From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
Battle of Sumatra: Very sharp naval engagement at Sabang. CAs Hagura and Ashigara come into port escorted by four DDs. The port is defended by three Allied CL/DD TFs, PT boat TFs, and mines. Both sides take heavy losses in the ensuing engagements, but the sinking of CA Ashigara has strategic implications (it's the second Japanese CA sunk in this vicinity in the past week, following Takoa). I think John has lost around seven to nine CAs now. The Japanese also lost three modest-value DDs. The Allies lost three CLs (Helena, Achilles and Caradoc). CA New Orleans ttook modest damage but will hang around to provide defense until replacements arrive in two or three days. (New Orleans has been shot up all over the map during this game). The trouble for the Japanese TF included mine hits by Ashigara and a DD. There is a fair chance this experience will dissuade John from trying surface raids at Sabang again. Maybe, maybe not. No IJ air sweeps at Sabang today. The Allies will send another CA/CL/DD TF from Colombo to Sabang. I'd be worried about carriers intercepting, but a large carrier force is sighted by PBYs patrolling SE of Singapore (having nav search this deep into enemy territory is helpful). I think all of John's carriers are replenishing, though there's a chance one or two of the TFs are still lurking.
In this theater, the Allies have plenty of good CAs and a decent number of CLs. So making good these losses won't be difficult at present. The real shortage is in DDs. I need around 20 more but only have about eight to ten that are inbound, some from Capetown and some on the way from East Coast.
Battle of Burma: This time the tables are fliipped in the air war, with Allied fighters chewing up unescorted Japanese bombers. This occurred over Royal Thai Div. 1/A north of Magwe. A small Allied army just arrived in this hex and will attack here tomorrow. In the main battle hex just south of Magwe, a tattered 41st USA Div. just arrived. It's the only Allied unit there with suppy. The IJ army there is pretty beat up, so 41st Div. will attack tomorrow. F4Fs from Ramree will provide LRCAP and B-25Cs from Chittagong are supposed to hit the hex, but have a record of declining to do so on previous occasions.
On His Toes?: The Allied DD TF takes station two hexes from Balikpapan. It doesn't encounter enemy shipping. And there's no detection by enemy nav search. I've reset the patrol stations to include both Balikpapan and Samarinda. Mines may be an issue, but it's worth a shot at vulnerable enemy shipping at important places And while sinking ships will be exellent for morale (and the opposite for John's), the ultimate goal of this raid is to expose John's vulnerability so that he has to draw down some of the forces committed to Sumatra.