From: Chicago, Illinois
Battle off Darwin, Day 2:
Day 1 clearly went to Japan. Day 2 tipped the Allies way, as Greyjoy pressed home his attacks, but ran into a bit of a buzzsaw. It could have been much better than me, but weather prevented alot of my aircraft from flying. He had the same problem the day before, so c'est la guerre.
I had to cover the withdrawing transports, so I flooded the area north of Bathurst with PTs. I hoped to cause enough chaos to have him get held up during daytime within LBA range of Darwin. This worked, as I had most of the Japanese surface fleet, without aircover, during the day within 3 hexes of approx. 100 torpedo bombers, 80 DBs, and 200 fighters.
But, best laid plans and all.....
Greyjoy sent mutliple TFs toward Darwin, and did manage to destroy some barge TFs. I was hoping to catch a TF with some CAs in it or something really juicy; alas, we only caught a TF of older CLs. Here was the first combat:
Night Time Surface Combat, near Bathurst Island at 76,121, Range 5,000 Yards
Japanese aircraft losses
E13A1 Jake: 2 destroyed
CL Agano, Shell hits 9, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
CL Yura, Shell hits 6, heavy fires
CL Oi, Shell hits 5, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
E Kiji, Shell hits 1
CL Teshio, Shell hits 2, on fire
BB Colorado, Shell hits 2
BB Royal Sovereign
BB Ramillies, Shell hits 2
CL Java, Shell hits 2
DD Worden, Shell hits 1
DD Van Nes
We hit this TF again, and eventually sank all the CLs except TISHIO, and also sank 2 modern DDs in addition. Not really what I wanted, but something.
I had a pile of bombers on Nav Attack/Torp Attack, but weather was terrible, and those bombers that did fly were very haphazard. All torpedo bombers that launched, missed. The DBs didn't hit anything, but most of them failed to find a target.
The only hits were scored by a lone unit of B-25 skip bombing; they put 2 bombs into RYUHO, getting past 75 Zeros without an escort. THAT was very interesting; if that's typical of highly trained skip bombers, I need to get more LOW-N training going pronto. I'm sure that little attack was noticed.
Damage so Far:
At this point, here is the butcher's bill:
1 CA (Dorsetshire)
1 CL (Helena)
4 CLs (Agano, Oi, Kinu, Yura)
4 DDs (2 Yugumo, 2 Wakatakes)
He also lost alot of aircraft, at least 300, but for japan that 's no big deal....he can replace them. He probably did lose alot of good CV pilots though, since he lost maybe 120 CV planes.
I hated to lose the cruisers, but the rest is no big deal. The bigger deal is that I didn't get ashore anywhere, so this was a repulse, and a Japanese victory.
My ships are mostly back in port. He does have to run a gauntlett of Subs and PTs back to base, so I may get lucky and sink something else. I am overdue for some sub luck, because I've had none so far. I have 1 DD that needs to run past IJN subs to make port.