Index: Post #1: Prologue Post #7: Pearl Harbor Post #41: Wake Post #86: The Philippines Post #90: Malaya Post #108: Dutch East Indies Post #115: Doolittle Post #125: Coral Sea, Part I Post #134: Coral Sea, Part II Post #140: Coral Sea, Part III Post #148: Diversions and Raids Post #154: Midway, Part I Post #164: Midway, Part II Post #165: Midway, Part III Post #202: Midway, Part IV Post #214: Midway, Part V Note: Midway, Parts I-V updated on 2/25. Post #253: Midway, Part VI Post #256: Midway, Part VII Post #285: Pacific: adj., peaceful, calm… Post #292: The Gilberts Campaign, Part I Post #299: The Gilberts Campaign, Part II Post #308: The Solomons Campaign, Part I November 5th, 1941, aboard CV Akagi, at sea off Yokosuka, Japan. Admiral Nagumo cursed as the line connecting his flagship to the tanker parted. The first such mishap had drawn no reaction from him at all – accidents happen at sea, especially when practicing new techniques. Two men injured, one seriously, and a cable lost was a small price to pay for learning the ability to refuel ships at sea. The second time a cable had parted had drawn a frown, quickly suppressed. The frown had returned briefly when word was brought to him that this time there had been a fatality. That had been three hours, four broken cables, eighteen injuries, five fatalities, and one near-collision ago. “Enough!” Nagumo snapped. “Signal ‘discontinue evolution’ and make preparations for returning to Yokosuka.” “Hai.” November 10th, 1941, aboard BB Nagato, Iwakuni, Japan. Admiral Yamamoto managed to restrain his curse. “Two weeks?” “If we are to count on underway refueling for the upcoming operations, yes,” Nagumo replied calmly. “The additional time would be of great benefit in other ways. Zuikaku has been in commission for less than two months, and Shokaku barely three. Their air groups are inexperienced.” “It is less than a month to the target date. Your force is to sail in sixteen days, and you want two extra weeks? Impossible.” “Perhaps, then, the operation should be cancelled,” Nagumo replied, still with his maddening calm. “The operation is vital. It can not be cancelled.” “Then in order to have Kido Butai ready, I shall require two additional weeks of training.” “You were able to transfer fuel from the tanker to Akagi, and to the destroyers, were you not?” Yamamoto countered. “Barely more than half the time, in moderate seas, with our most experienced tanker crew and one of our best carriers. The destroyers fared even worse.” This time, Yamamoto only barely managed to restrain his curse. “I shall speak to Nagano. Many operations would have to be delayed. Oil is running short. You are to continue to make all possible preparations to depart on schedule.” November 12th, 1941, Imperial General HQ, Tokyo, Japan. “THREE weeks?!” “If we are not to strike on the 8th, then that would be the ideal time. Task Force 1 is scheduled to sail on the 12th, and then Task Force 2 on the 17th. They will not both be in port again until the 27th. The 28th, Hawaii time, allows time for any delays and is a Sunday, just like the original target date of the 7th, Hawaii time,” the Intelligence officer replied. “More than just the Oahu raid is involved in this operation! More than just the Navy is involved! Malaya, the Philippines, everything will have to change,” General Sugiyama protested. “Yamamoto is most insistent…” Shimada began. “Enough.” Tojo’s single word silenced the room. “Our meetings with The Emperor continue. A decision of this magnitude can not be made without him. Whatever the plans may say, the final date is not set until it is set by him.” December 19th, 1941, aboard BB Nagato, Hashirajima, Japan. “So, it is to be war,” Yamamoto said quietly. “The Emperor has so ordered. War with the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands will begin on December 29th.” “So be it. Signal to Kido Butai: Climb Mount Niitaka, 1229.” * A few notes are in order. First, the international date line makes dates somewhat complicated. For TTL, the Japanese will, as they historically did, refer to Tokyo time unless explicitly stated otherwise. The US will generally refer to local time. The PoD is the IJN deciding to conduct underway replenishment exercises prior to the fleet sailing for the Pearl Harbor operation. These do not go well (casualties occurred during the OTL raid), and as shown above the end result is that the raid will take place on 12/28, not 12/7. According to CINCPAC File No. A4-3/FF12/(13), Serial 01254, US Pacific Fleet, August 13th, 1941, Task Forces 1 and 2 (with all the battleships plus USS Saratoga CV3 and USS Enterprise CV6) were scheduled to be in port that day. USS Saratoga would have returned from the refit on the Pacific Coast that kept her out of Pearl IOTL, and USS Enterprise will be back from her delivery run. As far as I can tell, the quarterly employment schedule’s contents were known to the Japanese, though further details (like USS Saratoga’s refit) were not. IOTL USS Enterprise’s ferry mission departed on November 28th, per the schedule, partly in order not to arouse suspicion. http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/timeline/410813apac.html I intend to carry this timeline through to the end of the Pacific War, with occasional references to events elsewhere. This will mostly be in “textbook” form; but I felt the introduction should be a little more personal. Questions, comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism are welcome. Edits to add & update Index.