Part 36: Marshall Islands: February 2, 1944
We've landed on the island, and now we need to put our plan into action.
Allied Turn 5 (USA): February 2, 1944
The Marines on the south side of Kwajalein run into their first really difficult pillbox.
Tanks attempt to unite the lines on the north and south sides of the island.
A small concentration of troops, but no serious defenses, is revealed at Tokio Pier.
Our forces demolish a portion of a Block House holding up our advance on Eniwetok.
At the other end of the island, things are quite different. The LVT spots what seems to be an abandoned Block House, its windows all blacked over. They aren't quite sure whether to investigate it. There is an eerie stillness all around the structure. With a feeling of indefinable foreboding, they decide to keep their distance.
Axis Turn 5 (Japan):February 2, 1944
The Seabees unfortunately are lost, and the Paramarines take casualties too.
Some very skilled Japanese tankers are harassing our line from the left side.
Allied Turn 6 (USA): February 2, 1944
Boondoggle has hooked up with the northern forces on Kwajalein, and clears the pillboxes from the eastward road.
More Marines clear the middle of Eniwetok and start to push ahead toward the dense forests.
With the troops on the northwest side diverting the enemy's forces, we find it much easier to march on the airfield.
The P-38 and the F4F team up to knock out the last of the planes on Eniwetok.
Axis Turn 6 (Japan): February 2, 1944
The planes on Kwajalein mostly retreat to refuel and repair, but there are some that remain over the battlefield.
Block Houses on both islands fire back at our tanks and infantry.
The enemy force at Tokio Pier tries to break out.
Allied Turn 7 (USA): February 2, 1944
The forces on Eniwetok drive hard to reach the eastern enemy position. They have to trust the artillery to back them up if they're attacked.
More troops are driven away from the runway. We temporarily seize control and give the fighters a chance to land and refuel.
A bloody firefight occurs at the Block House in the middle of Kwajalein.
The tanks are the ones that really turn the tide there.
Axis Turn 7 (Japan): February 2, 1944
Multiple units surround the airfield, but our marines remain strong with every attack that comes at them.
At Tokio Pier, the M15 continues to take heavy losses.
The defenders on Kwajalein are now ineffective.
Allied Turn 8 (USA): February 2, 1944
cloudy, Dry Night
When night comes, we clear out the Block House and fight our way to the beleaguered paramarines.
Recon is performed on the defenses on the eastern side of Eniwetok.
The 15th finishes off the central defensive point on Kwajalein as the tanks scout ahead.
Shelling causes mass destruction of the enemy positions near the Center Pier.
Axis Turn 8 (Japan): February 2, 1944
Cloudy, Dry Night
Some Engineers are caught out of position, and the unit is lost.
The Japanese press the attack and cause more casualties.
Sneaky raids take out a number of flame tanks before they can even react.
There is still one pillbox on the north side of Kwajalein that hasn't been taken out. We consider leaving it behind, but orders are to clear them all out as we go.
PG Name: LVT(A)-1 Type: Tank
Effective Date: 7/43
Value:13 Cost:156 Spot:2 Move:4 MM:Amphib Trans:N/A Fuel: 40
Init:5 SA:5 HA:10 AA: NA:1 GD:12 AD:3 CD:2 TT:Hard Ammo:6
The LVT started out as a civilian invention by a man who hoped it could be used as a hurricane rescue vehicle. The Marines discovered it, and adapted the design for use as a landing craft. The LVT(A)-1 was an upgrade to something more like an amphibious tank (and it was actually based on the LVT-2, a chassis redesign). It was better armored then the first model and sported the same 37mm cannon as the M3A1. This version was also the one produced in the lowest number; the superior LVT(A)-4 ended up being a lot more preferable when it entered the war.
In-game analysis: This is a remarkably capable vehicle for the price. While it is slow and lacking in punch against soft targets, it has enough armor to actually land on a beach and then stay and fight. There aren't actually too many places where it proves useful, however.
Somers-class Destroyer (5 built)
PG Name: Somers Type:Destroyer
Effective Date: 3/37
Value:9 Cost:108 Spot:1 Move:7 MM:Coastal Fuel: 87
Init:3 Range:1 SA:3 HA:6 AA: NA:12 DA:8 GD:14 AD:6 TD:16 TT:N/A Ammo:40
The Somers class was a slightly upgraded Porter class, with an improved powerplant that allowed for additional torpedo capacity. Only one was deployed to the Pacific; the other four spent the war in the Atlantic or Mediterranean.
In-game Analysis: This represents only a modest improvement on the Porter, but it's more than twice the price. It can go sub-hunting, but the Sims can do that too, even if I don't like the Sims much either.
Bell P-39 Airacobra
PG Name: P39 Airacobra Type:Fighter
Effective Date: 6/42
Value:27 Cost:324 Spot:3 Move:10 MM:Air TT:No Fuel: 51
Init:4 SA:2 HA:1 AA:13 NA:0 GD:7 AD:12 Ammo:7
The P-39 was meant to be an interceptor, but ended up being not very effective in that role, partially due to tinkering with the design. It had very poor performance at altitude and was difficult to maintain properly owing to the atypical placement of the engine behind the cockpit. One thing it did boast was a nicely designed canopy which provided a good view and easy escape for the crew. It also was fairly tough and had decent armament. Many ended up being delivered to the Soviets, who deployed them successfully as ground attack craft.
In-game Analysis: While this is moderately strong in combat, it's not really that great for the price. Leaving aside the carrier ability, it is more balanced than the Wildcat. The fuel supply is a bit low, however. It is probably best in a defensive role, trying to hold up enemy aircraft so flak on the ground can kill it.