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Sept 1 1943 Burma

 
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Sept 1 1943 Burma - 8/5/2012 7:15:54 PM   
ADB123

 

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Here's the situation in Burma. If I believe those Movement Marks on the Japanese Troops at Rangoon and other places my opponent may be pulling out forces.






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Sept 1 1943 China - 8/5/2012 7:17:03 PM   
ADB123

 

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Nothing has happened in China for months, but I also haven't posted a map for months, so here is the current status:






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Sept 1 1943 Norther Oz - 8/5/2012 7:19:05 PM   
ADB123

 

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Here's the situation in Northern Oz. I've got lots of Troops and Planes, and no way to make a Land Assault work, thanks to the Supply Rules, so I am just building Bases for now:






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RE: Sept 1 1943 NE Oz, PNG, New Britain - 8/5/2012 7:20:42 PM   
ADB123

 

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Here's the situation in northeastern Oz, PNG and New Britain. I hope to cause some problems for those Japanese TFs...






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Sept 1 1943 New Hebrides and region - 8/5/2012 7:22:20 PM   
ADB123

 

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Here is the situation in the New Hebrides and region. I will be going after Luganville soon.




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Sept 1 1943 South Central Pac - 8/5/2012 7:23:44 PM   
ADB123

 

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Here's the situation in the Southcentral Pacific. My opponent is bringing more forces into the region. So am I...






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Sept 1 1943 Kuriles - 8/5/2012 7:25:58 PM   
ADB123

 

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The Kuriles remain a Sitzkrieg, as I have no good reason to invade and initiate Kamikaze planes at this time. I still can't figure out if those TFs are real or not, but they don't go away.






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Hammer & Anvil at Pegu - 8/9/2012 1:03:58 AM   
ADB123

 

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September 1, 1943 –

The Night Phase saw the dot base Nonouti, northwest of Tabiteuea, get auto-occupied by the Allies. The Garrison Level at Tabiteuea must have passed some Magic Level to cause two auto-occupations so closely spaced in time.

The Night then turned into a Blunderland for the USN Submarine Service as USS Gurnard was hit twice by an AMc at Lae, while USS Tunny sailed into a Japanese Mine at Merak. Gurnard would have been better off attacking the AMc on the Surface – I suspect that Gurnard out-guns that AMc. And Tunny had no business being near Merak. I sometimes forget how stupid the AI can be when I let it set a course for a sub.

Daylight started right off the bat with the Main Event – the USAAF Air Attack on Pegu. First in was a Sweep by 22 P-38Hs who found 30 Tojos and 36 Oscar IIbs on CAP. The Lightnings tore into the Japanese planes, shooting down 3 Oscars and 1 Tojo for the loss of 1 Lightning.

Then another 22 P-38s Swept in and faced 21 Tojos and 32 Oscar IIbs. This time the Lightnings shot down 5 Oscars and 1 Tojo for the loss of another P-38.

Next the 4Es rumbled in – 75 B-24D1s and 10 B-17Es. They faced 18 Tojos and 18 Oscar IIbs. The 4Es blasted through like usual, shooting down an Oscar on the way by and destroying more planes on the Ground as they smashed the Air Base very well.

This was followed by a Sweep by 22 P-47D2s. The Thunderbolts faced 10 Tojos and 6 Oscar IIbs. It was a very nice slaughter as the Jug pilots shot down 6 Tojos and 3 Oscars with no losses of their own. A few other straggler Sweeps flew in afterwards, but there were no more Japanese planes left in the Air to fight.

The End-of-Day Air Losses Report is below. I’m quite happy with the results – essentially I wiped out two Japanese Fighter Units at Pegu.

Meanwhile, off in the South Pacific, PB4Y-1s hit the SNLF at Luganville again, while the USAAF 4Es mined Finschafen. My 2Es on Naval Attack in NE Oz didn’t fly after the AMcs that showed up at Lae and near Buna.

The most interesting News this turn was the spotting of a Japanese CV TF 3 hexes to the east of Ontong Java, and heading Southeast. So I ordered my TFs in the Region to head Back to Base and I was very glad that I already put off the Luganville Invasion. Things could get very interesting since in addition to having a LOT of LBA in the region, I also have all of the US CVs and CVLs in the region too.

And, in something of a surprise, the Japanese Army pulled out of Bhamo this turn. So I ordered my besieging Chinese troops to capture the base next turn. Now I don’t have any targets in range of my British DBs, so I’ve set them down to Training for now.

Finally, some Japanese Troops have moved in to confront my Troops at Prome. Guess where the 4Es are headed next turn? My troops at Toungoo are also back In the Black as far as Supplies go, so I ordered them to attack next turn too. I’ve also ordered the 2Es to attack the Japanese Defenders at Toungoo now that the Japanese Fighter Units are scrap.





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Taking Toungoo - 8/10/2012 12:37:40 AM   
ADB123

 

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September 2, 1943 –

The Night Phase started out with the Chinese troops at Bhamo Occupying the now-empty base. That’s a bonus from my p.o.v. because those Chinese troops aren’t that strong and it would have been hard to drive out any Japanese troops from Bhamo. This also opens up a better supply pathway to the Chinese troops on the Lashio Road.

Along the coast of Burma two RN Bombardment TFs sailed in to hit the Japanese Infantry Regiment that is 2 hexes due south of Akyab. The first RN TF hit the Japanese troops while the second TF missed entirely.

The situation changed for the worse as USS Drum found new ways to fail along the north shore of PNG. First off Drum was chased out of Buna by an AMc. Then Drum came back and missed the AMc with six torpedoes.

Finally, USS Shad hit a PB in a small Transport TF at Nauru Island, so the night wasn’t a total waste for the USN Subs.

Daylight brought plenty of Recon and Search Reports, including reports of two Japanese TFs north of Duff Island. So the IJN CV TF got some company.

The Air War started with PB4Y-1s dropping Mines for a change at Luganville, just in case my opponent tries to sneak in some Supplies, or FT out the SNLF.

Then the South Pacific Air Action moved to Buna where some Hudson III (LR)s attempted to bomb the 2 AMcs at Buna. The Hudson pilots missed and took some flak damage. Later on some Mitchells came screaming in at Wave-Top and sank both AMcs with Machine Gun Fire and Bombs.

Those AMcs are amazingly effective against Air-Dropped mines. A pair at Lae cleaned up 80 mines this turn alone!

The Air Action then moved to Burma where 2Es hit the Japanese Defenders at Toungoo, and the 4Es caused Mass Destruction among the Japanese Troops that were foolish enough to march into the Clear at Prome. My opponent now has those Japanese Troops moving back from Prome.

The P-39s Sat Out the day (probably due to rain), so it was a good thing that the one RN Bombardment TF found its mark.

The Allied Troops then launched a Deliberate Attack on Toungoo again:

Ground combat at Toungoo (57,50)

Allied Deliberate attack

Attacking force 37125 troops, 824 guns, 1184 vehicles, Assault Value = 1395

Defending force 5052 troops, 51 guns, 56 vehicles, Assault Value = 78

Allied engineers reduce fortifications to 1

Allied adjusted assault: 577

Japanese adjusted defense: 177

Allied assault odds: 3 to 1 (fort level 1)

Allied forces CAPTURE Toungoo !!!

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), fatigue(-), experience(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
2529 casualties reported
Squads: 38 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 58 destroyed, 8 disabled
Engineers: 150 destroyed, 1 disabled
Guns lost 21 (21 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Vehicles lost 71 (71 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units retreated 6
Units destroyed 1

Allied ground losses:
86 casualties reported
Squads: 1 destroyed, 6 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 11 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 2 disabled
Vehicles lost 8 (1 destroyed, 7 disabled)

Defeated Japanese Units Retreating!

Assaulting units:
3rd Carabiniers Regiment
26th Indian Division
2nd British Division
255th Armoured Brigade
5th Indian Division
21st Indian Mountain Gun Regiment
85th British AT Gun Regiment
8th Medium Regiment

Defending units:
22nd Recon Regiment
15th Ind. Engineer Regiment
20th/B Division
53rd Const Co
55th Const Co
37th Const Co
10th JAAF AF Coy


So the Japanese have now been squeezed into Rangoon, Pegu and Moulmein. Sure, Lashio is still in Japanese hands, but I’m more than happy to have those Japanese units sitting way out there in the Jungle and out of my way.

BTW – I was VERY surprised to find that there was no Air Base damage at Toungoo. Obviously my opponent had succeeded in repairing the damage since the last time I had the 4Es fly in for some Base Bombing. It appears that bombing the Troops doesn’t keep them from repairing things. It’s definitely a good thing that I didn’t wait too long to attack Toungoo or the Japanese Engineers might have raised the Fort Levels again.

So the current situation in Burma is shown below. I’ll show the situation in the South Pacific in the next post.









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Post #: 909
SoPac Suspense - 8/10/2012 12:45:04 AM   
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Here's the situation in the South Pacific. If I believe the Recon/SIGINT/Naval Search, it looks like a Fast Transport is heading towards either Ndeni or Luganville, with an IJN CV TF following it to provide Air Cover.

Of course, believing those sorts of things in AE is a good way to lose lots of ships, so I am continuing to move Non-Combatants out of the Region, move Combat Air Forward, and bring together the USN CVs and CVLs. (If you are wondering, I have absolutely no intention of using CVEs as any sort of pseudo-combat force with Real IJN CVs around.)

So I've got plenty of Mitchells on Low Alt Naval Attack setting, with the PB4Y-1s set similarly, just to add some Spice to the Mix. I've also got plenty of T-Bolts, Corsairs, P-38s, and even some Heckcats around to provide CAP and Escort. (Hellcats in AE are too badly neutered to deserve their real name.)

So we'll see what happens.






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Kick Myself Time... - 8/10/2012 10:02:58 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 3, 1943 –

The Night Phase started out with the dot base Beru, just to the east of Tabiteuea, being auto-occupied by the Allies.

Then the real Night Action started as USS Whale put two torpedoes into an xAK near Tohara Retto in southwest Japan. What was particularly nice was that Japanese Troops were lost when the Transport went down. And interestingly enough, there was only one PB on Escort Duty for a fairly large-sized Transport TF.

Action then shifted to the South Pacific where USS Rasher was chased off near Reef Island by DDs in a large IJN TF containing 2 BBs, 2CAs, 1 CLAA and 5 DDs. I figured that the TF might be a Bombardment TF, but afterwards the 2 Japanese TFs that I had spotted last turn ended up near Tulagi, with both TFs indicating some Air Units. So the TF that scared off Rasher may well have been a CV TF but Rasher just didn't spot the CVs.

Then USS Scorpion was chased off by a lone E-Class Escort that was escorting an AV near Ponape.

Action then shifted to Burma where the RN Bombardment TFs again went after the Japanese Infantry Regiment south of Akyab. This time the first TF didn't find the target while the second TF did.

Daylight brought out Allied Bombing Missions in Burma. First off large numbers of Allied 2Es hit the Japanese Troops at Prome, causing large numbers of casualties. Then a British DB Squadron attempted to attack some Japanese Troops south of Bhamo, but missed. I had forgotten to set that DB Squadron to Training.

Next, the P-39s hit the Japanese Infantry Regiment south of Akyab and caused a few casualties.

Then the 4Es hit the Air Base at Rangoon and found a small Jackpot waiting for them. There was no CAP, and the 4Es were at 10K so Flak wasn't an issue, so they hit the Air Base hard and caught a number of Japanese Planes on the Ground. The End-of-Day Report listed 14 Oscar IIbs and 6 Tojos destroyed on the Ground.

I'm going to let the 4Es go back to Rangoon next turn because I suspect that my opponent is trying very hard to rebuild the Air Base there. My Long Range Recon reported there being something on the order of 145 Japanese Fighters at Bangkok, so my opponent has obviously been alerted by the previous Recon Flights. Thus, I don't want to send my 4Es on an edge-of-range mission against so many Enemy Fighters.

The Action then shifted to the South Pacific where it seemed at first that a nice little Trap that I planned had worked as planned. A couple more AMcs cleared out 65 air-dropped mines from Finschafen and were on their way back to base when USN CV Bombers caught them and sank them. I had deliberately planned those 4E mining raids in order to get the AMcs out in the open and sink them with Air Power so that they couldn't interfere with future Air Mining Missions.

But then I got a Horrific Surprise as Betties, accompanied by Japanese Escorts, flew out of Rabaul and attacked the US CV TF. What was Horrific was that there were no Hellcats on CAP, only some Seagulls! The Seagulls did they best that they could, but 3 were shot down and the rest couldn't stop the Betties which put a couple of torpedoes into BB South Dakota.

What went wrong? Had I forgotten to take the Hellcats off of Training? As soon as the turn finished I immediately went to the CV TF and took a look – the Hellcats were set to "Escort", but I hadn't set any CAP level! Afterwards, when I checked another CV TF in a different location I found that in that case I hadn't taken any of the planes off of Training. I obviously shouldn't do turns when I am in a hurry!

As usual, the AI did the least effective things possible and had set South Dakota into an Escort TF with a CLAA as its escort, but with no DDs. I immediately moved a DD over to South Dakota and moved the CLAA back into the CV TF. I also set the course with waypoints for South Dakota to hug the coast of Oz, rather than the AI's choice of hugging the coast of PNG, which would give the Japanese the best chance possible to finish off South Dakota.

Since there aren't any Japanese subs in the region, South Dakota has a slim chance of making it back to a safe port. Just to help things, I moved a P-38 Squadron nearby and set it to 100% LR CAP over South Dakota. So as long as my opponent doesn't race his CV TFs over to north-eastern Oz I ought to have a chance. But in case he does, I also brought up a LOT of LBA and set them all to Naval Attack, with plenty of Fighters available for Escort and Defence. The question is – will my opponent be able to capitalize on my mistake or not?

Just after this, a report came from near Java that USS Tunny sank from the damage it sustained when it hit the mine at Merak. The AI gets another notch in its belt…

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Post #: 911
Expensive Experiment - 8/12/2012 6:24:10 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 4, 1943 –

The Night Phase was quiet, other than the RN Bombardment TFs hitting the IJA Infantry Regiment south of Akyab. This time both TFs found the Target.

Daylight started out with the PB4Y-1s hitting the Air Base at Luganville for a change. The Damage being reported at the Air Base had been slowly decreasing, so it was time to Top-it-Up again.

Air Action moved to Burma where 2Es hit Japanese Troops at Prome and on the Lashio Road. Then 4Es hammered the Air Base at Rangoon again, destroying another 6 Tojos on the Ground.

The Afternoon Phase started out with lots of messages – first reports of the Japanese CVs sitting halfway between Rossel Island and Munda, and then ominously, reports of 4Es in Oz starting out to attack but not linking up.

I had set my Liberators in northeastern Oz to Wavetop Naval Attack in order to try to slow down or discourage the KB from moving in to catch the South Dakota and my retiring 2-CV TF. But I expected the KB to move forwards more quickly and to also get within range of my other LBA and Long Range Fighters. Instead, the 4Es flew at near-maximum distance, which is the worst scenario possible, because it guarantees high Ops losses, staggered attacks, and poor performance.

Well, I got all of that and more. The Libs attacked in 5 waves – the first with 2 squadrons and the next 4 with 1 squadron each. A horde of mixed Japanese CAP dove on the Bombers, overwhelming the defensive guns and causing much larger losses than in the usual Land Bombing attacks. Then the IJN AA came into play and hammered the attacking bombers. Although some bombers got through the CAP and Flak in each wave, none hit their targets.

The End-of-Day losses were painful:

B-24D1s – 9 A-to-A, 8 Flak, 2 Ops
B-24Ds – 7 A-to-A, 4 Flak

The only consolation was that it was somewhat costly for the Japanese Defenders:

A6M3a – 10 A-to-A, 10 Ops
A6M2 – 1 A-to-A, 1 Ops
E13A1 Jake – 2 A-to-A

My opponent commented upon the attack with some relief that his CAP and AA had done very well. I replied with the following:

Hmmm - that didn't work very well. The IJN AA has certainly improved a lot. In my first Japanese pbem my opponent put the KB out of action in January 1942 for months with B-17Ds attacking at wavetop. I expected B24s to do even better.

As far as wavetop attacks go - the USN and USAAF were enthusiastically using 2 and 4 engine bombers on wavetop attacks against any Japanese ships within range from late 1942 onwards - and in 1943 in particular. I held off until mid-1943 for fairness sake because of my experience in my Japanese pbem - but obviously from this turn, 4Es are not the guaranteed KB-killers that I experienced and expected, nor that most other players seem to think that they are...

Either that or I am extraordinarily unlucky on an extraordinarily regular basis!


So after that I set my USAAF 4Es back to Air Mining and ordered them to mine the Port at Port Moresby, just in case the KB stops by there. I also reset my 2E Anti-Ship bombers to 5K instead of 100 ft – there is no sense in losing more to AA than I need to do. And I moved the Max Range for the 2Es back to Escort Range.

One interesting lesson from this is that the KB was still putting up substantial CAP on in the face of the 5th Attack Wave. So having multiple waves isn’t going to work against the full KB, even if I try to do that deliberately.

Fortunately, B-24Js are starting to show up so I will be able to replace those losses soon enough. But I don’t want to do this again.

So the presence now of around 200 Japanese Fighters at Bangkok is more than enough to convince me to not try my luck bombing there.

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Post #: 912
Ducked the Bullet? - 8/13/2012 12:26:38 AM   
ADB123

 

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September 5, 1943 –

The Night Phase started out with USS Tinosa hitting an xAK at Mili with 2 torpedoes. The xAK went down, but the PB Escort for the small Transport TF hit Tinosa a number of times, and now the sub is limping home.

After this the RN Bombardment TFs hit the IJA Regiment south of Akyab again. This time the first TF missed but the second hit the target.

Daylight brought dozens of Air Recon and Search Reports, including the critically important information that the KB was now on the north side of PNG and heading around New Britain. So my very costly 4E Air Attack paid off because the KB backed off.

As the KB sailed off the USAAF 4Es in northeastern Oz flew to lay mines at Port Moresby. The USN PB4Y-1s also flew mine-laying missions to Ndeni.

In Burma the bulk of the Allied 2Es hit the Japanese Troops at Prome again, while a few hit Japanese Troops on the Lashio Road. P-39s attacked the IJA Regiment south of Akyab but all of the planes missed.

And the 4Es hammered the Air Base at Moulmein with no CAP to interfere. There is a fair amount of AA there, so it’s a good thing that I had the Bombers at 8K feet. Next turn the 4Es are scheduled to revisit Pegu.

And in some interesting news, the first P-51As arrived at Aden, so I loaded them on a ship and sent them off to India.

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Post #: 913
Wishful Thinking? - 8/13/2012 10:04:40 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 6, 1943 –

The Night Phase saw the RN Bombardment TFs sail to hit the IJA Regiment south of Akyab again, but for some reason only one of the TFs attacked. I guess that I forgot to set the other TF to Bombardment or something like that.

In the South Pacific the PB4Y-1s went back to bombing the SNLF at Luganville, followed by the USAAF 4Es dropping mines at Madang. Intel, Recon, and Air Search spotted at least 1 IJN CV TF east of Rabaul and other IJN combat TFs at Rabaul. There were plenty of Japanese Recon and Search planes flying over north-eastern Oz, but the USN ships, including South Dakota, have already Gotten Out of Dodge. (I've got lots of PT TFs at all of the north-eastern Australian bases, as well as PTs in the Ports, in order to give my opponent lots of White Noise as far as Intel goes.)

In Burma, massed 2Es hit the Japanese Troops at Prome again, causing plenty of casualties, while a few other Brit 2E squadrons hit some Japanese Troops on the Lashio Road with less success. Some of the 125+ P-39s flew but they missed the IJA Regiment south of Akyab. And the 4Es didn't fly.

Finally, the East African Division did a Deliberate Attack on the IJA Regiment south of Akyab:

Ground combat at 54,47 (near Ramree Island)

Allied Deliberate attack

Attacking force 12344 troops, 276 guns, 159 vehicles, Assault Value = 377

Defending force 1786 troops, 14 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 55

Allied adjusted assault: 169

Japanese adjusted defense: 5

Allied assault odds: 33 to 1

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), supply(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
879 casualties reported
Squads: 10 destroyed, 43 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 7 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 9 (4 destroyed, 5 disabled)


Allied ground losses:
25 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 5 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled

Assaulting units:
11th (East African) Division
1st USN Naval Construction Regiment
2nd USN Naval Construction Regiment

Defending units:
114th Infantry Regiment


It looks like I will have to wipe out that IJA Regiment in order to get it off of the Road. At least the East African Division still has its Supplies in the Black, so they can attack again next turn.

In what may be a case of Wishful Thinking, the Naval Losses Screen reported that IJN CLAA Tatsura sank last turn after a collision near Rabaul. The Air Losses Screen showed that 4 Jakes were lost to Ops last turn, which is very unusual for my opponent, but I don't think that the Tatsura actually carries any Floatplanes, so I'm not sure what to make of all of this. It also may just be "White Noise".

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Post #: 914
Sun and Sea - 8/14/2012 10:02:18 PM   
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September 7, 1943 –

The Night Phase saw the RN Bombardment TFs once again go after the IJA Regiment south of Akyab. Like the previous night, the first TF missed the target while the second TF hit the Japanese Troops.

The one Not Nice Report from the Night was a report that the Temporary Flotation Repairs on South Dakota failed a couple of times. I want to get South Dakota further south before I park her in a Port, but I'm getting edgy.

Daylight brought a Japanese Surprise Air Attack on the British Brigade that is on its way to Bassein from Prome. The Brits were hammered in the Open by 75 Helen IIas that were escorted by 53 Oscar IIbs. I didn't have any CAP nearby, so the Japanese Attack had an easy time.

That British Brigade is due to be withdrawn in a few months so I re-set it to "Move", told the Troops to Stiffen the Upper Lip, and ordered them to continue on to Bassein which is empty. I also set 3 P-38 Squadrons on LR CAP over the Troops for the next turn, just in case my opponent tries to do the same thing twice. However, due to heavy Japanese Air Recon, I suspect that he may attempt an attack on Prome instead, so I ordered some P-47s to fly LR-CAP over there too.

The Allied Air Response in Burma consisted of the 4Es hammering the Air Base at Pegu again, and 135 P-39s attacking the IJA Infantry Regiment that is south of Akyab. Those 135 planes succeeded in disabling 1 Japanese Squad.

Off in the South Pacific the USN PB4Y-1s hit the SNLF at Luganville again, while the USAAF 4Es in north-eastern Oz dropped Air Mines at Horn Island. I've now used up most of my Air Mines, so there will be one last Mission for the NE Oz 4Es and then it's back to Dropping Bombs.

It was then the turn of the East African Division to once again attack the remaining Japanese Troops on the road south of Akyab:

Ground combat at 54,47 (near Ramree Island)

Allied Deliberate attack

Attacking force 12330 troops, 276 guns, 159 vehicles, Assault Value = 376

Defending force 1116 troops, 8 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 4

Allied adjusted assault: 334

Japanese adjusted defense: 1

Allied assault odds: 334 to 1

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), leaders(+), disruption(-), fatigue(-)
supply(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
1573 casualties reported
Squads: 34 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 61 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 8 (8 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units destroyed 1

Assaulting units:
11th (East African) Division
1st USN Naval Construction Regiment
2nd USN Naval Construction Regiment

Defending units:
114th Infantry Regiment


So the East Africans wiped out the Japanese Troops and opened the Road from Akyab to Prome once and for all. Now they get to march south to Prome and eventually to Rangoon, while the USN Engineers, who were sitting the fight out in Reserve, will now march to Ramree Island and start to build up that base. That will be a pain, because Ramree is a 0(0) Port right now, but I have Plenty of Engineers, and I am patient, so eventually it will get Maxed-Out, just like all of my other bases.

And with that Japanese Infantry Regiment gone I no longer have any Targets within reasonable range of my P-39s, so I sent them Back Behind the Lines for Training and Upgrades. About half of them are due to be upgraded to Level Bombers, so I set them to Ground Attack Training, while the other half are due to upgrade to Fighter Squadrons, so I upgraded them to various P-40s for now and set them to Escort Training.

And in one other change in the Region, the Japanese Troops that have been sitting across the border in China on the Lashio Road finally pulled back into Burma. I'm not following yet, because most of my Chinese units there are Hard Restricted, but I will eventually convert the ones that I can and have them start to move into Burma too to join the 2 Chinese units that have already been converted.

BTW – Back in the South Pacific it appears that the Japanese CVs have moved closer to Rabaul again. Just in case this is a feint, I ordered the PB4Y-1s out of Attack Mode and into Naval Search. I've got plans in the South Pacific and I want to be able to keep track of what the Japanese CVs are doing and where they are doing it.

BTW II – My opponent is going on a Sun and Sea Vacation for the next couple of weeks, and it's unlikely that he will find any WiFi where he will be sunning and splashing. So this will probably be it until the end of August.

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Post #: 915
Back at War - 8/29/2012 9:53:30 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 8, 1943 –

My opponent got back from vacation, sent the turn, and then crashed. Unfortunately, he is too good a player to allow travel-lag to cause him to make silly mistakes.

There was no Night Action.

Daylight brought out heavy Air Search and Recon by both sides all around the Solomons, PNG, northeastern Oz, and the Central South Pacific. It didn't appear that my main Naval Forces in the Region were spotted. As I had hoped, the multiple 4-PT TFs that I created in multiple bases within Japanese Search and Recon range attracted a lot of Japanese Air Attention.

Air Attack Missions belonged solely to the Allies this turn.

First off, the Air Base at Lashio was hit hard by Allied 2Es. There was no CAP and no AA, so the 2Es had a good time. The lack of AA indicates a lack of Supply, which is good news for me.

Next, the Port at Moulmein was hit by 4Es. Again there was no CAP, but there was AA, so Moulmein isn't out of Supply yet.

Recon in the Region indicated that the numbers of Japanese Fighters was continuing to increase at Bangkok, but more surprisingly, the numbers of Japanese Fighters, troops and ships continues to increase at Port Blair. It appears that my opponent has decided to Fortify Port Blair in a Big Way. At the same time, SIGINT and Recon continue to try to convince me that Japanese Troops continue to pull out of Rangoon. I find it really hard to believe that my opponent will give up on Rangoon without a serious fight.

Off in the South Pacific the only Air Action beyond Search and Recon was the Air Mining of Gasmata. I am now essentially out of Air-Drop Mines, so I set my 4Es to Naval Search while I continue with my other plans in the Region.

The KB has gone back into Stealth Mode, with the exception of a large TF just to the east of Rabaul that looks more like a big Surface Combat TF than an Air Combat TF. I suspect that the KB and Friends are heading east – either to position themselves to attack any assault on Luganville, or to try to interfere with my build-up of Tabiteuea. If it is the later, they are likely a day late because the Marine Regiment is already pretty much unloaded and I will order out the Transport TF next turn, empty or not.

I also have a large number of good Fighter Squadrons at Tabiteuea, just in case some long range Japanese Naval Bombers come in to check things out.

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Post #: 916
Recon and Search Wars - 8/30/2012 9:58:11 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 9, 1943 –

There was no Night Action again this turn. For that matter, there wasn't much action at all this turn while my opponent and I maneuvered around and looked for openings.

Daylight brought the return of Recon/Search Wars as Allied and Japanese planes crisscrossed the skies over the South Pacific, looking for each other's forces. Tabiteuea received more than its share of Japanese planes snooping at long distance, while allied Long Range Search Planes spotted Japanese CV TFs north of the Solomons – and heading southeast. (See map below.)

There was only one Air Attack this turn as Allied 4Es hammered the Air Base at Chiang Mai. Then the Japanese surprised me with a Paradrop on the unoccupied island of Ontong Java. That was rather unfortunate – Ontong Java is a very convenient way-point for whoever controls it. I was hoping that my opponent would continue to ignore it.

From the location and movement of the Japanese CV TFs it looks like my opponent intends to interfere with any attempt to stage an invasion of Luganville. That's fine with me for now, because it is taking longer to drop off the Marine Regiment at Tabiteuea than I had hoped (I used xAPs for the mission because my APAs are all committed further to the south) and I need another day or two to drop off all of the troops and their equipment.

Just to "encourage" my opponent to move his TFs further to the southeast I have a little Fast Transport TF on its way to the dot base that is due east of Luganville. I am hoping that my opponent mistakes that Nuisance Invasion for the Real Thing and moves where I might engage his forces on my terms. If nothing else it will cause the Japanese TFs to waste fuel investigating, and then I'll wait and grab Luganville when the Japanese ships move back to Rabaul to refuel.

BTW – things are getting stranger and stranger in Burma and vicinity. There are now more Japanese Fighters at Port Blair, along with a DD TF. Is my opponent thinking about taking on the RN Cruisers with DDs? I also have the 2Es in the Region on Coastal Naval Search/Attack, so this could be interesting if those DDs do move away from Air Cover.

Also, subsequent to the Allied Recon of Tavoy, Japanese Fighters showed up there too, weakening the CAP over Bangkok. It will be interesting to see if I can spread out the Japanese CAP even more. But for now, the 4Es will be making another run over Rangoon, just to keep things Honest there.





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Post #: 917
Pentecost Island - 8/31/2012 9:39:28 PM   
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September 10, 1943 –

The Night Phase started out with some Allied Troops being landed by a Fast Transport TF at Pentecost Island. Next, USS Ray was attacked by an E-class Escort in a sizable Japanese Tanker TF in the Java Sea. Ray was hit 3 times and is limping home.

Daylight started again with Lots and Lots of Air Recon and Search over the South Pacific. Marine Fighter Pilots at Tabiteuea shot down two Emilys.

The 4Es in Burma provided the only Air Offence this turn as they pounded the Air Base at Rangoon very hard. Lightnings and Thunderbolts flew along to help my opponent remember just what I have available in the region. There was no CAP, and FLAK was light.

Allied Air Search located the Japanese CV TFs at Choiseul Bay in the Solomons and reported them to be following a southwest heading. I'm sending more subs to swarm the area.

The Marine Regiment still hasn't totally unloaded at Tabiteuea, but with the Japanese CVs relatively far off I am leaving the ships there for another day. The next time I send troops to Tabiteuea I will use APAs.

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Post #: 918
RE: Pentecost Island - 9/1/2012 11:12:40 AM   
Carny

 

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Hey, glad to see this picking up again.

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Post #: 919
RE: Pentecost Island - 9/1/2012 11:19:05 AM   
ADB123

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Carny

Hey, glad to see this picking up again.


Me too. I don't think that either of us will be taking any more long vacations before the end of the year, so we ought to be able to maintain a fairly steady pace if our workplaces cooperate...


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Post #: 920
Another Emily Down - 9/1/2012 11:19:46 AM   
ADB123

 

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September 11, 1943 –

The Night Phase started out with Pentecost Island being occupied by the invading Allied troops. Then Dutch sub O19 hit and sank and xAKL with two torpedoes in the middle of the Bunda Sea. O19 escaped the escorts of the big Transport TF that contained a lot of bigger freighters.

Daylight started out with the skies over the South Pacific being crowded with Recon and Search planes again from both sides. The Marine Pilots at Tabiteuea shot down another Emily. The Japanese CVs disappeared into Stealth Mode, but a US sub near Rossel Island shot down a Pete, so I have a reasonable suspicion that the TFs are just south of their last reported position.

In any event, I am satisfied that my preparations are sufficient now so I ordered the Luganville Invasion TF to move towards its target. Much of the rest of the USN is moving that way too. And just to help things, a LOT of USAAF Fighters are ready to get into action nearby. My intention is to land 1 day’s worth of troops, pull out the Invasion Fleet, and dig in. We will see how it goes.

The tempo of the Air War in Burma increased a bit this turn as the Allied 2Es took a break from Naval Patrol to hit some Japanese troops who are on the road just to the east of Mandalay. This was followed by the 4Es hammering the Air Base at Moulmein again. There was no enemy CAP and the FLAK seems to have gotten a bit lighter.

A British Infantry Brigade reached Bassein this turn. The base is empty so the Brits will occupy it over night. I don’t have enough Supply in southern Burma right now to move forward against Japanese troops in the Jungle, but I will happily take any empty bases that are offered to me.

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Post #: 921
Bassein - 9/2/2012 1:09:24 AM   
ADB123

 

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September 12, 1943 –

The Night Phase started out with Bassein being occupied by the British Infantry Brigade that arrived last turn. The good thing about occupying bases nowadays is that the Fortifications are captured intact. The lesson here is to never abandon a base with the current version of the Game – leaving anything there will cause your opponent to destroy the Fortifications during capture.

Submarine Action came next as first off S-44 was chased by some SCs at Shimishiri-jima but got away safely. Then USS Finback hit an xAP with a torpedo near Taihoku. I don’t know if the xAP sank but Finback got away safely from the escorts in the Troop Transport TF.

Daylight brought swarms of Recon and Search planes all over the South Pacific again. The Allied Search planes found the Japanese CV TFs northeast of Tulagi and heading eastwards (see map below). Right now it appears that they are heading towards Tabiteuea, so I ordered the remaining Transport ships there to sail off even though they still haven’t unloaded a couple of large items.

It doesn’t appear that the Japanese spotted any of my TFs that are heading towards Luganville, so I am hoping that the Japanese CVs continue on towards Tabiteuea and thus open up a Window of Opportunity for an Allied landing at Luganville. Just to help this I have increased the USAAF CAP and LR CAP over the region in the hopes of discouraging Search Planes.

Off in Burma the Allied 2Es hit the Japanese troops at Lashio while the 4Es hammered the Japanese troops that are on the jungle road to the southwest of Toungoo. Recon reports that the Japanese troops on that road consist of an Infantry Regiment, an Engineering Regiment, and a Construction Company. Once again it appears that my opponent is just attempting to block the road with whatever troops he has, rather than move the Engineers back to bases and try to repair damage and build forts. That’s fine with me.

And one more observation in Burma – my opponent may be attempting to move troops into position for an attack on Mandalay. My Air Force Bomber Pilots are getting really excited at that thought.






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Post #: 922
Efate Is Popular - 9/2/2012 9:50:01 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 13, 1943 –

The Night Phase saw the skipper of USS Barb decide not to shot at an SC off of Sabang, and then get chased off by the many escorts in a Transport TF that apparently only had one xAKL in it. Barb did get away.

Daylight brought Lots and Lots of Japanese Recon and Search over Efate and Tabiteuea. The Japanese planes over Efate got to watch a DM drop off some mines and some DD TFs sail by. The Japanese planes also got to see that there are Lots of Allied Fighters at both bases. That will give my opponent something to consider.

The Japanese CVs moved slightly further to the north and east this turn, effectively creeping a little closer towards Tabiteuea and slightly further away from Luganville (see map below). That’s fine by me. My Luganville Invasion TF avoided Detection again this turn; however it is likely to be 2 days before it can make its assault, so I’m hoping that the Japanese CVs move a bit further to the north and east next turn.

Bad Weather cancelled most Air Missions elsewhere on the Map, with only the 2Es in Burma flying to hit the Japanese Troops that are just east of Mandalay.

BTW – the South Dakota made it to Brisbane today, but since I appear to be on something of a Roll with the ship I ordered it to continue down to Sydney instead of tying up in Brisbane.





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Post #: 923
Rookie Move - 9/3/2012 3:23:09 AM   
ADB123

 

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September 14, 1943 –

The Night Phase saw USS Pickerel hit a Japanese PB with a torpedo just southeast of Sabang. Pickerel got away from the other escorts in the TF, which appeared to be the same one as the day before, except this time Pickerel spotted a TK in the TF along with the xAKL and the dozen or so Escorts.

Daylight brought out heavy Japanese Air Patrols over Efate and Tanna. Allied Air Patrols showed that the Japanese CV TFs had reversed course and were now within striking range of Ndeni (see map below).

And out there by itself at Luganville was my Amphibious Invasion TF, sitting quietly and preparing to head home.

Yes, I had made a Really Stupid Rookie Move here – I had forgotten that I had the TF set to “Do Not Unload” while I was collecting and merging TFs, and I forgot to set the TF back to “Unload” before sending it off.

So I wasted the Night Unloading Phase and now I sure wasn’t going to try to unload with the Japanese CVs so close, therefore my TF is heading home in an attempt to evade the KB. To help with this the TF also has several good Fighter Squadrons on LR CAP over it in order to discourage Long Range Bombers.

Oh well, at least my opponent is using up fuel…

In Burma, 2Es hit Japanese Troops at Lashio, and 4Es hammered a Japanese Infantry Regiment that is a hex southwest of Toungoo. At least things are working out reasonably well in Burma.





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Post #: 924
Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink - 9/4/2012 12:57:37 AM   
ADB123

 

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September 15, 1943 –

There was no Night Action.

Daylight brought out the usual flurry of Search and Recon Flights all over the South Pacific. USN Air Searches located the Japanese CV TFs just to the east of Duff Island (see map below). The information cost 3 Catalinas that were shot down by enemy CAP.

It looks like the entire KB is there. There are three TFs, with a total of something like 200 Fighters, 450 Bombers, and 100 Float Planes. My opponent enthusiastically uses Float Planes for Low Alt CAP, so that makes the force even tougher. Realistically, there is nothing afloat that can stand up to that force right now, particularly since I lost 2 CVs and I’ve got another CV in Repairs.

So unless my opponent makes a mistake and moves his CV TFs within range of my LBA there isn’t much I am going to do right now other than sit back and watch. Oh well, at least I know that I can operate with impunity everywhere else.

BTW – Japanese Paratroops grabbed yet another empty Allied Base in the Region – Kirakira. Oh well, eventually I’ll just bomb all of the eastern Solomons back into the Stone Age, so that doesn’t really matter in the long run.

Off in Burma the 2Es hit the Japanese troops that are just east of Mandalay while the 4Es hammered the Japanese troops that are southwest of Toungoo again. It is looking more and more like my opponent intends to try to move towards Mandalay with the forces that he has caught at Lashio and surroundings. That’s okay; it can’t be easy for him to get Supply to them. And I will be ready to move towards Pegu and Rangoon in another 2 days, so those trapped troops are becoming even less relevant.






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Post #: 925
Sept 16 1943 Interim Report - 9/5/2012 2:06:47 AM   
ADB123

 

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September 16, 1943 – Interim Report -

My opponent was only able to run and send the Combat Replay today, so this is an interim report based upon watching that.

The Night Phase saw USS Grayback chased off by PBs at Tulagi, and then USS Salmon put a torpedo into an xAK at Lunga.

Daylight brought more Recon and Search over the South Pacific, with continuous Japanese Flights over Tabiteuea and Efate. Those multiple PT TFs that I have at both locations just attract Search Planes like flies to dog droppings. Two Jakes were shot down over Efate while another Catalina and a B-25 were shot down over the KB.

The Japanese CVs moved moved further south and are now halfway between Ndeni and Luganville and a few hexes to the west of the north-south line connecting the two bases. If the CVs move much further south I am going to be very tempted to pull out the B-25s that I have in the bases there and replace them with Dive Bombers.

Off in Burma the 2Es hit the Japanese Troops at Lashio while the 4Es hammered the Japanese troops to the southwest of Toungoo again.

So with any luck tomorrow I will find out the rest of what is going on from the Turn and plan my next moves. In any event, it is nice to see the KB use up so much fuel so far from home.

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Post #: 926
Search Wars - 9/7/2012 10:13:24 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 16, 1943 – Final Report –

The one obvious point that came out of analyzing the Turn itself is that both sides are engaged in some fairly heavy-duty Search Wars in the South Pacific. The Air Losses Report showed the following:

Shot down by the KB: 2 PBY-5As, 2 B-25D1s, 1 PB4Y-1P

Shot down by Allied CAP: 2 E13A1 Jakes, 1 G4M1 Betty

The map below shows the current position of the Japanese CV TFs. Once again my opponent is taking the Safe and Smart route and instead of sending his ships further into my killing zones he is heading away to the west. So the KB continues to use fuel while my forces continue to regroup and get ready for an eventual dash to their target once the KB moves far enough away.

Elsewhere, things continue to be quiet in Australia and Burma thanks to the Supply Movement Rules. Eventually I will be able to overcome the situation in Burma, but I don't know that I will ever be able to re-take north-eastern Oz thanks to the Supply Rules.






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Post #: 927
Not Quite Stealth Time - 9/8/2012 2:49:34 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 17, 1943 –

The Night Phase saw USS Skate put two torpedoes into an AO just south of Truk. The escorts in the multi-AO TF then hit Skate with a number of depth charges, so Skate is limping home. The AO was not reported as having gone done, and since it was right next to Truk it might make it there and get repaired.

Daylight brought a continuation of Search Wars in the South Pacific. My opponent is attempting to get the KB back into Stealth Mode, but he will have to take the TFs north of the Solomons in order to be assured of that. Right now the KB is near Rennell Island and heading westwards (see map below).

All of my TFs made it quietly and safely back to Base and are waiting for the KB to travel a few days further away before setting out again.

In Burma the 4Es hammered the Air Base at Rangoon again, just to keep it closed and to help use up Japanese Supplies. The Allied 2Es hit the Japanese troops to the east of Mandalay again.

So there will be a few more wait-and-see turns while I move Supplies into Burma and while the KB sails off into the distance.






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Post #: 928
Waving goodbye in the sunset? - 9/8/2012 9:39:26 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 18, 1943 –

The Night Phase saw USS Dorado, cruising west of Lunga, get chased off by some of the escorts in one of the KB TFs. Dorado got away and I got to see that the KB was continuing to head westwards.

Daylight brought even more Search and Recon than usual and saw Dutch Sub O23, patrolling to the west of Rabaul, get whacked by a Japanese Patrol plane. O23 is now limping home in very bad shape.

Otherwise, things were fairly quiet in the South Pacific. The map below shows the current likely position of the KB. In any event, it is far enough away for me to start up my Luganville invasion again.

Off in Burma the 2Es hit the Japanese troops to the east of Mandalay again, while the 4Es plastered the Air Base at Pegu. I’m going to start marching the Allied Troops in southern Burma soon, and I don’t want any nearby interference.





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Post #: 929
Hide and Seek - 9/10/2012 9:32:57 PM   
ADB123

 

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September 19, 1943 –

There was no Night Action.

Daylight brought the usual heavy Air Recon and Search activity from both sides. Allied Search Planes located the Japanese CVs sitting at Ontong Java, which is where I expected that they might go.

Air Attacks were limited to Burma again. The Allied 2Es hit the Japanese troops that are east of Taung Gyi, while the 4Es pounded the Air Base at Moulmein again.

In something of a surprise, a big Japanese Infantry Division, along with a couple of artillery units, crossed the river over to Bassein and Shock Attacked the British Infantry Brigade that has been sitting there since it captured the empty base. The attack easily knocked down the Forts and kicked the Brits out to the crossroads to the northeast.

The "surprise" in this attack is that my opponent bothered to do it, and with such a large and good unit. All that will happen now is that I will bomb that Japanese Infantry Division back into the Stone Age with 4Es and otherwise ignore Bassein. And that is one less good Japanese unit to get in the way of my main attacks.






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Post #: 930
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