May 10th 1942
Enemy carriers reappeared today, a few hexes east of their previous position, and sank a cargo on its way to Marcus Island. They seem to be sailing back towards San Francisco, at a relatively low speed, did they refuel on the way?
Kido Butai is east of Wake, if the carriers turn south towards Hawaii, we will catch them. If their oilers are trailing behind, we will get the oilers instead. Several submarines are also on their path, should they continue towards Frisco, or make for Midway and Pearl. It is a gamble, but gambles work, some times.
Guns of Chungking
We had another day of bombardment, and very little damage done. The forts must be quite strong. We now have 1900 AV, against 2600 enemies. I was slightly worried to see enemy AV go up by a dozen, since yesterday. Could my opponent be supplied? Or is he just setting resting units back to defense mode?
Bombardment of Bataan is slowly reducing the defenders. They are below 650 AV now. Two battle hardened divisions, the 18th and the 38th, will land in Batangas in a few days. We should finish Luzon by the end of May. This will free four divisions for use in the South Pacific and around Timor.
With Timor almost captured, Java and Sumatra cleared of enemy presence, and Chungking under siege, a second phase in the war is about to begin, and it is a good time to review my options.
China is under control. A dozen bases are still held by the enemy. Chungking and Changsha are under siege, we are closing on Kunming, and have begun clearing enemy pockets in the north. The only area controlled by the KMT is a crescent that ranges from Tuyun to Kukong. I have no idea of how long I need to finish China, but I hope to be able to start transferring troops to Burma in July.
Burma is strongly held. I have three divisions there (5th and 6th Guards, and Imperial Guard division), several infantry regiments, and a tank brigade. The guard tank division is on its way, while a regiment from Singapore is marching on Tavoy. I intend to deploy those troops in the plains. The goal is to hold the place until Chinese troops relieve us, this summer hopefully. Then, the guard divisions will march on Singapore, to be used as a reserve in the East Indies, while the Chinese divisions begin pressing on India.
Sumatra and Java are garrisoned, with about division equivalent on each island. Smaller units should now move in and help build the defenses, and patrol areas. In the Andamans, the air battle over Port Blair is pretty much won, and the enemy hardly bothers to CAP the base now. I am beginning to bomb the airfield, and will do it more as Sallies from China transfer to Bangkok. The general idea is to make the British units there as miserable as I can. Whether I will then invade with a division or two from Burma, or just let the Brits rot on their island, is unclear.
In the southern indies, Timor is about to fall. Koepang is ours, and Lautem is being reinforced. Recon shows Northern Australia is almost empty, and Horn Island is not much defended. I want to develop Koepang and the neighbouring bases, with probably an air HQ, to make the northern coast of Australia a very dangerous place for the Allies. This, in my opinion, is the best way to prevent an early move against Timor or Ambon.
Finally, Bataan is still under siege, but this should end soon. This will free four divisions and a few smaller units for redeployment in late June.
The Pacific is our weaker suit. Port Moresby is strongly held, Buna is under fire, and Lae and Finschafen are not captured yet. We do have strong bases in Rabaul (an infantry division, and air HQ, and quite a few squadrons), and Manus. Hansa bay is being developed too. We hold the Solomons, Marshalls and Gilberts, but lack the troops to efficiently garrison those places. I am now transferring several regiments from Java to Madang and Tulagi. I will need more troops in Kwajalein and Tarawa.
Until July, when troops for Luzon have moved in, and Burma is relieved, we are living in dangerous times: if my opponent tries to land in the Solomons, or Gilberts, there is little I can do about it. I don’t believe in rushing troops forward. The first order of business, right now, is to build a second line, in the Marshalls, around Rabaul, and in the Marianas. I can afford to lose the Solomons and Gilberts, but if the enemy tries to push forward, I need to punish him.
Around New Guinea, I already have a division in Rabaul. Two regiments from Java are on their way to Madang, and a fast transport force will land in Lae very soon. This should settle the problem in New Britain. The Marianas and Marshalls will most probably be reinforced with troops bought from Japan. I just need to gather enough transports.
As for Port Moresby, I believe the best solution would be to isolate it by invading north eastern Australia. I can probably commit about two division equivalents (one full strength division, two infantry regiments, and several tanks regiments from Java), land them in Darwin and Normanton, send small units in Port Hedland, Exmouth and Derby, to serve as alerts, and try to march south towards Cooktown, Townsville and Rockhampton. If such a move was successful, another division could join after the fall of Bataan, maybe another more from China, and one from Burma. Basically, I could have about 5 divisions in Australia in September.
I realize June is a late starting date for such an invasion. On the other hand, forcing the Allies to fight in Autralia, while troops freed from China press in India, is a good way to prevent early Allied attempts at reconquest (and my overall strategy revolves around the idea that if the Allies can be kept busy until early 1943, I can probably build quite a few bastions in the South Pacific and East Indies).
I am toying with the idea, now. What do you think?
< Message edited by fcharton -- 9/27/2012 9:35:26 AM >