From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
17 Apr 42
The I-158 didnít find any ships today. Sheíll reach her patrol station off the coast of Perth tomorrow.
The sub is at Kodiak and has found a TF of 2 enemy ships. No contact by either side.
Nothing new to report.
There was some minor contact between the air forces but no damage done on either side, by fighters or bombers.
The only air base with any damage is Lae, slowly dropping and currently at 0-29-30.
Bataan was liberated today! The 2:1 attack netted 13,366(4430) Allies and finished off the Philippine Army.
The 5 Air Division has begun staging to the SE Fleet Area. They are flying through Babeldaob to Rabaul, where they will disperse to various airfields and begin the destruction of Pt. Moresby. Iíll give a more detailed OOB later. The current issue is that there arenít enough Sallies to upgrade anything so 1x Lily sentai and several 1E bomber units will be participating.
Once they arrive, there will be 78 IJA and 90 IJN fighters and 107 IJA and 81 IJN bombers in this area. The IJA will focus exclusively on Pt. Moresbyís airfield/port and air superiority over Pt. Moresby and the IJN will focus on sweeping the seas of enemy shipping, with some IJN Zeros supporting the air superiority mission and providing CAP.
The victorious 14 Army is currently resting at Bataan. Iíll let them recover for a few days and determine their next objective. I need to sweep the mines out of Bataan harbor and get more shipping for transport of the ground troops. Iím considering using them to sweep SE from Ambon to Horn Island and possibly to Pt. Moresby. Weíll see.
Nine of the 10x heavy artillery units have arrived at the terminus of the rail line and are disembarking for the trek to Sian. The army investing Sian will need them. The Chinese have 2400 AV there. Granted they will be isolated soon, but itís still a huge army.
The air war in Burma has focused on the airspace over the Imphal invasion force recently. Japanese airfields are beginning to pop up in that region as AS arrives. Soon I will have more fighters over my army to better defend them. Things will only get better as more AS pours into Burma through the port of Rangoon. (An additional 64 AS is about to land there in the next day or so.) I now have 4x sentai of Sallies (up from 3) with a couple more ready to move into Burma. They are focusing on Akyab and will include Chittagong as Ted moves his fighters from there to Imphal to defend that area. Right now, Ted has ~12 Hurricanes defending his 2E bombers at Imphal, with over 50 bombers there. Once I get 30-40 fighters over my invasion force, Iíll start to whittle down his bombers. Right now, Iím averaging 3-5 fighters a day there. For example, today I had 3 Zeros against 6 Hurricanes and 40 Blenheim IVs, the 1 Zero against 12 Hudsons and then an unopposed raid of another 10 bombers. We each lost 1 fighter (but I saved my pilot).
Akyab has been abandoned as an Allied fighter base. There are an estimated 40k Allied troops there, far too many for me to take, but it would be a lot of fun to cut them off. I have a raiding regiment allocated to the Burmese theater, but Iím not sure where to use it. Iím tempted to take an unguarded base near Imphal but Iím not sure it would do any good. I think Coxís Bazaar is unguarded, but Iím not sure. If it isnít guarded, I may use the raiders to take it, effectively cutting off Akyab, and the 40k troops there. A little more recon is needed before I make a decision.
Iím going to study the map tonight to see if I can use the raiders to cut off the rail line that runs close to Imphal. If I can, I can then fly in an infantry and engineer regiment (both from 55 Division) to boost the defense and build forts. Weíll see.
I took Mataram, an island off the southern coast of Java that had a garrison. That eliminated another potential base for the Do-24s. There werenít any there unfortunately. I do see ground and air units at Merauke, on the SW coast of PNG. That has to be the Do-24s. I have forces headed there to take them out.
The invasion forces are leaving Koepang today. Two infantry divisions, 2x tank regiments and 2 artillery regiments are headed for Darwin and 1x infantry division and 1x artillery regiment is headed for Pt. Hedland. I have a para-capable SNLF and a raiding regiment that will take the bases in between. I know there are CD guns at Darwin. Iíve been hitting Darwinís port with Nells in an attempt to knock them back a bit. The Darwin invasion force has a BB attached to soak up some of the CD gun shells. There are two surface TFs as well. The Darwin invasion force has 4 CA and 4 DD escorting it and the Pt. Hedland invasion force has 1 BB, 3 CA, 1 CL and 4 DD escorting it. In addition, MKB is in the vicinity of the Pt. Hedland force.
I have support units in the second wave, to include AS and engineers. They wonít move in until the coast is clear (literally).
Phase 1 is complete. Iíve cleared the SRA with the exception of a handful of dot hexes scattered around. They are not an issue to security and will fall in time. The only base where I took major damage was at Soerabaja. Itíll take another 4+ months to completely repair, but I can live with that. The only other base that is still repairing is Miriís oil, which will be complete in about a month and is right on schedule.
Burma Ė Iím doing better here than Iíve ever done in the past. While the RAF is still a potent force, Iíve Iíve dealt it serious fighter losses. The 2E bomber force is relatively intact, but their time will come with the destruction of the remaining fighters of the RAF. I expect the RAF bomber fleet to withdraw to the security of India within a month. Then the Indian frontier will be at the mercy of my bombers, some 200 of them.
My goal in Burma is to take the Imphal complex, to include Ledo. I want to cut off China from aerial supply.
China - My goals are to take Sian and Loyang. That will give me an additional 110 oil facilities to fuel my hungry HI. After that, itíll be a war of maneuver to cut off and destroy Chinese units.
Australia - I want to take the northern bases between Pt. Hedland and Darwin and hold them through the end of this calendar year. Once I take them, Iíll pull the infantry and armor out. I donít want to lose them. Iíll replace them with expendable units, garrison forces and Naval Guard units. Weíll see how this works outÖ..
SE Fleet - Iíve taken all of PNG (other than Merauke and some dot hexes thatíll fall soon) with the important exception of Pt. Moresby. Iíve taken all the bases south of New Britain as well as the Solomons. Iím not interested in going south or east of this. I have a slew of Naval Guard units on their way to this area. Iíll garrison all of the bases where Iím building ports and airfields to slow Ted up. Itís going to be a maze of airfields to slow any attempt to bomb me out of existence with his 4E bombers. Right now heís got ~30 B-17s that heís using to go after my airfields in PNG and New Britain, rather unsuccessfully. Ted thinks Iíve sent more fighters here than I wanted to, but I allocated the 23 Air Flotilla from the start of the game (90 Zeros and 81 Betties). In the past, I let this force take the brunt of the fighting here. Iím sending the 5 Air Division to support them this go around. This will allow the IJA to share the wealth (in losses) and do what it does best (bomb things on the ground), leaving the 23 AF to do what it does best, bomb and torpedo things on the water.
Iíve also allocated the 14 Army to this theater for the first time ever. Iím still debating whether or not to go after Pt. Moresby, but itíll cause a ruckus before it goes back to defend the southern SRA, probably this fall.
4 Fleet - These guys have done all they are scheduled to do. Now theyíve been reinforce with engineers and will dig. Every important base will build level 6 forts.
5 Fleet - Iíve taken Dutch Harbor, another first for me. Umnak Island is garrisoned by an infantry regiment, which is too strong for me to take currently. Another weakness is the lack of air power here. I want the IJNAF to be here, mainly for the torpedo carrying Netties. Iím not sure if that will ever happen. Weíll see.
Iíve recently allocated another Naval Guard unit (the 19th, which starts split into 3 companies) to clean up the western Aleutians. They headed out from Tokyo a couple days ago. They will take the enemy bases and then garrison critical bases. Their job is to die gloriously for the Emperor later in the war up in this frozen wasteland.
Things are coming along nicely for the most part. Here are the highlights:
A6M3: 1 factory at 28(2) Ė Once this one is completely repaired, itíll upgrade to the A6M3a. I am not going to build the A6M3. It has a shorter range than the A6M2 and is not significantly better in any of the other stats.
A6M3a: 1x60 & 4x30 (+ the factory above soon) Ė They will accelerate this model and the 1x60 and 2x30 will become operational. The remaining 3x30 will upgrade to the A6M5. Once the A6M3a becomes operational, Iíll turn off the A6M2s (100 factories total). They eventually upgrade to A6M5 factories.
A6M5: 2x30 Ė These were previously the Rufe R&D factories. These, along with the 3x30 above will remain R&D and continue to accelerate the Zero line.
Ki-44-IIa Ė Currently there are 3 factories that are at 25(5) and 2x 24(6). I canít wait for these to completely repair so I can start accelerating this model. All 3 factories will become operational. I have high hopes for this model in the IJA.
George and Frank Ė Each has 3 factories that are slowly repairing. Itíll be awhile.
Ki-49-IIa Ė there are 3x30 factories fully repaired. This model has already accelerated one month to Aug 42. I expect them to be operational in Jun 42. All 3 factories will become operational. This is an important model. It has armor and will allow me to keep my bomber sentai up to strength. Currently, my Sally factory is producing 40 per month and canít keep up with losses. Itís close, but not enough. Because I donít want to increase Sally production, Iíve been forced to keep the Lily in production. Iíll most likely keep the Lily in production until the Helen becomes operational. Ultimately, the Helen will be my frontline model with the Sally as an ASW platform and the Lily will become a trainer. I expect to eventually shut off both the Lily and Sally, but weíll see.
Ki-32 Mary Ė Why, do you ask, am I even mentioning this plane? Good question! The Mary uses the Kawasaki (early) engine, which has 85 in the pool and no other use. With the PP cost to upgrade most 1E bomber units to 2E bombers, I see this as a blessing in disguise. My 1 E bombers will be relegated to one of 3 roles: frontline in China (temporary), ASW and training. The Mary has a normal range of 5 I believe, so they can be effectively used as an ASW platform. I rarely use ASW farther than 1-2 hexes out, within normal range of the Mary, and the Mary carries a 250 kg bomb at normal range. Perfect. My only issue right now is the lack of a factory to convert to the Mary. I may have to wait until I can convert the Lily factory in Jun 42. Anyway, Iíll most likely convert the Lily factory to a size 30 Mary factory and use up the 85 engines in the pool. Thatís a savings of 18*85 = 1530 HI for an effective ASW platform and a potential Kamikaze for use late war. Iíll then convert the factory ~4 months later (around Oct 42) to whatever else I may need. Thatíll cost me 30k supply, but I feel itís worth the cost.
Iíve only begun to look at other airframes that will be needed mid and late war. Iím also thinking of increasing the number of factories for some of the airframes mentioned above. Thatís ongoing.
I accelerate CVs and DDs only. Currently, I have only 1 CV and 2 DDs accelerated. My Naval Ship Point pool is at 54 and increased by 33 today. It dropped dangerously low due to new builds that are starting to suck points. I like to keep the pool at a few hundred, just to prevent a drop from new builds from putting me in the hole. My accelerations fluctuate constantly. I see accelerations increasing soon. I get a sub in a few days freeing up 33 points and the Junyo comes in early May freeing an additional 84. I also get the Yamato in about a month thatíll give me 233 more. Canít wait!
I also have only halted the Shinano. I keep all my subs building, contrary to many. I like my subs, even the Ro class subs. Ted has mentioned more than once that they are a pain in the ass. Heh, heh, hehÖ
Right now I have not halted anything and am currently accelerating 3x Type-1 TM (8150 capacity) class TKs. One arrives in 4 days and the other 2 arrive in 3 weeks. I have an additional one that was accelerated and arrived a little while ago and will arrive tomorrow at Balikpapan to haul oil to Davao. The other 3 will haul oil/fuel from Davao to the Home Islands. Itís not a lot, but itíll help get me over the hump until the Std- class upgrade starting in June 42. The other TKs are pretty far out and I havenít accelerated any of them. The next doesnít arrive until Sep 42. I may, but I havenít decided yet. Theyíre only 12 kt TKs. Pretty slow. I may accelerate some of the faster ones that come later on.
In my opinion, Ted has played well but has made some mistakes. He hasnít been aggressive with his subs other than around Rabaul early in the war where he sank the Hiryu and badly damaged the Soryu. I havenít seen a single sub in my sea lanes between Singapore and the Home Islands. Right now, the only place I see a sub is just off Truk. I think he got some intel that KB was there and heís looking for it to come out and play. (KB is currently at Saipan.)
I have seen exactly one carrier about a month or so ago up around Dutch Harbor and then only briefly. I expected him to do something with them when he knew he took two of KBís carriers out of commission. Heís been burned in the past using his carriers too early, but I expected him to attempt to ambush KB. Iím not saying this was a mistake, but I am surprised.
Heís allowed a huge chunk of Chinese forces to be surrounded and destroyed. He just did it again at Sian with ~120-130k troops. Yeah, he gets them back at 1/3 strength, but itíll take a long time to replace those losses. Maybe he has something up his sleeve, but if so, I have no idea what.
He was very aggressive with the RN at the beginning of the war, which slowed me down and damaged or destroyed a number of ships, to include 3 slow AOs. The down side was that he lost most of the RN DDs and a lot of their CLs. Thatíll hurt his escort capability. Because of this (I think), thereís been no ship movement at all in the Bay of Bengal. This allowed me to build the base at Pt. Blair up to a level 4 airfield and level 3 port unmolested. Iím starting to work on forts there now.
First, I lost Hiryu due to not being diligent in my planning. I didnít see the Dutch and US S class subs in the SRA. I should have figured something was up but didnít. When I sent KB south of New Britain, I had a bad feeling about putting KB in such a restricted place but ignored my gut. It cost me the Hiryu a month into the war and the Soryu just came back after a lengthly repair.
Because of the loss of the Hiryu, MKB is very weak. I had to pull the Ryujo into KB in order to replace some of the lost air power. Iím probably going to keep the Ryujo with KB. I get the Junyo soon and the Hiyo a little after that, and they will join MKB. Due to their slow speed, I consider them to be the flagships of MKB. Itíll give MKB some staying power.
I didnít do enough planning for the initial invasion of Malaya. Because of that, Ted drove me nuts with the RN and had me reacting to him instead of the other way around. This allowed him to pull most of the army (and supply) into Singapore for a prolonged siege. My attempt to cut the peninsula early failed.
Iíve thoroughly failed in my attempts to find Tedís SLOCs. Iíve sunk only 6 TKs. Thatís not nearly enough. Ted has boasted about the amount of fuel and supply heís gotten to Australia. Itís shameful.
His use of effective subs in the SE Fleet area caused the loss of the Hiryu and severe damage to the Soryu, keeping her out of action for over 3 months. Luckily for me, Iíve had no need for KB to date.
As mentioned above, his use of the RN did have numerous positives for him. Malaya, for one. I expected to have a coup there and take Singapore much sooner than I did. It did cost him much of the RN though. Iím not sure if the net result was good or bad for him.
Not a lot really. I am pleased with my air forceís performance in Burma and SE Fleet areas. Iíve caused heavy Allied fighter losses and my pilot losses have been manageable.
I think I did a decent job figuring out the limits of Japanese economic expansion early in the game. I never was strapped for supply and the economy is booming, for now. Weíll see what it looks like in a couple of years.
Created by the amazing Dixie