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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums)

 
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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 5/31/2013 7:55:41 PM   
Lokasenna


Posts: 3029
Joined: 3/3/2012
From: Iowan in MD/DC
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I'm siding with the bird-boy on this one. I think it's time to start leaving. At this point, he's just going to begin cratering base after base within 4E range. If your units and support can't keep 180 planes in the air after 3x15 P-38s, it's time to go.

I would not waste fuel by running KB around. Use them to cover your withdrawal, or to chase the US CVs if they show up (but don't chase too far). I would run some Fast Transport TFs (old DDs and APDs for troops, the PBs with 1k capacity for supplies) into Luganville to try to ease the withdrawal by allowing Av Supp to repair damaged planes, as well as having the ships on hand for LCU exits from Koumac. I would even use CLs and CAs in the Koumac withdrawal for their higher levels of troop capacity.

For your fighter units with operational planes, fly them out. If the disband button for the damaged planes isn't red, then after the ready planes fly out disband the unit so you get the planes into your pools. Maybe you don't do this right away, maybe you do - that's up to you (and maybe Chickenboy can advise...I don't have practical experience here).

So where to hold him next? It will take him time to consolidate his position on New Caledonia and get those divisions out (how many xAPs and APs have you sunk? He may not be able to move them out more than 1 or 2 at a time). You've built up Luganville - he'll probably use it for a 4E base next, which pretty much shunts you back to the Rabaul area as the next feasible MLR. Can you delay him using it as a base? If so, that might be worthwhile. Perhaps not worth a division, but maybe a brigade or regiment that isn't combined into a parent unit (or can't do so) plus high level fortifications to hide behind, and only if you can give them a large stockpile of supply. Otherwise, I think your time south of Rabaul is over. Don't mourn it - you're way ahead of the historical timeline, now try to keep it that way by salvaging what resources you can for the next MLR.

PS - he starts to get LSTs and other amphibious assault ships into his OOB soon, over the next 6 months or so.

PPS - you will start getting Std-A, Std-B, and Std-C ships from your merchant shipyards in early '43 (if you haven't accelerated them or stopped their construction). These should all (or almost all) be converted into TKs, in my opinion. I don't think the Std-D and -E classes are worth building. These might be the most important ships, other than standard TKs, in your merchant queue.

(in reply to inqistor)
Post #: 121
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 6/3/2013 2:40:22 AM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


Posts: 456
Joined: 9/6/2004
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Well, I think you guys are right. Time to walk away in New Caledonia. Just got back from camping over the weekend but I am going to post an assessment of the damage inflicted versus received and other lessons from this campaign experience in a day or two. While its not over, it feels like the beginning of the end and time to play the Japanese cards very carefully, deciding who to save, who to let go, and how much to risk slowing him down...

_____________________________

John 21:25

(in reply to Lokasenna)
Post #: 122
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 6/3/2013 5:22:26 AM   
Emmor


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Joined: 3/25/2013
From: Kansas, live in Texas
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Chicken Boy is wise in the ways of the JFB. Listen to his advice. You smacked the Arries around a bit, let's hope you can run away without losing your hide. You have made him pay a high price to get started and kept him at bay longer than history. Hopefully you have a good fall back line because your opponent will commence the pounding with 4Es as you have already tasted.

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
Post #: 123
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 6/5/2013 8:14:26 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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Joined: 9/6/2004
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Thanks Lokasenna and Emmor.

I am implementing these practical suggestions as the Japanese withdraw, towards the Rabaul area. Larger assessment of the costs/benefits of this campaign coming, just too busy with work last few days :(

_____________________________

John 21:25

(in reply to Emmor)
Post #: 124
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 6/6/2013 5:53:15 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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As the last Zeroes fly out of Luganville ahead of another scorching B-17 raid, I thought it time to share a Damage Report from the campaign for New Caledonia. Since I posted on the forum asking for help, I've received immensely helpful strategic and tactical advice from many of you. In a way, you can take credit for much of the successes listed below (i'll take credit for learning fast).

Since August, 1942 till early October 1942, the US & Imperial forces concentrated their war efforts on this narrow corner of the south Pacific near Noumea. Japanese troops landed at Koumac and rushed to Noumea only to be stopped cold by fortified US divisions and reinforcements. The ensuing air, land and sea battle has lasted two months and cost both sides heavy losses. And if I can get one more resupply convoy into the 1200 AV worth of troops still on New Caledonia, it might cost the USA a game changing amount of time so far south.

New Caledonia Campaign specific losses:

USA: ---------------------Japan:
1 CVE --------------------------- 1 CVL
7 BB's --------------------------- 2 BB's (rest damaged under repair)
19 cruisers -----------------------7 cruisers
18 DD's ---------------------------20 DD's
6 APD's ---------------------------5 APD's
36 AK or AP's--------------------- 25 AK's
10 subs ---------------------------4 subs
---------------------------------- 5 TK's

Aircraft losses unknown, but I would say the Allies are approximately 250 aircraft "ahead" in this arena. The B-17's were nearly invincibile.

On the ground, my opponent now has six US divisions at La Foa outside Noumea, facing 2 Japanese divisions and some SNLF forces. One US division, the Americal, was cut in half during repeated deliberate attacks. It may still take a long time for the US to break through, even without air and sea support. Koumac is guarded heavily as well to prevent an "Inchon" style landing.

So that's a quick summary of where things stand.

Was the campaign in New Caledonia worth it? For me, I learned an incredible amount and hopefully inflicted enough delay and damage on the Allies to justify the effort. I will probably lose the 1200 AV on the island eventually, but it may take weeks or months for the US to clear the area. My opponent is very good and aggressive so we shall see.

Not only have I hopefully delayed my opponent 3-9 months, I also know where he is and his limited options now. With six divisions at La Foa, and no naval superiority yet, how time consuming and realistic is it for the Allies to make a major push in the North Pacific? The DEI? Burma? The KB can still scare him off of amphibious moves, till late 1943 at least. Meanwhile the Japanese are digging in deeper and deeper behind the Pacific Rim...






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 6/7/2013 1:52:26 PM >


_____________________________

John 21:25

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
Post #: 125
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 6/7/2013 1:53:05 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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Joined: 9/6/2004
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sorry bump I posted the picture and damage reports all skewed, now fixed

< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 6/7/2013 2:26:00 PM >


_____________________________

John 21:25

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
Post #: 126
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 6/19/2013 12:18:22 AM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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Joined: 9/6/2004
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October 21st, 1942

The campaign for New Caledonia is in the bottom of the 8th inning, I'd say. Six American divisions NW of Noumea at La Foa finally, after many deliberate failed attacks, pushed out my weary, low supply Japanese infantry. The Imperial Guard, 38th division and a bunch of zero strength SNLF's are high tailing it to Koumac, where 225 AV resides with minimal supply. Fast transport cruisers and destroyers are running a Tokyo supply Express from Tulagi back and forth.

Within days the Koumac garrison will be around 1200 AV, against 2200 American AV. Strangely, my opponent stopped at La Foa and has not pursued my retreating troops up the road. I'm mystified by this decision but I'm not complaining! Maybe the recently victorious American troops were beat up and needed a break, supply and some new prepping work.

Thankfully as well my opponent has ignored Luganville and several convoys of AP's that have evacuated nearly 20,000 troops from that now doomed outpost. I'll still leave 200-300 AV at Luganville to make the 800 victory point location a grind to capture. But I've managed to evacuate 3 HQ's, 1 full division, 5 AV units and 5 construction units without air superiority and without a scratch. A minor miracle. I guess now that my opponent cleared the skies around Luganville he has focused completely on bombing the heck out of Koumac and my troops there.


Elsewhere the war is going well, but I can fill in those details later. The sub campaign east of Hawaii is having tremendous results. I know again many disagree with that policy, but we're talking 30-40 AK's sunk in the last 3 months!




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

John 21:25

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
Post #: 127
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 6/19/2013 9:28:16 AM   
btbw

 

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Joined: 11/1/2011
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You will never again have so good position for defeat Allied troops. From this point you will only lose without payback.

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
Post #: 128
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (no B. Fagan please) - 8/13/2013 6:08:08 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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Joined: 9/6/2004
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December 11th, 1942 A long overdue update:

Its been nearly 2 months since my last update on the ferocious battle for New Caledonia. After forum advice and my own sinking feeling that it was best, I decided on a massive evacuation effort of the nearly 100,000 Japanese troops on New Caledonia and surrounding islands. So far in those 2 months I've shipped and airlifted out approximately 60,000 troops and at least a dozen various units from the area. One entire division was relocated, as well as 25% of the Imperial Guards division, not to mention many valuable support, AV and HQ units.

My opponent hinted recently that he thought I was evacuating, and was waiting to unleash his ground forces at New Caledonia for when I was weaker--- this after he experienced some heavy losses fighting 2 Japanese divisions dug in outside Noumea. Well (and don't read B Fagan please), I'm down to 749 AV on New Caledonia and little supply (despite many fast transport and sub transport runs, and a suicidal AKL convoy). I would have liked to evacuate everyone of course, but 749 AV is a substantial rearguard or the Allies to mop up and a decent road bump. He has 800 AV moving up the road...

One of the US six divisions previously detected near Noumea, the 2nd USMC, landed last turn with carrier support on an almost empty Efate island NE of New Caledonia. This has got to be a decent buzzkill for my opponent, since i'm guessing he prepped these last 2 months for the island and there was maybe 10 Japanese squads left on the island to make it appear occupied. Meanwhile, Luganville nearby has a victory point value of 800 and is heavily fortified and defended (though the airstrip was annihilated). He will need those divisions to take Luganville's 800 victory points, which is still south of Guadacanal and hopefully delaying him more than was historical.

Either way, the evacuation has gone extremely well, mainly due to my opponent's "Peninsular Campaign" style advance across New Caledonia (aka Richmond). With 6 divisions I don't quite know why he didn't push me off the island after his first breakthrough, but I'll take the gift!!! Maybe the ground battles were more costly than I know, or he is about to surprise me elsewhere with those troops. Given that one of those six divisions landed at Efate, and possibly another on an island SE of Tarawa, he may need to bring troops back to finish off the Japanese rearguard. The many units that evacuated are now digging in on various island chains-- already Saipan is a nightmare fortress and i'm preparing a decent "triangle of death" with Manila, Clark Field and Bataan maxed out on fortifications.
While my landings at New Caledonia were maybe a mistake months ago, with much tactical and strategic advice on these forums i think the situation was "turned around" and the Empire is on a much better footing to inflict maximum punishment and delay on the Allies as 1943 arrives... so thank you, any comments/ideas always appreciated :)




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

John 21:25

(in reply to btbw)
Post #: 129
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (no B. Fagan please) - 8/13/2013 6:40:39 PM   
Lokasenna


Posts: 3029
Joined: 3/3/2012
From: Iowan in MD/DC
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I think he's figuring he can simply do to you at Koumac what Japan does to the Allies early on - isolate and starve, then move in with a much smaller force later that is still sufficient for the task.

He could also be training up his bomber crews on GrdB...

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
Post #: 130
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