[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR - Episode 17: Pacific Go

Author: bigwoods
Published: 2017-05-15

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[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR

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Game: Hearts of Iron III

[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR - Episode 16: Hangman

Images: 61, author: bigwoods, published: 2017-05-08

Hey all, and thanks for reading Episode 17 of my Republic of China AAR in BlackICE 8.6. If you missed the previous episodes, they are linked below.
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Episode 1 - Prelude: https://redd.it/5p14j8 | http://imgur.com/a/hdPRd
Episode 2 - Southern Expedition: https://redd.it/5pe5b9 | http://imgur.com/a/NfIPE
Episode 3 - Buildup, Betrayal, and the Drums of War: https://redd.it/5px153 | http://imgur.com/a/6Gg7m
Episode 4 - The Onslaught: https://redd.it/5t02ux | http://imgur.com/a/P97vc
Episode 5 - One Foot Forward: https://redd.it/5ttevv | http://imgur.com/a/K5J6r
Episode 6 - And One Foot Back: https://redd.it/5v4r4r | http://imgur.com/a/pwyGE
Episode 7 - Summer Miracle: https://redd.it/5wgn2a | http://imgur.com/a/4Aejw
Episode 8 - Cleaning House: https://redd.it/5xudky | http://imgur.com/a/wdxmT
Episode 9 - Operation Ox: https://redd.it/5z4rti | http://imgur.com/a/7XEhz
Episode 10 - Kesselschlacht: https://redd.it/60g5nl | http://imgur.com/a/iBfAc
Episode 11 - Lotus and Blossom: https://redd.it/61s7zx | http://imgur.com/a/ty355
Episode 12 - Free At Last: https://redd.it/638j71 | http://imgur.com/a/ZZwuJ
Episode 13 - Back in the Saddle: https://redd.it/64kqm8 | http://imgur.com/a/1sGfB
Episode 14 - China United: https://redd.it/679rfw | http://imgur.com/a/1tfgo
Episode 15 - Operation Ballroom: https://redd.it/68mjef | http://imgur.com/a/UdmGO
Episode 16 - Hangman: https://redd.it/69yyax | http://imgur.com/a/gA1ID
Previously, Operation Hangman - the operation to liberate the Philippines, was thrown off by a surprise Japanese counter-invasion around Luzon. Units have retreated to the North, and others have retreated south to form a defensive line around Manila and Clark Field.
Our hastily-constructed defenses around Clark Field are hammered by Japanese troops, but they still stand at the end of the day.
CAS fighters and ground crew worked furiously day and night to run sorties against the charging enemy, while our ground forces had to push back multiple incursions onto the air field by reckless, banzai charges.
A small IJN task force is spotted alone in the Luzon Strait, and is easily picked off by our Carrier Air Groups (CAGs). While we do not yet have a formidable navy, our fighters and bombers will rule the seas instead.
Meanwhile, Operation Ember, the capture of Borneo from the Japanese, is proceeding well as our jäegers capture the crucial port and airbase of Kuching.
Japanese forces have overextended themselves at Clark Field, and now their weakened forces are being pushed back into the sea. Three divisions were already surrounded and destroyed at Lagawe, while another is barely holding on north of Clark Field at Victoria.
More Japanese garrisons are systematically surrounded and destroyed by our jäegers in Borneo. Our light troops are truly showing their true strengths in the thick jungles of the Pacific.
With the Japanese counter-invasion destroyed, Operation Hangman is declared a success, and all offensive units head for ports for further transport. Three corps of light troops are to stay behind to provide security in the islands, until proper garrison and security forces can arrive from the mainland.
With Borneo secured and Operation Ember wrapping up, the next phase of our Pacific crawl is revealed, as Operation Brimstone. Aerial reconnaissance, as well as reports from our intelligence service, the NBIS, have both confirmed that there is minimal Japanese presence in Java and Sumatra, with most of the remaining Japanese expeditionary forces beating back a British assault down the Malay Peninsula.

Operation Brimstone will be the perfect proving grounds for our new combined arms tactics. Paratroopers from the 400. Airborne Corps will secure the port of Surabaya, while our marines, in their new landing crafts, will take Batavia.
Paratroopers and jäegers will secure the rest of Java and head East towards Bali and the Lesser Sunda Islands. Their final objective lies on the two ports on Timor and Timor-Leste.
Once Batavia is taken, our marines are to cross the Sunda Strait into the port of Oosthaven, and then from there fan out to occupy the rest of Sumatra. The final objectives on Sumatra are the air base of Medan, as well as the Riau Archipelago below Singapore.
Another Japanese task force is caught by the 5th Fleet outside the Mekong Delta, and our CAGs score another high profile kill, by outright sinking the Japanese carrier Hiryu and scattering the rest of its escorts.
ROCAF pilots brave gauntlets of anti-aircraft fire before they can release their torpedoes and bombs, but all it takes is a few lucky hits...
Our new landing craft flotilla arrives at Borneo and begins preparing for offensive operations...
...while our CAGs continue to run wild on the IJN around Indonesia. Heavy cruisers and coastal battleships, like the Tsugaru and Asama respectively, are easy pickings for ROCAF naval pilots.
Operation Brimstone kicks off with the 2nd Paratroop Division securing Surabaya without resistance. The further occupation of former Dutch/British territory has already extremely strained our relations with the Europeans, who are helpless as we take back the Pacific from the West.

British colonial command requests a joint occupation of lands already liberated by the Republic, such as parts of Borneo and Siam, but they are declined due to "security reasons". In reality, Chiang and the rest of the KMT has no intention of ever giving back this colonial territory, but overtones and maybe even concessions will be made in the meantime.
Our marines take Batavia shortly after, and begin to fan out across the island of Java.
The port of Oosthaven on Sumatra is currently heavily defended by the Japanese. A landing across the Sunda Strait will still be attempted but our marines will need another factor to win this battle.
The 5th Fleet runs into another small task force sent to stop our operations in Java...
But again our outdated, light carriers are able to inflict horrendous damage against the Japanese Navy. Our CVLs are able to bait these cruisers and battleships out for a fight, and then when they retreat, hordes of torpedo and dive bombers tear through the enemy ships like a knife through butter.
The battleship Hiei lists for a few hours, and then grounds itself on the western shore of Borneo. Our light troops are quick to secure the wreck and capture the surviving crew members.
The 5th Fleet runs into the three Japanese battleships Musashi, Fuso, and Yamato - the pride and flagship of the Japanese fleet. This time retreat is not an option. Admiral Shen Honglie is caught out of position and must rely on land-based aircraft to save his fleet.
Admiral Shen retreats, and sends his escorts out to screen and delay the Japanese battleships from engaging the light carriers. 4 Destroyer squadrons are lost in the reckless attack, although their smoke screens were crucial in the escape of the 1st light carrier.
The Japanese battleship Fuso steams ahead, and is able to sink our 2nd carrier with multiple strikes with its 14 in. shells, but it is disabled by our fleet while it is overextended. Our CAGs and bombers are able to finish Fuso off, before retreating back to base.
The 5th Fleet steams back to Saigon for repairs. Although newly produced ships are placed under Admiral Shen's command, the 5th Fleet will remain in dock for a while for upgrades and reinforcements.
Our 1st light carrier (Sorry for not naming this! I need to name more things...) has a very impressive list of kills, given its outdated nature, slow speed, and all around lackluster capabilities. The 5th Fleet has already reduced the IJN by 4 battleships, 1 fleet carrier, 1 light carrier, and many cruisers and destroyers.
Concentrated air strikes have evicted Japanese troops from Oosthaven, and our marines are able to ferry across the Sunda Strait, into the port.
In this new Pacific War, what we lack in men and ships, we will make up for with pure and unrestrained air superiority!
Java is now fully secure, and our troops shift towards the capture of Sumatra.
In an attempt to accelerate Sumatra's liberation, marines are landed at Padang and ordered to move North towards the air base of Medan.
Our marines march unopposed into Palembang, the last major city in Sumatra. The Japanese are now starved of their most precious resource - oil. Without the oil rigs and drills in the Philippines and Indonesia, the IJN and IJAAF will have a harder and harder time running sorties to oppose our movements in the Pacific.
The new resources captured by our troops in Indonesia have significantly boosted our domestic industrial capabilities. The most significant of these is the large supply of rubber that was captured in Java, that will now help with the motorization and mechanization of our land forces.
More paratroopers are dropped at Dumai, in order to secure the port from further Japanese reinforcements. We want to avoid another counter-invasion, like the one on the Philippines, as much as possible.
In a surprising development, it seems the Japanese have abandoned Singapore. It is likely they were not expecting us to move on Sumatra as quickly as we did. While Japanese troops stream into the city to rush to defend it from our paratroopers on the Riau Archipelago...
Another drop into the city stops the reinforcement in its tracks.
Our airborne troops quickly occupy positions on the southern shore of the city, and begin to force the attackers back across the Straits of Johor.
Off the shores of Singapore, more Japanese ships go up in flames.
The last resistance on Timor is extinguished, as our jäegers sweep aside the garrison division holding the port at Ainaro.
While our paratroops are able to beat back the Japanese counterattack at Singapore. Our marines now rush across in their ferries and landing crafts, from Sumatra to Singapore.
The newly reformed 5th Fleet runs into a massive Japanese fleet off of Malacca, and is forced to retreat immediately before they are chased down and destroyed.
We lose another cruiser but the 5th Fleet escapes and lives to see another day.
Our marines force their way across the Straits of Johor into Johore Bahru, and are now officially landed on the Malay Peninsula. This is the end for the Japanese expeditionary force in the South Pacific...
The ROCN's recent expansion warrants proper land facilities, and new dockyards and prefab facilities are laid down immediately.
Our marines slowly make their way up the Malay Peninsula, but with great difficulty. This attritious jungle warfare is reminiscent of Indochina, where Japanese forces will blend into the jungle and bleed our forces for every inch they march forwards. Nonetheless, we are able to ford the Muar River and reach the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
While the Australians liberate the Eastern portion of New Guinea, high command draws up Operation Dustbowl, which aims to occupy the Western portion of New Guinea before Allied troops beat us to it. One corps of light troops recently freed up from the Philippines will be used for the invasion, and Japanese resistance is expected to be light.
The 33. Anhui Light Division lands at Hollandia, only to be opposed by a ragtag group of officers and military policemen.
Another day, another dollar... we can only hope that we can recover the Japanese conquests quicker than the allies do
It seems that the Japanese have sent their best troops to defend Kuala Lumpur and the Malay Peninsula, and these troops fight even harder after their embarrassing defeat at Singapore.
Although we are able to make some advances along the eastern coast of the Malay Peninsula, our forces have begun to run into more and more Japanese troops along well-prepared defensive lines. Kuala Lumpur, in particular, is defended by over 100,000 Japanese troops, and our marines were severely mauled in preliminary attacks against the city. Another factor will be needed for this campaign...
The 53. Shock Corps - an ad-hoc unit of shock troops and heavy equipment formed during the assault on the communist fortress of Yan'an, is shipped to Singapore and then sent to the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
The key to this corps is the 4. Shock Division, which is manned by elite veterans, gurkha rifles from Tibet, and armed to the teeth with heavy artillery and assault guns.
In the East, German forces have taken Stalingrad and are extremely close to cutting off the Caucasus from the rest of the Soviet Union.
But while the Wehrmacht makes advances in the North and the South, they are steadily being pushed back in the center. It seems Stalin is prioritizing the defense of Moscow and its surrounding regions above all else, while neglecting to protect the rest of his country.
(Sorry, I lost an entire month of pictures here)

Kuala Lumpur is taken after a bloody month of urban fighting, but the 53. Shock Corps was able to swing the odds in our favor. In tactics perfected in the streets of Yan'an, our shock troops moved from city block to block, escorted by assault guns, combat engineers, and signal radiomen who could order artillery salvos at a moment's notice.
Although this process is painstaking and slow, it guarantees that any hardpoint encountered by our troops can be instantly blasted away by the many heavy weapons it has at its disposal.
Our CAGs score another impressive kill off the Malay Peninsula. The pride of the Japanese fleet, the massive battleship Yamato, is sunk under a hail of bombs and torpedos from land-based aircraft. The rest of the Japanese fleet around the Malay Peninsula hobbles back to Honshu. No reinforcements will arrive for the trapped Japanese forces this time.
The 4. Shock Division is proving itself valuable again, when 5 divisions are surrounded in the jungles of Ipoh.
Operation Dustbowl concludes with a resounding success, as we are able to snatch the greater portion of New Guinea from the Allies.
The 4. Shock Division finishes off the Japanese expeditionary force in Malaysia, with a decisive battle at the port of Kota Bharu.
Malaysia and Indonesia are, for the most part, ours. British forces are still holed up on the Celebes and Moluccas, and the Australians are beginning to reclaim their possessions in New Guinea and in New Britain.
The USSR came dangerously close to collapsing in the East, before reinforcements from Central Asia and Manchuria arrived to save the day. They are only delaying the inevitable, however. Their manpower reserves are drained, and most of the troops manning the front are conscripts. The veterans of the Red Army have long been destroyed in battles in the Eastern Front, and it seems the Wehrmacht is finally bearing down on Moscow.
Chiang and the rest of high command now have just one thing on their mind... the last step to a final victory over our eternal enemy, Japan. Operation Warhammer will bring the full power of a resurgent China onto its imperialist oppressors.
Thanks for reading! As always feedback on gameplay, history, alt-history, is appreciated in the discussion thread. Check back on Mondays for more episodes.

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[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR - Episode 18: Old Enemies

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