From: The bridge of the DNTK Kitakami
Well, if you do not mind reading the ramblings and whining of this addled brain, I will try to make it entertaining at least.
SitRep for Dec 19, 1941:
There has been as lull as IJN TFs sailed back to port to replenish. I have used it to send my damaged surface combatants and the Clemsons to safe ports for refit. Singapore is being bombed daily from the air, but I have been able to get a few more airplanes repaired and evacuated. Two IJA Tk Rgts have taken Alor Star and are driving south. They will not encounter much resistance, but they will encounter a speed bump in almost every hex. I am buying time.
Not much escaped from the thundering herd. A lot escaped from Singapore and Java. Most of the ships in Palembang were blockaded and destroyed, sadly. Ships are beginning to trickle into strategic locations where they will form the logistics backbone: the East Coast, Capetown, Aden & Abadan. Fuel and supplies will flow from from the East Coast into Capetown and from there to the map. Same from Abadan to India. Units will flow from the West Coast to Hawaii, Aden to India, and Capetown to where needed. John is a very good raider, so I need to think long and hard about keeping my merchant lanes safe. They will have to be longer by necessity, but if I can provoke John into reaching farther than he should, perhaps I can spring a trap once in a while. Naval search will be key, as several of you have advised.
In the DEI, I am bombing Palembang every night. Not much damage done... 2 oil hit the first night, 3 the second. But it trains my air crews, it is relatively safe, and it costs John supplies.
The IJA is one hex south of Manila. They will enter the city soon. Hopefully I will resist for a bit. Clark Field has not been attacked from the ground.
When John sent the G5s to bomb Ichang, I sent AVG/3rd Sqdn to Changsha, to hopefully CAP Ichang from there. It didn't. Instead, it flew against a large number of bombers that John sent against Changsha itself. The boys of that squadron were credited with 34 kills... in one day.
The IJN CVE TF is 3 hexes NE of Darwin, pursuing some fleeing non-combatants (and sinking one). Those escort carriers have a low number of sorties, so they will probably turn back before reaching Horn Island.
CA Houston, CL Boise, and escorts have arrived at the east coast of Australia. Refueled, they will now sail down to Sidney. It took a bit of dancing and dashing, but they seem to have escaped... for now.
Rabaul has not been attacked yet. I think John is sending his fleet carriers to escort the Canton Island and Rabaul invasions, which is buying me a couple of days.
On the topic, what I want to achieve is delay John one day here, a couple of days there, and so on. I can't face him directly yet, and it will be 3+ months before my ASW air groups are trained up, so I need to buy time. Problem is, between Mersing and Palembang, John added about 90 days to his total, while I have only deducted about 3 from that.
Tenno Heika Banzai!