TL-191: After the End


January, 1967-March, 1967—A second series of clashes occur between the Japanese Kwantung Army and Russian forces in Siberia. They range in size from hand-to-hand combat to a brief firefight involving opposing barrel brigades.

Throughout these fights, General Ishii maintains the most belligerent posture in the Japanese cabinet. Most of the voices urging restraint come from the naval commanders, who have no desire to jeopardize Japan’s already tense relationship with the United States. The army officers in the government tend to support Ishii, who has already purged that military branch of many conservative, restraining voices.

There are also border clashes during this time between the Russians and the Japanese and their Mongolian allies.

The United States quietly, to Russian assent, redoubles its efforts to assist in the modernization programs for the Russian military. In a private message to President Humphrey, Viktor Turov assures that in the event of war, America will be allowed to use Russian airspace.

January 11, 1967 onwards—The beginning of the Manchukuo Mutiny and the Second Chinese Revolution. To the surprise of the local Japanese and Manchukuo authorities, who had not been expecting major political unrest until the spring (and specifically May Day), a massive revolt against the Japanese and their puppet rulers begins, sparked when off-duty Kwantung Army soldiers get into a fight with Chinese civilians in Harbin.

The explosion of rioting quickly spreads to other cities throughout Manchukuo. Mirroring the beginnings of the Second Russian Revolution, reports soon reach Kwantung Army headquarters in Vladivostok of mutinies erupting throughout the Manchukuo National Army, as soldiers from the puppet regime not only refuse to fire on civilians, but also turn on their loyalist officers.

Peasant revolts also erupt in the countryside, as local farmers, fed up by Manchukuo’s (and Japan’s), heavy tax and labor levies, join in the uprising. Besides the Japanese, the rebels are enraged at the policies of their puppet emperor, Puyi.

Suddenly confronted by massive threats to Japan’s rule in the puppet state, General Ishii orders those Kwantung Army units not engaged with the Russians to put down the uprising and to “spare no quarter.”

February 1-May 15, 1967— The “Smiley Affair.” In a press conference held in front of the Remembrance Center’s New York headquarters, Cassius Madison publically charges that newly elected Virginia congressman Gregory Smiley is in fact John Smalls, a wanted ex-Freedom Party guard responsible for overseeing wartime massacres in North Carolina and Tennessee.

At first, a number of Southern politicians angrily denounce the charges, claiming that Madison is leading a “witch hunt.” The scandal will dominate the domestic news cycle throughout the winter and spring.

Things come to a head in May, when the Justice Department, which has also been investigating Smiley (independently of Madison), prepares to indict the congressman after confirming that he is in fact actually John Smalls. He is arrested in Lynchburg, and brought to New York for trial. It will be open in January of 1968.

The entire Smiley Affair has several long-term political consequences. New York’s Senator Joshua Blackford roundly criticizes the Southern Democrats who publically defended Smiley/Smalls. There is a lot of soul searching in the immediate years that follow, with many Americans wondering how successful the integration of the former Confederate states has actually been thus far.

February 9, 1967—Rhodesian authorities announce the death of Thomas Sithole, the leader of the militant wing of the Rhodesian People’s Union, after a firefight with his entourage near the South African border. In spite of this announcement, the Rhodesian Turbulence continues, with heavy assistance from the Independence Movement. The leadership of the R.P.U. militants is transferred to a committee of Sithole’s officers, while Josiah Muzorewa continues to be held in prison.

March, 1967 onwards—In spite of inflicting horrendous casualties on the rebels, the Japanese have failed to crush the Second Chinese Revolution. Economic life in both Manchukuo and the rest of Japanese-occupied China has come to a standstill. The most serious enterprise to come to a halt is Manchukuo’s Daqing oil fields, which the Japanese military depends on as a secure source of petroleum.

Revolts have also broken out throughout the network of Laogai (“labor camps”) in Manchukuo and throughout the rest of Japanese occupied-China, as news of the revolt continues to spread. The escaping inmates from the Laogai feed the strife that has continued throughout Japan’s occupation of eastern China and Manchukuo. General strikes from factory and shipping workers have brought the major economic life of cities as far apart as Hong Kong and Shanghai to a standstill.

The crisis is only exacerbated by the death of their puppet ruler Puyi, who dies on March 15. The Kwantung Army steps in to act as a regent for Puyi's eldest son, who takes power in secrecy under armed guard. [1]

In Xian, the National Reconstruction Army, the largest offshoot of the now fragmented Nationalists, continues to build its strength, now fed by both U.S. and Russian arms. American advisors, primarily from the O.S.S., begin assisting the Chinese in retraining and improving their military might.

In Tokyo, some military officials quietly wonder if this new, massive revolt in both China and Manchukuo can provide an opportunity to effectively “declare victory and withdraw,” in the words of one admiral who participates in these secret discussions. However, General Ishii, and the officers aligned with him are fanatics, and will not countenance the very thought of ending Japan’s military offensive in China, in spite of the mounting physical and economic costs.

But desperate to end this rebellion, Ishii decides to revert to Japan’s stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Although Japan does not have a superbomb (which Ishii also desperately wants), there are weapons in the I.J.A.’s arsenal that are immensely horrific.

April 1, 1967-September, 1967—News reports filtering out of Manchukuo throughout the first week of April begin telling of a massive atrocity afflicted by the Japanese against the rebel-held city of Tsitsihar [OTL Qiqihar]. Although it takes another week for national governments to confirm what has happened, the indicators are clear. The Japanese military has bombarded the city with chemical and biological weapons, developed for decades in labs overseen throughout Manchukuo. Unit 731, once headed by General Ishii’s father (and specializing in biological and chemical warfare), spearheads the ground assault, along with Unit 1644 and Unit 100. Although no exact figure for the number of victims is ever tallied, scholars, led by a joint-U.S.-Chinese team after the Fourth Pacific War, will later calculate that at least 200,000 civilians were killed in the initial attack, with countless more injured. This tally does not factor in those in the surrounding countryside who succumb in the coming months from Unit 731’s engineered viruses.

This is the first recorded use of deliberate chemical warfare against civilians since the Southern Holocaust, during the Second Great War.

The resulting outcry from around the world takes Tokyo by surprise. In a joint session of Congress called on April 12, President Humphrey announces that the United States will embargo all shipments of raw materials to the Empire of Japan, including scrap metals and minerals vital for Japan’s war machine. Humphrey demands clearly that Japan bring the perpetrators of the atrocity to justice.

Over the next month, those members of the C.D.S. who have not done so already cut diplomatic relations with Japan. In retaliation, General Ishii orders the expulsion of all American diplomatic personal from throughout the Co-Prosperity Sphere.

The diplomatic rupture that Japan experiences is wider than that, however. Throughout the spring of 1967, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia all end diplomatic relations, along with many individual states in the Independence Movement.

Almost all international observers are now certain of an inevitable war eruption sometime in the year between the Americans and Japanese. No one, however, can predict what the actual trigger for a shooting conflict will be.

World markets react negatively to the expanding crisis in Asia and the Pacific, bringing an end to the post-Second Great War worldwide boom of the last two decades. Energy prices, relatively low until now, begin to climb, especially with the U.S. refusal to purchase Japanese-held oil from Borneo or Manchukuo.

President Humphrey meets with the ambassadors from the various members of the C.D.S. throughout the spring, and gets promises from all for contributions of men and material for any confrontation with Japan. Chile, Ireland, Mexico, and Quebec promise to dispatch more units to Australia, to bolster their soldiers already there.

April, 1967 onwards—The Japanese attack on Tsitsihar sparks panics in the C.D.S. members closest to any prospective front lines of a Fourth Pacific War. In Australia, the government orders the evacuation of all non-essential civilians from the northern halves of Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia. This massive movement of people, coordinated with assistance from U.S. troops stationed in the country, will largely by completed by October 1967.

Separately, the new International Health Organization, although still in its beginning stages, begins dispatching doctors, nurses, and stockpiles of medicine to the nations bordering the Co-Prosperity Sphere. A request by the I.H.O.’s Chief Administrator, Doctor Antal Lajos to send in doctors to deal with the emerging epidemics caused by the Tsitsihar Massacre is coldly denied by General Ishii, however.

April 9, 1967—In a wide-ranging interview with the Frankfurter Zeitung, Matthias Neyere reiterates his goals for an independent Tanganyika. He also, to the surprise of his interviewer, Willy Becker, lashes out at several of his colleagues in the T.P.U., suggesting that the movement is now suffering from internal rivalries in its leadership.

May 1, 1967—Anti-Japanese protests explode into another major uprising against Tokyo in the puppet Empire of Indochina. Much of the violence is centered in the Vietnamese-majority regions of Indochina, with fresh disturbances reported in the Laotian region for the first time. Although Japanese and Imperial Indochinese soldiers manage to keep the cities under control, the countryside erupts into a combination of guerrilla attacks and peasant rebellions.

A separate conflict, simmering for years, also rises to the surface in the southwestern portion of Indochina, where Cambodian and Vietnamese militias begin openly fighting each other, as well as the Japanese.

Singapore, however, is heavily locked down this year, and remains at a standstill. The intensity of the uprisings throughout China and Manchukuo, however, has not dimmed. In fact, news from the massacre only fuels resistance, with the Japanese finding that they can no longer rely on local collaborators as they once did. The military leadership in Tokyo, reeling from the sudden diplomatic isolation of their country, and especially from the U.S. embargo, bring their combined voices to bear against General Ishii’s proposals to authorize more biological and chemical strikes against the rebels, for fear that another Tsitsihar-style massacre will spark an American surprise attack.

Brooding over this unexpected reversal, Ishii tells his cabinet that in the “inevitable final grapple” with the Americans, “no mercy will be shown.”

The annual rally held by the T.P.U. in Dar-es-Salaam is subdued this year, owing to fissures in the movement’s leadership, the fears, felt even in east Africa, of a new major war.

May 7, 1967—The Austro-Hungarian writer Gershom Kafka [2] publishes the first book in his Gladiator trilogy—Blooded Sand. The science fiction story is told from the perspective of German conscript Frederick Schmitt, who is kidnapped after finishing his training by a viciously powerful, but decadent alien civilization. He is forced to fight on a gladiatorial planet against warriors and ferocious animals from around the Milky Way. During the course of his adventures he meets, fights alongside, and sometimes against soldiers, mercenaries, and criminals of all stripes taken from the Earth for the same purpose that he was, from all throughout the world’s gruesome twentieth century, and before.

The Gladiator trilogy, later adapted for the big screen by German director Augustín Janda, is a massive bestseller, and propels Kafka to international fame. The sequels Blooded Snow and Blooded Swamp will be published in 1970 and 1973, respectively.

June, 1967 onwards—The beginning of the so-called “Gas Mask Summer,” as the United States government begins the mass distribution of gas masks across the West Coast and the Sandwich Isles (Australia and New Zealand have been issuing masks since the spring of 1967). Soon, from Baja California to Alaska Territory, the bug-like masks start to seem ubiquitous, which in turn only fuels the massive “war flight” into the interior.

To handle the growing need to house evacuees, the Army Corps of Engineers, and various state national guards, begin construction of massive temporary housing encampments from Saskatchewan to New Mexico. Most of the projects will be complete by the time war ultimately does erupt in the fall.

The term “Gas Mask Summer” will later become the title of a 1972 poem written by Simon Wells, a young evacuee from Los Angeles to Wyoming in the summer of 1967. His work will later be seen as one of the sparks of the “Nihilist” cultural movement that emerges in the 1970s after the Fourth Pacific War, in Australia, Europe, and the United States.

June 1, 1967 onwards—President Humphrey, and Germany’s Chancellor Friedrich Bayer, issue the San Francisco Declaration, issued in that city between the two leaders, as Bayer stops by on his way to inspect Germany’s military installations in the South Pacific. The Declaration states that an attack Germany's possessions in the Pacific will invite retaliation from both powers.

Intended to intimidate the Japanese into agreeing to halt their brutal crackdowns in Manchukuo and China, and agreeing to turn over the war criminals responsible for the Tsitsihar Massacre, the Declaration only further enrages General Ishii and his allies in the Japanese government. Ishii responds in a massive public tirade on June 2, in which promises explicitly to drive both Germany and the United States from the Pacific, “by any means necessary!”

Ishii’s speech terrifies the opposition within the Japanese government and military. Several naval officers, led by Admiral Okada Haruka, privately consider removing Ishii in a coup d’état, for the sake of avoiding a ruinous conflict with the C.D.S., Germans, and Russians.

In Hong Kong, the Japanese commanders announce that they have crushed the local rebellion. However, the port remains at a standstill for the next six weeks, as few local laborers return to work.

July, 1967-September, 1967—The Japanese continue to struggle against the massive Chinese revolts in Manchukuo, and the rest of their occupied portions of China. Economic activity remains at a standstill throughout the region, disrupting vital Japanese shipments of food, fuel, and raw materials. By the fall of 1967, the Daqing oil fields still remain out of commission, with rebels preventing crews from the Home Islands from rebuilding the multitude of burned out facilities.

July 1, 1967 onwards—Both the USAIA and the European Space Combine begin to increase their rates of satellite launches, from around two to three per year to ten to twelve.

July 4, 1967—The Fourth of July celebrations throughout the United States are subdued this year, as war clouds continue to loom over the Asia and the Pacific. President Humphrey spends most of the holiday meeting with officials from the Defense Department, the O.S.S., and ambassadors from the C.D.S.

July 20, 1967—Martial Law is imposed on the Big Island of the Sandwich Islands.

September 1-September 10, 1967—Exasperated by the Japanese refusal to negotiate and end to the fighting in Manchukuo and China, the Brazilians and Ottomans finally cut diplomatic ties with Tokyo.

More serious from General Ishii’s perspective is what happens later that month, when both Venezuela and the Ottoman Empire (the largest producers of oil in the Independence Movement), announce a “cutback” in fuel shipments to the Co-Prosperity Sphere, citing the unstable geopolitical situation.

In Nagoya, General Ishii holds two cabinet meetings, on September 7 and September 10. During the course of these secret meetings, Ishii, stressing that their nation now has “nothing left to lose,” and facing “economic and political warfare orchestrated by America and her lackeys,” pushes for a massive preemptive military assault against C.D.S. targets across the Pacific, in order to force the United States to concede total mastery of the Pacific and East Asia to the Japanese Empire.

The debate is acrimonious, as the Imperial Japanese Navy’s leaders, led by Admiral Okada, question the need for a massive war with the Americans. Once again, Ishii stresses that the United States is politically fragmented, economically fragile, and without the tolerance for taking high casualties.

Admiral Okada counters that the United States is no longer distracted in North America, whatever Ishii thinks; he also acidly reminds Ishii that the United States has one of the world’s largest superbomb and sunbomb arsenals, and that in that case it would only result in the destruction of Japan’s military and economic assets. Okada instead pushes for a “tactical reevaluation” of continuing the “China Incident,” suggesting that the empire would be better served in finding a non-violent way to end the diplomatic crises it faces from the other powers.

Thanks to Okada’s stubborn debate, Ishii fails to get a unanimous motion passed in the cabinet supporting war.

September 20, 1967 onwards—Admiral Okada is severely wounded in an assassination attempt in Tokyo, which is carried out by a squad of ultra-nationalist officer cadets. Subsequently, Okada tenders his resignation to Ishii, who coldly accepts.

Although many assume after the war that Ishii was the one who ordered the assassination attempt on Okada, evidence, collected by the Brazilian historian Thiago Amaral for his 1996 book The Age of Hatred suggests that in fact, it was an action taken by the shadowy Freedom Party-eque group Yuzonsha [3], with private encouragement from Ishii’s allies within the army’s high command, though without knowledge from Ishii himself.

However, General Ishii is more than happy to take advantage of the new situation. As he coldly tells the visibly cowed naval officers at the cabinet meeting of September 25, “To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss.” [4]

It’s at this meeting, held in Tokyo, that the decision is taken to go to war with the C.D.S.

September 25-October, 1967 onwards—The O.S.S. begins to pick up increasing volumes of chatter from the (deciphered) codes of the Japanese military command. O.S.S. Director George Thompson reports to the President and the Secretary of Defense that signs are pointing to a preemptive military assault, to be undertaken sometime in the late fall of 1967. Thompson advises Humphrey that Australia, the Sandwich Isles, and the entire U.S. west coast are the most likely targets.

On September 30, Humphrey, using a system of military alertness implemented by the Dewey Administration, moves the U.S. military to Alert Level 2, full-scale mobilization short of actually being at war.

The atmosphere at the White House, the Defense Department, and the O.S.S. is tense, augmented by a grim determination not to suffer another Operation Blackbeard.

During this period of time, all foreign businessmen in the Co-Prosperity Sphere who have not yet evacuated close down their offices.

The Japanese military commanders, in the meantime, recognize early on that Ishii’s initial plan, to launch a surprise attack against the Sandwich Isles or the West Coast similar to the surprise opening of the Hispano-Japanese War would likely prove disastrous. The U.S. Navy, with its massive carrier battle groups operating from the Sandwich Isles, Washington, and California, will likely spot the Japanese carrier groups before they can move into position.

Ishii reluctantly agrees with this assessment. Instead, he decides to shift the focus of the planned attack on a “soft” target. To this end, Ishii orders the focus of the attack to shift to Australia.

On October 1, Director Thompson reports to Humphrey that most of the chatter picked up from the Japanese indicates a renewed interest in the “furthest reaches of the Southern Resource Area.” He suggests that this is a sign that an assault is most likely to occur against Australia. The Secretary of Defense reinforces this line of thought; he informs the president that no unusual activity has been detected from Japan’s carrier battle groups strung along the huge nautical “neutral zone” that separates the two powers.

On October 3, Australia and New Zealand both announce a general mobilization. In retaliation (and after covert pressure from Tokyo), the governments of Burma, the Empire of Indochina, the Indonesian Confederation [Java and Sumatra], and Thailand all announce general mobilizations.

On October 15, an O.S.S. contact on Japanese-ruled West Papua reports an unusual burst of activity at a number of military bases. Already heavily militarized because of the presence of the German half of New Guinea (and nearby Australia), the island has become a hub of activity in the last two months.

Verified by similar German reports, the O.S.S. now suggests to Humphrey that the Japanese are installing long-range offensive weapons on West Papua and throughout the rest of the East Indies. Director Thompson suggests that the Japanese are refitting their ballistic missiles with biological or chemical warheads.

U.S. forces stationed in Australia are ordered to be on constant alert, and to be ready to make use of their gasmasks. The President orders that in the event of a Japanese launch against Australia, the military should be prepared for immediate retaliation.

Humphrey, remembering the horrors of the superbombings at the end of the Second Great War, also makes it clear that the United States will not deliberately target civilian areas with superbombs or sunbombs.

The rest of October passes, and the tension across the C.D.S.’s forward bases in the Pacific only increases. During this time, Germany completes the evacuation of all non-essential civilians from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

November 1-November 29, 1967—The Japanese complete their preparations for their planned assault, scheduled for November 30. The plan is code-named Operation Dissolution.

This month also sees preparations continue on the American side. Armed with intelligence from the O.S.S., President Humphrey keeps U.S. forces on Alert 2.

The trickle of “evacuees” continues to exit the West Coast for the American interior.

In Berlin, the German government discusses its contingency plans for any armed confrontation with the Japanese. It is decided that, for the sake of their interests in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, war will only be declared in the event of a preemptive Japanese attack.

In Moscow, Viktor Turov gets assurances from the other parties in the Duma that they will fully support for any conflict that is waged against the Japanese. On November 10, Turov announces Russian mobilization.

The Brazilian and Ottoman leaders, meeting in Asuncion on November 12, decide on a policy of neutrality in the event of another Pacific War. Neither government has any love for General Ishii, but are mostly concerned how a major armed confrontation between the C.D.S. and the Co-Prosperity Sphere will affect the world’s balance of power.

General Ishii is determined that that balance should shift in Japan’s favor. In Ishii’s mind, the United States is the one power that stands between Japan and the path towards global domination.

President Humphrey is determined to prevent General Ishii and Japan from dominating the entirety of the Pacific. Like other American military and political leaders of his generation, Humphrey remembers the horrors unleashed by Featherston’s Confederacy, and is determined to stop, in his mind, a similar madman from wrecking havoc on the world stage.

November 30-December 1, 1967—The Fourth Pacific War begins with the predawn launch on November 30 of Japanese missiles from bases scattered throughout the East Indies against C.D.S. bases in Australia. True the fears of the O.S.S., they are equipped with chemical warheads.

As soon as the launches are detected, by both y-ranging gear and (for the first time in military history) satellite, Australian and U.S. commanders order their fighters and bombers scrambled for an immediate counter-attack. U.S. missiles are launched, both from Australia and from submarines offshore, against the detected missile bases.

Across the length and breadth of the neutral zone, Japanese and U.S. carrier planes begin clashing over the Pacific.

The Japanese missiles, mostly (barring the inevitable ones which short out or prove to be duds), impact home. Thanks to months of preparation, U.S. and other C.D.S. troops almost all have their masks on upon impact. Thanks to the previous summer’s evacuation, there are no civilian casualties in the impact zones.

The gas, designed in Manchukuo by Unit 731’s scientists to be as deadly as possible, is a variant of nerve gas, and still proves deadly to thousands of C.D.S. troops.

In retaliation for this usage of weapons of mass destruction, President Humphrey authorizes Operation Infinity: by the end of December 1, hit with ballistic missiles across the Co-Prosperity Sphere, twenty of Japan’s largest military installations have been destroyed by superbombs. These are all bases far away from civilian areas. To General Ishii’s consternation, Admiral Okada’s predictions during the September cabinet debates have proven all too accurate. Suddenly, Japan’s offensive capabilities, carefully built up over the past two months for planned operations against the Aleutians, Australia, Hawaii, and New Zealand, have been almost completely destroyed.

Although Ishii will not admit it, Japan’s other military planners recognize that this will now be a war of attrition.

The President announces grimly to the nation, over radio and television that a state of war now exists between the United States of America and the Empire of Japan.

Thus begins the Fourth, (and final) Pacific War between the two powers.

December, 1967 onwards—The United States effectively ends Japan’s naval offensive capabilities during the course of this month. Although formidable and battle-trained, Japan loses over half of its carrier battle groups, to the Americans’ edge in both military intelligence and technology.

U.S. submarine squadrons also begin a sustained assault against Japan’s naval forces, and against its merchant marine. Due to overconfidence, the Japanese military regimes had not prepared for a submarine war, and even early in the war, the Home Islands begin to feel the bite of the loss in food and fuel shipments.

U.S. bombers, taking off from bases in Alaska, begin raiding targets throughout Manchukuo and even the Home Islands, again focusing their attacks on industrial and military targets.

December 1967 sees two significant economic losses for the Japanese Empire: the Daqing oilfields in Manchukuo (already off line for the most part due to the Second Chinese Revolution), and the huge refinery complex of Balikpapan, in Borneo. A string of missile attacks, and, in the case of Daqing, by massive attacks from American bombers, devastates both areas.

On December 10, Japan declares war on the Russian Republic, after a new round of clashes begin between Generals Golovin and Ikeda. In the beginnings of winter, there is not a lot of movement along the Siberian Front. However, even as Russian soldiers are rushed eastwards, President Turov authorizes the construction of three air force bases in the Russian Far East for usage by the Americans.

There is also fighting in Mongolia between the Russians and Japanese, although neither side has a lot of soldiers to spare for this theater of the conflict.

The steady stream of evacuees from the West Coast becomes a flood; by mid-1968, some five million people have moved into the U.S. interior. Fortunately, there is just enough emergency housing completed by that time for the massive influx.

1967 ends with what proves to be the conclusion of what will later be called the "First Phase" of the Fourth Pacific War. With Japan's abilities to wage offensives against Australia, New Zealand, and the United States curtailed, 1968 will see the C.D.S. go on the offensive, as well as the beginnings of the disintegration of the Japanese Empire and the Co-Prosperity Sphere.

* * *

[1] [In our world Puyi, the last emperor of Qing China and the Japanese puppet ruler of Manchukuo, died on October 17, 1967. In TTL, strained by the longer time period of being a puppet ruler and then by the Second Chinese Revolution, he dies seven months earlier than in our world.]

[2] [An ATL son of Franz Kafka, who lived a healthier, happier life than his OTL counterpart.]

[3] [Like its OTL counterparts, TTL’s Yuzonsha faction is influenced by the thoughts of Ikki Kita, a thinker who combined ultra-nationalism with a spirit of anti-capitalism. In TTL, although not a total devotee of his thoughts, General Ishii has been influenced by Kita’s extremism.]

[4] [This phrase is taken from one of the slogans of the Khmer Rouge in OTL, when referring to the so-called "New People".]


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Heh, it's finally back! Here's to hoping that the next update isn't so long in the making. :D But you didn't disappoint, David.

Definitely wasn't expecting the Japanese to try to directly hit the U.S. itself with chemical weapons. It's smart of Humphrey to avoid using sunbombs or superbombs on civilian targets, at least. Great, too, is that all of these countries are getting together to bring down Japan. The U.S. is going to need all the help it can get in fighting a war that's going to get bogged down very quickly and turn very ugly (uglier?) fast.

General Ishii sounds a bit like Hitler in the sense that he apparently doesn't see defeat as an option. I'm going to guess that that failed assassination on Okada's going to be important, especially considering that if he was willing to threaten a coup once...

Minor error: in TL-191, it's 'y-ranging,' not radar.

Interesting that the Brazilians and Ottomans basically just threw up their hands and said, 'Eh...' on this one. To be honest, association with the Empire of Japan (already negative in most of the world's eyes beforehand) sounds like it's going to be something they're going to want to distance themselves from as time goes on. Though admittedly, a big war going on with the potential for Germany and Austria-Hungary to get distracted by certainly means that those nations' colonies won't be focused on as much as they might be otherwise; perhaps they could use some prodding by the Independence Movement? ;)

I also hope you continue the references to things like the Nihilism movement, the Gladiator trilogy, etc. It makes TL-191: After the End that much more fun to read.

Until next time!
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Definitely wasn't expecting the Japanese to try to directly hit the U.S. itself with chemical weapons. It's smart of Humphrey to avoid using sunbombs or superbombs, at least. I think it's safe to say that TL-191 has seen enough usage of them as it is.

Operation Infinity (November 30) had the US use 20 superbombs. ;)
Would the Russians actually get their lost territories back? Also, assuming that Japan loses the next war, what would the fate of SE Asia be? Would the US, Germany and Russia split it?
Fantastic job with the update and it is nice to see this thread back up and alive.
The debate is acrimonious, as the Imperial Japanese Navy’s leaders, led by Admiral Okada, question the need for a massive war with the Americans. Once again, Ishii stresses that the United States is politically fragmented, economically fragile, and without the tolerance for taking high casualties.
The only thing I am curious about the reasoning for is this. Considering the casualties the US took in the First and Second Great Wars, you would think that the "American Society won't allow heavy losses" argument wouldn't apply to the US in TL-191. Then again, I wonder if the people that made that argument in OTL ever heard about the American Civil War.
This is really entertaining stuff, I daresay more entertaining than the actual TL-191 books.

Can't wait for 1968! Consider me subscribed.