Part 26: Operational Report: 01/01/42
The enemy lands troops at Shortlands during the night, continuing to move their reign of terror south.
Nearby the Pollock attempts to get around defective torpedoes by attacking a ship on the surface. But the freighter is armed, and a lucky hit blows away the the subs main gun, forcing her to switch back to useing torpedoes.
One of these does explode however, and both ships move away after damaging each other severely.
During the night though, Task Force Z comes across its target at last, finding the enemy carriers when they are unable to use their planes to defend themselves. The two forces approach each other at close range and begin firing.
The Repulse takes a few early hits, but the Allied fire is by far the more accurate, and the Kaga and the destroyer Hatzukaze take the brunt of the damage on the Japanese side before the two forces lose contact. On our side, the destroyer Kortanear comes off worse from the fight.
Over the next day Task Force Z is incredibly lucky to avoid the enemy's fighters and bombers, heavy cloud hiding them from the attackers who decide to raid Makkassar instead of hunting down their aggressors from the night before.
There is a noticeable reduction in the number of planes flying however, either the Kaga has been sunk, or she has taken enough damage during the night to prevent her putting any planes into the air.
The enemy have also launched some night bombing raids against Singapore. But they do no damage thanks to adequate blackout procedures in place in the city. The daylight raids are also for the large part ineffective, and a few planes are lost on both sides.
A large raid of Sallys in the afternoon meets a full squadron of Buffalo's and loses four planes and fails to make it to its target.
In Borneo, a large enemy force arrives at Singkawang in northern Borneo. The enemy bring a battleship into play to take out some out of fuel motorboats.
Overkill is not the word for this.
In Port Moresby, the enemy continue to raid the supply ships with their long range torpedo bombers. The lack of fighters here is causing us some serious grief as we lose a ship in the first attack. A later attack sinks another ship and damages another.
In what seems to be the start of a new campaign of night bombing, the enemy hit Manilla during the night as well as during the day, damage to the area is light, but sleeping troops are disrupted, and it now means they must fear air attacks at any time.
But the first of the daylight raids over Bataan meets with a good opposition from our pilots, and we managed to get three kills on the attacking bombers with no loss to our own planes.
In neighbouring Manilla, the enemy lose another plane but hit a submarine that is undergoing repairs in the harbour. The Seal is not one of our best ships, but she could have been useful out in the water.
The Japs continue to close the noose around Manilla, today taking Batangas to the south of the city.
They also take Iba to the north, killing or capturing over 6,000 men for only 150 losses of their own. There is now little space to move for the defenders of Manilla.
The SS Shark takes on a enemy transport with her main cannon, inflicting two hits and receiving one. Its not known if any of these hits caused any real damage to either vessel.
On the ground the enemy have massed a huge number of troops in Wenchang to push our own Chinese forces out of the city.
Unfortunately for us, they were successful. With numbers like that I would have been amazed if they had failed. Delighted, but amazed none the less.
North east of Rangoon, two of our older fighter squadrons are performing training operations when they are informed of an incoming enemy bomber squadron, their training command officer decides to give them a bit of hands on experience.
If these are our untrained pilots, then I'm suddenly feeling a lot more optimistic about our chances. Eight kills means that most of an enemy squadron didn't make it home.
Happy New Year! Lets hope 1942 continues as well as today has! And extra ration of whatever alcohol you can get your hands on all round!
30 enemy planes shot down for the loss of only nine of our own! And here's the list of ships sunk last turn.
Doesn't that look grand! I hope your all not too hung over, as your reading that right, intelligence think that the damage sustained has sunk the enemy carrier the Kaga! our own losses have been inconsequential compared to bagging one of the enemies big ships.
The fact that they list fifteen inch guns as sinking her means that they are awarding the kill to the HMS Repulse. lets hope that this is an accurate report, as I would sincerely love to cross 72 Jap planes off the list as well as the carrier herself. This is a major loss of face and combat ability for the enemy.
Not much of use here, we know that the enemy are planning an attack on Clark Field they have been bombarding it with field artillery for the last two days!
Looking at the Repulse, despite being hit three times, she's taken next to no damage, and still has plenty of ammunition, so I have decided to push my luck and send Task Force Z out to try and repeat last nights battle and try and bag us those two remaining carriers.
In Soreabaja, the Hermes has returned to port, and while we cannot repair all the damage done to her here, we are attempting to make her seaworthy before moving her off to somewhere better suited to make the structural repairs that she needs. The repairs on the Danae and Java will take some time, but are progressing nicely.
Although badly damaged, it has been decided that all the battleships in Pearl Harbour are to be modernised. If you are going to spend months repairing the ships, you may as well do the upgrades at the same time.
Now is also the time to plan our first offensive. I have selected this area to be our main target for the next few months.
The Marshall Islands are where the enemy launched their bombing raid on Wake before it fell. I am going to task a regiment to each of the islands of Roi-Namaur, Woje and Kwajalein. Taking these three will then give us the base we need to move on to the other islands and then to retake Wake.
I hope to expand this attack force in the coming weeks, but for now these units can start the planning.