February 17th 1942
The fall of Singapore
… was today’s divine surprise (kami something, I presume…). I ordered a deliberate attack, just to prevent the enemy from rebuilding their strength, while the 38th and the 104th ID, now between Bangkok and Kuala, made their way for the final assault, but it turned out that forts were reduced to level 1, that we achieved 3:1 odds, and that the city surrendered.
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 76017 troops, 782 guns, 343 vehicles, Assault Value = 2250
Defending force 31235 troops, 384 guns, 218 vehicles, Assault Value = 566
Japanese engineers reduce fortifications to 1
Japanese adjusted assault: 2270
Allied adjusted defense: 741
Japanese assault odds: 3 to 1 (fort level 1)
Japanese forces CAPTURE Singapore !!!
Japanese ground losses:
3444 casualties reported
Squads: 10 destroyed, 340 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 10 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 82 disabled
Guns lost 25 (1 destroyed, 24 disabled)
Vehicles lost 17 (1 destroyed, 16 disabled)
Allied ground losses:
17610 casualties reported
Squads: 573 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 2970 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 222 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 549 (549 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Vehicles lost 250 (250 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units destroyed 32
Well… yay!!! I suppose.
The airbase is fine, the industry is at half strength, and the port has 34% damage. This will repair fast (I have lots of engineers around), but the minefield must also be cleared before we can use the base. Unfortunately, many of my DMS are now upgrading (I thought Singapore would fall later). I have one in Singkawang, another in Pescadores, and a pair of AMc in Cam Ranh. I expect the port to be ready in a week. Meanwhile, I need to collect the cargoes, troop transports, tankers, sub chasers and surface combatants that will be based there.
This frees a lot of troops. I have four divisions and seven infantry regiments in the city. Two more divisions and one regiment were reinforcing Singapore when it fell. Finally, a guard division and a regiment have just arrived in Cam Ranh. Overall, this is seven divisions, and nine regiments, or ten division equivalents. Most of those units are in good shape, and some have very high experience and morale.
Three divisions (the 104th, now around Bangkok, the 6th Guards, now in Cam Ranh, and the 5th Guards, scattered between Singapore, Cam Ranh and Rangoon) will reinforce the Imperial Guards in Burma. Those four divisions should be enough to clear the country, push the Chinese back into China (and secure Paoshan), and establish a minimal line of defense along the Indian border. They will be reinforced in April and May by two other guard divisions, arriving in Cam Ranh.
Altogether, this means six divisions in Burma by May. Unless the enemy goes for an early offensive there, this should suffice.
The 38th, the 18th division, and a few regiments (41st, 17th Indep Guards, 24th), all with high experience and almost at full strength, will be sent to capture South Sumatra. I intend to go straight for Palembang, and then march south to Oosthaven with some of the troops, and use the rest to land in northern Java (by then we should be in south Java…)
This leaves four division equivalents. Two of them, and a regiment, are in relatively good shape. The others need rest and refit. In the short term, I will most certain use them to clear the islands and bases between Singapore and Java, and perhaps Northern Sumatra (depending on how fast we can capture the south of the island). Later, they will probably be sent south, either to the Solomons and Port Moresby, or to Timor.
Bataan will not be reinforced. And I believe we have enough troops in the Celebes to capture south Java (or the enemy would need to empty the north of the island, a dangerous idea once we are on Sumatra).
Thinking out loud
Holding Singapore is nice, of course, but it is not such an important base at this point of the game. The real benefit is the number of troops freed, and this sent me wondering. Whereas most Japanese players settle for a long siege in Luzon, they usually commit large forces to an early capture of Singapore. In the best of cases, those troops are available for redeployment by early February. At worst, the siege drags on, and you end up with damaged units, only available in March.
But do we really need Singapore that early? Once the airfields in central Malaysia and Borneo are held, it can be suppressed, and a modest force will be enough to keep the defenders in place. And if Singapore is besieged and left to rot, five or six japanese divisions (many of them experienced) become available for a big push somewhere, as early as the beginning of January (once the lines stabilize in the DEI), and at this point in the game, five divisions are a lot of troops.