Fenians, Brits, Mexicans, Canucks and Frenchies....OH, MY! An alternate American Civil War

Chapter 413

Eastern Front

Within a few weeks of commencement of hostilities, the Russian army had overrun Byelorussia, most of the Baltic, half of Poland and a quarter of the Ukraine.

Nothing seemed to even slow the Russians….until the massive rains of spring. The heavy Russian tanks would slow, getting bogged down by mud more than the Eastern European defenders.

Western Front, the Rhineland

The German defensive line was desperately attempt to stabilize in the face of French armored advances. Like the previous war, the French sought to use chemical warfare, but this would prove ineffectual.

However, the focus of the French upon the Rhineland was only partially blunted by the German armored units which, dug into pits, would take a terrible toll upon the French attackers alongside armor-piercing artillery.

The Germans would also possess arguably the best fighter plane in Europe with the new Messerschmidt 109’s though the first four British squadrons to alight upon Continental soil in their Hurricanes would beg to differ.

In addition to the Royal Air Force, the first Corp of British soldiers would arrive, 35,000 men and 260 tanks. In addition to the tanks already dispatched by Britain and America to Germany’s armed forces, the situation was upgraded from hopeless to merely bleak.

Of course, the French were not done yet.

Northern France

Though the French possessed perhaps the best light bomber in Europe, the Royal Air Force had swiftly made large-scale daylight bombing runs upon London ineffective. Even attempts to bomb at night tended to cost the French too many planes and the French fighters were proven inferior to the British.

However, the French had another trick.

Over the past years, Marxist German scientists and engineers had sought favor with the Commune by forwarding German rocket technology to France. With a remarkably efficient manufacturing process, thousands of “flying bombs” would be launched across the Channel at London. There had been talk of even developing “missiles” from stolen German technology but the expense (nearly 100x’s that of a flying bomb) made the budget conscious French Commune concentrate upon what they COULD do now rather than in the future.

Thus, flying bombs would be launched almost hourly upon the British for days, then weeks at a time. Nearly ¾’s would fail to detonate or just fail to reach its target due to technical problems. The guidance systems would frequently send them well off course. But the ones that did reach London, combined with the night bombing raids of the French, would severely punish the civilian population….though not the British manufacturing centers up north.

Over the course of the past years, the French Commune had neglected the old standbys of battleships or the new Aircraft carriers as it was understood that the conquest of Europe would come first….THEN the rest of the world.

Instead, the French Navy would concentrate upon disrupting Reactionary governments by assaulting shipping with a large fleet of submersibles, destroyers and torpedo boats. This was particularly aimed at Great Britain, which was considered to be unconquerable at the moment, but the British threat to the mainland was believed to be containable with the cutoff of raw materials.

Over the course of the past months, dozens, then hundreds, of British, American and other vessels would be sunk by the French Navy. This would hinder….but not halt….the British war effort.

Still, as French forces poured into the industrial heart of Germany, the British expeditionary force were joining the fight in the west.

June, 1933


Only three months into office, the President of the United States was already struggling to get the nation’s massive manufacturing base moving more quickly. For the past months, several manufacturers had admirably increased production. Most of this, however, would be dispatched to Germany to keep America’s allies in the fight while the American army rapidly mobilized.

The peacetime, the American Army usually had been reduced to 80,000, a bit higher (100,000) after the latest Brazilian war. However, the previous administration had actually commenced a ponderous buildup and over 100,000 more volunteers had been accepted even before Stuart took the Oath of Office and shortly thereafter declared war. Since then, another 300,000 had volunteered for the army plus another 80,000 sailors and marines. The training camps groaned at the sudden increase and trained men would pulled from active duty to serve as drill sergeants.

The reserves, particularly officers, would be called up and Stuart was pleased to see so few shirkers.

There was already talk of conscription, but the nation lacked the material to outfit them so, for now, volunteers were all President Stuart was willing to consider to meet short term needs. By most estimates, at least another 500,000 American men would be willing to serve before any form of conscription was necessary.

The USS Ranger was launched in March but would require a few more months of shakedown before the Navy was ready to put her into a combat situation.

Perhaps the best news was that the tank production in particular had rapidly escalated. Nearly a dozen tanks per day were already rolling off the assembly lines with the intent to triple this in a few months.

Planes, cannon and other specialized goods of war were rapidly increasing as well, mainly by the addition of second and third shifts in the factories and weekend production. Additional tool sets for these war materials were already in design and cutting steel so new plants could be opened in short order.

Chevrolet would be among the first to offer their factories to the nation and plans were already in place to produce a new medium bomber and upgraded fighter planes (the new Naval fighter, the Grumman Wildcat, and an updated “Curtis Hawk – P34” fighter plane for the Army Air Corps).

However, one industrialist, Henry Ford, would refuse to turn his factories over to war production. An avowed pacifist, the Dearborn, Michigan based manufacturer accused Stuart of warmongering. Irritated, and mindful that Ford had built manufacturing sites in Marxist France and Nationalist Russia which were no building war material for the nation’s enemies, was in the middle of preparing the seizure of the Ford Motor Company via eminent domain when his Secretary of War arrived for a meeting with a thin man of perhaps 40 some years. He was introduced as Edsel Ford.

The young man explained that he and his mother, along with various other shareholders, ordered his father Henry Ford to step down….lest they openly vote him out of power. President Stuart could see the pain that this caused the younger man and appreciated what this action had cost him.

Ford would lay out a plan to swiftly turn two of his factories into plants for a huge bomber still on the drawing board for the War Department. He also provided a design for a new transport plane, which was attributed to be the best in the class by the Secretary of War’s aviation experts, to be produced at the Ford Aerospace Factory. He also vowed to take no profit from war production at all and even offered office space to any auditors that the War Department desired to review the books.

This man does NOT want to go down in history as a traitor or war profiteer, Stuart realized.

The President agreed to end the reprisals against Ford Motor Company (and affiliates) and thanked Edsel Ford for his patriotism.

Within six months, Ford would be churning out a dozen different models of military vehicles much to Henry Ford’s disgust. He would never speak to his son directly again and only with difficulty speak to his wife.

But Stuart didn’t care about that. He just needed material with which his soldiers and sailors could fight.

And that seemed to be coming along quite well. The question was, would it be in time to save his allies?
Chapter 413

Sapporo, Hokkaido

Deeming that the harbor of Sapporo was too vulnerable to aerial attack from Honshu or via Japanese aircraft carriers, the American vessels in Sapporo would evacuate in June for Sakhalin. A series of Japanese submersibles would seek to harry the American ships but a highly effective screening by the American destroyers would successfully prevent any major damage (one supply ship would be sunk) to the heavy American ships.

But American supplies and modest reinforcements would continue to trickle in. Indeed, 8000 Australian forces, mainly from New South Wales and South Zealand, would arrive to reinforce the Americans as well. This brought the regional forces on Hokkaido to 50,000 men and roughly 300 tanks (a Regiment of Australian tanks would also arrive).

From Hokkaido, America and her allies were able to contest the Japanese supply line into Korea and southern Manchuria. Until that supply line was established, further offensives against the Republic of China and Republic of Manchuria would prove impossible.

It was only a matter of time and General MacArthur damned well knew it. Given that the Japanese had a fifteen mile supply line from Honshu…..and America had about 4000 miles….it was obvious which party could dispatch greater resources on short notice.

The Japanese Army was embodied to over a million men (300,000 were currently in Korea and Manchuria). Would the American forces be able to prevent a landing?

If the Japanese landed in force…..then perhaps nothing could stop them.

Green Ukraine

The civilian leadership of the Green Ukraine, the breakaway state from Russian domination between the Pacific and Manchuria, would realize that its survival (only about 870,000 residents) entirely depended upon neither Russia nor Japan reaching ascendancy. Only with a series of alliances – America, Manchuria, Korea, Mongolia and China – would the Green Ukraine possibly survive as a state.

The Green Ukraine declared war on behalf of their allies in June and promptly offered Vladivostok (regained from China when Manchuria seceded) to the allies.

War materials would begin funneling into keep Manchuria and China (and Korean partisans) in the fight until Austro-American forces could arrive in depth.

June, 1933

The North Sea

The first of the American Expeditionary Force under General MacArthur to Europe would arrive off of Scotland in June with 20,000 men including the newly embodied 10th Armored (under General Patton). Here, they would rendezvous with a force of 28,000 Britons under General Cunningham. This would include the 2nd and 3rd British Cavalry Brigades (under General Montgomery).

48,000 trained men with 460 more tanks were desperately needed on the Western Front (and Eastern Front for that matter).

Running a gauntlet of French bombers and submersibles, the allies would land in Hamburg and other northern German ports.

Here, they would be greeted by the commander of the Western Front, General Heinz Guderian, who had been hording several divisions of tanks for a counterattack under General Erwin Rommel.

It would take weeks to get the British and Americans organized and supply depots set up for their unique munitions. However, Guderian was running out of time.

He arranged a massive counterattack against what was termed a “Bulge” in northwest Germany where the French had punched hole in German lines.

With 800 tanks and 125,000 men, the allies would launch the most powerful German counterattack of the war.

Eastern Front

The spring rains had slowed the Russians but the eastern partisans would prove an even greater challenge. Striking at bridges, oil dumps, munitions depots, etc, the Byelorussians, Ukrainians and Poles were fighting for their very nations’ identity. No one wanted to place themselves under the thumb of the Czarina and her odious Nationalist lackeys.

What was left of the Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian and German forces were desperately attempting to reorganize behind whatever natural defenses were available. Unfortunately, the largely flat Eastern European plains were well suited for tank warfare. Outnumbered nearly four to one in tanks….and more than that in quality given the heavy Russian armor and guns……the allies were in desperate trouble.

As the wet spring turned to a dry summer, the Russian forces moved inexorably forward. Only the effective anti-tank air strikes by the German fighters (which utilized revolutionary rockets) and the pinpoint bombing of the Junkers dive bombers would seriously slow the Russian armor. Effective German anti-tank guns would take more of a toll upon the enemy than German tanks. It was, however, not enough.

By the end of July, the Russians had nearly crossed Poland and were preparing to enter Germany itself.

Desperate, the German Confederation would demand that the remaining states of Europe – Italy, Spain, Hungary, Bohemia, Denmark – “pick a damned side” as it was unlikely that either the Marxists or the Nationalists were likely to allow the “neutral” nations their autonomy in the future.

Italy and Hungary, seeing the writing on the wall, would make their choice. The King of Italy had initially demanded but grudgingly agreed to make a post-war claim to Marseille, Nice and Savoy, the French region from which the Italian Royal Family drew their name.

Hungary simply knew the Russian Czarina and her minions well enough to know that, should all of Eastern Europe would fall under her purview, there would be no more independence for any state under her dainty boot.

By summer of 1933, the details of the Russian-French pact had been leaked to the world: Europe would be divided in two with German under French control and all parts east under Russian. It was obvious that the less developed southern Europeans and Scandinavians would similarly be divided.

Bohemia and Serbia expressed sympathy for the allies….but were unwilling to act. The Scandinavians had long since given up any pretense of great power status.

Surprisingly, Spain would also demur. The nation had not recovered from the previous war and it was believed that a division of French soldiers would probably beat the entire Spanish Army in a stand-up battle. With the Crown and his government already on thin ice with the Spanish people, the nation was simply not capable of military action in 1933…and probably wouldn’t for the foreseeable future.
Chapter 414
August, 1933

Northwestern Italy, Southeastern France

The Italian Army would march from the Pyrenees into France. While not caught entirely by surprise, the French were also no prepared. With so many resources thrown at the Rhineland, France was surprised by a moderately skilled Italian invasion which broke through her defenses into the flat lands along the Mediterranean.

By the end of August, the Italians had taken Monaco, the old Princely state which had been conquered by the Commune and its rulers imprisoned as reactionaries.

To the east, 60,000 Hungarian troops would march east to the aid of their allies though the Hungarians would possess little armor and certainly none which could repulse the Russian heavy tanks.

“The Bulge” – Northwestern Germany

The allied maneuver would follow the advice of General Schlieffen over two decades prior when describing a strategy to fight the French: “Make the Right Wing Strong!”

Rather than allow themselves to be bogged down with frontal attacks or consolidating gains, the German-led coalition would skirt the North Sea (the Right Wing) and swing south, cutting off 375,000 French soldiers from their supply. Already low on fuel, the French tanks were forced to remain in place lest they run dry at the worst possible moment.

By late July, Germany was entirely on a war footing with over 1.5 million men in the field excluding regional reserves. Over 600,000 German regulars would be focused upon the Rhineland front. They were augmented by 200,000 British, Americans, Dutch and Belgians.

Still, the ferocious French advance had badly shaken the Germans and only by August would the nation seem to be finding its feet.

August, 1933

Eastern Front

By August, 500,000 German soldiers, 250,000 Ukrainians, 200,000 Poles and 40,000 Byelorussians remained in the field but had taken a terrible beating in confidence as the Russian armored divisions rolled through eastern Europe. The allies seemed to have no response to this as even effective anti-tank air strikes and anti-tank guns could do little against massed formations.

Instead, the allies dug into cities and any natural formation (rivers, forests, etc) which presented itself. Unfortunately, in the flat Eastern Plains, few of these natural formations presented themselves.

However, the allies would receive a modest reprieve as the Czarina’s troops would halt their western advance and bog down in Kiev, a political target more so than a military one. Kiev had resisted Russian conquest in the previous war and the Czarina “wanted to teach a lesson”.

By this decision, nearly half the 2,000,000 Russian troops along the front would slow their advance and gaze southwards.

September, 1933

Southeastern France

The Commune’s counterattack against the Italians would prove haphazard as the 100,000 men and 200 tanks proved inadequate for the task. What the French had not expected was the Italian armored divisions (460 tanks) were not as terribly behind the French in construction as some might have believed. The guns had been upgraded and the Italian tankers had been well-trained.

What was more, the Italian Army (which was not terribly highly respected) would dispatch only their best units to the front. This gave the Italians a level of parity that the French had not anticipated.

Within weeks, the French commander in the southeast would call for reinforcements. Instead, the Commune had him shot and ordered his second-in-command to drive the Italians back into Italy.

North Sea

Slowly, American and British forces continued to trickle into Europe. By September, another 35,000 men would arrive including another British armored Brigade. An American armored division was preparing to sail from Baltimore but would be weeks away from landing. However, the Americans DID send 150 more Grant tanks for the Germans as well as a large amount of ammunition, spare parts (this had been a problem) and dozens of skilled mechanics familiar with the vehicle (this would prove unnecessary as the Germans were skilled mechanics on the whole and quickly figured out the Grants’ quirks). Too many of the Grants which had been delivered to the Germans would be abandoned for lack of a single axle or engine components and then dismantled for spare parts.

Still, the materials arriving would greatly help the Germans whose industrial base was still attempting to compensate for the loss of key manufacturing plants in the Rhineland.

But the Mark III Tanks were rolling off the assembly lines. These were a match for the Grants, the Cromwells and the French tanks. However, only the Mark IV’s, the plant responsible for this monster still struggling to get running, were truly a match for the Russian tanks. Only a handful of prototypes would be in service (rushed to the east).

Similarly, the Americans were putting the finishing touches on a new model of tanks, the Lees, which would also challenge the Russian vehicles.

Naturally, the complexity of all these variants would make logistics a nightmare for the allies. However, the Germans would not complain. The alternative would be to be about 800 tanks short of where they were at.

Southwestern Manchuria

The Japanese Imperial Army would repeatedly charge into the teeth of the enemy defenses. Unlike the Chinese, the Japanese had little to no armor remaining (their “mini-tanks” were clearly inferior to the American-made tanks provided to the Chinese).

Charging fixed fortifications with only infantry was an expensive task. Even with heavy artillery bombardments, the Japanese would seldom completely clear the trenches and suffer terrible casualties. The Chinese soon learned that the Japanese seldom took prisoners and fought every bit as fiercely.

The Chinese forces would take advantage of their Grant tanks by forming a mobile “Flying Squadron” to regain any breaches in their lines.

American and Australian Air Corp reinforcements were also showing up in greater numbers, ensuring that Japan could not dominate the skies for long periods. Indeed, several dozen heavy American bombers would arrive and turn the tables upon the aggressors.

What was more, American, Australian, “Free Korean”, Manchurian and Green Ukrainian forces were assembling near Vladivostok despite repeated Japanese raids. A mixed army of 100,000 had formed and was threatening the Japanese from the north as the head of their army was ensnared by the Chinese in the west of Manchuria.
Chapter 415
October, 1933


Despite having only declared war six months prior, the American industrial complex had been given a head start by the final months of Al Smith’s Administration. The American industrial might was expanding astonishingly quickly.

Among the accomplishments was the projected launch of the USS Wasp, the next of the Ranger-class vessels, by December of 1933, nearly a year ahead of expectations.

That didn’t even count the huge number of smaller vessels produced almost on an assembly line. The “Liberty Ships”, medium sized freighters, were launched every week and this pace was only expected to increase in the future as multiple facilities worked three shifts to produce cheap but sturdy transports and freighters to replace the dozens already sunk throughout the Atlantic and Pacific.

The United States had two more battleships under construction but had no further orders, deeming the class of ship as having less utility than in past decades. Instead, new models of cruisers with heavy anti-aircraft capabilities, destroyers with improved anti-submersible capacity and more capable submersibles were gaining the majority of the naval budgets.

The new “Wildcat” naval fighter was expected to be an improvement upon the Buffalo. However, rumors of the capabilities of the Japanese “A5M” lent a certain level of nervousness. By sheer luck, a prototype had gone down months before and come upon by an American submersible. The A5M appeared to be an incredibly light, well-powered aircraft (and thus very fast and freakishly maneuverable). The lack of armored protection for the pilot shocked many but plainly few Americans would enjoy dog-fighting with this beast. In contrast, American fighters were more jack-of-all-trades but masters-of-none. The American birds could take punishment the Japanese could not (often Japanese planes would be cut to pieces by a short burst where American planes could plug on) and bore superior armaments. But the speed and maneuverability would swiftly be exceeded by the A5M. Designs were in the mix for updated models but these would at least be a year away.

Since President Stuart had no desire to still BE at war in a year, he ordered production immediately expanded to all war material.

October, 1933

The “Bulge”

After a series of brutal attacks and French escape attempts, nearly 200,000 French troops would finally surrender after their pocket collapsed. These were the flower of the French army and the loss, in conjunction with over 250,000 casualties, would shake the Commune badly. Now France was fighting….and not winning…..on two fronts.

Worse, the Russian reactionaries were apparently continuing their advance. Pre-war negotiations held that France would rule German and southern Europe (Italy and Iberia) while Russia was free to do what they desired in their former Slavic tributary states, the Balkans and Scandinavia.

But that only would apply if Germany actually FELL to the French. If Russia continued to march into Germany, there was likely nothing France could do about it but fight another war it may not win.

A Europe controlled entirely by Russia would be a nightmare for global Marxism. Eventually, Russia would crush the west and Marx’ dream would die with France.

The Commune, which had not possessed a powerful leader since Jules Guesde, would bicker back and forth. Some defeatists would even suggest holding off the next campaign so Germany could transfer resources east and halt Russia. Already, many in Paris were questioning the wisdom of yet another war against Germany after so many defeats.

The Commune’s high council would quietly arrest many of these voices and they would be “retired” somewhere in the country.

As it was, the reality of war would come to the French capital itself with a swarm of 200 British and American bombers dropping enormous bombs upon Paris, the first large such raid. Nearly a fifth of the city was burned or sustained damage. Several bombs struck the base of the Eiffel Tower and, over the course of hours, the great structure would lean under the weight and finally collapse.

Realizing that defeat…..real defeat (meaning occupation and the dissolution of the Commune)…..was possible, the French Commune authorized a heinous plan.

While the “Flying Bombs” had been pounding London for months, the French added a new wrinkle: assorted poison gas canisters were added to the Flying Bombs and launched, in a spurt of hundreds of bombs, upon London. Tear gas, mustard gas and some even worse would fall upon the helpless masses of Britain’s greatest city. King Albert I of Saxe-Coburg would visit the East End bearing a gas mask. His presence would greatly comfort the people. When Buckingham was struck, the King confided that “he could finally look the East End in the eye”.

French bombers would turn their attention from southern Britain to the northern German ports in hopes of staunching the flow of materials keeping the Confederation in the fight. Britain could be dealt with later. Once Germany fell, the only rival to France in Europe would be their “ally”, Russia.

It was just a matter of crushing these pesky, hypocritical “democracies”.

November, 1933

Camp Lee, Virginia

Like dozens of other training camps throughout the nation, Camp Lee would be opened with the intent of training as many men as possible with the basics of soldiering (shooting, marching, making beds with crisp corners, etc). By Fall, there was even a smattering of actual experienced soldiers providing details regarding enemy tank capabilities, the drawbacks of American artillery, how to cook in the rain….etc, etc.

Throughout it all, over 50,000 men per month were graduating from boot camp with at least the basics. Most would go on to further training in some sort of specialty (armored cavalry, mechanics, airborne, artillery, etc) which would take a few more months (or less).

In the end, an army was just not a bunch of infantry but a complex organism which was dependent upon dozens of highly specialized functions.

Camp Lee would be a primary example as this would be a major armored cavalry training center. Dozens of Grant and Lee tanks were used as training vehicles while hundreds of mechanics learned the intricacies of these vehicles and others.

Three divisions had been trained in this camp over the past six months alone. By the end of November, the current batch would ship out abroad or to another staging area as a new group of raw recruits trained by some experienced tankers would prepare for war.

November, 1933

The Rhineland

“Damn that miserable coward!” George Patton growled to his C/O. MacArthur had long since tired of the man’s ego. There was never enough space in the room for his own and certainly not his subordinate’s.

“Enough, Patton….”

“If that damned Englishman hadn’t dragged his ass when Rommel and I were cutting the Marxies off, we could have bagged the whole bunch, not just half the damned French army!” The Virginian would inexorably continue, oblivious to his commander’s impatience. “I swear to god, if we frisked Monty, there’s a better than even chance we’d find the ghost of Jules Guesde in clever disguise!”

“I said shut the hell up, Patton!” MacArthur roared. “It’s done. Now figure the hell out how to break back across the Rhine!”

MacArthur’s fragile ego had been bruised when his suggestion that HE should be allied joint commander over Guderian, whose country had been fighting much longer and had 10x as many troops in the field, was roundly ignored even by his own superiors.

Viewing himself as the new Caesar, MacArthur did not like taking orders from anyone. The only saving grace was that Guderian was taking his command (and 200,000 experienced German troops including large portions of their armor) east to attempt to hold whatever was left of Poland and the Ukraine from the Czarina. This would leave the Americans….and the British, he supposed……with more authority against the French in the Rhineland.

Tens of thousands of American and British reinforcements continued to pour into Northern Germany despite the mounting cold.
Chapter 416
December, 1933

Southern Manchuria

In a frigid December day, the Japanese Imperial Army would launch an assault of over 200,000 men against the Chinese lines and 60,000 against the hodge-podge conglomeration of allies based in eastern Manchuria near their supply line at Vladivostok.

The Japanese medium bombers would pull away from their costly raids upon the Chinese lines and concentrate (like the French in northern Germany) upon the vital line of supply at Vladivostok.

This would result in the sinking of several ships and much lost war material.

However, enough supply and reinforcements had been deposited upon Asian shores that the Japanese forces marching northeast upon Vladivostok would soon find half an American armored division as the centerpiece of the allied defense. What was more, the Army Air Corp based in northerly airfields would take a drastic toll upon the Japanese bombers.

Prior to the war, plans had been in place to increase the Japanese Imperial Air Force tenfold. However, that was never to come to fruition and the modest advantage in numbers at the commencement of the war had already swung in the allied favor. American pilots would have the benefit of sometimes hundreds of hours of training in their planes before crossing one of the oceans. Once the initial number of skilled Japanese pilots available in 1932 had been decimated by two years of war, their replacements would not be granted a fraction of this training due to shortages of fuel and planes.


The Japanese Admiralty was already noting with alarm the rapid exhaustion of their nation’s fuel supplies. Despite a virtual ban on civilian use beyond absolutely necessary manufacturing, the fuel reserve had depleted to perhaps 9 more months….and that might be optimistic as use always exceeded projections and those projections included a massive increase of oil produced from coal (which was iffy).

The Emperor (egged on by the Army) would demand to know what the NAVY was doing about winning the war. Reportedly, the Army wanted the Navy Carriers to join the war against the Chinese by issuing forth daily raids from sea to land. This was, of course, the stupidest thing any of the seasoned sailors could think of. The benefit to the army would be modest….at best….and the threat to the carriers would be enormous not only from land-based planes but the large number of American, British and Chinese submersibles already taking a terrible toll on shipping to Korea.

A couple of lucky shots from submersibles would effectively end Japanese contention of the waves.

The problem was that the Japanese Imperial Navy could win a dozen battles and still fail to accomplish any long-term victory in the war as winning battles at sea did nothing to gain access to oil reserves.

By 1934, the Japanese Imperial Navy still possessed one “super” Carrier, four standard carriers and two “mini” carriers. The Admiralty would put them against any fleet in the world.

However, the Americans now reportedly had their new Ranger in the Pacific, three older carriers and three “escort” carriers. The British had one carrier (the Eagle) and two escort carriers. Reports of the Americans launching a new super carrier every three months may be exaggerated……or maybe not.

Being outnumbered didn’t bother the Admiralty. But being months away from running dry in the middle of an ocean….with no sound strategy to rectify that problem was more disconcerting.

Conquering Korea had not solved this problem. Invading Manchuria and fighting half a dozen nations did not solve this problem. Indeed, even if Japan somehow conquered the oil wells of the East Indies overnight (and it was known that the allies had every intention of destroying the oil fields if they were threatened in the slightest), the balance of power did not seem likely to shift much.

Japan had isolated itself terribly. There was no way for oil or other raw materials fate had deemed the nation worthy to possess in any abundance. Most of the world’s oil production (the United States being a rather notable example) was controlled by Japan’s enemies. Those handful of others (Persia was starting to produce in abundant supplies) were hardly inclined or capable of shipping through the enemy blockades.

Now the idiots over at Army Command thought invading CHINA would solve this?

Yes, China had SOME oil….but not much and certainly it would not be easy or quick to exploit by Japan…..even if the conquest of 300,000,000 Chinese happened overnight.

The problem simply would not go away.

Japan was in a fight it could not win….even if it won all the battles.

Admiral Yamamoto would wonder what would have happened if Japan had not deigned to engage in Eastern Asia (guaranteeing American involvement) and China both.

Would America really be inclined to intervene militarily if Japan had, once again, sought to invade the East Indies?

Once those oil supplies were under control, then perhaps Japan could select a target like southeastern Asia….or China.

Barring THAT, it would have made infinitely more sense to invade Hokkaido and the “Ainu Islands” before advancing into Manchuria or China. This would precluded easy American supply to the Chinese. It would have meant earlier war with America but a few months delay hadn’t appeared to aid Japan in any meaningful way especially since, when the Imperial Army crossed into Manchuria, setting the stage for a future war with America, the United States was in a much poorer condition militarily. Seizing Hokkaido and Sakhalin at THOSE points and having time to fortify would have made all the difference. Yamamoto doubted that America would have been so effective in supplying Manchuria and China from 6000 miles away.

Instead, this was one giant battle in Asia which the Admiral’s nation could not win.

It was all very depressing.

Now the Emperor himself was demanding that the Imperial Navy “do something”. Well, Yamamoto suspected, immolating a great Navy would be considered “doing something”.

The Admiral would prepare the navy for a fight against the only reasonable target at this point……Hokkaido. The Army promised that, should Yamamoto’s sailors find the spine to gain control over the waters….even for a short period…..they could easily conquer the island.

Of course, the navy would have little support from the Japanese Air Force but would have to contest with both the allied Navies’ carriers AND the American Air Corp on Hokkaido to do this. The Army bastards were being uncommonly cunning. THEY had nothing to lose (except a war, of course) in prompting the Navy to act prematurely and foolishly.

But the Emperor spoke. And the Imperial Navy must do its sorrowful duty.
Chapter 417
January, 1934

North Sea and Western Mediterranean

The Royal Navy had been the first to construct fully-designed aircraft carriers but had not continued the process for financial reasons. Like in so many areas, the loss of India and other parts of the Empire would reduce protected British markets to the point of hindering Britain’s economy. While manufacturing and other segments of the economy actually improved, the nation’s sense of self-worth, none-the-less continued to drop and that affected military spending.

What was the point of having the greatest navy on Earth if one had no Empire to defend?

And with the growth of air power, even the still-strong Channel Fleet would not necessarily protect Britain indefinitely.

While France was the most immediate threat to Great Britain, it was not the only one. Unlike France, Russia had not ignored its surface fleet and, after nearly a year of sitting impotently in port, would be ordered from St. Petersburg and the Crimea to……do something to justify its existence.

For six months, large quantities of material as well as reinforcements had been sailing into Northern Germany’s ports with only modest resistance from the French Air Force and some minor submersible warfare. While communication between France and their “ally” Russia had been by nature of geography rather difficult, the message was now clear.

Was the Russian Navy planning on entering the war?

While the Czarina didn’t care much about what the Marxist fanatics of France thought, the fact that her army commanders were bitching on a daily basis why nothing was being done about the reinforcements arrived in ever greater quantities, the Czarina was inclined to finally press her Navy to act. She had to agree that it was not accomplishing much sitting at harbor.

Thus, she would order both fleets to raise anchor and assault her enemies.

In the North Sea, the Russian Navy was ordered to cut off the line of supply to Germany. With four battleships, six cruisers and nearly a dozen minor vessels, the Russians sailed forth from St. Petersburg. The ice had not yet locked in the Harbor and the Czarina’s Admirals pointed out that perhaps it would be best to sail anyway if only to avoid being trapped for months.

However, there would be no surprise to the Royal Navy or the German Fleet. Finland had not been significantly assaulted by the Russians but knew that, should Germany fall, they would be the next to fall. Unlike previous ages, communication was quite fast. The Finns radioed the passage of the Russian fleet and the British were well away before the Russians even crossed Helsinki.

While the Royal Navy had largely kept its surface fleet at anchor for fear of aerial or submersible attacks (torpedoes were certainly making lumbering old battleships obsolete), this was not a challenge the Royal Navy could endure. Within twenty-four hours, a fleet of six battleships led by the Prince of Wales and Hood with a dozen accompanying lighter vessels (mostly destroyers to protect the heavy ships from submersibles) would sail out from Jutland and Scapa Flow with one German battleship, one cruiser and three destroyers.

Despite their “neutrality”, Sweden-Norway and Denmark would actively give coded radio updates of the Russian position while the Anglo-German Navy consolidated off of northern Denmark. By 1934, it was obvious even to “neutral” nations that their “neutrality” would do them no favors should Germany fall. Their countries would be conquered in detail at French and Russian convenience. Denmark was, in fact, ready to cast off their cloak of neutrality to allow even greater use of their waters for allied supply and Air Force airfields. They merely needed a great victory to instill confidence in their people (and maybe stiffen the Viking spine).

In mid-January, the allied forces would encounter the Russians, who were preparing to descent upon the German coast east of Denmark. The Russians were apparently taken entirely by surprise when a huge convoy of warships arrived to the northwest.

The first shells were landing among the Russian ships when their peril became apparent. By this point, it was too late….and probably politically impossible…..for the Russian commander to simply turn and retreat. Instead, he turned INTO the allied force and sought to slug it out.

For the next eight hours, the British and Germans gnawed upon the Russian fleet like a dog on a bone, never letting it escape to regroup. It was a flat-out barroom brawl and the allied fleet simply wore the Russians down ship by ship with superior firepower, speed and gunnery.

Two Russian battleships were lost and one severely damaged (but managed to retreat). Also, three cruisers and four destroyers were sent to the bottom or were forced to surrender (the Russian Captains were not inclined to scuttle ships and leave their crews to the mercy of January weather in the North Sea and the Baltic.

In the Mediterranean, the Russian Black Sea Squadron would fair little better. However, HERE the Russians would face a separate problem. The bulk of the Italian Navy was focused east on the Bosporus. This included two Italian Aircraft Carriers….and two British (the Ark Royal and the “escort” carrier Plymouth which had been built on a cruiser hull). While none of these carriers matched the behemoths now being produced in America or Japan, the fact remained that the Russian fleet possessed no carriers nor any air cover in the region.

When the Russian surface vessels approached the Bosporus, they were met not with battleships or cruisers but a hundred and fifty bombers, torpedo planes and fighters finding attacking a fleet in such a narrow straight was akin to shooting fish in a barrel.

Making matters even worse was the fact that the Russian Navy, perhaps more than any major navy on Earth, had failed to recognize the threat of aircraft and had not added significant anti-aircraft weapons to their ships. With only a few guns pointed to the skies, only two Italian biplanes were shot out of the air while one Italian and one British plane went down due to mechanical problems.

The Russians, on the other hand, suffered greatly. A lucky shot went down the smokestack of a Russian cruiser, effectively blowing the vessel apart. A battleship would suffer four torpedo hits and sink along the shoreline. Another battleship and cruiser would be so badly damaged that they would, without authorization, retreat on their own commanders’ initiative.

All this was done without making sight of the enemy. One cruiser Captain, utterly frustrated and believing that the British and Italian ships must be nearby, steamed forward unaided by support vessels. However, two Italian battleships provided a first line of defense to the Aircraft carriers five miles behind. The heavier Italian ships would strike multiple blows upon the Russian cruiser whose Captain belatedly determined discretion was the new word of the day.

Nighttime prevented the crushing defeat turning into out outright disaster but the Russians were forced to retreat without landing a single shell upon an enemy ship. Two heavy vessels were lost and three more heavily damaged.

Adding insult to injury, a pair of Italian submersibles had taking the astoundingly aggressive step of entering the Black Sea and launched four torpedoes each upon the retreating Russians. Fortunately for the heavy ships, none were struck. Unfortunately for their escort, two destroyers and one frigate were impaled and went to the bottom. The Italian skippers wisely dove for cover to avoid the inevitable retribution via depth charge. Both ships survived the Russian Destroyer vengeance and survived to rejoin their fleet.

Throughout the entire incident, the Turkish civilians along the waterway would cheer euphorically with the destruction of each Russian ship. The Russian Empire had effectively crushed and/or conquered the Ottoman and turn the rump state into a third-rate power. Seeing ANY enemy, even a Christian one, inflict such a severe hiding upon the Russians was enough to bring joy to any Turkish heart.
Chapter 418
February, 1934


However, 1933 would see yet another tragedy beyond the tens of thousands of civilian losses to the loathsome Flying Bombs hurled to London bearing payloads not only of explosives….but poison gas.

One of the bombs would strike while Queen Vigdis was reviewing a damaged neighborhood of London when the area was struck once again by a flying bomb. Thrown from her feet, the Queen was unable to attach her gas mask. By the time someone in the party was able to stumble forward and affix it for her, the Queen was well on her way to dying. She managed to live long enough, coughing up her lungs, to reach Buckingham Palace and had at least the modest comfort of her husband by her side when she passed.

King Albert, who had been known as a rake in his younger days, had been entirely faithful to his beautiful blonde wife since the day they met. For twelve years, the couple had remained in marital bliss and producing four daughters. Rumor had it that the Queen was pregnant at her death.

Albert would be nothing short of shattered. He would lock himself in his quarters in Buckingham and drink himself into a stupor. When the air raid sirens returned, his retainers had to physically knock down the door to retrieve him for the shelters.

That night, the French would top themselves with another hideous wrinkle to the Flying Bombs. Instead of explosives and poison gas, some Flying Bombs would now include incendiaries. Sections of London would burn and fire control officials, already hindered by bulky equipment to fend off poison gas, would be slow to put out the flames.

Not entirely reliant upon Flying Bombs to punish the impudent Reactionary British, the French Commune would also periodically send night raids of light and medium bombers (the French light and medium bombers were considered among the best in the world), this time heavily slanted towards incendiaries. The Royal Air Force and their American and (unbelievably) Irish allies had taken such a toll on the French Air Force that day raids had been forbidden. Instead, Flying Bombs flew by day and French bombers by night.

March, 1934


After much debate, the King of Denmark would formally declare war upon France and Russia (he forgot to mention Japan in the speech but no one cared). Once, Denmark had been among the great military powers of Europe, both on land and sea. Those days were long past. Having been stripped of their German-speaking lands in Schleswig and Holstein by Germany (these Duchies had made up half of the Kingdom of Denmark’s population and wealth), the nation largely removed itself from international politics.

Declaring war on behalf of Germany would not necessarily go down well with many Danes but the general population by 1934 knew their fate should Germany fall would be restricted to being a French puppet….or a Russian puppet. Neither appealed to the Danes.

While Denmark possessed a low population with only modest military potential (about eight destroyers and various other small ships), the true contribution by Denmark would be the use of her harbors as ports of call (no longer terribly necessary with the destruction of the Russian fleets) and her airfields for her allies (this greatly helped protecting the German ports from French and Russian air attack). Supplying Germany would become safer and American and British Air Corps personnel would immediately arrive to gain control of the skies (they also became quite fond of the Scandinavian ladies).

Within weeks, a similar seismic change occurred further north.

Norway had been bound by more than Personal Union to Sweden for years. While having “Home Rule”, Norway remained under the effective direction of the King of Sweden….and his Swedish Ministers…..in Foreign Affairs. Most Norwegians were fine with the former….but chaffed at the latter. Being dictated to by Swedes was grating to say the least.

As the world convulsed in war, the Norwegian Parliament would announce the Union dissolved and give the King an ultimatum. Either select an independent Viceroy to serve as Norway’s head of state…..or watch Norway declare itself a Republic or choose an alternative monarch.

Eventually, the King split the difference and abdicated the throne of Norway to his younger brother. While many Swedes were appalled, the King would sardonically inquire if Sweden was actually planning on invading Norway to enforce the matter. When no positive response came from his Swedish Ministers, the King politely bid his loyal government to shut the living hell up.

This is the price Sweden paid for its “neutrality”. It was unable to even protect its own (claimed) borders, as many Swedes still looked upon the Kingdom of Norway as a subsidiary state.

No longer.

The new King of Norway (who did not actually speak Norwegian) would enter Oslo to public acclaim and promptly do whatever his Ministers told him to do.

That included declaring war upon the French and Russians.

While Norway did not possess much more military capacity than Denmark, it had made SOME preparations for war. More ports became available to allied military and supply vessels and more airfields would be granted. Mostly, these would be used for anti-submarine warfare as the French and Russians lacked any other threat on the oceans by spring of 1934.
Chapter 419
April, 1834

Northeastern China (west of Manchuria)

After nearly two years of combat, the Japanese Imperial Army barely made it within the borders of China. Pushing the Chinese Republic Army from Manchuria had been a slow and painful slog. Though Manchuria itself was rich in some industries (iron ore, for one), virtually none had exploitable to the Japanese during the war.

In the meantime, the Japanese supply of petroleum dipped day by day, day by day.

Chamorro Islands

Augmented by the massive USS Ranger and USS Wasp (barely out of the construction yard), the US Navy would assemble an unprecedented 5 carriers (with the older Princeton, Saratoga and Lexington) with the intent of smashing the Japanese domination in the Sea of Japan, which ensured continued supply to the war in Korea, Manchuria and now China.

Admiral Yamamoto had adequate warning of the accumulation of American vessels and was forced to gather virtually the entirety of his own fleet’s striking power.

By 1934, the Japanese had one “super” carrier, the enormous Akagi and several older carriers (Akasaka, Hayama and Kaga). This represented the majority of Japanese naval might.

With these vessels, the Japanese Imperial Navy would…..well, Yamamoto was not certain at all if “winning” was possible…..but keeping the nation in the war.

The daring strategy of sailing northeast to the Chamorro Islands was hatched months ago in the bowels of the Naval Offices. Rather than fight in closed conditions, the experienced Japanese navy preferred to battle in the open sea and expect their expertise to guide them. Now, that very scenario had occurred.

Yamamoto had a second reason to press this strategy: the damned thugs of the Army would continue to demand that the Imperial Navy support their offensives on land. They didn’t seem to grasp that a few hundred light aircraft would do little to aid a land campaign but that carriers were incredibly vulnerable to land-based aircraft. By removing his ships from the area of Korea, he prevented their waste in such an ill-conceived manner.

In April, the bulk of the Japanese fleet (4 carriers, 2 battleships and a host of smaller vessels led by submersibles utilized more as scouts as raiders) would depart Japan and sail towards the Chamorro Islands. Almost immediately, American submersibles would detect their presence and report this via radio.

Over the next week, the Japanese and American fleets would circle in the vicinity of the Chamorro Islands. The Americans would break into two fleets, one consisting of the three older (and slower) ships escorted by several battleships while the two larger vessels, the Ranger and Wasp, would lead a “fast” convoy mainly consisting of the most modern cruisers and destroyers.

The Americans would find the Japanese first.

A series of torpedo bombers would arrive on the horizon and force the Japanese fighters to dive down and intercept. One Japanese battleship took a torpedo from this initial attack but was only slowed as the anti-flooding bulkheads did their job.

However, the Americans were not done yet. The bombers escorted by fighters would arrive from the three smaller American carriers. With the Japanese fighter screen having been dragged down from above, the bombers had relatively little opposition and were able to deliver three bombs onto the Akasaka and one upon the Akagi (though the Akagi would take only a glancing blow which did not affect her operations). The Akasaka commenced burning.

However, during the initial torpedo attack, the various Japanese carriers would manage to launch their own bombers and torpedo planes with a fighter escort and track the Americans back to their own carriers. In a devastating reply, the Japanese would set all three American carriers aflame. Two would be abandoned within hours and a third, the Lexington, would limp away in the night. Eventually, a Japanese submersible would put two more torpedoes into her and she would be abandoned as well.

However, the Americans were not done yet. The larger Ranger and Wasp received radio accounts of the Japanese position and, 100 miles to the south, would launch their own attack, this one concentrating upon the Hayama. While the dozen Japanese fighters sought to defend their carrier, the American pummeled the Hayama with 4 bombs and later three torpedoes. Despite admirable firefighting attempts that nearly saved the Hayama, the vessel would be abandoned and scuttled in the night.

Fortunately for the Japanese, the Akagi and the Kaga had been just beyond the horizon from the American planes launched from the Ranger and Wasp and were never even spotted. Yamamoto, from his base upon the Akagi, would order his ships to sail towards the retreating American planes during the night and the Akagi and Kaga’s own attack craft to launch before dawn in hopes of finding the massive American ships.

This proved brilliant as the American bombers and torpedo planes would well overshoot their mark (they would find no trace of the remaining Japanese fleet) while the Japanese aircraft descended upon the massive, new American carriers. Having lost a number of planes (though some of this was made up with surviving crews from the Akasaka and Hayama), the strike was nevertheless successful as the Japanese burst through the American fighter screen and braved perhaps the most effective anti-aircraft fire of the war from cruisers and destroyers to leap upon the American carriers. Ranger took three bombs and Wasp two. Only with great effort would the fires on Ranger be brought under control. Wasp was less damaged but her flight deck was out of operation so long that dozens of American planes ditched in the sea.

The Japanese returned triumphant though battered, having lost 20 planes with another 8 damaged.

It was growing late in the day to launch a second strike and reports of cruisers in the vicinity would worry the Admiral.

To the dismay of several junior officers who wanted to throw everything they had at the American carriers before they could regather themselves, Yamamoto would opt to withdraw.

This was not out of cowardice or timidity. Yamamoto knew that his nation’s capacity to fight was nearing its end. The only ace that Japan had left to play was the ability to control the seas approaching Japan and that required his own remaining aircraft carriers. Keeping his vessels afloat mattered more than sinking more Americans.

If the Japanese carrier screen continued to exist, the home islands would be relatively protected from assault. If they were lost, then nothing could stop the allies from eventually cutting off and attacking Japan at will.

The Army would condemn this but Yamamoto, like many urbane and educated sailors, would dismiss anything they thought. The Army would soon run out of oil. That would reduce them to a 19th century force and even the Chinese could deal with that. The 450,000 Japanese on Asian mainland soil were destined to be cut off.

If the Imperial Navy continued to exist….meaning that the Carrier force continued to exist…..then the Japanese Army could be withdrawn from Asia to defend the Home Islands. If not…..well, they would not be able to defend the Home Islands. Japan would be a sitting target awaiting the whims of the enemy. That was likely to happen either way.

Yamamoto knew he had won a great tactical victory: three American carriers sunk and two more taking unknown levels of damage.

But, once again, this did nothing to gain Japan access to precious oil and natural resources. The same problem existed. Yamamoto simply hoped that this gave Japan negotiating leverage the day that the Emperor, his Ministers and possibly even the idiots in the Army grasped how badly the military situation actually WAS.

For Yamamoto knew what even many in the Admiralty did not. The Japanese industrial complex was already creaking to a halt. The next Akagi-class vessel that had been in construction for months had seen its progress slowed to a crawl for lack of resources. No real plan existed to get this moving again. A new “escort” carrier built upon the hull of an old cruiser had seen the old vessel torn apart…..but no plans or resources available to actually put a flight deck upon her. Similarly, propaganda had it that a new “mini-carrier” was under construction…..but no money, materials, labor or even a dockyard had been assigned.

There was, Yamamoto knew, little reason to believe the Fleet would receive any short-term reinforcements.

In the meantime, the awesome American industrial capacity was reportedly building a new “Ranger-Class” heavy carrier EVERY THREE MONTHS! Similarly, old cruisers were being converted to escort cruisers EVERY THREE MONTHS! Also, the Americans were producing mini-carriers……yes…….EVERY THREE MONTHS!

When the enemy can produce a dozen carriers per year to Japan’s NONE, this was not a winning formula. That didn’t even take into account the British and Australian capacity.

Thus, Yamamoto’s was more inclined to take the medium-term strategy of accepting that the oil supply would be cut off, reinforcing Japan with veterans of Korea and Manchuria and daring any invaders to strike. If Japan could just make that scenario so unappealing, then the nation would not be forced to prostrate itself before Gaijin.

All of this crossed Yamamoto’s mind as he ignored the sullen glares of his subordinates from the officer’s mess on the Akagi. This vessel was absolutely vital in ensuring that the waters around Japan were not lost to foreigners.

However, it was not to be. Having repeatedly been radioed the nature of the battle near the Chamorro Islands, the Chinese Republican Navy would dispatch a number of their small but quiet submersibles to various likely ship-lanes for the Japanese fleet. Usually operating in pairs, the Chinese got lucky. Each of the two Chinese submersibles would fire two “fish” at the largest target as the Japanese passed by. By sheer good fortune, the torpedoes missed by twenty yards an escorting destroyer steaming before the carrier and all four torpedoes struck the starboard hull of the Akagi.

Yamamoto felt the first blow shake the ship and begged fate that it was merely the explosion of a ill-handled bomb or torpedo amidships. But then a second…..then a third……then finally a forth time the Akagi lurched in pain and Yamamoto knew that his flagship was probably doomed. Worse, the final torpedo had blown so close to the aft hull that the propellers were damaged beyond repair. The Akagi ground to a halt as the ship flooded dangerously to starboard. Eventually, the vessel, despite clever anti-flooding bulkheads, would list so badly that planes on the flightdeck began to slide off into the sea. Once the angle grew so great, the Akagi’s Captain ordered her abandoned.

Yamamoto never left the Officer’s mess despite prodding from junior officers to evacuate. Instead, he calmly continued eating even as the vessel finally capsized and sank over the next hour. He was just grateful to have been spared seeing his nation’s fate.

In the meantime, the wounded (both in body and pride) American carriers Ranger and Wasp would limp into Guam for repairs. The island’s facilities were not terribly well prepared for such specialized work but the US Navy would do the best it could.

It had been a disastrous week as all five of the American Carriers in the Pacify had been sunk or damaged. Learning days later of the Chinese victory over the Akagi would mitigate the tactical defeat but not the dishonor.

By May, Japan was down to two old carriers, two “escort” carriers and one “mini” carrier (which combined fielded roughly the same number of planes as the Akagi had on its own).
Chapter 420
May, 1934

Western Front

By May, the American, British and other Allied forces were now taking the lead in the Western Front as more and more German resources were being pushed east. Even Guderian and his great General Rommel were reassigned.

Douglas MacArthur effectively took regional command in the Rhineland and ordered his expanding forces westwards to the Rhine.

By this point, over 150,000 Americans, 120,000 British, 25,000 “Free” Dutch and Belgians and even a 10,000 strong Norwegian Division were supplementing the 250,000 Germans in the Rhineland. This had stymied the French offensive and the “Froggies” were being driven back day by day.

MacArthur took advantage of a call for a “third front” by dispatching his loathed subordinate George Patton to command a 50,000 strong American Corps consisting of two armored, one mobile infantry and two infantry divisions to support the Italians in southern France. The Americans would then take the lead in the region by launching a vicious counterattack by the unprepared French and set foot upon French soil.

Eastern Front

While the German forces were still moving east (having partially been freed by allied reinforcements), by June of 1934, over 750,000 German soldiers and perhaps 500,000 eastern allied forces had slowed the Russian advance enough to give the Germans a breather.

Just as importantly, the German industrial complex was now producing nearly 400 Mark III and 100 Mark IV tanks per month. The American and British were also providing nearly 250 tanks a month to their allies (not including their own armored divisions and brigades), mostly Cromwell and Grant tanks but also some of the newer “Lee’s”.

Most of these vehicles were being pushed east towards the Russian invaders. While some had feared that the Russians would cross into German territory by this point, instead the Germans would counterattack under Guderian and Rommel into Poland, much to local cheers. Tens of thousands of square miles were regained in a daring pincher movement in which 150,000 Russian infantry and armored cavalry found themselves cut off.

Against all odds, to the south, the Ukrainians had managed to defend Kiev through fanatical fighting. In one of the more foolish moves of the war (in the eyes of later historians), the Russian southern army would halt its momentum to fight over the rubble of a political target. Several divisions of heavy Russian armor had been ill-used for months trying to break into the city and seize Kiev one street at a time.

Even the Finns, having the benefit of not having to fight heavy Russian tank units so far to the north, would occupy tens of thousands of Russian troops as they struck into the lightly populated Russian north even providing an unlikely threat to St. Petersburg.

Eastern Manchuria

Despite the experience and courage of the Japanese infantry, General Eisenhower would rely upon the “great equalizer”. This was the fact that the Japanese had no response to the armored power of the Americans. 300 Grant and Lee tanks (with some smaller “Buford’s”) would blunt any gains by the Japanese infantry and drive them back. Even improved Japanese anti-tank tactics would only partially offset this advantage.

With over 66,000 allied soldiers (American, British, Australian, “Free” Korean, “Green Ukrainian”, Manchurian), General Eisenhower knew that success of the Campaign revolved around relieving the Chinese enough to keep his allies in the fight. Swinging well west of Vladivostok, Eisenhower would punch a hole in the Japanese flank and turn eastwards into Korea.

This not only threatened the local Japanese forces but to cut off supply to the larger army occupied by the Chinese to the west.

Northern Honshu

Having gathered forces along northern Honshu to fight their way across the narrow straight to regain the island long claimed by Japan, the loss of three carriers would put an abrupt end to this plan. Without those carriers, Hokkaido could not be regained via invasion. The American Air Corps would continue to pound the Japanese forces of Northern Honshu but the victory had already been gained.

For the first time, the Imperial Army would confess that perhaps it would be better to prepare the Home Islands for defense. After two years of almost unrelenting optimism among the Army Generals, hearing that further conquests may be impossible….and even maintaining those which were already gained (Korea)…..must be considered unlikely.

As Yamamoto had predicted, the Army, fearing the complete cutoff of supply in the near future to Korea and therefore Manchuria, refused to condone the idea of withdrawal, much less issuing solicitations of peace.

They were convinced of the army’s invincibility and only the betrayal of the Imperial Navy prevented ultimate victory for the Emperor.


Believing that the island was now in a far better defensive position (over 300 American and allied aircraft now guarded the skies and seas around the islands), some 25,000 American, Australian and “Free” Korean forces would disembark for Vladivostok to aid General Eisenhower’s advance south into Korea.

As expected, Eisenhower’s attack in the east would remove focus to the Japanese Army in their relentless press against the Chinese Republic. Pressure swiftly evaporated and the Chinese General Chang would make the surprising and bold decision to launch his own flanking movement to the north of the increasingly sedentary Japanese army with his armor and mobile forces.

Already the oil reserves of the Japanese forces were so low that the army was reduced to dragging wounded south in carts rather than ambulances or trucks. The Air Force would find fuel so short that planes only took off when reports of verified targets (in the air or ground) were repeatedly confirmed.

Though the nation’s oil supplies were “officially” bountiful, the government counted it as less than 5 months. In all reality, even this was somewhat misleading as these reserves were spread out across such a cross-section of military and civilian sources that they would be difficult, if not impossible, to conglomerate into a useful pool. A district in Japan may claim….50,000 liters of oil within its borders…..but that may be spread across hundreds of factories or military depots. When a large amount was required for the army or for the Navy to sail en masse…..the shortage proved more profound.

Also, this did not account for the fact that many of these “reserves” were, in fact, overestimated or proved to be fouled in some way. Even if all these sources could be combined into one huge holding tank, it was likely that enough of the sources were spoiled to effectively spoil the whole batch.

This meant that a number of vessels meant to supply the Japanese army would be unable to leave port for lack of fuel (many also did not desire to leave a home port given the increased losses to Japanese shipping via submersible or air attack).

This meant that the army, already keenly aware of their problem…..would nevertheless be surprised by the near absolute depletion of their useful oil reserves.

American planes, increasingly in command of the sky above Hokkaido would force the Japanese vessels further and further westwards…..into the teeth of Chinese submersible, torpedo boats and destroyers.

At once, the Japanese supply “problem” turned into an open crisis. The only unified tank “division”, comprising of 64 “mini-tanks” would effectively be frozen in the tracks for lack of fuel. Enough would be scraped together to maneuver the vehicles into a sort of “hull-down” defensive line but most would be unable to move another inch until more supply was procured.

The Chinese and American mobile units now crashing into Korea would simply bypass these and other defensive lines, opting for speed rather than comprehensive conquest. The proud Japanese Army, finding itself cut off from all supply and transportation, would instead dig in hoping for a miracle never to arrive.

Short on ammunition, medication, food and other supplies, the Japanese soldiers swiftly realized that they were doomed and instead prepared themselves to die in the name of the Emperor.
Chapter 421
June, 1934

The Rhineland

Though the experience of the French soldiers was apparent to the raw American troops, the material advantage was beginning to tell.

Over the past six months, as the French bombers and Flying Bombs struck London time and again, the British and Americans would counterattack but concentrate upon industrial targets.

It was here that the Marxist industrial doctrine would begin to show its flaws. Instead of multiple locations for various goods (steel, industrial factories unique components like ball bearings, electronics components), the Marxists constructed huge mega-factories which would produce the bulk of certain products for the entire country. When the new heavy American bombers began flying over France in bulk, these proved to be shockingly easy targets. Among the first hit would be an oil refinery, a Flying Bomb assembly plant, the aforementioned ball bearing plant and a poison gas facility. Others would swiftly see French manufacturing ground to a halt by virtue of unwise production plans.

Meanwhile, American and British goods continued to flow into Germany and Italy exceeding even the manpower. Now with over 600,000 American and British soldiers on the continent, the Germans were even MORE free to distribute its own forces further and further east.

MacArthur would cross the Rhine at the head of an army, repulsing the reeling French as he went. The man would be so frustrated with the commander of the allied armored divisions, Montgomery, that he would demand that British commanding General Cunningham “promote” Montgomery to a position he could do no more harm.

By this time, MacArthur’s envelopment maneuver was rapidly crossing through the Netherlands and finally into Belgium. Crowds of locals would give great adulation to the General who accepted it as his due.

Southern France

Patton’s advance would proceed even faster. To his delight, the Italian forces were by now experienced (and only consisted of the best units). Having seen the poor state of many of the Division in Italy itself, Patton didn’t bother asking for any further Italians for aid. Far better to fight with men who weren’t a waste of rations and fuel.

With 800 tanks (half American and half Italian) as well as two full divisions of mobile infantry, the General would see rapid gains, pushing even so far as to Marseille, cutting off tens of thousands of French. To his surprise, the French soldiers would prove less than dedicated to fighting to the death. Once removed from their political officers, thousands would actually request asylum to get them the hell away from the Marxist regime. This would prove beyond any doubt in Patton’s mind that the Commune was on its last legs.

He would ignore the pleas of his supply officers and order the advance units of his breakout to fly as far west as they could before they ran out of oil. Patton knew that, while the French oil crisis was not as acute as Japan, the problem was enormous and already creating a problem for the Commune.

Central Poland, the first battle of Warsaw had bled the Russians of over 20,000 men and, more importantly, slowed the advance of the Russian Army. The second battle would prove even more destructive as the Russian Army belatedly consolidated their armor and threw 800 tanks against a similar number of German (and American and British made) tanks. This would nominally favor the Russians given their superiority in heavy tanks. But the Mark IV’s and American Lee tanks would make up nearly half of the German arsenal and these would prove at least a match to the Russians in armor and stopping power and actually superior in fuel efficiency, maneuverability and speed.

What was more, the German Air Force’s anti-tank guns which could be easily affixed to many models of fighters were unmatched by the Russian Air Force and the Junkers Dive Bombers similarly had not counterpart.

The Russian Air Force’s strength was, like the French, in medium bombers, which was not as effective in mobile warfare.

The German army also possessed the best field gun in the world (the mighty 88mm) which was both incredibly powerful AND versatile.

Thus, the prime Russian advantage was negated by new technologies from the west.

In the largest tank battle in history, the Russian forces were bled dry, losing 450 tanks to the German 280 and forced back into eastern Poland. Over a hundred thousand infantry would be left isolated to be swept up by the trailing German and Polish infantry.
Chapter 422

Southern Russia (the Province of Azerbaijan and the “Kingdom” of Georgia, Armenia, Pontus, Assyria and Alevia)

Over the course of decades, the gratitude expressed by the Christian peoples of the Near East for Russian “liberation” from Muslim domination would slowly erode under the Czarina’s thumb. Unlike Poland, the Baltic, the Ukraine, Finland and Byelorussia, no opportunity for these southern peoples to declare their independence arrived and they would find themselves ever more bitter over their treatment.

Deeming them less capable than “true Russians”, the Czarina’s Generals would reduce the local levies to regional defense.

This would prove a monumental blunder as the various peoples of the “Christian” Near East (which included the Alevis despite those people being considered Muslim by Russia and barely so by the Ottoman and other Muslim states) would rise up and declare independence in a shockingly efficient coup.

The loss of the “Christian Near East” was a problem to be sure as the Czarina would be forced to dispatch forces south but it was the rebellion in Baku which truly hurt as the Azerbaijani rebellion would cut off the vital oil supplies at the worst possible time.

To the shock of many, Persia would declare war upon Russia with the intent of “liberating Muslim brethren” and seeking retaliation for the mass slaughter of the Central Asian Turkic peoples, many of whom had taken refuge in Persia. The relations between Russia and Persia had been dismal for decades and this appeared to be the only chance Persia had to strike a blow against the old bitch in Moscow.

July, 1934

Sea of Japan

After months of careful repair in the Chamorro Islands, the USS Ranger and USS Wasp were returned to working order. However, several scars in their armor were not repairable from the relatively primitive shipyard in Guam (there was a request to upgrade which would probably be reviewed by the end of the century).

But the functionality of the vessels had been returned and crews transferred from the lost American carriers helped replenish their offensive capacity.

Further, the USS Concord (of the older model vessels) had been transferred to the Pacific along with the Escort Carrier Biddle and two “mini-carriers”, the Farragut and the John Paul Jones. As France and Russia were largely reduced to submersibles (and Russia not even that) for their naval power, the carriers were deemed superfluous in the Atlantic thus most were being routed to the Pacific.

There were also four battleships, six cruisers and eighteen lighter vessels, mostly destroyers, minesweepers and the like.

The Americans would be divided into two squadrons (a “fast” and a “slow”) while the Australians would similarly break into smaller forces.

Beyond this, the British Carrier HMS Eagle, Escort Carrier HMS Victory and two newly launched Australian escort carriers built off of Cruiser hulls, the HMAS Newcastle and HMAS Gold Coast were forming in the south off of New Guinea along with newly repaired heavy cruiser Queen Vigdis, four lighter “fast” cruisers with heavy anti-aircraft capability and a host of destroyers was being assembled.

The intent was for a two-pronged assault which would either completely cut off Japan from supplying the Korean peninsula or, even better, draw the remaining Japanese fleet into battle.

By pre-agreed timing, the two fleets (four squadrons) would meet with all possible force in the Sea of Japan to clear it of all enemy shipping, both military and civilian.

The result was a chaotic jumble. The Japanese had received several reports of large formations in the Sea of Japan and ordered forth its two remaining carriers, the aging Kaga and Toso, along with a squadron of 6 battleships, one “escort” carrier, five cruisers and a host of smaller ships.

Naturally, all sides, including the Chinese, would dispatch as many submersibles as possible to the region.

One of the Australian escort carriers, the Newcastle, was torpedoed…..by an American submersible.

An American cruiser was torpedoed…..by a Chinese submersible.

A Japanese battleship was hit by a bomb from a high flying heavy bomber.

But eventually, the various fleets found one another and over a thousand planes would climb to the skies, often flying in all directions.

The primary American fleet under Admiral Nimitz would discover the main body of the Japanese fleet and order hundreds of planes southwards. The first strike would be American as the Japanese escort carrier was burned to waterline having barely launched its dozen fighters. Three Japanese battleships would suffer hits though none would be mortally wounded. One battleship, taking two torpedoes, would be forced to withdraw.

The planes of the Kaga and Toso would then spy the “slow” fleet of American battleships and escort carriers and strike with 120 fighters, torpedo planes and bombers. Fortunately for the Americans, at least the escort carriers under Spruance would get their full fighter screen aloft before the entire fleet began manically maneuvering.

The Japanese pilots, while suffering heavy losses to anti-aircraft and American fighters, would strike several vessels. One American cruiser would capsize after two bombs and two torpedoes struck her hull. Two American battleships would take bombs as would a frigate. The USS Biddle would take two torpedoes but luck was with her as the torpedoes had been dropped too closely and the automatic arming system had not had time to work. The USS John Paul Jones, though, would take a bomb and a torpedo and would be forced to turn back under destroyer protection for Hokkaido.

The Japanese attack had cost the Imperial Navy 34 crews while another 9 planes were so badly damaged that they had to be removed from service.

More importantly, while furiously refueling, the whereabouts of the Japanese carriers had been relayed throughout the Sea of Japan. Planes from the Wasp and Concord were dispatched from the north and from the Eagle and Victory from the south.

With only a modest fighter screen above, the Americans would reach the Japanese carriers first. Torpedo planes would drag what was left of the Japanese protection low where American fighters did their best to protect their charges. This left the American bombers practically untouched as they flew in above.

In a confused mess of an affair, two bombs would hit the Kaga while two torpedoes would strike the Toso. With the Kaga’s deck on fire (but still under power), the remaining Japanese planes would be forced to land on the wobbling Toso.

When the British Hawker Furies and American-made bombers and older model torpedo biplanes, the Hawker Harts, arrived (12 fighters, 14 bombers and 20 torpedo planes), they were met with only five active Japanese fighters in the air. The British fighters fell upon these, leaving their bombers largely untouched.

Two more bombs would fall upon the Kaga, reigniting the flames and cutting power and water pressure. In almost insane bravery, the Japanese fire-fighters would struggle to put these out while the ship ground to a halt.

The Toso would take one bomb to her deck, effectively putting an end to any threat of launching more fighters. This left the slow torpedo plans with virtually no resistance and put three more torpedoes into the ship’s hull. By this point, the carrier listed so badly that it was plainly doomed. The Captain ordered her abandoned and the crew transferred to a nearby cruiser and destroyer.

Also hit during this engagement were two destroyers, one was broken in half by a torpedo and other saw her aft guns and depth charge stations leveled.

As darkness fell, the crew of the Kaga desperately sought to get the last remaining Japanese carrier up and running. However, the fires had so damaged her engine rooms that the chief engineer stated, with tears in his eyes, that the ship required a week in drydock to even think about getting under power. Before dawn, the crew would be evacuated and the Kaga scuttled.

The Japanese, though, by now realizing that the war at sea was lost, was not inclined to retreat meekly without a fight. The Japanese battleships would seek a target and happen upon the “slow” British and Australian squadron and engage with His Majesty’s cruisers. This was a mismatch but the Escort Carriers Gold Coast and Newcastle (wounded by the accidental American torpedo but still under power) would dispatch their modest 36 plane (16 fighters and 20 bombers) combined capacity to harry the Japanese by air.

As the Japanese battleships, bereft of ANY aerial protection, may have been more susceptible to torpedoes rather than bombs, this decision would be questioned later. The reason given for loading ALL the bomber-torpedo planes with bombs was given simply as speed of loading. Switching over to torpedoes would have taken another half hour and speed considered more important than payload.

As it was, the Australian planes would play merry havoc upon the Japanese line and this prevented the enemy from truly closing with the bulk of the lighter Japanese fleet. However, the slow-moving Newcastle would be caught at 10 miles by shells of a pursuing Japanese battleship and catch fire. That the battleship, and two others, suffered bomb hits would not save the Newcastle. Several other Anglo-Australian vessels would be damaged via artillery duel with lesser damage inflicted upon the Japanese ships by the smaller guns of the cruisers.

However, the Eagle and the Victory would steam towards the battle and, by sundown, launch one strike against the Japanese. Two more bomb strikes upon Japanese battleships were inflicted and a Japanese cruiser would take a bomb and three torpedoes, sinking to the bottom.

As the Japanese line broke up and turned for home, the last volley from a heavy battleship’s aft guns would strike the Queen Vigdis in an almost perfect spot, cutting thru her deck and into a magazine. The might vessel would blow up, leaving only 33 men to be pulled alive from the sea.

Darkness ended the battle as the Japanese survivors, now completely lacking in air cover, fled for the western coast of Honshu.

But the overall fight was not quite over as 24 submersibles (8 American, 5 Chinese, 4 British, 2 Australian and five Japanese) remained in the Sea of Japan.

Most were hunting prey. One American submersible would strike a glancing blow upon a retreating Japanese battleship, already wounded from two bombs and a strike from the guns of an Australian cruiser. The torpedo would dislodge one of the props and slow the ship to 8 knots. Just before dawn, the vessel would be discovered by a British submersible and sustain two more torpedo hits. The ship would lose power and demand that the three escorting Japanese destroyers (which had skillfully gone on to sink both the American and British submersibles after the attacks) take on the crews as the ship was abandoned.

Another Japanese submersible would launch two “fish” at an American cruiser, but the vessel would avoid them. An American Destroyer then sent the submersible to the bottom.

At dawn, a pair of submersibles would encounter the primary American formation and launch eight torpedoes in the span of a few minutes. An American destroyer was struck twice and cracked in half. The USS Ranger was hit by two more and began listing. The entire squadron, absent a few destroyers allocated to the hunt for the submersibles (one was discovered and sunk), would sail westwards for China where the Ranger would find sanctuary in a Chinese harbor.

By noon the next day, the last major attack upon the Japanese fleet was launched as the American “slow” convoy of battleships and heavy cruisers, protected by air by the USS Biddle’s five remaining fighters and 12 torpedo planes, would exchange blows. A Japanese light cruiser would be pummeled into scrap while two battleships on either side would sustain painful but non-fatal blows from powerful shells.

The torpedo planes would concentrate upon a single heavy Japanese cruiser and inflict two strikes but, fortunately for the Japanese, the blows were not fatal. Indeed, the torpedoes would hit amidships (one on either side) where the flooding bulkheads did their job. The two wounds would offset one another and allow the Japanese to maintain maneuverability if costing them speed as the ship’s drag increased.

By nightfall that day, the Japanese were within sight of land (and modest air force protection) and the allied deemed it prudent to withdraw.

Considered by most later historians to be the “greatest sea battle in history”, the Japanese Imperial Navy was decimated.

The Emperor’s last two “heavy” carriers were lost and one “escort” carrier.

One battleship and three cruisers went to the bottom while most of the other heavy battleships and cruisers incurred damage of one degree or another. Half a dozen destroyers and other lighter vessels (including submersibles) were also lost.

The allies would suffer as well.

One Australian escort cruiser, the HMAS Newcastle was lost while the Americans suffered severe injuries to their powerful flagship, the USS Ranger, and the escort carrier John Paul Jones were both severely hit.

Also, the powerful Queen Vigdis would be lost with most of her crew as would an American cruiser. Half a dozen battleships and cruisers would be sustain moderate to heavy damage. Nearly a dozen smaller vessels would be lost (destroyers, submersibles, etc).

But the battle was won and the Japanese fleet broken. The USS Wasp, USS Concord, USS Farragut and USS Biddle remained largely untouched as were the HMS Eagle, HMS Victory and HMAS Gold Coast.

Even the loss of the Newcastle and damage to the Ranger and John Paul Jones did nothing to take away from the comprehensive victory.

The Japanese Imperial Navy had lost control over the seas. If Korea was not totally cut off, it would be soon.
Chapter 423
September, 1934

Southern France

Patton’s charge seemed to shock the French defenders to the core, they apparently not expecting to be on the receiving end of such tactics as basing their entire offensive against Germany upon speed and focused strength.

By September, Patton had routed two armies of French and turned northwards towards the heartland. Indeed, the southern ports of Marseille, Nice, Monaco and Toulon (the base of the French Mediterranean squadron) would be cut off. The American General would not know for over a week that the French sailors in Toulon mutinied, killed their political officers and then scoured the city for Commune leaders.

Of course, had he known, Patton would not have slowed one iota. Leaving the Italians to besiege the coastal cities (they would only slow him down anyway), the core of Patton’s army simply rolled further and further northward, away from their line of supply. If he ran dry at any minute, the General wouldn’t have given a damn and just told his soldiers to PUSH their tanks northward.

It was during this period that the true weakness of the Commune was being displayed. Where one “strongman” might have swiftly reorganized and redirected the nation’s war machinery, the Commune (having lost their last true leader Guesde years ago) would be paralyzed with indecision. “Meetings” were called in which dozens of men shouted over one another. But the carefully constructed military strategy before the war was able to be articulated. Now that the war was in full session and going badly, there seemed to be no unified voice as “committees” proliferated and largely accomplished nothing. When they DID commit to an action, it was just as often to the detriment of another “committee’s” decision.

Orders to do one thing by the right hand were countermanded by the left. The Marxist leadership of the Commune was, by design, intended to avoid the creation of a new Emperor. This strategy, though bureaucratic in times of peace, proved utterly unsuited for a time of war.

Eventually, petty squabbles and feuds took over as Commune members blamed one another rather than seeking a solution to their woes. Regional Communes, nominally beholden to Paris, found themselves without direction and began to plot their own path. The complex industrial machine broke down. Communications fell apart.

France was collapsing under its own weight as much as by the allies.

Kiev, Central Ukraine

After over a year of siege, Kiev embattled defenders would finally relieve them. The Russian detachments of 250,000 men would belatedly realize they were being wasted in the rubble of the Ukrainian city and perhaps would be better utilized to address the 200,000 Germans, 60,000 Romanians, 40,000 Hungarians and 300,000 Ukrainians currently preparing a counter-encirclement on the “Russian” side of the river.

The Russian commander would withdraw his forces from the city’s eastern defenses in order to prevent his army from being surrounded. However, the Czarina herself, when hearing of this, would order his removal and demanded the second-in-command engage the enemy and complete the re-conquest of the Ukraine.

The confusion would give the German-led coalition the chance to cut off over a third (150,000 men) of the Southern Russian Army (450,000 men total) including many of her best units.

Now it was the Russians hoping to escape a trap.

Eastern Poland

Hoping to beat the winter, the allied German-Polish-Byelorussian army of 600,000 men would chase the 540,000 Russian Central Army across eastern Poland and into Byelorussia.

The depredations obviously inflicted upon the Byelorussian people would see the remnants of the Byelorussian army which had survived with the Poles and Germans to slaughter any Russian they found. As the Byelorussians were mostly put in charge of prisoners, this would be a rather large headcount.

East Prussia and the Baltic

The third allied army of 300,000, mostly German but with a modest number of Poles, Baltic soldiers who had served with the Germans, a brigade of Danes and even a Corps of 30,000 Americans, would cross from northern Poland into East Prussia, which had been the only part of Germany occupied during the war by the Russians. Seeing the devastated lands would evoke a vengeful fury upon the German soldiers.

Like the Byelorussians from the south, prisoners would not be taken in many instances. By the end of October, the Army had crossed into the Baltic, regaining half of Lithuania and a third of Estonia.

With full control over the Baltic Sea, the allies were able to easily supply the northern army by sea as they expanded eastwards (at least until the ice started to form). A rallying cry was “meeting the Finns in St. Petersburg” thus cutting off Russia forever from the Baltic.


In the capital, the Czarina was livid. For years, she’d been told that the inevitable strike to regain her Eastern European dominions would be rapid and successful. Now, two years later, her armies were nearly pushed back into Russia as the entire world seemed to be against her.

In another blow, the Kingdom of Greece, which her grandfather had freed from the Ottoman Turk, was openly allowed allies ships to dock in Greek ports. The King also voiced support for the Pontic independence (and all the other miserable races Russia had, once again, freed from Muslim domination in the Near East). The ingratitude of all it grated upon the Czarina.

With disasters abounding, the Czarina was demanding to know what her Generals were going to do about it. About 200,000 soldiers were allocated north to Finland and south to the Near East but several generals cautioned this was not the wisest use of resources. If the Germans, Poles, Ukrainians and their various allies could be pushed back, then these “secondary” regions of conflict could be dealt with later.

Best to focus all available resources on one target in force.

This the Czarina was willing to do but could not help but notice the Northern, Central and Southern European armies were not exactly repelling the invaders (and invaders they would soon be if their advances were not halted).

Czarina Anna knew that the Russian Army had over 450,000 reserves throughout the country not allocated to ANY particular fight.

Why were these NOT being shipped to the front?

The Russian Generals would hem and haw for a while, pointing out that many of these Divisions were poorly armed and trained but finally came down to the point that there was enough talk of resistance WITHIN Russia to the Czarina’s government that SOMEONE best remain on hand to put down any insurrections. With over 800,000 Russian casualties and 400,000 captured already, the Russian people were horrified at the war’s cost in blood and treasure. While over 2,500,000 Russians remained in uniform, most of these were currently on the losing end of strategic battles.

For perhaps the first time in her life, the Czarina was speechless. For all the bitching she heard (and her spies were everywhere) from the general population, the possibility of revolt among the RUSSIAN PEOPLE had never truly be considered. For her Generals to suggest this…..

In the end, the Czarina did not care.

“Order them to the front,” she commanded. “If the Russian people deem me unworthy of their crown, let them throw me off my throne. I’d rather die fighting than cowering behind a legion of reservists who might actually help win this war.”

Days later, she would learn that American heavy bombers (and British and German lighter bombers) had commenced striking Russian cities from St. Petersburg to Volgograd.
Chapter 424
November, 1934


President Stuart, already experiencing a wave of support for the positive note to the war in recent months, would see his party make modest gains in both House of Congress as well as numerous state government.

This made him happy enough but Congress continued to prove a pain in the ass in getting anything done. His old rival, Robert Taft, was among the main instigators.

Disgusted, Stuart would seek to forge a new coalition with the remnants of the “Progressive” Democrats who were willing to support certain policies. The intransigent “Southern” Democrats would support or oppose him depending on the day but Stuart made no effort to gain their support. It was bad enough that the son of a Confederate General was President of the United States. Being seen as pandering for Southern support would be devastating.

But the old “Conservative” Republicans who believed in “Laissez Faire” in all things had been in decline as surely as the “Progressive” Republicans who had achieved most of their goals.

The Democrats were facing even bigger fissures as they sought to reconcile what were occasionally contradictory policies. The southern demands for “states rights” had been largely ignored for 70 years (not that this stopped many southern Democrats from demanding) while the northern Democrats were more beholden to Union labor and Catholics. The Republican attempts over the years to mitigate this defection would ensure dominance in the northeast as often as not.

Making concessions in terms of taxes and tariffs to the Midwest meant the Republicans would win there more often as not as well.This was usually enough to keep the west in the Republican pocket.

The Southern Democrats, six decades after Black Suffrage and almost four decades since desegregation, seemed never to give up the Civil War. By this point, it was mainly spite. The good news was that, every election, there seemed to be fewer and fewer voters inclined to make race an issue. The Governor of Virginia had attempted a decade ago to roll back desegregation but that was the only real battle in nearly 20 years. Black rights were such a statement of fact that no southerner would claim that this was even an issue. Instead, the vague “State’s Rights” were brought up though few explained exactly what that meant (usually low tariffs).

But the Republicans had won several states in the past decade which had long since been “Solid” to the Democrats. Even Florida now had a Republican governor and a Black Republican Senator. Only Georgia and South Carolina in the south had never willingly (with full suffrage) elected either. Unsurprisingly, these were the last states to rejoin the Union after the war.

The south was changing, though at a numbingly slow rate.

The divisions of the Democratic Party though continued to benefit the Republicans as the Democratic platform would repeatedly bounce around with every election.

Sea of Japan

Though harassed by Japanese submersibles and the occasional Japanese Air Force squadron, the 400,000 strong Japanese Army in Korea was effectively cut off from the Home Islands. In the weeks following the Battle of the Sea of Japan, there had been the odd attempt to sneak a supply ship or two through. Occasionally, one even made it. But the allied submersibles and dozens of Destroyers and Torpedo Boats ensured that this ended swiftly. After a few dozen supply and transports went to the bottom, there seemed no more point.

Alternately, the Japanese attempted to supply Korea by air. Naturally, this could not remotely meet the Army’s needs. But the flights of allied naval and land-based aircraft would knock one in three of these planes out of the air. And with the heavy fuel expenditure, they couldn’t continue even if they WERE assured of safety. Several thousand Japanese WERE able to be withdrawn by air but this was a drop in the bucket.

In December, a sudden allied assault on the offshore Korean Island of Jeju would give the allies a delightful airbase from which to knock just about anything else out of the sky that dared attempt to depart Korea.

Bereft of most military supplies, the Japanese simply dug trench after trench and sought to make the allies pay. And pay they would. Already low on ammunition and food, the Japanese heavy artillery soon fell silent for lack shells, their mini-tanks and other vehicles long since abandoned.

It was just one man in a hole after another.

As the allies entered Korea, the witnessed the depredations upon the Korean people by the Japanese. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans had been killed even after the nation surrender. Perhaps millions of Korean women had been subject to rape. Millions of Korean men had been forced into slavery and murdered on a whim.

In short order, the allies would cease offering surrender terms. Instead, they simply killed every Japanese they could find (who, in fairness, rarely tried to surrender). The unlucky ones would be seized by the Koreans. These rarely found a quick or painless death.

Disinterested in managing prisoners, the Japanese who were taken were handed off by Eisenhower and Chang to the Manchurians and Koreans. Most would regret not dying quickly. Those who lived to cross the northern border would be “assigned” work to rehabilitate them, usually involving hard labor under terrible conditions in prison camps throughout Manchuria, China and Mongolia.

Here they, for the most part, disappeared, lost to exposure, starvation, lack of medical care and outright execution.

But the Japanese made the allies pay mile by mile in blood. It was a high price but one they were willing to pay as Chinese, American, Australian, Manchurian, Green Ukrainian and Korean soldiers moved ever further south intent on clearing out every last Japanese soldier from the Peninsula.

Adequate radio communication remained in effect that the Government in Japan knew well enough what was becoming of their army. But they would have enough to worry about soon enough.

Sapporo, Hokkaido, Ainu Islands

Admiral Nimitz would review the surprisingly detailed map of Japanese infrastructure.

“Where the hell did you get this?” He demanded to the Australian.

“I am the one who drew it,” the little man would reply in his lilt. “I was a consultant for the Japanese railroad about five years ago and the government desired a detailed review on how to address problems with transport which tend to occur after earthquakes and other natural disasters. These are fairly common on those islands. Thus, I put together a proposal for them to reorganize their railroads and other chokepoints to figure out how to reroute traffic if one track or another was cut off.”

Nimitz was amused. “And did they accept your proposals?”

The man shrugged, “Not to my knowledge. Tensions were rising at that point and I decided to leave while I could. I kept touch with a few friends prior to the war and they told me no one had built the surplus stations, bridges, tunnels, etc…..sooooooo……no, I guest they probably didn’t.”

Still gazing at the map, Nimitz commented, “If I am reading these notes right, then if we sever but a few dozen links throughout all THREE of the main islands, the entire Japanese war machine would grind to a halt.”

“No, sir,” the Australian shook his head, surprising Nimitz. “I don’t think you understand the scale. If you cut a few dozen links…then LIFE grinds to a halt, not just military transport or a few manufacturing plants.”

“Japan is basically a series of mountains. Most people live in either mountain villages or cities by the sea. The entire transportation system…..FOOD DISTRIBUTION…..relies entirely upon a handful of easily damaged…..easily damaged by NATURE…..WITHOUT any help from us……..transportation hubs. Once those are severed, it is no longer about how many shells and bullets can’t be moved around.”

“It would be how many millions of people would starve within a few months. There is simply no way to feed the cities via a few remote mountain passes even if they had power and working trucks, etc.”

The Australian concluded, “Hit these two or three dozen spots and transportation ends. Millions die. Maybe a few might be saved via transport by small vessel along the coast, but I gather you can do something about THAT too. Japan might be the most vulnerable nation on earth to attack by an enemy that doesn’t even set foot upon their shores.”

Nimitz nodded. “Thank you, sir, you’ve given me much to think about.” He had to speak to Eisenhower.


The Commune of Toulon (the local government) would put out a flag of truce for General Patton. A junior officer had them all searched for weapons and marched into the presence of the General.

“Well, what?” Patton demanded.

The Commune leader sputtered in broken English, “Toulonp surrenders. The Commune had ordered the local forces to stand down…..”

“Fine,” Patton muttered turning his back. “Put them in a cell somewhere.”

With that he forgot the men existed. He was already bound for Bordeaux.

By the time he reached Bordeaux in mid-December, he was greeted again, this time by something called the Occitan Revolutionary Council which had apparently declared independence from the Commune by the southern regions of France.

Patton was not aware of it but apparently the southern French spoke some sort of regional dialect and had, under the Commune, oddly been allowed to reverse the centuries long “Parisian” domination of the French language and politics. It had been the northerners, the “Revolutionary Council” contended, who had created the Commune and slaughtered any good southerner who dared oppose them.

Patton wasn’t sure how much of this to believe but was running low on fuel so he was more willing to consider accepting these froggies as allies. Out of gratitude, they even handed over a small depot of fuel and encouraged Patton to march NORTH.


Another three divisions of American army would arrive (including yet another Armored division) in Hamburg and other northern ports only to be marched eastwards. They were joined by three regiments, one each from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. These were to be combined into a single Brigade. The North American Dominions had, until this point, contributed little to the Empire’s war.

After rapid repairs, a rail line had been reopened across much of Poland and East Prussia. From there, the men would disembark to support the forces pressing upon the Russians stubbornly resisting in the Baltic. Much of Latvia and Lithuania had been retaken and even Estonia’s partisans were causing problems to the Russian occupation.

But a force comprised Germans, Balts and now Americans and Imperial troops were forming for another push.

The Germans, having largely helped liberate Poland, would continue on with Polish support well into Byelorussia but the onset of frigid conditions would halt the progress to Minsk.

To the south, German divisions were pouring into the Ukraine where a combined German, Ukrainian, Romanian and Hungarian force battled for control of eastern Ukraine. They were even joined by a Greek brigade of volunteers. There were rumors that the Ottoman may even declare war upon Russia, if only to ensure that the Near East was wiped clean of them.

Winter would slow all offensives.

The Czarina would abruptly realize that she was far closer to defeat than victory. She demanded that her Ministers and Generals DO SOMETHING.
Chapter 425
December, 1934


Christmas was nearing….and the French Commune seemed to collapse under its own weight. Requiring a central authority to function, the Commune proved incapable of making decisions in wartime.

Rather than rally the people, several dozen Marxists would flee the nation via small boats for South America. Chile began a popular destination, as would Peru. No one asked questions there.

The only place they truly avoided was Brazil, where the Emperor Pedro IV, by definition no friend to Marxists, put a bounty upon the heads of any French Marxist found in his country.


One by one, the chokepoints of the Japanese infrastructure were targeted. Bridges spanning chasms that linked one city to the next were easy.

Mountainside rail junctions were naturally high on the list. Raised highways through assorted passes……etc, etc, etc.

Japan’s infrastructure was so vulnerable that the Americans would be shocked at how swiftly many of these chokepoints would be cut. Heroic attempts to repair them were only partially successful.

Admiral Nimitz would take defacto lead on taking the fight directly to the home islands. There would be some Army Air Corp assistance from Jeju island off of Korea, from Hokkaido and even from the Ryukyus Islands but the Navy would be the key participants in the near future.

The Admiral would embark upon a plan involving rapid strikes via “Escort” Carriers or “Mini” Carriers guarded by two or three destroyers. They vessels would steam forward in the night to optimal striking distance, launch their planes (almost always dive-bombers rather than torpedoes) and hit the Japanese before they knew that the air strike was coming (Nimitz would say, “Five minutes, gentlemen. Five minutes and you’ll be on your way home without some hotshot Jap pilot burning your ass so don’t stop to sightsee).

Over the course of a few weeks, these attacks would reach a high percentage of success and the internal transportation system of Japan, already reeling for lack of energy resources (coal was difficult to find and oil more precious than gold), would begin to collapse. Dozens of rail lines were utterly shut down, crippling internal distribution of food and war material.

By 1934, Japan was already hungry….but not yet starving. The nation had not truly fed itself in years and the loss of virtually all external trade combined with the transfer of millions of men from the fields to the military would not help matters. Then most mechanized farming was shut down for lack of fuel and agricultural reduced to the 19th century technology….without the labor force. Now, even those foodstuffs that WERE harvested struggled to reach the cities.

Instead, urban denizens, already fearful now that wide-scale bombing strikes were starting to land in the exceptionally vulnerable Japanese cities, would have another reason to “visit relatives” in the country. That was swiftly proving to be the only way to find food. Deliveries of rice to the cities dropped by over 60% in the matter of months.

Just as their soldiers trapped in Korea were learning, hunger could claim as many lives as bullets (or in the case of Japanese civilians on the Home Islands, incendiary bombs).

Of course, the Japanese military sought to fight back. The lighter naval dive-bombers were difficult to track but the heavier American bombers at least arrived in predictable formation and direction. What fuel available was funneled to the Air Force in hopes that the Japanese pilots could cause enough damage to the enemy to force an end to the raids (they could not).

As for the Navy, the Japanese Admiralty knew sending battleships out against enemy carriers was cold-blooded murder likely to little effect. Besides, the large ships guzzled fuel and the Admiralty would instead concentrate their limited rations on their submersibles, which had a better chance at accomplishing something.

Among the losses to the Japanese submersibles was the HMAS Gold Coast while the new “mini” Carrier USS Franklin was similarly mortally wounded, each while waiting for their planes to return from a strike.

But the American industrial complex continued to deliver a new carrier every month. Nimitz and his allies would maintain their strategy of risking only the lighter carriers for pinpoint attacks, usually at dawn before the Japanese could respond.

The American submersibles, on the other hand, would effectively launch torpedoes at anything that floated, even modest fishing vessels. Dozens of allied submersibles would choke Japanese offshore internal transportation. Whatever hope Japan had to mitigate its food distribution problems by sea was quickly dashed. Few captains were inclined to risk running the gauntlet to carry ANYTHING offshore along the coast or from one Home Island to another.

The heavier Carriers were being held in reserve for major operations, presumably to support an invasion of Japan when the time came (this appeared to be some time off). Given the fanatical resistance among the emaciated scarecrows in Korea, the US Army could not be looking forward to what actually happened when allied forces landed in Japan. Eisenhower in particular was feeling less and less guilty about turning over Japanese prisoners to the Koreans. He was already tired of the casualty lists forced upon the Americans and their allies by the Japanese Imperial Army.

Believing the war was won, Eisenhower was more interested in saving American lives. If a surrender could be arranged by the Japanese, the soldier would be willing to be generous in his terms (demobilization, reparations, etc). He was willing to keep any occupation nominal and allow Japan to rejoin the global community. However, the enemy seemed to have no word for “surrender” no matter the futility of their situation.
Chapter 426
January, 1935

Ryukyus Islands

The Chinese Republic had been battling Japan longer than any other nation, save the Koreans. Now, with the Japanese army collapsing in Korea, General Chang and his allies in government wanted to take the battle to Japan in a manner most of their western allies lacked. China had suffered humiliations and defeats aplenty in the previous century and was not inclined to put up with any more in the 20th century.

Seeing that the powerful navies of the west were putting their own governments at the forefront of the war despite China making the greatest sacrifices was utterly unacceptable. No, China must be a part of the Japanese final defeat.

Thus, General Chang, newly arrived upon the airfields of China’s client state, the Ryukyus, would organize his own raid upon Japan with some heavy bombers provided by the Americans as a “gift”. The Americans may have assumed that the Chinese lacked the pilots to properly utilize them and the “gift” had been a public relations move. However, Chang was disinclined to limit his nation’s participation.

The General would seek out the first pilots to answer his nation’s call, the women of the “Wildcat” fighter squadrons. By the end of 1934, the all-female squadron had been decimated and removed from the front. But over a dozen still lived and, augmented by some American-trained bombardiers, would find flying the heavy bomber considerably easier than a fighter.

Among the Captains would be Amelia Earhart.

The thoroughly unexpected “Christmas Day” assault upon the Imperial Capital of Kyoto was launched with 10 heavy bombers crewed entirely by Chinese and a few western women. No previous raid had reached so far inland. All 10 “birds” would survive to see the Imperial City and drop their bombs. However, by this point, two dozen Japanese fighters (both Air Force and Naval craft which had been seconded to land installations), were preparing to cut off the Chinese line of retreat.

For over half an hour, the Japanese continued to pick at the Chinese planes, sending four burning to the ground and damaging several others.

One of the vanquished was Amelia Earhart’s plane after both engines caught fire. The crew managed to bail out but Earhart was swiftly captured after breaking both legs after her parachute landed in a tree.

The Japanese militia who found her were shocked to find a white woman and took turns for several hours raping her. Then, they hanged her with barbed wire. Several would take pictures of the event for posterity. The image of the naked Amelia Earhart would even be seen in print on one of the final newspapers still publishing in Japan. The caption was something to the effect of “Western Harlot Punished for Her Crimes”.

February, 1935


The Kingdom of Spain, having been “neutral” in the war to this point, would declare war upon France….and then promptly invade Catalonia, the breakaway Republic to the north.

However, none of the European allies were inclined to put up with this. A quiet threat from the Prime Minister of Italy….and the fact that the Catalans had quite capably repelled the initial Spanish attack would have the sullen Spanish commander withdraw.

If Spain hadn’t possessed the balls to enter the war before it appeared to be coming to a close, no nation in Europe was inclined to tolerate this rank opportunism.

After the humiliation, the King was forced to recall his own government and ask for his Nationalist President’s resignation. The Nationalists remained strong enough that the King could simply summon another of that Party but the embarrassment was for all to see.

More importantly, the Spanish Catalans would put forth their own request that the French Catalans across the border be granted the right to self-determination….including potentially joining their long lost kin south of the border.


The allied forces would finally reach Paris in February after a last-ditch attempt to halt the onrushing tide by several dedicated French Generals. However, they had already been abandoned by much of the government. Without the Marxist bureaucrats, the machinery of war utterly failed as the supply chain and manufacturing ground to a halt.

Emboldened by the apparent collapse of the Commune, tens of thousands of French civilians and soldiers rose up, killing a number of high-ranking officials. A lack of response grew the crowds to hundreds of thousands…..then millions.

In Vichy, a relatively innocuous General named Petain would overthrow the regional commune (one of the last in existence) and declare the death of the Marxist state and the renewal of the Republic.

Thousands of Marxist administrators, bureaucrats and, most of all, the members of the Secret Police, would be rounded up for “questioning”. Many would never see the outside of cells again.
Chapter 427
March 1935

Eastern Front

The collapse of their hated “ally” to the West was rejoiced upon in some sectors of Moscow but the reality of the matter held that France had eaten up a great deal of allied resources, much of which would now be marching east for the spring offensives (planned by BOTH parties).

However, the Czarina’s Ministers, Generals and immediate family had had quite enough. Two years of war had accomplished effectively nothing. Russia was again completely isolated.

The remaining gains to the nation included half of Byelorussia, a quarter of the Ukraine and most of Estonia. Against this on the ledger was the rebellion of the Middle Eastern subjects and a Finnish advance in the arctic.

It was even possible that China, now that the Japanese Empire was on its last legs, would turn those huge armies against Siberia or Central Asia. Certainly, the Czarina’s forces could not survive another front.

Czarina Anna would reject any advice to seek a negotiated peace before her leverage drops even further. Finally, even her son, the Tsarevich Ivan, would beg his mother to reconsider.

Nothing worked. Apparently, the Czarina desired a spring campaign against the entire world. Rumblings in various corridors of power would whisper of rebellion or outright coup.

The Russian state was saved by fate. The Czarina would suffer a massive stroke on the first of March and become completely invalidated. Her son would assume Regency powers and, being informed that the Czarina most certainly would NOT be recovering, would quietly inquire through intermediaries (the Swedish Ambassador) regarding an armistice.

Despite the loss of hundreds of thousands of Russian lives, many more maimed and the waste of another generation’s treasure, the Russian Empire was still in fairly good shape. Only a bit of the frozen north was in foreign hands and the Christian, Muslim, Alevi, Jewish and other Middle Easterners often were more trouble than they were worth (most of these areas, save Azerbaijan, didn’t even possess oil reserves which the region apparently held in endless quantities).

If peace required a post-bellum map, it would hardly be crippling to Russian interests.

The Russian government, even those who desired a continuance of the war, would see the benefits of the Tsarevich to their positions. Like his father, the Russian noble Anna had married, Ivan was more of a bookish bent, more interested in writing history books than making history. Ivan would NOT make his Ministers quake in their boots.

That alone would make losing a bit of largely useless land more than worth it.

What they didn’t know was that China, America, the “Green Ukraine” and Mongolia were already forcing the issue in Siberia.

March, 1935


Having thrown the majority of her resources to the west, the Russian Empire was simply not prepared to face an invasion of over 120,000 experience Chinese regulars into Central Asia augmented by 30,000 Mongolians striking northwards, once again cutting off Lake Baikal.

In the previous war, the Russian expansion into Siberia had been cut off entirely by the severance of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Russian settlers had been forcibly expelled over the course of years.

While post-war attempts to rebuild the railway had made sporadic success, the population never returned.

Mongolia had quietly watched as Russian forces and civilians crept eastwards as the railway once again took shape but could do nothing about it.

Now, America and Green Ukrainian forces seized the petty small towns and villages along the Sea of Okhotsk while the Chinese and Mongolians took up the more difficult task of facing the Russian Army on the Siberian and Central Asian plains.

Learning of this, the Tsarevich knew that no Spring offensive could take place.

April, 1935


After years of relatively remote Danish overlordship, the Parliament of Iceland would determine to sever all ties after the conclusion of the war.


After much debate, the Emperor determined that it was time to withdraw from the Capital. The bombing raids would grow ever more powerful by the day with incendiary bombs causing enormous damage to the flammable cities of Japan.

But the Army swore that the nation would be defended to the final man. The Emperor would inquire just what the terms the allies would impose upon Japan should the nation seek them. He received no coherent response. Nor did he receive one as to the fate of the Japanese people should Japan face invasion.

He then demanded to know what the nation had to gain….and to lose….via continued fighting. “Honor” tended to be the most common response.

By April, the allied armies in Korea had fractured the Japanese Army into ever smaller “chunks” utterly cut of from one another. No one in Kyoto knew exactly how many Japanese were still fighting on the Peninsula. They certainly weren’t slowing the number of bombing raids. City after city had been subject to pummeling while the Air Force could barely scrap together the fuel to engage. Manufacturing had effectively ended.

Worse, the Imperial Palace had been besieged, almost unbelievably, by women demanding rice. No such thing had ever happened before. Even the Emperor’s guards were taken aback, uncertain what to do as women inquired why a war was being fought that was killing children via neglect.

Rumors that mass malnutrition had long been circulating. The Emperor demanded that his own meals be cut back, in a measure of solidarity, to the people but soon even he would be shocked at the fatigue arising as a consequence. If millions of his own people were facing this…..

But the Army would swear up and down to the code of Bushido that they would fight to the last man to defend the Emperor and Japan. That was nice to hear but how exactly would that benefit Japan?

What was more, surrounded by fawning soldiers, the Emperor was unsure what would happen should he order them to stand down. Was it possible they would refuse?

Did this Cult of Personality surrounding the Emperor really serve the Emperor….or the Cult?


Tsarevich Ivan, now the regent for his ailing mother, would agree to peace talks with the allies.

As a sign of good faith, the allies and Russia would withhold any advances and Ivan ordered the Russian forces to withdraw from Byelorussia and the Ukraine (and what was left of the occupied Baltic). He requested (and was refused) that the allies do the same from northwestern Russia (Karelia) and Siberia (Mongolia, China and the eastern allies were not yet consulted due to distance. The United States’ representatives in Europe would refuse to speak on behalf of their eastern allies).

In the end, the Russian forces proposed an armistice based on current lines.

Given that Russia was at war with literally every state on its borders save their old ally Afghanistan, the Tsarevich knew that his nation could not go on any further. Already, large quantities of American and British troops were massing along the Baltic while another half a million German, Italian and other Central and Eastern European soldiers were reinforcing those already steadily pushing back the Russians from the border states of Byelorussia and the Ukraine.

It was time to call an end to this….before Moscow faced an occupation akin to Paris.

The Russian people had already suffered over a million casualties and public resentment against the Czarina was at an all-time high (which really said something).
Chapter 428
May, 1935


While the early harvest was still a month away, there was already panic within Japan that mass starvation was soon to replace mass hunger.

The American “pin-prick raids” by the carriers had by April ebbed as the Naval attacks had completed their missions of crippling key rail, power, communications and supply links. The comprehensive allied submersible campaign was largely successful even in wiping out all but the smallest and most modest fishing boats emerging from the shores in a desperate attempt to gather any sustenance from the sea.

By late spring, the near-total disruption to the transportation system would become less and less important by virtue of the simple reason that there was so little left to transport.

The Emperor, surrounded in a mountain retreat by Army forces, began to realize that he, his family and his ministers were now defacto prisoners to the Generals who refused to speak of anything but glorious defense of the Home Islands. The Army had reportedly taken to meting out spontaneous executions to “defeatists” in their ranks, in the government and even civilians.

Talk of conquering an Empire now evolved into making the allies pay dearly in blood for every square inch of Japanese soil. This may, indeed, be the case….as the Emperor kept asking…….how did it benefit Japan?


The allied armies had finally cornered the last 40-50,000 Japanese troops in the country to mostly, small out-of-the-way strongholds. Rather than charge in, the allies were content to save some of their own lives by starving the Japanese out.

But mid-1935, the allies – China, Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, America, Green Ukraine, Great Britain and Australia – were well and truly sick of the Japanese. Tens of thousands of allied soldiers had died thus far cleaning out the Japanese defenders in Korea despite it being obvious to all that there was no chance of victory or escape. The Japanese were simply inclined to make the enemy pay in blood.

The idea of a mass invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, protected by potentially millions of these idiot zealots, was deeply disconcerting. China was also concerned that the war with Russia may reignite at any moment.

Eisenhower and, surprisingly, General Chang Kai-shek , the two primary military leaders of the allies forces in the Pacific were not eager in the slightest to expend the lives of their soldiers on an invasion. However, it was also politically obvious that the governments of China, America and others were no longer willing to tolerate the militarism of Japan and wanted to prevent the next war as much as punish Japan for this one.

International politics had changed. For the Democracies, declaring war upon another nation for no other reason than naked conquest had slowly died over the past half century. Ideals had changed. Great Britain had largely seen its Empire dissolve in the expansion of freely (if grudgingly) granted self-government (the violence of the Indian Rebellion was an obvious exception). The various Dominions now ruled themselves with only the token link of the Crown. The East Indies and now the Anglo-American Co-Protectorate were following all without a shot to be fired in protest. Even Ireland had been allowed “Home Rule” knowing that Independence would surely follow in a few years.

Great Britain, after repeated wars over the past 75 years, seemed exhausted (spiritually more than financially).

Kingdom of the Hejaz

As war ripped through the world, much of the Islamic focus in the Near East remained upon the Hejaz, where the exiled House of Saud had launched a coup against their hosts in the Hejaz.

However, Persia, the Ottoman, Egypt-Levant and other states were more concerned in the short term about war on their borders (though Persia was the only one actively fighting the Russians) than the occupation of the Holy Cities by the Salafis.

But, as the war in the north ebbed to a close, the Islamic world would turn its attention once again upon Mecca and Medina and the arrogant tribe of nomads who deemed their own version of Islam the only “right” one.

In May of 1935, a coalition of Egypt, Kurdistan and Mesopotamia would invade the Hejaz. Despite calls for a “Jihad” against the apostates, the House of Saud were swiftly defeated and their leaders either killed or imprisoned. The tribe was expelled down to the last child to their former lands….where the new residents promptly slaughtered thousands of them.

Only a belated enforced peace which broke up the House of Saud’s tribe among half a dozen Arab states would slow the carnage. Even then, the local rulers would suppress the Salafi sect which had so shaken the peace of Arabia.

June, 1935

Hindu Socialist Republic

Over the course of several years, the HSR would devolve into a series of factions….then finally into local petty tyrants promoting themselves to Rajas. The Marxist state effectively ceased to exist without the central authority and some regions of the central Indian subcontinent would devolve into virtual feudalism which had not been seen in generations, if not centuries.

The continued unrest would, naturally cause millions to starve. No nation on earth, even Germany, Russia, France and China, had suffered the loss of so many citizens over the past decades than the now-defunct HSR.

However, in spring of 1935, a new hideous plague struck upon the region as if a punishment from the Hindu Pantheon. An epidemic of influenza, hardly the first, would arrive on the subcontinent. However, this was not to be an ordinary epidemic. Thousands, then millions, of Indians would die.

Then, by fall of 1935, it would be spreading throughout the world.

Ironically, one of the first to fact the pandemic would be the most isolated nation on earth. A handful of American pilots would be exposed in southeast Asia and then, after being shot down over Japan, would be interrogated and then executed by Japanese officers. Within weeks, the sickness spread throughout the Army, then the General nation. Already so terribly weakened by hunger and lack of medication, the Japanese population would suffer more deeply than any other.

The allied armies in Asia (it would reach Europe in the winter) would begin to quarantine in their billets, seeking to spread out as best they could.

It would be globally known by 1936 as the “Indian Flu”.
Chapter 429
August, 1935


By summer of 1935, the allies were beginning to fragment despite still-to-be-completed negotiations with Russia. The initial conflict was over the occupation of France.

Having suffered utterly unprovoked invasions in 40 years by France, the nations of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium were intent on crippling France forever more. Great Britain, long closely aligned with America, would take up their Continental allies’ position after losing more than 120,000 London civilians alone to French Flying Bombs and chemical warfare. Poison gas, tear gas and other hideous weapons had been unleashed en masse on women and children. A price must be exacted.

The United States was more interested in ensuring that the Marxist fanatics could never again raise their head in France or the rest of the world. That meant that France’s people must be allowed to prosper under a democracy. Punishing them further seemed counter-productive. The European allies largely retorted that America had not been forced to pay a fraction of the price that they had.

Finally, the coalition cracked in the west and it was agreed that France would be divided into five “zones”. The northern three would be controlled by Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium, and Germany. The southern two would be controlled by America and Italy. In short order, the King of Italy would give up his pretentions to regaining Savoy (it was almost entirely French-speaking by this point and would have to be forcibly annexed to Italy and probably cause more problems than it merited).

The Americans took administration control over the Occitan region (the southern dialect had long been suppressed in France and had slowly been “shamed” out of existence by centrally appointed French teachers in southern schools until the arrival of the Marxists who, taking a “global view”, was willing to allow regional languages to an extent that the Empire had not). However, there remained a great deal of pride among the southern French and more than a little resentment over the “shaming” over the years. The southern French also blamed the northerners for the ills of the nation for the past half century including the wars and domination of the Marxists (which had been centered in Paris prior to the Revolution).


The new Governor-General of Southern France, Douglas MacArthur, would happily see his authority increase in the south. He’d long been irritated by the politics of the Germans and British and longed for an “autonomous command”. By late summer of 1935, the American forces had largely abandoned the north to their allies and take hold of the south (the British and Germans would move north). Only a modest 40,000 Italians and 20,000 Irish would assist the Americans in the occupation of southern France.

In Vichy, the General would set up a new administration with himself at the head but a number of French officials, like Mr. Petain, to assist. The region was, of course, utterly disarmed and most of the southern soldiers paroled to go home. However, Marxist officials, the hated Secret Police and unrepentant military officers would face trials in Bordeaux. French civilians would fall over themselves to testify against the Secret Police in particular. Whenever a civilian had been arrested or a loved one “disappeared” by the Secret police, the government under MacArthur would solicit a full report and commence a trial. Naturally, within weeks, there were so many complaints that the judicial system had to be streamlined with a combination of thousands of French and America military and civilian lawyers.

In Paris, where the Germans, British, Dutch and Belgians made their headquarters, the trials would be vastly faster. Oppressive French officers who had occupied the Low Countries would be held responsible for the crimes of their subordinates. On one notable occasion, a mob of newly commissioned “officers and soldiers” from the Low Countries would march into a prison compound and effectively execute over 600 French officers in the “People’s Army” without so much as a trial. Many of the Secret Police in the north would enter the same prison in which they’d interrogated so many of their countrymen…and never be heard from again.


Fortunately for the Western Allies, the war with Russia was indeed coming to an end. Tsarevich Ivan would personally negotiate a peace treaty in Stockholm (the Treaty of Stockholm, 1935) with the allied nations largely at the post-bellum borders.

This meant that the Near East peoples – Pontic Greeks, Assyrians, Armenians, Georgians, Alevis and Azerbaijanis – would see their independence recognized. Ivan explained that these were not Russian territories but “in personal Union” with the Crown of Russia, thus the people should not feel their loss.

Beyond that, the Russian Empire would lose the Kola Peninsula and Karelia bordering Finland as well as all of Siberia 200 miles west of Lake Baikal (mostly to Mongolia but some of the lands went to America and Green Ukraine). These lands had, for 50 years, seemed less and less controllable from Moscow anyway and possessed fewer than one half of one percent of the Empire’s population and much of that was not ethnically Russian. As Mongolia was not exactly a world power, Ivan knew that future Russian generations may seek to reverse those gains…..in an era when the United States and China were not on such good terms and unlikely to oppose them (not that Ivan had any intention of initiating any kind of conquest or reconquest).

The Russian Nationalist Party would be outraged. Having fought so hard to regain the Empire lost in the previous war, they were now being blamed by the general population AND the Tsarevich for the catastrophe. The Ministers would be asked to step down. More than a few grumblings of a coup were muttered about but there was enough loyalty to the Crown to stifle this. Also, the Party hierarchy itself was displeased with the leadership of the war and was willing to accept a change at the top (Ivan would breath a sigh of relief every day he was not shot in the back of the head. Like the Emperor of Japan, his family was the figurehead of a cult of personality but knew that this cult could turn on him in an instant).

October 1935


The harvest of 1935 was a terrible one. Japan had long since been dependent upon imported food. However, the loss of so many farmers to military service and the loss of fuel for the machinery introduced in the 20th century would see predicted foodstuff production drop by over half despite the hunger already permeating the country. Worse, the damnable flu making the rounds throughout the country at harvest time would see the yield cut by 60%. Hunger was now open starvation. Riots were common in cities where NO food seemed to be arriving at all.

Weakened by famine, the Japanese would suffer the highest death rate per capita of any large country. Nearly 2 million Japanese would be dead within the next four months between starvation and disease. Even the harsh arithmetic that this may leave more food to the remaining citizenry would be upended by the fact that food could not be transported. Lack of any medication to mitigate the plague would make the matter worse.

By fall, the Army was using the epidemic to force the Emperor into virtual seclusion. Masked sentinels would keep the Imperial Family “secluded for their own health and safety”, it was claimed. During this point, several high-level government Ministers and Admirals would disappear in the night, later to be listed as “died of influenza”. The Army had taken complete control over the government and, by the new year, was shooting any man, woman and child opposing their rule.

Vows to keep fighting “in the name of the Emperor” continued even as 1936 saw the death toll climb higher and higher.

Soldiers were sent into the countryside to confiscate any food available for the army. Farmers or various rural civilians would be shot if discovered hiding a few grains of rice. A few isolated farmers would even begin sowing potatoes, a rare crop in Japan. It was best known in the west as having a high caloric content per acre. But, more importantly, the Japanese farmers would not have to harvest the potatoes entirely at one time and store them. They could be left in the ground for weeks or months so the soldiers could not confiscate them. What was more, many Japanese had no idea what potatoes were or how they were grown and often trod over the potato fields ignorant of what lay beneath. This would save thousands of farmers from starvation….but millions more were subject to confiscation of their every morsel of food.

By the spring, no one was certain how many people would still survive in Japan. The farmers would be stricken at a surprisingly high rate of the Indian Flu, perhaps owing to their natural isolation and lack of exposure to past strains spread throughout the world. The rural peoples, despite being nominally better fed, would suffer the most. Worse, the loss of farmers would drop the fall harvest even further than expected.

In the meantime, allied bombing raids continued to burn Japanese cities, many nearly deserted, to the ground. Almost no Japanese planes now rose to meet them for lack of pilots, planes and, most critically, fuel.

The Imperial Navy, seeing that the Army had effectively seized control of the government, ceased ordering forth the last of their major vessels being utilized against the allies, largely recalled for lack of fuel. Rumors already abounded that the Imperial Family had been murdered by the army. Several Admirals had disappeared and, in November, the Army announced that all Air Force and Naval Personnel would be drafted into the army for “the great battle to come”.

This was resisted physically in a few cases. Shots were occasionally fired but most of the naval personnel were marched off to the trenches being dug into the beaches.

There were exceptions:

The sole remaining “mini” carrier, the Zuiho, would sail out of Kobe ahead of the army press gangs and, with a destroyer, frigate and PT boat, deliver over 800 sailors to the neutral port of Rangoon where they were interned. It had been a harrowing escape not only from their kinsmen but much of the allied Navies would be searching for them as they fled south through the East Indies. Chased by dozens of ships, they were never quite caught.

Several Admirals would gather their families on the few remaining submersibles and similarly escape. One would make it to Hyderabad. Another would reach the Gold Coast of Australia where the ship surrendered to the stunned Mayor of a small town. A third would sail for the Chamorro Islands…and just never arrived. It was rumored that the crew succumbed to the Indian Flu and the submersible kept running until it ran out of fuel somewhere in the vast expanse of the Pacific.

Within days, the Army Command would seize direct control over the remaining ships of the Imperial Navy so no further defections may be “disrupt the confidence of the Emperor’s servants”.