1st of all, super congrs for the NUCLEAR bonbardment of Suva, super well done!
Secondly, full kudoz for your organization in particular for the strong air escort over the landing; must be said, you've been lucky too, even very lucky, not being hit by the first SBD wave, so you had luck on your part as well; the severe storms, btw, do not seem having had been much influentials on the strikers...
So what surprises me, is 1st the supposingly big number of airplanes at Suva; 2nd, that so many took off for the strike after the nuclear bombardment; 3rd, no hits at all on your CVLs (we need some luck as well sometimes); we see also a big concentration of subs in Nadi on the screen shot - please, be careful; you need a very thick escort screen;
I like very much the way you divided your carrier fleets;
Also that you allocated, and took the risk of, forces to occupy the minor islands around, mind blowing.
So you had luck also with your sweeps over Noumea; or , maybe, that's because the AI opted not to launch the strike after having received the new recon defending fighters intelligence (strange)? BTW how much big are the airfields at Koumac?
Where did his bombers fly off from?
If Apbarog is seemingly moving to contrast you in big forces over the Fiji-New Caledonia:
and if you have some more push available, to strike-invade also somewhere else, maybe in australia?
Or, to raid somewhere, maybe in the IO-Australia routes, with your remaining available surface ships?
There is no question that I was lucky to reach Nadi without losing troops at sea, either to submarines or DBs. We will see happens tomorrow. All of my TFs are heavy with escorts. The SCTFs and CV groups have more DDs than capital ships. The amphibious group has 4 DDs, 5 APDs, 3 DMS, and 12 APs, so it has an equal number of escorts to ships. (That is why I am so short of DDs).
Asakuri's bombardment group did not use half their ammunition to achieve those results. The BBs and CAs still have over half their ammunition. That is my best SCTF. Kongo and Haruna have seen significant action. They sank 3 allied TKs in the DEI and the 2 Australian CAs at Koumac. So they have high-experience crews, especially at night. Chokai has been a terror, with 7 allied ships sunk to its credit, including the CAs New Orleans, Pensacola, and Minneapolis. Atago was part of the TF that sunk the U.S. CAs as well so its crew has seen some action and has improved their night experience. Asakuri is as capable a TF commander as Tanaka.
I landed at Hoorn Islands 2 days ago with a SNLF on xAk-ts with 3 PBs escorting, while KB was bombing Pago Pago. This will be a critical base, I think, if the Fiji campaign is long-term (which it appears it will be). It is 8 hexes from Suva: out of range of most allied fighters, but in range of A6M2s and Oscars. I have a Marshalls base force, another SNLF, and 2 construction battalions en route to reinforce and build-up the base. This landing was diversionary, and successfully so. It appears that APbarog sent his PT boats at Suva off after the xAK-ts at Hoorn, leaving Suva open for Asakuri's bombardment.
Filling the 2 CVLs with fighters worked out very well, and I may employ this tactic in future CV engagements. If I can splinter an allied CV strike by diverting some of the strike aircraft to CAP-heavy CVLs, that could make a major difference in a CV engagement. I broke Chitose group, a size-36 squadron, into 3 groups of 12. I placed one group of 12 on each CVL and the third group on Akagi. Chitose group had been my low-experience group, but with so many pilots returning from injuries and with half of the pilots in that group reaching 70 experience, I was able to fill it out with 70+ exp. pilots. Instead of being the rookie group, it is now the wounded veterans group.
The A6M2-Rufes scored 5 kills on the day: an impressive showing, because these were true rookies and flying low CAP.
I have no additional ships available with the simultaneous landings on Luzon and Fiji. 3 repaired CAs and 3 CVEs are en route to SoPAC from Luzon, but are a week away. I have 4 heavy CAs in Singapore, but no escorts. The first squadron of KI-45 Nicks is also en route to SoPAC to station at Koumac so as to relieve the A6M2s of defense against the 4-Es from Australia that have caused so much difficulty.
I am also behind on upgrading ships. The Kagero-class DDs are all due upgrades, and I have upgraded only 6 of them.