April 18, 1942 -
Things are picking up again. The night phase started with a three-BB Japanese TF bombarding the defeated Dutch troops at Tandjoengbalai. The bombardment didn't cause a lot of casualties, probably because the remaining Dutch units are already so beat up that there isn't a lot more that can be done to them. My opponent will likely continue this regularly because Tandjoengbalai is so close to Singapore that he can sail his BBs back and forth in one turn.
The Dutch sub KXI had a clear shot at a Japanese xAKL in a TF near Boetan, but the skipper decided not to fire any torpedoes. I'm pretty ticked off at that decision, so I ordered that sub back to base and will change the skipper. (It's only too bad that there isn't a “Mutiny” button so that you could get rid of a bad skipper at sea... )
And the Japanese invaders at Port Hedland continued to land. I'm guessing that my opponent is landing a Base Force along with the attacking unit.
Daylight brought long-range Zero sweeps over Tennant Creek. Weather broke up the first Japanese attack and only two Zeros flew in against 4 Buffalos and 12 Warhawks. But even with numerical superiority and the Zeros being at the end of their extended range, the Allied pilots couldn't shoot down any enemy planes and one of each Allied plane was shot down. Later on when the weather was a bit better the rest of the Zeros came in – 17 in all – and found only 3 Buffalos and 9 Warhawks on CAP. With the clear numerical superiority and the Ceiling advantage the Japanese were able to shoot down 3 more Warhawks.
The two Allied Fighter units at Tennant Creek weren't great units, but they weren't bad either and had been trained up as much as possible under the circumstances, but with the current Air Combat Design they had no chance. Fortunately, the Air Fields at Alice Springs finally reached Level 4, so I moved a B-17D squadron and a B-24 squadron in and set them to hit the Air Fields and Port at Darwin. My opponent has massed most of his Zeros at Katherine, so I'm hoping that my 4Es get to pull off a surprise.
Otherwise, my opponent sent more bombers in to hit the Chinese LCU in the woods south of the main Chinese Railroad, and more planes bombed Bandoeng again. Surprisingly, the AA guns at Bandoeng are still damaging some of the attacking Japanese bombers. Fortunately, my opponent has not cut the supply line to Batavia.
In Ground Action Japanese forces easily captured Loemadjang from the already twice-defeated Dutch forces. Three of the Dutch units were destroyed and the rest retreated to Banjoewagi, which is the End-of-the-Line for all of them.
Surprisingly, the Japanese besiegers of Bandoeng chose to fire off an Artillery Attack instead of trying another direct assault. The Artillery attack didn't have any effect while the Counter-battery Fire caused a handful of Japanese casualties.
And Port Hedland was captured. I was surprised to see that one of the Japanese Paratroop units was the attacking force. I wonder why my opponent didn't just Paradrop them onto the empty base instead of shipping them in.
For the second turn in a row I recieved dozens of little empty or near-empty Air Units in various West Coast Bases. Given the Allied Air Replacement Rates, these units won't likely fill out before they have to be withdrawn in July 1942, so I Withdrew the majority of them once again, other than a couple of Bomber squadrons that I could fill out by withdrawing other near-empty units at the same base. I have plenty of Air Units on the West Coast anyway, so there isn't much reason to keep dozens of near-empty units flying or even Training.
I also withdrew all of the silly 5-plane Fighter HQ units that have been arriving recently. I'd rather use the planes to support good fighter units at the Front.
And finally, I was able to upgrade the last AVG squadron to P-40Es, so that's another 27 A81s that will be available for the Chinese Air Force. The Chinese will finally have some decent quantities of Fighters available for Air Ambushes. Now, if only some Western bombers would become available to the Chinese instead of those ridiculous Soviet rejects.
Speaking of Soviet Rejects, I was finally able to upgrade my second Soviet Fighter unit from open-cockpit monoplanes to Mig-3s. It's a very good thing that my opponent hasn't decided to invade the USSR.
< Message edited by ADB123 -- 8/22/2010 8:30:51 PM >