March 7 1938 - Germany
Reorganization of the Wehrmacht is complete. Poland falls to an allied coup, but they were always a puppet of the allies.
Many nations fear germanys might and have signed on with the allies. In discussion round tables, Feldmarshals consider if the allies have stacked to many claims. Many times was the phrase "To defend everything, is to defend nothing" was heard echoing the same prussian halls that once boomed Karl von Clauswitz's voice as his and napoleons armies marched victoriously across Europe.
News that a right wing fascist coup has been successful in throwing off the chains of "democracy" somewhere in central america intrigues many in the OKW.
March 7th 1938 - Italy
A party is held in Madrid, where much was discussed between the father of fascism and his favorite apprentice.
Much wine was consumed.
Many jokes were made of the germans.
Italian ships report there are no french garrisons in its coastal cities. Drunk, but armed, Italian sailors load up to make a surprise visit, but upon sobering up discovered that the cities were indeed manned.
Ethiopia is successfully evacuated. Talks of giving the territory to Franco was circulated in the tabloids.
March 7th 1938 - Japan
It was a costly month for the imperial japanese army, but gains were made. The trapped Chinese army made a desperate attempt to rescue its forces. 10,000 men were lost attempting to flee the pocket by any means, but in an astonishing turn of events, enemy saboteurs were able to destroy or disable many japanese artillery pieces as they made their early morning infiltration through enemy lines.
The pocket was reclosed later in the afternoon, but not before almost 10,000 men made it out alive. Early the next morning, Hangchow was captured and its production centers turned over the imperial consolt for the province. Little over 8,000 men still remained, most were captured, many simply returned to their lives as workers, blending into the large population.
It was bittersweet news to the battered 67th Imperial Infantry Division, whose forces were over run the night before. Beaten and weary, the survivors are loaded onto transports for R&R back home in Japan. Its rumored this heroic division will be the first to receive elite SNLF units, and will be included in operation Falling Rain. The division has earned its new moniker, 67th IID "Seizon Sha" or simply, The Survivors.
All in all the operation was a success, 7,000 japanese soldiers lost their lives, 80 heavy artillery pieces were lost for good. Its a shame the pocket net only 60% of its original containment but not having to fight a costly urban battle in which many more divisions than the 67th would have been battered for months was a blessing. A large production center, capable of supply a good number of Japanese troops is now in imperial hands, and the troops are still ready for perhaps another short operation before Falling Rain.
Upwards of 30,000 Chinese soldiers lost thier lives in the battles and actions surrounding the operation, and many more divisions were rendered moot. Still, nearly a million men face off against the imperials.
In the north, the hammer pushes chinese units towards the anvil, south of the anvil, at the cost of many Japanese lives, night infiltration assaults are launched against all chinese positions. The brutal hand to hand combat by the light of flares and artillery fire, cost the Japanese dearly, exhausting 5th army. Over 300 sq km of chinese farmland falls into Japanese hands, and the Chinese army is pushed back and pressed away from the anvil.
Two japanese armored divisions sit poised to exploit any weaknesses left after the Chinese reorganize.
This hopefully presents a critical choice for China. Abandon the troops who are trapped (tho still own the rail line out, cleared the troops off of it, effectively cutting that entire army corps off from its southern friends, but wasnt able to move in and occupy the hex, I think due to Zone of Control.
Or, hopefully, spread out the fresh divisions to cover the advance in an attempt to save their brethren. Then the armor and Korean reinforcements can gain a bit more ground and seal the pocket, before the imperial army must rest and prepare for the next campaign season.
No pictures or battle plans sadly, dont want my opponent to get any hints as to what may come next :)
Suffice to say in this version, china is not a push over, it will be a long slow slog against the chinese hordes. And it will surely attrite the japanese army and if they cant wrap it up, or find a reasonable stalemate in which they can stop focusing on the area, cause the same inevitable conclusion as the real war.
I personally underestimated the attacking strength of close to 40,000 Chinese attacking a unit that took a readiness hit, and wasnt entrenched. I figured to kill many more than I did. 52 was a shy bit lower than my expectation i must admit. But 10,000 dead chinese is 10,000 dead chinese.
So far I think its around 30k dead Japanese to 100k dead Chinese. Not a great ratio. Tho many of the casualties were recent in the infantry offensive. Hope to increase the number of dead chinese by quite a bit in the next turn.
Total japanese casualties in china were around 500,000 from 1937-1945. We'll assume we've already lost 10-15k in the landings and push through Mengchuko. So 45k already is not super great. I have 9 months to go in this year!