Here is my new TL/story. Thanks to all on the Operation PX thread who commented and any ideas you have please put there or comment here. Let me know what you all think. HOW SILENT FALL THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS An alternate history by Geon Date: November 5, 1944 Location: 40 miles due west of Los Angeles Time: 6:05 p.m. PST In the waning light of sunset three submarines, each bearing the insignia of the IJN surfaced in the rough waters off the coast of California. Within moments hatches opened and a small cadre of well-trained men emerged to begin preparations for one of the most audacious and deadly submarine operations of World War II. Even a casual observer would have been stunned by the size of these three vessels. Each one was at least 400 feet long. There would not be a sub to equal them in sheer size until the coming of the so-called “boomer” nuclear missile submarines. Their engines gave them a range of 37,500 nautical miles which meant that they could easily circle the globe. And they were armed with 8 torpedo tubes. But their main claim to fame was the odd humpback shape just forward of their bridge. This “humpback” was an aircraft hanger. Each of these submarines, dubbed the I-400s was a submersible aircraft carrier capable of carrying 3 Seiran seaplanes. Each plane was capable of carrying either an 800 kilogram bomb or a torpedo. Today each aircraft had a single bomb slung on their undercarriage. The bombs had been loaded in Tokyo by special technicians before the submarines had left on their mission. All of the technicians and mechanics who would ready the aircraft for flight had been warned not to touch them other then ensuring they were properly secured before the planes took off. The crews worked quickly to prepare each plane for launch. They had drilled for weeks in Tokyo to the point where they could in less then 30 minutes have each plane fueled and ready on the catapult launch ramp located forward of the hangers to be launched. Time was of the essence. There was no telling how long it would be before the Americans’ coastal radar systems or patrolling destroyers detected them. Within twenty five minutes all nine planes were ready for flight. Semaphores flashed between the submarines which were spaced approximately 3 miles apart alerting them to prepare for launch. Ordinarily staying this close in enemy waters was suicide but for the attack plan to work all nine planes had to be launched as quickly as possible. On each sub three pilots emerged and rendered final salutes to the officers on deck and to the air crews as they boarded their planes. Each one wore the traditional hachimaki head scarf and had taken a ceremonial toast of sake before beginning this flight. Although officially the captains of the various subs would remain on station to recover the planes if possible for the next two hours in reality it was known by one and all that all nine pilots were starting their final fights. None of them expected to return and had prepared accordingly. At 6:35 p.m. the nine planes began their take offs from the catapults of the three subs. By 6:50 all nine planes were airborne and bound for their target: Los Angeles.