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RE: Perth falls - 2/11/2016 9:20:43 PM   
HansBolter


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I always get a kick out of seeing P400s best the elite carrier pilots of the IJN.

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Post #: 151
RE: Perth falls - 2/12/2016 7:23:05 PM   
kaleun

 

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April 28th

The men are tired, their supplies low, their morale lower than the dirt around their boots. They’ve been marching for days and are now eighty miles north of Geraldton. The town is occupied by the enemy and the bombers have been hitting them twice daily. If they could find someone to surrender to, they would but: How do you surrender to a bomber?

xAP Aquitania at Adelaide departs for San Diego. The converted liner seems to be needed in the Atlantic.

April 30th

Yorktown arrives at Pearl Harbor while Hornet is still 5 days out from completing her upgrades.

The 164th Infantry regiment at Tahiti loads up for NZ.





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Sun Tzu

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Post #: 152
RE: Perth falls - 2/13/2016 2:33:46 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 1st

CV Illustrious departs Cape Town for Melbourne.
In Burma, the AVG ground echelon disbands and AVG 1 as well as 51st Base group move to Ledo.

In China AVG 3 moves to Shaoyang to help forces NW of Changsha.

SS I-165 scores a torpedo hit on the unsuspecting K XVIII

Intel suspects that the carriers present in the SW Australia theater are Akagi, Zuikaku and Ryuju together with CS Chitose

May 2nd

China, NW Changsha

The enemy bombers, 38 Sallies, come in escorted by 39 Oscars. This time the Chinese infantry is not undefended. 5 P40E on LRCAP score 3 Oscars at a cost of one P40. Later in the day 20 Sally come unescorted. The single P40 present kills one and damages a second one.
The airfield at Shaoyang is hit too, by 28 Sallies that meet one P40 and lose one bomber.

May 3rd.

Hermes picks up her Swordfish and proceeds from Sydney to Melbourne under heavy escort. There are at least three enemy submarines prowling the area. One of them, I-9 scores one torpedo hit on CA Exeter.

Over Ledo, 32 Oscars sweep Ledo and meet 4 Hurricanes destroying three of them.



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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
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Post #: 153
RE: Perth falls - 2/13/2016 9:06:27 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 5th.

Pearl Harbor

Carrier 1 departs Pearl Harbor. Yorktown and Hornet, representing all that the air power the US Navy can muster. They head south, all the bombers patrolling for submarines like crazy. CVL Hermes disbands at Melbourne, she is to wait, for the US and RN carriers to arrive.

Over Ledo the air battle is not as one sided today as it’s been. 120 Sallies with 21 Oscar escorts hit Ledo. 15 Hurricanes and 26 P40 E rise to meet them. Two Sallies destroyed, five damaged, three Oscars destroyed. One P40 lost, as well as 2 DC2 and one Blenheim destroyed on the ground.
Later in the day the 32 Oscar sweep arrives late. It meets 12 Hurricanes and 22 P40E, losing 2 Oscars at a cost of two Hurricane and an equal number of P40s.

Kalgoorlie receives 29 Zero with 15 P400 and 13 P39D. Two Zero destroyed, 3 P39 and 2 P400. West of Kalgoorlie, the 5th Division and 2 tank regiment attack and destroy the 2/7 Armored regiment.

In the Aleutians, Umnak has a size one airfield.



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Post #: 154
RE: Perth falls - 2/15/2016 3:37:52 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 6th

There are aces, too, among the allied pilots, though combat reports would not suggest this. Capt Torres, supply officer for AVG 1 and de facto press liaison writes up a florid report on the exploits of AVG 1’s two aces, first lieutenant Prescott with 6 kills, who just got his marching orders transferring him to the training command back in the USA, and 2nd Lt Wolf, a freshly minted ace who just got his 5th kill. The press, and the propaganda department are thirsty for good news, any kind, no matter how trivial, or unimportant in the big scheme of things.

In Anchorage, the 22 OG/18 Pursuit Squadron upgrades their obsolete P36A Mohawks to P400s. The 28th OG/ 36 bombing squadron finally gets rid of their ridiculous Bolos and get spanking new B17Es, their engines still oozing ashless dispersant oil. Seems like the air war in the Aleutians is fixing to heat up.

On the long, long road to Australia, Pago Pago has now a size 5 airfield, and Tahiti’s port is now size three. Just in time to unload VMO 151’s Dauntless bombers and 49 Pursuit group’s 8th and 9 pursuit squadron’s P40Es The P40s are due for New Zealand’s Wellington.

At Kalgoorlie, 3rd Division goes into reserve.

General Blaney now has at Kalgoorlie five divisions, the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 8th. Two brigades, 5th and 8th moving south to hold the railway line to Esperance open, and the 30th assisting with the town’s defense. He’s got three artillery regiments, 2/11th, 2/9th, and 2nd Medium, and one heavy AA regiment, the 2nd. His armor is weak though with just a single makeshift regiment, the 2/8th. He wishes, not for the first time, he hadn’t sent the 6th north, but that cannot be remedied.
The forces retreating from Perth have reached the intersection north of Albany and begin the long march to Esperance.

On the seventh, Capt Baker watches the 1st Marine Defense battalion and the 64th Coastal AA regiment unload at the small, crowded atoll of Canton Island. If the Japanese return, they should have a warm welcome ready for them.




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Post #: 155
RE: Perth falls - 2/15/2016 6:19:52 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 10th

A shock attack by the Australians fails to dislodge the enemy. Japanese suffer 2780 casualties and allies 1569.
Meanwhile, far to the north, the 6th Division continues to plod south under daily air attack, and two the south the defenders of Perth stretch out along the track to Esperance.


May 11th.

North Pacific HQ arrives at Dutch Harbor.
The Australian 6th Division reached the railway to the East of Geraldton and begins to trek east.

May 12th
Japanese forces occupy Cox Bazaar. Chittagong flattened by enemy bombers despite the effort by defending Hurricanes.

Dutch Harbor hit by 27 Sally and 13 Zero. SS S35 takes 2 bomb hits. Ummak has now a level 2 airfield. The work on the airfield stops and shifts to the harbor. The P400 of the 28th/18PS fly from Anchorage to Kodiak island en route to Umnak.

In New Zealand, the people of Wellington turn out to welcome the 164th Infantry Regiment unloading at harbor. The men, looking rather haggard and ill equipped, look about them. This is a welcome respite, far away from the disaster in SW Oz.







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Post #: 156
RE: Perth falls - 2/15/2016 10:46:48 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 13th

I-9 stalks the waterways near Sydney.
30 Zero sweep Kalgoorlie, once again unopposed.
Matters are slightly different at Ledo. 42 Oscar Ic sweep and meet 7 Hurricanes and 19 P40E. Two Oscars destroyed, on Hurricane and one P40E lost.

Dutch Harbor visited by 27 Sally and 13 Zero. AA damages 8 bombers S-35 takes one bomb.

May 14th
Carrier I arrives at Tahiti, refuels and sets out for Melbourne.
55 Base Group arrives at Umnak.
The daily Zero sweep at Kalgoorlie pits 30 Zero against 14 P39 and 12 P400. A single Zero destroyed at a cost of 2 P39D and 5 P400. Kalgoorlie fortifications now stand at a respectable level 4. The third motor brigade at Alice Springs embarks for Port Augusta, with the final destination of Kalgoorlie.
CL Colombo, DD Panther and Paladin leave Mebourne bound for Cape Town and thence the battle of the Atlantic.

May 15th

Daily attacks on Kalgoorlie, again unopposed, 6th Division, and a strong attack on the task force that brought the 55 Baseg Group to Umnak Island:
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Umnak Island at 169,51

Weather in hex: Light rain

Raid spotted at 32 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 12 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 13
G3M2 Nell x 27

Allied aircraft
P-400 Airacobra x 6

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 1 destroyed
G3M2 Nell: 1 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
P-400 Airacobra: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
xAP Princess Victoria, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
AMC Prince Henry
xAP Aleutian, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
xAP Baranof, Torpedo hits 1
xAP Princess Elizabeth
AVD Chincoteague
xAP Princess Charlotte
xAP North Coast, Torpedo hits 1, on fire

May 16th:

15 Zero sweep Umnak and meet 12 P400. The USAAF fighters might as well not be there. Five lost to no effect.
At Kalgoorlie, allied artillery booms attempting to disrupt, delay and hinder the enemy build up.



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Post #: 157
RE: Perth falls - 2/16/2016 1:17:12 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 17th

27 Zero own the skies over Kalgoorlie.
42 Oscar sweep Ledo. 22 P40 rise. One Oscar killed and three P40 lost. 39 Oscar follow. Only 2 P40 rise and one fighter on each side falls out of the sky.
An allied attack at Kalgoorlie fails miserably.

May 18th

Captain Torres watches major Boyngton climb on the C-47 that will return him to his training command in the US.

Umnak hosts its daily Zero sweep. 18 fighters meet 15 P400. One zero lost and 5 P400 destroyed.
132 Inf rgt at Esperance ordered north to the trail intersection.

May 19th.
Oscars sweep Chittagong, Oscars sweep Ledo. Hurricanes rise and fall, the enemy loses some, the allies lose more. A long, dirty war of attrition with the Japanese side, for now, coming ahead.

May 21st

The US 24th Infantry Division reaches Esperance.
CVE Long Island arrives at Balboa.
The railroad from Kalgoorlie to Esperance has been cut by an enemy force. Both the US 24th Division and the 132nd regiment are ordered north to reopen the rail line.
At Umnak, 28OG/18 Fighter upgrades its P400 to P40E


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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 158
RE: Perth falls - 2/16/2016 1:17:39 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 23rd

While the air war over Ledo continues to rage, yesterday 42 Oscars swept the sky finding first 16 P40E losing 2 Oscars for 3 P40, and later another 42 Oscar destroyed the lone P40 they found, in other fronts it is just as lopsided. In Kalgoorlie, for instance, 27 unescorted Sally bombers hit the town finding 5 Kittyhawks on CAP. The Australian pilots only managed to damage a single bomber. The second raid of the day, 31 unescorted bombers, met by 5 Kittyhawks escaped unscathed.
But it gets worse for the stalwart Australian defenders of Kalgoorlie. The enemy is attempting an outflanking maneuver on the south side of the stronghold with the 6th Tank Regiment attacking the 14th and 8th Australian Brigade. The infantry repels the attack, but what will happen tomorrow?
Operation Restore Comfort gets going with the first stage, a surge of submarines from Melbourne to establish a blockade around Perth.


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Post #: 159
RE: Perth falls - 2/16/2016 4:49:48 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 24th
Raids on Ledo and Kalgoorlie, opposed by ineffective allied fighters continue. Later in the day, 36 unescorted Sally bombers pound Ledo. A single Sally is damaged by the, also ineffective AA. The results are devastating:
Blenheim IV: 3 damaged
Blenheim IV: 1 destroyed on ground
P-40E Warhawk: 1 damaged
P-40E Warhawk: 1 destroyed on ground
Hudson IIIa: 4 damaged
Hudson IIIa: 1 destroyed on ground
Hurricane IIa Trop: 1 damaged
DC-3: 1 damaged
DC-3: 1 destroyed on ground

Near Kalgoorlie, the sixth tank regiment attacks and forces the 14th and 18th Australian Brigades to retreat.
Far to the east Japanese forces cut the railroad between Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta.





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Post #: 160
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, preliminaries - 2/16/2016 4:51:04 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 25th
Kido Butai 2 makes an appearance south of Esperance:
AM Castlemaine
xAKL Burwah, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAKL Hetton Bank, Bomb hits 4, and is sunk
They will repeat the attack on this same task force on the 26th:
AM Castlemaine, Bomb hits 1, on fire
xAKL Coolana, Bomb hits 4, and is sunk





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Post #: 161
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, preliminaries - 2/16/2016 4:52:54 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 28th
Talaud Eilanden and Tenate were captured by Japanese amphibious assault on the 26th and 27th.
Ledo hit again by Japanese bombers with great destruction of planes on the ground. Kalgoorlie hit as usual, and also as usual the 6th Division hit, by now near Cue.

Unbeknownst (hopefully) to the Japanese Admiral, a mighty carrier force assembled in Melbourne slips its moorings. CVL Hermes joins the force. The allied carriers split into two forces: Force 1 Formidable, Yorktown and Hermes, Force 2 Hornet Illustrious and Indomitable.





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Post #: 162
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/18/2016 1:54:01 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 30th Cry Havoc!

The Japanese strike first. 59 Zero escort 54 Kate and 38 Val bombers attacking the allied carriers. After what seems like months of hitting ground targets, or undefended merchants, the Samurai pilots must feel elated to, at last, have a fitting opponent. The radio crackles with their calls, their voices elated. 18 Martlet fighters and 11 F4F-3 rise to tangle with the strike package. So few fighters, but the enemy pilots do not let that bother them. Two Zero fall to the CAP as well as 15 Val damaged. Three dive bombers succumb to allied flak. The Zero fighters, concentrating on keeping the Martlets and Wildcats away from their bombers only score one Martlet killed. One Kate bomber dies from flak. CVL Hermes takes five bombs, all from Kates, one of them penetrates and an ammunition explosion follows the strike. CV Formidable takes four, but they bounce off the armored deck. CA Australia two. Yorktown escapes unscathed.
Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 59
B5N1 Kate x 28
B5N2 Kate x 26
D3A1 Val x 38

Allied aircraft
Martlet II x 18
F4F-3 Wildcat x 11

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 2 destroyed
B5N1 Kate: 1 destroyed by flak
B5N2 Kate: 2 damaged
D3A1 Val: 15 damaged
D3A1 Val: 3 destroyed by flak

Allied aircraft losses
Martlet II: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
CVL Hermes, Bomb hits 5, on fire
CV Formidable, Bomb hits 4
CV Yorktown
DD Inconstant
CA Australia, Bomb hits 2





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Post #: 163
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/18/2016 6:04:08 PM   
kaleun

 

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Step 2
The allied strike finds the enemy carriers, Zuikaku, Zuiho, Ryujo, and Shoho. 12 Albacore, 7 Swordfish, 27 SBD-3, and 12 TBD-1, escorted by 16 F4F-3. All the torpedoes miss, but the Dauntless bombs do not. CVL Shoho produces a most satisfying explosion after one of the bomb hits, attributed to fuel storage.

Weather in hex: Light rain

Raid detected at 37 NM, estimated altitude 14,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 14 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 24

Allied aircraft
Albacore I x 12
Swordfish I x 7
F4F-3 Wildcat x 16
SBD-3 Dauntless x 27
TBD-1 Devastator x 12

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Albacore I: 2 destroyed, 2 damaged
Albacore I: 1 destroyed by flak
Swordfish I: 1 destroyed, 1 damaged
Swordfish I: 1 destroyed by flak
F4F-3 Wildcat: 1 destroyed
SBD-3 Dauntless: 1 destroyed, 5 damaged
TBD-1 Devastator: 2 destroyed
TBD-1 Devastator: 1 destroyed by flak

Japanese Ships
CVL Zuiho, Bomb hits 1, on fire
CVL Ryujo
CA Tone
CV Zuikaku
CVL Shoho, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires
CA Kumano





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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
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Post #: 164
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/18/2016 10:32:57 PM   
BBfanboy


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Looks like he lost a few more aircraft than you did and only has one full-sized CV. I would try for a round 2 if you can dodge any SCTFs he sends your way.

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Post #: 165
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/19/2016 1:46:20 PM   
kaleun

 

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The next phase arrives in the afternoon. Once again, the Japanese afternoon strike arrives first.

Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Esperance at 59,160

Weather in hex: Light cloud

Raid detected at 77 NM, estimated altitude 15,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 28 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 42
B5N1 Kate x 15
B5N2 Kate x 26
D3A1 Val x 27

Allied aircraft
Sea Hurricane Ib x 3
Martlet II x 6
F4F-3 Wildcat x 2
F4F-4 Wildcat x 11

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 3 destroyed
B5N1 Kate: 1 destroyed, 2 damaged
B5N2 Kate: 5 damaged
B5N2 Kate: 2 destroyed by flak
D3A1 Val: 1 destroyed, 14 damaged
D3A1 Val: 2 destroyed by flak

Allied aircraft losses
Martlet II: 1 destroyed
F4F-3 Wildcat: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
CV Hornet, Bomb hits 1
CV Illustrious, Bomb hits 3
CV Indomitable, Bomb hits 2
Twelve unescorted Kates arrive later and lose eight of their number to two Martlet and 5 F4F-3





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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
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Post #: 166
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/19/2016 1:47:29 PM   
kaleun

 

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Step 4
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Esperance at 56,158

Weather in hex: Heavy cloud

Raid detected at 39 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 15 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 19

Allied aircraft
Albacore I x 6
F4F-3 Wildcat x 11
SBD-3 Dauntless x 24
TBD-1 Devastator x 10

No Japanese losses

Allied aircraft losses
Albacore I: 3 destroyed, 1 damaged
F4F-3 Wildcat: 1 destroyed
SBD-3 Dauntless: 1 destroyed, 8 damaged
TBD-1 Devastator: 1 destroyed, 4 damaged
TBD-1 Devastator: 1 destroyed by flak

Japanese Ships
CVL Ryujo
CVL Shoho, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
CV Zuikaku, Bomb hits 2, on fire
DD Tachekaze
CVL Zuiho
DD Nenohi
Followed by step five:
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Esperance at 56,158

Weather in hex: Heavy cloud

Raid detected at 38 NM, estimated altitude 14,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 14 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 10

Allied aircraft
Fulmar II x 9
Sea Hurricane Ib x 5
Martlet II x 4
Swordfish I x 12
F4F-4 Wildcat x 16
SBD-3 Dauntless x 27
TBD-1 Devastator x 12

No Japanese losses

Allied aircraft losses
Fulmar II: 1 destroyed
SBD-3 Dauntless: 3 damaged
TBD-1 Devastator: 2 damaged

Japanese Ships
CV Zuikaku, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires
CVL Zuiho, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVL Ryujo, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
CA Kumano
CVL Shoho, heavy fires, heavy damage
CS Chitose, Bomb hits 2
DD Hatsushima
DD Ariake






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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 167
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/19/2016 1:48:03 PM   
kaleun

 

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And step 6, the Albacores prove their mettle.

Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Esperance at 56,158

Weather in hex: Heavy cloud

Raid detected at 41 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 24 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 9

Allied aircraft
Albacore I x 18

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 2 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Albacore I: 2 destroyed, 2 damaged

Japanese Ships
CA Tone
CV Zuikaku, heavy fires
CVL Ryujo, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
CVL Zuiho, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage

The allied task forces now reassemble. Hermes with 36% system damage, 5% flotation and 4 engines is deemed unable to continue in combat and is sent back to Melbourne. Her planes transfer to Illustrious. The allied carriers will give chase.


The 32nd Infantry Division unloaded at Wellington takes train to Auckland. More troops unloaded at Tahiti include the 147 and 24th Sep Infantry regiments. The 1st USMC Parachute battalion arrives at the East Coast and takes train for San Diego. Two tank battalions, the 762nd and the 763rd transfer to SWPAC command and prepare to be sent to Australia.


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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 168
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/19/2016 2:23:32 PM   
BBfanboy


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Well done! Great to see the combo of British CVs with working torpedoes and armoured decks working well with effective US CV with numbers of DBs and good fighters.

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(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 169
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/19/2016 2:35:33 PM   
JocMeister

 

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Really nice work there. Congrats!

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Post #: 170
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, step 1 - 2/19/2016 3:37:30 PM   
HansBolter


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Bravo!

I just LOVE seeing the Allies win carrier battles.

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Post #: 171
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, epilogue - 2/19/2016 4:47:55 PM   
kaleun

 

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May 31st

The Japanese task force, what remains of it, tries to escape seeking to get into range of their land based torpedo bombers. For once, the allied tactical plan unfolds as planned. It is a Dutch submarine, KVII that spots the enemy near Albany. The captain fires first and reports second, reporting one hit on Zuikaku. KXI misses on CA Tone.
The Japanese also have submarines here, I-164 fires and misses on DD Cassin near Esperance.
And the final act on this event, the allied air strike. This time the allied pilots are the elated ones, giddy with their recent victory, and finding no opposition, they line up and come in.
Morning Air attack on TF, near Albany at 52,155

Weather in hex: Heavy cloud

Raid detected at 39 NM, estimated altitude 14,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 15 minutes

Allied aircraft
Fulmar II x 9
Sea Hurricane Ib x 4
Martlet II x 4
F4F-3 Wildcat x 7
F4F-4 Wildcat x 13
SBD-3 Dauntless x 30
TBD-1 Devastator x 7

Allied aircraft losses
SBD-3 Dauntless: 3 damaged

Japanese Ships
CV Zuikaku, Bomb hits 5, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Hibiki, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Yugure








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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
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Post #: 172
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, epilogue - 2/19/2016 9:30:37 PM   
BBfanboy


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Too bad that torpedo was one of the small 45cm ones. By the screen shot Zuikaku had the previous heavy fires down to minor fires when torpedoed, and the 5 new bomb hits put her back up to heavy fires plus heavy damage. That kind of cumulative damage + heavy fires + any flooding at all is usually fatal for an IJN CV. If there were any secondary explosions from those bombs I am certain she is gone.

That said, you pilots must be getting tired - from 30 DBs, only five bomb hits against a damaged CV with no air cover. Not sure if heavy cloud interfered or not.

Looks like Chitose slipped away?

PS - Given the location on the first map and the Allied custom of naming naval battles for the nearest land feature, can we call this the Second Battle of Cape Esperance?

< Message edited by BBfanboy -- 2/19/2016 10:33:12 PM >


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Post #: 173
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, epilogue - 2/20/2016 1:42:48 PM   
Bif1961


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Looks like the Japanese met their Waterloo off the coast of western Australia. Seems he didn't have torpedoes, as he never hit with any. This will go a long way to an early allied offensive once your carriers repair their minor damage and replenish their air groups.

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Post #: 174
RE: The Battle of Cape Esperance, epilogue - 2/20/2016 3:01:43 PM   
kaleun

 

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Thanks y'all. Here's more

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Post #: 175
RE: The Battle of Kalgoorlie - 2/20/2016 3:03:03 PM   
kaleun

 

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June 1st

The allied carrier force turns around. They will not get into range of the feared Nell bombers, not for a few enemy escorts and a seaplane carrier. The battle is done. The enemy lost three carriers, one of them, Zuikaku, a modern fleet carrier. The allied losses, negligible. Hermes will spend some time in a shipyard, but the small, slow CVL will survive.
The news goes out on the wireless and, but minutes later is released to the press for distribution to a country, Australia, thirsty for any good news.
Farther to the north, at Kalgoorlie, the next act of the tragedy opens.
Ground combat at Kalgoorlie (56,147)

Japanese Deliberate attack

Attacking force 75430 troops, 714 guns, 577 vehicles, Assault Value = 2508

Defending force 48006 troops, 700 guns, 356 vehicles, Assault Value = 1030

Japanese engineers reduce fortifications to 3

Japanese adjusted assault: 2465

Allied adjusted defense: 867

Japanese assault odds: 2 to 1 (fort level 3)

Japanese Assault reduces fortifications to 3

Combat modifiers
Defender: forts(+), preparation(-), experience(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
7266 casualties reported
Squads: 140 destroyed, 372 disabled
Non Combat: 11 destroyed, 63 disabled
Engineers: 26 destroyed, 31 disabled
Guns lost 60 (12 destroyed, 48 disabled)
Vehicles lost 28 (14 destroyed, 14 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
3230 casualties reported
Squads: 28 destroyed, 293 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 37 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 51 disabled
Guns lost 96 (5 destroyed, 91 disabled)
Vehicles lost 13 (1 destroyed, 12 disabled)

Yes, the attack is repelled, but the enemy will try again.

North of Esperance, the US 24th Division will try and dislodge the enemy armor from the railroad. The Japanese tanks are worthless, unless you do not have tanks of your own to oppose them, then they are murderous. But the 24th will not face the enemy armor, just the 2nd Recon regiment, and forces them off the railroad on the 2nd. The men receive their baptism of fire and now feel optimistic. Pity that reality will catch up with them soon.
The 163rd regiment will arrive at Esperance on the 3rd and begin loading up on the awaiting transports.





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Post #: 176
RE: The Battle of Kalgoorlie - 2/21/2016 12:44:37 AM   
kaleun

 

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June 3rd.
With the papers full of the amazing victory off Esperance, the next shock to the system passes unnoticed. An enemy carrier force appears out of nowhere in the Tasman Sea. The bombers hit CA Indianapolis with 6 bombs and xAK Panaman with 4. Signal Intel places Kaga in this TF labeled KB 1. Indianapolis is scuttled later in the day. R. Adm Boyd, commanding the allied carriers returning from Cape Esperance prepares his carriers and depleted air groups to face KB 1 if it decides to seek battle off Southern Australia.




B17s based in Auckland hit Norfolk and Raoul Islands.





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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
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Post #: 177
RE: The Battle of Kalgoorlie - 2/22/2016 2:36:08 PM   
kaleun

 

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June 4th

Enemy submarine I-9 spotted off Sydney comes under attack by DD Tjerk Heddes. Three reported depth charge hits.

Dutch Harbor bombed.

A Japanese attack at Kalgoorlie is repelled and CVL SHoho is reported sunk.

June 5th

TF 35 at Esperance loads the 132nd Infantry regiment.
Despite the extensive search pattern, the enemy carriers disappear into the wide ocean.
The victorious allied Car 2 task force drops anchor at Melbourne. There is no time for celebration or shore leave as Hornet and Yorktown upgrade their TBDs to TBFs. Hermes’ swordfish fly off to Sydney to take replacements.

June 6th

The air battle over Kalgoorlie rages on. 25 Zero sweep, 13 P400 rise. One Zero destroyed, four P400 lost. 27 Sally and 49 Zero come in to attack the 4th Australian Division. 9 P400 rise and two are lost.
Japanese deliberate attack on Kalgoorlie. Forts degraded to level 1. 4975 Japanese casualties for 1746 allied.

June 7th

For the defenders at Kalgoorlie, the battle of Cape Esperance is as irrelevant as the weather in Alaska. Today they receive order to begin to abandon their positions rather than risk getting cut off. Under fire from enemy artillery, the defenders begin to pull out.

At Balboa, CV Wasp arrives and sets out for Pearl Harbor immediately.

June 8th

Japanese artillery continues to hit Kalgoorlie.

The 132nd Infantry regiment unloads at Adelaide. Ceduna’s airfield is now level two.
Indomitable changes her Fulmars for Sea Hurricanes.

June 9th

25 Sally bombers and 18 Zeros raid Dutch Harbor sinking S-35 and damaging SS Grenadier with one hit. It appears that Dutch Harbor will not be a feasible submarine base.

But it isn’t the news from the Aleutians that bother Knox, Stimson, and FDR. What is bothering them is something not unexpected.
“There are serious implications after this raid,” Knox says.
“What implications?” The president asks, “Some Japanese bombers sunk some cargo ships at Esperance. What’s so unusual that you want to abort Restore Comfort before we rescue the 24th?”
“Mr. President,” Stimson says, “The bombers were G3M2 Netties, their second best naval bomber. Torpedo bombers. We cannot risk our carriers within range of those machines. We can try to evacuate the 24th by land, better than seeing them sink in those waters.”
“I see,” FDR says rubbing his chin.”

At Kalgoorlie, a Japanese shock attack reduces the last remaining fortifications to rubble. The enemy suffers 7230 casualties and the allies 2729

The Sea Hurricanes on Indomitable expand their numbers from 9 to 13.


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Post #: 178
RE: The Battle of Kalgoorlie - 2/23/2016 2:24:57 PM   
kaleun

 

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June 10th

Reconaissance en force, the US Navy decides to begin probing the Japanese defenses. The 1st Marine Raiding Battalion departs Tahiti for Raoul Island. The estimate is that there are very few defenders on the island, just a base force to maintain the floatplanes stationed there. A fast, easy victory that will keep the newspapers happy when the elation of the recent carrier battle begins to die down. Four B17s from Auckland hit the airfield at the small island causing minimal, if any damage.

The 24th fails to clear the railroad south of Kalgoorlie.
Albany falls.

Carrier one departs Melbourne for New Zealand. The new area of operations will be the Tahiti-Pago Pago-Suva triangle.



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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
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Post #: 179
RE: The Battle of Kalgoorlie - 2/25/2016 4:22:33 PM   
kaleun

 

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June 12th

Routines
Raoul island bombed yesterday and today by Auckland based B17s. Kalgoorlie bombarded as the defenders struggle to leave. The 24th US Infantry Division also bombarded the 16th and 2nd recon regiment, but lacking effective anti-tank equipment there wasn’t much of an effect.
In Tahiti the 1st Marine Division reformed and began prepping for Nadi. Not that there is much of a chance that they will see Nadi anytime soon, but they need to train, soldiers like that, and Nadi is as good a target as any.
In Pearl Harbor, Nimitz peruses the plans that Capt. Watanabe handed him. He’d asked the captain for a preliminary counteroffensive plan. Something small, that would attract the enemy’s attention; perhaps distract them from their current plans, make them react to the allied movements instead of the opposite. The plan is quite moderate.
Attack small islands that can be seized in a day or two, where the Japanese have posted pickets. Bring overwhelming force to bear, overpower the enemy garrisons fast, and withdraw the assault forces as fast as they land. Leave behind small, well supplied garrisons. Wait for the Japanese response, if any. Avoid naval engagements unless superiority is assured. Above all protect the carriers until the Essex begin to arrive in 1943.
Targets:
1st Stage
Raoul Island, (Nimitz smiles, the raiding force is already on their way) Toyapu and Eua in the Tonga islands, (Good bases to hit Suva) Hoorn Island, already within B17 range from Fiji.
2ns Stage
Ellice Island, Vaitupu and Funafuti, (Threatening the Marshalls from the south)
Nimitz nods, yes, this is what is needed. Small, easy victories, blood the Marines, raise their spirits. Wait for the Japanese to come out, and leave before they get there. Make them waste fuel, wear and tear. Play for time.

In China AVG2 withdraws. The pilots make their long, long way back to the US to join the growing reserve force of more or less experienced pilots that is bound to turn the tide of the air war.


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