ok - here is the situation:
after having taken the Solomons throughout late '42 and early '43 (the turning point of the war was the complete destruction of an invasion fleet bound for Luganville, about 35,000 men sunk with over 40 transports) I retook the line islands...
following the conquest of CAnton Island a huge CV-battle occured resulting in the complete destruction of the IJN Carrier Force....from my counting only 2-3 IJN CVs remain afloat, 2 of these have to stay in the docks for the better part of the war... only Akagi is unharmed....in return I lost Lexington (my mistake, as she sank on the way to PH) and 2 CVEs...conclusio: I have complete control of the seas....
Key positions in the Marshalls and Gilberts were secured first and then all attack transports sailed for Adak Island, which has been fully built up... (the Aleutians have been retaken in late '42 as the first Allied counter-invasion)
Truk is being suppressed every day, as well as Rabaul (28 Japanese units are trapped there without hope of escape, as Manus and Kavieng are in Allied hands and fully built up)
Invasion of North Island:
1) on September 22nd 1943 2 Army Divisions plus support landed at Kushiro, undetected until the day of the landings..
2) only Paramushiro-jima has been built up a little and was suppressed by a 3BB-Bombardment on the day of the Kushiro-invasion
up to now - as you can see on the map - most of the Kuriles are allied, mostly to ferry planes from Adak to Hokkaido - also Bihoro has been taken, and now 3 Army Divs, 2 Tank Bns and 4 FA Bns plus support are on the way to Sapporo.....
my PTs interdict movement from Ominato to Hakodate (I have sunk a Barge convoy with about a Division worth of troops on it), while DD-TFs try to engage TFs heading for Sapporo with SOME success, although I am sure he was able to move at least 2 more DIvisions onto the Island... - we made an agreement (as my opponent was utterly unprepared, with no more than the normal 1 Division on the island) that he was allowed to attach some of his units to an unrestricted Air-HQ - not sure how much he transferred, but I have confirmed SigINt reports that at least 2 Divisins are heading to Japan from the DEI (1st Guards and 33rd)
so much to the situation....
my problem, and the main reason why I posted this thread here is: how to proceed from here?
I have no experience with bombing Japan - and all the AARs I read so far usually deal with B-29s, Mustangs - all planes which I do not have....
a few points on my air force:
1) I have one air superiority fighter, which pretty much dominates the sky whenever airborne: the Thunderbolt.... I have 3 Squadrons on the Island - 3 more en route (with an option to transfer 3 more from SW PAC)
2) the P-38 H is doing fine against everything but the George which appears in numbers of around 50 over Ominato - Sapporo seems to have been abandoned mostly after several sweeps (no bombings yet, as defense was my main concern up to now) and 1 Naval bombardment which pretty much nuked the city - I have never seen such results before....
3) my F4U-1 Corsairs to okish in defense, but **** at sweeps, the F4U-1A is an improvement but has just come online - only 2 squadrons are equipped with it so far...
4) all my other planes - P40s, P39s look nice, but don't do much....(still some squads have them, lacking other plane-types
5) night-fighters - I have all new night fighter squads stationed at Kushiro - as my opponent uses his Betties and Helens mostly on night attack (tries to hit 2 wounded CVEs in port in vain) - they excelled all my expectations and usually shoot down 2-4 planes every day... quite nice (P-70A Havocs and the A-29 NF version)
6) only 2 attack bomber squads have been based on the island last turn to start killing shipping, no much, but most of my AF-capacity is used for Fighters
situation on the ground:
1) 3 Army Divisions were enough to make a surprise attack on Kushiro defended with 1 Inf Battalion - I doubt it is enough to take the entire island, if reinforced!
2) 1 more Division is already en route from Adak (simply not enough shipping to get it ashore in the 2 waves) - another one is en route from Seattle to Adak
3) 3 Marine Divisions (not needed any more as I decided to scrub the mission on Saipan and Tinian and only take Guam) are en route from SW Pac to PH and from there to Adak -should be in the theatre within 2 months
4) air support and engineers are no problem - as well as AA units - plenty of all of them already ashore - I can equip 4 bases to the max Aviation support with what I have on the island already - and 3 bases worth more at Adak waiting to be shipped
1) with my CVs covering major troop convoys to Kushiro and back I have complete control of the sea whenever I like - although weather does not permit me to enforce a complete blockade of the Island - as my bombers seem to take off in any weather, unlike my fighters...
2) about 10 PT-TFs are running a blockade on the Ominato-Hakodate connection - with success
3) over 50 SS are operating in the area patrolling the most "popular" routes to Sapport and Kushiro... - 1 CL and several transports have already been sunk by them
4) 2 CL-lead DD TFs are in the area to engage any TFs sighted - they are within full-speed night travel range of Sapporo
5) 2 BB-lead TFs (fast ones) are also in area, 2 days of travel time to reach Sapporo - as I am not strong enough yet (I think) to base them at Etorufu)
Furthermore I can field 5 more "old" BBs - if needed - don't really like to use them - but should I attain complete air superiority over Hokkaido - to which I am close - I might use them to bomb Sapporo back to the stone age....
I could send 3 more BBs (2 fast and 1 old) to the area from SW-Pac but don't think I will need them as 2 more fast BBs will be out of the yards within 2 weeks....
6) his SS are patrolling the hexes south-east of Kushiro in great strength - they are being suppressed by SC-ASW TFs
so where to go from here?
obviously the complete conquest of Hakkaido will be the first thing to do on the ground - but where to go from here in the war in the air?
based on this Island are the heavily reinforced planes of 11th and 13th Air Force, with a few Bomber and Fighter HQs present as well....
these planes have been training the entire war and have seen action in the Solomons (already knowing that they would be used in the action at Hokkaido, a plan which was first considered in mid-42 when planning for the recapture of the Aleutians began, ground bombing skills are in the high 70s, defense over 65 usually) - they are equipped with the best I have: B-24Js (most of them anyway, some still have the older B24D1) - I have a great reserve of B24D1s should the losses exceed the B24J production - pilots are no issue I think....
I can currently fly in 13 HB-Squads from Adak - whenever I think the time has come to start the offensive air-campaign....(next turn a symbolic night city-raid on Tokyo will be flown by 1 B-24 squad already on the Island) - as Kushiro is only a level 7.6 and Bihoro has just passed 6 I think the time has not yet come...)
with Hokkaido taken the initial plan was to move the ships back to SWPac and continue with the "traditional" advance....but with the development in the North I decided that Saipan and Tinian were no longer a "must" (the Marianas were heavily reinforced by my opponent as I think I have caught him on the wrong foot with my invasion of the Solomons in late '42, while his CVs were off Colombo)
therefore the new "plan" is:
1) invasion of the the NE coast of New Guinea - undefended and not built up - so easy pickings
2) invasion of Babeldaob (lead by 3-5 Australian Division)
3) invasion of Guam to suppress the rest of the Marianas (and keep the suppressed) - this will be possible due to complete supremacy of the sea
4) invasion of Mindanao and then either Luzon or directly Formosa/Okinawa....
5) with Rangoon already in Allied hands and the advance on Moulmein resumed I expect to be able to push towards Bangkok within mid-44 - a huge army of 13000 AV is about to cross into Moulmein within 2 weeks....350,000 supplies at Rangoon make this possible....
SO WHERE TO GO FROM HERE? - HOW TO CONDUCT THE AIR-WAR OVER JAPAN?
this is scenario one - so it is not a great achievement to land this early in Japan I recon - but as I just don't have ANY experience with invading Japan this early in the war, but saw the opportunity and took it, I thought I'd ask you for some advice! - thanks a lot for all posts in advance! all your advice is much appreciated
< Message edited by SoliInvictus202 -- 8/27/2011 11:01:56 PM >