Sitrep Feb. 25, 1944
Umboi Island falls to 3 separate regiments, a battalion of Marine paratroopers (within days of withdrawal) a battalion of Stuart tanks, and three battalions of 105 howitzers. One regiment was about 30% attrited, the others about 10%. The two less beaten-up infantry regiments, the tanks and the artillery are loading up to reinforce the upcoming landings at Finchhaven (two or three days out). Base forces and engineers are inbound to Umboi - 2 or 3 days out.
I have an infantry division in Lae. I marched them around the north side to get around the river. They are currently probing the Lae position and bombarding as supply allows.
If I can successfully land at Finchaven this might be a short campaign. I have a couple of US infantry divisions around PM.
I have second-line transports en route to PM to pull the Australian 6th, 7th, and 9th Divisions back to finished prepping for Babar and Saumlaki. I take those two islands and get some fighter in it, I'll move SW Pac HQ (and supply/support) to Darwin. I've been running small (30,000 ton) supply/fuel convoys into Darwin. I plan to run a two-prong offensive through the eastern DEI. After taking Babar/Saumlaki, the Australians will take Timor (possibly a tough nut but I need the bases) then into Celebes (Kendari & Makassar) with an eye to Balikpapan and Borneo.
After cleaning out the Lae pocket the SW Pac US forces will pick off isolated bases to the east of the Australian drive working toward Sorong, Morotai, and the PI side of the passage between Borbeo and the PI.
I am loading a two-division assault force in Noumea to take Green Island. After that I may give Manaus a go. It is awfully handy to base B-24s to bomb Truk. Serious bombing Truk will wait til I take Tarawa, Kwaj, Eniwetok and Ponape. Til then I'll send in high-altitude nuisance raids and some night port mining. Who knows, maybe I'll locate KB.
Truk is too heavily garrisoned to run across their front like real-life MacArthur did in the spring of 1944.
Right now I'm in a sweet spot. In Betty range but out of Zero range for land-based air out of Truk. His Betties try to raid may amphib TFs but they are well covered by land based fighters and Wildcats on CVEs. Wildcats and P-39s (I still have scads of them) may be meat on the table for Zeroes but they shoot down Batties nice as you could ask.
I am currently husbanding P-38s and B-24J, building up pools for the neutralization of Truk.
I am thinking moving SoPac HQ from Noumea to Lae/Finchhaven use the army exterminates the garrison. I have lots of unemployed engineers who could build up those bases fairly quickly. Rather than let SoPac get pinched off frm the action I'll have them work of the periphery picking off Ocean & Nauru, maybe even Ponape if the shipping situation is right.
I'm building up a 3 division assault fleet at Pearl. I have an assault fleet that can move 3 divisions at once at Noumea. Unless I get really surprised, I should have enough shipping to handle two major thrusts.
It may have come at the price of inefficiency in 1943 but I an fat on tankers and oiler, and have big supply/fuel depots at Pearl, Noumea, Brisbane, Sydney, and Noumea. I am building up Perth to support a thrust into China but that's a ways off. Perth is a three week voyage from anywhere.
I have the forts at Rangoon beaten down to level one and 2400 raw AV in place to assault and dozens of engineer and base force units nearby, just waiting for a home. I have a Indian para unit operating in space from Chiang Mai. I look to cut the last supply routes from Bangkok to central Burma. But I still have to take Rangoon. I have two LST-heavy convoys to rush into Rangoon (with heavy escort) once I get control of the port. Then I can drfive south to north against poorly supplied IJA units around Mandalay.
Still, I have to drive myself to pick up the tempo.
< Message edited by Taxcutter -- 11/24/2018 5:30:45 PM >