August 22nd 1938 - Germany
The damned leftist socialist newspapers have leaked information regarding the formation of a Fallschimjager division. Paratroopers. Infantry that will don parachutes, and be able to jump from transport aircraft, directly into combat.
The world scoffs at this idea, as many high command staff members have.
But Hitler is convinced this new type of warfare will change the world.
On maps and boards across planning rooms in germany, big red hash marks and arrows streak west, east, south, and north. Little placards of the symbols of the Fallschimjager dot the areas infront of and around these arrows and hashes.
To many in the high command it looks like the work of a madman...to a few, total stupidity.
To fewer still. Brilliance.
A small, but stout man was seen at late hours with the Furher. A little cavalry general to entertain the little lance corporal? A word is buzzing around Berlin. "Blitzkrieg". No one knows what it means exactly, but in the cabarets and avenues of Berlin, you can FEEL this "blitzkrieg" electrifying the air. People no longer walk down the streets, heads hung in shame. A quiet desperation emplaced by Versaille. This electricity is reviving Berlin.
The fact that crime in southern and east berlin, has gone into full blown rebellion against the people there, is of little concern to the citizens enjoying the nightlife, food, and drink once again for the first time in 20 years.
So what if you have to step over some broken glass every once in a while.
Berlin is alive again.
Aug 22nd 1938 - Italy
Benito sips wine enjoying the morning paper, and the cool breeze through the pondering streets of Roma.
"Para-tropas en Berlin" The headlines read. Amusing. Men from the sky. Sounds like the Furher has been up late listening to Yankee radio serials again.
However one cannot deny the little lance corporals brazen action.
Germany has raised a division! In bold defiance of Versaille!
Perhaps Il Duce has under estimated Hitler. Until now he thought his hopes for a fascist europe lay in his protege, Francisco Franco in spain.
But what kind of fascist leader of men allows his national soveriegnty to be so easily incorporated into Roma? This thought had truely never crossed Il Duce's mind.
As usual, Benito jumps into a murderous rage, shooting one house maid to death, and severely injuring a guard who tried to protect the maid.
1st Italia Armored Division is ordered to Spain, to show that sissy Franco who is boss.
The chemical factory in Navarra is almost complete, by next month at the latest.
Then the Furher of germany and the Emperor of Roma will have much to discuss.
Aug 22nd 1938 - Japan
The first troops of the upcoming operation arrive in china and are familiarized with the gauges in their new machines. While these machines are built in Mengchuko, and some differences exist, many acclumate to them in record time.
After a week of classes, briefings, and open forums (something new in the IJA amongst its junior officer corps) 3 Divisions are formed.
The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Independent Whirlwind Divisions.
Japanese spies have heard no chatter among chinese troops or high commands that these divisions have been spotted, or information leaked.
Even after over 600 vehicles rumbled through the streets of Peking, there is no indication that the chinese have had any prior knowledge.
1st IWD moves into position south of Kwesui, 2nd and 3rd move down along the coast to link up with the Korean Command for operation Falling Rain.
Bristling with brand new machine guns. The small engined (and there for low fuel consumption) armored cars of the 3 Independent Whirlwind divisions, ready for combat.
There is no hiding the 600 vehicles from the chinese now...
In game terms, light tank IIIs use 5 supply/oil a move, have 180 attack vs infantry and cost 2400 production.
An armored car uses 3 supply/oil a move or attack, has 140 attack vs infantry, and costs 1600 production.
For Japan, against China, this is a big deal. Im fuel starved, supply starved, dont want to build guns that will be subjected to counter battery, but need to slaughter huge hordes of infantry.
I think this is my best bet for clearing the remaining chinese from the plains, and capturing more supply.
The HP difference I dont find makes a difference, just this turn lost a light tank and tankette to merely infantry. Id much rather that have been a cheaper armored car that I lost.
Armored cars are more stack points, at 15 thats pretty high. So I dont think ill be putting all three independent divisions in the same battle. 30 SFTs of armored cars is a tad higher (450, most ill get is 300 or 360, so a signifigant penalty) than I could get with 2 or 3 hexes frontage.
And if I surround something by more than 3 hexes, I surely dont need my armored cars to attack it.
Wanted to point that out, since until now nothing has really involved the stack limits that were asked about earlier.
Falling Rain is really my way of experimenting with the stack limits before I go to war in europe. And as a strategy of falling around heavily fortified areas, as water flows around rocks...using Sun Tzu against the chinese! ... But mostly testing stack limits.
Cause XP for soldiers is great. Practical XP for me personally, is invaluable. Knowing the nuances before I commit germany to war, is crucial. As I can screw up many times in china and not be really punished for it (tho ernie has given me several bloody noses!) but I must be right every single time in Europe if germany has any chance.
Back to the story at hand, Japanese armies are on the move. A massive airstrike against condensed Chinese air assets results in many destroyed enemy aircraft on the ground and in the air. Losses were moderate. Other air attacks soften up enemy positions or harass enemy troops.
3rd army opens up its artillery guns on positions to the south west. 5th Army lurches forward and routs 2 chinese divisions.
Korean army consolidates and presses an attack against Kaifeng, threatening air assets, artillery, and an HQ posted there. Combat engineers assigned to the army construct supply routes to Kaifeng in anticipation of the upcoming battle. Korean armor threatens to isolate Kaifeng.
SNLF forces with the help of a captured chinese armored train, clear the rail lines connecting the northern and southern japanese forces.
And 1st Army creates a hole in the chinese lines towards Wuhan.
(armored trains are being researched and decided on how they should work, previously they had been abused, now they have no attack or defense, but a huge amount of HPs, 4000. Thats 40 infantry!!! so while it cant decide a battle in any way, it can absorb as many hits as an entire division, so sending it along in battles that may cost you alot of troops might be beneficial as any hits it takes is a hit thats not killing your infantry, the idea is to use this armored train in the battle for Kaifeng to hopefully dampen my losses there)
All in all japanese losses on the first days of Falling rain are relatively light, as are losses to the chinese.
Though these opening moves are about positioning. When the Whirlwind Divisions come into action we shall see great loss of life on the chinese side.
Some 1,200 men, 40 aircraft and 40 tanks were lost by the japanese.
Around 18,000 men killed or missing for the chinese, along with 140 aircraft.