Part 13: Operational Report: 19/12/41
The Japanese hit one of our convoys fleeing out of Manilla. Losses are heavy for the unprotected ships, and the Japanese must feel vengeance for the last few days of us raiding their fleets.
In Manilla itself, a few planes are scraped together to intercept one of the smaller raids, shooting down 2 enemy bombers.
Their land forces also continue their advance towards Manilla, forcing the 91st PA back.
The raiding forces find a couple of freighters alone and sink them.
News of this attack reaches the task force attacking Rabaul, and they move into the area guns firing.
Heavy Japanese army casualties are reported, as the sea fills with men pouring from the burning transports. This is just what we wanted, the sinking of another Jap cruiser is also a major boon.
George town continues to face heavy bombardment from the enemy, three waves like this were seen today.
But when our planes went up into the air against a later wave with fighter escorts, four of these planes were shot down. Our boys only managed to rack up another kill.
North of George Town in Alor Star, the Japanese attack in force, breaking through the units protecting the town. There are heavy losses on our side as the 15th Indian Brigade surrenders
The Buffalos defending Rangoon have another fairly good day in the air.
A later raid with Zero escorts does shoot down one of their planes and sinks the Transport Nirvana. This is still unloading in the docks, hopefully they will be finished soon while there still is a convoy.
A Sub hits ones of the troop ship escorts coming out of Melbourne.
It then comes back for one of the troop transports.
409 men are rescued from the water as the transport sinks beneath it. Strikes like this will quickly hurt us, we need to better protect our transports.
After another day of massed bombardment, the Japs launch and attack in force near Tiaping, forcing the Chinese troops out of the area.
We capture the undefended base at Ichang to try and balance this up.
Today saw us adding some more ships to our tally of sunk, although we've lost a good number more than the enemy.
Those two lost tankers are going to hurt us, but we've bagged another cruiser, even if she is just a large minelayer.
A look at the number of lost planes shows that the Betty and P-40E are the favourite targets in the air. At least the top five consists of four Japanese models.
Looking at our replacement pools we can see we have no shortage of Buffalo's at the moment, but we've emptied our supplies of P-40s. I'm not to worried, as I don't want anyone shipping planes out to the units in the Philippines where they will just get shot down.
Sigintel shows more support moving into the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines.
After expending all their big gun ammo, the task force that raided Rabaul returns to Port Moresby.
The two raiding forces around Borneo are moving around in opposite directions to hit different convoys.
I'm surprised how well these cruiser workforces are working. How long they continue to be effective is to be seen, but for now, they are making a mess of the enemy. I do order out a ship to refuel the southern task force, as she has been at sea a while and has further to go.
Looking at the defenders of Manilla, you have to feel sorry for the Kowloon Brigade, escaping the jaws of the Japanese army in Hong Kong, only to get trapped in Manilla waiting for another army to arrive.
I've set their target to Manilla, so they will start planning their defence.
Planning is key, that number goes up to 100% the more planning a unit has for combat in a certain hex, the better it will fight, it tends to go up 1% a day on average, so planning for an attack months in advance is needed, especially to take well defended areas.
A Cruiser and 8 destroyers have arrived via the Panama Canal, they are sent off towards Pearl Harbour to form up with the fleet there.
Beyond that, there is little else I can do for now, but now is time to start thinking about our long term plans. Here are the troop dispositions as they stand. This also breaks down into the operational areas that I'm using.
While this is not the final lines, once we stop the enemy we will have several routes of attack.
The first would be a push from Pearl harbour towards Japan herself, taking out the south pacific islands and then landing on the mainland.
The second would be to form up at Fiji and Australia and move up through Papua New Guinea, reclaiming the Philippines and then using them as a base to attack the Japanese Mainland.
But I'm open to other suggestions, this is all forward planning, as we don't even know what land we can hold yet.