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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

“From The Halls Of Tsingtao, To The Shores Of The Yellow Sea” by Ranger Elite

Far East Theater in WWIII 1946

Temporary Joint Allied Naval Base,
The abandoned Imperial German Reichsmarine Base,
Outside Tsingtao, Shantung Province, The Republic of China

– 1 --

Looking out on the derelict Japanese wrecks, scuttled in the harbor in the final days of the last war (only now being removed by the See-Bees, aided by a wealth of eager local manpower), Major Jack Devereaux, USMCR, was concentrating at the task at hand: the training and graduation of the first class of officers and non-commissioned officers of the new Republic of China Marine Corps. The ROCMC was not a new branch of service, as it has been in existence since December of 1914, but new in the fact that it was now being trained in the methods of modern amphibious warfare, by the finest fighting force of its kind throughout the world. Major Devereaux's advanced team had selected this site because of its proximity to Japan and Korea, should the need to be reinforced becomes necessary. The retraining and modernization of Chinese Marines had begun as a secondary project, at the behest of the new Chinese government, and deemed necessary, as he needed to multiply the small forces he had at hand for security in the province. But the mission soon grew into a passion to expand the greatest American ideals of Liberty and Justice into Asia, through the men he was training. No doubt, on the other side of the sprawling base, his Navy counterpart was doing the same thing, training the new recruits to man and command the surplus U.S. ships and other naval equipment that was being turned over as a part of their mutual-defense pact.

At first, there were a few seemingly insurmountable challenges, such as the local population taking over parts of the old colonial German base after the Japanese withdrawal, pilfering whatever wasn't nailed or bolted down, squatters occupying the abandoned barracks, people getting injured inside the old abandoned fortifications. Eventually, with the help of the local gendarmerie, the area was cleared out, and people who had made the abandoned base their home were relocated to a temporary camp that the See-Bees had built, while more permanent housing was being constructed by local work gangs, overseen by See-Bee NCO's and construction specialists, in their spare time, as they reconstruct the base and dredge the harbor to accommodate larger sea-faring transport ships, freighters and battle wagons.

Another issue that had to be dealt with was the disparity in education between the officers and enlisted ranks, which Devereaux was ill-prepared to deal with. While considering the issue, he had an inspiration: Why not encourage the officers to educate, at least in part, the enlisted men? Offering cash and other material incentives for every new subject that the officers taught, and to those Marines who excelled in those subjects, sounded like a traditionally local way of disposing with an important serious issue, having the added benefit of encouraging a literate, semi-educated, armed force. Such a force would be capable of conducting complex combat operations, without assistance from, and independently of, other units.

– 2 --

Major Devereaux's star apprentice, Major Wu Tse-hui, was already a very capable officer, in his own right, having worked his way up from enlistment, to his current field-grade rank, in the Nationalist Chinese New Revolutionary Army.  He was noticed by General Sun Li-jen, who placed him in command of a regiment in the 38th Division, where he excelled beyond all expectations. He was later recommended as General Sun's representative to Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer, the commanding general of U.S. forces in the China Theater of Operations. It was during his time as the Chinese liaison to General Wedemeyer that Major Wu observed the United States Marine Corps in action, and impressed upon General Sun that the Republic of China restructure its own naval infantry force, based on the U.S. Marines, and their own long-forgotten sea-faring traditions, going back to Admiral Chang Ha and his Treasure Fleet. Noting Major Wu's enthusiasm, and perhaps also that he was correct in his historical perspective, General Sun placed him in charge of the project, and charged him with “requisitioning” the former Imperial German naval base at Tsingtao, as a training base and a base of operations.

In order to become more effective at his new vocation, Major Wu placed himself at the disposal of the executive officer of the U.S. 4th Marine Regiment, Major Jackson Beauregard Devereaux, who was tasked with conducting an ad-hoc training course for Chinese Army and Navy personnel (including current Marine Corps personnel who were not cashiered for incompetence or corruption) who wished to be a part of this endeavor. Old ROCMC units were dissolved and as each new unit was stood up, an agreement was reached that they would be rotated through the U.S. III Amphibious Corps, to gain experience. After a few rotations, according to the plan, the entire training operation would be turned over to the Chinese themselves. The Americans had shown themselves to be honorable, perhaps not in the same way that they might consider honor, but in a way that was not less worthy of the word. The U.S. Marine would honor his word to his Chinese counterpart, for their concept of honor was in a class all their own.

– 3 --

On the other side of the base, The Navy of the Republic of China was reconstituting their “New” Northern Sea Fleet, replacing the old Nationalist “Beiyang” Fleet and its decrepit antiquated warships. Having just recently captured the deep-water port of Chefu (on the other side of the Shantung Peninsula) away from the Communists, President Sun's government was planning to have naval and civilian shipyards built there. To this end, his government was negotiating a deal with the Allied Control Council (minus the Soviet Union, for obvious reasons) for interim equipment to build up the navy, but he was also negotiating for special dispensation to do business with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to help in building the new shipyards in Chefu, through the Allied Occupation Command, in Tokyo. It was the very least that the Japanese company, along with its co-conspirators at Nippon National Railways, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone and the Nippon Electric Company, could do in the way of reparations for war damage.  President Sun had a very ambitious plan to rapidly industrialize China and greatly expand the domestic armaments and defense industry. Over many years, Sun Li-jen had made contacts back in the United States (through his education at Purdue University and the Virginia Military Institute), and among American and other European expatriate educators and technical professionals he met while in India (most, by way of Generals Joe Stillwell and Bill Slim), that could help build an educational base so great, that China could become economically independent within his lifetime. He knew that he had an up-hill battle in undermining the seduction of the communists' message of central planning and the nationalization of agriculture and industry, but he was convinced that once his reforms started bearing the sweet fruit of prosperity, their message would be exposed for the corrupt lie that it was.

President Sun Li-jen sent the trained engineers that he had at his disposal to Japan, then onto the United States, first to learn the manufacturing processes of their enemies, then to learn how best to improve upon them. His initial education having been in civil engineering, President Sun was very well aware of the high value of a technical education. Once the last of the Turkestani agitators has been driven back across the Soviet border into the Kazakh S.S.R., construction will commence on a massive industrial city that would help alleviate some of the widespread deficiencies in manufacturing. This city would only do that until widespread industrialization could be achieved throughout the country. After that, the city would be devoted to the development of the indigenous defense industry. Oh yes, President Sun had a long-term plan for China's ascension to a premier world power. But small steps first. After all, as the Europeans were so fond of saying, Rome was not built in a day...

– 4 --

The end of the Russian Civil War saw hundreds of thousands, up to nearly a million, of displaced anti-Bolshevik Russians wind up in China, either settling in Inner Mongolia and Manchuria, or in the bigger cities, such as Tsingtao, Shanghai, Hangchow, Canton, Nanking, Chungking, Kunming, Wuhan, Sian, Yennan or Peking. Until very recently, they had been a disparate, disorganized, lot, each group sticking to its own neighborhood, minding its own business, and carrying on with their own affairs. With the new war, this all changed. The older military-trained generation that had escaped are abandoning their insular nature and was now training their children in the mastery of the art of war, in hopes that they would be worthy and strong enough to reclaim their homeland from the Soviet monster, created from the Czarist depravity that denied them the most basic of all human rights: freedom.

First, a former Soviet airman had built an insurgent air force, in a dauntingly short amount of time, that was the rival of any in the region. Even with all the diverse, obsolete and antiquated aircraft in its inventories, its skilled and superb pilots were the scourge of the skies that they controlled. Next, in a daring escape, the leaders of the Russian Liberation Movement were broken out of prison and made their way to China, in order to reconstitute their forces and carry the fight deep into the heart of their hated Soviet enemy. Before their arrival, the new Chinese government had established two divisions of Free Russian troops, formed from Russian expatriates and an increasing number of Soviet deserters. Since the arrival of the ROA and Cossack leadership, the size and number of these units have tripled, to corps-strength, forming the basis of an independent military force. However, equipping them all had it's own set of challenges that needed to be immediately addressed.

Freedom was what they wanted, for themselves, and for their oppressed brothers and sisters. The only other alternative now was death, for this was an all-or-nothing play, with the stakes being so high that the future of humanity hung in the balance. To this end, all Russian and former Russian Empire expatriates worldwide were organizing as one voice to denounce the legitimacy of government of the Soviet Union in the next meeting of the successor organization to the League of Nations, the United Nations. Failing that, they would attack the legitimacy of the United Nations as a Soviet puppet organization, which it had, in fact, become. It has become apparent, that without the interference of bad influences and the leadership of a few principled men, coupled with material support from a few good friends, they may well be able to achieve their long-denied goal after all.

There was a marvelous terrible storm brewing in the Far East, a storm that would upset the fortunes of war, a storm that would either see justice restored to a world torn asunder, or the supremacy of evil for the long foreseeable future.

"No Rest for the Weary" by Ranger Elite

Far East Theater in WWIII 1946

In a troop staging area
Urum-chi Air Base
Urum-chi, Sinkiang, China

There was a pre-dawn chill in the air as Gunnery Sergeant Eugene M. Stoner, USMC Reserve, walked around the aircraft revetments while checking out these fancy new Army troopers. He had originally reenlisted to go back into aviation ordnance, but wound up finding himself being seconded to  this Army unit as armorer for their new weapons, and for the captured Soviet weapons, that they would be using on their mission. As many checks, and rechecks, that he had done on their weapons, Stoner knew that all it took was for something to go wrong for a mission to unravel, right before everyone's eyes. The new gunny tried to put it out of his mind as he cinched his trench coat tighter around him.

These new troopers were supposed to be the best of the best that the United States Army had to offer. Never mind the fact that Stoner thought one Marine was worth ten of these jokers, but some of them were dressed in Soviet Red Army uniforms, others were dressed as you'd expect Army paratroopers would be, except for the fact that their berets were green, rather than red. Stoner knew that this was an ambitious plan, because being caught in an enemy uniform was still a breach of the Geneva Convention, meaning that if the enemy caught you wearing his duds, he pretty much owned you, and could do with you as he pleased.

Stoner had been reviewing some of the weapons that these “Special Forces” soldiers would be using, and he had to admit that he was quite impressed. He hoped that the new trend of being equipped with the same arms and equipment that the Army was using, at the same time that the Army was using it, held true. He remembered the old “China Marines” in boot camp, always complaining that they were getting worn-out “sloppy seconds” from the Army, as far as equipment went. Well, this go-around, they had nothing to complain about: their equipment was just as obsolete as the Army's. These new small arms had the potential of being a huge game-changer.

Just the other day, one of the Special Forces officers had pulled him aside and asked him if he could fabricate some “party favors” for their “trip”. He had to ask for clarification from this lunkhead Army officer three times, just to make sure that he'd understood correctly. The Army officer was asking for some anti-personnel devices. The guy may have been a knucklehead, but it got Stoner thinking. He had been working on some “shredders”, tactical anti-personnel bombs that he had been tinkering with, for close air support from fighter-bombers, and he started thinking that he could convert them for use as command-detonated mines, triggered by a tripwire, or by an electrical detonator. So, following up on this thought, he got one of his bombs and spent all night tinkering. What he came up with was fairly crude, but he'd test it today. In essence, it was a piece of thick plate steel, upon which was a 2:1 mix of gunpowder-impregnated cotton wadding to TNT explosive, and a layer of clay, embedded with 00 buckshot, clipped barbed wire, anything that can be used as shrapnel, covered by a shaped thin sheet metal that was scored on the inside with flattened copper tubing “legs” protruding from the bottom, and marked “FRONT TOWARD ENEMY” in white paint on the face, and a grenade detonator minus the safety spoon fitted to the top side. Stoner had to admit that he was pretty impressed with his own work. He just hoped that it worked well enough to be manufactured in some of the local workshops. That way, there would plenty made in time for the mission.

Now that his mind was racing, he was headed to the armory. That new rifle that came in from the States – the T46A3, was it? – has got his interest. He was going to take it apart and study it, with an eye to seeing if he could design and build a better battle rifle...

King Rat

Major Sidney Bedford was very uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally. Here he was stuck in a Courts Marshal for a man who appeared to be a traitor. Yet one couldn't be sure. Major Cecil Boon was being put on trial for collaboration. John Harvey and Michael Tugby were already let off because of the severe circumstances of the conditions in which they were held. The conditions were some of the worst ever endured in the 20th century. Because of the charges, after the war, they had endured nearly a year of ostracism and suffered the total loss of the joy of homecoming. All three were early survivors of the Japanese conquest of Hong Kong. All three were held for the duration of the war as POWs. All three stood trial.

Boon was considered the worst of the lot. He had 11 serious charges against him.
1. On or about Aug. 21, 1943 he informed on his fellow prisoners who were planning an escape attempt.
2. On or about Sept. 1st, 1943 he assisted in a search that found wireless components being used by fellow prisoners.
3. On or about Sept. 12th, 1943 he informed on Hubert George Carkeet.
4. On or about Oct. 20th, 1943 he informed on Maurice Richard Jones.
5. On or about Dec. 14th, 1943 he informed on William Joseph Buckley.
6. On or about Oct. 18th, 1944 he wrote a letter to the USAAF, who had just bombed Hong Kong, knowing that the letter would be used for propaganda purposes.
7. In May, 1944 he informed on Dutch Naval Petty Officer Waarenberg.
8. Between Aug. 23rd, 1943 and Aug. 17th, 1945 he assisted the enemy in the interrogation of Allied prisoners of war as to their duties.
9. Between Aug. 23rd, 1943 and Aug. 17th, 1945 he assisted the enemy in the interrogation of Allied prisoners of war regarding the organization and equipment of the Royal Signals and British artillery.
10. Between Aug. 23rd, 1943 and Aug. 17th, 1945 he designed and implemented a system for spying on Allied prisoners of war.
11. Between Aug. 23rd, 1943 and Aug. 17th, 1945 he assisted the enemy in preventing prisoners of war from communicating, receiving medical and other supplies, and assisted with the selecting of medically un-fit prisoners for work duty.

Major Boon pleaded not guilty to all charges. His counsel complained of the inability to procure witnesses from Hong Kong because of the current hostilities. Witness after witness for the prosecution presented damning testimony. Some even told tales not in the official charges, charges of assisting the enemy in searches, bribing the commandant with Red Cross packages, preventing parcels from being given to the men and informing on men who were writing letters home. 44 witnesses testified for the prosecution. One of the most interesting pieces of evidence was Boon’s own diary written in Russian admitting to some of the incidents.

The case boiled down to three questions…
1. What constituted “aiding the enemy”?
2. The meaning of the word “voluntarily’.
3. Intent to commit the crimes.

The Defense argued that many of the alleged offenses were by omission and not ones of commission, such as not asking for the suspension of parade on days of harsh weather. Boon told others to ask the commandant rather than asking himself. Another example would be looking the other way as the “Fat Pig” Col. Takanuka took supplies from the prisoner’s stores and Red Cross packages. An error of omission, not of commission, as described by the Defense.

The prosecution made an impassioned argument that Boon had aided the enemy, that he had hostile intent, and that throughout the period he had done it voluntarily for personal gain at the expense of his fellow prisoners. It was argued that he was a Regular Soldier in the Army. That he was brought up and trained to be a soldier and that the raising of a bamboo stick should not make him forget his duty and quake for his life.

 “Yes, he is a coward and he let his cowardice aid the enemy.” That statement from the prosecutor rang through the court room.

Major Boon was found guilty of 6 counts and directed to serve 20 years of hard labor. Major Bedford might have sided with the defense in other circumstances. If they were not at war and the public wanted to heal and not dwell on the past, forgive and forget as it were.  The fact that they were once again at war and this time with the Soviets, and that Boon had written his diary in Russian, convinced the panel that Boon had to be punished.  And punished, he was.