From: Denver, CO
February 5th, 1942
In the Bay of Bengal, our invasion force sails due west hoping to avoid the Catalinas from Rangoon. This works to some extent as our ships have no DL and are not reported seen. However, enemy subs do see our Vals and our TFs that are still near Port Blair. However, no mention from my opponent in email as to where he thinks I'm going. This could be just radio silence, or he could be confused because it looks like my ships just sat still. Tomorrow our ships will be within air range of Ceylon. The carriers will stay at 8 hexes to avoid Hurricanes with drop tanks flying from Columbo or Trincomalee. A fair amount of Zeros will LRCAP the transports and battleships as they close on the base.
As seen in the picture below, we have additional ASW assets on the way. These are destroyers that just came out of refit a day or two after the fleet sailed. Also, the 56th Division and a pure supply TF of 20,000 supplies are straggling. They will meetup with KB tomorrow and then I may hold them back as a reserve force. If not needed at Ceylon, we might land the 56th Div at Akyab or Cox's Bazaar while his air power is potentially away at Ceylon.
The situation near Ceylon
Farther south from the exciting action, we resume attacks at Kuantan and get 1:1 against fort level 1. Forts go down and we will probably continue the attacks. Another regiment is en route, but if the base goes down early that unit can just turn around.
Another Barge TF carrying some of the 55th Cavalry captures the island south of Singapore called Tandjoengpinang. We destroy 2x DO-24K-1s in the process. They will load up and head to the next island to the southwest.
Our minesweepers arrive at Sabang and clear away the sub laid enemy mines.
Seeing that Palembang has no CAP, we send in some Nells to hit the airstrip and maybe shut down any recon missions. We do moderate damage to the base and damage a Do-24K-1.
On Celebes, Gorontalo is our freebie today. It is not entirely free as we had unloaded troops here that were to take the base today anyway.
At Batavia, the Dutch air force attacks our troops again. Our Oscar A's do a bit better today and take down 1x Demon, 2x B-339D and 7x 139WH-3. The planes that get through do light damage to our troops. Our troops do a bombardment attack so we get a look at the defenders. About 24,000 Dutch troops defend the base. We have a couple more large Brigades on the way, so we will wait until they arrive before making our first assault.
Nearby at Bandoeng, the 21st Ind Mix Bge chases off the Mobiele Eenheid Bn of the Dutch.
We unload the Yokosuka 2nd SNLF onto Pamekasan and find out the base is occupied with a decent garrison. A Nav Gd unit will be sent here in a couple days to provide enough power to seize the island base.
Recon had shown a cruiser sitting at Derby so we ordered a large Betty port attack with Zeros on escort from Koepang to hit Derby. Unfortunately the escorts stayed home and our 50x Bettys had to go up against 20x P-40E Warhawks on their own. When all was said and done, we lost 20 Bettys (19 AA, 1 flak) but managed to hit CL Durban and a couple AMs. We'll try a sweep tomorrow to see if we can weaken the P-40E force in case we want to try another attack soon.
CL Durban, Bomb hits 10, on fire, heavy damage
AM Colac, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
AM Warrnambool, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
We also capture Babar today with the southern barge force. Barges are nice for the small SNLF Coys. They can sail right under the enemies nose. And if they do get smacked, no big loss.
In the here-to-fore quiet Southeastern Pacific, the 82nd Nav Gd unloads and captures Baker Island. Not planning much here at the moment, but this will be a nice float plane base in the future.
Nells and Bettys again hit the PM airbase and 4x B-17's hit our troops for no casualties.
At Lae, our two small units are not able to defeat the C and D Coy/NG Rifles. We will let them rest a couple days and try again. There are only 300 enemy troops so it should be that hard for 1,000 of our troops to take the base.
Farther up the coast we capture Sarmi today.
Far to the north, we continue to chase enemy troops away from Paotow. Our two Regiments will likely make the long march west to provide an additional attack direction on the northern remote Chinese bases.
At Kweilin, as feared the Chinese break our siege and send our units retreating. Thankfully we still inflicted almost as many casualties as we lost even with the retreat.