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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Nikolai

Basileus Romaion
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Will you take one of the Japanese home islands in the peace treaty, I wonder?:D
 

RossN

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Invasion!
(April - September 1917)



A fanciful Japanese representation of the Irish landings - in truth resistance was nonexistant in many areas.

"The first three months will be decisive. By September we should know if we'll win - and when we'll win."

- General O'Dee in a telegram to the War Office, April 1917.

The initial landings were unopposed, on land at least[SUP]1[/SUP]. The Japanese High Command had pulled their troops back to Honshu and as Irish troops marched past beautiful fishing villages and caught the scent of cherry blossom in the air they began to feel the Japanese would not put up much of a fight after all. At this pace the whole war might be over by Christmas.

According to Army intelligence the Japanese had an absolute minimum 170,000 regular soldiers under arms and a reserve of at least equal to that. On paper a formidable force but General Dee doubted it was the equal of a European or American army, largely due to equipment. The Japanese were still equipped with single shot Martini-Henry style rifles while the Irish had modern bolt-action rifles (though the Korean troops frequently had to make do with older weapons.) Additionally Irish artillery was potent even by European standards and the Japanese simply had no answer for this.

The first significant action was at Kumanmato on 19 June where II. Corps under Eamonn O'Sullivan faced off against a Japanese cavalry division. The result was a predictable defeat and retreat for the cavalry but O'Sullivan uneasily noted the bravery of the Japanese troopers and the ability of their commander General Hasegawa. Over the following two months Hasegawa would lead a fighting retreat to Nagasaki, which was to be a thorn in the side of the Irish Army for many months to come.

By the beginning of August all of Kyūshū save Nagasaki was in Irish hands. The II. Corps was ordered to take Nagasaki while the I. Corps under O'Donnell and the IV. Corps under P. O'Sullivan crossed the Kanmon Straits into Honshu and advanced on Hagi, which fell on 16 August. Nagasaki, scene of of fierce fighting finally fell on 21 August but a rising in Satsuma delayed plans to reinforce O'Donnell with the II. Corps. The Irish turned to march on Satsuma and relieve the Irish garrison there but on 25 August the Japanese landed a division at Nagasaki and E. O'Sullivan suddenly found himself having to fight again for the same city. The Irish in Honshu would have to deal with the Japanese on their own and 30 August elements of IV. Corps reached Hiroshima and began to find themselves facing significant Japanese resistance. P. O'Sullivan had numerical and material superiority but there was concern in the Irish HQ that Hiroshima was merely a delaying action so the bulk of the Japanese Army could be moved into play.

Meanwhile Murphy was having an easier time all around on Shikoku. If Kyūshū was lightly defended the Japanese initially seemed to have given up their smallest island altogether. On 28 June Kochi surrendered, Matsuyama followed on 25 July and finally Takamatsu on 1 September. For very limited casualties (less than 1,000 overall) Murphy had overrun the entire island. The Japanese civilians seemed too shocked by the scale of defeat to even think about resistance but Murphy - knowing about Satsuma - was far too cautious to relax his guard. Local police, magistrates and Shinto priests were watched carefully and portraits of the Emperor were removed from public places - as much because the deeply Catholic Murphy loathed the idea of emperor worship as for any stamping down on any trouble. In towns and villages across Shikoku (and to a lesser extent Kyūshū) public buildings suddenly sprouted the gold harp on navy flag of the Kingdom of Ireland.

The Invasion is proceeding well but the Japanese have yet to commit in full strength.​


By the end of August it was clear that the invasion was succeeding but the Irish forces were increasingly thinly spread. Casualties had considerably below the worst fears of the War Office but the Japanese build up east of Hiroshima and the unstable situation in Satsuma were increasly serious concerns. The unexpected landing of Japanese troops in Nagasaki (eluding the Royal Irish Navy) was embarassing but O'Donneell and O'Dee considered it a fluke, unlikely to be repeated. Still with II. Corps likely to be bogged down in Kyūshū for longer than expected, General O'Dee decided it was time to commit his reserves. The 5th Division would be sent to Shikoku to free up the III. Corps for further operations. Since July, O'Dee had been drawing up a plan for the second phase of the invasion. Operation Iolar Mara[SUP]2[/SUP] called for III. Corps to land at Osaka so Murphy could move on Kyoto. The Japanese Government & Imperial Family had decamped to Edo, reducing the importance of political importance of Kyoto but if taken Japanese forces in western Honshu would be cut off from the rest of the Japan and be crushed between the Irish advancing from both east and west.

It was not to be - or at least not then. On 29 August, the day before the Irish reached Hiroshima rebellion flared in Zhanjiang. The 5th Division, getting ready to leave Formosa for Japan was abruptly diverted to deal with what was to be known as The Autumn Rising...


Meanwhile in Irish China...​

1. There was action at sea which will be covered in a later installment.
2. Irish for 'Sea Eagle'.

 
Last edited:

RossN

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Agent Larkin: what can I say, Google is my friend. :)

(Also hah! Maybe I need a General Shatter too? ;))

RGB: I know, and you haven't see O'Dee yet either...

KanaX: Pretty much, yeah. :)

Eams: I have to say in fairness the Japanese Navy has put up a better fight than the Army so far.

Viden: Surprisingly little of it so far - though that will change.

Pershing: Sure, I'll try and cook one up.

ComradeOm: Ha - see my comment to Agent Larkin. :D

Nikolai: Perhaps... though probably not Honshu. ;)

Jape: It is. I almost a division of Japanese soldiers (from Okinawa) but thought that would stretch credibility too far. :)
 

unmerged(59077)

Tzar of all the Soviets
Jul 17, 2006
5.575
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Man. You're having a much easier time than Kublai Khan did.

:p

Except that whole China rebellion thing.