From: Kyiv, Ukraine
Situation on 7/05/42
Bad news/old news: Despite the high losses they took, the Allies succeeded in liberating Espiritu Santo. Alas, it did not last.
The Japanese recaptured the island and many Allied soldiers are now left stranded there, with their supply lines cut off.
What, what are the Allies going to do about it? The Allies say: "We have Plan B." Or maybe they don't.
Japanese bombers destroyed 2 tanks at Mandalay. Nothing else important happened in the CBI theatre this week.
Even the promising nighttime air raid on Rangoon (from Trincomalee) failed to cause any damage to supply depots.
China? China as usual -- nothing unusual there -- nothing unusual in this.
"It's high time to liberate Rockhampton!" I said to myself and ordered the Australians to attack.
Australian II Corps (let's call it that) [1 div, 3 bdes, 1 rgt] under command of Lt. General Slim marched on Rockhampton and immediately attempted a blitzkrieg-type attack there. Their blitzkrieg against 2 Japanese regiments [Sas SNLF and 56th Grp] was not successful. Their readiness was too low and I underestimated the readiness & entrenchment of enemy LCUs. Those were still high, despite the long, continuous bombing of IJA troops and supply depots by Allied aircraft.
Losses at Rockhampton --- 51 inf squads, 7 arty, 4 afvs for Allies vs 1 arty for Japanese. Odds 0.
Ri-diculous. Lesson learned: do not attempt land blitzkrieg against the Japanese without superior firepower firmly on your side.
We shall try again next week, better prepared.
Emperor Zeke wasn't going to simply abandon Espiritu and now Japan counterattacks.
Japanese bombers from Guadalcanal and New Caledonia attack Espiritu Santo's airfields. Rear Adm. Takama bombards the base.
### Lt. General Mutaguchi prepares to attack Maj. General Geiger's land forces. Japanese try to recapture Espiritu...
1st round losses --- 36 inf squads, 3 arty, 2 afvs for Japanese vs 3 inf squads for Allies. Odds 0.
### ...and succeed.
2nd round losses --- 13 inf squads for Japanese vs 57 inf squads, 8 arty, 2 afvs for Allies. Odds 8 and we lose Espiritu Santo.
### Good defense here, guys, but we've lost the base already.
3rd round losses --- 70 inf squads, 6 arty, 3 afvs for Japanese vs 8 inf squads, 3 arty for Allies. Odds 0. Ha.
Many perfectly serviceable Allied planes (SBD Dauntlesses and others) had to be destroyed to prevent them from falling into the enemy's hands. Sad turn of events.
We lost 1 AP and 1 MCS somewhere, probably to some of the numerous Jap submarines prowling this area.
++ Surface Engagement ++
TF 52 [damaged BB West Virginia and damaged CL Honolulu, CL St.Louis, 14 DDs, 6 APDs, 14 APs, 17 MCs] commanded by Rear Adm. Lee engage a Japanese cruiser TF 33 [3 CLs, 2 DDs, 23 MCSs] near Efate.
Round 1: Lee's TF 52 achieves surprise. 11,000 yards.
BB West Virginia opens the round with a great shot on IJN Katori (a torpedoless CL in Pacwar but not IRL), a shot that promptly sends the light cruiser to the bottom (5*****). Honolulu, St.Louis and various American destroyers (from 5 different classes) shell the rest of Japanese warships. Manley APDs, Henderson APs and EC2 Liberty merchants gang up on defenseless 6000t Marus. One Maru is left severely damaged.
Round 2: 2,000 yards. Close & personal.
West Virginia fires a generous salvo at the closest Kamikaze-class DD. Why? Because overkill. 5*****, naturally. Debris EVERYwhere. Porter-class DD manages to score three 2** shell hits in a row on the remaining Kamikaze-class. Later, a Clemson DD adds a fourth and the last Japanese DD is doomed. Farragut-class DD puts a 1* shell into the crippled 6000t Maru and adds a torpedo on top of that. 5***** — it says all. Aided by Hendersons and Liberties, CLs Honolulu and St.Louis inflict serious damage on the fleeing Katori-class CLs.
Zeke lost 1 Katori-class CL, 2 Kamikaze-class DDs and a 6000t Maru. Two other Katori-class CLs were heavily damaged.
I lost nothing and my ships sustained only superficial damage.
It was great fun watching Hendersons and Liberties fire their flak guns at obsolete Japanese warships/Marus. They even got some criticals. More shows like this, please.
By the way, TF 33 was a Transport TF. Lee actually prevented a Japanese landing at Efate.
Too bad the strategic value of this was close to nil. I was going to garrison Efate & reinforce its airfield, hoping to retake Espiritu, but then a *bad* bug happened and I had to abandon my Plan B.
There were no 'elsewhere' this week. Everyone was too focused on Espiritu Santo.
Weekly sub/antisub operations:
We sank 4 Japanese merchants.
Japanese sank one Allied merchant.
< Message edited by Istfemer -- 5/18/2019 7:35:31 PM >