December 14-20, 1941 - Week in Review (2)
This week seemed quiet and uneventful compared to last week. That is partly because our pace has picked up considerably (almost 2 turns per day). It is also partly because there is no blood left to flow in Manila.
In the PI, Japan has captured most of the islands. Some PT action gave a bit of a morale boost, but those have now had to flee. Troops are massed in CF and Bataan, and will die there soon enough. The "radio chatter" indicates that Japan will use CF as a training ground for his bomber pilots for a protracted period. That should be...painful
In Malaya, about 150 AV worth of troops were cut off from Singapore and have massed in central Malaya to make a small stand. I expect to be pushed out of JB this week and the siege of Singapore to begin. Burma will be up next.
In India, Hermes is finally back on her feet, though her usefulness is questionable at this stage of the war. Troops have beefed up through resting and Garrisons are being shuffled to the front as able. Fuel convoys have been arriving from Abadan and the thirst of India has temporarily been quenched.
In DEI, the enemy has established an airbase at Billiton. Thusfar, the only thing they have done is snoop every TF within range and recon Palembang, but I expect them to start giving me trouble soon. Force Z is repaired and back at sea to the east of Soerabaja.
In SOPAC, Rabaul and Kavieng have fallen as expected. Unfortunately, I lost many of my transport planes on the day of the invasion. I'm led to believe that KBa may be operating in the area, though I have no solid proof yet. My cruisers are all repairing in Australia and will be out most of the week.
In the US, the Fifth USAAF (V Bomber Command, II Fighter Command) has been ordered to move to Cape Town and prepare for deployment in either India or Australia. I've begun to ferry troops assigned to Pacific Fleet to PH and those assigned to Southwest Pacific to PaPa. Efforts continue to fortify Adak Island against attack in NOPAC. Saratoga has cleared Seattle and is en route to cover operations there.
I'm an idiot. I ordered Lexington SW of Wake about a week ago to strike at an enemy SAG there with some mild success. To do this, she dashed at full speed west then south. The next day, to avoid bombers out of the Marshal Islands, she fled directly north at full speed (Texas_D tells me that he was disappointed not to find her the next day). Her next mission was to return to PH for a break, but a radio transmission NW of her position tempted me. I ordered her to dash (full speed again) to the NW before turning east toward PH. She made it to a position about 3 hexes North of Wake and then ran out of fuel. Lesson learned: Three straight days of Full Speed = no no. I had already started loading a replenishment fleet in PH "just in case," but it was still several days away. Meanwhile, my attempts to refuel Lexington by adding well fueled ships to the TF failed when it turned out those ships were incompatible with the Air Combat TF (CMs, DMSs). Finally, last night, CA San Francisco, which had been escorting a supply run to Wake, arrived and shared enough to let the (now wounded) Lexington limp back toward PH at a greater than 1 hex/turn rate. She should meet up with the replenishment fleet tonight, as well. The danger has mostly passed (I was terrified that KBa was on its way to support an invasion of Wake), however, last night a submarine was spotted in the hex next to the fleet. I've all manner of ASW in the works, but it is possible that it will get a lucky shot. Meanwhile, Enterprise refueled and immediately deployed to help escort her sister home. I'm debating using her to strike at that SAG again (it's still down there). If I do, I can assure you it won't be on Full Speed for more than a day! I have a second replenishment fleet already loading..."just in case"
For Next Week: I expect another week of grasping by the Japanese. I find it somewhat curious that he hasn't taken a stab at Ambon yet. I hope he doesn't until I can figure out where KBa is. If it is not covering the push to Ambon, Force Z will pounce. If it is, well then there isn't much to be done. Ambon is somewhat beefed up, but not enough to resist any real effort. I also expect him to start moving into Burma. Frankly, I wish he'd hurry up as I'm losing VP each turn because all my troops are at my temporary line of defense in the forest instead of the cities of Mandalay and Rangoon. Maybe this next week will be quiet enough to calm my nerves after my foolishness this past week. Let's hope so.
(first screenshot from the 15th...second screenshot from today)