While I dont understand the emphasis on Socotra and havent used the extended map since it came out I really doubt the sense of a massive Singapore gambit.
The troops there are not the best and they will face a shock attack crossing the straights.
And where do they go? A long winding road up the Malay Peninsula and even further to Bankok before you would make PJH worry.
The comments about KB off the West Coast are interesting, I thought the numbers were light and I queried if it might be mini KB.
You are correct about CR's fixations, but they have borne fruit in his past games, maybe they provide determination and maybe become a self fulfilling truth if hid opponent reacts.
I would like to see CR try some odd tactics, what will unsettle PJH. (Land on Hokkaido?? Maybe a bit early) It would have to be against a target PJH cant ignore. (If you were going to land supply at Singapore, why not try for Palembang??)
A Singapore breakout, which should have been prepared for from the moment it became obvious Japan was not targetting its capture as a high priority, has many advantages.
1. The Allied troops are already in situ. They are not in situ at Palembang.
2. Those troops are of a much higher overall quality than the Allied Burma Army. The Australian troops are good, the two Indian divisions, once assembled, only need rest time to recover morale and do some training. They have had that opportunity. Very importantly there are several artillery and AA units present which means they can operate without air support to a much greater degree than can any other British/Commonwealt assembled force at this time of the war. Also do not underestimate the value of all those support squads in the numerous HQs.
3. The breakout would be largely hitting thin air. However so much time has elapsed that Japan has been given time to bring in sufficient new divisions to now allow, and only now, the actual investment of Singapore.
4. The key bases in Malaya which Japan is utilising to support its naval operations in the Bay of Bengal lie on good communication lines. Against limited combat opposition the Allied forces would advance quite rapidly. The advance does not have to reach Rangoon or Bangkok to sever Japan's currently isolated from each other forces in Assam and lower Burma. PH would have to scramble forces from somewhere to cover his LOCs. Personally I doubt he has any strategic reserve at the moment, thus some operation would have to be stripped of forces to meet the threat. As it is, Singapore was a huge Allied POW camp contributing absolutely nothing to the prosecution of the Allied war effort; all achieved without a single Japanese prison guard.
5. Moving to Palembang is not so good because:
(a) fresh forces from somewhere would be necessary (unlike Singapore where they already exist in situ)
(b) no significant overland bases are threatened which is the complete opposite situation regarding Singapore
(c) thus only air operations out of Palembang would be dangerous. The airfield is too small for efficient 4E use, unlike Singapore
(d) Palembang's port is far smaller than Singapore's and that has serious ramifications in terms of unloading speed and attendant ship losses (not to mention the then necessary ship repair and reloading facilities). Plus access to it is limited which restricts the basing of heavy naval assets out of Palembang
(e) the Singapore breakout creates a reasonably secure Allied SLOC to Singapore. Recapture of Palembang itself does not create a similarly secure SLOC
Good to see you here Alfred.
The comments on Palembang speak for themselves. Bad choice versus Singers.
On the troop levels, if a big ram is engineered to reach Singers it could be expanded a bit and some of the Allied forces currently being wasted in Oz, Ceylon, and Scoodra could be on xAPs and into Singers to beef up the break-through thrust. Supply is paramount, but extra AV is available, and in Malaysia could do some good VP-wise versus sitting in the aforementioned backwaters.
The northern goals as you say need not be Bangkok or Rangoon. A thrust to the height of Alor Star and Georgetown would take away some very large air bases, secure the western side and make Pt. Blair less vulnerable, remove air patrols to the west as well, and present opportunity for a turn east to take Kota Bharu. Siginificant additional supply capturing ought to be possible, as well as a push-back on a VP-ratio which is not running in the Allies' favor at the moment.
Possibly of the greatest import, such a move would make PH react for a change instead of CR dancing to the Japanese tune. And for relatively little additional risk.
The trap CR has fallen into is to assume that Singers must fall; the only question is when. PH's choice of strategic target priority has presented CR an opportunity to hold Singers for the duration, an event which places severe limitis on Japan's options in the sub-theater in 1943-44--shipyard-wise, strait transit-wise, and resource flow-wise. An Allied Singers makes Palembang and Medan untenable as longer-range 4Es come on line, as well as represent a VP-hedge fund and springboard to support re-taking Indo-China in the out years.