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RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR

 
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RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 2/27/2017 9:00:41 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap October 25th 1943 – afternoon

No significant news in the last week except the steady build-up of British forces around Singapore and the US Marines inching closer and closer to Tokyo from all sides. The amphibious forces landing around Singapore the last couple of days have met little opposition from the enemy coastal batteries and enemy AA and air activity are non-existent. The Japanese port of Nagoya was captured on the 22nd with an enormous loot of ships of all kinds.

The Chinese forces have reached PeiPing and have re-opened the railway line from Shanghai to the north-eastern corner of the country. The enemy’s lack of supplies is mirrored in his feeble responses to own bombardments but his fighting spirit is the same as always. The Chinese ports are now being emptied of US forces, they’re on their way to Japan.

The four first days of this week saw the aftermath of the great carrier hunt in the Philippine Sea. On the morning of the 19th a battleship and a heavy cruiser with two destroyers, trying to enter the port of Yokohama, bumped into the light cruiser Helena and a destroyer. Helena was mortally wounded and sank. Closer to shore was a six-ship US destroyer division patrolling the approaches to Tokyo Bay. The enemy force was taken by surprise as these suddenly showed up and were not able to respond before the battleship, identified as the Yamashiro, had received four torpedo hits. She was claimed as sunk as was the destroyer Fujinami, also torpedoed by the US destroyers.

The heavy cruiser accompanying Kirishima turned back and escaped to the north-east, following the enemy coast. Next morning, she was caught up by the USN battleships Oklahoma and Tennessee, both had been sent off from Chiba, escorted by heavy cruiser Quincy and five destroyers. They found Aoba and a destroyer near Izu Oshima. Both were sunk but not before Tennessee suffered a torpedo hit which, luckily, did not hurt her seriously.

On the way back to Chiba they hit upon an enemy destroyer and a small minelayer. The minelayer was sunk but the destroyer got away in the stormy weather.

Later in the day SBD’s flying from a US carrier task on its way north, passing on the west side of the Bonins, sighted an enemy battleship in the north-east. It was identified as the Fuso. No more contact was made before dark but the carriers changed course to north-east to establish a good morning position. This was done with more success than expected, before morning broke the carriers caught up with the enemy, it was obvious he suffered from some damage that had reduced his speed. A fight broke out between the carriers’ escorts and the enemy group but not before Lexington II had received a shell hit. As the carriers drew away their escort achieved a torpedo hit on the enemy destroyer Nowaki, USS Nicholas got one back and the two forces separated. As the weather improved a strike was flown against the US force from Iwo-Jima. It was caught up by the carrier CAPs.

In the afternoon, SBD scouts found the enemy again, quite close, and a strike by 21 SBD’s and five torpedo-carrying Avengers and Devastators was launched. The battleship, identified as the Fuso received several bomb hits and an already damaged destroyer was sunk.

Next day the enemy wasn’t found again until in the afternoon. A much-reduced Fuso was attacked by 20 SBD’s and two Avengers. Nine bomb hits were claimed, but she stayed afloat till evening broke. Before that one six-plane and one seven-plane Avenger raid were not able to hurt her noticeably.

Then, before dawn next morning, she was caught up by the US battleships Maryland and Colorado. She didn’t resist much and ten full-size hits put her under. Destroyer Bagley was hit by two shells from Hamanami, Fuso’s sole partner. She got away. The day after destroyer Stevens was sunk by three torpedo-bombers flying from Iwo-Jima.

The enemy has had some successes in his regular bombing raids outside the southern coast of Honshu. All these originate in the Tokyo area, it seems he has scraped together what has been withdrawn from the various lost cities. Recent recce report approximately 75 bombers and an equal number of fighters in the Tokyo area, that is a marked increase from a couple of weeks back. When the invasion started, there were about 500 bombers and fighters in the Tokyo area.

Shall MacArthur make his target of having the enemy down by December 7th?

Fred


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 481
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 3/6/2017 7:18:24 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap November 1st 1943 – afternoon

The enemy forces, ground air and naval in Japan, now seem to be more or less paralyzed. The frequent air strikes out of Tokyo have diminished and are flown with fewer and fewer planes. More often than not, half of them are shot down with no own losses. Our fighter forces in the area are mainly equipped with Corsairs, Hellcats and P-47’s. Constant US CAPs are flown over Tokyo and other enemy airfields where he still has some planes.

His ground forces are gradually pushed closer and closer to Tokyo. The advance parties of two Marine regiments have now reached the outskirts of Yokohama, the last large city before Tokyo. The last few days there have been no fancy bursts out of his ports. However, large enemy forces are reported in and around Tokyo.

The invasion fleet headed for Wake Island has now left Hawaii and is assembling south of Midway, near Laysan Island. Escort carrier Cowpens are flying recce missions from a position 400 miles east of Wake. Preliminary reports are that there is little activity to see on the island.

The British forces besieging Singapore are gradually reinforced and there are signs of deteriorating enemy morale. Bombing has been stopped for some days to build up all units to their full complement. A new naval bombardment group is on its way down the Malacca Strait. The two large British liners Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary are unloading the last parties of the 11th African Rifles in Sabang. They shall proceed from there in amphibious vessels. Still a couple of weeks left before the main attack on Singapore starts. Hopefully, this shall coincide with the attack on Tokyo.

Following is a list of enemy losses of capital ships since the start of the war, based on available intelligence - first carriers:







Attachment (1)

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 482
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 3/6/2017 7:24:45 PM   
Leandros


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Escort carriers:






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 483
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 3/6/2017 7:37:16 PM   
Leandros


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Battleships:






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 484
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 3/6/2017 7:38:35 PM   
Leandros


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Heavy cruisers. Not on the list - 24 light cruisers:






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 485
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 3/12/2017 7:03:50 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap November 10th 1943 – afternoon

Singapore was captured yesterday – the enemy was chased out of the city and is now pressed into a corner of the island. Still some work to be done, though. This is a relief for the Americans, too, as they now can have their heavy bombers back. Those are sorely needed in the struggle to annihilate the defences of Tokyo. Some dozens have participated in the attack on Singapore. Many transports, too. The British shall reorganize now and plan for their next step. That would probably be the oilfield ports on western Borneo. They are not keen to spend more of their resources on Dutch East Indies’ objects.

The first US forces that approached Tokyo some days ago, two tank battalions, were thrown back after a furious counter-attack by the enemy. After that, however, three US divisions, the 1st (Special) Cavalry and the 32nd and 33rd Infantry divisions, have obtained a foothold on its approaches. In the north, another force is pushing to take the last city before Tokyo. Reinforcements, mainly from the Chinese mainland, are still streaming into Japan. The whole area east of Ningpo/Shanghai is now empty of US forces.

Before Tokyo can be taken on seriously, Yokohama must be taken. The Marines have worked at this for a week’s time and the defences are starting to show weaknesses. At the moment, all available US bomber units in Japan are working to facilitate this. Hundreds of sorties are flown each day from half a dozen captured airfields.

The landings on Wake Island started two days ago, they have developed into a nightmare, the defense was much stronger than what was perceived after a week’s air reconnaissance. The enemy’s air defense, both on the ground and in the air, has massacred the carriers’ bombers and fighters. This has been augmented by the fact that the US pilots are relatively inexperienced, having come directly from the US, and meeting good enemy pilots. There were heavy losses in materiel and men during the landings, a very strong artillery defense. The assault force was obviously a little too light, too, an infantry regiment, the 27th, two tank battalions and a Marine Ranger Battalion in the first wave. One battleship and a couple of dozen destroyers took care of the naval bombardment. Too tiny.

The force commander, Rear Admiral Turner, has recommended to break off the attack and re-embark the troops. General MacArthur, however, has refuted this, such a move shall only boost the enemy’s fighting morale. Instead, Turner has been advised to go on the defense, reinforcements shall be arranged for as soon as possible. Too early to say when, though. The Admiral is not very optimistic.

It all started two days before the first landings, the scouting carrier task force, a CVE with destroyer support, was found by enemy air units based on Wake. When the first pre-landing bombings started against the airfield he was well prepared. The Helldivers and Avengers were slaughtered but the carrier group was able to defend itself. As the landings started three more US carriers arrived in the area but also a couple of large strikes of Bettys and Sallys coming up from the south, most likely from Kwajalein. Battleship New Mexico was hit by a torpedo. All bombing of Wake has been stopped as the carrier group fighters must concentrate on defending the ships from these as well as bombers flying from Wake. A convoy is sent back to Midway to pick up the Marine defense battalion there. That shall probably be the first reinforcements to arrive.

The Admiral’s best hope is that the attack on Tokyo shall succeed not too far into the future. MacArthur and his staff has boarded a carrier in Manila to go to Chiba on Honshu Island to monitor the attack on Tokyo.

Fred


< Message edited by Leandros -- 3/12/2017 8:12:35 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 486
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 3/14/2017 8:19:35 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap November 20th 1943 - afternoon.

General MacArthur is now on the island of Toroshima, south of Honshu. The island has been used as a staging point for the sea traffic to and from the south side of Japan. While there he just received the happy news that Yokohama had been captured by Marine units attacking from the land-side. More than a hundred ships of all kind are reported captured, among them a couple of dozen submarines and incapacitated destroyers. Top prizes were two carriers under construction - Shinano and Unryu. MacArthur shall move on to Yokohama to pay his respect to the Marines. He carries with him a large chest with decorations. If Wake doesn’t fall in the meantime he shall continue there to see to that his grunts perform as well as the Marines. Time is running out for him, he has hinted at having the Japanese down by December 7th. Any bets?

The USMC troops that captured Yokohama, three divisions strong, can now join in the direct attack on Tokyo but first they shall have a well-deserved rest. Utsonomiya, west of Tokyo and just a few minutes flight time away, has some good airfields which shall be staffed and filled up with the bombers freed up by the fall of Singapore. The enemy is still resisting in the hills north of Tokyo, in Maebashi, but US forces are gradually reinforced - a decision is soon to be expected there, too. All bomber forces previously used against Yokohama are now switched to Maebashi.

As Iwaki was emptied of first-line troops moving towards Tokyo the enemy took the opportunity to move south-west again. They took back Iwaki, capturing seven P-39s on the airfield. A further advance towards the south-west shall be blocked.

The initial minor panic created by the stubborn and powerful enemy defense of Wake Island has rescinded. While the defenders inflicted heavy losses on the landing forces this was mainly on equipment, the troops fared better and as soon after they were ashore and dug in, it has not been possible to move them. Reinforcements arrived rapidly and more are on its way. Lack of ammunition for the naval vessels quickly became a problem but a destroyer tender has now arrived at Midway from Hawaii. A dedicated ammunition ship for the “heavies” has also left Chibu for Midway. Presently the main parts of the 27th IR, 34th Combat Engineers, 6th Marine Defense Bn, 766th and 767th Tank Bns and the 98th Coastal AA Regts are ashore at Wake. The 164th Infantry is on ships one day off. That unit is expected to clinch it.

The enemy coastal artillery has handled much of the invasion fleet terribly, but his air defences are now totally neutralized by the numerous carriers hovering around the island. More than hundred bomber sorties are flown each day. Incidental enemy bomber strikes from Kwajalein in the south are usually rejected with losses even if he has been able to put a torpedo into a battleship. That ship is soon in Pearl Harbor.

With the expected capture of Wake, several large convoys have already passed north of the island on their new grand circle-routing from the West Coast to Japan.

The Chinese are pressing on towards north-east. Three divisions are now only a few days away from Tsingtao and another force is besieging Peiping in the north. Hankow is still a blood-sucking melee.

The British are replenishing and resting in Singapore but an amphibious force has already been organised and moved to Palembang in readiness for their next target. Probably some point on Borneo. An enemy unit that has lingered in the wilderness south of Sabang suddenly appeared before the city. It was too weak to take it, even if this city had also been emptied of first-line troops. Dive bomber units moved there has taken a heavy toll on the enemy units which are in the open.

MacArthur has ordered the various Philippine army units in the Philippines to assemble in Zamboanga. These are the ones that survived the Japanese onslaught in 1941/42 and have since served as garrison forces in The Philippines, mainly in the Visayas. Presently they amount to a three-divisional force. They shall have the honour of garrisoning Japanese cities now. That’s only fair.

Fred


< Message edited by Leandros -- 3/14/2017 8:20:49 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 487
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 3/17/2017 9:45:24 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap November 25th 1943 - afternoon.

The fighting on Wake Island may not go according to plan but for the British the capture of Kuching on the western corner of Borneo went without a hitch. The first force, consisting of the 14th Chindit Brigade, 209th Combat Engineer Bn and the 29th Mountain Gun Regt, landed yesterday. After the 111th Chindits (Airborne), flying from singapore, jumped over Kuching today, the city was quickly taken. After a short break these and other forces shall jump over to Miri up the coast of Borneo.

The fight for Maebashi, north of Tokyo, and the siege of Tokyo, is drawing out in time. All bombers on the captured enemy airfields, and carriers hovering outside the south coast, is concentrated on Maebashi. The main part of the forces that took Yokohama are resting and replenishing. As soon as Maebashi falls everything shall be thrown against Tokyo.

This night and morning several convoys were intercepted when trying to escape out of Tokyo Bay. Can it be that the enemy leadership expect the city to fall soon? Two of them contained various tenders, minesweepers and minelayers. Another contained 19 destroyers. This last force proceeded north-east along the coast and two carrier groups laying just outside the coast, occupied with the bombing of Maebashi, shall be sent after them.

Fred

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 488
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 3/25/2017 3:57:24 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap November 28th 1943 - afternoon

Maebashi was captured today. With that, Tokyo is completely surrounded by US forces. MacArthur had hoped to have Tokyo - and therefore probably Japan - down by December 7th but due to the delay in taking Maebashi and Yokohama, and the stubborn enemy defense of Wake Island - this tied up reinforcements to Japan - he has instead decided to START the attack proper on Tokyo on that date. In the meantime, all US bomber units shall be rested and replenished for maximum effort when the all-out attack starts. The equivalent of seven Army and Marine divisions are readied for the task.

On Wake Island the 164th IR has landed, too, reinforcing the Marines already there. More reinforcements are on their way from Hawaii. Various sort of tenders for the destroyers and larger ships are on their way to Midway to give support to the many naval bombardment groups. Among them the AE ship Shasta and a floating dock coming from Portland.

There is stil an ongoing exodus of enemy ships of all sorts from Tokyo, one recent group contained 11 destroyers. It looks like the enemy expect the city to fall shortly. They were chased north-east by a carrier force. However, most of them escaped and the light carrier Sangamon was sunk by enemy torpedo-planes flying from Sendai.

In Palembang the oil production is in full swing, the allied tankers no longer have to go all the way to Abadan for fuel and oil. As soon as the British have made the jump up to Miri on Borneo the tankers' travel distance shall be even less.

With Wake Island neutralized due to the ongoing fight there, several transport convoys have already passed north of it on the short direct routing to and from San Fransisco/Japan. This traffic has not been interfered with in any way by the enemy. Even then, Marcus Island, north-west of Wake, is being recce'd for the purpose of a follow-up to Wake.

The Chinese leadership has started to pull back their best army units from the fighting around Hankow, to use them better in other places. They're marching to Sinyang, from where they can reach most of north-eastern China by rail. Tsingtao, on the Yellow Sea, is under attack by Chinese forces. When that city is captured they shall control the approaches to Port Arthur. Seven US submarines are already patrolling the narrow entrance.

Fred

< Message edited by Leandros -- 3/25/2017 3:59:54 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 489
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/2/2017 10:41:45 AM   
Leandros


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Sitrap December 7th 1943 - afternoon

The attack on Tokyo started this morning with heavy bombing attacks by level bombers. Army dive bomber and carrier planes are so far being held in reserve. The enemy anti-air defense was not overly active and no enemy flights were registered over Tokyo. Instead, it seems what enemy air assets were stationed in Tokyo have migrated to Sendai on the north-eastern coast. They have done some damage to the ship's traffic on the outside. There has been some discussion as to what targets shall be concentrated on in Tokyo. So far, enemy ground forces shall receive the major part of it. A preparatory ground attack resulted in heavy losses for the enemy with only very light US casualties. Many US ground units are held in reserve in Yokohama, Maebashi and Chiba.

Wake Island was finally captured this evening. Tsingtao in China and Miri on Borneo were also taken today.

Fred

< Message edited by Leandros -- 4/2/2017 11:15:10 AM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 490
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/5/2017 12:00:03 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap December 22nd 1943 - afternoon

Two weeks into the attack on Tokyo the enemy defense has hardened considerably. While the first US ground attacks gave good results, losses have since increased to the extent that only limited offensives are carried out, more ground units are fed in gradually. Losses caused by enemy AAA have also increased, few actual shoot-downs but damage to planes are often as high as 50 %. Bomb dropping altitudes are increased to 20.000 feet and dive bombing has been stopped completely. During the first days thousands and thousands of fires were started in the city and on factories, targets have since been switched to the enemy's defense positions.

While all this has been somewhat disappointing there is new hope in the fact that Tokyo Bay is now swept for mines so that the large batttle-wagons can start bombarding the Tokyo defenses. Six minesweepers were sunk in the sweeping process but the hoped-for result was achieved. The first trial-bombardment, by battleship Maryland this morning, gave good results. On the same mission the enemy destroyer Onami, entering Tokyo Bay during the bombardment, was sunk by Maryland and her three destroyer friends. Onami's destroyer partner, Akigumo, on a northerly course, was sunk the day before north-east of Toroshima, by Toroshima-based PBY's and Avengers flying from a light carrier force patrolling just east of Toroshima. The two destroyers may have been accompanying the light enemy carrier Ryuho, sunk by the same Avengers south-west of Toroshima six days ago. The attackers reported that her decks were full of parked fighters, estimated to be more than 60, which may account for why no fighters rose to meet the attackers.

Sendai, on the north-eastern coast of Japan, where much of Tokyo's air assets have been withdrawn, has been regularly bombarded the last few days. A US ground advance has started up the coast, first target is Iwaki.

With two dedicated ammo ships in Chiba it should be possible to hold up a constant naval bombardment of Tokyo.

In China the witdrawal of a large part of the force sieging Hankow is starting to show results in north-western China. The Peiping attack force has been reinforced and the advance along the coast of the Yellow Sea has now almost reached the Korean border.

The British have started to clean out the various enemy pockets on Sumatra, Malaccan Peninsula and in Indo-China. Reorganising is going slowly due to lack of ship's transport.

The Anzacs are happy to just consolidate their positions, they're starting to get war-weary. No wonder.

Fred


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 491
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/5/2017 3:40:16 PM   
BBfanboy


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Why use AE/AKEs to load your Tokyo bombardment TFs at Chiba if you hold Yokosuka?

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 492
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/5/2017 7:02:18 PM   
Leandros


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Why use AE/AKEs to load your Tokyo bombardment TFs at Chiba if you hold Yokosuka?

Good point, but the AEs have also moved to Yokohama now. I wasn't sure of how much the
port could handle as there aren't much naval support there, and a couple of heavy
bombardment groups to reload every day (my postings are a little behind the game). I
have noticed that supplies aren't drawn from the AEs. Anyway, not much use for them
other places now. Everything's about Tokyo.

There have been warnings that the daily reload quota (in Yokohama) has been used up. I suppose
that's because more naval support is needed in the port.

Tks for bothering!

Fred

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 493
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/5/2017 8:30:00 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap December 28th 1943 - afternoon

The cities of Iwaki and Sendai have both been captured by US forces advancing from Chiba. More than 300 planes were captured or destroyed on the airfields of Sendai. The US forces' final destination is Ominato, the eastern-most city on Honshu. Several destroyer divisions and a destroyer tender is transferred to Sendai to establish a naval bombarment rotation to soften up the ground defenses of Ominato. A large carrier force shall also be in position before the attack starts in earnest. Ominato is an important fortress city, controlling the important strait between the island of Honshu and Hokkaido.

On Xmas eve MacArthur declared a unilateral ground attack and bombing stop against Tokyo through the New Year Holiday. The naval bombardment rotations shall continue as before. Nothing humanitarian in this, just a need to rest his bomber and ground forces as tear and losses have been serious. He is considering a change in strategy, suspecting that the Tokyo defenders are getting false hopes by the fact that much of the rest of Japan is non-occupied. The eastward drive on Honshu is the first part of this.

Two pairs of the old battle-wagons, together with two heavy cruiser task forces, are alternating each night to bombard Tokyo. This morning the enemy destroyer Wakaba, together with the destroyer escort E Yuago, bumped into Maryland and her cohorts as they were withdrawing to Yokohama after their nightly run to Tokyo. Both were sunk. Before that, however, these two small warships had made a nuisance of themselves during their approach to Tokyo. A convoy of east-bound landing craft were shelled outside Chiba, one LC was sunk after a torpedo hit, and the USN escort carrier Barnes, leaving Yokohama for the wharf in Manila, was shelled to the extent that she later sank. Several convoys in the open sea had to scatter in all directions as they were warned of the presence of the two predators.

Parts of the enemy forces that have been driven away from the coast are trying to break through to Tokyo from the east but are barred by a Marine regiment. Having taken up a defensive position the US forces are able to inflict heavy losses on the enemy during his daily Banzai attacks. The attacks on Fukuoba also seem to have weakened considerably. Enemy supply situation bad?

The Philippine Army units recently assembled in Zamboanga are now leaving that port on amphibious transports. They shall probably take part in MacArthur's new strategy, by landing on the extreme south point of the island of Kyushu - Kagoshima. Hiroshima, with the large naval base of Sasebo, shall be their final destination. This was originally the first large Japanese city/base planned to be captured but eventually it was decided to go straight for Tokyo instead. In the meantime forces from Sasebo have tried to take back Fukuoka on the northern side of the island but these attempts have not been whole-hearted.

British forces have captured Quinhon on the Indo-China coast. They are pushing on north towards Tourane and Hue.

The Chinese eastward pressure continues, to the extent that an over-eager Chinese commander left the city of Tsinian open to a counter-attack by an earlier displaced enemy unit. It was occupied. This is a small Japanese unit so it is expected that Tsinian shall soon be back in Chinese hands. As it is now the railway connection to the Korean border is broken but supplies are already shipped in east of Tsinian. This Chinese operation have had some effective US support, several C-47 transport squadrons, air base support and a squadron of P-51 fighters. And supplies shipped up from Shanghai.

The result of the opening of the shorter supply route between the US West Coast and Japan, the capture of Wake Island, is now showing - the first large supply convoys coming from San Francisco are only a couple of days sailing east of Japan. The forces which participated in the taking of Wake Island are transferred to Japan as transport is available.

Fred




_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 494
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/7/2017 5:39:33 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap December 30th 1943 - afternoon

The Battle of Tokyo Bay

The two last days have been quite eventful. It has come to light that the two enemy destroyers which were sunk in the Tokyo approaches two days ago were not alone, there were reports of other enemy vessels in the area because when the regular Tokyo milk run approached their target early yesterday morning they found an enemy battleship group in the harbour - a Nagato-class BB with the cruiser Yahagi and destroyers Kiyonami and the venerable Amatsukaze - a Japanese destroyer legend. These ships must have slipped through the US patrols during the confusion with the enemy destroyers that were sunk. The US milk run this morning consisted of battleships Nevada and Tennessee, cruisers Vincennes, Columbia and Birmingham, and destroyers Bennett, Pringle, Thompson, Mahan and Maury. The two last ones almost as legendary as Amatsukaze. It was an overcast with very little moonlight, visibility approximately 4.000 yards. Japanese lookouts first sighted the enemy as their ships incidentally were "crossing the T" of the others, an important advantage from the start. Tennessee almost immediately was hit by torpedoes launched by the light cruiser Yahagi after what was perceived as battleship Nagato opened fire first. Tennessee at once started to sink under the impact of five torpedo and 22 shell hits. As Nagato was occupied with Tennessee, Nevada appeared out of the mist at a distance of 2.000 yards and punched on Nagato with everything she had. Right after her came the three USN cruisers. 55 shell hits were registered on Nagato. Right behind the cruisers were Mahan, two of her torpedoes hit Nagato under the "B" tower and blew up her magazine, She sank within minutes, still being punched on by Nevada. Tennessee was revenged.

When the battle was over all the four enemy ships had gone down. Apart from a torpedo and a couple of shell hits on Nevada, the other US ships got away unscathed.

This morning an enemy flotilla of large minelayers bumped into four own destroyers on their way to bombard Ominato, a diversion to cover an amphibious landing farther west. Two of the enemy ships were sunk. Ships from the same flotilla were sighted by scouts from a four-ship US carrrier task force patrolling east of Sendai later in the day. It was positioned there to support the east-bound advance of US ground forces and to bomb the airfields around Ominato, in preparation for a landing by the 27th IR and a tank battalion at Hachinohe. After first having flown their missions against the airfields, 150 SBDs escorted by as many fighters, the carriers' attention was turned towards the south-east bound enemy flotilla. Several bomb hits were claimed by the dive bombers. Later a force of 70 Avengers claimed hits on two destroyers and sank the minelayer Tamozono Maru. A final torpedo attack by eight Avengers sank the seaplane tender Kimikawa Maru in the same convoy.

It didn't go so well for the four destroyers that sank the two enemy minesweepers near Ominato in the morning. Just after that incident they ventured into a minefield while approaching the Hakodate Coastal Fortress. All were damaged by mines as well as gunfire from the fortress and had to retreat, one did not get back to base. The bombardment, needless to say, came to nought. A second bombardment mission planned that same day was cancelled. A couple of US transports that tried that shorter route returning to the States some days ago, also ran into mines in that area. So, the problem shoud be known.

Fred


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 495
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/8/2017 11:53:35 AM   
Leandros


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Sitrap January 2nd 1944 - afternoon

Another two eventful days in the ocean south of Japan. Yesterday morning an enemy carrier force tried to break out from Tokyo Bay, with only partial success as they bumped into battleship Oklahoma with cruiser Baltimore and destroyer Conner on their way to bombard Tokyo. One of the carriers turned back, two got through, but DD Takanami was sunk. As day broke they were far south of Yokohama, scattered two Chiba-bound US convoys but never took the time to finish them off, the largest convoy consisted of ten transports and landing craft, with some escorts, it should be said - the enemy was obviously in a hurry. For good reason, too, for in the ocean east, and north-west of them were several US carrier groups. During the day they were reported by several carrier scouts to be CV Junyo and Huyo with four Kagero-class destroyers. Midway between Japan an Torishima they were attacked by seven PBY's flying out of Torishima. Hits were claimed on a carrier and destroyer, after that they disappeared into the vast ocean. All own task forces in the area were set on interception courses for the next day but there was little hope of catching up with them unless some ships had been damaged.

Next morning the carrier that returned to Tokyo tried to escape out in the open again. This time she bumped into a four-ship destroyer division patrolling the approaches, DDs Erben, Radford, Trathen and Walker. The carrier, reported as Soryu, received several shell and one torpedo hit, but tried to slip away in the dark. With its speed reduced and a radar-equipped enemy she was soon caught up with again. Another torpedo, and more shell hits, and the carrier went down. Kikikuzi, damaged, was left to herself while the carrier was finished off.

Kikukuzi was able to get the steam up again and proceeded south on reduced speed to catch up with the group that escaped the day before. While the US naval forces didn't manage to catch up with this group, destroyers Fletcher and Schroeder, dispatched from Torishima to participate in the hunt, found Kikukuzi. She never had a chance against the two strong US ships and didn't get off one effective round before she went down. In the evening the fleeing enemy carrier force was well out of range of own carrier planes. The hunt shall continue and two other USN carrier groups approachin the area from south-east - Wake.

While this was going on two strong bomber raids originated from the Bonins against the numerous ships at anchor outside Torishima. It was as if the enemy knew the carrier force normally patrolling the port had left to hunt elsewhere. However, what the the enemy didn't know was that only the day before the airfield at Torishima was finally operational and a 36-strong Hellcat squadron had been flown in from Japan. Both raids were more or less massacred.

US forces landed at Hachinohe on the north-eastern point of Honshu yesterday morning and the enemy was beaten during the day. The defense was mainly a coastal artillery battery.

1st Marines have moved inland from Sendai to Yamagata and expect to have the enemy out of there in a day or two. Other units are preparing to move up the coast. The railway line from Chiba to Hachinohe is now cleared.

Chinese forces have reached the Korean border on the Yellow Sea coast, their intention to block off the enemy garrison in Port Arthur.

Fred



_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 496
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/10/2017 12:04:59 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrap January 3rd 1944 - afternoon

Success and disaster hand in hand - first the disaster! Enemy forces today chased the US forces out of Fukuoka on the northern point of Kyushu. While the port in itself is not that important for the US offensive in Japan, Shimonoseki is more important in that respect, the losses of aircraft on the ground was a disaster. More than 100 B-25s, just replenished to start the renewed bombing offensive against Tokyo, were destroyed on the airfields. Six destroyers and two LCs in the harbour were able to transfer to Shimonoseki. The main part of the US ground forces, in all approximately 5.000 troops of seven different units, were able to withdraw towards the bridge between Kyushu and Honshu. Central in this force are the 5th Marine Defense Bn and two coastal artillery AA units. Some artillery was saved during the withdrawal. Whether this force shall stay where it is, withdraw to Shimoniseki or down the east coast of Kyushu, is under discussion. Signs that something serious was in the coming were ignored. The last few days the enemy's routine attacks had increased in power. Not that much could have been done about it quickly but the planes could have been withdrawn and the para units in Shimonoseki rushed in.

There may be a streak of gold in this, though, intelligence says that Nagasaki/Sasebo has for a large part been emptied of enemy troops to facilitate the attack on Fukuoka. The convoys carrying the Philippine Army units out of Zamboanga are spread along the route between Mindanao and Japan, the nearest two days out. The destination of these units have been suggested to be exactly Kyushu, if during less stressful conditions. Now they may have to enter the frail nevertheless, to correct the developing situation on Kyushu. To facilitate this, air and naval bombardments of Tokyo have been dispensed to support the eventual landings of the Philippine Army units. Most of their ships are loaded amphibiously and they have had two years to train, if with little actual combat experience.

The positive development is naval. The two-carrier force that recently escaped out of Tokyo was intercepted by three USN destroyers between Chiba and Torishima this morning. During an artillery duel both parties received damage but, most importantly, both the enemy carriers were damaged and their speed reduced. However, with an escort of four large destroyers it was not possible to stop them. With their position disclosed it was only a matter of time before they were found by the US carrier groups in the area. The first attack consisted of two groups of Avengers, in all 40 of them. In the bad weather their escort was lost so 11 Zeros that rose from the enemy carriers were able to shoot down five of the Avengers, several were damaged, too. As a compensation three torpedo hits were claimed on a carrier reported as Junyo and destroyer was hit by bombs. A little after, a formation of 73 SBDs and 24 Avengers appeared over Junyo, all attacking with bombs. The five defending Zeros could do little this time, Junyo suffered five hits by 1.000 lbs bombs, an Oyashio-class destroyer, too. Both sank.

An afternoon attack by 18 Avengers achieved little, two of them were shot down by the three-Zero enemy CAP. Same result by seven SBDs a little later.

A raid against Lexington and Hornet with nine Judys and six Jills flying from the Bonins was met by 24 own fighters - the enemy achieved nothing. As dark fell the remaining enemy was still surrounded by US carrier groups but two are getting low on fuel. A new net is cast for tomorrow morning.

Fred


< Message edited by Leandros -- 4/14/2017 3:48:05 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 497
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/14/2017 2:51:33 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrep January 6th 1944 - afternoon

The three-carrier force (or were they four?..) outbreak has been turned back to Tokyo. It was hoped that the third carrier should be contained and destroyed by the extensive net laid out east of Torishima but she managed to slice through, heading back to Tokyo. On the morning of the 6th she was still 100 miles south of Tokyo and renewed efforts were not enough to stop her before she reached port. This can in part be blamed on the general wear and tear on the naval US forces south of Japan. They have been in constant action for weeks and proper replenishment is becoming a problem. Three battleships are laid up in Yokohama waiting for new supplies for their heavy-calibre guns.

Whether it was a coincidence, or if the enemy had discovered the US plans, when the first ships carrying the amphibious force about to attack Kanoya on the southern point of Kyushu, the battleship Mutsu, with more than a dozen destroyers to support her, clashed with the advance landing elements, there was a veritable exodus of enemy ships out of Kanoya. In a confused night encounter two USN cruisers were sunk and one heavily damaged. The advance troop convoy, carrying the 161st and 24th IRs, was able to evade, withdrawing south. By this coincidence the convoy with the 61st PA IR onboard, 500 troops in the first party, was the first unit to reach the beaches. Enemy resistance was weak so the Filipinos were able to dig in to wait for reinforcements to arrive in the morning. The Army and Marine Para units stationed in Shimonokesi have been fore-warned that they shall have to jump at Kanoya tomorrow.

The enemy battleship/destroyer force was last reported to have split up, both groups proceeding east. At one point it was intercepted by battleships Maryland and Pennsylvania with six destroyers but they had to break off combat early due to lack of ammo. But not before they had sunk enemy destroyer Hayashio with guns and torpedoes. Later in the morning Indianapolis and light cruiser Santa Fe, with destroyers Bancroft and sampson, also met the Japanese formation led bu Mutsu. In a veritable slug-fest several enemy ships were damaged and two small minesweepers were sunk for the loss of Bancroft. Indianapolis was severely damaged. A sub-chaser was sunk by a quick step-out from Yokohama by New Mexico and DD Thracian. These two USN ships were equally low on ammo as the others. In the final attempt to stop the enemy, heavy cruiser Louisville, and later Santa Fe, went down. The weather was bad with low clouds all day, only one air raid reached Mutsu, three TBD's flying from Torishima. But no luck even though she was reported to be on fire.

It is hoped that some of the heavy units repleneshing in Yokohama shall be ready during the night. Nine USN escort carriers and three large ones are ordered into position along a north-south line between Tokyo Bay and Aogoshima.

US ground forces have reached Ominate.

Fred

Below - ships sunk list per January 6th 1944. Clearly in the enemy's favour:







Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Leandros -- 4/14/2017 2:52:35 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 498
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/14/2017 3:05:26 PM   
Leandros


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By January 7th the list was somewhat improved upon:






Attachment (1)

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Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 499
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/16/2017 1:29:42 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrep January 14th 1944 - afternoon

The enemy didn't wait long after the capture of Fukuoka to go for Shimonoseki, just across the sound to Honshu Island. While the loss of Fukuoka was bearable (except for all the B-25s lost), Shimonoseki is a different matter. It has a good port and airfields and its ship's wharf is now operating well under US administration. It is the gate to Honshu Island with working rail connections to both the southern and northern side of the island. For these reasons, when the enemy advance on the city was discovered, some hasty moves were immediately put in motion. Several of the landing parties on their way to Kanoya, on the southern tip of Kyushu, were redirected to Shimonoseki to bolster that defense. The naval bombardment groups assembled to crush the Tokyo defenses were transferred to Shimonoseki - with good effect, it should be said, and the missions for a large part of the US bomber forces on Honshu have been switched to attack the enemy positions around Shimonoseki and those forces not yet having crossed the sound. These last seem to have had their advance somewhat bogged down by this. The 24th Marines, which landed on Kanoya together with the Philippine Army units, are being airlifted to Shimonoseki. The PA units shall have to advance on Nagasaki without this support. But, they still have the 24th and 161st IRs with them.

The enemy defense of the eastern-most part of Honshu has proved stronger than expected but his forces are gradually reduced by the over-whelming US attack forces. Two or three days and it should be possible to release these for renewed efforts against Tokyo - or for the reinforcement of Shimonoseki.

With a diversity of support units, two Marine Defense Bns, parts of three coastal artillery regiments, 2nd Marine Raider Bn, 3rd Marine Para Bn and an increasing number of 24th Marines' troops, the Shimonoseki defense should probably be safe. But, the enemy force surrounding the city is estimated to about 60.000 troops. MacArthur is now pushing hard to have his forces in Kanoya start their advance on Nagasaki before the enemy forces in Fukuoka and around Shimonoseki can return to its defense.

Preparing to move north from Kanoya are the 24th and 161st IRs, 102nd and 103rd PA IRs, 61st PA ID and two regts. of the 81st PA ID.

On six air base complexes in Japan are assembled more than 600 heavy US bombers and a hundred dive bombers, in addition to the Navy planes on a dozen small and large carriers in the area.

In China, Peiping shall soon be captured by Chinese forces. Other Chinese forces farther south have reached the peninsula with Port Arthur on its western-most tip. They shall be in Port Arthur in a few days.

The British are assembling their amphibious forces in Singapore and Miri for a campaign to capture the cities on the western side of Borneo. It has been decided not to go for Java as the enemy defenses there are considered to be too strong at the moment. Instead, taking their Borneo strongholds shall contribute further to cut off the enemy's connection with his homeland, at the same time deny him the resources he is craving for. Bandjermasin, Balikpapan and Tarakan are important oil-producing sites. It's got to be one of those.

Fred


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 500
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/21/2017 4:58:24 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrep January 19th 1944 - afternoon

Ominato, on the northern point of Honshu, was captured today after a prolonged attack by the main part of the 6th ID and the 27th and 35th Infantry, supported by four tank battalions - the enemy forces withdrew west towards Hirosaki. Philippine and US forces have taken Kanoya but there are still resistance pockets in the city. Most of the capturing forces have continued towards Kagoshima where they have met stiff resistance. That is also the case of the US forces that have landed near the fortress of Oite, on the eastern side of Kyushu. This fortress is covering the narrow sound between the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku. The purpose of this landing was to better facilite the advance of other units landed in Kanoya, forces meant to take part in the attack on Nagasaki. In retrospect, it might have been better to use them to reinforce the defense of Shimonokesi. That said, with the support of bomber and naval bombardment groups, the defense of Shimonokesi seems to be holding up well.

A large US carrier force is assembling outside the south-western approaches of the Japan Inland Sea to support the fight for the Oite fortress complex as the landed forces have proved too weak to take it as fast as was hoped for. The 2nd Marine Paras and the 503rd Para Bde have jumped over Oite but the defenders are showing little sign of weakening. The fortress has inficted quite a lot of damage on the landing and bombardment units, but only one LST has been sunk.

The captured ship's wharfs in Shimonokesi and Osaka are working full blast. As soon as manpower is available the Kobe wharf shall also come into operation.

A British amphibious force, covered by the battleship Queen Elizabeth and the battlecruiser Renown, is on its way south between Sumatra and Borneo - destination unknown.

For the first time, and based on the fact that the enemy air forces have been completely struck down, US fighters are used wholesale as fighter-bombers. Their efforts have been concentrated on the enemy forces sieging Shimonokesi - with quite good results and, as important, with few casualties. Their tactics are to bomb "on the deck".

The new battleships Washington and Massachussets have just arrived in Pearl Harbor. They shall shortly proceed to Japan.

While the supply situation earlier rarely developed into a problem, after the direct route between the West Coast and Torishima, the staging point south of Japan, has been opened, it has now bcome a breeze. The previous transport distance via Pago Pago, The Torres Strait and west of the Philippines was more than 11.000 nautical miles. The direct route is 4.450 NM.

Fred

Picture: Note the stream of transport convoys travelling the direct route between the West Coast and Japan:





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Leandros -- 4/22/2017 8:00:16 AM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 501
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 4/25/2017 1:54:09 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrep January 31st 1944 - afternoon

The triangle Hachinoe-Ominato-Hirosaki on eastern Honshu is now in US hands. Akita, further west on the northern coast is under attack by the same US forces that captured the cities in the triangle. The conquest of these points was complicated as the fortress of Hakodate, across the sound to Hokkaido, proved very trouble-some, to the extent that the sound was practically closed-off by its numerous, and very proficiently handled, 30 cm. batteries. No traffic has come undamaged through it and a lot of minesweeping vessels have been sunk during their work in the sound.

This has hindered the coordination of the land war as it has been necessary to operate with separate transport and naval support units on each side of the sound. If this shorter route for the naval traffic on the north side of Japan is to be of any use the enemy batteries on the Hokkaido side has to be subdued. That can only be achieved by another amphibious operation. Plans for this is being prepared and the core unit shall probably be the 38th Infantry Division which is just now being off-loaded from transports in Hachinoe. They need to be amhibiously re-organised. Landing crafts are present in Ominato and Hachinoe and the airfields around Ominate are already staffed up and repaired. However, before the invasion of Hokkaido starts, Akitate needs to be taken down to free up the local bomber forces.

The enemy forces besieging Shimonokesi have been annihilated by the extensive naval and air bombardments and a final concentrated attack by all available ground forces in Shimonokesi. As the enemy had nowhere to go it ended with him being surrounded and completely destroyed.

The destination of the British amphibious force, previously advertised on its way south from Singapore, was Bandjermasin on the south-western corner of Borneo. As the earlier US attempt to capture Bandjermasin, this one also proved to be too weakly founded. The landing bogged down in front of the determined enemy defenders and emergency operations had to be initiated. These consist of more units beng sent from Singapore and the 25th Australian Bde from Denpasar, Bali. A large cruiser/destroyer force has been assembled with replenishment ships in Denpasar and some Commonwealth bomber units have also been transferred to Kendari, Macassar and Denpasar to support the British forces. Very little US forces are involved in this operation.

Port Arthur is under siege by Chinese forces. Communications to the land-side have been closed off.

Fred

Sitmap Hakodate Strait February 15th 1944:




< Message edited by Leandros -- 5/1/2017 10:52:46 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 502
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 5/1/2017 10:50:36 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrep February 15th 1944 - afternoon

An eventful couple of weeks - the cities of Hachinoe, Ominato, Hirosaki and Akita, on eastern Honshu, is now in US hands. The conquest of these cities were complicated as the fortress of Hakodate, across the sound to the island of Hokkaido, proved very troublesome, to the extent that the narrow strait was practically closed-off by its numerous, and very proficiently handled, 30 cm. batteries. No traffic passed undamaged and a lot of minesweeping vessels have been sunk during their work in the sound. This hindered the coordination of the land war as it was necessary to operate with separate transport and naval support units on each side of the sound. If this shorter route for the naval traffic on the north side of Japan should be of any use the enemy batteries on the Hokkaido side had to be subdued. That could only be achieved by another amphibious operation. Plans for this were prepared with the 38th Infantry Division as the core unit - it arrived in Hachinoe from the West Coast just in time and was transferred by rail to Ominato where landing crafts were present and ready. Hachinoe and the airfields around Ominato were already staffed up and repaired. As Hakodate was considered too strongly defended for a direct attack it was decided to land near Muroran, east of Hakodate, and take the fortress from the land-side. This worked nicely, two tank battalions and two regiments of the 38th ID captured Muroran within the day. That is, the two tank battalions did it as the convoy carrying the infantry hit upon an enemy minesweeper flotilla during its nightly crossing of the sound whch resulted in the USN convoy leader ordering its return to Hachinoe. As they landed in Muroran the next day the target was already captured by the tank guys. It was weakly defended.

The 38th ID and the tank battalions proceeded immediately towards Hakodate. No sooner had they left Muroran, before a Marine Defense Bn and a ground support unit had time to establish themselves properly ashore, were enemy forces rushed south from Sapporo and retook the city. Half of the Marines got away by re-embarking while the support unit surrendered and was captured. 24 P-40's just recently transferred there were destroyed or captured on the ground. While this was unfortunate it did not influence much on the taking of Hakodate. The tank battalions moved fast on good roads and as they approached Hakodate the third regiment of the 38th landed there amphibiously. The fortress was captured before the rest of the division arrived.

The enemy forces besieging Shimonokesi have been annihilated, primarily by an extensive naval and air bombardment, and the final concentrated attack by all available ground forces in Shimonokesi. As the enemy had nowhere to go it ended with him being surrounded and completely destroyed. Parts of the Shimonokesi force, and reinforcements arriving by train from the Tokyo area, have reached, or are about to reach, Nagasaki. On their way, Fukuoka was also retaken. Nagasaki, that important city and naval base has been under siege for a few days already and it is good hope that it shall soon fall as much of its original 80.000 defenders have been spent in the fight for Fukuoka and Shimonokesi. Some have probably been sent south to help in the defense of Kagoshima, too. The attack on that city has been stalled by its defenders and it seems improbable that it can be taken before substantial reinforcements arrive. As the US forces around Nagasaki shall soon amount to about three divisions, the 93rd division, which has just been landed from ships in Kurume, are held in reserve for that eventuality. Three two-battleship bombardment groups are based in Shimonokesi and bombard Nagasaki in relays. More bomber forces have been transferred to western Japan to assist in the attack.

The destination of the British amphibious force, previously advertised on its way south from Singapore, was Bandjermasin on the south-western corner of Borneo. As the earlier US attempt to capture Bandjermasin, this one also proved to be too weakly founded. The landing bogged down in front of the determined enemy defenders and emergency operations had to be initiated. These consist of more units beng sent from Singapore and Darwin and the 25th Australian Bde from Denpasar, Bali. A cruiser/destroyer force has been assembled with replenishment ships in Denpasar and some Commonwealth bomber units have also been transferred to Kendari, Macassar and Denpasar to support the ground forces. Battleship Queen Elizabeth and battle cruiser Renown have taken two trips down from Singapore to participate in the bombardment. Very little US forces are involved in this operation.

Port Arthur has been taken by Chinese forces. Here, too, the Japanese defense warranted more and more reinforcements to achieve the planned-for result. There are still some enemy pockets but they have nowhere to go, the Peninsula is closed off by other Chinese forces in the east. Plans are already laid for the forces freed-up by the fall of Port Arthur, they shall be used to cut off the Korean Peninsula, isolating the inland enemy forces completely. US submarines are already patrolling outside the enemy-held ports. The rail system has proved particularly effective in moving the Chinese army units.

The coast of of Indo-China has now been cleaned up all the way up to Hanoi.

As Nagasaki falls an enormous naval loot is expected. That shall also be the last large Japanese city outside Tokyo, excepting Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido - which is of little importance in the big picture. Hakodate port yielded a large number of vessels, mainly MTBs, MGBs anf MLs, but also a couple of submarines, three destroyer transports and half a dozen sub-chasers.

After Nagasaki "everything" shall be concentrated on Tokyo. Ashore in Japan are the equivalent of more than ten army Army and Marine divisions, a thousand bombers and, soon, thirty battleships and heavy cruisers for bombardment missions. While Tokyo Bay has been mined up till now this shall be taken care of before the main assault starts.

Fred


Sitmap Hakodate Strait February 15th 1944:






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Leandros -- 5/2/2017 9:19:07 AM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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Post #: 503
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 5/1/2017 10:55:48 PM   
Leandros


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Sitmap Kyushu Island February 15th 1944:







Attachment (1)

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Post #: 504
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 5/3/2017 2:24:05 PM   
Leandros


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Sitrep February 19th 1944 - afternoon

Nagasaki was captured yesterday but there are still some resistance pockets in and outside the city. Further withdrawal is blocked by US forces on all sides so there shall probably be a "bloody shambles" before these are put down completely. Now remains only the clean-up on southern Kyushu and a couple of small resistance pockets on Honshu. This shall be taken care of by the ground forces, most air support and flying units are now being prepared to transfer to airfields close to Tokyo to increase the capacity of those airfields. A week's work-up and the Tokyo show shall start again. It is hoped that the defenders in the meantime have been weakened by the total blockade of the city. Some strong carrier groups shall be positioned in the ocean south of Tokyo to participate in the air bombings. The enemy fighter defense is still completely shut down so the Navy's emphasis shall be on dive and level bombing.

As was expected the number of captured vessels in the Nagasaki/Sasebo port was enormous:

51 transports of various sizes, 15 tankers, 15 large and small submarines, 5 destroyer transports, 14 destroyers, 2 carriers - Amagi (under construction), Kasagi (under construction) and light cruiser Sakawa (under construction).

The battle for Bendjermasin is dragging on, the defenders show little weakening. The main British problem is a lack of amphibious vessels, reinforcements have to be re-loaded in Denpasar, Bali. Two Australian infantry brigades, no longer needed for the defense of Koepang, Timor, have been warned to make ready for transfer to Denpasar and Bandjermasin.

Fred


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 505
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 5/8/2017 11:09:17 AM   
Leandros


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Sitrep February 27th 1944 - afternoon

The "Heavenly Wind" strikes again - and is given a blow in the guts!

The recent, and regular, successes all around the South-East and South-Western Theatre of Operations - the British have finally taken Bandjermasin on Borneo, the USN has promised them some amphibious vessels to help in their future operations in the DEI, the Chinese are pushing south on the Korean Peninsula and the US and Philippine ground forces outside Kagoshima have been reinforced by the 92nd Infantry Division that was never needed in the capture of Nagasaki - has put MacArthur and his staff in a somewhat euphoric state, bordering on recklessness.

Yesterday they were brutally awakened! Two battleship groups were cruising eastwards south of Shikoku Island after bombarding Kagoshima in support of the land operations there. They had started from Shimonoseki the night before and were heading for Yokohama were it was planned for a period of rest and replenishment before the bombardment of Tokyo should start. As enemy air activity had been almost non-existent for weeks they had no air protection, all carriers except CVE Anzio, also on her way to Yokohama, had been withdrawn to Yokohama and Osaka to prepare for the upcoming attack on Tokyo. In the morning she was quite a distance east of the two east-bound battleship groups. Her air complement also wasn't exactly what was needed for the occasion, it consisted of two squadrons of dive bombers that had participated in the bombing of Kagoshima.

The only places west of Tokyo still in enemy hands were two small cities on the land tongue bordering the east of the Inland Sea, south of Osaka - these were already under siege by army and marine units freed up by the fall of Nagasaki, and Takamatsu on the north-eastern tip of Shikoku. Plans were under way to move on that city, too, but it had not proceeded farther than the landing of naval support units in Hochi, on the south side of the island, to prepare for the reception of proper fighting units for the purpose. While there had been some air activity originating from Tsu none had ben detected coming from Takamatsu. And the local US leadership had absolutely no idea on what had obviously been going on there lately, namely an enormous build-up of air assets.

As the first blips indicating enemy activity started to pop up on the radar screens of the battleships and their escorts they weren't too worried. They had, after all, an impressive AA defense and the enemy air forces were known to have been virtually annihilated. The destroyers closed up to their valuable big sisters. The first enemy formation, consisting of three "Bettys" and three "Daves", escorted by a similar number of Zeros, split up and attacked the battleships Oklahoma and New Mexico. All but two were shot down but those two, one Betty and one Dave, didn't launch torpedoes or bombs in the usual way, they simply crashed themselves into the enemy ships. This pattern continued through the day with an ever-increasing number of planes. At the end of the day four battleships had been seriously damaged, one hit by seven death-defying enemy bombers crashing themselves into the ship. They were the "Kamikazes" - carriers of the "Heavenly Wind"! As the attacks developed many bomb-carrying fighters also rammed the US ships.

In-between the attacks on the battleship groups, similar attacks were performed against shipping in the port of Kobe. Four valuable transports, among them two large tankers, were sunk, and several damaged. Over Kobe many enemy bombers were shot down by fighters flying CAP from Osaka and Maizuru but for the US ships out in the sea only minimal support could be given. Even then, when the day was over 185 enemy planes were claimed by US flak and fighter units. As reports filed in through the day it also became clear that all the enemy strikes had originated from Takamatsu on Shokaku Island. How could this enomous undetected assembly be possible - several hundred planes had participated in the attacks?

As the day passed into night several important decisons were made by the US leadership, the most important to see to that the damaged battleships reached Yokohama safely. CVE Anzio was instructed to turn around and join the convoy escorting the damaged ships to Yokohama, her dive bombers were flown off to give space for a large Corsair squadron transferring from Chiba. A four-ship escort carrier force also was organized in Yokohama to meet the retreating ships.

As important was the purpose of attacking the enemy base, Takamatsu, before they could repeat their performance the next day. This operation consisted of a naval bombardment force of two battleships and half a dozen destroyers dispatched full speed from Shimonokesi in the early evening so that they could make the safety of Osaka before daylight. The second part was that of two hundred high-level and dive bombers starting from the US airfields closest to Takamatsu.

In retrospect, the previous day's disclosure of the enemy's new tactics may, in the long run, have been of the good as the next day's fighting was a large US victory. The nightly naval bombardment of the tightly packed enemy airfields was devastating, followed by a number of totally unopposed air bombardments. With this, and the much increased US CAPs, no enemy bombers got near the damaged battleships the next day. Claims by AA and fighter units, and follow-up photo-reconnaissance of the Takamatsu airfields, indicated enemy losses on the ground and the air in the hundreds.

The final nail in the enemy's plans coffin was the decision to order a desperate attack on Takamatsu by the Shimonoseki-based US para units. During the evening, five C-47 squadrons transferred from Kanoya to Shimonoseki. With the transport units already there, most of the 503rd Para Bde, 1st Special Bde and the 2nd Marine Para Bn could be dropped in a single lift. In the middle of the next day's bomb strikes the Paras jumped over three locations around the city, before nightfall the enemy was chased out and the airfields captured with a loot of several hundred planes in addition to those lost in air operations. The next morning the damaged battleships arrived safely in Yokohama. They were immediately put into the wharfs to prepare them for the Tokyo attacks.

Fred

Picture: Aircraft loss figures February 27th 1944







Attachment (1)

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 506
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 5/8/2017 12:38:24 PM   
Leandros


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Ships sunk by the first Kamikaze attacks - actually a couple of more than first known:






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 507
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 5/8/2017 12:40:39 PM   
Leandros


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General statistics per February 27th 1944 - afternoon. Total enemy loss of planes this date
around 1.700:






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< Message edited by Leandros -- 5/8/2017 12:44:10 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 508
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 5/8/2017 12:53:26 PM   
Leandros


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Capital ships damaged - mainly by Kamikazes - on February 26th 1944:




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< Message edited by Leandros -- 5/8/2017 12:54:25 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 509
RE: Saving MacArthur - Rookie AAR - 5/8/2017 1:04:48 PM   
Leandros


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A Kamikaze hits USS Maryland:






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018F2QMEW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 510
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