Admiral of the Red
- Jun 30, 2008
What this is
I decided to play DH Kaiserreich on a whim. Having already fought off French blitzkrieg as Imperial Germany, smashed the Bolshevik revolutionists as Canada to reunite the Empire and steamrolled everyone as Russia because Russia is just like that in its HoI2 incarnation, I wasn't in a hurry to install it for DH. I was wrong on two counts. First, a whole lot more events have been added since I last played, and second, there are some things I missed last time around. Quite a lot of things in fact.
I chose Japan because it was the most obscure KR major to my mind. I didn't remember it doing anything in any of my previous games, and it doesn't obviously fit into the Syndicalism vs victorious Germany theme. So much has happened and I have enjoyed the game so much that I've decided to turn it into my first AAR. I've already played until early 1938, so the early updates may be sparse of screenshots (I will try to go back in my saves for screenshots or at worst replay a bit to recreate key events), but in 1938 usually a game has scarcely begun, so hopefully this won't matter much.
0. The story so far...
In 1914 Japan honoured her alliance with Britain and declared war on Germany. Swiftly seizing Germany's oriental possessions, Japan sat back to watch her ally defeat the great continental threat just as she had done in 1815... things did not go to plan, and seven years later Japan reluctantly signed an "honourable" peace under which she was only required to return Germany's Chinese concessions from before the war. With the Royal Navy and the IJN still intact Germany was in no position to demand anything more, but this began a worrying encroachment of German power into the Far East.
First French Indochina, and then the South of China proper fell to German expansionism. When the British Empire finally collapsed, the Germans even seized Singapore and Ceylon, giving them fortified bases to operate their navy in their Far East.
Japan itself is a staunchly conservative democracy and no friend to Syndicalism, but the biggest threat to her safety and her own prospects of expansion is Germany. Moreover, 'peace with honour' still rankles. Japan is also a Great Power, but clearly the weakest. Germany, the United States, Syndicalist Britain and France, and the Russian Empire are all richer, have larger armies, or both. Only among the Entente rump states can Japan command respect. Germany is the greatest power, at least by prestige. It will take some work before Japan can stand for a second round with her old foe...
1. Enrich the country, strengthen the army
A modest country, we do not expect to take over the world. We merely wish to
Things could be worse, but they aren't too good either. We have the third largest navy in the world, and since the United States proved her isolationism is solid in the Weltkrieg, we are effectively the second 'real' naval power. Unfortunately the gap between us and Germany is more of a vast open expanse. It would take us years just to match their present numbers of battleships and battlecruisers, and they have the industrial might to out-build us further if they wished. If only battleships were about to be supplanted by something; aircraft carriers, for instance, where we are almost even. But that's wishful thinking.
On paper our army is almost as big as that of mighty Germany, but unfortunately most of it is just home guards and militia. In terms of first line divisions, we are out-matched even by the decrepit Qing Empire and the private forces of Germany's Chinese trading company. Those men in their garrison stations are going to have to start pulling their weight or we will never be able to
But before we can worry about abstract notions like honour and our rightful place in the world, Japan has a more immediate and more practical problem: it's broke.
Not only are we running out of almost everything trying to keep our industry at full capacity, but our puppet states, Transamur and the Fengtien Republic, need to receive constant Japanese shipments to stay afloat too. Keeping them under benevolent Japanese rule, even at great cost to ourselves, is really the least we can do to ensure peace in the Orient, but when our stockpiles run out there will be trouble.
Over the next few months this happens a number of times as the rest of the world, apparently gripped by economic depression, also seems desperate to hang on to its resources. We are generally able to buy what we need from Russia, until it spectacularly collapses. The USSR declares independence in the West, and Siberia declares independence in the East. Shipments to Japan suddenly stop in the confusion and our industrial output briefly plummets to half its usual value. At this point, the army wisely steps in to
The hat may look silly but this is actually very serious.
With the British-style parliamentary system now abandoned - and look what good it did them! - the army is free to make those tough choices that elected politicians hate to.
And so on 15th of September or thereabouts (probably), the Great Oriental War is agreed to have begun.