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Itami sat within the confines of her office. She had a depressed look on her face as she drank from a bottle of sake in one hand. The days seemed to have gotten longer, while the nights appeared to have gotten shorter.

Perhaps it was because of her depression, but she felt as if she could never gain enough sleep. Often going to bed once more shortly after waking up in the morning. Where she would eventually awaken some time in the afternoon feeling fatigued.

Itami had recently recalled her generals from the field, but that was a process which took some time. Thus, at the moment, she was awaiting their arrival. Currently, she was looking at the intelligence report in her hand. That her agents had observed from the Bay of Bengal.

A German fleet had passed by the area as they sailed towards the Anangpur Empire. Though Itami did not know their destination, the overall design of the ships was well documented. The largest vessels employed by her adversary were obviously dreadnought style battleships, although by the overall size described, she would say they were most likely super-dreadnoughts.

She was intimately familiar with the ships employed by the Germans during both world wars, as Itami often had arguments with Julian in her past life about the superiority of warships, and whether the IJN or the Kriegsmarine had the best overall designs.

Though there was something off about this design. From the overall size of the vessel, it appeared to be a Bayern-Class battleship, which was a WWI design. However, it was retrofitted with Flak guns, and quite a few of them of varying sizes. As if Berengar had anticipated her to have aircraft.

Aircraft? Japan was years away from developing a solid plane. Itami still needed to introduce electricity, and get her hands on a stockpile of bauxite if she wanted anything that could be considered a proper plane.

She could not tell if this design meant that the Germans had already developed aircraft, or if they were simply preparing for the future. Either way, she knew that the warships which were currently being developed were superior to those fielded by the Reich, which gave her some confidence.

However, the idea that Germany was operating such powerful vessels in the Malacca strait gave her some concern. In addition to these massive battleships, there was another vessel that was described in the report, which filled her heart with an overwhelming sense of dread.

As far as Itami was aware, there were no aircraft carriers ever deployed by the Kriegsmarine in her past life, and she would be right about that. However, in this world, Germany possessed at least one long ship, with a flat deck that was described in the intelligence report that her agents had sent to her.

Judging by the composition of the fleet described in this intelligence report, and the presence of such a peculiar ship, Itami could accurately guess that this was not just any fleet but a carrier strike group. If that were the case, then she had a serious problem on her hands.

If Germany was already manufacturing aircraft and carriers, then that meant Itami was decades behind them in terms of technology, and the gap between their two nations was growing larger with each passing year. She began questioning once more what Julian would do if he were in her position, as her mind drifted into another memory.

"Are you seriously asking me this? Isn't the answer a little too easy? You're just testing me, right?"

Itami pouted when she heard these words and looked the other way before responding to Julian's voice. As if she were still in her past life.

"Just answer the question, Julian!"

Julian sighed as he heard this and remained silent for several moments while taking a sip of his coffee. It was only after Ai looked like she was about to scold him did he respond to her question.

"Very well, if you insist. To put it simply if your enemy is able to produce superior aircraft. There are two solutions to emerge victorious. Either spam the crap out of your inferior aircraft, and train as many pilots as you can manage. Or the more simple method is to invest heavily into Air Defense.

Whether that is in the form of surface-to-air missiles, or AA guns such as the vulcan, you must come up with some means to shoot down enemy aircraft from the ground, if you can't take them out in the air. Not only that, but you should also be equipping your infantry with as many MANPADs as you can manage. You have no idea how effective that can be.

I mean seriously, whatever ground you are defending should just be covered in Anti-Aircraft weapons. Make it as difficult as possible for the enemy to fly above your territory. Did you know that the Germans came up with an early MANPADs system at the end of WWII? Such a weapon could have been a game changer if they had developed it earlier on.

The Fliegerfaust as it was called was essentially a man portable air defense system that fired nine unguided 20mm rockets into two separate bursts to create a wide area of effect. The range was limited, but it was more than capable of taking out low-flying aircraft such as a Close Air Support.

If the Germans had covered every inch of the fatherland in flak guns and given every squad a Fliegerfaust, they probably could have defended their territory long enough to sue for a white peace. I mean, just look at what the Courland Pocket managed to achieve with limited resources, and while being surrounded on all sides.

So to answer your question, if I was in charge of an army or a nation during your proposed scenario, that is what I would do. Focus on Air Defense, and manufacture as many of whatever aircraft I can manage to mass produce. I mean, if you think about it from a numbers perspective, ten Mig 29s have a far better chance of shooting down an f-15, then a single Su-35, Right?"

Itami came back to reality as the memory concluded. She could only smile bitterly as she nodded her head and wiped a tear from her eye before expressing her thanks.

"Thank you, Julian..."

After saying this, she activated the divine mirror and began to work on devising Flak Guns and a device similar to the Fliegerfaust. The divine light of the mirror enhanced her intelligence and understanding greatly, allowing her to work at a speed she had never thought she was capable of before.

Unknowingly to Itami, Momo was on the other side of her door, and listened to her imaginary conversation with Julian. The young woman felt deeply worried about her elder sister's mental state, as she seemed to be progressing further and further into madness. However, she did not know how to help Itami, and thus she merely sighed in defeat before walking off, leaving the young empress to her own devices.

Within hours, Itami had devised the blueprints for two different Flak Guns modelled after the type 99 88mm AA gun, as well as the Type 4 20 mm twin AA machine cannon. Once she had finished designing these weapons, she shifted her focus to a device similar to what Julian had described when he talked to her about the Flieger Faust.

Like Berengar, she had fixed the Fliegerfaust's range deficiencies by modifying the design to accept specialized 20mm unguided rockets, rather than using rocket propelled shells. Which greatly extended the weapon's effective range to well over a thousand meters. She called this device the Type 5 Anti-Aircraft Rocket Launcher.

In the coming years, Japan would be sure to produce as many Flak guns and Type 5s as possible. Where they would litter them across their controlled territory, in an attempt to disrupt any air based operations the German Military may conduct within her airspace.

This would pose immense difficulties for the Luftwaffe in their goals of obtaining Aerial Supremacy. Ironically, it was the Kaiser himself who had proposed this strategy to the Japanese Empress, albeit in their past lives.

For the time being, Itami had put her depression aside and was filled with divine inspiration to advance her society so that it could contend with her enemy. However, the moment the mirror needed a recharge, she would fall back to her same depressive state. For the memories of her past life were too much for the young empress to handle for the time being.