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Old 06-01-2021, 09:19 AM   #6
Molon Labe
Ocean Warrior
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Along the Watchtower
Posts: 3,444
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The war has begun.

7 December 1941

My opponent opened with the traditional attack at Pearl Harbor plus several others, the biggest historical difference appears to be in the Philippines.
Starting with Pearl:

The strikes here outperformed the historical results, with no battleship left un-crippled or sunk, and plenty of attention given to the cruisers. The shipyard is overtasked and I'm going to be forced to send some of these ships east across sub-infested waters.

Airfield damage was relatively light, which is probably how he got the better ASUW results:
B-17E Fortress: 14 damaged
B-17E Fortress: 1 destroyed on ground
B-17D Fortress: 30 damaged
B-17D Fortress: 1 destroyed on ground
P-40B Warhawk: 18 damaged
P-40B Warhawk: 3 destroyed on ground
A-20A Havoc: 11 damaged
A-20A Havoc: 1 destroyed on ground
PBY-5 Catalina: 56 damaged
PBY-5 Catalina: 3 destroyed on ground
SBD-1 Dauntless: 21 damaged
B-18A Bolo: 7 damaged
B-18A Bolo: 1 destroyed on ground
C-33: 1 damaged
P-36A Mohawk: 1 damaged
R3D-2: 2 damaged
F4F-3 Wildcat: 1 damaged
F4F-3 Wildcat: 1 destroyed on ground
O-47A: 1 damaged
SOC-1 Seagull: 1 destroyed
OS2U-3 Kingfisher: 2 destroyed
These reports are "fogged" so the actual results are probably a bit worse for me--but I count 14 aircraft destroyed. His loss was at least 3 Vals and 3 Kates. The base itself only took about 10% damage, so I'll have no trouble getting a CAP up to meet any followup strikes.

While this was going on, a small group of destroyers (3 reported) approached Johnston Island, southwest of Pearl. As it turned out this was nearby the USS Lexington, whose SBDs spotted the attempted raid. The Lexington launched a strike of SBDs, scoring hits on 2 DDs--one is confirmed sunk, and it's likely the other will join it.

My opponent launched sweeps over Manila and Clark Field, shooting down 4 defending fighters for no losses. These were followed by strikes, damaging the destroyer Pope in port and damaging most of the B-17s at Clark; he also shot down another 5 defending P-40s.

My opponent's ground operations in the Philippines included the traditional landing at Bataan Island--hey, it's a "free" size 2 airfield to base fighters on--but there have not been any landings on Luzon proper. What was interesting was that a bunch of ground units popped up in 5 empty bases all over Luzon--I presume these are paratroops. The landing at Bayombong along the road north probably means I won't be able to evacuate or reinforce the rifle battalion near Appari, and the southernmost landing at Boac threatens to cut the rail lines to a likely landing site in Legaspi.

Japan launched airstrikes on Georgetown harbor (in the strait), and Kuantan airbase. The Georgetown raid wrecked 5 transports at harbor--good thing I wasn't planning on evacuating by boat anyway. A fighter sweep over Georgetown took out 5 defending fighters for 1 zero lost. The Kuantan strike hurt-the airbase was damaged to 44%, with 5 a/c destroyed on the ground and 20 more damaged. Flak claimed a Sally for their trouble.

Local British forces attempted to counterattack, but were turned away with 2 Hudson bombers shot down.

Japanese marines landed in Kota Baru with at least 14,000 troops, plus armor support.

Air raids on Hong Kong damaged 7 cargo ships at in port and damaged the airbase to 35%. There was also an ineffective torpedo bomber attack against a few destroyers on patrol. Japanese light bombers made raids in Pengpu (eastern China near Nanking) and near Kiukiang (frontline) with minimal results. As for me, I started with Ichang mostly surrounded--I hit it with an air raid from Chungking to soften it up, but got little results and a bunch of bombers grounded with holes all over them for my trouble (edit: 3 bombers crashed on the way back, and a fourth had to be scrapped due to damage).

This is as good a place as any to mention Guam was also attacked by floatplanes of all things, and surprising no one they didn't hit anything.

Strategically, there wasn't much for me to do for the next turn other than pick up the pieces. Malaya and Luzon should really heat up tomorrow--I'm especially interested in seeing what kind of results my surviving B-17s can get. Logistically, there are a ton of ships on the move now, mostly to start setting up supply lines, and a ton of fortifications being built. My subs have all put to sea, focusing on interdicting likely troop transport lanes. I'm also gathering surface forces outside the reach of his Betties with the hope of finding opportunities to hit-and-run as he pushes south. I'm not happy about the Lexington revealing itself (and the Enterprise isn't far from it), but I should have time for them to run away before the Kido Butai can find them. For now, I want my CVBGs on the sidelines.

Last edited by Molon Labe; 06-01-2021 at 12:59 PM.
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