Saturday, 21 February 2009

Takara Kerberos Panzer Cop Saga ~ Chuichi Koshiramaru

This thing is like a wolf.
This thing is a wolf.
Thus, it is a thing to be banished.
- Jin Roh.

A (mis) interpretation :
Name : Kazuki Fuchs.
Age : 28 years old.
Rank : First Lieutenant/Platoon Leader - 1st Assault Platoon "Schäferhund"; 1st Company "Kurzhaar"; Special Armored Brigade "Kerberos Panzerwaffen Stahlhunde"; Defence Division "Schutzabteilung; Metropolitan Security Police Organization "Haupstadtsicherheitspolizei".
Armor Type : Kampfküriss Typ. IX No. 2.
Std. Armaments : Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun; Mauser C96 sidearm; Steilhandgranate 24 hand grenade; Kampfmesser 42 bayonet.

The Steel Hounds of Hades.
On August 6th and 9th, 1942, two atomic bombs, codename Ragnarök and Götterdämmerung, were dropped by two Heinkel He177 onto Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. By August 15th, 1942, the Emperor of Japan broadcasted the nation's surrender to his subjects for the first time over the radio. On September 2nd, 1942, the nation formally surrendered, marking an end to World War 2. The nation came under the Occupation and was re-designated as the Reichskommissariat Japanisch (RKJ), administered by an appointed Reichkommissar with overall supervision by the Oberkommando der Japanisch (OKJ) occupational force.

By the end of 1942, more than 350,000 occupation personnel were stationed throughout Japan. A post war constitution was drawn up and implemented on May 3rd, 1943, effectively ending the nation as an empire. The primary two main objectives for the occupation were to eliminate the nation's war potential and turned it into a authoritarian style nation with pro-Third Reich orientation. The nation was entirely disarmed and de-industrialised. War tribunals were setup, with majority of wartime military leaders, politicians and bureaucrats sentenced to death, purged or sent to labour camps. The Imperial sovereignty was retained but only as figurehead. All traditions and religions were abolished and replaced by the ideologies and doctrines based on the Führerprinzip. The local population underwent nationwide rehabilitation programmes, economic and educational reformations. Civil liberties were restricted, freedom of speech curbed with press censorship, labour laws amended and trade unions dissolved. Majority of the populace were recruited as labours to work on the massive industrialisation and reconstruction of Greater Germany and other newly acquired territories. 
Societal issues were at its height. The nation's postwar condition was chaotic and its economy was in total collapse. Millions were starving to death and homeless due to the after effect of the war. Inflation was rampant and many people turned to the black markets for even the most basic goods.  Alcoholism, gambling, drugs abuse and prostitution were rampant, resulting in the emergence of numerous criminal organisations which controlled the underground economy. Turf wars became increasingly common. The kyodatsu condition and sense of hopelessness began to prevail amongst the local population. Incidences of rape were extremely few, as inter-racial relationships were strictly forbidden by the Third Reich. The point of change to the socio-political order was the beginning of the Cold War. Although the Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line was successfully established and achieved by the Third Reich, the Soviet Union still retained its military might and political sphere of influence east of the Urals Mountain and Siberia. When the Cold War flared into full military conflict with the Second Chinese Civil War resuming between the Communist Party of China and the ruling government of the Chinese Nationalist Party on March 1943 and, subsequently, the Korean War on 25th August, 1944, Japan came into recognition as an important geopolitical buffer zone against the Soviet and Communists threats as well as from America, whom had begun to emerged from a political non-intervention stance previously held by former President Charles Lindbergh. 
As the OKJ began to re-allocate majority of its available military forces to support the Kuomintang in China, and subsequently to Korea to assist the right wing government against the Communist forces, the resulting extensive troop reductions forced the RKJ to undertake realpolitik stance. The greatest political change was the successful assassination of the Führer on 20th July, 1945 by Colonel Markus von Stauffenberg. His death resulted in an immediate internal political strife amongst the inner circle and Greater Germany government. After a brief civil war between the Waffen-SS and the Wehrmacht, the latter ultimately gained control of the governance of the Third Reich. Former populist field marshal, Erwin Rommel was appointed the new Chancellor. A second great purge was carried out, known as the Second Night of the Long Knives.
From late 1946, the RKJ priorities shifted perceptibly from authoritarian social change to internal political stability and economic recovery for the nation as well other conquered territories. The initial industrial disarmament had led to postwar economic depression and reduced the standard of living tremendously. Major cities were turned into slums due to mass migration of returning soldiers without employments and means to survive. However, this was reversed and policy of a relaxation of the "economic deconcentration" was adopted.
By 1948, the Reichkommissar made a sweeping change in the RKJ power structure that greatly increased the power of Japan's native rulers. This eventually paved way for The Munich Peace Treaty which was signed on September 8th, 1951 and marked the end of the occupation by foreign forces. The nation was once again an independent state when the Treaty went into effect on April 28, 1952.
After the nation's surrender in 1942, the RKJ had decentralized the pre-war police structure and established the National Rural Police. When most of the occupation military forces were transferred to China in 1943 due to the outbreak of the Second Chinese Civil War, the National Police Reserve consists of local populace was formed to back up the ordinary police. The National Security Committee was later established by the RKJ to supervise the new police forces. Although banned by the postwar constitution, leftist and liberal political organisations began to increase in numbers. More seriously was the rise of armed ultra-leftist anti-government groups bent on changing society through force. These groups eventually grew so powerful and influential, that the existing police authorities were overwhelmed, raising dire concerns for public safety. After the Shibuya Incident, public bombings and several assassinations on German bureaucrats and local businessmen, the Reichkommissar tasked the National Security Committee to upheld and preserve public order. To avoid violating the postwar constitution, as well as preventing the existing local police forces from forming their own political power, the National Security Committee recommended that a separate police force was to be established under its direct command. Thus on 23rd December 1943 the Metropolitan Police Security Organization or Capital Police was established and served exclusively as the primary law enforcement force for the nation's capital city. They were called Shutokei by the local population. The commander in chief was Isao Ackermann. Members of the Capital Police were stringently selected and recruited from members of the local police forces, with particular emphasis on the theory of eugenics. The Capital Police consisted of two major divisions, the Defence Division and the Public Security Division. The former, led by commander Shiroh Eisenberg, was primarily a paramilitary law enforcement unit while the latter, led by director Bunmei Wechsler was a secret service unit akin to the Gestapo, tasked with counter-intelligence and counter-propaganda. The Defence Division new recruits were intensively trained at the elite Panzertruppenschule IV and Panzertruppenschule V. The recruits were also subjected to various indoctrinations and psychological reconditioning to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency. An elite special force was setup within the Defence Division itself to primarily engage against the more violent insurgents from the ultra-leftist groups. Officially called the Special Armed Brigade but more well known as the stylised name Kerberos, due to their adoption of the mythical three headed hellhound guarding the underworld in Greek mythology, this elite group was led by vice chief Hajime Eberhardt, a former counter-intelligence member of the Abwehr. The Kerberos was heavily armed, highly mobile and cladded in personal armour based on the Spezial Panzer Anzug Typ 34 "Wolfpeltz" utilized by the 101st Jäger Division during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Separately, the Public Security Division was essentially a secret police group which primary responsibilities include espionage, undercover activities and investigation of treason and sabotage cases. Political writers, journalists, with leftist leaning often disappeared without a trace, their literatures confiscated and banned. The highly feared Public Security personnel, called Kempeitai by the locals, was also tasked with identifying and hunt down the self-styled liberal, decadent and anarchistic group of individuals known as Tachiguishi-Retsuden or Fast Food Grifters, which had its roots in the kasutori culture. Local bureaucrats offices communication lines were also tapped and recorded. Supporting the entire structure include aerial reconnaissance team known as the Laelaps, armoured reconnaissance and personnel transports like the Schwerer Panzerspähwagen (Sd.Kfz.232-8 Rad, Sd.Kfz.223) and Schützenpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.251).
The Capital Police quickly expanded its own power and political influence over the course of time. Their initial targets were black market operators, various crime gangs and syndicates throughout the capital. They also targeted immigrants, illegal or otherwise, particularly of Chinese and Korean ethnicity, whom were often harassed and viewed with contempt. This racial attitudes were one of the legacy of from the RKJ occupational period. The Capital Police eventually widen its scope of targets to students, leftist and liberal political movements, repressing their almost daily public protests against the occupation force. All these targets were treated harshly and suppressed with overwhelming brutality. Members of the Capital Police were trained to obey all orders and carry out their duties without questions. They eventually gained notoriety for their extra judicial killings and brutal tactics without regards to the judiciary procedures or the safety of members of the public.  A suspected serial killer, Yoshio Kodaira, was captured in a manhunt after evading the authorities for years. The CO of the 3rd company brought Kodaira to a secret location where he was believed to have been extensively tortured and then summarily executed. His almost unrecognisable corpse was later discovered in the Tokyo Bay riddled with bullets. Another prolific incident was the killing of a tachiguishi that went by the name Cold Badger Masa, whom secretly served as an informant for the Public Security Division. He was bludgeoned to death in front of a ramen street shop. When a particularly vicious turf war involving several major boryokudan gangs occurred and spiralled out of control, the Capital Police stepped in and carried out a 2 weeks "sweep and clear" operations against them. Approximately 5,000 gang members were killed, captured and sent to labour camps across South East Asia. Ethnic repressions were carried out against Koreans and Chinese immigrants and forcibly sent to designated buraku. Another was a brutal repression of anti-Lebensraum student activists protesting in front of the Diet Building resulting in 10 casualties and 58 critically injured. Receiving widespread coverage, the public was outraged but the government supressed them through systematic instillation of fear, racial threats, imposition of law and media blackout. Any judicial complains or reports to the Internal Board of Enquiry at the National Security Committee resulted in acquittal or light sentencing.
When the Occupation ended in 1952, the Police Law was amended by the newly elected militaristic and authoritarian government which was secretly sponsored by the Third Reich, and introduced a more centralized system of which the local police forces were organized by prefectures collectively known as the National Self Police Force. The Capital Police was retained. Due to close proximity of several prefectures of the Greater Metropolitan Area, and the ambiguity of police jurisdiction between the Capital Police and the Self Police, internal strife, conflicts, political and otherwise, began between the two forces. Several jurisdiction disputes between the them led the National Security Committee to enforce a joint co-operation agreement between the Capital Police and Self Police forces of nearby prefectures. Meanwhile, the anti-government forces, facing various bans and other legal restrictions, were forced underground. They split up in smaller cells but maintained their networks and would eventually regrouped. In the end, a single guerrilla group known as The Sect emerged and the situation was immediately changed drastically. The Sect was secretly backed by the Soviets KGB, and armed with various weaponries, a series of escalating violent clashes between The Sect and the Kerberos special unit of the Capital Police began, subsequently turned the city streets into urban war zones. The Sect often utilised the underground network of tunnels to transport its guns and munitions, through special couriers consisted of old women and young girls known as Rotkäppchen. Battles between the Sect and the Capital Police, particularly the Defence Division's Kerberos special force, would often take place beneath the labyrinth networks of sewerage tunnels. This ironically reflected their name, as Cerberus is guardian of the Underworld. Numerous public bombings took place amidst intense rioting, as well as increase incidences of plane hijackings, assassinations and kidnappings. The Capital Police, particularly the Kerberos, played a pivotal role during this period of chaos, managed to contain these dire situations, but at the cost of many innocent lives of the public. Throughout the turmoil period of 50s, the Capital Police eventually came into recognition as the primary law enforcement organisation in the metropolis. Their political powers were etched into the societal fabric and greatly feared by all.
By the end of the 50s, the global economies began to recover from the effects of the war. Global politics had also begun to change and shift. Japan, which had entered internationalization under a forced economic re-organization of the whole society had begun to bear fruits. The period of positive economic growth began and the population finally enjoyed the prosperity they worked hard for and as promised. The nation had also been voted into the newly established United Nations (UN) and secured assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Summer Olympic Games was also scheduled to be held at the nation. As the period of the Economic High Growth began, the Capital Police and its enemy, The Sect, as well as other leftist movements, became increasingly marginalised and irrelevant. The publics, enjoying the hard fought economic prosperity and wealth, began to find confidence in the new, more liberal stance government. Businesses began to sprout and the good times promised finally emerged. Zaibatsu began to emerged and formed. The government had moved in accordance to the changes in time, adopting a more relax liberal stance and national policies which extended to all citizens regardless of ethnicity and social classes with priority for economic prosperity and wealth. Political extremists with ultra nationalistic leanings and militant political associates were voted off or forced out of the Cabinet. 

The Fighting Hound.
As the majority of The Sect founders and cell leaders already being captured or dead during the chaos of 50s, an influential single cell leader, Fujiwara Fuerst, formed a splinter group called "The Four Seasons League". Fujiwara was an ultra, disillusioned by former Sect leaders whom had compromised with the government and has abandoned its more extremist and violent members. His hidden intention was an appointment with glory against the Kerberos. The Four Seasons League first came into prominence when they took numerous hostages during the German Embassy Incident. Later, Fujiwara organized a plan and hijacked a Lufthansa Focke-Wulf Fw 200 flight 666 filled with passengers. The leader and members of the terrorist splinter group demanded release of several incarcerated cell leaders and the plane was to be flown to a neutral country offering political asylum. The hijack failed as three members of the Kerberos special unit boarded the plane before take off and killed all the terrorists but also with several passengers as casualties. The plane engines were shot and landed safely on a nearby landfill. The high risk actions undertaken by a trio infamously known as Der Teufel Hunden caused public outrage. The Self Police Force filed an official complaint against the Capital Police for violating the co-operation agreement as the airport was official not within the Capital Police jurisdiction. An unreported incident was the Kerberos had a intense armed faced off with the Self Police own special force, the Spezial Sturm Gruppe, at the airport departure hall in full view of the public. The incident caused a major public relations embarrassment to the government and the National Security Committee. The trio was charged with insubordinations and faced the Internal Board of Inquiry. They were given a light sentencing, being suspended from active duties for three months and confined to the Capital Police Academy Training School Zucht Schanze despite protest for harsher sentencing.
The Cat and the Hound.
The Capital Police itself had also begun to face internal strife and factionalism between the Defence Division and the Public Security Division. This was primarily due to both the political and career ambitions of both Tatsumi and Bunmei. They harboured personal dislike against each other. Their professional relationship slowly deteriorated over the subsequent years. Tatsumi was like the hammer, while Bunmei was the scalpel. Several incidences whereby both parties, either directly or indirectly, had tried to subtlety undermine each divisions' operations  were kept unreported. Isao had to personally stepped in to ease the tension between the two divisions numerous times. Bunmei, a careerist with enough foresight to see the political and societal changes taking place, secretly conspired with several top ranking officials from the Self Police Force with support from several political bureaucrats within the National Security Committee. His ultimate objective was to abolish the Defence Division and absorb the entire Capital Police into the Self Police Force as a single, law enforcement entity. Personally, Bunmei made it clear that the Public Security Division would be retained in existence. He viewed the Defence Division, and the Kerberos special force in particular, as increasingly irrelevant in their existence. Their extremism, deeply rooted in the ways of the Third Reich, would drag down the entire existence of the Capital Police. Subtle attempts to discredit the Kerberos were carried out, including a honey trap involving a member of the Kerberos and the Sect but all attempts failed. He also remained cautious due to the rumoured existence of a clandestine, counter-intelligence self preservation group within the Kerberos itself known as the Wehrwolf. In fact Bunmei had personally instructed continuous secret investigations into the existence of this counter-intelligence and undercover group but without any substantial evidences. The Wehrwolf did indeed exist, and was founded and led by none other then the vice-chief of the Kerberos, Hajime Eberhardt. Hajime was formerly instrumental in assisting the RKJ in setting up their own intel agency during the Occupation, and a member of the Abwehr. Its members include the trio of Der Teufel Hunden, chief instructor of Zucht Schanze, Hachiroh Fleischer and various others throughout the Defence Division regardless of ranks. Hajime had been equally suspicious of Bunmei, and continuously kept a close vigilance on him.
The Hounds of War.
Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben?
Bunmei finally seen an opportunity to eliminate the Kerberos on 18th January 1959 by publicly discrediting them.  Two German  top ranking Reich officials arrived at the capital for renewed talks on the Weimar Establishment Treaty. Mass protesters began to gather at the road leading to the airport. The protest quickly turned into an unprecedented, full scale riot with at least 5,000 rioters at the scene. Molotov cocktails and various objects were hurled at the convoy and the Self Police Force. They were overwhelmed. This was a joint operation under the jurisdiction of the Self Police, and the Capital Police. The latter was not supposed to intervene until orders for reinforcement was officially given. With the Capital Police on standby, several explosions made of satchel charges went off, killing one of the German officials, their bodyguards and four Self Police personnel. In the resulting melee, several rounds of gunshots went off at the Capital Police, killing a constable. The Capital Police's Defence Division immediately charged into the riots, reacted by first firing live bullets onto the rioters. They then systematically charged onto the protestors, clubbing and bludgeoning each and every one they could grabbed on. It resulted in 200 deaths and 532 injuries despite being ordered to stop by the Self Police COs. The incident, known as the Park Incident Massacre, sparked an international outrage and the Capital Police was condemned by the public and the government. The international governments even threatened to boycott the upcoming Olympic Games should Japan do not get their own internal affairs and security acts right and under control. Under intense political pressure, with threats of economic sanctions and embargo, the government pressured the National Security Committee to formally announced the abolishment of the Capital Police Force. At an extraordinary meeting chaired by the Prime Minister personally, majority of the National Security Committee members voted for the Capital Police Force to be officially dissolved. Members of the Defence Division became disillusioned by the decision. Isao and Shiroh were both held responsible and temporarily suspended from duties while awaiting trial, as do the rest of the Defence Division. Hachiroh and the Wehrwolf succeed in gathering strong evidences that the  Public Security Division were involved. Elements of the Public Security Division had long infiltrated secret societies in the capital since its founding, and through mutual agreements, members of underground gangs masqueraded as protesters, detonated the bombs and shot at the Capital Police. The bombs and guns had been provided by the Public Security Division undercover agents. Enraged by this revelation, the Defence Division, now led by Hajime, began to plan a putsch with the goal of purging their factional rivals and ideological opponents. The uprising was planned in a series of meetings held between the 18th and 22nd of February. The plan decided upon was relatively simple. The officers would assassinate the most prominent enemies of the Defence Division, secure control of the administrative centre of the capital and the Imperial Palace, and then submit their demands, including the dissolution of the National Security Committee and the appointment of a new cabinet. They had no longer term goals, believing that those should be left to the Emperor. The date February 26th was chosen because the officers had been able to arrange to have themselves and their allies serve as duty officers on that day, facilitating their access to arms and ammunition. The date was also chosen because Isao and Shiroh would stand trial on 28th February 1959. They prepared an explanation of their intentions and grievances in a document, entitled "Manifesto of the Uprising" which they wanted to be handed to the Emperor. The document was entirely in line with nationalism ideals, blaming the liberal political leaders, zaibatsu and bureaucrats for endangering the nation through their selfishness and asserting the need for direct action and more military oriented government. Before the putsch, Hajime  gathers the Defence Division and delivered a rousing speech of  which ended with chants of "Seig Heil" and Nazi salute.
The Kerberos Uprising.
It snowed heavily on the night of the 25th, covering Tokyo. The Defence Division, divided up into 6 groups, assembled their troops and left their barracks between 03:30am and 04:00am. The attacks on political leaders, ministers, the Ministry of War and police headquarters occurred approximately and simultaneously at 05:00am.   Captain Tatsumi led the 1st Company "Kurzhaar" to Kasumigaseki district where most of Japan's cabinet ministry offices were located. He was supported by Vice-Chief Hajime's 2nd Company "Langhaar". Forces were respectively about 22 vehicles per 120 personnel and 31 vehicles per 180 personnel. Aerial support was granted by the Aerial Reconnaissance Platoon "Laelaps" made of 22 personnel including mechanics and pilots, and 5 Fa-330 gyrogliders. "Laelaps 4", launched the initial assault against a Self-Police Riot Police patrol at 7:30am. Laelaps attacked a second patrol at 7:33am in a joint-assault with the 1st Company. At 7:55am, the 3rd Company "Drahthaar" led by 9th Platoon "Schweißhund" and  another platoon stormed the Self-Police's National Police Agency governmental building. While succeeding in taking control of the Self-Police's building the 3rd Company engaged in a heavy fighting against the Spezial Sturm Gruppe  Special Force who freed the hostages. Following these events, Bunmei drove to the Prime Minister's cabinet to discuss the situation. At 8:25am, refuelling Laelaps were attacked by Self-Police policemen who killed all mechanics and engineers. All 5 gyrogliders escaped nevertheless, fought back and killed the Self-Police personnel. At 8:32am, the 1st Company and 2nd Company besieged the Self-Police HQ with Laelaps harassing the defenders until Hajime ordered an all-out assault simultaneously.  By the evening of the 26th, the uprising had seemingly resulted in favour of the Defence Division. They had dug in and prepared defences. The Self Police and elements of the Public Security Division would continue to breach and siege their defences for the next three days, turning the city centre into a warzone. Although the Defence Division succeeded in assassinating several leading officials, including two former Prime Ministers, and in occupying the government centre of Tokyo, they failed to assassinate the current Prime Minister nor secure control of the Imperial Palace Although they had managed to achieve a degree of official recognition for their actions, it was obvious that they could not occupy their positions indefinitely. Their presence was their strongest bargaining chip, but even their supporters felt that it needed to end. Combined with Imperial anger at the coup, meant they were unable to achieve a change of government. The General Staff and Martial Law HQ decided to release the imperial command authorizing the use of military force against the rebels at 05:00am on the 28th. From this point on formal documents, which had previously used "uprising", the word chosen by the rebel officers themselves, began to use the word "rebellion". The battle was intense throughout the 28th. Most defences were successfully breached and the Defence Division found themselves overwhelmed by numerically superior enemy. By the morning of the 29th, the Defence Division of less than 1,800 were surrounded by more than 20,000 government troops and 22 tanks. The major and final attack was planned for 09:00am. By 05:30am all civilians in the surrounding areas had been evacuated. Shortly after, 3 incoming Japan Air Self-Defence Force fighters Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1j were spotted by Laelaps 4. The Aerial Reconnaissance platoons were decimated. At 9:05am, Hachiro and a fellow 2nd Company veteran instructor shared their last cigarette as the Kerberos Academy Training School Zucht Schanze was going under siege by the Self-Police. At 11:55am, Hajime was reporting the situation from the Self-Police director's office before dressing up in his own protect gear and prepared to launch the final battle. At 12:00pm, Hajime exited the Kerberos-held Self-Police HQ which was being under siege by the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force's 1st Airborne Brigade. Hajime then led his remaining men and women, rushing toward the  "Molosser" Panzer Jäger Special Force lines. During the fierce battle and subsequent slaughter on both sides, several members escaped within the sewerage system leading to the docks as ordered by Hajime.
After a series of closed trials, 19 of the rebellion leaders were executed for mutiny and another 40 imprisoned. The remaining members either committed suicides and died in battle. Those escaped were granted political asylum in South American nations. The escapees lived their lives perpetually on the run, some with different identities, and others adopted different political reasons to continue fighting as terrorists. Majority were recruited by Middle East and Central Asia nations as special military advisors. They would never live to see their Motherland again. An exception was one of the Der Teufel Hunden trio, Midori, whom returned to Japan with her daughter. She was indicted but due to her failing health and age, the sentencing was excommunicated. Midori wrote an autobiographical account of her roles within the Kerberos, which shed a insightful light into the life of being a member of the Steel Hounds of Hades. Bunmei himself was appointed the new chief commander of the newly re-consolidated police force. But his career was shortened abruptly after a bomb was planted inside his Mercedes and he died in the explosion, two years after the Kerberos Uprising, in 1961 at London.

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