Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some Good Pacific War Timelines For You

I'm in the first semester of graduate school and I've got a lot on my plate, hence the decline in my blogging. However, to tide you over before I upload my third batch of notes from DragonCon 2013, I'll supply you with a couple interesting Pacific War timelines from

The first one is A True and Better Alamo: The Battle for Wake Atoll. I'm not as familiar with our world's Battle of Wake Island, but based on the author's comments, efforts to fortify the island begin much earlier than they did in our history, making the island MUCH more defensible. Based on the title it doesn't look like things will go well for the defenders in the long run, but considering how the Japanese campaign in the early days of the Pacific War was run on a shoestring on a very tight timetable, a prolonged and bloodier resistance at Wake Island is going to cause them problems in the long run. After doing some more research, he decided to change some earlier events in the timeline and started writing an updated version, which you can find here.

The second one isn't really a timeline per se, but an attempt to war-game a second Japanese carrier assault on Hawaii in early 1942. Instead of assisting in operations in Rabaul, Borneo, and Java, the First Air Fleet (the major Japanese carrier battle group) is dispatched east for a second attempt to destroy U.S. carrier forces in the Pacific and (possibly) tear up Pearl Harbor and Oahu some more.

Behold IJN Carrier Attack on Hawaii-January 1942.

There's a lot of gamer talk, but as you scroll through, there's narrative depicting the results of the dice-rolling, including a B-17 bomber hitting a ship (something that happened very rarely). Given how it was the U.S. that ground the Empire of the Rising Sun to ashes, it seems to me that hitting the U.S. harder when they'd already hurt us (Pearl Harbor and the aftermath) would have been a better strategic decision that going overkill on some battles they would have won anyway, but that's with hindsight.

On the other hand, if they end up getting gutted like they did at the Battle of Midway, the war in this timeline might end up being shorter.

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