Getting Ahead of Ourselves: A B-29 TL

Into the Fire, Part 3
After the marines secured Mount Lam Lam from the Japanese defenders, they were more easily able to advance south across the rest of Guam. On March 6th, with the rear of the Yona line on the verge of falling, General Kuribayashi prepared his counterattack. While the battle up north had played out, around 6,000 fresh troops had been hidden in reserve to the south. The assorted soldiers, sailors and other units had been waiting for a key moment to strike back. Under the command of Colonal Nishi, the reseve force also included 32 Chi-ha Shinhoto medium tanks, the only tanks on Guam that had been kept mobile. The tanks had been hidden in various locations on southern Guam, some were even parked next to shell craters where they were disguised to look knocked out.


That morning, Nishi was given the order to move out and to prepare for a general advance. This was not a banzai charge, but a coordinated attack, designed to compromise the enemy line to the greatest degree possible. As the tanks rumbled accross Talofofo, the hilly terrain kept them out of the marines sight until they were in range. The Marines had anti-tank weapons, but most of them were not on hand due to there being little perceived need. What's worse many of the shermans had been armed with flamethrowers, which increased the risk of the tanks exploding.


The attack caught the marines off guard. As the tanks advanced, the found their 47mm guns insufficient to penetrate the shermans frontal armor, instead opting to aim for the turret or tracks. The advancing infantry overwhelmed the American frontal positions, driving them back nearly three miles before nightfall. It was only then that a combination of close naval gunfire support and an army counterattack forced the Japanese to return to their positions.


By late March, Kuribayashi and his 25,000 remaining defenders were corralled into a portion of southern Guam with an area of just 15 square miles. Kuribayashi had managed to keep more of his men alive than anticipated, which made finding ammunition for them difficult. With his men being subjected to constant bombardment from all sides, the general prepared his final attack. In the days leading up to it, Kuribayashi had his men withdraw from several key positions, giving the impression that he was almost spent. In fact, the American estimate on April 1st was merely 12,000 remaining defenders.


There were no screams of "Banzai!!" to warn the Americans, the Japanese silently advanced to their objectives in the dark. As they closed the men fired and advanced, covering one another. The marines had only seconds of warning before bayonets emerged from the darkness to strike at them. Kuribayashi personally led the attack, his body never being recovered. The fighting lasted nearly a full day before the Americans were able to finish off the Japanese, suffering nearly 2,000 dead on this day alone.

After three days of mopping up, Guam was declared secure on April 15th. Despite this, thousands of stragglers and holdouts would remain. Many were equipped with explosives and thermite grenades, their mission being to sabotage efforts to contruct airfields for the B-29's. In light of the severe losses suffered on Guam, President Roosevelt agreed to consider the use of chemical weapons on Japanese territory.
 
Oh, that not going to end up well

Question: Since the A7M was cancelled, will the IJN now invest on the N1K3-A? (A planned naval variant of the "George")
 
So Nishi dies in a glorious final charge rather than ignominiously committing suicide in a cave redoubt after being blinded. A far worthier ending for such a fine soldier.

Wouldn't have expected Kuribayashi to die any differently in this timeline than how he met his end in real life. He never demanded his men to do anything he himself would have shied away from.
 
Part 16- Council of War

Pearl Harbor, April 20th 1944​


It was late, Admiral Nimitz was deep in discussion with Admirals Halsey and Spruance. The later was taking command of the Third Fleet, now the Fifth fleet. This wasn't a punishment, the marines and sailors alike adored Halsey for his diligent air support in the Marianas. But between the admiral's health, and the need for him to assist in rewriting naval doctrine, he was needed stateside. Before he left Nimitz wanted his imput on the coming campaign. Also attending were Admirals Oldendorf and Turner.


After nearly two hours of reorganization and reshuffling, Nimitz posed the real question "So, what and where should the next step toward victory be? I know Iwo Jima is the next agreed upon target, but there are other avenues that can be taken first" "Well sir" Spruance stood to speak "I'm less concerned with Iwo Jima at the moment, and more worried about the massive fork in our shin to the south." he pointed at several red splotches on the map that corresponded to Japanese positions "The Gilberts, the Marshalls, the Carolines, and Palau. All of them provide a route for Jap air and naval assets to approach the Marianas from the south. Frankly, even if the seabees get those airfields up and running, I would not feel safe using them until the threat to the south is dealt with."


Nimitz nodded and turned to Halsey "Do you agree with that assessment Admiral?" "In spirit at least sir. However, and no offense Raymond, I think the threat on our southern flank isn't so dire. He's absolutely right the Japs can use these islands and their facilities to attack the Marianas, but not to the extent that we need to do anything urgently. The only air assets they can send on round trips from Palau are multi-engined aircraft, likely unescorted, which is no issue for the marine airmen. Furthermore any attempt to send a fleet that way would put them in range of planes based both in the Marianas, and New Guinea and the Solomans. We would not be caught flat-footed.


"So what's your recommendation?" Nimitz asked "We revise and expand operation Hailstone. There's no need to invade any of these islands, the Japs can't get any supply ships that far out. We launch a series of large attacks on the important bases such as Truk, to neutralize any remaining strike aircraft. Once that's done the garrisons can starve or surrender as they see fit, and it won't be of any significance to us." Spruance interjected "We agree on that, there is no need to put the marines through any more hell needlessly. The marine and army air garrison should suffice to protect our assets for now, Hailstone can wait until Iwo is secure."


"Which reminds me" Nimitz slouched and his face went grim "This does not leave the room until further notice, but President Roosevelt has given me some new leeway. He said that so long as we don't do it on allied occupied areas, and civillian presence is minimal, that the use of chemical weapons is authorized. Iwo Jima fits those conditions, so it will serve as the testing ground for it. Jesse, you'll receive a shipment of 14 inch shells for delivery of the gas, Raymond, you'll get 500 pound bombs for the same. I suspect the Japanese won't expect this and won't have their gas masks at the hip when the time comes."


The men sat in silence for a time, all of them felt war weary, more so than ever.
 
Oh yes, open the Pandora's box and experience what Tabun tastes like... Depending if the Germans start using gas given that the US started doing it so it might as well put a hold on any Soviet offensive. (They had no gas protection)
 
"Absolutely not!" President Roosevelt all but screamed into the phone, "I will never even consider the use of chemical weapons on American soil! And it is American soil, I would hope you at least realize that!".
In 1945, the "Lethbridge Report" proposed using mustard gas against the Japanese garrison of Iwo Jima. It was approved at every level in the US military - and vetoed without explanation by Roosevelt. (The plan was to substitute gas shells for most of the explosive shells fired by the Navy - without changing the markings. Thus the use of gas would be concealed.)
 
Question:
- Could the CAM
- For supporting the Ichi-Go offensive, could the Japanese finally give the Collaborationist Chinese Air Force the wanted Ki-27 Nate? It could helped protect the supply convoy
 
Question:
- Could the CAM
Sorry, I'm not sure what that means?

- For supporting the Ichi-Go offensive, could the Japanese finally give the Collaborationist Chinese Air Force the wanted Ki-27 Nate? It could helped protect the supply convoy

They probably will, with the Ki-84 production ramping up they'll have plenty to spare
 
Oh, F*, I forgot to put the rest (the net crashed and i've to restart the pc, and it seens that didn't saved all :p)
I wanted to say that will the IJN made a CAM-style system, but maybe using floatfighters instead of one-strip fighters like the British did
 
Oh, F*, I forgot to put the rest (the net crashed and i've to restart the pc, and it seens that didn't saved all :p)
I wanted to say that will the IJN made a CAM-style system, but maybe using floatfighters instead of one-strip fighters like the British did
Probably not, the logistics of installing all the equipment and finding trained pilots would take too long.
 
Question:
- Could the CAM
- For supporting the Ichi-Go offensive, could the Japanese finally give the Collaborationist Chinese Air Force the wanted Ki-27 Nate? It could helped protect the supply convoy
The Ki-27 is practically worthless by this point in the war. Doesn't even have the required ship-killing punch of a kamikaze aircraft.
 
True, but their purpose could be to: (A) defend the supplies lines; (B) distract the enemy forces (even if they can't catch them); (C) distrupt said attacks if possible
 
Oh yes, open the Pandora's box and experience what Tabun tastes like... Depending if the Germans start using gas given that the US started doing it so it might as well put a hold on any Soviet offensive. (They had no gas protection)
The USSR had significant chemical and biological weapons programmes and would retaliate in kind on a massive scale. Further they had nineteen Chemical Troops brigates, more than a quarter of which specialised in CW protection.


A minor point but the US Navy had no chemical shells for its naval artillery. Land based guns and mortars and aerial bombs were the planned delivery methods.
 
The USSR had significant chemical and biological weapons programmes and would retaliate in kind on a massive scale. Further they had nineteen Chemical Troops brigates, more than a quarter of which specialised in CW protection.
By the point of their retaliation their offensive operations will come to a halt in the face of nerve agents against their unprotected average Soviet men. It is obviously not going to win them the war but it might be enough to give them a respite from the Soviet Army for a few months.

And yes, they had Chemical Troops just like Germany, US, UK, France and so on. What they did not have was adequate protection against blisters and asphyxiation gas for the majority of troops part of Bagration while the average German (and US) soldier had moderate to good protection.

But, let's say at least half of the Soviet Army has CW protection, it will be little more than a slower death against nerve agents like Tabun and Sarin which the Allies have no knowledge of, let alone adequate protection.

If the Soviets are going to use biological weapons against the Germans then so will they with their, relatively small malaria research program. Though I am uncertain how effective BW will be against the Germans when the Soviets might get infected if anything by sheer proximity to a moving front.
 
Part 17- The Naval Battle of Iwo Jima

May 12th, 1944​


Admiral Spruance and the fifth fleet departed The Marianas bound toward Iwo Jima. While the key islands had been taken, Japanese garrisons remained on the islands of Rota, Sinapalau, and Pagan. These outpost passed along a warning to the home islands, and Admiral Ozawa decided to engage. Leaving Yokosuka just seven hours after the Americans left, he hoped to engage them as far south as possible.

The Japanese combined fleet was seperated into three forces. The "A Force" under Ozawa himself, consisted of the fleet carriers Taiho, Shokaku, and Zuikaku, as well as light carriers Jun'yo, Hiyo, and Ryuho. This force had an air wing of 143 Zeros 113 dive bombers, mostly Judys, and 69 Jill torpedo bombers. Accompanying cruiser and destroyer screen was reinforced by the battleships Fuso and Yamashiro.


The "Reserve Force" under Admiral Joshima consisted of the light carriers Chitose, Chiyoda, and Zuiho. The air wing consisted of 62 Zeros, and 26 torpedo bombers. This force steamed 70 miles to the north, assigned to reinforce and protect Ozawas A force, as well as potentially ferrying replacement aircraft from Japan.


The "Strike Force" Under Admiral Kurita consisted of the Yamato and Nagato class battleships, as well as five cruisers and a dozen destroyers. The force also had the old carrier Hosho, with 22 Zeros for defense and reconnaissance. Kurita sailed 40 miles to the southeast of Ozawa, hoping to provide the threat of a capable surface force, especially in the event of a night action. Additionally, around 17 submarines from various bases in commands played some role in the battle.


Iwo Jima itself had been heavilly built up in the past year. It's three airfelds now hosted 160 new Shiden land based interceptors, who were crewed by some of the best remaining navy pilots in Japan. These were further bolstered by 80 Jills, assigned to protect the island from sea attack. Local radars, and a picket boat off South Iwo Jima gave 50 minutes warning of air attack.


The fifth fleet was arranged more uniformly. 6 Fleet and 8 light carriers were divided into 3 carrier divisons, which contained 810 aircraft in total. Admiral Oldendorf remained in command of seven old and one modern battleship, the others in the fleet were either undergoing maintainance or had too little ammunition to fight. The force also had 20 submarines in various formations, which hoped to find the Japanese fleet first.


By dawn of the 13th both forces were within 300 miles of Iwo Jima. Ozawa had sent replies to his Island garrisons, indicating his intention to sail past Chichi Jima to the Northeast, when he was in reality sailing to the southwest of Iwo Jima. He hoped to attack the rear of the American fleet, and pin them between himself, and the home islands. At best, He hoped to scatter the enemy carriers, where some could be destroyed by battleships in a night engagement. At 0720 with no sign of the enemy fleet, Spruance ordered the firet strike on Iwo Jima, the battle had begun.
 
Why anyone would launch on Iwo Jima when the main Japanese Fleet has been spotted is anyones guess lol
To take the three airfields out of play?

After all the aircraft from Midway were important to the battle even though they don't seem to have done meaningful damage. They distracted the Japanese commander and his aircraft, maybe they don't want to risk that happening to them, or risk carrier aircraft operating from their after their ships are sunk.

Though starting the softening up bombardment for the invasion would be a trifle premature at this point.
 
Why anyone would launch on Iwo Jima when the main Japanese Fleet has been spotted is anyones guess lol
Has NOT been spotted, he's assuming they're a ways north and east. Basically, the goal is to neutralize Iwo, and hope the Japanese fleet rushes in to save them, resulting in their defeat.
 
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