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Old 07-31-2021, 11:53 AM   #136
Molon Labe
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18 February 1942
Massive Betty raid on Oosthaven area, USS Yorktown finished off

East Java Sea
The enemy surface forces truly were gone. The only action on this side were submarines. A Jap sub sank an AKL off Surabaya, while Dutch sub K XII put two fish into the light cruiser Kashima south of Celebes, which was part of a replenishment task force.

West Java Sea
The Yorktown made it about as far west as Batavia when the Betties came. Despite having the Lexington in company with its own fighters and most of Yorktown's fighters assigned to CAP, supplemented by land based fighters from Batavia and Oosthaven (P-40s, Hurricanes, Buffalos), the CAP over Yorktown was just pathetic for most of the day.

The first raid targeted Yorktown, just 9 Betties escorted by 17 Zeroes. We managed 2 Dutch Buffalos, 1 Hurricane, and 10 P-40s to meet them, although the P-40s arrived piecemeal so that 10 isn't as good as it looks. And NOTHING from Lexington. The air battle resulted in 2 Zeroes and 1 Buffalo downed, all 9 Betties made it through unmolested and all targeted the Yorktown. They got one torpedo hit. Already seriously damaged on the 14th, the Yorktown was now fighting for its life.

The next to arrive were 7 more Betties without escorts. Our CAP was occupied with the first raid and these ****ers slipped in unopposed. We got lucky--they shot at the cruiser Exeter (damaged awhile ago, was going to report for repairs with Yorktown) and the Yorktown but they all missed.

Lexington was targeted next. You'd think that because it contributed no fighters to help Yorktown that it's own fighters would be available for defense. Just 6 Lexington fighters were on CAP, backed up by 2 land-based fighters. The raid was 3 Betties escorted by 17 Zeroes. Our fighters did pretty good, we lost a Wildcat and a Buffalo but shot down a Zero and two Betties. The Betty that got through missed. 4 more Betties arrived right after, 3 Buffalos tried to get to them but were intercepted by Zeroes. No one was shot down. The Betties failed to separate into elements for a multi-directional attack, and the Lexington was able to deny them a broadside shot, and they all missed.

9 Betties bypassed the carriers and took a run at our transports in Oosthaven. This would have been a great move a few days ago, but most of my ships had left by this point and those that were still there were only dropping off supplies, the troops were already ashore. A transport and a cargo ship were hit, the transport sank and the cargo ship remains on fire and will likely go down tomorrow.

Technically this belongs in under Malaya, but it's relevant to this battle--after all this happened, my bombers arrived at Johore Bahru, the likely source of the Betties. But why so late? They didn't need to wait for scouts to tell them where the target was. And they only had to fly about 40 miles to get there, compared to about 560 miles for the Betties. But they only just arrived now. I guess the Japanese are just that much better organized than us, or maybe a month of siege has exhausted the coffee supply and we just don't function in the morning. Japan had no CAP on their base, flak shot down a Blenheim and a Hudson, but we hit the base pretty good with 8 bombers causing moderate facility damage. But I'm sure by now the rest of the strikes were already in the air, so this was too little too late to disrupt the raids headed south. The main consequence of this raid will be some of those returning Betties will be destroyed hitting craters in the runways as they land.

By afternoon, the Yorktown had limped to the straits at Merak, within sight of the open sea and relative safety. But the second wave of strikes arrived. The first was a group of 6 Betties escorted by 9 Zeroes, they went after Yorktown opposed by a Buffalo, a Hurricane, and 6 P-40s--again, arriving piecemeal. We managed to get 3 Zeroes but could not reach the Betties. All 6 got through and performed a proper anvil attack, and the Yorktown was hit by 2 more torpedoes. The ship was already on its last legs, she rolled over and went down before the Betties were gone.


With the Yorktown gone, the Lexington was the new priority target. 22 Betties escorted by 20 Zeroes went after her. Our CAP was just pitiful in comparrison, 3 P-40s, 2 Dutch Buffalos, 2 US Buffalos, 1 Sea Hurricane and 1 Wildcat. The air battle resulted in one Zero and one Betty downed, with our Sea Hurricane also lost. Flak got another Betty, but 19 made attacks. Fortunately they only managed a single hit on the heavy cruiser Salt Lake City, but it was a good one. The main battery magazine exploded and the ship was shattered.

12 Nells, 6 Betties and 6 Zeroes went to Batavia, where I had diverted transports under attack at Oosthaven. They hit a transport, seriously damaging it. Again, the troops were already offloaded.

Hawaii
The bombardments/strikes were especially effective today, finishing off a destroyer, 3 tenders, and tanker.

Malaya
No bombers today, just sweeps. And mostly Nates, since the Zeroes were needed elsewhere. 4 Nates were shot down with no allied losses.

Makassar Strait
We lost a Falcon flying out of Samarina (adjacent to the now-conquered Balikpapan) trying to attack a destroyer-transport. Their troops will be here any day now--I've ordered the rest of my planes here to evacuate. Thus, one of the main strategic consequences of losing Balikpapan will set in; I have far less capacity to observe ship movements in the Celebes Sea, South China Sea and Sulu Sea. It was this capacity that made my ambush on the 14th feasible as I was fairly sure the KB wasn't there even though I hadn't seen it in probably 2 weeks, now that's gone.

China
Those I-15s in the northern mountain regions finally shot down a Lily. I mention this only because it's the first time the Chinese Air Force shot down someone on their own rather than let the AVG do it for them. The squadron of Hawks didn't even get any kills before they lost all their planes. Congratulations, Wan R., you alone among your peers do not suck.

---------
In hindsight, I feel like turning the ships back East was probably the better play. I already knew my CAP was struggling, so even if the surface threat was still there that might not have been as bad as an airstrike. I still would have suffered a Betty raid, but all indications up until this point were that the eastern bases did not have torpedoes.

The loss of the Yorktown had a logistic side to it too. My failure to keep a decent CAP up might be because I never replaced the Lexington's Buffalos with Wildcats. And this was because I was slow reacting to events at Pearl Harbor--I needed to turn off replacements for the USMC squadrons there sooner. So I ended up sending Wildcats that the Lexington needed to Pearl, only for them to be destroyed on the ground. I failed to recognize that not only is the Wildcat a superior plane performance wise, but it also has a maintenance rating 2 points better than the Buffalo. That's a huge difference. So, the high-maintenance Buffalos soaked up my mechanics' time, and we ended up with fighters in the hangar that needed to be in the air.
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Old 08-02-2021, 07:30 AM   #137
Molon Labe
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19 February 1942
US-Philippine armies at Bataan surrender

East Java Sea
It turns out that surface group hadn't left after all, my scouts just missed it. I found this out because I had tried to take advantage of its absence to have Force Y bombard Makassar, hopefully catching formerly carrier-based fighters on the ground. We were intercepted. Neither side's gunner was great, but overall his hits were better as he had mostly heavy cruisers and I had mostly light cruisers, so more of his hits penetrated armor. His torpedoes were the major difference maker though. We lost the light cruiser Colombo, which was hit by two torpedoes, and two destroyers, each hit with a long lance.

East Australia
An enemy submarine torpedoed and sank a PG on ASW duty off Brisbane We're in the process to dropping off damaged ships at Brisbane and Sydney, he's moved his subs south to try to finish a few off. The PG was trying to keep a corridor open.

Sumatra and West Java Sea
Betties raided Palembang in 4 waves, trying to get a small SAG I had in port there. Not sure what I was thinking. We got lucky, 2 Buffalo traded for 2 Betties, no hits on the ships. I ordered the ships to leave to the south, at least until our CAP is good enough to hold them off (which might never happen).

They also raided Merak, the air battle there claimed a Zero, 2 Nells, 2 Hurricanes, a Buffalo , and a P-40. The bombers got through and sank two destroyers.

Malaya
We attempted another raid on Johore Barhu and were met by a swarm of Nates. Good thing Nates suck. We shot one down and took no losses, our bombers inflicted moderate facility damage.

Philippines
So much for a last stand at Corregidor in Bataan. Our troops arrived from Clark tired and starving, and there were only enough supplies for the first to arrive. Despite having fresh fortifications to defend them, they'd had enough and weren't going to do this all over again. The Japanese attacked, and we broke. 18,368 troops are now on their way to POW camps.
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Old 08-02-2021, 07:47 AM   #138
Molon Labe
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20 February 1942

Hawaii
The daily 4 BB bombardment of Pearl was down to 3 BB. Maintenance?
The Kates that are here aren't in sufficient numbers to convince me that the KB is actually here. Maybe a 1 CV detachment.

East Java Sea
Betty raid on Surabaya. Somewhat frustratingly because of how little help we got from land-based fighters during the carrier battles, our CAP was pretty good at 22 planes. With the cost of just a Hawk and a P040, we downed a Zero, four Oscars, 6 Betties, and 3 Nells. The first wave of bombers didn't even reach any ships. The second wave got through but missed.

The Lexington is in the southern Indian Ocean and is getting pretty desperate for fuel thanks to running at high speed. I'm sending out some transports to act as tankers. They are still potentially in range of Betties, but they'd be unescorted and armed with bombs this far out.

Sumatra and West Java Sea
Betties raided Batavia and scored a bomb hit on a minelayer and a submarine tender in port. Air losses were 1 Hurricane vs a Zero and 3 Betties.


Malaya
We hit JB again, which maybe wasn't a great idea after yesterday. We lost one Hurricane to the Nate swarm, and shot down one Nate. AAA took down a bomber. Most of our bombers were damaged so we're going to have to take time to repair. We inflicted light facility damage.

Borneo
Samarinda (the smaller base adjacent to Balikpapan) has been captured.
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Old 08-03-2021, 11:07 AM   #139
Molon Labe
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21 February 1942

SouthPAC
Yesterday he landed a small force of marines on Funafuti, a small island north of Pago Pago. I had a convoy moving through the area, so I detached 2 DD to intervene, which arrived today and sank the APD that was unloading there. My destroyers are now rejoining their convoy.

Borneo
HMS Trusty attacked a troop-carrying cargo ship at Tarakan on the surface, hitting it with 3 torpedoes while taking a gun it.

Hawaii
3 BB bombarding today, plus airstrikes

Coral Sea and Eastern Australia
A pair of destroyer-minesweepers were snipers with their depth charges against a medium-sized sub, forcing it to surface with the damage inflicted with the first few patterns. The sub actually tried to fight on the surface, firing several torpedoes in vain before it succumbed to naval gunfire.

Wirraway light bombers scored a hit on a sub near Brisbane. I forgot to mention it, but they had a hit yesterday too. ASW training paying off.

At Port Moresby, I attacked for the 2nd consecutive day (I usually alternate to rest my troops). His armies appear to be on the ropes, out of supply and broken. We finished of the artillery unit, engineer unit, and a marine unit. I think it's just the army regiment left.

A major task force is approaching Milne. The Banshees are ready.

East Java Sea
We seem to be in an ongoing air campaign for Surabaya, Batavia, and Palembang. At Surabaya, army bombers targeted the port and city while Betties targeted ships. Our fighters had a little turkey shoot on the bombers, taking down 7 Sallies and 7 Betties with no losses. Where was that performance when my carriers were here? The raids caused no significant damage.

10 Betties went after a cargo ship at Denpasar, where the Yorktown's airwing diverted to after it was first hit. The cargo ship is picking up non-airworthy planes to try to reconstitute the squadrons at Darwin. Fortunately they missed.

China
He attacked at Wenchow, a coastal city a bit south of Shanghai. He's cutting off their supply so I think he'll eventually win here. For now, casualties were 2200 to 500 in my favor and my level 3 forts are holding.
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Old 08-03-2021, 02:58 PM   #140
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22 February 1942

Hawaii
3 BB bombarding, plus airstrikes

Borneo
He's making a concerted effort to clear the Makassar Strait of subs, the TBs with the deep-exploding depth charges are here and getting to work.

Singapore
Oscar sweeps resulted in a downed Oscar but nothing else. A good chunk of the Dutch and Asiatic fleet boats are now in position to interdict transports traveling from Manila to Johore.

Java
An Oscar sweep at Batavia claimed a P-40.

Betties raided Surabaya, sinking a 2-ship ASW group trying to keep the harbor open. It cost them a Zero and 6 Betties; we also lost a Hurricane and a Hawk.

Coral Sea and East Australia
Our forces at Port Moresby report that the enemy is completely surrounded. Too bad the Japanese don't like to surrender.

The objective of the task force approaching Milne is a small island near Milne rather than Milne itself. We had a small disaster trying to attack this group as my base ran too low on supply to provide the fighter escorts drop tanks, they were one hex short of being able to make the trip. 12 unescorted Banshees were shot down trying to bomb the task force, only 1 managed to turn around and escape.

We're now trying to track as many as 6 submarines near Brisbane.

Burma and Thailand
Operation Kinky Boots was launched yesterday with one team departing, today the second team departed. We should have our first battle in 7 days. Reinforcements have arrived in Rangoon just in case that army comes back or if there are more ready to move into Burma overland while my armies are moving south.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:45 AM   #141
Molon Labe
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23 February 1942

Japan
USS Grayling torpedoed a cargo ship off Kyushu. I think this one will make it back to port. 480 miles southeast of Japan, USS Thresher attacked another cargo ship on the surface, scoring 2 torpedo hits along with several gun hits for a confirmed kill. This one was on the likely supply route to Midway/Hawaii. South of Tokyo Bay, USS Trigger engaged the same cargo ship 3 times... the first was a relatively routine surface attack, except that Trigger must have fired 10 Mk14s, scoring multiple hits of which only 1 exploded. The sub got too close for comfort trying to get another to explode so it broke off and tried again. The second attack was a submerged torpedo attack, it hit with 1 out of 2 but it was another dud. She broke contact again and finally got another hit the 3rd time that finished the damaged ship off.

Hawaii
The battleships took today off. Air raids on port and airfield.

Malaya
Oscar sweeps repeated yesterday's result in Singapore, just one Oscar lost. I've reinforced Singapore with a Hurricane squadron that arrived in Java during the battle last week-it's not at full strength anymore but it should help. I raided Singkawang but it wasn't worth it, patrolling Oscars got 3 of my bombers and I can only confirm 1 plane destroyed on the ground, a Babs recon plane.

Java
My B-17s from Surabaya targeted Makasar. We pushed past the Oscars on patrol but lost a bomber to flak. Airfield damage was negligible. I need to lengthen the runways at Surabaya a bit to use B-17s at full efficiency, they're flying with a reduced bombload and it shows.

Thailand
Recon shows Raheng appears to have been reinforced, 2 RTA divisions there instead of 1. That could be a problem. I'm shifting some bombers over to there, let's see if I can wear them down before my troops get there. Maybe the JAAF will finally come out to play with Pappy Boyington.

China
A land attack on Wenchow knocked forts down to level 2, casualties 800 to 900 in his favor. Overall he outnumbers me 4 to 1 there, he'll have it in a few days.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:08 PM   #142
Molon Labe
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24 Feb 1942

Borneo
HMS Truant torpedoed a troop-carrying cargo ship off the northern coast. Headed for Singapore?

Ceram Sea
2 PBs hit mines in the narrow strait S of Kendari. Which is a little weird because I don't remember putting a minefield here. Did they mine it trying to get my subs but ended up hitting themselves?

Celebes Sea
A Dutch sub torpedoed and sank a small tanker, probably headed for Balikpapan.

Hawaii
No BB bombard today, just air raids., which finished off the USS Detroit light cruiser.

China
Forts at Wenchow are now down to level 1. Won't be long.



25 February 1942
Hawaii
The battleships are back, air raids continued. A tanker, tender, and minelayer were finished off.

Borneo
A fast transport group delivered troops to Bandjermesin, on the south side of Borneo, opposite Surabaya, and left before I could respond. At least the troops are still there for me to bomb tomorrow.

China
He's moved troops into Sinyang again. He probably brought enough to do the job this time. But this time, I have air support. I've been bombing the army as it advanced from Hangkow, and I'm moving more bombers into the area to keep the pressure on.

Carrier update
Lex and the HMS Hermes have moved all the flyable Yorktown aircraft to Darwin. I'm giving the ships a day or two to get some maintenance done in port for a bit. The damaged planes should arrive in the next day or two, and then I'll have operational squadrons to use for training or to supplement another carrier.

A squadron of Fulmars arrived in Java, these are earmarked for the Hermes. Indomitable made it to Colombo for repairs, she'll be there for over a month. Hornet is set to be transferred to my command in 9 more days but she'll still be on the east coast.
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Old 08-05-2021, 08:45 AM   #143
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26 February 1942
Subs turning the tables on ASW groups, enemy troops at Port Moresby wiped out

Java Sea and North Australia
A enemy sub sank a minesweeper at Banjoewangi, an entrance to the Java Sea east of Java. Another sub sank 2 minesweepers at Darwin that were both on ASW patrol.

I was wrong about the fast transport group being gone already. We found them at Bandjermasin and split out bombers between them and the troops ashore. They had Zeroes on LR CAP and we were beyond our own fighter range, so it did not go well. We crippled an APD with a rare hit from the level bombers and caused some damage to the troops, but lost 11 medium bombers.

Philippines
A subchaser hit a mine at Bataan, almost certainly a kill due to its small size. USS Shark shot up another AKL, likely sinking it at well.

Borneo
A light cargo ship it a mine at Tarakan.

Hawaii
3 BB bombarding today, plus airstrikes.
Pearl's minefield has decayed to zero thanks to the tenders being destroyed.

Malaya
Singapore's bombers made attempts on transports at Kuantan and Mersing but didn't hit anything.

Coral Sea
Combat at Port Moresby is finally over, the holdouts made their Banzai charge and were wiped out.
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Old 08-05-2021, 01:59 PM   #144
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27 February 1942
Submarine battles suddenly going his way, Borneo now under full Japanese control

Java Sea
Dutch sub KXI, fresh out of port in Surabaya, was intercepted by a group of 3 destroyers south of Makassar. They were armed with deep-reaching depth charges and scored a critical hit. The captain had the nerve to continue with his mission, I had to order him to RTB for repairs. USS Perch arrived in Surabaya for repairs from an earlier bomb hit. The S-36 tried to finish off the APD our bombers damaged yesterday as it retreated up the Makassar Strait, but missed.

On the south side of the Island at Tjilatjap, another sub took out a minesweeper. I've been using this port to move land units that were trying to land at Oosthaven, fortunately most of them are already on their way.

Bandjermasin was captured. Borneo is now entirely under Japanese control.

Philippines
S-37 was hit by an aircraft on ASW patrol near Bataan and has been ordered back to Surabaya for repairs. Another AKL hit a mine at Bataan.

China
Our bombers hitting Sinyang ran into a wall of 40 Nates. We shot down one of them and lost 1 I-16 fighter and 2 SBIII bombers. I'm going to sweep this area next turn and send the bombers somewhere else. The enemy outnumbers us 2 to 1 at Sinyang. Their attack reduced fortifications to nothing, so it doesn't look like we're going to stop them this time.

Malaya
We attempted to hit transports again, missed again, and lost 2 medium (one 1 AA) bombers and 2 light bombers in the attempt.

Yorktown airwing
It's not going to work. The "parent" units for these squadrons were destroyed with the ship, and even with all the fragments in one place, the parent unit isn't being recreated. The fragments can't receive replacement aircraft, so these squadrons are essentially dead. I've spent some political points to reform them but the delay is about 2 months. Hopefully they spawn on the west coast and not Pearl. The good news is that these units had planes "in reserve" that couldn't be made ready for whatever reason, they are now back in the replacement pool, which means I finally have enough Wildcats to replace the Lexington's Buffalos. I just need to get it to a port big enough to allow the replacement. They'll leave tomorrow, I need to allow one more day to try to get rid of that sub hanging out here.
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Old 08-08-2021, 08:45 AM   #145
Molon Labe
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The last several turns have been relatively uneventful, so I'm going to combine a few.

28 February - 2 March 1942
War becomes routine until the reappearance of the KB in the Java Sea

Hawaii
Air raids only at Pearl on the 28th-March 1. 4 BB's joined in for March 2.

Makassar Strait
The S-36 was busy. On the 28th, she torpedoed and sank a a cargo ship in a convoy headed for Bandjermasin (probably picking up troops there). On the 1st, the she torpedoed and sank a light cargo ship further north, at the narrowest part of the strait. And on the 2nd, she sank a light cargo ship with her deck gun near Balikpapan.

An enemy cargo ship entering or leaving Balikpapan hit a sub-laid mine on the 2nd.

Malaya
My bombers continued to make attempts on ships at Mersing with no success. Then I remembered that I'd been training the Dutch pilots at naval attacks since the war began, but the Brits had been mostly attacking enemy troops--and sure enough, the naval attack stats of the bomber pilots was poor. I found a few British pilots to move in. The got their chance on March 2, but they still missed. The March 2 raid was countered by Nates and a single Oscar, 5 Nates and a Hurricane were shot down.

Philippines
I think 2 of my subs are glitched out to the point I'm going to lose them. Both the S-37 and USS Shark were on transport duty to Bataan when Bataan was captured. They are both now just sitting in that space. I've tried changing their mission, ordering them to new patrol areas, ordering them back to port, but they're still here. S-37s been hit by bombers once, Shark 3 times. They even shot down a bomber. They're in shallow water and being pursued by surface units. It's a miracle they've lasted this long.

Borneo
Apparently nothing good happens when you put non-minesweepers in minesweeping TFs; he lost a Kaibokan to a mine in Borneo just before clearing the last of the mines there.

China
My sweeps over Sinyang were a day late. We got three Nates on March 1, after it had already been captured. By March 2 the Nates were gone.

Wenchow was captured on 2 March.

Timor - 2 March
The Kongo's SAG appeared outside by base at Koepang without warning, immediately engaging the 2 DD on ASW patrol, sinking one and crippling the other. We fought back with aircraft after sunrise, attacking the enemy task force with Falcon light bombers, B-26s that had just arrived, and a squadron of P-39s set for strafing attacks with their 40mm cannon, all escorted by P-40s. Of course, they had Zeroes on long-range CAP. We ended up losing 2 P-40s, 4 Falcons, 2 B-26s and 3 P-39s. Most of the Falcon and P-39 losses were to flak. We shot down a Zero and scored some strafing hits on a cruiser that didn't appear to hurt very much--I would rather have seen the P-39s strafe transports than armored warships.

Large airstrikes (21 Vals, 27 Kates ) by the enemy followed, targeting 3 light cargo ships moving through the area and the crippled destroyer from earlier. The air strikes came from a task force east of Timor rather than any captured airbase nearby, and there were too many planes to be from the Shoho--the KB is here.

By the way, intelligence confirms the Shoho did not sink.


Here's the strategic map from the 28th:
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Old 08-09-2021, 11:57 AM   #146
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3 March 1942
"KB" in Java area is probably just a detachment

Philippines
Japan lost a subchaser at Bataan to the minefield, probably trying to attack my two stuck boats. But I think I managed to get them unstuck by putting them back on a transport mission and then cancelling unload (not that they could unload at what is now an enemy base anyway). As luck would have it, he lost a minesweeper to a mine too. Ironic, but it's dangerous work.

In the south, a large cruiser-destroyer group bombarded Davao, which is empty, but at least we know where he's going next.

Timor
A detachment of 1 CA and 6 DD bombarded my base at Koepang, deadling significant damage to the airfield and disabling at least 10 planes. We launched airstrikes anyway, but the enemy had enough Zeroes and Oscars on CAP to ruin my day. We got one Oscar but lost 2 P-39s (now on escort duty instead of strafing) and 2 Falcon bombers. No hits on the ships. The carriers didn't do anything, but I don't think there are more than 2. So not the KB proper, but quite possibly a carrier division from the KB.

Hawaii
Just airstrikes on Pearl today.

Malaya
I sent my bombers to Mersing again to try to sink transports, got similar results as last time. No hits on ships, but shot down an Oscar and 6 Nates.

China
As my armies that were victorious at Ichang were working their way southeast, we noticed enemy armies looking to cross the river into their space, so I've stopped my advance to try to catch them on the bridge.
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Old 08-12-2021, 10:10 AM   #147
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4 March 1942

Hawaii
4 BB bombarding Pearl, plus airstrikes

Malaya
HMS Trusty laid mines at Mersing, then surfaced to sink a cargo ship before slinking away.

Our airstrikes went to Kuantan instead of Mersing, which was bad news as there were more fighters there. We lost 5 Hudson bombers and a Hurricane with nothing to show for it. Naval attack orders have been cancelled.

Java Sea
The enemy carrier battle group is departing north through the Makassar strait.



5 March 1942
It's the Kido Butai after all!

Coral Sea area
Fresh out of upgrading its AA guns at Brisbane, the heavy cruiser USS Northampton was heading north to rejoin the Enterprise/Saratoga CVBG when it was torpedoed by a sub. It's only moderately damaged, but back to the shipyard it goes...

Philippines
A major operation to sweep my minefield out of Bataan is underway. It's dangerous work--one of the minesweepers hit a mine and was destroyed.

Sumatra
This had to be a mistake. 20 Betties attacked Palembang, unescorted, at 5000 feet. P-40 and Buffalo fighters cut down 9 of them. Flak probably added another 5. 12 bombers made it to their targets, bombing troops.

Malaya
Ida light bombers made an attempt on Singapore's ASW patrols. 6 were shot down by Hurricanes, flak added 1 more. The bombers didn't hit anything.

Java Sea
The retreating carrier division wasn't really retreating, it was just rejoining the KB. And the KB came right back into the Java Sea like it owned the place, but let's face it, it owns everyplace it goes. It launched an airstrike on ships at port in Surabaya, which included the HMS Hermes light carrier and the battleship Royal Sovereign. Our CAP shot down 6 Zeroes and 3 Vals with a loss of a P-40 and 2 Fulmars. They hit the Royal Sovereign with a torpedo and a bomb for moderate damage. 9 Kates split off and sank a minesweeper on ASW patrol outside of Surabaya's protective fighter bubble.

Using Surabaya as a bastion was working for this fleet when it was just CVLs or one fleet carrier, it's not going to hold out against 5 fleet carriers. I've ordered a retreat south.

Makassar Strait
Japan is deploying more ASW ships with deep-reaching depth charges, and this area is a priority for them right now. The KIX was hit in deep water and has been ordered to return for repairs.

Coral Sea
I had an idea I thought was clever; I deployed a pair of seaplane tenders to an empty atoll north of Luganville and sent some Catalinas there, giving myself a look into the blind spot I had north of the Solomons. The idea was to see if the KB was hiding there. But the KB just revealed itself in the Java Sea, so this was for nothing. Anyway, at least for the time being, carrier ops in this area can proceed.
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Old 08-13-2021, 09:02 AM   #148
Molon Labe
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6 March 1942
Battle of the Java Sea in progress

East Coast
USS Hornet is now under my command. It will reach the Panama Canal in a week. Current airwing VF-8 (19 Wildcats), VS-8 (18 SBC-4 Helldivers), VB-8 (18 Helldivers), VT-8 (15 Devastators)

Hawaii
Air raids on Pearl transitioned to targeting troops. Sigint has also reported that 2 divisions currently on Molokai are being loaded into transports, so the targeting of Pearl's troops tells us where they're going next.

Philippines
USS Porpoise sank a cargo ship in the Luzon Straight in a gun/torpedo surface attack.

Java Sea
With some regret in hindsight, I had ordered the evacuation of most undamaged warships from Surabaya to Darwin when I spotted the KB. What I didn't spot until this turn were transports. They're going to land on Java. So there's actually something worth fighting over right now and I got my assets out of the way.

At least his attentions on Surabaya were mostly wasted. Two damaged light cruisers and a submarine (the Perch) were caught in harbor. The Perch took a hit from an 800kg monster and was destroyed. The cruisers were damaged badly enough that I'm pretty sure the war is over for them. Nells from Borneo also hit the port, but they were too high and carrying only 60kg bombs due to the distance they had to fly, and did no damage.

This was after an air battle of course, the score there was 6 Zeroes vs 3 P-40s, 2 P-39s, and 5 Fulmars.

The Hermes and Royal Sovereign managed to evade the KB's scouts.

Operation Kinky Boots
So far everything going smoothly. We've reached Tavoy airbase and will begin our attack tomorrow. At Raheng, we're crossing the river adjacent to enemy forces so we can attack overland properly. Our bombers have been softening up both targets' ground forces with no opposition by enemy fighters. No enemy bombers are targeting our troops either, but Boyington's 1st AVG and 3 squadrons of Hurricanes are ready if they're needed.


7 March 1942
We are the British army, and we're here to take your land!

Operation Kinky Boots
Here's where things are going

We captured Tavoy easily, casualties 1500 to 150. Their troops were fatigued and broken, probably thanks to the bombing. They also had no fortifications, so this area was far from a priority for him. We'll see if he's still dismissive as we press east. My armor is going to run down the retreating troops while the infantry heads for the road to Bangkok overland. Once we're there we can cut off that rail line that they'd use to move troops out of Malaya to reinforce Bangkok. Same deal with Raheng, we need to go around and cut off that railroad to block reinforcements from the rest of Thailand.

If you were curious where the operation's name came from:


Java Sea
The KB aggressively, perhaps recklessly, pushed south of the Java Sea. Perhaps trying to find the Hermes and Royal Sovereign, or expecting my US fleet carriers to be there to set up an ambush? I'll have to keep this in mind. He didn't find them, though, we was too far west. We had major air battles over Java as we tried to interdict the invasion force. First, Surabaya itself was still under attack, mostly from land bases. Those cost 5 Nells, a Betty, 2 Zeroes, 2 P-39s and a P-40. And it wore down my CAP, a lot of those bombers arrived unescorted but were still getting through in large numbers. They hit the light cruiser Dragon again, and sank another damaged sub (the
KXI). And they damaged a pair of valuable tenders, an AD and an AR. But most of what's here are just light cargo ships and some troop transports that are too slow to be useful, these soaked most of the hits. The operational combattants all moved southeast...

The landing site was Tjepoe, right in the middle of the northern coast. We attacked with bombers from both sides but didn't do much damage. It was mostly Oscars flying long-range CAP over the transports, but it was enough. We lost 3 P-40s, a Hawk, a P-39, 2 Falcon light bombers, 5 Swordfish torpedo bombers, and 5 139W medium bombers. It was only the Falcons that had any success, scoring 3 hits on two transports, causing 200 troop casualties. It looks like 2 regiments came ashore, which isn't that much for a target the size of Java. There are probably more on the way, but for now I'm going to try to box these guys in before they can isolate either Surabaya or Batavia.

B-17s went after the KB. We lost 5 and got no hits, but their gunners shot down 2 Zeroes.

East of the KB, I'm reorganizing my naval forces. I'm going to have the damaged Royal Sovereign continue to Darwin along with the Hermes, but I'm going to try to have the cruisers link up and form an offensive task force (including a shiny new anti-aircraft cruiser that just arrived). Hopefully with the KB off to the south they'll get through unmolested, if not, I moved a squadron of P-39s from Koepang to an airbase east of Surabaya to provide some air cover.

Further east, there's a small enemy landing force at Dobo, at the eastern end of the Banda Sea. I've had two cruisers headed that way for two days, they better arrive tomorrow. No destroyers in this group, they lost their destroyers when the carrier detachment attacked Timor.

Hawaii
Just bombers today hitting Pearl, mostly attacking troops. I have to assume the BB are getting ready to support a landing. I've moved 2 subs to try to intercept, but it's a short trip in shallow water.
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Old 08-15-2021, 11:31 AM   #149
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8 March 1942
Battle of Java Sea ends in decisive Japanese victory
Oahu invaded


Banda Sea
My two cruisers finally arrived at Dobo to interdict the transports. We sank 'em all, 4 troop-carrying cargo ships and 2 PBs. Estimated troop casualties were 1260, we finally hurt him a little bit.

Java Sea
I really should have just accepted that I screwed up by pulling the cruisers out too early. The KB was given the same orders as my cruiser fleet: return to the Java Sea. So they had no problem finding me. The evacuating AKLs also failed to provide a meaningful decoy. Yes, he did send strikes on them, but they were proportional to their priority.

Strikes on Surabaya were mostly from land-based air, we lost 2 P-40s and 4 P-39s there, while shooting down just 2 Zeroes and a Nell. Fortunately, the raids there were once again too high to do meaningful damage.

The KBs strike on Force Y was far more effective. We couldn't even get to the bombers as we traded 4 P-39s for 5 Zeroes. As for the ships:

Wave 1:
CL Boise
CL Tromp, Bomb hits 1
CL Capetown, Bomb hits 1
CL Enterprise
CLAA Van Heemskerck, Bomb hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
CL Sumatra, Bomb hits 1, on fire
CL Mauritius, Bomb hits 2, on fire
CL Durban, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
CL Java
Wave 2:
DD Van Ghent, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
CL Enterprise, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
CL Tromp, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
CL Java, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
CL Mauritius, Bomb hits 3, on fire
CL Durban, Bomb hits 1
CL Capetown, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CL Sumatra, Bomb hits 2, on fire
CLAA Van Heemskerck, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
DD Walke, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
CL Boise, Bomb hits 1
The anti-aircraft cruiser was the first hit, so that was a very disappointing performance from the unit that I thought was going to help make this task force a difficult target.

Some of our bombers tried to attack the KB, but our fighters were all playing defense so they were handled easily. We lost 2 B-17s, 2 139Ws, and 2 Swordfish.

Tjepoe, the space where the invasion force landed, has been captured.

A small bright spot in all this, the Dutch sub KXIII sank a cargo ship near Makassar.


Hawaii
As expected, the destination of the ships that were being loaded was Oahu. The subs I positioned to intercept were brushed aside by a robust ASW escort. The enemy invaded with two task forces, a main force and a smaller detachment. The smaller one hit the beaches first and took heavy losses--my coastal defenses ranged from 3" to 12" fixed batteries, 8" guns transported by rail, plus all the artillery that the Marines stationed there have, while this force had no major warships. It looks like we wasted 4 out of 6 transports in this group and killed about 1300 troops.

The main force had all 4 battleships we've become quite used to seeing here, plus cruisers and destroyers, so they were able to suppress our shore batteries a bit. We still damaged a few transports and a destroyer, with enemy casualties estimated around 800. Morning brought with it much better accuracy for our shore batteries and a massive ship-shore battle broke out. The enemy warships scrambled to draw fire away from the transports.
BB Yamashiro, Shell hits 1
BB Fuso, Shell hits 14
BB Mutsu
BB Nagato, Shell hits 22, on fire
CA Furutaka, Shell hits 4, on fire
CL Kitakami, Shell hits 3, on fire
CL Tama, Shell hits 2, on fire
CL Abukuma, Shell hits 1
DD Namikaze
DD Yuzuki
AMC Bankok Maru, Shell hits 1, on fire
xAK Melbourne Maru, Shell hits 6, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Kinai Maru, Shell hits 12, on fire, heavy damage
xAK Manila Maru, Shell hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Seattle Maru, heavy fires
AMC Saigon Maru
DD Kasumi, on fire
DD Ariake

Most of those hits on the battleships are being resisted by the armor, but we have some big guns out there and some of those got through. We'd kill about 1800 more enemy troops while they were trying to establish a beachhead; our casualties were around 300. I'd estimate 4 divisions came ashore today.

USS Pompano, undeterred from being attacked in the morning, returned for more and ended up being spotted and depth charged before it could get in attack position. It took light damage before it escaped.

Operation Kinky Boots
With Tavoy secured, I ordered AVG-1 to sweep Bangkok, kind of a recon-in-force to see if it was dangerous to send bombers there. We encountered 8 Nates on patrol and splashed 7 of them with no losses. The bombers that aren't going to Bangkok yet hit the troops retreating from Tavoy--he had 10 Nates protecting them this time. Our 5 escorting Hurricanes shot down 1, but several got through and damaged some of the bombers. Good thing they only have .30 cal machine guns on those planes.

At Raheng, recon reports there are troops guarding Pisanouke, the smaller base at Raheng's flank. This means I'm going to have to cross a river under fire no matter which way I attack from. So, I've cancelled my order to cross downriver and ordered a frontal assault on Raheng. Raheng is now my priority bomber target, I'm going to work them over hard to help my troops cross.
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Old 08-16-2021, 02:54 AM   #150
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Is invading Oahu a reasonable move in WiTP? Historically it would have been an extreme gamble with an awfully high chance of total defeat for Japan, as there was a strong garrison even on December 7th, 1941.
It's a high reward move if it succeeds, no doubt about that, but how likely is this to succeed, especially against a human opponent?

A defeat in this invasion will have wasted Japanese manpower and materiel your opponent should be unable to replace (or at least very unlikely to replace).



In general it sounds as if your opponent is playing a very aggressive campaign, even compared to the historical campaign undertaken by Imperial Japan. Historically seen this was something Japan could never have sustained for much more than a few months - does something similar eventually happen in WiTP (unless the Allied player surrenders, that is)?
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