Feb 1, 1942
Yesterday the Japanese launched their fiercest attack yet upon Singapore, but the heavy defenses held. Wavell felt vindicated by moving his command to Palembang, since the proximity gave his staff a little more influence over the battle.
Wavell had liked very much the move to Palembang. Here was a defenders dream. Swampy terrain full of bogs to deny the attackers mobility, plentiful supply, an anchor base to aid Singapore all made Palembang a good area to strengthen. Its main drawback, like Singapore and Ambon, were the lack of fallback positions.
Although while he focused on Singapore, ABDA rushed reinforcements into the theater. The aircraft carriers Hermes and Indomitable were shepherding the Yanks of the Americal division across the Indian Ocean and Wavell decided to base them at Madras for now or at least until their heavy equipment caught up.
Wavell couldn't complain about the Yanks yet, since they seemed eager to uphold their ABDA charter. He would like to see some of their large carriers, but Nimitz had deferred for now. Perhaps if Port Moresby held then the carriers would come.
Supplies, one of Wavell's greatest problems, were flowing in large quantities into India through Karachi. Large convoys made the run further south into Perth. Several ships had made it into Rangoon, which helped the Burma Army immensely. And now, a few large Yank submarines completed runs into Singapore yet their capacity was quite small and not nearly sufficient to satisfy the garrison.
If the Japanese light carriers would be kind enough to stop circling around Batavia Wavell felt he could dash a few small freighters into Singapore. He really needed Hurricanes and Spitfires and there was good news there as several squadrons would be arriving in Karachi soon. Alas, only of Hurricanes but it was a start at regaining air superiority.
< Message edited by Lowpe -- 3/24/2013 12:54:23 PM >