Cribtop -> RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) vs CF (A) (5/16/2011 12:54:06 AM)
Jan 14, 1942
Huh, what kind of bird, Harlock? Yuckiest job in the whole of Japan, IMHO.
Some excitement today as the enemy reveals his CVs! Fortunately, we guessed right by withdrawing so Cuttlefish hits mostly air. Still, he appears to have organized his thoughts and forces and is ready to come out to play, so we expect more fireworks to come. [X(]
Our ASW TFs near Formosa exchange ordinance with three enemy subs today. What else is new. We will move a few 8 DC ships to the area to try to actually get some hits.
K XIII misses a DMS as the bulk of the Ambon invasion fleet withdraws towards Babeldoab. The escort's response is ineffective.
Ocean Island invaded and falls to SA, odds 27:1, Wren Detachment surrenders, no casualties on our side.
Treasury Islands are occupied. Cribtop HQ is devastated to find they do not actually contain a Treasury.
The fleet continues to re-orient for Operation LPM, made more urgent from a timing perspective by events in 16th Army AO.
We will cease reporting bombardments and air attacks at Clark and Bataan, but they will continue daily.
DA Cagayan and we are pleased that our quality troops prevail over enemy numbers and terrain. Forts are dropped to 0, odds 2:1, casualties 688(2) vs 505(2). We should be able to take the base without need of reinforcement. This in turn means that Mindanao will probably fall without need of more troops.
DA Atimonan as 16th Recon continues to chase the PAF Aviation unit down the southern Luzon peninsula. The base falls with 15:1 odds, casualties 10(3) vs nil. Forgot to check the resources but assume they were captured mostly intact due to the ease of capture.
Alert! Alert! Enemy CVs sighted!
We made the right call in withdrawing quickly from the landings at Kendari and Ambon, because what appears to be 3 USN CVs, supported by significant surface groups (believed to be Force Z and the USN/KNIL cruisers), move into the waters between Timor and Kendari. Had we waited in place, a good chunk of the IJN's combat power and our CVLs would have come under significant air attack and no doubt taken losses. As it is, the enemy gains little tactical advantage for revealing his location. Bettys attempt an attack in the AM phase but are swatted aside by CAP, losing 10 of their number. They are unescorted because by bad luck and poor planning Manado dipped a few points below 2X supply yesterday. This meant that drop tanks were unavailable today, and what could have been a decent LBA strike is wasted. We were already unloading supply at the base and are well over 2X by day's end, but the setting doesn't automatically change. We will be ready with 60+ Netties and 45 Zeros tomorrow in case the enemy remains.
Later in the turn, the USN finds four ships left behind at Kendari to unload supply. Two decent sized xAKs and two small escorts (a TB and a PB) are blasted by 1000lb bombs, but not until they dump the majority of their cargo at the base. The only sting in this is that one of the ships lost is xAK Nittai Maru, who has a soft spot in our heart since she proved up the lifeboat doctrine. She will not be forgotten. [&o]
The whole day validates our tendency to get in and get out of early invasions like this. Cribtop HQ was concerned about the possibility his CVs would move to the DEI and is glad we took precautions to avoid disaster. There is truth to Commander Daigo's discussion in the first post of this AAR about the lack of air cover available in the DEI being one of the downsides of a Pearl Harbor attack, and the IJN is always operating on a shoestring until the A team can get to the theater. We had hoped the lack of Intel about KB's location would keep CF guessing enough to remain passive, but to his credit he rolled the dice.
So, CF gains little tactically, but strategically speaking he will slow us down just as we were really starting to move in the eastern DEI. KB will conclude the capture of Port Moresby asap, but the bottom line is that we cannot proceed against either Timor or Balikpapan given the current balance of forces. It is thus likely that CF has bought as much as two weeks, which is unfortunate but unavoidable. The flip side, of course, is that the few remaining objectives we have in the Pacific AOs are green lighted.
From this point, KBL and the Indes Fleet will continue to retire on Babeldoab. We will bolster LBA at Manado as much as possible in case the enemy chooses to run north in pursuit. We will consider leaving KBL, augmented by Shoho, in a position well to the NNE of Manado but hopefully in range for an 8 hex strike on the USN CVs if they choose to move further north, but force protection will be prioritized in accordance with our doctrine of avoiding unecessary attrition of the IJN. In many respects, we are pleased that Cuttlefish has come out swinging as it will make for a more interesting game overall.
Not much to report in the other AOs today except that the enemy wisely bombs the airfield at Kuala Lumpur.