Dec 8, 1941 to Dec 10, 1941
The next 3 days pass fast and furiously, thankfully with no Vin Diesel in sight. After realizing I forgot to do about 6 different things on Dec 7th, I develop a plan. Protect the carriers, stabilize Pearl Harbor, identify and reinforce defensive strongholds, and run away from everywhere else. After marveling this time at how India is above Burma I decide that Rangoon, Rabaul, and Midway cannot fall. Rabaul was very mean to me in the Coral Sea scenario so I'm determined to hold it. Whatever ships I can pull out of the Philipines, I send to Rabaul to regroup
Speaking of Pearl Harbor, the Fleet of DOOOOOOOOOM has been decidedly unhistorical and while moseying along bombed the ever loving crap out of Pearl Harbor again before moving northwest. 2 more BBs sunk and another host of support vessels stricken from the registry. I did manage to get some P-40s up as CAP, so this raid was about 2% less damaging than the last. I think some cruisers might have been killed too, but at this point my n00b brain can't process the total damage being done across what feels like 800 different bases. My brain says Japan 1421 Me 0. I did manage the throw some ships in the shipyard for repairs, and I even figured out the difference between Pier Side and Shipyard while I was at it, so they can blow me up, but I can fix stuff now too. For the ships damaged, but well enough to sail, in my finest maneuver of the first week of the war, I create a TF to send lesser damaged ships back to the West Coast for repair. One of those ships was the cruiser Honolulu, which promptly sank on the 10th after its pumps failed. Never trust a ship named after a city that's not even in a state is what I always say. It looks like the worst is over for Pearl Harbor as the the Fleet of DOOOOOOOOOM moves Northwest and takes a crap on Lihue as it passes by. People die, supplies are lost, but I think that stuff gets replenished automatically. At least I hope it does.
Meanwhile, in my first offensive action of the war, 3 planes from Wake Island find and attack the IJN invasion force nearby. Damage is minimal, but I know where they are now, and my CV is in the area. I'm able to get in a strike on the invasion convoy and do some good damage. The Japs land on Wake Island, but ultimately retreat under aerial bombardment. I've got about 8 planes left on Wake. And some very unsupplied troops, but for now...Victory for the drunk guys! My CV starts heading back towards Pearl swinging WAAAAY to the south to avoid the Fleet of DOOOOOOOM.
As for the awesome raid I had planned on the Marshall islands, apparently once the carriers had run out of human instructions they decided to turn around and head back towards Pearl Harbor. I turn them back around on the 10th to try and get some action around Majuro. Intel reports a heavy Jap presence as they land troops on some of the atolls, but not a lot of air power. I might be able to do some damage. Or embarrass myself. One or the other. As long as Captain Dowhatiwant, doesn't just turn around again.
Meanwhile in the Philipines the Japanese continue chipping away and oozing southward like honey off a spoon. An airstrike here, a landing there. I continue sitting around trying to figure out if/what/when/where/how to fight back. I can only imagine the bemused look on my face as I realize that I have bombers that have been sitting in the Philipines training with the invasion goes on. I imagine those B-17 pilots having too much fun with the Philipino ladyboys on the beach. Much chagrined I set everything in the Philipines to naval attack on Dec 10th. I don't think I can destroy anything, but I'm hoping I can take a chunk out of something flying the rising sun. Judging by the planes blowing my ass up, there's at least one small carrier somewhere in the area. Would that I could at least scratch its paint. Meanwhile, on the ground, the 11th PA completely surrenders north of Manilla, leaving my defenses seemingly ruined. Never trust a Commonwealth, that's what I always say. In their defense, I did't even know they were there, and I certainly didn't provide them with any support. At this point it looks like the Philipines will be overrun in a week. I clearly don't have what it takes to stop that from happening. Kiss my ass MacArthur.
Kota Bhanu falls to IJ forces on the 10th after several more perfectly coordinated attacks from Saigon and surrounding airfields. Singapore is in real trouble now and I begin to pull back all moveable assets from there as well. Amazingly, despite stupidly not pulling them out on the 7th, the Repulse and Prince of Wales, able to make 20 knots despite its damage, have survived long enough for me to evacuate them. A heroic CAP defense on some shockingly unsupported bombers allowed them to move southward toward Madieon and out of bomber range by the 10th. As a matter of fact, in general my CAP is starting to bleed the Japanese a little bit here and there. We're still losing badly, but they're disrupting some attacks and buying time to pull assets out and hopefully killing a few irreplaceable pilots. Our best weapon appears to be weather as bad storms have disrupted attacks on shipping in the south China Sea.
As all this activity is going on, Japanese aircraft continue to pound any base, airfield and port within reach like a cheap piece of meat. Georgetown is given a particularly heavy beating reminiscent of the time my brother caught me playing with his little green army men. Cargo ships and support craft are starting to take damage. Once Hong Kong was completely cut off from mainland China, I realized I needed to do something. Following my strategy I begin pulling back and consolidating Chinese troops at strong points and choke points. Some Chinese units are left behind as sacrificial lambs to try and slow down any attacks. In some small skirmishes that break out, the Chinese troops seem to hold their own for the most part. With Hong Kong cut off I form every ship I can into one of several task forces and just start sending them away to random places like Rangoon, Singapore, anywhere really. It's rats from a sinking ship time. Run away, save yourselves, maybe I'll figure out what to do with you in the future. On the 9th, while trying to sneak out the back door, one of these task forces, a small force of 4 DDs, bumps into an unescorted Jap convoy of 6 ships. So comes my second great victory of the war as the DDs ravage the helpless convoy and proceed to follow up that victory with a brave attack on more cargo ships the next day. This fleet is christened the scourge of the South China Sea and I celebrate their victory by forgetting to pay any attention to Rangoon and the defenses there. The Scourge's days are probably numbered though as the South China see is starting to get very dangerous. On the 10th the Japanese land at Miro and Brunei in Borneo, but not entirely unnoticed. While the landings are successful, the Nagato and DDs are spotted and bombed by Swordfish on the way to Miro. The Nagato gets two dents in its armor. The Japs may have the sea surrounded, but I know where a poorly escorted BB is...and I've got a BC and BB in the area just itching for a fight.
December 10th also has one more lesson for me...my computer controlled submarines have finally entered the fray. Firing a total of 12 torpedoes, my subs pounce on Jap cargo ships like clawless kittens. Of 12 torpedoes, 1 actually explodes against the hull of a cargo ship off the coast of Vigan. Dud torpedoes, get in line behind MacArthur and kiss my ass.
As night fell on December 10, the Japanese assault began to slow a bit.
Drunk Nimitz thinks his tactics are working. Drunk Nimitz is wrong.
Next up Dec 11 to Dec 14