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HecNev

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Interesting! Chukufeng was somewhat of a waste, all in all. I can see why that mother is mad. But at least you did well and could stand against them for a time.

I'm curious why you were able to raid Soviet convoys along the coast of Siberia... I don't know where they would be going! :) You don't have an answer -- it's just odd. Are they sending supplies by sea from Arkhangelsk, or something? I suppose over long distances the sea route might be more efficient than the land route. This is true in real life, even, but I'm not used to the game understanding this.

Now what?

Rensslaer
The next step is getting accepted into the Allies. After that, things will get a lot more interesting.

I know Changkufeng was a waste of men and material, but at least my units could gain some combat experience. Running against the Soviets without Germans openeing a second front in the west is suicide in my current situation.

Overseas trade perhaps?... Although they should use the sea-route to provide supplies as well. (Although it would probably be from the Black Sea, because it is closer.)
I guess they were overseas-trade, as I remember reading somewhere that convoys to provinces that have a direct link to the capital will only be enabled in FTM. (for exactly the reason that a convoy to Vladivostock goes faster tan the Transiberian Railway or whatever ;) )

Regarding HPP: Is it correct that the German AI doesn't unleash the war when Japan doesn't join the Axis?
I mean: They did claim the Sudetenland, but didn't go further into Czechoslovakia and did also make a truce with Poland once they had reached Germany's pre-WWI borders.
After that, the Reich stayed calm.

Nothing against Germans not being the warmongerers or so, but it feels just a unrealistic :D
 

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The German AI won't push things further than it can actually reach. If it doesn't feel strong enough to fight Czechoslovakia, then it won't demand stuff from them.


(Supply convoys to territory connected to the capital is already possible in Semper Fi.)
 

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Chapter 10

20th of November 1938

After long months of civil unrest and decreased popularity of the government, there finally seemed to be a connection between the ruling social-conservative party and the people.

Haruji was pleased by the latest changes in the economic policy of the state, as an increased production of consumer goods meant decreasing prices.



Thus, he could offer his family a better way of life without needing to beg his boss for an increased wage.
Yuki and he decided to save the money and not to change too much about their way of life. Instead, they hoped that it would be enough to enable their son to visit a university after he finished school in early ’41. As probably all parents do, they want their children to have better lives and to provide the necessary abilities for this.
But before going to university, he first had to serve in the military for about two years. This was required from the people because of the recent introduction of a drafted army and he already prayed his country wouldn’t have to go to war during those two years.

Unfortunately, the civilian economy lessened the amount of production in the weapons-industry.
Thus, lobbyists and politicians who had “friends” among the huge corporations in this industry soon triggered a discussion as to whether this economic policy made sense, especially considering the immediate threat that was posed on the Empire by the Chinese Republic as well as the Soviets.
Therefore, the state changed its policy again soon, but did also construct several new factories throughout the country to improve the industry and to be able to keep up the high production of consumer goods.







Still, an increase of prices couldn’t be completely avoided.

-----

13th of January 1939

The factory workers didn’t want to give up the better way of life they were able to taste from in the last few months.
This will was stirred up by several members of a left-winged radical party and the ideas of communism spread through the minds of the workers.

The government, however, considered this a threat to its production and industry, leading to an organized campaign against the radicals.



Unfortunately for the government, this went completely wrong and triggered a major worker strike in the factory.



Haruji was among them. Although he didn’t agree with communism, he still was for higher wages and less working hours.
Every worker in his factory was striking and nobody even put a finger on the machines. Instead, the men blocked all entries to the factory and denied access to everyone.
The union distributed signs saying things like “good work deserves good payment” amongst them and they even offered a hot lunch. It wasn’t much, but it kept them going and eased the days in which they didn’t receive money.
After all, the strike brought some families at the edge of poverty.

So it was fortunate for them that the strike didn’t last long and the government obeyed their requests.

Soon after the strike, which was considered to be fueled by the left-winged radical party did also trigger a minor under-cover investigation by the Ministry of Inner Security and Protection of the Constitution.



The result was that the Soviets supported the party financially, which was also proof that further Soviet aggressions against Japanese borders would be inevitable.

-----

1st of March 1939

Just like every week, Takumi was looking forward to receiving the package containing letters and orders for him.

As usual, there was some news about recent technological advances in the military and also about the construction of some high-tech radar-stations in Taiwan and Dalian to monitor Chinese troop movements along the border.
Along with this, there were also information about other new weapons and improvements of the last few months.









But he tossed those sheets away after giving them only a short look.
The letter he was waiting for the most was buried underneath all this. The white envelope almost drowned amidst the amounts of official letters.

He recognized Misaki’s handwriting on it and opened it eagerly.
During his last holiday, they had spent almost every minute together. He had known the woman for almost all his life, as her parents didn’t live very far from his home. Sometimes he thought it strange that he hadn’t asked her out a lot earlier and without the help of his mother.
After all, no man could wish for a better woman.

Dear Takumi,

I’m sorry to start this letter like this, but I’m unsure whether your mother has told you about it.
Your father has started to come around your mother’s house again. I know you had hoped that, after you bought the house to keep your mother and sister save from him, he would disappear from your life.
Yet, he has moved in again. I can’t say whether he did so by force or not, but it doesn’t seem like he has ended drinking.

Your sister visited me yesterday and she was covered with bruises. She told me that she fell, but, judging from what you told me about your father, this seems to be unlikely.

I didn’t want to bother you with this, but I feel like I can’t hide this from you, either. It is better that you get to know about this now than when you arrive home in your next holiday, whenever this will be.

I’m looking forward to finally seeing you again.

Love, Misaki


-----

Author's note:
@Slan: Alright, I see.
But I always think Poland to be a bit stronger than Czechoslovakia, so the whole thing got me a little confused.
Although it proved to be an intelligent decision, as there were no guarantees on Poland's independence then, therefore the Reich could attack without dragging the Western Allies in. Their attack did only annoy Stalin.
 

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Chapter 11

30th of April 1939


Takumi was worried as his ship arrived in Nagasaki.
There was only Misaki waiting for him.
It almost seemed like he did now have to fight a war at home instead of in Siberia. He hugged and kissed her, yet his mind was already at home, thinking of what problems might expect him there. Misaki recognized this, but said nothing.

He brought her to the house of her parents because he didn’t want her to see what might expect him at his mother’s.
Arriving at her house, he knocked the door and then inserted his key. He didn’t wait for anyone answering the door.
The small entrance room was empty. There were only pairs of shoes spread chaotically on the floor. Takumi sighed. At least they were at home.
Moving on into the living room, he found his father sitting on the couch, a beer in his hands and looking almost like a homeless drunkard. He didn’t see his mother and his sister in the room, though.

“YOU! What do you want here? This is my house!” his father greeted him loudly.
“It isn’t. I bought it even before the divorce so that mother could continue living here without being depending on you.” Takumi answered calmly.
“I bought this house years ago to offer you, your sister and your mother a decent life after the bankruptcy of the factory! How dare you talking to me like this! Without me, you would be nothing. It was me who paid your education, me, who brought you up! You owe me.” his father continued to scream. He got up from the couch and stood before his son.
He was fifty years old and about an inch smaller than Takumi, but his fat belly made up for the lack of length.
“You have freed me of any debt towards you as you started drinking and beating your wife and daughter. I’ll tolerate no more of this. We hoped you had disappeared out of our lives, just like we had banished some evil demon. So why don’t you just leave us alone, you drunkard?”
Takumi had banned all feelings one might consider as love for his father long ago. He meant what he said, because the man he considered to be his father had died in the very moment he started to drink.
Of course, this attitude was more than harsh, but he had made his peace with it.
“Don’t talk to me like this! You have to show me respect!”
“Stop it or I’ll show you the door.”
“Do you really think you can throw me out? You don’t have the balls to do this. You’re a soldier. You’re but a brainless machine made for killing.”
That was enough.
Takumi used his skills in close combat and knocked the man out in almost no time. Then he had the police come over. He wanted to settle this matter once and for all.

Until the police arrived, he was talking to his mother to tell her about her intentions and she just looked to the ground, ashamed it had to come to this and also trying to cover her bruises.

What followed during the next months was a pro-longed stay at home for Takumi because the army granted him a longer leave due to the process against his father. During this time, he was reassigned to the city-garrison of Nagasaki and did part-time office work there.
The work was boring and, for the first time in his life, he longed to be back in Siberia with his men.
In the end, Takumi’s father was to serve a sentence of two weeks because of assault, vandalism and unlawful entry.

Takumi sold the house and, together with his mother and sister, bought a new one in another part of the city. This brought some distance between him and Misaki, but that wouldn’t keep them from seeing each other.

As he returned to the army in August, he was once more stunned by the changes that had occurred.
New technologies had been introduced as well as new units.
The IJA welcomed its first light tank division.
Four of them were planned and they should help the army in creating encirclements fast so that the enemy could be overwhelmed.







-----

21st of August 1939

Haruji and his wife were on the marketplace, buying vegetables and some meat for dinner.
He enjoyed the single week of summer-holidays very much. Recently, the heat had become unbearable in the factories and not even the rain that was brought to Tokyo by some weak offshoots of the monsoon brought any cooling.
But, in his holidays, he had come to enjoy the heat while spending time at the beach with his family.
The nearby harbor did always provide a stunning view once the fleet moved out to the sea for a maneuver-training.
This also provided a certain feeling of safety, because the population was shown that the IJN and IJA were trained for the case of a war.


The carrier IJN Akagi is leaving the bay of Tokyo for a maneuver in the open sea in August ‘39.

All of a sudden, the loudspeakers on the marketplace gave static sounds and then someone started to speak, ending the buzz on the marketplace and replacing it with silence.
This was odd, because now wasn’t the time for news.
Haruji immediately thought this could mean nothing good.

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I ask for your attention! Since 13 o’ clock of this day, the Empire of Japan is in a state of war with the Soviet Union. Once more, the Red army has contested the borders of Manchukuo and made some advances in the north. Manchukuo has now called for our aid, and the parliament as well as the Emperor have agreed on answering this call.





Because of the Soviet advances so far and the threat they are posing to the Imperial province of Korea, it was also decided to call in all reserves in our country.
Every conscripted man in the country is to report to the closest garrison as soon as possible.



Considering the numerical advantage of the Red Army as well as the high amount of light tanks in their ranks, our economy has to keep up with this.
Therefore, workers are to return to work tomorrow if they are o holiday. They will be granted another week of holiday after this conflict is over.



Thank you for your attention.”

And suddenly, the marketplace became busy again.
People were talking about what was to come and whether the conflict would escalate into a full-scale war this time. Haruji decided not to let those events bother him until the next morning and continued shopping.

-----

28th of August 1938

The Empire was now into the war for a whole week.
The radio, the newspapers and even the TV, if one possessed such a device, was full of it.

Despite the Soviets outnumbering the IJA, the Japanese were making some advances.
Japanese tanks were pushing into Mongolia fast and overwhelmed the defenders. Their advance was supported by those cavalry forces that had made the same assault during the Changkufeng Indicent.
Generally, the military seemed to use exactly the same tactics, though the advances were now a fair lot slower.

On the front-page of the newspaper, there was a huge image of a sinking Russian battleship.



The article belonging to it told of a huge naval battle that was fought by 4th Kantai against the outdated Russian Pacific Fleet.
Carrier air groups and naval bombers of the airforce were attacking the port almost since the beginning of Japanese involvement, damaging the Russian ships heavily. As the army neared Vladivostock, the Soviets decided they didn’t want to lose all their ships and did therefore try to break out, which lead to nothing but a disaster.



Haruji rejoiced at this. Not only had the IJN inflicted heavy damage on the Russian fleet, this did also mean that the chance of a Russian landing on Honshu shrunk down to almost zero.
To celebrate the day of this devastating victory, the workers were given an earlier leave, although the state of war still demanded hard work from the factory workers.

Apart from this, the war was without any major climax or decisive battle.
Still, the IJA managed to see the conflict finished in late September, returning to status quo once more and establishing a treaty with the Russians in which both parties recognized each other’s borders.



-----

30th of October

Dear Takumi,

I hope you got out of the war without being hurt. I have to ask, because the army would only inform us if you were missing or killed.

Mother and I have finished furnishing the new house.
Also, I have recently met a man who could be the man, but I’ll have to see how this develops.
Misaki is well and she is frequently coming over to our place and doing a conversation with her is exactly what I want to do on the weekends.
You have a nice woman there, don’t mess it up.

As you will be returning home during the next few days, I decided to tell you about the current situation here. I don’t know how much they tell you over here, but still I think you need to know.

At the moment, it’s almost like civil war here. There are radical parties marching up and down the streets, blaming the government to be unjust and disrespectful towards its people.
All this has started about a month ago with a the uncovering of a parliamentary scandal by a large newspaper.



Afterwards, more and more radical parties found their voices heard and gained power.





Luckily, there will be elections soon, so that we can hopefully see all those issues being solved by the introduction of a new government.

Regards,
Kyoko


-----

2nd of November 1939

Takumi and some men from the local garrison were out in the fields north of Tokyo.
Three days ago, after an assassination attempt against a leader of an opposition party, the tension had erupted into open riot.
He had barely left the vessel that brought him home as an IJA official was already rushing towards him, giving him new orders.

And now he was here. He hadn’t even seen his love or his family so far.
But protection of the state belonged to his tasks and thus he obeyed.



The insurgents were led by several nobles, as was soon known to the government.
Therefore, a right-winged coup-attempt was likely.

It was early morning when Takumi ordered the last assault in a conflict that lasted about three days now.
He had the militia surround the camp during the night and now, with the first sunlight of the day, mortars started to fire their grenades into the camp while light bombers destroyed those few heavy weapons they had.
The bombardment lasted for about an hour, then Takumi ordered his men to start a final assault.
He joined them in the attack and it was easy for them to overwhelm the scattered rebel forces.

They had no casualties, only a few wounded and they ran about 30 insurgents together in the middle of the camp, taking them prisoners.

The men had done great work, especially considering their low level of training and their equipment.

“Hey, you there! Yeah, I’m talking to you! Takumi!” someone screamed from the bunch of prisoners.
“Kaito?” Takumi asked, stunned by finding his old friend amidst a bunch of prisoners.
“So you’re still cooperating with those filthy democrats?” he asked, thus confirming his identity.
“Yes, and I do still think that democracy is the best for this country. You can tell your opinion to the judge once you see him.” Takumi tried to end the conversation.
“You know as much as I do that the judges are still mostly in favor of the old elites, especially since many of themselves are nobles. So do you seriously expect anyone of us will receive a fitting punishment? Just look at what they did with Hitler in Germany after he tried to make a coup! The situation here is no different. We live in an instable democracy which still has too many parts of the state under control of royalist workers. Face it! Democracy has no chance in this country, not with us remaining alive.” Kaito argued.
After this statement, Takumi finally turned towards him.
“I don’t think so. But maybe it would be better if all of you would just have to perish, in order to set an example.”
And the idea did actually appeal to him. They were prisoners, but also guilty of treason, and in an autocracy, they would be shot for this immediately. But he didn’t want to have the blood of 30 unarmed prisoners on his hands, no matter what impression he had of them.

“Sir, High Command is on the radio! They congratulate us on our victory and want to speak to you ASAP.” a private interrupted the conversation.

“So, now you’re getting your reward or what?” Kaito exclaimed while Takumi answered the radio.

“Congratulations on the victory! You and your men will guard the prisoners until a military police unit arrives. They will take care of your prisoners. As soon as you report back to the barracks in Tokyo, you can enjoy your holiday. The days you lost because of those unfortunate events will be given to you as additional holidays in the next year. Over.” High Command ordered.

About an hour later, the MP unit arrived and Takumi’s unit started to march back to the barracks.
As they were about an hour off the former insurgent camp, they heard several shots, and then silence.

Takumi never saw Kaito again.
 

Slan

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You still have serious trouble keeping your democracy together! Wow! This is so awesome! :)
 

SSmith

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Yes, I'm really appreciating the political narrative here. Your government is really having a rough time! How is the ruling party's org/pop holding up in the face of all of this opposition?

And the Japanese/Soviet skirmishes seem to have worked very nicely - but what exactly did you sink in that battle?
 

HecNev

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You still have serious trouble keeping your democracy together! Wow! This is so awesome! :)
I like this, too.
It almost feels like in the early years of the Weimar Republic. None had wanted democracy, economy also suffered some serious trouble.
Though I hope I can avoid the return of a new autocracy :D

Yes, I'm really appreciating the political narrative here. Your government is really having a rough time! How is the ruling party's org/pop holding up in the face of all of this opposition?

And the Japanese/Soviet skirmishes seem to have worked very nicely - but what exactly did you sink in that battle?
The ruling party had a popularity of less than 25% back then, although it's organisation was still quite high.

I can't say exactly how much I sunk (I actually managed to forget making a screenshot of the actual outcome), but there was some submarines as well as some surface-ships.
 

Cybvep

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This is impressive. Intriguing, too. One can really feel the problems and the dangers connected with young, unstable democracies... It will be interesting to see whether you can expand without pissing the Allies off.
 

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Chapter 12

3rd of January 1940


The air outside was cold. Haruji froze even though he wore a thick jacket.
The sun had yet to rise, which didn’t help increasing the temperatures, either.

Considering the early hour, there was an incredible amount of people out on the roads and there was a tension in the air that almost threatened to set the entire road on fire.
People were afraid of what was to come.

Yesterday, the Chinese Civil War had escalated into a full-scale open conflict, leading to numerous factions mobilizing their armored forces.
The Emperor had held a public speech about this, advising people to buy and store food, as it was unknown in how far this conflict would influence the Empire. Also, it was decided to mobilize the IJA on the very same day, as a safety measure should the conflict sweep out of China.



Haruji was afraid of this, especially considering that, next year, Souta would be old enough to be drafted in case of an open war.

It was almost a miracle that the conflict did only last for about two weeks. There were no valid information about the ongoing of the fighting, but it must have been a horribly one-sided battle, with the Republic of China being the undisputed winner and the ruler of an almost completely united China.
As the Chinese also saw Manchukuo and Taiwan as one of their ancestral territories, this could mean no good.



It didn’t take long for speculations to take place.
Though it was not proven to be completely true, Isoroku told Haruji one day that it was probably due to German help that the fascists won the war.
Only two days after it erupted, the Nazis made a truce with Poland, which they had attacked without any interference of the Allies, although the Poles called for help.



There were witnesses who claimed seeing German engineers helping the Chinese infantry to destroy the communist mountain-fortresses and German bombers bombing the hell out of Shanxi.

Isoroku told him all this in secrecy. It wasn’t top secret and would probably be featured in one of the great newspapers the next day, but this didn’t change anything in the fact that there were Axis forces helping out Chinese fascists.
And this did only increase the immediate threat for Japan.
Apparently, there were already diplomats on the way to London to discuss a participation of the Empire in the global alliance that was simply called “the Allies”.

-----

10th of February 1940


Takumi had been reassigned once more. This time to the 1st Konoe Gundan, which was stationed in Taiwan.
Upon his arrival there, he was welcomed by his new superior and handed a map that was declared to be “top secret”.
It showed the reason why he was redeployed: he IJA needed men who had some experience with motorized units in disadvantageous terrain, as the IJA severely lacked mountaineer-units and kept its infantry at the Chinese border to halt a full-scale assault.

He had been called to Taiwan because of Sosa Ryo no Tachi Sagari (Operation Falling Dragon), an operational plan that showed the first stage of a pre-emptive strike against the Republic of China.



The plan did also involve heavy presence of the Imperial fleet at the Chinese coastlines in order to intercept any convoys that might come from Europe to bring in support for China.

The following weeks proved to be quiet, as the government didn’t want to start a war unless the Chinese were openly joining the Axis, and so Takumi could enjoy the subtropical climate on the island in his spare time. The officer’s barracks offered a perfect view over the nearby harbor and the ships stationed there.
The IJN Soryu was a stunning appearance and there were days in which the air would be full with planes once the carrier air groups were performing a maneuver.
He couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to be a pilot. Not to be bound to the terrain, but as free as a bird…

But those weeks were not only positive.
First of all, the greater distance from his homeland did also increase the time until he could receive new letters from his family and Misaki.
Other than that, the so-called Axis was expanding, accepting new members in its ranks such as Hungary and Yugoslavia.




Those events did always remind him of the immediate threat of an Axis-China right at their front-door.
Korean independence-movements did their part, too, although they were put down quickly.



Technological advancements that were made during early 1940 did give him trust in the operational plan of the High Command, as the light tanks, that were vital for the whole strategy, were severely improved.

-----

28th of March 1940


Isoroku almost went mad in the office.
The Empire went out of rare-materials quickly, which threatened the industry of the entire country.
Factory supervisors were phoning him every minute, asking for when the situation would improve.



And, as if this weren’t enough, the railroad workers decided to go on a strike, thus keeping what few rare materials were available from getting to the factories because the transportation-network didn’t work as it should.



The factories had to introduce short-time work, which decreased the overall amount of industrial capacity in the same way as it increased public unrest because of decreased wages.

Officially, he had to tell everyone that the ministry was working on new trade agreements to relieve the situation.
The truth was that there was no idea on how to find a solution on this dilemma, as everyone suddenly seemed to need the rare materials they would have sold before now for themselves.

Expansion was an idea that might bring a solution, but that might also result in a war between Japan and the Allies, which was clearly against the long-term goals of the government.

Thus, the rare material crisis would probably remain a constant problem and another test for the government.

-----

2nd of May 1940


Today, the Empire did openly rejoice.
The reasons for this were rather doubtful, but nonetheless a fortunate occurrence to the people of Japan.

About a week ago, the Reich had started the war against Poland once more, again without any Allied interference.
This time, the Wehrmacht fought until its enemy surrendered.



Of course, this was actually no real reason for pleasure, but the 3rd Reich did now share a common border with the Soviet Union, its greatest ideological enemy.
Considering this and the Reich’s military power, Stalin would have to focus on the West instead of the East, therefore the Japanese borders in the north were finally safe from any Soviet attacks.

This meant one threat less and the public knew this, too.
Also, this freed up more forces for a potential conflict with China.
 

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Whoa, you are attacking Axis-China? You don't really need to worry about them attacking you, but if you do end up in the Allies, you might get them into trouble! Especially France, if they are not mobilized at the time. Maybe you should wait for the German-Soviet war or something...
 

Baltasar

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May be the cede French Indochina event will still fire if France is beaten that way? :D
 

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HecNev

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Chapter 13

3rd of May 1940


Haruji cursed. The Soviet threat was de facto eliminated to the Russians having to face the danger of an eventual German invasion in the West.
Still, this brought only a small bit of solace.
Only two days ago, the Wehrmacht had defeated Poland and today, its annexation was announced.



For the Empire, there was nothing bad about this.
The problem was that, with the annexation of Poland, the Republic of China decided to join the Axis.
Considering the warmongering the Germans were committing in Europe, war in Asia seemed not that distant, either.

Because of those events, Asia had become a powder-barrel, ready to explode at even the slightest spark.
People naturally started to be afraid of this and Haruji and his family were no exception to this. The public hysteria rose for some days, climaxing in persecutions of any foreigners in the country by violent mobs that accused them of being spies from foreign countries.

Once more, public order was difficult to be held up.

Three days later, the Emperor held another public speech in which he announced that Japan had been invited to join the global union of nations that called itself “Allies”.
On the one hand side, this provided some serious support for the Empire in Asia in a potential war against the Republic of China, but, on the other hand side, this did also mean that the Empire had to interfere in any European conflict.



And, besides the military consequences, this also offered new trading possibilities to ease Japan’s acute shortage of rare materials.
At least that was what his boss was hoping for.
Haruji hoped so, too, because a surplus in rare materials meant that his workplace was secured for the future.

-----

5th of July 1940


It seemed like the democracy had finally stabilized itself.
With the leaders of the coup-attempt being “killed in battle”, none had so far dared to rise up against the new system, and the radicals did also keep a low profile.

The last few months had been a time of internal quietness and outer tension.
Takumi was currently on a ship from Taiwan to Nagasaki, for another week of his holidays.
He stood at the left guardrail at the ship’s rear and a strong wind blew in his face.

After taking another short look on the recent technology report, he took the flat paper and turned it into a small airplane.
The wind caught it immediately and carried it over the ship to the guardrail at the right side, and from there on to the sea.



Although he hadn’t seen Kaito for a long time before the uprising, he couldn’t forget the idea that the military police had shot him in order to make an example of him and the other leaders of the insurgents. Officially, there were no prisoners and all of the rebels were killed in Takumi’s assault on the rebel camp.
Internally, among the officers, everyone knew that it weren’t Takumi’s men but the military police who committed the slaughter.
This had some serious influence on the officers, as it showed, that the government didn’t treat traitors and deserters in any other way than the autocracy had. Some would argue that this was against human rights, but the method did obviously work. So no change was made to it.

The wars in Russia, the internal unrest and the threat of a conflict with China changed something in Takumi’s mind.
He didn’t regret joining the army as an officer, but he had been shown how easily a human life could end, just like extinguishing the flame of a candle.

During the last few weeks, he had rejoiced reading Misaki’s letters and eventually decided to ask her to marry him as soon as he would see her again.
Human lives were too short and too precious to spend them waiting for death alone.
Their relationship had mostly been one that had to face huge geographical distances, but, in times when they were close to each other, they left no doubt in their love for each other.

So he felt assured that she would agree, but a slight doubt remained, and so he continued to stare into the waves.

-----

30th of October 1940

During the last few months, Haruji had built several more shelves to have more storage place for food.
The government still advised that the threat of a war against China was huge and that, in case the Chinese Army managed to break through into Manchukuo and Korea, the food supplies for the population could be threatened. Therefore people bought lots and lots of food, and it didn’t rarely happen that groceries were sold out only two hours after they had opened their doors for customers.

Also, the short-time working continued, although there were some minor solutions to the rare materials crisis. This kept the industry from collapsing entirely.
Furthermore, the government had improved the tax system and industrialized the production of e.g. textiles, which was important for the uniforms of soldiers, but did also bring advantages to civilians.




In his mind, Haruji hoped for the war to erupt soon, so that the threat could be ended and peace would be possible again before Souta’s birthday in February. Because afterwards he’d have to serve in the army. And knowing his son had to go to war and might eventually never return afterwards was nothing but torture for him. Yuki thought the same, although she could also find some pride in the idea of her son fighting for his home.

-----

1st of January 1941

Dear Misaki,

I do not know how much you know about the current events and I am deeply sorry I cannot tell you more.
Every bit I write about the coming operation might endanger it.

Do not fear for my life too much, after all you want to look beautiful on our wedding photo, not like a grieving widow.
I promise I come back to you to marry you in spring. And you know I keep my promises. Writing responses to you letters or even receiving yours might become difficult in the next days, so the lack of a response does not mean that I am dead.

Hopefully, you will not have to suffer because of the approaching conflict.

Love,
Takumi


-----

Author's Note:

Whoa, you are attacking Axis-China? You don't really need to worry about them attacking you, but if you do end up in the Allies, you might get them into trouble! Especially France, if they are not mobilized at the time. Maybe you should wait for the German-Soviet war or something...
It might get the Allies into trouble but, on the other hand, it might also just increase the pace of events (read: German expansion).

May be the cede French Indochina event will still fire if France is beaten that way? :D
Unfortunately, I can only receive Indochina when I'm an Axis-member, which I'll never be.
 

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Allied Japan! Yet another of your objectives is achieved! Congratulations! :)
 

Cybvep

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You are doing very well. China is now the last obstacle that stands between Japan and domination in Asia. With Germany being so close to the SU, the Soviets won't dare to attack you anytime soon.
 

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Interesting thing, though... an Allied Japan. How would the USA react, considering their very hostile reaction towards Japan when the latter started the invasion of China? Surely, the USA would hardly be in a mood to get involved into a war that didn't concern them, especially if Hitler had learned his lesson from WWI and avoided unrestricted submarine warfare. If anything, an Allied Japan should cool down relations between Allies and the USa. Severely.
 

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Interesting thing, though... an Allied Japan. How would the USA react, considering their very hostile reaction towards Japan when the latter started the invasion of China? Surely, the USA would hardly be in a mood to get involved into a war that didn't concern them, especially if Hitler had learned his lesson from WWI and avoided unrestricted submarine warfare. If anything, an Allied Japan should cool down relations between Allies and the USa. Severely.
A democratic Japan against an Axis China? Why would that be threatening to the USA? IIRC the Oil Embargo was imposed on Japan when they took Indochina from the French. But now they have a very good reason to attack China in the first place.
 
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Axis Japan,Allied Japan-Democratic Japan,Monarchy Japan it all doesnt matter for China as they will always be targeted by the Japanese :D
 

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A democratic Japan against an Axis China? Why would that be threatening to the USA? IIRC the Oil Embargo was imposed on Japan when they took Indochina from the French. But now they have a very good reason to attack China in the first place.
The USA only took another step in hostilities back then, they were very anti-Japan long time before that, at least as early as the invasion of China.
 

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The USA only took another step in hostilities back then, they were very anti-Japan long time before that, at least as early as the invasion of China.
But the circumstances are very different here, don't you agree? :) If I were the Democratic USA, I would support the Democratic Allied Japan against the Autocratic Axis China...