From: Lone Star Nation
July 11, 1942
Our brave kamikaze xAKL manages to beach at Milne Bay but sinks before she can disband. Her crew and captain escape, however.
Grampus duds on both a DD and a big xAP near Tokyo as a troop convoy returns from Truk. As usual in deep water our DC attacks are useless. We will mine the little islands SW of Yokohama and route convoys to the west for a while.
We now have wolf packs watching the approaches to the New Hebrides (where a convoy was spotted recently by Emilys) and the channel between Oz and Tasmania.
A Betty reports a hit on a UK sub near Port Blair.
Noumea makes level 4 port and airfield today. Ahh, Allied engineering prowess.
CF appears to have shifted the Horn Island B-17 groups to Daly as 11 4Es attack troops there today. We set a big CAP trap for tomorrow with 30 Nicks at Daly and 45 Zeros LRCAPing from Katherine.
The Pamekasan invasion goes in with minimal disruption due to high prep. As so often happens with Dutch bases, upon landing our troops discover that we have been mis-spelling the place for months.
Two 1250 TKs running Oil from Miri to Singers collide. Damage is slight but they will need some yard time.
We are moving troops to try to re-take Akyab.
DA Liuchow takes the base with 24:1 odds. 3 enemy LCUs are forced to retreat toward Nanning, which is great as it clears the road to Tuyun. Casualties 4291(369) vs 387(0). Mike S, there's another month of KMT replacements spoken for.
BA Kweilin shows raw AS 1010 vs 1099. Most of our Liuchow force will march here and take the base.
In the center, CF has consolidated 16 LCUs in the hex east (map) of Changsha. However, he only owns the NE hex side and we are about to sneak an armored car unit across there. Thus, all the maneuvering of the past month or so may result in 16 LCUs cut off.
Recon spots what appears to be 2 more LCUs at Kienko moving to oppose our northern pincer. Every LCU sent here by the enemy is a win.
And now the big news. We spot 3 enemy TFs today near the CVE Raiders. One is the 2 DDs from the destroyed convoy, one a powerful SCTF and one lists 4 CVs and 7 ships. SBDs overfly one of our picket AMCs and attack in the AM phase. 44 F4F-3, 45 F4F-4 and (only) 15 SBDs come in, but all miss the "nimble" commerce raider. Weather prevents a PM strike.
The CVEs and the other 3 pickets were all out of range thanks to our northerly course. CF is heading NNE from Pearl and is at 27 hex range from the base. Cribtop Intel estimates that he moved one day and sprinted the next. He came up 1 hex short as the Raiders were 8 hexes NNE of his position. Had we taken the direct route back to Japan, he gets us. The Kates from Hosho try for a strike but can't find the target, which is for the best as they would have been slaughtered.
We assume that CF is at least somewhat low on fuel after a full speed move. We order the 2 shorter legged AMCs to head NNW back toward Japan in the hopes that CF pursues this way, assumes we sprinted and he came up just short again, and pursues toward Japan. Then he's out of gas and forced to RTB. Meanwhile, the big AMCs (with tons of extra fuel) and the CVEs will retire NNE, hopefully an unexpected direction. If we're lucky we'll fall into a hole in the Ocean, have time to gas up, then sneak back through the Aleutians. A bit of good news in that we are moving across a weather boundary into a storm front tomorrow.
We certainly could die in the next 24 hours, but only if the enemy pursues NNE at flank speed. Question is, how many CVs do you think CF has here? 7 ships seems small for a death star (although this number could be FoW), and the large number of fighters is probably the result of stepping down the Devastators and replacing them with USMC fighter groups. We guess 2 or 3 CVs. This is interesting intel. Clearly some of the enemy carriers were at Pearl after all, but if they were all there, why not pursue with them all? This seems to indicate that if CF has offensive intentions over a 90 day window, they are likely aimed at 4th Fleet AO, or perhaps SE Fleet. Much to ponder as we run like hell.
< Message edited by Cribtop -- 1/7/2012 4:41:46 AM >