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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL)

 
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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 2/27/2012 5:09:32 PM   
Dixie


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The Rest of the War

There are a few USAAF fighter squadrons on the West Coast that are almost combat ready, so the time is right to ship them to the South Pacific. In order to shift them quickly I am thinking about sending them out on board Saratoga and Yorktown.

China still looks grim.

Bataan holds out against the odds, GBL has been bombing the garrison heavily but with little effect.

More troops are trying to sneak into Noumea, a few PBYs would probably be invaluable for this. If only I could spare some...

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Post #: 181
RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 4/13/2012 3:39:27 PM   
Dixie


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14th Feb 1942

Sorry for the delay guys (and ladies if any are reading this...) but it's been a busy few weeks. The short version is I'm being posted to a new base and expected to be going soon. So the last few weeks has involved a lot of packing and organising only to be told we're not moving until June now....


Anyhow, back to the war:

PHILIPPINES
Although the US and Filipino forces are currently holding off the Japanese at Bataan supplies have started to dwindle to dangerously low levels. Things would no doubt be worse if it was not for the jungle canopy that has protected the troops from the worst of the Japanese aerial onslaught. 'Tis a good thing as there is nothing else I can really do to help them out much.
Today's Japanese bombardment saw 23 Allied casualties, in return the IJA forces took 270 casualties. It's a good rate of return although I can't expect it to last it is at least burning through some of GBL's troops. Plus those guys will be replaced by inexperienced recruits leaving them at the mercy of the victorious Allied counterattack. Or so the theory goes...


EAST INDIES
A temporary lull seems to have taken charge in Java. Partly this is caused by the Japanese carrier TF moving towards Singapore. On the ground it seems that GBL has possibly misjudged the amount of force needed to dislodge the Cloggies from their mountain hideout at Bandoeng. Will he attempt to bypass the base now or send in more troops? The Dutch are holding up a division worth of troops currently, so I'd expect him to send more in order to free up the division and split Java into two parts.


BURMA
The remnants of the Brit forces from Rangoon are still being pounded from the air near Bassein. They are too far from the Allied lines to send meaningful help, especially as the Japs have now reached Toungoo. US bombers attacked the IJA force at Toungoo, Japanese resistance was limited to a single Zero who's pilot managed to damage a B-17 before calling it a day. Sadly, despite their greater bombload than their Japanese counterparts, the Forts were unable to cause a significant amount of damage.


SOUTH PACIFIC
Two subs hit mines at Luganville today With a little luck Porpoise will be able to limp back to Brisbane, but for the crew of Searaven the war is well and truly over. Bugger.

There are a number of convoys heading for various locales around the SOPAC area, dodging the Jap subs around the SE coast of Oz is proving to be a major hazard. Until the RAN/USN get up to speed this could be a dangerous region for the Allied shipping. The RAAF have assigned 6 Sqn to ASW duties, with half the squadron based at Brisbane (with an avg ASW exp of above 60) hopes are high that the Air Force will help to neuter the submarine threat.


As I get back into the swing of things I'll post a better update.

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Post #: 182
RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 6/6/2012 10:41:32 AM   
Dixie


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February 17th, 1942

CHINA


In the north, Japanese advances have almost surrounded Chenghow and Nanyang although the advancing Japs have slowed down in the last few days. As always in China, supplies are a major problem which is made worse by the terrible roads and a lack of transport aircraft to shift the stuff.

The situation is a little better in the South, but not by a great deal. Although the supply situation is not as dire there isn't a lot of spare and the Japs are generally in closer contact than up country. The greater supplies and additional engineers/base forces have allowed a defensive line of sorts although it will not stand up to a major IJA offensive.

The Chinese army is still poor. Even after three months of resting and training most of the LCUs available are far below their nominal strength with a big chunk of what they do actually have unfit for combat. A few units in the more stable bases have had reinforcements turned on, unfortunately these units are far to the rear and will only be of immediate use should the IJA blitz reach Chungking.

In the air, it's better but still a mixed bag. The AVG continue to perform minor miracles on an almost daily basis. The biggest problem with the American squadrons is finding them bases where the Chinese can provide sufficient AV support to keep them operating. In an effort to take some of the pressure from the AVG, the CAF are collecting their best pilots into a few key units. The 42nd FS is intended to be the first of these 'elite' Chinese squadrons which will be equipped with spare Hawks handed on from the AVG. So far half a dozen pilots have been gathered together and although their experience falls short of that provided by the Americans it is far in advance of the rest of the CAF. Until more pilots can be trained the most likely use of these squadrons will be for local defence of Chungking and some Northern bases. The CAF bomber force is pretty much a non-entity for the foreseeable future, no aircraft, no pilots and no replacements until 1943.


And the map...
I think it's a fair assessment to say that the majority of territory I control is because the IJA has not shown up there just yet! Wenchow and Chuhsien are unlikely to be in Chinese hands by the end of May, Kukong and Kanhsien at the other end of the pocket are in a similar situation. Losing these bases is not a major issue, they aren't particularly vital, or defensible although Wenchow does have some industry.

The white lines are the nominal extent of Chinese territory, the white circles are major Chinese air bases used by the AVG.




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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 6/6/2012 10:56:51 AM   
Dixie


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PHILIPPINES

The US forces are still holding out at Bataan. Supplies are still present and combined with the jungle terrain and lvl 3 forts the area is proving to be more annoying to GBL than myself. Even overwhelming Japanese air power is not making much impression on the defenders, not that it has stopped GBL from launching a lot of HE on the guys. I'd much prefer him to be wasting his time on them than actually making headway in Java...

There are 40+ plus Jap units tied up in the Philippines, plus the various air units which is a substantial force that could be causing havoc elsewhere. As well as tying up the Japanese troops the Bataan position is also denying the use of Manila as a port and repair base. Which is nice.

The Japanese units at Bataan (15/02/42):
Assaulting units:
2nd Tank Regiment
3rd Ind. Engineer Regiment
21st Ind. Engineer Regiment
4th Division
16th Engineer Regiment
Kure 1st SNLF
48th Engineer Regiment
9th Infantry Regiment
Tanaka Detachment
47th Infantry Regiment
48th Recon Regiment
7th Tank Regiment
65th Brigade
1st Formosa Inf. Regiment
Kimura Det
4th Tank Regiment
20th Infantry Regiment
Yokosuka 3rd SNLF
8th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
40th Field AA Battalion
3rd Engineer Construction Battalion
37th Const Co
15th Ind.Art.Mortar Battalion
39th Road Const Co
30th Fld AA Gun Co
31st Fld AA Gun Co
2nd Ind.Art.Mortar Battalion
1st Medium Field Artillery Regiment
48th JAAF AF Bn
38th Road Const Co
47th Field AA Battalion
45th Field AA Battalion
48th Field Artillery Regiment
9th Ind.Hvy.Art. Battalion
14th JAAF AF Coy

Disregarding the Const Co.s that he's sent for some reason, there are some decent LCUs there that are wasted in the jungle .

Outside Bataan there are a few units on isolated islands who are pretty much just waiting for the Japs to come and round them up. The only locations with supplies are Cebu and Zamboanga but sustained resistance is unlikely.



The Bataan defenders




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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 6/6/2012 11:03:57 AM   
Terminus


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Dang, that's something like four division equivalents he's crammed in there. Must be crowded.

_____________________________

We are all dreams of the Giant Space Butterfly.

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Post #: 185
RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 6/6/2012 11:16:19 AM   
Dixie


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EAST INDIES (by which I basically mean Java)

Interesting, in a way here. Despite having more than sufficient strength to easily roll over the remaining Allied forces on Java GBL seems to be holding back. So far Japanese forces have landed at Kalidjati in Western Java and advanced to Bandoeng where they seem to have stalled.

Japanese forces are centered around 29th Div, a unit that GBL has bought out from Manchuria. Maybe that partly explains their lackluster performance so far when compared to the other IJA forces encountered thus far? I know that one division (38th) is based in Southern Sumatra having been divided after the fall of Palembang, 5th Division is at Singapore whilst the intel on the remaining IJA formations is out of date and unreliable.

The continued resistance on Java has allowed a small force of USAAF B-17s to range across the Southern DEI, from Java they have caused some decent damge (in relation to their numbers) on the oil facilites at Balikpapen. A dozen B-17s have reduced the refinery output by 30% and crude oil output is down by 14%. The big bombers have proven to almost immune to even the feared Zero and despite being in almost constant action the two squadrons have lost a total of three aircraft so far from around 230 missions flown.

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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 6/6/2012 11:19:13 AM   
Dixie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

Dang, that's something like four division equivalents he's crammed in there. Must be crowded.


It's a big old force, it's far better used there than actually achieving gains in India/Java/China or the Pacific

It's costing him as well, he may be pulling out some troops or rotating his units as he's not attacked for a couple of days. Counter battery fire has cost him heavily since he stopped frontal assaults and tried lobbing shells on the guys.

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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 6/6/2012 11:52:12 AM   
Dixie


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INDIA AND BURMA

The situation in India remains the same, preparing for the worst case scenario. The first elements of the Aussie troops earmarked for the Imphal front have started to trickle in to Aden as well. Barring some sort of crisis there should be a strong force in position long before GBL can shift sufficient troops to be a problem.

I am considering shifting 99 and 100 Indian Bdes from Ceylon across to the mainland, they aren't great units but with the Royal Navy having made contingency plans there isn't a lot of point keeping them in Ceylon. If the Japs come knocking then these two Bdes won't halt them and if GBL doesn't come to play then they're wasting their time.


Meanwhile, in Burma...

The first troops have broken out of the Prome pocket! Four battered battalions have escaped to the east of the Japanese positions. From here the troops are going to bomb-burst in different directions. The strongest of these units is 9/11th Sikh which will make a break for Prome itself. Aerial recce show the town is unguarded so a quick dash may help with the breakout. The other three units are going to head towards the Thai border and then north. Although the terrain is more difficult it is hoped that the Burmese troops will be able to cut Japanese communications before linking up with the rearguard at Toungoo. There are still half a dozen mixed units in the Prome pocket, but they are each less than 5 miles away from breaking out in different directions and once that happens they will be much harder to track down and eliminate.

In order to assist their escape, long range attacks by USAAF B-17s are being carried out from the Calcutta region and recce flights are being mounted from Mandalay. Further air support is problematic as there aren't a lot a bases still in British control that are (a) close enough or (b) large enough to mount offensive ops over the Prome area. There are plans to send a squadron of Lysanders to Mandalay for a short detachments.



Indian Ocean
Good news for the Indian Ocean garrison. The US Marines 1st Raider Bn has arrived in Cape Town, from here they are heading to Diego Garcia to help hold the island and train against the Canadian Grenadiers holding the base. Long term plans include building the island into a potential forward fortress should Ceylon be captured. It is also (IMO) a far better fall back position than Addu due to the potential scope for airfield construction.

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Post #: 188
RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 6/7/2012 2:58:44 PM   
Dixie


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18th February 1942

It's another quiet day today, with only a few isolated incidents across the map.


SOUTH PACIFIC

Not much happening here. At Noumea two convoys have successfully delivered the Australian 4th Bde and US 115th Base Force (minus their radar sets). A third convoy has arrived with the NZ 30th Bn and should have the Kiwis ashore by the close of play today. There have been several reports of Japanese aircraft above the convoys as the arrive and depart, but no sign of Japanese attacks.

With a sizeable, if inexperienced, garrison now ashore at Noumea stage two of the operation is taking off with troops boarding their ships for the Northern end of New Caledonia. Unfortunately most of the troops have been stuck on the US West Coast waiting for destroyers to escort them across the Ocean.

USS Yorktown has departed from the US in order to deliver some P-400 fighters to the South Pacific region. More USMC and USAAF fighters and the first recce kites are scheduled to follow in the next troop convoy leaving the US. A fast (17 kt) convoy is planned to depart with a mix of engineers, artillery and Marines for dispersal throughout the region.


NEW GUINEA
Slightly more exciting here, as Australian based B-17s attacked a Japanese convoy near Buna. The bombers claim to have sunk a Japanese freighter. The sighting report from the RAAF claims 10 destroyers are sitting around doing very little, not sure I believe this.


PHILIPPINES
Despite the usual Jap air armada the masses of bombs dropped on Bataan have claimed less than half a dozen engineers injured. No attacks from GBL, not even a bombardment which leads me to believe he's attempting to pull some units out of the line. I'll take the risk of having a few rounds dropped onto Tojo and see what happens.


JAVA
The Japanese continue to bombard the Dutch at Bandoeng, despite the superiority in numbers and quality GBL seems to be having issues breaking the Dutch. Perhaps a full defence of Java might have actually worked, it seems I have possibly overestimated the Japanese abilities (or GBL is still coming to terms with what the supermen can actually do). Too late to do anything major about it now though.

The Soerbaja B-17s have spent a couple of days trying to attack the airfield at Kalidjati but results have been poor, so it's back to the oil refineries on Borneo.


BURMA
The Indian troops escaped from the Prome pocket just in time, Japanese troops had arrived and launched an attack on the troops there. The Japs caused heavy casualties amongst the troops there, but as they are mostly second line troops by this point that is not a surprise.


CHINA
Quiet here as well. Japanese bombers attacked Chushein and Chinese bombers actually took off for a mission(!) against troops on the IndoChina border.

The AVG 1st Sqn has arrived in Chunking in order to swap their Tomahawks for the (slightly) more modern P-40E. That should enable another pair of Chinese squadrons to be brought up to full strength in the near future, swapping two squadrons of Chinese fighters for Tomahawks would free enough aircraft to bring a third squadron to full strength with Russian types and enable more pilots to undergo training which would help to keep the two/three experienced squadrons at a decent strength.
An attempt to re-equip part of the CNAC with DC-3s was foiled as the supply strength at Chunking has dropped below 20k (which is why the AVG are still flying Hawks atm). We can add supplies and AT assets to my list of stuff I want.


Top Gun, CAF style...





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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 7/27/2012 9:39:59 PM   
Dixie


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I'm back. Again!

It's been a busy month in the real world, moving house and starting a new job. It's meant that I've been unable to get hold of an internet connection or find time to play games much. But now I'm settled in it's time to get back to getting kicked across the Pacific again.

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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 7/27/2012 9:58:34 PM   
Dixie


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19th Feb 1942

East Indies

Plenty of action at sea today, sadly none of it was positive news for the Allies. AG Canopus was sunk by I-153 as she tried to make a run from Java for safer waters. This was not entirely unexpected really, I can only hope that my subs will eventually hit their stride...

The other big news was the devastation of an Allied convoy trying to flee from Southern Java. Unfortunately for me GBL had moved a bunch of Nells into Kalidjati along with an Air HQ. The end result was the sinking on several freighters.

Bandoeng still refuses to surrender to the besieging Japanese forces. There is a decent stock of supplies in the base, and GBL seems to be slow (or reluctant) to commit more troops to taking the base. Overall things still look OK in Java, mostly down to the baddies not trying very hard...


Philippines

Same as usual here, lots of aircraft dropping nasty stuff on my troops and blowing holes in the jungle instead of the GIs sat in the swamp. I can only hope the ops losses will annoy GBL and that he feels like storming the swamp with several divisions.


China
Nothing to see here, move along.



Hopefully there will be more to write soon. Although that would probably be as a result of bad news for the Allies, so an exciting AAR would probably not be the best thing for me. Meanwhile, an easy 'contest' for anyone who is actually reading this.

Name the aircraft.




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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 7/27/2012 10:04:11 PM   
witpqs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dixie

Name the aircraft.




I think "Ol' Betsy" is a nice name for an aircraft. Dignified and well-mannered.

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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 8/7/2012 9:04:41 PM   
Dixie


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You can't call an aircraft old It's bad for her.

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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 8/7/2012 9:38:08 PM   
Dixie


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20th Feb 1942

BURMA
The lead elements of the (former) Rangoon garrison have arrived in Prome. Troops from 9/11th Sikh Bn (13th Indian Bde) have reached the town. RAF recce has shown that no Japanese troops are present so the Indian troops will make a swift attack to take back the town. This will serve two purposes (1) it will give the rest of the Rangoon forces an escape corridor in the (highly likely) event that the Japanese manage to catch up with them and (2) it will annoy GBL seeing as he should have left some troops there to guard against this eventuality


INDIA
The USAAF have started to arrive in useful numbers now, although the quality is slightly lacking at this moment in time when compared to the RAF. The 51st PG are (almost) entirely deployed in India with just the HQ flight still to arrive. The group has two squadrons of P-40Es (16th & 26th) and 1 squadron of P-38Es (25th), unfortunately for the Americans only the 26th PS is anywhere near ready for action. As a result the 10th AF will, for the immediate future be confined to rear area defence whilst they step up their training regime.

Meanwhile, the Indian 100 Bde has been reassigned from Ceylon to the mainland. It is anticipated that the Indians will take up internal security tasking in Southern India. Also about to arrive on the mainland is the Australian 18th Bde, these chaps (along with the rest of 7th Div) will form the core of the Commonwealth defence in the Calcutta/Border area.


SOUTHERN BURMA MAP

The arrows represent the escape routes open the Commonwealth troops fleeing towards (relative) safety. The solid white lines mark the limit of (nominally) British territory.




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RE: No Way to Fight a War (Dixie vs GBL) - 8/10/2012 7:33:10 PM   
Dixie


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21st Feb

East Indies
Today gets off to a poor start as O-21 is attacked by Japanese warships as she tries to attack a convoy. She was forced to the surface by depth charges and finished off with gunfire. This would appear to be more reinforcements heading to Java given the large proportion of transports and amphibious warfare vessels.

To the north, Pickeral attacks a Japanese tanker near to Palembang. Sadly the attack is a failure as her torpedoes fail to detonate. Happily the US sub also escapes any damage from the escorting warships.

Bandoeng continues to stand, although the Japanese bombardments are slowly wearing down the defenders it will take several weeks for things to get dangerous at this point. A Japanese TF has been spotted well to the south of Java, having just passed north of Soemba. This is most likely an invasion force, but where could it be heading? I have a feeling that a landing on Eastern Java is imminent as the TF will loop back from the Indian Ocean to land in the area near Malang.


Burma
It looks like the Indians managed to retake Prome just in time as Japanese troops have been reported hot on the tail on the units still attempting to escape from their entrapment. As yet I am unsure what size force is chasing the plucky Allies but some recce flights will help to show whether the chaps are in serious danger right now or not.


Philippines
Stilll not much of note occuring. The usual Japanese air attacks on the American positions around Bataan which once again fail to cause much damage. With the defenders down to their last 3000 tons of supply things are likely to get desperate soon. On the plus side the aerial campaign against the Americans and Filipinos is tying up several IJ fighter units that could be elsewhere causing bother.


South Pacific
Some potentially interesting developments are taking place, USN Catalinas flying from Noumea have spotted a small Japanese carrier along with some cruisers heading towards the New Hebrides. As a result Enterprise is departing from Australia with a mixed USN/RAN escort. The plan is to send VB-6 ahead to Noumea, from there they can fly attacks against the IJN fleet if it strays too close whilst Enterprise stays safely away from danger.

The presence of the Jap carrier does however mean that a convoy bound for Fiji has been recalled. Hopefully the IJN TF will run across one of my subs in the area and take some torps, but for some reason I doubt that is likely to happen...

And finally, an IJN cruiser managed to slip past the Allied air and sub patrols and launch some explosive badness towards my e-soldiers at Port Moresby.


China
So much territory and sod all in the way of recce kites means that I have bugger all idea what is happening here.




KB Watch:
The KB is currently out of contact, but believed to be in the Singapore or South China Sea area. I suspect Singers is more likely as it would leave the carriers in position to pummel Java or strike into the Indian Ocean. Allied subs guarding the routes into the Indian Ocean have not reported contact with either IJN carriers or aircraft

< Message edited by Dixie -- 8/10/2012 7:57:14 PM >

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Carnage Over Wenchow - 8/11/2012 1:10:29 PM   
Dixie


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quote:


PRESS RELEASE--

A major Japanese air raid on the southern Chinese city of Wenchow was repulsed by the actions of volunteer American pilots flying with the Chinese air force. The battle, one of many fought by the brave airmen, was the latest in a series of brutal efforts by Imperial Japanese forces to terrorize the Chinese into surrender.
However Tojo had not reckoned the determination of the Air Volunteer Group, also known as the Flying Tigers. As an estimated 50 Japanese bombers approached Wenchow they were discovered by a small group of Flying Tigers. Despite their inferiority in numbers the Tigers sprang into action, tearing into the huge Japanese formation. In a series of dogfights the Japanese lost almost 40 aircraft whilst failing to shoot down any Allied aircraft.

This kind of combat is not unusual for the American volunteers, indeed since the start of the war three squadrons of volunteer pilots have shot down over 250 Japanese aircraft in defence of our Chinese allies who struggle so bravely against the brutal Japanese invaders.




Picture: A Japanese "Sonia" bomber, one of 40 claimed shot down by the AVG 2nd Squadron on 21st February.




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RE: Carnage Over Wenchow - 8/11/2012 2:16:14 PM   
Dixie


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22nd Feb

China
It turned out to be a good day for the Allies, in the air at least. A raid on Wenchow by Sonia bombers resulted in 20 of the 28 Japanese bombers being destroyed.


Dutch East Indies
A raid by three USAAF B-17s against the oil refinery at Balikpapen continued the success for the Allies in the air. Despite doing little damage to the oil refinery the bombers managed to shoot down three Japanese fighters although one B-17 crashed on the way home.
Japanese bombers attacked the Dutch forces around Medan in Sumatra. Twenty bombers managed to cause heavy caulaties amongst the Dutch soldiers in the town.

Japanese forces have invaded Bandjermasin, an SNLF unit has landed and will more than likely be sufficient to defeat the Dutch forces holding the base.


South Pacific
Fairly quiet again. Trout launched an attack against a Japanese transport but her torps fail to detonate (again!). She has reported contact with two seperate forces, a large group of mixed transports and a smaller group of warships. Contact has been lost with the carrier force spotted yesterday.


Central Pacific

US and Canadian ships are attempting to clear out several Japanese subs from the sea around Hawaii and the US West Coast. Four subs are known to be at large although I suspect that at least a similar number are also lurking about.

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Post #: 197
RE: Carnage Over Wenchow - 8/15/2012 8:20:03 PM   
Dixie


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23rd Feb

Burma
The forced march into Prome by 9/11th Sikh has well and truly saved the skins of the remaining troops from the pocket. An attack by 17th Ind Gds Rgt resulted in the chaps abandoning their planned marches into the rear of the Japanese positions and instead flee for the (relative) safety of Prome. This will have two knock on effects; (1) it will be easier to get the units back to India as they are now (just about) in front of the Japanese advance and (2) it's going to reinforce GBL's opinion that I am some sort of strategic mastermind who knows what he's doing! Obviously only one of these is true, but it may give GBL pause for thought next time he's surrounding my troops.

Whilst it's a bonus to be able to recover those troops, it's also a slight shame as there was the possibility of them actually causing some delays in the Japanese advance. On balance I'd say I'm happier with the guys making it 'home' (except the Burmese and Brits who are just going to India).

The last of the troops from the Prome pocket, 4/8th Ghurkas, are still trapped in Japanese territory. They had made a move towards the coast in the hopes of heading along the coastal roads back to British territory, but instead they ran into the 55th Cavalry Rgt near Bassein. Although the Nepalese chaps are unlikely to make it to freedom they are doing a sterling job of holding the 55th away from their own advance. Medals all round!


India
Every day the Japs are delayed in Burma is an extra day to gather strength across the border in expectation of an invasion. I don't think GBL is likely to leave the Indian army free to charge down through Burma in 1942/43 so I am expecting a big investment in LCUs from the Japanese Army, especially as I got suckered into playing the JFB scenario!

The question is, does Japan have sufficient strength to make serious efforts in India and Australia? One or the other is pretty much a given with India looking the more likely at the current time. The biggest problems on this front are the inexperience of most LCUs and no replacements for the RAF. Until June things are not too rosy for the RAF, until then it's a case of hoarding as much strength as possible. After that things will ease a little (but not a lot) as the Hurricane IIc comes in but it's a long wait until the Spitfires turn up...




China

Following the rousing success of the AVG above Wenchow, the IJAAF tried to clobber the Americans in a night-time attack. Luckily for the Allies the attack was poor. Also the AVG have melted away to the safety of Western China. The AVG 1st Sqn has re-equipped with the P-40E, their cast-off Hawks will be used to (1) replenish the other two squadrons and (2) re-equip a second CAF squadron.

On the ground it's the usual mess for the Chinese, with the frontline only really defined by the limit of the IJA's ambition. Hopefully there will be enough time to gather a useful force at Sian and somehow fly in enough supply to hold the fort. Nanyang is almost surrounded and out of supply, so it's time to make like a tree and get out of here!



Philippines

We're still holding out at Bataan.





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Post #: 198
RE: Carnage Over Wenchow - 8/15/2012 9:03:07 PM   
Dixie


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South Pacific

Japanese ships have been spotted NE of New Caledonia, heading to the SW. Apparently it's just a single TF (of 10 DD) but I'm wondering where the carrier has got to? It doesn't look like an invasion force, at least not yet, it's more likely to be part of the carrier force spotted a few days ago. Should it turn out to be an invasion then there's a decent pool or warships available in the nearby area that could steam to the rescue.

Across to the east, the build up of the USN forward base in the Society Islands continues as the 110th USA Base Force is installed at Rangiroa. The next stage of the plan is to build Rangiroa's airfield to size three and ship in a garrison. Long term, the aim is to use the islands to anchor the US-Australia supply chain and as a possible launch point for an attack up through the Samoan and Gilbert Islands.


Australia

The question of what GBL is doing with the KB has been partly answered, as at least two carriers have been spotted of the NW coast of Oz heading towards Perth by USN Catalinas. I'm glad that I decided to base a long range patrol force in Oz now as the advanced notice should mean that the Allied ships in the harbour will have legged it to safety by the time the Japs come knocking. There isn't anything major in the area anyway, mostly small freighters and coastal minesweepers that escaped the Japanese torpedo umbrella around the DEI.

Some USAAF bombers are moving towards Perth, more in the hope of a lucky hit than in expectation of actually achieving anything...

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Post #: 199
RE: Carnage Over Wenchow - 8/27/2012 11:04:47 AM   
Dixie


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23/24 Feb

There were some interesting developments in the last few turns, more through what didn't happen rather than what did. GBL mentioned that he had possibly left some forces exposed to an Allied counter attack. He also said he's jumping at shadows, afraid that the USN/RN carriers are just over the horizon. Whether he's bluffing or he is actually worried only time will tell, but it could account for a couple of surprise moves by some naval forces...



SOUTH PACIFIC
First of all, things have changed in the South Pacific. A large Japanese force was spotted off the northern tip of New Caledonia and SIGINT confirmed that the 84th Nav Gd unit was en route to Koumac. The IJN got within 80 miles of Koumac before they turned around and headed back north. Currently the Japs are midway between New Caledonia and the Solomons, under the watchful eye of the USN patrol aircraft at Noumea. Unfortunately we've lost contact with the small carrier TF that was spotted.

This has given me a bit of breathing room to slip more Anzac troops into New Caledonia, with Noumea sufficiently defended it's a case of shifting troops into La Foa now. When the southern tip of the island is secure and the AF built up I can start leaning out towards the nearby islands just off the New Caledonia coast. There are several sites suitable for AF construction that will allow me to gradually extend the coverage of my USAAF fighters.


AUSTRALIA

Another interesting development here, the two Japanese carriers spotted steaming towards Perth have turned around and are now heading back towards Darwin/DEI. Quite why GBL has done this is another mystery, Perth is pretty much defenceless with no fighters available in the region. Perhaps he was worried about the USAAF B-17s getting a lucky hit on one of his carriers?






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< Message edited by Dixie -- 8/27/2012 11:06:08 AM >

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Post #: 200
RE: Carnage Over Wenchow - 10/21/2012 4:12:05 PM   
Dixie


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28th February 1942

It's been a while since the last update, airshow season is a busy time so there wasn't a lot of time at home to update the AAR. And when there was time there were other things to be done instead. So, I figured that the end of Feb would be a good point to resume writing with an update on the state of play, starting with:

THE DUTCH EAST INDIES
A brief fightback for the Dutch airforce has ended in heavy casualties, with all the reserves gone and most frontline squadrons reduced to two or three aircraft each things look grim (as usual). Apart from patrol and transport aircraft there are a grand total of three spare aircraft in the pool (2 Buffalo and a Hurricane). Combined with the aircraft in the front line that gives me a grand total of 22 fighters and bombers in Java, I don't know what numbers GBL has in Java but his Zeroes and Oscars are outclassing everything I could bring to the party.

On the ground, it's a similar situation. Java has finally been cut in two, the loss of Bandoeng has left the forces around Batavia isolated from the garrison around Soerbaja. Although the defences are clearly on their last legs, it's heartening to see that they've lasted this long after the fall of Singapore. If GBL pushes hard I think he could easily have the rest of Java in a fortnight, but at his current pace I think the end of March is a more likely time-frame.
There is 500+ AV in Batavia, which should be enough to tie up a decent sized chunk of GBL's troops for some time. I know that 18th Div is at Batavia and he also put the best part of two divisions (33rd and 29th) into the capture of Bandoeng. I have the feeling that these chaps are not likely to make a move on another major location until they've done some more prep.

Meanwhile, out at sea the IJN would appear to still be basing it's carrier forces in Singapore. Daily raids by carrier based aircraft are a feature of life throughout the remnants of the Dutch colonies. Efforts to intercept the carriers have failed as the shallow waters of the Java Sea make sub operations tricky. A variety of Allied submarines are being used to (attempt to) bottle up the exits into the Indian Ocean, as much for early warning duties as the possibilities of actually sinking something.
The same shallow waters and overwhelming Japanese air power has also prevented much in the way of merchant shipping attacks from the submarine force. We're down to one Dutch and one American sub remaining at large for offensive missions in the Java Sea, the rest of the USN and Dutch boats have either been sunk, damaged or forced to move to safer waters.


The rest of the DEI is a mixed story. Borneo is almost totally under Japanese control, whilst the Dutch are still (nominally at least) holding Northern Sumatra. However Timor, Ceram and Ambon all remain in Dutch hands, sadly a lack of fighters means that I am not too happy to risk the ships needed to move reinforcements to these locations. Especially with the KB loitering in the nearby vicinity. The best I can do is to try and sneak smaller units into Timor as and when it appears safe. The airfield there is a nice little base for the B-17s to strike into the southern areas of the Indies, indeed recent missions have claimed damage to the ports and airfields on Celebes. The rest of the islands are little more than an inconvenience that GBL will be able to deal with in his own time.

All told, with hindsight the East Indies campaign is one that the Allies could have potentially done well in. But a month or two ago the scale of forces needed to perform a successful defence of Java would have left other areas vulnerable. The presence of the KB would also have made it tricky (aka costly) to keep the supplies moving.

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Post #: 201
RE: Carnage Over Wenchow - 10/21/2012 9:06:32 PM   
Dixie


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SW PACIFIC
(New Guinea, E. Australia, The Solomons, New Caledonia)

Things have slowed down in this area, and I'm doing my best to encourage this situation With the KB away in the East Indies the Japanese are limited to a handful of smaller carriers to support their operations in the vast open waters. With April, and the end of the amphibious bonus, rapidly approaching any further ops in the area will be costly for Japan so stalling GBL from further ops will be a (potentially my second) strategic win.

New Caledonia is still under ANZAC control, Noumea is still a fairly small base as it's been a struggle to find spare engineers to ship out there. But with the recent 'defeat' of the Japanese invasion of northern New Caledonia plans are afoot to reinforce the island with significant ground and air forces. Japanese patrols are routinely spotted above the harbour in Noumea, but the lack of follow up strikes is a bit of an anti-climax. But just in case, there is a squadron of USAAF fighters based there. These guys are one of the provisional pursuit squadrons that pitched up in Oz and will be replaced by a permanent USAAF or USMC unit once one arrives.

Fiji is still in Allied hands, although the Kiwis have mostly been moved to New Caledonia as I felt NC was a safer location to fight on than the more exposed Fiji. There are no immediate plans to reinforce the island at this point in time.

New Guinea, another odd one here. GBL surely knows that he could (and should) easily seize Port Moresby without too much difficulty. But the Diggers are still sat kicking their heels here as well. I didn't send any reinforcements to New Guinea as I fully expected a full division of Japanese infantry to come knocking before I could take a firm grip of the town. Instead it appears that GBL does not actually want the port or airfields. Or VPs. I'm still reluctant to commit too much here in case it all falls apart, but keeping a foothold on NG could mean a nice thorn in the Japanese side when the US finally gets enough strength to drive back up through the Solomon chain.

Australia is currently a massive training facility for RAAF and USAAF bombers. With things quiet in SWPAC there has been plenty of time for training, in fact I've scaled back the long range bombing against Lae in order to (a) train the crews some more and (b) persuade GBL it's not worth him assigning more forces to the area [see master plan A]. In particular the Wirraway squadrons are now a nicely trained core of ground attack pilots ready for action against the Japanese.



Although it's early doors still, it would appear that one event has possibly shaped the direction of the SWPac war. Namely, the loss of Lexington from which both sides have learned lessons. The lesson that GBL took away with him was that I was willing to commit the US carriers even though it was early in the war. Since the brief battle which cost me the Lex, GBL appears to have curtailed his offensive operations considerably throughout the region.
I could be wrong, but if I were to go out on a limb I'd say that whilst the KB is busy in the East Indies any further advances in the SW are off the cards. Bet you all thought I was mad when I got Lex sunk so early but it's paying off so far.


No map, there's not much to see!

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 202
RE: Carnage Over Wenchow - 10/25/2012 7:09:58 PM   
Dixie


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South & Central Pacific
New Zealand, Fiji, Society Islands, Line Islands, Hawaii

And still the updates keep coming...


New Zealand and Fiji are in a sort of limbo at the moment. New Zealand is potentially a very important secure rear area in the event of a Japanese drive towards either Fiji or New Caledonia. She's got a decent (although not huge) shipyard and plenty of malaria free bases for the troops. But for now NZ has been reduced to a staging post for forces heading towards Australia or New Caledonia. The RNZAF, like the RAAF, has been heavily involved in intensive training since December, however the focus for the Kiwis has been training for maritime missions. The current thinking behind this is to use the Kiwi Hudsons for ASW patrols around Allied bases in the NZ/NC/Fiji triangle. USN aircraft will take the burden of naval attack with USAAF and USMC forces supporting ground operations.

Fiji is even more in limbo, there are some Allied forces based here but they are slowly being shifted to NZ for refit and reinforcement before moving to New Caledonia. It's a risk, but I feel that NC can be more easily defended than Fiji.


With the KB and at least one CVL operating away in the DEI the build up of Tahiti has been nicely uninterrupted, the base has been expanded sufficiently for the port to be able to unload some mid-sized ships. The airfield can support medium bombers, or at a push heavy bombers, but is currently only home to the 67th PS and their Airacobras. Ground defence is in the hands of the 2nd Marines Rgt and a pair of armoured bns.

Rangiroa is undergoing a similar expansion, in order to provide some cover to Tahiti should the worst happen. This is not a priority plan at the moment.


The Line Islands are in a similar situation, they're sufficiently built up to be able to resist anything up to a major assault. But for now their use is limited, not much is happening here and most convoys are routed well to the east in order to stay clear of any prowling subs. FoB Dalmatian may, or may not, provide a launch platform for an attack on the Gilberts. A more likely use would be as a staging point for a carrier raid on Japanese possessions in the region. But until then it's a sleepy hollow.


Pearl Harbor is buzzing with activity, but as usual it's a lot of training for US air units. A few squadrons are reaching proficiency in a skill, the units already deemed competent have been shipped to the SOPAC area already. Several cruisers are based here, whilst I wait to think of a job for them! Meanwhile the small ships are busy trying to sweep some Jap subs from the sea.




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Post #: 203
RE: Carnage Over Wenchow - 10/25/2012 7:11:03 PM   
Dixie


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The Line Islands




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Post #: 204
RE: 28th Feb 1942 - 10/26/2012 4:09:25 PM   
Dixie


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SOUTH EAST ASIA
India, Burma & Ceylon

BURMA
Salvage is the name of the game here, every poor quality LCU that I can retrieve from the mess means one more good unit freed from garrison duties in India (theoretically). Also, pulling the half dozen or so units back into India after GBL had them cut-off near Rangoon would cement his opinion of me as some sort of genius!

The only real chance of a speedbump in Burma is at Mandalay and I fully expect the town to fall shortly after GBL arrives. After that I'm hoping for a nice period of consolidation whilst he shuffles units around and gets ready for the trek across the trackless jungle.

As we can see from the latest map, Japanese troops are pushing on towards Mandalay, just a regiment so far while the rest of the invaders chase after the remnants of the Rangoon defence. I'm not sure whether GBL will push on towards Mandalay or rest at Meiktila and gain some more strength. The second option would be best, giving me more time to pull the troops back.




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Post #: 205
RE: 28th Feb 1942 - 10/26/2012 10:25:03 PM   
Dixie


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India

The waiting game continues... The build up of forces also continues, with the major bases nicely defended, along with the impending end of the amphibious bonus and the arrival of the Brit 70th Div plans are evolving for the Aus 6th Div to return home. 7th Div will, for now at least, remain in India to shore up the raw Indian forces holding the border region and Calcutta.

Most of the defences at major bases are in place, the next wave of reinforcements is planned to hold the jungle bases along the Burmese/Indian border such as Imphal and Kohima. The Indian forces are slowly upgrading to the '42 squads with brigade sized units filling up first. The furthest position I hope to hold is Cox's Bazaar although I am prepared to sacrifice that position to hold onto Chittagong. Hopefully the position of both bases close to several British airfields will persuade GBL not to bother making the effort.

Another part of this plan has been the lack of construction in coastal areas, the vast majority of efforts along the seafront has involved forts. Airfields further inland have been expanded meaning that GBL won't be able to use my former airfields against me if he shows his face.

The RAF has been training hard since the start of the Far East war, the fact that their bases are located far outside Japanese aerial range has allowed plenty of training opportunities. Because of this the Brits have more squadrons combat ready than the other nations. The fly in the ointment is that the replacement rate for aircraft is annoyingly low. So the aerial defence of India will also need help from the Kiwis, Canadians and Yanks. The Americans and Canadians have made a trek halfway round the world meaning their training has suffered.


The Royal Navy are safely tucked away in Bombay, ironically they are probably achieving more here than they would do closer to the front. I am assuming that the presence of the KB in the DEI is a guard against Force Z getting amongst the vulnerable transports and causing some serious carnage. As long as GBL doesn't know where Force Z (and the US carriers) are he'll need to protect against the possibility of the Allies appearing over the horizon. Putting the RN (or USN) into action at this time would negate my biggest advantage at the moment.

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Post #: 206
RE: 28th Feb 1942 - 10/27/2012 10:58:56 AM   
Dixie


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OVERVIEW

Things are progressing fairly well, I was worried about the Japanese driving deep into the South Pacific before I could move enough troops down there to hold some real estate. However with the Japanese forces slowing down their pace in the DEI I'm feeling happier now. There have been some interesting moves, such as the apparently imminent invasion of New Caledonia which was cancelled(?).

India is also fairly secure and there's a slow build up occurring in the Alaska region. China is a big horrible mess of poor troops and sod all supplies. The only bright spot in China is the continued excellence of the AVG, the Americans have forced GBL to use night raids where he's faced them in combat.

At sea the dire reliability of the USN torpedoes is a major pain. The Dutch subs have taken a bit of a beating with four boats lost since December, the price of better torpedoes putting them in danger more and the shallow waters of the DEI I guess.


The plan for the next few months is to build up the defensive lines where they are now. This is fairly easy in India where the front line is connected to the rear area by railways, but it's more difficult in the ocean areas. The current thinking is to restrain the Japanese and hold the line until late 42 when a limited offensive will be launched, either in India or to retake the New Hebrides. Other contingency plans are being formulated to prepare for the loss of Ceylon, Northern Oz or even the Line Islands. Only time will tell though...


The scores on the doors.




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Post #: 207
RE: 28th Feb 1942 - 10/27/2012 1:40:37 PM   
Chickenboy


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Appreciate the update, Dix.

Impressive 1:0.8 ratio in the air for the Allies at this stage of the game. Is this mostly the work of the AVG, or do you have some stud pilots elsewhere that you've yet to mention?

_____________________________


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Post #: 208
RE: 28th Feb 1942 - 10/27/2012 8:04:08 PM   
Dixie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Appreciate the update, Dix.

Impressive 1:0.8 ratio in the air for the Allies at this stage of the game. Is this mostly the work of the AVG, or do you have some stud pilots elsewhere that you've yet to mention?


The AVG have claimed 138 kills between the three squadrons, plus a good chunk of the ops losses can be credited to them. The game seems to swing the other way in comparison to real life, I'm sure the AVG have shot down more than they've claimed.

Whatever the situation, the US Army (AVG mostly) dominates the leading pilot scoreboard at the moment, the top pilots statistics show:
4 USN pilots
92 US Army
19 Australians
3 New Zealanders
6 Brits
21 Dutch
2 Chinese





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RE: 28th Feb 1942 - 10/27/2012 8:06:28 PM   
Dixie


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And some potentially interesting stats from the lost aircraft tables. Particularly interesting given that the Zeros have not come up against the AVG yet. The Sallies were victims of the Malaya campaign, especially the AAA above Singers. All the Sonias are victims of the AVG.




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