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Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no Wisniewski please

 
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Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no Wisn... - 8/27/2011 10:55:40 PM   
SoliInvictus202


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Joined: 8/27/2010
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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


naval situation:

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...)

PLANS elsewhere:

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




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< Message edited by SoliInvictus202 -- 8/27/2011 11:01:56 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 7:32:10 AM   
crsutton


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You are "kicking" your opponent's butt. Do you really need any help from us?

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(in reply to SoliInvictus202)
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RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 7:36:56 AM   
JeffroK


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Play agaonst the AI, it puts up more of a fight!

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RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 9:30:54 AM   
SoliInvictus202


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lol - actually that's not what I wanted to hear :P

I thought some of you have SOME experience with strategic bombing with the early 4E bombers.... - and how to deal with the lack of long range escort planes...it's quite a long way until I get the B-29 and the HB with a higher replacement rate....

to be honest I think I ****** up many things in this operation...

1) through careful, but obviously wrong, counting I determined that most of my planes would be able to "fly in" from Adak using drop tanks.... to make sure I decided to invade Onnekotan-jima on the day of the invasion as well.... - once I invaded however I realized that only the F4U1-Corsair could fly in from Adak - some of the others even had to make 2 stops (Attu AND Onnekotan - both of which weren't ready at the day of the invasion - Attu was at 80% for a lvl 1 and Onnekotan, having not been built up by my opponent, was a 0)

2) I was utterly unprepared for the tons of submarines he put into the area - they didn't do much damage, but they limit my surface-ops quite a bit actually...

3) overconfidence in the Allied CVs can cost you dearly...



conclusio - I guess I just have to try out then....

thanks anyway...

(in reply to JeffroK)
Post #: 4
RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 9:47:25 AM   
LoBaron


Posts: 4776
Joined: 1/26/2003
From: Vienna, Austria
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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoliInvictus202
to be honest I think I ****** up many things in this operation...


Could you at one time explain to me how to **** up like this? I want to do that too please.



First, congrats, this will be a short war.

Second, you should already have some B-24 versions with decent replacement rates, and P38 should easily be able to reach Tokyo
when based on Southwestern Hokkaido, those planes also should be able to island hop in via Adak.

So, could you please rephrase the question? Because how I see it your poor opponent can choose between being sweeped to death,
or pull back as far as Osaka and abandon all HI in Northeastern Japan.


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RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 11:03:05 AM   
SoliInvictus202


Posts: 367
Joined: 8/27/2010
From: Austria
Status: offline
problem I see with the P-38H is that it is okISH against Japanese planes up to the George - against which it is only mediocre from what I have seen so far...and I can only equipp about 4 squads with it - and I suppose that it will **** on escort as every plane does...

other than that - this is my very first game of WITP:AE (or shall we say, the one that goes back the furthest - I started it about 1 year ago) - so I made MANY mistakes in it and I see it more like a training game, or a game where I can try things out.... - it being a scenario 1 - my opponent was always at a disadvantage and Allied victory was never in doubt...

I didn't post this thread in order to "show off", cause I don't think that it is such an achievement in scenario 1 - but out of the honest need of advice about strategic bombing of Japan - I have never done it before (except against the AI in the downfall scenario, which is quite a different matter)

so I don't think that it is necessary to speak to low of my opponent as he put up quite a fight in the Solomons... - he probably made the mistake in the decisive battle of the war - the CV-Battle, where he lost everything, which was the final reason why I could even start this operation...the battle could have gone the other way as well... which would have stopped any of these ideas.....

strategically I might have won the war on the day I invaded Kushiro - tactically - NO - not in the least! - if I **** up the strategic bombing of Japan the war might as well go into late '45 - and then I must consider this campaign a defeat as I did not manage to subdue Japan after the capture of Hokkaido...

but as you're all so optimistic - I shall simply try it out, do what I think is best and we shall see :)

thanks for your posts...




< Message edited by SoliInvictus202 -- 8/28/2011 11:18:53 AM >

(in reply to LoBaron)
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RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 1:35:18 PM   
Nemo121


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Why on earth are you considering operations around Australia, Burma and New Guinea. Talk about frittering forces away in subsidiary theatres.

If you want to win this quickly just concentrate on taking islands south and south-west of Japan in order to cut Japan off from all its holdings in the DEI etc. Move all of the rest of your troops from the Pacific, Australia etc north ( taking care to destroy any IJN shipping along the way ) and create a huge army in Hokkaido. Take Hokkaido and then, with Japan isolated and under heavy 4-engined bomber attack just pick a place to land somewhere along the coast that isn't obvious and take Japan.

As to running a four-engined bomber campaign. If you are worried about losses just go in at night but, basically, with Hokkaido in your hands you can even use twin-engined bombers to go after factories etc. Just sweep, sweep, sweep his bases until his fighter strength is broken and then send bombers in during the daytime. Hit his Heavy Industry ( robs him of HI ) and his Light Industry ( robs him of supply ). You can leave refineries since without HI or LI oil and fuel is pretty useless.

So, really it is simple, just use Hokkaido as an unsinkable aircraft carrier but make sure to cut Japan off from the DEI/China and Korea by taking the appropriate islands, you don't want him to bring thousands of AV of troops home to contest your landings in 1943.

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(in reply to SoliInvictus202)
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RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 3:02:31 PM   
LoBaron


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Agree. The only situation to avert collapse would be if his opponent is able to launch a successful massive counterstrike against Hokkaido, and faster than Hokkaido can be secured
reinforced. From how I understand it the attack was made possible because of a pearl-harbour-like neglectence of the potential threat on the against the Home Islands.

Late 43 a Japanese counterstrike could still be possible, we don´t know the forces available to Wisniewski on Honshu.
Air power could be made available shortly by stripping the China and Burma theatres.

In fact this would be the only chance to survive beyond summer ´44 IMO, but even if the countermove succeeds it would probably gut all
other areas for Japan. The initiative for Japan is unretrievable lost.

In case Wisniewski fights on, salute to him, because thats the spirit you want to see in an opponent.

Nemo, thats kind of a downfall scenario in ´43.

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RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 3:22:22 PM   
SoliInvictus202


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Joined: 8/27/2010
From: Austria
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thanks for the post Nemo - glad to get some ideas...
I am not considering "new" operations in Australia, Burma and/or New Guinea - the british Forces in Burma wouldn't have anything else to do - so why not keep him pressured on more than 2 fronts if I can - as it doesn't delay the rest...

you have made the point exactly however, which was why I said that I screwed up a lot in this operation - it was never my initial idea when I started the game - my initial plan was to take the traditional path - from the Solomons to the Philippines... - then, in about early-43 I realized that with the recapture of the Aleutians and the utter inactivity of my opponent in the Kuriles, the invasion of Hokkaido became a viable option...
this idea was strengthened by the complete destruction of the Japanese Navy (I forgot to mention that almost every IJN BB is either considerably damaged or sunk - Musashi, if she was built at all, should be ready)
for that reason all units went either to SWPAC or INdia until about mid '43 - from then onwards all the reinforcements moved to Adak to prepare for the invasion of Hokkaido... - so it was more or less an "ad-hoc" operation...which mostly explains my hesitation - I never considered invading Japan at all...


as for the "invasion of Japan":
to be honest the idea scared the **** out of me.... especially the idea of doing that in early '44 - knowing how many troops there are at Japan, and knowing how many reinforcements he got after my invasion of Hokkaido...

I initially wanted to close the southern route from the DEI by taking Babeldaob and Mindanao and then either move to Luzon or Okinawa/Formosa....

but I have to admit that the thought of taking the islands around Japan proper has a certain kick to it... - I shall look into this option...- thanks a lot (to be honest I never considered this an option as I know about the many things to worry about when invading small atolls - only key points have been taken in the Marshalls - exactly for that same reason)

now my main problem is that with this major change of plans it would take at least 3 months (prepping for units, and moving assault transports) until my landings could take place - now in these 3 months he could move considerable forces from Korea and China - if he has the PPs...a bold raid into the South CHina Sea might do the trick - but might also result in the destruction of some CVs which would postpone several other options.....
therefore the first step will be to move the sub-patrol zones, preparing the invasions of the Marianas, over to the SOuth China sea....

most of his army in Burma is tied down in Moulmein and he seems to make no move to withdraw them - if he does to strengthen Japan I shall simply use the British forces to take the DEI itself - so why not kill a few Japanese units while my units are tied up there anyway....

I will make some calculations and have a look at what I have and what I can send into the area if I abandon ALL operations in the Pacific (although I think I will still take Babeldaob, if it does not delay the taking of these islands....)

as mentioned above - thanks a lot for this useful post.... - I will post again once I have had a look at the situation - I do not like guesstimates...

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 9
RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 3:31:03 PM   
SoliInvictus202


Posts: 367
Joined: 8/27/2010
From: Austria
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: LoBaron

Agree. The only situation to avert collapse would be if his opponent is able to launch a successful massive counterstrike against Hokkaido, and faster than Hokkaido can be secured
reinforced. From how I understand it the attack was made possible because of a pearl-harbour-like neglectence of the potential threat on the against the Home Islands.

Late 43 a Japanese counterstrike could still be possible, we don´t know the forces available to Wisniewski on Honshu.
Air power could be made available shortly by stripping the China and Burma theatres.

In fact this would be the only chance to survive beyond summer ´44 IMO, but even if the countermove succeeds it would probably gut all
other areas for Japan. The initiative for Japan is unretrievable lost.

In case Wisniewski fights on, salute to him, because thats the spirit you want to see in an opponent.

Nemo, thats kind of a downfall scenario in ´43.


indeed - I can only agree - all I ever do is salute the fighting spirit of my opponent - after watching the destruction of his entire carrier-force in mid '43 in a massive 2 day battle in the middle of the ocean I half-expected to see the end of this game... but no - he kept on fighting!
then after the invasion of Kushiro - all he said was "things seem to be heating up a little" - and then he asked for that Air-HQ move - which I could live with at the moment - as we both agreed to keep it within certain boundaries...

so all I can say - when he reads this - my utmost respects to Wisniewski for his fighting spirit!

PS: I think Hokkaido will be safe the moment those 3 Marine Divisions arrive.... - now at the moment an amphibious counterinvasion is costly, as well as ANY bombardment run by the IJN - as I brought along enough CD units for every major port and airfield - so the only way for a counteroffensive, lacking the IJN in support, would be via Sapporo/Hakodate and then over land - I have intel reports for 1 Division heading for Simonosheki (in transit I suppose) and another one for Sapporo directly... - as soon as the convoy is spotted I will unleash the US Navy...with everything I have - I already sunk one Division worth of troops in a suprise PT-action vs barges - so even if he has saved some PPs I doubt he'll be able to buy more than 5 or so Divisions... which is not enough to take the Island back - which means, as you mentioned, he would have to strip other theatres (which I would be able to notice)

we'll see - I'll have a look at this turn first....

thanks for posting LoBaron!

< Message edited by SoliInvictus202 -- 8/28/2011 3:33:06 PM >

(in reply to LoBaron)
Post #: 10
RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 9:08:20 PM   
SoliInvictus202


Posts: 367
Joined: 8/27/2010
From: Austria
Status: offline
well after clicking a lot and having a look around I have decided to give the Australians the task to take the surrounding islands (with some USA support) and the USA with the USMC the task to invade Japan... - all major units will be concentrated and only a token force will be left in SWPAC (as a move is unlikely without CV support - and I can easily intercept any move there)

I have attached the tracker files (target remains a secret for the time being...) - will it be enough? - all of you who have invaded Japan already - how much is really needed? - of course I will bring everything including the kitchen sink - but will it be enough?... if some of you care to elaborate - would be great....






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< Message edited by SoliInvictus202 -- 8/28/2011 9:11:33 PM >

(in reply to SoliInvictus202)
Post #: 11
RE: Hokkaido October 1943 - some advice please :) - no ... - 8/28/2011 9:11:38 PM   
SoliInvictus202


Posts: 367
Joined: 8/27/2010
From: Austria
Status: offline



in addition to that most of the Divisions at Hokkaido would take place in the second wave (planning for the first real objective... - which would add another 5 Army Divisions and 2 Marine Divisions)

so the question is how much will he have in Japan, and do the Japanese get reinforcements if someone lands in Japan proper?

any advice is as always much appreciated - I am not entirely certain that invading Japan is an option that my Army will survive - but why not try it? :)



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< Message edited by SoliInvictus202 -- 8/28/2011 9:16:36 PM >

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