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Anyone interested in some intellectual exercise?

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by USMCPrice, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    What forces are there?

    Our 34th Infantry Division, a very good unit, not elite but very good. The RGC (Chinese) 11th and 13th Divisions are there also, fortunately they have good morale and are at about 90% stength. The 11th RGC Div. is currently performing route security between I'Chang and the Wuhan area.

    What part does I'Chang play in our dispositions?

    I'Chang is an exposed position approximately 100 miles NW of Wuhan. We have both river and road connections to I'Chang at present. It provides us some depth in our defensive perimeter around Wuhan. SE of I'Chang is the Wuchang/Hankow area of Wuhan, and the main rail line running back to Peiping. In Wuhang we have the 3d, 6th, and 40th Divisions, and the 18th Mixed Brigade. Units of average combat ability. Across the Yangtze on the north side of the river is Hankow, the center for our defense of the area. There we have the 11th Army Headquaters under LGen Korechika Anami commanding. In the Hankow area we have the 13th Tank Regiment (Type 95 light and Type 97 medium tanks), 13th Infantry Division, 14th Independant Mixed Brigade, 9th Armored Car Co. (Type 93 armored cars), the 2d and 8th Independant Engineer Regiments, 22d AA Regiment, 14th Medium Field Artillery Regt, 15th Independant Medium Field Artillery Regt, 2d Independant Mountain Gun Regt, 1st Mortar Bn, 51st Mountain Gun Bn, 52d Mountain Gun Bn, 51st Road Construction Co., the 20th Independant Mixed Brigade is in the countryside to the east guarding that flank, the 58th Infantry Regt, 14th RGC (Chinese) Division guarding the NE flank between Hankow and Sinyang, the Hankow Special Base Force and 54th JAAF Support Bn at the airbase.
    At Sinyang, located on the rail line, about 110 miles NE of Hankow, we have the 52d Road Construction Co., 1st Independant Mixed brigade, 12th and 18th RGC (Chinese) Divisions and 67th JAAF Airfield Support Co.
    The 12th, 14th and 18th RGC Divisions are the perfect examples of why we need a Chinese Army re-organization. All three are at about 1/3 strength and have very low morale. I would rather re-organize them into three usable regiments than three ineffective, unusable divisions.

    Do KMT forces in I'Chang present a threat to our defensive perimeter?

    Not to the Wuhan position itself, but they are positioned to threaten I'Chang or Sinyang, they also threaten to cut the rail supply line. I do not think they could take I'Chang because we can easily maintain a supply/communications line up the Yangtze with naval riverine forces. Sinyang is quite vulnerable, mainly due to the weak RGC formations we have there and the KMT forces ability to quickly mass forces. Their normal tactic is to cut the supply line to the forward position and force a withdrawl.

    Does it have a part to play in later operations?

    I do not like to criticize the previous decisions made by our army commanders, but I serve you and you asked a direct question. So dispite my discomfort I will give you my honest opinion. The army should not have abandoned I'Chang after its initial capture. The Navy was correct in insisting upon its re-occupation. They wanted it for future air operations against Chiang's bases further inland. The additional 100+ miles closer to Chiang's base extends the reach of our aircraft. The occupation of I'Chang also severed the supply lines to Chiang's forces east of the Yangtze. This forces them to use a circuitous route through rough, unimproved terrain, limiting their supply and reinforcement. This limits their ability to conduct operations. We have made virtually no progress improving the airfield at I'Chang, the IJA has not committed the resources and units necessary to do so. A problem of lack of interservice cooperation. If we eventually intend to push inland and attack Chiang's base of operations or place pressure upon him, I'Chang is critical.

    Can forces recovered from there speed operations elsewhere?

    Yes, the three divisions there are very good capable formations. However, I feel we have sufficient forces in the Wuhan area that if we were to use them in an offensive role we could relieve the pressure on Sinyang and destroy or severely attrit the KMT forces on that side of the Yangtze. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a tendency to be aggressive in my planning. I have attempted to restrain this trait thus far in our operational planning. I am ideologically alligned with France's Napoleon, and America's Lee and Jackson, and the value of audacity. I tend to believe that to seize and hold the initiative allows for a greater potential of success in military operations. To have the enemy reacting to our moves leads to them making mistakes and if we are prepared to exploit those mistakes we have a chance to defeat them in detail. I am also a adherent to detailed planning and feel that proper preparation, is the key to overall victory. Jackson and Lee used such methods and an expert use of terrain, intellignce gathering and deception, to achieve stunning victories. When Lee was forced due to circumstances beyond his control to abandon the secure base provided by intelligence and fighting on ground of his choosing, yet continued to let audacity control his actions he suffered the great defeat at Gettysburg. I have attempted to temper my audacious, offensive traits with proper preparation and attention to detail to lay a firm foundation for success.

    As an after thought the 11th and 13th Divisions should be retained intact and redesignated RoC National Divisions. Their combat performance if properly used for propoganda pieces in nespapers will go a long way to improve morale and fighting spirit in our new/reorganized formations. Also, in conjunction with our recent defeat at Changsha, a withdrawl from I'Chang could provide a morale boost to KMT forces. Despite the fact that Chiang would not be forcing our withdrawl from that location, it will appear so and he will use it to improve his troop morale and standing with western governments.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    So, crudely put, I'Chang acts like bastion tower on our defensive "wall". It in its self is not in immediate danger and could be held indefinitely with current forces deployed. Nearby positions are in some danger, but control of I'Chang makes enemy action at these points more difficult. The position is not well developed and could be more useful if further developed. Withdrawal from I'Chang would likely necessitate that some of these troops be sent to the above mentioned positions in danger, limiting where they could be used to speed planned offensive operations.

    If the above is basically accurate, then my opinion I would rather hold the position and improve it so that it can further hinder Chinese operations. We have taken the position twice now and I would rather not repeat the process needlessly at some later date.

    That being said I generally wish to allow frontline commanders the freedom to dispose of their forces as they see it so long as objectives are met. It would greatly ease my mind and determine how I would like us to proceed if General Nishio would expand his thoughts on why we should withdraw and how this withdrawal can further our operations.
     
  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Your assessment is correct sir. I am impressed. I only caution you that if Chiang did manage to concentrate his forces and attack a single point, he could force us to pull forces from other areas, my main concern would be air units. This could potentially hamper our late November SRA operations. It is a small risk, but one you must be made aware of. While our decision not to attack the Philippines frees up many air units, we wish to hold them in reserve to attack US airbases should they decide to intervene. An unlikely event, but one that must be planned for. If this threat does not materialize we wished to employ them to speed operations elsewhere in the SRA. A massive attack by Chiang could potentially derail that use of these aircraft. My personal opinion is that it is an acceptable risk.
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    We are touching on several issues here, so I will attempt to organize my thoughts on each, one at a time.

    It has been my impression that Chiang has been more reactive than proactive to our operations, so I too am willing to endorse the risk. Success for his forces has been dependent on his ability to interdict our supply to forward units (as I understand it), but our clearing operations in phase 1 will go far to neutralize this hazard.

    As for the United States, we should know within a week after the start of our Southern Operations if the United States is on the path for war or will bide its time. We could then reallocate assets as we see fit, with General Nishio and Terauchi determining what ratio to allocate for China and Malay. In my mind this would not include sufficient forces (Air and Ground) needed to protect Imperial communication routes and sufficient force to begin securing US positions needed to isolate the Philippine's. We need not capture every position at the first throw, but employ a 'rolling' offensive that seizes one ot two at a time, then moves on to the next. In the event that a breach with the US occurs during our SRA operations the availability of both the Kido Butai and sealift could prove problematic in any case.

    If the US remains neutral for 9 to 18 months we can rebuild this force into our Strategic Reserve from newly created formations and those released from the conquest of the SRA. In any event those units waiting to see how America will go should have preliminary orders written and ready for issue and the units as prepared as possible for quick redeployment.

    As I said before I prefer to retain I'Chang if feasible for several reasons. It acts as a brake for resupply to Chiangs forward forces, and it provides a jumping off point for deeper operations should we deem them necessary. But most of all I am concerned at what impression that may be gained if we withdraw a second time after our other recent setbacks.

    A withdrawal might trigger the very worst case scenario out of Chiang, an offensive that occurs just as we are starting the SRA operations. It might also compromise the elan of those Chinese units deployed in that area. RoC forces with both good fighting ability and high moral is not a commodity we have in over abundance, so it must be nurtured where ever possible.

    I still look forward to hearing the General's opinion on I'Chang, and if his argument is compelling, I am quite willing to accept a retrograde movement, despite my preferences.

    I wholeheartedly endorse retaining 11th and 13th RoC divisions as national units. I was concerned that a single "Capitol" division might not be enough to provide a local flavor to our offensive operations. The possibility of anti-government activities in the capitol region might tie the Capitol Division to its barracks at inopportune times, but two other divisions available will allow us to place a Chinese face on our aggressive moves that can have benefits for local consumption.
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I have already issued orders sir. The 11th RGC Division in the vicinity of I'Chang has been redesignated the Republic of China, "Tiger" Division. The RoC "Tiger" Division will be issued new colors as soon as they can be produced. The Divisional colors will be Yellow with a crimson Tiger in the center of the field, with black stripes and a black outline. Each of the three regiments will be issued new colors. The First Regiment will have a red field, the Tiger white, outline and stripes will remain black. Each soldier will receive a distinguishing patch diamond shaped, with the background and "Tiger" matching those of his parent regiment. It is to be worn on their right shoulder. Second Regiment will have colors with a White Field with a crimson border oon all sides. A crimson Tiger with black outline and stripes will be in the center of the field. A matching unit identification patch will be issued to each soldier, similar to that of 1st Regiment, but with colors adjusted to match those of the 2d Regiments, regimental flag. Third Regiment will have a blue field, white outline of crimson Tiger, stripes on the tiger will be black. A matching, unit designating patch will be produced and issued, similar to 1st and 2d Regiments patches, but colors adjusted to reflect 3d regiments colors.

    Colors are particularly significant and have deeper meanings within Chinese Culture. Each soldier will receive a period of instruction in the traditional meanings of the colors used in their divisional and regimental standards.

    Yellow-we have selected this color for all Divisional Flags because it traditionally is associated with the earth, the land. It is the most sacred and prestigious of all colors in Chinese culture. It also symbolizes the center, the core. It was the traditional color of the Emperors.

    Red/Crimson-associated with fire and also symbolizes happiness and joy. The color most used for the New Year. We have chosen it to represent each first regiment as they are the new beginning and the fire of heroism and patriotism in each soldiers heart.

    Black-is a most revered color, ancients felt it was the king of colors and it is also associated with heaven because the skies are black for half of each day during night time. It is also associated with the people because black is one of the most common colors of their clothing. In past times, colors, were the property of the emperors. They could designate who could wear or use which colors. The people were basically limited to greys, blacks and dark blues for their clothing.

    White-corresponds to metal and symbolizes purity and fulfillment. The purity of our cause and the fulfillment of Sun's vision for a free China ruled by its people.

    Azure Blue- associated with heaven and immortality. Our cause is favored by heaven and our heroism will immortalize our memories.

    Qing- can be associated with a number of colors in the blue green spectrum. Most commonly it is associated with spring and renewal and therefore is green. It also stands for nature and vigor. When used we will specify it signifies the re-birth and renewal of the Chinese nation and people.

    We will also re-designate the 13th Division near I'Chang as the "Red Dragon" Division with a similar issue of flags and patches. We have two more units with good experience and morale in the area. The 19th at Hankow is very understrength and will be re-designated the "Bashe" Regiment, later to be expanded to divisional size and the 15th Division at Anyang. This division is also severely understrength, but has good experience and morale, We will re-designate them the "Qing Dragon" Regiment, to be expanded to divisional size when possible. These will all end up being National Divisions and will give the Chinese People as a whole the beginnings of nationalistic feeling, as these units exploits are published in all newspapers, nationwide.
     
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  6. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Dear PM and Col. Bobimoto,

    after a look at the map and the positions of the other army units and the risk that the Chinese will have some good strategists,i think that both of you are correct with your concerns about a withdrawal from l`Chang. I had only a quick look before my last comment. Yes it is a important place and as Col. Bobimoto told us with the good example of the U.S. Civilian war, we will go on and hold this position. But only as long as we can do it without to much losses and as long as we have the chance to step back.

    And now the voice from real live: I´m in holidays for the next two weeks and will be on more daily than i did the last time. Live is sometimes more busy than you want it. but i hope that it is getting slower after this months. Thanks for the patience.

    Gen. Nishio aka Ulrich
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I am pleased that you concur with retaining our hold upon I'Chang. This however does not mean that should events change and we must re-allocate our forces that we may be forces revisit this decision at a later date.

    Since we seem to have resolved the issue of I'Chang, perhaps the good Colonel could proceed with the China Briefing.
     
  8. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    whats the status of this thread?
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Bob is inputting the final touches on the game sim so that we will operate more on real time.
     
  10. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    What about finalizing our battle plans, units assignment, objectives and priority
     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    We have our "Day One" discussion behind us and these can be implemented such as pilot quotas and all that has been agreed upon to this point. By getting the sim underway we get feedback from it as to the effect so far in the matter of resources, and of course if this were real life, not every decision would be taken on the first day.
     
  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Bob (USMCPrice) and I have exchanged PM's on our status in the simulation and I am pleased to report we should be able to go real time in the near future. He has had two events recently that has slowed him up a bit, one a injury that has proven time consuming to fully overcome and a far happier addition to his family.

    He informs me that he has been implementing beta testing on what we have done so far to insure there are to bugs in the system so far and once that is complete we ought to be able to resume.

    I want to thank everyone for their continued patience.
     
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  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    So you may actually start "real time" on the correct day of the year?
     
  14. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    Happy additions to the family are wonderful. My distinct congratulations to Bobimoto. There is nothing here so pressing that he should be drawn away from his family at a time of such joy.
     
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  15. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    Has anyone else begun staff work on the New Caledoina operation yet? I've been curious about it and I dug out my notes from some months back and began doing some staff work on it. There's much yet to be done, but if we're going to do it we need to get started. Further, investigating forces for this operation has raised several questions in my mind, primarily regarding the organization of our Special Naval Landing Forces. I will raise them in more detail at the end of the outline description.

    With advance apologies, I would like to present my own modest staff work for the council's consideration. I would like to propose that we call this operation after the primary objective, Noumea, naming it NoGo.

    Detailed Force List for NoGo
    NoGo Outline Operational Plan
    Proposed Operational Map

    This work is very preliminary and constitutes only a suggestion. [SIZE=9.5pt]Forces presently include approximately 7,500 SNLF infantry organized into 5 Special Naval Landing Forces. I am proposing to embark these men and their equipment on about 77,000 tons of shipping. (I have attempted to use GRT where available. The tonnage listed is not, in all cases, labeled. In those cases I assume GRT for merchant and auxiliary vessels.) The force also includes 14,000 tons of general cargo shipping, 17,000 tons of refrigerated shipping, and around 100,000 tons of fuel oil capacity for replenishment. This is a large force for the objective we aim to accomplish, but I believe it will serve as a good exercise. Not included in this list are any forces our French allies might contribute. I presume that they will contribute the primary garrison forces for Noumea, but I think that we should seek basing rights as a part of the proposal and should endeavor to garrison the principal aerodromes and anchorage ourselves. I further suggest that supply of the garrisons and shipping of all French troops and assets can be done by native French bottoms, though we should pay them a reasonable fee for all supply to our troops stationed there. This should have the dual effect of freeing up this outpost from our usual logistical stream and building good will with the French in the form of trade.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=9.5pt]Once the operation is complete and the island is completely secure I suggest we could draw down our forces there, leaving primary security functions to French forces and retaining only light forces for aerial scouting, coastal patrol, and local security of military facilities.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12.727272033691406px]I have also given considerable thought to the forces necessary for underway replenishment. I believe we were experimenting with alongside replenishment, the advantages of which seem several: the ability to rig several hoses between ships, fueling both port and starboard simultaneously, and shorter hoses providing higher pressures and quicker flow rates. Given the large number of ships that must be refueled I would give this technique preference, even if it is slightly more difficult. The problems do not seem beyond the ship-handling of our very skilled officers and seamen. I believe our Kawasaki type oilers are fitted (or are presently fitted) for this. I am not sure if this is true of our older Shiretoko types, which make up the bulk of our oilers for this operation. I hesitate to use more of our newer oilers since the operation would absorb virtually all of them, leaving us with none if we should need to sortie with 1st Fleet to any point noticeably south or east of the Home Islands. While this force is quite large, it constitutes less than one third of our fleet combatants and perhaps one fifth of our sealift capacity. We could, if necessary, conduct two such operations simultaneously while retaining a reasonable reserve force, even if the second involved a much more substantial amphibious force. In other words, I believe we could still carry out an assault on the Dutch colonies at the same time. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12.727272033691406px]For the most part I have assigned fresher and more experimental forces for this mission, but leavened with enough experienced and conventional forces to complete the task. It is my hope that we can use this as a training exercise for CarDiv 5, and as proof of concept for some of our mobile force ideas. To that end, would it be practicable to assign floatplanes to Shinshu Maru?[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12.727272033691406px]Further, I have noticed that I do not have Akitsu Maru in my fleet list. Did we decide to leave Akitsu Maru under Army control, or was this an omission on my part? I believe we had discussed fitting her with IJN type arresting gear to give her the capability to recover light aircraft. I have no objection to leaving her with Field Marshall Nishio, but I suspect this is an oversight and this was not the intention. I can't see her filling a pressing need in the China theatre in this stage of the war, but she could be quite useful in the SRA. (Any reassignment could, of course be temporary and would be repaid when necessary.)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12.727272033691406px]Another question for Nishio: Have you considered the structure of the Special Naval Landing Forces? While you have enough on your plate right now, their organization seems a little haphazard to me. They appear to be primarily of battalion strength, mostly at around 1500 men, with each district having 4-5 of them constituting perhaps four regimental strength units. I have this record of organization for the 2 Maizuru SNLF, which appears to be understrength at present. While several of the Yokosuka units are parachute qualified (with most of these in Indochina right now), I wonder if we should endeavor to reorganize and standardize them as we have proposed with our IJA units.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12.727272033691406px]With apologies for my impertinence. I hope that this might raise some important questions, even if there is already an official plan of which I am unaware. Thank you for your patience.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12.727272033691406px]Respectfully,[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=12.727272033691406px]Noka Shijin[/SIZE]
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    She's not on the list because she's fitting out. She was launced 24 SEP 1941 and didn't complete until 30 JAN 1942.
     
  17. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    Bobimoto,

    I'm sorry, you are correct. I confused the launch date with a completion date.

    To all,

    Another minor question I meant to ask was whether it might be worthwhile equipping Shishu Maru with seaplanes until such time as we can build suitable autogyros, so that she could both launch and recover aircraft. If that's so, I would even consider it worthwhile to increase her avgas and aviation munitions stores even at the expense of personnel so that she could operate almost independently under certain conditions.

    Sincerely,
    Admiral Noka
     
  18. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Admiral Noka, we most certainly can begin operational planning. I was never able to get Council approval on an early Noumea operation so have done no serious planning in that regard. I feel that the capture of Noumea is a strategic imperative, no matter when we decide to undertake the operation. In addition to it's strategic location it is valuable as a source of scarce raw materials. The nickel mines at Kone on New Caledonia are located at one of the richest nickel ore deposits in the world. We need nickel as an alloying metal to produce high grade armor and stainless steel, plus for the filiments in vacuum tubes for electronics. Last year the mines produced 4400 tons of nickel. (In real life Japan had to resort to melting nickel coins they obtained in Hong Kong for their nickel content and never had enough). I would also like to include the mines located at Soroaka, Celebes Island in our first phase objectives as the 3500 tons of nickel produced yearly there are very important to our industrial capabilities.

    I would suggest that prior to continuing with the planning you have started, that you approach the council for approval of the operation. As I said, I have tried without luck. If approval is not forth coming, I would suggest that we incorporate the Noumea operation into our SRA operational planning. That I have started. We have the forces originally tasked with attacking Wake and Guam, plus a good portion of those slated for the Phillipines that we can utilize. When we do commence hostilities, I would like to seize as many oil and refinery locations, plus key resource centers as rapidly as possible. Within the first week at the latest. While Nishio is securing the Malay Peninsula and and Terauchi pushes into Burma, we should be able to secure the key raw material locations and a line of critical outposts. I favor a more audacious plan where we bypass most areas in order to seize key objectives, vice the original plan of a methodical advance, securing many key points as we come to them.

    I will look over your planning tonight so as to give you my impressions and be of assistance to you if needed.
     
  19. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Admiral Noka,

    It is my recollection that during our marathon first day's meeting Admiral Karonada and General Nishio reached a personal understanding in that the Akitsu Maru should be transferred to the control of the IJN, along with all design work and construction plans. This being done to speed construction of further units of a similar or improved design. While approval of new units of this class was not given specifically (pending yard space and materials), it was part of our 'wish' list as being a important component to our proposed Quick Reaction Force to counter any Anglo-American counter landings.

    I believe that with the approval of both Karonada and Nishio, and with no objection from any member of the Council we can consider the transfer of this ship and her plans as officially sanctioned by the Council and not needing a formal vote.
     
  20. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    Honorable Prime Minister,

    I humbly apologize for my misunderstanding regarding the proposed New Caledonia Operation. May I suggest that this might be a good subject for brief discussion to refresh our minds on the particulars before a vote? Bobimoto has just mentioned some of the favorable aspects, though there were many others. We might also discuss our merchant and auxiliary ship-building program, of which Akitsu Maru would be a part.

    Sincerely,
    Admiral Noka Shijin
     

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