23rd & 24th January 1942
GBL's Japs have landed at, and easily captured Makassar. This gives him a handy base just a short hop from Southern Java. He's obviously got plans to use the base as a platform for attacks on the Soerbaja area, there were two JAAF Coys in with the assault troops (5 Amphibious Bde).
B-17 attacks from Java have failed to inflict any damage on Japanese port facilities in southern Borneo I think it's time to pull the big kites back to Oz before the Japs come and smash them on the deck. The lack of damage from the heavies has been a disappointment so far in the campaign, a lack of experience has been the stumbling point here.
Elsewhere, the Allied troops on Borneo are proving to be more use now than they were in the original defence of their bases. GBL has tasked several of his smaller LCUs to hunt down the remnants of the British and Dutch forces, a task which is taking them deep into the centre of Borneo and keeping them from more useful pursuits.
Apart from the slow build up of Allied forces there's not a lot to report around here. The US Navy is building the core of a submarine flotilla in the ports at Sydney and Brisbane. Including damaged subs under repair (and a pair in Perth) there are 15 subs based in Australia, just a shame that their torpedoes are pants.
USAAF bombers are meant to be hitting Japanese facilities and troops at Buna on New Guinea, but it's probably a bit too dangerous for the poor dears who are barely making the effort to roll out of bed in the morning. Or perhaps they don't think it's fair unless they're being shot at...
Once again, it would appear that reports of Japanese aircraft above Noumea were exaggerated. Still, better safe than sorry. Another troop convoy should be unloading in a couple of days, this one is bringing a small Australian armoured unit. Allied command (i.e. me) is banking on the Matilda II being almost indestructible when faced with IJA AT weapons.
The convoys that scattered will reload their troops in New Zealand, there should be sufficient shipping available to get the remaining soldiers unloaded in a single day even with the civilian nature of the transports available. This is a good thing, especially as latest reports have indicated that GBL has three subs patrolling near Noumea.
The engineers on the island have also managed to throw together some forts, just a lot more to go along with an airfield and some more LCUs and it'll all be rosy.
Japanese forces have attacked the US position at Bataan. A combination of jungle and forts kept the Japs at bay for now. But with almost the entire 14th Army along with 4th Div things can't be good for the Americans. At least this first assault has cost the Japanese a good number of casualties :
Ground combat at Bataan (78,77)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 54431 troops, 538 guns, 480 vehicles, Assault Value = 1892
Defending force 35726 troops, 660 guns, 670 vehicles, Assault Value = 1265
Japanese engineers reduce fortifications to 3
Japanese adjusted assault: 1148
Allied adjusted defense: 2667
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 2 (fort level 3)
Defender: terrain(+), forts(+), leaders(+), experience(-)
Japanese ground losses:
5723 casualties reported
Squads: 56 destroyed, 252 disabled
Non Combat: 36 destroyed, 365 disabled
Engineers: 4 destroyed, 58 disabled
Vehicles lost 148 (7 destroyed, 141 disabled)
Allied ground losses:
2412 casualties reported
Squads: 6 destroyed, 142 disabled
Non Combat: 25 destroyed, 134 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 31 disabled
Vehicles lost 57 (6 destroyed, 51 disabled)
Even without fighter cover the fortress is taking a decent toll of the Japanese bombers. Heavy flak is causing GBL to send his Sallies in at an altitude where they are not causing too much damage. Plenty of aircraft are being damaged but not enough for my liking...
INDIA & BURMA
On the face of it, not much is happening on the sub-continent. British troops are still attempting to extract themselves from the Burmese jungle ahead of the pursuing Japanese. In the absolute worst case scenario, two British battalions and an RAF Group HQ are far enough ahead to escape overland pursuit. The possibility of Japanese landings along the coast can't be ruled out, but are unlikely until after Singapore has fallen.
In India, plans have once again changed...
Acting on recent sigint reports 19th Indian Div has been ordered to move to Diamond Harbour, analysts have decrypted intel that shows Japanese forces are planning for an attack on Calcutta. It's just an engineer regt so far, but it's an indication that plans are afoot.
I'm expecting some sort of amphibious landing to the east of Calcutta on the coast between (and including) Akyab and Chittagong. A landing in the Diamond Harbour/Calcutta area leaves GBL too vulnerable to Allied LBA, limited though it is.
I'm not sure, but I'd suspect that this would rule out a simultaneous landing on the Bengali coast. I'm not confident enough to strip the defences from those area though, instead the next wave of reinforcements will shore up the Calcutta 'corner' instead of the Imphal region. Even with the slow trickle of reinforcements I should win the race to get something here and the imminent arrival of Indian engineer units means that some formidable forts should great the baddies if they do come to call....