Yes topeverest, barring a sudden reappearance of the KB I will try a large attack hopefully on the 12th or 13th of April. My battleships are organised into two fleets. The British Prince of Wales, Repulse, Resolution, Royal Sovereign and Ramillies are with the British carriers and are currently 18 hexes from Columbo and running short on fuel and torpedoes. Resolution took moderate damage from a torpedo.
The Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Mississippi and Warspite are 45 hexes from Pearl Harbour, or about 6 days travel at cruise speed. This task force is I think unspotted. It is easy to get cruiser groups into Pearl Harbour unspotted due to their speed but Mavises would surely spot any battleships approaching. The Japanese have at Kona around 25 warships, of which recon suggests around 6 are cruisers. The Zero CAP is pretty much impenetrable.
The mini KB contains the Ryujo, Shoho, Zuiho, Taiyo and Hosho for a total of around 160 planes. I am assuming that the Junyo (58 planes) and the Nisshin (30 planes) will also be available to make a total of around 250 planes. I don't think that the British carriers with just 100 planes can challenge that, but I shall certainly try to hit the supply train if the mini KB loiters too long around the landing point.
I tried to attack with only 2 engine bombers on the 6th and they made just one bomb hit. An attack involving just three B-17 squadrons plus the 2 engines on the 7th scored around 20 bomb hits and destroyed 3 Zeroes on the ground, entirely reasonable results I feel, so I shall continue with this in the future. Kona airfield is now at level 5.
The US battleships have left San Francisco and should be at Pearl Harbour in around 6 days time. Importantly, I do not think that they have been spotted. The Yorktown class has finished its upgrades along with the Lexington. The Saratoga is just three days away from being ready, I shall send the carriers out in two days time and let the Saratoga move one day at full speed, time is of the essence here.
Sigint spots an engineer unit that had previously been planning for Lihue heading towards Kwajalein, there could be an attempted landing there in a week or two. There are also reports of heavy radio traffic at Kwajalein, which could possibly be the KB although it would have had to have moved very fast to get there: it has not been seen since the 4th April when the Akagi was torpedoed. There look to be about four to six Japanese cruisers at Kona, I want to use the USN to take these out so that I can use naval bombardments to destroy Kona airfield.
There are lots of destroyers operating in the Straits of Malacca, no doubt trying to attack the large numbers of submarines I have there. The number of ships at Singapore is now over 300, and recon shows at least 10 of them to be AKs. A task force of three battleships is also spotted.
At sea, a US submarine puts another torpedo into the Yura and it is now confirmed sunk. A Japanese submarine also torpedoes the BB Resolution, only a few system damage points and 12 major floatation are caused, but it will be enough to keep it out of the war for about 6 weeks.
The three Dutch redoubts all survive. Malang is now back to forts level 3, and there have been no attacks at Balikpapan or Bandjermasin.
Preparations are being made for the Indian invasion. Looking at the map, it is too late to invade on the west coast, there are only 23 days left of the invasion bonus. The most logical place to land would seem to be Vizgapatnam, it is relatively isolated from other air bases in India. However two divisions have been previously spotted planning for Diamond Harbour. At the moment, there are roughly 2600AV on Ceylon and another 3000 or so in India, around two thirds of this force is Indian Infantry, and still less than the magical 50 experience. I have to assume that FatR is bringing at least 4000AV.
Japan retreats another Chinese corps in the north of the country. I had set it to move as a diversion and then forgot about it, another 10000 troops are lost. In the south, the Japanese retake Pucheng.
I carried out a detailed hex count to try to guess the position of the Japanese carriers. My best guess is that the mini KB is around Jolo, I have set 5 submarines in the area to scout for it. I think that the KB is around 12 hexes from Kwajalein so it could probably get back to Kona for around the 16th April.