From: Lone Star Nation
May 13, 1943
A good day.
Near Dutch Harbor, I-20 is DC'd twice by enemy ASW DDs, once after missing a shot at her tormentors. The plucky sub is undamaged.
Terapo goes to forts 4.
We close the last hex side at Broome. Time for the end game here. Two Australian Divisions and three support LCUs are doomed.
On a critical turn in this AO, everything breaks our way. Banzai!
First, the enemy fails to sweep Mandalay, probably due to weather over Chittagong. We had a max LRCAP effort of Tojos and Nicks waiting when 25 Liberator IIs showed up unescorted. This was the absolute cream of the IJAAF, with groups boasting average EXP of 80. The Tojos swarmed in, damaging many bombers and shooting down a few. Then the Nicks finished, downing one B-24 after another. 18 enemy machines failed to return home, and their bombing raid did almost nothing to our troops. Nice!
Our Helens hit troops and the airfield at Meiktila, while CF's Blenheims bombed Cox's Bazar.
We were shocked to note two things in Burma during the replay. First, we now see move arrows in both directions between Meiktila and Mandalay for the enemy. He has some troops moving to Mandalay and some back towards Meiktila. Indicative of confusion, perhaps. Second, recon shows that the 2nd UK Division is chasing our diversionary RTA Division toward Bhamo instead of moving toward Mandalay. This is a mistake IMHO, but we are thrilled.
During the move phase, we close out the SW and SE hex sides at Meiktila.
Finally, the Main Event. DA Meiktila finds 10 enemy LCUs present, all infantry. It appears the units in Mandalay are British armor. Only four of the LCUs in Meiktila have any AS in the replay (the two Aussie Divisions and two Indian Divisions). We are pleasantly surprised to find low fort levels, which could be very bad news for the Commonwealth. A DA obtains 2:1 odds right off the bat, forts are reduced to 2, casualties 4124(61) vs 4834(17). The enemy shows (-) for both DIS and FAT. This is much easier sledding than we anticipated, and we had fresh infantry and artillery arrive in Meiktila today that has not yet been brought to bear. The preponderance of heavy arty seemed to help the IJA's cause, with large reductions in AV during the bombardment phase of the attack. In short, Meiktila will fall as soon as its forts are gone, probably in just two more days. We might just pull this off!
In Mandalay, we gain supplies, increase forts to 1, and fly in most of the 1st Raiding Regiment. The back door isn't fully barred, but it is closing fast. Banzai!
< Message edited by Cribtop -- 10/20/2013 3:51:57 AM >