Sheba's Sons - Haile Selassie goes to Tokyo

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Hagre, Sep 23, 2019.

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  1. OurSacredWar Meri of Ethiopia

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    A question if I may - how goes the radicalization of Africa in this timeline? Young Egypt is noted for having sympathies and more importantly, direct ties to the PNF and NSDAP in our timeline so it’d be interesting to see how Egypt develops under YE. You also note the influences of Monrovia and Berlin in Africa, let alone Ethiopia so what’s this mean for Africa if/when it becomes independent?
     
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  2. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    Another thing that might interest you is Young Egypt’s interest in the annexation of Sudan to Egypt proper. See the quote below.

    Have we not the right, in the face of all these difficulties (over-population), beyond and over our sacred rights, to demand the unification of Egypt and the Sudan so that we restore to ourselves the living space which is indispensable and inevitable? Others have found living space for themselves in foreign and remote lands - why should we not have the right to demand not to be strangled in a territory of land which is today too narrow for us, and how shall we manage otherwise as time passes and our number increases? Egypt has the right to aspire to become the Great Nile Kingdom, to be a guardian of the east Mediterranean, to be the leader of the Arab and Islamic nations." -- Muhammad 'Ali' Aluba, Pamphleteer, Young Egypt Party, 1942.

    As for Liberian and German meddling, you’ll see soon.
     
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  3. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    This is the most wonderfully inventive and detailed PoD I've read on this site. Love it!
     
  4. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    I’m glad to see you think so! Pray tell, which part did you like the most?
     
  5. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the incredible detail about two historical areas that are 1) usually heavily neglected and 2) even when not neglected, are almost never brought together. Move over Marvel: Infinity Wars, State Shinto and Black Radicalism is the real crossover we've been waiting for.
     
  6. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    Great to hear! It’s nice to see someone who’s this interested in my timeline.

    I believe there was actually a radical Black nationalist Buddhist organization IOTL and that it was referred to in one of the sources I listed, something which will definitely come up later ITTL.
     
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  7. OurSacredWar Meri of Ethiopia

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    Did somebody say National Socialist State Shinto with Garveyist characteristics?
     
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  8. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    Now that you mention it, that is a very tempting prospect to write into the timeline - reminds me a bit of Rastafarianism.
     
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  9. Threadmarks: Sheba's Lions

    Hagre Well-Known Member

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    Sheba's Lions

    [​IMG]

    Ethiopian guerrillas in northern Shewa, April 1936.

    Imru had not been idle at Qorem and Addis Ababa, speaking with his cousin on the use of guerrilla warfare in an asymmetric resistance after the Imperial Council advised Haile Selassie to leave the country. His success in the application of guerrilla tactics against Italian forces on the northern front and the knowledge that Ethiopian troops lacked the firepower to face Italian forces head-on in battle without suffering the same fate that the northern armies had made him confident in planning the strategic doctrine of the resistance movement. With the Emperor having appointed him to Prince Regent, he employed all advantages at his disposal that included the energetic Holeta cadets of the Black Lions Party that had joined him when he called for able-bodied men to join him on the plateau. They were young educated men, experienced in warfare from a combination of their training at Holeta and participation in the Battle of Maichew, also vigorous reformists who pushed for the establishment of an Ethiopian army on the Western model. They'd prove valuable to Imru's efforts in the reorganization and decentralization of his forces and it wasn't before long they became the commanders of various units in the Ethiopian Highlands.

    [​IMG]

    Guerrillas on the move, June 1936.

    Inspired by Lij Haile Mariam Mammo, Imru recruited Balambaras Abebe Aregai - a veteran from the Imperial Bodyguard - and promoted him to the rank of Ras, selecting him to oversee and coordinate the units being organized into small but compact guerrilla groups. Much to the Regent's pleasure, Abebe Aregai set to his task with the same energy that the Holeta cadets displayed, establishing a rudimentary system in which those units commanded by Imperial Guardsmen and Holeta cadets were to act as an elite core of a task force and recruit men into Imru's army, spreading the guerrillas' influence further. It was a success as it allowed Imru's officers to take control of isolated guerrilla bands spread throughout the country and place them under Imru's command, those same officers leading attacks against isolated Italian units and even provided the opportunity to overwhelm those units at the end of their logistical tether. By late December, these efforts yielded not just some 40,000 men coming under Imperial command at Menz but the constant pressure of Italian forces stationed in Addis Ababa.

    To Rome's horror, Ethiopian resistance to its occupation was steadily mounting in an organized fashion and Italian forces proved ineffective in their pacification campaigns, said campaigns only serving to fill the ranks of those they called "shifta." Much of that resistance had been concentrated in the provinces of Begemdir, Gojjam and Shewa who have historically served as the centre for Imperial government and in the southern provinces, Desta Damtew and his commanders continued conventional resistance from the countryside. In Hararghe, Nasibu Emmanuel managed to preserve his men by ordering them to melt away in the countryside and "fight as shiftas" where he joined them in spite of being wounded when Graziani decided to unleash mustard gas on Jijiga itself. That had only served to rally the ethnic Somalis to Ethiopia's cause, leading to an increase of raids by Somali nomads around the eastern population centers and actively worked against Rome's plans to establish a Greater Somalia entity within its Empire. It was much the same situation, albeit to a lesser extent, in the peripheral provinces that had only come under direct Imperial administration in the early '30s under Haile Selassie and Rome exploited this to the fullest extent.

    Over the course of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, Mussolini had ordered the Italian Ministry of Colonies to outline what Ethiopia was to look like under Italian rule [1] and one recommendation was to partition the African Empire along ethnic lines. This was to include the incorporation of Tigray and Ogaden into Italian Eritrea and Somaliland respectively, the establishment of an ethnic Amhara state encompassing the provinces of Gondar, Gojjam and Shewa under a figurehead from the House of Solomon, the establishment of an ethnic Oromo state stretching to include most of central and southern Ethiopia under the control of the Sultan of Jimma and the direct administration of the rich southern regions. With Mussolini trusting Graziani to govern the new Italian East African colony, the Butcher of Fezzan set to work instituting that which was recommended by the Minister of Colonies and struck down the territorial divisions that had existed between the former Ethiopian polity and Italy's colonies.

    Ras Hailu of Gojjam was selected to nominally govern the Amhara state with the assistance of Afawarq Gebre Iyasus and consolidate Italian rule in their northwestern territory. The inauguration of the National Ethiopian Army - a militia drafted from POWs and collaborators - only reaffirmed this, being placed under Afawarq's control but was led by Italian officers. However, it was a minuscule army that consisted only of 9,000 men in stark contrast to the region's guerrillas' total of 20,000 men and this owed to the overwhelming alignment of ethnic Amharas with the pan-Ethiopian cause. Meanwhile, to the south, Sultan Abba Jifar suddenly found himself ruling huge swathes of Italian-occupied Ethiopia with his Italian "advisors" and began to restore to ethnic Oromos the autonomy that Menelik had granted them and that which Haile Selassie had restricted in 1933-34. Similarly to his northern counterpart, the Sultan requested that the Italian colonial administration provide him the means to create his own army and establish institutions to allow him to establish an autonomous Oromo Empire, to which Graziani was happy to oblige him so long as it continued dividing up Ethiopia.

    [​IMG]

    Soldiers of the National Ethiopian Army in Wollo, July 1936.
    Rome's maneuvers to divide Ethiopia galvanized the Ethiopian resistance as Imru placed more of an emphasis on pan-Ethiopian nationalism, stepping up organization efforts in the peripheral regions to gain the popular support of those regions and fight against the Italian presence in southern Ethiopia. Speeches by the members of the BLP, Imperial Bodyguard and Holeta cadets did much to rouse nationalist sentiment amongst the people to continue giving their lives for Ethiopian independence for as long as possible. The rains gave Imru and the Black Lions some breathing space to finish the reorganization as well as attempt to establish a modern administration system that would help relieve the burden of the average Ethiopian peasant under freed rule. There was the distribution of stockpiled food, thalers and other supplies to the peasantry and some regulars - when not fighting on the frontlines - were put to work tilling the land for when the annual harvest was to come. However, relief came from outside when a myriad of organizations either sympathetic to the Ethiopian cause or just opposed to Italy began facilitating covert support to the Ethiopian resistance.

    The Provisional Ethiopian Government was one such organization, dispatching Lorenzo Taezaz as the Emperor's representative to Imru's administration and asked him for reports on the resistance. The BLP was able to compile a series of reports on the situation in the country since Haile Selassie had gone to Tokyo in June 1936, sending them to Tokyo along with the Eritrean and Haile Selassie was able to remark that, all in all, the Arbegnoch (Patriots) weren't doing too badly. The Provisional Ethiopian Government worked with the Black Dragons Society in funneling financial aid to Imru's effort, even managing to smuggle the volunteers who had received training under officers of the Imperial Japanese Army into Ethiopia by way of French Somaliland and Aussa province. They proved particularly helpful with the formation of a modern nucleus around which Imru's Imperial officer corps could be grown after the conventional warfare of October 1935 to March 1936 had nearly depleted the officers' ranks, feudal and modern alike. Not to mention it led the Regent to begin contemplating the idea of training his own officer corps to remain as self-sufficient as possible and opened a rudimentary academy in Menz where a number of men were inducted into a training course under the oversight of the Imperial Guardsmen.

    With the understanding that the Patriots' resistance was expanding and growing well, Haile Selassie commissioned Heruy Wolde Selassie to come up with a plan to reclaim the main population centers from the Italians while their authority there was still shaky and cut them off from their logistics in Italian Eritrea and Somaliland. This was a naively optimistic plan at best but Heruy was in no position to object, working out a plan that would entail a series of assassinations focused on important figures collaborating with and in the Italian colonial administration before a series of coordinated offensives were to cut off the Italian units in the population centers in the midst of popular uprisings. Upon receiving this plan, Imru had almost outright refused it, reluctantly accepting it when Abebe Aregai pressured him into doing so in fear of the Emperor simply cutting off their newfound support outsourced from Japan and issued orders to his officers on the ground. Quietly, an army under the command of the Kassa siblings was amassing around a besieged Addis Ababa and slowly tightening the noose around the Italian garrison based there, accompanied by their comrades around Gondar, Jimma, Harar and Dire Dawa.

    [​IMG]

    Imru's men lie in wait, February 1937.

    It seems that liberation was arriving unexpectedly early.

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    [1] This is actually IOTL. See Italian mandate or protectorate over Ethiopia in 1935-1936 by Alberto Sbacchi for more.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  10. OurSacredWar Meri of Ethiopia

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    The decentralized nature of the Patriots made some of them difficult to control and support to those operating in the peripheries of Italian-occupied Ethiopia quite difficult so it's nice to see that Imru handles that early on. I don't know if attacking Addis Ababa is exactly the best course of action here, even with the Italians overextending themselves here.
     
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  11. Seandineen Member

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  12. Seandineen Member

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    Franco had also expressed respect for anti communist Africans, his Moor division
     
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  13. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    Communication between the Patriots is still difficult, especially with the lack of modern equipment but they're doing better than IOTL. You're right about attacking Addis Ababa not being a good idea.
    They can't because the Ethiopians' main focus right now is on liberating Ethiopia and it's virtually impossible for them to actually reach the Balkans.
    Franco was also a good friend of Haile Selassie's and so was Salazar. On Francoist Spain's relationship with its Moroccan colony, I'd recommend reading Geoffrey Jensen's The Peculiarities of 'Spanish Morocco': Imperial Ideology and Economic Development.
     
  14. Wendell Wendell

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    This continues to be good.
     
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  15. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    Nice to hear! What do you think about the timeline is good?
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Our Destiny

    Hagre Well-Known Member

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    Our Destiny

    Excerpt from A History of African Radicalism by Paul Gilroy
    The wave of anti-colonial nationalism that swept Africa also touched the African Diaspora scattered throughout the world, first starting in the United States where the Harlem Renaissance had already redefined traditional Black identity and its African heritage along nationalistic lines. Here, Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association had succeeded in advocating the cause of Black nationalism and the Back-to-Africa movement over the course of the Twenties, temporarily stopped by the imprisonment and subsequent deportation of Garvey in November 1927. Despite the fact that the UNIA's headquarters were now permanently in Monrovia, it continued maintaining its extensive network in the USA and North America at large, ensuring that the prominent voices of Black nationalism were heard in the Americas. It provided the opportunity for the UNIA to spread its ideology to the Negroes of the New World, exploiting the growth of ethnic nationalism.

    [​IMG]

    Pro-Ethiopia protests in Harlem, January 1936.
    In Haiti, there had been an American military presence since the USA's intervention in 1915, justifying it on the grounds that the Monroe Doctrine needed to be enforced in defense against the German presence and prominence in Haiti's economy and that American investors were threatened by the ongoing anti-American revolt. In reality, it was little else than a ploy to ensure that American investors retained economic hegemony over its economy and in the process, secure access to its plentiful resources and strategic position in the Caribbean. The failure of the Haitian military to offer any meaningful resistance to the blatant imperialism of the United States and subsequent disbanding had led to Haitian nationalism sweeping the populace as insurgent bands named Cacos rose up throughout the countryside. At the helm of resistance to the American occupation was Charlemagne Peralte, a soldier of the Haitian army and nationalist fervently opposed to Washington's objectives to transform Haiti into what amounted to what it had been under French colonial rule - a slave colony.

    Peralte and the Cacos possessed little interest in seeing Haiti become another victim of European colonialism, launching attacks against American-Gendarmerie forces with the promise of driving them into the sea and restoring to Haiti native rule. Unfortunately, it was not to be - a Gendarmerie officer, alongside two American Marines, infiltrated into Peralte's camp and killed him but not before photographing Peralte with his corpse tied to a door. The image was disseminated throughout Haiti for the express purpose of demoralizing the Haitian resistance and pressuring the population into accepting the American occupation, although it had the exact opposite effect - it led to Haitian resistance stiffening and an increase in the attacks against American forces stationed in Haiti. Charlemagne Peralte had effectively become a martyr, a symbol of Haitian liberty and that same photo possessed an uncanny resemble to the crucification of Jesus Christ. However, Peralte's dream of Haitian independence was not to be realized when the Cacos made an attack on American forces at Port-au-Prince in January 1920 and incurred heavy casualties whereas Marine casualties were light, being 1 killed and 6 wounded in stark contrast to the Cacos' 116 killed and an undetermined number more wounded.

    [​IMG]

    An elderly Haitian Cacos at the Second Battle of Port-au-Prince, January 1920.

    Haitian resistance continued but it was much less organized and without one authoritarian charismatic leader to keep it in check, it begun succumbing to regionalist pressures and indisciplined troops. Combined with the USA's construction of a modern nationwide transportation system, the American forces could now maneuver quicker in Haiti to deal with the Cacos' attacks. With the death of Benoît Batraville in 1920, Haitian resistance disintegrated and Washington begun to pour money into Haiti in order to modernize the country and subsequently open it up to American investment for increased profits. Between 1921-34, it underwent a massive development campaign that had expanded both the country's infrastructure and economy, Haitian commercial agriculture expanding rapidly in the process. Despite the prosperity that Haiti had enjoyed in the 1920s, the Haitian elite and populace continued to clash with the occupying Americans over the exchange of their independence for American hegemony, the organized opposition now led by the - mostly - peaceful Union of Haitian Patriots who possessed links with organizations like the NAACP and UNIA.

    The Great Depression set back the gains that Haiti had made, leading to a rise of discontent with the client Haitian government and against the American occupation as well as against Haiti's mulatto elite who'd been all too happy to cooperate with the Americans to preserve their positions and wealth. This led to the election of Stenio Vincent to power in 1930, a Haitian nationalist drawn from the ranks of Haiti's mixed elites and oversaw the transition to an independent Haitian government, extending his office term in the process. Although the withdrawal of the Marines in August 1934 by FDR formally ended the occupation of Haiti by the USA, Washington retained control over the country by directly managing its finances and continuing to support Haiti's mulatto elite in opposition to majority rule. Ostensibly, it was obvious that this led to a rise in Black Haitian nationalism and the message of the UHP became noticeably more radical in response, owing to the influence of the UNIA.

    Black nationalists had taken an interest in Haiti after it had come under American occupation and Marcus Garvey was no different in dreaming of a campaign to liberate Haiti. It was during the American invasion when a number of Haitians had made contact with the Universal Negro Improvement Association, reading the Negro World paper and even joining the organization. It helped that by 1919, the UNIA possessed a well-established place in the Caribbean where it seized the opportunity to spread its message amongst Afro-Caribbeans when they were recruited for work in the Black Star Line and Negro Factories Corporation, its anti-colonialist and racial nationalist narrative making it attractive to them. By 1920, it had done the same in Haiti but was initially unable to do so owing to conflicts over the heterodox line enforced by UNIA elites in opposition to the American bishops [1] whose views of the African Orthodox Church were less than positive but this didn't prevent a surprisingly high number of Haitians from joining. In August 1924, a letter sent to President Louis Borno by Marcus Garvey [2] reaffirmed the UNIA's support for the Haitian struggle and this support was instrumental in the formation of factions within the Union Patriotique.

    A Garveyist faction under Jean Prince-Mars [3] arose from the Union Patriotique, consisting of radical Haitian nationalists whose ideology closely coincided with that of militant Black nationalists from the 1850s, men such as Martin Delany, Robert Campbell, Alexander Crummell, Edward Wilmot Blyden and so on. These men were classical Black nationalists who advocated for an African Empire on the model of Victorian Britain, one that had "a high culture aesthetic, which admired symbols of imperial power, military might and aristocratic refinement," as Wilson J. Moses [4] has outlined. In addition to these models, Prince-Mars and his group were fervent admirers of early Haitian leaders like Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines who governed the Black Republic where they instituted a series of revolutionary reforms which allowed for the oldest Black Republic to embrace the social reforms of the Enlightenment and even mimic Napoleonic France under Dessalines' First Empire. Jean Prince-Mars' group soon broke away to form the Haitian National Union Party in early 1935, quickly rallying Haitians from all over the nation into its ranks and swelled rapidly in the process as Haitians opposed to American dominance gathered in the HNUP.

    Inspired by Garveyist rhetoric, the HNUP announced its intention to establish a Third Haitian Empire on the model of Garveyite Liberia and restore Liberia to Black rule after wresting away control of the country's institutions from the American-installed mulatto elite who only cared about their influence instead of national independence. It also claimed to support the establishment of a federation inclusive of the territories in the West Indies [5] and firmly establish the Third Empire as a true empire. It exploited the sympathies toward Ethiopia when Italy invaded in October 1935 and received assistance from the UNIA in preaching its pro-Ethiopia sentiment, joining the global anti-colonialist world in denouncing Italian imperialism once Ethiopia collapsed and Haile Selassie fled to Tokyo in June 1936. This allowed it to exploit the wave of Black nationalism that swept Haiti, riding into power during the 1936 general parliamentary elections as Jean Prince-Mars accused Stenio of being complacent with the American dominance of Haitian finance and enforcing Mulatto hegemony over the nation. Its position in power was further reinforced when the Dominican regime carried out the Parsley Massacre in early October of 1937, slaughtering as many as 12,316 to 35,000 Haitians residing within the Dominican Republic and sparking outrage on the part of the HNUP administration in Port-au-Prince. It was certainly one of the causes of the war that broke out only a week later, in addition to the pre-existing enmity between both countries and the competition over Hispaniola's resources.

    [​IMG]

    A Haitian soldier on the frontlines, November 1937.

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    [1] See Garveyism in Haiti during the US Occupation by Brenda Gayle Plummer for more.

    [2] See the said letter in The Public's Archive's Marcus Garvey and Haiti for more.

    [3] IOTL, Jean Prince-Mars was a Haitian nationalist who was also prominent member of the Negritude movement and would later become a member in Haitian government in the late '40s.

    [4] This is a reference to Wilson J. Moses' Classical Black Nationalism: From the American Revolution to Marcus Garvey, particularly the introduction on Classical Black nationalism.

    [5] Calls for a West Indies Federation by Haitian nationalists are also IOTL, see the first link for more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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  17. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    This chapter focused much more on Haiti than I'd like so I'll definitely be sure to put a few more chapters within the next week(s) focusing on the general situation in the New World, Asia and Ethiopia if possible. In the meantime, thoughts?
     
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  18. OurSacredWar Meri of Ethiopia

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    Does this mean we'll see a worse Italian reaction to what'll be a more coordinated attack against occupied Addis Ababa? Perhaps the time that Italian forces are given carte blanche to do whatever they like to the Ethiopian populace is longer or just more violent, like in twistedirregular's Ras Imru timeline.
    This is pretty interesting, even this chapter was Haiti-centric. The war between Haiti and the Dominican Republic makes one wonder just who'd win.
     
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  19. Wendell Wendell

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    I like the style, and the concept is interesting.
     
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  20. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    Time will tell.

    Good to hear. I might do a few more chapters on the Caribbean if I can muster it up.
    Thanks! The concept was originally intended to have Haile Selassie go to Berlin and lead a Free Ethiopian government from there in much the similar way that Amin al-Husseini and Subhas Chandra Bose did but then I figured that might've been too out there so I went with having him go to Tokyo instead.
     
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