Jan 2, 2006

a Japanese WiF AAR


1936, January 1st​

A series of New Year celebrations take place in the Imperial Palace, but the men behind the wheel of the Empire have no time to cheer.
They know that Japan is on the brink of economical crisis. The rapidly growing industry requires a constant flow of energy, metal and
raw materials - the things that Japan lacks the most. The successful Sino-Japanese War and the occupation of Manchuria provided
Japan with a strong foothold in the mainland Asia and a temporary solution for the resource problem. But Japan had to pay a huge
price for its aggression. It left the League of Nations and was widely condemned.


The large military doesn't help the situation either. Tons of supplies are used daily to sustain the large Japanese ground and naval forces. Hirohito is aware of all this and makes a remark to his ministers: "Either use the army or disband it". Some guests try to pretend surprised, but everyone knows the deal - military ventures are the only way to survive.

Japan is also unstable politically. Hirohito has a lot of enemies, who consider him "weak". The Imperial Japanese Navy and The Imperial Japanese Army literally owns the minister cabinet. Thus the ministers are urged to pursue the wrong policies that benefit only the hungry military dragon. That is another reason why the economy is suffering. Unfortunately, Hirohito has no power to change this "tradition".
He will have to work with these people and, if necessary, lead Japan to the bright future via military power...


The Game

This will be a Superhuman AI/Furious Japanese gameplay AAR. I will be using World in Flames mod with the following personal modifications (these changes will make the game even more challenging and enjoyable):

Reduced Japanese base IC.
Manchuria placed under direct Japanese control.
Starting naval bombers converted to tactical bombers.
Bomber and fighter values slightly altered.
Manpower reduced from 200 MP to 100 MP.
Starting battle-cruisers converted to older battleships.
Starting escort carrier level reduced.
Relocated or removed some of the static AA.
Reduced the size of some air/naval bases.​


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Camorra Potentate
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Superhuman AI? Fernando himself claims he has trouble overcoming Unfair, you know. :)


Strategy Cognoscenti
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I'm not a fan of WiF but given that you're basically playing its most difficult settings, it should be interesting :p


Jan 2, 2006
1936, January 2nd​

The next day, after the New Years ball, Hirohito organizes a meeting with Minister of Security Goto Fumio, Chief of the Army Kanin Kotohito and the Chief of the Navy Osumi Mineo. In an informal environment all four men discuss the state of the army and the navy. Kotohito and Mineo complains how low funded the military is, but Hirohito replies: “ If this is the case, then we must abandon the idea of conscript army and focus on a smaller professional, well trained and well funded army.” Kotohito quickly contradicted: “We can’t take the risk and reduce the size of the army! The enemies are everywhere!”. And indeed, Japan is surrounded by hostile countries. However, Hirohito persuades Kotohito to improve the quality of the Imperial Japanese Army.


Hirohito then turns to the Chief of the Navy and announces his plan for reorganization of the Imperial Japanese Navy: “The navy is the backbone of our military. We both know that. Currently it is one of the most modern navies in the world and we must keep it that way” . “It’s one of the biggest too” – replied Mineo. Hirohito frowned: ”It’s big because we have a lot of British built junk. We need to replace it with the best we can afford. Get rid of these ships, Admiral, and i will provide you with the funds necessary for whatever you desire.”

After the meeting is over, Hirohito invites the Minister of Security Goto Fumio for a prvate talk: “You are the only one i trust, Goto, thus i entitle you to assemble a force of loyal men and keep them close. I don’t know what to expect from the military – they won’t be happy when they hear the news from Kotohito.” Fumio nodded and left the room.

1936, January - February​

During January, 2 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers, 100 destroyers and 20 submarines are hastily scrapped. Amongst these ships are IJN Izumo and IJN Tenryu – two veterans of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Izumo was a flagship in the Russo-Japanese war and participated in the battle of Tsushima on 26 May 1905 and Tenryu supported the Japanese marines during the Shanghai incident in 1932.


Hirohito keeps his promise to Admiral Mineo and makes sure that IJN receives the proper funding. Three Katori-class light cruisers will be finished by the beginning of the next year. Furthermore, the two largest IJN battleships will be equipped with a new fire control system. Goto Fumio also follows Hirohitos orders and secretly begins forming a 50 000 men strong “Tokyo” army – a group of units that will assist the Imperial Guard divisions in case of an attempt to overthrow the Emperor.


On January 18th, Okamura Yasuji, under the pressure from Hirohito, announces his resignation. Two days later, Takasu Shiro
becomes the new Head of Intelligence. The military approves this change in the cabinet, since Shiro is considered pro-military, but Hirohito sees him as pro-economy. And they all are right. Shiro knows how to exploit the industrial capacity to the maximum and this will surely benefit the military in one way or another.


However, Hirohito has to be careful when dealing with the minister cabinet or the military. The Emperor has enough enemies as it is,
so he decides to leave the old nationalist generals alone. Their men would surely revolt if their beloved leaders got “retired”.


Another great headache for the Emperor is the research funding. Without the proper financial support there won’t be any breakthrough in science and technology, and without science and technology Japan has no future. With the economical situation getting worse every day, Japan has to sell more and more supplies to keep the scientists working. But the investment, if everything goes as planned, should pay-off in a few years. The most anticipated projects are the new machine tools and mechanized agriculture. The country was lagging behind, but now it’s time to catch up for the lost time.


1936, February - March​

The first reserve division is formed in February 20th in Tokyo and is placed under Terauchis control. The timing is perfect,
because six days later all hell brakes loose…


In the morning of February 26th, Hirohito is waken by a nervous knock on his bedroom door. General Shigeru Honjo, accompanied with a dozen of other high-ranking generals and armed guards enters the room. “What’s the meaning of this?” – asks Hirohito with a shivering voice. Honjo replies: “The 1st IJA division is revolting – they captured the Army Ministry headquarters and killed a number of politicians and officers! They claim that they are operating under your order! Is this true?”. ”Nonsense!" - screams Hirohito - "I order you to suppress the rebels within an hour! Use force if you must!”.


But the Army is reluctant to use force against its own men so the rebellion continues for three days. The men under direct control from Hirohito also stand by and do nothing. Hirohito soon realizes that there is no need for bloodshed, since rebels receive no support from the Army and, most importantly, from the Imperial Japanese Navy.


On February 29th the exhausted rebels officially surrender. Two rebel officers commit suicide and 19 are executed. Others are
either sent to prison or released. The Army benefits the most from this incident since Hirohito regains his confidence in his generals and
increases the military budget. IJA gains more power over the civilian population and a new era of Japanese militarism begins.

1936, June​

After the failed coup most of the Army divisions are transferred to Manchuria, far away from politics. The borders with the
Soviet Union and China are exposed and border conflicts are frequent. The danger to stability from the inside is eliminated, but the
danger from the outside still remains.

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Imperator General
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I do like a good Japanese AAR! I hope the Chinese, Americans, British and the Commonwealth put up a decent fight in this mod. Should be interesting if Japan can be halted with ease from marching into India. :D


First Lieutenant
Nov 6, 2007
Yes, Good luck Klai Indead! ! I'm looking forward to see what this comes to as I'm am big fan of your Soviet AAR.

Though I must say that I really hate mods that put in new graphics, but thats just me. :)


Jan 2, 2006
To Ksim3000:
Oh, believe me - it will be hard. Especially on land.

To Enclave:
It was the first time I tried WiF. I learned a lot from that game and this time i won't be making the same mistakes
[like "grab the Dutch resources as soon as possible" or "let's attack China right away"].

To HokosPokos:
I find the new color scheme and the overall graphics very satisfying. But that depends on ones taste.


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At those settings...you will never beat the chinese...let alone the USA


Jan 2, 2006
1936, March – June​
On June 25th Imperial Japanese Navy receives even more funding. 20 Asashio-class destroyers are ordered to replace some of the scrapped ones. Chief of the Navy Osumi Mineo also realizes the importance of submarines – they aren’t as cheap as destroyers, but their range will become a vital factor in any possible conflicts in the Pacific Ocean. Hirohito is happy with Mineo’s modernization program and is willing to expand it in the future. At the same time the Minister of Security Goto Fumio, under advice from Hirohito, starts a reorganization in Kempeitai – the Japanese military police. Many unreliable Kempeitai officers are replaced and new Kempei are recruited. These men will be sent to Manchuria to monitor Army’s actions there and suppress any possible nationalist outbursts, like the one on February 26th. Local Chinese population is the least of Hirohitos worries. In fact, Chinese volunteers are the only ones holding back the Soviets.


In the evening of June 11th Hirohito receives a visit from the new Head of Intelligence, Takasu Shiro. After a short conversation Shiro announces: “Today, early in the morning, the Southern China warlords rebelled against Guomindang. Now Guomindang is fighting a losing war on two fronts”. “And how will this effect us?”- Hirohito asks impatiently. “If even a single Japanese soldier, plane or ship is lost during this conflict, we will brake the China’s spine!”- Shiro shouts and bangs his arm on the table. Hirohito is both surprised and delighted by this: “What about the Army?”. “The generals are being informed as we speak” – Shiro replies proudly and shows Hirohito a map of the IJA deployment in the region:


Chiang Kai-shek was fighting the Chinese Communist Party, lead by a young revolutionary Mao Zedong, for 9 years now. After the
Long March, Chinese communists fortified themselves in the Inner Shaanxi and Guomindang failed to suppress them. Communist Party grew stronger every day and now Chiang faces an unbeatable communist enclave in the mountains of Shaanxi - right under his nose.


The political and military situation in the South is also very complicated. In 1924 Li Zongren and Bai Chongxi formed the New Guangxi
Clique – a warlord state with a large and experienced army. Zongren quickly established his authority in the region and began the modernization of the country. But Chiang Kai-shek’s “unification” policy threatened Cliques existence and soon all the relations with Guomindang were broken. But recently, Chiang started a number of military operations against some of the Guangxi warlords and this quickly resulted in a full-scale counterattack against his forces. This incident exposes the weakness of Guomindang army and gives Japanese generals what to think about.


So now Chiang Kai-shek has to fight two enemies on two fronts, leaving the rest of his county lightly defended. The only thing protecting Nationalist China from Japanese intervention is their unofficial allies in the North – the Shanxi warlords. But Hirohito knows, that a military intervention now would mean quick gains at the beginning and a devastating defeat in the end. He honestly hopes that Kwantung Army generals will restrain themselves from doing something crazy. Not to mention that Chinese, faced by a Japanese invasion, could easily forget their disputes, unite and overpower the Imperial Japanese Army.


The intelligence report shows that Chiang Kai-shek alone possesses an army almost double the size of IJA. Quality of his troops is questionable, but the sheer numbers scare Hirohito. His generals, on the other hand, are very optimistic and always talk about “smashing”, “humiliating” and “annihilating” the Chinese in a matter of weeks.

The Army​
The Imperial Japanese Army, ignoring its size, has a lot of weaknesses. Most of the weapons are outdated, even the Chinese posses better guns. Hirohito admires the passion of his soldiers, but IJA is doomed without proper training and equipment. The modernization must be started from the top, so the first units to receive new equipment, reinforcements and vehicles are the headquarters of the Kwantung Army. This attention from the Emperor should inspire the generals to take care of their men and pursue personal initiatives in the modernization of the Army. These units are the core of the IJA and should be an example for the rest. 5 other corps, including 11 divisions, are under
direct control by Hata, Terauchi and Higashikuni – the top three commanders of the Kwantung Army.


The two Imperial Guard divisions are also stationed in Manchuria. Generals Nakagawa and Kunikata are ordered to monitor the Kwantung Army and report their actions to the Emperor. Both of these divisions are equipped with engineer brigades that should help them to move through the rugged Chinese landscape more easily.


After the Mukden incident and the occupation of Manchuria the IJA recruited a large number of local Chinese and Mongolians and formed two mixed independent cavalry divisions. During the following years the number of Chinese and Japanese volunteers grew and by the end of 1935 two “international” cavalry corps were formed and placed under the command of Koiso and Anami. These corps will be the spearheads of the Japanese Army and will lead the infantry to battle in any future land conflicts. However, the mounted soldiers lack training, equipment and, usually, motivation. All this will have to change.


The Army and Navy Air Force​

The IJAAF has 400 outdated Mitsubiski Ki-1 bombers. Their main roles are to provide tactical and reconnaissance support for the Army. And the IJNAF has 200 various model interceptors – an alarmingly small number for a country like Japan. On March 22nd Hirohito arranges a meeting with the Chief of the Air Force, Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku. “What is the condition of the Army Air Force?” – asks Hirohito. “The airplanes are outdated so building more would not be wise, at least until we have developed new and better prototypes”.


“That is perfectly understandable. And what about the Navy Air Force?” – Hirohito asks again. “Currently we are working on a new prototype interceptor that, when finished, will replace the two current models in service.” – replies Yamamoto and reveals his plans for further expansion of the IJNAF: “Japan needs a long-range fighter, capable to perform missions in the Pacific. I suggest addressing this issue as soon as possible”. Hirohito nods and the both men leave for a walk in the gardens. The sad true is that Japan can’t afford even the old model aircraft...
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Jan 2, 2006

The Bridge
Early in the morning of June 25th the Japanese garrison near Lugou Bridge, better known as Marco Polo Bridge, realize that one of their soldiers is missing. The Japanese commanding officer telegraphs Guomindang officials in the city of Beiping and demands entrance to the city, since the missing soldier is believed to be hiding there. Chinese consider this a provocation and deny access. However, the IJA soldiers do march across the bridge and get fired at by the Chinese garrison. An armed incident takes place and Japanese artillery completely seals the deal by shelling Beiping. Guomindang forces abandon the bridge, but come back the next day and completely retake it by force.

1936, June 28th​
The missing soldier is found unharmed, but the damage is done. Both IJA and Guomindang are gathering troops on opposing sides of the bridge while their officers try to negotiate peace. Japanese promise not to invade Beiping and Tianjin, but hours after the meeting, IJA once again crosses the bridge, but this time they do not stop on the other side. Emperor Hirohito is informed about this incident few hours later. He is furious: ”How come I am the last one to receive the news!? Find the officers responsible for this and tell them, that if their adventure fails they will pay dearly!”. Now Hirohito has no choice, but to approve the attacks and order the Kwantung Army to support them.


Kwantung Army quickly joins the action and carries out two major offensives in the direction of Tianjin and Kalgan. Guomindang
forces quickly retreat leaving the local warlords in charge of the defenses of the cities. Intelligence reports show that Shanxi warlords have
190 000 men, most likely even more. That's a force worth acknowledging.


The three Chinese cities are the only obstacles for the IJA. Koiso leads the attack on Tianjin, while Terauchi closes in on Kalgan. With them conquered Beiping will be exposed to an encirclement. Chinese know that and send every single soldier to defend their flanks. Advancing Japanese reach both cities late at night and stop to regroup. The final attacks will take place the next day, early in the morning.

1936, June 29th - July 5th​
Early in the morning of June 29th, Japanese soldiers storm the walls of Tianjin, but are quickly repelled by the defenders. Japanese officers only then realize the strength of the “inferior” Chinese. Several more attempts to take the walls fail and, with no reserves or reinforcements available, Koiso calls the Imperial Japanese Navy for help. On June 30th, thousands of people gather in Hiroshima harbor to see off the 30 ships leaving for China. Emperor Hirohito himself appears in the ceremony and congratulates Grand Admiral Osami Nagano on his first mission to China.


Nagano was promoted to fleet admiral in 1935 and now he is in charge of the China Theater Fleet. The fleet combines 10 battleships,
5 heavy cruisers and 15 light cruisers. It is the largest and most powerful fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Nagano’s mission will be to support the advancing IJN and bombard the enemy strong points all along the coast.


China Theater Fleet reaches the coast of China on July 1st and immediately starts bombarding Tianjin. The effect is immediate. Chinese morale drops as shells fall and, after four days of constant bombardment by IJAAF and IJN, the city is abandoned. Japanese soldiers capture the city and continue to pursue the retreating warlord soldiers. Meanwhile, Terauchi is having some trouble in Kalgan. IJA forces outnumber the Chinese more than three times, but they still put up a decent fight when Japanese breach the walls. The bloody street battles last for five days and, eventually, the defenders retreat. Terauchi stops for a short brake and prepares his troops for a possible counterattack. So far the Japanese lost 1200 men and 4 bombers, Chinese casualties are unknown.


A Siege in the East​
1936, July 6th​
Together with the rising sun comes the Japanese attack on Baoding. After a three hour battle the city is captured and the last Chinese supply route with Beiping is cut. About 100 000 Chinese, including the majority of surviving defenders of Tianjin, barricade the streets and prepare for the Japanese attack. But there will be no attack. Hirohito personally orders to negotiate with the defenders: “We must advance deeper and let them starve. Soon they will realize the absurdity of their situation and hand the city over to us without any bloodshed.” – explains Hirohito to his generals. A wise plan indeed.


1936, July 16th​
It’s the 10th day of the siege of Beiping. The situation hasn’t changed much and the negotiations with the Chinese officers are going nowhere. But on July 16th a message is delivered to Terauchi. It comes straight from the warlord capital – Taiyuan. Chiang Kai-shek ordered his troops to retreat from warlord territories and, without his support, the warlords are doomed. So they met and discussed the situation. They assumed that Chiang is the one, that the Japanese are after and, granting an access through Shanxi territories to the Japanese, would save them from complete annihilation. So the message states that they will cede the following cities to Japanese: Beiping, Tianjin, Kalgan, Baoding, Shijiazhuang, Handan, Datong, Hohhot and Yucheng.

Terauchi immediately contacts Hirohito and informs him about the proposal. The Emperor quickly arranges a meeting with his ministers, who turn out to be against any type of peace: “The economical situation is finally stabilizing – all thanks to the war!” – argues the Armaments Minister Machida Chuji. “Why stop now when we can take everything! Chiang is busy with the communists and Guangxi warlords, that is why the Guomindang forces are retreating without a fight.” – adds the Foreign Minister Hirota Koki. After few hours
of discussion Hirohito is persuaded to ignore the warlord proposal. Furtehrmore, later that day, hundreds of the peace proposal copies
are air-dropped over Beiping. Let the defenders know what their “leaders” are planning behind their backs!


1936, August​
IJA reach the Yellow River, cross it near Jinan, but stop at first sight of Nationalist troops. Japanese officers order their men to hold their fire. Guomindang soldiers were defeated only once – near the Marco Polo bridge, and since then they were on the run. Chiang’s intentions are not clear, but attacking his troops again would certainly mean war. Japanese are spread out as it is and a simple Chinese counterattack could mean big trouble.

Elsewhere, the IJA is slowly advancing to the deserts and mountains. With the peace proposal rejected there is only one option available
– total occupation. And, on August 2nd five o'clock in the evening, a groupof Chinese officers exit fortress Beping with white flags in their hands - the 26 day siege of the city is finally over.


About 80 000 Chinese soldiers surrender and are gradually transferred to newly built POW camps in Manchuria. This is the greatest Japanese achievement so far. These soldiers, if handed over to Nationalists, would have been a great headache for the Japanese in the future. Now they will have an opportunity to join the Japanese army or local Chinese police forces and ensure safety in their homeland.


On August 3rd, light cruiser Suzuya becomes the first new addition to the Imperial Japanese Navy. This ship will become a part of the newly formed Special Task Fleet, led by Admiral Yamamoto, and will provide support and AA defense for the three Japanese carriers.

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intruder alert

First Lieutenant
Oct 14, 2006
Beautiful so far...Those pictures rock. :cool:


Sneaky Cultist
Nov 27, 2005
Good start, I really like how you give proper background on each of the faction before you're off to the battlefield. :)

Admiral Yamamot

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That's quite an awesome beginning!

Although you declared war on Shanxi in 1936 .....
awesome!! :eek: