From: La Salle, Colorado
Dec 9-11, 1941
We did real well getting in two turns yesterday and one this morning. Like the turns a bit faster at the start since it gives a nice feel and pace to the beginning. Helps find a early rhythm I guess.
We've had some excellent success and one solid, nice repulse.
Shipping gathering at Etorofu.
Two BC nail the atoll on the 11th and then Tone and Chikuma thicken the IF to absorb CD fire. KB stayed south of Midway for two days providing Cover. The Imperial Guards make their presence known when they land and take Midway on the 11th. In a nice 11-1 Attack they easily bag the defenders. Have 2 Base Forces and Engineers coming here. Additionally an AS is on the way. Will develop the Forts and expand the Port to 2 for SS Operations. He'll come back for it but I hope to have an ADU there BEFORE he does.
Load Imperial Guards for operations to the South.
Take Nauru, Ocean, Makin, and Tarawa. Guam falls on the 9th.
Where is Enterprise? Imagine he moved her towards Wake to grab the Marine F4F and then is maybe lurking to hit the Invasion Force. This is why I swung the Wake IF NE. The pair of BC are ordered to join the IF to protect it from Wake's CD. With the amount of Mavis and Emily Air Search I have going right now, I KNOW she is not west of Wake. Decide to send the KB due south towards Johnston and see if she is moving east AWAY from Wake. If so, I shall attempt an old-fashioned bushwhack!
The Rabaul Force is--ON PAPER--very impressive. I had 4 CA, 2 CL, and 8 DDs. I embedded a CA, CL, and DD into the Invasion Force while the remainer was a STF. It only makes sense that on the 10th the Allies find the IF BEFORE the STF! CA Aoba and CL Isuzu attempt to fight off CA Canberra and CLs Perth, Leander, and Achilles. UGLY is the result. I lose 4 PB and 6 of 7 AK! NASTY. The survivors of the South Seas Force and 15th Base Force land at Kavieng on the 11th so I don't lose ALL of both units. Should note that the STF makes its appearance after the slaughter is over and manage to sink CL Leander with multiple Long Lances. Canberra takes a bunch of small caliber hits as well as Achilles getting hit 6 times. That cruiser force is out of it but BOY they do their job. Tip of the hat to the Allies!
I need to mention that none of my warships are in a sinking condition (thankfully). Kinugasa took 2 8" Shells and a TT but is fine for getting back to Truk. CL Isuzu got beat-up some but will make Port as well.
While this is happening I land two small Infantry Units, a large Base Force, and 2 Engineering units at Finschhaven. Take the base on the 11th. Begin AF expansion and fly in 12 Mavis. The Infantry moves out for Lae.
The near destruction of the South Seas Force makes life a little more interesting, however, I do have an SNLF Assault Brigade at Truk. It will take Rabaul. This will cost me about a week but that is OK. Should have done far better but this is life.
Troops and supplies continue off-loading at Vigan, Aparri, and Laoag. Have IF about to land at Antimonan. There are 5+ Inf Div landing here to make quick work of Luzon. The 33rd ID takes Tueguegarao on the 11th.
I wait a bit to hit Manila's Port and try to concentrate on knocking down P-40s. Sweep Clark with 36 Zero on the 10th and fight off 30 P-40s. I lose 1 Zero and knock down about 10 Fighters. While that furball is going on the main strike of 18 Zero and 86 Betty wheel into Manila Harbor. There they find 33 Fighters and a bunch of damaged SS. The Zeros cannot hold-off all those fighters and I end up losing 1 Zero and 10 Betty in exchange for 7 Fighters and sinking SS Permit, Sculpin, Seal, Stingray, Snapper, and S-41. This makes a total of 11 Fleet and/or S-Boats sunk at Manila. GOT TO LIKE THAT! Rest the Bettys on the 11th and Sweep Manila with 38 Zero vs 18 Fighters. Good results of 1 Zero for 7 Fighters.
In Mindanao, Cotabato begins immediate Kate Service hitting fleeing shipping (2 Chutai of 12 Kates). The 90th Inf Regiment and an additional Inf Reg land here by the 11th and heads out for Cagayan. Paras advance out of Dadjangas and head for Davao.
Since the aerial activity has been so slight in the Philippines, I order 4 US DDs back to Manila to act as a Fast STF. They arrive with no difficulty. Send them shipping hunting on the 11th. See if they bag anything.
Hong Kong FALLS on the 2nd attack on Dec 11th! Already have MSW headed there as well as shipping to grab the 38th ID.
Landings scheduled for Ternate tomorrow as well as the base north of Balikpapan.
I use 6 CA, 2 CL, and 8 DDs to Fast TF a whole Regiment that lands at Singakawang on the 11th. Have 3 Base Forces leaving Miri for this destination as well an Air Flotilla from Saigon. Do this to make sure there is plenty of aircover to protect the 4th ID for Palembang. That TF is about to cross the northern and western edges of Sumatra next turn. Landing at Palembang should occur in 3 days.
CarDiv1 continues its moves towards Soerabaja passing down the sea between Sumatra and Celebes. While making this transit it links-up with Mini-KB making the force quite impressive (Akagi, Kaga, Ryujo, Zuiho, and Shoho). The CVs lay waste as they move. Totals sinkings for the 3 days are: 1 AO, 2 AK, 10 AKL, 1 PG, 1 AM. Everything has been Bombs. I have not used a single Torpedo yet. The Raid on the 11th features 17 Zero and 69 Kate attack Soerabaja. They are met by 48 Fighters and it really looks BAD for the good guys, however, the Zeros fend off most of those old planes and the Kates hit CL Tromp (2 Bombs), an AR, and DD Witte do With. Losses end up only 1 Zero and 6 Kate (plus 3 crash on decks landing) for 11 Fighters. Could be better but...
The combined CV TF now skirts the south edge of Sumatra heading for Palembang. With over 125 Zeros, this should take care of attacking planes from Java, Palembang, and Singapore.
Drive the Indian Brigade a second time from Alor Star and withdraw the Cavalry unit so I can combine it to form-up an Inf Div. Two more ID are just about ready for combining at Alor Star. Once they do this, I will lift all three ID and take Mersing. He is already giving me the entire peninsula so why bother fighting my way down it with Inf? Use the 2 TK Reg I have to do that...
Paras land from Victoria Point on the 9th. They miss a 2-1 by just a hair! Sit them on the 10th and 11th. Everything looks good for tomorrow. Will airlift the remaining troops and launch a shock attack that should take the base.
Imperial Guards arrives at Pisanaloke and s now heading for Burma. Two TK Reg and an Inf Reg are moving out for Tavoy area from Bangkok.
He has taken Inchang on the 11th. Hmmm...
I am driving on Changsha. We'll see what happens here.
I have NEVER seen such an opening performance for the Imperial SS Fleet! BANZAI! Day-by-Day:
I-155 SINKS AVP Merel near Oosthaven
I-159 hits TK Semiramis with a TT near Palembang
I-153 SINKS AVP Volk near Balikpapan
Ro-65 hits AP Macdhui near Lae
I-6 SINKS AK K.I. Luckenbach near Los Angeles
I-157 SINKS AMC Pancy near Koggala
I-158 hits AK Erinpura near Koggala
I-7 SINKS AO Tippecanoe near San Lius Obispo (Isn't that one of BIG AOs?)
I-166 hits AP Hong Kheng near Semarang
I-4 hits AK Arkansan AND AK American Leader near San L. Obispo
(Have 5 MISSES this day)
I-5 hits AO Kaskaskia near the Channel Isles
I-17 SINKS AV Wright with 2 TT near Pearl Harbor
I-7 SINKS AK Alaskan near San Diego
SEVEN ships sunk with SEVEN damaged. A few of those shall sink...
Go Japanese SS!!!
I am conducting research on my young Opponent. Having read his AAR I know he shall take some risks but I also know he will keep his CVs together. Usually this means the person will try to take advantage of my desire to split off my CVs. Will have to be careful here but I intend to keep CarDiv2 and CarDiv5 together in the Pacific for the first couple of months before they move over to aid in the IO Operation. Lew's near sinkings of 4 CVs--CVLs has really terrified me with CV Ops in the DEI so this is why I have combined my CVs into one TF. Should be powerful enough to protect itself! (I fervently hope...)
He is young to the game and holds my play to high standards. I am touched but--unlike Lew's game--this game is NOT designed for headlines. We'll go after eastern India but that is about it. To me this operation is fairly safe and it does not require a long-term Fleet commitment.
I know that all you guys shall be coaching him so I know he has excellent advisors and that shall help him. We shall see how the dice fall!
< Message edited by John 3rd -- 7/6/2012 1:01:50 AM >