From: La Salle, Colorado
June 17-24, 1942
After the Great Gulf of Alaska Turkey Shoot, the KB moves to Dutch Harbor where it arrives on the 22nd. I discovered a few interesting things as I survey the damage to my air groups. Though I lost about 185 planes, I only lost about 150 pilots. While terrible, this came a nice surprise. Let me detail the damage done to my air groups:
Name--Standard Complement, left to fly, and (Zero/Val/Kate)
Akagi--72 Planes--46 (19-16-11)
Kaga--72 Planes--61 (24-20-17)
Hiryu--63 Planes--17 (11-6-0) OUCH!
Soryu--63 Planes--47 (14-15-18)
Shokaku--72 Planes--52 (15, 17, 20)
Zuikaku--72 Planes--54 (16-20-18)
Ryuho--48 Planes--36 (20-0-16)
Shoho--30 Planes--18 (12-0-6)
In searching for good news, I find that I only lost 5 Daitai Leaders. Luckily this should help with training up the rebuilt airgroups. I can only guess as to why Dan's bombers DIDN'T fly but I am thankful. I still have my CVs intact and will have to work on ringing up their experience is a careful manner.
1. I split the KB and send 3 CV and 2 CVL home for upkeep on the 24th. I'll list their name and system damage # afterwards: Soryu (8), Shokaku (9), Zuikaku (11), Ryujo (10), and Shoho (8). They head for the Home Islands to get repaired and fix their broken airgroups.
2. Akagi, Kaga, and Hiryu will leave ont he 26th (after fuel arrives) and head south to Suva for operational duty down there. Dan is running little Convoys along the edge of the map and I will let me CVs train their new avaitors there.
On the 23rd, three of my older BBs arrive at Dutch Harbor so I send them-with Yamato and Kongo--to bombard Kodiak. I want to make Dan think I am staying up north. If I can keep him from moving north again for 2 weeks, then that will be something.
I augment my Northern Air Force to 3 Daitai of Zeros, 1 Sentai of Oscars, 2 Daitai of Bettys, 1 Sentai of Helens, and 3 Chutai of Emilys. This is what I will commit to the theatre and NO MORE! If Dan fixates on te Aleutians then that is a good thing.
With the BBs making their presense known, perhaps he will think that I plan to invade Kodiak and/or Anchorage as I have in other campaigns...
I am spreading around my Brigades and getting my defensive line established here. Lots of AP Convoys are moving around and I work to improve and expand my captured bases. I am paying particular attention to Papeate, Bora Bora, and Rarotonga. Each of these bases have about 250 assault points of troops and can hold upwards of 100-150 aircraft each.
Papeate is already expanded to AF 5 and Port 4. It is my main base here with naval units (CVs Junyo and Hiyo), SS, and a good number of planes operating from here. Currently I have 6 I-Boats with Glens set up in two groups of three watching for the single ship and small convoys traveling to and from New Zealand. Akagi, Kaga, and Hiryu will base themselves at Papeate for a while...
It would be good if I continue to make Dan nervous about New Zealand so I will periodically do things to make him THINK I MIGHT invade here...
The big news here is that Dan evacuated Daly Waters on the 22nd without a fight. I occupy it and get aircraft into the undamaged Size 3 AF on the 24th. He MUST make a stand at Tennant Creek. I have the equivalent of 5 Infantry Divisions with another 1 1/2 about to land at Darwin from Manila.
Tennant Creek should fall rather easily and then I have big decisions to make. Do I swing SE and head for Townsville/Cairns or go SW and threaten Adelaide/Perth? Have to think about it...
To make Dan even more nervous, I order an SNLF, Nvl Construction Battalion, and small Base Force to load into transports on the 23rd to take Exmouth Bay. I will use this harbor for a seaplane base. It is my HOPE that Dan will move troops towards Perth to protect it. That is a deadend area and if I do go that direction, those troops will be wiped out through seige and attack.
To ratchet up the tension, I dispatch my smaller CVLs/CVEs from Batavia on the 22nd towards the edge of the map for raiding duty. This is a respectable force: CVLs Ryuho and Zuiho sail separately with CVEs Hosho, Unyo, Chuyo, and Taiyo nearby. The total plane complement is 86 Zero, 18 Val, and 47 Kate. Accompaning them are 3 CA, CS Nisshin, 2 CL, and 11 DD. There are 3 Glen-Equipped SS probing around looking for targets...