Waiting for QBall to come back from his euro trip, i'm having a lot of time to think about the strategic situation i'm facing in this 1943.
We're now approaching the end of July 1943 and the allies are getting stronger everyday. Till now Brad hasn't been very aggressive, but it's just a matter of time, we all know it.
Now he must have all his CVs equipped with Hellcats. I do think, by now, he has something like 7/8 CVs and some 10 CVL/CVEs (at least)... a mobile force of nearly 1000 superior planes.
I repeat that my guess is that his CVs are re-grouping around Perth for a move in the Indian Ocean. I haven't seen, so far, any of his marine divisions so i really have to fear a massive landing operation.
He's not strong enough to approach directly the Mariannas, so i do think i'm pretty safe on my eastern flank.
Wake and Marcus are well defended and, if i was him, i wouldn't dare to try a landing there before he has a base for the 4Es in range.
The KB, for the moment, must remain in the DEI. Even if he now has a good superiority in terms of planes quality, the combo KB+LBA remains a formidable weapon. A landing deep into the DEI (Sumatra or Java) without the support of his LBA may become a real slaughter for his navy.
His best bet remains the Darwin-Saumlaki vector...but as long as the KB remains in place, even with the full support of his CVs, the risks for him are huge..
The Kuriles rapresent another possible target untill october (when blizzar comes). The KB will be completely out of position and i will have to rely only on my LBA. However my LBA there is pretty decent. I'm keeping most of my training groups based in Hokkaido and at Shimushiri Jiima. Several daitais of Kates and Vals are present, along with 140 Oscars. 27 G3N3s and 12 Emilies are based there with the only goal of detect any early movement of his Navy. I should have at least 3 days of warning before an invasion fleet reaches the shores in the Kuriles...and in 3 days i can transfer a lot of planes there.
Paramushiro, Onnekotan, Shimishuri and Etorofu all have at least 500 AVs behind 5 forts... not exactly a walk in the park, even for the dreaded Marine Divisions.
I'm also keeping 5 RO subs at Etorofu, along with a CL+5 Kagero Class DDs just in case.