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Literature / Decisive Darkness

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Decisive Darkness: What if Japan hadn't Surrendered in 1945 is a Alternate History timeline by The Red, a member of AlternateHistory.com - which can be read here. It deals with an alternate history taking place after a coup in Japan in August 1945 leads to Korechika Anami seizing power and continuing the war against the Allies, and the domestic and international effects this has, from the continuation of atomic bombing of Japanese cities (and worse) to the fate of POWs in occupied Asia.

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Currently, the story has dealt with effects on many people within the historical context, from Japanese civilians to American politics to the impacts upon the dawning Cold War, creating a chilling picture of what was narrowly averted in our reality.


Decisive Darkness provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: With the large numbers of Child Soldiers coming into play, this is practically a given.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Subverted. For a while it seemed like Hirohito's nephew would take the throne. Then Japanese forces were able to find Yasuhito.
  • Alpha Strike: When the Allied forces land on Kyushu, the Japanese forces opposing them try to overwhelm the beachhead by throwing every soldier and kamikaze they can muster at the Allied invasion. It doesn't work.
  • Anti-Hero / Destructive Savior: The Americans.
  • Asshole Victim: Very many for the Japanese.
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  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: See Alpha Strike and Zerg Rush.
  • Balkanize Me:
    • After the war, Japan is divided in four occupation zones. At least, three of them will become distinct, separate countries.
    • the division of mainland China lasts much longer.
    • Averted by Korea.
  • Body Horror: Inflicted on everyone bombed with mustard gas.
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: The Federation of Free Territories, in northern parts of Honshu. Ironically, one of the better-organized parts of Japan post-Coronet.
  • Bungled Suicide: After the Imperial Family is killed by an American nuclear attack, Anami, believing himself to have failed his country, attempts to commit seppuku. He fails when the pain becomes too great for him to continue.
  • Chummy Commies: Soviet-occupied Hokkaido is currently the most pleasant part of Japan, though that's not saying very much.
    • Subsequently,the WPDJ/North Japan has the best overall living standard of all Japanese successor states
  • Child Soldiers: As Japan's situation becomes more and more desperate, the Japanese government and army begin conscripting anyone who can walk and carry a weapon, including teenagers.
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  • Civil War: Laos plunges into one after Japanese forces withdraw.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Most of Hokkaido is overrun very quickly...
    • Curb Stomp Cushion: ...except for Wakkanai Fortress and the mountains defended by the battle hardened forces of the 7th Division, which take its toll on the Soviet forces.
    • Also Operation Sandman, most of the Manchuria-Korea campaign, and the East China campaign.
    • Just the Allied war against Japan in general, on all fronts. What casualties the Japanese Empire manages to inflict on the Allies in its death throes is dwarfed by the death toll inflicted on the Japanese, which by the end has reached Paraguay-in-War-of-the-Triple-Alliance levels.
  • Darker and Edgier: Manages to do this to World War II, a war which was unpleasant to begin with...
  • Deadly Gas:
    • Why Operation Sandman is such a Curb-Stomp Battle. Earlier, a Dutch airman bombed Japanese-occupied Batavia with mustard gas after the Japanese commander there ordered the massacre of the Dutch population of Java (see Leave No Survivors below), giving the Allies the idea for Sandman.
    • Essentially for the Soviet victory against Nobuhito's forces.
  • Death from Above: Used liberally on Japan.
  • Decisive Battle: Deconstructed.
  • Defiant to the End: Japan. Slowly being averted as more and more Japanese soldiers begin to surrender. Also deconstructed as it is shown this defiance is costing far more than it's worth.
    • Subverted by parts of the IJA who successfully went into hiding, something no-one noticed for a while and continue to fight till present-day.
  • Dirty Communists: Mentioned from time to time, but mostly averted due to the Soviets being allied with the American, British, and Commonwealth forces in the fight against Japan.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Nobuhito's failed charge against Soviet paratroopers resulted in his collaboration with the Japanese People's Emancipation League.
  • The Empire: Japan, naturally, though the Netherlands also displays this in retaking Indonesia, and Thailand becomes quite belligerent towards its neighbours following its Heel-Face Turn.
  • Evil Chancellor: Anami
  • Evil Cripple: Anami, after he gets shot in the spine during Doihara's failed coup.
  • Epic Fail: Anami's suicide attempt fails because it hurts too much.
  • Expanded States of America: After the end of the war, America annexes the Ryukyu Islands and southern Kyushu.
  • From Bad to Worse: Practically a given, based on the premise.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Invoked by an enormous number of Japanese soldiers and civilians but wears off as the war drags into 1946; Anami's attempted suicide averts this trope entirely.
  • For Want of a Nail: Korechika Anami launches a coup d'etat, takes control of Japan, and chooses not to surrender after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even with how hopeless the war had gotten. It was a bad decision.
  • Gender Is No Object / The Squadette: Due to Japan scraping the bottom of its manpower barrel, they've removed the "man" part and conscripted increasing numbers of women and girls to fight the Allies.
  • General Ripper and General Failure: Anami's entire raison d'etre.
  • God Is Dead: After Emperor Hirohito is inadvertently killed by the Americans when they nuke Nagano.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: Averted: the epilogue states that the Soviet Union is still around in TTL's present day.
  • Guns vs. Swords: See With This Herring below.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Thailand
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The United States, when one of their A-bombs is captured.
  • Honor Before Reason: Japan
  • Hope Spot: The attempt of the junta to end the fighting against the US-Americans. It fails and subsequently their last capital is nuked by them.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The survivors of the Zenko-ji bombing have turned to cannibalism to survive
  • Infant Immortality: Nightmarishly averted.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: Thoroughly averted: Word of God states that Japan remains impoverished as of TTL present day.
  • Just Before the End: The situation in the remaining unoccupied portions of Japan.
  • Karma Houdini: Kenji Doihara Not only does he escape capture and trial, it is implied that he plays an important role in the Japanese underground.
  • Kill 'Em All: A very large proportion of Japan's population, naturally.
  • Kill the God: The Americans accidentally kill Emperor Hirohito (revered by the Japanese as a living god) when they nuke Nagano, where the Imperial Family, along with a large number of refugees, is taking shelter.
  • La Résistance: After Japanese soldiers end up killing Sukarno, Indonesia begins revolting en masse against the Japanese occupation forces.
  • Leave No Survivors: When British forces are about to retake Singapore, the Japanese commander has all of the Allied prisoners in his custody massacred. The British then return the favor to the Japanese in Singapore.
    • Also, after Borneo is liberated, the Japanese commander has as many Dutch civilians as possible rounded up, before ordering that they be killed several thousand at a time until the Allies make peace. This leads directly to him getting bombed with Deadly Gas (see that trope's entry above).
  • Nuke 'em: Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still nuked, followed by twenty-two different cities before Japan finally surrenders.
  • Occupiers Out of Our Country: Indonesia and much of Asia still under Japanese occupation.
  • Oh, Crap!: For Japan when Kyushu is invaded, and again with Operation Sandman.
    • Also for the United States, when a B-29 carrying an atomic bomb is shot down and the bomb captured.
    • Once more with the knowledge of the three Japanese submarines assigned to carry biological weapons and drop them on the West Coast.
  • The Purge: After Anami's coup, he purges the Japanese military of those favouring surrender. Happens again after Doihara's failed coup.
  • The Quisling:
    • Sanzo Nosaka
    • Crown Prince Nobuhito
    • Colonel Hiromichi Yahara
  • The Remnant:
    • Several Japanese holdouts and isolated garrisons, mainly high in the mountains of places like the Philippines or on remote Pacific islands, either are or are in the process of becoming this.
    • General Isamu Yokoyama, commandant of the last major Imperial Japanese force after the nuking of Nikko, the last junta capital.
    • The Yakuza and other Japanese underground organisation staffed with former members of the Japanese military continue to oppose and undermine the Allied-occupation forces.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge : Operation Petbe,in retaliation of Japanese biological attacks on Pescadero. Thirteen atomic bombs detonated in a single day.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the recapture of Malaya and Singapore, the Japanese commander in Indochina retreats with all his remaining forces.
  • Seppuku: The Japanese commanders' favoured method of suicide. Including Anami's.
  • Sliding Scale of Alternate History Plausibility: A solid II, borderline III at times.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Lots of examples for all sides.
  • Spin-Off: Decisive Darkness: A Morning Reborn covers the events in Korea.
  • The Starscream: Doihara
  • Submarine Pirates: See Nazis with Gnarly Weapons above; as the two U-boats still have their German crews, they fly the German flag alongside the Japanese one, causing their targets to think German versions of these are operating in the area.
  • Succession Crisis: To a degree, when Hirohito and his family are killed and a suitable heir has to be located. (Note that this remains a fan theory pending Word of God).
  • Suddenly Significant City:
    • As a result of the destruction of other Japanese cities, Sapporo in Hokkaido becomes the largest Japanese city, location of the Peace Conference where the post-war order is decided and capital of the Workers and Peasants Democracy of Japan.
    • Noshiro in Akita/Tōhoku becomes the capital of the Federation of Free Territories and subsequently the Commonwealth occupation zone.
    • Nikko in the northern Kanto plain becomes the last capital of the junta/Imperial Japan. It is the last city in Japan to be nuked.
  • Suicide Attack / Taking You with Me: Becomes pretty much the entire Japanese war strategy.
  • Unexpected Successor: Yasuhito is the one to take the Chrysanthemum throne after Hirohito's death
  • War Is Hell: It's a timeline where World War II lasts a few years longer. No shit.
  • We Have Reserves: Japan uses this tactic despite not actually having reserves; they attempt to stretch their supply of soldiers by conscripting women and teenagers.
    • Also invoked by the US; the casualties endured during Majestic would usually be enough to sink any operation, but thanks to a large number of available reinforcements and a vast logistical network, disaster is averted.
  • With This Herring / Break Out the Museum Piece: Due to increasingly desperate shortages of weapons and ammunition, Japan starts arming their conscripts with increasingly archaic weaponry, beginning with outdated rifles and eventually resorting to bamboo spears.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Averted by everyone, especially Japan.
  • Yakuza: Plays an important role after the war and likely lead by Kenji Doihara and other Japanese nationalists whose war has not ended.
  • Young Future Famous People: Machiko Hasegawa has shown up volunteering for an army unit.
  • Zerg Rush: See Alpha Strike above.

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