From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
25 Dec 43
The Jack sank an Aden class a couple hexes north of Taihoku.
The Yamato/Musashi bombardment TF hit Dutch Harbor overnight confirming the intel that suggested only one small unit there. It's the 105 USN BF. They're doomed. A Naval Guard will land in the next day or two and take the place. I'm having Nagato and Mutsu escort the invasion fleet and not bombard. They'll just cause more damage that will need to be repaired before forts can be built.
It turned out there were 3 damaged ships in port: S-44, LSI(L) Glenorchy and AM Revenge. They all were hit in the bombardment and are heavily damaged. No confirmation that any sank, but they're doomed too.
Edit: I saw 3 ships get hit. There may be more...
The Allies invaded Tabiteuea with 2 Marine Raider Battalion and 1 & 2 Fiji Commando Battalions. (I never knew there were 2 of them.) It looks like it's just some APDs and DEs. I wish my carriers were close by (they're 36 hexes away). I could have lightened Ted's ship load.
Tabiteuea held out today, but will fall tomorrow. No matter. All that's doing now is taking time, which works in my favor.
As I suspected, Ted went after Hollandia's airfield after the little CAP trap yesterday. It took 88x 2 & 4E sorties. I lost a few Franks on the ground. He also sent a bunch of fighters that did nothing but gain some op losses. Christmas 1943 and I'm getting the Allies to react to me. I like it!
Truk's port was the recipient of some 184 bomber sorties. I'm pretty sure Ted is seeing a series of single ships heading to Truk. I'm sure he's aware that they're moving out troops I don't want to leave marooned there. The last of the Guards Division should be pulled out tomorrow, which is nice. That division is forming part of the Saipan garrison, where they'll die gloriously at some point in the future. . There's already an independent mixed brigade there, and a very experienced division currently besieging Chungking will also end up there. Should be fun for the Allies.
Nothing exciting. I am seeing a series of small TFs heading east-west along northern Australia on the west side. I have a little surface TF of a couple CAs and some DDs to see if I can intercept them west of Australia later. Again, it's just to make him have to react to me.
Franks took out the four remaining Allied fighters over Kalemyo.
Ted mentioned the Chindits hitting Ramree island. He thought it was undefended. Thanks to whoever suggested I garrison it way back when. It was an air assault. Guess he will have to replace those paratroopers. I suspect those squads are hard to come by. I do have a naval guard headed there to reinforce the garrison, along with more engineers. The fort is level 3, but rising very slowly with only 12 engineers there.
I'm rethinking my defense in this area. I haven't seen an Allied ship SE of Ceylon in many months. I don't know what the status of the RN is right now, but I suspect he may try something. Most of my surface warships in the SRA are at Ambon. MKB1 was in the Aleutians recently and just arrived at Yokohama to repair the sys damage it accumulated. It'll be there about a week. After that, it'll head to Singapore for defense of the Burma coast.
MKB2 is currently at Balikpapan. It will defend against any incursion in the southern SRA and is available for the defense of Hollandia if an enemy invasion happens without CV support.
Additional forces in this area include 4 BBs (Fuso, Yamashiro, Ise & Hyuga), 3 CAs and some CLs and DDs. I'll split these forces between Singapore and Ambon. I also have ~120 Betties/Nells available in the area.
I am aware of 3 US CVLs in the area. I know where they're stationed (Normanton, Australia). I have 3 subs down there keeping an eye on them.
Back to Burma. I have independent mixed brigades at every base along the coast. The invasion would have to be division strength at least to take a base. I am ready to pull the Burma Army south if something happens. Right now, the British Army is sitting doing nothing. I am keeping an eye on them.
I think the next deliberate assault will take Chungking. My AV is increasing by ~350 a day while the Chinese AV increases no more than 30 a day on bombardment days. Here are the stats:
Japanese raw AV: 7217 (up 370)
Chinese raw AV: 2705 (up 18)
Arty/air damage done today: 55 squads killed (36 infantry), 185 squads disabled
Fatigue: 67.9 down 8.0
Disruption: 24.5 down 6.1
Disablements: 19.6 down 1.7
I think I could attack now and take Chungking. (How long have I been saying that?) Usually, my adjusted AV is 60% of my raw AV and the Chinese is 67%. Given that, the odds would be 4330:1803 or 2.4:1. I'm going to rest another day because of the disablements. I'd like to minimize my hard losses.
I got confirmation that the Sculpin was hit by a 250kg bomb off Saipan and sunk on 10/8/43.
< Message edited by Mike Solli -- 2/21/2019 6:10:12 PM >
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