From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
30 Jul 42
Fun, fun, fun!!!
Let's start with the boring stuff....
I had some Zeros sweep Buna and they caught some P-39s. The trade was 1 Zero for 4 P-39s. I'll take it.
Ted's 4E bombers, now up to 77 of various flavors, hit Salamaua's port again. Guess Ted doesn't want me to reinforce there.
I had Oscars sweep Pt. Moresby but no one came up to play.
No Allied fighters came out to play. I hold air superiority over Akyab (which is still surrounded), Cox's Bazaar and Chittagong. He's got to be low on fighters there, though that'll turn in the next couple of months most likely. In about a week, I get another IJA fighter sentai reinforcement for 51 Air Division (training). I'm going to transfer it to 3 Air Division and send it to Burma.
All of the units of the 1 and 2 Tank Divisions have landed at Rangoon. All of the 2 Tank Division units were in Rangoon so it combined. One tank regiment of the 1 Tank Division is still moving to Rangoon so those units are sitting and building up strength while waiting for the last unit. Hopefully, these units will be a big shock to Ted.
Well, more sparring happened today. I'm a dope. I didn't realize that the Vals carry 60 kg bombs at 7 hexes. I set KB at that distance intentionally. Oh well, my other planes fought well today. Here's the blow by blow:
16 Betties out of Gasmata went after the Allied TF still sitting in port. (The TF is composed of BC Repulse, CA Canberra, CA Portland, CA Northampton, CL Helena and CL St. Louis.) Two Kittyhawk IAs caught the Betties shooting two down and flak got another 2. No hits were scored.
Four Nells came in from Darwin evading the Kittyhawks and also missing.
KB launched full deck loads. 9 B5N1s, 22 B5N2s and 26 Vals were escorted by 27 A6M2s and 11 A6M3as. For a loss of 3 Kates (+1 op loss) and a Val, 1 Kittyhawk was shot down, the Portland was hit by a 60 kg bomb and the Repulse was hit by a torpedo and 10x 60 kg bombs.
Nine more Betties from Gasmata put 2 more torpedoes into Repulse, losing one to flak.
In the afternoon, KB launched 38 Kates escorted by 38 Zeros and put 1 torpedo into the Portland and 2 more torpedoes into the Repulse making her into a reef. Banzai!
My intent for tomorrow is to move KB 1 hex closer to Merauke to make the Vals potent. The invasion force is going to move to within 1 day's steam of Merauke. If I can wipe out and/or drive off the Allied surface force, I'll invade. MKB is a couple days sail from the area and headed here. They'll replace KB to allow KB to refuel, rearm and replace aircraft. I really want to take Merauke from Ted.
Hiyo - her air complement is now 27 Zeros, 18 Vals and 9 Kates. She's at Kobe with Akagi, who just finished upgrading today, and the 6 Shiratsuyus. They're waiting for Kaga, who finishes her upgrade tomorrow. They'll sail to Davao to join either MKB (Hiyo) or KB (all the rest).
22 Tank Regiment - Northern Army - Japan garrison for now.
56 JNAF AF Unit - Southern Army - headed to SE Fleet AO.
I culled my training units today:
Air - 77
GrdB - 33
NavS - 4
Rcn - 2
ASW - 19
Tran - 5
LowN - 7
Air - 60 Yay!
NavB/NavT - 23
NavB - 10
Rcn - 9
NavS - 5
The arrival of the Hiyo frees up 84 naval shipbuilding points a turn. I'll have to see what I can accelerate. It's not enough to accelerate a CV (need 126) but maybe I can free up some other points somewhere else. We'll see.
Created by the amazing Dixie