Been away on vacation for a week. Nothing but sun, ocean and massive amounts of beer and booze!
Micheal, yes I will certainly continue to try and keep them closed! He is now limited to flying sweeps from Ndeni. Its been a while since he tried that though. Could be a shortage of navy pilots? I have about 140 4Es continuesly closing his airfields. He lost a lot of airframes on the ground including a lot of Nicks.
He is definatly trying to get out of Noumuea! I actually nailed an extraction convoy a few days back!
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Noumea at 115,160
Weather in hex: Heavy cloud
Raid detected at 39 NM, estimated altitude 17,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 15 minutes
A6M3a Zero x 28
P-40K Warhawk x 30
SBD-3 Dauntless x 37
Japanese aircraft losses
A6M3a Zero: 1 destroyed
Allied aircraft losses
P-40K Warhawk: 5 destroyed
SBD-3 Dauntless: 1 destroyed
APD Nadakaze, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
LSD Akitsu Maru, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
AK Sagami Maru, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Huso Maru, Bomb hits 1, on fire
AK Sakura Maru
xAP Teifu Maru, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
AMC Bankok Maru, Bomb hits 1, on fire
APD Shimakaze, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
Japanese ground losses:
638 casualties reported
Squads: 7 destroyed, 28 disabled
Non Combat: 2 destroyed, 5 disabled
Engineers: 2 destroyed, 6 disabled
Guns lost 9 (1 destroyed, 8 disabled)
Pretty happy with that! Though my losses didnīt add up for some reason. Lost quite a few more DBs then is shown here. I think I lost around 12. Still a good result! DB groups were from 2 CVEs. I decided to pull the ships back to Sydney but keep the groups around since they are nice big ones with 28 in size.
I have the 1st Marine still prepped for Noumuea. Iīm considering doing an invasion to catch his remaining troops. But this is not an option as long as the whereabouts of KB is unknown.
I also have two army divisions prepped for Milne bay and two more prepped for Port Morsby. Iīm confident I could take both objectives if I could get the troops ashore. I donīt know if thats possible though. Its to far away for me to LRCAP. I could use my CVEs and CVLs to cover the invasion. Thats would be almost 100 fighters over the invasionarmada. I only need to be able to stay for one day. But this would have to rely on complete suprise which I think is impossible. It would also mean I would be boxed in against the East coast of OZ. I could amass about 400 fighters for protection but Iīm not sure that would be enough to deter an determained attack to get my ships. Iīm leaning against not trying for atleast a year but thoughts would be welcome!
Canton and Baker both have a Marine regement and two tank battalions each prepped and ready to go. Donīt know if that would be enough since he has about 6-8000 troops on each of the islands and both are outside my LBA by a far. So no aircover and only one bombardmentrun and then I would have to get the hell out. Donīt think this is possible without carrier staying power?
Caranvon. I decided to give it a go instead of moving for Darwin (proved impossible to draw supply north past Alice) using restricted OZ troops. I will have 800 AV guarding Geraldtown while all the armour available together with two restricted OZ divisions move up the road. Supply might be an issue. I will not divert any Sea or Airpower besides the FG already there to this. If he leaves its fine. If he stays I could reinforce with two divisions in reserve.
Troops have entered the rail west of Katha and are resting up fatigue. Also waiting for a division that had it movment reset for some reason. Supply is looking good! Big question is if I move for Katha as I earlier intended or move south. Iīm 80% sure I will go towards Katha so I have an easy way out if supply looks troubblesome.
Also messed up on my drive along the coast. Moved the wrong division! Grrr. Atleast it gave the armour a chance to catch up. This is still just a feeler with a division and two armoured brigades. No supporttroops or baseforces are yet allocated to this.
Major concern right now:
US army fighterpools are almost dry! The stupid, idiotic, worthless, craptastic P40s (Es and Ks) just die in droves whaterver you try to do with it. Even if I fill them with 80 exp pilots they just fall out of the skies. Usually loosing about 20 planes for 1-2 Tojos. Is it really possible that the P40 was this worhless or is this a side effect of the Jap player being able to field only Tojos and the weird focus on altitude above all else in the airmodel?
Anyway my pools are completly dry. I have 22 Ks, 12Es, 42 P38 and 109 P-39s in the pool. Using the P-39s against Tojos is just out of the question. I lost about 50 for none above Tanna a few weeks back. This just sucks since I canīt really do much in the air anymore but I have over a 1200 trained pilots and nowhere to put them.
The Navy and Marines have the opposite problem. Lots and lots of airframes but only about 100 trained pilots... Lost too many pilots with the Carriers going down. I now find myself having to use training squadrons on the frontline to try and fill the gaps which just adds to the problems...