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Old 01-18-2022, 02:04 PM   #466
Molon Labe
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2 November 1942
Battle of Rangoon day 4 - Flak batteries set up at Pagu; enemy carriers approaching Luganville

Battle of Rangoon
Day 4 began with pre-dawn bombardments of Moulmein, first by two cruisers and then 2 battleships, the Heie and Hyuga. Yamato is holding onto its ammo for now.

The morning air raids began with Zeroes sweeping Rangoon. Or trying to anyway. Our CAP shot 7 of them down with no losses. This was a very high altitude battle--the Zero's usual maneuvering advantage was negated against the Hurricane because of this.

We swept Akyab, near the Indian border, shooting down 5 Oscars at the cost of 1 Hurricane. Bleinheim bombers based in India followed that up with an attack on the airbase, causing moderate facility damage.

Somewhat concerning, he swept Pisanuloke - right next to Raheng, with about 20 Oscars. Pisanuloke is too small to matter right now, but Raheng is overstacked and understaffed, if he's done playing with Tavoy those Sallies can hurt us. Speaking of which, the Salies hit Tavoy again today, not that it's doing anything.

The sweep of Pegu netted 3 Zeroes and an Oscar, with 1 Hurricane and 2 P-40s lost. Our bombing raid was 37 B-24s and 6 Wellingtons. The sweeps weren't as successful this time around and we had several bombers get damaged by fighters--and they shot down an Oscar in self-defense. The Wellingtons got to the landing ships, hitting a pair of AMCs and an LSD. The damage didn't appear too serious. Overall 229 enemy casualties were reported--and we confirmed the presence of the 38th Division, so that's 1 2/3rs divisions for sure. There was also a lot of heavy flak--enough to shoot down 2 B-24s. A third crashed on the way home and another was scrapped at base. I'll be increasing my attack altitude tomorrow to try to mitigate this a bit. It also looks like bombing effectiveness is down, which probably means forts are going up. He's already expanded the airbase from size 1 to size 2 so his engineers are clearly busy. I'll have some B-24s target the airbase to try to eat up the engineeers' time and supply.

Some of Bangkok's Sallies hit our Bangkok assault army that's currently trying to get back to Rangoon. Casualties were minimal but it is forcing my units out of "Move" mode and into "Combat" mode, slowing my pace.

At least on the logistical side, this operation looks very well planned. It's going to be difficult to hold this army off as my air raids become less effective and I suffer attrition. The supply situation could turn to his advantage if he can consistently land supplies at his beachhead--Port Blair is going to help with that.

China
The Oscars came back to try to support their doomed troops at Amoy, our Vanguards got into a furball with them with no losses on either side, 1 Oscar made it to the troops and was shot down by flak. Our land forces continued to press on the surrounded enemy (the 51st Division), inflicting 1140 casualties to 80. I really wish surrender was an option for these guys

At Foochow, I think I set a campaign record for most casualties in an airstrike (not including troops on sinking ships) with 313, courtesy of 15 Wellingtons and 14 B-24s.


Solomons Area

That task force I suspect is the KB is moving south. Right now I still only have 2 CVs being reported by the Catalinas. Just to be safe, I'm evacuating Noumea. I'm also moving in more aircraft to Efate and Noumea from our southern island chain. Lex and Sara are on the way but they're not close yet.

Refits
DD Nicholas taken out of commission to begin refit at Pearl Harbor
DD O'Bannon taken out of commission to begin refit at Pearl Harbor
DD Grayson beginning refit in shipyard at Pearl Harbor
DD Monssen beginning refit in shipyard at Los Angeles
DD Anderson taken out of commission to begin refit at Pearl Harbor
DD O'Brien taken out of commission to begin refit at Pearl Harbor
DD Craven taken out of commission to begin refit at Pearl Harbor
--This is nearly all of the eligible DDs this month, and I've got plenty to spare despite all these guys going in at once.
AO TAN 2 taken out of commission to begin refit at Townsville
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Old 01-19-2022, 02:38 PM   #467
Molon Labe
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3 November 1942
Battle of Rangoon tipping in favor of Japanese

Battle of Rangoon
The enemy shelled Rangoon with 3 APDs overnight, which was enough to damage a Hurricane. This was pretty minor, but overall they're winning the damage race here. The runways are half-bombed out and the service facilities are in bad shape. Most of my airplanes are grounded and it's going to stay that way until the bombardments stop. If I had just been 2 days quicker with that minelayer...

Over the enemy beachhead at Pegu, the numbers of aircraft we have sweeping are declining vs their CAP. The first of the sweeps was 9 P-40s with 72 Zeroes responding, just as an example. Overall, losses over Pegu today: 12 Zeroes, 4 P-40s, 3 Hurricanes, 4 Wellingtons (squadron no longer ready for combat), and 1 B-24. A few Hudsons took off from Rangoon to try to participate in this, but they took one look at the wall of Zeroes waiting for them--then 55--and turned around. The bombers that did get through (mostly B-24s) inflicted only 176 casualties this turn, effectiveness dropping due to higher altitude, AAA fire, fighter interference, and possibly forts being built.

The enemy moved the 1/3 fragment of the 18th Division to intercept my tanks entering the area from Moulmein. They had to make a river crossing to do this so they had to perform a shock attack. Already severely disrupted from several days of being carpet bombed, the enemy took over 500 casualties without returning fire effectively. For tomorrow, I'm shifting my bombing target to these guys so that my significantly weaker army can try to get away with a counterattack, exploiting the enemy's disorganization. It's a gamble, but the situation is getting worse so I could use a win. Also, with the situation around Chengchow, China, calming down, I've recalled the B-24s operating there to Calcutta to participate in the Rangoon conflict.

To the west at Akyab, I let my Blenhiems go unescorted to try to let the Hurricanes up here escort a Beaufighter attack that didn't happen (there is a surface combat task force sitting off the coast, apparently trying to intercept any further evacuees from Rangoon headed to Calcutta. Port Blair bombers would take care of anyone that goes southwest towards Colombo instead.) That decision cost me a Blenheim to the 4 Oscars that got airborne. But between these guys and the B-25s that followed up we took an Oscar out on the ground and did moderate damage to the base itself. We have a unit of tanks that crossed the border and is nearly here to take the base and destroy any planes on the ground he can't evacuate.

Edit: Speaking of needing a win and the task force sitting off Burma to get ships he doesn't trust Port Blair to get--I'm putting the British fleet to sea. I'd ruled it out in previous days because I worried that the "KB-West" would pursue it, we'd probably end up cornered because we're in a Bay. But now I think the KB-West is just too vital to their operation for them to get pulled away. So, even though I've only got a dozen attack aircraft to throw at them, I'll do it.

Solomons Area
A small amphibious group landed troops on Ndeni. It's not a large force, but neither is my garrison. So, the purpose for the carriers being here is to support this landing and cut off my attempts to reinforce/supply. Sort of like Canton Island all over again, except this time I've risked a much smaller unit, and I have bases close enough to provide air support. Tomorrow, that carrier force will get swept by P-38s at high altitude. Also, the B-17s that had been moving west from Pearl to replace the squadrons I moved to Darwin (due to 2 squadrons withdrawing) are going to stop at Efate now. I hope to carpet bomb the hell out of that small unit that landed to give my Marines a better chance than those at Canton.

With all the attention being paid on the southest side of the Solomons, my new airbase at Roussel Island to the southwest continues. They'll be ready to support medium bombers in a few more days. I hope to be able to sweep Guadalcanal with P-38s until their CAP is meager, and then use medium and heavy bombers to disable the airbase.

Intel
There were about 20 floatplanes reported "destroyed on ground" this turn. Which means the CS we torpedoed a few days ago sank.

Reinforcements
SS Scorpion arrives at Balboa - to Darwin
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Old 01-20-2022, 07:06 PM   #468
Molon Labe
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4 November 1942
Allied air forces defending Rangoon breaking

Battle of Rangoon
Two heavy cruisers entered Rangoon's hex and shelled our base, damaging about two dozen aircraft and keeping the base facilities in a poor state of repair.

The enemy turned their attention from Tavoy itself to my ground forces that had taken it and are now pursuing the enemy south. Dozens of Sallies and even a few Vals tried to bomb them, without much success in the thick jungle. Wasn't enough, we were still able to attack and we routed the enemy, inflicting 500 vs our 50 casualties in the process.

The largest group of Sallies (over 100), though, went to hit my forces that were adjacent to their landing area. This eliminated any chance of my attack succeeding--my forces were as badly disrupted as theirs. There were also more enemy soldiers than there were yesterday as a third of the 12th Division joined the party. We took 394 casualties in the failed attack without doing any damage to the enemy. Would have been a lot worse if not for the B-24s...

We managed 31 B-24s striking the enemy here, not bad considering the amount of aircraft disabled by flak and fighters last turn, but we were contending with severe storms which affected our accuracy. Enemy casualties were light.

There weren't a whole lot of aircraft lost today, mostly because we didn't get many fighters in the air. Raheng can't keep pace with repairs/maintenance, and now its supplies have dropped so low they can't use drop tanks anymore. That's OK for the P-40s, but the Hurricanes are now considered at "extended range" to fly to the Pegu beachhead. Anyway, total losses in Burma theatre today: 3 Hurricanes, 6 Vengeances (we attempted a raid on the task forces that went nowhere), 2 Zeroes, 1 Oscar,



Celebes Sea
The KXVIII spotted a tanker convoy near Tarakan, in an unavoidable hex of deep water along a suspected coastal shallow-water route from Borneo to the Philippines. It hit a Tonan Whaler-class tanker (13,340 tons) - a very high-value target. The convoy appeared to also have 3 medium tankers and 1 light tanker, with only 1 PB escorting them. The convoy left the burning Tonan behind, and the Dutch sub put two more fish into it to finish it off.

Banda Sea
More success for USS Sargo. She got 2 hits on a cargo ship south of Celebes, one of them even detonated. Very likely a kill.

Solomons Area
Kates bombed Ndeni in support of their counter-invasion. My airbase at Luganville is now up to Size 2, enough for offensive air operations. I moved the Wildcats (formerly from CVE Copahee) to Luganville and ordered a sweep for tomorrow. Speaking of which, today's P-38 sweep didn't happen, probably scrubbed by weather. So tomorrow hopefully both squadrons. On the other end of the Solomons, I'm sweeping Rabaul again tomorrow.

He's got a LOT on Guadalcanal, but not a whole lot at Rabaul. I think the best way to take out the Solomons is going to be to take Rabaul and possibly the Shortlands first, cutting off a lot of potential support from the northwest. It shouldn't be too hard to cut into the Gilberts a little bit or use subs to block supply from the northeast.

To the southeast, at Noumea, our crack ASW squadron reported bombing 2 subs.

The aircraft strength estimates were getting from the carrier are consistently lower than I'd expect for the KB. I still have to treat it like a potential death star, but... well, the sweeps should tell me something if they fly tomorrow.

CENTPAC
My Midway encroachment operation is looking like a bust. Progress on building the airstrip is only at 3% after what feels like a week. But they're also not getting bombed, so maybe I can just try the recon mission again with a CVE.

A bunch of convoys left Pearl today, mostly headed for Sydney, loaded with troops and engineers to use in the Solomons area.

Repairs and Reinforcements
Repairs completed on CVE Copahee at Pearl Harbor, ship returned to service (torpedo damage from Luganville operation repaired)
257th USAAF Base Force arrives at Santa Ana
40th USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme
41st USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme
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Old 01-21-2022, 11:53 AM   #469
Molon Labe
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5 November 1942
50,000+ enemy troops now in Burma

Celebes Sea
One of the medium tankers from the convoy attacked yesterday hit a min,e and in all likelihood, sank. Finding this route has clearly paid dividends--it's even better than a chokepoint because it's a very predictable path when I know he's maximizing his time in shallow water to try to sink or avoid my subs.

Solomons Area
3 heavy cruisers and 3 destroyers shelled Roussel Island and got away before we could airstrike them, causing significant troop casualties and damaging half the P-40s based there. This is a problem. For now, I'm sending a minelayer here to leave a treat for the next bombardment run. I might also use my carriers to try to get these guys when they finally get here--but that might not be any more successful than land-based air. I think the real solution here is to start flying at night. The long-range variants of the Hudsons have radar. I don't think I'll be able to attack at night, but if we spot them at night we might be able to respond more quickly at first light.

The P-38 sweep of Rabaul performed poorly. 5 fighters lost, no kills.

Kates hit Ndeni again, 33 of them with 28 Zeroes escorting.

We hit the enemy troops on Ndeni with 14 B-17s, but there were 53 Zeroes on patrol that harrassed the bombers to the point they were completely ineffective. 2 B-17s and 1 Zero were shot down. The P-38 sweep arrived after that, shooting down 8 Zeroes with just 1 loss.

I'm fairly sure the CVBG includes CARDIV3 and the Hiryu. Not sure if Akagi is there yet. All the numbers so far would be consistent with a total force of 3 carriers, with 4 being absolutely possible if he's holding back more fighters than he needs to.

Noumea's Beauforts reported another submarine hit. I wonder how many of these reports are just pilots being optimistic.

Banda Sea
Babar was shelled by a heavy cruiser and 5 destroyers. We haven't quite moved fighters in here yet but it's coming. Same issue, though. I was already going to send more aviation support here from Sydney, I'll escort those transports with destroyer-minelayers so I can leave a present for the enemy here too.

Battle of Rangoon
Less action here today as severe storms hampered most air operations. The enemy swept to the West at Magwe, where we're trying to get a Beaufighter strike into the mix. Traded a Hurricane for an Oscar there. A few Hudsons got off the ground in Rangoon and tried to attack the enemy beachhead, but we didn't get any fighters to support them so they retreated after one was shot down. Fighters did battle for control over the area afterward, with a loss of 2 P-40s, a Hurricane, and 4 Zeroes.

Our advance force from Moulmein was attacked and routed with a loss of 1300 men to the enemy's 471. More enemy forces are on the move from the beachhead, headed northwest, apparently intending to cut Rangoon off from all supply lines.

Recon confirmed an empty base behind Rangoon is in fact empty, so one of the special forces paratrooper units I had been trying to get to Hainan Island will be headed here to reinforce Rangoon. I'd send them directly, but I'd probably lose planes trying to land on the cratered runways. (No, I don't think they'd parachute into a friendly hex with a nominally functioning airbase.)

Total enemy force present is now 4 Divisions+ near Rangoon with at least 1 additional division (the 5th) still in Bangkok or following our main force back towards Rangoon.

China
The production model of the Tojo (they started with a squadron of prototypes) got its combat debut over Amoy today, with 10 of them sweeping our base. They shot down a P-66 without loss. A few Sally bombers came in after and bombed the base without resistance, cratering the runways a bit. In response, I'm moving my Hudsons back a bit and moving the nearby P-40 squadron up. I lose a little bit of MPA coverage over the Luzon Strait, but I need to deal with these attacks for now. There was also a shelling of the base by a destroyer but it wasn't very effective.

The enemy army at Amoy is sufficiently de-fanged that I'm sending the reinforcing unit back to Foochow.

All enemy armies have withdrawn from Chenchow. It appears the battle for this front is over (unless I want to try to counterattack).

Refits and Reinforcements
DD Allen beginning refit in shipyard at Los Angeles
No.160 Sqn RAF arrives at Aden (11/16 B-24s, headed to India)
11th Marine Defense Battalion arrives at Eastern USA (full strength, unrestricted)
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Old 01-22-2022, 11:17 AM   #470
Molon Labe
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6 November 1942
Rangoon situation grim in spite of heavy enemy bomber losses

Sulu Sea
The O21 detected the same tanker convoy that suffered losses over the last two days, about to enter the channels in the Philippines. Its escorts spotted the O21 first and drove it off. But we have a more accurate composition of this convoy now--it has 2 PB escorts, not one, and the original number of tankers was 7, not 5. I'll be looking for these guys again on the other side.

CENTPAC
I wanted to do another bombardment of Canton Island but my Catalinas kept seeing subs patrolling the coast, and I'd rather not give him a shot at a cruiser. Solution: just bombard with destroyers instead. They arrived today and the enemy sub took the bait. Our DDs avoided the torpedoes and hit the enemy sub back pretty hard. Enough for the captain to claim a kill, which I doubt, but it'll be down for repairs for awhile. The DDs shelled the enemy base afterward but it didn't do much.

Solomons Area
At Noumea, an enemy sub entered the base's hex and encountered my surface combat task force, which is standing by to potentially evacuate. This task force has at least 7 destroyers; the sub was spotted and depth charged relentlessly. It was forced to surface, and in spite of it getting a few torpedo shots off while on the surface, it was gunned down and confirmed sunk.

Our B-17s hit the enemy troops on Ndeni but didn't do much--40 Zeroes shooting at them the whole time didn't help. They shot down 3 of the Zeroes though. P-38 sweeps arrived after, getting 4 more Zeroes. None of this stopped the enemy troops from taking back Ndeni, though. Our small garrison has surrendered. It looks like the enemy used a third of a division for this. I guess they really want this island.

I wonder if the KB (fragment?) will leave now that its apparent mission is accomplished. In hindsight, I probably should have ordered that surface task force at Noumea to evacuate just in case the next thing to do with it is go after a target of opportunity. At least if the enemy does press south I'm almost guaranteed to get significant airstrikes against them.

Battle of Rangoon
East of the main frontline, enemy carrier aircraft attacked my army that was pursuing the enemy's former Tavoy garrison. They didn't do much damage to us in the thick jungle, but our AA gunners got 4 Vals.

The enemy Sallies targeted Rangoon this turn, and flew unescorted. We were able to get plenty of CAP aircraft up to meet them--we shot down 30. The total number of sorties was well over 100 though. Damage to our base was light--they're bombing from 20,000 feet again. They did hit the light cruiser Caradoc, previously damaged by the CVBG airstrikes. I just don't think these bombers are doing much good here, so their loss isn't a big deal either.

More concerning to me, our B-24s flew uncoordinated strikes before our fighter sweeps arrived. The CVBG's Zeroes were so worn down trying to stop the bombers that our sweeps had no joy when they showed up afterward. We had 7 B-24s shot down by Zeroes, with another 4 lost to flak. Absolutely unsustainable. And we only inflicted a few dozen casualties. Our bombers shot down 4 Zeroes.

To the west, at Akyab, the B-25s that had been bombing the base switched to an attempted attack on an APD in the port. It missed, but this is interesting--he's either reinforcing or evacuating the base. I'm really disappointed in my Beaufighters for not doing this instead, APDs and whatever transports it might be with would make ideal targets for them, but they refuse to fly missions. Our tanks arrived at the base and tried to seize it, but the enemy garrison is too strong for this unit by themselves. Infantry support is still a few days off. In the meantime, those B-25s are off naval attack duty, they'll support the tanks. As for the ships, my British fleet has arrived and they even did it undetected. I'm going to try to be a little sneaky, instead of the Indomitable hitting them with torpedo bombers, I'm breaking off 2 cruisers and 2 destroyers to attack the enemy directly. With a little luck, he'll badly underestimate the forces I have here and make a bad decision. Best case, that cruiser task force that's been hanging out here comes back.

If it turns out the KB-West comes after me, that's bad news, but the lack of Zeroes over the beachhead at Pegu should mean my bombers can do much more damage, perhaps even flattening the new airbase they're building there and taking out a ton of Oscars on the ground.

China
Got a 6 more Sallies over Amoy in an unescorted raid.
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:48 PM   #471
Molon Labe
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7 November 1942
High-altitude fights compromise Zero/Oscar effectiveness, Moulmein assaulted

Solomons Area
Another enemy sub ventured into the shallow coastal water at Noumea, and once again our surface combat task force spotted it and engaged. This sub got away, but it was badly damaged. Wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't make it back to base. Beauforts reported another successful bomb hit on a sub.

Very surprisingly, 21 Betties from Guadalcanal raided Port Moresby. Unescorted. I just figured it out--these guys were on Ground Attack orders to hit Ndeni. Now that there aren't any of my troops on Ndeni to bomb, the AI picked another target for them. Welp, they ran into a CAP of 8 P-39s, which shot down 9 of them. Flak got another 3. They failed to cause any casualties on the ground.

The enemy carriers are still at Ndeni. So, it appears they are going to remove the troops they dropped there, which makes sense because there were so many. This is a very similar situation to the Lahaina evacuation. The fighter wings of these carriers have been worn down significantly by the P-38 sweeps. We've got pretty constant PBY surveillance on these guys, too. I really think it's just 2 fleet carriers, maybe with CVL/CVE support. If it's just Shokaku and Hiryu, maybe that means Akagi and Shokaku's imouto are finally getting their upgrades.

Battle of Rangoon
We had Oscars and Zeroes sweeping Rangoon, trying to gain air superiority--which they eventually did, just because my planes had to land to refuel and get serviced, and my base's service facilities are shot, so my turnaround time is horrible. But tactically, we owned them--5 Zeroes and 3 Oscars shot down to just 1 Hurricane. Here's why:

The Zeroes came in at 32,000 feet and the Oscars at 38,000 feet. I'm patrolling at about 31,000 feet. So, because they start with an altitude advantage, they get a "dive bonus", more or less they get to attack first. Which could be devastating if I wasn't training up my pilots defensive skills. But of course, I'm making defensive training a priority. Once that first attack is evaded, the fight's on--and as you can see in the chart, the manueverability advantage that the Zero has at most altitudes does not apply at 32,000 feet. The Hurricane is actually more manueverable than the Zero up here. And it has better guns, more durability, and armor. Similar story with the Oscar--it still has a maneuverability advantage up here, but it's a lot smaller than it would be if we were lower.

The small task force we detached from our CVBG had no joy. Our scoutplanes reacquired the APD task force heading southeast towards Port Blair. Our assets at Akyab still report 4 enemy units present, so I think he's reinforcing, not evacuating.

Enemy carrier aircraft made another ineffective attack on my Tavoy ground forces. 4 more Vals were lost to flak. The Sallies bombed these forces too and didn't do much better. My troops are taking cover and slowing down but they aren't getting many squads destroyed or disabled.

I'm resting my B-24s to make repairs. I have more planes down than I do that are flyable. Thunderstorms predicted tomorrow, so they'll be resting/repairing tomorrow too.

The 38th Division made a shock attack on Moulmein, bringing the forts down from level 4 to level 2. Casualties were 702 to 34 favoring us, but they established their position on the other side of the river and they outnumber us, about 13,000 to 4,000. They'll win, and they'll win soon.

CENTPAC
Finally, we have solid recon on Midway. 2,400 troops estimated with minimal artillery support. We also spotted 4-5 small ASW ships there--with classification being suspect, it might be a small transport task force pulling what's left out. The bad news, the CVE that flew the recon mission was also detected, so for all I know there are Betties headed to Midway's airbase to fly a mission against me tomorrow. So, the CVE is pulling out. Three of her escorting destroyers are going to shell the base, hopefully encountering and sinking the small task force there, and hitting the airbase in case anyone moved in. I'm also sending a pair of cruisers from Pearl to do the same thing. It'll take them a day, so if the DDs damage any Betties I should be able to turn the cruisers around before they get blown up. Doubtful they have an AirHQ present, though, so maybe I'm overstating the Betty threat, they're pretty weak if they don't have torpedoes.

Reinforcements
46th USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme

2 B-17 squadrons were delivered to Sydney today. I'm also moving a USMC Avenger squadron out of Los Angeles to the SouthPAC area.
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:08 AM   #472
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8 November 1942
Enemy carriers depart Ndeni

Solomons Area
The S-44 was approaching Noumea to replenish when it encountered the crippled I-6 (damaged by destroyers at Noumea yesterday), limping on the surface. She hit it with a Mk10 and finished it off. A Beaufort from Noumea also reported yet another successful bombing of a sub.

Rossel Island endured enemy sweeps by Oscars and Zeroes; 3 Zeroes and 2 P-40s lost. I'm going to supplement the CAP here with P-38s for awhile.

We swept Ndeni with Wildcats from Luganville, but had no joy--apparently the carriers have left. There are still at least 3 task forces in the area, which seem to be without air cover. I've moved a USMC Dauntless squadron from Suva to Luganville to try to take advantage of that. The 2 Helldiver squadrons in Efate don't have the range, even if I moved them to Luganville.

CENTPAC
The 3 destroyers I sent to Midway encountered the ASW group, and as it turned out the recon boys gave an accurate classification, 2 PBs and 2 SCs. The destroyers sank all 4 without problem and then bombarded the airbase, causing light damage. No aircraft present.

Battle of Rangoon
All that really happened were fights for control of the airspace over and around Rangoon. Total losses: 5 Zeroes, 1 Oscar, 4 Hurricanes, 2 P-40s.

Banda Sea
The enemy raided Babar island, 25 Sallies escorted by 9 Oscars. We had 6 P-39s and 3 P-38s, which mostly managed to avoid the Oscars and focus on the Sallies. 11 Sallies were shot down. The airbase took a hit to its supply stores but nothing else.

China
We've finished eliminating the 51st Division at Amoy. Before sending my victorious units elsewhere, I'm reconning a few nearby bases to see if anything was left open so that the 51st could make this push.

The remaining threat army is at Foochow, comprised of:
15th Division
58th Division
60th Division
70th Division
32nd JNAF AF Unit
Clearly not at full strength with only 30,700 troops between all of them and an assault value of about 800--so equivalent to a little under 2 full strength divisions. We hit them with over 30 B-24s today for over 200 casualties, and the unit I moved from here to Amoy is already on the way back. Once it arrives I'll start working on these guys with my land forces. Won't that be awesome, though--5 divisions to be eliminated here.

Reinforcements
SC-751 arrives at Eastern USA
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:16 PM   #473
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9 November 1942
A threat to Raheng's supply lines

Japan/Philippine Sea
We spotted 2 tanker convoys today. One was off Torishima, a small atoll between Tokyo and Iwo Jima. The USS Saury hit one of them, a Type N large tanker (10,000 tons), setting its oil cargo on fire. Neither the damage nor fire is severe, so it has a decent chance of making it to Tokyo. The other convoy was spotted by a retiring USS Seal in the open ocean east of Luzon and south of Okinawa. The Seal hit one of the tankers but the Mk14 did not detonate.

It appears that the enemy thinks the Luzon Strait is too hot to send tankers through, so he's shifting his routes east. I'm going to have to keep a very close on on the eastern exit of the Celebes Sea as well as try to establish a barrier across the Philippine Sea east of Luzon.

Solomons Area
Rossel was swept by 28 Oscars, we shot down 2 while losing a P-38. The minefield here will be set up tomorrow, and we now have 6 radar-equipped Beauforts flying night naval surveillance between here and the Solomons.

We reacquired the enemy CVBG well northeast of Ndeni--looks like a direct course for Roi-Namur in the Marshalls. So that's probably his central staging area for the KB. As it turns out, we have a sub parked off Roi-Naumur and even though it's close to the base, it isn't reporting any patrol aircraft activity. This looks like a very likely intercept in the next 1-2 days.

The Dauntlesses we moved to Luganville flew a mission against an enemy ASW task force near Ndeni, sinking one PB and damaging another badly enough that it probably sank too. They flew at extended range, carrying only 1 500lb bomb each instead of the usual 1000lb SAP.

China
Another Oscar down over Amoy. They only sent 3. They just don't seem willing to put the effort in here.


Banda Sea
Oscars sweeping Babar ended up with one loss and no victories against the defending P-38s and P-39s. I'm sending a little bit of fuel out here to support some PT boats, I wouldn't be surprised if they send marines here soon.

Battle of Rangoon
The situation continues to deteriorate...

The most noteworthy thing is the simultaneous appearance of enemy forces advancing toward Raheng and Pisanaoulke and paratroopers dropping on Tuong Gyi. It appears their objective is the supply route that runs from Tuong Gyi to Raheng, which if it's severed pretty much all my forces southeast of Moulmein are cut off. I'm probably going to kill the paras off without much difficulty, but without having a strength estimate on the Raheng-area group, I don't really know if I can stop them. I've moved a few recon Hurricanes down to Raheng to try to snoop these guys. In the meantime I'm also assigning them as a secondary target for the Vengeance bombers, if they decide they want to fly again. Oscars swept Raheng today; all my fighters here are either on escort duty to on offensive sweeps, so there was no one to play with. But I think that's going to invite a strike tomorrow, so I'm cancelling the sweeps and putting a modest CAP up.

The B-24s are going to rest another day with most of my planes still being repaired and another day of bad weather being predicted. The enemy airbase at Pegu is now up to a Level 3 (still too small for medium bombers without penalty) and they've moved most of the area's Oscars here--seriously, over 100. As crowded as the airbase is, that's an invitation for a bombing. But not tomorrow, yet.

Rangoon's kinda waiting for the hammer at this point. It looks like enemy forces are on the move from Pegu. Just a matter of time. On the bright side, the runways are fully repaired and the service facilities are improving. 3 Zeroes, an Oscar, and a P-40 were shot down over Rangoon and/or Pegu.

To the south, we've overrun the enemy at Mergui, a small base south of Tavoy, which I only did to make sure the armies here were forced far enough away that they don't have access to the road back towards Rangoon. That taken care off, these guys are all headed back north. I'll leave a small unit behind to garrison Tavoy but the rest are going to rendevous with our retreating anti-Bangkok force, and combined we can hopefully take a meaningful fight to the enemy near Rangoon.

Northwest of Rangoon, our infantry has caught up with our tanks at Akyab. I am hopefull we'll have the base tomorrow, and after making sure the enemy is no threat, these units can try to contribute to the primary front.

Refits and Reinforcements
Repairs completed on CL Nashville at Pearl Harbor, ship returned to service
Repairs completed on CA Pensacola at Pearl Harbor, ship returned to service
Repairs completed on CA Vincennes at Pearl Harbor, ship returned to service
^---- 3 cruisers completing upgrades. The cruisers on the way to Midway will be next, once they return.

SC-645 arrives at San Francisco
VS-7D14 arrives at Alameda (floatplane training squadron)
329th FG/337th FS arrives at Eastern USA (fully restricted, 10/25 P-38s. I'm getting annoyed that the P-38s are arriving in squadrons like this. They're in too high of demand to be used in training squadrons, and to free them up I need to give the squadron a full batch of something else. Right now even giving these guys 25 P-40Es seems like a waste. I may have to disband a few training squadrons, consolidate those aircraft and move them in here.)
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Old 01-24-2022, 01:09 AM   #474
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10 November 1942
More paratroops in Burma, Akyab retaken, supply run to Roussel intercepted and sunk

Solomons Area
A pair of cargo ships and their minesweeper ASW escorts were sunk by an enemy task force on a bombardment run against Roussel Island. Our minelayers arrived right after that, so maybe the next time this happens it costs them something. It doesn't appear our night patrols are doing any good. Oscar sweeps shot down 1 P-38 without loss.

The the carriers apparently pulling out, I took the opportunity to sweep the last of the mines out of Luganville.

But, when we swept Ndeni, the Zeroes that greeted us were reportedly from the Hiryu--we got 11 of them with no losses. We do not hold any carrier contacts.

Banda Sea
Oscar sweep at Babar; 2 Oscars down to 1 P-39.

Battle of Rangoon
A raid on Raheng netted 3 of our P-40s without enemy loss; the Sallies bombed from too high to hurt the airbase though. Paratroops seized Meiktilla, an empty base adjacent to Tuang Gyi (where they landed yesterday). I think the local forces can handle it.

An enemy task force of 2 CLs and 3 DDs nearly made it all the way to Akyab without getting spotted, but they were referred to the B-25s operating out of eastern India. 31 of them attacked--good enough for one 500 lb bomb hit on a CL. Probably not serious damage. I guess my CVBG wasn't close enough to join in. Going to detach some cruisers and try to intercept the group, but they'll probably be gone in time. Our ground forces took Akyab after this, so the enemy task force probably will not have any reason to come back.

The Beaufighers finally flew a mission, they attacked a task force of 2 CAs and 3 DDs about to shell Moulmein. They missed with their bombs, only connecting with the 20mm cannons against a DD for light damage. The shelling of the base caused only minor casualties, and one of the CAs was hit by a shore battery.

Refits and reinforcements
DD Gwin beginning refit in shipyard at Pearl Harbor
DD Hughes taken out of commission to begin refit at Pearl Harbor

343rd FG/11th FS arrives at San Francisco (0/25 P-40s, unrestricted)
44th USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme
Fiji Brigade arrives at Nadi (full strength, unrestricted)
163rd Light AA Regiment arrives at Aden (~80% strength, unrestricted)
170 Wing arrives at Aden (full strength, unrestricted--headed to Karachi, India)
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Old 01-24-2022, 09:57 AM   #475
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11 November 1942
Enemy amphibious convoy ravaged by Beaufighters near Babar; APD task force destroyed off Akyab

Banda Sea
The KXI made a failed attack on a large convoy south of Ambon. The convoy included cruisers, plenty of destroyers, and transports--I could tell right away they'd be headed for Babar.

Babar was then swept by Oscars, resulting in 1 Oscar shot down.

Then our scoutplanes reacquired the convoy approaching Babar and Darwin's Beaufighters got the call. They flew two sorties against them and struck without hitting any air cover. We lost one to the heavy cruiser, but the planes were highly effective against the transports:
xAK Ishikari Maru
xAK Momokawa Maru, Bomb hits 3, on fire
xAK Nozima Maru
xAK Yamabiko Maru
xAK Yamazuki Maru, Shell hits 1, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires
xAK Yokohama Maru
xAK Yodogawa Maru, Shell hits 6
xAK Natisan Maru, Shell hits 1, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires
xAK Ginyo Maru, Shell hits 18, Bomb hits 5, heavy fires, heavy damage

Good odds they'll abort the landing. If they don't, I'll be trying to hit them with subs, B-17s, Hudsons, and PT boats tomorrow, along with the Beaufighters.

Battle of Rangoon
A bit of a missed connection here - our cruiser detachment arrived in Akyab, found nothing, and turned around. Then right after they left 4 APDs arrived and started dropping off more troops. Our task force got the contact report, turned around, and sank all 4 easily--HMS Brimingham sustained a non-penetrating shell hit that started a small fire. Unfortunately the enemy had completely unloaded by the time we got to them, so our troops will have to deal with them the hard way.

Raheng was swept by Oscars and Nicks, no losses on either side. The enemy force headed here is at least 10,000 strong. I had ordered Force Peter to withdraw to Moulmein, but it turns out they're needed where they were. They're turning around to defend the supply line. Also, with the Vengeances not interested in naval strikes, I'm ordering them to hit these troops and putting some of their escorts on CAP duty.

Rangoon suffered a raid from the carriers (A6M2 Zero x 33, B5N1 Kate x 4, B5N2 Kate x 23, D3A1 Val x 28). All damage at Rangoon's airbase is repaired now, and it shows, we had 25 Hurricanes fighting this raid. 13 Zeroes and a Kate were splashed by the CAP, with flak adding a Val. We lost 2 Hurricanes in that exchange. The bombers targeted the port from high altitude and managed a few hits:
CL Caradoc, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
xAP Poelau Telo, Bomb hits 1, on fire
xAK Empire Grenfell, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
xAK Empire Peregrine, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage

The carriers also raided Moulmein and our forces that just defeated Tavoy's former garrison at Mergui. The Moulmein raid was followed by over 125 Sallies, which caused few casualties but the disruption is bad enough that our troops there are just going to be a speedbump. The enemy land forces attacked, taking 900 casualties to our 200 and knocking the forts down to level zero. We'll probably be overrun tomorrow. But, the "main" Bangkok force is nearly back. The challenge is going to be keeping them supplied and not completely bombed out by the Sallies until we've got a force strong enough to take these guys on directly.

We got our B-24s back into it by trying to hit the enemy airbase at Pegu. They hit severe storms and their accuracy was horrible--little to no damage to the base. We did shoot down 4 Zeroes and 3 Oscars. The raid cost us 7 B-24s, though, most of which crashed on the return trip.

An unknown number of enemy troops have entered Rangoon's hex. This is messing with my plans to reinforce Rangoon with the special forces paras, because if that enemy force is more than 3x my existing garrison, if the paras walked in from the adjacent base it would trigger a shock attack. So once I finish flying what's left of the unit to Rangoon, the troops that were landed adjacent will be flown to Rangoon. Tedious and slow, but a shock attack would probably devastate me.

Paratroopers assaulted Mandalay and were immediately wiped out by our garrison forces.

Solomons Area
3 Oscars down over Rousell, no Allied losses.

Reinforcements
TK Stanvac Manila arrives at Cristobal - Will be given to Colombo
511th Coast AA Regiment arrives at Los Angeles - full strength, restricted
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:41 PM   #476
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12 November 1942
Japan appears "all in" for Rangoon - commitment of 6 divisions; another CVBG spotted near the Solomons

Banda Sea
Two destroyers detached from the amphibious group and ran down an AKL and minesweeper that were on a supply run to Babar. They had aborted their mission and were trying to get back to Darwin, fueling up some PTs on the way. Well that didn't happen, the AKL was sunk, the AM damaged and aborting the rendevoux. The PTs made it to Babar but were driven off by the amphibious groups escorts, with 3 boats being lost. They're now lurking just outside the base with very low fuel.

To my surprise, the convoy didn't turn around despite the damage it took. Perhaps partly because the convoy is huge--12 cargo ships currently there, none of them burning or otherwise overly damaged. 3 ships that were hit yesterday weren't there anymore, so sunk or aborted. They dropped off nominally a third of the 18th Division and a third of the 12th Division, but the actual number of troops on the island is only about 4000 and their current strength is about equivalent to 1/3 of a division. The rest of these units are in or around Rangoon right now (or in the damaged ships that aborted the mission).

We shot down 1 Oscar that was trying to provide cover to the landings. But our attacks didn't amount to much. B-17s and Hudson bombers all missed. The Beaufighters got some strafing hits on one AK and a bomb hit on another, but no casualties were reported so they'd probably already finished unloading troops and were only dropping supplies.

Battle of Rangoon
2 CLs and 2 DDs made their way to Rangoon harbor to shell our base. Fortunately no CAs, damage was minimal.

The enemy land unit in Rangoon is none other than the Imperial Guards Division, which is a new unit detected in this area. By my count we're up to 6 divisions now. More on that at the end... We started hitting this enemy force with Blenheim and B-24 bombers, coming in at 10k or lower to increase our accuracy, expecting (correctly) that most of the AA had stayed behind to protect the airbase. We probably managed around 350 casualties altogether.

The enemy CVBG launched a major strike on Rangoon again, this one cost them 5 Zeroes, 7 Kates, and 4 Vals, and us a Hurricane. They came in lower this time and were more successful:
DD John D. Edwards, Bomb hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
PG Hindustan, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
xAK Empire Grenfell, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
xAK Elmdale, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
xAP Poelau Telo, Bomb hits 1
Over Moulmein, they lost 2 Oscars and us a P-40.
Moulmein was captured, we took 411 casualties to their 390. It looks like most of the victorious troops are headed back to participate in the attack on Rangoon itself.

To the east, the enemy has already reached Pisanuloke so I probably can't protect it. The Vengence bombers kicked their asses pretty good though, about 140 casualties and they look like they're in bad shape for fighting.

In the northwest, we eliminated the additional enemy troops that landed in Akyab via the now-sunk APDs.

Solomons Area
Nicks raided Rossel with Oscar escorts and we owned them, 7 Nicks shot down by the CAP with just 1 P-38 lost. 4 more Nicks shot down by AA, minimal damage to the base.

Another CVBG is approaching the area from the Gilberts/Marshalls (or maybe the same one coming back).

China
We began our assault on the surrounded enemy at Foochow. They've still got some fight left in them, we only had a slight edge in casualty numbers, about 1300 to 1400. But between the bombings and supplies being cut off, these guys are going to break soon.

Big Picture
It looks like all of the victorious units from Singapore and Palembang went to Burma. The major units not in Burma I believe are:
48th Division - still in Sumatra
33rd Division - last spotted in Babeldoab (Palaus)
21st Division - Marshalls
4th Division - mostly defeated at Lahaina, what's left went to the Marshalls, some in Manilla
56th Division - Java
2nd Division - Truk

So it's looking to me like it's not going to be hard to find that "soft underbelly", because it's pretty much everywhere except the Marshalls and Guadalcanal. If I could get to, say, Java or Sumatra with 3 Divisions before his armies in Burma return, I'd probably win that battle. I don't think Burma is worth a 6-division offensive. It's main value is getting supply into China, the blockade needed to accomplish that can be done just by fully utilizing his base at Port Blair, backed up by bases near Rangoon such as Moulmein, which he just took. If he's able to eliminate my forces between Rangoon and Bangkok (which he keeps bragging to be via email that he's going to), that's going to suck, but what that really means is that the Brits won't be able to take Burma back anytime soon, and may even suffer an incursion into India. Meanwhile the southern resource areas are probably vulnerable to the US.

I don't have everything in place to make another major move to take advantage right now, but transports are making their way west. Until then, I'm going to see what I can do to eliminate the substantial troop commitment he's made to Ndeni and Babar, and hopefully get some warships while I'm at it. In Burma, the most important thing is to keep my troops alive, because his troops aren't going to be able to leave as long as I have a large army there as well.

Reinforcements
CA Wichita arrives at Balboa
CL Columbia arrives at Balboa
^--these guys will relieve the cruisers at Pago so they can get their October upgrades.
38th USN Naval Construction Battalion arrives at Port Hueneme
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Old 01-25-2022, 02:09 AM   #477
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This probably is more of a general question: for quite some time I have wondered about the x in the classification of auxilliary ships, like in xAK or xAP. What does the 'x' stand for?

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Old 01-25-2022, 09:00 AM   #478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostfriese View Post
This probably is more of a general question: for quite some time I have wondered about the x in the classification of auxilliary ships, like in xAK or xAP. What does the 'x' stand for?
It indicates that it's a civilian ship that's just being used in military service out of necessity. I'm pretty sure an "xAP" is just a passenger liner with a few guns bolted onto the decks. The AKs and APs without the "x" are true military auxiliary ships. In game terms, the ships without the "x" have better amphibious load/unload rates (the "x"s are 42% slower) and better damage control.

EDIT: after checking the manual, I think what the "x" actually stands for is the lack of a military commission.
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Old 01-25-2022, 02:30 PM   #479
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13 November 1942
Babar holds on as PT boats hit enemy amphibious group on their 2nd attempt

Bay of Bengal
An enemy sub was spotted lurking off Colombo by an ML, which managed to hit it with a depth charge before it disappeared.

Banda Sea
Our PT squadron put the last of their fuel to good use with a second attack attempt on the enemy invasion force. This time, the attack was at night, and that made all the difference. Their approach was detected, but they pressed into torpedo range and got several hits:
xAK Tamon Maru, Torpedo hits 1
xAK Yodogawa Maru, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
xAK Manko Maru, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
xAK Ishikari Maru, Torpedo hits 1, on fire

28 troop casualties were reported, so I was wrong about them being done offloading yesterday. We lost 1 PT boat to one of the escorting destroyers. This squadron is going to shelter at a nearby empty base as they're out of fuel. I'm going to try to get some fuel for them and bring them back to rearm.

We flew several Hudson and B-17 sorties against the troops that had landed. 1 Oscar was shot down trying to stop this. The bombings weren't that effective, at least 12 casualties but not much more than that.

The enemy troops attempted a shock attack, which failed rather badly, though I'm not sure if that was a result of the bombings, troop losses from hits on the transports, or just defensible terrain. Casualties 242 to 142 favoring us, and it looks like they don't have enough there to do the job unless they're able to rest. And as I learned the hard way in Luganville, that rest doesn't come easily if you weren't able to land your support units, so even if I didn't get a lot of front line troops on the transports that sank or aborted, getting those ships will still pay off now that the tip of the spear proved not to be sharp enough.

Battle of Rangoon
Rangoon took a serious bombardment by 4 CAs, a CL, and 2 DDs. Lots of damaged planes, moderate facility damage, and our damaged CL took a few hits in port. And 120 troop casualties.

In spite of this we still managed to get a decent CAP up of 10 planes, enough to shoot down 2 Oscars when the sweeps came. 1 Hurricane was shot down. Our B-24s hit the enemy without much interference, causing 200+ troop casualties, no bomber losses.

The Sallies focused on Tavoy again. Not the best use of them, but it will burn up my dwindling supplies.

The Beaufighters flew a mission, but with terrible target selection: the BB Hiei. One was shot down by Zeroes, and we had no hits, not that we would have penetrated its armor if we had.

The enemy carriers appear to have left. Probably headed to an airfield large enough to take replacements from. We've managed to get some aviation support into Raheng that was previously in Moulmein (where it was wasted due to the lack of construction engineers to repair the base). Raheng should be able to get a lot more planes in the air going forward. I'd start evacuating planes from Rangoon, but the base is already overstacked. Which may mean a lot of planes will be destroyed on the ground if Rangoon falls, but there isn't much I can do to stop that if the heavy cruiser bombardments continue. Speaking of which, a US sub arrived in Rangoon to take on mines, only to be told it couldn't load there. Probably because supply levels are already too low. Off to Calcutta, although even after consulting the manual I'm not sure if they'll be able to load there either.

Solomons Area
An enemy submarine tried to park of Rossel and hit three of the freshly laid mines. Going to call that a kill. Another Nick & Oscar raid didn't work out, with 4 Nicks and 2 Oscars shot down vs just 1 P-38; flak added another Nick.

No sign of the carrier(s) I spotted yesterday. Except for radio transmissions detected near the extreme end of a Catalina patrol area--enough to make me worry a little that it might be headed to raid Pago. In an abundance of caution, I've cancelled a troop loading evolution there, as a one-day delay isn't going to hurt me, but if they hit those ships after they load it would be catastrophic. Coastwatchers reported CS Chiyoda in harbor at Guadalcanal, so I think it's likely that's where the new carrier(s) went.

Reinforcements, Repairs
HMS Warspite arrived in Pearl for repairs of its torpedo damage taken in the Luganville operation. Will take 3 months.

DD DeHaven arrives at Eastern USA (Fletcher class)
No.42 Sqn RAF arrives at Aden (12/12 Beaufort torpedo bombers - headed to India, will probably end up in Colombo to help defend that base from carrier raids. As much as I'd like them in Burma, they won't be practical given the supply and base infrastructure situation.)
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Old 01-26-2022, 10:38 AM   #480
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The last few days I have been wondering about the military personal build-up in the Pacific.

Made a search and found this page

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/st...litary-numbers

A Majority of those who came after dec. 41 was send to Europe.

The number of military personal who fought in the pacific

"At the time of Pearl Harbor, General MacArthur's ground forces consisted of the Philippine Army of 10 divisions and supporting troops, with a total strength of about 100,000, and a U.S. Regular Army contingent of more than 25,000."

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