From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
1 Jun 42
Below is a brief, update on each of my AOs and other stuff.
I-123 is still hanging in there but is 19 days out of Adak. Sheís only 9 days out of Dutch Harbor. I may send here there instead. Both have size 3 ports, but Dutch Harbor is much closer to the enemy. Sheíll sail right past Dutch Harbor on her way to Adak, so Iíll put off the decision for a while.
Just off Noumea, the I-170 has been patrolling for quite a while and finally found game. She sank a medium sized xAK. Better than nothing.
Have you guys noticed that itís practically impossible for a sub to put a torpedo into a DD? I canít remember the last time I did that. Ted has never torpedoed any of my DDs. Just curious if itís just our game or if any of you have noticed the same thing.
I control Adak and points west as well as Dutch Harbor. Those two bases are the only ones Iím fortifying. My total air power there is 2 Emilies for naval search out of Adak. The Aleutians is a speed bump while I fortify closer to home.
My primary naval power is 6 fleet subs and 3 Glen subs. They form a screen east of the Aleutians for early warning and the occasional attack on a cargo vessel near Kodiak.
In addition to the subs, I have 3 CLs and 13 Minekazes, but they havenít left the port of Ominato for months. I am tempted to move the Minekazes to other locations to perform escort missions. Gotta think about that and make a decision. The reason I havenít done that to date is because I like to have some escorts available for missions in the 5 Fleet area. If they leave, the only escorts Iíll have are a PB or 2.
Fortifying continues, primarily on the fringe and the Marianas. Ted sent another DM or DMS to Majoro this time. Itís doing the same thing as the others, just sitting there. My CD guns wonít engage. I made a mistake with my DDs that were in the area last time this happened. Instead of making their home port Kwajalein, I left it on Truk and they went back home. I have 6 DDs (Fubukis) that are 1 day out from Majoro now. Hopefully, the ship will remain another day and Iíll engage. Itíll be dead meat. I canít believe Iím doing all this for a single DMS. I think itís because I havenít seen a capital ship in months.
I have a nice assortment of engineers in this AO. The forts are coming along nicely. If Tedís history is true this game, heíll most likely avoid this area, but I have to be prepared, just in case.
4 Fleetís naval power is exclusively subs. There are 9 Glen and 5 midget carrying subs. The next 3 Glen sub reinforcements will come here as well.
4 Fleet draws surface naval units from Truk on an as needed basis. I suspect this area will rarely, if ever, get anything larger than a CL, unless KB makes an appearance.
I donít think Iím using my subs effectively. They tend to end up spread out all over the place. I donít use the midget carrying sub unless they are delivering midgets, which is pretty rare. Right now I have 3 delivering midgets to Rangiora. I intend to use the 9x (soon to be 12) Glen subs in divisions of 3 in specific areas.
I like to keep a presence on the US west coast, but usually only 1 sub. Iíll allocate a division to this mission with 1 sub on the west coast, one east of Hawaii and the third replenishing. Theyíll move in a circle. From Kwajalein, the replenished sub will sail to the west coast. The sub just replaced at the west coast will sail to east of Hawaii. The sub replaced at Hawaii will sail to Kwajalein to replenish. That way, there will be a constant presence at each place.
The second and third divisions will form a line west of Hawaii as a tripwire for any incursion into 4 and 5 Fleet AOs. Each division will have 2 subs west of Hawaii in a semi-circle for early warning for 4 Fleet and 5 Fleet. The third sub in each division will rotate back to replenish and then replace one of the subs in the tripwire.
Iíll determine what the new division will do when they arrive (within a month or so).
One Catalina destroyed on the ground and a Kittyhawk op loss. I think Ted is just about out of Kittyhawks for a while. Iíll check the numbers vs. his replacement rate when I have the chance.
The B-17s (he up to ~35 on mission now) beat up Milne Bay again. Heís still working on the port. Better than base than the others. Buna is where my Oscar sentai is stationed that is carrying on the air war over Pt. Moresby. Lae and Gasmata are my bomber bases, and then thereís Rabaul. Overall, Iím happy with my situation here (other than not being able to capture Pt. Moresby). Heís working on my fringe and not touching Rabaul or points north. As he does this, I am building up forts in Lunga, Tulagi, Munda, Shortlands and a few other bases where I can station air power if needed.
I saw something I really liked today. In my nightly Sally bombing of Pt. Moresby airfield, I damaged 4x P-39s. That tells me heís low on good fighters. I really want to bomb Pt. Moresby by day, but Sallies donít survive well against fighters. Iíll start getting the Helen IIa in about 10 days. Then itíll take 18 days to fill out the 2x Sally sentai with Helens. I plan on starting my daylight bombing campaign of Pt. Moresby on 1 Jul 42. Canít wait!
SE Fleet has a nice little naval force available:
18x DD (Fubuki)
7x Ro subs Ė based at Rabaul and forming a ring around Pt. Moresby
8x Fleet subs
3x Glen subs
In addition, it is reinforced from the Combined Fleet as needed. Currently, there are no additional naval forces attached.
The fleet subs are in divisions of (Fleet/Glen) 3/1, 3/1 & 2/1. One division is based east of Australia, one is at Rangiora and the third is currently unassigned.
Youíre aware of my movements in China. I have 2 offensive armies that are taking out bases, one by one. Ted is doing nothing that I can see. He is doing nothing in the air and ground units arenít moving that I can tell. I think he has a supply issue. I have cut off Ledo from the rest of India and there is no land LOC available between India and China. He still has some large armies in some of the bases, but they are doomed. Iím working to surround some so I can take them out one of my armies becomes available.
My air force in China is becoming very experienced. The bombers and recon fly daily and my fighters escort and fly CAP, so far against no opposition in the air. Very odd.
My supply is low so last turn I set my CS TF that moves resources from Shanghai to Nagasaki to send supply back to China. Each leg is ~50k supply so Iíll let it send 200-250k supplies to China. Iím considering dividing that convoy in half and having one return with supply on a constant basis. Thatíll keep the level of supply up in China without my having to keep track of things.
This is the only active ground campaign (other than whatís going on in China). I have forces in Imphal and Ted is attempting to withdraw from Imphal. The issue I have is that practically no supply is moving to the NE part of Burma so no airfield building is occurring. I donít have enough level 2+ airfields to keep a significant number of fighters over Imphal to protect my army. Fortunately, Tedís bombers arenít very successful, but they are active. Iím moving more supply to Rangoon so itíll migrate into Burma, but thatís a slow process. Iím trying to keep Singapore at >20k supply. Iím going to have to send a 100k supply convoy from Japan to alleviate the situation in Singapore and probably another 200k supply to Rangoon to beef up Burma. Until then, Burma is receiving small supply convoys, primarily from Palembang. Itís not enough to really do anything.
Burmaís air force fluctuates because I rotate units in and out as they lose strength. It is composed of the entire 22 Air Flotilla and most of the 3 Air Division. The bombers arenít used much because they canít be effectively escorted, so itís mainly a battle of air superiority (which Iím winning) over Chittagong and Tedís relatively ineffective bombing campaign against my army at Imphal.
Because I have a shortage of IJN fighter pilots, I am reluctant to use my Zeros in this theater. I use them occasionally, but only in conjunction with the Oscars. Right now I have 202 IJA fighter pilots in reserve and every one of my IJA fighter units has extra pilots. Iím willing to trade them for Allied fighters. (If they only knew.)
What I need to do in order to open up the Burma front (to my advantage) is to dump a significant amount of supply there. Next turn Iíve decided Iím going to send convoys worth 200k supply from the Home Islands to Rangoon. Itíll take a while to get there, but it may prove to be whatís needed to end the stalemate.
Iíve sent all of my low endurance xAPs to Singapore. From there Iíll allocate them to move forces to locations where they need to be. Right now, my ground forces are pretty strung out throughout the SRA. Combat is over, so I need to get a good list of whatís available and allocate it to a mission and location. I especially need to identify the engineer units to group them and start them building forts.
The oil/fuel/resource convoys are doing pretty well, just a bit of tweaking is needed, but not much.
The naval forces assigned to this AO (to include Burma) are stationed at Singapore and is composed of the following:
6x Fleet subs
2x Glen subs
2x Ro subs
One fleet sub division (3x Fleet subs and a Glen) is steaming out of Soerabaja and is operating around Merauke. The second fleet sub division is operating off the Indian coast and the coastal subs are hanging around Chittagong and Colombo. None of these are currently finding any enemy shipping. Thatís perplexing.
The surface forces are currently augmented by 2x BBs and 4x CAs from the Combined Fleet and are bombarding Chittagong as they can.
Regular supply convoys are sent to Soerabaja from Japan to repair the infrastructure. If you recall, it was totally destroyed when I liberated it. Rotten Dutch! There still is ~140 oil to repair. Itíll be done sometime in October, 42. Iím also repairing the refineries, about the same number, and resources and HI. Iím increasing the HI quite a bit as well. My intent is to have the HI self-sufficient from local fuel and resources. All of the small resource centers in the island around Java are shipping their resources to Java. Right now, there is a huge excess of resources, but the supply convoys from Japan haul resources back. Eventually, there will be somewhere around 240 HI between Soerabaja and Batavia. That will use all the resources shipped there and whatís produced there as well as some of the fuel thatís produced there. There will be ~40k excess fuel produced in Java for whatever needs arise. Iíll station a few Std- class TKs there to haul it to where itís needed.
Iíve taken everything along the coast from Pt. Hedland to Darwin as well as the inland bases along the roads to Daly Waters (exclusive). I sent a tank regiment to Daly Waters to find that there are 8 units there. Iím moving north with it and its being harassed by a dozen Marauders. Itís just out of Zero range from Darwin (only 1 hex). Once it moves that hex, Iíll LRCAP them to ambush the Marauders. Theyíre flying unescorted.
This is the major surface force of the IJN. It is composed of:
6x Fleet subs
2x Glen subs
The subs are currently operating out of Kwajalein. As stated above, there are 2x BBs, 4x CAs escorted by 4DDs operating out of Singapore. The rest are at Davao. I keep them at Davao because that is relatively central and near their fuel supply.
KB/MKB is composed of the following:
Unyo (MKB) Ė once she gets an air group Ė probably Hiryuís DB daitai once it arrives in a week or so.
4x BB (Kongos)
5x CL (Tenryu, Tatsuta & 3 DD Squadron leaders)
The Shokaku and Zuikaku just started upgrades today. The Tenryu and Tatsuta started conversion to CLAA in Jan 42 and will be complete at the end of the month.
The DDs are composed of the 10 Shiratsuyus and 6 Hatsuharus (6000 endurance), the Yugumos (5 so far) and the Akitsukis (1 so far).
xAP Teiko Maru Ė Saigon
xAP Teison Maru Ė Saigon
1 Jun 42 is a significant date. I can start converting my Std- series xAKs to TKs! I began 20x Std-C and 2x Std-D, all I have of them. Theyíll be ready in 15 days and then I can really start moving liquids. I wonít have to use any xAKs to move fuel any more. I canít wait. That should reduce my fuel consumption somewhat (I hope).
My intent is to haul as much fuel and oil to Japan as quickly as possible. I would love to empty out all my excess in Singapore and Sumatra before the end of 42. Once Tedís subs become effective, I have no confidence in my escortís ability to protect my TKs.
Iíve already spoken at length about my R&D. The only thing Iíll add is that each day Iím converting 1 factory and increasing it to size 30 until I get it to where I want. That should take about 2 more weeks. Once that is finished, Iíll reassess.
I donít like to run operations just for the sake of running operations but I do have a couple planned, primarily to slow down Tedís build up around the map and to keep him guessing.
I want to send a surface force up to Kodiak to trash a few ships and slow him down a bit. I would love to send some BBs but I think the fuel usage would not be worth the potential benefit. I donít expect to see anything other than cargo ships and some DDs. Iím thinking 4x CA, 4-8 DD and maybe throw in the Kitakami and Oi for fun.
I am attempting to find a shipping route that heads from Hawaii south. Iíd love to send 4x CVs to hunt down some of that shipping. It would encourage Ted to send hit convoys farther east, slowing them down. Iím not even sure if Ted is shipping anything south out of Hawaii. So far I havenít seen anything.
I am considering moving a couple subs (including the Glen) from Merauke (I donít really need 4 there) and sending them to the Perth area. If there are convoys in that area, Iíd like to send KB down there to cause a ruckus.
I wish he would show up with some real ships but I donít expect that until early July 42, at the earliest. He started getting Avengers in May I believe. Itíll take him 2 months just to fill out his carrier TB squadrons with no reserve. I donít expect him to try anything until that happens. Iím trying to figure out where heíll show up. If I had to guess now, Iíd say straight up to Milne Bay and north. I have a lot of Naval Guard units still at Truk for SE Fleet. Iím going to give every base a couple as well as some SNLF troops to stiffen them.
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