It's been some time since I did a real post about the strategic level. With 1943 fast approaching it's time I start thinking about it as well, the Allied Juggernaught will be picking up steam soon and I don't know where it ought to be pointed for the greatest effect. This isn't going to be a post about that yet, but more a general overview of the war and the what and why of the current situation. No sense planning operations if I don't know what the use of them is.
CBI has been quite active for most of the game. Japanese offensives in China, Allied offensives in Burma, but so far nothing decisive. What do I want out of these fronts ?
In China its simple, they need to hold, force the Japanese to keep troops in the ground war and generally being a nuisance. If they can achieve that in 43' I'm happy. Canoerebels offensive in his game is a nice inspiration though, I think Joseph's positions in China are vulnerable to the same type of attacks. Large offensive stacks and spread out divisions along the rest of the front. However, I don't think I have the supplies to do something similar though, but once the Burma road opens ....
In my mind, Burma is immensely important. It's not going to give me the victory by itself, but it'll help hugely in two ways.
1) Supplies for China, I've said this over and over again, but it is the most important reason to fight in Burma. One more hex here (Bhamo) and I could start sending supplies into China, activating over 15,000 AV in China.
2) Drawing in troops, earlier on I was cursing every time a new division was sighted in Burma, but should I ? 9 Divisions are sighted, I think there should be about 12 unrestricted divisions at this stage plus whatever has been bought out. This is a huge part of the IJA, fighting in a small corner of the map. What is going to stand in my way once I start landing in other parts of the Pacific ? Burma is already assuring that I'll have dominance in any ground campaign that could come up. This is a key advantage I'd like to exploit and I'll take it into account in the next planning phase. On the other side, I'm sinking an awful lot of ground forces into this area as well. The strategic reserve for India is 1 division that will be arriving at Bombay shortly, not quite enough for any large scale offensives.
I've been neglecting OZ so far, fuel and supply are good, enough troops to defend, but I haven't attacked yet and basically abandoned Northern Oz. This has to change, I can't let Joseph know that he has nothing to fear in the DEI. He's got a nice number of bombers here, along with a division at Ambon. These forces need to be pinned into place and movement in and operations from Oz are a prime way to do so. If I can do so with a minimum of my own troops all the better, but the build-up should catch Josephs attention.
What can I gain here ? It's a long way from anything, but there is a chance for attritional fighting. Is that enough reason to continue the offensive ? Japan also seems weak here, so even though it's far away from anything it could still prove a quick way to the Eastern DEI. A large number of divisions (5/6) are in the area, so operational tempo would only be limited by naval forces. I also have to think whether those forces can't be better used elsewhere.
Again I'm not sure what I can gain here. I'm nibbling around the edges a bit, but as long as KB is roaming around I can't go all out. Once they are gone this could become my main axis of attack quickly and a highway to the PI. It also seems like the best area to fight KB, I'd like a fight with KB, but how hard to push for it and how much risk to take ? Another consideration is the need for preparation. A lot of forces will be needed to keep up an offensive as it'll take at least 3 months to 'recycle' a unit for a new invasion.
I'm not too interested in this front, it might be a mistake of me, but still. As the Japanese took one island in the Aleutians I will get a chance for a small show of strength.