From: Lone Star Nation
February 4, 1943
And now the report of everything else that happened on this eventful day. As if Exmouth weren't enough, the Royal Navy is on the move in the Bay of Bengal!
I-162 misses a DD in a surface combat force near Vizgapatnam. Two R class BBs, 1 CA, 2 CL and numerous DDs are present. As the enemy turns toward the coast of Assam, I-27, lurking in the next hex over, torpedoes BB Ramilles, although the damage does not appear to be serious. Our subs also report a follow on convoy of xAKs near Viz, as I-165 is chased off by convoy escorts. Cribtop Intel estimates CF is trying to bombard Cox's Bazaar as he attempts to either reinforce or re-supply Chittagong. We will unleash LBA on this force tomorrow from Prome. The BBs end 9 hexes from CB, too far out for the R class ships to make a bombardment run. Our subs may have screwed up CF's plans in that regard at least.
Near Exmouth during the night phase I-156 tangles with escorts of the enemy CVTF. This little action burned some Ops points and may have contributed to the overall result. As soon as I saw this part of the replay, I knew from the position of the enemy that battle would be joined later in the day.
After the surface engagement between the IJN cruisers and the CVTF, I-35 missed a DD in what appeared to be an escort TF of damaged DDs that broke off from the USN carrier force.
Very late in the turn, I-30 then misses a DD in the battle hex. At this point it was hard to tell where this DD originated due to the high number of escort TFs for both sides. I bet this came from the enemy cruiser force as by now the CV escorts were sunk except for one cripple.
IJN ASW ships harass Growler near Formosa.
Ponape makes forts four.
We know what happened here. One correction, however. In reviewing my notes only 2 IJN destroyers, not three, sank as a result of the various surface engagements. Nice.
I also will point out that all four CVTFs involved in the battle (3 IJN and 1 USN) reacted to one another, closing the range from 6 hexes to four.
Orders for tomorrow. KB will close the range with Broome, using an oblique path in case CF tries for an intercept with his cruiser force (which we doubt he will). All carrier torpedo planes and all relevant LBA are ordered to Nav Attack/Port Attack with target set for Broome. Our two big SCTFs will also close up on Broome but won't be in a position to do much until the 6th. The Air HQ finished unloading at Koepang, which makes Nav Attacks and escort duty easier and sets up a major air base within range of IJAAF bombers once we switch to closing the Broome airfield. The Denpasar Nells will watch the corner of Oz in case CF gets snarky with his cruisers but are in range for port attacks on Broome if not otherwise occupied.
The surviving ships of our brave cruiser force move in various directions, with the most damaged limping for Port Hedland, while the less battered ships make for Soerabaja. We break off a CA and 2 DDs from KB's organic escorts to sweep the approach path into this base. Why? The damaged CA Canberra and a DD are crawling West, and we don't want this ship to finish off an IJN CA that might otherwise survive. A sub is also detailed to sweep into the Canberra's position.
In Napoleonic terms, Operation Katana has entered the pursuit phase. Banzai!
Palembang makes forts 5.
As we continue to march on Chittagong, our armor units ahead of the main force may get a shot at a straggler tomorrow if it doesn't vacate the hex.
In central Burma, the two Indian divisions near Prome have turned and are now withdrawing north. The combination of bombing runs and the appearance of the IJA 1st Armored Division across the river was enough.
The Indian Divisions may have been a feint all along, as an Australian Division enters the Taung Gyi hex ahead of a good-sized Allied army. We will bomb the follow on forces with every IJAAF plane available. Taung Gyi has 500 AS in X3 terrain with level 4 forts. A second IJA division is marching up the road to reinforce and is about 6 days out.
A British Divsion is approaching Lashio, which will be abandoned tomorrow. The other Brit Division stayed at Bhamo, indicating CF's offensive here is running out of steam.
< Message edited by Cribtop -- 1/15/2013 6:03:00 PM >