20th-23rd May -44
Some good and some bad...
This is where it all happened. After the Sarmi strike Erik withdrew from the area. I sorted out CAP and whatnot and decided to do the first deliberate attack on Biak after the reinforcement. Went well over expectations and the prepping of a Corps HQ and Command HQ payed off for the first time!
Ground combat at Biak (87,110)
Allied Deliberate attack
Attacking force 22546 troops, 455 guns, 596 vehicles, Assault Value = 943
Defending force 19393 troops, 119 guns, 98 vehicles, Assault Value = 603
Allied adjusted assault: 1669
Japanese adjusted defense: 949
Allied assault odds: 1 to 1 (fort level 4)
Allied Assault reduces fortifications to 3
Defender: terrain(+), forts(+)
Japanese ground losses:
1934 casualties reported
Squads: 41 destroyed, 83 disabled
Non Combat: 12 destroyed, 18 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 10 disabled
Allied ground losses:
722 casualties reported
Squads: 5 destroyed, 127 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 35 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 30 disabled
Guns lost 30 (1 destroyed, 29 disabled)
Vehicles lost 54 (3 destroyed, 51 disabled)
1st USMC Tank Battalion
110th Combat Engineer Battalion
32nd Infantry Division
1st Cavalry (Spec) Cavalry Division
138th(Sep) Infantry Regiment
3rd NZ Armoured Sqn
98th Field Artillery Battalion
51st Marine Defense Battalion
2nd RAA Jungle Regiment
3rd South Seas Gsn
53rd Infantry Brigade
49th Infantry Regiment
4th South Seas Gsn
1st Indpt SNLF Coy
I/84th Naval Guard Unit
Kure 2nd SNLF
4th Raiding Rgt /1
8th Garrison Unit
9th Tank Regiment
5th Garrison Unit /1
37th JAAF AF Bn
24th Field AF Construction Battalion
3rd FF Const Unit
66th JNAF AF Unit
13th Air Fleet /1
This is good news. Despite Erik flying in numerous small units we managed to drop the forts to 3. The wonīt be going up after this... Tanks and the Calavary division are in great shape.
But again Iīm completely powerless to stop him from flying in troops. He has some 400 transports (Aux) spread out at various bases. Iīm guessing these are floatplanes since the AF is toast. Despite having 120 Hellcats on LRCAP over Biak nothing happens. It has now jumped from 24k troops to 31k in 3 days. What can I do???
Now for the less fun news...I think Erik played me and I fell for it. Remember the thing that pissed him off? On the 22nd my DBs flew against a BIG BB TF NE of Sarmi consisting of
BB Yamato, Bomb hits 1
BB Yamashiro, Bomb hits 1
BB Ise, Bomb hits 1, on fire
BB Musashi, Bomb hits 1
Erik complained in an E-mail about this TF reacting to something out of CAP protection and stuff. I didnīt think much of it but thought since they wrongly got there he would just withdraw after getting the paint scratched. I did not send any PTs or Fletcher after him. Well, I guess I should have...
Night Time Surface Combat, near Sarmi at 91,114, Range 9,000 Yards
Allied aircraft losses
SOC-1 Seagull: 2 destroyed
OS2U-3 Kingfisher: 2 destroyed
BB Yamato, Shell hits 1
BB Musashi, Shell hits 3
BB Fuso, Shell hits 7
BB Yamashiro, Shell hits 2
BB Ise, Shell hits 2
DD Shimakaze, Shell hits 1
DD Maikaze, Shell hits 4, on fire
DD Amatsukaze, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Harusame, Shell hits 5, and is sunk
DD Yamakaze, Shell hits 8, heavy fires
CA Portland, Shell hits 10, and is sunk
CA Wichita, Shell hits 1, on fire
CA Baltimore, Shell hits 10, and is sunk
CA Boston, Shell hits 3
DD Fletcher, Shell hits 1
DD Chauncey, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Kimberly, Shell hits 1
DD Philip, Shell hits 1
DD Wadleigh, Shell hits 8, and is sunk
Canīt say Iīm too happy about it. He sent them straight into Sarmi at night. Somehow he also managed to avoid combat with the numerous other TFs there and still sprint out of bomber range in the morning. Not sure if this was a Maskirovka or he simply took advantage of the situation. Whatever it was I payed a pretty hefty price for it...
Well, the gig is up! Erik spotted one of my CV TFs (3/3 DL). No point in hiding anymore. In we go. I decided to forgo the BB bombardment. They are still 4 days away. Only 2 units and 2600 troops with 26 guns. Could be empty of combat troops.
Erik is hanging out at Babeldaob with more or less the whole IJN(see screenshot). He could actually get within range of my CVs in 3-4 days at cruise speed and only 2 days at flank. Not sure why his is staying in sight. I donīt think he will show up. Not for Eniwetok. Iīm actually starting to think he will give up the Marianas. Strangely enough I just got intel on Marcus which is heavily fortified. No clue how he is reasoning.
Well, Erik abandoned Prome which was probably a mistake. While it was in a clear hex he still had level 6 forts there. I wonīt have to worry about the supply in the area anymore as 80.000 just flowed in from Ramree to Prome in Monsoon. I was a bit worried I would have to cancel operations during the Monsoon and withdraw to Ramree. I decided to just send a token force to Bassain. Supply more or less forced me too. Iīm concentrating on bombing the AF at Rangoon hopefully burning supply.
My little "poor mans" invasion is detected. With the LST it takes forever to get anywhere. 6 FPs get through the 60 Hellcat CAP and puts a 60kg bomb in one of the LSTs.
In about a week the first assault shipping should arrive. With the whole IJN at the wrong side of New Guinea Iīve decided to make the jump. I will try to land 2 divisions in one go to establish a base immediately. Iīm hoping Erik doesnīt keep a very close eye on Darwin and mistakes the APAs/AKAs for one of the numerous cargo TFs cruising the area. I will rely on DDs to cover everything. Another TF of 12 Fletchers are on the way.