December 8, 1941
Japanese submarines fanned out across the northern Java Sea during the night, and during the day, I-122 found and sank TK Manvantara with a spread of four torpedos.
I-124 laid some mines at Calapan and shortly thereafter DD Peary slammed into one and suffered heavy damage. Having dropped off its eggs, I-124 then found the large AK Tantalus fleeing from Manila south of Busuanga and sank it with two torpedo hits.
Leaving behind the Akagi and some escorts to guard against a breakout attempt from the Sydney/Newcastle area, I sent the now diminished KB of four carriers at flank speed towards Melbourne to catch what I surmised would be an evacuation of shipping from the area.
Sure enough, the KB found itself in the middle of dozens of allied cargo, transport, tanker and replenishment vessels attempting to sail away from the area. Repeated airstrikes rolled over these ships through the morning and afternoon. When the sprouts from near misses finally settled, dozens of allied vessels had been sunk or critically damaged. The KB will stay in the area the next day for mopping up operations.
Back near Sydney, no breakout attempt by damaged vessels was detected and thus Akagi sent its aircraft to pound the vessels in the harbor some more. Even further north, bad weather prevented the Kaga from sending another strike against the shipping at Brisbane.
Gulf of Siam
I had concentrated a vast array of invasion convoys in the Gulf of Siam as they sought to disembark troops at Singora, Patani, and Kota Bharu. My opponent noted these juicy targets over the last turn and sent in Force Z to do its dastardly work. Luckily, Tanaka and his boys of the heavy cover force stood on the way. During the raging night battle, the Japanese heavy cruisers and destroyers did masterful work pumping torpedo after torpedo into the Prince of Wales and Repulse. This slowed these mighty ships and made them vulnerable to Kongo and Haruna who moved up with their heavy guns and blasted the proud British warships into scrap metal. In addition, the British destroyer Tenedos also took a torpedo and slid into the sea.
Unfortunately, the Japanese did not escape unscathed. Minor shell damage, particularly from the four escorting British destroyers, was sustained by practically all the Japanese warships, but destroyer Asashio also took a torpedo hit and did not make it through the night.
Seeking to intercept enemy shipping fleeing through the area, I dispatched a powerful surface action group of three heavy cruisers and six destroyers to the Celebes Sea. At night, this force encountered An American naval force composed of the light cruiser Marblehead and 5 destroyers seeking to flee south through the Makassar Strait. The Japanese Navy easily came on top, sinking the Marblehead with a torpedo hit and 6 8inch shells and damaging a couple of destroyers for minor damage to a Japanese destroyer.
The victorious task force then returned to its task of hunting for enemy shipping, finding and sinking AG Albatros further to the north.
Japanese troops capture Guam, Makin, and Ocean Island.
I forgot to halt the Netty bombing of Wake Island and five Nell bombers were lost as a result when they encountered Wildcats.
31 Zeros swept over Manila but encountered no resistance. The reason became apparent when 32 Zeros swept over Clark airfield next and encountered the entire allied fight force in the sky over the field. Three Zeros were lost in the ensuing dogfight, but they in turn bagged 15 of the defending fighters.
My opponent sent in 9 B-17D bombers to hit Babeldaob from Cagayan but I had anticipated this and placed some Zeros there on CAP. All 9 B-17Ds were either destroyed or repeatedly damaged and they failed to score any hits.
The Americans also sent 11 B-17D bombers from Luzon to hit Pescadores. Nate fighters were on duty here and despite their weak armament managed to repeatedly score hits on the bombers, disrupting their aim.
One of my Nate pilots made a head on attack and drove a B-17D out of formation – I know what this implies in real terms, but does anyone know what this actually means in game outcomes? Increased disruption for the overall bomber formation?
Throughout the day, Hudson and Blenheim bombers attempted to hit the Japanese invasion shipping in the Gulf of Siam. Nate fighters on CAP however did a great job intercepting the bombers, shooting down or driving away the majority of them. Those bombers that did make it through missed their targets.
After a heavy pounding from the air, Japanese troops attack and take Kota Bharu.
IJAAF light bombers hit the troops at Hong Kong to maintain disruption there in anticipation of the pending Japanese assault.
A very long day, but thankfully a rather successful one for the Japanese.