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Old 06-26-21, 01:46 AM   #76
Molon Labe
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3 January 1942
Joint Defense of Kendari, and an Ace in a Day

CENTPAC
The morning started with a PT raid on Lihue. This has to be something like 3 in 5 days, but he was unprepared. My PTs found 9 transports loaded with troops (loading to move somewhere else?) defended by only 4 PBs (militarized cargo ships). The PTs found themselves not outgunned at all, so not only did they get close enough for torpedoes, they stuck around to rake the ships with .50cal gunfire. 4 transports were hit with torpedoes, 2 sank while the PTs were still there. The other two will probably sink as well. Enemy casualties were reported as 2854. One PT was lightly damaged by return fire.

For some reason, his Kates flew to Pearl today without fighter cover. My CAP probably can't withstand the KBs full force, but it can handle unescorted torpedo bombers. 20 Kates showed up, none went home. P-40 pilot D. Billings got 5 of them by himself, the campaign's first Ace-in-a-day.



The weather was supposed to be bad, so I used the opportunity to get some more ships out of Pearl. This time is was seaplane tenders and tankers. The tenders ran into a sub, but the sub missed. They managed to get far enough away by dawn that an airstrike never came.

Dutch East Indies
I really tried to exploit the fact that my enemy is trying to fight from inside a minefield at Kendari. PT attacks will continue, but today it was time for subs and light bombers to take a crack at the invaders. The sub O19 entered the landing area and found a destroyer already crippled from hitting a mine. She torpedoed and sank it. Another destroyer detected the O19 and tried to get some revenge, but the sub escaped with minor damage. After sunrise, two Falcon bomber squadrons attacked, one dropping from 5000 feet and the other coming in low for strafing and bombing. Just wanted to see if it made a difference. Both squadrons managed two hits each. Sadly their bombs were only 50kg, basically oversized hand grenades, so damage was minor. But they got to watch an AKL sink from damage sustained from hitting a mine earlier in the day. One Falcon was shot down by AA.

Near Surabaya, a minesweeper and a pair of destroyers went after the sub that sank the cargo ship two days ago. We actually found two. The minesweeper tracked one down and caused minor damage with depth charges.

The light cruiser Ceres got within 1 hex of Batavia, but her luck ran out. Efforts to control the flooding failed, and she went down.

A portion of the Cebu base force that was on a different transport convoy than the one that got sunk last week has made it to Surabaya.

Philippines
I was wondering when he'd actually start bombing Clark--not the hex, the actual airbase. He hit it today, with about 110 bombers. The airfield is now damaged to 33% and almost nothing is flyable anyway. I did manage to get some B-17s off the ground first, they hit an overstacked enemy airfield at San Fernando, destroying at least two bombers on the ground. But flak downed one B-17 and two more had to be scrapped after the lander.

Burma
The army that I sent into Thailand and got surrounded has surrendered.

SouthPAC
I believe I've reacquired the small SAG that was sitting outside of Suva, they've merged with a troop convoy on an atoll north of the Solomons.


EDIT: Japan
USS Cachalot was bombed by an ASW aircraft and is returning for repairs.
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Old 06-26-21, 01:11 PM   #77
Molon Labe
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4 January 1941
New activity in the Santa Cruz Islands, Kido Butai detaches a carrier.

CENTPAC
He sent another minesweeper into Pearl, along with a few barges and PTs. The minesweeper was shot up by coastal defenses, the barges and PTs hit mines. He also had a battleship and cruiser bombard the base again, but this time it was ineffective. He got close enough for coastal defense to return fire, and the battleship took a hit--but not more than its armor could handle.

Probably because that sub spotted the seaplane tenders evacuating yesterday, he sent part of the KB north to intercept, and found the evacuating tankers. My scouts still report "6 CV" near Lahaina, so I'm guessing he only sent one (the reports are never 100% accurate as to number and ship type). He bombed both with kates (just 13, tending to confirm only one carrier detached), sinking one and damaging the other. What sucks is they both had fuel onboard. I didn't offload it because based on my experience from when I tried to load troops to evacuate, I expected that moving them into the docks to unload would have triggered an attack. So now that fuel is helping the fires along.

One of my Catalinas is claiming that it bombed a CV as a target of opportunity. I have no way to verify this or determine the amount of damage.

I decided to do PT attacks on consecutive days instead of giving them a day to rest and repair, hoping to hit that damaged ARG some more. They were ready this time, 3 destroyers screened Lihue and drove the PTs off before they could approach.

A task force to the west of Pearl instead of the east is now reported to include a CVE. I still don't know if the Taiyo is really here. So far there's been no sign of enemy ships near the shipping lanes, including scout plane sightings.



Philippines
While the PTs in Hawaii failed, those in the Philippines succeeded. While he invades central islands in full view of my scoutplanes, I sent a PT squadron in to ruin their day. I found 6 transports escorted by only one PB. Again, the PTs were able to make a sustained attack instead of a hit-and-run. Two transports were on the bottom before the PTs left, two more crippled and likely to sink. Another was set on fire by .50cal hits. These ships had already offloaded their troops, though.

The IJA made a proper attack on Clark. We fought back well and gave far worse casualties than we took--5246 to 681, but lost a fortification level. It would probably be a pretty even fight, with favorable terrain balancing out their superior numbers. But factor in air support, and that we're running low on supplies while they can ship in more anytime... it's looking bad.



Dutch East Indies

More PTs arrived to harass the landing forces at Kendari, but they arrived in broad daylight and met the task force outside of the base rather than onshore. The task force, which included a cruiser and a destroyer, was able to disengage. Bad weather is obscuring the location of the task forces from scout planes.


Malaya

I had two AKLs trying to get badly needed supplies to Malacca. They were detected and sunk by Nells.

Other airstrikes targeted my retreating ground forces in Malacca. Enemy bombers caused significant damage to the severely disrupted units. But bad weather caused their escorts to do a **** job of protecting their bombers. Five Nells and a Val were shot down, they managed one Buffalo. Vals? What are they doing here? I'm not sure. There were only 3, my guess it it's a small unit from Taiwan.

I sent bombers to Malacca as well. Oscars on CAP managed to slip past my Hurricanes and shot down a Wirraway. But my bombers hit the enemy tanks chasing my troops and did pretty OK damage.


China
I've been bombing Ichang pretty much daily, and he's been letting me. Apparently he got tired of that. Nates and Tojos were on CAP there today, shooting down one medium bomber and turning the rest around. Those Tojos have been getting the better of the AVG so far, so I have to take them seriously. Fortunately, he only has a squadron of them.


SouthPAC



Lots of activity here all of a sudden.

A fast transport group (reported as 4 ships, including 1 CL and 2 DD) landed troops on Ndeni in the Santa Cruz islands. That I didn't see them until they arrived highlights a blind spot in my search capacity in the eastern solomons. If he thinks Luganville might have been a bridge too far, Ndeni can help give it air cover. Which reminds me, he's already completed a small airstrip at Guadalcanal.

We also spotted a 4-ship task force closing on Efate from the east, and a three ship force approaching Guadalcanal (reportedly with 2 CLs).

It's now been long enough since we've last seen the Soryu or the CVLBG that it wouldn't be surprising if they showed up here. But there's no sign of enemy scoutplanes this far south, yet.
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Old 06-26-21, 09:26 PM   #78
Molon Labe
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5 January 1942
Missed Opportunities at Santa Cruz and Pearl Harbor

Hawaii

I launched a major attack against the Kido Butai. It was a somewhat complicated plan, which worked against me. I was trying to capitalize on three mistakes by my opponent: first, the KB has been here too long, been flying too many missions, and is low on aircraft, fighters in particular. Second, he just detached one of his carriers to chase after escaping tankers. And third, he's keeping his fleet in a base hex, which reduces the amount of aircraft it can put on CAP. I expected to have an equal number of fighters on the board as him. The strike package had three components: A sweep by 26 P-40Bs, an attack on Lahaina's port and airfield by 11 B-17s and 8 LB-30 Liberators, and an attack against the Kido Butai by 35 SBDs.The heavies would be unescorted so that the SBDs would have maximum protection by 10 Wildcats, 2 P-36s, 15 P-39s and 9 P-40Es. I made sure my not-so-great pilots rode the bench for this one.

Murphy showed up right away... the heavies went first, and the escort fighters went with them. The zeroes had them outnumbered and pounced. A rather one-sided battle saw my fighters take heavy losses. The bombers got through, but didn't do a whole lot of damage.

My sweep arrived next, and they in turn jumped the Zeroes which had come down below 15,000ft to attack the strike package. We kicked their asses. The enemy CAP over the KB ended up looking like my CAP over Clark.

The SBDs got there late and without escort. They only managed to scrape four Zeroes together to attack. They shot a few down, and some chickened out. In the end, 13 SBDs were able to make an attack, targeting the Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, and... a heavy cruiser. They got only one hit. On the cruiser. There was no sign of any damage to any of the ships from that Catalina's report a few days ago. Also, there was no sign of the Shokaku or Zuikaku. So he either detached both to chase the tankers, or one or both is getting replacement aircraft in Japan.

Total losses in this battle:
19 Zeroes
4 F4F, 5 P-39, 1 P-36, 5 P-40, 2 B-17, 6 SBD

Also occurring at Pearl, he's sending more barges and a bunch of midget subs into the base hex. They're all hitting mines---which is probably the point. Apparently these are sweeping mines more cheaply than minesweepers that get sunk by my coastal guns.

SouthPAC
The task force approaching Efate was a priority target, and I got there just in time. It was two troop transport ships escorted by a light cruiser. I brought 4 heavy cruisers and 3 light cruisers to the party. You'd think I slaughtered them with those numbers, but no. All fire was concentrated on the CL while the transports got away. And that CL fought hard, firing multiple torpedo salvoes as shell hits slowly wrecked her. One torpedo from the last salvo hit the HMAS Canberra, causing serious damage. This is a serious missed opportunity--he knows I have troops on Efate so he wasn't going to bring a small unit. And those were proper troop ships, not cargo ships being used to transport troops. I can't even say with any confidence that the CL is fatally damaged.

My scouts failed to find this task force after it disengaged.


East China Sea
USS Saury found and torpedoed a cargo ship, probably sinking it (I had just adjusted its patrol area this turn, too. Glad it didn't take long!)

China
Looking for some payback against the Tojo squadron, I stopped bombing Ichang for a day and just sent the AVG there. The Tojos didn't show, but 17 Nates did. Nates have no business in a fight against P-40s. 12 of them didn't make it back.


The army I'd used to defeat enemy forces in the open near Singyang easily defeated a force that was guarding the supply road to Ichang. Ichang is now cut off from supplies. Probably still has redonkulous forts though.

Near the coast, an enemy force moved into Chusien. I don't know his strength yet, but I am not weak here, so this is a possible opportunity to counterattack.


Philippines
Another day of Clark AF being absolutely pummelled by over 100 bomber sorties. The airfield is now damaged over 60%. There's essentially nothing airworthy there anymore. But, I did manage to get a few fighters up with very experienced pilots. We got two Zeroes... but that's meaningless right now.

The Soryu showed up in the Celebes sea, narrowly avoiding a sub guarding the eastern chokepoint. If found a small task force of mine that was going to try to evac the base forces on Jolo island. They sank a small escort, one transport and badly damaged the other transport. Mission aborted!

Malaya
Another 100+ sorties targeted my forces trying to regroup in Malacca. They're taking a beating. I also sent my own bombers, which ran into Oscars on CAP. I lost 5 Hudsons and a Blenhiem. Time to stand those guys down again.

Raids also targeted Singapore. We lost three Hurricanes but took down 5 Zeroes, 8 medium bombers, and 4 light bombers. They damaged the Repulse again, along with the transport Mount Vernon.


Burma
I'm embarrassed to say I didn't notice that the unit that took an empty southern base a few days ago moved north to Tavoy, which wasn't empty. They easily defeated my meager defenders (that I should have evacuated).

At least those soldiers are now close enough for my bombers to hit them while having a fighter escort. It's close to Saigon, I'm expecting fighters to be defending them.


-------
Today marked the greatest one-day loss for Japanese aircraft with 80 planes lost.

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Old 06-27-21, 12:13 AM   #79
Molon Labe
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6 January 1942
The return of the Silent Service

Hawaii
Operation "any ship can be a minesweeper once" continued. Looks like four barges and a midget sub were sacrificed.


Dutch East Indies
A Dutch sub finished off a damaged Aden-class cargo passing through the Mollucas. This should be one of the damaged ships from Ternate.


Japan
USS Porpoise torpedoed a Gozan class cargo off Kobe. It tried to finish it off with guns, but broke off to save ammo. It's only a 2000-tonner, 1 torp should be enough.


Philippines
The Soryu didn't press any further into the Celebes Sea. The only undamaged escort from the Jolo evac sprinted through the Makassar Strait and is safely off Surabaya now. At Clark, he shifted from bombing the airbase to ground forces again. Between the forts and the terrain, it's not very effective.


Malaya
He's really got it in for that army that tried to push him off the Johore road. More bombing sorties in Malacca. He hit Singapore too, with Nells going after a pair of AKLs making a brief stop under fighter cover. Defending Hurricanes snuck past enemy escort fighters and bagged two Nells. He missed the AKLs.


China
The unit entering Chusien is the 15th Division. I have more than a division there, so I'll be the one attacking tomorrow.


West Coast
For the first time, we have a sub contact off Seattle. I don't have too much surface traffic here (just a mine tender headed to the Aleutians), but plenty of ASW assets. We'll give him a warm welcome.



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Old 06-27-21, 12:58 PM   #80
Molon Labe
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7 January 1941
Hickam Airbase bombarded, Soryu CVBG advances towards Makassar Strait

Hawaii
Operation "any ship can be a minesweeper once" continues, with at least 3 midgets and 2 barges offered as a sacrifice to Neptune. Destroyers also entered the area to assist with mine clearance, although probably not intending to clear them by hitting them. But one did hit one. Three battleships then bombarded Hickam AFB hard, destroying at least 4 aircraft on the ground and damaging 19 more. I'm not going to be able to put another strike together if this keeps happening. He got close enough for coastal defense to shoot back, we got 4 hits on BB Yamashiro, but it wasn't anything the heavily armored ship couldn't handle.

An attempted PT raid on Lahaina got caught between covering forces at Lahaina and the battleships attacking Pearl. No losses on either side.

SigInt reports elements of the 4th and 55th Divisions are boarding ships at Lahaina. I forgot to mention yesterday, patrol aircraft bombed Palmyra. Probably as a form of recon. So that's a possible destination. But there are others that make more sense...

Philippines
Air strikes continued to target ground forces instead of the air base. For good reason, my CAP this turn was 1 P-40, which was damaged and returned to base. My only flyable aircraft there are now recon.

The enemy army made a deliberate attack on Clark and reduced the forts to level one, at a cost of about 4600 men. I'm not sure they have enough right now--but if the two divisions from Hawaii head over, they'll pull it off.

Dutch East Indies


The Soryu battle group, after pausing for a day, has moved into the Celebes Sea. At the same time, a small 3-ship task force was observed moving north from the Celebes into the Sulu Sea, the carrier may be providing cover for continued landings in the central/southern Philippines. Or this could be a move against eastern Borneo, although I haven't spotted any larger troop convoys approaching from the east (EDIT: But there are cargo ships in Brunei right now. They might be picking up troops there to move here from the north.) The Soryu's Zeros strafed the PTs (that hit an ARG in the Philippines a few days ago)heading south to rearm, causing light damage to one of them. The pilots probably aren't trained for this.

The humiliation of the CVLBG sitting off the coast of the biggest bases in the DEI with impunity is still fresh in our minds. Since then, we've upgraded a few fighter squadrons from Buffalo to Demons or Hawks. We've also been training our bomber crews for naval attacks, although they still only have medium and light level bombers to do it with. We've also got enough surface assets to put up a decent fight--but also fresh in our minds is our defeat in the Battle of the Celebes Sea a week into the war, so I'm going to be very careful about identifying what's out there before I commit to a surface battle.

ASW operations off Surabaya continue to suck. There are at least two subs there, our planes keep spotting them, but they're always gone by the time our destroyers or minesweepers get there.

Malaya
Air raids targeted Singapore and Malacca. The Singapore Zeroes on escort did well, taking out 2 Hurricanes and 2 Buffalos while only losing 1. But they let a bunch of Hurricanes through, costing them 5 Sonia light bombers. 2 more Sonias were claimed by AA. In Malacca, enemy fighter coverage was spotty. Hurricanes shot down a Nate and 5 Sallies with no losses. Two light cargo ships arrived in Malacca to deliver badly needed supplies to the armies trying to hold on there.

A tank regiment has advanced from Georgetown all the way south to Kuala Lumpur, where I wanted to try to hold off the southern advance originally before we got outflanked by the Mersing landing. The tanks attacked, causing significant damage to personnel and fortifications. The defenders are mostly in Malacca now, so that's not going to hold.


EDIT: I forgot to mention when I posted this, we have another Ace-in-a-Day here, FLT J.R. Huchinson of the No 488 Squadron--he got six kills today.


China
I was wrong about Chusien. We outnumber them significantly, but they have better leaders and the terrain is hampering offense and boosting defense. They've also got trailing units that look like they are going to guard a road that I otherwise might have cut off to block enemy supplies from reaching Chusien. This looks like the beginning of a prolonged battle.

SouthPAC
Ndeni is officially theirs now, and we spotted two ships approaching it from the east. Probably engineers. I could, in theory, interdict this, but I decided to be cautious. There's a huge blind spot just to the north/northeast of there, for all I know the CVLBG or Shokaku CVBG are in it, waiting for me.

Resupply operations are proceeding in Fiji and Pago now that the surface threat has passed. No sign of that sub either.
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Old 06-27-21, 04:33 PM   #81
Molon Labe
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January 8, 1942
Soryu changes places with the CVLBG, Shokaku and Zuikaku still out there somewhere

Hawaii
I think the success of the PT squadron at Pearl is at an end. They got lucky and ran into two unescorted AKs on the way to Lahaina, sinking one for sure. I was annoyed with the commander for firing their torpedoes at such long range, only one boat still had torpedoes left after this. They then met an ARG at Lahaina, escorted by Kaibokans and PBs. They pressed the attack to make sure the last boat could shoot its torpedoes...and missed. They got close enough to cripple a PB with .50cal fire and set a cargo ship on fire. The cost of this was two boats sunk by Kaibokans. A destroyer detachment responded to this and sank two more. The PTs, having been cut off from Pearl last turn, and now in 3 combat actions this turn, ran out of fuel.

Sacrifices to Neptune continued with the offering of five midgets. Three destroyer minesweepers were also thrown into the fray, clearing 62 mines before my coastal batteries took care of them. The DMSs actually degraded the minefield significantly. I'm ordering one of my tenders to replace some of them. If that draws an airstrike and I lose the tender, the remaining tenders will be able to manage the mines that are left.

Dutch East Indies
I was wrong about that being the Soryu the moved into Celebes. I'm fairly sure it was the Soryu that hit the Jolo evac group (the damaged AP from that group sank at harbor today, by the way...fires were never brought under control). But the task force moving into the Celebes now is the CVLBG, less the Zuiho (which was hit by a torpedo last time it was here). Attempting a repeat of recent history, the Dutch sub KIX (the same boat that torpedoed the Zuiho) hit the Shoho as it entered the Makassar Strati. But this time, the torpedo did not detonate. Force composition is: CVL Ryujo, CVE Hosho, CS Chiyoda, 4 CA, 10 DD.

Zeroes from the CVLBG strafed the retreating PTs again, but were much more effective than last turn, 3 were damaged at least one pretty badly. Possibly because they aren't the same planes.

Fortunately, the strafing mission kept them away from the carriers when my airstrike came. But unfortunately, Balikpapan does not have an AirHQ and does not organize strikes very well. So we only got 4 of 9 medium bombers in the air, and the light bombers never found the target. The fighter battle was even, 12 Claudes against 11 Demons and a Buffalo. We shot down 3 Claudes, and they got one bomber. The rest tried to bomb the Ryujo but missed. We tried again in the afternoon, the bombers got through again, missed again, and AA shot one more down.

The CVLBG is hugging the east coast of the strait and continued past Balikpapan. My read is that it's going to support further landings in the Ceram Sea area. As for the Soryu, I've lost track of it for now. Supporting landings in the Phillipines makes a lot of sense, so I'm not convinced it's gone. I also wouldn't be surprised if it met up with the missing Shokaku and Zuikaku and showed up in the Solomons, now that he knows I have a bunch of cruisers there.

The S-40 torpedoed a Toho class AK in a Ceram Sea choke point.
The Surabaya ASW forces managed a decent hit on one of those pesky subs, but they continue to generally evade attack.

Solomons
The S-28 found two mine tenders moving towards Tulagi and Guadalcanal. The skipper decided they were not important enough to use ammo on and let them get away. That skipper is getting fired.

That task force headed towards Ndeni landed on the Reef Islands instead. It's a marine garrison unit rather than engineers.


Malaya
Malacca has been captured. I hope my armies got some supplies, because from this point forward it's going to have to be flown in, if at all. The AKLs delivering the supplies were bombed by Nells, one will probably sink. That these guys are using bombs instead of torpedoes probably means he's rebasing his Air HQ.

Our Hurricanes shot down 4 Zeroes and 2 Sonias over Singapore.

China
That army unit that got surrounded in the riverlands has pulled out from the hex it tried to attack and into the hex of the army that cut it off. It's two divisions. This is going to be a major loss for me.

Philippines
Army units commenced an attack on the central airbase of Iolio. This is a potential midpoint to evacuate any fighters I might be able to repair at Clark. For now it looks like they can hold, but supplies are a problem. And they have a task force here that could very well be there to reinforce them.
---

Today was the 7th consecutive day enemy air losses were greater than mine.
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Old 06-27-21, 07:45 PM   #82
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9 January 1942
Major raid on Hickam/Pearl, attack on CVLBG fails

Hawaii
My mine tender laying more mines didn't trigger an airstrike. Instead, a bombardment task force about to shell Hickam used it for some pre-game gunnery practice. The bombardment destroyed 5 planes on the ground and about 50 more. So, when he launched an airstrike in the morning, my CAP was rather short. Fortunately he was bombing ffrom 20,000 feet, so he didn't hit much. A CL took a hit from a Val that was level bombing. Hickam was barely scratched. Air losses were 7 Zeroes, 14 Nells, 4 Betties, 9 Kates, and a Val for him; I lost one each of P-35, P-39, and P-40.

USS Gar laid a minefield at Lahaina. Looks like it was detected immediately and they're already working on clearing it.

Dutch East Indies
At Kendari, I made another PT boat attack. Looks like they've adapted to this. The troop ships there had plenty of decent escorts: 2 cruisers, 4 destroyers, plus a few little guys. I lost 3 of 5 PTs and the others went running home.

The CVLBG apparently had so much fun sitting off Surabaya last time it had to do it again. Once again, I tried to coordinate an airstrike, and again, it didn't go as planned. It was supposed to be two packages: Swordfish torpedo bombers (borrowed from HMS Hermes) escorted by Buffalos, and medium bombers escorted by Hawks. The Swordfish went first, and without escort. Every last one (12) was shot down by the CAP. The well-escorted medium bomber package claimed a Zero, losing 3 Hawks, 2 Buffalo, and 3 bombers. The bombers that got through missed. The carriers launched a strike of their own trying to hit ships at Surabaya. Fortunately they weren't any more successful. Escorting Claudes shot down a Hawk, but that was the extent of the damage.

Solomons
My bad luck with that sub skipper was partly made up: one of the ACMs he let go hit a mine at Guadalcanal.

Japan
USS Sailfish engaged an AKL on the surface near Kyushu. The AKL hurt the Sailfish as bad as it got hurt, and the sub aborted the attack.

Malaya
He switched from bombing Singapore to sweeping Singapore, and got results. 14 Oscars went up against 10 Hurricanes and a Buffalo--he got 7 Hurricanes with only 3 losses. One of those Hurricanes went down with an ace, another ace pilot bailed out but was wounded.

The bombers were still hitting my units retreating from Malacca. We traded a Mohawk for an Oscar in the air, but the bombers hit the land forces hard.

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Old 06-28-21, 01:20 AM   #83
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10 January 1942
Pearl Harbor and Surabaya Air Forces on the ropes, Palmyra in the crosshairs

Hawaii
He tried to sacrifice 2 more barges on the altar of Neptune, but the USS Gar, back from its minelaying mission, gunned them down instead. One of his destroyers hit a mine near Pearl, though. The damaged boat retreated and was intercepted by USS Cuttlefish, which bounced a dud Mk14 off its hull and then had to evade depth charge attacks from other destroyers.

A bombardment group hit Hickam and Pearl, destroying at least 2 bombers on the ground and damaging at least 22 more aircraft. The battleship Oklahoma, still under repair from the original 12/7 attack, was also hit.

He made another airstrike that was mostly ineffective, but between fighting these raids the the battleship bombardments my air forces are breaking. The score in the sky was 4 Zeroes to 2 P-40s.

Two ships have been detected moving south from Hawaii toward Palmyra.


Dutch East Indies
For the second day, the CVLBG defeated my air raids. Once again, my torpedo bombers didn't get their escort. I blame a combination of inexperienced pilots and that the difference in cruising speed between the medium bombers and the fighters is less than the difference with the torpedo bombers. But, even the escorted medium bombers took a beating. Overall losses were 4 Buffalo, 2 Swordfish, and 17 medium bombers. We didn't get anything. These air forces are pretty much spent, I'll need a plan B.


Japan
USS Tautog torpedoed a Gozan class cargo south of Tokyo.

Malaya
A task force of 4 DD circled around Singapore and attacked an ASW patrol in the strait. I lost ML and had another damaged.

In Singapore, Nells torpedoed a pair of AKLs. The raid cost them 3 Oscars and 3 Nells, they shot down 2 Mohawk fighters.


Philippines
Iolio has been captured.


China
His secondary force outside Chuhsien brushed aside an infantry unit of mine that was trying to cut off a supply road, casualties were about 1800 for us.


SouthPAC
Floatplanes have been snooping Noumea for two turns now. There's no sign of any cruisers nearby... maybe one of those pesky aircraft-carrying subs is poking around. I've got a lot of traffic going through this area, I'd rather not let him have a look. ASW assets inbound.
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Old 06-28-21, 10:10 AM   #84
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11 January 1941
Heroic sacrifice by USS McCall, USS Maury, gives Palmyra fighting chance; CVLBG continues to frustrate in Java Sea, Heavy cruiser torpedoed off Noumea

CENTPAC
When I detected those "two" ships near Palmyra yesterday, I detached 2 DD from a convoy passing near the area to intercept. They found a lot more than 2 ships.


CL Abukuma
CL Oi, Shell hits 3
DD Isokaze, Shell hits 2
PB Magan Maru, Shell hits 2
PB Shoei Maru
xAK Okiyu Maru
xAK Nichiyu Maru, Shell hits 6, and is sunk
xAK Nitisan Maru, Shell hits 2, on fire
xAK Kosei Maru, Shell hits 2, heavy fires
xAK Kotoku Maru, Shell hits 2, heavy fires
xAP Taizan Maru
PB Yamahagi Maru #3, Shell hits 8, heavy fires, heavy damage

Allied Ships
DD McCall, Shell hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Maury, Shell hits 17, and is sunk
Japanese ground losses:
1886 casualties reported
Squads: 1 destroyed, 1 disabled
Non Combat: 46 destroyed, 91 disabled
Engineers: 34 destroyed, 53 disabled
Guns lost 6 (2 destroyed, 4 disabled)

Despite being outgunned, the two tin cans did awesome, splitting their fire between the transports and escorts. They took out one of the Oi's gun mounts and hit 4 of the 6 transports. One went down in view of the DDs. Unfortunately, so did the Maury, and the McCall isn't going to make it either. None of the damaged ships landed troops, and one of the two transports that continued was struck by coastal defense artillery. The Oi was also hit two more times. The damage done seriously disrupted the landing, resulting in heavy casualties to the Japanese troops coming ashore under fire from US Marines. They would have taken Palmyra easily with 6 transports full of troops, but as of now the fight could go either way.

At Pearl, four enemy destroyer-minesweepers were shot up and two barges were sacrified to Neptune. One of my subs tried to finish off one that retreated but missed. USS Gar was damaged by depth charges trying to mine Lahaina.

Air raids over Pearl cost two zeroes, but level-bombing Kates managed to hit USS Maryland with an 800kg AP bomb, and 250kg hits on W. Virginia and Pennsylvania.

SouthPAC
That sub I was looking for found me first. My cruisers, instead of pursuing enemy ships north, had been covering reinforcements landing on Efate. The sub found them returning to Noumea and torpedoed the USS Pensacola. So that's two heavy cruisers in this group sidelined with torpedo damage. I'm suspending troop movements and reassigning their ASW escorts to deal with this (in addition to ASW assets summoned yesterday).

Malaya
The Japanese destroyer group found two more ASW craft before they could shelter in port, both were sunk.

Air losses were one Oscar to one Hurricane, in a sweep of Singapore. Enemy bombers are now focusing on Kuala Lumpur, too far north to be worth dividing my fighter coverage. The armies at Johore appear to be waiting for this mop-up operation to complete before beginning the siege of Singapore.

Java Sea
"Plan B" was a surface battle with the CVLBG. I sortied a rather large UK-Dutch-US fleet--it should have outmatched them even with 4 heavy cruisers escorting the flattops. But the CVLBG had moved off to the east under darkness, and my ships didn't find them. The carriers launched an airstrike at the fleet, fortunately only scoring hits each on two cruisers, neither inflicting serious damage. They lost two Vals and two Kates but shot down a Hawk and a Buffalo.

Dutch East Indies
I had been raiding Miri and Kendari with light bombers with little result. I changed them to low level attacks for today and it worked; I got 2 hits on a tanker at Miri (likely a kill thanks to fires) and a hit on a cargo ship at Kendari.

Elsewhere
Guam, finally, has been captured. I'm sure that's a relief to him.
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Old 06-28-21, 06:23 PM   #85
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My opponent is traveling this week, so we might be pausing the campaign for now. He did send me the replay file for 12 January, though, so I have partial information on the outcome of that:


12 January 1942
Invasion of Palmyra stalled, Shokaku and Zuikaku return to Pearl to boost air raids

CENTPAC
USS McCall sank as it limped away from yesterday's battle. The landings at Palmyra continued without further interference from my navy, but it looks like the damage was done. The surviving transports took more artillery fire from ashore, and a bombardment by the Oi appeared to be ineffective. The soldiers ashore gave it their best, but took 244 casualties without hurting my marines at all. This invasion looks to be stalled unless they can reinforce. They also landed combat engineers, so they might be able to deal with the forts, but it doesn't look close enough for that to be a difference-maker.

At Pearl, 6 battleships and 3 cruisers bombarded the bases. At least 2 planes were destroyed on the ground, with at least 25 more damaged. That these numbers are so small is testament to just how little is left. I don't have an estimate of facility damage yet, but I know runway damage was 10% and service damage 47% before they hit us today.

The base being nicely softened up, the Shokaku and Zuikaku rejoined the KB to join the series of air raids. The damage from today's raid was probably as serious as the original 12/7 raid:
BB Pennsylvania - 8
BB Maryland -6
BB Oklahoma - 5
BB W Virginia - 5
CA Minneapolis - 6
CL St. Louis -2
CL Helena -2
CL Detroit -1
DD Blue -1
DD King -1
AE Pyro -1 (and ironically, on fire)
AD Rigel -1
AV Wright - 2
AM Grebe -1


A whole lot of these were 800kg AP hits. The raid cost them 4 Zeroes, 4 Betties, 8 Nells, and 5 Vals. Zeroes shot down 1 Wildcat on patrol.

Well, I guess he has a decision to make now. Should he send reinforcements to have his soldiers on Palmyra, and if so, should the carriers support it? A major potential downside to saving Palmyra might be that he starts to consider my convoys a threat. I've been enjoying commerce-raider free traffic so far. For now, convoys heading to that area are going to have to turn around.

As for me, I'm SOOOOOO glad I got most of the undamaged combattants and the faster tenders out of Pearl when I did.


SouthPAC
USS Pompano found an unescorted AKE near Truk and attacked on the surface, scoring a torpedo hit and several gun hits. The AKE also hit the Pompano twice, but I won't know how badly until I get the save file. If this were further into the open ocean I'd say the enemy ship was doomed, but he might get to Truk and survive.

Malaya
Trying to imitate the success of the light bombers in the DEI, I set my Wirraways to low level attack to try to get the destroyers that are sinking my ASW craft. They didn't find the destroyers, so the went after transports in Mersing. They missed; defending Nates shot down an escorting Hurricane and flak got one of the bombers.

His bombers continue to harass the forces around Kuala Lumpur. He'll wipe them out, then consolidate to the south for the final siege.


Dutch East Indies
We repeated yesterday's raid on Miri and hit a PB. The little 50kg glorified hand grenades don't do too much damage when there's no fuel or oil to set on fire.

No raids by the CVLBG today. I wonder if he's going to head east towards the Coral Sea to deal with my cruiser force that's been giving him headaches.
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Old 07-01-21, 07:29 PM   #86
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13 January 1942
Kido Butai committed to finishing what it started at Pearl


Hawaii
The assault on Pearl is maintaining yesterday's ferocity. They sent destroyers into the minefield (chasing a submarine maybe?). They cleared 3 mines on purpose, but detonated another the wrong way. 3 of my DDs made a run for it (and toward Palmyra, might as well put them to use if they make it). SIX enemy battleships bombarded Pearl/Hickam, destroying at least 11 planes and damaging 93 more. Service damage is up to 73% so we're not going to repair them quickly. The KBs air raids were devastating. For the low cost of 4 Zeroes and 5 Vals, they sank the BB Pennslyvania, CA Minneapolis and DD King, and just about everything else is severely damaged:
BB Pennsylvania, Bomb hits 4, on fire, heavy damage
BB Oklahoma, Bomb hits 9, on fire, heavy damage
PG Sacramento, Bomb hits 1, on fire
CL Helena, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
CL St. Louis, Bomb hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
CL Detroit, Bomb hits 5, on fire, heavy damage
CA Minneapolis, Bomb hits 7, heavy fires, heavy damage
BB Maryland, Bomb hits 3, heavy damage
BB West Virginia, Bomb hits 4, on fire, heavy damage
AD Dobbin, Bomb hits 1
DD Monaghan, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
DD King, Bomb hits 1, and is sunk
AE Pyro, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
AV Tangier, Bomb hits 1, on fire
AG Antares, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires



At Palmyra, I got a CL, a DD, and a DMS into the space to try to interrupt further landings. They met a CL and a DD. The enemy DD was the star of this battle, sinking my DD and convincing my task force to leave. Very disappointing. Fortunately, no more troops arrived today. I also realized this was within SBD flying range of Pearl, so I transferred all of my flyable SBDs here. Gets them away from the battleships' bombardments and will be useful for bombing troop ships, as well as the jerks already ashore.


Dutch East Indies
A small cruiser-destroyer group moving through the Maskasar straight sank an AKL of mine that I was trying to useto get desperately needed supplies for airplane repair to the Philippines.

He resumed his invasion of Borneo, landing troops at Sandakan (northeast area). My Falcon bombers split their attention between this task force and merchant traffic in Brunei/Miri, scoring only one hit on an AK in Brunei.

The CVLBG was reaquired at Kendari. Fine by me, hang out in the minefield. A Buffalo-escorted Falcon raid against the task force got no results, though, except for two Buffs and a Falcon shot down.



Malaya
They're not waiting for the mop-up to complete. The main force is on the move to Singapore right now. They'll probably begin their assault in 1-3 days. Right now the only air activity over Singapore are Oscar sweeps; the bombers are all dealing with my scattered forces around KL where I can't reach them with fighters.


Burma
For the first time, a sub appeared off Rangoon and tried to intercept a troop convoy delivering reinforcements. An escorting gunboat depth charged it, possibly sinking it.

I'm planning my first major counteroffensive here as a result of reinforcing Burma with the expectation of a major invasion to repel, that doesn't look like it's coming. Operation Kinky Boots will use the British forces intended to defend Burma push into Thailand, hopefully forcing him to abandon his siege of Singapore. The biggest problem is air support. We'll probably be facing a very large number of very experienced fighter pilots, with a downright oppressive amount of bombers following them. I'll have a decent amount of my own fighters to counter that with, but I'm not sure about the pilots. I can't check their experience levels until they actually arrive in theatre.


China
My surrounded unit near Hwainan (in the riverlands) is taking a beating from the IJA. Over 2000 casualties today. I'm going to be able to get these guys some air support soon--just fighters, though. No friendly airfields big enough to support medium bombers, and I don't have any light bombers in China.

The IJA began an assault on Tsiaotso, a mountain base at the northern front. We're holding; casualties were 1116 IJA to 487 ROC.


SouthPAC
I know that sub is still there but I haven't actually detected it. I'm going to give it one more day before resuming troop transport operations, with special care to include ASW escorts. Major convoys have arrived in Sydney, I'm proceeding to distribute those forces immediately. This includes a fighter group, airbase engineers, and artillery. This whole area is going to be a hard nut to crack pretty soon.
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Old 07-02-21, 08:04 PM   #87
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14 January 1942
Time to abandon Clark airbase?

Hawaii
USS Cuttlefish torpedoed a troop-carrying cargo ship off Lihue.

Taking advantage of the KB being focused on raiding the harbor, I formed another evacuation task force and ordered it north. These were slower ships, tenders and minesweepers, and it appears we got away with it. A sub tried to attack them but that's it so far.

The 3 DD that escaped to the south yesterday met an AP and a PB, probably intended to evacuate enemy troops from Palmyra. My destroyers left both ships ablaze and sinking.

Six BB attacked Hickam again. Damage appeared light because there isn't much left there to hit. 10 aircraft damaged, 1 destroyed. The KB followed that up with a surprisingly light attack, just 44 Vals (30 Zeroes escorting), which blew up 3 more planes on the ground but let my gunners take out 8 of them. I only had 6 fighters on CAP for this fight--they got one Zero.

Japan has a total of 10 BB at this time in the war. 6 of them we know are here. Two, the Kongo and Haruna, were deployed to Malaya and are probably still there--although I didn't see them this turn. The other two are the Ise and Hygua, both of which were damaged in the Battle of the Celebes Sea. So, provided I can verify the Kongo and Haruna are still covering Malaya, this probably means the commitment of 6 BB to Hawaii leaves literally everywhere else without any BB available to cover them.

The relatively light air raid at Hickam might have meant that carriers have been detached from the KB, but recon aircraft are still reporting a full carrier fleet hanging out at Lahaina.


Dutch East Indies
My ASW groups outside Surabaya had some minor success, lightly damaging a sub with a depth charge attack. Then that cruiser-destroyer task force (2 CA, 2DD) in the Makasar Strait yesterday raided the ASW groups. Both sides took light damage, my DDs retreated to port.


It's frustrating, I easily have superior numbers here right now, but he's inside my OODA loop. I didn't have a fix on their position yesterday, didn't realize they were already far south enough to get here, and now that they've shown up to attack, I once again don't have a fix on their position. Trying to chase them would be foolish, they have air cover whether they run east (Kendari, Ambon, the CVLBG) or west (Malaya).

My Falcon light bombers attacked Miri again, sinking a mine tender and setting an oil-laden tanker ablaze.


Philippines
He's pushing to take Clark again. Fortifications are reduced to zero and I have no supply. I'm considering a retreat to the Bataan peninsula, at least they have forts and supply there. But not enough to share with Clark. I'm trying to repair the planes at Clark to evacuate them but right now that's only arriving by sub. Maybe repair just isn't realistic anymore.

The central island base of Bacolod has been captured and paratroops are landing on the southern island.


China
Chaochow has been recaptured. Aggravating, our armies were of equal size and the advantage usually goes to the defender. But his troops are much more experienced, and his leaders better. I have to do better than match him man-for-man.

The air support I provided to the surrounded army in the riverlands proved meaningless as no air raid came. Their army doesn't need the help, my units are beginning to surrender.


SouthPAC
I know that damn sub is still at Noumea because his scoutplane keeps buzzing my ships. But I've let him disrupt me enough. Troop movements will proceed. We also spotted a large cruiser-destroyer TF at Rabaul.


West Coast
A sub's scoutplanes also got spotted snooping an ASW task force near Seattle. Looks like our guest from a few turns ago is sitting just outside my aircrafts' patrol range. There still isn't a whole lot of traffic here. A few ships coming back from dropping off troops or supplies, nothing unescorted.


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Old 07-05-21, 12:48 PM   #88
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Good reports as always. The Ami's need a victory. I appreciate the detail you provide, such as whether a sub attacks on the surface or the aircraft losses of each raid.


One of the things I praised about WitE was despite the scale it was depicting, it was still calculating down the every shot fired. This sort of detail in a game so broad is great.


I'm pulling for you mate, but the outlook is grim. What can you see coming in the near future that could help swing the balance? What major reinforcements are on the way?
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Old 07-05-21, 04:14 PM   #89
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So far most of the reinforcements are from the UK through Aden. I think I sent two of those to Singapore and at least two more to Rangoon. My plans for Operation Kinky Boots are based on Brit reinforcements already in Burma with more to arrive soon. We've got a lot of Hurricane squadrons coming in. The UK has also provided the CV Indomitable and a BB.


On the US side, I've been reinforcing everything from Australia to Christmas Island. So far the focus has been to make sure the islands in that southern chain can't be successfully invaded without him making a real commitment. So an infantry garrison, AAA, coastal defense batteries, and fighters. Most of those are coming online now--that's why that damn sub off Noumea is aggravating, I don't want him to pick any of these off. The next big deal for the US are construction battalions. The base forces' engineers haven't been doing great work so far, so I'm hoping dedicated engineers are going to help get important bases built up. Actual US army/marine reinforcements are coming in painfully slow. I'd say I have one regiment right now, but it's really just a command waiting to get filled out with actual troops and equipment. Two more of those should arrive in about a week. I'll also have another 3 US BB within the next two weeks. American army air corps fighters are arriving so fast I almost feel bad for him. Assuming he doesn't interdict the convoys delievering them, the south pacific and possibly the Java Sea is going to become a very hard place for him to fly in over the course of the next month.
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Old 07-06-21, 03:30 AM   #90
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15 January 1942

Hawaii
Three more destroyer-minesweepers were sacrificed to my shore batteries, but they cleared out over 60 mines. Battleships continued to bombard--at this point I'd just say Hickam is out of operation. We're only putting up token resistance to the air raids. Speaking of which, strikes today finished off the Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Maryland.

SBDs that escaped from Pearl are now bombing the enemy troops stranded on Palmyra. I might be able to counterattack and wipe them out soon.

Dutch East Indies
One of my ASW groups managed to moderately damage a sub hanging out at Surabaya. Maybe enough to send it home for repairs.

He's moved a Nate squadron to Miri. My Falcon bombers were chased away with one shot down. Being able to raid was fun while it lasted.

The CVLBG is back on the move again, heading east towards Surabaya and strafing PTs on the way. Should I give it a surface battle?

The new Dutch sub O23 got its first taste of combat, hitting a cruiser-minelayer with 2 torpedoes and sending it to the bottom. Well done,
noob.

Malaya
Kuala Lumpur has been captured.

The first wave of enemy troops is now attacking Singapore. It was only about 6,000 troops to start--artillery and combat engineers--3,000 of them were killed.

Philippines
By the numbers, he doesn't have the strength to overrun Clark, and he's taking heavy casualties trying anyway. But, because he has supplies and I'm besieged, the numbers could gradually change. And there's always possibly troops about to be moved here from Hawaii.

SouthPAC
They've brought in minesweepers to clear out the presents I left form them at Shortlands. I doubt there are that many left since there is no tender managing them.

I finally found that damned sub handing out east of Noumea. Every ship that tried to sink it missed, though.

USS Argonaut found and attacked a large troop ship north of Shortlands but missed.

Burma
More reinforcements needed for Operation Kinky Boots are arriving, and I note with some disappointment that one of my new fighter squadrons is filled a blend of quality pilots and scrubs. I have more pilots than planes in Malaya, though, so I might be able to fix that problem. But the operation will not proceed if it means I have to put rookie pilots against veteran Oscar (and Zero?) pilots in large numbers.
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