18th January 1942
Next (Combat 9) comes a bombardment by 2 battleships and a heavy cruiser against the airfield at Vanua Levu. MAG 21 and REC 10 have 11 Dauntless, 16 Wildcats and 11 Kingfishers. The bombardment reduces the Wildcats by 3 and the Dauntless by a further 2. The aircraft don't seemingly attack the ships in defence....
And so we come to the destruction of Task Force 4.
For the attack Larry was able to bring in 6 aircraft carriers - 4 of which are fleet carriers of the 1st Air Fleet. I don't have any major issue with the result given the disparity of forces. But I do not understand why, throughout the combats mentioned, the Japanese always had aircraft they could bring to every battle, but the 18th Fighter Group on Vanua Levu (which was right next door to three of the battles and well within range of the carrier battle to come) never flew once. In fact, come to think of it, when the Japanese bombarded the airfield in Combat 9, why weren't the fighters targeted? Is this a bug?
The 54th Fighter Group on Samoa was well within range of this battle, didn't fly. So a fair summary would be, while out of my control aircraft I didn't want to fly - flew stupid missions, while the time I wanted aircraft to fly, they didn't. Sorry, this is the operational art of war. Having some control of operations is kind of implied in the title.... this just seems too random.
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/16/2018 6:29:39 AM >
England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805