From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
11 May 43
Just south of Unmak Island, The I-176 was caught and sunk by a US DD. This is inevitable because Iíve been rather aggressive with my subs up in the Aleutians and Ted has a lot of ASW TFs hanging out up there. With my other forces enroute, things should change in my favor soon. More below.
The I-153 was hanging out west of Perth. I made the mistake of not having her move around a little bit. Laziness on my part. Anyway, Ted sent a DD after her and she was hit by a DC. Damage wasnít too bad at 25-44(22)-9(5)-0 but sheís heading back to port and is being replaced by one of my 8k endurance RO subs (who will move around).
The day started with a night encounter between 4x Fubuki class DDs and the US DD Gillespie and AM Sheldrake at Adak. The Gillespie got the first hit, a 5Ē shell into Yugiri starting a fire. Then the Gillespie took a torpedo and went down. Then my DDs shelled the AM into oblivion. My TF then left Adak heading for Attu. It turned out the Yugiri took light damage, but had a few guns destroyed. Iíd never seen that many guns destroyed by one shell hit before. I detached her to head to Etorofu for repairs. The other 3 DDs will remain a few hexes west of Adak, waiting for another opportunity. I think this attack may cause Ted to pause sending in the small TFs to clear mines for fear of being taken out by my DDs.
There were no visits by Allied bombers today. My Sallies didnít fly either. Boo! The 2 operational Judys flew against the Allied troops at Adak but didnít score. Tomorrow, I may test things and move a chutai of Sallies to Adak and see if they attack.
Surprisingly, the Allied troops didnít attack today. I expected them to attack. I guess their disruption is still pretty high. The only Japanese unit with disruption is the 7 Base Force, and it is down to 7, with 12 fatigue.
I spotted the US CV TF still moving east. It is currently 8 hexes east of Dutch Harbor. It appears that he is pulling them out. Thatís good news. Although I would have liked to have battled them with superior carrier force, I think my primary mission is to smash the Allied shipping in the area and isolate the Allied ground forces on Adak so I can destroy them.
I currently am down to 16 mines at Adak. Iím sending the minelaying TF to drop another 80 mines. I donít have an ACM there right now, although one is headed there but is a few days out. I want to use this window that I think will be free of enemy ships at Adak to drop off the mines even though I will lose some before the ACM arrives.
I am also sending in the fast transport TF with 4k supply. Adakís supply is down to 11.7k. Itís still ok, but my ground bombardment and Oscar sentai is using it pretty quickly.
I have a 15cm artillery regiment and the 90mm mortar regiment heading to a rendezvous point around Amchitka with another artillery regiment around Etorofu. The last artillery regiment and the 2x infantry divisions are loading, so theyíre still a ways out. There is a lot of supply with these units, so when they land at Adak, the supply levels should rise quite a bit.
MKB2 (54 Zero, 24 Kates) is coming from the west and is 2 days out. KB2 (54 Zero, 36 Val, 18 Kate) is coming from the SW and is 4 days out. The Combined Fleet (4 BB, 2 CL) is coming from the SW and is 2.5 days out. The slow replenishment fleet (56k fuel) is further out and coming from the SW. I have AR, AKE, AS and AD support stationed at Etorofu, along with a good amount of supply and fuel.
Nothing to report.
Shortland was the target of Teds 2E and 4E bombers, 72 sorties. Damage is up to 0-42-75. Thatís fine. There are no planes there.
Gasmata was the recipient of 5 Allied sweeps totaling 40 sorties. Losses were 14 Allied to 3 Japanese fighters with 1 wounded pilot. The losses have to be hurting him. I know he has a lot of replacement planes (with the exception of Corsairs), but Iím sure his pilot quality is declining. Mine is constantly increasing. Every now and then, I pull out some of the 72+ experience pilots into the pool and replace them with 50-53 experience pilots.
I have an xAK at Saumlaki on a supply run and Ted keeps sending Beaufighter VIIIs to try and hit her. So far theyíve had no luck and my ship continues to drop supply. I moved a chutai of Oscar IIbs and they exacted retribution today. Not many of the Oscars fly (only 2 for some reason) but they went after the 5 Beaufighters in the first raid shooting down 1. The remaining 4 returned in the afternoon and the Oscars shot down 3 more. Banzai!
I had 2x 42 plane Tojo IIa sentai sweep the road hex between Akyab and Coxís Bazaar and they ran into most of the remaining Allied fighters in the area. My sentai came in individually. The first sentai was opposed by a mixture of Hurricanes, Martlets and P-40Ks, downing 19 (of 33) for no loss! Banzai! The second sentai arrived to find only 1x P-40K and promptly shot it down.
My army is across the river and I sent the only badly beat up division (55) back to Rangoon to be rebuilt. The other units are forming a line along the river, along with other divisions already there, to defend against the Brits/Indians. The 1 and 2 Tank Divisions are being pulled back to act as a fire brigade.
Things are looking pretty good here right now.
The 13 Army is only 2 miles from Kienko, the Chinese base north of Chungking. I put everyone into combat mode because theyíll be crossing a river and shock attacking tomorrow. I hope the shock attack ousts the Chinese defender. I donít know what is in the hex, other than that it is a single unit. I suspect it is a Corps.
The Kaga completed her refit at Kobe. Sheíll wait around for a few more days until the Akagi completes her refit and then they will head back to Truk, to finish off the reconstitution of KB1.
A pilot escaped capture!
At Singapore, the CA Mogami, CL Naka and E Ishigaki entered refit.
I am very happy with what is happening right now. I had lost the initiative in the Aleutians but am gaining it back. I think Ted may believe it is not worth the losses heís incurring. The Lexington took a torpedo and a 500kg bomb. The Mississippi took 3 torpedoes and I believe she sank. The Idaho took a torpedo. In addition, he lost an APA and DD as well as about a dozen small craft along with about 20 land-based fighters, 35x 2E and 4x 4E bombers and about 80 carrier planes. He has a division, 2x infantry regiments and a combat engineer regiment stuck on Adak. I believe I can hold them off with my current forces and have substantial ground forces enroute to destroy them. In this AO, Iíve lost 52 carrier planes, 48 Oscars (half on the ground) and dozen other aircraft, mainly on the ground. My ship losses were a little heavier than I would have liked due to my stupidity. I lost 4x Fubukis (ouch), a sub, an AKV, 2x midget subs, 2 ACMs and a MTB, with 4 damaged subs. Other than the DDs, itís really not too bad. Since I havenít used my carriers much at all during the past year, my pilots are well trained and the pilot and plane pools are flush (for a Japanese player). Iím willing to use the fuel to send in 4x BBs too. They will hang around and pummel the ground troops prior to my assaulting them. I may hit them early and then send them to Etorofu to rearm. It all depends on the Allied naval situation. Right now, I donít think Ted knows my carriers are coming. His ships are running around looking for my subs. I suspect heís in for a surprise in a few days.
The 4 Fleet area is becoming heavily fortified and garrisoned. The outer perimeter has most of the troops with troops heading to the Marianas as I can spare them.
SE Fleet area has seen a lot of aerial fighting so far. The vast majority of his 4E bomber force (and most of the US 2E bombers too) are here, but they canít keep the sortie rate up enough to permanently close any of my airbases. I suspect his loss rate is rather high too, but mainly to op losses (for his 4E bombers). Every time they take time to rest, my bases are able to repair. I believe he is making a mistake at Gasmata. Almost daily, he sends 5-6 partial fighter squadrons to get decimated for few Japanese plane losses and fewer Japanese pilot losses. Iíll keep this up as long as heís willing to send his pilots into the meat grinder. Very soon, Iíll start to upgrade my planes here as well. I have 42x Tojo IIcs in the pool and will upgrade a sentai from the Oscar Ic tomorrow. My Georges are building now too. I have 7 and will gain them at a higher rate over time. Iíll have a daitai of them here by the end of the month, replacing a daitai of A6M2s. The new Tojos will deploy to Gasmata and the Georges will be an anti-bomber force at Rabaul. Iím hoping for good things with them.
The SRA is a concern. I donít have enough troops to cover a fraction of the islands that Ted could invade. There are just too many bases with 4+ airfield max (making a 7+ airfield potential). I have 2 daitai and 1 chutai of Nells as the main air force here. Iím hoping for early warning (I have lots of Mavis/Emily naval search) to be able to get defenses (air and naval) in position to counter an invasion. So far though, there has been no threat.
Iíve stymied the Brits in Burma since the beginning of the war. I just pulled out my main army and am preparing a defensive river line to hold him off, with reserves. My air force has air superiority over the whole front. The Tojo IIa reigns supreme here. Canít wait until I get some of the IIc models here too. Itíll be awhile before this theater gets any though. I need them more in SE Fleet AO. Right now, Iím waiting to see what he does with his troops.
Iíve done better in China than I have ever done before. I expect him to be down to 3 of the 4 bases on the Chinese plateau within a couple of days. He has 600k+ troops in Chungking, but Iím buying bombers out of Manchuoko to reinforce the China Air Force. Just today, I bought 2x 27 plane sentai and moved them to a base that will have AS in a couple days. I have a 31 and 27 plane sentai earmarked for China from Manchuoko in the near future. That will give me about 200x 2E bombers for use against Chungking. Iíll scrounge more as I get airfields with enough AS to support them.
Iím pretty happy with my situation so far. Economically, nothing is lacking and my pools are increasing nicely. Weíll see how long I can hold on.
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