As the Second
World War lurched toward its end in Europe,
the British Chiefs of Staff realized that
the United States could defeat Japan without
the assistance of its allies. Participation
by significant elements of the Royal Navy
in American operations against Japan, they
believed, would be critical to the post-war
political environment where the Americans
would certainly assume the leading role. Failure
of England to bear her share of the burden
could lead to accusations that could only
harm relations between the two nations.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, meanwhile,
constantly demanded aggressive operations
in South-East Asia. Churchill sought to regain
the glory of the British Empire, including
the colonies lost to the Japanese early in
the war. He believed that the only way to
do this was by demonstrating British military
might by retaking them without American help.
Historically Churchill’s plans dropped
by the way when it became obvious that joining
America in the defeat of Japan was good from
a political standpoint as well as giving the
Royal Navy experience in carrier and major
fleet operations as defined by the powerful
American Navy’s campaign across the
Britain’s last battleship, HMS Vanguard.
East of Suez is a 64-page scenario
book for the Second World War at Sea
series. It covers Churchill’s plans,
which ranged from the hopelessly optimistic
to the patently absurd, and the Royal Navy’s
operations in the Pacific alongside the Americans
in 1945. Background articles and scenarios
describe the operations executed and those
planned by the British Eastern and Pacific
Fleets from 1943 to 1946. The Dutch East Indies
Squadron is also covered by article and scenarios.
East of Suez includes die-cut, mounted
game pieces: 70 “long” ship pieces
and 140 standard-sized pieces, most of them
representing aircraft. The British receive
the battleships Vanguard, Duke of
York and Anson, numerous light
and escort carriers, and a number of cruisers
and destroyers. The French battleship Richelieu,
the Dutch battlecruisers and light cruisers
of the 1939 building program, and British
jet fighters (even the SRA-1 seaplane jet
fighter) are all present.
Players will need Eastern
Gulf to enjoy all the scenarios in
East of Suez.
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