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Old 12-07-2021, 12:12 PM   #355
Molon Labe
Ocean Warrior
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Along the Watchtower
Posts: 3,469
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21 August 1942
From Hell's heart, I stab at thee

In the Okinawa passage, the Grenardier botched a surface attack against a cargo ship, wasting a bunch of torpedoes and only damaging the target lightly with its deck gun.

To the east, the Grayling is losing its damage control fight. We keep getting messages that the flooding is getting worse. It's not going to make it.

2 of ours down, 1 of his. 90+ bombing sorties, we're holding out.

3 of ours down to 1 of his at Chengchow, more bombers getting in unmolested. My B-24 squadron is finally online, maybe instead of hunting the tankers, I'll look for the Unyo. With now fast the Hiyo was repaired, I don't think it went all the way to Hong Kong, probably just Saigon.

Thailand and Bay of Bengal
We sent a massive number of sweeps into Tavoy because intel reported he'd moved his fighters there from Bangkok. But our pilots reported no joy...the massive fighter force moved again, they're in Port Blair now. Why? I'm going to start hitting Tavoy hard again, and my reinforcements are about to arrive. Once Tavoy is down, I'll be able to cover my troops pushing into Bangkok, and once Bangkok falls, the enemy supply lines through Malaya will be cut and our armies will start pushing south.

Port Blair will be a problem as a bomber base, no doubt. I may hit it with battleships if I think I can do it with one fleet carrier and one light carrier supporting (I'll pull the Hermes of training duty, but one of the two CVs is due to withdraw soon). But, assuming I can't suppress the new bomber base, I probably can't reinforce Rangoon directly anymore. Kind of late for that, though, I've been reinforcing since the beginning of the war, the damage to his strategic position is done.

Espiritu Santo and the New Hebrides
The task force includes carriers, and they're headed for Efate. I'd say this is another evacuation--a very high-risk one. How desperate for troops is he?

I was going to oppose this with A-20s and B-26s, but now that I know this is a part of, if not the whole, KB, I'm going to take a good shot at it. The level bombers are clearing out to make room for the SBDs of Carrier Air Wing 6, flying in from Milne. The Wildcats of VF-6 don't have the range to make it out here, so the USAAF will provide P-39s as escorts. Between them and a pair of submarines, I should hopefully get reliable intelligence on the number of carriers here so I can decide what else to commit. The force coming in from Australia will just be targets, so they'll hold. But the reaction I mentioned yesterday from Halsey. If it looks like we outnumber them--and we very well could if they're finally getting their refits--I'll reacquaint Nagumo with my One-sans.

Lots of scores to settle here, between those troops he's pulling out being responsible for wiping out a USMC regiment plus an army battalion and a base force, and CVW-6 looking for revenge for the loss of the Big E.
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