From: Lone Star Nation
August 1, 1942
Big happenings today. 2 out of 3 go our way, and even the third ain't all bad.
Thought about doing a 1st person, but there is just too much to cover.
Tarpon duds on a DD in the LCTF accompanying South Seas Fleet east of Truk. Fortunately, the enemy only gets intel on a few CLs instead of the Yamato BB/CA SCTF.
The enemy invades Baker, an unoccupied atoll, as though it's the Normandy beaches! BBs New Mexico and Idaho, along with CA Vincennes, bombard the base. Then elements of the Marine Raider Battalion land. Before the inevitable conquest, our Netties at TB spot numerous non-CV TFs just west of Baker, probably providing surface cover. The AM raid can't locate the target, but this is a blessing in disguise. In the PM phase, 14 Bettys escorted by 22 Zeros attack an SCTF just west of Baker. The brave escorts fight against a massive LRCAP of 80 Wildcats. This means that CF has committed the entire USN CV fleet to the Op. We lose 14 Zeros and 10 Bettys. 5 Bettys get through to drop against BB North Carolina and CA Chicago, but no hits. Did I mention CF brought the kitchen sink on this? Needless to say, empty Baker Island is 100% trashed by the bombardment and then taken in the ground combat phase. The Marines only have 10 adjusted AV, though. We will send various supply and resource TFs in the area scuttling for cover, and will even pull our planes back from TB for a time. There's every likelihood that CF will swing by the base with his carriers on the way out.
This attack, IMHO, was overkill by Cuttles. He committed the vast majority of his fleet, and in doing so revealed its location. This gives Cribtop HQ the comfort level to send Combined Fleet to Truk. We assume that CF wants Baker as an outpost for reconning the Gilberts. It's a 0(0) port but a 1(0) airfield.
This could be a very interesting development. We may see something we haven't in AE in a long time. Namely an Allied advance via SOPAC and SWPAC a la history. We will also watch to determine whether CF plans to hit multiple targets or just Baker.
Given events at Baker, South Seas Fleet needs to avoid enemy CVs. They will loiter west of the Marshalls, awaiting an opportunity to act and/or the arrival of Combined Fleet.
The first wave is ashore at Lingayen. The second lands in a few days. We will finish this quickly and get the troops to the Pacific and DEI.
A great day in the skies over Daly Waters. CF sends 20 B-17s to hit the base. We guessed right and had the Nicks on LRCAP. They shoot down 3(!) B-17s outright and another 2 don't make it home! Banzai! No way can the enemy sustain 25% losses with the 4Es.
DA 67, 104 in Celebes destroys the former Makassar garrison. One more base to clean up here, then Mataram, then a few more DBCLs.
We can't seem to fly the 9 IJA Engineer squads of 2nd Raiding Regt into Ramree Island. Odd that part of a paratroop unit can't seem to paradrop. Is there a plane big enough for them or do we need to build an airfield at Ramree?
Our bombers fly and do a marvelous job, hitting many enemy LCUs, thus slowing them down.
We hold our breath for the combat replay and are thrilled to find that only 3 non-combat units (2 HQs and a construction engineer) made it over the river. Thus, 17th Army easily brushes aside the 1 corps garrison and seizes Hengyang! BANZAI!
Odds were 56:1, 5 LCUs retreat to Shaoyang, casualties 6779(408) vs 173(0). More importantly, the KMT's southern armies are trapped south of the river, and the other two bases near Changsha are virtually certain to fall.
We'll see how CF reacts to this. He can try a shock attack over the river tomorrow, but success seems unlikely. Will he pull units from Changsha to face 17th Army? Abandon the position? We shall see.
Screenshot below shows the sitrep in China:
Knowing that CF has most of the USN and the CVs at Baker, Cribtop HQ orders Combined Fleet to sortie for Truk. Action could be imminent. Banzai!
< Message edited by Cribtop -- 1/29/2012 8:25:54 PM >