|Soviet Union||United States
|Commanders and leaders|
Japan's Home Islands were jointly invaded by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in March 1946, the climactic battle of World War II in the Pacific Theater. When Emperor Hirohito was killed, Japan stopped fighting.
Immediately, Steele and Trotsky began establishing new governments in their respective parts of occupied Japan. The Soviets held Hokkaido and northern Honshu, and established the Japanese People's Republic (North Japan) under Fedor Tolbukhin with some Japanese Reds acting as his puppets. Similarly, the U.S. established the Constitutional Monarchy of Japan (South Japan) in southern Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Hirohito's son, Akihito, who was only twelve, became the new emperor, although it was General Dwight Eisenhower who actually ran the country.
In 1947, the Soviet military began building the "People's Liberation Army" in North Japan. In response, the U.S. created the "Constitutional Guard" in South Japan. Throughout 1947 and into 1948, U.S. commanders along the demilitarized zone sent reports to their superiors, expressing concern about North Japan's activities.
The Course of the WarEdit
Nonetheless, when the North Japanese army crossed the demilitarized zone formed by the Agano River in June 1948, it was a complete surprise. The attack was devastating, driving the Constitutional Guard of South Japan along with its U.S. allies south. The U.S. attempted to bomb North Japanese cities with B-29s, a strategy used against the Empire of Japan during World War II. However, the air defenses of the North had been re-built with Soviet help and new Gurevich 9 jets proved much more deadly then older propeller fighters. (It was an open secret that the Gu-9s were often piloted by Russians.) As such, daylight raids were attempted for only a few days but losses were unacceptable so only occasional night raids were continued.
Moreover, the South Japanese were not enthusiastic in defending their country and it took a while for U.S. forces to regroup but they managed to halt the North's advance at Utsunomiya. From there, the U.S. and South Japanese, with bloody and hard fighting over the following year, forced the invaders back to Sendai, well north of the border.
President Steele ordered the destruction of Sendai with an atomic bomb on August 6, 1949. In response, Soviet Premier Leon Trotsky ordered the bombing of the South Japanese city of Nagano three days later. The war ended in a stalemate, with a restoration of the status quo ante bellum.
In the short story, North Japan was formed when the successful U.S. invasion of the Japanese Home Islands led Trotsky to invade from the North to take as much territory as he could. In the novel, the two powers had prearranged a joint invasion. Also, in the story the American atom bomb destroyed the capital of North Japan, Sapporo, rather than Sendai.
- The Korean War, the OTL basis for the Japanese War.
- "Ready for the Fatherland", which briefly summarizes a similar conflict.