Wargr, BB, Moose, Lowpe: thanks for your insights!
Yes, I see most of the troops in Burma are a dismal lot: low experience, low morale, and high fatigue.
Like the old joke says "the food here is terrible, and such small portions!" IOW, everything you say is correct, with the addition that there are almost no replacements for them when they're destroyed.
Pegu, in particular, seems to suck the life force out of anyone based there! I see some LCUs there have morale levels of 10.
Yeppers. Get ooouuuuuttttt!
I hate to hand over real estate without much of a fight, but it looks like death awaits anyone trying to defend lower Burma. And the upper Irrawaddy River valley seems like the inspiration for the phrase "the valley of the shadow of death" with its clear terrain and no real source of supply once Rangoon falls.
Look at it this way: everything he takes he has to supply. Supply is Japan's Achilles Heel. And north of the valley is a big, sweet band of jungle. That's your stop line. Imphal is your bastion for 1942. Maybe 1943. Maybe 1944 . . .
I guess it's too late to try to organize any real defense of lower Burma now. If I had defended at Moulmein, I might have got another couple of weeks for Rangoon and environs. But I didn't.
No way to do it. No good reason to try it. Falling back is the right move. He wants Magwe and the oil. Let him have it, then burn it down as soon as you can.
Three further questions:
(1) Am I wrong in thinking that the back door to China best defended starting at Paoshan?
Best? No. Hard to force supply that far up the road. Worth some defense, but not the main force. Lashio is much better for your main fort.
(2) I bought out some Chinese LCUs and they have moved into the Lashio area. Is it best to use them to defend China, just eating the PP I paid, or should I zip them via RR to Prome and have them walk out to India?
I wouldn't take them to Prome. They can be bombed there. You have to hike a jungle gap sooner or later no matter where. I stay north. Go into Mandalay, and cross up there. Don't recall the name of the base I aim for to get on the train, but it's near a wasp-waist in the jungle. About one hex less jungle than the rest of the line. I think it starts as a dot. The Chinese won't starve in the jungle in that area; some will trickle. Get them on the train, then either Chittagong, Calcutta, Madras, or all the way to northern India to take over garrison duty and re-build.
(3) Can I assume that Japan wouldn't attempt to enter China from Burma via the road to Kunming?
Do not assume that at all.
The flow of supply for units entering that way seems like it would be very low.
I don't know how the rat bastids do it, but they seem able to pull supply through the Himalayas when needed.
Edit: Looked at the map. You can either rail to Katha (dot), go to Move, cross the jungle to the road near Imphal, then Move NE up the road to the railhead at Dimapur. OR, what I usually do, is rail to Shwebo, go to Move, walk NE to that flat piece of yellow road sticking out like a shelf into the jungle. Cross the jungle and river headed NW to the yellow/gray road junction SW of Imphal. Stay in Move and walk to Dimapur and the train. Minimize your days in the jungle. Everybody eats better on any kind of road.
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 10/1/2014 2:22:42 AM >