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Old 11-15-2021, 12:15 PM   #316
Molon Labe
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20 July 1942
Japanese carrier fleet approaching Pearl

Banda Sea
The S-36 attempted a surface attack on a cargo ship near the oil-producing port of Babo, but the cargo ship scored a hit on the S-36 that caused a fire. S-36 broke off.

Java Sea
The KX hit an enemy cargo ship with a torpedo off Batavia, causing severe damage. Later in the day, the KX found another cargo ship to target and hit this one 3 times, sinking it.

Hawaii/CENTPAC
S-47 visited the port at Johnston and found 7 destroyers on patrol. It took a shot at one (missing) and then evaded counterattack.

The land battle for Oahu claimed another 1746 enemy soldiers and 14 of ours. This wiped out the "A" and "C" portions of the 21st Division.

An enemy task force is approaching Pearl Harbor; at this time its composition is reported as a carrier, 2 battleships, and a seaplane tender. My take on this is that these are the 2 fast battleships of the KB coming in to shell Hickam airbase with at least one CV providing air cover. It appears that the enemy task force will arrive shortly after sunrise tomorrow. Bombardment task forces almost always try to arrive at night, so they might actually slow down and pause to hit us overnight after tomorrow.

At this time, Pearl/Hickam doesn't yet have a whole lot of ASUW capability; we have a partial-strength SBD squadron and a torpedo bomber squadron that's only starting to come online. Plus a ton of level bombers, but they're not going to hit warships all that well. Wasp just delivered the Yorktown's former fighter squadron, VF-42, to Hickam. So at least our SBDs will have a ton of fighters available to escort them. I have two convoys approaching that I'll order to hold off, I'm backing off the few DDs and CAs I have here to keep them out of the way. I have 5 S-boats on a patrol that I'm putting in the enemy's path. Wasp, since it's acting as an aircraft ferry right now, has only its own fighters embarked, so it's just headed back to California. Saratoga and Lexington, now commanded by Admiral Halsey, are on their way here, but whether they actually engage is going to depend on timing and how many carriers they actually have. If the enemy does get a shot at those carriers, their attack pilots are going to end up shocked by the amount of AAA they're going to put up--Lex and Sara themselves have been upgraded, there are 2 CLAAs in company, plus 2 heavy cruisers and I think 14 destroyers that have all had substantial AA upgrades.

China
One Oscar down over Chengchow today.

Sumatra
I used my Fulmars to attack land units approaching Palembang, which hit them without resistance, as expected. This move is intended to cause him to set up a long-range CAP rather than actually do damage. I'm moving my Albacores from Singapore to Palembang as they're getting blown up on the ground there--and because he's choosing his shipping routes to stay out of their range from Singapore, so we may get a shot at something tomorrow, and with any luck their fighter coverage will be on their land units.

Thailand and Burma
I shifted my bomber attacks slightly, hitting the base at Pisanuloke (next to Raheng) instead of the nearby armies in the open. It worked out and I caused heavy casualties to land units that are probably packing up to be shipped by rail to Bangkok--but they flew without escorts, yet again. Fortunately there were no defending fighters.

Oscars tried to strafe MLs on ASW patrol near Rangoon; they got nothing except one of their own shot down by AA.

Solomons
A PBY that snooped Tulagi found an enemy minesweeper there and bombed it as a target of opportunity.

Reinforcements/Refits
23rd Marine Regiment arrives at Eastern USA (near full strength, unrestricted)
AM Skylark arrives at Alameda
DD Laffey taken out of commission to begin refit at San Francisco
DMS Perry beginning refit in shipyard at San Francisco
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Old 11-17-2021, 09:36 AM   #317
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21 July 1942
Kido Butai defeats USMC dive bombers, again

Solomon Islands
The S-28 attacked a convoy of tenders approaching the Solomons from the north, hitting a seaplane tender with a Mk10. The tender was not fatally damaged.

Malaya
A Japanese sub attacked an ML on ASW patrol and missed, the ML counterattacked, dealing substantial damage with depth charges before the sub escaped.

Enemy sweeps downed 2 Mohawks over Singapore. 3 bombers were shot down by flak. Enemy bombing accuracy isn't good enough to outpace repairs.

Oscar raids targeted MLs on patrol with strafing runs. Damage in the morning was insignificant, but they connected solidly in the afternoon, resulting in one ML scrapped.

Sumatra
2 Hurricanes down over Palembang, the first sweep was 40 Oscars to 4 Hurricanes and got worse as the day went on.

Hawaii
The enemy carrier force is getting closer, and it looks like the whole KB except for the torpedo-damaged Akagi. (confirmed: Junyo, Kaga, Zuikaku, Hiryu)

The six USMC Buffalos on low altitude naval attack orders decided the KB was an appropriate target. The CAP was 107 planes. They didn't come back.

The second raid was our partial strength SBD squadron (11 planes) with 21 F4F escorts, a small fraction of what was available. 5 got through, attacking the Hiryu and Junyo, but they all missed. All the SBDs were lost, to the CAP and 2 more to flak. 6 F4Fs and 5 Zeroes were also downed.

After one last raid that destroyed 2 light bombers on the ground at Lahaina, the level bombers and flyable torpedo bombers have all been evacuated to minimize the damage when the battleships hit us.

No airstrikes by the KB.

Pearl's Marines inflicted 1990 enemy casualties without taking losses, eliminating the 14th Army headquarters.

Thailand
1 enemy Nick shot down by Hurricanes trying to stop our bombers near Raheng. Some enemy forces at Tavoy are moving back towards Bangkok.

China
The enemy attacked at Chengchow, bringing forts down to level 3. Casualties 17810 to 7000 favoring us.
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:01 AM   #318
Molon Labe
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22 July 1942
KB charges at Pearl, but doesn't attack...Land Battle of Oahu ends

CENTPAC
S-47 approached Johnston Island to attack the concentration of merchant shipping there. It torpedoed and sank an AKL. The Pollack was next, attacking another AKL on the surface, hitting it with one or two dud Mk14s but causing major fires with deck gun hits. S-47 got in on that action too, putting two torpedoes into the likely-doomed ship.

West of Oahu, the Flying Fish encountered the large destroyer formation spotted at Johnston a few days ago. It took light damage from a pair of near-misses.

The KB looks like it's going to Lahaina instead of Pearl. Covering an evacuation? It was so close we lost 1 PBY and 5 Kingfishers to the CAP. It didn't attack, with aircraft or with its battleships. And we lost track of it. Obviously, it's still close, though. It may be trying to locate any ships I had heading to Pearl and stopped on the northeast side of the island chain, so I'm backing those guys off even more.

The land battle of Oahu has ended at last, the blood of the last soldiers of the 2nd Division wiping out their foul footstep's pollution.

China
The battle in the air over Chengchow claimed 4 Oscars and 2 P-43s.

Singapore and Sumatra
Palembang was able to provide one British squadron with Hurricane replacements. The Mohawk squadron and New Zealand squadron are worn down and probably aren't coming back, so those Hurricanes plus a beaten down Aussie P-40 squadron are all that's left for both bases.

Singapore sweeps cost 1 each: Hurricane, Zero, Oscar. 6 Oscars assigned to strafing attacks were also downed by AA.
Damage to both bases is failing to outpace repairs.

Reinforcements
AMc Hinau arrives at Auckland
YMS-120 arrives at Los Angeles
VS-5 arrives at San Francisco (Yorktown's former scout squadron reformed; we don't have enough planes to outfit it yet)
No.205 Sqn RAF arrives at Koggala (Catalinas, we don't have qualified pilots for them so this has to be a training squadron)
I US Corps arrives at March Field (Corps HQ unit, unrestricted, full strength)
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Old 11-18-2021, 12:10 PM   #319
Molon Labe
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23 July 1942
KB disappears after charging Pearl

Malaya/Sumatra
Massive air raids continue.

We didn't have a CAP up over Singapore today. AA took down four bombers. Damage on the ground is still unaccumulating. Repulse took a few more non-penetrating hits. Oscars strafed Singapore's last minesweeper and sank it.

We managed to get 2 Hurricanes up over Palembang; 1 was shot down. Damage on the ground is not accumulating.

The Fulmars at Palembang took off to try to hit an enemy task force, but failed to find the target.

Thailand
Enemy Nicks and Oscars got through our escorts protecting Blenheim bombers attacking troops in the open near Raheng. We lost 2 Hurricanes and a Blenheim.

Hawaii
I have no idea where the KB ended up. That I have ships north, east, and south of Hawaii and none of them are reporting sighting aircraft suggests they turned around and left to the west, but I'm still worried they're going to show up in my shipping lanes or even off the west coast.

My PBYs took advantage of the KB's absence, though, and hit a cargo ship loading troops at Lahaina with a torpedo. I'm moving my bombers back to Hickam, but I'm not replacing any lost fighters and divebombers just yet.

Reinforcements
AM Dubbo arrives at Townsville
112th Cavalry Regiment arrives at San Francisco (unrestricted, full strength)
11th USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme (unrestricted, full strength)
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Old 11-19-2021, 01:27 PM   #320
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24 July 1942
Successful Allied torpedo bomber strikes wipe out an ASW task force and sink a merchant full of troops; KB's general whereabouts known

Hawaii and CENTPAC
We haven't spotted the actual KB again, but we have something almost as good-Kates attacking the USS Thresher near Kona. Thresher was damaged, along with a Kate, but at least we know the KB is somewhere southeast of Pearl--possibly trying to cover transports covering troops.

If that's what it's doing, though, it's doing a **** job. 3 PBY Catalinas attacked a retreating merchant, hitting it with 3 torpedoes, sinking it instantly. 1759 land unit casualties were reported. 2 of the 3 Catalinas crash landed at Hickam due to the damage they sustained during their attack runs. VT-5 has let them know they'll take it from here.

At Johnston, the S-47 hit the AO Shiriya with a Mk10, setting its fuel cargo on fire. The Pollack also hit the tanker Tatekawa Maru with a Mk14, but of course it didn't explode.

Malaya and Sumatra
At Singapore, we got 4 fighters in the air on CAP, which was enough to shoot down a Zero and 2 Sallies. 5 more Sallies were shot down by flak as the enemy split his bombing altitudes at 10,000ft and 20,000ft. The guys at 10,000 are apparently quite vulnerable.

The Albacores that rebased to Palembang flew a sortie along with Fulmars and a pair of Aussie P-40 escorts. The Albacores did so well the Fulmars didn't even attack. An ASW squadron was wiped out--a PB, and 2 SCs. That's only going to work once, the next will have a CAP.

China
I've pulled back a bomber squadron from the Chengchow frontline because replacement Hudsons are available at larger bases in the rear. The ongoing air battle over Chengchow claimed 2 P-40s, a 1 P-43, and 2 Zeroes.

Thailand
The enemy has reinforced the base opposite from Raheng, which is good news because it keeps them away from Bangkok. Our escort situation was a mess again, 4 Blenheims were shot down; the escorts that did fly with the bombers shot down a Nick.

Solomons
I sent my B-17s to Guadalcanal after hitting Rabaul uncontested for a few days. 10 Oscars were protecting Guadalcanal-they shot down 1 B-17 while the gunners shot down 2 Oscars. We lost another B-17 to flak from the base. We slightly damaged the airbase, but in the port we found a sub and hit it twice. Regretfully, the bombers reported that the damage to the sub wasn't all that bad.

Reinforcements and refits
SS Whale arrives at Mare Island - assigned to Dutch Harbor
TK Mobilube arrives at Cristobal
AMc Sanda arrives at Auckland
38th BG/405th BS arrives at Eastern USA - B-25s, unrestricted, full strength

DD Porter beginning refit in shipyard at Los Angeles
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Old 11-20-2021, 04:26 PM   #321
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25 July 1942
KB disappears again, Chengchow resists a major push


Malaya and Sumatra
We managed 10 aircraft on CAP over Singapore today, which were able to bag 6 Betties and a Nell that had few escorts. Later in the day, though, a major raid of over 90 Sallies with at least 20 Zeroes escorting were able to shoot down 2 Hurricanes without loss, both shootdowns claimed the lives of British aces. Most of the Sallies bombed from 20k and did little damage; one squadron bombed from 10,000, one of their planes was shot down by AA.

China
One Oscar was shot down over Chengchow--Boyington's 4th.

The enemy "death star" army at Chengchow (about 150,000 troops) attacked in force, reducing my fortifications to level 2. Casualties were 13138 to 7247, favoring us. I think we'll be able to hold in spite of the decreasing forts.

Thailand
We traded 2 Hurricanes for 2 Oscars. I'm going to stand down my bombers here for awhile, the missions here aren't worth losing planes over just yet. The B-25 squadron that was recently delivered to India is now in Rangoon, so when we resume bombing it should hurt. I've also got 2 Canadian fighter squadrons on their way here now that I have destroyers available to escort the ships from South Africa.

Hawaii
There's a major surface task force at Johnston, not sure what their deal is. No sign of the KB today, including aircraft sightings. I'm sending subs southeast of Kona to try to re-establish contact. Heavy bomber raids against Lahaina has resumed. A Kingfisher spotted an enemy sub and bombed it on the surface.

Reinforcements and Refits
AVP Pelican taken out of commission to begin refit at Suva
AVP Thrush taken out of commission to begin refit at Eureka
SS Porpoise taken out of commission to begin refit at Singapore
AM Advent arrives at Portland (converting into a subchaser along with one other)
3rd NZ Division arrives at Auckland (unrestricted corps HQ)
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Old 11-22-2021, 11:47 AM   #322
Molon Labe
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26 July 1942
So little happened here that I'm essentially skipping it. The one event of note is that my heavy bomber raid on Lahaina was intercepted by the KB's Zeroes. 5 Wildcats were shot down but the bombers got through.

27 July 1942
Another uneventful day.
S-31 torpedoed a cargo ship off Kona, Hawaii. KXV torpedoed another in the Celebes Sea, which was abandoned by its convoy, allowing KXV to finish it off as it burned. A pair of heavy cruisers bombarded Palembang and managed not to get attacked by my torpedo bombers and fighter-bombers. The KB moved south of Kona, prompting me to back off some troop reshuffling at Palmyra.

28 July 1942
Major air battles over Hawaii

Hawaii
A cargo convoy docked yesterday and dropped off 3 subchasers for Pearl. An enemy sub attempted to sneak into the harbor this morning but was spotted by a destroyer-escort from the convoy. Despite numerous damaging depth charge near-misses, the sub got away. A Kingfisher bombed another sub near Pearl.

Knowing the KB was lending its CAP to protect Lahaina, I had VF-5 perform a high-altitude sweep. They hammered the initial CAP but got sucked into a longer fight as the enemy scrambled more fighters, which stopped the hemorrhaging for the enemy. Losses here were 13 Zeroes to 4 Wildcats. A few B-17s went after the carriers next. The enemy CAP was somewhat depleted and failed to stop any of the bombers. But AA got two, and unsurprisingly, the Shokaku and Zuikaku were able to avoid being hit. After that, the rest of the heavy bombers, and one squadron of B-26s, hit Lahaina with Wildcat escorts. We lost 5 Wildcats to their 3 Zeroes and many Zeroes got through to the bombers. The heavies were a meat grinder for the Zeroes; one of the kills was by the bombers and many more Zeroes were damaged without bringing down any of the heavies. The B-26s were much more vulnerable though--we lost 5.

The enemy launched some small strikes of its own going after my new subchasers. Wildcats took down 2 Zeroes, 7 Kates, and 2 Vals in at least 3 different raids. Five of those kills were all by one guy, a rookie on his 2nd sortie ever and my newest Ace-in-a Day (FO Pond, Z.A. of VMF-223). But 6 Vals got through in the last raid, and 3 of them found their marks, 1 for each subchaser. So that was a really short career for them.

Malaya and Thailand
I now have a strong army sitting outside Bangkok, the enemy has responded by rebasing bombers to attack them. Which is a problem, because of losing Tavoy--I have the fighters to protect them, but they're flying too far to have sufficient loiter time. His armies from Tavoy are moving to cut off my army, so I'm going to let him, then double back and defeat that blocker army. By then I'll have other forces closing in on Tavoy and we should be back on track.

I few my recon B-25 variant from China to Singapore to snoop Johore Bahru. That flight, combined with SIGINT reports, leads me to believe that the overwhelming number of troops there are support troops with very little actual infantry. Depending on the level of fortifications there, this could be a paper tiger. There are significant resource producing sites there, so if I were to take it, those resources would end up in Singapore's factories and be converted to the supply I need to survive the siege. And with the bombers having other things to do up at Bangkok, the time to make a move here may be coming.
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Old 11-23-2021, 12:05 PM   #323
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29 July 1942
IJN Ise torpedoed transiting the Celebes Sea without escorts

Celebes Sea
The KXVIII spotted the battleship Ise entering the Celebes Sea unescorted near Tarakan. It hit it with 3 of 6 torpedoes, leaving it crippled and burning. I'm a bit annoyed with the AI, because there's just no reason not to administer a submerged coup de grace here, but the sub just slipped away without ever being spotted. I think it's likely we've seen the last of the Ise, though--the closest shipyard that can handle her is probably Hong Kong, and I doubt she'd survive the trip. So she'll probably end up sheltering at Tarakan and spend the rest of the war there.

As for why a capital ship with no ASW capability is passing through a choke point that my submarines have been patrolling continuously for months? Your guess is as good as mine.

Sumatra and Malaya
Raids on Singapore are getting no one to play with as I'm saving supply by not putting a CAP up. The enemy bombers just aren't doing that much anyway--and a lot of them are headed to Bangkok now. At Palembang, we lost 2 Mohawks and a P-40 in exchange for 2 Betties and 5 Sallies.

Thailand
My armies are still being hit by enemy bombers near Bangkok as my fighters have insufficient loiter time that far from base. We lost one Hurricane trying to protect them, and the enemy lost 2 Nicks to AA.

Hawaii
The KB intercepted another flight of bombers hitting Lahaina. We lost 6 Wildcats, with the bombers getting through. The KB then hit Pearl with a small airstrike, targeting ships in port. We lost one more Wildcat there, while shooting down a Zero, 4 Vals, and 4 Kates--that was all the attack aircraft sent. Once again, 5 of these kills were all one by one guy (MAJ Smith, J.L. of VMF-223), so we've had a new Ace-in-a-Day on two consecutive days.

Both of these new aces are still flying Buffalos. These were the guys strafing the landing barges before the KB appeared, they're now flying CAP at a lower altitude than the Wildcats. So I think the reason they're getting these kills is they're slipping in underneath the furball and getting to the Kates.

My bombers are getting shot up pretty badly, so I'm going to rest them for a bit.

Reinforcements and withdrawals
507th Coast AA Regiment arrives at Los Angeles (unrestricted, about half strength)

HMS Indomitable has withdrawn from this theatre to participate in the war in the European theatre.
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Old 11-23-2021, 01:08 PM   #324
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The Dutch submarine service strikes again.



And the aircraft losses the KB has sustained throughout your game are quite high by now. As your opponent has used the KB as an offensive tool most of his lost planes should also mean a lost pilot. Or can a substantial amount of these pilots be saved?
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Old 11-23-2021, 01:15 PM   #325
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30 July 2021
Kido Butai fighter squadrons significantly degraded

Celebes Sea
An ASW group guarding the sea lanes around the southeast coast of Mindanao was spotted by the KXV, which put a torpedo into a PB, sinking it. Another PB in the squadron attacked the KXV, but its depth charges couldn't reach it.

E. Australia
Minesweepers on ASW duty spotted an enemy sub and lightly damaged it with depth charges before it escaped.

China
The air campaign for Chengchow cost us a P-40 and 3 medium bombers, the enemy lost 3 light bombers. I'm resting my bombers again while I try to lock the skies down. I have a squadron of Chinese P-40s (aircraft left by the AVG when they withdrew) that's just about ready to come over here, my pilots just need to increase their defensive skill slightly before I trust them not to waste these aircraft.

Sumatra
Palembang's Fulmars attacked a PB on ASW patrol, scoring 11 hits with 250lb, bombs along with several strafing runs because overkill is cool. We traded one Hurricane for a Sally over Palembang itself.

About 3 divisions and change are now besieging Palembang.

Thailand
We downed one Zero that was protecting the bombers hitting our troops near Bangkok, AA took down 2 Betties and a Sally. But the bombers are getting through and doing significant damage. I should have these troops in better terrain in a few more days, but the buildup of airpower in Bangkok continues.

A bit off the coast, our Catalinas have spotted 3 ships, 2 of which were classified as destroyers. They look like they're going to head past Port Blair. They're walking right into the British CVs.

Hawaii
Apparently displeased with the result of their small raid yesterday, the KB hit Pearl/Hickam with a major strike today: 43 Zeroes, 32 Kates, 49 Vals. We were completely focused on defense with our bombers resting and got 28 Wildcats and a Buffalo up to resist them. The aerial battle was very much in our favor: 11 Zeroes down with no losses. But we didn't get to the bombers:

xAK Wind Rush, Bomb hits 1, on fire
SS Thresher, Bomb hits 1, heavy damage
xAK Admiral Laws, Bomb hits 1, on fire
xAK Lewis Luckenbach, Bomb hits 1, on fire
AA downed 9 Vals.
It looks like all these ships will survive.

The KB's air losses during the week+ it's been deployed here are accumulating. I'm counting 35 Zeroes down--and with a standard complement of 18 on all these carriers, that effectively means the KB has the fighter strength of 3 carriers instead of 5--assuming it can't resupply from Lahaina (we'll have an answer to that soon). In my mind, that means it's time to withdraw the KB, or he could end up with his 60 remaining Zeroes fighting 3x36 Wildcats from the Lex, Sara, and Wasp, plus another 30 or so from Hickam--that's 138 total. In reality, my carriers aren't here to capitalize on this: Wasp is playing aircraft ferry and is about to deliver more Wildcats to Hickam, along with a depleted VB-5. Sara and Lex are getting some maintenance after running from the area at high speed from when I lost track of the KB. But he doesn't know that. It'll be interesting to see just how desperate he is to evacuate these troops--is it really worth risking losing carriers?

EDIT: Ostfriese, I love that you were asking about the KB's air losses as I was reporting on them! About pilot losses, it's hard to estimate how many pilots he's losing because some fraction of them bail out, and some fraction of them are rescued. I'm fairly sure the game balances the odds of rescue based on whether the bailout was near friendly or enemy units. Here, we both have two major bases, Pearl and Lahaina, dueling each other in very close proximity. The pilots are being shot down over both. My take on this is that he was already hurting for quality pilots before this deployment, as there have been prior fights where KB Zeroes have gotten their asses handed to them by highly-trained USMC Wildcat pilots. And in this ongoing fight, we've won a couple rounds and lost one as well--so I think there's probably a significant difference in pilot quality from squadron to squadron as it stands right now. All of the USMC and USN pilots I'm bringing to this fight are what I consider "fully trained", an air skill of at least 70 and a strafing skill of at least 60 (strafing isn't that important, but having a secondary skill helps the Defensive skill grow more quickly). The days of him taking advantage of subpar American pilots are over.
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Old 11-24-2021, 01:22 PM   #326
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31 July 1942
Carrier battle in Bay of Bengal leaves IJN Hiyo crippled--KB remains at Lahaina despite severely degraded fighter squadrons

Hawaii
The S-32 took a shot at the seaplane carrier Nissin as it approached Lahaina and missed. I don't normally report failed sub attacks, but in this case, this task force appears to be an amphibious transport group to evacuate the remaining troops on Lahaina. Which means the enemy's operation here will probably conclude within the next 2 days. More on this later.

The KB launched another raid on Pearl, but it was a high level bombing attack from 25,000 feet and did little damage. The destroyer-escort that hit the enemy sub a few days ago was damaged. At the cost of 2 Wildcats, our CAP shot down 4 Zeroes, 4 Kates, and 4 Vals.

The KB did not leave after this. So, it appears he's committed to this evacuation. I've decided to raise the stakes. I'm giving replacement aircraft to the USMC dive bomber squadron that was wiped out about a week ago. I'm also transferring another USMC dive bomber squadron from Palmyra--yes, now that it's mine again, some of my planes have the range to fly from Pearl to my southern holdings. Wasp is about a day away--I was just going to drop off USMC Wildcats and a weakened USN dive bomber squadron. But I'm actually doing to drop off the Wasp's own fighters and one of its bomber squadrons. So, unless his two battleships blow the hell out of Hickam (which they probably would have done already if they were going to), within 2 days, I should have 3 operational SBD squadrons, 1 TBF squadron, and 50 more Wildcats to add to the number of operational fighters there (currently about 40). To try to slow him down from leaving, my heavy bombers are hitting the port at Lahaina tomorrow and my medium bombers are going to the port at Hilo (SIGINT reported enemy tanks being loaded there), unescorted. I'll take losses, but the heavy bombers are going to wear down his fighters even more. My fighters will all be on CAP to try to prevent him from bombing my attack squadrons on the ground while I'm preparing to hit him.

I've warned him that hanging out around my bases like they aren't a threat is going to cost him someday. Let it be now.

Lex and Sara are back at sea, but I expect they'll be late for this party.

Sumatra and Malaya
We lost a P-40 and a Hurricane over Palembang. At Singapore, recon is notes a significant decrease in the enemy troop presence at Johore. Wouldn't it be nice if that was the infantry regiment moving out? Hard to confirm who unless we're able to spot them around Bangkok in another day or two.

Bay of Bengal
So those "3 ships, 2 classified as destroyers" was actually the Hiyo CVBG. They tried to strike first, sending 19 Vals after my Brit CVBG unescorted. 9 of them turned around when they saw my CAP of 31 Martlets (Wildcats) waiting for them. The other 10 were wiped out.

Our strike wasn't that great. One torpedo bomber squadron somehow lost its escort despite taking off from the same ship. They'd arrive late with no fighter cover. The first wave was 6 Albacores and 6 Swordfish with 4 Martlets escorting. There were 19 Zeroes on CAP, which shot down 3 of the Marlets and moved on to the bombers, shooting down 5 of the 6 Swordfish before they got to the ships. Flak got another 2 Albacores on approach, leaving 1 Swordfish and 4 Albacores to actually attack. That was enough for the Albacores to perform an anvil attack on the battleship Hiei, which took one of the two torpedoes fired at its side. The surviving Swordfish went after the Hiyo and missed.

While the enemy CAP was fixated on that raid, my 6 remaining Albacores arrived unescorted. The CAP failed to react in time. 1 Albacore was shot down by flak on approach, and the remaining 5 managed to score 2 hits on the Hiyo. There were no secondary explosions, fires, or any other overt signs of severe damage. But the Hiyo is a converted ocean liner--I'm fairly confident that 2 torpedo hits is enough to remove it from the fight.



I don't want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory here--Bangkok is very close, and if my CVBG gets much closer it will be facing torpedo-armed Betties with Zero escorts. So I'm only moving in a little--if the Hiyo is crippled badly enough to still be in range, I'll hit her again. But I won't chase her into Bangkok's protective umbrella.

Reinforcements
No.24 Sqn RAAF Det arrives at Sydney - 6 P-39s
USMC AirFMFPac arrives at San Diego - unrestricted air HQ
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Old 11-25-2021, 12:07 PM   #327
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1 August 1942
Enemy departs Lahaina under cover of night

Thailand
More enemy bombers hitting my troops meant to take Bangkok. I'm starting to worry I've compromised any chance of success here by not retaking Tavoy first.

Sumatra
The two heavy cruisers came back to shell Palembang. I had attack aircraft with naval attack orders, but the enemy got beyond my range restriction (to prevent my aircraft from trying to attack a bastion with dozens of fighters) before the flight could be launched.

Hawaii
My bombers hit Lahaina and Hilo with minimal resistance. There were a few Zeroes at Hilo, resulting in the loss of 2 B-26s. There were no transports left at either base, apparently they took off overnight and didn't even have the courtesy to wave goodbye to the many subs that were waiting for them. As a consolation prize, the submarine I-124 was docked at Lahaina for repairs and got bukaked by the B-17s overhead for a confirmed kill.

Bay of Bengal
Paratroopers are seizing the Andaman Islands that don't have British forces guarding them (the only island guarded is Port Blair).

Catalinas picked up the retreating Hiyo CVBG just beyond my CVBG's strike range. It's going to get away. Maybe my goalkeeper sub off Hong Kong will get a shot at it in a week when it limps in.

Reinforcements and Repairs
DD Laffey beginning refit in shipyard at San Francisco
SS Porpoise begins refit while under repair at Singapore (external torpedo tubes)
SC-704 arrives at Eastern USA
AM Tui arrives at Auckland
XXXIII Indian Corps arrives at Madras (corps HQ, unrestricted)

The Bristol class destroyers are now due for a major upgrade--40mm Bofors guns and additional K-guns to throw depth charges. After this, their AA capability will be close to what some heavy cruisers were at the start of the war. Most of this class are currently with my carriers, swapping them out to get their upgrades will be a high priority.
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:24 AM   #328
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2 August 1942
Chengchow holds off another major attack, major enemy bomber losses in Sumatra

Thailand
We downed a Zero and a Sally going after our troops near Bangkok, but they're still getting through and doing damage.

Near Raheng, we've crossed the river to the east and taken the minor base of Uttaradit so that we can take Pisanouke without having to cross the river under fire. Taking Pisanouke will help keep our troops attacking Bangkok supplied.

I'm starting to wonder if it would be practical to bypass Bangkok and just start working my way down the Malayan peninsula. If I can take and hold Victoria Point I have some prospect of keeping troops supplied to the south. From there, if I can take Georgetown I'd be close enough to Singapore to airlift supplies.



Sumatra
An air raid against forces just outside Palembang was intercepted by Hurricanes, along with raids on Palembang proper. Total losses were 4 Zeroes and 21 Sallies. Many of those Sallies arrived unescorted. The impact of relocating fighters to Bangkok is kicking in.

China
Raiding the enemy army at Chengchow cost me 3 P-43s. The army attacked in force, bringing our fortifications down to level 2, casualties 15818 to 5048 favoring us. Even with the forts coming down, the numbers don't look too good for him. And maybe he agrees--at least some of the enemy units are pulling out after the battle.

Hawaii
I resumed heavy bomber raids on Lahaina. The raid was resisted by 6 Zeroes--is the KB still lurking nearby? One Wildcat and one Zero down.

West Coast
A sub was detected near Seattle yesterday by ASW aircraft. Today, one of three ASW task forces found the sub and attacked, but missed. Sub activity off the west coast is rare so far.

Reinforcements and refits
BB Nevada beginning refit in shipyard at San Francisco (AA upgrade, 40mm Befors replacing 1.1" AA mounts)
DD Woodworth beginning refit in shipyard at San Francisco (Bristol class; Bofors+Kguns)
AMc Scarba arrives at Auckland
2/215th Bty 80th AT Gun Regiment arrives at Aden (unrestricted, empty unit -- but plenty of AT guns in the pool to fill this out)
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Old 11-26-2021, 03:08 PM   #329
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3 August 1942
No, don't be more aggressive! USS Pollack severely damaged off Johnston

CENTPAC
Overnight at Johnston, the USS Pollack got caught snooping around for transports and suffered serious damaged in a shallow water depth charge attack. The CO didn't think it was all that bad and stayed on station. So, it was located and attacked again in the afternoon. It's a miracle it wasn't sunk then and there. Even after the 2nd attack, the CO kept the boat on station and I had to manually order it to return to Pearl. Between the flooding and engine damage it will probably take about 10 days to make the short trip--if it makes it at all, which is unlikely.

Luzon Strait
USS Searaven encountered two cargo ships in the shallows near Bataan Island. It failed to get any detonating Mk14 hits and didn't want to close to engage with its gun. But, the important result is that it looks like the enemy is hugging the coasts of the small islands to try to avoid my blue-water sub patrols. The Searaven was assigned here to see if that was the case, so I'm going to adjust a few more patrol areas to try to catch them leaving the coastlines--maybe plant a few minefields, too.

Sumatra
Another great day for the Brit & Kiwi pilots defending Palembang -- they got 6 Zeroes and 12 Sallies with just 2 Hurricanes shot down. AA added another 3 Sallies. The Sallies are getting lower and more accurate though, we lost 4 planes on the ground from the bombing.

The enemy army attacked Palembang, bringing forts down to level 3, casualties 4454 to 1614 favoring me. Short of receiving major reinforcements, he can't win this way, a starving us out is his only hope and that could take months.

Hawaii
A Kingfisher bombed an any sub near Pearl. Pearl is inside a soft blockade right now, it looks like there are about 10 enemy subs playing hide and seek with my patrol aircraft. It's a shame the KB destroyed those 3 subchasers a few days ago. But, my ASW pilot training is paying off, I've assigned some of my best to the Kingfishers and Catalinas here and they're getting results.

Reinforcements and Refits
AM Starling arrives at Alameda
No.457 Sqn RAF arrives at Melbourne - 2 Spitfire prototypes - it's going to be awhile before these go into production for us to fill out the squadron.
19th Canadian Brigade arrives at Vancouver (restricted)

Vengeance dive bombers are now in production for the UK. I should have enough to fill a squadron before the end of the month.

Strategic Outlook
I'm starting to feel pretty optimistic that we might have turned the tide. The enemy's withdrawal from Hawaii was a huge defeat for them, and it looks like it cost them 2 divisions of troops. They're "getting back" 3 divisions from this operation, but they've lost so much ground by having them here for the war so far, they should have had Singapore and Palembang months ago.

Help may be on the way for Singapore, but I still don't know if I can actually take Bangkok to make that possible, and the troops pulled out of CENTPAC might be headed here to assure a Japanese victory in Malaya. I still think my best chance to hold Singapore is to have my armies try to break out. I'm just trying to give them a little time to plan since that river crossing is going to result in disorganization and high casualties.

I enjoyed taking Palmyra back so much I'll probably keep doing that all over CENTPAC. What I'd like to do is assign a bunch of subs to be tattletails and send them out in front of two sets of islands at a time. The KB will probably only respond to one invasion at a time, so when the subs spot them (or start getting overflown by Kates) we pull that invasion back, so hopefully 1 out of the 2 succeeds for each iteration. It's even possible we might be able to bait enemy carriers into a losing battle. I don't think any of them have had their June upgrades yet--Akagi is probably getting its upgrade now while it's under repair--but that's 3 weeks of downtime for the rest of them. So he either keeps putting that off or has to reduce the size of the KB to cycle them through. Combine that with his pilot quality dropping off and I may get an opportunity.

I can't help but notice that I'm not seeing a whole lot of naval activity from him. Other than the evacuation of Hawaii, it's really just been the brief CVBG deployment to the Bay of Bengal and a few ASW patrols. Maybe the lack of fuel is finally catching up with him? If my adjusted sub patrols start finding tanker routes that he's been able to get away with using, then at least we'll know he's been able to get some benefit from taking Borneo and Java. But so far, I'm maintaining constant sub presence near the oil ports, near Japan, and in all the choke points in between, and I'm only rarely spotting tankers, so for now it looks like my subs are deterring him from attempting to transport fuel/oil. I just had an evil thought--if he's not using his tankers, there's a good chance they're just sitting in ports in China or Indochina. His fighters are stretched thin at the moment so those ports might not have a lot of protection, and most of those bases are within range heavy bombers--if I deploy the heavies there. So maybe I'll do that.

China is looking like a complete stalemate right now.
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:07 PM   #330
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4 August 1942
USS Jarvis sunk off Pearl by submarine

Hawaii
I have 2 convoys arriving, the first is a supply convoy that includes ammunition ships and subchasers that will stay at Pearl. The second is a group of mine tenders. I sent out the only two operational ASW ships at Pearl to try to clear a path for them, a destroyer and a minesweeper. The destroyer Jarvis encountered two enemy subs, the first took a shot at it, missed, and got away. The second scored a fatal torpedo hit on Jarvis. The minesweeper moved in to try to find the responsible sub but never found it.

Kingfishers scored two hits on subs near Pearl later in the day. The first convoy arrived safely. The minesweeper and the two subchasers that arrived with the convoy are going to go out and meet the second convoy to try to bring it through safely.

There is a relatively large surface combat task force loitering near Johnston. I think this is a covering force for the evacuation there. I'm going to send some B-24s to Johnston to try to bomb the ships being loaded; I expect there will be some resistance by fighters but it's worth the risk. There's no sign of enemy carriers anymore, so I might send Lex and Sara after them if the enemy takes his time.

Sumatra
We traded a Hurricane and 2 P-40s for 2 Zeroes. Additional enemy forces are about to cross a bridge to reach Palembang. I don't know why they're taking this risk--all the other troops there took the long way around to avoid this. But we may have a bloodbath on our hands here in a few days.

Thailand
An infantry brigade has caught up with the armor I've had advancing on Tavoy, they'll assault it together in another two days or so. This should leave the enemy units that were moving into the mountains from there trapped between two of my armies that outclass it. Enemy bombers continued to harass my main Bangkok force, but now that we're in the mountains the damage is far less than it used to be. Our long-range CAP took down four Sallies--our fighters are closer now that the troops have pulled back a little so they're doing better.

To the north, it looks like Pisanuoke has a Royal Thai Army division guarding it. These aren't nearly as strong as Japanese divisions, so I'm willing to keep going in. There's another unit in the mountains that's coming down to block the road to Raheng again, I expect the reinforcements I have already headed to Raheng will be more than a match for these guys that have been cut off from supply for months, so at least for now I'm not concerned about it. In any case, I already have airlift operations working to keep Raheng supplied.

China
At the cost of about 100 political points, I pulled the American B-25 squadron off the front lines and transitioned them to B-24s to go through with my plan of probing enemy ports for tanker fleets. One thing I hadn't considered is the atrocious service rating of the B-24, though. The time estimate to get all aircraft ready is currently at 20 days! With that much delay, I might hold off on this mission. The 90th Bomber Group is arriving on the east coast over the next 6-25 days. Based on how close the Canadian fighters are to arriving in India (departed Canada 7/25) I'd say ~20 days is about right if I was going to ship the 90th to China via India. So if I'm willing to be patient, I might be able to hit multiple ports simultaneously instead of taking them one at a time and letting him pick up on the pattern.

Reinforcements and Refits
SC-709 arrives at Balboa
AMc Killegray arrives at Auckland
SS S-35 begins refit while under repair at Brisbane (long overdue 4/1942 radar installation)
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