Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by fester, Sep 13, 2018.
Didn't he know about the typhoon though and just decided to sail through it anyway?
The '43 Red Sox were not all that great (68-84) but IOTL they did win that evening, 2-1 over the St Louis Browns.
FWIW the buildings that housed the "Radiation Lab" described in these posts (collectively building 20) existed on the MIT campus as "temporary" wooden buildings erected for the war, and were finally torn down and something else built there in 1998! Until they were torn down they were in use for sort of "free-lancing" experimental work among other things. Passed by them many times in the 60s and 70s during my time at the Institute, and had occasion to enter more than once.
What should be done about Borneo? No doubt the Dutch and the British would like their colonies back but do they have the forces to retake that large island? Can they and are they willing to support the cost of a prolonged campaign?
In this ATL the Japanese are not getting much benefit from Borneo. It's hard to see how any merchant ship could survive the voyage from there to the Home Islands. They would have to avoid Allied submarines same as in OTL plus in TTL numerous patrol planes and surface forces. It would seem that very little could make it through. So it's not imperative to conduct a land campaign to deprive Imperial Japan of the Bornean resources as they're not getting through anyway.
Also the Japanese have substantial forces garrisoned in Borneo in TTL mostly at the major cities and ports. (A couple of divisions of troops plus some air force units I think fester stated.) Considering the strategic situation in TTL would the British and the Dutch decide to initiate an operation to retake Borneo? Could the British persuade the Americans to help with naval and air units?
Borneo is big and mountainous.
By this point, every oil port in Borneo could have been thoroughly destroyed if their Dutch and British owner allow it.
Miri and Balikpapan are inside fighter range from Riau Islands and Parepare. Tarakan can be reached by bombers, I m not sure if P-38s can provide cover over it. Moreover, the Allies have the greatest battleship fleet after Jutland moored in Singapore. The Standards were hardly used at this point in OTL due to fuel constrictions in the SW Pacific. ITTL, the seas around Borneo are an Allied lake and Sumatra/Java cover every fuel need. They even have the biggest naval base in that part of the globe to operate from. It's very easy for the Allies to send 10-15 battleships under heavy escort to turn any oil port to rubble. Heavy and medium bombers are the icing at the cake. The Allied assets can turn Borneo into the biggest POW camp in the planet. Its almost non-existing road network in the interior and the sheer size of the island make it a nightmare to garrison. A regiment in Tarakan cannot help Balikpapan in case of an invasion without sea-lift. Thus, to have a semi-decent defensive chance, each major port needs at least 1 division. After the Japanese failed to conquer Java they must have reinforced their only oil producing territory with everything they got. I can see multiple divisions trapped in Borneo, with the majority of them around the 3 oil ports.
However, if BP and Shell shareholders want their property back ... Then its politics, not a strictly operational matter. I have no knowledge on how it might have gone.
By the way fester, how are things in Celebes?
With Thailand changing sides and Palawan falling it seems like Indochina will keep the Allies busy cleaning up in that theater, a few landings in the Philippines and that's done...why waste any effort on Borneo? Is there anything there that could be an offensive threat? If not..just ignore them. Perhaps leave it to the Dutch clean up. With FDR's feelings about the colonies I doubt he would be too keen about loaning any forces to help take back anything there.
Borneo should become just another example of "withering on the vine". Since essentially no oil is getting to Japan from Borneo, and similarly little or no material is getting to Borneo from Japan, it represents no threat to the Allies. Occasional air attacks, bombardments, etc can attrit Japanese strength at relatively little cost.
What is the status of Brunei and Brunei Bay? If feasible take the port, and you have an Anchorage and build an airfield closer to Palawan.
As mentioned by previous posters the garrisons the Japanese have stationed at the various coastal cities and ports in Borneo can not easily support each other. The IJA/IJN air units stationed there have likely been heavily attrited by now and there is little chance of their reinforcement. The IJN is not a serious threat. If the Allies retake any coastal town the Japanese will have a difficult route to travel to mount a counter attack. The coastal roads can be easily blocked and defended. And trying to go over the mountains would be worse than the Kokoda track.
Would the Allies, namely the British and/or Dutch consider a limited operation to retake a major city and port? It's too big a job to try retaking the entire island. But the British might want to try retaking Brunei. The Dutch might want Balikpapan though they would need help.
"What is the status of Brunei and Brunei Bay? If feasible take the port, and you have an Anchorage and build an airfield closer to Palawan."--- @Butchpfd
This would give the Allies a good location for building airbases to further increase their air dominance over the region. How big a force would the British need to organize to retake Brunei in TTL? Do they have sufficient army and amphibious forces and units in theatre to do this? Would the British decide they want to do this? They have accomplished almost all their objectives so far. Unless the British want to start pushing into Indochina what other objectives exists for them in the Far-East at this point in TTL?
Well, at this time which would be easier to retake, which has the smaller garrison. Brunei, probably has less allied civilians as hostages then Balikpapan. Imo witrh Japanese past behavior that should be a factor.
Here is a link to the liberation and landing at Brunei Bay. This gave me the idea for my comment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_occupation_of_British_Borneo#Prisoner_of_war_camps
West of Strasbourg, June 1, 1943
If she looked up, she would have seen chaos. Fighters were tumbling and turning, twisting and weaving, shooting and scooting. Bullets passed through the air and slammed into aluminum shells and fragile bodies. Lumbering bombers had been flashing between clouds, machine guns stuttering at attackers
that had managed to get past the fighter sweeps. Now as the bombers, much lighter after dropping their loads on the Alastatian capital were trying to escape. Many trailed smoke from damage they had taken by defending interceptors and the anti-aircraft artillery batteries around the city. A few had crashed.
If Anna Marie looked up from her back-breaking work of tending the root crops that were growing as expected, she would have seen the parachute land two miles away. If she had looked up, she would have seen a flight engineer from Lewiston, Maine mutter to himself as he remembered his memere’s colorfully archaic profanity. He was in the tabernouche. It would not matter. That engineer would be captured two days later and taken to a Stalag for the rest of his war.
She could not look up. The crops were coming in and they needed her attention.
Gulf of Maine June 1, 1943
USS PE-56 was slowly crossing the cold Atlantic bay. She had completed an escort mission for three lumber coasters. They were tied up in Portland and would be stuck there for at least the week to unload, repair their engines and take on fresh coal for another run to the northern part of the state. The old, coastal escort was needed to cover another convoy so she was steaming by herself twenty miles off-shore at a steady eleven knots. Her crew was relaxed, a standard watch was set when a mighty explosion broke her back. The mine detonated eight feet from her engine. Eleven minutes later, the ship had disappeared, the first victim of a freshly laid minefield as the U-boats were redeploying away from the North Atlantic convoy lanes for new and hopefully more poorly defended targets.
For a minute there, I thought Anna Marie's storyline was going to take an unexpected twist....
She is in the mundane hum drum of life now. Pianos can still drop
Aren't you about 70 years early for the helicopter piano service that drops pianos on Morris Marinas?
Leningrad, June 2, 1943
Tatianna cracked her neck. The tension released itself in noise and movement. She laughed as a crude joke was sent her way. She may just have to do something about that suggestion tonight, up close and personal instead of delivering the expected response from five hundred meters.
The city square had life in it. A few birds were not being trapped. The bravest pigeons could actually find crumbs of bakery fresh bread to eat. Over in the corner four musicians were uncasing their stringed instruments. They were assigned the mid-afternoon shift to celebrate. Off to the southeast of the city, the Volhkov Front was holding their position eighteen miles south of the lake shore. Reserves from the Leningrad Front weren’t needed to deal with the small German probe. Instead, artillery and bombers had seperated the German tanks from the supporting infantry and the attack was grinding itself to a halt against the fixed defenses and the heavy batteries of anti-tank guns.
Northern Scotland June 3, 1943
In the small, dark room, the telegraph key stopped.
The operator had placed every period and every comma correctly, there was no hint of distress. The fist was the same as it had been since 1941. The dispatch from a nationwide collection of assets, agents and informers was, as always impressive; Vanguard was being delayed due to a diesel generator having been lost at sea and a batch of structure steel not passing inspection, the Norwegian 4th Division was soon going to sea with the speculation that this was merely an exercise but uncertainty as there were hints that a major raid on Narvik was in the works. The Admiralty was unhappy with Home Fleet’s operational condition as it had become an escort and training command where the standards were increasing lax as there was little German surface opposition. The fighting men had found ways to get to Singapore, Alexandria or Gibraltar. Three new American medium bomber squadrons had been identified during training rotations to Scotland and another American National Guard division had spent some time in the Highlands on an extended training rotation. The reservists had significant challenges with coordinating logistics with their tactical movement. Finally, a request for more funds to be sent to Portugal and then to the local bank was made as maintaining the information collection network was expensive and the last transfer to the account had mostly been used already.
Everything in the message was true except for the control of the sender. His handlers had determined that today was a day of chicken feed; everything was true and verifiable. Even the funding request was true; the last transfer from German intelligence to the British XX committee had been more than enough to pay for rent and three months salary for the entire operation. This operation had turned into a profit center that improved the balance of trade for the Empire.
Eighty miles away, seven thousand Norwegians entered their landing craft for another assault on a desolate shore. Ahead of them, two hundred men climbed a rocky cliff without any rope or safety gear. Another three hundred men were placing explosives on anti-boat obstacles. They would be clearing half a dozen lanes for the two brigades that were coming down the loch.
Amsterdam, June 3, 1943
In the small, dark room, the telegraph key stopped.
The operator had placed every period and every comma correctly, there was no hint of distress. The fist was the same as it had been since 1940. The dispatch from a nationwide collection of assets, agents and informers was, as always impressive; a new batch of FW-190s had arrived at an airbase on the Dutch-German border, engineering officers had begun to scope out coastal defenses on the Scheldt, and a new type of radar was due to arrive at the end of the month to complement the current set of Wurzburg Giants. There were no specifications on the radar itself, but an agent had found that the back-up generators for the sight suggested a staggering high power output. Another cell had been rolled up and deportations were proceeding of suspects and Jews. The direct action teams needed more explosives, ammunition and Sten guns.
Everything was true except for the control of the agent; he had been captured and turned within weeks of his first message. Today was a day for the truth and that is what he sent. It was his only chance to keep his wife and his daughter alive so as soon as the message was over, he took a deep breath before being escorted back to his somewhat comfortable holding cell.
Just out of curiosity, what is the PC-815 doing right now?
Very briefly alluded to much earlier in the story. She is attached to the Dutch Harbor flotilla.
Here is the reference
Separate names with a comma.