The Sun, The Stars and The Sickle: Alt-WWII and a Tripolar Postwar World

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by WaterproofPotatoes, Sep 15, 2018.

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What would you like to see next

Poll closed Sep 27, 2018.
  1. Prewar Departures

    7.3%
  2. Technology: Ships, planes, etc

    7.3%
  3. Japan, China & Philippines 1939-1940

    31.7%
  4. Italy 1939-1940

    17.1%
  5. Nazi Germany: Norway Fallout

    34.1%
  6. Other (please describe in reply)

    2.4%
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  1. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Sorry updates are taking so long, some pressing OTL obligations, and we're going to see some departures bigger than revised secondaries on a battlecruiser!
     
  2. Threadmarks: And All the King's Men, Part 4

    WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Subic Bay, Philippines

    October 12, 1939

    1:14 PM

    ADMIRAL Ernest King was fuming, more or less as usual.

    Naval intelligence had failed to find anything interesting at all. The latest ship movement of note by the IJN was:

    "Light cruiser AGANO and destroyers HIBIKI, INAZUMA, AKATSUKI, SAZANAMI, OBURO, SHIRAKUMO conduct patrol in Taiwan Strait"

    Presumably, this was a sweep for all the submarines and torpedo boats the Chinese didn't have. There also hadn't been a single Japanese merchantman so much as scratched as it plied the waters between Shanghai and Takao (Kaohsiung).

    Even the buildup wasn't anything notable- and that was precisely what worried King.

    All the prewar reports indicated that the Imperial Japanese Navy would put every available ton of steel they had into massive battleships designed to slug it out with the USN. But that wasn't what they were doing. They were building cruisers, destroyers and aircraft carriers- they weren't even planning to lay down a battleship this year.

    It was the latest carrier, the newly completed Shokaku, that had him most worried. She was a big job, bigger than any American flat-top save Constellation and Ranger. She was fast too, and had a big air wing. Unlike American carriers, the Japanese delegated scouting to cruisers and floatplanes and dedicated all of their carrier space to fighters and attack planes. The one thing the latest American carriers, the Wasp group had on them was angled decks, but the IJN was planning another class of light carriers with anglef decks.

    This was precisely the kind of fleet, thought King, that was designed to attack an American fleet, or worse- the Philippines or Pearl Harbor, run, and attack again. They would inevitably be destroyed, but not before huge damage was done to American ships and influence.

    There was another obstacle for King as well- Washington.

    Officiallly, Germany was considered a much bigger threat than Japan. This was despite the fact that Germany had a tiny navy compared with Japan and no navy to speak of at all when compared to Britain, whose Royal Navy they would have to get through to get to American ships.

    This, thought King, was no accident.

    The Brits were in bed with the Japs in order to protect their colonies, and turn a blind eye to anything they do- or will do- as long as it means Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaya aren't threatened.

    Granted, the Brits wouldn't be stupid enough to let their Jap friends start a war with the United States, but this might be a play for time. They were both sneaky bastards that you couldn't trust in the least.They both had colonial empires, and their navies were how they maintained their grip.

    Why Washington thought that Germany was a bigger threat with their two battleships, and less than thirty destroyers was the bigger threat was a mystery.

    Another mystery was the intellingence report that came in regarding what the Japs were doing with Hyuga. He glanced at the report, his eyebrow raised...
     
  3. Anhtuan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    I feel that the U.S will not join the war.
     
  4. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    There's still a lot that can happen!

    As of now, it's only 1939, and the USA is no friend of Germany nor Imperial Japan, despite the fact that the latter two are enemies with each other.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  5. Zillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Subscribed!

    You have explained about the Washington Naval Treaty, but how does the Treaty of Versailles look in your world?


    Inspired by 'For honor', much? :closedeyesmile:
     
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  6. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Same as OTL, so events in Europe are largely consistent with OTL. Same with the Soviet Union, purges and all, which is why they haven't really come into the picture yet.

    Thanks for the sub as well!

    I just image searched that and wow, you would think so ;)! I suppose a poster with the three helmets on one side, and the other with a pickelhaube and two rice hats, one with a hammer and sickle and the other with a KMT sun with a superimposed swastika could work as well.
     
  7. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    To be fair, the US probably does still have the Scouting Force, led by Lexington and Saratoga and assisted by the 8 Syren/Teaser hybrids. Difference being there, I guess, is that the US scout cruisers have aircraft that are fully serviceable, vs the Tone class. The gap is less accentuated than OTL.

    Well, if anything, the US certainly would not be happy with Japan sitting on China, regardless of which Japan it happens to be. And accidents can happen that spiral out of control, too.

    But if the US joins the war, it's not going to let the mistake of Versailles happen again, so it's either going to play for keeps or hang out. Besides, France still stands, so it's a European affair.
     
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  8. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Quite true, but you always downplay that when asking for some new toys ;)
     
  9. KuboCaskett Resident Japanophile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2014
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Honestly, I'd think that the US would be very keen on having a slice of the Chinese pie, even if it would leave Japan less than it wanted; same for the Asia-Pacific region.
     
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  10. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    Heh. True Enough.

    Well, US never was happy with a piece. They wanted access to the whole thing. But if the case looks like Japan is going to close it all off...
     
  11. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    This symbol right here just might become prominent...
    [​IMG]
     
    traveller76, dakkafex and LordVorKon like this.
  12. Anhtuan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Uhhh, what does it mean?

    Ok, red is soviet, blue is u.s, yellow... Japan maybe?
     
  13. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    That be the star sharing the colors of the 20s RoC... Or more specifically, the Beiyang Army.
     
  14. Anhtuan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Oh, thank you. I learn something new today.
     
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  15. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    It is indeed a Beiyang Star

    Each colour represents the "Five Races Under One Nation" that made up China

    Red: Han
    Blue: Mongol
    Yellow: Manchu
    White: Hui
    Black: Tibetan
     
  16. Threadmarks: The Jade Marshal

    WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    West of Xi'an, Republic of China

    15th October, 1939

    7:19 AM


    THIS morning, General Wu Peifu felt every one of his sixty-five years.

    Called out of retirement by Chiang, he in turn called his protegé Sun Chuanfang out of retirement as a monk; a condition for assisting Chiang. Rather than being posted to defend their beloved Beijing, which they knew well and defended in the days of the Zhili Clique, they were instead dispatched to fight the Communists in the hinterlands. Beiping, as it was now called, would be defended by younger, more unquestioningly loyal generals.

    He was frustrated. His old rival, Chiang Kai-Shek now ruled China- if you could even call it ruling in a charitable sense. The Communists, never fully vanquished, retreated to the Northwest. South and east, Chiang seemed to be more concerned about crushing threats to his power from within the KMT than anything else.

    All of this ignored the great threat, lying in wait.

    Japan.

    For eight long years, Japan was cultivating a presence and fortifying her puppet states in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. These states were supplied with impunity and easily defended by a modern Imperial Japanese Army. Worse still, Japan could now count on Britain's friendship.

    Tokyo was very careful to undermine China's legitimacy at every step. The Imperial Palace's declaration of war against Germany referenced "Chinese Warlords"- a deliberate wording, as Japan's position was that the legitimacy of China government wasn't firmly established- thus even Chiang was a "warlord".

    Japan had only bothered to declare war on China two days later, on September 10th.

    "Sun" said the old warlord, as he contemplated a map "It is inevitable. Beijing will fall. Chiang will not dare tell us until much later. Damn Mao and his Reds; why bother with them now?"

    "What do you propose we do?" asked Sun "We cannot simply make peace with the Communists, even if they would fight the Japanese. Chiang would-"

    Wu chuckeld. "My friend, I would not subject you to that. Get me that book on George Washington- that is the kind of planning which will prove useful to us"
     
  17. Threadmarks: The Fall of Beiping- Order and Preparations

    WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Excerpt from "China At War", C.K. Fung, Random House, 1986

    THE "Battle of Beiping" was the culmination of events that led to the city's fall into Japanese hands on October 21st, 1939. "Battle" is something of a misnomer, as it was a series of engagements rather than a single, decisive battle. Each side went into the engagement concerned about their prospects.



    Tojo was concerned about the lack of armour the Kwantung Army possessed compared to the Chinese National Army and the defensively-oriented training; the latter of which he shared in several terse exchanges to the officer in charge of training, General Shunroku Hata.

    The National Army's greatest concerns were its poorly-trained recruits, appalling logistics, and the sheer diversity of equipment they utilized, making any sort of meaningful coordination difficult.

    However, the IJA had overwhelming advantages in certain aspects. They enjoyed air supremacy, allowing bombing and reconaissance to be conducted unchallenged.

    The IJA was equally advantaged in artillery, with pieces ranging from two-pounder antitank guns to the long 150mm cannon. This was in contrast to the Chinese forces which posessed only mountain guns and a few howitzers. Perhaps the biggest advantage enjoyed by the Japanese forces was their homogenized equipment. The introduction of the Type 99 Rifle into the Kwantung Army was delayed, so that only ammunition for the Type 38 (6.5x50mm Arisaka) would have to be provided, and examples of the Type 89 Heavy Machine Gun were left in Manchukuo in favour of the Type 98 (A Vickers belt-fed, water-cooled machine gun chambered in 7.7x58mm).

    The Chinese, too, were concerned about their armour. The large, but slow Soviet T-28 proved unreliable. The best tank at the National Army's disposal was the so called "Panzer II.V"- a Panzer II chassis modified to accept a larger turret with either a 37 mm KwK 36 or 75 mm short-barreled KwK 37. Even these were in short supply, and the considerable strain the additional weight placed on the chassis, adversely affecting speed, range and reliability. BT-5 and T-26 tanks from the Soviet Union, along with locally-produced and imported Panzer I and IIs made up much of the remaining armour along with Italian tankettes. The National Army also posessed a diverse variety of service rifles, but fortunately for them, most were either Mauser K98s or derivatives.


    The Japanese, heavily outnumbered, ruled out encirclement of Beiping, settling for a strategy centred on aerial and artillery bombardments to force the city's surrender.

    Once this became apparent, the Chinese strategy focused on dislodging the Japanese positions and forcing a fallback to Manchukuo
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  18. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    Heh. should that be Panzer II.V?

    And yeah, definitely sounds like any sort of combined arms of sorts are going to be impossible. Does the KMT intermix the units throughout due to sheer need, or have they managed to centralize the various tank types in order to increase efficiency, at least slightly?
     
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  19. LordVorKon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    Montana
    I hope you mean 15cm / 150mm ?
     
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  20. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Indeed I did... unless they developed a super-secret Yamato Spirit Cannon...

    Good catch as well!

    There was definitely an attempt to group tank units by type, but after the Hyuga Incident, Beiping would have already been considered in desperate need of reinforcement, so any operational vehicles that could be called up were brought to reinfiorce Beiping.
     
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