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Old 08-27-2021, 11:34 AM   #166
Molon Labe
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25 March 1942

Ceram Sea
The Dutch sub KXII torpedoed a troop-carrying cargo ship, causing severe damage. The ship might sink before it makes ports. Troops moving through this area would probably be bound for smaller islands in the Banda Sea.

Java
A battleship and two heavy cruisers shelled Batavia, disabling over 60 aircraft and destroying a minelayer in port.

Our bombers attacked their eastern troops with a loss of 3 139-WH bomers, 2 P-40s, and a Hurricane. The bombers caused significant enemy troop casualties.

We lost a B-26 bombing Raheng as the enemy had established a CAP to protect its troops there.

New Hebrides
I've moved additional fighters to Efate to intercept the Betties trying to intervene in Luganville. A submarine attempted an attack on the cruiser Concord (also the target of the Betties yesterday) but was detected and depth charged.

Thailand
Nates swept Tavoy again. Why bother? 6 were shot down with no losses on our side. Our bombers hitting the 5th Division hit firm resistance from Nates, Oscars, and flak. Escorting Hurricanes shot down 3 Nates and an Oscar, two of our bombers were lost to flak. Our bombers' performance was lackluster when they got on target compared to previous raids. I really have to wonder if the bombers have been the difference makers here, because today the 5th Division attacked again and pushed our troops back towards Tavoy. We took over 1400 casualties, and my southern prong is now for all practical purposes combat ineffective. I'm going to try to form a defensive line in the mountains and let the northern prong work its way south to maintain a credible threat against Bangkok.

China
We're starting to get AVG P-40s over Chusien, but they don't have enough playtime that far out to reliably intercept anything. A group of two managed to move in on an enemy air raid: 52 Nates and 40 Ann/Sonia light bombers. They splashed a Nate and RTBd.

I had 3 Hudson bombers take a break from bombing troop concentrations and head south to Hong Kong. They found the battleship Hyuga under repair there and hit it with a 250-pounder.
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Old 08-27-2021, 01:18 PM   #167
Molon Labe
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26 March 1942
Surge coming? CV aircraft over Java, no carriers detected. Possible CV in Solomons. Luganville Betties now escorted by Zeroes

Malaya
A cruiser and destroyer patrolled near Singapore and sank 2 small ASW craft. Curious move--he needs the cruisers to hit my Java airfields and he's risking attack by light bombers. Is he trying to get subs to Rangoon?

We attacked Johore Barhu with our Singapore bombers. It was a bit of a ___-show, Oscars got 5 Hurricanes total. We managed 3 kills of our own, but damage to the airbase was only light. Not worth it.

New Hebrides and Solomons
The Betties here are now being escorted by Zeroes. This is very concerning. We lost 3 P-39s to the escorts and shot down only 1 Zero, no Betties. They didn't score any hits but we definitely need to get the ships away from Luganville.

Scouts claim to have spotted a single carrier in the Solomons. I would have expected the whole KB to head here after he spotted all 3 of my (then) active carriers in this area. If it's not the KB it's expect this is actually just a seaplane carrier. In any case, if it is a carrier, this makes the situation in Luganville all the more urgent. I'm running out of time for my marines to win this fight.

My troops at Luganville attacked but were held off. Maybe if I tried a more aggressive shock attack instead of a deliberate attack?

Java
We failed to duplicate the success of yesterdays raids outside of Surabaya. The air battle claimed an Oscar, a P-40 and two of our medium bombers. Intel claims that some of the Zeroes here were from the Hiryu, and they came from the south rather than from the north or east where they have known airbases. Did he detach a carrier to try to pursue the Hermes? Well, it looks like he's coming back into the Java Sea if he did.

I forgot to cancel the bomber raids on Raheng, which cost me 2 B-26s and 3 Hudsons. One of the B-26s shot down a Zero.

Borneo
HMS Trusty laid more mines at Balikpapan and then tried to attack a replenishment task force. It missed and sustained light damage from the following depth charge attack.

China
The enemy army near Nanchang is a whole division. My attack with 2 Corps wasn't enough and I took 2000 casualties for trying. I can either send my main force or leave them. Hmmm.
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Old 09-02-2021, 08:19 AM   #168
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27 March 1942
Disaster at Timor--KB hits troop transports

Borneo
An enemy cargo ship hit a mine at Balikpapan. Because it's in a port space it will probably survive.

Celebes Sea
Dutch sub KXV torpedoed and likely sank a loaded medium tanker in the Celebes Sea. It's slightly north of where I expected the lane to be so I'll be adjusting my subs' patrol areas here.

Malaya
Apparently completely unafraid of my bombers, the cruiser and destroyer stuck around Singapore and sank another 2 ASW patrol boats.

New Hebrides
I'm still disembarking troops and supplies at Luganville. At least 2 enemy subs are there now but our destroyers are holding them off.

The scale of enemy air attacks increased, and it would cost us. Our fighters began causing enemy losses but the bombers were still getting through. 6 Zeroes and 4 Nells were shot down for a loss of 2 P-40s and a P-39. The bombers hit USS Concord twice and sank her (light cruiser), along with a troop transport (fortunately an empty one).


Sumatra
19 Oscars swept Palembang, shooting down 3 Buffalos and a P-40 with no losses. Yes, I still have a few squadrons flying Buffalos.

Thailand
Our bombers targeted the 5th Division in the south. We traded 3 Blenheims for 3 Oscars and 3 Nates and about 200 enemy soldiers.

Timor
I'm not sure if my decision to try to load the troops landing here back up made this happen because the disembarking was painfully slow, but it might have. But the KB showed up here and tore that task force to pieces. (2nd instance of each ship is the 2nd wave)
xAP Empress ' Asia, Bomb hits 6, heavy fires
xAP Empress ' Australia, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
xAP Empress ' Australia, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
xAP Aquitania, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
xAP Aquitania, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
xAP Wakefield, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Wakefield, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Tjerk Hiddes
DD Tjerk Hiddes, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP West Point, Bomb hits 4, on fire
xAP West Point, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Thanet
xAP Duchess of Bedford, Bomb hits 2, on fire
xAP Duchess of Bedford, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
xAP Empress ' Scotland, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires
xAP Empress ' Scotland, Bomb hits 4, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk

Troop casualties were probably around 3000 and was concentrated in one of the 2 brigades being transported. It will probably be a long time before that brigade can be made useful again. These transports were also high value. Large and fast, these would have been better used to land troops at a nearby port than for amphibious ops in a contested area.
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Old 09-02-2021, 01:29 PM   #169
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28 March 1942

Timor
The enemy detached 3 destroyers and sent them into port at Koepang to finish off the Duchess of Bedford, the only surviving transport. The loss of that ship resulted in another 1100 casualties to our ground forces. The damaged destroyer Tjerk Hiddes attempted to clear the area but was finished off by a submarine.

The battleship Kirishima and 3 destroyers followed up to shell Koepang, disabling at least 20 planes, and underscoring a serious problem at this base: when I ordered the re-embarking of the partially disembarked troops, the ships also started taking supply from the base. Between that and the damage being dealt to the base, the supply here is depleted, and my planes won't be flying, including the light bombers that should be performing low level attacks against these ships shelling the base.

Java
An enemy heavy cruiser and destroyer hit mines attempting to shell Surabaya. The destroyer aborted its mission, but the cruiser and two others pushed on and shelled the base, disabling over 50 planes and damaging a destroyer under repair in port.

The battleship Haruna and 3 heavy cruisers shelled Batavia, disabling at least 30 planes.

The damage to airbases reduced the size of our raids. We lost a P-40 and a B-25 near Surabaya without inflicting significant damage on the ground. An attempted light bomber run on enemy ships at Tjepoe resulted in 1 Oscar shot down but no hits on anything, despite a the mine-damaged destroyer being targeted.

In a case of my failing to range-limit my bombers, I lost 4 139W bombers attempting to attack a tanker at Singkawang, which had a CAP and was beyond the reach of my own fighters. 2 bombers made it to the tanker but missed.

Thailand
Oscars attempted to sweep Tavoy but we beat them back. 6 Oscars shot down for a loss of 1 Hurricane and 1 P-40.

New Hebrides
The enemy bombers pursued my retreating ships from Luganville to Efate. We got 2 Betties and 8 Kates.

I ordered my troops to perform a shock attack on Luganville, hoping I could overcome their defenses before this operation becomes unrecoverable. They were pushed back with 275 casualties, only inflicting 12 on the enemy.
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Old 09-02-2021, 06:13 PM   #170
Molon Labe
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29 March 1942
Mines everywhere!

Thailand and Burma
Remember my theory that they were trying to open the Strait of Malacca to submarines? A sub just hit a mine at Rangoon, probably sank.

Air raids over Pisanuloke (adjacent to Raheng airbase) resulted in an Oscar and a Hurricane going down, with our bombers inflicting moderate casualties. Our bombers are suddenly less effective here, not sure why.

Java
The IJN is now shelling our troops trying to take their eastern beachhead. Not good. We have the numbers, but if we're constantly bombed and shelled we might fail to take the hex. An transport in an enemy task force landing reinforcements hit a mine, suffering troop casualties, but not enough to bring the ship down. A torpedo boat in another task force hit a mine here as well, almost certainly sinking.

On the west side of the island, we had a rare successful ASUW attack as 3 Fulmars hit an AKL at low level, scoring 4 gun burst hits and 3 bomb hits, sinking it. Then they rearmed and went back, badly damaging a large cargo ship with 3 bomb hits.

Japan
USS Tautog sank a cargo ship between Kyushu and Okinawa with 2 torpedo hits.
USS Triton hit a mine near Tokyo, it seems the sub was crossing through the shallow water hexes south of Tokyo bay. I set their patrol zones to avoid these areas so I'm not sure what happened here. The sub is crippled and making less than 5 knots towards home. I am not hopeful.

New Hebrides
The enemy continued their attacks on Efate, costing them 3 Nells and 4 Betties as they exceeded the ability of their escorting Zeroes to provide support. But they also had at least one carrier launch a raid, which was escorted and managed to avoid our fighters in any case:

xAP Macdhui, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
xAP Macdhui, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage (2nd wave)
CL Perth, Bomb hits 3, on fire
CL Perth, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage (2nd wave)
xAP Kota Gede, Bomb hits 6, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DM Pruitt
xAP Kota Radja, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
xAP Kota Radja, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage (2nd wave)
xAK Red Jacket, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk (by Nells)
xAP Macdhui, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage

Our bombers got through and hit their troops pretty good without any fighters intercepting. They're landing supplies and reinforcements though, so it seems unlikely I can wear them down enough with bombers to pull a win out of this.

Timor
The KB bombed Koepang airbase, not that it matters much with the base out of supply. About 60 aircraft were disabled.

China
The LR CAP over Chusien is finally starting to pay off. AVG P-40s shot down 3 light bombers with no losses. These are just hit-and-run attacks really, this was 3 P-40s vs 46 nates and 27 light bombers. Superior airspeed is all that stops this from going badly for me.
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:06 PM   #171
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30 March 1942
Oahu on borrowed time

Java
At the eastern beachhead of Tjepoe, we had some success interdicting bombers, getting 3 Sallies and a Lily along with 5 Zeroes and 2 Oscars. We lost 3 fighters. The bombers are still getting through, though, and between the bombing raids and naval bombardment, I am concerned my armies here could become combat ineffective.

We attempted raids against the enemy ships attacking Tjepoe, costing us our last 2 Swordfish torpedo bombers on Java along with 3 Falcon light bombers and 4 fighters. We didn't score any hits as most of the bombers aborted due to the amount of resistance.

Enemy armies cleared by forces out of a hex adjacent to Surabaya, casualties 155 to 514 favoring them. We attacked in Tjepoe, and despite the enemy bombardments we managed to bring their forts down to 0. Casualties even at 375 each side.

Makassar Strait
KVIII torpedoed a cargo ship, likely sinking it.

Celebes Sea
S-36 performed surface attack in the "tanker lane" against a cargo ship, scoring gun hits and a torpedo hit and likely sinking it.

Thailand
Air battles near Raheng claimed 2 fighters on each side, we also lost a Hudson to flak. Again, damage to enemy ground forces done by our bombers was light compared to prior turns. Our troops below attacked and have taken Pisanuloke, inflicting 900 casualties to our 83 in the process. This concludes the northern prong of Operation Kinky Boots. My armies will rest for a day and then head south to threaten Bangkok, possibly surround it and cut it off.

New Hebrides
Remarkably little happened here, which after the last two turns is worth reporting on. We bombed Luganville with no resistance and didn't suffer any enemy raids. I still think the enemy CVBG is here. Oh, and intel reports one of the CVLs we thought was sunk is still in service--I think it was the Zuiho. I doubt it's here now, but maybe in another month or two.

Hawaii
The supply situation in Oahu is becoming critical. I have a couple plans to relieve the pressure, but I'm just not sure I have the time to make them work.

EDIT:
Japan: USS Triton was finished off by a Japanese ASW aircraft that caught the crippled boat on the surface. The Triton is the first sub I've lost at sea, the only other two to be sunk were in port.
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:35 PM   #172
Molon Labe
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31 March 1942

New Hebrides
Enemy subs have taken position off Noumea, my largest active forward base with Pearl shut down. We got a few hits on one in the shallows but not enough to sink it. The same sub appeared later to torpedo a cargo ship and was depth charged again, I still don't think we got it. The cargo ship survived and is being repaired in port.

Our bombers attacked transports at Luganville but the escorting fighters took a beating, 7 P-40s when down along with an A-20 bomber. We had no kills of our own.

Sumatra
An enemy destroyer squadron made its way up the channel to Palembang. They ran into the KIX and KXII on coastal patrol duty and depth charged them both for moderate damage. They then proceeded to the port and shelled it, sinking a minesweeper which one DD hit a defensive mine.

Japan
Setting a new record for bad luck, USS Swordfish attacked a cargo ship on the surface, firing multiple torpedo salvoes, scoring 8 hits--none of which detonated. The cargo ship was left on fire from gun hits as Swordfish returns to base in shame and frustration.

Java
We lost 3 Hurricanes trying to protect our forces that retreated to Tjilapjap. Raids on enemy units near Surabaya cost us 3 fighters and 5 bombers without dealing much damage, we only took down 2 Zeroes with us.

Our ground forces at Tjepoe took an absolute beating by the Kirishima and her escorts, as well as waves of bombers that we just don't have enough fighters to stop. I had ordered by troops to attack today, and they did, but the disruption caused by the bombardments was too much and we failed to take the base, taking 1038 casualties in the attempt. We came so close to taking this beachhead, but our forces are now combat ineffective due to severe disruption, and it's going to stay that way if he can keep up the naval bombardments.

Bangkok
With the north secure, I refocused my bombers on the Bangkok area, which led to a small disaster as our fighters failed to link up with the bombers, many arriving unescorted. We lost 8 Hudsons and 4 Blenhiems with no enemy fighters shot down. This will degrade our offensive ability going forward as we just don't have a lot of replacements right now.

Hawaii
3 of the 4 BB were back, supporting what appears to have been a resupply landing, although it looks like some troops came ashore too--probably replacement combat engineers. We shot up 4 transports pretty good but I'm sure they served their purpose.

China
I threw more troops at the enemy army (the 104th Division) outside Nanchang and routed them. Casualties 4093 to 1400. I think I'll chase these guys for awhile.
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Old 09-03-2021, 02:45 PM   #173
Molon Labe
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1 April 1942
CV Junyo likely operating near Luganviile

Borneo
The enemy lost a PB to a mine at Tarakan. I think mines are my new PT boats in terms of asymmetric losses.


Thailand and Burma
Tavoy airbase was bombarded from the sea; a heavy cruiser and a destroyer. They disabled 8 aircraft and destroyed 1, so that wasn't too bad, but it does mean I need to guard this sea lane. I'll be probing the area to figure out if the Betties aren't looking here.

We lost 7 more Blenheims trying to attack troops near Bangkok, our escorts did link up with the bombers this time, they just didn't do a very good job. Probably didn't help that we had 9 less planes from Tavoy available.

Java
Extensive air battles over Tjepoe resulted in 2 enemy fighters and 3 bombers shot down with a loss of 4 of our fighters. The bombers getting through are doing a good job keeping our troops disrupted--too much so to order an attack right now.

Sweeps over Tjilapjap went our way, 3 attacking Oscars down for a loss of 1 P-40.

South of Java, the KB went commerce raiding and found a tanker convoy returning to Colombo from Perth. They sank 3 of 4 tankers, damaging the other and its ASW escort.

New Hebrides
An attempted attack on the enemy CVBG was routed by the CAP, which ws 26 Zeroes strong. Our strike was 4 Hudsons and 3 Havocs escorted by 6 P-39s and 5 P-40s. We shot down only 1 Zero and lost 4 fighters and 6 bombers, the only surviving bomber aborted before reaching a target.

Intel reports the enemy carriers are the Kaga and Junyo. Apparently he accelerated production on the Junyo and got her early. Which probably also means the Hiyo will be showing up soon.
---------------------
Strategic picture:

The loss of the Australian troop convoy put an exclamation point on a really bad month for me. The Java campaign is going poorly, although if I'd succeeded in getting those Australians onto Java, or manged to seize the eastern beachhead, it could have become a quagmire for him. On the other hand, Operation Kinky Boots took the pressure off Singapore and it looks like the Malayan campaign will be on hold until Hawaii falls. I've also landed quite a bit of reinforcements on Sumatra, so that will be a harder nut to crack for him than Java is turning out to be.

My carriers have been quiet since Java Sea, partly because of the crazy distance they have to travel to get anywhere with CENTPAC in the enemy's hands. All of my US carriers are now due for upgrades, the Lexington class's being particularly significant in terms of upgraded AA. I considered docking the Lexington in Sydney for repairs and upgrades, but ruled it out due to the lack of sufficient airpower to protect it there. Also the repair yard just isn't that big. In any case, the Lex will probably put in for upgrades in early April and I'll try to cycle my other carriers through after. All my subs are now due to receive radars, so I'll be rolling through those on a steady basis. Indomitable will be repaired in 3 more weeks and the CV Formidable is in theatre and ready for action.

US Air force fighter production is not keeping pace with losses, but I think his are worse. So I can keep sending in replacements as long as I'm not losing them to naval bombardments, that needs to stop. Wildcat production is much higher than it used to be; short of any major losses I should be OK there. I'm not making SBDs fast enough though. If I lose dive bombers it will be difficult to get back to full strength. Torpedo bomber production is low, but they all suck anyways until the Avengers arrive in a month. Dutch production is still crappy, UK production is ticking up, we're starting to see Martlets (Wildcats) arriving for the carriers and Mohawks to outfit some badly needed training squadrons.

The fuel situation in Australia has stabilized thanks mostly to arrivals in Perth, but the loss of that tanker convoy is going to hurt there. My chain of bases in SouthPAC is doing OK, the airfields are built up enough to support bombers, supply is good, defenses are good, and fuel has been adequate. These bases are the reason I have as many fighters as I do in Java.

I'm still looking for signs that his fuel situation is deteriorating, but he's got the KB operating in the Indian Ocean south of Java, which sure doesn't look like he's afraid of running out of fuel. That, plus the various ships running riot all of the Java Sea right now and sustained operations in Hawaii--he seems to be doing OK. I'm disappointed my subs have only killed one tanker so far and that I don't even seem to be finding them. There are only 3 bases for him to pull fuel from right now and I'm constantly mining them and patrolling for tankers, it should pay off at some point, I hope.
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Old 09-03-2021, 04:21 PM   #174
Molon Labe
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2 April 1942
CV Kaga VID by Catalina near Efate

Japan
USS Tautog torpedoed and sank an unescorted cargo ship off Kyushu. It actually attacked it twice, either missing or dud-ing the first time, breaking off, and setting up a 2nd attack. It still surprises me that ships coming through here often don't have escorts.

New Hebrides
A surface task force of 2 cruisers, 2 destroyers, and a torpedo boat shelled Efate air base, disabling 37 planes. It's aggravating that my bombers are just letting this happen. I had 3 Vindicator dive bombers attack a cargo ship and miss, and I've taken a P-39 squadron off orders to strafe and back to fighter duty because they just weren't finding anything. Shame, that 37mm cannon in the nose would probably shred anything up to light cruiser.

We shot down a Betty and a Nate trying to attack Luganville. Their army also tried to throw ours off the beach, but we held them off, just barely. Our bombers are disrupting them pretty badly, even if they have been reinforced.

A Catalina confirmed the Kaga was here and even claims to have hit it with a bomb. Sure you did, sparky.

I'm at a loss to understand why he's leaving two carriers here when he hasn't seen mine in weeks, and I can attack with as many as four of them for all he knows.

Thailand
I've assembled a CVBG around Formidable and a surface combat TF to try to catch anyone else that wants to bombard Tavoy. My Tavoy fighters swept Bangkok as I rested my decimated bombers--that didn't go well either--5 P-40s shot down by Oscars and only 2 Nate kills in exchange.


Java
An air battle over Tjilatjap cost us 2 Hurricanes and a P-400 with nothing to show for it. Our troops fought off an enemy land attack, forts level 3 and holding.

At Tjepoe, we traded 2 fighters for 2 Oscars. My land forces there were too disrupted to attack again. The bombers hit them hard as well as the BB Haruna with 3 heavy cruisers and 4 DDs.

The KB finished off the surviving tanker and escort from yesterday.

We attempted an attack on the BB Haruna with 5 Falcon light bombers, but they all missed.

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Old 09-04-2021, 01:30 PM   #175
Molon Labe
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3 April 1942
Tjilapjap falls

Java
The BB Haruna and 3 CA's bombarded my troops at Tjepoe. It looks like he's got a chainsaw system set up where one BB is heading back to port to rearm while the other is advancing. Presumably, that port is Balikpapan but I haven't confirmed that yet. But, my troops have recovered enough that I'm willing to attempt another attack. We'll see how that goes tomorrow.

Scouts report a convoy of 7 ships, mostly tankers, in the eastern Java Sea. I'm going to call those oilers instead of tankers--that's the KB's replenishment group. I've diverted a sub from it's patrol area to try to intercept them if they try to go south of Java to meet up with the KB.

Enemy air activity was relatively low, there were a few sweeps over Tjilatjap and my bombers hit Tjepoe mostly unopposed. We lost 2 fighters over Tjilatjap while splashing one Zero, and got three unescorted Sallies over Tjepoe while trading an Oscar for a P-40 in another sortie there. Falcon bombers flew two sorties against enemy ships but again failed to hit anything, one was shot down by AA.

In spite of the forts holding at Tjilapjap, the enemy armies broke through and took the base. We had two fighter squadrons and a recon squadron based there when it was taken.

Also captured was Merak, which is the base along the western channel into the Indian Ocean.

Hawaii/CENTPAC
He's actually laid off of Pearl/Hickam that I had 4 planes in the air on CAP today and splashed a few bombers. I'm also about to commence an operation against Christmas Island and Palmyra. I've been reconning both islands aggressively to try to find enemy forces there, but haven't. Not wanting a repeat of Luganville, I'm also sending a surface TF in to bombard as sort of a recon-in-force. Hopefully this will draw some heat off of Pearl, but if he allows me to take these unopposed, at least it opens up my sea lanes significantly.

New Hebrides
He's attacking our marines on the beach again, I'm a little surprised they haven't surrendered at this point. Apparently they want to fight to the last man. We lost two P-39s trying to stop their bombers from hitting our troops at Luganville. The carriers are still there, they're actually hanging out at the small atoll I've been flying Catalina's out of, supported by two tenders. I'm pulling the Catalinas back to Efate, the tenders will stay put for now, no sense putting them out at sea where they'll be spotted and sunk easily.

China
We fought and routed the 104th Division near Nanchang once again (5000 enemy casualties to 660 ROC). I'm going to chase it one more time, but it's more of a feint now, I just want to move this offensive army further east.

Most of my deployments in China have been to try to meet an offensive surge and stall it, but no such offensive ever really materialized. So it may be time to emulate the success of Kinky Boots and do something like that here. I've been training my bomber pilots to do recon long enough for them to have proficiency, so I'm going to lay off bombing raids for a few days and focus on figuring out his force levels in a few areas where I might have enough troops to go on the offensive.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:47 AM   #176
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4 April 1942
Contact Lost with Kaga & Junyo just as Enterprise and Saratoga arrive

West Australia
A Wirraway on ASW patrol bombed an enemy sub off Perth.

New Hebrides
There is now a concentration of submarines off Noumea. I have 2 corvettes and 2 destroyers out looking for them, with a squadron of Wirraways supporting. The Wirraways claimed to hit 2 of them today, and one of the destroyers slightly damaged one with a depth charge attack.

Air losses over Luganville were 2 P-39s and 3 P-40s; SBDs left over from the Yorktown rebased to here and attempted to hit transports but missed.

I've moved the Enterprise and Saratoga back here after having them clear datum to avoid a chance of them being ambushed by the KB. But with the KB at Java and two carriers here--one of them 2nd rate--I was trying to ambush them. But my scouts failed to find them today. I know they're still here, their Zeroes are defending Luganville. My CVBG hasn't been detected yet, so I'm just going to be patient for another day, maybe they'll turn up.

Japan
USS Plunger torpedoed a cargo ship southeast of Tokyo.

Hawaii and CENTPAC
3 BB bombarding Pearl today.

I did some bombarding of my own with 2 cruisers at Christmas Island. This recon-in-force did not detect any enemy troops concentrations. Catalinas also still haven't found anything. The landing will be tomorrow.

Java
My attack on Tjepoe failed--it's a lot more than 2 regiments there now. Probably triple that. I'm going to try to pull these troops back. This means both my "draw him to a defensive bastion" strategy in the west and my "hit him where he's overextended" strategy in the east both failed. Java is pretty much doomed at this point, all I can do now is try to make him pay for every mile he seizes, Surabaya in particular. For what it's worth, our bombers are still getting through at Tjepoe and hitting their troops in open terrain, so this is costing them something. Air losses over Tjepoe were 2 P-39s and a Falcon for 3 Oscars. At Djokarta we traded a Sally for a P-39. The KB raided Batavia, shooting down 3 Buffalo and a Hurricane with no losses and inflicting significant facility damage with its bombers.
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Old 09-05-2021, 12:21 PM   #177
Molon Labe
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5 April 1942
Another recon failure as a tank regiment greets our Christmas Island landing, carrier battle in New Hebrides fails to materialize

New Hebrides

Wirraways reported two more hits on the subs in the area. I think we're up to 7.

The enemy carriers have fallen back to a defensive position closer to the Solomons. When they were near Luganville to attack Efate, they were beyond the torpedo-carrying range of Guadalcanal's Betties, and beyond the range of the land-based Zeroes to escort them. But picking a fight with that CVBG now would mean a fully-armed and escorted Betty counterattack along with whatever the carriers send out. No thank you.

I have S-boats all over the place here, so I'm going to try to surround the enemy CVBG and see if I get lucky.

Both sides bombed the other's troops on Luganville. The offsetting raids resulted with 7 US fighters down plus 3 Hudson bombers, and 3 Zeroes, 2 Betties, a Nell, and 3 Kates.

My troops at Luganville report they are surrounded, so tomorrow is probably going to be it for them. So that's an infantry regiment plus a base force and USMC aviation support group wasted.

Java
Enemy ground forces attacked mine at Tjepoe, routing my weakened forces. A tender that was ejected from Tjilatjap when it was captured was intercepted and sunk by an enemy submarine.

To the east, a small enemy sub hit two mines at Koepang and sank.

Air battles over Tjepoe throughout the day resulted in 5 Oscars, a Sally, and a Lily down for them, and 3 P-40s, a Hurricane, and 2 P-39s down for us. A Falcon was also shot down by Oscars trying to attack transports offshore. The KB raided Batavia again, shooting down a defending Buffalo and 2 Hurricanes without taking losses, and again hitting the base with its bombers--but that cost him 4+ Vals to AA. I've evacuated most of my planes from there at this point so I'm not too worried about it.

Hawaii and CENTPAC
We landed a marine regiment, an army battalion, plus base forces on what should have been a mostly empty base at Christmas Island, but ran into a regiment of tanks there. We took heavy casualties landing, but I think we can overcome this. We definitely came more prepared than last time, and supporting naval gunfire disrupted the enemy pretty badly. We'll need a day to secure the beachhead after a disruptive landing and then we can try to press and see what happens.

Bismark Sea
USS Grayback torpedoed an enemy cargo ship approaching Rabaul, probably a supply run.
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:50 AM   #178
Molon Labe
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6 April 1942


CENTPAC
Christmas Island was a midget sub base. Don't ask me why. But he sortied a bunch of them from harbor. I destroyed one with depth charges after it scored a hit on one of my destroyers, detonating a magazine and breaking the ship apart. We damaged at least two others. He's also based 4 Nells there, presumably from Lahaina. They don't have access to torpedoes here and their level bombing attacks were ineffective.

3 BB bombarded Pearl again, so at least for now we haven't pulled them south. Maybe we'll get some cruisers.

Java
A slow turn here today. Air battles near Tjepoe took down an Ann bomber for the enemy and 3 fighters and 3 DB-7B bombers for us. We lost track of the KB but it can't be far.

Djokjakarta has been captured.


Thailand
Our bombers spotted and attacked the 38th Division between Raheng and Bangkok. The 38th was responsible for taking Hong Kong and was redeployed to Manila afterward. So, Kinky Boots isn't just pulling enemy troops out of Malaya, but it's taking up troops from the Philippines that should probably be going to Java or Sumatra right now.

This army looks about as strong as my northern prong that it's approaching, so air support is probably what's going to make the difference. So far I've been very successful with my bombers, but his Oscars have been getting the upper hand on my fighters too often. I'm writing these reports a little late, so this decision is being delayed a few days into the "future", but I think I need to pull this army back to Raheng. It's just not worth trying to face this army down--even if I win, it's doubtful a worn-down army is going to be able to take Bangkok or anything else of value. And if I lose, this operation is over. So, better to pull the 38th further north and dig in to freeze it there.

But for now, my army is chasing the defeated Raheng armies south towards the 38th. We attacked and routed them again, inflicting 1110 casualties to our 135.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:47 AM   #179
Molon Labe
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7 April 1942

SouthPAC
Wirraways from Noumea scored another bomb hit on the subs infesting these waters. Truk's going to have a backlog of repairs soon.

CENTPAC
Not just midget subs at Christmas Island, but landing barges too. I detached some cruisers and destroyers from a nearby task force to bombard the enemy here, and they found the barges and wiped them out. Probably a waste of ammunition. We bombarded them with what was left after that. Our troops attacked afterwards, enemy fortifications are down to level 1 and their troops/tanks seem at least a little disrupted. I'll rest up again and make another push in a day or two.

Java
The KB reappeared south of Java to the east side of the island, and launched a major strike on Surabaya. The air battle cost us 7 fighters, and him 4 Zeroes, 4 Kates, and 8 Vals. One of our pilots got 4 of those to himself. Damage to the base was relatively light, the Kates bombed from high altitude and weren't very accurate. They did score 3 bomb hits on 2 damaged cruisers in the shipyard, but it doesn't change much. They were already fated to be caught there when the base is overrun in a week or so.

I'm a little disappointed no one hit any mines today, but that's going to slow down--UK and US submarine-laid mine stocks are exhausted for the moment, and the Dutch have been empty for awhile, so we're not replenishing any minefields. It was mostly 2 UK subs that had been doing the mining recently because their late entry into the theatre allowed them to have a decent mine stockpile built up.

West Coast
The Lexington and all her escorts have reported for maintenance and upgrades. The Lex will have her 8" guns removed and replaced with 1.1" AA guns, and is getting an additional 28 20mm Oerlikons. Most of the escorts are also getting new 20mms installed, several destroyers are also getting radars and/or additional depth charge launchers. Lex's fighters have been "upgraded" to F4F-4 Wildcats--I consider the -3 version to be superior (the -4 adds 2 .50 cals, sacrificing speed, maneuverability, and range), but the -4 is far more numerous right now--it's probably the first aircraft model where we're really starting to see the Allies show off their industrial potential with a build rate of 45 per month. We're getting 25 P-39s and 35 P-40Es per month, for comparison. The -3s will now be available as replacements for the ships still flying them.

Thailand
My opponent decided it was a bad idea to let my bombers hit the 38th division in open terrain, so my bombers were greeted by a CAP over their troops today. They got through my escorting Hurricanes pretty easily, but were mostly ineffective against the bombers-probably due to their relatively poor armament. The Oscars are having trouble catching the B-17s and B-25s in Java but they should have adequate speed to deal with British bombers like the Blenheim. Anyway, we lost 1 Hurricane, and them 3 Oscars, no bomber losses.


New Hebrides
He withdrew his CVBG further northwest towards the Solomons, leaving his Nells and Betties to attack Luganville unescorted. We got 5 of them. Our troops are still fighting, enough that my opponent is complaining about it over email--apparently fighting to the last man is only cool if you're Japanese. They're nearly wiped out, though, won't be much longer.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:19 PM   #180
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I'm still enjoying every new posting, even though the overall situation sounds a bit depressing (a tiny glimpse of what people on the Allied side must have felt during the first half of 1942). Please keep writing your reports. Thank you.




On a side note: I've found some guides to the Japanese industry in WiTP, which, to be honest, make it sound complex enough to be a hardcore sim of its own. There is, however, little information about the Allied industry.

How does the Allied industry work in WiTP?
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