Chapter 25
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Chapter 25

The Great Pacific War opened with a general attack by Japan against America’s allies and possessions in East Asia and the Pacific. The Americans were ready for this, and their counterattack followed within hours. Operating on the assumption that Indian involvement in the war on Japan’s side was inevitable, the United States simultaneously hit major Indian troop concentrations near the Burmese border and dealt a major blow to the Indian Navy in Calcutta before the Indians could strike. They also took immediate steps to occupy Malaya (which American intelligence knew intended to betray the Grand Alliance) and took (unsuccessful) steps to integrate the Viet and Bornean chains of command into their own in the hope of keeping those two untrustworthy allies in line. New York called for all of the Grand Alliance to join its struggle and shifted to a total war footing as fast as possible. All of South America honored their alliances, as did Jamaica, the Lesser Antilles, and the Spanish Republic-in-exile, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Persia, Arabia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the Czech State and Rumania (the participation of those last two countries being largely symbolic). The Third French Republic had just undergone a military coup that replaced it with the authoritarian and ideologically Rex Fourth Republic, the Fourth Republic formally withdrew from the Grand Alliance and the ITO, but it maintained France’s ancient alliance with the United States, partly to protect its Pacific Territories but partly to keep New York from trying to restore the old Socialist government. Australia and New Zealand declared war on Japan within 48-hours in compliance with the terms of their defensive alliance with the United States, but held back from declaring war on India until the Indian Air Force fired on an Australian ship in the Bay of Bengal a few weeks later. Of course, the governments of the Philippines, Insulindia, and Ireland- America’s three remaining ducklings- declared war promptly.

The Kingdom of Portugal-in-exile in Macau was occupied by Japan on the very first day of the war, its remaining overseas embassies declared for the Grand Alliance.

The initial Indo-Japanese Alliance expanded to incorporate Malaya, and within days the involuntary Grand Alliance members of Nam Viet and Borneo. The Japanese-led coalition was officially named the Asia-Pacific League of Friendship at a conference in August, but was more commonly known as the League.

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American war helicopters deploying troops in Burma.

The initial American strategy hinged upon fortifying its control over Indochina, Burma, and the Southeast Asian archipelagoes (neutral Indonesia being an exception), then securing naval and air dominance over all of the relevant parts of Asia. As I said this was the initial strategy, and initially it had some successes. Japan found its annexation of China to be rockier than it had anticipated, and it took time for major Japanese forces to be brought to bear against the Allied countries in Indochina. The United States Coast Guard refused to be dislodged from the South China Sea and most of Borneo fell under American occupation. The Indian Army crashed bloodily against the fortified borders of Burma and Persia, and when it successfully landed troops across the Palk Strait in Sri Lanka its landing force was cut off by sea and destroyed by Sri Lankan and American units. The fighting was bloody, with heavy use of chemical and incendiary weapons.

Air Power quickly proved even more important in the Great Pacific War than it had been in the World War. By the conflict’s opening in 1938 the Pegasus N-37 long-range jet bomber could reach Sapporo from Lionsgate City (OTL Vancouver), a distance of some 6,874 kilometers, and return, while the Japanese Ashikaga P4M could make the journey between Edo and Honolulu, some 6,195 km, and successfully return. The consequence of modern long-range aircraft was that a massive battle for control of the air emerged in the Western and Northern Pacific- imagine the Battle of Britain but with far more aircraft, at far greater distances, spread out over a much wider area. Victory in this battle would be key to winning the war at sea and likely the war on land as well. The old drachenflieger models were largely obsolete at this point, both countries relied heavily on fixed-wing jets to carry the day.

The Japanese strategy in the Air War was the product of a man named Ichikawa Korin.

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A Pegasus N-37 dropping high explosive bombs over the Japanese city of Osaka.

Ichikawa- an analyst with the Imperial Japanese Air Force- identified that American bombers had a range advantage over Japanese ones, meaning that America could strike at Japan from such a distance than Japan couldn’t respond. American fighters had no advantage in that area however, both countries flew anti-aircraft aircraft that were limited to an effective range of around sixteen hundred kilometers. Ichikawa argued for Japan to adopt a defensive approach to the Air War, focusing on shooting down American bombers when they tried to hit the Home Islands, Korea, and China. The Americans would be well within the range of Japanese fighters there, and could be tracked and responded to using the Japanese system of early-warning radar. In order to give their bombers any chance of surviving the United States was forced to operate its jet-fighters from “local” airbases in the Philippines or from its aircraft carriers, and Japan focused its strike capabilities on those bases and when possible those carriers (there was a wing of the IJAF that specialized in anti-ship warfare). This meant that the Air War was fought over League cities, and it was League civilians who paid the heaviest price, but American losses in the air far outstripped those of the IJAF and the air arms of the IJA and IJN, all three of which were able to conserve their machines and experienced pilots as America’s ability to provide its bombers with escorts was steadily degraded.

By the end of 1938 the numerical imbalance was making itself felt on land as India went on the defensive against Persia and sent an army of four million soldiers storming through the hills and jungles of Burma. Japan was sufficiently in control of China (Chinese resistance would never cease, but was reduced to a manageable level) that the Imperial Japanese Army was flowing into Indochina, reinforcing the Viet military and putting greater pressure on the Grand Alliance presence in the region. At sea the Americans suffered from organization problems; their naval forces were split between two different military branches (the Coast Guard and the Navy) and all of their naval aviation belonged to a third (the US Army Air Corps).

In February of 1939 the Thai government, which was losing battles to the Viets and the Japanese and could see that Burma was in full retreat, switched sides. The price for its change of heart was major territorial concessions to Nam Viet and a withdrawal from the Thai-occupied parts of Malaya, but it became an independent member of the Asia-Pacific League of Friendship and avoided occupation. Not long after that Burma surrendered to India, who occupied the country and installed a puppet government. Now surrounded on all sides Cambodia went down fighting, its government evacuating to Australia when the country came under joint Japanese and Viet occupation. The last Alliance holdout in Indochina was American Singapore, which held out until June when it surrendered in the face of chemical attacks that blanketed the city. The Battle of the South China Sea turned decisively in favor of Japan, and the Japanese commenced amphibious landings in the Philippines and Borneo where they were greeted as liberators and joined by both guerillas and members of the Bornean and Filipino national militaries (who had survived in the jungle or mutinied against their American officers respectively).

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The Imperial Japanese Air Force striking at an American military base in Luzon. Ignore the obviously bad photo-editing job- would you believe it but there are no good pictures of Jet aircraft with anything close to Imperial Japanese insignia.

Now losing the Air War over East Asia and largely unable to escort its bombers over the Japanese Empire proper, the United States resorted to deploying biological weapons and nerve gas strategically against Japanese major cities in long-range high-casualty missions either escorted by fighters from its remaining carriers or unescorted entirely. The goal of these missions was to break the Japanese will to fight and force the empire to the negotiating table. Instead Speaker Ishihara Kan of the Imperial Assembly vowed that “Imperial Democracy will not be broken!” and abandoned the Ishikawa Strategy to launch a series of similar biological and chemical attacks against the United States using a new technology- mid-air refueling- that allowed the shorter-ranged Japanese jet bombers to strike anywhere on the American Pacific Coast (admittedly with even less in the way of escorts than the Americans could deploy). Neither country had much success with biological weapons- both nations had world-class public health infrastructure and extensive bomb shelters for their populations and they held back from using deadly weapons like anthrax for fear of retaliation (most biological weapons used in the Great Pacific War were nonlethal diseases intended to mass-incapacitate enemy populations)- however they both exhausted large parts of their medical stockpiles and were considerably more successful with chemical weapons. On September 1, 1939 a large force of Japanese bombers descended on the Nicaragua Canal with a mix of high explosives and VX intended to act as an area denial weapon and slow repairs to the canal. It was largely a suicide mission- most of the Japanese planes failed to return- but they succeeded in putting the canal out of action and forcing the United States to either sail around South America or rely on the major Pacific Coast ports. The Americans rapidly adopted mid-air refueling themselves and by the end of 1939 the two sides were launching devastating long-range, high-casualty attacks against each other.

None of this offered a knock-out blow, but the Japanese government moved its offices below ground to shelter from the bombings and America’s use of its major west coast cities was severely disrupted. As the Americans struggled to keep their forces in the Western Pacific supplied and reinforced, Japan- which was dealing with its own serious problems as a result of American strategic bombing- pushed forward, liberating the rest of the Philippines and Borneo and driving ANZAC-American-Insulindian forces out of the Celebes to the Maluku Islands. India occupied the Lakshadweep Islands, the Andaman Islands, and launched another invasion of Sri Lanka. The Air War shifted further east as the fighting moved more towards the Central Pacific, and the war on land became a question of either fighting for control over smaller islands, guerillas resistance to the League, or the massive Indian Army (the armed forces of the Indian Union peaked at 21 million persons during the Great Pacific War, the majority of whom were in its army) forcing its way into Persia. Tokyo and New York were both worried and hopeful- America had the industry to potentially push its way past the defeats it had suffered, but India and Japan had a substantial numerical advantage and their industry wasn’t that outmatched.

Meanwhile, as the Great Pacific War ground through the early months of 1940, the Great Patriotic War was at a pivotal moment.

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An Australian soldier in the North Malukus.
 
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I just love how ambigious and morally grey both sides in the conflict are. Japan and India are dicks for starting war that'll kill millions but the Americans are also dicks for using chemical weapons against civilian populations.

Unless major upset happens the Pacific War is gonna be clear if bloody League victory. The Americans are going the forced out Asia proper but they be able to hold the Central Pacific with using shear numbers alone.
 
I think the US is still suffering from the aftermath of the Navy's Drakian adventure. There probably exists great distrust towards it among other service branches and the government hindering coordination and planning of military operations. Efforts to rein the Navy's influence also seem to have backfired somewhat as now they are competing with the Coast Guard further complicating military efforts. On the other side, although this hasn't been made explicit, the fact that Japan here is more westernized and that there actually exist a separate Imperial Air Force probably mean that the Japanese military is under the government control and more unified that it was IOTL without interservice rivarly hindering its capabilities to the extent that it did IOTL.

Although the Japanese advances might look impressive on the map, it should be kept in mind that they actually haven't advanced that much further than they did OTL's Pacific War yet, though they seem to have paid heavier price for their advance due to larger US presence in the area.

Can't wait to see who loses!
So, is Japan landing on Australia?
I think that the invasion of Australia might be a step too faw even to this richer and more industrialized Japan. Something along the Operation FS though might be more cost-efficient in cutting communication lines between Australia and the US and potentially force the former, along with New Zealand, to withdraw from the war.
 
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View attachment 518962
The Imperial Japanese Air Force striking at an American military base in Luzon. Ignore the obviously bad photo-editing job- would you believe it but there are no good pictures of Jet aircraft with anything close to Imperial Japanese insignia.


Honestly you could probably get away with just using Cold War era Japanese fighters. Imperial Japanese and post war Japanese insignia are almost identical. Both of them use the same “red dot” symbol instead of the “rising sun” symbol.​
 
I just love how ambigious and morally grey both sides in the conflict are. Japan and India are dicks for starting war that'll kill millions but the Americans are also dicks for using chemical weapons against civilian populations.

Unless major upset happens the Pacific War is gonna be clear if bloody League victory. The Americans are going the forced out Asia proper but they be able to hold the Central Pacific with using shear numbers alone.
Well, Japan started the war, but it was America that attacked India first. Sure, India might very well have joined Japan anyway, but the USA are still the aggressor there.
 
I do wonder if either side is making use of WW2 styled mobile dry docks or any of the more outlandish ideas from the time period. Tillman class battleships and Pycrete aircraft carriers anyone?


And maybe this?




 
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The thing that's interesting to me about the war so far is that neither side seems to have had any "screw-ups." The United States invading India might have been one, considering their population, but it just as likely could have been that *not* invading india would have given them more time to industrialize and militarize. Meanwhile, Japan's first strike against the US could have been a disastrous PR move, but so far hasn't resulted in a significant backlash.

If the United States rolled the one, I expect that, at some point, either the US will stupidly invade Drakia, or Drakia (backed by that admiral) is going to launch a sneak attack on the United States, possibly on the east coast, possibly with biological weapons, that forces the US to sue for peace. If Japan rolled the one, I'd bet American super science is going to come up with a weapons platform that obviates Japan's ability to use jet interceptors and begin unrestricted bombing of everyone Japan is allied to. Obviously bombing campaigns don't cause a nation to totally capitulate, but if they can cripple Japanese ability to supply the home islands and force Japan to retreat out of conquered areas, they might negotiate a peace that lets the US keep its pacific sphere of influence.

Though the more I think about it, the more I believe the US has rolled the one here. If Japan rolled the one, we'd see stuff like "Japan attacked directly into the teeth of American Anti-Air guns" and "the lost prestige from the attack lead to India declaring neutrality" and so on and so forth.
 
The thing that's interesting to me about the war so far is that neither side seems to have had any "screw-ups." The United States invading India might have been one, considering their population, but it just as likely could have been that *not* invading india would have given them more time to industrialize and militarize. Meanwhile, Japan's first strike against the US could have been a disastrous PR move, but so far hasn't resulted in a significant backlash.

If the United States rolled the one, I expect that, at some point, either the US will stupidly invade Drakia, or Drakia (backed by that admiral) is going to launch a sneak attack on the United States, possibly on the east coast, possibly with biological weapons, that forces the US to sue for peace. If Japan rolled the one, I'd bet American super science is going to come up with a weapons platform that obviates Japan's ability to use jet interceptors and begin unrestricted bombing of everyone Japan is allied to. Obviously bombing campaigns don't cause a nation to totally capitulate, but if they can cripple Japanese ability to supply the home islands and force Japan to retreat out of conquered areas, they might negotiate a peace that lets the US keep its pacific sphere of influence.

Though the more I think about it, the more I believe the US has rolled the one here. If Japan rolled the one, we'd see stuff like "Japan attacked directly into the teeth of American Anti-Air guns" and "the lost prestige from the attack lead to India declaring neutrality" and so on and so forth.
I don't think that Drakia will pull an invasion of the East Coast, horrifically amazing as that would be. Rather, I see them invading Europe with the Geoists and pulling the US's attention in more than one direction. The US's influence will be reduced to nil in Asia and Europe, outside of Ireland and ANZ, and we will see a tri-polar world. The friendlier and beefier GEACPS, the Societist-Geoist Axis of Evil, and a very angry US in the Americas.

But then again, if it was the US who rolled a one, maybe we could see them catastrophically dropping the ball like you say. It'll certainly be interesting, in the Chinese sense.
 
I don't think that Drakia will pull an invasion of the East Coast, horrifically amazing as that would be. Rather, I see them invading Europe with the Geoists and pulling the US's attention in more than one direction. The US's influence will be reduced to nil in Asia and Europe, outside of Ireland and ANZ, and we will see a tri-polar world. The friendlier and beefier GEACPS, the Societist-Geoist Axis of Evil, and a very angry US in the Americas.

But then again, if it was the US who rolled a one, maybe we could see them catastrophically dropping the ball like you say. It'll certainly be interesting, in the Chinese sense.
The Rex would count as a 4th bloc.
 
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