OK so what happened?
Well, first off during the night the B-29s visited Yokohama again, this time at 15,000ft. The Denkos made their first kill, which was nice, but of course they could not stop the attack and subsequent damage.
I have lost about 15 factories to the FIRES thus far, mostly aircraft (Tokas) and engines (NE Turbojets). At this point I am not repairing anything since I have no clarity on the supply situation going forward.
Then during the day we had:-
An unescorted B-29 port attack on Niigata, where the "KB" starts out. I have Georges and Sams (the funny ones) on CAP here with half-decent pilots flying them. They did quite well and shot down 7 bombers, albeit receiving a few casualties in return. However, the main point was that the attack was sufficiently disrupted to achieve little. Two CMcs were sunk, that was about it.
There followed a huge number of sweeps and airfield attacks over Formosa from both the CVE fleets and the USAAF bases in the Philippines and Okinawa. There was little resistance (it has mostly been eradicated) so this was mostly a matter of shooting at thin air and making rubble bounce.
Then we had the main event - A bunch of actual CVs (4 or 5 at a guess) turned up off the coast of Kyushu just to the east of Amami Oshima. I had seen these guys coming from the Marianas direction but sort of assumed they were heading for Okinawa. I have no real way of attacking them anyway at this point so did nothing to prepare except maintain CAP.
Well, I'm really not sure what FJ was trying to achieve here but what happened was that the CVs launched numerous naval attacks on TFs loading/unloading at Fukuoka and Nagasaki. This was without any prior airbase suppression, just fighters escorting the SBDs and TBDs at 20,000ft.
So, my massed CAP, despite being highly variable in plane and pilot quality, managed to shoot down a lot of US carrier planes. While of course taking large casualties themselves. One thing which helped a lot (I mentioned it before) is that for some reason my fighters often seem to be able to get amongst the bombers and pick up some easy kills. I can only think this is something to do with altitude.
A few ships were sunk and badly damaged including a CVE and an E, but considering what would have happened if the carrier bombers were not level bombing from 20,000ft I got off very lightly.
All in all a very pleasing day, but it doesn't really change anything.
< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/17/2011 2:04:45 AM >