Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

The War Journal of Baron Tekisasu Belasar, Prime Minister of Imperial Japan

Discussion in 'Fiction' started by belasar, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....Since Bobimoto will need time to collect background on our aircraft production, we table the matter and move on.

    General Nishio requests a wide list of improvements for the Army. He says we need a powerful anti tank gun like the German 88mm, so we will look into transforming our own 88mm anti-aircraft gun for this role. He also requests design work be done on a man portable weapon we can deploy with infantry.

    Next we will need a suitable medium tank design mounting a 75mm gun. Bobimoto offers that we might also be able to adapt this chassis to carry the 88mm gun as a self-propelled assault gun in a tank-killer role. The General is very receptive of this idea.

    The General also desires a ground attack/support aircraft. We will look at re-purposing existing Army or Navy aircraft where possible and only design a new airframe if we must.

    Lastly he wants to standardize TO&E of our ground units with an increase in automatic weapons.

    He is asking for a lot. Can we find a way to give him all of it?....

     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....With the Army's wish list on the table, the Navy presents theirs. More new Carrier's, Cruiser's (if possible), Destroyer's and smaller escort ships, improved carrier aviation, increase SLNF troop formations and Amphibious ships. The only thing they don't seem to want is new Battleships, in fact they are not keen on completing the last two Yamato's. They do however wish to complete everything else under construction.

    We decide to explore these one by one, starting with the Carrier request first.

    The Navy has a very diverse selection of carriers at its disposal. 6 good fleet CV's in three main classes, and 4 light carriers (one without planes). Several Light carriers (mostly conversions of fast passenger liners) are under construction, but they are generally too slow to operate with our large CV's. Only one large CV is under construction, a improved Shokaku class, but she won't be ready till early 1944.

    We reject any more of this class. They are excellent designs, but too expensive to build in any quantity. Two designs do spark interest, the standard Shokaku and the simplified Unryu class. The Shokaku's are favored by most of the admiral's and Bobimoto as they are our most robust types in srvice and have the largest air wing.

    I and Noka favor the Unryu as she is both cheaper and faster to build. I still worry that if America joins the war early, we will need carrier decks sooner rather than later and the thought of building three Unryu's for the cost of two Shokaku's appeals to my frugal nature. They do have flaws, however. Smaller air wing and less robust construction.

    I float the possibility of converting the last two Yamato's to carriers, but there is no strong support, so we table it for now. Still, I won't quite let go of this just yet, but bide my time to bring it up again when it feels right.....

    In the end we make a tentative compromise, lay down two new Shokaku's and two Unryu's and then let the war situation develop to decide if we have time to continue with the better Shokaku's or the frugal Unryu's for future builds. This is only a temporary position until Admiral Noka can do a complete survey of our build capacity....

     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....Debating the merits of the Shokaku's over the Unryu's brings unexpected fruit. A obscure theoretical naval study on augmenting the size of a Carrier's air wing is brought up. Called "Deck Parking", it in effect stores aircraft on the Carrier's flight deck in addition to those normally carried in her hanger's. If workable this "Deck Parking" could increase the size of the air strike by as much as a third!.

    There are issues to be worked out. The ships will need to be taken out of service long enough to modify the decks to provide enough places to tie down aircraft spotted on deck. Crews trained to accommodate the greater congestion. More planes, pilots., aircrew, and aircraft handler's assigned to each ship, and then these men will need to train with existing crew to ensure they work together well.

    With our Southern operations to start in a matter of week's, its doubtful we can implement this fleet wide before the start of hostilities. There is also the consideration that aircraft stored on deck will need greater maintenance and be more likely to be lost due to poor weather conditions, but until the American's figure out what we are doing and copy our efforts, we will have a modest but useful advantage over them. Perhaps enough to help tilt the first few engagements in our favor.....

     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    .... We touch upon our "Shadow Carriers", seaplane carriers designed to be converted to light aircraft carriers with relative ease. I would like to see these two ships (Chitose, Chiyoda) converted as soon as possible to help bridge the gap until our new fleet carriers can be launched. The military consensus is that they are too valuable as they are for our initial operations and any conversion must wait. Or perhaps not at all I sense.

    The military has too much faith in seaplanes in my opinion. We have invested heavily in Seaplane Carriers, Tenders and even large deployments on warships like Cruisers, Battleships and even submarines!. They are intended to play a large role in fleet scouting, especially in our "Grand Decisive Battle". We are trying to develop Seaplane "bombers" and even Fighters!

    Madness in my opinion.

    The Seaplane has a role, but as a combat aircrft like a bomber or fighter I can not see. The drag created by their floats must make them vulnerable to Carrier and Land based fighters, and trying to use them as search aircraft for our fast carriers seems limiting to me. To recover them the launching ship must slow to a stop to take them aboard. This has to complicate fleet movements to some degree and I would think that freedom of movement would be at a premium in a Carrier strike force.

    This is why I am pushing for more light carriers (without starting absolutely new construction) so that they could sail with the fleet carriers, but be outfitted to provide search and CAP aircraft, allowing the Fleet Carriers to be concentrating upon strike duties. Surely search aircraft can be launched and recovered more efficiently from a carrier deck than
    seaplanes?

    Once again it seems I have offered an idea a little too radical to the military....

     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....More Carrier related issues...

    General agreement reached to protect our investment in Naval pilots. New construction aircraft to get armour ans self sealing fuel tanks to make them more survivable. Heavier machine guns and better cannon to make them more lethal. We lose some performance, but keeping more of our pilots alive is worth it...


    ....There is quick agreement to continue, and accelerate if possible, the next generation of carrier strike aircraft. It seems that while our current planes are as good or better than any enemy we might face, they are not as hanger friendly as they could be. Bobimoto's intelligence reports are that the American's are working vigorously on their next generation of aircraft and we can not afford to allow them to steal a march upon us......
     
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,384
    Wow you are writing fast, I had to catch up for a while. Good show, the carier debate is quite technic and plausible too
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....Concern about our ability to protect our Carriers from air attack begins to dominate our thoughts. Our primary defense is our own Strike aircraft, finding and neutralizing enemy air formations before they can hit us. The secondary defense is the protective umbrella of Fighter aircraft patrolling above our Carrier task Forces. We must accept that through luck or skill the enemy will penetrate these measures and place our ships at peril.

    There is deep concern that the 25mm cannons, which make up a large portion of their defense, is both too small and too clumsy to give us the protection we need. We apparently have some prototypes of a 40mm gun that show much greater promise. In twin or quadruple mounts they should meet the need nicely.

    Sadly, as with Deck Parking, we may have to begin battle before we can fully make the change over. Once again, another 6 moths of peace with America is vital....
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....This concern for the defense of our Carriers is taken a step further by the Admiral's. They wish to convert some of our older Light Cruisers into something they call a CLAA, or Anti-Aircraft Cruiser. Trading her main armament for rapid firing Dual Purpose gun mounts and a switch to as many 40mm gun stations they can reasonably operate.

    We have also begun to deploy a variant of our Fleet Destroyer (a DDAA I supose) that is also optimized in a similar manner, though with fewer guns of course. The tentative plan is to operate one CLAA per Carrier Division and two DDAA's per Carrier. This would give us 5 ships per Carrier Division dedicated to enhanced Air Defemse.

    Since Admiral Karonada stresses his intent to operate our Fleet Carriers as a single group (the Kido Butai) at all times (if possible), this should mean at least 3 CLAA's and 12 DDAA's will sail with them into battle. It is planned that all the units that are part of the Kido Butai will eventually see improverd air defense, but these Battleships, Heavy Cruisers and Fleet Destroyers will have to wait until resources permit.

    I could not get any definitive answer if we have plans to do this with our Light Carriers and our Liners converted (Junyo Hiyo) into reserve Carriers. I suspect they are daunted by the prospect of the initial program and are reluctant to press their luck with the full council...
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ...With Carriers out of the way (for now), we move to other naval matters. The possibility of building any new Battleships is quickly and decisively rejected. We can not reach a consensus upon Shinano and her sister yet, but we will lay down no new dreadnought hulls.

    There is some concern if we can squeeze in any new Cruisers in our build plan. We certainly wish to, but the fear is that keeping up with the US in Carrier hulls and merchant ships and their escorts, will overwhelm us.
    What is clear is that none of our current classes of Cruiser is entirely satisfying. In one manner or another they seem to have some flaw, top heavy, poor sea boats, etc.
    They want time to ponder this.

    We decide to complete any Destroyer, Destroyer Escorts and smaller escorts currently under construction, but future builds will be of standard size and design for each type to reduce maintenance and build cost. I push for our smallest escorts to be built of non strategic materials (wood) and in shipyards other than our primary warship yards. Perhaps in China or another part of our Empire.

    Submarines next. Quick agreement to end the Midget submarine program. We can not afford to send these excellent men to their deaths with so little prospect of success. Unsure what to do with those boats we currently have, probably scrap if we can find no other use for them.

    While we will complete any aircraft carrying Submarines still under construction, we will build no more as they also are regarded as too marginal to be effective. Likely these boats will be employed as a way to insert Special Operation troops (hanger is ideal for equipment storage) or perhaps as a transport ship for trips to Germany. We will keep those light seaplanes designed for them as there may be an outside chance we might occasionally use them as they were designed.

    Lastly we are resolved to select two types of general purpose submarines. One a well balanced Fleet boat for duty in the Central Pacific and Indian Ocean. The other a smaller version suited for the shallow and congested waters of the Southern Resource Area. This is in reflection of the change of mission for our submariners. We no longer intend them to be in direct support of the Fleet, but to engage in primarily anti-shipping interdiction. Perhaps between us and the Germans we can stretch Britain to the breaking point and slow any American build up once they choose to go to war with us.....
     
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....The Admirals push to have our naval base at Truk Lagoon expanded to allow it to serve as our primary naval anchorage outside the Home Islands. It is ideally located to counter any enemy movement from the east or the south.They want to expand the repair facilities to the point where only the most complex and long term repairs must be done at home. Since we will need to constantly upgrade our ships, this seems wise.

    Singapore, once secured, will serve much in the same way but we won't need to expand it as much as Truk as the English have already done the work. We will need to capture it quickly to prevent too much damage and repair any sabotage as rapidly as possible. While this would be a secondary base for us, it value in supporting the movement of the Kido Butai into the Indian Ocean can not be underestimated.


     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....It is considered best to separate ground formation deployment areas by service, the Army primarily responsible for the Asian mainland, and our Home Islands, the Navy, the new acquisitions in the Central and South Pacific (the SRA). This will require a considerable increase in our Special Naval Landing Force troops (SNLF). Currently they are organized in Regimental strength, but we will have to form larger units, Brigades or possibly Division for some deployments.

    This is also needed to implement our longer term perimeter defense plans. Once we are actively being pressed by our enemies attacking our outer defenses, we will rush the Kido Butai to engage the enemy fleet and elements of the more ponderous 2nd Fleet will follow with re-enforcement troops, the SNLF, and battleline to offer gunfire support. If we can shatter one or two such enemy attacks we will have done much to set the stage to force a negotiated settlement......
     
  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....For us to be able to rapid deploy a quick reaction counter force we will need the proper shipping, beyond common merchant ships. We have a few specialized landing ships, but we need more, perhaps enough to transport as much as a Division sized force.

    The Army has been developing a curious new class of ship, the first of which is about to be completed. The Akitsu Maru is a fairly large liner hull capable of about 20 knots. What separates her is that she is fitted with a flight deck the length of the hull. She can carry and launch up to 20 aircraft, but as of now, cannot recover them. It can also carry 20 Daihatsu Landing craft. In effect it can carry a amphibious landing force, then launch a squadron of aircraft to land and operate from a recently captured airstrip. Her sister ship, Nigitsu Maru has begun to be converted a few months ago.

    The Army has graciously agreed to transfer both ships to the Navy, who could make the best use of them. The Navy is cautiously optimistic that they can give the ships the ability to recover aircraft as well as launch. This would greatly enhance their usefulness. The Navy is interested in acquiring one or two more such vessels, if we can afford it....
     
  13. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....We have about a dozen Auxiliary Cruisers in our naval inventory, former passenger liners and fast merchant vessels. In the classic sense these ships either act as escort's for merchant convoy's to protect them from Surface Raiders, or to act as Surface Raiders themselves. For the near term we will use them as convoy escorts and gunfire support ships to support our initial amphibious operations in the SRA.

    After that however, use as Convoy escorts or Raider's seem a waste of potential. I have mild support to convert one or two into Escort Carriers (CVE's), something I am keen on. There is more support to convert several into Fast Assault Transports with landing craft. As such they would be a good complement to our Akitsu Maru's for counter force landings. As for the balance, conversion to some form of Tender (Seaplane,Submarine or Destroyer) seems to be the best fit.

    With our debate on the use of Ground Operations the current topic, it seems a good place to steer our discussion towards Army matters....

     
  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ...."China, what are we to do about China".

    By the effects of my words made, one would think I suggested the council consider preforming an unnatural act.
    The Navy exchange meaningful looks amongst themselves, but are as mute as the dead. Gen. Terauchi shakes his head slightly and clears his throat. "China is too vast for us to conquer totally, perhaps we should fall back to only the most vital area's and try to get some kind of peace with Chaing?"

    The General's comments prove he is no coward, as such thoughts have been known to lead to its owners death in our recent past. Something we all know too well. Unfortunately they have come to late to be our course of action.

    We have thwarted the most virulent hardliners, but support for them runs wide and deep. Though silent, for now, they watch us closely for any sign of wavering in our duty to preserve the Empire. Were we to do as Terauchi suggests another coup attempt is almost inevitable and possibly one we can not survive. Even if a retrenchment gave us an ease in the embargo it would be limited and designed to keep us at the mercy of the western powers.

    They would always have the power to once again deprive us of what little they might allow our thirsty industry, only if we give them a year or two they will be too strong for us to act. We must act now or never!

    I turn to Nishio and ask his opinion. "Can we prevail against the Chinese bandits?"

    Nishio nods his head curtly and replies "Yes, yes we can!"

    This is what I wished to hear and do my best to hide this from my face as I ask Nishio "Please enlighten us General".....


     
  15. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....Nishio points out that the limiting factor for us is that Imperial forces in China are too dispersed conducting area control and pacification duties. To be in a position to strike at the Bandit enclaves we must redeploy our Army into a offensive mass that can take the battle to the enemy.

    To do this we must no longer treat the local populace in the same way we have done during the previous decade. We have native (Chinese) forces at our disposal, but in truth they are little more than police formations. This must change. We must begin to organize true combat formations to take the place of Imperial troops in their current duties.

    They must be given the heavy weapons and organization (or something similar to ours) to do the tasks that the IJA is undertaking presently. This would present a problem normally, but it can dovetail nicely with our long term reorganization of the Imperial Army.

    To create an army that can face both the West in a long duration conflict, and a possible war with the Soviet's, we will need to standardize the equipment of the Army, while giving them more and better Artillery and Armor. This will present us with a surplus of much of our existing equipment that can be allocated to our newly raised native forces. While much of this could not fight modern Western or Soviet formation's, against the Bandit Nationalist and Communist bands they could be more than adequate.

    This can also be done with both our obsolete aircraft and naval craft. With these assets, the newly formed Chinese Defense Force, can take over much of the rear area garrison and patrol duties currently done by front line Imperial forces. This would have the concurrent effect of supporting our propaganda efforts designed to keep America at peace and the English and Dutch off balance.

    A similar organization would be created in Korea and eventually in any occupied area. This will mean we must give the local population at least some measure of local control or power. This will be a difficult pill for many of us to accept, but we have little choice if we wish to find a way to finish the conflict in China.....

     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....Nishio seems confident that he can implement a partial re-organization by the summer of next year. Then launch a limited offensive designed to give us a shorter frontage, thus easing further re-alignments, and set the stage for a final push during 1943. For the summer 1942 offensive small numbers of our second generation armor should reach the troops.

    These tanks will have our production chassis with a turret mounting a 50mm gun
    , the best we can do in the short term. An Assault Gun version of this chassis with a 75mm gun will be introduced at the same time. Still we will have to rely heavily on our existing stocks of Armor for the 1942 offensive.

    For the 1943 offensive we should be able to replace all our pre-war tanks with second generation vehicles. This will allow us to hand down some of first generation tanks to loyal Native Forces, the balance being retained for training of armor troops. Some third generation Armor should begin to make appearance with front line units, and to fully replace the second generation vehicles during 1944.

    The production Tanks will mount a 75mm high velocity gun, while an improved Assault gun will carry a version of our 88mm gun. Nishio wants a 25%/75% mix of Tanks to Assault Guns, but I would be more comfortable a 1/3 to 2/3 mix. The General is likely to get his preference due the cost of the program as Assault Guns are cheaper to produce. The bulk of these will eventually find their way to the Kwantung Army to counter any Soviet adventure.....

     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....The Navy is cautiously supportive of Nishio's outline, but not Gen. Terauchi who asserts that even with a re-organization of Imperial troops, coupled with raising new Native levies, we still lack the manpower to fully occupy China. Nishio responds, that it is neither his intent to do so, or necessary to.

    Nishio explains that to neutralize the Warlord Chaing he must be separated from his western aid. Without it, he can no longer command the loyalty of lesser warlords or the Chinese people. We can achieve this in several ways.

    Our Propaganda/Dis-information efforts aimed at the west could see western aid cut off from its source. No one on the council holds much hope that this alone will work, but any reduction weakens Chaing and helps us.

    Nishio is confident that re-organized Imperial Forces can reach the new Chinese capitol in 1943. This could result in the death or capture of Chaing which would shatter the Nationalist cause and force the west to reconsider any more aid. Even if Chaing escapes, if he is forced to go further into the hinterlands, away from India, then it could become impossible for effective aid to reach him.

    Should we be thwarted in the capitol there is still the possibility that our proximity will force him to relocate or see us well placed to interdict any aid from India. Without western aid the lesser warlords will waver and Chaing will lose "The Mandate of Heaven".

    "In any event, you too will play your part Terauchi" said Nishio. This got Gen. Terauchi's immediate attention....
     
  18. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    ....General Terauchi's SouthWest Asia Area Command is tasked with job of seizing the Malaysian Peninsula at the start of hostilities. While he wished to make Singapore his primary objective, he was overruled by the council and told to secure the oil production sites on the Malay coast first.

    Admiral Karonada has promised support from the Kido Butai for the reduction of Singapore and to screen his initial landings. Once the Oil facilities and Singapore are secured his forces are to move north into Burma as far as practicable and conditions permit before the Monsoon season brings a halt to operations. During this period he is to build up his logistics to allow a new offensive in late 1942 and early 1943.

    This offensive is to take Imperial Forces trough Burma to the Indian border and into India itself. At this the Navy becomes uneasy and offers an objection that India is too large and far away to capture. While I expect they believe this, what they leave unspoken is the worry that they would have to deploy into the Indian Ocean on scale they are uncomfortable with.

    Nishio explains that the incursion into India would be limited in nature and have a definite stop point. Basically a movement to a line running along the Assam River is planned. This would give us a toehold to forement dis-union amoung the Indian populace, but more importantly allow us to cut off the flow of aid to China from its source in India.

    Nishio promises a portion of the re-organized Imperial troops from China to go to Terauchi to allow him to reach and hold this advanced line, as well as the organization of Burmese and Malaysian forces along the same lines intended in China to hold his line of communications. With this, Terauchi sits back in his chair and a slow smile begins to cross his face....

     
  19. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,384
    wow China, Burma at the same time, it's getting quite ambitious to say the least.
     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    As they say, we are playing with house money here. Historically Japan halted its progress for a period, then tried late in the war to do what we are proposing they attempt in 1942/43. The follow though seems logical and if we avoid a "Guadelcanal", doable.

    Then again one of your forebears said something about no battle plan surviving contact with the enemy.....:D
     

Share This Page