Part 272: Operational Report: 04/09/42
The latest wave to hit the beaches of Eniwetok surrender almost as soon as they get ashore.
IN only our third raid on Baker island, it seems that the Japanese have moved a squadron of Zero's to protect it
I like this, as its one less squadron protecting an island I care about.
Finally, our subs catch one of the subs that has been operating off Ceylon.
Once more, its hard to know if they have hit the thing or not, but its good for my morale at least.
The RAF gets into the skies over Chittagong to meet another large wave of Betty's, but are unable to get any kills.
They then exchange one of their planes for a Lilly, which is not a fair exchange in my opinion.
There are Japanese carriers in the area, and they launch an attack on the British carriers!
The carriers cap goes up, and deals with some of them, but then the main body goes in for the attack.
The Illustrious takes two hits from the enemy's 250kg bombs, on of them is a dud, and has to be rolled carefully of the armoured flight deck. Dive bombers are what we want to face here, the British carriers are built to take this kind of punishment.
Our own attack cannot get through the huge CAP of Zero's, and takes some heavy losses trying.
The Japanese forces stationed at Rabaul then join the fray, but are driven off with no losses on either side.
This leaves their Lilly raid on Buna unescorted, and we take one of them down before the rest flee.
Then a squadron of Albacores attempts to slip through the enemies Zeros. This was never going to be a good idea.
The second wave from the Japanese carriers arrives, but the defending fighters are ready this time.
The planes that do make it through don't even get a hit on one of our ships, and the enemy squadrons leave ten planes lighter.
The arrival of the 32nd Division is announced by the guns of the Canberra
Finally we should have the forces we need to take Buna.
The reduction of the Hong Kong force is going to take some time. I'm going to let the men rest and reorganize before attacking again. A few days in the hotels of the city will do them good.
That was a bloody day in the air, the British carriers can take the enemy attacks, but can't deal any out. At least we lost the Japanese some more of their carrier trained pilots. With our superior training skills, losing 50 aircrews is more damaging to them, even if they will replace the planes.
My main annoyance of the turn is that I somehow ordered the men destined for Tarawa to unload.
The Japanese are really reinforcing Rangoon. They must fear they cannot stop me any further north.