[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR - Episode 13: Back in the Saddle

Author: bigwoods
Published: 2017-04-26

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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 12: Free At Last

Images: 71, author: bigwoods, published: 2017-04-03

Hi friends, and thanks for reading Episode 13 of my Republic of China AAR in BlackICE 8.6. If you missed the previous episodes, they are linked below.

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
Previously, the NRA had concluded a nearly 6 year-long campaign to free the mainland from the Japanese imperialists. The puppet states of Mengjiang and Manchukuo have been dissolved and reintegrated into the Republic, and the Korean peoples were liberated after the successful conclusion of Operation Blackfish. Syngman Rhee leads the rearmament and reorganization of the Korean Peninsula, while the NRA begins shifting its resources away from the Northern Theatre.

The battle in Manchuria may be won, but the war is far from over. The communist CPC still fights tooth and nail in the Shaanxi Highlands, and their capital of Yan'an is still virtually impenetrable by our troops. The Japanese, although shaken by defeats, have not given up their claims to Korea and Manchuria, and quickly ready more invasion forces on their homeland.
While the IJA still reels from their defeat, the general staff and Chiang push for the liberation of Taiwan. Operation Rugby will employ the 301. Corps and the 65. Light Corps, which command a total of 5 divisions and over 60,000 men. The Fujian Air Command will provide air support for our troops landing on the island, and the 1st Fleet will protect the transport vessels, and also soften up shore defenses prior to the invasion. Our intelligence service, the NBIS, only reports that a small garrison of 10,000 men is left on the island, after the rest of Taiwan's garrison was pulled due to troop shortages in China.

The operation is slated to last a short two weeks, as we cannot risk the Japanese fleet reorganizing and landing reinforcements on the island. The undefended city of Taibei will be taken quickly, while our troops will land north of the city of Gaoxiong, and then assault the port city from there.
The UK completes its domination of the Middle East, after the rogue Saudi princes flee from Riyadh. The massive oil reserves on the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the fuel from the massive refineries in Abadan in Iran, now flow directly into the Soviet Union and onto the Eastern Front.
After months of defeat after defeat in Indochina, our forces begin to stem the tide of Japanese armor that rolled over the Song Ca River and towards Hanoi.
What looked like an abandoned industrial site on the outskirts of Hamhung is discovered to be a secret rocket test site built by Japanese scientists during their occupation of Korea. Syngman Rhee is convinced to lease the area to the Republic of China, after considerable negotiations with Chiang.
Our recent victories in the North have compelled more and more to serve the Republic academically, and our current facilities are still in sorry shape from the war. The Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Education begin converting old Kuomintang administrative buildings into the Republic's premier university.
Although conscription into the army is still mandatory across our lands, talented and bright recruits are allowed to opt for "civilian service", where they will help bring China's industry and army into the modern era.
The need to provide uniforms for our now 4 million-strong army has strained our textile industry, and now a major nylon plant in Hangzhou will help fill this shortage.
The British, meanwhile, are struggling to stem the tide of IJA forces in Burma. The city of Rangoon, now bombarded by the IJAAF, is no longer a viable transport and supply hub for Allied aid routes destined for China.
Although some supplies can still reach China through Indian ports and then through the newly built "Ledo Road", it is not capable of delivering the tonnage we need. Pictured above are American trucks, operated by African-American drivers and troops, braving the deep jungles of Northern Burma.
An alternative supply route is opened above the Himalayan Mountains, where USAAF pilots fly in supplies from Indian bases into Kunming in China. The route, nicknamed "The Hump" by American pilots, is infamously treacherous, for its dangerous conditions and near-zero visibility. Almost 50 cargo transport planes have been lost to weather and accidents so far, and this attrition rate does not seem to end soon.
Another deadly battle concludes in the jungles of Bai Thuong, with nearly 150,000 dead on both sides after a month long struggle for the highlands overlooking our defenses along our line in Indochina.
The Indochina Front is characterized by the wide use of defoliation chemicals by the Japanese Air Force, in an attempt to improve visibility for pilots and prevent operations from our light troops and partisans operating in the jungle.
Army Group Indochina, under the command of Marshal Chi, is now formed from local units operating in the area, as well as the newly formed 25. Light Army arriving from the Northern Theatre. Now with over 500,000 men under its command, the Army Group prepares for offensives down the coast of Vietnam.
With the assistance of NRA equipment and advisors, the Korean Army now stands strong at over 200,000 men. Most of the troops are levied garrison and militia troops, equipped with a motley assortment of captured Japanese equipment and outdated Chinese Hanyang 88 rifles. Still, the Korean peoples have proven themselves ready to defend their land in the event of another Japanese invasion.
Our first convoy escort groups are slated for production at the recently captured shipyards at Dalian.
Although the Republic's air force, the ROCAF, has ditched their interwar biplanes and now has proper hardware, it still lacks the training and support for its air crews. More effort will be needed if we are to contend with the veteran IJAAF.
The CPC is routed from their river valley defenses in Hancheng, and communist troops to the north at Shilou are also close to breaking.
The 4th Army and 30th Route Army begins its assault on Yan'an. Although they lack proper equipment to break down the defenses in the fortress-city, the defenders are in an even worse shape, after their recent defeats at Hancheng and Shilou.

[Author's Note]:

I mentioned before that the capture of Yan'an would be impossible without heavy armor, assault guns, or other heavy duty equipment - and it shows. My troops have an average attack value of 8-12%, which is really pitiful.

This is a special situation however, because most of the CPC troops were at 0 organization after their retreats from the mountains. There's only around 10 garrison/militia divisions defending the city, and they have such low soft attack and defend values that I can comfortably continue this assault for years - if it needs to go on that long. My focus on toughness (the ability to sustain damage while attacking), is also paying off here.

While under attack, divisions cannot receive upgrades or reinforcements. So even if I do no damage, I can stop their damaged divisions from reorganizing or upgrading. I can then bring in the heavy guns once they are ready, and they will just have to face the same 8 garrison/militia divisions as before, instead of the roughly 25 divisions I would have to face if I let them build back up.
Much of China's infrastructure is still in a poor state, as we have yet to dedicate sufficient resources towards its modernization and reconstruction. The supply lines to Indochina are prioritized for now, and railways are to be built in 500 km long chunks.
The IJAAF begins strafing our port defenses at Pusan, which manages to hit the magazine of a coastal battery and take with it a company of artillerymen.
Everyone in Korea that an invasion to retake the peninsula was imminent. More troops are sent to the beaches at Pusan.
A week-long aerial bombardment concludes with a massive amphibious invasion aimed at taking the largest port in Korea. The port's defenders, which are mostly manned by green recruits, reformed from Manchuria's Army Corps, are ordered to fight to the last man.
The recruits at the shore are quickly overtaken by Japanese SNLF and marines, as all of our hardpoints have been blown to bits by the Japanese fleet sitting off the shore of Pusan.
More SNLF and marines, totaling nearly 100,000 men of the IJA, land at Incheon and south of Suwon, and begin attacking the city.
While the Japanese are occupied with their operations in Korea, the general staff gives the green light to Operation Rugby. Our troops, which had been preparing for months off the coast of Taiwan, board modified passenger liners and depart for the island. Our air force also starts to soften the Japanese garrison at Gaoxiong.
These modified passenger ships intentionally beach themselves at Taiwan, and our troops find their way ashore from specially built gangplanks. These types of landings would be a disaster if the beaches were guarded.
Japanese troops, fresh off the beaches at Incheon, begin their attack on Seoul, which is largely guarded by the newly raised Korean Army, the ROKA.
A small garrison of MPs are forced from Taibei, and our troops quickly seize control of the city.
Our light troops begin marching south to capture Gaoxiong before the Japanese can land more reinforcements. The 1st Fleet, meanwhile, provides naval support for our troops north of Gaoxiong.
Meanwhile, at Pusan, the constant hellfire rained from IJN battleships is taking its toll. A 5 km deep strip of land along the coast is already heavily cratered, and the city itself is blown apart a block at a time. Our reinforcements can barely last a week before having to pull out due to casualties sustained.
Our forces in central Korea are faring much better. A detachment of Japanese marines surrenders at Ch'ongyang, and the assaults on Suwon and Seoul have largely failed, as the Japanese invaders now dig in for the counterattack.
The IJAAF is still dominant over the skies of Korea. The ROCAF North Command transfers interceptor wings to Korea, only to have the squadrons move back into the interior for repairs after a few short sorties.
Our torpedo bombers respond by attacking the Japanese fleet off of Pusan, but they are cut down by concentrated anti-aircraft fighters, as well as Japanese interceptors operating off the Japanese mainland. The CAGs are sent back to Dalian for repairs and reorganization.
Sosan is cleared of the Japanese, and our troops now work to eliminate the SNLF now trapped at Incheon.
The 1st Fleet retreats from the Taiwan Strait after air attacks claimed 3 destroyers and crippled another 2.
Our troops are able to capture the port of Gaoxiong shortly after.
Japanese fanaticism has led to the entire, 10,000 man garrison at Gaoxiong fighting to nearly the last man. The refusal to surrender has scarred our troops, who need to endure constant and reckless attacks from the enemy.
The USN and Royal Navy seem to have suffered a massive defeat in the Pacific, after word arrives that the British carrier Ark Royal was sunk in action. Chiang realizes that he cannot rely on the West to fight the Japanese at sea. Chief of the Navy Ouyang Ge is ordered to double his efforts in the buildup and modernization of the ROCN.
Our synthetic industry at Wuhan is booming, and it is allowing us to divert more of our construction capability to improving infrastructure near Indochina and in the interior.
Control of Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait will provide a big boost to our shipping abilities. The Japanese presence in the Pacific dwindles slowly but surely...
The Japanese SNLF at Incheon is surrounded and eliminated down to the last man. The Japanese invasion in the north has failed...
...but the invasion at Pusan continues to claim the lives of our defenders by the thousands. The constant hail of naval artillery is chewing up our troops faster than we can reinforce them. The initial landing force of 80,000 Japanese marines is now reinforced by another 100,000 men of the IJA.
Heavy artillery pieces initially given to our coastal garrisons is diverted to the assault at Yan'an, where they will be instrumental for destroying the many pillboxes and bunkers around the city.
"Unit 428" in Lanzhou has reached their first milestone in their atomic research, and now continues with research into nuclear physics.
Our air force, the ROCAF, begins healing its scars after its recent defeats above Pusan and the Tsushima Strait. It's now firmly established officer training programs will help train much needed NCOs for the ROCAF and the NRA.
In a daring move, a fleet of 3 destroyer squadrons begins its midnight escape from its shelters in Pusan...
...and are able to escape into the Korea Strait after a few tense hours of evading Japanese naval and air patrols. Strict light and noise discipline was instrumental in their escape, as any hint of their presence would leave them vulnerable to the Japanese seaplanes patrolling overhead.
The reason for the evacuation of the destroyer fleet become clear the next day. Pusan is simply undefendable with the constant bombardment of the Japanese fleet. In Operation Hacksaw, our troops are to retreat to the first perimeter along the Geum River, and then, if necessary, retreat further to Suwon and Seoul. Korean president Syngman Rhee is not at all happy with the abandonment of the Southern half of Korea, but understands there is no other option.

Army Group Korea, which was initially manned only by 300,000 recruits and green soldiers equipped after the surrender of Manchuria, is now expanded to almost 750,000 troops after transfers from our reserves in Beijing and Mukden. The NRA now prepares itself for another protracted land war...
Thanks for reading! As always, feedback on history, gameplay, etc. is welcome in the discussion thread. Check back on Mondays for more episodes.

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[BlackICE 8.6] Republic of China AAR - Episode 14: China United

Images: 58, author: bigwoods, published: 2017-04-26

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