January 5, 1942 Continued
A VERY active turn for our game. Action on multiple fronts in multiple environments. Top-line, three major operations are unfolding simultaneously in three different areas: Hawaii, Malaysia, and Palembang. I do not know if if this is intended to overwhelm the Allies' leaderhsip, is a reaction to the calendar, or something else. But the op tempo has just spiked.
1) Hawaii. As the screenshot in the previous post indicates, the KB continues to come on at battlestations. Air strikes are launched at Pearl, although my strategic assessment is the next landing target is Kona. Pearl is also at battlestations, CAP at 70 across the board, stacked 5000ft to 25k, everything with an AA gun in a TF, undocked and ready. HMS Warspite, just arrived from Seattle yesterday, is there undamaged and ready with escorts.
On the outer islands things are more mixed. At Hilo unloading of the fuel TF continues. ASW TFs are there as well, as Japanese subs again risk the mined harbor and penetrate for no hits. CAP on Lahaina is as ready as possible. Kona has twin subs and mines, but no ground forces.
BB Oklahoma is flushed from Pearl with three DDs. A risk, but she is moderately damaged and there is no room at the inn for her if the KB is about. I will pull the escorts in two days and send them back. (BB Arizona is at the map edge for the Canal Zone, traveling alone.)
The air strike on Pearl is moderate, but the CAP is ready. Planes continuosly arrive through the encounter, and eventually burn through the Zeros, downing about 8 Vals and Kates, many on the egress. The best news: no hits on the many ships targeted.
Morning Air attack on TF, near Pearl Harbor at 180,107
Weather in hex: Overcast
Raid detected at 110 NM, estimated altitude 10,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 47 minutes
A6M2 Zero x 48
B5N1 Kate x 17
D3A1 Val x 16
P-36A Mohawk x 8
P-40B Warhawk x 15
P-40E Warhawk x 19
F4F-3A Wildcat x 2
Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 2 destroyed
B5N1 Kate: 3 destroyed, 6 damaged
D3A1 Val: 2 destroyed, 1 damaged
Allied aircraft losses
P-36A Mohawk: 1 destroyed
P-40B Warhawk: 1 destroyed
P-40E Warhawk: 3 destroyed
F4F-3A Wildcat: 1 destroyed
CL St. Louis
CA San Francisco
TK H. M. Storey
The daily intel also contains this entry: "7/38th Division is loaded on AK Sado Maru moving to Pearl Harbor."
I don't know if this xAK is in this formation, but I think the prep is deception. A landing on Oahu now would be very problematic for the Japanese. The entire US Navy, less the carriers and about seven escorts, is at Hawaii. There are over twenty submarines within twenty hexes. The harbor has 335 mines. Forts are at 3.5. There are two Army divisions and many, many support units. All infantry COs have been upgraded. Nimitz has PacFlt.
As above my best guess is Kona. He will get ashore. I hope to attrit the landing with surface raids from Pearl, risking the KB which will be the central submarine target. He has no effective LBA. Johnson is not large enough so far as I know, and Palmyra is too far. I have seen two BBs, but I don't think there is reloading capability closer than Kwajalein, even if there is an AKE at Johnson, which daily recon has not IDed. (This turn the three subs and two "xAK" there have disappeared.) Even so, if division+ LCUs come ashore at Kona the Big Island will be a fight. And I will engage in it if necessary. A large AF close to Pearl is the beginning of the end of Hawaii in 1942. It's possible Lahaina is also the (or a, in simultaneous landings) target, but it's another day's sail, and the AF is very small as yet. It's also much harder for Japan to supply given the geography of small islands, channels, and proximity of Pearl. But I don't discount it could be on the list.
I also have not forgoten about Midway, but for now it's on its own.
The next 2-3 days will be interesting.
2) Malaysia/Mersing. A debacle for Japan, and the source of the e-mail comments I recieved with the movie.
The op begins in a normal manner. Two infantry regiments begin to land at vacant Mersing. There has been no bombardment or air prep, so I'm sure he knows it is empty.
Amphibious Assault at Mersing (51,82)
TF 115 troops unloading over beach at Mersing, 51,82
Japanese ground losses:
115 casualties reported
Squads: 3 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 3 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
20 troops of a IJA HMG Squad lost overboard during unload of 16th Infantry Rgt
20 troops of a IJA HMG Squad accidentally lost during unload of 24th Infantry Rgt /1
19 troops of a IJA Infantry Squad accidentally lost during unload of 24th Infantry Rgt /3
10 Support troops lost from landing craft during unload of 24th Infantry Rgt /3
19 troops of a IJA Infantry Squad lost overboard during unload of 16th Infantry Rgt /3
10 Support troops accidentally lost during unload of 16th Infantry Rgt /4
10 Support troops lost from landing craft during unload of 24th Infantry Rgt /4
Last turn the combo of the two IJN DDs hitting mines as well as intel indicated that Mersing's time was up. At Singers the two CLs torpedoed ten days ago are still in the yards, leaving only five RN DDs as offense. Not knowing today was the landing I had sent them to Mersing on the off chance, risking Netties from Saigon, etc. They catch the landing in the night phase and the carnage is extreme. One DD in the landing force is already bleeding from the mine strike as the turn commences.
Night Time Surface Combat, near Mersing at 51,82, Range 10,000 Yards
DD Akikaze, Shell hits 10, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Dairen Maru, Shell hits 27, and is sunk
xAP Hoten Maru, Shell hits 21, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Tsingtao Maru, Shell hits 10, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Taizan Maru, Shell hits 22, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Keihuku Maru, Shell hits 27, and is sunk
xAP Ussuri Maru, Shell hits 1, Torpedo hits 1
xAP Shanghai Maru, Shell hits 7, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
xAP Ukishima Maru, Shell hits 4, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
DD Katsutade, Shell hits 9, and is sunk
DD Isis, Shell hits 1
DD Jupiter, Shell hits 3, on fire
Improved night sighting under 89% moonlight
Maximum visibility in Partly Cloudy Conditions and 89% moonlight: 11,000 yards
Range closes to 10,000 yards...
CONTACT: Japanese lookouts spot Allied task force at 10,000 yards
Japanese ships attempt to get underway
CONTACT: Allied lookouts spot Japanese task force at 10,000 yards
The next turn shows about 9500 men ashore at Mersing, but no TF. Minimal supplies should have been landed in the single night phase achieved. All of the severely damaged Japanese ships (x4) should sink unless excellent die rolls are recieved. The sunk ship sound effect is heard at least twice as the night phase ends. Of greater importance than the transports is the loss of IJN DDs. They are the workhorses of the mid-war period for Japan, and every one bagged makes the Allies happy.
Mark Mersing down as the best Allied operation to date. The RN DDs' weapons are only average, but their rate of fire is immense compared to the Japanese. My opponent's e-mail comments indicated be was shocked by how bad Japanese night gunnery was on this turn. I'd rather say the British was just better. Two of the DDs will need yard time at Singers.
3) Palembang. This one is a head-scratcher since I don't even know if it is Palembang. Multiple facets here.
An initial probe by a light surface TF:
Night Time Surface Combat, near Palembang at 49,90, Range 10,000 Yards
DD Witte de With
Here again, these four DDs represent almost all of the offensive power at Palembang. CLs are under repair, but will need yard time to finsih, which may never happen.
Then a second probe, heavier assets:
Night Time Surface Combat, near Palembang at 49,90, Range 11,000 Yards
DD Amatsukaze, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Stewart, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Witte de With
This one could be a sweep for oncoming landing forces, or it could be looking for single-ship refugees, or something else.
During the day air activity near Palembang steps up. An AF strike takes a Dutch patrol plane for two damaged Nells. Blenheims from P. hit Sambas, looking for TFs, but are met by Zeroes and roughed up. More Zeroes sweep P. in thunderstorms. In the afternoon Dutch bombers from P. attack the multiple light carriers hanging around in the shallow water east of the river mouth. Instead they find a lone APD CAPed by Claudes from the carriers. They miss, but the presence of an APD is troubling. It's possible this ship will land a fragment at Palembang to freeze supply production, but more importantly do a recon-by-attack. I have almost gotten the last of the British infantry units there from Oosthaven, but the defenses are not very robust. Singkawang is still Allied, but it's possible he will leave it for later and come at Palembang before too much more time passes.
In the afternoon the busy day concludes with the mini-Carriers attacking land targets:
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Palembang at 48,91
Weather in hex: Overcast
Raid spotted at 17 NM, estimated altitude 13,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 6 minutes
A5M4 Claude x 6
A6M2 Zero x 4
B5N1 Kate x 22
B5N2 Kate x 5
D3A1 Val x 3
CW-21B Demon x 1
No Japanese losses
No Allied losses
DD Banckert, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Van Nes
AMc MMS C, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Banckert sinks.
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Oosthaven at 48,96
Weather in hex: Moderate rain
Raid spotted at 13 NM, estimated altitude 10,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes
A6M2 Zero x 6
B5N2 Kate x 8
No Japanese losses
AMc Djampea, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
AMc Endeh, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
8 x B5N2 Kate launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo
Overall Palembang is a moderate Japanese win, but the real objective is still unclear. Force Z is at Cocos fully fueled and armed, but the time is not yet ripe to bring it onto the field.
4) Other operations:
A) Rangoon sweeps, followed by heavy strikes on strat loading Rangoon troops. About half are away, arriving at Prome. The others should leave by tomorrow.
B) Heavy supply bombing at Sian, Changsha, Chengchow, Tuyun. The latter is the rail terminus and has been heavily used. I feel certain now he knows I am abandoning China.
C) Allies bomb the tank regiments at Pegu and crossing the river near Sian with poor results.
D) At Johnson Island three B-17s attack the port, but find it emply. Zero CAP of eight destroy one, damage one. More attacks will await more Forts coming on-line. They may be needed closer to home as well. But the strike demonstrated that Johnson is not a safe haven.
E) Four Oil points damaged at Tarakan. The parallel port attack finds the previous day's ships gone.
F) Three more Chinese divisions reach Lashio. Only one more is needed to reform the Chinese 5th Corps, an "American armed" heavy corps about as good as the best Indian army unit when it's filled out.
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 11/23/2012 8:55:46 PM >