From: Lone Star Nation
January 19, 1943
A blessedly quiet day with air losses 0:0 for the first time in the war. Not what we expected but excellent news.
Escorts DC Snapper near Singers.
I-164, manning the sub screen near Viz, is DC'd for one penetrating hit by UK ASW. Two sub minelayers drop an offensive minefield at Chittagong in the night. One of the new 500 endurance midgets sails into the Noumea hex searching for prey.
We will switch to a combination of air transport and small, expendable TFs to pull 20th Division out over time. CF continues to recon the place and it's too hot to risk major surface assets.
D minus 1. Paras capture an undefended Tezpur, cutting the rail line into Assam.
We sail KB and the invasion fleet TFs into a position 4 hexes SSW of Cox's Bazaar. CAP is layered at 80% as we assume CF will put what LBA he has (B-25s and Blenheims) on nav attack with a big air search percentage. Instead, Admiral Nagumo is amazed to have a quiet day, with the DL for all TFs dropping to 0/0! How can this be? The enemy has allowed us to move into position without opposition. Nice.
Orders for D-Day. Two capital ship SCTFs and one DD only SCTF will provide close cover. Two infantry divisions will move into position and unload. KB will provide layered LRCAP to deal with the expected LBA. The Carrier TFs will remain in a hex carefully chosen to minimize the number of potential string bag attacks on the jewel of the IJN. That said, per the latest reports there are no enemy torpedo bombers in theater.
The die is cast. We run the replay tonight. Honestly, the biggest risk is that disruption from the landing may make it dicey to take Cox's Bazaar even with overwhelming force. It things go wrong, the huge second wave will simply divert to Rangoon for a conventional defense of Burma. However, if the base is taken, ideally on the 21st or 22nd, we will pour more divisions ashore and march on Chittagong and Dacca.
It is possible CF will sortie a fleet from Ceylon to interfere, but we would welcome this. We have hordes of subs, multiple LBA groups and the full might of KB to resist. Cribtop Intel doubts this scenario will come about.
We do believe the revelation of KB could trigger a move elsewhere, and put the Empire on alert for an invasion. Biggest fear is a move out of Perth toward Java or Timor, but by the time CF can arrive we should have re-positioned Combined Fleet to the area. As further support, a new CVE and the Yamato/Mushashi TF will arrive at Singers tomorrow.
After going over the orders three times, they were sent to Cuttlefish last night. We await the decision of the gods.