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Old 12-12-2021, 01:50 PM   #361
Molon Labe
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27 August 1942
Johnston Island recaptured easily

Japan
USS Growler attacked an unescorted cargo ship off the coast of Kyushu at night with a submerged torpedo attack, but failed to to score any (detonating) hits. It then surfaced, firing multiple torpedo salvoes and exchanging gunfire; eventually two Mk14s detonated and sent the ship to the bottom.

CENTPAC
Starting with a bombardment mission by the Arizona and New Mexico, our amphibious operation against Johnston began and the 21st Marines came ashore. Resistance was minimal and the atoll was secured by the end of the day.

Sumatra
The daily bombing of Palembang continued, but with fewer fighters than normal today. Our CAP managed to get 3 Sallies and a Zero.

Thailand
Same situation. Losses: 3 Zeroes, 1 Oscar; 3 Hurricanes, 2 Blenheims, 1 Hudson, 2 B-25s.

New Hebrides
Very surprisingly, there were 5 Zeroes on CAP over Luganville to greet my daily raid. I had nearly 40 fighters escorting, so the bombers weren't in danger, but the Zeroes did get 3 P-39s while only losing 1 of their own. Luganville does not have an airbase and I don't see any task forces nearby, my best guess is these guys flew all the way from Guadalcanal.

China
Another attack at Chengchow. Casualties 11000 to 5500 favoring us. Madness.

It turns out I didn't actually surround and trap that end-around force because I didn't enter its hex on the same hexside it entered from. So they were allowed to retreat. I still spanked them, though, 2666 casualties to 577.
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Old 12-12-2021, 02:23 PM   #362
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28 August 1942
KB spotted at Shortlands, enemy destroyer squadron raids Rangoon

CENTPAC
We had destroyer-minesweepers in both the bombardment group and the amphibious landing group at Johnston--mines were detected yesterday, fortunately, before anyone had a chance to hit one. The DMSs split off and formed their own minesweeping task force and cleared everything out.

Canton's not going nearly as well. We're just trying to get our boys organized on the beach right now. The enemy has two SNLF units here, which is about equal to our regiment. We can't overcome their forts with numbers like this. Fortunately, with the KB being sighted on other business, I should be able to reinforce and support this operation.

Burma and Thailand
A group of 6 destroyers entered the Rangoon harbor area, shooting up 2 groups of small ASW boats and 2 coastal minesweepers on the way in. They shelled the airbase from the harbor and destroyed 3 planes on the ground, with dozens more damaged.

I doubt it would matter as these shellings just about always happen at night and the offending party disappears by daybreak, but one of my british bomber squadrons here has transitioned to Vengeance dive bombers. We don't have enough naval attack qualified bomber pilots to field the unit just yet, but we're getting close.

The reinforced enemy attacked at Tavoy, but our army held them off, casualties 1436 to 333 favoring us. Big mistake, but we didn't quite inflict enough casualties that I would expect a counterattack to succeed.

Across the Bay near Colombo, a Catalina bombed an enemy submarine trying to slip into our sea lanes.

Sumatra
We managed to get 3 Albacores flying and sent them to Ooshaven, where they torpedoed a cargo ship loaded with fuel. It burned nice, but the Albacores made a one-way trip as Oscars jumped on them as they came off target.

Solomons
The KB and a second task force including heavy cruisers was spotted at the Shortlands. At least they're not going to Canton Island (I'll let Halsey celebrate that fact with an airstrike). Based on the pattern that seems to be emerging here, I think this is probably another evacuation being covered, which means there's an opportunity to hit ships loading troops in port. This is too far away from Milne for dive or torpedo bombers, but I have Hudsons and Fortresses that could make the trip. Before I do that, though, I'm going to probe their defenses with the only fighters I have that can make that trip--a full squadron of 25 P-38s from Milne. If that goes well I'll let them escort the bombers the next day.

Malaya
I'm doing it. The key infantry units for the assault on Johore are only starting to feel the pinch of the supply shortage. And he's clearly desperate for troops all over. I can't confirm that there's more than one actual combat unit on the other side of the channel. And I really don't think I have that much to lose. If the attack fails, it probably alerts him to the fact that Singapore is more vulnerable than he realized, but he might not even have the troops available to exploit that fact. So, better for my men to fight now, while they still have some fight in them. Beats letting them starve and surrendering to the first guy that holds out a loaf of bread to them.

Reinforcements and refits
DM Montgomery beginning refit in shipyard at Sydney
SC PC-579 arrives at Portland
No.41 Sqn RAAF arrives at Townsville (restricted, 6/6 Catalinas)
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Old 12-13-2021, 09:33 AM   #363
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29 August 1942


South China Sea
A coastal minesweeper--probably Miri/Brunei's--is attending to the minefield I left in the shallows leading to the Philippines. It spotted the O20 there and briefly engaged it unsuccessfully.

Bay of Bengal
HMS Ramillies is about to arrive in Colombo after being repaired at Cape Town. It was intercepted by a submarine, but the two destroyers escorting it home spotted the sub and depth charged it for moderate damage.

Burma and Thailand
We swept Tavoy hard today, but most flights had no joy as most of the enemy fighters were in the next hex over guarding Bangkok's armies and couldn't be baited to react. Overall losses here: 2 Oscars, a Zero, 3 Hurricanes, 1 B-25.

Solomons
No joy for the P-38s, the KB was long gone.

China
We shot down 5 Zeroes while losing only 2 P-40s over Chengchow.

Reinforcements
90th BG/320th BS arrives at Eastern USA (this is the last of the 90th BG, Liberators I'm shipping to China)
G/H Battery Heavy Coastal Artillery Regiment arrives at Sydney
73rd Motorised Brigade arrives at Madras
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Old 12-13-2021, 12:24 PM   #364
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30 August 1942
Is it too early to have a Turkey Shoot?

Burma and Thailand
A heavy cruiser led task force shelled Moulmein, where most of my fighters are based. The damage included a Hurricane destroyed on the ground, which would be the only Allied aircraft loss caused directly by enemy action today.

We adjusted our sweeps from Tavoy to the armies in the mountain pass leading to Bangkok. We shot down 16 Zeroes with no losses.

The enemy attacked Moulmein -- we shot down 3 Zeroes and 6 (of 9) Vals with no losses. Flak got another Val. This was the first sighting of the D3A2 version of the Val, which in my opinion is a downgrade due to reduced range. It is significantly faster than the A1, though, so in theory more survivable. 8/1942 is its normal arrival date, so it does not appear Japan invested significant R&D into this.

The enemy attempted paratrooper attacks at three bases around Rangoon, two of which were unoccupied and he was able to take. The third was Moulmein, the enemy was wiped out there and 4 of the aircraft were shot down. I don't think the enemy landed in numbers significant enough to pose a problem (just a couple hundred so far, maybe more arriving tomorrow). One of the bases is completely insignificant; the other severs my supply line to the south but it's not like I can't just take it back. I think he's hoping I've committed so much to Thailand that my defenses here are poor. They're not.

CENTPAC
Halsey shelled Canton with his heavy cruisers and a few destroyers, and launched an airstrike from the Lexington; each caused heavy casualties on the ground, effectively neutralizing one of the two SNFL units guarding Canton. This more or less eliminates any immediate risk of my Marines being overrun on the beach. It doesn't get us to the point where we can win yet.

With the KB leaving Shortlands yesterday, it could be here in as little as 2 days. Consistent with that, SIGINT intercepted transmissions right on the edge of a PBY search area east of the Solomons, right where we'd expect the KB to be if it was headed east. I'm going to give Halsey one more day of playtime and then it's GTFO. The heavy task force supporting Canton has rearmed and is also heading back to shell them again, but they'll be cutting it close. I also have marine regiments available in Pago and Johnston that I can send here to put us over the top, but they'll be holding off until I can be confident they won't be sunk at sea.

I'm putting one sub on the likely direct route east if that is the KB, several more are in the area trying to act as tripwires.

South China Sea
The O20 sank the minesweeper that attacked it yesterday. I guess I'll have to put more mines here, pretty win-win if they're going to send minesweepers here to die.

Japan
USS Swordfish was bombed by an ASW aircraft in the Okinawa-Kyushu gap. This is further out than the enemy has previously had any aerial success and may signal the end of one of our most lucrative patrol areas. Swordfish is RTB for repairs.

Malaya
Tomorrow...

EDIT: Sumatra
In response to an opponent inquiry, I've calculated the time until Palembang hits 0 supplies: 49 days, October 19th. I'm just telling him "substantially less than 3 months" since 3 months is what he said would cause him to quit the campaign.

Refits, Repairs
Ramilies has been delivered safely to Colombo, the destroyers that brought it in are turning around and bringing Revenge to Cape Town, doglegging north to avoid the enemy sub presence.

SS Skipjack taken out of commission to begin refit at Dutch Harbor
-----------------------

Aircraft losses:
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Old 12-13-2021, 02:26 PM   #365
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5,774 lost aircraft? That's more than the Japanese historically produced in all of 1941 (5,088). Insane.
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Old 12-13-2021, 04:28 PM   #366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostfriese View Post
5,774 lost aircraft? That's more than the Japanese historically produced in all of 1941 (5,088). Insane.
That daily drip, drip, drip of a few fighters a day in the major air campaigns adds up.

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Old 12-14-2021, 12:45 PM   #367
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I'm just stunned by the number. In nine months your opponent has wasted a year of aircraft production, and that was in an advantageous position. How bad will this become once your aircraft get better and far more numerous?
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Old 12-14-2021, 01:40 PM   #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostfriese View Post
I'm just stunned by the number. In nine months your opponent has wasted a year of aircraft production, and that was in an advantageous position. How bad will this become once your aircraft get better and far more numerous?
I'm trying to have a conversation with him about that--pilot training specifically. He hasn't given me a lot of numbers, but he mentioned an experience level for at least some of his squadrons in Thailand was about equal to the Canadian pilots that just got there. That's surprisingly low considering those squadrons should be veterans of the campaigns in Malaya or Luzon. But he hasn't answered me about pilot skills, which is more relevant to training (experience is more from actual combat).

I'd like to at least confirm that he has some sort of system in place for pilot training, where he's using his rear echelon squadrons to train up his pilots before sending them to the frontline. Not doing that could explain what we're seeing, and if he isn't doing that, then I'm being given a major advantage that I shouldn't have. My inexperience is coming into play here, never having played Japan against a human, I'm not entirely sure what pilot attrition rates should look like. When I played against the AI, by this part of the war I had no issues having enough qualified replacement Army pilots, while the Navy was under enough pressure that I would occasionally have under-qualified pilots in lower-priority theaters. For example, the carriers would all get first priority, any land bases actively in an air campaign would be next, but the guys in bases assigned to escort Betties in places were I'm just trying to lock down sea lanes might get pilots that I would like to have trained a bit more, but are still competent to fly the mission.

This is what pilot training should look like, per a common strategy guide. I don't follow it exactly, but I'm not far off.
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Old 12-14-2021, 07:07 PM   #369
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31 August 1942
KB confirmed closing on Canton Island invasion, British forces at Singapore making last stand, S-19 on eternal patrol

Philippines
We had Dutch subs attacked off the southern Phillipines as well as the western approach, both in shallow waters. They escaped damage, but I'm concerned about possible attrition due to the shallow water routes.

Thailand and Burma
Another bad day for the enemy in the air. 6 Zeroes down with no losses here. In fact, no Allied aircraft would be shot down or destroyed on the field anywhere today. Except maybe over Germany.

Sumatra
No enemy fighters escorting their bombers today. We got a single Mohawk in the air and shot down a Sally with it. Flak got two more

CENTPAC
PBYs picked up the KB (technically, they reported at least 2 CVs and 2 BBs) headed east south of the Gilberts - closer than we expected. If they move at flank speed they can be on the east side of Canton Island by day's end tomorrow. Halsey bombed Canton one last time and began moving out of the area automatically, I supplemented that with manual orders. I'm a little nervous because I didn't pay close attention to my CVBG's fuel state. It's not critical but I'd like to have more if we're going to get into an extended chase.

I'm evacuating Pago Pago since it's close enough to Canton that it could potentially be the target. Not likely, but still possible.

Solomons
The S-19 was bombed near Rennel Island, sustaining catastrophic damage. The sub sank almost immediately.

Malaya
As of this moment, we are all dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives.
The most capable and best equipped of the British garrison at Singapore has crossed the channel and entered Johore Baru. The good news is they weren't immediately wiped out, we secured a perimeter on the other side, and casualties were "only"1193 to 598 favoring the enemy. Also, the enemy appears to only have a single regiment of actual infantry here, consistent with prior intel, so at least before the battle started, our combat power was over four times theirs. The bad news is that the fortifications are Level 4, which should mean we need about 5-to-1 odds to overcome them outright, and our attack didn't knock any of that down at all, and the supply situation has rendered one of our brigades combat ineffective already.

I'll need a day or two to rest and reorganize before I can try again. Assuming our supplies are sufficient to allow another attempt, the next attack should be significantly stronger because I don't have the channel crossing to deal with. But the numbers just don't look good. At least the enemy regiment is probably not going to get reinforced--their most likely source of help would have been the guys that sallied out of Bangkok. They'd need to march back for a few days, and then pack for a few days, before being able to rail back to Johore.
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Old 12-15-2021, 10:22 PM   #370
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1 September 1942
KB has a shot at intercepting Halsey's CVBG

A fairly uneventful turn so I'll just mention a few points:

-The armies that crossed into Johore Baru aren't ready to fight again. Not looking good.
-I'm taking Port Blair a little too seriously. The airfield is too small to operate Betties out of without loadout restrictions.
-The KB blew right past Canton Island, it's clearly trying to find the CVBG that bombed Canton. Thanks to my fuel situation, I actually can't just get away--if he goes the right direction, he'll catch us. Scouts say its just 3 carriers but I don't believe them.
-We've got a ton of upgrades now available-Bofors guns for the Mahan class DDs, 20mm Oerlikons and deck guns for a lot of cargo ships, North Carolina's getting Bofors and radar upgrades.
-We're now getting two new P-40Ks every day. The K model is a substantial upgrade over the E models currently in service.
-Our first night fighters, P-70 Havocs, are in low rate production. We should be able to form a squadron next month.
-EDIT: there is also an enemy task force approaching Johnston, it's classified as smaller anti-submarine escorts (classifications are horribly unreliable in WITP). The heavy covering force for the operation here has already left to rearm--what's left is a task force delivering base forces and the original amphibious group gathering up the invading marines for other deployments. The transports are pulling out--the warships in company with the transports are going to intercept the task force to cover their retreat.
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Old 12-16-2021, 04:05 PM   #371
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2 September 1942
Lex and Sara's ASW patrol may have done more harm than good

Another slow turn so I'll do it by bullet points again

-We retook one of the two small bases near Rangoon that were taken by paratroopers. Further north, the one he failed to take he's landing more troops at, so that's my next defensive priority.
-In China, we moved an army to Amoy on the coast, opposite Taiwan. His forces there are small, we should be able to take it tomorrow.
-In Singapore, he's bombing our armies now too. I'm ordering another attack, but if it fails to reduce the forts significantly all hope to break out will be done for.
-The KB stayed near Canton and bombed our marines. Halsey's CVBG didn't quite make it as far as I'd hoped today. They're going to get some gas overnight from transports that were supposed to be delivering base forces to Canton, which should be enough to get the ships to their actual replenishment group during the day. But, Murphy had to show up. One of our Avengers on patrol spotted a sub, which means there's a decent chance the sub spotted the Avenger. If it did, and if he's looking at his reports closely enough, he can just send the KB to the sub and get an airstrike on me right around the time I'm hoping to be getting an UNREP.
-Intel reported the Nissin Maru, the tanker that hit a mine last week, didn't sink after all.
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Old 12-17-2021, 01:16 PM   #372
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3 September 1942
Lex and Sara replenished, Amoy liberated, Burma heating up?

SouthPAC
Well south of Fiji, an unescorted cargo ship was attacked by a surfaced enemy submarine, which scored two torpedo hits and sent it promptly to the bottom. I think this was probably a ship I put on a continuous resource delivery route from Fiji to New Zealand on December 8th and forgot about. It's a little weird that there is an enemy sub this far to the south here, there really isn't anything going on here.

Japan
USS Grunion made two attack attempts on an escorted resource convoy near Toyohara. It was driven off the first time, but the second time managed to hit an AKL with a detonating torpedo.

China
At Chengchow, Japan's problem with Navy pilots continued as an group of 3 Lancers took on a formation of 20 Zeroes and came away with 5 kills without losses. A 3 on 3 battle broke out later, with our P-43s coming away with 2 more kills without loss. In the afternoon, apparently better-trained Oscars showed up and took out 2 of our Lancers.

Also near Chengchow, we pursued the enemy end-around force and engaged them again. They retreated back to the east side of the river where they belong.

On the east coast, we succeeded in liberating Amoy.

An enemy army--not very large looking--is proceeding west towards a line of inland bases. We're harassing it with bombers but at this time I don't consider it a threat.

Burma and Thailand
The force that sallied from Bangkok tried to attack our army in the mountains and got absolutely spanked, 6703 to 163. I'm going to take advantage and counterattack, hopefully their disruption from this beatdown overcomes the terrain defensive bonus.

We routed yet another blocking force from the road to Raheng. They retreated to the east and I'm going after them.

Paratroopers are landing fairly far north now, all the way at Akyab, near India. I suppose I'll need to reinforce that area with troops from Madras. I'm essentially playing whack-a-mole with these landings all over. The fight at Toungoo (north along the rail line from Rangoon) is the most serious; we're both sending bombers up there to try to tip the scales. It'll be several days before reserve troops from Rangoon arrive.



Malaya
We gave Johore our best shot but were held off, taking 850 casualties and not putting a dent in their Level 4 forts. Going to have to accept the L on this one, they're ordered to pull back. I suppose Singapore will fall pretty shortly after now that they know how bad the supply situation is. Still, falling in September instead of February is pretty good.

CENTPAC
I had some good fortune today, as it appears the enemy did not spot the Avenger yesterday and the KB stayed near Canton. Halsey's CVBG is fully refueled and leaving the area. Hopefully the replenishment group and the transports are able to clear the area as well.

I suppose, if he wanted to, he could camp out at Canton and make sure I can't reinforce or resupply my marines. I think what I might do is organize some standby relief for them and then invade Midway. If he leaves, the relief will land and finish the job. If not I still get Midway. I just have to make sure the Midway force is big enough that it basically can't lose.

Reinforcements
SS Sunfish arrives at Mare Island
3rd FG/7th FS CAF arrives at Chungking (Vanguard fighters, going to be a training squadron for now because I don't have enough reserve Chinese pilots to use them on the front line-they'd just get killed and I'd lose good aircraft)
V US Bomber Cmnd arrives at Charters Towers (Air HQ - very valuable, these guys may end up in PM or Milne)
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Old 12-18-2021, 07:07 PM   #373
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4 September 1942
KB headed northwest, away from Canton Island and the Lex&Sara

Burma and Thailand
Moulmein was shelled by cruisers and destroyers again, but damage was minimal. We have a coastal artillery regiment here but they didn't hit anything. Bad news: these guys keep hitting at night and disappearing before the dive bombers can fly. Good news: if he wants to do real damage, he'll probably need the big guns, and most of them are slower.

We traded 2 fighters each fighting over mountains dividing Bangkok from Tavoy.

Our counterattack against Bangkok's army was successful. We drove them out of the mountains, causing 6763 casualties vs our 511. Sadly, it looks like Bangkok's been reinforced yet again, and in any case, if we tried to follow that army without taking Tavoy first we'd just get bombed again. So I don't think I can exploit this tactical victory beyond just bombing his troops now that they're in the open.


China
The enemy's doing better all of a sudden--we lost 4 P-40s and a P-43 over Chengchow and only shot down one Zero.

Intel says the Zero squadron operating over Chengchow is the Akagi's. Intel is still reporting the Akagi sunk, which I never took seriously, but if it's air group is all the way up here it's at least very seriously damaged.

CENTPAC
The KB was spotted northwest of Canton Island, after last appearing to the southeast--so it looks like they're headed home. They bombed Canton Island on their way out with Kates--damage was minor but disruption and fatigue for my marines remains very high.

I'm relatively sure the Lex and Sara are out of danger at this point, and the replenishment group and transports have put some distance between them and the threat as well.

One of the task forces evacuating Pago Pago was attacked by a sub, but it missed. Another sub really far south. Odd. I wonder if he's actually trying to look for my carriers behind the frontlines.

Reinforcements
CM Salem arrives at Balboa
TK Miralda arrives at Abadan
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Old 12-19-2021, 10:44 AM   #374
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5 Sept 1942
Enemy fighters break through escorts in China, major bomber losses

Sulu Sea
The KXII spotted a convoy of light cargo ships moving along the shallow water route to/from the Philippines. It hit one of of the ships and evaded the PB escort's counterattack. Troop casualties were reported.

CENTPAC
The KB detached 2 BB and 3 CA to bombard our troops on Canton Island. Disruption is severe, it feels like it's going to be forever before we can attack again. The cruisers in particular didn't appear to be in great condition--he's been running them fast and neglecting maintenance.

The KB itself appears to have moved to the nearby Ocean Island, perhaps to rendezvous with a tender to replenish its avgas.

Luzon Strait
USS Spearfish hit an enemy cargo ship with a torpedo for a likely kill.

China
At Chengchow, the reversal of fortunes in the air yielded a victory for the enemy. His Zeroes interdicted a raid of Hudsons, shooting down 1 P-40 and getting to the bomber formation in force, taking out 8 out of 12 of them. That squadron is standing down for awhile.

That army I spotted moving inland in the southeast appears to be headed to Canton (not to be confused with Canton Island).

Bay of Bengal
The new Vengeance dive bombers flew their first ever combat mission. 10 of them got lost and never arrived on target. 2 tried to attack the battleship Hyuga--they both missed; one was shot down by flak after it pulled out, the other crashed on the way home due to damage it sustained.

Sumatra
In spite of continuous air raids, a lot of the damage at Palembang's airbase has been repaired, enough that we got a few Albacores operational and sent them after a task force near Oosthaven. There were 16 Zeroes waiting for them (reportedly the Junyo's fighter squadron). One Albacore was shot down as they retreated.

Makassar Strait
The O16 scored a pair of torpedo hits on a cargo ship moving along the coast to/from Balikpapan (I wish the combat report have me a heading).

Reinforcements
VMF-123 arrives at San Diego (due to replenishing Yorktown and Hornet's fighter squadrons at Pearl, I have no planes to spare for these guys)
177th Construction Regiment arrives at Seattle
22nd USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme
E/F Battery Heavy Coastal Artillery Regiment arrives at Perth

I transitioned a half-strength squadron of P-40s at Port Moresby to a full-strength P-38 squadron. We've almost fully recovered from our losses from Port Moresby all the way east to Pago Pago (sustained in the KBs raids and the battle in the Coral Sea trying to save the Enterprise).

Current fighter production rates:
P-40K: 65 per month
P-40E: 35 per month
P-39D: 25 per month
P-38F: 40 per month
USAAF subtotal: 165 per month (5.5 per day)

F4F-4: 45 per month

Hurricane IIc: 36 per month
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Old 12-19-2021, 06:38 PM   #375
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6 Sept 1942

Thailand and Burma
A large surface task force with 3 battleships bombarded Moulmein, damage was surprisingly light but many aircraft were disabled.

He's got about 200 fighters hanging out in Bangkok now. Which leaves little in many other places.

More paratroops landed up the coast at Cox's Bazaar, the furthest west they've gone so far. Three transports were shot down.

Sumatra
Albacores attempted another attack, with Fulmars flying escort this time. The Zeroes didn't care, they got through the Fulmars and shot down 3 Albacores. But, the group was divided into 2 parts and the Zeroes didn't spot the second until after at attacked and scored a hit on a cargo ship.

CENTPAC
The KB is hanging out between Canton and Baker islands, and bombed Canton again. I've got subs headed to that area to try to get a lucky hit.

Reinforcements and Withdrawals
The damaged Tasker Bliss finally arrived at San Fransisco to be officially withdrawn, 19 days overdue. The other ship's going to be late too, it's due in 3 days and it's only in the Canton Island area.

SC-742 arrives at Balboa
Fifth USAAF arrives at Brisbane
223rd USN Base Force arrives at San Francisco
34th Australian Lt AA Regiment arrives at Sydney
26th Indian Mountain Gun Regiment arrives at Madras
268th Motorised Brigade arrives at Aden

The thought occurred to me that I've let the KB disrupt my logistics operations for too long. I'm going to resume troops movements to Australia, beginning immediately with a division and 2 regiments.
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