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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Juan_de_Marco

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Ruodnane said:
Personally, I hate the term air cavalry. What a contradiction in terms, regardless of the origins or developmental history.

I give you... Air Cavalry:

Spirit%20Of%20The%20Horse%20Pegasus.jpg


Fonkel-horse!
 

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germanpeon said:
if you havent already done so, I suggest replacing any Japanese island garrisoning divisions that arent too near the front lines with allied divisions so that you can make the most of your more advanced and efficient Japanese divisions on the front lines. For example, we all know that Colombo is impregnable so you might as well put an allied militia division there, if theyve got any.

It's a good idea, but you should never do this... Unless you leave at least one of your own divisions on the island your convoys stop running and the allied divisions quietly starve to death. First time I played as Japan I carefully moved the entire Manchu / Thai armies into the Pacific for just this reason then a few weeks later I was surprised to see several dozen 'our army was wiped out!' messages pop up :eek:

Good luck Remble, seeing Zhukov riding a stack of 20+ divisions into battle is never massively encouraging, moron-AI or no moron-AI!
 

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Remble said:
In the beginning operational names were supplied by something Hirohito said in meetings, this progressed to how I chose the one for Panzer6 and similarly for previous operations. You don't need to directly supply a name, which is always a one word name by the way, just reply as you normally do to updates and when a word jumps out at me I will select it and let you guys know.
Ah, I somehow missed that. Now I just need to find a way to sneak the word discombobulated into the conversation. Because that is just a too cool word to not be an operation. Hm, now I am pretty discombobulated myself. :D
 

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Remble said:
You may have noticed that all the Japanese forces in Sinkiang and western Mongolia are in corps formations and all the ones in Manchuria are singles.

No I didn´t notice, thanks for pointing that out. The training should pay off pretty fast, those Mj. Generals gain the first levels faster than one can say: "Those +10% on defence is a good thing, too."

Very cunning, very cunning indeed.

Those naval bombers get more damage attacking the subs than the subs suffer? Strange. Then it´s a very good thing that those USN carriers showed up, better target practice :)

I once built the level-VI Battlecruisers in a Brazilian game, but by ´46 in a ´36 campaign the naval war was -of course- already over. Looking forward to see the Japanese level-IV ones in some real naval action... in one year.

Oh, and it looks strange to see Admiral Ozawa commanding from the Yamashiro, when the Yamato is in the same fleet. Ah, well, likely Ozawa likes to stand exactly at the same spot where Yamamoto was killed.

As usual: good update, those CAS in Sinkiang do rock, for sure. Good luck and may Harbin never fall ;)
 

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pretty interesting strategy with BCs. but i think, they just fit into your skirmishing strategy
 
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safferli

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Manziel said:
pretty interesting strategy with BCs. but i think, they just fit into your skirmishing strategy
I thought they are a little too expensive for a skirmishing strategy. Witness the lost battle in the last update: he lost a CA, that could easily have been a BC! Still, a BC will be able to pound US CAs more easily, but how many more are left of those?
 

unmerged(59906)

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Maj. von Mauser - They shall indeed rule the waves. I was surprised to see those Carriers there yes. I was pretty happy with the outcome though as it could have been a much larger fleet.

germanpeon, Jon Young - My preference is always gun ships, and normally the bigger the better. I really dislike the Carriers vunerability at night. However as this a Japanese AAR and not a German one I will build CV's and attempt to fight the USN on equal terms once my doctrines are improved.

It is a little hard to show the complete contribution my puppets make as most of their forces are lent to Japan. Rough guess is that 20 divisions in Manchuria are from Manchukuo, seven from Mengkokuo with only two from Siam. They do have troops elsewhere though. Siam provides a major contribution to my resources with both metal and rare materials in large quantities.

I have experienced the same thing Jon Young has with Allied troops. I think it was Romanian troops in my other AAR that nearly starved to death on islands in the Pacific as they could not supply them. I am not certain if lent troops suffer the same problems but for arguments sake I will impose a restriction on puppet forces use and say that they cannot be used outside of Asia for defensive purposes. The garrisons are performing anti-partisan patrols in China.

kwiatek - Thank you. I will chase those Carriers until they sink. I have no idea how big a fleet I could make as Japan as I have never tried it. I expect it would be suitably well equipped and capable of destroying anything it met. A lot of SHBB's would probably be in it as Japan starts with that tech.

Panzer6 - Thank you. Fixed the mech problem and thanks for pointing it out :)

Ruodnane - Well I do need more modern ships and now is probably a good time to start.

robou - Admiral Sprague is the best American fleet Commander to sail the seas since this AAR began. Why the AI chose him to be a pain when it could have chosen plenty of others with much more dangerous fleets is beyond me. Do not expect me to sink his Carriers anytime soon.

cjwet - BC's oct 1947, CV's May 1948. These will change dramatically once I get around to researching Ship Assembly Line, which for some reason Japan does not start with. I do have blueprints for it though and it will be done once I get a free slot.

Sokraates - Your probably right about the Transports, I think most went down trying to defend Hawaii and it needs to build more.

Juan_de_Marco - Nice picture :)

safferli - The chances of a word that I would have to spellcheck everytime I try and use it appearing as an operational name is pretty remote :p

Thurak - it is annoying that Subs can do so well against bombers but when there are eight of them its make things a little rough for the bombers. Once their numbers drop a little it should be almost damage free. It was not unusual for Admirals to not use the main gun ship. Yamamoto used Nagato for quite some time as his Flagship. Those CAS are doing exactly what CAS always do, destroy anything in their path.

Manziel, safferli - The BC's are purely an excercise in flavour for the AAR. I know there are better ways to build a competative fleet but Japan did like BC's so its sort of a good choice. They liked SHBB's too but I used them as Germany so I will use BC's and CV's for Japan. The USN has not much of anything left really but its Carrier numbers keep growing.

Update to follow ...
 

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The Bear

12





1900 July 18th 1946.
BB Division 1 Flagship. IJN Yamashiro, In Transit.

Ozawa had BB Division 1 steaming towards the latest reported position on Sprague's Carrier fleet. It was slow going as his older ships were nowhere near as fast as the modern American fleet and trying to intercept it was not going to be easy even with intelligence from Japanese aircraft. He had ordered the Naval bombers to resume their attacks against the Submarines in Samoa until such time as the Carriers were re-acquired.

Ichimaru looked out from the cockpit of his Kawanishi bomber as his wing approached Samoa. The layout of the small harbour was well known after several bombing runs and he knew exactly what was supposed to be there.

"Are those what I think they are?" his opposite wing commander Genda asked over the radio.

"I am positive they aren't Submarines if thats what you mean." Ichimaru replied flippantly.

"Seeing as you seem to be in a good mood today why don't you lead the attack and let them shoot at you first?"

"Only if you promise to get shot at too."

"That seems like a reasonable request." Genda replied as he lined his squadron up behind that of Ichimaru so that he attacked immidiately after the first strike.​

jul18461900gr1.jpg

Ichimaru reported the sighting back to Ozawa who was keen to know where Sprague was hiding. The intial strike targetted the crippled escorting Destroyer Division which sank in minutes. The target then switched to the Carriers.

"Going somewhere Tom?" Spruance asked his fellow Admiral.

"I thought I would get back onboard USS Wasp and set sail before my Carriers get blown to pieces in this little harbour." Sprague replied.

"Those bombers aren't that dangerous, they have barely scratched my Submarines after trying very hard to do so."

"With all due respect Ray, your Submarines aren't 888 feet long and do not displace 36,000 tonnes. I will take my chances at sea if its alright with you."

"Chicken."

"I am not the one sitting in the middle of nowhere, commanding damaged Submarines, because I got half the United States Navy's Battleships blown out of the water by those aircraft, now am I?" Sprague retorted as he hurridly left and gave the orders to get his ships out of harbour as fast as possible. Spruance didn't need to be reminded of the reasons behind his current posting.

Five hours later his fleet was at sea which left Ichimaru and Genda to try and sink the much more difficult to target Submarines. Ozawa gave the orders to resume looking for the Carriers.​





0400 July 19th 1946.
North China Army Headquarters. Lanzhou, China.

More Allied troops had advanced into Karachi but not in large numbers. Higashikuni ordered Abe to remove them as soon as dawn arrived.​

jul19460400gr1.jpg

The battle was a short one as Japanese Tactical bombers provided assistance. The Allied numbers were slowly dropping and it was hoped that the bombers would be able to leave the area soon to pursue the Red Army.​

jul19460900gr1.jpg

In the north Lt. General Hirota had also been ordered to counter attack the enemy armoured division that had recently arrived in Khobdo province. Enveloped and badly outnumbered it too was forced to retreat after a short battle. No advance would be ordered after either battle.​

jul20460300gr1.jpg

The bombers returned to begin the process of destroying the Allied troops in Karachi as they retreated. An American Naval bomber wing with escorts intercepted them over their target causing some moderate damage to the unescorted Tactical bombers before they could withdraw.

Ozawa was particularly interested in this report as the enemy bombers had been the same ones that had caused his Naval bombers to cease operations north east of Hawaii. Those bombers were a little busy trying to sink enemy Carriers for the time being but could possible return to Hawaii afterwards.​

jul20461600gr1.jpg

Three more Allied divisions advanced into Karachi and attacked General Abe in Sukkur as soon as they could. He would easily hold his position as it was a night engagement. The least damaged bombers would return the next morning to target the newly arrived enemy troops, one of which had already been almost totally destroyed.​





0500 July 20th 1946.
Kwantung Army Headquarters. Harbin, Manchukuo.

Terauchi looked towards the borders of Harbin as the sound of a rolling artillery barrage began to creep towards his troops positions. This was nothing new as his forces had already been subjected to this process many times over during the past weeks. One small change was that the explosions did not light up the night sky as the enemy had chosen to attack during the early afternoon instead.​

jul20460500gr2.jpg

Another day and another enemy commander. It was Rokossovsky's turn to try and break the stubborn defences of Harbin. The daylight attack caused slightly more casualties for Terauchi but nothing of much consequence. He was fairly certain that his defences could hold for a full daylight battle after they easily held until dusk, when Rokossovsky was given no option but to call off his attack after a few more hours of death and destruction to Soviet forces.​
 

unmerged(59906)

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0800 July 21st 1946.
BB Division 1 Flagship. IJN Yamashiro, Kwajalein.

BB Division 1 had arrived in Kwajalein where Ozawa would change its base of operations. He had ordered the undamaged portions of CA Divisions 1 and 2 to regroup and patrol the Magellan Rise until relieved by BB Division 1. The timing of the change over could not have been much worse and Ozawa cursed his bad luck on this occasion.​

jul21460800gr1.jpg

Sprague had sailed north and re-entered the Magellan Rise where CA Division 1 would be the fleet he encountered instead of the much more powerful Battleship fleet. Even though it was night the Carriers outperformed the lighter Heavy Cruisers inflicting major damage to IJN Chokai and only receiving minor damage in return. Ozawa would have to wait for another chance to engage Sprague with a fleet that could sink him.​





1200 July 21st 1946.
Kwantung Army Headquarters. Harbin, Manchukuo.

The Soviets returned to their more normal night attacks on July 21st as they targetted Bayan Tumen once more. The repeated attacks were slowly beginning to reduce the effectiveness of Itagaki's forces as the province had fairly poor infrastructure which hampered recovery times. Harbin, by contrast, had much better roads and rail system allowing those forces to regain strength faster.​

jul21461200gr4.jpg

On this occasion it made little difference as the attacking force was not large enough to cause any real problems during an assault which was called off before dawn.​

jul22460700gr1.jpg

Saboru caught another enemy Dive bomber wing, this time over Harbin, on July 22nd. The damage would not be quite as severe during this encounter as the bombers were returning to their own base rather than being caught mid strike. Nevertheless the damage was still very much one sided and would ground the Soviet planes for some time.​





0700 July 22nd 1946.
North China Army Headquarters. Lanzhou, China.

The bombers had been allowed to attack the Allied troops in Karachi without any further interference from the Naval bombers which had resulted in the loss of the armoured division and severe damage to another formation. Higashikuni did not need to wait long to order the counter attack.​

jul22460700gr2.jpg

Two more enemy divisions would retreat with the minimal of effort from Japanese ground forces as Abe attacked again. Montgomery would be on the receiving end of this encounter.​

jul22461100gr1.jpg

A slightly larger problem occured for Higashikuni as seven more Soviet divisions entered Gulja province in Sinkiang. They had arrived from Altay which would weaken that force but not by enough to allow any sort of counter attack. The Dive bombers were already at the task of reducing this latest move as Red Army troops again tried to outflank Urumqi. They were not likely to get any further than the last troops that tried this same manouver.​

jul22461400gr2.jpg

Another report from the seas around Ceylon would force Higashikuni to re-arrange his air support to try and counter enemy bombers sinking Convoys close to the island. Mj. General Kato was ordered to move to Colombo and hunt the bombers down to prevent further losses as Japan had ceased production of these vessels and could not afford to lose too many of them.

Kato took off the next morning with orders to intercept the enemy aircraft as soon as possible. His turbojet aircraft hurtled into the sky over Colombo and headed for the coast as they turned east. The fuel gauge on his aircraft crept below the half mark before he even got over water forcing him to return to base. More upgrades would be needed before his jet aircraft could do anything more than patrol the skies around the airfield they were occupying.​

jul22461400gr3.jpg

As Higashikuni could not shoot the planes down he would try and capture their base. The only one in range was Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Admiral Daigo received orders to leave his patrol station to the east of Ceylon and carry out reconnaisance on the small island.​

jul24460600gr1.jpg

Yet another attack began against Bayan Tumen at 0600 on July 24th. The assault began four hours before dusk leaving Itagaki to only be required to hold for a short time before night fell. His troops had been furiously entrenching their positions for some days now and this added protection made things somewhat easier and reduced the wear and tear on his forces. Dusk arrived in plenty of time to give the Soviet troops no chance of making any headway as the defences held firm once again.​
 

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Bayan Turen is your weak spot. If the Sovjets can get some ARM or MEC you will loose the battle...
 

Juan_de_Marco

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well yea i was in a bit of a lame mood, making lame jokes there...

I predict it will take some two to three months before the Soviets will move large enough numbers of divisions to Khobdo that you cannot dislodge them anymore, and will have to abandon Urumqi. The AI always responds to large numbers of troops and you've been hammering Khobdo rather consistent with 7-9 divisions..

BC is not a bad choice - it's got the punch, but not the armour, a good tradeoff for less IC - needed for more supplies, upgrades and whatnot. And you need at least some modern Guns.

I was thinking something else - the ministers, there's probably a minister that is increasing IC right now... The industrial armaments minister? +5% IC. Would it be more beneficial at your rate of supply-building to switch him for the +20% supplies? Would you 'get' more out of it?
 

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Juan_de_Marco said:
I was thinking something else - the ministers, there's probably a minister that is increasing IC right now... The industrial armaments minister? +5% IC. Would it be more beneficial at your rate of supply-building to switch him for the +20% supplies? Would you 'get' more out of it?
Generally that's what I do when playing Japan -- switch to the +20% supply minister after a while. But remble can't do that -- he'll get 1% dissent and it would take precious IC and time to reduce that. Better to stick with a +IC minister, especially as the minister isn't that bad.
 

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I think the 20% supply minister would be a good trade for a 5% extra ic.

Though the dissident hit could be painfull, it will only be shortlived.

Very nice work Remble on keeping the sovjets at bay, allthough I think it's improbable that you'll keep them from gaining ground.

When will you kill off those anoying american naval bombers?

ow and nice talk with spruance and the sub commander :D
 

Krogzar

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*double post*
 

unmerged(87183)

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Those Naval Bombers are becoming a real nieusance arn't they? :p

I could probably say the same about the American CV fleet also.

Nice update though. I was hoping Sprague and Spruance would get into a fist-fight, but I guess not.
 

ColossusCrusher

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If only failing Soviet commanders got 9mm brain hemmorhages...:(
And if Mengkukuo (sp?) would build some infra...
 

unmerged(59906)

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robou - I won't be taking Diego Garcia :mad:

Middelkerke - Urumqi is the main weak spot but as the Soviets seem to be under control there then yes Bayan Tumen is the one most likely to fold first.

Juan_de_Marco - There is build up beginning again along the borders around Khobdo so your probably right. If we assume that a large part of the Red Army did not redeploy and is marching from the west then the logical place for most of it to show up would be this area and they have had 4 months to get here.

Juan_de_Marco, safferli, Krogzar - Ginjiro is a +10% IC Minister which makes him better than the +20% supply version. The point is a good one but becomes moot when you learn that Japan doesn't have a +20% supply Minister :)

Krogzar - Thanks. The bombers will need to help me with their destruction. They will need to run into some interceptors for me as my aircraft cannot reach them. I think you can safely say that Spruance is likely to become the victim of some humour, even though in real life he was a very good commander. Operation Improbable sounds good enough to me so congratulations on being added to the list.

Maj. von Mauser -Both the bombers and Carriers are becoming annoying. The Carriers I can do more about than the bombers. Maybe I should just invade the U.S. with Mj. General Banzai to stop them sniping at my forces elsewhere.

ColossusCrusher - One miracle per game only for the AI :) That was the airbase in Harbin. Bayan Tumen was Mongolian so we can blame them for the bad infrastructure there, of course, the infrastructure is far worse in Mengkokuo.

Update to follow ...
 
Last edited:

unmerged(59906)

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The Bear

13





0000 July 25th 1946.
Kwantung Army Headquarters. Harbin, Manchukuo.

The latest bombing run against Hailar province would also produce updated information on Soviet troops movements to the north of Manchuria.​

jul25460000gr1.jpg

Larger numbers of enemy troops had been sighted during the attack on Konev's headquarters in the province.​





0100 July 25th 1946.
BB Division 1 Flagship. IJN Yamashiro, In Transit.

The bombing of convoys around southern India had been passed to Ozawa as it would now be a Naval mission should any invasion of Diego Garcia be possible.​

jul25460100gr1.jpg

The report from the Submarines sent on the reconnaisance mission was not good reading. Ozawa would be able to do nothing to prevent the American bombers as the atoll was far too well defended to contemplate a direct assault. The problem would be passed to the Imperial Japanese Air Force who would have to deal with it once some of their Interceptors acquired the range to do so. The alternative of sending some of the older Interceptors from Korea was tempting but they were too valuable in their current operational area. The Submarines sailed north to their designated patrol zone.​

jul25460500gr1.jpg

Ozawa could now concentrate on sinking Sprague and his Carriers. The latest report had them steaming north west through the Central Gilberts. BB Division 1 would try and cut them off.​





1000 July 25th 1946.
Kwantung Army Headquarters. Harbin, Manchukuo.

Terauchi spent a fairly large amount of time with his troops in order to keep their morale up between the frequent battles for Harbin. He was never at the forefront of the carnage as he controlled the battle from his headquarters which was not too close to the front line. The distant sound of explosions would mean the beginning of another of those battles and his thoughts always drifted to the troops having to undergo the barrage heading their way.

"What's that Sergeant?" Tiko asked as the screams began. He had only just arrived in Harbin as a replacement for one of the more seriously wounded men in Kanaga's company.

"Katyusha." Kanaga informed the new arrival. He always stayed close to the new arrivals to try and keep them calm when the time came to spill blood. "Soviet rocket launchers. That horrible sound means its time for us to head to the bunker. You really do not want to be out here when that stuff starts landing close by." Kanaga added as he ushered his new found shadow into the deeper bunker that had been prepared for the Soviet pre-assault barrages.

The explosions grew closer by the minute with an increasing noise level as the ground began to heave from the multiple explosions. Of all the weapons the Soviets possessed Kanaga hated the Katyusha more than anything else. It was not that accurate but the sound and shear amount of explosives it delivered in a short space of time were terrifying. After what seemed an eternity the sound of whistles could be heard as the barrage began to lift. "Up you get Tiko, its time to see what else the enemy has decided to throw at us today."

The barrage had caused some parts of the trenches to collapse but the area assigned to Kanaga's company was more or less unharmed as he checked his men were all heading back into position. They had been here for long enough to set up their killing fields to the best possible advantage with no more than minor changes ever having to be made now. A quick head count was all Kanaga needed to confirm that none of his company had been harmed by the artillery. The next sound confirmed that today would be one of the bad days in this part of the Japanese line. The center held the best protection but it nearly always attracted the most dangerous opponents.

Looking to the horizon made Kanaga a lot happier. "Much harder to kill me or my men at night." he thought. Night attacks were favoured by the enemy for some reason which was fine with him as it put them at a disadvantage.

"What's that rumbling noise Sergeant?" asked Tiko as he began to peer over the top of the trench.

"Get your damn head down Tiko! I don't want to have to explain to company headquarters how I got you killed during your first battle." came the curt reply. "Its a T-34 and it has a much bigger gun than you do so don't even think of trying to shoot at it."

"Its getting awfully close, how are we supposed to stop it if we can't shoot it?"

"We don't get to stop it." Kanaga replied as he quickly glanced over the top to see just how close the enemy armour was. "Just over 1000 metres. Anytime now."

Almost as if on queue a loud high pitched sound echoed from the south as an armour piercing round exploded from the barrel of one of the Chi-He tanks less than 500 metres away. The closest T-34 erupted in flames as the shell glanced off the side armour and pierced the added fuel tanks to the rear of the Soviet tank. The crew didn't need much encouragement to bail out. The sound of more shells screaming overhead had Tiko beginning to head back towards the bunker. "That's our artillery lad, stay right here."

It was not long before the screams of the wounded began to dominate the battlefield as soldiers began to die on both sides.​

jul25461000gr1.jpg

Thirty two Soviet divisions, containing more armour than usual, had attacked Harbin. Field Marshall Kulik would preside over the Soviet attack on this occasion. Terauchi knew his troops would hold this assault with relative ease but even the easier battles cost his men their lives. Kulik had used the main part of his force to attack the center of the Japanese lines which contained most of the armoured forces. The night sky was frequently lit by the eerie light given off as starshells exploded above the battlefield to throw temporary light on the proceedings.​

jul25462000gr1.jpg

By 2000 hours even the Soviet Armour was beginning to fold under the Japanese onslaught. Some enemy troops had managed to reach the trenches where hand to hand fighting erupted from time to time but casualties had indeed been light for Terauchi. With dawn only a couple of hours away he had expected the attack to be called off but the enemy would try a new tactic. A fresh wave of Soviet troops were thrown into the battle at dawn, replacing the exhausted divisions that had tried in vain to penetrate the defences. Their arrival was greeted with the drone of bombers overhead as Japanese Tactical bombers headed for Heihe to assist Terauchi. Forty eight Red Army divisions occupied the province which was close to double the amount of troops Terauchi had on hand.

Even with fresh troops the enemy had no chance of gaining much ground and the battle drew to a close after two more hours of fighting as Soviet troops headed wearily back to their own lines. Again Terauchi's thoughts turned to the men he commanded and he hoped that not to many were either dead or wounded. Several hours would be required to obtain an accurate head count as the large number of divisions made their reports back to his headquarters.

The night and early morning had gone better than expected for Kanaga. Several of his men sported bandages after receiving a wide variety of more minor wounds. Only four had needed to be evacuated for more major injuries. He learned later that two of them had not survived for long after reaching the field hospital. "Well lad it looks like you managed to keep yourself alive." he said as he glanced around to check on the new recruit. "Damn." was all that he managed to say as saw the small hole below Tiko's helmet. "Bloody snipers." he cursed as he called for orderlies to remove the already stiffening corpse of the young soldier.

There were less than a dozen men left in the company that had been formed at the beginning of the War with China. None of them had escaped without several injuries during the years that followed including Kanaga. The last year had given the newer men time to learn from the veterans as war kept the World busy elsewhere. Now the Soviets had arrived and it was time for the well known faces to change as they were replaced with fresh ones as men died.​





0200 July 26th 1946.
BB Division 1 Flagship. IJN Yamashiro, In Transit.

Ozawa had left Kwajalein and was heading towards Truk to try and close the distance between himself and Sprague.​

jul26460200gr1.jpg

He had been spotted again as he transitted through the Northwest Gilberts. Truk could be his target but only time would tell.​





0200 July 26th 1946.
Diplomatic Offices. Tokyo, Japan.

Mamoru had been taking stock of the possible trades he could make to try and increase both oil and energy supplies to Japan.​

jul26460200gr2.jpg

Venezuela was already the primary target of his efforts after the collapse of trade with the Soviet Union. More Japanese supplies headed towards South America in exchange for energy. The lessening presence of the United States Navy in the Pacific made such trades far more lucrative than they had been for some time.​





1600 July 26th 1946.
Kwantung Army Headquarters. Harbin, Manchukuo.

Harbin would not be attacked again today as the Red Army changed its attack to the more vunerable Bayan Tumen.​

jul26461600gr1.jpg

Itagaki and his troops were still doing their best to recover from the increasingly frequent attacks against their position and would hold once more as another enemy night attack failed before the sun rose on the horizon.​
 

unmerged(59906)

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2000 July 26th 1946.
BB Division 1 Flagship. IJN Yamashiro, In Transit.

Aircraft were beginning to take off throughout the Pacific in the hunt for American Carriers. They decided to give their position away before they could be found.​

jul26462000gr1.jpg

Sprague launched a Carrier Strike on the port of Admiralty Island which contained the reserve Transport fleet commanded by Admiral Kato. Fortunately Mj. General Umazu had not already left the islands airfield and provided some protection from the Carrier aircraft as they decended on the almost defenceless Transport ships.​

jul27460200gr1.jpg

The damage would still be fairly high but the presence of the Interceptor squadron had prevented any flotilla being completely destroyed. kato would head back to Japan once the carriers were out of the area.​

jul27462100gr1.jpg

Sprague turned south after the strike opening the distance between himself and Ozawa's pursuing BB Division 1. Japanese Naval bombers had moved north to Guadalcanal to locate the Carriers and they found them in the Central Solomon Sea. Only minor damage would follow but the frequent attacks against the fleet were very slowly weakening it. If Japanese forces could damage one Carrier enough there was a good possibility that Sprague would head to Samao to try and conduct repairs where his fleet would be more vunerable.​





1800 July 27th 1946.
Kwantung Army Headquarters. Harbin, Manchukuo.

The Soviets had not waited long before launching another attack as Bayan Tumen was targetted for the second time in two days. Terauchi knew that it was just a question of time before he would have to abandon this province if the current rate of attacks continued. His forces were only in that area as the Red Army had not been fully deployed prior to War breaking out between the two Countries. The hills to the south east were where the original defence had been planned and he could easily move back to this area.​

jul27461800gr1.jpg

The latest attack had again been launched in the middle of the night and would achieve nothing more than to reduce Japanese organisation in exchange for Soviet lives.​

jul28461000gr1.jpg

Japanese Dive bombers were attacked by Polish Interceptors over Mudanjiang just before dusk on July 28th. Tanaka's Interceptor wing was with the bombers and managed to chase the attackers off before they could cause any major damage to the Dive bombers.​





1100 July 28th 1946.
North China Army Headquarters. Lanzhou, China.

The Tactical bombers had done their job well in India and had completely destroyed the British forces that had been in Karachi.​

jul28461100gr1.jpg

They turned their attention towards the forces in Persia which seemed to be increasing slightly. The Allies were beginning to concentrate troops in the area after modest success in taking Karachi.​

jul29460300gr1.jpg

The Allies also had some air protection, this time being provided by one Naval bomber squadron. Unfortunately for the Japanese Tactical bombers the interception occured as an American Strategic bomber wing returned from its mission over northern India. The escorts from the Strategic wing joined in the dogfight greatly increasing Japanese casualties. Another rest period would be required for Higashikuni's bombers before they could try to clear the enemy troops again and allow themselves to be used further north.​





0500 July 30th 1946.
Kwantung Army Headquarters. Harbin, Manchukuo.

The ever increasing mass of Soviet soldiers along the borders of China needed to be slowed somewhat. Terauchi altered the orders for his Tactical bomber wings and they switched from bombing troops that were digging in to the roads leading through the hostile terrain.​

jul30460500gr1.jpg

Hailar would be the first province to suffer from the change in tactics as its infrastructure was cut in half during the first strike. The entire region of northern Manchuria would be targetted to slow the Soviet advance and to provide another advantage for Japanese ground forces during combat as the Red Army struggled to supply its troops without a decent transport network.

The enemy would launch one more attack against Terauchi's forces before the month drew to a close.​

jul30460900gr1.jpg

Bayan Tumen would be attacked for the third time in five days as the Soviets increased the pressure on this part of the Japanese line. The assault began just before dusk dooming it to failure as night fell. Itagaki would still control the province at the beginning of August as the months ticked by with little change in the territory held by either side. Four months of conflict had seen plenty of men killed, mostly Soviet, as the Red Army continued to muster its full forces.​