Part 9: Operational Report: 15/12/41
The Allied cruiser task force sent to Borneo to make trouble le finds it, as late at night a Japanese cruiser and its destroyer escort slide out of the night and launch a surprise attack on the allied force.
The Destroyer Banchert takes an early hit and starts to burn, then the Allied captains and crew get a hold of themselves and begin to retaliate.
Over the next hour or so, the Allies hit the Chiyoda ten times with shells and once with a torpdeo. The Boise and Dragon both take a shell hit in return.
This is one kill the Japanese cannot deny.
The next morning the Taskforce finds their real target, now unprotected freighters unloading on the beaches around Kurching.
The slaughter there was frightful, although only two ships were confirmed sunk, the chances of nine more reaching home is slim.
In the air over Singapore, the Buffalo fighters continue to have some success in defending the citys airspace.
Wake continues to be bombarded.
The fighter units defending Luzon are now to shot up to put up more than a couple of fighters to oppose each raid, and with a squadron of Zeros protecting each wave, there is little chance of success.
Another ship, a light freighter this time, is sunk in Manilla harbour.
That afternoon a large raid appears, and four planes are sent up to meet it, but they only manage to shoot down one Nate bomber, and three of the planes do not return.
China sees a number of small raids all through the day, these are targeted at the ground troops scattered across the country, and cause few noticeable casualties. There are also some more small scale battles.
Today has been a successful one, although we have made no ground in the Luzon area, the defense of the Dutch East Indies has been helped a great deal by the raid by Task Force 308.
We have also overtaken the Japanese in plane kills, we are sill not sure what intelligence means when they report 28 planes destroyed on the ground in another day when we did not raid any airfields, but we are now assuming that among the transports sunk, there were two squadrons being transported to bases in Borneo.
Sigintel tells us that Davao, which has had a Jap fleet anchored off it for a week now, is going to come under attack soon.
Task Force 308 is returning to Soerabaja now, they are low on ammunition after two battles today, the destroyer Bankert has broken away from the force and is making for the closer port of Singapore.
TF125 has been formed and is going out to repeat the trick, I'm not sure it would work more than twice, but its worth the risk.
More Indian troops are now availble, I've ordered them moved by rail from north India to Calcutta as soon as possible. From there we can try and get them to wherever they are needed most.
It seems my Ugly Daughter may be a bit deaf as well, as it seems she has set sail for Soerabaja a day early, without the 6 extra swordfish bombers!
The captain has been ordered to turn around, if the Hermes is to be of any use, she needs all the planes she can carry.
In Brisbane I use my current favour amongst the politicians after the victory at sea to free up some more troops for the defence of Port Moresby.
The 11th and 7th Brigades will ship out soon along with a squadron of dive bombers. These units alone will triple the defence of this key port, and safeguard Australia from invasion.
In Melborne I do the same for the 4th Brigade and the 3rd Motor brigade. The 6th Australian brigade from Adelaide is also ordered to move out, but this is all I can get from the political capital I won from TF308's victory.
With the Japanese forces this close, I hope they can get there in time. I'm still short on fighters to provide any form of air support.