Goran, CrSutton....guys...i'm sorry to disappoint you but, altough i perfectly understand and agree with your strategic considerations about the importance of holding Northern Oz (or even recapturing it) - and here i made a huge strategical mistake abbandoning it to fall back in the DEI without a fight! - this can't and won't happen in this game.
Brad is far from being a fool. He already has 55,000 men at Darwin and more 21,000 at Bathturst Island, along with 45,000 at Port Hedland (where the 6th Aus Division is confirmed) and 20,000 more in places like Gove.
All these bases are already maxed out in terms of developing and even 6 full divisions woundn't be able to capture them in an amphib attack.
I know what i'm talking about. I've attacked Darwin in march 1942 and, even against only a couple of Aus Bdes, it was a close call... the battle costed me some 25 transports and half of the 4th Division. Now Brad has several hundreds more modern bombers and fighters based there, along with legions of PTs, subs with working torps and upgraded strong divisions....
No guys, it will be a suicide. Doesn't matter if his CVs cannot come into action. The KB alone won't win an amphib landing and in this Mod, with the reduced effect of the 250Kg bomb, the ground bombings won't have the effect you would look for.
You say i shouldn't let him recover. But let's be honest: we have just sink 1 CV and damaged 3 more. This isn't a war changer. Lady Luck bought us some more months with this "kiss" and i need these months to prepare my defences against the inevitable.
There are many things that needs to be addressed and the KB has to be ready to do its job when the time will arrive again.
Feb 10-13, 43
So it seems that those who's foreseen a new life for the Burma theatre were right. Brad started back his bombing campaign against Akyab. Cruisers bombed it from the sea, while hundreds of 2Es attacked it for the last 3 days.
I'm sending more supplies to Rangoon to counter it and hope my defensive strategy will prove to be a good one even for 1943.
ASW: Brad subs started to work again. In the last 3 days he sunk 2 xAKs and 3 PBs near Singapore and Brunei... despite the heavy ASW his subs are becoming a threat once again. Need to bring my ASW defences to another higher level.
NOPAC: that TF we spotted for several days was forgotten by Brad... he sent it there to scout and to make some noise and then the events of the Solomons made him forget about it... 1 Agano Class CL and 2 modern DDs sunk 2 xAPs, 4 xAks and 3 KVs without any problem
KB: we avoided several pesky subs south of Rabaul and reached the base without a problem. Every ship, even the big BB/CVs, managed to reload, thanks to the naval HQ, the port size and the several AKEs i have at Rabaul. We also managed to upgrade 150 Vals into Judys and some more 40 Jills have been added in place of the Kates. Every squadron has been refilled with crack pilots and every ship got refueled at 100%. We obviously have a fuel problem in the Pacific now. Need to send some 100k Fuel here ASAP for future operations.
Now Rossell Island and Tagula are getting some engineers in order to build up forts to level 3 and 2 small SNLF units will be airlifted here. We need to prevent any future paradrop.
We now need to move some forces to CENTPAC. Naru Is and Ocean are getting some garrisons, while supplies and fuel needs to be sent to Kwalajein.
On the 13th Brad set up 2 CAP Traps. Once above Chengtu. I couldn't keep both Chengtu and Chungking's AFs suppressed so Brad moved 100 fighters to Chungking and LRCAP Chengtu. My bombers arrived with little escort and it cost me 31 planes...well played! Despite being cut off from any external supply source, Chungking keeps on repairing its damage and so it does Chengtu! But we're getting there...
Despite the air losses, we attacked Chengtu for the first time and the result wasn't that bad....
Ground combat at Chengtu (75,41)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 121301 troops, 1307 guns, 1339 vehicles, Assault Value = 4015
Defending force 72872 troops, 266 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 1754
Japanese engineers reduce fortifications to 2
Japanese adjusted assault: 3454
Allied adjusted defense: 6211
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 2 (fort level 2)
Defender: terrain(+), forts(+), leaders(+), preparation(-)
Japanese ground losses:
7368 casualties reported
Squads: 12 destroyed, 402 disabled
Non Combat: 2 destroyed, 93 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 58 disabled
Guns lost 43 (1 destroyed, 42 disabled)
Vehicles lost 44 (2 destroyed, 42 disabled)
Allied ground losses:
6962 casualties reported
Squads: 45 destroyed, 284 disabled
Non Combat: 40 destroyed, 217 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 3 disabled
Units destroyed 1
4th Tank Regiment
3rd Tank Regiment
15th Tank Regiment
1st Tank Division
2nd Tank Regiment
2nd Tank Division
4th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
1st Mortar Battalion
9th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
Botanko Hvy Gun Regiment
13th Ind.Art.Mortar Battalion
6th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
Tonei Hvy Gun Regiment
5th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
21st Mortar Battalion
14th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
7th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
17th Chinese Corps
19th Chinese Corps
69th Chinese Corps
7th Chinese Corps
92nd Chinese Corps
12th Chinese Corps
96th Chinese Corps
57th Chinese Corps
3rd New Chinese Corps
80th Chinese Corps
56th Chinese Corps
76th Chinese Corps
24th Chinese Corps
98th Chinese Corps
3rd Construction Regiment
7th Group Army
26th Group Army
24th Group Army
22nd Artillery Regiment
1st Construction Regiment
29th Group Army
3rd Group Army
5th War Area
38th Chinese Corps
2nd Group Army
Jingcha War Area
Red Chinese Army
56th AT Gun Regiment
12th Group Army
2nd War Area
3rd Chinese Base Force
1st War Area
4th Chinese Base Force
9th Chinese Base Force
So forts were at lvl 3 as we supposed and we managed to bring them down to 2. Losses were pretty high but we'll recover...he won't! We'll get there!
Over Babar he made another CAP Trap. Sent there some small cargo TFs heavily CAPped from Bathrust Is, hoping that my bombers from Timor would attack.
Luckly we had foreseen this possible movement and we ordered to our Judys and Kates to stand down. We lost a couple of Jakes to his LRCAP there but nothing more.
The daily bombings against Saumlaki and Babar continue. This is clearly the easiest target for his next jump. He can cover his landings with LRCAP...so he can do it even without CVs... but he need first to shut down my AFs cause he will be in range of several BIG AFs where i'm massing bombers and torpedo bombers.
My subs are also ready to meet him. I have a pack of 15 subs in the deep waters south of Saumlaki...waiting for preys...
Java: a convoy from Japan is arriving with 6 base forces, 3 Ind Eng Regiments, 1 CD unit and some more small SNLF units. These guys will be needed to reinforce the Java defences.
Sumatra: the first sentai of 27 N1K1 is finally operative at Palembang, where it joined 27 Nicks from an Army Sentai. The next Sentai that will be upgraded to George will be at Rangoon in a week from now.
10 oceanic subs are leaving Rabaul harbour. Their mission is an hard one: intercept the damaged enemy's BBs and CVs on their way to Pearl Harbour!
15 Ro-Subs will remain in the Solomons (i decided not to send them to NOPAC)
Mariannas: we're really relieved to finally have an air HQ (Air Division) at Saipan.