From: NYer living in Boise, ID
West Coast/Admin: NSTR.
In NOPAC, NSTR.
In CENPAC, NSTR.
In SOPAC, the landings start off with a surprise - MTBs waiting for the Tokara Retto bombardment force (2BB, DDs, DMS), which I had neglected to support with a surface TF to clear the way, so five separate MTB squadrons of four boats each made runs, one managing to get a torpedo into BB California which didn’t even scratch paint. Three MTBs were sunk, and no damage inflicted to the US force which successfully bombarded, inflicting only about 75 casualties. Mini subs also get in the picture in and around Tokara Retto, with three unsuccessful attacks on the bombardment force, losing three subs in the process. A fourth sub was dispatched near Amami. The main show, the landings at Yakushima go in without a hitch. No interference for Oldendorf’s bombardment (4BB, DDs, DMS) run which inflicts over 300 casualties to the Bde sized defenders. Troops come ashore in good order as well, the only casualty is a single APA grounded and will have to go back to Manila for repairs. Come daylight, the supporting US B-24s are intercepted by large numbers of LRCAP roaming over Yakushima and Tokara Retto which was a most unexpected development. So, the CVE’s CAP was now tied to escorting the bombers instead of free roaming against the expected incoming Kamikazes which never materialized. Losses to the CVE’s CAP was heavy, especially to the Wildcats - 51 Wildcats, 9 Corsairs, and three Spitfires were lost in air to air - as well as 23 TBFs shot down in ASW and search roles. Many surviving fighters were also written off as ops losses. These heavy CAP losses will require the CVEs to retire to replenish planes before the next landings - and as the transports have offloaded, all but picket DDs and PTs will retire back to Amami to link up with the Tokara Retto Amphib as well as the Support TFs for Yakushima carrying engineers. With numerous subs and MTBs still around Tokara Retto, the transports and CVEs will first head SE, then west toward Amami, hopefully avoiding the threat. Additional DDs will sortie from Amami as ASW TFs as well to hunt the subs. The Fleet at sea was a spectator to all this action, no raids were launched against it, and will also pull back 80 miles to the SW and hold off Amami. I’m hoping that L_S_T will indeed launch his Kamis next turn, and they will only range the picket DDs at PTs at Tokara and Amami, covered by LRCAP. In any case, depending on what transpires next turn will influence whether Tokara Amphib goes in, or bringing the follow-on engineer support TF into Yakushima.
In SWPAC, 1st Mar Div and the two supporting US Army Infantry Regiments plus combat engineers, armor and artillery go ashore at Yakushima in good enough order to attack the defending IJA Mixed Regiment and Naval Guard unit defending. As mentioned earlier, the surprise was the mass of Japanese LRCAP over both Tokara Retto and Yakushima. Numbers varied with each US strike, anywhere from a pair of Franks to about 100 front line fighters. Into this flew the supporting bombing strikes of B-24s liberally escorted by LRCAP and the CVEs. In addition to the CVE’s fighter losses. SWPAC lost 7 B-24s, 6 P-47s, 5 P-38s and a pair of Mustangs. Total Japanese fighter losses to air to air are estimated at 135 Franks and 36 Tonys. As the Allied air search and ASW TBFs were caught up in this action, so were the Japanese search and air transport missions; 19 Glen, 11 Alf, 15 Emily and 7 Mavis were shot down. As the Navy’s Wildcats took the brunt of the losses, the USAAF fighters will provide the bulk of the LRCAP as well as some sweeps over Tokara Retto and Yakushima next turn. Bombers will stand down however until L_S_T plays his next hand.
In China, Chinese troops do better this turn east of Chungking as they continue to engage withdrawing IJA troops; in two separate attacks they inflict over 1300 casualties in exchange for only about 120. Approaching Nanking on XXXIII Corps flank, two Chinese Corps collapse the IJA rear guard into Nanking at a cost of 700 IJA troops. The big question whether or not the Chinese Corps can successfully get across the river between Hankow and Anking - the heavily wooded terrain appears to be undefended, but that is very curious as the river line would be a formidable defense. Will need some additional recon in the area before the troops get across.
In SE Asia, XXXIII Corps bombardment recon of Shanghai reveals what looks like a very weak defense of third rate troops (RGC, tax police etc) left behind. Will still wait for additional artillery and combat engineers to be brought in, but should make the first attack within a week based on the defenses. On the north side of the Yangtze River, Tungchow flips to Allied control. To take advantage of this opportunity, the airborne Lushi Bde, in reserve at Haiphong, will be flown in to secure the base and engineers will be brought in by landing craft from the Ningpo area. I really don’t intend to advance XXXIII Corps north of Shanghai, and will turn this gain over to Chinese troops as soon as practical - but gaining bases north of Shanghai, especially those that can be developed into large AFs, need to be secured and put to use as soon as possible. Lastly, the slow British BB TF (2BB, 2CL, DDs, DSM) will depart Formosa and head to bombard Shanghai next turn. They’ll then rearm off AKEs now moving to Hangchow to provide support at both Shanghai and the upcoming Saishu To landings.