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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Chapter Thirty-Three : Working With The 'Chivalrous Organizations' - 2.2.1937

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Utsunimiya's War
(HoI3 TFH - Interactive Japan AAR)
Chapter Thirty-Three : Working With The 'Chivalrous Organizations' - 2.2.1937


The man who entered the Pachinko Parlor looked pretty normal. His suit was clean but middle class, his face was handsome and his posture relaxed. Yet he could have been mistaken for a dozen other men in the parlor. But he was far from a normal man. He was Agent Zeus.

Agent Zeus was a high-ranking officer within the military police. Foot work like this was, officially, beneath him. But he liked to keep his mind, and his skills, sharp. Also this operation was important to him and his superiors.

Pachinko machines had first been built in the 1920s as a kid's toy. But soon the larger adult version had spread throughout Japan. Gambling in Japan was, of course, illegal. And the balls players won from the games could not be exchanged for money. They COULD, on the other hand, be exchanged for "special tokens" and THOSE could be sold for money to a off-premise vendor. Technically this allowed everybody to make a profit without breaking the law.

On paper the parlors and the vendors were independent from each other. But dig enough and you would find them owned by the same individuals.

Agent Zeus had a meeting scheduled with one of these individuals. At least on paper he was the owner of many of the parlors and vendors. In real life the man was a 'senior advisor' of the Yakuza. In other words one of the men who controlled the businesses, legal or otherwise, for his 'family boss' in the city of Tokyo.

This made him one of the most powerful, and dangerous, men who lived in the underworld of the city. And Agent Zeus was here to offer him, and his 'family', a job.

Agent Zeus approached one of the employees and showed him the white stone he had been given. It was a simple Go piece and, to be honest, he had felt a tad weird carrying it around with him.

But the employee seemed to understand what it meant and said, "Follow me please."

Agent Zeus was guided through a storage room, a staff room, and up some stairs to a hallway. The man walked down the hallway, opened a door, and walked down another hallway. For some reason, maybe because of a change in the air, Agent Zeus decided they were walking into another building. They had crossed a tiny enclosed bridge.

This new hallway was lined with a few unmarked closed doors. The employee knocked on one and opened it for him.

"He is waiting for you," was all the man said with a gesture of his free hand. Agent Zeus nodded and entered the room. The door was closed behind him.

The room was an office. Or at least it was an office now. It looked like it had evolved and been used for many purposes before finally becoming an office. It had one wall replaced with a large window which looked down on a small warehouse.

In the middle of the office was a trunk and a man sitting on a wooden bench. He had a unlit cigarette in his mouth and he was slowly polishing a sword. On the trunk in front of him was a black Go piece.


Agent Zeus sat down next to him, removing his hat, and placed his own piece on the trunk.

"I am Agent Zeus," he stated while seeming to brush some dust off the rim of his hat.

"Then I guess I am Brother Jupiter," said the man with the sword. "How can I help you Agent?"

Agent Zeus slowly opened his jacket to pull out a small, unmarked, envelope. He placed it on the trunk, between the two game pieces, and said, "The future is being threatened by those who cling too much to the past."

"You wish them removed?"

"No," replied Agent Zeus. "We don't know, among these names, who are the fossils who need to be buried and who are those who are not a problem. For now we wish them to be watched. And studied."

The man who called himself Brother Jupiter nodded. "It will cost you."

"How much?"

"Not all of the cost will be in the form of cash," explained the man as he continued to polish his sword. "Sometimes my family may need a police patrol NOT to patrol a certain city block on a certain day. Sometimes we may need a certain business left alone. We may ask for another business to be closed."

"I understand," responded Agent Zeus. "We may also have other jobs for you. In the form of keeping the peace. Things are about to become chaotic."

"I understand," replied Brother Jupiter. The man stood up and went over to a cabinet in the corner. He opened it and revealed that it was, in fact, a small bar. Jupiter opened up a bottle and poured out two cup of shake.

He carefully brought them back to the bench. As he sat down Zeus noticed that the sword had disappeared without him even noticing where it had gone.

They both drank the sake. It was good sake. Zeus could tell only the best water had been used in the brewing.

"We will start right away," said Jupiter after they had finished the sake. "We will send for you when we have the information. And a price." Suddenly the sword was back in his hands and he was polishing it.

Agent Zeus nodded, picked up his game piece, and stood up. Even before he reached the door it had opened and the same employee as before was waiting for him.

This time the pathway was different and when Agent Zeus stepped out of the doorway onto the streets he realized he was nowhere near the Pachinko Parlor he had started out in.

He sighed and started to walk towards one of the main streets. There he could pick up a taxi.

Two thoughts surfaced from the back of his mind. One thought was he never wanted to get into a knife fight with Jupiter. The second thought was that after the war he would have to make sure that the Yakuza were tamed or, if that was not possible, destroyed.
 
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Bullfilter

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Mysterious. Fossils, eh? I have my ideas, but will say nothing. One never knows who may be listening in. o_O
 

El Pip

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I wish I could say I was shocked and disappointed. But given the Army's track record this is exactly the kind of dishonourable and shameful tactics I have come to expect from them.

Unable to come up with any arguments in favour of their foolish industrial plans, and too inept and cowardly to dare confront their moral and intellectual superiors in the Navy, they resort to consorting with Burakumin. I cannot damn them more than they have damned themselves.
 

roverS3

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I fought at the battle of Tsushima, you know, some punks with cut off fingers and tattoos don't intimidate me, and I do think that goes for any good navy man. Now, of course, an army man, or possibly one of these new-fangled Carrier-proponents, would be intimidated by these crooks, and believe others would be too. Let them come, I will give them hell!

@El Pip is right, this clearly illustrates the weakness of the Army's arguments.

RobaS3,
Not surprised, not intimidated, not even angry, only disappointed.
 

Bullfilter

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I wish I could say I was shocked and disappointed. But given the Army's track record this is exactly the kind of dishonourable and shameful tactics I have come to expect from them.

Unable to come up with any arguments in favour of their foolish industrial plans, and too inept and cowardly to dare confront their moral and intellectual superiors in the Navy, they resort to consorting with Burakumin. I cannot damn them more than they have damned themselves.
I fought at the battle of Tsushima, you know, some punks with cut off fingers and tattoos don't intimidate me, and I do think that goes for any good navy man. Now, of course, an army man, or possibly one of these new-fangled Carrier-proponents, would be intimidated by these crooks, and believe others would be too. Let them come, I will give them hell!

@El Pip is right, this clearly illustrates the weakness of the Army's arguments.

RobaS3,
Not surprised, not intimidated, not even angry, only disappointed.
The last rumblings of a dying breed? Rusted-on Battleship Barnacles, in need of a bit of scraping off? Though I must admit it’s a bit grubby using a Yakuza blade to do the scraping. I think my idea of putting them all on one of their beloved, outdated old battlewagons so they can salute from the bridge as it is torpedoed by CAGs is more theatrical (if expensive). Bushido ‘n all. ;)
 

Bullfilter

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To the Battleship Barnacle Brigade:


:p:D
 

serutan

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Eeeeeeexcellent - the Army and Navy are wholly oblivious to the coming New Order...
 
Chapter Thirty-Four : Stay On Target - 3.2.1937 To 28.2.1937

Eurasia

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Utsunimiya's War
(HoI3 TFH - Interactive Japan AAR)
Chapter Thirty-Four : Stay On Target - 3.2.1937 To 28.2.1937



Kyūdō, Japan, 1860s​

Yasuji Okamura sighed and said, "So, Keisuke Fujie, what reason does the Minster of Security have for visiting me?"

Keisuke said slowly, "To give you some advice."

Yasuji tilted his head. He had found the Minister waiting for him in the outer office this Wednesday morning. They had exchanged greetings and had talked a little about the weather before Yasuji had decided to get to the point. And the point...well, confused him.

"Advice?" he said with raised eyebrows.

"Yes," replied the other man with a straight face. "You are losing spies monthly, yes?"

"Yes," responded the Head of Intelligence. "And you plan to help me keep them from being captured?"

"No," remarked the other hand with a deadpan expression on his face.

Yasuji sighed and tapped his fingers onto his desk in annoyance. "Maybe explain what your advice is, then?"

"Your spies are being captured," commented Keisuke, "while trying to hide. Many had dug themselves deep into their cover. But are doing nothing to help the cause."

"How can my spies in Cuba help the cause," grumbled the Head of Intelligence. "It is almost like the old Head of Intelligence decided where to send the spies with a dartboard. They're all doomed."

"Then, if they a doomed no matter what you do," suggested the Minister of Security, "why not use them? Activate them. The men in Cuba, for example. Instead of having them just hide why not tell them to carry out espionage. Try to sneak into one of Cuba's research projects. ANY thing that benefits Japan is a good thing. FOCUS on doing the job."

Yasuji blinked. "Well, Cuba is strong in Mechanical Engineering. But, they'll be caught and killed within weeks of coming out. All of them will!"

"So you want them to SLOWLY be captured while doing nothing?" countered Keisuke. "FOCUS. Don't listen to the complaints and whining. Focus on the purpose of Intelligence."

"Point taken," said Yasuji. "I will assign all of the agents within secondary nations to military or technology espionage. If they are going to die let them die stealing something we could use."

The remaining spies in France and the Philippines were told to try for military secrets while those in Norway, Romania, Venezuela, and Yemen were told to grab whatever they could. The lone spy in Xibei San Ma was told to pass on information that would allow Japanese new agencies to increase the nation's threat in the eyes of the public.


It was, after all, bordering on the Republic and would prove a tasty target after the Republic fell. In fact there were plans for MANY of the nations in Southern China.

---


While this was going on the Foreign Minister, after receiving some advice from the Minister of Armaments, made a deal with Chile to import more Metal for Japan's industry. With the factories and dry docks back to working on the aircraft and ships the need for metals had increased again. And the Navy might see their newest Carrier sometime in December. If they were lucky.

It was brought to the government's attention by the Head of Intelligence that, in the US, the American First Committee had become more popular. Up to 13 percent of Americans backed it. And even more Americans were backing the Republicans - up to 28 percent! As neither of there parties had positions within the American government this was causing some 'problems' within FDR's administration. The next American election might be interesting.

Also there was talk about Switzerland getting friendly with the Comintern. A weird idea but something many within Europe would, no doubt, feel threatened by.

Then the Foreign Minister, once again after receiving advice (or being put under pressure) from the Minister of Armaments, discarded a agreement Japan had with Netherlands. Something about exporting too much coal.

Then the Ministry of Armaments made an announcement. There was another breakthrough from the one of Research Teams. Close Air Support Training was now more effective than ever! This confused General Shō-ichi Utsunimiya as there were no Close Air Support Wings to be trained. On the other hand it would help the organization of the CAGs. A little.


Anyway, the researchers, after a small party, started a new project on Infantry Warfare. And, by doing so, the Second Wave of Projects were done and all the teams were working on the Third Wave of Projects. It was said the Minister of Armaments spent many gleeful hours making a list of the next Wave, the Fourth Wave, of Projects.

Utsunimiya, while looking over some maps of China, noticed something interesting. On a map that showed infrastructure he realized that the HQ of the 'China' Operations had done a better job as placing units than he had earlier thought. Any Chinese units marching into Japanese territory would either be funneled into Japanese guns, get trapped, or get lost in areas that could not support them. Or course, the same could be said for the Japanese units once they set foot in the Republic and its Allies.


At the end of the month the Head of Intelligence had reported that the Communist Chinese had captured three spies, the Nationalist Chinese had captured three spies, the US had captured five spies, Shanxi had captured two spies, the Philippines had captured two spies, while Yemen, Cuba, Norway, Venezuela and Xibei San Ma had all captured at least one spy.

It was rumored that the staff under the Head of Intelligence had overheard him mumble, "But they failed to steal ANYTHING."
 
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El Pip

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I see the Army's latest mission abroad to licence some modern artillery has returned home with their purchases. Truly there is no beginning to the achievements of the IJA.
 

Bullfilter

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And the Navy might see their newest Carrier sometime in December.
Ah, spending it on useful Navy ships! Good to see.
I see the Army's latest mission abroad to licence some modern artillery has returned home with their purchases. Truly there is no beginning to the achievements of the IJA.
Yes, looks like they must have been in Bratislava!
 

roverS3

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It was said the Minister of Armaments spent many gleeful hours making a list of the next Wave, the Fourth Wave, of Projects.
I really do hope there is some much-needed Battleship-technology in this fourth research wave. I am wondering why exactly the Minister for Armament (sounds very similar to Army) is in charge of all research, shouldn't that be split with an Army research budget, 'run' by the Army, and a Navy research budget, run by the Navy? That way there can be no gutting of the navy research budget for futile attempts to organise the Army... Of course the Army research budget only needs to be a fraction of the Navy research budget, that is self-evident. Obviously they're perfectly content with their Slovak Artillery.

I do applaud the decision to actually have our spies do something useful. Maybe they'll manage to steal some Battleship technology from one of the other Naval Powers.

Of course, once that first carrier is delivered, I expect it's place in the dry-dock to be taken by some sort of big-gun Battleship. Even if the technology for the Yamato-class isn't there yet, we can't afford to loose all that practical knowledge our naval yards have accumulated over the years on how to build Battleships. A couple of 'regular'-size Battleships could be constructed while our designers push the boundaries both in the calibre of the main armament, and in displacement. The size of our Battleships isn't constrained by the size of the Panama canal, let's take full advantage of that fact.

A final note, there is a shady looking character who's missing part of his left hand little finger surfveiling my home from across the street. I haven't decided what I'll do with him. I'm not in the best shape, but I still have my service weapon. If anyone in the Kempetai reads this: I hope the you told the Yakuza to keep their distance, otherwise they might just find some of their thugs are starting to die of lead poisoning. I'm not scared.

Captain RobaS3,
Clutching his service pistol, and definitely not scared.
(The weapon is an IJN 'pistol No. 1' (Smith&Wesson Type 3 Revolver), a widespread navy sidearm during the Russo-Japanese war)
 

Bullfilter

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I hope the you told the Yakuza to keep their distance, otherwise they might just find some of their thugs are starting to die of lead poisoning. I'm not scared.
:D Good for you!

Re battleship tech, etc: The dinosaurs weren’t scared of that asteroid that struck off Yucatan either. They just didn’t see it coming. Kept evolving bigger and better huge carnivores and herbivores ... then evolved into/were succeeded by birds. I’m sure there is a lesson for us all in there ;)
 

El Pip

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. I’m sure there is a lesson for us all in there ;)
So what you are saying is that very large diameter projectiles, travelling at very high speeds are capable of wiping out entire species? Sounds like an excellent argument for warships with more large calibre guns and extra armour.


While I am delighted you have finally realised the full awesome power of a 20" armed SHBB to utterly destroy any threat, it is disappointing you have taken so long to reach this point. If it had taken you any longer you may have accidentally qualified to be the next Head of Intelligence!
 

stnylan

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To be fair the head of intelligence did need a pep talk.
 

Bullfilter

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So what you are saying is that very large diameter projectiles, travelling at very high speeds are capable of wiping out entire species? Sounds like an excellent argument for warships with more large calibre guns and extra armour.


While I am delighted you have finally realised the full awesome power of a 20" armed SHBB to utterly destroy any threat, it is disappointing you have taken so long to reach this point. If it had taken you any longer you may have accidentally qualified to be the next Head of Intelligence!
Well played, but I think it would be more an argument for a nuke program. ;) The projectiles at high speeds aren’t much good when you can be sunk before you ever get into their admittedly great range. Even if they have range to reach over the horizon, that is only useful for shore bombardment. The age of the dinosaur is over. They will be pecked to death by torpedo-armed warbirds. Best recognise this inevitable evolutionary development before research, time and treasure are spent in vain.

The BB Barnacles need to be scraped off before a real war starts. We already have enough of them.
 

Surt

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I feel the army should take all ports in China at the earliest possible time, firstly it will strangle Chinese imports, second the fleet can go home and save fuel.
 
Chapter Thirty-Five: Adjustments - 1.3.1937 To 31.3.1937

Eurasia

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Utsunimiya's War
(HoI3 TFH - Interactive Japan AAR)
Chapter Thirty-Five: Adjustments - 1.3.1937 To 31.3.1937


The first event to grab General Shō-ichi Utsunimiya's interest during March was the swap of islands between the Army and the Navy. Basically, on the 3rd of March, the Japanese holdings on the Island of Sakhalin were officially handed over to the Kwantung Army HQ while the Island of Saishu was finally handed over to the Imperial General HQ. It just made sense when it came to logistics and jurisdiction.

There was also a few other events that attracted his attention. On the 6th of March it was announced that Sweden was starting to become more 'friendly' with the Comintern. Politics was a weird business.

---



The Aichi AB-4​

But he had other things to worry about. He had made a formal request to visit the Port of Sasebo. Being trapped in Tokyo meant he only received second hand reports from his Corps. He wanted to visit them and get some hands on knowledge about how prepared they were for the upcoming war and invasion.

His request was granted and he started the journey on 8th of March which was a Monday. First he took the early morning train to Osaka where the NKYK had a Aichi AB-4 waiting for him near the bay. The AB-4 had started out life as night reconnaissance flying boats for the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Navy did not order more than six prototypes. The company then sold three to the NKYK in 1935. One had been converted to carry cargo while the other two had become passenger airliners. They flew scheduled services and could also be rented out for sightseeing flights. (1)

As Utsunimiya entered the plane he felt less than safe. The plane was small, carried about four passengers, and Utsunimiya was less than happy with its appearance. The pilots cockpit had been pushed up to the front, removing the bombardier position, leaving more room for passengers. It looked like a strong wind would make it collapse. And it looked ugly. No wonder the Navy had decided not to continue with the design.

Luckily the weather was clear and nothing happening during the flight. They even had drinks and some food available in-fight. Also, as he was the only passenger, he was able to stretch out when he needed too. Still, when he finally stepped out of the plane in Sasebo his legs were a little wobbly. He was NOT looking forward to the return journey.



Port of Sasebo​

He was met by members of his staff who escorted him to the waiting cars. They quickly took him to the Corps headquarters which had been set up at the Navy's local offices. There Major General Nishihara, commander of the Imperial Guards, was waiting to give him a small briefing on the conditions of the divisions.

Then he went on a tour of the Corps. The units had been placed in camps outside of the port. When not training or maintaining their equipment they sent much of their free time socializing with the locals. He felt the men under his command were the best there was in the Army yet he was still upset. Not ALL the men had been issued upgraded weapons and equipment. The process of replacing the old with the new was still ongoing.

Utsunimiya, like much of the officers in both branches of the military, wasn't too happy about that. But you fought the next war with the army you had and not the army you dreamed about.

He wasn't given much time to visit. He was back on the plane by the 11th of March. He arrived in Osaka in time to get a late train on the 12th and arrived in Tokyo just in time to have a quick box lunch for dinner at the station before going home to his apartment.

---


He spent the weekend catching up on reports, listening to the radio for news, and going out to eat street vendor noodles for his meals.

When he went back to work on Monday he received a report from the Army. There was more movement on the border. One of the enemy units was heading east which suggested redeployment more than anything else.


Then there was a announcement of the cancellation of a trade deal with Norway. Seems the Foreign Minister was adjusting things again to keep the raw resources pouring into the stockpiles.

Then on the 17th of March the Ministry of Armaments stated that Anti-Aircraft guns were going to be upgraded to Heavy Anti-Aircraft guns. And that the Research Team was going to move on to studying Advanced Construction Engineering.


This would help greatly with improving the roads, bridges, and rails in China! Utsunimiya was pleased to hear that.

Then another trade agreement was cancelled. This time with the USA. Seems the Foreign Minister was trying to find the perfect balance between import and export.

Then there was ANOTHER announcement, on the 19th, from the Ministry of Armaments. There had been a advances made in Chemical Engineering. Now the team would be sent to work on Marine Infantry.


In other words developing tactics and equipment to help the Navy perform amphibious operations without the heavy casualties. Utsunimiya was sure the Navy would be VERY happy with this.

On the 20th of March, on a Saturday, Utsunimiya had decided to take some time off and visit a movie theater. The Daughter of the Samurai was a German-Japanese co-production that had been released in February. Which meant there was plenty of tickets available. The film had NOT been received well in Japan and by March few people were showing up to see it.


On the way out of the almost empty theater, trying to decide where to have a drink to wash the taste of the horrible film out of his mouth, he found a newspaper stand full of news of a trade deals from the US AND the USSR both having been declined. He wondered how that would hurt relationships with both those nations?

By the end of the month the Head of Intelligence reported that Nationalist China had captured ten spies, Communist China had captured eight spies, the US had captured three spies, Shanxi had captured three spies, and Romania captured one of Japan's spies. Utsunimiya wondered how many spies were left in the field?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​
Author's Notes:

1. NKYK - Nippon Koku Yuso Kenkyusho was a Japanese Airline.
 
Last edited:

Wraith11B

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Just marking time until we get our lovely Battleships into the water, I'm sure.