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Old 09-16-2021, 12:01 PM   #196
Molon Labe
Ocean Warrior
 
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15 April 1942
and then the Winged Hussars arrived!
(Naval Battle of Oahu, day 2)


Hawaii
After my failure to neutralize the battleships yesterday and the poor showing by the Netties, my top priority was preventing the battleships from getting to my carriers. But, I still needed to neturalize the airbase because he can fly reinforcements in at any time and completely change the threat profile. So the carriers stood off a bit, and I ordered my battleship fleet to go in. I'd rather have a mostly even surface fleet battle than either a BB vs CV situation or a reinforced airbase to deal with.

And a surface battle is exactly what I got; his fleet intercepted mine at night when it went in to try to bombard the base. His fleet was the battleships Mutsu, Fuso, and Yamashiro backed up by a light cruiser and 3 destroyers. I brought the Idaho, New Mexico, Mississippi, and HMS Warspite (which started the war docked in Seattle) escorted by 5 DD and 2 DMS. The Japanese got the drop on mine and scored early hits on the Mississippi, but fortunately they were mostly secondary battery hits. When we retaliated we got several 14" hits on the Mutsu, which ended up being the only ship critically damaged in round 1--we never saw her again. The damage to the Idaho and Mississippi was a concern:
Japanese Ships
BB Mutsu, Shell hits 14, heavy fires, heavy damage
BB Fuso
BB Yamashiro
CL Abukuma
DD Samidare
DD Sanae
DD Kuri

Allied Ships
BB Idaho, Shell hits 2, on fire
BB New Mexico
BB Mississippi, Shell hits 11
BB Warspite
DD Clark, Shell hits 1
DD MacDonough
DD Lawrence
DD Kane
DD Rathburne
DMS Long
DMS Chandler, Shell hits 1

After we broke contact, we encountered another cargo ship on the way back towards the airbase and sank it. The enemy task force regroup and intercepted us again, this time during the day. This was going very well for us for most of it, but at the end they started scoring several penetrating main battery hits on the Mississippi:
Japanese Ships
BB Fuso, Shell hits 1
BB Yamashiro, Shell hits 38, heavy fires, heavy damage
CL Abukuma, Shell hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
DD Samidare, Shell hits 8, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Sanae, Shell hits 2, on fire

Allied Ships
BB New Mexico, Shell hits 1
BB Mississippi, Shell hits 41, heavy fires, heavy damage
BB Warspite, Shell hits 2
DD Clark, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD MacDonough, Shell hits 2
DD Lawrence
DD Kane
DMS Long
DMS Chandler, Shell hits 2, on fire
The Mississippi sank a few hours after the battle.

The enemy used their fighters to protect their battleships this turn, while sending their bombers out after mine unescorted. The first raid was 7 Betties and 3 Nells; we had 23 Wildcats respond but unfortunately we were slow getting to them. We shot down 2 Betties and a Nell; the rest got through. But, it was within the ability of the gunners to handle. One more Betty went down and they scored no hits (targeting New Mexico and Warspite).

5 Betties and 3 torpedo-armed Mavis scoutplanes went after Idaho, which had detached to try to repair at Pearl. Stupid AI commander doesn't realize Pearl's not repairing anything right now. No hits.

The air raid against the enemy BB fleet finally happened! Sadly I had prioritized fleet defense so much that I only had 1 F4F escorting this package, which was immediately shot down by the CAP. We lost 6 SBDs to the fighters after that. But we brought 61 of them, plus 30 TBDs:

CL Abukuma, Bomb hits 5, and is sunk
DD Sanae, Bomb hits 4, and is sunk
BB Fuso, Torpedo hits 4, and is sunk
BB Yamashiro, Bomb hits 1, and is sunk
DD Samidare, Bomb hits 3, and is sunk

The destruction was so thorough, that a late-arriving group of TBDs had nothing to attack. We ended up losing 4 Wildcats and one of the TBDs to enemy fighters despite the objective being gone at that point.

After that there was a second unescorted Betty attack on our battleship group, 14 Betties vs 18 Wildcats. We shot down 12 of them, only one managed an attack on the Warspite, and it missed. They also sent 4 after the Idaho--and this time, managed a hit. She's tough, though, the flooding is controlled.

SITREP: Sinking the BBs was the primary goal of this operation. With that achieved, the board appears to be clear of surface threats, the Netties' losses should effectively neutralize them unless they're reinforced, and the other land based bombers appear to be evacuating (probably to Midway via Johnston). Enemy submarines remain a threat, there are at least 4 being vectored towards my task forces with help from Lahaina's scoutplanes. It appears I've achieved sea control here, at least temporarily. I estimate the KB could arrive by April 19 at the earliest although April 23 is more realistic.

I lost one of my 4 battleships, another is damaged to the point it should probably retire, and the two others are low on ammunition. As such, any further attack attempt on the airbase will be at a fragment of the strength it should have been. Making matters worse, recon shows minelayers and mine tenders at harbor--we have to conclude there is a large defensive minefield here, which is going to make a bombardment more hazardous the closer they need to get. My carrier airwings remain at close to full strength, though. But I'm hesitant to use them against the airfield knowing that the Level 9 base will be resistant to damage and not knowing how much AA is there.

Is Pearl saved? I don't know yet. They're still outnumbered and low on supplies. Realistically, I can't stop the bombers--even if I hurt the airbase, they'll repair it and fly the bombers back in later. But I did remove the most important enemy asset supporting their siege. It's possible that alone turned the tide. My priorities now are to organize my forces, cover the retreat of the Idaho, sink as many tenders and supply ships as I can at Lahaina (probing enemy AA there at the same time), and to land supplies at Pearl while I have a window of opportunity. On that count, I wish the timing of this operation had been better--this really was a target of opportunity rather than something I'd been planning. That the KB had not only left, but had been sighted far, far away;that recon noticed their airpower had drawn down; and that my carriers were close enough to here to respond in time (because of the Christmas Island operation)--all this happening at the same time made this possible. But that this was rush job meant the supply convoys didn't have time to pre-position to take advantage of the window. IF those convoys get through, I think we've not only won the Naval Battle of Oahu, but turned the land battle into a quagmire.


* * *
I think we finally finished off the mines at Christmas island.

Japan and Celebes Sea
We had multiple failed attacks against AOs and tankers today. I usually don't report failed sub attacks, but these failures hurt because we see the tankers so rarely and they're so valuable right now.

Java
Enemy task forces continued to bombard Surabaya in disregard of our defensive minefields:
DD Yomogi, Mine hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
TB Hiyodori, Mine hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
DD Hayate, Mine hits 1, heavy damage

Air raids on Surabaya resulted in 1 Zero shot down with a loss of 3 Allied fighters.

USS Permit located and attacked the Hiryu in the Java Sea. It missed, but avoided enemy retaliation. With the Soryu sunk and the Kaga in the Solomons area, this means the KB is now just 3 carriers.

Malang has been captured.

Malaya
The Kako went after our ASW craft again, sinking 4. Our retaliatory airstrikes failed to connect; the air battle resulted in the losses of an Oscar, 5 Hurricanes, a Buffalo, and a Blenheim.

Thailand
AVG-1 attempted a sweep of Bangkok and got bounced. 3 P-40s went down with no victories. Hurricanes followed up and only managed to get one Oscar and one Nate.

Luganville and Solomons
I didn't get the timing I wanted here. The B-17s arrived first, hitting the port and damaging a transport loading troops; they avoided the CAP. The B-26s were next and suffered the worst; we had 5 shot down by Zeroes in exchange for minor port facility damage. The sweeps failed to capitalize on decreased Zero altitude and ended up with a lackluster result, just 2 Zeroes shot down with 1 P-40 joining them. The lowest-altitude attack by the fastest bombers (A-20 Havocs) arrived last although for the two reasons I just gave I expected them to arrive first. They attempted an attack on a cargo ship and missed. They managed to avoid and outrun the CAP, so at least that went as planned.

LB-30 Liberators from Noumea attacked Guadalcanal, dealing some light airfield damage and letting me know that at least for now he has no CAP there.



--------------
This seemed like a good time to update my kill-chart:


I'm not surprised that aerial bombs have moved to the top, but naval gunfire is surprising passing up sub torpedoes. It's actually this last battle making that happen, without 2 enemy BBs sunk by gunfire it would be in 3rd instead of 2nd.
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Old 09-17-2021, 03:24 AM   #197
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Sinking two BB for sure and likely a third (you sound quite confident that Mutsu has been sunk, too) is no small feat, so despite the uncertainty of the situation this has to be logged as a major victory for you, so congratulations.

Losing the Mississippi is painful, but with the South Dakotas coming up (historically they joined the US Navy over the summer of 1942) it's not the end of the world.



Two questions about the game:


a) Can the Japanese player rush both BB and CV production? You mentioned in an earlier post that your opponent must have rushed the Hiyo-class carriers because he used them earlier than historically. Can he rush the production of BB at the same time, or will this have the opposite effect (rushing the carriers results in slowing the production of BB and/or CA)?

b) Can the Japanese player produce ahistorical units, like Shinano as a BB, the fourth Yamato class (warship 111, in reality cancelled early in 1942 when about 30% completed) or even the completely hypothetical A-150 class battleships?
And does the Allied industry produce ahistorical units like the Montanas or the second group of the Midway-class (if the game lasts that long, of course)?



Losing two/three BBs should in any way be a real pain in the behind for your opponent, and if you manage to save Pearl Harbor he will have wasted a lot of (irreplaceable) resources for nothing.


I'm looking forward to your reports, please don't stop writing them

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Old 09-17-2021, 10:30 AM   #198
Molon Labe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostfriese View Post
Sinking two BB for sure and likely a third (you sound quite confident that Mutsu has been sunk, too) is no small feat, so despite the uncertainty of the situation this has to be logged as a major victory for you, so congratulations.

Losing the Mississippi is painful, but with the South Dakotas coming up (historically they joined the US Navy over the summer of 1942) it's not the end of the world.



Two questions about the game:


a) Can the Japanese player rush both BB and CV production? You mentioned in an earlier post that your opponent must have rushed the Hiyo-class carriers because he used them earlier than historically. Can he rush the production of BB at the same time, or will this have the opposite effect (rushing the carriers results in slowing the production of BB and/or CA)?
The Japanese economy is complicated enough to do both, but probably at the expense of something else. There are shipyards producing "naval points" that can be used to accelerate production. The shipyards can be expanded by expending heavy industry points and supply. Realistically, if Japan is going to accelerate something large, they have to halt something else. Putting enough HI and supply into expanded shipyards to be able to do both would probably involve major sacrifices to aircraft production and R&D.

Quote:
b) Can the Japanese player produce ahistorical units, like Shinano as a BB, the fourth Yamato class (warship 111, in reality cancelled early in 1942 when about 30% completed) or even the completely hypothetical A-150 class battleships?
And does the Allied industry produce ahistorical units like the Montanas or the second group of the Midway-class (if the game lasts that long, of course)?
Everything that's produced is, I think, historical. But many ships have conversion options, so you can switch them to ahistoical versions of themselves after you get them. From my last campaign as Japan I recall I could covert some BB into carriers, just not very good ones.
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:18 AM   #199
Ostfriese
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So the loss of the two/three battleships means that his Hawaiian operation will be a pyrric victory even if he succeds.


Thank you for patient ly answering my questions. If you continue like this, I'll end up buying WiTP
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Old 09-17-2021, 01:49 PM   #200
Molon Labe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostfriese View Post
So the loss of the two/three battleships means that his Hawaiian operation will be a pyrric victory even if he succeds.


Thank you for patient ly answering my questions. If you continue like this, I'll end up buying WiTP
I don't think so, if he takes Pearl at the cost of 3 BB (I am fairly confident the Mustu went down) and change, I'd still call that a win for him. He's denying me my most important forward base and taking it for himself, complete with its extensive fuel reserves and repair facilities. I'm already stretched thin logistically trying to run supplies around all the islands he's occupied. If he starts raiding from Hawaii after controlling it, he has the potential to completely sever my supply lines over the entire Pacific. That's worth a few ships, even capital ships.
----------------------------

16 April 1942
Lahaina airbase reinforced with fighters; bombers start scoring hits...


Hawaii and the Line Islands
For this turn, I ordered my two healthy battleships New Mexico and Warspite to link up with 2 cruisers from the CVBGs to bombard Lahaina, standing off a bit to hopefully avoid any minefields. The Hornet broke off to escort the Idaho out of the area, while the Saratoga and Enterprise would launch airstrikes against Lahaina's port and airbase while waiting for the bombardment task force to link back up.

A submarine was spotted taking up an attack position against the Hornet CVBG. It was depth charged and driven away before it could fire.

The planned bombardment was highly successful, causing heavy facility damage to the airfield and destroying at least 6 planes... reportedly damaging well over 100, which is impossible, and reflects planes being damaged multiple times. We did not encounter any mines.

In spite of the success of the bombardment, the enemy managed its best air strikes of the battle, and it appears certain that additional fighters have arrived, and their naval bombers have either been reinforced or their mechanics are repairing their damage incredibly fast. There was a 4-wave attack against the Enterprise-Saratoga CVBG:
Wave 1: 6 Nells, 19 Zeroes, 4 Oscars vs 29 Wildcats; Losses: 2 Wildcats, 4 Zeroes, 4 Nells. 2 Nells got through, attacked Enterprise and missed.
Wave 2: 5 unescorted Nells vs 13 Wildcats: all 5 splashed
Wave 3: 4 Nells, 15 Zeroes vs 12 Wildcats: 1 Wildcat, 2 Nells lost. 2 Nells got through and attacked Enterprise, missed.
Wave 4: 6 Nells with 7 Zeroes vs 4 Wildcats: 1 Wildcat shot down. All 6 Nells attacked Saratoga--1 torpedo hit.

So that's 21 Nells total... yeah, he had to have reinforced.

Our carriers flew next but with only 2 squadrons of SBDs. I suppose we can say the Saratoga didn't attack because of battle damage. But this is now the 3rd day the Hornet's dive bombers have sat on the deck armed and ready but not attacking and I'm really, really angry about it. But anyway, the 2 squadrons hit the port:
BB Nagato, Bomb hits 3
AV Kimikawa Maru, Bomb hits 1, on fire
So there's the 4th battleship, down for repairs. And we just stretched out those repairs, hopefully by quite a bit. None of those hits penetrated its armor though, so it isn't badly hurt.

In the afternoon, Lahaina attacked the Hornet CVBG: 30 Zeroes and 4 Oscars escorting 6 Nells. For the first time in this battle they had subsantially superior fighter numbers, we only managed 10 Wildcats against them. But they did great! 1 Wildcat lost with 4 Zeroes shot down. All 6 Nells got through, AA took down one. They attacked the Hornet and CL Honolulu, scoring a hit on the Honolulu.

Hornet's Devastators got some retaliation, hitting Lahaina airbase, inflicting light damage and destroying a Nell on the ground.

The enemy's ground forces attempted a shock attack to bring the campaign to a sudden end, but our troops held them off. Casualties 4323 to 640 favoring us. A very good sign.

That the base is reinforced and that I have no high-caliber ammunition left to hit it with means this operation is essentially over. I no longer believe I can afford to cover the Idaho--it's decision to try to repair at Pearl has probably doomed it. It's ordered to retreat north at best speed. (EDIT: as I write this, I realized that's dumb. I've changed my orders to the Idaho to attack Lahaina alone, then retreat. It's actually more likely to survive if the airbase is damaged more, even if it doesn't get as far away. I hope it isn't too late to make the change!) The Hornet is ordered to form up with the other two CVs before it gets blown away by the enemy's increased airpower. The other battleship force is to retreat to the south. The three CVs together should be able to launch one more strike to try to wreck up the BB and tenders in port and hopefully damage some more planes as they link up, but once they're providing mutual support, they're gone. I'll consider using them as escorts for a supply convoy, but they have to survive first.


* * *
At Christmas island, an enemy sub repeatedly stalked and attacked one of my transports, eventually hitting it on its 3rd attempt--and getting 3 torpedo hits. It went down quickly. Fortunately it was empty. We hurt the sub a bit in return but probably not severely.


Java
He's still not getting out of the minefield.
DD Shinonome, Mine hits 1, heavy damage
DD Hatsukaze, Mine hits 1
TB Kamo, Mine hits 1, on fire, heavy damage

There were air raids just about everywhere we still have troops but we put up no significant resistance; our airbases are broken.

SouthPAC
There were failed submarine attacks at Pago Pago, which I believe is the first time he's sent subs out here. They're also at Suva; Noumea appears clear for now. But, it appears for the first time his subs are now tasked to interdict my supply lines instead of trying to interfere with specific military bases.

Solomons
S-42 found that fleet of small tankers again and sank one.
A Liberator raid inficted light airfield damage at Guadalcanal.

Luganville
B-17s attacked the port, evading the CAP, but missed.
A sweep by P-40s didn't work out, we lost 2 and only shot down 1 Zero.
Dive bombers tomorrow.



Thailand
We lost a Blenheim and a Wellington near Raheng. We're hurting them on the ground but our fighters are getting stretched thin and the Oscars are getting through to the bombers in large numbers.
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Old 09-18-2021, 11:11 AM   #201
Molon Labe
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17 April 1942
IJN Nagato defeats USS Idaho in single combat; Kaga and Junyo prevail over dive bomber raid at Luganville

Hawaii and Line Islands
Repair efforts on the Nagato were apparently terminated early, and the damaged ship was on patrol outside Lahaina, ready to receive the Idaho. Nagato had a destroyer with it, but it did not get involved; Nagato and Idaho had a 1v1 duel. Nagato hit Idaho with its main batteries early, and Idaho never got back into the fight after that. Idaho failed to score even a single hit as the Nagato continuously pummeled the increasingly disabled ship.

All my other ships managed to get far enough away that they neither launched nor received any airstrikes. We received some help on that front from overcast skies and a few rain squalls. My task forces will now rendezvous with a replenishment group, and after that I'll reorganize them to send some in for repairs and possibly to escort a supply run.

At Christmas Island, my DMS is now on ASW duty with the mines taken care of; it found one of the enemy subs lurking and got some good hits on it. Not enough to sink it.

Thailand
USS Porpoise had been guarding the approach to Bangkok after I received SIGINT about troops being shipped there. It found the convoy--probably on the way out instead of in--and made an unsuccessful torpedo attack. It received light damage from depth charges in return.

On the other side of the Malayan peninsula, my surface task force that had been guarding the approach to Rangoon from enemy commerce raiders was attacked by a submarine, the battleship HMS Ramillies took a pretty bad torpedo hit and will need to report for repairs. I'm ordering the whole task force to leave station, I only have 3 DD here which already isn't enough, spitting it further just isn't an option.

My air raids on the enemy land forces moving north continued, resulting in one Zero downed and decent damage dealt to the armies below. I'm still very concerned about the number of enemy fighters compared to mine despite the result this turn.

Java and Sumatra
Enemy air activity shifted from Batavia to Oosthaven (in Sumatra). We lost a Buffalo to the sweep with no victories of our own. Air raids continued throughout Java without significant resistance from us.

Luganville
I only managed to get 3 B-17s in the air to bomb the port, but they all made it back. No damage inflicted on the port. We had a coordination SNAFU after that, the P-40s that were supposed to be escorting the dive bombers flew with the A-20s instead. And our P-39s trying to sweep the Zeroes just didn't do a very good job. So we ended up with our fighters getting pounced on by diving Zeroes, and still enough Zeroes getting back up to high altitude in time to splash the unprotected Vindicators. We got 2 Zeroes. They got 5 P-39s, 9 P-40s, 2 A-20s, 2 SBDs, and 6 Vindicators. A 7th Vindicator was lost to flak. 4 A-20s attempted attacks on the Kaga and missed; 7 Vindicators split themselves between Kaga and Junyo and all of them missed as well.

Solomons
The S-42 made repeated attacks on the unescorted tanker convoy, sinking one with a torpedo attack, surfacing to gun another and setting its cargo ablaze, then submerging and hitting another one with a torpedo. I believe all 3 sank.
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:22 AM   #202
Molon Labe
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18 April 1942
Supply convoy "The Expendables" hit by Nells & Betties; KB spotted in Ceram Sea

Hawaii and Line Islands
One of my supply convoys (which I named "The Expendables") is arriving from the east, nowhere near my regrouping carriers. I had a lightly damaged destroyer that was headed for the west coast link up with it and proceed--I was hoping that the damage to the airbase's Mavis scoutplanes, combined with their high maintenance rating, would help them approach undetected. No such luck. They were hit repeatedly throughout the day. 4 were sunk, 2 damaged, and 2 undamaged cargo ships are proceeding. They sank the destroyer, too.

A second supply convoy is near my carriers. However, based on revised force estimates from today's raids, it now appears any fight between my weakened air wings and his reinforced airbase would be unacceptably risky. So they're going in without air cover, too. I've also got 2 APDs operating solo that might either slip in unnoticed or draw some attention away from the convoys.

The Saratoga was not only damaged in the fight but it due for an upgrade, so it's headed to the west coast. Enterprise and Hornet will remain in the Pacific for now but will be returning to Hawaii anytime soon.

To the south, I still have at least 4 enemy submarines off Christmas Island, which is deterring me from moving troops around there. The army regiment that was the main force there I would like to send to Palmyra, but they aren't getting back to full strength probably due to a lack of proper support units. So I should rotate them out with a fresh unit--but first, the subs.

Burma and Thailand
An enemy sub tried to approach Rangoon and hit a mine. Small patrol craft spotted her limping out of the area, but she was able to dive and disappear. She's got a long way to limp home, I doubt she'll make it.

I rested my bombers today. The only air-to-air combat anywhere this turn was still here, though, as Oscars swept my defensive patrols near Rahang. We lost one Hurricane with no enemies shot down.

Java
The O23 torpedoed and sank a sub chaser on patrol in the Java Sea. Enemy troops have entered Surabaya. Air raids continued without significant resistance, aside from two bombers shot down by flak.

Loemadjang (south of Surabaya) has been captured, along with 4 grounded bombers.

Luganville
My window has closed; the enemy carriers are now back between the Solomons and Luganville and the transports have dissappeared. My B-17s scored some hits on an empty port.


EDIT: The Kido Butai was briefly sighted in the Ceram Sea this turn.
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:43 PM   #203
Molon Labe
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19 April 1942
More supply ships intercepted near Pearl

Hawaii and Line Islands
The Netties had no problem finishing off the two damaged cargo ships from The Expendables, but the other two actually made it to port. But, I hadn't considered that the port isn't the real finish line. They have to unload, and that takes time. Both ships were picked off in harbor before unloading any substantial amounts of supplies.

Some good news, though--the second, southern convoy got pretty close and looks like it's going to make it. They suffered some attacks but the Netties are targeting the DDs mostly, and they're nimble enough to dodge.


Sumatra
A cruiser-destroyer task force made it to Palembang undetected and shelled the airbase. They took out a light cargo ship trying to resupply a small island off the coast, too. They didn't even hit any mines. I think these guys are based in Sinkawang, Borneo, which is a problem because we're not seeing them when they approach at night and they have plenty of air cover when they're at their base in the day.

They swept Palembang with about 50 Zeroes during the day, taking advantage of the damage dealt overnight. We hardly got any planes up. 1 P-40 was shot down.

Borneo
A troop convoy approached Miri and was attacked by HMS Truant. It only managed to hit an escort (twice!), a cruiser-minelayer, which sank.

Truk
USS Seadragon picked off a light cargo ship approaching at night.

Solomons area
I moved the Aussie bombers that had been supporting my troops in Luganville back to Port Moresby, and hit Rabaul with them. The base was mostly empty, sadly, so we did no real damage. We attacked ground forces, but did detect some ships in port while we were there, so I'll try that tomorrow.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:19 PM   #204
Molon Labe
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20 April 1942
Some supply ships get through to Pearl, our bombers find a light cruiser left behind in Luganville

Hawaii and Line Islands
We found another pesky midget sub skulking around Christmas Island and depth charged it. I also decided that an amphibious task force I've had on station to invade Palmyra needed to land its troops on Christmas; they've been cooped up on the ship too long and have very high fatigue. I'm also focusing on getting the Xmas base forces recovered because I think the lack of support units is what's making it take forever to get my combat units back up to strength. If they're not recovered by the time we've solved the sub problem, I'll probably rotate them with someone, somewhere.

The 2 APDs dodged multiple torpedo bomber attacks on the way to Pearl (and one sub attack; it dropped one depth charge pattern on the sub and resumed its mission). But once they docked and started unloading they were easy targets. So that was a complete waste of two good ships, considering they don't carry much. But some ships from the southern convoy did make it. They benefited a great deal from the Netties prioritizing the DDs and missing a lot. They were all eventually sunk, while unloading or before, but this time we offloaded a substantial amount of supply. Enough to top off the stores of the ground units, build level 2 forts, and have enough in reserve to survive another 7 days--based on the amount of supply consumption when they were hitting me with 3-4 BBs a day. That's going to last much longer now. So, in the end I don't think my operation solved the problem, but I've at least delayed the capture of Oahu--possibly by quite a bit.

Air forces at Lahaina are now up to 60 fighters and 60 bombers--I probably wouldn't go back with less than 4 carriers with those odds. Good thing I still have 4, even if two are offline at the moment for refit/repairs.

Solomons Area
I detected an unidentified ship at harbor at Luganville, so I kept my B-17s assigned to port strikes and added my A-20s and Vindicators to the port strike. The B-17s and A-20sonly dealt facility damage, but the Vindicators found the ship and hit it. It's the light cruiser Kitakami and I had no idea it would be there. It must have been damaged awhile ago and is getting patched up there before moving off to Truk. Well, we hit it with 2 1000 lb bombs and set it ablaze, so if it wasn't in shape to leave before, it isn't now. I'll hit it in force tomorrow, I held back some Banshee dive bombers that were too late for the carriers and the B-26s today, but now that I know what's there I'm going to get it.

(I might have to ask my opponent why this ship is here. It's barely mentioned in any reports. It's in this thread for 8 March 1942 as part of a Hawaii invasion force that got shot up, but it doesn't appear that it was seriously damaged then--and if it was, it would have gone to Japan, not Luganville. It was spotted in a seaplane-tender-led task force on 12 April near the Solomons but not attacked. A collision at sea, maybe?)


I hit Rabaul again with the Aussie Hudsons and a few Liberators that just flew in from Efate, splitting them between the airbase and port after the useless attack on ground forces yesterday. We sank two mine tenders and damaged a sub tender and a general tender. As much as I like that result, I'm not going to get away with that 3 days in a row, two was a gift. Tomorrow they'll go back to hitting a small group of marines near Milne like they were before the Luganville debacle.

My PBYs are reporting anchored ships at Tulagi. I'm guessing this is the small tanker convoy my S-boats have been terrorizing. The Liberators at Port Moresby can make that trip, so hopefully tomorrow we'll start some fires.
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Old 09-19-2021, 05:29 PM   #205
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21 April 1942
Kitakami disappears, chance meeting results in destruction of enemy troop convoy

Hawaii and Line Islands
The two destroyers that were escorting the southern supply convoy were never hit. They did a splash-and-go refueling at Pearl and hauled ass south towards Christmas Island to try to get clear of the naval bombers. On the way, they ran into an enemy convoy carrying troops. I'm guessing this meeting occurred because they had the same destination and nearly the same point of origin; i.e., he meant to take back Christmas Island with these guys. Or at least reinforce Palmyra:

Japanese Ships
xAK Yamasimo Maru, Shell hits 10, heavy fires
xAK Teikoku Maru, Shell hits 15, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Yamazato Maru, Shell hits 9, on fire
AMC Bankok Maru, Shell hits 24, and is sunk
xAP Hikawa Maru, Shell hits 15, and is sunk
Allied Ships
DD Patterson, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Cassin
Japanese ground losses:
312 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 22 destroyed, 25 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 23 (19 destroyed, 4 disabled)

That one hit the Patterson took cut the engagement short, they decided to break off after that hit. We also fired probably the full complement of onboard torpedoes but didn't get any hits to show for it. I'm guessing the Yamazato Maru survives, but that's it.

Java
An enemy PB hit a mine at Batavia while assisting the real minesweepers trying to clear the formerly-Allied port.

We managed to get a few fighters in the air today over Surabaya and shot down an Oscar and two Lillies. Another Lily and an Ann were shot down by flak. But the overall picture is the same, our remaining troops are being bombed and surrounded by enemy armies.

Ceram Sea
More good luck today. Scoutplanes spotted a troop transport convoy and handed the report of to B-17s based in Darwin. 10 B-17s found them off Ambon and attacked, hitting two of the ships with 500lb bombs, setting one ablaze and causing troop casualties.

Japan
USS Sculpin torpedoed and sank an enemy PB travelling alone near Toyohara--probably an ASW patrol.

Thailand
The enemy nearly caught up with my troops before they crossed the river into Raheng. At least I'm assuming that--I've seen the replay but I don't have the save file yet--but they had just 1 more mile to travel as of yesterday. We clashed in the air on the east side of the river as my bombing missions resumed, and our Hurricanes did awesome--just one lost with 2 Oscars and 7 Zeroes shot down. Significant damage to enemy troops below by our bombers.

Solomons Area
We hit the port at Luganville hard but didn't find any ships there. Did a damaged, burning, Kitakami escape? Or maybe the fires claimed it?

No joy on the tanker convoy. My Liberators hit Tulagi but didn't see any ships to bomb.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:34 PM   #206
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22 April 1942

Japan
USS Sculpin spotted a small tanker off Toyohara but missed its torpedo shot. More important, we've located a tanker lane.

Hawaii and Line Islands
A midget sub was spotted and depth charged. The destroyer attacking it got a solid hit with the last pattern it had ammo to fire, which forced it to the surface to be gunned down by the cruiser that was probably its target.

Marshall Islands
USS Narwhal shot up an unescorted troop-carrying cargo ship, likely sinking it.

Solomons
USS Gato torpedoed the heavy cruiser Nachi off the Shortlands. It's not in danger of sinking but I'm sure it will need extensive repairs.

Luganville
Carrier-based Zeroes appeared over Luganville again, but were met by a wave of my P-39s---4 Zeroes down with 1 P-39 lost. We continued to bomb the port trying to get the cruiser, but we can't even confirm it's there anymore. I'm sure he felt the same frustration trying to clear out all the ships at Singapore and Pearl. This situation will hopefully improve once most of my bomber crews are recon trained (they use the recon skill on the way off of target, kinda like BDA), but for now, no such luck.

Thailand
We got 2 Oscars trying to stop our bombers near Raheng. His troops are apparently tired of being bombed and don't have the appetite for an opposed river crossing; they're turning around. I expect the front lines to stabilize now until someone is able to reinforce in mass. Also, we spotted some enemy troops coming through the mountains towards Burma. I've got recon monitoring them but a least for now they don't look like they have enough troops to be a threat.

Java and Sumatra
We got one or two P-40s airborne--for nothing--one shot down with no victories. Enemy bombing continued.

A Kingfisher on ASW duty off Oosthaven spotted an enemy DMS and hit it with a small bomb.

My scouts found a small troop convoy between Borneo and Sumatra and referred it to my Fulmars for a low-altitude gun and bomb attack. A CM escorting the convoy took a bomb hit for moderate damage, and a light cargo ship took 4 bombs plus several strafing runs, likely sinking it.

Enemy troops attacked Surabaya, reducing fortifications to level 3. Casualties 937 to 664 favoring us.

Indian Ocean
Repairs for the Indomitable completed at Columbo as the surface task force, including the damaged BB Ramillies and the CVL Hermes, arrived. Hermes is going to be demoted to a training carrier now that the Brits have 2 real carriers in theatre. We got an estimate on the time to repair Ramillies, and it makes more sense to send it to South Africa for the bigger yard there, despite the distance and even at half speed.
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Old 09-21-2021, 01:02 PM   #207
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23 April 1942

Celebes Sea
The S-41 was trying to find tankers but found an unescorted troop-carrying cargo ship instead. They had a night surface gun battle, both ships sustained some damage before the sub broke off.

Hawaii and the Line Islands
The destroyer USS Selfridge was torpedoed by one of the subs it was hunting. The destroyer-minesweeper Southard retaliated and scored some depth charge hits--and then a second sub came in and hit the Selfridge again to make damn sure she went down. Selfridge had probably been my most effective ASW asset at Christmas Island.

SouthPAC
Noumea and Efate now have mine tenders and my DMs are getting to work building defensive minefields.

Java and Sumatra
Attacks against Oosthaven resulted in 8 Allied fighters shot down with no victories. My Fulmars & other bombers attempted to hit ships off Batavia. The Fulmars were routed, but some B-25s got through. 5 Fulmars were shot down along with 4 P-40s, a B-25, and an A-20. We got only one Zero. The B-25s got 2 hits on a troop-carrying cargo ship--probably lethal damage.

China
I paid Hong Kong a visit with bombers again to try to hit ships under repair, and bounced a bomb off the BB Hyuga's armor.

Thailand
We have a lot of bombers failing to link up with escorting fighters. It cost us 2 Blenheims and a Hudson. Heavy enemy casualties on the ground, though.

Solomons
S-34 found a damaged cruiser-minelayer approaching Tulagi and put 3 fish into her. Just a little overkill.
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Old 09-21-2021, 03:00 PM   #208
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24 April 1942


Japan
USS Sculpin torpedoed and sank a PB that was patrolling in the Shikuka-Toyhara area.

Borneo
USS Sargo laid mines at Singkawang (the base that's probably hosting the cruisers that made a run at Palembang a few days ago), then made a gun attack against a nearby unescorted cargo ship. Both the target and sub were hit before it broke off.

Thailand
Our fighter-to-bomber coordination issues persisted. This time it cost us 2 Wellingtons and 2 Blenheims; a Hurricane was shot down as well in a flight that was escorted. We blasted 4 Nates and an Oscar in exchange. Damage to enemy ground forces was, again, quite serious. I think the cause of the high damage, when it's been high, is that his armies are prioritizing movement speed over defense--the drop in effectiveness corresponded to when they had stopped moving, and now it's high again now that they're moving again. It's the highway of death in Iraq down there! Just with a lot more enemy fighters. I think they're up to 100 based in Bangkok now.

Malaya
There are enemy task forces in 3 ports along the east coast. We attacked the convoy at Mersing, and the enemy CAP had its way with our escorting fighters. 7 Hurricanes shot down vs. 1 Oscar. The Wirraways they were escorting failed to score any hits on the cargo ships.

Hawaii
So, I completely forgot I had ordered 4 supply convoys to Pearl instead of 3. 2 were wiped out, already mentioned in this thread. I turned the 3rd around--and forgot about the fourth. It arrived in Netty range today and got one of their ships blown away. They are actually relatively fast ships, relatively close, and the forecast is for heavy overcast skies. I could turn them around, but I remember choosing these guys for being relatively fast but with poor fuel efficiency. They're probably more expendable than The Expendables were. So I think they've got a good shot at getting a boat our two through, they'll proceed.

SouthPAC
My minelayers at Efate found a sub sneaking around and depth charged it for light damage. I hope the little bastage is boxed in by the new minefield.

Java
Enemy troops attacked Surabaya, taking the level 3 forts down all the way to 0. I don't think I've ever seen 3 levels taken down at once before. Casualties were even at ~1150. I have no doubt their next attack will capture the base, effectively ending the Java campaign.
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Old 09-21-2021, 11:03 PM   #209
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25 April 1942
The fall of Surabaya

SouthPAC
Oh, I boxed in that sub at Efate all right. One small and one large sub hit mines there; the little guy hit two. I'm sure the small one is gone, the larger one might be able to limp to Truk.

Thailand
The Kako showed up to shell Tavoy again. I'm a little steamed that we managed not to see it coming with my improved air search routes. But we still have a CVBG in position that we didn't last time, and we did spot the Kako retreating towards the Strait of Malacca. So maybe we get her tomorrow at sunrise.

I let my bomber rest and had a fighter squadron sweep the skies over the retreating armies. We got 8 Oscars and 3 Nates at the cost of 2 Hurricanes--and a bunch more shot up and grounded. As much as I'd like to send the bombers back tomorrow, my fighters need time to recuperate now.

China
We got another non-penetrating hit on the Hyuga at Hong Kong. You would think by now he'd have a CAP there.

I've moved a mostly trained-up squadron of British B-25 long-range recon planes to central China and have started taking notes on enemy force levels.

Java
Surabaya was captured today with the surrender/loss of 5800 men. A destroyer tender at harbor was scuttled to prevent capture, also destroyed were 8 grounded planes that couldn't evacuate.

We have a few units scattered elsewhere on Java, but we hold no territory of strategic importance--it's just a mop-up operation for him now.

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