From: just beyond the outskirts of Margaritaville
The Big Picture #15 – Conduct of Sea Transport Operations (update)
The following is a an updated “reprint” of an earlier post in this thread on transport operations by sea done in 12/41 (Big Picture #3). I’ve added comments reflecting differences in how sea transport was implemented since the original post was written plus updates on actual events in the campaign vs what was originally anticipated. Text from the original post is in black, red text is updates and additions based on how things actually occurred or other items I worked out since doing the 12/41 post.
Overall, the conduct and movement of Allied transport by sea is expected to be a much more complex task in AE than my previous CHS game vs Pillager. Several factors impacting Allied sea transport operations are mentioned here.
As implemented, the (convoy) system I’ve put into place for Allied long-distance sea transport is more closely managed than what I had done in my previous game vs Pillager. Much of the added complexity is actually the degree to which Allied sea transport is managed, not so much in what is being done or how. An additional aspect I omitted in the original post and also omitting in this reprint is scheduling of cargoes - what gets loaded, what it's loaded aboard, when it's loaded and where the cargo is going. Scheduling cargoes is unique to each player's campaign and tailored specifically to a player's overall campaign strategy (what a player is doing, where and when). All this appears and is a considerable body of work, but 80-90% of the effort is in planning and the set-up process, once started the system largely runs itself.
My thought on logistics in AE has evolved to where it's a “game within the game”. Logistics done right is the first step in accomplishing your strategy. Logistics done wrong and you go nowhere.
Jap Submarine forces: It is my view that Jap submarines can be used more effectively and at much less risk against Allied transports in AE than CHS or stock WitP. I see this as mainly due to two factors – first, what appears to be a slight increase in effectiveness in AE for Jap submarine torpedoes, and second, the reduced effectiveness of Allied surface (naval) ASW in AE.
It’s only a question of time before Pillager “connects the dots” and begins to go aggressively against Allied transports. My conclusion is based on observing performance of the Japanese AI in AE when playing the Allies against it and I have absolutely no reason to believe that Pillager can’t do at least as well if not better with Japanese subs against Allied transport shipping.
For the most part, Pillager’s Japanese sub campaign has proved less effective than I initially estimated in 12/41. A combination of factors probably explains this – some of which include actions I’ve done on the Allied side, others known only to my opponent (Pillager) that await the “post-game analysis”.
Probably the one factor on the Allied side with the greatest impact on reducing Japanese sub effectiveness is establishment of a transport convoy system. Historically it worked (twice) in the Atlantic, if done right it would work here too. Implementation of a transport convoy system had a number of effects.
Fewer transport TF’s at sea. This immediately and drastically reduces the number and frequency of available targets for Jap submarines.
The reduced number of transport TF’s allows more concentrated employment of Allied ASW forces at any given location or time. This not only improved protection of Allied sea transport but also provided an increase in opportunities for Allied ASW forces to detect and engage Jap submarines.
More utilization of available off-map sea movement routes also contributed to decreased opportunities for Jap submarines, surface naval forces and carriers to interdict Allied sea transport activity.
Allied surface ASW operations and protection of transport shipping: The diminished effectiveness of Allied surface naval ASW in AE compared to CHS has a significant impact on the conduct of sea transport operations for the Allies. Effects of this reduction in effectiveness for Allied ASW on Allied sea transport is being felt in these areas.
• In general, early-war Allied surface naval and air ASW operational capabilities in AE will make it more difficult to intercept and attack Japanese subs before they find and attack Allied transport shipping.
• To minimize exposure of Allied transports to Japanese submarines and maximize the value of Allied ASW resources available to protect transports, a system of transport convoys for Allied shipping will need to be implemented.
• Inclusion of DD’s and specialized ASW ships (DE, KV, etc) in Allied transport convoys as escorts will be required to maximize effect of the limited numbers of DD’s and specialized ASW ship types available for escorting transport ships, this being especially true during the early war period.
To date in this campaign there has been little change in AE as to ability of surface ASW forces to detect opposing submarines, but it has appeared more difficult to effectively attack them (i.e. sink or heavily damage the sub). My opinion from experience with Allied sub warfare in this game vs Pillager is that it’s more or less equally true for both sides. There’s been few sinkings of both Allied and Japanese submarines from surface ASW attacks during this campaign so far – it’s simply harder to score a fatal hit on a sub. We’ve yet to see 1944-45 in this game, the observation I stated could change with the arrival of 1944-45 US ASW forces. How accurate my estimate of this actually is also awaits the "post-game analysis".
The second and third items above both proved correct.
Some Additional Notes on Allied ASW Doctrine:
I'll add a few notes not in the original post related to ASW operations for transport convoy protection. This is much of how I ended up doing it.
Selection of ship types and classes used in surface ASW ops include KV, SC, PC (those ships equipped with ASW weapons, not all of them are). Only a relatively small number of DD are permanently dedicated to surface ASW operations - these include the older US DD classes (four-stackers) plus the short-range Dutch and British DD. While I occasionally use modern US destroyers in small numbers for convoy escort and surface ASW actions, my first priority for employing the newer US destroyers is escorts in carrier TF's rather than protection of transport shipping. I'll also add that many mine warfare ships (AM, DM, DMS) carry ASW weapons on-board and are also quite suitable for ASW escort duty when needed and available.
Note that most ships included in my selection are short range - this is because transport convoys rarely have ASW escorts for the entire length of their movement route. Surface ASW escorts are with convoys only in the sea approaches to their departure and destination ports, not while the convoy is in open on-map sea areas or during any off-map movement. Effects of this practice include (1) long range ASW escort ships are unnecessary, (2) shorter range ASW ships normally used for escort are distributed in "packets" mainly at convoy departure and destination bases with surface ASW ships on permanent station at each base and dedicated to ASW operations in their immediate area, (3) improved availablity of ASW ships for required tasks.
Surface ASW forces located in each convoy depature or destination port serve three functions - (1) attached escorts in arriving convoy TF as they approach their port, (2) attached escorts in departing convoy TF until they clear the immediate sea area near the port, (3) forming ASW TF to pursue and engage known Jap submarines nearby. Numbers of surface ASW ships have been allocated to each theatre where required. ASW ships assigned to each theatre remain in the theatre area, though often transferred between bases within that theatre as needed.
Transport convoys departing a port will have a 3-4 ship attached ASW escort contingent as they leave the port. Attached ASW escort ships will remain with the convoy until the convoy has moved approx 8-10 hexes from the departure port. At that time the ASW ships are detached from the convoy (as a separate ASW TF) and return to the departure port. It's also useful to set "Max React" distance of the returning ASW TF to 1 hex - what this does is allow the ASW TF to make a "sweep" of sea hexes for Jap submarines along its movement route back to base.
As a transport convoy approaches its destination port, a 3-4 ship ASW TF is formed at the destination base and dispatched to meet the incoming convoy at approx 8-10 hexes out from the destination port. Set the ASW task force to meet the incoming convoy TF and merge with it. This action attaches ships in the ASW TF to the convoy as an escort for its remaining movement into the destination port. As in the case of departing convoys (above), it's also useful to set "Max React" distance of this ASW TF to 1 hex - what it does is allow the ASW TF to make a "sweep" of sea hexes for Jap submarines while going out to meet the incoming convoy.
This applying to both departure and destination ports... If known Japanese submarines are operating in sea areas near the port, additional surface ASW TF may be formed to engage the Jap sub if extra ASW ships are available. However, do not dispatch ASW TF from a departure or destination base to attack the Jap sub without providing an ASW TF from the base for direct escort of the convoy into or out of port. Protecting the convoy is first.
Also, while a convoy is departing or arriving at a base, naval air search should be flown to detect Japanese subs or other activity in sea areas near the base and the convoy's arrival/departure movement path. In this context, detecting a Jap submarine is very often as effective as attacking it. It's a simple matter to route a convoy TF around a detected Jap sub.
Port security is especially important, particularly at destination bases in forward theatres where Jap submarines, aircraft or other forces can potentially be present. Three aspects of port security are important - (1) ASW, (2) mines, (3) enemy aircraft. All three actions are needed as an arriving transport convoy is approaching the port and while the convoy is unloading ships in the port. Forming an surface ASW TF which remains on-station in the base hex provides opposition to any Jap submarine entering the base hex to perform a "Scapa Flow" attack. Pillager actually executed one of these attacks successfully in Auckland earlier in this PBEM - a Jap submarine entered Auckland base hex, torpedoed and sank 3 ships in one game turn, damaged a fourth and got away. Likewise, your Japanese opponent can send a minelaying sub into your destination port - 10 mines or 100, it takes only one mine to take out a ship (and its cargo). My practice is to form a local minesweeping TF and have that operate on-station in the base hex. What I often do if the ships remain available is keeping a surface ASW TF and a local minesweeping TF on continuous patrol in the destination base hex.
If fighter squadron(s) are based at your destination port, put them up on CAP.
Security of on-map Allied transport shipping: Providing secure movement of Allied transport shipping without significant interruption from Japanese action across each of the six primary movement routes will be an important part of Allied strategy in the early war period. Securing routes for transport shipping will be a significant factor in many decisions including what locations to defend (or not defend) against Japanese attack, sites where principal Allied bases are to be developed, among others.
Security of on-map transport shipping routes requires protection of Allied transport ships moving at sea (either individually or in convoy) from each of the following forms of Japanese attack.
• Surface naval raiders.
• Carrier forces (including KB, also CVL and floatplane tender TF’s)
I included floatplane tenders (large, longer-range Jap CS & AV) above as Pillager had employed these in our previous PBEM as surface raiders against Allied transport shipping. It should be noted here that many Japanese CS and AV can operate planes while at sea.
The threat of attack from Japanese LBA was not included here as the scope of this discussion covers rear-area transport shipping routes rather than movement of transport ships into forward bases or front-line areas normally within reach of enemy LBA.
A variety of Allied resources and tools will be used as needed in securing movement of transport shipping across on-map routes, and include the following.
• DD’s and specialized ASW ships attached to convoys for close escort.
• Dedicated ASW task forces to independently attack detected Jap submarines.
• LBA air units performing naval search and ASW missions from bases near or along the shipping routes.
• Surface naval and/or Carrier TF’s operating in a screening role along transport shipping routes.
• Implementation and use of a transport convoy system.
Of the five Allied resources and tools listed above, all except the fourth item (surface naval forces and carriers) have been employed in our current PBEM to cover the Allied transport convoy system. To date, I have been able to successfully employ other measures that made use of surface naval forces and carriers unnecessary.
In practice, I’ve found diverting and re-routing convoys an effective and cheap defense against Jap submarines, surface naval and KB sorties - this possible having an effective “early warning” network operating from Suva, Tahiti and Christmas Is. The need to divert or re-route convoys has so far occurred less than originally expected.
A sixth item that could have been added originally is timing and routing of transport convoys. Use of off-map sea movement combined with inaccessible sea areas (inaccessable to the Japanese anyway) place large parts of convoy routes or entire convoy routes (in some cases) beyond the effective operating or detection range of any Japanese forces.
Transport Convoy System: Plans are to establish and implement a convoy system for the majority of Allied transport shipping similar to what was historically done in the Atlantic. The convoy system will be used and followed to the greatest extent possible, though I expect making many exceptions to this rule on a case-to-case basis as situations dictate.
Size and composition of transport convoys: The following practices will be used in the formation and operation of Allied transport convoys to the greatest extent possible.
• A convoy may be formed of ships proceeding to a single destination, or can include ships going to a cluster of multiple destinations within a short distance of each other or located at different points along a common path of travel.
Pretty much implemented as written.
An added note here is that I’ve assigned one or more base(s) within each theatre as primary destinations for transport convoys bound to a given theatre. In all cases, port sizes at assigned base(s) in each theatre are increased to their maximum allowable size. Bases with port size 7 or above and/or bases with ports expandable to that size are preferred convoy destinations. Smaller ports may also be used, but only for individual ships or small groups of ships detached from larger convoys, not for entire convoys or the “main body” of a convoy.
• Size and number of ships in a convoy going to the same destination should not exceed the destination base’s port capacity to unload the ship(s) within a relatively quick period of time, usually 3-5 days maximum. This practice will ensure quickest turn-around time of transport ships at the destination port and also minimize exposure of transport ships to enemy air or naval attack while stopped at the destination base.
The idea behind maximum port sizes is fastest possible turn-around for the largest possible arriving convoy. Larger port sizes allowing more ships to be unloaded at the same time and easier handling of large ships. A stationary convoy (even in a friendly base) is a vulnerable convoy. There’s little question Pillager can detect Allied transport convoys arriving in Auckland or Suva, however, they’re nearly always unloaded and gone before any effective Japanese response can be initiated.
Depending on size of ships in a given convoy, an entire 20-30 ship convoy is often completely unloaded at Auckland (port size 9) in 2 days maximum with adequate planning of the unloading process, all but the largest ships in the convoy fully unloaded on the first day in port. Convoys up to 40-45 ships often unloaded in two days, three days for the largest convoys.
• Port capacity of the assigned destination base or bases for a convoy will be the main factor in determining the number and size of ships to be included in that convoy. If possible, the port size of a destination base should be sufficient to allow simultaneous docking of all ships from a convoy that being sent to that destination.
Accomplishing this does require some planning when forming the convoy before its departure, specifically how many ships in the convoy and cargo capacities of each ship in the convoy. Also some planning in the process of unloading the convoy at its destination – which ships need to be docked to unload (TK & AO with fuel cargo, other ships carrying LCU elements or air units first priority for available dock space), which ships in the convoy take longest to unload (usually the larger ones). In many instances smaller ships can unload without docking (though they unload slower when not docked). Also, ships in excess of a destination port’s dock capacity can unload without docking while waiting for available dock space. It’s not an exact science but one that can be done effectively with practice.
I’m noting here some items I omitted in my original post.
Convoy sizes – virtually all transport convoys 10 ships or more excluding escort, smaller convoys (< 10 ships) except in emergencies generally defeat the purpose. Average convoy size is typically 25-40 ships. I’ve sent out several 60-ship convoys that made the unloading process somewhat long and sloppy at destination, convoys this large since been avoided.
Timing of convoys – another thing learned from experience. For multiple convoys going to the same destination, minimum 3-5 game turns spacing between convoys preferred. The main object behind convoy timing is at the destination port – allow enough time for one convoy to arrive and complete unloading before arrival of the next convoy. Security is a lesser but still important consideration in timing.
Convoy refueling at destination ports– If you have a convoy delivering 50K fuel to a destination port, you’d likely prefer for the convoy to consume as little of that fuel as possible when refueling its ships for the return trip. Several steps are important to do this…
• First, the convoy’s TF must be set to “Do Not Refuel” before it arrives at the destination base. This will prevent ships the convoy TF from automatically doing a full (100%) refuel immediately on arrival in the destination base. More likely than not, most ships in a convoy will not have to fully refuel in order to safely make it home on the return trip. Some ships in a convoy may have enough fuel left for the return trip and not need to refuel at all. Proper selection of individual ships and ship types to be used in convoy operations is key to this.
• Refuelling of a convoy at the destination base should not occur until (1) after the convoy is completely unloaded and ready to depart, and (2) after setting the convoy’s movement path for the return trip.
• The first step for departure of a convoy from the destination base for its return trip is setting the TF’s exact and complete movement path for the entire return trip – this includes the TF’s destination, home point, plus any waypoint(s) that are set if these are used.
• The second step for departure of a convoy on its return trip from a destination base is setting the convoy TF to “Minimal Refuel”. This step together with the first step above establishes the required quantity of fuel needed by each individual ship in the convoy to travel the distance covered in the convoy TF’s set movement path.
• Now you replenish the convoy TF from the destination port’s fuel stock. Each ship in the convoy is refueled individually up to the needed quantity of fuel determined in the previous two steps above. Only those ship(s) in the convoy needing fuel will receive fuel up to the quantity required for the return trip from the destination port’s stocks. Those ships in the convoy already having sufficient fuel on-board to cover the trip home do not receive fuel.
Convoy naming – Naming convoys (using TF name in the TF display to do this) proved useful in quickly sorting out and tracking convoys moving both on- and off-map. Touch the mouse to the convoy icon and you’ve identified the convoy. As you may have noticed, a system of naming convoys by their route and direction of travel (outbound or returning home) was implemented along with a (sequential) number to identify individual convoys. Letters in the convoy indicate route and direction.
• WP/PW – “WP” used for outbound convoys from the US West Coast to either Central or South Pacific (both routes #1 and #4 below), reversed to “PW” (no change in sequential number) for the same convoys on return from Central or South Pacific to the US West Coast.
• WA/AW – used with convoys between Canada/US West Coast and North Pacific (route #3 below).
• EX/XE – “EX” used for outbound convoys from Eastern US via Capetown to Australia (route #7 below), reversed to “XE” for the return trip.
• MX/XM – used with a small number of fuel transport convoys to Australia from Abadan via Capetown.
• CD/DC – “CD” used for outbound convoys from Capetown to India and Colombo, reversed to “DC” on the return trip from India/Abadan/Colombo to Capetown (route #5 below).
None of this an exact science, something to be done effectively with practice and done to your individual “taste”.
Movement of transport convoys with multiple destinations: Transport convoys composed of ships going to multiple destinations will detach individual ships or groups of ships going to each destination (with or without escorts) as the convoy approaches that destination. These ships proceed to the destination base, load and/or unload, then depart from the destination base to merge again with the convoy for the return trip.
As implemented, convoys with ships bound to multiple destinations have all its destinations within the same theatre (destinations for all ships in a convoy bound to the South Pacific in the South Pacific, etc). Multiple ship destinations for the same convoy also as tightly clustered as possible.
I’ve been somewhat variable on recombining detachments of transport ship(s) from a convoy with the convoy’s main body for the return trip. It’s situational. If recombining a convoy can be done without stopping or significantly slowing down any part of the convoy, then it’s done. If not, the different parts of the convoy are sent home separately. The cardinal thing is that ships in transport convoys are kept in constant movement as much as possible for both efficiency and security reasons.
Risks of a transport convoy system:
• Use of a transport convoy system will impose delays in many departures of individual ships as a result of collecting and holding loaded transport ships in port while transport convoys are being formed. In turn, ship departure delays will slow down the rate of deployment of materiel (supply, fuel), land and air forces by sea, especially movement of US forces from the western US by sea to Australia, New Zealand and forward bases in the Pacific theatres.
Delays have not really been an issue in practice. If anything, the rate of deployment for US forces and resources from the mainland US is drastically increased.
• Each transport convoy that’s formed and sails is to some degree “putting a number of eggs in the same basket”. While the risk of a convoy’s detection by Japanese forces (especially carrier or surface naval) is somewhat less than for the same number of transport ships sailing independently (one target to detect vs many), the possibility of heavy losses is considerably increased for a transport convoy that is detected and attacked by Japanese forces.
This issue is true and remains so. In practice so far, the results of the convoy system has greatly exceeded its risks.
Collection & Allocation of Allied transport ships: A process was begun immediately effective 12/8/41 to collect and allocate on-map Allied transport ships. The process will (1) concentrate Allied transport ships in central locations from where they can be allocated or used, and (2) allocate and dispatch individual transport ships according to their future employment.
Transport ships in Hawaii, Alaska, and the mainland US & Canada as of 12/8/41 are being collected and retained in this general area to service on-map shipping routes leaving US and Canadian west coast ports for Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific theatres. These ships are exempted from the collection and allocation process for transport ships that will occur elsewhere.
In all other on-map areas, the process of collecting and allocating transport ships will take place. Transport ships from forward areas in the immediate path of the Japanese initial advance (Philippines, DEI, Hong Kong, Malaya, etc) are being evacuated to rear-area bases along with whatever cargo can be loaded aboard them. Once transport ships arriving from forward areas are unloaded, they will go into the allocation process.
Allocation of transport ships will be done according to the type of operation each individual ship will be used for – long range vs short range or local transport, on-map vs off-map movement, etc. Several criteria including size, movement range, ship type and nationality will factor into how and where a given transport ship will be used.
Longer range ships (8,000 to 10,000 mi and greater) and ships with larger cargo capacities are generally being dispatched to off-map locations. Several roles for these ships are anticipated and include.
• Transporting reinforcements and materiel (supply, fuel, oil, resource) entering the game in off-map locations to on-map bases.
• Long range transport operations both on- and off-map. I’m anticipating extensive use of these ships in moving cargoes between the US and Australia from the Eastern US via Capetown to ports in southern Australia.
This was for the most part done as described. All Allied transport ships allocated to convoy operations have been ships with > 8000 mi range. In practice, a ship’s movement range is more important than cargo capacity when determining suitability of a given ship for long-distance convoy use. The rationale behind movement range is for a convoy once formed to travel non-stop from its origin to destination without refueling at any point along its route. In practice, transport ships as they were allocated for convoy operations were dispatched to the US West Coast or off-map to Capetown or the Eastern US (via Capetown).
Smaller and shorter range ships (< 8,000 mi) were retained on-map for use in short-range and local transport operations along routes that in most cases are entirely within the same theatre area. Distribution of smaller and short-range transport ships among major theatre commands were done according to operational needs in each theatre. Ships in this category are generally on permanent assignment to each theatre command subject to change as needed.
Most ships in thie second category above are small xAP and xAK along with a number of small Dutch AO and TK, plus all xAKL. These ships were dispatched to assigned theatre areas, many kept at anchor in rear-area bases within a forward theatre area unless or until actually needed for use in forward operations. Primary functions of these ships includes (1) local transport of cargo between bases within a theatre area, and (2) future employment in or in support of amphibious operations.
A major factor behind value of small ships for these operations is their small cargo capacity allowing quick unloading of cargo at bases with small port size, in forward bases within striking range of Japanese forces or during amphibious operations. Movement range of these small ships is less important for their intended activities.
Utilization of off-map bases and shipping routes: Where possible, Allied transport convoys will make use of off-map bases and shipping routes, especially in non-critical situations where neither the convoy’s cargo nor the time in which it has to arrive at its destination are crucial factors. Collection of longer-range transport ships and their movement to off-map bases early in the game will be done to begin implementing an off-map transport system.
Pretty much implemented as written.
Allied transport convoy routes: Conduct of Allied transport convoy operations throughout the war will inevitably focus on a number of primary shipping routes, each primary route controlling strategic communication into or between one or more major theatres. Flow of transport ships and cargoes across these routes has an important strategic effect on the course of the war.
Primary on-map shipping routes (as originally planned)
• #1 – Western US & Canada to Hawaii and the Central Pacific theatre.
• #2 – Western US and Panama to eastern areas of the South Pacific theatre.
• #3 – Western US & Canada to Alaska and the North Pacific theatre.
• #4 – Western US and Panama via route #2 to central and western areas of the South Pacific theatre, Australia/New Zealand and the SW Pacific theatre. Route #4 includes route #2 above and extends it across central and western areas of the South Pacific theatre to New Zealand and Australia
• #5 – Western Indian Ocean. This route actually represents a network of shipping lanes, including on-map shipping movement through the western Indian Ocean between points in mainland India and Ceylon, and also movement to India and Ceylon from off-map bases at Aden, Abadan and Capetown.
• #6 – Eastern Indian Ocean route between Colombo and Western Australia.
Primary off-map shipping routes (as originally planned)
• #7 – Eastern US to Australia via Capetown.
• #8 – Eastern US to India via Mediterranean.
Primary on-map shipping routes (as implemented)
• #1 – US West Coast (San Francisco, Los Angeles) to Hawaii and Central Pacific theatre. Implemented as originally planned. Primary convoy destination of this route currently Pearl Harbor, other destinations including Midway and the Line Islands.
• #2 – This route was consolidated into #1 or #4 depending on exact destination in the eastern South Pacific area, never implemented as a distinct convoy route. Destinations in the Line Islands area were combined into Central Pacific theatre (route #1), destinations further south and west of Christmas Is (Tahiti, etc) combined into South Pacific theatre (route #4).
• #3 – US West Coast (Seattle) & Canada to Alaska and Aleutians. Base facilities at Prince Rupert (Canada) were expanded by late 1942 to its maximum port size 9. Prince Rupert has a major rail connection via Vancouver with the mainland US and now replaced Seattle as the main departure point for convoys on this route.
• #4 – US West Coast (San Francisco, Los Angeles) to New Zealand and South Pacific theatre. Implemented as originally planned and expanded to include Tahiti and nearby islands. Primary convoy destination on this route is Auckland, secondary destinations include Suva, Wellington and Tahiti. Movement of all cargo bound for the South Pacific theatre is along this convoy route. It should be noted that route #4 does not include Australia or SW Pacific. Movement path of route #4 convoys is variable and mostly well east of Christmas Is and south of Tahiti. Variable timing and movement paths of these convoys have so far ensured Japanese subs, surface raiders and the KB find mainly vast stretches of empty water on sorties into these sea areas.
• #5 – Western Indian Ocean between India, Colombo, Capetown and Aden/Abadan. Implemented mostly as originally planned. Most convoys in this area were modified to travel a route with three parts: Capetown to Bombay with supply and LCU cargo, Bombay to Abadan (empty), Abadan to Capetown via Socotra with fuel cargo. I began this practice when Capetown literally ran out of fuel stocks in 1942.
• #6 – Eastern Indian Ocean between Colombo and Western Australia (Perth). This route not in use. In practice, eastern sea areas of the Indian Ocean south of the DEI have largely become a mostly empty no-mans’ land. The only Allied ships I’ve sent into this area were the US carrier force raid on Palembang. Pillager occasionally sends a Japanese patrol sub off Perth, when spotted I send out a small Allied surface TF to chase it, otherwise ignore it.
Primary off-map shipping routes (as implemented)
• #7 - Eastern US to Australia via Capetown. Implemented as planned. This route is used for movement of all cargo bound for Australia and SW Pacific theatre. Primary convoy destination of this route is Melbourne, secondary destinations Sydney and Adelaide.
• #8 – Eastern US to India via Capetown. Not implemented. Little movement of cargo done between the Eastern US and India. In practice, any cargo moving along this route would actually travel from Eastern US to Capetown off-map, then unloaded and transferred at Capetown to a convoy moving along route #5 above to India or Colombo.
I should note that sea transport between Australia (SW Pacific theatre) and New Zealand (South Pacific theatre) is being handled as short-range local traffic.
< Message edited by wneumann -- 12/1/2012 3:42:01 PM >