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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Centurial

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Apr 29, 2017
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Chapter 22: Long-range Warfare (July – December 1943)



After the marines’ landing on Formosa, American troops quickly captured the rest of the island and began digging in. Construction teams went to work right away on America’s ambitious goals for the island; Formosa was already fitted with a decent airbase and a large dock, but the Americans wanted to transform it into a fortress, capable of supporting a massive aerial presence while supplying an entire army for future invasions.



Soon, a huge number of American planes started operating from the island – initially, several waves of fighters were used to secure the region against bombing raids, while heavy bombers searched for Japanese warships and convoys.

Within weeks, the first strategic bomber wings were sent towards southern Japan itself, in an effort to damage the enemy’s morale and potentially cause some damage to their war effort. The bombers were only able to operate conservatively, since they were out of range of escort fighters and would frequently encounter Japanese fighter planes, both native and lend-leased, but their attacks were still a major shock to the same nation which had expected 1943 to be the year of Japanese conquest in the Pacific.


For the next several months, the American strategy was simply to hold Formosa and let their air force do the work. The primary goal here was to gain air superiority over the East China Sea, as control of the skies would be crucial to any upcoming operations. Bombers were also sent occasionally to patrol the seas for Japanese shipping, while strategic bombers would occasionally deploy at nighttime. The battle for air superiority began intensely, with Japan throwing huge numbers of planes based in Min territory to try and destroy the American air bases.

But over time, Japanese attacks began to wane as the American position grew stronger and stronger. Anti-air installations soon stopped the Japanese from trying to bomb Formosa, and it was difficult to outnumber the Americans as they continued to deploy more and more planes to the region.

By October, the Japanese stopped flying near Formosa altogether and began using their planes for defensive purposes instead. Despite both nations’ planes being roughly equal in terms of quality and technology for the duration of the battle, America had gained the upper hand through sheer numbers – the country’s industrial output was massive, to the point where even the frequent heavy bomber losses were replaced.



The bombing raids increased in frequency and size as the American position was strengthened, forcing the Japanese to further spread out their own air force just to defend their territory. The early American heavy bombers often struggled without escorts, resulting in some serious losses to Japanese and foreign planes, but they did manage to do heavy damage to Japanese infrastructure on the southern island of Kyushu.



By November, an entire army of marines and armor were stationed on Formosa to stand by for a future operation. With international pressures continuing to rise, the Americans hoped to bring an end to the war as soon as possible, so they devised a plan to engage the Japanese with the new Combined Fleet near Formosa, supported by America’s numerous land-based warplanes, and then quickly launch a huge invasion into Japan’s mainland itself, where the defenses should be weak enough to establish a foothold since the majority of Japan’s army was devoted to mainland Asia and the Pacific islands.



The bombing patrols over the sea caused minor damage to some Japanese screening ships and convoys, but the Japanese navy was wise enough to avoid patrolling the area in full, knowing that America would need to deploy its full navy in order to progress any further. Even with the current air coverage America had over the region, the only major invasion they could attempt without exposing their inferior fleet would be an invasion of China, which the Japanese were well equipped to defend against.



Meanwhile, the strategic bombing raids over Southern Japan continued. A staggering number of American bombers were now in rotation, keeping the Japanese fighters quite busy. The majority of American bombing raids failed to accomplish anything meaningful; either due to retreating from inbound Japanese fighters detected via radar, or simply due to the inherent inaccuracy of bombing from a very large height, especially at nighttime. Still, the sheer number of bombs dropped did manage to do some decent damage to Japanese infrastructure over the final months of 1943.



Over the next several months, the current wave of American bombers would begin to struggle and take increasing losses as the Japanese adapted to the situation and developed or imported better anti-air weapons, but the sheer number of American bombers available made the country unconcerned with losses, as long as the raids continued to succeed.



In September, another invasion of Beixue was attempted with a larger force of Marines, accompanied by two armored divisions. However, the enemy had taken the time since the last attempt to reinforce their capital even further, ultimately resulting in another failure for the Marines.



Meanwhile, American shipping continued to take heavy damage from raids. The old Pacific Fleet was still operating in the area, but the raiding ships of Beixue were very skilled, picking their targets and avoiding the American fleet.



After being foiled twice by the impenetrable defenses of Beixue’s capital, a new plan was made for the marines to invade a port farther north, which would be less fortified and defended by fewer men. That next month, this attack was attempted with full support from the Combined Fleet.



The landing was successful at first, but several waves of attackers were forced to retreat after taking heavy losses, while the enemy continued to reinforce rather than fall back despite their own losses. Beixue was seemingly impenetrable.

Frustrated by the continued failures, the Oregon Marines were bolstered significantly in number, and began planning another much larger invasion of that same northern port.



That December, the very well-funded American R&D divisions decided on the final designs for a whole new generation of warplanes - including new fighters, as well as medium and heavy bombers. The main priority for all of these planes was range, as any invasion of Japan or Beixue would need the support of Tactical Bombers in order to have a realistic chance of success.

Specifically, the new American fighters would significantly outclass all of the planes they were put up against, thanks to the unprecedented speed they were capable of reaching. In order to satisfy the need range without sacrificing these speeds, the fighters were equipped with droppable fuel tanks, which could be ejected if necessary once they entered a combat zone to reduce weight.



The new wave of bombers were also much better defended than the previous generation, with better cannons and armor in order to be capable of attacking raiding without fighter support. Already the Japanese struggled to defend against the numerically superior American bombers; this next generation would make it far more difficult for them to resist the annihilation of their industry.

A huge number of American factories were devoted to these new warplanes, with the intention of deploying a meaningful number of them for operations within just two months. The war had already dragged on too long, and America was aiming for a decisive victory soon so that Japan could be forced to surrender as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile though, the postwar turmoil in Europe continued to distract Livonia’s sphere of influence, and the continued American embargo brought a new kind of pressure as the winter of 1943 set in. Already Livonia’s commitment to Japan had been quite weak, so this was a great opportunity – America’s successes in the Pacific War combined with Europe’s own struggles provided a great opportunity for the two nations to negotiate. While they may remain enemies, America could certainly buy time to defeat Japan if they played their cards right.
 

stnylan

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In many ways it sounds like the Americans may have observed what happened in Europe, and how Livonia operated, and thought of the influence the LAF had on the battlefield and simply applied that knowledge to their own sphere.
 

Centurial

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In many ways it sounds like the Americans may have observed what happened in Europe, and how Livonia operated, and thought of the influence the LAF had on the battlefield and simply applied that knowledge to their own sphere.
To some degree, although the potency of airplanes in war had already been proven for a while now. American doctrine is definitely different than Livonian, as they have very little investment in tactical-level air operations and much more in strategic-level. America has been committed to this kind of bombing for longer than Livonia, who only really began investing heavily in it after the recapturing of northern Aquitaine.
 

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This has been a great AAR. One of the best I've ever read! I can't wait to see the conclusion.

Also, question, who do you think America's monarch is? IIRC America's monarchy was installed by foreign countries and, unless that that same dynasty's been ruling since then, there's probably been a dynastic switch or too, probably with some big name political dynasty marrying into the throne
 

Centurial

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Chapter 23: The European Revival (Dec. 1943 - 1944)



Rebuilding Europe was a tremendous effort, and last six months were already characterized by struggle. Rationing was still widespread on the continent, as even food exporters like Kiev and Livonia had to provide for the western counties whose own industry had been annihilated in the conflict. Progress was being made, particularly in Aquitaine where the largest proportion of aid was sent, but the onset of winter brought huge struggle as farming output was reduced.

The Europeans did have the benefit of the African colonies to provide some food exports, but they weren’t enough to stop the crisis. Imports from other non-affected countries were limited as well – the only other major industrialized countries in the world were still at war, with the largest continuing its embargo of the Allies. Food was able to be imported through northern China along the same Karenian routes where military equipment was being delivered, but the poor infrastructure and long distance limited its effectiveness.





Ever since the conference in Gdanska, the major Allied powers had met regularly to continue planning the development of the new continental union, and the major topic now was figuring out how to revive the economies of Western Europe as quickly as possible. The situation over in Asia had also attracted a lot of attention; America had just moved its navy away from the Atlantic, confirming they had no intention to fight against Europe any time soon.

Livonia’s own delegation considered their options in how to deal with America; while American domination over the Pacific would be dangerous, Livonia still maintained a strong presence in the region and its own military was very well-equipped. Tensions with America still meant that war was a possibility in the future, but they were clearly committing fully to the battle against Japan at the moment, and the Allies would need at least three years to prepare for another large-scale fight. At that point, the navies of Livonia and Aquitaine should be strong enough to dominate the seas, and the continued production of armor and air assets would help alleviate manpower shortages.

In the meantime though, Europe needed to grow, and the quickest way to do so was negotiating with America to lift the embargo, which would allow large numbers of food and industrial goods to flow into the country. Throughout December, American diplomats entered discussions with the Allies, who maintained their position that the embargo would only be lifted if Aquitaine were to formally cede its Asian colonies to America and end hostilities, while the rest of the Allies guaranteed they would not intervene militarily in the war with Japan. Outside of this, no further demands were made, as America was aware of the disadvantage they would have against Europe at the moment.



Ultimately, this meeting was the formal betrayal of Livonia’s former alliance with Japan, but it was necessary in order to revive Europe and grow it to a strength where it could compete with America in the future. By January, trade began between the two power blocs once again, and Japan was left to defend its territory knowing that there would be no foreign intervention. Equipment shipments did continue from Livonia into Japan’s Chinese sphere, but these meant little while the country itself was facing regular bombing raids.









Within Europe, the process of adjusting to the new postwar borders was underway. In Scandinavia, the rise of ethnic nation-states following the dissolution of Norvegija led to widespread migrations along the border regions, which had never been clearly defined in the past. The main source of migrations was within Finland, whose nationalistic government openly supported the departure of Swedes from the country which had long been subjugated by foreign cultures.

In the Low Countries, the rebuilding process was going quite well as the three new nations developed their own respective governments. The region had already had several years to recover during the Livonian wartime occupation, so the main focus at this point was simply setting up the several new systems of governance; particularly in the lands returned to Pomeranija, where ethnic Germans were subjected to harassment by Pomeranians after their own marginalization during the Fascist era.

Pomeranija itself flourished once again, quickly growing to echo its previous position as an economic powerhouse as it had been in the late 1800’s. The country’s neutrality during the war meant that civilian industry had been left untouched, and the huge demand for basic goods across much of Europe generated huge profits in exports for the country.

The new government of Italy also generated some interest as it promoted pacifism within the constitution itself, promising economic development and peace for its people – the country had once flourished as the second-largest economy in Europe, but its imperialist tendencies brought ruin afterwards. However, friction with the occupation policies of Al-Turkis and its gutting of Italy’s industry continued, with complaints regularly being made within the European conferences.

Friuli was developing well as a result of foreign investment; while Genoa continued to be occupied by Aquitaine.





The temporary de-escalation with America should give Europe a strong chance to rebuild, but at the cost of a disadvantage in Asia and strengthen of their own economy. Still, the military innovations of Livonia during the war hadn’t been matched by its rival just yet, and the monthly growth of its mechanized forces and the Baltic Navy continued as the country prepared for the possibility of confrontation in the future.











EDIT 11/9: Very sorry about how long it has taken lately with updates. This is perhaps the busiest period of my life I have and will have for quite some time. Even in the worst scenario, my load will lighten up in December and I will try and complete this story during the months of December and January. Thank you for the patience.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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A tough decision, but to face America down requires growth.
 

Falhxer

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Finally ive been able to catch up, real life, ugh.
Amazing victory in Europe and maybe the Cold War with America, or should i call it the Warm War ?
 

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Read through this today and really enjoyed it. Major kudos for making it to HOI4 at all, much less have the war still be engaging and not be a blob fest.

Do you plan to continue through a cold war esque scenario just as a narrative? I know HOI4 itself isn't really suited to modelling that.
 

Centurial

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Once again [there's an edit at the end of my last post in case you haven't read], sorry about this delay. Unexpectedly large amount of work this season. But I plan to begin working on finishing this story in mid-December!


Finally ive been able to catch up, real life, ugh.
Amazing victory in Europe and maybe the Cold War with America, or should i call it the Warm War ?
Not sure what to call this - it's not necessarily a proxy war since Japan is pretty much left out to dry at this point, and both sides are trying to avoid conflict with each other in the short term while they pursue other goals.

Read through this today and really enjoyed it. Major kudos for making it to HOI4 at all, much less have the war still be engaging and not be a blob fest.

Do you plan to continue through a cold war esque scenario just as a narrative? I know HOI4 itself isn't really suited to modelling that.
Thanks, it took a whole lot of planning and a few retries in the later series to make it work :)

I will write up some about the time period in the years after the end of war in HOI4, and after that I'll leave the future open to interpretation with a brief post on what I would expect might happen. After that, it's all done, and perhaps in the future I'll try a shorter and more fun AAR idea [I was thinking CK2 or Stellaris].
 

stnylan

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No worries.
 

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I would suggest ck2 over Stellaris. I find it hard to keep myself interested in the latter. Messing the history up is always fun, but growing some random alien empire I can't get myself attached makes it easy to lose interest.
It might be different in your case, tho.
 

Centurial

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Chapter 24: Dominion (January - May 1944)



It was January of 1944, and America’s strength continued to grow. The negotiations with the Allies to lift the embargo now guaranteed the country’s ability to wage war without concern of intervention, giving America time to fully prepare for an invasion of mainland Japan. This was very valuable, as the Combined Fleet was still understrength, and every month of delay saw it grow in size as the American dockyards worked hard to pump out new screening ships. The expansion of the air force would also be a great help, as bombers would be able to support the land invasion all the way from Formosa while disabling any major infrastructure nearby.


After yet another failed invasion of Beixue that winter, the Marine staff finally decided that an invasion of the country wasn’t worth the effort, and indefinitely cancelled any offensive plans for the region. The Combined Fleet’s patrols off the coast had already destroyed multiple convoy raiders, and the new generation of bombers now had a long enough range to bomb all important regions of Beixue, allowing America to disable any meaningful military value the country had without needing to invade.





Beixue had proven to be incredibly resilient, and the failed invasions were an additional embarrassment for the American military. Regardless, that country was now unable to hinder America any more, and would remain of no use to the Japanese war effort from this point onwards.



As the new generation of bombers started to roll out over the next few months, raids against Japan became vastly more effective. These new strategic bombers now had the range to strike the majority of the Japan’s major cities, and were able to reliably avoid being disrupted by current Japanese fighters and anti-air equipment. This resulted in very heavy damage to the country’s infrastructure and factories, particularly in the previously untouched main island, and this destruction would only continue to spread as more of these new planes entered service. The Japanese government was still unwilling to agree to America’s aggressive territorial demands in exchange for peace, but at this rate the country would presumably have very little ability to resist invasion.



By April, military development in America was mainly focused on two things – developing the capabilities of Marine forces to succeed in the difficult task of invading Japan itself, and designing new carrier-based warplanes to win the next engagement with Japan’s numerically superior surface fleet.



Additionally, a secret project was underway to develop nuclear technology, which theorists proposed could produce the most powerful single class of bomb to ever exist. At this point, development of such a weapon was still far off, as the nuclear reactors necessary to even develop bomb-capable material were still being designed, but over the next few years the project could give America a huge military advantage if it was a success.



In mid-April, the Combined Fleet, which was still stationed in Oregon, was ordered to depart for the East China Sea, in order to provoke an engagement with the Japanese Navy. American naval staff was now confident that with support by Formosa’s massive air presence, they could defeat Japan’s navy in an engagement in the region. If the Japanese failed to engage, radar and patrols would allow a large enough window to support the naval invasion of Kyushu, which was expected to be ready within just a few months.





The Combined Fleet itself had been slightly bolstered by several new screening craft and a new Carrier, but many of its other capital ships were still in the middle of construction. This was considered acceptable though, as Formosa’s air support could do most of the work in disabling Japan’s capital ships, while the surface fleet would mostly focus on Japanese destroyers and cruisers.



In Japan, the navy had been very cautious ever since they were caught off guard by the invasion of Formosa – they knew that America’s new fleet would lose in a surface battle on its own, but if it was allowed to enter within range of land-based bombers, there would be no hope. It was known that the new Combined Fleet had been stationed off Beixue for the last several months, and ever since then the Japanese fleet had been patrolling the northern Pacific Islands in order to intercept them on the open seas whenever they returned to Asia.

May proved to be the month of action, as Livonian military intelligence spotted America’s fleet travelling near the West Emperor Chain. Despite pledging not to intervene in the Pacific War, passing this information on to Japan was the country’s only chance of defeating America at sea, which would help Livonia’s own strategic situation well enough to be worth the possible diplomatic repercussions if the Americans found out.

After receiving the transmission from Livonia, Japan’s entire surface fleet was repositioned to engage the Americans while they were unprotected from the skies. On May 16th, the Japanese finally encountered the Combined Fleet once more, far north of Livonia’s Wake Island.



This was the final chance to stop America, so Japan committed everything they had to this battle. Their surface fleet was larger overall, especially in terms of cruisers, but America had a Carrier advantage, and several of their screening ships were more modern than those of Japan.



America’s navy was in trouble – they had gambled that the Japanese would be unable to locate their fleet in the massive open seas of the Pacific, but somehow they had managed to find them – now, the weaker fleet would need to fight a difficult battle in order to survive.

The early fight was mostly even – both sides took large losses in smaller screening ships, though America lost more cruisers at the beginning to Japan’s heavier ships. Japan’s carriers successfully managed to distract most of America’s planes by venturing far from the battlefield and misleading their scouting aircraft – it was assumed that America’s bombers would try to target Japan’s carriers first, so the goal was to distract them as long as possible while the surface fleet fought. Ultimately, this strategy proved to be successful as much of America’s carrier planes failed to do any meaningful damage between failed attempts to find Japan’s carriers in the early battle and the poor weather conditions making spotting difficult.





The Japanese surface fleet continued to succeed thanks to their larger numbers, destroying tons of American cruisers, including one heavy which was lost to a Japanese battleship. Japanese losses were rising as well, but at a much slower rate. By this point, heavy ships on both sides were mostly still in action.



With the loss of American screening vessels, the heavy ships were vulnerable to Japanese torpedoes, resulting in massive losses in the third phase of battle as all of America’s heavy cruisers were disabled, along with one battleship. At this point, the Combined Fleet was in full retreat.

The battle ended shortly after with relatively little action. Japan had lost several screening vessels, seriously reducing the size of their fleet, but America’s losses had been far greater. All of their remaining obsolete screening vessels had been disabled in the battle, as well as several heavier ships. The capital ships remained mostly intact, but had contributed very little to the battle in the first place.



This was a disaster for America. The Japanese ambush at sea had decimated the Combined Fleet, leaving the country critically low on ships and unable to even reach Formosa – though in its current shape, it would be of little use anyways. Despite Japan’s very poor situation at home, their fleet had still been among the strongest in the world, and the victory here saved the country from invasion for at least the rest of 1944.

However, the American strategic position still left them at an advantage overall in the war – Formosa was far too well-fortified at this point for a counterinvasion by Japanese marines, and much of their industrial capacity was disrupted by bombing raids. The battle had certainly bought Japan time, but America refused to even discuss peace terms at this point.



America’s fleet was now left in a useless state for fighting – only three light cruisers and one heavy had survived, in addition to the Capital ships. While an expansion of dockyards had already been underway to some extent, the loss in May resulted in a massive reallocation of American spending to expanding dockyard capacity, in order to fill the navy with brand new screening vessels. Already, a few more capital ships were nearing completion from before, and combined with a new state-of-the-art screening fleet, the Japanese would be unable to compete. Unfortunately, naval construction is a slow process, meaning the war would certainly drag on past 1944 as initially planned.




Though hugely disappointing, the battle did not change America’s fate. Japan’s ability to expand and repair their own navy was mostly ruined by bombing, while America was now the most powerful industrial power on the planet – particularly with the economic boost brought on by trade to Europe. While Japan’s Navy had put up an incredible fight so far, its strength had developed from over a decade of stockpile and buildup, and there was very little left. And with the way they were being bombed, Japan would be practically reduced to another colonial target by the time American marines arrived.
 

stnylan

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Things look very bleak for Japan. Livonia and her allies need to consider very carefully do they want a world in which America rules the Pacific, given its already demonstrated territorial aggrandisment.
 

Idhrendur

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Things look very bleak for Japan. Livonia and her allies need to consider very carefully do they want a world in which America rules the Pacific, given its already demonstrated territorial aggrandisment.
Agreed.
 

Centurial

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Apr 29, 2017
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Chapter 25: Homeland (May 1944 – September 1945)




After the second American defeat in the Pacific, the remainder of 1944 was relatively uneventful, as both countries’ crippled navies were forced to return home. Due to the very poor shape of Japanese infrastructure, they were hardly able to repair more than a few ships at a time, preventing them from capitalizing on their temporary control of the Pacific. In America, the naval expansion plans had skyrocketed, with an enormous budget being devoted to expanding both the dockyard capacity and fleet, in order to defeat Japan as quickly as possible (and eventually, have a competitive navy on the world stage once again).



By December, America had attained complete air superiority after their industrial might created enormous numbers of long-range warplanes over the last year. The destruction of Japan’s factories and a lack of resources had all but destroyed their own aerial capacity, and what little resources remained for the country were being dedicated to repairing their navy.



As 1945 began, so too did the final phase of America’s ambitious nuclear project – the actual development of an atomic bomb. Early testing had vastly exceeded expectations for the project, as it became clear that the scientists had invented something far more important than a simple bomb. The project would still take a long time to be finished though, and there wasn’t a clear idea of just how and where such an expensive bomb would be used. Even if Japan was still around by the time the weapon was completed, the conventional bombing campaign already had annihilated all important targets, and the invasion was expected to already be completed by that point – it seemed more likely these weapons would need to be stockpiled in the event of a future war against the Allies.



Over the next few months, several waves of new bombers were sent to Formosa to try and cover the entire East China Sea. Of particular importance were the new land-based naval bombers, which had the range to cover the entire distance between Formosa and Japan, and could do serious damage to both warships and convoys. Within a short period of time, Japanese convoys within range were being sunk en masse, forcing them to avoid that part of the ocean completely.



The rest of the winter was quiet for the most part as the Pacific Fleet was reinforced (the name Combined Fleet was no longer relevant by this point). The East China Sea was soon clear of all Japanese shipping, leaving the route from Formosa to Japan wide open for the marines which had been stationed on the island awaiting invasion for nearly a year now. Despite still being undersized, it was decided that the Pacific Fleet would be sent to help assist in a landing, taking a stealthier route across the Southern Pacific this time. This decision was made after an analysis of Japan’s own war capability, which was concluded to be practically nonexistent at this point – most of their fleet was still docked and in poor condition, and their homeland garrison on Kyushu was unable to stockpile enough men and weapons into a single area without being spotted and bombed, with the exception of those hiding in bunkers, where the roads outside were often destroyed.



Between air support, the surviving capital ships [including two new Carriers], and the few highly advanced screens that were already in service, it was determined that a land invasion of Japan was ready to begin. The Combined Fleet made it to Formosa this time without incident, though it was doubtful the Japanese navy would even have been able to engage them in its current state.



The invasion was planned for the beginning of April. On the day preceding the attack, bombers attacked all ports in western Japan, managing to damage several Japanese warships in the process.



The next day, on April 10th, an incredible American flotilla sailed out in an organized convoy from Formosa – it contained an entire army’s worth of men and equipment and was set to land in western Kyushu, near the city of Nagasaki. The army as a whole was heavily equipped and well prepared – twelve Marine divisions led the invasion into the port, followed behind by two infantry and eight armored, containing a variety of different tanks loaded with regular cannons, flamethrowers, artillery pieces, and bridgelayers.



Supported by an equally stunning number of warplanes, the first Marines landed on the fortified beaches to find two divisions defending the area – one of which was unexpectedly well-equipped by Livonian weapons and instructors; a product of the country’s military assistance from 1943. After air support destroyed the major Japanese defensive positions in the rubble near the beaches, the soldiers and tanks began to enter the nearby towns. Fighting was intense and nonstop, as the Japanese infantry made excessive use of booby-traps and mines, and set up ambushes in whatever pieces of rubble were usable. The entire area had been bombed out well ahead of the invasion, leaving little cover for the defenders, but they still managed to do serious damage to the first waves.



Within four days though, the inevitable happened as the Americans secured a stable beachhead on Kyushu. Bombers were regularly patrolling the sealanes connecting the island to the rest of Japan, in order to prevent any possible reinforcements or retreat. Kyushu itself was in extremely poor shape to support any sort of defense though – even the attackers faced extraordinary difficulty in maintaining supply lines through the nonexistent roads and rubble that covered practically the entire island as a result of years of bombing.



The rest of the island was captured over the next several weeks, with the main source of delay being logistical problems rather than combat, though that did continue to hinder the attackers. The Japanese had built up along the coasts of both neighboring islands, but Kyushu itself was now firmly in American control.



The army was split into two forces to invade the rest of Japan simultaneously, and the new offensive began May 21. The northern army was able to secure a beachhead on Japan’s main island, while the southern fought to capture the coastline of Shikoku Island.



However, something very surprising happened over the next three weeks – the Japanese held. Both Shikoku and Yamaguchi Province on the main island were much better suited for defense due to incomplete bombing, and it was here that the Japanese made extensive use of every weapon they had available to kill every American they could. Handheld anti-tank weapons were deployed to great success here, with Japanese soldiers regularly ambushing American tanks and other vehicles from behind, destroying hundreds in the battle.

It was clear that these handheld rocket launchers had been a focus of Japanese research and production in preparation for the invasion, and they took the Americans by great surprise – while similar weapons had been used in small numbers in Europe beforehand, they were never this concentrated. The only tactical option left to the American generals was to hold their tanks behind while Infantry cleared out the dense Japanese cities. While Japanese casualties were still very high, they succeeded at halting the Americans in Yamaguchi and completely denying the invasion of Shikoku.



Aside from the tactical brilliance of the Japanese defense, America’s offensive was also crippled by supply problems – engineers worked very hard to clear roads through Kyushu so that fuel and ammunition could be sent to supply the battles, but their task was immense after the level of destruction those roads had seen from American bombers previously. Ammunition was scarce on the battlefields, and even food was difficult to come by.



Yamaguchi descended into a hellish battlefield, as week by week went by with the nonstop explosions from American bombers and artillery, while Japanese soldiers and weapons flooded into the city to hold back the attackers. The entire month of June went by with the Americans failing to take the city, and then July arrived and the defense still continued to hold. In Shikoku though, American marines did finally managed to establish themselves on the island, and most of it was captured by July 21st. In the meantime, supply lines had improved for the Americans, and were finally beginning to be delivered and stockpiled to most of the army.



It had been now over three months since the invasion began, and rather than capitulate, Japan had held on to most of its territory. However, it was still inevitable that the devastated country would fall to America’s military-industrial supremacy, and ultimately this was achieved by the end of the month. Soldiers from Shikoku landed east of Yamaguchi, cutting off the city from Kyoto, while more soldiers landed farther east. Japanese ammunition had been mostly depleted already, and soon the soldiers of Yamaguchi were forced to flee, surrender, or die.



At this point, the Japanese army was essentially finished. Running out of equipment and fortified positions, the army was rapidly pushed back by the speed of America’s armored corps. After the fall of Yamaguchi, the Americans once again swept through the country, capturing Kyoto and reaching the border of Nagoya while several Japanese divisions were forced to surrender as they were cut off by American vehicles.



Japanese casualties had been massive compared to America during the invasion, losing around 6 men for every 1 dead American – but the American had tanks, planes, and artillery, while the Japanese were all on foot. It had been an unexpectedly fierce defense of what had been seen as a completely devastated island, but Japanese resistance had failed. By September 1st, almost the entire country was in American hands.






On September 8th of 1945, it was finally over.
 

stnylan

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Mmm, I do not think this bodes well for Livonia.
 

Idhrendur

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This indicates that soon there will be even larger wars.
 

Centurial

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Chapter 26: Entropy (September – December 1945)



Determining how the postwar treaty should be written was difficult for America, given the nature of their victory. Japan had held hegemony over much of Eastern Asia through its puppets and allies, but America had completely circumvented the mainland and gone straight for Japan, leaving the rest of Japan’s sphere intact after the war ended.

Additionally, there was Livonia and the rest of Europe to worry about – they were reluctantly content to spend the last two years rebuilding their own destroyed sphere of influence, but Europe was recovering and America would be annihilated at sea if war was to begin now. While an invasion of, say, Korea would be viable militarily, it was publicly states that such an attempt at domination of East Asia would result in a breach of the non-aggression treaty with Livonia, and would have consequences.

As it stood, America had gained the Asian colonies of Aquitaine during the war, in addition to Japan’s outlying islands and hegemony of the country itself – this gave them roughly equal strength in the Pacific to Livonia.

So with some disappointment but an equal sense of relief, the American diplomats reached an agreement with the leadership of Japan and its Asian allies. A white peace would be agreed upon with America and the countries of Korea, Manchuria, and Buryatia. Controversially for the American public, white peace was agreed upon with Beixue as well, despite early promises of annexation when the war began. The recently-conquered Chinese territory controlled by the Min would be “freed” of its status as a Japanese puppet and become an American ally, with full access to their military bases. The Min would also be granted control of civilian administration on Formosa, though America maintained full control of its extensive military bases on the island.



Finally, the Japanese government itself would be replaced by a new puppet government, led by a powerful American-appointed dictator, along with a congress with jurisdiction over civilian matters. America maintained a huge military presence across the country, and their control over Japanese administration was fully aimed at promoting American interests.

Another territorial consequence of the war was in Indochina, where the formerly Italian colonies had been under Livonian occupation with the expectation of being transferred to Japan. Now, the land remained under Livonian control indefinitely, even though the Livonian government had little desire for additional colonial land to keep track of.



The nuclear bombs being developed in America were still facing delays, with prototypes not expected to be completed until winter. As the war with Japan was now over, the purpose of such weapons would be purely to intimidate the Europeans away from a war in the short term.




While not immediately relevant to the Pacific War, there had certainly been important developments back in Europe during this time. The political structure and alliance founded at the Gdanska Conference was formalized as ‘The Nations of Europe’ in 1944, solidifying the ambitions of an economically and militarily unified continent that were dreamed up during the conference. However, that wasn’t to say that everything was running smoothly within the Nations: transformation of the defeated societies was a difficult process, further strained by hatred and mistrust that the war had caused.



The societies of nations such as England and Italy were able to transition somewhat smoothly back to the economic and peaceful traditions they had held before Fascism, but the greatest problems were found elsewhere. Isbani occupation by Aquitaine was characterized by very heavy policing and civilian terrorism, while Genoa was kept under complete martial rule. Establishing the new nations of Ireland and Germany was difficult as well, as ethnic lines were messy in these regions which had historically been mixed in with larger empires.



Pomerania encountered severe difficulties with much of the German population within their new territory, whose racial ideologies from the Fascist era and treatment of the Pomeranian ethnicities was now often avenged by both Pomeranian civilians and police, despite attempts by the government to keep the peace. In Scandinavia, the new nation-states attempted to revive national identities while dealing with the confusion brought about by the creation of nation-states in the region.



Al-Turkis also encountered heavy difficulty in the Balkans, even though the borders were unchanged by the war. Social and religious differences had always been a source of contention in the region, along with a rise in nationalism by those suffered from the constant wars in their land between Turks and Bavarians over the last century. Conscription during the war and promises made to the population to placate them had also helped spark calls for independence in the region, as a crisis quickly developed throughout 1945.



Rebuilding was still difficult, but the food crisis was now mostly resolved, and rationing was mostly finished throughout Europe by the end of the year. Social programs to assist those made homeless or widowed by the war began to spread through agreements within the Nations of Europe, and industry was beginning to take off again in certain regions such as Friuli, Aquitaine, Holland, and Stockholm.





War had ended, and the victorious powers of both conflicts attempted to settle into the new world order they had established, despite mutual distrust and tensions…
 

Centurial

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