From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
There has been a great deal of interest and focus on the recent lopsided carrier battle and understandably so. But the Allies have accomplished a great deal over the past four months (see map below).
As of mid-July, the Allies were confined to the growing and strategically important chain of mainly island bases (Babar, Saumlaki, Taberfane, Kai-eilenden, and Kaimana) just west of Darwin. The entire Japanese navy - all carriers and all BBs except four lost in the Kuriles - were stationed in theater. The Japanese had just pounded Darwin (at great cost in carrier pilots) and were sending regular combat TFs to these Allied island bases.
Four months later, the Alliied frontier has expanded greatly, especially in the northwest vector, reaching the southwest frontier of the Pacific Ocean. No longer does a mighty Japanese Empire have the Allies boxed up within a fairly confined perimeter. Now the Allies have major bases with which to threaten Java, Celebes, Borneo, Philippines, Palau, and the Saipan group.
This has been accomplished at high cost - higher than I'd like for the Allies. But the Japanese have suffered a significant attrition, too. Here is a partial tally sheet:
CV: Allies 4 (Victorious, Constitution, Essex Wasp); IJN 2 (Kaga, Hiryu)
CVL: Allies 1 (Independence); IJN 1 (Shoho) plus maybe Chiyoda
CVE: Allies 7
BB: Allies 5 (S. Dakota, Calif., Colo., Maryland, Mississipi); IJN 2 (Hyuga and Ise) with three others suffering major damage (Yamato, Mutsu, Nagato).
CA: Allies 3; IJN 7
CL/CLAA: Allies 3; IJN 6
DD: Alllies 9; IJN 10
Transports: The Allies suffered modest losses (nearly all in the Morotai invasion) - and nearly all were xAK or xAP. In terms of lift capacity, the Allies emerged from this long series of amphibious operations nearly untouched.
Aircraft: Heavy losses to both sides, but the Japanese probably lost 2x or more and likely suffered total losses well in excess of 2,000 aircraft.
Troops: Allied losses have been negligible (an important factor since the Allies really don't have a surplus). At least three IJA divisions have been hammered (those at Lautem, Morotai, and Sorong).
1943 has indeed proven to be a year of attrition, and the eastern DEI has been the "meat grinder." I lament the recent carrier battle debacle, but I believe the Allies are in very good position at this point in the war.
< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 3/12/2010 5:27:10 PM >