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Old 01-10-2022, 09:27 AM   #451
mapuc
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Just seen a part of Greatness and decline: turning points of World War II In this part they were concentrating on Burma.

Off very strategic importance but a county no one wants to fight a war in. No infrastructure almost no nothing.

In the South Japan has pushed England further south In the North USA Is pressing on to gain land so they can open the road. This was important since 36 Chinese division was in need of supply.

This was in 1942.

Markus
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Old 01-10-2022, 02:48 PM   #452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapuc View Post
Just seen a part of Greatness and decline: turning points of World War II In this part they were concentrating on Burma.

Off very strategic importance but a county no one wants to fight a war in. No infrastructure almost no nothing.

In the South Japan has pushed England further south In the North USA Is pressing on to gain land so they can open the road. This was important since 36 Chinese division was in need of supply.

This was in 1942.

Markus
I have to agree, I don't like fighting there. The crappy roads are hindering my movement, and as I've said, the lack of available engineers has pulled the rug out from under my air campaign. Part of this is a flaw in my own preparedness; I could have moved more engineers here and built up different airbases with them.
-------------------------

19 October 1942
Singapore falls, enemy armies advance in northern and eastern China

China
Another enemy force has made a flanking manuever to the south of Chengchow, crossing the river before we could cut them off. Our blocking force has arrived and will probe the enemy next turn to estimate their strength. This is now my priority target for the Wellington bombers that had been bombing the army advancing on Foochow along the Strait coastline. Might even sic my B-24s on them if it turns out there's a lot of them.

On the south side of mine line of coastal bases, an enemy army is advancing from Chaochow towards Amoy (where my patrol bombers are based). I'm pulling some armies from Foochow to cover this. I'm also bringing in some troops from further inland--my guess is that if he's bringing enough to take Amoy from me, then he doesn't have enough left in Chaochow to hold it. The enemy army is in open territory, so I'm assigning the Lysanders and a few SB-IIIs to hit it.

The weather over Port Arthur is expected to be stormy tomorrow, so the B-24s are still resting.

Malaya
The enemy attacked Singapore in full force, and as expected, the starved troops folded like a cheap table. That's 34,000 Brits, Indians, and Aussies headed to the POW camps.

On paper, the enemy strength should have been around 7-8 divisions, but their actual assault strength in this attack was only around 4.5., indicating that these units are beaten down rather badly. That's still a lot of troops, though. I think the most sensible next step for him is to bring the strongest units to Burma to turn the tide there, while resting and rebuilding the weaker ones so that they're ready to resist my offensives. Clearly he can already see a Solomons campaign is in the opening phases.

Banda Sea
Speaking of offensives, my amphibious group here arrived at Babar undetected and will offload a garrison, a base force, and construction engineers overnight. We should have a functioning airbase in about a week, until then, P-38s from Darwin will provide CAP.

Espiritu Santu Islands
Scoutplanes reported an enemy task force of 10 ships, mostly PGs, very close to Luganville. We haven't quite finished delivering the base force, but just in case this is the cruiser task force (possibly reinforced with more ships), I'm having the phibs back off. I still need to deliver construction engineers anyway, and they're loading up on other ships at Efate now, so this delay will be minimal--they'll just sortie again with the engineers. I'm hoping that I'll get a riposte out of this; he comes south looking for my ships, doesn't find them, and then gets hit with an airstrike. To try to capitalize on that possibility, I've moved the last of the B-26s out of Efate (bombing their marines is a much lower priority mission than it was a few days ago) and replaced them with A-20s. So he's potentially facing a two-pronged attack of dive bombers and skip bombers if we catch him.

Reinforcements
SC-642 arrives at San Francisco
SC-643 arrives at Seattle
AM Daring arrives at Portland
822/828 Engineer Aviation Battalion arrives at San Francisco (full strength unrestiected)
2nd Indian Heavy AA Regiment arrives at Madras (half strength, restricted. Headed to Calcutta--we may actually need to defend against airstrikes there in a month or so)
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Old 01-12-2022, 09:09 AM   #453
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20 October 1942
Amphibious group barely escapes heavy surface task force at Luganville

Espiritu Santo Islands
Good thing I ordered them to stop unloading and leave. The enemy task force that approached wasn't the same cruiser group that's been hanging around, this was 1 BB (Kirishima), 5 CA, 1 CL, 7 DD. We were already underway when they arrived. Rain hampered visibility to 6,000 yards and we tracked them on radar. They got within 7,000 yards of us without seeing us before we were able to start opening range and escape.

Edit: There were two Mogami-class heavy cruisers there, which have upgrades that include Type 21 radar available in July 1942. I'm not sure if the upgrade hasn't been performed yet or if the Type 21 sucks in rain. Edit 2: My opponent replied that I'm wrong about the upgrade and that it's just AA. I was looking at the database as the time, so I'm not wrong--so it looks like he didn't get the upgrade.

Java Sea
The KXI was transiting the Java Sea on the way back to base, spotted a subchaser, and decided to attack. It missed, and received some depth charge damage in return. Good thing it's already headed home.

Philippine Sea
USS Grunion managed to get a Mk14 to detonate on the side of a cargo ship east of Taiwan. They're claiming a kill on this.

Taiwan Strait
USS Sunfish is back underway after stopping to make repairs in Amoy. We don't have any workers at the port there, but it still provided someplace safe for the crew to patch a few holes and dewater as much of the boat as they could. An unplanned benefit of retaking this coastal base. It's headed back to the Aleutians, and if it survives that, Seattle.

China
The Lysanders interdicting the southern force approaching Amoy report it's over 8000 troops. I don't have enough to hold out. I'm ordering more reinforcements from the north side of the line. I'm also ordering the Wellingtons to attack here now.

In the Chengchow area, the enemy flanking force also looks bigger than my blocking force, but I already have more on the way and these enemy troops look really beaten up. With the Wellingtons assigned to the eastern problem, I moved a group of Lysanders up here to bomb them tomorrow. The B-24s are still idling due to rain over their target--I'll probably only give them one more day to wait, if we don't hit Port Arthur they're probably needed to support Chengchow or Amoy.

Notes
Another Mulligan on this turn as my opponent forgot to do something in the south Pacific. As far as I know, the original turn was never run, which is a good thing. But, in my second set of orders I forgot I wanted to order another ground attack at Luganville, so that will wait for tomorrow.

Reinforcements and Refits
BB South Dakota beginning refit in shipyard at Pearl Harbor
DD Mustin begins refit while under repair at Pearl Harbor
CVE Altamaha arrives at Tacoma (complete with aircraft)
No.17 Sqn RNZAF arrives at Christchurch (2/12 P-40s; enough aircraft in reserve to fill out. Restricted)
225 Group RAF arrives at Aden (empty AirHQ. There's another one already being filled out, this one will have to wait)
4th Marine Raider Battalion arrives at San Diego (unrestricted, full strength)
24th USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme (unrestricted, 2/3 strength)
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:27 PM   #454
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21 October 1942
MPA-submarine coordination kills a tanker in the East China Sea; under pressure in China

East China Sea
Yesterday the Husdsons patroling the area spotted a task force that appeared to be transiting along a line of islands to avoid deep water as much as possible, then at Miyako-Jima headed towards Okinawa. I had a sub on patrol that looked like it could intercept it before Okinawa, so I adjusted its patrol to make that happen--and it worked. USS Trigger found a convoy of 4 small tankers and 2 PBs and managed to hit and sink one of the tankers.

Japan
USS Salmon made an ill-advised attack on an ASW group as it transited past Aogashima while en route to its patrol area. But it worked, she sank an old clunker of a subchaser and got away with it.

China
My coastal line of bases now has enemy forces approaching both sides of the line. Before it looked like he'd given up on the northern end, but once we started moving our troops to meet the southern prong, they started marching again. I doubt I have enough to stop both attacks. In my favor, though, the aerial situation has reversed from the early days of the war, when he bombed everywhere any of my troops might come into contact with his. I'm bombing both these guys, and it's been awhile since fighters tried to stop me. Also, on the northern end, the enemy is crossing over roadless, rough terrain, which means they'll arrive with high fatigue and probably low supplies too.

In the north, the enemy flanking force is still apparently superior to my blocking force, even with reinforcements. I'm ordering some extra troops north from Sinyang, but I doubt they'll arrive on time. And with my Wellington bombers needed for a mission on the east coast, I reluctantly ordered a B-24 squadron to participate here--the British one. That leaves 2 US squadrons still standing by for clear weather over Port Arthur (rainy again for tomorrow).

Burma
A second thing I forgot thanks to the Mulligan yesterday, I had originally ordered a large base force to sail from Colombo to Burma. So I put that task force together again today. The test-run light cargo ship made it there and is heading back without having been detected, so that's a good sign. So, this means I now have 3 groups of base forces/engineers approaching to reinforce Burma, one overland and two by sea. The sea approach is risky, but the unfortunate reality here is that the status quo doesn't lead to victory, I need to change the equation. I need to prepare for an onslaught of new troops coming up from Singapore, and that is going to be much harder to pull off if Rangoon is still isolated by Port Blair and I can't bring in supplies.

Some good news here--I noticed I moved a base force and a construction unit from Raheng to Pisanouke. Probably to build up the forts to resist a counterattack that never came. They're headed back to Raheng to build up the base a bit. It doesn't solve the problem, but it makes it a little less bad. It's already close to being big enough to operate B-24s, and if I keep going who knows I might even be able to operate multiple squadrons and have fighters there to keep them from getting blasted on the ground.

We've moved our Tavoy armies back onto the enemy base, now reinforced by armor and with more infantry just a few days away. We shelled them with artillery for moderate casualties. I'm tempted to attack now, it might work. But no, better to wait for the extra infantry, I can just keep shelling them while I wait.

Banda Sea
Babar is officially in our hands and we're building forts and an airfield. The phibs should be done tomorrow, they need to hurry because the one P-38 squadron providing cover has nearly half its planes down for maintenance thanks to the Optemo.

Espiritu Santo Islands
I'm going right back to Luganville today. Yes, that heavy task force is still out there. But I'm betting he doesn't expect me to go right back after just a day. I expect I'll have 80% of what I need ashore tomorrow and can evacuate again if I need to. As long as he doesn't anticipate my move, I'm inside his OODA loop on this. A bit risky, but the operation fails if I don't have enough engineers to build up the island. I'm limiting my risk exposure a little bit by not including a lot of surface forces this time. The skimmers are staying in a task force at Efate, hopefully by keeping them in an active task force they will retreat automatically if a superior enemy force approaches Efate. Sure would be nice if I hadn't lost the Yorktown class.

Reinforcements, Refits, Withdrawals
-VMF-212 had to withdraw today. They'll be back in a few months. These guys were one of the squadrons reactivated at Pearl when we got supplies in and played a key part in whittling down the KB's air wing during the Lahaina evacuation.
-Another major troop convoy is loading at LA bound for Pearl. Includes a USMC regiment, marine island garrison forces, and base forces.
AR Ajax arrives at San Francisco
I Aus Corps Engineer Battalion arrives at Sydney
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Old 01-13-2022, 07:33 PM   #455
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22 Oct 1942

Espiritu Santo Islands
The phibs returned and got to unloading again. I'm not happy with their pace, I'd hoped they'd finish today but they're going to need to stick around.

The destroyer-minesweeper assigned to the group detected a mine and cleared it. I've ordered it to break off from the amphibious group and get to work on the minefield. Another DMS is en route from Efate to help it.

At this time we don't hold any threatening-looking surface contacts, although there is a contact near the Solomons that's reportedly 3-4 ships. I never trust these reports to be accurate, so maybe that's a heavy combat task force. I just don't know. I've ordered some subs that were patrolling Ndeni to act as tripwires between the Solomons and Luganville so maybe we get advance notice if someone sprints from over there.

China
The enemy army at the north end of our coastal line has entered my base's hex; they appear to be 10,000 strong. We have a lot less troops there, but we're behind forts, and so far we're the only side getting air support. I'm adding one of the US B-24 squadrons to those interdicting enemy troop concentrations to make sure all 3 threatening enemy armies are getting plenty of aerial love. The Port Arthur mission was postponed again with overcast skies predicted for tomorrow. Which reminds me, intel reported an AA unit there, and I checked the history and we've had quite a few intel reports about AA there. So, looking those units up...Holy crap, I'm glad I was delayed by weather. In addition to the forts that start there, they've brought in 44 75mm guns, 16 88mms, and 4 100mms. That looks like a lot, and I'd need to bomb at 25,000 just to get away from the 75mms. BUT, three of the extra 5 units are reportedly planning for Singapore. So this might not be a robust defense so much as a transport hub.

Keijo, Korea, would be about the same distance and intel isn't reporting any extra AAA there. It's likely to be a resource transport hub, but no refinery there. Same story with Shanghai, China. Tough call.

But for now, the three armies present an immediate threat, and they're in mostly open territory that makes them ideal bombing targets.

Refits and Reinforcements
Repairs completed on CA Portland at Alameda, ship returned to service
Repairs completed on CA Chester at Alameda, ship returned to service
Repairs completed on CA San Francisco at Pearl Harbor, ship returned to service
^--These 3 were AA and radar upgrades
No.212 Sqn RAF arrives at Karachi (6 Catalinas, headed for Calcutta)
54th TCS arrives at Eastern USA (full strength transport squadron, headed to Capetown, then India)
100th RN Base Force arrives at Aden (empty unit, may take awhile to build up)
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:16 PM   #456
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23 October 1942
"Vengeance" finally strikes in the Bay of Bengal, and we get our revenge in Luganville

Burma/Bay of Bengal
A task force of 3 Katori-class light cruisers and 3 destroyers shelled Moulmein. We saw these slowpokes (Katrori's top speed is 18 knots) coming and moved most of the flyable airplanes out. Damage was minimal. The cruiser Kashii took a hit from coastal artillery.

Probably thanks to their slow speed (but perhaps an errant "remain on station" setting), the enemy task force was still nearby at daybreak. The Vengeance bombers, now based inland at Raheng, finally flew a mission in defense of our coastal bases. Two, actually, 13 planes each time. The enemy had no CAP to resist us, but we did have 10 Hurricanes escorting both strikes. Each plane carried 2x 500lb SAP and 2x 250lb SAP. The 500s should hit hard enough to hurt a CL pretty good.

Strike 1:
CL Kashima, Bomb hits 2, on fire
CL Kashii, Bomb hits 3
Strike 2:
CL Katori, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires
CL Kashii, Bomb hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
CL Kashima, Bomb hits 1, on fire

We think the Kashii went down.

Espiritu Santo Islands and New Britain
Betties are bombing our troops on Ndeni. The Luganville airbase can't get build quick enough. Speaking of which, the phibs still aren't done. But I'm not holding any threatening contacts either. 1 more day...

Our DMS was interrupted by an enemy sub, which it depth charged for moderate damage after evading 2 torpedoes.

Our marines wiped out the last enemy troops on Luganville, avenging the deaths of our soldiers and marines lost here early in the war.

On the opposite side of the Solomons, we detected some small ships pulling into Rabaul, and sent some P-38s, B-25s, and B-26s after them. The level bombers didn't hit anything, but the P-38s strafed a PB and a subchaser. Neither was severely damaged--most of the hits were by the .50cals instead of the 20mm cannon.

Midway
Wasp has been detected by enemy aircraft near Midway. Our recon Wildcats have not collected any intel of value.

Refits and Reinforcements
Repairs completed on CV Saratoga at Alameda, ship returned to service
Repairs completed on CV Lexington at Alameda, ship returned to service
^----major upgrades completed
DD Chevalier arrives at Eastern USA
DD Waller arrives at Eastern USA
AM Heed arrives at Alameda
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:45 PM   #457
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24 October 1942
Scratch two tankers in the Celebes Sea, and at least one sub off Luganville

Celebes Sea
The KXVI and Sturgeon attacked a tanker convoy headed east along the Mindanao coast trying to make the open sea from the Celebes. Both attacks were successful, striking Manzyu class medium tankers (7150 tons). We're fairly confident the Dutch sub's victim sank right away. The US boat's victim is on fire, including its oil cargo. Smart money isn't on the damage control team.

Espiritu Santo Islands
At least 2 enemy subs attempted to sneak past our destroyers to get to our offloading phibs. One was spotted by the Sims and shot 4 torpedoes at her, which it evaded. Sims drove that one off. Another was spotted by the Reid, which was as accurate as it was in the early phases of the invasion. After several damaging near misses and at least two solid pattern hits, the sub was forced to surface and was greeted by 5" and 40mm gunfire. She's gone. Then the Sims' dance partner came back and was also spotted by Reid. Reid hit her hard but she slipped away, only for the Fanning to pick her up again and hit her some more. We can't confirm that sub's status, but it's not good.

The phibs are down to just supplies to offload--which isn't worth the risk to high-value ships. I'm ordering them to return; future supply deliveries can be by expendable light cargo ships or by aircraft once the runways are built.

Banda Sea
25 Betties raided our new base at Babar. We had only 3 P-38s to greet them, but that was enough to shoot down 5. Their bombing was ineffective, either due to the jungle terrain or quite possibly inadequate ground bombing skills.

China
I'm bombing all three threat armies with no resistance from enemy fighters. No attacks by any of the enemy armies I'm in contact with. If they're not going to attack, why did they expose themselves to my bombers?

Burma and Thailand
I got away with a B-25 raid at a small enemy army working its way up the road from Bangkok to Rangoon. There were Zeroes on CAP that diverted to respond--probably patrolling Tavoy--but they got there too late. The bombers did moderate casualties to the enemy army below, but it wouldn't matter as these guys were surprisingly weak. Our main force crushed them, 953 casualties to 172, one enemy battalion and a 1/3 fragment of another finished off.

Raheng is reinforced with construction engineers and an extra base force and they've already extended the runways enough to accommodate B-24s. Awesome. I'm bringing a pair of US squadrons in Calcutta up to full strength, and one there is already at full strength, so soon I'll have 3 to move down here and see what I can do to Port Blair. The crews will mostly be veterans of the daily raids on Lahaina that we did after re-activating Pearl/Hickam, so I have very high expectations about what they should be able to do here. We'll need a few days to get those new planes online and transfer them.

Reinforcments and Withdrawals
We had to withdraw the last B-17 squadron from Australia today. I have more on the way by boat... maybe I should have just flown them, island hopping day-to-day. Well, no operational losses this way.

CVE Nassau arrives at Tacoma
179th USAAF Base Force arrives at March Field - unrestricted, 2/3 strength

Intel
2 enemy floatplanes were reported destroyed "on the ground". This would seem to confirm one of the CLs was sunk yesterday.
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Old 01-15-2022, 10:48 AM   #458
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25 October 1942
Two DMSs lost at Luganville to enemy heavy surface task force

Espiritu Santo Islands
That heavy task force showed up again--I had pulled the amphibious task force out but left the DMSs behind to work on the minefield. Figured it was safe enough because my scouts didn't see any threats. Well, they were around somewhere. Our DMSs managed to run for a bit at night but they got caught in the daytime and were sunk easily.

The chase resulted in the enemy still being present near Luganville at daybreak, and that allowed for airstrikes. First was 17 USMC Helldivers from Efate. We lost 3 to flak; 16 of the bombers made their attacks, targeting the BB Kirishima, CA Suzuya, and CA Mogami, but all of them missed.

Next up were 10 A-20A1 Havocs - the combat debut of the "attack bomber" in this war. They attacked in pairs, with one strafing to suppress flak while the other attempted skip-bombing. This would probably have been devastating against a weaker task force, but these guys have a lot of flak to throw and a lot of armor to resist our guns and bombs. 2 cruisers and a destroyer got strafed a little, and we got 2 bomb hits on the Kirishima and another on the CA Furutaka. None of the damage appears serious.


Burma
4 CLs and 3 DD shelled Rangoon. We lost 2 planes on the ground and most of the rest were damaged. And we didn't get an airstrike on these guys.


Banda Sea
Zero and Oscar sweeps cleared our P-38s out of Babar. We're badly outnumbered. No shootdowns, just damaged planes on both sides.


China
It now seems that the enemy forces on both sides of our coastal line our inferior to our garrisons. I also have reinforcements inbound on both ends of the lines which are approaching from behind the enemy. I intend to encircle and eliminate both forces entirely.

In the north he's still not attacking. Numerically he's got the superior force here, and with heavier artillery, but I doubt they'd fight too well with the amount of bombing they're suffering.

I'm more or less letting the Port Arthur operation go for now. Between the weather delays, the AA threat, and the current enemy offensive I need to deal with, it just doesn't make sense right now.

Refits, Reinforcements
SS S-31 begins refit while under repair at Pearl Harbor
SS S-35 begins refit while under repair at Suva

CM Terror arrives at Balboa
VS-2D12 arrives at Eureka (2/16 floatplanes, restricted - will send to LA, fill up, and use for training)
4th PG/17th PRS arrives at Eastern USA (Recon Lightnings, unrestricted)
1st Indian Coastal Artillery Regiment arrives at Karachi (restricted)
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:24 AM   #459
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26 October 1942
Construction engineers arrive in Rangoon

Espiritu Santo Islands
The enemy heavy task force, apparently frustrated with only sinking a pair of DMSs, shelled Luganville. Damage was rather light. Both bomb-damaged ships participated in the bombardment. I had retreated most of my ships in Efate to Noumea in case this task force pressed further south, but that didn't happen. For the next turn, I've moved additional USMC Helldivers from Suva to Efate to try to deal with these ships.

Luganville suffered enemy fighter sweeps as well, resulting in one downed Oscar, one P-40, and 1 Wildcat. The Betties hit Ndeni again, without causing serious damage.

CENTPAC
Wasp has returned from it's drive-by of Midway without having gained any actionable intel on enemy troop levels. I guess we're doing this the hard way then. I've got an amphibious group ready to take a nearby atoll, I'll build a small airbase there and use land-based recon assets.

Caroline Islands
About 120 miles west of Truk, USS Grayback attacked a convoy of 3 medium tankers escorted by a PB and hit one of the tankers, setting its fuel cargo on fire. We can't confirm the ship went down, but it was severely damaged with major fires, so the chance of survival is very small, even this close to a large naval base.

Burma
Major enemy raid on our armies at Tavoy - 98 Sallies escorted by 72 Oscars. We didn't have a CAP up and maybe that's a good thing. We took only 23 casualties on the ground; this is very rugged terrain and bombers just haven't had a lot of success here, for either side.

A small transport convoy with a construction unit arrived in Rangoon, undetected. I've got another one another day or two behind it, I was going to have them land on a beach, but now that I've had a test boat and a convoy arrrive not just safely, but undetected, I'm going to let them go straight to Rangoon too. I'm going to be a bit critical here--this is a major screwup by my opponent. The lack of construction assets here was allowing him to keep my airbases at Rangoon and Moulmein disabled, that's about to change. His control of Port Blair should have made seaborne deliveries to Rangoon impossible. I'll have to ask him about this someday, maybe after I flatten Port Blair with Liberators.

China
We finally have good weather predicted over Korea, so if I was going to hit Port Arthur, tomorrow would be the day. But as I said, right now using my bombers for interdiction/CAS makes more sense.

Near Chusien, a turn or two ago I noticed the enemy troops blocking the road east to Shanghai looked very weak, possibly due to them sending troops south in response to my coastal advances. I had sallied troops out of Chusien as a recon-in-force, discovering this blocking force was now just a mortar battalion without any infantry support. So today, our troops attacked and easily destroyed the unit.

Reinforcements
YMS-127 arrives at Tacoma
5th RAAF M/W Sqn arrives at Darwin
RAF 224 Group Base Force arrives at Aden
3rd Construction Regiment arrives at Chungking
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:11 AM   #460
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27 October 1942
A return to air-to-air parity?


Solomons Area
21 Oscars swept Roussel Island. We have P-40Ks based there now, all 25 got into the fight. We lost 5 while shooting down 7 of the Oscars. I note that as air-to-air combat starts making a slow comeback, the results are much more even now. So he's probably concentrating the competent pilots he has in a small number of units and trying to keep everyone else out of combat.

I had B-25s and B-26s from Port Morseby try to hit enemy patrol ships near Rabaul. We lost 5 B-25s and 1 B-26 to the Nicks on CAP and didn't hit anything. I've revised the orders of these squadrons to shorten the range at which they'll attack naval targets to exclude Rabaul. And I'm going to sweep Rabaul with P-38s tomorrow to see how they match up against the Nicks.

Banda Sea
24 Sallies hit Babar, we only had 3 P-38s defending; we shot down 3.

Burma
Another huge air raid on our forces camped outside of Tavoy, over 100 bombers and 100 escorts. Still quite ineffective.

China
We had a bit of a scare when a pair of Oscars tried to intercept Lysanders at Amoy, but were too late. I'll start sending Chinese P-40s here to clear them out.

Otherwise, all three threat armies still remain on station and all took significant damage from our bombers.

Reinforcements
No.149 Sqn RCAF arrives at Victoria (fully restricted, partial strength Beaufort torpedo bombers -- a curious arrival because it looks like it's going to be the only Canadian torpedo bomber squadron I'll ever get, unless we count the Shark floatplanes. As a fully restricted unit it will only ever be a training squadron--but training to be assigned to what unit?)
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:32 AM   #461
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28 October 1942
Tavoy on the ropes

Banda Sea
Oscar sweeps at Babar got a P-38. 19 Sallies bombed the island causing light casualties.

South of Celebes, the S-37 torpedoed a tanker in a convoy including PB escorts. The tanker was severely damaged with major fires--it's doomed.

Solomons Area
The sweep at Rabaul went well, 7 Nicks down with no losses to our P-38s.

The enemy's sweep of Roussel did not go so well for them, 4 Oscars down with just one P-40 claimed. Did I speak too quickly about parity?

Burma
Another 100+ bomber sorties outside Tavoy causing very light casualties. My army below now has all the reinforcements that I split off from the "main" anti-Bangkok force.

Scoffing at the bombers, my troops attacked Tavoy, bringing the forts down to nothing. Casualties were 1900 to 1000 in my favor. We might get it tomorrow.

I don't want to overspend my allotment of strategic criticism, but I think it's a safe call that the deployment of over 100 fighters and 100 bombers trying to stop my army here is a gross misapplication of airpower. They're not making a difference here, but if these guys were in, say, China right now, he'd be causing unacceptable losses to my heavy bombers and hitting my troops badly enough to give his a chance to advance.

Reinforcements
AM Gympie arrives at Derby
17th Construction Regiment arrives at Changteh
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29 October 1942
Tavoy Liberated (again)

Bay of Bengal/Burma
A soon-to-withdraw minelayer was on orders to mine Rangoon to try to protect it from being shelled, but I was careless and left it on flank speed to long. It ran out of fuel near Rangoon. I sent an AKL out from Rangoon to transfer some fuel to it--and it hit an enemy mine in the channel between the port and the open sea, and sank. Sending minesweepers from Calcutta.

Our reinforced Tavoy assault army got the job done today, casualties 2600 to 600 favoring us. I"m pretty sure Tavoy holds the distinction of the base that has changed hands the most now, he's taken it twice, and I've taken it back twice. I'm not inclined to start immediately moving aircraft here--the base is out of supplies and the enemy bombers that couldn't kill our troops in the mountains can probably still hit the runways, tarmacs, and hangars just fine.


Java Sea
USS Herring was transiting on the way to its patrol area when it got spotted by an ASW group and attacked in shallow water. The boat was badly damaged and is returning to base.

Solomons Area
We swept Rabaul with P-38s for a 2nd day. They added some Oscars to the CAP. We got 5 Oscars and 2 Nicks, 1 P-38 was shot down.

China
We're surrounding both enemy armies in the coastal area. The Amoy (southern) army is weak, we should have no problem killing them. The Foochow army is going to be more difficult, but our bombers will stop them from taking our base, and once the first army is down, I can move those troops back north. Defeated in detail. This is going to be great.

We lost 2 Chinese P-40s at Amoy, but the bombers got through.

The enemy main force at Chengchow made another shock attack, and no, it wasn't any better than the last one a few weeks ago. Forts held at Level 4, casualties 19,000 to 7,000. The flanking force that we're bombing also attacked. Our blocking force, now reinforced from Sinyang, is stronger than them, plus the bombing caused severe disruption. Casualties 4500 to 200.

And they attacked at Foochow too. Numbers wise this was a better attack but these troops are beaten down from being bombed, tired from crossing rough terrain, and out of supply from being away from roads. Nominally, this is a 4-division force, but their assault value was less than 3 divisions worth. Forts reduced from Level 3 to 2, casualties 6000 to 2400 favoring me.

Reinforcements
SC PC-582 arrives at Portland
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30 October 1942
Enemy amphibious landing near Rangoon, CVBG strikes port & transport task forces

Burma and Bay of Bengal
Major enemy operation underway. The day started routinely enough with an Oscar sweep of Rangoon. We took down 5 of them without loss--but between planes being down for repairs, refueling, rearming, etc. they succeeded in getting my CAP out of the way for what was to follow.

They swept and raided Tavoy next, but we had no planes in the air for the Oscars to play with and we kept the airbase empty, so the 189-Sally raid didn't amount to much.

Then we had to deal with an airstrike from an enemy CVBG that we never saw coming. Thanks to the earlier sweeps (and the damage to Rangoon's service facilities that still hasn't been repaired) we had few Hurricanes on patrol to stop them. We got 2 Zeroes and a Kate, while losing a Hurricane.

The total raid size, including all waves, was 84 Zeroes, 75 Kates, and 65 Vals.
The damage done:
DD John D. Edwards, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
xAK Langkoeas, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires
CL Caradoc, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
xAK Empire Peregrine, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Jupiter, Bomb hits 1, on fire
xAK Nora Moller, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
PG Indus, Bomb hits 4, and is sunk
xAP Poelau Telo, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires
xAK Elmdale, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
PG Hindustan, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
xAK Empire Grenfell, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires
xAK Alphard, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage

All of these ships had already unloaded their troops and were offloading supplies or standing by for the minefield to be cleared before they left. I have little hope of saving any of these ships, aside from a pair of destroyers and cargo ships that are healthy enough to make a run for it. Through the minefield.

Enemy troops then came ashore at Pegu, adjacent to Rangoon. At this time I can only confirm 2000 troops from a fragment of the 18th Division. If that's all it is, I think we're OK. But there's probably more coming.



The timing of this is interesting because of how fluid the balance of forces was right before this happened. We have successfully delivered a construction unit and a large base force to Rangoon--at the cost of the ships that delivered them--which should allow Rangoon to repair its airbase. But it's not repaired yet, hence the token resistance we put up today. So we may find ourselves in a damage/repair race against Bangkok's Sallies and the supporting heavy warships.

Between the number of fighters the carriers have and support from Bangkok's Oscars, we don't have much chance to strike back at the task forces. If they loiter, maybe we'll get lucky. The Vengenaces are based on Raheng and have 1 Hurricane squadron assigned to escort them. I have another Hurricane squadron and a P-40 squadron there too, assigned to sweep over Pegu. This way they potentially support the Vengenaces, but also other bomber sorties.

Defending Rangoon is the priority now. The landing bypassed the bulk of our regional forces that are south, threatening Bangkok. It also bypassed our defensive line at Moulmein. For now, I'm ordering our main force back to Rangoon, but they're weeks away. The enemy army is just a couple days away. So they may be needed to re-take Rangoon, if it comes to that. I'm pulling some of the reserves from Moulmein back towards Rangoon, but I need to be careful or I might just invite him to defeat them and the Rangoon garrison one at a time. I've also got part of one of the paratrooper units I was transporting to southern China still in Burma. I'll be reconsolidating that unit to try to make it available for this.

I need to get what I can out of Bangkok, but they don't really have anywhere to go. Few of the other airbases in Burma are large enough to support offensive missions, and the ones we have are rather far away. For now, Rangoon's B-25s are going to stay where they are and attack the landing area. The CAP will stand their ground as good as they can.

Further west ("up" on the map) are the 3 B-24 squadrons I've been prepping for a raid on Port Blair. They are in range of the landing area, so the enemy troops are in for a rude greeting. We have 2 B-25 squadrons there too but I'm unable to find someplace in range to put them other than Rangoon itself. Finally, a partial-strength Wellington squadron is available, and I do have a base near the border that puts them in range. So, our counterattack will hopefully amount to 40-50 heavy and medium bombers, 20 dive bombers, and at 30 or so fighters trying to clear out any enemy fighters that might oppose those raids, plus however many fighters Rangoon can get serviced and in the air in time.

I'm not sure who wins this. He might just be able to land enough trooops to outright take Rangoon in a few days. If he can't, though, he just landed behind my lines and is going to have a very hard time supplying these troops.

Solomons area
We finally got a minesweeper back at Luganville. Hopefully the job doesn't take too long, it's still pretty hot here.

CENTPAC
We've taken Laysan Island (near Midway). No resistance, but we are being monitored by scoutplanes.

I'm reorganizing my US fleet at Pearl. Lex and Sara are getting a new battlegroup, including the fast battleship Washington and a dozen Porter and Bristol class destroyers that are absolutely bristling with AA guns. They're retaining the 2 CLAAs and CA they already had.

Wasp is putting in for her upgrade. When she's done, she'll have a fast battleship ready for her, along with with the cruisers she already had, and her destroyer screen will include Fletchers.

I'm splitting my replenishment group in half, each will be 3 AO, 1 AE, and 3 DD. Been wanting to do this for awhile but I was rotating the AOs through upgrades 2 at a time. That's finished now. It would have really sucked to lose these all at once, now that's mitigated.

China
The losses and damage to the Chinese P-40 unit rendered it unready for combat today. The P-66 Vanguard made its combat debut in its place as I assigned a training squadron to Amoy and filled it with freshly-certified qualified pilots. They lost one plane and didn't get any kills, but they kept the Oscars away from the bombers at Amoy and flew an uneventful CAP over Foochow (where my bombers are needed to hold off the stronger enemy army).

I now have both enemy armies along the coast surrounded.

Refits and Reinforcements
CV Wasp beginning refit in shipyard at Pearl Harbor
SS S-32 begins refit while under repair at Brisbane
AM Dash arrives at Portland
28th Indian Mountain Gun Regiment arrives at Delhi
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Old 01-17-2022, 10:41 AM   #464
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31 October 1942
Battle of Rangoon - day 2


Battle of Rangoon
In hindsight, putting the evacuating DDs in a task force with 2 AKs was a bad call because it slowed the DDs down. One hit a mine, so the escapees ended up being 1 DD and 2 AKs. They met up with the out-of-fuel CM (and 2 DDs traveling with it) and tried to transfer some fuel and depart as a group. The refueling op had to be halted when 2 enemy PCs approached. The PCs were no match for the destroyers and were both sunk. But by daybreak, my task force would be caught, the thirsty ships still drifting, when the airstrikes came.

2 CLs and 2 DDs shelled Tavoy, causing moderate facility damage to the empty airbase.

My sweeps of Pegu did OK. 5 Rufes and 8 Zeroes shot down for the cost of 5 Hurricanes and 2 P-40s. They accomplished their main mission: no enemy fighters successfully intercepted any of my level bombers attacking their ground forces. 38 B-24s hit the landing area, causing 201 enemy casualties. Eh, not that great. Weather might have been a factor, rain over the target. As for enemy force levels, the B-24s only reported the 1/3 division we knew was there and an airbase construction unit, so that's good news. Recon flights report a total of 4 enemy units.

The bulk of his Sallies are still attacking Tavoy.

Next up were the enemy airstrikes. The first wave of 12 Kates and 4 Vals targeted the escapees and hit one of the drifting destroyers twice. Then 8 Zeroes and 13 Vals attacked Rangoon's port. We had 10 Hurricanes up for this, and shot down a Zero and 10 Vals. The 3 Vals that attacked hit a cargo ship twice. Next was a larger raid on the adrift task force:
D Arunta, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Jupiter, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Van Galen
CM Abdiel, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
xAK Empire Curlew, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
Jupiter is the lone combattant that is fueled, so her taking two hits basically means these guys are done for.
Jupiter and Arunta both sank after the strikes.

We were able to get an airstrike on the enemy naval forces, but we only managed to get 10 Vengeance bombers in the air for it, plus 14 Hurricanes escorting. The enemy CAP was light thanks to the earlier sweeps, but still 19 Zeroes and 1 Rufe. They got 2 Hurricanes and 8 of the Vengeances, we got only 1 Zero. Another dive bomber was lost to flak. Only 3 managed to attack targets--two went for Yamato, one for Kaga. We hit the Yamato once with a non-penetrating hit. Might as well be a mosquito bite. I wish I could order these guys to prioritize the transports. This strike confirmed the presence of the Hiyo.


Philippine Sea
USS Amberjack torpedoed and sank a cargo ship in an escorted convoy near Iwo Jima.

Solomons Area
3 CA and 3 DD shelled Rousel Island, and disappeared before daybreak and avoided an airstrike. 1 P-40 was destroyed on the ground, most of the rest were damaged. The base facilities look pretty bad too. So that's 2 heavy surface task forces operating in this area...and it means I have to deal with them before my new airbases are going to do me any good.

The ASW squadron at Noumea that recently upgraded from Wirraways to Beaforts bombed two enemy subs (or possibly the same sub twice) today. I'm hoping he surged a bunch to this area thinking the little bombs for the Wirraways weren't a big deal and that these 500lb bombs cost him a few boats.

Banda Sea, Ceram Sea
USS Sargo had been pulled off its patrol area to perform a barrier south of Celebes because of an Intel hit a few days ago mentioning troops being brought to Kendari from Java. We didn't hit the troop ships, but we did find the CS Mizuho and hit it with a torpedo. It's apparently carrying fuel, because the fuel cargo ignited. I won't call that a kill but it's not in a good place.

I replaced withdrawing B-17s at Darwin with planes from Port Moresby and immediately put them on naval attack due to multiple task forces spotted at Ambon. We didn't get a strike on Ambon, but they went after tankers instead, one pair a bit north of Timor and another at Manokwari (Northwestern Papua-New Guinea).

China
I'm now attacking the enemy force that had meant to attack Amoy. Casualties 867 to 209 on my side. Doesn't look like they'll last long. Most of the bombers that were attacking this force are now working on the Foochow army, as they're stronger than my defensive line there and I need to keep them disrupted until the Amoy army is defeated and I can move those troops back to Foochow.






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

Updating this to reflect CS and CV sightings.

Fleet Carriers - Pacific Fleet

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.

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.

Fleet Carriers - Indian Ocean Fleet
Kaga: Last seen 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 fight 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.

Junyo: Believed present for Rangoon landings 30 October - 1 November 1942.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.

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.

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.
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 reports sank same day.


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.


Unfinished:
CVE Chuho: 11/22/42
CVL Ryuho: 11/24/42
CV Taiho: 1/27/43 (cost: 206)
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)
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1 November 1942
Battle of Rangoon Day 3 - 10,000 troops ashore at Pegu

Battle of Rangoon
An enemy sub came up the channel to Rangoon and finished off the mine-damaged destroyer Nepal with 2 torpedoes. Two heavy cruisers and 3 destroyers caught up with the damaged minelayer off the coast and gunned it down, plus a torpedo coup de grace.

Two light cruisers and 3 destroyers entered Rangoon harbor, shelling the port and airbase. The CL Cardoc, being repaired in port, was hit, and the airbase sustained heavy damage.

Our sweeps of Pegu resulted in 4 Hurricanes and 1 P-40 downed, with 11 Zeroes, 5 Oscars, and a Rufe joining them.

In western Burma, somehow the enemy had managed to get an airbase up and running. Apparently they dropped off aviation support that one time they complimented their random paratroopers with a small amphibious landing. So Hurricanes based in India swept over here, shooting down 5 Oscars with no losses.

One again, the Sallies all bombed Tavoy. The airbase is a total wreck.

38 B-24s hit the beachhead, inflicting 266 troop casualties. Zeroes shot one down, and the B-24s shot one Zero down. Between any recon performed by the bombers and dedicated Hurricane-PR recon flights, it now appears the enemy force exceeds 10,000 troops. We can confirm it includes 2/3rd of the 18th Division and an aviation engineer unit.

We only got 3 Vengeances in the air to attack the task forces. I fired the CO of the squadron that didn't fly and replaced him with someone with a much higher Aggression rating. The 3 bombers flew with 10 escorting Hurricanes; we shot down only 1 Zero while losing 4 Hurricanes and 1 of the Vengeances; the other 2 aborted and ran.

I'd been hesitant to spend political points on any more Indian units to move to the Burma/Thailand front, but now that he's making a play on Rangoon I don't think I have to worry about them landing in Calcutta or something like that. So the units that cleared a few paratroopers out but stopped at the border I will pay the PP to purchase. They'll take down the enemy airbase in western Burma and then head towards Rangoon--to either reinforce it or participate in retaking it.

South China Sea
USS Greenling encountered an unescorted cargo ship. 12 torpedoes later, it managed to get 2 fish to both hit and detonate, sending the AK to the bottom.

Solomons Area
Near Ontong Java, the S-44 found a tanker convoy and picked off one of them, evading counterattack by an escorting PB.

The Seawolf was in the same area but wasn't nearly as lucky. It was spotted by "carrier aircraft" (per their report) and soon found themselves swarmed by destroyers, with the battleship Kongo in company. It fired at a destroyer, missing, and then evaded the attacks, sustaining light depth charge damage.

Scoutplanes reported 2 carriers in this same task force. Probably the KB. That's a shame, I was looking forward to siccing Halsey on those heavy surface task forces.

At Efate, one of my USMC Helldiver squadrons is now due to withdraw. To hell with that, not with the KB around. I'll be paying political points to keep them.

China
We lost a Vanguard over Amoy to an attempted attack by Oscars. The Vanguards had no kills, but the Oscars jettisoned their bombs and ran off.

Our land forces attacked the surrounded enemy army at Amoy, causing 1467 enemy casualties to 94 of ours. The enemy is so weak I'm temped to order a shock attack, but I'm thinking that's a bad idea when the enemy has nowhere to retreat to. Sticking to deliberate attacks.

Our land forces counterattacked the now-withdrawing flanking force near Chengchow, turning their orderly withdrawal into a rout. Casualties 6000 to 400.

Refits and Reinforcements
The North Carolina class has an "upgrade" available, but it's just stripping the .50cals off with no noted improvements. So I'll wait for the next one. There are very few new upgrades available this month, just a few DD upgrades really. But the American DDs have been upgraded so much that there's now little difference between the Bristols and Fletchers and everyone else (except for the really old ones).

DD Mustin taken out of commission to begin refit at Pearl Harbor
39th USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme

Big Picture
If he's sending a lot to Burma (and it's really too soon to say) I'd be looking for Java to be a bit of a soft underbelly. I've moved quite a bit from the west coast to Pearl since last month, and I've also reinforced Australia a bit. I'm going to start moving more troops west to enable advances in the Solomons and DEI. I'm also trying to keep pressure on in multiple places to try to force him to split the KB. I've got 2 CVs availabe now, with the Wasp in upgrades for the next 2 weeks or so, so 3 CVs after that. I won't mind taking them on at about 1-to-1 odds, especially with their struggling pilot quality and our enormous AA capability backing us up.
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