From: Richmond, VA
In China we put up the AVG over Chungking and they do fairly well against sweeping Zeroes and Oscars - 2:1. Unfortunately none are still up to prey on the Betties. He hasn't really concentrated enough air power to shut down the airfield, but I have moved most CAF planes to Kunming aside from the fighters we flew in today.
I've been a little confused by his China strategy for awhile, but I'm pretty sure I get it now. Rather than try to clear all the pockets I have entrenched in good terrain and at Changsha out, he's going for Chungking first so he has fewer troops tied down by garrisons and, I presume most importantly for him, destroyed units won't respawn. The obvious issue here is it leaves him a hell of a supply line to protect. There are a couple ways he can trace major roads from Shanghai and Canton to his front line units. Right now a route from Shanghai is actually open so I move a unit in Southern China to correct that. We have some units in the woods near Kukong he's been trying to dislodge for a while. Now I get why that's the one place he's been fighting: they block the supply line from Canton.
In India he shifts his attention to Howrah and knocks out 10 planes on the ground. Still a good amount of flak and he loses nearly as many planes to AAA. Doubt we'll be seeing Vals used for AF attack any time soon again. I realized that I can put the C-47s that would normally be flying the hump to use by flying Burmese troops out of the small airfields along the border, many are damaged in this raid. Tomorrow we put up the fighters and see if we can catch him.
At Kalgoorlie we don't contest the skies but our AAA prevents serious damage to the AF. We also have tons of engineers, so it's difficult to close the AF without a huge concerted effort. He tries to take Esperance with paras but they fail. We just have a base force there.
At Howrah the fighters are very disappointing despite having 121 planes on CAP, most of which were newer model Hurricanes or P-40s. We've been getting at least 1:1 if not better with these groups pretty consistently, but not today. 77 Zeroes beat us up with a kill/death ratio of about 1:2. Perhaps even more frustratingly a couple follow on Oscar groups take down another ~15 planes for just 2 reported kills and we don't have any planes up for the bombers. Not exactly sure what's changed, perhaps he's brought in more experienced pilots, but obviously putting up big wings on CAP is going to be something I have to be cautious about.
At Kalgoorlie it's a similar story to recent days - we leave air defense to our massed flak. Once again we see about a 1:1 exchange of IJN bombers for planes destroyed on the ground. I'm fine with this for now. He does now have a 4E Liz group operating so they may force me to change my thinking, but our AAA knocked a few down today, so I don't think I need to just yet. He's now up to 8k feet.
He arrives at Bataan with two divisions and plenty of arty. Won't last terribly long.