From: not all there
So it would seem that the force that bombarded Henderson Field on the night of 13/14 November was intended right from the beginning to be a bombardment force. They fired somewhat more than 900 8" shells and apparently really smashed up a bunch of trees. They did not however seriously damage Henderson Field and paid the a significant price for their failure.
You're correct. The CA bombardment on the night of 13/14 Nov had been put in place as part of the original planning for the Japanese November offensive. It was always intended to be the next-night follow up to the Nov 12/13 BB bombardment.
The Japanese realised even as they completed this CA bombardment that it had likely failed in the objective of knocking out Henderson Field. Low cloud and misty rain affected the effectiveness of the illuminating flares for targeting, contributing to none of the shells hitting the objective runway. However, the bombardment did somewhat more than smash up a bunch of trees. According to the MAG 23 diary, it landed a number of damaging hits on the right side of the Fighter One runway, wrecked an SBD, flamed two F4Fs and shrapnel damaged 15 more, leaving only 14 F4Fs operable for the morning's operations. The diary of the 67th USAAF mentions widespread damage in their dispersement area, Lundstrom stated 15 of 16 P-39/400s took shrapnel damage, leaving only 3 operational for the next morning's operations.
The real issue for the Japanese was that no matter how accurate any bombardment by a pair of BBs or CAs was, there were already one too many runways in operation by Cactus at the time the BB and CA bombardments began in October. The spectacular Kongo&Haruna bombardment of Henderson Field failed to shut the Cactus Air Force down because they still had the Fighter One airfield available for operations the next day. By November, Cactus had three airfields available, spread over an area of more than three miles and with inter-connecting taxiways. The Maya and Suzuya never had a hope on their own.
I'm sure this doesn't make you feel any better about the effectiveness of Japanese bombardments in game though.
My own pet peeve is that I'm yet to see any advantage of radar equipped bombardment TFs over non-radar equipped in the level of damage done by naval bombardments. Can anyone confirm whether radar plays a part in this area?
This was the only sig line I could think of.