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RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari, please.

 
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RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/27/2012 12:21:55 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
So, approximate fleet losses in the Burma campaign so far:

Japan

CVL Chiyoda (yeah, she is almost certainly doomed)
CL 3 (Nagara, Isuzu, Natori, all lost in a very unfortunate surface combat near Rangoon)
DD 3 (Matsukaze, Shiratsuyu, Kawakaze)
AO 6 (!) Good thing that tanker losses up to now were light.
AK 3 Despite having exceptional AA armament by Japanese standards, they remain extremely vulnerable to air attack. I guess only DP guns of 100mm and above are worth anything in air defense, automatic AA mostly just creates an illusion of high flak rating.


Allies

CVL Hermes, CVE Battler
CA 2 (Sussex, Shropshire)
CL 3 (Kenya, Newcastle, Caradoc)
DD 5 (Charrette, Sampson, Ammen, Van Galen, Stronghold)
SS - I've observed 2 almost certain kills by surface ASW, and some likely were sunk by air attacks.

This list might be too optimistic.


2-3/1/1943 update: Allied CV raiders have retreated... Meanwhile, Bigred finally figured out that my aviation at Magwe has no supply to repair damaged planes and the situation in Central Burma just escalated to catastrophic. I'm seriously contemplating a retreat from Irrawaddy's valley regardless of the battle for Rangoon's outcome, because I'm not sure how I can restore the air umbrella there with all airfields being heavily damaged. Lack of attention to supply situation is what doomed me here - I believe that the Allied aviation is on the verge of exhaustion and already unable to fill squadrons with modern fighters, so if only the Magwe air complex was properly supplied, I would be able to win the air battle. Allied ground forces are pretty weak after their costly attacks and might be unable to rout my main body in the process. Will appreciate any advice here.

In a bit of good news, the garrizon of Finschhafen kicked the elements of 30th Australian Brigade into the sea. Solomons are of little importance next to the crisis in Burma, though.

_____________________________

The Reluctant Admiral mod team.

Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 631
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/27/2012 10:31:36 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
I'll post an economic report a bit later, because results of the review I made at the end of December prompted me to make some significant changes.

Meanwhile, some opinions on Japanese 1943 fighter arsenal, including both stock staples and new stuff from Reluctant Admiral.

Formula 1 Tier: Ki-84 and N1K1-J. Really, really good. Can fly circles around any Allied second-generation fighter and Hellcats too, achieving very lopsided kill ratios. About equal to Corsairs and Lightnings. And the only planes that have a reasonable chance of drawing even with dreaded T-Bolts (in rare cases even getting better of them, although this might be due to excellent pilot cadres in some of my veteran units). N1K1-J also is the best available 4E slayer. For the best results, I use Ki-84s at 20k and N1K1-Js at max altitude.
Their drawback is service rating. For short bursts of air activity it matters little, but if a battle lasts more than 1-2 days, significant numbers of planes end up in maintenance even on great airfields.

Workhorse Tier: Ki-44-IIc, A6M8 (RA addition). Not really as good, but can keep going in the defensive battles where Franks and Georges end up groundbound. Usually cannot handle T-Bolt (and, lately, Spitfire VIII) at all, but do OK against other Allied third-generation planes, at least when fighting over their own airfields or otherwise having an advantage. Generally better that the Allied second generation.

Ablative Armor Tier: Ki-43-IIb, A6M5b. Clearly obsolescent and are at best equal to even the worst of the Allied fighters currently produced. Worth using because of their combination of extra range and SR1, allowing them to escort bombers farther and not suffer as much problems when airfields get overstacked in emergencies.

Bronze Medal Tier: Ki-61, A6M4-J (RA Addition), A6M7. Planes that are clearly inferior to available alternatives. I had absolutely disappointing results trying to get any mileage out of Ki-61s, any of its variants. Tojos simply score more kills in similar situations AND have SR 1. A6M4-J has inferior flight characteristics, that make it only good as a bomber interceptor for rear area bases... but N1K1-J can do the same better, as the rear area bases that warrant fighter cover ought to have good airbases, and this situation comes up rarely anyway.

The Only Option Tier: Ki-45 KAIa. Simply speaking, there are no other adequate fighter-bomber in IJAAF arsenal in the version of the mod we're still using (I've tried to fix it in the later versions). The rest carry large-calibre guns, which can't hit anything. So I'm stuck with Ki-45 KAIa until the end of war.

_____________________________

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Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 632
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 6/3/2012 2:04:36 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
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Economic Condition Report

As you can see from the screenshot, with completion of nearly all of the Japanese carriers in the scenario, I've cut the naval production by more than 50%, increasing HI flow despite shutting down some HI to save fuel for the fleet. Unfortunately, increasing demands from pilot training and impending loss of the Magwe oil field is going to strain my HI production to the point where Japan barely breaks even from month to month. I've large reserves of armament and vehicles and while production at the moment exceeds projected demands from arriving LCUs, I continue to build them in large numbers, to provide a reserve for rebuilding of destroyed units and fragments. Air production still isn't very huge, compared to other expenditures. This is likely to change once several massively researched airframes come online in 1944.



Speaking of air production. I'm building a wide variety of aircraft to test their performance, where I have doubts, or to fill different tactical niches (for example, I've resumed A6M5b production after accidentally converting everything to A6M8, because I'm using A6M5b for escort). I'm also averse to converting factories for planes that might be even somewhat useful, because this saves very little, compared to building new factories from zero. So, I still have factories for planes like A6M4-J (I plan to restart this one once A6M8-J is available). My production numbers might be not very impressive, but so far they were enough to satisfy frontlines' needs. If you wonder why some other factories aren't working, I don't have enough engines for D4Y2 (a mistake with calculation acceleration caused D4Y5 to become available before D4Y3, so I can't convert it) and P1Y1, and as about Ki-43-IIb, I barely use this type at the moment and have a significant stockpile for future kamikaze needs already and will resume production for the same purpose once Ki-43-IIIa becomes available in 44/6.



As about engines, it boils down to expanding production of Mitsubishi Ha-43 and Nakajima Ha-45 now. Maybe I'll up Ha-44 production a bit, to stockpile more of them for Ki-94-II before Japan is threatened by strategic bombing.



Meanwhile, aircraft reseach goes on just fine. I expect A7M2 to become available on 44/3, although because it got a month of acceleration due to a now-fixed research bug, I promised Bigred to delay its production for a month. Either way, once it is close to deployment, I'll switch all or nearly all research factories to A7M3 to make it available in autumn of 1944. A7M2 is mainly needed for carrier use, because as a land-based plane it is mildly inferior to N1K5-J, which also quickly approaches production. A7M3 (courtesy of my own work on RA mod), though, is the hope and dream of IJNAF. With 6 20-mm cannons, service rating of 2 and relatively passable flight characteristics, it is going to be my main naval fighter for late war.
IJAAF, unfortunately, will be forced to rely on less capable Ki-84r. Sure, it has an amazing combination of speed and MVR for the time I'm going to get it, but it is deficient in terms of armament and service rating. I cannot hope to succeed by rearming everything on it, too weak against massed 4Es. IJAAF still lags behind in terms of bomber interception and will continue to do so. I'm already producting Ki-61-II KAI (which carries 4x20mm guns in RA) as a solution for the time being, but with their SR of 4, these planes are not going to be safe to station anywhere except Rabaul. It also is not very good in aspects other than firepower.
As some of the previously researched planes reached production, I switched their factories to late-war types. I want C6N1-S as it is the fastest Japanese night fighter, and Ki-201 to test if its speed can overcome other faults. I'm researching Ki-67b hard because it is the best protected Japanese torpedo bomber (I'm also feeling that Helen's range is too low for my needs, at least for night bombing missions, so I see the benefits for using both Ki-49 and Ki-67).




< Message edited by FatR -- 6/3/2012 2:07:30 PM >


_____________________________

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Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 633
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 6/3/2012 7:06:23 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
January 5, 1944

The report can speak louder than description...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ground combat at Mandalay (59,46)
Allied Deliberate attack
Attacking force 89898 troops, 1876 guns, 2453 vehicles, Assault Value = 2501
Defending force 87944 troops, 934 guns, 1370 vehicles, Assault Value = 2388
Allied engineers reduce fortifications to 3
Allied adjusted assault: 3366
Japanese adjusted defense: 567
Allied assault odds: 5 to 1 (fort level 3)

Allied forces CAPTURE Mandalay !!!

Combat modifiers
Defender: forts(+), supply(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
20550 casualties reported
Squads: 688 destroyed, 149 disabled
Non Combat: 1910 destroyed, 79 disabled
Engineers: 304 destroyed, 1 disabled
Guns lost 265 (257 destroyed, 8 disabled)
Vehicles lost 1004 (1004 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units retreated 18


Allied ground losses:
3549 casualties reported
Squads: 81 destroyed, 519 disabled
Non Combat: 5 destroyed, 96 disabled
Engineers: 41 destroyed, 149 disabled
Guns lost 142 (5 destroyed, 137 disabled)
Vehicles lost 104 (11 destroyed, 93 disabled)


Defeated Japanese Units Retreating!

Assaulting units:
9th Indian Division
XV Corps Engineer Battalion
254th Armoured Brigade
40th Infantry Division
24th (Sep) Infantry Regiment
2nd British Division
22nd (East African) Brigade
XXXIII Corps Engineer Battalion
255th Armoured Brigade
23rd Indian Division
14th Chindit Brigade
17th Indian Division
50th Tank Brigade
7th Indian Division
5th Indian Division
9th Australian Division
IV Corps RIASC Base Force
6th Mixed A/T Mtr Regiment
226th Field Artillery Battalion
14th Army
XXXIII Indian
4th Field Artillery Battalion
XV Corps RIASC Base Force
249th Field Artillery Battalion
XXXIII Corps RIASC Base Force
23rd AA Bde
501st Coast AA Regiment
134th Field Artillery Battalion
XV Indian
30th Indian Mountain Gun Regiment
IV Indian
78th Light AA Regiment
1st USMC Engineer Aviation Battalion
823rd Engineer Aviation Battalion

Defending units:
37th Division
53rd Division
48th Division
3rd Tank Division
21st Division
39th Division
56th Division
Southern Army
12th JAAF Base Force
23rd Army
15th Army
7th JAAF Base Force
36th Field AA Battalion
6th Field AF Construction Battalion
10th Ind. Mountain Gun Regiment
8th Mountain Gun Regiment
35th Fld AA Gun Co
19th JAAF Base Force


Meanwhile repeated attempts to rout Allied forces in Rangoon hex have failed. Japanese reinforcements managed to rout an American regiment at Moulmein, but this is a weak compensation for everything else. I'm positioned to lose 10 divisions and a ton of support and flak units. The situation of maximum emergency is declared across the Empire, but I might need at least two weeks to organize another credible counterattack in South Burma, and these troops will have a hard time surviving that long. This is not a war-winning breakrthrough yet, but Japan will have a very hard time stabilizing the front, if the Burma Area Army is annihilated. Reestablishing the land link to Burma is the top priority.

CVL Chiyoda sank as well. At least Hosho got away. Air situation deteriorates too, because my units are forced to fly from poorly supported airfields that recently were in the rear and Bigred launched a devastating night bombing campaign over the last two turns.

< Message edited by FatR -- 6/3/2012 7:07:23 PM >


_____________________________

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Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 634
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 6/4/2012 11:39:50 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
On Miracles of The Random Number Generator

Both ships suffered the same sort of attack in recent action, a single torpedo from a PT boat. As you can see, damage was quite different. So, one should not lose hope (or get into high spirits) upon seeing a single extreme result in the game.




_____________________________

The Reluctant Admiral mod team.

Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 635
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 7/3/2012 10:08:03 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
Up to January 23rd, 1944

I'm still failing to update my AAR... but at least there is some progress in the actual game. On January 22 Japanese troops unloaded at Rangoon reestablished the land link to Indochina, thoroughly crushing 3 Allied division in the process, including 1st Marine, which Bigred boldly attempted to land directly at Rangoon (which cost Allies dearly in terms of ships), as KB was not far away, escorting another reinforcement convoy.

However, only 2 Japanese divisions out of 10 caught in Central Burma and only about half of support and flak units managed to move by rail to Toungoo, where they might possibly survive long enough to be relieved. 6 infantry and 2 tank divisions, plus a ton of flak and airfield support units were cut off, defeated multiple times and are certainly going to be annihilated. I even failed to airlift fragments from 2 infantry divisions, as they were restricted.

I wonder what Allied supply situation in Central Burma is. I have an equivalent of about 12 divisions (albeit with some of them battered) in Southern Burma or on the way, and a sizeable force of about 6 divisions worth in Lashio and on the way through the mountains to Burma. This is clearly not enough for a counterattack against Allied forces operating with sufficient supply (at least 9 divisions, albeit all battered, not counting 3 divisions crushed at Rangoon-Pegu, plus 3-4 divisions worth of smaller units), even if two divisions at Toungoo can be saved, but if Allies might run out of supply... No signs of that, though, so Central Burma is likely lost for good.

Meanwhile, at CenPac Allies seized Ocean Island, defeating the garrizon. Japanese aviation from Mili and subs got some good hits in, sinking at least 1 and probably 2 CVEs, 1 AO, some smaller ships and damaging an old BB. This cost them dearly, and while aviation is ready to keep up the fight, my Pacific sub force is scattered, with 4 subs sunk, and several more badly damaged. These losses were avenged when I-43 sank CVL Cabot, while patrolling along southewestern coast of Australia (taking heavy damage in return, but still limping home at the moment). Bigred still does not pay enough attention to ASW and convoy discipline, but power of Allied ASW is such that I'm now losing some subs whenever groups of them are deployed anyway.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The Reluctant Admiral mod team.

Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
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(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 636
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 7/3/2012 10:49:12 PM   
FatR

 

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Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
I managed to get most of the recently damaged ships to Singapore, including Hosho. However, an unpleasant surprise awaited me:



This is at 135 Repair Shipyard. Looks like I'll need to blow more precious supply on expanding it, if I want Musashi to go anywhere before the war ends.



Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The Reluctant Admiral mod team.

Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 637
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 7/4/2012 3:04:12 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
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Air Losses

Up to January 22, 1944. The Allies still must field numerous second-generation fighters through 1943 and early 1944, losing over 560 Warhawks, almost 200 Airacobras, over 300 Hurricanes and about 310 Wildcats since March 1, 1943. Plus 641 Hellcat, which is technically third generation, but in practice Hellokitties performance in AE is closer to that of second-generation fighters (that's why it was boosted in later versions of RA). Losses for newer fighter types (Thuds, Spitfires, Corsairs, Lightnings)for the same period are harder to analyze, I roughly estimate them at around 1600 planes.

This high-intensity air warfare, primarily defensive for Japanese, obviously benefits my side so far. Not only it means that the Allies still can't build a fighter force capable of contesting air superiority at least over my own bases, when they must send pilots in second-rate planes to fight over enemy territory, their pilot pools suffer, and Japanese fighter pilots in the frontline units accumulate experiences faster than they are killed off. I'll post screens of my most heroic fighter units later. Overall I think that my pilot cadres are in decent shape for early 1944, although air attacks on the enemy fleet in CenPac now start to exact heavy price, and the fighter pilot reserve remains troublingly limited. I'm considering creating dedicated naval escort units filled with low-grade pilots, to avoid wasting my veterans on what is essentially ablative armor missions in AE. In my Scen 2 game I'm already doing it, but in this game I've already used up all graduated pilots for both services, and now I'm pulling them into on-map training units straight from the training program, so any green pilots now are going to be very, very green.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The Reluctant Admiral mod team.

Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 638
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 7/6/2012 11:03:58 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
Air Heroes of The Empire

Looking at the roster of aces, I can find satisfaction in the fact that it doesn't look like a funeral list (yet). If you wonder why some aces are in TRACOM - I dismissed to pool all the veterans that were unable to fly out of Magwe after supplies in Central Burma were exhausted. Need to return them back to units. At the moment my airforce still holds a slight tech advantage in fighter quality (IMO), but balance is only going to shift in Allied favor, so better to use great pilots now. Overall losses are horrible, but thankfully irrecoverable pilot losses now form a lesser percentage of plane losses. Still, I only manage to maintain quality of my pilots only by keeping over half of my airforce in the traning program, and this now came at odds with the need to cover major SRA ports from more carrier raids, and possibly 4E attacks. 4Es already could reach Georgetown before the new Allied conquests in Burma.


My top scoring unit, Kagoshima Kokutai S-2:



Fought in Burma (with some detours to Andamans) since arrival on frontlines, with most kills scored in air defense of Magwe.

The top scoring Army unit, 1st Sentai:



It started its combat career early in the game, first distinguishing itself on Java and then actively participating in practically every major action on the eastern flank of Japanese perimeter. Still, in both sheer number of kills and kill-to-loss ratio it lags behind Kagoshima Kokutai - a testament to inferiority of the Army planes. As a note, it was one of the first IJNAF units upgraded to Ki-84, but I switched it back to Ki-44, because immediately after the Cental Burma disaster my airforce was forced to operate with massively insufficient air support. Also, a large number of Franks and Georges were caught on the ground, incapable of taking off. Instead of destroying them by unit withdrawal, I put all the remnants in two units that were completely disabled by the time the disaster became apparent, and railroaded these units to Toungoo, in hope that Allies will expend some effort blasting them on the ground. Anyway, as a result I'm simply short on the newest fighters at the moment.


For comparison, my top-scoring units in the Solomons/New Guinea theatre (although, to be fair, both of these units were transferred to New Guinea from Andamans, and 64th Sentai is in action since the first day of the war, spending most of it on the western corner of the Empire), where action was somewhat smaller in scope, and spread across a wider front:




Finally, the best Japanese carrier fighter unit:



At least relatively careful and conservative use of KB allowed me to preserve a core of great pilots on Japanese flattops. But I think pilots from land-based airgroups nowhave some not very nice words to say abouе "carrier kid-glove slackers".

_____________________________

The Reluctant Admiral mod team.

Take a look at the latest released version of the Reluctant Admiral mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 639
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 7/31/2012 9:27:21 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
24/1/44 - 5/02/44

The game is going slowly these days, largely because I'm overworked. Several significant events happened in less than two weeks.

Burma

On February 4th a Japanese army marching from Rangoon routed Allied rearguard in the wilderness hex before Prome with a shock attack, supported by almost all Army and Navy level bombers in the western half of the map. I wonder if Allies in Central Burma suffer from general supply shortage, or if vigorous bombing contributed to that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ground combat at 55,51 (near Prome)
Japanese Shock attack
Attacking force 47086 troops, 460 guns, 85 vehicles, Assault Value = 1587
Defending force 20089 troops, 588 guns, 173 vehicles, Assault Value = 593
Japanese adjusted assault: 1968
Allied adjusted defense: 435
Japanese assault odds: 4 to 1

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), experience(-), supply(-)
Attacker: shock(+)

Japanese ground losses:
1459 casualties reported
Squads: 22 destroyed, 165 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 17 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 38 disabled
Guns lost 23 (1 destroyed, 22 disabled)


Allied ground losses:
4759 casualties reported
Squads: 196 destroyed, 63 disabled
Non Combat: 305 destroyed, 53 disabled
Engineers: 13 destroyed, 34 disabled
Guns lost 110 (39 destroyed, 71 disabled)
Vehicles lost 37 (23 destroyed, 14 disabled)
Units retreated 6

Defeated Allied Units Retreating!

Assaulting units:
38th Division
15th Division
Guards Mixed Brigade
54th Division
24th Ind.Mixed Brigade
8th Area Army
14th Army
3rd Medium Mortar Battalion

Defending units:
8th Australian Division
75th Indian Brigade
11th (East African) Division
501st Coast AA Regiment
214th Coast AA Regiment
23rd AA Bde
108th Tank Attack AT Rgt /9

Besides thoroughly trashing several Commonwealth units, which might be hard to rebuild considering their relatively limited replacements, and opening the way for smashing the Allied army again in the open ground at Prome, this opens the possibility of saving the part of my forces that was cut off at Magwe/Meiktila. These units are even miraculously receiving some supply now. But after being smashed several time and bombed from the air for half a month, they are little more than numbers now anyway.



My second army at Toungoo remains blocked by an Allied force that is outnumbered only 2:1 and poor flow of supply (I wonder why it is possible to get beans and bullets from Rangoon across hundreds of kilometers of Allied-occupied countryside and jungle, but not to get them to Toungoo through the road).

Also, a big army from China and Kwantung Army is massing in Lashio. My fighters had some success intercepting routine Allied bombing there recently (after the situation in Southern Burma stabilized enough to spare some aviation. The supply situation, though, is bad, and with the rough terrain around I'm not confident about the possibility of breakthrough towards Mandalay.

Chiang Mai, captured early by Allied paratroops, is about to be attacked with 1 1/2 divisions. I don't want it to become an active airbase.

Meanwhile, some of my units evacuated from Burma as fragments are rebuilding at Singapore. I'm splitting my divisions in 3, when they need to rest and recover, and this seems to work - 3rd Tank Division has grown to over 200 AV in half a month. Units rebuilt from fragments are losing all of their experience about the default 50-55 level, but divisions with high-quality TOEs are precious anyway.



Southern Pacific: The Second Naval Battle of Woodlark Island

A tremendous clash happened there on February 4th, as USN laid a trap for a routine Japanese 8-ship bombardment run (or at least I think that's what happened). Unfortunately for the Allies, on the same day I decided to launch a massive air raid against Milne Bay, where a concentration of Allied shipping and planes was spotted. As few planes were left to cover Rabaul, I emptied the harbor of valuable combatants and the Japanese TF was twice as strong as usual.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night Time Surface Combat, near Woodlark Island at 105,132, Range 12,000 Yards
Allied aircraft
no flights

Allied aircraft losses
OS2U-3 Kingfisher: 4 destroyed
OS2U-3 Kingfisher: 1 destroyed

Japanese Ships
BB Haruna, Shell hits 1
CB Kawachi, Shell hits 1
CA Maya, Shell hits 5
CA Mogami, Shell hits 1
CA Mikuma, Shell hits 2
CA Aoba, Shell hits 1
CA Kako, Shell hits 4
DD Yoizuki, Shell hits 6, on fire
DD Takanami
DD Kiyonami, Shell hits 3
DD Hamanami, Shell hits 6, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Oyashio, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Uranami, Shell hits 1
DD Shikinami
DD Ayanami
DD Oboro, Shell hits 1, on fire

Allied Ships
BB Pennsylvania, Shell hits 30, and is sunk
CL Tromp, Shell hits 13, and is sunk
CL Biloxi, Shell hits 14, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
DD Bennett, Shell hits 1
DD Bullard, Shell hits 1
DD Bush, Shell hits 16, and is sunk
DD Izard
DD McCord
DD Mullany, Shell hits 6, heavy fires
DD Nicholas, Shell hits 3, on fire
DD Philip, Shell hits 8, and is sunk
DD Picking
DD Stephen Potter, Shell hits 1
DD The Sullivans

Improved night sighting under 78% moonlight
Maximum visibility in Partly Cloudy Conditions and 78% moonlight: 11,000 yards
Range closes to 24,000 yards...
Range closes to 18,000 yards...
CONTACT: Allies radar detects Japanese task force at 18,000 yards
Range closes to 12,000 yards...
CONTACT: Allies radar detects Japanese task force at 12,000 yards
CB Kawachi engages BB Pennsylvania at 12,000 yards

Mod-added CB Kawachi proved her worth in this and previous battles. Although her guns were unable to penetrate Pennsylvania belt from beyond 6k yards, in night combat this didn't matter as much, as opposed to their high accuracy.

After this battle the Japanese flottilla bombarded plane-overstacked Woodlark, causing heavy damage, but then in the morning...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Day Time Surface Combat, near Woodlark Island at 105,132, Range 24,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
BB Haruna, Shell hits 3
CB Kawachi
CA Maya
CA Mogami, Shell hits 1
CA Mikuma, Shell hits 3
CA Aoba, Shell hits 1
CA Kako, Shell hits 3
DD Yoizuki, Shell hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
DD Takanami, Shell hits 6, and is sunk
DD Kiyonami
DD Uranami, Shell hits 4, on fire
DD Shikinami
DD Ayanami

Allied Ships
CA Boston, Shell hits 7, heavy fires
CL Boise, Shell hits 1
DD Bell, Shell hits 1
DD Colahan, Shell hits 1
DD Dortch, Shell hits 1
DD Erben, Shell hits 1
DD Franks
DD Lewis Hancock
DD Heermann, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Hickox
DD Hunt
DD Ingersoll

Maximum visibility in Partly Cloudy Conditions: 28,000 yards
Range closes to 24,000 yards...
CONTACT: Allies radar detects Japanese task force at 24,000 yards
CONTACT: Japanese radar detects Allied task force at 24,000 yards

The advantage was still ours, but with Japanese ships now out of ammo, they were unable to deliver a decisive blow or sink anything. USN still wasn't done with us:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Day Time Surface Combat, near Woodlark Island at 105,131, Range 21,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
BB Haruna
CB Kawachi, Torpedo hits 1
CA Mogami
CA Mikuma
CA Aoba
DD Kiyonami
DD Shikinami
DD Ayanami

Allied Ships
PT-222
PT-339
PT-356
PT-363
PT-364, Shell hits 2, and is sunk
PT-365, Shell hits 1, and is sunk

Maximum visibility in Partly Cloudy Conditions: 28,000 yards
CONTACT: Japanese lookouts spot Allied task force at 21,000 yards
CONTACT: Allied lookouts spot Japanese task force at 21,000 yards


Overall, 4 Japanese DDs, all new, were lost: Hamanami, Takanami, Yoizuki and Oyashio. Allied air attack against the retreating ships were weak, but still finished off Hamanami. CA Maya was hit by a sub on the way back, taking 2 torps and barely making Rabaul. Night air attacks against the Rabaul harbor on February 5th increased damage to the Japanese fleet.



While this still a significant victory, despite losing those valuable ships (and the first actual losses among the newest Japanese DD classes) now the Combined Fleet is officially and truly past the point of not having enough destroyers to provide sufficient escort for its combat groups, between this and 8 DDs sunk in December-January. I'm conteplating replacing a part of KB escort complement with E-class ships, just to free a few Yugumos for the frontline. The situations on the Allied side seems to be exact opposite after huge battleship/cruiser losses through the game (Bigred so far holds back fast USN battleships, though) and ample Fletcher class reinforcements. I think I've sent close to 30 Fletchers to the bottom by now, but as you can see, they remain numerous. I, on the other hand, can look forward mostly to Matsus, which are clearly inferior even to most of the pre-war USN DDs.

Meanwhile, the raid on Milne Bay I mentioned above went well, against weak CAP parts of which were actually on a training mission. However, most of the ships sunk in the harbor were landing craft, and those reappear in the pool if destroyed. I think the biggest targets I managed to get were two obsolete Dutch DDs and now I regret not sending a majority of bombers against the airfield, which was full of 4Es and transport planes.



Central Pacific: Invasion of Mili

Bigred has not been slow and struck directly at Mili, invading on February 2nd, while KB still was undergoing maintenance after active operations near Burma coast. The invasion was spotted one turn before, so I countered with mass deployment of midget subs, plus all three torpedo boats in the pool... plus aviation, of course, but here I found that my surrounding bases were inadequate in both air support and supply, while Mili was subjected to strong naval and air bombardment, so mostly only fighters took off from there. Midgets have failed patherically, sinking only one DD in exchange for 11 of their numbers, but torpedo boats managed to set two fuel-loaded transports on fire, and one of them even managed to escape for now. Air attacks were not terribly successful. Several CVEs were damaged, but none fatally.



Overall, the campaign in Marhalls/Gilbers cost IJN 7 subs and several large auxilaries so far, with several more subs being at risk of sinking, plus large, but acceptable air losses. Allies have lost 3 CVEs certainly or almost certainly, plus 1 possibly, about 6 DDs, and several escorts, landing craft and transports. I don't think I'll be able to score any more good blows in this area. For 1944 and limited forces that were allocated to the area (due to not expecting real Allied activity here initally, and then being busy shipping everything to Burma) this is not bad... but I disappointed at my inability to delay the Allies more.

Ground forces at Mili, by the way, did well initially:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ground combat at Mili (136,121)
Allied Shock attack
Attacking force 15363 troops, 279 guns, 589 vehicles, Assault Value = 958
Defending force 14507 troops, 189 guns, 57 vehicles, Assault Value = 346
Allied adjusted assault: 143
Japanese adjusted defense: 692
Allied assault odds: 1 to 4 (fort level 6)

Combat modifiers
Defender: forts(+), disruption(-), experience(-)
Attacker: shock(+), disruption(-)

Japanese ground losses:
857 casualties reported
Squads: 44 destroyed, 94 disabled
Non Combat: 6 destroyed, 26 disabled
Engineers: 8 destroyed, 29 disabled
Guns lost 64 (15 destroyed, 49 disabled)
Vehicles lost 4 (3 destroyed, 1 disabled)
Units destroyed 1

Allied ground losses:
6059 casualties reported
Squads: 172 destroyed, 273 disabled
Non Combat: 89 destroyed, 172 disabled
Engineers: 16 destroyed, 56 disabled
Guns lost 89 (18 destroyed, 71 disabled)
Vehicles lost 333 (23 destroyed, 310 disabled)

Assaulting units:
194th Tank Battalion
1st USMC Amphb Tank Battalion
24th Infantry Div /2
192nd Tank Battalion
4th USMC Tank Battalion
3rd Marine Div /9
110th USA Base Force /1
222nd USN Base Force /2
4th USA Def Bn /1
810th EAB /1
12th Marine Def Bn /1

Defending units:
67th Naval Guard Unit
24th Infantry Regiment
16th Infantry Regiment
Mili Naval Fortress
38th JNAF AF Unit
102nd Machine Canno AA Battalion
80th JAAF AF Bn
9th Air Fleet
Majuro Base Force
24th JNAF AF Unit
30th Field AA Machinecannon Company
4th Naval Const Bn /1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ground combat at Mili (136,121)
Allied Shock attack
Attacking force 15335 troops, 470 guns, 202 vehicles, Assault Value = 475
Defending force 13399 troops, 184 guns, 54 vehicles, Assault Value = 257
Allied adjusted assault: 26
Japanese adjusted defense: 114
Allied assault odds: 1 to 4 (fort level 6)

Combat modifiers
Defender: forts(+), disruption(-), experience(-)
Attacker: shock(+)

Japanese ground losses:
1061 casualties reported
Squads: 13 destroyed, 88 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 8 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 5 disabled
Guns lost 21 (1 destroyed, 20 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
3355 casualties reported
Squads: 109 destroyed, 128 disabled
Non Combat: 2 destroyed, 33 disabled
Engineers: 24 destroyed, 8 disabled
Guns lost 106 (1 destroyed, 105 disabled)


I suspect the initival size of the US landing force was beyond Mili's limit of 30k.

But then Allies finally got their tanks ashore ans starting grinding down the garrizon:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ground combat at Mili (136,121)
Allied Deliberate attack
Attacking force 2798 troops, 70 guns, 256 vehicles, Assault Value = 260
Defending force 12369 troops, 181 guns, 54 vehicles, Assault Value = 180
Allied adjusted assault: 46
Japanese adjusted defense: 328
Allied assault odds: 1 to 7 (fort level 6)

Combat modifiers
Defender: forts(+), disruption(-), experience(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
756 casualties reported
Squads: 95 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 18 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 15 (15 destroyed, 0 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
Vehicles lost 17 (2 destroyed, 15 disabled)

Assaulting units:
24th Infantry Division
194th Tank Battalion
1st USMC Amphb Tank Battalion
192nd Tank Battalion
3rd Marine Division
4th USMC Tank Battalion
4th USA Defense Battalion
12th Marine Defense Battalion
222nd USN Base Force
810th Engineer Aviation Battalion
B Det USN Port Svc
110th USA Base Force /1

Defending units:
24th Infantry Regiment
67th Naval Guard Unit
16th Infantry Regiment
Mili Naval Fortress
Majuro Base Force
9th Air Fleet
38th JNAF AF Unit
30th Field AA Machinecannon Company
102nd Machine Canno AA Battalion
24th JNAF AF Unit
80th JAAF AF Bn

A shameful display (or shamefur dispray, as we're talking about the Japanese)... Even with the best AT weapons available my forces are almost completely helpless. It seems only heavy artillery or medium flak guns are at all effective against Allied armor. Mili shall fall, and so shall outlying islands with their weak garrizons and low supply levels. Majuro already has been taken by a paradrop.

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Post #: 640
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 8/24/2012 1:54:12 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
06/02/1944 - 15/02/1944


Bigred was away from his PC for over a week, so progress in the game remains minimal. Not to say, that there weren't enough events! One of the reasons I'm slow with my reports is the huge scope of late-war action.


Burma - Failure at Prome

The combination of withering attacks by Allied heavy bombers, my extremely dumb mistake in setting preparation of all Prome-bound troops to Pegu and Allies having more reserves than expected, resulted in a big failure to rout Allied troops at Prome on February 10th:

Ground combat at Prome (55,50)
Japanese Shock attack
Attacking force 45533 troops, 460 guns, 85 vehicles, Assault Value = 1442
Defending force 41547 troops, 916 guns, 936 vehicles, Assault Value = 1203
Japanese adjusted assault: 528
Allied adjusted defense: 531
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 2 (fort level 1)

Combat modifiers
Defender: leaders(+), disruption(-), preparation(-), experience(-)
Attacker: shock(+), disruption(-)

Japanese ground losses:
4989 casualties reported
Squads: 179 destroyed, 196 disabled
Non Combat: 2 destroyed, 51 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 19 disabled
Guns lost 43 (1 destroyed, 42 disabled)
Vehicles lost 6 (1 destroyed, 5 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
837 casualties reported
Squads: 8 destroyed, 176 disabled
Non Combat: 3 destroyed, 49 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 28 disabled
Guns lost 92 (1 destroyed, 91 disabled)


Assaulting units:
Guards Mixed Brigade
54th Division
15th Division
38th Division
24th Ind.Mixed Brigade
8th Area Army
14th Army
3rd Medium Mortar Battalion

Defending units:
11th (East African) Division
8th Australian Division
1st Marine Division
50th Tank Brigade
75th Indian Brigade
254th Armoured Brigade
26th Indian Division
214th Coast AA Regiment
108th Tank Attack AT Gun Regiment
I US Amphib Corps
23rd AA Bde
243 Wing
501st Coast AA Regiment
112th RN Base Force
123rd RAF Base Force

Very close, but not enough. Looks like remnants of my isolated Central Burma Army are doomed.

Later Bigred attempted to launch what seemed like pure-tank attacks at Prome and Toungoo, but those were repelled with heavily one-sided Allied casualties - Japanese full divisions have enough artillery to deal with Allied tanks, for now.

I'm torn whether to pull my forces from Prome to forested terrain and assume a permanent defensive stance on this front, or to pull everything I can up from Rangoon and attack again. My forces are suffering heavily from 4E attacks, while Allied ones are largely immune to air raids, thanks to one of their monster AA brigades. On the other hand, air losses over Prome heavily favor Japanese, and I'm fairly confident, that the Allied fighter force is being bled dry by the now-revitalized horde of Georges and Franks, for a relatively low pilot cost on my side (bailing out over a hex where friendly troops are present still seems to reduce losses and turn MIAs into WIAs) - it is just 4Es that I have hard time hurting. For example, the last major air battle on 15th:

Morning Air attack on Prome , at 55,50
Weather in hex: Partial cloud
Raid detected at 35 NM, estimated altitude 42,010 feet.
Estimated time to target is 10 minutes

Japanese aircraft
N1K1-J George x 64
Ki-84a Frank x 20

Allied aircraft
Spitfire VIII x 7
Spitfire VIII x 4
P-40N5 Warhawk x 6
P-47D2 Thunderbolt x 3
F4F-4 Wildcat x 4
F6F-3 Hellcat x 5

Japanese aircraft losses
N1K1-J George: 2 destroyed
Ki-84a Frank: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Spitfire VIII: 2 destroyed
Spitfire VIII: 1 destroyed
P-40N5 Warhawk: 3 destroyed
F4F-4 Wildcat: 2 destroyed
F6F-3 Hellcat: 1 destroyed

Aircraft Attacking:
30 x N1K1-J George sweeping at 41010 feet


-------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on 501st Coast AA Regiment, at 55,50 (Prome)
Weather in hex: Partial cloud
Raid detected at 25 NM, estimated altitude 25,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 6 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-84a Frank x 41

Allied aircraft
Spitfire VIII x 3
Spitfire VIII x 1
P-47D2 Thunderbolt x 1


No Japanese losses

Allied aircraft losses
Spitfire VIII: 1 destroyed
P-47D2 Thunderbolt: 1 destroyed

Aircraft Attacking:
38 x Ki-84a Frank sweeping at 20000 feet

So, I wonder if standing and fighting for a time will be more beneficial in the long term, even if I fail to take Prome.

My forces also scored a few victories on flanks, pushing a combined force of Chinese and Allied paratroopers from Mengtze and routing Chinese forces on the road to Chiang Mai, which I hope to retake soon.


Meanwhile, Allieds have launched a series of paradrop attacks with tiny fragments all over the region. I've already cleared some of them, and it doesn't look like any of those forces are being strongly reinforced by air, so the rest will follow. In addition, the paradrop at Vihn triggered kamikaze activation. Although I don't think I need them that much at the moment, but I might convert a unit or two to evaluate their effectiveness. Probably IJA level bombers, fighter units are better used fighting or training pilots for the moment, but bomber pilot reserves are relatively numerous.





Sumatra - Sinabang

Allies have landed there on 14th. My NavSearch failed once again to detect anything in time. Some miscoordinated air attacks were launched, but all bombs were absorbed by BC Renown. In return, Allied carrier planes sank another small tanker convoy at Medan, at the cost of some Hellcats.

It seems, though, that Bigred is only bringing about 2 brigades and some small fry to the table, with only above 300 AV. A big mistake on his part, after he should have noted the scale of Japanese airlift during the battle of Rangoon. Before Allies can attack, Sinabang's garrizon will receive alot more AV... with level 6 forts and rough terrain, I'm quite confident in my chances. Bigred should have taken his chances and landed there in January, when Japanese forces were stretched thin, but he settled for a mere feint, which failed to draw KB from Rangoon.


The Pacific - the Carrier Raid on Truk and the Air-Naval Battle of Torokina

Allies sure coming at the Japanese perimeter at flank speed in the Pacific. On February 9th, actually before the historical date of Operation Hailstone, American carriers have penetrated up to Truk, and, frankly, caught me with my pants down. Nothing was on CAP, so carrier planes had a free reign, doing moderate damage to airfields and ships in harbor, and sinking an important supply convoy to Ponape, plus some ships escaping from Marshalls. Worse still, they intercepted damaged Japanese ships, retreating to Home Islands through Truk after the Second Battle of Woodlark Island. CB Kawachi took 3 torpedoes and went under, but CA Maya, despite being peppered with 7 227-kg bombs, miraculously survived. I also lost DD Shiranui. My counterattacks resulted in major losses of attack planes and nothing more...

Meanwhile, a large Allied fleet was spotted unloading troops at Torokina. Adm. Tanaka sallied forth with everything still battleworthy at Rabaul, but Allied reserves were much stronger, than anyone anticipated. Initially my fleet almost hit the jackpot, running into an Allied CVE force, but it managed to avoid engagement, despite being detected by radar. Then everything went not quite to hell, but certainly not in a desirable direction:

---------------------------------------------
Night Time Surface Combat, near Torokina at 109,130, Range 5,000 Yards
Japanese Ships
BB Haruna, Shell hits 2, heavy fires
CA Mikuma
CA Aoba
DD Asashio
DD Shikinami
DD Asanagi, Shell hits 2
DD Yunagi

Allied Ships
BB Alabama, Shell hits 3
CL Java, Shell hits 4, on fire
DD Conner
DD Murray, Shell hits 1
DD Wadsworth
DD Dunlap
DD Lamson, Shell hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Shaw

Reduced visibility due to Rain with 96% moonlight
Maximum visibility in Rain and 96% moonlight: 6,000 yards
Range closes to 24,000 yards...
Range closes to 18,000 yards...
Range closes to 12,000 yards...
CONTACT: Allies radar detects Japanese task force at 12,000 yards
Range closes to 9,000 yards...
CONTACT: Allies radar detects Japanese task force at 9,000 yards
Range closes to 7,000 yards...
Range closes to 5,000 yards...
CONTACT: Japanese lookouts spot Allied task force at 5,000 yards
CONTACT: Allied lookouts spot Japanese task force at 5,000 yards
Tanaka, Raizo crosses the 'T'
BB Haruna engages BB Alabama at 5,000 yards


---------------------------------------------
Night Time Surface Combat, near Torokina at 109,130, Range 6,000 Yards
Japanese Ships
CA Mogami, Shell hits 2
CL Abukuma, Shell hits 4, heavy fires
DD Tokitsukaze, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Michishio
DD Akikaze
DD Yakaze

Allied Ships
CL Boise
DD Bennett
DD Erben
DD Izard, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD McCord
DD Picking
DD Stephen Potter
DD The Sullivans

Poor visibility due to Rain with 96% moonlight
Maximum visibility in Rain and 96% moonlight: 6,000 yards
Range closes to 24,000 yards...
Range closes to 18,000 yards...
CONTACT: Allies radar detects Japanese task force at 18,000 yards
Range closes to 12,000 yards...
Range closes to 8,000 yards...
Range closes to 6,000 yards...
CONTACT: Japanese lookouts spot Allied task force at 6,000 yards
CONTACT: Allied lookouts spot Japanese task force at 6,000 yards
Lee, Willis "Ching" crosses the 'T'
CL Abukuma engages CL Boise at 6,000 yards



---------------------------------------------
Night Time Surface Combat, near Torokina at 109,130, Range 6,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
CA Mogami, Shell hits 9, on fire
CL Abukuma, Shell hits 10, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Tokitsukaze, Shell hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Michishio, Shell hits 3, on fire
DD Akikaze
DD Yakaze, Shell hits 3, on fire

Allied Ships
CL Boise, Shell hits 3, on fire
DD Bennett, Shell hits 1
DD Erben, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Izard, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD McCord
DD Picking
DD Stephen Potter
DD The Sullivans


Poor visibility due to Rain with 96% moonlight
Maximum visibility in Rain and 96% moonlight: 6,000 yards
Range closes to 24,000 yards...
Range closes to 18,000 yards...
CONTACT: Allies radar detects Japanese task force at 18,000 yards
Range closes to 12,000 yards...
Range closes to 8,000 yards...
Range closes to 6,000 yards...
CONTACT: Japanese lookouts spot Allied task force at 6,000 yards
CONTACT: Allied lookouts spot Japanese task force at 6,000 yards
CL Boise engages CA Mogami at 6,000 yards



---------------------------------------------
Night Time Surface Combat, near Torokina at 109,130, Range 6,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
BB Haruna, Shell hits 3, on fire
CA Mikuma, Shell hits 1
CA Aoba
DD Asashio
DD Shikinami, Shell hits 4, on fire
DD Asanagi, Shell hits 8, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Yunagi, Shell hits 1

Allied Ships
CL Boise, Shell hits 5, on fire
DD Bennett
DD Erben, Shell hits 1
DD Izard, Shell hits 4
DD McCord
DD Picking
DD Stephen Potter
DD The Sullivans

Low visibility due to Rain with 92% moonlight
Maximum visibility in Rain and 92% moonlight: 6,000 yards
Range closes to 24,000 yards...
Range closes to 18,000 yards...
CONTACT: Allies radar detects Japanese task force at 18,000 yards
Range closes to 12,000 yards...
Range closes to 8,000 yards...
Range closes to 6,000 yards...
CONTACT: Japanese lookouts spot Allied task force at 6,000 yards
CONTACT: Allied lookouts spot Japanese task force at 6,000 yards
Lee, Willis "Ching" crosses the 'T'


That damn Boise... Admiral Willis really was out from blood that night. I guess I must be happy that Haruna survived, despite taking penetrating hits from Alabama's main calibre right at the beginning, but Abukuma and three more preciois destroyers have perished.


Then day came, and aviation from Rabaul appeared, but in far lesser numbers than I expected. Most likely Allied surface forces got scattered after battle, as they weren't attacked, except by a few small fragments:

Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Torokina at 109,130
Weather in hex: Clear sky
Raid detected at 39 NM, estimated altitude 2,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 13 minutes

Japanese aircraft
G4M2a Betty x 9
Ki-49-IIb Helen x 9
Ki-84a Frank x 33

Allied aircraft
FM-1 Wildcat x 13
F6F-3 Hellcat x 45

Japanese aircraft losses
G4M2a Betty: 3 destroyed, 3 damaged
G4M2a Betty: 1 destroyed by flak
Ki-49-IIb Helen: 4 destroyed, 2 damaged
Ki-84a Frank: 5 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
FM-1 Wildcat: 1 destroyed
F6F-3 Hellcat: 2 destroyed

Allied Ships
CVE Nassau, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVE Santee

Aircraft Attacking:
8 x G4M2a Betty launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo
4 x Ki-49-IIb Helen bombing from 1000 feet
Naval Attack: 2 x 250 kg SAP Bomb


---------------------------------------------
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Torokina at 109,130
Weather in hex: Clear sky
Raid detected at 56 NM, estimated altitude 6,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 17 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-44-IIc Tojo x 21
Ki-49-IIb Helen x 52
Ki-84a Frank x 51

Allied aircraft
FM-1 Wildcat x 11
F6F-3 Hellcat x 26

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-44-IIc Tojo: 1 destroyed
Ki-49-IIb Helen: 3 destroyed, 27 damaged
Ki-49-IIb Helen: 2 destroyed by flak

Allied aircraft losses
FM-1 Wildcat: 1 destroyed
F6F-3 Hellcat: 3 destroyed

Allied Ships
CVE Nassau, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVE Santee, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires
APA Crescent City
CLAA Prince Robert
LSI(L) Dunedin Star, Bomb hits 1
DD Schley, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Nicholson
LST-464, Bomb hits 1, on fire

Aircraft Attacking:
10 x Ki-49-IIb Helen bombing from 1000 feet
Naval Attack: 2 x 250 kg SAP Bomb
6 x Ki-49-IIb Helen bombing from 1000 feet
Naval Attack: 2 x 250 kg SAP Bomb
9 x Ki-49-IIb Helen bombing from 1000 feet
Naval Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
11 x Ki-49-IIb Helen bombing from 1000 feet
Naval Attack: 2 x 250 kg SAP Bomb
9 x Ki-49-IIb Helen bombing from 1000 feet
Naval Attack: 2 x 250 kg SAP Bomb

Santee has certainly survived, but I hope Nassau didn't.

Currently Allies are landing reinforcements at Gazmata. The once-proud SWPac battlefleet lacks strength to oppose them.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by FatR -- 8/24/2012 1:55:49 PM >


_____________________________

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(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 641
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 2/22/2013 7:41:38 PM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
02/16/44 - 06/01/44

Apparently the only thing much slower than our game is my AAR. However, I'll try to give a brief outline of events across the last 3.5 months and comment on current trends. This might take several days.

Let's start with a brief outline, before detailed analysis of situation on various theaters:

In Burma Allies forces managed to overrun my forces and batter half of them badly. IJA prepares for the last stand before the total fall of Burma-Indochina theatre at Moulmein, but taking it won't be easy.

In Andamans Bigred attempted a major landing, but for once it got crushed by Japanese LBA, with a loss of a CV and tons of lesser ships. Allied forces also landed on Sinabang west of Sumatra, but failed to take the base.

In Solomons Japanese forces are barely holding the line because the Allied fleet does not seek engagements actively, after previous defeats. The Bismark Barrier finally got breached a few days ago, and bases on New Guinea east of Hollandia are practically neutralized due to resupply difficulties.

In Central Pacific everything east of Truk is lost, however, Allied troops are permanently stalled at Marcus Island, and troops evacuated from Gilberts/Marshalls as fragments now are mostly rebuilt at Marianas.

DEI and Aleutians are quiet.


The victory screen and strategic map for now:







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(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 642
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 2/23/2013 7:27:32 AM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
The Empire Under Strain

I think that some explanation of what goes behind the frontlines are in order, so you can understand sudden weaknesses appearing in my defenses.


Supply Crisis

I must admit, that I committed a catastrophic mistake at the stage of early economic planning when beginning this campaign. Of course, I had no experience, but it is still inexcusable, considering how basic it is.

Namely, I almost entirely failed to add two to two, considering supply costs of industry expansion and the fact that Japan needs to vastly expand at the very least its aircraft and engine production past normal 1942 levels to put a fight late in the war. When taken together, these fact mean that a good player should not only expand his airframe research program, but also calculate his approximate late-war engine needs right away, and expand engine factories properly in December of 1941. Earlier an engine factory comes online, more engines it will be able to produce for the same supply cost (1000 or 1100 supply per repaired factory point), therefore allowing a player to expand less and save alot of supply (or create large engine reserves for 1945).

Failing to realize this, I reached late 1943 with engine production (particularly of Nakajima Ha-45 and Mitsubishi Ha-43 engines) woefully insufficient to support production of new aircraft types, now becoming available. And, as you can see on the screenshot below, my attempts to expand engine production heavily drained the Empire's supply reserves, causing severe lack of supply both on frontlines in Burma and SWPac and in my pilot training centres in Home Islands.



Continuing the same theme, I recently realised, that my armaments and vehicles production is insufficient for late war as well. Don't be complacent if the Tracker shows that everything is OK - it doesn't take into account rebuilding of destroyed or routed units. Thankfully, with armaments expanding production was as simple as turning on some of inactive factories, but with vehicles I need to expand yet more supply...


Pilot Crisis

Now, as you can see on the screenshot below, my frontline airgroups remain fairly well-stocked with pilots. For the moment. However, this moment can pass right after the next big Allied push in the air.



The lesser problem is that IJAAF reserves now consist of only about 1050 trained pilots, with mere 100-150 fighter pilots at most, because until recently IJAAF was just too small, with not enough dedicated training units. Considering that IJAAF just lost about as many fighter pilots the last week, this is not a comfortable situation.


However, you can see the much greater problem on the next screenshot:


That's right, my on-map training program for IJNAF had far outpaced the pool replenishment rate for IJNAF, and threatens to completely drain the replacement pool. To alleviate this crisis I'm doing several things:
(1)Raising the standards of on-map pilot training.
(2)Preparing to phase out IJNAF in the naval attack role and replace it with IJAAF. This is very unfortunate, and probably not entirely possible, as while IJAAF now has 2E level bombers that can carry torpedoes, it lacks 1E torpedo bombers or planes that can carry heavy bombs. I hoped to resist late-war allied invasion primarily with hordes of cheap Jills, Judies and Graces, but in the light of the above, this idea is no longer workable. I'm considering expanding IJAAF's kamikaze forces (only 1 experimental unit for now). Using IJNAF pilots as kamikaze is out of the question for now.
(3)And, unfortunately, reducing intensity of air attacks. I can affort to lose 100 planes per day whenever I try to strike at the Allied fleets moving around Burma or New Guinea, but I can't afford losing 60-70 Navy pilots anymore.

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(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 643
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 2/24/2013 6:59:01 AM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2516
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline
Burma: Retreat to Moulmein

After losing the Central Burma, and their failed counterattack Japanese forces made a stand at Toungoo (1) and at the hex SE of Prome (2). At the same time, my arriving reserves tried to clear airlifted Allied troops from Chiang Mai (3), but due to sneaky maneuvers of Chinese remnants, that once cut off their communications and overall lack of numbers, I never even got to the stage where assault was viable. Meanwhile, after inituial attacks at Toungoo failed, Allies launched constant artillery bombardments, which gradually, but severely damaged Japanese troops, because due to overall lack of supply in theatre almost nothing got to Toungoo, and so forts weren't improving.

This ended with a decisive assault in May, which overwhelmed the defenders. They fought a valiant fighting retreat, so troops at (2), and various support units from Rangoon managed to reach Moulmein without being charassed. But several more divisions got trashed. In addition, Allies are ignoring the remnants of my old Burma army you can see west of Magwe, so 4 more divisions, including 1st Tank, aren't recovering any time soon - I cannot disband them, they have no AV for suicidal attacks anymore, and troops take forever to die out from hunger.

Still, with reinforcements arriving through Bangkok, I'll soon have almost 5K AV at Moulmein, with massive artillery and flak, while keeping the road down from Chiang Mai well-protected with another thousand. You can see my presumed defensive line on the map. Moulmein has lvl 5 forts, the supply crisis is alleviated for now, and Japanese aviation managed to repel recent Allied raids on Moulmein after 6 days of extemely heavy fighting, that cost each side close to 500 aircraft. However, I'm worried that Moulmein is vulnerable to naval bombardment. Attempts to protect it with mines claimed an SS and one or two DDs, but did not deter Allies for long.

Allies seem to disregard the northern flank and the road to China for now. I have a strong army of over 3k AV at Paoshan, but it cannot pull enough supply to feet itself, so maybe that's for the best.

The defensive line below is paramount to hold. If (more like "when" at this stage of the game) it is breached, Allies will be able to spread in too many directions to contain them, even with all of my remaining reserves everywhere, and will soon get airfields in range of Sumatran oil. In the ideal best case I hope to hold Bigred there until summer of 1945 and arrival of troops from Europe. Realistically I would be very glad if I can stall for another five-six months on these positions. I'm reinforcing the region, including a CD unit for Moulmein to discourage naval bombardments and help to keep the airfield open. Hopefully it will arrive in time.





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Post #: 644
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 2/24/2013 7:52:18 AM   
FatR

 

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Andamans/Sumatra: A Flanking Attack Repelled

In late February, Bigred managed to land a relatively small, 300+ AV, force at Sinabang. It almost overwhelmed the garrison, but stalled in the face of reinforcements by air and sea. CVL Independence and a number of transports supposedly are lost to air attacks by LBA from Sabang, Medan and smaller airbases on Sumatra. Then on March 4 a large Allied fleet proceeding to Andamans was detected and attacked. Waves of land-based Jills and Helens, supported by strafing fighters (there I found that fighters cannot carry both bombs and droptanks...), and hepled by subs and PT boats, decimated the invasion and nothing or almost nothing reached the beaches. CV Illustrious (strangely, reported as an Essex-class), CVL Langley, BB Valiant, CLs Adelaide, Hobart and Emerald, plus a large number of transports were reported sunk.

As a side benefit, this defeat stopped Allied carrier raids on shipping around Northern Sumatra, which previously claimed a number of valuable tankers.

Bigred got a small consolation, when my attempts to throw the Allied troops at Sinabang into the sea by bringing 1st Division and 2/3rds of 3rd Tank there ended in a bloody disaster. Truly, these troops would have been much more useful on Burma front.






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Post #: 645
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 2/24/2013 6:01:48 PM   
FatR

 

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Central Pacific: Pushed to the Main Resistance Line

While a couple of bases in Marshalls remain technically Japanese, nothing east of Truk has anything but fragments that flying boats failed to airlift. I hoped to make a stand at Ponape, but the Yanks moved far too fast, despite some losses in Marshalls (mostly from subs), and defenses were overrun before they solidified. From Ponape American aircraft raided Truk by night, damaging a number of ships and forcing everything valuable to evacuate harbor.

However, this still bought me enough time to reinforce Marianas. I plan to have an equivalent of two divisions on each of the three main islands, sitting behind CD guns, and most of these troops are already in place. Japan has only two mobile CD units (the Wake CD batallion is mobile too, at least when rebuild after destruction) in this old version of RA, but Saipan already starts with pretty tough CD batteries, and a number of Japanese base forces get TOE upgrades with 120mm CD guns in 1943. Marianas are pretty well provided with air support, as various AF units from Hawaii and Marshalls/Gilbers were rebuit there, in addition to new reserves, so I believe that a head-on assault is not in the Allies' best interests now. Of course, Bigred can just bypass Marianas, but that will cost him many extra months before getting airfields in range of Home Islands (if you wonder, Kuriles are decently garrisoned too, although a huge assault in Greyjoy's vein probably will dislodge the defenders - cannot be equally strong everywhere).




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< Message edited by FatR -- 2/24/2013 6:02:02 PM >


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Post #: 646
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 2/27/2013 9:44:58 AM   
FatR

 

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Southwestern Pacific: Bloody Grind


Some game months ago, I realized, that my numerous New Guinea bases will soon turn into a traps for their garrisons, because air and, particularly, surface attacks by Allies make them exceedingly difficuly to supply. Rabaul is too far to send my fleet safely to the coast of New Guinea every time I want to land more supplies, and I cannot split my air and naval forces. In addition, there were too many bases on New Guinea to garrison them properly in timely manner. And worst of all, there was just not enough supply in general to feed New Guinea properly, particularly taking into account inevitable losses in transit.

Considering that, I decided on a new plan: fortifying New Britain, New Ireland, and Manus, so that bases there will remain a threat to any Allied fleet movements along the New Guinea coast, even when said coast falls. Meanwhile, a new cluster of bases will be built up far to the west, around Biak, where Japanese ships still can move troops and supplies in relative safety.

I've enjoyed a degree of success so far, though primarily because my opponent is too hesitant to seek a direct engagement with Japanese surface forces, so instead of sending a flotilla after flotilla to swamp my exhausted naval forces of Rabaul, the Allies merely escort their invasion fleets. Even despite this, naval battles go increasinly in the Allies' favor recently. Japanese aviation managed to deliver some fairly light blows to the Allied fleets, more often than not at a terrible cost.

In the end, Allied forces took nominal control of Vitiaz/Dampier straits, by occupying Umboi and Finschafen against little resistance, but were beaten at Gasmata by a counterinvasion. Just at the end of May an Allied fleet landed a 450+ AV force on Manus, leading to another air-naval battle, which I just barely won by points. However, this is not nearly enough to take Manus, which had a brigade in garrison to begin with and was quickly reinforced by air and sea (which, however, cost me a small convoy).

At the same time, Allied command seems intent on taking Lae. I think that forces had better uses elsewhere, as Lae-Nadzab area is now effectively neutralized by lack of supply. For now the sizeable garrison under command of general Yamashita holds its positions against a forces more than twice as strong, aided in that by level 7 forts and jungle and terrain. Lack of food and ammo will kill the resistance soon enough, but that's a far better outcome than have 400+ AV sit behind the enemy lines as POVs that don't even need to be guarded. If you wonder, why I can't airlift them, I use airlift to evacuate what I can, but it is supply-consuming, so if before the supply crisis I managed to evacuate near everything from bypassed and neuatralised bases in Solomons, now I cannot use my transport aviation so freely.


Fleet losses in this theater were pretty heavy for both sides.


IJN lost: CA Mikuma; CLs Jintsu, Kinu; DDs Hatsuharu, Nenohi, Wakaba, Tamanami, Akigumo, Amatsukaze, Oboro, Akikaze. Won't even count damaged ships, that will be near half of remaining IJN surface assets.

Allied fleets lost: CA Wichita; CLs Birmingham, Cleveland (not 100% confirmed), Java; DDs Clarence Bronson, Wadsworth, De Haven, Erben, Hoel, Hickox, Nicholson, Frankford, Downes (I'm not tracking sunk destroyers that carefully, some might have survived).

Fletcher-class destroyers are the most problematic surface opponents. That armor they have matters alot - Japanese destroyers need to at 8k yards or closer to score penetrating hits in my experience.

But on the other hand, I guess I must be glad that I still can give a bit harder than I get as far as 1944. These sacrifices allowed me to contain Allied forces at the Bismark Barrier for over five months longer than the deadline I considered desirable in early 1943. While I'm clearly not going to fight off the Allies entirely until the Soviet activation after Bigred's brilliant initial attack at Burma, I still can to held DEI and vital communication lines into DEI into 1945.




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Post #: 647
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 3/7/2013 2:16:32 PM   
FatR

 

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06/01/44 - 06/08/44: Reversals at Moulmein

CBI Theatre: Air war at Burma didn't go well these turns. As I feared, naval bombardments damaged the airfield too hard and my airforce got pounded on the ground, losing over 200 fighters in 4 days.

Thankfully, the threat that occupied my mind, forcing to send more fighters to Moulmein, just removed itself for a time, as Bigred decided to take a shot at river crossing with only one day of air preparation. The results were what I hoped for:

Ground combat at Moulmein (55,55)
Allied Shock attack
Attacking force 136294 troops, 2541 guns, 2723 vehicles, Assault Value = 5183
Defending force 149285 troops, 1929 guns, 1333 vehicles, Assault Value = 4301
Allied adjusted assault: 1061
Japanese adjusted defense: 12411
Allied assault odds: 1 to 11 (fort level 5)

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), forts(+), leaders(+), disruption(-)
preparation(-)
Attacker: shock(+)

Japanese ground losses:
4526 casualties reported
Squads: 15 destroyed, 372 disabled
Non Combat: 10 destroyed, 214 disabled
Engineers: 6 destroyed, 92 disabled
Guns lost 248 (28 destroyed, 220 disabled)
Vehicles lost 58 (2 destroyed, 56 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
29195 casualties reported
Squads: 535 destroyed, 2832 disabled
Non Combat: 66 destroyed, 446 disabled
Engineers: 125 destroyed, 565 disabled
Guns lost 585 (75 destroyed, 510 disabled)
Vehicles lost 448 (45 destroyed, 403 disabled)
Units destroyed 1

Assaulting units:
40th Infantry Division
26th Indian Division
209th Combat Engineer Battalion
9th Indian Division
42nd Cavalry Regiment
50th Tank Brigade
254th Armoured Brigade
2nd British Division
17th Indian Division
7th Indian Division
5th Indian Division
255th Indian Tank Brigade
14th Army Engineer Battalion
1st USMC Tank Battalion
1st Marine Division
14th Indian Division
81st (West African) Division
9th Australian Division
XV Corps RIASC Base Force
249th Field Artillery Battalion
4th Field Artillery Battalion
214th Coast AA Regiment
IV Corps RIASC Base Force
144th USA Base Force
28th Indian Mountain Gun Regiment
30th Indian Mountain Gun Regiment
III US Amphib Corps
134th Field Artillery Battalion
77th Coast AA Regiment
XV Indian
IV Indian
31st Indian Mountain Gun Regiment
I Australian Corps
226th Field Artillery Battalion
I/14th Army RIASC Base Force
2/13th Field Regiment
26th Indian Mountain Gun Regiment
20th Indian Mountain Gun Regiment
23rd Indian Mountain Gun Regiment
II/14th Army RIASC Base Force

Defending units:
1st RTA Division
38th Division
54th Division
29th Ind.Mixed Brigade
33rd Division
4th Division
Guards Mixed Brigade
2nd South Seas Det.
55th Division
15th Division
48th Division
16th Division
24th Ind.Mixed Brigade
2nd Tank Division
52nd Division
7th RTA Division
41st Air Defense AA Battalion
22nd Air Defense AA Regiment
8th RF Gun Battalion
2nd JAAF Base Force
26th Special Base Force
11th Shipping Engineer Regiment
17th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
28th Army
60th JNAF AF Unit
37th JNAF AF Unit
14th Army
8th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
52nd Field AA Battalion
18th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
42nd Ind.AA Gun Co
9th RF Gun Battalion
48th JNAF AF Unit
34th Const Co
33rd JNAF AF Unit
19th JAAF Base Force
20th AA Regiment
11th RF Gun Battalion
17th JAAF AF Bn
26th Air Flotilla
3rd Medium Mortar Battalion
2nd Ind. Mountain Gun Regiment
59th Field AA Battalion
21st Air Defense AA Regiment
47th Const Co
15th JAAF Base Force
68th Field AA Battalion
25th Field AAA Auto-weapons Battalion
26th Air Defense AA Regiment
9th Air Division
54th Field AA Battalion
62nd JAAF AF Bn
Burma Area Army
8th Area Army
49th Field AA Battalion
1st Medium Field Artillery Regiment
36th JAAF AF Bn
28th Fld AA Gun Co
69th Field AA Battalion
36th Const Co
28th Field AA Machinecannon Company
18th Fld AA Machinecannon Company
2nd Air Division
48th Road Const Co
16th AA Regiment
19th Field AA Machinecannon Company
3rd Medium Field Artillery Regiment
88th JAAF AF Bn


I'm dismayed that the British/Indian army still can boast so many relatively intact divisions. Well, they are no longer intact, and we'll see if replacements crisis will hit Brits and their minions before they can batter down the gates of Thailand.

I thought about counterattacking, but unfortunately the crossing was on a turn's first day, so the Allied army might have recovered a bit, and more importantly, this battle consumed so much supply, that my forces were short. Sure, routing this force might have secured my western flank until 1945 right away, but I feel no confidence taking on 1600+ AV (at best) with slightly more than 4 thousands in x3 defensive terrain, with not enough supply, and troops many of which are themselves pretty disrupted or have low morale after their retreat from Toungoo.


Less fortuitious was a development to southwest of Moulmein: Chindit paratroopers attempted to capture Mergui, and arrived just as I was moving out a small recon unit garrizoned there to replace it with a full regiment, still too far away to help. Mergui was lost, and now I'm pounding the airfield before it activates, and hastily moving my armor there to remove the dangerous infiltration.


Naval Raids: I'm afraid that I'm being moved by the enemy in the naval war - Bigred had shown his carriers a couple of times around Java and Sumatra, one time making it seem like Allies are landing reinforcements at Sinabang. Only one time his TFs were spotted by air search in time. Not only I lost an AO, and probably will lose an AK to air attacks, not only I lost around 70 planes trying to counterattack in vain, but I also hastily unveiled KB's position... Well, if Allies now saw it anyway, it might help at Mergui, if needs be.


SWPac: Another naval battle during my desperate attempts to resupply Manus ended in me losing 3 DDs, some Allied carriers are lurking near, too, and a massive fleet of landing craft is invading Hansa Bay (practically emptied by airlift)... Lae still holds, but troops have used their last bullets now, and on the next turn it will probably fall.

< Message edited by FatR -- 3/22/2013 3:41:12 PM >


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Post #: 648
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 3/8/2013 6:48:56 AM   
FatR

 

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Air War: A Desperate Struggle

Take a look at what sort of losses it takes to chew through pilot poos and the training program:




Losses are staggering, and at the moment IJAAF scrapes bottoms of the pools for modern, or semi-modern (Tojos, etc) fighters. IJNAF is in a much better shape, regarding planes, but see its pilot situation anove. The Allies don't have an easy time too, as far as I can see. Bigred is currently using crap like Boomerangs on CAP, and some carrier squadrons currently fly Wildcats FM.


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< Message edited by FatR -- 3/8/2013 6:50:16 AM >


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Post #: 649
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 3/8/2013 7:10:45 AM   
FatR

 

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Sub War: Still More Blood in the Ocean

Bigred doesn't believe in making his subs sit in ports, just because they take quite heavy losses. Lately this pays off more and more, as during the first half of 1944 no less than four Japanese carriers were damaged by American sub attacks, with CV Aso later suffering another attack on the way to shipyard at Hong Kong and sinking (making her my second CV lost during the war, both to subs). Losses to everything else are disconcerting as well.







But the price paid by the silent service for these successes remain steep, even though I decided not to use super-Es in dedicated ASW taskforces, sending them out only as convoy escorts, to retain some challenge.




(I'm not posting reported sub losses for the last month, they are most likely very inaccurate.)



< Message edited by FatR -- 3/8/2013 7:15:45 AM >


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Post #: 650
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 3/22/2013 4:20:34 PM   
FatR

 

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06/09/1944 - 06/18/1944: A Victory in the West, A Bloodbath in the East


The Carrier Battle of Northern Andamans

It seems Kido Butai was not detected, after all, even though I thought Bigred had at least three opportunities to spot it... On June 8 I sent it to take position slightly to the west of the Andamans island chain, on the off-chance that the Allied ACTF spotted that turn will come closer. And this move was rewarded beyond my expectations, as on the morning of June 10 Nagumo and Yamaguchi found small Allied carrier forces both south and north of their position. The souther forces suffered the brunt of the morning KB attack:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on TF, near Trinkat at 41,64
Weather in hex: Thunderstorms
Raid detected at 119 NM, estimated altitude 19,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 39 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5b Zero x 18
A6M8 Zero x 132
A7M2 Sam x 110
B6N2 Jill x 203
D4Y2 Judy x 17
D4Y3 Judy x 15
D4Y5 Judy x 116
N1K4-A George x 14

Allied aircraft
Hellcat I x 12
Wildcat V x 1
FM-1 Wildcat x 47
FM-2 Wildcat x 14
F6F-3 Hellcat x 20

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M8 Zero: 2 destroyed
B6N2 Jill: 5 destroyed, 16 damaged
B6N2 Jill: 2 destroyed by flak
D4Y2 Judy: 1 damaged
D4Y3 Judy: 1 destroyed, 1 damaged
D4Y5 Judy: 4 destroyed, 7 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
Hellcat I: 5 destroyed
FM-1 Wildcat: 9 destroyed
FM-2 Wildcat: 3 destroyed
F6F-3 Hellcat: 2 destroyed

Allied Ships
CVE Begum, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
CVE Suwannee, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
CVE Shah, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
CVE Natoma Bay, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
CVE St. Lo, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
BB Washington, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 6, and is sunk
CVE Kalinin Bay, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 4, and is sunk
CLAA Prince Robert, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
DE Loeser, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
CVE Santee, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Maury
DE Raby, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DE Crouter, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Lang, Bomb hits 2, and is sunk
CA Shropshire, Torpedo hits 5, and is sunk
DE Elden, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
DE Darby, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DE Express, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage


CAP engaged:
VF-24 with F6F-3 Hellcat (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 2 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 12 minutes
No.851 Sqn-FF FAA with Wildcat V (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 1 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 20 minutes
No.1839 Sqn FAA with Hellcat I (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 1 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 35 minutes
No.1844 Sqn FAA with Hellcat I (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 10 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 1 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 10000 and 16000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 25 minutes
VC(F)-41 with FM-1 Wildcat (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 21 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 2 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 10000 and 18000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 33 minutes
VC(F)-63 with F6F-3 Hellcat (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 16 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 2 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 6000 and 15000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 35 minutes
VC(F)-65 with FM-1 Wildcat (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 22 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 2 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 10000 and 20000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 39 minutes
VC(F)-77 with FM-2 Wildcat (1 airborne, 0 on standby, 13 scrambling)
1 plane(s) intercepting now.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 11000 and 18000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 31 minutes

Heavy smoke from fires obscuring CVE Shah
Ammo storage explosion on CVE Natoma Bay
Ammo storage explosion on CVE St. Lo
Fuel storage explosion on CVE St. Lo
Fuel storage explosion on CVE Kalinin Bay
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring CVE Kalinin Bay
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring CVE Santee
Fuel storage explosion on CVE Suwannee
Massive explosion on CA Shropshire
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring CVE St. Lo
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring CVE Natoma Bay
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring CVE Suwannee
Fuel storage explosion on CVE Shah
Fuel storage explosion on CVE Kalinin Bay
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring DD Lang
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring DE Raby
Magazine explodes on DE Raby


Outnumbered and mostly flying completely outdated planes, the Allied CAP was shredded, and not even bad weather saved the Allied force from torpedo and divebombing attacks by crack KB pilots.

The norther half of the Allied force received much less attention initially, and the strike force suffered from interceptors and flak, but some torpedoes still found their mark:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on TF, near Little Andaman at 44,58
Weather in hex: Overcast
Raid detected at 110 NM, estimated altitude 18,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 29 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A7M2 Sam x 33
B6N2 Jill x 66
D4Y5 Judy x 57

Allied aircraft
FM-1 Wildcat x 16
FM-2 Wildcat x 21
F6F-3 Hellcat x 42

Japanese aircraft losses
A7M2 Sam: 5 destroyed
B6N2 Jill: 13 destroyed, 7 damaged
B6N2 Jill: 2 destroyed by flak
D4Y5 Judy: 8 destroyed, 7 damaged
D4Y5 Judy: 2 destroyed by flak

Allied aircraft losses
FM-1 Wildcat: 1 destroyed
FM-2 Wildcat: 2 destroyed
F6F-3 Hellcat: 4 destroyed

Allied Ships
CVL Monterey
CA New Orleans, Torpedo hits 1
CVL Belleau Wood, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
CVL Independence, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
CVL Princeton, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1

CAP engaged:
VF-23 with F6F-3 Hellcat (0 airborne, 8 on standby, 10 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 3 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 8000 and 17000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 29 minutes
4 planes vectored on to bombers
VF-26 with F6F-3 Hellcat (0 airborne, 8 on standby, 10 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 3 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 10000 and 17000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 30 minutes
10 planes vectored on to bombers
VOC(F)-1 with FM-2 Wildcat (3 airborne, 8 on standby, 10 scrambling)
3 plane(s) intercepting now.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 10000 and 15000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 32 minutes
2 planes vectored on to bombers
VC(F)-10 with FM-1 Wildcat (0 airborne, 6 on standby, 8 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 2 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 6000 and 12000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 35 minutes
9 planes vectored on to bombers


In response, Allies have launched a bunch of small attacks, that should have been easily repelled by CAP... but one strike got through:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on TF, near Car Nicobar at 42,61

Weather in hex: Partial cloud

Raid detected at 80 NM, estimated altitude 9,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 38 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5b Zero x 12
A6M8 Zero x 74
A7M2 Sam x 86
N1K4-A George x 9

Allied aircraft
Avenger II x 9
Hellcat I x 6
Wildcat V x 11
F6F-3 Hellcat x 19
TBF-1 Avenger x 25

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M8 Zero: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Avenger II: 5 destroyed
Hellcat I: 3 destroyed
Wildcat V: 4 destroyed
F6F-3 Hellcat: 11 destroyed
TBF-1 Avenger: 12 destroyed

Japanese Ships
CVE Shinyo, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
CV Junyo, Torpedo hits 1
CVL Zuiho, Torpedo hits 1

Aircraft Attacking:
1 x TBF-1 Avenger launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 22in Mk 13 Torpedo
5 x TBF-1 Avenger launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 22in Mk 13 Torpedo

Massive explosion on CVL Zuiho

50% hits on a late-war carrier TF, after most of the formation getting shredded by CAP? I guess flak gunners were too busy watching fireworks made by Sams and Zeros in the sky, to realise that now they are being attacked. At least now I have a ready rebuttal to post whenever someone starts complaining about the game favoring Japs by giving their torpedo planes excessive accurary.

Shinyo did not survive, too - somehow I have less and less faith in Japanese damage control.

Despite this unfortunate failure, KB continued to operate as usual, and action in the evening shifted to the northern Allied carrier group, because there was almost nothing to sink in the south anymore. Damage taken earlier apparently prevented most of the American CVLs from sending out CAP, so it was more of an execution, than a fight:

--------------------------
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Little Andaman at 44,58
Weather in hex: Overcast
Raid detected at 115 NM, estimated altitude 14,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 38 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5b Zero x 18
A6M8 Zero x 106
A7M2 Sam x 116
B6N2 Jill x 213
D4Y2 Judy x 17
D4Y3 Judy x 12
D4Y5 Judy x 106
N1K4-A George x 14

Allied aircraft
FM-2 Wildcat x 10

Japanese aircraft losses
B6N2 Jill: 2 destroyed, 16 damaged
B6N2 Jill: 1 destroyed by flak
D4Y2 Judy: 1 damaged
D4Y3 Judy: 1 damaged
D4Y5 Judy: 6 damaged
D4Y5 Judy: 1 destroyed by flak

Allied aircraft losses
FM-2 Wildcat: 4 destroyed

Allied Ships
CVL Monterey, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 4, and is sunk
CVL Independence, Bomb hits 4, and is sunk
CVL Princeton, Bomb hits 6, Kamikaze hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVL Belleau Wood, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
DD Pathfinder, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Rocket, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
CL Leander
CLAA San Juan, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
CA New Orleans, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Porter, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Morris

CAP engaged:
VOC(F)-1 with FM-2 Wildcat (0 airborne, 4 on standby, 5 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 1 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 10000 , scrambling fighters between 10000 and 12000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 24 minutes

Ammo storage explosion on CVL Independence
Ammo storage explosion on CVL Independence
Fuel storage explosion on CVL Belleau Wood
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring DD Rocket
Ammo storage explosion on CVL Princeton
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring CVL Princeton
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring DD Pathfinder
Heavy smoke from fires obscuring DD Porter
Magazine explodes on CA New Orleans


4 CVLs and 7 CVEs in exchange for 1 CVE? Not bad, I think! In one shot this more than compensates for all previous and future torments from Allied carrier raids. While you can deal many stinging blows by separating your carriers, this is why I wouldn't advise it, after all.

Follow-up attacks over two days (Bigred tried to pursue with his surface forces destroyed CL Leander, DD Porter and DE Express. I tnink the naval threat in the Indian Ocean is now neutralised for a long time.


Burma-Thailand Front

Motorised forces retook Mergui from the Allied paratroopers. Not much happening otherwise. Loss of Burma is telling, as the supply situation on this front remains very problematic despite my best effots.


SWPac

On June 15 I tried to launch massed naval and air strikes against Allied shipping around Vityaz Strait, because I spotted large masses of ships on the previous day and wanted to protect my replenishment convoy going to Manus. This resulted in the 2-day series of desperate battles, in which I lost 5 DDs and about 300 planes, in exchange for destroying probably 4 DDs, 2 DEs, nearly 200 planes, and decimating a large and loaded invasion convoy of AKAs and APAs, with 4-5 ships sunk and others damaged. Nominally, this can be considered a good victory, but now my SWPac surface forces are almost completely out of destroyers!

On the same days, another resupply convoy was caught by Allied carrier raiders in the sea, and took heavy losses, with the remains not getting farther than Truk. This, in combination with my inability to maintain a healthy surface force at Rabaul, and Rabaul running out of fuel, might be the final straw for organised defense in SWPac... I'm trying to get the last convoy to Rabaul (even using my 3 freshly repaired CVs, that just recently sailed from Japan to join the KB, but got diverted to this taks, to scare Bigred), if it gets intercepted the next turn, I will consider cutting my losses, and abandoning my garrisons at SWPac to their fate.

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Post #: 651
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/6/2013 10:24:15 PM   
MrBlizzard


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From: Italia
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Impressive victory against his CVs and you are in mid '44, your opponent made a huge mistake in separating carriers and your planes performed very well!!!! it seems you have crashed his airforce if he's forced to use wildcats so late in war...

I was concerned about supplies issue (playing RA too) and now I know I was right , it's possible to boost R&D receiving best planes well in advance but it's very costly and must be carefully planned. I'll start save supplies anyway
What do you think about A6M8? how do thay match against hellcats? and what about A6M4J - A6m8J line? they just appear a pale shade of Nicks, I'm thinking to halt their research and switch to max A7M2 research.

Your opponent could start strategig bombing soon with B29, I'm curious to see how will perform japan planes
I like your AAR it's a mine of informations, thanks

(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 652
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/18/2013 10:39:57 AM   
FatR

 

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From: St.Petersburg, Russia
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quote:

ORIGINAL: MrBlizzard

Impressive victory against his CVs and you are in mid '44, your opponent made a huge mistake in separating carriers and your planes performed very well!!!! it seems you have crashed his airforce if he's forced to use wildcats so late in war...

I was concerned about supplies issue (playing RA too) and now I know I was right , it's possible to boost R&D receiving best planes well in advance but it's very costly and must be carefully planned. I'll start save supplies anyway
What do you think about A6M8? how do thay match against hellcats?


Pretty decently. Unfortunately they are no match at all against Thuds/Spits/Lightings. I'm still stuck with using them because of their good service rating


quote:

ORIGINAL: MrBlizzard
and what about A6M4J - A6m8J line? they just appear a pale shade of Nicks, I'm thinking to halt their research and switch to max A7M2 research.


This line is a disappointment to me as well.




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Post #: 653
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/18/2013 11:01:33 AM   
FatR

 

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06/19/1944 - 07/19/1944: Tsushima, Again

On July 17th of 1944 we had the second battle between the main carrier forces in this war. But before talking about it, I should provide some background.


The Fortess Rabaul Surrounded

Long speech short, after the air-naval Battle of the Vityaz Strait on June 15 I decided to abandon active defense of SWPac, and evacuate what I can by air or subs.

There were several reasons for this, in order of importance.

(1)I've lost too many destroyers to provide sufficient escort for my surface combat taskforces. Numerous capital ships were damaged or/and had missed their upgrade dates as well. Time was needed to enact repairs and allow some of Matsu-class destroyers to be completed.

(2)Bigred seize the unoccupied hex of Rambutyo next to Manus in the Admiralty Islands, before I found forces to defend it. It was quickly turned into an Allied airbase, that watched the only remaining approach to Rabaul.

(3)Fleet activities used up all fuel stored in Rabaul. Sending in a fast tanker convoy in abscence of forces to provide adequate surface cover was too risky.

(4)Due to supply deficit, I couldn't afford to sent one-way cargo convoys.


So, IJN pulled out, as soon did almost all of my airforce.

As the result, Bigred quickly swept the northern coast of the New Guinea, and took Manus in mid-July, eliminating a large continent of Japanese troops (two brigades plus smaller units, over a division as a whole). You can see that on the picture below.





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by FatR -- 5/18/2013 11:22:27 AM >


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Post #: 654
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/18/2013 11:22:01 AM   
FatR

 

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Life After SWPac

To counter the Allied offensive effort, I undertook a major defensive buildup in the Western New Guinea-Ceram Sea area. Note that all airfield hexes you can see on the map below are defended or will be defended with at least a brigade - Japan has alot of infantry units arriving in mid-1944 (which, however, had created a problem of its own). Mindanao is already being fortified as well.

In the Central Pacific I've strongly garrizoned Yap and Ulithi, with a small air support unit on Woleai. However, I failed to garrizon the dot hex of Satawal, west of Truk, before it was occupied by an Allied paradrop. It was obvious, that Bigred now aims to at least neutralize Truk, while sneaking more units to Satawal. A huge bombardment taskforce tried to hit Truk already in early July, and Allied carriers moved in the area to cover it that time. USN destroyers and PT boats were constantly active in the area, preventing possible replenishment of Truk by surface. Attepmts to suppress them from the air resulted in huge losses of my strike planes to flak, in exchange for probably only one sunk Fletcher.

Meanwhile, feeling confident in my carrier power after the Battle of Northern Andamans, I decided to take an unprecedented action and split my carrier forces. Slow carriers were left at Singapore, to repair battle damage, undergo flak upgrades and hopefully mislead Bigred about the position of my carrier forces (Singapore is watched by Allied recon now). And the core of the Combined Fleet, 13 fast carriers, were covertly (or so I hope) moved to Marianas and hidden at Saipan, while surface units and subs of the Combined Fleet concentrated openly under Allied recon at Guam. In case USN refuses to fall into my trap, I contemplated running an evacuation operation for naval support units at Truk/replenishment of Truk, or, maybe even a surface evacuation of Kavieng, so several major convoys were concentrating in the area.

On July 13th a large SCTF sailed from Guam to bombard Satawal. Meanwhile, a naval search unit was moved to Truk again, to watch if USN decides to come in force again. The stage was set for an epic confrontation.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by FatR -- 5/18/2013 11:26:07 AM >


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Post #: 655
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/18/2013 11:41:19 AM   
FatR

 

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The Naval Battle of Truk and The Missed Shot

On the evening of July 14th flying boats from Truk indeed spotted a large concentration of Allied ships, including carriers, heading from Ponape. A bit optimistically, I decided to take my chance and launch a combined surface, carrier, land-based air and submarine assault on the enemy forces. However, seeing that the Allies did not detect my ships approaching Satawal yet, some surface combatants, including Yamato, were left at Guam, to hopefully misdirect the Allied watchers about my intentions.

Olny the former bombardment taskforce got to Truk in time to meet anything significant.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night Time Surface Combat, near Truk at 112,108, Range 1,000 Yards

Allied aircraft
no flights

Allied aircraft losses
OS2U-3 Kingfisher: 3 destroyed
SOC-1 Seagull: 2 destroyed

Japanese Ships
CB Ikoma, Shell hits 41, Torpedo hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
CA Maya, Shell hits 4
DD Yugumo, Shell hits 1
DD Makinami
DD Fujinami, Shell hits 1
DD Asashimo, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage
DD Kagero
DD Hamakaze, Shell hits 4, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk

Allied Ships
CL Denver, Shell hits 5, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
CL Santa Fe, Shell hits 2, on fire
CL Miami, Shell hits 15, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
DD Clarence Bronson, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Claxton, Shell hits 2
DD Cogswell
DD Mertz
DD Mullany, Shell hits 2
DD Ross, Shell hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Rowe, Shell hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Yarnall
CL Vincennes II

Reduced sighting due to 25% moonlight
Maximum visibility in Overcast Conditions and 25% moonlight: 2,000 yards

Brave Hamakaze put torpedoes into two Allied cruisers in this fight, but was immediately crushed by Rowe, which in turn didn't survive the continued exchange. Miraculously, both Ikoma and Asashimo survived by reaching the Truk lagoon late that day.

Meanwhile, the second Allied TF bombarded Truk, thankfully with little success.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night Naval bombardment of Truk at 112,108 - Coastal Guns Fire Back!

217 Coastal gun shots fired in defense.

Allied Ships
BB Massachusetts, Shell hits 5
BB Idaho, Shell hits 2
BB Maryland, Shell hits 3
CA Chicago II, Shell hits 1
CA Canberra II
CL Marblehead
DD Stockham
DD Stembel
DD Schroeder
DD Marshall
DD Callaghan
DD Bryant
PF Pueblo

Japanese ground losses:
31 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 6 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


However, good news for the evil Empire ended on that point. Not only Kido Butai failed to strike anything but some paltry subchasers and minesweepers, after rolling into the area, but LBA attack against scattered Allied destroyers ended up with just one torpedo and one light bomb hit in exchange for around 40 planes shot down by flak. Meanwhile, those destroyers intercepted my fast transport TF, with predictable results:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Day Time Surface Combat, near Truk at 111,105, Range 18,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
E W-34, Shell hits 20, and is sunk
E W-39, Shell hits 14, and is sunk
APD T-1, Shell hits 35, and is sunk
APD T-4, Shell hits 41, and is sunk

Allied Ships
DD Cony
DD Laws
DD Halsey Powell
DD Sproston
DD David Taylor


But on the other hand, I got hugely lucky that the Allied carrier fleet did not loiter near Truk that turn, for I completely forgot to set CAP on Kido Butai carriers! That might have been messy...

Regardless, I decided decided to keep KB in the area for 1-2 turns more, to conduct partial evacuation of Truk and replenishment of the remaining garrizons. I did not expect any significant Allied moves after KB revealed itself, so LBA strike groups were mostly kept on the ground that turn to recofer morale. Was I ever wrong...

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(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 656
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/21/2013 7:52:08 PM   
FatR

 

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Truk Turkey Shoot

To my immense surprise, on the morning of July 17, my airsearch found about the whole remaining USN CV contingent right within KB's striking range. Bigread emails imply that this might have been a result of an unplanned reaction by his ACTF. Either way, he shouldn't have moved it so close. What was planned as a routine day, quickly turned into a desperate battle...

I was lucky, and despite an oversized TF, the Kido Butai strike that morning suffered very little fragmentation, with only a 2 12-plane Jill groups falling behind the main crowd:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on TF, near Truk at 112,113

Weather in hex: Light cloud

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 17,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 32 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M8 Zero x 26
A7M2 Sam x 113
A7M3 Sam x 27
B6N2 Jill x 246
D4Y2 Judy x 16
D4Y3 Judy x 32
D4Y5 Judy x 171
N1K4-A George x 13

Allied aircraft
FM-1 Wildcat x 17
FM-2 Wildcat x 101
F4U-1A Corsair x 21
F6F-3 Hellcat x 192

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M8 Zero: 1 destroyed
A7M2 Sam: 1 destroyed
A7M3 Sam: 1 destroyed
B6N2 Jill: 25 destroyed, 35 damaged
B6N2 Jill: 7 destroyed by flak
D4Y2 Judy: 2 destroyed, 1 damaged
D4Y3 Judy: 2 destroyed, 3 damaged
D4Y3 Judy: 1 destroyed by flak
D4Y5 Judy: 17 destroyed, 43 damaged
D4Y5 Judy: 11 destroyed by flak
N1K4-A George: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
FM-2 Wildcat: 4 destroyed
F6F-3 Hellcat: 2 destroyed

Allied Ships
CV Indomitable, Torpedo hits 2, on fire
CV Revenge, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
CV Courageous
CV Intrepid, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, Kamikaze hits 1, on fire
CV Bunker Hill
CV Essex, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CV Franklin, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CV Wasp, Bomb hits 2, on fire
BB New Jersey, Bomb hits 2
BB New Jersey, Bomb hits 10, Torpedo hits 2, on fire
CVL Langley, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVL Cowpens, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
CLAA Juneau, Bomb hits 7, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Farenholt, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Kalk, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Wilske, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires

Ammo/fuel storage explosions on Inrepid, Essex and Franklin


Bigred was a bit less lucky with coordination: 2 raids with 44 strike planes went against secondary targets (cruisers and destoyers) around Truk. However, weather favored the Allies a bit more. The deciding factor seemed to be pilot quality (and rolls of the dice on damage effects). Well, and of course large Japanese numerical superiority in attack aircraft.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on TF, near Truk at 111,108
Weather in hex: Clear sky
Raid detected at 80 NM, estimated altitude 18,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 34 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M8 Zero x 41
A7M2 Sam x 118
A7M3 Sam x 28
N1K4-A George x 13
N1K5-J George x 6
Ki-44-IIc Tojo x 11
Ki-84a Frank x 11

Allied aircraft
F6F-3 Hellcat x 203
SB2C-1C Helldiver x 24
SB2C-3 Helldiver x 104
TBM-1C Avenger x 86

No Japanese losses


Allied aircraft losses
F6F-3 Hellcat: 15 destroyed
SB2C-1C Helldiver: 7 destroyed, 1 damaged
SB2C-3 Helldiver: 28 destroyed, 10 damaged
SB2C-3 Helldiver: 3 destroyed by flak
TBM-1C Avenger: 20 destroyed, 10 damaged
TBM-1C Avenger: 3 destroyed by flak

Japanese Ships
CV Ryukaku
CV Akagi, Bomb hits 4, on fire
CV Hiryu, Bomb hits 1
CV Soryu
CV Kasagi
BB Ise, Bomb hits 5, Torpedo hits 3, on fire
CV Zuikaku, Bomb hits 3, on fire
CV Unryu, Bomb hits 1
CV Kaga, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
BB Ise
CV Taikaku
CV Amagi, Torpedo hits 1
CV Katsuragi, Torpedo hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
DD Haruzuki
CV Shokaku

No ammo/fuel storage explosions


Unfortunately, I've accidentally lost my original combat report, and because rewriting it by hand is total pain, I won't reproduce follow-up raids. You can already see where it was going.

If you wonder about carrier names, Bigred used the renaming feature - actually all CVs, except Wasp, in the report belonged to the Essex class.

By the end of July 19, 1944, USN Carrier forces were all but totally annihilated second time in the war. I'm fairly certain about sinking 6 Essex-class CVs (2 cripples were hit by subs), 2 CVLs and 5 CVEs.

The only Japanese carrier that can sink is Katsuragi. She managed to suppress fires after the battle, was hit by a sub torpedo on retreat, but is still floating. Everything else mage Guam on the next turn.

At the same day another Allied carrier TF (comprised CVEs) raided Sumatra and sank a bunch of tankers at Medan. By all rights, these fighters and Avengers should have been at the Pacific in case of something like the above.

I'm not sure if Bigred consciously risked battle, or the carrier reaction feature caused this disaster. Even if latter is true, he shouldn't have kept his carriers so close to the front in the last month when Japan enjoyed its peak carrier strength relative to US, thanks to almost finishing upgrade to Sams, while F6F-5s still hadn't made their way to frontline units, and carrier-capable Corsairs, actually I wonder why Bigred did not stockpile his precious F4U-1As for carrier use? F6F-3 was utterly outclassed by A7M2 in this battle (I suspect there was also a significant gap in pilot quality). USN lost over 150 Hellcats in A2A, while my own losses at Truk were no more than two dozens of fighters, 8 of them Sams.

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(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 657
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 5/22/2013 10:54:34 AM   
FatR

 

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A few notes on the carrier battle.

(1)The bigger cruise speed of Japanese strike aircraft is a significant advantage! Despite the greater detection range of Allied radars, Allies have even less time for interception. In the light of this, it should be wise to completely replace B6N with B7A late in the war. In combination with A7M, this will give the whole strike package cruise speeds of over 250. American carrier planes can't compete on this front.

(2)Allied flak was over 4 times more effective than mine, and accounted for around 60 aircraft. That is before any flak buffs currently introduced to the game (and which will appear in the new RA version), although with greater ammo loads. Nothing much can be done about this. Judies suffered even worse than Jills, so attack profile doesn't seem to be a major factor.

(3)I'm somewhat disappointed with A7M2's firepower. Too often it scored only damage against Helldivers/Avengers. Now, A7M3s and late-war George models were quite close to the "one pass - one kill" ideal. Thankuflly A7M3 is what I actually invested at, A7M2 was just a stopgap.

(4)Target prioritization currently produces quite suboptimal results. I was just very lucky none of my carrier bombers deviated to strike minor destroer taskforces in the official version of the turn. They could totally do so. I believe that setting decoy targets is an important part of planning a carrier battle now. In this particular case my cruiser ans transport TFs had their own things to do, but they played a more important function by drawing some attackers to themselves anyway.

(5)Deploying large numbers of subs to support your effort in a big battle is as important as ever. Good thing that I completely stopped convoy raiding in mid-1943, to avoid expending subs on what usually was secondary targets, and had over two dozens of subs at Guam. I believe that in the late game Japanese subs should be mass-deployed against the Allied battlefleets/invasion forces during important operations, not attrited away in commerce raiding. So far this approach works for me.

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Post #: 658
RE: Ocean of Blood. FatR (J) vs. yubari (A) - no yubari... - 6/25/2013 6:28:14 PM   
FatR

 

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07/19/1944 - 08/09/1944: Reversal In The West

Despite wiping the core of the Allied naval forces, and removing the possibility of them challenging KB on open seas until late 1945 at least, the situation is not easy for the Empire. I'm facing a persistent supply crisis, that is only somewhat alleviated by stopping all expansion of aircraft/engine production, the situation with armaments and vehicles remain bleak, and recently fuel shortages made itself known at Home Islands, greatly but hopefully temporarily reducing HI production. Pilot situation essentially prevents offensive air warfare at this point - I'm saving my pools for the most essential tasks only (naval attacks and trying to assist my troops at the moments of biggest crisises), and it were months since I staged an airfield raid.

More importantly, Bigred is not discouraged by terrible defeats, and continues to apply pressure on me, with significant results. In the east, on New Guinea I'm forced to pay dearly in ships to hold the line. In Burma I was very close to losing the war in 1944, and this danger isn't gone yet. But let's talk about theaters in order.

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Post #: 659
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