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der Kriegsherr

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Darkest Night, Glorious Dawn: A 1944 Japan AAR
Japan, Götterdämmerung, New World Order 2, Version 2.24 with own/minor modifications (DH 1.03)
Mainly history-book style and gameplay, some memoir/character-based

Well, here we are again, ladies and gentlemen: I know I said that my last German Empire AAR would probably be my finest and until modifying the game to any real extent was within my capacity, that was true. But modified scenarios work extremely well as far as the creation of AARs is concerned. Anyway, this project was inspired by three things: A love of Japan, apparent latent-to-pretty-explicit masochistic tendencies, and Götterdämmerung AARs such as makif130289's Das Ende, StoneColdCroat's Struggle for Survival, and (to some degree anyway) Eric8344's The War is Not Lost, The War Will Never Be Lost!,

As my goal is to play a good game and tell a good story for my audience, I am not above save scumming as I'm at a pretty big industrial disadvantage and ships can be pretty fragile. However, use of cheats will be kept to an absolute minimum. As always, this AAR will be extremely image-heavy.

Apart from old and new readers (without whom I wouldn't bother in the first place!), I'd like to thank the following parties:
- Bizon and the NWO2 team of course
- The DH and Iron Cross teams, as I "borrowed" some minister pictures from the latter
- Ober for his Event making tutorial thread, without whom this would not have been possible
- Anyone who worked on the DH database editor
- NorwayBernd for his Partition of the United States mod, as I had to alter some of the files
 

der Kriegsherr

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

一:Tennō Heika Banzai! Ware Keito ni Kimi keireimasu! (Ichi-Go)

二: Chi no Umi (Second Battle of the Philippine Sea)

Journal entry #1

三: Salvaging China and New Guinea, Problems in Europe

四: Gyakuten (Landing at/Battle of Port Moresby)

五: New Year, New Allies, New Problems (New Guinea and Central China offensives)

六: The Gallows of Szechuan (South-Central China offensives)


七つ: The End of A Monstrosity (Yunnan/Burma offensives)

Journal Entry #2

八: Triumph, Tragedy, and Treachery (Shaanxi, Lae, Defense of Burma/Attack on Bengal)

九: The Strangled Eagle (Bengal, Bhutan, end of the ETO)

Journal Entry #3/Letter #1

十: Shinsekai Chitsugo (New Britain/India breakouts)

Eisenhower vignette #1

十一: Kōshin (Bengal breakout, 2nd Solomons, German aid)

十二: Gains and Losses (Victory in the Solomons, Retreat from Jharkhand)


十三: Tōitsu (Defense of Bengal, Kyokkō Sakusen/Australian Campaign)

Jiang/Stalin vignette #1

十四: Integration (Australia, Hachiman Sakusen)

Journal entry #4, #5, #6

August 24th, 1946, Washington DC, USA

十五: The Blue Dwarf and the Rising Sun (Balochistan, invasion of New Zealand, Kerala/Tamil Nadu breakout, the new commonwealth)


十六: Jūni Shinshō no Michi (Turning India around, New Zealand Campaign)


十七: British Twilight (Twin breakthroughs, the fall of Midway, New Zealand/Aotearoa)

十八: Guillotine (Battle of Mumbai/Bombay, Battle of the Bay of Bengal, first encirclements)

十九: Rivers of Blood (Battle of Kharagpur, Battle of Delhi, 3rd Jamshedpur, a new PM)

二十: The Lion's Last Stand (The end of British India, war preparations)


Eisenhower vignette #2


March 27th, 1948, 22:00, Tokyo, Empire of Japan


March 27th, 1948, 22:40, Tokyo, Empire of Japan

二十一: Yoake (Subutai Sakusen, initial skirmishes, Battle of Vladivostok)

April 19th, 1948, 14:37, somewhere in the Black Sea

April 25th, 1948, 19:13, Cherkasy region, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union

二十二: Gelb gegen Rot (Nakhoda-Vladivostok encirclement, Battle of Ulaanbataar, Battle of Mesopotamia)

二十三: To the Middle Sea (Kibuka Sakusen, liberation of the Persians)

二十四: Mopping-Up (Iran, 3rd Ulaanbataar, Defense of East Azerbaijan)

二十五: Titus Iaponicus (Battle of Tel Aviv-Siege of Jerusalem, Battle for the Levant, capture of Yerevan)

二十六: Taiheiyō no Kaibutsu (Battle of the Hawaiian Rise, 2nd-3rd Baku, 4th Midway)

Journal Entry #7, #8, #9, #10

二十七: The Impostor Eagles (Cleaning out the Pacific, Russian expulsion from Mongolia, Oguzu Sakusen)

December 21st, 1949, 18:19, Research Range, Russian SSR, USSR

七十八: Across the Strait (Anatolia, 2nd Battle of Tbilisi, 1st Battle of Novosibirsk)


Eisenhower vignette #3


二十九: Higashi no Arashi (1st/2nd Battle of Cairo, 2nd Suez, return of the caliphate, the Arab capitulations)

三十: The First Floodgate (Liberation of Bulgaria, Red Sun over Siberia, Battle of Bucharest, First Battle of Ploesti)

三十一: The Great Escape (Uyghurstan campaign, Battle of Tashkent, Battle of Athens, liberation of the Gulags)


三十二: The Second Floodgate (Liberations of Uyghurstan and Greece, the end of red Romania)

三十三: The Third Floodgate (Battle of Merv, liberating Greece, the Romanian Restoration)


三十四: The Fourth Floodgate (Liberations of Egypt and Albania, First Battle of Belgrade)


June 25th, 1950, 22:36, Pripyat Marshes, Ukrainian SSR, USSR

三十五: Fukushūsha (Second Battle of Stalingrad, 3rd-4th Belgrade, Defense of Bessarabia-Bukovina)

三十六: Kuma no Wana (The end of the Kazakh SSR, peace with Abyssinia, Battle of the Alföld)


Eisenhower vignette #4

三十七: The Fifth Floodgate (Battle of Budapest-Szekesfehervar, Battle of Zagreb, Liberation of Turkestan)

三十八: Gun no Kin (Defense of the Adriatic Coast, Volga Campaign, breaching Austria)

December 28th, 1950, 20:18: Leningrad, Russian SSR, USSR

三十九: One Man's Savior (The end of Czechoslovakia, Battle of Krakow, securing Romania)

Eisenhower vignette #5

四十: More Floodgates (Kherson-Zaporozhia Campaign, 2nd Battle of Karlovac, encirclement of Moscow, raids against the DDR/Eisenhower's Trap)

四十一: The Hydra's Heart (Battle of Moscow, Invasion of Slovenia, 2nd-3rd Salzburg)

四十二: Tochi no Kuraimori to Suishō Mizūmi (The end of red Poland, Battle of Kiev, Liberation of East Prussia)

October 1st, 1951, 01:30, Danzig, Republic of Poland: Thus Always to Traitors

四十三: Daybreak (Oder-Neisse Campaign, Closing the Belarus-Ukraine Pocket, Battle for Lithuania)

October 2nd, 1951, 08:31, Pripyat Marshes, USSR

四十四: Cara al Sol Naciente (Liberation of Ukraine, Battle of Berlin, the last Austrian Republic)

四十五: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance (Battle of Munich, Lower Austria encirclement, the end of the Estonian SSR)

四十六: Red Dusk, Morning Sun (The end of the USSR, Rheinland-Saar Campaign, Battle of Madrid)

December 10th, 1951, 04:02, Leningrad, USSR

四十七: Chère patrie, sois calme (Eastern and Western liberations, the end of the BRD)

四十八: Lessons Learned (The Dutch/Belgian/Danish capitulations, Andalusian/Italian Campaigns)

四十九: Grande y Libre (Liberation of Spain/Italy, Peace with Portugal, NATO desperation)


五十: Sekai Heiwa? (The Treaty of Bern/Peace?)

Aftermath

October 18th, 1952, 00:54, Straßburg, German Empire


Epilogue
 
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der Kriegsherr

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Preface

Ever since I was a young boy, I had always been fascinated with the Japanese, their country and culture. As I reflect upon all the research I did for this book and the events which transpired all those years ago, before many of us (myself included) were even born, I shudder at the thought, even though I have a pretty good idea, of what the world would look like today had the Empire of Japan succumbed to the brute force of the Allied Powers and the cursed Soviet Union.

In total, this edition required a good five years of more-or-less continuous research. While I owe literally countless individuals and institutions their thanks, there are a few whom it would be a severe case of malpractice in the fields of scholarship and etiquette to omit:

- Dr. Nori Yatsushiro at Tokyo Imperial University, for all his patience, mentoring, and encyclopedic knowledge

- Dr. Yoshiro Sakata of Kyushu Imperial University for his help in translating many a document filled with scientific and engineering jargon which still remain beyond my capacity

- Mrs. Mitsuko Takeda and Mr. Ichiro Yamamoto for their phenomenal preservation of their father's journals and correspondence, as well as their help in connecting me with veteran's organizations in Japan, Asia in general, and even Europe

- Prime Minister Kimitake Hiraoka for all his help with the imperial archives, as well as his own reflections upon the war

- General Kazuo Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Army and His Majesty the Shōwa Emperor for their many contributions (may they both rest in peace)

- All of those who served in the wars, particularly those who laid down life and limb to bring down the twin monsters of Bolshevism and the decadent, revolutionary West

- And last, but certainly not least, my lovely wife Dr. Ingrid Trutenau, for all her love, support, wit, and indulgence of my love for this country (Japan)

- Dr. Heshen Ban, May 17th, 1987
 
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Damn,make a Cold war Japanese AAR was my idea!Im joking,good luck Kriegsher

Subs
 

der Kriegsherr

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Introduction

By mid-1944, the war was not going well by any standard for the once-mighty Axis Powers: A series of defeats in the Soviet Union, Africa, and Italy, as well as an extensive Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign against German industry, infrastructure, and already-scarce sources of strategic resources (especially petroleum) had reduced the Axis war machine to a mere shadow of its former glory:



With a front extending from the Arctic to the Greek Peninsula in the south and another, rapidly advancing front opened by the Allies after their successful landings at Normandy and northern France, it was considered by the public of many an Allied state that it was only a matter of time before a general German collapse, whether from an American or Soviet fist, both prospects feared greatly by the average German.


Opposing them stood the Allied Powers or the United Nations (the designation as of January 1st, 1942). Despite early successes on the part of the German Reich and Japanese Empire and Allied propaganda material from the period, the war, from its very inception, had been a battle of the "haves" versus the "have nots" and it had begun to show as early as mid-1940, but had become extremely apparent during the following four years:



In possession of the vast majority of the world's population, industrial capacity, and war-making capability, for the Axis, two biggest problems by far were the United States of America and the Soviet Union: Both blessed with a seemingly-bottomless pool of resources and manpower, as well as vast swaths of territory from which to draw them; respectively, the main strengths of the two titans were the speed and quality of their armaments and the mass production and single-minded brutality towards which they would put achieving a goal. While still very much alive and kicking, the declining British Empire was considered less of a threat.


Of course, the Empire of Japan was no exception to these setbacks: Having had pursued a full-scale, somewhat-successful campaign against the First Republic of China since 1937, the resulting American embargo in 1940 on top of several other provocations prompted a spectacular backlash against the Western Powers from Tokyo, beginning on December 7th, 1941 in Hawaii, extending to the borders of British India in the west, the North Central Pacific in the east, and the island of New Guinea by mid-1942. But much like that of their German ally, these successes were to be fleeting: A string of defeats in the Pacific on land and at sea, American training and modernization of the National Revolutionary Army, and an extensive submarine campaign was putting the Japanese war effort in increasing peril by 1944.

At an emergency staff meeting during the night of June 20th-21st, an unusually-incensed Hirohito[1] urged his general staff to "put an end to this nonsensical bickering and figure out a solution to this problem." As Prime Minister and Chief of Staff, General Hideki Tojo found himself under increasing pressure, from both his monarch and fellow ministers to set a new direction which would at the very least, prevent a complete defeat of the empire. To this end, his long-time protege Admiral Shigetarō Shimada was replaced with Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa, the most capable admirals in the entire Imperial Japanese Navy and the foremost advocate of naval aviation after the assassination of Yamamoto. Elevated to Gensui (in this context, Grand Admiral), Ozawa was given the task of reassembling the battered Combined Fleet for the inevitable clash with the US Navy. Tojo himself took over the as operational commander of the Kempeitai and Tokkō, while appointing prominent industrialist Ginjiro Fujiwara to maximize Japan's industrial capacity even further.

Having consulted with many of the finest minds in the entirety of the army and navy (particularly Generals Tomoyuki Yamashita, Tadamichi Kuryibayashi, and Yasuji Okamura) and hours of panning by their fellow members of Daihon'ei, Tojo and Ozawa eventually managed to come out with a strategic template: The situation was obviously grave, but not hopeless. However, the empire would have to, at all costs, retake the offensive initiative were this strategy to succeed:





One of, if not the foremost concern was to retake the island of Saipan from the American landing forces: Should the American strategic bombing wings gain a foothold in the region, the home islands and what remained of Japanese shipping would be at their mercy. Just as vital was the preservation of imperial positions in the Mariana Islands:




Equally as vital to the war effort as the preservation of the defensive ring around the home islands was the final defeat and destruction of the Republic of China: If the eastern coast of China was to fall, American bombers would more or less have free reign over the empire. To this end, Okamura proposed an offensive, Operation Ichi-Go, with the immediate goal being "to drive the Kuomintang and Communist forces into the interior with the ultimate goal of the destruction of the Republic of China." With this longtime goal accomplished, hundreds of thousands of battle-hardened Japanese troops would be freed up for other purposes:




While not as immediate a threat as the landings on the Saipan, the Japanese position on New Guinea had deteriorated to the point of near-collapse, possibly putting the occupied Philippines and Dutch East Indies in danger, with three divisions cut off from the American-held ports of Hollandia and Lae yet bracing themselves for the inevitable American assault. Unfortunately, it was a nearly-unanimous opinion among the IJN planners that it would be impossible to evacuate these men without putting precious transports in grave danger from the American fleets in the area. High Command issued an order, roughly translating to "hold in place and hope for the best."


The situation on the periphery, while not as dire as the above locales, could easily have become a massive problem for the Japanese:



While in possession of vast swaths of Burma, were the British to reinforce these positions to any real degree, the situation would have been become very untenable, endangering the Dutch Indies and the empire's main source of precious petroleum. In spite of this, not many forces could be spared for the defense of Burma by the middle of 1944.


However, for the Empire of Japan in 1944, there was one wild card, probably the wildest of all cards in the situation:



Japan was in the extremely odd position of being a member of the Axis Powers, yet not at war with the Soviet Union like her allies, due to the Soviet-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact of 1939 and ignoring Hitler's repeated pleas to join in the assault against the red giant in 1941-42. While a source of much-needed raw materials, relations between Tokyo and Moscow remained chilly at the very best. Even in spite of this uneasy "peace," many in the Japanese military establishment knew that, sooner or later, that the Empire of the Sun and the Red Monster would have to clash.


With the war against Germany more or less concluded in the minds of the publics of the United Kingdom and the United States, American economist Harry Dexter White, perhaps inspired by his close colleague, issued his vision for the post-war order in East Asia, which was met with rave reviews by many in the Anglo-American government and literati. Titled the "White Plan for Perpetual Peace and Prosperity in East Asia," the plan consisted of the following stipulations as part of a general Japanese surrender:


I: The fair and speedy trial and execution of all war criminals, such as every member of the Imperial family above 13 years of age, and the perpetual exile and reeducation of those underage
II: The partition of the Japanese
archipelago into two sovereign, independent republics under Allied supervision
III: Technology introduced after the year 1700 will be completely forbidden on the Japanese islands; in addition any and all modern industry will be forbidden
IV: Territorial cessations to our Russian friends are in dark red, while new American territories are in dark purple
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] Traditionally in East Asia, emperors would have a posthumous name, by which they are to be spoken of after their passing. For example, the previous tennō is to be referred to as the Shōwa Emperor (Japanese:Shōwa Tennō) in Japanese, never his given name. In contrast, his son's reign name Heisei is reserved for after his death and son's ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne. I use the given name Hirohito as a courtesy-slash-convenience for English speakers.
 
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As i can see by screens, 1944 Japanese economy was a better than British.Guess its a bit wrong
PS
In all 1944-45 Germany AAR China losing with a super speed
 

der Kriegsherr

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一:Tennō Heika Banzai! Ware Keito ni Kimi keireimasu! (Ichi-Go)

While our valiant forces performed beautifully against the perfidious Allies, no one could deny that the meddling of that imbecile Tojo and his sycophants had put us in a...less-than-desirable position as far as the war was concerned. But regardless of whatever setbacks the past few years had bought, when I awoke that fateful morning [July 20th, 1944], I could feel it! The hand of the gods upon us! From that moment, I knew there was no way that we could lose!
- from the memoirs of Gen. Baron Sadao Araki



With the proclamation of the so-called "White Plan" and its endorsement by many a prominent member of the Anglo-American literati up to Roosevelt himself, everyone in service of the Emperor were made well aware of the stakes at hand: Their country, livelihoods, many of their families, and their honor as imperial subjects and men in general on the line (and for a good many, their lives for certain), very few had failed to redouble their efforts in the face of American might:



One of the most pressing concerns was to, if not regain the technological superiority enjoyed by the empire at the beginning of the war, at least gain parity with American technological advances, particularly in the field of industrial capacity. Furthermore, from his correspondence with other physicists (particularly German) before and during the war, Dr. Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, with imperial blessing, had begun a program to use nuclear power for electrical power, possibly even yielding military applications which, theoretically, could help neutralize much of the American material superiority:



Still reeling from the previous day's defeat in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, as opposed to hunkering down in preparation for another "decisive battle" with the US Navy around the Philippine islands, Ozawa ordered what remained of the carrier force to return to Japan for repairs, upgrades, and training of new pilots. Enraging many of the old guard in the IJN, the admiral put in place three new principles for future engagements:

1: The primary offensive weapons of the Imperial Japanese Navy were to be fleet and auxiliary carriers as opposed to battleships
2: A move away from the "decisive battle" concept in favor of picking off smaller groups of American ships
3: In the event that such an opportune moment for the destruction of large American fleets should occur, the bait was only to be taken when at least two wings of fighters/interceptors and naval/tactical bombers in range as to maximize damage to the American fleets and minimize damage to Japanese ships


While on paper, the forces in China were more than sufficient to crush the KMT forces, the reality was not so rosy:



The main weakness of the IJA positions in China circa mid-1944 was more a problem of dispersion to keep control of the vast countryside as opposed to any real deficiency in training, equipment, and manpower. In order to continue the assault and hold the lines, Okamura requested at least 15 divisions distributed along the southern and eastern coasts of China.


To this end, most of the fresh troops were to be drawn from the reserves in on the home islands and recruits out of training:



The forces remaining in the home islands were to be reorganized into defense commands according to geographical region, their responsibilities being to defend possible amphibious landing sites and keep order. With Daihon'ei (Imperial General Headquarters) in Tokyo, these defense commands were Kyushu, Shikoku, southern Honshu at Hiroshima, northern Honshu at Akita, and Hokkaido, to be reinforced and drawn from as needed:




Including the forces of Manchukuo, the Kantōgun fielded some 25 divisions; barely a skeleton force when compared to what the Soviets, even distracted by the Germans, could bring to bear in the east. With this in mind, Changcun's second-line forces were assigned to anti-partisan duty in northern China, while the first-line and imperial forces were to keep a wary eye on the Russians.


While the Sino-American counteroffensive came hard and fast, Okamura and Yamashita seemed oddly undistressed by these developments:



But this was not to say that there were no potential problems:



Apart from Guangxi and the Fuzhou-Xiamen Pocket, the main goal of the Sino-American offensive seemed to be the isolation and encirclement of Japanese forces in Hunan. Were this to occur, it would not have been a fatal blow, but it would have been a great setback.



Through countless late hours in many a factory throughout the empire and scrounging/salvaging of nearly every spare scrap of metal available, somehow, the Japanese managed to put together a force to defend the home islands, as well as perform anti-submarine duties in the immediate area.


Due in no small part to the fact that Germany was not yet (entirely) destroyed, the British, interestingly enough, seemed to afford the Pacific War as a more a sideshow than a fight to the death:



Nonetheless, the forests of northern Burma, should the British bring any real pressure down, would be a difficult position to defend for fairly little gain. To this end, High Command ordered a fighting withdrawal to the mountainous Shan states and the strategic city of Lashio.


With the fairly low density of imperial forces deployed to the south of China, the Japanese lines were in real danger of breaking under KMT pressure and the air power of their American patron. Nevertheless, there were still some reasons for optimism:



While being forced into a humiliating retreat from the city of Guangzhou and the surrounding area, the NRA did not seem to be following up on their successes in Shantou and Yamashita's 1st Army was putting a considerable damper upon Chinese plans with his counteroffensive.
 
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Gukpa

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Advance land of the rising sun!
 

satilisu

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Those six fleet carriers in the Home Islands shouldn't exist historically--the first four were lost at Midway, and Shokaku and Hiyo should've both sank in the past two days (scenario-wise).
 

der Kriegsherr

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Those six fleet carriers in the Home Islands shouldn't exist historically--the first four were lost at Midway, and Shokaku and Hiyo should've both sank in the past two days (scenario-wise).
I know. Just a little case of me "testing" out my non-existent event-making skills.


Are you playing the real 1944 scenario, or a 1944 scenario + extra aircraft carriers + extra resources?
Yes, (sorry to disappoint, the story is more important) but mainly because I was sick of seeing the "We have lost (x) convoys in (y)" every damn six hours and what I had wasn't really cutting it for ASW warfare.
Even so, I could have done (and did during my dry runs) A LOT of damage to the American fleet with what I had in the vanilla.

Any plans for a historical end of war?Do you planing establish reall pacifist Japanese policy or you will expand JDF for a future conflicts?
As distant as the event may be, this war will end with a treaty of some kind like most wars in the post-Westphalian system do: After all, most people don't appreciate how rare "X delenda est" wars followed through to their conclusion are.
 
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Maksymus

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Japan best faction to play in any times, subscribed !
 

JodelDiplom

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Are you playing the real 1944 scenario, or a 1944 scenario + extra aircraft carriers + extra resources?
 

Ericafaq

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Any plans for a historical end of war?Do you planing establish reall pacifist Japanese policy or you will expand JDF for a future conflicts?
 

der Kriegsherr

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二: Chi no Umi (Second Battle of the Philippine Sea)

While confident in his new and controversial marginalization-slash-modification of the Kantai Kessen doctrine, reports from air and sea reconnaissance missions during the first week of July began to trouble him greatly. The admiral had (correctly) deduced that the US Navy was attempting a blockade of the Japanese archipelago in order to strangle both imperial import and export capacity, leaving both the home islands and Japanese troops across Asia at the mercy of Washington and her allies.

While alarmed at these reports, Ozawa realized that the Combined Fleet would still not be ready for action for another week. To this end, Ozawa appointed one of most skilled subordinates, Admiral Raizō Tanaka, a master of indirect approach and ambushes, to "break the American noose around our islands:"



High Command was quite pleased with Ozawa's decision: Tanaka's ambush, followed by twenty hours of intense combat, succeeded in taking down the American battleships assigned to the task force, including Halsey's flagship, the Saratoga with no Japanese losses.[2]



Okamura engaging Chiang's forces at Jinhua during Ichi-Go. The stakes involved were particularly high for both men, their prestige, positions, and possibly lives at stake for them.


Meanwhile, off Okinawa, Tanaka continued to cut a path of destruction through the besieging US Navy:



Three light carriers and two carriers went to the bottom of the Ryukyu Trench on the morning of July 15th, including the second incarnation of the USS Wasp.

However, Ozawa both knew intellectually and feared that the Americans would not commit their entire, doubtlessly massive carrier fleet to the blockade, waters where the Japanese had many centuries of experience and the advantage that came along with it. The only way to remove the threat to the home islands and expand the defensive ring would be to retake Saipan. But the Americans were on the move across the Pacific:



Intent on finishing off imperial forces in the Caroline Islands, three American divisions came ashore at Truk Atoll on July 18th. While heavily fortified, High Command was concerned about the less-than-adequate supply situation in the area, realizing that, should the island fall, the Americans would be increasingly free to menace what remained of Japanese forces in the area.


Finally, in the early morning hours of July 25th, Ozawa's efforts to avenge the indignities of Midway, the Coral Sea, and last month's engagement in the same waters, took center-stage:



While contemporaneous with the loss of Truk, the destruction of its defenders, and slaughter of every last Yamato male on the island, the engagements turned out to be an utter bloodbath:



Five carriers, including the famed Enterprise, were sent to Davy Jones' Locker over the course of the 25th, due in no small part to Ozawa's focus upon suppression of American carrier air groups before sending his own carrier-based aircraft. In a letter to his parents, Petty Officer second class Keishi Mura would describe the waters around the American wrecks as "stained with red with blood."


However, the efforts to relive the defenders of Truk and interdict American reinforcements to the island were not nearly as successful:



All in High Command were aware of the problems which American submarine warfare had posed for the empire, but Japanese submarine armament and armor had been somewhat of a secondary consideration up to that point.


But the Americans would not be so successful in reinforcing all of their island holdings:



The desperate American attempt to reinforce Saipan had been decisively thwarted once again by the efforts of Ozawa's pilots. However, their escorting fleet would soon appear in an attempt to break through:





While this particular engagement was rather inconclusive, the Americans were driven away from intercepting the imperial transports en route to Saipan. With many an American vessel either destroyed or heavily damaged, Ozawa ordered the Combined Fleet back to Guam for repairs, the admiral himself nervously awaiting the inevitable American response.
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[2] Doubtlessly due to his rather proud, bombastic persona, Halsey was not happy with the outcome of the battle at all, berating a number of his subordinates for hours on end. Nonetheless, as a competent admiral, Halsey had begun to notice some potential problems in the American prosecution of the naval war, as attested to in his memoirs.
 
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