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No Way To Fight A War

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No Way To Fight A War - 10/29/2012 10:44:55 PM   

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1st March 1942

The actual events of 28th Feb were fairly quiet, but some useful intel has been received. Just in time for me to restart my intel database I was keeping up to early Feb. The other bonus is that I've reached March, so the floodgates start to open as I get several new pools of aircraft to be using. None of them are particularly world beaters, but some are going to be quite handy in niche roles.

(Includes Malaya)

Fairly quiet throughout as the Dutch air force has been swept from the skies leaving the Japanese free reign over the last Allied positions on Java. Batavia was bombed by IJAAF bombers based near Palembang (Sallies) and possibly Oosthaven (Lilies). This has given me the I.D. of three Army units, but a more valuable selection of units was spotted later in the day. CV Shokaku, Soryu and Hiryu are believed to be in the Singapore area after aircraft from all three carriers were seen in action over Sumatra. Aircraft from CVE Taiyo were also traced back to Singapore. With at least two other CVs operating north of Darwin this means I know where 5 of the KB carriers are as well as one of the CVEs. This leaves one CV and two (or one) CVLs to find. Given that a single IJN carrier would be vulnerable to a USN attack, and that GBL has been quite cautious, I'd bet that the other CV is somewhere in the DEI at this time. CVLs Zuiho and Shoho have both taken varying damage and are probably still under repair. I hope.

On the ground in Java, the expected attack on Batavia failed to come. GBL didn't even bombard the guys around the town. Possibly he's hoping to reduce the defences with some aerial attacks. At least it's another day with the base in Allied hands...

Fairly quiet here as well, compared to how it could have been. The action was limited to a small scale raid from each side. The IJAAF sent the 31st Sentai out against the Indians fleeing back towards Mandalay. The USAAF launched a small raid against Rangoon, at this moment in time the objective is not to cause damage (although it's a bonus if I can) but rather to force GBL to keep fighters at his rear area bases, especially his Zeroes which are his most effective Fortress killers.

Replacements for the Indian troops are starting to turn up now, with several brigades upgrading their infantry weapons. It's just a shame I don't have more modern tanks to refill the armoured brigades that are relying on Vickers tanks and other light AFVs.

Snoozy and quiet. Just a case of waiting for my reinforcements or for GBL to show his hand. USS Hornet turns up in 10 days

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 211
RE: No Way To Fight A War - 11/2/2012 4:41:26 PM   

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2nd March 1942

Another generally quiet day in many respects, but it does provide a possible clue as to a new wave of Japanese action.

Events started with a Japanese bombardment of the Dutch troops at Tanjoengpinang (directly south of Singapore). The bombardment caused little material damage, mostly because there's not a lot there to actually damage. The action did allow me to I.D both BB Ise and Mutsu. Whilst that was happening the Dutch sub KVIII sank an unescorted(!) Japanese tanker in the Makassar Strait, something which will probably invite several irate IJN destroyers to the area. Later in the day USS Saury sighted another two battleships near Ambon (Kirishima and Hiei) and five cruisers. The sub has also reported at least one CV in the area. The IJN force appears to be heading towards Babeldaob or Truk.

On Java, the usual rain of HE was dropped on Batavia by IJAAF bombers whilst Japanese fighters carried out several sweeps. Despite the lack of fighter opposition this has continued for several weeks. I guess GBL learned his lesson over the Philippines about unescorted bombers...

With 8 Japanese LCUs already in Batavia and another 8 spotted just down the road it looks like GBL is going to use a lot of force to overwhelm the defenders. Whether he plans to attack soon or wait until further troops have captured Buitzoeng remains to be seen.

The AVG 2nd Squadron has converted to P-40E fighters, with the AVG shouldering the majority of the Allied aerial combat thus far it makes sense to put the boys in the best fighter they can get. With 1st and 2nd Sqns both in E models I plan to rotate them on the front line carrying out offensive sweeps against the Jap stronghold of Wuchang. The current IJAAF contingent is a mix of Nates and Tojos, so whilst he's still using Nates I want to kill as many of his future George pilots as I can...

In the medium future, once the AVG has been disbanded, the USAAF 10th AF will have to provide some units to bolster the Chinese AF until the CATF gains strength and the Chinese pilots gain enough experience.

On the ground, it's hard to tell what is going on. Without recce kites it's a guess as to what is going on in Japanese territory, but it would appear that in the South GBL is pulling several groups back from the frontlines. This is possibly a precursor to a large attack in the North.

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 212
RE: No Way To Fight A War - 11/4/2012 5:38:01 PM   

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3rd March 1942


Japanese troops have landed at Ruteng (6 hexes north of Koepang), as yet there are no clues as to the identity of the invaders (other than the fact they speak Japanese). There's nothing defending the base, and actually nothing to mark it out as a base. Whether this is GBL taking the easy targets or he plans to build the base up is a question that can only be answered with time. It looks as though GBL is no longer worried about the immediate threat of Allied SCTFs as the IJN carriers are all 2-3 days sailing away from the landings (as far as I can tell).

Away in Java and the constant bombing of Batavia has started to overwhelm the engineers based here. Constant raids have started to damage the airfield, diverting the construction efforts into attempting to keep the facilities operational. The only factors really in my favour are the forts (lvl 3) and that the chaps are mostly 100% prepped for their surroundings. Probably not enough to stave off the ravening Nipponese hordes though.

The influx of replacement aircraft for the Dutch may be useful, but I'm reluctant to use too many of the new frames as they can be used to fill out a few Dutch manned RAAF squadrons in the near future (or a USAAF one). The P-40Es that the Dutch receive will be useful however, although the numbers are too small to make a serious dent on the Japanese.

The Japanese are in control of Meiktila, they easily routed the Burmese troops who were stationed in the town. Many of the Burmese took advantage of the chaos to slip away and escape back to their own villages. As things stand the advancing Japanese forces are fairly close in strength to the Allied forces in Mandalay, hopefully the road can be held open long enough for the retreating forces further south to link up with friendly forces.

The build up continues still, the reconstitution of 223 Group, 224 Group and III Indian Corps HQ formations will provide a nice boost to the effectiveness of the British defence of India. The three HQs are all former Singapore forces that were received as reinforcements after upgrading to the latest patch. Currently they're sat in Aden waiting to load onto transport to the sub-continent. They've also had their commanders changed, III Corps is now under the control of Gen Hartley, a man well suited to commanding an assault HQ despite his cautious nature.

The Air HQs will be based along the Indian border in order to provide a constant HQ coverage for the Allied air forces based between Calcutta and the Himalayas. The bases in this area will be expanded enough to operate medium bombers with Calcutta and Dacca being used for strategic bombers.

A Japanese attack on the beleaguered Americans in Bataan failed to achieve a decisive result although it did manage to push the Americans out of their outer defence line.


Ground combat at Bataan (78,77)

Japanese Deliberate attack

Attacking force 50188 troops, 522 guns, 428 vehicles, Assault Value = 1702

Defending force 31702 troops, 644 guns, 652 vehicles, Assault Value = 1017

Japanese engineers reduce fortifications to 2

Japanese adjusted assault: 824

Allied adjusted defense: 2259

Japanese assault odds: 1 to 2 (fort level 2)

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), forts(+), leaders(+), experience(-)

Japanese ground losses:
7667 casualties reported
Squads: 54 destroyed, 564 disabled
Non Combat: 3 destroyed, 49 disabled
Engineers: 24 destroyed, 29 disabled
Guns lost 82 (6 destroyed, 76 disabled)
Vehicles lost 59 (12 destroyed, 47 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
1547 casualties reported
Squads: 11 destroyed, 118 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 55 disabled
Engineers: 2 destroyed, 29 disabled
Guns lost 53 (1 destroyed, 52 disabled)

Another wave of transport convoys is loading cargo, troops and aircraft ready for departure as soon as I can scrape together enough escorts. One 16kt convoy is planned along with several 12kt ones, this wave of convoys will move almost all of the remaining S/SW Pacific forces from the continental US.

Saratoga has unloaded her air group and will undergo a month long refit at San Diego, she's been acting as the reserve carrier for the NORPAC command, a role which will be taken over by Yorktown as she returns from aircraft ferrying in the South. Ultimately the Northern/West Coast carrier will probably be Wasp when she arrives in the summer, unless things go pear shaped before then.
The plan is to keep three carriers in the front line, one under refit (or repair) and Wasp as the reserve. For some reason I suspect that the plan will have to be changed though....

Attachment (1)

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 213
RE: No Way To Fight A War - 11/6/2012 8:34:42 PM   

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4th March 1942

Not really a huge amount of stuff to report today really. A few air raids across the map and a few small actions at sea.

USAAF bombers attacked Rangoon again, the Americans were targeting the airfield as well as industrial targets in the city. The net result was one bomb on the runway and an Oscar destroyed. A good return on thousands of gallons of fuel and lbs of HE I think you'll agree.

Apart from the usual Japanese raids on Batavia, the main action in the air was an abortive attempt by a handful of bombers. I don't really need to tell you that the bombers got slaughtered do I?

At least their naval colleagues can still achieve something as Dutch submarines sank another Japanese ship in the Makassar Strait. That will probably be enough to persuade GBL to send some DDs that way. Or he'll avoid the strait.

A small TF of APDs was attacked by torpedo carrying Nells off the Sout-West coast of New Caledonia. The Japanese bombers were escorted by Zeroes and thus easily brushed past the P-40s flying CAP. The end result was four P-40s shot down (with their pilots), luckily the Japanese bombers failed to hit the transports despite being armed with torpedoes.
If nothing else, it's possibly saved something more valuable from being sunk as anything else not directly going to New Caledonia will be routed well to the south. The fast transports will still head into the danger area as will some small transports.

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 214
RE: No Way To Fight A War - 11/9/2012 6:30:28 PM   

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5th MARCH 1942

Today saw the first large scale attacks by Japanese troops against the Allied troops around Batavia. I'm chalking this attack up as a draw, the Dutch and Australian troops managed to hold the town against a superior Japanese force, but given the casualties they suffered a prolonged resistance can't be relied upon. Happily the morale remains high despite the odds facing the chaps.


Japanese Deliberate attack

Attacking force 41518 troops, 429 guns, 449 vehicles, Assault Value = 1274

Defending force 19148 troops, 175 guns, 81 vehicles, Assault Value = 535

Japanese engineers reduce fortifications to 2

Japanese adjusted assault: 800

Allied adjusted defense: 615

Japanese assault odds: 1 to 1 (fort level 2)

Japanese Assault reduces fortifications to 2

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), forts(+), experience(-)

Japanese ground losses:
1971 casualties reported
Squads: 3 destroyed, 168 disabled
Non Combat: 2 destroyed, 14 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 18 disabled

Allied ground losses:
1489 casualties reported
Squads: 81 destroyed, 141 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 62 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 5 disabled
Guns lost 17 (3 destroyed, 14 disabled)
Vehicles lost 55 (5 destroyed, 50 disabled)

Assaulting units:
148th Infantry Regiment
14th Tank Regiment
29th Division
18th Division
20th Ind. Engineer Regiment
1st Tank Regiment
15th Ind. Engineer Regiment
113th Infantry Regiment
33rd/B Division
1st Hvy.Artillery Regiment
2nd Ind.Hvy.Art. Battalion
2nd Mortar Battalion
3rd Ind.Hvy.Art. Battalion
14th Ind.Art.Mortar Battalion
20th Ind. Mtn Gun Battalion
18th JAAF Base Force

Defending units:
1st Regt Cavalerie
Roodenburg Battalion
1st KNIL Landstorm Battalion
2nd KNIL Regiment
Batavia Coastal Gun Battalion
4th KNIL Landstorm Battalion
1st KNIL Regiment
22nd Australian Brigade
KNIL Army Command
1st KNIL AA Battalion
1 ML-KNIL Aviation
Batavia Base Force

In the relative safety of Soerbaja the Dutch air force has started to re-equip with some modern fighters. These are not likely to make a huge difference but it might help to bring down some more Japanese aircraft in the last weeks of Java's resistance. In all honesty the island is doomed and efforts are being made to recover some of the troops stuck there and relocate them to Timor. But a lack of transport means that it's going to be a bitter end for a lot of the guys.

Northern Oz is a horrible place isn't it? Rubbish transport links means shipping stuff is the best option, but the only bases with enough surplus to be able to spare a shipload are on the other side of the continent and getting it there means either a long haul round the western end or running the gauntlet of Jap subs and aircraft around the Torres Strait.

I don't think that a serious attack will be made on the Australian mainland, Darwin is a possibility but I think that GBL lacks sufficient bases to cover such an undertaking given his cautious nature so far. He's also mention checking out potential targets for when he's finished with Java, which suggests to me a lack of concrete long term plans. So whilst I can't rule it out I suspect that the main effort of the Japanese forces tied up in Java will either be the SW Pacific or Burma/India. Watch this space to see how wrong I'm going to be!

The fast transport fleet that was attacked by IJN torpedo bombers today faced a new assailant in the form of a Japanese submarine attack as they head back to New Zealand. Aerial patrols have reported at least four submarine sightings along the coastline of New Caledonia.

Today has also shown the value of radar to the Allies, the IJNAF put in another appearance today. This time they attacked a convoy in Noumea's hex. Whilst the bombers attacked, and missed, the escorting minesweepers the American fighters tangled with escorting Zeros. This time the P-40s managed to hold their own and even claimed one kill and a probable! Although one P-40 was written off later the pilot survived, whereas both Japanese pilots are probably lost. Although it's only a small scale example it's promising as the 20th PS(P) are representative of the average USAAF squadron (give or take a few exp points here or there), but they actually fall short of the average USMC or RAF squadron let alone the USN.

Despite this, it's only a matter of time until GBL gets lucky with an attack so it's a case of slowly sending convoys t=into the dangerous bits. With New Guinea being quiet at the moment the Australian 75 Sqn has been earmarked to replace the Americans when they withdraw, after that the next lot of reinforcements is not likely to reach Australia for two weeks.

There was another Japanese attack on the defences at Bataan and despite the fact the guys are eating rats and boots they held the Japanese off again...


Japanese Deliberate attack

Attacking force 45250 troops, 520 guns, 426 vehicles, Assault Value = 1234

Defending force 30367 troops, 642 guns, 652 vehicles, Assault Value = 865

Japanese adjusted assault: 637

Allied adjusted defense: 1239

Japanese assault odds: 1 to 2 (fort level 2)

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), leaders(+), experience(-)

Japanese ground losses:
5242 casualties reported
Squads: 80 destroyed, 226 disabled
Non Combat: 2 destroyed, 115 disabled
Engineers: 17 destroyed, 169 disabled
Guns lost 46 (13 destroyed, 33 disabled)
Vehicles lost 140 (63 destroyed, 77 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
1157 casualties reported
Squads: 8 destroyed, 142 disabled
Non Combat: 4 destroyed, 66 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 52 disabled
Guns lost 49 (4 destroyed, 45 disabled)
Vehicles lost 34 (5 destroyed, 29 disabled)

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

Defending units:
11th PA Infantry Division
14th PS Engineer Regiment
192nd Tank Battalion
194th Tank Battalion
31st Infantry Regiment
31st PA Infantry Division
4th Marine Regiment
57th PS Infantry Regimental Combat Team
2nd/45th PS Inf Battalion
26th PS Cavalry Regiment
21st PA Infantry Division
4th PA Constabulary Regiment
1st/45th PS Inf Battalion
1st PA Constabulary Regiment
2nd PA Constblry HW Regiment
Manila Bay Defenses
200th & 515th Coast AA Regiment
202nd PA Construction Battalion
88th PS Field Artillery Regiment
86th PS Coastal Artillery Battalion
Bataan USN Base Force
Provisional GMC Grp
Clark Field USAAF Base Force
201st PA Construction Battalion
3rd/45th PS Inf Battalion
1st PI Base Force
I Philippine Corps
803rd Engineer Aviation Battalion
Asiatic Fleet
1st USMC AA Battalion
Far East USAAF
301st Construction Battalion
301st PA Field Artillery Regiment

It's good to see the Americans holding up so many Japanese troops.

I think that it's fair to say neither side has been used anywhere near as well as they could have been so far, GBL is not used to playing as the Japanese and I'm not used to playing as the Allies. A more aggressive approach from either one of us would have drastically changed how things are progressing.

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 215
RE: No Way To Fight A War - 11/11/2012 8:41:09 PM   

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6th March 1942

Not really a huge amount happening today, although GBL is using his recce kites more now after I said he should be keeping the idle buggers busy. It may come back to bite me, but he's used to playing as the Allies so actually having recce assets is a novelty for him!

East Indies

A second day of Japanese attacks has further weakened the Allied defence of Batavia. This time the result was definitely in favour of the Japanese, almost 3:1 in fact. Three Dutch infantry units are, to all intents and purposes, combat-ineffective. With the forts down to lvl 1 and only five LCUs having any sort of combat strength left it's looking bleak. Less than a week left I suspect.


Japanese Deliberate attack

Attacking force 40186 troops, 429 guns, 449 vehicles, Assault Value = 1139

Defending force 17231 troops, 172 guns, 76 vehicles, Assault Value = 348

Japanese engineers reduce fortifications to 1

Japanese adjusted assault: 640

Allied adjusted defense: 495

Japanese assault odds: 1 to 1 (fort level 1)

Japanese Assault reduces fortifications to 1

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), experience(-)

Japanese ground losses:
633 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 29 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 16 disabled
Engineers: 29 destroyed, 23 disabled
Vehicles lost 30 (2 destroyed, 28 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
1809 casualties reported
Squads: 80 destroyed, 45 disabled
Non Combat: 38 destroyed, 23 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 8 disabled
Guns lost 9 (1 destroyed, 8 disabled)
Units destroyed 1

Meanwhile further south, in the "Too Little Too Late" series, the Dutch have managed to re-equip a flight of fighters with P-40s. All four aircraft will start patrols over Soerbaja when they've been rebuilt and made air worthy. Hopefully I'll have just enough breathing room to re-equip a second flight with the P-40s whilst GBL is busy with Batavia.

On Sumatra, Japanese troops have reached the outskirts of Padang. A long resistance is planned, but not expected.


Earlier plans to deploy 75 Sqn to Noumea may be about to change, two US fighter squadrons have arrived in Perth. The pilots are short of the quality available to the Aussies, but I have some very good pilots in the reserves that could be used to man one of the American units. Should I keep to the plan and use the Aussies in Noumea or send an American squadron instead and keep the Australians at home?

At Sydney, 22 Sqn A Flight has swapped their Wirraways for the vastly superior DB-7. A lack of replacement airframes is a bit of a bugger that may hamstring their operations if things really kick off. However, I think the potential drawback is worth the risk so as soon as possible the rest of the squadron will be getting new transport.

South Pacific

Today was another aerial tussle above Noumea as Japanese bombers attacked Allied shipping in the harbour. Unfortunately, despite driving off the Japanese fighters the Americans were unable to stop the bombers from putting a torp into xAKL Hamakua leaving her heavily damaged. Thankfully the troops had unloaded by the time she was hit.
The big positive was the 3:0 kill ratio today, despite the poor morale of the squadron causing several pilots to flee at the first sign of trouble. The chaps aren't quite the calibre of the AVG but they're killing more than they're losing (just). The score is currently 5-4 (four Zeros and a Mavis).

In an effort to keep Noumea supplied the current USN stash of APDs is on it's way to New Zealand where they'll be based for their blockade running missions.

The Men of the Hour (Employees of the Week

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Dixie -- 11/11/2012 8:42:24 PM >

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 216
End of the Line - 11/17/2012 8:56:13 AM   

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7th March 1942


After three days of heavy attacks the Allied positions around Batavia have fallen with heavy casualties. Almost 1 in 3 of the Dutch and Australian troops has been killed, injured or captured with the remnants dropping back to Merak. At the same time elements of the IJA 33rd Div captured Buitenzong leaving any route back to Soerbaja cut off. Will GBL finish off the shattered survivors or turn towards Soerbaja? There are a lot of troops in Merak, but not much food and not a lot more AV. Between them, the defenders can muster 118AV so a prolonged defence is impossible, especially given that all that 'strength' is concentrated in three units.

On Sumatra the Japanese ops to mop up the rest of the Allied positions carries on, with parts of the 38th Div capturing Padang (on the Indian Ocean coast). The terrain, lack of roads and lack of worthwhile targets has clearly relegated the island to a backwater status for both sides.

That is pretty much all that happened today, generally a quiet day all round

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 217
RE: End of the Line - 3/23/2013 11:34:47 AM   

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From: UK
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Well I'm back. After a busy Christmas and New Year for both myself and GBL the game pace had slowed to a crawl. Although things slowed they never really stopped although there was a space of almost a month where we didn't get any turns sorted and there didn't seem much point updating the AAR when things were almost at a standstill.

However, with things picking up in the last few weeks I'll be restarting the reports. We've only just reached April '42 and although the date hasn't progressed much there have been several developments...

The big news coming from China is the fall of Loyang as several IJA divisions managed to grind the Chinese defences into ineffectiveness. The former defenders of Loyang are falling abck towards Nanchang and thence into the forests where the terrain is more favourable to defensive positions. The main Japanese effort in China appears to be in the Northern areas, although a few smaller thrusts are apparent in the south. The only target of any real value to Japan in that area is the port of Wenchow which still remains in Chinese hands.

Mandalay was captured in the last week of March, ending the British defence of Burma. Around a dozen British, Indian and Burmese formations are struggling back towards the Indian border, but most of these are little more than a handful of troops by now. For now the heavy jungle terrain along the border will be a bonus for the Allies as it slows any Japanese advance towards India.

In India things are looking more positive compared to a month ago. The end of the Japanese amphibious bonus has almost removed the threat of a seaborne invasion against a major base. With the arrival of the experienced British 70th Div I feel it is safe enough to ship the Australian 6th Division home.
A slow transfer of troops from the Bengal defensive positions towards the border is planned as units gain full strength. The low experience of the Indian army formations is the main reason for retaining the Australian 7th Div in India for now.

The build up in forces has also included an investment in aerial strength. The Assam region is home to several airfields which will become the home of the 3rd TAF in due course. The RAF Blenheim squadrons are (for the most part) now highly trained in both ground and naval bombing, although a lack of replacements is limiting their usage for now. This is the case for most of the Allied squadrons, with experience levels in the mid to high 50s and several British squadrons sitting comfortably in the low 60s.
The nucleus of a strategic air force is forming in the Calcutta area, USAAF B-17s will soon be joined by RAF Wellingtons and PR units. However, the only long range fighters in India are a squadron of P-38Es who are still working up to operational standards.

The only real excitement of late was a IJN sortie into the Indian Ocean, although the Japanese forces were located heading towards Ceylon an expected series of air raids against the island was not forthcoming. It's a shame as I had hoped to see how the Allied air forces would cope against the best that Japan could offer.

It's all over bar the shouting now. Soerbaja is the last 'major' holdout in the DEI but overwhelming Japanese forces are on the edges of the city.
Ambon and Timor are still in Allied hands, more through GBL not trying to take them than any effort on my part.

The big news in Australia was the three day 'Battle of Sydney' as IJN carrier forces launched several attacks on targets in the Sydney/Newcastle area as they hunted for USS Enterprise. The three day battle saw the 75 Sqn, supported by the USAAF 49th PG bloody the nose of the raiders. A total of around 41 e/a were claimed destroyed by the Aussies and Americans for the loss of 12 P-40s. The Australians in particular impressed with a score of 26 kills and two new aces on the scoreboard.

The end of March saw several US ships torpedoed in the waters around New Caledonia, including 2 APDs sunk and Enterprise damaged by Nells flying from Luganville The torpedoing of the US carrier was the catalyst for the Japanese raids on Sydney as the IJN diverted carriers from the Coral Sea to try and track down the Big E. However, I had forseen that outcome and with Enterprise in no immediate danger she instead escaped away to the South of Fiji. She's now on her way to PH for repairs.
The build up on New Caledonia has slowed slightly as I'm trying to sneak troops into the island by sending single APDs rather than small groups. Port Moresby has been surrounded by Japanese troops and the almost continual presence of IJN carriers and submarines has made it too risky to send ships into the area.

A major blow to the Allies was the loss of Yorktown to a Japanese submarine. Frustratingly she was just off the coast of the US when she was hit and although she limped into San Diego the damage was too severe and she sank the next day

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 218
RE: End of the Line - 3/24/2013 11:58:08 AM   

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2nd April 1942

Japanese carrier aircraft, identified as being from Kaga and Zuikakau, appeared over Norfolk Island where Allied ships were busy unloading the 114th USA Base Force. USS Maury was left a burning wreck and she sank later in the day and the transport Crescent City has been heavily damaged. The only other loss was USS Manley as she attempted to sneak part Australian troops into Noumea.

The transports are in trouble now, they can't be disbanded into the port and running for safety would just leave them even more vulnerable to air attack. Two USAAF fighter squadrons have transferred in from Australia and will attempt to protect the ships as they finish unloading.

Hopefully GBL will be focused on hitting the ships at Norfolk as there are several other convoys dotted around the region and an extra day should see them all safely out of harm's way. Squadrons at Auckland are also being put on full readiness in case the carriers should move towards NZ.

Strong Japanese ground forces have surrounded Port Moresby, combined with a bombardment by Japanese warships, so it would appear that the end is near for the Australian defences here. Apart from regular bombing raids flown from Australia there isn't a lot that can be done to relieve the situation.

Japanese forces retook the town of Shwebo, but as the nearest British forces were over 50 miles away it's hardly the greatest victory of all time.

Minor skirmishes took place over Wuchang as CAF fighters performed a sweep, although they met a small force of Oscars no casualties were sustained by either side. April sees the start of deliveries of P-43 Lancer fighters to the CAF and although they're not exactly front line fighters they will allow me to fill out a few second line squadrons (and transfer their a/c to training units). The lack of bombers is a nuisance though.

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(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 219
RE: End of the Line - 3/28/2013 11:36:05 PM   

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From: UK
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3rd to 8th April 1942

South Pacific
Japanese aircraft hit Norfolk Island and finished off the Allied convoy there. Most of the 114th Base Force was ashore but unfortunately most of their heavier equipment is sitting on the seabed now. After sinking the convoy the Japanese carriers vanished away to the East, resurfacing south of Fiji in support of Jap landings at Vava'u and Tongatapu (Tonga Islands) and sinking several ships of a second convoy bringing NZ troops out of Fiji.

Currently their exact location is unknown, although the remnants of the second convoy have reported being sighted by aerial patrols. Whilst the carriers are away to the east, fast transports are attempting to sneak into Noumea again, carrying reinforcements and supplies. The arrival of more transport aircraft cannot come quickly enough right now...

GBL mentioned that he cancelled his earlier attack on New Caledonia after he realised I had shipped more troops into Noumea than he thought. Hopefully he hasn't worked out where those troops came from yet...

Meanwhile on New Guinea, Port Moresby has fallen. Constant bombing had exhausted the Australian supplies and left the facilities in ruins. On the plus side, the Japanese have now inherited a ruined base with no supplies. Hopefully the Allied air forces and navies will be able to interdict any ships bringing supplies in. The Port Moresby brigade has 'escaped' into the jungle to the SE of the town.

Central Pacific
Not much to report here really. Pearl Harbor is a hive of activity as the USN attempts to push its ships through the Apr 42 upgrades as quickly as possible whilst still keeping a useful number of ships available. First priority has gone to Hornet and her future escorts (Nashville, Helena and St.Louis).
Japanese propaganda has been claiming that two US battleships were sunk at PH, it'll be a lovely surprise when the entire pre-war fleet shows up raining horrible things onto their cowering troops. California (the most damaged) is still facing almost two years in the docks at Pearl, a few more weeks and she should be in a condition to make the trek back to the US proper. At the other end of the scale, Maryland is less than three weeks from completing repairs and upgrades on the East Coast.

Not too much going on here either, a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes in preparation. The Australian militia divisions are gathering and recombining into their larger formations before being sent to guard a few key locations. They are being joined by the first US combat troops, including an armoured brigade. I could really use more tank units across the map. I think GBL has left it too late to make a major offensive in Australia, but a landing in the Darwin area is a possibility and tanks will be helpful in the deserts of Northern Australia.

USS Boise is undergoing repair in Australia, she was torpedoed in the Tasman Sea and limped into Melbourne. With her minor damage repaired she's still looking at 200+ days to full readiness so she'll be making her way to South Africa and then home to repair.

Burma & India
More of the slow build up, but now with added 70th Div. These chaps are highly experienced and their arrival will bolster the Indian border defences. When most of the defenders are sitting on experiences levels in the 40s or lower, a unit with 80 experience is a major boost.
The airfields in Assam are building up nicely now and there are sufficient British Air HQs to cover all of the airfields in the area and spare some for the Bengal airfields. With the HQs spread, every airfield between Jemshedpur and Ledo is in the radius of at least 1 HQ. This should provide a boost to the Allied air defence and (hopefully) compensate for the relative inferiority of the early Allied equipment.

The Japanese tide grinds ever westwards as the Chinese seem to slow to move out of the way and unable to stand and fight. Ho-hum.
In the air however, Chinese pilots have been performing admirably. The 42nd FS has been performing regular sweeps over Wuchang and has claimed several Japanese fighters shot down in the last week. Even with the haul from their base at Changsha they are besting the IJAAF pilots and their Oscars.

Allied Air HQs India-
The plan is to use the RAF HQs and Assam airfields along the border as the core of the 3rd TAF with strategic aircraft located closer to Calcutta. Other RAF HQs will be based at Madras, Ceylon and Bombay initially, these will control maritime patrol and strike aircraft until the Brits go back onto the offensive.

Attachment (1)

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 220
RE: End of the Line - 4/12/2013 11:00:54 AM   

Posts: 10252
Joined: 3/10/2006
From: UK
Status: offline
9th April 1942
RAF Cholavaram, Madras
CO's Office, 17 Sqn

The presence of half a dozen men in the small confines of the CO's office was creating an unpleasantly hot environment, something the ceiling fan failed to address as it lazily rotated above their heads. Sat behind his desk the Wing COmmander motioned to the others to sit as best they could.

"Righto chaps, I suppose you're all a bit bored of kicking your heels out here whilst the Japs are pushing their way towards India? Well we shan't be waiting much longer, I've had the orders from Group this morning"

As he paused a sheet of paper was passed around the room.

"We're being moved to Dum Dum, I'm sure you're all aware that this is a vital airfield in the defence of Calcutta. The Nips are sure to target our facilities in the area and so a new wing is being set up. We'll be flying with 67 and the Kiwis of 488. As far as the admin goes we're to be part of 221 Group, and they want us operational no later than 7 days from now, so we have a lot of work to do..."

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 221
RE: End of the Line - 4/13/2013 7:23:36 PM   

Posts: 10252
Joined: 3/10/2006
From: UK
Status: offline
10th April 1942
Somewhere in India

George Rivers stared at the Indian countryside rolling past his window. The tedium was compounded by the frequent bumps as the Bedford crunched over yet another pothole that threatened to loosen his teeth. He wasn't sure exactly what he'd expected the job of Junior Engineering Officer, but it hadn't involved the boredom of a four day drive from Madras to Calcutta. Although he was nominally in charge of the straggling convoy it had quickly become clear that the NCOs had not needed, or wanted, his presence. So far even the airmen of the group had ignored him, looking to Sgt Brown and his corporals for orders.

The trucks were taking an advance party of the 17's ground crews to their new base, making sure that someone would be in position to look after the squadron's Hurricanes when they arrived. They'd also be taking anything too bulky to travel by air, the RAF was lacking in transport aircraft so most of the unit's personal possessions were stacked in the back of the trucks along with tool kits.

George stifled a yawn and shifted in his seat, just in time for another jolt to cause his head to thump off the cab roof. It was going to be a long drive.

(in reply to Dixie)
Post #: 222
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