Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post descriptions of your brilliant victories and unfortunate defeats here.

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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

19 Jul 42

The Dutch at Bandoeng are out of supply--finally.

Emily's snoop Noumea and find what appears to be the Americal Division.

Tough terrain and tough, though worn-down Chinese units continue to make the going slow as I approach Lanchow. My forces in central China are moving against Changteh.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

24 Jul 42

The Dutch at Bandoeng surrender after six months of fighting. Over the course of the campaign, I lost 150 IJA squads destroyed--ten times that number disabled--and another 50 SNLF/Nav Grd squads.

Note the careful force composition of DesertWolf's defense. The stacking limit was 30,000. He had a Command HQs, Army HQs and Corps HQs. Even at the bitter end, with Southern Army and 25th Army and all my units fully prepped, he was still getting (+) for leadership. There were two AA units that kept my bombers from attacking at low altitudes and three base forces with engineers. The rest of the 30,000 limit were the best available units on Java. He sacrificed the remaining forces early during the initial invasion in ways to ensure they did not retreat into the Bandoeng hex.
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Ground combat at Bandoeng (50,100)

Japanese Deliberate attack

Attacking force 35693 troops, 398 guns, 917 vehicles, Assault Value = 1315

Defending force 20441 troops, 229 guns, 75 vehicles, Assault Value = 430

Japanese adjusted assault: 2174

Allied adjusted defense: 814

Japanese assault odds: 2 to 1 (fort level 0)

Japanese forces CAPTURE Bandoeng !!!

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), leaders(+), supply(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
2136 casualties reported
Squads: 39 destroyed, 95 disabled
Non Combat: 5 destroyed, 30 disabled
Engineers: 3 destroyed, 19 disabled
Guns lost 24 (5 destroyed, 19 disabled)
Vehicles lost 78 (15 destroyed, 63 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
27065 casualties reported
Squads: 767 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 1850 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 98 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 327 (327 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Vehicles lost 66 (66 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units destroyed 16

Assaulting units:
10th Tank Regiment
48th Division
2nd Recon Battalion
6th Tank Regiment
7th Tank Regiment
7th Division
2nd Mobile Infantry Regiment
5th Ind.Hvy.Art Battalion
1st Ind.Hvy.Art. Battalion
2nd Hvy.Artillery Regiment
18th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
3rd Hvy.Artillery Regiment
Tonei Hvy Gun Regiment
2nd Mobile Field Artillery Regiment

Defending units:
1st Regt Cavalerie
2nd KNIL Regiment
Tjilatjap KNIL Battalion
Barisan KNIL Regiment
1st KNIL Regiment
6th KNIL Regiment
Marinier Battalion
Prajoda Garrison Battalion
3rd KNIL AA Battalion
KNIL Army Command
1st KNIL AA Battalion
ABDA
North Java Base Force
ML-KNIL
Tjilitap Base Force
Bandoeng Base Force
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

27-28 Jul 42

Beware the moon.

One of my favorite movies is "An American Werewolf in London." Early in the movie, as two young Americans exit a pub in northern England, the publican says, "Stick to the roads, stay off the moors, and beware the moon." It does not end well. The two wander off the roads and onto the moors where they are eaten by a werewolf under the pale light of the full moon.

In our game, DesertWolf likes to conduct night attacks into Burma and Thailand under the full moon with his medium and heavy bombers operating from a massive level 9 airfield at Chittigong. We have a house rule that night attacks are limited to periods of 95% or greater illumination. I have never made much use of night attacks by aircraft, but decided two can play at this game.

On the 27th, as the lunar illumination ticked over to 96%, I moved four Sally and Helen squadrons into Burma with night strike missions set for the large enemy aerodrome at Cox's Bazaar, and four Betty squadrons into airfields in Thailand with night missions to attack the Chittigong aerodrome, stacked with 500 enemy aircraft. The weather was poor. Nothing happened. Neither side flew strikes. Allied recon over Burma picking up the forward deployed Helens at Taung Gyi but not the Sallys at other airfields. There was no sign of enemy recon aircraft over Thailand. I moved the Helens, but left the rest of the strike package in place. Altitude for the strikes was set to 4,000 feet (this was a mistake as I had forgotten to consider barrage balloons). The enemy had been observed moving a number of AA units forward to cover his lead divisions, so I reasoned he could not be strong everywhere...

On the 28th, all the missions launched, with about a quarter of the aircraft becoming lost en route to the targets. The Bettys struck Chittigong to good effect, destroying 40 enemy fighters (P38s, P40s, Hurricanes) and a handful of bombers (including a couple B17s) on the ground and damaging five times that number, but flak was fierce (or was it the barrage balloons? I did not watch the combat replay closely at the time). I lost 19 Bettys to flak/ops. The Sallys faired about the same, destroying 15 fighters (P39s and P40s) at Cox's Bazaar, for a loss of six aircraft to flak/ops.

Meanwhile, the enemy B17s struck my largely empty airfields in Thailand, causing little damage as they tangled with some Nicks on nighttime CAP. The bombers got the better of the Nicks, though a few did not make it back. His mediums made ineffectual strikes on my airfields in Burma

All in all, I lost 30 aircraft and 23 air crews and the enemy lost approximately 60 aircraft and probably a similar number of crews. It was not a perfect operation--I underestimated his flak--but the next day he had withdrawn all his fighters from Cox's Bazaar and the IJAAF and IJNAF owned the skies, however briefly, over Burma.
Last edited by Wirraway_Ace on Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

28-29 Jul 42

Tarawa Atoll

While the nighttime raids on the massive U.S. Air Force concentration in India were being conducted, the 4th Fleet decided it should make some effort against the 80 enemy fighters on Tibiteuea. With all the Bettys in Thailand, the fleet HQs decided to risk 3 squadrons of obsolete B5N1 Kates that could strike the enemy from Tarawa. The large atoll had a level 3 airstrip and the 26th Air Flotilla was available to support the operation. There were no signs of enemy bombers in significant numbers, so the risk of the strike aircraft being caught on the ground during the day seemed low.

The IJNAF pilots and crews took off under the full moon and made the 300 mile trip to Tabiteuea, destroying a handful of P40s and F4s, and damaging others. They returned without loss. Then the sun came up, and ragged sweeps of P40s came over the island in small waves. In the afternoon, the radar operators and observers both warned of inbound enemy aircraft, B25s and B26s from Arorae! The strike destroyed 5 Kates and a Mavis (though the aircrews made it safely to their hardened bunkers). The airfield was moderately damaged, but still operational.

I opted to pull the Kates back and flew in two squadrons of Zeros and one of Oscars, guessing he would try and close the airfield the next day. Sure enough, he came, but the B25s and B26s were unescorted, losing 13, but taking a Zero down with them. A bit later, a single squadron of P40Es that belatedly swept the airfield were slaughtered, losing 16 fighters for the loss of a single Zero whose pilot parachuted to safety.

I found the outcome puzzling. The Zero and Oscar squadrons available to the 4th Fleet have competent pilots but hardly elite. The most experienced units are in the Burma Theatre. DesertWolf carefully husbanded his fighters during the first three months of the war, to ensure they were well trained when committed. Since then his P39s, P40s and the few P38s have generally held their own against A6M2s and Ki-43-ICs, so I was surprised at this lopsided outcome given he was sweeping. It is the second time in a row where my fighters have won lopsided victories more typical of the first couple months of the war. I am suspicious that all his best pilots are in India.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

1 Aug 42

Over the last couple of days we have traded sinking small AKLs resupplying exposed garrisons. I lost a handful resupplying Nauru Island to a pair of destroyers and he lost a similar number running supplies into Cocos Island. In both cases, the supplies were mostly offloaded to the garrisons before the ships were sunk.

An I-boat sank a liberty ship with fuel onboard off Pearl.

A6M5s went into production and I am doing the kabuki dance with each of the sentais that first need to upgrade to the A6M3 and/or A6M3a, each of which I am only producing a very small number, and then to the A6M5. While I have to research the A6M5b and A6M5c so these don't get in the way of the upgrade to Sam, I don't plan on building these versions in any significant numbers.

There has been little ground action over the past week. In China I am struggling to keep my units approaching the Kungchang in supply from Sian, even on a main road supplemented by airdropped supplies. In central China, I am maneuvering for the attack on Chengtah.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

& Aug 42

The Allies have crossed the Irrawaddy at Prome with two veteran Australian divisions, an armoured brigade and a mass of both a heavy and light AA units. There is a British division still on the other side of the river. I have six veteran divisions in the jungle hexes to the east, supported by two tank regiments, four AT battalions, 15cm guns and howitzers, and field AA units. In reserve, concealed further east, north and south, I have five veteran infantry divisions, lots of corps artillery, and a tank division that is as green as summer. The plan is to let him attack, and once weakened, counter attack to wreck his lead corps. My position is much better supplied, and I outnumber his forces by three to one on the ground. His bomber force in India and Grant tanks (presumably) are his key advantages. We shall see who is trapping whom.

In China, I am still grinding away. Up north, I have five armor regiments (three are brand new) hammering on the door to Kungchang (near Lanchow) supported by nine infantry divisions. In central China, Desert Wolf has 95,000 troops in hex 81/51, just across the river NE of Changsha and NW of Singtan. This a funny hex. It is wooded, and Desert Wolf has not chosen to defend any hex in China that is not x3 terrain, so I was suspicious. Sure enough, units that are in Singtan, so they don't have to shock attack across the river, won't move directly into the hex, even though the map does not indicate a barrier. Instead, they move as if going directly, then at the last minute appear at Changsha and try to move across the river. I am instead moving into the mountains to come down into Changteh behind the hex.

In the Philippines, I have four inexperienced infantry divisions and the 1st tank division (also green as summer) just about in position to attack the starving enemy at Clark Field. Depending on how the initial few days of combat go, I also have ten naval guard units that could use some more combat experience.

DesertWolf is building up his bases in the Aleutians and in the South Pacific. No signs of other activity at the moment.

I have three very experienced divisions as theater reserve at Batavia, with over 40 AK-ts (mostly 18 knot Yusen-S and a handful of 15 knot Yusen-Ns) along with 2 LSDs, 10 APDs and a bunch of small, useful APs. I have also grouped my paratroopers into two demi-brigades, one on Sumatra and one in Solomons in case he tries a quick smash and grab of some of the small islands. I am also looking for an opportunity to catch his Marine paratroopers exposed. He is making use of these troopers grabbing undefended islands in the New Hebrides and Gilberts. When he tries that in the Santa Cruz islands, I may opt for a counter drop since he is often only using a company.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

Recon aircraft over Clark Field report nine Allied submarines in a single TF. Resupply, evacuation or fog-of-war? We shall soon find out...
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

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16 Aug 42

The submarines at Clark Field disappear. It seems probable they were fog of war. An artillery bombardment of Clark suggests all the usual suspects are still there. I will attack Clark for the first time in a couple of days.

The only enemy offensive operations are bombings of Tarawa as he continues other shaping activities in the Aleutians and New Hebrides. In Burma, he has made no movement.

HA 45 engines go into production, and four size 30 engine research factories switch to the HA 43, making a total of five developing that engine. It will take a month for them to repair. The goal is to have the HA 43 by mid-late 1943 to accelerate the Sam. I will have eight new carriers entering service at the end of 1943, and the goal is to be able to outfit them with Sams soon after. Strategically, the intent is to maintain a credible carrier fleet until the bitter end, keeping the Allied fast carrier task forces honest, and if favorable conditions can be created, fight.

So far I have not screwed up in my airframe development plan. Each airframe needed for key upgrade paths has gone into production in time not to waste the extensive R&D efforts. So far, that is.

The cost of the R&D efforts are massive. For example, The Frank, George and and Grace R&D, when fully repaired, will consume over 500 HA 45 engines per month for prototypes (as long as I keep a balance of 500 engines in the pool) before a single production aircraft is built!
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

18 Aug 42

The enemy sends 50 unescorted medium and heavy bombers over Tarawa for the third time in four days. Zeros of the 3rd Ku and Oscars of the 59th Sentai are on LCRAP from Makin, 120 miles away. The enemy loses 17 bombers, including 3 B17Es.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

19 Aug 42
The enemy withdraws his medium and heavy bombers from the Gilberts and this theater goes quiet.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

20-26 Aug 42
Heavy bombers hit my airfields in the Aleutians day after day. My Zeros get a few B17s before the airfields are trashed. Does this portend an operation in this theater? I withdraw my fighters, dive bombers and recon westward in the chain, so I am largely blind. My troops are well supplied and dug in, so I am not going to rush anything here.
RO-34 got the better of two U.S. DDs in the South Pacific, sinking DD Lansdowne
I-24 sank a Liberty Ship of Pearl.
No sign of Allied submarines anywhere. None. Nadda. Nyet.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

27 Aug 42
In Burma, Desert Wolf has been trying to keep his corps at Prome supplied by dumping supplies at Akyab. He has a large airfield there but withdrew his fighters last month after I hit his forward bases at night during a period of the full moon. I assembled a force of 75 Vals and Kates out of range of his recon flights, then jumped them in to the level 5 airfield at Toungoo with two sentai of Oscars at Rangoon, all coordinated by the 5th Air Division. I committed 18 aircraft to nav search in a 20 degree arc around Akyab to raise the DL as high as possible while nine Dinahs in three units flew recon. The fighter sweeps went in ahead of the strike aircraft and found no CAP (I was concerned about the coordination as the fighters were further from the target than the strike aircraft, which is hardly ideal). The Vals and Kates sank ten transports and three escorts. All aircraft returned to base except on the aircraft on naval search that was an ops loss.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

28 Aug 42
An Allied submarine wolfpack appears in the Marshalls, chasing ghosts. I had three escort carriers covering resupply operations down to the Gilberts a few days back, but they are long gone.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

15 Sep 42

The Allied offensives to retake the Aleutians and Burma are stalled. At Amchitka Island, the four U.S. Infantry Regiments and two Tank Battalions have worn themselves down against my motley crew of Naval Guard Units, separate Infantry Battalions and a base force. I can't overemphasize the importance of including a base force on an island for the defense. These units soak-off many of the naval and air bombardments, keeping the line units from being badly disrupted. He will likely reinforce within 45 days with an understrength U.S. Division at Attu, a few hundred miles east, as soon as that division is adequately prepped. I am already reinforcing with a B-TOE IJA division by air. Supply is not an issue.

In Burma, we are too evenly matched and the supply situation too tenuous for either side to change the status quo in the near future. This is fine with me. My goal is to starve China.

In China, I am continuing to attack in the south at Changteh (NW of Changsha) and in the north just outside Kungchang. His units are showing signs of significant supply shortages.

Their are some indications he is beginning to prepare for a renewed offensive in the Central Pacific.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

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16 Sep 42

Time to start some R&D factories on the Jill. I don't need this aircraft early, but I do need to get through its later versions to be able to upgrade my carrier torpedo bombers to the Grace. I have to commit 3*30 R&D factories in November 42 to the B6N1 to ensure they are repaired before May 43, then upgrade those R&D factories to the B6N2 for a day, then to the B6N2a to be able to get this final version by the end of 43 in time for when I hope the Grace will be available. The last two versions of this aircraft use the Ha-32, so I am also expanding production of that engine a little to ensure I can maintain a pool of 500 while building some Jills and the research factories sucking up 90 per month.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

17 Sep 42

The Chinese defenses on the highway east of Kungchang (south of Lanchow) collapse due to lack of supply and three enemy corps are routed with heavy losses. Two of these corps were recent reinforcements to the hex. I have all three levels of HQs and seven divisions prepped for Kungchang, so I am optimistic it will fall quickly. This will split his forces in northern China and leave only Chungking as a supply source many millions of men.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ground combat at 82,36 (near Kungchang)

Japanese Shock attack

Attacking force 10039 troops, 239 guns, 641 vehicles, Assault Value = 721

Defending force 18468 troops, 111 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 457

Japanese adjusted assault: 512

Allied adjusted defense: 226

Japanese assault odds: 2 to 1

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), disruption(-), experience(-), supply(-)
Attacker: shock(+)

Japanese ground losses:
60 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 2 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 21 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 2 disabled
Vehicles lost 69 (1 destroyed, 68 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
5749 casualties reported
Squads: 149 destroyed, 41 disabled
Non Combat: 155 destroyed, 29 disabled
Engineers: 8 destroyed, 6 disabled
Guns lost 24 (8 destroyed, 16 disabled)
Units retreated 2

Defeated Allied Units Retreating!

Assaulting units:
14th/B Division
11th Tank Regiment
18th Tank Regiment
17th Tank Regiment
3rd Tank Regiment
23rd Tank Regiment
14th/A Division
14th/C Division
14th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
6th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
22nd Medium Field Artillery Regiment
7th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
12th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
15th Ind.Medium Field Artillery Regiment
1st Medium Field Artillery Regiment

Defending units:
85th Chinese Corps
80th Chinese Corps
98th Chinese Corps
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

31 Oct 42
In Northern China, Kungchang fell and 1st Army units are 40 miles from Lanchow. Chinese units are now chronically low on supply. All IJA units are in good order and I have begun rotations of green Southern Army units to get combat experience.

In Central China, Changteh was taken and the enemy is trying to hold the mountain rough to the east.

In Burma, the enemy has deployed 10-12 divisions, including the veteran Australian divisions from North Africa and 3 U.S. divisions. He has massed 600 combat aircraft operating from large airfields in India. I have a similar number of divisions defending the jungle and wooded rough along a line from Lashio (invested but Allied controlled) to Taung Gyi to Toungoo then to Rangoon. The enemy is currently trying to penetrate my center at Taung Gyi with massed armor and a single Aussie division while turning my eastern flank by marching through the jungle south of Lashio. Even with nearly daily raids of hundreds of medium and heavy bombers, he is making little progress. In the first real tank-on-tank dual, the 12th Tank Rgt definitely go the better of the 50th Tank Bde, 7th Armoured Bde, 3rd Carabiners, 150th RAC, 43rd Cavalry Rgt and the 44th Cav Rgt. Supporting four corps by means of a single muddy trail from Akyab to Prome and by air from Ledo must also be challenging. If I can hold Burma for six of seven more months, I have a decent chance of taking China.

The last starving Philippine and U.S. units surrendered at Bataan to a bunch of green naval guard units seeing the elephant (getting combat experience) for the first time.

The DEI is quiet. There are a couple submarines in the Makassar Strait keeping my ASW aircraft and ships engaged, but I have not lost a tanker in six months. I continue to fortify and have four veteran divisions here as the theater reserve.

Papua New Guinea and the Solomons are also quiet. Fortifications here are essentially complete.

Outside of China and Burma, the Gilberts is the most active area of operations. The enemy spent a couple months setting the conditions to take Tarawa, so I used the time to build up Nauru Island, Makin and Mili and then withdrew from Tarawa just before the hammer fell.

In the Aleutians, I decided not to reinforce, instead withdrawing when he finished developing large airfields and deploying massed 4Es with adequate fighter sweeps, making further fighting a low percentage affair. I was able to get my units out and to the Kuriles in generally good order. The Kuriles were heavily fortified over the intervening year.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

6 Nov 42

In Northern China, 1st Army units have reach Lanchow. Bombardments this turn will reveal what he has in the mountain fortress.

Meanwhile, in Central China, my first probe at his defenses in the mountains west of Chengtah resulted in a 1:16 combat result, though casualties where light on both sides. I will post a map in the AOR once OPSEC no longer matters. That day is getting close.

We had our first major clash of fighter aircraft in at least a month over Chiang Mai, Thailand. During the previous week, he had been pounding my forward bases in Burma, which I chose not to contest. He made lots of holes in my airfields, which my engineers then went out and repaired. I opted to contest Chiang Mai, as the range from his forward airfields is far enough to make LRCAP difficult and I can extract damaged aircraft easily by rail to dispersion fields.
DesertWolf sent about 200 fighter aircraft in a mix of sweeps and LRCAP against Chiang Mai. P38Fs came in at 25,000 feet, P-40s (both the E and K models) at 20,000, and P39s at 15,000 followed by a motley array of P66s and Hurricane IIbs.

The IJAAF and IJNAF had two sentai of Ki-44-IIa, three sentai of A6M5s and one sentai of Ki-45s on CAP. The Ki-44s were patrolling at 25,000 with one sentai of A6M5s, while the rest of the naval fighters were down low with the Ki-45s on the look out for bombers--which never came.

The P38s (likely with his best pilots), the P40s and the outmatched P66s suffered heavily. The P39s faired better, hitting a gap in the stacked CAP. The final tally was 78 Allied fighters shot down and another 18 lost to ops. The Japanese lost 41 aircraft shot down and 18 lost to ops (mostly combat write-offs). Total Japanese pilot losses were 10 KIA and a similar number WIA. The highest loss rate was among the A6M5s at high altitude (for 1942). I should have had some aircraft at medium altitudes, but did not.

In the Gilberts, he continues to pound Makin with bombers and patrol aircraft report sighting a squadron of battleships. These were operating in the Aleutians in early October and look to have just arrived. This theater is the hottest besides Burma.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

10 Nov 42

In Northern China, 1st Army Units are completing the last few preparations for the assault on Lanchow. Six tank regiments, six infantry divisions, nine artillery regiments, and all three levels of HQs will reach 100% prep on the 13th. Operating from a nearby airstrip at Kungchang, Ki 51s of the 66th Sentai are harassing the enemy and keeping the airfield suppressed. Ki 21s are massed at Sian and G4M1s at Hankow.

On paper, the enemy appears strong:
34th Chinese Corps
29th Chinese Corps
35th Chinese Corps
19th Chinese Corps
80th Chinese Corps
303rd Brigade
96th Chinese Corps
18th Artillery Regiment
8th War Area
15th Chinese Base Force
8th Chinese Base Force
31st Group Army
57th AT Gun Regiment
6th Group Army
22nd Artillery Regiment
6th Chinese Base Force
12th Chinese Base Force
21st Chinese Base Force
13th Group Army
20th Artillery Regiment
1st Artillery Regiment
7th Artillery Regiment
56th AT Gun Regiment

In reality, most of the units are at 20% strength, having been defeated and forced to retreat multiple times over the past month.
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Re: Requiem for Tomorrow Wirraway (J) v DesertWolf (A)

Post by Wirraway_Ace »

11 Nov 42

DesertWolf conducted a well-timed spoiling attack in China by air. B24s operating at maximum range from Ledo struck my airfield at Sian, catching some bombers doing maintenance and closing the airfield to offensive operations (57%) damage. Twenty-five Ki-21 Sallys were destroyed; however, only a single pilot was killed or injured and my replacement pool of Ki-21s is very deep. I have over 100 engineer squads at the base, so I do not anticipate the strike will force a significant postponement of the assault on Lanchow due to lack of air support. That assault is scheduled to commence in two days.

Meanwhile, in the skies over Taung Gyi in Burma, the largest air battle of the war to date was occurring.

Taung Gyi is a town in the mountains of eastern Burma, and the scene of recent heavy fighting. The British have been attempting to pierce the Japanese lines at Taung Gyi with massed armor and massed air attacks though they have been repulsed twice. The Japanese built a significant (level 4) airfield at Taung Gyi and British and American bombers have been trying to keep it damaged to stop the rebuilding of fortifications (from 3 back to 4). But Taung Gyi is just one of a network of Japanese airfields in eastern Burma and northern Thailand, so it has been a bit like the the carnival game, Whack-A-Mole, and sometimes the mole fights back. On the 6th of November, the Allies lost 100 fighters trying to sweep the skies of nearby Chiang Mai. The Japanese lost half that. In the past, I have withdrawn my fighter squadrons to dispersal bases to rebuild them after major battles. This situation was different. My losses in pilots had been very light as the fighting was over a friendly base, the airframe losses were almost evenly distributed across the frontline fighter squadrons, and replacements were available to reequip them. Not every aircraft would be ready, but with the airfield at Taung Gyi almost fully repaired, I suspected DesertWolf would believe he had a window to attack at low risk, and would send a balanced but modest strike package to keep the airfield damage. I assessed the size of the attack, if it came, to be 2-3 squadrons of fighters in a mix of sweep and LRCAP and 2-3 squadrons of bombers. In my eyes, the limiting factor on the size of the strike package was the number of fighters he had available after the heavy losses less than a week before. I did not believe he would use an imbalanced composition for this mission. Looking at the threat and the forces I had available, I opted to commit my frontline workhorses: 2 sentai of Ki-44-IIas, 2 sentai of A6M5s supplemented by a sentai of the underwhelming Ki-43-IIa--a force over 150 strong.

He did choose to strike the airfield at Taung Gyi on this day. The strike package, however, was not what I expected. First came some anemic sweeps: 15 Hurricanes followed by 24 P38Fs. The enemy were heavily outnumbered and roughly handled, a third of their aircraft failed to return to base. Then came nearly every medium bomber in India! No LRCAP. No escorts (he never uses escorts). They came in ever smaller waves, some turning back, but most bravely coming on. Finally, two more small squadrons of Hurricanes belatedly arrived. By the end of the day, 130 enemy bombers, mostly Mitchells, Marauders, Blenheims and Wellingtons, had been downed and 30 fighters. Japanese losses were 40 fighters, some destroyed on the ground, most were write-offs from combat damage. Fewer than 10 Japanese pilots were killed or injured.
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