Massive air battles in the central area over the last 4 days. The Japanese lose about 175 planes (80 bombers) while I lose 170 russian planes (130 fighters). Most of the damage results from my 200 fighter defense of Bikin. His sweeps whittle away my fighters but not before they ravage his bombers. The base remains only lightly damaged but I’ve moved my airforce back to the Vladivostok area. They will defend the port, rest a bit, and support my planned attacks on the Japanese airfields he’s been using to hit Bikin. Hopefully, I’ll catch his fields without much defense and destroy more bombers.
In “the swamp” hex, I almost reach 1:1 odds in my assaults and inflict about 3:1 losses against the Japanese (in my favor). Japanese reinforcements have arrived from Khaborvsk and I will now hunker down, bombard, and dig in. The goal is to hold on to this hex and Birodbizhan until the 36th army arrives from the north.
My B17s hit Nagoya, fight thru the 6 plane Nick CAP, and bomb the Sally plant. As far as I can tell, they didn’t do any damage though. I have them on “commander’s choice, airframe plant attack” for the next turn. I’m curious to see how that works. The Russian DB-3s hit the Harbin Mabel plant and do much better. It seems to be down to 1/3 production. They will hit the Changchun heavy industry next turn. Hopefully, I’ll draw some Japanese fighters away from the front with these attacks. More B17s are on their way via Umnak Island in the Aleutians. Umnak is exactly 60 hexes away from Vladivostok. That happens to be the max range for the B17E.