From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
22 Apr 42
The Ha-5, one of two remaining midget subs sitting at Christmas Island (south Pacific) was sunk by an enemy DD. They did nothing. I think they were drinking sake.
Nothing new to report.
Nothing new to report.
Even more carnage:
6 Zeros shot down (4 pilots lost) + 2 op losses
5 Kittyhawks shot down
1 B-17E shot down
The last surrounded stack (1 HQ & 2 Corps) was attacked by the Japanese army that has liquidated the other stacks. The 4:1 attack destroyed 477(4) Chinese to 244(0) Japanese losses. So it begins. Another attack is scheduled for tomorrow. Theyíre getting sufficient supply now because I just finished offloading 66k supply at Shanghai. One or two more offloads and China should be good to go for a while.
More brutality in the air. Who will cry uncle first?
3 Oscars shot down + 3 op losses
4 Sallies shot down + 2 op losses
4 P-40E shot down + 3 op losses
1 Hurricane IIb Trop shot down
Pilot losses were relatively heavy, but I can afford it in the IJAAF. Right now I have 77 fighter and 40 bomber pilots in the pool. I also have 100+ Oscars in the pool but the Sallies get used as fast as they are produced. With only 40 Sallies being produced a month, I canít keep up. The 34 Lilies are helping somewhat, but still not enough. Once the 90 Helen IIa becomes operational (should be Jun 42, 5 weeks away), I should be good to go. Then the Lilies get converted to Mary (for ASW). Iíll produce 85 Marys and then have an extra airframe factory to play with.
One note: Iím down to 54 Nates in the pool. Once they are used up in new training units, Iíll use the Ki-43-Ia and Ib models for training. Eventually, the Ic will get sucked into the training program but by that time Iíll have the Tojo IIa in production.
On the ground, new forces continue to arrive at Rangoon. I just got another tank regiment. The tank regiments are nice because they move (marginally) faster than the infantry. Iíll give the current OOB in Burma next time I have a chance to tally it.
Nothing new to report.
A tank regiment landed at Port Hedland, which is defended and the other tank regiment landed at Broome, which is not defended. Both will attack tomorrow. The division is attempting to rest at Darwin, unsuccessfully. The other two divisions and artillery will land soon.
Two more xAKs sank from damage sustained. The last one will make it to port.
Iím attempting to keep an estimate of critical Allied airframes available. Hereís what I have (based on reinforcements and replacements through 30 Apr 42):
34 Kittyhawk I (Aussie)
64 Hurricane IIb Trop (Brit)
166 P-40E (US)
80 Hudson I (Aussie)
21 Wellington Ic (Brit Ė havenít seen any yet)
28 Blenheim IV (Brit)
110 B-17E (US Ė Sheesh)
It looks like the Kittyhawk menace is dwindling. He gets 15 replacements a month. I will most definitely kill more than 1 every other day. The reinforcements end in Sep 42, but in Oct 42 he begins to get 18 Kittyhawk IIIs. A new menace, but fortunately, I expect to have PM by then and he wonít have an effective use for them other than shipping them to Burma.
Hurricane IIb Ė He gets 16 replacements a month so this model is dwindling as well. Unfortunately, heíll start to get the IIc model in Jun 42 and gets 36 replacements a month. I need to burn out the IIb model before then so heíll be forced to use the IIc in small amounts, which I should be able to handle. If I can put some ground pressure on Imphal, I will force Ted to push the RAF to the breaking point.
P-40E Ė There are still 166 and Ted gets 35 a month through Oct 42. In Sep 42, he begins to get 65 P-40Ks a month so the P-40 menace wonít go away any time soon. This will be an issue foreverÖ.
Hudson I Ė Heís out of replacements for this aircraft. Itís an obsolete model that dies when caught by my fighters. By the end of May 42, heíll have 90 Hudson III (LR), which I see infrequently. I suspect Iíll see them more often as the Hudson I fleet dwindles. The Aussie bomber fleet is destined to go the way of the Dodo, unless he wants to use the Wirraway. He gets a handful of several models through the end of the year, but not enough to matter.
Wellington Ic Ė A replacement rate of 6 per month doesnít give Ted much in the way of a Wellington bomber fleet. Heíll have 1-2 squadrons at any given time, I suspect. If theyíre similar to WitP, theyíll die when unescorted. Not an issue for me.
Blenheim IV Ė This was the mainstay of the British bomber fleet for the start of the war. Heís lost a lot of them (which is to be expected) and only gets 12 a month through Nov 42. Target practice.
B-17E Ė This is the problem. Of the 110 currently in the inventory, ~30 are operational against the SE Fleet airbases. He gets 15 a month through Jun 42 and then starts getting 15 B-24Ds a month the next month. I donít have a very effective weapon against them right now. I have high hopes for the Tojo to be more effective against this monster. The first B-17s appeared over PNG on 6 Apr 42. Through today, here are the losses:
5 Zeros shot down
2 Zeros destroyed on ground
1 Oscar destroyed on ground
3 Sallies destroyed on ground
4 Betties destroyed on ground
15 B-17s destroyed from all causes
So, thatís 15 B-17s lost in 17 days of combat, almost 1 a day. Heís lost a monthís worth of replacements in 17 days for the loss of 5 Zeros shot down and 10 various planes destroyed on the ground and minor damage to airfields, usually only one airfield having damage at a time and none being shut down. HmmÖ
1943 will be a different matter, but I expect to have some improved models as well before then.
Here is what I expect to see:
The Ki-49-IIa will become operational in Jun 42 at 90 per month. This will be the primary frontline IJA bomber. It has armor, which will increase crew survivability.
The Ki-44-IIa will become operational approximately Jul 42 at 90 per month. This will be the primary IJA frontline fighter, supplemented by the Ki-43-Ic (and the Ki-43-IIa soon after). I have high hopes for the ability of this fighter to ravage the Allied bomber corps. The first unit upgraded will be in the SE Fleet AO.
The Ki-43-IIa will become operational approximately Aug-Sep 42 to supplement the Ki-44-IIa at 128 per month. When this model becomes operational, the Ki-43-Ic will be withdrawn from frontline service and be used as a training model.
The A6M3a will become operational approximately Aug-Sep 42 to replace the A6M2 for frontline service at 90-120 per month (Not sure yet). This model will replace all carrier fighters first, to be followed by fighters in SE Fleet area, Burma and all other areas. The A6M2 will be relegated to backwater areas and eventually used as a trainer to supplement the A5M4. Note that the factories currently producing 100 A6M2 per month will be shut off until the Sen Baku becomes operational. Some Sen Baku may be produced (Iíll decide when the time comes). When the A6M5 becomes operational, these factories will be upgraded to produce this model.
Right now I have 120 (to be 180 in a few days) R&D factories researching the A6M3a and 60 R&D factories researching the A6M5. When the M3a nears becoming operational, Iíll upgrade some of the 180 factories to the M5. I do have a dilemma though. Hereís the timelines and factories:
A6M2 Ė operational Ė 100 factories Ė upgrades to A6M2 Sen Baku FB in Feb 42 which upgrades to the A6M5. These 100 factories are destined to upgrade to the A6M5 in Feb 44 when the Sen Baku becomes operational. Keep that in mind.
The A6M3a has 180 R&D factories which should accelerate it to Jul 42.
The A6M5 has 60 R&D factories currently which should accelerate it to ????
The dilemma is, how many of the 180 factories do I let become operational A6M3a and how many do I upgrade to the A6M5 to join the 60 currently researching that model? Iím thinking 60 and 120. Why? The A6M3a isnít much better than the A6M2, but the A6M5 is. As I upgrade carrier/frontline units, the A6M2 pool will be replenished to keep the A6M2 units in planes. Also, and more importantly, the faster I get the A6M5, the better for the IJNAF. With 120 added to the current 60 researching the A6M5, thatíll give me 2 months acceleration every month. I should get the A6M5 around Dec 42! Then, the next dilemma is how many of the 180 R&D factories do I let become operational. Iím thinking of letting 60 become operational and 120 remain R&D to upgrade to the next model. Thatíll give me 120 operational with the ability of increasing that by another 100 in Feb 44 (the current A6M2 to Sen Baku to A6M5).
If the A6M5 really does become operational in Dec 42, I may upgrade some or all of the A6M2 factories to the A6M5. Iíll look at the supply situation at that time as well as the current IJNAF fighter consumption rate.
Just some babbling. These are the things that keep me awake at night.
Created by the amazing Dixie