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The War Journal of Baron Tekisasu Belasar, Prime Minister of Imperial Japan

Discussion in 'Fiction' started by belasar, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    ......Manchukuo has been under our administration since 1931 when Imperial forces took control from various bandit warlords. In 1934 we offered the local populace a measure of extremely limited autonomy by installing the Kangde Emperor Puyi, under our watchful eye of course. General Nishio's report states that the country is reasonably peaceful and Puyi has publicly supported our position, though privately he has been troublesome as he chafes at his limited control over his fate.

    This no doubt has been fueled by our further expansion into China and the embrace of Wang Jingwei as our chosen leader of China proper, rather than extend his control as Imperial Forces move forward. Political and Military realities has forced this arrangement upon us as Puyi lacks popular approval among most Chinese and our various military moves have lacked a comprehensive strategic focus, a defect we must address.

    The recommendation of the Army is to keep Manchukuo as a separate "state" so as to act as a political counterweight to any excessive ambitions demonstrated by Wang Jingwei and his re-organized Republic of China. This I can heartily endorse as I do not wish to see China become strong enough to force us to withdraw. The Army's military recommendations regarding Manchukuo's local forces are less appealing to me.

    At present Manchukuo's military could be described as an Armed Constabulary suitable for keeping order against unarmed civilians and minor criminals, but incapable of defending itself against any opponent. This helps the Army keep the peace without giving it anxiety over any revolutionary impulses, but I am still concerned.

    We are deeply concerned that the German-Russian war could at some point involve us as we have publicly allied ourselves with Hitler's Reich, so much so that as much production as can be spared will be dedicated to improving the Kwantung Army with heavy weapons and Armor. I feel we should make the same improvements in the Manchukuo Imperial Army that we intend for Wang Jingwei's RoC Army so that it could act as an auxiliary force to the Kwantung Army.

    The Army may have concerns that we cannot provide enough resources to upgrade these troops, but they would be a fraction of the forces we plan to raise in China proper. Nor does the possibility of insurrection seem likely as the 700,000 man Kwantung Army should be more than capable of keeping Puyi in line. With the steady improvement in the Kwantung Army and Puyi's younger brother, and heir, Pujii in our pocket I see no real threat of trouble to our control.

    At present no other on the Council has expressed any concerns so I must hope to slowly sway the Army to my way of thinking.....
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....Our man in China proper is Wang Jingwei, a contemporary and confidant of Sun Yat-sen until his death and a member of the Kuomintang until frozen out by Chaing. He lost face when efforts he advocated to co-operate with the Communist's fell apart and readily accepted our offer to act as Head of State of the Reorganized National Government of China in the areas controlled by Imperial Forces.

    As a member of the Kuomintang his politics were of the center-left and supported the position that co-operation with Mao was a worthwhile goal, but since the failure of this effort and his joining of our cause, he has demonstrated a more conservative and anti-Communist stance. If this is a reflection of his true feelings or simply a fa├žade created for our benefit is unclear. So long as he remains tractable to our needs it does not really matter.

    Intelligence reports on Wang Jingwei's administration do not paint an image of a popular or well respected leader, but this is hardly his fault alone. Our military operations have disrupted the economy, our heavy handed security measures has created a new enemy for everyone we capture and our cultural arrogance has contaminated anything that comes into contact with all things Japanese, the Reformed National Government being one of these.

    On his side of the ledger, it must be admitted that he, like nearly all Chinese leaders, can not get control of rampant graft and corruption. Every Chinese official seem to view this as an accepted and traditional manner of compensation for officials at every level of government. We must change our ways, but for this to work, so must they.....
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    ......The Army's blueprint, crafted by General Nishio and Colonel Bobimoto, for extricating the Empire from the quagmire of our China adventure is nothing short of breathtaking in its scope. Addressing not only military matters, as would be expected, but political and economic conditions that affect and are affected by our current and planned future military operations. I would have hardly credited such a program from the Army based upon their past performance.

    I have no wish to be unduly harsh on the ranks of the Army's Officer Corps but time and again they have demonstrated a strong linear approach to problem solving. Useful no doubt in the tackling conventional battlefield problems, a stumbling block when faced with variables that can not be overcome by a heroic bayonet charge led by a grim faced officer, sword aloft and our battle flag fluttering in the wind.

    During our previous discussions we had touched upon the need for both economic development and political reform to redress the mistakes we have made in the past, but it is heartening to see the Army leadership embracing these actions as their own since so many of these problems were created by the Army's lack of finesse in anything outside of battle tactics.

    Perhaps Nishio's time observing Herr Hitler's conquering armies at first hand, before his recall home, has given him the insight to understand the flaws in our own procedure's and actions. Rumor's of Germany's uncompromising stance with her subject populations and the discord and dissent they create in their wake, if western propaganda is only half true, convince me they are not path to follow too closely.

    Like many of our plans, it is fraught with many moving parts. Economic projects will not only provide work for local populations but provide the Empire with tools and weapons to expand and hold new territory. Political changes could ease military security concerns, freeing troops for other deployments. Military objectives will ensure both new resources and a security buffer to give the local populace a peaceful land to be productive.

    The challenge will be to advance on all fronts, Military, Economic and Political, equally. Something we have rarely done in the past.......
     
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  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....Military operations and Economic Investment can have a near instantaneous effect on a people or state, but Political Initiatives can take considerable time and effort to present tangible results. Yet long term Political gains can overshadow the sometimes transitory results of Military and Economic actions. We must address our less than enlightened Political activities within the Empire's subject peoples.

    In my heart of hearts I would prefer to see China divided into perhaps 4 or 5 separate nation-states roughly the size of Manchukuo. Large enough to be viable, but too small to present a credible threat to our presence and dependent upon the Empire for protection from their neighbors. While I believe such a state would present the Empire with the fewest long term tribulations for those who succeed me in this office, I am reluctantly forced to support the Army's political goal of creating a unified Chinese state.

    Such an effort on our part would appear as temporizing to America whom we need to be at least unsure of our long term intentions. Nor would it go un-noticed by the local population even though they themselves cannot seem to agree on any form of unity among the nation as a whole. They have many ideas, but no consensus.

    One thing Chaing, Mao, the odd Warlord and ourselves agree upon, is that unity can only be brought about though force. Still we must have political stability in the areas we administer for any continued Military solution to have hope for success. I suppose that in a manner of speaking I will get what I wish for. Since we have neither the intent or the resources to completely occupy all of China, there will still be a Nationalist and Communist enclaves, the Manchukuo Kingdom and our Chinese state. The rub will be that this unified Chinese state might in time have the clout and will to force us out.

    With any luck I will have long passed before history can accuse me of being as short sighted in my choices as I have accused my predecessors on the Imperial Council of being. Then again if we lose this war with the west it will seem the least of my failures.......
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....Political Initiatives.

    The Army proposes we change the official name of our Chinese state from the Reorganized National Government of China to the simple, more elegant Republic of China (RoC). The former has a unfinished, almost revolutionary taste to it and the Army abhors anything remotely revolutionary in nature. It also harkens back to Chaing's Kuomintang Nationalist government which is unacceptable. There is also the hope that it will resonate in the West and especially America.

    Of course this is a purely cosmetic change designed to bury the inadequacies of the current Chinese governmental system, but it is often true that a eager young man will willingly comply with the desires of a pretty young maiden when such coming from a strident old crone are avoided like the plague.

    More tangible will be the organization of local and regional elections for both individual offices and perhaps a national assembly. It would be dangerous to have an election held for Wang Jingwei's position at this time as he could very well lose without some form of overt effort to turn the decision our way. The Army favors allowing the small American Marine detachment to remain and to have American diplomats act as official observers in these elections.

    This is somewhat of a surprise as they distrust foreigners as a general rule, but the Marine force is to small to interfere with our operations and the need to give America a close up look is vital.

    The most controversial proposal is for the Empire to curtail the "Japanesization" of China and our other Imperial holdings. Basically allowing them to worship, dress and speak as the would prefer without imposing our religions, language and customs by fiat. Proclamations, notifications, orders, indeed any official documents issued by the RoC to be printed first in the Chinese and then a Japanese translation added to follow. Documents issued by the Empire will still first be in Japanese, then followed in Chinese.

    We will no longer force our culture, customs or language but we will still offer access to these to those interested and even offer desired inducements like scholarships and travel to the Home Islands to those we deem desirable and deserving of such largesse. We must give the appearance of leading by example rather than ruling by edict.

    Such benevolence to the our Chinese subjects will not be popular with out Teahouse Imperialist's here at home and could create discord in the Army barracks in China. For the former, our secret police will have to keep them in line, as to the latter, that is General Nishio's problem......
     
  6. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....Economic Development.

    For many in Japan, those in power at least, China is viewed as natural resource treasure chest to be emptied to fill the ravenous appetite of our factories and shipyards. Such an attitude has been acceptable while we were at peace and the Chinese Bandits remained no more than a nuisance, but the coming conflict will make this approach unworkable with each passing month.

    As it stands now we are already feeling the effects as we have had to halt or slow some projects to allow us the materials and manpower to complete others in time to be ready for upcoming operations necessitated by the Western sanctions on our economy. While we hope to realize increased production by stream lining the process in the manner of concentrating upon a reduced number of types that are as production cost effective as possible and to expand facilities as much as practical, there is still a limiting factor.

    Labor.

    A long war, and I am convinced it must be a protracted one, will make huge demands on our labor force to yield every man of military age that can be spared to fill the ranks. As our strategy is at least partially based upon attrition, it can be no other way. Some of the shortfall can be made up by employing women, teenager's not yet old enough to serve and older persons who would not normally be part of the work force, but it will not in itself be enough to meet all our labor needs.

    Forced labor is another option of course, and we may be forced to adopt it to some degree, but it has the nasty habit of creating a disgruntled mass that must require a security force to keep under control. This is not cost effective. It makes greater sense to place the factory's where the labor is plentiful and cheap.

    Nor does this factor in the cost of transportation. Materials extracted from the mainland, shipped to Japan and transported to factories who then send them back to the very ports they arrived from, to be further shipped to the far reaches of the Empire, including back to China is wasteful of oil and merchantmen, and are placed at risk by enemy interception along the way.

    There is energy in the form of Coal to power industry, bulk ores to produce steel and masses of labor to populate the factories. Can the equation be any simpler?

    We will of course frame this as development to help the oppressed Chinese masses reach the potential denied them by Colonial overlords and Bandit thieves, but the real winner in this will the Empire who can expand its industrial base without further strain to the economy of the Home Islands. Beside every Chinese or Korean putting in a full days work in the mill, foundry and mine can not be off causing mischief elsewhere......
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....Economic Development in China-Korea-Manchukuo region would take several different paths and be dependent upon the resources and needs of each particular part.

    Energy.

    We are already exploiting coal deposits to feed our energy needs at home, but expansion of industry within the mainland region will call for greater quantities to be extracted, and this then will provide greater employment for the local population. Of a more interesting possibility is the use of certain types of Coal deposits that can then be turned into a petroleum product to be used as a fuel for just about any type of engine.

    Out pilot test programs have demonstrated that such is indeed possible, though the process is too esoteric for me to understand fully. What I can understand is that our work to date is not enough advanced to make it a major source of POL (Petroleum,Oil,Lubricants) for the Empire as of this time. Germany has made great strides I am told and I have tasked Ambassador Kourei with the mission of prying these secrets from Herr Hitler.

    He of course could demand a price we are unable or unwilling to pay, but he should me made to understand that the more efficient we can be in energy needs, the more of a challenge we can provide against the Commonwealth, and eventually, America. Every Plane, Tank and ship they must deploy against us is one they cannot send against his Reich.

    If he refuses, then we will proceed as best we can on our own.

    I have been presented some optimistic projections that properly exploited this process could supply our minimal operating needs for survival alone. I have some doubts about that, but if it could simply meet the needs of Imperial Forces operating in the Chinese/Korean area, this would be a tremendous relief to the needs of the Empire as a whole......
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Mineral Ores and Timber.

    As with Coal for energy we harvest much of the raw ingredients for steel production within our area of influence, but the coming war and the need to expand industry within China, Manchukuo and Korea proper will require we expand our extraction efforts. This, coupled with the transportation of the same offer us opportunities to expand the Chinese and Korean workforce. Workers with coin in their pocket spend it locally, thus re-infusing the economy over and over again.

    Harvesting of Timber and the milling of wood are back breaking jobs best left to those who can not or will not serve in the defense of the Empire. It is strange how vital such mundane materials are in a modern industrial war, but they can be nearly as valuable as steel in the right application. Landing craft and small coastal escort vessels, gliders and trainers for our air force's, even as material for ordinary packing crates of ammunition and spare parts.

    Existing foundries, mills and factories in China/Korea must be utilized to their maximum, where possible expanded and in some cases built from scratch to take account of any excess raw materials not sent to the Homeland and to accommodate shifted manufacturing of non-essential items and war materials intended for our Auxiliary Military forces.

    Chinese of wealth and stature must be encouraged to invest in joint ventures with Japan as equal partners. Offered as a "no questions asked' basis as to how they acquired such wealth they might wish to trade their hoarded capitol for a guaranteed, regular and legal source of income derived by unending and lucrative government contracts. Such 'joint' ventures can pay great dividends politically in China and abroad......
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Manufacturing, Infrastructure.

    During wartime all production is war related, but some of it goes beyond the common tools of war and have a purpose after the guns fall silent. These are just as needful as planes and ships but it sometimes becomes easy to set these aside in the confusion of the moment. Expansion of much of these are impossible at home for the foreseeable future, though they can be nurtured in fertile ground.

    Japan is a maritime nation, and the sea, our highway. China however is a great land mass and moving goods and people quickly can be accomplished with rail transportation. Much is now in existence, but more rails, rolling stock and locomotives will be needed as we add spurs and sidings to expanded or new facilities, repair damaged sections due to Bandit actions and connect newly cleared and secured areas as the open to us.

    There is also the promise of one great rail line along the Chinese coast, though Indo-China and points south. This could offer great opportunities for us, especially after the war is concluded. Sadly we do not control all the ground we must, nor do existing rail lines connect together, but we will soon have the land we need and we can connect these separate lines into one steel lifeline for the Empire. As resources permit I will hound our people to make this a reality, but first we must expand or create new rail production facilities.

    The Empire is woefully lacking in another key infrastructure asset, mechanized construction equipment. Seizure and exploitation of the Southern Resource Area will need such tools if we are to present a vigorous stronghold to the Western powers before they become too strong for us to handle. Production increases at home could only come at the expense of AFV deliveries to the Army, which is not desired.

    Again a need meets an opportunity as we can set up factories in China or Korea for these items. We get the tools, they get the stimulation to their economy and a reason to see us succeed.....
     
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Manufacturing, War Munitions.

    The Army's plan to equip Allied forces with weapon's deemed no longer suitable for frontline Imperial Forces is generally well received by the Council and will allow us to gain additional life from these munitions. They will however need Ammunition and to some degree, spare or replacement parts. In some cases we will allow the stocks of some items to naturally suffer attrition until they no longer offer enough units to be effective if we have a newer model passing down from our regular inventory. Other items will be part of their standard TOE for the foreseeable future, and these we will need limited production of either complete units or the spares to keep them operational.

    Moving this production out of the Home Islands and into areas of China, Manchukuo and Korea will decentralize our production and place the factories close to their distribution destination.

    Nor will arms meant only for our Allies be produced beyond the Homeland. Much of Nishio's new armor and heavy artillery will be produced there as great quantities, perhaps the majority, are destined for the Kwantung Army. In this case I would prefer facilities located in Korea as a added security measure. Some lines of non-critical Aircraft production could be shifted as well such as Trainers and transports, as well as light patrol seacraft for harbor and coastal convoy protection.

    More facilities might find their way to this region if these early programs prove successful, but only time will tell......
     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....as vital as economic and political development is to our future within China, the stark fact that we are at war here can not be fully divorced from our planning and initiatives, and we must make a virtue of our military necessities as they impact our economic and political objectives.

    Politically we wish a weak National government, balanced against several more robust Provincial governments, all interdependent upon each other and most importantly, on the Empire for its external protection and economic survival. The National Government (the Republic of China) would have its capitol at Peiping and this city and environs would be a separate and self contained political entity, not unlike America's District of Columbia.

    Sadly the bulk of our Chinese ground forces are a lamentable collection, but a handful of these break this mold and exhibit capabilities that are a near match to our average Regular Imperial forces. These then will form the nucleus of National Army for the Republic of China, the remainder (the majority, and with considerable reorganization), will form the regional defense forces assigned to the various Provincial governments.

    At present the National Army will consist of 3 "named" divisions, 2 "named" regimental combat forces and 2 independent battalions. The first division will be named the Capitol Division and will be based at the capitol of Peiping. The second, Tiger Division, and third, Red Dragon Division will be billeted elsewhere and will spend considerable time operating on the front lines along side Imperial regulars.

    Like the Capitol, Tiger and the Red Dragon Divisions, the Bashe and Qing Dragon Regiments were numbered divisions with good training and excellent moral, but deeply understrength and so will be retained after being reorganized as regiments. In time as new recruits flock to these National units these regiments will be expanded to Brigades, and hopefully into full Divisions to join their brothers.

    Giving them heroic names will be just a part of the effort to instill a sense that these Chinese forces are an elite. They will also be given new banners and flags that is consistent with both their history and culture, as well as distinctive shoulder flashes to set them apart from the more mundane regional defense forces assigned to the Provence's. They will serve along side Imperial Regulars in all our future operations against the KMT and Communist bandit forces, with their successes being much heralded within China and to the world press. They will be our standard bearers for a new and revitalized China......
     
  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    ......Protection of our Lines of Communication is typically a task of rear echelon troops such as our soon to be reorganized Regional Defense forces, and they certainly will have a part to play in this, but are deemed too vital to be left entirely in the hands of our third tier troops. In addition to the conventional LoC's such as Road and Railroad, there is that particularly Chinese manner of moving goods and people rapidly, Riverine traffic.

    The first two will be the responsibility of National Chinese forces, while the latter will be tasked to Imperial Regulars.

    The 1st RoC Military Police Battalion (motorized) will have the task of patrolling our Railroad network. They will be equipped with the somewhat elderly, but still useful, Type 91 Armored Car. This vehicle has the facility of being transformed from road to rail configuration and back again with relative ease, hence making it most desirable in this task.

    The 2nd RoC Military Police Battalion (motorized) will preform the same task on our conventional road nets. At first they will use a mix of Type 92 and Type 93 Armored Cars, but over time may get newer equipment after the needs of Imperial Regulars are met. Like the Type 91 they are ill suited for frontline service, but in this role, quite capable indeed.

    Initially formed as Battalions, we hope to expand them into Regiments, and eventually, Brigades as personnel and equipment become available. There is no intention to expand them further, indeed if we were forced to it would be an indication that we have failed to gauge the task properly or that the Chinese Bandit forces are out maneuvering us.

    This then should be the stopping point for a Chinese National Army, 5 Divisions for battlefield operations and 2 Brigades for internal security. This would be large enough for "national" pride, to keep Provincial Governors in check and allow us significant support to Imperial Regulars operating within China. This of course does not include the planned Regional Defense Forces who will be large in number but less combat effective.....
     
  13. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....Riverine patrols are deemed too critical by the Army to be entrusted to RoC forces, be they National Army or Provincial Regional Defense Forces (RDF), as the two largest rivers (Yellow and Yangtze) are the boundaries for the Initial three Province's. They will also be the boundaries for the Areas of Responsibility for three of our military regions within China. Command boundaries I am informed are a natural weak point and are often exploited by attacking, or in this case, infiltrating opponents.

    As I understand it we have a number of gunboats of various sizes and configurations which we will use on the larger portions of the rivers, but for the smaller tributaries the Army proposes the use of the Daihatsu landing craft. These versatile 14 meter craft and be configured to carry and land a squad of Infantry, or operate a direct fire cannon or indirect fire weapon like a mortar, and can be given some armored protection. Attributes necessary for this task.

    The Army envision them operating primarily in three boat patrol groups, with each boat in a slightly different configuration. The first would carry a Rifle Squad that could be landed ashore to investigate any suspicious activity and would be armed with a pair 20mm Auto cannons. The second would mount a 81mm mortar to provide indirect fire support as needed. For the third boat the Army had wished a 40mm Auto cannon to be installed, but this drew objections from the Navy.

    The Admiral's pointed out that the 40mm gun was to become the standard light anti-aircraft gun for all major units in the fleet, replacing the current 25mm now predominant on our ships. As this exchange could take as much as two years to effect in the majority of these ships due to limits in production, assigning them to tertiary duties now would be counterproductive. Fortunately the Army seems willing to accept the Navy's discarded 25mm guns, as well as utilizing the odd remnants of other gun types deemed no longer suitable for front line service.

    This is a small, but positive, indication that the service chiefs have embraced the concept of co-operation. A year ago the Army would not have accepted the Navy's position and demanded a portion of the production for themselves. If had they failed in this, they would have set up their own production line separate from the Navy, presenting us with a wasteful duplication of effort, and more importantly, irreplaceable resources.......
     
  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....To understand the imperative to restructure the bulk of the Chinese Army into Provincial Regional Defense Forces it is vital to understand the political and military environment they are expected to operate within. To this point we have allowed a very disorganized political and military situation to operate largely of it own accord and without any grand strategic direction from the Homeland. This must stop if we are to prevail.

    Our forces (Imperial and Allied) in China and Manchukuo will come under the direct command of General Nishio and his newly designated Japanese Expeditionary Forces-China (JEF-C), with each military region to correspond to a discreet political sub-division within their Area of Responsibility (AoR). This is done to promote the desired focus of the political and military leadership within each AoR. No longer will local commanders be able to move their forces at will in any direction they wish without consideration of the greater strategic need and the importance of creating a strong local political structure necessary to support such moves.

    Moving from north to south we will have four such AoR's initially, and with the probability of a fifth as we expand further into south-western China in our efforts to bring a conclusion to our conflict with the Chinese bandit forces opposing us.

    The northern most would be our existing state of Manchukuo under the Kang-de Emperor Puyi. The political capitol would be in Changchun and he will be encouraged to assume a greater degree of autonomy in basic civil affairs of his "empire". The military concerns would fall to our existing Kwantung Army who will control both Imperial forces and the Manchukuo Imperial Armed Forces. This AoR will encompass the whole of Manchukuo from the Soviet Border to the border of the Republic of China (RoC).

    The next AoR will cover the area between the Manchukuo border and the Yellow River with its western border at the limit of deployed forces. Politically it will be known as I Province, with Tientsin as it capitol and a governor to be appointed by us (which will be replaced by a locally elected official within two years). The military command will be the Army of North China (AoNC) and will have control of all Imperial and Chinese forces (National and RDF) operating within the Provence.

    The area between the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers will be designated the II Provence and have its capitol at Shanghai. Military command will be the Army of Central China (AoCC) and the same political and military arrangements will be undertaken as in I Provence/AoNC.

    The area south of the Yangtze River will be initially the III Provence, with its capitol at Amoy and its military command the Army of South China (AoSC). As we gain territory a new Provence, the IVth will be created to the south and west of III Provence/AoSC, with its capitol at Canton. The Army plans no Army of South West China as yet to compliment IV Provence but may change their mind at a later date if it becomes a necessity.

    Like Puyi, the Provincial Governors will be expected to assume a greater degree of local civil autonomy within their areas of responability so as to be seen as the face of a new China and to keep Wang Jingwei under control. The RDF units will be optimized to provide internal security and defence of their respective Provence's with the aid of Imperial and RoC National Armed Forces......
     
  15. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....In the preliminary discussions held before the full Council was seated General Nishio, speaking for the Army, expressed his determination to see a resolution of our Chinese Dilemma sooner rather than later, ideally shortly after a US Declaration of War. It was understood that a vast realignment and reorganization of Imperial and Allied forces deployed in the region must be undertaken.

    Nowhere is this more sweeping than in respect to the Republic of China (RoC) Regional Defense Forces (RDF).

    With the approval given by the Council to proceed, the program will now begin. First, Imperial Regular and RoC National Army formations will be redeployed to relieve existing under preforming RoC National Army formations of their current assignments. This will necessitate the influx of new IJA formations from the Home Islands and the reallocation of troops from the Kwantung Army for a period of time.

    As each unit is relieved of its current assignment it will be transported in its entirety to the Provincial capitol of the area it had been operating in to this point. As each unit reaches a Provincial capitol it will undergo a rigorous vetting process to determine the name, rank, military qualification and home province of each member of the unit in question. The vetting process will also attempt to weed out KMT/Communist sympathizers and agitators, as well as any unfit for military service due to medical or emotional handicaps.

    Once the vetting process is completed the units themselves will be disbanded, but the troops will remain in service. They then will be formed into detachments of up to 100 men and sent to a major city in their "home" province, or as near as is possible if their home is currently occupied by Chinese Bandit forces, or to one of their preference should they feel attached to an area not the place of their birth. During this transit they will be "escorted" by a detachment of up to ten Imperial Regulars (depending upon the number of RoC personnel in transit) to ensure their "safe" arrival to their new Area of Responsibility (AoR).

    Once in their new AoR, and in the city closest to their place of birth (or preference), they will undergo the process to reform into new units based upon geographical commonality to instill a common comradely outlook and feeling of being among friends and neighbors acting in the defense of their home rather than a misunderstood or mistrusted National Government. Every effort will be undertaken to keep the RDF troops within their home province and when possible close to their areas where they were raised in order to foster moral.

    By such measures we hope to create the foundation of effective troops for limited duties where before we had troops unfit for nearly any duty......
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....Each newly formed RDF unit will begin as a company, expanding to Battalion, then Regiment and finally into a Brigade as personnel are added, this being to give us the best chance to completely reinvigorate these troops into the belief that they are entering a new and promising future as defenders of both their homes and the Republic of China. Extensive and repeated training cycles will be undertaken to steadily improve their combat efficiency and their impressions of themselves as soldiers rather than an armed mob.

    For troops in the Provincial Army's, the Brigade will be the largest permanent formation allowed, but on occasion two or more Brigades could be joined together into provisional Division's and be "nationalized" for temporary duty. When done so since they lack higher command or extensive support formations they will be provided by the IJA itself. This is to prevent any Provincial Governor from getting any excessive ambitions in charting his own course.

    These troops will employ one of our older TOE's to which they are already familiar with to ease their transitions into new formations. For formations at the Regimental and Brigade level, the "square" organization will be employed. This will allow a Regiment to have three "Line" battalions for use in maneuver operations while a fourth designated as a Military Police battalion can remain in its urban billet offering local security and crowd control within its home city.

    While these troops will be mostly light infantry they will have Light Anti-Tank and Light Artillery attachments to give them a measure of combined arms to be able to be effective when coming into combat with Chinese Bandit forces.....
     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....The ultimate goal in our restructuring of the Chinese Army into RoC's National and Provincial formations is to create a credible an effective force that can relieve the IJA from the majority of its current garrison and pacification tasks in order that we might redeploy these forces to meet expected threats from the Anglo-American counter-offensive's and any potential Soviet interventions. To meet this challenge, and become an equal match for (hopefully) much reduced KMT/Communist rump states they will have to be fairly extensive in absolute numbers.

    The Army projects that the Provincial Army's RDF to consist of some 45 Light Infantry, 7 Armored, 3 Mechanized Infantry and 1 Light Armored Reconnaissance formations based upon the territory we currently control. This number could, indeed likely must, expand as areas within II and III Province are cleared of Bandit forces and as we bring considerable portions of South-Western China under our influence and control. These areas have considerable population centers within them and forcing our newly created regional troops to act as their garrison would merely defeat our efforts to instill in them the perception they were defending their homes.

    The Navy offered a note of caution regarding the size and scope of the Armored/Mechanized forces intended for the Republic of China's Provincial Armies. No doubt that while they agree the Army must modernize in this area, they worry that the allocation of this much steel will negatively affect equally vital ship-building. The Army assures the council that any armor allocated for thr RoC Army will be of a type currently in use and soon to be replaced by improved first generation (and later second generation) medium tanks.

    As this will take up to a year to get sufficient new tanks to our Imperial troops on the front lines, these Chinese Armored and Mechanized formations will likely be in name only for the near term.......
     
  18. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....I questioned the Army somewhat sharply about the timing involved with a complete reorganization of the Provincial Army troops as I was concerned about how this action would impact planned offensive operations within China proper. Colonel Bobimoto, speaking for the Army, presented a though and detailed synopsis for the entire process, taking these formations from where they are now to their eventual final configuration as full Brigades with Artillery and Anti-Tank combined arms assets.

    I also pressed Bobimoto about the security of this endeavor as to these Chinese soldiers and their rather extensive movements, first to the Provincial Capitol in which they are currently stationed and then on to their eventual new home billet, where ever that may be. My concern being that all this moving about and inevitable confusion would lead to significant desertion either from agitation from KMT/Communist agents or simple general dis-affection common to troops with low morale.

    The Colonel responded that the vetting process undertaken at the Provincial Capitol collection points will weed out most if not all political agitators from the mass of troops and that detachments of Imperial regulars "guarding" the moving groups will ensure these men reaching their new assembly points intact. As with so many things I must accept the assurance's from the military that this will be so.

    As to the timing, the Colonel projects that with immediate approval (which was given) these Provincial Army troops can be reconstituted into Battalion sized units able to resume internal security in their billeting city by the end of this year. Reaching Regimental status by the summer of 1942 so as to begin working along side IJA and RoC regulars in combat operations and Brigade units by the summer of 1943, thereby in a position to relieve Imperial regulars for other duties.

    It is what we need and the Colonel makes a convincing and confident argument, but I retain a nagging suspicion that this may be a longer process than the Army is willing to admit.....
     
  19. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....This doubt stems from a last moment revision of the ROC's National Army order of battle to include two more Divisions and two independent Regiments above the original roster of one Division and two motorized MP Battalions. This proposal was quickly approved by the Council, despite any contemplation upon the effect it would have on the reorganization of the remaining Reformed National Government troops.

    In truth, as with all things involving China and her people, it is a mixed blessing.

    Retaining these 24 line Battalions, and their supporting formations, will greatly ease the burden the IJA regulars must shoulder during the reorganization period. It will also allow the ROC National Army to field more than a token force to work along side the IJA during the offensive phase of our operations, and we endure no risk of eroding the loyalty and confidence these troops already possess by calling into question their competence with the act of disbanding their existing formations.

    On the debit side it will mean that those men destined to fill the ranks of the Provincial Army's will be the dregs of our Chinese troops. Certainly this must slow the effort to turn them into acceptable troops able to fill their prescribed duties? It will also reduce significantly the overall number of troops to make the transition, a condition that can be overcome only by new recruitment into a organization that has yet to prove itself to the masses of Chinese we hold in our control.

    Lastly it is the Army's intention to use the Provincial Army's as the recruitment source for the ROC National Army. While this will prove a potential boon to both organizations in the long term, (National Army gets recruits with existing training and after a two year deployment the Provincial Army gets a battle tested veteran back into its ranks) in the short term it can only slow the creation and expansion of the Provincial Army's.

    The bottom line seems inescapable.

    Either we scale back the total number of Provincial Army units initially formed from 56 to something more manageable, or accept that the time needed to reorganize and expand them into Brigade sized combined units will be significantly greater.

    Though it was left unsaid by the Army it is my hope they will see the logic of initially forming fewer units within the Provincial Army so as to keep with the original timetable (as much as is practicable) to have at least most of these available for light combat operations in 1943. Since it will be close to a year before we can make the AFV's available, putting on hold the 11 armored and mechanized units would seem a happy coincidence.

    If the Army proves intractable on this point, I believe I can gather enough support from the Navy members of the Council to force the issue. Not a path I wish to take, but it is better than saddling us with a large, yet ineffective Provincial Army, something we already have.......
     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    .....As the colonel was organizing his briefing papers on our intended military actions in China he paused and posed a question to the Council. In view of the likely event of many urban assaults we will be forced to undertake in order to deprive Chaing of his support, would it not be wise to form specialized assault Engineers?

    In his mind they would be armed with Flamethrower's, Satchel Charges and Sub-Machine guns and in time any other light man portable weapon that could be used in close assault of either built up areas or fortifications. This would be an independent formation of Battalion size attached to a higher headquarters and detached to aid assault units as needed.

    General Nishio enthusiastically endorsed such formations being created to aid his regular forces, so I proposed the creation of a test unit to prove the concept, with possible expansion of more such units if the promise holds true. As there were no objections within the Council, the motion carried.....
     

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