All the coming and going at Darwin/Townsville appears to me just a big forward movement of troops and supplies at this point But.....you know.....it won't be long before another spring forward occurs into the DEI.
Any chance you can mass bombers and fighters in the Timor bases and bomb/torp the ****e out of him...preferably many times?? I'm sure you're running a large number of sub ops to disrupt the build up as much as possible. How about some SCTF raider action with CLs and DDs before he establishes a heavy air presence in the area (yeah, I read about the DDs, but that was his ships doing things to your ships, not his planes doing awful things to your ships)? You were unlucky....do it again!
As to the Pago-Pago yak-yak....so what, the Gilberts in their entirity amount to an ant on an elephant's tail as compared to what is headed your way in the DEI,
Master, the way i see it is that QBall wants exactly that! He's always trying to lure me to attack. He keeps on laying traps (as you will see), hiding his true intentions. Reading tea leaves is becoming the most critical part of this match. Darwin is already full of fighters and bombers and i'm not willing to fight in enemy waters...not in 1943 however! I want him to risk and come into MY waters. There i'll be fighting. There i'll be dieing.
Jan 21 1943
if we ever wanted an evidence that QBall is a master of deception, today we had the confirmation:
1- The Convoy that made all those noises at Pago Pago was just a supply-convoy for Araoe (south of Tabiutea). As soon as i moved there my air assets, he immediately started to recon back Tabiutea (with Catalinas on recon duties).
2- The "LSI" convoy left Townsville, escorted by several DD/CA/CLs and positioned itself 6 hexes east of the Aus coast, 8 hexes south west of Milne Bay....exactly the same movement he made with his CVs some months ago, the movement that cost him the CV Wasp. I believe this is just a feint. Why? Because i think he wants me to believe, just like the other time, that he loaded 20,000 men at townsville. Actually out of the 19 units and 63000 men that were yesterday at Townsville, only 17 units for 35,000 men remain there...BUT my smart recon guys just spotted 2 units for rough 20,000 men and several guns/tanks one hex southwest of Townsville.... so i guess he moved those two units out knowing i was reconing Townsville, thus simulating an amphib loading process....
3- South of Saumlaki an enemy CA-TF, heavily CAPPED by P-38s, appeared in a clear Cap-Trap style movement. I had 2 fast transport TFs delivering men and supplies at Salroe...luckly the enemy didn't send any bomber from Darwin...he just wanted me to expend my precious bombers against his heavily capped ships...
But this time, all this feints brought him nothing, cause we counterambushed him!
He sent several mitchells groups against Saumlaki, where my LRCAP from Taberfane was waiting for him.
At the same time his 4Es from Ledo tried to bomb my main western air base in China (Tuyun) and found my 100 Tojos waiting for them.
The day ended with 14 4Es downed and 12 more B25s, with very few losses on my side.
However i think his strategy is clear: he's trying to lure my CVs out, to know where they are, and then (only then) he will reveal his own CVs and will attack.
Same goes for my LBA. He's trying to figure out my disposition and, possibly, to drain my air reserve against CAP-Traps that will open the way for his real advance.
I have to keep the coolness now and not overreact. Gotta be wise and smart.