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Old 07-03-2022, 11:41 AM   #586
Molon Labe
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14 February 1943
Another Valentine's Day sees another IJN carrier burning




Banda Sea
The USS S-28 strikes again at Ambon, this time finding none other than the Kaga in harbor. It fired 4 torpedoes, hitting Kaga twice, leaving the ship fighting for her life. One really nice thing about the Kaga getting hit at Ambon is the port there isn't big enough to provide shelter from subs, so this crippled ship can probably be finished off if she stays there. And she'll probably sink and/or be attacked again if she tries to move.


Further south, a large fleet of destroyers, must have been at least 10 of them, approached Babar and drew a strike from Darwin. They maintained a CAP of 3 Zeroes from somewhere, which were enough to shoot down an escorting Wildcat before bugging out, costing them one of their Zeroes. The SBDs hit 3 destroyers and 1 APD. One of the destroyers and the APD are confirmed sunk, but I doubt any of these survive 1000lb SAP hits.


Japan
The US sub fleet was busy here too. USS Haddock sank a light cargo ship off Aogoshima with a torpedo hit, USS Runner torpedoed and sank a PB escorting cargo ships near Naha, and USS Saury sank a light cargo ship in a gun/torpedo night surface attack near Aogoshima.


Solomons and Coral Sea

A single enemy destroyer arrived at Shortlands, causing a supply convoy of mine to abort unloading and retreat. The destroyer didn't feel like engaging either.

3 Kates, probably from Rabaul, tried to interdict one of my supply convoys headed for Shortlands, but we had 8 P-38s overhead. All 3 were splashed.

An enemy sub approached a supply convoy in the Horn Island straight and was depth charged by an escorting minesweeper. I'm seeing so many subs here I don't think they're transiting anymore, I think they're patrolling here.


Burma
The Vengeance dive bomber squadron went after the Jintsu again, but this time there was a substantial CAP protecting it. We had 17 Hurricane escorts against 15 Zeroes and 20 Oscars. Each side lost a fighter (theirs was a Zero) but the Vengeances got torn up, 10 shot down between two sorties. 5 bombers made it to the target, but all missed.
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Old 07-03-2022, 02:08 PM   #587
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If you can't get the KB together you sink them one by one
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Old 07-05-2022, 12:33 PM   #588
Molon Labe
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15 February 1943
  • We damaged another enemy sub sneaking through the Horn Island strait
  • 4 more Kates went after our supply convoys headed to Shortlands, we shot them all down with P-38s.
  • A CAP at Babar tried to intervene in our raids, they lost 4 Zeroes and 1 Oscar for their trouble.


16 February 1943
  • A task force comprised of the battleship Kongo, CL Oi, and 7 destroyers suddenly appeared at Shortlands and sank a supply convoy (1 minesweeper escorting 3 light cargo ships). They disappeared before we could retaliate from the air.


17 February 1943
  • USS Blackfish sustained moderate damage in a depth charge attack near Aogoshima, Japan. I've ordered her back to Pearl for repairs. The advantage we've been enjoying against Japan for not having many ships equipped with deep-reaching depth charges may be coming to an end.
  • We finally got the landing craft, with troops on them this time, back to Ndeni.

18 February 1943
  • I tried to attack Ambon with 6 PB4Y-1 Liberators. The Kaga's Zero squadron and 11 Nicks were waiting for them. We lost 4 bombers, which took 2 Zeroes down with them. No hits on the port (and no indication that the Kaga is actually still there).
  • I raided Rabaul but had a coordination SNAFU. The B-26s arrived first without escorts; 8 were shot down, taking 1 Oscar with them. B-25s and B-17s arrived with escorts, which took care of 3 Zeroes without loss. A followup sweep got two more Zeroes and a Tojo. Damage to the base was moderate.
  • Ndeni has been secured.
  • Aussie paratroops have seized Taberfane (east of Babar). I'll get some engineers there in about 4 days and see if I can build an airbase. Or maybe they'll intervene just like they did Babar, but their troops are more or less locked down at Babar by my SBDs, so they'll probably have to find more, and risk them getting locked down too. Note that with Shortlands and Ndeni captured, Guadalcanal is pretty much locked down too, or soon will be, so that's about 40,000 troops stuck there.
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Old 07-10-2022, 09:35 PM   #589
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I was away on a road trip for most of last week but I'm back now. Got a few turns to catch up on:


19 February 1943
  • Bombarded Funafuti island in CENTPAC with a CA, CL, and 2 DD. This island has an IJN Marine unit and an aviation unit and they seem quite exposed, they've been taking heavy casualties from B-24s and this hurt them too.
  • Dutch sub KXI sustained moderate depth charge damage in the Ceram Sea when it was spotted approaching a cruiser-destroyer group.
  • We laid a large minefield at Shortlands while an enemy sub was on patrol there. It hit 3 of them trying to get out.
  • B-17 raids on Rabaul inflicted moderate base damage and destroyed an Emily and a Zero on the ground.
  • I mixed up my raids on Babar a little bit my letting my SBDs attack the port, looking to finish off any damaged ships that might be sheltering there. Didn't catch anyone.
  • One of the retreating armies in Burma is in contact with an enemy unit. The enemy is of inferior strength, but my attacks aren't succeeding due to low supply levels
20 February 1943
  • The destroyer Tsuga was spotted by USS Plunger retreating from Ambon. It fired 4 torpedoes and missed... but the destroyer was so badly damaged (probably by an SBD hit a few days ago) it couldn't retaliate against the sub, so the Plunger lined up another shot and made it count this time.
  • An escorted convoy with 6 tankers evaded an attack from USS Amberjack near Chichi-Jima, southeast of Japan. I think I know where the tanker route is now. He's playing connect-the-dots from Japan to the Marianas, probably from there to Palau and then running up coastlines in the Dutch East Indies. I've adjusted some sub patrol areas to test my theory. I'll probably get some subs ready for minelaying duty as well.
  • Raids on Rabaul got a Betty on the ground and dealt light base damage
  • Our armies retreating from Lashio suffered another attack by Japanese armor, taking another 1200 casualties and routing again.
21 February 1943
  • At least one enemy sub is poking around Karachi, India. All we have for ASW here are some motor launches and light bomber patrols.
  • 4 USN Liberators attacked the port at Dili, Timor, hitting a destroyer in docked there, setting off a large fire. I doubt I sank it, but probably disabled for several weeks.
  • In China, it looks like the enemy is getting smarter. Instead of a frontal assault on Level 6 forts at Chusien, the enemy is sending a detachment to surround our base and cut off the supply road. I'm seriously considering retreat. I may be able to delay the detachment long enough for the excess Hong Kong area armies to get here as reinforcements, but I'm not sure.
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Old 07-11-2022, 12:06 PM   #590
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22 February 1943

CENTPAC
Heavy Cruisers Wichita and Indianapolis bombarded Marcus, with marines coming ashore just afterwards via LSTs and LCIs. Marcus is better defended than we realized, they have what appears to be a full marine unit in addition to aviation support. Our USMC Defense Batallion coming ashore probably won't be enough.


Burma, India, and Western China
An Oscar sweep hit Kunming airbase in western China, which I'm now using to try to support my retreat from Burma. 3 Oscars and 1 P-40 were shot down.

We've retaken Cox's Bazar in southeastern India. Casualties 1881 to 264.


Banda Sea
We lost B-26 to flak over Babar.


Bay of Bengal
A heavy-cruiser-led task force is approaching Sri Lanka from the southeast. I started redirecting traffic away from Colombo in response, and started moving my British heavy TF west to hopefully keep them undetected.


Solomons and New Britain
We spotted a battleship-led task force at Rabaul, just as the Seabees at Shortlands expanded the airstrip big enough go support ASUW missions. I ordered VT-6 to Shortlands to try to catch them. We don't have an airHQ for them just yet, so this will be bombs only, no torpedoes.





------------------
23 February 1943
Battle for Sri Lanka (Ceylon) about to kick off, IJN Kongo battered by Avengers of VT-6


Solomons
VT-6 flew 2 sorties against the IJN Kongo, hitting it with (i think) 15 total 500 lb GP bombs. 2 Army Banshees also participated but missed, one of those was scrapped due to damage. None of the bombs got through the armor, but we started enough fires to hopefully deal real damage.


Bay of Bengal

Sorry for the odd shape, I combined screenshots to get all the enemy task forces plus Ceylon at the same time.

We now hold contact on 4 task forces in the Bay of Bengal, plus a sub near Diego Garcia, so it appears that the expected invasion on Sri Lanka is imminent. I've redirected yet more tanker traffic to keep them clear, and moved a few B-24 squadons from Calcutta to right across from Sri Lanka. They'll bomb any troops that make it ashore, while the Vengeance dive bombers and Beaufighters go after the ships.


Banda Sea
Another destroyer task force went to Babar and rang the dinner bell. SBDs and Beaufighters pounced, hitting at least 6, with at least 3 confirmed sunk.

CENTPAC
Marcus isn't looking good. We expected very little resistance here and ended up with a full marine unit on defense. Despite heavy cruiser bombardment, they're holding on pretty well. I'm sending more troops but it's going to take time, neither Midway nor Wake are big enough to act as staging areas so they're coming from Pearl. I might send the Wasp to help... but there's already a task force headed from Truk to Marcus and for all I know, that's the KB finally getting drawn out.

If Marcus doesn't turn into a disaster, PBYs from there can reach the Marianas, hopefully spotting their tanker routes.
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Old 07-12-2022, 11:28 PM   #591
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Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
Banda Sea
Another destroyer task force went to Babar and rang the dinner bell. SBDs and Beaufighters pounced, hitting at least 6, with at least 3 confirmed sunk.

Could it be that your opponent is losing a staggering amount of destroyers? And how much would a shortage impede his operations?
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Old 07-13-2022, 08:02 AM   #592
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24 February 1943
Combat debut of Judy dive bombers, LST sunk at Marcus



CENTPAC
Heavy cruisers Wichita and Pensacola and 4 destroyers bombarded Marcus to try to give our outnumbered Marines a chance. The damage to the base was significant, including 7 Kates disabled.

One of those task forces included carriers. They sent 27 brand new Judy dive bombers (with 13 Zero escorts) against a lone LST and sank it. This LST and one other are on their own due to sustaining damage on reefs while landing troops, they can't keep up with the main force getting away from the carriers. I'm willing to bet at least one major fleet carrier is here since the KB would be the first to get the upgrades from Vals to Judies.

Banda Sea
Beaufighters attacked 3 light cargo ships off the coast of Timor. All were damaged significantly, I'd say 2 probably sank.

We traded 2 Wildcats for 2 Nicks as the Nicks intercepted a B-26 raid on Babar

China
Lysander light bombers, which I usually use for Recon, attacked Pescadores in the Taiwan Strait, sinking a pair of mine tenders

Most of the enemy cleared out of Chusien as they manuever into a seige position. I attacked the stragglers, inflicting 1929 to 1646 casualties in our favor, but in terms of disabled vs destroyed squads we came out far more ahead than that. We've got Liberator and Wellington bombers attacking the flanking forces, trying to buy time.


Quote:
Could it be that your opponent is losing a staggering amount of destroyers? And how much would a shortage impede his operations?
Probably not, but Japan doesn't have enough destroyers for its escort needs to begin with so it really can't afford to lose them like this even if it's just a handful. It's hard for me to guess at the operational-level significance because I'm not sure what their mission was. Fast transport maybe? If that's the case, then he probably does less fast transporting. The unsunk destroyers allocated to that task might be reassigned to escort duties.
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Old 07-13-2022, 08:12 AM   #593
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25 February 1943
  • USS Grayback and Herring spotted the Kongo's task force approaching Truk, both were spotted by destroyers and driven off.
  • We lost a B-24 trying to support the British army's retreat near Lashio, Burma; one of the Nicks responsible was shot down as well. The defending force included Tony fighters, I think this is their first time in combat
  • B-17 raid on Rabaul caused moderate base damage and destroyed an Emily and a Zero on the ground.
  • A Betty (flight of 7) was shot down by the Marines on Marcus. The Betties' raid was ineffective. Not that it mattered much, the enemy Marines advanced and overwhelmed ours, forcing a surrender. Not sure when I'll be back. At least we learned where the enemy is willing to let us go before the carriers respond.
  • VF-6 was the victim of a small turkey shoot over Babar. Enemy Nicks managed to shoot down 8 of these supposedly elite fighter pilots. 3 Nicks were shot down, but I think 2 of them were by P-38s following up the B-26 raid the Wildcats were escorting. One B-26 was lost to flak.
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Old 07-13-2022, 10:49 AM   #594
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26 February 1943
  • 9 Nicks intervened in our daily B-26 raid on Babar, 3 were shot down (1 by Wildcats, 2 by P-38s) but they got 2 Wildcats.
  • Rabaul continues to take a pounding. Moderate base damage and a Betty destroyed on the ground


27 February 1943
  • Frustrating day for the Silent Service
    • Two tanker convoys spotted (by Amerjack and Halibut) and engaged near Japan. Only got one hit, and it was a dud
    • The S-45 was caught in shallow water by a PB and depth charged for moderate damage. It's returning to base for repairs.
  • The ships in the Bay of Bengal seem to be coalescing in one hex. Why are they doing that in range of my Catalinas?
  • No B-26 raid on Babar this turn, just a sweep. Got 4 Nicks.
28 February 1943
  • USS Steelhead and Snook tried to engage 2 more tanker convoys; Steelhead was spotted first, Snook fired 4 and missed.
  • We've lost contact on all enemy ships in the Bay of Bengal.
  • I've got a sub sniffing around Marcus plus PBY patrols trying to find the carrier task force that sank the LST; they've disappeared.
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Old 07-15-2022, 11:11 PM   #595
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March 1 1943
A P-38 sweep of Babar took out 5 Zeroes with no losses. Afterwards, SBDs and Beaufighters attacked another destroyer group there. 1 Wildcat was shot down by the defending fighters, and we got one of the defending Zeroes. One SBD was lost to flak. But we got some good hits:
SBDs:

DD Wakatake, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
DD Sawakaze, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Shirayuki, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
Beaufighters:
DD Wakatake, Shell hits 9, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Murakumo, Bomb hits 1, on fire

Probably 2 kills, maybe 3.

The enemy task force in the Bay of Bengal has massed in front of Diego Garcia.

2 March 1943
  • The Battleship Hyuga supported a small but adequate compliment of IJN marines ashore at Diego Garcia, capturing it. One cruiser and two transports were hit by shore batteries, good chance one of the transports goes down.
    • Prior to the capture, the enemy carriers launched a supporting airstrike. It's the KB: Shokaku, Zuikaku, Hiyo, Akagi, and Hiryu
  • P-38s had a turkey shoot at Babar while my B-26 raids remain paused. We got 4 Nicks, 7 Zeroes, and an Oscar--no losses.
  • There were still destroyers at Babar, so the SBDs and Beaufighters went again. Despite the P-38s wearing down the defenders, their CAP was still good enough to shoot down a Wildcat and 2 SBDs. But we got 2 more destroyers:
SBDs:
DD Shirayuki, Bomb hits 6, and is sunk (this was yesterday's "maybe" sunk)
DD Murakumo, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
Beaufighters:
DD Murakumo, Shell hits 2, Bomb hits 6, and is sunk

So for both days we probably sank 4 destroyers.

With the KB now far out of the way, I intend to make a move on Java, possibly the Marianas too. But first, let's update the carrier situation:

---------------------------------------------------
Where are the Carriers?

Fleet Carriers - Kido Butai

Akagi: Torpedoed by S-29 on 23 June 1942. Damage did not appear serious at the time. Intel reported sunk 6/24/42, then reported still in service 9/20/42. Fighter squadron seen operating in Chengchow, China on 4 Sept 42, but appears absent on 20 Sept 42--airwing likely returned to ship after repairs completed. Likely received 7/1942 upgrade while under repair. Believed to be participating in invasion of Sri Lanka operation as of 2 March 1943.

Soryu: Sunk by CVW-2 14 Feb 1942

Hiryu, Shokaku, Zuikaku: Operational, believed to be operating with Kido Butai. KB last seen near Canton Island 8 Sept 1942. Not believed to have received 7/1942 upgrades prior to 8 Sept 42.
--Multiple carrier fleet deployment to Solomons 1-8 November 1942; likely included Hiryu and Shokaku, retired towards Marshalls
--Unconfirmed carrier sighting approaching Solomons from Marshalls/Gilberts 12 November 1942.
--The KB may have split into two divisions (Hiryu, Shokaku ; Akagi, Zuikaku) to allow for upgrades, appears to be focused on Marshalls and Solomons.
--Shokaku hit by torpedo from USS Porpoise 21 December 1942.
--As of 2 March 1943, all 3 believed to be operating in Bay of Bengal for imminent invasion of Sri Lanka


Kaga: 31 October - 1 November 1942 supporting Rangoon landings. 19 September 1942, torpedoed by Albacore in Bay of Bengal operating with Junyo (and probably Hiyo). Continued flight operations after torpedo hit. Confirmed to have NOT yet received 7/1942 upgrade as of 19 September 1942, does not appear to have it as of 31 October 42 either. Prior damage from CVW-8 Devastator on 16 June 42 in Coral Sea, causing aviation gas explosion. Torpedoed twice by S-28 14 February 1943 at Ambon, believed to have survived but expected to require lengthy repairs.


Fleet Carriers - Indian Ocean Fleet
Junyo: Believed present for Rangoon landings 30 October - 1 November1942.Confirmed present in Bay of Bengal 20 Sept 1942. Previous deployment as part of the KB, 21 July 1942, supporting the evacuation of ground forces from Lahaina, Hawaii. As of March 2, 1943, NOT spotted supporting Sri Lanka operation and may be present in CENT/SouthPAC.

Hiyo: Confirmed present supporting Rangoon landings 30 October - 1 November 1942. Believed present in Bay of Bengal 20 Sept 1942 (fighter squadron reported present). Present for battle of Port Blair 20 August 1942. Hit by 2 torpedoes from Albacores on 31 July 1942. Intel reports sunk 8/25/42, report stricken upon sighting near Rangoon. Believed to be present in Sri Lanka operation as of 2 March 1943.

Light and Escort Carriers:

CVL Ryujo - hit by two heavyweight torpedoes on 1/17, definitely disabled, likely sunk. Intel reports sunk 1/31/42.
CVL Shoho - May have been present in Rangoon landings 30 October - 1 November 1942. Damaged by heavyweight torpedo hit 2/3/42. Damaged by CVW-8 Helldiver 16 June 42 in the Coral Sea. Sunk by 3 bomb hits from CVW-2 and -3 in Battle of Arafura Sea, 11 December 1942.
CVL Zuiho - likely sunk 2/14/42 (4 bomb hits, 1 air-dropped torpedo hit). Intel reports sunk same day.
CVE Hosho - sunk by 2 heavyweight torpedo hits 1/19/42
CVE Taiyo - sunk 2/14/42 (6 bomb hits)
CVE Unyo: Hit by torpedo from Albacore 20 August 1942 off Port Blair, damage did not appear severe. Intel originally reported sank same day, but was later reported to still be in service.


CS Chiyoda: Coastwatcher report 11/13/42 in port at Guadalcanal. May be operating with KB (or a division thereof).
CS Nisshin:
Rufe float fighters have been spotted with the Kido Butai as well as the CVBG operating in the Bay of Bengal, indicating these ships are operating with the fleet carriers.
CS Chitose: sunk in surface action in Celebes Sea as part of an amphibious task force (USS Marblehead leading formation), 10 December 1941
CS Mizuho: Torpedoed by USS Sargo south of Celebes 10/31/42 with major fires breaking out. Believed to have sunk on 11/3/42 due to intel reports of destroyed floatplanes.

Should be in service, but have yet to appear:
CVE Chuho: 11/22/42
CVL Ryuho: 11/24/42
CV Taiho: 1/27/43 (cost: 206)


Unfinished:
CV Unryu: 4/8/43 (cost: 122)
CV Amagi 4/10/43 (cost: 122)
CV Katsuragi: 5/14/43 (cost: 122)
CV Shinano: 5/31/43 (cost: 314)
CVE Kaiyo: 12/3/43
CVE Shinyo: 12/19/43
CVE Yamashira Maru: 2/4/45
CVE Shimane Maru: 2/8/45
CVL Ibuki: 4/26/45
CVE Chigusa Maru: 6/22/45
CV Ikoma: 6/20/45
CV Aso: 6/24/45
(cost-adjusted arrival dates represent previously-calculated acceleration)
------------------
My take on this is that he left a single carrier (probably the new Taiho--it arrives with Judies, and none of the KB carriers had Judies yet) to guard CENTPAC (which sank LST near Marcus) and a single carrier (the Kaga) to guard the sourthern resource area. The CVEs are probably supporting the Sri Lanka operation, as is the Hiyo just based on its deployment patterns so far.
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Old 07-15-2022, 11:27 PM   #596
Molon Labe
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3 March 1943
  • I bombarded Funafuti with the battleships North Carolina and New Mexico and the heavy cruiser San Francisco, causing nearly 300 enemy casualties and severely disrupting the base.
    • 7th USMC regiment came ashore in the chaos and captured the island, eliminating 2 enemy marine units and an aviation support unit.
  • USS Barb torpedoed and sank a PB that was hunting it near Sabang, Sumatra (northwest end of the Strait of Malacca)
  • I've resumed B-26 raids on Babar now that the enemy fighter presence has been reduced/deterred. P-38 sweeps are still flying, but no one is answering.
  • Enemy scoutplanes spotted the British heavy task force, currently handing out west of the enemy that just took Diego Garcia and now appears to be moving on to Male. I don't want to sacrifice this fleet to the KB, but it may be useful if the KB tries to chase these guys west or north.
4 March 1943
  • USS Saury spotted 3 minelayers outbound from the Tokyo area and torpedoed and sank 1 of them. My guess is these guys were headed to the Marshalls to try to cause some attrition as I invade.
  • As the combat in Burma gets closer to the Chinese border, I've had opportunity to get P-40s involved from Chinese bases. Today, a sweep took down 4 Tojos, 3 Oscars, and a Tony while only suffering 1 loss.
  • I expect them to take Addu tomorrow. As of now, we've lost sight of the KB though, which makes me a little nervous. The British fleet is beating feet towards Bombay.
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Old 07-16-2022, 11:27 AM   #597
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Does going after the Indian Ocean targets mean that he is going for softer targets? I don‘t really see the point why he operates so far west. His carrier forces are superior to yours, but this isn‘t going to last with the Essexes on the horizon.
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Old 07-16-2022, 12:20 PM   #598
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Originally Posted by Ostfriese View Post
Does going after the Indian Ocean targets mean that he is going for softer targets? I don‘t really see the point why he operates so far west. His carrier forces are superior to yours, but this isn‘t going to last with the Essexes on the horizon.

I think he's being methodical. Like he did with Hawaii, he's going to establish air/supply bases in the vicinity of my major base to cut it off and give his fleet someplace close to refuel/rearm to maintain a high OpTempo. I still think Sri Lanka--really, the naval base at Columbo--is the real target.


Strategically speaking, as for why he wants to take Sri Lanka down? I'm not sure. It's mostly a midway point for keeping Australia full of middle eastern fuel and a base for the British fleet, which is a shadow of its former self anyway. Let me check the point values of those bases and the auto-victory conditions...conquering Sri Lanka would increase his VP 1136 points over mine. The score right now is 34,831 to 31,231, he'd need 4 to 1 for an autovictory in 1943, so this is nearly worthless if that was his goal. Taking India, on the other hand, would move that needle significantly. Calcutta alone is over a 1,000 point swing. Sri Lanka can't really do much to defend a land invasion of eastern India though. You'd still want to do it, but at the expense of leaving most of the Pacific short on carriers?


I'm really nervous that his carriers haven't "checked in" with me by bombing Addu, but at least for now it doesn't look like he's defending Java all that well, especially with the Kaga--his apparent insurance policy--laid up with nasty torpedo damage. I have a couple subs moving into position off Sumatra to try to give me some warning if he really did detach a few to send south, also I have 4 minelayer-destroyers acting as scouts before they jam up a channel. Let's see how soft this underbelly really is.
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Old 07-16-2022, 12:38 PM   #599
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5 March 1943

CENTPAC
USS Stingray was spotted by a cruiser-destroyer group in the Mariannas and depth charged, sustaining significant damage. It's returning to base for repairs. At least we got a good contact report out of it: CA Aoba, CA Maya, CL Oi, CL Oyodo, 7 destroyers. So these guys, plus a CVBG, are probably defending the Marianas.

Solomons
We lost a patrol boat tender as it tried to relocate from Rossel Island to Shortlands. An enemy sub spotted it and torpedoed it multiple times from the surface.

Banda Sea
I raided Dili, Timor with Navy Liberator bombers (following a P-38 sweep--no one greeted them) after recon reported a destroyer in harbor there. The 12 Liberators scored a single 500-lb hit on the destroyer, setting it on fire. I do not expect this to be a kill--although it is likely the reason that destroyer was there was because it needed repairs after being bombed/strafed near Babar.

I sent a P-38 sweep to the large enemy base at Koepang, Timor, where they shot down an Oscar and a Nick, no losses. Recon is reporting many ships at harbor there, including troop transports, with about 30 fighters at base. I'll be sweeping them in greater force tomorrow--with the Navy Liberators and Aussie B-25s following behind to try to hit those ships.

B-26 raids resumed on Babar to little effect. No enemy CAP.


Bay of Bengal
Enemy troops (16th Division) came ashore in Addu, the next island base in the chain north of Diego Garcia. We got ridiculously fortuntate in this engagement--despite the troops benefiting from suppressing fire from the Hyuga and 5 cruisers, our base's 6" gun batteries scored hits on 2 cruisers and 6 transports. 5 of those transports were set on fire, one severely. As a result of this, the troops were unable efficiently disembark to make an effective attack and suffered 262 casualties on the beach. They'll probably still take the base tomorrow.

An enemy carrier fleet is still present and looks to be acting as a blocking force to make sure the British fleet doesn't come down on rain on their parade. The scouts, unreliable in their classifications as ever, seem to be reporting a smaller carrier fleet though. It's possible one or two detached.
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Old 07-17-2022, 02:29 AM   #600
Molon Labe
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6 March 1443
Addu captured, air raid on Koepang sinks a sub and more


Bay of Bengal
Two transports were still on fire in the morning from the shelling they took yesterday. As the sun rose, our batteries started getting hits again, hitting one of the damaged ships plus two more. The damaged ship that was hit was in all likelihood finished off.

The KB launched a massive airstrike on Addu--210 attack aircraft and 79 fighters. That's not less than 4 carriers worth; combat reports mentioned squadrons from: Akagi, Hiryu, Zuikaku, Shokaku, and Hiyo. Same as 2 March.

The airstrike was probably unnecessary due to my troops just being outnumbered. The land combat was 2723 troops vs 802, and most of mine weren't grunts. Addu belongs to Japan now.

Male is probably next. At least I hope it is--keep bringing the KB up, please!


Banda Sea
The air raid I planned on Koepang went well. There was only 1 Oscar on CAP, and it accomplished nothing.
SC Ch 8, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
AD Choko Maru, Bomb hits 1
--stragglers: AD Choko Maru, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Okuyo Maru, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
SS I-3, Bomb hits 2, and is sunk
xAK Marei Maru, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
xAK Konsan Maru, Bomb hits 1

We can safely say the sub, the destroyer tender, and the subchaser are sunk. The Okuyo Maru is likely done for as well.


Japan & CENTPAC
USS Haddo spotted and engaged a convoy with 4 minelayers near Aogashima (south of Japan), hitting one of them twice and sinking it. I've also spotted 4 mine tenders at Marcus. So, if that classification is accurate, it looks like he's trying to make any future attempt on Marcus rather tedious.


Intel
I'm taking a second look at the combat report from the sinking of my LST on 24 February. The enemy forces were 13 A6M5 Zeroes and 27 Judies. I didn't notice the first time around that those were A6M5s--that was a combat debut for those as well as the Judies. The A6M5 isn't supposed to be in service until August, and the Judy comes online in March. Aircraft R&D can be accelerated just like ship production can, so it's entirely possible he has both in production already--but everything showing up in the Indian Ocean right now are older models: A6M2 Zeroes and Vals. The one fleet carrier we really haven't accounted for is the Junyo. Junyo's default airwing is 18 Zeroes, 15 Vals, and 6 Kates. So, if that was the Junyo, she'd need to have a new CVL/CVE backing her up to get those numbers. But, we also know there are light carriers escorting the phibs in the Indian Ocean, we just haven't actually confirmed which ones. But we pretty much sank all of them--so that pretty much means carriers covering the phibs are the new ones. The Taiho, on the other hand, has a default airwing of: 27 A6M5 Zeroes, 27 Judies, and 18 Jills. So that's pretty much a perfect fit. Half the Zeroes escorted, half were on CAP, and the Jills are on scout duty. So that's damn near positive ID: The Taiho is complete, and it's probably operating out of the Marianas.
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