Was reading a thread elsewhere about invading OZ and questioning whether the US/OZ pipeline could be severed or effectively interdicted. Did an Ops Problem for one of the groups a couple years ago on this issue and it struck me that it might be a nice small map scenario for the general playing public. It would be in the right time frame, where things were pretty much equal, and gives the Japanese player an excellent opportunity to win.
It is Operation SF. Have the original Japanese Operations Order #633, 18 May, 1942, that details everything down to sanitation platoons and picket tuna trawlers. Had to make certain assumptions.
Coral Sea happens as it did, except the bomb in Shokaku’s bow hits a few feet farther indoard. First Moresby Op got whacked. Midway happened, but not quite the same way, so as not to preclude KS. The USN lost what it did. Japan lost CarDiv 1 – Kaga sunk, Akagi a burning twisted hulk being towed back to Japan; maybe scuttled, maybe not, but if not, still out of the war for at least a year. CarDiv 2 is in slightly better shape, Hiryu and Soryu are still afloat with some motive power, but their decks are in ruins. Planes lost, but 2 precious hulls survive. Nagumo follows Genda’s advice, “Time to dee-dee outa here, Bwana, neh?”
Ichiki returns to Saipan to prepare for his moment of destiny on Guadalcanal (maybe) and everybody else fires up FS (which now becomes more important). Shokaku arrives Kure 17 May, enters Kure drydock 31 May, leaves drydock 11 June (historically 17 May, 16 June and 27 June). Hiryu arrives Kure 14 June for repairs. Soryu arrives Yokosuka 16 June for repairs.
Operational timing for FS delayed 10 days from the timeline defined in IJA OO #633..
28 June, IJN components assemble at Truk;
10 July, IJN components sortie from Truk in support of phased operations;
18 July, South Seas Force (Horii, 144th IR (+)) invades New Caledonia, staging from Rabaul;
22 July, Aoba Force (4th IR (+)) does a return engagement to Port Moresby, staging from Palau, with timed IJN support;
28 July, Kawaguchi Force (35th Br/144th IR (+)), plus I and II Bns from 41st IR, invades Fijis, staging from Truk, with timed IJN support;
31 July, Higashi Force (III/41st IR) invades Samoas, staging from Truk, with timed IJN support.
IJN provides 3 Bn equivalent SNLFs, 1 each for NK, FI, and SK.
9 July, Ichiki Force (28th IR (+)) alerted for movement to Truk/Rabaul, becomes 17th Army reserve force.
Hiryu could reasonably be ready for redeployment for SA (not likely, but possible). Would most likely wait for Soryu’s repair completion a couple weeks later. They would need entire new airgroups and time to work them up. Their surviving planes and pilots would go to reconstituting the ‘kaku’s airgroups. Reconstituting the ‘ryu’s airgroups will mean raping the reinforcement pipeline for 11th Air Fleet. Tanstaafl.
Allied units become available when they did. Further Japanese units become available when they did. Oh, and this is what the map will look like: upper left corner is Beetlebob, which stands in for Palaus/Davao, kinda bottom right is Tahiti, kinda bottom left is Hamilton, kinda left is Sydney, and the rest you all know very well.
Anybody interested in something like this??