The Let's Play Archive

Pacific General

by Kangra

Part 17: India: April 12, 1942

While it's only April, thanks to our time loop it's been more than six months for us since we went to war with the Western countries. We managed to destroy the British in Burma, and now we've got our sights set on a bigger target. Pushing the fight now means we should be able to get the region pacified before the monsoon season kicks in.

India : April 12, 1942

Objectives: Calcutta [200x2], Calcutta (Airfield) [100], Nagpur [10], Hyderabad [10x2], Kolar Gold Fields [10], Madras [100x2], Colombo [100], Trincomalee [100], Trincomalee (Airfield) [100]

Starting VP: 0 - 1846

Unit Name                   Unit Type [Transport]         Exp 
Land Units                    
1.1st Hohei 1940            Hohei 1940[Isuzu]               **            
2.2nd Teishin Dan           Teishin Dan                     **.5
3.3rd Hohei 1936            Hohei 1936[Isuzu]              ***
4.4th Hohei HW 1936         Hohei HW 1936[Isuzu]            **
5.5th Engineers 1936        Engineers 1936[Isuzu]        *****
6.26th Hohei 1940           Hohei 1940                      - 
7.27th Hohei 1940           Hohei 1940                      -
8.The Japonies              Kihei                        *****
9.My Tanks are so kawaii    Type 95 Ha-Go                *****
10.13th Type 97 Chi-Ha      Type 97 Chi-Ha                  **.5
11.27th Type 97 Chi-Ha      Type 97 Chi-Ha                   *
12.22nd Type 92             Type 92                         **.5
13.25th RA 97               RA 97 [Isuzu]                    -
14.Steel Death              Ho-Ni 3                          *.5
15.Cherry Blossoms Float    Type 91 105 [Isuzu]              *
16.24th 94 Mtn Gun 75mm     94 Mtn Gun 75mm                  -
17.23rd Sa-To               Sa-To                         ****

Aux (by qty)
2                           'Burmese Independence Army'      -
1                           'Burmese Independence Army'      *
2                           Senpaku Kohei                    *
2                           Hohei 1940 [Isuzu]               *
1                           Hohei HW 1940                    -
1                           Hohei HW 1940[Isuzu]            **
1                           Type 94 Light                   **
1                           Type 95 Ha-Go                    -
1                           Type 97 Chi-Ha                   -
1                           Type 91 105 [Isuzu]             **

Air Units
18.Hirohito's Hieneys        Nakajima Ki-27 Nate             **
19.Sabai's Flying Circus     Ki-43 Oscar              **
20.Nathan is my Father       Nakajima Ki-27 Nate            ***
21.21st A6M Zero             A6M Zero                         -.5
22.11th G3M Nell             G3M Nell                     *****

Aux (by qty)
1                            A6M Zero                         *
1                            A6M Zero                        **
4                            A6M Zero                       ***
1                            Ki-45 Nick                      **
1                            Ki-43 Oscar                     **
1                            G4M Betty                       **
1                            G3M Nell                        **
4                            D3A Val                        ***
3                            B5N Kate                       ***

Naval Units

23.Asashio                    Asashio [DD]
24.18th Takao                 Takao [CA]
25.20th Takao                 Takao [CA]
26.26th B Submarine           B Submarine                 
27.18th Kaga                  Kaga [CV]
28.19th Fuso                  Fuso [BB]

Aux (by name/qty)
1                           Asashio[DD]                       -
1                           Asashio[DD]                       *
1                           Asashio[DD]                     ***
1                           Kagero[DD]                        *
1                           Katori[CL]                        -
1                           Katori[CL]                        *
1                           Aoba[CA]                          *
1                           Tone[CA]                          *
Mikuma                      Mogami[CA]                       **
Nagato                      Nagato [BB]                     ***
Haruna, Kongo               Kongo [BB]                       **
Hiryu, Soryu                Soryu [CV]                        *
Shokaku                     Shokaku [CV]                      *

Core land:naval/aux slots: 4:4/0
Starting Prestige: 385 after purchases/upgrades

There are several 'Burmese Independence Army' aux units that start on the eastern side of Calcutta. It doesn't make much sense for them to be there but not have the INA present in this hypothetical scenario. Since the units actually have identical stats, I'm going to refer to them as Indian National Army instead for this battle.

Instead of upgrading the well-seasoned infantry, we're going to keep filling out the core with more modern units. At some point we'll have the prestige to spare on refits; for now, we have slots open and this is a large country - we need quantity more than quality. We do make a single naval purchase - a sub might well prove useful in the future, and the B-type is a solid compromise of attack power and survivability.

One air unit is upgraded, which is about all we can afford there. Sabai's pilots have proven remarkably adept at using their outdated craft, and now we're giving them the Ki-43 Oscar. It's not quite as deadly as the Zero, but they find it fun to fly.

The rest of our prestige is held in reserve -- once we take Calcutta, we'll see about purchasing a few more units.

Our primary target early on will be Calcutta, the former capital of the British state. The Indian National Army will be supporting is in this endeavor. With that key port in our possession, we'll be able to mount a further amphibious assault on Ceylon, which will kick the British Navy out of the Eastern Indian Ocean for good.

Most of the core will actually be coming ashore near Cuttack. Resistance there is expected to be light, and this landing ought to effectively cut off Calcutta from any reinforcement. Once the position there is established, we'll be pushing southward with the aim of destroying or capturing as many British forces as possible.

There will be a few side operations going on as well. Some of the marines will be sent to capture Port Blair. This isn't important to our needs, but will be crucial to deny the British an airbase that could disrupt our fleet movements toward Ceylon. To get another airbase in the country, the paratroops will land inland to secure Raipur. If time or enemy movements allow it, we'll also be capturing Madras. Support from our Axis French allies is expected in that sector.

Axis Turn 1: April 12, 1942/b]
Fair (Dry)

To let our units land safely, the bombers and fighters hold up the enemy forces.

Most of the first wave gets ashore.

The Indian National Army makes a strike on Calcutta, but is rebuffed.

Allied (United Kingdom/India) Turn 1: April 12, 1942
Fair (Dry)

Enemy bombers spot our ships, but when they attack, our fighters are swift to intercept.

A few small ships score hits on the Haruna, and some bombers do make it through our defenses too.

Matilda tanks come and knock out some of the weak Indian infantry units.

We're seeing more enemy forces than expected, but they aren't doing that much damage to our invasion force.

Axis Turn 2: April 12, 1942
Fair (Dry)

We finish off the Swordfish that tried to attack us.

Some of the enemy ships are spotted, including a submarine.

With a light cruiser supporting them, the INA tanks are able to push back the British armor.

The carriers launch strike craft to block the enemy forces that are moving up the road.

The British have some better airplanes in this theater now, including more Spitfires.

As we push ashore, our support ships finish off the enemy tanks before they can disrupt us.

Allied Turn 2: April 12, 1942

Fair (Dry)

The British have some of their own bombers near Calcutta, and they hold back our forces that moved up from Burma.

A larger British fleet is definitely here to intercept us. One of their battleships, the Royal Sovereign, is here.

Onshore, we withstand another attack from the enemy units at Cuttack.

Additional troops move from Calcutta and engage the forces that just landed.

Axis Turn 3: April 12, 1942
Rain (Dry)

The eastern forces are struggling at Calcutta, but we are making progress on the western side of the city.

The northern part of our core landing force is fighting hard and eliminating the enemy quickly.

The southern half of that group consists of more armored units; they are clearing their path fairly easily as well.

The poor weather makes finding the enemy ships difficult.

Allied Turn 3: April 12, 1942
Rain (Dry)

The Royal Sovereign is not alone. The Revenge, Ramilies, and Resolution are also present.

Calcutta's troops keep up the pressure on the eastern side. The INA is really taking a beating.

Indian soldiers seem to find it acceptable to throw themselves suicidally at our tanks.

Axis Turn 4: April 12, 1942
Cloudy (Dry)

The Zero escorting our paratroop encounters enemy interference. The paratroops decide to divert to a secondary landing site, short of the target.

We almost push our way into Cuttack, and seize control of the southern road.

The northern core forces are attempting to clear the road all the way to Calcutta, so that once the city is captured, we'll be able to open the supply lines.

The lines reorganize on the east side of Calcutta. Enemy troops are pushed out of Khangpur to the west.

With improving weather, our battleships begin to engage. The Fuso opens fire on the Ramilies and sends a shell straight into her engine room.

Strike craft are also sent toward the enemy fleet.

The Aoba fights to keep the transports heading for Port Blair alive.

Finally, the Kongo gets into a duel with the Royal Sovereign and comes out the better.

Down south, the French have moved out from Pondicherry to scout Madras.

Allied Turn 4: April 12, 1942
Cloudy (Dry)

Insufficient fighter escorts cause us to lose a squadron of Vals.

The British airplanes fail to score any hits on our ships, but their presence suggests that enemy carriers may be in the area.

As the naval battle continues, British torpedo ships sink one of our cruisers (not a core ship, thankfully).

Khangpur was only weakly held, and it is recaptured after a brief fight.

The battle for Calcutta remains intense.

Some dangerous-looking British tanks arrive near Cuttack, but they aren't enough to keep us out of the city.

Shelling from Madras reduces the French forces, and scout cars are able to skirt their lines rapidly and strike at the guns directly.

VP Level: 213 - 1906

The invasion of India has started. Our forces are established on shore, and on the seas we're in for a real naval fight. As long as the weather holds our aircraft ought to keep things tipped in our favor.

Unit Spotlight

Burmese Independence Army / Indian National Army / Giyugun [Volunteer Army]
(Be aware that these units are involved in rather politically charged topics ... I chose the sites I did mainly for the pictures and the level of detail.)
PG Name: Burma Indep. Army / Indian Nat'l Army / Giyugun Type: Infantry
Effective Date: 1/41 / 8/42 / 7/45
Value:4 Cost:48 Spot:2 Move:2 MM:Leg Trans:Air Fuel: 0
Init:1 SA:3 HA:1 AA:0 NA:1 GD:3 AD:8 CD:0 TT:Soft Ammo:7

As Japan prepared to expand into mainland Asia, they sought allies in those who were ready to oust the European colonial powers. These three units have identical stats and similar backgrounds, so I've grouped them together.

First is the Burmese Independence Army. The Japanese promised to support the Burmese forces in exchange for later independence, and an army was formed under the leadership of Aung San. The Japanese coordinated with them in the attack on the British in 1941-42. As time went on, it became clear that Japan was not willing to relinquish any of its control. Aung San then secretly cooperated with the British as the lesser of two evils, and eventually the Independence Army ended up in rebellion against their former allies.

The Indian National Army was originally formed from a large contingent of prisoners of war in Malaya that had previously been in service to Britain. The unit did not last long in that form. Later, with a larger volunteer force, they were led by Subhash Chandra Bose, the most prominent Indian advocate for armed revolution against the British. Once Bose took command, the Indian National Army was sent to Burma in order to fight its way into India. After all the back-and-forth fighting in Burma, the INA was finally defeated in 1945 and forced to retreat and then surrender when the war ended.

The Giyugun was a slightly different force than the other two. It refers to local units (especially in Sumatra) that were trained under Japanese occupation late in the war to defend against Allied invasion. Some of the Malay forces did end up fighting at Singapore as the war came to a close. In Indonesia, the troops that had been trained by the Japanese did not see combat during the war, but many of them ended up fighting for independence in the revolution that began immediately afterward.

In-game analysis: These are all pretty poor units. They don't even have any virtues that would make them viable as cheap filler. They crumple like paper in any real fight. Presumably they only exist to add a bit of color to particular scenarios, or to fight some of the equally weak Allied units. They are not worth purchasing, however. It is surprising to me that the Burmese units don't have a cutoff date -- realistically they ought to be out of the lineup by 1944 or even earlier.

Katori-class Training Cruiser (3 built)
PG Name: Katori Type:Light Cruiser
Effective Date: 7/37
Value:4 Cost:48 Spot:2 Move:5 MM:Coastal Fuel: 88
Init:4 Range:2 SA:4 HA:7 AA:[3] NA:14 DA:6 GD:14 AD:4 TD:13 Ammo:40
Special: Night Optics

These were never meant to be used in combat, and sported a variety of armament intended more for training than for engaging the enemy. They were also very slow and only capable of making 18 knots. When it became necessary to press them into service, they were used as command ships.

In-game analysis: This is cheap, and actually surprisingly decent for the price. Not that it's very good. Given the slow speed and lack of sonar you'd likely need a destroyer to assist it for sub hunting. And in that case you might just want a destroyer. This does have a slight advantage if you wish to have something that can do a little bit more than just chase subs.