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Old 07-06-2021, 03:58 AM   #91
Molon Labe
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16 January 1942
Enterprise and Saratoga reveal themselves to sink Luganville reinforcements

Hawaii
He got wise to my northerly evacuation route and had subs and a cruiser-destroyer group ready for today's escapees. This cost me a seaplane tender, a minesweeper, and two cargo ships. Battleship bombardment of Pearl continued, sinking a destroyer and a cargo ship in port. The enemy began clearing the sub-laid mine at Lahaina; one PB escorting a sweeper hit one of the mines.

Dutch East Indies
Dutch sub O21 torpedoed an oiler in the Ceram Sea, looks like she'll go down. The KXIV also struck, hitting an Akasi-class cargo ship near Miri. I sent a PT squad back towards Kendari, which was intercepted by the cruiser-destroyer group that hit the Surabaya ASWs yesterday, one PT was lost before they bugged out. Claudes from the CVLBG took a turn at them too, causing light damage.

SouthPAC
USS Argonaut had another crack at a large AP near shortlands, and missed again. It then surfaced and briefly engaged with its gun before it decided that was a bad idea. The AP took only light damage.

I was moving the Enterprise-Saratoga battle group through the Santa Cruz islands towards the Coral Sea when they spotted 5 cargo ships dropping troops off at Luganville, they launched SBDs and sank all of them. 1631 troop casualties were reported.


Malaya
He shifted his medium bombers back to Singapore while the light bombers are on mop-up duty near Kuala Lumpur. Raids hit the Repulse again along with a cargo ship and merchant cruiser under repair there. The raids shot down 2 Hurricanes and Mohawks, with a loss of 4 Nates, 2 Zeroes, 3 Nells, and a Sally.

More enemy units crossed the channel into Singapore under fire. Casualties were 5000 to 200, favoring us. Fortifications are holding. They've got at least a division across now.


China
The last of my surrounded armies in the riverlands has surrendered.
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Old 07-06-2021, 04:43 AM   #92
Molon Labe
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17 January 1942
Major surge of activity in the Solomons and Dutch East Indies
CVL Ryujo claimed sunk

Hawaii
No air strike on Pearl/Hickam today, just BB bombardments. My airbases are so wrecked I can't even get recon in the air to see if the KB left.

He sent 2 heavy cruisers, the light cruiser Oi, and 3 DD to bombard Palmyra, hoping to give his troops a chance. The SBDs that had escaped Pearl went after them. We got one hit on each heavy cruiser and two hits on the Oi. None of the ships appear heavily damaged, but they're going to need air cover to keep this up. His soldiers attacked and did fairly well, but couldn't overcome the fortifications. I'm getting a little nervous that he might actually have enough.

Dutch East Indies


After a bit of a lull in activity here, the invasion is back in full swing. Troops have landed in Morotai. A new carrier group has shown up way east in the Banda Sea, I would guess that's the Zuiho coming back after getting her torpedo damage repaired. The CVLBG is moving back west.

My PTs completed their trip to Kendari and found transports to sink. They got torpedo hits on 3 ships, but one took a direct hit from a deck gun and was destroyed. No troops on board these when I hit them. The PTs ran into the CVLBG on the return trip and lost another boat to their escorts.

As the CVLBG approached Makassar, the Dutch sub O24 penetrated the screens and hit the Ryujo with 2 of 4 torpedoes fired. Unlike when we hit the Zuiho, these were full-sized heavyweight torps. The ship is definitely knocked out of action--the O24 is claiming a kill.

Malaya
More IJA units crossing the channel. Casualties 2687 to 7. Still looks like his forces that made it are 1-division strong, we're not in any real danger yet. Sweeps shot down 2 Buffalos, the bombers stayed north.

Japan
USS Sargo torpedoed (and likely sank) a cargo ship off Okinawa while she was on her way back to Surabaya to replenish.

SouthPAC

Even though my CVBG revealed itself in the Santa Cruz islands yesterday, he has a pair of large task forces that appear to be advancing towards Milne. It looks like he's committed enough to overcome this fledgling base, so I'm a bit annoyed by this development. But, these look like great targets. They're close enough to Rabaul to enjoy a long-range CAP, and his Betties can potentially reach my carriers if I move them in, but I think he's spread pretty thin on those right now. Port Moresby has army Banshee dive bombers and Airacobra fighters to escort them, plus Hudson level bombers. Looks like the stage is set for a battle tomorrow.
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Old 07-07-2021, 12:15 AM   #93
Molon Labe
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18 January 1942
Port Moresby in the crosshairs

Hawaii
The KB and land based bombers resumed attacks on Pearl as the BB bombardments continued. They sank a minesweeper, a general tender, an oiler, a troop ship, and a destroyer.

The SAG hit Palmyra one more time and made a run for it, so they were out of range of my SBDs by morning. My SBDs bombed their troops instead, causing heavy casualties.


Dutch East Indies
A dutch sub sank a Lima class cargo ship in between islands in the Ceram Sea. Another dutch sub, the O21, started doing the surface attack without attacking thing. It took two hits without causing damage.

A SAG consisting of the BB Kongo and 4 DD attacked two ASW squadrons outside Surabaya, sinking one DD and crippling another. Two other DD were lightly damaged. We dealt insignificant damage back on them. Force Y was not able to retaliate. I lost track of both these guys and the CVLBG.

Oscars from Malaya swept Palembang, Sumatra; I had Buffalos on CAP. Only a few damaged planes on each side.


SouthPAC
The Argonaut made up for a bit of bad luck lately with two attacks on tankers between Rabaul and Shortlands, one of which was finally successful. The tanker was fuel-laden and will almost certainly go down.

The two enemy task forces near Milne went right by the fledgling base and headed for Port Moresby. Banshee and Hudson bombers attacked. The Hudsons came up empty, but the Banshees did quite well considering their low experience levels: two transports hit with major damage, and two cruisers hit for moderate damage. I note with pleasure that Rabaul did not provide a long-range CAP for them, but P-39s were escorting just in case.



This is a curious move. Having bypassed Milne, his ships have only two ways to go. Further west towards Java, in which case his transports can't outrun my carriers, or back east, through my carriers. Seems like a lot of ships to sacrifice for an attack on PM that has no guarantee of success, especially without BB support and where bomber support is going to be contested by fighters. Is he just that confident that Rabaul's bombers can get through and sink me?


Japan
USS Sailfish attempted a surface attack on a cargo ship between Okinawa and Kyushu. It inflicted moderate damage before deciding it used up enough ammo and broke off. This sub is out of torpedoes too, I manually ordered it to return to rearm.
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Old 07-07-2021, 07:24 PM   #94
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19 January 1942
The Dutch submarine service strikes again: Scratch one flattop!
Battle of the Coral Sea in progress....

Hawaii
Just 4 BBs pounded Pearl again. Where did the other 2 go? Two of the BB took hits from coastal batteries, nothing serious though. Hickam remains incapacitated, and just about every ship in port is shot up. Did I mention I'm glad I decided to evacuate when I did?

I have a confession to make. I was holding out on you. The Lexington and Yorktown were hanging out near Palmyra. Those token forces I sent there were bait, trying to get him to detach something from Pearl that I could defeat in detail. He didn't bite. My carriers bombed his troops on Palmyra and are now moving West towards the action.


Battle of the Coral Sea
This is shaping up to be a major engagement. Those two task forces pressed on, in spite of yesterday's damage. The enemy's order of battle appears to be:

2 Task forces, approx 20 ships, including: CA Suzuya (damaged yesterday), CL Nagara (damaged yesterday), CL Yubari, CL Tatsuta, 3 DD, 3PB, 2 AK (1 damaged yesterday), 2 AMC
(1 AK sunk or aborted mission yesterday)
Air support: One squadron of Oscars (12+ planes) and 3 of Zeroes (~45 planes)
Ground forces: At least 1/3 army division and 2 marine units, plus an armored regiment
Reinforcements: probably Betties and more Zeroes. Possible the Soryu CVBG is lurking--one of the Zero squadrons is hers but it looks like they are flying from Rabaul.

My forces:
Enterprise + Saratoga CVBG (full air wings)
1 P-39 squadron (18 planes)
1 A-24 banshee squadron (18 planes with a few reserve)
4 Hudson medium bombers
Total ground strength approx 1/2 division, including an armored regiment, and an AA regiment
Scoutplanes everywhere!


Reinforcements:
1 Wirraway Squadron
At least 2 P-40 squadrons
1 A-24 Banshee squadron
Surface task force: 2 CA, 3CL, 2 DD

He started landing troops before dawn. Shore batteries scored hits on two AKs (one that was damaged yesterday) and 2 AMCs. He began sweeping with Oscars and Zeroes but I gave him nothing to shoot at. We then sent 17 Banshees and 17 P-39s up against a CAP of 11 Zeroes to try to get at the ships. The Zeroes were pros, they got 5 P-39s and 5 Banshees without loss. The Banshees that got through hit an AMC and an AK--which appeared to have already disembarked all their troops. A raid of 3 Hudsons followed that up, but the Zeroes tore into them. All were shot down, two managed to attempt an attack first, but missed. Our Banshees rearmed and tried again, just 10 this time with 6 P-39s escorting. They shot down one Zero this time, but three more Banshees went down. 6 Banshees survived long enough to attempt attacks, but all missed.

So that's where things stand now. My CVBG is still out of range but should be able to join in tomorrow or the day after. I'm moving fighter squadrons to help out. The amount of troops he landed is a problem, but they're disrupted from being bombed twice plus taking fire on landing. Will the cavalry arrive in time to save the day? The biggest question, though, is Rabaul's Betties. There might be a lot there. And possibly more Zeroes to escort them than I realize. But range is on my side, I doubt I'll ever need to get inside Zero range, and I'll be right at the limit of how far a Betty can carry a torpedo. Decent odds they can't even find me, and if they do, it'll probably be unescorted Betties and they might only be carrying bombs. The Wildcats--and Butch O'Hare--are waiting for them.



Dutch East Indies
Submarine KXIII won a game of cat-and-also-cat against an ASW squadron, putting 2 fish into a TB and slipping away.

Submarine O24--the likely killer of the Ryujo--once again encountered the CVLBG near the Makassar coast. This time it targeted the Hosho, hitting it with 2 of 4 torpedoes. The torpedoes caused multiple secondary explosions, including a magazine that cooked off. No doubt about this one, she's gone.

Enemy troops have landed in Makassar.

Oscars swept Palembang but we were unable to get any Buffalos in the air to meet them. None were shot down yesterday, but they all got shot up. Bombers took advantage and caused significant facility damage.

Philippines
The S-36 torpedoed and likely sank a cargo ship in the Luzon Strait.

China
He attacked in Chusien but he's way short on strength to succeed there right now. He lost 3200 men for trying and only killed about 300 of mine.

Malaya
Another attack on Singapore, more dead Japanese soldiers. 3472 to be exact, we only lost 39 and the forts are holding. Looks like he's up to two divisions across the river though.
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Old 07-08-2021, 08:31 AM   #95
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20 January 1942
Combattants escape Enterprise and Saratoga, transports destroyed


Hawaii
Four BB (same 4 as yesterday) continued to pound Pearl. Even the shore batteries seem to be knocked out at this point. The KB, or perhaps just a detachment of it, are sprinting towards the Lexington and Yorktown. But I've got a head start. For now, the SBDs on Palmyra have been pulled back to Christmas Island, no point in attacking the KB without escorting fighters.

I've got fighter support along the chain of southern islands and can move some Banshees there as well. If KB wants to chase me I'll make a tower defense game of it.


Malaya
This seemed like a really uneventful turn until I got to the ops reports. There was a raid on Singapore. We traded 2 Hurricanes and a Mohawk for a Zero, three Nells, and 7 Sallies. They hit the Repulse again. But one of those Hurricanes was our leading ace, G.L. Hesketh of the 488th, with 14 kills. May his memory be an inspiration to those still in harm's way. We also lost 3 Hudsons trying to bomb enemy troops outside Singapore.


Battle of the Coral Sea
We did not get the slaughter we hoped for. Did we get the slaughter we deserved? He opened the day by bombarding Port Moresby with every combattant he had, bringing them to within 1000yd of shore and firing every gun down to the AA. The airfield took some damage, removing a few planes from the coming fight:
Wirraway: 4 damaged
P-39D Airacobra: 7 damaged
Catalina I: 4 damaged
A-24 Banshee: 1 damaged
Then they turned and ran towards Milne and back north to Rabaul. They ended up in two groups (maybe the original 2 groups?), one fast and one slow. The fast one made it far enough my carriers didn't try for it.

The first air mission was their Oscars sweeping PM again. I put some P-39s on CAP this time because I was worried about bombers. The Oscars shot one down. SBDs acting as scouts spotted the task forces, but 2 were shot down by the CAP. But now the strikes began. The Wirraways went first with a low-level attack. They slipped past the CAP, but these rookies failed to hit anything. Then came the Banshees, which split their attacks between the two groups. Only the attack on the fast group had escorts: it was 4 P-39s against 4 Zeroes. The Zeroes took out 2 P-39s and moved onto the Banshees, getting two before their bomb runs and one more after. The 2 bombs were aimed at the CL Nagara but missed. The slow group drew only 2 unescorted Banshees. The CAP splashed them without difficulty.

Finally, the air strike I've wanted since I first spotted these task forces near Milne happened. A package of 20 Wilidcats and 62 SBDs arrived over the slow group. They had 10 Zeroes defending. They fought the F4Fs to a stalemate, but a few snuck past and shot down 4 SBDs before they got on target. But 58 SBDs dropping bombs is going to ruin your day. Somewhat frustratingly, every warship in the group that was attacked was missed (1 CL, 2 DD). But it appears that the transports were wiped out:
xAK Hauraki Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Lyons Maru, Bomb hits 5, and is sunk
xAK Tusima Maru, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
AMC Kongo Maru, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Teiryu Maru, Bomb hits 6, and is sunk
CL Tatsuta
xAK Shinsei Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
AMC Hokoku Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Hayate
xAK Daihachikyo Maru, Bomb hits 3, and is sunk
xAK Huzikawa Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Akikaze

So that's where it stands. I'll try to bomb any stragglers tomorrow, but the CVBG's focus will now shift to supporting the troops fighting in PM. Meanwhile I'm moving in fighters and level bombers in expectation of an air campaign with Rabaul.




Dutch East Indies
Makassar, now being invaded, was my PT base. So I sent the PTs there to do something about it. They were driven off by a cruiser-destroyer SAG. Makassar was overrun as they left.


China
I wiped out the last of the troops hanging out in the open around Ichang. Nothing to interfere with my siege anymore. My question now is whether my troops can handle the forts without combat engineers, while the enemy is probably hurting for supplies and with low morale due to being cut off for weeks and being bombed almost daily.
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Old 07-09-2021, 08:42 AM   #96
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Nice! Give 'em hell!
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Old 07-09-2021, 11:11 AM   #97
Molon Labe
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21 January 1942
Mutual error leads to surface skirmish in Coral Sea

CENTPAC
The KB, fully restocked on aircraft, is in pursuit of the Lexington and Yorktown. They took the time to bomb Palmyra's airbase on the way, destroying 1 PBY. Looks like he thought he'd find my SBDs there, what a waste of an alpha strike.
A6M2 Zero x 36
B4Y1 Jean x 27
B5N1 Kate x 44
B5N2 Kate x 53
D3A1 Val x 87
That's 211 bomber sorties! For one patrol aircraft!

The same 4 BB bombarded Pearl again. There's so little left there that the damage done seemed insignificant.

Coral Sea
In an apparent mutual blunder, his "fast" task force doubled back to attack my task forces, while my reinforcing SAG raced to intercept them. I had forgotten to limit the distance my SAG was authorized to travel to meet the enemy--and it looks like my opponent did the same thing as that task force clearly has orders to run to Rabaul. But we ended up in a small surface skirmish near Milne, both groups well in range of possible air strikes by the other. The early hits were in our favor--we got first contact thanks to radar--but evened up by the end. But neither side had any ships seriously damaged. In what I have to assume was the result of unexpected bad weather, neither my CVBG nor Rabaul launched air strikes at the 2 task forces in no man's land. We didn't launch the strikes on PM that I had ordered either. My land-based bombers did fly, though, and bombed the enemy troops. It doesn't appear that they did much damage.

For tomorrow I'm ordering the SAG to bombard the enemy troops to supplement the air strikes. We've detected 2 enemy subs so I'm dispatching minesweepers and destroyer-minelayers from Australia to try to keep them away from the CVBG.

Malaya
The situation in the air is now so bad that I lost 4 Wirraways that tried to bomb enemy troops at Singapore itself. We had no fighters available for escort and the CAP was already too busy to help. Operation Kinky Boots is badly needed to relieve the pressure here, but that's still 2 weeks away, minimum.

I attempted a counterattack in Singapore thinking that his recent failed attacks caused enough disruption that I'd tear through them. I was wrong, casualties were 965 to 244 favoring them.

China
Like with Singers, I thought between massively outnumbering the enemy at Chusien and the enemy having recently been repelled, the time was right for a counterattack. It also failed, casualties 952 to 246 favoring them. I noticed that a portion of the airstrikes hitting my troops here were coming from the west instead of the east. Probably Nanchang. I'm assigning some assets to offensive counter air missions here for next turn, maybe I can shoot down some Nates and bomb a congested airfield.


Strategic considerations
As bad as it feels to have Hawaii occupied, it looks like the Japanese advance has already run out of steam. It looks like they want to actually invade Oahu, but it's going to be a quagmire for them. Even suppressed, they're going to take a lot of damage from mines and shore batteries. Their attempt at Palmyra, although it still could succeed, is stalled. Same with Port Moresby, but they don't have the KB there to control the seas. Their progress in Luzon appears stalled. The balance of forces in Malaya makes it appear that even once their forces in the north make their way down to Singapore, they won't have enough. In the Dutch East Indies, the loss of two CVLs is going to make their fleets vulnerable to air attack just in time for the HMS Indomitable to show up. Land based aircraft could fill that gap, but their Zero fleet in particular is stretched thin due to losses well above replacement rate since the war began.

It sure looks to me like allocating so much to Hawaii--troops, carriers, battleships, and submarines--has been a huge mistake. Huge enough to cost him the whole war soon if he doesn't make a correction. His next move has to be getting some troops out of Hawaii and into the Philippines. If he breaks through there, he can send those troops to Singapore to break that seige, and then onto Java and Sumatra. So, detecting this troop movement and possibly interdicting it is now the #1 priority mission for my sub fleet. Lots of new patrol areas to assign. I'm also going to start moving US medium bombers into the DEI (this will take time) and generally looking to take a less passive approach there.
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Old 07-09-2021, 04:38 PM   #98
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22 January 1942
Port Moresby repels land attack, barely

CENTPAC
Another day, another BB bombardment of Pearl. The KB launched another massive strike on Palmyra's airbase with essentially nothing to show for it, because nothing's there. But the KB is now between Palmyra and Christmas Island. I imagine he'll switch targets soon. At which point the SBDs will have nowhere to go. The KB was last reported heading east, maybe he's finally going after my shipping lanes? Not thrilled about that, but it looks like the Lex and Yorktown are in the clear.

Burma
A Japanese sub attempted to intercept a convoy delivering bombers to Rangoon. An escorting corvette depth charged it instead, causing moderate damage.

Operation Kinky Boots is scheduled to begin 2/13, although I may bump that up 5 days if I decide to send the last Hurricane squadron to Sumatra or Singapore instead. The pilot situation looks good enough to proceed and the last convoys should depart in less than a week.

Dutch East Indies
A force of 2 CA, 3 CL, and 4 DD is entering the Sulu Sea from the South China Sea. A Dutch sub took a shot at them and missed. I'll be interested in seeing where these guys go. They might merit some air strikes, maybe even Force Y can take a shot at them.


What's left of the CVLBG was spotted retreating out of the area, north of Papua-New Guinea, headed east towards Truk.


Coral Sea
My bombardment task force encountered some presents left behind in Port Moresby. The HMAS Adelaide hit a mine and is returning to port for repairs. A small air battle broke out as Zeroes flew all the way from Rabaul to try to stop my bombers from tearing into his armies. Three Zeroes were shot down, along with one of our P-39s. Land based and carrier-based bombers hit the enemy troops hard, causing at least some disruption. The thick terrain is limiting the usefulness of air strikes.

His armies attacked anyways, reducing my fortifications to level 1. The good news is that it cost him a lot of troops, casualties were 1188 to 684 favoring me. It should take him some time to recover from that. I'm considering evacuating the airbase, but for now I'm going to put my faith in the grunts. The carriers will stick around for longer than I wanted to help make sure this goes my way. I'm also going to send some extra ground forces over...and minesweepers.


Philippines
I managed to get a few more B-17s flyable and evacuated them. Paratroops landed on Jolo Island, which has a fragment of a base force still there. I've evacuated the PBYs that had been flying there, and I'm going to try to counterattack the paratroops. They've got nothing to lose, they are already dead, they now go into battle to try to reclaim their lives.


China
My sweep of Nanchang came up empty, although this is apparently an Oscar base. My bombers blew up an Oscar on the ground and caused light to moderate facility damage.
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Old 07-10-2021, 11:25 AM   #99
Molon Labe
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23 January 1942
Port Moresby appears doomed


CENTPAC
The daily 4 BB bombardment of Pearl happened again. Shore batteries hit back a bit, enough to start a fire on the Fuso. As expected, the KB switched targets to Christmas Island and incapacitated the SBD squadrons. I'm glad though, better this than sinking the transports to the east or south. Lexington and Yorktown are long gone.


Dutch East Indies
Our Falcons tried to hit the SAG entering the Sulu Sea, but the only result was one lost to flak. A few went to Miri too and didn't bother to bring the escorting fighters I made available. Fortunately the Nates missed.

US fighter squadrons are arriving from Australia. I had been hoping to position them in areas to support attacks on enemy ships, but I've lost most of the airbases that would be useful for that. So out of necessity these are just going to end up at our largest bases.


Coral Sea
Zeroes tried to stop us from bombing the troops again but were beaten back, 1 P-39 and 1 P-40 lost to 5 Zeroes. But, this will be the last attack by land-based bombers for awhile. The enemy troops have reduced our fortifications to nothing and it appears our base will be overrun soon. So, all flyable planes have been evacuated. After all this, it looks like they've won. I still have reinforcements on the way, maybe I'll get lucky and the enemy will need to pause before the final push.


China
I bombed the Nanchang airbase again but it appears to have been empty this time. There's an army unit that moved into the open near Ichang, so it's time to switch targets anyway.
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Old 07-10-2021, 08:19 PM   #100
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24 January 1942
Port Moresby Hangs on, mostly quiet everywhere else


CENTPAC
The two BB that stopped bombarding Pearl showed up to bombard Christmas Island. And then the KB hit it again right after. I've moved away what I could, but the SBDs are stuck there. There is also another task force approaching from the north. Probably reinforcements for Palmyra to push that invasion over the top.


EDIT: My opponent just emailed me to thank me for dropping off the SBDs at Christmas Island for him to kill. He thinks they're from when the Lexington and Yorktown were there! I think I'm just going to tell him... EDIT2: Hahahahahaha no I'm not, I'm going to admit to this mistake and call myself a dumbass so he thinks the Lex and Yorktown are at half offensive strength!



Coral Sea
2 minesweepers arrived at Port Morseby and got to work. They might have finished the job already .My CVBG hit the enemy troops, Zeroes managed to shoot down an F4F and an SBD on the way in. The enemy then began a shock attack, and our troops barely stopped the enemy from overrunning them. With this minor success, the chances of PM surviving increased significantly, but that doesn't mean the odds are on my side. Just not quite as hopeless as it looked yesterday. The first (small) group of reinforcements should arrive tomorrow. Hopefully the minefield is taken care of. I'm also flying some troops in from Milne--Milne won't survive if PM falls anyway.


Malaya
Temuloh has been captured, and with it 5,000+ British troops surrendered. There is one (broken, retreating) unit left north of Singapore.


China
I bombed the division I caught in the open near Hankow. They're falling back. Mission accomplished I guess. The bombers are going to target Ichang again next. I'm going to make a serious attempt at capturing it. He might even be evacuating, there are at least 5 units that snuck across the river into the swamps to the south.


Dutch East Indies
The enemy SAG coming down from the Sulu sea appears to be targeting Tarakan. As much as I'd like to airstrike them again, they'll be able to bombard the base before sunrise. I've evacced the planes.

Indomitable is probably 2 days out from being able to get involved in anything, 3 if she's going to head up to Tarakan. There isn't a whole lot of other activity here right now. I'm bombing some troops in Celebes without any fighter opposition. There's a very small ARG in the islands south of Celebes. I'll send out someone to greet them. I'm also moving Force Y to Balikpapan now that I'm relatively sure they aren't going to run into battleships on the way.



That's basically it. It's been quiet. So much so that they really haven't sunk anything since finishing off a bunch of ships at Pearl:
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Old 07-11-2021, 03:18 PM   #101
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25 January 1942
Cautious optimism for Port Moresby, concern about greater logistic picture in SouthPAC

CENTPAC
Yes, that new task force was an ARG for Palmyra. Palmyra is now theirs. Christmas Island will be taken far more easily with the KB around to make sure I don't intercept their transports.

He sent 4 short-range minesweepers into Pearl, and all 4 were shot up, but not before clearing about 90 mines. The minefield has been whittled down to the point it might not be effective when the time comes. Apparently concerned about Honolulu's industry being able to sustain supplies for my troops, he has begun bombing the city.


China
The AVG finally managed to shoot down a pair of elusive Tojos over Ichang. They only had 2 on CAP there, so that probably means that the squadron is combat ineffective now. I think these are our only confirmed kills, but we've been damaging a bunch of them, this was probably all that was left that was airworthy. I think my extra troops should arrive in Ichang tomorrow, triggering a shock attack as they cross the river. I'm expecting relatively light resistance as it really does appear they've evacuated a lot.


Malaya
Their attention is starting to turn back to Singapore. The slight lull allowed me to repair some planes and get a decent CAP up for a decently-sized air battle as we both tried to bomb each other. We lost 2 Hurricanes, a Buffalo, and 2 Wirraways; we shot down 2 Zeroes, 2 Nells, and 3 Sallies. One of our aces went down with a Hurricane. I'm starting to transfer some of the better pilots out--this losing campaign has enough dead heroes.


Burma
Nothing actually happened here, but I realized two mistakes I made affecting my plans. First, when planning Operation Kinky Boots, I forgot to take drop tanks into account when deciding whether to fly Hurricanes in or ship them in. So, instead of shipping them to Rangoon, I'm going to ship them to western India, send them by rail to eastern India, and then fly them the rest of the way. I'm sure that will be quicker, but I don't know by how much. I also completely forgot about some base forces I had sent by rail to Calcutta, which means a base force I was sending here from Aden isn't needed--so it gets to go to Sumatra instead, which desperately needs it.


Dutch East Indies
My bombing of Celebes is now focusing on enemy armies chasing my retreating garrison forces. The task force off the Borneo coast didn't attack, it's just sitting there. I'm not sure what it's waiting for. My best guess is that it's a covering force that just got there way ahead of the transports. There is another task force near Jolo that we haven't identified, so that may be related. Force Y was detected moving to Balikpapan so I'm not going to get to surprise anyone with it. I'm not inclined to challenge the covering force because I don't see any strategic benefit to it at the moment. This feels like a calm before a storm--there still aren't a whole lot of enemy ships here, possibly because he's preparing a surge.


Coral Sea
The Japanese army attempted another shock attack at Port Moresby, but again our troops held, and it wasn't nearly as close this time. Looks like the enemy finally peaked, which is really good news for us. The first reinforcements are arriving and didn't even hit any mines. I should be able to back that up with a USMC regiment in another 2 days or so. The problem I'm facing now, though, is I've been putting off refueling my CVBG to keep them bombing the enemy. It outpaced a replenishment group that had been following it here, and the Aussies only have one AO available locally and it's slow. The next best solution is to transfer fuel from merchant ships, but that's asking for trouble with at least 2 enemy subs lurking. I'm not sure heading to port is any better, I might have a ship run out of gas on the way and the ports appear to be where the subs were headed.


SouthPAC
I've managed to run Sydney out of fuel by transferring so much to my island base chain, and even those bases are barely managing to feed my thirsty convoys. With Palmyra and probably Christmas Island falling into enemy hands, my supply route keeps getting longer and more fuel-consuming. I'm getting very concerned that these long supply routes might not be sustainable. I'm going to try to route some middle-eastern fuel to western australia, but it's going to be awhile before that makes a difference. And if Singapore falls, I would expect it to become an enemy submarine base, with convoys to Australia being target #1.


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Old 07-11-2021, 11:11 PM   #102
Molon Labe
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26 January 1942
Last resistance north of Singapore wiped out

Malaya
He tried to send 4 midget subs into Singapore harbor. There isn't much there to kill... all 4 hit mines.

As the tag above says, my last army unit north of Singapore surrendered today. Singers will soon be facing the full brunt of his armies. With little left elsewhere to bomb, his aerial focus is also on Singapore. The air battle claimed 2 Hurricanes (taking with them a double-ace) and 4 Zeroes, 2 Nells, and 4 Sallies.


Coral Sea
I finally managed to attack one of the subs prowling this area and scored a little bit of depth charge damage. I bombarded enemy troops at PM with 4 cruisers while the transports for the first wave of reinforcements completed offloading and headed back to Townsville. The enemy army did not attack today as they licked their wounds. I feel comfortable enough that we're going to hold PM for at least one more day, so I moved fighters back in. This way he can't turn the tide with a bombing campaign, they'll also provide protection to the next wave of reinforcements. My CVBG is retiring to refuel.


China
All that's left in Ichang is a tank regiment. We attack tomorrow. He moved some Oscars in to help the few Tojos that are left on CAP; they managed to shot down one Hawk fighter escorting my bomber raids.


Thailand
Some very timely SIGINT came in confirming the presence of 1/3rd divisions at 2 bases. Recon flights observed only token forces at Tavoy airbase and they appeared to be leaving to the east. Recon of Raheng shows a large number of troop encampments but not a lot of artillery--probably engineers to build up the base. If anything, this information makes the area look weaker than expected.


Philippines
He's detached a significant portion of his Clark force to go after my displaced Manila garrisons. Once he eliminates them, he won't have to divide his forces to finish off Clark. As for Clark, I had been trying to smuggle in enough supplies to repair some bombers and fly them off, but it's not going to happen. Once that detachment comes back to Clark, it's going to be time to pull back to the Bataan peninsula for the last stand. If I try to hold out, the supply shortage is going to make several units ineffective and lead to an overrun and massive casualties. At least Bataan still has some supplies left for the troops.


CENTPAC
He's still using the KB to bomb Christmas Island into the stone age, along with the battleships Hiei and Kirishima.


Dutch East Indies
I've lost contact with all Japanese ships except for a task force of two (reported) ships in the center of the Celebes Sea heading northwest. We now have 2 US fighter squadrons in theatre. I've got scoutplanes everywhere, submarines clogging up the chokepoints, ships pre-positioned... they're probably coming soon in force, I hope I'm ready.
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Old 07-12-2021, 01:28 AM   #103
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Please don't stop writing these reports, i really enjoy them even though I've never played WiTP.
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Old 07-12-2021, 12:20 PM   #104
Molon Labe
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27 January 1942
Ichang liberated from IJA occupiers


CENTPAC
Ordered to Pearl to try to evacuate a headquarters fragment, USS Cuttlefish was depth charged by the escorts of the BBs Yamashiro and Nagato as they moved in to bombard the port. Damage to Cuttlefish was light. The reduction of bombarding battleships from 4 to 2 helped the shore batteries be more effective; Yamashiro was hit 9 times. The armor probably handled most of it, but it looks like it hurt a little. The KB hit Christmas Island again, while I presume the 2 BB there are returning to Lahaina to rearm.


Singapore
The air campaign took a dark turn as he sent Zero escorted medium bombers to bomb the city itself, while Nate escorted light bombers targeted our troops. It looks like attrition is catching up on their fighter forces--that Nates are even being thrown in here is a bad sign for them. But numbers wise, for the first time in a long time, we matched numbers with the Zeroes, sometimes outnumbering them (looks like our peak CAP was 8 Hurricanes, peak Zeroes were 9). But, the bombers are quite numerous. Losses were 3 Hurricanes for 3 Zeroes, 2 Nates, 4 Nells, 6 Sallies, and 1 light bomber.


Celebes Sea
The new task force was an ARG headed to Jolo to relieve the pinned down paratroops there. The two P-36 fighters there switched from attacking the paratroops to strafing an incoming destroyer. They hit it (not seriously), but one was shot down.

The troops landing on Jolo have been identified as the 113rd and 148th Regiments of the 56th Division, plus two marine units. This represents a major concentration of troops in an increasingly dangerous part of the sea for him--the whole area is lousy with submarines, I have a large surface fleet nearby, and I have a lot more airpower here than I did in December. I figure they'll take Jolo tomorrow, then load back up in a day or two for their next target. It looks like it's actually two separate ARGs, plus the covering force has reappeared at Jolo as well.




Dutch East Indies
Claude fighters tried to stop my bombers from attacking ships of Kendari and troops chasing my retreating Makassar garrison, but were only able to damage a few bombers. The naval attack missed, but the land attack was rather successful--our troops turned the tables on their pursuers and wiped them out (a rifle battalion and a fragment of a mortar battalion--we actually outnumbered them pretty badly).


China
At the cost of about 500 men and an AVG P-40, we finally liberated Ichang. The defending tank regiment was completely wiped out. But now we have the enemy army that evacuated on our flank, hiding in the swamplands. I'm probably going to have to deal with them before I send my troops to clear out any other occupied cities.

Coral Sea
Quiet at PM for today. My CVBG has been refueled by the slowpoke aussie oiler and by transports moving through the area.

SOUTHPAC
The fuel situation is getting worse thanks to my 2nd CVBG in this area also needing gas. I have some tankers arriving at various bases soon, but it's going to be tight for awhile.

I was dismayed to see that it's going to take about 40 days to repair the two cruisers that have been torpedoed. Each. And the one that hit a mine won't be any better. Making matters worse, I didn't realize that playing as the Allies, I can't build up the repair yards in Australia. I got too used to playing as Japan, which is allowed to expand facilities. The idea of Sydney being a decent substitute for Pearl now looks pretty ridiculous. Japan is going to have a huge logistical advantage if our ships start duking it out.
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Old 07-12-2021, 08:02 PM   #105
Molon Labe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostfriese View Post
Please don't stop writing these reports, i really enjoy them even though I've never played WiTP.
Thanks, it's good to know people are getting something out of this. Years ago, it was AARs like this that got me interested in WitP. It took me years before I worked up the nerve to commit to it, but the AARs definitely sold me on it.

-------------------
28 January 1942
Stage set for another battle in the Celebes Sea?


CENTPAC
The HQ units I want to evac from Pearl weren't ready yet, so the Cuttlefish is still patrolling the harbor. It can't dock because then it's just going to get bombed by planes. So it got depth charged again, and got away again. BB Yamashiro and Nagato bombarded Pearl/Hickam, again, not doing much apparent damage because everything is already a wreck. So then for the new turn, I tried to finally load Cuttlefish and Pamano only be reminded that these subs can carry cargo in a pinch, but not troops, so I'm not evacuating anyone this way. Sigh.


Celebes Sea: Battle of St. Lucia Bay?
The name St. Lucia doesn't appear in the WitP map, but it's the bay that Tarakan sits on. One ARG from Jolo is headed this way. It's intentions were made clear when Sallies from Brunei bombed our troops at Tarakan, powering through resistance from a Buffalo squadron there. That airfield is too small for them, so they have to be flying with a reduced loadout. USS Sailfish made the contact report on the ARG and attempted a torpedo attack before being driven off by the escorts. The two army regiments he started to land in Jolo have apparently been re-embarked for Tarakan, it's just the marines in Jolo now--and they've taken it.

The HMS Indomitable battle group is transiting the Makassar strait and will be in position to attack, hopefully, in the PM phase tomorrow. They will be supported by fighters from Balikpapan and Tarkakan, if I don't lose it first. Force Y will act as a covering force with orders to intercept any enemy task force that approaches the CVBG. I'd prefer to avoid getting into a direct surface battle with their covering force, at least until I soften them up a bit with airstrikes. Betties/Nells are potentially based in Manila and Kendari--the Manila ones will be too far to bring torpedoes to the party, but Kendari is completely in range. Dutch medium bombers and US B-17s that escaped the Philippines will hit the Kendari airfield to try to mitigate that threat. The CVBG was detected today but not attacked, so that's a good sign. I also have medium bombers in range to hit the ships, but after those bombers pulled the fighter escorts away from dive/torpedo bombers at Pearl and Surabaya, I'm just going to have them sit this the first day out. My airfields are overstacked anyway so this will help keep more planes airworthy, and I'll have them when I need to start bombing troops on the ground.

Enemy Order of battle:
ARG1 (Tarakan): 1 CL, 2 DD, 2 DMS, 1 TB, 1 APD, 2 AK, 1 AP.
ARG2 (Jolo): 1 PB, 1 AMC, 3 AKs (very low confidence in this)
Covering force: 2 CA, 3 CL, and 4 DD
Air: At least 28 Sallies in northern Borneo. Unknown number of naval bombers from Manila/Kendari, possibly Menado. Fighter escorts expected to fly from Menado--even Jolo if he brought aviation support with his invaders.
Reinforcements: The CVLBG and 2 BB could be out there somewhere. He can fly Betties in from almost anywhere.

Allied order of Battle:
Indomitable CVBG: 1 CV (6 Hurricane F, 9 Fulmar FB, 26 Albacore TB), 3 CL, 5 DD
Force Y: 1 CA, 8 CL, 5 DD
13 US and Dutch subs (mostly at the entrances to the Celebes rather than in the immediate battle area), not including US subs on transport missions to Bataan.
Air: 9 Buffalo, 24 P-39 Airacobra, 7 P-40E Warhawk, 12 139WH-3 medium bombers. P-40 reinforcements available.




Malaya
Our moment of fighter parity in Singapore is already over. Our fighters were overwhelmed early and most bombing raids went unopposed. Before that happened we shot down 2 Zeroes and a Nate. Most of their raids targeted the airbase, but apparently my flak is intimidating because he kept his bombers high. 1 Hurricane was blown up on the ground and we took some mild facility damage, but the raid wasn't very effective.


Coral Sea
Bettys from Rabaul made their long-anticipated appearance with a night attack on PM's airbase, putting 2 craters in the runway. Nothing my engineers can't handle.

A pair of TBDs attacked submarines (attacked the same submarine twice?) along the PIM of the Enterprise-Saratoga CVBG in the Torres Strait and reported hits. The subs were variously classified as L4, KD4, and KD6A. All of these classes are small boats that would probably not survive a direct 500lb bomb hit. I may have just telegraphed my intentions with this group, though, and I'm not sure there is much point to sending this group west if surprise has been lost.


China
The few remaining Tojos and some Oscars are flying CAP over the former Ichang occupiers. They managed to get past my escorts and shoot down an SB-III bomber. When we took Ichang, it had no supply stockpiles--those troops bogged down in the swamp are probably running on empty, and the swamp is a terrible place to be when low on supplies.


Philippines
He's not waiting for the detachment to return to Clark. He attacked today at about 1.5 division strength. Casualties were 3600 to 1000 favoring us. Still, if he's going to attack now I might be better off beginning my retreat. Bataan has some supplies and fortifications. Clark does have more favorable terrain, though. There's also a new small task force at the north end of the Sulu sea, probably an ARG picking up troops there to bring them to the central or southern Philippine islands.


Papua New Guinea
He's been landing paratroops and other small forces across the north side of PNG and in the Leae area. Nothing too important, they're potential airbases later on.
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