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Author Topic: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]  (Read 34814 times)

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Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
I dont mean to be pushy but where is the next update?  :hopping:
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Enioch

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September came; the Asama, the third of the Takaos finished her working up cruise and joined her sisters. Japan's cruiser fleet was growing!



In October, a new round of infighting broke out in the Balkans. Unlike previous ethnic clashes, this one was purely ideological: Communism was gaining ground in "Europe's Powderkeg" and not in a peaceful way. Russia was very much invested in the Balkan developments, but Japan could not bring herself to get involved. Japanese diplomats just...spouted platitudes.



With Tokiwa commissioned and the entirety of the Takao class off the slipways, the Admiralty proceeded to scrap the final Akitsushima. Suma was sent to the breakers in November.



This rather skewed the balance of Japan's fleet. The Japanese had the best heavy cruiser fleet in the world; but no light cruisers whatsoever. In a pinch, the Takaos could perform light cruiser duties, but that was not their intended purpose and this was an imbalance that needed to be addressed.





Also, holy crap Spaghettis. This is insane.



In February, because insane IJN damcon wasn't insane enough, and inspired by the Akebono's predicament, the R & D department delivered on some better hatch designs and reinforced bulkheads. 





Here's the science situation, in February 1935. Note the magnificent synthetic fire control computers and the excellent oil burners employed by the Japanese.



During the same month, the French made a hesitant effort to expand their sphere of influence again, by deploying an expeditionary force to Angola. The Japanese were quick to assemble an international force of their allies; 'humiliate the French' was the mode du jour for international politics. The French, of course, highly resented the Japanese intervention; the Japanese Admiralty chuckled darkly at the ranting noises coming from the French Embassy-



-and, as tensions climbed higher, started training with live ammo again in Spetember. The death of the Emperor had been avenged but not forgotten and the French, apparently, hadn't learned their lesson.



During October and November, several good things happened.



Firstly, Kirishima was commissioned, with Haruna a few months behind.



Kirishima's slipway was immediately filled with another ship of her class, named Kongou, to honour the old renamed battlecruiser.





Also, Military Intelligence hit the jackpot, and produced the complete blueprints of the new British Inflexible-class Battlecruisers; and the Russian Pervenets-class Dreadnoughts. The British ships were quite respectable (if slightly inferior) copies of the Kirishimas, with an extra, lower-caliber gun and a knot slower; the Russian dreadnought was just...embarrasing, with a 12-inch belt and only basic ITMS fire control.



No, Germany. Why would I want 12'' guns? This isn't 1910.



In June, Haruna joined her sisters. And the funds released were immediately channeled into designing Japan's new light cruisers.



The Kumas were based on the concept of the old Unebis: dedicated raiders that could, in a pinch, serve as escorts in the line of battle. At 7.5k tons, they were the biggest light cruisers ever built by Japan, with a top speed of 31 knots (enough to keep the distance open against any enemy BC in existence) and engines built for reliable running; their large fuel stores allowed them an impressive range. They were AoN designs, with a downscaled torpedo defense system, to protect against mines. They bore a 6-gun broadside of 6-inchers and ten torpedo tubes in above-water mounts, with the best ITMS systems the Japanese could fit on their hulls. They also carried 30 mines, for use in foreign waters; the first three ships (Kuma, Izumi and Takachiho) were scheduled to leave their slipways in less than two years.



When the Spaghettis want tech, you sell the tech. Or they steal it and take it for free.





In July, the Government of Okada Keisuke, after long negotiations with the governors and local authorities of the Alliance members, proposed radical social reforms for the Alliance - perhaps too radical for the times. The changes would institutionalise universal suffrage from the age of 21 among all citizens of the Alliance (some of the most recent African acquisitions were still excluding women from voting), majorly reform the tax code and essentially eliminate trade tolls between Alliance members.

Okada being an ex-Admiral, the Navy stood behind his reforms; and part of the Navy's budget was channeled to best implement his designs with their blessing.



Unfortunately, the reforms were deemed unacceptable by the more conservative elements of Japanese society and by many Alliance administrations. The reforms were shelved and would be implemented piecemeal over the following decade by Okada himself and his successors.



In August, Haruna reported back from her workout cruise; her crew reported her to be perfectly daijobou.



In October, many interesting things happened. Firstly, Hiei was briefly placed in drydock for extended maintenance, leaving the guarding of the Japanese seas to Kirishima and Haruna; Secondly, reports came in that France was laying down a new Dreadnought (worrying); and, thirdly, the Russians commissioned the Pervert Pervenets.



Most importantly, the alliance with Germany expired, with the Germans making no overtures for a renewal. The Japanese didn't blame them and were quite willing to instruct German shipbuilders on better welding techniques: the resentment between the two nations appeared to have simmered out. Wilhelm III's stance on Java and his willingness to arrange for a semi-Alliance status for the island certainly helped in that matter - the Japanese saw the new German Kaiser as an enlightened ruler: the opposite of his warmongering father.





And the Admiralty warmly welcomed the cruiser Lutzow when she arrived in Sasebo on a goodwill visit.





The state of the world's navies at the end of 1936. Note that Japan outspends all minor powers and suffers no social unrest (usually a high budget causes protesting among the populace). Also note the insane number of capital ships in the GB and USA navies - but also the fact that Japan has the biggest destroyer fleet on the planet, tied with the British. Also note that the average Dreadnought size for the British and Americans remains ca. 35k tons; the smallest Japanese dreadnought is Nagato, at 42k.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:30:01 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
I dont mean to be pushy but where is the next update?  :hopping:

THE TIME IS NOW.

On a more serious note, there's probably the most important RL deadline of the last three-and-a-half years coming up for me: the point where I hopefully become Doctor Enioch to you uncultured plebes. I am using this thread as a means of self-therapy and to keep myself sane under the insane workload that is finalising a doctoral thesis. So, don't worry, I'm not giving up on it.

That said, updates might be delayed a bit (say once every two or three days). More feedback might mean more frequent updates, but I can't promise that.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Kongou dessss
That submarine count  :lol:

I dont mean to be pushy but where is the next update?  :hopping:

THE TIME IS NOW.
It works! Whine about updates and 3 minutes later there is one!  :D

On a more serious note, there's probably the most important RL deadline of the last three-and-a-half years coming up for me: the point where I hopefully become Doctor Enioch to you uncultured plebes. I am using this thread as a means of self-therapy and to keep myself sane under the insane workload that is finalising a doctoral thesis. So, don't worry, I'm not giving up on it.

That said, updates might be delayed a bit (say once every two or three days). More feedback might mean more frequent updates, but I can't promise that.
Oooh, good luck with that!  :yes:
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Can't drop anchor in the Med and not hit a Spaghetti Sewer Pipe.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Can't drop anchor in the Med and not hit a Spaghetti Sewer Pipe.

Kongou dessss
That submarine count  :lol:

'Sewer Pipe', lel  :P

It's almost like the Japanese need to do...something,  don't you think? :drevil:
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Enioch

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During the Christmas celebrations of 1936, the Austro-Hungarian Mayor of Serajevo was assassinated by a joint communist / anarchist strike. The Balkans, once again, boiled over and tensions between Russia and Austria-Hungary spiked. War was averted, for the time being, but resentment simmered under the surface. Japan watched, from halfway around the world, and shrugged her collective shoulders. The Russians were good neighbours and Austria-Hungary was a purely Mediterranean force - Japan was not particularly concerned with the developments there. France was the problem du jour.



For a New Year's gift, the Tsingatou shipyards made an excellent offer to the Admiralty: another Kuma-class was laid down, and named Naniwa in honour of the glorious old light cruiser of the German Wars, long since scrapped.



Around the same time, the Emperor, having served as a Navy officer, wished for a closer oversight of the Admiralty workings. He requested for a new summer palace to be built in the Hiroshima prefecture near the Kure base.



And, a month later, Military Intelligence got their hands on the blueprints of the Spaghettis' new heavy cruiser. 33 knots? 8-8inchers? Not bad. What is bad is the 'Improved' Director (instead of the more modern, Japanese, 'Advanced' Director), the 3.5 inch belt and the absolute lack of torpedoes. Sorry Spaghettis.



In April, the Prime Minister called on the Chiefs of Staff of both Army and Navy, and requested their imput on the situation with France. Could they guarantee a victory?

The response was...lukewarm. Both the Army and Navy felt confident in the superior quality of their men, equipment and ships; but the French still enjoyed a numerical advantage (their fleet not having suffered significant losses in the last war) and the Navy was bleeding out money. It was thought imperative that war be delayed until Kongou was ready to join her sisters in the line of battle; the Prime Minister agreed and arranged for the Naval Budget to receive extra funding. It wasn't enough to bring the funds into the black and some delays in the construction of the cruisers would be necessary, but if the Navy could have one more year of peace...



In May, the R & D folks provided the Admiralty with the designs for new automatic fire extinguishers. Japan has best damcon.



In August, the Admiralty was called to comment on the international situation. The press clearly expected a polemic against France; they were disappointed. The Admirals declared Japan's readiness to fight any foe, but did not specifically mention France. Kongou was still 15 months away from completion, after all.





Holy crap. 12 16-inch guns? This thing is a mons-

-Wait, wait, wait.

An 11-inch belt? 11-inch turrets? No superfiring turrets? On a 26-knot Dreadnought? In 1938?



Yeah, this is not a monster.



Why you cheeky motherf-



Well, it's better than the Spaghetti version.

The Admiralty also noticed the preference for 8-inch guns in foreign armored cruisers. The 6-inch broadside of the Takaos, while impressive in its volley of fire, seemed rather...anemic in matters of range, now.



Well, Germany, you tried.



In May 1938, new ambitious programs were put forth, for public works in the Alliance's African holdings. The Trans-African Railway had proved its worth in the past; now, it was important for the rest of the African holdings to be linked to an ever-expanding rail network, the greatest branch of which extended from Tanga towards the north. A deal was arranged with the British for joint work in Kenya; the East African Route crossed Kenya and friendly Ethiopia to reach Djibouti.



7 months. Just 7 more months. Buy time



Ahahaha.



YES. ALL THE MONEY.



And ALL THE DAMCON.



In a bid to ease tensions and with Kongou only four months away, the Admiralty organised a naval gathering in September. There were parties and diploming and a regatta, as usually happens during these things; surprisingly, the Tzarists behaved like true gentlemen. Truly good neighbours.



Wait, what?





What is this? Could it be?





Ahahahaha. OH THE SPAGHETTI TEARS. OH THE SALT.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:30:52 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Is it possible to pull a Grosstraktor and keep on submarining anyway in violation of such treaties?

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Um, while its funny that 75% the Italian naval tonnage just got scrapped wasn't the IJN Submarine Service one of the better in the world? 

Allowing your submarine force to be removed for the dubious utility of screwing over the Spaghettis seems a little odd...
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Not for subs (it's pretty much impossible to say 'this isn't a submarine, it's a sewer pipe')

There are other treaties that limit the caliber of guns you can use (can't get around those, but you can pull a Mogami and plan ships with the explicit intention of upgunning them post-war-declaration); and treaties that limit the maximum displacement of ships that can be constructed. If you're an autocracy (or otherwise non-democratic regime) you can cheat the treaties by up to 10% of the proscribed displacement (i.e. you can build 11k ton ships instead of 10k ton ships).

Also, by declaring war, you immediately repudiate all treaties in effect; and other nations are free to do so too. Which means that the Spaghettis have lost the entirety of their subfleet but the minute I declare war on the Baguettes, they'll be able to start building again.

EDIT:

Um, while its funny that 75% the Italian naval tonnage just got scrapped wasn't the IJN Submarine Service one of the better in the world? 

Allowing your submarine force to be removed for the dubious utility of screwing over the Spaghettis seems a little odd...

Eh. Most of my subs were getting pretty old for my purposes anyway. There are upgrades to be had. Also, the French had ~ 35 modern subs to my 21; so, given that the war was imminent, I thought it a good idea to clear the seas, as it were, and give the battlewagons room to maneuver without having to worry about torps crawling up their afts.

Even if the Frenchies start building subs the day the war is declared, it's gonna take them 16 months to get their first batch in the sea. And I have the biggest ASW fleet in the world.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 09:25:19 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]



also let me just quote myself:
That submarine count  :lol:
Rip pastalovers
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Enioch

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The Admiralty had to radically reform their ranks under the new circumstances. The twenty submarines of the Silent Service had been scrapped, in accordance with the newly signed Lisbon Treaty; the balance of power had radically changed.

The Japanese knew that this status quo would never last long; the submariners were assigned to Minesweepers, where their experience would greatly help develop new ASW tactics; and select few officers were assigned to the R & D department, there to help design the new generation of Japanese submarines.









The scrapping of the submarine fleet released a considerable amount of funds from maintenance; these funds were assigned to the construction of a scaled-down version of the Takaos. While still only armed with 6'' guns, the Myokos were as capable as the Takaos, in a smaller, lighter and cheaper frame.



The Admiralty also arranged for the export of military equipment to several countries of South America, in collaboration with the USA; this was the first time the two countries worked together to such an extent since the Uchida-Roosevelt Pact and heralded a considerable improvement in their relations. It also provided a massive raise of the Admiralty's budget.



At the perfect time, too. In December, Kongou was commissioned and departed on her shakedown cruise, joining up with her sisters in the South China Sea. The 'Fearsome Four', as the Americans would nickname the battlecruiser pack, were together for the first time.





The funds from Kongou were immediately shifted toward getting Myoko a sister-ship; and also laying down a batch of Hatsuharus



On the 23rd of March, 1939, Paul de Crecy, an unassuming French worker in the Ministry of Defense, was arrested for spying on behalf of the Japanese. The Japanese governement originally denied all involvement, but the French presented irrefutable evidence of past dealings and leaks in which de Crecy had played a major part.



Still reeling under the humiliation of their past defeat; their anger as a nation still simmering under the surface, the French did not delay in presenting the Japanese with an ultimatum, revoking their acknowledgment of Japanese control over Djibouti and giving the Japanese forces there a week to pull out in their entirety. The Japanese scoffed.



And there was war.





<insert surrender monkey meme here>





The Imperial Army had been doing nothing but preparing for the inevitable war; they were ready. The 2nd Askari Army and the 10th Japanese Army invaded Senegal and Annam respectively and entrenched themselves in forward positions. To the Frenchmen's credit, they put up a respectable fight; the colonial forces in Senegal, in particular, under the command of Colonel Charles de Gaulle were particularly effective in dulling the initial thrust of the Japanese forces. It is worth noting that de Gaulle had a company of the Foreign Legion under his command and these men fought like lions.



The French Navy, on the other hand, persisted in not accommodating the Japanese with a good fight.



Instead, they sent out raiders to strike at Japanese shipping.



One of the raiders, a Syrcouf-class light cruiser intercepted a supply convoy rushing to reinforce the Askaris in Senegal.



Unfortunately for her, the convoy was guarded by Kuma and Izumi; and a squadron of destroyers.



One-on-one, the Syrcouf was no match for a single Kuma but could, at least, outrun her. Two Kumas could not only outrange her, but could put twelve ITMS-guided shells in her as soon as she crept into range.
 


And, inevitably, one of these shells punched through the Syrcouf's 1-inch belt armor and cut her speed to twenty knots. As the Kuma and Izumi closed the range, their fire became more effective.



Until Kuma cracked the Frenchman's spine with a broadside at under five thousand yards.



Scratch one fromage. Tennoheika Banzai.





The Admiralty also laid down a sister to the Musashi. The Yamato was based on the same design, but it was also slightly larger, with better 17-inch rifles, a knot faster and with a slightly increased secondary battery.



And the 'Maru boys', their crews reinforced by Silent Servicemen, once more left their moorings and scattered all over the shipping lanes in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.





Among the Navy, they would be the first to bleed. In July, with the land war raging, the French made a desperate attempt to strike at Japanese land targets in support of their forces.



Under cover of darkness, a French heavy cruiser slipped past the Japanese patrols and reached the coast of Annam. There, it ran across the Minesweeper Dairen Maru. The Japanese ship managed a brief wireless squawk of alarm, but had no chance against the French cruiser; and the French ship proceeded to bombard its land target with impunity, before the Takachiho and her destroyer flotilla drove her off.





By the end of the month, the Japanese were getting frustrated by the stalemate in the African front. There was no denying the valor of the Askaris, their commitment to the fight or the skills of the officers in command of the operation; but de Gaulle was proving to be a capable and determined opponent. In an effort to break the deadlock, the 3rd Askari Army was redeployed from Tanganyika to the front. The French had deployed a unit of experimental 'VBs' ('Vehicule Blinde' or 'Armored Vehicles') to Africa and de Gaulle was utilising them effectively in counterattacks against the Japanese; the 3rd Askari brought with them sufficient artillery support to best counter these contraptions.



On the 15th of August, two Fauconneau-class destroyers snuck to the coast of Sumatra, in a secret mission to deploy a team of saboteurs against the Japanese oil fields. Unfortunately for them, they were unaware of the presence of an ITMS observation station in the area and were spotted on their approach; even worse, Kongou and Kirishima, with a squadron of Mutsuki and Hatsuharu escorts were just over the horizon.



The two battlecruisers crested the Koeta Radja cape at flank and found themselves at a range of under 10,000 yards from the enemy destroyers. Capitaine de Vesseau Jean-Philippe Poulain, the CO of Arbalette expressed the French sentiments succintly: he is said to have just muttered 'Oh, putain'.


 


This was a range that Hiei had already demonstrated was well within the capabilities of Japanese ITMS-guided fire; Kongou opened up with her forward batteries with no preamble. The Arbalette was clipped by a 17-inch explosive shell which knocked out her engine and left her dead in the water; Poulain struck his colours immediately. His escort, the Fauconneau made the mistake of running. Kongou pursued, only two knots slower than the French ship; and her rifles barked three more times, in carefully aimed salvoes. In her third attempt, she scored three hits with her main battery; in an instant, the Fauconneau was a drifting ball of flame.









Good girl.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 06:29:55 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Update poll to include Kongou  :p
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Done
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Hello Cans, I learned this trick from cousin Warspite.

“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline Enioch

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The French made their first tentative overtures for peace in August. This time around, they were not harried by the Germans, or engaged in a European front; but their economy had not recovered from the Great War as much as they'd have liked and their forces in colonial regions were on the back foot. They were willing to make concessions, but Japan asked for more than they were prepared to give, and so the war continued.



A glimpse at the world stage. Note that, while the capital ship fleets of Japan and France are comparable in tonnage, Japan leads (or is about to lead) in pretty much everything else.



Not a surprise, given that the Japanese economy (and its massive colonial holdings) can support a yearly Naval Budget that is the equivalent of 120 million pounds higher than the French. In fact, Japan is outspending every Minor Power and lags only 150 million behind the Brits.
 


The French Navy continued to be an embarrassment, as Japanese cruisers bombarded targets in Senegal unopposed in October.



During the same month, the Japanese Intelligence services located a known French Anarchist in Kwang-Chou-Wan: Gabriel Destours. He was living incognito and publishing his treatises under a pseudonym in self-imposed exile: he was a known player in the Anarchist scene, with many connections back in France. If provided with the necessary support, he could serve to be a major destabilising factor for the French government.

The Military Intelligence and Navy considered sneaking him back to mainland France for all of two days, before somebody brought up how people inspired by the ideals of this fellow might get it in their minds to do...foolish things. Like kill another Emperor.



Good news in November, as one of the few remaining French destroyers in the South China Sea hit a mine and sank off Annam. The submarine designers looked upon the reports and hummed, thoughtfully...



Hmmmmmmm....



One thing the French could be proud of, however, were their surface raiders. Operating, in many cases, inside Japanese territorial waters, the French cruisers accounted for 160,000 tons of shipping in November alone. The Japanese gritted their teeth and bore it, all the time preparing for their counterattack.



And they were right; for the reinforcements in Senegal managed to finally crack de Gaulle's defenses. The French were forced to retreat deeper into the continent, only retaining control over a few minor ports. The VB corps of de Gaulle was rendered nearly battle-ineffective because of the lack of spare parts; the Foreign Legion fought on, however, and the Japanese victory was far from assured.





Encouraged by their naval success, the French prepared to reinforce Senegal; but also renewed their peace overtures. Their request for a white peace incensed the Japanese Army and Navy, who felt that their sacrifices would amount to nothing. The Government did not require much prompting to shelve the negotiations.



In January, a major resupply convoy departed Tonkin for Annam, the overland routes being contested by Japanese troops. The French believed that their cruisers had secured sufficient control over the coastal areas for them to risk deploying the convoy; unfortunately, the Japanese had several destroyers on station. Sawakaze, Tachikaze and Asakaze were dispatched to intercept the French ships.



The Japanese force sighted the French convoy two hours after noon, on the 4th of January; the Japanese raiders signalled that they had acquired their targets back to HQ and prepared for close engagement.





It seemed, originally, that luck would favour the French. A few minutes after the targets were identified and the Japanese ships crept into range of the escorting French destroyers, a lucky shot from a French 4'' gun struck Sawakaze's fore torpedo launcher. One of the four Type-93 torpedoes exploded on its mount, destroying the launcher and bathing the ship's bridge in flame. Twenty-three men died instantly. But the Sawakaze's power plant and its armament were otherwise unharmed. Ensign Arashi, now the highest-ranking officer alive, took command of Sawakaze and turned her to engage the enemy, commanding from the secondary, exposed bridge at the rear of the ship.



Sawakaze fell back to the rear of the destroyer flotilla and her guns found the range on the French Pertusiane-class destroyer that had scarred her. Her fore two turrets barked and scored a hit on the Frenchman's bow; Tachikaze followed up with a concentrated broadside that scored four hits and raked the French ship from bow to stern.



Asakaze contributed with a torpedo spread, which blew the crippled French destroyer out of the water.

Having eliminated the single patrolling destroyer, the Japanese ships turned their attention to her two sisters guarding the convoy; and the transport ships themselves.





What ensued, was a close-range, no-holds-barred brawl; the Japanese ships took considerable damage (especially Asakaze, whose A turret was penetrated, with the loss of the entire gunner crew) but the entirety of the French convoy was sent to the bottom of the sea.



No croissants for the defenders of Annam!



The Admiralty also took steps to further modernise Japan's heavy cruiser fleet. The Takaos and Myokos were very capable ships, but the Japanese looked for something with a little more...bite, compared to the older cruisers' 6-inch broadside.

And so, the Zao] was laid down. Her armor was nothing to write home about, but it was capable of comfortably defeating light cruiser guns at a distance; her torpedo protection was the usual Japanese exceptional layered system and her speed was a staggering 33 knots. Her torpedo armament was also spectacular; but what was truly excellent about her were her guns. With a twelve 8-inch gun broadside of newly produced Type-98 55-caliber Mk.II guns in triple turrets, the Zao could outshoot any heavy cruiser in the world and, under very specific circumstances, could go toe-to-toe with battlecruisers.



By February, the French had changed their tune. The beleaguered forces in Senegal and Annam were on their last legs; and the Fearsome Four were gathering near Formosa, to escort a massive invasion convoy to Tonkin. The French Admiralty's unwillingness to commit their capital ships in battle against the Japanese battleline had yielded all initiative to the Rising Sun; and, now, the French could do nothing but accept terms.



The Japanese were unsure of what French holdings to lay claim to. New Caledonia, a veritable jewel would be an excellent prize, but was beyond what anyone would consider reasonable. It was thought that asking for Polynesia and Algeria would be an interesting alternative, as it would further reinforce Japan's control over the Pacific, while also granting her an operating base in the Mediterranean.



However, eventually, the Japanese settled for cementing their control over Africa. Senegal and Middle Congo were formally ceded to Japan on the 26th of February.



And Japan found herself in undisputed control of Sub-Saharan Africa. At this point in time, only the British Empire could be argued to be superior to the Japanese Alliance in prestige, population, or natural wealth; and the two Powers had rarely been in such friendly terms.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:31:40 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer


As expected, the end of hostilities brought along a severe curtailing of the Naval Budget; partly to fund the better integration of the new African holdings and partly so as to demonstrate Japan's commitment to peace for the upcoming years. With France now thoroughly humiliated, with the British, Americans and Russians firmly behind Japan's attempts to create a stable trading zone in Africa and the Indian Ocean, there was little that the Japanese thought would challenge them in the near future. The Yamato and Zao were placed on hold, their construction planned to be resumed after the completion of the Myokos.





In a further attempt to curtail expenses, the Admiralty put an end to live-fire training. This economised the equivalent of a further three million pounds a month. These funds were channeled toward partly continuing the construction of the capital ships and partly toward improving the Japanese bases in Africa. With their efforts fully geared toward infrastructure improvement, the Japanese Admiralty settled back for what they thought would be a peaceful decade.

They couldn't have been more wrong.



On the 20th of May 1940, the world exploded. In a diplomatic visit to the Ukraine, the Tzar and his wife were killed in an explosion set off by a group of militantly anti-Russian anarchists. In the chaos that ensued, communist revolts erupted like wildfires throughout Russia. Military sympathisers sabotaged the efforts of the Army and the Navy to bring the insurgents to heel. Within eight days, Russia had descended into one of the most brutal civil wars in modern history.



Europe was stunned into appalled silence; and then into an anti-communist frenzy. The French Republic, exhausted by the wars with Japan, simmered sullenly in its corner, but democracy served as a safety valve; Italy proceeded to purge its military and social administration in one of the most ruthless and rapid actions of the 20th century; Great Britain's monarchy presented a cliff of uncompromising tradition and stability to the raging; but Germany...

Kaiser Wilhelm III was a capable leader and politician (considerably moreso than his father had been); but the long war with France had considerably undermined his authority and the severe losses suffered by the German military had served to strengthen the anarchist / communist element in the ranks. Many grognards among the higher ranks considered this a chance for a power grab. When instructed by His Majesty's Government to bring the troops to readiness, for a potential war with Russia, the 'June Junta' began their plans.





On the night of the 2nd of June, communist elements of the German Army stormed Berlin. By pure luck, their plans to arrest the Kaiser were thwarted because of a last minute change in his plans; the Kaiser, his son Wilhelm and his daughter, Alexandrine, managed to escape to Wilhelmshaven and, from there, as the situation quickly worsened, on board the SMS Emden, to Denmark. The Empress and the rest of the Imperial Family were captured during their own escape attempt; they would spend the following years as prisoners under house arrest in Cecilienhof. Thankfully, the new regime were aware of their value as negotiating pieces; unlike the family of the Tzar, they would all survive the upcoming years.

Meanwhile, the only German possession that remained Kaisertreu was Java - and Wilhelm travelled there, to establish a Government-in-exile. The Japanese and British gave him their complete support; King George VI's well-known speech at the eve of the Kaiser's journey to the Far East and the Emperor Nobuhito's welcome of the exiled monarch on board the Hiei are moments known to all scholars of modern history and marked their full commitment against the 'enemy'.


The battlecruiser SMS Emden arriving in Java.

Yet war was not declared for now; neither 'Communist' Germany nor Russia could afford to pursue any offensive wars before first securing control over their land and population. And, without the support of weakened France, there was little Great Britain could do on the continent.



Japan, on the other hand, grimly prepared for the inevitable. This was personal. An Emperor had been assassinated; another had been driven from his home and his family held hostage. The Alliance rolled up its collective sleeves and started honing the metaphorical blades.

First things first: the Silent Service. The R & D department had completed their designs; and the naval secretary OK'd the construction of the new submarine fleet.





Eighteen new boats were laid down. Thirteen of those were improved long-range designs, of the 'I-107' type, with a massive torpedo armament, experimantal ITMS systems and the best anti-surface and anti-ASW systems in the world. Five more, were I-120 designs: a first in world naval history. Their range was comparable to the I-107s, but their torpedo armament was reduced, in favour of two massive mine rails that spanned the length of the ship. An I-120 could sneak into enemy waters, mine strategic locations, and still be fast enough (or carry enough weaponry) to escape or sink any ASW ships in might run across.



More funds were poured into infrastructure. The railway networks in Africa were expanded; supply stations and forts were set up. With the assistance of the British, Africa became a veritable fortress; and the Indian Ocean an Anglo-Japanese lake.



Things almost exploded in February, when a Communist rebellion erupted in the southern China provinces. The world held its breath - and let it out explosively, as the combined fleets and armies of Great Britain, the USA and Japan descended to assist the Chinese Government. Two months later, after more than 150,000 deaths, China was secured, to a degree where the Government could contain any furhter violence; the German - Russian block had been denied a third wheel.







Now more than ever, Japan needed friends. F. D. Roosevelt's USA were the obvious choice. On the 13th of April 1941, the two countries signed a defensive pact against the 'Red Threat' and the Pacific neighbours became, once again, officially allies.





And that would soon prove to be a good move. In June, another uprising shook the French holdings in New Caledonia. The Japanese and Americans responded immediately and offered their assistance; the French were hesitant, but accepted in the end. This served to greatly smooth over the Franco-Japanese relations; and France would prove not a firm ally, but a consistent neutral in the upcoming fight.



With the submarine fleet being rebuilt, the Admiralty also focused on the 'Maru boys' - giving the old minesweepers heavier weaponry, improved machinery and better ASW suites.



And the Americans squashed another rebellion in the Caribbean, with the blessings of the Allies.



For half a year, nothing happened, beyond posing; and preparing; and tensions steadily rising. The Yamato left its slipway (and the Admirals breathed a sigh of relief); Japan laid down three more Zaos, in preparation for the inevitable war. They also begun construction of an additional twenty subs of the I-107 and the I-120 classes.




Ignore her. She likes to pose like that

And then it happened. Myoko ran aground near Kamtchatka and had to wait for high tide to disentangle herself from her predicament; the Russians were not pleased at all by this blatant violation of their territorial waters. A squadron of Russian destroyers descended upon the scene, followed by the Russian battlecruiser Rydnik and things might have exploded right then and there, had Yamato, Hiei and Naniwa, escorted by a destroyer flotilla not arrived just in time.



The response of the Russians was split between aghast horror at the Japanese dictating terms within Russian territorial waters and timid nervousness under the looming presence of the Japanese superbattleship; in the end, none of their commanders on scene were willing to take responsibility for risking their ships. Myoko made a clean escape, and only spent a month in the yards thanks to her underwater protection. But the Japanese new that the time was finally here.
 


A short glimpse at the new Silent Service. Note the obscenely high 'Reliability' estimates for the Japanese subs (this is a percentile and translates to odds of scoring kills and escaping / defeating ASW)





OK, Reds. Let's do this.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:31:59 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
This gon' be gud.

 

Offline crizza

  • 210
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Like how you retasked the balkan event towards Russia and Germany :D
Check out my blog:

http://geo.schulzbert.de/

 

Offline Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer


OK, Order of Battle.

The Fearsome Four are patrolling the South China Sea, with Yamato, and are unavailable; the fleet is led by Admiral Okuro Daichi from the Nagato. The Bear is out for blood, followed closely by the Mikasa. They are screened by a small light cruiser division.

To their north, Commodore Fetu Lotomau leads the Zao and two Myokos in a heavy cruiser division.

And, prowling the mouth of Port Arthur, we have four attack subs and eleven destroyers, bearing down on the Russians like hellhounds.





At 21:00 exactly, Isonami enters Port Arthur at flank speed and turns on her ITMS. She is closely followed by Mutsuki and Hakaze. The Japanese systems immediately get return signatures, corresponding to at least three capital ships. No enemy ship is moving; the Russians are caught completely flat-footed.

They are alerted to the presence of the Japanese ships when Yakaze opens fire on the anti-capital coastal batteries with incendiary shells. Too late, too late. Isonami's and Hakaze's torpedoes are already in the water.





The torpedoes smash into the Russian ships at anchor. There are screams and the raid sirens finally go off, but the destroyers are already on their way out. As they are retreating, Satsuki, Nagatsuki and Minazuki empty their launchers into the Russian battleline from a range of less than three thousand yards. The result is absolute carnage. In the light of the burning ships, Minazuki identifies one of the enemy ships: it's a battlecruiser, possibly the Rymnik.





Meanwhile, Lotomau leads his division against the northern coastal defenses. Zao and Izumo absolutely savage a heavy coastal battery before the gunnery crews can ever bring their guns to bear.





The entirety of Port Arthur is burning. Thirty torpedoes have been launched against the Russian battleship row at point-blank range; more than twenty have hit. Only one ship manages to make steam and exit that hell: it's a Rymnik-class alright, and making good speed toward the north. She's the Fokshani, under the command of Captain Ivan Urumov, a distinguished officer of the Tzarist Navy who was too skilled for the new regime to just discard.

Time for the Dreadnoughts to earn their pay.



The Nagato closes the range and prepares to engage. Unfortunately, Urumov knows is business and has the armament to back it up. At a range of under five thousand yards, the Fokshani lets loose with a devastating broadside of eight 16-inchers. The weak bow armor of the Nagato crumbles like paper and the massive shells punch through the main engineering spaces and the armor of Turret A. The Nagato's engines die; her electrical power is cut.

Fokshani follows up with a withering salvo of her secondaries: 6-inch shells punch through the Nagato's superstructure and light several fires in her upper decks. The Bear staggers, dead in the water.



On the Nagato's bridge, Okuro demands a damage report, as Mikasa takes emergency evasive action to avoid ramming her colleague. Nagato has been crippled and the damcon crews are fighting the fires, but she is, thankfully, not flooding.

"Then power up the secondary pump generators," he orders, "and transfer all power to the Turret B mount. Strike back with everything we have left."

The Nagato's last remaining front turret traverses and her 13-inchers fire, with local control; at this range, the Fokshani's 11-inch belt is butter. One of the Nagato's shells punches deep into her vitals and halves her speed.





Then, Lotomau brings the heavy cruisers to the dance. Zao, Izumo and Myoko close in and blast the Russian giant at point-blank range with their medium batteries; her superstructure is turned into a mass of burning wreckage and glowing metal.

Finally, Satsuki and her division catch up and execute a textbook torpedo run. The Fokshani is hit five times by the massive Japanese torpedoes; she goes down in less than five minutes. Urumov never leaves the conning tower. Only thirty-two sailors make it out alive.





With Nagato crippled, the Japanese refrain from pushing the attack. They have achieved their objectives. The Mikasa takes her older sibling under tow and makes toward South Korea; the fleet follows in close formation. Spirits are soaring.



The true extent of the damage suffered by the Russian fleet would only become known in the following days. It was a massacre, due to no small degree to the fact that the Russians had no screening forces whatsoever deployed to the Far East: the new regime did not trust the relatively small crew of a destroyer (or even a cruiser) not to defect and had, therefore, left their capital ships completely unguarded, preferring to keep their screening forces under closer scrutiny in northern Europe.

The old Dreadnought Moskva (originally Imperator Nikolai) had been the first to sink, followed closely by the battlecruiser Navarin. The Fokshani was the only Russian ship that had fired a single shot in anger. The only survivor was the battlecruiser Ochakov, whose officers had (no thanks to her completely drunk captain), managed to beach in Port Arthur.



The Japanese hadn't lost a single ship. Japan rejoiced.



With the data from the actual battle available, the Japanese Admiralty immediately ordered the upgunning of the Takaos. These cruisers were getting relatively old; but their refurbishment, though expensive, would once again make them competitive against all comers.



Meanwhile, the Silent Service engaged the Russian coastal forces. In a daring long-range minelaying mission (and refueled by an American tanker in the Northern Atlantic), the I-129 took an opportunistic shot at the Russian cruiser Gromoboi. The Russian ship barely made it back to base, with less than a foot of freeboard on her bow.



Also, I-114 just surfaced and engaged a Russian coastal patrol vessel in a gunnery duel, smashing her to matchwood. And not a single **** was given.





In November, the Musashi and the Mikasa offered battle to the remnants of the Russian fleet in Liaotung. The Ochakov just cowered in its harbor (wisely so).



What.



At the end of the month, strange news arrived from Senegal. Confused reports, at first; then detailed situation reports; then stunned accounts of the goings on. Because Communist Russia, in a move so staggeringly incompetent as to leave the entire world reeling in horror at its sheer stupidity, had decided to seek out a decisive battle with the Japanese Fleet. And had started what came to be known as the Voyage of the Damned.

In the 15th of November, the entirety of the Russian Battleline departed Archangel, to travel from northern Europe, around Africa, through the Indian Ocean and to Liaotung, there to engage the Japanese fleet. The Suez canal was closed to them, with Great Britain's Grand Fleet ready to defend it; no ships but those of the Germans were willing to resupply them; and their planned route took them through Japanese-controlled territorial waters for at least 70% of the trip. The Japanese Admiralty were just...unable to comprehend how anyone would think this was a good idea.



The Voyage started out in a most auspicious manner, when Russian ships identified French fishing fleets as Japanese torpedo boats off Armorique. The ensuing panicked firing caused three instances of blue-on-blue (or red-on-red, as the case may be) fire, with the newly repaired Gromoboi being struck by secondary fire from the flagship Pervenets. Hilariously, none of the French boats were hit, despite the Russians expending more than three hundred rounds of ammunition in total, before Admiral Kutuzov could rein in his trigger-happy force.



Follwowing that, the refueling planned to take place off Gibraltar through German tankers resulted in a destroyer ramming the tanker Milchkuh, and causing an oil spill that was, then, ignited. Two destroyers suffered major damage; as did the resupply ship that was meant to deliver foodstuffs.

Following that debacle, the Russian fleet embarked on the long trip around Africa. And upon reaching Senegal, Admiral Kutuzov was instructed by the Political Officers assigned to the fleet to disembark a marine detachment, to take control of the Japanese coastal sites. Kutuzov protested that his troops were underequipped and that any ground action would greatly delay the fleet - he was promptly relieved of duty and arrested, with the Political Officers taking direct control of the fleet, disembarking six hundred marines, and then abandoning them in Senegal, to continue their trip around Africa.

The local Askari troops closed in, with a vengeance.



The Japanese Silent Service kept a close eye on the movements of the Russian Fleet. With a series of nighttime strikes, they considerably whittled down the ASW forces escorting the Russian capital ships.



And, the 'Maru boys' made certain that, whatever success the Russians enjoyed in submarine warfare, they paid for in blood.



On the third of December, less than ten days after the Russians' departure from Senegal, the Askaris had retaken the ports. Only fifteen Russians and a single Askari had been killed; the rest of the Russian marines surrendered in short order.



The Russian fleet postured around Madagascar for a while, but had no marines left to threaten the Japanese garrisons; furthermore, their ships were now suffering from major mechanical problems and lack of fuel. Japanese subs had kept the German tankers meant to resupply them away; and several ships (being very poorly maintained) had suffered catastrophic boiler and gearing damage. Pervenets could barely chug along at 15 knots; poor Bayan could do only eight, on one functioning boiler. Their supplies were going stale; several desalination plants on ships were failing and lack of drinking water, in the stifling summer of the Indian Ocean was a major problem. Even more importantly, most wireless sets in the fleet were malfunctioning; or tightly controlled by the Political Officers, to prevent the crews from getting any...ideas.





What reached the South China Sea, on the 28th December 1943 was a collection of barely-floating wrecks; with near-mutinous, starving crews, being constantly harried by Japanese light forces and subs. What they encountered, off the coast of Sumatra, was the entirety of the Japanese battle-line, including the Fearsome Four and the Musashi sisters.

Thankfully for the Russians, Moscow had capitulated a few days ago, yielding considerable concessions in the East, in exchange for the preservation and return of their fleet. The Russian fleet leadership only found this out after arriving in Sumatra, thanks to the contribution of British and French envoys: their last wireless set had given up the spirit three days before arrival.





The Russian ships were allowed to dock in Port Arthur, for the necessary repairs; but they did so under the watchful guns of Kongou and Haruna - and under the flag of the Rising Sun.

And then...they were instructed to sail back:lol:

« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:32:25 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)