Part 21: Midway: June 6, 1942 (afternoon)
With half the day gone, the Japanese fleet is in serious trouble. They had no idea when they moved on Midway that they'd be met by three full American carriers ready to hit them hard. As they try to extract themselves from this mess, we're trying to make sure they don't escape.
Allied Turn 5 (USA): June 6, 1942
The surface ships continue to battle. The Gato, with its diving planes damaged and in serious trouble, tries to sneak away. Meanwhile, the New Orleans heads southward to repair and guard the Yorktown.
To the west, our attacks on the carriers continue. The Kaga keeps taking more hits, but eventually the damage is too much, and the carrier is sunk.
The Hiryu takes more damage as well. We had hoped to sink her in this first strike, but that seems unlikely now.
The Zuiho has taken a hit to the engine room, and may not be able to escape the region before our planes return.
Many enemy strike craft are still in the air, and we can only hope they have not located the Yorktown yet.
Axis Turn 5 (Japan): June 6, 1942
As the carriers try to flee, they send out the older fighters to engage us. Luckily they are not as effective as the Zero.
There are still Zeros escorting their other planes, however.
And some remain to intercept our bombers too. Many more planes are lost.
The Atlanta comes under fire from the Atago, and suffers a big hit.
Allied Turn 6 (USA): June 6, 1942
The P-40's based out of Midway have some trouble dealing with the Zeros.
The 7th Wildcats come in and down the enemy squadron. It clears the way for our other fighters to go after the enemy bombers (mostly Vals and Kates).
One more pass on the Hiryu deals enough damage to render the ship a floating wreck.
As the enemy retreats, the northern group of ships intercepts them, and American destroyers engage the Soryu.
With the distraction provided by the destroyers, the dive bombers are able to come in nearly undetected, and the ship is sunk.
The Akagi is the only Japanese carrier that remains largely untouched.
The Northampton is winning the battle against the two enemy cruisers. The Japanese ship Tone is just about done for.
Axis Turn 6 (Japan): June 6, 1942
The Zeros that remain are still fairly troublesome.
The surface ships are pulling away, but the Atago continues to fire on us as it does so.
Unfortunately our eagerness to defeat the fighters leaves an opening for the enemy bombers to attack. The Yorktown takes a heavy hit.
Allied Turn 7 (USA): June 6, 1942
The torpedo bombers turn to strike the Akagi, but all their torpedoes deal no damage.
Wildcats come flying back to defend the Yorktown.
Fortunately the Yorktown is not seriously damaged, but landing all the planes may prove difficult until the elevator is repaired.
Despite its damage, the Gato finishes off the Atago. The Northampton sinks the Tone shortly thereafter.
Axis Turn 7 (Japan): June 6, 1942
The Akagi is rushing away from the battle as fast as it can. Only the screening destroyers remain to fight us.
Allied Turn 8 (USA): June 6, 1942
When the Zuiho is spotted limping southward, the Yorktown frantically tries to prepare the deck to send out another strike.
Nearly all the enemy strike aircraft have been eliminated now.
The Akagi is close enough that the planes from the Enterprise are able to come back for another pass. The only defenders are some weak fighters that are easily handled.
The Devastators drop their torpedoes, but only one scores a solid hit. The Akagi may be able to survive, but this has undoubtedly been a marvelous outcome for us.
Axis Turn 8 (Japan): June 6, 1942
The enemy fighters are no match for our Wildcats, but they gamely try to engage us anyway.
Allied Turn 9 (USA): June 6, 1942
The second strike is able to hit the Zuiho. None of the hits are big, but they are adding up to cripple the ship.
Northampton starts to pick on the smaller cruisers, now that the Tone and Atago are gone.
Axis Turn 9 (Japan): June 6, 1942
All that remains is for the Akagi to pull away.
Allied Turn 10 (USA): June 6, 1942
The Gato finally repairs the planes and surfaces. It seems the sub will survive.
Some of the smaller ships keep the skirmishing up for a while.
As the sky slowly darkens, the Zuiho is abandoned and scuttled. On the Japanese side, only the Akagi (and a few smaller ships) survived the battle. The mighty Japanese strike fleet, once the scourge of the Pacific, is no more.
VP: 377 - 600 (Decisive Victory)
Ending Prestige: 2008
M3 Light Tank 'Stuart'
PG Name: M3 Stuart Type: Tank
Effective Date: 5/42
Value:10 Cost:120 Spot:4 Move:7 MM:Track Trans:Naval Fuel: 35
Init:7 SA:3 HA:7 AA: NA:1 GD:9 AD:1 CD:2 TT:Hard Ammo:14
The M3 was the primary tank of the US Army at the start of the war, and the first to engage in tank combat for the Americans. This design was an upgrade from the M2, which was a tank considered obsolete when the war in Europe broke out. The M3 was least as strong (if not stronger) than comparable Japanese models it faced in the Pacific, but was still only a Light tank; its primary advantage was speed. Good mechanical reliability made it well-liked by crews, and it remained in service until the end of the war.
In-game analysis: It feels like every good point this unit has is balanced by some drawback - for instance, the high movement and spotting range would make it a nice scout - were it not for the low fuel capacity. The combat power of this one is awfully weak, but given how pitiful some of the Japanese models are, it does stand a fighting chance against them.
Yorktown-class Aircraft Carrier (3 built)
PG Name: Yorktown Type:Carrier
Effective Date: 10/37
Value:47 Cost:540 Spot:5 Move:6 MM:Deep Naval Fuel: 94 Capacity:5
Init:3 SA:3 HA:6 AA: NA:8 DA:0 GD:16 AD:6 TD:10 TT:N/A Ammo:40
Although the most successful of the carriers in the American fleet of 1941, these designs dated to the mid-30s. They were faster than the Ranger design but didn't have the heavy guns of the Lexington class, allowing them to carry a sizable number of a aircraft. Although they used wooden flight decks (as the Japanese also used), they proved to be quite tough in combat, with the Enterprise managing to make it through the war despite many close scrapes. The other two (Yorktown and Hornet) were lost in 1942.
In-game Analysis: This is a pretty good carrier, especially for the price, but it is a bit weak against air attacks. It has excellent spotting and enough capacity to keep a decent CAP. As long as there are sufficient aircraft to protect it, this is probably the best choice in carriers.