From: Enderlin, ND, USA
Most of us who are reading and posting things here on this forum play war games because we want to know....what if. I know a lot of people are more interested in a strictly historical version of what if. I personally like to stretch my imagination with what if. This morning I saw a show on the history channel which really was interesting for us who like ...what if. The show called the "Samurai and the Swastika" discussed numerous interesting what if's.
I will list a few of the good ones I can remember. I would be interested in what what everyone thinks about them and what the potential for inclusion in WITP would be.
MADAGASCAR: Apparently Hitler was pretty adamant that Japan should invade Madagascar which would have really screwed up the supply lines for India, ANZAC and cut off the southern end of the Suez. Apparently the Imperial Navy was willing but the army was not, and refused to become involved in the operations a couple of times. The plan was to invade Ceylon and then Madagascar. Both fairly large operations with a really long supply line. However, Madagascar was not held in great strength by Vichy and certainly would have been easy for Japan to take, holding it would have been much more difficult with South Africa nearby. But the strategic implications would have definetly hurt the allied cause even more troops and supplies which would have to be used to expel the Japanese and early in the war this would have been a huge strain on Britain and the Commonwealth. I know the map falls short of including Madagascar but it is a fun what if to talk and think about. By the way it seems that Japan opted for a eastward thrust toward Midway rather than westward toward Madagascar... what if?
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: The Germans transferred technology to Japan in the way of blueprints, tools, proto-types, also some intelligence info. Examples are whole aircraft, jet engines, high HP combustion engines, nuclear material. In the end these were all delivered a bit late. Many however were turned into projects which were nearly complete toward the end of the war. The germans even began building large transport subs which were intended to be used to ship in rare materials like rubber, silk, etc. The Japanese in turn would receive additional material as mentioned above. The war ended before these subs were put into service. Don't really know how this would be incorporated into WITP.
PANAMA CANAL: I've seen this before but the Japanese Navy built several large (biggest subs built until the nuclear age) which carried 3 attack planes (Senna?) which were meant specifically for a strike on one of the locks of the Panama canal. There was a very real potential to damage the locks, if the locks could be hit the lake would drain and it would take months or even years to refill the lake. The mission was begun and aborted due to the landings on Okinawa. The ramifications of loosing the Panama canal would have much complicated shipping movement from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I think it's been discussed before, but with the large amount of valuable resources that the Japanese put into this effort it would be hard to ignore in game terms. Personally I think they would have been better off building more of their fleet attack subs which in resource terms would have likely been 2 or 3 to 1.
INDIAN NATIONAL ARMY: I know this is an old and potentially sore or at least exhausting subject to many. None the less it is a great what if? The potential to create massive disruption in India and potentially large amounts of troops which can supplement the forces of IJA. Also the idea of cutting off China from one of it's supply sources could only help the prospects of IJA units in China.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: Sorry to use something out of today's headlines but the use of biological and nuclear agents was definitely being researched by both Japan and Germany throughout the war. Fortunately for all they were never widely used. But I think the potential for use should exist in WITP. Certainly resources were spent researching these.
I know that many of these will not make it into WITP but perhaps we will be able to try some of them with the editor.
Don't forget it's the smaller what if's that keep us coming back to play UV and in the not too distant future WITP. I just can't help thinking about a few of the bigger what if's....