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Chapter Eighty-Four : Independence Guaranteed - 32.1.1938 To 15.2.1938

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Chapter Eighty-Four : Independence Guaranteed - 32.1.1938 To 15.2.1938



The Economic Front​

Fuel was flowing into the stockpile. Either from the processing of the nation’s oil or from being imported from foreign sources. But that meant the nation’s bank account was also becoming smaller and smaller.

Of course the Foreign Minister and the Minister of Armaments continued to do their best to keep Japan from going broke. The Treasury had to be stabilized.

Deals were canceled with the Soviet Union, Canada, and the US.

And completely new ones were made with Canada, Saudi Arabia, Tibet, and the Soviet Union.

By the 6th of February the Treasury and the fuel supply were both in the ‘Green’. In fact both coal and military supplies were also increasing.

That same day the Foreign Minister also asked Siam, Yunnan, and Guangxi Clique for Transit Rights. All three nations refused and this was what the Minister wanted as it would make relationships between Japan and this nations worse. And make declaring war on them later all the more easier.

The Ministry of Armaments was also able to announce some advancements made during this time period.

On the 3rd they announced that one of the Research Teams had finally completed their work on improving the military’s Arctic Warfare Equipment.


After a short break the Team was assigned to upgrading the Air-Launched Torpedo system. This would benefit both the Naval Bombers and the Carrier Attack Groups. It would make them better ship killers.

On the 5th it was announced that one of the Ministry of Armaments’ other Teams had improved on the equipment, and training, of field medics. In other words they had improved on the basic First Aid used on the battlefield.


After a small party the Team was sent to work on improving the theory and practice of Aeronautic Engineering.

On the 8th, while this was happening, the Foreign Minister had all his new recruits taken away from him by the military. Seems the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had thousands of employees doing nothing at the moment and it was decided to funnel any of the NEW recruits into officer training.


On the 13th the Research Team working on Advanced Construction Engineering announced their success! This would allow the Japanese to build roads and railways in some of the most horrible of Asia’s inland regions.


The Team was then assigned to improving on the science of Artillery. With many upcoming units having artillery this was thought to be a good idea.


With the new advances in construction the Minister of Armaments ordered new roads and rails built all along the border of Guangxi Clique. It was hoped these would supply the troops when the war started. OR at least help them when it was time to invade Yunnan.



The Military Front​

On the 31st the 1st Navy finally made it to their home port of Sasebo. They were happy to be with family and friends again.

That same day the 1. Hikoutai landed in Gaoxiong. They quickly made the airbases there their own, taking over the barracks, the mess halls, and the officer clubs.

After that both the IJAA and the IJN became ‘still’ as they waited for future wars. This ‘ stillness’ would be useful in building up the fuel supply also.

In the occupied territories of China was where all the activity was happening as the units under ‘China Operations’ painfully moved south over the horrible roads.

On the 13th the Chief of Staff finally approved the return of Supply shipments to the minor islands of the Pacific. But not one drop of fuel was sent to any of the Garrisons.



The Dutch East Indies​

It was the 8th of February, on a Tuesday, around 8 PM . It was raining so hard outside that it was almost impossible to see outside the office’s windows. The crowds of clerks and staff who worked at Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office HQ had disappeared long ago leaving behind Guards, some janitors, and those who stayed late to get in extra work.

Tokyo was truly having miserable weather. The Chief of Staff was not looking forward to being driven home. But the plan for the invasion of the Dutch East Indies had finally arrived by courtier and he wanted to go over it before heading home.

Peeking one last time out the window he stepped back to his desk, sat down in his worn chair, and unlocked the small briefcase that held the report and maps created by General Sho-ichi Utsunimiya.

When he had been promoted he had decided to stay in his old office. One office was as good as another. And over the years this one had become a home away from home.

As he pulled out the slim report and unfolded the maps that came with it he noticed the list of required military units were small.

The General had taken the Prince’s requirement that he only use his Special Corps to heart. In fact outside of his own divisions the General only required six Transport Flotillas and one Task Group.


Two divisions would land in the Port of Osthaven and take it. Once secure one of them would march north and take the Province of Palembang with its Oil Refineries.

One division and the HQ unit would take the Port of Batava. Once there the division could easily take the Province of Serang with its Gold.

The remaining two divisions could take the Port of Soerabaja. Once secure they could take both the Province of Malang, with its supply of Cinchona, and the Province of Samarang, with its supply of Rubber.

Of course many of these provinces and ports also held metals, oil, rare materials and airbases. Aircraft could easily be brought in by the IJAA to occupy and use the airbases.

And the General pointed out once the major resources were secure secondary targets, mostly with oil fields, could be taken easily via more landings from transports. Nice, simple, easy to understand.

But there was one major barrier to this plan reported by the General in the final page of the report. The UK guaranteed the Netherlands’ independence. If Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies they would end up in a war with the Allies.

The Prince sighed to himself and placed the papers and maps back into the briefcase. He closed it and carefully locked it. It looked like the plan would have to be shelved. For now.

Of course once the Allies were engaged in a war with Germany or Russia….



The German Factor​

The restaurant was still as popular as ever. Both Yasuji Okamura, Head of Intelligence, and Keisuke Fujie, Minster of Security, had been forced to wait for a table.

But they didn’t mind. The food was good and the main room was loud. Perfect place to chat and exchange information.

A waitress soon took them to a table in the middle of the main dining room. It had just been cleared and was still slightly wet. Both men ordered their usually noodle dish and waited till she was gone before saying anything.

“You look depressed,” said Keisuke as he leaned forward on the table with his elbows. The men were just another couple of businessmen, or maybe family members, having lunch.

“You might say that,” replied Yasuji with a nod of his head. “It’s the Americans.”

“Oh?”

“Well…the numbers have changed,” remarked the Head of Intelligence.

“Changed?” responded the Minister of Security. “What do you mean?”

They became silent as the waitress brought their orders and a pot of tea with two porcelain cups.

They waited till she had moved away before starting on their meal. They stayed quiet for a few minutes before Yasuji said, “The support for the different parties have changed.”

“What do you mean?”

Yasuji sighed and said, “The American First Party have about 28 percent of the public behind them but now the Democratic Party’s support has jumped to 31 percent.”

“How? What changed?” demanded the Minister of Security.

“The only factor that changed was that the Germans are now trying to influence the American populace,” replied the Head of Intelligence.

“Surely they are NOT helping the Democratic Party?” stated Keisuke almost forgetting to keep his voice down.

“I don’t know. But that’s the only thing that changed since my last report.”

“Well,” replied Keisuke. “You may wish to start causing some trouble for the Americans. Start trying to attack their unity. Spread rumors. Make them think they can’t trust their own rulers. Make it easier for….well, if somebody goes to war with them we want them as weak as possible.”

“True,” remarked Yasuji.

“Oh,” added Keisuke after sipping some of his tea loudly. “You may wish to assign some domestic agents to supporting our own government. Just in case the Germans try to ‘influence’ us.”

Yasuji sighed. “Damn those Germans.”



Misc. Events​

Not only did the Head of Intelligence pass on the bad news of the American First Party and the Germans he also reported to the Chiefs and Ministers some more bad news. Between the 32nd of January to the 15th of February three Japanese spies was captured in Portugal, six Japanese spies was captured in the US, five Japanese spies was captured in Yunnan, and three Japanese spies was captured in Brazil.

It looked like the pathway to glory was going to be somewhat bumpy.
 
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serutan

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“Well,” replied Keisuke. “You may wish to start causing some trouble for the Americans. Start trying to attack their unity. Spread rumors. Make them think they can’t trust their own rulers. Make it easier for….well, if somebody goes to war with them we want them as weak as possible.”
To keep from being boringly repetitive, I wil merely say that actually attempting this would result in the totally unified Americans being able to fully moblize and declare war on us within 6 months.

“Oh,” added Keisuke after sipping some of his tea loudly. “You may wish to assign some domestic agents to supporting our own government. Just in case the Germans try to ‘influence’ us.”
This would result in a pro {American/German/British/Soviet} coup within 6 months.

Not only did the Head of Intelligence pass on the bad news of the American First Party and the Germans he also reported to the Chiefs and Ministers some more bad news. Between the 32nd of January to the 15th of February three Japanese spies was captured in Portugal, six Japanese spies was captured in the US, five Japanese spies was captured in Yunnan, and three Japanese spies was captured in Brazil.
This is of course self explanatory.

Also, I must repeat my warning that building armor for the Army is a complete waste of resources that could be much better used for tactical bombers, ground attack aircraft, and fighters.
 
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Deals were canceled with the Soviet Union, Canada, and the US.

And completely new ones were made with Canada, Saudi Arabia, Tibet, and the Soviet Union.
We cancelled a deal with the Soviet Union so we could make a new deal with the Soviet Union? A valuable use of everyone's time I'm sure, but have we considered just selling the entire Trade Ministry (and it's employees) and using the proceeds to buy some fuel? Cut out the middle man and free Japan of some of the idiots that are infecting it.

Seems the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had thousands of employees doing nothing at the moment and it was decided to funnel any of the NEW recruits into officer training.
The army actually trains it's officers? Are we sure about this? Has anyone actually checked, thus far the evidence indicates they trawl the asylums, special schools and remedial knitting classes of Japan to collect the worst idiots in the country, push them into ill-fitting uniforms, call them a 'General' and then put them into the High Command of the IJA.

Certainly no-one in the IJA has shown any evidence of ever having been trained, in anything, at any point so far, so while I applaud any effort to stop wasting effort on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs I doubt this will make any noticeable difference.

If the effort had been poured into increasing our research, then things would be different. But this is precisely the sort of questions that Advisors don't get asked, because we would give the 'wrong' answer that the IJA don't want to hear. I shall add this to the "Things I will say 'I told you so' about tally board." It is a long board.
 
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We cancelled a deal with the Soviet Union so we could make a new deal with the Soviet Union? A valuable use of everyone's time I'm sure, but have we considered just selling the entire Trade Ministry (and it's employees) and using the proceeds to buy some fuel? Cut out the middle man and free Japan of some of the idiots that are infecting it.

You DO understand that a Trade Deal that deals with coal is different than a Trade Deal that deals with supplies? Maybe you need some lessons on the differences between apples and oranges?
 
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Chapter Eighty-Five : Stable - 16.2.1938 To 28.2.1938

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Chapter Eighty-Five : Stable - 16.2.1938 To 28.2.1938



The Economic Front​

With the economy now more ‘stable’ the Foreign Minister could slow down and be a tad more selective when it came to Trade Agreements. Agreements were made with Haiti, the USA, and Siam.

The Netherlands canceled two Trade Deals with Japan. Which wasn’t a surprise to be honest what with all the spies being captured. (See Misc. Events)

There was also more technological advances made during the latter part of the month.

The Research Team working on the “Secret Project” reported success. But the members of the Team explained to the Minister of Armaments that the second stage of research had to wait till the results from the first stage had been completely understood. And new equipment had to be made or purchased to carry out the second stage of research.


So the Team was assigned to work on researching ways to improve on, and speed up, research in the field of Infantry Warfare.

Then the Ministry of Armaments announced, this time to the public, improvements made in Japan’s Industrial Production.


After a short celebration the Team was sent off to work on Mobile Warfare Research. In other words to find ways to improve on projects that dealt with improving the mobility of our ground troops.


On 23rd, due to the complaints of the ‘Manchukio’, HQ the Minster Chūji Machida ordered the construction of roads and rails from Hamhung, in north Korean, to the north. The project might even be done before war with the Soviet Union happened. Maybe.



The Military Front​

On the 17th of February the 61. Hohei Shidan marched into the Province of Changde and officially attached itself direcly to the Kwantung HQ. They quickly settled down to patrol and garrison duty.


On the 19th a new CAG was assembled and the Wing of A4N1s were deployed to the Province of Hiroshima. There it could wait for it’s partner Wing and, of course, a new Carrier.



Misc. Events​

Without a war to distract him the General noticed more news articles in the local papers that dealt with the outside world.

In Italy is was reported that Benito Mussolini had his soldiers adopt the “Roman Step”. Or as it was called by the rest of the world the “Goose Step”.

On a more serious note, in Germany, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (High Command of the Armed Forces) was formed and Hitler was now in complete control of the German military.


‘Bringing Up Baby’, a comedy starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn premiered on February 16th in San Francisco and was a hit. (1)

On the 23rd of February the Germans invited Japan to the “Axis” again. Even though such a organization didn’t even exist. Of course the offer was again turned down.

Between the 16th of February and the 28th of February the Head of Intelligence, who seemed to be more depressed than normal lately, reported that the Guangxi Clique had captured two Japanese spies, Yunnan had captured seven Japanese spies, Portugal had captured six Japanese spies, the USA had captured three Japanese spies, the Netherlands had captured one Japanese spy, Canada had captured one Japanese spy, and Brazil had captured one Japanese spy.

At the same time the Minister of Security announced the capture of one agent from the Soviet Union.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author’s Notes:

1. In the Midwest, and some other major cities, it didn’t do so well and, in the end, was thought of as a failure.
 
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serutan

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I am surprised the NKVD hasn't realized it doesn't need any decoy agents in Japan.
 
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Chapter Eighty-Six : Poking The Gangsters - 1.3.1938 To 15.3.1938

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Chapter Eighty-Six : Poking The Warlords - 1.3.1938 To 15.3.1938



The Economic Front​

While things had, mostly, settled down there were still a few issues here and there that needed the attention of the Foreign Minister.

A worthless Trade Deal was canceled with Venezuela. Trade Agreements were signed with Afghanistan, New Zealand, and Chile. Though offers from the UK and France were turned down.

On the 3rd of March the Research Team working on Combat Medicine announced a advancement that would improve the care of wounded soldiers. And might allow many of then to recover completely and go back into combat.


The Team, after a small party, was assigned to work on Radar development.

On the 4th the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was asked to request Transit Rights from the Guangxi Clique. This request came from the Chief of Staff who was likely trying to get the future enemy all riled up.

They refused to react at all of course. Funny enough this ‘poking’ not only failed to rile up the Guangxi Clique it was pointed out, by the Head of Intelligence, the Clique felt that the UK was the biggest threat to them. The Chief of Staff was said to be slightly offended by this.



The Military Front​

By the 4th of March the IJAA had as much of the future battlefield as covered as they could without access to the enemy’s own airbases.

On the 5th, with a Garrison now protecting Changde it was removed from the list of Objectives of ‘China Operations’.

On the 21st the logistic system seemed to be kicking in as all the units on the border or approaching the border reported receiving supplies.

On the 12th the 22. Kaigun, the 4th Task Group, and the 1st Navy were all ordered to the Port of Gaoxiong.


The 4th Task Group and the 1st Navy would arrive there on the afternoon of the 13th of March.

The Submarines would take slightly longer. They arrived on the early, still dark, morning hours on the 14th.

The Chief of Staff made sure to approve fuel shipments for Taiwan.

The IJN and the IJAA were now ready for the war. Now two things were needed. For the Army to get all its units into position. And for an excuse to go to war.



Misc. Events​

Things were becoming more and more awkward for the Foreign Minister. Germany asked not once but TWICE for Japan to join them in the “Axis”. Once on the 5th and again in the 14th. Of course both times they were turned down.

But it was doubtful he felt as awkward as the Head of Intelligence who had to report that, during the two weeks, Portugal captured five Japanese agents, Guangxi Clique captured two Japanese agents, Yunnan captured three Japanese agents, Canada captured two Japanese agents, the Netherlands captured three Japanese agents, the US captured two Japanese agents, and Brazil captured four Japanese agents.

On the other hand the Head of Intelligence WAS delighted to announce that the US was FINALLY drifting towards the Axis. It looked like that the German influence, and the American First Party, were starting to work on the American public AND the American government. But while their relationship with Germany had improved it would likely still be a close thing in the elections of 1940.

While this was happening the Minister of Security announced the capture of one spy from the Philippines.

The General was, of course, ordered to plan out the invasion of Guangxi Clique. As he started to work on the rough draft he wondered to himself if this plan would also end up being shelved.
 
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Ah yes, America coming to the side of the Fascists definitely overcomes the disaster that is the loss of so many of our agents. Perhaps their training is too rigid? Perhaps, they believe that they are Official Cover operatives and not Non-Official Cover, and thus report themselves to their opponents?
 
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Perhaps, they believe that they are Official Cover operatives and not Non-Official Cover, and thus report themselves to their opponents?
I respectfully suggest you're over thinking it - all you say is covered by "Gross Incompetence".

Remember this is the same Intelligence Service that was mystified as to why there would be British agents in Japan.
 
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I respectfully suggest you're over thinking it - all you say is covered by "Gross Incompetence".

Remember this is the same Intelligence Service that was mystified as to why there would be British agents in Japan.
Indeed. One can never go too far wrong by under-estimating the ability and competence of the IJA's Intelligence Services. Or indeed any part of the IJA.
 
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But there was one major barrier to this plan reported by the General in the final page of the report. The UK guaranteed the Netherlands’ independence. If Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies they would end up in a war with the Allies.
That's too bad really. I guess we'll have to wait until the Allies are distracted, and then strike. Fuel stockpiling thus remains very important, until we can catch the Allies by surprise. Keeping this in mind, I do believe we could do well by staying unaligned, in case we don't get the US on our side. All that would be necessary for us to be successful against the Allies, is that they would be distracted by a war with another potent Naval Power, and ideally for us to build a couple of Battleships. As long as the US stays out of said war. As the Germans do seem to be quite interested in fighting the USSR, I believe we should stay out of the Axis, at least until we've managed to comprehensively defeat the Allied navies, and to take control of Malaya, Burma, Indonesia, Thailand, and Indochina, if not more. We also should not engage in war with more than one major power at the same time, and of course, let's first take all strategic bases, and resource-rich territory we can without going to war with either the Allies, the US, or the USSR. In light of this new information I must thus side with @El Pip on the question of alignment: We must retain our independence to decide who we go to war with, and who we don't go to war with. This is particularly important in light of the failure of the Kempetai to reliably influence the USA towards the Axis camp. If possible, a bilateral defensive alliance with the Americans, or even a non-agression pact would be great, and we must diversify our sources of fuel to allow us to weather possible embargoes.

Of course, now, stockpiling crude and fuel becomes even more important as it's hard to predict when our opportunity will be to take the Dutch East Indies will occur. At least, now, we have a plan ready, so we can strike quickly when the opportunity presents itself.

The preparations for the war with Guanxi Clique are quite advanced, but this is the IJA we're talking about, so I predict plenty of fumbling around and a needlessly long war to take the territory once it starts off. Until the navy swoops in to save the day, of course.

Long live the Emperor, long live the IJN,

Captain RobaS3,
Looking over the IJN's new plan to take the Dutch East Indies, and nodding at just how great it is.
 
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Chapter Eighty-Seven : Taiwan - 16.3.1938 To 31.3.1938

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Chapter Eighty-Seven : Taiwan - 16.3.1938 To 31.3.1938



Taiwan had a somewhat interesting history. It didn’t come into the hands of the Japanese Empire till after the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895. When the Qing Dynasty ceded the Province of Taiwan to the Japanese the people of the island were not happy. A resistance movement formed the short-lived Republic of Formosa. Before Japanese troops arrived, crushed the Republic, and turned the island into Japan’s ‘overseas colony’. Of course there was still problems and incidents but by 1915 armed resistance had come to a halt.

Since then the culture of the island had become a mixed of Chinese and Japanese influences. Part of this was due to the Japanese local government stomping out foot binding and opium use. But also part of it was how much Japanese literature, cinema, music, and art had become a part of the island’s life.

Utsunimiya could walk about the Port of Gaoxiong and feel secure. Many of the people walking the streets had brothers, sons, and fathers in the Japanese military. It was said soldiers, pilots, and sailors from the island were some of the most baring and bold in battle.

Many of the newspapers and signs were in Japanese. The people worked, played, and spent much of their time speaking in Japanese.

There were Japanese movies being made in Taiwan - mostly due to the lower costs of such a production. Even the traditional puppet shows had changed as the puppets now wore Japanese fashions and even Japanese music was used during the shows.

The island even had baseball now. It had become so popular that even the schools had baseball teams. Many of these teams did so well they ended up playing in Tokyo during the national high-school baseball tournament!

Of course Japanese government officials had improved on the roads, railroads, public health, and even brought in Shintoism. The Japanese had also brought the first banking system to the island.

Yet there was still a hint of the mainland about the place. Some of the restaurants, some of the buildings, some of the street fashion still screamed Chinese.

It was strange and friendly at the same time. The people had become as close to becoming Japanese as they could without living in Tokyo. And that made the General even more homesick.



The Economic Front​

By the 16th of March the amount of fuel was twice the size it had been during the last days of the Second Sino-Japanese War. But the Navy wanted it bigger and the government agreed. There could never be ENOUGH fuel stored in Japan’s stockpiles.

There was still the issue of the metal and rare materials. Those stockpiles were decreasing. Slowly and, to be honest, that was normal when you take into account the growing number of factories. More and more were being repaired in China and becoming active.

In fact Japan’s industrial base had increased by 19 percent. With Japan’s super-efficient management of its factories and the lack of corruption the real output of its industry was around 43 percent more than it would normally be. And this would just grow as the number of factory complexes grew!

So an agreement was made to import rare materials from the Soviet Union. Of course offers from the Netherlands and the UK were both turned down.

On the other hand the Chief of Staff had weird ideas about diplomacy. First, on the 17th of March, he had Foreign Affairs suggest a Non-Aggression Pact to the Gunagxi Clique which everybody knew they would turn down. Which they did.

On the 22nd Germany asked Japan to join it again in an alliance called the “Axis” and once again it was turned down.

Then on the 25th the Chief of Staff demanded that the government place an Embargo on Guangxi Clique. Which Japan was not trading with anyway. No matter - it was passed in the Diet.

He also wanted to demand Transit Rights from Portugal to see how far he could push them. But in the end decided not to send the request because it was likely that they might give Japan permission to do so.



The Military Front​

While the Chief of Staff was playing at politics the Army did what it did best. It marched. And it was the perfect month for it. By the afternoon of the 19th of March all the divisions were in place.

Then it, like the IJN and the IJAA, waited for its superiors to start the war.



Misc. Events​

But the Chief of Staff wasn’t just playing at politics. It seemed he liked to dabble in the field of intelligence gathering and espionage.

On the 16th of March, for example, he ordered the Head of Intelligence to send spies into Xibei San Ma to increase their threat to Japan. After all that nation, if it could be called that, was on the list of those to be annexed or turned into a ‘puppet’ state.

On the 18th he also ordered the Head of Intelligence to send more spies to start disrupting the national unity of the Guangxi Clique AND also ordered that spies start stealing their technology. The Head of Intelligence obeyed even though he knew this would not help in way, shape, or form in bringing war closer to reality.

By the end of the month the Head of Intelligence reported that from the 16th to the 31st the Guangxi Clique captured four Japanese agents, Yunnan captured four Japanese agents, Brazil captured nine Japanese agents, the US captured eight Japanese agents, Portugal captured one Japanese agent, and Canada captured one Japanese agent.

Many blamed these horrible numbers on the low standards the Intelligence Department had when recruiting their foreign agents. Most were picked for their greed and lack of loyalty towards their own people. Not the best qualities one wanted in their operatives who were carrying out secret missions in other lands.

On the other hand Japanese Security captured one spy from Guangxi Clique, one spy from Xibei San Ma, and one spy from Yunnan.

One piece of good news that the Head of Intelligence was able to pass on to the military Chiefs and government Ministers was that Brazil, whose government was already Right-Wing in its politics, was becoming more and more Pro-German. It would likely join the ‘Axis’ before, or at the time, the Americans did. Hopefully.

Funny enough if Brazil went full ‘Fascist’ and started invading its neighbors there was little the US could do about it. They had guaranteed Brazil’s independence, along with the rest of South American, and couldn’t do anything if Brazil decided to start annexing the smaller nations. The Monroe Doctrine protected the American nations from outside influence. In other words, Europe, and it didn’t say anything about local American nations beating each other up.

If Brazil joined up with Germany, of course, that would change things. But for now, if Brazil decided to do things on their own they could ‘legally’ get away with it. Kind of like Japan’s position in Asia at the moment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author’s Notes:

OOC: In game terms 19 percent is a whole 19 factories! Golly GEE! Our pre-war IC base was 100. But due to our tech we have a higher output. Problem - much of it is going to radios, toasters, and collectible baseball cards. Stupid peace time! But as our IC increases the speed of our builds also increases AND more coal and oil can be converted. Also the Dockyards and Aluminum gives us speed boosts in the making of ships and aircraft. So we should do okay till somebody nukes us.
 
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Chapter Eighty-Eight : Chinese Rebels - 1.4.1938 To 14.4.1938

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Chapter Eighty-Eight : Chinese Rebels - 1.4.1938 To 14.4.1938



The Economic Front​

By the 1st of April the Japanese economy had settled down to something that seemed sane. The people were happy as everybody was getting their fashionable outfits, their radios, their music records, and their brand new cars.

And the military was happy about the overflowing stockpiles of supplies and fuel. Mostly. There was a complaint from the 6. Mountain Division about a lack of supplies on the 10th. They were in some very rough country on the border with the Guangxi Clique and supplies were just not getting to them.

A Trade Deal was made with the USA to export supplies, in fact. Which would bring money to the Treasury and, hopefully, bring good relationships with the Americans.

There was some issues. Cuba canceled a Agreement with Japan. And Japan canceled a Agreement with South Africa. And it also turned down offers from France and the Netherlands. But there events did nothing to hinder the economy.

Everything looked like clear sailing from there. Until the 14th. (See The Military Front)


Li Zongren - Warlord And Socialist

The Plan For Guangxi Clique​

It was the 3rd of April, a Sunday, and the Prince was working at home. He never really EVER stopped working. But this time he was looking forward to it. The Plan for the invasion of Guangxi Clique had arrived that morning.

He had waited till much of the household had turned in before going to his private office, turning on the lights, and unlocking the briefcase that had been delivered.

The nation of Guangxi Clique was a interesting entity. It had been, technically, part of the Republic while, at the same time, separate.

Li Zongren, the Guangxi Warlord and Kuomintang military commander, had done nothing to help the Republic during its war with Japan. Japanese agents within the nation suggested that there was evidence that Li Zongren was, in fact, a Left-Wing Radical! (OOC)


The plan was pretty simple. The Clique’s military forces was mostly militia units and they were outnumbered by the Japanese forces. And likely they didn’t have the equipment, leadership, or training to take on the Japanese in a fair fight anyway. Therefore the General suggested that the Imperial Japanese Army try for ‘breakthroughs’. In other words smash holes into the enemy lines and try to get behind. Or just charge through existing holes.

Of course the newly formed IJAA would bomb the enemy units where it was felt to do the most damage.

Then, at T+ 7 days, three Infantry Divisions of the Specials Corps would land in the Port of Guangzhou. Funny enough this major port had been mostly forgotten in earlier discussions of the ‘nation’. It was the fifth port and was a urban center that was equal to Nanning, the enemy Capital, in size and importance.


The Navy would provide transport AND the Carrier would be assigned to this operation to help give air support to the invasion and all follow up operations. The idea was these troops could try to strike out north and cut off the eastern region. Starving those enemy units trapped there.

Of course the enemy government would react to such an attack by sending in anything it had in reserves. Maybe even pulling units out of the front line.


Which was why the next operation would happen at T-21 days. Two Infantry Divisions would take the Ports of Fangchenggang and Beihai. Once these cities were secure the units could march on Nanning. By then it would be either undefended or already under attack by approaching units from the north.

Of course, during the war, one group of submarines would be hunting for, and sinking, convoys. If there was anything to sink.

The whole plan sounded very complete. Both Naval operations were taking important provinces, cutting off trade, and would likely cause Li Zongren to panic.

The General believed that the whole war could take as little as two months. The Prince hoped for a shorter period of time but after the Army’s last performance he was unwilling to make any promises. Not that he said such things aloud, of course.

Now all they needed was an excuse the Prince thought to himself as he carefully returned the maps and paperwork back to the briefcase. He locked it and placed it into a safe behind his desk. Copies would be made when needed. Until then it would stay in his residence.


Rebel Scum

The Military Front​

During the first part of the month of April there were wasn’t much happening. There was some excitement within the Navy as the newest Carrier would be launching on the 24th of April.

But in reality there was only two important events to note that happened within this time period for the military.

One was the Imperial Japanese Navy splitting the 4th Task Group into TWO Groups on the 14th. One was still named the 4th Task Group and still contained the Ryujo II, two Battleships, one Heavy Cruiser, two Light Cruisers, two Destroyer Flotillas, and three Transport Flotillas.

The other was named the 1st Navy and contained two Battleships, one Heavy Cruiser, two Light Cruisers, two Destroyer Flotillas, and two Transport Flotillas.

This was, of course, to prepare for the Naval operations of the upcoming war. (See The Section Above)

The other event was a uprising in the Province of Tongcheng. Seems that Chinese ‘Nationalists’ had overthrown the local government and declared the ‘independence’ of China. Of course the Japanese government declared them nothing but rebels and demanded the military do something about them.


The two Tactical Air Groups in the airbases at Nanchang were ordered to destroy the rebellion from the air. In fact they would launch four Ground Attacks on the Rebels and killed 651 of them in the first day of the Revolt.

Of course the Army was also told to take care of it. And overreacted.


The WHOLE front started going north till the Prince canceled their orders.

“Let’s not use a hammer to kill a fly,” he said to his staff. “Ask the Special Corps to send a division. ONE DIVISION. To deal with the rebels.”

By late afternoon of the 14th the Imperial Guards had been loaded onto the transports of the 4th Task Group. Which had then been ordered to the Port of Shanghai.

There would be a lot of marching in their future.


Brazil Does Not Trust The Netherlands?

Misc. Events​

On the morning of the 8th of April the Head of Intelligence, Yasuji Okamura, was working away in his office. He was there earlier than normal due to the never ending paperwork that always piled up in his inbox when he wasn’t around. It was a Friday and he hoped to make a dent in it before the weekend.

Of course he took a lot of it home with him so his weekends were not much different from his weekdays.

He was going over a report from Brazil when one of his clerks knocked on the office door and poked his head in.

“Yes?” Yasuji asked.

The clerk looked nervous as he said, “Sir, the Chief of Staff, Prince Kan’in, has arrived and wishes to speak to you. Should I let him in?”

“Of course!” replied Yasuji. “And bring some tea!”

As the Prince was escorted in, and a tray of fresh tea and small cookies were placed on the desk, the Head of Intelligence bowed his head and asked, “How are you doing? It’s a surprise to see you.”

The Prince bowed back and placed his hat on his lap. “Good morning. Sadly I am here on business. I have come to ask you to help me understand WHY the Guangxi Clique think the UK are a greater threat than we are.”

The Head of Intelligence waited for the clerk to finish filling their cups and leaving the officer before he said, with a somewhat knowing smile, “That’s easy to explain. Because of Hong Kong.”

“What? A colony?”

The Head of Intelligence sipped some of his tea and continued, “Yes. Hong Kong is part of the British Empire. And the nations of Asia are going to see it as a greater threat than us. Take the Netherlands for example. We are making them look like a threat to our people. Yet Brazil has come to think of the Netherlands as a threat to them. Even greater than, say, the UK. Of course Brazil is next to a few European colonies. One of them belongs to the Netherlands.”

The Prince responded to this with a sigh before trying some of the tea. “Brazil isn't the issue right now. We have an army right on the border of the Guangxi Clique and they think the UK is a greater threat? Inconceivable!”

“If I may be direct, Sir,” replied Yasuji, “the Imperial Army didn’t really perform that well in the Second Sino-Japanese War. I doubt anybody is impressed with us right now. The UK’s military are going to look much more impressive.”

The Prince silently finished his tea and stood up. “Thank you for your insight.” At that point the Prince gave a shallow bow and left.

The Head of Intelligence finished his tea before returning to his work. He seemed to have a small smile on his face.

---​

On the 13th the Germans, once again, offered to let the Japanese join them in the ‘Axis’. And they were turned down.

By the end of the 14th the Head of Intelligence announced that Portugal had captured three Japanese agents, the USA had captured three Japanese agents, Brazil had captured four Japanese agents, Yunnan had captured two Japanese agents, Canada had captured one Japanese agent, and the Netherlands had captured two Japanese agents.

While Japanese Security had arrested one spy from the Soviet Union and one spy from the Philippines.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

Author’s Notes:

OOC: Wow, the game really screwed up the background and history of Li Zongren!!!
 
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Chapter Eighty-Nine : Crushing Rebels - 15.4.1938 To 30.4.1938

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Chapter Eighty-Nine : Crushing Rebels - 15.4.1938 To 30.4.1938



The Economic Front​

The economy was mostly stable during this time period.

The US did cancel a Agreement with Japan. But it did little to hurt Japan’s stockpiles.

On the other hand a very good Trade Deal was made with the UK for the import of Rare Materials.

On the 28th of April the Research Team working on Multi-Role aircraft announced they had finished. It would allow for the production of Fighter-Bombers who had almost twice the range of the Interceptors.


After a short celebration the Team was assigned to improving the Research of Naval Engineering.

Then on the 30th of April Turkey requested permission to produce a Wing of Ki-30s. Which the government approved without a problem.



The Military Front​

On the 15th of April to the two Tactical Bomber Groups bombed the Rebels three times and killed 589 of them. After this they were joined by a CAG. (See Below)

On the evening of the 15th the 4th Task Group finally entered the Port of Shanghai where they stated to unload the Imperial Guard Division sent to wipe out the Rebels.

Major General Nishihara oversaw the unloading of his men and his artillery pieces. He was one of those officers who liked to supervise everything. He was as likely to be in the mess watching how much salt was used to cook the rice to helping the Quartermaster staff check the inventory. As a Trickster and a man skilled at Offensive tactics he was the perfect commander to CRUSH the rebellion before it spread.

If only he could chase them down.

Even as the Major General ordered his men westwards the Ryujo CAG was commanded to attack the Rebels. And therefore the CAG started to join the Army Air Groups in their attacks. Together they attacked the Rebels thirty-eight times and killed 3,495 of the Rebels by the end of the uprising.

On the 15th it was noticed by the Chief of Staff that the 5. Cavalry Division was trying to head north to join in the conflict. And it was, of course, told to halt and stay on the border.

The Rebels, even whole being bombed, kept moving northwards. At first it looked like they were going to liberate the old Capital but in the end they bypassed it.

On the 17th the 7. Cavalry started to head north and the Chief of Staff told them to halt and say in the border.

On the 19th the Imperial Guards marched into the Province of Nanjing. Why the Rebels had not taken it was unknown. It was noticed by the Army officers that the locals had already repaired some of their factories and roads.

The 7. Cavalry, on the 20th, once again tried to head north and was told to halt. The Chief of Staff was starting to get annoyed at the ‘China Operations’ HQ's refusal to keep still.

He ordered the Ministry of Armaments to move up three Cavalry Divisions already being trained. The idea was a small Anti-Partisan Group would be formed in China using Cavalry and, maybe, a Tactical Bomber Group to deal with future rebellions. Of course these units were not pushed ahead of the Carriers or the Factory Complexes.

The newest Carrier, the Akagi II, was finally launched into the waters in the Port of Hiroshima. One of the waiting CAGs were renamed and assigned to the Carrier. Which was than added to the 2nd Task Group.

The Imperial Guard finally chased the Rebels down on the 25th of April. Over nine thousand veterans, with supporting artillery, against over four thousand peasants armed with hunting rifles and shotguns. The report was the Rebels were also TOTALLY disorganized and half their original ranks had been wiped out by Ground Attacks.


The Battle of Wuhei wasn’t really a battle. Neither side lost a man as the Chinese either turned themselves in or ran away. An army of 4,188 Rebels just collapsed without a bullet being wasted.

The Guards were ordered to ‘free’ the Provinces of Wuhei and then move south to clear the other provinces of the ‘Rebel’ governments.

So by the 30th of April the Rebellion had been crushed. And many newspapers were starting to take more notice of the newest branch of the military. After all, it seems that the IJAA had pretty much destroyed the rebellion almost without any help from the other two branches.





Misc. Events​


Much of the events outside of China and Japanese’s economy had to deal with espionage.

The Head of Intelligence reported that, between the 15th of April and the 30th, Brazil had captured six Japanese agents, the Netherlands had captured two Japanese agents, the Guangxi Clique had captured three Japanese agents, Canada had captured one Japanese agent, Portugal had captured seven Japanese agents, Yunnan had captured three Japanese agents, and the US had captured one Japanese agent.

Security reported the arrest of one spy from Iraq and the arrest of one spy from the Guangxi Clique.

Also, for some reason, a file had been fold in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that shows that a Non-Aggression Pact had existed between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China that would not expire till October 1941. No doubt a fake but it did cause some confusion within the government’s ranks.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author’s Notes:

OOC: As I will likely not get back to this AAR till next year, due to the Holidays, let me suggest some reading material to occupy your time while I am gone:


Pacific Empire by G. Miki Hayden published by JoNa Books is a series of short stories in a world where Japan did NOT lose World War II.


Rising Sun Victorious which is edited by Peter G. Tsouras and published by Greenhill Books is ten chapters, each one a what-if, of how Japan MAY have won the war. Mr. Tsouras has a few books out there and I have most of them


And last, but not least, Tsushima 1905 : Death of a Russian Fleet by Mark Lardas published by Osprey. I have a few of their books also. Mostly on World War Two and Roman military.
 
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serutan

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the Imperial Army didn’t really perform that well in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
I can only say that the Head of Intelligence would certainly know what "didn't really perform well" looks like.

OOC - If I ever decide to pick up HOI3, these AARs have taught me 2 things - 1) use Arcade Mode 2) NEVER let the AI control anything.
 
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Wraith11B

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I can only say that the Head of Intelligence would certainly know what "didn't really perform well" looks like.

OOC - If I ever decide to pick up HOI3, these AARs have taught me 2 things - 1) use Arcade Mode 2) NEVER let the AI control anything.
I'll allow the second, but the first... no, that makes it all too easy for the Human player.
 
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nuclearslurpee

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I'll allow the second, but the first... no, that makes it all too easy for the Human player.
Arcade Mode can actually have one good effect, in that the AI when pocketed (as it so easily is) won't become a pushover when it runs out of supplies, so reducing a large pocket can still be a serious endeavor. Similar goes for AI naval invasions if the ports are cut off.

There was a Germany AAR here some time ago where the player put the difficulty up to maximum partway through the game and eventually lost to the combined Soviet/Allies in part due to the lack of supply problems the AIs faced.
 
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El Pip

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The Military Front
Look at those army cowards wearing parachutes. You would never catch the pilots on the IJN's carriers using such dishonourable items. Victory or death, that's the true way of the Rising Sun.
 
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roverS3

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Returning from a short trip on my boat, I found this beautiful plan to take down the Guanxi Clique. Having the Army distract their border troops while the navy does all the fighting that really matters. I have no objections on that point.

Long range fighters are a no brainer for us, so I'm glad we finally managed to develop them. That said, there is no need for very long range bombers, when the navy can easily park an Aircraft Carrier off the coast of whichever place needs to be bombed.

I couldn't help but notice researchers are being wasted on theoretical research on the topic of naval engineering. This seems like a superfluous intellectual exercise when you consider that our researchers would learn just as much about naval engineering by researching and immediately applying technical knowhow to the development of a new Battleship Hull, Engine setup, or Main Armament. Sure, that kind of development would take a little bit longer, but at least we get something useful at the other end, instead of some new ideas that still have to be applied in a ship's design anyway. Of course, it's still a better investment than to research anything for the IJA.

The use of bombers against the rebels clearly save the IJA from an embarrassing defeat on the ground. It's an effective way of dealing with uprisings and enemies of the state, and the ground forces are just there to sweep up the pieces, which is about all they're good for, and that's being generous. I mean, they even had to send their 'elite' Imperial Guards to do such a simple job.

As for the economy, our stockpiles finally seem to be balancing out, and even growing. Better late than never I guess, let's keep it that way.

The Kempetai keeps fumbling about in the dark, and employing common criminals to do it's bidding. Disappointing, but that's the level of performance we've come to expect of them, when they're not hounding government advisors, that is.

Captain RobaS3,
Happy that things aren't worse. Stability is a nice thing, even if some things still need to change.

OOC: Have some great holidays, and thanks for the reading suggestions.
 
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Chapter Ninety : Cleaning Up - 1.5.1938 To 15.5.1938 New

Eurasia

HoI3 AI ExperimentAAR
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Utsunimiya’s War
(HoI3 TFH - Interactive Japan AAR)
Chapter Ninety : Cleaning Up - 1.5.1938 To 15.5.1938



The Economic Front​

By early May it was noticed that the Chinese territories were slowly starting to recover from the conflict. The Provinces of Hefei, Wuhan, and Nanchang had totally recovered from the bombings and fighting while the Provinces of Yan’an and Nanjing were in the process of rebuilding. This was wonderful news. As every factory complex that was repaired added to the industrial might of the Japanese Empire.

On the other hand some nations, such as Albania, were canceling their Trade Agreements with Japan. These agreements had brought cash into the nation’s economy. It meant that the Treasury was, once again, in the ‘Red’.

To counter this the Foreign Minister exported some supplies to South Africa, Australia, Argentina, and the United States. In return, of course, for cash money.

He also made a deal with the Netherlands, funny enough, to import some Rare Materials and also made deals with Chile and Canada to import more Metal.

By the middle of May everything was looking good but for the nation’s stockpiles of Metal and Rare Materials which were still being used up faster than they could be collected.

Still, as long as the Fuel Stockpile was increasing, that was all that mattered.



The Military Front​

On the 1st of May the Imperial Guard Division was marching towards the Province of Ma’anshan to free it of the Rebels who controlled it.

The Province was liberated on the morning of the 3rd and the unit continued to the south to then free the Province of Tongcheng.

Which was liberated on the morning of the 5th. At that point the division was ordered to march back to the Port of Shanghai.

On the 6th the 6. Mountain Division started to complain about a lack of supplies.


Seems the mountaineers were in the perfect spot NOT to receive any supplies. There was nothing that could be done - the infrastructure was already being worked on.

By the 12th the Imperial Guards finally reached the Port of Shanghai and were loaded onto the 4th Task Group. Which was ordered to return to the Port of Gaoxiong with the unit.

The Task Group arrived there by the late evening on the 13th and the military settled down to wait for the next problem to appear.

As they waited the Imperial Japanese Navy received TWO new CAG Wings. One on the 14th and one on the 15th. Both were deployed to the airbases in the Province of Hiroshima to wait on the Carriers they would be assigned to.


For some reason the Mongol Army HQ was heading towards Japanese territory. Its target seemed to be the Province of Leting. It was unknown why. It didn’t seem to have logistic issues and it was pretty sure its units could defeat the Comintern units it was facing. Could it be heading to Japanese territory to ensure future logistics wasn’t a problem?

It was one of the only Theater HQs NOT complaining.



Misc. Events​

Outside Japan’s sphere of influence there were few events of importance.

Mostly it was noticed that there were a lot more broken deals between nations. Canada broke off deals with many nations in the Americas including the US. While Germany had refused a deal with the USSR.

There was a theory that tensions between nations was starting to increase but this was likely wishful thinking on the government’s part.

The Head of Intelligence reported that Portugal captured one Japanese agent, Brazil captured five Japanese agents, the US captured three Japanese agents, the Netherlands captured two Japanese agents, and Yunnan captured one Japanese agent.

Security announced the arrest of a spy from Tannu Tuva.

It was also reported that the people of Germany and Portugal both saw the Netherlands as the greatest threat in Europe. While everyone else still saw Japan as the greatest threat to them and their way of life.

And the populace of Japan saw the Soviet Union as the greatest threat to the nation. A view which the Pro-Army media supported and the Pro-Navy media tried to discredit.
 
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