Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
Current Game: Dungeonseige series
All right, here goes. Note that all of the operations and decisions mentioned happened when I specified, and could have been altered by a different man being in charge in Berlin:
The North African campaign, like a lot of the secondary operations the Germans had leaped into, began as an Italian fiasco. An attempt to drive to the Nile was beaten and driven back to El Agheila Libya where 130,000 Italians of the 10th Army surrendered in February 1941. In response to this, and to deny the British an easy victory Hitler sent a blocking force of one light division under command of Erwin Rommel in Operation Sonnenblume ("Sunflower"). The British XIII Corps had gone into defensive positions there, and the bulk of their troops were replaced with ill trained Colonial troops except for the veteran 7th Armored Division, which had been pulled back to the Nile. The troops withdrawn were sent to Greece.
Although Rommel had been ordered to simply hold the line, an armoured reconnaissance soon became a fully fledged offensive from El Agheila in March 1941. In March–April, the Allied forces were forced back to Sollum in Egypt. The Australian 9th Infantry Division had fallen back to the fortress port of Tobruk,] and the remaining British and Commonwealth forces withdrew a further 100 mi (160 km) east to the Libyan–Egyptian border.
With Tobruk under siege from the main German-Italian force, a small battlegroup continued to press eastwards. Capturing Fort Capuzzo and Bardia in passing, it then advanced into Egypt, and by the end of April had taken Sollum and the tactically important Halfaya Pass. Rommel garrisoned these positions, reinforcing the battlegroup and ordering it onto the defensive.
With Hitler dead, and the plans for invading Russia shelved, The high command sees that a quick victory in North Africa will limit the front they must defend. Instead of sending a division or two, they instead reinforce the two divisions with attachments to eight creating Panzergruppe Afrika.
During Operation Crusader, the British now a full Army (8th) rather than a single corps was able to push the Axis forces back to El Agheila again in November/January 1942. But Rommel blindsided them. pushing back through North Africa, capturing Tobruk, and were finally stopped at the first battle of El Alamein in July of 1942. The build up continued, (My timeline) with over half a million German troops and an equal amount of Italian troops. With more troops than his enemy, Rommel builds up Halfaya Pass (Known because of Operation Battle Axe as Hellfire Pass) with German panzer units holding the southern flank which had been broken in Operation Crusader.
When Montgomery broke through at second El Alamein, he ran into the secondary defenses at Hellfire pass, and the offensive was shattered. Rommel sent a collumn of 5th and 21st Panzer to cut off the British retreat at El Alamein, and Mongomery's army was crushed between them. Two weeks later, the Afrika Corps stops briefly at Suez.
With scattered forces facing him, Rommel pushes North, capturing Jerusalem in December 1942 and Damascus Syria in Febrary 1943, completing the conquest of both nations and Lebanon by the summer.
With the forces released to face the British in North Africa, the decision about the 'Final solution held in september 1941 was instead of extermination to relocate them if and when Palestine was captured.
The primary problem previously had been that Britain had bowed to Arab sensibilities, limiting the influx of Jews into Palestine with the White Paper of 1939. Going into the concentration camps, the Jews were relocated to Camps in Crete (Which actually happened when the war ended, but administered by the British). At the same time, the Jews were told by Martin Bormann that once Palestine was captured, they would all be relocated there. To show their willingness to do so, the captured Jewish Brigade from North Africa was relocated to the camps, and armed by the Wehrmacht. Secret negotiations were opened between the Haganah (Which had been formed to resist the Arabs and British) and they were promised German and Italian equipment. On Christmas Day 1942 the first Haganah troops were landed at Tel Aviv. On the same day, Nazi Germany declares the Nation of Israel as a free nation and ally.
Kptlt. Jost Metzler commanding U 69 Took SS Robin Moor, an American merchant ship carrying munitions to South Africa and sank her 21 May 1941. Because Metzler had failed to radio the survivor's position, the US declared Germany an Outlaw nation and closed all of their Legations across the US, leaving only their main embassies. But even this did not drive the Americans to war. The sinking of USS Ruben James in October again did not do so.
The Japanese occupied Northern Indochina in September 1940. in June 1941 the Americans froze all Japanese Assets in the US and embargoed cargoes not already shipped.
On September 5, Prime Minister Konoe informally submitted a draft of the decision to go to war with the US to the Emperor, just one day in advance of the Imperial Conference at which it would be formally implemented. On this evening, the Emperor had a meeting with the chief of staff of the army, Sugiyama, chief of staff of the navy, Osami Nagano, and Prime Minister Konoe. The Emperor questioned Sugiyama about the chances of success of an open war with the Occident. As Sugiyama answered positively, the Emperor scolded him:
—At the time of the China incident, the army told me that we could make Chiang surrender after three months but you still can't beat him even today! Sugiyama, you were minister at the time.
—China is a vast area with many ways in and ways out, and we met unexpectedly big difficulties.
—You say the interior of China is huge; isn't the Pacific Ocean even bigger than China? Didn't I caution you each time about those matters? Sugiyama, are you lying to me?
Here is where one man changes things. Instead of keeping to the usual "Imperial Presence and silence', The Showa Emperor orders his military high command to find a way to gain their supplies short of war with the US. Only after every such effort is exhausted will he agree to fighting the Americans. He asks officers he trusts (Not the High command obviously) to monitor their efforts.
Part of the warplans offered had been to disable the American fleet which had been moved to Pearl Harbor while simultaneously occupying Dutch and British territories in the South Pacific. However while not yet at war with the US, technically, as allies, they are at war already with the Dutch and British, though they have not yet actively acted against them. An alternate plan is put forward; To declare war against Holland, and occupation of the Dutch East Indies. England would not be party to it, because the Germans believe still that the British will surrender or sign a peace if left hanging alone.
In October 1941, Ambassador Kurusu is sent to Washington to bolster Ambassador Nomura. They lay the following statements before Cordell Hull:
Japan will declare war on Holland, as mentioned above. British possessions and American possessions will be left alone unless Japan is attacked by either party. After delivering the documents, the two Ambassadors call a press conference to explain what they are doing; that they are leaving alone the two major allied nations intentionally. Kurusu also states that the Japanese Navy will be arranging a 'fleet visit' to Pearl Harbor. in the second week of December 1941.
Yamamoto, who never liked the idea of a war with America agrees to the plan put forward under the Emperor's auspices. It would place the onus for any war that came out of it firmly on the US.
On December 7 1941, 186 aircraft of the Japanese fleet take off. They are completely disarmed except for light series carriers with 5 lb practice bombs. Twenty minutes before their arrival, the Japanese Legation calls a press conference where they say that the Japanese Navy will hold an aerial display by unarmed Japanese aircraft above American military bases and Pearl Harbor. The Military attaches of Sweden and Switzerland had been apprised of this the day before, and The Swiss representative goes to Wheeler field (US Army Air Corps) while the Swede goes to CincPac.
The Japanese aircraft arrive, and the military panics. Fighters take off from Wheeler to attack them, because the lower echelons had not been informed. The ships in Pearl Harbor open fire as the bombers pass over, dropping practice bombs. Twenty five Japanese aircraft are shot down, one crash landing at Wheeler where it is verified that it was completely unarmed. American losses are two aircraft rammed by Zeros in an attempt to break up the attack against the 'aggressor' forces over Wheeler. Still harried by the Army aircraft, five more are shot down before armed Zeros orbiting north of Oahu break it up, shooting down fifteen American Tomahawk fighters to a loss of three.
At 3 PM Eastern Standard time(When the original of the document that started the war was delivered two hours late), The Japanese deliver their protest. A friendly game to show what they could have done to the American fleet had gotten ugly, and almost a hundred unarmed Japanese airmen had been brutally murdered by the US. They demand that the US either declare the war they seem to be wanting, or apologize.
So without popular support for a war, and with the US branded as the 'outlaws' this time, what does Roosevelt do?
Fact: The 'Final solution' was not agreed upon until september 1941. Before that the Jews had been held, and some of them horribly treated, but the cost in lifes was less than a quarter million.
Fact: The Emperor did not want a war with the US, and his arguments listed above did occur. The only change I have made was having him be more vehement publically about his disagreement with his government.
The aircraft listed in the 'display' are the exact number on the first wave of the Pearl Harbor attack. Disarming them means that they are unable to fight back, and would have been a telling point in the US Press
Last edited by machievelli; 06-26-2012 at 12:21 PM.