From: San Antonio, TX
This game is also at approximately July 24 with me as the Allies. This side is much more fun to play at this stage of the war.
General summary-Allied side:
On land: The last six days have gone well for the Allied side. Tinian has fallen, leaving me in control of Guam, Rota and Tinian. USAAF, Marine and USNAF aircraft bristle from airfields at these bases.
After seeing the probable fall of Saipan in my other game, I realized that I must attempt the landing with only partially prepared troops. Amphibious HQ have been prepping for Saipan for some time and are currently located at Tinian. With their 1 hex HQ impact, they can provide for some needed support for the pending Saipan operation.
Otherwise, all capable LCUs with useful AV values have been ordered to prep for Saipan. Loading will commence from Guam today for the 4th Marines and company located there. As all enemy activity at Guam has been liquidated, there are a number of units here that have been repurposed accordingly.
Jap resistance at Tinian is a wreck, thus freeing up a number of Allied LCUs from there for the pending operation. The Infantry division at Rota will also contribute the approximatlely 130 AV of non-disrupted troops for the Saipan operation.
I've hotfooted the 25th ID from Pearl towards the theatre. I'm not sure if they'll make it in time before the curtain goes down, but it won't be for lack of trying. Another Marine division has arrived at Pearl (yesterday? ), but I don't have shipping (or time) left in the scenario to get 'em into the fight.
I don't know if I have sufficient LCU strength / prep on hand to force the issue at Saipan. I'm pretty sure that if I don't try it, I will lose big, so I'm rolling the dice. Through stupid oversights (detailed earlier), I've made a hash of the rationale for attacking Saipan and my force distribution. I shouldn't be so bent over a barrel as to make such a slapdash effort on a major operational goal, but I'm atoning for past sins now.
Naval and air bombardment of Saipan started in earnest for the Allies on or around July 21. Knowing how much difficulty was wrought by the Saipan CD guns in the mirror game, I've focused on the port attacks. As of July 24, port disruption is at 70%-good progress. A couple more days bombardment oughta help the eventual Allied landings.
On the sea: This is the killing time for the Allies. The last 8 or so days have seen my Allied CVTFs and LBA cut the Japanese navy's heart out across the map.
BBs Yamato, Kongo; CV Shokaku; multiple CAs and DDs have been blasted out of existence. Curiously CV Shokaku was sunk by DD surface groups near Pagan. I think she was trying to make for the IJN "Green Havens" (more later) when intercepted.
For those Yamato fanbois out there, any guesses what happens to Yamato when faced up against BB Iowa and New Jersey (commanded by Halsey)? Sam Peckinpaw / Akira Kurasawa would have loved to direct that scene.
Allied CV raids on Babeldoap and Pelileu slaughtered most of the remaining IJN support / transport shipping and a few stragglers making for the NW corner of the map. Allied submarines have also picked off a number of stragglers-particularly those heading for the 'Green Havens'.
Although they have tried a couple ill-advised CA raids from Truk on the shipping around the Marianas (destroyed with extreme prejudice by LBA USNAF aircraft from Guam before they got near), most of the other Japanese shipping is fleeing major combat-either holing up at Truk, Iwo Jima or the "Green Havens". These foci will be attacked before the game ends in an effort to bag these vermin.
The so-called Green Havens are the are to the NE of Marcus Island-the 'dead zone' of Central Pacific. Here, beyond air search from Midway, I suspect that he is sending his damaged shipping to ride out the balance of the battle. I've sniffed a couple SigInt sightings that reinforce this notion. One of his AVs was also sunk by an Allied submarine two hexes NE of Marcus. Alllied carrier and surface units will investigate further and help send these sons of heaven to the wrong address.
Allied DDs have been pulling hard duty with surface intercept. CA Chokai and an escorting DD were sunk during a night engagement with 4 Allied DDs last night. The sun is setting on Japanese night time naval pre-eminence, it appears.
In short, this will be a very near-run thing. Some early strategic and tactical errors have put me in a position of catch up. I don't know if I'll be able to pull off the needed coup de main at Saipan or not, but it won't be for a lack of trying.