To the Empire Eternal Part 7 - 1942 Part One

Author: Electricfox
Published: 2018-11-16

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To the Empire Eternal

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Images: 7, author: Electricfox, published: 2018-11-16

British diplomats, including Winston Churchill, former First Sea Lord, meet with Franklin Roosevelt in late December 1941 in Jamaica.

With France, Britain and America fighting a common foe on one hand and France and America at war against Nazi Germany on the other, it was decided in January 1941 to create an alliance in order to work together on strategic plans and help shape the changing world.
The creation of the 'Allies' or 'Second Entente' on the 5th January 1942 would set the stage for the aftermath of the two seperate wars being waged in the world by major powers. Later in January, Holland and the Dutch East Indies also joined the alliance, seeking assistance against the Japanese invasion.
A British soldier guarding Japanese POWs during the early Formosa campaign
Continuing the offensive began last year, British forces moved into Gaoxiong on Formosa, defeating the Japanese forces there and forcing many into an unexpected surrender. This was a bitter blow for the surging Japanese forces and one that the Japanese high command was determined to reverse as soon as possible.
Their attempts would lead to many naval skirmishes off the coast of Formosa between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Grand Fleet of the Royal Navy, during one particular skirmish an event occurred which would make historians of the future take note.
On the 21st January 1942, a small fleet of destroyers, operating as a part of the Grand Fleet came across the Japanese cruiser 'Karuma', operating as part of Dai 27 Kantai out of Tokyo, using the cover of darkness and their superior RADAR systems to close the distance silently, the destroyers surrounded the elderly cruiser and Admiral Sommerville personally lead a boarding party which captured the ship with minimal casualties thanks to the absolute shock which hit the Japanese sailors, some of who awoke to a Webley revolver in the face as armed British sailors swarmed the decks.

Sommerville radioed the Grand Fleet, causing Grand Admiral Jellicoe to remark in disbelief 'The man is a modern day pirate!', before dispatching his congratulations to Sommerville who was then ordered to return with the Karuma to Portsmouth where the captured vessel would be put on display for the British public, a bit of good news following the regretful mobilization of the public into a war footing, something the government had been trying to avoid.
The cruiser Karuma entering the Solent on her way to Portsmouth
Meanwhile in Europe, the tides were turning against the Axis forces, with Finland once again regretting its life choices as the Soviet army steamrollered over tracks that had barely been covered by snow since they were last travelled over by Soviet tanks.
French and German forces, meanwhile, were stuck in a war similar to the last Great War, with skirmishes according in the boggy fields along the Maginot line but neither side able to make enough progress to break through.
Back in the Pacific, the Japanese once again tried to take Formosa back from the British, sending an assault force ashore at Taipei. However, no sooner had they come ashore than they were assaulted by the Matilda II tanks which were held in reserve, ready to commit to repel any Japanese attack. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the Japanese puppet forces of China continued to throw themselves at the steel wall of the Royal Marines, even their best attempts to bomb the Marines out of the island fortress failed miserably.
Chinese artillery tries to force the British Marines out of Hong Kong, to no avail.
In the Philippines, the Japanese were being allowed no time to rest on their laurels as American forces pushed ashore and outward from their beach-head.
And later in March, the inevitable occurred. This time the Soviet Union, fed up of Finlands inability to stay out of the war, created a puppet government in Helsinki and now turned its full attention to the German front.

Chaos and confusion reigned supreme within the Nazi party in the immediate aftermath, with dozens of officers being arrested and summarily executed. Even the 'Prince of Terror' himself, Heinrich Himmler was not exempt from the manhunt, being arrested and executed in a show trial presided by the infamous Roland Freisler on May 8th 1942.
Out of the dust came one unexpected figure, who had been seen by many as little more than a joke, but now he became the leader of Nazi Germany.
That man was Josef Goebbels...
To be continued

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