11th-13th January -44
The empire are having some frustrating days as some action takes place in Burma and at Milne Bay!
On the 11th a naval battle develops at Milne Bay. I would call it a almost decisive battle as the Allies deal a huge psychological blow to the empire. Erik sends in a powerful 3 BB TF right into Milne Bay. I have no clue what he was hoping to achieve by this. There was nothing of value at Milne but a few barge TFs. But it was and is protected by three 8 Fletcher TFs, one 8 Fletcher/Porter TF and four 12 PT boat TFs. Sending in a 3 BB TF at night against 32 DDs and 48 PTs is bad call. Erik wrote in his email that he wasn´t very happy that his BB TF got "beat up by 8 Fletchers". I think he should be quite pleased he didn´t loose any BBs?
BB Mutsu, Shell hits 2
BB Hyuga, Shell hits 5
DD Naganami, Shell hits 1
DD Kiyonami, Shell hits 3, on fire
DD Michishio, Shell hits 1
DD Murasame, Shell hits 4, on fire
DD Samidare, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Jenkins, Shell hits 1
DD Nicholas, Shell hits 1
DD Stanly, Shell hits 3, on fire
DD Strong, Shell hits 1
DD Selfridge, Shell hits 2
DD Balch, Shell hits 10, and is sunk
DD Clark, Shell hits 1, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
Night Time Surface Combat, near Milne Bay at 101,133, Range 8,000 Yards
BB Nagato, Shell hits 5
BB Mutsu, Shell hits 7
BB Hyuga, Shell hits 16, on fire
DD Naganami, Shell hits 20, and is sunk
DD Kiyonami, Shell hits 18, and is sunk
DD Michishio, Shell hits 5, on fire
DD Murasame, Shell hits 19, and is sunk
DD Yudachi, Shell hits 1
DD Samidare, Shell hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Uranami, Shell hits 25, and is sunk
DD Fletcher, Shell hits 6, on fire
DD Bache, Shell hits 2
DD Bradford, Shell hits 13, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Conway, Shell hits 3, on fire
DD Cony, Shell hits 3
DD DeHaven, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Eaton, Shell hits 16, and is sunk
DD McKee, Shell hits 5, on fire
Pretty annoyed only 2 of the 4 TFs and none of the PT TFs engaged. I think Erik should be very happy he got away with this result. Could have been hell of a lot worse for him.
Erik also sent in a CL TF south of Milne. It encountered a ASW TF that did VERY well considering it consisted of one Sims class DD and 3 Mahans.
Day Time Surface Combat, near Deboyne Islands at 103,134, Range 18,000 Yards
DD Sazanami, Shell hits 20, and is sunk
DD Fumizuki, Shell hits 12, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Kikuzuki, Shell hits 10, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Nagatsuki, Shell hits 5, on fire
DD Russell, Shell hits 3, on fire
DD Perkins, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Smith, Shell hits 8, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Preston, Shell hits 6, on fire
DD Nagatsuki is sunk the following day. This small battle alone cost Erik 4 DDs. In total I estimate he lost 9 DDs for 2 Fletchers and 2 Porters. Can´t complain about that!
I think this re established naval control in the area for me. I have my 4 Fast BBs, 2 modern CAs and 4 modern CLs and some 40 Fletchers. Another 20 Fletchers and a modern CA will arrive within 2 weeks.
I also decided to send Iowa and New Jersey to SOPAC. My reasoning (please correct me if I´m wrong) is that I won´t be able to reload any of them short of PH in CENTPAC? I have no AEs capable of rearming them until Mount Hood arrives in April (6400 Cargo). This makes them totally ineffective at Atoll bombardment until then.
My first assault here didn´t go very well. But no disaster either. I´ll just wait until fatigue drops a bit and try again. A tank BTL will be added for the next attack.
Ground combat at Buna (99,129)
Allied Deliberate attack
Attacking force 15438 troops, 235 guns, 264 vehicles, Assault Value = 615
Defending force 17391 troops, 251 guns, 49 vehicles, Assault Value = 461
Allied engineers reduce fortifications to 4
Allied adjusted assault: 277
Japanese adjusted defense: 551
Allied assault odds: 1 to 2 (fort level 4)
Defender: terrain(+), forts(+), experience(-), supply(-) Bad news for Erik!
Japanese ground losses:
670 casualties reported
Squads: 9 destroyed, 49 disabled
Non Combat: 6 destroyed, 15 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 22 disabled
Guns lost 17 (6 destroyed, 11 disabled)
Allied ground losses:
514 casualties reported
Squads: 4 destroyed, 34 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 9 disabled
Engineers: 4 destroyed, 22 disabled
Baker is secure without a hitch. With hindsight I could probably have gone in a week earlier.
Ground combat at Baker Island (149,136)
Allied Shock attack
Attacking force 9542 troops, 191 guns, 202 vehicles, Assault Value = 344
Defending force 2009 troops, 18 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 25
Allied adjusted assault: 128
Japanese adjusted defense: 1
Allied assault odds: 128 to 1 (fort level 6)
Allied forces CAPTURE Baker Island !!!
Attacker: shock(+), leaders(-), disruption(-)
Japanese ground losses:
2531 casualties reported
Squads: 139 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 105 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 26 (26 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units destroyed 3
Allied ground losses:
525 casualties reported
Squads: 18 destroyed, 29 disabled
Non Combat: 10 destroyed, 13 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Guns lost 8 (2 destroyed, 6 disabled)
Vehicles lost 24 (11 destroyed, 13 disabled)
763rd Tank Battalion
23rd Marine Regiment
3rd Marine Regiment
82nd Naval Guard Unit
Yokosuka 6th SNLF
61st Naval Guard Unit
2nd Indpt SNLF Coy
The troops and Fleet will move back to PH to repair and replenish. Next time they come back will be in force. Some 3 Divisions worth of troops will land in the Gilberts. I´m sending a lot of the AKAs/APAs from SOPAC to PH. CV Valhalla is not doing well and is disbanded in one of the dot bases around Chistmas Island. Despite having 0 SYS damage I get "pumps failing" as soon as I try to move her. Annoying.
Supply has finally started flowing! Will be ready to move very soon. I´m flanking around Erik at Prome with a 3 ID force. True to his habit Erik builds a death star. Now he will have to break that up or be cut off from Rangoon. I´ve intentionally left my flank open against the coast. Lets see if I can lure Erik to try and cut my 3 IDs off. I have two of the massive Chinese Corps coming down the road there. They are something like 900 AV EACH! They have alot of AT guns with them.
Now the question is: Do I dare attack his death star? By going through the CRs I found the following troops:
Also attacking 2nd Division ...
Also attacking 21st Division ...
Also attacking 2nd Guards Division ...
Also attacking 38th Division ...
Also attacking 33rd Division ...
Also attacking 65th Brigade ...
Also attacking 16th Division .
Also attacking 4th Division ...
Also attacking 55th Division ...
Also attacking 32nd Ind.Mixed Brigade ...
Also attacking 30th Ind.Mixed Brigade ...
Also attacking 23rd Ind.Mixed Brigade ...
Facing this is 10 Allied divisions plus armor. This game is very unforgiving and I don´t want to try an attack here if I´m doomed to get wiped out in a single attack getting 50.000 troops killed for 16 of his. Is a deliberate attack advisable or is it folly?
Looks like my bombings do have an impact after all. Erik sent in a LRCAP that got smashed by my Sweeps. And as coating on the cake his planes were out of position after my sweeps so he didn´t get a single bomber!
Burma situation in screen.