From: Sacramento, California
Week 109: January 5th – January 11th 1944
No IJN activity.
Allied bomber and sea bombardments continue to hit Saipan, where the Allies enjoy a 604:256 raw AV advantage following a deliberate attack on the 11th. On this attack, the forts were reduced to 5. Even better news is that the Japanese are starting to suffer disproportionate losses. In the attack noted, the Japanese lost 7 squads and 94 disabled, while the Allies lost 3 squads and 41 disabled. The Allies have found a cadence where they attack, rest for a few days (allowing the air and naval forces to provide the bombardments), and then resume the attack. This is similar to the formula that worked at Rabaul, but the tempo is a little more accelerated this time around. It seems like Allied ground units recover faster now.
Marcus is now officially in Allied hands with the 164th RCT able to overcome 2 forts to take the base early in the week. Once the base was captured, it took 2 more days of assaults to fully clear the island of organized resistance. With the capture of this outpost, the Allies have a much more direct supply line to the Marianas.
No IJN activity.
Morotai’s airfield is fully repaired and supports a few p-47 sweeps of Ternate to gauge enemy strength there. Results are satisfactory, as the good guys run into about 38 enemy planes and come out with a 1:1 kill ratio. More importantly, we find that this base has a sizeable enemy air component. This will have to be neutralized before the main thrust into the Celebes may begin.
With Morotai’s capture complete, small invasion force leaves Rabaul harbor with CVE support. The goal is to capture Sidate and Loewoek on the Celebs coast, in preparation for the final phase of Operation Chimera.
The lone Allied regiment reaches Dagua and easily ousts the enemy garrison, obviously worn down by the repeated Allied air assaults. The combat report says the survivors retreated east to Wewak, but nothing shows up on the map. The victorious Allied regiment will press on and investigate.
Interestingly enough, the Japanese seem determined to keep the airfield at Truk operational. Over the course of the last two months, 4EB squadrons have been relocated to the Marianas, leaving only 4 squadrons to keep the pressure on Truk. Mid-week, one of the Allied raids suddenly encounters over 25 enemy fighters on CAP. The enemy only manages to down 2 bombers, but disrupts the bombers enough to prevent any major hits on the base. Allied command is tempted to stop all bombing missions and just ignore this lone Japanese outpost for now…as there are bigger fish to fry at the moment. The main worry is that the Japanese will transfer in some bombers. If I am reading this right, Bettys have a max range of 70 hexes, so they could transfer in from pretty much anywhere.
The liberation of Mindano is progressing well. The Allied force besieging Cagayan knocked the forts down to 1 and now enjoys a 63:2 raw AV advantage. The 33 Infantry Division took Davao late in the week and is now maneuvering to corner the remaining Japanese forces in the northeastern part of the island.
The Jolo operation trudges along as the Allied force there awaits reinforcements. One bright spot was midweek when a deliberate attack successfully drops the forts from 6 to 5. This is significant, as it shows that the Japanese defense is really being affected by the air and naval bombardments.
The advance down the Malayan peninsula reaches a new phase. On the last day of the week, the advanced Allied force arrives at a vacated Surat Thani. The base will fall next turn, and then support units will begin railing in from Bangkok. The best part is that there is now a respectable road to advance along.
In China, a small scale Allied offensive is brewing in the south. Troops have garrisoned the key crossroads leading to the coastal cities and a main Chinese force is advancing on Pucheng. In parallel, Chinese forces are surrounding the Canton/Hong Kong area. Current goals are to keep the enemy penned in until the Chinese armies in the Haiphong area return. Then a general assault can begin.
As noted in an earlier post, supply throughout China is looking very good. The south and west is seeing natural supply flow from the Burma Road, while the North has seen a nice improvement by using air supply transports flying into Nanyang. All signs point to a continuation of the general advance on the Japanese positions.
-No enemy capital ships sighted this week.
Notable Base Captures:
- Marcus [Central Pacific] captured by the Allies (1/5)
- Cam Ranh Bay [Indochina] captured by the Allies (1/6)
- Dagua [New Guinea] captured by the Allies (1/8)
- Davao [Philippines] captured by the Allies (1/11)
Aircraft Losses to date [change]:
Allies: 8,654 [+96]
Japanese: 25,183 [+162]
Ship Losses to date [change]:
Allies: 662 [+3]
Notables: CV Enterprise, CV Victorious, CVE Copahee, CVE Corregidor, CVE Nassau, CVE St.Lo, 5 CA, 14 CL, 27 DD
Japanese: 1,444 [+10]
Notables: CV Akagi, CV Kaga, CV Hiryu, CV Hiyo, CV Junyo, CV Soryu, CV Shokaku, CV Zuikaku, CVL Shoho, CVL Ryuho, CVL Ryujo, CVL Zuiho, CVE Hosho, CVE Taiyo, BB Fuso, BB Haruna, BB Hiei, BB Kirishima, BB Kongo, BB Mutsu, BB Nagato, BB Yamato, 18 CA, 22 CL, 50 DD
Army Losses to date [change]:
Allies: 11,059 [+21]
Japanese: 11,688 [+423]
A/J Ratio: 0.95 to 1
VP Totals [change]:
Allies: 68,793 [+717]
Japanese: 33,921 [+84]
A/J Ratio: 2.03 to 1
-Assault & Capture Guam [COMPLETE]
-Assault & Capture Tinian [COMPLETE]
-Assault & Capture Saipan [IN PROGRESS. AV 604:256 Advantage Allies, Forts at 5]
-Assault & Capture Marcus [COMPLETE]
-Assault & Capture Cotabato [COMPLETE]
-Secure Mindano [IN PROGRESS - 33rd Inf. Division captures Davao]
-Assault & Capture Balikpapan
-Assault & Capture Jolo [IN PROGRESS, AV .518:411 Forts at 5]
-Assault & Capture Watampone
-Assault & Capture Kolaka
-Assault & Capture Makassar
-Assault & Capture Kendari
-I’m finding that Allied fighters do very well against enemy troop concentrations that are out of supply. The lack of AA fire means very few losses, and it really seems to be helping the pilots overall experience. Furthermore, using fighters to whittle down enemy troops is freeing up 2EB/4EB to focus on harder targets.
-The sub picket line in the South China Sea is beginning to take shape (see pic below) and all 10 Japanese ship losses this week (8-AK and 2-TK) were a direct result. The severing of the DEI from the Japanese empire is almost complete.
You say we're surrounded?
That means we can attack in any direction.