The usual airstrike from Guadalcanal hits Espiritu Santo ... Jap CVs have now combined into 1 TF with 4CVs and a CVL, it stands off Espiritu Santo; strikes from B17s, B26s and SBDs get some hits but nothing critical, however 1 CV shows some accrued damage (perhaps low 20% range) ... a Jap transport TF of just APs approaches New Caledonia but does not reach the base, airstrikes sink 1 AP ...
A whole lot of action this turn as the Japs pour in an all-out effort for Espiritu Santo. First the airstrike from Guadalcanal shoots down 9 F4Fs and destroys 16 aircraft on the ground, for the loss of only 3 bombers.
Then IJN transport TFs move in - airpower on Espiritu is down but not out; SBDs getting several hits on AVs, DDs, APs and MCS on the way in. TF6 commanded by Adm Izaki takes what looked like heavy damage to 2 AVs and 1 AP sunk, a TF of just MCS lost 2 sunk, TF under R. Tanaka loses an AP on the approach, another under Nishimura lost an AP and the admiral killed! (hope this was not fog-of-war).
TF51 (Hornet and Formidable) is hanging off Espiritu with standoff range 2 (around Efate) and gets a couple of strikes on the IJN SCTFs - 1 CA sunk Meanwhile KB stands off halfway to Rennell Island and does very little.
Then the surface battles begin - Japs bring TF3 (appears to be a bombardment TF with 4 BBs plus escorts), TF4s and 5 (both composed of about 4-5 CAs, 3-4 CLs and DDs). The Allies have 2 TFs - Adm Halsey with BBs Colorado, Maryland, Idaho and Pennsylvania plus 3 CAs (San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Portland) and 3 CL (Durban, Marblehead and Adelaide) plus DDs; TF54 under Adm Scott has New Mexico, Ramilles and Revenge plus 7 CAs (Vincennes, Pensacola, Louisville, Chester, Dorsetshire, Australia and Canberra) plus DDs.
3 combat actions result in both sides getting a pounding; Japs lose 5 CAs (looked like 2 Myoko-types, a Tone, Mogami and Aoba), a Kuma-type CL and about 3 DDs. Allies lose the Maryland, 7 CAs (San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Portland, Chester, Dorsetshire, Australia and Canberra) and about 4 DDs.
Several ground units land but Gen Geiger and his troops hold firm
< Message edited by Skipjack_ -- 9/3/2013 2:15:19 AM >