Part 44: Hawaii '44: October 12, 1944
With India and Australia under our thumb, we've all but eliminated British power in the Pacific, and our control over East Asia is nearly unchallenged.
The next logical step is to kick the Americans out of the Pacific too. We're going to seize the island of Oahu.
Hawaii : October 12, 1944
Objectives: Schofield [100x2], Pearl Harbor , Hickam Field , Honolulu [100x3], Bellows Field 
Starting VP: 1493
Core land:naval/aux slots: 2:9/0
Unit Name Unit Type [Transport] Exp Land Units 1.1st Hohei 1940 Hohei 1940 [Isuzu] **** 2.2nd Hohei 1943 Hohei 1943 [Ho-Ha] - 3.3rd Hohei 1943 Hohei 1943 [Ho-Ha] ***** 4.4th Hohei HW 1936 Hohei HW 1936 [Isuzu] ***** 5.5th Engineers 1936 Engineers 1936 [Isuzu] ***** 6.26th Hohei 1940 Hohei 1940 [Isuzu] * 7.29th Hohei HW 1940 Hohei HW 1940 - 8.6th Bicycle Inf Bicycle Inf - 9.My Tanks are so kawaii Type 95 Ha-Go ***** 10.13th Type 1 Chi-He Type 1 Chi-He ***** 11.27th Type 2 Ho-I Type 2 Ho-I *** 12.31st Type 1 Chi-He Type 1 Chi-He ** 13.32nd Type 98 Ke-Ni Type 98 Ke-Ni - 14.22nd Type 92 Type 92 ***** 15.25th RA 97 RA 97 [Isuzu] - 16.34th Ho-Ni 1 Ho-Ni 1 - 17.Steel Death Ho-Ni 3 ** 18.28th Ho-Ni 2 Ho-Ni 2 - 19.Cherry Blossoms Float Type 91 105 [Isuzu] * 20.24th 94 Mtn Gun 75mm 94 Mtn Gun 75mm - 21.23rd So-Ki So-Ki ***** Aux (by qty) 2 Hohei 1943 [Isuzu] ** 1 Hohei 1943 [Ho-Ha] ** 1 Type 98 Ke-Ni ** 1 Ho-Ni 2 ** 1 Type 91 105mm ** Air Units 22.Hirohito's Hieneys Ki-61 Tony **** 23.Sabai's Flying Circus Ki-43 Oscar ***** 24.Nicholas is my Father Ki-45 Nick ***** 25.21st A6M Zero A6M Zero **** 26.Remember Remember Eni A6M Zero * 27.11th P1Y Frances P1Y Frances ***** 28.33rd H8K Emily H8K Emily - Aux (by qty) 1 A6M2 Zero ** 1 Ki-61 Tony ** 1 J2M Jack ** 1 Ki-45 Nick ** 2 G4M Betty ** 1 P1Y Frances ** Naval Units 29.Katori Katori (CL) * 30.Asashio Asashio (DD) - 31.18th Takao Takao (CA) * 32.20th Takao Takao (CA) * 33.Kaga Kaga (CV) - 34.Fuso Fuso (BB) ** Aux Asashio Asashio 1944 (DD) ** Takao Takao (CL) ** Mogami Mogami 1944 (CL) ** Nagato Nagato (BB) **
Starting Prestige: 156 after purchases/upgrades
We replace our losses (using bicycles in place of the cavalry) and update our oldest tanks to the Ho-I, a decent model that matches up acceptably with the American tanks. The infantry finally have an armored transport - the Ho-Ha; they'll all be getting them soon, but only two units have them so far. The other big upgrade is with the planes. Hirohito finally gets his Hieneys handed to him, and the venerable Nell is replaced with a P1Y Frances, a much more deadly bomber.
Taking this island won't be terrifically difficult, but we really can't afford to take any losses. We aren't making our landings directly on the primary targets, as they'd be too well-defended. Instead, we're coming in from the north. That still leaves us with a problem, however - no access to an airfield. If we send our ground troops in without air support, they'll get pounded to bits, and if we try to force the planes in with no means to resupply them, they will get shot to pieces.
Therefore, we're taking a bold strategy: Instead of heading straight into the fortified Schofield barracks, we're going to go entirely around the island's perimeter. Our initial attack will include a feint toward the south to draw the American forces into range of our battleships. The bulk of the core, however, will rush toward Bellows field on the western side of the island, and then hit Honolulu from the rear. While this will certainly lose some time, it may give us a chance to catch the city undefended, and we will additionally be able to use closer airfields to keep the planes operating for longer.
The first thing we need to do is get the troops ashore as fast as possible. The battleships and cruisers will suppress the defenders and the second wave can then get on the road.
Our bombers start of the landings by bombing the enemy defensive pillboxes.
The beaches are cleared, and most of the enemy troops are rendered ineffective.
We send the second wave up the beach so that they can get underway as soon as they land.
Allied (USA) Turn 1: October 12, 1944
Some of the weaker fighters are knocked out by some American P-38 planes.
We are a bit worried as enemy tanks arrive from the west.
But then they end up shifting most of their forces toward the barracks. They're actually clearing the way for us!
Axis Turn 2: October 12, 1944
The So-Ki is devastating to the enemy fighters.
Our fighters have a somewhat harder time of it, but we wear them down.
We do our best to trap the American forces here closer to the shore. We want to prolong the battle here for a while.
Allied Turn 2: October 12, 1944[/b]
Some more fighters show up to go after our Zeros.
Heavy Bombers also drop their loads on our tanks, destroying much of their supplies.
Axis Turn 3: October 12, 1944
Our convoy starts its way down the western road.
The air battle is a struggle. We have to keep engaging them here so that they don't detect our core forces moving away.
We mostly suppress the enemy forces instead of attacking them directly.
Allied Turn 3: October 16, 1944
Yet another new-model fighter shows up to wreck our day.
Somewhat fortunately, the other fighters choose to strafe our ground forces rather than go after any of our planes.
There is only a lone AT gun on the western side. Unfortunately it is able to find our infantry and hurt them.
Axis Turn 4: October 16, 1944
We finish off the AT gun to keep our road clear.
Most of the main force has moved out now. We'll have to wait and see if the Americans take the bait.
Allied Turn 4: October 16, 1944
Their planes do stay around to punish the decoy force.
Then, some tanks appear. We're drawing some of the enemy units out.
Axis Turn 5: October 16, 1944
The weather has been threatening to get worse, but we're able to keep the planes flying for now.
Our light tanks draw close to Kaneohe NAS and find it undefended. They dash past a unit of tanks guarding the route to Honolulu and should be able to seize the airfield easily.
We knock back the tanks in the center. Perhaps if we push a bit here, we'll get a better response.
Allied Turn 5: October 16, 1944
Some of our fighters are caught over the hills, but they survive the attack.
A few more vehicles are drawn out of the center of the island.
Axis Turn 6: October 13, 1944
Even if we don't have that many fighters to deal with right now, those American bombers do not go down easy.
Otherwise, we keep our troops back. The hope is that the American forces will continue to come forward and get within range of our naval vessels.
The much bigger news is that we secure Kaneohe without incident. More of our troops arrive on the road as the planes hit the routes where the enemy might counterattack.
Allied Turn 6: October 13, 1944
The Ke-Ni is basically a recon tank, and even the relatively weak American AA units can deal some decent damage to it.
The Corsair is a pretty dangerous fighter that even our ace pilots can't keep up with. The air battle is getting to be tougher for us all the time.
Type 2 Ho-I [Self-propelled Gun Model A]
PG Name: Type 2 Ho-I Type:Tank
Effective Date: 3/43
Value:20 Cost:240 Spot:2 Move:5 MM:Track Trans:Naval Fuel: 41
Init:5 SA:11 HA:10 AA:0 NA:1 GD:10 AD:3 CD:3 TT:Hard Ammo:8
Initially this was conceived as an infantry-support tank designed for assaulting fortified positions, by using a larger 75mm gun. It started on the Type 97 chassis, but the design was switched to using the newer Type 1 (Chi-He) chassis. As the war progressed a need for AT capability was required, and the gun was modified to fire armor-piercing shells. It has the feel of a design that's been tinkered with, but it might not have been a terrible vehicle in its original purpose. None of the few models that were produced ever saw action.
In-game analysis: This is just catching up to where the Chi-He should have been, but it has a reduced initiative. Thanks to the decent Assault Defense, this is probably the best infantry-fighting tank in the Japanese lineup. And even then it's only about as good as a Panzer IVd.
Shokaku-class Carrier (2 built)
PG Name: Shokaku Type:Carrier
Effective Date: 9/41
Value:37 Cost:666 Spot:3 Move:7 MM:Deep Naval Fuel: 71 Capacity: 4
Init:3 Range:0 SA:3 HA:6 AA: NA:8 DA:0 GD:16 AD:8 TD:12 Ammo:40
A fully modern design using the Soryu as a model, the two ships of this class were constructed just in time for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Upon completion, they were the biggest and arguably the most powerful carriers in the world. They served with distinction as the best carriers in the Japanese fleet. Eventually both were sunk in 1944.
In-game analysis: The Shokaku hits the sweet spot of being just a bit better than everything prior to it without breaking the bank. The capacity is good, speed is great, and combat ability is sufficient for a carrier. This would be a good option to upgrade to in a naval campaign (unless you're going the 'cheap' route with multiple Ryujo-class ships).
Kawasaki Ki-61 "Hien" (Tony) & Ki-100
PG Name: Ki-61 Tony / Ki-100 Type:Fighter
Effective Date: 9/43 / 11/45
Value:23/48 Cost:276/420 Spot:3 Move:10/11 MM:Air Trans:No Fuel: 51
Init:5/6 SA:2/6 HA:1/5 AA:11/12 NA:0 GD:6/11 AD:11/14 Ammo:8
This was a fighter designed for the Army, and the only Japanese fighter of the war to have an in-line engine. It featured improved survivability compared to previous planes, as it had more armor and was also less likely to break apart in a dive. Although it did see combat, it was plagued with production problems that kept it from being deployed in large numbers. This was mostly because it was being produced around the time when Allied bombing raids were starting to put a serious dent in Japan's manufacturing capability.
The Ki-100 was an update of the Ki-61 (it kept the Allied code name of 'Tony'). The most significant change was a more powerful and reliable engine. It seems to have been much better than the Ki-61, but probably not something that would have flown circles around the latest Allied models. It went into production in 1945 (and so should probably be in the game sooner), although not a whole lot were ever made.
In-game analysis: This one feels like step backwards for when it appears. It's only about on par with the Oscar II. There might be cause to purchase one if you really need to fill out the fighter force without spending a whole lot, but it doesn't seem like a great option at this stage of the war. As for the Ki-100, it's a disappointing final effort in the fighter-bomber category. While numbers-wise it's marginally better than the Frank in dealing with ground units, it's lackluster air combat power and mediocre fuel capacity make it overpriced.