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Old 12-08-2021, 12:12 PM   #356
Molon Labe
Ocean Warrior
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Along the Watchtower
Posts: 3,469
Downloads: 27
Uploads: 5

22 August 1942
KB confirmed near Luganville--but it turns around and leaves

Solomons to New Caledonia

A replenishment group leaving Noumea towards Suva (in case the carriers kept pushing south of Luganville) was attacked by a sub, the PG escort was hit once. Damage is substantial but not fatal. This group will be headed to Sydney now for repairs. I'm sending two minesweepers on an ASW patrol, they'll just run the route between Noumea and Suva that the replenishment group got hit on.

The carrier force detected the S-28 lurking in its path and depth charged it for minor damage. Then it turned around and went back to the Solomons. Not sure why they got cold feet all of a sudden. It doesn't appear any ships actually made it to Luganville. Scoutplanes got a better ID on the task force, and it does appear to be the whole KB.

There's a whole lot more traffic in the area, including a tanker convoy approaching from the northeast and a SIGINT report of radio transmissions to the north.

Halsey is turning around-I wasn't going to take on the whole KB in any case, I'm certainly not going to chase it into the Solomons.

Another naval bombardment of Palembang, plus 90+ bomber sorties. The airbase is practically disabled. I'm turning off all replacements.

He's moved a division behind my front lines at Chengchow. My guess is he's trying to attack my northern flank where I'm rather weak, heading around the long way to avoid river crossings. A division won't be enough, though. I've been bombing them for relatively heavy casualties since before they got behind my lines, that will continue. But I'm also going to move up some reserves to encircle and eliminate them.

The carrier force helped out at Tavoy, taking out a Hurricane and 2 Blenheims, we got a Rufe. Our bombers got through but the hits didn't appear to be effective. A brigade of reinforcements arrived--we may have enough to take the base now, but I'm delaying ordering the attack for a turn to try to build up supply levels.

He's moved 60 more fighters into Bangkok, so it appears both Bangkok and Port Blair are going to be major airbases. I have to wonder about the pilot quality if he's bringing in so many more from...where?

The force that sallied from Bangkok--the 5th Division--is taking casualties from my artillery bombardments but not doing much about it. I'm tempted to attack for real, but I suppose if artillery is working I should stick with it.

I noticed some naval traffic at Koepang so I sent the B-17s back. The Nicks were still there--1 B-17 down. We didn't spot any ships so we bombed the port facilities, ineffectively. I had hoped to have P-38s escorting these bombers by now, but the supply levels at Darwin have dipped too low for the transition to occur. I sent a little supply from Port Moresby to try to get over the threshold fast, but this strike burned up enough supply that that shipment won't be enough. I also have an incoming convoy from Sydney, it will do the job but it's going to take time to get there.

USS Grayling is on eternal patrol.

90th BG/319th BS arrives at Eastern USA - 8/8 Liberators - and I still don't have any ships left here to take them to India.
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