To the Empire Eternal Part 8 - 1942 Part Two May - December

Author: Electricfox
Published: 2018-11-17, edited: 2018-11-17

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To the Empire Eternal

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To the Empire Eternal Part 7 - 1942 Part One

Images: 14, author: Electricfox, published: 2018-11-16

British forces coming ashore in Okinawa
Despite the shockwave that ran across Europe following Hitlers death, it was business as usual in the Far-East, British forces held positions on Formosa whilst American forces pushed into the Phillipines. The Dutch East Indies had fallen, but a small British force was working on retaking the islands whilst the Japanese were elsewhere engaged.
Japanese forces made another major push to retake Formosa, but it was repulsed by the British forces on hand. Meanwhile the erstwhile defenders of Hong Kong, 45 Commando, were being relieved and prepared for the next phase of the Pacific campaign, the invasion of Okinawa.
Minimal but still fierce resistance was encountered by the Royal Marines as they came ashore, however they were still able to push forward and then south, taking the island by the end of the month and a multitude of Japanese prisoners with it.
Soviet forces enter Bucharest
Naturally Japanese attempts would be made to re-take the island, but they would be rebuffed repeatedly.
Meanwhile in Europe, the Soviet steamroller continued westward, sweeping aside Romania and Hungary in its wake.
Now Soviet tanks were pushing hard into eastern Prussia, and the Goebbels regime was flinging everything it could find against them. The French and American forces wanted to take the opportunity to push into western Germany, but just could not find an opening in the German defences to do so. Even more so than the Great War was this European war a war of attrition, at least on the western front.
Back in Asia, the Royal Navy began limited but aggressive operations around Okinawa in an attempt to keep Japanese forces from re-taking the island. This lead to some rather one-sided battles...
And some rather less one-sided...meanwhile the Hellenic Republic which had been steadily moving through French puppeted Turkey, now finished the job, providing a relief route for German forces trapped in the Caucuses.
Plans began to be drawn up in the Far Eastern Command which explored the possibility of the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, given the relative ease in which British forces had invaded so far, casualties were estimated reasonably low, however many cautioning voices pointed towards the fanatical nature of the Japanese people and their ability to rapidly mobilise basic armed forces. It might not be as easy as some had thought.
And almost as if the fates themselves were listening to this conversation, things started to take a turn for the worse for the British forces in Asia.
Firstly, the British Raj came down hard on Gandhis independence movement, which did little to help anti-British sentiment in the region.
Quit India movement members lie unconscious after being beaten by policemen
Then in a serious blow to the Far East campaign, the Japanese made a significant and sustained landing offensive in Formosa.

Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces push out of their landing zone in Formosa.
The Royal Marines and the Armoured Cars of the Armoured Car Corps attempted to close the beach-head, however the Japanese special marine forces quickly flanked them up the western coast and soon the Marines found themselves surrounded and outnumbered. They fought hard, as hard as tigers, but it was not enough. On 12th September 1942, the remnants of 45 Commando and the Armoured Car Corps surrendered to the Japanese and marched into captivity.

The loss of the two armies and the island of Formosa effectively shelved any plans for the invasion of the Home islands of Japan in 1942, and with convoy transports becoming scarce, it was time for the British to step back and focus on reducing the threat of Japan outside of the Home islands before pushing further into the Tigers den.

It was decided, therefore that an extensive naval campaign would take place in two regions, around the island of Okinawa in order to prevent Japanese naval landing forces from establishing a foothold, and the second around the Home islands themselves in order to sink Japanese convoys, transport fleets and any carrier fleet that came across the path of the Royal Navy.
Soviet forces moving through Berlin

Meanwhile in Europe, the Soviet armed forces had moved swiftly, pushing across Eastern Germany and into Berlin, Goebbels and his family fled westward to Mainz where a basic command bunker was set up outside of the city. The static nature of the French front meant that the Fuhrer could be relatively ensured of his safety...for now.
Meanwhile the anti-shipping policy undertaken by the Royal navy was beginning to pay dividends, with dozens of Japanese convoys and transports being sunk in a very short amount of time by the three patrolling carrier fleets, however it was not without cost with HMS Illustrious being sunk by Japanese aircraft on the 23rd of November 1942.
But other times the Royal Navy was able to run wild and win victory after victory, including one against the legendary Isoroku Yamamoto (pictured here with a mouse cursor on his head)

Despite losing a carrier and a cruiser to Japanese aerial forces, it was decided that the naval campaign around the Home Islands would continue into 1943.
Meanwhile in Europe, the hammer fell. With Soviet forces pushing into Mainz, Josef Goebbels and his wife Magda poisoned their six children with cyanide capsules, and then shot themselves.
Karl Donitz, once the leader of Germanys extensive but barely used submarine arm, and pretty much unemployed since the last German port of Wilhelmshaven surrendered to the Soviets, became the third and last Fuhrer of Nazi Germany. He called upon the Soviets that Germany was willing to offer complete surrender. His offer was accepted.
On the 22nd December 1942, representatives from Nazi Germany and the Hellenic Republic (which had seen which way the wind was blowing in Europe) met in the ruins of Berlin to sign the surrender with Georgy Zhukov, the Soviet armed forces lead general. Similar events were occuring in Paris where a seperate peace was being made with the Americans and French, the Belgian and Hejaz forces swore to fight on in Hitlers memory, but it mattered little to the Soviet steamroller which had crushed eastern and central Europe.
The war in Europe was over, but in the Far East, the war was only beginning.

Next chapter:

Game: Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game

To the Empire Eternal Part Nine - 1943 Part One The Way of the Warrior January - May

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