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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

stnylan

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The IJA puts together a string of victories ....

I think I may need to go and lie down.
 
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Gentlemen, on top of all the incompetence pointed out by others, I had to bring this to your collective attentions:

On the morning of the 4th, hours before the sun would be up, the Battle of Zouxian started when the 7. Japanese Cavalry Division attacked the Nationalist Infantry Division guarding the province. Eleven thousand horsemen against six thousand enemy soldiers.
I guess those mountaineers ride into battle on their mules, or maybe Utsunimiya, a General in the IJA has trouble distinguishing counters. For reference, the Japanese unit in the bottom left corner of the image is a regular Cavalry Division
They had sent a cavalry division into Yan’an. On paper this meant over eleven thousand horsemen were going against over sixty-four thousand.
The mountain-climbing, mule-riding cavalry seems to be everywhere.

The sun has only been up a few hours when the Imperial Army sent in a cavalry division and a infantry division into the Province of Shagqiu
For reference, these guys seem to ride actual horses, and at the same time they're pretty bad at climbing mountains.

I do hope that the steel recovered from the scrapping those transport will be used for the construction of the next class of Battleships. Otherwise I can only strongly disapprove of that ridiculous decision. Clearly the Army is only thinking about big land campaigns close to home, maybe they believe they can take bits of Siberia while the Russians are distracted and heap glory upon themselves. All the resource-rich areas we should be going after are in South-East Asia, and lest we forget, we also have an Eastern flank. To gain and maintain control of the Western Pacific, and of much-needed resource-rich areas, we need all the transport capacity we can get. Let me guess, next they'll be saying we can't invade Malaysia, Indonesia, or the Philippines, because we don't have enough transport capacity to do all that and ferry the Army back and forth from and to their Chinese or Russian quagmire.

The Navy is being whittled down bit by bit, it's truly dreadful. The lack of funding for new Battleships, suggestions of forming an 'Air Force' which looks like it would be either independent or under the thumb of the IJA, scrapping perfectly good transport ships, imposing fuel savings on the Navy instead of actually securing enough fuel for it to do it's job properly, the list goes on. And that was when the Army had stalled in China. Who knows what General Utsunimiya will pull out of his hat to diminish the IJN now that the Army has started winning again thanks to the IJN's strategic bombing efforts. Of course, the battle of Xinji has just showed just how vital the support of the Navy's big guns is, reinforcing the case for new Battleships.

I do hope this trend of the IJA pulling the rug out from under the IJN will be cut short soon, for if it isn't Japan will undoubtedly fail as a nation eventually. What is an island nation without a powerful Navy? Just some banana republic that has to bend to the will of the world's naval powers to be able to trade. I would rather see Japan sink into the sea than for it to be forced to bend to another nation's every whim.

Captain RobaS3,
Trying to block out the positively apocalyptic images of a Japan without the IJN.
 
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serutan

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While it is true that we cannot ignore the potential threat from the East (US) and South (GB, Aust.) the way to deal with that is not to
waste limited resources building lots of targets that will only give the enemy bombing practice. While it would be ideal if they built
lots of targets for US to sink, that cannot be assumed. We need a system of island air bases and carrier groups to project power
in those directions along with the transports.

But regardless of the solution adopted by the Imperial government in this regard, you are correct that the fuel issue must be
solved is such a way as to escape the current hand to mouth acquisition of fuel. And plans to address it must be made once (if)
the China campaign has concluded. The Army has shown shocking competence recently, one can only hope that they will not
lapse into their usual bumbling after this.
 
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Chapter Seventy-Two : The Twenty-Fourth Week - 9.12.1937 To 15.12.1937

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Utsunimiya’s War
(HoI3 TFH - Interactive Japan AAR)
Chapter Seventy-Two : The Twenty-Fourth Week - 9.12.1937 To 15.12.1937



The Land War​

The Imperial Japanese Army started this seven day period engaged in three battles. The Battle of Zaozhuang, the Battle of Shangqiu, and the Battle of Yan’an.


In the early morning of the 9th of December the Army lost the Battle of Yan’an. The Japanese force lost 244 soldiers while the Communists only lost 81 men. Of course the Pro-Army media tried to downplay the defeat but nobody was impressed.

Still the other two battles against the Nationalists looked like victories. The Nationalist Chinese were just not being pushed south - it looked like a full collapse of their eastern part of their whole battle line.


The next report seemed to confirm this - the Battle of Zaozhuang was a Army victory. The Japanese unit had lost 209 soldiers while the Nationalist had lost 235 men.

The 16. Hohei Shidan, now in the Province of Xinyi, was told to stay put. It was now the left anchor of the WHOLE Imperial Japanese Army. Moving forward would leave a gap behind it in the line. So it needed to halt its advance for now. The Navy wasn’t that pleased - there was a undefended enemy Port right next door - but they understood the need to protect the flank.


Shortly before midnight another Battle for Yan’an started when a Japanese Infantry Division attacked the Communist Yan’an. It was being defended by over fifty thousand enemy troops but only two units were activity working to protect their city. Sadly, for the Japanese soldiers the Chinese had better leadership. The Communist General Nguyan Ai Quoc had seen so much combat that he had become a well skilled ‘Trickster’ and was outfighting the Japanese commander. Luckily, there was the Army Bombers to help out. (See Air War)

Still, by the 10th the defenders had countered the Army’s advance into the city due to their superior leadership. At least for the moment. Many believed the defenses would collapse soon due to a total lack of supplies and organization.


On the 10th the Army launched an attack on the Province of Zouxian. One Mountain Division against a Nationalist Infantry Division. Over eleven thousand soldiers against just over five thousand enemy soldiers.


On the 11th another Battle for Shanxian started. Looks like it resulted when a Nationalist Militia Unit either entered the Province or failed to leave it when the Japanese Infantry entered it.


On the 12th the Battle of Shangqiu came to an end with a Army victory. The Army lost 591 soldiers while the Nationalists lost 539 men. Not a major victory but still a victory that helped continue the collapse of the enemy’s lines.

A few hours afterwards Utsunimiya noticed that infantry divisions that had been withdrawing from the border with Communist China were now rushing back. As if sensing a change in the balance of power there. He wondered what the Army sensed that he did not see?


On the 13rd the Army sent in a division to the Province of Bozhou and started a battle with the Nationalist Militia guarding it. Nine thousand attackers launching an all out Assault on just over five thousand defenders.


A few hours later the Army announced victory in Shanxian. The Japanese only lost 38 men while the Nationalists lost 114 men. At this rate the Nationalists might not have a battle line to defend.


Barely a few hours went by when the Army announced another victory. This time the Province of Zouxian was taken at the cost of 126 Japanese soldiers and 377 Nationalist soldiers. Now THAT was a major victory!

By the time the sun was in the sky there was also a report that another Japanese infantry division had joined in the Battle for Bozhou.


This must have helped as the Japanese won the Battle of Bozhou. The Army lost 21 men while the Nationalists lost 79 men. A small victory but a victory.


Then, on the morning of the 14th, the news that caused his staff to cheer and made the General ALMOST break out a bottle of wine - the Army won the Battle of Yan’an. The Japanese lost 232 soldiers while the Reds lost only 75 men. But they were pushed out of the Capital. Now, if only the Army could take it before the Reds tried to take it back!

The 1. Hohei Shidan, with its three Infantry Regiments, needed to be in the city and in position to keep it before the Communist divisions to the west of the Capital figured out what was going on and moved eastwards! Luckily the Army Bombers would prove to be the answer to this problem also. (See Air War)

The Army seemed to calm down during the last two days of the time period. They used the time in deploying their units into some of the captured Provinces. The maps shown in the newspapers could not hide the fact that the Nationalists and the Communists were being shoved backwards.


The Army claimed six victories and, once again, downplayed the defeat. But their losses of 1,461 soldiers made it hard for the populace to ignore the defeat. After all the Communists had only lost 156 soldiers to Land Combat. The Nationalists had lost 1,344 soldiers to Land Combat and, to be honest, their fate looked predictable. Yet, the Navy had predicted the defeat of the Red Chinese weeks ago and it had not come about.

The populace, like General Shō-ichi Utsunimiya, were slow to believe anything the newspapers said or anything the different military branches promised.



The Air War​

On the 9th of the December the two Army Bombing Groups, under direct control of the IGH, were continuing to carry out Ground Attacks on Yan’an. Nine Ground Attacks were launched against Yan’an and 1,932 Communists were killed in these bombing runs.

It was the Army Bombing Groups that reported that the Chinese units in Yan’an had no organization left and had only one militia unit still manning the street barriers.

On the 14th of December, for some reason, the Imperial Japanese Army moved the two Fighter Groups to Jinan. While moving them close to the lines wasn’t a bad idea it also moved them into a province with little to no supplies. Which meant they couldn’t really do much. Utsunimiya pondered how much more useful they would be if under the direct control of the IGH?

On the 14th, with the victory in Yan’an, the two Army Air Groups, the 3. Nihon Koukuujieitai and the 1 Nihon Koukuujieitau, were told to pick their own targets within the Communists’ Regions.

On the 15th, after a small rest, both Groups started Ground Attacks on the Province of Wuqi. It was reported that the defenses were commanded by Mao himself! And was a brilliant move by the Army Air Forces.

The Province of Wuqi had become a dumping ground for weak Communist units, mostly militia and HQ units, where they could try to recover. This meant that these units were, in the end, the most powerful the Reds had left. And they bordered the Capital. By bombing this enemy units the Japanese bombers were making it impossible to launch an operation to take back their own city!

During the 15th the Province of Wuqi was bombed only once and 188 Communists were killed. The crews were able to bring back information that the bombs were disrupting the Red attempts to retake the city. Even in their presence of their “Glorious Revolutionary Leader” the Reds just couldn’t keep it together when they most needed it.

The Navy tried to take credit but the attack on the Wuqi had been decided on the Group level and had been purely a Army decision.



The Navy War​

The Navy’s Bombing Groups did not change their targets. Both Hefei and Nanjing were Strategic Bombed even though the factories, at this point, were smoking holes in the ground. The Province of Hefei was bombed thirteen times while the Province of Nanjing was bombed thirteen times also.

The Carrier based aircraft, of course, continued their attacks. With mixed results. Due to the almost random nature of the Groups selecting their targets sometimes one enemy unit would be bombed by many Wings while a group of enemy units might be attacked by a lone Wing. Some provinces were bombed more than others.

While a majority of the CAGs were bombing enemy units the 10th and the 5th were trying to keep the skies clear of enemy aircraft. In fact the 5th CAG was attacked by the Chinese Fighters and defeated them on the 11th of December. It was declared a ‘Victory’ by the military. Then, later that day, the Chinese Fighters tried AGAIN and were defeated again. And therefore the 5th was given ANOTHER ‘Victory’.

Shenxian was bombed twenty-five times and resulted in the death of 374 Nationalist Infantry.

Yong’an was bombed thirteen times and resulted in the death of 658 Nationalist Cavalry.

Xiaoshan was bombed thirteen times and resulted in the death of 321 Nationalist Infantry.

The Navy was quick to point out their aerial victories and how many enemy soldiers they had killed to protect their footholds. The populace was somewhat impressed but not as impressed as it use to be. The Navy’s success, week after week, was working against it. The population, even those who were Pro-Navy, were expecting more. They wanted more footholds taken, battles and marches, and the enemy Capital taken.



Misc. Events​

The fear of running out of fuel, or any resource, before the Second Sino-Japanese War came to an end spurred on the government to try to make as many Trade Deals as they could.

Deals were made with Poland and Mexico. Mostly for the export of supplies for cash. This would help pay for all the other deals that dealt with the import of fuel and other resources.

The US canceled a deal but as it had nothing to do with fuel it wasn’t really a concern.

By the 15th of December the nation fuel supply was back in the ‘Green’. This was as likely due to the increase in coal and crude oil in the stockpiles as it was to the decreased use of said fuel. Things were stable. For the moment.

The Head of Intelligence, by the end of the seven days, reported that Brazil neutralized two Japanese agents, that the US neutralized two Japanese agents, that Nationalist China neutralized two Japanese agents, and that Communist China neutralized a Japanese agent.

They also reported the capture and neutralization of one spy from the UK. This worried most of the upper ranks within the different Intelligent Agencies. Why was one of the most powerful naval powers in Europe interested in Japan? What did England want with Japan?
 
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serutan

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They also reported the capture and neutralization of one spy from the UK. This worried most of the upper ranks within the different Intelligent Agencies. Why was one of the most powerful naval powers in Europe interested in Japan? What did England want with Japan?​
If our intelligence people have to wonder why UK intelligence would have an interest in poking around Japan, their incompetence is beyond human comprehension. Perhaps Advisor Pip should be assigned to explain to them why a naval power would want to spy on another naval power.

Also, while the fall of Yan'an is of course welcome news, the commanders in that area should be recalled, and given training on the concept of concentration of force and coordination thereof. While I know at least one advisor will consider this a waste of time due
to Army commanders being unable to learn anything, the attempt must nonetheless be made. Also I cannot help but note the
dire need to get fighters out of Army control, as their grasp of logistics is - to be charitable - nonexistent.
 
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roverS3

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If our intelligence people have to wonder why UK intelligence would have an interest in poking around Japan, their incompetence is beyond human comprehension. Perhaps Advisor Pip should be assigned to explain to them why a naval power would want to spy on another naval power.

Also, while the fall of Yan'an is of course welcome news, the commanders in that area should be recalled, and given training on the concept of concentration of force and coordination thereof. While I know at least one advisor will consider this a waste of time due to Army commanders being unable to learn anything, the attempt must nonetheless be made. Also I cannot help but note the dire need to get fighters out of Army control, as their grasp of logistics is - to be charitable - nonexistent.
For once I agree with @serutan . Clearly our predictions about the fall of Yan'an didn't sufficiently take into account just how incompetent the IJA is. As it is impossible to overestimate the incompetence of the IJA, this isn't particularly surprising. Still I will have to once again review my low expectations of the IJA in a downward direction. I also can't help but notice that it has taken the Army a very long time to start to really take advantage of the fact that China's Industry has been blasted out of existence, and also that IJA casualties for this war have been unacceptably high. If we suffer this many dead against the nationalist second-rate Army and the communist third-rate Army, I wonder how long our units will even last if they are ever faced with a first rate foe, let alone one which has proper heavy artillery, and tanks, etc.

That said, the Army's bombers have exceeding my expectations in bombing the most important target at the right time to give the hapless ground forces every opportunity to actually take Yan'an.

The Navy was quick to point out their aerial victories and how many enemy soldiers they had killed to protect their footholds. The populace was somewhat impressed but not as impressed as it use to be. The Navy’s success, week after week, was working against it. The population, even those who were Pro-Navy, were expecting more. They wanted more footholds taken, battles and marches, and the enemy Capital taken.
If the Navy had been given just a single corps of Naval Infantry, the Chinese capital would be in our hands already. Clearly we must inform the Japanese public of the shoestring budget the IJN is operating on, and educate them on just how few ground troop it has at it's disposal. The results the Navy has achieved in China, despite the fact that much of the fighting takes place far from the coast, are nothing short of exemplary when one considers the scant resources it has to work with. On the high seas the IJN may be halfway decent (though it would be much better with the addition of new Battleships along with the new Carriers under construction). On land it is still a minnow, maybe we need to change that.

I'm glad the fuel meter is finally in the Green again, even if it should have never been allowed to go in the red in the first place. I expect some heads must have rolled in the treasury and the diplomatic corps for some half-way competent people to be brought in to fix that particular mess. I have to say that the fuel saving measures have been reasonably effective, outside of the stupidity of scrapping perfectly good troop transports which weren't moving anyway. The impact on aviation operations has been minimal, I have been suitably impressed. Of course, the IJA is doing it's part by stationing it's fighters in an Air Base where no fuel is currently available. Very smart thinking there, if you don't provide fuel to your planes, they won't use any. Of course, the fact that this also renders the planes entirely useless for the war effort was likely lost on the IJA officers who made the decision not to ensure a proper supply of fuel before redeploying the planes.

I truly hope that Yan'an will be conquered and the Communists nipped in the bud, then the Army will be able to redirect it's forces Southwards and hopefully force a surrender of coastal and Industrial areas before the monsoon comes knocking and throws whatever semblance of logistics the Army currently has, in total disarray. Let's be done with this war so we can free up the resources for those Battleships, and actually build up a well rounded and truly modern fleet.

Captain RobaS3,
Finally able to go out on his boat again, and just a little more ammenable because of it.
 
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stnylan

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This advisor remains surprised that the Ministry of Intelligence has anyone left to capture foreign spies on Japanese soil, considering their profligate waste of spies in foreign lands.

The fall of the Communist Capital will be a blessed relief.
 
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This advisor remains surprised that the Ministry of Intelligence has anyone left to capture foreign spies on Japanese soil, considering their profligate waste of spies in foreign lands.

The fall of the Communist Capital will be a blessed relief.
OOC: I HATE THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA IN THIS GAME!!!!! In RL I like the Chinese culture, people, tea, and food. But in this game...I HAE THEM SO MUCH!!!! JFOGJEROGJRJfierjgmfheoidjfjppekf!!!!!
 
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If our intelligence people have to wonder why UK intelligence would have an interest in poking around Japan, their incompetence is beyond human comprehension. Perhaps Advisor Pip should be assigned to explain to them why a naval power would want to spy on another naval power.

Also, while the fall of Yan'an is of course welcome news, the commanders in that area should be recalled, and given training on the concept of concentration of force and coordination thereof. While I know at least one advisor will consider this a waste of time due
to Army commanders being unable to learn anything, the attempt must nonetheless be made. Also I cannot help but note the
dire need to get fighters out of Army control, as their grasp of logistics is - to be charitable - nonexistent.
While I obviously agree with this, I am considering resigning as an advisor. None of the advise we give is ever heeded and we see the same mistakes made over and over again by the IJA, the only variation being them finding new and innovative ways to cock up.

If no-one is listening to what is said, what is the point of advising?
 
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Bullfilter

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Then, on the morning of the 14th, the news that caused his staff to cheer and made the General ALMOST break out a bottle of wine - the Army won the Battle of Yan’an.
while this looks promising, let’s wait to see if the Army can snatch ignominy from the jaws of glory. :confused:
OOC: I HATE THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA IN THIS GAME!!!!! In RL I like the Chinese culture, people, tea, and food. But in this game...I HAE THEM SO MUCH!!!! JFOGJEROGJRJfierjgmfheoidjfjppekf!!!!!
For fighting back after being attacked by Imperialists? ;) I’d be even angrier at the Japanese AI Army generals.

Can a small track-mounted aircraft carrier be developed for inland operations? :D
 
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El Pip

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Can a small track-mounted aircraft carrier be developed for inland operations? :D
Only if we build a small track-mounted battleship to go along...
 
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If no-one is listening to what is said, what is the point of advising?
A familiar retort of what I imagine government bureaucrats everywhere mutter into their pints/wine glasses/shot glasses/low balls/high balls/(insert culturally appropriate drink container here).
 
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nuclearslurpee

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A familiar retort of what I imagine government bureaucrats everywhere mutter into their pints/wine glasses/shot glasses/low balls/high balls/(insert culturally appropriate drink container here).
And by God do we need a lot of pints/wine glasses/shot glasses/lowballs/highballs/culturally-appropriate drink containers around this joint.

glug glug glug

Sitting around with effectively no input whatsoever whilst watching a bunch of generals floof about in the middle of China accomplishing nothing of note save getting brave men killed in the line of battle, watching valuable navy ships get scrapped to free up precious fuel for said generals to utterly waste, meanwhile naval assets are frequently not only requisitioned by, but actually awarded to General Anime Protagonist over here to carry out harebrained operations with high failure rates and no strategic sense whatsoever. All this, and yet for all the ceaseless warnings and advocacy of the advisors not one battleship, carrier, or even measly submarine that I am aware of has been launched or even laid down.

glug glug glug
 
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All this, and yet for all the ceaseless warnings and advocacy of the advisors not one battleship, carrier, or even measly submarine that I am aware of has been launched or even laid down.
I must interject here, despite my own reticence to defend Utsunimiya, because a few ships are actually under construction: 2 Fleet Carriers have been laid down (17th of January 1936), with a plan for a further 4 to be laid down in 2 pairs subsequently, giving everyone ample opportunity to come up with a reason to cancel them. More recently an undisclosed number of Cruisers (both Heavy and Light) and Landing Craft (& thier motherships) have been laid down.(1st of December 1937). Of course this is an insufficient naval programme, which is moreover entirely unbalanced to boot, lacking modern Battleships, but also modern Destroyers and Submarines.

I do agree with your sentiment, and I have been drinking entirely too much Sake lately, when I was out on my boat, away from the wife, and even more when I was unable to go out on my boat because of fuel rationing.

Captain RobaS3,
Downing another bowl of Sake, his 7th today.
 
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nuclearslurpee

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I must interject here, despite my own reticence to defend Utsunimiya, because a few ships are actually under construction: 2 Fleet Carriers have been laid down (17th of January 1936), with a plan for a further 4 to be laid down in 2 pairs subsequently, giving everyone ample opportunity to come up with a reason to cancel them.
I blame the "recently-acquired" sake habit for my forgetfulness here.

More recently an undisclosed number of Cruisers (both Heavy and Light) and Landing Craft (& thier motherships) have been laid down.(1st of December 1937).
This on the other hand only reinforces my points. We in the Navy have been pushing for any number of ship types to be developed and built, but cruisers have hardly been part of those discussions, notably heavy cruisers are arguably worse than useless for a modern navy of an advanced nation like Japan. Clearly, whoever does have the ear of the government ministers is not among our advisory number.
 
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I blame the "recently-acquired" sake habit for my forgetfulness here.


{...} but cruisers have hardly been part of those discussions, notably heavy cruisers are arguably worse than useless for a modern navy of an advanced nation like Japan.
Naval squadrons go out on cruises, how can they possible accomplish this without cruisers?

What we REALLY need is a bomber capable of reaching Hawaii and the US West Coast from Saipan.
 
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nuclearslurpee

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Naval squadrons go out on cruises, how can they possible accomplish this without cruisers?

What we REALLY need is a bomber capable of reaching Hawaii and the US West Coast from Saipan.
Oi, get back in your submarine pen while the grown-ups drink tea and bitch about the Empire.
 
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