From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
7/21/44 to 7/25/44
Battle of Java: What a crazy, three-layer battle and campaign this is.
As the Allies invaded, Dave released his mobile reserves (mainly posted at Singers and vicinity). Transports carrying this army raced towards Batavia as the Allies came ashore, took vacant bases, began building bases, and raced to cut the railroad between Batavia and Soerbaja.
Dave had a large army at Soer and Malang, but Allied troops moving by sea, land and air (paratroops) managed to severe the railroad, even as powerful advance elements of the enemy army arrived at Madioen, west of Soer. An enemy tank division was set to shock attack a weak US infantry detachment (21 AV) there (Madioen), reopening the railroad - but Allied armor and anti-tank units arrived that very turn.
That turned the battle around, though I don't think Dave had any way of knowing the tables had just turned. His massive reinforcing army kept arriving at Batavia and moving forward. But it bumped up against an Allied army it's equal. Meanwhile, additional Allied reinforcements were pouring ashore nearby, moving to invest Soerabaja and to probe Semereng. And vastly more reinforcements will arrive from Ceylon over the next three to seven turns.
I think Dave's army is in big trouble. The Soer/Malang elements are already isolated and about to undergo sustained attack. If he's not careful, the rest will get cut off when (and if) reinforced DS imposes a blockade on Batavia, so that Dave can't extract his Java army nor bring in additional reinforcements. I don't know if he perceives all this, yet. He may not realize just how much the Allies have here and how much more is coming.
Then there's the sea battle. DS is strong and about to get much, much stronger. Dave has strong combat TFs nearby. Presumably KB isn't far away. He knows DS strike aircraft are set to short range. I don't think he realize a DS-worth of strike aircraft are also posted at the new big airfields at Tjepoe and Banjowangi. He can trigger violent sea battles but it's likely that Japan will take heavier losses, perhaps much heavier.
In the air, the big Japanese airfields are closed, while the Allies have just built big ones. Dave's closest major airfields are Batavia, Palembang and Balikpapan - close enough to lend a hand but not reliably so (weather and distance creating issues).
Allied 4EB did good work vs. Soer and Malang airfields and are now available to deal with his others (Batavia, etc.).
As best I can tell, this is a massive commitment of forces by both sides. Anything could happen, so that the smaller force or army might prevail. But I think the Allies have the momentum and that Dave is about to discover that not only is he the prey rather than the hunter, but that the hunter is on a regimen of steroids.
< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 10/10/2019 3:21:56 PM >