From: Land o' Lakes, FL
Given the fact that you’re talking your CVs, the most critical units in the entire war, it’s import and to ask, “What is the point of the raid?” I have found, for both Japan and Allies, that an excursion just “to go bomb something" usually isn't worth the price you pay. If you know a pair of BBs and escorts have been parked somewhere for a while, and you don’t have any reason to believe they’ll move – then sending your CVs to visit will likely be worth the effort. But just sending to KB to Columbo just to bomb the little anchor without actually knowing that there’s something of value there, can be a big waste (or worse). A sortie to go bomb whatever you find that nets a couple of MSWs, even if you don’t even suffer a paint scratch, has cost you fuel, time, routine sys dmg and ops losses, reveals your position, and means you didn’t use your hammer where it was most useful.
If you’re going to launch an op into IO (maybe go to capture Tricom/Columbo or more massive), then committing KB to bomb the port and control IO makes sense.
But going in without a real target, just go to make a nuisance of your self, isn’t worth it in my opinion. Granted even 2x BBs + escorts that are anchored at Tricom or wherever, -is- a valid reason (but you better sink them, or didn’t really do anything but put 2 R-class BBs in the mud). Maybe a large regular convoy that dumps at Diamond Harbor, is worth it (I would think mini-KB for this, not full-KB). But without knowing your target and about 65% certainty that it will be there, I wouldn’t commit KB (or Allied CVs for that matter).
It’s been my experience that there are very few joy-rides that actually produce any sort of results that make their sortie worth while.
Clear objective is critical, Japan or Allies, every time I send my CVs somewhere it means asking:
1. What sort of time commitment am I looking at? Plan the op in such a way so that you can “cruise” to (and hopefully) from your destination. Zooming around at full speed means you “burn up” your CVs in about 4 weeks (or less). Cruise cuts down DRAMATICALY on the mundane sys dmg. While it does make your ops take longer (sometimes you don’t have that luxury), it does considerably extend the life of your CVs before refit.
2. What sort of fuel cost for the op? Do I have stocks along the way, at destination, and on the way back, esp if I have to make a sudden change in plans? I also –always- keep an AO convoy in the wake, because getting stuck in the middle of nowhere moving 1/0 is –very- bad for so many reasons.
3. The enemy will know where I am, and may be able to guess the mission and how long you’ll be on station. How does that affect my other ops currently running? Where am I going to be exposed, and for how long?
4. Can I task my CV group with auxiliary task to/from their primary mission? What is the danger that an auxiliary task will disrupt the main mission? Would being revealed in support of a secondary op, ruin any (necessary) surprise of the primary mission? Should the auxiliary task be main mission, or maybe not even considered as secondary task if it might detract from the main mission.
5. What sort of losses are expected/acceptable? If I take losses at target, am I then prepared for another engagement if the enemy reacts? Is there at least a Port(3) close by, if things go south? Is there friendly LBA around to supplement my punch, or available to run to?
6. After the op over, where can I retire to, that is safe with ample supplies/fuel and puts me in a position for my next operation.
Your CVs are your most critical assets. They are the first thing I check every time I get a turn, and the last thing I check (just to make sure) before I send. Your wife might ask for spontaneity, but your CVs are a mistress. You had better plan the rendezvous or you’re liable to get caught with your pants down.
"It is obvious that you have greatly over-estimated my regard for your opinion." - Me