RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (Full Version)

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tocaff -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/3/2009 2:20:53 AM)

January 2, 1942

The Tarpon is again shifting it's patrol area as the only thing they've done since leaving Manila is fish a 17 year old out of the water and burn fuel.

The Houston and her group have refueled and are moving again. Ships are accumulating sys damage and accomplishing nothing since running into those 3 APs.

The convoy has arrived without further mishap and ships are unloading or moving off to other bases. These supplies will enable the USN to commence limited offensive ops against exposed Japanese bases and maybe even some convoys.

The AS Fulton has limped into Pearl and is scheduled to be repaired immediately. Her skipper, CDR ES Sheetz, and the crew are up for commendations for saving their ship.

The three USN CVs currently at Pearl have upgraded their fighters to Wildcats (two with -4s and one with -3s). The Brewster Buffalo will no longer grace the decks of USN CVs unless something goes terribly wrong at the Gruman plant at Bethpage, NY.

Phil is keeping very busy as exec of the Benham as their TF tries to sweep the PH area clear of subs. The are plenty of sightings, but finding and attacking them is a cat and mouse game that takes skill and luck.

Bill reads of the Japanese invading Lae and of the fall of Taytay. The Japanese continue their air raids and bombardments as they are concentrating on the same targets on a constant basis. Maybe an ambush of two can be attempted in the air. There is also a Soviet breakthrough of the German lines at Rzhev. The British took 8K POWs when Bardia fell to them yesterday. Maybe things aren't as bad as they seem, Bill thinks.

People on the streets reading their newspapers see the story of the "United Nations" of 26 allied countries signed a declaration of co-operation and no separate peace.

Churchill is informed that the troops in Burma and Malaya continue to retreat in front of superior numbers of Japanese troops. His briefing also makes mention of the successful insertion of Jean Moulin, mayor of Chartes, France by parachute. He has returned to France in an attempt to unify and organize the various Resistance factions who are feuding among themselves.

USS Houston

Hornblower -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/3/2009 3:37:08 AM)

nice read

tocaff -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/3/2009 12:13:56 PM)

Thanks, glad you're enjoying it.  I hope to have more meat to work with once I can semi stabilize the situation. 

If anyone wants to drop me a line here concerning how to post screen shots and resizing them, please do.  I've lost my notes on how to do it and my old feeble mind doesn't remember much.

I'll be back later today with the next installment after dealing with real life, keeps getting in the way, and doing the turn I just got from Steve.

tocaff -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/3/2009 4:44:52 PM)

January 3, 1942  Washington DC

Bill gets ready to leave the office and go home for a much needed rest when one of the clerks brings him a comm.  Bleary eyed he looks and walks to the map on the wall and puts a pin in at Lae, it's been taken by the Japs.  That's it for him and leaves.

The Benham continues searching for subs with no contacts.  Aircraft basesed at Pearl are constantly reporting subs and Phil suspects that green aircrews are seeing shadows from clouds thinking that they see subs.

USS Houston's TF has refueled and now heads for Kendari, which it'll reach tomorrow.

The Tarpon has new orders and her skipper wonders if anybody at HQs knows what they're doing.  Now the sub is off to Cotobato to pick up some troops and take them to Brisbane.  Red has never been to Australia and is exited at the news.  What he doesn't know is that the sub will be even more cramped than it is now.

The large convoy continues to unload at Pearl Harbor and merchantmen of many different types begin arriving there after a long transit from points west in the Pacific.  There will be many ships heading back to the States when it's time.  The USN has been busy trying to work up a schedule for transport of men and material from the West Coast of the US to far flun bases.

In the meantime smaller convoys are taking troops and supplies to Midway, Johnston Island, Lahaina, Palmyra and Hilo.  It is hoped that this is the beginning of a strategy to halt Japan's expansion eastwards.  It's also intended as part of a plan to secure the route to Australia.

tocaff -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/4/2009 11:43:09 AM)

January 4, 1942 

Bill is back at his desk studying reports, deciding which will go upstairs and what priority tags they will get.  He sees that the Japanese are bombarding and conducting air raids in the usual places.  Why don't the higher ups do something about this?  Shouldn't they rebase some fighters to counter the onslaught?  He supposes that force conservation is the name of the game for now, but damn it would be nice to spank the Nips a bit.  He see that Zeros have swept PM and that doesn't bode well for the base.

Chiang Kai-shek has been made Supreme Allied Commander in China.

Houston's TF has refueled and awaits orders to move.  In the meantime some minor repairs can be conducted as these ships have been on the move for the better part of a month and machines get tired, as do the men.  The USS Boise, a part of this TF has been having some system problems and she especially will benefit from this brief respite.

Tarpon continues towards her destination sumerged by day and surfaced by night.

Ships continue to arrive at PH gathering for a huge convoy back to the US.  A smaller convoy is planned to make a run to NZ and Australia as soon as enough supplies are stored at Pearl.

The Benham's TF has been ordered, with other ASWTFs, to sweep the southern approaches to Pearl so that these lone merchantmen can have a good chance to arrive unharmed.  Phil is thriving with the duties as exec and getting to know the ship are keeping him very busy.  LCDR Worthington is a good skipper and seems to know how to handle his crew well.

CDR Wells is seeing to the Humphreys as they ready her for whatever the brass have in store for them next.  He's hugely pleased with the results of the massive effort that got the convoy through without the loss of a single ship.  He also thinks that if the Japanese had known where they were earlier in the trip and had made a greater effort things could've been very different.

The Dutch have transfered a few of their Base Forces and and Infantry Rgt to SWPAC's command and they are on their way to various locations.  The bulk to the Dutch forces are readying themselves for the inevitable fight with Japanese troops as the "Yellow Peril" advances despite the Allies best efforts to stop them.

The USAAC has virtually no flyable planes left in the PIs and those that can are being sent elsewhere to fight another day.  The bulk of the B-17s and P-40Es are already in Australia training for future fights.

USS Boise

tocaff -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/5/2009 6:57:44 PM)

January 5, 1942

Rain and heavily overcast skies protect the Houston and her sisters of the Surface TF that is resting in the harbor at Kendari. All ships are making minor repairs, have full fuel bunkers and are making steam for a hasty departure if needed.

Miri was easily taken by the Japanese as the only troops there were survivors of the retreat from Brunei. They now face the Japanese brutality that only POWs will come to fully know.

Japanese troops land at San Jose and Bill thinks back to more peaceful time when he was based in the PIs.

Rangoon has been isolated and unless the Brits have a Dunkirk like op already in the works the troops there are doomed. The RN actually had and has no plans to risk any ships in the Burma area considering that Nells and Bettys are about.

The Tarpon quietly slips into Cotabato and takes on fuel and her passengers. Red takes the time to stretch his legs on the dock and have a smoke. Nobody is around to tell him about the cigarette burning being highly visable, but he already knows to cup it well. He overhears soldiers in the area talking about the Japanese troops that are a stone's throw away from Cotabato now. Red isn't religious, but he silently prays now that he may safely reach a port from where he can ship out on a merchantman again. He strolls back aboard the Tarpon and she slips her moorings 15 minutes later for the long, perilous trip to escape the hostile waters that they're in.


The Benham and many other DDs continue their weeps to the south of Pearl. It's like the IJN subs are magical as none can be found, but the air patrols keep seeing them. In the meantime AKs, APs and TKs continue to stream into Pearl as the assemble for the huge convoy back to the USA.

The AS Fulton has been completely pumped out and repairs are well under way. Once she's seaworthy it's likely that she'll be sent back to a yard in the US to complete her repairs, depending on the damnds of the yard at PH.

There are no sightings of the KB or it's planes so planned CV raids by the USN have been put on hold.

tocaff -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/6/2009 8:19:37 PM)

January 6, 1942

Aboard the Tarpon a message is passed to the skipper that reads as follows:  "Cotabato has surrendered.  7.4K POWs taken by Japs.  Where is the relief form the US?"  CDR Wallace tells the radio operator to keep this just between the two of them for now as it won't go over well with the men that have just left their unit behind.

Kendari's harbor continues to shelter the TF waiting for targets of opportunity.  Capt Riker reads the reports again and thinks to himself that there's no way his ships can do anything at this time but hide.  The IJN has CVs covering the area to the NW and the NE and it seems that BBs are roaming everywhere too.  His TF is no match for this kind of force.

Bill sees the usual bad news and notes that San Jose and Cotabato have capitulated.  Gasmata has been invaded.  Subs are still in the Frisco area and the waters around PH aren't safe either.  What in the world is the USN doing?  Isn't it supposed to go out and clobber the Japanese fleet?  More importantly where in the hell is the KB?

Phil has been relieved on the bridge and as he makes his way to the wardroom for a bite to eat before some sleep he runs into the skipper.  LCDR Worthington asks Phil if he would be kind enough to stop by his cabin after Phil grabs some shuteye.  We all know that this kind of "invitation" is really an order and Phil responds with an "Aye Aye skipper."  He wonders what's up, but doesn't worry about it as he's just to tired.

In Washington DC Secretary of War, Stimson has had a meeting with Chief of Staff, Marshall and the Deputy Chiefs of Staff:
Gens. Bryden, Moore, Arnold and Smith.  They are working on a plan to try and slow the Japanese advance down before losing the whole of the Pacific Ocean to them.  Stimson and Marshall will meet with FDR tomorrow and present the general ideas being formed.  It looks as if the USN will be a very busy service as great demands will be made of it shortly.

Winston Churchill has confered with his ministers and they tell hin that the Australians are virtually on their own, the Dutch are collapsing and the British and Indian troops protecting India are falling back befor the Japanese who are advancing in Burma.

Capt -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/7/2009 4:44:41 AM)

You have missed your calling Todd, you ought to be writing novels.
Sounds like your Jap player is pushing hard.

jonreb31 -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/7/2009 7:09:26 AM)

Best of a luck. I like the style so far, keep it up!

tocaff -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/7/2009 2:39:40 PM)

Thanks for the kind words guys.  I'll try to keep it interesting.

January 7, 1942  Washington DC

FDR sits listening to his Chief of Staff make the presentation of a revised battle plan for the Pacific War.  Marshall states that to try anything other than raids at this point in time would be suicide.  He goes on to state that a strengthening of bases to shield Pearl Harbor from attack is a priority.  Another priority is doing whatever is possible to keep the lines of communication open to Australia.  As to the Alaska area Marshall states that sending a TF centered on 2 or 3 BBs would be a prudent move in case the Japanese decide to make a move there.  "These far flung bases could become a springboard for a push of our own in the future" he says.  FDR tells them to go ahead with these plans.  The Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox arrives late with CNO Admiral Stark.  Mr Stimson brings them up to speed and Stark submits a rotational plan for Naval ships to proceed at various dates to designated harbors for system upgrades.  Out of hand the plan is approved and the USA now appears to have something solid to work with after a month of war.  They all agree that it seems much longer than a month.  The meeting breaks up and everyone returns to their offices as there's much to do.

Bill reads that Gasmata and Jolo have fallen and with that news he goes to lunch. 

An ASW TF has been dispatched from SF to Seattle to escort some AKs back to SF in preparation of another westward bound convoy.  As a bonus these DDS stumble upon I-26 and hit her very heavily.  It's not a confirmed kill, but an oil slick indicates that it very well could be a sub in dire straits with slim chances of getting to a safe harbor.

Tarpon continues her journey with barely enough room aboard for someone to move.  Red stays topside as CDR Wallace recognizes the boys stress levels increasing.  He give Red a pair of binoculars as has another set of eyes scanning around them as they cruise on the surface at night to recharge the batteries and freshen the foul air.  In another 100 miles or so they will try to cruise on the surface during the days too.

Capt Riker keeps his TF at anchor, but has decided that to sit here at Kendari for another day or two would be to dangerous.  He has summoned the other ship's captains to join him for lunch and a strategy session.  He believes that a smart commander takes advantage of this subordinate's skills and minds if he is to be successful.

There's a knock at LCDR Worthington's cabin as Phil reports as requested.  "Come" and Phil enters.  His skipper proceeds to tell Phil to relax as he asks how Phil is settling in.  Phil tells him that Benham is a good ship with a good crew.  He'd like to run some additional drills once the ASW situation slackens and Worthington agrees.  He tells Phil that he's pleased with his performance and to keep up the good work.

The planes are starting to arrive with additional pilots at various US bases bring formations up to their full strenth levels. Training of the crews is a priority and the one of the problems now is a lack of adequate support facilities to keep all of the planes in the air. This will be corrected as new units start to arrive.

tocaff -> RE: The Battle Under: The Allies Fight Back (5/8/2009 4:10:04 PM)

January 8, 1942  Washington DC

Bill has noted that Japanese troops have hit Sandakan and Mersing, which fell to them.  Can Sandakan last a day? He sighs and picks up a newspaper and reads that:

FDR has announced that US troops will be based in the UK and he has submitted his first war budget to Congress, which includes $13.25 billion in defense spending.

Rommel's battered Afrika Korps has eluded the British and has crossed the Tripolitanian border and now licks it's wounds.

Moscow has announced that 52K civilians were killed in Kiev by the Germans and the Russian people will never forgive or forget this.

The Soviet NW front attacks south of Lake Ilmen trying to encircle Demyansk.  The Soviet Volkhov Front also attacks trying to push the Germans back from Leningrad.

Enough of this, he thinks, and heads home for a troubled night's sleep.

Ships continue to stream into PH and all of their skippers are summoned to a preconvoy conference.  The route back to the US is expected to be filled with dander and the USN is trying to make sure that all ships will know their stations in the convoy and the signals to be used.

I-19 has been sunk by the same ASW TF that scored yesterday outside of SF Bay.  This time in in waters off of Seattle.  The TF will refuel and escort some AK back to SF for an assembling convoy. 

The Houston's TF weighs anchor and steams for Balikpapan because IJN subs have been spotted operating in the Kendari area.

Tarpon continues her lonely trip.  For all that they know so far in this war they are the only vessel in the Pacific.  If it weren't for radio reports that the hear how could they think otherwise?  After all one month on patrol and not a single contact.

The Allied troops that retreated from Rabul are now cutoff as the Japanese hold Gasmata.

The British Vildebeest and Swordfish biplanes have been their most effective weapon around the Singapore area.  Go figure how obsolete planes really can do their jobs.

tocaff -> Strategies (5/9/2009 2:19:16 PM)

I'd like to take a day off from the AAR (story) and lay out my strategy for the immediate future of the game.  Of course long term planning is included in this, but with a fluid situation the plans must be flexible too.

In the Northern Area (Alaska) I propose to build up Anchorage so that it may handle 4E bombers.  This will allow me to the move out to Kodiak Isl and Dutch Harbor in force is need be.  Having an umbrella of LBA in this area will enable me to creep forward and will make a Japanese advance costly.  It's a long way back to a safe port for any damaged Japanese shipping as the Aleutians are going out on a limb for them.  I'll send 2 or 3 of the old BBs with some CAs, CLs and DDs to have some muscle here.  I will then rotate these ships out and replace them with a similar fleet that has undergone it's refit on the West Coast.  I'm sending the Northern Area HQ from Pearl to Anchorage shortly and will send some engineers and infantry as soon as they are available.  In the meantime Seattle will keep sending out supply convoys to Anchorage.  I'd like to have the forts level for Anchorage at 9 and the airfield and port levels up to 7 by September or October (latest).  I expect nothing to happen in this area before March or April at the earliest and will rely on the Winters to stop almost all activities here. 

In China I will let the IJA advance against me in the hopes of the front stretching his lines and allowing me to chance of a counter thrust somewhere.  Primarily I want to bleed him here for now so I'll try and fight for everything he gets.

The Soviets are active and filling out their units while they train them.  At some point I'll attack with the hopes that Steve have weakend the garrison to strengthen China.  In essence the plan calls for the hope of lulling him into a comfort zone here.  Once I attack the main goal is to bleed him as in China.  If he attacks me I'll try and hold the southern area on the Sea of Japan at all costs.

On the Burma front I'll use the Commonwealth troops to try and slow an overland advance by the Japanese by using the rivers for defense lines.  The RN will be on standby to interdict any attempt made by Steve to try amphib landings.  I hope that Steve won't send the KB here because I'll only have LBA to protect the RN as it's CVs are no match for the IJN.  The proposed raids by the USN will be designed to tied up IJN assets and prevent to much of it being sent to the Bay of Bengal.  At present I'm mining ports in the Bay of Bengal.  I expect the advance by the Japanese to knock on India's door before I can effectively deal with it.

In the DEI I expect that Singapore will fall sooner than later and that the only thing I can do there is to make the Japanese pay for it.  Once they accomplish this Java and Summatra will be next on his list and I will fight with what I've got there to try and slow the advance to buy myself some time.  I'm trying to use a couple of surface TFs to hit him with, but I can't deal with BBs or CVs in this area so I shift around looking for a chance here or there to sting them.  I've pulled some BFs, about 4, and an infantry unit out of this area to bolster Oz and the SWPAC areas.  All other LCUs will die fighting here.

In Australia I expect an invasion.  Why?  Steve comes from the Brisbane area and that just gives me the gut feeling that if he's going to go for something big this'll be it.  I'm going to try and bolster Alice Springs to slow an overland advance knowing that the northern coast is nothing more than a feast for a determined Japanese attack.  The eastern coast I will fight for and only surrender it with a fight.  The south of Oz is going to be held at all costs using whatever I can scrape together.  The US will send troops as soon as I feel comfortable in CENPAC and as SWPAC grows in strength.

SWPAC is being beefed up as I want to keep open the route to NZ and Oz.  Depending on what he does here will determine what the USN will do.  If the Japanese steamroll through here in strength it'll just mean that I'll do whatever I can to slow him and make him pay.

CENPAC is being strengthened with Midway, Johnson Isl, Palmyra Atoll and Canton Isl getting LCUs for their defense as they are available to me.  I'm busily mining Midway and Johnson now and will expand this shortly.  These will shield PH and prevent it from being cut off.  The Hawaiian Islands are being beefed up also as I won't allow any easy pickings in this area.

I am basically thinking in a strictly defensive nature at present with an eye to some CV raids and maybe a grab at a remote base of his to keep him off balance a bit.  I'd like to turn the Alaska area into my first offensive as the Soviets are active I salivate at the thought of basing 4E bombers early in the war within striking distance of the Home Islands.  I think that just the threat of this could tie up substantial Japanese forces.  Of course I'' use my subs to attack his shipping (Brit, Dutch and S class US) while the other US subs with the dud fish will conduct a mining campaign to hinder the IJN.

That's about it for now.  If any of you would like to chime in with your thoughts, please do.  Don't forget that this is my first PBEM as the Allied player and I expect to make many mistakes.

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/10/2009 12:43:35 PM)

January 9, 1942

The IJA continues it's unrelenting bombardment of Changsha. They have built up a force of 130K+ troops against which the Chinese garrison of 55K is suffering mightily. One can only wonder when the actual assault will begin and why Steve hasn't encircled the city by now to bag this force.

Chinese Wounded at Changsha

In the Pentagon Bill sifts through the comms and walks to his wall map with pins in hand, placing one in Rangoon and another at Sandakan. There are more and more bases marked this way as they continue to fall like dominoes. He thinks that soon it will be Johore Bahru as the Japanese have commenced a fierce artillery bombardment there. Singapore will be next once Johore Bahru falls and this will be a huge loss for the British. The loss of the harbor and facilities there will be sorely missed.

Ships continue to load in Seattle's port and will then depart for San Francisco to join a larger convoy bound for Pearl Harbor. dditional ships are loading in LA and they are awaiting the arrival of escorts to shepherd them to SF also. A Hub system has been worked out by the USN to supply far flung Pacific bases. Pearl Harbor is the center of this system and ships continue to arrive there to make it work. The biggest problem will be the scarcity of escort vessels until more warships arrive.

At Pearl harbor ASW vessels are returning to replenish before either shifting to the NE approaches to Pearl in an effort to clear the waters there for a departing convoy to the US or serve as escorts for this convoy. It's been planned to dispatch a CVTF westwards to raid targets of opportunity such as exposed bases where airfields don't exist yet, to small air strips trying to keep out of range of the Japanese LBA and their dreaded Nells and Bettys.

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/11/2009 2:59:47 PM)

January 10, 1942

S-35 reports being attacked by IJN ASW assets near Wake Isl. The planners at PH consider the implications of this information. It is decided to dispatch the Big E on a raid and make Wake her first stop. Sailing orders are cut and issued to the ships that will be involved in this TF. The plan calls for them to leave tomorrow.

The convoy for the States will also leave tomorrow. It is planned to send battlewagons, cruisers and a carrier along to protect it. These warships will then undergo a refit before their next mission.

The General Staff wondered to soon about the IJA assaulting Changsha as it happens today. A shock attack is conducted and the loses are reported as 5031/75/3 (men/guns/vehicles) for the IJA and 1299/42/0 for the Chinese. Supplies are running low and the forts are at a level of 3 now.

Allied representatives are gathering in London for a conference.

Col-Gen Ernst Udet, the head of Luftwaffe aircraft production and development, commits suicide due to his failure to provide the Luftwaffe with adequate replacements and new, improved models.

Phil reads the orders that Benham will be joining the Enterprise as part of her screening force. The ship is fully supplied with fuel and stores and the crew is ready to go.

Tarpon continues on her lonely cruise.

Houston and her sisters will weigh anchor tomorrow and head south in anticipation of the next Japanese thrust.

A suspected Japanese spy is caught by the Aussie Home Guard.

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/12/2009 10:25:05 PM)

January 11, 1942

Bill yet again walks to his wall map of the Pacific and stares at it. Pontianak and Gili Gili have been invaded. He walks back to his desk and thinks about buying some Bromo Seltzer on the way home tonight. A clerk hands him another comm and he sighs as he reads that the Chinese are retreating from Nanning.

Aboard the Tarpon nothing except routine drills and watches. CDR Wallace announces to the crew that they will resume running submerged during the days again as their course will take them very close to the Japanese base of Truk. Fear and anticipation runs through the crew as they all want to attack something, anything, and this large base will surely be busy.

Houston's TF has weighed anchor and will head south due to the invasion of Gili Gili. Capt Riker assumes that their rendezvous with another TF will occur, as planned, in two days. They will then sail together to protect the PM area. It is not known to him yet that the Aussies are sending a TF to join them also. Even with this concentration of ships they will be no match for what the IJN can throw at them.

The convoy slips out of Pearl and starts the long trip eastwards. At present only DDs are in attendance, but tomorrow a strong surface force of BBs, CAs, CLs and more DDs will join them. A CVTF is scheduled to sail in a couple of days to help protect the convoy.

The Big E sails and heads to the SW with raiding on the agenda. All of those aboard CV6 are eager to draw blood in an attempt to draw Japan's attention away from her treacherous plans. Something to feed the newspapers back home to help boost morale is what's really needed as Admiral Turner has ordered that offensive ops be conducted whenever and wherever possible with an eye to force conservation.


USS Enterprise

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/13/2009 8:38:37 PM)

January 12, 1942 Washington DC

Bill has been told to standby to get a new CO on Thursday the 15th. He could use somebody else around here to ease the work load falling on his shoulders. Back to the map he goes placing a pin in fallen Gili Gili. Japanese troops are landing at Pontianak and Madan. His stomach is no better despite him using the Bromo to settle it. At least the British have taken Sollum, wherever in the desert that is, he thinks to himself.

Lexinton readies to sail to provide air cover for the eastbound convoy. She and her escorts will stay on the West coast for a refit after they conduct ops in the Alaska area.

A convoy bound for Auckland is loading at PH as NZ is low on supplies.

A replenishment TF readies to set sail with the purpose of feeding the Big E and her escorts the fuel they'll soon be needing. If there's fuel left over they'll deliver to a port to be determined.

The Big E continues to plough through the Pacific on her westward track. She's lokking to deal a quick punch here and there without being caught.

Tarpon closes on Truk as she continues her long journey.

Houston's TF will join the Dutch tonight, refuel and sail to the SE.

The Allied sub mining of Japanese ports is starting to pay off. This will hinder Steve, not that the IJN is short of MSWs.

I might not be able to post for a day or two as my dog will undergo surgery on her paw tomorrow morning. It's been infected for a month and resists antibiotics. We suspect that she was stung by a poisonous insect, but can't be sure. She's a robust trooper and I'm very upset.

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/14/2009 9:59:49 PM)

Well it's been a rough day at home with the surgery on the pooch, she's OK, and the construction work on the house.  I'll try to lose myself in the story.

January 13, 1942

Bill is having another one of those days in the bowels of the Pentagon.  The reports going upstairs immediately are:

The IJN has bombarded Potianak.
The Japanese have landed at Miendo.
Medang has fallen to the Japanese.
Changsha has been assaulted again.  The reports on loses are 3121/60/7 for the Japs and 630/28 for the Chinese.  The forts have fallen to two.

Bill puts on his coat and decides to go to the movies on the way home to unwind.  Movietone Newsreels are running before the feature film and it's old news to him.  The next thing he knows is somebody shaking his shoulder.  It's an usher waking him telling him that the theater is closing. 

A convoy from Seattle has abruptly changed course and now heads for Pearl with badly needed supplies. It's original destination of SF was changed due to immediate needs at PH.  CDR Parish aboard DD Gilmer is the convoy CO and he's sweating getting his charges through.  He's been informed of a planned mid ocean escort TF joining him, but until then they're on their own.

A bombardment TF leaves Oz for Gili Gili.  In command is Cpt Getting of the CA Canberra.

Houston heads for Amboina where her TF and the Dutch TF will both refuel.

Tarpon still has spotted nothing as she draws ever closer to Truk.  CDR Wallace knows that they will pass within 70 miles of Truk and he can't imagine spotting nothing in the next few days. 

The Big E continues her westward course and aboard the Benham LTCDR Worthington and Phil chat about the prospects of some action very soon over steaming cups of Joe.

The Allied conference in London ends with pledges to punish Axis war criminals after victory.

The Japanese onslaught continues at a steady pace and so far I'm not finding a place weak enough to hit back.  I don't want to run cruisers into carriers and battlewagons.  I'm looking to the Enterprise raid forcing Steve to send some IJN assets to the Central Pacific to cover his bases.  I don't want to run into Nell or Betty so I must be careful of my targets.  Steve seems to be covering himself well, but I know that he's got plenty of weak spots, if I can find them.  I'm trying to ready my forces for a March or April attack by Steve into the Aleutians.  Anchorage, of course, will be the linchpin of ops in this theater.  It'll be well supplied, built up and garrisoned by then (I hope).

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/16/2009 1:46:53 PM)

January 14, 1942

Off the coast of Malaya HMAS Trusty continues to rack up the kills. She feeds 2 fish to a Japanese TK, which is reported as sunk.

The Tarpon, on the other hand, is passing Truk to the SW and still has sighted nothing. She'll continue on to Suva, unload and then proceed to Pearl.

The Big E's TF increases speed as they steam towards Wake. They have received reports of IJN surface assets being in the area.

Bill sends comms upstairs that report the combat at Clark where both sides have suffered heavy loses, but the base remains in Allied hands, Pontianak fighting off the Japs though the CO expects the next assault to carry the base and Johore Bharu repelling the Japanese (forts falling to 5). He continues to have growing problems with his stomach and he decides to stop eating on the run all of the time. He's scared of doctors because he still has an eye on sea duty and his medical records show him as being fit as a fiddle now, something he doesn't want to change.

HMAS Trusty

Tirpitz arrives at Trondheim, threatening Artic convoys, though the British won't discover her for nine more days.

The Arcadia Conference between FDR and Churchill results in them forging an agreement to focus the Allied war effort in the European Threater.

FDR orders all aliens to register with the government. This is the first step of the plan to inter Japanese-Americans.

I've detected a pattern in Steve's method of attacking my bases. He positions anywhere from one to three subs there and his planes bomb day in and day out. I'll be watching this closer and looking to surprise him, if I can. The IJN remains focused on the SRA and due to the amount of firepower he's got in this area my trying to strike back would be suicide.

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/17/2009 7:06:17 PM)

January 15, 1942

Bill is sorting through a stack of comms when his new CO arrives late in the afternoon. Bill greets him and calls an orderly to assemble the office staff. Bill introduces Captain Edward Landy to all those present and the meeting then breaks up. Capt Landy doesn't say a word to anyone and goes into to office and closes the door. Bill knocks on the door and waits for his new boss to respond. Nothing.........Bill walks to his map and places pins in Puerto Princesa, which has been invaded, and Pontianak which has fallen to the Japs, 2.8K more POWs. The Captain is still in his office when Bill leaves for the day, again no response to Bill's knocking on the CO's office door.

Johore Bharu withstands another attack with forts remaining at a level of 5. Loses for the Japanese are 1042/27/3 and the Commonwealth troops 425/6.

In Russia German Army Group Center evacuates the Kaluga sector, moving into winter positions 20 miles to the west.

The IJN BB Kongo suffers through 2 more air raids by the Dutch. 2LT Haag, of B2-VIG-1 Groep, returns to Soearabaja and is debriefed. He claims to have sunk the Kongo by dropping bombs from his Martin 139 on her. Other members of the squadron confirm seeing 1 bomb hit. Haag's fellow pilots laugh at him and carry him to a nearby stream and throw him in. FO Heidkamp, a Martin 139 pilot of B1-VIG-1 Groep, claims to have sunk the Kongo during his debriefing after his return to Soerabaja. Hearing this his fellow pilots roar with laughter and confirm 1 bomb hit. The officers that conducted the debriefings at the base have determined that the Kongo will probably have some chipped paint and that waiting for her to rust away and sink is not an option.

CDR Hottel of the submarine SS Cuttlefish receives orders to get underway immediately and to make for Anchorage. All those on shore leave are summoned to return to the sub. Later that evening Cuttlefish glides under the Golden Gate Bridge making way for the frigid waters of Alaska.

Houston's TF is spotted by Japanese Planes while refueling at Amboina. Orders are issued to get underway, destination Brisbane. From there they will assist in screening Oz from invasion. The Dutch TF also departs after topping off their fuel bunkers and are bound for Koepang.

All convoys are sailing unmolested to their destinations.

Enterprise's TF will hit Wake tomorrow. With any luck any naval assets they encounter will be surface units, or better yet juicy transports.

SS Cuttlefish

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/18/2009 7:56:45 PM)

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank those of you reading my AAR and would like to encourage you to chip in whenever you feel like it. I'm also very happy to see that Steve's AAR is getting so much attention. Our war will gradually heat up as time goes on.

January 16, 1942

Bill returns to the office bright and early the next day to find that Capt Landy is entrenched in his office, with the door closed. Bill reads through the comms on his desk and picks up 2 pins to place into the map. Pagan has fallen, no Allied unit was there. The British will be wondering why the unit assigned to defend Pagan wasn't there. Puerto Princesa has been taken also, but it was undefended by design. Bill takes the comms that he deems to be of importance to Landy's office and knocks on the door. Bill waits and waits and waits, but there's no reply. Something has got to be wrong so Bill tries to enter the Captain's office only to find that the door is locked. Bill knocks again and still there's no response. He's now at a facing a problem that he'd rather not deal with. He can't send the comms upstairs without his CO seeing them first and Landy is unresponsive. Bill does the only thing he can think of and gets his set of keys from his desk. He proceeds to unlock Landy's office door and enters. Landy looks up at him with glazed eyes, he reeks of booze and he slurs, "What do you want from me?" Bill is shocked and replies, "Is there anything I can do for you sir?" The Capt responds with a simple, "Get out." Bill leaves and sends the comms upstairs, all the while thinking that this situation stinks for everyone.

Aboard the Big E reports are being received that her two strikes at Wake are a great success. The orders were for the planes to attack Wake's facilities, but to hit any shipping that they might find there. They found a small convoy and nailed it. The score looks to be: Two DDs hit, one of which is confirmed as sunk. Five APs have been left burning and heavily damaged. All of this and not a single plane is damaged as all return safely. On the Benham Phil and his skipper toast each other on the TF's success thus far with a cup of Joe in the wardroom.

In China Wuchow has been attacked, but held.

The Royal Australian Navy will bombard Gili Gili tomorrow.

Tarpon, of course, has detected nothing. One of the lookouts did spot a pod of whales though.

Houston's TF has managed to elude the net thrown out for them and they steam to the SE.

Aboard the Gilmer CDR Parish has managed another tranquil day as the convoy peacefully sails towards Pearl.

The large convoy bound for the US has managed to elude any lurking IJN assets so far

tocaff -> RE: Strategies (5/19/2009 10:21:18 PM)

January 17, 1942

The Big E skedaddles southwards to her scheduled meeting with a replenishment TF. To hang around Wake to long would invite trouble.

The IJN sent some MSWs to Singapore and the coastal guns speak in protest sinking two of them.

The Aussie naval TF pulls of their bombardment of Gili Gili without suffering any casualties. They inflict light loses on the Japanese and spot no shipping. They will now retire to Townsville.

Changsha was again attacked. This dropped the forts to 1 and each side suffered heavily: 1794/70/4 for the Japs and 2179/51/0 for the Chinese. It's not looking good as there are over 163K Japanese troops there and the Chinese are down to 49K.

The last of the Germans at Halfaya, 5.5K, surrender.

Bill reports to the office and not long after in stumbles Capt Landy. He snatches the comms off of Bill's desk and mutters, "Nothing leaves this office, ever, without my having seen it first. Do you have a problem with that LT Smith?" Bill waits until the Capt is in his office and then follows him in and shuts the door behind him. "If you want to do your job, fine" Bill says firmly. "Don't screw things up around here and get off of the sauce before you ruin everything." Landy replies by staring at him, lifting a bottle of Gin out of his desk and saying, "Who the hell do you think you are mister? In case you haven't noticed I'm the ranking officer around here." Bill tells him that "The only thing that you are around here is drunk and incompetant. If you won't or can't straighten yourself out, and I'm willing to help if you want, then I'll take this situation upstairs. Think about what I've said and give me your answer before lunch." Bill leaves for his desk shaking with rage.

An SBD readying for a mission on the Enterprise.

tocaff -> Escape (5/20/2009 7:50:07 PM)

January 18, 1942 Washington DC

Bill is summoned to the office of Capt Landy and upon entering is told, "Shut the door and grab a seat. I'm going to tell you things that you've got no right to hear. In the first few days of the war my son was killed when his PT boat was sunk in the Phillipines. My wife, who never wanted him in the Navy has left me and I was feeling sorry for myself. You were right to give me a wake up call and I thank you for it. But, I can not and will not tolerate a junior officer under my command acting in the manner that you did. So what I'm going to do is offer you a chance to escape this assignment, as a way of thanking you. I'll expect your letter requesting a transfer on my desk before you leave at the end of the day. I'll sign it immediately and kick it upstairs with my blessings. Dismissed." Bill thanks him and leaves a stack of comms on his desk. He then walks to his wall map one more time and inserts pins into Talasea and Hansa, which have both been invaded and are undefended.

Changsha has withstood another attack.

Kates have been detected in the Midway area which means that IJN CVs are in the area. All TFs there and enroute have been ordered back to Pearl. It's suspected that the IJN is sniffing around for the TF that hit Wake.

Houston's TF is nearing PM and Jap shipping has been sighted around Gili Gili. Depending on what further searches discover action becomes a possibility.

Tarpon sails on her lonely track. Red's excitement grows as he'll have a chance to stretch his legs soon and not long after will be in Pearl Harbor.

Benham steams on a southerly course with all eyes searching the skies and the ocean's surface. Since their TF raided Wake they've replenished all of the ships and will now continue southwards before swinging to the west. Phil stares at the Big E and is in awe of such power. The Benham moves up towards the Big E into a position to retrieve any pilots who ditch on takeoff as the TF turns into the wind to launch patrols and CAP.

All convoys continue to their destinations unmolested.

In Europe the Red Army cuts the main supply route to the German 2nd and 10th Corps at Demyansk.

Field Marshall von Bock assumes command of Army Group South.

The Soviet West Front attacks across the Donets River trying to cut off the Germans north of the Sea of Azov.

The German 11th Army recapture Feodosiya and seal off the Soviet bridgehead at Kerch.

Stalin looks over the status reports of the Far Eastern Command and tells his aid that he wants a redeployment to commence immediately to protect Siberia from a possible Jap attack.

Recovering planes aboard the Enterprise.

tocaff -> RE: Escape (5/21/2009 7:17:56 PM)

January 19, 1942

Bill reports for duty as usual and strolls to his map and notices that pins have been changed for Talasea and Hansa indicating that they've been taken by the Japanese.  Another pin indicates that Shortlands has been invaded.  There are few comms on his desk and he sits down to read them.  Upon completion he takes the ones concerning the assault on Clark which reports that forts have dropped to 4 with Jap casualties at 1895/35/7 and Allied loses at 674/32/1.  Another one shows an attack on Wuchow and there the Japanese have lost 1103/25/1 to the Chinese 254/7/0.  Capt Landy waves him into his office and Bill immediately sees that Landy is well groomed, uniform clean and pressed and most of all alert and sober.  Landy tells him to sit and says, "Bill we got off on the wrong foot, not your fault.  I want you to know that your transfer request is upstairs, but in the meantime we've got to work together so you might as well just call me Ed."  Bill gives an "Aye Aye sir, er I mean Ed."  The two of them talk about how to improve the way the office runs and then Ed leaves for a meeting.

Aboard the Benham LCDR Worthington is awakened by a signalman.  Upon reading the message he has Phil summoned immediately.  It seems that there have been additional sightings of Kates and it could be action.  Their TF continues on it's southerly course.

All convoys continue to proceed with nothing to report.

Merchantmen continue to arrive in Pearl Harbor.

The Tarpon serenly continues on her way as if on a pleasure cruise.  CDR Wallace is silently cursing their luck at not even sighting another vessel.

Houston's TF continue to the south between PNG and Oz.  The ship sightings at Gili Gili have stopped and now the IJN appears heading towards Buna.

In North Africa the Axis has managed to get transports to Benghazi and they land 45 German tanks.  This is done while Axis troops are evacuating the city.

tocaff -> GULP! (5/22/2009 8:48:20 PM)

January 20, 1942 Somewhere south of Wake Island

The klaxon sounding GQs sounds and Phil jumps out of his bunk, grabbing at his shoes and races off to the bridge. Upon his arrival he is informed that a Kate is shadowing their TF. This is bad, very bad Worthington says as he peers skywards to the north. The TF turns into the wind and they watch the Big E launch a strike of 30 SBDs with an escort of 14 Wildcats. The CAP is then strengthened and they turn to the south again. Everyone's nerves are frayed as all eyes strain to see the inevitable strike against them. Radar warns of an incomming strike and the TF increases speed and all guns train skywards as the CAP races to get into an intercepting position. Suddenly the 5" DPs aboard the Benham bark as they open up on the approaching Japanese aircraft. Ships start to twist and turn and the sky is blackened by flak. No matter what they do it's not enough as Vals, Kates and Zeros bore in on them. Bombs start to fall and torpedoes rush towards their targets. The Zeros and outnumbered Wildcats, all 13 of them, do battle. Explosions and resulting smoke hide the Enterprise from the Benham's view as she is hit by total of 20 bombs and 6 fish by the time the two attacking waves of planes are done. Needless to say the Big E is no more. The CA San Francisco is repeatedly hit by bombs and sustains a total of 10 bomb hits which leave her in heavily damaged condition. The DD Cummings is hit by 4 bombs and is very heavily damaged. The CL Helena is hit by 7 torps and 11 bombs and she sinks rapidly. The CA Minneapolis receives 5 bomb hits and 3 torpedoes, rolls over and slides beneath the waves. The CA Astoria is hit by a bomb and 3 fish, goes turtle and is gone. All of this and the Japanese suffer the loss of 2 Vals and 3 Kates out of an attacking force of 30 Zeros (downed 11 of the CAP) 49 Vals and 40 Kates. The Big E's stike suffers mightily and 13 Wildcats are downed while 25 SBDs are splashed all for 1 bomb hit on the Hiryu. Phil is stunned by the carnage and the at how quickly it happened. Crew members on the Benham's bridge continue their duties, some with tears in their eyes. They all silently pray that during the night enough distance can be opened between them and their attackers that they may safely return to PH and fight on to avenge this day. To say that all who witnessed this attack were amazed at how the Japs were so well coordinated would be an understatement. Bombs were falling and fish were tracking their targets (many times from 2 different angles) at the same time. The devastation is near total.

The DD Ellet is hit by 5 bombs and is gone as the replenishment TF is hit by IJN planes later in the day.

If I say that this awful day was worse I wouldn't be lying as I lost Akagi and Kaga in my other PBEM. I read a book about the Big E as a kid and as a result have a fondness for her and now she's gone. [:(]

Back in Washington reports of this debacle begin to trickle in and Bill and Ed sit looking at each other in stunned silence. Other comms show that Buna has been invaded, Shortlands has fallen and combat at Wuchow has been fierce with Jap loses pegged at 1650/55/2 and the Chinese 410/6/0, but the city is held.

Tarpon continues on her unhindered way. The cooks can't wait to get rid of Red as he's always hungry and sniffing around the galley looking for food. At first "Cookie" took this as a compliment on his cooking skills, but now he's always telling Red to save something for the crew.

CDR Parish on board the DD Gilmer is shepherding his convoy ever closer to Pearl. Upon getting news of the Jap attack on the Big E he fears even more for the convoy's safety because now Pearl won't be sending out anything other than some DDS to escort them in.

CDR Hottel of the Cuttlefish stands on the bridge as a shower of freezing water cascades down on him. The Aleutians, he thinks, of all the damned places to be assigned to and in January no less.

Houston and her sisters sail to the SE and Capt Riker has the news of the Big E piped thoughout the ship. The crew are stunned and saddened and it serves to fortify their resolve to fight.

FDR and his advisors are holding a meeting when the news of the Enterprise's demise reaches them. FDR says that a prayer would be in order for all of the brave souls lost that day and the ones who will die in the march to the victory that would be theirs. He states that training must be increased in tempo so that the skills of the Japs can be matched.

marky -> RE: GULP! (5/22/2009 8:59:25 PM)


Avenged she will be!!!

Im also quite fond of the Big E. i lost her in a PBEM too i know it hurts

tocaff -> RE: Plans (5/23/2009 1:05:15 PM)

January 20,  1942

In North Africa the British have taken Benghazi.

The adoption of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem" takes place in the Wannsee suburb of Berlin.

I'd like you all to know that when I enter things about the war and policies of the governments involved it's nothing other than presenting facts as we know them.  I do not want to offend anyone, but what happened, happened so please remember I'm enhancing a story, not being political.

I have learned another valuable lesson about Steve's tendencies, expensive lesson, in that the KB is prowling on the eastern edge of his empire in force and that future raids will only be conducted when he's spotted and I feel he can't interfere.  The KB ran me down even though I retired at full speed for two days on a southerly course.  I didn't linger around Wake, hit and run, and yet I got nailed.  I did stop to replenish the TF and then continued to retire a mission speed, again to the south.  All of this was done outside of his LBA patrol range.  Good guessing and planning on Steve's part.  The Big E will return as an Essex class flattop later on and the war goes on. 

Steve is doing an excellent job of appearing to keep his shipping inside of Nell and Betty range.  The IJN is lurking in invasion areas with BBs that I dare not challenge, for now.  I'm having a difficult time trying to spot an opening where I can dash in and out for a quick hitter. 

My subs, especially the Dutch and British, are taking a toll on his APs, TKs and AKs but this is not enough to be more than an annoyance to him.  My sub mining ops by the USN has been fairly effective with the occasional hit and the tying up of assets.  As Steve lays his minefields it becomes more dangerous for me to continue this mining offensive.  I plan on spreading it out more to the periphery of his Empire in addition to his big bases and the Home Islands.

The Aluetians continue their build up as Anchorage would be extremely difficult for the Japanese to take.  Given this I hope to expand to the west here in force.

I'll be starting my ship upgrades in another 2 1/2 months and plan to give this a very high priority.  Smaller vessels will be done at Pearl and CVs, BBs, CAs, CLs and some DDs will be done on the West Coast.  I'll rotate the ships being done as convoy escorts and when done some will be off to Alaska. 

Capt. Harlock -> RE: GULP! (5/23/2009 10:10:51 PM)


All of this and the Japanese suffer the loss of 2 Vals and 3 Kates out of an attacking force of 30 Zeros (downed 11 of the CAP) 49 Vals and 40 Kates.

I count not less than 51 bomb hits. Something doesn't seem right here . . .

tocaff -> RE: GULP! (5/23/2009 10:22:55 PM)

I thought that there were loads of bomb hits too.  The attack came in tow waves and it's possible that my old feeble mind miscounted and failed to add the second waves planes.  Can we attribute this to the chaos of the battle?  

tocaff -> RE: GULP! (5/24/2009 3:10:11 PM)

January 21, 1942

Johore Bharu was assaulted by 123K Japanese troops, but the 17K Commonwealth defenders hold the line.  Casualty reports as follows:  1378/46/2 for the Japs and 228/10/0 for the Commonwealth.  The question is how long can they hold out before being forced into the defenses of Singapore?

Bill hands a comm to Ed showing the loss of Buna.  The two of them are working well together now.

Tarpon, of course, spots nothing as they near their destination.

Houston and her sisters will make repairs to growing sys damage while waiting for an opportunity to strike at the enemy.

The CA San Francisco fights for her life as the fires are brought under control and extinguished.  Sys damage is heay, the going as they limp back to Pearl is slow and the flooding continues to be a problem, though it's slowly being eliminated. 

The DD Cummings is also in a similar state as the SF as she too is trying to make it back to PH.

The Benham along with other DDs is now being used for ASW sweeps as they move towards Pearl.  There are reports of subs to the south of the base and these sea lanes are being heavily used now.

All convoys continue unharmed to their destinations.  Those that were assigned to resupply Midway have been ordered to resume that mission as it's being assumed that the KB needs fuel and will retire.

The Russians continue their build up as Stalin's orders a being followed to the letter, lest they make him angry which is dangerous to say the least.

In Europe the Luftwaffe, with 400 planes in the arsenal, starts raiding London and southern England.

In Africa Rommel launches a counterattack against the British 8th Army.  21 Pz takes Mersa Brega and the 15 Pz moves to Wadi Faregh and then swings north towrds Agedabia, brushing aside the 1st Armored Division which tries to stop them.

tocaff -> RE: GULP! (5/25/2009 7:15:49 PM)

January 22, 1942

Bill notes that Tobali and Buin have both been invaded. He wonders where all of the shipping and men are from. The Japs assault Clark with 76K troops vs the 27K defenders and lower the forts to 3. Loses are 847/31/4 for the Japanese and 1584/40/2 for the Americans and Phillipinos. It's not looking good for the defenders. Chansha was attacked by 180K Japanese, who lost 2486/66/2, and the Chinese defenders, 47K strong, held but suffered 1385/38/0 loses and the forts are down to 1. Johore Bharu is attacked by a force of 78K, but the defenders (16K) hold. Loses are reported at 204/8/0 Japs and 116/3/0 Commonwealth. Taung Gyi is hit by 9K Japanese who suffer loses of 690/17/3 as the 3.5K defenders lose 27/0/0. Bill has still heard nothing about his hoped for transfer and he's not about to ask as Ed has been great to work for since their talk.

In the vicinity of Singkawang the Dutch sub O21 has hit an AP with a torpedo and moments later Allied PTs attack the unescorted convoy also. They manage to put a fish into the same vessel. This attack was an uncoordinated effort.

In the Central Pacific the AK SS Palawan out of Manila is now south of Wake as her master RN Demesa has managed to thread his way through the Japanese net of ships and bases undetected. The crew will all be breathing a large sigh of relief once they clear this last hurdle in their journey to freedom. They have forgotten about the IJN's sub menace in the Hawaiian waters.

The San Francisco continues her fight for life as her flooding is still moderate and the fires are virtually out now. Her lack of speed and the flooding make the distance to a safe port look like a mountainous task.

The Cumming also has moderate flooding and fires that are nearly out. She is able to make better speed than the SF so it looks like she will make it to Pearl.

Tarpon still hasn't seen anything. Red will have a few hours ashore which he intends to use in a bar once Tarpon makes port in 2 or 3 days.

In Africa the Germans have taken Agedabia.

The United States is churning out aircraft and training large numbers of pilots who will soon be engaged in the largest struggle ever known to man.

Training new pilots

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