From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
12 Dec 41
Nothing to report. Most of my subs in the SRA are redeploying to areas where the Allied warships may be lurking. There were a number of Allied sub attacks and ASW combat on both sides. I won’t mention that unless it’s significant.
The Adak invasion fleet is plodding along.
The Guam invasion force (I/33 regiment, a rump battalion, really) attacked, took no damage, only disabled a couple of enemy squads, but reduced the fort to 0. They’ll attack again tomorrow.
The Wake invasion kicked off today. KB was notably absent. I had set them all to naval attack with ground attack as a secondary assignment. They did nothing.
That’s too bad, because the ground troops could have used that support. I didn’t have the Nell daitai, out of Kwajalein, fly because I wasn’t sure about the Wildcats that start the war there. They have been evacuated (unsurprisingly). They’ll fly tomorrow, along with 3 daitai of Vals from KB with a primary mission of ground attack. The Maizuru 2 SNLF and 53 NG invaded. Today’s shock attack didn’t do well (it rarely does without support). The SNLF took the brunt of the disablements. I’m trying again tomorrow. We’ll see how they fare with some real support this time. (Keeping fingers crossed.)
The Kavieng invasion force attacked (I/66 Naval Guard). Nothing happened. Literally nothing. The company sized unit has no losses, no disablements and has a disruption of 7 and fatigue of 10. They’ll try again tomorrow…
The Rabaul invasion force (144/55 Division & 15 BF) is 5 days out. The’ll get the support of 2 BBs.
I also have a right hook in process, II/66 NG & and AS battalion, 3 days out from Shortlands Island. They’ll have the support of 4 Aobas.
There’s more headed this way but it’s farther out.
Things started well with 27 Zeros sweeping 25 fighters over Clark Field killing 10 for no loss. I still see 45(!) fighters there so more sweeps tomorrow.
The 16 Division (-) landed at Mauban, dropping off all their troops. An xAKL was sunk by the 3 Vildebeests that escaped from Hong Kong. Can’t seem to kill off those pesky stringbags. Fortunately, it was an xAKL and it had already disgorged its troops.
Mauban is undefended (the hex immediately SE of Manila) and will be liberated tomorrow.
Atimonan was liberated today. That unit (part of 16 division) will head up the peninsula to eventually meet the remainder of 16 Division.
The 146/56 Division landed at Butuan (just east of Cagayan). There’s a weak regiment there that’s attempting to run. I hope they’re still in the hex tomorrow when they attack. In addition, the 4 and 7 tank regiments are landing there tomorrow. That force (plus Kure 1 SNLF at Davao) will liberate Mindinao.
I have confirmed that there are Allied planes at Cagayan, undoubtedly the B-17s. I’m attempting to damage as many as I can so I can destroy them on the ground soon (the easiest way to kill 4E bombers).
I wanted to land some AS here to build another airfield for naval search/fighter support/bombers possibly. I had 2 TFs coming from different locations. They were both to land today. The II/81 NG landed without a hitch. Then, Houston, Boise and 4 DDs showed up to sink all but 1 ship of the TF:
Day Time Surface Combat, near Sorong at 82,107, Range 5,000 Yards
DD Umikaze, Shell hits 12, and is sunk
DD Suzukaze, Shell hits 4, and is sunk
PB Gamitsu Maru #1, Shell hits 2, and is sunk
xAK Nittai Maru, Shell hits 11, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Shinkoku Maru, Shell hits 18, and is sunk
xAKL Ujigawa Maru, Shell hits 14, and is sunk
xAKL Heiwa Maru, Shell hits 6, and is sunk
CL Boise, Shell hits 1
DD Alden, Shell hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD John D. Edwards, Shell hits 2
DD Whipple, Shell hits 1, heavy fires
The 2 DDs were Shiratsuyus. I like to use them as KB escorts. Unfortunate. The xAK Nittai Maru would sink later that day.
No, it wasn’t done. Later, this happened:
Day Time Surface Combat, near Sorong at 83,106, Range 6,000 Yards
PB Saiko Maru, Shell hits 36, and is sunk
xAK Tenryu Maru, Shell hits 31, and is sunk
CA Houston, Shell hits 1
CL Boise, Shell hits 1
Japanese ground losses:
1033 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 62 destroyed, 22 disabled
Engineers: 9 destroyed, 8 disabled
Guns lost 12 (10 destroyed, 2 disabled)
That was an AS battalion, which is now being rebuilt.
So, what happened to John D. Edwards and Whipple? Apparently one of them was damaged worse than originally thought, formed an escort TF and is being escorted by the other.
I was pleased that a PB was able to hit both the Houston and vaunted Boise! Death by a thousand cuts!
I have some subs that are hoping to intercept either of those TFs. It’ll be a few days though.
Celebes Sea (between Tarakan and Mindinao):
Action started in the area in the wee hours of the morning. CAs Maya and Ashigara, CL Natori and 5 DDs raided Tarakan harbor, seeing what looked like (I thought at the time) was the Marblehead TF. In a nice rendition of the Keystone Cops, no one could hit anyone. The Allied ships weren’t even underway!
Here’s what was there:
Night Time Surface Combat, near Tarakan at 67,91, Range 8,000 Yards
AS Otus, Shell hits 1, heavy fires
AO TAN 1
TK British Sailor
The 3 ships were loading fuel or oil. Otus went up like a firework. I now see only 5 ships 2 hexes north of the Balikpapan gap. Maybe Kaga will catch them tomorrow?
Kaga and Ryujo are stationed just SW of Mindanao and found another US TF composed of (at least) CL Marblehead and DDs Paul Jones, Parrott, Stewart and Bulmer. In a couple of feeble attacks by Kaga, they managed to sink only Bulmer.
Half of Kaga’s Kate daitai managed to redeem themselves by sinking xAP President Madison. She was empty. I’d rather they hit the warships…
Ryujo’s Kates sank the AS Canopus.
These carriers are heading toward the Balikpapan gap (the deep water hex 4 hexes due east of Balikpapan. They’re going to go a couple hexes east of it to clear out the shipping I can see in the area.
Zuiho and Hosho are still 25 hexes north. They’ll catch up…eventually.
The 4 BBs headed here are still 22 hexes north.
I see only 2 enemy fighters over Georgetown and no fighters (73 bombers, 9 auxiliary) in Singapore. I’ll continue to sweep anyway. Today’s sweep of Singapore downed 2 Buffalos at a cost of 2 Oscars.
I’m reluctant to bomb Singapore with the IJNAF. That’s a waste of precious pilots. That’ll be a job for the IJAAF once Johore Bahru is taken. (More below.) Once it is taken, I plan on assigning 18 Zeros and 81 Sallies there to begin the bombing of Singapore.
I am using the IJNAF to night bomb Singapore. Today, they destroyed a Blenheim on the ground and damaged another half dozen. Is it worth the supply cost? Not really.
So, what happened at Johore Bahru today? I attacked. It was the perfect attack! There were 2 Aussie brigades and 3 infantry battalions defending. At the start of the attack, one brigade and 1 battalion were combat ineffective and the other brigade was at 45, while the 2 remaining battalions were at 7 and 4. After the attack, they were at 22, 1 and 0, and they didn’t retreat! Tomorrow, I’ll hit them with 2 full divisions, a regiment and 2 tank regiments. I hope to kill some of them off and trash the rest. That will definitely help expedite the liberation of Singapore. Here’s what happened. Note that the only units that attacked were 2 tank regiments, 2 recon regiments and an infantry regiment:
Ground combat at Johore Bahru (50,83)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 8437 troops, 176 guns, 356 vehicles, Assault Value = 1150
Defending force 8720 troops, 106 guns, 55 vehicles, Assault Value = 113
Japanese adjusted assault: 218
Allied adjusted defense: 215
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 1 (fort level 1)
Japanese Assault reduces fortifications to 0
Defender: terrain(+), op mode(-), preparation(-), fatigue(-)
Japanese ground losses:
258 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 22 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Allied ground losses:
766 casualties reported
Squads: 41 destroyed, 31 disabled
Non Combat: 2 destroyed, 35 disabled
Engineers: 2 destroyed, 6 disabled
Guns lost 24 (15 destroyed, 9 disabled)
42nd Infantry Regiment
114th Infantry Regiment
21st Infantry Regiment
22nd Recon Regiment
5th Recon Regiment
41st Infantry Regiment
1st Tank Regiment
55th Infantry Regiment
23rd Ind. Engineer Regiment
11th Infantry Regiment
5th Engineer Regiment
56th Infantry Regiment
6th Tank Regiment
21st JAAF AF Bn
18th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
5th Field AF Construction Battalion
3rd Medium Field Artillery Regiment
54th Const Co
55th Const Co
20th AA Regiment
3rd Ind. Mountain Gun Regiment
53rd Const Co
18th Mountain Gun Regiment
18th JAAF Base Force
34th Field AA Battalion
5th Field Artillery Regiment
5th JAAF AF Coy
22nd Australian Brigade
3/16th Punjab Battalion
27th Australian Brigade
2nd Argylls Battalion
5/2nd Punjab Battalion
112th RAF Base Force
223 Group RAF
11 Battery/3 HAA
109th RN Base Force
272/273rd Bty 80th AT Gun Regiment
2nd ISF Base Force
111th RAF Base Force
5th Field Regiment
41 combat squads destroyed and another 31 disabled! Outstanding! Highlight of the day (almost).
The two battalions at Kota Bharu attacked today. They didn’t oust the Brits, which is a good thing. They’ll have another opportunity to kill some more of them. There were level 2 forts, which were reduced. There were no Japanese losses, just some disablements. They’ll try again tomorrow. There were 167 Japanese bomber sorties as well, which did great execution. Those two Brit brigades are getting smashed.
The Allies had about 22 bomber sorties against shipping at Singkawang and Kota Bharu causing no damage and losing 9 bombers. The RAF is pretty much done for.
Elements of the 55 Division and some Thai forces are advancing (slowly) on Moulmein.
The AVG is STILL sitting at Rangoon.
At Hong Kong, the 38 Division rested while the arty bombarded, along with 182 bomber sorties. Tomorrow, another attack.
35 Division and 3 IMB trashed the 98 Chinese Corps and cleared them from the intersection just NW of Kaifeng, opening that rail line for the Japanese.
Two divisions with arty support cleared the rail line 2 hexes E of Taiyun, trashing another Chinese corps.
Finally, an IMB cleared another Chinese corps off the rail line just NE of Taiyun.
Finally, a parachute drop on Port Blair liberated that base for Japanese use. The paratroopers will hold while transports fly in engineers and AS. Eventually, the paratroopers will be relieved by garrison troops.
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