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In 1931, Japanese forces attacked the Chinese-controlled territory of Manchuria. Quicker than ever, the large territory fell to Imperial Japan. In 1933, Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist German Worker's Part (Nazis) took power in Germany as Chancellor. During the same year, both countries left the failing League of Nations. In 1937, Japan continued its invasions by leading an attack on China itself. America and Britain, both controlling the majority of the Pacific ocean, attempted to get Japan to end the attack and reside in its land already under control, but the attempts fail. Considering appeasement, the United States sends over trained pilots flying an advanced fighter, the P-40 "Warhawk". They assist the Chinese military in tampering with Japan's aerial bombardments. Soon, Japanese-American relations plummet. Feared that America would continue to intervene, the infamous day in world history shattered America forever. December 7, 1941. American battleships (and the majority of their navy) were stationed at Pearl Harbor, Oahu in Hawaii. Planning on destroying the US' navy to prevent them from interfering in their assaults in Eastern Asia, hundreds of Naval aircraft bombed, torpedoed and strafed the American navy. Two thousand military personnel killed, battleships destroyed, cruisers damaged- but Japan's highest priority target, several American aircraft carriers, were on patrol and not present in the harbor.
To many, in the following years, this attack would be the greatest mistake Japan had ever made. It would cost the Asian countries billions of dollars, hundreds of ships, thousands of planes, and millions of civilians and soldiers. The country was crippled, its industrial abilities destroyed, its economy shattered. But that was the real war.
This is an alternate Pacific War timeline. The major turning point in the Pacific was the Battle of Midway- three American carriers, the Hornet, Enterprise and Yorktown- against four Japanese carriers, the Zuiho, Akagi, Soryu and Hiryu. All Japanese carriers were annihilated for the ship Yorktown... but what if Japan won that engagement. What if Japan, one of the most powerful, threatening forces ever seen won a key battle in world history? The world as we know it would be much different...
By 1931, Japan considered itself- it would soon have 11 battleships, a whopping combination of 32 Escort and Regular aircraft carriers, but almost no heavy cruisers to act as carrier hunters or escorts. So, breaking the Washiington Naval Treaty or not, they went to work- and left the 1930s with ten powerful heavy cruisers- the Mikuma, Mogami, Tone, Chikuma, Takao, Maya, Atago, Chokai, Kumano and Suzuya. All armed to the teeth, including torpedoes, AA flak guns, and able to reach speeds of up to 28 knots, they could survive against any and all enemy vessels at sea. All also capable of carrying numerous ship-borne float planes, they could do short-range reconnaissance and had sub-hunting capability with depth charges on the planes.
There were three classes- the Mogami, Takao and Tone. The Mogami and Takao were the same general types, except the positions of several of the main guns were modified. The Tone, however, was special- all eight 8-inch guns were at the bow, allowing for a powerful bow armament, but leaving the rear/stern virtually unattended. These ten cruisers would all eventually be sunk in the war, not counting the Tone, which would be sunk after the war as a training target. However, these ships would've left their mark in history- sinking enemy cruisers, escorting aircraft carriers, and damaging, even destroying Allied battleships. They were some of the most feared Japanese ships of the entire war, excluding the mighty battleships.
One of these cruisers, the Mikuma, a Mogami-class Heavy Cruiser, gently floated in port. Its new officer, Commander Atsuko Toyama, walked towards the ramp in his dress whites. 90 men lined the very edge of the dock, and saluted to the high officer. The other eight-hundred crew stood on the deck of the mighty cruiser, standing on guns and at stations and near the ramp entrance. They all saluted.
Atsuko nodded politely continued up the ramp. He then nodded again to the men on the ship.