airborne Rifles, linking up with the Paras less than nine hours after the initial landings. So far things had gone far better than anyone had expected, mostly because General Sakai was aware that he would not be able to hold the Island against determined Allied attack. He had however severely underestimated the firepower the Paras could bring to bear and the speed at which the Marines could move.


He had expected them to act much like the Japanese during the invasion of the Phillippines, in that they would establish and then consolidate it before moving inland, giving him more than enough time to move up his own forces. The use of Paratroops caught him on the wrong foot, as did the ferocity, speed and skill with which the Free Chinese advanced. When being told of the identity of many of the Allied troops he was dismissive of them. Few documents survived the hellish fight for his headquarters, but one of the few surviving staff officers later told Allied interrogators that Sakai somehow saw it as a personal slight against his person when the FCA Divisions did not scatter like the old National Revolutionary Army during the later stages of the Chinese conquest. The rest of the campaign was conducted with correspondingly brutal methods being used on both sides.


The 1st Guards Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army had been positioning itself to make an attack against the 6th Airborne, by which time all the Free Chinese Army Divisions in fighting conditions, three Infantry and one armoured (though the latter was more of a reinforced Brigade at this point, having been declared operational only a month earlier) had their combat elements ashore and those had in turn stepped into line beside the Paras. So when the 1st Guards hurled themselves against what they thought was one division of British lights, they ran into two, one of them very determined and and a chip the size of Mount Everest on their collective shoulders.


Upon discovering what they thought was the British using Chinese as auxiliaries much like the Japanese practice, the commander of the 1st Guards tried to re-direct his attack against the 1st Chinese Infantry Division in order to scatter them much like it had happened time and again on the mainland. Everything from Lee-Enfield Rifles to 25pounder field artillery quickly ended that notion. However the push was by no means over....



tbc


There we are, I've written for this for the first time in months....
 
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trekaddict

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