(September 17-22, 1942 conít)
So far so good in Burma. Heavy bombers and fighters based out of Chittagong are doing some real damage vs. the enemy. I will continue to bomb and sweep everything I can reach and draw off as much japanese airpower as possible. I am slowly gathering troops and ships at Colombo for a possible invasion of Port Blair. I really need to suppress Raderís airfields first though. With just one CV and CVL Hermes, the british just donít have enough carrier fighters to fight off mass netty attacks.
Hereís how the air offensive has gone lately;
9/17-18: Heavies hit Port Blair and destroy several Betty bombers and Dinah recon planes.
9/19-20: The heavies return to Port Blair and lose 5 planes fighting thru the Oscar CAP. They destroy at least 20 Oscars and other planes on the ground.
9/21-22: Hurricane recon planes spot a large force of fighters flying over Magwe. I send in 100+ hurricanes to sweep the base followed by a heavy bomber raid on the oil facilities.
The first sweep of 16 planes runs into about 100 Oscars and zeroes flying CAP. They somehow manage to shoot down 6 oscars for 1 lost hurricane. A good result but I was afraid this was just the first of a long line of one squadron sized sweeps running into the massive CAP. However, I was pleasantly surprised when the next sweep was made up of over 100 fighters. For once, a good coordination result. This sweep really did some damage. For the turn, the japanese lose an estimated 45 oscars and 17 zeroes in A2A while the British lose 8 hurricanes. I suspect the enemy losses are inflated but still a very good day for the RAF.
The heavy bombers then came in and bombed the oil centers. In a previous post, I questioned how much FOW there is in strategic bombing. At that point, I had reportedly gotten 20 some hits on the Magwe oil centers but they were shown as undamaged [301(0)]. However, in the next turn or two, that numbered changed to something like 250(50) after a couple more recon flights. After this most recent raid itís shown as something like 220(80).
9/23-24 (next turn): Recon reports an even larger fighter force at Magwe. I will take up the challenge and sweep Magwe once again. As I mentioned earlier, the british actually have a fairly decent pile of hurricanes in the pool (something like 200) and I want to see if I continue to get good results with these sweeps. For the record, Iíve been sending the hurricanes in at max altitude (35,000í+). I donít think that altitude is the key factor in A2A (as some have argued) but it definitely helps. I also have the sweep bonus, decent planes, at least equal odds, and good-excellent pilot quality in my favor. Iím probably also helped by having a very large airbase (level 9), with tons of air support, and an air HQ in the hex. On the downside, the combat power of my hurricanes is probably reduced due to having to use drop tanks to reach Magwe.
Meanwhile, the heavies are scheduled to hit the Rangoon refinery centers. Recon shows no planes at this base currently.