Part 284: Operational Report: 16/09/42
The new fighters at Cox's Bazar don't get off to a fantastic start, as a night raid blows up one of their Hurricanes.
The Albacore continues to use up the supplies of defective torpedoes.
At Tarawa, the enemy have been saving their long range Betty bombers for the goddam invasion force, but they have to get through a large number of warships. Most of the large ships come under attack, but only the Minneapolis is hit, and that's by a dud torpedo!
Their second wave is more effective however. I have to ask where my carriers have gone. There is a Wildcat raid on the island, but it finds nothing.
What the hell are you guys doing over there? Thats about 200 miles west of the objective!
At least one group is on station, if being a bit ineffective.
Of course, a few torpedoes isn't going to stop us from using the mighty guns of the battleships. All four open fire, and the death toll amongst the Japanese is thought to be massive.
We take about the same number of casualties coming ashore.
We then get our first accurate numbers count on the enemy, there are only 6,000 of them (estimates have been as high as 12,000) but they have some heavy fortifications. We take heavy losses establishing our beach head, but at least we're ashore. Our artillery will build up over the next few days and we should be able to take the island especially if the guns of the battleships keep up their fire.
A Zero raid over Buna wrecks our aircraft, although massively outnumbered, the enemy pilots prove their skill and take down our planes in large numbers.
Another bloody assault at Sinyang, the enemy seem to be using support troops in the front line now.
I've also realized that the men we're fighting outside of Canton are the Hong Kong Defence force.
You guys are in the wrong place.
The invasion of Tarawa has begun, and I'm fairly happy these island assaults are always going to have bloody first days. We got nearly as many men ashore on day one as they have defending, so we're going to have a larger force after a few days.
Attacks on Shortlands and Port Moresby. The Japanese continue to plan these attacks, but never really do anything about them.