From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
Today had all kinds of bumps and bruises and unkindnesses, and yet it really was a good day for the Allies. Am I just putting lipstick on a pig? Read on and arrive at your own conclusions:
Battle of the SW Cape: Like startled chickens, Allied ships are fleeing in all directions, some undamaged, some lightly damaged, some mortally stricken. One branch of the KB is right off Perth and seems about out of sorties. The second is a little bit further south and appears to be in the same condition. The original "Perth Branch" of the KB - the one that formed the anvil - is west of Geraldton and still has sorties and is still doing some damage, but blessedly little today. The bullk of my Australia navy is now pulling away from the coast (the the Anvil KB is still mixing it up good. There's a chance now that many or most of my ships will make it to map's edge. PoW looks better - FLT damage dropped and she's making about 18 knots despite five more bomb hits. If she eats another torp, she might stop dead in the water, but time is here friend now. The enemy carriers are low on sorties and low on fuel. That's also the only hope for New Orleans, which is heavily damaged in Perth's little harbor. One of the Sydney KBs is right there. If it has even one sortie left, NO is toast. If the KB is dry, though, NO just might survive. At least for a few more days.
Too Good to be True: Alas, it is too good to be true. The third branch of the original Sydney KB has refueled and is moving west as is the replenishment TF. These ships are 46 and 49 hexes west of my carriers. There is no chance of catching them unless they slow down or turn around, which is most unlikely. My carriers will continue west, since they are bound for Melbourne anyhow, but there is no hope left. However, I may offload the fighters and try to get them to Perth to provide some air cover. This original Sydney KB still has sorties and will apply the coup de grace to NO. For reasons mentioned previously, I am not averse to disclosing the proximity of American carriers for certain beneficial strategic reasons. Not sure this is a good plan yet, but I'm thinking about it.
Oz: Reinforcement TFs have stacked up around NZ and the south map edge awaiting the all-clear to head to Oz. Each is now positioning itself for the run to Melbourne or Adelaide. Given the date, and the lack of Japanese resources to commit to Oz in a major way at this point, I think these troops will go a long way to securing Oz and allowing the Allies to fight forward a bit. IE, I won't surrender Perth unless John brings overwhelming force.
DEI: Singers fell. I had predicted she'd fall in the first two weeks, so this is no surprise, yet it was a surprise because it was on the first attack in a month. I had no supply, but I did have 100% prep. Was it worth it replacing Percival? I don't think so. In the end, the lack of supply was absolutely decisive.
Luzon: With Singers in hand, John will focus on Clark. The remaining supply there (10k) will vanish in a week or two. Clark should fall by the end of the month or so.
India: Quiet. Things look very good.
China: MLR intact. A few Chinese units are involved in small offensive operations to strike at exposed or weak IJA positions.
Pending final adjustments to the tally for JEB John's ride around the Union Army, here's my analsyis of what happened:
Tactical: John wins a decisve victory, knocking out 50+ Allied ships. 75% of these are small fry, but even then the "weight of metal" was significant. The likely loss of New Orleans and Exeter are the most important. On the other side, I think John lost CA Suzuya. If PoW gets away, I'll feel pretty good about things as a whole.
Operational: While John drafted and implemented a complex and successful plan, overall this was a failure from his standpoint. It was a frivolous use his strategic forces. He should have had more important uses to give the KB. Finally, the array of Allied reinforcements inbound to Oz - many of which came close to being in harm's way - are untouched and should make it to Australia shortly.
JEB is going to complete his circuit around the Yankee army, but his long-term prospects don't seem very favorable.