10th - 12th April -44
On the 10th air search picked up 2 big SCTF hovering outside Biak. I suspected a bombardment of Sarmi and pulled out the planes there. I sent in the only available TF in the area. Arleigh Burke in command of 9 Fletchers and a Porter DD. Another humiliating defeat for the IJN!
AFTER ACTION REPORTS FOR Apr 11, 44
Day Time Surface Combat, near Sarmi at 90,113, Range 18,000 Yards
BB Nagato, Shell hits 2
BB Mutsu, Shell hits 15, on fire
DD Hayashimo, Shell hits 8, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Yukikaze, Shell hits 5
DD Hamakaze, Shell hits 7, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Hatsuharu, Shell hits 6, heavy fires
DD Hatsushima, Shell hits 8, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Yugure, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Bullard, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Capps, Shell hits 1
DD Gatling, Shell hits 1
DD Marshall, Shell hits 1
DD Nicholas, Shell hits 1
DD Stanly, Shell hits 4, heavy fires
DD Selfridge, Shell hits 3, and is sunk
There is also a second battle right after this one against a 2 CA TF. Only minor damage inflicted to the Japs but I loose DD Stanley (3rd Fletcher lost so far). Given the sub encounters on the following day Erik lost 5 DDs with one lagging behind that could get sunk by subs during the voyage home.
I know this frustrates the hell out of Erik. I would be too. Having 2 BBs and 2 CAs getting chased away but 10 DDs must be very frustrating. I love it! I think Erik has profound respect for the Fletcher. Had this been in nighttime there is a good chance he could have lost something bigger then a few DDs. All surviving DDs have minor damage but are sent back to Finnschafen for repairs. Another smaller 6 DD TF takes its place. A Cleveland TF is also on its way.
One of Eriks pickets blow the cover of my CVs. While I´m not happy about it (Erik did send a very sincere apology saying he forgot it there) I have said its fine. I will use this too. Its a shame it was on the CVs that now show a 2/2 DL. But perhaps I can confuse Erik a bit switching place with the CVEs. I´m guessing Erik will steam the KB towards the Marianas until he knows where I´m going. My present course takes me straight for them. We will see. Every time he moves is a small victory for me.
Its probably 3 days until the BBs close for bombardment. Erik has 5000 men on Wake. I need to really pound it before I can land. I only have a RGT and a Tank BTL prepped.
Sending and empty cargo TF towards the DEI past Merauke. Lets see if I can make Erik a bit worried while he is sending KB in the other direction!
Attacked Eriks troops outside prome. It shows promise! I think unless Erik do something here the will soon be routed
Ground combat at 60,47 (near Mandalay)
Allied Deliberate attack
Attacking force 36029 troops, 564 guns, 230 vehicles, Assault Value = 1367
Defending force 14101 troops, 152 guns, 264 vehicles, Assault Value = 452
Allied adjusted assault: 606
Japanese adjusted defense: 658
Allied assault odds: 1 to 2
Defender: terrain(+), disruption(-), fatigue(-), experience(-)
Japanese ground losses:
719 casualties reported
Squads: 3 destroyed, 128 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 19 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 3 disabled
Guns lost 15 (1 destroyed, 14 disabled)
Vehicles lost 37 (7 destroyed, 30 disabled)
Allied ground losses:
236 casualties reported
Squads: 2 destroyed, 84 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 33 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Guns lost 74 (43 destroyed, 31 disabled)
Vehicles lost 15 (2 destroyed, 13 disabled)
641st Towed Tank Destroyer Battalion
50th Indian Para Brigade
11th (East African) Division
3rd New Chinese Corps
85th British AT Gun Regiment
2nd RTA Division
8th Tank Regiment
4th Ind.Mixed Regiment
1st Hvy.Artillery Regiment
3rd Ind. Mountain Gun Regiment
I have rested the troops for 2 days getting the disruption down. Another attack ordered today.