9 Dec 41
The captain of I-121 deserves a medal. Yesterday, in two separate attacks, I-121 sank big AMC Kanimlba fleeing Singapore. Today, I-121 sank xAK Tai Sang with one torpedo. Nice work considering that I-121 is one of the minelaying subs, and starts with a mine loadout. Unfortunately, it did not appear to hit a just dropped Allied minefield while headed east just south of Singapore.
In the one heart-stopping moment for today, I-24 spots CV Enterprise southwest of Pearl Harbor, fires 6 torpedoes at it, and all miss. Wow. Dodged a bullet there.
The first Allied sub attack occurred near Zamboanga, with Perch spotting a cruiser TF. 2 torpedoes miss DD Fubuki. Cruisers Chokai and Sendai, and 5 destroyers, moved east along the north coast of Mindanao, picking off small Allied cargo ships in multiple engagements. xAK Ravnaas is first sunk, then xAP Legaspi, that was loaded with part of a support unit picked up at Cebu. Then two xAKLs were sunk near Cagayan.
Ambon was invaded. Coastal guns hit nothing during the initial landing, but in the second round the CD guns were effective.
75 Coastal gun shots fired in defense.
DD Natsugumo, Shell hits 2
APD Nadakaze, Shell hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
APD Shimakaze, Shell hits 4, on fire
xAKL Hakuyo Maru, Shell hits 1
xAKL Kumakawa Maru, Shell hits 3, on fire
Guam was invaded. Southwest of Guam, US ship AM Penguin is fleeing to the south, and runs into unescorted xAKL Katsuragisan Maru. The epic battle began at 20,000 yards, and closed to 8,000 yards, when Penguin got a 3 inch shell hit on the cargo ship. Then the range increased and the battle was over. Not only will Penguin survive (hopefully), it may have been the first US combat ship to fight a surface battle.
Here's a play-by-play of the air activity:
18 Zeros sweep Singapore. No CAP.
32 Oscars sweep Georgetown. No CAP.
36 Nells bomb Georgetown's airfield, doing damage and hitting a few leftover Buffaloes.
25 Bettys and 36 Nells bomb the 22nd Australian Brigade inland in Malaysia. Vals and Kates join in.
27 Kates escorted by 14 Zeros bomb ships at Singapore. Everything at Singapore is already badly damaged.
AG Vyner Brooke, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
AMC Manoora, Bomb hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
AG Pangkor, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
Lots of bombers bomb Hong Kong.
18 Sallys bomb Georgetown's airfield. A couple of leftover Blens are damaged, again.
Anns bomb Chinese troops near Wuchang. Targets in the open terrain. Sallys bomb troops near Kaifeng.
51 Sallys bomb troops near Kota Bharu.
Token Blen and Hudson bombers attack shipping near Singapore, but effective enemy CAP takes care of them easily. I forgot to stand these few down and ship them out. Corrected for today.
A highlight for today. 19 Lilys from Bangkok bomb troops at Rangoon. They are not escorted, and run into about a dozen Buffaloes and a dozen H81s from the AVG. Most of the Lilys are shot down, with just 6 dropping bombs. Top Allied pilot is now Sldr. R.A. Howard, of No. 67 Sqn RAF, flying a Buffalo at Rangoon. He shot down 3 Lilys.
49 Zeros sweep Clark airfield. No CAP. 27 Nells escorted by 9 Zeros then bomb the airfield in heavy rain. The airfield is still out of action from the day before. Most planes are gone.
Finally, Singkawang and Sorong were invaded. Both will fall quickly.
In China, a Chinese Corps is kicked back near Wuchang, and another near Kaifeng, and the enemy bombarded at Hong Kong, waiting for all of their units to arrive.
Mersing was captured easily. Some enemy pursued south. Singapore is going to fall so easily.
Automatic Allied bombardment attacks at the invasions of Kendari and Ambon show that neither will fall immediately.
Early observations of Aurorus' methods show that he supports his invasions strongly. Carriers tend to stand off one hex from the invasion hex. A surface group will be with the invasion, and he's used another stronger group as a screening force one hex away, in the direction of a possible Allied move. Granted, these first moves are rather scripted, and, I'm sure, well tested.
US carriers will rendezvous at Pearl Harbor. The first huge convoy will form up on the West Coast, join up with the carriers, and move "to the front". By the time it gets to anywhere important, we'll have a better idea what Aurorus' long-term objectives may be.
Note that I have reconsidered a strong Ceylon defense. India first. Many Chinese air groups have been bought out and flown to India for training. My opinion is that they suck up too much supply in China. They all are so poorly trained, and only good for surprising unescorted bombers.