6th September, 1943
FINALLY!!! As you can see KB is about 150 miles north of Attu Island and enemy TFs have shown up about 350 miles south of Attu. They could be moving towards Attu or Amchitka or Adak at this stage but any of those is fine by me.
I have 3 Regiment equivalents of infantry at Dutch Harbour ready to air transport into whatever base they land at and strenuous USN repair efforts combined with a rather lax description of what constitutes a combat-ready ship have allowed the USN to gather a sizeable USN contingent at Dutch Harbour. 3 BBs ( 2 fast ( one of which only arrived at Dutch Harbour today after sprinting all the way from San Francisco ), 1 old and slow ), 4 CAs, 1 CL, 1 CLAA and about two-dozen destroyers are gathered within the harbour. orders are given for them to slip away from the docks. I form four combat TFs.
1. An SC TF centred around the modern CAs which makes its way to Adak. It will attempt to interdict the invasion forces while they are still at sea on the run-in to their targets.
2. A DD TF centred around the small number of fast, modern DDs I have available ( again the lack of logistical planning is hurting as many of the surviving ships have no radar as they missed their April 1942 upgrades ). This moves to Adak and is also intended for mid-ocean intercepts of the amphibious TFs.
3. A smaller TF centred on my two modern BBs, the CL and the CLAA. This is my most modern SC TF and has the majority of my radar-equipped ships. It is pathetically small with only 10 ships but I'm hoping that picking the commander with the highest naval skill in-game ( a naval skill of 91 ) should help them achieve outsize results. This TF remains behind to act as a second wave once the enemy are committed to a landing.
4. Lastly the old, slow BB and my oldest DDs are gathered into another TF. This old, slow, low endurance TF won't perform well in combat but I envision it as a third wave - a force designed to either intervene when the enemy are already suffering greatly from the blows of the previous TFs or as a force of desparation thrown into battle because the situation is desparate following the failure of the other TFs.
There's a 5th TF at sea also. This TF comprises 4 DDs moving down past Petropavlovsk with a view to intercepting either follow-on elements of the IJN invasion fleet or damaged elements of the fleet as they withdraw back to Japan. If things go badly I will simply throw it into cauldron around the landing sites.
In terms of airpower I have 90 fighters over Attu, 200 fighters over Adak Island and another 100 or so in reserve over Dutch Harbour. I have rebuilt the shattered DB and TB squadrons and can now deploy 30 torpedo bombers and just under 100 dive-bombers ( some of them biplanes but, as I said, losses were extreme ). I also have a solid core of B-17s and medium bombers ready to commit to the fray once the landings have occurred.
Damian had an HR to prevent 4-Engines bombing below 6,000 feet so, instead, I'll use them either as fighter attractors during any strike on the IJN fleet or to disrupt the ground troops he lands so as to help my defenders hold their ground.
In other news:
In China the redeployment of 1,500 AV to the new theatre is almost complete. They will join 1,000 AV already in-theatre and begin moving against their objectives. This should free things up a little. I doubt I'll capture much but I'll definitely pin IJA forces in the theatre - which is my goal.
In Oz sneakiness abounds and Allied forces continue to hold the enemy's attention around Katherine and Carnarvon while sneaky groups of dishonest men, pilots and sailors accomplish a completely unnoticed advance through the enemy's operational depth. They aren't in sufficient strength to turn it into a strategic victory because the logistics simply hadn't been developed to take advantage of the position I found but, given the position I found, one couldn't help but try. It won't last but it is certainly nice while it does
John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.