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Old 08-04-22, 01:00 PM   #616
Molon Labe
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29 March 1943
Severe aircraft losses could spell enemy reinforcements arriving in Java


Java
The morning started with my surface group of 6 DD disobeying orders to meet by main surface group near Djokjakarta, instead proceeding towards the western strait, where they encountered an enemy force of 2 CA and 4 DD. We got off light, losing just 2 DD before they escaped.

In the eastern straits, an enemy minesweeper hit a mine and sank. You hate to see it.

The enemy started night bombing attacks against our airbase in Tjilatjap. I don't consider these raids a threat yet.

The day was a disaster for us, though. Despite having more than 50 fighters available for escort tasking, our Avengers and SBDs flew (mostly) without escort against shipping near Batavia and Surabaya. At the end of the day's air battles, we'd lost 12 Avengers, 16 SBDs, and 2 of the few Wildcats that actually did make the trip. We had no aerial victories. We managed to hit a troop transport with a torpedo in Batavia (this flight had Wildcats) and another in the central Java Sea (with troops aboard).

We have captured Bandoeng. Base forces are still a few days out, but this will hopefully become a key airbase for us. Our coastal bases are a bit cramped and are too small to support medium bombers.



Indian Ocean
B-24 raids finished off a damaged enemy destroyer at Addu.


China
Foochow is back in enemy hands. Casualties 5311 to 1430 favoring them.
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Old 08-09-22, 07:52 PM   #617
Molon Labe
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30 March 1943
Major setback in Java Campaign: surface task force sent to interdict reinforcements hit by Betties


Celebes Sea
USS Herring hit a military cargo ship with 2 (detonating) torpedoes off Davao for a confirmed kill.


Luzon Strait
USS Snapper torpedoed an escorted tanker just south of Taiwain. The damage appeared lethal.


Java
I had intended for my heavy surface task force to interdict a task force unloading at Batavia, but they moved slower than I realized. Probably my fault. Sunrise came, they got spotted short of their goal, and really in the worst possible spot because they were as far away from our supporting bases as they'd ever be on their trip. The further away, the less planes we can maintain on CAP. The first raid was 42 Zeroes escorting 28 Betties vs 4 P-40s and 9 Wildcats. One Zero went down along with 2 Wildcats. It wouldn't get any better. By day's end, these were the hits:
Wave 1:

BB Nevada, Torpedo hits 1
Wave 2:
BB Revenge, Torpedo hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
BB Nevada, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
Wave 3:
CA Portland, Torpedo hits 1
Wave 4:
CA Vincennes, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
Wave 5:
BB Revenge, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
Wave 6:
CA Portland, Torpedo hits 1

A replenishment group was also hit. Our peak CAP was 12 planes while their peak escort was 39 fighters. Our defense was much better here despite the similar numbers. Enemy losses: 12 Zeroes, 1 Oscar, 2 Kates; we lost 2 P-40s.


Wave 1:
AO Cimarron, Bomb hits 1, on fire
AO Platte, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
Wave 2: AE Lassen, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
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Old 08-09-22, 09:45 PM   #618
Molon Labe
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31 March 1943
Heavy air losses for Japan over Java, our armies advance



Java
My heavy task force, minus its battleships and 2 heavy cruisers, proceeded to Batavia at night. A Japanese covering force came out to challenge them, and unfortunately for me, my task force's morale was apparently broken and they weren't interested in fighting much, so despite outgunning the enemy task force (1 CA, 4 CL, 7 DD vs 1 CA, 1 CL, 5 DD), we retreated. One enemy destroyer was sunk, several other ships on both sides took hits, but nothing serious.

We depth charged an enemy sub lurking off our airbase at Tjilatjap for moderate damage.

The first enemy air raid targeted an amphibious task force that was retreating from the eastern landing site, Djokjakarta. We finally outnumbered them, putting up 28 Wildcats (they had a CVE) and 4 P-40s against 19 Zeroes at 18 Betties. For the price of 1 Wildcat, we got 3 Zeroes and 13 Betties. No hits on the ships.

Next was our main covering force centered around 3 CVEs. Several waves attacked this task force, which had a peak CAP of 50 Wildcats. With only 2 Wildcats down, we took out 6 Zeroes, 11 Betties (and a 12th to flak), and 9 Kates (plus 2 more to flak).

I'd moved some P-38s to Java and used them to sweep Batavia. 10 Zeroes down, no losses.

Later in the day, the enemy air raid focus shifted to my surface group near Batavia, retreating to Tjilatjap. We managed much more air cover over this group because it had gotten closer to our bases. The enemy lost 9 Zeroes and 24 Betties going after them. We lost a single Wildcat, and the heavy cruiser Portland took a torpedo hit.

Our Batavia-bound ground forces took Kalidjati, routing an infantry regiment and 2 marine units.

Timor
We lost 4 Navy Liberators over Koepang to a surprise CAP by Nicks.


China
We captured Kuikiang (central area, near Wuchang). Not a big deal, was lightly defended.


Palau Islands
USS Grunion torpedoed a troop carrying cargo ship near Babeldaob. Would definitely have sunk if not hit near the port. Probably still did sink, but had a chance.


Burma
Thinking so many planes had been moved down to Java that Rangoon probably wasn't well defended, I sent a major B-24 raid there (33 planes). Lost 19 of them, gunners shot down one defending Nick.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:18 PM   #619
Molon Labe
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1 April 1943
3 CVEs hit by the air forces they were meant to stop; reinforcement of Java by sea probably no longer practical.


Indian Ocean
USS Jack torpedoed and sank a PB near Diego Garcia


Java
An enemy sub finished off the damaged HMS Revenge near Batavia.


Enemy air raids pounded our CVE-centered covering force. We inflicted heavy losses on those raids: 5 Zeroes, 9 Betties, and 23 Vals, while losing 3 Wildcats to the escorts. But bombers got through:
Raid 1:
CVE Suwannee, Bomb hits 1, on fire
Raid 2:
CVE Sangamon, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVE Chenango, Torpedo hits 4, and is sunk
CVE Suwannee, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
Fuel storage explosion on CVE Sangamon
Ammo storage explosion on CVE Chenango
Raid 3:
CA Chester, Torpedo hits 1
CA Astoria, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk


We managed some damage of our own, hitting a pair of transports near Batavia with 8 SBDs:
xAP Teiko Maru, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Takatiho Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage



Timor
I swept Koepang with P-38s to try to deal with the Nicks. Shot down 2 Nicks and a Tojo, no losses.


China
We defeated the 3rd and 63rd Divisions in the open battlefield near Chusien. Essentially these were reinforcements intended to Foochow that I interdicted. Casualties 3150 to 465 favoring us. We still don't have any chance of retaking Foochow, but we may be able to take Wenchow from them thanks to their armies moving to Foochow. Wenchow has factories and Foochow doesn't, so that will benefit us a great deal if it happens.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:45 PM   #620
Molon Labe
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2 April 1943
Finishing off the CVEs as they try to shelter near airbases


Java
The CVE group came under attack again. The raids cost the enemy 7 Zeroes, 2 Oscars, 9 Kates and a Val. We lost a Wildcat and a P-40. But the CVEs were already disabled from flight ops, so the number of planes we had on CAP wasn't enough to stop the bombers:
CVE Suwannee, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage
CVE Sangamon, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
CA Chester, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
----
CVE Suwannee, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
----
DD Warramunga, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires


Our Western army group (1 Division, 2 Tank Battalions) encountered an enemy regiment and 2/3rd of a marine unit on the way to Batavia; probably previously engaged. We routed them 1475 casualties to nothing.
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Old 09-21-22, 02:05 PM   #621
Ostfriese
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It's been quiet in here for six weeks now. I hope everything is OK with Molon Labe.
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Old 09-22-22, 07:49 AM   #622
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I wonder the same too. Is he alright ? I posted a call for him in our
Roll call for Subsim members MIA.

https://www.subsim.com/radioroom/sho...&postcount=506

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