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Revisiting WW2 Alternative History - China as the aggressor

I am a big fan of alternative history settings, and years ago I painted up some 28mm WW2 Pacific war Aussies and some 28mm Chinese with the intention of doing a bit of work on some Alternative history with the two sides.

 I played one game of Bolt Action in the setting and didn't do anything more with it.  Given I only have a section per side, and I am using the "DH: Point Blank" rules that only require a section per side, it might be time to kick this one back in to action.

Like with all my alternative history settings, I like to base it as close to actual history as I possibly can.

To this end, I am using the following actual history for my back ground:

In the 1880's until the end of WW1, China and Germany had very close ties, and China was getting help from Germany to modernise the country. This went a little pear shaped during WW1, and it wasn't until 1926 that things were getting back on track between the two countries, with German military trainers arriving the train the Nationalist Party of China.

This really kicked up a notch when the Nazis came to power in 1933 and started training and supplying China with training and equipment in a much bigger scale.

 The Finance minister of China and Kuomintang official H.H.Kung and two other Chinese Kuomintang officials visited Germany in 1937 and were received by Adolf Hitler.

Kung visited Hermann Göring on June 11 and Göring told him he thought Japan was a "Far East Italy" (referring to the fact that during World War I Italy had broken its alliance and declared war against Germany), and Germany would never trust Japan. Kung asked Göring "Which country will Germany choose as her friend, China or Japan?", and Göring said China could be a mighty power in the future and Germany would take China as friend.

With these points in mind I can start to weave a bit of alternative history in to the back ground.

Historically, the Nationalists fought wars against the Communists and Warlords in China.

In the alternative history, the warlords and communists were defeated and the nation united (except for maybe a small communist area close to Russia... just to allow for some future fun and games from that area).

If this unification was done sooner rather than later, China would have the ability to modernise and build a very large army before the events leading up to WW2.

Now, with such a large army and wanting avenge military humiliation at the hands of Europe and Japan from the 1800s onwards, China starts to flex its muscles and invade other nations for their natural resources to provide for their ever expanding modernisation.

The Sino-Tibetan war of 1930-1932 would make an ideal jump off point for this aggression.

The big question is what to do with Japan in this alternative history.

 Do I treat them like Britain - Japan could have its own Dunkirk as it is kicked out of Korea?

 This would put them on the back foot as they prepare to defend Japan from Chinese aggression. The main focus for Japan could be keeping their borders safe and conducting their own  "Battle of Britain" as it were preventing China from launching it's own "Operation Sealion" against Japan.

 With no Japan as the main antagonist, there would be no Pearl Harbour, so no major involvement from the US, although China would invade the Philippines, but would that be enough to galvanise the American nation in to declaring war?

Following the occupation of Korea, the other Asian nations bordering China would go next Southeast Asia and South Asia soon after that.

This would give control over most of the areas Japan held during WW2.

Britain, and thus Australia, are drawn in to the conflict when Singapore is captured.

With most of Asia under China's control, Australia and the Pacific would be next in line for conquest.

Military Developement - the big factor

As Nationalist China was equiped by Germany, including weapons, tanks and planes, it wouldn't be too hard to see early war German equipment in a game set in this alternative history.

The question is, does China keep getting German support in the form of blueprints and new technology during the war?

This is probably the most practicle way to game this conflict, so as to make for some games with a lot more gear to play with.

Wargaming the War

Unfortunately, there isn't a large range of WW2 era Chinese figures to use for this alternative history.

Brigade Games makes some 28mm Chinese Nationalists, some of which I have, and I can add WW2 German equipment in the form of tanks and trucks to the game easily enough.

Eureka miniatures does some 15mm Chinese, but again, it isn't a large range. Eureka do make some lovely Australians, Gurkhas and early war US figures that would be great to game with though.

The only other company that I know of that makes WW2 Chinese is Reiver Casting, who at least make some suport weapons in the form on mortars and HMGs. They also make artillery crew, so I could add German artillery or AT guns to the game.

At the moment I have a section of Australians and Chinese to start playing with, and I could easily switch to using Eureka Miniatures 15mm range.

At squad level plus some support weapons etc, 15mm wont break the bank, and I can play in smaller areas.


Clint said...

You might (if feeling brave..... remember to put your brave socks on) want to check Irregular Miniatures who do a 15mm range for the Chinese Civil war. As well as 15mm Japanese and European troops.

Remember to put some Brave socks on though as the figures are not of the highest quality! (But should Paint up OK)

Shelldrake said...

Yeah, I had some Irregular Miniatures back in the early 90's and I quite argee on the bravery level needed for them.

having said that, they do make some guns that the Eureka artillery crews could man.

Simon Quinton said...

Sounds great. Looking forward to seeing your forces take shape.

Captain Darling said...

Very interesting. Will watch how you fair developing this, as you know I’m no stranger to alternate histories myself! Can’t wait to see your forces.