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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRAL'S EDITION

 
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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRAL'S EDITION - 4/1/2010 4:58:37 AM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 8, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

USS Oklahoma, New Orleans, Among 9 Ships Destroyed at Pearl Harbor

(Hawaii) - The office of the Pacific Fleet Headquarters under Admiral Husband E. Kimmel released an updated list of the damages suffered at Pearl Harbor air and naval stations just before the Thayne Report went to press. The battleship USS Oklahoma capsized in the port, and the heavy cruiser USS New Orleans was destroyed in a massive explosion during the air raid. Other ships destroyed in the Japanese sneak attack include the destroyers USS Blue, Selfridge, and Farragut, as well as a number of smaller craft.

Twenty-two other ships, including seven battleships and six cruisers, also suffered severe damage. One of the battleships, USS Nevada, is so severely damaged that there is some concern that it may need to be written off as a total loss as well.

Emergency personnel at the naval air station are still focusing their efforts on saving human lives. Medical facilities have been swamped with a sudden flood of patients, many of still lay in the hospital lawn due to a shortage of room inside. Barracks and hangers are also being turned into makeshift hospitals.

British Fleet Attacked Outside of Singapore

(Singapore) - A British task force sailed out to intercept the Japanese amphibious landings in northern Malaya today and immediately found itself set upon by Japanese long-range torpedo bombers. The British battleship the Prince of Whales was hit with two torpedoes before finding sanctuary in a nearby storm squal. The HMS Repulse was also attacked but remained unharmed until it, too, could find safety inside of a rain squal.

Captain Leach radioed back from the Prince of Whales that it is foolish to send capital ships into battle without the benefit of air cover. The Prince of Whales is limping back home to Singapore where it is hoped that they can get the ship in good enough shape to make it back home for repairs.

Allied Command Orders American Carriers South

(Hawaii) - In light of the threat posed by Japanese carriers around Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel of the Pacific Command ordered the carriers Lexington and Enterprise to head south, where they are not at risk of being ambushed by the Japanese carrier force. The orders were said to have invited a string of expletives in response by Vice Admiral William Halsey of the USS Enterprise. There is some concern among the staff at Pacific Command that Halsey might disobey a direct order and attack the Japanese fleet on his own initiative.

However, Kimmel says that to lose the Enterprise and Lexington would give the Japanese uncontested control of the Pacific Ocean, to the great detriment of American interests in that region. "It will be necessary to preserve a credible threat to Japanese expansion in the area," Admiral Kimmel said. "Otherwise, the enemy will be free to take what it wants."

Soldiers Given 48 Hours to Report to Duty, Prepare Defenses

(Washington DC) - Allied military leaders with troops in the new battle zone in the Pacific cancelled all passes and ordered all soldiers and civilian personnel serving on American military bases or institutions to report to duty within 48 hours or face potential fine and imprisonment. While waiting for individual soldiers to report to duty, West Coast military units were ordered to drill and to prepare for embarkation.

Allied military leaders also told all units in the Pacific Theater of Operation that their duty to focus on reinforcing their current positions. They were to spend their energies building up their defenses and fortifications. Units will be free to return to the task of build airfields and ports once allied command is confident that the facilities can be defended, and the allies are not building facilities that will simply fall into Japanese hands.

Air units throughout the Pacific immediately went on alert, flying combat air patrols over allied bases and flying out in search of more Japanese ships and submarines. Smaller ships were also ordered out to patrol for enemy ships and submarines as well.

Even on the West Coast of the United States, military units are preparing defenses, streatching barbed wire along the beaches and preparing bunkers and trenches further inland with fields of fire across the beaches and into the Pacific Ocean.

Ships Ordered Out of Hostile Waters

(Washington DC) - Allied leaders ordered all ships to leave hostile waters that are currently under either the control or the threat of attack from Japanese forces. Ships in and around the Philippines were ordered to Java, while ships from Rangoon to Calcutta are ordered to report to Java. At the same time, ships from Singapore to Calcutta were ordered to move to Columbo on the island of Ceylon.

In addition to the losses at Pearl Harbor, Japan also attacked ships in Rangoon harbor in Burma, as well as Davao in the Philippines. Allied leaders are confident that Japan plans to systematically sink any ship that it can find in its waters, and that the only hope for survival would be to get the ships out of there.

Ships currently in Hong Kong will have to sail half way through hostile waters before they will make it to safe waters. Allied military leaders expect to get reports on the losses of a number of ships while they travel through this gauntlet of enemy aircraft.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/2/2010 3:30:08 PM >
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THE THAYNE REPORTS AE: DECEMBER 9, 1941 - 4/2/2010 12:46:26 PM   
Thayne

 

Posts: 735
Joined: 6/14/2004
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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 9, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

Second Attack on Pearl Harbor

(Hawaii) - The Japanese carrier force launched a second attack on Pearl Harbor yesterday, sinking a dozen small anti-submarine ships at a cost of approximately 40 Japanese carrier planes.

Admiral Kimmel expressed surprise that the Japanese carriers had decided to stay near the island. He had expected them to leave the Hawaiian waters. Thinking that the only threat left facing the island was Japanese submarines, he ordered at three anti-submarine task scour the waters around the island. War Department officials expressed concern and dismay that Kimmel had been surprised twice in as many days by Japanese activity. Some have openly suggested that the Pacific Fleet would be better off being commanded by somebody who is less likely to be surprised by Japanese activities.

These submarine-hunting task forces became easy prey for the airplanes from the Japanese carriers, which sank 11 of the 12 ships that had been ordered out on duty.

Allied air forces were fortunate to discover two separate groups of Val and Kate bombers that had become separated from their Zero escort. Taking advantage of the situation, they managed to destroy 39 carrier-based bombers in those two groups.

The anti-submarine crews were able to score one suspected hit against an enemy submarine before being wiped out by the Japanese air force.

Enemy Planes Swarm Malaya; Kota Bharu Falls

(Singapore) A truly staggering number of Japanese airplanes took part in air assaults against British forces in Manila yesterday. After collecting all of the various reports, allied intelligence computed that over 400 combat sorties were flown against the defenders at Georgetown and Kota Bharu in one day.

After analyzing the reports that came from these two areas, intelligence officials concluded that nearly 150 sorties were flown against Georgetown, utterly destroying the airfield there. At the same time, another 250 sorties flew against the allied defenders at Kota Bharu, helping the Japanese to take the town and leading to the surrender of the 3rd ISF Base Force.

The British defeat at Kota Bharu was utterly devistating, with the Japanese forces killing or capturing over 2500 soldiers and capturing or destroying over 30 allied guns. The British forces are now in full retreat toward Singapore.

The capture of Kota Bharu gives Japan a port at which they can drop off supplies and fresh troops.

This Japanese victory has the potential to cut off a number of British soldiers on the western half of the Peninsula. These units have been ordered to move closer to Singapore. However, there is doubt that they can pull back fast enough to prevent being cut off.

First Relief Ship Heads to Pearl Harbor

(San Francisco) The Transport ship Admiral Cole left San Francisco yesterday carrying the first relief supplies for the garrison at Pearl Harbor.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the War Department ordered one ship loaded as quickly as possible with the materials that would be needed to better secure the island. At the top of this list was spare parts and replacement aircraft to make up for those destroyed in the Japanese attack.

The Admiral Coal will be using an indirect indirect route to Pearl Harbor in the hopes that it can avoid any Japanese submarines that may be patrolling the direct route between the two ports.

With yesterday's destruction of the anti-submarine forces at Pearl Harbor, the ability to escort cargo ships without committing destroyers has become severely limited.

Gull and Sparrow Forces Load Up for East Timor.

(Darwin - Australia) Two Australian battalions named 'Gull' and 'Sparrow' had been assembled at the north Australian town of Darwin for immediate deployment to East Timor. They began loading onto available transports within 24 hours of having heard the news of the Japanese attacks across the rest of the Pacific Ocean.

East Timor is a possession of the Portugul, which has remained neutral in the war against Hitler. Australian leaders had concluded that it was necessary to garrison the island to use it as a wall against the Japanese, in case they intend to attack Australia itself.

A third unit, '2/2 Ind Coy' will also move up to help garrison Portugese Timor.

Minefield Discovered in Batan

(Manila - Philippines) American minesweepers discovered that Japan had placed a large number of mines across the harbor to Manila around the fortified islands there without being discovered.

General Mobilization Order 1 included an order to every port with anti-submarine and anti-mine ships available to send them out on duty at the soonest possible moment. The ships sailing out of Manila to sweep the entrance of the harbor discovered that dozens of mines had been placed there. The ships immediately went to work clearing a channel through the minefield, allowing the Allied submarines stationed at Manila to get through the harbor and go off hunting Japanese ships.

House rules: It will take a couple of weeks for the allies to get their war machine rolling at full speed. To reflect this, each section of the war can only move a number of transport ships equal to the number of game turns. 1 ship on Turn 1, 2 more ships on turn 2, 3 more ships on turn 3. At this rate, it will take about 2 weeks to get the war machine moving at full speed. 1 exception - the Gull and Sparrow forces in Darwin.

Also, no units may have "replacements" option turned on until they are at a port that has been visited by a supply ship from the United States, or from Cape Town, with the exception of Chinese ground units. Specifically, all units in Hawaii have the replacements option off until the Admiral Cole - or the next transport if this one is sunk - arrives in port to unload replacement planes and parts.





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/2/2010 3:31:04 PM >

(in reply to Thayne)
Post #: 2
RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRAL'S EDITION - 4/3/2010 1:07:25 PM   
TOM KIMMEL

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 4/3/2010
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TOO BAD ADMIRAL KIMMEL DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS:
On December 7, 1941 the President of the United States was asked: “How did the Japanese catch us with our pants down?” The Congress of the United States later asked: “one enigmatical and paramount question . . . . [w]hy was it possible for a Pearl Harbor to occur?” On December 11, 1941, the Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, thought he had the answer and sent it to the President immediately: Army and Navy Intelligence in Washington, DC had learned the entire Japanese attack plan days before the attack, and sent it to Admiral Kimmel, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, who did nothing about it.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Owen Roberts, Chairman of the Roberts Commission, the tribunal immediately appointed to investigate the Pearl Harbor disaster, tried but could not prove that Kimmel had this information and failed to act on it. But then Roberts put blinders on and failed to follow Mr. Hoover’s logically suggested written investigative leads in Washington, D.C., as to whether this information was available in Washington and simply not sent to Hawaii. And then later, Roberts inexplicably lied to Congress about where he got the original allegation against Kimmel.
FOR DETAILS SEE MY WEBSITE AT: HTTP://WWW.PEARLHARBOR911ATTACKS.COM.
Regards,
Tom Kimmel

< Message edited by TOM KIMMEL -- 4/3/2010 1:08:40 PM >

(in reply to Thayne)
Post #: 3
THE THAYNE REPORTS AE: DECEMBER 10, 1941 - 4/4/2010 3:42:26 AM   
Thayne

 

Posts: 735
Joined: 6/14/2004
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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 10, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

USS Arizona Sinks as Siege of Pearl Harbor Continues

(Hawaii) - Japanese carrier planes attacked Pearl Harbor for a third day, attacking the already damaged battleships and effectively sinking a second Pearl Harbor battleship. Admiral Kimmel announced in his report that the USS Arizona is "beyond salvage" as a result of these new attacks. Three of the six remaining battleships also took additional damage in the new attack, and a number of additional small ships have been sunk. The USS Oklahoma was destroyed on the first day of the attacks.

Military leaders have been sharply critical of Admiral Kimmel's decision to leave the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor through these three days of attacks, instead of sending them out to meet the Japanese Fleet. In top secret communications, Kimmel has defended his move by pointing to the fate of twelve anti-submarine ships that left Pearl Harbor and were caught at sea. Of these, only one returned while a second, barely afloat, is limping towards shore.

While critics point out that the ships in Pearl Harbor have no room to maneuver and are, effectively, sitting ducks for Japanese airplanes, Kimmel has been able to point to the fact that, other than the battleships, very few additional ships took damage in the new attack. He credited the relatively insignificant amount of harm done to the other ships to the concentrated anti-aircraft fire and of the fleet, combined with the port's air power and land-based anti-aircraft.

Kimmel claimed partial credit for the fact that, in the last 24 hours, the Japanese are reprted to have lost 70 airplanes compared to a loss of only 14 allied airplanes.

Kimmel's critics, including Admiral Nimitz, reported feeling 'utter disbelief' that the ships had been left in port. Several officers serving under Kimmel have reported that they have lost all confidence in the admiral and have secretly communicated their disapproval both to the President and to Congress.

Enterprise and Yorktown Ordered to Attack Gilbert Islands

(Pearl Harbor) With the bulk of the Japanese carrier force definitely around Pearl Harbor, Kimmel has ordered the American carriers to go to the Gilbert Islands, where the Japanese have just recently taken the islands if Makin Atoll and Tarawa.

Some military leaders are concerned that the carriers are traveling within range of the Japanese long-range land-based torpedo planes. They have expressed particular concern that the poor quality of the F2A Buffalo Fighters on the Lexington will leave it particularly vulnerable to enemy attacks.

One senior officer who asked to remain anonymous said, "This is a poor time to risk something as valuable as a carrier on something as insignificant as a couple of two-dot islands in the middle of the Pacific."

A spokesman for Admiral Kimmel said that his goal is to make the Japanese cautious about moving south and trying to cut the supply lines between the United States and Australia. "If we can give them a bit of a bloody nose now, it might buy us a little more time to help secure the island chain connecting us to Australia," he wrote in his report.

Destroyer Thasian Scores First Sinking of Japanese Ships

(Hong King - China) The destroyer Thracian under the command of Commander A.L. Powers, leaving Hong Kong in the wake of Japanese attacks there, came upon and sank two Japanese ships in the South China Sea early yesterday morning. When the Thracian encountered a ship it maneuvered so that it could fire on the cargo ship. It filled the cargo ship with enough holes to sink it, then turned its guns on the escort. Commander Powers reported that the Thracian took one significant hit on its deck and that the ship will be coming in for repairs.

The destroyer Thracian is one of several ships caught far behind enemy lines at the start of the war. It will take several more days before the Tracian will reach safer waters. In the mean time, it will have to sail over a thousand miles of ocean with hostile ships all around, enemy plains in the air, and enemy submarines below, all capable of bring a quick end to the brave destroyer's wartime story.

China Reinforces South

(Chungking - China) General Chiang Kai-Chek ordered several military units in the capital of Chunking to go south to Kweiyang to better secure the road that connects the Chinese capital to the port city of Rangoon. American analysts say that the reason for the move was to better secure the flow of British and American military supplies to the Chinese capital.

"With America now fully in the war, Chang Kai-Chek is hoping that he can offer China as a major platform from which to launch attacks against the Japanese mainland. However, that requires that the Americans can get supplies into China, which requires the use of the road from Chungking to Kunming and off to the China/Burma boarder. Reinforcements include two motorized artillery regiments, an anti-tank regiments, and a fresh infantry division.

China will also soon be getting the use of the American Volunteer Group, a secret collection of 100 American pilots with P-40 fighter aircraft who have been training in Burma for deployment in China.

Americans Prepare Development of Christmas Island

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) Admiral Kimmel's office reported today that he is putting into motion plans to make Christmas Island, the largest of the Line Islands, a major allied base in the Pacific.

Christmas Island will serve as a major refueling station for ships traveling from the west coast of the United States to Australia, and will be one of the links in a chain of islands that will be set up to defend those lines of communications.

Orders went out today for the 34th Infantry Regiment, as well as the 47th Construction Regiment and 101st USN Baseforce to prepare to move to Christmas Island as soon as transport ships have been made available. Major General William Upshur will also be making Christmas Island the home port for the 1st US Amphibious Corps.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/4/2010 5:28:21 AM >

(in reply to Thayne)
Post #: 4
RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS AE: DECEMBER 10, 1941 - 4/4/2010 5:05:51 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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I like the format and the writing, Thayne. Good luck! If it is not a breach of security, could one ask which scenario is being played?


(in reply to Thayne)
Post #: 5
RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS AE: DECEMBER 10, 1941 - 4/4/2010 3:48:32 PM   
Thayne

 

Posts: 735
Joined: 6/14/2004
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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 11, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

Siege at Pearl Harbor Ends

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) - Japan ended its siege at Pearl Harbor yesterday, pulling its carrier forces back. Yet, it could not resist giving one last kick as it left, launching an air strike against the Hawaiian island of Lihue, about 100 miles west of Pearl Harbor. The strike utterly destroyed the facilities on the island, leaving the population there without even enough food and clean water to sustain themselves. Kimmel ordered an that relief supplies be shipped to the island immediately.

The Japanese forces left two battleships sunk (Arizona, Oklahoma), and six others in a state that will take years to repair. Also lost in the attacks were 1 heavy cruiser (New Orleans), 3 destroyers (Farragut, Selfridge, Blue), 6 minesweepers (Tern, Turkey, Bobolink, Vireo, Grebe, Rail), 4 coastal minesweepers (Crosskill, Condor, Redbird, Cockatoo), 3 destroyer minesweepers (Wasmith, Chandler, Lamberton), 1 destroyer minelayer (Gamble), 1 patrol craft (Tiger), 1 PT boat (PT-22), and 1 minefield tender (Planter).

Crews are working around the clock to save the other ships damaged in the three days of attacks. This includes one heavy cruiser (San Francisco), 5 light cruisers (Detroit, St. Louis, Helena, Phoenix, Honolulu), 3 destroyers (Henley, Patterson, Chew), 1 gunboat (Sacramento), 1 minelayer (Oglala), 2 destroyer minelayers (Tracy, Preble), 1 submarine tender (Pelias), 1 seaplane tender (Curtis), 1 repair ship (Vestal), and 1 transport ship (Castor).

The destroyer minelayer Sikard is still at sea, 100 miles east of Pearl Harbor, with its crew desperately trying to bring the ship to port. Sikard was one of the ships hit while hunting for enemy subs. For two days it has been sitting with its bow deep in the water.

Carriers Prepare to Strike Gilbert Islands

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) The US carriers Lexington and Enterprise are two days away from striking the Japanese forces that are landing on the island of Tarawa. The carrier forces are also traveling with eight heavy cruisers.

Tonight, the two fleets plan to meet and re-organize themselves into a carrier strike force and a bombardment force. While the carrier planes strike the island from above, the bombardment force will close to within range of the 8" guns on the cruisers.

Since this is the first allied strike of the war there is some concern among those back in Washington that the lack of experience will be particularly telling.

One senior military official who asked not to be identified said, "We need to get within range of the island, stay within range, launch a strike of from two carriers, organize combat air patrol as well as a fighter escort for the strike, coordinate this with the bombardment from the cruisers while not getting too close to the island's guns, all from crews that are entirely inexperienced in doing this in wartime."

The official added, "There is a lot of room for things to go wrong, and we have not had much time to plan this attack."

Bombing of Batan Sinks Five Japanese Ships; Damages Others

Japanese Ships Attacked on a Wide Front

(Manila - Philippines) Allied B-17 bombers from the 19th Bomber Group in the Philippines, under the command of Colonel W.E. Eubank, attacked the Japanese landing force at Batan yesterday, sinking 5 Japanese ships and damaging 7 others.

Eubank's bombers struck the island in three waves, each focusing on the ports where a number of Japanese ships were unloading troops and supplies onto the freshly captured island.

Military analysists examining photographs taken after the strike report that bombers destroyed 1 light cargo ship, a destroyer minesweeper, and three patrol boats. They also report heavy damage to a Japanese destroyer, as well as varying degrees of damage to 1 cargo ship, 3 light cargo ships, a destroyer minesweeper, a seaplane tender, and a minelaying cruiser.

A similar strike by the Chinese air force against Haiphong Harbor in the northern part of French Indo-China damaged 4 cargo ships.

Also, the Japanese assasult on the island of Wake, widely covered in the main-stream press, has so far resulted in damage to 1 Japanese light cruiser, 2 destroyers, 6 patrol boats, and an armed merchant cruiser.

Finally, the submarine SS Sargo torpedoed a Japanese cargo ship off of the southern coast of French Indo-China yesterday. Lt. Commander T.J. Jacobs of the SS Sargo radioed that the ship appeared to be loaded with tanks and other military vehicles.

New Zealand Convinced to Garrison New Caledonia

(Washington DC) Under intense political pressure, New Zealand officials today agreed to garrison the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific.

New Zealand was convinced today that the best way to defend the their home islands would be to make sure that Japan could not take the island of New Caledonia. Towards that end, the New Zealand government agreed to release the 7th New Zealand Battalion under the command of Lt. General George Dittmer and transport them to the New Caledonia capital of Noumea.

The New Zealand government originally expressed heavy opposition to the plan on the grounds that it would amount to splitting up their army, which would be needed in home defense. One New Zealand government official told Thayne Reports, "This plan works only if we are truly committed to holding New Caledonia, and can put enough troops there to stop the Japanese. Otherwise, we are simply aiding in the destruction of a New Zealand Battalion just before it is most needed."

Meanwhile, in the United States, plans are progressing for American forces to occupy Christmas Island and Samoa Islands. At the same time, a task force that left the United States several weeks ago will soon be landing reinforcements in the Fiji Islands.

England, China Split the American Volunteer Group

(Chungking - China) Intense negotiations in China have resulted in an agreement that will divide the American Volunteer Group to defend both China and Burma.

The American Volunteer Group - a group of civilian pilots hired out to the Chinese government that is currently training in Burma - will be divided into three units. One unit will transfer to Rangoon to help in the defense of that city, while the other two move on to help defend China.

The American Volunteer Group consists of about 100 American civilian pilots who have agreed to help China defend itself from the Japanese. They have been training in central Burma for several months. With these negotiations concluded, the American Volunteer Group can now be moved to the front line.

Brittain secured the deal after convincing Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Chek that it is vital to the future of China to keep the Burma Road open. If the Burma Road is closed, China would be cut off from all supplied and easily fall victim to the Japanese forces that they have been fighting against for four years.




Scenario 002

AI difficulty level: Hard
Maximum variability in reinforcements.

Realism options
Fog of War: On
Advanced Weather: On
Allied Damage Control Advantage: On
Historical First Turn: On
December 7 Surprise: On
Reliable USN Torpedo: Off
Realistic R&D: On


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/4/2010 3:49:10 PM >

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 6
THE THAYNE REPORTS AE: DECEMBER 12, 1941 - 4/8/2010 1:04:21 AM   
Thayne

 

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Joined: 6/14/2004
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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 12, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

Lexington, Enterprise Meet, Prepare Attack on Tarawa Attol

(USS Lexington) The aircraft carriers USS Lexington and Enterprise met yesterday in the Pacific Ocean, several hundred nautical miles east of Tarawa Attol, in the first step in their plan to attack the Japanese held island.

The two task forces organized themselves into one larger task force, with the two carriers protected by eight cruisers and twelve destroyers.

Immediately after the fleet came together, Vice Admiral William Halsey brought his officers together to present them with his battle plan.

The plan calls for the ships to travel together until dark. Then, the task force will split in two. The eight cruisers, six destroyers as escort, would then break off and sail up to the island, where they would shell the installations. Whereas the carriers would move into a position about 200 miles away from the island, where they would launch their planes.

The ultimate objective for the mission, as given to them by Admiral Kimmel, was to destroy as many Japanese transport ships as possible. Kimmel has argued that a sharp reduction in the number of available transports will distrupt the Japanese ability to continue to expland in the South Pacific - giving the allies time to better secure bases protecting the supply lines to Australia.

Military intelligence scoured all available information for signs that the task forces had been spotted up to this point in the mission and found none. There were no indications of Japanese spotter planes or submarines at any point along the trip so far.

The one serious obstacle that remained was the weather.

Saratoga Encounters Japanese Sub

(USS Saratoga) The USS Saratoga, is currently confronting a Japanese submarine in the waters between San Diego and Christmas Island in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Late yesterday afternoon, TBD Bombers from the Saratoga on routine anti-submarine watch reported an enemy submarine, then attacked the enemy boat and forced it to dive. Intelligence officials believe that the submarine did not get an opportunity to spot Saratoga. However, at the very least, the submarine would radio in the presence of a TBD Bomber, which means the presence of an American carrier.

Officials are giving some hope to the thought that the Japanese might think that this is the Lexington or Enterprise, relaxing their guard even more in advance of today's attack on Tarawa Attol.

As night fell, the Saratoga was forced to call in its airplanes with the knowledge that there was a Japanese submarine not far away that knew that an American aircraft carrier is near. Officials at fleet headquarters are awaiting word that the Saratoga has made it through the night safely and left the Japanese submarine behind.

Pearl Harbor Support Ships Prepare to Reach Carrier Force

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) Concernd that fuel and ammunition on board the American carrier force is getting low, Admiral Kimmel ordered preparations for a support force to sail out of Pearl Harbor tomorrow to resupply the task force if needed.

The support force has been ordered south, with instructions to meet the carrier force somewhere around Christmas Island. At the same time, the USS Saratoga - assuming it survives its encounter with a Japanese submarine - will be able to join the other two carriers.

Admiral Kimmel has also ordered tankers carrying fuel intended for Australia and New Zealand to turn towards Christmas Island as well. He ordered this as a precaution against the possibility that the oiler leaving Pearl Harbor is attacked, as a way of providing the carrier fleets another source of fuel if needed.

Kuching in Borneo Holds Off Japanese Assault

(Kuching - Borneo) Japanese forces landed at and attempted to take the Britis port of Kuching, on the northwestern coast of Borneo, yesterday, but failed to accomplish their objective.

Since news came that Japan was on the march, the forces at Kuching have been at work improving their defenses. Those defenses were able to keep the Japanese pinned to their landing zones and unable to move on the city.

However, shell bombardments and the persistent Japanese attacks have begun the work of systematically reducing those defenses. As of this writing, the British soldiers were falling back in some areas, attempting to secure a second line of defense.

Kuching will be the second port the Japanese have captured on the northern coast of Borneo. Once captured, these bases will allow the Japanese to extend their air power south and east over the rest of Borneo, and help to set up a blockade of the Philippines to prevent reinforcement.

To close the door on the Philippines, the Japanese also seem poised to attack the port of Davao on the southern Philippine island of Mandanao. With these islands in Japanese hands, the forces on the Philippine Islands themselves will find themselves virtually surrounded, with no chance of escape and little hope of relief.

Riots in Central Burma

(Mandalay - Burma) One British soldier and seven Burmese citizens were killed in violent anti-colonial demonstrations in Mandalay, Burma, yesterday.

The protesters, shouting pro-Japanese slogans, g athered at the station yesterday to protest the British imposition of martial law and stationing of troops at the station following the outbreak of hostilities against Japan.

As dusk fell, British soldiers began to enforce the kerfew they had placed on the city. The confrontation with the protestors grew increasingly violent. When the British soldiers began to arrest some of the demonstrators shooting broke out, leaving eight people dead and 21 injured.

British soldiers were still trying to restore calm to the city and had called reinforcements to help them to deal with the unrest.






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RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS AE: DECEMBER 12, 1941 - 4/8/2010 5:01:36 AM   
John 3rd


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Do like the approach for the AAR Sir.  Best wishes...


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THE THAYNE REPORTS - SPECIAL EDITION: THE TARAWA RAID - 4/10/2010 5:23:12 AM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS - SPECIAL EDITION: THE RAID ON TARAWA
DECEMBER 13, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

It started with what many have called - with what many still call - an act of cowardice.

When Japan launched its sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel ordered the carriers Lexington and Enterprise to stay away - to move south - and not to engage the Japanese. The order outraged many in the War Department and in the White House.

Then, two pieces of news came in that revealed an opportunity.

First, the Japanese carriers stayed at Pearl Harbor for two additional days, sinking a dozen more ships and destroying even more aircraft, while the American carriers moved further south.

Second, radio broadcasts from Makin Attol in the Gilbert Islands reported that the Japanese fleet was there and the Japanese were taking over the island. The radio transmission ended abruptly.

Kimmel called his staff into his office.

According to one senior official, Kimmel started his meeting by saying, "Look, if I know where the Japanese carriers are, then I also know where they are not, and they are not in the Gilbert Islands."

Kimmel ordered Lexington and Enterprise to turn west, to sail to the Gilbert Islands, and to sink the Japanese fleet that had taken Makin Attol.

The next day, intelligence officials in Hawaii received another broadcast, this time from the island of Tarawa, announcing that the Japanese were moving in onto that island, before that communication was lost. Kimmel had the information broadcast to Vice Admiral Halsey on Enterprise that this was where he would be able to find his fleet.

Kimmel was certain that they would be able to find the Japanese ships there. It would take a couple of days for the Japanese to set up a base and to haul off and store enough supplies to make the island defensible. It would take Halsey a couple of days to get his ships into possition.

Along the way, Halsey's task force picked up two additional heavy cruisers that were performing other duties in the South Pacific when Pearl Harbor was attacked. This brought his surface force up to eight cruisers and twelve destroyers.

While Halsey's navy sailed west, he made his plans for the attack. He reorganized his ships into a bombardment task force consisting of all eight heavy cruisers and six destroyers, and a carrier strike force with Lexington and Enterprise screened by the other six destroyers.

The carriers would strike first, softening up the enemy and getting a good look at what was there and sending that information back to the Cruisers. For all Halsey knew the Japanese were covering their invasions with a battleship task force, which the cruisers would have to prepare for. None of the ships had left Hawaii with any intention of attacking a Japanese held island, so they had no maps and no intelligence of any kind.

Then the cruisers would attackand destroy what was left. Other than defending themselves from hostile guns, the cruisers were ordered to focus first on sinking any transports they found, The overall objective of the mission was to deprive the Japanese of the means of occupying any more islands in the South Pacific.

As dawn approached, mother nature announced her intention to side with the Japanese on this day. Halsey's carrier scout planes could scarcely find Tarawa through the dense line of clouds and storms that sat over the top of the island.

With a deep sense of frustration, Halsey gave orders to delay the air attack and sent the cruisers in ahead of his carrier planes and without additional intelligence..

In the gray rain-swept ocean, the cruisers came upon a transport and a patrol boat. Captain F. Scanland, the captain of the bombardment task force, dispatched the cruisers Astoria and Salt Lake City with a destroyer squadron to take care of the enemy ships.

They announced their presence by landing a couple of shells on the Astoria. At that point, the Japanese patrol boat charged, deermined to force the attackers to deal with her. They did this soon as enough, then they went back to sinking the transport.

As the transport ship sank, observers on Astoria reported seeing literally hundreds of Japanese soldiers heading for lifeboats. It appears that the transport was being used to haul troops, who had been spending their day on board ship and out of the weather.

Over the course of the fight, Salt Lake City and Astoria discovered three more small transorts sitting in the waters just off of Tarawa, and turned them into burning wrecks as well. Then they turned their guns to the island itself, destroying its warf and any equipment and buildings they could see through the rain.

Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, Admiral Halsey was feeling the frustration of not being able to launch a carrier strike against the storm-covered island.

He was pacing anxiously across the bridge when he received reports that scout planes had discovered ships near the Japanese-held island of Makin, several miles to the north.

"How many miles?" Halsey asked.

"About two hundred and fourty," the sailor answered.

The number was less than the range of the dive bombers sitting on the decks of Enterprise and Lexington hoping for a break in the weather over Tarawa.

"Sink them," Halsey said. "(Unprintable), we came here to sink (unprintable) Japanese ships, so lets get them (unprintable) into the air and go sink those (unprintable)."

The bomber squadrons from Lexington and Enterprise, accompanied by the fighters from Enterprise, found the Japanese ships at Makin Island starting to pull up anchor and trying to get underway. Apparently, they had heard about the attack at Tarawa and were making an attempt to get as far away from the American carriers as possible.

However, they did not move fast enough.

American dive bombers put 1000-pound bombs in two transports, a patrol ship, and a minelaying cruiser.

They carrier planes returned to their carriers just before nightfall, too late to launch a second strike.

The score at the end of the day was one Japanese patrol craft and one troop-carrying transport definitely sunk. Three cargo ships, three small cargo ships, a patrol craft, and a minelaying cruiser all suffered extensive damage. The port facilities on Tarawa, such as they were, were destroyed. Japan also lost the supplies and the soldiers that were on those boats - supplies and soldiers that were obviously destined to expand the Japanese empire to the southeast.

After the battle, Halsey sent a message to those who were serving in his task force. "Well, we taught those (unprintable) what happens when they stick their nose where it doesn't belong. They're libel to get it punched."

Halsey recommended that the fleet edge on up closer to Makin Island during the night and finish the job there come morning. While several military leaders pointed out that any Japanese worth destroying would have pulled out by morning, and there was no use to stir the rubble with another round of bombs just to stir the rubble, Halsey won the day and was given another day to try to do more damage to the Japanese spearhead into the Gilbert Islands.

"I would rather attack and discover that there is nothing worth killing than not attack and discover, after the war, that an attack now would have made all the difference," Halsey said.

Later, when a sailor asked when the Enterprise would be going home, Halsey said, "When we run out of bombs or we run out of Japs, whichever comes first."

Late in the day, Admiral Kimmel's office released a statement exclusively to The Thayne Report.

"We did not know what the Japanese planned to do with that equipment. However, what we do know is that they are going to have to find some different equipment to do the job."




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< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/10/2010 5:24:02 AM >

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THE THAYNE REPORTS - December 14, 1941 - 4/10/2010 9:24:45 PM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS - SPECIAL EDITION: THE RAID ON TARAWA
DECEMBER 14, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

Halsey Raid Claims Japanese Cruiser

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) Vice Admiral William Halsey's raid on the Gilbert Islands struck Makin Island yesterday.

Again, Halsey used a cruiser bombardment force for close-in work, while his carriers stayed a step away from the island for an air attack.

With reconnaissance photos from the previous day at hand, the cruiser force went in first. It reached Makin in the early hours, where it encountered and sank a Japanese cruiser and a patrol boat. Apparently, the two combat ships were standing guard over a pair of transports that was trying to get supplies onto the island. The cruiser and the patrol boat launched a frenzied attack against the American cruisers. They were quickly sunk, but the force of their attack gave the two transports time to get away.

With ammunition and fuel stores starting to run low, Halsey ordered his task force to withdraw. A refueling ship has been dispatched to meet with Halsey's task force, and ammunition and support ships have been sent to Christmas Island to rearm the ships.


Hong Kong Occupied

(Hong Kong - China) Japanese forces immediately went to work turning Hong Kong into a useful Japanese port after they took the city in fighting on Friday, December 12th.

After only five days of fighting, the British and Canadian defenders of the British colony gave up the town to the attackers. The Japanese had the island city surrounded before the start of the war and continued to enjoy control of the air. The Japanese army accompanied their drive on Hong Kong with an offensive to keep the Chinese army, elements of which were just a few tens of miles away from Hong Kong, from reaching the besieged city.

After capturing the town, Japan's first order of business was to occupy all government buildings and to take over the administration of the city. They set up prisoner of war camps for the surviving British and Canadian soldiers, as well as for civilians who worked as leaders in the Hong Kong government. They then imposed martial law the city and took immediate possession of many of the factories and businesses in the city.

They immediately set engineers to work repairing the docks, which the British soldiers had demolished as best they could before surrendering to the Japanese. Hong Kong will clearly become an important port for Japan to use in extending its control over the South China sea and beyond.

Allied intelligence officials are now looking at where Japan might decide to use the forces that it used to take the city. Possibilities include reinforcing the attacks against Malaya or the Philippines, beginning a new offensive against China, or opening up a new theater of operation such as Burma.

Miscommunication Proves Fatal Off of San Diego

(San Diego) A miscommunication among task forces on the west coast of the United States cost several American soldiers their lives yesterday.

Task Force 83 was told to embark the 101st USN Base Forst and First US Amphibious Corps headquards for transport to Christmas Island. At the same time, Task Force 127, consisting of 5 destroyers, was ordered to San Diego to escort TF83 once it was done loading.

Efficient longshoremen in San Diego had the transports loaded faster than expected. The task force captain decided to leave immediately after the ships were loaded.

This nearly proved disastrous as the unescorted transport ships encountered three Japanese submarines in the waters off of San Diego.

Fortunately, two of the Japanese submarines missed their target. Furthermore, AVD Ballard, on an independent anti-submarine patrol of the waters near San Clemente Island, was able to immediately catch up to TF83 and take action against the submarine. Ballard drove off two of the three submarines. However, the third submarine hit the transport Lurline with one torpedo, causing moderate damage and killing four people.

A review of the orders given to TF83 show that it was, in fact, ordered to leave port and to sail to Christmas Island "as soon as you have finished loading."

The damage to Lurline proved to be minor. The task force was not required to slow down as it continued to Christmas Island.

Now that it is in the open waters, TF83 is considered relatively safe. It has been ordered to continue on to Christmas Island. Meanwhile, TF127 has been reassigned to the task of guarding a transport convoy that will be delivering American troops to Samoa.

Australians Occupy Timor

(Darwin - Australia) Australian forces reached Timor last yesterday and began preparations to garrison the island.

The Australians hope to use Timor as a shield to help defend the port of Darwin.

In addition to troops and supplies from Darwin itself, the Dutch are making contributions of food and supplies out of Java. A supply ship reached western Timor at the same time that the Australian army (carrying its own surprise) reached eastern Timor and began unloading the food and materials needed for a long siege.

Two seaplane tenders also reached Timor. They were stationed on opposite ends of the island so that they could search for approaching Japanese forces if the time ever came to watch for a Japanese attack from that direction.






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THE THAYNE REPORTS - December 15, 1941 - 4/11/2010 2:13:25 PM   
Thayne

 

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Halsey Strikes Makin Island Again

Allegations of Violating Orders Follow 3rd Day of Attacks

Some people are calling it a blatant violation of a direct order.

Others are calling it a simple misunderstanding.

Admiral Halsey, commanding the USS Lexington and Enterprise in a raid on the Gilbert Islands, remained on station for a third day, launching two more strikes against the island of Makin. This came as a surprise to officials at Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Pearl Harbor, who had thought that Halsey had been told to head east for refueling and rearming.

Halsey expressed outrage at the accusation that he violated a direct order. According to a member of Halsey's staff who asked not to be identified, Halsey believes he was given freedom to use his discretion to destroy targets of opportunity as they presented themselves.

"The Admiral simply saw Makin as a target of opportunity," this officer reported.

Admiral Kimmel at Pearl Harbor downplayed any controversy. Accordimg a statement that Kimmel released exclusively to the Thayne Report, "I expect officers in the field to make use of the best information available to do what damage they can to the enemy, and I will not second guess their decisions."

The payoff for another day in the Gilbert Islands was another Japanese transport sunk and an additional day of bombing the soldiers that had moved onto the island.

This time, the American strike force was met with three Japanese Zero fighters. The American forces shot down one of the Zeros and drove the other two off, but lost three F2A fighter planes from Lexington's fighter squadron in the fight.

At last report, the carrier force was now heading east to refuel and rearm.


Patrol Craft Bombs Jap Carrier: Uncomfirmed Report

The War Department is trying to track down a story out of the Philippines from two days ago that a scout plane flying over Davao in the southern part of that island chain struck a Japanese carrier while out on a routine patrol.

The information was found buried in the middle of a standard naval intelligence report used to summarize the results of the previous day's events. A single line of that in the middle of that report said:

a Japanese CV is reported HIT

The line was buried in information mostly pertaining to VP-101 operating out of Manilla. However, that squadron has assignment to track Japanese shipping north and west of Luzon, and would have no reason to fly south.

Instead, Davao falls under the umbrella of the 9th Observation Squadron operating out of Cebu in the central Philippines. However, their small, slow, planes with fixed landing gear are considered unlikely candidates for having struck a Japanese carrier.

War department officials have written to officers of both groups asking for more information on this event. By tracing the source of the report, they have learned that the carrier in question was in or near the southern Philippine port city of Davao. However, they have so far learned nothing else about the incident.

Until they learn more, many intelligence officials are skeptical that the report is accurate. They reported that they will withhold judgment and assume that the carrier is still fully functional. However, they say they are very much interested in speaking to the pilot and getting a full report.


19th Bomber Group Begins Reassignment to India

With the Japanese delivering blow after blow to the air bases in the Philippines, plans have been made to transfer the heavy bombers operating off of that island to the far east to aid in the defense of Burma and India.

Army Air Force officials have reported that, from a base such as Rangoon, the B-17 bombers would be able to strike every port in French Indo-China, potentially isolating the sub-continent from supplies and reinforcements.

One problem, however, would be in getting supplies and replacement aircraft to such a remote front.

Orders are that the elements of the 19th Bomber Group will continue to operate out of the Philippines as long as they can. However, the 28th Bomber Squadron, a member of that bomber group, had lost almost all of its bombers and was effectively out of the war. They took their last two planes out of the Philippines, as well as several important passengers, to Calcutta to make arrangements to relocate the rest of the group.






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RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS - December 15, 1941 - 4/11/2010 8:08:27 PM   
cantona2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Thayne

Halsey Strikes Makin Island Again



a Japanese CV is reported HIT

The line was buried in information mostly pertaining to VP-101 operating out of Manilla. However, that squadron has assignment to track Japanese shipping north and west of Luzon, and would have no reason to fly south.

Instead, Davao falls under the umbrella of the 9th Observation Squadron operating out of Cebu in the central Philippines. However, their small, slow, planes with fixed landing gear are considered unlikely candidates for having struck a Japanese carrier.

War department officials have written to officers of both groups asking for more information on this event. By tracing the source of the report, they have learned that the carrier in question was in or near the southern Philippine port city of Davao. However, they have so far learned nothing else about the incident.

Until they learn more, many intelligence officials are skeptical that the report is accurate. They reported that they will withhold judgment and assume that the carrier is still fully functional. However, they say they are very much interested in speaking to the pilot and getting a full report.



A nice way of putting FOW.

Loving this style, and following this AAR, PBEM or AI game?


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THE THAYNE REPORTS - December 16, 1941 - 4/14/2010 5:04:44 AM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 16, 1941

Kimmel Convenes Convy Committee

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

News of Japanese surface raiders in the South Pacific has prompted Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander of the Pacific Fleet, to form a task group to discuss convoy security.

Early yesterday morning, Pacific Headquarters received news from the captain of a tanker Gulfdawn far in the South Pacific that it was being attacked by a pair of Japanese surface raiders. Gulfdawn was returning to Los Angeles when the two Japanese surface raiders spotted it. It reported that it was being attacked, gave its coordinates, then announced that its crew was abandoning ship.

The news spread worries that a similar fate might come to other ships sailing the supply route.

The job of heading the discussion is assigned to Captain O.H. Hedrick, whose battleship Nevada was undergoing repairs of damage it suffered in the Pearl Harbor attack last week. He summoned merchant ship captains, destroyer captains, and even pilots into his office to discusss the issue.

According to sources that attended the meeting, the discussion degenerated into a shouting match between two factions.

One faction, headed by Hedrick himself, advocaed a convoy system much like the one being used in the Atlantic to ship supplies to England.

However, another faction, headed by the Pearl Harbor air defense commander Frederick Martin, argued that the Atlantic tactics would be disasterous in the Pacific. According to our sources, Martin protested that a big fat convoy is exactly what a pack of Japanese surface raiders, or even a Japanese carrier task force, would love to see.

Since the sinking of the German battleship Bismark, Germany has not had the capacity to attack Atlantic convoys with anything but submarines. Consequently, in the Atlantic, it made sense to use tactics that focused exclusively on defense from submarines. Yesterday's attack on a tanker by surface raiders shows that Japan, for the time being, has other options.

According to Hedrick, if we spread out our convoys, we may lose a ship to surface raiders or a carrier force, but that one ship can tell us right where the enemy is. It can warn other transports to stay away while it tells the navy where to go to find and destroy the raiders without losing a whole convoy.

The pro-convoy faction countered that there would be no ship in the South Pacific to warn others of surface raiders because the Japanese submarines will sink them as they go in and out of port.

By evening, the attendees had agreed to a hybrid system for handling convoy security.

Anti-submarine task forces will escort the convoy out to a disance of 600 to 800 nautical miles from port, through the enemy submarines that are lurking around allied ports. Once at sea, the escorts will return home, and the transports will scatter to make their way to their distant ports as best they can. Slower ships with less endurance will be given less valuable supplies and told to take a more direct route. Larger ships with more endurance will be given the most valuable cargo and told to take a wide arch further south than the smaller transports.

The smaller transports will be ordered to keep their radios manned 24 hours each day and to radio the instant they spot enemy ships or planes.

In addition, Kimmel ordered two air-search squadrons into the South Pacific to aid in the detection of enemy surface raiders, and a task force will be organized to respond to sightings.

Transport ships returning to the United States will gather at an assembly points approximately 800 miles from the American shore. There, they will be picked up by an escort squadron that will lead them through the Japanese submaines to an American port, where the ships will be loaded and be ready to start the cycle again.



< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/14/2010 4:49:19 PM >

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: DECEMBER 16, 1941 - 4/17/2010 3:06:28 PM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 17, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

Americans Reinforce Pacific Line

(San Diego) On both ends of America's Pacific Coast, servicemen are preparing to embark on a mission to deprive the enemy of key strategic assets.

In Seattle, the soldiers of the 206th Coastal Anti-Aircraft Service have said good-bye to their friends and family. They have reported to their barracks and will be up well before dawn to pack their gear and to board a ship that will take them to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Dutch Harbor sits on the Alleutian Islands chain - a set of islands that could provide a convenient set of stepping stones from the coast of North America to Japan, or from Japan to North America. The 206th Coastal Anti-Aircraft Service will be used to reinforce a garrison that puts a roadblock on this possible road to North America.

And in San Diego, the 8th Marine Regiment and the 2nd Marine Defense Battalion (Artillery) will be loading up tomorrow to sail to American Samoa. These islands represent a second path that the Americans are determined to defend - the path that unites America with Australia across a vast ocean. Samoa represents just one link in a chain of islands that the allies plan to use as bases for protecting these islands. That link starts at Christmas Island, then continues through Samoa, Fiji, and New Caledonia, before crossing another expanse of empty ocean to Australia. American forces are already on their way to Christmas Island, and New Zealand is sending reinforcements to New Caledonia. Samoa was reinforced by American units that left before the war even started. Now, Samoa will be getting its own reinforcements.


What's Next?

(Pearl Harbor) As final preparations get under way to occupy American Samoa, Admiral Kimmel is left to ponder the question, "What's next?"

His advisors are split.

There are those who think that the next operation should take place closer to the American side of the line. They argue for a mission to occupy Canton Island, east of Christmas Island, to make sure that the Americans at least keep a toe-hold on the islands in the Pacific.

Others argue for a commitment to occupy the islands of New Hebrides. These islands sit between Fiji and New Caledonia, and they promise to provide excellent ports to the navies of whatever nation moves to occupy them.

According to sources, Kimmel seems to be leaning towards the idea of occupying New Hebrides. He has sent letters to Roosevelt asking him to obtain a commitment of Australian troops, while he has asked his own Marine Corps officers to identify units to garrison these islands.

Still, New Hebrides is far out into the Pacific. There are those who say that if Kimmel reaches too far out, he may find a Samari sword coming down to cut his hand off at the wrist. Others scoff at the idea that Japan could hold a line so far away from its homeland and suggest that the purpose of holding these islands is to provide a shield against Japanese raiders attacking the supply lines further south.


Convoy System Activated

(San Francisco) In San Francisco and San Diego, cargo ships like those that were sailing individually out of these ports for the first week of the war, assemble and await escort from the port to the deep ocean.

The move became necessary as a result of Japanese submarines off of the coast that have sunk a number of transports and so far eluded both airplanes and ships sent to find and sink them.

Task Force 127 has 12 cargo ships ready to make the move to Japan. Several of these ships hold the men and planes of the 7th Bomber Group, destined for Australia. Anti-submarine ships will escort the cargo ships to a point in the South Pacific, where the ships will then scatter to each make their own way to Australia. Cargo ships carrying the 7th Bomber Group will go south, while slower and smaller cargo ships take a more northerly and more direct route to Australia.

This is a significant difference in the course of a week. A little over a week ago, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, a single war-supplied cargo ship left San Francisco to Pearl Harbor. That ship is due to reach Pearl Harbor tomorrow.




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THE THAYNE REPORTS: December 18, 1941 - 4/18/2010 12:48:21 PM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 18, 1941

Special Report: Confrontation in New Caledonia

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

Japan Strikes New Caledonia

(Aukland - New Zealand) A Japanese task force showed up off of the coast of Noumea at New Caledonia late yesterday and fired on the forces defending the island. Conflicting reports state that the Japanese were attempting a landing, but also that they had not landed.

Thayne News is still sorting through conflicting broadcasts from the island of New Caledonia. Allied radio operators have been unable to maintain clear communication with the units that are defending the island and have only received a few reports.

One report states that the Japanese were attempting to land near Noumea and that defensive batteries have "probably hit" a Japanese destroyer transport that was approaching the shore. It was also reported that a Japanese minelaying cruiser was spotted a couple of miles off shore.

However, when asked directly to confirm that Japanese were landing on the island, military officials received the response, "No. There are no Japanese on the island at this time."


Allied Reinforcements Near Noumea

(Aukland - New Zealand) At the time The Thayne Report went to press, an allied relief task force that included four cruisers was 400 nautical miles away from Noumea.

Ironically, as a result of news reports of Japanese surface raiders attacking convoys deep in the south Pacific, Kimmel ordered that the reinforcements going to Noumea include whatever combat ships were in the area. As a result, the heavy cruiser Pensacola, the light cruisers Achilles and Leander, and the destroyer Les Triomphant merged with the task force sending reinforcements to Noumea.

With reports of a Japanese landing force at the island, these ships have been sent ahead with orders to disrupt the Japanese landings. Meanwhile, the New Zealand reinforcements have been told to hold back pending a resolution of the current battle.

If the Japanese take Noumea, it will seriously disrupt the ability to send supplies to Australia. Japan will be able to use the base to force allied ships to take a far southerly route to Australia. At the same time, they will be able to send raiders into those distant routs in areas where the allies cannot provide any air cover.

Secretly, some allied officers have said that they hope that Japan does sever the route to Australia. "It will allow the Americans to fight much closer to home where our supply lines are shorter," said one senior staff member who asked not to be named.


American Carriers Assemble at Palmyra

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) After a successful raid of the Gilbert islands, the American carriers Enterprise and Lexington are posed to meet Saratoga at the island of Palmyra tomorrow. Admiral Kimmel had also dispatched some support ships Palmyra who will be able to meet the three carriers and their escorts with some food, fuel, and ammunition.

Debate at Pacific Headquarters is raging as to whether to send the American carriers to Noumea to contest the landings. Many members of Kimmel's staff reported favoring an immediate and strong response with three carriers that are already 'nearby'.

Those opposed say that it will take several days for the American carriers to show up, and that this will be more than enough time for the Japanese to set up a trap that could potentially include Japanese carriers. They also point out that the allies are currently blind in that part of the Pacific, allowing the Japanese to move around without being seen. "We know this by the fact that the task force showed up at Noumea without anybody spotting it," one officer said.

Those in favor of a carrier response argue that the Japanese seem to have left little room for error. If the cruisers can sufficiently disrupt the landings, the Japanese may hold the island with a force that would be too weak to keap it if the allies could react before the Japanese could land reinforcements arrived.

Kimmel ordered the carrier force to continue their plans to meet and refuel to the best of their ability at Palmyra. Kimmel is reported to have said, "It will take a day to get the carriers refueled. By then, we should have a better idea what is going on."

Australian Reinforcements Assemble at Sydney

(Sydney - Australia) The Australians are on the very last phase of assembling soldiers who were going to occupy the island of Espiritu Santo, northeast of Noumea near New Caledonia. The troops assigned to the mission, the transport ships to carry them, and a fleet of anti-submarine and surface ships to guard them, have been gathering at Sydney since the first days of the war.

The Thayne Report was preparing to include an article in tomorrow's newsletter about the action as the forces started to load onto their transports.

Allied forces are looking at how to use these forces in a response to the Japanese attack at New Caledonia. Options now range from continuing the current mission, to merging with the New Zealand units to reinforce or retake Noumea, to occupying a couple of small islands between New Zealand and Australia.






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RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS: December 18, 1941 - 4/18/2010 12:57:43 PM   
Nessaja


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Hurray

Thayne is back!!!!!

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Post #: 16
THE THAYNE REPORTS: December 19, 1941 - 4/21/2010 4:52:33 AM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 19, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.


Japs at New Caledonia Vanish into Darkness

(Auckland - New Zealand) The Japanese force that sailed up to Noumea late yesterday and threatened to land soldiers on its beaches vanished as quickly as it appeared just after sunset yesterday evening.

The Japanese feint startled local residents and sent Pacific Headquarters into a frenzy as news circulated that the Japanese were moving to capture the Pacific Island. Admiral Kimmel ordered a cruiser squadron that was escorting reinforcments to the island to rish ahead in the hopes of confronting the invaders. However, when the cruisers arrived, there were no Japanese ships to be found.

Kimmel said it would be 'premature' to suggest that the shore defenses frightened the Japanese away. Rather, he speculated that the Japanese were out to disrupt Allied plans by sewing worry among the allies as to where the Japanese might show up next.

The cruiser was ordered to leave Noumea and rejoin the task force that was bringing the 7th New Zealand regiment to New Caledonia as defense against a genuine Japanese attack.


Admiral Cole Reaches Pearl Harbor

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) The cargo ship Admiral Cole became the first cargo ship to reach Pearl Harbor since the Japanese attacks nearly two weeks ago. The first cargo off of its decks were airplanes sent to replace those that the Japanese destroyed on the day of their infamous attack.

On Ford Island, mechanics receive delivery of five crated PBY-5 Catalina float planes. The crews prepare to work the night to get the airplanes put together and ready to fly. Once the work is done and the planes are certified as flight-worthy, pilots will fly them out to the air reconnaisance squadrons that are searching the waters around Hawaii for signs of the Japanese fleet.

Midway Island, for to the northwest, Johnson Island, and Palmyra, Canton, and Penrhyn far to the south, will each get one of the replacement airplanes. Together, they will be put to work trying to find signs of the Japanese raiders that have been infiltrating allied shipping lanes, and provide advance warning against Japanese attempts at expansion further into the South Pacific.

Over at Wheeler Field, the 18th Pursuit Group receives delivery of seven P-40 fighters. They are hauled into one of the few remaining hangers, where the boxes are set down on the concrete floor. Over the course of the next 24 hours, each crate will become a fully functioning fighter plane ready to defend Hawaii if the Japanese should ever decide to return.

Two hangers further down, the 17th Pursuit Squadron receives twelve new P-26A fighters. These fighters are obsolete and a poor choice to put up against a Japanese Zero. However, they are good for training. The 17th Pursuit Squadron is quickly named the group's training squadron. Its commanding officer, Captain Charlie Campbell, puts together a training program that will teach those Hawaiian pilots thought to be in need of further training how to fight against the Japanese.

The pilots at VMF-211 are saddened to hear that they will have to say goodbye to the F4F Wildcats they have been flying and receive some F2A Buffalos instead. The Wildcats will be fit for carrier duty, and may be put on the carrier <i>Lexington</i> when it arrives at Pearl Harbor in about a week. It's Buffalo fighters are poor choice for defending an aircraft carrier.

VMF-211 does not even get a chance to unpack their new airplanes. The crates are loaded right back on to <i>Admiral Cole</i> for a quick trip to Christmas Island. VMF-211, along with VMSB-232 are heading south. They should arrive at Christmas Island at about the same time as the transports arrive that is bringing the island's garrison.


Kimmel Orders Midway Rinforcement

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) Admiral Kimmel signed orders last night for the 34th Combat Engineering Regiment to prepare to move to Midway Island as soon as transportation can be arranged.

Midway Island is a small pair of islands far to the northwest of Pearl Harbor. It is too small to hold a large body of troops, so Kimmel is planning on occupying the island with troops that can perform multiple duties. The 34th Combat Engineer Regiment not only knows how to build good fortifications, they know how to use them.

Kimmel will use the carrier <i>Lexington</i> when it arrives to cover the movement of these troops as they work to reinforce this vital outpost.






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RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS: December 19, 1941 - 4/21/2010 12:31:53 PM   
Grit


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Thayne

THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 19, 1941



Kimmel Orders Midway Rinforcement

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) Admiral Kimmel signed orders last night for the 34th Combat Engineering Regiment to prepare to move to Midway Island as soon as transportation can be arranged.

Midway Island is a small pair of islands far to the northwest of Pearl Harbor. It is too small to hold a large body of troops, so Kimmel is planning on occupying the island with troops that can perform multiple duties. The 34th Combat Engineer Regiment not only knows how to build good fortifications, they know how to use them.

Kimmel will use the carrier <i>Lexington</i> when it arrives to cover the movement of these troops as they work to reinforce this vital outpost.







I need to talk to Admiral Kimmel about this exact issue. So far I don't think he's been very impressed with many of my decisions. We'll see what happens.

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RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS: December 19, 1941 - 4/21/2010 11:08:14 PM   
warrenup

 

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Nice to see Thayne back for AE!

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Post #: 19
THE THAYNE REPORTS: Dec. 20, 1941 - 4/23/2010 12:49:35 PM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 20, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.


Wake and Guam Must Be Sacrificed Says Kimmel

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) The Office of the Admiral of the Pacific Fleet issued a statement today that no attempt will be made to rescue the besieged garrisons of Wake or Guam.

"We must consider the possibility that the Japanese are using these bases as bait," said Kimmel. "The reason they have not taken these islands is because they are waiting for the surviving remnants of the Pacific Fleet to show up so that they can destroy it."

The Americans on Wake Island have been fending off a Japanese invasion of the islands since the war began. The Japanese showed up shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack to land an invasion force on the island. The invasion force succeeded in occupying some of the islands of the Wake attol, though the main island remains in American control.

According to our most recent communications from Wake, the Marines there are almost completely without food or ammunition, and their air force has been grounded by lack of aviation fuel. They have endured almost daily bombing and shelling from Japanese soldiers who have occupied the other islands that make up Wake. Yet, the Marines were able to hold off yet another Japanee assault just yesterday.

Turning his attention to Guam, Kimmel announced the possibility that the Japanese are using the Americans trapped on that island for bombing practice.

"We have been asking ourselves why the Japanese have made no attempt to land on the island," Kimmel said. "Given the intensity of the bombing it has endured, our working theory is that the Japanese are using the island as target practice to train their pilots in bombing ground targets."

Following the official statement, Admiral Kimmel spoke private with a representative of The Thayne Report. He conceded that the political pressure to rescue the soldiers on Wake is tremendous. "This could cost me my job," Kimmel said. "The Japanese know this. This is why, if I were a Japanese admiral, I would put my carriers near Wake Island and prepare to destroy the rescue party when it arrives. They know that if I were the type of person who tought of my carrerr and public image first and my country second, I would order the Pacific Fleet into that trap."


Carrier Force Split

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) Admiral Kimmel sent orders to the three carrier task forces at Palmyra Island south of Pearl Harbor yesterday ordering the carrier force to split up.

Lexington was ordered to escort the heavy cruisers back to Pearl Harbor to rearm. There, Lexington is to upgrade its fighter squadron to the more modern Wildcat F4F fighters. Following rearmament, Lexington will escort reinforcements to Midway Island.

Saratoga was ordered back to meet with the ships carrying the garrison for Christmas Island, Its duty through the next couple of weeks will be to see to the that the units headed to Christmas Island arrive safely and can begin to build a major supply base there.

Enterprise was ordered to sail south to patrol the waters around Samoa and to hunt for the Japanese raiders once seen in the area. They are to secure this area in advance of transport ships carrying reinforcements for Samoa, as well as cargo ships sailing through on their way to Australia and New Zealand.

According to members of the Admiral's staff who asked not to be identified, Kimmel has given two reasons for splitting up the carriers. The first is to make sure that all three carriers are not destroyed in a single ambush. The second is to make it difficult for the Japanese to make further advances in the absence of substantial support, which would at least slow the Japanese down.


Allied Navy Prepares to Challenge Japan near Java

(Darwin - Java) Two Allied task forces have been assembled near Java to challenge the Japanese advance in this sector.

They allied fleet in the region has been organized into two combat task forces. TF202 consists of 20 ships including 4 light cruisers built around the heavy cruiser Houston, while TF646 consists of 15 ships with 5 light cruisers built around the battle cruiser Repulse.

Since the start of the war, the Allies have seen to the successful evacuation of merchant and civilian ships from the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines.

The last of those ships are now on their way, many of them loaded with whatever resources, including oil, that they had an opportunity to collect. Now that they are safely gone, the combat and support ships are preparing to deal with the Japanese threat more directly.

Currently, they are looking for their next target. They plan to show up in force at the next Japanese landing and, hopefully, destroy the landing force while it is most vulnerable.




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< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/23/2010 1:35:55 PM >

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RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS: Dec. 20, 1941 - 4/23/2010 1:45:28 PM   
Grit


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There are rumors at Pearl that Admiral Kimmel's days are numbered.

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: Dec. 21, 1941 - 4/24/2010 9:45:58 PM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 21, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.


Cruiser Helena Destroyed in Harbor Accident

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) The Light Cruiser Helena became the lastest fatality in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when it blew up during repairs yesterday evening.

Twenty-three people died and 12 were injured as a result of the explosion.

When the explosion occurred, the entire base instantly went on alert. Destroyers began combing the harbor for signs of a Japanese midget submarine like the one found beached near Iroquis Point on the enterance to the harbor yesterday afternoon.

The 15th and 18th Pursuit Groups also went on alert, launching their combat air patrol, while the bombers of the 5th Bomber Group prepared to meet any renewed Japanese attack.

Officials later decided that an unexploded bomb dropped during the attack two weeks ago detonated under the ship. Another suggestion is that crew members who were removing ammunition from rooms that repair crews had recently gained access to had a fatal accident.

The loss came as a particularly hard blow to a people who had too little time to bury too many friends and family killed when the Japanese attacked less than two weeks ago.

The loss of Helena brings to 59 the number of ships that the Allies have lost since the war began. In addition to the battleships Oklahoma and Arizona, and the cruisers New Orleans and now Helena, the allies have lost 11 destroyers - 7 of which were specially outfitted for laying or sweeping mine fields, 20 cargo ships, and 24 smaller craft.

Allied intelligence has recorded the sinking of 20 Japanese ships, including 1 light cruiser and 8 cargo ships. The remaining Japanese casualties were support ships that American bombers had destroyed while attacking Japanese occupied ports.


Garrisons Ordered to Canton Island, New Hebredes in S. Pacific

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) Fifteen thousand American soldiers in San Diego yesterday were told that they are to report to their barracks and be prepared to ship out on December 24th.

The soldiers were not told where they are going. However, Thayne Reports has been told that the soldiers will occupy Canton Island and an island called Tanna in the New Hebredes chain. The New Hebredes chain is a string of islands west of Fiji and east of New Caledonia.

Faced with making a choice between occupying one of these key locations or the other with available forces, Admiral Kimmel lobbied for and received permission to add elements of the 2nd Marine Division to the troops he had avaialble for these missions.

With the extra troops avaialable, Kimmel signed orders for the 161st Infantry Regiment to occupy Canton Island, backed up by the 198th Artillery Battalion.

At the same time, the 2nd Marine Regiment and 2nd USMC Parachute Battalion, supported by the 56th Coastal Artillery Regiment and 95th Coastal Anti-Aircraft Regiment have been ordered to the island of Tanna.

The Marines have been told to prepare their mission under the assumption that the enemy holds Tanna and that they will be landing under hostile fire. If it turns out that Tanna has not been occupied, the maneuver will still count as good training for an actual invasion of an enemy held stronghold when the time comes.


Allies Obtain Revenge in Air War

(Washington DC) Allied intelligence is reporting that the allied air forces have obtained measure of revenge for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

According to official counts, the Japanese have lost as many planes as the Allies since the war began. This is in spite of the significant damage that the Japanese did to the Allied air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at the start of the war.

Officially, both sides have now lost just over 400 airplanes.

In what officials at the War Department said is a particularly hopeful trend, the Japanese have lost half again as many airplanes under circumstances where the pilot too is likely to have been lost. This consists of Japanese airplanes destroyed in air-to-air combat or by flak over American airbases.

Japan has lost 225 airplanes to hostile fire, while the Allies have lost just under 150 airplanes. Most of the Allied losses were over friendly airfields where the pilot who bails out is more likely to find himself among friends and be ready to fly again the next day.

However, even with these odds, War Department officials have stated that Japan is winning the air war. One War Department official stated, "Japan has so many airplanes that they can simply overwhelm our defenses and shut down our airfields."

The War Department told Thayne Reports that the American Volunteer Group working in China was all but wiped out in three days of aerial combat. "Once the Japanese found out where they were, they sent wave after wave of bombers and fighters against the base. They simply swept the American fighters from the air then obliterated the air bases."

Yesterday, Clark Air Force Base faced 5 separate air attacks. The first two attacks, escorted by nearly 50 Oscar and Zero fighters, overwhelmed the American defenders. Then the Bombers destroyed the airfields and everything around them. The last three waves of Japanese bombers struck the base without any serious opposition.

These tactics, combined with the amount of time it is taking to get new airplanes to the front line, means that the allied air forces are almost to a point where they do not exist, at least in those regions where there is actual fighting.





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THE THAYNE REPORTS: Dec. 22, 1941 - 4/26/2010 12:09:56 AM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 22, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

HMS Repulse Sunk, 3 Cruisers badly damaged at Naval Battle at Ternate

(Syrabaya - Dutch East Indies) - A small island in the Dutch East Indies, south of the southern most part of the Philippine Islands, became the scene of a historic naval battle and the final resting place for the British battle cruiser Repulse.

The name of this place is Ternate. It is a port town on one of two islands, each about 8 miles in diameter, separated by 1.5 miles of ocean. Three days ago, the Japanese had landed and taken the port town on Ternate almost without a fight. The meager gerrison there was no match for the Japanese army that set foot on its shores.

There was an allied seaplane tender using the island at the time. The tender managed to get under steam and get away without battling the Japanese invaders, and safely moved south.

Over the last two weeks, the American, British, Dutch, and Australian ships from around the region had all come together to form two battle fleets. One of these battle fleets contained 15 ships. Thayne Reports has received conflicting nature as to the composition of this force, but now believe it consisted of the battle cruiser Repulse, five light cruisers, and 9 destroyers.

Repulse was to lead its ships around the left side of the island of Tidore. It would make the dangerous journey through the narrow channel and attack any Japanese ships it came across.

Meanwhile, Houston would lead its attack force around the right side of Tidore and attack the enemy task force from the east.

The night was as dark as any night could be, with the new moon far below the horizon and only the stars providing any light.

The crew of Repulse were surprised to discover that a Japanese battleship blocked the narrow channel. There had been no report of a Japanese battleship in the area previously, though perhaps one should have been expected.

The first ship that the Japanese focused on was the allied cruiser Dragon. It sent three shells into Dragon while it came under fire by the rest of the Allied fleet. The crew of the Japanese battleship soon came to know that Repulse, with its fifteen inch guns, was the larger threat.

The greatest disappointment to allied leaders in the battle was that, even with nine allied destroyers involved in the battle, none of them could manage to put a torpedo into the Japanese battleship. That little bit of help would have had a significant impact on the battle. They managed to hit one of the Japanese destroyers, perhaps maneuvering to sacrifice itself for the Battleship. It blew up and sank. However, the battleship escaped any torpedo shot at it.

When the Japanese battleship turned its guns on Repulse, it took a few rounds to get the range. All the while shells kept hitting the Battleship. However, once Repulse had been sighted in the Japanese battleship fired shell after shell into the battlecruiser. Repulse fired back. However, the battleship scored the most hits and had the bigger guns.

With Repulse near to sinking and two allied cruisers now suffering significant damage, the allies called off of the attack.

A last shot from the Japanese battleship sent one of its big shells into a third light cruisers. Danae took only one hit, but the shell passed nearly clean through the cruiser and exploded below the water line.

Nearly thirty minutes after the Repulse task force retreated, Houston with its escort showed up on the other side of the straight. They found a different reception - a Japanese cargo ship making a hasty retreat escorted by two patrol boats. Houston with its escort opened fire.

This battle was no contest. The cruiser and its company made short work of the small escort craft, then turned their guns on the cargo ship.

Only this ship was not carrying just cargo. It was carrying troops.

Whether they were coming or going was anybody's guess. The Houston task force did not stop firing until the Japanese transport disappeared under the waves.

The effect of the battle was that the Allies had severely damaged a Japanese battleship while sinking a destroyer, two patrol boats, and a transport ship loaded with soldiers and equipment. But they lost a battle cruiser, and three light cruisers have been taken out of the war for a very long time. The cruisers are currently trying to get back to a safe port where they can repiar. Even this is doubtful.

That Japanese battleship will probably be out of the war for a while. It will not be shelling allied positions or protecting Japanese convoys from any further raids. At the same time, the Allies lost a significant portion of the force they had available for making those raids.

Military experts are scoring this as a Japanese victory. But it is not a lob-sided Japanese victory of the type they had earned elsewhere. Their victory came at a cost. With luck, those costs will start to climb over time.




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< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/26/2010 12:28:33 AM >

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RE: THE THAYNE REPORTS: Dec. 22, 1941 - 4/26/2010 12:23:57 AM   
Thayne

 

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Duplicate post. Can't find a delete button.

< Message edited by Thayne -- 4/26/2010 12:27:00 AM >

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TTR - Dec. 23, 1941: Admiral Kimmel Relieved of Command - 4/29/2010 5:13:02 AM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 8, 1941

Wake Island Falls: Nimitz Replaces Kimmel as CINCPAC

(Pearl Harbor - Hawaii) The American forces at Wake Island succumbed to a massive second attack and surrendered to the Japanese at 7:53 yesterday evening.

A fresh fleet of soldiers arrived at the island late the previous night. The defenders were treated to a shelling from a Japanese battleship and at least one heavy cruiser that did significant damage to the remaining defenses. Then, the landing craft brought in fresh soldiers who overwhelmed the remaining defenders. At 7:53 yesterday evening, Pearl Harbor received a radio report that the the headquarters was about to be overrun and the defenders were destroying the radio and all items that may be of value to the enemy.

By 9:00 PM, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel received notification that he had been relieved of his command as Commander in Chief in the Pacific, and that his position will be taken by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

In a statement released solely to Thayne Report, Kimmel said that he considered his departure to be an inevitable result of politics. "The people must have their scape-goat. If my job in this duty is to shoulder the blame for this tragedy, so that those who are truly responsible are not working under such a burden, then I will do my duty with the same dedication that I have brought to the rest of my career to date."

Kimmel added that it was clear that his superiors in Washington shared his view of the foolishness of trying to rescue the forces at Wake Island. "If they truly wanted to replace those soldiers, they could have replaced me a lot earlier and gotten on with the task. They waited because they saw the wisdom in what I was doing, but they were not willing to suffer the political cost. So they prepared for me to take the political heat."

According to Kimmel, future generations will remember him as the Admiral who made sure that the Americans still had a fleet to fight with. "Future generations will not have a need for a scapegoat. Therefore, they will see that my most important accomplishment was saving our carriers so that we can use them carefully and rationally, rather than waste them on some vain showmanship."

Critics of Admiral Kimmel point out that the Admiral was in charge of the fleet when the Japanese destroyed it at Pearl Harbor. When asked to comment on these allegations, Kimmel responded that it was the job of the Army to protect the fleet while it is in port, and the job of the Navy to see to its own protection when it is at sea.

When Thayne Report asked Kimmel if he had made any poor decisions in the two weeks he served as a war-time commander of the Pacific Fleet, he answered that he made one serious mistake. "Ironically, it was a mistake I made of being too aggressive. I sent three squadrons of sub hunters out to destroy Japanese submarines without checking to make sure that the Japanese carriers had left the waters around Pearl Harbor.

All twelve of the ships that were sent out to hunt submarines on December 8th were subsequently sunk.

Upon taking over command of the Pacific, Nimitz ordered a review of all existing war plans. Those plans included:

(1) A plan to garrison Christmas Island and to turn it into a major fueling station for transports moving between Australia and the United States. The troops for this operation started to arrive at Christmas Island at the same time Nimitz was accepting his new position.

(2) A plan to add to the garrison in American Samoa by troops that recently left California.

(3) A plan to garrison Canton Island with troops that are currently loading at San Diego.

(4) A plan to garrison the island of Tanna in New Hebrides between Fiji and New Caledonia by troops who will soon be loading onto transports in San Diego.

(5) A plan to garrison another island with Australian forces that are already on board ship and ready to leave the port of Sydney, Australia.

(6) A plan to add to the garrison at Noumea in New Caledonia with engineers already on board ship at Auckland in New Zealand.

(7) A plan to add to the garrison at Midway with units that are awaiting transport ships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: Dec. 24, 1941 - 4/30/2010 3:12:37 PM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 24, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

The following report was submitted by our agent, whom we had sent to Christmas Island in advance of the American landings.

Americans Arrive at Christmas Island

A fly-over by three Dauntless dive bombers a little after noon announced the arrival of the coming fleet.

Sailors stationed at Christmas Island were reporting signs of planes in the air since dawn. Some turned out to be birds. Others could only be seen by one or two people.
However, there was no mistaking this trio of planes. They circled the island in a wide arch, checking the oceans around the island for signs of enemy ships and submarines.

The radio said they were out there.

After lunch I took a walk along the beach, heading north out of London - the small village at a wide spot at the mouth of the lagoon. That blob of land itself was large enough to hold a sizable force, and it was a fraction of the land that the Island actually took up.

Christmas Island is the largest coral atoll in the world. It would take quite a few divisions to turn this island into a fortress. This meant that the defenders would have to figure out some other way to defend it.

There was no hope of turning Christmas Island into an island fortress. There was just too much coastline to protect. If the Japanese decided to land here, they would get ashore with little resistance. There were those who protested the idea of making this a major refueling base.

However, it is a second gate to the Pacific Islands and the first stop on the road to Australia, and it does have good harbor.

While I took my walk, the skies got a bit more crowded. A pair of Devastator torpedo bombers circled low overhead, then turned and headed towards the runway to land.

A half-hour later, I saw a pair of cars heading from the direction of the airport into London.

The next planes to arrive was a squadron of F2A Buffalo fighters. These airplanes would become a part of the Island's garrison.

I was getting close to the northwest corner of the island - simple black dots against a white horizon.

It just stared.

It was a line of ships - nearly a dozen by my count.

Our company had arrived.

Ahead of me, just a few yards, a red crab about the size of a dinner plate stopped and stared at me. Against the pure white sand of the beach, it was hard to miss.

"You don't know what you're in for," I told it.

I turned around and headed back to London.

While I walked, the ships circled around to my right. They grew larger and began to take on a definite shape. After a few minutes, I could see shapes moving around on their decks.

Off in the distance, well out to sea, I could see a dark speck move when a transport ship did not block my view. I swore it was an aircraft carrier. I knew Saratoga was in the area.

Out from among the gaggle of transports and destroyers came a motor boat, kicking up a good sized wake as it moved around the south side of London and over to the protected shore inside the lagoon where the docks were built.

Two other boats, coming from other ships I assumed, also came to the island.

Christmas Island was not built to handle this volume of naval traffic. It had a rather small dock that was fit for the occasional ship that stopped by, usually on its way to someplace else. The ships would have to get unloaded without the benefit of an appropriate port facilities.

That is what the sailors and soldiers on the patrol boat came to discuss - the plan for unloading the ships.

While they were here, these ships were vulnerable. Already the Allies had attacked two Japanese convoys that had stopped to unload troops. Lexington and Enterprise attacked Japanese landing craft at Tarawa and Makin, sinking at least one troop-laden transport. Just a couple of days ago, the British battlecruiser [i[Repulse gave its life attacking a Japanese landing site in the Dutch East Indies. They found a Japanese battleship. Yet, the American cruiser Houston managed to get around and sink another troop-laden transport.

Japan could be out there.

Before the day was over, we would receive news that Japan had taken Wake Island using at least one battleship and a heavy cruiser. Nervous sailors started to ask how long it would take those ships to reach Christmas Island.

And where were the Japanese carriers?

There was news of Carrier strikes hitting Rabaul, an island town northeast of Australia, but those attacks involved only a fraction of what the Japanese were capable of putting into a carrier-based attack.

The visitors were eager to start getting their soldiers on dry land.

The sun was setting. It would be dark soon. But that would not prevent the soldiers from getting to work. One of the smaller ships, piloted by a local pilot who new the harbor, would come in and start unloading throughout the night. Other transport ships would unload troops and equipment onto smaller boats that would bring those supplies, one small piece at a time, to shore.





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THE THAYNE REPORTS: Dec. 25, 1941 - 5/1/2010 12:41:41 PM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 25, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

In this issue, Thayne Report is bringing you the information that we get directly from our reporters in the field.

Establishing Defenses on Christmas Island

I caught up with Gunner Michael "Brew" Brewster (Morgantown, West Virginia), Assistant Gunner Bill Putney (Port Huron, Michigan), and Ammunition Bearer Pete Cheteau (Raleigh North Carolina) at Pier H in London.

"London" is the name of the village on a spot of land at the mouth of the lagoon on Christmas Island, where docks are. And Pier H is really not much of a pier. Some soldier had torn up some white sheets into squares, painted the letters of the alphabet on them, tied them to make-shift flag poles, and planted them in the sand along the lagoon side - of London. Boats from different cargo ships or different units were assigned to different piers, so soldiers could be better directed to their equipment.

The gear that was being brought to Pier H when I arrived was an M2HB .50 caliber machine gun with an aviation mount and a literal boat load of ammunition, plus the crew to run it.

The M2HB - or "ma deuce" as the soldiers called it - was a heavy weapon, made heavier by the need to keep the gun barrel cool. In order to keep the barrel from overheating, the manufacturers made it longer and thicker so that it could actually absorb more heat. Also, the greater surface area allowed it to cool more efficiently. That longer, thicker barrel gave the gun a lot of extra weight.

Brew jumped over the side of the boat into chest-deep water with Bill Putney beside him. They got their footing in the sand, then Cheteau manhandled the heavy gun over the side. Holding the gun high out of the water, the two soldiers brought it up onto the shore.

I waded out to give them a hand, but they warned me back insisting that they had it. Instead, one of them threw me a poncho and asked me to spread it out on the sand. I did as they asked, and they sat the gun down on it.

With the boat lightened by about 400 pounds, the pilot urged it closer to shore, running it a short ways up onto the beach. Cheteau came over the side next, bringing two boxes of ammunition with him. Brew and Putney then returned for the anti-aircraft mount and their gear.

When the boat was empty, the gun crew pushed it back out into the lagoon, where the pilot turned around and headed out for another load.

Before the gun crew even got their feet dry, the beach master was ordering them off the beach.

When I introduced myself to them, they didn't even stop moving long enough to shake hands. They grabbed their equipment and started hunting for a place away from the beach to stack it. Here, Brew, Bill, and Pete did not mind getting a little help. I bent down and took hold of the handles for two ammunition boxes - one in each hand, and tried to carry them.

"Careful, old man," Pete told me.

"No problem," I grunted, worrying that the weight would push me knee-deep into the soft sand.

Each box of ammunition weighed 30 pounds, and the crew brought had brought 20 boxes - 600 pounds worth - with them, so it took several trips to get all of the equipment moved.

London simply did not have the port facilities to handle all of the transports that had just shown up. In fact, it scarcely had room for even one cargo ships. The Santa Inez was given permission to use the docks. This was because it was small enough to fit, and it carried the bulldozers, front-end loaders, and other heavy equipment that could not be manhandled over the sides of smaller boats.

There are two places on Christmas Island that will need anti-aircraft defense. One of them was this port itself. The other is the airfield, about eight miles to the east - though nearly fifteen miles along a road that had to bend around the lagoon.

Brew and his crew were given orders to set up to protect the ships. Their station would be a sand bar on the other side of the ships, where they could shoot at any plane coming at the port from across the lagoon.

Looking at a map, they found the spot where they had been ordered to set up their gun. Brew and Bill went to work setting the gun up, while Pete went back for more ammunition. It seemed I would be more useful helping Pete, so I went with him.

By the time we had gotten back with three more boxes of ammunition - him carrrying two and me carrying one - somebody had dropped some shovels and bags on the ground by the gun.

"Look what Santa brought us," Brew said. "Sand bags and a shovel. I wonder what we are supposed to do with them."

Plopping the two ammunition boxes down on the sand, Pete answered, "I can only guess."


American Volunteers in China Decimate Bombers

The day started with a phone call.

A Chinese aerial observer near the border far to the south phoned in to report a formation of Japanese bombers coming in from the ocean. Patiently, Sergeant John Robinson at the headquarters for the American Volunteer Group in Nanning, China, working through an interpreter, got a report of between 30 to 40 Chinese twin-engine bombers on a heading slightly east of north from the observer's location. Plotting the course on a map, it was obvious that the planes were coming towards us.

Experience had taught Robinson to be calm and patient with the Chinese observers. Observers tend to get important facts wrong. This was true not only of Chinese peasants, but of American soldiers. There is a place in war for the trained observer - the person skilled at avoiding the errors that most people make.

Still, Robinson did not fully trust what the Chinese observer was telling him. "No fighters," the interpreter said. Twice more, Sergeant Robinson asked the interpreter to verify the report. Twice more the interpreter answered, "No fighters."

Two AVG Pilots were already in the air. Four others sat around in their flight suits playing a game of poker out near four planes that were fueled up and ready to fly. When the air raid siren went off, the four jumped into their planes and took off. A dozen other pilots made a scramble for six remaining airplanes.

This squadron of the American Volunteer Group has lost half of the airplanes they came here with, but it still had most of its pilots. Everybody was eager to fly, so the planes went to the pilots who got into them first.

It was not a clean race either. Tripping, pushing, and deception were all fair in this contest.

The combat air patrol flew out to intercept the bombers south of town. The two pilots found the formation below them, flying a mile above the ground, heading for the airfield. They took the time to scour the sky for signs of the fighter escort. With unlimited visibility they were able to radio back confidently.

"No fighters."

This did not mean that the bombers would be sitting ducks. Like a younger brother to the the American B-17 Bomber, the Betty bombers had nose gunners, tail gunners, waist guns, and a top turret. There was no safe way to approach one of these bombers - let alone a formation of them.

For a while, we listened on the radio while Lieutenants Hedman and Bishop executed their attacks. Each recorded shooting down one bomber, though Hedman was forced to turn aside once when a Japanese gunner was tracking his plane too closely. They made a couple of other passes that they reported must have done damage.

The four planes who were on standby fought to gain some altitude before they engaged the bombers. This meant some delay. All the while, the bombers were getting closer.

There were far too many bombers for the handful of fighters to deal with. Over the radio, we heard the celebratory announdements of a third, fourth, and fifth bomber being destryed. But the rest kept coming. When they were a few miles away we scampered for the bomb shelters.

We could tell from the sound of the explosions, but mostly by the feel of the shock wave as it went through the bomb shelter and through our bodies, that the Japanese were using the equivalent of the 500 pound bomb - the 250 KG bomb. We waited. When the noise stopped, and stayed stopped for a good five minutes, we took a look around.

There was not much damage - not nearly as much damage as three dozen Betty bombers could have done if the pilots were not worried about fighters.

Later in the day, we would learn that a similar scene was played out at Kweiyang, northwest of us. It was being defended by American volunteers flying out of Chungking. There, too, the bombers arrived without escort. Only, because Kweiyang was so far away from their home base, there was no time for scrambled fighters to reach the enemy.

Still, by the end of the day, the American volunteers tallied up an impressive 18 kills between the two battles, without the loss of a single airplane or pilot of their own. This did not count the number of enemy bombers that had been damaged and would not be able to fly for the next few days at least.

Yet, the pilots went to bed with a sobering thought. The Japanese would come again, looking for revenge. Next time, it is highly doubtful that they would forget to bring their fighters.


The Tightening Noose - The Philippines

The Japanese have turned the airstrip at Clarke Air Force Base into a mass of craters. Today, the air-raid sirens went off four times between dawn and dark. By the end of the day, observers had counted well over 100 airplanes involved in the many attacks.

Still, the airplane mechanics stationed here did not give up hope that they could get a few of the airplanes grounded here back into the air.

Private Daniel Pierce of Tempe Arizona was helping to put together one of the B-17s that were still sitting here. He continued to work right through the four air raids.

"Look," said Private Pierce, "We've done everything we can to keep the Japs from seeing those bombers. In the past two weeks no bomb has ever gone off in that direction. As far as I can see it's as safe a place to be as any."

Asked if there is any hope of getting any of the bombers airborne, Private Pierce said, "I don't know. Even if we get them fixed up we got to get the runway flat enough to take off on. But I'm not going to give up. That would be the same as surrendering."

Meanwhile, the enemy is closing in.

Coming down from the north, the Japanese army has already travelled half the distance from their landings at Aparri, driving the Philippine army south out of Bayombong. Along the west coast, they have reached Lingoyen, a mere 60 miles away.

Coming up from the South, the Japanese are pushing their way across the narrow strip of land that connects the northern and southern parts of the island at Antimonan.

General Douglas MacArthur still thinks that the Americans are going to come to rescue us. He tells his staff that we should be building airfields for the hundreds of planes that will be coming in off of American carriers that will soon be on their way. However, except for expanding some make-shift fighter airstrips on the Bataan peninsula, he has been convinced to focus on building better fortifications instead, and holding the Japanese back as long as possible.

There are no more large ships here. They have all either moved on to the South, or been sunk. However, there is a fleet of small row boats and power boats. These are being used to ferry supplies to the island of Corregidor in the hopes of finding some place where the Japanese bombs cannot reach them. The larger boats work only at night, and hide during daytime.

There are no new supplies coming in.

A few of the soldiers are having a bet as to how long they can hold out. Some say as long as April. Others claim the end will come as soon as January. The winner gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. It is a joke, of course. But it keeps the glum away, at least a little.





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Post #: 27
December 26, 1941 - 5/3/2010 4:35:42 AM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 26, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.

USS Penguin's Great Escape

(Brisbane - Australia) "Ships dead ahead!" shouted one of the observers on the deck of the minesweeper AM 33, known as USS Penguin. "Holy cow! It's the whole Jap Navy."

Lieutenant Commander Michael G. "Machine Gun" Ready turned his binoculars in the direction the sailor was pointing. Through his field glasses he counted at least two dozen ships - a good four miles away. Most of them were transport ships, but they were being herded by at least one light cruiser circling them like a sheep dog, keeping an eye out for predators.

Ready could not make out any identification but, in these waters, four days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, they had to be Japanese.

"Okay, let's stay calm," Ready told his crew. "Let's not do anything erratic that will make them suspicous. Ten degrees to starboard. Let's just ease away."

On the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Penguin was at Guam - far behind enemy lines. For two days, it put its anti-aircraft guns to work helping to defend the island. Then, on December 9th, Commander Ready decided to try to make it to the allied lines.

He had his navigator plot a course for Rabaul, 1300 miles to the south.

Just after sunset, under an overcast and stormy sky, the ship pulled out of Guam. Heavy seas tossed the boat violently, but it was the best time to make its escape.

Two days later, just past the half-way point to Rabaul, it passed the Japanese armada. the Japanese ships were also heading southwest, toward Rabaul. Penguin had simply caught up with the slower-moving transport ships, which had probably left Saipan the day the war officially started.

If the Japanese were going to Rabaul, then this meant that it would probably be a mistake to try to escape to Rabaul. Instead, he ordered his navigator to plot a new course, this time to Brisbane, Australia, another 1600 miles further south.

There were two ways to get around the island of New Brittain and on to Australia. One route involved using St. George's Channel, east of Rabaul. If there was going to be a Japanese invasion fleet sitting there attacking Rabaul, that route did not seem wise.

This left Dampier straight, on the west side of the island.

Of course, if the Japanese were looking to take control of St. George's Channel, they would be looking to take control of Dampier Straight as well. The two waterways provided two important naval gates between Australia and Japan that Japan would certainly want closed. However, Ready knew of an enemy task force heading to St. George's Channel. The enemy task force heading to Dampier Straight was just conjecture.

As they approached Dampier Straight, Ready had Penguin slow down so they would be going through the straight at night. At the straight itself, he ordered the ship down to quarter speed to keep the noise of the engines down, and stayed at the bridge all night while the ship made its way through the channel.

There was no sign of the Japanese.

Once through to the Solomon Sea, with open water ahead, Ready ordered Penguin back up to half-speed. At this point, he felt that he had succeeded and he would make it to Australia. He breathed a sigh of relief and took his first restful sleep since leaving Guam.

Penguin reached Brisbane on December 20th. Since then, it has been working with the Australias securing the waters east of Australia from Japanese submarines. Yesterday afternoon Ready filed a report of an encounter with a Japanese submarine among the reefs north of Brisbane.

The ship that made its escape from the Japanese was now making its contribution to defeating that enemy.


The American Volunteer Group: Planes Wanted

(Nanning - China) Arvid Olson, the leader of the 3rd Squadron of the American Volunteer Group, went out looking for his chief mechanic Greg Nettles before sunrise. He went off to where one of the damaged planes was hidden far from from the airfield.

"Gary!" he shouted.

"Yes, sir," came a muffled sound from inside one of the fighters.

Slowly, with great effort, the chief mechanic pulled himself out from inside of the airplane. He stood where the pilot's seat used to go, rubbed his hands on a dirty rag, and asked, "Is there something I can help you with, sir?"

"I need to know how many planes I have that can fly," said Olson.

"Two," answered Gary Nettles casually.

"Two!"

Nettles held up two fingers. "I told you, boss, if you kept shooting down those bombers than the Japanese were going to get mad and try to do something about it. Those Zeros you tangled with yesterday afternoon put bullets into every one of your airplanes. You're lucky they didn't put holes in your pilots, too."

"How long will it be until you get the rest of these planes patched up?"

"Depends on how long you plan to keep talking," Nettles answered. "But, it will be a few days at best. Some of these might have to be written off. That's if the Japanese decide to leave us alone and don't come here to undo what I'm doing, which doesn't seem likely."

"However, . . . " Nettles said as he climbed down onto the airplane. With both feet on the ground, he was a good head shorter than Olson. "As I recall we left nearly 20 airplanes boxed up back in Burma somewhere. If I were you I would take a few of your pilots, find those crates, get somebody to put those fighters together, and bring them out here. Meanwhile, you can leave the rest of your pilots with me and some of my crew. We'll see how many of these stacks of scrap metal we can turn into airplanes again."

Olson took his hat off and scratched his head. "We're not going to be doing any good here with just two planes," he admitted. "I'll check with the boss and see what he says. Meanwhile, get these planes put back together."

"Yes, sir," Gary Nettles said with a mock salute. Grabbing his wrenches and a hammer he climbed back up and disappeared inside the airplane.


Building Cities on Christmas Island

(London - Christmas Island) There are now 8,000 people living on Christmas Island, and more on the way.

They live in company-sized communities with rows of canvas houses and centered around the company kitchen or mess tent. There was a field hospital and a motor pool. One section of the island, near Northwest Point, was even marked out as a parade ground.

It seemed ironic to wake the men early for exercises when they were going to spend the bulk of the day filling and hauling sand bags, digging holes, constructing bunkers and pill boxes, and building revetments for the airplanes.

The marines were flying 30 airplanes off of the island now. Another 20 sat in boxes waiting to be assembled. There were two fighter squadrons on the island flying the stubby F2A Buffalos, and a bomber squadron flying the Dauntless dive bomber. The dive bombers mostly flew out on anti-submarine patrol.

There was a submarine in those waters. The Navy had seen it since just before the first soldiers arrived - a ghost ship that appeared only at night and remained hidden during the daylight. It had made its first attack last two days ago, aiming at a destroyer that was protecting Saratoga. It probably had not seen Saratoga because if it had, it would not have been shooting at a destroyer.

Parts of the island had been marked off as mine fields. Whether there were mines in them or not was anybody's guess. Chances are, there were. They blocked the paths that an enemy would want to take from the far end of the island to the villages of London and Newest York - which is what the soldiers were calling the town going up around the airfield to the east.

There were plans to improve the runway. Yet, for the moment, the primary mission was to fortify the island.

"I am not building airfields for the Japanese," said Major General Upshur in commanding the island. General Upshur is the commander of the First US Amphibious Corps. The plan was to make Christmas Island a staging place for soldiers launching amphibious attacks against the Japanese when the time came. It seemed a good place to train on how to capture an island.

Enterprise stopped by for a visit. It entertained us by sailing by, a good distance out but close enough to recognize. It picked up some of the destroyers that had guarded the soldiers on their ocean journey.

The ships had needed guarding. Members of the 101st U.S. Navy Base Force had a story to tell how, just hours after leaving San Diego, the ship they were riding in got hit by a torpedo. They had closed the water-tight doors to a section of the ship for good in some of the cargo holds. Only one soldier died and three others were wounded. However, the ship had sailed since that day with a slight list. The port side of the ship came to be known as 'uphill'. The starboard - 'downhill'.

However, it did not turn back. It finished its trip and its passengers were here helping to turn Christmas Island in the Pacific into what some called, "South Pearl Harbor."

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December 27, 1941 - 5/7/2010 12:17:34 PM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 27, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.


Japanese Carriers Threaten Second Assault on Ternate

(Soerabaja - Dutch East Indies) Two allied task forces sailing to attack Ternate in the Dutch East Indies tonight recently received news of a Japanese carrier just north of their intended target.

At 2:55 yesterday afternoon, reports came in of a carrier strike on the allied forces at Manado, about 150 miles northwest of Ternate. Careful tracking of the enemy planes revealed their base to be a Japanese task force approximately 350 miles north of Ternate.

This touched off a hurried debate among Allied military personnel about the possibility of carrying out the raid.

Captain Karl Reiker, the task force commander, has stated with confidence that he can attack the Japanese forces at Ternate and get out of the range of the Japanese carriers by morning. However, concern is being expressed over any naval forces that might take damage during the fight. Japanese carriers would be close enough to finish off any allied ships that had to limp home.

Furthermore, the carriers themselves may decide to make a sudden move to the south during the night putting them on top of the Allied task forces as they returned to safer waters near Kendari.

General Thomas Blamey, the head of the Australian command, is supporting the attacks. Blamey is concerned about the possibility of the Japanese advance extending southward and threatening the northwest corner of Australia. He has already moved Australian forces forward to garrison the island of Timor. "Anything that would blunt their attacks coming south would be appreciated," he said.

At the same time, General Hein ter Poorten, commander of the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (Royal Netherlands Indies Army; KNIL), is urging that the naval assets be preserved for the protection of more important military targets such as the main island of Java.

Arguing in favor of that attack is information that the Japanese battleship defending the enemy task force from the last attack has been sent back to Japan for repairs, leaving the Japanese transports vulnerable to an allied assault. A Japanese force of heavy cruisers has been seen heading in the direction of Ternate but is unlikely to reach that destination until some time tomorrow.

As evening fell, a consensus seemed to be building in favor of launching the attack, with the provision that the fleet would then return to Java and attack Japanese forces that are a more direct threat to that island.


Allied War Council Discusses Pilot Training

(San Francisco) Allied military commanders, headed by US West Coast Commander Lieutenant General John deWitt, met in San Francisco yesterday to discuss the state of Allied pilot training in light of the war news to date.

Allied air forces have found the Japanese pilots to be well trained. Furthermore, the Japanese have been fighting combat missions for several years now, giving them combat experience that the Allies cannot hope to match.

The Japanese have been following a strategy of overwhelming the allied air forces in any region where they are conducting military operations. They sent over 100 airplanes against the allied air forces in the Philippines as they move to take over those islands. They also overwhelmed the air forces in Malaya, nearly destroyed the air forces in China, and have driven all but the American Volunteer Group out of Burma.

In order to defeat these tactics, allied military commanders state that they need enough planes and enough pilots to withstand these large-scale attacks. Furthermore, both the planes and the pilots need to be of a quality that can match what the Japanese are putting into these attacks.

U.S. West Coast Command has announced that it will begin a series of experiments in its training program to determine which methods produce the best pilots at the fastest possible speed. They will be trying different methods of training at different bases, looking at such things as the intensity of the training and the quality of the leaders.

Many U.S. West Coast squadrons that had been put on alert of a Japanese attack immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor are reverting to a training role, with new pilots being added to the units.

In China, air forces hidden deep in the mountains will also be undergoing a more intensive training program. All available pilots have been called up and assigned to the training units.


Japanese Army Approaches Nanning

(Chungking - China) Japanese army forces moving up from French Indochina to the south have nearly reached the Chinese town of Nanning. In a battle south of Nanning yesterday, the Chinese defenders were driven back to defenses on the very edge of the city.

Chinese refugees are packing up and heading further inland, while remnants of the American Volunteer Group struggle to repair damaged planes and send them further inland before the Japanese overrun the airstrip.

Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson has expressed the belief that the Japanese may be intending to capture the vital rail crossroads at Liuchow - and perhaps to clear the whole rail line that would then connect Saigon and Bangkok to Shanghai and Nanning - themselves a short naval hop from the war factories in Japan.

Chinese leader Cheang Kai-Chek has expressed more interest in preserving the supply lines between his capital at Chungking and vital western supplies currently being hauled up the Burma Road. As such, he has moved a portion of his Central Command army down to hold the towns of Tuyun and Kweiyang. However, allied military commanders have not been able to convince him to push forward and stop the Japanese from capturing the rail line.




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December 28, 1941 - 5/9/2010 5:40:14 AM   
Thayne

 

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THE THAYNE REPORTS: THE ADMIRALS' EDITION
DECEMBER 28, 1941

The Thayne Reports are published by allied intelligence and distributed to senior officers serving in the Pacific Theater of Operation in order to give these officers an understanding of the overall military situation. These top secret reports contain the best and most up-to-date information available at the time of their writing. Revealing any of the contents of these reports will be punished as treason.


Japanese Carriers Approach Dutch East Indies

(Soerabaja - Dutch East Indies) An air assault on Manado consisting of over 100 carrier-based Japanese airplanes provided testimony that the Japanese carrier fleet spotted north of Ternate yesterday is a significant portion of the same Japanese carrier force that attacked Pearl Harbor.

Allied forces first discovered the Japanese carriers yesterday on the eve of a second mission to attack the Japanese landing at Ternate. Intelligence officials suspected that the Japanese had a small carrier force in the area since the start of the war to prevent reinforcements and supplies from reaching the army at Manila. However, the 100-airplane strike on Manado yesterday was far larger than the suspected force would have been able to launch.

Allies Assault Ternate

Thinking they were facing only a small carrier force, Captain Riker of the USS Houston agreed to go ahead with another strike against the Japanese landings at Ternate.

The previous assault, carried out on December 21st (and reported here on Thayne Reports on December 22nd) severely damaged a Japanese battleship protecting the landings. Military intelligence since then suggested the battleship had gone north for repairs, leaving the landing craft undefended. This presented an opportunity for the Allies to attack again, once they had rearmed and refueled.

The British battlecruiser Repulse was sunk in the first attack.

The discovery of a Japanese aircraft carrier force just north of Ternate caused some to question whether the allies should go ahead with the second attack. Any ships damaged in the attack may not be able to reach safety and could face the day within range of Japanese carrier air strikes. Also, the carriers themselves could come south and catch the attack force as it returned to Kendari.

In the end, Riker agreed to accept the risks and launched the attack.

He used the same tactics that were used on the first attack (see December 22). He attacked Ternate with two task forces, one going west and coming in through the channel between the islands of Keplaua Malauki, where the town of Ternate was situation, and Tidore. The other task force circled around to the east side of Tidore.

As hoped, the attacking fleets did not encounter any covering force protecting the transport ships. However, they also only discovered two transport ships, each with a single escort ship - a patrol boat in one case, and a sub chaser in the other. The cruiser force quickly sank the Japanese ships, then turned their guns on the airfield and port facilities of Ternate, causing significant damage.

On this matter, observers reported that they saw no significant signs of Japanese occupation on the Island. There is some thought that the Japanese had no intention of using Ternate as a forward base, and left only a governing force on the island.

"It's as if Japan took the town, then abandoned it," read one dispatch from Houston.

Short of ammunition and of fuel following the attack, the two cruiser forces were ordered to Soerabaja to rearm and refuel. The Dutch will be closely monitoring the course and speed of the enemy carroer f;eet to prevent Allied ships from getting trapped at Soerabaja or elsewhere in the Dutch East Indies.

Allied Shipping Warned of Japanese Threat

All allied shipping around the Dutch East Indies have been placed on alert. Military planners continue to watch the Japanese fleet to see where it will go. The cruiser strike forces had been using Balikpapan on the southeastern corner of Borneo as a refueling point. However, Japan could have that port under its air umbrella in a matter of days, effectively blocking the allied use of those resources.

Tankers heading for Balikpapan to pick up oil for Australia were also turned back.

Smaller craft currently on patrol around Java, mostly hunting Japanese submarines, were told to prepare to move to distant ports if the Japanese came down the Makassar Straight towards Java itself.

Three Damaged Allied Light Cruisers At Risk

Three allied light cruisers, Dragon, Durban, and Denae, damaged by the Japanese battleship in the first attack on Ternate, are at risk of being caught and destroyed by the Japanese carrier force if it should move south.

The three badly damaged light cruisers limped into Kendari following the battle with the Japanese battleship that sank Repulse. All three ships have taken significant damage and are undergoing repairs, and none of them should be considered seaworthy. However, if the Japanese carrier force moves south, allied military leaders may be forced to put the cruisers to sea where they risk succumbing to the damage they suffered.


Dutch Submarine Rescues British Soldiers

(Rangoon, Burma) Lieutenant Colonel Thomlin stepped out of the jungle and onto the white sand beach that marked the west side of the Malayan peninsula.

Behind him in the cover of the trees sat or stood about 250 British soldiers - what was left of the garrison that was once holding on to Victoria Point.

His command, the 108th/2 Base Force, had no hope of stopping the Japanese when it made the attack. They had been heavily bombed for days leading up to the attack, losing most of their stores of food and fresh water. When the Japanese army showed up, Thomlin could do little more than offer a token fight, then pull his troops into the jungle and hope to get them back to civilization.

He had suffered nearly a hundred casualties offering that token of resistance. He could not take the wounded with him, so those wounded that could still fight agreed to man the defenses while Thomlin lead the rest of his soldiers into the jungle, hoping for a few hours' head start from the Japanese attackers.

That was ten days ago.

Thomlin shook his head in surprise remembering how long ago that was.

The march to the north was wrecking his soldiers. They had run out of clean water long ago, and had resorted to living off of the foods they found in the jungle. The natives that travelled with them helped them identify the foods that could be safely eaten. The fruits also kept the troops from dying of thirst. But it was still a hard trip.

Standing on the beach, Thomlin removed his hat and wiped the sweat from his face, then squinted to look out onto the ocean into the glare of the setting sun. Squinting, he was sure he could see a black spot - a ship, just a mile or so away from shore. Three other specks had left the ship and were making their way to the shore.

A signal came from one of the three boats approaching the shore.

"Give me a torch, Sergeant," Colonel Thomlin said to one of his men. The soldier handed Thomlin a flashlight and he signalled an answer out to the three small boats.

"It looks like some of us can get a ride home," he said to his men.

At that moment, he heard buzzing up in the clouds. Looking up, he sought the source of the sound, which sounded far too much like an airplane to be anything else. However, he saw nothing. The question to ask was not whether he could see the plane, but whether somebody on the plane could see the submarine sitting off shore, or the members of the shore party coming toward the beach.

Three rubber rafts came up onto the white sand. While soldiers took five-gallon cans of water out of the boats and placed them on the beach, the officer in charge of the landing force saluted Colonel Thomlin and introduced himself as Lieutenant Vendel Stokman.

"We must hurry. We can take no more than twelve of you," he told Colonel Thomlin.

Thomlin turned around, picked his second-in-command and eleven other soldiers - in his judgment the best soldiers in what was left of his unit - and told them to get in the boats.

"We'll be back as soon as we can," the Dutch officer said. "It will take a few days, though."

"Do what you can do," Thomlin said.

While the sailors pushed their boats back out onto the ocean and returned to the submarine, Thomlin turned back to his soldiers and said, "Get your gear. Get ready to move out."

Thomlin had planned to stay here the night and continue the walk the next morning. However, if that plane was Japanese, then this was not going to be a safe place to stay. Even though they would be talking in the dark, he marched his soldiers north.




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