Part 70: Coronet: November 12, 1945
The final battle for Japan has begun. Our core was the first to get into battle, and we've been proceeding fairly well so far. The rest of the Allied forces are just getting ashore down at Izu. So far the only major concern for us is all the enemy aircraft. We weren't quite prepared for this.
Allied Turn 5 (USA): November 12, 1945
The airborne drop went off without incident. We seize control of Fujisan and a nearby airfield.
That's what the game actually calls it, so I'm sticking with it.
American forces start to come ashore at Hatano.
We're continuing to blast our way to Utsonomiya.
Any fortifications north of the river are being broken down.
Axis Turn 5 (Japan): November 12, 1945
We still lack proper air cover in the north.
A strong counterattack comes at us near the Ishioka airport.
Kamikazes surprise Yorktown, and nearly sink her. Operations are suspended for a while as damage control teams race into action.
Allied Turn 6 (USA): November 13, 1945
The last of the local resistance around Fujisan is eliminated. Luckily we finished the airdrop before the snow started to fall.
Commonwealth forces are now engaging the enemy.
Knocking out the coastal guns is proving to be a hard task, but they do weaken eventually.
We've pretty much taken control of Ibaraki now, at least north of the Tone River.
There's a small force that was meant to be just scouting for enemy units, but may well suffice to handle anything in the far north.
Axis Turn 6 (Japan): November 13, 1945
A few units move to engage the landing force at Hatano.
The Japanese have some actually good tanks down in Izu.
Allied Turn 7 (USA): November 14, 1945
As we get closer to Utsonomiya, we can see that there are even more forces arrayed at the city.
Some of the guns are now gone, and we get a start on the next set around Tokyo Bay.
The Canadians start to push a small number of forces westward.
The British help clear their path by knocking out those heavier tanks.
Likewise, the Americans clear the way for the British to move on Yokohama.
We start to hear reports of Soviet advances.
Axis Turn 7 (Japan): November 14, 1945
The Canadian tanks take a beating as the Japanese bring more of their better tanks to bear.
Heavier artillery holds back our own tanks.
Allied Turn 8 (USA): November 15, 1945
Our small 'scouting' force arrives at Koriyama. They aren't having any trouble dealing with what's there.
With the road secured, the American auxiliary forces start to head north to cut off the city, but quickly run into an ambush. Fortunately, it's only by fairly weak Japanese cavalry.
The battle at Utsonomiya is becoming tougher with the piling snow.
Axis Turn 8 (Japan): November 15, 1945
The big guns at Tokyo turn on the arriving American forces, but don't find their target.
On the eastern side of the bay, the commandos take a harsher shelling.
The Canadians are getting hammered at Yoshida.
M18 57mm Recoilless Rifle & M20 75mm Recoilless Rifle
PG Name: 57mm Recoilless / 75mm Recoilless Type: Artillery
Effective Date: 7/45
Value:7/14 Cost:84/168 Spot:1 Move:2 MM:Leg Trans:Airborne Fuel: 0
Init:2 Range:1/2 SA:4/12 HA:2/5 AA:0 NA:0 GD:2 AD:6 CD:0 TT:Soft Ammo:10/6
Recoilless Rifles have a very light weight, since they eliminate the need for a recoil dampening system. This technology was developed over the course of the war. These particular weapons did not reach the Pacific Theater until very near to the war's end, however. Recoilless rifles went on to see extensive use in Korea and even into the Vietnam War.
The M20 used a 75mm shell and was capable of seriously damaging most light vehicles or infantry positions. The M18 was a lower-caliber version of the M20. At around 50 lbs, it could be carried and fired by a single person, although a second soldier typically carried ammo and loaded it. While it was rather ineffective for AT work (rocket-propelled grenades were better in that role) it could be used to deliver precision HE rounds and the recoilless rifles came to be known as 'pocket artillery'.
In-game analysis: This is an obvious flavor/gimmick weapon like the rockets, but this does have the distinct advantage of making airborne operations a lot more viable. Paratroops with a gun to defend them would cause a real headache for the enemy, as long as the gun can be protected. The 75mm is the only one worth it, though. The 57mm is only usable for defense, and likely too weak to even be noticed by attackers.
Midway-class Large Carrier (3 built, post-war)
PG Name: Midway Type:Carrier
Effective Date: 7/45
Value:65 Cost:1170 Spot:6 Move:6 MM:Deep Naval Fuel: 114 Capacity:7
Init:3 SA:0 HA:0 AA: NA:0 DA:0 GD:20 AD:15 TD:12 TT:N/A Ammo:40
The Midway was originally conceived in 1942, and thus drew on wartime experience for its design. The ships were massive, on the scale of a battleship. The had a complement of 137 planes. They were also the first American carriers with armored decks, although the fact that they expected to withstand hits from an enemy surface ship may have made them over-armored given the way naval combat was headed. None were commissioned before the war was over. While possibly considered a boondoggle given the efficiency of the smaller carriers in World War II, they were at the war's end the only fleet carriers capable of launching the latest jet aircraft. This allowed them to remain in service until late into the Cold War.
In-game Analysis: This is without question the strongest carrier in the game. I like this one a bit better than the Essex, as it's extremely durable. It can hold up even against a battleship. The lack of offensive firepower means an escort (or solid CAP) is still required if enemy resistance is expected. When for some reason a ton of prestige is available, one of these could be the flagship for the final days of the war.
North American F-82 Twin Mustang
PG Name: F82G Twin Mustang Type:Fighter
Effective Date: 7/45
Value:47 Cost:504 Spot:3 Move:12 MM:Air Fuel: 226
Init:7 SA:5 HA:4 AA:19 NA:0 GD:12 AD:15 TT:No Ammo:8
The F-82 was one of the most unusual twin-engine designs ever made. Instead of having two nacelles with a center fuselage, it was instead built around dual fuselages - with each side sporting a cockpit. It wasn't quite two Mustangs fused together at the wing, but it came close. Despite the odd arrangement, it was surprisingly nimble and powerful. The main impetus for the design was to create an ultra-long range fighter, which in fact it was. It had a range of well over 2000 miles using just internal tanks. But the plane did not show up until the war was over. Some served in Korea, although by 1951 the prop-driven era was just about at its end.
In-game Analysis: This is basically what the P-47N wishes it could be. For the same price, you have something that can actually do well in the air and on the ground, and it won't run out of ammo as quickly. And it will never run out of fuel.