What if the Japanese took Madagascar? It was a French possession at the time in the hands of the Vichy. Japan did ask Germany to twist the Vichy's arm to allow them to occupy the island, as they had done French Indochina, after the Pacific War started. Clearly, if Nagumo and the Kido Butai had sailed into the IO (as they historically did) and made for the island with an occupation force and Vichy aquessence to their occupation they could have taken the island. Now, historically, the British invaded and took the islands after they learned that the Japanese planned to occupy them. What if that bit of spy work didn't happen? Would a Japanese occupation of Madagascar make a difference? I could see where it might with convoys heading to the Middle East / Eqypt. I could also see it making some difference for German U-boats in the IO. The big question is if it were occupied by roughly a division of Japanese troops how long could they have held the island before the Allies retook it?