From: La Salle, Colorado
March 4-11, 1942
The excitement of the Cocos Island Battle has been documented so this regional report with mainly focus on other areas as well as summarize the implications/results of the battle in the IO.
Everything here gears up towards the Umnak landing by the Kawafuto Brigade while CV Junyo-CVL Nisshin-BB Yamato lie in wait to the SE forming the trap. Feeding off of 2 AO, the CV TF reaches its jumping off point SSE of Dutch Harbor (12 hexes or so) and now readies for the American response to the landing. The landing force, escorted by 1 CL and 8 DD, is passing Adak and should be two days away from landing. NOTHING has been spotted as of yet.
Adak is about to move to AF-2 so I am lifting the Air Flotilla at Attu and moving it closer to the impending action.
So it doesn't look too suspicious, 4 DD sweep through Dutch Harbor on the 4th and sink 4 YP.
My Jaliut Strike Force arrives at Pago Pago on the 7th where it wreaks havoc upon an Allied TF. A TK, 1 AP, and 5 AK are sunk with a DMS and PC being hit heavily. NICE! CL Abukuma and her 5 DDs make ways for Jaliut where they shall rest and strike again.
KB The KB swings all the way down towards the south end of New Zealand without spotting anything. Conversely it isn't spotted either. The TF turns NW and approaches Melbourne where it launches a massed strike at the Port on the 10th. Surprise is complete, however, the harbor is mostly empty. The Strike of 37 Z, 101 V, and 100 K only sink 2 AMc and 3 AK. On the bright side, I don't lose a plane. While the CVs hit the harbor, each ship with FP does photo recon of nearly 12 Aussie locations. This recon provides valuable intel for the upcoming landings!
Newcastle and Port Kembla have only ONE unit in them (same for Melbourne) while Sysney has 3 units in it. HOLY COW! We could be on the verge of something BIG.
The Rockhampton Invasion Force gathers itself in the central Coral Sea and is ready to sail to its target as of the 11th. Landing Force consists of 2 ID, 2 Inf Brig, 1 Air Flot, 3 BF, and 3 Con Bn. From the moment I say GO they are 4 days from target. Will wait 3 days for the KB to get within cover range and then we begin the great adventure.
I am taking a major risk in the north. At this moment 2 Inf Div, an Army HQ, and several smaller units are about to pass Horn Island and Port Moresby. There are no aircraft present--for the moment--so this should be OK. They are all headed for New Caledonia for the main landing at Sydney.
The last major base in the Philippines falls on the 4th and the Philippines Campaign wraps up.
Bandoeng falls on March 10th as the Java Campaign also concludes.
The 3 Inf Div present in that base immediately head for Soerabaja by RR where they will load and move out for Geraldton. Should have enough time to get them ashore.
Cocos Island Battle
The battle wraps up when I order CV Hiryu to stop her lone charge on the 10th. She detaches 2 CA and 2 DD from the Screen to get closer to Ceylon and perhaps bag something. CV's Enterprise and Indomitable get away to fight another day. At least I know they cannot help interfere with the west side of the Aussie Landings. The Battle went WELL:
Allies: SUNK--CVL Hermes, CA Northampton, CL Capetown, 2 DD, and 3 AK DAMAGED: CVs Enteprise and Indomitable, CAs Salt Lake City and Cornwall, CLs Dauntless and Emerald, and 2 DD
Japan: SUNK 1 DD DAMAGED: CVL Ryujo (arrives at Tjilitjap with SYS 40, Flot 29, Eng 7), BC Hiei, CA Atago, and 1 DD
Bombers flying from Wyndham hit the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Aussie ID each day.
Take Daly Waters with a TK Reg on the 7th
The Japanese arrive at Darwin on the 8th and attack. The Forts drop to 1 and so the SNLF Assault Brig (plus two Tk Reg) strike on the 11th and ALMOST et a 2-1. The troops will rest a day and then take the base on the 13th.
Exmouth Bay gos to AF-1 on the 11th and 30 Float Planes move in to provide air search and recon of the area.
Shwebo falls on the 11th and all Japanese forces converge on this town before moving NE towards Katha. There are 6 units in Katha and 12 in Myitkyina. It is now clear that Lew allowed to to take nearly of all Bruma while he plans to fight for the northern bases. Could be a good strategy. It will depend. Two Inf Div shall begin loading on the 12th to move up to Rangoon. They will drive north and see what may be done.
Four DD sweep into Chittagong on the 9th and sinks 4 HDML. Nells, flying from Rangoon, sink a small AKL on the 11th. Notice is served as to the Japanese being in this arena now.
The Sian Offensive grinds its way towards the objective. The hex stacking limits really serve to slow things and this is good.
While that is happening I am booting the Chinese out of Japanese territory east and SE of Ichang.
4th: Duff Isles, Sorong
5th: Abemama, Lord Howe, Madjeno (Celebes), 85,48/86,42 (China)
6th: San Jose (Phil), Lifou
7th: Roti, Boela, Daly Waters (Aust), 43,73/46,80 (Sumatra)
8th: Groote Eylandt
9th: Kirawina, Reef Isles, 85,46/85,44 (China)
10th: Babo, Bandoeng (Java), 49,100 (Java)
11th: Ndeni, Shwebo (Burma)
4th: Shortlands AF-1, Noumea Pt-3
5th: Shanghai AF-9
7th: Nagasaki AF-6, Port Hedlund AF-3, Koumac AF-2
11th: Exmouth Bay AF-1
8th: DD Makinami at Pt Arthur
The impact of the Cocos fight is quite important. I cripple his striking power here and sink--YET MORE--cruisers. Hiryu is sitting pretty so I still have a good flightdeck and--ONCE AGAIN--I get a crippled CV/CVL home for repairs. Have gotten very lucky here and it is a GOOD.
The recon of bases in SE Australia demonstrates a place RIPE FOR THE PICKING!
< Message edited by John 3rd -- 4/23/2012 8:10:22 PM >