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Old 07-26-2021, 12:04 PM   #121
Molon Labe
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10 February 1942
Yet another cruiser hit by submarine in Coral Sea area; Clark airbase captured.

Coral Sea
The Townsville area was meant to be an antisubmarine bastion, with a dozen light bombers on patrol and three ASW groups made up of minesweepers and destroyer-minelayers. But that didn't stop a submarine from hitting the HMAS Leander as if finished escorting transports back to port. The torpedo impact caused a massive secondary explosion, but the ship survived. I'm now up to four cruisers in this area out of action with torpedo damage, plus a fifth sunk.

The attack resulted in a flurry of ASW activity, with three subs detected in the area, two of which were prosecuted for significant damage. The one that hit the Leander was quite possibly sunk.


Hawaii
4 BB bombarding again. It's a shame I haven't found the supply line that's supporting this endless stream of ammunition.


Japan
USS Trout attacked a cargo ship in the Kyushu-Okinawa gap, oddly closing range to rake it with .50cal fire before eventually deciding this was what torpedoes were for, sending it to the bottom far more efficiently than Ma Duce could.


Malaya
Yesterday's strike against Singapore reduced the numbers of fighters we could get in the air today; we never had 10 or more to try to intercept any wave of bombers. Our Hurricanes picked their spots against enemy light bombers mostly--we got 4 Nates, 1 Sally, and 5 light bombers for 1 Hurricane. The bombing wasn't as successful today as it was yesterday but it still caused some facility damage at the airbase.


Timor
He deployed Zeroes to defend his troops at Dili from my bombers flying out of Koepang. We lost 2 P-40s to them during our strike.



Borneo
Soryu made another attempt on the ASW group outside Balikpapan, 10 Zeroes escorting 2 Mabels and 4 Kates. We lost 2 P-40s trying to stop them, shooting down a Zero and a Kate. The bombers that got through missed again.


China
The Japanese army attacked at Chusien, our lines held but fortifications were reduced to level 2. Casualties were 4229 to 616 favoring us. They still don't have enough to break through without reinforcements.


Philippines
Our retreat to Bataan became a rout as the Japanese attacked in full force. We had nearly 5000 people killed or captured. The supply situation in Bataan isn't much better than it was in Clark, although they did have enough to resupply some of the units that made it there. But at least we have level 3 forts there, that should help us hold on for at least another week. I should probably task a few more subs to supply runs.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:20 PM   #122
Molon Labe
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11 February 1942
Allied destroyers strike back against Coral Sea submarines


Japan
USS Trout torpedoed a cargo ship in the Kyushu-Okinawa gap, but it appears this one will survive long enough to make it to port.


Coral Sea
Intensive ASW operations around Townsville led to decisive results today. Events began with a minesweeper prosecuting a medium-sized sub near shore. The sub was severely damaged, the captain claims a kill and he may be right. A pair of destroyers had contact with two enemy subs, attacking each in turn--these got away with just one lightly damaged. Then a destroyer-minelayer pair had a contact to prosecute. USS Sicard scored a critical hit with the last depth charges it had, which forced the sub to the surface, where it was quickly gunned down. This was the RO-65, and it is the first 100% positive sub kill of the war. The Sicard returned to port to rearm, and contacted another sub shortly after getting back underway. It ran itself out of ammo on this one too, but only caused moderate damage this time.


Malaya
Japan lost two light cargo ships at Mersing, presumably on a supply run. The first hit a sub-laid mine, the second was attacked by Wirraway light bombers on a low-altitude attack. A third AKL was bombed and damaged.

Air raids on Singapore continued. We did not have many planes up and only managed to shoot down 2 Nates and 3 light bombers today. Flack added 3 more light bombers. Airfield facility damage isn't as bad as I thought it was, it appears our low CAP levels have more to do with aircraft being damaged on the ground.


Java
A CVL appears to be headed for the Java Sea via the Makassar strait. Ahead of them, Zeroes swept Surabaya from Kendari. Losses were nearly even, 5 Zeroes for a P-40, 2 Sea Hurricanes (left by the Indomitable) and a Hawk.


Sumatra
7 Nells and 3 Betties attempted an attack on a Dutch surface force sheltering at Palembang. They had 20 Zeroes escorting, and I only managed 6 fighters on CAP during the worst part of the raid. The attack cost only 1 Betty and 1 Buffalo, but the point was made--I don't have enough fighters here yet to protect ships. The SAG is retreating to Batavia.


Borneo
A sweep by Zeroes and Oscars was followed by another attempt on the ASW group. We lost 4 fighters, they lost a Zero and 4 torpedo bombers. We launched bombers right back at Tarakan, but they didn't hit anything and flak took down a P-40 on escort duty.


Philippines
Enemy air raids are now including port attacks at Bataan, apparently they're trying to catch my supply subs docking.

Surigao has been captured.

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Old 07-26-2021, 09:26 PM   #123
Molon Labe
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12 February 1942
Invasion fleet approaching Balikpapan

Coral Sea
Got another one! RO-64 was attacked two separate times today, it escaped with some damage the first time, but the second it was forced to surface and shared the fate of its sister ship yesterday.

Borneo
Oscars swept Balikpapan apparently in advance of an amphibious landing to take place tomorrow. The Oscars got two of our fighters without loss. Torpedo bombers from the CVL/Soryu made another attempt on my ASW patrol but only managed to lose one of their own. There are at least two task forces in the Makassar Strait headed south now, one of them includes a battleship and cargo ship, a combination that must indicate a landing force. Our level bombers made several attempts throughout the day but came up empty. Few to zero enemy fighters were protecting the fleet.

Lexington and Yorktown have been sitting just south of the Java Sea waiting for a development along these lines. I had intended to have them for the battle that neutralized the Indomitable, but they were a day late. I'm a little concerned about the possibility of land based bombers wrecking things up, but all indications for the last two weeks have been the bombers are usually torpedo-less and rarely escorted. Plus those task forces aren't having CAPs flown on them. It's looking favorable. Balikpapan is a major strategic objective, so the size of the army they're deploying should be substantial. Sending them to the bottom would be a major blow to their ability to continue their expansion in this area--it's worth a bit of risk to the carriers, so into harm's way they go.



China
6 Oscars swept Wuchow in what I assume was a probing attack. They found obsolete I-15 and -16 fighters on patrol and shot down 1 each with no losses. He hasn't shown any interest in anything this far south since repelling me from Swatow, so this may be a sign that something new is afoot.

Sumatra
The Nells came back and attempted a port attack on Palembang, but no one was home. Escorting fighters took out a Buffalo on CAP.
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Old 07-27-2021, 08:58 PM   #124
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13 February 1942
Showdown in Makassar Strait postponed as Lex and Yorktown wait for surface support

Japan
USS Tautog sank a cargo ship off Okinawa in a surface night attack using torpedoes and guns.

Hawaii
Air strikes on Pearl/Hickam cost Japan 6 medium bombers and a Zero as we only have enough flyable planes for our very best pilots.

Sumatra
One of our light cargo ships was shot up by a Japanese submarine while en route to Singapore for a supply run. We hit the sub with a little bit of return fire but nothing too serious--he found another ship to attack later in the day, a regular-sized cargo ship, which it torpedoed and sank.

Java
A Japanese submarine tried to transit into the Indian Ocean but hit a mine and likely sank.

Celebes
A Dutch sub torpedoed and sank a cargo ship transiting south of Celebes between the Banda and Java seas.

Borneo
In the South China Sea near Miri, a British sub torpedoed a troop transport. The ship is mortally damaged but might make port before it goes down.

Balikpapan was swept by Oscars, which downed 2 Allied fighters with no loss. Light and medium bombers from Balik are trying to stop the approaching invasion forces but can't hit anything; one Falcon bomber was shot down by flak. At least no fighters are trying to stop them. Another TB attempt on my ASW group was attempted, fighting them off cost us another P-40.

The Lexington and Yorktown failed to get in range to intervene today. I think this is because they waited for a surface force that I ordered to follow them to protect them from surface attack. It probably didn't help that I had to steer them away from an entrance to the Java Sea that had an enemy sub on patrol. I won't be able to stop the landings in time, but I can still cause massive casualties. The ambush will proceed.

Philippines
Enemy landing barges are assaulting Corregidor and hitting mines and getting shot up by coastal batteries for trying. These aren't just improvised minesweepers, at least one had troops on board.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:43 AM   #125
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14 February 1942
Soryu, 2 CVLs sunk in St. Valentines Day Massacre

Battle for Balikpapan
I ordered the ASW group that's been under daily attack at Balikpapan to retreat to Surabaya--a day late. They ended up running into several incoming fleets, retreating from one only to encounter another. The two destroyers were sunk by sunrise, although they did manage to score some hits on the main invasion force, severely damaging a destroyer-minesweeper. As the fleets approached our base, we sortied PT boats to attack them, but they had so many warships in company that we couldn't get close enough to score torpedo hits. We lost 5 of 8 PTs for trying. Next up were the minefields. He had 3 destroyer-minesweepers and a regular destroyer go in first to blaze a trail. The destroyer hit a mine and the DMSs were damaged/sunk by coastal defenses, but it was successful: no other ships hit mines here today. Enemy troops came ashore amid a fierce battle between our coastal batteries and enemy battleships and cruisers... a lot of cruisers. Enemy ground forces appear to be about 2 regiments plus artillery and light armor support.

I had lost track of the enemy CVBG yesterday, probably hiding in a rain squall or something. But I knew it was still here. What was shocking was we both apparently wanted to stage in the same spot of ocean--daybreak revealed the Lex/Yorktown group within sight of the Soryu CVBG! Both fleets turned around to engage in their preferred form of battle. I am disappointed that the covering force my carriers waited for yesterday didn't step in here. This could have really messed things up... the close range of the opposing task forces probably affected our ability to get a decent CAP in the air...

Japan was first to strike, with a raid of 20 Kates and 14 Vals escorted by 39 Zeroes. We only managed to get a CAP up of 12 Buffalos, 14 Wildcats, plus 1 P-40 from Surabaya. The CAP arrived piecemeal, we never had more than 10 fighters engaging at any time. It was nearly a disaster as the Zeroes prevented our fighters from reaching their bombers, 3 Zeroes, a Buffalo, and A Wildcat went down in the fight. We were fortunate that most of these Kates didn't have torpedoes and were assigned to attack from high altitude. They were completely ineffective. The Vals had poor accuracy and missed everything. But the Kates that had torpedoes--just 6 of them--managed to score 3 hits on the cruiser Chicago (she sank immediately), and 1 on the Yorktown. The hit on the Yorktown was bad enough to prevent further flight operations. Fortunately, its strike was already airborne and there were air bases to divert the planes to.

As this went on, land-based fitghers swept Balikpapan again and shot down two more of our fighters without loss. USS Pickerel tried to reach the invasion force but was driven off by destroyers.

Then our strike arrived at the enemy CVBG. Their CAP was just 9 Zeroes and 12 Claudes, quite sad compared to how many Zeroes they had on offense. Our strike package was 61 SBDs and 30 TBDs escorted by 11 Buffalo and 13 Wildcat. Our fighters, too, managed to keep the enemy fighters away from the package; 2 Wildcats and a Buffalo went down along with 6 Claudes. With the enemy fighters pushed aside, my strike was devastating:
CV Soryu, Bomb hits 4, on fire, heavy damage
CVE Taiyo, Bomb hits 6, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVL Zuiho, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires
CA Mogami
DD Shinonome
DD Isonami, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
CA Myoko
DD Sazanami
DD Kuroshio
All 3 carriers were knocked out of flight ops, with the Taiyo apparently sinking shortly after our planes retired. The Yorktown's planes diverted to a small base in the southern island chain (why not Surabaya? Baka!) while many enemy planes appear to have diverted to Makassar (southwest Celebes).



Round 2 involved the diverted enemy planes re-attacking from Makassar--I'm impressed that he apparently had aviation support there, enough to refuel and rearm 10 Zeroes and 7 Kates. But, no torpedoes. We were only able to vector a single Buffalo and a P-40 to defend; the P-40 was shot down along with a Zero. But once again, the Kates were level bombing from high altitude and hit nothing.

Our divert base had enough support to send 5 Yorktown Wildcats and 15 SBDs back into the fight. They bombed the enemy CVBG without opposition, hitting the Zuiho with a 1000-pounder and 2 hits on the cruiser Myoko. The Lexington's air group returned with 29 SBDs and 13 TBDs:
CA Mogami, Bomb hits 1
CV Soryu, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Asagiri
DD Arashi, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Murakumo
CA Ashigara, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVL Zuiho, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Kuroshio
The Soryu and Taiyo are gone for sure. Zuiho was still afloat when our planes retired, but appears doomed.

We had land-based bombers get in on the action too, but they didn't hit anything. One medium and one light bomber out of Balikpapan were shot down.

I'm probably going to have to evacuate my aircraft from Balik. As for my CVBG, I feel like I'm in the same position Admiral Mikawa found himself in after defeating US surface forces near Guadalcanal. Especially with the Yorktown disabled, letting the Lexington press the attack seems risky, even more so when I can't get a decent CAP up.... now that I've slept on this for a day, at the risk of repeating Mikawa's error, I have to prioritize the safety of the Yorktown. He has a ton of surface forces in the area, including what's left of the Soryu's battle group, and they might attempt to charge instead of retreat.

Japan
USS Sturgeon torpedoed and sank a light cargo ship near Okinawa, then surfaced to attack another AKL with guns. It aborted the second attack after taking a hit from return fire.

Coral Sea
Japan swept Port Moresby in force with at least 26 Oscar sorties. It ended up being an aerial chess match with few actual hits scored, just one P-40 and 1 Oscar went down. His armies attempted to attack but were beaten down hard.

Hawaii
Hickam was still in operation enough to get fighters up again today, we splashed 7 medium bombers. 4 BB bombarding again.

Sumatra
A small task force including at least one cruiser is making its way up the channel near Palembang. Too small to be an invasion force, maybe looking to bombard the base? He's asking for trouble. Level bombers took their best shot at them but missed.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:01 PM   #126
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Sounds like a very early Battle of Midway moment. If I counted correctly Japan has now lost one CV and four CVL/CVE in less than three months. Astonishing
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:54 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
14 February 1942
Soryu, 2 CVLs sunk in St. Valentines Day Massacre

Bravo!
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:53 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostfriese View Post
Sounds like a very early Battle of Midway moment. If I counted correctly Japan has now lost one CV and four CVL/CVE in less than three months. Astonishing
Thanks!

Here is the status of the CVL/CVEs as I understand them (fog of war and all that). I'm inclined to agree, probably 4 on the bottom.

CVL Ryujo - hit by two heavyweight torpedoes on 1/17, definitely disabled, likely sunk
CVL Shoho - damaged by heavyweight torpedo hit 2/3, status uncertain
CVL Zuiho - likely sunk 2/14 (4 bomb hits, 1 air-dropped torpedo hit)
CVE Hosho - sunk by 2 heavyweight torpedo hits 1/19
CVE Taiyo - sunk 2/14 (6 bomb hits)
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:41 PM   #129
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Great action reports.

It happens that I recall War in the Pacific, while reading your report, where they in some episode talked about the problem at home. factory problem, resource problem a.s.o.(can't remember everything that had been said in these episode)

What if a game producer added this to a wargame, where the player not only has to take care of his troops and material at the front, but also get things to work at home ?

Just a thought

Markus
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:29 PM   #130
Molon Labe
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15 February 1942
Japanese surface forces press into Java Sea to hunt US carriers

Java Sea
As I mentioned yesterday, my biggest concern here was that Japan would use its heavy surface forces to try to take down my carriers. To try to protect them, I first merged the covering task force with the Yorktown's detached tf headed for Surabaya for emergency repairs. This would hopefully make them strong enough to survive an attack from the Soryu's escorts. Next, I detached the battleship Royal Sovereign from Force Y to prioritize speed, then sortied Force Y from Surabaya to take up station on the cape in southwestern Borneo. This would act as a blockading force to try to stop task forces moving south through the Makassar strait. The Lexington CVBG would move in a hook pattern, moving away from the Soryu's escorts before turning back north to get in a strike position against his surface forces. Every available ASW group was ordered to sanitize the path for the Yorktown to get to Surabaya. The flyable Wildcats from Yorktown were flown from Denpasar to the Lexington to supplement their CAP, and some of the flyable SBDs were rebased to Surabaya (in hindsight, that should have been the TBDs, because Surabaya has an AirHQ to arm them with torpedoes).

As feared, he did press his attack. The first encounter was between Force Y (1 CA, 7 CL, 3 DD) and a the former Soryu CVBG (2 CA, 1 CS, and 15 DD). I'd call that evenly matched since I'm mostly cruisers and he's mostly destroyers. Our heavy cruiser, HMS Corwall, took an early torpedo hit but stayed in the fight peppering the CA Myoko (already damaged from bombs yesterday) with hits, two of which penetrated her armor at the waterline, causing severe damage. The CA Mogami struck back, getting solid main battery hits on Cornwall and Glasgow. In the end, each side lost a DD to torpedo hits, and each side had a cruiser crippled. The Cornwall would sink before the end of the day.

A second surface group of 1 BB, 5 CA, and 5 DD bypassed Force Y heading south, apparently trying to prevent my carriers from escaping to the south. They encountered 2 of my DD moving towards the Yorktown for ASW duty, the DDs turned away and escaped.

Daytime brought a flurry of airstrikes, with a surprisingly high number of Zeroes on patrol despite the absence of any IJN carriers, probably all flying out of Makassar. A quick summary:

14 SBDs (Yorktown's) and 9 TBDs vs southern SAG: 3 SBDs downed by Zeroes, 1 bomb 1000lb hit on CA Nachi, 1x500lb hit each on BB Kongo, CA Atago

6 Vals vs Force Y (close enough to Lexington to get CAP protection): 3 Buffalo shot down by Zeroes, Vals missed Glasgow.

7 Kates vs ASW group (2 DD): 1 Zero shot down by land-based fighters, 1 Kate downed by DD's gunners. Very low altitude attack, no hits.

14 SBDs from Lexington vs former Soryu CVBG: 9 SBDs and a Buffalo shot down, SBDs attacked Mogami and missed.

7 Kates vs ASW group (AM and PG), no hits.

3 139HW-3 medium bombers vs southern SAG: no hits

3 Hudson medium bombers and 4 B-17s vs Makassar airbase: light facility damage

10 Kates vs Yorktown escort group: 1 Buffalo shot down by Zeroes, 1 Zero and 9 Kates shot down by land-based fighters. No Kates reached the ships.

13 Yorktown SBDs vs southern SAG: 1 SBD shot down by Zeroes, no hits.

5 Kates vs HMS Royal Sovereign's Force Y detachment: no losses, all Kates damaged by AAA or land-based fighters.

7 TBD (Yorktown's) vs southern SAG: 2 bomb hits on BB Kongo

5 Kates vs ASW group (AM and PG): no hits

12 SBDs from Lexington vs former Soryu CVBG: 3 hits on CA Ashigara-SUNK.

17 SBDs from Lexington vs southern SAG: 2 hits on BB Kongo

Without naval gunfire support, our shore batteries took a serious toll on their transports at Balikpapan. But with about 2 regiments ashore, the enemy attacked and easily overran the base. This is an important strategic site for Japan as it's one of the major oil/fuel sites, well-positioned to keep Truk supplied while other locations feed Japan. It had also been serving as a forward submarine base for me, including for the supply runs to Bataan. I'm also going to feel the loss of this as a seaplane base, as it was the last place I had that could observe most of the Celebes Sea as well as the waters north of Bornea (to help vector my subs into their merchants).



Celebes Sea
S-39 torpedoed and sank a cargo ship off Manado in a surface attack.

Banda Sea
A Dutch sub torpedoed and sank a cargo ship near Kendari.

Sumatra
The Japanese task force entered Palembang harbor, the light cruiser Jintsu hit a mine and they aborted whatever they were doing there. Later in the day, level bombers attempted an attack on the task force, but missed.

More concerning, well-escorted raids of Nells and Betties hit Oosthaven, where I have a growing backlog of transports piling up waiting to offload reinforcements. Zeroes took out a P-40 and 4 Buffalos, while our fighters got a single Zero and 3 Betties. Fortunately, most of the bombers did not have torpedoes and were as ineffective as level bombers generally are. One scored a torpedo hit on a troop ship, again fortunately, one that had already offloaded its soldiers. This party is over, time to find another way to get troops to Sumatra.

Hawaii
4 BB bombarded, and airstrikes on Pearl focused on the naval base instead of Hickam Field. The cruiser St. Louis was destroyed in drydock, also damaged was the CL Detroit, 2 tenders, 2 tankers a transport, and a minelayer. Our CAP was only a few planes today, time to ground everyone again.

Coral Sea
Oscars swept PM again, taking out a single P-40.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:39 PM   #131
Molon Labe
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Originally Posted by mapuc View Post
Great action reports.

It happens that I recall War in the Pacific, while reading your report, where they in some episode talked about the problem at home. factory problem, resource problem a.s.o.(can't remember everything that had been said in these episode)

What if a game producer added this to a wargame, where the player not only has to take care of his troops and material at the front, but also get things to work at home ?

Just a thought

Markus
I'd call that an improvement. It seems Grisby was just willing to write off the Allied economy as "they have enough".
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:07 PM   #132
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16 February 1942
Aircraft losses mount as chaos envelops the Java Sea

Java Sea
Forget Surabaya. This area is too hot, if the Yorktown stops there they'll just attack the base until they get her. We're going west.

One of my ASW groups detected a submarine ahead of the Yorktown's PIM and prosecuted it. We didn't get any hits but at least the sub was on the defensive. The Yorktown's escorts would later spot it and also failed to hit, but again, the sub wasn't able to attack.

At Balikpapan, the tenders and merchants in base sortied to try to escape to Surabaya, as the PTs drifted about without fuel. A small cruiser-destroyer task force took down the PTs and an AG, an ADP, and 3 AKLs, while Betty bombers from the north side of the island sank most of the escaping tenders.

As for airstrikes:
7 SBDs and 6 TBDs (Yorktown's) vs the Kongo's group - the SBDs ran into LRCAP Zeroes, 5 SBDs shot down, the rest aborted. The TBDs slipped in below and shot at the Kongo, but missed.

Vs. Makassar airbase: 9 139WH3-9, 5 Hudsons, and 8 B-17s. Ran into stiff reistance from Zeroes and a few Oscars (fine by me, less defending their fleets). The medium bombers were wiped out, 2 Hudsons made it to the base but didn't hit anything. One B-17 was shot down, and they took out one Zero with their defensive guns, but also failed to hit anything.

Lexington CVW (28 SBD, 8 TBD) vs Kongo group: Zeroes avoided our fighters and shot down 3 SBDs. 2 bomb hits on Kongo, it's armor is soaking most of the damage.

Yorktown TBDs (6) from Surabaya vs Kongo group: slipped in under the Zeroes, no hits

Lexington CVW (23 SBD, 13 TBD) vs Kongo group: Zeroes once again avoided my fighters, shooting down 4 SBD and 2 TBD. No hits. These TBDs were carrying bombs--Lexington must be out of torps for them.




Sumatra
The task force at Palembang is just a single CL. It sank an AKL and suffered at least 3 air attacks (medium bombers, Wirraway light bombers) without damage.

Malaya
The CL from Sumatra made its way all the way up to Singapore and tried to attack motor launches on ASW duty, which retreated safely to harbor.

Hawaii
BB bombardments and air attacks finished off a transport, cruiser, and patrol gunboat.

It appears that the KB is back. The attacking aircraft included 26 Kates. At least one carrier.

Japan
In what must be the most overkill recorded so far this game, the USS Trout sank a cargo ship in the Kyushu-Okinawa gap. It attacked on the surface, striking the ship with multiple dud Mk14s before closing to machine gun range, where it severely damaged the ship with is main gun, AA gun, and a .50 cal. Then fired more torpedoes, scoring 3 hits on the probably-doomed ship with Mk14s that managed to detonate.

Coral Sea
I stopped CAPing Milne to improve my strength at Port Moresby. Didn't work, the Oscars came and shot down 3 P-40s with only one loss.

China
In the northern area, I have an army that's been retreating since failing to take an enemy base early in the war. The territory is mountainous so movement has been slow. They're getting bombed daily. I just noticed that a base force as arrived at a base close enough to help them, so I moved some I-15 fighters over to there hoping to catch some unescorted bombers. And they did, but these old planes were so crappy they failed to shoot anyone down.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:36 PM   #133
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17 February 1942
Enemy surface fleets abandon pursuit of Lex & Yorktown

Java Sea
The main enemy force met 2 of my DD on ASW patrol and broke off, then ran into one of my tenders evacuating Balikpapan, shot it once, and broke off again. This would be the last I saw of them as out scoutplanes did not make contact. Are they still here and we just missed them? Yorktown's about halfway to the western escape route through Oosthaven. That's in range of the Betties/Nells, so I'd be relying on the Lex's aircraft and several land-based fighter squadrons to see them through. I could turn them around if the surface threat is gone and exit through the east. But he can move Betties into Kendari just as easily. On balance, I think going west is still safer. I'm ordering my medium bombers at Singapore to hit the Johore airbase to try to reduce the threat level.

To remind me of the air threat, he hit Semarang with a port attack, perhaps thinking the Yorktown would put in there. The strike cost him a Zero, a Nell, and 2 Betties, one of the Lexington's Buffalo's was shot down playing defense.

Philippines
USS Spearfish torpedoed and sank a PB that was on ASW patrol off northern Luzon. You hate to see it!

We've confirmed that one division of troops has been moved from Malaya to Luzon. So that's the big play, that extra division here probably breaks my back, then these armies rest for a bit and head to Malaya. These reinforced armies attacked today, knocking my fortification level down from 3 to 2, casualties were 900 to 700 favoring me. That's going to flip as the fort level decreases further. I'll be lucky to hold out another week at this rate.

Malaya
An enemy sub tried to enter the harbor and hit a mine.

The air battle was an absolute massacre today. With just one Hurricane shot down (killing a triple ace!), we got 11 Nates, 4 Zeroes, 17 medium bombers, and 10 light bombers. Flak is responsible for probably 3-5 of those. We managed to get about 10 planes into the fight at a time, which is still badly outnumbered (peak enemy fighters, 28 Zeroes and 25 Nates) but better than we've been able to do consistently. I'm still not sure how we're managing to avoid the fighters and get to the bombers so efficiently. It's happened even when the escort/bomber ratio is high. Hurricanes are much faster than Nates, faster than Oscars, but slower than Zeroes, so it's not speed.

Our bombers hit Singkawang, gambling on them not having fighter coverage with him using them so extensively for LRCAPs right now. We were right, but damage was minor.

Japan
USS Sturgeon torpedoed a cargo ship in the Korea-Japan gap. It's been a long time since I saw any traffic here, what I expect would be a hot spot. This ship is going to survive, sadly.

Coral Sea
The daily Oscar sweeps got off to an early lead, but we rallied and broke even, 3 dead Oscars and 3 dead P-40s.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:46 AM   #134
Ostfriese
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No action at Hawaii on the 17th? A much needed day of rest at Pearl, then
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Old 07-30-2021, 03:52 PM   #135
Molon Labe
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Just the daily 4 BB bombardment, plus an Oscar sweep with no one to greet them.
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