From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
Comments as of 1 Sep 42
Interesting comments on the economic front even though the war itself has turned into a grind. First, here are a few comments by AO:
I still control the Aleutians west of Adak inclusive. I also control Dutch Harbor. There are daily raids on the port of Dutch Harbor, but only by 8-10 B-25s, so damage is minor to insignificant. My air power in the Aleutians is exactly 2 Emilys. Iíd like to increase that but probably wonít. I donít have anything available and this region is only a speed bump.
I recently got the 51 Base Force for 5 Fleet and am sending it to Etorofu. That will be the major base in the region, for the subs stationed here as well as any air power to defend that sector. I have built up Paramushiro Jima to a level 4 airfield as well. My intent is to fool Ted into thinking that area is much stronger than it really is. I donít want to fight a battle up here.
Naval power is composed of a SubRon of exactly 6 fleet subs and 3 Glen subs in 3 equal sub divisions. They patrol the eastern Aleutians to east of Kodiak.
All I see of the enemy here is an occasional sub traversing the area to head somewhere else. I have at least a Naval Guard Unit at every island I deem important. That usually means itís an island that can build a significant airfield. I have all of the initial air units there except the 9 plane Zero chutai (which is on board the Taiyo). My goal is to build up all the bases I am garrisoning to fort level 6 (Wake has the only level 6 fort so far) with a couple of exceptions on some of the outlying islands (Tarawa and Makin come to mind). The outlying bases will only be built up to level 3 for the time being. Iíve added significant engineer assets to the 4 Fleet command for fort and select airfield construction. I am building the 4 Marianas Islands to level 4 airfields with significant AS. I hope that the Marianas will be a bastion that Ted cannot crack in the coming years.
Naval forces: A SubRon of 9 Glen subs and 5 midget carrying subs. Another SubRon just forming currently of 1 fleet sub and 3 Glen subs. It will eventually be composed of 9 fleet subs and 3 Glen subs as reinforcements arrive.
The goal here is to make his invasions painful. I will increase infantry strength of important bases as I get reinforcements.
Ted is contesting me with subs (just a few) and 2E and 4E bombers. He has approximately 120 4E bombers (B-17s and B-24s) and 50 2E bombers (B-25). There are also fighters stationed at Pt. Moresby, but they donít fly CAP. The fighters are there though. My intel says there are 50-60 fighters there. He sweeps Milne Bay with 3-4 Hurricane XIIs almost daily. On occasion, Iíll LRCAP there and shoot 1-2 down. I sweep PM occasionally but never see Allied fighters any more. Ted is content with bombing my airfields into the Stone Age. Most of my aircraft in the area are at Rabaul with most of the fighters flying CAP over that base. I have a couple of recon dets at other bases so Ted sees the airfield icon at other bases as well. On occasion, Iíll move some fighters to other locations for specific missions, but then move them back to Rabaul.
Ted hit Rabaul once and then was ambushed there on a second attempt so he leaves it alone now. Gasmata was once an up and coming base but he hits it occasionally. Iím tempted to station some fighters there when he tries to hit it again but havenít done that yet. For some reason, he spends most of his sorties hitting Milne Bayís port. Thatís fine with me. It allows me to repair my other bases.
A portion of my air power (2x Zero chutai, 1 Helen sentai and recon) is stationed at Hollandia. Their sole mission is to harass Merauke and keep an eye on the waters surrounding Merauke.
Air Power: IJN Ė 2x Zero daitai, 4x Zero chutai, 2x Betty daitai, recon, transport. IJA Ė 2x Oscar sentai, 1x Tojo sentai, 1x Nick sentai, 2x Helen sentai, recon, transport.
Naval Power (based at Truk): 2 CA, 1 CL, 18 DD (Fubukis), 8 fleet subs, 3 Glen subs, 5 Ro- class subs.
I control everything from Pt. Hedland to Darwin. In addition, I am building a base on Wessel Island. My main problem is at Merauke. Ted has around half a dozen effective subs in this area (Dutch and S class) and a squadron of Dauntlesses and some fighters stationed at Merauke. I canít seem to get an invasion force there. Iíve tried a couple of times and will try again. I want to try it soon. I have 2 divisions available to invade. Ted also has a surface TF stationed at Horne Island. During an earlier invasion attempt, he lost the Repulse and some DDs and had some cruisers beat up. I have Helens bombing Merauke as often as theyíll fly but 1 sentai just isnít enough to make a difference. I need to send in KB and MKB along with part of the Combined Fleet to do the job. Itíll cost me ships though. I just need to bite the bullet and do it. This time Iíll flood the area with ASW TFs too to put a dent in the sub threat. Iím moving some PBs and SCs into the area for the invasion. I donít want to risk DDs in range of the SBDs.
Ted and I are trading blows around Katherine and Daly Waters. Currently, he controls both towns and has an Aussie division in each town. I have 3 divisions in the area and will gang up on one base at a time to try to beat up the Aussies. I figure that if I can inflict significant losses on these divisions, that will hurt Tedís ability to replace Aussie losses around the map. Heíll have to make the decision to rebuild these divisions or leave them out of the fight.
The naval power in the area is drawn from KB, MKB and Combined Fleet as needed.
Air power is the 21 Air Flotilla, which isnít big. Itís composed of a Zero daitai (that gets withdrawn in Dec I believe) and a daitai and chutai of Nells. Not much at all, so KB and MKB must take up the slack.
Ted has little air power in the region as well. He makes regular attacks against Daly Waters with reduced B-26 and Hudson squadrons. Theyíre unescorted so I can often get a few Zeros to LRCAP Daly Waters and can shoot down a couple a day. The only other air power is at Merauke as discussed above.
Lots of fun stuff is happening here. A couple of months ago, I moved the 18 Division to the hex NE of Akyab to cut it off. It turned out there were 40k+ troops in Akyab. Thus, something that was to be just a hassle to Ted has turned into one of the focal points in this campaign. Iíve bombed Akyab. Iíve bombarded Akyab from the sea. The only issue Iíve had was a lack of troops to actually take the place. I sent the other 3 divisions (Imperial Guards, 33 and 56) + the 2/3 of the 55 Division to Imphal to make a play on that place. That attack failed (not enough strength) so Iím pulling those forces out and am sending them toward Akyab. The jungle really slowed things down and Ted was able to send a bunch of troops to the hex (almost 65k) and is slowly grinding my units down. The infantry wonít make it. I also sent the components of the 1 and 2 Tank Divisions to Rangoon where they combined. After I finished fleshing out those two divisions, I moved them to Akyab as well. The 2 Tank Division is one hex away and still crawling there and the 1 Tank Division is a few hexes away on the road. I have a few days before the 2 TD arrives so Iíll make the decision to move into the hex or not then. Iím moving one of the infantry divisions to cut off Coxís Bazaar to really mess with Ted. I am determined to kill off some Brit/Indian/Burmese troops. That should make him pause.
In the air, I have superiority over Akyab, Coxís Bazaar and Chittagong. My IJA fighter pilots in the area are doing very well. Iíve recently upgraded a fighter sentai to Tojos. They have yet to see action. I expect them to do well tearing into the 2E bombers that the Oscars canít handle very well. Weíll know in a few days how they work.
The 2 Fleet is stationed in Singapore and supports the Burmese theater. It is composed of 3 CA, 1 CL, 16 DD, 6 fleet subs, 2 Glen subs and 2 Ro- class subs. Currently, it is augmented by some CAs from the Combined Fleet.
The air force is most of the 3 Air Division and all of the 22 Air Flotilla:
31 Lily IIa
22 Air Flotilla
Iíve been keeping the port and airbase of Akyab demolished but now I am going to start focusing on 1 airfield at a time. The first two I will demolish will be Coxís Bazaar and Chittagong. Thatís where he has his few fighters. Then Iíll go after Dacca, where most of his 2E bombers are stationed. That should be interesting.
Most of the 22 Air Flotilla is stationed at Pt. Blair. I love that base. It is able to control the entire region from enemy naval attack unless Ted decides to send US carriers there. I donít expect that to happen.
Iíve been slowly destroying Tedís armies. He still has significant forces but most of those remaining are in the southern part of China west of the main rail line. The north is basically mine. The more forces I surround and destroy, the longer it will be before Ted has enough force to come after me. Iím hoping this doesnít happen until late í44 at the earliest.
The air force is composed of the same units that started there. Iíve upgraded all fighters to the Oscar and all bombers to the Sally (yeah, I paid the PPs). Ted flies a handful of bombers out of his bastion around Chungking on occasion. I look at that as a good thing. Thatís more supply consumed that he desperately needs there. I will continue to pick off the bases that have HI and LI to reduce his available supply in China even further.
I send about 66k supply from Japan to Shanghai about every 2 weeks. Itís the return leg of a resource CS. This keeps the supply levels high enough in China to allow offensive missions.
Right now, all of the carriers of KB (and MKB) are current with their upgrades. Here is the composition of the carriers:
Carrier Zero Val Kate
Akagi 36 18 27
Kaga 36 18 18
Soryu 27 18 18
Ryujo 30 18
Shokaku 27(36) 27(18) 18
Zuikaku 27(36) 27(18) 18
Total 183(201) 108(90) 117
KB resides at Davao. Davao is close to a source of fuel and is relatively centrally located. All of KBís fighters are the A6M3a model and will upgrade to the A6M5 when it becomes available in late Oct 42. I still will change the composition of Shokaku & Zuikaku from 27 to 36 Zeros and 27 to 18 Vals. I feel that fighters are much more important than dive bombers.
Here is the composition of the carriers:
Carrier Zero Val Kate
Junyo 27 18 9
Hiyo 27 18 9
Shoho 21 9
Zuiho 21 9
Hosho 15 6
Taiyo 9 18
Total 120 36 78
MKB is located at Davao as well and for the same reasons as KB. I am very cautious with MKB because it doesnít take much to take out one of these baby carriers. I like to have MKB trail KB in major operations and then sneak in for the kill of damaged ships after the main event is over. Sort of like the clean up crew.
MKBís fighters are still the A6M2. It will probably remain that way until KBís fighters upgrade to the A6M5, then MKB will get the A6M3a until sufficient A6M5s are available for MKB. This trickle down effect of fighter models is as follows:
KB > MKB > Land Based > Training
And the escort pool for both KB and MKB:
4 BB (Kongo)
2 CA (Tone)
2 CLAA (Tenryu)
3 CL (DesRon Leaders)
10 DD (Shiratsuyu)
6 DD (Hatsuharu Ė currently upgrading)
8 DD (Yugumo)
3 DD (Akitsuki)
7 BB (+Musashi when she arrives on 1 Dec 42)
2 CL (Kitakami)
1 CL (DesRon Leader)
6 DD (Asashio)
10 DD (Kagero)
The Combined Fleet is also stationed at Davao. It often detaches elements to other fleets to augment them for operations or missions. The BBs spend a lot of time in port. They are fuel hogs. But they can do a number on an enemy airfield in a bombardment exercise.
In addition, there are 6 fleet subs and 2 Glen subs that are dedicated to supporting KB, MKB or the Combined Fleet. In a planned operation, they would precede the main body as a scouting entity. They would then be another clean up crew to pick off damaged ships after the battle was won. Iíd like to increase this to 6 fleet subs and 6 Glen subs for the combat and scouting duties described. It will be awhile because they are lower on the priority list for Glens.
Things are looking good here for the most part.
Supply Ė 2.995 million, up 92k from last month and down only 80k from the start of the war. I see this rising more quickly in the months ahead because the last places where economic expansion is still occurring (Batavia and Soerabaja) have enough supply to complete the expansion. My intent in the near future is to start to push supply to the forward islands to allow them to survive should they be cut off.
Fuel Ė 3.232 million, down 141k from last month and down 1.259 million from the start of the war. This is a concern. I still have plenty to last awhile, but there definitely has been a downward trend. Fuel has risen only twice since the war began, and then the monthly rise was only 20-30k. Itís not really as bad as it looks because there is ~270k fuel not showing up on ships headed to Japan. At the current rate of consumption, there is enough fuel to last 31 months which is until April 45. Iíd still like to slow the decrease. Singapore/Palembang still has ~350k fuel sitting around. My TKs are just keeping up with production. There are 6x 11.6k TKs that are accelerated and will arrive over the next few months. This should help with the movement of fuel out of that region to Japan.
Heavy Industry Ė Currently 7495 factories. Batavia and Soerabaja are still building up their HI factories. There are about 100 to add. HI points are up to 475k, up 122k this month. My goal is 100k per month to 700k by the end of this year. It looks like itíll be around 900k by the end of the year. Very nice.
Resources Ė 16014 factories Ė Resource points are at 11.095 million, up 804k this month. That looks pretty good as well. Iím sending them to Japan as fast as I can.
Oil Ė 2924, with 23 remaining to repair at Soerabaja. Total oil points are 2.649 million with another 152k on ships headed to Japan. Oil points have increased by 3k this month and overall, weíre down 583k oil points, mainly in the first few months of the war. This looks good too.
Armaments Ė 100k, up 875. Steady at 100k with 500 of the 620 armament factories shut off.
Vehicles Ė 3510, down 987. The total was over 12k a few months ago, but most of that was used up to flesh out the 2x tank divisions. I have all 150 vehicle factories building. I often think of increasing this but have not so far.
IJN Pilot Pool Ė 1312, down 388 from the start of the war.
IJA Pilot Pool Ė 1109, down 1093 from the start of the war. This is the first month this pool is smaller than the IJN pool. Itís inevitable because there are many more IJA training units.
IJN Reserve Ė 636. 76 fighter, 288 bomber, 250 patrol, 22 transport, 0 recon.
IJA Reserve Ė 1042. 429 fighter, 494 bomber, 36 transport, 83 recon.
Pilot Losses Ė 318 MIA (+21), 238 MIA (+23), 971 KIA (+121)
Japanese Score Ė 23,247 (+1270)
Allied Score Ė 10,962 (+378)
Japanese Planes Lost Ė 2832 (+448) Ė lots destroyed on the ground this month.
Allied Planes Lost Ė 2805 (+352)
Allied Ships Sunk in August 42:
Japanese Ships Sunk in August 42:
Allied Ships Sunk to Date:
Japanese Ships Sunk to Date
Aircraft losses to date:
Reason Allied Japanese
Air to Air 1394 999
Destroyed on Ground 162 362
Destroyed by Flak 29 300
Operational Losses 1098 1171
I still hold the edge in Air-to-Air combat. Losses are about 1.4:1 in my favor. The longer I hold that edge, the better. You can see that Iíve taken significant losses on the ground. Damn 4E bombers. Tedís catching up in the operational loss category mainly because heís flying more sorties now. Flak, well, my flak sucks. Shooting down one of his planes with Flak is a rare event.
I currently have 2755 PPs. I donít have anything I am currently saving for, but Iím toying with the idea of sending another division from Kwantung Army to Burma. I know Iíll need the extra combat power eventually. The sooner it gets there, the better off that AO will be. The 18 Division is down ~25% right now and will need to be pulled out to be rebuilt soon. Ted has a lot of troops there so Iíll need more forces. I want to do more offensive nastiness to Ted there so I think I just made the decision to allocate another division to Burma. I just need to determine which one and get the shipping gathered to move it.
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