Thursday, September 15, 2011

Imperial Nippon the Colonial Power

After Commodore Perry's fateful trip to Nippon in the 1850's the Nation of Nippon choose to embrace every aspect of the Modern World, including the European concept of Colonialism and over seas empires. Starting in the 1870's with dozens of Pacific islands, by the 1890's Nippon had turned its attention to the dieing Qing Dynasty of China. After a swift victorious war the Imperial Army and Navy annexed Formosa (Taiwan) and Korea (although the Europeans forced the technical return of the latter to the tender care of the Russian Empire).
By 1905, tensions had run their course between the empires of Russia and Nippon. The Imperial Navy used a lighting strike, before declaring war, on the Russian East Asia fleet in Korea. The Surprise attack destroyed Russian Naval power in Korean waters and allowed the unfettered movement of the Imperial Army as they systematically destroyed the Russian forces in Korea. The overwhelming victory of the Imperial Navy over the Russian reinforcement fleet in the Battle of Tushima sealed the Russian defeat and added Korean to the growing Empire of Nippon. By the 1930's the Imperial Staff had made plans for the dismemberment of China, starting with Manchuria. This path was to directly lead to the final expansion of the Empire with the early conquests of much of East Asia in the opening victories of World War II.
The Japanese entry into World War II began as it had in the Russo-Japanese War, with a surprise attack upon the naval forces of the Japanese enemy, before a declaration of war.

The Empire's massive victory was also its greatest mistake.  The sneak attack on this "Day of Infamy" while the two governments were engaged in peace negotiations, would so enrage the American public that only total destruction of the Empire would satisfy the cry for revenge.
The Empire Nippon had reached its zenith of size and power and yet it had but four years left to live.

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