Realistically, no. You could probably get a train through Ostrava, but it really doesn't help much at all. By the time you've got it organised (and this would have to be pool petrol only bought directly from Romanian refineries - anything else would add a month) the war is almost certain to be over and you'll have alternative sources of supply arranged through occupied Germany.Yeah, but the question is whether British efforts in southern Poland can be better supplied directly from Romania without going the long way round. The *money* advantage of the Entente over the Germans was *significant* in many ways...
If anything, I suspect it would be in slightly heavier use in OTL - with the Soviets still a major threat, it makes sense for the Union government to want to reduce the criticality of their dependence on Baltic trade a bit. That probably means some sort of subsidy for the Narvik railway after the war to encourage it's use a bit.Why would it be obsolete? It's not like it was a new railroad, anyway - it was a double-tracking of an existing railroad. In @, the railroad between Kiruna and Narvik is still in heavy use today.
I've got some ideas along those lines, but they are very much half-baked. The only thing I'm sure of is that the situation hasn't come to a boil quite yet.+1. Actually, +1000.
Umm... I'm not at all convinced, actually.However, I note that if the Entente and/or the US must pick a winner in the civil war, they'll want it to be the IJN. Reason: an insane enemy is a dangerously unpredictable enemy. You'd much rather deal with a foe whose responses you understand and can plan against...and while I won't say the IJA is fanatic nutjobs all the way down that is close enough to true to be determinative.
- Fundamentally, the IJA is interested in China - everything else is secondary to this, and the OTL attacks on the outside powers (UK, US, etc.) were all about getting hold of the resources needed to support their war in China. So far as the British are concerned, whatever the Japanese are up to in China isn't worth the bones of one Brummie grenadier. The US thinks slightly differently, but fundamentally the IJA can do more or less whatever it wants in China without interference. This means there is a relatively straightforward modus vivendi with the IJA.
- The IJN is much more outward-looking, onto the Pacific in particular. Worse, they were trained by the RN who have a long tradition of gunboat diplomacy and grabbing useful islands that were lying around. This is much more likely to bring them into conflict with the British and Americans, who both have territories in the region to which they pose a threat. In particular, the Australians are going to be very nervous about an IJN-dominated Japan since they're the obvious target for a populous, resource-hungry naval power: indeed, that's exactly how Australia was formed in the first place.
Honestly, I don't particularly think that either is more sane than the other in this situation: the IJA have done a calculation that the forces opposing them in the Far East are ones they can deal with (true, so long as Germany is still fighting). However, the IJA aren't trying to fight battleships, and the IJN have looked at the forces they would be asked to fight and come to a very different conclusion. This isn't a case where one is less sane than the other - they are just looking at the forces they are respectively going to have to fight and coming to different conclusions.We on here have decided that the IJA were the crazy ones and the IJN the reasonable ones, but this is largely because we have Word of God on this, which allow us to see through their calculations and cast them in those roles.
Unlikely - the fact that it isn't all that important for France (well, excepting Indochina - and the Dutch will have something significant to say too) is going to lead to them being less interested in doing anything, rather than developing their own independent policy. One of the big lessons that I'm assuming comes out of this war for the Entente powers is that because they did not hang together in the run-up to the war they were almost hanged separately. They are therefore trying in so far as possible to have a common or at least well aligned foreign & defence policy.The idea of helping the IJN will sound about as reasonable as funding a retirement home for man-eating sharks to most westerners. There might even be significant dissensions within the Entente - for Britain, the Far East is vastly more important than it is for France.
This also ties into my writing style - if I do decide to set up an IJA-IJN civil war, I'll set up the war and then see where it goes, rather than plotting it out based on a desired end-state.In all, I think a lot of the actors' attitude towards the belligerents will be shaped by a relatively small number of events in a very short time. If nothing happened and the Japanese just shot each other quietly for a few months, à la phoney war, then sure, the GP would quietly make their calculations; but it is much more likely imho that there will be "incidents" - big ones. What happens if foreign nationals in Japan are harmed during the fighting? If the IJN manages to get the emperor to do their PR? If the IJA in China walks into HK, the concessions or KCW? If some idiots decide that dragging in the US is the best idea to defeat the IJN or force them to unite in a foreign war? In all, a lot of things can happen that would either confirm the GP actors' preconceptions or allow them to frame either side as the baddies and spare them the trouble of trying to figure it out through the FOW. For the public, and to some extent for deciders, they will determine which options are "feasible", "necessary" and "out of the question". So, instead of trying to calculate objectively which outcome of the war would suit the GP best, we have to try and figure out what the Japanese factions will do and how it will shape the GP's fluid assessment of the situation.
The other thing to be aware of is that nuclear weapons are coming soon - but that the way things are going they will be quite widespread before they get used in a war. We aren't going to have the horrible example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (or even Hamburg, Tokyo and Dresden) to scare people into not using them - which is likely to mean that the threshold to use them will be significantly lower than it was in OTL. Indeed, you may see a reversion to 1930s thinking of "the bomber will always get through" and that single bombing raids are likely to have a decisive impact on civilian morale. Combined with the fact that a nuclear weapon gives you an awful lot of bang for the buck - implying that you're going to build a lot of them and integrate them heavily in your planning - and we're in a situation where any great power intervention could escalate out of control horribly in no time at all.
This was also in the context of the US embargo, however, which hasn't happened ITTL (due to France still being in the game and thus the Japanese not occupying Indochina). This is a major reason that the IJN haven't gone for war with the Western powers - they've still got access to oil.Not to mention the lower and mid-level IJN officers were becoming nearly as radical as their counterparts in the Army. Add in the issue that most of the civilian leadership who tried to moderate Japan's policies were discredited and that the army position had broad support. Basically most of the people in government favored facing the west it was a matter of tactics and timing.
Not much point fighting for them when the enemy is coming from the West - everything of interest (Berlin) is West of them.Seeing the Seelöwe Heights occupied without a fight (even when the enemy is coming from the West) is a tell-tale sign that the game has long since been over for the Nazis. The Union must be feeling really nervous right now when the Soviets are again moving the border posts in Eastern Europe.
BTW, it's Seelow - named after the town, not the unmentionable Pinniped.