From: Virginia, USA
May 8, 1942
On May 7 the 5th division launched another attack at Palembang. This time things went much better. We achieved 2-1 odds and dropped the forts 1 level. I had a division about ready to unload at Oosthaven to help out at Palembang, but I stopped it. That division will now sail to northern Sumatra where it will capture Medan. At Palembang the 5th division is resting to reduce disruption before attacking again. For the next attack, an SNLF unit is marching into Palembang from the north. It has 80 AV to add to the assault. This should allow me to at least achieve another 2-1 result, dropping the forts yet again.
Ground combat at Palembang (48,91)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 13437 troops, 121 guns, 66 vehicles, Assault Value = 469
Defending force 6136 troops, 78 guns, 5 vehicles, Assault Value = 202
Japanese adjusted assault: 340
Allied adjusted defense: 121
Japanese assault odds: 2 to 1 (fort level 3)
Japanese Assault reduces fortifications to 2
Defender: terrain(+), forts(+), preparation(-), experience(-)
Japanese ground losses:
354 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 25 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 13 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 6 disabled
Vehicles lost 2 (0 destroyed, 2 disabled)
Allied ground losses:
254 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 17 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 14 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Padang Garrison Battalion
Zuid KNIL Battalion
Tapanoeli Gsn Battalion
Riouw KNIL Battalion
So.Sumatra Garrison Battalion
Padang Base Force
Teloekbetoeng Base Force
Bengkalis Base Force
Bintan Det. Base Force
Djambi Base Force
Palembang Base Force
On Luzon two more divisions are unloading. Soon I will have 5 divisions at Clark Field. Another allied unit died there. He is down to 39 units at Clark and his AV has dropped to less than 1700. He is clearly dieing of attrition.
I am seeing the impact of Japan's reduced amphib bonus in some of the assaults I have launched lately. Casualties are much higher than previously. This experience has effected my thinking about Australia. I will need AKs for any major (and even minor) assaults and I only have so many. In June, however, I can convert many xAKs to AKs. So in about a week I will have a number of SNLF units invaded bases along the northern Australian coast, such as Derby, Broome, Hedland, etc. using the AK assets I have. I will then consider an attack directed at Perth.
All of my strategic thinking is directed towards isolating Australia from significant reinforcement. Thus, I am interested in Perth. Another effort in this regard is a sweep currently being made by KB1 in the Indian Ocean. I am looking for transport TFs heading to Australia in this neck of the woods. Sinking a bunch of transports, of course, would be nice. More importantly, though, is the message such an attack would send about the safety of this route for transporting supplies and troops. Perhaps I can make witpqs very hesitant about sending convoys to Australia through the Indian Ocean.
Over to the east of Australia, I am planning a similar sweep by KB2 south of the Tonga Islands. I have Mavis's searching this stretch of ocean and a number of subs stationed off New Zealand and the western coast of Australia. They have not picking up on any movement here at all. But it is possible that he is sending convoys very, very far south and I am not picking up on them. Thus, my planned sweep by KB2. Before this sweep can occur, however, KB2 will need to be reinforced. Junyo is now available and Kaga (which was torpedoed by a submarine during the invasion of Pago-Pago) will be completely patched up in 2 weeks. Once those two ships mate up with the Akagi, Shoho, and Zhuiho at Truk I will feel sufficiently confident to undertake a raid into the South Seas.