From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
Carriers: One USN carrier TF tangles with the IJN raiders (two CL, two DD) near Ceylon. No damage done, but it gives John great information. The other oddity is that the engagement ended up spearating that TF from the other three carrier TFs, sending it home. Orders are issued for the carrier TFs to recombine well to the SW of Ceylon, in the open IO and in a position to move towards Diego Garcia or Sabang if needed. (The carriers were following a CA TF - why it didn't go into action first, I dunno.) Meanwhile, Seawolf fires a spread of four torps at CVL Zuiho near the Sunda Straits. This, in turn, gives me pretty reliable informatino about the KB. I think it's coming now, though probably two days away from hitting Sabang, if that's the target, or three to four from moving towards Ceylon, if the Allied carriers are the target. Finally, a CVL TF of some size reported on a SE course south of Milne Bay. So John think the Allies will return to Noumea (they aren't). The best thing is that it means not all 314 Japanse carriers will be involved at Sabang.
Sumatra: Langsa forts go to level three, which is actually pretty significant. With Sabang airfield at level 8.04 it will take more than a month to reach level nine. Thinking I may not have that long, I've switched on fort development too.
Fortress Sabang: With the KB possibly/probably near the Sunda Straits, the Allies will send another gaggle of ships sprinting towards Ceylon from Sabang, including BB California, three TK, one AO, and a bunch of DM (who just wiped out mine inventory to bring mine levels here to 900+). There are only about 65 ships remaining in port now. As far as Allied strategy, I've evaluated a variety of courses of action. I have determined (you will say: "Duh") that abandoing Sabang isn't an option. But due diligence required that I least give it full consideration. The Allies have built this fortress and it must now serve, for good or for ill. I think the situation on the ground and at sea is fine (the Japanese can bring more than I have at sea, but the resulting battle would be very costly to both sides, which equates to an Allied victory). The real question is the air war. That's going to be a booger. I have 350 good land-based fighters and the carrier fighters as a reserve, but John can probably bring 1k or 2k? Supply situation is good - another TF just came in bringing supply to 275k and dropping off another USA Coastal AA unit. The Allied carriers will take a somewhat menacing/threatening position in hopes of keeping John "honest" - having to allow for a carrier battle at the same time he's trying to configure an attack on Sabang. Momentous moments.