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Point of Divergence
After the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, and continuing reversals on the Eastern Front, the leaders of the Third Reich meet in Munich to discuss reactivating Heinrich Himmler's Alpine Fortress plan and the creation of the Werewolf guerrillas. While the plan failed to fully materialize, it did however allow for the European Front to continue into 1946.
Throughout the war, America had recruited some of the world's great scientists to work on the ambitious Manhattan Project, with the goal of building an atomic bomb before the Germans did. After years of research and careful preparation, on July 16, 1945 in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a test under the codename "Trinity" was being prepared. Fearing the advantage America would have if the weapon worked, under the direct orders of Stalin, the prototype was sabatouged by the various spies who had managed to infiltrate the project. With the test failed, the development of the atomic bomb was drasticly delayed. With no "superweapon", the Allies would be forced to begin Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of the Japanese Home Islands.
The invasion of Japan began on November 1st, 1945 (called X-Day) by US troops against the island of Kyushu. The invasion forces were mainly focused on capturing the cities of Miyazaki, Ariake, and Kushikino and then push north. The Japanese were able to correctly predict most of invasion plans, and what resulted was a bloodbath. American landing craft faced heavy resistance from the Imperial Navy, followed by the combined Imperial Army and Navy Air Services. American loses were great, causing 5 divisions to be transferred from Europe to the Pacific Theater. When American troops finally landed on shore, they faced fierce resistance from the Japanese 16th Area Army. By November 31st, the US 6th Army managed to break through the defenses and by December 5th, their objectives were achieved. The 6th Army then pushed north into Central Kyushu. The American forces were slowed by the aggressive Volunteer Fighting Corps (local militia units), who frequently went after vulnerable supply lines. By March of 1946, Central Kyushu fell to US forces under the command of General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur. The SovietsSoviets invaded the weakly defended island of Hokkaido after capturing the Karafuto Prefecture on the southern half of the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. The Soviet military chose to build up forces and finish off the bulk of the Japanese Imperial Army in Manchuria before the invasion. When the Americans landed on Kyushu, Stalin forced the commanders to invade the Japanese Home Islands. The Soviet invasion began on November 5th, 1945. The invasion consisted mainly of paratroopers, followed by landing craft, but due to the time it took for the Soviets to build up and Stalin pushing for an invasion before plans could be finalized, the invasion became a disaster. While Soviet troops were able to establish a foothold on Hokkaido, the Imperial Army was able to set some formidable defensive lines beforehand, and the Volunteer Fighting Corps had managed to inflict heavy losses on paratroopers. After heavy fighting in Sapporo, Hakodate, and several other important cities on Hokkaido, the Soviets managed to capture the island by January 19th, 1946. Due to the heavy losses, the Soviets chose to hold back on the invasion of Honshu until June of '46. They chose to build air bases and naval bases on Hokkaido before turning south. The initial invasion of Kyushu and the ensuing battles for the island had caused the Allied High Command to pull in re-inforcements from across the Pacific Theater. The Commonwealth Forces from across the British Empire began to land on Kyushu to support their American allies. To better establish a foothold on Kyushu, and to try and break Japanese supply lines from occupied territories, the Australian military was assigned to the invasion of Nagasaki. The Australians managed to muster seven divisions for the battle, on March 6th, 1946, they launched their invasion. They soon found their selves faced in brutal combat as they had to drive out Japanese forces from building to building. To help support the Australians, the Allied High Command was forced to send in two divisions from the Indian Army, something MacArthur opposed. The Japanese finally lost Nagasaki by July 7th, 1946. With the port of Nagasaki in Allied hands, the Commonwealth forces began to use it as a base of operation in Northern Kyushu. With the nightmare in Kyushu and the threat of Soviet troops in Hokkaido, the US chose to go along with Operation Coronet, the invasion of the Kanto Plains on the island of Honshu. The invasion began on Y-Day (March 1st, 1946). 25 divisions managed to land of the Boso Peninsula and the city of Hiratsuka in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Faced with greater opposition then in Kyushu, the US was forced to call on support from their Allies. Faced with the risk of losing Tokyo, the Imperial Army called back all troops in Korea and a third of their forces form Northern China. The Allies quickly managed to send in a combined force of ten Canadian, Indian and British divisions. The Japanese forces reached the Home Islands by March 30th, 1946, and headed east to protect Tokyo. With over 30 divisions protecting the Imperial capital the Allies called in reinforcements before launching a full scale assault. They transferred twenty divisions from Europe to the Boso Peninsula. By late May, they arrived and were preparing for the battle. The Soviets invaded the Aomori Prefecture on the northern part of Honshu on June 9th, 1946. Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky, the commanding officer of Soviet forces in the Far East, chose to first invade the remote Shimokita Peninsula in the Prefecture's north and Tsugaru Peninsula opposite of it across the entrance to the Mutsu Bay. The invasion of the Tsugaru Peninsula was considered the most difficult due to elements from the Imperial Army and Navy protecting it. Troops in the Shimokita Peninsula faced relatively little resistance. As troops began moving south however, they became bogged down in a grueling guerrilla war with the Volunteer Fighting Corps, slowing the Soviets significantly. What should have taken a week ended up taking two months. The Soviet Air Force responding with heavy use of napalm acquired from their US allies. By late July, Aomori fell to the Soviet. With the increasing threat to the Japanese capital and significant losses of territory and men, Emperor Hirohito wanted to end the war. Radicals in the Imperial Army staged a coup and arrested the Emperor secretly as to not lose the support of the people. They quietly moved the Emperor to the recently finished Matsushiro Underground Imperial Headquarters in the city of Nagano for the remainder of the war. Soon after the abdication of the Emperor, the Allies launched their attack against Tokyo. Recently arrived General George Patton, and his 3rd Army, was chosen by the Allied High Command to lead the battle. On June 9th, the same day as the Soviet invasion of Aomori, the Allies launched their attack against the Japanese capital. Much like the Australians at Nagasaki, they found themselves forced to clear out building after building. Much of the city was destroyed in the battle. It took until February 28th, 1947 until the city finally fell to the Allies. Kyushu finally fell by January 1947. American scientist finally managed to finish the atomic bomb a year earlier. To prevent further casualties and help bring an end to the costly invasion, President Roosevelt finally approved their use. The first strike was against Hiroshima on January 7th, 1947. The hope was for the surrender of the Imperial Army. When this did not happen, they attacked again at Kokura on the 10th. The Radicals had already taken complete control of the country, and they were in no way going to surrender. A third bomb was dropped on the import port city of Niigata on the 12th. The raid against Niigata was the riskiest. The Nagano Prefecture was chosen as the production site for the Imperial Army's jet aircraft, the Nakajima Kikka, and the Nakajima Ki-201. Built in underground facilities and with the help of several German scientists who managed to flee to Japan, these aircraft were being produced at an alarming rate. If any aircraft wished to get at the eastern Chuba and western Kanto regions, they would have to go through fierce resistance. With the Soviets moving south and capturing most of the Tohoku region, the Allied and Soviet high commands agree on joint mission. Soviet jets would face the Japanese and distract them while the American bomber carrying the bomb goes on to hit Niigata. In exchange, the US agreed to bomb Sendai as it was too heavily defended to attack and was becoming a nuisance to the Soviets. The Soviets launched a massive air assault against the city of Nagano. Five air armies were called in to lure out the Japanese jets. Loses were high on both sides, but the Soviets managed to wipe out half of the Japanese jets and bombed most of the city of Nagano out of existence. The Americans hit Niigata and wiped it off the map. Five days later on January 17th, Sendai witnessed the atomic bomb as the Americans fulfilled their side of the agreement. The city of Maebashi in the Gunma Prefecture was also bombed on January 30th, 1947. Finally Japan agreed to surrender. Japan was divided much like Germany, Austria, and Korea. The Soviets occupied the northern part; America occupied most of Honshu, Britain Shikoku, and Australia Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands. On May 3rd, 1947, the southern half of Japan became the State of Japan, and although it was independent, it wouldn't be until 1957 when the last of the occupation forces left. To counter the formation of West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) and West Austria (Republic of Austria) in Europe and South Korea (Republic of Korea) in Asia in 1949, the Soviets formed East Germany (German Democratic Republic), East Austria (Democratic Republic of Austria), North Korea (People's Democratic Republic of Korea), and North Japan (People's Republic of Japan). The early 1950's almost saw the newly formed United Nations collapse and the near outbreak of World War Three. The Korean War began in 1950, followed by the Inter-German War a few months after. The Japans were thrown into war in 1951 as radicals in the North took control. By 1952, South Japan managed to take Northern capital of Yamagata. The North managed to drive the South back and took the northern part of the Ibaraki Prefecture. In the peace treaty between the State of Japan and the People's Republic of Japan on June 6th, 1952, the South gave the North the occupied part of the Ibaraki Prefecture in exchange for the North returning the occupied Toyama Prefecture. The North organized its half of the Ibaraki Prefecture as the Hitachi Prefecture. North Japan also decided to move its capital to Sapporo in Hokkaido in 1953 to prevent the capture of the nation's capital again. A year later it became the Sapporo Prefecture and Hokkaido's prefectural capital was moved to Hakodate. The remained of the 1950's and the entire 60's were tense as the North began to fortify its border with the South. Soviet troops and Western troops faced off waiting for the moment a war broke out. The situation became even tenser during the Vietnam War. In 1976, the then leaders of both nations, Prime Minister Akiyama Keiji of the South and the North's leader Izumi Shinji met, the first time such an event happened since the signing of the 1952 peace treaty. Both sought to reduce the tensions between their two Japans. They managed to reduce the amount of soldiers on both sides Inter-Japanese Border and reopen trade between the two nations. Since the late 1970's, North Japan has been crucial to the development of computer technology for the Communist Bloc. North Japan also benefits from large sums paid by the Soviet Union to lease naval bases for the Pacific Fleet. South Japan has also benefited from technology. After the Japanese War, the South was able to quickly recover, and its economy grew significantly. Its population also grew significantly, outnumbering the North nearly 2 to 1 forcing the North to rely heavily on mechanized labor and lose immigration policies. Since the end of the Japanese War, many politicians and military official in South Japan have proposed the capital be moved from Tokyo to Osaka, Kyotoc or Fukuoka, far away from the Inter-Japanese Border. Most government officials oppose this, and so the proposals never get far.
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