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Maksymus

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Presentation
(Ambiant Music !)

Welcome folks !

After lurking the AAR section of this forum for years and enjoying all those great stories I decided to try myself to write something I hope will be entertaining.

I always loved to play japan. This little David surrounded by Goliaths who fought simultaneously the most populated country, the biggest naval power and the largest Industrial power in this world. And don’t forget that they keep a large force to guard their border with the largest military power at the time. What could go wrong?

So I found the Naval Expansion Mod made by mdlusk (more info here) and as I am a really naval oriented player I couldn’t resist to test it ! Thanks for your work man.

I actually made 3 little modification by myself in mdlusk work:

· Changed the Land doctrine tech so I can follow the unified axis doctrine path after 1946.

· Changed the vanilla economic policies effects. So they are the same than in WIF II.(I find them more balanced and realist)

· The last one is a surprise, I modded an event for the fluff !

I choose Japan because it gives more challenge that any other naval power in this game. And to add more fun and more challenge to this AAR I made some house rules! Because when you learn to play DH it’s become easy to not repeat the Japanese historical errors.

In this game I want to show that Japanese war effort is jeopardized by the two rivals that are IJA and IJN.

The house rules:

· While in war with china I’ll have to guard my border with USSR with a 25 division large Kwangtung army.

· Imperial Japan Air Force is divided between IJA and IJN. The first want his Close air support and level bomber the second one wants his carrier air groups and naval bombers and everybody need fighters!

· With a 20/20 hindsight it’s easy to say that super heavy battleships where useless and planes would be the masters over the sea. But naval leaders at this time where divided so I will! I will build at least two SHBB. But be assured I will build a shit ton of CV too.

· I want quality over quantity navy so there will be a lot of refitting. I also will not convert existing BB to carriers.

· Whenever what happen I will hit Pearl harbor the 7 December 1941

· Japan developed a little airborne force historically, some commandos for the navy and some regiment for the army. So for the fluff I will build two PAR and their transports, one for each faction.(operational before 1st January 1943)

· I will not use Tanks, motorized or mechanized division for invasions but I authorize myself to put them in the end of a victorious invasion battle to avoid the 50% loss of org.

· I will not use Gamey tactics with paras

· I’ll play in Hard/Aggressive difficulty. Very hard would be too punishing with all the drags I have on my foot. And furious IA is so dumb she just run inside traps set up by the player and makes holes in its proper lines.

If you have other ideas feel free to propose :).

I ultimately don’t want to win, good stories don’t necessary end well. I want fun. I want to use a maximum of this mod features. I want to fight until death and play with all the funny stuff that comes late game (nukes, jet airplanes, modern ships, air cavalry etc.). I hope that will be an entertaining reading!

I will try to update this AAR every week at least.

Chapter index :

Book I : The Dawn

Chapter 1 : Political Changes - march 1933
Chapter 2 : Naval Inventory - Year 1933
Chapter 3 : Army Organization - 12 March to 11 November 1933

(Pardon my french ^^)​
 
Last edited:

Vlad_Dracul1989

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With a 20/20 hindsight it’s easy to say that super heavy battleships where useless and planes would be the masters over the sea. But naval leaders at this time where divided so I will! I will build at least two SHBB. But be assured I will build a shit ton of CV too.
I can't count how many times I heard that USN totally didn't expected strike against Oahu and how it is ridiculous to think they intentionally saved carriers, because battleships were considered still Queens of the Seas and didn't knew actually, how much carriers will be important in the Pacific War...

Well, and then there's quote from guy named Vinson in 1940 about Two-Ocean Navy Act: "The modern development of aircraft has demonstrated conclusively that the backbone of the Navy today is the aircraft carrier. The carrier, with destroyers, cruisers and submarines grouped around it, is the spearhead of all modern naval task forces."
 

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I can't actually understand if you agree my statement or not :) ! Or if you just make a point...

Well, and then there's quote from guy named Vinson in 1940 about Two-Ocean Navy Act: "The modern development of aircraft has demonstrated conclusively that the backbone of the Navy today is the aircraft carrier. The carrier, with destroyers, cruisers and submarines grouped around it, is the spearhead of all modern naval task forces."
I just wanted to say that in the 30's naval strategist are divided on the aeronaval question. Some where aware of their effectiveness some others thinked it was still a subsidiary weapon on sea. no ?

EDIT : Oh i see know what you're saying ^^ So are you a partisan of the theory of FDR let pearl harbor happen to overbalance the public american opinion ?
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Will follow with interest
 

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Book I : The Dawn


Ready? Set…. Go! (Music for Ambiance !)


“Death is duty, War is purifying son!”
"Awesome loadscreen :)"


“the geopolitical situation and the aftermath of Sanriku Earthquake”
This story starts the 4th march 1933. Japan just suffered a big earthquake coupled with a tsunami. Its economic situation is pretty bad. And with the conflict in Manchuria its relations with its neighbors is getting colder every days.


“Japanese economy at the start”

The government faces a cabinet rearrangement. The armament minister giving -5 % IC malus is changed by a +3% IC bonus minister. And the -5% consumer good is replaced by a -10% bonus minister. The governments push for a law to increase military founds (+1 hawk lobby).

The military-industrial complex launches its next wave of R&D:


«This is the naval tech tree of the mod, it’s huge! »

Naval engineer are working on bigger guns for our capitals ships. Japan doesn’t have the resources or the industrial capacity to compete in number with its rivals. So we need to out-gun and out-smart enemy navies.

Naval planners are also studying Battlecruisers. They don’t plan to build more of them but it’s a required step to design more modern battleships.

(You can actually have an overview of all techs I need to build an historical Yamato with its 460 cm guns. 5 techs at least + one costly event. These SHBB are really expensive)



On the 6th march the government starts a money printing policy to invest in the vital sectors of industry. This Economic recovery policy aim to help rebuild the city damaged by the catastrophe and revitalizes the industrial power of the country. Only time will tell if it’s a good idea (this event moved my sliders +1 hawk lobby and +1 central planning. It also removes the -20% Peacetime IC malus).

The same day a vast police operation is launched in the Kirin province of Manchukuo. On the international stage japan sell technologies to low developed countries all other the world to fulfill its supply stock.

The 7 of March a secret conference between five most important ministers of the empire happen. During the whole day the five men have debated about the future of japan and the strategy the country should fallow.

The greatest identified threat is USSR. The Army is proponent of a northern expansion. But IJA staff is divided. Sadao Araki wants to strike as fast as possible before the red army receives any modern equipment in Siberia. Araki represent the biggest faction inside the officer corp. But general Nagata (opposed to Araki) ask for a great expansion of the industrial power of Japan and Manchukuo. Nagata wants to build a strong infantry army supported by artillery, backed up by tanks and covered with planes (Araki prone that the spirit and the resilience of the Japanese soldier is enough to break any enemies of the Empire). And we should not forget that china is growing stronger every days. We should find a way to turn China on our side. If not Japan would have a two front war with USSR and China!

The Imperial Navy proposes another strategic plan. Japan should move it center of gravity from northern China to south-east Asia. A full scale war on the continent would only lead Japan to destruction and doom. Japan should strengthen its Navy and conquer former Europeans colonies. And if the opportunity occurs Japan should fight a limited war with china to captures its ports and costal industrial regions when she still divided. That’s the Southern expansion doctrine.


We will never know all the ins and the outs of this conference, and all the arguments presented to by the two camps. The Five Men talked about industrialization, researches, naval planning, economic laws etc. But we can resume the decisions taken at the end of this meeting in X decisive points:

· No Doctrine has been decided yet (between “north” and “south”). Actually china is weak and divided. With a strong military action China could be forced to recognize our Manchukuo protectorate! Today Japan chooses a “wait and stance” and prepares to play any card it have in hand.

· A truce have to be signed as fast as possible with Kuomintang. This will help us stabilize our position in Manchukuo; reorganize the Kwantung army and the Manchurian force. The objective is to have IJA ready to take action against china or USSR (by middle of 1933) if need.

· A decree will be signed by the emperor too increase the length of conscription from 2 to 3 years. No division will be raised in the near years but this will help to enlarge our manpower pool. It’ an “in case” measure.

· An ambitious 3 years industrial plan (8 IC*4 ) will be launch without delay (Nagata found a conciliatory ear in the Finance minister).This plan is supported by both IJA and IJN. Some IJN production will be cancelled (1 HSS and some CL) to help the plan. But this will be balanced by another decision.

· When Plans will be ready the Japanese Naval works will be expanded to prepare an ambitious and secret project.

· Lastly IJN and IJA made an agreement about Airforce. Land-based fighters developed by the Empire would be a unique model of Multi-role Fighter. Thanks to global Asian low infrastructure and lack of airports. The two factions agreed to focus on long range fighters better armed but less handy than interceptors. So all interceptors’ squadrons of the empire will be upgraded with Multi-role fighters. Pilots training and researches will be planned accordingly to this doctrine.

(back to the game I actually choose “southward”)

8th March, the Finance minister launches the 3 Years industrialization plan. He set up with his cabinet the commercial politics of the empire for the next years.

10 March, today is a victory for the Foreign Affair minister and for Japanese diplomacy. A truce is signed with Kuomintang. With the bordure secured with China IJN headquarter orders to 49 divisions to move to Changchun! They will be reorganized in Manchuria.


“Have a look at the economy tab to see the effect of the economic recover policy”

The 18 division in the Homeland are ordered to move to the port of Nagasaki to the same purpose. Reorganization!

All those moves are remarked by the people. Children look at the soldiers with admiration, elders look at them with pride. Soldiers march orderly and proudly to their objective crossing towns and villages all over the country. The army is on parade. Showing off!

So IJN too! The 11th March 93 flotillas splinted in 8 fleets are ordered to rebase at Nagasaki. During the next months all the citizens of the empire will have the possibility to admire the entire power of their Navy. But the real goal isn’t the parade but, same as army, the great reorganization of the Fleet.

The japanese Empire enter in the crucial phase of its history, will it lead Asia to glory or will it encouter its doom?

(Excuse my Frenglish ^^)​
 
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stnylan

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A roll of the dice...
 

Maksymus

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A roll of the dice...
What do you mean ?

The Grand Re-organization, something every Japan player knows well. Subbed! I love me a good Japan AAR. :)
Welcome aboard ! I abhor this fastidious phase of any starting campaing but its necessary.

You can expect chapter 2 tomorrow.
 

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What do you mean ?
I was referencing the last line of the update, about glory or doom. Japan is about to embark upon its great gamble - and inevitably much may yet depend on chance. Therefore Japan is - as it were - about to roll some dice and hope the numbers are favourable.

The link between dice games and glory go back at least as far back as Julius Caesar, who us reputed to have said "May the dice roll high" or similar as he began his revolt against the republic.
 

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Book I : The Dawn


(Music ! to help you read.)

In the present document we will present units commanded by the Imperial Japan Navy. IJA command the fleets of the empire but this institution control also land-based air wings and aero-naval units under the IJ Naval Air Service. And we will not forget to talk about the Special Naval Landing Forces.

The naval showcase is an occasion for IJA staff to reorganize the ships and redefine the Japanese fleet doctrine. The role held by the different ships in the new doctrine is explained in details. Japan is an Island country with few raw resources on the homeland so controlling the sea is absolutely vital!

During the great naval showcase hold on Hiroshima port all ships where regroup by different types like following:

Aircraft Carriers: IJA count 5 carriers, 2 early fleet carriers, one light and 2 escort carries. Escort carriers will be assembled with destroyers in ASW fleets. With their little air force they will help spot and harass enemy’s submarines. German’s unlimited submarine warfare during WW1 convinced Japanese admirals that submarines are a deadly threat to merchant navies. The Fleet Carriers will be concentered in combined fleet with battleships. They provide air cover in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and will harass enemy’s capital ships. The plan is to have 1 carrier for each Battleship or Battlecruiser in the combined fleet. All carriers will receive AA armament and maybe Hull improvement. Actually a new technology is tested in laboratory called RADAR. If this technology proves to be usable in combat we will equip all our Carriers with it.


"Kaga-class Carrier"

Submarines: IJA count 13 submarines. Those vessels are the vanguard and the scouts of the combined fleet. Their mission is to disrupt enemy supply line, harass enemy battleships, harass enemy flank when a decisive battle is engaged and hunt down the survivors. They are the eyes of the fleet in the vastness of the pacific. They will be all equipped with more Torpedo tubes. The staff actually tests a prototype of Heavy submarine (The I-5). Admirals think that submarine fleet will be greatly expanded in the future. They are cheap and deadly weapons. And heavy submarines seem to be the solution.


"I-5 prototype submarine"

Battleships: Queens of the oceans. IJA have 5 of these ladies (and a 6th one is in completion in the Kure naval Yards). Du to Washington and London naval treaties japan fleet is limited to the 2/3 of the American and British fleets. With the limited Japanese industry, naval planners decided that japan capital ships have to carry bigger guns and move faster than their British or American opposite. Their role is to annihilate enemy’s fleets and provide heavy support to naval invasions. They will be equipped with AA guns, Fire Control, Radars, and improved Hulls. The staff doesn’t plan to expand the number of battleships for the years to come. Not for the 30’s decade because of the London naval treaty and China and USSR can’t compete with this force. But IJA keep a secret project in its closets in case of war with Europeans colonists.


"Battleship Mutsu"

Battlecruisers: Little sisters of the battleships. We got 4 of them. They are faster; their main objective is to cross the enemy’s T during naval engagement. They will receive the same improvements than their sisters. We not plan to expand the number of battlecruisers.


"Kongo-class battlecruiser"

Heavy cruisers: The Jake of all trades of the fleet. Those twelve vessels will be used as handymen. Convoy protection, convoy hunt, transport protection, shore bombardment etc. They will be equipped with AA guns, torpedo tubes and maybe radars. It’s a reserve force we plan to use it for secondary missions, we will not expand them.

Light cruisers: IJA count 17 light cruisers. Those ships will be the core of the combined fleet escorts. They will serve as screens to protect our capital ships. They have been chosen over destroyers for their relative good guns. Equipped with AA guns and torpedoes they will give air protection to the fleet, be able to kill enemy’s screens, and maybe launch some torpedoes to enemy’s capital ships if they approach them enough in the chaos of the battle. Obviously the number of light cruisers will be largely increased and modernized.

Destroyers: The perfect sub hunters! We got 19 of them. All equipped with ASW equipment they will protect the Empire Hearth (Its commercial lines) from hostile subs.

Transports: 9 slow flotillas used to transport the troops everywhere they are needed. They are slow to embark and disembark, not designed for naval invasion. Naval staff plans to modernize the transport fleet and sell those old one to IJA to give them more autonomy. Not to improve cooperation between the two army branches but to lower the army dependence of the navy. This will help get free hands for IJN own plans

Pre-WW1 Cruisers (Heavy and light): Those 10 venerable ships are the witness of the glory of IJA. Veterans of Tsushima they are now a little bit obsolete. They are too slow and too outgunned for a modern engagement. The staff doubts about what we should do with them. Sold them to IJA to protect their transport? Scrap them? We’ll state about that later.

So let’s present the over units of the IJN:


Special Naval Landing Forces: Commonly called “Marines commandos” or “Marines”. These soldiers are highly trained to perform naval landings of any sorts. They are considered elite force because of the harsh selection and training the recruits sustain. IJN plan to expand them from 5 to 6 divisions in a first phase and up them to full strength. Each division will receive an artillery brigade.

“1931 Special Naval Landing Forces”

Imperial Japan Naval Air Service : This entity manage the Carrier air groups, the naval bombers and the fighters of the Navy. Naval bombers are used to patrol and secure the seas from enemy’s submarines or raiders. And the fighters cover the sky. Some Air generals suggest that naval bombers would make a great job at harassing enemy’s supply lanes. We can use them aggressively too against enemy fleets. As Discussed during the Five minister conference interceptors will be upgraded to multi-role fighters. But not before 1938 when new model will be available.

See you next chapter when we'll discuss about the army organisation !

@stnylan :
"Alea jacta est" ! But I hope my game isn't played in advance because of the house rules i setup ^^. I'll do all that is in my power to make japan great (again ?) before an hyptetical collaps.
 
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stnylan

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A full fleet.

Shame about the old ships, but all good things....
 

IconOfEvi

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I like a naval oriented showcase!

Also, that said, you really should install a SKIFs pack, it makes things much better visually. Being vanilla based, Kazoo's SKIFs should do well.
 

Maksymus

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I like a naval oriented showcase!

Also, that said, you really should install a SKIFs pack, it makes things much better visually. Being vanilla based, Kazoo's SKIFs should do well.
I thought about that before starting my AAR the number of new units in the mod is just insane. Mixing Kazoo's SKIFs with vanillia used skif for new units would be ugly. :(
 

KaiserWilhelmI

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I was thinking about doing a navy oriented Japan AAR, but I guess I'll just follow yours now. :D
 

Maksymus

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Welcome aboard i guess :)

EDIT : I added link to cool music at the start of each chapter. I think i'll do it for all chapter post now. The type of music will depend on the subject and my mood when i'm writing.

Next update tomorrow !
 
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Kurt_Steiner

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Interesting. Thereby, I join.
 

Maksymus

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Book I : The Dawn


(Music :D )

Of Course moving all the military forces of empire take time, it takes months to gather all divisions and all attached brigades and readjust them in coherent corps. During these months the World didn’t stopped to spin.

The 5th April the US government decides to give semi-independence to its colony of Philippines. The American “Commonwealth of the Philippines” is formed. I would be a good new for Japan if Americans just leaved Philippines. But the Head of Government of this puppet regime is still an American. This Archipelago is still a powerful base US military base in the underbelly of Japan.


“A nice step but : Leave Asia, bloody westerners!”

Japanese researches advance steadily! Japan is the only Asian nation who can compete with the most advanced countries in the world. Actually the empire can and researches the most advanced technologies in all topics. But its limited industrial power will soon show its limits. In the near future choices will be made and some technologies will be completely ignored. But naval research would be always focused. Japan needs a state of the art Navy!​


“Second batch of technologies I’m researching all old techs”


As June is reached IJA generals decide of a final organization for the army.

- 6 Corps of 3xINF(ENG+CAV) + 1 INF(ENG+CAV). Quick divisions, equipped with light artillery carried by men, perfect to exploit a breach in the enemy line, fight in harsh ground and cross rivers. Cavalry brigade are perfect scouts or harassers when the enemy retreat.​

- 2 Corps of 3xINF(ENG). Perfect to make beachhead when attacking across rivers​

- 1 Assault Corps of 3xINF(ART+ENG). This corps is fitted to assault fortress​

- 1 Artillery Corps of 3xINF(ART). This corps concentrates artillery and heavy artillery in order to break enemy line by concentrating firepower. This corps is slower than others to deploy.​

- 6 Militia divisions. Fast divisions ready to fight in the most hostile regions​

- 5 Cavalry Divisions. Same as militia but faster and more powerful.​

- 1 armored Corp of 3xINF(ENG+L-ARM) + 1INF(L-ARM). Those infantry divisions concentrate all tanks regiment of the empire and the most aggressive officers. It’s the elite corps of the IJA (with the Assault Corp).​

The army is well provided with engineer and cavalry brigades, but lacks artillery and tanks. Actually it’s well fitted to fight in china but it’s not really a capable to fight a well-equipped and well-organized force. IJA staff wants to expand the army with more artillery and mountain specialist divisions before anything else. But modern war will be fought with modern equipment. The Japanese infantryman is tough, resilient and capable of 60 km march a day. This is a trump card in the japan hand. But will it be enough? Army needs tanks and planes. But the industry can’t provide all. The staff decided about a “balanced equipment upgrades” doctrine. Actually all divisions are equipped with 1921 or 1926 rifles grenades and uniforms. But the 1931 equipment is ready to be put in production. To economize the limited resources and industries of the empire, division upgrades to 1931 standards would be held only when next equipment standards would be developed. And so on… Only elite divisions like Mountaineers and IJN Marines commando would be upgraded to the state of the art equipment.

Here is a presentation of : Imperial Japan Army Air Service :

“Army air forces are a little bit weak compared to Navy air forces”
Army staff doesn’t really know to how much wings it’s want to grow up it’s air force it will be decided later when the 3 years industrialization plan will be achieved.

Anyway URSS army is actually huge but equipped with old 1918 equipment. A pre-emptive strike against Siberia before the red army modernizes would be successful. The massive Chinese army is completely outdated and lacks everything. They don’t stand a chance against us.


Speaking of china… The 19th of July the soviet declared a military intervention to pacify eastern Turkestan. This is a catastrophe! URSS is enlarging its overly important influence in central Asia. Nationalist China is still in civil war with the communist Chinese’s, Chiang government can’t do anything about URSS intervention in its affairs.
“China during summer 1933”

China is a bloody mess and an unstable region. In 1931 IJA brought back peace and stability in Manchuria. Massive investment from Japanese industrialists brought development to the region. The same treatment has to be applied to the entire Chinese region. IJA will be the cure of civil war.


“Pacified Xinjiang”

Within a month of fight east-Turkestan revolt is broken but Xinjiang is under Moscow power. Those devilish reds win another buffer state in Asia. Mongolia was subjugated during the revolution war.


Chiang government asked Moscow for the return of Xinjiang, they were just ignored. This show up the inability of nationalist movement to protect its interests. This show up China can’t defend Asia against westerner’s aggression. Japan shall take the lead.

“North China Army group under Kwantung army command”

This group secure border with china and is ready to invade the northern plains.

“Shanghai Expeditionary force”

Shanghai has been capture by IJN in 1932 in response to the IJA invasion of Manchuria. She is the pearl of the yellow sea. Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and other Asians live in this city in harmony. Westerners living in the concessions can see the good will and intentions of japan in china.Politicians want to make her the most developed port and city of Asia and fully integrate this territory in the empire’s border. The goal is to use her as a “showcase” of a Japanese lead Asian co-prosperity sphere.

“Kwantung army guard boarders with URSS”

With the redeployment in china, the boarder is now guarded mostly by Manchukuo forces.

This aggressive stance against china is a move by IJA but it’s condemned by the civilian authority. The democratic government wants to peacefully attract china in its sphere not by brutal force. In a demonstration of good will the civilian authority send a shipping of military supply. Chang is preparing another encircling campaign against the communist. But the damage is done. KMT accept the rifles but don’t trust anymore the Japanese government. To counter growing communist influence in Asia the politicians make a move to woo Kingdom of Siam in Japanese sphere. Military and industrial specialists are offered to Siam to improve the development of the country. Technology sharing is also on the schedule. Yet if “sharing” isn’t really the appropriate word


“First delivery of techs to Siam”

In late September the industrial situation of the empire developed well and some IC dedicated to supply are allowed to upgrade. In fact IJN started to refit its two early carriers. Actually they can only carry little early carrier air groups of 30 planes. But as Research and development goes, it proves future Carrier air groups would be bigger and demand longer decks. So a program of upgrade has been launched for the Akagi and Kaga to become fleet carrier of 1920 model.


“Akagi refit”

Finally the 7th of October Nationalist china launched its 5th encirclement campaign against communists. Guangzhou warlords offered their help to the communist against the KMT. But the communist decided to reject their offer and fight alone. Was it a wise move from the CPC ?
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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I am not sure China can do anything sensible right now.

Of coursevrhis might be because they have no sensible options.