From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
NoPac: The Allies continue to land support troops (base force, engineer, CD, artillery) at Onnekotan and Paramushiro. This phase should be finished in a day or two, permitting me to withdraw the majority of my transports before enemy cavalry can arrive on the scene if I guess correctly. Lots of enemy patrol activity today, plus a raid by 37 Nells against unprotected transports at Onnekotan that didn't score a single hit (an unexpected degree of futitlity from Japanese bombers). I'm going to pull out part of 41st Division. I want to leave enough strength at Paramushiro to prevent a little counterinvasion from succeeding. However, when Steve comes he will undoubtedly bring everything possible to overwhelm the Allied force, so having a full division there won't serve any real purpose. If I'm wrong, and Steve ends up concentrating on the DEI and leaving the Kuriles for later, I can bring in reinforcements later.
China: The Chinese may have a chance of taking Kukong from a weak Japanese garrison. The threat, more apparent than real, of a sizeable Chinese force on his weak flank will worry Steve and entice him to try to cut it off. But the Chinese will be moving in and moving out quickly, looking for opportunities elsewhere.
Singapore: For the first time in nearly a week, the Japanese didn't attack. Steve may try again tomorrow, but forts are already back up to two. Singers may be able to hold another attack, and possibly he'll need to bring 52nd Div. over from Mersing before he can take it.
Western Sumatra: D-Day tomorrow. The enemy hasn't detected the invasion fleet and it also looks like the two bases to the south have been vacated as Steve has been concentrating his units (three small infantry that he brought in by air) on the eastern most base (he hasn't been able to take it because the Allies air transported in part of an Indian brigade). In other words, western Sumatra is lightly defended, Steve has been a bit frustrated in his efforts to eradicate opposition, and his likely plans to quickly reinforce and build up his bases here after Singapore falls are about to get a rude shock. I really like this little operation.
Eastern Sumatra: The three American engineers came ashore at Oosthaven in good shape. If Steve does elect to focus on the Kuriles, the time bought for Sumatra will be put to good use given the recent arrival of so many American engineers.
Counteroffensive: How else can the Allies take advantage of bought time and diverted enemy combat ships if Steve turns on the Kuriles? One important aspect will be to reinforce Sumatra, bring in more supply, and work on forts and airfields. Can the Allies engage in another offensive somewhere that might add to Japan's woes? I'm looking at possibilities. Malaya is one, though it will be a month or more before the Allies have the PP to buy enough units to make that possible and effective. A move in the Gilberts is another, but there's the same PP situation. A third operation that can be done pretty soon would be an invasion of Denpasar using mainly the American units about to land at Sabang. Denpasar is important to Steve - it will permit him to invade eastern Java under LBA. It's also a bit far forward from the rest of his big bases. The Allies would be able to effectively cover the operation by LBA from Java and carriers a safe distance to the west. Retaking Denpassar would likely throw a monkey wrench into Japan's plans for Java, and in the event of truly epic delays by or problems for Japan, the Allies could begin looking further east towards the heart of the DEI.
Delicate Balance/High Stakes: Generally, the window of maximum opportunity for Japan is January through August 1942. Thereafter, the Allies have received enough reinforcements to begin eying Japan as equals. In this game, Japan is disrupted at the moment, so the the window has narrowed from eight months down to five months. If the Allies can somehow wrangle a firm hold on eastern Sumatra for four or five months, Japan shouldn't ever retake it. An important part of the "firm hold" equation is maintaining a strong carrier force. Note, however, that the Allies have gone very far out on a limb - a stout limb with exceiting possibilties, but a limb nonetheless. With 3,700 AV in Sumatra now, the Allies can't afford to lose the battle in Sumatra. So buying time, reinforcing, and winning this battle is more important than ever. High stakes!