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Jape

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On the very first day of the conflict the small Japanese collier Kobayashi Maru found herself interred in Ningbo harbour, the luckless first victim of the war.
Bravo.

Nice update, it seems the maligned submarine boat is going to bite the Irish on the arse.

Given the South China Seas aren't exactly quiet, how are the other major trading powers taking to the war?
 

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The Strain Begins To Tell
(1916)

An anti-war meeting, Cork. By early 1916 popular enthusiasm for the war was waning.​

"Bayonets not battlecruisers will beat the Japanese."
- Joseph 'Wee Joe' Devlin

By the beginning of 1916 Ireland had been at war for a year and half. The recapture of Ningbo and the unopposed landings in Okinawa (in March) boosted morale and enthusiasm but the Irish people were unmistakely turning against the war. Casualties, at least at sea had been heavy and the economy was suffering. In January the Government had been forced to raise taxes from the pre-war 35% to 41% to pay for the war effort, something that had caused two weeks of strikes in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. The only industry that was in healthier shape than in 1914 was shipbuilding - in Belfast and Cork four new Méabh-class battlecruisers and a Lucien-class dreadnought were under construction and expected to enter service in 1917. A mighty navy to be sure but there were doubts that Ireland could afford such a fleet in the long term.

On 4 February the Labour Party had proposed a motion seeking an immediate peace with Japan on the basis of no concessions. The Government easily defeated the motion but that it had been mooted at all was a humiliation. The following month Roger Casement, the great diplomat and humanitarian published a blistering attack on the Government's conduct of the war. On the last day of March a Japanese submarine torpedoed and sank the SS Inishfree, a 12,000 ton Hiberno-Orient liner south-west of Zhanjiang, the first sign that Japanese subs were operating so far afield.

The one bright prospect was that for now none of the other Great Powers seemed willing to abandon neutrality. The nightmare of a Russo-Japanese alliance had seemed very real at one point but to the relief of Dublin relations between St. Petersburg and Kyoto remained lukewarm at best. The reason was simple: both wanted dominion over Korea and neither trusted the other.

The recapture of Okinawa had dampened down the immediate crisis but the war could not carry on indefinitely. But how to win it? The Navy and the Army each had a plan.

The Navy believed firmly that seapower alone could force Japan to the negoting table. The appearance of Japanese submarines were a worry but the Naval Office pointed out that 1915 had seen the balance of power in surface warships tilt descisively in the Irish favour. By 1917 the introduction of the new battlecruisers would make the Irish edge overwhelming. With the Japanese confined to port or at the bottom of the China Sea the Irish could enforce a total blockade of Japan and starve them into submission. The Pacific islands captured by the Japanese earlier in the war could be isolated and liberated one by one.

The War Office took a much more pessmistic view; Japan would only surrender if the Home Islands were invaded. The Ryukyu Islands would serve as a useful base to launch the invasion (assuming the Irish Navy could actually hold them, a matter with which some of the Army brass doubted - there was not much love between the services.) Operation Muirchú[SUP]1[/SUP] called for landings in Kyūshū and the capture of the key port of Nagasaki at which point the Japanese would have no choice but to negotiate. Of course Muirchú called for at least 100,000 men and there simply weren't that many Irish soldiers in the Orient. The War Office wanted to raise an additional five fresh divisions - one each from Patagonia and Alaska, two from Korea[SUP]2[/SUP] and one from Madagascar, an unprecedented assembling of colonial might.


Korean soldiers - Operation Muirchú called for at least 20,000 of such men to aid in the Irish invasion of Japan

The Government hesitated. Redmond was no pacifist but he shuddered at the bloodshed troops on Japanese soil would mean and he suspected that 'Wee Joe' Devlin and the Army were underestimating the Japanese stubborness. On the other hand the blockade would also be a massive drain on Irish resources (if not lives) and the public needed something more than the slow, invisible grind on the Japanese people. Ironically it was the Japanese themselves who decided the matter when they passed a note to the Irish Government via the Prussian embassy. The terms were leaked and published in the Irish press in mid-September to much outrage.

After that it was clear that the Irish people would demand nothing less than invasion. A tentative date of late March 1917 was set for Muirchú. The build up had begun.

The much hated Japanese peace 'offer' of 26 September 1916.​


1. Irish for Hound of the Sea.
2. Korea was a nominally independent Irish protectorate and per the Treaty of Pusan the Irish were able to recruit there.
 

RossN

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RGB: Perhaps they already are... :eek:hmy:

cezar87: Too simple! :D

Eams: Americans? Bah, they're neutral! ;)

Jape: No one is delighted by the war but the Russians are preoccupied with eyeing up the rump Ottoman state, the Americans are isolationist, and the French are a third rank seapower. The big worries are Britain (friendly towards Ireland but also towards Japan) and Prussia (an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a uniform).

Agent Larkin: Heh. :) I'm looking forward to a Vicky II AAR when a blockade actually has an in-game effect. Or maybe a late period EU III game, since the Age of Sail is pretty cool.
 

unmerged(59077)

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You're seriously going to invade Japan with five divisions? Oh my.
 

RossN

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You're seriously going to invade Japan with five divisions? Oh my.
No, a minimum of ten. I'm raising at least five new divisions to join the existing six already in the Far East.
 

unmerged(59077)

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No, a minimum of ten. I'm raising at least five new divisions to join the existing six already in the Far East.
Marginally better. Still.
 

Jape

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So the folks at home grow tired and Ireland needs a knock out blow, exciting stuff. I'd say I'm wishing the Japanese have left the front door open but I'm quite hoping for a struggle. Also Russian intervention is worrisome. Not likely but given their position, whats to stop Kyoto from suggesting a split of Korea, or even handing it to Russia in exchange for helping them grab the Irish colonies?

And yes despite some flaws (no peacetime negotiations - my one weapon against AI madness), blockades in V2 are powerful, which adds a nice dimension. It always niggled me in Vicky that most wars could only really be ended by full on conquest. Go up against a small nation like Uruguay or Liberia and you can end the war with a few frigates, and maybe a landing party if you're feeling impatient. Its much more historically satisfying, even if Brazilian Persia is still not on.
 

Eams

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It'll be a glorious irony to see Korean soldiers invading Japan. And nice to see the Japanese shoot themselves in the foot with that peace offer.
 

RossN

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Muirchú
(Early 1917)



Irish soldiers practicising an amphibious landing, February 1917


"A bad man but a good general."
- Redmond on General O'Dee, in a letter to his wife.

On New Year's Day 1917 General Francis O'Dee was appointed commander in chief of Operation Muirchú. Born in Waterford in 1862 O'Dee had seen service in everywhere from Argentina to Latvia to Madagascar. He was considered one of the most brilliant Army officers in Irish history and his book on artillery was the foundation of tactics for a dozen armies across the globe. Yet behind the grandfatherly white beard, regal smile and the shrewd green eyes lay a rather less savoury persona. Nothing was ever proved of course, despite the rumours, yet it could hardly be a coincidence that his first wife disappeared under mysterious circumstances and his second went incurably mad. Even the King admitted to his aide-de-camp that he felt like washing his hand after shaking hands with O'Dee.

For his subordinates O'Dee had O'Donnell and O'Sullivan, already experienced in fighting the Japanese. From Ireland he brought Lt. General James Murphy and Lt. General Eamonn O'Sullivan (unrelated to General Phelim O'Sullivan but a cousin of Admiral Henry O'Sullivan). Neither man had seen much service in the Orient but they had their talents and could be trusted to obey orders, which considerinf the Irish would be trying to 126,000 soldiers in Japan in a little over a week was a skill worth its weight in gold.

Of course over a third of the soldiers involved, some 50,000 in fact were not from Ireland herself. Naturally many of the Alaskan and Patagonian troops were first or second generation Irish, but not all: Alaska had a huge Chinese population and nearly half the Patagonians spoke Spanish as a first language. The Korean and Malagasy regiments had Irish officers but that was all. Unsurprisingly there were concerns in some sections of the War Office over how well the colonials would fight but O'Donnell (who had fought in both Madagascar and Korea) at least had no doubts. As he wrote to his wife: "If they fight even half as well with us as they did against us Japan won't last long."

The Royal Irish Navy under Moore would provide support. To some extent they had been the victim of their success; since an attempt to raid Okinawa in June 1916 that had cost them two armoured cruisers and nearly 2,000 sailors killed or captured the surface warships of the Japanese navy had stayed in port beyond the reach of the Irish battlecruisers - an intensely frustrating experience for the Irish admirals who longed for a decisive battle to annihilate the enemy. The blockade might have been steadily weakening Japan but it was thankless work and most of the bigger ships in the fleet were ill-suited to go minesweeping or submarine hunting. There was even a sense amongst some in the Naval Office that the fleet was waning in popularity with the civilians. Nevertheless whatever the traditional rivalries between army and navy the officers and men of the RIN could be relied upon to their bit with skill and élan.


The final invasion plan. The Irish would keep an additional Division (the 5th) in reserve in Okinawa.

The original date for the invasion had been St. Patrick's Day 1917 - a patriotic flourish suggested by the King. However poor weather forced delays of nearly month, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as on 19 March the armoured cruiser RIS Longford stumpled across a previously undetected minefield off Kyūshū that would have taken a grim toll of the Irish transport ships. As the mineslayers did their job the date for landing the first troops was delayed further - to 12 April near the key town of Satsuma. Further landings would take place on 14 April and 17 April and a diversionary landing on Shikoku on 20 April.

The Japanese could hardly have avoided noticing the Irish military build up on Okinawa but O'Dee was paranoid that news of the exact date of attack would reach Kyoto before it started. A squadron of seaplanes and a French made airship were employed to locate any Okinawa fishing boats suspicously far to the north east. Finally at the beginning of April all civilian sea travel was banned on penalty of imprisonment for sedition. The Irish government pressured the Koreans to introduce similar measures and by the second week of April the East China Sea was virtually empty of ships. After all the planning the stage was set.

At 6am the inhabitants of Kagoshima awoke to the sound of explosions. In the dawn light huge warships were steaming back and forth firing salvos at the nearby naval fort. They were the Patagonia and the Alaska and with their 12-inch shells the invasion of Japan had begun.

 

RossN

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Agent Larkin: A little, but the Irish have had far less experience of Japanese resilience in a land war so an invasion is not considered as risky an option as for the Allies in 1945.

RGB: Perhaps, but that's half the fun. :)

Jape: Brazilian Persia sounds like a great AAR waiting to happen. ;) As for Russia and Japan those are good points, but fortunately for Ireland good old fashioned greed helps slow diplomacy.

Eams: Definitely. Korean occupation force anyone? :)

Viden:
!936 since it is Ricky, but in some ways a 1920 date would be more suitable.
 

unmerged(59077)

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That's quite a collection of personality traits you have for your generals :D
 

KanaX

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I suppose the disposition of Japanese forces is left a mystery, perchance for dramatic purposes? (It's been ages since I played Ricky, but isn't it possible to recon coastal provinces with navies?)
 

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Korean and Alaskan Chinese invading Japan? Awesome!
Ironic, but an increasingly weakened Irish Navy (in terms of prestige, at least) is helping the Army initiate an operation that, if successful, will probably cement the Army's status as the premier service, since while battleships are all very nice, but they can't compete with pictures of Irish soldiers marching into Tokyo.
As always, it'll be great to see how this all plays out and what happens next :)