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What to do with the Last Japanese Fleet?

 
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What to do with the Last Japanese Fleet? - 5/25/2021 7:48:32 PM   
alexvand


Posts: 379
Joined: 11/29/2007
From: Canada
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So, here's the situation:

It's 1944 and you are Japan. You've just lost the South China Sea and access to the NEI and all those resources. The allies have so much LBA there you just can't compete. You still hold the Philippines, Hong Kong, and any other ports around Japan itself, but the allies have landed in the Philippines and perhaps some of the islands bordering your home sea zones. The USSR is moving into Manchuria, the Chinese are advancing, your production is down to single digits and totally focused on land units for the home islands and maybe a few fighters. You will have enough LBA to provide a credible threat around your home islands and the allies don't have enough bases to get their LBA in to contest it strongly enough, although it is only a matter of time. You have a number of white print units scattered around the pacific holding objective hexes. Rabaul has your mountain unit, a mountain div, and a white print garrison for instance.

You still have a fleet left. The last fleet. It's got 5 or 6 fleet carriers. A mix of green and blue and some still are speed 5. The CVPs on the carriers are decent, some zeros and some good bombers. You've got all the speed 5 battleships and most of the strength 5 cruisers, plus some other cruisers. You do have some marines left, but their transports only have 4 move and are all based in the home islands. (Only safe place out of reach of allied air.) You do have a couple of divisions that could do SCS invasions.

But when these ships are sunk, or even damaged they aren't coming back. Any CVPs shot down probably can't be replaced, or else will be replaced with much poorer units.

The allies can easily field two fleets that are stronger than your one. They've got more than a dozen fleet carriers, battleships galore, cruisers, you name it.

What do you do with the Japanese fleet? How do you buy as much time as you can?
Post #: 1
RE: What to do with the Last Japanese Fleet? - 5/25/2021 7:53:06 PM   
michaelbaldur


Posts: 4735
Joined: 4/6/2007
From: denmark
Status: online

fight defensively. keep them in port

wait for the allies to make a mistake (and hit their transports/amph). if you loss your fleet, the allies have free hands.

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(in reply to alexvand)
Post #: 2
RE: What to do with the Last Japanese Fleet? - 5/28/2021 5:09:00 AM   
paulderynck


Posts: 8157
Joined: 3/24/2007
From: Canada
Status: offline
Have Ozawa go out with the fleet carriers and trick Halsey into chasing him to the north and east of the Philippines. That should allow Kurita with his fast CAs and BBS to play havoc with unprotected Allied TRSs and AMPHs when they try to invade the Philippines. Meanwhile Nishimura and his slow BBs can sneak in from the south and catch the Yankees from behind as they rush north to protect the valuable lift.

...might work this time...

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RE: What to do with the Last Japanese Fleet? - 5/28/2021 5:16:05 PM   
alexvand


Posts: 379
Joined: 11/29/2007
From: Canada
Status: offline
This situation is slightly better than Ozawa faced. Ozawa's carriers were essentially empty or had terribly untrained pilots and very little land based air support available.

I'm hoping that the result can be better than the historical disaster!

(in reply to paulderynck)
Post #: 4
RE: What to do with the Last Japanese Fleet? - 5/29/2021 12:20:08 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 8722
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
Status: offline
It depends on the oil situation for Japan too. Is there enough to sail again or not.

It's a real difficult situation Japan has at that point. When to sail or not to sail. The most important Allied targets are AMPH and TRS at this time. Usually they will be well protected by Allied ships and carriers. And the Allies would love to get a good shot on the Imperial Fleet. But a "fleet in being" also means that the Allies have to be careful and not make any mistakes by leaving the precious sea lift with a poor protection.

There is no good advise for the Japanese here. Keep looking for a "hit and run" action. Also: it is better to sail a small fleet than the whole lot of them. 4 (or 7) ships is a small force but can wreck havoc to a far larger Allied fleet preparing for an invasion.



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Post #: 5
RE: What to do with the Last Japanese Fleet? - 5/30/2021 11:31:19 PM   
alexvand


Posts: 379
Joined: 11/29/2007
From: Canada
Status: offline
I've been running the 5 factor cruisers in pairs to raid any small allied fleets or lone transports. Just 2 of them provide a credible threat and if they get sunk the rest of the fleet is still in being.

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 6
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