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.

?

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. Daedwartin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Unoffically, Koreans tend to be given the short end of the stick and tend to be passed up for Japanese in promotions and high pay jobs, I guess?
     
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  2. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Pretty much, there are exceptions- but, as a rule, they tend to be underrepresented in the best jobs and such.

    EDIT: Should read much better than OTL.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  3. Tannenberg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    Imagine being invaded by Japan and allying with Germany instead of the USA. This post was made by the Manila gang
     
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  4. Anhtuan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Well, this world could have better version of “The man in the high castle”, which the world was split between The Reich and National China.
     
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  5. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Well, the Sino-German alliance goes back to 1930, and has been mutually beneficial for the most part. Germany gets tungsten and an export market for manufactured goods, and China gets much-needed military expertise and training.

    Falkenhausen is notably not an ardent Nazi and genuinely cares about the Chinese. OTL, when Germany and Japan became allies, Falkenhausen destroyed his copy of Chinese battle plans rather than turn them over to the IJA.

    Britain and Japan have been far more exploitative partners to China, demanding territorial concessions as well. Germany has proven to be a far better ally than anyone else so far, so the real question is: Can Uncle Sam be the best ally for China, and what will it take for that to be the case?

    Eichmann being in China TTL throws a bit of a wrench in that. He is an ardent Nazi and pushing a more aggressive agenda.

    What Chiang decides is up in the air now- despite his temper, he too wants the best for China.

    There are big plans for China TTL, not to worry! There will be a major partner for China as well, but who it (or they) will be, I cannot reveal yet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
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  6. Threadmarks: Bulgarian Reflections

    WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria

    [​IMG]

    Sofia, Bulgaria

    May 8th, 1941

    3:42 PM


    TSAR Boris III of Bulgaria could still feel the hairs on the back of his neck bristle.

    He had just concluded a meeting with Joachim Von Ribbentrop. Ribbentrop, that damned liar. And the worst thing of all, it was now too late to turn back.


    Bulgaria had joined the Pact of Steel to counter Soviet aggression, and to avoid being embroiled in the struggles of the Balkan powder keg. In return for their support, and allowing transit rights for German soldiers, they were assured territorial integrity. It seemed simple enough. It seemed like a decision one would be a fool not to make.

    But today came the demands.

    Bulgarian soldiers were to participate in "rear line" positions in this upcoming invasion of the Soviet Union, ostensibly to send the Soviets a message that aggression would not be tolerated, and events like the war in Finland would not happen again.

    Tsar Boris couldn't bear it. Slavic brother fighting against Slavic brother. It wasn't right.


    Ribbentrop told him that the Bulgarians would voluntarily contribute the troops, or tens of thousands of German personnel would be sent to ensure "order" and "suppress subversive elements with Bolshevik sympathies" within Bulgaria and the troops rounded up and sent anyway.

    He hoped there would be plenty of volunteers.


    This deal was starting to look worse by the minute, but what alternatives were there?

    His son, poor young Simeon, should not have to grow up in fear of violence. Nor should the sons of Bulgaria's mothers. So, he reluctantly agreed to keep the "advisors" out.


    But was that the right decision? Only time would tell.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  7. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    When the Italians start looking like your best bet, what does that say about your position?
     
  8. Lascaris Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    And some pounds of flesh from three of its neighbours...

    Not entirely certain why Germany is forcing Bulgaria to participate in Barbarossa unlike OTL here?
     
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  9. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    Probably to prevent them from immediately bailing to the Italians, and to ensure commitment to the alliance, such as it is.

    That, or to prevent them from switching to the allies and giving a soft underbelly for the British and Allies to pull Greece into the war and strike against the soft underbelly during the invasion.

    Or maybe the Germans are just using them to bolster forces for an even greater thrust to knock the Soviets out faster? Germany's position is weaker, and they don't have that aura of invincibility that they had OTL, so they're hedging their bets.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Something Big?

    WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    General Jun Ushiroku:

    [​IMG]

    Bukokisho, Army type, 1st Class:

    [​IMG]

    Central China Area Army Headquarters

    City of Tsingtao (Japanese Concession)

    May 10th, 1941

    9:06 AM

    GENERAL Jun Ushiroku was reading through the seemingly endless Army news bulletins, as there seemed to be an increase in their length and frequency. He was eager to see if any big changes were planned. The waiting was bad for morale as were the kempeitai investigations.

    The first few were on promotions- General Toshizo Nishio was leaving his post as Chief of Staff of the Central China Area Army to command the Home Islands General Army, and General Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni to take his post. Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi got a promotion to full General and appointed Chief of Staff to the Southern China Area Army, and thus his new chief of staff. All routine.

    The next one made General Ushiroku nervous. A new medal.

    The new Bukokisho ("Badge for Military Merit") was to be approved in three classes, in both Army and Navy versions. Unlike the Order of the Golden Kite, which was either awarded posthumously or after a conflict ended, and even then usually only to officers, the "Bukosho' could be awarded to anyone, and awarded relatively quickly.

    There were three classes- 1st through 3rd. The badge was made in steel- blued for 3rd, bronzed for 2nd and gilt for 1st. There was an inscription on the reverse, and a design featurig shields and a banner with the kanji for "Military Merit" on the obverse. Medals were to be awarded for a single meritorious act, and individuals could be awarded each class once. In lieu of multiple awards of the same class, recommendation for the Order of the Golden Kite was suggested.

    Now, why would there be a need for a medal that could be awarded quickly and in large numbers...
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  11. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Quite likely, although it's not on the Tsar's mind now, realizing that the pound might be his own...

    Nailed it, on all counts! Plus, the Bulgarians are really in no position to object.
     
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  12. Anhtuan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Look at a picture, look at the line, look back to the picture again, look at the line, wonder does stress make people grow hair again.

    Don’t worry the chapter is great, I’m just laughing so hard at my misunderstanding.
     
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  13. Threadmarks: The Sun Rises in the East

    WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Sun Chuanfang, the "Nanking Warlord"
    EDIT: I had the wrong picture...this one is correct
    [​IMG]

    Wu Peifu, the "Jade Marshal"

    [​IMG]

    A nondescript tea house

    Shanghai, Republic of China

    May 12th, 1941

    1:27 PM


    SUN Chuanfang, nominally a General in the National Army, was walking down the familiar path. The path of a warlord, meeting an old acquaintance, who might prove to be very helpful to the Northwestern armies. Unusually, it was not Sun who had reached out first.


    That the Chinese forces saw their greatest successes under the command of Sun and his mentor, Wu Peifu, in the Northwest was no secret. The Japanese, and their allies in Manchukuo and Mengjiang were getting pushed farther back towards their borders, and if progress continued, they would soon cross their frontiers. However, just as Wu and Sun's troops became more effective, so too did the Japanese, and their puppet armies. They no longer faced frightened hordes barely better than mercenaries, or exhausted soldiers stretched too thin- they were now Japanese trained and equipped professional soldiers. Pujie, the Prince Regent of Manchukuo, inspired far more confidence than his brother, and that made a difference to morale on their side; and Prince De, the head of state in Mengjiang, presented himself as a modern-day Genghis Khan.

    It was also no secret that Chiang fell deeper and deeper into the thrall of his German advisors, seemingly by the day. He also kept the best trained and best equipped soldiers for himself, garrisoned in and around Nanking, Shanghai and Guangzhou. That was bad enough, but the flow of needed supplies trickled. Sun hoped that Chiang wasn't planning something utterly mad, like a frontal assault on the heavily-fortified city of Tsingtao, but one could never be sure with Chiang anymore. He grew bolder and more bellicose by the day.


    Sun traveled by a small plane, on "official business" to Shanghai. He remembered meetings such as these quite well, from when he was the warlord that controlled Nanking and Shanghai until Chiang's Northern Expedition expelled both himself, and Wu's forces to the northwest. Sun wore a simple, khaki, civilian suit and carried a brown leather briefcase.


    Today's meeting was in a private room of a dingy, nondescript tea house in Shanghai. That wasn't important. What was important was the person he was meeting with, and what he could do. It was none other than the Chinese-American businessman, Bao "Jimmy B." Jinping. Bao, according to some sources, was born in San Francisco to a Chinese father and Chinese-American mother, and split his childhood between northern California and Shanghai. He had powerful connections- as high as the Secretary of State- which varied depending on who you asked. Bao had officially made his fortune as a dealer in scrap metals, coal and building aggregates, and unofficially as a dealer in just about anything, especially favours and weapons.

    Bao was not a flamboyant man, unlike what one might expect. His suits were universally cheap grey flannel with natural shoulders, his collars small, his neckties subdued. He kept his head shaved and goatee trimmed, although his shoes were usually beat up and dirty. He lived in a modest apartment- not a hole or a dump, but certainly not fancy, and drove a Plymouth. You'd never notice him unless you were looking. He was highly intelligent in both book smarts and street smarts. He was fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and English, plus enough French, German and Korean to carry on a conversation.

    Bao breezed into the small room, slightly late, as he was known to do and sat down. Bao, although he was not known for his punctuality, also hated wasting time.


    "Well, Mr. Sun, we meet again" said Bao, opening the conversation. "It's been a while since we did business together"

    "Indeed it has" said Sun. "But this time, Bao, it was you who sought me out. I wasn't aware that I still owed you any debts. Or, is it you now looking to call on me for a favour?"

    "Nothing like that" said Bao, nonchalantly. "Well, the debts at least. Sun, what is the situation in the Northwest?"

    "Why does that interest you? Are you... offering?" asked Sun, an eyebrow raised

    "So, you're asking?" countered Bao, his face betraying no emotion.

    "I'm asking why you're asking" said Sun insistently

    Bao smiled. "Sun, if there wasn't a reason for you to ask, you wouldn't be asking if I was asking. Come now, you've known me a long time, and you know where to find me anyway. Have I ever given you reason to doubt me before? You know damn well that gangster Du isn't good for anyone's business but his friends' and especially his own. If I knew your situation better- I obviously only have an outsider's perspective, but it might be different than what the rags are pumping out. Nobody would know what I am about to know, or who led me to know it. It isn't good. Only a fool would think otherwise"

    "And how" replied Sun. "That Du is a bad influence on Chiang. Those ears are like blinders on him. He wants a quick end to this whole affair so he can get back to business as usual. So does Wang Jingwei, but he does not advocate such blindly aggressive methods as Du."

    "Go on"

    "The German advisors are a bad influence too. Not Falkenhausen; he is an asset, well-versed in military training and a capable diplomat. It's the new breed. That Eichmann character. Why a man of such low rank commands so much fear and awe, I do not know, but he clearly has powerful friends in Germany. I have not seen it with my eyes, as I am kept away, but I have heard he as his own batch of recruits trained outside the usual Army structure, and indoctrinated in ideological matters in addition to military training. But, this ideological indoctrination is foreign to China, and nonsensical."

    "China?" asked Bao. "Do you mean the Kuomintang? You know as well as I do there is more to China than the Party:

    "I do mean China" replied Sun. "It is an odious ideology that they are attempting to impart, this 'SS' cadre. It resembles the fanaticism that nearly took hold in Japan some years ago, but worse. I spent years as a monk, and have cleared much rubbish from my mind. I have learned much of the art of peace, as well as war. They forget that we are five races under one nation, and that it isn't one China, but a union of all Chinas that will lead us to success. Fanaticism, and a failure to tap the strength of the many and common purpose will lead to nothing but heaps of bodies under the Japanese guns at Tsingtao."

    Bao's interest was clearly piqued. "I can tell you something about the guns of Tsingtao. There are more of them. The Japanese are shipping over old battleship guns on railway mountings that their French allies helped them make. They have huge rangefinders and directors in towers. They have British radar- they can see planes coming from any direction, in any weather. Invading the city from the south would be a bloodbath. They have hundreds of thousands of fresh troops in Japan too."

    Sun was stunned. "Does Chiang not realize that this would be suicide?" he asked, clearly shocked.

    "If he does" replied Bao "He doesn't seem to care. He is doing anything he can to build up numbers. Du's gangs are even rounding up people that owe them money- and some even say people on the streets and press-ganging them into the Army. I have heard from some prominent and well-connected individuals in the business community that Chiang even wants sanctions on Britain and France to make them rein the Japanese in. Naturally, they won't be bullied like that, and Chiang would just make himself more enemies. He won't be appearing on the cover of Life magazine again any time soon, I can tell you that much. He's even trying to solicit- unofficially, mind,- American support for his cause, and has talked about closing off concessions if he doesn't get it"

    "Such a move would be disastrous! Idiotic!" said Sun, his voice hushed, and his face red with anger. "I speak for Wu and the Northwestern Armies as well when I say we will never support such a move, and that we will vehemently oppose it in any way we can!"

    "Do you speak for anyone else?" asked Bao calmly, an understanding having been reached.

    "I-we- can also count on the support of the Hui soldiers of the former Ma cliques, and I am sure there are many in Shanghai and Nanking who remember old times, and are not so keen on this... new model of leadership. That it might not be such a coincidence that these German advisors were brought in right after we were deposed. Is it Chiang using them as a strongarm against any who might oppose him, while they use him for their own aims? Some might say that"

    "But what do you say?" asked Bao.

    "I have no opinion on that; I care only for China's wellbeing" said Sun

    "That's a politician's answer if I ever heard one" said a bemused Bao. "But if you're looking to place a... hardware order... the time is now, as there may be some unscheduled distribution difficulties in the near future."

    "On the old account?" asked Sun.

    "For anyone else?" said Bao, the smile unfading "I would refuse, but for you and Wu? You need only ask. Best you just tell me, you know I have a habit of losing pieces of paper"
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  14. Md139115 Bring back the Inquisition!

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2017
    Location:
    Secret Catholic World Domination Conference
    Coup time! :D
     
  15. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Entirely possible, with or without outside assistance...
     
  16. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    International man of mystery, with a license to kill. ...Or distribute implements. Which kill. Which he is licensed to do.

    Close enough.
     
  17. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    I might not be able to update for a couple days, but I open the floor to any speculation on the China situation...:extremelyhappy:
     
  18. Eternity Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    The Garden City, South Island, New Zealand
    lol Total spy answer right there. Nothing to incriminate or trace either.....
     
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  19. Threadmarks: The Gathering Storm

    WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Wang Jingwei:
    [​IMG]

    ---


    THE world was shocked, but not surprised. Germany had invaded the Soviet Union. On May 23rd, 1941, Unternahmen Barbarossa commenced, and five Army Groups smashed their way into the western Soviet Union. Tank commanders, such as Heinz Guderian and Erwin Rommel, saw their forces win victory after stunning victory over greater numbers of Soviet tanks. It appeared that the quick victory that Germany desired in the Soviet Union was inevitable. Their advances were virtually unchecked; the Red Army caught by surprise and woefully unprepared.


    In China, however, the Pact of Steel encountered more problems. The advances against the Japanese, Manchukuo and Mengjiang forces ground to a halt. Ground forces strengthened their positions, and shipped equipment to the front, which was nearly at the antebellum borders of Manchkuo and Mengjiang.

    The air battles over China tended to favour the IJA and IJN, although an accident nearly occurred when Ki-27 kais from Nos. 33 and 57 Sentai and Zeroes from the carrier Takao attacked a flight of Stukas at the same time, nearly leading to mid-air collisions and a humiliating incident in which the Zeroes dived on the Ki-27s and nearly traded gunfire until they spotted the hinomaru on the wings of the "enemy" aircraft. This event was the catalyst for instituting a system of improved cooperation and coordination for the air defence of Tsingtao. Both the Navy and Army complained loudly about the conduct of the rival force, and the matter was quickly settled by an order by the Emperor himself, demanding that "this humiliating event should never be repeated, and I trust that it will not". A perimeter defence system resembling the "Dowding System" was imposed by the IJAAS, and the Army and Navy were to advise each other when they detected enemy aircraft, and report the relative position of their own aircraft. While not perfect by any means, it was a marked improvement. The Army Type 0 Anti-Aircraft Gun, a licence-produced variant of the Vickers QF 3.7 Anti-Aircraft Gun was appreciated greatly as well.

    The primary IJA Air Service fighter at this point was the Nakajima Ki-27 Kai. Entering service in 1940, and cribbing a few pointers from the Improved Navy Type 96/ Bushido, it had considerable differences from the earlier marks, yet not enough to merit a different "Ki" number. It featured a more powerful Nakajima Kotobuki 3-Kai radial engine with ejector exhaust stacks and retractable undercarriage, the additional weight offset by the more powerful engine and weight reduction measures elsewhere. It was lightly armed, with one 7.7mm machine gun and one 12.7mm machine gun, firing explosive ammunition. In this improved form, it was slightly faster and much more maneuverable than the Chinese Polikarpov I-16 fighters, but still struggled against the Bf-109D and relied on surprise and pilot skill to take on a Bf-109E, even in its detuned export form. The Ki-43, however, was accepted by the IJAAS in April, and would be ready for production in quantity by July, whereupon it would first replace the older marks of the Ki-27.

    There was much frustration in China, as a lengthy stalemate loomed, and the ways to break it were a subject of much debate. Production increased, but American investment decreased following the Saratoga Incident. Chiang found himself unable to find quite as many willing partners in the China Lobby- in fact, many seemed all too eager to distance themselves from him. Wang Jingwei was one of many voices in the KMT who favoured brokering some sort of settlement, or at least a ceasefire with the Japanese. During this time, it was hoped that the remaining Communists could be purged and the Army enlarged and given more training and equipment.

    ---

    Nanking, Republic of China

    Government HQ

    June 3, 1941

    10:34 AM


    YET another meeting between the KMT leadership and the German advisors was in progress, and once again, the tension in the air was thick enough that you could cut it with a knife. Chiang, Wang and Du sat on one side of the desk, with Wang at Chiang's right and Du at his left. Falkenhausen and Eichmann sat on the other side, and an increasingly tense translator stood at the edge of the desk.

    Eichmann broke the stony silence "This situation is untenable, as you are well aware. Our other commitments mean China must assume more responsibility for its own defence"

    Chiang was taken aback. Wang winced. Du banged his fist on the desk. "So, why is it, after all the 'help' and 'advice' you've given us, that the Japanese are still there? How, Eichmann, can the troops you assured me -us- would be supermen, get thrashed by conscript units? How is it that the Japanese always seem to know what we're doing, and we have no idea? Defence? Why aren't we winning?" bellowed Du.

    "You're both right, in a sense" said Wang, far more calmly. "This situation is untenable, and we should be winning. This affair must be brought to a close, and it is my hope that it can be done so with terms in our favour"

    "That is my hope as well" replied Falkenhausen. "A solution to bring this to a quick conclusion without senseless losses is the best for all parties. Under your leadership, Generalissimo Chiang, the National Army has become a mighty force indeed, and one that the nations of the world would be loath to do battle with. Your abilities have even led to the Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose reaching out to us for assistance in expelling the British from India. With such a formidable reputation, offering terms to the Japanese would be my advice as well, along with cultivating relations with Bose."

    Eichmann look agahst. "That fakir has nothing to offer us" he sneered. "The Japanese must be utterly crushed before anything else can be contemplated. If not, what will stop them from coming back? First the Japanese must be removed, then the Communists within China, and then Soviet aggression in the East curtailed. Everything east of the Yenisei River, from the Arctic Ocean to the South China Sea can then belong to China. With this plan followed, the world will belong to us"

    "The world, Mr. Eichmann?" said a skeptical Chiang. "We have yet to consolidate China. I grow weary of constant foreign interference, of China being used by foreign powers for their own benefit. This Bose... does sound interesting, but I am not sure this is the right time. Falkenhausen, see about putting us in contact. But, there are more pressing matters."

    Chiang's rage intensified, as his impassioned speech continued. "I am sick of these back and forth battles over China's sovereign territory, while Britain and France stand by and allow Japan to wage a war of blatant aggression and the Americans sit on the sidelines and cash in on it. But no more. Falkenhausen, I look to your advice on how to get the Japanese out, by any means necessary. If we have to make Britain, France and America pay, then so be it. I am tired of being played."

    "By any means?" asked Wang. "Do you not think it better if we are able to maintain cordial relations with such powerful nations?"

    "I don't give a damn about cordiality anymore" shot back Chiang. "I want the foreign enemy out of China."

    "Surely you don't consider us to be among the foreign devils?" said a dead-eyed Eichmann.

    "Don't give me a reason" replied a red-faced Chiang. "Gentlemen, we have urgent business to attend to. Good day to you"
     
  20. Threadmarks: The Pounding of the Drums

    WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    In case everybody is wondering "Why is @WaterproofPotatoes going on about backroom politics in the ROC when the biggest military campaign of all time is underway in the Soviet Union?", this should make things a bit clearer...

    ---

    Manila, Philippines

    July 12th, 1941

    9:19 AM


    MACARTHUR was reading the news, and was disappointed, but not surprised. The China situation wasn't going away. Peace talks were on, and progress was not particularly encouraging.


    This was bad. There was no way around it. China and Japan were at last discussing peace, but as usual, Chiang could be counted on to screw it up. The terms the Chinese delegation offered Japan were downright insulting: a demand for complete withdrawal from Manchukuo and Mengjiang, an admission of guilt for starting the war, and extradition of Prince De, Puyi and Pujie. In exchange, Japan would be given a 49 year lease for the Kwantung Leased Territory, and be allowed to keep their concessions in Shanghai and Tianjin. The only benefit was an additional lease on the port of Andong.

    The Japanese delegation, headed by the aging General Iwane Matsui, who had been called from retirement, had terms that were equally insulting: an expanded Manchukuo and Mengjiang, the cession in perpetuity to Japan of an expanded Kwantung Territory extending as far south as Shanghai, all of Tianjin, indemnity for starting the war, assumption of costs for Puyi's "retirement" in Macau and reparations for the damage done to HIJMS* Hyuga.

    Neither option was realistic. Intelligence indicated that the Japanese would be content with keeping their puppet states with their antebellum borders, Kwantung ceded to Japan in perpetuity and Tsingtao added to it. Wu Peifu was reported to have come up with a "shadow" offer: the return of Mengjiang to China and a smaller Manchukuo ceded to Japan, a 99-year lease on the Kwantung Leased Territory and railway trackage rights connecting the Japanese concessions on the coast, and both sides agreeing on mutual indemnity or joint responsibility for the war. These latter positions were much less far apart and much more reasonable, but Wu wasn't allowed anywhere near the bargaining table, and Chiang's bellicosity provoked the Japanese further. Chiang would never agree to anything less than a Japanese admission of guilt for starting the war, as it would reflect poorly on his leadership if he did not.

    This was bad enough, but the other news was worse. Chiang was now threatening Britain and France with expulsion from their concessions in China. Failure to force Japan to accept the Chinese offer, or offer "equivalent territorial holdings" in Hong Kong, Malaya, Indochina and Burma, would result in "dire consequences" in addition to their concession rights being terminated. London and Algiers were not impressed. Chiang also overplayed his hand with the USA by demanding an immediate total embargo on Japan and freezing Japanese assets in the USA if they refused to comply. Failure to do so would result in a termination of American concession rights in Shanghai. This too was not looked upon favourably. Nobody tells Uncle Sam what he can and cannot do.

    This outrage was backfiring on Chiang, and fast. The China Lobby clammed up. The "Hitlerites" corrupting him was blamed, as was the suspicion of a brain tumor for his outstanding lapse in judgement. He underestimated Britain and France's ties to Japan. He underestimated the United States' force of will, and the strength of the "Special Relationship" with Britain- the United States would not directly undermine her ally by interfering with Japan's economy in such a drastic way- not would the USA be cowed into it.

    Intelligence also indicated that Wu and Sun were horrified by Chiang's proposals. It was hoped that they would refuse to back Chiang should he carry out his plans. Falkenhausen was silent in his disapproval, Wang muttered it; Du and Eichmann shouted their support. The latter in particular overestimated his importance and indispensability greatly. This plan reeked of his influence, however. The determined aggression, and how it coincided with Germany's aims in the Soviet Union. Moscow by Christmas didn't look impossible now.

    The clock was ticking. While no official ceasefire was in place, there was little in the way of fighting in the past week. The tension was greater than ever.


    MacArthur penned some speeches, depending on what happened, to be broadcast over the radio. Some were congratulations for successfully negotiated peace.

    For the worst case scenario, one which read "I shall come to quell distress, and stand for freedom and righteousness against the forces of violence and chaos. I shall not leave until they are destroyed."

    ---
    *
    TTL, Japanese warships officially bear the prefix "His Imperial Japanese Majesty's Ship" as of March 15th, 1941, the day the Manchukuo Imperial Navy was brought into existence, with the transfer of 3 IJN second-class destroyers to Manchukuo. These latter ships bear the prefix HIMMS.
     
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