Note that Free France may only declare war on Italy if it has declared war on another nation during the game (Free France NRS v3.2).
French response to Japanese Aggression?
In a recent game my opponent and I discovered after an early (Jan '38) Japanese attack and capture of Calcutta that the French have no income increases from such an action. The US gained its 5 x D12 increase and obviously the Commonwealth went to full mobilization, but I was surprised to see that the Fremch have no response whatsoever.
Is this an oversight or by design? I can see why it might not be a good idea for the French to go to a war footing (especially as the European Axis hadnt attacked anyone yet), but I would expect at least the same sort of IPP increase as they get for Japan attacking China, if not more.
@Dran-Black How interesting. This is totally speculation on my part, but I bet I know why this isn’t addressed.
I bet a typical game has Germany attacking France before Japan attacks the Commonwealth. Meaning, France would already be at wartime income, and so this would be void.
I’m with you though, you’d think there would be something. Maybe not the same rule as when Germany or Italy attack the UK, where France automatically goes to wartime income. But an increase of some kind would seem realistic!
That said, I’m getting the impression that the UK was still not at war with anyone at this point then, right? They must not have been if France hadn’t bumped to wartime income yet. My point is, if the UK wasn’t at war, they’d still be considered Neutral, which would make them eligible under France’s Peacetime Income Increases of “Japan declares war on neutral nation or China - +1 (each time)”. Unless there’s something that would preclude the UK from being considered Neutral in this instance.
Well the UK was technically “neutral” in terms of War/Peace, however I dont think that any of the major powers fall under the Neutral Category when determining income increases.
But I would expect there to be a seperate category for if this event were to take place. Given the scope of the game it’s quite possible, even if unlikely, that the Japanese might declare war on the UK or France before the European Axis do.
As this is the case I think there should be a seperate allowance for this, even if it isnt that the “other” doesn’t go to Wartime income (which kind of makes sense as why would the French fight for India or Hong Kong, or the British for French indochina).
Also it’s interesting to note that there are no income increases whatsoever if one or more of the Axis/Commintern declares war on the US. Which again is quite possible given the scope and scale of the game.
I’m not surprised by this particularly on a “Historical” perspective, but from a gameplay perspective an adjustment might be needed.
I mean what if a concerted Axis effort is made to invade the US in July '38/Jan '39?
It might be a viable strategy but it also might be a game breaker from a classical standpoint. The remaining Allied powers would have little comeback.
The French would get +1 IPP since FEC was neutral at the time.
European nations were competing with each other when it came to colonization. France colonized what became known as French Indo China just to stop the spread of British colonization in Asia. The British were there to limit the spread of Dutch colonization. The Asian colonies weren’t as lucrative as the other colonies (such as Africa). The main French concern would’ve been defending their homeland from the obvious threat that was coming from the European Axis powers as well as their African colonies. While the Brits and the French may have been in competition with each other for colonies they would certainly be united against the Germans. Given that Japan was more of a common enemy than an ally of Germany and Italy, France would not have been overly concerned by what the Japanese were doing to other nation’s colonies in Asia. It’s not that they wouldn’t have cared at all, they just were much more concerned about events closer to home.
Oh I appreciate the “Historical” aspect of it. Though I think your argument is much more grounded in the world or World War 1. I think that by the 30’s France and Britain were very much seeing eye to eye on maintaining the status quo.
The rush for Empire as the Europeans saw it, was over and the maintenance of said Empires after WW1 was a large concern. This is why, amongst other things the Imperial powers cooperated in the Chinese concessions at the turn of the 20th century.
I also disagree on the value of the Asian-African colonies as you put it. India was still the jewel in the crown of the British Empire, French indo-china was the second most invested in colony of the French after Algeria (which was seen as essentially part of France) and given the difference in size and distance between the African and Asian holdings for France it’s quite a considerable investment.
But the Historical aspects aside, I think that if the Japanese had invade India before the war in Europe began, the French would have had a significant response given the threat they would have felt from such Japanese aggression. And in Game purposes I think it might just be either an oversight or ill conceived. I think that the French should have something more akin to a D-6 IPP increase.
As always I appreciate your input GHG. You’re always a good man to get a word from and your insight is always welcome.
Interesting takes from you both. This could lose focus, but I do like historical discussion
I think you both have valid points on the historical aspects vs. game play realities.
Britain’s and France’s alliance, at least in the form we know it as it concerns WWII, stemmed in 1938-1939 after the Munich Conference. The alliance was really geared towards stemming German/Italian expansions in Europe. I don’t think Japan/Asia was really much of a thought or concern. That probably stems from a number of things, a couple being a contemporary belief in Japanese/Asian inferiority (even with Japanese military success in the recent past), as well as being largely unaware that Japan would eventually harbor the ill will to fight the Allies. They didn’t join the Axis until 1940, remember.
That’s all to say that I agree with GHG, in a historical context, that Britain and France were more concerned about issues closer to home.
All that said, from a gaming perspective, I do agree with Dran here. In a hypothetical reality where Japan preemptively assaulted the British Empire in Hong Kong, Malay, Burma, India, etc., I think it’s very obvious France would have gone on high alert, fully realizing their Indochinese colonies might all of a sudden be in jeopardy. We of course cannot know this, since Indochina was occupied after a Vichy government took control. But I think reason dictates there would have been a heightening of fears in the French Empire.
In that regard, it would have been nicer to have seen a bit more of a peacetime income increase for a situation like this, I agree. But at least there is that +1 IPP for Japan attacking a Neutral UK.