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Hapless AI versus total freaking newbie.

 
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Hapless AI versus total freaking newbie. - 1/10/2007 7:41:16 PM   
HMS Resolution


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Hello there! I've been lurking around here for a few days now, reading some of your delightful after-action reports in preparation for actually trying to play WitP. In a few lines, I'm going to tell you how I've been doing, but first, a little about me.

I've previously tried to play Plan Orange and Beyond Valour, but neither of them really did very much for me, Plan Orange because I found myself jonesing for modern (so to speak; time stopped for me around 1946) aircraft, and Beyond Valour because...well...it had no British ships.

So, with not a little trepidation, I approached WitP gingerly, trying out and screwing up endlessly in the smaller scenarios for a bit (although I did see one incredible, never-to-be-repeated immediately-post-Pearl Harbour retaliatory strike that gutted the Japanese carrier fleet, scoring heavy hits on four of the six carriers; this left me with unrealistic expectations for a few abortive, Pacific Fleet CV-strength-gutting experiments) before finally starting my first full campaign game as the Allies this week.

A bit disengenously, I turned off historical first turn and December 7th Surprise, because I'm bad enough at this already, and off we went. I did some things which upon sober reflection might---just might---be construed as "game-y" by a wholly impartial observer. Specifically, I created a TF in Pearl with my mighty, throbbing battleships, in all their obsolescent glory. As a result the airstrikes missed them. I feel bad about it, but this is war.

At any rate, I've had some stunning sucesses so far, even without that factored into consideration. HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse, escorted by HMS Danae and various destroyers (sans the two most damaged ones, which conducted HMS Mauritius to Trincomalee) managed to bull through both Japanese surface action groups off Kotu Bharu, hitting both IJN battleships and damaging three Japanese heavy cruisers (HMS Express putting a tin fish into Suzuya and Prince of Wales pummeling the Mogami so hard that she would later founder and sink.) Unfortunately, they only did minimal damage to the transports before beating feet back to Singapore, and Blenheim and Vildebeest bombing attacks failed to capitalize on the initial success. A Hudson did managed to plant a worthless 250-lb bomb strike on one of the retiring BBs, but that's nothing to write home about. (Later, Dutch subs would put two torpedoes into one of the battleships, damaging her further---but not sinking her! Argh!---and another sub would put a torpedo into Suzuya again before she finished limping into port.)

Hong Kong collapsed on the 11th, despite a massive infusion of Chinese troops into Canton to try and draw off IJA forces, but all three destroyers made it to Singapore safely, just in time to smash into forces landing at Kuantan, roughly handling them in a fierce night action before withdrawing under cover of AVG P-40s and RAAF Buffalos in Singapore.

Unfortunately, on land, the British troops performed poorly, with the Japanese easily pushing forward everywhere but Kuantan, where fierce resistance has continued past Christmas day. Rangoon looks like it will be invested soon, and most British aircraft have withdrawn behind Imphal or been evacuated to Colombo. All British ships have decamped for Colombo, with Repulse and Prince of Wales both taking minimal damage from 125kg bombs that did nothing and destroyed a 2lbr pom-pom, respectively.

The AI has a penchant for un- or weakly-escorted invasion forces that's beyond my ken; two undefended APs carrying the Sasebo SNLF were sunk off Sarawak by Houston, Boise, and the rest of the US Asiatic fleet, killing 3,000+ Japanese troops and putting their invading forces in a precarious situation until reinforcements finally arrived.

The USS Enterprise and her CVBG, less the torpedoed Salt Lake City, limping back to Pearl Harbour for repairs, have arrived at Nomuea, with the Saratoga escorting various convoys and the heavy elements of the Pacific fleet to the same destination. The Lexington remains on-station at Pearl Harbor, awaiting both Wildcats (yay!) to replace her Buffaloes (boo!) and USS Yorktown to arrive in theater so that I have a credible striking force.

I've built up my forces in Moresby---right now I have about 30 B-17s based there that've escaped the collapsing Phillipines and I'm convoying in fuel, base troops, and a couple of AVDs like crazy, as well as 40 or so P-40s escaping Manilla in an AK. I spent a ton of political points to get the 1st(? I think) Australian brigade to split up and go to Gili Gili and Buna. I was originally going to send part of it to reinforce Rabaul, but latest intel has over 4000 Japanese troops duking it out with my diggers there, and I've spotted a heavy cruiser in the area. Although I have an Aussie "County"-class and a CL docked at Moresby along with Adelaide, I'm leery of risking anything, what with all of the Betty bombers pounding Rabaul daily and the beginnings of an IJN sub presence in the area and me so short on destroyers. Also, I can't escape the feeling that late December 1941 is not a good time to go on the offensive anywhere.

At any rate, that's where I am right now. Any general-type suggestions? I apologize for being vague in this, but I'm supposed to be working, so every now and then I have to do stuff, which really messes up my train of thought. I can probably answer most direct questions about how I'm doing so far, if anyone cares.
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RE: Hapless AI versus total freaking newbie. - 1/10/2007 8:21:30 PM   
qgaliana

 

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"mighty, throbbing battleships, in all their obsolescent glory" at least is worthy of comment

I can't summon a straight face to say anything useful now...

(in reply to HMS Resolution)
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RE: Hapless AI versus total freaking newbie. - 1/10/2007 10:28:11 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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In the PI, I would spend some time moving supply stockpiles out of Manila. Not all of them--MacArthur made a big mistake decamping too soon. Manila gives you an urban combat bonus that will allow you to buy some time, but it's wise not to put all your eggs in that basket, since it is doomed in the long run.

In the DEI, concentrate on oil. Defend Palembang as long as you can, and try to get engineer units to destroy the oil wells before the Japanese can seize them. The resulting crimp in the Japanese economy should slow down their advance.

Oh, and make sure the AVG doesn't get cut off in Singapore!

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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RE: Hapless AI versus total freaking newbie. - 1/10/2007 11:51:08 PM   
HMS Resolution


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock
Oh, and make sure the AVG doesn't get cut off in Singapore!


No fear of that. They're two-thirds of the way to Colombo, ensconced in a very lucky AK; the 1st Malayan Bde was blown out of the water alongside them, followed shortly by their MSW "escort", thanks to rampaging Betty bombers.

I'm thinking of sending HMS Revenge and HMS Hermes and the Hong Kong "S"-class destroyers down to Australia to bolster my defenses there, but beyond showing that Britain's got Australia's back for TIME magazine, I'm having a hard time thinking of a use for another old 20-knot battleship and a biplane-toting light carrier, save as decoys for the Enterprise TF. Which is kind of a crap way to use 40,000 tons worth of ships.

What can I do, though? The main IJN effort now seems to be coming against Rabaul. I don't think I can hold on much longer, and spending scarce political points to send Aussie troops to die there doesn't seem like a good use of eminently sinkable AKs or APs. Until my crushingly slow battlewagons make it down there (hopefully without getting torpedoed by sneaky G4Ms on the way), I only have a few cruisers, and almost all of my destroyers are tied up escorting bigger things. Should I be applying pressure here? I mean, once Rabaul folds, there will be an awful lot of Bettys and Zekes in my backyard, correct?

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
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RE: Hapless AI versus total freaking newbie. - 1/11/2007 4:08:41 AM   
Ian R

 

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Random notes:

1) until April 42 the Zero will wipe you from the skies, so its best to keep your US carriers somewhere safe and training airgroups until then. Also sending the TF on little expeditions around Pago Pago helps build ship crew experience. Your Wildcats are no match for the Reisen unless well trained (at least about 75) one way to get them there is to wait until the Kudo Butai is known to be off Java and then strike some outlying Japanese bases - Wake, Marcus, Tarawa etc. Some list members decry this as a gamey tactic, but it is what happened IRL.  You may take some damage from Betties or a sub but as Admiral King said, you sometimes have to lose some ships to win the war. You should hopefully by May 42 have 4 carriers ready to rock and roll with the fifth in a yard period at any particular time, training squadrons etc. Rotating them that way means you can push the 4 that are active harder. Eventually the Wasp arrives, but by then you will probably have lost a couple of the other ones.

2) views vary on the great escape of units from the PI and Malaya/NEI. As to whether its "gamey" or not. I am sure you've read them. Tactically, its not a tremendously good idea because the IJA will be able to fulfill its objectives without much trouble delay losses or supply expenditure. Keeping supplies some good troops and even some fighters in the PI will keep the IJA busy, the IJN may even divert the KB there to help out. Same comment applies to Singapore/Malaya and the NEI. Singapore in particular will attract a lot of IJN effort, and by keeping fighters and patrol aircraft there along with some strike aircraft to attack the ships, you demand a priority effort to clear you out, incrementally slowing down everything else and soaking up the surprise bonus period.

On the other hand there is some stuff that you want to keep. I would pull out large chunks of PAF, and MAF, and cadre of 4 Marines, the combat engineer reg't and 31 RCT, the two tank battalions and the FA reg't in the PI, the Australian brigades in Malaya, all to Darwin and from there rail the combat units down south out to more temperate areras to rebuild. Maybe a cadre of two Philippine Army units - the 26th PS RCT and one of the infantry RCTs are the usual candidates, to put the trickle of PS squads to use. But with the exception of the aviation engineers and the combat engineer reg't I usually wait until the units in the PI have been heavily attrited (put them on no replacements) so they cost less PP to switch  HQ.

3) When the time comes I may do a similar partial pull out from the NEI - particularly the aviation engineers (mainly the DAF units), base forces and the NEI Air Force, and maybe one or two infantry rigiments. If I have sent more stuff there - see below - I will pull back a cadre by sub if it looks like they are going down.

4) the NEI. I try and hold Timor and Java against the AI IJN. Timor is not that hard to hold against the AI, you just firstly dig in to PM, Kokoda and Gili Gili and put plenty of planes and aviation support in to form a roadblock to Japanese aims there. Second you send to Timor stuff like Sparrow force, and airlift some other NEI stuff from the Moluccas etc there ( you used not to have to change HQ to do that.) If any of the stuff from the PI got out with some substantial strength, eg the tank battalions, they may rebuild fairly quickly, at which point rail them back to Darwin and ship them over to Timor. You will probably need to switch an AMF division or two to SWPac and send them and the second available US infantry division to Timor, plus you will need to switch over some AMF AA and AT battalions and deploy nthem to the three bases in Timor. There are enough NEI base engineers about that if you pull some parts back to Timor the bases build up nicely and the IJN seems to put the island in the too hard basket. You then have an unsinkable aircraft carrier which can despatch 4e bombers around the NEI bombing oil and resources. Eventually when Java falls you can also collect much of the NEI airforce on Timor and rotate them to Darwin etc to keep them fresh.

5) Java. If I put as much stuff on Java as I do on Timor, maybe It would hold but I doubt it, the IJA will send 4 or 6 divisions there - it seems to be an oil thing. Also Timor can be resupplied from Darwin under fighter cover all the way, Java not so. So while I'm suring up Timor, anything pulled from Malaya/Singapore, except MAF,  goes to Java. Any NEI stuff not going to Timor I will try to get into Java. Except the engineers at Palembang. If I can get the UK 18th Div, and any Indian divs/brigades out of Singapore at the last minute, they go to Java. (but keep some fragments back in India to rebuild later) Keep the NEI airforce, CW air from Singapore, AVG, etc there to make as much trouble for the IJA as possible. The land units (less the fragments) will all hoild until relieved, as they say, at the last possible moment fly the NEI airforce to Timor. One exception - get most of the short legged NEI recon squadrons out early, they don't have the range to fly to Timor. They will turn into F5 units one day.




_____________________________

"You may find that having is not so nearly pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
- Cdr Spock


Ian R

(in reply to HMS Resolution)
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RE: Hapless AI versus total freaking newbie. - 1/11/2007 5:34:10 AM   
wdolson

 

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You are correct, you won't be able to do anything offensive in December 1941.

Hold back your carriers and keep them in reserve until the Zero bonus is gone. If you want to get the crews some training, take them on raids to Japanese held islands you are pretty sure are not well defended. When I played the campaign against the AI, I made several training cruises to Wake Is.

Starting in January, the game will start demanding to withdraw British warships or pay political points. Keep those S class destroyers, they are the worst you've got and the first you should withdraw. If you get any badly banged up British warships take them back to Karachi or Bombay (where you have to go to withdraw ships) and leave them there. When the game starts demanding that class of ship, you can withdraw the damaged ships that aren't useful for anything else. Though withdrawn ships have to have less than 50 Sys damage. I had a cruiser with 60+ Sys damage that I put in Bombay. The next time the game asked for cruisers, it had repaired to 48 Sys damage, so I was able ti withdraw it.

In Malay, I moved all my aircraft to Singapore and marched all my base units to Singapore. When they got there, I evacuated them to Palembang and built that up. When Palambang's air base got built up enough to operate bombers, I withdrew the bombers from Singapore the Palembang and they took on Japanese transports bringing in supplies. They were able to put enough of a crimp in supplies that it took a while for Singapore to fall. Because I had so many base forces at Palambang, I was able to built up its fortification level to 9 as well as expand the air field to max. The bomber units became very experienced and pounded the hell out of Singpore when it fell. Japan was never able to get the base fully operational. The Japanese also never tried to invade Palambang.

In the first months of the war, save as many base forces and engineer units as you can. Later in the game, you will have a flood of them, but early on they are worth gold. You will need to build up your bases along your defensive line. Pulling back your engineers to these bases and supplying them will allow these bases to become the launching point for your offensives when the tide turns.

If you can delay the Japanese as long as possible in Singapore and Manilla, that will buy you time to build up bases further back.

Another thing to check is the quality of your leaders. The leader of the headquarters in Singapore, General Percival, is terrible. If you replace him with a better leader, the units in Malaya will fight better. Ultimately the British will probably lose there, but you need to give the Japanese the biggest black eye possible in the process. That will buy everyone else time. Before Singapore falls, you might want to replace the leader with Percival again so you don't lose a good general with the rest of your troops.

Figuring out what leaders do for you and what headquarters do what is not blatently obvious, but both headquarters and leaders give bonuses for various things. They can make of break a campaign.

Bill

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Update as of January 7 1942 - 1/11/2007 11:07:17 AM   
HMS Resolution


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Well, I'm in an interesting position, I'll give it that much. Enterprise and Saratoga are operating out of Noumea, awaiting the arrival of my glacially slow battlewagons.

Singapore proper, the hex directly south of Khota Bharu, and Johore are still in British hands. Nearly everything of value has been evacuated, but the few remaining UK troops are holding on for now. I expect Johore to fall any day.

Rangoon is besieged, and it doesn't look good. All aircraft were pulled back to Akyab at the end of December, when collapse looked imminent. Things aren't quite as bad now, but there's no way it will last the month.

The Phillipines has contracted to Clark Field and Manilla, both of which are still too stong for IJA troops to overwhelm as of yet.

Chinese and Japanese units are still fighting it out in Canton, and Chinese aircraft have been hitting(!!!) naval targets off the coast.

Down by Australia is where it gets interesting. Against what passes for my better judgement, I've opted to contest the Japanese occupation of Rabaul. B-17s based at Moresby pounded the aerodromes for a while, and two surface groups, one consisting of Adelaide and five USN four-pipers and the other including Australia, Canberra, Pensacola, Perth, Le Triomphant, and one Aussie destroyer bombarded the port as the Enterprise CVBG launched airstrikes. We caught IJNS Mutsu out in the open and hit her with four 500lb bombs for negligable effect, but she retreated into Rabaul harbour and has since taken 17 small-caliber shell hits from Adelaide and company. She remains holed up in there, along with what appears to be several heavy cruisers. I've been offloading heavy bombers in Moresby, and hopefully once they go active, I can launch some night raids to beat them up further. Depending on how suicidally reckless I feel, I may send my battleships up to bombard once they arrive and refuel.

My cruiser force has taken a beating, as I knew it would, from IJN destroyers working the area around Rabaul. Pensacola was lost in action, and Australia and Adelaide both were damaged by torpedoes. All of the four-pipers are sunk or crippled, thanks to IJN subs and destroyers. In return, I've managed to badly beat up six or seven Japanese destroyers and sink numerous smaller vessels during night actions. I've detached HMS Revenge and HMS Hermes, accompanied by two "C" class cruisers, (Force Y) from the Eastern Fleet, with orders to bolster the RAN presence down south, in an attempt to make some losses good.

In other news, it would seem that HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales damaged Haruna so badly that she sunk. I lost the USS Colorado to a dumb move on my part, though, so we're even...except, of course, for the fact that I will be getting more fast battleships, and the IJN will not.

The IJN carriers seem to be sinking escapees from the Phillipines, as I saw Vals and Kates escorted by Zeroes making airstrikes in that region. It seems quite likely that one or two CVs have been sent towards Rabaul, which is troublesome, but I have a lot of land-based air getting ready to go. I can't directly fight them, but I can bleed them.

(in reply to wdolson)
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RE: Update as of January 7 1942 - 1/11/2007 5:18:49 PM   
qgaliana

 

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Don't forget to stock lots of supplies on bases you intend to defend. The naval bombardments in particular can burn through them at a sick rate. I lost Timor this way my first game (14k supply from one bombardment).

If you have the supplies you can also think local counterattack. Especially on troops that have crossed a river. I'm holding Singapore in June 42 of my current game. I withdrew in good order (game 1 was a disaster with 60000 cooks defending the base) and kicked out 2 Japanese crossings into the base (I gambled on shock counterattacks, maybe not for everyone). But I almost bungled it on the supply by nor planning ahead for a protracted siege. I almost starved the place with the fighting. I had to win my battle of Java to clear the lanes and resupply.

Supply is also the killer in Phillipines. There was a point where it looked like I could have cleared Luzon - low disruption, good morale, intact units, exhausted enemies - but I had less than 8k supply and dropping for the whole army - it was a sad moment. As someone pointed out get the useless mouths out (base forces aviation units), it works better than evacuating the combat units (I've tried it and collapsed that much faster). I'm down to Bataan in June, which is a good 2-3 months more so far than when I tried pulling the combat units.

Good luck and have fun, I'm hopelessly hooked and I haven't even played a real life human yet.


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RE: Update as of January 7 1942 - 1/11/2007 7:02:25 PM   
HMS Resolution


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quote:

ORIGINAL: qgaliana

Don't forget to stock lots of supplies on bases you intend to defend. The naval bombardments in particular can burn through them at a sick rate. I lost Timor this way my first game (14k supply from one bombardment).



Funny you should mention that, as I, uh, I forgot to supply Pearl Harbor. It's being rectified, but boy did I feel dumb. It's probably a pretty good thing that I'm not playing a live opponent; I don't think I could get away with some of the stunts I've pulled.

I'm hoping to force the Japanese into more surface actions around Rabaul; despite the losses my cruiser force has suffered (Pensacola sunk, Australia torpedoed and limping to Syndney, Adelaide torpedoed three times and making emergency repairs in Gilli Gilli, and Perth limping to Moresby to make emergency repairs) I have more ships on the way, and I'm closer to emergency ports than they are. Hopefully my B-17s can hit ships parked in the harbor.

I've considered withdrawing my Asiatic fleet units from Java and leaving it to the Dutch to try and defend; the USN ships have won several night actions and all have pretty good night fighting skills. On the other hand, I like them where they are, able to interdict troop convoys, and...this is shameful, but I've grown rather fond of Houston and Boise (and Canberra and Australia) and would prefer to keep them around for a little.

I'm not sure what Hermes can do in SOPAC now that there are 40 or so Zeroes based at Rabaul, so she may find herself escorting convoys...or....can British CVs load American carrier-based fighters? I could land her hapless Swordfish and carry some spare Wildcats to CAP my slow-moving battleships.

Revenge, on the other hand, I'm pretty sure I can find a use for. She's the same speed as the US battleships, so I'll be able to have a reserve at Noumea.

(in reply to qgaliana)
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RE: Update as of January 7 1942 - 1/11/2007 10:29:35 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HMS Resolution


I'm not sure what Hermes can do in SOPAC now that there are 40 or so Zeroes based at Rabaul, so she may find herself escorting convoys...or....can British CVs load American carrier-based fighters? I could land her hapless Swordfish and carry some spare Wildcats to CAP my slow-moving battleships.



That's a good question. IIRC they can; British CV's actually did carry a version of the Wildcat called the Martlet. Incidentally, my personal recommendation would have been to keep the Revenge in the Indian Ocean and bombard the IJA troops around Rangoon. Now that you have her down south, though, the idea of forming a Surface Action TF with the American battlewagons is a good one.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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RE: Update as of January 7 1942 - 1/11/2007 10:41:48 PM   
HMS Resolution


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I'm aware of the Martlet; I was asking if I could load, say, VMF-somethingorother, chock-full of Wildcats and flying leathernecks, onto the genteel deck of Hermes. Hilarity ensues.

I'm loathe to try and bombard around Rangoon; the coastline is swarming with Betty bombers, and they've pretty much rendered the coastline inhospitable to surface ships.

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 11
RE: Update as of January 7 1942 - 1/12/2007 5:33:42 PM   
HMS Resolution


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Okay, that was weird. I put in 16 turns last night (it's easy to go two weeks of game time at a stretch if you only sleep on the train), but at the end, it got stuck in continous mode and I couldn't exit it and the Kido Butai showed up and killed everything in the general Moresby area and I had to revert to my old save.

So. Bad news is that I have to replay all of that, but good news is that most of my stuff is still alive and I can learn from my mistakes now.

For some reason, my bombers at Moresby are very, very torpid. I can't get them to do a goldarn thing, aside from some understrength night raids that do nothing. I have plenty of support and supply. Is this a malaria thing?

As it stands, I'll be undertaking the following operations when I redo these turns:

REFRIGERATE: This is the ongoing transfer of HMS Revenge, HMS Hermes, two "C" class cruisers, and three "S" class destroyers to the Australian theater.

TOP HAT: Singapore fell on 1/16, and at that point, the situation became untenable for my naval forces in Java. As a result, I will be evacuating all nonessential personnel to Australia.

HIGH SOCIETY: Along with the evacuation of base personnel, I will be moving the US Asiatic fleet out of range of Japanese torpedo bombers in the Malay penninsula and sending them to reinforce surface units in Australia.

MONOCLE: Dutch surface forces will attempt to contest landings as feasible, but will ultimately retrograde to Colombo to reinforce the Eastern Fleet.

THUNDERBALL: US Pacific Fleet battleships in Noumea will sortie and bombard Rabaul.

DANCE CARD: When escorts are freed up, I will be dispatching USAAC fighter units and engineering groups to Australia/Port Moresby/Gilli Gilli to reinforce this area.

DANCE HALL: I will be withdrawing US carriers from Noumea, where they've been remarkably ineffective, and sending them back to Pearl Harbor. When Yorktown arrives, I'll have four fleet carriers. When the Zero bonus goes away, I'll have four powerful fleet carriers. Take that, Death Star!

DANCE PARTNER: Yorktown and Lexington will, after shipping F4F-4s, commence light raiding on Japanese held areas.

I'm still trying to think of a suitable offensive operation for the Eastern Fleet that won't get them killed. Since my carriers haven't arrived yet, I sort of have to wait for the Japanese to come to me; not a very appealing prospect, although with Mustu improbably holed up in Rabaul, they don't have anything that can match Prince of Wales in a one-on-one fight, and with Repulse and Royal Sovereign, I can probably handle the Fusos or Ises if they come a-calling.

(in reply to HMS Resolution)
Post #: 12
RE: Update as of January 7 1942 - 1/12/2007 10:26:21 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HMS Resolution


For some reason, my bombers at Moresby are very, very torpid. I can't get them to do a goldarn thing, aside from some understrength night raids that do nothing. I have plenty of support and supply. Is this a malaria thing?



TOP HAT: Singapore fell on 1/16, and at that point, the situation became untenable for my naval forces in Java. As a result, I will be evacuating all nonessential personnel to Australia.

I'm still trying to think of a suitable offensive operation for the Eastern Fleet that won't get them killed. Since my carriers haven't arrived yet, I sort of have to wait for the Japanese to come to me; not a very appealing prospect, although with Mustu improbably holed up in Rabaul, they don't have anything that can match Prince of Wales in a one-on-one fight, and with Repulse and Royal Sovereign, I can probably handle the Fusos or Ises if they come a-calling.


I think the air forces in Port Moresby need a little time to build morale. How's the experience of your units?

Singapore fell almost a month ahead of schedule?? Ouch. Yes, that does undermine your position.

About the Eastern fleet: maybe you can try to set up a TF within LR-CAP range of a friendly airfield, and within Betty range but outside Zero escort range. Might be worth it to bleed the Betty squadrons.


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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Post #: 13
RE: Update as of January 7 1942 - 1/12/2007 10:46:11 PM   
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The B-17s have pretty solid experience (65+) from beating up on IJN transports prior to evacuating, but their morale is hovering around 50-60. Something about evacuating three battered bomb groups and having to amalgamate them, I guess. Wimps.

Part of the reason Singapore fell is that I evacuated one of the Malay brigades to Colombo along with HQ elements. As a result, I only had about 18,000 men in Singapore when it fell, with another 8,000 still holding out just south of Khota Bharu. In retrospect, this was a pretty dumb move, but I'm trying to adhere to a policy of no tagbacks (the weird endless turn problem aside), so I'm going to grit my teeth manfully and live with the consequences of my decision.

I'm considering sending a USAAC fighter group to Colombo the long way (San Francisco-Sydney-Colombo) to bolster my anti-bomber defenses for the inevitable Kido Butai raid, which as it stands, will just totally wipe me off the map.

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 14
Update as of 4 February 1942 - 1/14/2007 6:31:15 AM   
HMS Resolution


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REPORT TO THE IMPERIAL GENERAL STAFF, 4/2/1942

Status of operations:

REFRIGERATE: All ships have arrived safely in Sydney. Preparations underway to rebase to Townsville.

TOP HAT: Some Dutch forces were evacuated prior to the arrival of the main strength of the IJN carrier fleet on 1/27/42. At that point, operations were suspended until further notice.

HIGH SOCIETY: All Asiatic fleet ships now in Townsville.

MONOCLE: Dutch PT boats made contact with IJN carrier task forces during the nights of 27 and 28 February, launching torpedoes at IJNS Kagero but scoring no hits. Two PT boats were lost. On the 27th, the Dutch East Indies fleet was attacked by carrier aircraft, losing HNLMS De Ruyter. All other vessels were heavily damaged. On the 29th, HNLMS Java was hit by thirty-three bombs while in harbour. She remained afloat, but another airstrike on the 3st finished her off, along with four destroyers. Tromp and Sumatra are proceeding to Colombo.

THUNDERBALL: A mixed success. Seven Japanese destroyers, five transports, and two minesweepers were sunk, another destroyer was hit in harbor, and the Mutsu took 11 hits in port. West Virginia, unfortunately, was torpedoed once during the action and then twice by a submarine a week later and sank. She is the second USN battleship to be lost.

The DANCE CARD/HALL/PARTNER operations are all continuing.

Singapore fell on 17/1, after repulsing an armored attack on 11/1. British troops in Malacca held on until 1/2, and British troops immediately south of Khota Bharu are still fighting.

British and Dutch aircraft operating first out of Borneo and then Sumatra have scored some signal sucesses, with 4 AACU Swordfish torpedoing the Kumano three times (albeit not sinking her) and the Ise once. All but two of their Swordfish have been destroyed; per PM's order, (safe evacuation at all costs) shipping is being found to extricate them. Numerous transports have been hit as well.

An Anglo-Dutch force has occupied the Andamans, with 11 operation Brewster Buffalos from 488 Squadron and a small number of Dutch flying boats. The air cover provided by the Buffalos was insufficient to protect Force R (HMS Dauntless, four "S" class destroyers) when it bombarded Japanese troops in Rangoon and sank two transports, however; HMS Dauntless was lost and HMS Thracian retired to Chandpur with heavy damage after an air attack on 31/1.

Force C (HMS Indomitable, HMS Royal Sovereign, six light and three heavy cruisers, eight destroyers) have been ordered from Colombo to stand off of Rangoon at maximum range for Indomitable's Swordfish and conduct antishipping strikes on Japanese transports landing troops (OPERATION IMPERATIVE). HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are both refitting from light damage sustained during their surfact actions of 8/12.

HMAS Australia and HMAS Adelaide are still under repair at Syndey. HMAS Perth is preparing to head to Sydney for repairs from torpedo damage. HMAS Canberra and six USN destroyers are conducting offensive operations in the waters around Rabaul.

USS Yorktown and Lexington raided the Marcus Islands on 3/2/42, encountering no opposition. USS Saratoga is returning to Pearl Harbour from Noumea.

MAGIC has confirmed that USN forces relieving Wake Island on 10/12/42 sank a light cruiser and seaplane tender.

APPRAISAL OF SITUATION:

Forces in Rangoon cannot be expected to last until March as initially hoped. Currently it is not possible for surface ships to approach within 180 NM of this port, as there is a heavy Japanese air presence based in Malaysia. The arrival of an additional Royal Navy aircraft carrier within the next week is not anticipated to alter the situation, as we currently have no aircraft in theater able to counter the enemy's ZEKE-type fighter aircraft. Until Spitfires can be obtained, our forces are at a considerable disadvantage. At present, should the Japanese aircraft carriers decide to pass through the straits and head into the Indian Ocean, the Royal Navy has insufficient striking power to seriously threaten them, and will be forced to withdraw to Karachi or further east to avoid complete annihilation. WRT aircraft, all our types have been proven demonstrably inferior to Japanese designs, and no allied unit has achieved a kill ratio of better than 1 to 4. The Americans report losing 11 Liberator bombers in operations over Rabaul, against three ZEKEs.

So far we have been fortunate not to lose any modern vessels larger than a destroyer, unlike the Americans, who have lost two battleships and two heavy cruisers, or the Dutch, who have lost two of their four cruisers and nearly all of their destroyers. Unfortunately, as all ships besides carriers currently earmarked for the Eastern Fleet are of World War I vintage, we are at a serious disadvantage against IJN surface or aerial forces. We are fortunate that in our surface engagements so far, a willingness to engage the enemy more closely has enable our forces to inflict serious losses upon the Japanese. Without adequate air cover, however, this is no longer possible, and our situation is now akin to what it was during the Greek campaign.

The USA reports that they will be able to commence full offensive operations in the South Pacific area in late 1942; presently they are reinforcing Australian units ashore on Rabaul to preserve a toehold on the island. They hope to be able to go on the offensive by June, but we regard this as optimistic.


< Message edited by HMS Resolution -- 1/14/2007 6:46:55 AM >

(in reply to HMS Resolution)
Post #: 15
RE: Update as of 4 February 1942 - 1/14/2007 8:10:08 PM   
hueglin


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I'm reading your AAR with interest. Keep up the excellent work.

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Post #: 16
Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/15/2007 8:17:26 AM   
HMS Resolution


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REPORT TO THE IMPERIAL GENERAL STAFF AS OF 18/2/42

STATUS OF OPERATIONS

REFRIGERATE: HMS Revenge was torpedoed on 10/2/42 by RO-60, which was then sunk in turn. Fortunately, our vessels appear to be of stouter construction than American ships, and she returned to Sydney at 17 knots for repairs.

IMPERATIVE: The fall of Rangoon on 4/2/42 rendered this operation untenable, and HMS Indomitable retired to Colombo with her escorts to avoid attacks by land-based torpedo a/c. Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet regretfully reports that even with the arrival of HMS Resolution and Ramillies, he can not hope to maintain control of the coastal areas as far north as Akyab. This is increasingly serious, as it will impair our ability to evacuate or resupply the Andaman outpost. If Japanese surface forces enter the Bay of Bengal, they will be able to land troops anywhere they like, provided they are supported by the aircraft carriers still docked in Singapore. However, should the enemy be foolish enough to attempt an invasion of the Andamans supported only by land-based a/c and surface warships, we believe we can hand him a stinging defeat.

GENERAL SITUATION REPORT, SE ASIA AREA: Burma is almost completely under control of the enemy. Akyab has not yet been reached by IJA troops, but the forces from Rangoon have inexplicably retreated off of the main roads, and may perish before they can completely withdraw. Mandalay has fallen, but two infantry divisions supported by tanks are moving into position to halt the enemy advance.

RAF reports serious losses in Hurrican squadrons, which are unable to compete with enemy ZEKE fighters, although they report that the NATE-type fighter is within their abilities. All Brewster Buffalo squadrons have been pulled back to ports, to provide escort for merchant shipping or RN surface forces, with the esception of the 16 a/c based at the Andamans. Despite the poor quality of their aircraft, they have shot down several enemy a/c, with one pilot reported now to be an "ace".

We are still receiving radios from UK forces SE of Kota Bharu, but regret to inform the Prime Minister that although the possibility of a submarine evacuation was discussed, losses would be prohibitive, and it would be highly unlikely that any of these men could be saved.

Operation MONOCLE can be regarded as completed, although highly unsatisfactorially. The two destroyers and two light cruisers which escaped to Colombo are undergoing repairs before being incorporated into the Eastern Fleet. There are no more transports to evacuate land or air forces from Java/Sumatra/Borneo, and a task force centered around battleships HIEI and KIRISHIMA was spotted in the Java sea. No carriers were with them, which is unusual, as these vessels typically remain with the six fleet aircraft carries of the Imperial Japanese Navy. It is possible that with the sinking of HARUNA by HMS Prince of Wales on 8/12/41 and the damaging of KONGO on the same date by HMS Repulse, not to mention the damage inflicted on ISE and KUMANO by our torpedo planes, that the Japanese are stretched for warships. Hopefully we will be able to exploit this by the end of the year.

KUMANO was bombed without result by Nationalist Chinese aircraft as she retired to the Japanese home islands. She appeared heavily damaged.

CURRENT FORCE STATUS, EASTERN FLEET:
Force C (HMS Indomitable[flag], 1 heavy, 5 anti-aircraft cruisers)
Force Z (HMS Repulse, HMS Prince of Wales[flag], 2 heavy, 2 light cruisers)
Force N (HMS Royal Sovereign[flag], HMS Resolution, HMS Ramillies, 1 light cruiser)

All forces at 100% readiness in Colombo.

SOUTH/CENTRAL PACIFIC THEATER OPERATIONAL REPORT:

The Americans are becoming increasingly tight-lipped; Japanese land-based air out of Rabaul has failed to sink any major warships, but it has made resupply of the Australian troops on the island more difficult, and resupply of Gasmata has been touch-and-go. On 14/2/42, the USAAF undertook Operation VALENTINE, sending 112 a/c (73 B-17, 39 Liberator) unescorted against Rabaul airfield, bombing from 18,000-22,000 ft. They were intercepted by 40 ZEKE fighters, shooting down 10 and damaging 18 for the loss of 17 bombers, with 54 badly damaged. There was a total collapse of morale in the bombing squadrons, according to our RAAF liason on the scene, with the aircrews calling this the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre". On a happier note, Jap raiders over Port Moresby received a bloody nose, losing two ZEKEs and three BETTYs for no casualties on the part of the defenders, who were equipped with the new P-40E (Kittyhawk IA) type fighter. We are working to secure sufficient numbers of these aircraft to re-equip the American Volunteer group at Trincomalee, as they are far superior to the P-40B (Tomahawk IIB) currently being used.

Even better on 16/2/42, the Japanese foolishly sent unescorted BETTYs over Port Moresby, losing 6 aircraft for little result. Between 14/2/42-16/2/42, in fact, the USAAF claims 11 BETTY and 13 ZEKE confirmed kills. They are shipping in more fighter a/c to maintain the pressure.

Unfortunately, this means we will not be receiving the P-39 Airacobra fighter group were were initially promised for Colombo. Despite poor RAF reviews of this a/c during the Battle of Britain, the USAAF claims it is a world-beater and is eager to try it out at Gasmata.

The USN reports that they will shortly have four carriers concentrated at Pearl Harbour, with the USS Enterprise due to depart Noumea for Pearl Harbour in the next week or so. Apparently, the USN has had trouble with convoy shipments, almost as if someone has forgotten to dispatch vitally needed fuel multiple times. Note also that this will leave HMS Hermes as the only carrier in Australian waters.

Once all five carriers are concentrated, the USN plans to undertake Operation ELECTRIC, the siezure of the Marcus Islands by a marine battalion. The USN feels that this will boost morale at home and may draw fleet elements of the IJN towards their carriers, and away from Singapore.

Although we are eager to see the carriers leave Singapore, and have placed Dutch submarines on-station to attempt to sink any encountered, we cannot help but feel that the IJN is as yet likely to win any such confrontation  if they are able to bring sufficient force to bear. However, it may yet prove that the enemy is at the point of maximum effort even now, and that sufficient pressure will disrupt his operations long enough for us to catch our breaths.

FORCE STATUS, AUSTRALIAN WATERS:

Force B (HMS Hermes, HMS Revenge[flag], 2 light cruisers)
HMS Revenge currently able to make 17kts and under repair in Sydney.
CANFORCE (HMAS Canberra, FFNS Le Triomphant)
"A" and "B" turrets out of action on Canberra, otherwise functional and remaining operational as flagship, Office Commanding Australian Forces at Sea, until HMAS Australia leaves dry dock in Sydney. Le Triomphant is the subject of numerous complaints w/r/t accuracy of shellfire, indiscriminate torpedo usage, poor station-keeping, inadequate ASW training, etc as per C-in-C, RAN's signal of 28/1/42, but is maintained on station despite increasing wear and tear due to urgent need for destroyers and the insistence of French-Government-in-exile that she remain.

Currently, RNZN forces are integrated with USN cruiser/destroyer force and have been operating under their control. We have received several complaints from the Dominion navies to the effect that our light cruisers are woefully inadequate compared to American designs, and they have suggested that in the future, we ought not to sell them "second-rate ships". The Australians have not complained about the "County" class, however, as they appear very impressed with HMAS Australia's ability to absorb damage compared to the USS Pensacola.

(in reply to hueglin)
Post #: 17
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/15/2007 10:51:26 AM   
HMS Resolution


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ALL COMMANDS ALERT 2/23/42

MANY ENEMY WARSHIPS SIGHTED OFF FLORES HEADING SE X AT LEAST ONE CV RPT ONE CV MANY CA AND BB X ESTIMATE HIGH PROBABILITY OF THIS BEING IJN MAIN BODY X PROBABLE DESTINATION IS SOPAC THEATER OF OPERATIONS POSSIBLY DARWIN OR PORT MORESBY X ALL USAAF AIRCRAFT TO RETASK FOR ANTISHIPPING STRIKES X UNLOADING OF CRATED FIGHTER A/C TO BE EXPEDITED X ALL SHIPPING AND SURFACE WARSHIPS ARE TO CLEAR THE HARBOR BY 2300 HRS 2/25/42 AND MAKE FOR SYDNEY X ALL A/C NO MATTER CONDITION MORALE FATIGUE ARMAMENT TO PREPARE TO ATTACK IJN CARRIER UNITS X ENTERPRISE TF TO DEPART NOUMEA ASAP FOR PEARL HARBOR UNDER NO RPT NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS A USN CV TO ATTEMPT TO ENGAGE IJN CV FORCE X THIS IS PRIORITY ONE FOR ALL IN-THEATER FORCES X

(in reply to HMS Resolution)
Post #: 18
Operation TOUCHDOWN - 1/15/2007 11:17:24 AM   
HMS Resolution


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Partial Transcript of USAAF radio chatter over Rabaul, 2/22/1942

Dogleg Leader: All Doglegs, stay in formation. We have seven P-40s from Gasmata flying top cover, watch out for them.

Unidentified voice 1: I see them! Ten o'clock!

UV2: Negative, they're dead astern. I don't---[redacted]

UV1: Bandits, forty plus! Climbing towards us, on the port side!

Dogleg Leader: [Redacted] guys, identify your ship when you transmit. Close up formation! All Doglegs, this is Dogleg Leader, forty-plus bandits approaching us. Stay tight.

Bowleg Leader: Dogleg, this is Bowleg leader. We are experiencing engine trouble, all Bowlegs turning back.

Dogleg Leader: Say again?

Bowleg Leader: Godspeed, Dogleg leader.

UV3: [Redacted]

[At this point many, many UVs talking over each other]

Dogleg Leader: Okay, shut up! Shut the [redacted] up! All Doglegs, watch out, here they come!

Redleg Leader: Dogleg, this is Redleg Leader, they are climbing above you towards my position. I see...one...two...three...four...five....at least five Doglegs going down, many parachutes. 

Dogleg Eight: This is Dogleg Eight, no engines responding, I'm going down. Tell my girl I was thinking of her.

Dogleg Twenty: This is Dogleg Twenty, I am hit heavily, but we claim two, repeat two, Zekes. I am on three engines and leaking fuel. Jettisoning bombs and aborting, over.

Dogleg Seventeen: FIRE IN THE COCKPIT! DOGLEG SEVENTEEN, HIT BAD! TRYING TO---

Dogleg Forty: Got one! Got one! This is Dogleg Forty, and---

Redleg Two: This is Redleg Two, I am hit, fire in the bomb bay. Crew is bailing out.

Redleg Seven: Redleg seven, here. My ship has lost her tail, no response from Jerry, he's gone. We got one of them.

Redleg Thirty: Redleg Thirty here, this is a colossal [redacted]. Where is our fighter cover?

Dogleg Leader: Cover Leader, where are your ships, over?

Cover Leader: A little busy here, Dogleg.

Dogleg Leader: Fighters unable to engage Zekes. All Doglegs, close up with Redlegs. Approaching target area.

Redleg Leader: Stay on target...

[130 Fortresses and Liberators hit Rabaul airfield on 2/22/1942, losing 8 B-17s and 5 Liberators, with 64 damaged. 11 Zekes were confirmed destroyed, and 18 were damaged. Five enemy bombers or seaplanes we destroyed on the ground.]


(in reply to HMS Resolution)
Post #: 19
Communiques from the front - 1/15/2007 9:37:54 PM   
HMS Resolution


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SOPAC COMMAND ALERT 2/24/42

JAP CV GROUP NOW HEADING NW PROBABLY FOR SINGAPORE X ANTICIPATE UNLIKELY THAT IT WILL AGAIN TURN AROUND FOR SOPAC/SOWESPAC AREA X



23/2/42
TO: OFFICER COMMANDING, FORCE C
FROM: EASTERN FLEET HQ
You are to stand off CHANDPUR and prepare to conduct antishipping strikes on a possible enemy seaborne invasion of AKYAB. Be advised that enemy carriers have been spotted in the JAVA SEA, heading NORTH, possibly to SINGAPORE. Signals and aerial intelligence show that HIEI and KIRISHIMA are no longer at SINGAPORE, location presently unknown. Excercise caution.


SOPAC CONVOY ADVISORY 2/24/42
All convoys are to divert further south of Japanese base in the Shortlands. Land-base BETTY bombers were vectored to a convoy immediately south of them and sank one and heavily damaged two transports.




(in reply to HMS Resolution)
Post #: 20
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/15/2007 10:37:37 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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Excellent style on your AAR! (Although, wouldn't 'Imperial General Staff' apply to the Japanese rather than the British?)

I've long had a theory that P-39's are best used in the Burma-India theatre, since they have good ground-pounding abilities and hold up well against the lesser armament of the Nates and Oscars. My humble prediction is that the planes in Gasmata will come off badly.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to HMS Resolution)
Post #: 21
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/16/2007 1:35:08 AM   
HMS Resolution


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Actually, the British had an Imperial General Staff as well; the birdwatching General Alan Brooke was Chief of the Imperial General Staff from 1941 on.

I am quite certain the P-39s will be slaughtered over Gasmata, even when used as fighter bombers. The USAAF still has a quite unmerited confidence in its abilities, and is going to throw them in willy-nilly over Rabaul along with the excellent P-40E, which so far has proved to be a world-beater in my book.

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 22
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/16/2007 2:57:34 AM   
Ian R

 

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Unfortunately there aren't enough P40s to go around early, so you have to use those P39's for something, until they upgrade.... to P38s. CBI theatre suits them, but all the better to involve them in the attrition battle of the South Pacific if it can be effectively done.

Somewhere in the manual it tells you to keep the P39s below 10,000 feet. or at least that they are penalised above that. This is an engine related thing (same as the P51A/A36, though as far as I know they never tried to to put an RR Merlin into a P39, might have been interesting if the centre mount engine made for a very manouvreable result). 

Try treating them as Sturmoviks, keeping them down low and using them to bomb and strafe ground units, ships and bases, but not as escorts or, if you can avoid it, CAP over bases within enemy fighter range. Hopefully by the time their Lightnings are available the pilots will have excellent experience ratings. Conversely, do not use your P40s for anything other than CAP or Escort (even if the IJN CVs turn up, keep them as escorts so maybe some bombers will get through).

_____________________________

"You may find that having is not so nearly pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
- Cdr Spock


Ian R

(in reply to HMS Resolution)
Post #: 23
War Ministry Radiogram - 1/16/2007 7:08:43 AM   
HMS Resolution


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2/3/1942
TO: Brigadier Swales, GOC RAF 221 Group, BURMA
Sir, consider yourself removed from command effective immediately. The previously low standards of the RAF SEAC no longer hold true, and a man who cannot identify an aeroplane may not continue to command an RAF HQ.
(signed)

[BGEN Swales had an air skill of 4 and a leadership rating of 35. The RAF must have been wondering why all their Hurricanes had so many parts left over.]


< Message edited by HMS Resolution -- 1/16/2007 5:04:41 PM >

(in reply to Ian R)
Post #: 24
Quick notes before sleep. - 1/16/2007 9:39:03 AM   
HMS Resolution


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The Dutch have hit the IJNS Kuma five times with 250- and 500-pound bombs over the course of four days. Amazing!

The USAAF Rabaul raids are not going super well; morale dropped below thirty in all four bombing groups, and they're taking a break.

The AVG is now flying out of Chandpur, and even in P-40Bs, they are smoking hot. On 3/4/42, 25 Hurricanes and 16 AVG P-40Bs engaged 19 Zekes, 47 Bettys, and 23 Oscars over Akyab; two Hurrys and a single P-40 were shot down in exchange for 8 Zekes, 10 Oscars, and 17 Bettys.

I have occupied the Andaman and Nicobar isles; Andaman has 12 Buffaloes, 8 Dutch Catalinas, and two Vildebeests, in the unlikely even that anything gets too close. Nicobar has some bewildered Dutch naval personnel, and a battery of 155mm coastal guns. Eventually, it will have seaplanes.

Akyab has two Indian and one UK division holding out against a single IJA division. So far, it's been relatively calm, but I have 50+ Blenheims raiding it every day, and the Japanese are throwing the kitchen sink at me in the air. I'm starting to like Oscars, by the way; they're like cheap malt liqour: they go down fast.

APDs can invade, right? Because if not, I'm going to look really dumb at the Marcus islands in a turn or two.

HMAS Canberra magically regrew her two forward turrets! That's kind of swell.

Soryu's in the Java Sea.

More later, when I'm not a-sleepy.

(in reply to HMS Resolution)
Post #: 25
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/16/2007 1:16:42 PM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R
Somewhere in the manual it tells you to keep the P39s below 10,000 feet. or at least that they are penalised above that. This is an engine related thing (same as the P51A/A36, though as far as I know they never tried to to put an RR Merlin into a P39, might have been interesting if the centre mount engine made for a very manouvreable result).



The P-39 had terrible spin characteristics, had maintenance problems, and was considered unfit for use by the USAAF. By mid-1942, it was decided to phase it out of front line use. Production probably would have been discontinued alltogether if the Russians hadn't fallen in love with them.

Some prominent combat pilots tried to get the P-39 grounded for even training purposes. Quite a few pilots learned how to bail out of airplanes in the P-39. If it got into a flat spin, it was almost impossible to recover. The complex drive shaft for the propeller had its problems too. The gearing was complex and sometimes seized up. Pilots didn't like the idea that something that could have a catastrophic failure was spinning at high speed between their legs.

The Merlin only helped planes that were high performance to begin with. There were quite a few planes that were not hot rods with Merlins. The P-40F's performance was somewhat lackluster with the Merlin. It had a little higher top speed and better altitude performance, but the performance increase was marginal. Later models went back to the Allison.

I believe the Fairey Battle had a Merlin. It's front line career ended with the Battle of France. (It was a light bomber.)

One plane that would have benefitted from the Merlin, but it was never tried was the P-38. Lockheed drew up plans to convert the P-38 to Merlins, but the War Planning Board decided that they couldn't afford the down time to retool, so it was never done. The P-38 had supercharged Allisons. The Merlin got it's great high altitude performance from a built in supercharger that was much lighter than the external beasts on the P-38. Putting Merlins in the P-38 might have saved 1000 pounds or more in weight for better high altitude performance (the turbos on the P-38 froze up under some conditions).

Bill

(in reply to Ian R)
Post #: 26
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/16/2007 3:14:24 PM   
HMS Resolution


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Heck, if you want an example of a lacklustre plane with a Merlin, consider, if you will, the Fairey Fulmar. Heavens, how I hate that aircraft.

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Post #: 27
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/16/2007 3:16:16 PM   
Terminus


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Amazing that the mortality rate for its crews wasn't 100%

BTW, the Battle was actually responsible for the RAF's first A2A kill of WWII, on 9/20/39, when a Battle gunner accounted for a 109... Sorry for the hi-jack, Resolution...

< Message edited by Terminus -- 1/16/2007 3:29:58 PM >


_____________________________

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Post #: 28
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/16/2007 3:26:41 PM   
Terminus


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Oh, and forgot to mention: Nice AAR-style...

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We are all dreams of the Giant Space Butterfly.

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Post #: 29
RE: Update as of 18 February 1942 - 1/16/2007 6:03:51 PM   
Ian R

 

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I don't think you can compare the Battle to a fighter - if I put an RR engine in a garbage truck it will still be a garbarge truck - and the Fulmar was actually another development of the P4/34 design from which the Battle emerged. The Fulmar was a two seater, with a navigator as well as pilot, although it was still the first FAA monoplane fighter.

< Message edited by Ian R -- 1/16/2007 6:15:19 PM >


_____________________________

"You may find that having is not so nearly pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
- Cdr Spock


Ian R

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Post #: 30
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