March 24, 1942 -
There was another Japanese Naval Bombardment of Darwin this turn as BB Haruna and BB Kongo fired from outside of the range of the CD guns of Emery Fort. There was a fair amount of damage to the Port and Air Fields, but this is something that my opponent will eventually have to repair, so I don't care.
BTW – SIGINT told me that at least one part of the 21st Japanese Infantry Division is preparing to attack Darwin.
The only Japanese Amphibious Landing this turn showed up at Langsa in Sumatra. It was definitely “Surf's Up” as a number of Japanese troops and pieces of equipment were lost on the way in. My opponent is landing a fair number of units there, including a JNLF, a Guards unit, a Recon unit and an Engineering unit. All of my troops in the region are holed up in Medan so the Japanese forces will have to march to them.
BTW II – I had some Dutch Catalinas at Medan set for Naval Attack and they did attempt to attack the Japanese Amphibious TF at Langsa, but my opponent had a few Oscars on LR CAP over his TF and so my Cats couldn't get through to the targets.
The daytime weather was generally bad in most locations this turn, which translated into cancelled air missions and scattered air missions. So my Air Force in India (+Burma) sent a lot of planes over the Japanese troops on their way to Lashio, but my planes came in several waves. That wasn't too bad because my AVG squadrons flew a strong LR CAP over the hex and engaged the Japanese CAP quite effectively. By the end of the day the Japanese had lost 11 Oscars, half to Air-to-Air combat and half to Operational Damage, while the Allies took no losses at all.
This time my bombers, especially my 4Es, did more damage to the Japanese troops, but it still wasn't a Killer Blow by any means. Since the weather forecast is calling for even worse weather next turn I sat down most of my bomber units, set those that I didn't sit down to Recon, and cancelled all of my LR CAP flights in the region.
My B-17 attack on PM wasn't successful. The Forts ran into a few Zeros, which they got past, but the weather was horrendous and the bombadiers couldn't find any targets. Once again, I'm letting my Air Crews rest next turn and will try again once the weather clears up.
There were Japanese air attacks in the usual places, including very heavy attacks on Bataan and Benkoelen, and perfunctory attacks on Darwin, Soerabaja, and the retreating Dutch outside of Soerabaja.
BTW III – Those Dutch units did make it to Soerabaja before the Japanese pursuers could catch and attack them.
There were a number of Japanese land attacks this turn. First off, the Japanese besiegers of Bataan attempted a Deliberate attack. It turned out to be a Very Poor Idea, as they got a Bad Dice Roll and 1:55 results. The Japanese took 1551 casualties, including a lot of destroyed units, against 256 casualties for the Allies, most of which were simply disabled. That ought to cause my opponent to sit back and think about things for a bit.
There was also another Japanese Deliberate attack at Cebu. Here the Japanese troops did better, achieving a 2:1 result and reducing the Forts to Level 1. At the same time at Benkoelen, two Japanese Infantry Batallions did a Deliberate attack that got a 1:1 result and lowered the Forts also to Level 1.
Finally, enemy troops reached Oosthaven this turn. I don't think that my opponent has any large units, but he doesn't really need them because the Dutch forces at Oosthaven are neither large nor strong.